Bellingcat today released the second part of their “investigation” into the alleged real identities of Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov, the two Russians accused of attempting to murder Sergey Skripal. We offer some preliminary thoughts and open the subject up for discussion.
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.
George Monbiot is an influential journalist, and his words on Syria over the past seven years will have carried weight in shaping public opinion. Some critical readers, however, have been concerned. For while Monbiot has declared himself morally opposed to military intervention, and is demonstrably aware of how the media can manipulate news reports, he has repeatedly published statements – in his weekly Guardian column and on Twitter – that lend significant support to key interventionist arguments
The always incisive people at Media Lens have just done an excellent job exposing the most recent media campaign for a NATO invasion of Syria as the dangerous, sub-intelligent nonsense it is. The particular focus of Media Lens’ recent piece – “An Impeachable Offence” is – deservedly – the prize nincompoop George Monbiot, who shall forever be remembered for declaiming in a cringeworthy tweet “Do those who still insist Syrian govt didn’t drop chemical weapons have any idea how much evidence they are denying?” – and then linking to a Medium article citing Eliot Higgins, aka “Brown Moses”, ex-admin for an underwear firm, as the source of incontrovertible proof! Do those who still insist Syrian govt didn't drop chemical weapons have any idea how much evidence they are denying? https://t.co/wb6GawR8KI — GeorgeMonbiot (@GeorgeMonbiot) April 13, 2017 (Note to George: don’t skim read before going public). But in case Monbiot doesn’t yet realise the depths of foolishness he has plumbed, Medla Lens reminds him and us: In a 2014 letter to the London Review of Books, …
The Vault 7 exposé by WikiLeaks neglected to mention the most important part of the disclosure. Sure, the CIA has all these tools available. Yes, they are used on the public. The important part is; it’s not the CIA that’s using them. That’s the part that needs to frighten you.
Bottom line is Eliot Higgins, aka BrownMoses, aka one-man ‘research group’ Bellingcat is funny. He just is. And there’s nothing much his would-be promoters can do about that.
Well, ‘proves’ to the satisfaction of The Guardian, at least — not too difficult, as the Graun is clearly eager to believe. Believe what? Why, believe that Russia shelled Ukraine from Russian territory, last summer, in order to justify the latest breathless headline in the ongoing Guardian campaign of warmongering and propaganda. In this case, Higgins and his coterie of enthusiastic Internet bloggers and social media ‘investigators’ (now remarkably well-funded) have ‘analysed’ crater impacts, tire or track marks and YouTube videos to conclude, yet again, that one of the West’s chosen enemies is guilty of evildoing. This, of course, follows his triumphs in, e.g., ‘establishing’ that Syrian government forces used chemical weapons (oops) and ‘identifying the Buk missile launcher that downed flight MH17’ (oh, dear). More on these earlier misadventures here. The Guardian barely bothers to note, deep in the story, that a UK Defence Academy expert says Higgins’ methods are ‘highly experimental and prone to inaccuracy’. If the intrepid journalists asked whether those highly experimental methods might be even more prone to inaccuracy in …