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

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Al Giordano of Narco News P*wned!



(Hat Tip to Stu Piddy)

Those new to this story should first read the following threads. The first one had 117 commments with many coming from Big Al Giordano himself.

Fake Peace Activism Tied To The Military and CIA

Al Giordano of Narco News may have a Credibility Problem


Now fast forward to this month. 22 students and professors from his School of Authentic Journalism have presented a formal grievance letter to the ICNC because it maintains a strong influence on that journalism school. Here it can be found along with Big Al's response.

Open Letter to the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC)

We the undersigned, students and professors of the 2010 School of Authentic Journalism, want to reaffirm our support for the Narco News School of Authentic Journalism, its objectives, content and principles. We express our gratitude to all who have made this gathering possible.

However, we direct this letter to express our concern about the public confirmation of the training of Venezuelan groups in civil resistance in the city of Boston in 2005 by the ICNC. Mr. Jack Duvall, president of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC), confirmed this fact for us on February 9, 2010, which we publicly condemn and denounce here.

We know that some destabilizing actions in Latin American countries have received support from organizations originating in and/or financed from the United States. For this reason, we ask that ICNC answer the following questions:

1. Who were the participants in this meeting? How many were present? Where were they from? How were they chosen?
2. If, on any other occasion, the ICNC has given support other organizations in or from Venezuela;
3. Have any of the participants that attended the 2005 Boston meeting attended any other event financed by ICNC? Are any of these participants still related, directly or indirectly, to the ICNC?
4. What was the meeting's content?
5. Who initiated the contact between the Albert Einstein Institute and ICNC?
6. What relationship did the ICNC have with the Albert Einstein Institute in 2005, at the time of this meeting, and what relationship do they have now?
7. What is the relationship between Jack Duvall, Peter Ackerman and James Woolsey?
8. What is the relationship between Freedom House, the Albert Einstein Institute and ICNC?
9. What are the criteria used by ICNC to determine whether a group will receive financing or not?

We respectfully request:

1. That the ICNC respond as quickly as possible to the aforementioned concerns;
2. That the ICNC publicly state its current position concerning the aforementioned training in 2005.

In closing, we express our support for the construction and defense of authentic journalism, free of any professional obligations beyond the economic support that the school has already received, and we publicly denounce any attempt to link us to the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict and its objectives.

Signers:

Amanda Huerta Morán (Venezuela)
Maylin Alonso (Cuba)
Lourdes Zuazo (Argentina)
Paloma Garcia (Argentina)
Geovani Montalvo (El Salvador)
Sunny Angulo (United States)
Wendy Martinez (Honduras)
Noah Friedman–Rudovsky (United States)
Greg Berger (United States) (Note: I do not adhere to the final paragraph)
Marianne Simons (Brazil)
Marine Lorman (France)
Natalia Viana (Brazil) (Note: I do not adhere to the final paragraph)
Karina Gonzalex (Mexico)
Jesee Freston (Canada)
Ter Garcia (Spain)
Sandra Cuffe (Canada)
Kaelyn Fonde (United States)
Anne Vigna (France)
Charles Hardy (United States)
Omar Vera (Colombia)
Jean Friedman-Rudovsky (United States)
Jill Freidberg (United States)

The chickens have come home to roost for Al Giordano. I will now post some excerpts from his response and compare them to comments he made on the big thread here. You got some 'splainin to do Lucy, laughing the fock out loud.

Al Now Versus Al Then

Now: Each of the signers of the letter agreed to participate in the 2010 School of Authentic Journalism with the full knowledge that the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC) had donated significant funding and that some of its staff and associates would be professors at the School. This was fully disclosed in the announcements last September of the School, its faculty and application process. Nobody can fairly claim to have been surprised by that fact. All wanted to attend the School with full knowledge that there were professors from that organization who should have been considered equal participants as anyone else.

A majority of the signers, additionally, accepted funding for their airplane tickets to and from Mexico to attend the school that, as they knew in advance, was in part provided by ICNC. Five of the signers contributed $250 apiece toward their room and board at the School (less than half of the actual costs of feeding and lodging them) and the rest enjoyed ten days and nights as guests of the School fully subsidized by funds that in part came from ICNC.


Then (Dec. 2009): 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... 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)...

Now: Had this letter not contained the final paragraph – about which two of the signers expressed their non-adherence – which “publicly denounces” something that does not exist (“any attempt to link” the signers to an organization that contributed to the 2010 School of Authentic Journalism), I might have signed the letter, too.

Then: 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... 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...


Basically, the Al Giordano who showed up on this humble blog a few months ago was singing a much different tune than he is now. Back then he was making it seem that the ICNC was a small donor financially and also offered written materials. Now we see Al admitting that the ICNC has made substantial donations and even has members on the School of Authentic Journalism's staff. I don't recall him ever fessing up to any of that back in December.

Here are some more quotes from Al's visit in December 2009. Ask yourselves how they line up with what he is admitting to now.

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...

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...


For that last bit, he said that the ICNC has not been involved in efforts to destabilise Venezuela. But now he is saying he agrees with this:

However, we direct this letter to express our concern about the public confirmation of the training of Venezuelan groups in civil resistance in the city of Boston in 2005 by the ICNC. Mr. Jack Duvall, president of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC), confirmed this fact for us on February 9, 2010, which we publicly condemn and denounce here.

We know that some destabilizing actions in Latin American countries have received support from organizations originating in and/or financed from the United States. For this reason, we ask that ICNC answer the following questions: ...


As that prosecutor dude from Law and Order would ask, "Were you lying then or are you lying now?"

Back then: What you're really upset about, it seems, is your claim that by accepting a modest contribution we are giving credibility to the donor.

Now: Each of the signers of the letter agreed to participate in the 2010 School of Authentic Journalism with the full knowledge that the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC) had donated significant funding and that some of its staff and associates would be professors at the School.

This letter came to my attention through the posting of it by a small time blogger. I will not link to him, because he tends to serve as a strawman making many mistakes willingly or not. I will give that blogger credit for another idea, as long as it's true. Apparently this grievance letter is not so easy to find. It isn't exactly being made too public. Sure, it is now in the public domain. However, it doesn't appear to be highly visible. I have humbly tried here to added some extra exposure to it. Folks need to know of Al Giordano's deep ties to ICNC and subsequently to those other groups.

Al calls this McCarthyite smears by association. A good analogy, however, would be for anyone to argue that Alex Jones and Mike Rivero aren't Holocaust deniers, Joo haters, and right woos left progandists. Rivero has published and linked to such cretins as Curtis Maynard and Jeff Rense. While Alex Jones may be very effective in not going near Holocaust denial and overt Jooo hate, nonetheless, Michael Rivero is a prominent feature of his kooky radio show. Or look at how Larisa Alexandrovna has tried to separate herself from Speedway Bomber Brett Kimberlin.

In a way, Al Giordano is not much different an obfuscator from those few examples. He has tried to minimise his close ties to the ICNC, but as this recent episode has shown, he has truly been p*wned. Back in December he spewed about the ICNC having made a modest donation along with some written supplies. Now we see that he admits, "the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC) had donated significant funding and that some of its staff and associates would be professors at the School. This was fully disclosed in the announcements last September of the School, its faculty and application process." Hmmm. So why was Big Al singing a different tune here in December, when the truth of the matter had already been revealed elsewhere in September?

6 comments:

the_last_name_left said...

Wow!

Have to go read it all......

the_last_name_left said...

Lots to say, but keeping it quick:

I was surprised to read Telesur correspondents went. At first I thought he mentioned their attendance so as to garner credibility. Turns out Al identifies them as the troublemakers. Ah! lol Now i see. hehe


I do not plan, at present, to invite any TeleSur employees or correspondents to future schools, not as professors or as students, unless and until they either resign or are fired from TeleSur, or unless and until TeleSur takes affirmative steps to correct the sabotaging behavior of its correspondents at the 2010 School of Authentic Journalism.


HE's purging em? lol

Colleagues: You might respond to that last statement with some shock. You might ask, “What? Did Giordano just declare a purge of TeleSur correspondents from the J-School?” If that sounds heavy handed, well, it is.

Hmmm. Who is shocked? lol

His line here struck me -

it is also exactly what the TeleSur correspondents and some others tried to do to others during the School: Purge individuals because of their organizational affiliation, appointing themselves in charge of a project that they did not construct, to which they were invitees just the same as any other.

"a project that they did not construct, to which they were invitees"

Hmmm. Who were the inviters? The ICNC? That's kinda the entire issue? LOL

We did try and tell him that getting mixed up with people like the ICNC was going to cause him a few problems.....HAHA

I mean, his "friends" and "colleagues".....other socialists.....are not simply going to swallow it as "fine and dandy" - no matter how loudly Al G insists we should.

But turns out he won't ban them. He'll just insist that everyone must "agree in advance to never again attempt to hijack or change the School’s agenda, or declare by fiat which parts of the curriculum should happen or not."

This ain't a democracy, schmuck!

Sit there and take your training!

Let this response begin a long overdue critique of TeleSur from below and to the left. Authentic journalists simply should never attempt to instruct or order movements how to conduct themselves.

Hmmm. But......the whole point of ICNC is saying how people and movements should conduct themselves?

It's a bit rich to claim that needs happen to Telesur because 3 of their journalists (and others) wanted to do examine that very issue about ICNC and its connection to the School of Journalism. Furthermore, the students were at a course which they might well have suspected would negatively impact upon their own credibility. Plus, we don't know what brought about the disagreements, nor whether any (and what) content and teaching supplied by ICNC had brought about objections, if any.

Maybe the Telesur and other attendees took a dislike to the politics they were seeing, or the ethics, or something.....we aren't told.

Funny, but AL G has his best speaking voice on their....quite different to his usual industrial tone. lol

socrates said...

Al's a funny guy. I'll concede that. He did that funky haha fooled you that you're purged. But then he said you're not but lump it or expect to be banned.

I don't remember him telling us back in December that DuVall and others from ICNC were going to be lecturers at the school. He made it seem like it was no biggie. Just 20 grand with some free pens and pamphlets.

You're so right, TLNL. We warned him. Instead of showing some humility back then, he tried to cover up the problem. Now it's exploding right in his smarmy face.

Google is being very nice to this entry. It's now the top result for Al Giordano ICNC. I tried it on proxy also, so I'm sure it's the top choice. I don't think he'll show up again. The last time has certainly backfired on him. And I don't think he can necessarily go back and fully delete his posts. I think his name would remain. So he can't win. Leave the posts, and it shows he got p*wned by nobodies. Delete them, and it looks like he has something to hide.

There are some other threads out there covering this in the blogosphere. We did our part. But I accept that it was the heavy hitters such as Barker, Gowans, and that sweetie Golinger who really clobbered him well before us slobs showed up (I know, I should speak for myself with the slob part p:>).

Ok, I'll add some of those links. This just goes to show that we needn't waste our time trying to reason with a Holocaust denial supporter. There are much bigger fish to fry than Larry Simons lol. (People can right click and open these up into new windows)

Our common struggle for a good world for all humanity and other life forms

Ansel Herz Nov 17, 2009 article

Colored Revolutions: A New Form of Regime Change, Made in USA by Eva Golinger

Make sure to check out the comments at the bottom of that last link.

Did I mention I'd marry Eva Golinger no questions asked?

I'll leave it at that for giving links. I'm sure that's plenty to get folks on their way to finding whatever they want to.

One last thing I'd like to add. Maybe it relates to your comment about Al using his best speaking voice. Maybe he should do that more often. We're not the only ones he has pegged as cointelpro and McCarthyite smearers by association. I see that's a schtick he likes to throw around to anyone who questions him.

Al Giordano is an obvious poser. No true lefty would be supporting the CIA loving Markos Moulitsas. No true lefty would be in bed with the ICNC. No true lefty would have been chucking smoke and mirrors at nobodies like us when he "graced" this forum late last year. He should have come clean back then. Now it's all come back to bite him in the arse. Did he think the cool people who work for him wouldn't find out that he's a phony? I don't think Giordano will ever recover from this. I truly don't. How can he? He's made things much worse. Why make DuVall a lecturer along with three others who are directly tied to kinder and gentler imperialism?

socrates said...

I just started reading George Salzman's piece titled, "Ansel Herz Nov 17, 2009 article." While I was following Salzman and rooting him on, all of a sudden he started veering into smelling like a douchebag.

"...I fully believe that goal is achievable - but only if the separation into the wealthy privileged and the impoverished majority is erased. This includes of course doing away with the Zionist Nazi state of Israel, and indeed with all nation-states."

For one, don't use the word Nazi to refer to Israel. Not cool. Then I don't have any idea what he's smoking, but if he believes nation-states are going to be abolished, he's definitely not living in reality. This is unfortunate. I liked a lot of what he was on about. I don't even mind if folks critique the Israeli government Palestine policies. They deserve it. But don't put it like that.

Ugh, then he took it a step further into polarising, Nutsville territory. He mentioned that there aren't that many differences between ultra-rich Jews and non-Jews. He mentioned how Jewish-Americans are a small demographic. That public opinion could turn against them. Then he said this:

"I believe, though I have no sure knowledge, that it is that fear which motivates Jewish-oriented groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, etc. to push for so-called "anti-hate speech legislation", and to stigmatize other potential minority populations in the U.S. so that they are targeted for hatred instead of American Jews."

So I guess I'll say oops with my linking to Salzman. The other link of his from Narco News is better, because it stayed more on topic. It appears that after Salzman went into Joo hate territory, that was when Giordano, DuVall, and Zunes simply took off. Thus, it appears that unwittingly, George Salzman is a useful idiot of a strawman. He was in the right. He was making sense. Then he blew it.

Now I'm gonna check out the Golinger piece along with the comments. That is the link people should check out, and not this other one, if they only have time for one link. Sorry for any inconvenience.

socrates said...

Eva Golinger really knows her shit. It's in the comments where they get into the ICNC-Giordano connection.

Boyd Collins: Is the Ivan Marovic you name here as an organizer against Chavez the same Ivan Marovic that Narco News Bulletin recognizes as a faculty member and one of the leaders of the ant-coup resistance in Honduras? How is this possible?

Eva Golinger: Yes it is the same Ivan Marovic....These groups are able to penetrate and infiltrate even those organization considered to be more left-leaning, and then they influence their actions....

Justin: Boyd, it is also worthy of mentioning that Al Giordano's journalism school has the ICNC President, Jack DuVall, as an instructor this year. This list also includes ICNC academic advisor Stephen Zunes. All of which means nothing until you uncover who Peter Ackerman is, who his associates are, and what is the true nature of his game. Then the answer to your questions become obvious. I would suggest not "believing" anybody, neither Eva or Ivan or myself. Do the research and learn for yourself. It's quite a story.

I have one thing to say to Eva Golinger. Kiss me you fool!

Big Al showed up. So did Jack DuVall. Gowans and Zunes. Only ones missing are us! Check it out. p:>

socrates said...

That comment section is a zoo. One tidbit that's arisen is that Giordano approached the ICNC for funding. Another is that the spin is on that people like us are conspiracy theorists for asking obvious questions. It looks like a lot of damage control is in the works. Same old same old. Only new thing is that members of Giordano's school have finally figured out his deep ties to kinder and gentler imperialism. That Salzman guy by the way is kind of scary. Why bring Israel into it all the time? Once in a while fine. But get real. This story right now should focus on Venezuela or at least places more specific to the topic. The Joo global conspiracy theory is fricken everywhere.

To the person who left the message wondering how to contact me, you can sign up at the forum in my profile. If you do, please use proper discretion next time in selecting a username and a home url if you have one. At the forum is the ability to send private messages. But I'm not really into doing that too much. Maybe there are some things you'd like to discuss in private, fine. For the most part I am into everything being in the open.