All posts filed under: blackcatte

“Chepiga” and “Boshirov” – what does Bellingcat actually tell us?

The alleged “citizen journalist” website, Bellingcat has, of course, recently published the results of its latest piece of alleged research on the “real identity” of one of the men accused (so far without any evidence) of attempting to poison Sergey Skripal and his daughter back in March 2018.

We’ve talked about Bellingcat, and its supposed founder, Eliot Higgins, before on OffG. Bellingcat’s work has been revealed on countless occasions to be both incredibly amateurish and incredibly biased toward a certain extreme neocon/neoliberal agenda. Whether Higgins himself knows it or not, his outfit is almost certainly a front run by various intel agencies for the purpose of disseminating low grade, and often fake or corrupted, data that the agencies and associated governments do not want to be associated with directly.

Why the argument “JFK was a bad man” misses the point

by Catte The trouble with the recent “debate” in the comments over the merits of JFK as man and president is it isn’t really a debate. The claims made by our article JFK: the war on our heroes, and the claims made in response BTL are not mutually incompatible or even contradictory. We point to the numerous sources for JFK having made the decision to confront some powerful forces within the US establishment, and the likelihood of his having been murdered as a response to this. The alleged “counter claims” that JFK was flawed, selfish, and prepared to play along with the MIC doesn’t in any way rebut this point. Flawed, selfish, corrupt people can stumble into some sort of heroism even by accident. They can, even unwittingly, challenge hidden power structures and be punished for that. And clearly something of this kind happened to JFK. However much his ready charm and superficial attractiveness might be reminiscent of Obama, we need to remember that Obama left office alive and well. As has every other president …

The “revolution” is being televised – & we should ask why

There is something strange about the media coverage of the Grenfell tragedy. The BBC is giving over acres of space to the pain and anger of the residents. The Guardian’s front page currently looks the The Canary, and in it Opinion section Jonathan Freedland is saying Grenfell will “forever stand as a rebuke to the Right”.

Is the sarin also a lie?

by Catte Imagine the Cuban Missile Crisis – only the Cuban Missiles may not even exist. The most important aspect of the latest Syrian crisis is the one getting least attention in many quarters. Yes, Trump’s actions were deplorable. But let’s not forget they were also a response to an alleged chemical attack that may never have happened. It’s not just that we don’t know who was responsible for this attack (which of course we don’t, even slightly). It’s not just that this might be another Ghouta, which would be tragic and farcical enough, it’s that the attack itself has been so sketchily reported and so poorly validated that its reality remains far from certain. No investigation has yet been conducted. No independent witnesses have been cited. The main source for imagery and information is the White Helmets – who are known and admitted to have faked or distorted previous events. Some of that photo evidence is frankly questionable. The hilarious fact is we are currently – as Russian PM Medvedev said – on the …

In a society of “believers” & “deniers” we all become Inquisitors

The “collision of opinion” so endorsed by enlightenment thinkers, is not currently encouraged. If someone says something stupid or blatantly false our first response is no longer to try to prove them wrong – it’s to silence them. To quote Jonathan Pie we focus on “stopping debates instead of winning them.”

Free speech, censorship & the right to be wrong…

Do we have a responsibility to silence views we consider morally repugnant or simply untrue? Claims that the Holocaust didn’t happen are insane and revolting. Should we prevent people from airing those views? Refuse to debate with them? Should we declare that some opinions do not deserve to be heard?

Selling imperialist propaganda in an anti-imperialist wrapper

Why are Counterpunch and the Socialist Worker choosing such a time to present a piece on Syria by Ashley Smith that reads like a briefing from the Clinton campaign or Kagan’s Foreign Policy Initiative?

Closing down Dr Burzynski – updated

from BlackCatte’s blog Chemotherapy often doesn’t work. Everyone admits it’s not a perfect treatment. So, why, when a man comes along with a new approach that seems to yield amazing results, does the US medical establishment and the FDA unite to try and close him down and even put him in jail? If you believe Big Pharma is all about curing people and increasing human wellbeing – you probably shouldn’t watch this movie. Ultimately, it’s not about whether Burzynski’s therapy is a complete cure or simply another partial answer, it’s about whether people have the right to full information on all medical options, and whether the medial establishment is there to serve us or the drug company monopolies. Oh btw – after twenty years of calling him a fraud, the United States stole Burzynski’s patent and registered his therapy for themselves. No, really. UPDATE June 11 2016 When OffG republished this article yesterday I didn’t know Burzynski’s trial was currently ongoing. Pure coincidence. But since this article has attracted some attention, I thought it might …

More puzzles about BBC’s “Saving Syria’s Children” documentary

This is our second look at the work of Robert Stuart, concerning the controversial BBC Panorama documentary “Saving Syria’s Children. ” When did the alleged chemical attacks actually occur? Why do accounts of the timing differ so widely? And why did producer Darren Conway become defensive and incoherent when asked one simple question?

ISIS & the psycho-nightmare of US Middle East “policy”

That ISIS/al Qaeda, or whatever name we want to use, were to some extent packaged and marketed as designer fear porn seems beyond doubt. Nothing else explains their unparalleled success as media-manipulators or their immunity to any kind of retribution. It’s possible a lot of the guys in the ubiquitous promo pics never did anything more violent than pose with a black flag or an assault rifle. But some of them apparently did a lot more than that. They didn’t just take the money and fight either. They tortured people. En masse. On film.

In the age of media manipulation how much can we afford to take on trust?

It may be hard for some to believe the BBC was guilty of the degree of blatant fakery suggested by RT, but at the same time we have to admit the separation between “edited reality” as portrayed by the BBC and wholesale fabrication as portrayed by the fictions shown here, is not clear or specific.

Why has one small child’s horrific death been turned into a media event and war cry? – UPDATED

As we predicted the ghastly tragedy of little Aylan is now unquestionably being exploited with psychopathic cynicism to re-launch the call for war in Syria. The lies about chemical weapons didn’t do it. The lies about barrel bombs haven’t been doing it – so maybe the death of this tiny little person can be wrung from its context and turned into the case for war the empire has been panting for since 2012.