Our Infotainment-Based Media and a Mentally ill Cult Leader

In August, the FBI put out an intelligence bulletin warning of Islamic retaliation to Saturday’s planned Quran-burning event. The FBI's bulletin notes that evan though no information indicates there is a planned attack, there is a “high confidence as with past incidents” in desecrating Islam that, “extremist actors will continue to threaten or attempt to harm” any involved. The Florida Christian cult leader, who had been kicked out of Germany for exploiting and spiritually abusing his parishioners when he ran a church there, claims he's going to burn Korans in protest of the planned Muslim and interfaith center planned for lower manhattan near ground zero. The Imam of that center, Feisal Abdul Rauf, said yesterday that if he had known the difficulties with the Muslim community center near the 9/11 site would provoke, that he would not have proposed it. He has said he will not change the location now, because that would create risks for American abroad by radicals. On ABC’s Good Morning America, President Obama condemned hate cult leader and Florida pastor Terry Jones’ plans to burn copies of the Quran on the anniversary of 9/11, saying the Quran Burning Could could incite the possibility of suicide bombers on American soil. The consequence of our infotainment-based media has been that a mentally ill cult leader with only 50 followers has been turned into an international celebrity.


oneworldatpeace's picture
oneworldatpeace 13 years 41 weeks ago

Hey Thom! Chris from PDX here. I've been insisting since Bushies election that the failure of the Bushies to respond to the Khobar Towers and the Cole bombings were derelictions of Presidential Duty and were impeachable offenses before 9/11. I read somewhere that they had recieved "actionable intelligence" (maybe from Clarks book) before Bushies election that clearly showed Bin Ladens role in those two "acts of War against the homeland" and the proper response was ignored. I think that Bushs' deer in the headlights reaction in Florida to the info of the attacks are proof that he had heard something was going to happen but the enormity of the acts overwhelmed him with guilt which caused his seeming reptile paralization and then he ran and hid like the chickenshit chickenhawk Moscowitz identified.

dawgzy's picture
dawgzy 13 years 41 weeks ago

Hi here is at least 1 url for Clinton vs w on stance toward bin laden and barton Gellman's fine work on contrasting them ;

From fresh air interview- references podcast probably best summary available

Journalist Barton Gellman of The Washington Post will discuss the Clinton and Bush adminstrationsefforts to track down Osama bin Laden and his network prior to Sept. 11. Gellman wrote a two-part series about it that ran in the Post Dec. 19 and 20, 2001. A third installment was later published Jan 20, 2002.






Gellman, Barton. "Before Sept. 11, Unshared Clues and Unshaped Policy." Washington Post, 17 May 2002, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

On 5 July 5 2001, "the White House summoned officials of a dozen federal agencies to the Situation Room. 'Something really spectacular is going to happen here, and it's going to happen soon,' the government's top counterterrorism official, Richard Clarke, told the assembled group, according to two of those present." The group included the FAA, along with the Coast Guard, FBI, Secret Service, and INS.

"Clarke directed every counterterrorist office to cancel vacations, defer nonvital travel, put off scheduled exercises and place domestic rapid-response teams on much shorter alert. For six weeks last summer, at home and overseas, the U.S. government was at its highest possible state of readiness -- and anxiety -- against imminent terrorist attack.... As late as July 31, the FAA urged U.S. airlines to maintain a 'high degree of alertness.' All those alert levels dropped by the time hijackers armed with box cutters took control of four jetliners on the morning of Sept. 11."

"Broad Effort Launched After '98 Attacks." Washington Post, 19 Dec. 2001, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"Beginning on Aug. 7, 1998, the day that al Qaeda destroyed the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, [U.S. President Bill] Clinton directed a campaign of increasing scope and lethality against [Osama] bin Laden's network that carried through his final days in office.

"In addition to a secret 'finding' to authorize covert action,... Clinton signed three highly classified Memoranda of Notification expanding the available tools. In succession, the president authorized killing instead of capturing bin Laden, then added several of al Qaeda's senior lieutenants, and finally approved the shooting down of private civilian aircraft on which they flew.

"The Clinton administration ordered the Navy to maintain two Los Angeles-class attack submarines on permanent station in the nearest available waters, enabling the U.S. military to place Tomahawk cruise missiles on any target in Afghanistan within about six hours of receiving the order....

"The lines Clinton opted not to cross continued to define U.S. policy in his successor's first eight months. Clinton stopped short of using more decisive military instruments, including U.S. ground forces, and declined to expand the reach of the war to the Taliban regime that hosted bin Laden and his fighters after 1996."

2. "Struggles Inside the Government Defined Campaign." Washington Post, 20 Dec. 2001, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"By any measure available, Clinton left office having given greater priority to terrorism than any president before him. His government doubled counterterrorist spending across 40 departments and agencies.... Clinton devoted some of his highest-profile foreign policy speeches to terrorism, including two at the U.N. General Assembly. An interagency panel, the Counterterrorism Strategy Group, took on new weight in policy disputes.... And the foreign policy cabinet, by the time it left office, had been convening every two to three weeks to shape a covert and overt campaign against al Qaeda.

"But neither Clinton nor his administration treated terrorism as their top concern, because it was not. Without the overriding impetus provided by Sept. 11, the war on terror in the 1990s lost as many struggles inside government as it won. Steps to manage risk moved forward readily. Some of the harder initiatives, hurried through these past three months by President Bush, foundered then on money, bureaucratic turf, domestic politics and rival conceptions of national interest."

hope that his is helpful- sorry it's such a hodge-podge


ProgressiveMews's picture
ProgressiveMews 13 years 41 weeks ago

Yesterday, when Thom had this self-serving hater on his program and asked him about all the officials who had warned of blow-back, he responded in a way that I think needs to be called attention to! Thom has mentioned how this is just a deplorable act to get attention, and I think he really couldn't have affirmed it any better than he did yesterday. To say that he would call a halt to the Koran burning *IF* they agreed to move the community center away from Ground Zero said it all to me. Now that he has had some time in the media spotlight, he wants more of it by attempting to become some sort of (sick) hero by putting a halt to it. No concern for what harm his actions might cause, he's actually trying to trade UP - more than likely so he can grow his cult! He's nothing but a hateful, shameless opportunitst and should be referred to as such.

Jersey Jude's picture
Jersey Jude 13 years 41 weeks ago

The gentleman who wants everyone to be Christian and fears the destructive influence of Muslim immigrants thinks just like the Monsanto corporation. They both thrive on monoculture, which is deadly to any group or species. As Mochael Polan pointed out in The Botany of Desire, Diversity is essential to our survival.

Respect for everyone's beliefs is guaranteed in our Constitution The founders rememberd the religious wars that tore Europe apart. The strength bestowed by diversity was just a lovely bonus.

KrissMakoto's picture
KrissMakoto 13 years 41 weeks ago

Attention and publicity seeker.

Hi - first time poster. I just wanted to make one point: I heard a quick news bulletin saying that Jones would "seriously consider changing his mind" if he got a call from the White House telling him not to go thru with his plans.

When I heard that I couldn't help but think - this guy, who runs a tiny church in FL and was pretty much unheard of until recently, says he MIGHT change his mind if our President essentially bows down and begs him to stop? That's BEYOND just attention seeking. Thoughts?

Jeanie's picture
Jeanie 13 years 41 weeks ago

Kriss--he's really a nut. An attention-seeking nut. Imagine a liberal doing something that they knew would spark international outrage and then state that the president of the US should call them to convince them to stop. Only a rightwing nut would do that.

ProgressiveMews's picture
ProgressiveMews 13 years 41 weeks ago

I KNEW IT!!! Jones was just on the TV, holding a press conference saying he is going to cancel the Koran burning in trade for the imam in NYC agreeing to move the community center! NO MORE CAPITULATION TO HATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!


xmtrman's picture
xmtrman 13 years 41 weeks ago

Terry Jones Can Be "Arrested" Now.

Virtually every state including Florida ( Baker Act) has some variation on a law that allows a person to be held for 72 hours for psychiatric examination if it is determined by legal authority that they present a danger to themselves and others. Clearly, this could apply to Terry Jones - especially considering his history in Germany (see the Der Spiegel article) with folks still being treated for psychological abuse from him..

About the Baker Act - (http://www.cchrflorida.org/abuse-florida-involuntary-commitment.html)

An involuntary Baker Act is when a person is taken to a receiving facility for involuntary examination when there is reason to believe that he or she is mentally ill and because of his or her mental illness, the person has refused voluntary examination; the person is unable to determine for himself or herself whether examination is necessary and without care or treatment, the person is likely to suffer from neglect or refuse to care for himself or herself and such refusal could pose a threat of harm to his or her well being; and there is a substantial likelihood that without care or treatment, the person will cause serious bodily harm to himself, herself or others in the near future as evidenced by recent behavior.

  • Are there other criteria to know if a Baker Act is appropriate?

Yes, there is an additional criterion for a voluntary and involuntary Baker Act not included here. For example, a law enforcement officer may transport an individual to a facility for evaluation if there is reason to believe that the individual's behavior meets statutory guidelines for involuntary examination.

Clearly he presents a danger to himself, death threats have been issued against him and he could possibly ignite his clothes in the process of the burning the Qurans. And, a danger to others - US citizens traveling abroad, US service personnel and domestic attacks against persons and property. It only takes one policeman to make this judgement call. Open and shut solution in my opinion.


making progress's picture
making progress 13 years 41 weeks ago

Move On, Please. It's The Economy Stupid! It's a war of The Have’s vs. The Have Not’s. So, talking about the shell game means you've already lost. I'm bored with the THP. Where are the SOLUTIONS? Let’s talk about The Disease and not The Symptoms, FTLOG!

DancingBear's picture
DancingBear 13 years 41 weeks ago

The way to stop infotainment news media is simple - when you see it, TURN IT OFF!


PS - Would someone in Florida please call out the guys in white suits with the butterfly nets - it appears that one of your crazies has jumped the wall at the state sanitarium...

GwynneYoung's picture
GwynneYoung 13 years 41 weeks ago

Richard Greene agrees with Pat Buchanan that Obama will score points if, in his capacity as commander-in-chief, he steps in to stop the Quran burning--and that it will be upheld by our right-wing-led Supreme Court. Great! Let's do it. But why stop at ceding free speech rights? Let's give up freedom of religion. Let's give up all privacy. Let's give up our protection against self-incrimination. In other words, giving up our free speech rights will give us electoral wins. Will who wouldn't be for that? Heck, let's just stop being liberals and cede everything to the conservatives. The John Roberts court will then back everything we do!

OVtomato 13 years 41 weeks ago

Thom, I have planned my own countre- protest to T Jones' Koran burning -- if he goes through with this outrage I will burn I will burn ALL of my back issue of '



gailhen 13 years 41 weeks ago

Book burning is as American as apple pie. Has everyone forgotten about the case of Wilhelm Reich. In 1947, 2 years after the end of WWII where Hitler, the Nazi leader, burned books in huge public book burnings, Reich, a refugee from Hitler, a psychotherapist and contemporary and co-therapist of Freud, was investigated, arrested by the FBI, tried and thrown in Federal prison for his written works on free human sexuality, where he died. All extant works of his remaining in the USA were ordered destroyed. Reich's works were subsequently banned in this country from about 1947 until the mid-70s. Yeah, home of the free and the brave.

Gail Henigman, gnamgineh@yahoo.com

charell's picture
charell 13 years 41 weeks ago

My response to the Quran burning has spread like wild fire! I'm getting reporters calling me. I just talked with Bill Cooper from KNX 1070 in Los Angeles and KFI called me yesterday. I did an interview with BBC in Arabic too. I was invited to join the "Women in Black" at their vigil Saturday, 1:30pm meeting at the clock tower at Farmers' Market, 3rd & Fairfax in Los Angeles. I'll be there and apparently so will the news media.

This is very nervewracking! I've always been the one cheering from the sidelines but I had an idea that went viral and now I'm gettting all this attention. This is way out of my comfort zone but by the positive response I've received, it feels like the right thing to do. Just one positive symbolic gesture to counter a hateflul one.

Here is the event page:
People of all faiths to wear Hijab or Kufi on September 11th
As a protest against persecution of Muslims we pledge to show that not all Americans are bigots. We will adorn ourselves with symbols of the Islamic faith on an infamous date that is falsely blamed on Muslims. We are calling on people of all faiths, or no faith, to join us and to prove that Muslims are people of peace and NOT our enemies.

Here is the link for the Facebook group:
Wear Hijab on 9/11, Defy "Burn a Quran Day"
Join us! If you are also horrified by the recent outrageous fear mongering of the right wing against American Muslims then here is a way to push back. I am not a Muslim but I plan to wear the hijab on 9/11 as a gesture to American Muslims that they are full citizens of this country and deserve the same rights as the rest of us. Concerned men might wear skull caps in solidarity with us women.
Yes, it will take some courage to make this gesture. However, I remembered how the people in Billings, Montana put menorahs in their windows to protest the anti-Semitic activities of the KKK in their town. See http://www.facinghistory.org/explore/exhibit/stories/niot/read
Another wave of anti-Semitism is sweeping our nation, this time against Muslims. Let's stand up and stand out to demonstrate that not all Americans are bigots.
I hope you'll join me in making this gesture. I feel that it demonstrates true American values as written in our Constitution.
Peace, Shalom, Salaam,
~ Charell

Nelson Wilberforce's picture
Nelson Wilberforce 13 years 41 weeks ago

Just turn off the infotainment?

You and I can turn it off and it still does not solve the problem: many people do watch it and it is having a hugely negative impact on democratic processes. I'd like to see a return the "Fairness Doctrine" and to undo some of the changes of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 as well as some of the other changes over the years which have lead to monopolistic control of media outlets. But even that would be hard, since Re-regulation in the terminology of this new-right to be a socialistic invasion of our freedom. Lets take our country back! Yeah, but from whom? How about taking it back from Rupert Murdoch and the likes.

d822hayward 13 years 41 weeks ago

If you have questions about what led up to 9-11 and how it was planned, please watch the video "LooseChange.com 9-11 Second Edition" by Dylan Avery, Korey Rowe, and Jason Bermas. This is a documentary which includes original live footage from Fox, CNN, NBC, CSPAN, and Camera Planet which have been cut from the Final Edition because they did not have permission to use them. This video is an eye opener. It is a bit dry a first as it sets up the foundation for the 9-11 attack.

After watching this video, it is very difficult to accept the "story" we have been told. Were the buildings imploded? How could the windows remain intact at the Pentagon? How could a jetliner go through 9 feet of steel reinforced concrete? There are many more questions raised. Who had the most to gain? What happened to the gold? Why did Tower 7 fall? What about the huge increase in put options on American and United Airlines prior to the 9-11 disaster?.

Paste the following into your URL or google LooseChange.com 9-11 Second Edition

Length 89 minutes


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