This one is an interesting study in how the right wing spreads their “news”. This started with a report from the far right “Washington Free Beacon”. A site started by a “journalist” who spent years at the “Washington Times”- a rag started by “the moonies” which in recent years has morphed into a favorite of the right wing.
The story, based on the classic “unidentified sources” claims 11 jetliners are missing after ISIS rebels took over the international airport in Tripolli, Libya. With lots of fearmongering thrown in for good measure, noting the proximity to the 9/11 anniversary and more vauge claims of a “warning” out among intelligence agencies.
Of course the right wing fringe media picked this up instantly. Followed a little later by some of the, ahem, more “reputable” right wing news sites. A few minor major papers around the world have picked it up now as well.
But yet- despite the resources and connections of the worlds media, no one has yet even hinted at confirmation of this story from a source other the beacon. Not a hint of any civil, commercial, or military air alerts. No hints of any activity whatsover if there was any real concern about this.
So let’s think about this for a second…
First, a jetliner doesn’t just go missing. Unless by this they are being completely dishonest and simply mean that they are no longer in control of the company that operates them. They can’t be loaded on a truck. Or driven down the road. They would have had to have been flown out of there. And let’s be clear- we are talking Libya. A country being heavily monitored by multiple governments. Does anyone really believe 11 planes took off with no one noticing. 11 planes taking off after a heavily monitored battle- with no one taking action? really?
Second- if you have seen the attacks you know the airport saw extensive damage. It’s unclear whether a plane even could take off. Whether the runways were left undamaged. The infrastructure needed to fuel and service a plane. etc etc.
Third- they have of course been making lots of references to 9/11. So let’s be honest. These were planes hijacked in flight. Yes, they had people trained well enough to “fly them”. Once they were flying. They didn’t have people able to take off or land. Or who knew how to fuel a plane. Check the instruments. Get it ready for flight or off the ground. And of course- much of 9/11’s destruction was because the planes were heavy with fuel for a long flight. Not going to happen with a plane coming out of Libya. At least not in the US. Spain, Italy, germany are all relatively close. But seem minor tarkets. London is roughly 2500 miles away- which would have most commercial airliers running light on fuel.
Fourth- any attack would have to involve either a plane flying with no transponder. Or one that has been known to have been compromised. Yes, it probably is possible to “fake” a transponder signal. But this is a move that would, at best, buy them a short period of time.
Fifth, the source of these claims. The Washington Free Beacon does not exactly have a reputation for high levels of journalistic integrity. Nor do they have any reputation for high level sources. So why in the world would anyone run these fantastical, fearmongering claims, especially when they can clearly not verify them through their own sources?
But of course- the right wing media has no interest in truth. In actual news. Their only interests are profit, and sowing the fear, distrust, and hatred needed to overthrow (yes, I did just use that word- because it fits) a duly elected democratic government.