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Douma: Part 2 – ‘It Just Doesn’t Ring True’

Media Lens | April 26, 2018

Jonathan Freedland’s ‘committed denialists and conspiracists’, and Paul Mason’s victims of Putin’s ‘global strategy’ clutching at ‘false flag theories’, presumably include Lord West, former First Sea Lord and Chief of Defence Intelligence. In an interview with the BBC, West commented:

President Assad is in the process of winning this civil war. And he was about to take over and occupy Douma, all that area. He’d had a long, long, hard slog, slowly capturing that whole area of the city. And then, just before he goes in and takes it all over, apparently he decides to have a chemical attack. It just doesn’t ring true.

It seems extraordinary, because clearly he would know that there’s likely to be a response from the allies – what benefit is there for his military? Most of the rebel fighters, this disparate group of Islamists, had withdrawn; there were a few women and children left around. What benefit was there militarily in doing what he did? I find that extraordinary. Whereas we know that, in the past, some of the Islamic groups have used chemicals [see here], and of course there would be huge benefit in them labelling an attack as coming from Assad, because they would guess, quite rightly, that there’d be a response from the US, as there was last time, and possibly from the UK and France…

We do know that the reports that came from there were from the White Helmets – who, let’s face it, are not neutrals [see here]; you know, they’re very much on the side of the disparate groups who are fighting Assad – and also the World Health Organisation doctors who are there. And again, those doctors are embedded in amongst the groups – doing fantastic work, I know – but they’re not neutral. And I am just a little bit concerned, because as we now move to the next phase of this war, if I were advising some of the Islamist groups – many of whom are worse than Daish – I would say: “Look, we’ve got to wait until there’s another attack by Assad’s forces – particularly if they have a helicopter overhead, or something like that, and they’re dropping barrel bombs – and we must set off some chlorine because we’ll get the next attack from the allies….” And it is the only way they’ve got, actually, of stopping the inevitable victory of Assad.

Another senior military figure, Major General Jonathan Shaw, former commander of British forces in Iraq (his responsibilities have included chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear policy), was shut down by a Sky News journalist 30 seconds after he started saying the wrong thing:

The debate that seems to be missing from this… was what possible motive might have triggered Syria to launch a chemical attack at this time in this place? You know, the Syrians are winning… Don’t take my word for it. Take the American military’s word. General Vergel [sic – Votel], the head of Centcom – he said to Congress the other day, “Assad has won this war, and we need to face that”.

Then you’ve got last week the statement by Trump – or tweet by Trump – that America has finished with ISIL and we were going to pull out soon, very soon.

And then suddenly you get this…

At which point Shaw’s sound was cut and the interview terminated. Peter Hitchens asked:

Can anyone tell me what was so urgent on Sky News, which made it necessary to cut this distinguished general off in mid-sentence?

Sky News gave their version of events here, claiming they had to take an ad break.

Also taking a more cautious view than Tisdall, Freedland, Rawnsley, Lucas, Mendoza, Monbiot, Mason and the Guardian editors (see Part 1), is James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, the US Secretary of Defence, who said:

I believe there was a chemical attack and we are looking for the actual evidence.

Only ‘looking’ for actual evidence?

As each day goes by — as you know, it is a non-persistent gas — so it becomes more and more difficult to confirm it.

The evidence clearly, then, had not yet been found and the claims had not yet been confirmed.

Peter Ford, former British ambassador to Syria, voiced scepticism:

The Americans have failed to produce any evidence beyond what they call newspaper reports and social media, whereas Western journalists who have been in Douma [see below] and produced testimony from witnesses – from medics with names so they can be checked – to the effect that the Syrian version is correct.

Before Trump’s latest attack, Scott Ritter, former chief UN weapons inspector in Iraq, made the point that mattered:

The bottom line, however, is that the United States is threatening to go to war in Syria over allegations of chemical weapons usage for which no factual evidence has been provided. This act is occurring even as the possibility remains that verifiable forensic investigations would, at a minimum, confirm the presence of chemical weapons…

Even a BBC journalist managed some short-lived scepticism. Riam Dalati tweeted:

Sick and tired of activists and rebels using corpses of dead children to stage emotive scenes for Western consumption.

Then they wonder why some serious journos are questioning part of the narrative.

‘#Douma #ChemicalAttack #EasternGhouta’

The tweet was quickly deleted.

Craig Murray wrote:

For the FCO, I lived and worked in several actual dictatorships. The open bias of their media presenters and the tone of their propaganda operations was – always – less hysterical than the current output of the BBC. The facade is not crumbling, it’s tumbling.

Robert Fisk – Hypoxia, Not Gas

Veteran Middle East journalist Robert Fisk visited Douma and reported his findings in the Independent. He spoke to a senior doctor who works in the clinic where victims of the alleged chemical attack had been brought for treatment. Dr Rahaibani told Fisk what had happened that night:

I was with my family in the basement of my home three hundred metres from here on the night but all the doctors know what happened. There was a lot of shelling [by government forces] and aircraft were always over Douma at night – but on this night, there was wind and huge dust clouds began to come into the basements and cellars where people lived. People began to arrive here suffering from hypoxia, oxygen loss. Then someone at the door, a “White Helmet”, shouted “Gas!”, and a panic began. People started throwing water over each other. Yes, the video was filmed here, it is genuine, but what you see are people suffering from hypoxia – not gas poisoning.’

Not gas poisoning? Why was this not immediately headline news in the ‘mainstream’ press and on BBC News? In fact, almost throughout the ‘MSM’, it was quietly buried. The glaring exception was an article in The Times with the pejorative headline:

Critics leap on reporter Robert Fisk’s failure to find signs of gas attack

The piece suggested that there were big question marks over Fisk’s record:

Fisk is no stranger to controversy.

A list of Fisk’s ‘controversies’ followed. There was no mention that, among many accolades, the Arabic-speaking Fisk has won Amnesty International press awards three times, the Foreign Reporter of the Year award seven times and the Journalist of the Year award twice.

In an article published by openDemocracy, Philip Hammond, professor of media and communications at London South Bank University, observed that:

In seeking to close down such dissident thought, Times journalists are acting, not as neutral defenders of truth, but as partisan advocates for a particular understanding of the war.

A Guardian article by diplomatic editor Patrick Wintour and world affairs editor Julian Borger commented of Douma:

A group of reporters, many favoured by Moscow, were taken to the site on Monday. They either reported that no weapon attack had occurred or that the victims had been misled by the White Helmets civilian defence force into mistaking a choking effect caused by dust clouds for a chemical attack.’

Not only was Fisk not mentioned by name, he was lumped in with reporters ‘favoured by Moscow’. Jonathan Cook’s observation said it all:

They managed the difficult task of denigrating his account while ignoring the fact that he was ever there.

In The Intercept, columnist Mehdi Hasan wrote an impassioned open letter addressed to ‘those of you on the anti-war far left who have a soft spot for the dictator in Damascus: Have you lost your minds? Or have you no shame?’ The piece began:

Dear Bashar al-Assad Apologists,

Sorry to interrupt: I know you’re very busy right now trying to convince yourselves, and the rest of us, that your hero couldn’t possibly have used chemical weapons to kill up to 70 people in rebel-held Douma on April 7. Maybe Robert Fisk’s mysterious doctor has it right — and maybe the hundreds of survivors and eyewitnesses to the attack are all “crisis actors.”

So, Fisk’s evidence with its ‘mysterious doctor’ was clearly worthless, something shameless ‘apologists’ were using to try and convince themselves of an absurdity. Hasan named no other names, but readers could guess from the many smear pieces in The Times, Huffington Post, on the BBC, and spread by the likes of Oliver Kamm, George Monbiot and Alan Mendoza.

Hasan portrayed Assad as a satanic figure while the US and its allies – countries that have sent 15,000 high-tech anti-tank missiles, as well as billions of dollars of other weapons and training to fighters in Syria – are mere ‘meddlers’. The jihadists are ‘rebels’ (a generally noble term), not fanatical invaders from Libya and Iraq. Hasan referenced biased sources including Ken Roth of Human Rights Watch, Martin Chulov of the Guardian, and the White Helmets.

The Intercept’s co-editor, Glenn Greenwald, defended the piece:

There is a meaningful debate to be had on Syria and, as I’ve said before, most media outlets (including us) have been quite one-sided about it. That said, Mehdi’s article, well-documented though it was, didn’t name anyone who guilty of loving Assad so I’m not sure who is offended

We replied:

Mehdi’s article, well-documented though it was, didn’t name anyone. That’s the problem. Hasan’s article arrives in the context of a cross-spectrum, name-and-shame smear campaign making similar points

We linked to three high-profile examples from the BBC, The Times and Huffington Post.

Political analyst Ian Sinclair declared Hasan’s article a ‘Necessary and important piece’.

It certainly wasn’t ‘necessary’ to damn Assad yet again – the world’s corporate media have been packed with news and comment pieces doing exactly that for years. As for the need to expose left ‘apologists’ – as we have seen, corporate media are currently mounting a fierce campaign targeting leftist university academics, apparently with the intention of getting them fired.

The question of importance is less clear-cut. The piece will, of course, have no effect whatsoever on Assad, whom Western ‘apologists’ on ‘the anti-war far left’ would be powerless to influence even if they came round to Hasan’s view. On the other hand, as a purported ‘leftist’, Hasan’s piece is important as ammunition for foreign policy warmongers, neocons and others. Thus, Jonathan Freedland tweeted:

Strong piece from @mehdirhasan

George Monbiot:

To all those who have been trying to persuade me that the Assad government is simply maintaining order, please read this excellent article by @mehdirhasan #Syria’

Oliver Kamm of The Times:

Is this atrocity denial really necessary?” Well said by Mehdi on the extraordinary, scandalous spectacle of people purporting to be anti-imperialists while denying the crimes of Assad.

Hasan, of course, knew his article would receive this kind of favourable attention, and he has form in reaching out to this audience. In 2010, whilst senior political editor at the New Statesman, he wrote a letter offering his services to Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre:

I have always admired the paper’s passion, rigour, boldness and, of course, news values. I believe the Mail has a vitally important role to play in the national debate, and I admire your relentless focus on the need for integrity and morality in public life, and your outspoken defence of faith, and Christian culture, in the face of attacks from militant atheists and secularists. I also believe… that I could be a fresh and passionate, not to mention polemical and contrarian, voice on the comment and feature pages of your award-winning newspaper.

For the record, I am not a Labour tribalist and am often ultra-critical of the left – especially on social and moral issues, where my fellow leftists and liberals have lost touch with their own traditions and with the great British public… I could therefore write pieces for the Mail critical of Labour and the left, from “inside” Labour and the left (as the senior political editor at the New Statesman).

Because, as we all know, being ‘ultra-critical’ of the left ‘from “inside” Labour and the left’ – for example, asking ‘the anti-war far left who have a soft spot for the dictator in Damascus: Have you lost your minds? Or have you no shame?’ – carries enormous weight.

In his piece for The Intercept, Hasan commented:

And, look, we can argue over whether or not to support… regime change in Damascus (I don’t).

And yet, in 2013, he wrote:

I want Assad gone and I believe him to be a brutal and corrupt dictator.

Hasan’s angry mockery of doubters on Douma is ironic indeed, given his own record on Libya. At a crucial time in March 2011, with NATO jets bombing Gaddafi’s troops, Hasan commented:

The innocent people of Benghazi deserve protection from Gaddafi’s murderous wrath.

The reality, as we saw in Part 1, is that the claim was ‘not supported by the available evidence’.

Fisk’s account, irrationally scorned by Hasan, was backed by on-the-ground testimony from reporter Pearson Sharp from One America News Network:

Not one of the people that I spoke to in that neighbourhood said that they had seen anything, or heard anything, about a chemical attack on that day… they didn’t see or hear anything out of the ordinary.

As far as we could tell, there was nothing on the flagship BBC News at Six and Ten about any of this testimony from doctors and residents claiming that there was no evidence of a chemical attack in Douma on April 7.

It is shocking that the BBC ignored evidence supplied from Syria by Fisk – one of Britain’s finest journalists – when it has cited hundreds, perhaps thousands, of times evidence supplied by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is run by a clothes shop owner in Coventry who supports regime change in Syria.

On BBC News at Ten on April 15, presenter Mishal Husain, Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen and political editor Laura Kuenssberg discussed the missile strikes on Syria and the political fallout here at home. There was no mention that the strikes had taken place just as OPCW inspectors had arrived in Damascus. Nor was there any discussion of expert opinion from international lawyers contradicting the government’s assertion that the attacks were legal. A group of international law experts warned:

We are practitioners and professors of international law. Under international law, military strikes by the United States of America and its allies against the Syrian Arab Republic, unless conducted in self-defense or with United Nations Security Council approval, are illegal and constitute acts of aggression.

Meanwhile, the BBC joined the McCarthyite witch-hunt against anyone challenging the official narrative. In a piece titled, ‘Syria war: The online activists pushing conspiracy theories’, an anonymous BBC journalist commented:

Despite the uncertainty about what happened in Douma, a cluster of influential social media activists is certain that it knows what occurred.

Of course, the irony is that an incomparably bigger and better funded ‘cluster of influential’ state-corporate media has been vociferously claiming certainty about what is happening in Syria; not least 100% conviction of Assad’s guilt for a string of chemical weapon attacks.

We have no idea who was responsible for the event in Douma – we don’t know even if there was a chemical weapons attack. Our point is not that credible, sceptical voices are right, but that they should be heard.

On April 12, novelist Malcolm Pryce sent us this poignant tweet:

I remember in the run-up to the Iraq War a friend I had known all my life suddenly said to me, “We must do something about this monster in Iraq.” I said, “When did you first think that?” He answered honestly, “A month ago”.’

This is the power of the corporate media to shape the public mind it is supposed to serve.

But to achieve this effect, it must present a black and white view of the world – ‘we’ are ‘good’, ‘they’ are ‘bad’; ‘we’ are ‘certain’, ‘they’ are morally bewildered ‘apologists’. When reality threatens to get in the way, when there is no choice, an increasingly extreme ‘mainstream’ will resort to deception in plain sight.

Read Part One here.

April 26, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Glenn Greenwald Stands by the Official Narrative

By William A. Blunden | Dissident Voice | November 30, 2015

Glenn Greenwald has written an op-ed piece for the Los Angeles Times. In this editorial he asserts that American spies are motivated primarily by the desire to thwart terrorist plots. Such that their inability to do so (i.e., the attacks in Paris) coupled with the associated embarrassment motivates a public relations campaign against Ed Snowden. Greenwald further concludes that recent events are being opportunistically leveraged by spy masters to pressure tech companies into installing back doors in their products. Over the course of this article what emerges is a worldview which demonstrates a remarkable tendency to accept events at face value, a stance that’s largely at odds with Snowden’s own documents and statements.

For example, Greenwald states that American spies have a single overriding goal, to “find and stop people who are plotting terrorist attacks.” To a degree this concurs with the official posture of the intelligence community. Specifically, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence specifies four topical missions in its National Intelligence Strategy: Cyber Intelligence, Counterterrorism, Counterproliferation, and Counterintelligence.

Yet Snowden himself dispels this notion. In an open letter to Brazil he explained that “these [mass surveillance] programs were never about terrorism: they’re about economic spying, social control, and diplomatic manipulation. They’re about power.”

And the public record tends to support Snowden’s observation. If the NSA is truly focused on combatting terrorism it has an odd habit of spying on oil companies in Brazil and Venezuela. In addition anyone who does their homework understands that the CIA has a long history of overthrowing governments. This has absolutely nothing to do with stopping terrorism and much more to do with catering to powerful business interests in places like Iran (British Petroleum), Guatemala (United Fruit), and Chile (ITT Corporation). The late Michael Ruppert characterized the historical links between spies and the moneyed elite as follows: “The CIA is Wall Street, and Wall Street is the CIA.”

The fact that Greenwald appears to accept the whole “stopping terrorism” rationale is extraordinary all by itself. But things get even more interesting…

Near the end of his article Greenwald notes that the underlying motivation behind the recent uproar of spy masters “is to depict Silicon Valley as terrorist-helpers for the crime of offering privacy protections to Internet users, in order to force those companies to give the U.S. government ‘backdoor’ access into everyone’s communications.”

But if history shows anything, it’s that the perception of an adversarial relationship between government spies and corporate executives has often concealed secret cooperation. Has Greenwald never heard of Crypto AG, or RSA, or even Google? These are companies who at the time of their complicity marketed themselves as protecting user privacy. In light of these clandestine arrangements Cryptome’s John Young comments that it’s “hard to believe anything crypto advocates have to say due to the far greater number of crypto sleazeball hominids reaping rewards of aiding governments than crypto hominid honorables aiding one another.”

It’s as if Greenwald presumes that the denizens of Silicon Valley, many of whose origins are deeply entrenched in government programs, have magically turned over a new leaf. As though the litany of past betrayals can conveniently be overlooked because things are different. Now tech vendors are here to defend our privacy. Or at least that’s what they’d like us to believe. In the aftermath of the PRISM scandal, which was disclosed by none other than Greenwald and Snowden, the big tech of Silicon Valley is desperate to portray itself as a victim of big government.

You see, the envoys of the Bay Area’s new economy have formulated a convincing argument. That’s what they get paid to do. The representatives of Silicon Valley explain in measured tones that tech companies have stopped working with spies because it’s bad for their bottom line. Thus aligning the interests of private capital with user privacy. But the record shows that spies often serve private capital. To help open up markets and provide access to resources in foreign countries. And make no mistake there’s big money to be made helping spies. Both groups do each other a lot of favors.

And so a question for Glenn Greenwald: what pray tell is there to prevent certain CEOs in Silicon Valley from betraying us yet again, secretly via covert backdoors, while engaged in a reassuring Kabuki Theater with government officials about overt backdoors? Giving voice to public outrage while making deals behind closed doors. It’s not like that hasn’t happened before during an earlier debate about allegedly strong cryptography. Subtle zero-day flaws are, after all, plausibly deniable.

How can the self-professed advocate of adversarial journalism be so credulous? How could a company like Apple, despite its bold public rhetoric, resist overtures from spy masters any more than Mohammad Mosaddegh, Jacobo Árbenz, or Salvador Allende? Doesn’t adversarial journalism mean scrutinizing corporate power as well as government power?

Glenn? Hello?

Methinks Mr. Greenwald has some explaining to do. Whether he actually responds with anything other than casual dismissal has yet to be seen.

November 30, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Glenn Greenwald Gets It Wrong

Jonathan Pollard Is No Victim

By Philip Giraldi • The Unz Review • January 10, 2014

In many predominantly progressive and libertarian circles journalist Glenn Greenwald is regularly praised and even called a hero for his courageous and unflinching criticism of the developing national security state and for his custodianship of what might be described as the Snowden papers. Through the years I too have generally found his insights both informative and refreshing and, while I have believed Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning’s theft of huge masses of classified information to be a considerable overreach, I do think that after twelve years of government autarky it is now time for the White House to come clean on what it has been doing to its own citizenry, something that would not be taking place without the intelligence leaks.

But all of that conceded, I often find that people on the left of the political equation are frequently trapped by the terms of their own orthodoxy which is every bit as conducive to tunnel vision as would be a tea party pronouncement made by a Sarah Palin or Ted Cruz. Greenwald is now calling for the release from prison of convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, who is serving a life sentence in a federal prison in North Carolina and he is appearing on the Israeli media to make his case.

Greenwald’s logic goes something like this: as the Snowden papers demonstrate that the United States has been spying on Israel Washington has no right to judge others engaged in the same behavior and is therefore hypocritical when it continues to hold an Israeli spy engaging in espionage against the United States. He states that Snowden and Pollard are connected, “When the US government goes around the world criticizing other countries for spying on allies and prosecuting them, are they going to maintain that with a straight face when they’re doing exactly that?” Greenwald calls the double standard governmental hypocrisy and insists that no country has the right to tell other countries not to do something that it itself is secretly engaging in. He rejects the argument that the NSA spying has been carried out to protect against terrorism and asks rhetorically if the US, revealed to be spying on Israeli officials, really believes that “democratically elected” Israelis are involved in terror?

Greenwald goes on in his interview with Israeli television Channel 10 to assert that the leak of the Snowden documents has “defended the values of American democracy.”

I, perhaps not surprisingly, see the issue differently. There is a certain amount of smugness and self -justification in what Greenwald is trying to sell about Snowden (and Pollard). Does he claim that stealing great masses of documents is intrinsically a defense of democracy or is he only referring to those documents that reveal illegal or unconstitutional behavior that should be halted and condemned? If stopping illegal activity by the United States government is his actual objective why is he releasing documents on spying on foreign officials, an action that is neither illegal in the US nor unconstitutional? Or is he designating himself as arbiter of acceptable behavior for the entire world? So I am not quite sure what to make of his logic and fail to understand what exactly he is condemning. Nor is it clear to me if there are any limits to what he might reveal.

I believe that spying is essential for every country that needs information relating to its legitimate foreign interests that is not available through public records or open sources. I at the same time concede that United States intelligence post 9/11 has become an out-of-control monster pursuing its own agendas and believe espionage should only be employed when it is a last option and only in a situation where a vital interest is at stake, limitations that have not been much in evidence over the past twelve years.

One can believe that the government’s spying on its own people in a fashion that is arguably both illegal and unconstitutional should be subject to the scrutiny that it is now receiving and should be stopped immediately, but spying on foreign countries is another issue altogether as is the spying carried out by other nations directed against the United States. Every nation in the world that engages in espionage, which means nearly all nations, denies that it is engaging in such activity and is certainly hypocritical in its professed attitudes towards spying, as Greenwald notes, but that does not mean that spies cannot do serious damage and should not be arrested and punished as a consequence. The Greenwald line of argument does not recognize that distinction and his comments suggest that all spying is wrong and indefensible so therefore those involved in it at any level or in any place should be judged by the same standard.

Sometimes spying is the only option for learning about foreign government activity that might do genuine damage to one’s country. And Greenwald should know better than to ask whether the “democratically elected” officials in Israel are carrying out terrorism. Of course they are, and all he has to do is refer to the murder of nine unarmed Turks on the ‘Mavi Marmara’ in 2010, the killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in 2010 and the assassinations of Iranian scientists over the past three years.

Might it be in the interest of Washington to know exactly what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is up to, particularly as he described 9/11 as “good for Israel” while much of the world will blame any outrage carried out by Israel on the United States particularly as the Israelis have frequently used foreign passports to carry out their assassinations? And would it be a good idea for the United States to have prior knowledge if Israel were about to bomb Iran to get American ships in the Persian Gulf out of the way if for no other reason? And Greenwald might also consider the proportionality issue relative to the espionage that goes on between Israel and the US. It is largely a one way street with Israel doing most of the spying. Among nations friendly to the United States Israel is the most aggressive in its espionage activity, largely because it knows it can get away with it given the Justice Department’s all too convenient unwillingness to prosecute Israelis.

Greenwald also does not appear to appreciate the damage that Pollard did. Pollard was undoubtedly motivated to help Israel because he was Jewish but he also tried to sell information to several other countries and might even have been involved in trying to set up arms deals that could have placed sophisticated weapons in the hands of terrorists. Ultimately, he spied for Tel Aviv because he was paid for his services. He violated his oath to protect the information he had access to and gave the Israelis an entire room full of highly classified information. Some of that intelligence wound up in the Soviet Union in exchange for increased Jewish emigration. Greenwald might recall that the Soviets were (and still are) fully capable of destroying the United States in a nuclear exchange, so the provision of information that revealed US technical intelligence capabilities was potentially a serious matter. It has also been alleged that American intelligence sources were executed as a result of the information obtained in Moscow from Pollard by way of Israel.

It is not clear to me where Greenwald is likely to go next but employing logic similar to that which he uses with Pollard he might well conclude that because the US criminal justice system is flawed and sometimes convicts people who are innocent all people who have been judged guilty and sent to prison should be set free. The suggestion is appropriate applied to Pollard as he is, apart from anything else, a criminal. He stole something that did not belong to him and sold it. He betrayed his country. To claim that government hypocrisy is good grounds for freeing him is ludicrous.

January 10, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , | 1 Comment

ln Israel, Greenwald reveals whose agenda he is serving

By Maidhc Ó Cathail | The Passionate Attachment | January 7, 2014

When waging unconventional warfare, timing is everything.

In some pro-Israel circles, President Barack Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry are now being hysterically compared to Neville Chamberlain for their alleged “betrayal” of the self-defined “Jewish state” to yet another imminent Holocaust as a result of Obama’s historic, albeit so far limited, rapprochement with today’s supposed equivalent of a genocidal Nazi regime in Tehran and Kerry’s sustained diplomatic effort to get Israel to return to its so-called “Auschwitz borders” prior to its premeditated 1967 Land Grab. In light of this dual “existential threat” posed by the Obama administration to a Greater Israel, the interview given to Israeli TV by Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who first published documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden that revealed the scope of U.S. spying worldwide, is as close to a “game theory warfare” smoking gun as you’re going to get.

Speaking to Israel’s Channel 10 — whose biggest shareholder, cosmetics billionaire Ronald Lauder, is President of the World Jewish Congress — Greenwald criticized “the continued imprisonment of Jonathan Pollard,” who was sentenced to life in prison in 1987 after passing more than a million highly classified documents to Israel while working as an intelligence analyst for the U.S. Navy. (Incidentally, Channel 10 owner Lauder is also a supporter of clemency for Pollard.) As reported today by Haaretz, here’s what Greenwald told his Israeli audience about the spy, who, in the words of former CIA officer Philip Giraldi, “did more damage to the United States than any spy in history”:

Greenwald agreed that the Snowden revelations are relevant to Pollard’s case. “When the U.S. government goes around the world criticizing other countries for spying on allies and prosecuting them,” he said, “are they going to maintain that with a straight face when they’re doing exactly that?”

It’s proper to raise Pollard’s case in the context of U.S. spying on its Israeli ally, he continued, because that underscores the hypocrisy of what the U.S. itself is doing. The U.S. government, Greenwald charged, does exactly what it accuses its enemies of doing, and no country has the right to say other countries shouldn’t do something while it is secretly violating that very same taboo.

While some may be willing to concede that Greenwald’s charge of U.S. government hypocrisy is perfectly valid, the acclaimed “independent” journalist’s remarks that American national security does not require surveillance of its so-called “ally” in Tel Aviv is at best naïve, at worst disingenuous:

Asked about the U.S. government’s claim that the purpose of the eavesdropping is to fight terrorism, he responded by citing the documents’ revelations that the NSA eavesdropped on both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Israeli officials, asking, Does the U.S. government think Angela Merkel is a terrorist? Or that democratically elected Israeli officials are involved in terror?

Although many Greeks and other Europeans may justifiably view Chancellor Merkel’s austerity measures as a form of economic terrorism, could Greenwald seriously be oblivious to Israel’s long track record of terrorism, not only its state terrorism against the indigenous Palestinians and their neighbours but its less widely-known, albeit acknowledged, false flag terror attacks on its American benefactor and imperial proxy?

Given the account of the “Five Dancing Shlomos” caught celebrating in Liberty Park, New Jersey as the twin towers burned on Sept. 11, 2001, as well as much other well-documented evidence pointing toward Israeli complicity in the 9/11 attacks — seized on with great alacrity by Israel loyalists such as Joe Lieberman as a pretext to strip Americans of much of their constitutional rights while others such as Michael Chertoff profited from the hyped “need” for greater “security” in the post-9/11 “Homeland” — what kind of journalist genuinely concerned about civil liberties would deny that monitoring the conversations of a “spook, terrorist or criminal” such as Netanyahu, a harsh critic of NSA spying who infamously admitted that 9/11 as “very good” for Israel, is an essential requirement of any genuine fight against terrorism?

Like that other much-adored Jewish “critic of Israel” Noam Chomsky, Glenn Greenwald would appear to be just the latest branded anti-imperial “hero” serving to provide cover for a less transparent Israeli agenda.

Maidhc Ó Cathail is an investigative journalist and Middle East analyst. He is also the creator and editor of The Passionate Attachment blog, which focuses primarily on the U.S.-Israeli relationship. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter @O_Cathail.

January 8, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Brazilian lawmakers press Greenwald for greater detail on Snowden’s NSA leaks

RT | October 10, 2013

Brazilian lawmakers indicated that, in lieu of direct teleconferences with Edward Snowden to gain further insight into allegations of NSA spying in their country, they may seek to seize documents now held by American journalist Glenn Greenwald.

On Wednesday Greenwald spoke to Brazilian senators currently investigating evidence of US as well as British and Canadian espionage in the Latin American country.

The legislators are part of a probe into potential foreign surveillance — the Comissão Parlamentar de Inquérito, or CPI — called into action by President Dilma Rousseff in the wake of initial news reports alleging that even the president’s online communication had been intercepted.

Greenwald, who appeared along with his partner David Miranda, a Brazilian national, broached several topics during the hearing, including the possibility of granting asylum to NSA contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden.

So far, Brazil has been vague as to whether it would seriously consider extending Snowden, who is currently residing in Russia, an offer of political asylum.

“There are many nations saying, ‘We’re glad to be learning all this information,’ but almost nobody wants to protect the person responsible for letting the world discover it,” Greenwald told the panel.

In the meantime, Brazilian legislators seem eager to find out the extent of foreign surveillance on the country in greater detail.

To that end, the country’s government — specifically, the CPI inquiry — is now seeking to establish teleconferencing sessions with Snowden.

Asked by the commission to turn over documents obtained through the whistleblower Greenwald refused, citing the need for a separation between journalism and government. His partner, Miranda, also cited that divulging the documents would constitute an “act of treason” and prevent Greenwald from entering the US again.

One Brazilian Senator, Ricardo Ferraço, went so far as to suggest that the government commission seek the authority of the country’s courts to seize documents now held by Greenwald if such communication with Snowden proved unfeasible.

Unlike allegations of NSA surveillance in the US, coverage of the agency’s activities in Brazil have taken on a broader scope, and in particular centered on the country’s economy.

Greenwald himself has shaped the narrative of Snowden’s disclosures through his testimony to Brazil’s government, as well as his work with the O Globo newspaper and Rede Globo’s news television.

In August, the journalist told Brazil’s government that alleged American espionage in Brazil was centered on gaining economic advantages rather than on any national security concerns.

“We now have several denunciations that show that the spy program is not about terrorism. It is about increasing the power of the American government,” Greenwald told senators on Wednesday, speaking in Portuguese.

In the most recent report last Sunday, Greenwald said on Globo network television that Canadian spies had targeted Brazil’s Mines and Energy Ministry, intercepting the metadata of phone calls and emails passing through the ministry.

The impact of the steady stream of surveillance allegations on Brazil has been swift. Last month Petrobras announced that it would be investing $9.5 billion over the next five years to heighten its data security.

Meanwhile, Communications Minister Paulo Bernardo announced that the country’s government was pursuing legislation requiring domestic data exchanges to use locally made equipment.

October 10, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception, Economics, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brazil to probe telecom companies implicated in NSA spying

RT | September 4, 2013

Brazil will probe telecommunications companies to see if they illegally shared data with the NSA after it was found the US had been spying on President Rousseff. Brazil’s government has accused the US of lying about the NSA’s activities in the country.

In response to the revelations, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff called an emergency meeting of ministers. Following the meeting the government called on the National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel) to carry out checks on telecom companies based in Brazil to see if they collaborated with the NSA.

The Brazilian government denounced the NSA’s activities as “impermissible and unacceptable” and a violation of Brazilian sovereignty.

“[The US has] not given any reasonable explanations. In fact, all the explanations that have been given so far are false,” said Minister of Communications Paulo Bernardo.

The American ambassador to Brazil, Thomas Shannon, was summoned by the government to account for the reports of NSA snooping on Tuesday. He claimed the NSA does not monitor communications on Brazilian territory or collaborate with telecommunications companies.

Citing data leaked by Edward Snowden, Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald revealed on Sunday that the NSA had been monitoring both the Brazilian and Mexican presidents.

“It is clear in several ways that [Rousseff’s] communications were intercepted, including the use of DNI Presenter, which is a program used by NSA to open and read emails and online chats,” Greenwald told AP in an email.

Brazilian-US relations on rocks

In the wake of the new scandal Brazilian media is speculating whether the spy revelations will lead to a knee-jerk reaction from the Brazilian government and the cancelation of Dilma’s October visit to the States.

Citing a presidential spokesperson, Globo reporter Gerson Camarotti wrote that if a “satisfactory explanation” is not given by the Americans then Dilma “will not rule out canceling the visit.”

“There has to be a convincing explanation. If this doesn’t happen, the situation will become extremely delicate,” said the spokesperson.

US relations with Brazil have worsened considerably as a result of Edward Snowden’s leaks regarding the NSA’s massive spy network. Back in August, UK authorities detained Brazilian citizen David Miranda in a London airport over suspicions he was carrying leaked NSA data on behalf of his partner Glen Greenwald. UK law enforcement held Miranda for nine hours under the terrorist act and confiscated electronic equipment.

Brazil called Miranda’s detention without charges unjustifiable and called on the UK authorities to account for the move. Meanwhile Brazilian lawmakers have called for police protection for Greenwald and his partner.

September 4, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Brazil to probe telecom companies implicated in NSA spying

Brazilian lawmakers call for police protection of Glenn Greenwald and his partner

RT | September 4, 2013

Lawmakers in Brazil have asked that American journalist Glenn Greenwald and his partner David Miranda receive protection from federal police, due to the importance of their testimony regarding an ongoing investigation of US spying practices.

On Tuesday, the Brazilian Senate began an official investigation into allegations that the National Security Agency (NSA) had been surveilling the country and even intercepted personal emails sent by President Dilma Rousseff.

Greenwald first broke the news of allegations that the NSA had been tapping Brazil’s communications several weeks ago, but a Sunday report aired on Globo TV made more pointed accusations that the Brazilian head of state had been targeted.

The American journalist’s reports of alleged NSA spying operations on South America – based on leaks provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden – have been making headlines in Brazil, based in large part on Greenwald’s column with O Globo newspaper.

Sunday’s revelations seemed to be a direct result of the extended detention of Miranda at London’s Heathrow Airport in mid-August. Miranda, a Brazilian national who lives in Rio de Janeiro with Greenwald, was held by officers for nine hours. His electronic equipment was confiscated by authorities. Believing the incident was an attempt at intimidation, Greenwald then indicated that his reporting on Snowden’s leaks would only pick up pace.

In a separate incident in July, Greenwald told media that he believed his home had been broken into and a laptop stolen after he contacted Miranda telling him to expect emailed NSA documents.

The fresh allegations of NSA spying have brought into question president Rousseff’s scheduled state visit to the US in October. Brazil has officially requested an explanation on the new reports by the end of the week, saying that Rousseff’s decision on whether or not to visit Washington will be based on that response.

According to AP, Government security spokesman Eduardo Sanchez confirmed on Tuesday that Brazil’s foreign ministry had contacted the US and requested an “in-depth investigation into the matter.”

During its first meeting on the NSA scandal, Brazil’s Parliamentary Inquiry Commission approved an application for police protection of Greenwald and Miranda.

A member of the committee, Senator Pedro Taques, decried allegations of spying on the country’s leadership.

“There’s been an attempt, not only against our national laws that involve the immunity and safety of our head of state, but other people as well,” he told reporters.

The new report provided by Greenwald also alleges that the NSA targeted Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, monitoring his communications prior to the country’s July 2012 election.

September 4, 2013 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Report: NSA targeted Brazil, Mexico leaders

By Ian Swanson – The Hill – 09/02/13

The NSA monitored communications of the leaders of Brazil and Mexico, Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald said in an interview on Brazilian television, according to the Associated Press.

The revelations come days before President Obama is to travel to Russia for a meeting of the G20.

Greenwald told the Brazilian television program “Fantastico” that he has a document indicating Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s emails were being read. The document is dated from June 2012, a month before Nieto was elected.

National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden has leaked thousands of documents related to the U.S. surveillance programs to Greenwald.

The document from June 2012 shows who Nieto was considering for appointments to key government posts, according to the AP report.

While Greenwald said that document shows “specific intercepted messages” in the case of Nieto, the tracking of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was done through a program known as DNI Presenter that allows the NSA to open and read emails and online chats, the AP report said.

It said the U.S. targeting mapped out the aides with whom Rousseff communicated and tracked patterns of how those aides communicated with one another.

The NSA programs seem likely to come up in some of Obama’s meetings at the G20 in St. Petersburg. Brazil and Mexico are both members of the G20, and Snowden has been granted asylum by Russia.

September 2, 2013 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , , , , | Comments Off on Report: NSA targeted Brazil, Mexico leaders

Snowden Accuses UK Gov’t Of Leaking Documents He Never Leaked To Make Him Look Bad

By Mike Masnick | Techdirt | August 23, 2013

The UK’s Independent newspaper today had an “exclusive” article, in which they claim that documents from Ed Snowden’s leaks revealed a secret internet surveillance base in the Middle East run by the UK government. There’s just one problem. While the article implies (though does not state) that it got those documents from Snowden, Snowden says he’s never talked to nor given anything to The Independent. Instead, he argues, that he’s worked carefully with key journalists (namely, Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Barton Gellman) to make sure that the things they publish don’t reveal anything that might put anyone in danger. Snowden suggests, instead, that this is the UK government itself releasing this information in an attempt to “defend” the detention of David Miranda.

I have never spoken with, worked with, or provided any journalistic materials to the Independent. The journalists I have worked with have, at my request, been judicious and careful in ensuring that the only things disclosed are what the public should know but that does not place any person in danger. People at all levels of society up to and including the President of the United States have recognized the contribution of these careful disclosures to a necessary public debate, and we are proud of this record.

It appears that the UK government is now seeking to create an appearance that the Guardian and Washington Post’s disclosures are harmful, and they are doing so by intentionally leaking harmful information to The Independent and attributing it to others. The UK government should explain the reasoning behind this decision to disclose information that, were it released by a private citizen, they would argue is a criminal act.

If you read the Independent’s coverage carefully, they never actually claim they got the documents from Snowden, even if they leave that impression. Instead, they claim that “information on [the base’s] activities was contained in the leaked documents obtained from the NSA by Edward Snowden.” In other words, they got that information from someone else — almost certainly the UK government. And, yes, that’s convenient timing for the UK government to claim that some of the documents that Snowden downloaded might contain useful information to terrorists, so that they can then turn around and argue that they detained Miranda and took all of his electronics (and destroyed a Guardian hard drive) to avoid having this information “fall into the hands of terrorists.”

The Independent article also implies that the UK government is afraid that Greenwald is going to start revealing this type of info in response to the Miranda detention, even though there’s no basis to believe that all. Greenwald has been quite careful so far not to reveal any information that puts anyone at risk, so it’s odd to believe that he’d start doing so now. Of course, it’s fairly bizarre since the Independent story itself contains tons of details — the kinds of details that Greenwald has avoided.

If Snowden’s assertion is correct — and it does seem like the most plausible argument at this point — then it highlights the ridiculous lengths to which the UK government is going: releasing potentially damaging information that Snowden himself has avoided revealing just to suggest that Snowden was leaking damaging information. Incredible.

August 23, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Snowden Accuses UK Gov’t Of Leaking Documents He Never Leaked To Make Him Look Bad

Guardian editor on Miranda detention: ‘Terror and journalism being aligned’

RT | August 21, 2013

The UK government created a “lawless bit of Britain” under the terror act which suspends all checks and balances, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger said in an interview, adding that the paper is financing David Miranda’s lawsuit against the Home Office.

Rusbridger called ports and airport transit lounges a “stateless bit of Britain,” where a government can use the word “terror” to “suspend all the normal rules.”

The comment was made in reference to UK authorities detaining and questioning David Miranda, the partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, for nine hours in London’s Heathrow airport on Sunday under Schedule 7 of the UK’s anti-terrorism law.

Miranda told the BBC in an interview that he felt threatened during his 9-hour detention and as if “he were naked in front of a crowd.”

Greewald’s partner said that he was “forced to give passwords” to email and social media accounts to his interrogators. Authorities allegedly threatened him with prison if he did not comply.

Inside Britain, journalists and anyone else carrying material have more opportunities to stand their ground. “You can go before a judge, you can argue about public interest and the public interest of that work,” Rusbridger said.

“The disturbing thing about the way they treated Miranda was the use of this terror act, and there is a little noticed section there, Schedule 7, which effectively suspends all the normal checks and balances that you would have if you were arrested in the Heathrow car park,” he added.

Rusbridger believes there are “confusions in law” when it comes to where you are when you’re in a transit lounge and “whose laws you apply to.”

The UK created this “lawless bit of Britain” over a decade ago, according to the editor. It is a place “where anybody can be questioned for up to nine hours without access to a solicitor and where all your belongings can be confiscated and there’s nothing you can do about it,” he said.

Financing Miranda’s lawsuit

Rusbridger revealed that the Guardian is funding Miranda’s legal actions as he seeks a judicial review of the legal basis for his detention and assurances that the property seized from him by police will not be examined.

“The Guardian is supporting that action and we are supporting that in terms of financing it, because David Miranda was acting on behalf of Glenn Greenwald at the time that he was detained. I think it’s a good thing to challenge that law and see exactly why terror and journalism are being aligned in this disturbing way.”

“Miranda wasn’t really on assignment, he is Glenn Greenwald’s partner and Glenn Greenwald is a very busy man and he assists Glenn in his journalistic work. And he was acting as a messenger or intermediary in a way that is difficult for Glenn at the moment because he’s got a lot of work to be doing in Brazil and I think he’s also a bit nervous about traveling at the moment.”

‘The best choice was to destroy hard drives’

Rusbridger also explained that he chose to destroy the Guardian’s hard drives instead of complying with the government because he wanted to avoid a legal dead-end, where the paper would be prevented from publishing Snowden’s leaked documents.

“We were faced effectively with an ultimatum from the British government that if we didn’t hand back the material or destroy it then they would move to law,” he said. “That would mean prior restraint, a concept that is anathema in America and other parts of the world, in which the state can effectively prevent a publisher from publishing, and I didn’t want to get into that position.”

Rusbridger revealed in an article posted on the British newspaper’s website on Monday that intelligence officials from the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) told him that he would either have to hand over all the classified documents or have the newspaper’s hard drives destroyed.

Rusbridger told security officials that the Guardian had other copies in America and Brazil, “so they wouldn’t be achieving anything.”

“But once it was obvious that they would be going to law, I would rather destroy the copy than hand it back to them or allow the courts to freeze our reporting.”

“I don’t think we had Snowden’s consent to hand it back and I didn’t want to help the UK authorities know what he had given us. So to me I was not going to hand it back to the government and I was happy to destroy it because it was not going to inhibit our reporting, we would simply do it from America and not from London.”

Rusbridger described the UK as being “genuinely torn” during negotiations.

“To begin with they were reasonable conversations, it was a reasonable dialogue and all I can say is that at some point something changed and that switched into a threat of legal action. I don’t know what changed or why they changed, I imagine there were different conversations going on within the security apparatus within Whitehall and within Downing Street and at some point a message came to me that we had had our fun and that the time had come to return the documents.” 

Revealing the destruction of hard drives

Rusbridger told The Huffington Post that the Guardian could not reveal the destruction of the hard drives earlier because of “operational reasons.”

“Having been through this and not written about it on the day for operational reasons, I was sort of waiting for a moment when the government’s attitude to journalism – when there was an issue that made this relevant,” Rusbridger said.

The editor believed that moment was Miranda’s detention.

“The fact that David Miranda had been detained under this slightly obscure schedule of the terrorism act seemed a useful moment to write about the background to the government’s attitude to this in general,” he said.

When asked why the Guardian did not devote a front-page article to the issue, Rusbridger said “it was a personal take really.”

“I felt this was a piece of background that readers ought to know about it, but I wanted to write about it in my voice instead of putting in a news story.”

“It wasn’t immediate news…it felt more natural to write about it in a more discursive way,” he added.

‘On a road to total surveillance’

The Guardian editor highlighted that in this age of “mass collection of millions of emails, details of phone calls, texts…the business of reporting securely and having confidential sources is becoming difficult.”

“Journalists should be aware of the difficulties they are going to face in the future because everybody in 2013 leaves a very big digital trail, which is very easily accessed.”

Snowden risked his own freedom to draw attention to the “degree to which we are on a road to total surveillance, we are not there yet, but in these documents there is the stated ambition to scoop up everything and save it all and to master the internet.”

Rusbridger argued that the UK faces the danger of being “complacent about what is being revealed.”

August 21, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Guardian editor on Miranda detention: ‘Terror and journalism being aligned’

UK ordered Guardian to destroy hard drives in effort to stop Snowden revelations

RT | August 20, 2013

UK authorities reportedly raided the Guardian’s office in London to destroy hard drives in an effort to stop future publications of leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The action is unlikely to prevent new materials coming out.

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger revealed in a Monday article posted on the British newspaper’s website that intelligence officials from the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) told him that he would either have to hand over all the classified documents or have the newspaper’s hard drives destroyed.

After more talks, two “security experts” from GCHQ – the British version of the National Security Agency – visited the Guardian’s London offices.

Rusbridger wrote that the government officials then watched as computers, which contained classified information passed on by Snowden, were physically destroyed in one of the newspaper building’s basements.

“We can call off the black helicopters,” Rusbridger said one of the officials joked.

Another source familiar with the event confirmed to Reuters that Guardian employees destroyed the computers as UK officials observed.

During negotiations with the government, Rusbridger said that the newspaper could not fulfill its journalistic duty if it satisfied the authorities’ requests.

But GCHQ reportedly responded by telling the Guardian that it had already sparked the debate, which was enough.

“You’ve had your debate. There’s no need to write any more,” Reuters quoted the unnamed official as saying.

In the article, Rusbridger explained that because of existing “international collaborations” between journalists, it was still possible to report the story and “take advantage of the most permissive legal environments.”

“I explained to the man from Whitehall about the nature of international collaborations… Bluntly, we did not have to do our reporting from London. Already most of the NSA stories were being reported and edited out of New York. And had it occurred to him that [reporter Glenn] Greenwald lived in Brazil?” wrote Rusbridger.

“The man was unmoved. And so one of the more bizarre moments in the Guardian’s long history occurred – with two GCHQ security experts overseeing the destruction of hard drives in the Guardian’s basement just to make sure there was nothing in the mangled bits of metal which could possibly be of any interest to passing Chinese agents.”

Rusbridger pointed out that the whole incident felt like a “pointless piece of symbolism that understood nothing about the digital age.”

The news comes after Sunday’s international incident during which David Miranda, the partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, was held at Heathrow airport under the UK Terrorism Act for the maximum time allowed before pressing charges. Greenwald was the reporter who exclusively broke the Snowden story.

The editor promised that the Guardian will “continue to do patient, painstaking reporting on the Snowden documents, we just won’t do it in London. The seizure of Miranda’s laptop, phones, hard drives and camera will similarly have no effect on Greenwald’s work.”

Another US security source told Reuters that Miranda’s detention was meant to send a message to those who received Snowden’s classified documents, about how serious the UK is in closing all the leaks in relation to the whistleblower’s revelations.

Greenwald, who first published secrets leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, responded by promising to release more documents. He added that the UK would be “sorry” for detaining his partner for nine hours.

Snowden, who has been granted asylum by Russia, gave Greenwald up to 20,000 documents with details about the US National Security Agency and the UK’s GCHQ surveillance operations.

‘US is the intellectual author behind detention of Miranda’

Lawyer Eva Golinger told RT that the UK has violated all concepts of freedom of the press. “We are talking about a media outlet. Journalists and their spouses and partners being detained and interrogated. So clearly there has been a decision made that everything related to Edward Snowden must be captured no matter what, violating anyone’s right under any country’s laws.”

Golinger believes that government’s pressure on journalists could inspire some to cover the topic of government surveillance even more, instead of discouraging them to do so.

“The more principled the people reporting are, the more they will continue to pursue that work in the face of threat. Such cheap threats and intimidation give people even more reasons to continue doing what they are doing because it shows that those in power are clearly frightened of the information that is being put out,” she explained.

“At the same time it could certainly intimidate other journalists and create the environment of self-censorship, where many would be unwilling to take the risks that are involved with national security reporting, particularly when it comes to the US.”

Golinger argued that US is the “intellectual author behind the detainment of Miranda.”

“We are talking about a search and capture that is going on for Edward Snowden and it is the US that is leading that effort. It is not the UK or other European nations, they are merely abiding by the wishes of the US…What I believe is that Washington has simply put out a request to all of its allies that anyone related to Edward Snowden must be detained if they come into your territory and the UK abided by that and did their duty.”

August 20, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on UK ordered Guardian to destroy hard drives in effort to stop Snowden revelations