The Lies (and misconceptions) of the "'truth' movement"

Intro (scroll down for entries)

I readily admit that I have no doubts that most members of the “truth movement” sincerely believe all the nonsense that they spout. I even think that most of the “leaders” of the movement, the ones who run the sites and write the books make the videos etc believe all of what they purport. However far too many of them present the facts in a less than honest fashion: quotes are taken out of context, contrary information omitted, rumors are reported as fact etc, others are too blinded by their preconceived notions to see the fallacies of their theories. I did want a blog title that would garner attention and ‘The Misconceptions of the Truth Movement’ just wouldn’t have the same ring to it.

I will address specific errors made by leading “truthers” in this blog and will erase any generic replies that have nothing to do with the entry topic. In other words if the entry is about Amanda Keller contradicting herself replies going on about the debris from flight 93 or Silverstein’s “pull it" comment etc. etc. will be deleted. Personal attacks and insults whether directed at me or other commenters, whether made by “truthers” or “debunkers” will be deleted as well.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

American Raj = More of Margolis’ BS

As I documented earlier Margolis has given mutually exclusive accounts of his contact with the world’s moat terrorist 1) as of 1996-7 he had not met OBL, 2) he met OBL 1992 (or perhaps the late 80s). But he has given more takes on this. In the second edition of War at the Top of the World (2002) he wrote:

“I encountered bin Laden towards the end of the war near Jalalabad in the walled residence of a Pushtun warlord. We were a score of men in a large empty room…Bin Laden sat at the far end of the room from me. I noticed him I noticed him because of his stature. He was dressed as a simple fighter and spoke softly to the men around him. There was nothing else exceptionable about the man. In fact, I forgot about the encounter until the late 1990's when bin Laden burst upon the scene as the world's leading Islamic menace...Bin Laden survived the war and returned in late 1989 to Saudi Arabia.”
So he didn’t exactly meet OBL but rather they were “at the far end(s) of” a “large…room” from each other with about 20 other men. Though OBL “spoke softly to the men around him” there was no mention of him speaking with Margolis. This doesn’t qualify as having met OBL so it fits with his statement in the earlier edition that they “had not met” the date was in or before “late 1989”
By 2008 in his latest book American Raj the story had grown legs and a tail, from page 169:
I crossed paths once with bin Laden. It was during fighting outside Jalalabad, the Afghan city that commands the route from Peshawar to Kabul. I had been in battle with mujahedin against Afghan Communist troops, backed by armour and artillery. As is the Afghan custom, the battle ended before dusk and all sides repaired to their homes or camps. I was taken to the sprawling, mud-walled compound of my host, local warlord Hadji Abdul Qadeer, who later became vice-president of U.S.-occupied Afghanistan and was assassinated in Kabul in 2002.
We were about 20 men in a long, rectangular room covered in colourful Persian and Afghan carpets, reclining on round bolsters set against the wall. After about 30 minutes of smoking, drinking tea, and chatting, we all rose and prepared to go our various ways. I later recalled one man from the group because he was much taller than the others, remarkably thin, even gaunt, and did not look Afghan. He exuded an aura of profound calm and dignity, as well as an almost religious solemnity. The warrior smiled at me gently. He offered me traditional greetings in Arabic and I replied in the same tongue.
Strange that if Margolis really had exchanged words OBL he made no mention of this in 2001 when he wrote that he suspected the audio of the videotape had been faked [see more below] and only mentioned the terrorist speaking “softly to the men around him” in his 2002 book.
Stranger still is that in his 2002 article about Qadir’s assassination Margolis wrote about being in the presence of “tribal elders and mujihadin” in his friend’s home but made no mention of OBL being there and the date has been moved to “the early 1990's” (probably April 1992 when Jalalabad was retaken)
“In the early 1990's, civil war was raging across Afghanistan following the Soviet pull-out. I had just come from a fierce battle against communist Afghan forces at Jalalabad. Hadji Qadir, southern Afghanistan's most important warlord, gave me the hospitality of his large, walled tribal compound near Jalalabad. I stayed with him as an honored guest and joined him in audiences with tribal elders and mujihadin fighters. As governor of one of the nation's richest provinces - thanks to legal and illegal trade - Qadir commanded great influence and large numbers of tribal fighters.”
As he did in his infamous 2010 column Margolis expressed doubt in American Raj that the man in the famous “smoking gun” video really was OBL on page 178 he wrote:
In one 2004 tape “discovered” by U.S. forces in Afghanistan which I believe used an imposter to represent bin Laden he is seen chortling over the attack and showing with his hand how one of the planes dove into the World Trade Center tower. Having met the real Osama bin Laden I am convinced that the man in the tape, who was far heavier and broader of face than bin-Laden was a fake. The purpose of the tape was to convince American audiences of bin Laden’s guilt.
Besides the fact that it’s doubtful he really met OBL there are a couple problems with this:
1) The tape was found not long after the US invasion and was first played on air December 13, 2001 when very few American’s had any doubts about “bin Laden’s guilt.” I’m not sure if he described it as a “2004 tape” because he was careless of because the later date better fit his fake tape scenario but the latter seems more likely. He wrote about the tape four days after its release (December 17) and two days later spoke about in on CNN.
2) In his Dec. 17, 2001 column though he indicated that he thought the AUDIO might have been faked he expressed no doubt that the images were of OBL:
But two other Arabic experts say the tape's audio quality is so poor that almost nothing bin Laden says on it can be verified. To my ears, well accustomed to Arabic, half of bin Laden's words were inaudible. The translation was sometimes out of sync with the action on screen. Bin Laden's statements looked cut up and edited.
Cynics suggest the tape was a forgery made by Russian intelligence or the U.S. government, with incriminating statements spliced into an otherwise boring exchange of pleasantries between bin Laden and a visiting admirer.
Note that he did not claim to have spoken to or met OBL

Margolis is an intelligent and talented writer with the insight of being a Moslem who lived and studied in Egypt for several years and spent decades covering the Middle East thus it very unfortunate that he can’t be counted on to tell the truth but rather makes up fact to fit his thesis and/or tell a ‘sexier’ story.

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