Friday, April 10, 2015

Mother Jones Bobbled the Ball in its ‘ETs for Hillary’ Piece

Mother Jones Bobbled the Ball in its ‘ETs for Hillary’ Piece

There's no business like ...

By Billy Cox
De Void

     Hillary Clinton’s Nixonesque relationship with her email account as Secretary of State may ultimately force the Dems to scramble for a Plan B to retain the White House, but the longer she stays in the limelight, the better. Last week, Mother Jones became the latest media outfit to go snooping around the perimeters of the Clinton admin’s flirtation with The Great Taboo. And as the 2016 campaign yawns on, who knows, maybe somebody with decent resources and perspective can actually get it right.

Building a rep for watchdog rabble-rousing on its ability to flesh out the sorts of primary sources traditional media tend to ignore, Mother Jones bobbled the ball in its April 5 “ETs for Hillary” piece, but the effort nevertheless inched the controversy justthismuch closer to the mainstream. And that’s about all we can hope for at this point. To his credit, reporter A.J. Vicens made a dutiful query to Team Hillary for insights into what happened 20 years ago, which elicited this throwaway riposte: “Our non-campaign has a strict policy of not commenting on extraterrestrial activity. BUT, the Truth Is Out There”. (Ha! Good ‘un! Never heard that before!) But Vicens was largely content to let outsiders Stephen Bassett and Michael Salla speculate at will. On the other hand, Vicens’ reporting left a lot of unconnected dots hanging around out there. And it’s probably safe to say this was the first time MJ readers ever encountered the so-called Rockefeller Initiative, Bill Clinton’s fidgety former Office of Science and Technology Policy director Jack Gibbons and, more recently, former Clinton White House chief of staff John Podesta’s Twitter lamentation on his failure to acquire federal UFO files during .

In fairness, Vicens also attempted unsuccessfully to contact Podesta and Gibbons for comment. What he might’ve discovered had he dug a little deeper is that those in a position to know something either never respond at all or speak only in controlled venues. For instance, trying to get former Clinton Associate Attorney General Webb Hubbell to elaborate on his futile efforts to retrieve UFO material for his boss is practically an exercise in mysticism.

Actually, there is one name in this slippery mix the Mother Jones audience might remember — Chase Brandon. Brandon’s name surfaced in the magazine’s pages in 1998, during an expose on the mysterious death of one of The Agency’s former covert operatives, Monte Overacre, in Guatemala. Lesser known is how, also during the Nineties, while Hubbell conducted his snipe hunt for UFO data, Brandon actually located Roswell documents buried in The Agency’s Historical Intelligence Collection archives. Or at least he said he did, during a national radio interview in 2012. Although a PIO at Langley countered by saying historians couldn’t find the stuff, not even Brandon’s former boss, now-retired CIA Director Robert Gates, would contradict his claims. But Brandon hasn’t uttered a peep on the matter ever since. Critics said he probably fabricated the Roswell story three years ago to boost sales of his new novel.

Anyhow, between now and 2016, where do we look for more clues about what happened during the Clinton years on the UFO front? Fittingly, in this era of the big-media journalism implosion, the edge goes to entertainment, and specifically, Jimmy Kimmel. As a late-night comic, Kimmel is free to ask whatever he wants without having to feel self-conscious or to clear his curiosity with squirrely editors. Last year, he put Bill Clinton in the UFO chair, and last month it was President Obama’s turn. And Kimmel he pointed out to No. 44, “Now you know there are a lot of people who are gonna examine your facial expressions here, every twitch, everything ...”

And of course, that’s exactly what happened. The body-language analyses on both presidents were conducted by Ben Hansen, former lead investigator for SyFy Channel’s “Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files” series. And both assessments are worth watching because they’re, well, let’s just say it, entertaining. After spending 36 minutes profiling Clinton’s performance and another 40 minutes on Obama’s kinesiology, Hansen makes a cogent case that both chief executives exhibited signs of stress during the outwardly jocular and light-hearted confab.

Certified in forensic interviewing techniques, having invested countless hours with the Utah County sex crimes task force interviewing victims and perpetrators, the former FBI agent said the Clinton/Obama nonverbal tells were relatively easy to spot, and that the high-def picture quality of Obama’s altered breathing rate provided a real windfall in detail.

What makes those brief Q&A’s especially noteworthy, he adds, is the likelihood that both men were given advance notice of Kimmel’s agenda. “I think it’d be a great liability for a president to say, sure I’ll agree to anything you want to talk about,” says Hansen. “So the idea that there was probably a forewarning about the subject matter makes it even more interesting. Neither was under oath or giving a deposition, but both showed fairly significant shifts in their demeanor when the UFO questions came up.”

There’s not much else to be done with this latest chapter of Reading The Tea Leaves. So far, no feedback on his conclusions from the Obama-Clinton-Kimmel camps. Hansen says he spent at least 80 hours producing and editing the Clinton/Obama exchanges, and “it’s fun but it doesn’t pay the bills.” Frankly, he adds, “I hope Kimmel doesn’t interview any more presidents (about UFOs) for awhile.” But what if he booked Hillary and threw The Great Taboo at her? “That,” Hansen says, “would be awesome.”

And that, as they say, would be entertainment.

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