CROSSPOST: Alastair Sloan
Writer Francis Beckett has an interesting piece in the Guardian this morning regarding his fathers prominent role in Britain’s fascist movement. He reveals that from 1945 to 1955 his home was under MI5 surveillance, and states that he believes the government played a role in maintaining and even increasing his fathers radical beliefs.
My father came out of prison far more racist – and, in particular, antisemitic – than we went in: a phenomenon familiar to those who have studied wartime detention.
After the war, the constant surveillance, which he knew was there but could never pin down, made him just a little mad. He was noisy and entertaining, he could tell a good anecdote, but there was something strange about him. And sometimes he would say something about a race – about Jews or about black people – so gross and offensive that, even as a child in the 1950s, it made me start and stare.
The suggestion made by CAGE, that the security services may have contributed to the radicalisation of Mohammed Emwazi continues to be the subject of, well, not being the subject of mainstream corporate reporting. Instead, emotional questions are asked and statements are made: Our security services? Which protect us? They are just doing their job! The entire mood across the media spectrum seems to promulgate the view that the security services can do no wrong. This, despite the fact that just last month the discourse was critiquing the Intelligence and Security Committee for its toothless oversight of the security services. Clare Algar, executive director of legal charity Reprieve, said,
“From UK complicity in CIA torture to mass surveillance, the ISC has missed every major security-related scandal of the past 15 years”.
Incidentally, Reprieve’s Clive Stafford Smith in a statement of support said that CAGE’s work was “vital”, not that this would matter to papers hell-bent on deflecting from core issues.
In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
The words of Malcolm X could not be truer: The powers that be use the press to give the devil an angelic image and give the image of the devil to the one who’s really angelic. In the context of CAGE, Mohammed Emwazi and the contribution toward radicalisation by the security services, the British media, as I had envisaged, completely trivialised and then steered the discussion way from the excesses of the security services. Echoing the experience of the journalist Gary Webb, the focus of the right-wing media has been to character assassinate those who have come out to share this evidence-supported narrative.
The attack on Asim Qureshi and CAGE has been insidiously appalling from the likes of the Daily Fail and other papers in cahoots with the neoconservative establishment. This reached its zenith when, in a clear attempt to undermine the lucid arguments of Asim Qureshi Andrew Neil from the British Biased Corporation decided to question his personal theological opinions.
The only card that could be used was that of demonisation through a completely unrelated topic, invoking the presumptuous “do you believing in stoning women?” question, courtesy of a report which references a far-right bigot published by the bigoted Council of Ex-Muslims, such is the level of journalistic rigour at the British Biased Corporation.
After Noam Chomsky endorsing Asim Qureshi’s analysis of the radicalisation of Mohammed Emwazi, Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman called Qureshi onto their show to further explore the topic.
The video can be seen at the link here.
Crosspost: Democracy Now!
We look at the strange case of the man nicknamed Jihadi John, the Islamic State militant seen in the beheading videos of James Foley and Steven Sotloff. Last week, press accounts identified him as a Londoner named Mohammed Emwazi who was originally from Kuwait. Emwazi moved to Britain as a child and studied computer science at the University of Westminster. The story has touched off a debate in Britain over policing and monitoring of potential threats. How did Emwazi go from being a university student in Britain to being the face of the Islamic State? Did British security services play a role in his radicalization? We are joined by Asim Qureshi of the British prisoner group CAGE, who knew Emwazi until he left Britain for good in 2012.
Boris Johnson is upset. From Facebook fulminations to Torygraph tirades, he clearly has been incensed by the release of information by CAGE about Mohammed Emwazi and the resultant impact on the normally plane-sailing, “blame ideology” narrative. In doing so, he repeats much of the same confused, irrational and emotionally charged rhetoric which clearly misrepresents what CAGE have been stating. I have addressed some of these misrepresentations in previous blogs (here and here).
Asim Qureshi yesterday called into an LBC interview with Johnson to clarify his position. Johnson, with a degree more calm, proceeded to repeat the same as the above: more irrationality and more irrelevant dictations. It must be emphasised that the interview was ridiculously biased, with Qureshi repeatedly muted, making way for Johnson to make his point.
I was planning on doing a point by point analysis of the discussion, however, many of the accusations made against Qureshi have been brilliantly batted back by himself in a BBC interview. It must be heard. See this link here. (Note that this is not the full interview, other accusations are dealt with in the full interview, here.) No doubt had Qureshi been given an equal opportunity to respond, he would have shown Johnson’s superficial cries to be unsubstantiated.
There were a couple of points I wanted to elaborate on regarding Johnson’s statements.
Through the 90s, Gary Webb, an award winning journalist, experienced the wrath of the CIA through the corporate media for exposing CIA’s link with the Contras in Nicaragua and the cocaine epidemic in the US. There was a suggestion that the black communities were being targeted with these drugs. An internal CIA document authored by Nicholas Dujmovic, an employee of the CIA Directorate of Intelligence at the time of publication, noted the “already productive relations with journalists,” which allowed the CIA’s reputation to be left intact thanks to distractions by major newspapers. Webb’s career was destroyed and some years later, was ruled to have committed suicide with two bullets to his head. Much of his core findings however, were found to be accurate. As the Intercept spread articulates, the corporate media spent,
“ …far more time trying to poke holes in the series than in following up on the underreported scandal at its heart, the involvement of U.S.-backed proxy forces in international drug trafficking.”
More interestingly, Dujmovic wrote that the papers had deflected the core allegations, using stories which cited, “[r]espected columnists, including prominent blacks.” In other words, people “representing” the black communities, which were enraged by the allegations, had been abused to successfully shift opinion.
For some reason there is a perception in Britain and indeed, in the Western world that security services are a squeaky clean in their approach to protecting the citizens of this country. This, despite the fact that they have been exposed in violating the very principles, which are lauded for keeping the “civilised world”, civilised. In the damning judgment of Binyam Mohamed in 2010, it was found that the Mi5 did not respect human rights, nor renounced torture, misled MPs and operated in a “culture of suppression” in dealing with the court.
As the papers did what they do best – control+c and control+v reports, it seemed as though the corporate media suddenly had an epiphany: we are copying some real journalism here, this needs to be spun asap!
Reading the recent reports demonstrates evidence of media spin once again, where the (government) spin-doctors are in full-swing to skew the story of “Jihadi John”, or Mohammed Emwazi. The focus of the media rapidly shifted to the conveniently government-narrative-compliant “ideology” as a causal factor. The Daily Fail began its campaign against CAGE and Asim Qureshi who were cited in the original Washington Post article, after perhaps realising the implications of the initial report. CAGE became smeared across the papers for suggesting that a person as violent as Mohammed Emwazi could actually have been a normal human being. Media outlets usually pointing the finger at mental disorders in “white terrorism”, began pointing the finger at CAGE for attempting to “contextualise” the man’s actions, forgetting that the government has been imposing its own academically-wanting contextualisation of belligerent actions on the Muslims community for decades. The academically-wanting conveyor-belt theory to terrorism has been the go-to theory for the government, counter-extremism “experts” from the Quilliam Foundation and the bigoted Henry Jackson Society.