Monday, October 27, 2014

Stephen Harper's Terror Story and the Lies the Media Told Us

You think you know the story. You've seen the pictures on TV a million times. Over and over again.

You've seen how the media have tried to explain what happened, and how they've framed the narrative, complete with more heroes than you can count.

You know what Stephen Harper wants you to believe, and why. 

You've seen how many Canadians have reacted, with an explosion of grief and emotion... 

You think you know the story, until it starts to unravel.

And the reason it falls apart, is because the media has been more interested in building myths, trying to shoe horn the story into the 911 frame, and hysterically emoting rather than reporting.

And in so doing as Andrew Mitrovica correctly points out, they have failed us miserably. 

History. Context. Perspective. Understanding. Skepticism. Thoughtfulness. Canada’s so-called media and political “elites” abandoned them all. In their stead, we got a week-long diet of chest-thumping patriotic clich├ęs, cheap, meaningless hyperbole and tropes that, taken together, have already manufactured widespread consent for what will surely be another assault on our rights and freedoms engineered by a cynical Conservative government.

They got their facts wrong.

We were told that there were two or more shooters. Wrong. We were told that Wednesday’s shooting was likely “linked” to the hit and run death of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec and hence that some sort of wider conspiracy was afoot. Wrong. We were told that shooter Michael Zahef-Bibeau was on a high-risk travel list. Wrong. 

We were told that Zahef-Bibeau wanted to travel to Syria. Wrong. (He hoped to go to Saudi Arabia – one of Canada’s best buddies in the Middle East.) We were told that the 90-odd individuals supposedly on a CSIS “watch” list were being “rounded up” by authorities. Wrong. 

Even the “hero” Sergeant-at-Arms “story” is collapsing. Reportedly, Zahef-Bibeau was shot at least a dozen times and possibly dead before Kevin Vickers fired his gun.

They inflamed the situation, they made the gunman sound like a member of a terrorist conspiracy, instead of a homeless drug addict who was clearly mentally ill. 

In the letter to Postmedia, Susan Bibeau paints a picture of her son as an "unhappy person at odds with the world" and mentally unbalanced in his final days.

Bibeau writes she doesn't believe Michael was part of an organization or acted "on behalf of some grand ideology or for a political motive." She says she believes "he acted in despair."

And in so doing they have played into the hands of the Con regime who would magnify what happened for sleazy political purposes.

Bibeau's comments didn't persuade the Prime Minister's Office to soften its language. 

"This was a terrorist attack. He attacked two Canadian institutions - the soldiers standing guard at the War Memorial, and Parliament - had espoused extremist ideology, was, as the police have indicated, radicalized," said Jason MacDonald, a spokesman for Harper told The Canadian Press in an email.

So Stephen Harper can pose as a Great Strong Leader...

Use the crisis to try to make his opponents look like weaklings, or terrorist stooges.

And as Glenn Greenwald points out, exploit a tragedy to ram through his sinister security agenda. 

The federal government is “shamelessly” exploiting last week’s extremist attacks to dismantle liberties and core principles of justice, says journalist Glenn Greenwald. The Pulitzer-Prize winning U.S. reporter warned that the Conservative government, aided by docile news media, is purposely fuelling alarmist speculation about the domestic threat of Islamic terrorism to ram through legislation giving the state extraordinary new powers over citizens.

For Greenwald is right, Harper has been shameless.

“The speed and the aggression and the brazenness and the shamelessness with which the prime minister moved to manipulate and exploit the emotions around these events to demand more power for himself was almost impressive,” he said. “These attacks are instantly seized upon as a way to further dismantle civil liberties and core principles of western justice.”

What he is trying to do is the stuff of fascists, and the REAL threat to Canada. 

And it must be resisted by whatever legal means necessary.

None of which changes the fact that what happened was a sickening act of violence. 

Or makes the deaths of those soldiers any less tragic...

Any less senseless or any less heartbreakingly sad.

But if in a dangerous time like this one, with a leader like Stephen Harper, we allow raw emotion to cloud reason, he will use it to take us to a very dark place.

A place so sinister and so evil it can scarcely be imagined. 

You know, ever since I was very young I have always been haunted by the story of that other Simon, the lost boy in Lord of the Flies...

Who after seeing how some of the older boys were using the threat of a monster to scare the others, and justify their savage behaviour, set out to discover the truth for himself.

Only to discover that the monster was THEM...

And end up being savagely murdered by those who didn't want to hear the truth.

Like so many in this country don't want to hear it now. Either because they're frightened, or because they want to elevate the story into something nobler, or because they like a simpler story line, or because they're just too damn ignorant.

In that horribly Canadian way.

And the MSM is only too happy to give them what they want, because they're desperate for viewers and readers. Raw emotion sells more than sober analysis. And because those who work on Parliament Hill were naturally traumatized, they want ALL of us to feel their pain. 

Which makes the story appear bigger and more threatening than it really is, and at a time when fear and loathing are already running wild, only serves to create a monster like the one on Simon's Island of the Damned.

Which Stephen Harper can feed and use to to inflame the mob, and turn us into a police state.

For there is a something terribly evil out there in the darkness of this foul Harperland.

And if that monstrous leader is not defeated, and removed from power as soon as is humanly possible.

He will unleash his inner beast. As well as those of others in our midst.

And he will savage this country bloody...

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  1. Anonymous7:11 AM

    our MP Nicholson is even worse as he once said to my mother,94 WWII medic, "Louise you need to take Jesus as our savior or your going to burn in hell"


    1. hi anon....Good Gawd. I mean Good Lord. Those Reform Cons will never change their ways. Unfortunately their religious agenda has been ignored by the MSM. But the way this government is going, even Satan won't save them... ;)

  2. .. a ways back, when Harper was trotting out a flimsy excuse.. Tom Mulcair called him on it..
    Something to the effect of.. we have Hansard.. they keep track of this stuff you know.. what you actually said .... Well, what someone actually does.. ie their actions are noted too
    and every single thing Harper Inc has done, will haunt them forever
    and the truth will weed out the untruths, the deceits, the failures and fallacies

    1. hi salamander...yes Hansard will record their foul deed for posterity, and all the blogs out there will too. When historians get around to judging the Con regime, they will have all the material they need to bring down a very harsh verdict. They're living in a bubble right now, but sooner or later it will burst...

  3. Good morning, Harper is the Lord and we are the flies???????? Interesting scenario.

    I must say, I've been following Glenn Greenwald for a number of years and have always been interested in what he has to say about world affairs. Greg Palast is another investigative journalist who is on my favourites' list, as well. As for Jeffrey Simpson's first gut feeling was "who is paying you"?

    Let me make myself quite clear.......I wasn't always this cynical about politics and politicians.........I got older, got interested, started reading and Woke-up! SIMPLE!

    1. hi Kathleen...No Harper is the pig's head, and his faithful Cons are the flies. Remember to keep a fly swatter handy. ;) But yes, it was lucky Glenn Greenwald just happened to be visiting Ottawa, or somebody might think that Jeffrey Simpson was a real journalist, instead of just a paid hack. And as for cynicism, as Oscar Wilde one remarked, it's only the bank holiday of the romantic...

  4. Context involving these tragic events is indeed important. The shootings of 3 mounties in New Brunswick this year was equally as tragic and terrifying for those involved but, it was framed in an entirely different manner by the fearless leader and the word terrorism was not brought into the equation:
    Prime Minister Stephen Harper commented on the shootings Thursday morning.

    "On behalf of all Canadians, Laureen and I offer our deepest condolences to the families, colleagues and friends of those affected by this tragedy. We also offer our prayers for the speedy recovery of those injured," Harper said in a statement.

    Once harper makes a statement he rarely backs down. Imagine the crow he would have to eat if forced to admit this event wasn't what he hoped it was. It was not an intricate ISIS plot against the Canadian parliament,it was a lone, desperate individual, failed by a health care system that is under resourced to deal with the real epidemic of mental illness. A country led by an individual who sees those desperate acts as criminal. Shame on us for immediately swallowing harper's narrative.

    1. hi bc waterboy...yes context is everything. But the Ottawa media seems to have been so shaken up by what happened in their little village they've forgotten the basic rules of journalism. And yes, a lot of Canadians should be ashamed of themselves for losing their heads so easily, and letting themselves be played like a violin. I realize it was a shocking event, but there is no reason to panic, and after all this time they must realize that Harper is shamelessly exploiting their fears. This country really has gone downhill during the Harper years, but don't worry we will get it back...

  5. Anonymous8:25 AM

    It seems the deaths of two military members didn't stop the CPC customer care arsehole from pushing people to contribute money to Harper's election coffers. To compare these Reform-A-Cons to a snakes belly insults all snakes everywhere.Newfoundland and Labrador blogger Sue Kelland Dyer tells us all about it at Sue's blog and in a related blog provides a pic of the call display number.'s+Blog)

    And Brad Cabana,retired military captain and one of NL's best bloggers gives us his take on why we don't need a police state status in our country over at:

    As usual great blog this morning Simon

    1. hi anon...thanks I'm glad you liked the post. I'm so beat these days because of work and other projects sometimes I wonder if I'm making sense anymore. And thanks for those two links because both those bloggers were excellent. Sue by pointing out how shameless the Con money grubbers are, and Brad Cabana by pointing out that all this hysteria and fear mongering is exactly what the ISIS crazies want.
      I knew there was a reason I love Newfoundland and Labrador so much... ;)

  6. Anonymous10:54 AM

    Andrew Mitrovica is one of the few journalists I have any respect for now. A whole program analyzing the subject Sunday night with Michael Enright on CBC and not one mention of the root causes - the invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. Can we really compare what happened in Ottawa, as tragic as it was for our soldier, to what it must be like to have been in Baghdad or Tripoli. Must be a psychological term for trying to inflate your own problems to make you justify the terrible things you have done to others. Could explain the reaction in the US.

    1. hi anon...yes Andrew is a very good journalist and a good Canadian. And I only wish I had included the reaction of the Ottawa media in my post. Because it was incredibly vicious and absolutely disgusting. And they are the ones who should be ashamed of themselves, for blowing up this story without any context, and by so doing playing into Harper's hands. Their record over the last eight years is a shabby one, but this is the lowest they have ever fallen...

  7. I am reminded so much of anti-Jewish propaganda spread by the fascist -controlled media of Nazi Germany...and what choice do the people of Canada have, when their own public broadcaster is just as guilty as any other private broadcaster of spreading the mistruths and confusion? Of course people react here, of course some sort of hyper-patriotic stupidity becomes the norm...we have been programmed by our cousins to the South to think that their are terrorists everywhere..why our neighbors (especially if they are persons of foreign orign) might be planting bombs as we speak, the sky is falling, bwak bwak bwak!
    Beyond depressing.....

    1. hi mizdarlin...I am always hesitant to compare the Cons to the Nazis. But what they are doing is the favourite tactic of every desperate right-wing government and tin pot dictatorship. Building up a straw man and then claiming that only they can demolish it. And yes, it's clear that some Canadians have been programmed into thinking like Americans did right after 911. Even though what happened is no 911, and we risk making all the same mistakes of the U.S. War on Terror. I do hope the MSM gets a grip on itself or we will wallow dangerously in that blinding hysteria...

  8. Thank you for the links, Simon, always appreciated.

    BTW: the hockey quotes were from real comments on a news site.

    1. hi WILLY...well thank you for that excellent illustration. And I'm not surprised you took the exchange from real comments on a news site, because there is so much of that inanity around. Which is of course scary, because how can you argue with people like that?

  9. Anonymous10:26 PM

    Thanks for calling it in a way that most Canadians will never hear it. The media in this country manipulates the news to serve the evil corporate giants and if things don't change soon we will go the way of Canada during the great depression.

    1. hi're welcome, that's why we call ourselves the people's media. They can't intimidate us, nor can they buy us, which is why the Cons hate us so much. And my feeling is that if they didn't then I would be really worried. As you may know, I believe social media will play a big role in the next election, so our useless MSM will not get away with it...

  10. e.a.f.10:57 PM

    Nice post,well said. the only terrorists I see on the horizon are poverty, war, drought, oil spill, bad air quality. All of them delivered by the con government of Stephen harper.

    These two incidents, which are truly terrible, are just excuses for p.m. "lets go to war and kill em all" harper to ram through legislation which is a grave attack on our democracy.

    Wanted to "protect" CSIS "sources". Right that ought to be really good. We know some of those sources are tortured to obtain information. we know it comes from other countries, who may have agendas which have nothing to do with protecting our country. No this is just a method for Stephen harper and his cons to reduce our democracy so they can stay in government. With the laws they want to pass, we who comment on this blog could win up being arrested. We too could be classified as terrorists, and they got the information from "their source" who they won't reveal. Just doesn't it make you feel all warm and safe?????

    Removing our citizen ship because we have dual citizenship? That could get rid of more than a few troublesome bloggers and their "followers". With the proposed legislation, it actually won't be hard to "work up a case' against any outspoken Canadian citizens. This will put us in lock step with China.

  11. e.a.f.11:33 PM

    The International Business Times has a new article out: Seven Controversial Figures of Internet freedom. Amongst the usual there is a blogger from Alabama, Legal Schnauzer,, Roger Schuler. Last year he was the only journalist in jail for reporting, in the western hemisphere. Yes in Alabama, in jail for blogging about corruption in Alabama. He was beaten, arrested, spent 5 months in jail, got out, recovered, and is once again writing.

    Since he got out of jail, some of those he wrote about have been arrested and are awaiting trial.


    So bloggers do report news. They can be attacked by the system. They can be set free. They can make a difference.

    Some may say Mr. Shuler is "nuts". But you can be "nuts" and be telling the truth at the same time. I guess his political enemies forgot that part. What is so frightening about this all, is he was simply a man who started writing after being fired for writing his opinion. With the laws harper and his cons are proposing, it could happen in Canada and in a much more sinister manner than it did in Alabama. (you can hire judges there do give you the decisions you want.)

  12. hi e.a.f...thanks I'm glad you liked the post. There are times when I don't feel like blogging anymore, but this is not one of them. This is a time when we must stand up to the Cons more firmly than ever, because they are trying to distract Canadians from all their crimes against Canada, and for the sake of our country and our democracy they must not be allowed to get away with it...

  13. wow. Just wow. Such a great read, thanks for this! Countdown is on for when the conservatives no longer reign...Here's hoping anyway, hucking farper!

  14. Anonymous9:06 AM

    ALL mainstream media promotes war, lies and b.s. I was once one of those who... 'Guess what I read today...' people but I woke up. If you 'research' enough, step out of the box and look inside.. you can NEVER go back in. As you look inside you see the real agenda. After 9/11 the USA 'planned' to take our seven countries in five years. (change regimes). After Libya they went after Syria and Russia stepped in.. This put a halt to things.. temporarily. Ukraine was another deal.. Earlier this year, BRICS was introduced to fool with the US$ in trading. If you look back at when ALL this violence really began to take off.. THAT'S the start.. MH17, within seconds was 'reported' that Russia fired the missile... LIES.. Now that coverage is gone. We saw all the 'drama' from that disappear. Then we read about President Assad and his Chemical weapons against the people.. Another Lie.. Once found out, that disappeared. Enter ISIS.. ISIS=Alcaida (trained, financed, weaponized and STILL paid for by the USA) We weren't SCARED anymore and onto their LIES (well most of us) so we had to introduce Eboli. Are you scared yet? The beheadings began with media posting photoshopped images.. ISIS taking pockshots in various locations of interests including WHAT? Syria??? Strange they never attacked Israel or Turkey isn't it? So here we are once again.. in Syria for that illegal regime change attempt under the guise of ISIS. Really?
    Do you notice with the US$ not looking really pretty it's imperative they get that One World Order going and fast. I read postings in Canadian news articles and the Canadian SHEEP are still grazing quietly in fear.. the media is working. Don't dare to tell a Canadian that we shouldn't be there.. omg.. you will be a TROLL. How sad we are as a country of ignorant 'slaves.' The Elite knew they had to put a candle under Canada's butt for this one. Now the genocide and bloodshed of innocent people can be on Canada's hands AGAIN (since the Indian genocide in B.C.) plus more freedoms have to be gone in Canada too.. Bottom line.. if the PEOPLE don't wake up.. and we are nearly out of time..our children/grandchildren are doomed for complete slavery. Period. Peace!