Censorship & Thought Crimes® Rising ★★★

‘How rock star Roger Waters was hung out to dry by Amnesty and Bellingcat for his views on Syrian ‘chemical attack’,  14 Oct, 2020, RT.com


“A leaked phone call reveals that outside pressure caused Amnesty to pull its promotion of a webinar featuring Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters – a vocal skeptic of the Douma ‘chemical attack’ that prompted Western powers to bomb Syria.

In August this year, environmental pressure group Amazon Watch broadcast an online panel discussion in support of Steven Donziger, a crusading attorney who dared try to hold US energy giant Chevron to account for widespread environmental destruction in the Amazon, and was left fighting for his life, livelihood and liberty as a result.

In February 2011, Chevron was found liable by an Ecuadorian court for contamination resulting from crude oil production in the region by its subsidiary Texaco between 1964 and 1992, in a legal action that was many years in the making and led by Donziger.” […]

“Donziger himself was present on the Amazon Watch webinar that August evening, and was joined by a number of prominent campaigners, including Simon Taylor, founder of NGO Global Witness, and Roger Waters, co-founder of rock institution Pink Floyd.

The talk was widely promoted in advance by a number of prominent human rights activists, and NGOs, perhaps most prominently Amnesty International.

However, the organization’s endorsement triggered a deluge of criticism on social media from a number of notorious advocates for regime change in Syria. This led to a post advertising the webinar published by Amnesty USA’s official Twitter account the day before broadcast to mysteriously disappear without explanation.”

The Very Lengthy rest is here, including this Tweeted Ministry of Truth Disinformation:

I would appeal to @amnestyusa not to promote this event given Roger Waters participation because slandered #WhiteHelmets repeating Russian propaganda putting their lives at risk when saved over 150,000 lives & cannot remain silent as know them well as a filmmaker @SyriaCivilDefhttps://t.co/8e311Xcj2S

— Ronan L Tynan (@RonanLTynan) August 5, 2020

‘Caitlin Johnstone: Imagine if MSM consistently applied the evidentiary standards it’s applying to Hunter Biden’s emails’, 15 Oct, 2020, RT.com (CC at her home website)


Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden at the First United Methodist Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota October 25, 2012, Reuters

“Mainstream media and social media platforms are blacking out an October surprise published by The New York Post which purports to show “smoking gun” emails from the laptop of Hunter Biden, son of Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

Both Twitter and Facebook have censored the story on their platforms, the first time we’ve seen the powerful social media giants deplatform a mainstream news media article, both citing concerns about the origins of the emails and an uncertainty about the veracity of the claims.

“Facebook was limiting distribution of the story while its outside fact-checkers reviewed the story’s claims, spokesman Andy Stone said,” reports NPR, adding that “Twitter said it decided to block the story because it couldn’t be sure about the origins of the emails.”

Twitter claims it found the emails to be in violation of its policies banning content which contains private information and its rules against “hacked materials,” both of which would have forbidden all articles sharing the contents of the 2016 WikiLeaks drops if those rules had existed back then. As I warned could happen back in August, these rules have set the stage for the cross-platform censorship of a 2020 October surprise.

Right behind him in lack of self awareness is @kylegriffin1. He didn’t want anyone sharing the link to the Post story, but he was happy to share @RepAdamSchiff’s conspiracy about Russian collusion even post-Mueller report. pic.twitter.com/CSnblk9X3V

Drew Holden (@DrewHolden360) October 14, 2020

“There’s a good thread going around Twitter compiling posts that mainstream media reporters have been making in objection to the circulation of Hunter Biden’s emails alongside posts made by those same reporters promoting far more ridiculous and insubstantial allegations, like MSNBC’s virulent Russia conspiracy theorist Kyle Griffin saying nobody should link to the New York Post report because if they do they’ll be “amplifying disinformation.”

A new Reason article discusses how the mass media are not just avoiding the story but actively discouraging it:

‘On Wednesday, The New York Post published an attention-catching original report: “Smoking-gun email reveals how Hunter Biden introduced Ukrainian businessman to VP dad.” In the previously unreleased email, which was allegedly sent on April 17, 2015, an executive with Burisma, the Ukrainian natural gas company, thanks Hunter Biden for “giving an opportunity” to meet Joe Biden, according to The NY Post.

It’s a story that merits the attention of other journalists, political operatives, national security experts, and also the public at large — not least of all because there are serious questions about its accuracy, reliability, and sourcing. And yet many in the media are choosing not just to ignore the story, but to actively encourage others to suppress any discussion of it.

Indeed, two mainstream reporters who acknowledged (and criticized) the Post’s scoop — The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman and Politico’s Jake Sherman — faced thunderous denunciation on Twitter from Democratic partisans simply for discussing the story. Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden accused Haberman of promoting disinformation, and New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg told Sherman that he was helping nefarious conservative activists “launder this bullshit into the news cycle.” Historian Kevin Kruse asked why they were “amplifying” the story.

"Indeed, a scroll through today’s mainstream news reporting does appear to show some consensus among most news media that the topic of the emails should be avoided, with most MSM articles on the matter covering the after-effects of the New York Post release or explaining why readers should be dubious about its contents. A new Washington Post article titled “Hunter Biden’s alleged laptop: an explainer takes great pains to outline how important it is to be very, very certain that this story is everything it purports to be before investing any credulity in it.

“How do we know the email is authentic? We do not,” WaPo tells us. “The New York Post posted PDF print-outs of several emails allegedly from the laptop, but for the ‘smoking gun’ email, it shows only a photo made the day before the story was posted, according to Thomas Rid, author of Active Measures, a book on disinformation. ‘There is no header information, no metadata.’ The Washington Post has been unable to independently verify or authenticate these emails, as requests to make the laptop hard drive available for inspection have not been granted.”

“This would be the same Washington Post that has been circulating disinformation about Russia for years due to its disinterest in verifying information before reporting, and has, alongside the rest of the mass media, been promoting the narrative that Russia interfered in the 2016 US election based solely on unproven assertions promoted by government agencies despite many gaping plot holes in that narrative. Where was the journalistic concern for seeing the data and inspecting the hard drives then?

In and of itself there is no problem at all with mainstream news media applying high evidentiary standards to its reporting and making sure readers are aware when political manipulators could be pulling the wool over their eyes. In and of itself this would be a good thing. The problem is that all this emphasis on verification and truth only comes up when it is politically convenient for these plutocratic media outlets, because only favoring truth when it’s convenient is the same as lying constantly.” […]

Johnstone cites Ministry of Inconvenient Truth examples galore, and closes:

“They lie because the mass media within the US-centralized empire are the propaganda engine for that empire. The drivers of empire understand that whoever controls the narrative controls the world, so they ensure that all points of narrative influence are tightly controlled by them.

A world where all news stories are held to the same evidentiary standards as Hunter Biden’s emails are currently being held would be a world without empire. People would never consent to the insanity of imperialism and endless war if their consent wasn’t manufactured, and depriving them of the information that is inconvenient for that empire is essential in that manufacturing.”

‘BBC Targets Journalists Exposing Fake Syrian Chemical Attacks, A War On Journalism; Oct. 14, 2020

‘Fiorella reports that on Monday two journalists, Eva Bartlett and Vanessa Beeley were targeted by the BBC. Both were sent a letter via email by a BBC News reporter named Chloe Hadjimatheou informing her them of airing a series called “May day” about the White Helmets and their cofounder James Le Mesurier and asking if there was any clarifications or “statements”. The email went on to state that Bartlett and Beeley’s reporting on the exposed Syrian chemical attacks were conspiracy theories. Specifically Beeley was threatened with a possible indictment. The Syrian chemical attacks were dismissed as fake after an investigation by the OPCW, featuring witnesses, whistle blowers, and journalists. The attempt was found to be a U.S/U.K backed action. This is an important development amidst the Assange trial.’

(40 minutes)

 

(5 minutes)

(The link goes to ‘The UK & US alliance brings the UNSC into disrepute by banning Syria chemical weapons briefing from ex-OPCW head’, Vanessa Beeley, Oct. 7, 2020, RT.com

‘In an extraordinary effort by the UK, US, and their allies to censor the former OPCW director general, José Bustani was not allowed to brief the UN Security Council on the alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria, in 2018.'

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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Comments

edg's picture

Few want to hear the truth about Syria. Or about Palestine. Most of us are very comfortable with the US extracting Syrian oil for US profit and with the slow but steady Israeli genocide of Palestinians. Isn't it odd that enemies of Israel are always the target of US propaganda and aggression?

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wendy davis's picture

@edg

it does indeed, but i'd offer that i) repetition matters, and ii) one must need to be pre-disposed to believe it. both are underpinned, of course, by the ever-diminishing consolidation of 'News Organizations' seen below.

i know i should have seen who was behind whitney webb's expose of that video being removed from youtube, but you saw it clearly. and i hadn't known that google owns youtube, google having sidelined dissenting online sites from its own searches for two years or so by now.

and yes, syria is ground zero as well on the proxy wars: russia v. israel/US/UK isn't it?

but crikey: once the 4th OCPW whistleblower came forward (Bellingcat's online crowd-sourced intuitive journalism and facts still rule? oh, i'd almost forgotten: that rigorous news organization had given workshops to the 'fearless journalists' at the Intercept. good to remember. ; )

but of course the russians shot down flight MH17 and assad gassed his people! and putin gave novichok to navalny and the skripals!

dah; i'd had one more thing to add, but it flew right out of my head looking for those links.

thanks, edg.

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The next "liberal" Democratic Administration is likely to be neither. I foresee ever lessening tolerance for dissent and ever more aggressive blackout of opposition or antiwar viewpoints as the media becomes consolidated into just a few privately-owned platforms.

Enjoy this rarified sanctuary while we still have it.

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wendy davis's picture

@leveymg

but i'll highlight this for the Pithiness of it:

The next "liberal" Democratic Administration is likely to be neither.

i'd tweak it to remove your 'likely to' though. dayum, the images in my head reminded me of what else i'd wanted to say in regard to the Blue Team:

the Russian Bounties agitprop still lives, as does RussiaGate itself. biden will be the next FDR, as per bernie, AOC, and now the DSAs.

thanks, levymg.

added on edit: biden himself said that 'nothing will change' when he's president, and he supports the coup government of VZ. bolivia he seems to believe borders VZ, so...who knows? but his team will know quite well (CIA Dems, 38 R former nat sec heads. wall street's endorsed dementia joe; small wonder?

tomorrow's election day there, results may be known by wed. here's hoping that MAS can rid the nation of the coup US/OAS/Lithium government.

p.s. anthony freda on Dissenters:

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@leveymg

Not sure what shape that would take. That's why I thought it might be good for us to exchange some kind of contact information, though I know that some people don't want to share at that level.

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"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

travelerxxx's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Do you mean something other than the Member Contact Project?

A little confused here...

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wendy davis's picture

@travelerxxx

exactly what she might be imagining. OTOH, radley balko, author of the Rise of the Warrior Cop and his homies (including justin amash) have other helpful suggestions:

@justinamash Oct 15

'The First Amendment prohibits government censorship and protects private censorship. In a free society, Twitter and Facebook are allowed to make horrible decisions with respect to content moderation, and you are allowed to tell them off and use another service.

his homies also believe that news coverage is slanted in DT's favor. but ya gotta love the dickens out of this recurring fantasy:

@ScottMStedman Oct 15

‘Confirmation from NBC that the FBI is investigating the Hunter Biden laptop story as being part of a Russian intelligence operation'

as a side note, i'd used three black stars trying to measure the escalation of what's in the title. i'd even considered using some White Stars as placeholders, but i wasn't sure how many until 'only acceptable and acceptable viewpoints will be allowed'.

the internet's 'Marketplace of Ideas' and 'democratization', as far as it had existed, seems to be swirling down the drain rapidly.

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Creosote.'s picture

@leveymg
and I am glad to see you posting again, though catless

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Thanks for the post, Wendy - depressing content-wise, but important.

There's an expression in Japanese 'taigan no kaji' (対岸の火事) which literally means "far/opposite bank fire". Image-wise more like "a fire across the river". Effectively, "somebody else's problem".

Which, unfortunately, is how too many of us, for too long, have looked at the encroachments of government and corporations on our freedoms - I have to say that in recent years the left has been especially prone to this (with important exceptions, of course, Like Jimmy Dore and some of the regular posters here). Portland and other Antifa (for example) see no disconnect at all between claiming to be for freedom and diversity and claiming the right to shut down the speech of, say, Patriot Prayer or Proud Boys.

Leftists were high-fiving one another when Infowars was de-platformed in 2018.

Recrimination is not the point, though - it is rather to refuse to let unaccountable elites control our interactions with one another and control the planet's resources (including our lives).

Not everyone is planning on just going along or giving up just yet.

David Icke (arguably one of the most heavily censored people on the planet) speech at Trafalgar Square (Sept. 26, 2020):

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wendy davis's picture

@Blue Republic

some elements (and terms) that i don't find terribly inter-connected. but to start with:

while i find the content of the OP an alarming escalation, i don't find it particularly depressing, as it's been building over time. ha; even AOC and other 'progressives' had been begging Jack for more censorship on twitter, for instance.

now as far as david icke, his name is familiar, although i can't remember if i'd pulled in tweets about his talk at trafalgar square in my sept. 3 'Lockdown Protests in Berlin, London, Paris, Dublin' or not. your video you dated sept. 30, so...likely not. but i agree, dissent to the norm about Covid is very censored, and amazon.com pulled a dissenting book they used to sell.

i do like the japanese expression you've brought 'someone else's problem' . it reminds me of some the late great AIM leader's lyrics in his rich mans wars:

Some ones are crazy or
Maybe we take turns
Dreaming about some kind of life
We say it could have been different
But it wasn't because we weren't

Some things start good and go bad
Some things get bad and stay bad
Are we caught in between
Living a lie or not living at all

i confess i'm not a fan of jimmy dore, but i do like The Rising's commenators. and yes, the censoring of alex jones should have been a Stark Warning to all who care about free speech publications.

now i'm a bit baffled by this:

Portland and other Antifa (for example) see no disconnect at all between claiming to be for freedom and diversity and claiming the right to shut down the speech of, say, Patriot Prayer or Proud Boys.

i suppose it depends whose version/s of events one believes. the one thing i'd noted earlier was that RT.com, while still featuring some dissenting journalists, has become totally irrational (fascistic?) on the anti-police state protests. every black is a BLM supporter, every white is a trump militia supporter. no agents provocateurs nor false flags permitted!

lemme think on that for a bit... i'm also pinging where the attempts to kidnap gretchen whitmer and assassinate her, blow up cop stations, etc. fits into any of this divide.

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wendy davis's picture

3 tweets to add, the second 2 from whitney webb on twitter:

the first and third i haven't had time to peruse, but second one from raul diego seems to be a terrifying FU at first blush/scanning:

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wendy davis's picture

column, and you cn decide what it means...or doesn't mean (according to subtweet arguments).

FCC Head and Internet’s Most Hated Man Ajit Pai Just Vowed to Kill First Amendment Rights Online; FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has vowed to reinterpret Section 230 of the Communications Act on President Trump’s orders in a move that threatens to curb what’s left of Americans’ first amendment rights online’, by Raul Diego, mintpressnews.com, Oct. 16, 2020

(Verizon hack Pai was appointed by Obomba in 2010)

“Citing “censorship outcry” from the three branches of government, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced yesterday via tweet the agency’s intention to move forward with regulation of social media by looking to modify Section 230 of the Communications Act, which protects the likes of Facebook and Twitter from the parts of the U.S. code that opens publishers to legal challenges over the content posted to their platforms, which inevitably puts content creators, themselves, in the cross hairs of the legal system without the benefit of their first amendment rights.

Despite claims of bipartisan support for the reform initiative, one of Section 230’s original authors, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), directly challenged Pai’s authority to change the law altogether. Pai has claimed that FCC lawyers have assured him the agency has legal standing to amend the law.

Meanwhile, FCC commissioner and Democratic party member Jessica Rosenworcel denounced Pai’s timing as “absurd” and decried the Chairman’s decision to kowtow to Trump’s executive order, issued earlier this year calling for the agency to reinterpret the law.

The Twitter setup

The Chairman’s intention to slap the ‘publisher’ tag on social media companies and make them legally liable for the content that appears on their platforms comes in the wake of the Twitter’s censorship of a New York Post article two days ago, which covered allegations against Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, in the Ukraine oil company scandal.

The article’s purge from the social media platform elicited strong reactions on both sides of the issue and the aisle, including Senator Ted Cruz, who accused Twitter of “election interference.” On Thursday, Republican Senators called for Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, to be subpoenaed and appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee to answer questions about the company’s actions.

The social media giant has since backtracked, going as far as changing the policy it cited as justification, which “prohibits the use of our service to distribute content obtained without authorization.” Notably, the Department of Homeland Security had released its first-ever Homeland Threat Assessment only days prior, where it declared that “denigrating” Joe Biden constitutes grounds for de-platforming.
[?????]
.....................................
Pai’s FCC has a long history of stonewalling FOIA’s and being generally opaque about its moves in what is perhaps the most pivotal moment for the future of the Internet. As the power of the tech giants grows by leaps and bounds, reinterpreting Section 230 to make social media companies liable for the content on their platforms may seem like a check on said power, but it is only another restriction on the voice of the people, who are the ones creating the very content lining their shareholders’ pockets and the ones who will ultimately face the brunt of any laws designed to muzzle the first amendment rights of all Americans.”"

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wendy davis's picture

reactions to pai's 'reinterpretation' is a partisan hot potato. sorry to give raw links.

Lawyers Hit FCC Chairman for Joining Trump Admin Assault on Section 230: ‘The Law Is Pretty F***ing Clear, Ajit’, Jerry LambeOct 15th, 2020, lawandcime.com (a Dan Abrams production). Oct. 15, 2020

"The latest controversy over Section 230 stems from privately-owned social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook choosing not to allow widespread sharing over an extremely suspicious New York Post story involving a laptop allegedly left at the computer repair shop by Hunter Biden. In an interview with news outlets on Wednesday, the Trump-supporting owner of the store did little to allay suspicions surrounding the reporting, but President Trump and congressional Republicans claimed that the internet companies were interfering in the election by throttling unfavorable stories about Democratic candidate Joe Biden, with one GOP lawmaker calling it a “grave threat to our democracy.”

https://lawandcrime.com/awkward/lawyers-hit-fcc-chairman-for-joining-tru...

FCC will move to regulate social media after censorship outcry; The decision comes after a whirlwind moderation debate, oct.15, theverge.com

"These moves from Facebook and Twitter incited an outcry over conservative bias from Republicans. On Thursday, Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee signaled that they would subpoena Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to testify about the decision at a hearing on October 23rd.

“This is election interference, and we are 19 days out from an election,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said Thursday. “Never before have we seen active censorship of a major press publication with serious allegations of corruption of one of the two candidates for president.”

https://www.theverge.com/2020/10/15/21518097/fcc-social-media-censorship...

an internal link from the Verge:

Donald Trump signs executive order targeting social media companies;
The order follows a spat between the president and Twitter

https://www.theverge.com/2020/5/28/21273822/trump-signs-executive-order-...

and from the Twitterverse:

@GarethPorter
'The gravest threat on our most basic freedom now comes from giant corporations with monopolies over social media, as shown by suppression of the NYPost story. Americans must stand up against this attack now, regardless of ideological differences.'

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wendy davis's picture

tonight's closing song from the playing for change band: 'world peace thru music'.

'it's in the shelter of each other that the people live.' ~irish proverb

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