Politikḗ on Twitter: ‘Bellingcat’s new magnum opus’
(It’s longish, but instead of making a Part II, I’d thought it might serve as a reference for readers in the future, so one will have to do.)
In his Oct. 1 ‘Julian Assange appoints new WikiLeaks’ editor-in-chief’, Patrick O’Connor at wsws.org notes that Julian Assange had appointed Icelandic investigative journalist Kristinn Hrafnsson as editor-in-chief while Assange will remain the organization’s publisher. A sad day for us, for Julian, and lovers of truth and free speech everywhere, but as he’s been incommunicado for at least six months, it was necessary to make the change.
O’Connor also highlighted the new leaks the organization had published within two days of Hranfnnson’s appointment. the most excellent Whitney Webb is already up with the story in her ‘New WikiLeaks Release Exposes Corruption in UAE Arms Deal Fueling War on Yemen; Though the corruption detailed in the newly leaked document took place decades ago, it highlights how lucrative arms deals are often enough incentive for governments to bend the rules in order to keep weapons and cash flowing, no matter the consequences at mintpressnews.com
O’Connor had also highlighted John Pilger calls out Vichy journalism and witch-hunts in his ‘Bringing Julian Assange Home’, John Pilger, 19 June 2018, wsws.org
Below is the speech delivered by the well known journalist and documentarian John Pilger to the rally to free Julian Assange held by the Socialist Equality Party of Australia on Sunday, June 17 in Sydney’s Town Hall Center. It’s longish, but excellent; there’s a longer video if you’d prefer it.
“In 2008, a plan to destroy both WikiLeaks and Assange was laid out in a top secret document dated 8 March, 2008. The authors were the Cyber Counter-intelligence Assessments Branch of the US Defence Department. They described in detail how important it was to destroy the “feeling of trust” that is WikiLeaks’ “centre of gravity.”
This would be achieved, they wrote, with threats of “exposure [and] criminal prosecution” and an unrelenting assault on reputation. The aim was to silence and criminalise WikiLeaks and its editor and publisher. It was as if they planned a war on a single human being and on the very principle of freedom of speech.
Their main weapon would be personal smear. Their shock troops would be enlisted in the media—those who are meant to keep the record straight and tell us the truth. The irony is that no one told these journalists what to do. I call them Vichy journalists—after the Vichy government that served and enabled the German occupation of wartime France.”
He spends a lot of time on Corrupt Warmonger/War Criminal Clinton’s words and deeds, including approving $80 billions worth of arms to our partners in peace, Saudi Arabia, a huge contributor to the Clinton Foundation. He cites the abject and dastardly hypocrisy of the Guardian profiting mightily from publishing WikiLeaks revelations, then publishing Luke Harding’s lies about Assange, and hyping his book made into a movie as well.
What John Pilger was likely unaware of is that Pierre Omidyar’s ‘fearless investigative journalists at the Intercept had published a minimum of four wild smears against Julian Assange, one here with perhaps allusions to earlier ones), and my favorite:
‘The Great WikiLeaks Train Robbery: Pinkerton Police Greenwald [the Good Whistleblower] and Klein in Close Pursuit’, café babylon, 10/24/2016, re: WikiLeaks publication of the Podesta emails and more)
Smear after smear after craptastic smear from both if them, but this may take the cake (GG quoting Ed Snowden when they’d met in Hong Kong):
“Why didn’t you just upload it to the internet? Why did you need to work with us, to have journalists as the middleman and mediators to process this information and take the decision-making out of your hands about what the public will and won’t see?
And he said: Think about how incredibly sociopathic, how narcissistic it would be for me, Edward Snowden, to decide that I have the right, singlehandedly, to destroy all of these programs simply because I don’t like them.
He said he doesn’t want to destroy anything, that his goal instead is to take the information that gives human beings around the world the ability to know what it is their governments are doing, what is being done to the internet, so that those people, democratically and collectively, can make that choice about should these programs continue? In what form? Do we need safeguards? Do we need pushback? Do we need citizen movement? All of that. He felt very uncomfortable with the idea that his role could ever be anything other than facilitator of information that allows others to make that choice.”
Yeppers, Assanage believes he has the right to burn it all down. And Saint Klein is…so uncomfortable about it all, the poor thing, although the ‘hacks’ weren’t…the Pentagon Papers. Pffft on all three of them.
‘News’ is also manage by censoring it, of course; this is one overview: A “Sudden Bout of Atypical Decency”?; Social Media Giants, “Free Speech,” and the Control of Information’ by Leftist Critic, August 30th, 2018, dissidentvoice.org I’ll admit that I was kinda confused over who said what about Alex Jones, etc., but you may not be so afflicted.
And what of the WaPo-spawned PropOrNot (fueled by Russian interference in our putative Democracy™?)
““Obtain news from actual reporters, who report to an editor and are professionally accountable for mistakes. We suggest NPR, the BBC, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Buzzfeed News, VICE, etc, and especially your local papers and local TV news channels. Support them by subscribing, if you can!”
Wot? Not the Guardian? But more on the BBC in a bit…. The updated list of Propaganda sites is here. Whew; close call: the Intercept ain’t on it!
Now Atlantic Council-funded NATO
think stink tank) Bellingcat online investigative news isn’t on the approved list, but founder Eliot ‘iggins (yeah, he and Craig Murray scrap a hella lot on Twitter, and oy, do they smear him hard) and PropOrNot dude OzKateri swap a lot of Tweets.
This is a Tweet demonstrating Bellingcat being thanked for their ‘services and reports’, Ukraine SBU, UK Defense Minister, etc. Heh, one subtweet says: “That bellingcat couch potato-“researcher” has being milking NATO’s apprentices. Pure and Simple. They have been funding that dumbfock (clearly criminal) lad. MH17 shouting cover up was his “best moment”, best moment of crime and he will pay for it.”
But wait: it gets even funnier! Apparently (via RT) Gavin Newsome then deleted the Tweet, but:
“It was long enough for Reuters to quote it in a report, however, running under the headline: “‘True identity’ of Salisbury suspect revealed, UK defense minister says.”
How often have we seen reports from the UK that use Bellingcat as their only source? the BBC, for certain (zounds, quite a list on just the first page of hits), the Daily Mail, the New Yorker, according to Bellingcrap’s Aric Toler: “(The New Yorker profiled one of our trainings in London. The Tbilisi workshop is a three-day training ran in Russian, free to all participants)”
For what it’s worth, this is a Twitter thread by glumbird explaining Bellingcat’s (cough) methodology for naming the GRU Russians as the poisoners of Sergei Skripal and his daughter. By the by: are they both in silent deep dark badger holes under UK D-notice?
Craig Murray’s been following the Bellingcat claims avidly (an deconstructing them here and there), and he’s up with a new one now, but in his Sept. 27 Boshirov” is probably not “Chepiga”. But he is also not “Boshirov” he’d said:
“The evidence mounts that Russia is not telling the truth about “Boshirov” and “Petrov”. If those were real identities, they would have been substantiated in depth by now. As we know of Yulia Skripal’s boyfriend, cat, cousin and grandmother, real depth on the lives and milieu of “Boshirov” and “Petrov” would be got out. It is plainly in the interests of Russia’s state and its oligarchy to establish that they truly exist, and concern for the privacy of individuals would be outweighed by that. The rights of the individual are not prioritised over the state interest in Russia.
But equally the identification of “Boshirov” with “Colonel Chepiga” is a nonsense.
The problem is with Bellingcat’s methodology. They did not start with any prior intelligence that “Chepiga” is “Boshirov”. They rather allegedly searched databases of GRU operatives of about the right age, then trawled photos in yearbooks of them until they found one that looked a bit like “Boshirov”. And guess what? It looks a bit like “Boshirov”. If you ignore the substantially different skull shape and nose.”
“It is worth repeating that the only evidence that Chepiga is Boshirov offered by Bellingcat is this photo. The rest of their article simply attempts to establish Chepiga’s career.
This is gross hypocrisy by Bellingcat, who have argued that scores of photos of White Helmets being Jihadi fighters are not valid evidence because you cannot safely recognise faces from photographs.”
(then a series of eliot ‘iggins’ Tweets)
“UPDATE Incredibly, at 13.15 on 27 September the BBC TV News ran the story showing only the two photos of “Boshirov”, which of course are the same person, and not showing the photo of Chepiga at all!”
@theLemniscat Sep 28 “This a #thread of badly staged #WhiteHelmets videos”
And speaking of the Intercept, this Tweet from Sharmine Narwani:
The Geopolitical Zeitgeist (spoiler alert: there is no shelter save for our inner lives) :
(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)