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Sunday, December 01, 2013

Smear jobs: Mother Agnes and Glenn Greenwald

Did you know that Glenn Grennwald -- the journalist who took point on the Snowden revelations -- is a former porn king who has worked for Brazilians?

(Cut to: George W. Bush. "Wow! How many is a Brazilian?")

Such, at least, is the claim made by Canadian MP Paul Calandra. This stuff's pretty hilarious:
Mr. Speaker, the CBC’s Journalistic Standards and Practices make clear that:

To ensure we maintain our independence, we do not pay for information from a source in a story.

When CBC’s The National aired a report about U.S. activities during the G8 and G20, neither Peter Mansbridge nor Greg Weston disclosed that they had paid their source, Glenn Greenwald.

Greenwald is a Brazilian based former porn industry executive, now assisting Edward Snowden leak national security information.

CBC only admitted to its cash for news scheme after The Wall Street Journal forced it out. CBC is trying to justify the violation of its own ethical standards by claiming that Greenwald is a freelancer.

Greenwald has strong and controversial opinions about national security. Of course, that is his right, but when CBC pays for news, we have to ask why furthering Glenn Greenwald’s agenda and lining his Brazilian bank account more important than maintaining the public broadcaster’s journalistic integrity?
You'll enjoy this response to Calandra's nonsense.

I've seen this sort of thing before. The spooks will sometimes give a rather striking disinformation meme a try-out run in Canada, in order to gauge its credibility. (Sort of like a play undergoing a pre-Broadway run in New Haven.) If enough people go for it, the next stop will be Fox News.

Smearing Mother Agnes. Agnes is a saintly nun in Syria who has been trying to achieve a peaceful resolution to the civil war. Think Gandhi; think King; think Aung San Suu Kyi. This Carmelite relgious has risked her life to broker ceasefires in order to help civilians escape war zones.

Alas, the "governing media" (to use Peter Dale Scott's term) of this country rarely has a kind word for her. Why? Because she committed the "crime" of questioning whether the Syrian government was responsible for the much-discussed chemical weapon attack in two suburbs of Damascus.

As regular readers know, I too question the responsibility of the Assad government for those attacks -- see here and here. The Human Rights Watch report which the mainstreamers use to blame Assad is a joke: Even the HRW's own illustration proves that the attack could well have come from rebel-held areas.

(As always, we must restate that which should go without saying: Nothing printed here should be construed as pro-Assad sentiment. The man is a dictatorial beast. But many of his opponents are Islamic fundamentalists of the worst kind -- and they may well make life impossible for Syria's Christians, if they attain power. Alas, some situations give you no good options.)

Because she dared to go against the script, Mother Agnes has been smeared as a "kook" and a "pro-regime stooge." That's not true:
The nun insists she is not an Assad propagandist, describing his family's decades-long hold over Syria as a 'tumor,' but she saves her harshest criticism for the rebels.

'The rebels presented themselves as the doctor who will remove this tumor,' she said in a recent Skype interview. 'They imposed arms as a treatment, and it is killing Syria.'
See for yourself. Here she is in dialogue with George Galloway, another controversial figure. Alas, you'll have to skip to the second half of the video to see the interview with Mother Agnes. She is pretty hard-hitting as she describes the jihadis as "a war tool" of outside powers who want to see Syria reduced to anarchy.

Does this woman seem like a "kook" to you? She certainly makes a lot of sense to me...

On state-of-the-union, Crowley's sunday screed, she "interviewed" DiFi about National security. Di bemoaned the fact that everybody critizing the NSA -- to the determent of our (together now) safety. As proof she present the argument that were it not for the NSA they would have never found these NEW type of bombs found in printer cartridges.

New? Di, honeybooboo, that was over three years ago.

If you want to see a pure piece 0f propoganda, see the interview.
I wouldn't trust the Daily Mail.

Mother Agnes is Carmelite, and got kind of seconded to the Melkite Greek Catholics, in which community she apparently set up a new order.

Her father is Palestinian. What does she say about the elephant in the dining room, Zionist involvement in the war in Syria?

I've heard she's got a long record of involvement in multifaith stuff which recognises the legitimacy of Israel. Haven't checked that properly, though., but still: the police have crashed a helicopter, very probably by accident, into a Glasgow pub, killing 9 people. The pub, the Clutha Vaults, happens to be one of the main left-wing watering-holes in that city.

The police are responsible for what helicopters they buy, how and where they fly them, who they give the maintenance contracts to, etc. And the buck stops with the chief executive, chief constable Stephen House.

House hasn't even said "sorry". Oh no. He's said "thanks" for the "kindnesses" shown by the "people of Glasgow".

Absolutely no-one, even the Glasgow anarchists, are kicking up a fuss in response to the police killing of 9 people by accident.

Instead, the morons are giving out the emergency number and competing with mainstream politicians, ostentatiously avoiding seeking political capital, just saying their hearts go out to the bereaved and inured. Maybe they can book a minor-party place for themselves behind the queen at the Cenotaph, or perhaps at the State Opening of Parliament?

Everyone is shocked by the crash.

People under shock retreat to their core personalities. For the Glasgow anarchists, that's clearly wanting to run a minor political opinion brand, up there on the platform (they wish!).

What is it for me? Well, revulsion at the lying hypocrisy of senior authorities, and hatred of the moneygrabbing interests they serve, are definitely in there.

Our enemies certainly don't call a truce at a time like this. On the contrary, they ramp up their self-presentation as the guardians of all of our interests. It's enough to make anyone with a brain as well as a a stomach want to vomit.

While avoiding taking responsibility, apologising, resigning, or committing suicide (and if he did any of those things, he'd deserve at least some credit), chief constable Stephen House found time to thank, as well as the "people of Glasgow", a hotel brand called Holiday Inn Express.

That's owned by Intercontinental Hotels Group, the world's biggest hotel company by number of rooms. Doubtless they have a proactive press office, whose staff I imagine have been high-fiving each other over this story, as well as buying cops and local officials the proverbial "drink".

Never mind the poor fuckers who've been killed, injured, or bereaved.

I'm reminded of Marks and Spencer's, which similarly "opened its doors" at something like 6am after the bombing of the Tory conference in Brighton in 1984. Just so that Tory scum could buy new clothes.

Companies love getting their products and services mentioned in articles on this kind of story. Why? Because people read these articles with greater than usual attentiveness.

People may remember Mars bars and the capture of Saddam Hussein, and Johnny Walker Black Label whisky and the kidnapping of Ilich 'Carlos the Jackal' Sanchez.

'Carlos the Jackal' - an epithet which itself must surely have made profit for Frederick Forsyth, author of 'The Day of the Jackal'. Thanks to the 'Guardian' newspaper. And for those who are interested in the truth, the main character in that novel is a hired assassin, which has never been the occupation of Sanchez.

So we have

...the cops killing 9 people by accident, and not even apologising...

...a big multinational company getting some advertising out of the deaths...

...helped by the chief cop...

...and everyone's supposed critical senses disappearing up their arses.

Sign of the times?
I trust the evidence of my own perceptions, b. Just look at her interviews. Agnes is a woman who wants peace. The message comes through.

Bigotry about her order is nonsense.
I usually avoid looking at moving images on a screen! Her work in Syria certainly isn't bigoted - quite the opposite - so I see no reason to be bigoted against her. I believe what she says about those chemical attacks not being the work of the government. But the Palestinian stuff... There are various organisations with Arabs and Jews in them which say they are for peace and which simultaneously recognise the legitimacy of Israel's existence. Some of them even say Jerusalem is in Israel. That may look unobjectionable to some in the west, but for any interested person anywhere in the Middle East it identifies exactly where they are coming from. It also reminds me of how the apartheid regime in South Africa used to decorate its London embassy with pictures of happy-looking black South Africans. While an ethnic-supremacist regime exists in the region, the only lasting peace i the wider region can be the peace of the graveyards. That said, of course the end of Israel isn't a main consideration at the moment for the people suffering from the war in Syria - who just need the ongoing local war to end - and no brief whatsoever should be held for the head-choppers.

Tip: the Glasgow helicopter story has legs. No black box. Ex-RAF pilot possibly with royal family connections.

Interesting, Joseph. I've been off the radar, reading but not commenting. Strange how those who take the contrary view of media/government reality are always smeared,diminished and called into question. I found it particularly ironic that a Rush Limbaugh [paragon of virtue] would accuse Pope Francis of being a Marxist simply because he refuses to equate Jesus to John Galt.

Idolatry of money. Didn't Jesus throw a hissy-fit over the moneychangers at the Temple?

Unfettered capitalism, a new form of tyranny.

Ooooo. the man is definitely dangerous for pulling back the curtain on the savagery of Vulture Capitalism, questioning the long-touted but bogus theory of 'trickle down.' Look to Greece for a grim reminder. Or the Americas south of the US, the lab rats of neoliberalism in all its gory, unrepentant destruction. Milton Friedman's influence has been a global pestilence.

Did you know that Pope Francis was a bouncer during his student years? Had his eye on a woman, too. The agents of smear will need to do a much better job. The stories make the man all too human. Not a negative for most of us.

How dare Mother Agnes suggest that chemical attacks were perpetrated by rebel bands, those nobel freedom fighters, the very people we presumably support and were ready to send bombs away to celebrate? How dare she speak of peace?

Things are coming undone, unravelling.

About time, I'd say. Long overdue.

As for Snowden and Greenwald? They've done us a service. So, of course, the powers that be feel compelled to spit on both. As GW said in his black and white world-view:

"You're either with us or agin us."

Despite all that, the chorus line is beginning to wobble.

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