Sunday, September 8, 2013

Brief and Direct: How Can We Know the News Is True?

There's only one way to decide.

Every bit of news must be weighed against common sense, not cynically, but clinically. Does what is being reported make good sense? Does it describe the way real people act? Remember that "real people" include dishonest people, uninformed people, good people, evil people, people with a different outlook on problems than you do, and people who may have MORE information than you have. Do the reports cover relevant issues, or do they emphasize sensationalism, speculation, and assign arcane motives to random actions that could well be meaningless?

Then ask, are the reports complete? Do they attempt to describe the entire event or issue, or is the report incomplete without explanation? Do they leave obvious questions unanswered or even unasked? Do they accept unlikely, illogical explanations from official sources without questioning them? Some of these questions can only be answered definitively by prior knowledge of the event or issue, or in retrospect; others answer themselves as you realize that you have questions the reporter hasn't tried to answer.

For example, we have been told that President Obama was briefed at 5 pm about the attack on Benghazi, he observed some of the attack in the White House situation room, he then told the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense to "take care of it" or something like that, and then he went to bed and wasn't involved at all in any subsequent activity. There doesn't seem to be any dispute--that is what happened.  It also seems indisputable that there are many unasked and unanswered questions in that timeline. Two simple ones are Where was the President during that time, and What was he doing?

And we must ask ourselves, What would cause a President to abdicate his authority to subordinates at a time when our country's sovereign soil (a consulate, we've been told), is under attack, (especially a President who was so visibly involved in the situation room during the Osama bin Laden capture and killing, all the way to the end)?

We must ask, Why was the Ambassador in that situation to begin with?

We must ask, Why wasn't an (official) attempt made to thwart the attacks?

We must ask, Why was an obviously false story about an offensive video put forth as a prime cause for the attack?

We must ask, Why have the survivors of the attack been essentially hidden away from Congressional investigators?

We must ask, Why do senior government officials believe they need both legal counsel and Congressional protection to tell their stories to the House committee investigating the attack?

Now that more information is coming to light, we must ask Why are only Republicans asking questions about the facts of what happened, and why are Democrats doing everything they can to prevent those questions from being answered and to marginalize the answers that emerge?

And no matter what eventually comes out, we must ask, Why did the MSM decide that it wasn't important to find out the answers to any of these questions before the national elections in November, 2012?

After all the questions like that are asked, it's up to us, ourselves, to answer them.

Those were examples, so I'll give one example of a possible answer we can figure out for ourselves. In answer to the question, Why would a President delegate his authority to his underlings (he is stuck with the responsibility, at least President Truman would have been)?  My belief is that he wanted to be able to distance himself from whatever developed. He never seems to want his name on the line until the results are in. If it turned out well, he could claim to be instrumental in that success. If not, as was the case, it wasn't his fault.  He wasn't even there. "He didn't build it."

You can figure out your own answers.  Try it.

Edited and expanded from an article previously published at

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