Smile, Your Cover-Up is Showing
A couple of weeks ago, I noted that one casualty of the camera phone is innocence. But it's not just sex that gets caught on tape and broadcast over the Internet nowadays. In the Age of the Video Camera, the Official Cover-Up may also be dead. If you do a bad thing in a public place, count on it being filmed, either on a hand-held video camera, a cell phone camera or a closed-circuit security camera, and then spread around the world in minutes on the Internet. That is going to make it hard to deny what everyone can see with their own eyes.
The latest cover-up to unravel due to video cameras seems to be the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. The government of Ex-General and President Pervez Musharraf first tried to claim that Bhutto died when she ducked in reaction to a suicide bomber's blast, and accidentally hit her head on the sunroof lever of the Land Rover in which she was riding. However, video footage subsequently surfaced, showing a gunman jumping on the back of Bhutto's Land Rover and firing shots at Bhutto, and Bhutto's hair and head scarf flying up in reaction to the shots, before a suicide bomber near the gunman detonated himself and his bombs. So now the Pakistan Interior Ministry has had to back off of its earlier claims about the sunroof accident.
Other than to solve Bhutto's murder, why does it matter what caused Bhutto's death -- the assassin's bullets, the suicide bomber's blast, the concussion from the blast, or Bhutto's now-discredited ducking and accidentally hitting her head? After all, any of these causes is a direct result of an undisputed assassination attack of some kind. Well, there is a difference, as is explained via Talking Points Memo:
CNN national security analyst Ken Robinson, who worked in U.S. intelligence in Pakistan during the Clinton administration, said he suspects Bhutto's enemies are attempting to control her legacy by minimizing the attack's role in her demise.
"They're trying to deny her a martyr's death [by claiming that the immediate cause of death was an accident rather than an act of murder], and in Islam, that's pretty important," Robinson said.
Bhutto, he said, threatens to become more influential in death than she was in life. "Her torch burns bright now forever. She's forever young; she's forever brave, challenging against all odds the party in power and challenging the military and Islamic extremism."
Furthermore, the Musharraf government's rushed and retracted official explanation of the cause of Bhutto's death leads even more people to question whether the Musharraf government's other rushed explanation -- that the assassination was the work of Al Qaeda rather than an inside job by Musharraf's own people -- is false as well.
If the Kennedy assassination happened today, there would be a plethora of cell phone camera Zapruder films from every angle, including the Grassy Knoll, and hundreds of speculating conspiracy theorists and authors would have been put out of business.
So where do we go from here? Pretty sooon you can expect the "Assassins Gone Wild" DVD collection and cable channel.