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Pentagon Contractor Uses Sockpuppet Tactics to Target Journalists

In News, NWO, Other Leaks, Science & Technology on May 26, 2012 at 9:24 AM

TheGuardian – The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.

A Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command (Centcom), which oversees US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an “online persona management service” that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world.

The project has been likened by web experts to China’s attempts to control and restrict free speech on the internet. Critics are likely to complain that it will allow the US military to create a false consensus in online conversations, crowd out unwelcome opinions and smother commentaries or reports that do not correspond with its own objectives.

The discovery that the US military is developing false online personalities – known to users of social media as “sock puppets” – could also encourage other governments, private companies and non-government organizations to do the same.

 

05/25/2012

InfoWars:

Camille Chidiac, co-owner of Leonie Industries, a Pentagon contractor, has admitted to criminally targeting to journalists for reporting on a failed Pentagon propaganda operation.

Chidiac used dirty tricks reminiscent of the FBI’s COINTELPRO tactics to target the journalists. Leonie’s co-owner created a batch of fake websites, social media accounts, and a fraudulent Wikipedia page in an effort to smear the journalists. The bogus accounts were set-up in the names of the two journalists, Tom Vanden Brook and his editor Ray Locker.

 

“The co-owner of a major Pentagon propaganda contractor publicly admitted Thursday that he was behind a series of websites used in an attempt to discredit two USA TODAY journalists who had reported on the contractor,” USA Today reported.

The online “misinformation campaign,” first reported last month, has raised questions about whether the Pentagon or its contractors had turned its propaganda operations against U.S. citizens. But Camille Chidiac, the minority owner of Leonie Industries and its former president, said he was responsible for the online activity and was operating independently of the company and the Pentagon.

Leonie has since attempted to disassociate itself from Chidiac:

On Sunday, May 20, Leonie’s management was informed by Camille Chidiac, who owns a minority interest in Leonie and who was personally referenced in the USA Today coverage, that he was involved in the online activity.

This was the act of an individual, not the company.  Leonie was not aware of and did not authorize Mr. Chidiac’s online activity concerning the reporters.

In addition, Leonie has contacted government officials to inform them of the situation and will continue to work with government officials on this matter.

Pentagon in the Business of Targeting Americans with Propaganda

On May 22, Michael Snyder reported on an amendment added to a defense authorization bill in Congress that would legalize “psychological operations” aimed at American citizens.

“The latest version of the National Defense Authorization Act would overturn the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 and the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 1987,” Snyder writes.

Those two laws essentially make it illegal for propaganda that is used to influence public opinion overseas to be targeted at U.S. citizens back here at home.  If those two laws are struck down, there will be essentially very few limits to what the U.S. government can do to shape our opinions.  The government would be able to bombard us with propaganda messages on television, on the radio, in our newspapers and on the Internet and there would not even be a requirement that those messages be true.

The law made it through the House and now awaits action in the Senate.

“It removes the protection for Americans,” a Pentagon official told Michael Hastings of Buzzfeed. “It removes oversight from the people who want to put out this information. There are no checks and balances. No one knows if the information is accurate, partially accurate, or entirely false.”

Snyder notes that if the bill is attached to the defense authorization bill and becomes law, there will be little we can do to stop the government from going after journalists and destroying their reputations and careers in COINTELPRO fashion with bogus information and propaganda.

It was routine for the FBI under the illegal program to plant false stories in the media and send defamatory letters to employers and families in an effort to discredit and destroy the reputations of activists. An infamous example is a letter the agency sent to Martin Luther King suggesting he commit suicide.

In 2010, we reported on a plan drafted by Obama’s information czar, Cass Sunstein, for the government to infiltrate conspiracy groups in order to undermine them.

“In May 2008, it was revealed that the Pentagon was expanding ‘Information Operations’ on the Internet by setting up fake foreign news websites, designed to look like independent media sources but in reality carrying direct military propaganda,” Paul Joseph Watson wrote at the time.

In 2009, the US Air Force announced a “counter-blog” response plan aimed at fielding and reacting to material from bloggers who have “negative opinions about the US government and the Air Force.”

Watson noted that the plan was created by the public affairs arm of the Air Force and included a detailed twelve-point “counter blogging” flow-chart that dictated how officers should tackle what are described as “trolls,” “ragers,” and “misguided” online writers.

Wag the Dog: Syria EXPOSED

In News, NWO, Other Leaks, Syria, Viral Videos, World Revolution on March 23, 2012 at 5:52 PM

 

03/12/2012

 

RT:

Key staff from Al Jazeera’s Beirut Bureau have resigned citing “bias” in the channel’s stance on the conflict in Syria.

Bureau Managing Director Hassan Shaaban reportedly quit last week, after his correspondent and producer had walked out in protest.

A source told the Lebanese paper Al Akhbar that Al Jazeera’s Beirut correspondent Ali Hashem had quit over the channel’s stance on covering events in Syria. “… his position [which] changed after the station refused to show photos he had taken of armed fighters clashing with the Syrian Army in Wadi Khaled. Instead [Al Jazeera] lambasted him as a shabeeh [implying a regime loyalist],” a source told Lebanese press.

Ali Hashem was also infuriated by Al Jazeera’s refusal to cover a crackdown by the King of Bahrain while twisting its Syria angle. “[In Bahrain], we were seeing pictures of a people being butchered by the ‘Gulf’s oppression machine’, and for Al Jazeera, silence was the name of the game,” he said.

The Beirut bureau’s producer also quit claiming Al Jazeera had totally ignored Syria’s constitutional reform referendum, which saw a 57% turnout with 90% voting for change.

Ghassan Ben Jeddo, who had been the head of the Beirut Bureau before resigning almost a year ago, said that Al Jazeera was biased in covering the Arab Spring, especially in Syria and Bahrain.

“I do believe that Al Jazeera and other channels were not balanced in dealing with the events,” he said. “For instance, with respect to the events in Syria and Bahrain, we started to invite guests from America who only criticize the regime in Syria and support the regime in Bahrain and persons who justify NATO intervention. This is unacceptable.”

Journalist and author Afshin Rattansi, who worked for Al Jazeera, told RT that, “sadly”, the channel had become one-sided voice for the Qatari government’s stance against Bashar al-Assad, having begun as the region’s revolutionary broadcaster.

“It is very disturbing to hear how Al Jazeera is now becoming this regional player for foreign policy in a way that some would arguably say the BBC and others have been for decades,” he said. “If Al Jazeera Arabic is going to take a war-like stance after [the] Qatari government, this would be very ill.”

“There is the courage of these journalists, however, in saying ‘Look, this is not the way we should be covering this. There are elements of Al-Qaeda in there,’” Rattansi concluded. “The way Al Jazeera Arabic has covered the story of Syria is completely one-sided.”

Journalists and anti-war activist Don Debar, who has also had Al Jazeera experience, confirmed that the station has been heavily guided by the Qatari government in its policies.

“That has been ongoing since last April of 2011,” Debar told RT. “The head of the bureau in Beirut quit, many other people quit because of the biased coverage and outright hand of the government in dictating editorial policy over Libya, and now Syria.”

03/21/2012

 

PressTV:

A major Arab news corporation Al-Jazeera seems to be losing ground lately with key staff from its Beirut Bureau resigning.

The managing director, Producer and correspondent all walked, and one of them told press TV off camera that their main protest was a clear bias and lack of balance in covering stories in Bahrain and Syria.

Member of the Lebanese National Media Council says that these resignations reflect the anger of the people towards the policies of the network:

The Doha based TV Channel has been seen by experts as being not only financed, but also guided by the Qatari government in its policies.

The Qatari prince Hamad ben Khalifa Al-Thani and his Prime Minister Hamad ben Jassem have voiced their animosity towards the Syrian Government and President Bashar Assad, calling on the Arab league and the United Nations to send in troops and arms to assist the Syrian opposition militias in their operations inside Syria.

Most of Al-Jazeera’s airtime is focused on news pertaining to the armed opposition groups inside Syria, while almost ignoring Syria’s constitutional reform referendum, which saw a 57% turnout with around 90% voting for change.

Experts in the Media field say that it’s hard to stay neutral when you’re in a state of war, and that a media network is bound to be part of the polarization, yet that should not mean distorting facts:

Lebanese media figures have called on several influential Arab networks to be balanced in reporting all Arab uprisings including the Bahraini people’s call for change which Al-Jazeera has mainly ignored.

Since the first Arab uprising began in Tunisia, Al-Jazeera has considered itself as the advocate for the people’s uprisings and won the respect of many across the Arab world, yet lately many people especially in Lebanon believe it has been taking sides and as a result lost its credibility.

03/14/2012

 

RT:

Television channels have turned into political parties, pushing the agenda for some outside forces, former Al Jazeera correspondent in Beirut, Ali Hashem, told RT. Hashem has come in spotlight after resigning from the television citing its bias.

In emails leaked by Syrian hackers, Ali Hashem vented his anger over Al Jazeera’s one-sided coverage of Syria and its refusal to cover the events in Bahrain. In an exclusive interview with RT, the former Beirut correspondent Hashem refrained from discussing his resignation, but stressed that these days, independent media is a myth.

“There is no independent media anymore. It is whose agenda is paying the money for the media outlet,” he said. “Politicization of media means that media outlets are today like political parties. Everyone is adopting a point of view, fight for it and bring all the tools and all the means they have in order to make it reach the biggest amount of viewers.”

It is now the job of the viewer to compare the news from several different sources and then make his own conclusions, the journalist believes. “Today we are in the era of open source information and everyone can reach whatever information he wants.”

Hashem said the problem with this picture is that some news outlets can reach bigger audiences than others. “What they say will [seem] to be a fact while it might not be the fact,” he said.

Mass media should be “immune” when it comes to war and conflict, as this guarantees freedom of speech, Ali Hashem believes.

“In the year 2006, Israel bombarded Al-Manar television because they said Al- Manar was doing propaganda war against Israel,” he said. “Al-Manar was on one side of this war and they were supporting the Hezbollah and the resistance and the war against Israel.  But does this give Israel the excuse to bombard Al-Manar? Certainly not.”

“We should as journalists, whatever our point of view is, (because it is clear there is no independent journalism anymore) have the right to say whatever he wants safely, without being threatened to be bombarded or killed or executed or arrested,” Hashem concluded.

Al Jazeera has recently suffered an exodus of key staff members from its Beirut Bureau: correspondent Ali Hashem, managing director Hassan Shaaban and producer Mousa Ahmad.

The professionals cited bias in the channel’s coverage of the Arab Spring, especially the events in Syria and Bahrain, as the reason for their departures.

THE EVIDENCE

 

 

 

03/14/2012

RT:

Some mainstream news channels have been recently caught carrying dubious footage from Syria. It fuels the debate over media’s role in legitimizing possible military intervention in the country.

­’Danny’ is a Syrian opposition activist who reports from Homs for CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya. He is attached to the opposition movement and regularly calls for military invasion of Syria. He’s identified as Danny Abdul Dayem, a 22-year-old British citizen of Syrian origin.

In a video leaked online, Danny appears to be falsifying a video broadcast for CNN. Prior to going on air, he requests colleagues to fire weapons to dramatize his Live report with Anderson Cooper. Though he denied any wrongdoings in an interview to CNN after the video went viral, his reliability as a verified news source was called into question.

Danny is far from being a lone soldier in an increasingly dirty information war. Investigative journalist Rafik Lotf has spent months looking at the background to footage that has helped shaped global opinion on the conflict. He told RT that Al Jazeera is involved in video fabrication to discredit the Syrian regime and cites a video described by Al Jazeera as proof Syrian Govt forces had bombed an oil pipeline.

“I know this video is on the Al Jazeera server. It is clear it is not an explosion but they ignore that and keep on reporting on the way they need to see it,” he said.

It is even thought that the clip may have been staged by rebels who blew up the pipeline themselves, as alleged on Infowars.com.
­Dark turns in Syria’s blame game

­All Journalists admit that verifying footage on the ground in Syria is difficult, nigh on impossible.

Most recently shocking footage emerged of some 47 bodies, including women and children found with their throats slit, bearing stab wounds and signs of rape. The opposition called for a UNSC emergency meeting on ‘the massacre’.

Assad’s government, in turn, announced that ‘terrorist gangs’ killed those in the video and claimed Homs’ residents recognized relatives among the dead, who had been previously kidnapped by the Syrian rebels.

As the mutual blame game spirals downwards and civilian suffering continues, the recent resignations of key Al Jazeera journalists may serve as a clear indicator — that some mainstream Syria conflict coverage is far from objective.

 

03/14/2012

PressTV:

Armed groups are committing crime against innocent civilians and with the help of certain media are changing the truth to make believe that the Syrian Arab Army is committing those murders.

Mohammad Ammar al-Mustafa a twelve years old boy was murdered by armed groups in Murk a small town in Hamah. After his death armed groups attacked his place, prevented his mother and family members from going into his room and started filming what was shown on media later on as a crime done by the Syrian Army.

Mohammad was killed because his mother was able to collect 33,000 signatures against conspiracy; she was threatened every day, the day she decided to leave Hama for the safety of her family they killed Mohammad.

Mohammad is not the only case where such acts happen. Few months earlier another kid named Sary was murdered by the armed groups, and again they accused the Army of killing him. Later on Sary’s mother told the press that her son was murdered by the armed men.

This is a small example on how armed groups are attempting murders. Experts say their schemes will not succeed without the help of certain media.

 

THE TRUTH

 

 

03/13/2012

PressTV:

Hezbollah has accused the U.S. embassy in Lebanon of overseeing the infiltration, armament and operations against Syria.

Sheikh Qaouq also lashed out at the March 14th coalition saying that they are arming, financing and overseeing the attacks against Syria through the Lebanese Syrian border.

The March 14th denies such claims saying its activities in northern Lebanon is for humanitarian purposes to help the Syrian people who have taken refuge there.

Deputy head of Hezbollah’s Executive Council said pro-U.S. Arabs backed out of their slogans and plots against Syria and agreed with Russia on a new initiative.

Hezbollah has described the U.S. embassy in Lebanon as “a military operations room against Syria.” now, analysts believe that the US embassy does have a history of intelligence work aimed at Beirut and Damascus, and despite its recent claim to have refused to arm the Syrian opposition, it has been financing this group even before the unrest began in Syrian a year ago.

Former Lebanese Minister Michel Samaha told press TV that the visits of Michael G. Vickers, US under secretary of defense for intelligence to Beirut shows that the US embassy is in a war of espionage with Syria.

Since the unrest began percolating in Syria in mid-March last year, several reports have suggested that arms were being smuggled from Lebanon into Syria to support the opposition. Some Arab countries such as Qatar have called on the UN to send arms to the opposition groups.

However, the UN seems to be brokering a political solution, which could be backed by Russia, a main critic of US policies in the Middle East.

 

03/14/2012

PressTV:

The escape of the armed Syrian terrorists to Lebanon and also smuggling weapons to Syria is still a matter of concern.

US ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly had earlier asked Lebanese officials not to track the Syrian armed escapees.

Some Lebanese officials have opposed the policies of the US and asserted that they cannot allow another “Ashraf Camp” to come into existence in Northern Lebanon.

To justify its illegal acts, Israel has also announced that it has sold a huge cache of weapons to Qatar, however the Qatari government has reportedly delivered them to Syrian opposition forces without informing Israel about it.

Meanwhile, the Syrian army found in Homs a very advanced operation room in which the terrorists, linked to foreign sources, were using modern satellite and communication devices. During the operation they gathered information on the activities of this west-controlled operation room.

A large number of Israeli made weapons were confiscated in Syria, as the Syrian army continues to restore order and security especially in Homs and its countryside.

Based on the statements of Qatari and Saudi officials, it seems that the both countries, just like the US and other European states, are keen to see more violence in Syria, away from a peaceful solution for the crisis, as foreign backed armed men continue to destabilize the country.

Al Jazeera Demands Release of Journalists Held in Libya

In Libya, News, Viral Videos, World Revolution on April 8, 2011 at 3:52 PM

Al Jazeera is calling on Libyan authorities to set free Ahmad val ould Eddin, Ammar Al-Hamdan, and Kamel Al Tallou, who were detained last month while covering the ongoing conflict in the country.

Libyan authorities have not provided any information about why the journalists are being held. The three were held near Zintan in the northwest of the country and then imprisoned in Tripoli.

Al Jazeera:

Ahmad val ould Eddin first joined Al Jazeera in 2008. He worked as a correspondent in South Africa before returning to the newsroom in Doha. He reported on Africa, which led him to cover Libya during the recent uprising. A Mauritanian, he has two daughters, Layla and Lubna. He writes a blog called ‘Kounach’, a compilation of his newspaper articles. He is a passionate reader of Arabic poetry, especially by Al-Mutanabbi.

Kamel Al-Tallou joined Al Jazeera as a cameraman recently, driven by his passion for journalism despite his medical education and background as a doctor. Al-Tallou studied medicine in Tripoli before working as a doctor in England until 2009. Kamel, a 43-year-old UK citizen, is married with three sons and one daughter.

Ammar Al-Hamdan is a Norwegian cameramen with a multicultural background. He is of Palestinian origin but born and raised in Baghdad. Al-Hamdan is married to a Norwegian journalist and has worked in Al Jazeera’s Oslo bureau since 2006.

Late Sunday night, one of four detained Al Jazeera journalists, Lotfi Al Masoudi, crossed the border into Tunisia.

Lotfi Al Masoudi joined Al Jazeera from CNBC Dubai in March 2007 and started off as a presenter for Al Jazeera Sport. He is a native of Kairouan, Tunisia, and his main professional goal has been to make sure that Al Jazeera stays at the forefront of the news industry. This devotion took him to Libya to cover the conflict there as a correspondent. Lotfi is 34, married, and has a 2-year-old son named Mohamad Khalil. Lotfi and his wife Amira hope to have a family reunion soon.

However, the other three are still being held by Libyan authorities.

On March 31, Libyan authorities re-arrested the four Al Jazeera journalists just hours after they were released.

They had been detained earlier by Libyan authorities near Zintan, in the northwest of the country, and then imprisoned in Tripoli for three weeks.

Their latest incarceration came after Al Masoudi told Tunisian radio station Jawhara FM in a telephone interview that they had been released and that they had been treated well in detention.

Al Masoudi, a Tunisian national, had been re-taken on Thursday along with Ahmad val ould Eddin, a Mauritanian national, Ammar Al-Hamdan, a Norwegian national of Palestinian descent, and Kamel Al Tallou, a British citizen.

During their brief freedom, the journalists met with their respective ambassadors in Tripoli to discuss their situation and their planned departure for Tunisia the following day.

Libyan authorities have not provided any information about why or where the journalists are being held.

“We call on Libyan authorities to release the Al Jazeera journalists and all other journalists that they or their forces are holding,” Robert Mahoney, deputy director of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), said.

Since Libya”s revolt began in February, CPJ has documented more than 60 attacks on the press, including two fatalities, more than 33 detentions, two attacks on news facilities, numerous instances of equipment confiscation, three cases of obstruction, the jamming of satellite news transmissions, and the interruption of internet service.

On March 12, Ali Hassan Al Jaber, an Al Jazeera cameraman, was killed in an ambush while returning to Benghazi after filing a report from an opposition protest.

During the crackdown, Libyan authorities have targeted four New York Times journalists and a Guardian correspondent.

And at least seven local journalists who spoke critically of government policies remain missing amid wide speculation that they are being held by forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, Libya”s embattled leader.

Al Jazeera released a statement on March 30 calling for the immediate release of its journalists. The call was signed by a foray of international organisations.

Bahrain Government Forces Attack Journalists & Protesters

In Bahrain, World Revolution on February 19, 2011 at 2:07 PM

As protesters attempted to converge on Pearl Roundabout, a landmark in the capital Manama that has become the principal rallying point of the uprising, soldiers stationed in a nearby skyscraper opened fire.

Since they took to the streets, Bahrain’s protesters have come to expect violence and even death at the hands of the kingdom’s security forces. At least five people were killed before yesterday’s protests.

But this was on a different scale of magnitude.

As they drew near, they were met first with tear gas and then with bursts of live ammunition.

The next day, the Army began to slaughter protesters and journalists to try and force them into silence.

Michael Slackman reports from Manama moments after an attack on protesters by security forces, and is fired upon by a government forces helicopter.

Bahrain’s Army deliberately kills peaceful protesters with live rounds.

The Bahraini Army has opened machinegun fire on protesters who were trying to reach hospital, injuring hundreds, in what appears to be an attempted massacre, medics say.  

The Army has prevented ambulances and medics from reaching those wounded amid massive pro-democracy protests in Bahrain, Dr. Ghassan, a resident at Salmaniyeh hospital in Manama, told AlJazeera.

He said that the protesters were marching to hospital in silence to visit those wounded in the previous rallies, when they were ambushed by troops waiting near the hospital. 

“They did not even chant anti-government slogans, they wanted to visit those injured on Thursday,” Dr. Ghassan said.

He maintained that the massacre was planned in advance.

“We need help! Our staff is entirely overwhelmed. They are shooting at people’s heads. Not at the legs. People are having their brains blown out,” Dr. Ghassan said.

He compared the situation at the hospital to a war zone.

The Army has prevented medical staff from reaching those injured, with nearly 700 troops stationed near the hospital.
SPREAD THIS INFO! HELP MAKE THE WORLD AWARE OF THE ATROCITIES CURRENTLY HAPPENING TO THE  PEOPLE OF BAHRAIN!

U.S. Introduces New Bills Targeting WikiLeaks, Journalists, and Free Speech

In News, NWO, USA, WikiLeaks, World Revolution on February 19, 2011 at 10:49 AM

WLCentral.org:

Peter King

Peter King (R-NY), chair of the US House Committee on Homeland Security, yesterday reintroduced legislation that would extend the definition of espionage to include publishing the names of sources who collaborate with the US military or intelligence services.

King had proposed similar legislation in 2010. Last week three members of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, led by chairman Joe Lieberman (I-CT), reintroduced a similar bill, known as

Joe Lieberman

the SHIELD Act. In US congressional parlance, SHIELD appears to mean “Securing human intelligence and enforcing lawful dissemination.”

Many students of the First Amendment have pointed out the dangers to journalism and publishing in the US if the definition of espionage (traditionally understood to involve intentional and interested transmission of information to a foreign power) were to be so broadened. The ACLU argues:

If the Espionage Act were to be applied to publishers, it would have the unconstitutional effect of infringing on the constitutionally protected speech rights of all Americans, and it would have a particularly negative effect on investigative journalism – a necessary and fundamental part of our democracy,” the ACLU said in a statement (.pdf).

As Graham Greene and John le Carré have long taught us, from bitter personal knowledge of their own, the very notion of espionage is a double-bladed knife that cuts both ways.

Benjamin Cardin

Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) has also reintroduced a related bill to the US Senate that would broadly criminalize leaks of classified information.

Unlike the proposed SHIELD Act, S. 355 does not target publication, but it would expand criminal penalties for unauthorized disclosure to cover all classified information.

The bill would replace the Espionage Act’s use of the term “national defense information” with the broader but more precise term “national security information …

The bill does not provide for a “public interest” defense, i.e. an argument that any damage to national security was outweighed by a benefit to the nation. It does not address the issue of overclassification, nor does it admit the possibility of “good” leaks. Disclosing that the President authorized waterboarding of detainees or that the government conducted unlawful domestic surveillance would be considered legally equivalent to revealing the identities of intelligence sources, the design of secret military technologies or the details of ongoing military operations.

And at a time when an unprecedented number of leak prosecutions are underway, the bill’s premise that an enhanced ability to prosecute leaks is needed seems questionable. In fact, in a 2002 report to Congress, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft said that the laws already on the books were sufficient and that no new anti-leak legislation was required.

Keep it up American Government, and the world revolution will be heading your way next!

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