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The Art of Backpedaling

Balance is elusive for Reporters Sans Frontières.


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The disgraced (yes disgraced) Reporters Sans Frontières are staging an attempted comeback. Odds are this won't work any better.

Background: Reporters Sans Frontières aren't the organisation people assume they are. They've been capitalising off the similarity to Medécins Sans Frontières for ages. They're no more for press freedom than Saddam Hussein was for peace in Kuwait. They're funded by the governments of the US and France (to an obscene level). They're used to do the bidding of their masters. They've been propaganda machines in coups d'état staged by the CIA. They're considered a substantial replacement for the CIA for operations that were OK 25 years ago but aren't considered 'appropriate' any longer. They're connected to some of the most notorious mercenaries and murderers in the world.

Don't believe it? It's not surprising. Start doing the research - check the links below (including Wikipedia). Check this article published yesterday by Radsoft. Above all: make up your own mind.

The Radsoft article was brought on by accident - by researching the supposed 'rift' between WikiLeaks and RSF. But there was no rift. RSF were again doing the bidding of their masters in Washington and Paris.

The people at the Pentagon have been in a frenzy ever since WikiLeaks released those 77,000 (and not 90,000+, Ernesto) documents. Those documents have revealed a number of war crimes and total dissemblance on the part of the US as to the true nature of their war.

Of course NED and USAID (RSF's sugar daddies in the US) called upon their friend to undermine the WikiLeaks momentum. But nothing works as planned at RSF: their attack gained no legs. As late as yesterday evening they still had shills at Twitter trying to get people to surf to (and believe in) their article. It didn't work.

Time to change tack - backpedal.

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The new tack is as clumsy as the first one. The first one was undersigned by Jean-François Julliard and Clothilde Le Coz - this one has no signatures at all. The first one deliberately fudged stats and facts - this one is no different. The first one tooted the RSF horn incessantly - this one tries to find a mouse hole the organisation can crawl in.

The first one (probably written by the US State Department) backfired. So will this one. Deconstruction is in order.

RSF's 'Clarification'



Ahem. RSF want to clarify. Actually they want - they need - to backpedal. And fast.

'Criticism of Wikileaks is not a call for censorship or support for the war'
(Actually it was. That was the whole point. The people at the Pentagon and in the Oval Office are perspiring profusely.)

'There has been a great deal of controversy about the Wikileaks website's decision to post thousands of leaked reports that include the names of Afghan civilians who have collaborated with the international military coalition in Afghanistan.'
(Actually no. There hasn't been much controversy at all. That's why they now have to backpedal. Note as well they no longer state how many reports were leaked: they deliberately misrepresented this figure in their first article.)

'The controversy has grown even more since Reporters Without Borders and other NGOs criticised a lack of responsibility on the part of Wikileaks.'
(Uh - no again. It was RSF who started the whole thing. And their sugar daddies then used the RSF article to try to blow up a storm. They tried to involve Amnesty International who had to come out and deny any official involvement.)

'As hate messages and unfair accusations proliferate in the online newspapers that reported this criticism, Reporters Without Borders would like to caution against any attempts to put words in its mouth.'
(Note it's no longer the mouths of Jean-François Julliard and Clothilde Le Coz - now it's the anonymous and monolithic 'it'. There weren't really any 'hate messages' or 'unfair accusations' and nothing 'proliferated': the only hate messages and unfair accusations came from the 'mouths' at RSF - no one else wanted to touch it with a barge pole. RSF epic fail #1.)

'We reaffirm our support for Wikileaks, its work and its founding principles.'
(What RSF mean is they're now backpedaling to the earlier support they dropped in their earlier letter, calling WikiLeaks every name in the book, suggesting that as WikiLeaks don't have journalists - but they do of course: staff from the Guardian helped on the 'war diaries' release - they shouldn't release anything at all.)

'It is thanks in large part to Wikileaks that the world has seen the failures of the wars waged by the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is also thanks to Wikileaks that we have seen how the US army deliberately targeted a Reuters crew in Baghdad in July 2007.'
(Thanks in 'large part'? That's like saying clouds are in large part the cause of rain. But this must have hurt to publish - with their warlord bosses breathing down their necks. Dropping 'Reuters crew' is of course mandatory - it's part of the RSF image.)

'The video of this tragedy has been posted on our website ever since it was leaked.'
(Big fucking deal. It's been available at WikiLeaks, YouTube, and everywhere. We. Don't. Care.)

'The controversy has resulted in a real threat to the website of closure in the United States and targeted persecution of its contributors.'
(Reminding the hawks that certain possibilities still exist. Of course this is foolish rubbish - nobody's going to close WikiLeaks - especially not now that they've gained the support of a Swedish political party.)

'The US authorities would be very mistaken if they tried to use our criticism as support for a decision to silence Wikileaks.'
(Read instead: 'we want to suggest you can in fact use our criticism for precisely that purpose' - propaganda's the one thing RSF have excelled at through the years and their sugar daddies know it and rely on it.)

'The Obama administration made a serious mistake when it broke its promise to reveal the human, moral and financial cost of the 'war against terror' launched by President George W Bush. Wikileaks has rightly defied this blockade on access to information.'
(No argument there. But you're not supposed to read this far anyway. This is entertainment for the peanut gallery only.)

'Raising the question, as we did, of the danger of releasing certain sensitive data does not in any way constitute incitement to censorship or, less still, support for the war. Should we be blamed for pointing out that the information provided by Wikileaks could be used by the Taliban and could serve as grounds for reprisals?'
(The hypocrisy here is that RSF didn't even review the documents - they didn't even get the well-publicised number of such documents right. RSF didn't know - they were most likely told by their US State Department benefactors to 'stir the pot'.)

'Is it contrary to a humanitarian organisation's vocation to draw attention to the possible impact on human lives of high-risk information?'
(The key words here are 'humanitarian organisation' - they're trying again to implant the impression of what they are - which goes directly against what the facts show they really are.)

'Is it wrong to point out that Wikileaks' recent actions could backfire not only on itself but also on the independent researchers and journalists who cover these subjects online?'
(This is known in Swedish political culture as 'poodling': when the attacker realises the attack has failed, it's time to go 'belly up' and appear to be 'vulnerable' - 'please have mercy!' The response is invariably to 'back off' and leave the attacker alone.)

'A media is responsible for what it publishes or disseminates.'
(Those are words that hopefully will someday come back to bite RSF in their backsides.)

'To remind it of that is not to wish its disappearance.'
(Translation: 'we didn't really mean it!!1!')

'To accuse Wikileaks' critics of being 'Pentagon accomplices' distorts and pre-empts any discussion about the work of the media and media ethics.'
(Did anyone else mention 'Pentagon' here? This is classic 'foot in mouth' by RSF - clumsily blurting the truth despite themselves. RSF epic fail #2. WTG.)

'The principle of free expression is indivisible, as is the careful observation of the media that it requires.'
(The what is what? RSF sure are good and printing absolute rubbish.)

Once Again, Lightly

  1. RSF are a lethal organisation with no relation to Medécins Sans Frontières. The idea's been to get people to assume they're related - and as ideal and nonpartisan as MSF. They're not.
  2. Other reputable journalist organisations would never take contributions from governments - RSF do.
  3. RSF are largely financed by the governments of France and the US as well as the Bacardi empire.
  4. The prime agenda of RSF has always been to crush Cuba. They've also been instrumental in the 2004 coup in Haiti run by France and the US. (Wyclef Jean take note.)
  5. RSF actions and policies are dictated (and sometimes designed) by the French and US governments.
  6. All of this information is readily available at Wikipedia and on the Internet in general.
  7. WikiLeaks released 77,000 documents on the US war in Iraq. The Pentagon and the White House shit each their own brick.
  8. RSF were called on to undermine the momentum WikiLeaks had built up.
  9. The attempt failed.
  10. Backpedal.

See Also
WikiLeaks
Twitter: WikiLeaks
Wikipedia: Luis Posada
Medécins Sans Frontières
Wikipedia: Orlando Bosch
Blogspot: Diana Barahona
Wikipedia: Cubana Flight 455
Committee to Protect Journalists
SourceWatch: Reporters Sans Frontières
International Freedom of Expression Exchange
US District Court: US v Luis Posada Carilles 2007-04-06
The Nobel Prize in Peace 1999 - Medécins Sans Frontières
Amazon/Hernando Calvo Ospina: Bacardi: The Hidden War
CounterPunch/Diana Barahona: Reporters Sans Frontières Unmasked

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