News Releases

Nobel Prize: * Child Labor * Peace?

Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai were named recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize this morning “for their struggle against oppression of young people and children and children’s right to education,” Thorbjørn Jagland, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced this morning. Nobel Committee’s Geir Lundestad stated in a video highlighted at that: “This is a combination of a human rights and humanitarian work Prize.”

Broad has known Satyarthi for many years. She served on the board of GoodWeave, which Satyarthi founded, until this year. She is professor of international development at American University and has worked extensively on labor rights and child labor. Her books include Development Redefined: How the Market Met Its Match.

Author of The Nobel Peace Prize: What Nobel Really Wanted, Heffermehl said today: “Malala Yousafzai is a courageous, bright and impressive person, education for girls is important and child labor a horrible problem. Worthy causes, but the committee once again makes a false pretense of loyalty to Nobel and confuses and conceals the plan for world peace that Nobel intended to support. If they had wished to be loyal to Nobel they would have stressed that Malala often has spoken out against weapons and military with a fine understanding of how ordinary people suffer from militarism. Young people see this clearer than the grown ups. She even, when she met U.S. President Obama, gave him a stern warning against drone warfare and said it only served to increase hatred and the number of terrorists.

“I do hope that Malala will stick to her early concerns of the problem of militarism. There are signs that her helpers and advisors have turned her away from the delicate issues of militarism and over to the safer issue of education. By moving her away from the Nobel idea of global disarmament she has become more palatable to the Nobel committee.

“Once again the Norwegian awarders have got it wrong. They have a person-focus not an idea-focus. Nobel’s intention was not a prize for nice people doing fine things, but for persons promoting a specific approach to world peace.”

Heffermehl notes that Nobel wanted to reward “the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” He also used the term “champions of peace.”

See: “Malala Yousafzai tells Obama drones are ‘fueling terrorism’.”

Journalist and Whistleblower in DOJ Crosshairs: Full Story of Risen and Sterling Published Today

The Nation magazine today published a major story that documents the Obama administration’s extraordinary pursuit of New York Times investigative reporter James Risen and its parallel moves against former CIA undercover agent Jeffrey Sterling. The article says that “the standard media narratives about Risen and Sterling have skipped over deep patterns of government retaliation against recalcitrant journalists and whistleblowers. Those patterns are undermining press freedom, precluding the informed consent of the governed and hiding crucial aspects of U.S. foreign policy.”

Scrutinizing what the New York Times has called “the most serious confrontation between the government and the press in recent history,” the in-depth article inThe Nation sifts through the protracted and ongoing efforts by the U.S. government targeting Risen and Sterling.

“Under Attorney General Eric Holder, President Obama’s Justice Department took up where the Bush DOJ left off,” the article reports, assessing the legal maneuvers of both administrations. A vendetta against Risen goes back at least a decade at the CIA, “where officials have loathed his way of flipping over their rocks,” the article says.

Top officials at the agency fired Sterling after he filed a complaint alleging racial discrimination. Sterling also broke ranks with the CIA hierarchy by going through channels to tell staffers at the Senate Intelligence Committee about a reckless and dangerous CIA operation, which involved providing flawed nuclear-weapons design information to Iran.

Risen has faced a series of subpoenas and legal threats from the Justice Department for almost seven years, and could be imprisoned or subjected to harsh fines for refusing to identify a confidential source for the chapter about that CIA operation in his 2006 book State of War. Meanwhile, Sterling is facing an imminent trial on 10 felony counts, which include seven under the Espionage Act.

The separate yet intertwined legal actions against Risen and Sterling have the strong odor of retaliation from high places in the Obama administration, The Nation reports: “John Brennan — President Obama’s former counterterrorism czar and now CIA director — has been at notable cross-purposes with both Risen and Sterling for more than a decade. Brennan was a senior CIA official when the agency rolled out its torture program under Bush, which came under intense public scrutiny after the use of waterboarding was revealed in a May 13, 2004, front-page Times story with Risen as the lead reporter. And Brennan played a key role in the illegal wiretap program, overseeing the production of what personnel in the program called the ‘scary memos’ intended to justify the domestic spying exposed by Risen.”

The Nation article was written by Norman Solomon and Marcy Wheeler, who are journalists with, a project of the Institute for Public Accuracy.

“In the end, whether Risen goes to jail for contempt or not, the last seven years of his battling subpoenas are well-designed to intimidate other investigative reporters,” Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg told The Nation. “Likewise, Sterling’s ordeal comes from a strategy to frighten potential whistleblowers, whether he was the source of this leak or not. The aim is to punish troublemakers with harassment, threats, indictments, years in court and likely prison—even if they’ve only gone through official channels to register accusations about their superiors and agency. That is, by the way, a practical warning to would-be whistleblowers who would prefer to ‘follow the rules.’ But in any case, whoever were the actual sources to the press of information about criminal violations of the Fourth Amendment, in the NSA case, or of reckless incompetence, in the CIA case, they did a great public service.”

The article concludes: “If the government’s indictment is accurate in its claim that Sterling divulged classified information, then he took a great risk to inform the public about an action that, in Risen’s words, ‘may have been one of the most reckless operations in the modern history of the CIA.’ If the indictment is false, then Sterling is guilty of nothing more than charging the agency with racial bias and going through channels to inform the Senate Intelligence Committee of extremely dangerous CIA actions. Either way, Jeffrey Sterling is now facing dire consequences as a whistleblower in the Obama era.”

The article is posted on The Nation’s website. See here.


The writers of the article are available for interviews:

NORMAN SOLOMON, solomonprogressive at
Solomon is the author of many books including War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death. He is the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and a co-founder of

MARCY WHEELER, emptywheel at
Wheeler writes widely about the legal aspects of the “war on terror” and its effects on civil liberties. She blogs at and writes the “Right to Know” column for



Ebola: Are We Being Told the Truth?

CNN reports: “Thomas Eric Duncan, a man with Ebola who traveled to the United States from Liberia, died Wednesday morning at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, the hospital said.” Reuters reports at least 3,439 people have died in the current outbreak.

MERYL NASS, M.D., merylnass at
Nass writes at the Anthrax Vaccine blog. Her recent pieces include: “Drilling Down Into the Facts Regarding Airborne Spread of Ebola” and “U.S. Ebola: [United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention head] Frieden Said Every Hospital Was Ready. He is Wrong.”

Nass said today: “Thomas Eric Duncan died in spite receiving the highest level of intensive care, including dialysis and ventilation. The CDC and much of the media have been saying that you can only get Ebola through direct contact with body fluids — and at the same time they’ve been backing the use extraordinary measures to prevent transmission. The fact is, there’s no doubt that Ebola has a history of airborne droplet transmission and pundits are beginning to admit it. When only one to ten live viral particles are needed to cause an infection you are looking at airborne droplet and fomite transmission as viable routes of spread, and healthcare facilities being a locus of spread. See from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy: “Health workers need optimal respiratory protection for Ebola.”

“The USAMRIID [United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, based at Fort Detrick, Maryland] and Tulane University had a unit physically located near where the Ebola outbreak began. This unit’s job was to test blood for Lassa antibodies; they were also testing for Ebola as part of their work.

“So USAMRIID had a bird’s eye view into the Ebola epidemic from the start. Maybe WHO [World Health Organization] and CDC were too bureaucratically hamstrung to understand the implications of a big Ebola outbreak, but USAMRIID, our premier biodefense center, has no excuse that it did not understand what was happening. The military now says that they proved that Ebola had been in the area for at least eight years and a whopping 9 percent of samples tested positive for Ebola. Why wasn’t this noticed?”

Nass notes the Boston Globe is reporting: “BU biolab nears OK amid hopes for tackling Ebola, safety concerns.” But earlier this summer, she points out that there was reporting on widespread escapes at such labs. See: USA Today report in August: “Hundreds of bioterror lab mishaps cloaked in secrecy.” Nass states: “It would be a mistake to license another high containment lab in the middle of Boston when existing labs have a terrible track record of containing the very organisms they are charged with studying.”

FRANCIS BOYLE, fboyle at
Professor at the University of Illinois College of Law, Boyle drafted the U.S. Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, which is the U.S. domestic implementing legislation for the Biological Weapons Convention. His books include Biowarfare and Terrorism.

He said today: “Different United States government agencies have a long history of doing allegedly defensive biological warfare research at labs in Liberia and Sierra Leone. This includes the CDC, which is now the point agency for managing the Ebola spill-over into the United States. Why is the Obama administration dispatching the elite 101st Airborne Division to Liberia when they have no medical training to provide medical treatment to dying Africans? How did Zaire/Ebola get to West Africa from about 3,500 kilometers away from where it was first identified in 1976?

“Why is the CDC not better prepared for this emergency after the United States government has spent somewhere in the area of $70 billion dollars after the October 2001 anthrax attacks to prepare for this exact contingency? It is clear that those anthrax attacks originated from United States government sources.”

The New York Times reported in 2010: “More than eight years after anthrax-laced letters killed five people and terrorized the country, the F.B.I. on Friday closed its investigation, adding eerie new details to its case that the 2001 attacks were carried out by Bruce E. Ivins, an Army biodefense expert who killed himself in 2008.”

“Killing the Messenger”: CIA, Contras and Crack

webbThe movie “Kill the Messenger” opens this week. It portrays reporter Gary Webb whose “Dark Alliance” series in 1996 linked crack cocaine in Los Angeles and elsewhere to drug traffickers allied with the CIA’s Contra army in Nicaragua. See trailer and clips.

NICHOLAS SCHOU, nicholasschou at @NickSchou
Author of the book Kill the Messenger, which the film is based on along with Webb’s own book Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras and the Crack Cocaine Explosion. Schou also wrote Orange Sunshine and The Weed Runners. He is managing editor of OC Weekly.

ROBERT PARRY, consortnew at, @Consortiumnews
Parry broke the Contra-cocaine scandal while at the Associated Press in 1985 — work that Webb later built upon. Parry also broke many Iran-Contra stories. Now editor of, his books include Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & ‘Project Truth.’

He just wrote the piece “NYT’s Belated Admission on Contra-Cocaine,” which states: “Nearly three decades since the stories of Nicaraguan Contra-cocaine trafficking first appeared in 1985, the New York Times has finally, forthrightly admitted the allegations were true, although this belated acknowledgement comes in a movie review buried deep inside Sunday’s paper.

“The review addresses a new film, ‘Kill the Messenger,’ that revives the Contra-cocaine charges in the context of telling the tragic tale of journalist Gary Webb who himself revived the allegations in 1996 only to have the New York Times and other major newspapers wage a vendetta against him that destroyed his career and ultimately drove him to suicide. …

“The Times’ resistance to accepting the reality of this major national security scandal under President Ronald Reagan even predated its tag-team destruction of Webb in the mid-1990s, when he was alternately pummeled by the Times, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. The same Big Three newspapers also either missed or dismissed the Contra-cocaine scandal when Brian Barger and I first disclosed it in 1985 for the Associated Press — and even when an investigation led by Sen. John Kerry provided more proof in 1989.”

Parry also recently wrote “The CIA/MSM Contra-Cocaine Cover-up.

JEFF COHEN, jeffco at, @jeffcot
Cohen is an associate professor of journalism and the director of the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College and founder of the media watch group FAIR. He just wrote the piece “The Resurrection of Gary Webb: Will Hollywood Give Journalist Last Word Against CIA’s Media Apologists?” which states: “It’s been almost a decade since once-luminous investigative journalist Gary Webb extinguished his own life.

“It’s been 18 years since Webb’s ‘Dark Alliance’ series in the San Jose Mercury News exploded across a new medium — the Internet — and definitively linked crack cocaine in Los Angeles and elsewhere to drug traffickers allied with the CIA’s rightwing Contra army in Nicaragua. Webb’s revelations sparked anger across the country, especially in black communities. …

“Beginning this Friday, the ghost of Gary Webb will haunt his tormenters from movie screens across the country, with the opening of the dramatic film ‘Kill the Messenger’…

“The movie dramatizes Webb’s investigation of Contra-allied Nicaraguan cocaine traffickers Norwin Meneses and Danilo Blandon (whose drug activities were apparently protected for reasons of U.S. ‘national security’) and their connection to L.A.’s biggest crack dealer, ‘Freeway’ Ricky Ross.

“The original ‘Dark Alliance’ series was powerful in naming names, backed by court documents. Webb added specifics and personalities to the story of Contra drug trafficking first broken by Associated Press in 1985 (ignored by major newspapers) and then expanded in 1989 by John Kerry’s Senate subcommittee report which found that Contra drug dealing was tolerated in the U.S. frenzy to overthrow Nicaragua’s leftwing Sandinista government. Kerry’s work was ignored or attacked in big media — Newsweek labeled him a ‘randy conspiracy buff.’”

Cohen’s books include Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media. He is a co-founder of the online action group,

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Haiti: “Duvalier is Dead; Duvalierism Lives on”

Left, Michel Martelly; right, François Duvalier

Left, Michel Martelly; right, François Duvalier

The New York Times reports: “Jean-Claude Duvalier, a former president of Haiti known as Baby Doc who ruled the country with a bloody brutality and then shocked it anew with a sudden return from a 25-year exile in 2011, died on Saturday in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He was 63. The cause was a heart attack, his lawyer told The Associated Press. President Michel J. Martelly announced the death on Twitter.”

BRIAN CONCANNON, Brian at, @HaitiJustice
Executive director of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, Concannon said today: “The victims are insisting that the fight for justice continues. Duvalierism was a system. The others involved in massive corruption and political violence who are still alive need to be pursued. Although the Martelly regime deserves criticism for blocking the prosecution for two years, we need to remember that France sheltered him for 25 years, and that the U.S. refused to even acknowledge Haiti’s international law obligation to prosecute Duvalier, or otherwise support the prosecution.”

AMY WILENTZ, awilentz at, @amywilentz
Professor at the University of California at Irvine, Wilentz is author of The Rainy Season: Haiti Since Duvalier and, most recently, Farewell, Fred Voodoo: A Letter from Haiti, which won this year’s National Book Critics Circle award. She just wrote the piece “Bringing Down Baby,” which states: “It’s easy to imagine that Duvalier’s death marks the end of an era.

“But the corruption he and his father encouraged, and their political toolbox — authoritarianism, trumped up elections, distrust of free speech, corruption of the forces of order, and no justice — are the methods by which Haiti’s ruler still controls the country. The U.S. government has supported Martelly. Only yesterday, [U.S. ambassador to the United Nations] Samantha Power attacked the Haitian opposition for standing in the way of elections. But the opposition has had good reasons for putting obstacles in Martelly’s way, not least the concern that the elections he hopes to organize will not include all parties, and will be overseen by an electoral council that is neither honest nor objective.

“Duvalier is dead; Duvalierism lives on.”

Wilentz appeared this morning on “Democracy Now!” with the Haitian writer Jean Saint-Vil.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Silencing Mumia Abu-Jamal, Again

Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting: “Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) on Thursday sent an outraged letter to the Vermont college that will have Mumia Abu-Jamal as a commencement speaker, urging the school to revoke its invitation to the convicted cop-killer.

“’Is there any crime so heinous that Goddard would not reward the perpetrator with a spot as commencement speaker?’ Toomey asks in his letter to Robert Kenny, the interim president of tiny Goddard College. On Sunday the school is due to have Abu-Jamal address 20 fall graduates in a pre-recorded speech.” The Washington Post: “Goddard College sparks outrage with invitation to jailed cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal.”

NOELLE HANRAHAN, globalaudiopi at
A private investigator and journalist based in Philadelphia, Hanrahan is director of Prison Radio. She edited Mumia Abu-Jamal’s book All Things Censored and for years has produced his recordings from death row and now from prison. He has always maintained his innocence and many human rights groups have charged irregularities in his trial. She helped produce the documentary “Long Distance Revolutionary: A Journey with Mumia Abu-Jamal,” which features Alice Walker, Ramsey Clark, and Mark Lewis Taylor speaking about Abu-Jamal’s important place in education [video clip].

Hanrahan said today: “The mainstream media would do well to listen to [Mumia Abu-Jamal's] always illuminating and insightful commentaries. His ability to speak truth to power, represents a clear challenge to American hegemony. So much so that the U.S. Senate, President Obama and the mainstream media continue to make the fact of his voice and his survival a touchstone.”

She notes that John Edgar Wideman, professor at Brown University has said, “If Mumia Abu-Jamal has nothing important to say, why are so many powerful people trying to kill him and shut him up?”

Gandhi Derides Policies of Materialism and Militarism

Prime minister of India Narendra Modi of the Hindu nationalist BJP party in recent days has spoken at Madison Square Garden, visited the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Washington, D.C. and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial with President Obama and had a private dinner at the White House. They co-signed an op-ed in the Washington Post.

ARUN GANDHI, arun at
Available for a limited number of interviews, Arun Gandhi lived with his grandfather Mahatma Gandhi (sometimes affectionately called Gandhiji) from 1946 until his assassination in 1948. Arun Gandhi’s books include Legacy of Love: My Education in the Path of Nonviolence and the just-released children’s book Grandfather Gandhi. He has continued to be active in nonviolent movements through a number of groups.

He said today: “It’s a sign of the politics of the world we now have that Modi could be denied a visa to the U.S. a few years ago and now be welcomed with distinction. I know the courts of India have cleared him of charges relating to the 2002 riots, but he must bear responsibility. The relationship that Modi and Obama are pursuing is one based, like many others, on materialism and militarism.

“The descendants — the people who subscribe to the same theories of Gandhiji’s assassins — are very powerful today in India with the rise of the BJP. It’s a very right wing, nationalist party. There is no one at the governmental level of any party advocating today what Gandhiji advocated — though there are many activists at the grassroots level doing so. Economic policies — like military spending — are being pursued that will make the rich richer and the poor poorer. In India, there are half a billion people in incredible poverty.”

Gandhi just wrote a piece, “Gandhi Day Message” noting his grandfather’s birthday, Oct. 2, is tomorrow: “One hundred and forty-five years ago Mohandas K. Gandhi was born in an innocuous town in Western India and no one imagined he would become an Apostle of peace, love and humanity. He was killed 66 years ago leaving the world a legacy of goodness, compassion and the way to achieve true civilization.

“Instead the world decided to go in the opposite direction, the direction of materialism and militarism, both antithetical to the concept of civilization. The result is in 1914 the world was embroiled in the first World War which devastated scores of millions of lives. Now, coincidentally, in 2014 we are tottering on the brink of World War III?

“Materialism and militarism, the twin evils, have led humanity to a life of crime, violence and wars causing the deaths of more than 300 million people in one century. Yet we refuse to learn anything from this dehumanizing and devastating way of life and behave as though we are trapped in a downward spiral and can do nothing about it. …”

Gandhi added: “In terms of these monuments, they are often fueled by egos of the people building and funding them. Gandhiji and Dr. Martin Luther King did not sacrifice their lives for statues, but to help people to come out of poverty and have education to come out of ignorance.

“The U.S. continues to be enthralled with the notion of being a superpower — it’s continuously bombing other countries. It’s pursuing an outdated philosophy that distorts the nature of our interconnectedness. Nationalism — whether pursued by the U.S. or India or any other country — is totally wrong. We can’t protect one corner of the world if the rest of the world is going wrong. We can see this especially clearly in the case of ecology.

“No government has really accepted the notion of nonviolence. It’s not just one of conflict resolution — it’s creating the circumstances that do not breed so many conflicts.”

* Hong Kong * Catalonia * Afghanistan

AP50049291633ELI FRIEDMAN, edf48 at, @EliDFriedman
Friedman recently wrote an article for The Nation titled “Why Hong Kong’s ‘Occupy Central’ Movement has Beijing Very, Very Scared.” He is an assistant professor at Cornell University focusing on international and comparative labor. He notes the significant economic aspects of the protests.

THOMAS HARRINGTON, thomas.harrington at
The Guardian reports: “Catalonia independence referendum halted by Spain’s constitutional court.” Harrington is associate professor of Hispanic studies at Trinity College and a leading expert on Catalonia; his book, Public Intellectuals and Nation Building in the Iberian Peninsula, 1900-1925: The Alchemy of Identity, is coming out this month. See his interview with the Catalan Assembly.

AP reports: “Afghanistan swore in Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai as its second elected president on Monday, embarking on a new era with a national unity government poised to confront a resilient Taliban insurgency by signing an agreement with the United States that would guarantee a continuing American military presence.” President Hamid Karzai had refused to sign such an agreement.

MATTHEW HOH, mphoh at
Hoh is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy. In 2009, he resigned and became the highest-ranking U.S. official to publicly renounce U.S. policy in Afghanistan. He was recently interviewed by Bill Moyers [video and transcript] on ISIS and the parallels with U.S. policy in Afghanistan. Said Hoh: “You look at the state of Afghanistan after we’ve surged 150,000 foreign troops into Afghanistan. You have a Taliban that is stronger, they launch more and more attacks every year, they control a large part of the terrain. You have a political process in Afghanistan that’s completely broken. You have this unity government that has come out of an election that was so fraudulent that no numbers can be released from it. The only thing that has done well in Afghanistan has been the drug trade.” Hoh charges that Ghani’s running mates in this election are war criminals.

Kolhatkar is co-author of Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence and is co-director of the Afghan Women’s Mission. She is in touch with members of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan and can arrange a limited number of interviews with them.

Kolhatkar said today: “Ashraf Ghani will make a fine Afghan President — for investors and transnational corporations, not ordinary Afghans. He is a former World Bank official. He speaks the language of neo-liberal capitalism, saying ‘Afghanistan should not be approached as a charity, but as an investment.’ In his TED talk on effective state building, he opens with a fawning explanation of why capitalism goes hand-in-hand with democracy. Given Afghanistan’s immense mineral wealth that local strongmen are chomping at the bit to exploit, Ashraf Ghani is poised to oversee the looting of one of the world’s poorest and most war-torn countries.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Khorasan Group: A Concocted Pretext for Bombing Syria?

cnnkho-540x434MURTAZA HUSSAIN, murtaza.hussain at, @MazMHussain
Currently in Toronto, Hussain just wrote, with Glenn Greenwald, “The Khorasan Group: Anatomy of a Fake Terror Threat to Justify Bombing Syria,” for The intercept, which states: “As the Obama administration prepared to bomb Syria without Congressional or U.N. authorization, it faced two problems. The first was the difficulty of sustaining public support for a new years-long war against ISIS, a group that clearly posed no imminent threat to the ‘homeland.’ A second was the lack of legal justification for launching a new bombing campaign with no viable claim of self-defense or U.N. approval.

“The solution to both problems was found in the wholesale concoction of a brand new terror threat that was branded ‘The Khorasan Group.’ After spending weeks depicting ISIS as an unprecedented threat — too radical even for Al Qaeda! — administration officials suddenly began spoon-feeding their favorite media organizations and national security journalists tales of a secret group that was even scarier and more threatening than ISIS, one that posed a direct and immediate threat to the American Homeland. Seemingly out of nowhere, a new terror group was created in media lore.

“The unveiling of this new group was performed in a September 13 article by Associated Press [written by Ken Dilanian]. who cited unnamed U.S. officials to warn of this new shadowy, worse-than-ISIS terror group. …

“CNN’s supremely stenographic Pentagon reporter, Barbara Starr, went on air as videos of shiny new American fighter jets and the Syria bombing were shown and explained that this was all necessary to stop a Khorasan attack very close to being carried out against the west …

“All of that laid the fear-producing groundwork for President Obama to claim self-defense when he announced the bombing campaign on September 23 with this boast: ‘Once again, it must be clear to anyone who would plot against America and try to do Americans harm that we will not tolerate safe havens for terrorists who threaten our people.’ But once it served its purpose of justifying the start of the bombing campaign in Syria, the Khorasan narrative simply evaporated as quickly as it materialized. …

“Literally within a matter of days, we went from ‘perhaps in its final stages of planning its attack’ (CNN) to ‘plotting as “aspirational”‘ and ‘there did not yet seem to be a concrete plan in the works’ (NYT). …

“There are serious questions about whether the Khorasan Group even exists in any meaningful or identifiable manner. …”

Another journalist for The Intercept, Ken Silverstein, wrote a piece on Ken Dilanian, who recently moved from theL.A. Times to AP: “The CIA’s Mop-Up Man L.A. Times Reporter Cleared Stories With Agency Before Publication.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Are the Stated Goals in Syria the Actual Goals?

GLEN FORD, at, @blkagendareport
Executive editor for Black Agenda Report, Ford has been writing extensively on Syria. His latest piece is “The Big Switch: Obama Preparing to Bomb His Way to Regime Change in Syria.” He was recently interviewed by The Real News: “Is The Anti-ISIS Campaign Attempting to Renew War Against Assad?”

NAFEEZ AHMED, iprdoffice at, @nafeezahmed
While the U.S. Congress called an early recess instead of debating war, The Telegraph reports that “David Cameron has recalled Parliament to debate airstrikes” on Friday. Ahmed is an investigative journalist who writes for The Guardian and other outlets. He was featured on an Institute for Public Accuracy news release on Tuesday: “ISIS: Is U.S. Goal to Build Up Islamists, Divide and Rule and ‘Chaos’?”

MICHAEL BEER, michael at, @NVIntl
Director of Nonviolence International, Beer is in contact with Kurdish and Christian communities in the north of Syria. He said today: “The democratic forces in the Self Administration Zones [in the north], have had zero support from the U.S., Europe or Turkey, even though these autonomous governments are secular, have a 40 percent quota for women in leadership positions, and are committed to a united Syria and a pluralist Syria. The U.S. has let Turkey dictate its policy towards the Self Administration Zones rather than supporting the most democratic of the governing groups in Syria.

“Syria’s civil war can be resolved but not through military victory by the Free Syria Army, the Baathist regime, Al-Nusra, Self-Administration Zones, or ISIL. None of these five groups is likely to obtain a military victory against the other four. So why are so many countries sending in weapons and bombing Syria?

“The Syrian people are suffering displacement by the millions, and hundreds of thousands dead and wounded. Not only are Syrians witnessing lots of foreign weapons pouring in, but foreign fighters from all over the world. Syria has increasingly become a proxy war by some of the neighboring states, including Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Iran.”

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