NY/CIA Times: Free Speech Ain’t All it’s Cracked Up to Be


You gotta love this, including the fact that the NYT psyop author’s byline reads in part:

Emily Bazelon is a staff writer for the magazine and the Truman Capote fellow for creative writing and law at Yale Law School.’ Or: Hello, Judith Miller!

‘The New York Times attacks the First Amendment and embraces censorship of “disinformation”, Kevin Reed, wsws.org, Oct. 28, 2020 (w/ permission to repost; my bolds for easier reading)

“In a lengthy essay published on October 18, the New York Times has come out against free speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to the US Constitution and called for government censorship to stop the spread of “disinformation.”

The cover story, which appeared in the online edition of the New York Times Magazine under the headline, “The Problem with Free Speech in an Age of Disinformation,” was written by Emily Bazelon, a staff writer, who has also contributed to the Atlantic, Vogue and the Washington Post .

Bazelon states that the “problem with free speech” is that the “US is in the midst of an information crisis caused by the spread of viral disinformation.” She defines viral disinformation as “falsehoods aimed at achieving a political goal,” as opposed to misinformation that “refers more generally to falsehoods.”

While Bazelon never gets around to explaining precisely what the “political goal” of disinformation is, she presents the primary concern as being “the overwhelming amount of information, the anger encoded in itthese all serve to create chaos and confusion and make people, even nonpartisans, exhausted, skeptical and cynical about politics. ” [Emphasis added].

In other words, Bazelon and the New York Times fear that the information available online today—especially on social media platforms—makes it possible for millions of people who are angry and politically alienated from the capitalist two-party system to seek a left-wing and socialist alternative to the Democrats and Republicans.

In a significant passage, Bazelon explains, “It’s an article of faith in the United States that more speech is better and that the government should regulate it as little as possible. But increasingly, scholars of constitutional law, as well as social scientists, are beginning to question the way we have come to think about the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech. They think our formulations are simplistic—and especially inadequate for our era.”

Although they are hiding behind “scholars of constitutional law” and “social scientists,” Bazelon and the Times ’ assault on the guarantee in the Bill of Rights that the government “shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press” could not be clearer. They are stating that the free speech protections in the First Amendment are too “simplistic.” They are “inadequate” for the present day, and some speech must be censored.

In particular, Bazelon argues for suppressing speech “which may be doing more damage to the discourse about politics, news and science.” She continues: “It encompasses the mass distortion of truth and overwhelming waves of speech from extremists that smear and distract.” [Emphasis added].

Since her essay has been published by the Democratic Party-connected Times, readers may erroneously conclude that Bazelon is writing about the “extremists” among the far-right and fascistic supporters of Donald Trump and the Republican Party, who spread falsehoods about the deadly coronavirus pandemic and lies about mail balloting in the 2020 presidential election. However, while Bazelon is calling for censorship of the right wing, this is not her primary target.

In a veiled reference to left-wing criticism of the Democrats, Bazelon says that concerns about “overwhelming waves of speech from extremists” actually “spans the ideological spectrum.” Attempting to tie the growing popular support for socialism to ongoing and unsubstantiated claims of Russian interference in US elections, she writes that the problem of “troll armies,” including “a flood of commenters often propelled by bots,” are “grimly effective at muting critical voices.”

Who are these “critical voices” being “grimly” muted? They are none other than the corporate media establishment—including the New York Times —seeking to keep mass opposition to the fascistic Trump administration within the confines of the two-party system. For Bazelon and the Times, commenters who criticize the Democratic Party from the left must be labeled as “troll armies” and “bots,” who do not qualify for constitutionally protected free speech rights.

Attempting to justify her attack on these basic democratic rights, Bazelon quotes constitutional scholar Tim Wu of Columbia University, who recently wrote that “use of speech as a tool to suppress speech is, by its nature, something very challenging for the First Amendment to deal with.” Citing Wu, Bazelon writes that “perhaps our way of thinking about free speech is not the best way.”

She then goes on to argue that the previous democratic conception of “good ideas” winning out in the “marketplace of ideas” has been made obsolete by “unfettered speech.” The First Amendment was adequate as long as the distribution of news and information was controlled by a handful of newspaper publishers and radio and television broadcasting companies within a government-regulated environment—but not anymore, she says.

The expansion of the internet “weakened media regulation” and enabled “a few American tech companies to become the new gatekeepers.” The US government gave “platforms like Google, Facebook and Twitter” too much freedom to do whatever they wanted. Rather than millions or billions of people participating in online political discussion in a “virtual public square,” Bazelon writes that the social media platforms have enabled an environment where “Lies go viral more quickly than true statements.”

In reality, the problem for Bazelon is not the promotion of lies and disinformation—something that the New York Times has specialized in for decades—but the promotion of the “wrong” information. This is a newspaper that has, for example, relentlessly promoted the massive lie of Russian interference in US elections going back to 2016 without ever presenting factual evidence to prove the allegation.

The Times was also a prime perpetrator of the lie of “weapons of mass destruction” that preceded the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. The newspaper has also supported the persecution and locking up of journalists who have exposed the lies and crimes of US imperialism, most notably Julian Assange.

One can assume that such falsehoods are considered by Bazelon to be “good ideas,” but woe to the “extremists” who expose these media lies and publish the truth online and on Twitter or Facebook.

The embrace of censorship by the Times comes as no surprise given the now infamous statement by the paper’s executive editor Bill Keller regarding First Amendment rights exactly one decade ago. On November 29, 2010, Keller wrote, “Freedom of the press includes freedom not to publish, and that is a freedom we exercise with some regularity.

The fact is that the New York Times has emerged over the past four decades as the public relations arm of the CIA and the US military-intelligence state. Long gone are the days when the Times published the Pentagon Papers in 1971 and exposed the crimes of US imperialism in Southeast Asia and the unconstitutional actions of several US Presidents based on the principle that the press had a First Amendment right—and an obligation—to publish information that is significant to the public’s understanding of government policy.

Now, nearly fifty years later, with a few words changed here and there, the Times’ essay on the First Amendment is indistinguishable from a screed from a tsarist censor or the official pronouncement of the Inquisition. The fundamental position put forward is that the state, with the collaboration of online and social media tech companies through “banning” and “third party fact checking,” must determine what information is “true” or “false.”

This is the complete opposite of the meaning of the First Amendment, which holds that the people must decide what is “true information” and what is “disinformation” and the state must not interfere in this democratic process.

In wrapping up their brief for political censorship arising from “America’s information crisis,” the Times and Bazelon conclude by calling on federal, state and local government to fund corporate-controlled newspapers and radio and TV stations. She also endorses various government actions being taken to censor online content.

These actions include the Trump administration’s effort to abolish Section 230 immunity, which protects online service providers from being prosecuted for content posted on their platforms by users, the House Judiciary Committee investigation into the antitrust practices of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, and the anti-Chinese campaign for the divestiture of the short-form video-sharing platform TikTok from its Beijing-based owner ByteDance.

The open attack on free speech rights by the New York Times is consistent with its position last week when Facebook and Twitter both censored posts linked to an article in the New York Post about Democratic Party US presidential candidate Joseph Biden and his son. In an unprecedented act, Twitter shut down the Post account as well as that of White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany and blocked all sharing of links to the Post article.

Although Twitter was forced to reverse itself, the New York Times refused to refer to the actions by the social media companies as censorship and argued that the accuracy of the Post article had not yet been established by “third party fact checkers.”

The fundamentally reactionary and undemocratic argument advanced by the Times and Bazelon is that the government and social media platforms must intervene online and establish for the public what are “good” and what are “bad” ideas. They claim that when “good ideas” of the ruling establishment are rejected as false as a result of online debate and commentary, the opposition views should be identified as harmful “unfettered speech” and blocked.

As we have maintained on the World Socialist Web Site, all censorship initiatives by the US government and social media platforms are ultimately directed against the development of socialist politics and organization within the working class. All factions of the ruling political establishment and the corporate media defend the capitalist system and have no problem spreading lies about history, war and the struggles of the international working class.

The attack by the New York Times on the First Amendment demonstrates that, should Joseph Biden succeed in defeating Donald Trump in the 2020 elections—and successfully remove him from the White House—a Democratic Party administration will extend the assault on democratic rights in the US that has been deepening over the past 25 years.”

Now I have no idea how Reed distilled this mile-long screed as far as he did, but here it is:  ‘Free Speech Won’t Save Our Democracy; The Problem of Free Speech in an Age of Disinformation’, Oct. 13, 2020, NYT

Emily Bazelon is a staff writer for the magazine and the Truman Capote fellow for creative writing and law at Yale Law School. Her book “Charged” won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the current-interest category and the Silver Gavel book award from the American Bar Association.

But then, under the banner of the Bezos-owned Washington WallStreet Post:

‘Democracy Dies in Darkness’.

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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This is how freedom dies.

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10 users have voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

wendy davis's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

Ministry of Truth.

i f'ed up, and i'll try to blame the fact that i broke my walmart cheaters a couple days ago, so i'm using some crap weaker and scratches ones. but the original title of the NY CIA Times psyop is: 'Free Speech Will Save Our Democracy; The First Amendment in the age of disinformation'

and they'd quoted the Wall Street Post liberally, including having exposed the 'right-wing' Project Veritas, but this as well:

In February, The Washington Post reported on an internal effort by Facebook (called Project P, for propaganda) after the 2016 election to take down pages that spread Russian disinformation. The project foundered after [Republican] Joel Kaplan, Facebook’s vice president for global public policy, reportedly said at a high-level meeting, “We can’t remove all of it because it will disproportionately affect conservatives,” according to a source at Facebook who spoke to The Post anonymously. In an email this month, a Facebook representative said Kaplan’s point about Project P was that the company “needed a clear basis for the removal because the impact would be felt more on the right than the left, and we would face criticism.”

then i remembered the WaPo also having been pushing 'Prop or Not' and found:

The Washington Post promoted a blacklist by the shady anonymous group PropOrNot, which smears alternative media websites as “Russian propaganda” while listing US government-funded outlets as “allies”, m. blumental, nov. 25, 2016:

A shady website that claims “Russia is Manipulating US Opinion Through Online Propaganda” has compiled a blacklist of websites its anonymous authors accuse of pushing fake news and Russian propaganda.

The blacklist includes over 200 outlets, from the right-wing Drudge Report and Russian government-funded Russia Today, to Wikileaks and an array of marginal conspiracy and far-right sites.

The blacklist also includes some of the flagship publications of the progressive left, including Truthdig, Counterpunch, Truthout, Naked Capitalism, and the Black Agenda Report, a leftist African-American opinion hub that is critical of the liberal black political establishment.

Called PropOrNot, the blacklisting organization was described by the Washington Post’s Craig Timberg as “a nonpartisan collection of researchers with foreign policy, military and technology backgrounds.” The Washington Post agreed to preserve the anonymity of the group’s director on the grounds that exposure could result in their being targeted by “Russia’s legions of skilled hackers.”

Beazelon had also quoted agitprop Avaaz (10 zillion members!) as well as an updated Integrity Initiative.

#CompromisedFactFindingNGOs.

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RantingRooster's picture

the "establishment" is losing the information war and they need the big bad gubberment to step in and decide for us "children" what is news, and what is good information.

quote-people-governments-and-economies-of-all-nations-must-serve-the-needs-of-multinational-zbigniew-brzezinski-91-50-45_1.jpg

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C99, my refuge from an insane world.

wendy davis's picture

@RantingRooster

the Two Amerikan Papers of Record* want the Government to Decide Truth from Lies, or decide themselves.

as if this weren't enough: The Propaganda Multiplier:

Prop or Not:

An Initial Set of Sites That Reliably Echo Russian Propaganda

We have used a combination of manual and automated analysis, including analysis of content, timing, technical indicators, and other reporting, in order to initially identify (“red-flag”) the following as Russian propaganda outlets. We then confirmed our initial assessment by applying whatever criteria we did not originally employ during the red-flag process, and we reevaluate our findings as needed.

We assess that this overall Russian effort is at least semi-centralized, with multiple Russian projects and influence operations working in parallel to manage the direct and outsourced production of propaganda across a wide range of outlets. It is data-driven, and rewards effective entrepreneurship and innovation with increased funding and other resources. There are varying degrees of involvement in it, and awareness of involvement. Some people involved seem genuinely unaware that their outlets are being used by Russia as conduits for propaganda.

Spoiler alert: it's a very long list!

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@wendy davis
out. It was a big sign saying do not look at these sites, so I promptly went down the list checking out each one and found quite a few I hadn't heard of that I started following, and with a some exceptions, to this day I have them bookmarked.
I gotta think there were many more people that did the same thing compared to a much smaller number that never got curious and checked them out on their own.

With all the assumed notoriety of the listed sites how could many resist just a little peek?

Thanks for posting the list so I can go thru the list again, I'm sure there are some I've forgotten after my computer at the time finally crashed for good and I lost the links.

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wendy davis's picture

@aliasalias

please pay the cashier $1.99 as you go out the door.

i, for one, would never be caught dead clicking into those evil propaganda sites, though!

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RantingRooster's picture

@wendy davis because I didn't save the link to an article about how a Republican Congressman was duped into writing articles for an actual Russian company, with no Russian government ties.

It was pretty funny, they had sent him an email requesting he write articles, and he didn't even do a whois search to find out who owned the domain on this online "magazine". Another Russian online marketing company. Crazy

I'll post it if I can find it...

Drinks

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C99, my refuge from an insane world.

wendy davis's picture

@RantingRooster

pwned, my guess is that RT.com would have carried it. ; ) not that i have any idea what a 'who is' search is, though.

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@RantingRooster
https://www.moonofalabama.org/

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@RantingRooster ...that's actually encouraging.

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

@RantingRooster Since the early days of the popularity of the internet, establishment old media outlets have been attacking it. One of the earliest attacks if memory serves is that the posters were uninformed ameuteur wannbe reporters and journalists. Only trust the old print sources. Obviously people abandoned the established legacy outlets.

Then you had events like CNN exposing that YouTube was showing advertisements on like Nazi channels. Directing attacking their financial model. This began the great age of demonetizing independent people and outlets by removing their ability to make money by their content. I am surprised that someone like Jimmy Dore has not been totally shut down.

But one of the things about the editorial is that is misinformation or disinformation really a problem for "The Commons"? Consider Twitter. Amazing stats that shows Twitter is NOT the all encompassing entity deciding elections and brands of toothpaste.

Sizing Up Twitter Users U.S. adult Twitter users are younger and more likely to be Democrats than the general public. Most users rarely tweet, but the most prolific 10% create 80% of tweets from adult U.S. users

If one is immersed in Twitter, it seems like the entire world is on it at the same time. And in fact, most Americans either don't use it sparingly use it except for a prolific minority.

Take a look at the most retweeted tweets over the last several years, including this year. Where are the billions and gazillion tweets toppling nations and the subscriber rates to the NYTimes?

List of most-retweeted tweets

In essence NYT wants to control the political opinions of activists, competing journalists, and political elites (never shall a president abuse Twitter wink wink).

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snoopydawg's picture

Bazelon states that the “problem with free speech” is that the “US is in the midst of an information crisis caused by the spread of viral disinformation.” She defines viral disinformation as “falsehoods aimed at achieving a political goal,” as opposed to misinformation that “refers more generally to falsehoods.”

So did Obama reverse the Smith-Mundt act before Brennan told Obama that Hillary was making up Russian disinformation against Trump or after? Look at what he has unleashed on the country.

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“Restoring the soul of this nation” is just MAGA with more words

Twitter is like a game of telephone

wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

educating on that one, snoop. can you help me out? i did find a bit on 'The Horrible Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012 (SMMA', but my eyes went crossed trying to understand it, and there seem to be so many opinions about what it meant.

i do remember bubba clinton's hideous 'commodities futures modernization act', which ended up being part of the 2008 meltdown.

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Cassiodorus's picture

Glenn Greenwald resigns from The Intercept

The 53-year-old shared his resignation letter in a tweet to his more than 1.5 million followers on Thursday afternoon, in which he accused editors of refusing to publish an article he wrote unless he removed "all sections critical of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, the candidate vehemently supported by all New-York-based Intercept editors involved in this effort at suppression."

The Intercept, of course, has a response:

https://twitter.com/ElaheIzadi/status/1321908065675939841

“It is absolutely not true that Glenn Greenwald was asked to remove all sections critical of Joe Biden from his article," said Intercept's editor-in-chief. "He was asked to support his claims and innuendo about corrupt actions by Joe Biden with evidence.”

More:

https://twitter.com/ErikWemple/status/1321896097099489283/photo/1

(which I can't copy and paste easily)

Can't find Greenwald's rejoinder to any of this, at least not yet.

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"Every election is fake." -- Janna Ordonia, from "Star vs. the Forces of Evil"

wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

tweets noting the intercept's response are employed by the washington post. i don't know what to make of his 'resignation', myself, cuz i think the bloke is a wanker.

Glenn Greenwald resigns from the Intercept following dispute over Biden story; While the crusading journalist claimed censorship, his former editors accused him of trying to publish unsupported innuendo' wapo, oct. 29

the Intercept's editor betsy reed had no problem publishing maz hussain's glowing tribute to the White Helmets, i will say. #WhattaRag. how many whistleblowers did that place out? how many are already serving time?

this is one of GG's tweets about it, you can read others:

why did they close all access the snowden files...then re-open them briefly?

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wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

already, plus a few tweets: this is his:

and WTH? bah, humbug.

In the Substack post explaining his departure from the Intercept and its parent company First Look Media, Greenwald pointed out that he had nothing to do, and in fact opposed, the “burning” of NSA contractor Reality Winner in 2017; forcing journalist Lee Fang to apologize “when a colleague tried to destroy his reputation by publicly, baselessly and repeatedly branding him a racist;” or the Intercept’s refusal to cover the recent extradition hearings of Julian Assange – yet the editors were happy to let him be blamed for it all.

a reminder: 5 fearless investigative journalists hated and smeared assange, including GG, namomi klein, micah lee...and 2 others whose names i've forgotten. on edit: robert mackey as well, but this diary is full of too many Intercept names to begin to sort through.

to GG he was known as 'the bad whistleblower, while snowden was 'the good whistleblower', i guess since they vetted every revelation thru the MIC/national security state.

bet their coverage of the extradition hearings would have earned contributions, nonetheless.

did GG resign from the Intercept Brazil as well?

on slow-brain edit: GG woupld oten tweet: Love him or Hate him: Press Freedom!

OTOH, julian was supportive of snowden, and didn't one of the WikiLeaks team escort ed to russia?

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TheOtherMaven's picture

@wendy davis

Interesting.

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

wendy davis's picture

@TheOtherMaven

not taking your meaning, amiga. opposites sides of what?

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TheOtherMaven's picture

@wendy davis

She's for censorship (by her bosses), he's against it.

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

wendy davis's picture

@TheOtherMaven

explainig that; i hadn't known.

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wendy davis's picture

@TheOtherMaven

i'll be back in 2 or 3 hours: irony ensues.

@NaomiAKlein
21h Glenn was not "censored" - he was edited, and edited well. Crying censorship is a marketing ploy to gin up subscribers for his new Substack. Are people really going to fall for it?

and yes, i'd finally found it:

https://greenwald.substack.com/p/my-resignation-from-the-intercept (20,000 words?)

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wendy davis's picture

@wendy davis

but given their long bonds, pretty damned hilarious. but GG was right about there being so being biden supporters at TI, at least min naomi's case;

Et tu, Greta?, oct. 10, 2020, c99%, wd

'Meddling in the US election? Whatever will The Russians™ think?

I never engage in party politics. But the upcoming US elections is above and beyond all that.
From a climate perspective it’s very far from enough and many of you of course supported other candidates. But, I mean…you know…damn!
Just get organized and get everyone to vote #Biden https://t.co/gFttFBZK5O

— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) October 10, 2020

For that matter, Miz Klein is Canadian, but who’s counting, eh? ; )

Actually we are going to make him do it, to borrow a phrase from FDR. Just like movements made Obama-Biden stop KXL and DAPL. It's too bad we have to waste energy on it when we should be focussed (sic)on a Green New Deal but we'll make them do both, because there is no choice. https://t.co/vDWgaXPceH

— Naomi Klein (@NaomiAKlein) October 8, 2020

But shucks; you couldn’t even advise voting Green for Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker? Tsk, tsk!

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wendy davis's picture

@wendy davis

all i'd found readily was:

Wikileaks released a statement this morning regarding Edward Snowden’s exit from Hong Kong. The statement reads:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Mr Edward Snowden, the American whistleblower who exposed evidence of a global surveillance regime conducted by US and UK intelligence agencies, has left Hong Kong legally. He is bound for a democratic nation via a safe route for the purposes of asylum, and is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisors from WikiLeaks.

Mr Snowden requested that WikiLeaks use its legal expertise and experience to secure his safety. Once Mr Snowden arrives at his final destination his request will be formally processed.

Former Spanish Judge Mr Baltasar Garzon, legal director of Wikileaks and lawyer for Julian Assange has made the following statement:

“The WikiLeaks legal team and I are interested in preserving Mr Snowden’s rights and protecting him as a person. What is being done to Mr Snowden and to Mr Julian Assange – for making or facilitating disclosures in the public interest – is an assault against the people”.

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wendy davis's picture

i'd pasted together in mid-October and the parallels to the NYT and WaPo:

'Censorship & Thought Crimes® Rising ★★★', in which online crowd-sourced bellingcat and Shamnesty Int'l trounced roger waters for his alternate views on the OPCW reports on assad gassing syrians...

and beeley and eva bartlett being threatened with a lawsuit by the BBC for outing the White Helmets. plus caitlin johnstone on the NY Post articles on hunter biden's laptop and

"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.

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'

and via whitney webb, and doesn't facebook owns youtube? or is it google? so much censorship.

but as an entirely new version of the White Helmets body-snatchers is coming out soon, vanessa beeley will be under the gun again. goddam.

and remember: four separate OPCW whistleblowers...are not enough to quash that fucked up NGO.

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Centaurea's picture

brought the Pentagon Papers documents to the NY Times today, the NYT would undoubtedly refuse to publish it. And they definitely would not take the US government to court to get a Supreme Court decision confirming the paper's right to publish those documents.

The NYT no longer wants that right. They want power and the ability to rub elbows with the elite.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

wendy davis's picture

@Centaurea

we can only hope that WikiLeaks will carry on in the future no mattter what happens to julian assange. iirc, judge vanessa baraitser will drop her hammer down and make her pre-decision known mid-january.

so many mornings i wake up and imagine we'll be told of the deaths of political prisoners julian and/or leonard peltier.

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wendy davis's picture

BBC's upcoming White Helmets ‘documentary’ gears up to be a character assassination of those who challenge Syria war narratives’, Vanessa Beeley, RT com. oct. 24, 2020

some brief excerpts:

The upcoming BBC programme – ‘Mayday’ – appears to be an attempt to whitewash British intelligence operations inside Syria. Operations that were recently further exposed following the leak of alleged UK Foreign Office documents, reported by Grayzone, which detailed the extent to which the UK government provided media and PR support to the armed groups in Syria. Those groups effectively include Al Qaeda and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) affiliates such as Jaysh Al-Islam and Ahrar Al-Sham, who are responsible for the horrific bloodshed and devastation of infrastructure in the areas they invaded and occupied.

The UK and EU government-funded Mayday Rescue organisation was established by Le Mesurier to provide an intermediary management of the funds the UK government was providing to the White Helmets as they embedded themselves with armed groups in extremist-controlled areas throughout Syria, more recently exclusively in Idlib, the last remaining and “largest Al Qaeda haven since 9/11.” Le Mesurier died in November 2019 having fallen from the balcony of his Istanbul home which he shared with his third wife, Emma Winberg. Three days before his death, which was ruled a suicide, Le Mesurier had reportedly admitted to defrauding Mayday Rescue of funds provided by UK and European governments.
.......................................
The BBC pins its arguments on the view that the White Helmets are a “humanitarian” organisation – an Oscar-winning illusion that has been dismantled by some of the most acclaimed independent journalists and researchers of our time, including Cory Morningstar, Rick Sterling, Eva Bartlett, Stephen Kinzer, Robert Parry, John Pilger, Gareth Porter, Ray McGovern, Phillip Giraldi, Craig Murray and former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter, to name just a few.

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Speech has been criminalized in the EU on espousing certain beliefs. The biggest example is Julian Assange. In Australia a pregnant woman was arrested for posting about anti-lockdown protests.

There will be a formalization of the criminalization of speech in our near future unfortunately. Twitter will be reduced to posts on Korean boy bands and DNC press releases.

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wendy davis's picture

@MrWebster

in the Twittervese:

In Australia a pregnant woman was arrested for posting about anti-lockdown protests.

as to the rest of your prescient comment, i hear bob dylan:

It's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there. thanks, mr. webster.

ah, close enough for a closing song. good night, all. food night, julian; good night moon.

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wendy davis's picture

then get back to RL chores:

file under same shit, a new day:

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wendy davis's picture

@wendy davis

that didn't work; instead:

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wendy davis's picture

for posterity:

@_whitneywebb
Oct 8, 2019

An objective analysis of those facts speaks volumes, I'll leave it at that. Suzie says the EFF, not Omidyar, behind FPF decision to block WL, but EFF is longtime recipient of Omidyar $ and part of Omidyar Network. Also, Trevor Timm first connected Greenwald + Omidyar aft Snowden

Diane4Peace #FreeAssange! @Soozieceu
Oct 6, 2019
TY. Vry disappointed in both Greenwald & Snowden. IMO both are disingenuous in their "support" 4 #Assange. I think we can give a lot, not all, credit to Omidyar for being behind their shared cowardice & piling-on the smear campaigns against Julian. Suzie doesnt agree w me either.

@RedKahina 19h

@AviLewis

basically admits he's setting up someone he calls "Lucy Ella" to be assassinated as a "spark" for global color revolution, he'll shut down oil & food to all humanity, then wipe most of us out with Covid23. Survivors: slaves on his plantation.

@RedKahina
This TRIUMPHAL boast that they shut down all oil production &all food to all humanity, is not something that should be considered a joke. They mean it. They've done it before : to Iraq, to Gaza , to DPRK, they're strangling Venezuela, Syria, Iran, they will strangle everyone

@RedKahina
They plan a worldwide lockout and global starvation. They have started already. Americans have seen meat double in price and think it's a blip. No , soon there will be no meat. They are going to _besiege_ and starve the entire global working class. They already restrict oxygen

jeremy @loffredojeremy

Oct 27 Naomi wants us to be on UBI so we can sit at home, eat Bill Gates impossible burgers watch her Intercept propaganda films

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What the Supreme Court got right; It's best for the government to stay out of the business of restricting political advocacy', glenn greenwald, jan 22, 2010, salon.com

The Supreme Court yesterday, in a 5-4 decision, declared unconstitutional (on First Amendment grounds) campaign finance regulations which restrict the ability of corporations and unions to use funds from their general treasury for "electioneering" purposes. The case, Citizens United v. FEC, presents some very difficult free speech questions, and I'm deeply ambivalent about the court's ruling. There are several dubious aspects of the majority's opinion (principally its decision to invalidate the entire campaign finance scheme rather than exercising "judicial restraint" through a narrower holding). Beyond that, I believe that corporate influence over our political process is easily one of the top sicknesses afflicting our political culture. But there are also very real First Amendment interests implicated by laws which bar entities from spending money to express political viewpoints.

'Silencing the Whistle: The Intercept Shutters Snowden Archive, Citing Cost
' The closing of The Intercept’s Snowden archive will likely mean the end of any future publications, unless Glenn Greenwald’s rather absurd promise of finding “the right partner … that has the funds to robustly publish” is fulfilled' by Whitney Webb, march 30, 2019

According to a timeline of events written by Poitras that was shared and published by journalist and former Intercept columnist Barrett Brown, both Scahill and Greenwald were intimately involved in the decision to close the Snowden archive.

While other outlets — such as the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post and the New York Times — also possess much (though not all) of the archive, the Intercept was the only outlet with the (full) archive that had continued to publish documents, albeit at a remarkably slow pace, in recent years. In total, fewer than 10 percent of the Snowden documents have been published since 2013. Thus, the closing of the publication’s Snowden archive will likely mean the end of any future publications, unless Greenwald’s promise of finding “the right partner … that has the funds to robustly publish” is fulfilled.

Poitras told Brown that she first caught wind of the coming end of the Snowden archive on March 6, when Scahill and Intercept editor-in-chief Betsy Reed asked to meet with her “to explain how we’ve assessed our priorities in the course of the budget process, and made some restructuring decisions.” During the resulting two-hour meeting, which Poitras described as “tense,” she realized that they had “decided to eliminate the research department. I object to this on the grounds Field of Vision [Intercept sister company where Poitras works] is dependent [on the] research department, and the Snowden archive security protocols are overseen by them.”

Poitras later sent two emails opposing the research department’s elimination and, in one of those emails, argued that the research department should stay, as it represented “only 1.5% of the total budget” of First Look Media, The Intercept’s parent company, which is wholly owned by billionaire Pierre Omidyar. The last of those emails was sent on March 10 and Poitras told Brown:

“Throughout these conversations and email exchanges, there was no mention of shutting down the archive. That was not on the table. That decision was made on either Monday March 11 or Tuesday March 12, again without my involvement or consent.”

She then noted that “On Tuesday March 12, on a phone call with Glenn and the CFO [Drew Wilson], I am told that Glenn and Betsy [Reed] had decided to shut down the archive because it was no longer of value [emphasis added] to the Intercept.”

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(canadian election meddling) is endorsing )joe fracking biden, but i hadn't know this biden-esque imperial BS she' endorsing:

and while they were entirely similar, for all that's holy...i hadn't known she'd produced this rubbish as well; note the stereotypes and 'amerika=corps' cheesey jobs):

A Message From the Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ •Apr 17, 2019

and she's the cover story on Vanity Fair, too; oh, yes, she's running for Prez in 2024. you couldn't pay for advertising like this puff piece: ‘AOC’s Next Four Years; The history-making congresswoman addresses her biggest critics, the challenges that loom no matter who wins, and what she’s taking on next, vanity fair, dec. 2020

some excerpts:

“There have been many times, especially in the first six months, where I felt like I couldn’t do this, like I didn’t know if I was going to be able to run for reelection,” Ocasio-Cortez says. “There was a time where the volume of threats had gotten so high that I didn’t even know if I was going to live to my next term. Their sisterhood and their friendship, it’s not some political alliance. It’s a very deep, unconditional human bond.”

Exaltation weighs heavy too. Ocasio-Cortez’s charisma and raw talent are often compared to Barack Obama’s. Not three years into her congressional career, speculation abounds about a future presidential run, with everyone from Howard Dean to Cardi B rooting for it. No sooner had Kamala Harris been chosen as Joe Biden’s running mate than chatter began bubbling about a 2024 primary between Harris and Ocasio-Cortez, who turned 31 in October and would only narrowly make the 35-year-old age requirement.

“I’ve told her, I fully expect that she’s going to run one day, and that she should,” former Housing and Urban Development secretary and 2020 candidate Julián Castro told me. “She absolutely has the talent, the dynamism, and the leadership ability.”

AOC is the perhaps the only member of Congress who moonlights as a beauty influencer: Sharing her go-to red gloss—Stila’s Stay All Day Liquid in Beso—translated to a sales spike. “Every time I go on TV, people ask for my lipstick,” she says. On TikTok, the Yoho speech has become a popular lip sync for makeup tutorials—one young girl applies winged eyeliner while mouthing, “He called me dangerous.” But like Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s prickly dissent collar, Ocasio-Cortez’s appearance is a study in meaning. The gold hoops and red lips she wore to her first swearing-in were a cosmetic Bat signal to Latina culture and a nod to fellow Bronx native Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who was told not to rock bright nails at her confirmation hearings.

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Glenn Greenwald: ‘…it’s just kind of time for me to do other things’, July 15, 2014> by wendyedavis, café babylon

bits and bobs:

For ten months neither Jeremy Scahill nor Matt Taibbi have published a word there, although when I asked GG about it on a current thread, saying that their absence seemed akin to farmers with friends in high places being paid by the federal government to not grow certain crops, and that they both seemed quite busy Tweeting sports scores, he answered:

Glenn Greenwald
11 Jul 2014 at 3:35 pm

“Matt is in the process of building his magazine. It takes longer than one might think. It certainly took longer than I thought it was. But he’s making good progress.

Jeremy is busy on several stories and I expect you’ll hear from him before too long.

Daily blogging is much different than either trying to build a new, innovative media outlet from scratch or from doing hard-core investigative journalism. The latter two tasks take lots of time, effort and energy to do them right.”

......................
Sure, we tried to understand (and many championed) GG taking time to write a book, go on a lengthy book and teevee tour to tout it, then tout his movie deal/s, one of which was with the makers of ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ whom he had earlier lavishly excoriated as…something or other.

Some of grew irritated by the time some of interviews were published, wondering seriously what the hell was up, anyway. Take some excerpts from his interview with GQ, ‘The Man Who Knew too Much’, ha:

“I like to think of it as a fireworks show: You want to save your best for last. There’s a story that from the beginning I thought would be our biggest, and I’m saving that. The last one is the one where the sky is all covered in spectacular multicolored hues. This will be the finale, a big missing piece. Snowden knows about it and is excited about it.”

Fearless journalism, saving the most telling and egregious sins against our privacy for last.

Given the references he’d made to colors in the sky, etc., some speculated that he’d publish all the separate names who were under NSA spying around the 4th of July. He tweeted that it was coming early one morning, then by evening, said it would be delayed while they checked out some additional claims by the government. When at last it came, it concerned the naming of five distinguished Muslin Leaders of the 202 Muslims the documents showed were under NSA scrutiny. And those of his commentariat who wondered if this were the big finale, or if it would get the same traction as he’d claimed, were made to feel like bigots. Well, eye of the beholder and all of that. But then he finally did Tweet to the media that this wasn’t the Biggie:

Dear Media: No, this story is not the "finale". There are many other stories that will be reported – here & elsewhere – from the archive.

— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 9, 2014

Just after the publication of that revelation, GG did an interview with Wired magazine’s Kim Zetter, excerpts of which follow (i'll include ONE):

Yes, we know that the good Edward Snowden said that all he’d ever wanted was ‘a conversation’, and that once one began, he’d declared his mission accomplished. But a couple things of interest popped up recently from him, one attributed to him, correctly or not, by GG via NPR: ‘We’ve Erred on the Side of Caution’:

“So clearly, I believe — and actually Edward Snowden was vehement about the fact — that not all of this information should be published, that some of this is kept secret legitimately, that the NSA has the right and the duty even to spy on al-Qaida and other groups that are genuinely threatening to the United States.”

From Alexa O’Brien’s ‘Emails & new warrants raise questions about investigators’ conduct in Manning & WikiLeaks criminal probe,’ July 12, 2014, this video among the many recently discovered to have been on Chelsea Manning’s youtube channel. “…an emotive animation created by Joaquin Baldwin about a voodoo doll who “must find the courage to save his friends from being pinned to death. In the video the voodoo doll sacrifices itself to save the life of its fellows.” Beyond heart piercing, given…everything. Thank you, Chelsea; you did us all a great service.

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