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November 19, 2014

Harper, The Ottawa Shooter, and the Selling of War - Part II

Anthony Hall

More by this author...

6. Ochsenreiter: You seem very suspicious that the official story is misrepresenting the truth or holding back key elements of the truth.

Hall: Yes. I thinks that’s fair comment. I think this episode is quite probably yet another illustration of the type of massive abuse of power that will almost certainly continue to undermine what is left of our democracies in the post-9/11 world. This erosion will persist as long as we do not address collectively the fable of 9/11 as it was foisted on us to substantiate the image of the post-Cold War world as one bedeviled by a clash of civilizations. At the core of this very elaborate psychological operation is the image of “the West” as essentially a Judeo-Christian construct poised against the worldwide community of Islam. Benjamin Netanyahu laid out the master narrative of this way of viewing the world in an edited book of conference proceedings he put together in 1979. The key to the work is well expressed in its title: Terrorism: How the West Can Win.

The continuation of the Global War on Terror, now with ISIL being made to fill the role previously assigned to the all-purpose boogeyman of al-Qaeda after the events of 9/11, depends on producing a constant flow of international and domestic events like the one we saw in Ottawa on Oct. 22. I am not flatly denying that a recent convert to Islam really did go on a murderous rampage acting on what he thought was his own divinely-inspired mission. Similarly, I am not ruling out that the alleged shooter was a troubled and alienated man caught up in some internal crisis that is best understood as a manifestation of personal and/or social breakdown.

My main contention at this time, however, is that there is no persuasive evidentiary basis to accept at face value most aspects of the government’s interpretation of not only what happened, but especially why it happened. Indeed, the coincidence of the timing of the Ottawa shooting on the first day of this particular parliamentary session, whose centerpiece is bound to be the war on the non-state entity that calls itself the Islamic State, is simply too stupendous not to arouse suspicion.

Seeing the way this debacle was seized upon by the international media as a kind of precautionary tale to illustrate the linkage between the domestic and international facets of the War Against ISIL also makes me wonder what is going on with the PR campaign to harness public opinion to the politics of this many-faceted police and military campaign. In today’s world the promotion of war forms the most lucrative of all potential projects for the PR industry that came to maturity in the context of the Cold War.

A pioneer of Madison Avenue’s PR promotion of war is Edward Bernays. The nephew of Sigmund Freud, Bernays publicized a concocted fable in 1954 of indigenous freedom fighters rising up to oppose communism in Guatemala. Using various performance tricks and forgeries for the press, a myth was created to cover over the reality of a US-backed coup aimed at overturning the land reforms of Guatemala’s elected leader, Jacobo Arbenz. Years later the world’s largest PR firm, Hill and Knowlton, was hired in 1990 to sell Americans on President George H.W. Bush’s plan to invade Iraq with the goal of preventing the Iraqi government from taking control of contested Kuwaiti oil fields.

The scheme infamously led to Congressional hearings where the daughter of Kuwait’s ambassador to the USA and Canada presented a fictional story as fact. Feigning tears and trauma, the girl known solely as “Nayirah” alleged, falsely we now know, that the army of Saddam Hussein had taken Kuwaiti babies from incubators to smash them lethally to the floor. The scam worked. Public opinion was manufactured to support the invasion plans of the 41st president of the USA. Of course no one went to jail for this most consequential defrauding of the public.

Seen through the lens of prior PR campaigns aimed at selling war through fraud and disinformation it becomes more possible to imagine that police and soldiers in Ottawa on Oct. 22 were encouraged to put on a good show for the cameras. Their intensively photographed actions provided pictorial grist for the international media. Their performances sent the desired signals to whole populations that the world is embarking on a new and even more dangerous phase of the never ending 9/11 Wars.

The PR message would be that average citizens have no choice but to embrace on an even larger scale the need to operate our societies according to martial values and principles. The events in Ottawa on Oct. 22 were spun purposely or inadvertently to edify a culture of fear connected to the dehumanizing demonization of those subjected to the most severe indignities of Islamophobia, a plague that is already reaching epidemic proportions. Ultimately these indignities corrode the humanity of those on both the delivering and receiving ends of this travesty.

The heavily publicized story about events in the Canadian capital, released originally from anonymous government sources in the United States, provided a powerful marketing spin to promote the goal of expanding the powers and budgets of the already formidable forces of state coercion. Harper wasted no time in addressing the Canadian nation by doing his best imitation of former US President George W. Bush in the days and weeks following 9/11. His over-the-top speech was immediately and magnificently spoofed in Great Britain by the great comic controversialist, Russell Brand. Stephen Colbert provided a mirror image to Brand with a comic twist that went along with and amplified the dominant narrative. One of Harper’s lead spindoctors, Rex Murphy, also took immediately to the CBC airwaves with his own propagandistic diatribe. Its calculated effect was to promote the remaking of Canada as a warrior state modeled in the image of Israel.

More, much more, is at stake is at stake in this saga than the political future of a single country or of the current Canadian prime minister. The larger objective of the drill that may have been rendered real, or, in other words, switched “live” on Oct. 22, might well have been to clear aside perceptual obstacles to a major invasion by many of the world’s most heavily armed powers, including the United States. The immediate target of this invasion is some of the most strategic turf in the Middle East. The larger agenda would seem to be, for starters, the breakup of Syria and Iraq in ways that could fulfill the divide-and-conquer plans first articulated by the Israeli geopolitical strategist Oded Yinon in the mid-1980s.

The history of false flag terrorism, a subject almost never covered in the mainstream media, is rife with examples of patsies set up as murderers. Lee Harvey Oswald would be an example of one supposed “lone gunman,” the archetype for the “lone wolf” scenario now being advanced in the case of the Ottawa shooter. A key question to be addressed is the role of those police state observers said to be keeping a close eye on the former Michael Joseph Hall, the current Michael Abdul Zehaf-Bibeau. Did these supposed observers in our so-called national security services have any role in the alleged Ottawa shooter’s supposed conversion to Islam, in the process that police officials as well as the current Canadian Prime Minister are very anxious to identify as “radicalization?”

Were those security officials or their agents and informers involved with the alleged Ottawa shooter actually handlers who had identified the mental instabilities of a vulnerable individual? Might such handlers have viewed Zehaf-Bibeau as an asset to be exploited? Was the alleged killer of Corporal Cirillo, a Canadian soldier apparently taken down while nobly protecting Canada’s main shrine to our fallen soldiers, a person whose extensive criminal record made him vulnerable to manipulation? Did Zahef-Bibeau receive suggestive help in coming to the conclusion that he should commit acts that would not advance the cause of Islam but would advance dramatically the interests of Stephen Harper and his war cabinet? Once again, who led Zahef-Bibeau through his recent conversion to Islam?

What happened along the way to Zehaf-Bibeau’s allegedly committing acts that some would view as essential to the process of bringing public opinion to the service of a vast establishment that has been making so-called “national security” into a huge growth industry? The extravagant and corrosive and self-serving abuses of this “national security” apparatus has recently been outlined  by New York Times reporter James Risen in Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War.

There is a large and many-faceted academic literature on the subject of so-called intelligence agencies like the CIA, Mossad, MI6, BND, and CSIS in the underground world where very real conspiracies are hatched and implemented in ways that remain hidden for years. Operation Gladio is one such example. Disclosures concerning Operation Gladio expose how acts initially depicted as terrorists’ violence were enacted at the behest of NATO operatives and other deep state operatives. The end game of this activity was to make sure that public opinion in countries like Greece and Italy remained hostile to communists or suspected communists.

Swiss academic Daniel Ganser has documented the Gladio story, suggesting it provides a possible lens through which to view what really transpired on 9/11. Richard Cottrell has added scope and depth to the disclosures with his comprehensive volume, Gladio: NATO’s Dagger at the Herat of Europe. The writings of Nafeez Ahmed are also very strong on this subject of the amazingly close and complex connections between intelligence services in the West and Islamic groups and individuals placed very high on many terrorist watch lists.

Berkeley Professor Peter Dale Scott, the son of a powerhouse of Canadian social democracy, F. R. Scott, has written prolifically on the subject of deep state intrigue involving intelligence agency assets who mix their activities in the terrorist trade with the drug trade and the nuclear trade. In an Internet interview with Global Research.ca investigative reporter Michael Welch, Professor Scott outlined how the Ottawa shooter episode mirrored the deep state manipulations “insofar as it appears to have enabled heightened police powers at home and increased military aggression abroad (combat mission against ISIL).” http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-ottawa-shootings-and-the-isil-continuity-of-government-and-architecture-of-the-deep-state-peter-dale-scott/5411937

In an essay in Whatsupic investigative reporter Mark Taliano highlighted Professor Scott’s insights. These observations help shed light on that fact that Canada has replaced its peace keeping tradition with one of aggressive warfare. This radical reversal in direction all but guarantees “prolonged and deadly warfare which will exact a horrendous toll on innocent civilians.” Taliano concludes, “This militarism will likely be a threat to Canada’s security as well, since Canada will increasingly be associated with war crimes and imperial hegemony abroad, rather than peace-keeping.” http://whatsupic.com/special-canada/canada’s-quiet-coup.html

This whole complex of inter-related activities is bound up in a strange undercover world of oil and gas exploitation in the vast pipelinestan region of Eurasia. The large literature of the scandalous global operations of the Pakistani-and-Saudi-based Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), a favourite financial institution for the CIA, the Bushes, the bin Ladens and the Afghan mujahadeen, are very revealing when it comes to illuminating the vast distance between how officialdom tells us the world runs and how the world actually runs.

The list of cases where the FBI uses well-paid agents and informants in the effort to foment, facilitate and then apprehend acts of police-instigated, police-enabled violence is becoming very long. As Guelph University’s Professor Michael Keefer has made very clear with his exemplary investigative reporting of the so-called Toronto 18, this form of entrapment exists in Canada as well as in the United States. The Toronto 18 case concerns a group of Muslim youth in the Toronto area who were encouraged by a highly-paid Islamic undercover agent working for the federal police to commit violent acts in 2006.

As Prof. Keefer has written of the fiasco connected to the RCMP’s very politicized entrapment of the Toronto 18

The theatrical arrests of 18 (mostly young) Muslims in Toronto in the Summer of 2006 reinforced media-driven paranoia that homegrown terrorists were everywhere. The unraveling of the case two years later exposes to view yet again the sinister and disgraceful behavior of Canada’s security intelligence apparatus, which has formed a habit of confecting false accusations of terrorism against Canadian citizens. The threat to Canadian society is not a bunch of Muslim boys playing paintball, it’s an ideologically driven government willing to curtail our civil liberties.(Keefer cited in http://truthandshadows.wordpress.com/2014/11/08/canadas-false-flag-terror-fingerprints-of-u-s-involvement/)

Then in 2010 Canada’s police and media establishment went into hysteria-generating overdrive publicizing “homegrown terrorism” as a huge problem for Canada. Without actual proof or any due process whatsoever, the Globe and Mail proclaimed the police discovery of a terrorist plot stretching “from Ottawa across the globe to Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Dubai…The call of jihad rings far and wide. What terrifies in the terrorism arrests” the editorialists proclaimed, “is that individuals who seem to be, and may in fact be, well integrated into their communities succumb, nevertheless, to the call of jihad.”

The case focused on a Dr. Khurran Sher, then a 28 year old recent graduate of McGill University’s medical school. Those profiling him in the media also emphasized that Dr. Sher was an avid ball hockey player as well as a former contestant on Canadian Idol. In recent months Dr. Sher was found in court to be not guilty on all charges. In its small news report describing the not-guilty outcome the Globe and Mail made no apology for years earlier convicting this man in the court of public opinion.    http://www.thecanadiancharger.com/page.php?id=5&a=739

The Ottawa shooter story has been covered by Tony Cartalucci. In an article in the Land Destroyer Report Cartalucci compares the fate of Zahef-Bibeau to the similar case of a Rochester man of Yemani background, Mufid A. Elfgeeh. Elfgeeh was charged with trying to deliver three individuals to ISIL. He was also charged with plotting to kill American soldiers returning from Iraq. All three individuals that Elfgeeh allegedly tried to recruit and send along to Syria were undercover FBI informants. Cartalucci alleges that the FBI script to “entrap” Elfgeeh “would be followed almost to the letter in live attacks subsequently carried out in Canada.”

In both the Elfgeeh and Zahef-Bibeau cases both the Canadian and US governments had both men under surveillance. Both were listed as “high risk travellers” whose passports had been revoked. Cartalucci concludes “It is very likely that the recent attacks in Canada involved at least one ‘informant’ working for the FBI. Because the FBI uses confidential informants to handle suspects, if a plot is switched “live,” the informant will be implicated as an accomplice and the FBI’s covert role will remain uncompromised…. With both suspects having been on both US and Canada watch lists, it is very likely undercover agencies were involved in either one or both cases. While many possibilities exist, Western security agencies should be among the first suspects considered as potential collaborators.” 
http://landdestroyer.blogspot.it/2014/10/canadian-terror-wave-modern-day-gladio.html#more

7. Ochsenreiter: Do you have any other thoughts on this matter, Prof. Hall, reflections that might help round out your analysis of this matter.

Hall: It should be noted that on Oct. 20 another convert to Islam, Martin Couture-Rouleau, drove down two Canadian soldiers killing one of them in St. Jean-sur-Richelieu in Quebec. After a car chase Couture-Rouleau was shot and killed by police. This young man in his mid-20s was on a watch list and had already had his passport revoked. The same questions about the role of possible informants and agents in the Zahef-Bibeau case could also be posed concerning the sequence of events leading to the death of a Canadian soldier in this hit-and-run case.

Tony Cartalucci has speculated that the gruesome spectacle of ISIL’s beheadings, which may have been in whole or in part simulated for the cameras, did not arouse a sufficient level of public abhorrence to translate into a high level of public support for another open ended military intervention in the Middle East. This consideration may have been a factor in the sequence of events that culminated in rendering predictions real that ISIL’s hostilities would soon be visited on North American and European countries.

Another subject which I think deserves attention is the widely disseminated photograph depicting a gun wielding Zahef-Bibeau supposedly at the Canadian war memorial at the actual moment he allegedly killed Corporal Cirillo. The alleged assailant is masked in a scarf of the type frequently worn in the desert regions of the Middle East. Of course this photograph went viral. It provides a damning image that would seem to create the necessary “proof” that the murder took place in the way we were told; that Zehaf-Bibeau’s alleged lethal actions on Oct. 22 were somehow the product of “radicalization” caused by Islamic extremism rather than by mental illness or the malevolent handling by a police asset..

I haven’t yet been able to find a credible account of the image’s source. There was some controversy about whether or not the picture first appeared on an “Islamic State” web site and whether or not an unnamed tourist just happened to catch the image that seemingly helps make the case for the veracity of the government story.

I for one am skeptical about the source and rapid dissemination of the shooter image to give pictoral support to a narrative whose key elements were introduced by national security officials in the United States. The role of this potent image in effectively convicting Zahef-Bibeau in the court of public opinion before any genuine investigation let alone any trial has taken place reminds me of a similar phenomenon that unfolded in Canada last June.

On June 4 Justin Bourque emerged from his trailer park home heavily equipped with armaments. A professional photographer just happened to be there to snap his image from the front and then the from the back in the hours before Bourque is reported to have confronted RCMP officers in his hometown of Moncton New Brunswick. The Bourque case could well have beneath it many bizarre twists and turns I shall not recount here. What I want to get at in this assessment, however, is that an image of an armed and dangerous Justin Bourque was fortuitously snapped at just the right moment and then quickly disseminated to the media by the police. What was the sequence of events that allowed this to happen? Was it by accident or was it by premeditated design that this strategic picture was snapped before any shooting spree took place. Like Zahef-Bibeau’s picture with a rifle and an Arab scarf, the effect of Bourque’s shooter image was to give mental credence to an account of reality that may cover over hidden elements that might, if known, prove inconvenient for those in power?

The CEO of a so-called independent security and intelligence monitoring group in Ottawa found an interesting way to spin the story circulating on social media that an ISIL-related web site had been the first to publish the image that was supposedly captured by an unnamed tourist at the moment when Zehaf-Bibeau allegedly shot Corporal Cirillo. This spin had the effect of communicating that it is ISIL agents, not informers or handlers for the FBI, the RCMP, or CSIS, most likely to exploit the fragility and mental illnesses of possible assets. The CEO explained to the hosts of the CBC radio show, As It Happens, “that the swift reaction to the Ottawa shootings by ISIL on social media is in keeping with its own strategy, which includes inspiring acts of violence among people who don’t subscribe to any ideological beliefs, but suffer from mental health problems” He continued. “The fact is that individuals who are already on the margins of society — suffering from mental illness in many cases — often can find inspiration from these kinds of material and carry out acts like we’ve seen over the past week.” http://www.cbc.ca/asithappens/features/2014/10/24/isis-played-opportunistic-role-in-ottawa-shooting-intelligence-monitor-says/

Mubin Shaih was an RCMP “informer” who received at least $300,000 as payment for his entrapment of young Muslims in the Greater Toronto Area in 2006. The young Canadians he helped victimize were served up to feed the effort of the new Prime Minister to help him exploit Islamophobia– the fear of so-called “homegrown terrorism”–  for political gain.

The continuing escalation of military intervention by North American and European military powers in the Middle East and throughout Eurasia more generally is a tragic turn in history diverting humanity from giving priority to the most immediate crises we collectively face. Those crises are the deep and cataclysmic ecological catastrophes engulfing humanity, indeed, engulfing all life on Earth. Prominent in the list of accelerating disasters in our world is the rapid despoliation of healthy sea life in the oceans. Our air, our food, our drinking water are being toxified, actually weaponized.  The Fukushima nuclear debacle is a good example of a terrible blight on our posterity that is not being treated with anywhere near the level of international attentiveness it deserves. The biggest and most lethal polluters of all, however, are the agencies of the world’s dominant military-industrial complex. And the most severe pollution is the poisoning of the mental environment to clear aside informed public opposition capable of blocking  military invasions on imperial capital’s most lucrative frontiers.

When the Cold War ended in the 1990s, the dominant interests in our war-based political economy could not or would not change. Our societies did not adapt well to the prospects of global peace that accompanied the end of the Cold War. A new global enemy was needed and the replacement enemy was found in Islam, a religion that has long been cynically manipulated and exploited in the course of Orientalist colonization. The Palestinian-American professor of comparative literature, Edward Said, has compellingly chronicled the various strategies for the manipulation of Orientalism as justification for the colonization of Islamic societies in the Middle East and Eurasia.

One example of this kind of manipulation is the CIA’s building up of the Muslim Brotherhood as a hedge against Nasserism and socialist pan-Arabism in the 1950s. Again in the 1980s the CIA assembled an international mujahadeen made up of recruits from many countries. This mujahadeen was organized as both a rebel force and as a US-backed proxy army aimed at overthrowing the Soviet-backed regime in Afghanistan. The project succeeded. The Soviet Union and its orbit of influence was destabilized. The Berlin Wall came down 25 years ago even as the Apartheid Wall would be raised in the so-called Occupied Territories up after the specious interpretation of 9/11 created the mental conditions for a new division of humanity along elite-imposed categories of imagined civilization and savagery.

Ian Johnson’s A Mosque in Munich presents a kind of spies’ perspective on twentieth-century Cold War Orientalism. Johnson describes and documents the CIA’s adoption of Nazi tactics for manipulating Islamists in order to create problems for the Soviet Union. The growth of the Muslim Brotherhood led to the Israeli cultivation of one of its offshoots. The Israeli intention was to manipulate Hamas as a way of drawing support away from Yasser Arafat’s Palestinian Liberation Organization, the PLO.

The 9/11 cataclysm has set in motion a seemingly self-perpetuating cycle. The 9/11 fabrication has given rise to a corrupt and self-serving national security racket. The keepers of the national security state’s secrets are not hiding inert objects. In order to keep their precious secrets, alternative stories about how reality is constructed are required. These departures into pseudo-reality are invented, planted, disseminated and put into echo chambers of amplification and repetition. The proprietors of the national security state are basically empowered to kill and steal with impunity, all in the name of anti-terrorism. This national security racket tends to bring to power an especially dangerous breed of psychopath like those that are playing the ISIL War from both sides.

It is very clear how the government version of the Ottawa shooter event conforms so completely with Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s ambition to remake Canada in the image of the Israeli warrior state.

How did the very suggestive image come to be of a masked “recent convert” to Islam allegedly killing his prey in what has been portrayed as a murderous moment of jihadist extremism? The subsequent story unfolded in a way that has made it impossible for Zahef-Bibeau and Couture-Rouleau to tell us their side of the story. What would they tell us if they were still alive to do so?

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