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Mockingbird: US Media Sets Stage For Yemen ‘Military Intervention’ Ahead of SOTU

21st Century Wire
SPECIAL REPORT

While watching the international news network CNN today, one can’t help but notice the quick-fire talking points and messaging being rolled-out in rapid succession, as propagandists work feverishly to build-up the case for a possible military intervention in Yemen.

Keen to get their ducks in a row, White House planners and press operatives are rushing to meet Tuesday’s deadline for big narratives – which is US President Barack Obama’s annual State of the Union (SOTU) address.

Like the Queen’s Christmas Speech in England, the SOTU has become a sort of political ritual and media event in recent years. More importantly though, it’s where the US leadership has the undivided attention of the public and it’s the ideal time to announce policies and plans that would otherwise sound unpopular.

1-Obama-SOTU
Obama’s SOTU speech will feature Yemen and its cut-out terror network, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

If any military-related announcements are made, they will be met with cheers as no one in the Congress would want to be seen as ‘unpatriotic’. Expect grandstanding on “tough new cyber operations” to combat a nonexistent ‘North Korean threat’, as well as tough “new Anti-terror measures” to combat the contrived terrorist threat in France and Europe, as well as new intelligence sharing agreements between NATO nations to help catch any terrorist and “help counter the threat which ISIS now poses in Europe”. On the strength of the last two weeks events in Paris and Belgium, Tuesday’s SOTU could also be the perfect time to announce a brand new Pentagon operational and theater of war, with an escalation of the US military’s presence in Yemen.

sana_6_flickr
Yemen’s historic capital city, Sana’a is apparently under fire this week.

Today, what’s been described by some media as a coup d’etat was attempted in Yemen, which has ended in a stalemate and behind-closed-doors negotiations between the ruling pro-US, Sunni government and the Houthi, who are mostly, but not all, Shi’ite (Shia) armed militia. As of Monday afternoon, U.S. officials claim that they have “no plans” to evacuate the embassy in Yemen’s capital Sana’a, where government soldiers and Shiite Houthis are said to have agreed to a temporary cease-fire.

If the said ‘cease-fire’ fails for any reason (or the CIA intervenes), it’s almost certain that hawks in Washington will proudly announce some form of intervention, and ideally during the SOTU address.

News wire reports conformed earlier today that nine people were killed and another 70 were injured following clashes around Yemen’s presidential palace.

Interestingly, CNN and other media outlets have not been able to decide whether to call the Houthis ‘militia’ or ‘rebels’ (there is a big difference to the narrative depending on which term is chosen. If it is a ‘Shia uprising’ in Yemen, then the Saudi Arabian government will be eager to crush it, and likewise, the US would have the full support of Sunni monarchs in the region should they intervene. In order to help make this narrative seem more plausible, live on air today, CNN’s resident spook, self-professed ‘CIA Operative’ and “National Security Analyst”, Bob Baer, characterized the situation in Yemen as a ‘proxy war’ pitting the Saudi-backed Sunni government vs. the Iranian-backed Shia Houthis, all the while leaving out any covert involvement of his CIA employer. Baer is being positioned as the key media man in the run-up to war because Yemen was his old stomping grounds, where CIA media darling and Hollywood favorite Baer admittedly has previously “trained a lot of those guys [terrorists] in Yemen”. Unfortunately, Baer probably knows a lot more than he would care to tell CNN’s viewers.

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Just in Time for SOTU

Below, we’ll demonstrate how CNN operates as a central hub of information dispersal for the central government and the intelligence agencies. In the case of Yemen, today’s coverage ended with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer making the desperate case that any attempted rescue of US staff stranded in Yemen would be “extremely dangerous” and could “risk the lives of US pilots”, which could be a dramatic foreshadowing for an early morning rescue operation which would take place on Tuesday morning Yemen local time, which would be prefect timing right before President Obama’s SOTU address tomorrow evening.


In anticipation of today’s attempted coup in Yemen, the US may have pre-positioned its military assets nearby, including the USS Iwo Jima aircraft carrier, which is believed to be anchored nearby in the Arabian Sea ‘on standby’ for a rescue mission should “events escalate” in Yemen’s capital city. If the airport in Sana’a is closed tomorrow, then the US may deploy V22 Osprey and Blackhawk helicopters to extract what is said to be over 200 US Marines, Embassy and CIA staff stationed at the compound.

Any gallant rescue operation will almost certainly be followed by a deployment of US forces, as well as airstrikes to compliment existing US drone strike campaigns already under way in the region.

CNN’s Escalation of Event Messaging

If you pay attention to the runners’ on screen – the white banners which stretch underneath CNN’s actors and experts, you can see the government’s preferred talking points on the hour, every hour. On Monday afternoon these were rolled out, approximately 3 minutes apart (as standard) in succession, in order to build-up their latest narrative. They were as follows:

WAR-ISLAM-BANNER
“The War Within Islam”

Govt-Control
“Yemeni Gov’t Not In Control”

These talking points were then followed by…

“US Ready to Evacuate Embassy”

“Al Qaeda Could Exploit Yemen Power Vacuum”

“Yemen: Shia Rebels Trying to Seize Govt”

“US Raises Alert Level For Yemen”

“AMERICANS AT RISK”

AMANPOUR
CNN Senior Media Operative, Christiane Amanpour.

CNN led off its framing of the new Yemen narrative with what appeared to a staged, and crudely scripted exchange between its ‘Senior International War Correspondent’, Christiane Amanpour, and a female named Nadia Al-Sakkaf who is said to be Yemen’s ‘Minister of Information’ (yes, you read that title right).

Note that CNN’s senior operative Amanpour was a also used as a key player in controlling a number of past media war narratives, including Washington’s illegal wars in Iraq and Serbia.

Amanpour then suddenly acted flippant, play acting in a fake exchange for the camera, raising her voice and asking, “What is the state of control in the government?”, to which Al-Sakkaf replied, “Almost non-existent”.

“Can you describe what is going on! Are you telling the government is not in control!?”, to which Al-Sakkaf replied, “Yes”.

Here CNN establishes the narrative Washington requires, which is simply: ‘the Pro-US Government in Yemen has lost control’, paving the way for further announcements.

Yemen’s ‘Minister of Information’ went on to tell Amanpour that Yemen’s Prime Minister Khaled Bahah, has been in hiding since ‘attackers’ shot at him on Monday, and is now surrounded in his home by armed Shia Houthi militias. “He is at his place, but currently he has been surrounded by Houthi militias around his place, and they have stationed themselves at rooftops of neighboring buildings. He is worried that the situation might escalate.

The term ‘escalation’ is key, and you will see CNN and other media outlets use this to great effect whenever they want to ‘escalate’ a particular war narrative to give the public impression that an intervention or war is a fait accompli, and leaving public opinion flat as to what can be done to avert it.

AQAP-EXPLOIT
CNN’s British gatekeeper Nick Paton-Walsh coordinates the official narrative with Pamela Brown.

CNN’s British (asset?) and ‘Senior International Correspondent’ Nick Paton-Walsh, dutifully helps to develop Washington and NATO’s talking points from on the ground in Yemen, reminding his viewers every 30 seconds that the US has its “military assets” nearby.

Paton-Walsh, who appears to be a highly skilled propagandist, also goes to great lengths trying to sculpt the concept of imminent western intervention, by claiming that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) will somehow ‘benefit’ from the apparent instability which CNN is currently painting on-screen. This talking point is meant to frighten American and European viewers in light of last week’s attacks at Charlie Hebdo and a Kosher supermarket in Paris. In brief retrospect, the Paris attacks could be seen as essential in preparing a fast-approaching US military intervention in Yemen, and possibly later along the Turkish-Syria border. Connecting Yemen to Europe via AQAP was done rather magically by media (operatives?) and not by government officials. The Yemen link was initially established by French media outlet BFMTV and then validated in the US media by The Intercept editor Jeremy Scahill on CNN. Interestingly, Scahill then backtracked a few days later insisting that there was “No official claim of responsibility from AQAP”. Around this same time, an actor alleged to be from AQAP appeared on CNN in a green screen produced video claiming “credit” for the Paris Attacks. The timing of these media events should be viewed as highly suspect, to say the least.

Cue CNN’s ‘Justice Corresponent’ in Paris, Pamela Brown, who asks, “Why should the rest of the world be so concerned about what’s going on right now in Yemen?”

Paton-Walsh goes on to lay-out the prescribed orthodoxy according to the CIA:

“Well, remember Afghanistan in the late 90’s and how al Qaeda had a foothold there, bin Laden, and all of that led to 9/11, many say.

“That Sunni-Shia divide, that reflects a lot of the strife across the Middle East, so that’s amplified here, and it’s causing some Sunnis here to be frightened of the ‘Shia advance’ and side with al Qaeda.

“Many say that al Qaeda benefits in two ways. They have the Sunnis willing to fight the ground battle for them, that gives them space to go and think about external operations – attacking the West. But also too, increased chaos, lack of government institutions to help US drone strikes against al Qaeda leaders – that benefits the al Qaeda too. It’s a win-win for them frankly”.

Paton-Walsh paves the way forward for inevitable US military intervention in Yemen.

CNN’s presenter finally rounds off the exchange with: “Yes, that could be a terrorist breeding ground.”

Paton-Walsh frequently uses the qualifier, “Many say”, so we might ask him, who is “many”? This is a quick and easy way to white-wash a narrative and make it sound as if it’s actually true, a form of “consensus reality” which is standard practice in NLP, psy-ops and propaganda. One thing is certain; that is “many” is not the people of Yemen. The real answer is that “many” are in fact CNN’s producers, who are likely being fed their talking points directly from the CIA, NATO intelligence, or offices within the US State Department (or all of the above).

Alert-Wolf-Blitzer
Later, during CNN’s “The Situation Room”, the network’s chief war propagandist, Wolf Blitzer, punctuates the government’s official story line with his usual classical Beethoven-like theme music playing behind him, before announcing, “Heavy fighting in the capital of an American ally in the fight against al Qaeda… It’s all happening in Yemen where a power-struggle between the government and rebels works to the advantage of al Qaeda’s most dangerous affiliate [AQAP], tied to this month’s Paris massacre”.

Job done. Now over to the Pentagon for details on which pieces of military hardware are being deployed.

Another thing to take note with CNN and other major networks, is when you hear them quickly say, “A source tells CNN”. If you listen closely during their reports, on-screen operatives like Pamela Brown will quickly quip the phrase, “Speaking to sources”. At no time are these numerous “sources” ever named, so viewers are expected to just take their word for it. For the Paris Attacks coverage, these ‘anonymous’ ‘sources comprised of almost every announcement, or bit of “breaking news”. This means that approximately 90% of the information being conveyed by CNN is more than likely contrived. Not so much fact as it is official scripted talking points.

Unless you’re looking, most viewers will not notice the sheer volume of overly speculative, intentionally leading, and outright false information which CNN is beaming into the minds of its audiences in the US and globally too. Even if this can be proven as CIA propaganda, it would not be illegal in the US, as the current administration quietly rolled-back the one law which prohibited the US government from engaging in propaganda against its own citizens, by repealing the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948, which was hidden among many other items in the 2013 NDAA emergency bill.

After listening to this, and almost every other ‘report’ generated by CNN, one cannot rightly call it ‘journalism’, but one could easily call it propaganda. Their WWF-style, tag-team ‘news’ operation is impressive however – very fluid and well-rehearsed, and produced with multi-million dollar news sets and graphics packages and an endless bevy of “experts” and “analysts” who are almost exclusively affiliated with the government or the military industrial complex – and who may very well be playing their paid roles in CIA’s Operation Mockingbird.

Former CIA Director William Colby said it best:

“The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media.” (William Colby, former CIA Director, cited by Dave Mcgowan, Derailing Democracy).

Pay close attention to CNN, and other network operatives, as they work hand-in-hand with central government and intelligence agencies – to bring you the next war.

Additional 21WIRE contributors to this report were Peter Sterry, Jason Smith and Nick Myra.

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