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Arte : Off voice, interviews
My own comments and analyses
Daniel Leconte
SEPTEMBER 11TH DID NOT HAPPEN, a film by Barbara Necek and Antoine Vitkine. Now, if an example were needed of the stupidity of the plot theories, Spain is the poster boy. Remember: last March 11th, the outgoing government tried to give credence to the thesis of an attack by the ETA. This seemed more credible an assumption than plot by the American military in the September 11th events. And yet, two days,-- TWO DAYS!!-- are enough for the democratic process to triumph. Two days only to gain the confidence of the press, to gain the information from law enforcement and to gain the indiscretions of some diplomats to uncover it all and make it possible to establish the ‘truth.’ It was even said, wrongly or rightly, but it is a fact, that the Aznar government fell in four days, having lied.
Initially the Aznar government did not have the equivalent of the "Patriot Act" established in response to the attacks of Madrid, which would have enabled them to coverup any awkward information. Also, top brass officials in Spain, as in all Europe, are more protected against the whims of executive power than in the United States, where their counterparts can be removed by just a nod of the head. Finally the majority of the Spanish people were opposed to the Iraqi military adventure undertaken by their government: the civil servants who took the risk to disseminate information knew that they were going to make an already weakened government fall and that they did not take great risk doing so. However, such a situation could be expected in the United States...
Daniel Leconte
This kind of example should be enough to discourage holding any conspiracy theory visions. But that is not the case. Quite simply because reality does not count for them. What counts in their eyes is a world-view held beforehand regardless of the facts. Ideological do-it-yourself where you get a mix of detestation of the democratic universe, a police state version of history and a systematic culture of excuses to the benefit of all the dictators on the planet who declared a war on the West. Well, it is this strange movement that we tried to track. Here is "THE GREAT CONSPIRACY PLOT", it’s a "Doc. in stock" film for "Arte,” by Antoine Vidkine and Barbara Necek. Please, look.
Nearly all meaningless assertions. To summarize, people who do not think as Mr. Leconte can be only be amoral, supporters of facism...
Bernard Terrier
Here is the message that I intend for the world, if I was subject to any misfortune. I am thus Ben Peri, and my true name is Bernard Terrier. Citizens of the world, if you see, hear or read this message, it is because the nauseous animal who stole the power in America has gotten rid of me. The nauseous animal which organized the tragedy of September 11th to be able to justify the conquest of the world. This animal has already planned the Third World War.
At first sight, this person seems a crank, not to say caricature...in fact, it's more than likely that he is an author who got trapped. He was asked to read some lines of his novel, and this is presented as if it was his personal words.
Bernard Terrier
I wish that my sacrifice be heard by all; I wish finally that all those which serve the nauseous animal learn how to forge their own opinions, and that each time you are asked to act against human nature, or against the interest of humanity, you learn how to answer: “No sir!”
Remarks of a crank, certainly...but if those words are those of a character of the book, the author has that latitude with his characters.
The great plot.
As for conclusion, Mary asks John, with a too calm voice: "
Who is this strange man, who claims to hold these terrible secrets? A famous investigation journalist? A secret agent? No, he is simply a retired engineer who now writes spy novels.
A journalist must be "famous" and an engineer "simple", obviously.
As for conclusion, Mary asks John, with a too-calm voice: "And you, John, what do you think about that? Are you party in this underground, so-called 'civilized' world?"
It is on September 11th that Ben Peri's delirium begins. When he sees the towers on fire, he does not believe the official version. Though the attack has been claimed by the ‘Al Qaeda,’ he doesn't believe it. For him, the truth is out there; September 11th is a great conspiracy plot organized by Washington. Since then, Ben Peri hides himself behind sunglasses. He is living in an X-FILES-like universe. His mission: to flush out the plan of the plotters who control America.
There was not only Mr. Ben Peri who questioned the events of September 11th. Personally, I had doubts about the official version when I heard the report of the attack on the Pentagon.
Bernard Terrier
- This plan took years and years to set up, except if ever it arrived as an exceptional event, it would enable them to move more quickly
- And it is September 11th?
- It is September 11th. Thus they sign their infamy by announcing it in advance. They are monsters. There is no other word: they are MONSTERS. The goal of these people is to dominate the world. For that, they create a framework of terror, and they justify all their actions by saying "we come to save the people, we come to preserve democracy, etc... "
These are some of the more reasonable words.
The monster has a face: that of George Bush. But with Ben Peri, one is never sure of anything. From X-FILES, one goes to the invisible man, or even to the "guignols de l'info" [a satiric french political puppet show].
The character seems indeed somehow versatile...
Bernard Terrier
George Bush is not the Devil: George Bush has only a secondary role. He is asked to sign things, he signs. He is asked to raise his hand and saying “Hello, soldiers”... he is asked to show a turkey, which as a matter of fact is a fake turkey, with the American G.I.’s in Iraq, and he shows a fake turkey with a big smile, and all America buys that George Bush gave a turkey to the G.I.’s. The only problem, like everything else he does, it’s fictitious,---it was a PLASTIC TURKEY!
That George Bush could be manipulated by the 9/11 plot and that his intelligence is limited is obvious to many people. The plastic turkey, pffft. Likewise, world leaders are most of their time putting on a show, and a good show requires accessories! I still remember Ronald Reagan as the partner of the turkey in such a show : a great moment for US democracy.
All these wild imaginings, Ben Peri gathered them in a novel: THE DEVIL'S FOOTPRINT, published at the author's expense. This book compiles bits of information and pure fantasy and spreads them over the Internet. Ben Peri definitively crossed the border which separates fiction from reality. Most worry that Ben Peri is far from being a solitary looney. The conspiracy plot theories have since multiplied throughout Europe.
It is likely, given that the conspiracy market can be very juicy, that if no editor wanted to publish the book, it is because it is not well written and constructed.
No plane hit the Pentagon.
The CIA was behind the attacks.
Thierry Meyssan and his clones spread these ideas in books sold to millions throughout the world. So, what happened that caused them to come to such an end? With the September 11th event clearly due to Al Qaeda, how does it still cause so many fantasies?
Clearly due to Al Quaeda by whom? By the American administration, or a board of inquiry convened at its orders? And when Zola doubted the culpability of Dreyfus one century ago, was that a fantasy too?
Pascal Bruckner
This attack got so much media coverage, was so perfectly developed, that suspicion was borne to some extent by its being too pat. It’s so obvious, it goes so much from government opinion, and at the same time it is so very unlikely, that people say, “It’s not possible, it couldn’t have occurred like that.” Thus it’s indicative that there’s some coverup happening.
Pascal Bruckner
And then, obviously it raises the old question: “Who does this crime benefit?” And the immediate answer is, “the American government, which launched a war in Afghanistan, then in Iraq, and gave big money to the Pentagon again.” Indeed, one of the characteristics of the conspiracy theory, is that it uses very rational arguments for a thesis which is not rational.
Let’s think that the attack was foreseeable, not to say that it had been kept secret, or even that some insiders contributed to help it. The step is not a large one to take, and some do that, to think that the attack was engineered by the United States. All that is a question of degree in reasoning. There is certainly white and black, but also a whole pallet of grays.
Once insinuated, the doubt spreads, particularly at the moment of war in Iraq. This war causes most European opinions to be angry. Throughout Europe, thousands of people ravel then in the street to oppose to the war. For much of the demonstrators the cause is heard: since the reasons for the Iraq war are not clear, it is inevitable that there is something to hide. And if America has something to hide, there must be a conspiracy plot.
The reasons of the Iraq war are more than clear and the demonstrators are aware of them: economic and geo-strategic imperialism. As a matter of fact, the stated pretexts are smoky. And if America had nothing to hide, it would conduct publicly a serious investigation into the 9/11 attacks.
from approximations to approximations, we are pushed out of reality. From the attacks of September 11th to war in Iraq, the same secret logic would be at work.
More exactly, by the same team of crazies who got to head of the most powerful country on the planet.
Anonymous demonstrator
All that was carefully prepared. It is obvious that the alleged ‘authors’ of the attack were all well known, their identities circulated in police networks, they were tracked hour after hour, for months and months, by the CIA. It was organized by some groups inside the CIA. I would say part of the CIA; it came from the American government.
This makes sense.
Anonymous demonstrator
For me, it’s a Machiavellian plot. The United States programmed some actions in the world, particularly starting from September 11th, to justify and make credible their actions in the eyes of public opinion. This was the way for September 11th, also for the so-called Weapons of Mass Destruction held by Iraq.
This man knows why he is carrying a picket sign.
Terrorism? There is no terrorism: terrorism is entirely financed by the CIA, entirely financed by the Americans.
Some exageration...
The loonies are not representative of all demonstrators, of course. But they found there a favourable environment for their paranoia.
Neither are all these people loonies, nor paranoiacs, but quite simply citizens who think for themselves and understood that they were taken as gullible.
A paranoia fed admittedly by the Americans themselves. Remember: March 20, 2003, the United States invaded Iraq. They proclaimed the presence of Weapons of Massive Destruction.
At UNO, Colin Powell presents 'evidence' which is not. These lies wander about reinforcing the idea that the United States disseminates unachievable goals.
Right. It is obvious that the United States lied to justify a war, and we are expected to believe that they are unable to organize or perform a strategy which enables them to achieve their goals: to carry out wars aimed at their own strategic goals, and needed by their military-industrial complex for supporting production, needed by oil industries to secure their resources?
Nicole Bacharan
I think that the American administration, and particularly George Bush, showed an immense lack in their communication about the war in Iraq; and not only a lack in their communication, but also a lack of sincerity. And it is true that deciphering gradually, with much difficulty, what could be the true intentions of this government about Iraq, fuels paranoia.
No, it awakes those who sleep. It is not because a person awakes and opens the eyes that he is paranoiac.
Nicole Bacharan
The reasons which were advanced were not the true reasons.And that, it was really the best to extend to whole planet the idea that there is a plot.
Logical, isn't it?
Nicole Bacharan
The true reasons were the fight against terrorism, the reshaping of the Middle East. And listening to Bush, Powell and some others, was enough to understand it.
Terrorism is a phenomenon which is nothing new, and which does not threaten in-depth the Western societies. On the contrary, terrorism has always harmed its authors, and the misfortunes of the Palestinians today come in good part from the terrorist actions carried out against the Western countries in the past years. Palestinian terrorism justified ideologically Israel's colonialism. The Palestinian understood that well and changed their strategy.
No secret plot thus. But part of the public opinion, particularly influenced by the extreme left, never wanted to take into account these arguments. In street demonstrations, people often remained with a simplistic vision, forgotten the massacres of Saddam, forgotten the terrorism of Bin Laden. ‘The enemy is Bush,’ only he is behind all the evils of the planet. What does this detestation of America hide?
Massacres of Saddam perpetrated with the passive complicity of the United States, of France, of the close Arab countries...
Nicole Bacharan
In the plot theories, it is necessary to state once and forever that America is always wrong. It is always wrong and she always has bad intentions. It is an obvious observation. It is stark reality that there is only one great power. The use which can be made of this power is frightening. The men who hold this power are frightening.
When such a power is used to achieve goals of peace while respecting international law, we can only be delighted. But when it falls into unworthy hands and passes under control of powerful military-industrial lobbies, we can legitimately be anxious.
Nicole Bacharan
Perhaps we are suspicious of their lack of culture, of intelligence, of reflection.
It is clear that Mr. Bush hardly shines by his height of sight.
Nicole Bacharan
...of their capacity to understand the world. Really, it is true that it is badly lived by others. The strongest generate at least irritation, in the best of the cases.
And anger when the consequences are dramatic errors.
The "Lutte Ouvrière" [a leftist party] festival. A priviledged field of observation to understand how the plot theory operates. The mechanics are always the same one: a finger is pointed towards a single enemy, capable of the worst: America. The 'Great Satan' in the French version.
Here, through the United States, is focused the plot of the capiptalists. Their dogma is world economic domination through the wars of Uncle Sam.
"Travailleuses, travailleurs..." [Workers, for both sexes] Arlette Laguiller became a national institution [she has been a candidate to the presidential elections for at least thirty years], almost as famous as the baguette and the Camembert. She probably multiplied by two, due to the personnal sympathy she inspires, the potential influence of her party. But frankly, who feels concerned with her geopolitical analyses?
Here is a demonstration with this director of a studies review related to the French Communist Party.
Emile Favrol
We are in the situation of a total imperialist war, which appears at the same time on the military field, and also, - it is the innovation in the last years - on the economic field through privatization, outsourcing of jobs, and mass unemployment, etc. They [The Americans] estimate that they have and that they must keep the leadership, and the benefits of globalization, feeling free to pay the necessary price. The necessary price being war! And this, they proved it three times: in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and in Iraq. Each time there are arguments, more or less humanistic which turn to be bullshit.
Manichean vision: the American workers, who see their situation get worse month after month, seing their jobs outsourced to the other side of the Rio Grande or of the Pacific, raise the same questions as European workers. But it is true that Communism always seemed to them a crazy answer.
Nicole Bacharan
I think that in a caricature of the country, i.e. a ‘naive, uncultured, brutal and avid at the same time country,’
Nicole Bacharan
the plot theory always turns around a commercial greed, a greed to steal natural resources, primarily oil.
It is rather right. The day when American citizens understand that they must reduce their consumption, particularly energy, we will all advance quickly in protecting the environment.
Nicole Bacharan
All American initiative is seen through an analytical focus on oil. It is completely right that George Bush always has oil in mind. Where is it, at which price, and how will it favour or not American industry and economy. This, in my opinion, completely demolishes the plot theory, it is that all this is very clear. The oil interests are clear, they are not hidden. There is no need to go enlighten dark corners: all countries, even France, have oil interests. There are no foreign politics in any developed country, whatever it is, which does not take into account its oil interests.
Certainly no! As much the interests can be posted clearly in a reasonable economic competition, on the basis of “fair play,” as much the dirty tricks aiming at securing a controlling position to the detriment of others must remain secret. Clausevitz wrote that war is only the continuation of the businesses by other means. Can anyone imagine a war without the need for secrecy in operations?
Shortly, nothing Machiavellian. America, like France, takes into account her economic interests in international politics. But still, many do not see the obvious and prefer simplistic explanations which reinforce their convictions.
It's been a long time, as France does not carry out colonial wars any more.
Pascal Bruckner
The world cannot be divided, as the neo-leftists do today, between two parts: there are us, the good, the pure ones, the marching people, the loving ones, and on the other side, the cruel forces of the capitalists which control, which oppress, which parch the land, and which organize turn-key genocides.
Pascal Bruckner
Basically, the conspiracy or plot theory is a key that opens the world to us and gives us the stilted impression that we are more intelligent than others.
It is true that leftist rhetoric has always revolved around conspiracy theories. Trotsky knew this and used conspiracy theories to organize, to thwart, and to control. He even was personally the victim of a plot. Lastly, let us not forget that the majority of the American “neo-conservatives” are former Trotskyites, who are well-known for their insider strategies, and if this is not conspiracy, I don’t know what it is.
Refusing to see the world in detail, in its complexity, preferring instead to denounce the powers which control us, is the ‘solution’ which the Extreme Left chose.
It is not a solution. It is a strategy. It is worth what it is worth.
Oddly, at the other end of the political chess-board,
at the Extreme Right, with the "Front National", it is the same tune being played. The ideas of this party are completely opposed to the Extreme Left, and yet! Yet, here, as with the Extreme Left, can be found the same obsessive plot at work. The concerned targets are different, but the principle remains the same. With the FN, targeting enemies who would control the world in secrecy, is an old theme.
Let's see it! After the Extreme Left, The FN is going to be bashed. And yet that party remained surprisingly discrete on the September 11th event.
Anonymous supporter
It is the financiers who control it all. And who is behind finance? it's too well known.
Basic anti-semitism...
Anonymous supporter
In France, we get thoses special interest groups, i.e. free masonry, since before the revolution, intellectual groups, leftists groups, and now mainstream religious groups, like the jew stream, the islamic stream. The goal, I think, of the free masons, is to unify a nation in another way that it did until now.
Over-used arguments. What about September 11th in all this?
And with the FN, the example comes from top. For years, Jean-Marie Le Pen points out an unknown general public interest organization, the Gnebrit, seeking to control French policy. It would have for example constrained the right wing parties to never make any alliance with him.
There are many other reasons that the rightist parties do not make an alliance with the FN, particularly some of its theses or the excesses of its president. But it is true also that it helps the leftist parties so much that this situation is not going to change.
Jean-Marie Le Pen
Gnebrit is a large masonic organization, I believe exclusively Jewish, which undoubtedly has its own motivations. I do not understand them well. I do not see how they can justify that the Front National should be excluded from the French political life since it is not, to be strictly accurate, an anti-semitic force. I do not know... perhaps they need a wargame-ennemy, perhaps it is necessary that they have a target.
Mr. Le Pen always had the art to make a victim of himself. And yet, he has got rid of his headband on the eye... [Jean Marie Le Pen, who lost an eye in a Left vs Right extremists political struggle, wore a headband for a long time].
For Le Pen, targeting a hidden enemy is a skilfull strategy. Since he poses himself as the only one knowing where the truth is, he thus places himself as the only recourse. And it works: nearly 15% of the French follow him.
A recourse for whom? For the voters of the FN? Possibly. For French overall, certainly not.
So, what is this mysterious Gnebrit which obsesses the leader of the Front National? It is indeed a Jewish association of free mason origin. But its true goal is not secret: it is militant against racism. From this, the charges of Le Pen are not surprising.
We discover a jewish association... interesting. But once again, what about September 11th in all this?
Member of Gnebrit?
For many people, it's an explanation of the world. The Jewish fact allows to explain the operation of the world. For the great collaborators of World War II, it was the Jews which defined their world, i.e. the Jews were responsible for the war, and if the Jews were destroyed, the warmongers were destroyed. Moreover the French Resistance was an instrument created by the Jews, like capitalism, like communism. All that is wrong in the world is blamed on the Jews.
I don't understand very well the parallels beetween resistance, capitalism, communism, and even less the link with the Jews. This person seems a little looney. If it is the kind of person of whom Mr. Le Pen is afraid, he should be quieted.
Don't these theories point out something to you? Let's look a little at history to understand from where comes this myth of the Jewish plot.
Which theories? Le Pen's paranoia on the Gnebrit? Obscure mixes of the book salesman interviewed in a meeting of Gnebrit?
1789: the French revolution bursts. In a short time, the divine-right monarchy is destroyed. For the royalists and the catholic ultras, that cannot be just chance. There is inevitably a hidden plan, a secret cause. Then, they invent a great plot. It is the beginning of the myth of the 'Jewish freemason plot to dominate the world'.
We come back to the revolution... soon we will be back in the time of the Pharaohs!
Renaud Marhic
Free masonry will be charged, and through free masonry the Jews will be charged, for traditional religious reasons.
Renaud Marhic
The divine right monarchy was thrown down. Somehow, God was attacked. If God was attacked, obviously it can be only a trick of the Jews.
Renaud Marhic
And thus rumor will spread about these influence networks which work secretely to destroy the values of the occident and particularly the catholic values. As a matter of fact, these theories will be a great success in the royalist and Catholic society groups.
An historical thesis, which could possibly be defended, but not with the help of some revolutionary violences images which do not prove anything. This kind of historical problem cannot be treated superficially in thirty second during a TV show on another topic. When will we return to September 11th concerns?
These plot theories transcend history and be propagated until today. Here is an example. We are here in a extreme right-wing bookshop of the "Quartier Latin" [the historical center of the city, south of the Seine river] in Paris.
Here, we find this text, normally prohibited in France: "PROTOCOLS OF THE LEARNED ELDERS OF ZION". A text which theorizes a myth, the Jewish plot aiming at dominating the world. Sold to million thoughout the planet, it is a bible for all the anti-semites. However, the historians proved that this is the work of a Russian faker in the nineteenth century.
Anyway, it was necessary that we came to this famous case of disinformation. But we could turn upside down this example; it was done, in its time, to show the Jews as demons, to reject them as the axis of evil. What are Mr. Bush and the American administration seeking to do, today, against Arabs, Moslems, Palestinians and Iraqis?
Renaud Marhic
It is indeed a complete fakery which aims at explaining why 'the Jews dominate the world', and that to dominate the world, they developed a very particular strategy which is the strategy of chaos. This strategy of chaos consists in starting wars everywhere, each one bloodier than the other ones, in order to be able to seize the power at the planetary level, after having left the world wrecked.
Admittedly, but the fakery of the "PROTOCOLS" was not any coarser than the fakery of the 'CCTV camera images' of the attack on the Pentagon...
The jewish threat
For the historian Renaud Marik, the old myth described in the PROTOCOLS links to much more recent phantasms.
Renaud Marhic
We must recognize in this fakery, in this anti-semitism contained in the "PROTOCOLS OF THE LEARNED ELDERS OF ZION", what is said today about America. It is exactly the same thing: strategy of chaos, in aiming for planetary domination.
The fact the PROTOCOLS are fake does not imply that the theory exposed in them, said to be of Jewish origin, is a false theory. The plot strategy exposed in the PROTOCOLS is indeed frightening. Moreover, the text was written in order to cause a negative reaction towards the alledged authors. The fact that the PROTOCOLS were written for alledging Jews aims of planetary domination one century ago, this having been shown to be historically indefensible, has nothing to do with the fact that the United States are alledged today to have the same aims of planetary domination: there is no need to make a faked document to alledge it, it is enough to witness US foreing policy.
Would the myth of the American plot thus use the same rethoric as the Jewish plot? To be convinced let's visit the Net.
Surfing on some extreme-right-wing sites, we find this type of caricature: an octopus, which extends over the world, symbolizing the great Jewish plot. Or these hooked hands which enclose the planet.
Now let's look at these sites of opponents to the war in Iraq:
Same octopus, same hands. But it is America which rules the world. The resemblance to the old anti-semitic caricatures is striking.
Another computer graphist who used copy/paste function. Those people definitely show a scandalous laziness and lack of originality!
Here are some more original stuff...
Renaud Marhic
I would say, regarding plot, that the bottle is important. What is to be communicated is an idea. Which idea? What you see is not reality. Politicians, as a matter of fact, direct nothing, and there are behind the stage true Masters of the world.
"Qu'importe le flacon, pourvu qu'on ait l'ivresse". [The type of the bottle doesn’t matter, if you can get drunk (french proverb).] We are going to get now the 'Masters of the world'. We are again moving away from September 11th.
When today's masters of the world replace yesterday's Jewish ones, it is the sign of a terrible confusion. How did we come to such an end?
Doubtful mix. Why not get back to the roman masters of the world of two millenia ago, and incidently mix them with the Jews: after all, they sent Jesus to suplice, didn't they?
Another flashback in order to understand. 1989, a pivotal time: the Berlin Wall falls. The communist bloc implodes. A new era opens, much more complex than the preceeding one.
Pascal Bruckner
Since the end of the cold war, the world is no longer divided in two, but the world burst into a number of contradictory polarities, and thus it lost its coherence, it lost its clearness. During fifty years of cold war, each event could be related to one side or to the other one. From now on, it is not longer possible.
Rather correct analysis.
The multiplication of the conflicts from Yugoslavia to Iraq reinforces this feeling of chaos. September 11th and the ghost of terrorism, definitely end in scrambling the playing cards.
Quite the contrary, September 11th opens a new multipolar era whose grids of analysis are not so difficult to decypher: North against South, the rich against the poor, the Moslems against the other religions.
Philippe Val
These are times when people are in instability, in fear, in search of new ways of acting collectively, and one of the first ways of acting collectively that we can find is to alledge a plot, which puts us all together as a small herd of sheep, saying "the wolf is there".
Primary vision. Arte would have been well inspired to find another specialist to help us deciphering the New World Order. Indeed "Charlie Hebdo", the weekly magazine whose Philippe Val is the chief writer, is a semi-anarchist semi-leftist newspaper, more known for the skills of its cartoonist, with a somehow garish and dirty style, than for the depth of its political analyses.
Pascal Bruckner
This makes it possible to reduce the complexity of the world, because the conspiracy theory is a reducer of complexity. What was obscure becomes clear. What was complicated becomes simple. There is just one person left.
Chaotic times. Extremists exploit fears. Is this enough to explain why conspiracy theories get into the minds? How to explain for example that the book of Meyssan depicting America as being in back of September 11th events was such a best seller? Some medias seized up the anguish in the public very well. Then, they wee ready to surf on this loss of stability, to fan public fears, in order to attract an audience.
The behavior of the media indeed deserves to be pointed out. Their propensity to create events, to take a person and his thesis, to make of him the subject of which it is necessary to speak, and this up to a point of saturation and disliking, before switching to another subject and starting all over again, prohibits any serious, contradictory and reasonnable debate. The media and the books publishers make them the partners that they deserve: liars, manipulators, and professionals of the mediatic events, all in the hunt for cash which they are awaiting as payback. Biologists would speak about symbiosis.
First step in this large Parisian bookshop.
In the "international history" section, mixed in with very serious works,
this book can be found. Remember: it is the novel of Ben Peri, the man with the black glasses in the beginning of film. Ben Peri convinced to have discovered the plans of for new world war. A paranoid and empty novel. And yet, the book is in the "Geopolitics" section.
Its author is even invited on television. This day, Ben Peri is guest in a very serious debate. The topic: "THE SECRET SERVICES, ARE THEY EFFECTIVE?". The talk show is aired on a public channel. Ben Peri is surrounded by an admiral, a "prefet" [french local state authority] and journalists. He in is presented more or less as a former secret agent.
He shouln't have remained secret for a long time...
Paul Vermusse/Ben Peri
- He tries to skewer the problem. As for me, I think that it's a complete bluff, it's...
- What's a bluff?
- The whole campaign made by the Americans about alleged international terrorism. The proof? Nothing was ever found. Thus it is quite simple... it goes back to the framework of a plan...
[Paul Vermusse is the host of the talk show].
Paul Vermusse/Ben Peri
- It is not because nothing was found that there is nothing...
- It goes back to the framework of a plan which is called "PLAN FOR A NEW AMERICAN CENTURY", and which is now only in phase number one, to try to manipulate the public, the international public... to justify actions.
Here is an interesting information. This PLAN FOR A NEW AMERICAN CENTURY (PNAC) is indeed a document available, particularly on the Internet, where some people affirm its authenticity. This subject itself, as significant as the "PROTOCOLS OF THE LEARNED ELDERS OF ZION", would deserve a debate.
Paul Vermusse
Aren't you fantasizing a little? You mean with this, that the Americans, namely the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, have a Machiavellian plan?
Paul Vermusse/Ben Peri
- Absolutely
- I'm listening
- You will know some more in a few months
- Well, you don't want to speak? We are going to have you speak... So I start off by saying that you published "THE DEVIL'S FOOTPRINT"...
Involuntary humour of the show's host . We imagine already Mr. Ben Peri submitted to the most insufferable torture to have him speak... Who knows if Mr. Vermusse does not have General Aussaresses among his friends? [General Aussaresses has been charged of torturing and killing political detainees in Algeria at the beginning of the sixties]. But unfortunately we will not know more about the "PLAN FOR A NEW AMERICAN CENTURY". However, though Mr. Ben Peri is somewhat eccentric looking, he is nevertheless quite well informed.
How did you manage to give a platform to Ben Peri on a talk show?
Mr. Vermusse wished to have him speak. Arte wishes to have him silenced!
Paul Vermusse
I saw that he was a character. From there I don't know if he is black or white, white or black... as would say Pirandello, each one has his own truth. Is there a little truth in all of what he says, or on the contrary is he the mouth for a truth that people don't want, so want him silenced? His book... it's true of his book that few people spoke about it, and it's a pseudo censorship. So, all that really leaves me very skeptical, and as for me, I am a very, very liberal man, I like to call on everyone.
Paul Vermusse
And thus the fact was that I was preparing a talk show on intelligence, and I said to myself "this is good, it will slap these civil servants in intelligence who all look like each other". Him, he doesn't look like the others, I mean, he is really a character. Generally speaking, information talk shows are often tedious, are often borying unfortunately, and I try to make a show of it. But, make no mistake, without crossing the yellow line. This, I would not like.
Indeed, why not call on provocative and out-of-the-box characters. The audience is able to judge. If for example somebody is interested by the PLAN FOR A NEW AMERICAN CENTURY (PNAC), he can very quickly find it on the Internet, read it, find comments on it, read them...
This mixture of information and entertainment is called "infotainment". A cocktail which obviously succeeds with Ben Peri. Listen to the spectators of the talk show.
Anonymous spectator
Among all the guests who discussed, you know, this writer of American extraction, there, he has surprised me by all what he said.
Anonymous Spectator
What he said, it was, hmm... me I found it a little frightening, but what he said, it made sense.
[A female-intoned voice, behind] :
In politics, all is possible...
Anonymous spectator
September 11th would be one of the first elements, I mean, of this future Third World War. I am fully convinced by him. And I completely endorse his analysis, which I find rather sharp and fine.
Anonymous spectator
We never know it all, in any event. There are many things which stay hidden from us, in everything... in everything.
The audience of the talk show has bit on the hook. But this talk show was not enough to make Ben Peri a star. That’s not always the case.
The audience, which has just discovered an odd thesis that was not suspected to exist before, is curious. Undoubtedly much more than a few arguments in a TV talk show would be necessary to convince them. If the hook dangled to us is that of skepticism, then why indeed not bite on it? As for the success of a book, that is due to several causes, mainly the readers, but it is exceptional that a book published at an author's expenses can cross the barrier of distributors and the viewing process in the bookshops. Mr. Ben Peri does not have any chance, even if his work had quality.
Here is for example how Thierry Meyssan became a celebrity, and his book a best seller, due to to Thierry Ardisson's TV show.
If Meyssan had not hit the Ardisson “blow,” he would have found another one. And in any case, success corresponded to public awareness. The book would have found its public anyway, it simply would have been a little slower.
No plane crashed into the Pentagon
All started in this TV show.
Thierry Ardisson
Thierry Meyssan... The TRUTH interview!
The KILLER question!
March 16, 2002, the host receives Meyssan, the writer who affirms that America is behind the attacks of September 11th. No one is present to contradict him.
A full marketing strike. In the following week, Meyssan sells a hundred and thirty thousand samples of a book which affirms that no plane crashed into the Pentagon.
In spite of our insistence, Thierry Ardisson did not wish to answer our questions. We then requested his opinion from a sociologist.
Pierre Lagrange
We could think "he wanted to make a blow, a show, an actor's performance, like he often does". As for me, I feel, looking at the interview with Meyssan, my real initial impression is that Ardisson had read carefully, listened well to the arguments, because he answers in a pretty good way... it is a fluent and easy discussion, which doesn't burst randomly, it is rather well prepared, and it gives the impression that Ardisson thought "this time, I got a Watergate, I have extraordinary stuff, all the others passed it by, and I got the guy who brings me the equivalent the Watergate".
Unfortunately, in the french original soundtrack, M. Lagrange's language is not so fluent and easy. We would like to help him to build correct and well-ending sentences. It is surprising how a scholar introduced as a sociologist and brought to give his opinion on a communication matter can be himself so poor in his own communications. I feel like I'm hearing one of my students in a painful and difficult oral examination...
Pierre Lagrange
And this, I mean, "my career", I can stop it tomorrow, you know..." And he absolutely did not detect how he was behind the line, indeed, with these problems, these conspiracy theories, and all that: he did not get that. And he must have thought: "this time I got an extraordinary scoop, I will show up all my buddies in the media. These guys tell me that I am only an entertainer. Now I will give them a lesson in journalism, in true investigative journalism, that brings out stuff that nobody imagined".
For a sociologist, here is a quite basic analysis. Could Ardisson only be a gonzo, looking to make one last big splash before ending his career? An angry man who wants to beat out his buddies? I am afraid that Mr. Lagrange could be projecting on the others his own problems.
The invitation of Meyssan caused a debate within the public channel FRANCE 2, which airs the shows of Ardisson. Thierry Thuillier is a chief writer there. He manages, among various tasks, the 8 pm news magazine. He followed this affair closely. He realized very quickly that the thesis of Meyssan did not hold water. Within this context, which precautions did the teams of Ardisson take?
Thierry Thuillier
- There was no checking. I am sure that no member of Ardisson's team did the work that we did, in asking our correspondent...
- They say that they did it, but they don't know how to do it
- Hmm, anyway, I don't know if they did it, I did not know, but anyway, that didn't raise questions for them. Whereas it was so simple... it took us three days to find witness accounts, images, and concrete proof which showed us that the thesis of Meyssan did not hold true for a moment.
Thierry Thuillier does not want to clearly say that the teams which prepare Ardisson's show are politically looney ones. After all, it is his channel which buys these shows...
Thierry Thuillier
I believe that there is a confusion also about the job of journalist, particularly in radio and TV. Today you get, apart from the redactions, show hosts-producers, who claim to be journalists, who invite guests like politicians, Thierry Meyssan, or other actors having special information, or general information, and who present all this as if it were real information. As for the public, it's just a 'journalistic matter', and they can't see the difference, finally, between a 8 pm news magazine, you know, and shows which mix information and entertainment. And I believe that this confusion is fatal for us, for us journalists, who work with sources, with confirming sources, with counter-enquiries, which is not necessarily the case in these shows.
Here is an interesting answer of Mr. Thuillier. He answers journalists who, working on ordering of "Arte", work for "Doc. in stock", a production company founded by a "show host-producer", Daniel Leconte! This one must appreciate that Mr. Thuillier makes it clear that he "claims to be a journalist"...
Thierry Ardisson refused to answer our questions. In this interviw given to the newspaper LE MONDE, he just declares: "in this affair, I made a professional mistake". Nice perspicacity, he is a good looser! This did not prevent, one year later, in the PUBLIC OPINION show, Ardisson from making the same error again. This time, the topic was not any more American plots, but the death of Diana affair.
If we begin to count all the bullshit that this man dropped in his shows, we couln't work...
[Text in the newspaper]
Instead, I gave the impression of approving what was in his book. I should have recognized early on that I made a big mistake.
December 12th, 2003, Ardisson animates a new show with the topic "WAS DIANA MURDERED"? Not really a question since, in the show, two guests out of three think so.
Remember: 1997, the princess of Wales dies in a car accident. Her driver was drunk and drove up to 180 km/h (110 mph).
Today, scandal in England. A tabloid calls into question the thesis of the accident. The DAYLY MIRROR publishes letters signed by Diana.
Germans have been bashed, it's now the turn of the Brits!
Six months before her death, she explains why Prince Charles sought to assassinate her, precisely in a car accident.
The man who communnicated these letters to the press is Paul Burel, the former majordomo of the princess. Paul Burel, the first guest of Ardisson.
Let's come to alcove affairs... this sort of facts was obviously to put in the September 11th discussion.
We found the journalist of the MIRROR who published the letters. And -surprise- she doesn't believe in this conspiracy theory herself. The letters would prove nothing.
Jane Kerr
Personally, I believe that these letters are ridiculous. When Diana wrote them, she was under an enormous pressure, very isolated. she thought that she did not have any more a friend in whom she could confide. She had the impression that her telephone was tapped, that people observed her. I believe that anybody in her situation would have reacted like that. She believed that there was a plot against her. So, she wrote what she felt right at the time. But, you know, like any very distressed person, I am sure that one week later, she would have said to herself: "I was stupid, all that is ridiculous".
The letters would thus be just hot air. However the DAYLY MIRROR publishes them on the front page, thus making a fuss over the plot thesis. So long, responsibility?
If there are irresponsibles in this affair, they are the readers of MIRROR who finance this kind of stupidity by buying this tabloid!
Jane Kerr
The only thing that we did was to put the letters in the public domain. You know, I believe that our readers are sufficiently mature to discern.
Bullshit... does a paper do this about the pope and the Mafia?
Mature to discern: not so sure. One week after the publication of the letters by the "Mirror", 30% of British citizens acknowledged that they were convinced that Diana was assassinated. But for the newspaper, the operation was profitable. Sales exploded. In short, conspiracy theories sell, so forget all the rules of journalism.
The first of these rules being, by the way, that it is necessary to make money by all means.
The first step in the plot theory about the death of Diana, is marketing. Just misses the most significant, the modus of the crime. In Ardisson's show, it is Nicolas Davies who has brought it. A former journalist of the MIRROR group. For him, Diana was killed by the British secret services, helped by French counter spying police (DST). Listen to the mobiles of the murder.
Nicolas Davies
The reason for which they took the decision to kill Diana, is that she had a new project. This project, it was to become the world ambassadress for the refugees, particularly the children refugees.
Nicolas Davies
And I learnt from the international red cross that her first visit would have been to a Palestinian refugee camp in the Gaza Strip.
Nicolas Davies
All what Diana wanted to do was to call upon European and American opinion, to say: “Something should be done for the Palestinian refugees.” And that would have been very difficult, for the authorities in England, in the United States, and in Europe, to refuse this supplication.
If this person does not have any proof to support his charges, they are indeed null. If he has evidence (other than these letters), he just ought to present them.
‘England and France killed Diana to protect Israel’: we are not far indeed from the world conspiracy theory. At Ardisson's show, Davies could present this strange thesis without bringing the least serious proof. Not surprising indeed that he so nicely represents this show.
Nicolas Davies
After the show, the public seemed to believe what I said. In any case, it put doubt in the minds of people who formerly believed that the death of Diana was a simple accident. Now, more and more people do not believe that it was a simple accident.
It is clear: Each licks the others’ boots. On both sides, the journalist and the author are there to earn money at the expenses of readers/televiewers, and what’s presented in the show is only there to support the commercials which are juxtaposed.
An absurd mobile, doubtful evidence, but the show goes on. It is the conspiracy recipe of the media. After Ardisson's show, 40% of polled French accepted the thesis of the murder (Diana’s).
This is an hoax! Sources of this 'poll' please?
Philippe Val
When you focus people on the degrading, you sell. When you focus on what’s upright, you sell less. The best advertising slogan, it is not from you, it’s from the moron who would make you believe that whatever happens to you is the result of an hitherto unknown conspiracy plot.
Hmm, this is a lucid explanation. I am not a reader of “Charlie Hebdo,” which does not fit my reader's sensitivity, but I must say that on this point its chief writer says something very correct about marketing strategies of the press in general, and of this newspaper in particular.
Philippe Val
OK, but what is hellishly serious, is that even newspapers which were born for example from a intellectual effort, like the “Express” or the “Nouvel Observateur,” today, do not hesitate to make their covers on completely aberrant, mysterious, unexplainable, and unexplained dangers.
Philippe Val
They do it that way when they have sales curves which worry them, they bring out the freemasons, the occult powers, things like that. Even them!
Then is it necessary to put all on the same level: drifts of infotainment and some attractive front pages in serious Hebdos. To be seen...
But what is sure, it is that 57% of the French acknowledge to no longer believe the journalists. The fault rests with whom?
Good question. Answer: the fault is with the system in which the journalists are tied up. There are exceptions, for example the “Canard Enchaîné” or “Marianne” in France.
Anonymous street walker
- You think that the media lie?
- yes
Anonymous street walker
I believe that there are many things which are hidden.
Anonymous street walker
Handled, we are handled,
Anonymous street walker
It is accordance to what is appropriate for the government.
Pascal Bruckner
The fact of being immersed day and night in a media environment, where information is aired every five minutes, does not at all make us informed people. And we get each day a large dose, which we are forced to swallow, of news, obviously bad stories since they are the only ones which we are offered, and that is well beyond our forces. And thus the citizen shouts, “mercy,” and it merely comes out from this a feeling of nausea, of panic, of fear, which can result indeed in supporting or in favoring the most irrational theories in the name of, “that goes badly.”
This is right if we consider the citizens who get informed only by television, or those who listen only to the hourly news flashes of entertainment radios. Those who listen to more solid radio productions or who read the press are not on this level. And moreover for the minority who can benefit from Internet network for their information.
The "Guignols de l'info", [a french satiric political puppet show] is a pure product of this time. This successfull show which has been imitated in all Europe, is known to fullfill a great need for simplicity.
The "Guignols" created a world of puppets to parody reality. Three million people look at them every evening. For many young people it's their main source of information.
Society fact? Not so sure: the kings and the powerful ones formerly had their jesters, who fulfilled the same social function as do shows such as the "Guignols" today.
Mr. Sylvestre
So, you have well screwed the market with your bullshit.
Sylvester Stallone, who played the character "Rambo", was chosen as one of the main characters in this show, and received therefore an absolutely incredible notoriety in France...
Bin Laden
As for me, I just killed the insurance companies with my huge rider on Boeing.
Bin Laden as a speculator, why not... notice the remarkable capacity of the writer of this show to think outside the box.
We met Bruno Gaccio, the creator of the "Guignols de l'info", to understand his way of thinking. Neither political speech, nor pure parody. It is mostly an overall feeling of deep mistrust towards the system that motivates him.
Bruno Gaccio
It is something with my gut. Within all of us, the authors of the "guignols", since always, there has been this side: "Shit, we are said something and we don't believe it". Can we say "NO"?
Mr. Gaccio is a rebel :) it is widely known in the profession and even in the public.
We fuck the world,
we fuck the children,
We don't believe in all this, explains Bruno Gaccio. Then he found the solution: say, through the "guignols", that the truth is hidden to us. The truth, it is the great plot. A plot which has a name: the "World Company". And a single face: the commander Sylvester. In show after show, he is everywhere.
on Wall Street, in the Army, and even behind the Pope. He handles the world only for profit. So, caricature or reality?
Bruno Gaccio
- So, him, who does he represent?
- I like his moron act, when he does that... Uh, it's a long story. He represents what we could call the "World company" which is..., if an international conspiracy plot were imagined, they are the guys who are behind it. They are those people who, hmm..., who decide who will be a president, who decide to support this one rather than that one, because he will enable us to drill holes in Alaska for oil. I know that it is environnementaly protected, I know that it is risky, I know that we are going to shoot bears, to turn the planet upside down, but this one will let us make it, therefore we will choose this one.
Bruno Gaccio
- And all in all, it is those who are behind the conspiracy, the men in black, you know, the guys who are invisible... paranoia
- Do they exist?
- I don't know anything about it, I don't know if they exist. As a matter of fact, what we did was to put a name on a fantasy. We brought, for the first time in great media, television, the idea that the policians, they are just worthy to be bashed, you know... and then they are always there to bring this assent which is "I feel that I am in a democracy because I chose those who direct me", but Messier directed much more than Chirac, and me, I never voted for Messier! [Jean Marie Messier was for some time the Boss of Canal Plus, the TV channel where Bruno Gaccio works].
Damned Bruno! Keep on going, I like to look at your "guignols" show, even if it happens that I find you a bull-shitter, boorish or a little bastard, at times!
World company, America, finance, such would be the Masters of the world who are hidden from us. It's not worth comparing the "Guignols" to some extremists or looneys that we saw in this film. But just a question: this idea that the power is concentrated in the hands of a few, doesn't it represent a danger for democracy?
Good question...
Renaud Marhic
Whatever the institution concerned, we are always within the same framework. It is necessary to simplify things to an extreme, and to give a planetary vision of the problems which arise in our societies. A particularly dangerous theory since, what is the use of politics, what is the use of activism, since in any case all that escapes from us, and all that is decided on levels which escape completely from the politicians.
Enlightening obscure zones of politics is not bad in itself. Any power requires a counter-power which limits its excesses.
Philippe Val
When we of something seem evil to such a point as to say, “We can’t do anything any more, they’ve got all the power,” it means that we don't believe any longer in political change. The choice of democracy is cultural. It is a culture which does not mean that we must be tolerant of everything and that everything should be accepted. If we don't choose democracy, we choose what? It is OK, but democracy is contrary to conspiracy. It is the anti plot theory, democracy. It means that it is just necessary to trust each other, in order to speak to each other and try to get some results.
I disagree. Democracy also implies some vacuum cleaning to be done, from time to time, to get rid of fascist rubbish. Believing that we can always be ruled on the basis of a dialogue between good, willing people proceeds from an illusion of human nature. Does not a democracy need justice, a police force, an army?
We are gone, it was THE GREAT PLOT, a film signed Antoine Vitkine and Barbara Necek. We will not reconsider the theses of Thierry Meyssan, he exposed them enough so that they can be viewed in detail. I had rather today advice from another book, for trying some cleaning on all that, an excellent book of our fellows Guillaume Dastié and Jean Guisnel, “L'effroyable Mensonge” [kind of joke with the title of Thierry Meyssan's book “L'effroyable Imposture”]. Thus if you want to know exactly what's going on, I advise you to read this book, which is a direct answer by its authors to the theses of Thierry Meyssan, which each of us will have understood that they are, and I use there an euphemism, not very serious.
The book of Dastié and Guisnel is even less serious than Meyssan's! But could we hope for another end for this film, itself built in such a seriously poor way?