Monday, October 01, 2007

TV3's afternoon talk show, hosted by Albert Om, just ran a roundtable discussion on the Catalan September 11 impostor. The panelists were just fine, but many of the SMSs sent in by the audience were a bit weird.

Three of them were some kind of variation on "Her lie was minuscule compared with the big lie of 9-11. The US government is hiding much bigger lies." One of them, which seemed even more paranoid, was "Now Bush has us Catalans in his sights." A couple of people tastelessly congratulated her on her successful imposture, which I guess is Iberian picaresque. And several people asked timorously, "How are they going to punish her?"

You can't be punished in the US for telling lies except under specific circumstances defined by law. If the impostor made up her story for financial reasons, that's fraud, but it doesn't seem that she did it for money. If she lied in court under oath, that's perjury, but I don't think she ever did that. She might get sued by a variety of people for a variety of reasons, but that would be a civil judgment, not criminal, and the worst thing they can do is take her money. And they can't deport her or anything like that unless she's actually committed a crime.

Anti-American comments from the readers of La Vanguardia's online edition (see, they're capable of America-bashing just on general principles; they'll manage to come up with a reason somehow):

Every day lies in the United States are normal. Look at Bush, their "brilliant" and criminal president, the drug addiction rate, the crime rate, the death penalty, shootouts in the schools, racial discrimination, etc. But the pearl of them all is the story about Bin Ladem (sic), an old CIA agent. What she did is a peccadillo in order to be a celebrity. Isn't that the ideal that the system fosters?

There are many relatives of victims who are demanding a new INDEPENDENT investigation of those attacks, but they are silenced. The media only publicize witnesses who make viewers reach for their hankies, without criticism. Why do you think this fraudulent woman was there?... There is an enormous campaign under way of propaganda about 9-11. If you don't want to see it, it's your business.

Which came first, wars or terrorism? I think one of them caused the other. What the (attack on) the Towers was, was a real answer to the fantasies of American movies, where the good guys always defeat the bad guys.

Or is this just silly old Iberian Notes mendaciously seeing anti-Americanism under every bed? Something must be done.

By the way, of course, this story is completely dead in the United States, where it never was a big deal in the first place. It made the New York Times and the evening news, and Time did a short piece on it, and then it was quickly forgotten.

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