One of the oddest things I’ve seen in recent years is how quickly everyone forgot that in October 2017 a man booked himself into a room in a Las Vegas hotel, stockpiled guns, and opened fire on a concert crowd. Normally, following such an incident, one could expect a complete profile of the perpetrator to emerge: his name, birthplace, family members, lifestyle, profession, workplaces, political affiliations, beliefs, and recent movements. This would be gleaned from official records, police investigations, and multiple interviews with anyone who knew the man. From there, the entire crime could be pieced together starting from his initial motivations right through the planning to execution. This would be made public and pretty soon we’d have full features in the newspapers followed by hour-long documentaries on television a year later. How many articles and documentaries have there been on Charles Whitman and the University of Texas tower shooting, for example?
Yet in the case of the Las Vegas shooting, the whole thing disappeared from the news within weeks. We had conflicting statements from local law enforcement before it seems they were told to belt up, and then it all went quiet. To this day we don’t really know who Stephen Paddock was and why he decided to commit this crime. Even if he was a lone nutter who just felt like murdering a bunch of people, one would expect the story to receive more public attention than it did; there must be something of interest to the public. What became blatantly obvious was the media were repeating whatever they were told and had no capability to investigate on their own. These days, the media either present the government line verbatim or, if they don’t like the government, they present their own opinions. In the case of the Las Vegas shootings the authorities decided they had nothing to say and the media, having tried and failed to use the atrocity to ram through more stringent gun laws, just forgot about it and moved on. Had they been able to pin the attack on a Trump supporter they’d have made hay until there was no more to make, but given the target was a bunch of honkies at a country and western show, that was never going to fly. In other words, if the authorities decide they’re not talking about something and the media can’t use it for their own ends, then it’s a non-story regardless of how big a deal it ought to be. There is no appetite in the modern media for seeking the truth even when the public is crying out for it.
So why did the authorities just clam up? My guess is someone dropped a bollock somewhere and any investigation would make someone in power at state or national level look bad. If this sounds like conspiracy theory, I think people in charge deciding to bury an investigation to cover incompetence and say nothing to the press is less conspiracy theory than business as usual. It just so happened this was a high-profile event, so following this course of action required more neck than it might have two decades ago. In the modern era shame and accountability, like investigative journalism, are quaint relics to be found in black and white newsreel footage. Whoever Stephen Paddock was and whatever his motivations were, one thing is for sure: it suited the ruling classes that the story disappeared from public view and stayed hidden.
I feel much the same about another bizarre story which ought to be making headlines but isn’t:
The father of a missing 3-year-old who was arrested at a New Mexico compound linked to “extremist Muslims” last week was training children to commit school shootings, court documents filed on Wednesday revealed.
Prosecutors allege Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 39, was conducting weapons training on the compound, where 11 children were found hungry and living in squalor. They asked Wahhaj, who appeared in court on Wednesday, be held without bail.
Somehow authorities came across a weird, half-subterranean compound in the New Mexico desert which turned out to contain 11 abducted children. This alone ought to have made international headlines, but it turns out it was a camp run by Islamic extremists who were training the kids to shoot up American schools. What’s more:
Wahhaj is the son of a Brooklyn imam, also named Siraj Wahhaj, who was named by prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the New York Post reported.
I mean, shouldn’t people be asking questions about this? And that’s not all:
On Monday, a child’s remains were found on the property, but authorities were working on a positive identification and did not confirm if the remains were that of the missing boy.
It turned out the remains were of the missing boy:
It was also announced Monday that 3-year-old Abdul-ghani Wahhaj, who had been missing since December, allegedly died amid a ritualistic religious ceremony intended to “cast out demonic spirits,” Reuters reported.
So we have an Islamist training compound, abducted children being forced to live underground while preparing them for a school shooting, and the body of an infant murdered during a religious ritual. Still:
The prosecutors provided more details about the accusations during a court hearing in which they asked that Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and four other defendants be held pending trial on child abuse charges.
But the judge in the case ruled against prosecutors’ request.
Judge Sarah Backus said although she was concerned by “troubling facts,” prosecutors failed to articulate any specific threats to the community.
She set a $20,000 bond for each defendant and ordered that they wear ankle monitors and have weekly contact with their attorneys.
Yes, that’s right: the men were released on bail. Other than a handful of right-wingers on Twitter, is anyone in the media making noise about this? No, because it involves members of a protected class and there’s no angle with which to bash Trump, so the story vanishes to be replaced with 24/7 coverage of how Trump’s ex-lawyer is accusing him of paying off a porn star who he slept with a decade ago.
But what makes the story really odd is that the authorities ordered the compound be demolished. Now why would they do that? Is there really nothing left to discover in this network of tunnels, huts, and a half-buried camper van? Other than NBC who have almost nothing on the story, the only people reporting the demolition are right wing conspiracy sites like Zerohedge, nobody else is interested. It makes you realise just how controlled the news is in the US. As I’ve said before, the media are simply the propaganda arm of the ruling classes, and nothing is aired or published which doesn’t further their aims in one way or another.
Insofar as the authorities go in regards this compound in New Mexico, I suspect we’re seeing something similar to what happened in Las Vegas. Someone has screwed up big-time and they’re now covering their tracks. The fact their doing so also protects the establishment’s narrative is a stroke of good fortune on their part, because it ensures nobody’s going to be asking awkward questions. It doesn’t bode well for the future of America though; if those in charge continue to behave like third-world autocrats, sooner or later their country will resemble a third-world autocracy. To be honest, it many ways it already does.