Screwing Greg Palast
The new tome by Disinformation includes yet another interview with Greg Palast, wherein he claims once again that he “exposed” the media for “fabricating a quote” from Cynthia McKinney. Here’s the column that started it:
According to NPR, â€œMcKinney implied that the [Bush] Administration knew in advance about September 11 and deliberately held back the information.â€ The New York Timesâ€™ Lynette Clemetson revealed her comments went even further over the edge: â€œMs. McKinney suggest[ed] that President Bush might have known about the September 11 attacks but did nothing so his supporters could make money in a war.â€ Thatâ€™s loony, all right. As an editor of the highly respected Atlanta Journal Constitution told NPR, McKinneyâ€™s â€œpractically accused the President of murder!â€ Problem is, McKinney never said it.
This is queer … none of the media Palast is quoting actually quoted McKinney. They summed up a statement she made in an interview. That’s not a quote. But don’t tell Palast.
In “The Screwing of Cynthia McKinney,” I thought I’d perform a minor but laudatory public service: correcting a cruelly false statement by the New York Times, a fib repeating or repeated by other sources from National Petroleum Radio to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Was the New York Times statement “false?” Well, here’s an interview that Cynthia McKinney gave Dennis Bernstein on KPFA’s “Flashpoints” on March 25, 2002.
… an Administration of questionable legitimacy has been given unprecedented power to fight America’s new war against terrorism.
In February 2001, The United States Commission on National Security, including Newt Gingrich, recommended that the National Homeland Security Agency be
established with a hefty price tag. Most people chuckled at the suggestion.
After September 11, we have OK’d the targeting and profiling of certain groups of people in America while not arresting in any way the racial profiling and discrimination that existed prior to September 11. Mass arrests, detention without charge, military tribunals, and infringements on due process rights are now realities in America. Even more alarming are the calls in some circles to allow the use of torture and other brutal methods in pursuit of so-called “justice.” Sadly, US administration of justice will be conducted by an Administration incapable of it. Interestingly, prominent officials explain to us that September 11 happened because we are free. And “they” hate us because we are free.
Moreover, persons close to this Administration are poised to make huge profits off America’s new war. Former President Bush sits on the board of the Carlyle Group. The Los Angeles Times reports that on a single day last month, Carlyle earned $237 million selling shares in United Defense Industries, the Army’s fifth-largest contractor. The stock offering was well timed: Carlyle officials say they decided to take the company public only after the Sept. 11 attacks. The stock sale cashed in on increased congressional support for hefty defense spending, including one of United Defense’s cornerstone weapon programs.
Now is the time for our elected officials to be held accountable. Now is the time for the media to be held accountable. Why aren’t the hard questions being asked? We know there were numerous warnings of the events to come on September 11. Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, delivered one such warning. Those engaged in unusual stock trades immediately before September 11 knew enough to make millions of dollars from United and American airlines, certain insurance and brokerage firms’ stocks. What did this Administration know, and when did it know it about the events of September 11? Who else knew and why did they not warn the innocent people of New York who were needlessly murdered?
Now, what was that “false statement” that Palast found in the New York Times?
â€œMs. McKinney suggest[ed] that President Bush might have known about the September 11 attacks but did nothing so his supporters could make money in a war.â€
This is, in fact, exactly what she said. What conclusions can we draw?
1.) Greg Palast, who is not a lazy reporter, did a shallow investigation of this story.
2.) He probably realized that, if he investigated it properly, his thesis would crumble. Cynthia McKinney’s “politically suicidal” statement existed.
3.) When he told the LA Times that he’s “not following the left line. I’m following the information line,” Greg Palast was full of shit.