The modus operandi of the 1939 “Gleiwitz incident” is a popular tactic of those legacy journalists who, like Frank Rich of the New York Times, distort the facts of an event to fit their pre-determined storyline. Now it’s happening again with regard to J. Patrick Bedell and the Pentagon shooting incident.
The Gleiwitz incident is a matter of historical record, so it’s beyond media spin. Here’s what happened:
On August 31, 1939, German SS soldiers dressed in Polish uniforms and took over a radio station near the German border with Poland. From there they broadcast an anti-German rant in Polish.
To make the ruse convincing, the Germans dressed a dead civilian German named Franciszek Honiok, reputed to be sympathetic to Poland, in a Polish soldier’s uniform and shot up his body to make it look like he was killed in a gun fight. Along with Honiok, they littered the scene with several other bodies of dead prisoners from Dachau concentration camp, also dressed as Polish soldiers.
This was just one of about a score of such incidents meant to incite German sentiment against Poland leading up to a planned German invasion of Poland the next day, September 1, 1939.
Similarly, Rich used words to dress up the murder-suicide of Andrew Joseph Stack III, the Austin pilot who flew into an IRS office, into the act of a Tea Party supporter.
It’ll be harder for Rich to dress up J. Patrick Bedell, shot dead by Pentagon guards, as a rightwing fanatic, although Rich may well be tempted.
Two new-media websites, PajamasMedia and Patterico, have outed Bedell as an anti-Bush, “9/11 Truther.” So it will be a real squeeze for any legacy media journalist to stuff Bedell’s body into a Tea Party uniform. But, invariably, someone will try.
Note: The above reference to the Gleiwitz incident, perpetrated by the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazis), is in no way intended to suggest that either Mr. Rich, or any other legacy media journalist who distorts the facts of an event so as to misrepresent the intentions of the perpetrator, is sympathetic with what were the philosophical beliefs and geo-political aims of the National Socialist German Workers Party.
Similar tactics are not necessarily an indication of similar beliefs and world views.
On the other hand, the veracity of both information sources — the 1939 German state-controlled media, and a significant portion of the current American mainstream media — is, on occasion, questionable. Propaganda is what it is… propaganda. In any language.
Click to view image: 'Gleiwitz'
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