How to Get Torture Memos Off the Front Page: It's Spelled S-W-I-N-E F-L-U

I just did a check on about ten different national news sites. Not one of them any longer has anything about the torture memos on its front page. Rather, the top item on the list is now swine flu hysteria. Swine flu is affecting thousands, but still you'd think that the American news media could juggle more than one important ball at one time. If this weren't the same news media that thinks anything that, for example, Angelina Jolie does is news of the utmost importance, you'd also think that the media could put the swine flu problems in their proper perspective.

Have you heard very much in the news about the Obama's release of Bush torture memos lately? Did you know that, due to the outbreak of swine flu in Mexico City, the Mexican economy may be on the verge

Not even a swine flu outbreak should be seen as a warrant for a cover-up of the realities of Bush-era torture.

of collapse? Did you know that it was recently discovered that virus samples have may gone missing at Fort Detrick in Maryland? Did you know that the swine flu of 2009 is similar to the variant of flu that broke out in 1918, and that the vaccine at the time is thought by many to have significantly exacerbated the 1918 death count? I didn't think so.

Probably the only thing you know about swine flu right now is that WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!! What a convenient way to get the issue of torture off the front pages of all the newspapers in the country in one fell swoop.

Mexican Economy in the Tank. As if it weren't already bad enough economically for Mexico. So far, the swine flu outbreak in Mexico City is costing the Mexican economy at least $85 million per day. Bloomberg reports that
Mexico is more likely to draw on a $47 billion credit line from the International Monetary Fund after the deadly swine flu outbreak sparked the peso’s biggest tumble in six months...
The outbreak occurred at about the same time that Barack Obama visited Mexico, and one man is dead of flu-like symptoms after having visited with the U.S. President.
The outbreak coincided with President Barack Obama's trip to Mexico City on April 16. Obama was received at the anthropology museum in Mexico City by Felipe Solis, a distinguished archaeologist who died a week later from symptoms similar to flu, Reforma newspaper reported. The newspaper didn't say if Solis had swine flu or not.
Another Inside Job? The U.S. Federal government has admitted that the anthrax murders in 2001 were "an inside job". Could this be another? I'm not much for understanding "disease vectors", but some of those who claim to know about them are fairly suspicious about both the pin-pointedness and the fury with which swine flu has broken out in Mexico City. At any rate, over the past few months, it has come to the attention of officials at Fort Detrick, Maryland that virus samples have likely gone missing recently from their bio-weapons labs. Talk about weapons of mass destruction!! What are they doing with stuff like that anyway? I guess it's good they do, though, because the CDC has sent a sample of the brand new virus to a vaccine company for research, which it admittedly could have gotten from someone

Did you know that it was recently discovered that virus samples have may gone missing at Fort Detrick in Maryland? Did you know that the swine flu of 2009 is similar to the variant of flu that broke out in 1918, and that the vaccine at the time is thought by many to have significantly exacerbated the 1918 death count?

who has been infected with the latest flu variant.

1918 Revisited. In 1918, an influenza pandemic killed 50 million people across the world. A variant of H1N1, the killer strain of 1918, appears now to be responsible for the flu outbreak of 2009 in Mexico City. Several historians blame the vaccine of 1918 for exacerbating the 1918 outbreak. It's something to consider before we allow the government to herd the hysterical among us into rashly constructed vaccine parlors. But if you really want to...

It's Time...to...Panic!!! Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has said that this "never-before-seen virus" has "pandemic potential." Actually, as I pointed out, this virus has been seen before, so that should help in determining how best to combat it. Nonetheless, Fox News is reporting that
Health authorities are struggling to rein in the swine flu epidemic that has sparked a global crisis since discovery of the never-before-seen strain just last week...
and also that
The federal government on Tuesday began preparing Americans to expect the swine flu outbreak to lead to deaths...
Meanwhile, after ten cases of the mis-labeled "swine flu" in California, a state of emergency has been declared.

Fox also warns that a vaccine is months away from being a reality.

All of this may have various grains of truth, but I still wonder: wouldn't it be better to accentuate the greater reality that the Mexican economy is on the brink of disaster? Wouldn't it be better for more media outlets to be researching the epicenter of the outbreak and whether the missing virus samples from Fort Detrick have anything to do with it? Wouldn't it be more productive to put the H1N1 variant of the flu into its proper historical perspective?

Regardless of any of this, life must go on. Therefore, not even a swine flu outbreak should be seen as a warrant for a cover-up of the realities of Bush-era torture.




Comments

  1. Is there a prize for paranoia?

    Relax, there are more torture memos in the pipeline according to the ACLU, not to mention 2,000 torture photos to be released May 28.

    The torture issue will return, no doubt rekindling the phony cable news "torture debate." What other crimes get treated as if they are a mere difference of opinion between the criminals and law enforcement?

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  2. Are you suggesting that the Swine Flu issue was deliberately conceived by the administration to take off the heat about torture and the economics realities? If so, I'd respond as I do to almost all conspiracy theories; it is certainly possible, just as it was possible that the Bush administration masterminded 9/11 (what's the deal with building 7, anyway?). But I highly doubt it in both cases. As cynical as I am about politics, I have a hard time believing that this many people would be that callous, manipulative, and evil. And if so, does it really matter what we think? If things have gotten that out of hand, we're sunk.

    (btw, I meant most conspiracy theories that don't involve alien abductions, mothmen, or reptilian prehistoric masterminds... ;) )

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  3. This may be the first time I've ever agreed with Derek's take on anything. It may also be the first time I've seen a hint of sarcasm in any of Derek's remarks.

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  4. Richard,

    The paranoia was only a very small part of it.

    Derek and D Sirmize,

    As far as the loss of virus samples at Fort Detrick is concerned, yes, this is a bit of a conspiracy-laden article. But that's only a tiny side-show. The real point is that we need to pay attention to what our government is doing while they've got all of our attention on the swine flu outbreak. Here's another thing that the swine flu hysteria is probably helping to conceal--loss of American financial independence.

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  5. Yes, we shouldn't allow ourselves to get distracted from the other issues which are at least as important by this hysteria.

    I have a hard time getting too worked up around this latest possible epidemic. I hope I'm not getting too complacent, but after the panic of Sars and Avian flu fizzled out, I'm thinking they've cried "wolf" a little too often.

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