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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Who "Killed" The Argentine Prosecutor? - CBS '60 Minutes' Segment, Becoming a Megaphone for Government

(Who”Killed” The Argentine Prosecutor? – CBS ’60 Minutes' Segment)

This segment of the US television program, ‘60 Minutes,’ starts out by getting you to assume an Argentine special prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, had no reason to ever lie to the Argentine people, that his word and intentions were as good as gold. It would have the American public believe that, without a doubt, the “dashing young prosecutor,” was acting in good faith for over ten years in a diligent quest for truth and justice in the case of the bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on July 18th, 1994, where 85 people were killed and hundreds more were wounded.

Although not stated as fact with any evidence to back it up, it’s assumed that Hezbollah operatives carried out the attack and fallacious points were given as “proof” that Hezbollah was responsible for the crimes. Since they’ve already established Nisman’s “credibility,” the American public is likely to assume that Hezbollah, supported by Iran, was, in fact, the guilty party. However, no real evidence has been presented to legitimize these claims. Simply put, the case is being built on assumptions for mass public consumption in the United States, a nation where people are frequently told a narrative about Hezbollah and the Middle East that is rarely questioned due to massive indoctrination of the population for decades.

The next major assumption the video’s producers want you to believe is that Gustavo Perednik, the writer and friend of Alberto Nisman who stood to potentially gain a great deal of money from book proceeds supporting the Argentine special prosecutor’s narrative, is a credible source of information. But, how is this possible if he stands to make a lot of money by selling a novel suggesting that a head of state, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, and her foreign minister, Hector Timerman, are guilty of a cover-up that would have international ramifications? He clearly has a conflict of interest, but the prestigious American reporter, Lesley Stahl, makes no mention of this or seriously calls into question Perednik’s legitimacy at any point during the conversation.

The next assumption that Perednik and the American reporter want you to make is that the authority called Interpol, a presumed international criminal police organization, cannot be called into question under any circumstances. The world is dominated by an international criminal order. Why wouldn’t Interpol be thoroughly infused with criminal elements? The assumption is that, if Interpol wants to arrest anybody in the world, the charges against those accused must be legitimate. The tone of the discussion (not an interrogation like she’ll do later with the Argentine foreign minister) with Perednik is one of complete confidence in his honesty and good intentions.

Gustavo Perednik makes the case for the president's guilt without ever providing a single shred of evidence to prove his claims. As a matter of fact, everything in this video relies on the public’s voluntary assumptions about the Argentine president’s guilt, that is, the presumption of guilt, not innocence.

Note that around the 4:20 mark Lesley Stahl begins to make the case for the undeniable legitimacy of the United States government, in effect, becoming a megaphone for US foreign policy. This is not the proper role of the media. The media’s role is just the opposite, not to cozy up to the government and not to do its bidding. This is why it's the only industry protected by the United States Constitution.

Stahl makes the case--and rightly so--that Argentina has exerted its independence from U.S. influence under the leadership of the late Nestor Kirchner and current president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, and suggests that the Argentine prosecutor stayed close to the United States every step of the way, stating that Washington was always pressuring him to keep the focus on Iran.

Iran is a Middle Eastern country which, oddly enough, has the world’s fourth largest oil reserves and which the United States government has been torturing since 1953 when it used the CIA to overthrow their democratically-elected government which had been stepping on the toes of a powerful oil company in those days now known as British Petroleum, or BP, for short.

In his own defense, and that of the government he represents, Foreign Minister Timerman states, “Mr. Nisman used to go to the American embassy here in Argentina and tell, in advance, what he was going to do,” suggesting that Nisman was working in collusion with the United States government. This is likely to be a more accurate depiction of what really took place during this long, tragic affair.

The American reporter continues to insinuate that illegal behavior took place on the part of the current government by suggesting the special prosecutor had been at risk of losing his job. Timerman replied that these were accusations leveled by Argentine media and that they had never discussed taking Nisman’s job away from him. Note that the Argentine media is largely made up of private corporations, that is, it is largely made up of corporate-run media with every reason to lie about the current leftist government that has worked diligently to improve the lot of Argentina's most vulnerable citizens.

Lesley Stahl goes on to suggest the case against the current administration is so strong that there is evidence “gathering dust in a ‘giant’ warehouse in downtown Buenos Aires, and over a half million yellowing documents, folders, and audio cassettes.” I know from personal experience about the tactic of accusing people of so many “crimes” that the public will automatically assume there is no way the person(s) being accused could possibly be innocent.

Believe it or not, the power of suggestion can easily sway the minds of most Americans, even without presenting a shred of real to back up any of the claims being made. All you have to do is imply there is a “mountain of evidence” that will lead to an inevitable “fall from grace” of a major public figure and the general public usually buys right into it.

The accusers are counting on the fact that they will never actually have to present any of those “mountains of evidence” to the public because the insinuation of guilt has already convicted those accused in the eyes of the public already. Bear in mind that, in his ten years on the case, Alberto Nisman never provided one shred of solid evidence pointing to the guilt of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, and I’d be willing to stake good money on the fact the same goes for her entire administration as well; from beginning to end, Nisman’s case, and the case of those who came before him, was implied, merely suggested.

At the 6:40 mark in the video, Lesley Stahl reports that Alberto Nisman made an explosive accusation but was murdered just four days after he made the accusation, then, goes on to imply the president was responsible for having him killed and points to the fact that the president changed her story to get the U.S. audience to convict her in the court of public opinion, simply for rethinking Nisman’s death and changing her opinion on what she believed happened. Stahl goes on to say that polls show the public believes Nisman was assassinated, a position the president holds as well, and then goes on to link the opposition with those polls in an extremely subtle way of trying to discredit the Argentine head of state.

She proceeds to paint the Argentine social and political landscape as being in near turmoil over the presumed assassination of prosecutor Nisman, as if Argentina was quickly unraveling into a state of chaos over the death of one person when, in fact, the Dirty Wars, that dark past she referred to, were supported in covert fashion by her own government, the United States of America. That is, the deaths and disappearances of thousands of Argentines in the 70s and 80s were, in large part, brought about by the complicity of the United States government. Oblivious to her own ignorance, Lesley Stahl continues to paint Argentina as a land of turmoil and, in a “touching display of solidarity” with the Argentine people, even tries to create sympathy for Argentines who just can’t seem to find any justice in this world (my words, not hers).

How strange and bizarre it must have been for any Americans paying close attention to events in Argentina just over a week ago when they literally saw multitudes of fired up, exuberant Argentines lining the streets of Buenos Aires, going nuts in their unwavering support for their president. Did Lesley Stahl have any statement to make afterwards about this glaring inconsistency in her description of the situation in Argentina? Did she apologize for the inaccurate reporting?

She probably still believes Argentina is experiencing major instability or just doesn't care one way or the other. She got her report out of the deal, and this is all old news to Americans now. Can anyone honestly reconcile her ludicrous description of Argentina as a country on the verge of descending into conditions that were prevalent under military juntas of the 70s and 80s with what clearly took place on the streets of Buenos Aires just a week and a half ago? It should be noted that the U.S. government’s involvement in Operation Condor, which involved the murder and disappearances of tens of thousands of mostly non-violent dissidents in six Latin American countries, has been thoroughly documented through information declassified by the United States government.

These are glaring inconsistencies for which those who’ve made the case against the current administration will never have a logical response because, intuitively, the well informed know what’s really going on here. The U.S. media’s case against Argentina's government is being shot full of holes and, thus far, none of their points have proven to be factual. All we know for sure is that an interview took place in Argentina between a corporate-owned TV program, ‘60 Minutes,’ and key players in an international scandal that seems to be a plot by ‘60 Minutes’ to cast doubt on an Argentine government that has been judiciously exercising its own sovereignty in recent years, against the wishes of Empire.

Even more importantly, through the power of suggestion, the American reporter seems to be set on getting an impressionable American audience to dislike or even hate the government of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. If you want to undermine a foreign county’s government covertly, then, get the American people to buy into the illegitimacy of that government first by building a case against it. You don't need facts. We must keep our own population convinced we’re the good guys even if we're not.

“Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed.”

--Abraham Lincoln

Indeed, the primary mission of the show seems to be the manipulation of the audience's feelings towards the populist, leftist government of Argentina, perhaps, in preparation for further destabilization of the region in the future and to bring about a regime change that will be more favorable to the interests of the U.S. and its corporate overlords (complete deference to the United States).

The important thing seems to be deceiving the American public because, without negative public sentiment, any action Empire takes against the Argentine Republic in the future isn’t going to be too popular.

And, by the way, I’m clearly basing my opinions on my own intuition and not trying to hide my bias. As the “Moses” of broadcast journalism in the United States, Edward R. Murrow, used to say, “Bias is okay, just so long as you don’t try to hide it.”

I felt sympathy for Foreign Minister, Hector Timerman, as I went over the video and saw how uncomfortable he was being made to feel by the interviewer who, apparently, thinks of herself as the ultimate authority in all matters of truth and justice. In my opinion, the foreign minister is an honest man who didn’t quite know how to handle the fact that he was being depicted as a villain before an American audience.

What many people don’t understand, especially, the most prolific liars, is that people who are basically honest sometimes have a hard time dealing with accusations because they’re hearts aren’t callous like everyone else and they don’t understand why anyone would accuse them of lying in the first place and then continue down a path of cynicism, completely undeterred by the facts. I can relate to his feelings of discomfort during the interview.

“Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction. Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.”

--Abraham Lincoln

“It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place.”

--H.L. Mencken

At around the ten minute mark in the video I had to replay the footage about a dozen times just to figure out what was happening. I couldn't grasp what the assumption was that Lesley Stahl wanted us to believe. She asked the Foreign Minister if he had had the Interpol red alerts lifted in an effort to improve economic relations with Iran, and he replied that he had not. End of story, right? Nope, Stahl went on to say that prosecutor Nisman’s statement contradicted Timerman's denial of that claim for which the foreign minister reaffirmed his denial. The scene is about to abruptly shift to another venue without explaining why the prosecutor's word automatically trumps the foreign minister's word, as if the next scene will completely destroy Timerman's credibility. Once again, we will be asked to believe something without being shown any proof to substantiate it.

The scene abruptly shifts to a so-called “evidence room,” stacked two stories high with “investigation documents,” all unverified, where Stahl makes the case for Nisman’s undeniable authenticity and hard work. Why do I say these documents are unproven? Because no one has taken the time to even read them, and their validity hasn’t been confirmed. The poignant images of all this presumed evidence is supposed to lend massive weight to their validity, but if no one, least of all the viewing audience or Lesley Stahl, knows what’s in them, the "two stories of evidence” turn into nothing more than a ruse, a plot to sway public opinion against the accused without ever giving them the chance to respond to any specific accusations.

In other words, once more, without any facts offered to back up their claims, the U.S. audience's emotions are manipulated to get them to do "detective work" where those telling the story have already decided the outcome, all while disguising their real agenda under a thinly-veiled cloak of "professional objectivity."

In my view, ‘60 Minutes’ is making a case against the Argentine government from the start and all Americans have to do is conveniently play along while thinking of themselves as sleuths in the same vein as a Sherlock Holmes from the comfort of their living rooms. They get to be the judge, jury and executioner of a democratically-elected government which, not long thereafter, garnered the support of a wildly enthusiastic crowd that took to the streets by the thousands in support of a government that is more democratic than our own, an event that was fully documented in real-time while some members of the global community, like myself, who wanted to watch a real democracy at work watched in fascination.

One of the major underlying assumptions of the segment is that the dead prosecutor could do no wrong. Foreign Minister Timerman’s claim that Nisman was visiting the U.S. embassy in Argentina and telling the staff there what he was going to do before he did it fell on deaf ears. Why isn’t that a surprise?

In other words, there was no way that Nisman, who could have easily been involved with the U.S. government in a covert push for regime change in Argentina, might have been murdered by his own people, betrayed by the very people who were supposed to be on his side. Actually, I believe he was murdered by the United States or Israel, a sacrificial pawn in someone else’s deadly chess match.

In contrast to Minister Timerman’s heartfelt defense of his own actions and that of his government, Nisman’s employee, Diego Lagomarsino, seemed to be lying so blatantly that he couldn’t even keep a straight face.

Several times during his interview we see strange contortions on his face as he appears to lie repeatedly on camera. At times, those facial expressions seem to subtly display a carefully guarded contempt for the proceedings at hand. His expressions are a lot like those of a child who’s been caught with his hands in the cookie jar and is trying to lie, somewhat arrogantly, his way out of it.

And, much to his credit, Foreign Minister Timerman displayed a touch of class during the interview with Lesley Stahl by choosing to dignify his political adversary in death and not speculate on the circumstances of his untimely demise. Timerman's defense of truth and civility may have been the only upside to the entire show except for me having the immense pleasure of pointing out all of skewed thinking throughout the rest of it.

So what happens during the last minute of the video? The cameras and crew are sent packing to the sight of the horrific bombing that took place twenty years earlier as the emotions of the American people will be stirred up one final time when shown the names of the victims hanging from the building’s edifice as powerful emotions of 9/11 are no doubt elicited. As the piece comes to a close the scene abruptly shifts, once more time, to a Jewish cemetery where the body of the fallen prosecutor has been laid to rest with a Star of David above his gravesite.

What emotionally-charged messages does this send to most Americans? By conjuring up images of 9/11 and then linking them symbolically to Israel with a Star of David and a fallen public servant whose efforts and character have been lauded throughout the piece, America’s self-touted moral superiority and exceptionalism are subtly driven home and tied to her greatest ally, Israel, while the governments of Argentina, Iran and Hezbollah, on the other hand, are conveniently vilified for us in the court of public opinion, our false constructs about the world are, once again, confirmed. All we have to do is nod our approval and give ourselves a pat on the back for a job well done.

Alberto Nisman, for better or for worse, was turned into a martyr and no one who was in a position to speak with authority about his character and personal make-up was interviewed. Perednik, as I said earlier, had a conflict of interest and, therefore, plenty of reasons to paint the prosecutor as a faithful public servant, all of them being green. And since practically the entire segment was spent making Nisman's case for him, in his absence, I have to assume that public sentiment highly favored his point of view, not the Argentine leaders'. After all, without knowing the actual cause of death, I think it's safe to say he did die, and most people do tend to feel sympathy for the dead, especially, when they're being depicted as heroic and dedicated public servants who gave their lives for a noble cause. The American audience was skillfully manipulated at an emotional level the whole time.

The video seemed like a deliberate attempt to use powerful emotions to bias a television audience in the United States. If you paid close attention to every scene in the video and carefully noted what emotions were likely to be evoked, one has to believe, based upon the lop-sided amount of time devoted to making the prosecutor’s case and the subtle, but powerful, emotional slants in favor of the man who lost his life in the affair, that the film’s producers are heavily biased.

And even when the foreign minister was given a brief opportunity to defend his government’s position, he was thoroughly grilled by Lesley Stahl who used an accusing tone of voice to question him which seemed to make him more uncomfortable. He’s a foreign minister of a sovereign nation who represents more than 40 million citizens of a vibrant democracy and deserves to be treated respectfully.

This documentary probably didn’t have much effect on the Argentine people, but it likely had a profound effect on unsuspecting Americans who aren't aware of how the media plays upon their emotions to manipulate and gear them for action or inaction depending on whatever their government thinks its needs are at any given time. This film serves as an example of the broken-down, ineffective state the U.S. media is in. Rather it's quite effective at making profits for its shareholdes but commpletely ineffective at telling the truth to the American people. News is supposed to foster the common good, and this segment clearly didn't do that, not to the trained eye it didn't. Whenever you give the public something other than truth, the result is partial or complete failure to promote and foster the common good.

Many of the comments I’m making are obvious opinions. I have no proof for what I'm saying, only a lifetime of difficult experiences with a barbaric and cruel empire as my opposition and my intuition to back them up. On one hand, I’m not trying to hide my bias while, on the other hand, you have American privately-owned, corporate-run media making an empty and pathetic case against the government of Argentina while providing a strong assist to the United States government.

To understand the dynamics at play, here, you have to understand the fact that the U.S. government has routinely overthrown democratically-elected governments for most of its history in order to install governments that would do its bidding without raising any objections to the demands it placed on them.

If you need to, go back and review Lesley Stahl’s questioning of the foreign minister about the Argentine governments tilt away from U.S. influence and the exertion of its own sovereignty. Lesley Stahl seemed to be incredulous at the fact that a country might choose another path for itself other than complete deference to her own government. Was the American reporter making a case for the U.S. government? I believe, very consciously, she was, and that’s not the place of the media in any democratic society.

The media is called the fourth estate because it, along with the three branches of government, is supposed to keep the government in check, properly balanced and protect the citizenry from the potential ills of oppression and tyranny. When American reporters are so convinced of their nation’s own moral superiority and begin acting as zealous missionaries as opposed to professional journalists, there's a problem. We’ve ceased to be investigators and have become unofficial spokesmen and women for the United States government.

For me, the irony in all this is that an American TV program packed up its bags and gear, flew down to Argentina, and solved a twenty-year old mystery in not much more than a weekend. Who knows, maybe Lesley Stahl and the guys even had time to catch some rays on the sunny beaches of Mar del Plata before returning home to the land of the free and home of the brave. All of this goes to show the level of arrogance and conceit on which most Americans tend to operate. Only a nation of people lacking in moral courage and drunk on its own sense of moral superiority, would roll over on command and fail to question the various assumptions they were asked to believe in this video. '60 Minutes,' astonishingly, accomplished this feat without providing a single piece of physical evidence to back its claims.

I would challenge anyone who believes a convincing case was made against the Argentine government to review the video until such time as this prestigious American “news” program puts forth one piece of factual evidence to support its assertions, all of which were made at an emotional level, not using sound logic. Expect to be at it for a while because no matter how many times you replay it, you won't find anything more than an endless string of unproven accusations and insinuations of jail time for an important public figure designed to get a bloodthirsty audience to convict the accused in the court of public opinion. The entire segment relies on your willingness to make assumptions to “prove its case.” Truth be told, there was no case against this Latin American government from the start. I say that based on my own intuition and, knowing how my government operates, I won’t waste a minute of time doubting myself.

And, that, my fellow Americans, proves my case beyond a shadow of a doubt, because even though I offered you mountains of opinions, my overarching theme was proven. I urge anyone with any doubts about my claim to call me out on this and prove me wrong. Not a single drop of real evidence was ever presented to you by '60 Minutes. All they had to do was make an endless string of accusations to insinuate the guilt of the accused and, like good detectives, many patriotic Americans did the rest.

By the way, a two-story room full of documents, folders, a half million papers and audio cassettes aren’t evidence. You have to analyze evidence before you can call it that and, oddly enough, Lesley Stahl didn’t take the time to read a single document, did she? After all, it’s so much easier to go into a situation with our minds' made up and build a case around a faulty premise than it is to actually take the time to really investigate, isn’t it? The entire case is a huge house of cards, waiting to come down.

Any time a government makes its case against an individual, they almost always try to bias a jury and/or the public against the accused by putting on display what seems like a mountains of damning evidence to corroborate its claims, and anyone who questions the validity of that evidence would have to be a complete fool. At least, that's what they want you to think.

In my own court case for which I served ten years in prison, I faced more than sixty years of fictitious crimes and was convicted for about a third of them on 100% hearsay, with no physical evidence. After all, there couldn't be any physical evidence because I was innocent. My case, just like the Argentine president's, had to be built from the ground up on lies.

In the case of the “death” of prosecutor Nisman, not the “murder” of prosecutor Nisman, I can say with confidence that the only useful purpose they’ll ever find for all that “evidence” is to recycle it into something useful because it was used solely for the purposes of creating political theater, as a political stunt. This was all an extended, decades-long campaign to discredit the Argentine Republic, undermine its growing autonomy and integration with its neighbors and create the conditions for ongoing U.S. domination and control in that part of the world. It's the Argentine people who would have been hurt the most.

In the final analysis, the segment may have accomplished the purpose for which it was intended: to bias a portion of the US population against the leftist, populist government of Argentina and slow down the inevitable progress of Latin America towards greater integration and independence from imperial domination, while keeping the U.S. isolated in the hemisphere as a safeguard against further acts of aggression and the wholesale theft of the continent's natural and human resources.

Congratulations to Lesley Stahl and the gang for a job well done. Uncle Sam would be proud of you.