Posts Tagged ‘Desinformation’

USA: BP – selbst zu blöd für “Photoshop”…

Freitag, Juli 23rd, 2010

“BP Photoshops Another Official Image Terribly

BP Photoshops Another Official Image TerriblyThis week it came to light that BP had photoshopped—poorly—an official image of their crisis command center. Apparently, that wasn’t an isolated incident. Let’s take a closer look at this view from a helicopter, shall we? UPDATED:

The photo, sent in by a tipster and entitled “View of the MC 252 site from the cockpit of a PHI S-92 helicopter 26 June 2010,” shows up here, a section of BP’s website that hopes to explain their response effort through pictures. This one, sadly, is fabricated.

The first thing you might notice out of place is the looming air traffic control tower in the upper left hand side of the photo:
BP Photoshops Another Official Image TerriblyThen, direct your attention to where the water abruptly changes shades of blue in a frenzy of pixelation, blurring, and a disappearing vessel:
BP Photoshops Another Official Image TerriblyZeroing in on the pilot on the left, evidence of a pretty sloppy cutting job:
BP Photoshops Another Official Image TerriblyAnd last, while the helicopter clearly appears to be situated at some height above the boats ahead, the readouts on the dash appear to indicate that that door and ramp are open and the parking brake engaged, not to mention that the pilot appears to be holding a pre-flight checklist:
BP Photoshops Another Official Image TerriblyAnd so on. As one reader pointed out, the tower may in fact be an oil rig adjacent to a helipad (which would also explain why the pilots are in prep mode), but the photo’s still clearly been doctored. Badly.

Obviously there are bigger fish to fry when it comes to BP. But every time they fabricate an image like this, it undermines whatever little credibility they have left, along with all of the actual documentation of the massive undertaking this has been and will continue to be. It speaks to a company still more concerned with image than reality, in charge of repairing something so terribly broken that we can’t afford to treat it with anything but total candor.

UPDATE: BP has acknowledged that they manipulated the image and has posted the original here. [BP]”

Send an email to Brian Barrett, the author of this post, at


(Quelle: Gizmodo.)


Siehe auch:

BP photoshops fake photo of crisis command center, posts on main BP site

Iran: Kein Atomwaffen-Programm

Dienstag, Juli 20th, 2010

“Amiri Told CIA Iran Has No Nuclear Bomb Programme

By Gareth Porter

WASHINGTON – Contrary to a news media narrative that Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri has provided intelligence on covert Iranian nuclear weapons work, CIA sources familiar with the Amiri case say he told his CIA handlers that there is no such Iranian nuclear weapons programme, according to a former CIA officer.

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA counterterrorism official, told IPS that his sources are CIA officials with direct knowledge of the entire Amiri operation.

The CIA contacts say that Amiri had been reporting to the CIA for some time before being brought to the U.S. during Hajj last year, Giraldi told IPS, initially using satellite-based communication. But the contacts also say Amiri was a radiation safety specialist who was ‘absolutely peripheral’ to Iran’s nuclear programme, according to Giraldi.

Amiri provided ‘almost no information’ about Iran’s nuclear programme, said Giraldi, but had picked up ‘scuttlebutt’ from other nuclear scientists with whom he was acquainted that the Iranians have no active nuclear weapon programme.

Giraldi said information from Amiri’s debriefings was only a minor contribution to the intelligence community’s reaffirmation in the latest assessment of Iran’s nuclear programme of the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE)’s finding that work on a nuclear weapon has not been resumed after being halted in 2003.

Amiri’s confirmation is cited in one or more footnotes to the new intelligence assessment of Iran’s nuclear programme, called a ‘Memorandum to Holders’, according to Giraldi, but it is now being reviewed, in light of Amiri’s ‘re- defection’ to Iran.

An intelligence source who has read the ‘Memorandum to Holders’ in draft form confirmed to IPS that it presents no clear-cut departure from the 2007 NIE on the question of weaponisation. The developments in the Iranian nuclear programme since the 2007 judgment are portrayed as ‘subtle and complex’, said the source.

CIA officials are doing their best to ‘burn’ Amiri by characterising him as a valuable long-term intelligence asset, according to Giraldi, in part in order to sow as much distrust of him among Iranian intelligence officials as possible.

But Giraldi said it is ‘largely a defence mechanism’ to ward off criticism of the agency for its handling of the Amiri case.

‘The fact is he wasn’t well vetted,’ said Giraldi, adding that Amiri was a ‘walk- in’ about whom virtually nothing was known except his job.

Although an investigation has begun within the CIA of the procedures used in the case, Giraldi said, Amiri’s erstwhile CIA handlers still do not believe he was a double agent or ‘dangle’.

What convinced CIA officers of Amiri’s sincerity, according to Giraldi, was Amiri’s admission that he had no direct knowledge of the Iranian nuclear programme.

A ‘dangle’ would normally be prepared with some important intelligence that the U.S. is known to value.

Amiri’s extremely marginal status in relation to the Iranian nuclear programme was acknowledged by an unnamed U.S. official who told The New York Times and Associated Press Friday that Amiri was indeed a ‘low-level scientist’, but that the CIA had hoped to use him to get to more highly placed Iranian officials.

Giraldi’s revelations about Amiri’s reporting debunks a media narrative in which Amiri provided some of the key evidence for a reversal by the intelligence community of its 2007 conclusion that Iran had not resumed work on nuclear weapons.

An Apr. 25 story by Washington Post reporters Joby Warrick and Greg Miller said the long-awaited reassessment of the Iranian nuclear programme had been delayed in order to incorporate a ‘new flow of intelligence’ coming from ‘informants, including scientists with access to Iran’s military programs….’

They quote Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair as explaining in an interview that the delay was because of ‘information coming in and the pace of developments’.

Warrick and Miller reported that Amiri had ‘provided spy agencies with details about sensitive programs including a long-hidden uranium-enrichment plant near the city of Qom.’ Their sources were said to be ‘current and former officials in the United States and Europe’.

Warrick and Miller could not get CIA officials to discuss Amiri. Instead they quoted the National Council of Resistance in Iran (NCRI) as saying that Amiri ‘has been associated with sensitive nuclear programs for at least a decade’.

NCRI is the political arm of Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK), the anti-regime Iranian terrorist organization which has been a conduit for Israeli intelligence on the Iranian nuclear programme.

On Jun. 8, David E. Sanger of the New York Times cited ‘foreign diplomats and some American officials’ as sources in reporting that a series of intelligence briefings for members of the U.N. Security Council last spring amounted to ‘a tacit admission by the United States that it is gradually backing away’ from the 2007 NIE. Sanger referred to ‘new evidence’ that allegedly led analysts to ‘revise and in some cases reverse’ that estimate’s conclusion that Iran was no longer working on a nuclear weapon.

Sanger cited ‘Western officials’ as confirming that Amiri was providing some of the new information.

Three days later, the Washington Post ran another story quoting David Albright, director of the Institute for Science and International Security, as saying that the intelligence briefings for Security Council members had included ‘information about nuclear weaponisation’ obtained from Amiri.

Albright said he had been briefed on the intelligence earlier that week, and the Post reported a ‘U.S. official’ had confirmed Albright’s account.

Subsequently, ABC News reported that Amiri’s evidence had ‘helped to contradict’ the 2007 NIE, and McClatchy Newspapers repeated Albright’s allegation and the conclusion that the new assessment had reversed the intelligence conclusion that Iran had ceased work related to weaponisation.

In creating that false narrative, journalists have evidently been guided by personal convictions on the issue that are aligned with certain U.S., European and Israeli officials who have been pressuring the Barack Obama administration to reject the 2007 estimate.

For the Israelis and for some U.S. officials, reversing the conclusion that Iran is not actively pursuing weaponisation is considered a precondition for manoeuvring U.S. policy into a military confrontation with Iran.

*Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist specialising in U.S. national security policy. The paperback edition of his latest book, ‘Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam’, was published in 2006. “


(Quelle: IPS News.)

Australien: Wie blöd – Sahraui-Flüchtlingsfrau ist gar keine Sklavin…

Dienstag, Juni 29th, 2010

Western Sahara
Culture – Arts | Society

Sahrawi refugee to court: “I’m not a slave”

Fetim Salam Hamdi with one of her four children

Fetim Salam Hamdi with one of her four children

© NSCWS/afrol News

Sahrawi refugee Fetim Salam Hamdi has been portrayed as a slave in a poorly translated documentary film. But Ms Hamdi insists she is a free woman and now goes to court to stop the film’s screaning.

The Australian documentary film “Stolen”, shot in the Algeria-based refugee camps housing over 100,000 Sahrawi refugees last year, portrays the Ms Hamdi as a slave. Ms Hamdi herself claims to have been shocked as she first saw the result of the filming, alleging massive manipulation in scenes and translations.

This week, “Stolen” will be screened at the Norwegian Short Film Festival unless Ms Hamdi and her lawyer, Andreas Galtung, are not successful in getting a court order to stop the screening. They claim the screening is “an offence of her dignity.”

“It is an offence to Fetim to be presented as a slave. The proofs clearly document that there is clear manipulation in the film material, and it is sad that the Short Film Festival does not show consideration for her by stopping today’s screening”, stated Mr Galtung today.

Ms Hamdi is the mother of four children, and a kindergarten teacher in the Sahrawi refugee camps in Algeria. In “Stolen”, however, she is said to have been kidnapped by her present “slave owner” and put to hard forced work. Several statements from Ms Hamdi, the “slave owner” and her family members are presented as “proof” she is held as slave.

But all these statements in Arabic turn out to be wrongly translated. When the film had its premiere in Australia last year, also translators from ‘Al Jazeera’, working for Australian TV, reacted to the totally wrong English subtitles of the Arabic dialect used in the refugee camps. A certified translator that the filmmakers claim to have used, has himself heavily criticised the subtitles, and has stated that his corrections had not been used in the film.

In one of the central scenes, Ms Hamdi’s own sister and mother said “It is not true” and “she [Fetim] was not kidnapped”, to the questions from the filmmaker whether the main character was stolen as a child. But in the subtitles from the same scene, the women are quoted that Ms Hamdi was kidnapped and is controlled by the woman portrayed as a slave owner. None of the interviews in the movie support the claims from the filmmakers that Ms Hamdi had been “stolen”.

According to Ms Hamdi’s supporters, almost all the scenes in which the main character is shown, “have been deliberately subtitled erroneously.” On two occasions in the film, the audience is given the impression that Ms Hamdi is ordered to carry out work, “but in both cases the subtitles are pure fantasy,” her supporters say.

“The worst thing is that the lies do not only affect Fetim and her family, but also stigmatising the entire people. The Sahrawi people have gone through extreme ordeals, and it is sad that when they finally get some attention, it is based on a scam. The short film festival has an ethical responsibility, and it is a scandal that they knowingly accept giving legitimacy to a propaganda movie”, comments Jørn Sund-Henriksen of the Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara.

Not only Ms Hamdi is portrayed in a “disrespectful” way, the Committee holds. “The movie makers have also abused the rest of her family, such as her 15 year old daughter. The toughest treatment, was perhaps given to the claimed slave owner, who with use of consistently erroneous subtitles, and the moviemakers’ narration, is accused of kidnapping. No proof is given,” it adds.

The Sahrawi people of Western Sahara traditionally kept slaves, but during Spanish colonial rule, this tradition was mostly done away with. The Polisario government ruling in the refugee camps claims to have rooted out the last remnants of this slaveholding tradition among the Sahrawis.

(Quelle: afrol News.)

Klima: Alle meine Entchen…

Dienstag, Juni 29th, 2010

Newspaper retracts “climategate” story, months too late

The Times of London published utterly untrue stories about the “climategate” emails; now they regret the error

By Alex Pareene

Remember “climategate”? Someone hacked and distributed emails from climate scientists from the University of East Anglia. (It was kind of like Weigelgate except the entire Earth is going to die in a fire.) Some of the scientists used words like ‘trick” and “hide.” Instant scandal: Global warming is made up! A British newspaper has finally gotten around to correcting the record.

It was obvious to anyone who actually bothered to read the stolen “climategate” emails that they didn’t actually contain anything particularly scandalous, and they certainly didn’t contain anything at all that remotely called into the question the legitimacy of years of science demonstrating the effect of human activity on climate change.

But once the name “climategate” was affixed to the trumped-up non-scandal and printed in large type in a major newspaper, it didn’t matter what the emails said. Not a whit. Emails, scandal, “-gate” — there must be something to this!

There wasn’t. Amazingly, The Sunday Times of London has now effectively retracted its most damning stories on the manufactured outrage. Months too late, obviously.

Via a Newsweek post by Sharon Begley, enjoy this description of how the Times ended up viciously misquoting a climate scientist:

A version of our article that had been checked with Dr Lewis underwent significant late editing and so did not give a fair or accurate account of his views on these points. We apologise for this.

The best editing errors are the ones that end up making stories support a predetermined conclusion, right?

Anyway now that The Times has corrected the record, everyone will agree to do something about carbon emissions, right?

(Quelle: Salon.)

Mexiko: “Wir sind Staatsbürger nur für einen Tag!”

Mittwoch, Juni 23rd, 2010

"Wir sind Staatsbürger nur für einen Tag!"

(Bild: Hamburger Stiftung für politisch Verfolgte)
Pedro Matías Arrazola

In den vergangenen zehn Jahren sind 61 Journalisten in Mexiko umgebracht worden, acht werden vermisst. Jüngstes Opfer der Gewalt gegen Journalisten ist die Reporterin Ixtli Martínez. Sie wurde am 10. Juni angeschossen, als sie über Auseinandersetzungen zwischen Studenten und Schlägertrupps an der Justizfalkultät der Autonomen Universität Benito Juárez in Oaxaca UABJO berichtete. In einem Interview prangert Pedro Matias, politisch verfolgter Journalist aus Oaxaca, der zur Zeit in Deutschland lebt, die fehlende Demokratie in seinem Land an.

Pedro, du sagst: „ Wir sind nur Staatsbürger für einen Tag“. Was meinst du damit?
Ich meine damit, dass wir für die Regierung nur an dem Tag interessant sind, an dem wir wählen gehen. Mexiko ist kein demokratisch regiertes Land. Oppositionelle aller Art werden unter dem Vorwand der Bekämpfung des Drogenhandels massiv verfolgt.

Hat diese Verfolgung mit deinem Aufenthalt in Deutschland zu tun?
Ja, und ich bin nur einen vom vielen. Von 2000 bis 2010 – und das sind die offiziellen Zahlen der staatlichen Kommission für Menschenrechte – wurden 61 Journalisten umgebracht und acht sind verschwunden.

Wie ist es dir ergangen?
Ich habe für die kritische, auf nationaler Ebene erscheinende Wochenzeitschrift „Proceso“, für eine Zeitung in Oaxaca und für das Radio gearbeitet. Ich habe über den Konflikt in Oaxaca im Jahr 2006 zwischen den streikenden Lehrern, der sie unterstützenden Zivilgesellschaft und dem harten Vorgehen der lokalen Regierung, geschrieben.

Am 25. Oktober 2008 bin ich dann am Stadtrand von Oaxaca-Stadt, als ich in meinem Auto fuhr,  von zwei Wagen regelrecht umzingelt worden. Ich wurde aus dem Auto gezogen und in den Kofferraum meines Autos gesteckt. Zehn Tage war ich entführt. In dieser Zeit hat man mich bedroht, mir eine Pistole an die Stirn gesetzt, mir mit Vergewaltigung gedroht und gesagt, dass ich auf meine Familie aufpassen sollte. Dann ließ man mich frei. Dank der Hamburger Stiftung für politisch Verfolgte, die Stipendien vergibt, bin ich seit Juni 2009 in Deutschland.

Wie sieht du die augenblickliche Lage in Mexiko?

Wir leben in einem gespaltenen Land. Der Norden ist wirtschaftlich zwar moderner, dort haben wir es aber mit der organisierte Kriminalität von sieben, sich untereinander bekämpfenden Drogenkartellen zu tun. Der Süden ist zum Teil so arm wie einige Länder in Afrika. In meinem Bundesstaat Oaxaca herrscht z. B. der Kazikismus (von spanisch „Cazique“: autoritäre Herrschaft einer einzigen Person) von rund 80 Jahren PRI-Herrschaft, Oaxaca ist einer der ärmsten Bundesstaaten im Land.

Die mexikanische Regierung gibt sogar zu, dass die Zahl der Armen um sechs Millionen Menschen  und die Zahl der Unterbeschäftigten und Arbeitslosen um vier Millionen Menschen im Land gestiegen ist. Die „remesas“ (Rücküberweisungen der Migranten in den USA nach Mexiko) aus den USA sind durch die dortige Wirtschaftskrise um 16 Prozent zurückgegangen.

 In Oaxaca hungern die Menschen. Die Mobilisierung im Jahr 2006, bei der eine Million Menschen auf die Straße ging, hat dieses deutlich gezeigt.  Unter dem Vorwand der Drogenbekämpfung wird jede Art von Opposition, seien es Basisbewegungen, Gewerkschaftler oder Menschen mit sozialem Engagement, verfolgt.

Gerade in Oaxaca ist die Lage dramatisch, weil die Regierung große Bergbau- und Wasserprojekte in der Region plant, ohne Rücksicht auf die Belange der indianischen Bevölkerung. In Oaxaca wurden zwölf Konzessionen an kanadische Firmen vergeben. Jeder Widerstand gegen diese Projekte, von denen man weiß, dass sie ökologisch sehr umstritten sind, wird im Keim erstickt.

Was bedeutet das für einen kritischen Journalismus ?

Es gibt unterschiedliche Formen der Repression: einer der Zeitungen, für die ich geschrieben habe, wurde nahe gelegt, mich zu entlassen, weil sie ansonsten keine Aufträge mehr für Anzeigen von großen Firmen bekommen würde. Weiterhin werden kritische Journalisten psychologisch und ganz handfest unter Druck gesetzt: es wird geprüft, ob sie ihre Steuern ordnungsgemäß zahlen, sie werden beschattet und ihre Familien werden bedroht.

Die Zeitung „Proceso“ hat wegen Einschränkung der Pressefreiheit vor internationalen Gerichten eine Anklage gegen die mexikanische Regierung erhoben.

Die großen Meinungsmacher in Mexiko sind, besonders im TV-Bereich, Televisa und Tele Azteca. Das hat sich auch bei der Wahl des Präsidenten im Jahr 2006 gezeigt. Der links stehende Kandidat Lopez Obrador wurde diffamiert und diskreditiert.

Ähnlich war es in Oaxaca, bei den Unruhen wurden nur die brennenden Busse gezeigt, aber nie über die Ursachen des Aufstandes berichtet. Kritisch berichtenden Radiostationen werden in Mexiko einfach die Sendeerlaubnis entzogen.

Mexiko ist nach dem Irak das zweit gefährlichste Land für Journalisten.

Mir wurde vorgeworfen, ich hätte mit dem Drogenhandel zu tun. Ich habe nach meiner Freilassung Anzeige erstattet, aber was bringt das?

Wie kann sich die Situation in Mexiko verbessern?
Nur mit Druck von außen und Vernetzung von innen. In Oaxaca finden 2010 Gouverneurswahlen statt. Man spricht sogar von einer Koalition zwischen PAN und PRI. Es heißt, die PRI, der der äußerst brutal regierende Gouverneur Ortiz angehört, will den früheren Regierungsminister Jorge Franco als Kandidaten aufstellen. Er  hat  im Jahr 2006 für die massive militärische Unterdrückung der Opposition in Oaxaca gesorgt. Dann besteht ernsthafte Gefahr für einen neuen Aufstand. Die indigene Bevölkerung in Oaxaca ist sehr leidensfähig, aber auch sehr kampfbereit.

Wie hat sich die Kirche in Oaxaca während des Konfliktes verhalten?

Die Kirche hat eine wichtige Rolle im Konflikt 2006 gespielt. Viele Kirchen waren für die Aktivisten der Opposition offen, eine Gruppe von gut 20 bis 30 Priestern steht an der Seite der  Armen. Der Ortsbischof hat sich zwar kritisch zum Streik der  Lehrer geäußert, aber auch die Regierung deutlich für ihr hartes Vorgehen gehen die Opposition kritisiert.

Was können wir von Deutschland aus tun?
Ganz wichtig ist die Solidarität. Mexiko soll endlich die Verträge zur Pressefreiheit und zum Schutz der Menschenrechte einhalten, die die Regierung so schön unterschrieben hat.
Ich habe sehr viel Unterstützung  in Deutschland erfahren, von privaten Leuten und von Menschenrechtsorganisationen. Je mehr über die wirkliche Situation in Mexiko berichtet wird, je mehr die Leute Beschwerdebrief an die mexikanische Regierung schreiben, desto

Was ist dein Wunsch?
Auf jeden Fall in diesem Jahr nach Mexiko zurückkehren und weiterarbeiten. Ich bin hier in Deutschland sehr gestärkt worden und konnte mich gut vernetzen. Kritischer Journalismus ist in Mexiko gefährlich, aber ich mache weiter.

Das Interview führte Stefanie Hoppe, Referentin für Bildung/ Pastoral beim Lateinamerika-Hilfswerk Adveniat.

(Quelle: Blickpunkt Lateinamerika.)

Indien: ‘Hexenjagd’ auf Arundhati Roy

Dienstag, Juni 15th, 2010

Operation Green Hunt’s urban avatar

By Arundhati Roy

“While the Indian Government considers deploying the army and air force to quell the rebellion in the countryside, strange things are happening in the cities.

On the 2nd of June the Committee for the Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR) held a public meeting in Mumbai. The main speakers were Gautam Navlakha, editorial consultant of the Economic and Political Weekly and myself. The press was there in strength. The meeting lasted for more than three hours. It was widely covered by the print media and TV. On June 3rd, several newspapers, TV channels and online news portals like, covered the event quite accurately. The Times of India (Mumbai edition), had an article headlined “We need an idea that is neither Left nor Right”, and the Hindu’s article was headlined “Can we leave the bauxite in the mountain?” The recording of the meeting is up on YouTube.

The day after the meeting, the Press Trust of India (PTI) put out a brazenly concocted account of what I had said. The PTI report was first posted by the Indian Express online on June 3rd 2010 at 13.35 pm. The headline said: “Arundhati backs Maoists, dares authorities to arrest her.” Here are some excerpts:

“Author Arundhati Roy has justified the armed resistance by Maoists and dared the authorities to arrest her for supporting their cause.”

“The Naxal movement could be nothing but an armed struggle. I am not supporting violence. But I am also completely against contemptuous atrocities-based political analysis.” (?)

“It ought to be an armed movement. Gandhian way of opposition needs an audience, which is absent here. People have debated long before choosing this form of struggle,” Roy, who had saluted the “people of Dantewada” after 76 CRPF and police personnel were mowed down by Maoists in the deadliest attack targeting security forces. “‘I am on this side of line. I do not care…pick me up put me in jail,’ she asserted.”

Let me begin with the end of the report. The suggestion that I saluted “the people of Dantewada” after the Maoists killed 76 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is a piece of criminal defamation. I have made it quite clear in an interview on CNN-IBN that I viewed the death of the CRPF men as tragic, and that I thought they were pawns in a war of the rich against the poor. What I said at the meeting in Mumbai was that I was contemptuous of the hollow condemnation industry the media has created and that as the war went on and the violence spiraled, it was becoming impossible to extract any kind of morality from the atrocities committed by both sides, so an atrocity-based analysis was a meaningless exercise. I said that I was not there to defend the killing of ordinary people by anybody, neither the Maoists nor the government, and that it was important to ask what the CRPF was doing with 27 AK-47s, 38 INSAS, 7 SLRs, 6 light machine guns, one stengun and a two-inch mortar in tribal villages. If they were there to wage war, then being railroaded into condemning the killing of the CRPF men by the Maoists meant being railroaded into coming down on the side of the Government in a war that many of us disagreed with.

The rest of the PTI report was a malicious, moronic mish-mash of what transpired at the meeting. My views on the Maoists are clear. I have written at length about them. At the meeting I said that the people’s resistance against the corporate land grab consisted of a bandwidth of movements with different ideologies, of which the Maoists were the most militant end. I said the government was labeling every resistance movement, every activist, ‘Maoist’ in order to justify dealing with them in repressive, military fashion. I said the government had expanded the meaning of the word ‘Maoist’ to include everybody who disagreed with it, anybody who dared to talk about justice. I drew attention to the people of Kalinganagar and Jagatsinghpur who were waging peaceful protests but were living under siege, surrounded by hundreds of armed police, were being lathi-charged and fired at. I said that local people thought long and hard before deciding what strategy of resistance to adopt. I spoke of how people who lived deep inside forest villages could not resort to Gandhian forms of protest because peaceful satyagraha was a form of political theatre that in order to be effective, needed a sympathetic audience, which they did not have. I asked how people who were already starving could go on hunger strikes. I certainly never said anything like “it ought to be an armed movement.” (I’m not sure what on earth that means.)

I went on to say that all the various resistance movements today, regardless of their differences, understood that they were fighting a common enemy, so they were all on one side of the line, and that I stood with them. But from this side of the line, instead of only asking the government questions, we should ask ourselves some questions. Here are my exact words:

“I think it is much more interesting to interrogate the resistance to which we belong, I am on this side of the line. I am very clear about that. I don’t care, pick me up, put me in jail. I am on this side of the line. But on this side of the line, we must turn around and ask our comrades questions.”

I then said that while Gandhian methods of resistance were not proving to be effective, Gandhian movements like the Narmada Bachao Andolan had a radical and revolutionary vision of “development” and while the Maoists methods of resistance were effective, I wondered whether they had thought through the kind of “development” they wanted. Apart from the fact that they were against the Government selling out to private corporations, was their mining policy very different from state policy? Would they leave the bauxite in the mountain — which is what the people who make up their cadre want, or would they mine it when they came to power?

I read out Pablo Neruda’s “Standard Oil Company” that tells us what an old battle this one is.

The PTI reporter who had made it a point to take permission from the organizers to record cannot claim his or her version to be a matter of ‘interpretation’. It is blatant falsification. Surprisingly the one-day-old report was published by several newspapers in several languages and broadcast by TV channels on June 4th, many of whose own reporters had covered the event accurately the previous day and obviously knew the report to be false. The Economic Times said: “Publicity seeking Arundhati Roy wants to be Aung San Su Kyi”. I’m curious — why would newspapers and TV channels want to publish the same news twice, once truthfully and then falsely?

That same evening (June 4th), at about seven O’clock, two men on a motorcycle drove up to my home in Delhi and began hurling stones at the window. One stone nearly hit a small child playing on the street. Angry people gathered and the men fled. Within minutes, a Tata Indica arrived with a man who claimed to be a reporter from Zee TV, asking if this was “Arundhati Roy’s house” and whether there had been trouble. Clearly this was a set up, a staged display of ‘popular anger’ to be fed to our barracuda-like TV channels. Fortunately for me, that evening their script went wrong. But there was more to come. On June 5th the Dainik Bhaskar in Raipur carried a news item “Himmat ho to AC kamra chhod kar jungle aaye Arundhati” (If she has the guts Arundhati should leave her airconditioned room and come to the jungle) in which Vishwaranjan, the Director General of Police of Chhattisgarh challenged me to face the police by joining the Maoists in the forest. Imagine that— the police DGP and me, Man to Man. Not to be outdone, a Bharatiya Janata Party leader from Chhattisgarh, Ms Poonam Chaturvedi announced to the press that I should be shot down at a public crossroad, and that other traitors like me should be given the death sentence. (Perhaps someone should tell her that this sort of direct incitement to violence is an offense under the Indian Penal Code.) Mahendra Karma, Chief of the murderous ‘peoples’ militia the Salwa Judum which is guilty of innumerable acts of rape and murder, asked for legal action to be taken against me. On Tuesday June 8th the Hindi daily Nayi Duniya reported that complaints have been filed against me in two separate police stations in Chhattisgarh, Bhata Pada and Teli Bandha, by private individuals objecting to my “open support for the Maoists.

Is this what Military Intelligence calls psyops (psychological operations)? Or is it the urban avatar of Operation Green Hunt? In which a government news agency helps the home-ministry to build up a file on those it wants to put away, inventing evidence when it can’t find any? Or is PTI trying to deliver the more well-known among us to the lynch mob so that the government does not have to risk its international reputation by arresting or eliminating us? Or is it just a way of forcing a crude polarization, a ridiculous dumbing down of the debate—if you’re not with “us” you are a Maoist? Not just a Maoist, but a stupid, arrogant, loudmouthed Maoist. Whatever it is, it’s dangerous, and shameless, but it isn’t new. Ask any Kashmiri, or any young Muslim being held as a “terrorist” without any evidence except baseless media reports. Ask Mohammed Afzal, sentenced to death to “satisfy the collective conscience of society.”

Now that Operation Green Hunt has begun to knock on the doors of people like myself, imagine what’s happening to activists and political workers who are not well known. To the hundreds that are being jailed, tortured and eliminated. June 26th is the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Emergency. Perhaps the Indian people should declare (because the government certainly won’t) that this country is in a state of Emergency. (On second thoughts, did it ever go away?) This time censorship is not the only problem. The manufacture of news is an even more serious one.”

(Quelle: The Dawn.)