Censorship on Twitter, killing in Gaza, purges in Labour - #21

Twitter is partnering with a CIA/MI6 disinformation conduit.

If you want to understand one of the main reasons I started this Substack newsletter earlier this year, then look no further than this recent article by my friend Ben Norton.

Twitter has partnered with news agencies Retuers and AP so that they can start imposing censorship of journalism that they decree to be not “credible.”

The harsh reality: Reuters and AP are anything but the fair and balanced, neutral “news agencies” that they portray themselves to be. In fact they have a long history of working closely with US and British spy agencies to help propagate their political agendas.

As Ben explains, in recent times:

The supposed threat of “disinformation” or “misinformation” has become a key pretext for censoring independent news outlets. Hawkish, government-funded think tanks in Washington have seized the talking point to justify de-platforming and silencing voices that challenge Western corporate and foreign-policy interests.

This is all enforces by an increasingly powerful set of Silicon Valley monopolies:

Google (which owns YouTube), Facebook (which owns Instagram), and Twitter have collaborated with Western governments to censor accounts run by citizen journalists in Venezuela, Iran, Syria, Russia, China, and other countries targeted by Washington for regime change and destabilization.

Reuters itself last year admitted that, during the first Cold War, it and the BBC spread anti-Soviet propaganda at the direction of the “Information Research Department” — a British government cut-out which effectively acted as an arm of MI6’s clandestine operations to manipulate journalists.

So Twitter, ironically, has hired a disinformation master — supposedly to combat “disinformation”! Of course, this is no accident.

Reuters is just as close today to US and UK spooks as it ever was. As I pointed out in this viral tweet last year, they actually hired Dawn Scalici, a 33-year veteran senior CIA officer, in order to advance the company’s “ability to meet the disparate needs of the US government”!

Ben correctly points out that Scalici was actually embedded at Reuters for three years, moving on from the company in 2018. This means I was incorrect in my 2020 tweet to speak in the current tense.

But my main point was correct: Reuters — like almost all other supposedly “mainstream” corporate media outlets, is a willing funnel for the disinformation habitually churned out by Western spy agencies.

It’s well worth reading Ben’s whole piece to find out more. Since he wrote it, Twitter has announced that it will be introducing a new feature to let users report posts that “seem misleading”.

Until now, Twitter has been an important conduit for me to promote my journalism. But it’s starting to look like that opening could be closing. All the more important, therefore, to build alternative platforms like this Substack newsletter.

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Next, please do read my EI colleague Tamara Nassar’s new report from over the weekend, about the latest Israeli violence against children in the Gaza Strip.

On Saturday, Palestinians in Gaza resumed popular demonstrations against the Israeli siege. The pressures and depredations that Israel is imposing on them (with the help of the military dictatorship in Egypt) are almost unimaginable.

As Tamara explains, due to the siege, more than a quarter of a million people in Gaza have been unable to repair their homes, damaged in the latest major Israeli bombing campaign in May.

It’s no wonder then, that they resumed demonstrations:

Of course, Israel’s response to men, women and children protesting for their basic human and political rights was predictably brutal:

Israeli occupation forces injured more than 40 Palestinians, including at least 24 children, during protests in the Gaza Strip on Saturday. One of the injured is photojournalist Asem Muhammad Shehade, who was wounded in the face by shrapnel from a live bullet.

Another is a 13-year-old boy reportedly in critical condition.

Israeli snipers deployed on the Israel-Gaza boundary fired machine guns, live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas canisters at Palestinian civilians who were peacefully gathered near the eastern fence.

Israeli army thugs shot through a gap in the boundary wall, sniping down Palestinian protesters with bloody effect. But the Palestinians fought back, with one of them firing with a handgun into the gap.

The Israeli soldier is reportedly in critical condition. The right to use armed force in self-defence is protected under international law — as well as in any basic moral code.

Read Tamara’s full article here.

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My work this week

I reported for The Electronic Intifada this week on the latest upsurge in the purge of socialists from the increasingly right-wing Labour Party under the regime of “Sir” Keir Starmer.

The most famous person to be kicked out was of course veteran leftist director Ken Loach. But Labour has also been quietly purging left-wing Jews from the party, with not a peep of protest from the supposedly “mainstream” media.

Ironic, considering the years of moral panic about the supposed “anti-Semitism crisis” in Labour under Corbyn. Yet more proof the “anti-Semitism crisis” had nothing to do with real anti-Semitism.

For my latest Middle East Monitor column I wrote an analysis of and reflection on the US-UK invasion and occupation of Afghanistan:

Untold thousands have been killed in Afghanistan as a direct result of what Labour's Lisa Nandy downplayed as US-UK "intervention". A decade ago, one cautious estimate put the figure of civilian deaths alone at 40,000.

With the US pull-out this month, imperialist warmongers on both sides of the Atlantic are wringing their hands at the prospect of the decline of the US empire. Nowhere more so than in the US' regional client regime at the heart of the Arab World: the racist settler-colony of Israel.

Read the whole thing here.

I mentioned in last week’s newsletter that I am going to start writing more locked articles on this Substack, accessible only to paying subscribers.

These will be in addition to this, free, weekly newsletter. I’m not planning to stop writing this newsletter any time soon. There seems to be an interest in it and I’m pleased with the first few months of response to this Substack.

This week, for paid subscribers, I wrote this article about Vanessa Redgrave’s famous 1978 Oscars acceptance speech. In it, she correctly described the Jewish Defence League — a terrorist group that had been harassing her, even putting a price on her head — as “Zionist hoodlums”.

To read the full article, sign up as a paid subscriber: it’s only £4 per month or £40 per year and you’re not tied to any contract. You’ll also be able to access the full archive of locked articles: there’s only a few posts behind the pay wall right now, but this will grow over time.

As a paid Subscriber, you will also be able to comment on posts, joining the growing base of debate and discussion (safely and privately moderated by myself).

Thanks for all your support for my Substack so far!

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Tweet of the Week

My EI colleague Maureen jokingly made this prediction some time ago, but proved to be more prophetic than perhaps she realised!