Canada’s government is seeking to silence Canadian journalists at home and abroad with a draconian censorship bill

moi

 

Eva Bartlett

RT.com

As a Canadian journalist, I could be subject to a censorship bill which, if passed in Senate, means the government in Canada can effectively shadow-ban and censor my voice into oblivion, along with other dissenting voices.

After seeing his tweet on the issue of Bill C-10, recently passed in the House of Commons, I spoke with Canadian journalist Dan Dicks about this. He explained that the bill is being presented as being about Canada bringing Big Tech companies under the regulation of the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission), to have them display more Canadian content.

“But what people are missing,” he cautioned, “is that there were clauses put into this bill, protections for certain publishers and content creators that would protect people like myself and yourself.”

Those clauses, he said, were recently removed from the bill, leading many content-creating Canadians aware of the bill to worry they will be treated the same as a broadcaster or a programmer, subject to the regulations of the CRTC.

The bottom line is that, beyond the mumbo jumbo of the government, this is the latest attack on freedom of expression, and on dissent. 

“It really appears that it’s a backdoor to be able to control the free flow of information online, and to begin to silence voices that go against the status quo,” Dicks said, warning that fines for violators could follow.

“It’s not looking good for individual content creators. Anybody who has any kind of a voice or a significant audience, where they have the ability to affect the minds of the masses, to reach millions of people, they are going to be the ones who are on the chopping block moving forward.”

Names like James Corbett come to mind. Although based in Japan, as a Canadian he would be subject to the bill. And with his very harsh criticisms of many issues pertaining to the Canadian government, he is a thorn they would surely be happy to remove under the pretext of this bill.

Or Dicks, who likewise creates videos often critiquing Canadian government actions.

Or researcher Cory Morningstar, authors Maximilian Forte, Mark Taliano, Yves Engler, or outspoken physicist Denis Rancourt, to name a handful of dissenting voices. Agree or not with their opinions, they have the right to voice them.

Or myself. I’ve been very critical of Canada’s Covid policies and hypocrisy, as well as Canada’s whitewashing of terrorism in Syria, support to neo-Nazis in Ukraine, and unwavering support for Israel which is systematically murdering, starving, and imprisoning Palestinian civilians–including children.

An article on the Law & Liberty website, which describes itself as focussing on “the classical liberal tradition of law and how it shapes a society of free and responsible persons,” notes the bill enables “ample discretion to filter out content made by Canadians that doesn’t carry a desirable ideological posture and [to] prioritize content that does.”

The article emphasizes that the bill violates Canadians’ right to free expression, as well as “the right to express oneself through artistic and political creations, and the right to not be unfairly suppressed by a nebulous government algorithm.”

It noted that Canadians with large followings, like Jordan Peterson, Gad Saad and Steven Crowder, “each enjoy audiences which far exceed any cable television program.”

As with my examples above, these prominent Canadian voices likewise risk shadow-banning under this bill.

But, worse, there is another bill, C-36, that also portends heavy censorship: the “Reducing Online Harms” bill. This one not only involves censorship, but hefty fines and house arrests for violators

The same  Law & Liberty article notes, “Canada is also expected to follow the template of Germany’s NetzDG law, which mandates that platforms take down posts that are determined to constitute hate speech—which requires no actual demonstrated discrimination or potential harm, and is thus mostly subjective—within 24 hours or to face hefty fines. This obviously will incentivize platforms to remove content liberally and avoid paying up.”

The Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF), rightly, contests this bill, noting, “the proposed definition of hate speech as speech that is ‘likely’ to foment detestation or vilification is vague and subjective.” 

Maxime Bernier, leader of the People’s Party of Canada, is likewise extremely critical of the bills.

Trudeau has made every issue about race, gender and religion since his election. Now he wants to criminalize everyone who disagrees with his tribalist vision.C-36 is the worst attack ever against free speech in Canada.https://t.co/6Z5EefmviP— Maxime Bernier (@MaximeBernier) June 25, 2021

The CCF points out the potential complete loss of Canadians’ fundamental rights with these bills.

It should be common sense that these bills are extremely dangerous to Canadians, however cloaked in talk of levelling playing fields and of combating hate speech they may be.

إعلام محور المقاومة

22/06/2021

فجأة ودون سابق إنذار تمّ إغلاق مواقع تابعة لقنوات تلفزيونيّة لمحور المقاومة، وأعلن على صفحاتها الرئيسية أنها تغلق بقرار من وزارة العدل الأميركيّة، والإغلاق سواء كان رسمياً أو عبر قراصنة هو تعبير عن هشاشة المزاعم الأميركيّة حول التمسك بحرية الرأي والإعلام، والسابقة ليست جديدة فهي تعبير عن استمرار سبقه الكثير من إجراءات القمع التي بدأت مع تصنيف مؤسسات إعلاميّة على لوائح الإرهاب. وكانت البداية مع قناة المنار.

اللافت أن هذا يجري في بداية ولاية الرئيس الأميركي الجديد جو بايدن، الذي جعل في مقاربته لإعادة صياغة سياسات بلاده عنوان حقوق الإنسان المرجع الذي يوجّهها، وأول هذه الحقوق حق التعبير، فعندما تفاوض واشنطن مع طهران لرفع العقوبات والعودة إلى الاتفاق النووي، لا تفعل ذلك بحساب الاعتراف بحق الشعب الإيراني، بل دفعاً لما تعتقده الأصعب وهو امتلاك إيران لسلاح نووي. والسياسة الفعلية لواشنطن هي ما يجسّده قرار إقفال موقع قناة العالم ومواقع قناة المسيرة اليمنيّة وقناة الكوثر العراقية وقناة فلسطين اليوم، وكلها مواقع إعلاميّة لا تحمل إلا الآراء.

في الوقت نفسه يصمت الأميركي عن انتهاكات جدية ومؤلمة لحقوق الإنسان، واعتداءات موصوفة على حرية التعبير، فتسقط المعارضة الإماراتيّة آلاء الصديق في حادث مدبّر في لندن، كانت واشنطن ستشكل له لجنة تحقيق دولية لو كان المعني منشقاً روسياً، وستتخذ من باب الاحتياط عقوبات فورية حتى ينتهي التحقيق، وبالمثل بعد شهور من الوعود بالسير حتى النهاية في تحميل ولي العهد السعودي محمد بن سلمان مسؤوليّة قتل الصحافي جمال الخاشقجي، قرّر بايدن وقف أي ملاحقة بحق ابن سلمان.

يحظى نظام البحرين برعاية وحماية واشنطن رغم فضائح الانتهاكات التي توثقها كل الهيئات الدولية الأممية والمنظمات الحقوقية، حيث آلاف معتقلي الرأي يقبعون في السجون مهددين بتفشي وباء كورونا، ويعاني قادة كبار السن ومرضى بينهم من معاناة المرض من دون أن ينالوا أبسط رعاية صحية.

لا ترفّ عين المسؤولين الأميركيين عندما يقرأون التقارير عن أحوال الفقر في اليمن والمعاناة في سورية وفنزويلا، بل يتباهون بنتاج الحصار والعقوبات، وهم يعرفون ويعترفون أنهم يعاقبون الشعوب على خياراتها، كما فعلوا عندما رفضوا الاعتراف بنتائج الانتخابات الفلسطينية التي قاموا برعايتها عبر مؤسسة كارتر عندما جاءت النتائج تحمل قوى المقاومة إلى البرلمان.

فيديوات مرتبطة

I’m on a ‘hit list’ Kiev allows to silence dissent & journalism. That’s all you need to know about Ukrainian ‘democracy’

June 12, 2021, RT.com

Address issues which Ukraine, the West’s client state, does not like and you could end up on a ‘hit list’. Because that’s apparently how flourishing democracies roll…

Last week, photojournalist Dean O’Brien participated in a United Nations meeting to give his perspective on the war in Donbass, Ukraine’s breakaway region in the east. Shortly after the discussion, O’Brien came under fire from the Ukrainian embassy in the UK.

However, smears from Ukrainian officials are nothing compared to what the controversial ‘enemies of Ukraine’ database, the Mirotvorets (Peacekeeper) website, could bring.

In May, O’Brien and I discussed this hit list, noting that we were both on it, with photos of us published on the witch-hunt website.

It’s a website called ‘Peacemaker.’ It’s anything but, really. It seems to be a hit list, a target for journalists or anybody that goes against the grain in Ukraine. If you’re reporting on them, they see you as some kind of threat and put you on this list,” he said. 

The platform was created in 2014, shortly after Crimea was reabsorbed by Russia and the Kiev government’s military campaign in eastern Ukraine was launched. As TASS noted in 2019, Mirotvorets “aims to identify and publish personal data of all who allegedly threaten the national security of Ukraine. In recent years, the personal data of journalists, artists or politicians who have visited Crimea, Donbass, or for some other reason have caused a negative assessment of the authors of the site, have been blacklisted by Peacemaker.

Talking about the horrors that Donbass civilians endure under Ukrainian shelling is, according to this rationale, a threat to Ukraine’s national security. As is going to Crimea, maintaining that Crimeans chose to be a part of Russia (or, as many in Crimea told me, to return to Russia) and criticising the influence neo-Nazis wield in Kiev.

The most worrying thing is that they seem to be able to get a hold of people’s passports, visas,” O’Brien told me. “The fact that they can get ahold of your passport photo, your visa photocopies, these can only come from official government offices in Ukraine. This is a governmental website, it’s been discussed in parliament, to close it down. They’re not interested in closing it down. This website is kind of like a hit list, really.

That might seem like an exaggeration, but people listed on Mirotvorets have been targeted and even killed.

A report by the Foundation for the Study of Democracy titled “Ukrainian War Crimes and Human Rights Violations (2017-2020)” gave the example of a Ukrainian journalist assassinated in 2015 after his personal details were published on the website.

A few days before his death, Oles Buzina’s details, including his home address, had been posted on the Canadian-based Mirotvorets website, created with the initiative of Anton Gerashchenko, the Ukrainian deputy minister of internal affairs. The people listed on it are recommended for liquidation and arrest, and the total number of people listed are in the tens of thousands.

According to many experts, it was the listing on the site and the publication of the home address that prompted the murder of Oles Buzina, Oleg Kalashnikov, and many other opposition figures by members of the Ukrainian ‘death squads’.

Back in 2015, Georgiy Tuka, who participated in the creation and operation of the site, stated that, of the people listed on the site, “more than 300 were either arrested or destroyed,” the report states. 

When in April 2015 the Ukrainian parliament’s Commissioner for Human Rights Valeriya Lutkovskaya launched an effort to shut the list down, the then-adviser to Minister of Internal Affairs Anton Gerashchenko threatened her position and stated that the work of the site was “extremely important for the national security of Ukraine.” He said that “anyone who does not understand this or tries to interfere with this work is either a puppet in the hands of others or works against the interests of national security.” 

So the website remains active, with Ukraine’s security service reportedly stating that it did not see any violations of Ukrainian law in the activities of the Mirotvorets website.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, too, has refused to have the website shut down, ironically claiming that it’s wrong to interfere with the work of websites and the media.

Let’s remember that in Ukraine, untold numbers of journalists, activists and civilians have been imprisoned, and killed, for their crimes of voicing criticism of the government and neo-Nazi groups.

Ukraine isn’t the only country to host such a hit list. Although Stop the ISM (International Solidarity Movement) – the project of crazed US-based journalist, Lee Kaplan – named activists, including myself, for our crimes of reporting on Israel’s brutal bombardment of Gaza in 2008/09, the website has since changed format and is far less detailed. But cached versions show the extent of its insanity, including a clear call for our murders:

ALERT THE IDF MILITARY TO TARGET ISM

Number to call if you can pinpoint the locations of Hamas with their ISM members with them. Help us neutralise the ISM that is now definitely a part of Hamas since the war began.”

Others on the kill list were named for their crimes of reporting Israel’s systematic abuse and killing of Palestinians. Their personal details, including passport information, were published.

An article on this heinous website noted: “The dossiers are openly addressed to the Israeli military so as to help them eliminate ‘dangerous’ targets physically, unless others see to it first.”

Although arguably that website was the project of one lunatic and their allies, the fact that for many years it stayed active and called for the murders of international peace activists speaks volumes on America’s own values.

I’m sure these two hit-list examples are not isolated ones. Quite likely, there are similar lists targeting journalists reporting on the crimes of other countries. But they are the height of absurdity, and fascism: targeting people whose reporting aims to help persecuted civilians.

Meanwhile in Donbass, Ukraine reportedly continues its shelling of civilian areas. Recently in Gorlovka, a northern city hammered by Ukrainian bombing over the years, a mine blew off part of a woman’s leg as she gathered mushrooms.

This is the woman who was earlier blown up by a mine in Gorlovka. She had her left leg torn off when the mine exploded whilst she was innocently picking mushrooms. Yet again, another innocent victim caught up in this brutal conflict. #Donbass pic.twitter.com/DBQGD2h8J9— Dean O’Brien – BA (Hons) (@DeanoBeano1) June 6, 2021

In spite of the hit list, journalists, rightly, continue to report on these war crimes.

Related:

Seven years after Maidan divided country, Ukraine intensifies shelling of Donbass to sound of deafening silence from Western media

Donbass War Diary Feature photo Donbass War Diary Under Fire from Ukraine and Misperceived by the West, The People of the DPR Share Their Stories

Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) playlist

Accused of Treason and Imprisoned Without Trial: Journalist Kirill Vyshinsky Recounts His Harrowing Time in a Ukrainian Prison

Press Violations Explode to 180 in May Alone as Israel Cracks Down to Buff Its Image

June 11th, 2021

Israel Press Freedom Feature photo

By Jessical Buxbaum

Source

“The more that Israel is exposed internationally for its human rights violations in Palestine, the more it becomes desperate in its attempt to crack down on journalists and the media in general.” — Dr. Ramzy Baroud

OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM — Despite wearing a press vest and holding a government press card, Al Jazeera Arabic correspondent Givara Budeiri was violently assaulted and arrested by Israeli police on June 5.

Budeiri was covering a demonstration in the Occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah when Israeli forces attacked and then detained her for several hours on the grounds she kicked a soldier, which she denies. She was released only on terms that she doesn’t visit Sheikh Jarrah for 15 days.

“The silencing of journalists by terrorizing them has become a routine activity for the Israeli authorities, as witnessed in recent weeks in Gaza and occupied Jerusalem,” Dr. Mostefa Souag, acting director-general of Al Jazeera Media Network, said in a statement regarding Budeiri’s detention.

Violence against journalists, destruction of media property, and online censorship are all part of Israel’s systematic campaign to prevent the Palestinian narrative from reaching a global platform and exposing Israel’s crimes. And these efforts are only increasing.

The climate of press freedom

During the course of Israel’s 11-day war on Gaza, Israeli airstrikes destroyed four buildings housing at least 18 local and international media outlets. These included the offices belonging to Al Jazeera, Associated Press, Al-Araby TV, and Nawa Online Women Media Network. Israel’s bombardment also killed Palestinian journalist Yousef Abu Hussein and injured journalists Mohammad al-Louh and Elias Karram. Since April 21, a growing number of journalists have been harassed and assaulted by Israeli security forces and right-wing activists.

But attacks on the press aren’t exclusive to the recent violence in Palestine associated with Sheikh Jarrah, Al-Aqsa Mosque, and Gaza. Israel holds a ranking of 86 out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index (with “1” being the most free) and Palestine sits at 132.

Israel Press Freedom

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 18 journalists have been killed in the region since 1992; and currently 13 Palestinian journalists are imprisoned in Israeli jailsThe Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) reported 408 violations in the Occupied West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza in 2020, with Israel responsible for 53% of the attacks. The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) reported 608 media violations in 2020, with 490 of those violations committed by Israeli forces.

Israeli press violations encompass a wide range of dangerous actions, including physical assaults, targeting of media institutions, arrests, detentions, interrogations, raids, confiscation and destruction of equipment, and even using journalists as human shields.

A journalist’s personal experience

In one case, Dan Cohen — an American journalist and MintPress News contributor who was in Palestine from 2014 to 2017 — experienced being used as a human shield by Israeli forces firsthand. During an Israeli army raid into the Aida refugee camp in the West Bank in March 2014, a commander grabbed Cohen while he was reporting and forced him to stand in front of soldiers shooting at Palestinian youth. He was able to escape unscathed, but the incident still burns in his mind when considering freedom of the press in Israel-Palestine. “It was a very obvious case of the Israeli army attempting to use me as a hu

man shield either to punish me for documenting their activities, potentially injure me, or just to scare me,” Cohen said.

Cohen was harassed again during another army operation into the camp in 2014. A group of soldiers approached him, with one brandishing his weapon at Cohen. They forced him to turn around against a wall. “And then when I couldn’t see, they threw a flash [grenade] at me,” Cohen said. “Of course, it startled me and then they just laughed as they walked away. So, this is typical Israeli army harassment of journalists.”

Journalists — foreign and local — face a myriad of barriers when covering Palestine-Israel. But Cohen feels the pressures are more extreme for journalists who don’t fit into the establishment mold. “If you do the mainstream, New York Times reporting and stick to official events and don’t really challenge the hasbara narrative, then you’re not in any kind of danger. But if you dare to go to where Palestinians are demonstrating, then you’ll get tear gassed. You might get shot with a rubber-coated bullet and you may even get hit with live ammunition,” Cohen said. Hasbara is the Israeli term for propaganda and refers to the government’s diplomatic efforts to manipulate information and control the global narrative on Israel-Palestine. Cohen concluded, “A lot of it just depends on what you expose yourself to, but fundamentally journalists in Israel have no real protection.”

Israel Airstrike press offices

For journalists like Cohen, who has reported for alternative media outlets like Mondoweiss, challenging Israel’s status quo can turn you into a target. This is even more likely if you’re Jewish. “Zionists consider Jews who dissent from the Israeli government positions as traitors who are even worse than Arabs,” Cohen told MintPress, adding:

Jews speaking out against Israeli crimes — whether you’re an activist, a journalist, or anybody — severely undermines the so-called Jewish state’s ability to project itself as a defender of Jews worldwide and claim that its crimes against Palestinians are necessary to ensure the livelihood of a worldwide Jewry.

Yet it’s not just the Israeli military and government targeting the press. In recent weeks, CPJ, the Committee to Protect Journalists, uncovered far-right, Jewish nationalists encouraging violence against media professionals documenting these extremists’ coordinated attacks against Palestinians. “[We] can do both [target Arabs and journalists], it really doesn’t contradict. There are Arab terrorists and there are media terrorists,” read a WhatsApp message from a local group.

According to the Union of Journalists in Israel (ITONAIM), Israeli journalists faced dozens of attacks from the public and Israeli authorities from April 21 to May 15.

The I’lam – Arab Center for Media Freedom, Development and Research also released a report documenting 13 incidents of harassment and violence against Palestinian and Israeli journalists in May. The majority of these cases were committed by Israeli security forces. I’lam reported: 

According to the testimonies collected, the Israeli security forces’ attempts to eradicate journalists and prevent the media from reporting on the events aim to provide the official Israeli narrative with legitimacy and credibility in front of the world… Eradicating journalists is not only violating national and international laws, it also undermines the people’s right to know the facts, which it appears Israel is trying to hide.

Palestinian press under greater threat

Neither Israeli nor Palestinian journalists are immune to harassment — especially when it comes to reporting on Israeli corruption. But one group faces significantly greater danger in doing their job.

“There is very little margin for press freedom in Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories. Traditionally, the limitations and the restrictions have been imposed on Palestinian journalists covering Israeli military activities, the Israeli occupation, and Israeli violations of human rights,” Dr. Ramzy Baroud, editor of Palestine Chronicle, told MintPress News, adding:

As of late, even Israeli journalists and media that seem to be sympathetic in any way with Palestinians or who are exposing the right-wing policies of Benjamin Netanyahu and his government have also faced a degree of limitation and restriction. But, of course, we are still talking about a vastly disproportionate difference here in how Palestinian and Israeli journalists are treated.”

According to a report from PJS’ Freedom Committee, Israel committed more than 180 press violations against Palestinians in May. About 80 violations occurred in the Gaza Strip, with around 37 media institutions targeted and at least 10 journalists injured by rocket fire.

In the West Bank and Jerusalem, roughly 100 Palestinian journalists have faced ongoing attacks from Israeli authorities through work restrictions, confiscation of equipment, tear gas, sound bombs and rubber bullets.

PJS called on the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) to send a commission to investigate Israeli crimes against Palestinian journalists. The HRC responded on May 27 by adopting a resolution establishing a commission to investigate press violations that have occurred in Palestine-Israel since April 13.

Amid Israel’s latest crackdown on Palestinian journalists, Cohen emphasized, however, that this isn’t a new phenomenon explaining:

For decades Palestinian journalists have been persecuted by an Israeli military dictatorship that doesn’t afford Palestinians any rights or guarantee any kind of freedom, whether that’s freedom of press or anything else. So, the recent attacks on Palestinian journalists and media institutions are part and parcel of the modus operandi of the apartheid regime.”

Media attacks worsening

As previously mentioned, multiple press watchdog groups monitoring Palestine-Israel indicate a drastic increase in media violations in recent months. Dr. Baroud agrees freedom of the press is worsening as Israeli crimes are broadcast on the world stage, concluding:

The more that Israel is exposed internationally for its human rights violations in Palestine, the more it becomes desperate in its attempt to crack down on journalists and the media in general. [Journalists] pose a threat to Israel in the sense that their job exposes Israeli practices and human rights violations against the Palestinians. So, in the eyes of Israel the journalist becomes the enemy because, even though he’s not carrying a weapon, the camera and the pen become weapons.”

ناصر أبو بكر أيقونة لحرية الإعلام Nasser Abu Bakr is an icon of media freedom

03/06/2021

ناصر أبو بكر أيقونة لحرية الإعلام

ناصر قنديل

بعد إقدام وكالة أسوشيتدبرس الأميركية على فصل الصحافية المتدربة اميلي وايلدر بسبب نشرها مواقف تضامنية مع الشعب الفلسطيني على حسابها الخاص على وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي، في خطوة أثارت غضب أكثر من مئة من زملائها في الوكالة، لما في الفصل من تعسّف وانتهاك للحرية الشخصية والمهنية، ومحاولة استغلال السلطة الوظيفية للتدخل في معتقدات شخصية للعاملين في وكالة يُفترض أنها تملك من العراقة والتقاليد ما يمنح إدارتها معرفة كافية بخطورة ما ترتكب بحق المعايير الوظيفية واحترام حرية الرأي والمعتقد، جاء دور وكالة الصحافة الفرنسية التي لا تقلّ معرفة بالتقاليد المهنية، والتي يفترض بأنها أكثر تعبيراً عن المعايير المهنية لممارسة العمل الصحافي، من الوكالة الأميركية، فاختارت مدير مكتبها في فلسطين نقيب الصحافيين الفلسطينيين ناصر أبو بكر لتطرده من وظيفته عقاباً على نقله الأمين والصادق لجرائم كيان الاحتلال بحق الشعب الفلسطيني، لتقدم نموذجاً من نوع آخر على مخالفة القواعد المهنيّة التي يفترض أن يكافأ على أساسها أبو بكر بدلاً من أن يعاقب استرضاء لكيان الاحتلال، في أبشع صور التبعية لإرادة الاحتلال العنصري الاستيطاني، الذي يشكل نقيضاً كلياً للقيم التي يفترض أن الصحافة الفرنسيّة تعمل بموجبها.

فضيحة وكالتين عالميتين كبيرتين، تتوّج مساراً من الفضائح خلال الحرب على سورية مثله نشر صور جرائم مأخوذة من حروب عمرها عقود وفي بلدان تبعد آلاف الكيلومترات عن سورية، ونسبتها الى الجيش السوري للتشويه والإساءة والتجريم، ليتكامل المشهد الفضائحيّ الغربي في مزاعم الديمقراطية، وادعاءات بمعايير حرفية مهنية في التعامل مع الأحداث العالمية، ومعايير وظيفية أخلاقية في التعامل مع الصحافيين العاملين، ليثبت أن هذه الوكالات التي تدّعي الاستقلال عن حكومات بلادها في سياساتها التحريرية وتثقل أسماعنا بالمواعظ عن مفاهيم إنسانية صارمة تقود عملها المهني في التعامل مع الخبر ومع الصحافيين، ليست إلا ابواقاً لأجهزة استخبارات حكوماتها، تنفذ تعليماتها، مهما كان السلوك مشيناً ووقحاً. وترتدي هذه الفضيحة أهمية استثنائية لكونها تجري في مناخ معاكس كلياً لتخديم الوكالتين لسياسات كيان الاحتلال، يجتاح الرأي العام في أوروبا وأميركا، حيث يخرج الملايين في الشوارع يهتفون لحرية فلسطين، بحيث بات انحياز الوكالتين لكيان الاحتلال بهذه الصورة البشعة تحدياً لإرادة الشعوب التي يفترض أنها تموّل عمل الوكالتين، وهو ما يمثل بالعرف الديمقراطي سرقة موصوفة، وجرماً جنائياً كاملاً.

يستدرج الحدث تساؤلات عما كان سيحدث لو قامت السلطات المعنيّة في بلد آخر غير فرنسا وأميركا بمعاقبة صحافي أو مؤسسة إعلامية على الترويج لكيان الاحتلال، وعندما يكون البلد الآخر عربياً كلبنان تحرّم قوانينه الترويج للاحتلال، ألم تكن سلطات البلدين في واشنطن وباريس لتنظم حملات التنديد بالمساءلة، تحت عنوان الدفاع عن الحرية، وكانت ستنضم إليها هيئات ومؤسسات يفترض انها موجودة لرعاية وحماية عمل الصحافيين من التنكيل بسب الممارسة المهنية أو بسبب ممارسة حرية المعتقد والتعبير، وكنا سنسمع مواعظ لا تتوقف عن الحقوق والحريات، ما يؤكد سياسة الكيل بمكيالين، عندما يتصل الأمر بكيان الاحتلال، ولذلك فإن كل الصحافيين العرب والصحافيين الأحرار في العالم وهيئات الدفاع عن حرية الصحافة في العالم، والهيئات الحقوقية التابعة للأمم المتحدة، وتلك التي تعبر عن الرأي العام في بلدان الغرب، مطالبة بعدم التهاون مع سلوك وكالتين من أكثر الوكالات العالمية للأخبار تأثيراً وانتشاراً، وبعدما بادر نقابة المحررين الى إصدار بيان تنديد بطرد نقيب الصحافيين الفلسطينيين، صار مطلوباً إطلاق تحرّك أشد قوة وحضوراً بحجم الاعتصام أمام السفارات الفرنسية والأميركية في العواصم العربية، وأمام مكاتب الوكالتين الأميركية والفرنسية في البلاد العربية والعالم تنديداً بالأفعال المشينة، التي تنتمي لسلوك أبشع الديكتاوريات وأنظمة الفصل العنصري البائدة، ليصرخ العالم كله بوجه هاتين الوكالتين، ويدعو الرأي العام إلى معاقبتهما على طريقته، بفرض التراجع عن القرارات المجحفة أولاً، وبالتهديد بوقف التمويل ثانياً، فيما يجب على مجتمع الإعلام العربي التفكير بمقاطعة أخبار الوكالتين، حتى يستقيم السلوك وتصوّب المسارات، وتتم مراجعة القرارات، وهذا أضعف الإيمان.


Nasser Abu Bakr is an icon of media freedom

Translated By Zara Ali

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Nasser Kandil

– When the Associated Press fired trainee journalist Emily Wilder for expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people on her own social media account, the move angered more than 100 of her colleagues at the agency. They dismissed the abuse and violation of personal and professional freedom under the pretext of functional authority that permitted interference in the personal beliefs of employees of an agency which is supposedly owned by Iraq. The traditions give its administration sufficient knowledge of the seriousness of what is being committed against job standards and respect for freedom of opinion.

– I think the role of AFP, which is no less familiar with professional traditions, and supposedly more reflective of the standards and practices of journalism than the U.S. agency, chose the director of its office in Palestine, the captain of the Palestinian journalists Nasser Abu Bakr, to be dismissed from his job as punishment for his honest depiction of the crimes of the occupation entity against the Palestinian people. And this was done in line with a model of another kind, one that was used to violate the professional norms which entitled Abu Bakr for a reward instead of being punished, only to appease an occupation entity. And this reflects the most horrible form of dependency on the will of the settlement racial occupation, which is a total opposite of the values the French press is supposed to adhere to.

– The scandal of two major international news agencies, appears to be a culmination of the course of scandalous reporting during the war on Syria. Such as the publication of images depicting crimes that occurred during decades-old wars and in countries thousands of kilometres from Syria, but were attributed to the Syrian army. The intent was to distort reality, abuse and criminalize the Syrian army, because this notion could be integrated into the scandalous Western drama of democracy. The allegations of violating professional standards in dealing with world events, or violating ethical job standards in dealing with working journalists, prove that these agencies which claim independence from their governments in their editorial policies, and burden our hearing with sermons about humanitarian notions that supposedly define their professional work in dealing with news and journalists, are nothing but trumpets of their governments’ intelligence services. Carrying out their instructions, no matter how shameful and rude the conduct. This scandal is of exceptional importance. Because it takes place in an environment totally contrary to that engineered by the two agencies based on their policy towards the occupation entity. In the face of the sweeping public opinion in Europe and America, where millions have taken to the streets chanting for the freedom of Palestine, the bias of the two agencies towards the occupation entity depicted in this heinous way has posed a challenge to the will of the people. These are the very people who are supposed to finance the work of these two agencies as a democratic custom which can now be looked at as a described theft, and a complete criminal offence instead.

– The event raises questions about what would have happened if the relevant authorities in a country, other than France and America, had punished a journalist or a media organization for promoting occupation, especially when the other country was Arab, as Lebanon, where law prohibits the promotion of occupation. Would the authorities in Washington and Paris not have organized campaigns to denounce accountability under the slogan of defending freedom? Would they have not been joined by bodies and institutions which supposedly sponsor and protect the work of journalists from abuse of professional practices and the right to freedom of belief and expression? We would have heard sermons about caring and protecting the work of journalists from abuse of professional practices under the pretext of the right to freedom of belief and expression. Rights and freedoms that cease to exist otherwise, thus confirming the policy of double standards when it comes to the occupation entity.

– So all Arab journalists, free journalists in the world, press freedom organizations, and human rights bodies as well as those that express public opinion in the countries of the West, must demand from the two of the world’s most influential news agencies, the publication of a statement condemning the expulsion of the Captain of Palestinian Journalists — a stronger and more present movement launched in the form of sizable sit-ins in front of the French and American embassies in Arab capitals, and in front of the offices of the American and French agencies in the Arab countries. The world must denounce the shameful acts, which belong to the behavior of the ugliest dictators and the old apartheid regimes. The whole world must shout in the face of these two agencies and call on public opinion to punish them by imposing a reversal of unfair decisions first, and secondly by threatening to stop funding. While the Arab media community should think about boycotting the news of the two agencies, so that the behavior and the path is corrected and the decisions are reviewed — though this maybe the weakest expression of faith.

Journalists, Activists Condemn UK Decision to Keep Assange Locked Up without Charge

By Alan Macleod

Source

AUnited Kingdom court has ruled that Wikileaks cofounder Julian Assange must remain in prison, despite an earlier ruling that he could not be extradited to the United States.

Explaining her decision, District Judge Vanessa Baraitser said that, “As far as Mr. Assange is concerned, this case has not been won,” adding that the United States must be allowed to appeal her earlier decision. Part of the ruling was based upon her assessment of the Australian publisher being a serious flight risk if released, noting he had “huge support networks” that could help him “should he again choose to go to ground.”

The court’s decision was immediately panned by journalists and press freedom organizations who had hoped to see Assange released today, after seven years in prison and hiding in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. “To us, that is nothing more than a pretext to keep him detained. This seems unnecessarily punitive and adding insult to injury after the 10 years of hell that he has endured…We are deeply disappointed with today’s decision,” said Rebecca Vincent, Reporters Without Borders’ Director of International Campaigns, outside the courtroom.

Vincent had been denied entry to the courtroom today, as had some of Assange’s relatives. She had also faced questioning and harassment from police, who used their new powers under the U.K.’s lockdown law to break up pro-Assange demonstrations, even arresting a 92-year-old man.

Julian Assange
Police arrest an Assange supporter outside the Westminster Magistrates Court in London, Jan. 6, 2021. Matt Dunham | AP

Assange’s lawyer, Edward Fitzgerald QC, expressed his disappointment at the news that his client would be heading back to Belmarsh prison in south London. “The logical outcome of the ruling would be he regains liberty at least conditionally,” he stated.

Assange’s colleagues in [alternative] media were also quick to condemn Baraitser’s ruling. “The judge’s decision against bailing Assange only fuels the theory that this prosecution is about keeping a publisher who the U.S. government despises tied up and in limbo so he cannot effectively challenge them ever again,” said Kevin Gosztola, “This is absolutely outrageous for the judge to deny Assange bail and to claim that Belmarsh is doing a fine job of handling COVID, even while London is on lockdown.”

“There are no charges pending against Julian Assange in the U.K. A U.K. judge denied the U.S.’s request to extradite him, the only place where charges are pending. Despite this, the judge just ruled he must remain imprisoned — in a COVID-ridden high-security prison — while the U.S. appeals,” added Glenn Greenwald. “This shows how authoritarian the British judiciary is. The only thing the U.S. cares about is keeping Assange in a cage, silenced and disappeared. This gives them the best of all worlds: he stays in prison, with no need to prove he’s guilty of anything. That’s despotic.”

A particularly high-security prison, H.M.P. Belmarsh is generally considered the U.K.’s most notorious jail, taking in prisoners from around the country that other prisons cannot handle. The government’s 2019 report on conditions inside the facility noted it was overrun with 120 violent gangs and that there were 161 recorded inmate assaults on staff. After a COVID-19 outbreak this year, inmates have been largely locked down in their cells, typically for 23 hours a day.

On Monday, Baraitser ruled that Assange would not be sent to the United States as she was not convinced that the U.S. prison system could guarantee he would not commit suicide while incarcerated. The publisher faced up to 175 years in prison for his alleged breach of the Espionage Act of 1917 while receiving classified information from U.S. soldier Chelsea Manning. However, she sided with the United States on both their assertions and the legality of their claims, setting a precedent that some called a “chilling” ruling for investigative journalism.

Wikileaks disseminated Manning’s information, which came to be known as the Iraq War Logs. Perhaps the most explosive revelation was a recording of a U.S. helicopter attack on central Baghdad in July 2007. The video shows American personnel massacring at least a dozen Iraqi civilians, including two Reuters journalists, in cold blood. The images went viral on social media and showed a completely different side to the occupation than the carefully sanitized one the U.S. military had been fastidiously curating.

From 2013 to 2019, Assange was confined to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, unable to travel to the country that had offered him political asylum. However, keen to curry favor with Washington, new president Lenin Moreno allowed British authorities to enter the building and arrest him. Since then, he has been housed in Belmarsh. This new ruling prolongs his stay. But if the appeal is unsuccessful, the U.K. will no longer have any legal argument to keep him interned. Perhaps there is light at the end of the tunnel for the Australian.

The Great Reset; ‘No pasarán’

The Great Reset; ‘No pasarán’

November 24, 2020

by Ghassan and Intibah Kadi for the Saker Blog

The revolving results and aspirations of having a clear outcome of the American Presidential elections are bringing many related issues to the surface. Perhaps none bigger than the heightened call by the World Economic Forum (WEF) for a ‘Great Reset’.

The mission of the WEF, stated beneath its logo reads that it is: ‘Committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas’.

This is a vague mission statement that is riddled with logical and philosophical flaws.

What does ‘improving the state of the world’ exactly mean? There are many issues in the world that can be improved, and not all of them are based on economics for an economic forum to attempt to improve. Consider freedom of speech for example, freedom of information, the abuse of information in the form of mis-information and dis-information, just to name one example. Have we not seen that this very aspect has reached unprecedented heights in the American elections?

When the WEF invited Greta Thunberg to attend the January 2020 meeting, not only did it endorse her concept of climate change, but it also advertently ignored the counter-theory which is actually supported by many climatologists and scientists in other related areas. So how can the state of the world be improved if science is hushed up and theories are accepted for fact without proof?

By way of its mission statement and putting it into practice therefore, the WEF does not seem to take much notice of the importance of correct information and, on the contrary, works against it. Is this improvement of the world or moving it backwards towards the dark ages?

And talking about Greta, according to the mission statement, she ‘qualified’ to participate and be engaged even though she is not a leader in either business, politics or academia. She must then, by definition, be considered by the WEF as a ‘leader of society’. But even if we assume that she is a leader in this capacity, realistically what kind of input can she make in reaching and implementing realistic recommendations in order to improve the world? Was she only invited to mesmerize and recruit the youth?

But Greta is not the only oddity. Guess who else was there in January 2020? George Soros. Actually, Soros has been a repeat contributor.

Soros is definitely a huge business person and I have no problem with him fitting the qualification criteria. But isn’t Mr. Soros one of the main reasons behind many of the problems and issues facing humanity and which the WEF proclaims the desire to improve?

How can one invite the butcher to the ‘Save the Sheep’ forum?

This brings in the issue of morality.

Who gave the WEF the moral mandate to decide what is good and bad for the rest of the world? This again takes us back to the flaws of the mission statement. The statement does not make any mention of morality and/or the engagement of renowned ethicists in the membership panel.

Whilst many may have some reservations about Mandela, he was nonetheless an ethicist and a moralist over and above being a political and community leader. He was once invited and he gave an address to the 1992 WEF forum in Davos. But people of the caliber of Mandela, and they are far and few between, should be more than just occasional guests. They should be on a permanent panel of elders who inform and advise policy and legislation action based on moral value. Will the world be able to find enough ‘perfect’ humans to empanel and assign such a huge task to? Certainly not. No one is perfect, but a group of wise elders is certainly more trustworthy than a pact of globalists.

The WEF can amend its mission statement and come clean and admit that it is comprised of the elites who are the actual reason behind the world problems and not the ones to offer solutions. To be able to be truthful to its mission statement however, it must not base its criteria and recommendations on economics and economics only.

We have taken recent interest in the WEF because the term ‘Great Reset’ [1] has jumped up from almost nowhere, suddenly [2] becoming almost everyone’s mantra. It took us a while to realize that the term actually refers to a new book by the name of ‘COVID-19 The Great Reset’ written by none other than Dr. Klaus Schwab, the 82 y/o founder and ongoing CEO of the WEF ever since its inception in 1971. The above WEF link includes toward the end of the document an interesting diagram which summarizes the Great Reset plan, titled “The Great Reset Transformation Map”. [3]

And what is exactly the position of Dr. Schwab? How can he take the wiser-than-thou stand and proclaim to be the saviour of the world? Under which mandate is he allowed to tell governments, people, all people of all nations, cultures, religions and political views to follow his vision of how to create a better new world?

A most eloquent, smooth speaker, but it doesn’t take much probing to see that Schwab is at best either a megalomaniac or a fool, but he definitely displays archetypal symptoms of megalomania, and in a very dangerous attire. When Mao declared his short-sighted Cultural Revolution, he was seen in the West as a new Hitler. But ironically the same West sees Schwab as a saviour.

Don’t listen to these words, hear him speak about what he calls the ‘fourth industrial revolution’. He claims that the steam engine heralded the first revolution, mass production the second, and computers the third. And now, according to him, the fourth industrial revolution is about ‘a fusion of our physical, digital and biological identities’ This is an hour-long video, [4] and if readers cannot listen to it all, they can find those exact words at the 15m:45s mark. And what is our ‘digital identity’ by the way?

Actually, he is perhaps neither a megalomaniac nor a fool, but a freak, the kind of villain that jumps straight out of Batman comics. Alongside the Penguin and the Joker, Schwab should be locked up behind bars, dressed in a straight jacket and pumped to the hilt with antipsychotic drugs, but he is not. He has appointed himself as an advisor to global political leaders, and those buffoons take him seriously.

The man has not been elected by anyone, he does not represent anyone, he seems to not have consulted with anyone elected to speak on behalf of citizens. If this is not what defines a dictator, what does? The WEF is actually his own lovechild, and its name gives it a guise of legitimacy, but it is in fact an NGO just like any other. It neither has any official structure nor the power to generate binding policies. And Soros is not the only shady dude ever invited to speak at the forum.

Schwab is the person who invites whom he chooses. Over the years, the guest list included movie stars and rock stars, but the ‘permanent’ members are CEO’s of big business with turnovers in the billions. We are only talking about some 1000 “leading” companies [5] among millions worldwide who are given a “platform”. They are the biggest pollutants and profiteering culprits on the face of the planet. They are also the biggest benefactors; they donate millions of dollars annually to support the WEF.

Other members include the Saudi royals, the Ford Foundation, Mastercard Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, Monsanto, just to name a few. One would have to have rocks in his/her head to even imagine that those people and the globalist entities they represent get together in order to discuss how to make the world a better place for the underprivileged. He/she would have to be delusional to believe that those rascals convene for any reason other than bolstering their grab-hold of global wealth and monopoly of power.

This is not to mention the irony of Monsanto and Greta being on the same forum.

If anything, the WEF is the biggest known organization that is comprised of the elite of the elite, the culprits behind the inequity and injustice in this world. It is perhaps the biggest wolf in sheep’s clothing on the prowl.

But how will the ordinary man and woman on the street respond to the concept of being part human part machine? And what is more frightening here is; how seriously are world leaders going to take Schwab’s recommendations and how will they implement them in democratic countries in which changes much smaller than what he is recommending require referendums? Furthermore, what will be the ‘fate’ of individuals and nations that do not heed and comply with his directives? Will they be sanctioned? Will non-compliant individuals be able to find jobs or keep existing ones? Will non-compliant nations face trade sanctions?

Many ideologies have come and gone, but none in recent times, since the various versions of Marxism, including Maoism, tried to portray itself in a manner that attempts to sound rational and pragmatic. We must exclude religions here, because religions are based on faith, they are spiritual beliefs, and they are not only and specifically based on and aimed for social reform. But this ‘Great Reset’ theory is very different from any of its predecessors. On the surface, it is based on living frugally in order to protect the environment and generate greater social justice [6], and this does not sound like a bad idea. But at a deeper level, it is a call for thought policing and control of individuals and robbing them of their choices; including their own identity.

Did pre-COVID humanity go wrong to the extent that it needed a great reset?

Well, we only have to look at the trajectory of humanity to realize that it was (still is in fact) unsustainable. All we need to look at is one major aspect; population growth. We simply cannot expect the trend in population growth to go unchecked especially when coupled with increases in affluence and higher standards of living in some countries. If anything, that trend has been generating a huge growing gap between the haves and the have-nots. But even with this knowledge, humanity did not flinch at the news and images of wide-spread famines and literally thousands dying on a daily basis because of their inability to find food; all the while the ‘other half’ is dying from being overweight and overfed.

Whilst some evil-minded people think that the practical way out of this dilemma can be achieved by implementing different modes of eugenics, the voices of compassion have become less audible, and at best, ignored even muted.

Did the pre-COVID world need a reset? Definitely. Many of its founding determinants have been based on injustice, shortsightedness, divisiveness, lack of good old values, the inability of being sustainable; just to name a few.

When millions cannot find food to eat and clean water to drink yet others fly half the way across the world to attend a baby shower, something must be amiss and a reset is way overdue.

But what is it that the vision of the WEF and its ‘Bible’ (COVID-19 The Great Reset) have to offer in order to provide the world and future generations with a brighter new direction?

It doesn’t take long to see that within the WEF “Great Reset” article [7] there are clear indications that what it is attempting to do is to create more compliant robotic individuals and draw the world and its population deeper into the abyss.

The WEF “Great Reset” article is carefully written and worded in a manner that by the time the reader builds a huge deal of trust in the writer, trust in his intentions, and eventually reaches the recommendations, he/she finds that there is no reason, none at all, to disagree with any of its recommendations. If you examine the diagram [8] in the article titled “The Great Reset Transformation Map”, you will find it is very telling.

Even a quick analysis of the WEF principles and modus operandi shows that the whole ethos is based on individuals and companies the practices of whom have led the world to the current state of loss and despair and entrapment that it is in. Certainly, the cause cannot be the cure; not in this instance.

The paper is a blatant endorsement of the Neo-Left, its agendas and attempts to break down cultural values that glue society together, and turn the world into an obedient slave camp.

Apart from the frightening Schwab’s definition of the fourth industrial revolution, the actual recommendations for the ‘Great Reset’ are quite alarming and unsettling to say the least. It promotes digital currency. How does this restore hope in this new world? This is not to mention encouraging the use of robots, drones, and exponentially increasing reliance on technology instead of aspiring to reinstate the good old values of morality that have worked for millennia.

The words morality, honesty, care, compassion, kindness, happiness, courage, generosity, charity etc., are not mentioned even once in the document; not even a single one of them. Why, one may ask? What is it that drones can do to save humanity from an impending disaster that none of the above innate human values can?

Actually, when it comes to human values, Schwab shamelessly argues that as in the future there will be less cooperation based on shared values with an increasingly multipolar world emerging, relationships will have to be based on shared interests; not values (see at 40:00 min)[9]. For him not to believe in the goodness within humanity, he surely must have deeply-founded psychological disorders. We should pity him, but not if he wants to dictate to us how to lead our lives.

What is more concerning about the man is that he asks, almost demands, that all that he proposes must be implemented now and without any further delay, because he argues that the COVID crisis [10] is giving humanity an opportunity that must not be missed. During a recent visit to India, it was reported that Schwab has said that the country now has the opportunity in leapfrogging [11] to a more digital and sustainable economy.

If we want to be cynics, which we are, we would conclude that those who design and run the WEF do not only sleep in the same bed as those who have destroyed the world, THEY ARE the ones who destroyed it, and yet have the audacity to say they are trying to save it. Unfortunately many follow them and take them at face value.

The great reset humanity really needs is one that takes it back to its roots, its values that include freedom of choice and expression. It needs a reboot, not just a reset, and definitely not the reset that is pre-set by maniacal dictators who wish to create implantable microchips that can read one’s mind. [12]

To the likes of Dr. Schwab, the world population must rise, even against their leaders if they must, and together chant ‘no pasarán’

  1. “Now is the time for a great reset”; Klaus Schwab, 3 June 2020, World Economic Forum; https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/now-is-the-time-for-a-great-reset/?fbclid=IwAR1jQO1l6S4ZM7PEe21QiPLa7Espjlm2uh33ovefznJdK-MRZcO1KYzQA1E
  2. ‘Great Reset’ trends on Twitter after Trudeau speech on Covid-19 hints it’s not just a ‘conspiracy theory’, 16 Novemner 2020, RT. https://www.rt.com/news/506887-trudeau-great-reset-conspiracy-reveal/
  3. The Great Reset Transformation Map
    https://intelligence.weforum.org/topics/a1G0X000006OLciUAG?tab=publications
  4. “World Economic Forum Founder Klaus Schwab on the Fourth Industrial Revolution.” Streamed live on 13 May 2019 at Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=CVIy3rjuKGY.
  5. “Our Partners” World Economic Forum https://www.weforum.org/about/our-partners
  6. Searching through WEF site and speeches many references exist regarding living more simply to save the environment and the word “redistribution” often is associated with this. Further research is required by the interested reader to determine whether this implies a redistribution of wealth and what exactly that entails.. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/10/can-redistributing-wealth-also-be-good-for-growth/
  7. Of the WEF, Ken Moelis, Founder and CEO of Moelis & Co. told the Wall Street Journal’s Matt Murray.“ “Davos would do better thinking of growth, rather than redistribution,” (toward the end of video) https://www.wsj.com/video/moelis-davos-should-focus-on-growth-not-wealth-redistribution/C3EC8119-09F4-4CBE-909E-8D59CED4D321.html
  8. “Now is the time for a great reset”; Klaus Schwab, 3 June 2020, World Economic Forum; https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/now-is-the-time-for-a-great-reset/?fbclid=IwAR1jQO1l6S4ZM7PEe21QiPLa7Espjlm2uh33ovefznJdK-MRZcO1KYzQA1E
  9. Schwab, 3 June 2020, Ibid.
  10. Schwab, 13 May 2019, Chicago Council on Global Affairs 40:00 min
  11. Schwab, 3 June 2020, Ibid.
  12. “Schwab Hails India’s Policy In COVID-19 Fight; Says ‘has Potential To Shape Global Agenda’, 25 October 2020, Brigitte Fernandes, RREPUBLICWORLD.com https://www.republicworld.com/india-news/general-news/schwab-hails-indias-policy-in-covid-19-fight-says-has-potential-to-shape-global-agenda.html
  13. “Klaus Schwab: Great Reset Will “Lead to a Fusion of Our Physical, Digital and Biological Identity”, 16 November 202, Joseph Paul Watson, https://summit.news/2020/11/16/klaus-schwab-great-reset-will-lead-to-a-fusion-of-our-physical-digital-and-biological-identity/?fbclid=IwAR2IU4eIRZsXgplVnFHifWLY7fs5i-9uwCDRnqqt_vnNZPLICmL3Gk6LYvk

The Strange Demise of the American Herald Tribune

Another independent news source is suppressed

By Philip Giraldi

Source

Many observers would agree that the biggest loser in the recent U.S. presidential election was not Donald Trump, it was the media. The news that was presented to the American public amounted to a tsunami of negative reporting on Donald Trump buttressed by opinion polls that turned out to be poorly executed and wrong by a huge margin. Some might argue that Trump got what he deserved as he was a bad candidate and a bad man, but the unwillingness of the media to pursue stories detrimental to Joe Biden, particularly the corruption surrounding son Hunter, demonstrated a reckless disregard for admittedly unpleasant facts that might have changed some votes.

As an honest media is essential to the proper functioning of a democracy the issue of the politicization of the Fourth Estate is perhaps more serious than who eventually wound up being elected. The degradation of the traditional media, exemplified by the shameful reporting on the Russiagate fiction, has unfortunately come at a time when the new media, i.e. the “internet” is also undergoing transformation. Though some Americans continue to believe that when they go “online” they will get a free flow of useful and factual information that will guide them in making decisions or coming to conclusions about the state of the world, they are increasingly finding only spin or misdirection.

The conceit that the internet would bring with it alternative viewpoints challenging the status quo might have been true to an extent twenty years ago, but the growth and consolidation of corporate information management firms has instead limited access to material that it does not approve of, thereby successfully shaping the political and economic environment to conform with their own interests, and, increasingly those of the federal government. Facebook, Google and other news and social networking sites now all have advisory panels that are authorized to ban content and limit access by members and threats from Washington about regulating the companies and their offerings keep everyone toeing the line.

The United States government, riding a wave of Donald Trump inspired complaints about fake news, has itself been increasingly engaged in suppressing viewpoints that it objects to. The first major attack on foreign media operating in the United States came in 2017, when Russian government news sites Russia Today (RT America) and Sputnik were compelled to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938. U.S. intelligence agencies had stated in a January report that the stations, which broadcasts on cable and over radio in the United States, are part of “Russia’s state-run propaganda machine” and that they had contributed to the Kremlin’s campaign to interfere in the 2016 presidential. That was of course untrue. Based on the report, the Department of Justice compelled RT America and Sputnik to register under FARA, which inter alia requires the disclosure of financial information.

The United States has moved to criminalize what it considers propaganda by foreign adversaries through its 2017 creation of the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force (FTIF) in the bureau’s Counterintelligence Division. The Justice Department claim that both the Russian sites were agents of the Kremlin might appear to be fair enough, but it was noted at the time that many other government-supported foreign news services operate freely in the U.S. without having to declare themselves “agents” and the U.S. itself openly operates propaganda sites like Radio Free Europe overseas without any hindrance.

Since that time, Washington and the media have also been beating the familiar drum that foreigners are interfering in American politics, to include Russia, the Chinese, and the Iranians. In August a 77 page report produced by the State Department’s Global Engagement Center (GEC) on Russian internet based news and opinion sources was released. It claimed that the Russians were guilty of spreading disinformation and propaganda on behalf of the Kremlin. Its full title read “Understanding Russia’s Disinformation and Propaganda Ecosystem” and it included a lead paragraph asserting that “Russia’s disinformation and propaganda ecosystem is the collection of official, proxy, and unattributed communication channels and platforms that Russia uses to create and amplify false narratives.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, the New York Times is hot on the trail of Russian malfeasance, describing the report and its conclusions in a lengthy article “State Dept. Traces Russian Disinformation Links” that appeared on August 5. The Times described how the government report identified a number of online sites that it claims are actively involved in the “disinformation” effort. The Times article focuses on one site in particular that this author writes for, describing how “The report states that the Strategic Culture Foundation [website] is directed by Russia’s foreign intelligence service, the S.V.R., and stands as ‘a prime example of longstanding Russian tactics to conceal direct state involvement in disinformation and propaganda outlets.’ The organization publishes a wide variety of fringe voices and conspiracy theories in English, while trying to obscure its Russian government sponsorship.” It also quotes Lea Gabrielle, the GEC Director, who explained that “The Kremlin bears direct responsibility for cultivating these tactics and platforms as part of its approach of using information and disinformation as a weapon.”

Russia has, of course, been falsely accused of supporting the election of Donald Trump in 2016 and the existence of alternative news sites funded wholly or in part by a foreign government is not ipso facto an act of war or even particularly aggressive. Also, the claim that the Strategic Culture Foundation was and presumable still is a disinformation mechanism is overwrought. Yes, the site is located in Moscow and it may have some government support but it features numerous American and European contributors in addition to Russians. Its content is generally speaking antiwar and often critical of U.S. foreign policy but the contributors include conservatives, libertarians and progressives who write on all kinds of

subjects.

The latest attack by the U.S. government on an alternative media resource, involves the American Herald Tribune (AHT), which was launched as an alternative news site in 2015. Canadian Professor Anthony Hall, serves as the Editor in Chief of the site. Hall currently lives in Lethbridge Alberta Canada and is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Lethbridge. The name and internet domain base of the site were set up and initially funded by Iranians whom Hall had encountered on one of his several trips to Iran. The news site is admittedly highly critical of American foreign policy and of Israel, which also means that it is supportive of both Iran and Syria. It is strongly opposed to the United States initiating a war with the Iranians. Its contributors include myself as well as scores of writers from the Americas, Europe and Asia and articles have appeared on a wide range of topics.

AHT first came under pressure in February, based on a cyber-security report that alleged that the site was one element in a large disinformation network being run by the Iranian government. The story was picked up by CNN and the Washington Post, with a Post review of the CNN information claiming that though AHT masquerades as a self-professed “’genuinely independent online media outlet’ …cybersecurity experts have determined [it] is part of a far-reaching Iranian influence campaign. The strategy is simple: create a network of inauthentic news sites, then enlist associated accounts on popular platforms to spread the stories not only here but also in Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. American Herald Tribune’s modus operandi matches what we’ve already learned about online disinformation: Adversaries ‘launder’ their campaigns through sympathetic citizens of target countries, or just citizens they offer money to — from authors on propagandistic or outright deceptive news sites to run-of-the-mill social media users.”

The cybersecurity company that wrote the damning report cited by CNN is based in California and is called Fire Eye. It reportedly has numerous contracts with the federal government and its assessment about the Iranian disinformation network provided nothing in the way of actual evidence nor did it actually name AHT, though there has been an independent unsupported claim that AHT was founded in Iran. Fire Eye also rated its “assessments” in the report as being presented with “moderate confidence.” In government-speak, that means that the conclusions are mostly speculative, not based on hard evidence, and do not require further action.

Prominent investigative journalist Gareth Porter has also described the social media censorship AHT has endured. His June report maintains that the FBI had encouraged Facebook, Instagram, and Google to remove or restrict ads on AHT specifically. In 2018, AHT’s Facebook page was deleted and its Instagram account was closed.

If the allegations regarding AHT’s role in a larger conspiracy sounds similar to the false charges made against Russia post 2016, they should, as they come out of the same script of “foreign interference.” The CNN coverage of AHT should have been seen as a warning that more was to come. On October 7 the Department of Justice took decisive action when it “…seized 92 domain names that were unlawfully used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to engage in a global disinformation campaign… According to the seizure documents, four of the domains purported to be genuine news outlets but were actually controlled by the IRGC and targeted the United States for the spread of Iranian propaganda to influence United States domestic and foreign policy in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), and the remainder spread Iranian propaganda to other parts of the world. In addition, the seizure documents describe how all 92 domains were being used in violation of U.S. sanctions targeting both the Government of Iran and the IRGC. We will continue to use all of our tools to stop the Iranian Government from misusing U.S. companies and social media to spread propaganda covertly, to attempt to influence the American public secretly, and to sow discord…”

On November 4 the Justice Department seized an additional 27 alleged IRGC supported domains. The AHT was included in the seizures and the site is now down. All of AHT’s accumulated articles archived in the domain are also inaccessible.

What is happening here is an effort by the U.S. government to suppress any news source if it can be plausibly linked to a foreign government that is unfriendly. At the present time that basically means Russia, China, North Korea and Iran. To be sure, AHT publishes authors with dissenting views, who frequently criticize U.S. foreign policy towards Iran in particular and also regarding the Middle East more generally. But to make the case against AHT and the other alleged Iranian disinformation sites, the Justice Department had to claim that the funding for the network was coming from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Force, an organization that it has conveniently labeled as “terrorism supporting.” It is a tenuous argument on all levels, but the real damage being done is to the First Amendment right, Freedom of Speech. The ability of Americans in particular to obtain up-to-date and reliable information has been eroding for twenty years or more while the claim that “foreigners” providing alternative viewpoints to small audiences are destroying democracy is ridiculous as there is no evidence that anyone was radicalized by anything through what he or she was hearing or seeing. If Joe Biden’s administration continues to move in the same direction as Donald Trump and the mainstream media itself self-censors to go along with the charade, there will be very little freedom left when the next national election rolls around.

Iran National Security Committee Spox: Iraq Ambassador to Remain in Place despite Sanctions

Iran National Security Committee Spox: Iraq Ambassador to Remain in Place despite Sanctions

By Mokhtar Haddad

Tehran – The Americans are refusing to abandon their failed approach, especially during US President Donald Trump’s tenure, with Washington sanctioning the Iranian ambassador to Iraq, Iraj Masjedi, as well as the Islamic Radio and Television Union. This proves to the world that the US cannot tolerate free voices despite claiming to support freedom of expression.

In response to this American measure, the Islamic Republic made an important decision. It placed the American ambassador in Iraq and his assistant on the terror list for their involvement in the assassination of martyr General Haj Qassem Soleimani and his companions as well as for their role in other terrorist operations in the region. The move comes after a recent decision by Iran’s Islamic Consultative Assembly to look into terrorist officials in the United States.

Al-Ahed News sat down with the spokesman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of the Iranian Parliament, Dr. Abolfazl Amoui, to discuss the recent American sanctions.

“By imposing sanctions, America is exploiting its position, especially with international institutions. The US wants to change the viewpoint of those who are working on the right side. But whoever opposes it and is working on the right side will not be affected by Washington’s measures and will not submit to it,” Amoui said.

“Sayyed Masjedi is the ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Iraq. He is working to strengthen relations with Iraq. He is a well-known figure and an active ambassador. And the accusations leveled against him are flimsy and mere false allegations. America must respect the immunity of diplomats on the basis of the Vienna Convention, so these sanctions are basically illegal,” Amoui added.

Amoui explains that the measure “contradicts international law, and Ambassador Masjedi will work with greater energy and strength to strengthen relations between Tehran and Baghdad and the bonds of love and friendship between the two countries.”

The Iranian Islamic Radio and Television Union

Regarding the sanctions against the Islamic Radio and Television Union, Amoui warned that, “the Americans are seeking to silence the voices that they do not like. But instead of silencing them, they must fix their ears.”

“The Islamic Radio and Television Union is an independent institution that works to enhance cooperation between the media in the Islamic world, and these sanctions are illegal. America cannot silence free voices in the world. The US should know that America’s problems are those being discussed in the electoral debates, and therefore Washington cannot impose sanctions on independent media.”

Amoui concluded by recalling “how the American government took more than 500 children hostage and that America today suffers from poverty and social inequalities. This emerged in the elections. Independent media has nothing to do with these crises. On the contrary, the American administration is the one that created these crises. The independent media, in line with their responsibilities, publishes news.”

As His Extradition Trial Drags on, Media and Rights Groups Are Still Ignoring Julian Assange

By Alan Macleod

Source

Many mainstream rights groups and media organizations have a mixed history when it comes to opposing Washington’s agenda. The case of Julian Assange has been no exception.

The extradition case of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange continues in London. The U.S. government is indicting the Australian living on the other side of the world under its own Espionage Act, with the case widely seen as setting an important precedent for freedom of speech and of the media worldwide.

Yet as the case reaches its pinnacle, a number of press freedom groups have gone silent on the matter. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has not mentioned Assange in months, on either its website or its Twitter account. London-based PEN International has only one article this year on the Australian and appears to have gone quiet since July. The CPJ has also refused to include him among its list of jailed journalists, arguing that Wikileaks’ role is more that of a publisher. While this could be debatable, the omission of by far the most famous and influential of the world’s 248 imprisoned media figures could be seen as a politically calculated decision.

Big media outlets seem just as uninterested in the U.S. government’s attempts to capture the man who released hundreds of thousands of documents detailing American war crimes, including the deliberate killing of two Reuters journalists. The New York Times, for instance, has published only two articles on the subject, and nothing in eleven days. But the Times’ coverage is better than most outlets, with nothing whatsoever in CNN, and MSNBC’s entire coverage amounting to one sentence, which discussed the DNC hacks, but not the hearing.

To be fair to the media, the conditions the U.K. government has set for the case make it absurdly difficult for journalists to follow. The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that public access is highly restricted, while only a small handful of journalists are allowed into the courtroom every day. Journalists wishing to watch live proceedings must register as journalists and log in between exactly 9:30 and 9:40 a.m. If they miss the time, they cannot access the session, and if they disconnect at any time, even because of a momentary lapse in wifi, they are shut out of the system. Journalists have complained throughout Assange’s cases of poor connections and an inability to hear anything during proceedings. That has not stopped the committed, however, with smaller organizations continuing to report the proceedings live.

In recent days the argument between the prosecution and the defense has revolved around Assange’s mental state. A psychiatrist on the U.S.’ government’s side told the Old Bailey yesterday that he believes Assange to be a “resilient” character with only “mild clinical depression” and would therefore be able to “resist any suicidal impulse” were he to be sent to the U.S. Assange is facing up to 175 years in a Colorado supermax jail, sometimes described as one of the few blacksites on American soil. Inmates at the center are regularly force fed and are barred from sharing their stories.

On the other hand, a doctor who treated him while he was forced to live in the Ecuadorian embassy in London stressed her dismay at his deterioration while being held in Belmarsh Prison. “I think Mr. Assange is at very high risk of completing a suicide if he were to be extradited,” she told the judge.

FILE – In this Sunday, June 16, 2013 file photo, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, left, appears with Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, file)

The Assange case has enormous ramifications for the future of press freedom. The government has included a great many standard journalistic procedures — such as protecting sources’ names, using encrypted files, and encouraging sources to leak more to them — among its reasons for indictment. This, many have argued, would essentially criminalize investigative journalism. Trevor Timm, a co-founder of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, told the courtroom that if Assange is prosecuted, then every journalist who has possessed a secret or leaked file — the lifeblood of the industry — could be charged.

Speaking to German filmmakers, ex-CIA Director Leon Panetta was remarkably blunt about the U.S.’ goal: “All you can do is hope you can ultimately take action against those that were involved in revealing that information so you can send a message to others not to do the same thing,” he said, strongly implying that the indictment is politically motivated and a warning to others who might challenge the empire.The Cost of ResistanceWhere will Julian Assange end up if his extradition is successful and Roger Hallam and the end of the revolutionary initiative.

Unfortunately, many of the mainstream rights groups that the world relies on to lead on matters of importance have a mixed history when it comes to directly opposing Washington’s agenda. Human Rights Watch (HRW), for instance, carried water for the U.S.-backed coup in Bolivia last year, its director, Kenneth Roth, describing it as a “transitional moment” and an “uprising,” rather than the manifestly more appropriate word, “coup.” HRW also described the new military government’s law giving all security forces complete immunity from prosecution merely a “problematic decree,” rather than a license to massacre, which is exactly what they did immediately.

HRW has not discussed Assange for nearly 18 months, the most recent result on its website dated May 2019 (although this was a clear defense of his rights). Amnesty International, on the other hand, has forcefully condemned the U.S. attempt and has been repeatedly blocked in its attempts to have its fair trial monitors enter the courtroom. “This hearing is the latest worrying salvo in a full-scale assault on the right to freedom of expression,” said Amnesty’s Europe Director, Nils Muižnieks.

Help SouthFront To Fight Back US State Department & Co

Help SouthFront To Fight Back US State Department & Co

 14.08.2020 

DEAR FRIENDS,

SouthFront is facing an increasing agressive censorship and pressure campaign from Euro-Atlantic structures and global corporations.

Over the past months, YouTube and Facebook have contributed extensive efforts to suppress SouthFront work on these platforms. (LINKLINK) Just recently, the US Department of State released an official report calling SouthFront a “pillar” of “Russia’s disinformation and propaganda” simultaneously asking millions of dollars to fight SouthFront. The requested FY 2021 budget of the US Department of Satate’s Global Engagement Center, tasked with preparing fairy tales and justifying the censorship of SouthFront, is $138 million. This is $11,500,000 per month. At the same time, SouthFront’s monthly donation duget needed to continue our work is merely $5,000.

While Euro-Atlantic structures remain scared by mighty SouthFront, our team continues its struggle to keep SouthFront alive and continue its work and further.

Since August 1, we’ve collected $1,162. This is about 23% of the needed monthly budget. If SouthFront is not able to collect the needed amount, our work next month will be in a grave danger. We urgently need your help.

Help SouthFront To Fight Back US State Department & Co

SUPPORT THE RESISTANCE:

SOUTHFRONT DECLARES MASS MOBILIZATION!

DEAR FRIENDS,

WE CALL ON YOU TO SHARE INFORMATION SOUTHFRONT AND SHARE SOUTHFRONT CONTENT ON YOUTUBE AND FACEBOOK AS WIDE AS POSSIBLE

In the situation of the increasing censorship of SouthFront on YouTube, Facebook, our unity is our main strength. Only together, we will be able to overcome the wide-scale censorship campaign run by the Euro-Atlantic establishment against independent media.

Please, share this message with the global audience. Also, please, inform your friends, your social circles about SouthFront as an independent platform covering crucial developments in the Middle East and around the world.

UPLOAD SOUTHFRONT VIDEOS ON YOUR PERSONAL YOUTUBE CHANNELS AND FACEBOOK ACCOUNTS

A good example of this appraoch is demonstrated by Pommy Pie on YouTube:

DEAR FRIENDS,

WE CALL ON YOU TO SHARE INFORMATION SOUTHFRONT AND SHARE SOUTHFRONT CONTENT ON YOUTUBE AND FACEBOOK AS WIDE AS POSSIBLE

In the situation of the increasing censorship of SouthFront on YouTube, Facebook, our unity is our main strength. Only together, we will be able to overcome the wide-scale censorship campaign run by the Euro-Atlantic establishment against independent media.

Please, share this message with the global audience. Also, please, inform your friends, your social circles about SouthFront as an independent platform covering crucial developments in the Middle East and around the world.

UPLOAD SOUTHFRONT VIDEOS ON YOUR PERSONAL YOUTUBE CHANNELS AND FACEBOOK ACCOUNTS

A good example of this appraoch is demonstrated by Pommy Pie on YouTube:

Southfront Declares Mass Mobilization!

SOUTHFRONT DECLARES MASS MOBILIZATION

SouthFront once again declares that we are open for volunteers. Our contact email is southfront.org.

The main fields in which our team needs help:

  • Sharing of SouthFront content on Social Media;
  • Writers that are interested to cover developments and prepare analyses in the field of SouthFront coverage;
  • Regional and military analysts;
  • Designers;
  • Video makers;
  • Voiceover artists.

SouthFront is a crowdfunded endeavour. If you want to influence the global politics and further, and force the US State Department & Co release even more fairy tales in an attempt to silence independent media, support SouthFront by donations.

WE ARE THE RESITANCE!

Donate

SOUTHFRONT SENDS WARMEST GREETINGS TO US DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Source

August 06, 2020

We are pleased to inform you about another eye-opening report about SouthFront’s work released by the highest levels of the US government.

In early August, the Global Engagement Center of the US Department of State released a report entitled “Pillars of Russia’s Disinformation and Propaganda Ecosystem”. At least 13 of the 77 pages of this report are dedicated to SouthFront: Analysis & Intelligence as a “pillar” of Russian disinformation and propaganda.

Please find the full version of report on the official website of the US Department of State: HERE

SouthFront Sends Warmest Greetings To US Department Of State

SouthFront also feels obliged to make some comments regarding the content of this brilliant investigative report dedicated to our endeavour. We do not think that our comments include anything really new, but it will be useful to recall the history of SouthFront’s creation and development.

SouthFront vs Globalists – Episode We Lost Count

First of all, we want to compliment the authors of the report. It has a very straight and useful logic: If some media organization has Russian citizens or people of Russian origin among its members, or, God forbid, other links with Russia, this media is beyond question spreading Russia’s disinformation and is controlled by the Kremlin.

SouthFront Sends Warmest Greetings To US Department Of State
GEC Special Report: Russia’s Pillars of Disinformation and Propaganda

Setting the tone for the depth of the investigation, the part of the report about SouthFront starts by repeating tired tropes about the registration of the SouthFront website domain (southfront.org) by a Russian domain registrar Reg.ru. This is an open secret and we’ve repeatedly said that this was done intentionally in order to secure the domain in the case of an attempt to censor it. Recent developments demonstrate that this decision was well founded.

Then, the US State Department repeats Facebook stories created to justify the censorship of SouthFront’s public page with about 100,000 subscribers.

SouthFront Sends Warmest Greetings To US Department Of State
GEC Special Report: Russia’s Pillars of Disinformation and Propaganda

The reports’ authors took from the  claims made by Facebook in “April 2020 Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior Report” what they thought to be the most important part: the allegation that SouthFront was based in Crimea, and used this allegation to associate SouthFront with another organization with a similar name “News Front”. This media organization is in fact based in Crimea and officially registered in Russia.

This cheap trick is presented as if it were the result of an in-depth investigation and itself a great revelation of SouthFront’s roots. Nonetheless, many of our readers and subscribers who have been following SouthFront for years well know SouthFront’s history and there has been no secret made of the fact that a few members of SouthFront are of Russian origin, from Russia or are Russian citizens. There are also members from other post-USSR states. This does not mean that SouthFront, as an international team of independent authors and experts, is based in Crimea or that the SouthFront Steering Committee is located in Crimea. This is a blatant lie and we are ready to prove this in court.

It is easy to see that SouthFront has always provided a platform for the various, sometimes opposing, points of view shared by our members, volunteers and contributors. SouthFront also freely provided its umbrella brand for authors and groups of authors, who share the main principles of SouthFront and stand against mainstream disinformation, global censorship and the enforcing neo-liberal, globalist world order.

The report states that the SouthFront account deleted by YouTube in 2015 included ‘crimeanfront’ in its name and makes far-reaching conclusions using this claim.

SouthFront Sends Warmest Greetings To US Department Of State
GEC Special Report: Russia’s Pillars of Disinformation and Propaganda

This is a clear factual error. Even the screenshot used in the report itself confirms this by quoting the following words: “Our new channel is https://youtube.com/user/crimeanfront”. If that is the new channel, then it is only logical to assume that some other channel was deleted. Right?

So here are the actual facts: The channel deleted in April 2015 had the link ‘https://www.youtube.com/c/southfront’ and was removed due to a suspicious story with copyright claims by NATO-affiliated Nordic Films LTD.

Here is the message then shared by our friends, including The Saker:

SouthFront Sends Warmest Greetings To US Department Of State
GEC Special Report: Russia’s Pillars of Disinformation and Propaganda
SouthFront Sends Warmest Greetings To US Department Of State
GEC Special Report: Russia’s Pillars of Disinformation and Propaganda

After the deletion of that channel, SouthFront volunteers of Russian origin proposed using the already existing YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/crimeanfront. At that time, this channel already had a certain number of subscribers. Therefore, it was useful to employ it instead of creating a new one with a zero base audience.

Unfortunately for the US State Department investigators, the facts go contrary to their conspiracy theories. If the US analysts had really wanted to go into the matter and produce useful material instead of potential toilet paper, they would have found out that that YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/crimeanfront was not deleted in April 2015.

Of course, SouthFront Team is arousing fear among members of the Washington establishment. Nonetheless, the situation itself causes a sad smile.

The next part of the report is based on screenshots showing the redesign of https://www.youtube.com/user/crimeanfront and claims of some person insisting that he created Crimean Front that later became News Front. Using this, the authors of the report claim that SouthFront and News Front are somehow “at least began as sister organizations”.

It is hard to dignify such a superficial investigation with a comment. Even when the SouthFront concept was being created and the like-minded group of people that later created SouthFront: Analysis & Intelligence and evolved into SouthFront Steering Committee first got together, we had no links to the aforementioned organizations.

On top of this, the YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/crimeanfront provided to SouthFront by volunteers was not linked to the aforementioned organizations. This is why they were not using this channel. Instead, SouthFront got it for free over 1.5 years after the developments in Crimea in 2014.

At the same time, there is no secret that in 2015 and coming years, SouthFront, an endeavour dedicated to the coverage of conflicts around the world, was covering developments in Ukraine. It’s easy to find this if one opens southfront.org and checks the category #UKRAINE.

As to the idea of the endeavour that later was named SouthFront: Analysis & Intelligence, it first appeared in 2012-2013 and came about as a result of the rapid deterioration of the international situation around the world, especially in the Middle East.

The developments in Crimea, eastern Ukraine and Syria in 2014 became the turning point that led to the creation of SouthFront: Analysis & Intelligence, the SouthFront Steering Committee and to the main foundations of our work: independence, the commitment to freedom of speech, human rights, and combating media disinformation and censorship.

Trying to link SouthFront with News Front, the State Department report ignored the obvious fact that SouthFront appeared earlier than News Front. This can be seen from the date of the creation of the first Facebook page of SouthFront, and screenshots shared by the report’s authors themselves. Therefore, there are two main versions:

1) SouthFront is an all-mighty Kremlin tool that influences other Russian ‘proxy sites’ and ‘disinformation and propaganda’ on the international scene, and its members are on a first-name basis with Vladimir Putin;

2) In the world of State Department fairy-tales, the use of the word “Front” in the name of an organization indicates a connection to any other organization also using “Front” in its name.

Conspiracy theorists may be surprised to learn that SouthFront is a largely volunteer organization with a regularly changing team composition. So, we want to seize this opportunity and inform the US experts about some realities of modern informational warfare and disinformation.

Dear friends, you may have failed to notice this, but in the modern information society, new network organizations work on principles that are quite different to those employed 10-20 years ago. Lies, double-faced policies and distortion of facts by government-funded media set the basis for SouthFront’s power and influence. It is a high time to understand that this concerns people around the world and inspires them to get an independent point of view.

SouthFront Sends Warmest Greetings To US Department Of State
GEC Special Report: Russia’s Pillars of Disinformation and Propaganda

We can perhaps excuse Department of State personnel for not knowing that when one obtains a domain name via a domain registrar, the registration data shows the physical address of the domain registrar office. However, the inability to notice that SouthFront has always had a PayPal account with a .ru address and that this address has always been public and easily found on southfront.org is beyond our understanding.

Do the authors really think that if SouthFront Team members were to work secretly for the Kremlin or Russian intelligence services (for example, the mighty GRU), we would not have found the time to obtain an address through Yahoo.com or some other non-.ru service?

SouthFront Sends Warmest Greetings To US Department Of State
GEC Special Report: Russia’s Pillars of Disinformation and Propaganda

The next part of the investigation showcases 7 links allegedly confirming that SouthFront “directly aligns with Kremlin talking points and disinformation.” Since the launch of southfront.org, we have released several tens of thousands of articles, videos and graphic pieces. Apparently, the State Department staff spent a lot of time checking them to find these seven posts. In any case, SouthFront has never denied that we provide a platform for all sides interested in a constructive discussion, including the pro-Russian perspective.

It is also interesting to note how the authors of the document described SouthFront articles criticizing the internal situation in Russia and the actions of Moscow. For them, this is just a “tactic” to hide “an ocean of Kremlin-aligned disinformation”. However, if one employs this approach, one would have to find that CNN, the Washington Times, the New York Times and other outlets, which release critical articles about Russia, must also be a part of the sophisticated Kremlin-affiliated disinformation network.

SouthFront Sends Warmest Greetings To US Department Of State
GEC Special Report: Russia’s Pillars of Disinformation and Propaganda

Joking aside, if one checks SouthFront articles questioning the actions of the Russian authorities or criticizing them, one would find hundreds of content pieces. In fact, it is hard to find a southfront.org article that would provide a solely positive view on the current internal political situation in Russia or on the actions of Moscow in the last 1-2 years.

The COVID-19 disinformation part also shows no creativity. We have already stated this on previous occasions, but it bears repeating: SouthFront well understands that the COVID-19 outbreak is a sensitive issue. This is why our articles about the outbreak/pandemic always include links to sources and facts. The fact, which deserves special attention, is that SouthFront articles do not fuel hysteria and fear regarding the COVID-19 spread. We seek to objectively cover the situation.

SouthFront Sends Warmest Greetings To US Department Of State
GEC Special Report: Russia’s Pillars of Disinformation and Propaganda
SouthFront Sends Warmest Greetings To US Department Of State
GEC Special Report: Russia’s Pillars of Disinformation and Propaganda

The report includes 6 examples of supposed COVID-19 disinformation. SouthFront releases about 30 content pieces per day. Articles, videos and graphic pieces dedicated to the COVID-19 outbreak make up less than 1% of the content released by SouthFront in 2020 so far. This is less than a statistical error. Nonetheless, the State Department report reads as if half of SouthFront content is ‘COVID-19 disinformation’ and most of the rest is made up of official statements by the Kremlin.

SouthFront Sends Warmest Greetings To US Department Of State
GEC Special Report: Russia’s Pillars of Disinformation and Propaganda

The part of the paper entitled Niche Graphics Capabilities emphasizes the “professionally designed” SouthFront visual content. We, the SouthFront Team, want to say thank you to the Department of State for its high praise of our work. This will motivate us to even greater efforts in the field to produce even more high quality content.

SouthFront Sends Warmest Greetings To US Department Of State
GEC Special Report: Russia’s Pillars of Disinformation and Propaganda

The conspiracy theory explaining the evolution and redesign of southfront.org’s side bar is a third rate fairy tale.

State Department investigators made several screenshots of the partners section of old southfront.org’s side bar pretending that its changes are something ‘strange’ and need ‘explanations’. It seems that far from everybody in the State Department spent time in university doing something useful. At least, we can recommend that they google “Occam’s razor”.

A small hint for State Department employees reading this article: Occam’s razor is the principle that, of two explanations that account for all the facts, the simpler one is more likely to be correct.

Time is moving on. Life is a complex and variable thing. Conflicts start and conflicts end. The geopolitical game continues, the balance of power in different regions of the world changes. It would be strange to expect that the list of organizations with which SouthFront stays in touch or cooperates would not also change over the years. SouthFront has always provided its content for free, on the basis of the fair usage principle, without any paywalls. Therefore, in 2015, when the conflict in Ukraine was dominating the media and SouthFront was producing at least 10% of its content on the issue, there was one list of media partners. In 2018, when the US-Iranian conflict escalated, the partner list was already different, and included some Iranians.

Meanwhile, the website itself was redesigned and optimized and the southfront.org sidebar made way to create additional free space; for example, for the ‘MAPS & INFOGRAPHICS DATABASE’ banner.

GEC Special Report: Russia’s Pillars of Disinformation and Propaganda

GEC Special Report: Russia’s Pillars of Disinformation and Propaganda

In the end, the content of the report just sinks into a conspiracy abyss allowing no chance for common sense to reassert itself. Likely in an attempt to link SouthFront to Iran or to the ‘bloody Assad regime’, the Department of State quotes a comment sent by SouthFront volunteers to Syrian Free Press. The comment includes a proposal to share videos with that blog, and is signed by SouthFront volunteers, not by the SouthFront Steering Committee.

This fact can only serve as a demonstration of the umbrella (franchising) nature of the SouthFront organizational structure. With the exception of facebook.com/southfronten, all the links mentioned in the comment are de-facto independent branches of SouthFront voluntarily created by groups of motivated people from different countries and affiliated with SouthFront only through their commitment to the SouthFront principles at that moment.

SouthFront is always glad to assist and provide consultancy help to people that stand up for freedom of speech and against the globalist censorship.

What is really strange is that State Department investigators failed to find the still existing independent branches of SouthFront in northern and western Europe. Probably, this could serve as another signal of the ‘depth’ of this investigation.

SouthFront Team is sorry to conclude that the Department of State of the world’s sole super power was unable to provide any facts to confirm their speculations about SouthFront being a front for Russian disinformation. Bogus stories, which have been circulating in various media outlets and think tanks funded by Euro-Atlantic structures for years, do not count. In reality, this likely means that the authors did no research of their own in the field and just copy-pasted and patched together already existing reports made by their friends from affiliated or allied organizations.

Thank God, the authors did not try to link SouthFront to supposed Russian meddling in the US election.

After such ‘high-quality investigations’ in this field, the Department of State would not even have a theoretical chance of saving face.

It would be interesting to get the reaction of the bosses of these staff members and of the leadership of the State Department itself, to find out what they think about such quality of work. It is highly likely that the group of State Department specialists that prepared the report presented it as an exclusive investigation that required a significant amount of time and financial resources.

Proposal to US Department of State

SouthFront proposes the leadership of the US Department of State expert help in the field of covering the work of SouthFront as a pillar of Russia’s disinformation and propaganda network. Exclusively for the Department of State, we are ready to prepare weekly reports about our work with a detailed overview of our content, links to the most interesting articles, videos and graphic pieces, and entertaining behind the scenes content about our work.

We are sure that these reports will be not less professional and entertaining than the paper described above. SouthFront’s direct assistance will also help Mr. Pompeo and his employees to avoid foolish factual mistakes in future (e.g.when somebody is not even able to read their own screenshot).

And last but not least, the State Department would be able to save hundreds of thousands of US taxpayer dollars. The US government would then be able to use these funds to combat the COVID-19 outbreak or help combat veterans.

Please, feel free to contact SouthFront via email: info@southfront.org

On August 5, the US Department of State also offered Russians $10 million for information about Russian meddling in US

Taking into account the high level of regard for SouthFront work held by the US government, you also can contact us regarding this topic. $10 million would be a useful donation to SouthFront’s budget. The contact email is the same: info@southfront.org

By the way, US government personnel know our email address very well. In previous years, we have received emails from them with proposals for fruitful cooperation.

As to the style of emails sent to SouthFront, we recommend that the staff of the State Department  contact their counterparts in the Department of Defense. They act and write much more professionally and are not too shy to ask about things that are interesting to them.

Using this opportunity, SouthFront wants once again to assure Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Department of State of our highest consideration.

Sincerely yours,

Al-Manar Reporter Banned from Asking Macron during Press Conference

Capture

Lebanon 

Al-Manar reporter, Mona Tahini, was prevented from asking the French President Emanuel Macron a question during his press conference at the Pine Palace in Beirut on Thursday.

Al-Manar reporter posted a video on her Twitter account which shows Macron having a side talk and taking selfie pictures with a number of journalists although the pretext for preventing her from raising her question was that that the French President Macron did not have enough time before heading to the airport to back into France.

Tahini told Al-Manar program, Panorama Today, that some journalists consumed a long time while raising their questions, adding that she was not given her turn to ask although she had already taken a permission for that.

It is worth noting that tweeps reacted widely with Al-Manar reporter’s tweet and firmly denounced this repressive act which refutes the claims about holding the values of democracy and freedom of speech.

Sourcewebs

SYSTEMATIC CENSORSHIP: GOOGLE BANS TSARGRADTV’S YT CHANNEL AND ENTIRE ACCOUNT

South Front

In the very early hours of July 28th, the YouTube channel of TsargradTV was entirely banned, without an explanation.

“Now, until the situation is fully cleared up, instead of an official channel with high-quality video content, YouTube shows our viewers a black plug. The million-strong audience of Tsargrad, in fact, was cut off from the truth, which we were not afraid to speak directly on the air.”

TsargradTV is suing YouTube over its channel being closed.

“We have not received any alerts, notifications or strikes from YouTube. Moreover, the administration of the service still does not explain the reasons for the blocking. They simply refuse to get in touch with us, so we plan to resolve the conflict in court,” said the editor of the TV channel Daria Tokareva.

In addition, Tsargrad is preparing an official appeal to the YouTube administration demanding the restoration of the channel.

The largest media outlets wrote about the blocking of the Tsargrad TV channel on YouTube. Comments on the decision of the administration of the service appeared in a number of telegram channels, dozens of accounts on social networks.

Google, however, has chosen not to enter in any sort of discussion with TsargradTV.

Only in an interview with the Moscow city news agency did the press service of Google say the following:

“Google complies with all applicable sanctions and trade compliance laws. If we find that an account is in violation of these laws, we will take appropriate action.”

As such, Google simply said that it adheres to US sanctions on the territory of Russia.

As such, Tsargrad’s entire Google account was also blocked.

Systematic Censorship: Google Bans TsargradTV's YT Channel and Entire Account

“Your Google account has been locked and cannot be restored, due to a violation of export laws. If you’ve any queries, refer to a lawyer.”

The reason for blocking of the accounts allegedly was “violation of export laws.”

According to SocialBlade, the channel had 1.06 million subscribers the day before the block.

At the same time, the YouTube channel of the Two-Headed Eagle Society, headed by Konstantin Malofeev, the founder of Tsargrad, was also blocked.

YouTube’s notice reads: “Blocked for violating community guidelines.”

The Tsargrad channel, which appeared in 2015, positions itself as “the first Russian conservative information and analytical TV channel,” since the end of 2017 they stopped broadcasting and completely switched to online.

At the same time, in the fall of 2017, Malofeev created the “Two-Headed Eagle”, which he defined as “a society for the development of Russian historical enlightenment”; its goal is to promote monarchism and the history of pre-revolutionary Russia.

Malofeev himself has been under the sanctions of the European Union, the United States and Canada since 2014 due to accusations of financing the military conflict in eastern Ukraine.

SouthFront itself was recently banned on YouTube without a due explanation, and the support team continues the struggle against censorship.

MORE ON THE TOPIC:

Another Stage In Agressive War Against SouthFront

Source

Another Stage In Agressive War Against SouthFront

After the termination of SouthFront’s Facebook and YouTube accounts, our ill-wishers have moved to attempts to damage or interrupt the work of our website: southfront.org.

Most recently, you may have noticed that every day at about 14:00-15:00 CEST, southfront.org slows down. This happens because this period is often the peak of attacks on the website.

A few examples:

Another Stage In Agressive War Against SouthFront

Another Stage In Agressive War Against SouthFront

SouthFront Team contributes all possible efforts to keep the website operational and apologies for any inconvenience incurred due to the current situation.

SOUTHFRONT OPERATES THANKS TO THE AUDIENCE’S DONATIONS. OUR WORK IS NOT POSSIBLE WITHOUT YOUR HELP.

Since July 1, SouthFront has collected 382 USD. This is 7.6% of the monthly budget needed to keep SouthFront working and further.

Another Stage In Agressive War Against SouthFront

SUPPORT OUR WORK:

For Palestinian journalists, violence by Israeli forces comes with the job

Source

Violations against reporters, including physical attacks and arrests, have increased in recent months, especially in Jerusalem
Israeli border guards scuffle with a photojournalist covering clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters, north of Ramallah last year (AFP)
By 
 in
Occupied Jerusalem


Cornered and afraid, 23-year-old Palestinian journalist Sondus Ewies spoke nervously to a group of Israeli officers who gathered around her while she was filming at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound last month.
“I didn’t do anything. I was just filming and doing my job,” she recalled telling them. 
Ewies took out her international press card, hoping to avoid detention, but she was met with a cold shrug by an officer who replied: “This is a false card which we do not recognise.”

MEE journalist Shatha Hammad wins One World Media New Voice Award
Read More »
Israeli officers detained Ewies and confiscated her personal phone. She was then taken in for questioning and handed a three-month ban on visiting the mosque compound, located in occupied East Jerusalem.
This was not her first run-in with Israeli authorities. Ewies has been stopped multiple times while on air and has also been beaten while she was covering various protests. 
She told Middle East Eye that she was more afraid of the temporary ban than the actual detention.
Ewies lives in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Ras al-Amoud, just south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, making the latter a central part of her journalistic work. She said she was counting down the hours to enter the mosque compound after it was closed for two months due to the coronavirus pandemic
Many Palestinian journalists face arrest and temporary bans from the compound on the grounds that they had filmed settler incursions there or Israeli forces assaulting worshippers.
In 2016, Israeli authorities drew up blacklists containing names of Palestinians, including journalists, prohibited from entering the compound. 
Since the beginning of June, Israeli authorities have issued around 10 summons to journalists and photographers for interrogation due to their coverage of political events. 

Ban on Palestinian news organisations 

Ewies is one of many journalists who have endured harassment by Israeli forces while on duty.
Well-known local reporter Christine Rinawi, 31, had been working at Palestine TV, a station operating under the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) public Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation, for 10 years when she was detained in December 2019.
‘The officer told me … “You are forbidden from working in Jerusalem, whether in the street, underground or next to the bathroom or salon”‘
– Christine Rinawi, reporter
The month before, then-Israeli public security minister Gilad Erdan had issued a decision to close down the offices of Palestine TV for six months, claiming that its operation was a violation of the Oslo Accords, which banned the PA’s presence in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem. The order was renewed in May 2020. 
Immediately after the closure, the station’s staff in Jerusalem decided to challenge the decision and carry on with their work.
During the third episode of a live broadcast programme in December, Israeli forces detained presenter Dana Abu Shamsia and cameraman Amir Abed Rabbo. Rinawi and another cameraman, Ali Yassin, were also detained shortly afterwards and taken to an interrogation centre. 
For Rinawi, the closure of Palestine TV was part and parcel of Israel’s restrictions on the Palestinian media’s documentation of Israeli abuses.
“They tried to assault us and they treated us like criminals,” she told MEE.
“The officer told me: ‘go work in Bethlehem or Ramallah. You are forbidden from working in Jerusalem, whether in the street, underground or next to the bathroom or salon’.” 
During the course of Palestine TV’s initial six-month closure, Israeli intelligence summoned Rinawi five times for questioning.
Palestine TV is not the only Palestinian news outlet to be banned in Jerusalem by Israeli authorities. In recent years, Al Quds, Palestine Today, Qpress and the Elia Youth Media Foundation were all targeted with bans.

Israeli soldier confront Palestinian journalist

A recent report found that Israeli authorities carried out 760 violations against the media in 2019 (AFP)

Over the years, Rinawi has suffered assaults as she performed her job. In 2019, she was pushed and shoved by Israeli soldiers during a live broadcast, which was interrupted four times. 
In 2015, shrapnel from a sound bomb hit her eye as she covered the situation at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
A year earlier, she and her cameraman were shot with rubber-coated bullets while they reported the events that unfolded after the kidnapping and killing of Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir.

More dangerous than weapons

Ata Owaisat, 50, from the town of Jabal al-Mukaber in Jerusalem, began his career as a photojournalist 19 years ago. He worked with the Associated Press news agency and Israeli news organisation Yedioth Ahronot. 
He said that he has lost count of the number of times Israeli soldiers had broken his camera equipment.
“One of them told me word for word that ‘your camera is more dangerous than weapons’,” he told MEE.
“I have been beaten and humiliated while doing my work, faced obstructions and was questioned, strip-searched, interrogated and banned from Al-Aqsa”. 
Owaisat’s journalistic career was abruptly brought to an end in 2013, when he suffered a severe injury and ensuing psychological trauma, including PTSD. He said he finds it difficult to talk about that day.

US police departments under pressure to end training programmes with Israel
Read More »
On 8 March 2013, Owaisat picked up his camera and went to cover clashes at Al-Aqsa, where Israeli forces were firing stun grenades and rubber-coated metal bullets at Palestinians protesting against Israeli violations in the compound.
Owaisat was hit in the mouth by a metal object he couldn’t identify, which caused severe bleeding.
“I lost part of my teeth, upper lip and my face was deformed,” he recalled.
After he was hit, Owaisat momentarily lost consciousness but was soon awakened to kicks and insults before losing consciousness again.
Ambulance crews transferred him to the hospital. 
“I saw death with my own eyes,” he said.
Afterwards, Owaisat faced many difficulties with eating, speaking and even smiling. He underwent multiple operations to restore his face and teeth.
He also stopped working for a year, after which he received a medical report detailing the psychological trauma preventing him from resuming his work.

Widespread restrictions

Along with journalists in Jerusalem, Palestinians across the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip also face a plethora of violations.
The Palestinian Centre for Development and Media Freedoms (Mada) reported 18 such violations during the month of May, including physical attacks, arrests and the closure of offices across the Palestinian territories. 
A recent report by the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate Freedoms Committee also found that Israeli authorities carried out 760 violations in 2019. 
Nasser Abu Bakr, the president of the syndicate, commented on the issue, saying that Israel focuses its restrictions and obstruction of journalists in Jerusalem, which it considers its capital. 
He added that such incidents have increased in recent months, leading the syndicate to alert the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) to the high number of infractions against journalists in Jerusalem and have called on it to intervene.
Abu Bakr told MEE that a delegation from the IFJ had demanded that the Israeli government stop its violations and recognise the international press card, to no avail.
“We provide support as much as we can. We have a meeting at the union next week, and the reality of journalists in Jerusalem will be the first on our agenda,”  he said.

SouthFront Is Censored Under Cover of Pandemic

Censorship of alternative media is becoming more widespread in the COVID19 era. This article documents the case of SouthFront.

By Rick Sterling

Global Research, June 09, 2020

Introducing SouthFront

Where do you find daily news, videos, analysis and maps about the conflict in Syria?  Detailed reports about the conflicts in Libya, Yemen and Venezuela?  News about the rise of ISIS in Mozambique?  Original analysis of events in the US and Russia?  SouthFront is the place.

SouthFront is unique and influential, reaching a global audience of hundreds of thousands. They have  opinion articles but their reports and videos are informational and factual. Their website says,

“SouthFront focuses on issues of international relations, armed conflicts and crises…. We try to dig out the truth on issues which are barely covered by the states concerned and the mainstream media.”

Censorship by Facebook and YouTube

A major disinformation and censorship drive against SouthFront was recently launched.  On April 30 the SouthFront Facebook account with about 100,000 subscribers was deleted without warning or notice.

On May 1,  SouthFront’s main YouTube account with over 150 thousand subscribers was terminated. The English language channel had 1,900 uploaded videos with 60 million views over the past 5 years.

While the SouthFront website continues as before, the above actions remove important distribution channels which SouthFront has painstakingly built up.

The censorship has been accompanied by a parallel disinformation campaign promoted by corporate, governmental and establishment “think tank” organizations.  This is in the context where the US State Department’s  Global Engagement Center (GEC) has a direct liaison with Silicon Valley companies and teams focused on “countering the propaganda” from Russia, China and Iran with a current budget of $60 million per year.

In a March 2020 hearingSenator Chris Murphy (D – Conn) lobbied for increased funding and more censorship. He said, “It’s hard to chase one lie after another. You have to actually go after the source and expose the source as illegitimate or untrustworthy, is that right?” Lea Gabrielle, head of GEC, responded “That’s correct.”

When the Senator says “it’s hard to chase one lie after another“, he is acknowledging that it’s often hard to show that it’s a lie. Even more so when it is not a lie. It is much easier for the authorities to simply say the source is untrustworthy- or better yet to eliminate them – as they have tried to do with SouthFront.

False Accusations by Facebook

The elimination of SouthFront’s Facebook account was based on a Facebook sponsored investigation titled “April 2020 Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior Report”.  The 28 page report says,

We’re constantly working to find and stop coordinated campaigns that seek to manipulate public debate across our platforms….We view influence operations as coordinated efforts to manipulate public debate for a strategic goal where fake accounts are central to the operation…. This month we removed eight networks of accounts, Pages and Groups….. Our investigation linked this activity to … two media organizations in Crimea – News Front and SouthFront. We found this network as part of our internal investigation into suspected coordinated inauthentic behavior.”

First, SouthFront is not trying to “manipulate public debate”; they are providing news and information which is difficult if not impossible to find elsewhere.  It seems to be the censors who are trying to manipulate debate by shutting out some voices.

Second, SouthFront does not have “fake accounts”; they have a public website plus standard social media outlets like Facebook and YouTube (until cancelled). Third, SouthFront has no connection to NewsFront nor operations in Crimea.

NewsFront and SouthFront are completely different organizations. They share the name “Front” but that is irrelevant. Does Facebook confuse the New York Times with Moscow Times?  After all, they both have “Times” in their title.

Facebook has shut down SouthFront on the basis of misinformation and smears.

False Accusations by DFRLab

The  Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) was created by the Atlantic Council, a “non partisan organization that galvanizes US global leadership”. It is another organization which is quick to label alternative foreign policy voices as “Russian propaganda”. DFRLab claims to have “operationalized the study of disinformation by exposing falsehoods and fake news”. They reported the censorship of SouthFront with a report titled “Facebook removes Russian propaganda outlet in Ukraine” with subtitle “The social network took down assets connected to News Front and SouthFront, propaganda websites supportive of Russian security services”.  They reported that the two “demonstrated a close relationship by liking each other’s pages.” As anyone who uses Facebook is aware, it is common to “like” a wide variety of articles and publications. The suggestion that “liking” an article proves a close relationship is silly.

The DFRLab  report says News Front and SouthFront “disseminated pro-Kremlin propaganda in an array of languages, indicating they were attempting to reach a diverse, international audience beyond Russia.”

First, NewsFront and SouthFront are completely distinct and separate organizations.  Second, is there anything unusual about a website trying to expand and reach different audiences? Don’t all publications or outlets do that?  This is a tactic of the new censors: to portray normal behavior as sinister.

Another censorship tactic is to assert that it is impermissible to question the veracity of certain findings.  Thus DFRLab report says NewsFront posted “outright disinformation” when it published a story that “denied the culpability of Russian-backed separatists’ involvement in the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines MH-17”.  They suggest this proves it is Russian propaganda and false. However, the facts about the downing of MH-17 are widely disputed. For example. one of the foremost American investigative journalists, the late Robert Parry, came to the same conclusion that the MH-17 investigation was manipulated and the shoot-down was probably NOT as portrayed. Parry did many articles on this important event, confirming that it is not “Russian propaganda”.

The Atlantic Council is one of the most influential US “think tanks”. It appears they have created the DFRLab as a propaganda tool to disparage and silence the sources of alternative information and analysis.

Disinformation by European Council “Task Force”   

The goals and priorities of the European Union are set by the European Council.  They are also increasingly active in suppressing alternative information and viewpoints.

In 2015 the European Council created a East StratCom Task Force to “address Russia’s ongoing disinformation campaigns”. Their major project is called EUvsDISINFO. They say,

“Using data analysis and media monitoring services in 15 languages, EUvsDISINFO identifies, compiles, and exposes disinformation cases originating in pro-Kremlin media.”

This organization is part of the disinformation campaign against SouthFront. In April 2019 they published an analysis “SouthFront – Russia Hiding Being Russian“. The story falsely claims that SouthFront “attempts to hide the fact it is registered and managed in Russia.”  The SouthFront team is international and includes Russians along with numerous other nationalities. Key spokespersons  are a Bulgarian, Viktor Stoilov, and an American, Brian Kalman. They do not hide the fact that the website is registered in Russia or that PayPal donations go to an account in Russia. The website is hosted by a service in Holland. It is genuinely international.

EUvsDISINFO demonstrates disinformation tactic of falsely claiming to have “exposed” something that is “hidden” when it is public information. There is nothing sinister about collaboration between different nationalities including Russia. EUvsDISINFO suggests there are sinister “pro-Kremlin networks”.  In reality, SouthFront is a website run by a dedicated and underpaid staff and lots of volunteers.  While the European Council gives millions of dollars to EUvsDISINFO, SouthFront operates on a tiny budget without government support from Russia or anywhere else.

False accusations by US Department of Defense

On April 9,  the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Laura Cooper, spoke at a press briefing.  She identifies SouthFront by name and accuses them of “reporting that there actually was no pandemic and that some deaths in Italy might in fact have been from the common flu”.

The first accusation is because of the SouthFront article “Pandemic of Fear”. In contrast with the accusation, the article says, “The COVID-19 outbreak is an apparent threat which cannot be ignored.”  The article also discusses the much less reported but widespread pandemic of fear.

The second false accusation is regarding the high death toll in Italy. SouthFront reported the findings of a report from the Italian Ministry of Health which suggested the previous mild winter and flu season had “led to an increase in the pool of those most vulnerable (the elderly and those with chronic illnesses) that can increase the impact of the epidemic COVID-19 on mortality and explain, at least in part, the increased lethality observed in our country.” This is very different than saying the deaths were caused by the common flu. In any case, the findings came directly from Italian health authorities not SouthFront.

In the same press conference, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense says she wishes to “reign in malign actors that are spreading misleading disruptive information”.   The censors claim the higher ground but engage in misinformation and falsehoods as they seek to silence discussion and debate.

Conclusion

There is a coordinated effort to manipulate and restrict what the public sees and hears in both North America and Europe.  Under the guise of “fact checking” and stopping “Russian propaganda”, the establishment has created private and government sponsored  censors to distort and diminish  questioning media.  They label alternative media “Russian” or “pro Kremlin” even though many of the researchers and writers are from the West and have no connection or dependency on the Russian government.

SouthFront is an example of a media site doing important and original reporting and analysis.  It is truly international with offices in several countries. The staff and volunteers include people from four continents. The censorship and vilification they are facing seems to be because they are providing information and analysis which contradicts the western mainstream narrative.

In recent developments, SouthFront is posting videos to a secondary YouTube channel called SouthFront TV. When that was also taken down on May 16, they challenged the ruling and won. The channel was restored with the acknowledgment “We have confirmed that your YouTube account is not in violation of our Terms of Service.”

SouthFront is still trying to have their main channel with 152K subscribers restored. Their Facebook account is still shut down and attempts to disparage their journalism continues. The censorship has escalated during the Covid19 crisis.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Rick Sterling is an investigative journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He can be reached at rsterling1@protonmail.com.The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Rick Sterling, Global Research, 2020

ليلة الانقلاب العسكري الفاشل بين أقبية واشنطن وحصون جبال كولورادو!

محمد صادق الحسيني

رغم انقشاع غيمة السقوط المدوّي للديمقراطية الأميركية على أعتاب جزمات ميليشيات ترامب وحراب الجيش الأميركي وشرطته القاتلة مؤقتاً، الا ان مجرد التفكير بهذا الامر من قبل رئيس أكبر دوحات الديمقراطيات الغربية إنما يمثل بحدّ ذاته سقوطاً مدوياً لكلّ معاييرهم المزدوجة والمخادعة والتي روّجوا لها زوراً وبهتاناً على مدى عقود طويلة!

فماذا كان يعدّ ترامب وميليشياته ليلة الانقلاب على «الديمقراطية»!؟

لم يكن هدف الرئيس الأميركي، ومن يقف وراءه من القوى العميقه في الولايات المتحدة، من وراء حملة التصعيد، التي نفذها ترامب ضدّ المتظاهرين السلميين، تبرير مواصلة استمرار العنف المفرط ضدّهم واتهامهم بالإرهاب والبلطجة وما الى ذلك، وإنما كان الهدف تنفيذ انقلاب عسكري، تمّ الإعداد له بدقة، من قبل القوى العميقة المذكورة أعلاه، وذلك عبر الخطوات التالية:

أولا ـ أن يقوم ترامب بإصدار أوامره للجيش الأميركي بالانتشار في مدن الولايات المتحدة الرئيسية، بحجة السيطرة على الأوضاع الامنية الخطيرة، وذلك في خرق واضح وفاضح للدستور الأميركي، الذي لا يعطيه هذا الحق وانما يحصره في حكام الولايات فقط.

ثانيا ـ ان يتمّ تعليق العمل بالدستور، بعد الخطوة الاولى، لحرمان المتظاهرين من حقهم الدستوري في التظاهر وحرية التعبير عن الرأي، وذلك تمهيداً لخلق او اختلاق ازمة بين المواطنين وبين قوات الجيش، وتحويل المواجهة الى مواجهة مسلحة، لا ينقصها الوقود. خاصة أنّ لدى القوى الأميركية العميقة مئات الآلاف من الميليشيات المسلحة والتي تمتلك حتى الاسلحة الثقيلة. وغنيّ عن القول طبعاً انّ هذه الميليشيات كانت ستوجه أسلحتها الى صدور المواطنين، بحجة مساندة الجيش في السيطرة على التمرّد.

وقد بدأت هذه الميليشيات بالانتشار في المدن الأميركية، وبلباس عسكري موحد وبأسلحتها الكاملة، ولكن دون اي إشارات او علامات عسكرية على ملابسها تحدّد تبعيتها.

ثالثاـ أما الخطوة التالية، في ما لو نجح مخطط القوى الأميركية العميقة، فإنها كانت تهدف الى نقل الرئيس الأميركي وفريق إدارته كاملاً، الى مجمع الحصون السرية والمسمّى: مجمع حصون جبال شيني (Chyenne Mountain Bunker) الموجود في ولاية كولورادو بحجة المحافظه على رئاسة الدولة، ليتمّ إثر ذلك تعيين الجنرال في سلاح الجو: تيرينس اوشاوغنيسي ( Terrence O‘shaughnessy )، حاكماً عسكرياً عاماً للولايات المتحدة الأميركية. وهو قائد القيادة الشمالية في الجيش الأميركي حالياً NORTHCOM المسؤولة عن الدفاع الجوفضائي في الولايات المتحدة وكندا.

ولم تكن عملية إنزال ترامب الى القبو المحصن، تحت البيت الابيض، يوم الجمعة إلا تجربة او تدريباً على عملية إخلاء أوسع، كالمشار اليها أعلاه، والتي نشرتها مجلة «نيوزويك» الأميركية قبل بضعة اسابيع.

رابعا ـ الا انّ وجود معارضة واسعة النطاق، في صفوف الجيش الأميركي، لسياسة التخبّط التي يمارسها ترامب، مدفوعاً من القوى العميقة (غير الدولة العميقة… انجيليين جدد وغيرهم من قوى الضغط)، بهدف تدمير الدولة الأميركية والقضاء على مبادئها وسمعتها داخلياً وخارجياً، قد دفعت العديد من جنرالات الجيوش الأميركية، الحاليين والسابقين، الى تجميع ما يزيد عن مائة ألف محارب قديم لتشكيل جبهة معارضة فعّالة، ضدّ سياسات ترامب المشبوهة، ولتشكل ايضاً قوة ضغط فاعلةً على المعسكر الداعم للرئيس. وكذلك لخلق شبكة أمان لجنرالات البنتاغون الحاليين، في وجه بطش الرئيس المدعوم من القوى العميقة، وتشجيعهم على رفض توجهات ترامب.

خامسا ـ وقد تتوّجت هذه الجهود، ورغم مرافقة الجنرال مارك ميللي، رئيس هيئة الاركان العامة المشتركة للجيوش الأميركية، الى زيارة الكنيسة الشهيرة في واشنطن قبل ايام، نقول انّ هذه الجهود قد تتوجت يوم الثلاثاء ٣/٦/٢٠٢٠، بظهور الجنرال مارك إسبر، وزير الدفاع الحالي، ليعلن عن معارضته لخطط ترامب، ومن يقف وراءه، لنشر الجيش في المدن الأميركية، ثم قيام الجنرال جيمس ماتس، وزير الحرب الأميركي السابق، الذي استقال من منصبه بسبب رفضه قرار ترامب بالانسحاب من سورية، في وقت سابق، بنشر رسالةٍ غاية في الحدة والوضوح والقوة، تحمل انتقادات حادة مدعومة بحجج غاية في المنطقية والقوة شارحةً، بشكل مفصل، للأخطار الشديدة التي تسبّبت بها، ولا زالت، سياسات ترامب والقوى العميقة، على مصالح الولايات المتحدة، داخلياً وخارجياً.

سادسا ـ ولم يكتفِ الجنرال ماتيس، وهو جنرال من سلاح المارينز منذ ٥٠ عاماً، ويتمتع باحترام واسع جداً في كافة أوساط القوات المسلحة الأميركية، نقول انه لم يكتف بالانتقاد والتفنيد فقط، وانما طالب بمحاسبة من هم مسؤولون عما يحدث حالياً في الولايات المتحدة. فقد قال في رسالته حرفياً، وباللغة الانجليزية، ايّ في النص الأصلي، قال :

‏» We must reject and hold accountable those in Office who Would make a mockery of our Constitution «.

وهذا الكلام لا يعني المحاسبة على خطأ صغير قد ارتكب هنا او هناك، اذ ان الرجل يقول: يجب ان نرفض (أو ان لا نقبل) بهؤلاء الموجودون في المكاتب (أيّ الذين يتقلدون المناصب) والذين يمكن ان يحوّلوا دستورنا الى مهزلةٍ (مسخرة او محطاً للسخرية).

وهذا الكلام يعني، نصاً وروحاً، الدعوة المباشرة لمحاكمة ترامب نفسه، وكل من يدعمه، في سياساته المعروفة للجميع.

سابعا ـ إذن فلقد كانت رسالة وزير الحرب السابق، الجنرال ماتيس، التي نشرت امس على نطاق واسع، ليست فقط الشعرة التي قصمت ظهر البعير، دونالد ترامب والقوى العميقة، وإنما كانت أيضاً إعلاناً عن انتصار هذا الجنرال لدستور البلاد وتطبيق نصوصه، التي تدعو الى مساواةٍ حقيقيه، وليس نظرية فقط، بين المواطنين الأميركيين، والعودة بأميركا الى مبادئ القيم والأخلاق المنصوص عليها في الدستور.

وبمعنى آخر فإنّ التحرك السريع والفعّال، للجنرال ماتيس، قد وضع حداً لعبث القوى الأميركية الخفية، الأمر الذي اضطر ترامب ان يعلن، أنه «قد لا يكون مضطراً لاستدعاء الجيش للسيطرة على الوضع».

ثامنا ـ وهذا يعني ان هناك، في الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، من يفكر بطريقة تختلف، عن طريقة تفكير الانجيليين الجدد. ذلك التفكير الذي لا يخرج عن اطار التآمر والعمل على إثارة الفتن والحروب ولا يتورع عن التآمر حتى على الولايات المتحدة الأميركية نفسها، وليس فقط في اقطار العالم كله، خدمة لمصالح دوائر رأسمالية بعينها، تمثل ليس فقط مجمع صناعة الأسلحة، في أميركا، وانما هي تتحكم برؤوس الأموال العظمى التي تسيطر على أسواق البورصات في العالم، وبالتالي الأدوات النقدية الدولية، التي يطلق عليها اسماء مثل صندوق النقد الدولي والبنك الدولي وبنك التنمية الأوروبي وما الى ذلك من أدوات تستخدمها هذه القوى في فرض العقوبات المالية والاقتصادية على الدول المختلف، تحت حجج الإصلاح الاقتصادي والمالي، أو الحفاظ على حقوق الإنسان، التي يدوسها مجرمو الشرطة الأميركية بأقدامهم، حتى الموت، في مينيابوليس الأميركية. فهل نجت أميركا حقاً من انقلاب ترامب وميليشياته!؟ وهل اقترب ترامب من الفصل الأخير من حياته ام انه لا يزال قادراً على تعطيل كلّ مظاهر الديمقراطية الأميركية المزيّفة أصلاً، ولكن بإجراءات جديدة ستقدم عليها ميليشياته المسلحة التي انتشرت في المدن الأميركية استعداداً لمفاجآت متعددة تحضر للمواطنين الأميركيين في دهاليز كولورادو وأقبية البيت الأبيض..!؟ هذا ما ستكشفه الأزمنة المتبقية من الان حتى نوفمبر المقبل..!

لكلّ نبأ مستقرّ، بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

Art of Resistance: The COVID 1984 Contest

 BY GILAD ATZMON

When freedom of expression is under attack, beauty becomes a rebellious force.

 Please share with me your COVID 1984 art.  

  1. CoronEye
C1984A.jpg

2. Macro Dystopia

Gates to the Future.jpg

3. The Drones Were Ready

https://www.nowtheendbegins.com/
https://www.nowtheendbegins.com/

4. T-shirt design

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5. We Will Obey

https://anarchypress.wordpress.com/
https://anarchypress.wordpress.com/

8. Covid 19-84 by Andrew Cornford

Andrew Cornford.jpg
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