by Scott Creighton
UPDATE: Over at 21st Century Wire, they have put together a long list of outstanding articles on this subject, some of which I have quoted in my articles and some I have not. The list includes works by folks like Vanessa Beeley, William Engdahl and others. It’s a great resource for information about this propaganda campaign as well as the many others aided by AI and HRW. Well worth the time to check it out and bookmark.
As my coverage of this Amnesty International (AI) propaganda campaign continues, I have often been asked what I think about the timing of the creation and release of Nicolette Waldman fictional “Human Slaughterhouse” report. And I say “fictional” because it is based entirely on statements she garnered from former president Obama’s “moderate” regime change mercenaries. So yes, it is a work of fiction.
The timing could not be more obvious. The story hit the press on February 7th of 2017. Previously scheduled for Feb. 8th of 2017 was the latest round of UN sponsored Syrian peace talks between “opposition” groups, the Syrian government, Russia and other interested parties in Geneva. On Jan. 27th, those talks were pushed back a couple weeks and are now scheduled for the end of February. But the wheels of articulation were already in motion.
“The report has been released conveniently two weeks before talks are set to begin in Switzerland between the Syrian government and the so-called opposition. This is no accident. Already, suit-wearing terrorists are crying that the Syria Peace talks scheduled in two weeks must address the report and the accusations. This “convenient” timing brings to mind the now infamous “Caesar” report produced and paraded around Western media as fact but which, in reality, was nothing more than Qatari-sponsored propaganda.” Brandon Turberville
As Tuberville points out over at Activist Post, this is a carbon copy replay of what they did three years ago just prior to a previous set of peace talks. Only this time they have better visuals.
“On January 20, 2014, only two days before negotiations were set to begin over Syria in Switzerland, a now famous report was released claiming to hold photographic evidence of Bashar al-Assad’s brutality against his own people and institutional torture programs in place by the Syrian government. The report, whose source was an alleged “defector” going only by the name of “Caesar,” and photos he allegedly took at a Syrian government military hospital, was touted as evidence of Assad’s cruelty and an example of how the Syrian president was committing war crimes reminiscent of Nazi Germany.” Activist Post March 2016
The deep state has a long sordid history of staging events just prior to peace negociations with the express purpose of making sure they fail. Most recently we remember the 8th Day campaign where they “accidentally” attacked Syrian army positions and had their “moderate” terrorists attack a UN aid convoy outside of Aleppo so the US military wouldn’t have to hand over all their information on “ISIS” to the Russians once the 8th day of the cease fire successfully completed that part of the agreement. Like what happened in 2014 and earlier this year, this is just one more effort by the masters of the universe to destabilize potential peace in favor of continued war. By accusing Assad of crimes of this nature and magnitude, even with deeply flawed evidence or no evidence at all, they send the message that they intend for their “moderate” opposition members to push for regime change on humanitarian grounds as a prerequisite for the deal which of course will not be on the table and therefore it will be a deal breaker.
This year, the propagandist’s campaign comes with it’s own dramatic CGI webpage, also made public just before the previously scheduled Geneva peace talks. It’s called “Explore Saydnaya“. Computer aided modeling to help the “wow” effect for this year’s regime change propaganda campaign.
The model comes complete with dramatic audio tracks designed to put the viewer right there in the shoes of the “moderate” terrorists as they are taken to prison to serve time for terrorism committed in Syria in the cause of forcing “regime” change.
The entire 3d model experience, which is quite dramatic and extensive, is based solely on the say-so of former prisoners who were also Free Syrian Army terrorists who were held and released by the Syrian government in that facility, Saydnaya… or so they say.
No one bothers to explain how they claim all the “activists” are being exterminated yet these guys are now free to provide testimony about their incarceration. Here’s a screen shot of one of them talking to al Jazeera with a couple kids they found to stick in the video with him as if they were his kids. Notice the looks on their faces.
The immersive 3d model was cobbled together by something called Forensic Architecture. On their webpage they freely admit they have no idea what the inside of the prison looks like and that everything they did with the model is based entirely on the statements made by the regime change mercenaries who were held there… and then released. It uses lighting, sound and other theatrical tricks to induce an emotional connection to their subject matter. It is a carefully constructed “hearts and minds” production and there is no other way to look at it.
Forensic Architecture is part of Goldsmiths College, University of London. University of London is also the umbrella federal system which plays host to the London School of Economics, birthplace of neoliberal economic ideology. This statement is front and center on their main page:
“We provide evidence for international prosecution teams, political organisations, NGOs, and the United Nations in various processes worldwide. Additionally, the agency undertakes historical and theoretical examinations of the history and present status of forensic practices in articulating notions of public truth.” Forensic Architecture
How could this possibly be considered “evidence” when it is based entirely on the statements of men who have been dedicated to helping force a massive change in the political structure of Syria?
That would be like having someone make a 3d model presentation of Abu Ghraib prison based entirely on statements from the CIA director and Dick Cheney. Undoubtedly it would look something like this:
Luckily we have real photos from inside Abu Ghraib and they tell a slightly different story.
You will notice the first might have been what Rumsfeld and Cheney would have presented as “the public truth” and the second is simply the truth. Whether or not they were deliberately released to incite fear in the hearts of potential insurgents is not terribly important right now.
Let me make this point very clear: the problem with basing the AI report and this 3d model on the statements by former regime change actors in Syria is more 3 dimensional than one might think. Not only do they have ample motivations to lie about what happened but in fact, the lies they tell might not even register in their minds as lies. Certainly Cheney and Rumsfeld would have a different perception of what life was like in Gitmo or Abu Ghraib. They may lie about what happens in those locations, but ultimately, even if pressed to tell you the truth about what happens there, their understanding of the truth of the facilities would almost certainly be vastly different that the facts on the ground, so to speak. Same holds true with someone held in a prison for a prolonged time. Memory forensic architecture is flawed in this key, unavoidable fact. The way we perceive adverse events in the history of our lives will often become worse over time than they actually were. So even if these “witnesses” were telling what they perceived to be the truth about what they saw and heard, one has to anticipate embellishment, if only by accident of human nature.
What Forensic Architecture claims to do is “forensic practices in articulating notions of public truth” and they get that from the founder of the program, Eyal Weizman who has written on the subject and has done extensive work in the occupied territories of Palestine. I have not studied his previous work or read his book on the subject so I have no idea if he uses it to minimize the criminal efforts of the IDF or expose them more fully. He was on the board of B’Tselem so I will give him the benefit of the doubt.
Like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, Forensic Architecture has done some important work in the past. Work that exposed brutality of those who commit it in the name of globalization and NATO imperialism.
However, it would seem that FA has also aligned themselves with HRW and AI in a totally different way with this effort. Both of those “humanitarian” organizations have long histories of provided aid and comfort to various propaganda efforts in the past. Propaganda efforts designed to help bring about “regime” change or destabilization of nations led by less-than-friendly leaders targeted by the masters of the universe.
Clearly in this case what we have is a “hearts and minds” campaign unlike many we have seen in the past. Along with FA, AI is trying to articulate a notion of the “public truth” which bears little semblance to the truth but which serves perfectly their Geo-political agenda at this particular moment in the 6-year history of the “regime” change operation in Syria.
As I wrote yesterday, Nicolette Waldman is busy running around informing anyone who will put her in front of a camera of this “public truth” which is well written and reads like something she read in college about the work camps in Nazi Germany. Certainly, that is not by coincidence.
I have to wonder just how many folks understand this “public truth” is comparable to the “public truth” that got us into the Iraq quagmire in the first place. Just imagine the work Forensic Architecture could have done with this rough draft that also happened to be manufactured on behalf of a UN meeting (H/T Greg Bacon):