This blog is dedicated to the memory of David Weintraub, who took on insidious astroturfers and won.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fake Peace Activism Tied To The Military and CIA

This won't be the most coherent entry. Apologies in advance. The following only recently came to my attention through reading an obscure blogger named Stu Piddy. He posted most of the following links and connections. There is a group of people and institutions who are posing as activists promoting velvet revolutions, those that are non-violent. On the surface it seems like a noble cause. But a closer look shows their intentions are actually insidious. A side story is that one of the founders of this cause has had glowing words for Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos. Seeing how Markos has called the CIA a liberal institution he'd have no problem working for, there is further albeit circumstantial evidence that Moulitsas has been running a fifth column blog.

I have eight links to provide.

Link #1:
The Fund for Authentic Journalism

Narco News and Al Giordano run something called The School of Authentic Journalism. This is a donation page. Matching support of up to $20,000 per contribution is made by International Center on Nonviolent Conflict. This appears to be a classic example of right co-opting left. We can intuit this through taking a closer look at the ICNC.

Link #2:
The ICNC- Who We Are

JACK DUVALL, President
DR. PETER ACKERMAN, Founding Chair

The International Center on Nonviolent Conflict is an independent, nonprofit educational foundation that develops and encourages the study and use of civilian-based, nonmilitary strategies to establish and defend human rights, democracy and justice worldwide. It accepts no grants, contracts or funding of any kind from any government or government-related organization or from any other foundation, corporation or institution. It is funded entirely by the family philanthropy of the founding chair.

Ok, Mr. Peter Ackerman is providing the entire funding. He must be filthy rich. Maybe we need to know who this guy is along with Jack Duvall. Let's start with Duvall.

Link #3:
Who the hell is Jack Duvall? by Jacob Levich

If anyone knows the real story behind Jack Duvall and his International
Center for Nonviolent Conflict, I'd be extremely grateful to hear it.

This guy, who purports to be some kind of pacifist, travels around the world with a dog-and-pony show centering on movies he's produced called "Bringing Down a Dictator" and "A Force More Powerful." His current position on Iraq, which he is selling heavily to college and university crowds, is that the peace movement has no right to oppose the invasion unless it offers an alternative way of getting rid of Saddam. (His suggestion -- don't laugh -- is that the Iraqi people should be encouraged to rise up in a Gandhi-style nonviolent mass movement.)

So far as I can tell, he intervenes whenever the US wants to bring down a government by military force, attempting to refocus any First World opposition away from opposing imperialism and toward "bringing down dictators by non violent means."

I suspect Jack Duvall is a fraud and possibly some kind of spook (see weird career details below) whose aim is to divide the antiwar movement.

The other day, unbidden, he sent a nasty little email screed to the mailing list of the campus antiwar group I belong to. It attacked ANSWER as a tool of Iraqi government propaganda. I won't bore you with further details of the ensuing email exchange, but suffice it to say he seems on the brink of achieving exactly what he desires -- driving a wedge between campus pacifists and leftists. The students who had seen his very slick presentation, it seems, were swept off their feet and reacted furiously to our attempts to criticize him.

Turns out his background is very odd for a "pacifist."

He's a TV producer and PR flack, and a member of the Washington establishment who:

* served in Air Force counterintelligence(!)
* worked in the Nixon White House
* wrote speeches for major-party Presidential campaigns, and
* raised money for warmaker Bill Clinton and Homeland Security architect Gary Hart.

Moreover, Duvall is currently a director of a consulting business called The Arlington Institute (, which does weird "scenario building" for business and government clients. An excerpt from their site:

"Some of our clients want to know about the future of their marketplace, or a major contributing factor to their operating environment, like technology. Others are concerned about possible big surprise events - wild cards - that might blow in unexpectedly and fundamentally shift the status quo. Perhaps your concern is a geographic area - like Africa, or you are considering the purchase of a major asset and want to have a sense of what might change the present situation that makes that a good decision -- all of these are good candidates for scenario planning."

This suggests Arlington is in the business of helping its clients predict and defend against political events and popular movements that might harm their investments.

Most tellingly, here's a list of Arlington's clients:

U.S. Navy
U.S. Marine Corps
U.S. Air Force
U.S. Coast Guard
Office of the Secretary of Defense
Andersen Consulting
New Directions for News
Project Voyager / OneCosmos

What kind of pacifist sits on the board of directors of a company that does consulting work for the Department of Defense and four branches of the US Military?

Again, if anyone knows the story behind this guy (or knows someone who does) please send word fast. If someone could get a reading from Dellinger that would be helpful -- I suspect his view would mean a lot to the pacifist students.


The CIA is mentioned in this blog entry's title. Here is that connection.

Link #4
A Force More Powerful:
Promoting 'Democracy' through Civil Disobedience by Michael Barker

In 1989, Dr Ackerman's coauthor Jack Duvall helped found another notable non-profit 'democracy promoting' research center, the Arlington Institute. Like many of the people involved in the previous 'democratic' groups the main person behind this venture, John L. Petersen, is a military man through and through, [17] and the center boasts amongst its cofounders former head of the CIA, James Woolsey. [18] Furthermore, the Arlington Institute's website notes that they specialize 'in thinking about global futures and trying to influence rapid, positive change', which ties in neatly with Jonathan Mowat's description of the Arlington Institute as strategists for the new postmodern coup. [19]

This blog was created in honour of Dave Weintraub who did a lot of good work in exposing Markos Moulitsas. Here is the Kos connection. Above Al Giordano of Narco News was mentioned. This is what he has had to say about the CIA loving founder of Daily Kos. I realise that this and other connections could be seen as guilt by association. But my thinking is that is a strawman argument. If we are what we eat, then we can also be said to be part and parcel of those we associate with. How does one separate Brad Friedman from the Speedway Bomber Brett Kimberlin? How can Michael Rivero separate himself from Curtis Maynard, Alex Jones and the Birdman? How can Patrick Minnis of NASA separate himself from the founder of Chemtrail Central? How can Tinoire of Progressive Independent separate herself from military intelligence? I could go on. But you get the point.

Link #5:
Kos And Alinsky And Election 2008 by Stephen C. Rose'

In a lengthy review of Taking On The System, coming out tomorrow, Al Giordano commends the new book's author, Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, founder of the influential lefty blog Daily Kos, as "our era's very own Saul Alinsky" and calls the his work "the must-read political book of the year."

Let's get back to discussing the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict. Why is this important? This is how Michael Barker puts it.

Link #6
Peace Activists, Criticism, and Nonviolent Imperialism

Paradoxically, one of the main problems of liberal foundations is not that they have colluded with the Central Intelligence Agency, or have and continue to support the work of elite planning groups like the Council on Foreign Relations, but rather that they support all manner of progressive causes -- as a quick perusal of their annual reports (pdf) will demonstrate. Most progressive groups only receive a small proportion of their funding from liberal foundations, but, as many of these groups are regularly on the brink of financial bankruptcy, the money that is distributed by liberal philanthropists is much sought after and has formidable (if rarely acknowledged) influence -- even when there are 'no strings attached' to the funding -- on the contours of civil society.

Earlier criticisms of liberal foundations appear to have simply washed off their backs. However, in the past few years a groundswell of new activists and researchers are openly questioning the antidemocratic nature of liberal philanthropy, so now is the perfect time for activists, all over the world, to really get to the bottom of the funding/activism nexus: only then can concerned people start to create and sustain grassroots movements that will be able to truly challenge capitalism and successfully promote peace.

Peter Ackerman, whose family philanthropy is behind the ICNC, is also the head of something called Freedom House. Stephen Gowans claims that it is a "CIA-interlocked think-tank." He cites Chomsky in the footnote as the basis for this factoid. The following is from an article concerning the recent democratic upheaval in Iran. Wow. There is so much to social reality. There are so many complexities. This is how propagandists get away with their shenanigans. Now I am unsure what has really been going on in Iran the last year. My gut told me a we the people campaign was taking ascent there. I saw those who belittled that movement as being a part of the Joos Own The World crowd. And of course many of those bloggers are part of that bullshite. However, the following by Gowans is certainly a big plate of food for thought. (excerpt)

Link #7:
War and Terror: The US' attempted color revolution in Iran

As the head of Freedom House, a CIA-interlocked think-tank [1] that promotes free markets, free enterprise and free trade, Peter Ackerman has been at the forefront of efforts to topple foreign governments that place more emphasis on promoting the welfare of their citizens (and often their own bourgeoisie) than providing export and investment opportunities to US corporations, banks, and investors.

An ex-Wall Street investment banker who was once junk bond trader Michael Milken's right-hand man, Ackerman's speciality these days is regime change civil disobedience –training activists in the use of civil disobedience destabilization techniques to bring down foreign governments.

A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Washington-Wall Street insiders' group that brings together corporate CEOs and lawyers, scholars, and government and military officials to recommend foreign policy positions to the US State Department, Ackerman also heads the International Center for Non-Violent Conflict (ICNC). Working in parallel with billionaire financier George Soros' Open Society Institute, the ICNC deploys civil disobedience specialists to teach "activists how to agitate for change against" governments on Washington's regime change hit list, "going everywhere from Eastern Europe to train Belarusians to Turkey to coach Iranians." [2]

Ackerman and other civil disobedience imperialists, like Stephen Zunes, a self-styled progressive who acts as chief apologist for Ackerman among leftists who have romantic illusions about popular uprisings, [3] give their efforts to topple foreign governments the deceptively reassuring name "democracy promotion." Democracy promotion, a Bush administration official once said, is a rubric to get people to support regime change without saying the words. [4] Zunes has also sprung to the defense of Gene Sharp, the head of the Albert Einstein Institution, who advised right-wing Venezuelans on how to use civil disobedience to overthrow Hugo Chavez. [5]

And that will lead us to the final link in this humble blog entry. What is up with the US trying to destablise Chavez in Venezuela? Is it mostly about a new wave of fake peace activists (ever hear of Carol Rosin?) with various military and CIA ties whose main goals concern attempts at perverting democratic principles in sovereign nations? Does Kos' support of Ronald Reagan, the CIA, and the El Salvadoran oligarchy add up now or what?

Link #8:
US projects for Venezuela, by Eva Golinger

By the way, I will marry Eva Golinger, no questions asked. (excerpts)



Another ‘Orange Revolution’ after the Ukrainian and Yugoslavian ones, a destabilization plan made in USA

In these days, Venezuela lives a big destabilization plan aiming to overthrow Chavez government and to pave the way for an international intervention. This plan follows a way already putted in practice on other countries like Yugoslavia to overthrow Milosevic, or Ukraine with the ‘Orange Revolution’. This plan was also used in Georgia for the ‘Rose Revolution’.

The text of this plan, written by Gene Sharp, promoter of the Albert Einstein Institution of the United States, promotes the utilization of the civil non-violent resistance to make radical political changes in a country. But Sharp’s plan contains almost 200 actions and strategies for the social, political and economic destabilization; ....

The pupil of Sharp, Ackerman, is now the president of Freedom House financed by the State Department to ‘promote democracy’ in the world by the American way; it has a seat in Venezuela from September 2004, after the revocation referendum against Chavez. Peter Ackerman took up his engagement replacing James Woosley, ex-director of CIA representing the US intelligence and security forces. Also Ackerman is a promoter of the International Centre for Non-Violent Conflict, organization that produced documentaries like ‘Bringing down a dictator’, ‘Orange Revolution’ and books like ‘Strategic Nonviolent Conflict’ and ‘A Force More Powerful’.....

These US organizations, with the Freedom House, its centre of Venezuela and the funds of the State Department, are working for a new ‘coloured revolution’. This last week was the proof that this plan is in progress. Groups like ORVEX (organization of Venezuelan self-exiles in USA), Ofensiva Ciudadana and the Comando de Resistencia Nacional are trying to put in practice the ‘Gene Sharp’ plan to create chaos and insecurity in the country, causing repression to promote the international intervention. With their ‘guarimbas’ actions (sabotages, provocations of groups of people that make blocks and clashes with the police), their violence in the streets (1) and the utilization of the young Venezuelan people faces, they manipulate the world public opinion, obtaining the effect that multilateral organisms, like OAS (Organization of American States), European Community, US government or international associations for the human rights, are making critical statements about the Venezuelan government and support the destabilizing groups.

Though they didn’t carry out their objectives, the proofs show that they will keep on applying these strategies to obtain international support and the power to attack once again the Venezuelan democracy and the welfare of the people. Put an end to the actions of groups like Freedom House and the International Republican Institute would be the right way to defend the nation. These organizations are used by the State Department and CIA and are working freely in Venezuela.


Al Giordano said...

Wow. These are some paranoid ravings.

We've done more work exposing and denouncing the CIA the past ten years on Narco News than trolls like the ones cited here have ever done or will ever do.

The suggestion that contributions to our work (and especially one that is matched by hundreds of small donors that support authentic journalism) would in any way change what we do is absurd (and the writer hasn't offered a shred of evidence anyway).

I invite all two or three readers here to check out our work:

Then you can judge for yourself who are the authentic workers against imperialism and injustice, and who are merely the leftier-than-thou posers.


Al Giordano
Publisher, Narco News

socrates said...

Wow. These are some paranoid ravings.

Can you be more specific? It appears a raw nerve has been hit. What from the above entry do you dispute or can show are "paranoid ravings?"

We've done more work exposing and denouncing the CIA the past ten years on Narco News than trolls like the ones cited here have ever done or will ever do.

As I asked a second ago, what parts of this entry do you contend are false? Who is a troll and why? Are you aware of Markos Moulitsas' claims from a 2006 Commonwealth Club interview? He said the CIA is a liberal institution he'd have no problem working for. He said he applied for a six-month process in 2001. He said he decided to work for the Dean campaign instead of taking an offer to be a clandestine spy. How does a six-month process start in 2001 and end in 2003? You have had glowing words for Markos Moulitsas Zuniga. Kos has been running interference for the CIA's activities in El Salvador. He speaks of having to step over dead bodies killed by guerrillas. He has never mentioned the right wing death squads once. Your support for Markos Moulitsas Zuniga doesn't make yourself look sincere in regards to covering the CIA.

The suggestion that contributions to our work (and especially one that is matched by hundreds of small donors that support authentic journalism) would in any way change what we do is absurd (and the writer hasn't offered a shred of evidence anyway).

So you have no qualms taking money from people affiliated with the military and CIA. Your defense is that they do not influence your journalism. That is tough to accept. I admit that I don't know much about your work. I'm not a troll. But if you think these ties to Duvall, Ackerman, Moulitsas, and Woolsey aren't disturbing, you're being incredibly naive.

I invite all two or three readers here to check out our work:

That's an odd comment. If there are only two or three readers of this blog, then why did you bother to respond, and why haven't you offered barely more than ad hominems as your defense? You're going to tell the world that peace activists with ties to the military and CIA shouldn't raise eyebrows?

And if there are only two or three readers, then you make three or four. You must be perusing those search engines quite often or someone is giving you the heads up whenever something critical is written about you. I have provided some specifics in my post here. We shall see if you have the gonads to address Moulitsas' man crush for the CIA. We'll see if you can explain further how taking matching funds from CIA and military affiliated people is normal operating procedure for groups devoted to promoting authentic world peace.

Then you can judge for yourself who are the authentic workers against imperialism and injustice, and who are merely the leftier-than-thou posers.


Al Giordano
Publisher, Narco News

Thanks for posting. I have comments on moderation, but I won't censor you. I only do that to keep out spam. Thanks for verifying that those ties are factual. Regards to Duvall, Ackerman, Moulitsas, and their CIA buddy Woolsey. I am a true peacenik nobody. I would never support the CIA. Maybe you are a good guy and will figure out that this doesn't look right. You are proud of denouncing and exposing the CIA, yet these awkward ties that can be made between yourself and the CIA are unsettling. Are you unaware of Moulitsas' ties to the CIA? What about the Arlington Institute being co-founded by Duvall and the former head of the CIA? I'd be able to take you more at face value if you admitted this looks pretty bad on the surface, etc. and so forth. But noooooo, you went the evoking of authority and ad hominem route. We're talking about the former head of the CIA! Talk about a conflict of interest. This is like Reagan making deals with Iran to benefit the Contras. You accept funds that can be tied to the group you are so proud of having denounced and exposed.

Francis L. Holland Blog said...

Al Giordano commends the new book's author, Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, founder of the influential lefty blog Daily Kos, as "our era's very own Saul Alinsky" and calls the his work "the must-read political book of the year."

That one large crock of shit from Al Giordano. Either he is a MAMZ minion or an ass-licker to compare Saul Alinsky and Markos Moulitsas. I wasn't aware that Saul Alinskly, like Markos Moulitsas, was a Republican and then had a big turnabout to leftism during 2 years training at the CIA while starting an ostensibly leftist news outlet. I'm no expert on Saul Alinsky, but I don't think it's his connections with Republicans and the CIA that attracted Hillary Clinton to Alinsky's work in the 1960'searly seventies.

Francis L. Holland Blog said...

You should link to your source, Stu Piddy. He's the blogger who first directed me to the Commonwealth Club interview in which MAMZ confessed to training at the CIA for two years.

socrates said...

Thanks Francis. Stu's diary on Al Giordano, Narco News, and its ties to military and CIA can be read here.

When one is a true lefty, or leftier than thou as Al puts it, it's very easy to discern who are the real lefty posers.

So where'd you run off to Al? You suffering from cognitive dissonance, or are you a fake lefty like the people who bankroll your group? If you were legit, you'd be like wow, I was unaware of all these strange connections. But that's what happens when you accept money from people without checking them out.

Giordano's running around calling true academic lefties trolls. Maybe this has nothing to do with cognitive dissonance and Al is a gatekeeper. Or maybe it's Al's job to legitimize right wing groups interested in providing a kinder and gentler imperialism.

This is Al Giordano's moment of truth. A sincere lefty peacenik would go wtf, I didn't realise all this, I need time to figure this out. Or else he'll continue to seek out the few publishing the truth about Duvall, Ackerman, Woolsey, Freedom House, Arlington Institute, and other full of shite organisations closely tied to Giordano's bread being buttered and call them trolls.

Stu Piddy said...

Al Giordano's School of the Americas for Authentic Journalism get more and more interesting.

Giordano did not address the issue of the Jack Duvall....James Woosely ....Al Giordano connection.

Does Al Giordano know or has he had any contact with them? Duvall is a partner with Woolsey who is a spokesman in the past for PNAC and Duvall helps fund Narco News. Why? Why would they pick Narco News to fund?.

Narco News is almost MUM on the sending of Troops to Colombia. Colombia is the CENTER OF WHERE NARCO NEWS should be reporting from...that's the Narco Capital. It's also America's and PNAC biggest ally. They support dictators.

Al Giordano sometimes reports from Honduras. He was in Honduras when he said to me in an email the following:

"I also laughed out loud at your self-aggrandizing claim of having been  right about how the Honduras situation played out "becuase (sic) it
 will never be declared a coup" on the very day that Washington decided to legally declare it a military coup, as widely revealed yesterday."

IT WAS NEVER DECLARED A legally a could "ace" reporter Giordano not know that when he's in Honduras reporting about this very situation?

Well I guess he pissed me off enough that I wrote a previous diary about him which you can read here

Al you don't want those future authentic journalists reading this's embarassing.

They might start asking questions. You know about questions don't you?

That's what "authentic" journalist do....they ask questions.

My diary about Narco News and the CIA is strickly fact based, I never accused anybody of don't have's all there and it's raises juicy questions. And questions are far more important than answers...

Right Al?

Oh yeah Al is from the bronx, like Marcos is from El Salvador...the high school Al went to in suburban New York currently has Timothy Giethner daughter as school president.

Tuff school

Al Giordano said...

"Socrates," "Stu Piddy" (real brave of you guys to hide behind pseudonyms while you libel others) and "Francis Holland" in another of their famously inept and cognitively challenged circle jerks...

No wonder you guys have been run out of every progressive blog you've attempted to troll.

You're the ones behaving like CIA COINTELPRO agents. For guys who have never changed anything, never won a community organizing campaign, never succeeded at a single political battle, you sure have a lot of crazy opinions about what those of us who do win struggles do. I'll leave you to your own self-marginalization and irrelevance. Toodles!

socrates said...

Big Al:"Socrates," "Stu Piddy" (real brave of you guys to hide behind pseudonyms while you libel others) and "Francis Holland" in another of their famously inept and cognitively challenged circle jerks...

Francis Holland is a real name, Al. Your attacks on myself and Stu for using pseudonyms is a strawman to go with your ad hominems. Yet again, you have no response to the content provided, including a new post I made concerning your credibility issues.

Big Al: No wonder you guys have been run out of every progressive blog you've attempted to troll.

Have you taken a good look at the Daily Kos? It's those who haven't been banned by that place who you should worry about. We're still waiting for you to respond to even an iota of content that proves you are in bed with kinder and gentler imperialism.

Big Al: You're the ones behaving like CIA COINTELPRO agents. For guys who have never changed anything, never won a community organizing campaign, never succeeded at a single political battle, you sure have a lot of crazy opinions about what those of us who do win struggles do. I'll leave you to your own self-marginalization and irrelevance. Toodles!

Hey Mr. Al Numbnuts, cointelpro was FBI, not CIA. It's strange how you don't know the difference. You are one degree of separation from ex-CIA Chief James Woolsey through the Arlington Institute. That one degree funds your ass. I'm sure Jack Duvall could hook you up with him who could explain such basics that even anonymous nobodies like myself understand.

Or maybe you could talk to that rich El Salvadoran named Markos Moulitsas Zuniga who in 2006 said the CIA is a liberal institution he'd have no trouble working for. You called him the Sal Alinsky of our time. That makes you a fricken fake, dude!

Al Giordano said...

My point about your pseudonyms strikes directly at *your* credibility problem: Neither of you disclose where you work, who funds you, what schools you attended (I bet those boards of directors and endowment participants are linkable to CIA, Department of Defense and all kinds of shady characters and agencies) or anything else about your operations.

Everything you're raising about Narco News or I comes from information that *we* disclosed and published. That not only tells you that we are proud of everything we do. It also demonstrates to everyone that we are honest about it.

You can't say that. You duck and hide from any such disclosure yourselves. Thus, the probability is considerably higher that *you* are the agents provocateurs of dark interests - and part of your job is to, COINTELPRO style, try to foment suspicion about projects and people that are, unlike you, honest and fully transparent.

Fortunately, you're so inept at it that you don't have any credibility to lose in the first place.

Francis L. Holland Blog said...

I take issue with Al Giordano questioning my success as a political and advocate. I worked on the campaigns to elect the first elected Blacks to the New Bedford City Council and New Bedford School Committee, as well as organizing a bus of canvassers for Jesse Jackson in New Hampshire, 1984.

I founded and coordinated the Greater New Bedford Committee Against Apartheid and then helped found a legal advocacy program for immigrants, with the Diocese of Fall River, MA.

I also believe that I added crucial commentary to the 2008 presidential election by arguing why John Edwards would not and should not be the candidate of the Democratic Party.

I imagine that helping to start the nation's single largest Black blogger group in 2007 is also a contribution worth noting.

What is evident here is that Al Giordano did not bother to Google my name and find out what I had done before he began asserting that I had not done anything at all. That's typical of the many of the commenting people I became familiar with at DailyKos, who are are bomb throwers when it comes to personal invective, but never seem to offer any actual facts. When you finish reading what they have said and ask yourself what demonstrable FACTS you've learned, you realize that all you have been reading is personal insults and doubts without objective substance.

Anyone who wants to read about my political career, can simply look to my home town newspaper's archives and read on and on to their heart's content.

You'll actually find far more about me there, written by reporters who actually witnessed the events recounted, than you will about Markos C. Alberto Moulitsas Zúñiga (MAMZ)and his family put together. I think you can find the name of every member of my family by reading the articles that have been written about me and mine. I don't think you can find the names of more than two members of (MAMZ's) family - including the name "Carlos Alberto Delgado Z.[uñiga], whose extensive right-wing political and financial operations prove that virtually everything MAMZ has said about his history and his family has been a lie.

I honestly haven't visited Al Giordano's blog, and I don't think I will bother. I admit that with all of the CIA employees and assets in the world, the best I can do is offer the historical information about Markos C. Alberto Moulitsas Zúñiga (see links in sidebar) that the public needs to know in order to judge MAMZ's sincerity.

If Al Giordano says that MAMZ reminds him of Saul Alinsky, then I know that either Saul Alinksky, like MAMZ, was trained for two years by the CIA or, more likely, Al Giordano is simply full of shit.

I haven't personally got the time to track down everyone's CIA connections so I just focus on the Truth About Kos, and publish tips from others (after verifying them) about my subject as they become available.

I think Al Giordano should at least Google people's names before he doubts their long records of political involvement and successes.

Francis L. Holland Blog said...

Although I graduated magna cum laude in Spanish from Rhode Island College (if you don't believe me, call them and ask), and I finished law school and passed the bar, Al Giordano says that I am "cognitively challenged."

Obviously, the phrase cognitively challenged is at least outlandish under the circumstances. It shows an utter disregard for gathering and presenting the facts. If he told his audience that I speak Spanish, French and Portuguese as well as English, but nonetheless he believes me to be cognitively challenged because he has some information that others don't, then that could be a discussion. Once again, Al offers no actual evidence to support his his assertion.

It seems to me that when someone has graduated in the top 5% of his undergraduate class, and gone on to become a practicing attorney, and later a nationally recognized blogger, "extraordinary claims" of "cognitively challenged" require extraordinary evidence.

This year, my blogging and political activism was cited by the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism And the Columbia Journalism Review.

So either the Columbia Journalism Review and the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism are also "cognitively challenged", or Al Giordano's baseless accusations are simply is not reliable.

Since Al Giordano offers no evidence at all to support a claim which is either true or false ("cognitively challenged), and since there considerable online evidence for my very strong and unusual intelligence, we can only conclude that Al Giordano's attacks simply cannot be believed.

I am always more interested in actual evidence and the credibility of evidence than I am interested the credibility of the person offering the evidence and that person's opinions. Maybe it's because I'm a lawyer that I insist on seeing the evidence regardless of what you have to say, in your opinion, about the evidence.

I think the fact that I passed the Bar and speak for languages is more probative than Al Giordano's obviously uninformed opinion.

When people make claims that they cannot substantiate, it doesn't hurt the credibility of actual evidence that they present, because the evidence is what it is. But, opinions which are obviously uninformed do have a tendency to bring into question the credibility of the person offering that opinion. Offering ANY opinion without a single link backing it up is a sign of academic and intellectual laziness or an indication that the proof simply does not exist.

So, Mr. Giordano. Would you please tell readers what your professional training is that makes you competent to judge anyone else's intelligence?

I was banned from all of the MAMZ-connected blogs because (1) I insisted that someone other than a white man would win the presidency in 2008, and (2) I refused to stop gathering and publishing information proving that much of what Markos Moulitsas says about himself is contradicted by original sources or by what MAMZ has said on other occasions. I'd rather be banned for telling the truth than permitted to stay because I kept the truth to myself.

You need only google "Kos" with "CIA" to see that banning me from those blogs resulted in almost two million hits available to those who want to understand and evaluate Markos Moulitsas' connections to the CIA.

socrates said...

Al, thanks for coming back and making comments. The reason I am copying and pasting them is just in case you later decide to go to the delete button. I'm not saying you will. Just in case.

For the record, I deleted a post of mine above because it was a double post.

I'm going to try real hard to not stoop to your level and throw out ad hominems. I am hopeful that you will come around and start responding to actual content. I realise you are busy, so I am not asking you to devote more time here than you have. But I am asking for some fairness. Everything you have written so far has been sophistry revolving around the evoking of authority. It would be quite easy for me to do the same. I'll try to minimise doing that. E.G., first you say that I am a nobody. Now you are implying I am funded by CIA or Cointelpro or something similar. Cop on laddie. Inorganic flows in your arguments will not help restore your credibility.

Also, due to myself, a true nobody being cyberstalked and smeared, I have comments on moderation. As soon as I see you have made a post, I am publishing them. Thank you for your patience. I'm not a paranoid kook either. I have proven elsewhere the claim I just made.

Al: My point about your pseudonyms strikes directly at *your* credibility problem: Neither of you disclose where you work, who funds you, what schools you attended (I bet those boards of directors and endowment participants are linkable to CIA, Department of Defense and all kinds of shady characters and agencies) or anything else about your operations.

Now it should be clear to you that Francis is not anonymous. I can't speak for Stu Piddy. His name does appear to be a pseudonym.

I am truly a nobody. Thus, all I have to offer is content that is either disproven or interacted with for clarity. Throwing troll accusations at me does yourself no good.

Myself, Stu, and Francis aren't the only ones questioning the motives of your sugar daddies. There's that Barker dude, that Eva what's her name lady. You can try to make this all seem like a moot topic. That approach will not cut the mustard.

Are you disputing that Markos Moulitsas said the CIA is a liberal institution he'd have no trouble working for? It's the truth. How can anyone justify calling him the Sal Alinsky of our time?

I just reread your quote above. Wow. You sure sound like a raving conspiracy theorist! If I were you, I'd apologise and admit you had some kind of brain cramp. I'm not the one who has ties to the CIA loving Kos, Freedom House, the Arlington Institute, and military. It's not even yourself I am so worried about. It's Duvall, Ackerman, Woolsey and the others who are the big fish.

My background is in Sociology. I am a thinker type who developed an internet addiction and who fancies himself as being an amateur, internet cybersleuth. You don't have to believe me. But you should at least deal with content rather than calling people disinfo trolls without any proof.


socrates said...

Al: Everything you're raising about Narco News or I comes from information that *we* disclosed and published. That not only tells you that we are proud of everything we do. It also demonstrates to everyone that we are honest about it.

My humble take on your disclosure is that you are trying to give credibility to kinder and gentler forms of imperialism. Or maybe you are having success, and you're biased about who is buttering your bread. It could be cognitive dissonance. I don't know.

It's similar to Markos Moulitsas praising the CIA. Maybe as a "progressive" he was trying to give the CIA some kudos. I don't know if his bread is being buttered by them. If it has been, then that has been illegal. The CIA is not allowed to mess with domestic politics.

What we know for sure is that Markos is a fan of the CIA. You don't have a problem with that? Would you like to retract your gushing praise for him? You don't find it strange that Kos has never mentioned the right wing death squads which can be shown to have had CIA connections? How 'bout dealing with some content here, Al? That would be a breath of fresh air.

Al: You can't say that. You duck and hide from any such disclosure yourselves. Thus, the probability is considerably higher that *you* are the agents provocateurs of dark interests - and part of your job is to, COINTELPRO style, try to foment suspicion about projects and people that are, unlike you, honest and fully transparent.

Big Al, I'm trying to cut you some slack. But you just wrote in a way that I as a nobody has written in the past, and one in which I have been branded unfairly as a paranoid, conspiracy theorist.

Am I cointelpro-style for pointing out Brad Friedman's ties to Speedway Bomber Brett Kimberlin? Am I cointelpro-style for having gone after Michael Rivero of, Patrick Minnis of NASA, Steven Hertzberg of the Election Science Institute, and groups like Advantage Consultants? Or can I assume you are attacking me personally based on my recent awareness of who exactly is funding you?

If you didn't see it, I made a follow up blog post after this one. I copied and pasted comments from an internet friend who used to think NarcoNews was good stuff. He was very troubled by the connections that can be made.

To quote Sergeant Hulka from Stripes, "Lighten up Francis." Do you realise how idiotic you sound accusing me of being affiliated with a cointelpro-like organisation?

That's nothing new to me. I have been called many things- a multi-personality troll, Mossad, a DoD employee, and other ridiculous smears. To repeat, I can prove that a sophisticated cybersmear campaign was put in place against me. But in a strange way, I am now grateful. Yes, I agree that the internet is being manipulated by cointelpro-like institutions. I have tried my best to get this story out. I am not afraid to let the readers decide.


socrates said...

Al: Fortunately, you're so inept at it that you don't have any credibility to lose in the first place.

I admit I've made a number of mistakes over my approximately four years of blogging. I do wish I could have put my stuff together better. Yet, I do believe within my accumulation of posts are plenty of provable nuggets. I am at peace with what I have gone through. I have been ready for quite a while to come forth in "real life." I've tried. A number of journalists know my real name. I've emailed with Jeff Ferrell of KSLA News Louisiana and Mark Singer of the New Yorker. I spoke on the phone for a couple hours with freelance jounalist Joe Lauria. They know my real name. Maybe someday I will catch a break and become a player as someone other than the admittedly pretentious username of socrates. But if nothing else comes out of my blogging experience, I will be content to live out my life in modest ways, knowing in my heart that I did my best to speak out against the evils of capitalism and the military-industrial complex. I can't regret having gotten into the esoteric field of trying to figure out internet disinformation or weather mitigation for that matter. It happened. I have a lot of goodies I came up with. I think that's why an organised campaign was put in effect to label me as a historic troll.

socrates said...

I would like to make one retraction and apologise to Al Giordano for the mistake. I wrote in the blog post, "...A side story is that one of the founders of this cause has had glowing words for Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos. Seeing how Markos has called the CIA a liberal institution he'd have no problem working for, there is further albeit circumstantial evidence that Moulitsas has been running a fifth column blog."

Al is not a founder of the fake peace groups promoting kinder and gentler forms of imperialism. He is being funded by them. Sorry for any confusion. I'd never heard of any of this before a few weeks or so ago. But it's still true that Al has called Markos the Sal Alinsky of our time. It'd be nice if he could come to terms with Kos being a promoter of the CIA, while NarcoNews promotes itself as an exposer of their insidious activities.

Al Giordano said...

Part I:

Frank - Now I've looked at the New Bedford Standard Times links and so you worked for an immigrants rights organization there and I take you at your word that back in the post-Big Dan's rape case times when Brian Lawson was mayor and Lorraine Payton his chief of staff and a wonderful old guy named John Silva would come into the city from Acushnet to put up yard signs for them you took a busload of volunteers to New Hampshire to campaign for Jesse Jackson. Viva a nesta festa do santísimo sacramento...

I wonder if you have read Moulitsas' "Taking on the System" (and its predecessor "Rules for Radicals" by Alinsky). And I wonder if you could suggest the name of another book authored since Alinsky authored "Rules" that more closely followed in its footsteps than "Taking on the System."

If you can, I invite you to do so.

If you can't, then you really can't complain that I wrote of Moulitsas as the Alinsky of our times.

You think he's CIA (and you are narcissistic enough to think it's important how many web hits you get writing about a guy who gets that many web hits a day). I think your interpretation of his words are flawed. Say what you want about Moulitsas, he is very deliberative about what he says in public. He's shown himself to be that way from TV cable news to Colbert Report appearances.

What I know from exposing the CIA's activities throughout Latin America for so many years now is that no CIA agent would ever be permitted to talk aloud in public - as Moulitsas did - about his flirtation with joining the agency years ago. For me, that he spoke aloud about it offers better proof that he can't possibly be a CIA agent than any evidence you've offered to claim he is. We take the same evidence, we get different interpretations....

(continued in comment below this one)...

Al Giordano said...

Part II (continued)...

You are welcome to yours. I am also welcome to mine. But if based on that difference of interpretation you or any of these anonymous cowards that unlike you don't disclose who they are try then to infer, imply or state that therefore that makes me a CIA agent, or even its unwitting dupe, I consider that a blood libel and those who engage in that kind of COINTELPRO type smear will have me and mine in their faces whenever such lies must be smacked down.

I didn't compare Moulitsas' work to Alinsky's with any thought in mind about how it might step on or not your "Kos = CIA" grandstanding and career move. I did it as a book reviewer and anybody that knows those two books and community organizing techniques understands full well how much they are in the same tradition of explaining strategic thinking from an organizer point of view.

And I've never made any public comment at all on your obsession with Moulitsas. So it's kinda stupid on your part if you want to drag me into what is your fixation, not mine.

One of my priorities in my work is to show readers how community organizing and strategic nonviolence can be deployed as weapons by popular movements against impositions from above (including US imperial impositions). If Moulitsas or if ICNC or if anyone else develops coherent books or videos or other tools that help do that, I will use them, unapologetically and without concern over whether they step on your's or others' narratives that try to demonize either based on what I consider to be McCarthyist "guilt by association" unevolved ways of thought.

Another book I often promote is Richard Riordan's "Plunkitt of Tammany Hall" as it is also a wonderful guide to helping people think strategically about how to organize communities. George Washington Plunkitt, a political boss in NY, is long dead and gone and one's use of his words to teach certain lessons in no way constitutes agreement with what he did while learning and teaching those techniques or what political side he was on. I suppose the same could be said about Sun Tzu's "The Art of War."

I'm unconcerned with the associations or even the motives of authors. If their writings are useful toward my own goals and those of the social movements and civil resistances I report, I consider it fair game to appropriate them to our own use.

And the same goes for resources. Under capitalism, all money is capitalist. Our anonymous commenters here are just as hooked in to it as anyone else, whether or not they disclose exactly how. If you or they appropriate resources for your work, you are appropriating capitalist resources by definition. The honest and ethical thing is to disclose. Those of us who are honest and ethical do that. Those who are not, don't. And it is super easy to tell the difference between the two.

socrates said...

Al, thanks again for your comments.

I don't agree with Francis that there is clear cut proof that Marko worked for the CIA. However, have you listened to the 2006 Commonwealth Club interview? Kos says he applied for a six-month interview process in 2001. He says he was offered a clandestine spy position but turned it down to work for the Dean campaign. That was in 2003. It's on Kos to explain that timeline, not Francis Holland.

Even if Moulitsas has never worked for the CIA, he calls it a liberal institution he'd have no trouble working for. You have no problem with that statement, or the fact that he never mentions the right wing death squads? This isn't like him being a homophobe in his youth. This is how he feels today. A lefty progressive would never support the CIA, and you refuse to acknowledge this fundamental problem with Zuniga.

I'm not an anonymous coward, no matter how often you keep astroturfing that. It's a strawman argument. It has nothing to do with the content. Granted, it's an interesting philosophical debate to have concerning the internet.

No one has insinuated you are a CIA agent or cointelpro. Nonetheless, you have done that to me. Fine. But it's not making you look good. A friendly bit of advise: Deal with the content and don't attack the messengers. Do so with as much grace and sincerity as you can muster. People will be more willing to listen to your ideas with an open mind.

Of course no man is an island, and we are all engulfed in a capitalistic world, whether we like it or not. I've never made one cent at blogging. I am affiliated with no group. You can believe me or not.

I think you have gotten closer to explaining your being funded by Peter Ackerman. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you are going with an ends justify the means approach. Just don't be naive and think your getting funded by folks with ties to military, CIA, and kinder and gentler forms of imperialism hasn't entered the collective consciousness. It has. Just as it has become clear that Kos is enamored with the CIA. You know, it wouldn't hurt you to stop kissing Markos' ass. You have had glowing words for him. Your milieu is concerned with exposing the CIA. If I were you, I wouldn't pass this story off as being a result of Francis Holland's narcissism. That's a cop out. At least have the intellectual integrity to listen to the Commonwealth Club interview. You have no trouble with Markos Moulitsas Zuniga promoting the CIA?

As for the coloured revolutions, and the people and institutions backing them, those connections are your biggest obstacle to overcome to remove any natural questions concerning your credibility. You have no concerns about the military and CIA ties of the organisation funding you? It appears you couldn't care less. That concerns me, an anonymous nobody and not a cointelpro-like smearer.

Al Giordano said...

"Socrates" - Most of Narco News funding comes from small donors. We have also received - and told the whole world about it - a $20,000 contribution from the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC).

Again, it ought to be very obvious that whether or not you think it is a matter that impugns my "credibility," I obviously do not. After all, it was I who informed our readers about it, repeatedly and prominently.

Hundreds of our readers, just as obviously, do not agree with you that it poses a "credibility" problem because they have voted with their small donations to match more than half that amount so far and the contributions keep coming in. These are the readers that have long supported Narco News' work, many precisely because of the credibility we have established - and continue to reestablish daily - with our reports.

Since November 17, when you (presuming you're the author of this blog) published this sloppily intended smear job, we have published 24 original reports and translations on Narco News.... from Mexico, from Honduras, from Colombia, from Haiti, from the US (including some fund appeals). Most of my time is spent reporting and editing and developing stories with the many good journalists of conscience who collaborate with us, most unpaid, because they, too, disagree with you that we have any kind of "credibility" problem.

Since your blog limits the size of comments, I will now move on to a fourth comment (again, nothing compared to the work load we do on Narco News, of the *real* work, but I will specifically address ICNC and why I think your interpretation of the same facts I interpret makes your conclusions so evidently wrong...

Al Giordano said...

Part IV:

And now to the point:

You think ICNC is in cahoots with the CIA. You and the other anonymous commenter here have also inferred it is dedicated to the overthrow of the Venezuela government, among other accusations. I'm pretty sure I have spent far more time investigating such claims than you have and I conclude that not only is that false, but it obviously can't be the case.

ICNC produces books, videos and other materials, about strategic nonviolence - a subject that has long been a very public interest of mine since decades before I knew there was an ICNC. I have read and watched a number of them. I like their materials and I like their work. I think its useful. The social movements we report and walk along side with also have expressed the same: they are useful to them. 100 percent of *those* social movements - the only ones I work with - are fighting against US and corporate imperialism in their lands, including organizations that defend - as we do - the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela.

Now, there are some - not many, but a few - who have distorted a few "factoids," called them "fact," and have attempted to create a narrative in which ICNC, because less than one percent of its materials and work have been received by some fairly inconsequential (in Venezuelan reality) groups or individuals who are anti-democracy and bent on their goal of toppling the democratically elected Chávez, that therefore - in their over-zeal to create a certain story line - have portrayed ICNC as an organization that wants to topple Chávez.

If I thought it was dedicated to that, you're right that I wouldn't accept its contributions. But having provided some materials or supported a single workshop by another organization for eight people in Boston some years ago with the idea - mistaken in my view, but an error of omission not of commission - does not a pattern make, and in its own zeal to promote strategic nonviolence it has in fact put more resources that have ended up at places like the World Social Forum in Caracas and primarily utilized by Chavistas.

In other words, an organization that promotes strategic nonviolence and whose goal is to encourage all peoples of all lands to see it as a more effective alternative than wars and blood-spilling, will always end up seeing its materials used sometimes by two opposite sides in a conflict. That doesn't place that organization on either side. Nor can an organization whose only weapons are information control who gets a hold of its information and uses it. The idea it is promoting is useful by many sides of any conflict, but more useful only to movements that really have organized a popular base among the workers and the poor.

You can point to shared boards of directors or "guilt by association" "links" or "ties" but you've offered up very very thin gruel on that front in a world where, as they say, there are only six degrees of separation between any of us.

And so, sorry if it is precisely Narco News' established credibility that makes you upset that I actually like the work and materials that ICNC produces and I find them useful and helpful to the authentic social struggles more so to any astroturf that may attempt sloppily to appropriate them, but your upset - and your insistence on trying to bemoan our credibility - betrays your real problem: that we do have very wide credibility, whether you think we do or not.

And I expect that will continue to grow over the years to come based on the work we do. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm on to our 25th story since you started this thread. (Work ethic and production are also a form of credibility.)

socrates said...

I think the word limit is set by google's blogspot software. Sorry for any inconvenience.

I went to and see that you have also been getting funded by the Angelica Foundation since your inception in 2000. Maybe someone can make a page disclosing how much has been taken in over the years, where the donations have come from, and how the money has been distributed. If you have nothing to hide, then that could enable you to get even more donations. You have made it public knowledge that ICNC has donated $20,000 in matching funds. That doesn't reveal how much indeed the Fund for Authentic Journalism and Narco News has received.

At the Angelica Foundation homepage, when one clicks for information, one is prompted to give a password. I wanted to check out their grants list page. No can do. Now please don't jump to conclusions. I am not attacking you. I am just presenting information.

I never said the ICNC is in cahoots with the CIA. I've never said Markos Moulitsas is or ever was an employee of the CIA. Nonetheless, the connections can be made, and they are not spurious. I have simply posted the facts concerning verifiable connections to Duvall and Ackerman.

On another entry I made, an internet friend named TLNL made some interesting comments. He at first had nothing but gushing words for Narco News. But then he took a look at the connections and backgrounds of ICNC, and he agreed that this was something to wonder about. Those comments can be found here. I'm not going to reinvent the wheel. The links and arguments surrounding what I am aware of concerning ICNC, Duvall, and Ackerman are on this thread and that other one.

I will reinvent a couple spokes of the tire. Jack Duvall and a former head of the CIA, James Woolsey, founded the Arlington Institute. Come on dude, be honest. That isn't a smear by association. The former head of the CIA? And you still haven't made any comment concerning Moulitsas' recent gushing comments praising the CIA. You said Moulitsas measures every word. What progressive would ever praise the CIA and say they'd have no trouble working for them?


socrates said...

Ackerman can be tied to Freedom House. I wish TLNL was here to ask you some questions. This is not my bread and butter topic. I only became aware of this stuff last month. I'll ask him again if he can come over here and take over for the "prosecution." I mean you no disrespect. But I am not even a player in this subject. You have real names out there like the Barker dude and Eva Golinger among others who have fully articulated this situation better than I ever could. They have forgotten more about this stuff than what I will ever know about it.

You have received funding from dubious individuals and organisations. That is fact. Neither Stu or myself pulled this topic out of thin air.

I had no hidden agendas going into this. For any mistakes I have made, you have made some yourself. I didn't say the ICNC was behind the idea of destabilising Chavez. Here is how I see it, thanks to others putting this topic together. Ackerman is the sole funder of ICNC. One of his babies is Freedom House.

The New Politics of Political Aid in Venezuela

In May 2007, Eva Golinger, Venezuelan-American author of The Chávez Code and a prominent critic of U.S. aid programs in Venezuela, accused Freedom House and other U.S. organizations receiving U.S. government funding of orchestrating a "destabilization plan" (see, May 26, 2007). Golinger claimed Freedom House was designing a campaign of nonviolent resistance to the Chávez government.

You're talking up six degrees of separation. That's ludicrous. Perhaps it is off-base to grill you and Narco News for your ties to ICNC and for calling the CIA loving Markos Moulitsas the Sal Alinsky of our time. But these connections and ties which grow out of Ackerman and Duvall are not guilt by association McCarthyite smear jobs. The readers can see that you are downplaying the facts. It'll take them ten minutes to start seeing what's being said here. You call Francis' work in exposing Moulitsas narcissism. Have you debunked any of his content? Due to your silence on Markos' comments concerning the CIA, I can only assume that you are in agreement with him or are suffering from cognitive dissonance. An honest answer would have been wow, did he really say that? Same when it comes to checking out the truth about Duvall and Ackerman and their promotion of kinder and gentler forms of imperialism.

Al Giordano said...

"Socrates" - You act like Joe McCarthy when you say "I can only assume that you are in agreement with" what somebody says if I don't testify to the committee against it.

My views on the CIA are well published. Every word I have ever published about it has been critical. And we've broken some very embarrassing scoops on it over the years (including its involvement in the 2002 coup attempt in Venezuela).

I don't feel responsible for the words of anyone else (and yes, I've read the Moulitsas quotes - years ago - and see them in a different light than you do as more of an off hand comment he made, that I don't happen to agree with but nor do I see it as as damning as you do). But I'm stubborn as hell and I'm not going to go jumping to denounce anybody just because some anonymous blogger insists I must.

I don't know if you read Spanish but if so you should read the new book out by Eva Golinger and Jean Guy Allard, "USAID, the NED and the CIA: The Permanent Aggression," published this month by the Ministry of Information and Communications of Venezuela. It has chapters on "color wars" and "soft coups," mainly rewrites of previous articles of Golinger's, but, strikingly, there is zero mention of ICNC in them even in texts that, when first published, did go after them. That means they had a good fact checker-editor and I take it as a welcome admission that perhaps some past statements were overblown in the zeal to document real US intervention, but misplaced when ICNC was briefly dragged into it. You should consider fact checking and moving on as well.

Michael Barker, who you mention, has zero credibility. He has been stalking our School of Authentic Journalism students (who universally report he's an asshole and have CCed me on their responses to him, having none of it). I have asked Mr. Barker to disclose how he funds his work. He refuses to do so. He hangs out with some pretty shady types on the Internet and for all I know he could be a COINTELPRO type or just another common asshole appointing himself as "purity police." In any case, a journalist that fails to disclose how he is funded should be much more suspect than those of us that do disclose.

You act like these "factoids" you are pushing are somehow new information. They've been recycled for years. Nothing new in them. But of course, you're unconcerned with why Ackerman, for example, left Freedom House (here's a clue - it was in part because he was unable to persuade the rest of the board there to to wean it from US government funding). Your characterizations of Jack DuVall are completely off the wall and remind me of Sarah Palin's accusations about "palling around with terrorists" regarding Bill Ayers. Same McCarthyism, different ideological gloss.

Finally, promoting strategic nonviolence is not "promotion of kinder and gentler forms of imperialism," unless you're also accusing Gandhi, MLK, Cesar Chavez, and many many other great forces in history of being responsible for every single application of the weapon they invented. Or maybe you're just one of those folks that fetishizes armed struggle and therefore hates nonviolent strategy?

Al Giordano said...

I should also add that, if after getting such open response from me, you don't correct your headline on a subsequent blog post, "Al Giordano of Narco News has a Credibility Problem," you greatly heighten suspicion over what your real motives are and who might be behind you. Think about that. I don't really care in the end. But it's a pretty effing stupid headline given our level of honest disclosure. If I had made such a boneheaded headline, our policy is to correct it in the headline, too. But of course we have ethics and policies about that kind of stuff. You would do well to do the same.

socrates said...

That wasn't an off hand comment Moulitsas made. He said the CIA is a liberal institution he'd have no trouble working for. He said he applied for a position in 2001. That it was a six month interview process. That he decided to reject a clandestine spy position to instead work for Howard Dean in 2003.

Markos never mentions the El Salvadoran death squads. The only few comments I've ever noticed out of him concerning those historic troubles have been about bloodshed produced by the guerrillas. I'm not asking you to condemn Markos Moulitsas. But if you can't denounce those ideas, I don't know what to say in response. You are the one who has called him the Sal Alinsky of our time. If you hadn't, no one would be now wondering why you fail to see the significance of Kos' deep respect for the CIA and his siding with the El Salvadoran oligarchy.

My Spanish isn't too good. I can fudge through a bit of it. Francis Holland knows Spanish. If you have any links you'd like to share, you can provide them with html.

I never said I'm a pioneer on this subject. I've admitted a post or two back that this is a novice milieu. I encourage the good readers to decide for themselves. I asked my internet friend to come by and take over for me. He has a much better grasp on these things than I do. I doubt you'd be able to bully him around like you are now doing to me.

The irony is that you continue to do to me, what you accused me of doing to yourself. You actually believe I am being funded and am internet cointelpro? I have changed the title of the other post to "may have a credibility problem." I'm not one to interact too much with people I consider are trolling or shoving sophistry down my throat. Hopefully, my friend can show up, and if you're still available, you and him can have some give and take conducted in an amiable fashion. Personally, I don't think you have proven squat. Though I still appreciate you taking the time to make some posts.


a nobody from Massachusetts

Al Giordano said...

"Socrates" - If you think that my posting words on your website - one where you conveniently control the timing of when (or whether) my comments get posted, and can always have the much faster response - I really don't know what to think.

Is it "bullying" to ask you to disclose how you make your living and who funds you? Is it somehow "bullying" to ask someone to be honest about who he is?

Or is it that you are starting to get the (reality based) sensation that you overshot on this one, smeared good people without evidence, and maybe it is your conscience that makes you feel "bullied." If so, that would be a good and healthy thing.

the_last_name_left said...

Hello, Mr Giordano.

First off, I have no intention of "smearing" you: I've used your articles, for example in arguments over Venezuela, for example.

However, I do think there are serious questions raised here through your apparent connections to seemingly well-known and long-time individuals and organisations which are criticised as propagandist fronts for american imperialism and hegemony: specifically your apparent connections to the ICNC, The Albert Einstein Institute, Duvall, Ackerman and Freedom House.

Your main defence seems to be that you have admitted the ties, and that such ties cause no credibility problem with your readers.

Well, I was a reader, and I think it does raise a credibility problem. Do I not count at all?

the_last_name_left said...

You seem to suggest only a few malicious kooks could find any issue with associations to Freedom House.

And yet, here's Noam Chomsky writing of Freedom House:

NC: An excellent illustration of how the ideological institutions operate to buttress the state propaganda system by identifying the media as "hypercritical," so much so as to endanger "free institutions," is provided by a two-volume Freedom House study of the alleged bias and incompetence of the media in portraying the Tet offensive as a defeat for the United States and thus contributing to the failure of U.S. arms by their excessive pessimism. The name "Freedom House" should at once arouse a certain skepticism among people attuned to the machinations of modern propaganda systems, just as any good student of Orwell should have realized that a change in the name of the U.S. War Department to "Defense Department" in 1947 signalled that henceforth the state would be shifting from defense to aggressive war. In fact, "Freedom House" is no less of an Orwellian construction, as its record indicates.
The study in question is in the Freedom House tradition. Contrary to its intentions and stated conclusions, any independent-minded reader should infer from its 1500 pages of text and documents that the media were remarkably loyal to the basic doctrines of the state and tended to view the events of the period strictly from the government's point of view. But these facts, though obvious from the documents cited, completely escaped the author and his Freedom House sponsors; naturally, since they take ordinary press subservience as a norm. What is most striking about the study, apart from its general ineptitude, are the premises adopted without comment throughout: the press is unjustifiably "pessimistic" if it tends to believe that U.S. force may not prevail in "defending South Vietnam," and is "optimistic" if it expresses faith in the ultimate success of U.S. state violence. Pessimism is wrong even if based on fact and in conformity with the views of the Pentagon and CIA (as was often the case, specifically, in the instance in question). Since optimism is demanded irrespective of facts, the implication of this study is that "responsible" media must deliberately lie in order to serve the state in an undeviatingly propagandistic role.

the_last_name_left said...

Then, of course, we have Eva Gollinger's calls for "foreign organisations" - specifically including Freedom House - to be removed from Venezuela, because of the threat they pose to Venezuelan democracy.

Gollinger made such claims because of the nexus of foreign NGOs and US state-department funded propaganda organs which were operating as a vector for the implementation of American foreign policy in Venezuela ie the overthrow of Chavez, a democratically elected leader.

The contradiction is right there, and this is where obvious issues arise, Al. You have ties to the same things Gollinger identified - specifically Freedom House, Ackerman, Duvall, TAEI, etc.

These people and organisations are accusedly part of the nexus of NGOs and US state-department funded fronts which organise to overthrow non-compliant regimes - achieved through the exploitation and piggybacking of domestic opposition groups.

The whole point of such methods is to undermine the regime in question (even in democratic Venezuela) - and it's all done from the "unassailable" position of "merely" providing funding and organisational expertise in support of "democracy" and such like.

But come on? We all know enough of American foreign policy to know "Democracy" and "Human Rights" can be used as cover (and cause) for coup detat, revolution, etc. And we all know there's a whole network of US-State funded organisations striving to put local oppositionists at work on their own cause. The big deal about it - and what gives it such power - and causes such suspicion - is that it is hidden behind the impregnable honour of "serving democracy" and "human rights". Plus there's the issues raised by the fact it's all obscured - behind a hugely complex web of organisation and funding too, not least of which are IRI, NED, USAID and their complex interlock with organisations such as Freedom House, IEI, Ackerman, Duvall etc.

For example - Zbigniew Brezinzki was also Freedom House. Other past board members include Otto Reich (!), Don Rumsfeld, Samuel Huntingdon....

These people are real players. Pardon my deep suspicion of them and anyone and everything associated with them? I've heard them speak of "democracy" before........

the_last_name_left said...

To be clear - there is a connection between yourself, NarcoNews, Ackerman, Freedom House, Duvall, IEI, etc. Right, Al?

You don't deny there are these connections, only that the nature of them, and their implications, are somewhat different to those which Socrates has suggested?

Well, ok - but what were you so angsty about? What is it that you are disputing exactly? What facts are you disputing? What 'spin' do you find so offensive?

You do raise the contention about Gollinger's book - (you claim) it makes no reference to Freedom House, and thus presumably removes any possible stain from her earlier accusations against Freedom House? I don't know about that - I don't have the book, but there's no dispute she had earlier specifically and repeatedly named Freedom House, Gene Sharp of IEI and Ackerman in the same breath as IRI, NED, USAID.

Gollinger has written that :

"For the defense of the nation, it would be wise to end the actions of groups like Freedom House and the International Republican Institute, which serve as a front for the State Department and the CIA, and which operate openly in the country."

The exact same thread of associations which concern me about NArcoNews.

The organisations Gollinger named are amongst groups which have ties running right up to Carmona's group in the Venezuelan coup. And the personnel, organisations and financing between the lot of them and the people that you acknowledge you are associated with.....are a little best, right? Not surprising, really, as it's a milieu that reaches right up to the highest echelons of US state policy. ZB, Huntingdon, IRI, McCain, NED, CIA, Woolsey.....

(And nobody ever admits such connections, obviously. And let's not forget credibility is the critical currency in such subterfuge.)

Taking John McCain's IRI, for example, which was very active in Venezuela. It seemingly has ties through the Venezuelan business/commerce association to Carmona and his coup buddies.

But John McCain and IRI claim they are "supporting democracy", "peaceful change", "liberty", "freedom" etc.

Familiar themes? And yet McCain's IRI, NED, USAID and all the rest of it led to Carmona and the April coup.

Presumably you wouldn't deny that general narrative. And yet you seem to condemn someone for being surprised to find your own name and publication associated with related organisations.

To be clear - concern is raised because these organisations certainly are seen by some of us as part of the same nexus of compromised and suspicious NGOs which operate consciously or otherwise to further American interests and hegemony. These organisations are compromised by their association with US STATE POLICY/imperialism/CIA/USAID/NED etc.....through the exact sort of connections you are asking we simply shrug off in your own case.

the_last_name_left said...

And Mr Ackerman of Freedom House......he was also Teflon Man too? His money came in intersting fashion: he avoided the lawsuits and bankcruptcy that befell his former financier employers and colleagues, and came out of it all with a major fortune. $800m?

And now he's benevolently working for "democracy" and "peaceful change"?

To what end exactly, I wonder?

Robert Parry implicates the use of CIA money channeled to Freedom House to sponsor political changes beneficial to America, to the apparent total ignorance of Freedom House.

Parry worked to expose Oliver North in Iran Contra. Prize winning journalist.......

It really isn't crazy to find something odd about all this. It certainly isn't unreasonable to question the motives of billionaires and American state-funded organisations. At least I don't think it is......

Especially when they so self-consciously wave their banners of supposedly impregnable virtue - "democracy" and "human rights" etc.

It's easy to spot the imperial aggression of a war - insidious propaganda and subversion are more difficult. Of course.

So it's reasonable to find suspicion when apparent progressives are found with ties to organisations reputed to be involved in all this. It is a known method of infiltration and subversion, after all.

It seems especially odd when such suspicions are greeted with a defence of "credibility". Both Al Giordano and Zunes (of IEI) resort to using their credibility as their first defence. Hmmm. The point isn't whether you have been regarded as credible - it's whether you are, or not - and you don't get to decide what other people think about it. Seemingly Al Girodano is happy to lend his self-acclaimed substantial "credibility" to Ackerman, Duvall, Freedom House etc?

the_last_name_left said...

i probably messed up those posts.........did I post everything? or does it start halfway - bugger! oh well......hopefully most of it survived the transition to blogger-bites.

socrates said...

Hi Al, basically what Tlnl said. Dude, an analogy would be that someone is letting you know that your distant cousin is Bill O'Reilly. I think you should disclose exactly how much has been donated to your group, by whom, and how it has been allocated. That way no one will be able to suspect you are part and parcel of the pigs who gave you $20,000. Without documents to prove otherwise, for all anyone knows, Freedom House gives you a million bucks a year to play around with. Heck, maybe Markos Moulitsas is given a million/year to promote Al From DLC objectives. You must beware of the triangulation. I think I done well coining that phrase kinder and gentler imperialism. {<:)

I can't afford to let comments go through unmoderated. I was getting cyberstalked and smeared big time the last couple years. I can prove it. But that's not the issue here. Just bookmark the page. There's only a few of us. This isn't a smear attack. Facts have been provided.

You want me to tell you who funds me. Man, please afford me as an anonymous coward to hang onto even a smidgen of dignity. I'm broke, Al. I'm not going hungry. I've never made much more than $20,000 in one year. I have two masters degrees. I do reckon I have some hippie blood, though I've been off of weed for close to a year.

If you have a public email address and want me to tell you who I am in private, I am not scared. I would want you to be able to confirm it's me. I could write a sentence here that was first in the email or something cloak and dagger like that. I've been getting my ass cybersmeared. I don't have a freakin' clue about Narco News. If you go through my recent entries, you'll get a glimpse of the kind of stuff I'm truly into exposing. That would be Brett Kimberlin, Brad Friedman, and their hoaxes. I also believe there is a weather mitigation program in effect, but I promised Tlnl I wouldn't mention that. Oops. I just did. I've had a number of internet scoops. One of them was exposing Patrick Minnis of NASA and his ties to internet convolution. I've been into exposing all sorts of internet fakes. I may be a nobody, but I have made my presence felt in the blogosphere.

Myself and this other guy have a few things in common. We have had a shared interest in exposing right woos left internet convolution (especially that of Michael Rivero of We both have socialist and peacenik ideals. He is a bit more into the theoretical aspects of socialism, while I am probably more into the philosophy of freedom. Ever read Erich Fromm?

I don't want to hurt you, Al Giordano and your Narco News and journalism school, if the only sin you've committed is receive 20 grand from people with ties to fascism. That you're so eager to defend these organisations with what I perceive is sophistry, is quite a bummer duderino.

I don't blame you for your reaction. It happens. I took it on the chin the best I could.

Thanks the_last_name_left for showing up and articulating better than I can what the head scratching connections are, and what they perhaps signify.

Al, as soon as I see comments from yourselves, I let them through. I just don't want to jeopardise the information I have provided concerning David Weintraub. This blog was created in his honour. If you think I'm making crap up about being cybersmeared and stalked in a sophisticated manner, I'll reinvent the wheel and prove it yet again to the best of my abilities.

I can be sensitive at times. I admit that. I am no masochist. I'll never ban you. But if you continue to bully me around, I have no other option but to not interact with you directly. That's how I run.

The reader decides, Al.

TLNL, the only issue I have with your posts is it seems you forgot to provide the link for the Chomsky quote. I googled, and it appears you got that from this link.

Al Giordano said...

You guys are really whacko.

I have never had any relationship or contact with or funding from Freedom House or the Albert Einstein Institute.

In your dark and bizarre paranoia you seem to think being funded with a modest $20,000 contribution through The Fund for Authentic Journalism from an organization (ICNC) that is funded by someone who *used to* be part of Freedom House (but is no more) makes me, by third degree of separation, one and the same with Freedom House.

Do you have any clue as to how nuts you sound?

The Fund for Authentic Journalism files an annual statement that is public. It shows that it has never received more than about $60,000 a year since its inception a few years ago. The only other donor in 2009 that gave more than a thousand dollars was the Angelica Foundation, a Santa Fe New Mexico based small nonprofit organization that supports human rights and drug policy work, primarily in Mexico. All the rest of the contributions toward are work are less than that, from readers. The majority of our funding is in contributions under $100, most smaller than that.

But you guys are - I repeat - completely batshit crazy to then go smearing that because of shared histories among people who are not me (and are not Narco News) I'm somehow part of things I'm not part of.

And you don't reveal who YOU are. You don't tell us, for example, what university you attended (again, we could find CIA "connections," "ties," and "links" to you, using the same McCarthyist accusatory logic - I think that gives you additional reasons to remain cowardly anonymous, shrouded in nondisclosure and secrecy about who you are, and therefore without a whit of the "credibility" you claim to be able to say others have or do not have.

And if you want to address me directly, "Socrates," yes, I would like your disclosure. My email address - public on the front page of Narco News for years now - is Of course, had you done the slightest amount of any real investigation, you'd know that already. But you haven't. You're just involved in a tantrum of name-calling with no factual substance behind it. And it shows in the erratic prose of the comments from you and the other anonymous coward, "the last name left." Funny it has no last name or first name left either!

Al Giordano said...

Finally, I'm entertained by your statement that you still feel "bullied" under these circumstances:

1. It's your blog, and you're at the controls.
2. You've openly recruited two people, and have another one already in these comments, who are taking the same position as you: so it's four against one, and you still feel bullied!

Only someone who loses an argument feels bullied. You might do better to look in the mirror and ask yourself why you have not won your case, even with such advantages in power position on your own blog!

the_last_name_left said...

Al G: promoting strategic nonviolence is not "promotion of kinder and gentler forms of imperialism,"

How do you know? How do you know the motives of Ackerman, ICNC, Zunes, Duvall, NED, USAID, IRI?

I have a whole slew of stuff that suggests "promoting strategic nonviolence" certainly can be seen as "promoting kinder/gentler forms of imprialism". It is NOT "batshit crazy". It's a realistic concern, but one which you seem to completely dismiss. Do you have no concerns about such matters? If not, why not? If you do, why don't you understand the concerns about Ackerman et al?

Al G: 100 percent of *those* social movements - the only ones I work with - are fighting against US and corporate imperialism in their lands

With help from super-wealthy American financiers like Ackerman? Kinda strange, no? Ackerman's just your regular sort of multi-millionaire anti-imperialist activist, huh?

If he wanted to do something useful against American Imperialism he'd probably be best employed talking sternly to his own friends! Did he miss the fact that he has worked all his life with agencies of american imperialism? Does he not realise that he himself made a fortune out of financing junk bonds and leveraging corporate buyouts? Did he not notice his own stint at Freedom House? The CFR?

I see no reason to believe your characterisation of Ackerman, and the ICNC. I prefer this one:

Let’s be clear on what NVR [non-violent-resistance] is, what its goals are, and who’s behind it. It’s not nonviolence as a moral or ethical position; it’s a form of warfare, aimed at taking political power in other people’s countries. And while it’s based on nonviolence, it has, in its reliance on sanctions and financial isolation as an integral part of alienating people from target governments, devastating consequences, as real as those violence produces. It’s not used by grassroots organizations in the West to force their own governments to change reactionary policies, or to take political power at home. Instead, it is invariably aimed at foreign governments that have resisted integration into the U.S. imperial orbit. The major proponents of NVR are not independent grassroots organizers, socialists or anarchists. They are, instead, members of the U.S. financial and foreign policy establishment, or are linked to them in subordinate roles through organizational and funding ties. NVR is hardly progressive; it is an imperialist project........

the_last_name_left said...

Ali G said:

I have never had any relationship or contact with or funding from Freedom House or the Albert Einstein Institute.

I didn't think anyone had said you had.

You do however get funding from ICNC, right? And ICNC IS Peter Ackerman's personal hobbyhorse.

You say

If I thought it was dedicated to [toppling Chavez], you're right that I wouldn't accept its contributions.

Meaning, you do presently "accept its contributions".

Peter Ackerman was Chief of Freedom House, is a CFR member, and IS criticised for his role as a goto-man for doing the work the CIA used to do, before they found "better" ways of doing it.

Ackerman IS closely connected to Duvall, and he IS closely connected to Helvey and the coloured revolutions.........and he DOES have a background of mixing with US foreign policy makers of the highest level.

He also has a background that includes making a fortune out of finance, and getting out before the SHTF - and before the law showed up.

He is also a board member of a marketing company which has blue chip, international clients.

This is all undisputed, right?

But all of this makes him an ideal candidate for what it is suggested are his real aims: he has a marketing gig with a major marketing company, an academic background in polyarchy, he's incredibly wealthy, well-connected, a financier/philanthropist......

your typical sort of down-to-earth activist, then?

I wonder why you trust these people, Al? You seem offended that anyone might query your association with Ackerman and thereby with his various organisations..........but what do you expect? You surely aren't ignorant of the debate about how genuinely progressive Ackerman and his Non-Violent-Protest organisations are? And here's you cosy-ing up to them - offering your credibility to them. You stress how credible you are - as does Zunes whom also defends Ackerman and ICNC - but why lend your credibility to such people? Based on what?

I don't get it. Why would you do that? How do you know Ackerman and ICNC aren't simply doing what they're accused of - working to further their own, and american state interests? How do you know you aren't serving their interests? What makes you so sure? I think your trust is misplaced.

These people apparently are no principled proponents of non-violence - they just think it's a more effective form of war.

I mean, whilst they (claim to) seek to promote democracy abroad - what are they doing at home?

No small point, as so many of the problems in their target countries stem from their own (capitalist/corporate) interests and their own national state interest which they serve via CFR etc.

Sorry, but what the hell is Ackerman's interest in non-violent-protest in far-flung parts of the world? Why does a former financier, with hundreds of millions $$$ care about any of this stuff? WHY? How do you know it isn't all merely serving american imperial and corporate interests etc?

Why don't you even appear to understand the concerns about Ackerman and ICNC and all the rest of it? Plenty of people have concerns.

socrates said...

My background is in social theory. It's helping me understand Al's schtick better. For someone who has been portraying himself as having received 20 grand no strings attached, his blogging activities suggest otherwise. His promotion of the CIA loving Markos Moulitsas Zuniga is the icing on the cake.

I have found a few links. His act is a broken record of astroturf. He accuses anyone with legitimate questions of being McCarthyites and willing or not assets of counter-insurgents. Ironically, he like to portray people like ourselves as being conspiracy theorists. In this thread alone he has refused to deal with the content and instead insinuates that I and perhaps others are CIA Cointelpro. Does he realise how stupid and hypocritical that sounds? Does he even realise that it was the FBI who ran cointelpro and not the CIA?

He is obviously an asset of Ackerman's and Duvall's. If he wasn't, he wouldn't be running around the internet acting as their pitbull defender.

Another sophist trick he uses is to imply that those who question the odd connections are not sincere peaceniks who would rather see blood in the streets than peaceful change. Moulitsas likes to portray El Salvadoran bloodshed as having been caused by the guerrillas. He never mentions the right wing death squads. Yet to Al, Kos is the Sal Alinsky of our time.[/head scratch]

He is clearly a bully. He is correct that this isn't his blog. But unlike him, I won't censor his posts. Folks can check out the following thread and see that Al Giordano is not so unlike the Daily Kos in censoring its critics. They will be able to see what I mean about Al's use of the broken record.

Al wrote, "At times I feel like clenching my own fist and using it on US activists that smear legitimate foreign movements with such cultural imperialism, but I'll just keep using my pen instead." That doesn't sound like a peacenik to me. And now the world is starting to cop on that he is in bed with kinder and gentler imperialism.

Al Giordano likes to put words in other people's mouths. That's not cool. I believe a raw nerve has been hit in Giordano being linked to the ICNC and all those other dubious organisations. Otherwise, I doubt he'd be running around the net like this. I doubt he'd be repeating circular memes. He wouldn't be censoring at his website. Instead of throwing out ad hominems and strawmen in Bill O'Reilly fashion, he'd act Biko-style with some grace and calmly make his points without being so nasty. Obviously there is more to that 20 grand donation than meets the eye. He shrugs it all off as six degrees of separation and the spinning of McCarthyite conspiracy. Yawn. He and others are trying to starve the oxygen out of this story, just like Kos tried to with the Armstrong scandal.

Reply to Al Giordano re "Toppling a Coup, Part I: Dilemmas for the Honduras Regime"

…and the Oscar goes to…Honduras Oye

Al thinks he is putting out fires. I think he is actually making things a lot more clearer through his treatment of sincere critics. I bet if he could, he'd delete everything he could. Unfortunately for him, he only has the power to do so at his ICNC sponsored blog. I've changed my mind about emailing him. I made that mistake with Brad Friedman. Fool me once....

Al Giordano said...

And now, the fraudulent and cowardly nature of the anonymous blogger who calls himself "Socrates" is fully on display.

He's gone from asking me, "If you have a public email address and want me to tell you who I am in private, I am not scared. I would want you to be able to confirm it's me."

Now, after I've called his bluff, he chickens out:

"I've changed my mind about emailing him. I made that mistake with Brad Friedman. Fool me once...."

(I haven't a clue who said Friedman person is, nor do I particularly care.)

It's revealing that "Socrates" would publish a post titled "Al Giordano has a credibility problem" and then when Al shows up to demonstrate just how wrong he is, he changes gears and accuses, " I believe a raw nerve has been hit in Giordano being linked to the ICNC and all those other dubious organisations. Otherwise, I doubt he'd be running around the net like this."

No, actually, I have exercised my right to respond to a direct and falsehood laden attack on me, by name.

So, not only are you cowardly, but cognitively, you're just not that bright. Big talker. Small actor. Fine with me if you poke your head back in the ostrich hole instead of make good on your tough talk above about "if you continue to bully me around, I have no other option but to not interact with you directly. That's how I run."

No, actually "how you run" is scared and dishonestly and the same goes for your anonymous chums here. I'll hand it to Francis - at least he has the guts to use his own name. The rest of you are children. Go back to the kid's table and continue your food fight on your own. Your tantrums say everything anybody needs to know about you anyway!

socrates said...

Ultimately, this is all very sad. When we we're little kids, we could never imagine how far the tentacles of the Octopus reach into social reality. We were vulnerable and forced to trust the adults.

The same goes for us as adults but only to a point. We hear of journalists like Al Giordano and mega bloggers like Markos Moulitsas, and we simply desire that their intentions are pure, and that we the people are on the good road with good leadership.

Al Giordano reminds me of Christopher Hitchens. And not just with the haircut or the facial characteristics. I'm talking about how I used to get good vibes from each concerning their integrity as journalists. Well, it's pretty clear right now how I feel about both of them. Combine the words arse and hat.

Giordano had the chance to win me over when he arrived here. He should have said his connection to those creeps was $20,000 with no strings attached. But noooooo, he has to continue to kiss their asses and show the world that Al Giordano's motives cannot be trusted. He may decide to delete his embarrassing rants on this page. I have copies of them, however. CIA COINTELPRO? McCarthyite witch hunts? Al Giordano, here's a serious question. Do you take drugs that might influence your perception of reality? Myself, I've only smoked pot. I had some magic mushrooms decades ago. I don't drink. You seem to be missing something with your internet activities. Ever see the movie Scarface? Do you like cocaine? I don't. I think it's evil. If you have a drug problem Al, you should seek help. Or are you just into playing the tough guy with cognitive dissonance role? I left the following post at Stu's Bush Planet blogspot where Zunes showed up sounding very similar to yourself. You must be getting more than $20,000 out of Ackerman. No way would a "lefty, radical peacenik" sell his soul to someone with deep military and CIA ties for that little amount. None of this is personal, Al. I don't know you. I actually don't want to know you. You're not as interesting a writer as you think. I pity posers like yourself. If you're worse than that and are more complicit in promoting kinder and gentler imperialism than you make it seem, then I hate you.

socrates said...

My Post at Stu's
It's kind of funny to see all these various fat cat sell-outs running around the internet spewing propaganda. Who the fock do they think they're fooling?

To top it off, they insinuate that the few of us are cointelpro for merely pointing out easily verified facts connecting fake peaceniks with military, CIA, and whatnot.

For example, Zunes downplays any connection between Duvall and Woolsey. Good luck doing the impossible!

Duvall helped launch the Arlington Institute. Woolsey used to be one of its directors.

We're supposed to believe peaceniks would have military clients? Maybe it shouldn't be called a think tank but a stink tank.

According to Oak Grove Systems Inc.,

The Arlington Institute (TAI), a developer of government intelligence software, was engaged to create a government intelligence research solution. Using Reactor 5 from Oak Grove Systems as a web services orchestration (WSO) tool, TAI created an automation solution to research and track thousands of ideas and topics from thousands of sources.... TAI was contracted to create a government intelligence research software application to collect, store, extract and analyze data for tracking global trends and potential surprise events. Many government agencies currently running these research processes are heavily dependent upon manual processes to scour the Internet or classified data sources, clip articles and compile them into central repositories for later dissemination and analysis. The Arlington Institute set out to create a coherent and all-encompassing system that would provide a collaborative environment integrating a large number of 3rd party tools in an analytic workbench in support of the government analysts.

Yet, we're the ones whose intentions should be held under the microscope? Grow up Zunes along with the rest of you astroturfers. Either deal with the facts or ignore us. You're all getting very tedious with your obfuscations, strawmen arguments, ad hominems, and evoking of authority.

Up until recently, Peter Ackerman chaired Freedom House. It used to be chaired by Woolsey. Seriously, who the fock do you think you're fooling?

Ackerman has given funds to Giordano. Giordano promotes Ackerman and Duvall. Giordano writes glowing prose for another fake progressive named Markos Moulitsas Zuniga of the Daily Kos. In 2006, Moulitsas said the CIA is a liberal institution he'd have no problem working for. Seriously Zunes and the rest of your ilk, who the fock do you think you're fooling?

Yet, we're anonymous cowards. Or we're on McCarthyite witch hunts. Or we are cuckoo banana conspiracy theorists. Or we are Cointelpro CIA, a phrase Giordano came up with. Or we are aiding the counter-insurgency. WHO THE FOCK DO YOU THINK YOU'RE FOOLING?

You say Ackerman is an independent libertarian and Duvall is a liberal Democrat. Here, I'll throw you a bone for the next time you go astroturfing your kinder and gentler imperialism. Post that Ackerman is a moderate progressive. I think it sounds better. But never confuse yourselves with authentic, lefty peaceniks. Shove that into your supercomputers and smoke it.

socrates said...

C. Wright Mills said that the conspiracy can be found in the institutions.

socrates said...

I was writing those above posts, before I saw Al had left his. I'm not surprised that Al is running off like a scared, little baby.

He called me out for my research skills, because I had the gall to ask him for his email address. Now he says he never heard of Brad Friedman. Has he ever heard of the googler? All he had to do was take a quick glance at my recent entries to figure out who Brad is.

Al Giordano might not technically fit the definition of a troll, because he uses his real name in the blogosphere. But that is the only difference. He still evokes authority. There is the cognitive dissonance and his use of strawman argumentation. He attacks messengers rather than deal with content. Those are troll characteristics.

Perhaps it was reading his comment, "At times I feel like clenching my own fist and using it on US activists..." that got me to thinking this guy might be dangerous. Oooh, pardon me for not wanting to give personal information to someone smooching the asses of folks with ties to the military and CIA.

Al Giordano has simply run into seasoned bloggers who know how to deal with his mafioso-styled blogging tactics. I had no trouble exposing Brad Friedman and Brett Kimberlin. I had no trouble exposing Patrick Minnis of NASA. It's probably in Al's best interests to avoid websites where he can't disappear posts that make him look bad. He can stay on his own boring, little corner of the net and censor away.

Al has loved promoting rules for radicals. He thinks he's the only one who can adapt tactics for encouraging social change. The thing Al Giordano doesn't want the reader to know is that not all social change is good. It can be negative. Al Giordano is a sophist bully. He is a cheater when it comes to dialogue. After a certain point, I decided I was no longer going to interact with him directly. That doesn't mean I stopped reading his posts.

Al Giordano couldn't be more off-base in his strawman argument that only those attaching real names to their words can be taken seriously. People can googlerise the 'mysterious S. Boyle'. I'm not sure if that was a person's real name, or if it was perhaps the Susan Boyle whose voice we all have come to respect. I guess that's why the adjective mysterious was added to the legend. Nonetheless, by googling S. Boyle, one will see how an anonymous writer got the truth out about an insidious astroturfer named Michael Rivero. But according to people like Al Giordano, Michael Rivero has more credibility than the mysterious S. Boyle. Rivero's strong ties to Willis Carto be damned. He uses his real name. S. Boyle does not. That's the ticket.

the_last_name_left said...

And what's that rubbish about using one's "real name" anyway?

I'm a "nobody" ---- what difference does my name make here? What difference does my name make in "real life"? None.

I'm working class, and looking after my class interests. Pardon me for being an unreconstructed leftie, but people like Ackerman are my class enemy........what else is there to say?

Ackerman can do more for prevention of violence by talking to his own friends - the wheelers and dealers he has associated with all his life - instead of lecturing the rest of us on how we must remain peaceful - even as he and his class rape us.

And so Ackerman's an "independent libertarian"? That's another way of saying radical, free-market capitalist. And shock horror! that description just so happens to accurately fit his life history.......

Ron Paul or Ackerman? Take your pick.........

the_last_name_left said...

Al G: I have exercised my right to respond to a direct and falsehood laden attack on me, by name.

What are these falsehoods?

Please - be explicit?

You haven't yet pointed to a single falsehood. You've had ample opportunity, yet I can't find a single thing which you claim to be "false".

True enough, you clearly don't like what is being said, but that's by the by..........why would you like it?

I'm interested in how you come to have such faith as to make your assertions about Ackerman, the ICNC and their "work".

You must know Ackerman pretty well to be so bold as to defend his intentions? How come? Multi-millionaire philanthropists move in your circles much, do they, Al?

So come on, Al - what exactly is "FALSE"?

And why do you place such belief in Ackerman, to the extent that you put your credibility on the line defending him and his "work"? How do you know what Ackerman is really about? And why should we believe it too?

Al Giordano said...

Dude. You're the astro-turfer, pretending to be one thing while not disclosing who funds you.

"Astro-turf" is a phrase for something that appears to be grassroots and indigenous, but has undisclosed, unnamed forces behind it. That fits you. Not us.

You write: "You must be getting more than $20,000 out of Ackerman. No way would a 'lefty, radical peacenik" sell his soul to someone with deep military and CIA ties for that little amount.'"

And yet it is documentable that I don't own a home or any property whatsoever, don't own a car, and make a poverty-line income. So on the one hand you claim that for $20,000 (which doesn't go to me but rather to scholarships for others) I'm somehow "astroturf" while on the other hand you admit that it's just too little money to buy me or anyone. See? Not. Too. Bright. You're arguing both sides of the question!

Then you launch into a query about my supposed drug habits. But, nooooo, that's not McCarthyism either, according to you. Yes it is. It is called Chemical McCarthyism. You've revealed your moral compass to be on the same slithering level as that of William Bennett, the old drug czar and others of that genre.

You can dish it out, but you can't take it. That's evident.

The only thing we agree on is that this conversation is pointless. Who can discuss anything with an anonymous coward who pretends he's Roy Cohn, prosecutor.

I have been writing about and promoting nonviolent civil resistance for thirty years. I have been arrested 27 times doing it. All that is public record, too. I would be making these arguments whether or not I had ever heard of ICNC. I've been fighting these battles three decades prior to even knowing they existed. And I've been in the faces of trolls like you long before that, too. Nothing about my own actions or words is different today than it has ever been. My bullshit detector is set to high and you're in the red zone.

Don't you see how funny it is to any observer that someone who refuses to disclose who he is and who funds him is acting all indignant and making false accusations about a small part of a well known nonprofit new organization's funding? Get over yourself.

(Yes, I know you won't, but it's been fun playing cat to your mouse, kiddo.)

socrates said...

I'm curious why Al isn't responding to the_last_name_left. I already explained that TLNL has a much better grasp on this topic.

Al wants to turn this into a boring pissing match between antagonists insinuating the other is some form of modern day cointelpro.

Al looks like an idiot calling me a paid astroturfer. He's arguing that I'm paid to post. I don't blame him for sticking to his guns in support of Duvall and Ackerman. It's the bed he made. I just wish he'd make a better effort at stating his case without resorting to sounding like a drugged-up, paranoid, conspiracy theorist.

When I said Al must be getting more than 20 grand from Ackerman, it's what is referred to as an opinion. I don't understand why anyone would bend over backwards running all over the net to obfuscate Ackerman's ties to military and CIA.

My wondering about Al perhaps having a drug problem is also an opinion. I'm merely curious why he is running interference for those fake peaceniks. I can't put my finger on it. That's all, nothing more nothing less.

If I could dish it out but not take it, I'd delete his posts, like he did at his blog to Mr. Sketchly.

It's my prerogative to stop interactly directly with this person.

On the drug theory, here goes. Like I said before, I think cocaine is evil. But I do remember trying to interact with a friend high on cocaine. It was pointless. The person seemed to be in their own autistic bubble. I'm very surprised to have found out firsthand that Giordano would take the time to make himself look like a raging nutjob throwing out wild accusations. What I have posted are conjectures and opinions without a hint of malice. Giordano, on the other hand, appears to be frothing and throwing out nasty comments in an attempt to make myself feel bad. In my limited attempts at figuring this out, I have seen him do the same thing elsewhere. People can check out those links and decide for themselves.

I do agree with Al's agreement with me that our dialogue has become fruitless. That's why I stopped many posts ago speaking to him directly. I think he is being a coward for not interactly directly with the_last_name_left.

I do appreciate Al making his posts. I'm just disappointed in his ability to debate the actual topic of fake peaceniks in high positions of power. He wants his participation here to remain in the realm of Al Giordano versus socrates. This is classic raising the noise to signal ratio. It would be fruitful if he could put down the bong (that's a joke, Al) and debate the_last_name_left on the specifics. Or maybe this is what Al Giordano is all about, being a coward. He keeps repeating the strawman about anonymous usernames. That's his lame-o excuse to avoid getting his ass kicked in real debate. He'd rather it all be you're an astroturfer, no you are, no you are, yadda, yadda, yadda.

socrates said...

Overthrow Inc.: Peter Ackerman’s quest to do what the CIA used to do, and make it seem progressive

socrates said...

Ackerman sure is lucky to have Al Giordano vouching for him. Who better than someone who has been "writing about and promoting nonviolent civil resistance for thirty years....[and] been arrested 27 times doing it?"

I guess it's easier for Al Giordano to attack anonymous critics as paid to post rather than try to discredit intellectuals such as Stephen Gowans.

It seems according to Al, anonymous usernames could never be providing factual content. Otherwise, they'd have a real name attached to their posts.

socrates said...

I found a propaganda piece put out by Stephen Zunes.

The Left Also Embraces the Cooties Effect

He downplays the connections between Duvall and Woolsey. He mentions the Arlington Institute. He astroturfs it as being just another think tank. He mentions nothing about their ties to the military and intelligence.

For some odd reason, he also neglects to mention Freedom House. Oh wait, he argues that Noam Chomsky has defended ICNC. I see no evidence of that. Perhaps it is true. But if he mentioned Freedom House, then folks might be able to find out that Noam has had harsh words for that organisation.

Zunes mentions Ackerman's wife being on a George Soros' affiliated board yet offers nothing on Freedom House. As I wrote above, Ackerman and Woolsey can be linked through Freedom House. But that doesn't help Zunes' thesis that Duvall and Woolsey cannot be closely linked. Ackerman and Duvall are tied to the hip through the ICNC.

I think what we appear to have here are a "radical peacenik" in Giordano and an "intellectual progressive" in Zunes spreading their wings all over the net running interference for kinder and gentler imperialism. Where's George Orwell when we need him?

Even though disturbing connections can be easily verified, they continue to march along astroturfing those with questions as being conspiracy theorists connecting dots out of thin air. Unfortunately for them, the reader decides.

the_last_name_left said...

Zunes makes a good case, to be fair.

However, I still don't buy it. As with Al G, I just don't see how Zunes can know what Ackerman, Duvall and Helvey are up to. Zunes and Al G might know their own motives are honest and appropriate, but how in hell can they know those of Ackerman, Duvall, Helvey and co?

And how can anyone else know the motives of Zunes, Ackerman, Duvall, Giordano etc??

Do Zunes and Giordano really believe this is all some conspiracy to attack them? Do they not recognise that all the unease over these myriad, repeated connections is an expression of genuine concern? Do they not recognise that something is amiss when so many disparate people are asking the same questions, and coming to the same sort of conclusions?

Zunes calls it guilt-by-spatial-proximity.

But come on! It's more than that! Even in a general sense, at the very least there's justified unease about how all this reflects the incestuous interchange of academic, political and financial elites through NGOs......then we have the well-heeled whom hob-nob with the power-elites lecturing the poor about staying non-violent. Easy to do from a leather chair in a boardroom, with multi-millionaires footing the bills and the State Department writing the cheques, I suppose.

But aren't we entitled to wonder what on earth it is these people are really working for?

Aren't we entitled to be suspicious - and scornful? It isn't as if we need to make things up to have cause for concern - plenty of us are having these concerns about all this malarkey. Silly to pretend it is just paranoia or some conspiracy.

I don't understand how people can rub shoulders with Zibigniew, Woolsey and the rest, and still feel their time is best served sending out pamphlets and making TV shows for us "poor folk" to stay peaceful......

Why don't they just bloody throttle these people when they get a chance? <-Joke. But you get the point? How do these people share so many boardrooms with power elites if they are so dedicated to destroying those same elites? Mightn't they not better spend their time talking to the elites they seem so close to rather than mass-mailing stirred-up poor folk?

The question remains unanswered - what the hell are supposed implacable opponents of american imperialism doing in the boardrooms of american imperialism? Likewise, what are american multi-multi-millionaires doing in a fight against american (capitalist) imperialism?

Let's not forget, Freedom House is committed to private property - any attack on private property is considered an attack on "liberty". It's "unfree". Well, no surprise Ackerman would think like that. And little surprise such views are in Ackerman's own material interest - and those of capital in general.


I don't see any.

the_last_name_left said...

And personally I don't really care how moral and worthy people like Zunes claim themselves to be. People can say anything they like. And philanthropists rarely if ever work against their own interests - consciously or otherwise. eg Bill Gates' offer of drugs for Africa - but only so long as they signup to intellectual property rights which just happen to suit the material interests of MS and US CORP INC fine. Philanthropy makes great headlines - but pardon my cynicism about it.

Do Zunes and Giordano not recognise the problems with NED, USAID, IRI et al? Do they not have a problem with the likes of Transparency International? Do they not know Freedom House uses TI in its annual report, on venezuela, for example? Do they not know Mercedes de Freitas works for TI and compiled a fictional report on Ven.state-oil company? Do they not know De Freitas supported the coup? That Gustavo Coronel was on the board of TI - that Coronel was a member of Fedecamaras, headed by Pedro Carmona - that Coronel is a rabid anti-chavista whom supported the coup?

In a way Zunes should be delighted at the suspicion and rejection of the ICNC model - founded in the terms it is. It's a rejection coming from BELOW.

That's a great success in many ways.

And after all - what is there to be mourned, as ICNC never did anything, right? It wasn't involved in Serbia, didn't have contact with any Venezuelans, never had significant influence in Georgia, Ukraine, Iran, what is the loss? What damage is done by rejecting this model and these personnel and their finance?

Al is welcome to the money Ackerman donates - it came from Ackerman's leveraged buyouts and junk-bond initiatives. Nice.

And Zunes is welcome to his lecture pulpit.

But WE don't have to believe in it.

Z: the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC), a strictly nonpartisan

Rubbish! What's "non-partisan" about it? It defends private property, private media, private capital. How can ANY such organisation be "non-partisan"? And if they are non-partisan, how come they seem so keen to avoid being seen as having supported anti-Chavistas, for example? Would they throw their weight and money behind helping neo-nazis if the request came in?


Rubbish - Ackerman bankrolls it out of his ...err....bankroll. The money came from Ackerman's work for a profit-making financier. I read Ackerman made $800,000,000. I don't regard that as "non-profit".

Zunes mentions John Bellamy Foster criticised him, ICNC, et al. JBF's the guy whose essay I posted - on Marx's ecology. I'm with Bellamy Foster! ;)

socrates said...

I've found a few links. Here's a John Bellamy Foster response to Zunes. Myself, a nobody, noticed how the Professor is missing the Woolsey connection to Ackerman and Freedom House. Foster wrote the very same thing. Great minds think alike. {<:)

Reply to Stephen Zunes on Imperialism and the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict

Here are some interesting links. It looking more and more like Al Giordano and Stephen Zunes are the lipstick on capitalist pigs.

The drama of Queen Al Giordano

Al, for those not in the know, was a professional hanger on, sort of a Pamela Des Barres for the activist set, a boy pal to Abbie Hoffman. That's supposed to make up for a lack of journalistic training. What's supposed to disguise mock outrage, we just don't know.

There's not enough concealer in Al's bag of tricks to hide the fact that he's long had a war-on for Hillary. Not only did he spend 2007 and 2008 lying and distorting Hillary's actions, he's done that forever. At his laughable Narco 'News,' he's long promoted the right-wing crackpot nonsense of Mena. He's a freak on a leash.

That's just an excerpt. Check it out for more. Al's starting to reek of being a political operative dressed up as an intrepid, peacenik journalist. That would explain his kissing up to Markos Moulitsas and Obama.

That blog also links to an Eva Golinger piece critical of the Obama Administration's actions concerning Honduras.

Obama's First Coup d'Etat: Honduran President has been Kidnapped: Updates 1-17

Giordano and Zunes are trying too hard, imho, to exude the lefty label. I'm smelling fakes.

Here's Ms. Golinger's blog. Oh my, she is so sweet! A lot of it is in English. Maybe we should take a field trip there someday. :) It's a small world. Unfortunately there are a lot of small minds in high positions of powers.

Al should co-write a book with Moulitsas titled Rules for Radicals on Crashing the Left Gate; On How to Co-Opt the Progressive Label and Promote Kinder and Gentler Capitalism.

Al Giordano said...

Not only do Narco News and I "recognize the problems with NED, USAID, IRI, et al." We have devoted more column inches to exposing their activities in Venezuela and elsewhere than all four of you put together, and for more years. And we will continue to do so. A simple search for those terms on Narco News' search engine would give you days of reading on those organizations from a harshly critical and oppositional standpoint.

Going all the way back to the year 2000, I was reporting about the conflicts of interest and corruption in Transparency International. Every word we've ever published on that org has been negative.

Just last year, our reporter Bill Conroy did an expose on Freedom House and Sen. John McCain's antics in the Kyrgyz Republic.

All of this is readily archived online.

And we will continue to investigate and expose those organizations.

The leap of illogic that "last name left" makes is to take the crimes of those organizations and, based on what Zunes' called guilt-by-spatial proximity apply them to ICNC simply because its funder *used to be* on the board of Freedom House. (My own research has confirmed that ICNC receives no funding from NED, USAID, Freedom House or Transparency International, or any government agency of any country).

If you did your research you would know that it has put more resources into a forum on strategic nonviolence for *Chavistas* at the World Social Forum in Caracas, Venezuela than its second-hand support of a workshop for eight people in Boston by another organization that ended up being eight marginalized and unimportant anti-Chavistas of no consequence in Venezuela. The entire (false) claim that ICNC has engaged in any efforts to destabilize Venezuela is based on that thin gruel: second-hand support for a workshop in the USA by a different organization.

You might also note that Venezuela's Minister of Information and Communications, Chavez cabinet member Blanca Eekhout, is a graduate and professor of the School of Authentic Journalism and has written a public letter this year supporting its work and agreeing to teach with us at the February 2010 session that you are trying to claim is somehow anti-Chavista. But I suppose Hugo Chavez's cabinet member is also, according to your twisted paranoid logic, in bed with "neo nazis" and "kinder and gentler imperialism" and such. That's how crazy you guys are behaving.

But, no, the Chavez administration is all wrong and you guys know better than it does what is best for it, and who it should be associated with or not.

Since you're all from the First World, I have to conclude that your condescension toward the free associations of Latin American social movements is itself a form of poisoned imperialist mindset. Simply put, you think you know better than the prominent Latin American anti-imperialists - from Secretary Eekhout, to Bolivian union leader Oscar Olivera to Afro-Honduran leader Celeo Alvarez to Mexican independent human rights fighter Mercedes Osuna and so many more, who have chosen to be professors and participate in the very school you guys are trying to smear.

But they're all wrong, and you're the only ones who "know" the "truth." What an arrogant bunch of gringos!

But, no, your game is to

the_last_name_left said...

Thanks for the response, Al. That seems to be the first time you've really responded with any substance. And it's welcome, to me, at any rate.

Al G: (My own research has confirmed that ICNC receives no funding from NED, USAID, Freedom House or Transparency International, or any government agency of any country).

Fine. But why did you even bother to research that?

Because it matters, right?

That's the point everyone else is making.

Direct financing is an obvious thing to check. But likewise, it's an obvious thing to try to obscure, if that was what one wanted.

Al G: Not only do Narco News and I "recognize the problems with NED, USAID, IRI, et al." We have devoted more column inches to exposing their activities in Venezuela and elsewhere than all four of you put together, and for more years.

More than a tad presumptuous, but perhaps true.

Regardless, you are accepting the foundation of the concerns people have that "democracy promotion" can be a front for US imperialism. Right?

Your dispute must be about the details, because it isn't about the principle concern. You acknowledge the principle concern yourself.

If that's so, I don't understand why you react as you do when people express such concern -- seeing as you acknowledge the foundation of peoples' concern is legitimate and which you more than share: you claim to exemplify.

Going all the way back to the year 2000, I was reporting about the conflicts of interest and corruption in Transparency International. Every word we've ever published on that org has been negative.

Right, but the thing is Freedom House *HAVE NOT* shared such a position - they *USE* TI as their "evidence".

Go and look at their yearbook report on Venezuela? I've read it - and I quoted Freedom House's use of TI above.

Peter Ackerman was chair of Freedom House until only Jan 2009.

Al G: Just last year, our reporter Bill Conroy did an expose on Freedom House and Sen. John McCain's antics in the Kyrgyz Republic.

That's when Peter Ackerman - the man giving you money - was chair of Freedom House?

And you're surprised and outraged that people express concern?

Come on, Al? I always thought you were one of "the good guys".......I don't want to see you taking money from Ackerman. I can only see it in the light it appears. You've just said yourself you've attacked TI and Freedom House and yet here you are taking money off of their former chair.

the_last_name_left said...

I'm a nobody, but if I was getting offered $ off of Ackerman I'd be concerned. I never would be offered $ by Ackerman - of course - but that's because I'm a nobody. You're getting money from Ackerman, in part, because you're somebody doing something - no-one would dispute that? But that brings you under suspicion - that's natural. You must understand that? That's why your response seems so..........odd.

You trumpet the fact you've attacked Transparency International and Freedom House, and yet you're shocked when people find it strange you're accepting finance from the former head of Freedom House.

You are saying you attacked TI and Freedom House. But here you are taking money from the former chair of Freedom House. Those of us whom find this of concern you duly attack as "nutters".

That doesn't look so good, Al.

The leap of illogic that "last name left" makes is to take the crimes of those organizations and, based on what Zunes' called guilt-by-spatial proximity apply them to ICNC simply because its funder *used to be* on the board of Freedom House.

If the chair of the board of Freedom House isn't responsible for Freedom House's activities then who is?

From what you say, you were attacking Freedom House through the exact period Ackerman was chair of it.

Now you're taking money from him.

You can't attack people whom find that strange - you have to explain yourself. That's obvious?

You attacked Ackerman's Freedom House - why can't we? And why are we "crazy" to do it now, but your already having done it ("for years") is so admirable?

Al G: Just last year, our reporter Bill Conroy did an expose on Freedom House and Sen. John McCain's antics in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Why do you connect Freedom House with John McCain, Al?

Why were both Freedom House and John McCain active in Kyrgyz, Al?

Why did you "do an expose" on BOTH, Al?

Ackerman was chair of Freedom House then........and Ackerman is bankrolling some foundation which pays you some $ now.

Our concerns are real.

Al Giordano said...

Your "concerns" don't really matter to me. It's clear to me that you want a level of purity from others that we can never know whether you apply it to yourself, because you hide behind an anonymous screen name.

From he who offers no accountability, no accountability is owed to him either.

Not every tendency on the left marches in lockstep with yours. And certainly not in Latin America where Narco News is a very trusted source and hundreds of great young journalists that walk along side its social movements want to receive the training we give through The School of Authentic Journalism.

There is a much greater consensus down here that *all* money under capitalism is capitalist, and *all* "gringo money" does not fit your standards of purity, but that it is a revolutionary duty to appropriate those resources for our movements.

You live a different reality. You have the luxury to be safely anonymous, to have access to undisclosed resources, and to live your life without as much repression or threat upon your life and limb.

The irony here is that the people who teach and learn and apply to our school live and work under much more threat, but they still have the gonads to use their first and last names. Among our professors at previous schools have been a coca grower named Evo Morales, a former guerrilla named Alvaro Garcia (Morales' vice president), Felipe Quispe (formerly in both categories), don Andres Vasquez, founder of Mexico's Indigenous National Congress, among others for whom *your* "concerns" mean nothing, are irrelevant, and reveal only the luxury and anonymity of the place from where you lodge them, a place very very very far from the lives of most social fighters down here South of the Border, where I've lived and labored alongside them for the past 13 years.

Their trust matters to me. Yours does not. Sorry, but I know who they are. I've been to their homes. They've been to mine. And there is a level of trust and compañerismo there that you perhaps will never understand. And if I can get US organizations to donate to something really good and healthy for the growth of authentic journalism that walks alongside these social movements, the movements, their leaders, and their members are very pleased about that. But they live a different reality than you, one that I fear you will never understand.

Al Giordano said...

Regarding your final point: I notice that it doesn't occur to you to ask yourself (or anyone else) why Ackerman left Freedom House.

The answer is because he failed to persuade the board to not be so dependent and thus linked to US government money.

See, in your world, there are "good guys" vs. "bad guys" (cops vs. robbers, cowboys vs. Indians, Americans vs. Soviets, straights vs gays, it's all the same matrix with different words: "us vs. them").

In your view of reality everyone is one-dimensional unless he goes through some kind of religious conversion or exorcism or baptism.

Building coalitions is impossible in your world.

Finding common ground with people you disagree with on some things in order to promote shared ideas and goals is anathema to you.

I "get" that.

You don't "get" any other kind of worldview, though. Part of that, I suppose, comes from blogging in your underwear from an anonymous (probably unkempt) bedroom or office cubicle. You should get out more, meet some new people, and don't make assumptions about them so quickly. The world is filled with nuance.

And the one thing after 60 comments by four of you here that none of you have been able to show is that Narco News or its School have changed what we do one iota based on a modest contribution. Your level of ignorance about what we do suggests you don't even read it. So why do you care, except to appoint yourself as "cops" against us "robbers"?

In other words, I've appropriated space on this blog to forward my messages. That doesn't mean I agree with everything it does. Lord knows I don't. But someone like you, years from now, may go and accuse me of being "linked" to you because I posted on your blog. That's how insane crazy such McCarthyist tactics are.

Eric S said...

I for one do not trust Mr. Giordano, and for two very simple reasons: I found much BS in his coverage of Zelayas apropos his recent anti-semitic ravings, but more to the point, Giordano will not post comments that disagree with him if they are in the least convincing - not on his Narco "News" site.

I attempted exactly that on the subject I mention above; my comments were thoughtful, excruciatingly logical, carefully referenced, journalistic in tone, and I used my full name.

He's just another chickenshit with a platform, and who knows what else.

socrates said...

Thanks for the post, Eric S. I am assuming you're the same dude from MyLeftWing.

Yes, I pointed out earlier how Giordano appears to be censoring commentary at his blog. It does appear that he is doing it for the reason you theorise, that people are debating too well. That makes Giordano the ultimate coward and cheater.

Unless he deletes his posts here, it is fairly clear that he is a bully sophist. We should keep track of how often he uses a form of the word McCarthy.

What's this anti-semitism you speak of? If you have any links, you can use html code. You may or may not be aware of it, but myself and the_last_name_left have both done work attempting to expose anti-semitism awkwardly showing up in the progressive part of the blogosphere. There is a phrase called right woos left. A guy named Chip Berlet coined it, but I think it's a nifty phrase that goes well beyond his own work.

And it kind of fits in perfectly with the notion that Ackerman and Duvall are not what they seem, and neither is the Obama Administration when it comes to foreign policy.

I have no proof, but in my gut I am starting to think Al Giordano is a political operative or worse. Maybe he was recruited many years ago, when he was hanging out with Abbie Hoffman. Yeah, I can sound like a conspiracy theorist at times. It's just his image isn't adding up with his actions. When Obama messed up with bailing out Wall Street rather than we the people, Al was sticking up for Obama. He's also a big fan of Markos Moulitsas, which doesn't add up.

If you're the same Eric S., you might want to check out the_last_blog_left.blogspot. I've also done some cybersleuthing on Rivero, and there's this person called Tinoire who smells like an anti-semitic rat also.

You know, if Al's gonna spin me as being a McCarthyite, I might as well say whatever I want to at this point. Maybe Al Giordano can explain his close relationship to conspiracy theorist Michael Ruppert. Ruppert used to pimp for a disinfo fraud named Delmart Vreeland. Vreeland's attorney was apparently a close friend of Jeff Wells who runs a disinformation website called Rigorous Intuition. Jeff is close to Tinoire. Tinoire admitted at a Ronald Reagan forum that she used to work for military intelligence. She said she used to spy on the Russians.

I smell a lot of disinfo on the internet, and Al Giordano seems to fit the bill for being part of it. A radical peacenik would not be astroturfing for Markos Moulitsas and Obama. That doesn't add up. It never will.

socrates said...

Yikes Eric. I just googled and see there is that hornet's nest. I'm confused over how to find the best sources and get to the bottom of Zelaya alleged to be an anti-semite. Did he really make those odd comments about being electronically tortured by Mossad or whomever?

On the one hand, there was definitely a coup to get rid of him, and that was very wrong. On the other, that doesn't mean Zelaya is a good person. I am getting big time confused here. Maybe you can share your take on things. I'm also curious on what you said that was censored by Al and any theories you may have on why he would do that. I would like to believe that most of us are into the truth no matter what it is.

the_last_name_left said...

From a few posts back:

Al G: I have exercised my right to respond to a direct and falsehood laden attack on me, by name.

TLNL: What are these falsehoods?

Please - be explicit?



The rest of Al's response is just more calls on his supposed credibility and a lot of what I consider to be presumptuous ad hominem.

Al G: You should get out more, meet some new people, and don't make assumptions about them so quickly.

That's funny. You've just written a post full of your assumptions about me. And yet you know nothing about me......

For example:

Al G: "*your* "concerns" mean nothing, are irrelevant, and reveal only the luxury and anonymity of the place from where you lodge them"

My luxury? Like Ackerman's, you mean? Ha!

Funny that I am tainted by "luxury" but the billionaire Ackerman isn't.

Anyway, ignoring all the ad hominem - WHAT ARE THE FALSEHOODS YOU MENTIONED AL?

You *still* haven't mentioned a single thing which you consider to be a falsehood.

In fact, what you've said has only served to confirm what was alleged - that you receive money from Ackerman - that Ackerman was Chair of Freedom House - and that Freedom House is so deserving of criticism you have attacked it yourself - even whilst Ackerman was its Chair.

You don't dispute any of that, right?

What you do dispute is that anyone should find it strange you take money from someone whom was chair of an organisation you yourself criticised.

What was the substance of your attack on Ackerman's Freedom House?

Here's one example, perhaps, where your reporter Bill Conroy quotes Justin Raimondo of

"There was another change in Akayev’s policy that took place around the same time as the AWACS controversy, however, one that particularly angered the politically powerful gang over at “Freedom House” [remember that name], which is close to McCain and the neoconservatives.

“Freedom House,” ..... supports the terrorist Chechen movement – and any movement that opposes Vladimir Putin and Russia

That's at your own website, Al, in Aug 2008 - when Ackerman was Chair of Freedom House.

And you wonder at people being concerned over your relationship with Ackerman?!

the_last_name_left said...

Your own reporter then calls the Tulip Revolution a “revolution.” We all understand what those quotation marks mean there. And yet you're surprised that your own "progressiveness" is questioned because of your own contacts with and financing by Ackerman - whom was Chair of Freedom House when your own website published your own reporter referring to Freedom House's involvement in this so-called "revloution".

Your own reporter on your own website writes that

"...if the goal of the Tulip Revolution was to oust a dictator in favor of an open democracy, it certainly didn’t seem to pan out. But one thing the new leadership did bring to the table, Raimondo points out, was support of the Iraq war and of the U.S. military base in Kryzygstan."

Errr.......what were you saying about Ackerman and Freedom House, Al?

Your own reporter makes the point clearly enough:

If Raimondo is correct, and Akayev was driven from power with the backing of U.S. groups such as Freedom House, with the blessing of U.S. politicians like McCain, then it would appear the motive for that effort went beyond simply promoting democracy – given Akayev was ultimately replaced via a flawed election by leaders with equally oppressive tendencies.

And it led to support for Iraq war and the continuing presence of an American airbase - *according to your own reporter*.

Maybe you should actually read your own website Al? Your reporter continues:

On page 19 of a financial disclosure report filed with the U.S. Office of Government Ethics on May 15, buried in the small print under the category heading “Positions Held Outside U.S. Government,” McCain discloses that he serves as “Chairman of the Supervisory Committee for the Media Support Center Foundation (MSCF), Kyrgyz Republic – “a nonprofit printing press.” According to that report, McCain served in that position from April 2003 until the “present.”

MSCF printing press
The MSCF was established by the nonprofit Freedom House, a U.S.-based group that claims to be dedicated to expanding “political and economic freedom.”

Author and MIT professor emeritus Noam Chomsky has a slightly different take on the group, however, describing it in his book “Manufacturing Consent” as having “interlocks” with “U.S. government bodies such as Radio Free Europe and the CIA, and has long served as a virtual propaganda arm of the (U.S) government and international right wing.” (Former CIA director R. James Woosley served as the chairman of Freedom House from 2003 to 2005.)

Crikey, AL. Your own reporter was blathering the same "kooky conspiracy nonesense" and "spatially based guilt" as we are........

But we're kooks.......and your journos are exemplary. How odd.

the_last_name_left said...

Narco News wrote:

McCain and his advocates, of course, will seek to distance the Senator from that Akayev connection — and to dismiss any messenger who seeks to connect the dots.

But it's worth pointing out that as chair of the "supreme governing body" of the Media Support Center Foundation (MSCF) in Kyrgyzstan, McCain oversaw a nonprofit organized under Kyrgyzstan law that was sponsored (and funded, in part) by the Washington, D.C.-based Freedom House.

The MSCF's primary mission is to print propaganda, a useful tool in any effort to affect the course of government in a nation. The fact that MSCF's board initially included members of Akayev's government at the time of his reign only makes sense, since the printing press was a Kyrgyzstan entity. It's all part of that big game — guessing who's on whose side.

But McCain's links to Freedom House really can't be questioned, since he himself admits he served as chair of the MSCF, a Freedom House creation. And one of his top policy advisors, Scheunemann, did lobbying work for a Bush/Cheney insider (Payne), the very person who offered to set up the quid-pro-quo deal for Akayev.

And to drive home McCain's links to Freedom House further, it should be noted that his deputy director of communications is Michael Goldfarb, a former Weekly Standard (spelled neocon) blogger who worked for Freedom House from 2000-2005.

Funny. It's "guilt by association" and "paranoid raving" when we say it ---- but it's fearless investigative reporting when Al's own reporters do it.

the_last_name_left said...

Interestingly NArco News also report that

To further illustrate the interconnections between Freedom House and McCain, it should be noted that Freedom House provides funding to the International Republican Institute (IRI) — some $400,000-plus in fiscal 2005 alone — the most recent figure available via Freedom House's Form 990 filing with the IRS.

McCain has served as chairman of the IRI board of directors since 1993. In addition, his top foreign policy advisor, Scheunemann, serves on the IRI board along with McCain.

Freedom House's most recently available 990 filing shows that the nonprofit's revenue for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2006, exceeded $24 million — $21 million of which came from "government contributions."

So Freedom House was funding IRI.......whilst Ackerman was Chair of Freedom House?????.......whilst IRI was engaged in (amongst other things) the subversion of Venezuela's democratically elected, popular government??????

IRI, let's not forget, has ties right the way up to Carmona and the coup.

Was Ackerman at Freedom House when it was funding IRI to help plot and carry out the 02 coup and subsequently?

Ah - but of course Freedom House wasn't funding IRI to overthrow a democratic (leftwing) government in venezuela --- it was working to "promote democracy".

At least that's what Bush's State Department said.........and what McCain + IRI would say........and what Freedom House would say.

But is it what Al G would say?

Al Giordano said...

Freedom House is what can safely be called part of a permanent system. It has board members who come and go, some with ill intention, others who try to change the system from within, which my research indicates was what Ackerman tried - in the end, unsuccessfully - to do, and so he resigned.

I don't think someone who tried to make Freedom House independent from imperialist policies can fairly be blamed for actions he sought to change.

In your cartoon-character one-dimensional view of individuals, you guys forget the human quotient. Your pitch would be akin to saying "Daniel Ellsberg, because he was in the past a Pentagon analyst, has to be shunned and demonized forever more."

As for claims made by "Eric S" about Narco News' comments policy, there are 474 co-publishers on Narco News - journalists who have written for us and readers who have donated labor or resources - who post comments daily without moderation. Each has confirmed his and her identity. It is a troll-free zone.

All other comments submissions are moderated, with very clear guidelines informing on what kinds of submissions get accepted. If you're not a copublisher, your comment submissions are a kind of audition: it really depends on the coherence, on-topic-ness and other disclosed factors as to whether a comment gets approved. More than 90 percent do get published. I don't know what comment "Eric S" is referring to (we get thousands a year) that didn't make the cut but his own self-description of his comments as "convincing" sound quite self-aggrandizing. He doesn't even say what argument he made that didn't make the cut. I bet if he did, it would become evident to all what happened. Again, I have no memory of it. We get many thousand comment submissions.

Continued, below...

Al Giordano said...


But back to the anonymous "last name left" and his speculations trying to blame a 2008-2009 board member at Freedom House for the 2002 actions of the IRI. His witch hunt has no legs, and no research, investigation or data behind it.

From previous comments, I can see he refers to our report as one that "attacked Freedom House." There is a fundamental disconnect in his understanding of what our work is, which is journalism. We don't go around deciding who to "attack" or not. We publish reported stories, based on information and documents we uncover.

Bill Conroy, the reporter that authored that 2008 story about McCain and Freedom House, is also a professor at the upcoming School of Authentic Journalism. It was Bill - who as part of his reporting keeps track of Internet mentions of certain topics - that first called my attention to this blog post here. The word he used to describe it was "smear." He's an excellent reporter and his bullshit detector is set on high. And he's not at all convinced by your ravings. To the contrary, he thinks you're full of crap.

Still, I really must thank you guys. You have demonstrated convincingly that there is "no there, there" with your insinuations. You have added no original reporting to the topic and provided no news. You have posted homophobic statements about me as "drama queen" and characterized my relationship with my late mentor and friend Abbie Hoffman as sexual in homophobic terms. You have quoted pro-Hillary Clinton bloggers that complain that my coverage of her is critical. You have made sexist comments about a woman analyst. You have tried to portray me as a "political operative" who was "recruited." That last point is as libelous, by the way, as it is false. I've been asked to reiterate what I think is the falsehood you guys are pushing. Well, that's it: the inference - and in the case of the blog host, accusation - that I'm some kind of agent for anyone but myself. It is a blood libel and only your anonymity provides you the coward's refuge to infer it. Even you know it is false. Your anonymity is proof of that.

And, yes, my characterization of you as modern-day practitioners of a kind of McCarthyism stings. It stings because it's true. It sticks to you only to the extent you keep behaving that way. That's entirely up to you. But when you make false inferences about Narco News, the School of Authentic Journalism or I, be prepared for push back. Our transparency, honesty and the fact we have nothing to hide is our best shield.

Eric S said...

I'm the same Eric S. Honestly, I have only been lurking of late, too busy for much in the way of real blog participation.

Still, my lurking has you and donk fairly well covered, so I am familiar with your take on what you call 'right woos left." It is hardly much different from what I have characterized often enough as the bending over backwards of both extremist ideologies until they meet at the absolute obverse of reasoned compromise and middle ground.

As for Zelaya, I won't argue about his being thrown out of office, except to say he had almost all the rest of the Honduran establishment, including his own party against him, as I read it (and I am not too close to this topic I'll admit) for attempting to extend his own term of office unconstitutionally, among whatever else.

My interest substantially begins - and I'm doing this from memory - in the discussion of Zelaya's uncontested, statements accusing Israeli agents as the principals in his removal. No one has found any information to actually support this paranoid and frankly anti-semitic outburst.

What Giordano did in his all-out defense of Zelaya, besides printing his worthless apology letter, was greasily move the discussion away from Zelaya's actual anti-Israeli ravings, and attempt to cast as deliberate fabrications certain specific comments quoted in a Miami paper, which extended his tale of Jewish perfidy into a tantrum about chemical and psychoacoustic torture, supposedly an attempt at painting Z a certifiable nut case. His confirmed statements were nutty enough, and hateful enough for me.

Anyway, besides controlling the debate with a censorious hand, Giordano 'proves' his non-point and classic straw man with secret interview transcripts in his possession, which he is unwilling to offer up for the discussion.

All in all, enough for me to clearly discern a sleazeball with an agenda.

the_last_name_left said...

Cato Institute 1997-2003
Cato Institute 1997 Director 1998 Director
Cato Institute 1999 Director
Cato Institute 2000 Director
Cato Institute 2001 Director
Cato Institute 2002 Director
Cato Institute 2003 Director
Freedom House 2000-2007
Freedom House 2000 Director
Freedom House 2001 Director
Freedom House 2002 Director
Freedom House 2003 Director
Freedom House 2004 Chairman
Freedom House 2006 Chairman
Freedom House 2007 Chairman

There you go. Ackerman was Chair of FH from 2005 - Jan 09.

He followed Woolsey as Chair, and had been a Director since 2000.

ie during the time of the Venezuelan coup, the lockout, and everything else.

Here's Ackerman speaking about Venezuela, whilst he was Chair of FH:

Ackerman: Countries – including Russia, Venezuela, Iran, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe, among others
– are engaged in an increasingly coordinated campaign. They do this in a variety of ways.
They exploit the shortcomings of new democracies (and enduring inequities in the old
democracies) to discredit the very idea of democracy itself in campaigns on regime controlled
media outlets.

Oh right! Venezuela is trying to "discredit the very idea of democracy itself"!

A quite astonishing claim, imo.

In 1994, according to Freedom House, Venezuela had "a free press".

By 1999 this had been reduced to "partly free".

By 2004 this had further deteriorated, apparently, to "not free".

Chavez was elected in 98, of course.

Here's Freedom House on Venezuela today:

Venezuela is not an electoral democracy.

Oh. News to me.

the_last_name_left said...

Of course, in the years preceding Ackerman's Directorships at Freedom House there was simply no telling Freedom House would become such a bi-partisan organisation serving American interests........we can't blame Ackerman for having thought Freedom House was something better than that.

Sure........not even when he served under Woolsey for 5 years and succeeded him as Chair in 2005........

nor when he shared the board with , Ken "cakewalk" Adelman, Brzezinski, Jeanne Kirkpatrick, William "Weekly Standard" Kristol and John Negroponte's wife.........nor when FH argued against America joining up to the ICC.......nor when it continually ignored Guantanamo....etc

And how was Ackerman to know he shared the FH board with PNAC founders and signatories, inlcuding Woolsey, whom

among other things, was one of the original founding members of the Project for the New American Century, the neocon vanguard which, in 1997, called for: a massive rearming of America to ensure that it had full spectrum dominance; aggressive use of American power, including military, to implement and secure American global domination; and the invasion, occupation, and democratization of Iraq.

Poor Ackerman? Smeared through "guilt by association"?

How was he to know?

Why was Ackerman offered a directorship at FH? Why did he accept?

Why was Ackerman then offered the Chairmanship? Why did he accept?

It beggars belief to imagine Ackerman's positions over 10 years at Freedom House were due to his implacable opposition to American imperialism. Likewise with his term at the Cato Institute.

What a joke.

the_last_name_left said...

.....the real solution must be to work to eradicate capitalism and propose truly democratic alternatives. Until then, the democracy-manipulating establishment will continue to operate behind the scenes until progressive activitists stop legitimizing their work. Whether people support the work of elite manipulators, consciously or not, the result is the same. Therefore what is needed is a concerted effort by all progressive activists to break their own ties with elitist democracy-manipulators (especially liberal foundations), and then for them to work to create alternative lifestyles and groups that are not dependent (strings attached or not) in any way or form on elite bankrollers. A democratic future that actively attempts to minimize elite manipulation will not be funded by elites. Elites are the threat, the public are the solution.

socrates said...

I learned early on that Giordano doesn't interact fairly. He's that relative at the get-togethers who you hope doesn't keep going to the punch bowl. He's been illogical this whole thread. If someone had never heard of him, he or she might think he is an associate of Bill O'Reilly and not a lefty peacenik.

He doesn't play fair. I think the_last_name_left is holding up pretty well against his 95% sophistry. Al's job is to put lipstick on a pig. He's forced to sound like a buffoon and evoke authority. The facts aren't on his side. I've found something interesting on Al and will get to it in a moment.

Eric, that's cool, thanks for your post. You might want to check out my new one at PFFCamp. In my humble opinion, I believe donkeytale is a political operative. I think he used to write as Petey at Daily Kos. I came late to this blogging game, and especially to soap blox culture. I am like that with tv too. I am just recently getting around to watching The Office.

I don't mind if someone has different views than me. I just don't like it if they are playing games. At a minimum, donkeytale does that. For those few lurkers like yourself who may or may not be into the "meta," that should be a good read for you guys.

I wouldn't mind Al, if he didn't try to portray himself as Mr. left wing revolutionary. He isn't. He's a poser. Calling us gringos. Saying I am homophobic. He's playing mind games. That's why I asked him whether he is under the influence of any drugs. He wants people to fear speaking truth to his internet presence. Al's a fake lefty who very well may have been a political operative all these years. I don't believe his cries of poverty. I don't believe too much coming out of Al Giordano's mouth.

Political operatives are all over Daily Kos. That's not conspiracy theory or conjecture. Al Giordano was there playing that same game years ago.


socrates said...

Al doesn't seem to have gotten the memo from Astroturf Central that the fake food fight between obamabots and shrillaries is over. Al's here merely to throw up sand in the umpire's face. The umpire represents the objective readers. Is Al gay? I don't care if he is or not. It's as if he is egging me on to call him that. He makes bizarre posts. It's as if he doesn't read our own closely before responding.

Al Giordano at DKos

It's all in there how he thought it might be a good idea for John Kerry to select John McCain as his running mate. Now if Bill O'Reilly or Chris Matthews or any other blowhard wanted to talk smack like that, fine. But don't represent yourself as a radical lefty peacenik and come up with that kind of shite.

Even worse than that, if possible, was his behaviour on this thread. He exhibited the same crap reading skills he has here. He totally missed the points. He belts out sophistry which has scant relationship to reality. He called people out for being Karl Rove operatives. He stuck up for dirty politics and the conservative John Kerry over Howard Dean.

Such people along with Kos think we were born yesterday. Where there's smoke, there's fire is the truth when it comes to Al Giordano. Do I think that Al is gay? I kind of do. He must be psychic to have realised that. I'm not gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I'm also not a political operative. There is something wrong with those. Al is either an operative of some sort or a useful idiot. He makes it easy to be leftier-than-thou. I never would have supported John Kerry selecting Howard Dean. I also wouldn't be kissing Peter Ackerman's ass, while portraying myself as a radical Hunter Thompson.

I'm a poor, socialist peacenik who can see through the likes of Giordano. He can check out a real lefty post put up by this nobody as No More Kos Hate.

Al Giordano is a waste of time. That's what I've learned from all this. He's a wolf in sheep clothes guarding the hen house.

the_last_name_left said...

Al G : I've been asked to reiterate what I think is the falsehood you guys are pushing. Well, that's it: the inference ..... that I'm some kind of agent for anyone but myself.

So, the only "falsehoods" are the "inferences"? LOL

So far as I care, the facts speak for themselves. What the inferences of the facts are? ho hum. Each of us will have to make our own mind up about that.

FACT - you take money from Peter Ackerman.

FACT - Ackerman was Director and Chair of Freedom House for 10 years - right through the period of American subversion which used NGOs tied to IRI, NED, USAID to undermine Venezuela's democratic government. This period includes a coup, in case you'd forgotten, which abolished the National Assembly, terminated the Constitution and instilled an unelected, proto-fascist government far more amenable to American and international capital than Chavez's. That follows the exact trajectory as the general allegations against Ackerman and Freedom House predict.

FACT - whilst you portray yourself as a supporter of progressive politics and democracy, and a defender of Chavez's democratic project you are taking money from someone whom has been clearly tied to forces intent on the destruction of the same.

Freedom House, through the period Ackerman was there, and before and since, has a case to answer in regard to Venezuela, along with everywhere else it has operated.

And YOU, Al Giordano, are taking money from its former chair and director 2000-2009......a man very closely connected to political and financial elites throughout his entire life.

You're entitled to take money from Ackerman, Al, of course - but it's amazing you get upset when other people express the same concerns about you and Ackerman as your own reporters express about Ackerman, Freedom House and others.

the_last_name_left said...

Taking money from Ackerman discredits you. It's really that simple.

Your anger that your relationship with Ackerman discredits you in the eyes of others does nothing to allay concern.

Neither do your attempts at whitewashing Ackerman do anything except increase suspicion.

You can get angry about it, but so what? It doesn't change the FACTS - which you don't dispute.

Al G: I don't think someone who tried to make Freedom House independent from imperialist policies can fairly be blamed for actions he sought to change.


The king is dead - long live the king!

I don't know upon what you are basing this assertion. But the facts of the matter are clear - Ackerman worked for Freedom House for 10 years - initially as a Director, then as its Chair.

Look at the people he worked alongside - look at their activities and those of Freedom House. Believe what you like, Al.

Your pitch would be akin to saying "Daniel Ellsberg, because he was in the past a Pentagon analyst, has to be shunned and demonized forever more."


Would you like to explain what Ackerman has done that remotely compares to what Ellsberg has?

Al G: But back to the anonymous "last name left" and his speculations trying to blame a 2008-2009 board member at Freedom House for the 2002 actions of the IRI.

HAHAHA - how disingenuous. And WRONG.

Ackerman was a Director of Freedom House from 2000-2005. He was Chair from 2005 until Jan 2009.


it should be noted that Freedom House provides funding to the International Republican Institute (IRI) — some $400,000-plus in fiscal 2005 alone


Jared Israel writes:

There is even a public statement issued by the IRI, a US agency that specializes in setting up Fifth Column groups in foreign countries, boasting that it was a key force behind the coup.

One wonders why you felt the need to lie. You falsely and brazenly lie that Ackerman was a Director of Freedom House ONLY in 08-09. Such disingenuous does you no good Al.

Do you think the $400,000-plus which YOUR OWN REPORTER says Ackerman's Freedom House gave to IRI was supposed to be used to "reform Freedom House"?

Don't be ridiculous?

We have *your own reporter* stating that Ackerman's Freedom House was giving a cool 1/2 million dollars to IRI in 04-05. That's just two years after IRI had bragged about being a key force behind the April coup in Venezuela.

Does that look anything like "trying to reform" Freedom House? Or does it look like more of the same - or even a reward and encouragement for MORE OF THE SAME?

What a joke.

the_last_name_left said...

WASHINGTON, April 12 /PRNewswire/ --

George A. Folsom, President of the
International Republican Institute (IRI) praised the Venezuelan people in
their efforts to bring democracy to the country. The following is a statement
from President Folsom concerning last night's events.

"Last night, led by every sector of civil society, the Venezuelan people
rose up to defend democracy in their country. Venezuelans were provoked into
action as a result of systematic repression by the Government of Hugo Chavez.
Several hundred thousand people filled the streets of Caracas to demand the
resignation of Lt. Col. Hugo Chavez. Chavez responded with sharpshooters and
his para-military Bolivarian circles killing more than 12 civilians and
wounding more than 100 others. In contrast, IRI commends the patriotism of
the Venezuelan military for their refusal to fire on their countrymen.

"IRI also applauds the bravery of civil society leaders...who have put their very lives on the line in their struggle to restore genuine democracy to their country. IRI will remain engaged for the long term with political parties and our civil society partners to help rebuild Venezuela's fractured political system and restore elected democracy to the country.

"*The Institute has served as a bridge between the nation's political parties and all civil society groups to help Venezuelans forge a new democratic future*, based on accountability, rule of law and sound democratic institutions. We stand ready to continue our partnership with the courageous Venezuelan people."


To further illustrate the interconnections between Freedom House and McCain, it should be noted that Freedom House provides funding to the International Republican Institute (IRI) — some $400,000-plus in fiscal 2005 alone — the most recent figure available via Freedom House's Form 990 filing with the IRS.

socrates said...

Maybe NarcoNews should run a series on how Al Giordano promoted Freedom House's buddy John McCain.

Al Giordano said...

Anonymous "Socrates" says I'm a gay, cocaine sniffing anti-Semite. One, twice, three times a moron, I guess....

"Last name left" actually does some minimal research, finds that Peter Ackerman was on the board of Freedom House for ten years (prior to his resignation over differences of opinion with its board). But that doesn't change anything.

Our first two Schools of Authentic Journalism were largely funded by the Drug Policy Alliance, an organization whose biggest funder is George Soros. Did that change anything about our reporting? No, it didn't. "Last name left" was in fact invited into this blog by its anonymous author because he had said he liked Narco News' work but was now upset that Narco News admits aloud and openly that it received a donation from ICNC.

If Ackerman was ten years at Freedom House then I congratulate him even more for having the open mind of an organization he funds donating to the School of Authentic Journalism.

Schools, of course, ideally have many points of view aired and discussed. That's how we've always done it.

As for portrayals of me as "angry" I don't really think that is the case. Otherwise I wouldn't have responded at all. You guys are just cognitively challenged and whacked.

So much so that now the Cato Institute is portrayed as demonized - an organization that I disagree with on a lot of things, but can also commend for its staunch opposition to the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan and the war on drugs. We do have common ground on those important matters. Frankly, if Cato wanted to donate to the School as well (I don't think it would because of Narco News' anti-capitalist reporting, but if...) I would welcome that, too, as long as no conditions were placed on our reporting, which is the enlightened position of ICNC in its modest contribution.

It seems to me, "last name left" you're the one who is angry, and acting out that way. I've been entertaining myself by responding to you, without anger and with plenty of humor (although some of it at your expense). Which I think is evident. You're the one making demands on others and flailing around, putting yourself in league with bottom feeding anonymous McCarthyists of the faux left. I'm putting together a great School, and keep publishing a great newspaper, that over the course of this exchange has now published 30 original reports. You've clearly failed to derail us one iota. No wonder you're upset!

socrates said...

I didn't call Al a gay, cocaine sniffing anti-semite. I linked to a website calling him a drama queen. Al clearly gets a kick out of twisting things around out of context. I did ask him if he was a drug user. A simple yes or no would have sufficed. As to the anti-semite allegation, I'm not sure where he got that. Hence, I do wonder if he is on drugs. His responses don't correspond to what has been posted.

Al likes to refer to the few of us here as faux lefties. Maybe he can explain how pimping for John McCain makes him a real one. Al likes John McCain. I like Bob Marley. Yet, I'm the fake lefty. Go figure.

the_last_name_left said...

Indeed. Ackerman's Freedom House contributions to McCain's IRI are noted by Narco News - they consider it worthy of comment. But Ackerman's contributions to Narco News however are off-limits for critical comment by the rest of us, apparently.

Such contributions are above suspicion - because it's Al Giordano in receipt.....

I think it's sad......I used to respect Al Giordano and Narco News.

And it isn't just the money from Ackerman. It's the way Giordano responds to legitimate concerns: he tries to make out that any concern over Ackerman is "paranoia". Expressing unease and suspicion about such financing is to reveal one's self as "McCarthyite", apparently. Any criticism and Al G becomes personal, vitriolic, insulting and dismissive - to his readers! He criticises my anonymity and yet engages in personal attacks upon me. But clearly, if I'm so anonymous, how can he know anything about me on which to base his personal attack? I'm either anonymous, in which case his personal attacks are entirely of his own imagination.....or his personal attacks are based on what he knows of me, in which case his criticism of my anonymity makes no sense. Hmm.

Al even stooped to a bare-faced lie - pretending Ackerman was Director in 2008/9 only and thereby impossible to implicate as complicit in Freedom House's funding of IRI (which his own reporter acknowledges).

How desperate a misrepresentation is that?

And whilst he claims his criticisms of the posters here "sting because they're accurate", the fact is it is Al G whom showed up here, soon after the initial article was posted, and started accusing the writer of "paranoid raving" and "holier-than-thou leftism".

We needn't be holier than thou, Al, for our criticism to be trenchant.

But in so far as taking money from class enemies goes - I most certainly *am* holier than thou, Al. I would *never* get involved with Ackerman and his myriad organs. I'd be ashamed to find out I ever had, however inadvertently. I certainly wouldn't be defending it.

And in your case, Al G, it certainly isn't inadvertent - you apparently have full knowledge and awareness of Ackerman and his past. Indeed, you seem to believe you know more about Ackerman than anyone - apart from maybe Zunes - as you both seem to believe you have access to Ackerman's innermost motivations and intent. And you also both seemingly believe Ackerman's intentions are nothing but "good": you even put your own credibility on the line by so determinedly defending him. I find that very odd. I think everyone does. Except Zunes, of course. But then, both Zunes and Giordano benefit from Ackerman's largesse, so what else to expect? But Al doesn't care what we think.......? No - that's why he spends so much effort defending Ackerman......

I do find both Zunes and Giordano's defence of Ackerman and ICNC strange. And remarkably similar in both style and (lack of) content.

It's a defence grounded mainly in an appeal to authority, and rests on Zune and Giordano's claim to "credibility". The thing is, they no longer have any. Once Zunes and Al G have expended their credibility by defending Ackerman, they'll be of no use to Ackerman.

Al G: If Ackerman was ten years at Freedom House then I congratulate him even more for having the open mind of an organization he funds donating to the School of Authentic Journalism.

No questions asked......?

You might be happy with that situation, Al (it does materially benefit you, so I'm not surprised) but no-one else need accept such a position. We're entitled to criticise it. Right?

the_last_name_left said...

Al G: now the Cato Institute is portrayed as demonized're not really surprised?

The point is, Ackerman served at the Cato Institute. It adds to the picture of Ackerman, his politics, his ideology, his connections and affiliations.

Al goes on to make a very interesting point:

Al G: , if Cato wanted to donate to the School as well (I don't think it would because of Narco News' anti-capitalist reporting, but if...) I would welcome that

Ah. So, an acknowledgement that funding tends to follow ideological lines. This is the point people have made about Ackerman's support of Narco News, though Al dismisses it. And Al sees nothing anomalous in a former CATO Institute member funding him. One wonders what Ackerman was doing at CATO - and why they wanted him, seeing as he's apparently so implacably anti-imperialist etc.

As for Al's bringing up CATO institute's "staunch opposition to the Iraq war"......that was in 03, after Ackerman had left. Regardless, here's Freedom House's announcement about the war crime more commonly referred to as the Iraq War.....(made whilst Ackerman was a Director of FH - he is a signatory to the announcement):

Freedom House Statement on Iraq War
New York
March 20, 2003

In response to the outbreak of hostilities in Iraq, Freedom House today issued the following statement, signed by the trustees listed below.
In the last sixty years, whenever U.S. troops are in harm's way, Freedom House has been consistent in voicing its appreciation of their valor and sacrifice. We fervently hope that the war effort American forces are now engaged in goes well and that Saddam Hussein's tyranny falls with minimal loss of life.

We have great confidence in the professionalism of U.S. troops and the commitment of the U.S. military to respect basic human rights.

Not exactly "staunch opposition", is it?

Al G: If Ackerman was ten years at Freedom House then I congratulate him even more for having the open mind of an organization he funds donating to the School of Authentic Journalism.

If the CIA were to offer you funds, Al, would that similarly illustrate their "open mindedness"?

And would you take the money?

the_last_name_left said...

Al G: Peter Ackerman was on the board of Freedom House for ten years (prior to his resignation over differences of opinion with its board).

What's the basis of this claim?

the_last_name_left said...

Freedom House and Venezuela


The State Department and Freedom House have also targeted Haiti and Venezuela for regime change. The organization (Freedom House) reacted favorably when President Hugo Chavez was briefly overthrown in 2002 claiming on its website that "in Venezuela, it worked with those seeking to stem the authoritarian direction of the Chavez government." But Abrams claims that Freedom House has only been supporting opposition groups in Venezuela since 2004, funded by USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives.

Amanda Abrams, 2006. Email response to query by author:

"Freedom House has had a Venezuela Program for human rights defenders since 2004. The program is funded by USAID, the Office of Transition Initiatives. Freedom House's Venezuela program is a regional effort to tie human rights defenders throughout Latin America with one another, sharing best practices and lessons learned, through targeted exchanges and workshops focused on important human rights issues. The program is designed to strengthen the capacity of Venezuelan human rights defenders to do their job, and to tie them to counterparts in other countries."

Why did Freedom House claim on its website in 02 that it had already been working with "those seeking to stem the authoritarian direction of the Chavez government."??????

It isn't an isolated case of anti-Chavism either - Freedom House has always attacked Chavez.

Freedom House published articles in Miami Herald, 2006, saying, for example that

Venezuela is the most disturbing case. Under the traditional parties, the country avoided the cycle of coups and juntas that plagued its neighbors. Its democratic system included a vibrant and outspoken press.

State-run media

That tradition is in serious jeopardy. President Hugo Chavez has employed a series of 'insult laws,' which criminalize such offenses as defaming the president or other public officials. At the same time as he tries to marginalize the private press, Chavez is expanding a media empire operated by the state.

the_last_name_left said...

At the moment Freedom House's website claims Venezuela is "not a democracy".

There's an unbroken and unstinting anti-chavism running right throughout Freedom House's output........and it ran right through Ackerman's Trusteeships at Freedom House. Ackerman's Chairmanship seemingly made no difference.

The conclusion must be that Ackerman supported it. It was there from the start - when Ackerman joined - and it remains today with no perceptible difference.

This fits with the general critique of Ackerman and of Freedom House being a vehicle for the furtherance of the interests of America and capital.

Then there's Haiti, and FH's IRI collaborations there.

It's ridiculous to suggest these are paranoid ravings. It's a consistent, repeated pattern, and Ackerman was at its heart.

How can Al Giordano disassociate Ackerman from all this?

Ackerman was director from 2000-2005, and Chair from 2005-2009.

Did Ackerman not know what the organisation he was chair of was doing?

Sure - Ackerman is a clueless dolt, obviously. Why should we believe it?

Al Giordano said...

Regardless of what Peter Ackerman's opinions are or are not, or whatever boards of organizations he has served of and when, I do have common ground with him on at least one matter of import: He believes, as I do, in the promotion of more strategic thinking on nonviolent civil resistance.

The organization he supports, ICNC, produces videos and books and materials that promote that with great clarity and utility to social fighters everywhere. They make them available to anyone who asks for them, free of charge or conditions placed on using them. I also think that is swell. For almost ten years now we have, at Narco News, similarly made all our reports available free of charge to anyone who wants to read them, even you. That doesn't mean that either organization will always agree with what you do with them. But that is how a process of a free exchange of information and ideas should ideally function.

Another thing I love about this thread is that "no left name" or whatever anonymous handle he uses (see? I already know you're a "he" by your writing style - you can actually tell a lot about anonymous Internet trolls once you drag them out a bit on the comments sections!) claims to question Narco News' credibility but then uses our own articles as gospel with which to try to discredit me. Don't you find that a little bit humorous? It's the proof parcel that not even you don't believe you're own BS about a donation supposedly changing our work.

What you're really upset about, it seems, is your claim that by accepting a modest contribution we are giving credibility to the donor. I'm not sure we have that kind of power, but if so let all potential donors please feel the same way. We can do a lot with a little bit of resources.

And this gets back to "no name's" knowingly false claim that I am somehow personally benefiting from that contribution. I've already disclosed: it is for scholarships for 31 other people from 24 countries to receive training in journalism. So are the matching funds that hundreds of readers - unconvinced by ideological purity drivel like that seen in this miniscule corner of the Internets - are donating in small contributions to double that amount.

In other words, if your quest is to cause us to not accept that donation, it is a battle you have lost. You might better address your "concern trolling" to Saint Jude of Tadeo, patron saint of lost causes.

socrates said...

Hey Al, take it or leave it, but thanks for interacting with TLNL. I actually think you are a nice guy, just a little in over your head. You do seem to have a sense of humour. I wish you happy holidays and new year. Just try to not make bonehead mistakes like supporting McCain or even this Ackerman dude. Try not to censor so much. Try to respond to honest, sincere questions without going with that McCarthyite spiel. Also, maybe lose that anti-democratic vibe you give off in regards to the blogosphere. There are a lot of nobodies like us, who even though we appear to be keyboard commandos, our hearts are in the right place. And you're wrong about Markos Moulitsas. That's fried what he said about the CIA, and you know it. He's the kind of bridge along with Ackerman types you should burn. Especially if you aspire to be as pure as Eva Golinger. Man, I like her. I like her a lot.

socrates said...

His name is the last name left. He has a blog called the-last-blog-left.blogspot. You'd be amazed at some of the stuff that nobodies like us have come up with. We aren't trolls, Mr. Giordano. I think it's a credit to yourself that you've finally admitted that Ackerman is ultimately bad news and that you have suckered him out of $20,000 to help out we the people in other countries. I believe in health care, education, housing, work, and food for all. I believe the military should be slashed by 90%. I think the CIA and the spy factories should be disbanded. I think we must be very careful about kinder and gentler imperialism co-opting the true left. Nobodies like us are considered leftier-than-thou for a good reason. It's the truth. You don't want to end up like G. Edward Robinson and sell out your ideals. Pimping for McCain was dirty, dude. You're stuck with that one. Yeah, I know, I said I wasn't gonna reply to you directly. Well, people can change. You feel free to ignore me. Thanks again for addressing the-last-name-left. It will be in your best interest to do that with as much dignity and grace as possible. Or maybe you like to hurt people. A good anger management counselor could help you with that.

the_last_name_left said...

Al avoids addressing simple direct questions.

For example - what's the basis of his claim that Ackerman "resigned" from FH because of "differences with the board"?

I'm not sure quite what AL imagines he's achieved here, but I'm satisfied this thread illustrates the deep problems of credibility facing anyone whom cosies up to Ackerman and co.

It's difficult to imagine why Al G would have problems with any of the facts above being reiterated - other than for the direct financial connection he has with Ackerman/ICNC.

Whilst Al G doesn't dispute any of the facts, he does seem mightily pissed that anyone should look askance at his own financical relationship with Ackerman - even as his website does the same vis a vis Ackerman, Freedom House and John McCain, for example.

Al G: ..."no left name" or whatever.... claims to question Narco News' credibility but then uses our own articles as gospel with which to try to discredit me.

Crikey - you walked straight into that one.

The articles in question raise issues about Freedom House's involvement with John McCain and his activities in the service of empire - masquerading behind a phoney "democracy promotion".

If there's no issues over Freedom House's funding of phoney "democracy promotion" etc - one is left to wonder why Narco News raised the issue.

But as Narco news did find it worthy of comment - one is left to wonder why Al G finds it so reprehensible anyone else should treat Narco News' relationship with Ackerman in the same way.

That's the astonishing thing.

If Narco news' articles are true, then the issues we raise about Narco news' funding are as legitimate as the issues Narco news raised in those stories.

But if our concerns about Narco news' funding from the same nexus are totally unfounded, then so are those Narco News stories.

That's the point.

socrates said...

TLNL, when you're right, you're right. Where's Giordano's proof of some dramatic break between Peter Ackerman and Freedom House? Even if he has it, I thought Al's saying he isn't that close to these dudes other than suckering them out of money and getting some free supplies. Yet, Al is running around the net sticking up for these easily verifiable tools. I guess I've been acting naive and expecting Al to start acting organic at some point. It's just not gonna happen.

I am very glad I didn't give him my personal information. I'm sure he can find it out anyway. All he has to do is ask Brad Friedman for it. Hey, there's someone Al Giordano should go after. Him and his anonymous whistleblowers making up hoaxes about Karl Rove threatening Michael Connell. In this bizarro world, guys like us are trolls, while Al isn't because we know his real rame. It doesn't matter that he supports Markos Moulitsas and John MCCain, while running around giving the impression of himself as an intrepid, peacenik lefty. He can say whatever he wants to. He's Al Giordano! The_last_name_left and myself, on the other hand, post nothing but lies and McCarthyite slanders. We know this, because we don't use our real names. We might be "CIA Cointelpro." Just ask internet bully "Al Giordano."

Al Giordano wanted John McCain to be John Kerry's Vice-President in 2004. Al Giordano sugar coats every irrefutable fact one brings up. Whether about Moulitsas, Duvall, Ackerman, McCain, etc.. Best case scenario- Al is an effective sophist making money off of co-opting the progressive label. Like Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos. Or any other poser people can think of. Worse case scenario is certain internet personalities are well aware of their internal conflicts but remain "progressive" examples of the Karl Rove model, to win at any cost and with little regard to having integrity. Al does appear to be a drama queen. He wasn't going anywhere as a real journalist, so he transformed himself into a "radical peacenik" product. If he's a true lefty, then Markos Moulitsas is the Saul Alinsky of our time! Al is merely the rich man's Brad Friedman. Brett Kimberlin came up with an insidious plan to make money off of election fraud. Part of the gimmick has been to cover up his criminal past. I think the Giordano angle is to cover up his ties to right wing influences. He obviously doesn't care about true lefties. He's going for the same kind of gullible, but good-hearted liberals in the Kimberlin model. Al supported Johh McCain. He takes money from Peter Ackerman. That's enough for me to know something reeks here. I still wish him happy holidays nonetheless. {<:)

socrates said...

I think Al Giordano is full of it. He appears to be some form of fifth column.

Hostages in Colombia freed by Colombian or U.S military?

Check out how he and Conroy use an anonymous source to frame an event. He is a promoter of kinder and gentler imperialism! He is no Eva Golinger. I'm starting to understand why he has a man crush on the CIA loving Markos Moulitsas Zuniga of the Daily Kos.

the_last_name_left said...

The most positive way to view Al Giordano through all this seems to be Lenin's line about capitalists - "We'll hang them with the rope they sold us!"

However, even if that is the line Al Giordano is actually taking with Ackerman.....he can't say so publicly.

And if so - then that's the rub: it would mean his actions are being determined by his benefactors (to keep them happy so as to keep them paying)

And that's part of the basic criticism of such benefaction.

Al G can defend himself, by saying Narco News has done negative reporting and "exposes" on Ackerman's Freedom House and Transparency International - and therefore the money from Ackerman to Narco News can't be said to be influencing Narco News' reporting.

But then - what was the actual criticism Narco News was making of Freedom House in the first place???? If there's nothing wrong with Ackerman (or Freedom House, or the CATO Institute) giving money to Narco News, then what was the substance of the "exposes" and "negative reporting" Narco News did on Freedom House, Transparency International et al?

If AL G's Narco News - a self-styled progressive/leftie/anti-imperialist/anti-capitalist/whatever - can take money off Ackerman, why do Narco News bother to "expose" McCain for taking the money?

Narco News "exposes" of McCain and his funding are not founded on the fact Freedom House is some radical left wing, anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist outfit.

I'd like to ask another simple question of AL - with no expectation that he'll address it (he hasn't addressed anything else)

--- Al G trumpets his organs "exposes" of organisations such as USAID, IRI, NED et al:

We have devoted more column inches to exposing their activities in Venezuela and elsewhere than all four of you put together, and for more years. And we will continue to do so.



Once you've answered that, Al, maybe you'd like to take the opportunity to explain how you bring together BOTH your criticisms of Freedom House, and your taking money off of its Chair and Director of 10 years.

Giordano's Inauthentic Journalism said...

Actually, this is still Eric S. (nee Solstein, for those who suggest that pseudonyms compromise one's credibility). Attempting an intelligent discussion with Al proves it is no guarantee.

Here's the complete text of the last of several of my comments, all of which Al found too intimidating to pass through to his readers:

I must say I am disappointed that you have choosen to censor my post.  Since it is on-topic, coherent, don’t spread false claims or rumors, don’t gratuitously insult other commenters, and don’t engage in commerce, spam or otherwise hijack the thread, and actually happens to be a carefully thought-out and focused critique of your article... why would you?

Too close to the bone I suppose.  Nonetheless, I will resubmit it, slightly reedited, to give you the opportunity to reject it again.

I have read through this article several times trying to parse exactly what Mr. Giordano is trying to say about the "simulation" this Frances Robles has perpetrated. Obviously, she has offered no full quote to defend her Miami Herald story in its entirety, but apparently some of what was reported is accurate... at least so I gather from this article.

From the above:
'What Robles did do, though, panicked after being informed that her simulation would reach these pages that have exposed so many US correspondents for their dishonest dealings in Latin America, and cost more than a few their sinecures, was contact aides to Zelaya asking them to confirm that he had used the term “Israeli mercenaries.”

Narco News has obtained copies of the Zelaya organization's email responses to Robles, telling her that he mentioned “rumors” of “alleged mercenaries” but never said that such “alleged” parties were responsible for the high tech sonic and chemical weapons used on the Brazilian Embassy, which was the untrue claim made in Robles’ September 24 story.'

Here, I am disappointed with Mr. Giordano's reportage in much the same way he is justifiably disappointed in Robles.  Though it must largely be inferred from the rather fuzzy prose I have quoted, this tempest is not about whether "Israeli mercenaries" or perhaps the Israeli government were alleged by Zelaya to be involved - as it appears this was actually the case - but only in that part of the Robles characterization that makes him look "crazy."

To restate this, of 'He's sleeping on chairs, and he claims his throat is sore from toxic gases and "Israeli mercenaries'' are torturing him with high-frequency radiation....' (the actual opening text from the Miami Herald), the problem lies not with the claim of "Israeli mercenaries," but the portion which claims he is being tortured with various weapons (that respondents in your comments section seemingly verify the existence and use of).

All told, it does not seem like too much of a distinction, and if I have construed this correctly, a distinction this article has an obligation to be much clearer about.

I have suggested that Robles and Giordano have in some regard practiced the same kind of journalism.  If Narco News has "copies of the Zelaya organization's email responses to Robles," why not release these, or make a slightly greater effort at clarifying exactly how paranoid Mr. Zalaya is, as well as how honest Narco News is.

Or let me put this in the form of a specific question.  Has Mr. Zelaya attributed any part of his overthrow and subsequent treatment to either "Israeli mercenaries" or the Israeli government?  If he has said any of this, (Narco News - release the full quotes!), the question of Mr. Zelaya's character has a much different answer than you attempt to suggest.

socrates said...

Great minds think alike. Myself and David Sirota. I didn't know a thing about Giordano until recently. I ass-u-me(d) he was a lefty, peacenik radical, etc.. It turns out he comes across as being a DLC operative. He appears to be in bed with the CIA, which I admit must seem off-base on the surface. I think this dude is a poser at best, some insidious farce at worst astroturfing for dirty organisations and their agendas. Al Giordano is clearly not a true lefty. He is some representation of the cult of personality. He is not who he has portrayed himself as being. I feel slimy even being this close to him. I take back wishing him a happy holiday. I wouldn't break bread with him. He is bad news.

Anyway, when I had asked him earlier if he was under the influence of drugs, I had never heard that type of thing implied about him before. But apparently it has been, by Sirota.

The following was from around when Al was running interference for the Wall Street bailout. The Partisanship Trap

"My favorite line from the Netroots' resident fussbudget's diatribe is when Sirota calls me out saying:

"you are making very clear that you spend your life frolicking with ponies in a psychedelic fantasyland that most mere mortals never even dreamed existed."

(Translation: the guy from Narco News must be on drugs. Oh well, it's not the first time that a few words from me have stung enough to turn a mediocre faux-progressive into a frothing chemical McCarthyist. Good thing I find it entertaining.)"

Meno said...

Hurts doesn't it Al? Maybe you will not be so quick to screw people over next time. Let me say this Big Al, and not from an anger standpoint at you either. If you dish it out, be prepared to take it back in. You have dished out quite a bit to others over the course of time, especially when it concerned actual resistance in Honduras of which you "claim" to be part of. However in that role as trainer of resistance memberships you have allot of blood on your hands in my opinion.

Partly because what you propose to accomplish though this peaceful non violent protesting is overturning a coup by those very same means, which you also know would never work in Latin America. But as long as you can write about it and stroke your ego at the same time, so what if a few hundred people who believed you and go out and get killed over it right?

You told people to go one way, then allot of them got killed and or identified because of it. Not the least of which you attempted to even identify resistance members on your own blog in a cowardly attempt to push through that you were somehow the commander and chief of training the real resistance effort in Honduras, which you clearly are not, just to show someone else that you will not be messed with and how big and tough you are and can be with them. Your other tendency to rat people out who are working countless hours doing their own thing trying to boldly go through the motions that they feel capable of doing for the resistance somehow sent your tail into a spin; whereby you instantly showed your tendency to rat people out to the world at large for their efforts which did not coincide with your own.

As for your anger, it has been duly noted in several emails whereby you show your tendency to call people names, tell others how these names you call them won't be around next year, and how you could care less what the resistance feels about them because your Big Al and no one tells Big Al anything. Duly noted Big Al, and the reality is that your anger and the way you operate is known throughout the net, so there is no dispute of it as can be EASILY proven. Now it comes back to you in spades, not that you truly give a shit, but sooner or later Al things will start to stick to you, and because of the way you act you will surely feel the reality behind it all soon enough. Call it what you will Al, but don't ever think that you can't have your slimy ass handed to you on the net OK? Sorry for the name calling Al, as I am just doing what you always do behind the scenes which is calling a spade a spade. Good luck with the discourse that is now coming to your doorstep around the net to haunt you, as you will certainly need all the luck you can get.

socrates said...

That's awful, Meno, if he's ratting out names. There's this guy Hal Turner. He had a radio show and was or is still close friends with Sean Hannity of Fox News. It turns out Hal has been an internet agent provocateur. He was promoting violence and collecting names for the FBI.

Perhaps Al Giordano does some intel work collecting names in the guise of promoting Gandhi and Martin Luther King tactics. Of course non-violence is the ideal. But if he is putting activists' lives in jeopardy, then Al Giordano needs to be exposed much more than he has already been. If there is any proof that Al is revealing names and putting people in danger, it would be a good idea to get that info out.

He was very eager for me to email him with my real name. Why? Is it part of his job description to accumulate names?

Ok Al, my name is Jimbo Jones. Here's a picture of me.

Al Giordano loves Markos Moulitsas Zuniga of the Daily Kos. Markos runs interference for the right wing death squads that terrorised El Salvador with the aid of the CIA. Moulitsas calls the CIA a liberal organisation with its heart in the right place. He says he'd have no problem working for them. No one should give Al Giordano their personal information. It's too risky. I'm ok. I'm in America. I'm not saying bad things don't happen here, but the strategy with the internet is to ostracise and make us appear as fringe kooks. Maybe someday we will learn that Al Giordano has intelligence connections after all. That would make more sense than a radical lefty peacenik supporting John McCain and calling David Sirots a faux progressive while kissing Moulitsas' feet.

Meno said...

I know of the Hal Turner deal and have read about him over the years, sadly though I do not think that Al is one and the same type of person. Let me just say that one time I thought highly of Al, but found him to be the type of person not worthy of respect. he and I and others not named here had some issues with him over my direction of a post I made on our site

The post in question was called Revolution,

and the initial post was quite tough on Al and his past ways. I made the post in frustration over the deaths of many whom I had come to revere more than I revered Al and his methods. As soon as the post was made one of his minions who views his site who we found out later was a minion of La Gringa the notorious right wing blogger from La Ceiba Honduras, went to Big Al and posted his thoughts to him in a private email about my post as well as contacting the military and police in Honduras over it, in which Al then came over and read the post and then wrote how much of a petty person I was for writing it questioning him and his methods, and he then called me a so called faux revolutionary for believing in a different path for those in Honduras fighting the good fight.

Al of course wrote his usual diatribe about never contacting him again and that was it. Of course this drove a wedge through our work in Olancho by causing a deep division to come to the surface on who had the better way. The other person in question decided that Al was not a guy he wanted to take on because he too believed in Al, and as such did not feel this was a direction we should go on So the site closed the door and closed down. Weeks of back door discussions went on and we finally settled our problems and decided to re-open the site, albeit without our former database, as we had lost it during the closure. So we started over again and for awhile things were fine, fine until we decided to take on the right wing blogger La Gringa by opening a site called which she had let expire in favor of her blogger account. We then set about to reverse every post she made showing her to be a laughing stock. This caused some confusion as to which blog was the real blog, and as it was similar in background and so forth Al advised after being asked to make sure it was clearly defined as a parody site which we did.

End of Part 1

Meno said...

At that point when the Radio Globo affair blew up over David at Globo saying that Hitler should have continued with exterminating the jews, I wrote a comment on Narco News showing the link to this at La Gringas blog in which a week prior to the events at Globo she had started using a race campaign against Mel. My comment would not post somehow, and since I was using a proxy at the time I thought it was due to the proxy, so I kept trying to post it until Big Al wrote in the comment that I should piss off as I would never be able to comment on his blog as he last told me in our last row over the Revolution Post. He then tried to name me, which exposed who controlled the La Gringa site to them since they read his site as a religion, and effectively cut off our work there once that was done. We were subsequently handed a DMCA take down notice by her attorneys in the USA and subsequently had to defend the site itself to keep it going, thus exposing who was in control of it. Al eventually removed the name portion of the post and replaced it with the word coward.

At this point he fired off a few emails to my partner about what a disgusting worm I was, and how he didn't care if the resistance liked me or my work or not, that according to him I was a worm who would be left in the dirt within a year. Then he rattled off some other words about my partners mother, and how he could go screw his own mother and told him to never contact him again. At that point went down again. This time it stayed down.

The site is now back up, and partly because we want to move forward with our work and leave off all the bullshit from the past. However for me I will always remember what a cheap piece of shit Al truly was, and of course I have my opinions on what he really does for a living, and who really supports him, but for now I leave that part alone because I am still thinking about it.


Meno said...

I do have a few questions for you on this. One of which is the presentation, because what I want to focus on is what COIN stands for, as well as another point that wishes to show what I believe is a potential issue concerning agents in place for the military in Honduras from outside Honduras, and who work for or are co-opted by the CIA and the US military. And this is the basis of my thoughts about what actually happened to end or at least curtail an armed or potentially armed conflict in Honduras. COIN is best described by the US military as this

Counterinsurgency is a much-disputed concept, but it refers to methods of warfare used to divide a civilian population’s political and sentimental allegiance away from a guerrilla force.

Therefore if you look at several pieces written by those who trained people to not arm up or who trained people to peacefully protest such as Al, as opposed to arming or creating an insurgency movement, one could in effect go from point A to point B and say or reflect that training people to peacefully protest, as opposed to armed protest, was in fact a method used by the military in which they define as COIN or counterinsurgency operations.

The defined purpose of coin as stated by the US military is this

”The purpose of COIN,” “is to build popular support for a government while suppressing or co-opting an insurgent movement.”

The military further goes on to state that COIN is

Counterinsurgency — called “COIN” for short — is a method of warfare defined in a soon-to-be-published handbook as “the politico-military techniques developed to neutralize armed rebellion against constituted authority.

While there were calls for an armed insurgency ongoing at the height of the killings and disappearances and tortures, one such crew of trainers, who have dubious funding for their operations is Al Giordano, in fact countered such a proposal with a series of articles defining people who advocate such discussion as infiltrators, thus neutralizing any form of discussion on such methods during the crisis, especially when many people were thinking about making such moves during that time. The author goes on to quote how to they see infiltrators in the movement

“Likewise, men, more than women (and of course there are notable exceptions in each gender) tend to be more vulnerable to the provocations of infiltrators, especially those that seek to involve movement participants in violent or felonious activities that quickly justify greater repression against all in the movement.”

End Part 1

Meno said...

This presupposes that they already knew that there were calls for armed rebellion, or that they would surely come soon enough, and to counter this idea they quickly spread the word through their training and written articles that anyone who supported such calls to action was in fact an infiltrator to the cause, who was more than likely working with the police or military.

Abbie asked the movement’s leaders to gather every single individual that they had heard speaking of violent action, plus any of the “silent macho types” that might have that proclivity, and called a meeting in the attic of the local tavern where many of them drank at night.

There, Abbie began the meeting: “We need your help, men. You see, there are other people out there – not you, of course – who might be government infiltrators or with violent tendencies, and we need a way to keep them in line.

The way they presented this was in fact to say that most who call for such actions as armed rebellion were in fact those who were beaten as children and sought to redirect their anger as adults.

“What does society do with men who were beaten as boys and thus have a greater tendency toward violence?” he asked me in his frequently Socratic teaching method. He then answered his own question: “They give them badges and make them cops!”

What they are doing here is painting a picture of males who tend to be more violent and seek to lump them in with a strategy of child rearing that was familiar in the United States during the 40’s and 50’s, and transpose that to a different culture which is in Honduras, and say that the two cultures represent the same thing, which is that males who are beaten as children do in fact seek work that has a tendency to have more violence associated with it. In a larger way one could in fact see this as a way to lessen a males perspective of himself as the material is presented. And by saying everyone who seeks armed rebellion because they may have lost someone in the struggle that was near and dear to them, somehow they are seeking armed rebellion because they were beaten as children, as opposed to getting some form of payback for their losses, or in fact that they care more for their country and wish to bring back democratic rule and see armed rebellion as the only way. When you read the entire discussion on this matter it is reflected by Abbie Hoffman, a great left wing radical in the United States who protested various issues of the day in the 1960’s and early 1970’s. Of course this was also in the United States, and not in Honduras, where repression and oppression has been more severe than it has ever been in the United States. I make special note of the Rodney King period, whereby rebellion in Los Angeles and other parts of the United States happened because one man was beaten by an opposing force of police who were trying to inflict pain on the subject at hand, which caused such a stir amongst the public that for a moment in time troops were needed to quell the disturbances after the incident was publicized.

End Part 2

Meno said...

However in Honduras we were able to witness such severe forms of the same type of activity by the police and military; whereby people were actually being killed on a daily basis while the trainers were training people to be watchful not of the military or police response to their activities, but, to be watchful of infiltrators who sought to discuss a different form of rebellion which is called for in the Honduran constitution, and which is entirely legal for the people to rebel against a coup government in Honduras. Yet trainers, supported by dubious foundations such as the IRI and the NED, which has dubious credentials in the matter of where their money comes from, and are at times linked with the CIA, supported people who were allowed for some reason to enter into Honduras and actually train the people in Honduras to march and protest, without one shred evidence of them being on a list of people not allowed in the country. This begs suspension of disbelief, in that those who trained others in protests were in fact allowed to enter and exit Honduras several times without as much as a protest from any form of the coup government at the height of the crisis?

The meanings of their written articles were cleverly designed to call anyone who rejected their ideals as infiltrators, and as such they prohibited people from any forms of violence whatsoever. Yet, their decisions were in fact a disguise, because they did in fact subscribe to violent actions under certain scenarios in which they discuss this

“What if a cop or a provocateur spits at me, can I whoop his ass then?” asked one.

“No, you can’t."

“What if he spits a second time?”

“Nope, you gotta keep the peace.”

“Okay, but what if he spits a third time?”

“If he spits a third time,” answered Abbie, divining that such a scenario was very unlikely to happen to a disciplined movement, “go ahead and kick his ass.” Everybody laughed.

End Part 3

Meno said...

It stands to reason that if you say no violence will be tolerated and one must peacefully march in furtherance of this cause, then one must always act in this manner. There is no 3 time excuse, no third time go ahead and be violent, no third time and you are released from the cause of non violence. Therefore their desire for non violence was actually hollow, because they did in fact have a rule in which stated that one could in fact use violence under the three strikes mandate, which says if you are attacked on the third time you can resort to getting even with those who attacked you. In this light then who is to say that a marcher or even one who was co-opted by the movement from infiltrator to security personnel, was not attacked once and just took it personal, whereby he could say later that he was attacked three times and then struck back? Once you give a rule to attack, no matter what the rules were before, you give a person an edge to attack or use violence at any given stage of conflict. In the heat of the moment one could say that he was in fact attacked three times and retaliated, thus when others see this they in fact do the very same thing, and it then spreads and gets out of hand. So to even say or allow a three time rule means that those who advocate for non violence are in fact advocating violence under certain circumstances, and in fact, their call to non violence is a hollow rule. If this is so, then they do in fact subscribe to violent conflict, but their message is more clear, which is to identify those who are in support of that activity, and then to isolate them or co-opt them into being security personnel for others who are marching as opposed to rioting. One can draw the same conclusions at Altamont in the 1960’s when the Rolling Stones hired security personnel from the Hells Angels biker gang, which eventually resulted in someone getting killed, and all manner of brutality when the biker gang in the form of security became drunk and or high on drugs. Once this happened they were no different than those they were mandated to watch over or keep from becoming violent.

End Part 4

Meno said...

While it is certainly clear that much of what the trainers discussed about non violence and peaceful protesting was in fact a workable series of solutions, I think that this was a workable solution to their problems in their respective countries, and not so much as it is in Latin America, where torture, mass killings, death squads and the like, have been a normal way of life for the populace for decades. Where such violent actions on the part of the military in the United States were not in fact ever tolerated or even allowed or remotely discussed; excluding of course Kent State, where Nixon ordered the National guard to open fire on protesters which resulted in many people being killed. Nor was this ever something that the Serbians ever had to deal with either. Death squads might have occurred in Chechnya and various areas of the Soviet Union long ago in the early 1900’s, but it was less so during the later part of the 20th century, being replaced with jailing individuals for dissent or beating them on occasion when they mounted an assault during a protest. However in Latin America death is a way of life, and one has to live with the fact that every time there is a political problem where the Oligarchy meddles in, such as land reform or logging or mining operations, those who are in opposition to that activity are dealt with by wiping out their entire communities, and or by assassination of community leaders or those of their family. The result is that the Oligarchy uses these methods to instill fear in order to control movements. And that fear is the fear of death or torture and then death or worse into the populace it intends to control or send that message to. In the United States these peaceful movements have never had to deal with such terror on a daily basis, and would in fact cause the citizenry in the United States to rebel quicker when faced with such a life, than anyone in Latin America would ever consider doing. However this potential is left off the discussion, because it is not a part of the thought processes that the trainers are trying to get across to those they train.

In fact the actual message is, walk into to your doom, because it is already a known fact that the repression and oppression in Latin American can and often will result in your death. Where as in the United States, and even in Serbia, this would not in fact occur. Therefore movements such as peaceful protesting do in fact work to some larger degree in other countries than they would in Latin America, which begs the question of why train people in Latin America using techniques and methods that are not going to work in Latin America?

End Part 5

Meno said...

My belief is that there was an overall strategy using every available asset that the United States government could come up with. And one of those strategies which is being used throughout the world today is COIN operations, which according to the US military in Iraq says that such a strategy

But most contend, after the decline in violence in Iraq during the last half of 2007, that a counterinsurgency strategy would have allowed the war to have been less deadly than it is.

And to this degree the US military uses COIN operations in furtherance of allowing governments to maintain their control, and at the same time prevent insurgency from starting, which then results in neutralizing armed rebellion, which then results in fewer fatalities on the ground.

And this new COIN strategy is starting to gain ground in what is commonly referred to as FULL SPECTRUM operations, where we have recently read that with the additional military bases in Colombia, the US military will be conducting what is referred to as full spectrum operations, and to a major extent these full spectrum operations will be using COIN strategies

“Hopefully, with [the stability operation field manual's] emphasis on full-spectrum operations, we will develop a coherent educational approach to COIN in our institutional curricula which will produce balanced officers capable of success in any environment.”

When the US military trains their people on operations in the field they have described scenarios which describe COIN operations in the full spectrum theater

Ulrich said while outlining a scenario in which officers might need to distribute propaganda to civilians. He shook his head. “You signed up to do the mission. And the mission is the spectrum” of operations, which include political, social and economic development of a society to bolster an allied government’s control.

Make note of the last part of that sentence, which include political, social and economic development of a society to BOLSTER an allied governments CONTROL.

Meno said...

Long Term Strategy For Honduras

The one caveat to this struggle which is not very well defined in our thinking is this. The US military has a doctrine that states that when a military force is operating using tactics as we have seen in Honduras with tear gassing s, torture, killings of the unarmed populace, they know that this actually drives people towards insurgency or towards the resistance as stated here

A conventional military response when coming under attack would be to throw up smoke or provide suppressive fire. But Ulrich urged the audience to think differently. “If you’re a police officer in Kansas City and you take a bullet in the windshield, do you spray out fire?” he asked.

Someone in the audience joked, “Hell yeah.”

“‘Hell yeah’?” Ulrich asked. He was laughing but arched an eyebrow. To fire into the crowd would be counterproductive. “You’re throwing people into the insurgents’ [hands], aren’t you?” Ulrich said. “You’re doing recruiting” for the insurgency, all without intending to, simply by applying a conventional solution to an unconventional problem.

We already know that the US military is advising the Honduran military and those in the political establishment to use methods to control the crowds who protest. We already know that other people in the movement of the resistance are being trained by outside forces in the guise of trainers who advise people in the resistance on methods of resisting which are peaceful, and to keep them from thinking or even desiring an armed struggle. We already know that the US military knows what the responses to such attack methods now being used by the Honduran military will accomplish, which is to drive those who are attacked which are peacefully protesting into the hands of the insurgency or resistance. Therefore this begs the question what the overall strategy is in Honduras?

Meno said...

If the US government knows what the people will do when attacked, then they are in effect driving more people to resist a government that they overtly support, even though they don’t truly overtly support it in public, but support it tactfully, with words that are designed to be seen as a soft approach to the conflict, which they could later use to deny they actually supported the coup. Later the US government could in fact say that they never supported the coup, but were working on other methods heretofore secret, which is in fact COIN operations using full spectrum methods. The goal, if this were in fact the case, would be to drive the coup to collapse, albeit slowly and over time, and give the Honduran people a chance to mount a peaceful rebellion whereby they finally achieve a government by the people and for the people, much like the United States was founded on through their constitution.

At this point in time we do not truly see any real strategy by the United States. They are seen as being co-opted by the right wing machine now in power in the United States. And as such, the only real strategy we see is one of soft peddling their message which hardly anyone can define, and not making any real defined commitments other than to the coup regimes liking. However there could in fact be a larger picture strategy which is ongoing now that the public does not readily see in their 3 minute sound bites and various media they consume. And that is that there is an actual strategy in Latin America that gives the people more representation, but one in which we would not actually believe the United States capable of, and that is a more defined left wing approach using methods that are now being studied throughout the US military, which is the use of COIN operations to reduce armed conflicts around the globe, and bring the people more in line using soft methods, as opposed to methods which produce a higher than normal casualty rate. While the public is naturally being kept in the dark so far, a larger strategy could be ongoing in Honduras which ascribes to methods using COIN operations as opposed to brute force or methods which were used in the past such as aid cutoffs, credit cutoffs, visa cancellations, remittance cancellations and so forth. Because these methods are more punishing and overt than covert, and are methods which could produce a government by the people and for the people over the long term if the resistance succeeds, which the United States actually might wish to see - but would have not seen in the guise of Mel Zelaya or even in Hugo Chavez, which are actors that the United States may be in fact against because the United States believes that those people are in fact dictators, and not truly for the people, but more for themselves and their cronies.

Meno said...

While it is uncertain at this point what is really going on, one must always question everything and everyone involved, as well as various methods being used, and how each actor presents himself to the various players in the scene in Honduras. The goal of such questioning is always the truth or a version of truth that we as a people can get behind. And while it is easy to assume that the players now involved are one thing, it could in fact be that they are something entirely different, and those involved who may not know the actual strategy somehow help with the overall strategy, even though they are compartmentalized and kept in the dark over the larger picture or full spectrum operation now in play in Honduras. It is also hard to believe that any one actor or group would know the actual strategy or plan in play. But one thing is certain, and that is every actor or group would always question the other actor or group about their motives and or tactics used, while the overall plan is kept or played as close to the vest as possible with no one the wiser. This begs the question does the end justify the means? Because it is certain that what has happened so far has resulted in allot of people being killed, tortured and or abused. And as long as this continues the resistance to it will build. And what is the cost to those who have to face the strategy of outside actors? And will that cost result in anything concrete or will it just become another disastrous series of moves in Latin America by the United States? And at what point does the end justify the means? Do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one? If so, then the current strategy now playing out in Honduras will be the one that decides whether that outcome is one in which we should all ascribe to on a global basis.

End Total Post

socrates said...

Hi Meno, thanks for the interesting posts.

I think what is missing quite often in the blogosphere is nuance. Certainly you come across as someone who does not promote violence. Yet, you also seem to be saying it can't be taken off the table as an option for the downtrodden to use against oppressive regimes.

I certainly agree with you that American models for social movement cannot be applied across the board in other countries. I have no clue what is going on in other countries. I can try. In America, we have a different kind of problem in regards to violence. Ours is much more random. We also have our out of control police tasering children and senior citizens. Our court system seems to need to be fixed also. In regards to going to the streets and protesting, I think that happens here more than it seems. We have a problem with media and capitalism merging.

I used to live in Ireland. They have had their own insurgency group called the IRA. Most Irish do not like the IRA. They don't like their violence. They don't like how they have become known for vigilante violence against their own people. I remember learning about how IRA members would smack drug users in the kneecaps.

But while the Irish in general do not like the IRA, they still for the most part empathise with their concerns about historic oppression in the North. It is a tricky situation. Your Abbie Hoffman story kind of sums up how I feel. Spit on someone a few times, and fine, people should just wipe it off. But when the attacks are brutal, I can empathise with resistance movements arming themselves. Look at El Salvador with their right wing death squads. Were the El Salvadorans supposed to ignore that and put flowers in their hair?

We are lucky in America, where we don't have to go to that extreme. The US oppression is maintained through psychological operations rather than military strength. We need to use that to our advantage. We need to come up with our own lawyers and good media and fight back with civil disobedience.

If Al ratted you and others out for utilising free speech, that is wrong. Al's trying to portray himself as being on the side of the people. Yet, you're saying he is giving up names to the Honduran military, and that has put people's lives in jeopardy?

"Coin" is a phrase I've never heard of. It sounds similar to cointelpro. Perhaps that is where the confusion is. I too am not ready to believe one way or another if Al Giordano is intel disinfo. Without a paycheck stub, there is no way to prove it.

I wonder how Brazil is doing. I used to be a big fan of Paulo Freire and his writing back in my scholarly days. I think he even ended up in a government position. He spoke of teaching literacy a certain way. That people need to learn to read not from Dick and Jane primers but to learn words that pertain to the struggle for humanity.

socrates said...

My heart goes out to your people. I am ashamed to not know more. I think we need to go non-violent and use our brains to overtake the status quo. Old school military oppression no longer works for them. I agree with your words. So maybe we let these cretins push us to the side while co-opting the peacenik role. We can continue to document and plug for academics doing research and spreading historic truths.

We each have our unique styles. I think what has brought a few of us together on this thread is the shared awareness that there are people like Al who are a false front just like Freedom House. I think the_last_name_left was brilliant in articulating what is wrong with Al's reasoning about Ackerman and others promoting kinder and gentler imperialism.

The beauty of the situation is that oppressive, violent juntas are not going to be able to as easily murder and pillage. It may appear that this fake peace movement replacing it will continue to oppress. I don't think so. Perhaps they are the bridge to when we the people take power.

They can't rewrite history. A guy like Al is totally discredited by his praising of Markos Moulitsas. It contradicts his image as a lefty, intrepid journalist-activist. I am amazed that El Salvadoran thinkers haven't exposed the Daily Kos. Or maybe they have, but it's written in Spanish somewhere. I think a good idea would be for Central American thinkers to translate into English their work revolving around American foreign policy. We can use the fact that it is a small world to our advantage.

Psychological operations are not some kooky, conspiracy theory. We can beat them at their own game. The Cia and Freedom House types can try to manipulate other countries. Citizens of other countries can speak to us Americans and influence our politics. We Americans tend to do the right thing when we are aware. Knowledge can be more powerful than weapons.

That's why people like Al show up at small places like this to put out the small fire of awareness. He can't censor here like he does at his own blog. He comes up with the same broken record of McCarthyite spin and evoking authority. You are correct that he shouldn't be surprised that there has been a backlash against himself. It was the height of stupidity for him to align with Ackerman, McCain, and Markos Moulitsas Zuniga.

He's a young man. He could have been a propaganda asset for many more decades. People like us could do his job better than he can! We would know better than to pimp for John McCain, Daily Kos, Duvall, and other rich hypocrites. That he does is why I think he could be something much worse than a self-serving fool. But without the paystub from the CIA or whatnot, it's an enigma whether Giordano is a plant.

We can beat them at their own game. At some point there will be a critical mass. I believe it is already there and has been for quite a while in regards to intellectuals. (Not to bug you, but you're misusing the word allot. That means to distribute. What you mean should be written as 'a lot'.)

Meno said...

Certainly you come across as someone who does not promote violence. Yet, you also seem to be saying it can't be taken off the table as an option for the downtrodden to use against oppressive regimes.

This is a conundrum for me. Al promoted and continues to promote peaceful resistance, as if it is a model that this ultra violent world will somehow tolerate. That somehow in Honduras it is better to walk to your death peacefully as opposed to mobilizing an armed struggle and standing your ground against an opposing repressive force. Al claims that armed struggles always escalate into more severity and or represssion. However I counter with there is already enough severity in the oppression, so how can defending yourself and or using the same violence used against you and or your family not somehow be OK?

To win, sometimes one has to use other methods. However I also viewed 50 Dead Men Walking, and came away with the impression that what the IRA went through was almost exactly what I am thinking about when I speak of a different way in Honduras. And after reading and studying the IRA I came away with the feeling that decades of fighting, killing and dying achieved nothing. I came away with an empty feeling from it, that while they may have removed British rule, this really didn't accomplish a whole lot. I don't have all the answers or even profess to have any answers, all I propose is a different viewpoint.

Turmoil is turmoil and as much as Al can be right, he can also be very wrong, but he would never admit to such.

If Al ratted you and others out for utilising free speech, that is wrong.

He didn't. It is his blog to do with what he wants. I made some comments he didn't like, and even though they were very relevant to the discussion, he preferred to power trip over me instead of seeking real dialogue. I think He sees me as some sort of competitor which I am not, as he has his own world. However at the same time, he, like the opposing force with La Gringa, only allows comments that are expressing his views, in other words he loves Yes men and Al boosters just like La Gringa does. The only time he takes an opposing comment or one that is not asipring to his views is when he wishes to cut them to shreds for their opinions. Those are the only times he allows comments from an opposing view or one that has other thoughts such as to question him. This is fact.

Al is a very abrasive personality, and as been noted to me by many others who have worked with him or come into his orbit, has no real credibility other than the world in which he creates for himself.

Of course this is the net, so everyone has an opinion of how the net revolves around us only, and when challenged, we always take offense.

Al's trying to portray himself as being on the side of the people. Yet, you're saying he is giving up names to the Honduran military, and that has put people's lives in jeopardy?

No. One of the viewers of his site from the right wing, in the name of PedroX, saw the post in question, notified the military and police claiming the post was incitement, and then notified Al, and since the post was questioning Al and his methods, Al took offense and closed the door to us and our work. Our site is a combined effort, and as such if I go one direction and the other people do not see this as a good direction, then others either stop posting or writing on it, and it then falls apart. It's built or based on a consensus of what messages we wish to deliver, and how those messages are delivered. The site closed because my partner did not want, nor did he seek to be divisive, and my post was seen as such.

The site re-opened later, and until the next issue with Al naming me on his board and connecting me to the La Gringa site we had going on came up, all was well. His post was to us a way to have me identified by the right wing people who work with her. he knew it and didn't care, as our work didn't matter to him.

To be Continued...

the_last_name_left said...

I think the 1917 Russian revolution is interesting case too. It's arguable that it would never have succeeded without a degree of violence (or at least a preparedness to utilise it). But it's indisputable the revolution would have been lost without HAVING TO use violence to defend it - against those whom used violence in an ultimately futile attempt to defeat it.

All the deaths of the russian revolution are blamed on the commies - but - if the whites and "the international community" hadn't tried to oppose it, there wouldn't been such a rupture and consequently less bloodshed.

I'm totally against violence on principle. But - I'm prepared to admit my view is maybe wrong - for the reasons I gave about Russia, and which meno is getting at, I think.

Preaching non-violence when people are being killed isn't necessarily a morally superior position. If the point is to prevent murder of innocents, relinquishing the right to take arms against an aggressor borders on complicity.

The French and other Resistance movements in WW2 are another example. That was considered "terrorism" by the Nazis. Who would argue the Resistance should have been exclusively non-violent? How could it have been?

There's clearly an aspect of "non-violence" which can be seen as rolling over in the face of aggression. A policy of submission.

And it can obviously be exploited as such ie as a policy of submission. It doesn't take Einstein to see that? And as Meno points out - the AMerican military and imperialist machinery is well-aware of it. That isn't even up for dispute.

And clearly there are real differences between the situations in various places. Non-violence is surely more applicable in nations where there's a background of rule of law, democracy, civil rights etc and an absence of political murder, dictatorship, corruption, death squads, etc. It would be ridiculous to suggest violent uprisings to achieve Welsh independence, say. But to overturn a coup in central or s america? It's different?

There's Che Guevara? The American Revolution? The Iraqi resistance? Lots of examples in favour of violence - esp when it is forced upon people because of a lack of any other effective other means and the actions of "the enemy".

I take Meno to be saying it can be difficult to work out whether violence is necessary or not......or at least how justifiable it is when people believe it is necessary. And even more difficult to work out why people might be advocating for or against such violence.

And yet Al Giordano pours personal scorn on those that don't exactly follow his own view......which happens to be non-violence, apparently.

(Whilst Giordano advocates for non-violence (and its imperialist-agent supporters like Ackerman) he employs a distinct violence in his penmanship. Loves to get personally insulting, does Mr G. It's a very unbecoming trait.)

I wish I knew more about Honduras to be able to comment - but I don't: I'm pretty much wholly ignorant of the place tbh.

Meno comes across very well to me.......but what do I know? :)

Meno said...

We each have our unique styles. I think what has brought a few of us together on this thread is the shared awareness that there are people like Al who are a false front just like Freedom House.

Let me say this. After 9/11 there was an understanding that what America lacked, because they gave it up long ago, was HUMINT. American had SIGINT, but did not have any real HUMINT, therefore the emphasis after 9/11 was rebuilding HUMINT networks worldwide.

Al has a great operation going on. He recruits, and he is very good at it, because he has a past reputation as a guy who is left leaning, went to jail for the cause etc. etc. His "presentation" therefore is iron clad. He has a decent operation going on whereby he recruits sources who are in the "field" which is agency speak, and gets from them the kind of HUMINT that the intelligence community lacks and would kill for, which is on the ground and in the field intelligence. Granted its raw intelligence and needs to be scrubbed for nuggets and then re-written, but suffice it to say an operation like that would be the envy of any intelligence agency.

Is that what Al is running?

There will never be any proof to that, and partly because all shadow operations are without any real evidence to connect the dots. Therefore you will never have proof, only assertions, and while assertions are powerful, they are not the be all end all of real journalism which Al supposedly teaches. In training people it would be easy for someone from an intelligence branch to come long and teach certain intelligence gathering modalities in the guise of reporting the facts or the truth. The people who went to this school would not see themselves as assets or agents in place, rather they would see themselves as being part of a team of real journalists.

This type of operation where the asset doesn't even know that they are an asset is truly an operation to be proud of I am sure by those who support it. As for the donation pool, of course it is going to come in small batches. If he got it in large lumps everyone would question it. As for paying him it would probably be small amounts, a little here and a little there to keep the flies from gathering over it. However one has to ask himself just what kind of people donate consistently to his site day after day? And more to the point, when will it end? Ask yourself, is America and large parts of the world having economic hard times right now? And if so, who in their right mind would be giving and giving to up and coming journalists who today no one trusts or gives two shits about?

But it continues, and every week the figure goes higher, like we are pre depression/recession, and life is all gay and fun and everyone has money. I think not, people are dead frigging broke, and I highly doubt that he gets enough traffic that cares about some rent a school deal where a bunch of people go get training to be real journalists. It's not that intriguing of an idea.

More ahead...

the_last_name_left said...

S: I think the_last_name_left was brilliant in articulating what is wrong with Al's reasoning about Ackerman and others promoting kinder and gentler imperialism.

Thanks - very kind. :)

But notice Al hasn't addressed it - he's just try to dismiss it.

For example, he suggested it was dumb to say anything about the relationship between Ackerman/Freedom House and John McCain/IRI in 02, because Ackerman was *only a director of Freedom House in 08-09.*

But it's a simple fact that Ackerman was Director at FH from 2000-2005, and then Chair from 2005-2009. That period is 9 years - and obviously includes 2002.

Giordano was being as disingenuous as one can imagine. And obviously so. Bizarre.

Then we have the initial post Al Giordano made.

Al G: Wow. These are some paranoid ravings.


HE said your piece was "falsehood laden". But he never disputed any facts. Instead, Al Giordano later admitted he didn't dispute any of the facts - only the inferences.

In his first post he claimed the (falsehood-laden) inference of the article was

Al G: The suggestion that contributions to our work.........change what we do....

I never took it that Socrates was saying that. You were not making the point that Al Giordano's work had *changed* at all, were you, Socrates? I didn't see your piece as saying that.

I thought you were making the point that connections exist.......not that the connections had necessarily *changed* AL Giordano, or Narco News, or anything, right? The article title says "tied to".....not "changed".

So Giordano's attempt to frame the issue around whether he and NN had changed (or not) is misdirection - a strawman. It totally fails to address the substance.......which seems to be characteristic of Giordano's responses here and elsewhere. Zunes too.

Peter Ackerman? Yeah - way to go Al. lol

Meno said...

Psychological operations are not some kooky, conspiracy theory. We can beat them at their own game. The Cia and Freedom House types can try to manipulate other countries. Citizens of other countries can speak to us Americans and influence our politics.

Technology is a very powerful weapon. You can see it in every developed country on the planet. Today we have more power at our disposal than we had 10 or even 20 years ago. The power of google can be a friend until it becomes your enemy. Social networking sites are data mined for the intelligence gained from them. Everywhere one goes there is a record of it somewhere else. Cameras are everywhere, recording every movement there is. Logs are found easily of the past. Associations on social networks only help intelligence agencies do community of interest searches. No one really cares about it either. They just continue talking, adding friends, and being monitored.

However in third world countries, and even fourth world countries, this type of technology does not exist. So when it is absent, conflicts always seem to arise in those areas whereby more technology is required to collect more data to solve a given problem. It is always sold at first as an enhancement to daily life or even security, later it becomes an issue whereby people feel under surveillance because of it. Power in that technology is always then corrupted for darker use.

Can we beat that technology? In my opinion the answer is no. We rely on it too much in our daily lives to just shut it all down. In Honduras and other third world countries cameras could enhance security, because security right now is up to you. Later though technology is needed, the public is then sold on it for whatever purpose is required to sell them on it, and then its installed and its use continued. Everywhere you see technology on a map you see a darker future, more control of the populace, and more control means less control over your daily life.

part 1

Meno said...

Knowledge can be more powerful than weapons.

Yes, but it has an opposite effect as well. Too much knowledge can destroy those with it.

That's why people like Al show up at small places like this to put out the small fire of awareness. He can't censor here like he does at his own blog. He comes up with the same broken record of McCarthyite spin and evoking authority.

And the same could be said of people like us. We are to them agents of cointelpro. Counter intelligence operators. There to give rise to the conspiracy, to keep others always guessing the truth or the reality, to make things more complex than they truly are, which is why people like Al supposedly exist, which is to give credibility to issues where people like him say none exists.

He claims a gang mentality here, people are all here to gang up on one guy which is him. Calls us bully's when we write things about him and then call him to answer for it, when in fact it is only because he has no control here, which is why people often retreat back to their own domains because they have more control over what is said, what message is delivered, and who will read that message, which are the believers that one builds on or in one's own domain.

He's a young man. He could have been a propaganda asset for many more decades. People like us could do his job better than he can! We would know better than to pimp for John McCain, Daily Kos, Duvall, and other rich hypocrites.

I do not truly know if we are better than anyone else. We are people who have opposing viewpoints, those viewpoints can come in many flavors, therefore those who agree with us will post, those who choose to disagree will be flamed and sent packing if their arguments or debates are not succinct enough or have any real clarity. Does this make us better? I truly cannot say, because we are all individuals with varying degrees of what we feel is right and wrong.

Meno said...

Could some say that what Al is doing - even if - it was intelligence gathering is right? Yes. However there will be an equal amount of people who will think it is wrong, and even more people who will never give a shit and will never say what they feel because none of this concerns them.

We can beat them at their own game. At some point there will be a critical mass. I believe it is already there and has been for quite a while in regards to intellectuals.

I wish this were so. Sadly though my belief is that it is too late. The rich and wealthy own it all or will soon enough. Then what they do with it will be their choice. We can bitch, holler and scream, but unless we achieve the kind of power the right has we will never be able to defeat their power and control. Knowledge is only a stepping stone to another dimension, and only a baby step to get closer to where the powerful reside. Some say resistance is futile, those who fight the power for now are either silenced, killed or otherwise made to look like they are crazy, therefore until we can control the media as they do and reverse it on them, we will never be able to hope we can truly win any real battle with them.

Not to bug you, but you're misusing the word allot. That means to distribute. What you mean should be written as 'a lot'.

My apologies. I have a habit with doing that with that word. I will try and avoid it from now on :)

End Post

socrates said...

Thanks for the posts. I've a funny feeling if we continue on this thread, it's going to overwhelm the blogspot software. One of my posts above has already become mangled. It feels like we might be hitting some harsh truths, as in about ourselves also. If you guys don't mind, I've created a fresh page to continue. That link can be found here or at the top of the front page for December 12th, 2009.

Anonymous said...

I have a quick question, If Giordano is CIA, then who killed his friend Gary Web?

socrates said...

I don't see where anyone said Giordano is CIA.

the_last_name_left said...

I was going to say that!

How are you Socrates?

socrates said...

Hi TLNL. I'm ok, thanks for asking. I think it's the same person who dropped a similar post elsewhere on this blog. But that time he added George Soros to the equation. I can't believe how convoluted the internet is. It's gotten extremely creepy for myself. Maybe someday things will make more sense.