A Call Full Of Misinformation

Rick Hamada
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Wednesday - October 12, 2011

I had an interesting call on my radio program the other morning, and it got me thinking that if one person is accepting and embracing some antiquated and misleading notions, then there are more who are doing the same.

The caller began with allegations that Michele Bachmann, GOP candidate for president and congresswoman from Minnesota, had “bought” the recent Iowa caucuses by paying for the votes.

This is the real reason why the mainstream media had ignored Ron Paul, fellow GOP candidate and Texas congressman, since he came in, as the caller explained, in third place. If Bachmann hadn’t paid off the voters, Paul would have fared better.

He continued to lay claims that Paul’s performance, and subsequent coverage, was purposefully squelched by the press since he is calling for the adherence to the U.S. Constitution in all things from trade to defense.

As a matter of fact, the caller maintains that Paul is exposing the CIA for its covert operations leading to the dissolution of the Egyptian government and the ouster of its leader, Hosni Mubarak.

While riffing on Middle East politics, the caller then reinvoked what is so obvious to him and others of his ilk: It was the Presidents Bush, father and son, who created the wars with Iraq in order to enrich themselves and their oil baron friends.

As you can imagine, it was truly a mesmerizing call and one that requires a response.

In regard to the Bachmann allegation that she paid for her votes, our friend may find the answer not as definitive as he would like.

First of all, there is a defined difference between what is known as the Ames Iowa Straw Poll (which is held in August) and the Iowa Caucus (which is held in January).

The AISP is a GOP-sponsored event where attendees pay a $30 admission to what amounts to a big, ol’ party.

At this event, candidates can give a brief speech and pitch their candidacies.

Valuable space at the event is auctioned off to candidates for the best size and space to place their booths. In August, the Ron Paul campaign paid more than $30,000 for the most desired location. Once the speeches and partying are done, those who paid the $30 are allowed to vote in the straw poll.

For this, and a few other reasons, the AISP is not taken seriously as a true barometer of political success but rather it’s an indication of whose campaigns are best organized to compete.

So, to answer our caller’s question, no, Michele Bachmann did not pay voters to win the AISP.

Is the CIA responsible for the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak?

Who really knows?

But it wouldn’t really make sense since a more predictable and malleable Mubarak government would be wildly favored over a rogue group of militants who may have stronger ties to our enemies such as al-Qaida or Hamas.

We would have to accept the notion that our CIA created the protests in Tahir Square that were the catalyst for the subsequent events.

But who can tell what role our government plays in global intelligence, or its dalliances in crafting leadership changes in governments around the world?

I side with the “innocent until proven guilty” approach, but I am not naïve to believe we aren’t in the room occasionally when something’s going down.

Finally, there is that same old song sung by those who truly believe the Bush family came from the loins of Satan himself.

The claim is the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were fought not for national security interests but rather that we went to war for oil. We sent thousands of American men and women into battle so a few oil baron friends of Bush 41 and 43 would get paid.

I hope our dear caller and you, our dear reader, will recall that the 2009 oil field lease auction in Iraq for access to the one of the most vast (and lucrative) reserves in the world didn’t go well for U.S. oil companies.

The Iraqi government awarded leases to China, Russia and even France, but zero to American interests. None. Nada. Niente. Rien.

Bush 41 mobilized to liberate Kuwait while his son responded to 9/11.

I understand there are more details and minutiae with all of these stories. But it’s clear that the basic premises are inaccurate.

Now, where was the president born again ...?

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