Processing Distortion with Peter B. Collins: Saudi Strikes Killed Yemen Peace Deal

Peter B. Collins Presents Journalist Joe Lauria

Adding important context and dimensions to the war in Yemen, Joe Lauria reports that a UN-led effort was very close to completing a cease-fire agreement and power sharing deal in Yemen that sould’ve included the recently-deposed president, Hadi. But when Saudi Arabia started its aggressive bombing raids at the end of March, it killed the deal. Lauria’s sources indicate that the Saudis would not permit a secular, democratic government that included women in the leadership to emerge on their border; he also thinks the Saudis were sending the US a message of disapproval of the Iran talks and Obama’s bluff about Syria in 2013. He offers many interesting insights, like Egypt’s reluctance to send ground troops because Egypt lost thousands of soldiers in its Vietnam-style quagmire in Yemen in the 1970’s. And he agrees with Gareth Porter’s recent report that the Houthi rebels are not getting guns and ammo from Iran, despite the inferences in American media.

*Joe Lauria is an independent reporter who publishes in the Wall Street Journal and other outlets. His recent story on Yemen is here

Listen to the Preview Clip Here

Listen to the full episode here (BFP Subscribers Only):

SUBSCRIBE

Processing Distortion with Peter B. Collins: Israel’s Propaganda War

Peter B. Collins Presents Journalist Joe Lauria

Reporting from Ramallah in the Palestinian West Bank, independent reporter Joe Lauria offers keen insights into the claims by Israel that it “has no choice” but to attack Gaza, and its irrational assertion that its disproportionate assault on Hamas and Gaza is somehow “defending itself”. We explore the shifting pretexts for military action against a densely populated area with no exits, and Israel’s escalating demands for a cease-fire. We talk about the Iron Dome myth--unchallenged in the corporate media--and Israel’s furious pushback on Kerry and Obama for seeking an end to the violence, even as they declare unstinting support for the Netanyahu government.

*Joe Lauria is an independent journalist who is covering the war for the Wall Street Journal.

Listen to the Preview Clip Here


Listen to the full episode here (BFP Subscribers Only):

SUBSCRIBE

Podcast Show #109: From the Sunday Times’ Spiked Report to the Boston Terror Attack and Syria

The Boiling Frogs Show Presents Joe Lauria

BFP Podcast Logo

In this episode of Boiling Frogs Post Show investigative journalist Joe Lauria joins us to discuss his experiences during Sunday Times’ investigative series on US officials involved in Espionage and international terrorism. Our discussion includes the numerous unanswered questions in the Boston Terror Attack, the latest developments in Syria and their implications, and more!

Joe Lauria is an author, foreign affairs correspondent and investigative reporter. He has covered the United Nations for 19 years for numerous newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, the London Daily Telegraph, the Montreal Gazette and the Johannesburg Star. Joe is a member of the Sunday Times of London’s investigative unit. He is co-author of A Political Odyssey, a look at America’s defense industry and the false threats it thrives on.

Listen to the Preview Clip Here

Here is our guest Joe Lauria unplugged!
[private]


[/private]

This site depends exclusively on readers’ support. Please help us continue by SUBSCRIBING, and by ordering our EXCLUSIVE BFP DVDs

Podcast Show #98: Election, Iran, UN, Syria & More

The Boiling Frogs Show Presents Joe Lauria

BFP Podcast Logo

Investigative journalist and foreign affairs correspondent Joe Lauria joins us to discuss the re-election of Obama and its potential foreign policy consequences, the implications of coming elections in Israel, the brewing tensions involving Iran and the regional power-players’ stands, the United Nations, Syria and more.

Listen to the Preview Clip Here

Here is our guest Joe Lauria unplugged!

[private]


[/private]

Lauria Joe Lauria is an author, foreign affairs correspondent and investigative reporter. He has covered the United Nations for 19 years for numerous newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, the London Daily Telegraph, the Montreal Gazette and the Johannesburg Star. Joe is a member of the Sunday Times of London’s investigative unit. He is co-author of A Political Odyssey, a look at America’s defense industry and the false threats it thrives on.

This site depends exclusively on readers’ support. Please help us continue by SUBSCRIBING, and by ordering our EXCLUSIVE BFP DVD .

RUSSIA’S MOTIVES IN SYRIA: Another Side of the Story

Moscow's 30-year struggle against encroachment into its sphere of influence by militant Islam

By Joe Lauria

motivesRussia's unyielding support for Damascus throughout the 16 months of Syria's escalating crisis has earned Moscow strong condemnation from Washington and other Western governments, but the reasons for Russia's implacable position have never been fully explained by Moscow or its critics. 

Washington's latest tension with Russia over Syria came last week in a face-to-face meeting between President Obama and President Putin. The week before U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Russia's assertion that it sold only defensive weapons to Damascus “patently untrue.” That was after Clinton had accused Russia of shipping attack helicopters to Syria to crush the rebellion, a charge denied by Moscow.  The New York Times then reported that Russia was only returning repaired helicopters sold to Syria decades ago.

In February, Susan Rice, the top U.S. diplomat at the U.N., used undiplomatically strong language to say the U.S. was “disgusted” by Russia's veto of a Security Council resolution that would have condemned the Syrian crackdown. The tough talk appears designed to embarrass Russia, especially after the recent upsurge in fighting and a string of grisly massacres blamed on Moscow's client.

But until now Russia's motives for defending Damascus have remained largely a subject of speculation, with the U.S. media seemingly disinterested in exploring it.

Russian officials say their position is based on an adamant opposition to regime change, particularly if it is led by Western military intervention, as in Libya. Moscow's support for the Syrian regime has not changed though it has recently inched away from President Bashar Al-Assad leading it. [Read more...]

The Alleged Iranian Plot: Turning the U.N. into a Courtroom

Reasons for Suspicion Run Deep on Political & Legal Grounds

By Joe Lauria

UNThe United States last week turned the U.N. Security Council into a courtroom. It wanted to try Iranian suspects before foreign governments in the bizarre story of an alleged assassination attempt on the Saudi ambassador to Washington. 

Behind closed doors in the council chambers U.S. officials admitted the story was “hard to believe.”  This is according to a Western diplomat who was among the council ambassadors shown evidence by U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, who was accompanied by  officials of the F.B.I., CIA and the State and Justice Departments.

It isn't known whether the CIA official revealed classified information that went beyond the F.B.I. criminal complaint in the case, which was made public. The U.S. isn't normally in the habit of sharing intelligence at the U.N. 

Reuters quoted a U.S. official saying classified wire transfer documents used to pay for the alleged assassination had “some kind of hallmark” showing they were approved by Major General Qasem Soleimani, head of the elite Iranian al-Quds Force. Because the circumstances of the story are so strange, one cannot rule out forgery by Iranian agents working for the U.S.—or for another government that may have even fooled at least some U.S. authorities. Just recall the forged Niger uranium document that was used to justify the invasion of Iraq.

The Clinton administration in 1999 went to court in the Southern District of New York in U.S.A. v. bin Laden in the African Embassy bombings. I covered the trial and saw al-Qaeda operatives on the witness stand. They were convicted by a civilian jury.  The Bush administration ridiculed criminal trials for the crime of terrorism and insisted it was a national security matter without any need to test innocence or guilt in a courtroom.  

When the Obama Justice Department wanted to try terrorism suspect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in the same New York court, the Right howled until Obama backed down.  The handling of this alleged Iranian plot appears to be a weird hybrid between a criminal proceeding and a rush to judgment to convince foreign governments of two suspects' guilt before they are even indicted. The U.S. is also inferring a sovereign state is involved, rather than merely rogue individuals, who, incidentally, are innocent until proven guilty. 

Though the U.S. admitted the story seems far-fetched, U.S. allies Britain, France, Germany and Colombia said they believed Rice's U.N. presentation. These countries may be ready to support new sanctions against Iran—or other action, even though each of them presumably guarantees due process in their legal systems.

Rush to Judgment

DOJOn the day the alleged plot was revealed, and before a Grand Jury has even been empaneled,  Downing Street issued a statement “congratulating” U.S. authorities on the “successful operation to disrupt a conspiracy to attack diplomats” in the U.S. “The United Kingdom is in close touch with the U.S. authorities on this case. We will support measures to hold Iran accountable for its actions," the British statement said. It did not prefix conspiracy with “alleged,” and assumed proof that the plot was already underway when “disrupted,” dismissing the possibility it was suggested to an Iranian-American suspect by the U.S. informant, posing as a Mexican drug gangster.  [Read more...]

Why Palestine is Already a State: Shoddy Reporting Misrepresents Palestinian UN Bid

Palestine is Already a Sovereign State & is Seeking Membership of the UN, Not Statehood

By Joe Lauria

A combination of mistakes—whether through ignorance or design—and significant omissions of fact have left the American public misinformed about why the Palestinians went to the United Nations last week and what they are trying to achieve.

palestineflagThe biggest error repeated across the media in hundreds of headlines and stories is that the Palestinians are seeking statehood at the U.N. In fact, Palestine is already legally a sovereign state and is seeking membership of the United Nations, not statehood. The United Nations does not grant or recognize statehood. Only states can recognize other states bilaterally. The U.N. can only confer membership or non-member, observer state status to already existing states. The U.N. Charter is clear. Article 4 says that only existing states may apply for U.N. membership.

Last Friday Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon accepted an application for U.N. membership from PLO Chairman and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Ban sent the application to the Security Council, which began deliberating on it on Monday (Sept. 26).

The very act of the Secretary General accepting the membership application is an acknowledgement from the U.N. that Palestine is already a state, since only states can apply.

LieThe Montevideo Convention of 1933 lays out the requirements for statehood: a population living on a defined territory with a government that can enter into relations with other governments. The Palestinians have all three. Though its borders with Israel are not set, other countries with border disputes have been admitted as U.N. members, such as Pakistan and India. Trygve Lie, the first U.N. Secretary-General, also wrote a 1950 memo that states do not need universal recognition to apply.

Palestine declared its independence on November 15, 1988, a fact found nowhere in the American mainstream reporting of the past week. A Palestinian walked out of the Al Asqa Mosque that day in Al Quds/Jerusalem and read the declaration aloud, much as someone read the American Declaration of Independence to a crowd in the courtyard of the Philadelphia State House on July 4, 1776.

Almost immediately one hundred nations recognized an independent Palestinian state. Since then 30 more nations have recognized Palestine, some having opened Palestinian embassies in their capitals. This crucial fact too was not reported in the U.S. media. For Palestinians and those countries that recognize them, Israeli troops are occupying a sovereign nation.

It was the same as when Morocco and then France and other nations recognized an independent United States years before the war against Britain was won. For Americans and those nations recognizing America , British troops became an occupation force, not an army defending British territory.

The problem for the Americans then and for the Palestinians now is that the occupying nation and the world's biggest power are not among the 130 who've recognized them.

If there were a United Nations in 1777 the Americans could have applied for membership. And if Britain had a veto on the Security Council then as it does now, it would have blocked that membership. [Read more...]

The EyeOpener- USrael vs. Palestine: A Two-Faced Rejection of a Two-State Solution

Presenting Distinguished  Journalists Pepe Escobar & Joe Lauria

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to visit New York next week to unveil a formal bid for Palestinian membership in the United Nations. The bid has been widely reported since its announcement this month and has been fiercely opposed by the United States and Israel, who fear that such a bid represents a unilateral move on the Palestinians' part toward implementing a two-state solution, something that they argue must be the result of negotiations between the parties.

The Palestinians have expressed frustration with Israel's refusal to extend a 10-month moratorium on settlements in areas that are likely to be part of a future Palestinian state, and its rejection of the use of the 1967 borders with land swaps as the basis for a two-state solution.

Now all sides are shaping up for protracted political wrangling as the specter of a Palestinian UN membership bid has upset the balance of power in an already volatile region.

This is our EyeOpener Report by James Corbett on facts and issues missing in the mainstream media and comments by distinguished journalists Pepe Escobar and Joe Lauria on US-Israel vs. Palestine: :  A Two-Faced Rejection of a Two-State Solution:

This site depends exclusively on readers’ support. Please help us continue by subscribing .

The Sanitized Gulen Coverage Continues…

…and the Real Dots Remain Unconnected

In my last update I covered the recent multi-agenda driven, censored and sanitized media coverage of the Gulen movement. He seems to be back in the news (mainly Turkish media) again with the Flotilla Incident, and again, with unconnected dots, and unmentioned points and facts. Interestingly, the Turkish mainstream media coverage appears to be less sanitized.

IsraelGulenLet’s start with a recent piece published by the Wall Street Journal, written by someone we happen to know and like, Joe Lauria. Joe is one of the few, if not only, journalists who was granted access to Gulen for a direct interview (of course via translator(s) since Gulen doesn’t speak a single word of English, and let’s not forget his literacy level does not exceed the 5th grade!). As you‘ll see below, the fluff article reads like one of Gulen’s bios available on thousands of websites. Knowing Lauria, and his style, it’s not difficult to guess why: WSJ didn’t have enough space? WSJ wanted to limit the piece to a few fluff points related to the current headlines on Flotilla? WSJ doesn’t consider Gulen’s ties to CIA’s Graham Fuller, or Israel’s Abramowitz note or news worthy?...Well, okay, you get my point, right?! I don’t have any ‘real’ inside information on what went on with the WSJ and it’s editors, but I think my guess is as good as any of my informed savvy readers 🙂 Here is the article and a few excerpts:

SAYLORSBURG, Pa.—Imam Fethullah Gülen, a controversial and reclusive U.S. resident who is considered Turkey's most influential religious leader, criticized a Turkish-led flotilla for trying to deliver aid without Israel's consent.

Mr. Gülen said organizers' failure to seek accord with Israel before attempting to deliver aid "is a sign of defying authority, and will not lead to fruitful matters."

Mr. Gülen's views and influence within Turkey are under growing scrutiny now, as factions within the country battle to remold a democracy that is a key U.S. ally in the Middle East. The struggle, as many observers characterize it, pits the country's old-guard secularist and military establishment against Islamist-leaning government workers and ruling politicians who say they seek a more democratic and religiously tolerant Turkey. Mr. Gülen inspires a swath of the latter camp, though the extent of his reach remains hotly disputed.

Mr. Gülen has long cut a baffling figure, as critics and adherents have sparred over the nature of his influence in Turkey and the extent of his reach. Leading a visitor on Wednesday past his front corridor—adorned with a map of Turkey, a verse from the Quran and a photograph of a Turkish F-16 jet over the Bosphorus—he portrayed himself an apolitical teacher. "I do not consider myself someone who has followers," he said.

Okay, the rest is history; literally his bio. As you can see, not a word on the real stuff.

On the other hand, the Turkish press was not as audacious, and they couldn’t resist mentioning a few noteworthy points such as:

How Gulen has had the backing of the US-Israel Lobby

Lauria’s interview included the ‘Ergenekon’ topic & Sibel Edmonds’ infamous case

Then, there is this incredibly confused article at Asia Times on Gulen and AKP based on the Flotilla. I read the piece three times, trying to understand what it was trying to convey: simply a focus-less, aimless, pointless, jumble of facts, semi-facts and confused lines. You know I’m a big fan of Asia Times, do imagine my surprise…

Here is a rather bad opening, intended to be attention-grabbing and dramatic, but ending up as a cheesy attempt with worse to follow:

We've been had, boys and girls: the international community, the world press, Israeli intelligence, the United Nations, the lot of us. The existential drama off the Gaza coast turns out to be a Turkish farce, the kind of low comedy that in 1782 Wolfgang Mozart set to music in the opera The Abduction from the Seraglio, with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan playing the buffo-villain Osmin and Turkish self-exiled preacher and author Fethullah Gulen as the wise Pasha Selim.

Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania

in the United States, was silent as a jinn in a bottle about politics until last Friday, when he told the Wall Street Journal that the Free Gaza flotilla's attempt to run the Israeli blockage of Gaza "is a sign of defying authority, and will not lead to fruitful matters".

For the secretive Gulen to criticize the Turkish government in the midst of its public rage against Israel is an imam-bites-dog story. Gulen appears to have positioned himself as a mediator with Israel. Turkey does not want to end its longstanding relationship with Israel; it wants Israel to become a Turkish vassal-state in emulation of the old Ottoman model.

The star of the comedy, at least for the Turkish media, is Gulen. The 78-year-old imam has lived in self-imposed exile for two decades, due to charges by Turkish prosecutors that he led a conspiracy to subvert the secular state. He presides over Turkey's largest religious movement, commanding the loyalty of two-thirds of the Turkish police, according to some reports. His movement - a transnational civic society movement inspired by Gulen's teachings - also controls a network of elite schools that educate a tenth of the high school students in the Turkic world from Baku to Kyrgyzstan. And it reportedly controls businesses with tens of billions of dollars in assets.

His movement has been expelled from the Russian Federation and his followers arrested in Uzbekistan by local authorities who believe his goal is a pan-Turkic union from the Bosporus to China's western Xinjiang province ("East Turkestan" to Gulen's movement).

I am not going to waste more space for this piece, but please take a look at it and tell me what this hodgepodge is trying to convey; a convoluted, self-interpreted, and highly confused snap shot of Turkish Ottoman History, AKP, Gulen Movement, Flotilla, US Foreign Policy, all in one garbled article…and since I included the awfully cheesy intro, I must finish with this equally corny finale:

Gulen, in short, is a shaman, a relic of pre-history preserved in the cultural amber of eastern Anatolia. Kemalism was sterile, brutal, secular and rational; the "moderate Islam" of Gulen is magical, a mystic's vision of Ottoman restoration and a pan-Turkic caliphate.

The Erdogan government crafted the Mavi Marmara affair as a piece of theater, preparing the deus ex machina (god from the machine) entrance of Gulen himself, more Pagliaccio than Apollo, to be sure. The trouble is that the Turkish Islamists live in a world of magical realism in which theater and reality, human and jinn, desire and achievement blend into a mystical blur. Gulen explains in his The Essentials of the Islamic Faith that Allah created the jinn out of fire. And that is what the apologists for Turkish Islamism are playing with.

AbrFullFullNo one is mentioning why Gulen has been strongly backed by Israel, or, why he is such a loyal defender and supporter of Israel, especially the US-Israel lobby. No one is daring to mention one of his top backers in the US, another butler of Israel, Mort Abramowitz, or and how Abramowitz vouched for Gulen during his deportation hearing. No one is talking about Gulen’s other CIA bodyguard, Graham Fuller. No ‘real’ questions on Gulen’s ‘real’ sources of multibillion dollar funding…No emphasis on Gulen’s real role for the real US decision-makers’ use, and their strategy for Central Asia since 1997…

Some of these reporters have their hands tied by their MSM editors. Some of the semi- independent journalists have fallen for the creators of the smoke and mirrors. And others are simply guided by ignorance and utter dumbness emboldened by their arrogance. Well, they are just the latest being sold and fed garbage when it comes to Gulen.

# # # #

This site depends exclusively on readers’ support. Please help us continue by contributing directly and or purchasing Boiling Frogs showcased products.

Site Updates for November 23

Weekly Interviews, Article Update, & A Few Noteworthy Links

SibelsBFLogoOur Boiling Frogs Show is now officially a weekly-based Podcast interview series. The interviews will be posted every Friday afternoon. Our upcoming guests: Mizgin Yilmaz, Kristina Borjesson, Mark Klein, Pepe Escobar, and Russ Baker. We are scheduling several other exciting and informative interviews; stay tuned.

We have an updated version of Joe Lauria’s FROM FLATBUSH TO THE STREETS OF KANDAHAR here. My site statistics report says it’s been widely clicked-upon & downloaded, so check it out if you haven’t read this solid piece, and go back and re-read it if you’ve read the original piece and want more!

Noteworthy Stories & Links

Welcome Comrade Maobama

Pepe Escobar has a two-part series on Obama’s China Visit at Asia Times. For those of you who may not know; I happen to be a big fan of Mr. Escobar, his solid track record in investigative journalism, his bold and witty writing style, and his untainted and independent stand when it comes to real reporting. When you get a chance check out ‘The Best of Pepe Escobar’ at Asia Times . Here is his part I:

Welcome Comrade Maobama, Part I

As mentioned above, last week we interviewed Mr. Escobar, and will publish the interview in about 4 weeks. 

Lobbyists Boldly Craft & Insert Provisions to the House Bill

As the numbers and actions of sold out spineless representatives in Congress increase, the lobby industry’s takeover of Congress and our legislation gets bolder and bolder. Here is a recent example presented by the Sunlight Foundation:

More than a dozen lawmakers inserted statements supporting a biotechnology provision added to the House health care bill that was crafted by lobbyists for the biotechnology firm Genentech.

Wait a minute before you start waving the ‘oh the shameless Republicans,’ or ‘sold out spineless Democrats’ flag, because this ain’t partisan, as most significant problems rotting our nation are not:

The Genentech lobbyists crafted two statements — one for Democrats and one for Republicans — for lawmakers to insert into the Congressional Record. The collection of lawmakers is very bipartisan with ten Republicans and eight Democrats issuing near identical statements. (One Democrat, Rep. Heath Shuler, inserted the Republican statement.)

As for the implications? Here is a sound, important, but still micro-level conclusion on implications being cited by several sites and forums: [Read more...]

Podcast Show #12

The Boiling Frogs Presents Joe Lauria

BFP Podcast Logo

Joe Lauria relates the latest developments in the United Nations, including the controversies involving the elections in Afghanistan, the removal of Peter Galbraith, and the liability of having an American as the second man in office. He discusses the recent UN report on the Taliban’s funding, including heroin related funds and associated outcomes, the chronic and widespread corruption within the Afghan government, and President Obama’s dilemma when it comes to Af-Pak. The interview also includes his perspective on factors contributing to the fading away of the traditional roles of the press in the US, the media blackout on ‘deep politics,’ shortcomings of amateur news blogs, and more!

Joe-LauriaJoe Lauria is an author, foreign affairs correspondent and investigative reporter. He has covered the United Nations for 19 years for numerous newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, the London Daily Telegraph, the Montreal Gazette and the Johannesburg Star. Joe is a member of the Sunday Times of London's investigative unit. He is co-author of A Political Odyssey, a look at America’s defense industry and the false threats it thrives on.

Here is our guest Joe Lauria unplugged!

This site depends exclusively on readers’ support. Please help us continue by contributing directly and or purchasing Boiling Frogs showcased products.

Author & Journalist Joe Lauria Invites You to Support Boiling Frogs Post

Boiling Frogs Post: Filling the gaps in in-depth coverage

JoeLauriaEndorsementThe crisis in journalism was brought on mostly by industry consolidation and by media owners in denial about wasting billions on consultants, who recommended firing reporters and displacing serious news with puzzles and celebrity-worship, even of business and political leaders. The public must depend on the press for protection against abuses of power by those leaders, not to be distracted from them.

Beneath news of political campaigns, bills in Congress and the latest wars is a deep politics that is going largely uncovered: first, because its participants try to keep it secret and second, because Resources for in-depth reporting have been sharply cut back.    

Amateurish blogs, though raising issues the established media doesn’t, can’t be a substitute for serious journalism. This site is an attempt to fill the gaps in in-depth coverage. I appeal to readers to generously support it.

Joe Lauria

PLEASE DONATE NOW

Joe Lauria is an author, foreign affairs correspondent and investigative reporter. He has covered the United Nations for 19 years for numerous newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, the London Daily Telegraph, the Montreal Gazette and the Johannesburg Star. Joe is a member of the Sunday Times of London's investigative unit. He is co-author of A Political Odyssey, a look at America’s defense industry and the false threats it thrives on.

This project is solely dependent on your donations. Your contributions will allow us to:

  • Purchase and publish investigative news stories and exposés
  • Bring to you in-depth commercial free Podcast interviews
  • Present independent editorials and analyses
  • Showcase original editorial cartoons
  • Facilitate lively discussions
  • Maintain & Manage this Website

We need your support to make this project a reality. Please contribute what you can, and many thanks for all you do.

PLEASE DONATE NOW

The American Conservative Article & the Credibility Question


Scott Horton Interviews Phil Giraldi & Joe Lauria

Joe Lauria discusses his investigation of the case and confirmation of credibility by three FBI Agents with first-hand knowledge. Philip Giraldi expands upon the interview, and talks about the pseudo alternative media’s vested interests.

This is an excellent interview (as always) by Scott Horton of AntiWar Radio; loads of information for those in search of unbiased reporting. Here is the link.