Processing Distortion: “The Spin-Up to a Probable US Military Assault on Syria”

Peter B. Collins Presents Norman Solomon

Here's the first episode of our new podcast series, Processing Distortion, hosted by Peter B. Collins.  Author/activist Norman Solomon talks about the spin-up to a probable US military assault on Syria, and the role of the media.  Solomon wrote the book War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us Into War, and compares the current script to the one used to justify the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and earlier misadventures.  We discuss the reporting in the alleged use of chemical weapons near Damascus on August 21, and the strong possibility that they were not deployed by the Syrian army.  We talk about the potential retaliation from a US strike, and that polls show very strong opposition.  We cover the recent embassy shutdowns, used to justify NSA spying programs and Solomon talks about the importance of whistleblowers like Ed Snowden and Chelsea Manning.

*Solomon helped lead recent protests against the votes of Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Mike Thompson in opposition to the Amash amendment, which proposed to de-fund NSA's telephone record collection programs--and was narrowly defeated.  We mention recent calls by Dennis Kucinich and Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) to (respectively) abolish the NSA and repeal the Patriot Act and FISA 2008 law.

Norman Solomon is a columnist, author and activist and founder of the Institute for Public Accuracy.  He is a founder of Progressive Democrats of America and website is

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  1. Thanks for a great 1st show, Peter B! I was glad to hear you enumerate Russ Tice’s claims. Mr. Solomon didn’t say whether or not he had heard of these claims before, but seemed to agree with the seriousness of them. I really wonder if he had, but it’s so good to hear you spread the news of those claims. That’s something that isn’t done enough with all of the exclusive news and evidence we get here at BFP. Some BFP producers, in the past, have either not been aware of certain evidence, and or have not mentioned it to their guests during interviews. In my view, this is a vital and essential path to spreading the word.

    Looking forward to more! (Cool intro music, BTW.)

  2. jschoneboom says:

    Great job as always Peter, thanks!

  3. tonywicher says:

    “Egyptian government killed more than 1000 peaceful protesters” = government propaganda. Truth is, Egyptian government dispersed fascist mob and arrested its criminal leaders. Solomon no better that Chomsky – left liberal shill for government.

  4. tonywicher says:

    Hey, Xicha – I agree with you that foreign policy is Ron Paul’s best suite. Listen to this:

  5. carolcrumlish says:

    Thanks for an excellent first broadcast. I will tune in for the next one! Tony, you have an excellent point regarding the ARMED thugs that made up much of the MB mobs in Egypt. For people on this side of the pond who have not lived in Egypt, or in any other place in the Middle East for that matter, it is incumbent on them not to judge events. They often look so foolish. Mr. Solomon surely knows better! The Egyptian situation is fraught with difficulties and will take many years to sort out.

  6. Rose Mary says:

    “As you’ve seen, today we’ve released our unclassified assessment detailing with high confidence that the Syrian regime carried out a chemical weapons attack that killed well over a thousand people, including hundreds of children,”

    A lot of lies. “High confidence” = mambo-jambo for those who believe in “science”

    It was easy to confirm that (very sick) Bin Laden did not know about 911, and it was easy to confirm ringleader was a western educated (Baptist school), a drinking secular muslim at best (no jihadist, but working for CIA) -> Obama did not kill any (dead) Bin Laden, Obama was lying. When first established that Obama is a liar (no integrity) it does not matter what he says. Very basic.

    Media co-ops. No point of paying for those channels, UNSUBSCRIBE today.

  7. I like the fact that Mnar is Palestinian. Jerry Levin confirmed to me genocide practiced by Israeli settler communities. Israel stands most to gain from an attack on Syria, and then if the Saudi Princes are exposed at the right time, that eliminates Israel’s greatest threat. (Jerry Levin was CNN’s Middle East Bureau Chief in Lebanon in 1984 when he was kidnapped by extremists. Sis helped engineer his escape eleven months later with the help of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian friends.)

    This information can be coupled with firsthand accounts that are dated but accurate. Who would be capable of murder on this scale with absolutely no conscience and capable of delivery coordinated with U.S. hegemonic agenda? It is worth noting that several years ago at a Thanksgiving dinner I was talking with a missionary who had been working both in northern Thailand among the Hill tribes and with Prince Abdullah in Saudi Arabia. I had no reason to doubt the veracity of this lady’s report when she recounted that young boys wer frequently trafficked to Saudi Princes for their pleasure and then buried in pits to hide the evidence. Only the most evil on this planet are capable of such atrocity. These same people would have no qualms about a sarin false flag attack.

    Kerry’s presentation gives the strong impression of being pieced together from drone surveillance and NSA intercepts, supplemented by Twitter messages and YouTube videos, rather than from on-the-ground reporting or human intelligence.

    The founder of the for-profit startup is Mnar Muhawesh, a 24-year-old Palestinian-American woman who believes, reasonably enough, that “our media has absolutely failed our country”

    Mint takes a similar approach to the Syrian story, with a reporter in Ghouta–not Gavlak but Yahya Ababneh, a Jordanian freelancer and journalism grad student–who “spoke directly with the rebels, their family members, victims of the chemical weapons attacks and local residents.” The article reports that “many believe that certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out” the chemical attack. The recipients of the chemical weapons are said to be Jabhat al-Nusra, an Al-Qaeda-linked rebel faction that was caught possessing sarin nerve gas in Turkey, according to Turkish press reports.

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