Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 25, 2016

Mainstream Reporting Foggy While MoA Smeared As "Russian Propaganda" Site

Hurriyet Daily News (Turkey), Nov 24 2016 - Three Turkish soldiers killed in suspected Syrian government air strike

Al Masdar News (Syria), Nov 25 2016 - Syrian Air Force denies bombing Turkish Army in east Aleppo

Avid readers of news sides will ask which of those reports is correct. They may turn to the so-called (hint: it's not) "paper of record", the New York Times and find this Nov 24 report: Syrian Warplanes Kill Turkish Soldiers Fighting in Syria

While that NYT headline claims certainty the text does not. It obediently repeats the Turkish government claim but adds:

Syrian Arab rebel forces fighting with the Turks said they had not received official notification that the Syrian government had launched the strike. One fighter said he had heard that the strike was from the Syrian government but heard later that it had been from the Islamic State. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a network based in Britain that monitors news from Syria, also said that the strike had been by the Islamic State.

An updated version of that report adds:

Some on the ground raised questions about whether the strike was undertaken by Syrian government forces. A network of activists who monitor the skies over Syria said Thursday that its watchers had spotted a Syrian aircraft taking off after 2 a.m. and also a Russian aircraft about the same time as the strike on Turkish forces occurred. It is impossible to know where the planes that were sighted went; they could easily have had another destination, the network said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a network based in Britain that monitors news from Syria, said the strike was by the Islamic State. But the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, is not known to have combat aircraft.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) is a sophisticated disinformation outlet of the British foreign intelligence service MI-6. SOHR is on one side very manipulating, i.e. SOHR counts only foreigners, deserters of the Syrian army, ISIS and al-Qaeda fighters on the anti-government side as "rebels killed". Ten-thousands of Syrian civilians who took up arms to become well paid "Syrian rebel" fighters are counted as "civilians" when besieged, killed or wounded. On the other side SOHR provides the most complete and detailed record of the war. It helps its reputation and is the reason why it is a favorite quoted source for "western" news "reporting".

The answer to the reader's question is that both Hurriyet and Al Masdar, are right and the NYT writers are confused by the fog of war and too lazy to do basic research. The devil is, as always, in the details.

On November 23 a Turkish armored military vehicle was attacked near the village Wiqah north of Al-Bab in northern Syria. Some sources claimed a guided missile strike. ISIS related Twitter accounts claimed a suicide attack.

(Note: The above account has now been suspended.)

ISIS later released a picture of the claimed suicide bomber.

The SOHR account of the Turkish vehicle hit, cited by the NYT, obviously refers to this November 23 attack.

The air-attack on the Turkish soldiers north of Al-Bab happened on November 24 at 3:30am local time according to the Turkish army. It was confirmed to journalists by very senior people in Damascus. The Al Masdar News account though, seemingly denying such a strike, includes a very specific non-denial-denial quote:

A high-ranking official from the Syrian Arab Air Force (SAAYF) told Al-Masdar on Thursday night that their fighter jets did not bomb the Turkish Army in east Aleppo.

"No Syrian or Russian aircraft bombed the Turkish Army near Al-Bab on November 23rd - all reports claiming otherwise are lies," the official confirmed to Al-Masdar on Thursday.

The airstrike did not on occur on the 23rd, as "denied" by SAAYF, but on the 24th. The NYT report mixes up two attacks as one, while basic research shows evidence of two very different attacks. The Al Masdar folks do not understand the specificity of the quotes their sources give.

Mystery solved.

Hurriyet and others have connected the Syrian air-attack to the Turkish attack on a Russian jet exactly one year before. I doubt that this coincident is intended. Al-Bab, held by ISIS and coveted by nearby Turkish, Kurdish and Syrian government forces, is an important target that will be fought over between the various sides for some time to come. The hit was not some symbolic, historic revenge act, nor was it to roast Turkey for Thanksgiving, but a signal to Turkey that Al-Bab is and will stay off limits for its forces.

News accounts of war, be those of casualties, of specific incidents or assume motivations, are always suspect. They are often written with disinformation in mind. Historic accounts are mostly written by the winners of a specific conflict and heavily "colored" from that perspective. Forensic or video proof can be easily forged and should always be taken with many pinches of salt. Only diligent research on all sides of a conflict can uncover what really happened. Only when "reports" from opposite sides agree on numbers or specific incidents on can assume to be near the truth.

As the above news dissecting shows it is quite possible to beat the (lazy) New York Times reporting in correctness and thereby quality.

But when one tries to be diligent and not solely on one side, one can be sure to end up as denounced and hated by at least one if not all sides of a conflict. This website,, is now listed as "Russian propaganda outlet" by some neoconned, NATO aligned, anonymous  "Friendly Neighborhood Propaganda Identification Serviceprominently promoted by today's Washington Post. The minions running that censorship list also watch over our "Russian propaganda" Twitter account @MoonofA.

I wholeheartedly recommend to use at least parts of the list that new anonymous censorship entity provides as your new or additional "Favorite Bookmarks" list. It includes illustrious financial anti-fraud sites like Yves Smith's Naked Capitalism, Wikileaks, well informed libertarian sites like Ron Paul and and leftish old timers like Counterpunch. Of general (non-mainstream) news sites Consortiumnews, run by Robert Parry who revealed the Iran-contra crimes, is included as well as Truthdig and Some easy to remove nazi sites have been added to that list to smear the serious ones. A rather stupid "trick" of "guilt by association" for which only the very dumb fall.

I am honored to find this site listed next to the above.

Posted by b on November 25, 2016 at 11:56 UTC | Permalink

« previous page

and I am honored to be a reader of your site.....

Posted by: bernie | Dec 1 2016 1:14 utc | 101

Why Are Media Outlets Still Citing Discredited ‘Fake News’ Blacklist? ...

USA Today (11/25/16),
Gizmodo (11/25/16),
PBS (11/25/16),
The Daily Beast (11/25/16),
Slate (11/25/16),
AP (11/25/16)
The Verge (11/25/16) and
NPR (11/25/16)

all uncritically wrote up the Post’s [Jeff Bezos' blog's] most incendiary claims with little or minimal pushback.

... because all of the above blogs and Jeff Bezos' blog together constitute the Pro-Porno-T(eam)?

Posted by: jfl | Dec 1 2016 21:49 utc | 102

There is a $10,000 (bitcoin) reward being offered for the names behind Propornot....

"(NaturalNews) A private citizen working in the public interest to increase news transparency has announced a $10,000 reward, payable in Bitcoin, for the names of the PropOrNot news hoaxers. If successful, the names will be shared with the FBI, Sen. Jeff Sessions and the Trump administration.

Last week, the Washington Post was hoaxed by PropOrNot, which tricked the Post into printing an article that falsely claimed 200 independent news websites were being run by the Russian government. Natural News demanded the Washington Post retract the fabricated story, but the Post has so far refused to issue a retraction or apology, proving the news organization has abandoned all pretense of reporting factual news."

Posted by: dh | Dec 1 2016 22:15 utc | 103

There is a $10,000 (bitcoin) reward being offered for the names behind propornot...

"(NaturalNews) A private citizen working in the public interest to increase news transparency has announced a $10,000 reward, payable in Bitcoin, for the names of the PropOrNot news hoaxers. If successful, the names will be shared with the FBI, Sen. Jeff Sessions and the Trump administration.

Last week, the Washington Post was hoaxed by PropOrNot, which tricked the Post into printing an article that falsely claimed 200 independent news websites were being run by the Russian government. Natural News demanded the Washington Post retract the fabricated story, but the Post has so far refused to issue a retraction or apology, proving the news organization has abandoned all pretense of reporting factual news."

Posted by: dh | Dec 1 2016 22:19 utc | 104

@dh 105
That is a handsome reward for a handful 4chan warriors. Would have said 'redditt warriors' but the FBI is acting outside of its remit as internet censor these days. Aaron Schwartz would be spewing right now.

In any case, this thread still has some legs, as US legislation closes in on 'fake media'.

B will, I'm sure, follow with interest fellow '200' member Yves Smith's latest potential legal venture. Naked capitalism takes on the WaPo. Class action anyone...?

Website Labeled ‘Fake News’ Demands Retraction From WaPo, Threatens Lawsuit

Posted by: MadMax2 | Dec 6 2016 4:53 utc | 105

Here's what I think. We KNOW they are trying to stop the truth from coming out in what they claim are "fake news sites." IF THEY DO MANAGE TO SHUT ALT NEWS DOWN - there should be a full-on internet rebellion. What I mean is, everyone needs to continue to openly and defiantly reject the MSM.


You see, WE DON'T NEED an independent article with the truth for comparison, to know a lie when we see one. We've gotten really good at dissecting the MSM and pointing out the inconsistencies.

What the globalists don't seem to understand, is that IT'S TOO LATE! We already KNOW the MSM is lying to us - silencing the truth does not change that fact. Silencing the alternative news sites WILL NOT somehow make the MSM more credible.

Hiding the truth will never turn lies into truth. IT JUST DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY, and the globalists will find that out the hard way. So if one day I never see these sites again, I'm going to be out there eviscerating the MSM, full on! I hope to pass by many of you along the way...


Posted by: sixpack | Dec 6 2016 7:20 utc | 106

The Second Phase of the propaganda Fake News War: Economic Strangulation. What Comes Next?

“The public has determined that the corporate media is actually the purveyor of “fake news” and turned to media organizations, such as BAR, Truthout and other outlets for information.”

“Corporate media gatekeepers determine which stories are labeled fake news dependent upon which stories serve US foreign and domestic interests and which stories expose US corruption.”

“Two of the largest internet companies have joined their counterparts in government to squeeze legitimate investigative reporting into compliance.”

“There is a growing public recognition that a conflict of interest exists between corporate media investigating government since these two groups are inextricably linked by class and economic interests.”

Phases I and II forebode a challenging Phase III for truth-tellers in the current iteration of a corporate “fake news” strategy. This is our time to fight for press freedom and the right to blow the whistle on government corruption. The future of our families and our planet depend on our uncompromising passion for justice.

The Digital News Initiative

Supporting innovation in journalism.

The Digital News Initiative (DNI) is a collaboration between Google and news publishers in Europe to support high quality journalism and encourage a more sustainable news ecosystem through technology and innovation.

Don't trust the Geeks bearing Grifts.

Google’s secret NSA alliance: The terrifying deals between Silicon Valley and the security state

On the day that Google’s lawyer wrote the blog post [January 12, 2010, Google’s chief legal officer, David Drummond, posted a lengthy statement to the company’s blog, accusing hackers in China of attacking Google’s infrastructure and criticizing the government for censoring Internet content and suppressing human rights activists], the NSA’s general counsel began drafting a “cooperative research and development agreement,” a legal pact that was originally devised under a 1980 law to speed up the commercial development of new technologies that are of mutual interest to companies and the government. The agreement’s purpose is to build something — a device or a technique, for instance. The participating company isn’t paid, but it can rely on the government to front the research and development costs, and it can use government personnel and facilities for the research. Each side gets to keep the products of the collaboration private until they choose to disclose them. In the end, the company has the exclusive patent rights to build whatever was designed, and the government can use any information that was generated during the collaboration.

Don't be evil. Google's been nothing but evil form it's inception. It's whole business is built around tracking peoples' searches and reading their mail. Duh. Spying is Google's zero-day defect.

And now they're in league with the NSA. Been in league for years.

CISA: the dirty deal between Google and the NSA that no one is talking about

One of the things that civil liberties activists like to lament about is that the general public seems to care more about Google and Facebook using their personal data to target advertising than the government using it to target drone strikes.

The reality is that both types of abuse are dangerous, and they work hand in hand.

It’s hard to find a more perfect example of this collusion than in a bill that’s headed for a vote soon in the U.S. Senate: the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, or CISA.

CISA is an out and out surveillance bill masquerading as a cybersecurity bill. It won’t stop hackers. Instead, it essentially legalizes all forms of government and corporate spying.

Here’s how it works. Companies would be given new authority to monitor their users -- on their own systems as well as those of any other entity -- and then, in order to get immunity from virtually all existing surveillance laws, they would be encouraged to share vaguely defined “cyber threat indicators” with the government. This could be anything from email content, to passwords, IP addresses, or personal information associated with an account. The language of the bill is written to encourage companies to share liberally and include as many personal details as possible.

Despite the headline the article never mentions what's only 'rumored' ... Google wrote the damn CISA. Facebook and others went on record as opposing it, Google didn't say nuthin'.


And now Google and the Bunch are going to be the "Western" governments' censors.

Be nothing but evil, is what the Google code is, in reality.

OddLots posted a link to an amusing but bullseye crtique of the PropornOT : The empire’s last gasp – Anglo-American journalism chokes on its own digital model

Posted by: jfl | Dec 7 2016 12:32 utc | 107

Glenn Ford reads Bezos' blog stooges the riot act...

White Supremacy, U.S. Exceptionalism and Capitalist Dogma are All “Fake News”

Domestically, the deteriorating living standards and rising inequality that is the inevitable (and welcomed) blowback from the global Race to the Bottom is framed as an inescapable consequence of modernity, a force much like the weather, which can be successfully managed by a technologically enlightened (and ethnically diverse) corporate leadership.

These are fake realities, requiring constant updates of fake news -- the mission of the corporate media in all its forms.

The greater the contrast between the official (corporate) narrative and the unfolding reality, the more intense becomes the Crisis of Legitimacy for the regime.

We have entered an epoch in which everything that is said by the regime’s mouthpieces in the Democratic and Republican parties and the corporate media is, at root, a lie.

American “exceptionalism” is a lie. The U.S. has no moral or legal right to set itself above all other nations on Earth. ...

The U.S. is not engaged in a “War on Terror.” Along with Saudi Arabia, Washington has been the patron and puppeteer of Islamic jihadist terror for nearly 40 years, since jointly creating the previously nonexistent international jihadist network in Afghanistan.

... The rulers of the U.S. not only welcome the downward spiral in general living standards, they have deployed their global military to effectuate it by crushing all international resistance, and assigned their federal, state and local police forces to keep Americans from rebelling against the consequences of the process.

The United States is the biggest police state in the world, as measured by the number and proportion of its citizens that are imprisoned. ...

Such overarching realities are in constant conflict with the official narrative and must, therefore, be delegitimized, along with those who dare to speak them. Derivatives of such truths are labeled “fake news.”


But, that’s their crisis of legitimacy, not ours. Unlike some others among the 13 leftist sites cited in the Washington Post/PropOrNot list [], we at BAR will not whine that we don’t deserve to be slandered in such a manner. The function of ruling class publications is to disseminate and perfect a false narrative, so what else are we supposed to expect?

The real “enemies lists” are being created in the algorithms of the National Security Agency and other spook houses, based on the world’s most pervasive fascism-enabling machinery. ...

Damn right, we are enemies of the state, and we will speak out until they take away our means to do so. And then we will find other ways -- to act.

... that's the best statement I've seen yet of the situation and the response it should generate.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 8 2016 1:22 utc | 108

« previous page

The comments to this entry are closed.