Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Vampire Journalism

No sooner had Ratko Mladic's "trial" before the Hague Inquisition opened today, reports began appearing in the press of his "taunting the victims". Supposedly, Mladic motioned towards the "Mothers of Srebrenica" sitting in the observation gallery with a throat-slitting gesture.

The claim accompanied the descriptions of Mladic as the organizer of the "murder of 8,000 unarmed men and boys" in Srebrenica, which was of course the "worst massacre in Europe since World War Two," easily inducing the casual observer to instantly dislike Mladic.

The problems with this "trial" are many, from the ICTY lacking legitimacy to try anyone, the fact that it writes its own ex posto facto laws and rules, has standards of evidence that would be laughed out of any legitimate courtroom, to the consideration that the people brought before it have already been lynched in the court of public opinion, and therefore cannot have a fair trial even if the Tribunal itself weren't a travesty.

But the story of the taunting throat-slitting gesture is a prime example of journalistic misconduct when it comes to the Balkans, a case of not just gilding the lily, but of actually reversing the facts of the case.

You see, the throat-slitting gesture was first mentioned in June last year, when it supposedly took place at Mladic's "status conference" hearing. News agencies and papers relying on their feeds reported that the general had taunted his (alleged) victims with a throat-slitting gesture. However, some careful research by an observant reader quickly produced the actual story:

Kada Hotic, who has relatives who were killed at Srebrenica, said Mladic taunted her when she threatened him.
“I told him he will pay the price for murdering my son,” she said, adding that she drew her finger across her throat. Mladic could not hear her, but she said he gestured back, holding his thumb and forefinger close together to indicate she was insignificant. (emphasis added)
So, the gesture did happen. But it wasn't Mladic who made it, but a Muslim observer! She admitted to it, proudly - and the only interpretation of Mladic's finger gesture is hers, too. Now, it is obvious why the AP would mis-report that Mladic had made the motion - it makes the designated villain look properly villainous, and fits the propaganda narrative. But how dare they, when it was so obviously not true? Did they think they wouldn't get caught?

Apparently so. Until someone did catch them, and informed blogger Julia Gorin. She then sent letters to the offending agencies and newspapers, pointing out the problem. Finally, on September 30, 2011, the Toronto Star - one of the papers that ran AP's story on July 4, issued the following correction:
"Online News Correction for September 30
Published On Fri Sep 30 2011
A July 4 article about the war crimes tribunal of Gen. Ratko Mladic incorrectly stated that Mladic drew his finger across his throat while looking at the public gallery. In fact, a person in the gallery made the threatening gesture to Mladic." (emphasis added)
The Star's correction prompted a chain reaction of retractions by other papers, and the AP itself. Gorin's blog entry provides a complete list and many details of the case.

Of course, the retraction got very little attention, while the lie of Mladic threatening the women in the gallery got spotlight treatment. And now the story has been raised from the dead, reported in the exact same words - again, with no visual evidence to back it up, no indication that it refers to an event from last year, or that it was originally mis-reported in a manner that merited an official retraction!

There you have it, folks: vampire journalism, courtesy of your mainstream media. Ready the garlic and the stakes.

19 comments:

Zman said...

How the hell can they charge Mladic with these bogus crimes when you have UN investigators who have baically said that there was no genocide in srebrenica and the death numbers are between 2 to 3 thousands of(undertermined if they were civilians, combat fighters or people killed by bosnian muslim death squads before mladic ran them out). What about Naser Oric?? he is the only guy in the srebrenica conflict who intentionally massacred civilians and he gets nothing?? I hear he runs a whorehouse in Tuzla. They have nothing against Seselj and Milosevic and I haven't followed Karadcix trail but that's likely not going anywhere.. so who's next?? The general that the kandic bitch claimed was killing people in Kosovo??

Gray Falcon said...

When it's facts going up against the narrative, the facts always lose - or so the Empire and its agents (including the Inquisition) want us to believe.

James said...

"I haven't followed Karadcix trail but that's likely not going anywhere.."

Andy Wilcoxson has recently posted reports on the Karadzic trial from the summer of 2010, and they are very interesting - for example documents and reports of the Muslims shelling the hospital at the beginning of the war (in April). And also how 1,000 of them tried to take over the hospital at the start but 26 Yugoslav soldiers repelled/scared them back:

http://www.slobodan-milosevic.org/news/kt071610.htm

Karadzic then produced a statement from Dr. Tausan which said, "From [April 5, 1992] Muslims fired at facilities in the Military Hospital from time to time, so the command sent a group of soldiers to help provide security for the hospital. And I remember that there was a total of 26 soldiers who were providing security. One of the stronger sniper attacks came from the Unis building. So within the compound of the hospital, no one dared move about." The statement said, "The first more serious attack against the Military Hospital was on the 6th of April, 1992. That is when over 1.000 Muslims moved towards the hospital from the police building. However, when they saw that the security detail of the hospital would offer resistance, they gave up. There was a sniper from a Magribija mosque that was operating all the time. One of the fiercest attacks on the Military Hospital was on the 26th of April, but thankfully without any losses."
...

[And also Muslim forces were stationed on Debelo Brdo]

Karadzic asked the witness, "Do you know where Debelo Brdo is, Debelo Hill?" The witness answered, "I think its south of the hospital" and you will recall that the witness testified for the prosecutor that "the hospital was hit from all sides over those 44 months of war, but the shelling that was the most intensive was on the southern side."

__________

And here Karadzic shows a document where Hasan Cengic had ordered the Muslims to evacuate Trebinje so he could then declare that they had been ethnically cleansed by Serbs (read the last few paragraphs here):

http://www.slobodan-milosevic.org/news/kt071510.htm

Karadzic showed the witness a document (exhibit D471) in which Hasan Cengic and the Party of Democratic Action asks the Muslim population in Trebinje to abandon their homes. The document tells them, “Restitution will be made for all of your property when we achieve our goal and we will know how to put the right price on your sacrifice, a sacrifice that all of the Muslims in the world expect from you.”
Mandic looked at the document and said, “I know that Hasan Cengic, a hodja from Ustikkolina, who was the secretary-general of the Party of Democratic Action, asked his countrymen to move out of certain parts of Eastern Herzegovina in order to achieve his objective; namely, he wanted the international community to be angry at the Serb municipalities.”
Karadzic noted that “after the Muslims left, the SDA, asked that Trebinje be given to them, because Trebinje had been a victim of ‘ethnic cleansing’.”

Shule said...

I must admit that I was also surprised to hear about the behavior of Mladic; yhank you for taking the time to write this and state the facts.

On a different but related note, I am not at all surprised by AP. they are hack journalists or working with an agenda in mind. Recently, Macedonia was in an upheaval spurred by an execution-style shooting of 5 people, ethnic Macedonians, which AP reported as being Albanians. They later corrected themselves, but too late. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2017999535_apeumacedoniaclashes.html

What can one say...

Gray Falcon said...

Indeed - and if I recall correctly, thousands of Albanians marched under jihad banners to protest the arrests of the men accused of the murders. That got no coverage, not surprisingly.

I didn't know the victims were initially reported as Albanian - thanks for bringing that up. This switcheroo business is beginning to look seriously deliberate now.

Who are the AP writers in Macedonia? I noticed a strange mono-ethnic bend in their articles covering the Mladic trial.

podgorica said...

The year is 2012, and you guys are only now realizing that the "western media" have an agenda, that happens to be rabidly anti-Serbian???

The "western media", is more appropriately termed CORPORATE MEDIA, it is completely controlled by a handful of blood sucking men who are bent on global domination and enslavement of mankind. The Serbs are a victim nation because they refuse to submit to these bastards.

Why doesn't the corporate media report on the mass scale killings of Kurds by Turkey, or the mass murder of over 1 million iraqis? What about their "humanitarian" wars in Afganistan? Dare I mention Kosovo?? NATO occupied Kosovo from Serbia under the pretense that Serbs were killing and expelling Albanians (wholesale lie)... 10+ years later, Serbs are still being tortured and executed throughout Kosovo, and NATO and the corporate media are cheering on the albanian shiptar muslim "revenge killings".

Who are these thugs to lecture anyone about anything? They killed 20,000,000 native americans, practiced slavery and now they are preaching "human rights" and "freedom" to the world. At least with Hitler we knew that he was a psychopath, but these mass murderers of today try to portray themselves as peace and freedom lovers, meanwhile they are the same garbage as Hitler was.

Zman said...

well.. Who do you think is really behind the violence in Macedonia.. It's not the KLA.. The us ambasaddor in macedonia was baically calling for "peaceful albanian demonstrations".. Code word for spreading instability something that the US feeds off. and now you have shooting in Soutern Serbia by terrorists.

and of course how can we forget.. Syrian terrorists going to Kosovo to study from fellow terrorists.. lovely!

Gray Falcon said...

@ Podgorica, I've been chronicling this stuff since at least 1999, so it's not that I got a clue yesterday. However, many people out there still don't have a clue, and this particular instance of a "vampire story" was sufficiently illustrative of the media tactics to merit a post. As for "being the same as Hitler," I believe I argued for precisely that in the Victory Day post.

Zman, I agree that the KLA wouldn't be moving ahead without Imperial backing; that doesn't mean I'm absolving it of responsibility for its actions. And hey, wasn't Thaci just in Washington?

Shule said...

I really don't know who writes for AP in Macedonia, nor do I care, or would trust any of that drivel.

I agree with the comments above and would like to share one more curiosity; how NATO portrays Macedonia - http://www.chicagonato.org/former-yugoslav-republic-of-macedonia-member-51.php?page_id=264

This is getting grotesque. Why are the elites so hell bent on joining NATO is clear to me, but why the people are not voicing their dissent is beyond me.

Zman said...

Thaci was in Washington. I wonder what orders he was being given.. Foment another war if Tadic loses the election?? Clearly the empire doesn't trust nikolic even though he is starting to sound more and more like a EU/US stooge.. Nikolic will probably beat Tadic under fair circumstances but there won't be any fair and of course nikolic, as mentioned, would probably keep the status quo.

Gray Falcon said...

Shule, I suspect the situation is akin to that in Serbia: if there is a strong anti-NATO current, it's prevented from being articulated in the political establishment.

Zman, Thaci was probably coordinating a "Storm"-like expulsion of Serbs from his "independent state of Kosovia", regardless of who wins the election in Belgrade. Another thing neither of the candidates cares about...

GlobeHopper said...

Thanks for the blogs. It's really great to hear about events from another perspective. I just read this BBC article "A timeline of Srebrenica". I'm pretty sure this isn't what really happened - but what did? Were the Dutch peacekeepers really there all along? Are they the eye witnesses? Were mass graves ever found? If you could point me to somewhere (maybe your own blog) where I could read what really happened that would be much appreciated. Thanks. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18101028

Gray Falcon said...

There is no way I can give you a short answer to this, or point you to a single link - best I can tell you is to check out the link in my blogroll to the Srebrenica Historical Project, or check the "Srebrenica" tag on any of the articles on this blog.

I've also written a number of columns for Antiwar.com on the subject, of which "Silver City" springs most readily to mind.

Dorde said...

Falcon, why does Antiwar.com continue to aid in the perpetuation of these lies by linking to known liers? Milosevic, "the architect of the Balkan wars" indeed!

Zman said...

Srebrenica is not that hard to explain. it's sort of like what's happening in Syria now.. The western media is claiming that assad is 'killing innocent pro-democracy civilians". but of course he is fighting against Saudi,US backed terrorists,jihadists fighters who have carried out massacred in so many villages. Srebrenica was suppose to be a safe heaven for civilians but NATO backed jihadists used it as a base to attack serbs and mladic sent an army to wipe them out which I guess for the most part he never really did because they ran away. The accusation that innocent civilians were massacred is absurd not even the UN people claim that but CNN's propaganda is all that counts I guess.

Make sure to go on the George Soros-US funded B-92 propaganda channels to combat the lies of albanians and lying muslims.

Gray Falcon said...

I'm not an editor @ Antiwar.com, just a columnist. But I can see the problem with linking to mainstream media stories while trying to fight the misinformation spread by the very same media. Obviously, it's a fight you can't win that way.

Zman said...

The real question is how many Muslims did Mladic actually save?? I mean when IZetbegovic death squads and NATO bombers were launching a blitzkrieg against Fikret abdic and his supporters who defeated IZetbegovic in the elections.. I wonder if Mladic will bring that up in his defense.

jack said...

@Zman

They are using some the same PR methods like burning car tyres to show an area under heavy siege and the exact same mass rape and impregnation myth story.

Assad's thugs are raping and impregnating women in Syria

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/michaelweiss/100153001/assads-thugs-are-raping-and-impregnating-women-in-syria/

@Gray Falcon

Antiwar.com needs to go back to its roots and start covering the Balkans with the exception of your articles never covers it anymore. I was at least expecting some reports on the major revelations made during the Karadzic trial.

Suvorov said...

I thought I would post this link which discusses the role of the US government in radicalizing and funding Muslims:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylKWivA3B4M&list=UUvsye7V9psc-APX6wV1twLg&index=7&feature=plcp