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"All we want are the facts, ma'am."

When Jack Webb played Sgt. Joe Friday every Thursday night on NBC from 1951-59 and then, in color, from 1967-70, he occasionally used the catchphrase, "All we want are the facts..." when people got too wordy and failed to cut to the chase. (Like me, I guess.) So, let's get to the facts. Just the facts.

Which is something that did not appear in the headlines on Alex Jones' Infowar.com in an ongoing story that actually began on July 18, 2008 and picked back up on February 13, 2009 when Diggs.com Daily Newscaster blogger D.H. Williams headlined Infowars.com with a question: "Is FEMA and DHS preparing for mass graves and martial law near Chicago?" The headline on William's blog was not a question. It was a statement, implying a fact. It read "Inside sources reveals FEMA & DHS preparing for mass graves and martial law near Chicago." The story was not based on fact, but supposition—and a giant leap of faith. Jones should have told Williams, "All we want are the facts, sir. Just the facts." He should have. But he didn't.

The next article, without author credit (which means it was written by Infowars.com), was published on March 26. The Infowars heading promised video footage of a mass grave site in Phoenix. The article also promised satellite photos of this mass grave.

The promised "mass grave" is actually the excavation and preparation of new gravesites to expand an existing military cemetery (either State or federal), or the construction of a new one.

While there does not appear to be a federal law mandating it, all of the new construction appears to require the use massive concrete vaults which will contain a specified number of coffins. In these instances it appears the vaults will each hold four coffins. When the cemeteries are complete, and the vaults are underground, they will be covered with topsoil and grass. When a new body is interned, the specific vault will be opened, the body added, and the vault resealed and resodded. It appears the military is trying to maximize space in our military final resting places. What that means to the families is that, under each quad of headstones four bodies will be interned in a common vault. They could be stacked two on top and two on the bottom. Or, it could be they may be stacked four deep, one wide.

During the Clinton years we literally ran out of space in our National Cemeteries. There was simply "no more room at the inn" for the nation's heroes who fell in war. Nor for the veterans who fought and survived those wars and who lived well into old age. Those who fought for their nation are promised, by law, burial in a National Cemetery or a military cemetery as a rite of passage.

The person who posted the video on YouTube™, using the cyber name, wokeuplastweek, wrote: "I am still skeptical about the mass graves being used for civilians, H5N1 victims. I'm not denying that it could be of dual-use, but I don't find it to be likely for this particular issue. Looking at the statistics on current living veterans, it would make sense that they would need this many graves. Many WWII, Korean and Vietnam vets are getting up there in age. Gulf War veterans are coming back very ill from DU exposure...and other issues and dying prematurely." I don't think he woke up last week. He's still in conspiracy slumberland.

"Wokeup" just doesn't get it. Not everything is part of a vast rightwing or vast leftwing conspiracy. Sadly, when we try to make everything a conspiracy—particularly things that are so easy to disprove—we reduce ourselves into the "boy who cried wolf." When we stumble across something that really threatens to destroy this nation—like Resident Obama and the bankers quartet singing for billions of stimulus bucks—the American people simply yawn, shake their head at the rant of people they believe are flaming idiots, and go about their business as their nation is taken from them in broad daylight.

Infowars reported in that article (way up this page somewhere), that one of the Alex Jones fans, described by Jones as a "very brave person"—Shepard Ambellas—provided them with a video and appeared on Jones' radio program the day before talking about the "unusual activity" at the National Memorial Cemetery in Arizona. A day later, on March 28, Jones' website featured still another hysteria headline: "More Mass Graves? Houston Expands Cemetery"

The coffin story began on July 18, 2008 when Infowars.com picked up a story from the Neithercorp Forum, a conspiracy blog, with the story posted by AgentOgden who claims to be a "media ninja," whatever that is. He posted his story at 1:30:19 a.m. on April 20, 2008. I guess he couldn't sleep.

The media ninja provided Infowars with a photo of what he claimed were "hundreds of thousands of coffins (with about 150 of them showing in what purports to be a video. The video, however,had been removed "by the user." AgentOgden speculates why coffins are found in the middle of Georgia. First, the containers, which were likely marketed by a company in that part of Georgia, are not coffins. They are "coffin vaults," which most States are now beginning to require coffins to be placed in to keep liquefied parts of decomposing bodies from seeping into the groundwater and ending up in your glass of ice water at the dinner table.

AgentOgden is convinced that hundreds of thousands of coffin vaults were sitting there in Georgia—the home State of the Centers for Disease Control [CDC]—because the media ninja suspected that the government fully expected a half million people or so were going to die in a relatively short period of time. Since the media ninja posted this story on Neithercorp Forum in April, 2008 and Alex Jones posted it on his site on July 18, 2008, we can assume that the half million people in Georgia didn't die after all. But neither the media ninja nor Alex Jones reported the survival of all those people.

The photo of a coffin vault was added to the Infowars website to show that the blurred image that is no longer available as a video was what they said it was—a cheap, plastic coffin for mass burials. But, in point of fact it wasn't. It is a coffin vault that was manufactured by Lee Schwab, a 4th generation funeral director who operates Schwab Mortuaries. He also owns Polyguard & Company which manufacturers the coffin vaults. His corporate offices are in Afton, Wyoming. His East coast sales office is located in Fairhope, Alabama. I have no idea who buys or wholesales his product in Georgia. However, it appears that's what the adrenalin-drenched media ninja photographed—someone's inventory of plastic coffin vaults.

Nevertheless, the conspiracy crowd loved the coffin story. Sometimes it doesn't take much to convince some people that FEMA, DHS, military and Bugs Bunny was digging mass graves for political dissidents, or for US victims of a deadly strain of bird flu, H5N1. In his article, Ambrellas noted that, if the dead bodies he apparently anticipated were stacked like cordwood in the concrete containers, each container would hold about 40 bodies.

When he interviewed Ambellas on March 25, Alex Jones noted that he contacted the National Cemetery (probably around the time he printed his first article on Feb. 18), to ask them what was going on. But, he said, "...they hadn't gotten back to him yet." Between the current articles from Feb. 18 to Mar. 28—a total of 38 days elapsed without the information that Infowars.com published and/or broadcast as fact from being vetted by Jones for Infowars.com.

One of Infowar's fans, Mark Graham, who was disturbed by the implications of the coffin story, decided to vet it himself. He contacted the Arizona Veterans' Cemetery and conducted his own inquiry. He learned that all new military cemeteries are now constructed in this manner: a sufficiently large area is cleared and concrete vaults are laid, side-by-side throughout the entire designated plot area. The quad plots are marked then covered with fill dirt. The area is then sodded and is, at that point, ready for occupancy. His email, directed at those on his mail list (which did not include me), said: "Hopefully you can pass [this email] on to those who choose not to do any actual research other than [to listen to the] would of mouth [from] [conspiracy] blog believers.

"This," he continued, "is just one of many hyped-up and distorted conspiracy stories that is turning our attention away from the real situations and problems [that face this nation and the American people]. Look, there are plenty of factual conspiracy facts out there to be engaging our very precious time [instead of] this crud that many are getting caught up in because it [fits our perception of our national leaders] or because its easy to believe the bad guys are really that bad.

"I am not out here to disprove [that] conspiracies [are real]. I'm here to separate conspiracy fact from conspiracy crap. There are [a ton of bloggers] that are jumping on this to take your money to buy into their blogs, their books, and so on. And most of them distort, hide, ignore facts, and make up sources because they know that most [people] are not going to research what they say on their own. In closing, let me say this for the skeptics. The "coffins" referred to in these articles are known as "lawn crypts." This is a very standard modern burial system that was developed years ago—far before Sept. 11, 2001. And, they have been used in cemetery management for a long time."Mark Graham.

There it is, in a nutshell. Mark Graham did a good job ferreting out a "yes" or "no" answer and a factual explanation of what they are doing, and why, from the Arizona Veterans' cemetery. It's still puzzling to me how Alex Jones, with all of his resources, couldn't find out. Or did he? Well, once again, for whatever it's worth, you have my two cents on this matter.

 

Just Say No
Copyright © 2009 Jon Christian Ryter.
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