Following Monday’s post (reproduced at the end of this post for easier reference) I received the following note from Lilly Evans, whose remarks bear repeating here:
“I think your analysis is spot on. It raises though a worrying point about growing trend of institutional failure at highest levels of USA government to be guided by the facts and tell the truth. No wonder surveillance is so rife and seen as necessary – if you know that you are bending the truth all the time you then assume everyone is at it. Why? Because we all consider ourselves to be good and upright citizen so what we do is for the benefit of the country.
“Suddenly lying or bending the truth is an admirable way to live your life. The assumption is that the rest if the world thinks so too. But we don’t. This is why America is seen more and more as being out of touch with reality and behaving like a bully.
“Not sure how can one surface this gap in perception so that it affects positively the behaviour in US Government institutions. This type of acting seems to be totally unaffected by the change of administration. As soon as the existential risk became the leading narrative all else is subsumed to it.
“Someone should point out that only cowards are always afraid. The rest if us learn to deal with risks and enjoy our lives.”
Well said! The original blog post from 28 Oct 2013, “Whom to Believe?”:
“Further to my post earlier today about the Benghazi cover-up allegations accumulating more proof, the State Department’s difficulties with the truth there make it very difficult to believe their statements about anything else in the region.
“For example, this Canadian article reports State’s official line on today’s disturbance in Sanaa, claiming four things:
- it was not gunfire;
- it was “wedding fireworks”;
- there wasn’t an attack; and
- it certainly was not an embassy attack.
“But the article’s tone is skeptical, and for good reason – not just due journalistic caution, but because State is no longer a reliable source.
“Yes, really… State is no longer a reliable source. Allow me to demonstrate:
“For example, let’s read AFP’s reporting which, in my experience of following this region’s news, is usually reliable. AFP states:
- there was gunfire;
- there was no wedding;
- there was an attack of some kind; but
- the embassy wasn’t targeted.
“Now in addition to these four points of narrative, let’s look at three points of evaluation:
- Consider that AFP’s narrative is more plausible by Occham’s Razor. State’s narrative relies on a few hundred people mistaking gunfire for fireworks… As a combat veteran myself, that’s not something people confuse easily, especially in a well-armed and volatile place like Yemen.
- Consider too that AFP doesn’t have an overt political motivation… unlike State, which needs to keep both itself and this Adminstration looking good.
- Consider thirdly that State’s reputation is already taking a beating over Benghazi, so that its reliability is already in question.
“In making an objective evaluation of a source’s bias and history, State loses more points on the old 1A-6F scale than does AFP. Therefore we may conclude that AFP’s narrative is likely more accurate here.
“So what does this say about State? It means the single, solitary, truth among State’s four assertions is their one assertion that the embassy wasn’t targeted.
“1 out of 4. A quarter-truth.
“That’s not a reliable source.
“No wonder the OSint folks don’t give State any more credence than RT lately… It’s all just Pravda.”