Proof That Your Government Is Lying To You And The Media Is Helping Them

Caitlin Johnstone
10 min readMay 9, 2017


Welcome. In this article I’m going to be focusing on the Bana Alabed psy-op, explaining what it is and why it proves undeniably that your government is lying to you with the help of the mass media to manufacture consent for a regime change in Syria. For my regular readers this will be largely familiar territory with a lot of material from my other writings on the subject, and if this is the case with you I encourage you to share this around with your less-woke friends. If you are a consumer of mainstream media and are unfamiliar with the Bana Alabed psy-op, however, buckle up, because if you truly ingest what this thing is and really digest the implications, it will without exaggeration shatter your worldview more completely and dramatically than if an alien aircraft landed on your lawn right now while you’re reading this sentence.

This article is built primarily on video evidence, so you don’t have to take my word for any of this; just watch the videos and think good and long about what they mean for your ideas about your country, your worldview, everything they taught you about your nation’s government in school, your entire way of thinking about how the world works, and what this all means for who you are as a person.

I want to make this as unequivocal as I possibly can: the Bana Alabed psy-op is the single clearest example ever of the mass media collaborating with the oligarchy against the interests of the American people. Attributed to a seven year-old girl who was purportedly living in East Aleppo and then moved to Turkey when the region was recaptured by Syrian and coalition forces, the Bana Alabed account features regular tweets by a very photogenic child decrying the evils of Assad and Putin and imploring the leaders of the US and other NATO countries to intervene in Syria.

If you think this is just some obscure little internet phenomenon and that nobody would be stupid enough to pay attention to a Twitter account featuring calls for military intervention in obviously scripted videos and tweets that are plainly written by an adult, think again. Bana has been featured on corporate media specials many times since her Twitter account was started, particularly by CNN. Watch the beginning of this clip where Jake Tapper reports, with a straight face, that Bana has written Donald Trump a cute little letter in cute, sloppy child’s handwriting promising him she’ll be his best friend if he advances a more interventionist foreign policy in Syria.

Tapper even went so far as to suggest that people should be getting their information about Syria directly from Bana Alabed in a tweet that he deleted when it became clear that this was a step too far.

CNN has even “interviewed” Bana, showing the child incrementally sounding out syllables that she does not understand decrying the Idlib gas attack (itself almost certainly a false flag of some sort) and making sweeping proclamations about terrorism, national dynamics and military interventionism while the host somehow looks on with a serious expression on her face.

Watch this video. She is definitely not speaking in the conversational way that a child speaks or using words and concepts that a child would use. You know that this is true. Watch her eyes; she certainly appears to be reading from a teleprompter and sounding the words out syllable-by-syllable. Why would a seven year-old girl have a teleprompter? Or even if you don’t believe she’s reading from a teleprompter and just reciting from memory while moving her eyes back and forth, who gave her those words to say? Who fed her that script, and why does CNN’s Alisyn Camerota have the other half of it? Why is CNN pretending they’re interviewing a little girl when they’re following a script authored by adults? Why is the host pretending she’s engaging in a real back-and-forth dialogue when she’s spouting scripted lines just like the little girl is?

And when I say that Bana does not understand the sounds she is being made to sound out, I mean she does not understand even the simplest English sentences, let alone the complex scripted ones she recited syllable-by-syllable for CNN. Look at this video shot sometime after her arrival in Istanbul a few months ago where she doesn’t understand a simple question about what food she likes to eat, so she begins reciting a line she’d been fed earlier about saving the children in Syria:

Also worth noting at this point is the fact that CNN is known to do off-air pre-interviews, rehearsing what will be said before going live without disclosing to their viewers that the “live” interview they’re doing was in fact rehearsed.

So CNN had a seven year-old Syrian child come on and share her scripted opinions on military conflicts and regional political dynamics while the host nodded somberly like this was a real thing, and now they’ve got a clip of a Bambi-eyed little girl telling you to invade Syria that they can pull up whenever they want to bully a guest who advocates a non-interventionist approach. And this is exactly what they do. Watch CNN host Kate Bolduan flip out in huffy indignation when Congressman Thomas Massie decides to question the official narrative instead of promising he’ll do what the cute little kid wants and help launch another regime change invasion of a sovereign nation.

So it’s obvious what the “interview” footage was to be used for. If you disagree with military intervention in Syria, you are a monster who ignores the desperate pleas of children.

In their rush to get the war drums beating, the propagandists behind the Bana Alabed account released this (since deleted but archived) gem:


So there’s that. CNN somehow coordinated a fake interview with the family of a little girl on the other side of the world who doesn’t speak English, and Alisyn Camerota would have to have had a pretty good idea of what was on the girl’s teleprompter so that she could ask questions that lined up with Bana’s scripted, syllable-by-syllable replies. None of this was told to the audience. The audience was told that this was an interview between Camerota, a little girl, and her mother. They lied. CNN actively, knowingly deceived its audience to advance a pro-war narrative, told to the American people by a small child for maximum sympathy and emotional investment. This unbelievably evil thing did happen. If you’ve watched the above videos, you know that this happened. Please feel deep down into your guts right now and really grasp the reality of what this must necessarily mean.

CNN is as mainstream a news organization as it gets. Everything they’ve been reporting about Syria (that there’s a civil war between freedom fighters and a brutal regime, Assad bombs and gasses his own people just to terrorize and torment them, etc.) lines up perfectly with the stories that the rest of the corporate media has been reporting about Syria, and lines up perfectly with what almost everyone in the US government has been saying about Syria as well. It also runs completely counter to everything independent investigators who’ve actually gone there have been finding, from Eva Bartlett to Vanessa Beeley to Tulsi Gabbard and others. The US government and the corporate media are all perfectly aligned against those independent perspectives, and we now know for a fact that one of the most significant and influential outlets in the corporate media was lying to its viewers about this specific issue.

Now, is it possible that CNN was acting alone here and that they set up the staged interview all by themselves? That, despite being perfectly aligned on the issue of Syria with America’s entire political establishment and with the rest of the mainstream media, they felt the need to “go rogue” and help deceive the American people into another regime change invasion in the Middle East, all on their own? An invasion of a nation which just happens to occupy a crucial strategic location in America’s fossil fuel battles (on a related note, Bana Alabed’s first Twitter follower was not a family member but a journalist from Al Jazeera, which is based in oil state Qatar)? A nation that the US power establishment has been gunning for since 2001 or longer?

I don’t think so. Do you? If fanning the flames of regime change seems like a strange hobby for an individual news outlet to have, can you think of another possibility?

I can. The other possibility is that everything you believe about the world you’re in is wrong. Before we go on, you should read this relevant comic from The Oatmeal in its entirety. Trust me, it’ll help.

The other possibility is that everything you’ve ever been taught about the kind of society you live in is a lie. You do not live in a world where well-informed adults taught you true things during your childhood about America, politics, government, voting, war, economics and world affairs. You do not live in a world where news outlets tell you the truth about what’s happening and the worst thing about your elected officials is that they’re a bit more dishonest than you’d like them to be. You do not live in a world where you get to use the power of your vote to influence your nation in what you feel is a positive direction. You live in a nation where an unelected power establishment consisting of billionaire plutocrats, the military-industrial complex, various aspects of the intelligence community and defense agency officers use the mass media to manipulate people into consenting to things that profit them and benefit their agenda, like not having a living minimum wage and not having healthcare as a right, and like invading a nation on the other side of the planet which poses no threat to you.

To quote Chomsky, “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.” America’s ruling elites figured out that all they need to do in order to ensure that they remain in power is find a way to rigidly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, and in the corporate media they found a way. By establishing and manipulating a corporatist system of government, the oligarchs have succeeded in consolidating virtually all media into five extremely powerful corporations, which they’ve used to set up a very narrow spectrum of acceptable opinion wherein anyone who has a problem with the current system is either ridiculed, attacked or ignored, but those who merely quibble over the minor details of their corporatist nightmare are both allowed and encouraged to tear one another to shreds.

It’s a brilliant system, really. In the past, ruling elites needed to torture people to death in the town square in order to force the compliance of the masses, but that caused rebellions and ensured short-lived dynasties — gruelling oppression takes a tremendous amount of energy and can easily end in an unpleasant transaction with the business end of a guillotine blade. By using mass media to manipulate people into consenting to a ridiculous one-party system where you get to cast votes for two functionally identical corporatists but bash each other into a pulp over which one is better, the oligarchs have been able to obtain far more power than the kings and emperors of yore could have ever imagined, and for a fraction of the work.

The Bana Alabed psy-op was the only time I am aware of that this dynamic has so fully exposed itself to the light of day. A seven year-old girl who does not understand English, who CNN reports is legitimately tweeting in baby talk about the advantages of US military interventionism in Syria, and who CNN trotted out in front of the camera to regurgitate plainly-scripted war propaganda syllable-by-syllable while the phoney host nods along solemnly as though she’s not knowingly complicit in the single most transparent psy-op in the history of western television? And then this same corporate news network has the gall to re-roll the tape of this fake interview in order to silence opponents of interventionism in Syria? Doesn’t get any clearer than that.

In reality, your government has an extensive history of using false flags and propaganda to manufacture consent for stupid wars. From the Vietnam War to the Gulf War to the Iraq invasion, the corporatist power structures who run the US government have been deceiving the American people into giving their consent for military responses to non-existent threats. With Vietnam it was the fake Gulf of Tonkin incident. With the Gulf War it was the false Nayirah testimony which convinced Americans that Iraqi soldiers were killing hundreds of premature babies in a Kuwait hospital by removing them from their incubators. With the Iraq invasion it was the weapons of mass destruction lie and the deliberate psy-op by the corporate media to marry the ideas of “Saddam Hussein” and “9/11” in the minds of their viewers, which was so successful that six months after the invasion 70 percent of Americans still believed that Saddam was responsible for the September 11th attacks.

And they’re doing it again now, plain as day. They’re doing it with Bana Alabed, and they’re doing it with the Idlib gas attack as well. If they still don’t get their war, we may be sure that there will be more staged incidents and manipulations to make their case. All for money and power. All to give some rich people more money and power.

This is happening. This is real. I often think even the people who know the facts behind this reality don’t fully grasp just how horrific the whole thing is, and I certainly don’t think they have a full appreciation for how badly the oppression machine exposed itself with the Bana Alabed psy-op. If we can make enough people aware of this thing, and coax them to really sit with it instead of squirming to avoid the cognitive dissonance, we can wake up enough people to shrug off the old systems of oppression, manipulation and control and start building a better world for ourselves.

Because you know how it seems like people act generally sort of crazy? Always killing their environment and starting useless, stupid wars? This is why. All for more money and power, the ruling elites have been using their leverage and the corporate media to facilitate an ecocidal, omnicidal agenda that will surely get us all killed if we don’t stop them. Here are some ideas I’ve put together for doing stopping them. Here are a few more. Thanks for reading.

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