Thursday, October 03, 2002

Interesting speculation on Conanson:

So the chances that the origins of this hoax will ever be revealed are now conveniently small. Was it the work of a pair of clever Turkish con men? (Swindling Saddam's agents sounds like a very unhealthy idea. Wouldn't they examine the goods before handing over the $5 million? Wouldn't they shoot someone who tried to sell them a handful of useless metallic dust?) Or was it a disinformation scheme concocted to further certain political aims?

A clue appeared two days ago in Kommersant, a Russian publication whose correspondent revealed what he had learned on the Debkafile Web site, which claims to have sources at high levels in various intelligence and military services (particularly the Israeli Mossad). According to Debkafile, "the uranium seizure resulted from a joint operation by the [Russian] Foreign Intelligence Service and the CIA which began at the start of August." How interesting. After they played this hoax so big, why aren't the media more curious about the perpetrators?
Well, Joe, my first guess would be that the news that the whole thing was a hoax is inherently uncomfortable for the media, considering how they hyped it, and they probably don't want to explore it any further. After all, if it isn't scaring somebody, why play it?

Then again, I'd also speculate that since the American media is rather big into the self-censorship these days, they aren't really going to chase a story that could possibly create the perception that there was an attempt by an arm of the U.S. government to deliberate misinform the people it is supposed to represent... or that said arm was so appalling incompetent as to get hoodwinked by a scam this lame. That's just me, though.

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