woot! bellin¿cat won ‘em an emmy!

Politik on Twitter: ‘Bellingcat’s new magnum opus

On Dec. 3, this had come in on the Popular Resistance newsletter: ‘Omidyar’s Intercept Teams Up With War-Propaganda Firm Bellingcat’, Whitney Webb, Mintpressnews.com, December 3, 2019…and I’d thought close to ‘holy hell’ not for the third time!’  As I’d reported on that in a compendium diary on Oct. 2019: ‘All the Manufactured News That’s Fit to Believe™’ But when I’d come back and had clicked in to read more closely, at the top they’d noted:

This article was originally published in October 2018. We are reposting this because Bellingcat recently won an Emmy Award for a documentary film.

Despite promoting itself as an “independent” and open-source investigation site, Bellingcat has received a significant portion of its funding from Google, which is also one of the most powerful U.S. military contractors and whose rise to prominence was directly aided by the CIA.”  Well, Webb had named many more funding sources, but I’ll paste it in below the fold just in case you’d never read it and would like to.

And indeed, bellingcat received an emmy award for Best International Documentary, for their ‘Truth In A Post-Truth World Truth In A Post-Truth World’  according to submarine.nl/news. And you bet your ass they Bring the Truth their funding sources want you to believe!

(This is their official website, but boy, do they love the Twit Machine, both collectively and individually on the left sidebar.)

Just to wet your whistles, or alternately, consider putting your head in the oven like poor : ( Sylvia Muffin :


(by terry border)

Bellingcat: Truth In A Post-Truth World (the trailer july 2019)

How to expose the Russian government’s lies | Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins on MH-17, •Jul 29, 2019

Uncovering Russian Military Secrets With Bellingcat, Jun 9, 2015

¿ Bellingcat ¿ Who Funds Bellingcat? Graham Phillips

 

This is great fun, and you might want to read the rest. In his Dec. 2, 2019As The OPCW Is Accused Of False Reporting U.S. Propaganda Jumps To Its Help’, moonofalabama.org, bernhard notes:

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) manufactured a pretext for war by suppressing its own scientists’ research:

OPCW emails and documents were leaked and whistleblowers came forward to speak with journalists and international lawyers. Veteran journalist Jonathan Steele, who has spoken with the whistleblowers, wrote an excellent piece on the issues. In the Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens picked up the issue and moved it forward.

Under U.S. pressure the OPCW management modified or suppressed the findings of its own scientists to make it look as if the Syrian government had been responsible for the alleged chemical incident in April 2018 in Douma.

The public attention to the OPCW’s fakery lead to the questioning of other assertions the OPCW had previously made. With the OPCW under fire someone had to come to its help.

To save the propaganda value of the OPCW reports the U.S. financed Bellingcat propaganda organization jumped in to save the OPCW’s bacon. Bellingcat founder “suck my balls” Elliot Higgins claimed that the OPCW reports satisfied the concerns the OPCW scientist had voiced.

That assertion is now further propagated by a New York Times piece which, under the pretense of reporting about open source analysis, boosts Bellingcat and its defense of the OPCW:

The blogger Eliot Higgins made waves early in the decade by covering the war in Syria from a laptop in his apartment in Leicester, England, while caring for his infant daughter. In 2014, he founded Bellingcat, an open-source news outlet that has grown to include roughly a dozen staff members, with an office in The Hague. Mr. Higgins attributed his skill not to any special knowledge of international conflicts or digital data, but to the hours he had spent playing video games, which, he said, gave him the idea that any mystery can be cracked.

Bellingcat journalists have spread the word about their techniques in seminars attended by journalists and law-enforcement officials. Along with grants from groups like the Open Society Foundations, founded by George Soros, the seminars are a significant source of revenue for Bellingcat, a nonprofit organization.”

You’ll remember that Craig Murray has an extensive oeuvre on Bellingcat; here are a few for instances via Twitter…

***********************************************************************************

From Whitney Webb, mintpressews, Oct. 8, 2018: Omidyar’s Intercept Teams Up with War-Propaganda Firm Bellingcat;  Despite promoting itself as an “independent” and open-source investigation site, Bellingcat has received a significant portion of its funding from Google, which is also one of the most powerful U.S. military contractors and whose rise to prominence was directly aided by the CIA’ (all content is labeled CC; my bolds)

NEW YORK — The Intercept, along with its parent company First Look Media, recently hosted a workshop for pro-war, Google-funded organization Bellingcat in New York. The workshop, which cost $2,500 per person to attend and lasted five days, aimed to instruct participants in how to perform investigations using “open source” tools — with Bellingcat’s past, controversial investigations for use as case studies. The exact details of what occurred during the workshop have not been made public and Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins declined to elaborate on the workshop when pressed on social media.

The decision on the part of The Intercept is particularly troubling given that the publication has long been associated with the track records of its founding members, such as Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald, who have long been promoted as important “progressive” and “anti-war” voices in the U.S. media landscape.

Greenwald publicly distanced himself from the decision to host the workshop, stating on Twitter that he was not involved in making that decision and that — if he had been — it was not one “that I would have made.” However, he stopped short of condemning the decision.

Bellingcat’s open support for foreign military intervention and tendency to promote NATO/U.S. war propaganda are unsurprising when one considers how the group is funded and the groups with which it regularly collaborates.

For instance, Bellingcat regularly works with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), which – according to the late journalist Robert Parry – “engages in ‘investigative journalism’ that usually goes after governments that have fallen into disfavor with the United States and then are singled out for accusations of corruption.” OCCRP is notably funded by USAID and the controversial George Soros-funded Open Society Foundations.

In addition, Bellingcat’s founder Eliot Higgins is employed by the Atlantic Council, which is partially funded by the U.S. State Department, NATO and U.S. weapons manufacturers. It should come as little surprise then that the results of Bellingcat’s “findings” often fit neatly with narratives promoted by NATO and the U.S. government despite their poor track record in terms of accuracy.

Bellingcat’s funding is even more telling than its professional associations. Indeed, despite promoting itself as an “independent” and open-source investigation site, Bellingcat has received a significant portion of its funding from Google, which is also one of the most powerful U.S. military contractors and whose rise to prominence was directly aided by the CIA.

Google has also been actively promoting regime change in countries like Syria, a policy that Bellingcat also promotes. As one example, leaked emails between Jared Cohen, former director of Google Ideas (now Jigsaw), and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton revealed that Google developed software aimed at assisting al-Qaeda and other Syrian opposition groups in boosting their ranks. Furthermore, Cohen was once described by Stratfor intelligence analysts as a “loose cannon” for his deep involvement in Middle Eastern regime-change efforts.

Under President Donald Trump, Google’s connections to the U.S. government have become even more powerful, as the current Trump-appointed Director of National Intelligence once worked as a corporate lobbyist for Google.

Synergy in the service of empire

Given the clear alliances between Bellingcat and the military-industrial complex, The Intercept’s decision to host a Bellingcat workshop in its New York offices may seem surprising. However, The Intercept has long promoted Bellingcat in its written work and its parent company has actually been associated with Bellingcat since 2015.

Indeed, Google-owned YouTube announced in 2015 the formation of the “First Draft coalition,” which nominally sought to bring “together a group of thought leaders and pioneers in social media journalism to create educational resources on how to verify eyewitness media.” That coalition united Bellingcat with the now-defunct Reported.ly – another venture of The Intercept’s parent company, First Look Media.

In the years since, The Intercept has repeatedly promoted Bellingcat in its articles, having called the Atlantic Council-connected, Google-funded group “a reputable U.K.-based organization devoted to analyzing images coming out of conflict zones.” Furthermore, prior to the recent workshop in late September between The Intercept and Bellingcat, both jointly participated in another workshop hosted in London earlier this year in April.”

(She adds this demonstrative Tweet)

Omidyar’s connections

“In addition, the Intercept’s main funder – eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar – shares innumerable connections to the U.S. government and has helped fund regime-change operations abroad in the past, suggesting a likely reason behind the publication’s willingness to associate itself with Bellingcat.

For instance, Omidyar made more visits to the Obama White House between 2009 and 2013 than Google’s Eric Schmidt, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg or Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. He also donated $30 million to the Clinton global initiative and directly co-invested with the State Department — funding groups, some of them overtly fascist, that worked to overthrow Ukraine’s democratically elected government in 2014.

Even after Obama left office, Omidyar has continued to fund USAID, particularly its overseas program aimed at “advancing U.S. national security interests” abroad. Omidyar’s Ulupono Initiative also cosponsors one of the Pentagon’s most important contractor expos, a direct link between Omidyar initiatives and the U.S. military-industrial complex.

Such promotion of the regime-change wars has been reflected in reporting done at The Intercept, particularly in regards to Syria. Indeed, Intercept writers covering Syria frequently promote Syrian “rebels” and the opposition while also promoting pro-regime-change talking points.

Another former Intercept contributor and now Intercept “fact checker,” Mariam Elba, wrote a poorly researched article that sought to link the Syrian government to U.S. white nationalists, claiming that the Syrian government sought to “homogenize” the country despite its support for religious and ethnic minorities in stark contrast to the Syrian opposition. Notably, Elba recently praised the Intercept/Bellingcat workshop, which she had attended.

If that weren’t enough, last year the paper hired Maryam Saleh, a journalist who has called Shia Muslims “dogs” and has taken to Twitter in the past to downplay the role of the U.S. coalition in airstrikes in Syria. Saleh also has ties to the U.S.-financed propaganda group Kafranbel Media Center, which also has close relations with the terrorist group Ahrar al-Sham.

Furthermore, MintPress noted last year that The Intercept had withheld a key document from the Edward Snowden cache proving the Syrian opposition was taking marching orders from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Intercept published that document only after the U.S. State Department itself began to report more honestly on the nature of these so-called “rebels,” even though The Intercept had had that document in its possession since 2013.

Even “anti-interventionist” Intercept journalists like Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald have come under fire this past year for allegedly promoting inaccurate statements that supported pro-regime-change narratives in Syria, particularly in regards to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma. That attack is now widely believed to have been staged by the White Helmets.

Thus, while The Intercept has long publicly promoted itself as an anti-interventionist and progressive media outlet, it is becoming clearer that – largely thanks to its ties to Omidyar – it is increasingly an organization that has more in common with Bellingcat, a group that launders NATO and U.S. propaganda and disguises it as “independent” and “investigative journalism.”

Author’s Note | John Helsby contributed research, particularly in regards to social media, to this report.

Editors Note: After objection from Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins, this story was updated to read: “The exact details of what occurred during the workshop have not been made public”, This was updated from the original: “The details of the workshop have not been made public” as Higgins interpreted this to mean details made prior to the event. MintPress was well aware of the pre-event details that were made public prior to the workshop, such as cost to attend, date and location as a link that the announcement of those details can be found in the second sentence of the article, which remains unchanged.

Top Photo | Bana Alabed promotes Bellingcat at an event put on by the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab. Photo | Twitter

Whitney Webb is a staff writer for MintPress News and a contributor to Ben Swann’s Truth in Media. Her work has appeared on Global Research, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has also made radio and TV appearances on RT and Sputnik. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile.

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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wendy davis's picture

before mr. wd gets home with groceries from 'the shithead capital of dipstick coounty, colorado (h/ tip edward abbey): (note: some read like word/photo salad to me)

file these under 'small wonder':

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Lily O Lady's picture

that there is a “new” drink recipe, the “American Mule.” It’s a Moscow Mule but made with premium American vodka such as Tito’s. Now you have something to wash your Freedom Fries down.

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

wendy davis's picture

@Lily O Lady

'wash down yer freedumb and dumber fries'. ; )

the moscow mule: is it made with....Novichok Vodka?

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Lily O Lady's picture

@wendy davis

the recipe written on a box of ginger beer. My head immediately exploded. “American Mule” does reflect the stubborn insistence that Dems have regarding anything Russian. They can’t see that the very name is self-parody.

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

Azazello's picture

Pro-War "Bellingcat" Smears Anti-War Journalists

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It didn't have to be this way.

wendy davis's picture

@Azazello

especially given that i realize so many here can hear what dore says better by way of 'truth in comedy'.

but yeah, belligcat's funding sources are far larger than noted in the video, which is a larger part of the problem with agitprop news, including 'the papers of record' in amerika and the UK, the PropOrNot fiction, the list goes on...

pushing back against agitpop anywhere (including the bloody Intercept) is key to our survival, and i will note that there sure are time when wsws gets it wholly wrong, as in: bolivia, venezuela (most of the time), and the hong kong protests, imo.

on edit: brecht said it right:

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@Azazello These propaganda extenisions of powere seem to literally surround us 24/7.

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Alligator Ed's picture

Thanks, wd, for another thorough foray into warmonger land journalism (if such a profane aim can be entitled to claim independence of investigation for the utilitarian knowledge we should hope the deceased Fourth Estate provides).

Once again, so much information upon which to feast...er... digest...er... learn.
(Remember the quickest way to an alligator's heart is his stomach [or her stomach], no misogyny intended)

Given the clear alliances between Bellingcat and the military-industrial complex, The Intercept’s decision to host a Bellingcat workshop in its New York offices may seem surprising. However, The Intercept has long promoted Bellingcat in its written work and its parent company has actually been associated with Bellingcat since 2015.

Since Pierre took over editorial control of the formerly great Intercept, it is appropriate to regard the continuing participation of Scahill and Greenwald the permanency of foam on a beer, able to be blown off without difficulties.

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wendy davis's picture

@Alligator Ed

and i know it's long. but you shouldda seen the one from 2018! it was the War and Peace of the Industrial Propaganda Complex, lol. busting/deconstructing media brands and compromised NGOs is seriously important to me, lest we unwittingly fall under their hypnotic spells and believe ...rather than what's at least closer to the truth.

as to the conjoined projects of bellingcat and Pierre's intercept: is 'fifth column compradors' appropriate? but i hadn't known that their alliance stretched back to 2015.

i will say that i despise the Intercept for many more reasons than this, including that five of their 'fearless investigative journalists' had smeared julian assange up the wazoo with lies and innuendo, and fuck them for it. it's been good to see when i read there so you don't have to, their commentariat is far less likely to buy into their most trashiest stuff, even though they must get some stuff right, they're o prolific. i love the 'if you value our fearless journalism, please donate here', just like...the guardian. ; )

ah, Pierre, you sell-out comprador; the place didn't end up bein' a money maker as you'd prophesied, did it? a quarter of a billion bucks only went soooo far.

on edit: how eloquent:

...it is appropriate to regard the continuing participation of Scahill and Greenwald the permanency of foam on a beer, able to be blown off without difficulties.

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k9disc's picture

tizing.

There is a shark under that jump, for sure.

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“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

wendy davis's picture

@k9disc

thank you. a perfect image to hold in our minds: "There is a shark under that jump, for sure."

on edit: not entirely unrelated: the Netflix documentary of the stars of stage and screen (al qaeda head-choppers) the White Helmets....also won an emmy.

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travelerxxx's picture

@wendy davis

... the Netflix documentary of the stars of stage and screen (al qaeda head-choppers) the White Helmets....also won an emmy.

Gag!

Well, it's been clear that our-tax-money-at-work-via-the-CIA has been deeply involved with Hollywood for quite some time. Evidently, nothing has changed lately.

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wendy davis's picture

@travelerxxx

there are even websites demonstrating it, although jay dyer's site mainly feature podcasts or whatever they're called.

sorry i'm so fuzzy-brained, but i've been awake since 1:30 this a.m. this is on a bit of a tangent, but narwani's done a hella lot of first-person reporting on the head-chopper/organ dealers; it's from my 2018 war and peace of corrupt news sites, etc.:

had i forgotten to mention that both the (pffft) Intercept (maz hussain) and democracy now! had heaped lavish praise on the White Helmets? i've lost track, and mine eyes are about to give up for the night.

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@wendy davis the mighty Noam Chomsky lost me.
Thanks for bringing it into the fray.
That was it.

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wendy davis's picture

@on the cusp

i'll say i've had further reasons to question the Great Chomsky, but oh, my: he gets quoted ubiquitously as though he's a saint cum prophet. (heh, i'd first typed 'profit'.)

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wendy davis's picture

from eliot higgins:

you'll enjoy this, azazello: ; )

'may be preparing...'

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TheOtherMaven's picture

@wendy davis

What did they expect, that the site would just magically vanish without anyone doing anything? (Probably!)

So if anyone is doing anything, it's "proof" of "nefarious activity".

It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world, and the only sane leaders are NOT in any of the Western powers.

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

wendy davis's picture

@TheOtherMaven

ya got it all wrong, see./s trump swore the site had already been dismantled, but:

The commercial satellite imagery, which was captured on Thursday by Planet Labs, shows new activity at Sohae Satellite Launching Station and the presence of a large shipping container at the facility's engine test stand, according Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute, which works in partnership with the imaging company.

The shipping container was not seen at the site before Thursday and its presence suggests the North Koreans are moving to resume tests engine tests at Sohae, Lewis told CNN.
....................................................................
While engine tests are considered to be less provocative than those involving missiles or satellites, Lewis said that the activity at Sohae is a significant development and a step toward weapons launches of a more threatening nature.

The timing of renewed activity at Sohae also sends a clear message to Trump after a foreign ministry official said earlier this week that Pyongyang was preparing a "Christmas gift," for Washington, but warned that the present the Trump administration will receive depends on events in the coming days.'

rather carefully worded iron-clad innuendo as a nuclear threat, and has the added benefit of making Boss Tweet look even more gullible. same thing's going on with iran in the war of words and innuendo, no matter how many times:

@JZarif "#Iran's Leader has long made it abundantly clear that nuclear weapons are immoral & contravene Islamic principles.

Their development, acquisition, stockpiling & use is thus forbidden.

We're categorically opposed to nuclear arms as a religious/moral duty & strategic imperative."

OTOH:

me, i'm not sold on the 'belief' that saudi arabia hasn't got The Bomb, either.

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This is a superb article. Keep up the good work.

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wendy davis's picture

@out of left field

to say, friend.

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wendy davis's picture

i need a lift, so i'll bring this brilliant cover of peter tosh's Jah Guide by playing for change's (world peace through music around the world) house band. good night; i know we all wish it were a better world, one without 'amerikan/western hegemonic exceptionalism™' at play.

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of Elliot Higgins and his crew of "truth seekers" (as the article announcing their documentary award describes them) was enough to put me off my feed. Yuck.

That Atlantic Council and their Digital Forensic Research Lab are truly Bad News - no surprise that Burisma Energy would want to jump in in a big way with the rest of the corrupt, authoritarian warmongers there.

Not a Trotskyite (ist?) but have to give credit to those World Socialists (wsws.org) for paying attention to the AC's central role in censorship - they saw the censorship coming and called it correctly, although they seemed little concerned about other than leftist sites and individuals being targeted even though conservatives, libertarians and others were experiencing wholesale censorship, too.

Many progressive types were cheering when Infowars and Alex Jones were axed only to find themselves on the receiving end of the same treatment. Rather shortsighted...

How many times should we need to be reminded that you don't keep free speech long by being unwilling to make sure it's extended to people you don't like or agree with"?

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wendy davis's picture

@Blue Republic

great links, although your third one didn't work; here it is: How Hate Speech Conquered Free Speech. The Great Deplatforming, Helen Buyniski, Global Research, August 18, 2018

after reading your second one re: alex jones and 'hate speech' (yeah, who decides that???), this short out-take is my fave:

“Telesur and Martin were logical choices to launch Big Tech’s un-personing on the Left. Facebook’s partner in silencing dissent – now lumped in with “fake news” – is the Atlantic Council, whose board of directors reads like a who’s-who of western imperialism, with Henry Kissinger, Michael Chertoff, and Michael Hayden rubbing shoulders with CrowdStrike founder Dmitri Alperovitch, the man behind the Russiagate conspiracy theory.

Martin figured prominently in the Russiagate intelligence community assessment, which devoted several pages to wringing its hands about her old RT show “Breaking the Set,” even though it had been off the air for years before the 2016 election; a woman-on-the-street piece she recorded last year that revealed the shocking bigotry of average Israeli citizens was banned in 28 countries on YouTube. Venezuela, of course, sits on the largest oil reserves in the western hemisphere and has long been on the war machine’s “to do” list (Venezuelanalysis.com was also dropped from Facebook, but later reinstated). Together, they represent everything that keeps the NATO-backed Atlantic Council awake at night.

well, a hella lot keeps the atlantic council awake at night, and i confess i haven't read much about what occurred at this year's Nato conference yet. or various versions of what happened, i should say.

i'm a declared socialist (of some sort), but not an SEP trot, either, but it's the second site i click into every morning, after RT.com (too much click-bait lately), then telesur english. wsws gets a lot right, and have journalist reporting from a lot of different nations. not one site covers the deadly plight julian assange is in by now, and i do admire them for that.

as i'd said, lol: either wet your whistles or make you consider putting your head in the oven like poor sylvia muffin...

bellingcat's bellowing on twitter that they have a brand spanking new project to identify weapons of war, which of course are always the designated enemies of the west. there are days when i find bellingcat's Truth Reporting funny as all-giddy-up it's so absurdly surreal, then there are days it doesn't seem so funny.

but social media and 'down the rabbit hole for committing X crimes' coupled with human gullibility and the need for outside 'enemies'...whoosh, what a bad combination.

thanks, blue republic.

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