Monday, May 14, 2018


by Matt AgoristJanuary 29, 2018
from TheFreeThoughtProject Website

A single organization
controls almost everything you
see, hear, and read in the media
and they've been handpicking
your leaders for decades.

It is no secret that over the last 4 decades, mainstream media has been consolidated from dozens of competing companies to only six.

Hundreds of channels, websites, news outlets, newspapers, and magazines, making up ninety percent of all media is controlled by very few people, giving Americans the illusion of choice.
While six companies controlling most everything the Western world consumes in regard to media may sound like a sinister arrangement, the Swiss Propaganda Research center (SPR) has just released information that is even worse.

The research group was able to tie all these media companies to a single organization:

the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

For those who may be unaware, the CFR is a primary member of the circle of Washington think-tanks promoting endless war.

As former Army Major Todd Pierce describes, this group acts as "primary provocateurs" using,
"'psychological suggestiveness' to create a false narrative of danger from some foreign entity with the objective being to create paranoia within the U.S. population that it is under imminent threat of attack or takeover."
A senior member of the CFR and outspoken neocon warmonger, Robert Kagan has even publicly proclaimed that the U.S. should create an empire.

The narrative created by CFR and its cohorts is picked up by their secondary communicators, also known the mainstream media, who push it on the populace with no analysis or questioning.

When looking at the chart from SPR, the reach by this single organization is so vast that it is no mystery as to how these elite psychopaths guide Americans into accepting endless war at the expense of their mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters.

Top journalists and executives from all major media companies are integrated into the CFR.

As the chart below illustrates, the CFR has even more control in the mainstream media than even the nefarious Bilderberg Group and the Trilateral Commission.

Journalists and media executives
extracted from above image:
New York Daily News and U.S. News & World Report
1: Mortimer B. Zuckerman, publisher

2: Jacob Weisberg, group editor

The Nation
3: Katrina Vanden Heuvel, publisher

Foreign Affairs
4: James F. Hoge, former editor
5: Gideon Rose, editor

Foreign Policy
6: Moises Nairn, editor

The National Interest
7: Jacob Heilbrunn, editor

The American Interest
8: Francis Fukuyama, executive chairman

Financial Times
9: Martin Wolf, associate editor & chief economics commentator
10: Gideon Rachman, chief foreign affairs commentator

11: Stephen J. Adler, presidents EIC
12: Tom Glocer, former CEO
13: Harold M. Evans, editor-at-Iarge
14: David Schlesinger, former EIC

15: Robert Allbritton, publisher
16: Garrett Graff, former editor

17: Michael Bloomberg, owners CEO
18: John Michklethwait, EIC of Bloomberg News, former EIC of The Economist
19: Matthew Winkler, former EIC of Bloomberg News
20: Daniel Doctoroff, former CEO

21: Randall Lane, editor

Los Angeles Times
22: Doyle McManus, Washington bureau chief
23: Shelby Coffey, former editor and EVP

News Corp
24: Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman

Fox News
25: Maria Bartiromo, news anchor
26: Heather Nauert, former news host
27: Dan Senor, commentator
28: Trish Regan, television host
29: Linda Vester, former news host

Wall Street Journal (News Corp)
30: Peter Kann, former publisher
31: Karen Elliott House, former managing editor
32: L. Gordon Crovitz, former publisher
33: Robert Bartley, former editor
34: Paul A. Gigot, editorial page editor
35: Alan Murray, deputy managing editor
36: Daniel Henninger, deputy editorial page director
37: Gerald Seib, Washington bureau chief
38: Peggy Noonan, columnist
39: Paul Steiger, former managing editor (1991-2007)

40: Pamela Thomas Graham, former CEO of CNBC
41: Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric (former owner of NBCUniversal)
42: Cesar Conde, chairman of NBC Universal International Group
43: Steve Capus, former president of NBC News
44: Tom Brokaw, news anchor
45: Mika Brzezinski, MSNBC news host
46: Andrea Mitchell, chief foreign affairs correspondent
47: Richard Engel, chief foreign corr.
48: Brian Williams, NBC chief anchor
49: Joe Scarborough, news host
50: Bianna Golodryga, news anchor
51: Ayman Mohyeldin, reporter

The Economist
52: Lynn Forester de Rothschild, co-owner and board member
53: John Elkann (Agnelli family), co-owner and board member
54: Zanny Minton Beddoes, EIC
55: Rupert Pennant-Rea, chairman of the Economist Group
56: Vendeline von Bredow, business correspondent
57: Adrian Wooldridge, foreign correspondent
58: Bill Emmott, former EIC
59: Megan McArdle, journalist | The New Republic
60: Walter Lippmann, co-founder
61: Chris Hughes, former publisher
62: Peter Beinart, former editor
63: Morton Kondracke, former executive editor
64: J. Peter Scoblic, former executive editor
65: Ronald Steel, journalist & professor

66: Norman Pearlstine, chief content officer of Time Inc.
67: Michael Duffy, deputy managing editor
68: Nancy Gibbs, managing editor
69: Henry Luce, founding publisher
70: John Huey, former EIC
71: Richard Stengel, former managing editor
72: Joe Klein, columnist
73: Ian Bremmer, foreign affairs columnist & editor-at-Iarge
74: James Gaines, managing editor (1993-95)
75: Jason McManus, managing editor (1985-87)
76: Henry Grunwald, managing editor (1968-77)

The New York Times
77: Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, former publisher (1963-92)
78: Arthur Hays Sulzberger, former publisher (1935-61)
79: Joseph Kahn, managing editor
80: Andrew Rosenthal, former editorial page editor
81: Serge Schmemann, international affairs editor
82: Susan Chira, former deputy executive editor
83: David C. Unger, former foreign affairs editor
84: David Sanger, Washington correspondent
85: Thomas Shanker, assistant Washington editor and former Pentagon correspondent
86: Thomas Friedman, foreign affairs columnist
87: Ethan Bronner, former deputy foreign editor
88: Andrew Ross Sorkin, financial columnist
89: Carol Giacomo, foreign affairs editor
90: Michael Gordon, chief military correspondent
91: Robert B. Semple, associate editorial page editor
92: Judith Miller, Washington bureau reporter
93: David Brooks, op-ed columnist
94: Nicholas Kristof, op-ed columnist and former associate managing editor
The Washington Post
95: Eugene Meyer, former publisher (1933-46)
96: Jeff Bezos, owner (since 2013)
97: Katharine Graham, former publisher (1969-79)
98: Donald E. Graham, former publisher S chairman (1979-2013)
99: Fred Hiatt, editorial page editor
100: Glenn Kessler, diplomatic correspondent and fact checker
101: Anne Applebaum, former editorial board member
102: Walter Pincus, national security journalist
103: Jackson Diehl, deputy editorial page editor
104: Charles Krauthammer, columnist
105: Robert Kaiser, former managing editor and senior correspondent
106: David Ignatius, associate editor
107: Eugene Robinson, columnist and chair of Pulitzer Prize Board
108: Karen DeYoung, associate editor
109: Marc Thiessen, columnist
110: Richard M. Cohen, columnist
111: Jim Hoagiand, associate editor and columnist
112: George F. Will, columnist

CNN (Time Warner)
113: W. Thomas Johnson, former president
114: Walter Isaacson, former CEO
115: Ellana Lee, SVP of CNN International and managing editor Asia-Pacific
116: Mark Whitaker, former EVP and managing editor of CNN Worldwide
117: Fareed Zakaria, foreign affairs show host
118: Erin Burnett, news anchor
119: Sanjay Gupta, chief medical correspondent
120: David Gergen, senior political analyst
121: Christiane Amanpour, chief international correspondent
122: Judy Woodruff, news anchor
123: Peter Bergen, national security analyst
124: Kitty Pilgrim, former news anchor and correspondent
125: Paula Zahn, former news anchor
126: Elise Labott, global affairs correspondent
127: Ali Velshi, former chief business correspondent
128: Jake Tapper, chief Washington corr.
129: Sam Feist, SVP and Washington bureau chief
130: Jeffrey Toobin, legal analyst

CBS News
131: Laurence A. Tisch, former CEO of CBS
132: William Paley, founder of CBS
133: Joseph Califano jr., CBS director
134: William Cohen, CBS director and former Secretary of Defense
135: Dan Rather, former news anchor
136: Bob Schieffer, news anchor and chief Washington com
137: Charlie Rose, talk show host
138: Lesley Stahl, news reporter
139: Margaret Brennan, White Houses senior foreign affairs corr.
140: Reena Ninan, news anchor
141: Edward R. Murrow, former broadcast journalist

Time Warner
142: Jeffrey Bewkes, chairman & CEO
143: Gary Ginsberg, communications chief
144: Richard Parsons, former chairman S CEO
145: Gerald Levin, former chairman & CEO

ABC News (Disney)
146: Ben Sherwood, president
147: David Westin, former president
148: George Stephanopoulos, chief anchor S chief political corr.
149: Juju Chang, news anchor
150: Barbara Walters, news anchor and show host
151: Peter Jennings, news anchor
152: Katie Couric, news anchor
153: Diane Sawyer, news anchor
154: Jonathan Karl, chief White House corr.

155: Michael Eisner, former chairman S CEO
156: Monica Lozano, director

The New Yorker
157: David Remnick, EIC
158: Amy Davidson, senior editor international affairs
159: Hendrik Hertzberg, principal political commentator
160: Lawrence Wright, staff writer
161: Evan Osnos, foreign affairs writer
162: Jane Kramer, European correspondent
163: Mark Danner, foreign affairs corr.
164: Nick Paumgarten, staff writer
165: Mattathias Schwartz, staff writer
166: Robin Wright, contributor

The New York Review of Books
167: Robert Silvers, founding editor
168: Barbara Epstein, founding editor

169: Richard M. Smith, former CEO &, EIC
170: Jon Meacham, former EIC
171: Janine di Giovanni, Middle East editor
172: Evan Thomas, former Washington bureau chief

The Daily Beast
173: Tina Brown, founding editor
174: Barry Diller, chairman of IAC (owner of Daily Beast)

USA Today
175: Joanne Lipman, EIC & chief content officer
176: David Andelman, international affairs columnist

177: Donald A. Baer, chairman
178: Hartford N Gunn, founder
179: Jim Lehrer, former news anchor
180: Margaret Warner, senior correspondent
181: Bill Moyers, former news anchor
182: Jonathan Barzilay, COO

183: Vivian Schiller, former CEO
184: Gary Knell, former president
185: Tom Gjelten, correspondent
186: DinaTemple-Raston, national security corr.

187: Eric Schmidt, executive chairman

188: Sheryl Sandberg, COO and director
189: Marne Levine, VP of global public policy

The Atlantic
190: David G. Bradley, chairman of Atlantic Media.

Based on official participant lists and membership rosters; non-exhaustive; no liability assumed.

B: Bilderberg meeting participant
Br: Bilderberg meeting rapporteur
C: CFR member (incl. term members and former members)
D: CFR director
EIC: editor-in-chief
F: CFR fellow
M: married to CFR member
S: son of CFR member
T: Trilateral Commission member (incl. former members).

As SPR points out, Richard Harwood, former managing editor and ombudsman of the Washington Post, wrote about the Council on Foreign Relations Recognizing that its members most likely correspond to what one might call the "ruling establishment of the United States."

Harwood continued,
"The membership of these journalists in the council, however they may think of themselves, is an acknowledgment of their active and important role in public affairs and of their ascension into the American ruling class.

They do not merely analyze and interpret foreign policy for the United States; they help make it."
Let that sink in...

This group of unaccountable, unelected, professional propagandists in America doesn't simply analyze U.S. government policy - they make it.

While only five percent of the members of CFR work within the media, as SPR points out that is all they need to implement the will of its other members that includes:
  • several U.S. presidents and vice presidents of both parties

  • almost all foreign, defense and finance ministers

  • most chiefs of staff and commanders of the U.S. military and NATO

  • nearly all National Security Advisers, CIA Directors, UN Ambassadors, Fed Chairmen, World Bank Presidents, and Directors of the National Economic Council

  • some of the most influential members of Congress (especially foreign and security politicians)

  • numerous media managers and top journalists, as well as some of the most famous actors

  • numerous prominent academics, especially in the key areas of economics, international relations, political and historical sciences, and journalism

  • numerous executives from think tanks, universities, NGOs, and Wall Street

  • key members of the 9/11 Commission and the Warren Commission (JFK)
To highlight just how much control over the media the CFR wields we need only look at the fact that they operate - in the open - and receive nearly no media coverage.

The former chairman of the CFR, High Commissioner for Germany, co-founder of the Atlantic Bridge, World Bank president, and an adviser to a total of nine U.S. presidents, John J. McCloy actually bragged publicly about the CFR hand picking U.S. politicians.

"Whenever we needed a man [in Washington], we just thumbed through the roll of Council members and put through a call to New York [to the CFR's headquarters office]," said McCloy.

Until the election of Trump the past four presidents have been the director of the CFR, George HW Bush, who was replaced by a member of the CFR, Bill Clinton, who was replaced by a family member of the CFR, George W Bush, who was then replaced by CFR aspirant candidate Barack Obama - who filled his cabinet with members of the elite group.

Although Donald Trump was never a public member of the CFR, that did not stop him from filling the White House with dozens of CFR members.

Here are just a few of the CFR members appointed by Trump:
  • Elaine Chao, United States Secretary of Transportation (CFR individual member)
  • Jamie Dimon, Member of Strategic and Policy Forum (CFR corporate member)
  • Jim Donovan, Deputy Treasury Secretary (CFR corporate member)
  • Larry Fink, Member of Strategic and Policy Forum (CFR corporate member)
  • Neil M. Gorsuch, Supreme Court Justice (individual CFR member)
  • Vice Admiral Robert S. Harward, National Security Advisor (declined appointment) (CFR corporate member)
Even though Trump wasn't a CFR member outright, his cabinet is made up almost entirely of its members. 

As this information illustrates - democracy is an illusion.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

The American Awakening Has Begun - Here is the Deep State

This documentary needs to be seen and disseminated across the entire land. From Police Officers to local government officials to the everyday individual needs to have a comprehensive understanding of the Oligarchy that is manipulating division and discontent to divide us. Many of us have different perspectives that are used to foment divisions or "groups" that stand in opposition to each other instead of those who have long planned to manipulate us into being so divided. We all have the same enemy. It is time to reject party and unite. 
Tom Lacovara-Stewart - RTR Truth Media

Free Mind Films decided to work with international best-selling author James Perloff, drawing on research used in writing his book Truth Is a Lonely Warrior. Narrated by veteran Hollywood star Kevin Sorbo (view Kevin’s bio below), ShadowRing tells the story of the secretive oligarchy that has ruled America from behind the scenes for well over a century:

Embroiling us in wars through false flags, from the sinking of the Maine (Spanish-American War) to Tonkin Gulf (Vietnam War) to Saddam Hussein’s non-existent WMDs (Iraq War).
Controlling our foreign policy through the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), which has dominated the cabinets of Democratic and Republican Presidents alike.
Devastating our economy through the market-controlling Federal Reserve, which has destroyed 98 percent of the dollar’s value since the Fed was secretly planned at the infamous Jekyll Island meeting of 1910.
Scheming to establish a one-world government in which national sovereignty and individual liberty will be obliterated.
Keeping the public in the dark about its agenda through sweeping ownership of mainstream media.
ShadowRing fuses historical film footage with commentary from diverse alternative-media analysts. Featured guests include:
• Katherine Albrecht 
• Chuck Baldwin 
• Catherine Bleish 
• Jack Blood 
• Gerald Celente 
• G. Edward Griffin 
• Adam Kokesh 
• Rosa Koire 
• Jim Marrs 
• Mark Passio 
• James Perloff 
• Joyce Riley 
• Pat Shannan 
• Ben Swann 
• Patrick Wood.

One of our goals is to drive home that the battle is not about “liberals versus conservatives” or “Democrats versus Republicans”; it’s about the people uniting against an elitist oligarchy which aims to enslave us all. ShadowRing is meant to be a tool to help awaken your family members and friends from the “blue-pill matrix” that mainstream media has woven.

"This documentary has in an extremly well done presentation only reaffirmed all of the research that I and my co-host Lorri Anderson and my former co-host Bruce Ray Riggs have come to independently.though thousands upon thousands of hours of the reading of historical documents and Congressional records, private letters and declassified government reportys. Absolutely amazing. 
- Tom Lacovara-Stewart host of RTR Truth Media Resurrect the Republic Radio Show

“ShadowRing is absolutely one of the best documentaries I have ever seen; I hope everybody gets it. I think anybody would be proud to show this to their church group, to their school group, because now you don’t have to be the messenger, this is the message. This is the kind of information with which your children will get an amazing education. Please share it with many others after viewing.”
—Joyce Riley, host of The Power Hour

“My opinion isn’t cheap and it’s not bought. And the last time I saw a documentary film as good as this, it was The Corporation made by Joel Bakan back in 2003.”—Richie Allen, host of The Richie Allen Show

“The documentary offers clear and convincing evidence to show even the most skeptical person that there is, indeed, a shadowy cabal of globalists hoping to install themselves as masters of humanity.” 
—The New American, 9/24/2015

“In ShadowRing, Free Mind Films has created a film that is both a warning and a wakeup call. Must-see viewing for everyone who cares about individual liberty.”
—award-winning Hollywood producer and director Peter Lancett

For more information on how to order your high resolution copy -

This new and exciting documentary will build on the successes of ‘State of Mind: The Psychology of Control’ – Free Mind Films’ follow up to the multiple award winning documentary exposé ‘A Noble Lie: Oklahoma City 1995′ .

Free Mind Films has decided to work with international best-selling author James Perloff to tell the virtually unknown story of the Council On Foreign Relations (CFR) and how that organization is the key to understanding how our world has become what we see today. Mr. Perloff literally wrote the book on the CFRs existence more than 20 years ago and now he’s back with a new book titled “Truth is a Lonely Warrior” which he used as the research platform to write the script for ‘ShadowRing’. ShadowRing will entertainingly unfold the events that led to the creation of the CFR, the important players who were instrumental in the council’s success within American politics, and how the CFR wields unimaginable influence over the geo-political agenda of the United States and consequently the events that have shaped our world for the last 100 years.

Expert witnesses and testimony will be woven together with a historical visual landscape designed to present the inherent complexity of this subject in a way that is palatable for someone who has no prior knowledge of the CFR or what power it has over our lives. Source documents will give credibility to these incredible and life shattering revelations. By providing the audience with the facts and avoiding opinions or conjecture, ShadowRing will break down the dis-information and unlock the secrets of the CFR providing fertile ground to encourage a new public debate on the ethical and moral implications of allowing such a small group of individuals to command such power and influence over our lives.

ShadowRing’s narrator is award winning Hollywood, actor, writer, director and producer – Kevin Sorbo. In 1993 he emerged as a full-fledged international TV star when he was cast as the lead role of Hercules in a series of 5 made for TV films that would lay the groundwork for the immensely popular running series, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. (1993 – 1999) becoming the most watched show in the world.

Just as the Hercules series came to an end, Kevin received a call from the wife of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, personally requesting him to play the lead role in Roddenberry’s second sci-fi series, Andromeda. The show ran for 5 seasons as the number one show in first run syndication and further fueled Kevin’s already ferociously loyal global following!

Links will be added below and updated as I find credible factual information - please save this article to your clipboard and refresh from time to time for updated links - 

Congressional Testimony on Pearl Harbor Attack

Pearl Harbor Memo Showed US Advanced Knowledge of Pearl Harbor Attack - the Telegraph -


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

White Helmets The Future of Funding State Sponsored Terrorism via a Propaganda Construct

White Helmets The Future of Funding State Sponsored Terrorism via a  Propaganda Construct

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Audio PlayerContrary to what its multi-million dollar international PR campaign would have you believe, the “White Helmets” are not a group of volunteer search-and-rescue workers that sprang spontaneously out of the Syrian soil. When you peel back the layers of foreign financing and reveal the foreign intelligence operatives and murky lobbying groups at the heart of the organization, what you find is that the White Helmets are, in fact, a propaganda construct.
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In November 2017, journalist Vanessa Beeley gave a groundbreaking presentation to the Swiss Press Club in Geneva on the so-called “Syria Civil Defence” (better known as the “White Helmets”), which bills itself as an impartial group of volunteer search and rescue workers working “to save lives and strengthen communities in Syria.” In her presentation, Beeley demonstrated the connections between this supposedly “neutral” organization, recognized terrorist groups operating in Syria, and the UK government.
VANESSA BEELEY: During my time working in East Aleppo, it was clear that the councils were working hand in hand with [Al] Nusra Front. Their centers in each district were always next door to Nusra Front headquarters and White Helmet centres, i.e., they always formed an integrated complex.

Less than three weeks later, The Guardian released a report painting all skeptics of the White Helmets, including Beeley and other “anti-imperialist activists,” as proponents of a Russian propaganda campaign directed by the Kremlin.
This is no coincidence. The White Helmets are in fact part of a coordinated propaganda campaign. But that campaign is not being directed by the Kremlin, but the western governments which have been responsible for the founding and funding of the White Helmets. And the ones promoting that propaganda are not independent journalists like Beeley, but establishment mouthpieces like The Guardian.
JOHN PILGER: In Syria they know how to intervene, they know how to manipulate the media. We had the “White Helmets,” a complete propaganda construct in Syria. They end up getting an Academy Award. They know how to intervene in public discourse every day, and in politics every day.
The White Helmets Are A Propaganda Construct.
SALMA HAYEK: And the Oscar goes to…okay…The White Helmets!
It’s quite appropriate that a propaganda documentary honouring the work of The White Helmets won an Oscar at the 2017 Academy Awards. This is, after all, an organization that thrives on the magic of movie-making to make themselves into heroes. Surely any movie that could turn a group funded by the US and UK governments, associated with western intelligence operatives, and embedded with Al Qaeda terrorists, into a group of crusading heroes is as worthy of an Academy Award as any similarly fictitious movie about superheroes saving the world.
It was also fitting that the leader of the group, Raed Saleh, was not at the ceremony to help accept the prize as originally planned.
NPR REPORTER: Hi, I’m wondering…um, I thought the White Helmets we’re gonna be here, or the leader and the cinematographer who shot a lot of this film. What happened?
ORLANDO VON EINSIEDEL: Well, Raed Saleh, who’s the leader of the White Helmets, he couldn’t come in the end because the last couple of days in Syria the violence has really escalated and he does life-saving work[…]. Our cinematographer, I mean, you know we’re confused about this, too. The last two weeks have been very difficult. He had a US visa, he tried to board a plane, and he wasn’t able to come, so weyou know, we’re very sad about that.
What Orlando von Einsiedel, the director of the film, neglected to mention is that this was not the first time that Raed Saleh, the leader of the White Helmets, failed to appear in the US. In April of 2016, InterAction, an alliance of NGOs, held a gala dinner in Washington, where it planned to honour Saleh and the work of the White Helmets in Syria. However, Saleh was refused entry into the country when he arrived at Washington’s Dulles Airport. Declining to talk about the details of the case, a State Department spokesman merely said, “The U.S. government’s system of continual vetting means that traveler records are screened against available information in real time.”
MATT LEE: You commend this group, you’re going to continue to support them, and yet you revoked the visa of their leader? I don’t…that makes zero sense to me.
MARK TONER: So, a couple responses. One is, unfortunately, we can’t speak to individual visa cases. I think, broadly speaking, though, on any visa case we are constantly looking at new information, so-called “continually vetting” travel or records, and if we do have new information that we believe an individual–let me finish–would pose a security risk, we’ll certainly act on that.
LEE: I’m saying that it just strikes me as a bit odd that you’re saying that this group is wonderful and does such a great job and you’re commending them for their heroism, and yet you’re doing this just 10 days after the leader of this group, who was supposed to be, you know…got his visa revoked or wasn’t allowed to travel here.
TONER: Well, he’s one individual in the group, and any individualagain, I’m broadening my language here for specific reasonsbut any individual in any group suspected of ties or relations with extremist groups, or that we have believed to be a security threat to the United States, we would act accordingly. But that does not by extension mean we condemn or would cut off ties to the group for which that individual works for.
So how is this possible? How could the leader of such a valiant team of crusading do-gooders himself be denied a visa to enter the United States as a potential security threat with ties to terrorists? The multi-million dollar PR campaign that surrounds the White Helmets, after all, portrays the group as being pure as the driven snow.
MARCIA BIGGS: This is the call to work for the brave members of the Syrian Civil Defence, an ad hoc, grassroots, first-response unit within rebel-held Syria. Nicknamed “The White Helmets,” they rush toward the scene of a bombing to save victims, many of whom are trapped under rubble. Once tailors, bakers, pharmacists, these 3,000 ordinary Syrian men, and some women, now unwitting heroes.
LAURA LING: So who are these heroic volunteers? The White Helmets is the unofficial name for the Syrian Civil Defence, a rescue organization made up entirely of volunteers who operate in opposition-controlled Syria. According to their own data the group have rescued more than 58,000 people including Omran Daqneesh, who painfully reminded the world of the horrors unfolding in Syria every day.
The task of these modern-day war heroes is extremely dangerous. To date around 130 White Helmet volunteers have been killed in the country’s relentless civil war. One of the group’s most notable losses happen in August when an airstrike killed the White Helmet volunteer who miraculously rescued a baby who had been trapped under rubble for 16 hours.
LARA SETRAKIAN: Raed Saleh and Farouq al-Habib are joining us today from in and around Syria. They represent the Civil Defence Forces, what the Syria Campaign has come to introduce as “The White Helmets.” We often heard over the past three and a half years of covering the conflict, “Who are the good guys in Syria? It’s such a mess.” They are the good guys.
But what is always left out of these glowing mainstream media puff pieces is any actual information about the organization. Where did it come from? Who founded it? Where does it get its funding? And why does it operate exclusively in terrorist-held areas of Syria?
The first clues about the real nature of the group come from their name itself. Calling themselves the “Syria Civil Defence” is misleading in multiple ways. First, it implies that the group was founded in Syria by Syrians. It was not. The group was in fact founded in March 2013 in Turkey, by James Le Mesurier, a former British military intelligence officer then doing contract work for the US and UK governments. None of this information is even controversial. This is the story as told by Le Mesurier himself at a conference in Lisbon in 2015.
JAMES LE MESURIER: In early 2013 I had a meeting with nine local leaders that had come out from northern Aleppo, and they painted this picture of the frequency and the intensity of the bombing that was taking place. And I was delivering programs on behalf of the US and UK governments, and we were able to offer them some good governance training, some democratizing training, and a handful of sat phones.
Several days later I was very fortunate to meet the head of Turkey’s earthquake response group, a group of people called “AKUT.” And the conversation that we had was along the lines of: If they can rescue people from a building that has been flattened as a result of an earthquake, how possible is it to rescue people from a building that’s been collapsed as a result of a bomb? And this led to a series of design labs. We brought a number of people out of Syria who brought building samples, and we sat down over several days merging the expertise of the Syrians that had come out from the ground (who knew the regime tactics) with my organization that understood operating in war zones and the expertise of this organization, AKUT, who rescue people after earthquakes.
The name “Syria Civil Defence” is also a lie because there is a real Syria Civil Defence that has been operating in the country for 65 years. The actual Syria Civil Defence, a volunteer search and rescue organization, was established in Syria in 1953. Unlike the White Helmets, the real Syria Civil Defence is a member of the International Civil Defence Organisation and (again, in contrast to the White Helmets) has an emergency number (113) that can be called in Syria by those needing assistance.
But this Syria Civil Defence does not enjoy the glitz and glamour of Oscar-winning documentaries, the constant attention of the international press, or the more than $60 million in funding by foreign governments that have been bestowed on the White Helmets.
REPORTER: Do you know who finances them, how they operate, who are they supported by, what kind of organization they have? How do you get your information?
TONER: Well, I can say we provide them…Well, I can tell you that we provide through USAID about 23 million dollars in assistance to them.
BORIS JOHNSON: But they are fantastically brave, these White Helmets, and I am proud to say we are giving them £32 million in funding as part of a wider £65 million package for non-humanitarian aid.
VANESSA BEELEY: Now I would like to come back to the funding of the White Helmets in a little more detail. My colleague here covered it in general, but I would like to focus on the UK Foreign Office and the use of the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund to support and finance the Syrian opposition and the White Helmets. The UK regime is a primary player in the US coalition and in its operations inside Syria. Following a recent parliamentary question from Baroness Caroline Cox it has been confirmed that the UK Foreign Office has financed the Syrian opposition almost 200 million pounds over three years through this conflict fund. However, the British government has so far refused to release the names of the recipients.
During my time in East Aleppo in 2016/17 and with Syrian journalists Khaled Iskef, while searching the local council offices we found untranslated documents in Arabic that referred to two UK organizations: Adam Smith International and Integrity Global. Both organizations are funded by the UK Foreign Office via this conflict fund to offer assistance to the Syrian opposition, and this has been achieved via a variety of outreach agents, one of whom is the Tamkeen Project, which claims to build resilience in Syrian communities and which establishes funds and supports the local councils in terrorist-held areas such as East Aleppo and Idlib. Tamkeen was responsible for the financing and maintenance of the East Aleppo councils, according to Britta Haji Hassan, self-professed mayor of Aleppo, in an interview with The Guardian. The program provided East Aleppo City Council with eight hundred and twenty thousand pounds in May 2016.
During my time working in East Aleppo, it was clear that the councils were working hand in hand with [Al] Nusra Front. Their centers in each district were always next door to Nusra Front headquarters and White Helmet centresi.e., they always formed an integrated complex.
But even more disturbing than the unusual founding or clandestine funding of the group is the mountain of evidence demonstrating that the White Helmets, far from their official claim to political neutrality, are in fact intimately embedded with known and listed terrorist organizations in Syria.
Again, the most damning evidence in this regard is not controversial in the slightest. It comes directly from the White Helmets themselves.
Numerous videos and photos have surfaced showing the White Helmets parading on the dead bodies of Syrian government forces and flying the flags of known terrorist organizations. An in-depth report on The Syrian War Blog last year examined the social media profiles of 65 different White Helmets-connected figures and found numerous posts in support of ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham and other listed terrorist organizations. Some even posted pictures of themselves with known terrorist leaders or waving the flag of terrorist groups like ISIS, and many proudly displayed images of dead Syrian soldiers.
Most incredible of all is the footage of White Helmets attending the executions of Syrian civilians and soldiers by terrorist groups, moving in to cart the dead bodies away mere seconds after the victims are brutally slain.
Most of this evidence is explained away as “bad apples” in the organization acting on their own. Some of these “bad apples” are then castigated in public displays, like when one White Helmet was fired when footage surfaced showing him disposing the mutilated corpses of Syrian government fighters. When a graphic video of the White Helmets overseeing the execution of a man in terrorist-occupied Daraa surfaced last year, the group actually defended the workers while acknowledging that they “did not fully uphold the strict principle of neutrality and impartiality.”
But incredibly, Le Mesurier, the former British intel officer who founded the White Helmets in 2013, defended the workers caught in one bloody video from May 2015. The Middle Ground, a Singaporean website, ran a story last year featuring Le Mesurier’s take on the incident.
“But what about the damning video, from May 6, 2015?” the article reads. “White Helmet volunteers were caught on tape running in to clear a body seconds after a gunman executed a man. It turns out that the deceased was tried and sentenced to death in a local Sharia court, said Mr Mesurier. When his father found out about the time of execution, he called the White Helmets to help him conduct a proper burial. Besides, the gunman was clad in a balaclava, not a white helmet. Accusing the White Helmets of this act would be akin to accusing Joseph of Arimathea of crucifying Jesus.”
In opposition to the deafening mainstream media silence over this incredible mountain of evidence against the White Helmets stand only a handful of independent researchers, universally ignored, castigated or marginalized from the mainstream discussion on the issue. These independent researchers include Vanessa Beeley, a British researcher who has been one of the few journalists to report extensively on the ground in areas like East Aleppo over the last two years, and Eva Bartlett, a Canadian freelancer who has gained notoriety for using her own on-the-ground reporting from Syria to speak out against the mainstream narrative about the White Helmets.
BEELEY: And the majority of the evidence against the White Helmets comes from the White Helmets themselves, from their own videos, their own videos of them participating in the executions of both civilians and Syrian Arab Army prisoners of warfor which crimes they are sacked, by the way. You know, none of their sponsors at that point are held accountable for their crimes against the Syrian people and against the Syrian army that is defending the Syrian people and that comes from the Syrian people.
BARTLETT: So Raed Saleh, who is the White Helmets leader, isn’t allowed in the US. He was denied entry to the US for his questionable ties to extremists, and that’s actually from the State Department’s Mark Toner. And then the White Helmets leader in Idlib, Muawiya Hassan Agha, he was somebody that is a “rogue element” and he was apparently involved in an execution or he was there at an execution of two prisoners of war in Aleppo, and he was supposedly fired from the Helmets, but then he later reappeared with the White Helmets. So he’s a leader, you know. And so these are not “rogue agents.” There’s a number of people that have compiled photos showing over 60 White Helmets members’ social media posts, with them either with black flags, Al Qaeda flags, ISIS flags, holding weapons, or them even in White Helmets uniforms holding weapons, and them in uniforms at Al Qaeda cheering rallies with black flags flying all over the place. So these are clearly not “rogue.”
Given that there are so few voices speaking up against the White Helmets, it should come as no surprise that when The Guardian finally deigned to address what they termed the “conspiracy theories” about the organization, they turned their attention on these very researchers.
In “How Syria’s White Helmets became victims of an online propaganda machine,” The Guardianturned to Olivia Solon to dismiss all opposition to the White Helmets as the work of “anti-imperialist activists,” “conspiracy theorists” and “trolls with the support of the Russian government.” The choice of Solon to report on this story is especially odd; a “technology reporter” in San Francisco, Solon has no background of any sort in geopolitics or combat zone reporting and, as far as can be determined, has never set foot in Syria. Instead, she relied exclusively on sources such as the murky PR lobbying firm, The Syria Campaign, to praise the White Helmets and castigate their detractors.
Bizarrely, the report devotes a great deal of attention to the White Helmets’ Mannequin Challenge video, footage of an admittedly fake and staged “rescue” operation released by the group in an attempt to cash in on a viral internet video trend taking place at the time. The inference of the video is obvious: that the group is perfectly capable of staging incredibly realistic and completely fake “rescue” operations at any time. These fake videos, stripped of their context, would be uncritically promoted as authentic by mainstream outlets like The Guardian in the exact same way that the completely fictitious video of a “Syrian” boy rescuing his sister under sniper fire was uncritically accepted by the mainstream media…until it was admitted to be a fake video produced in Malta by a Norwegian film crew “to see how the media would respond to such a video.”
The Guardian’s headline when the fake Norwegian film production was released? “Syrian boy ‘saves girl from army sniper’ – video.” Strangely, Solon’s report does not mention that incident.
The majority of The Guardian’s report focuses on why the innocent and virtuous White Helmets would be so viciously attacked by independent journalists and how all opposition to the group is connected to the Kremlin. This is supposedly demonstrated in an utterly meaningless “infographic” of colored dots showing precisely nothing of substance.
Unsurprisingly, Solon’s contact with the reporters whose work she was set to impugn displayed her biases from the very start.
BARTLETT: In early October I received an email—I don’t think I noticed it right away. But anyway, when I did, essentially it was an email from this Olivia Solon—who contributes to The Guardian and is based in San Francisco, California—saying that she’d love to interview me for a story she was doing “imminently.” And, as I said, I didn’t see the email right away, so she sent another email within the next day or so again asking some questions about my stance on the White Helmetsif I believe they were actors. I can pull up the exact email, and I think you’ve seen a rebuttal I did on Global Research, which actually includes screenshots of our conversation.
Anyway, though, the questions she posed to me indicated that she didn’t have an honest intent in investigating the White Helmets. And in fact, given that she contributes to The Guardian—albeit from California, not from Syria—but The Guardian itself has consistently spewed war propaganda on Syria, just that factor alone would make one pause and think, “What’s the objective of this article?”
But then the questions: “Have I received any gifts from Assad or from Syria and Russia or North Korea?” She noticed with interest that I had been to North Korea recently. “How is it possible to go to Syria and North Korea given that they’re both so darn controlled?” You know, and when I get those kind of claims, I refer back to a blog post I very quickly typed out last year or so: “Those Who Transmit Syrian Voices Are Russian Propagandists?”  Anyway, this is a segue, but the whole point being anybody can apply for a visa at the Syrian embassy in Beirut. You do have to wait a while. I’ve had to wait over a month on many occasions, and you pay a fee and then you go to Syria. You arrange your transportation. And in fact, had I been reporting for The Guardian, I would assume that all my expenses and all that would have been taken care of by that corporate institution.
Anyway, so her questions were very leading. She had a predetermined “story”as she called it, and I wonder if her use of the word “story” was to kind of take away from the fact that she wasn’t actually gonna insert any truth and it was just a story. And so basically after seeing her questions I just replied to her something like “I’m not interested in participating in your article, your pre-determined script.” You know, my colleague Vanessa Beeley received a similar email around the same time with similar questions, some slightly catered to Vanessa’s own background, and she did reply more in-depth.
BEELEY: Olivia Solon contacted myself and Eva Bartlett pretty much at the same time and she sent a list, from memory, of about 20 questions, all of which were basically asking myself and Eva to defend our position and the evidence that we’d collated over, you know, a couple of years. For me, certainly, three years, or now four years, investigating the White Helmets organization, both remotely and inside Syria on the ground.
And so it was it was very much an attempt to put us in a position of having to defend ourselves. And I think both of us quite rightly took the position that, “Look, we’re not here to defend ourselves. You should be defending the evidence against this organization instead of providing a blanket promotional report on this organization,” which is what The Guardian has specifically done, of course, since the creation of this organization. In 2016 it lobbied, effectively, for the White Helmets to win the Nobel Peace Prize, and when it was inundated with negative comments it simply closed comments.
So, you know, The Guardian, which itself is embedded in the corporate neo-colonialist structure in the UK—I mean, it’s owned by Scott Trust Limited, it gets most of its ad revenue from HSBC. That is, not only the Swiss banking part of HSBC that has been basically prosecuted for fraud, but also has been found guilty of fraud against consumers in the UK. So, you know, this is already a sort of an interesting background to The Guardian and hardly surprising, then, of course, that they’re supporting the sort of “humanitarian war” concept that is always the driver behind, particularly, UK Foreign Office policy in the region.
So when Solon approached us with these questions, we both went back and basically said we have no interest in defending ourselves, and then, of course, she went out to fundamentally all of those entities, organizations, and individuals who support, fund, finance and do the PR for the White Helmets, such as The Syria Campaign, which incidentally two days later produced a 46-page report in which again I’m described as “The Queen of Disinformation.” And even in that 46 pages, they do not address one element of the evidence against the White Helmets.
Researchers like Beeley, Bartlett and Professor Tim Anderson, also mentioned in Solon’s report, are easy enough targets for The Guardian. Independent journalists taking it upon themselves to counter the Syria narrative, they would never be taken seriously by establishment media circles in the first place. Curiously omitted from The Guardian article, however, are the award-winning, internationally respected journalists who have similarly expressed skepticism about the White Helmets, their backers, and the PR campaign that surrounds them.
There is Gareth Porter, the award-winning journalist who has contributed to Foreign PolicyForeign AffairsThe NationAl JazeeraSalonThe Huffington PostAlternet and countless other outlets, who wrote “How a Syrian White Helmets Leader Played Western Media” in November 2016.
There is Philip Giraldi, a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer who wrote “The Fraud of the White Helmets” in July of 2017.
There is Stephen Kinzer, former New York Times correspondent and, ironically, current contributor to The Guardian, who tweeted his congratulations to “al-Qaeda and Syrian jihadists” when the film about “their PR outfit, the White Helmets,” won the Oscar. [Note: Kinzer points out he has not contributed to The Guardian in over four years.]
And, of course, there is John Pilger, one of the most respected and celebrated journalists and documentarians of the past half-century:
JOHN PILGER: In Syria they know how to intervene, they know how to manipulate the media. We had the “White Helmets,” a complete propaganda construct in Syria. They end up getting an Academy Award. They know how to intervene in in public discourse every day, and in politics every day.
It is unclear whether Solon and The Guardian believe Porter, Giraldi, Kinzer and Pilger to be “anti-imperialist activists,” “conspiracy theorists,” or “trolls with the support of the Russian government.”
But the issue here is not merely one of PR and propaganda, as appalling as the uncritical reporting about the White Helmets has been. What is worrying is that the so-called Syrian Civil Defence is, as we have seen, not Syrian at all. Founded, funded and promoted by foreign governments, foreign contractors and foreign lobbyists and PR agencies, the White Helmets are not a spontaneous Syrian search-and-rescue operation, but a template. A template that, if successful, can and will be employed anywhere and everywhere that those same foreign powers want to destabilize targeted governments in the future.
BEELEY: But I think what is interesting, why is this organization being protected to such an extent? I think it’s because the imperialist apparatus is defending the concept. We’ve already seen [White Helmets founder] James Le Mesurier recruiting in Brazil. We know that the White Helmets have appeared in Malaysia and in Venezuela, and in the Philippines. So you know, because this went through my head so many times, these are only 3,000 criminals and thugs that have emerged from the terrorist ranks or the Free Syrian Army “moderate extremist” ranks to become the White Helmets in order to continue to get paid doing the same job but under a different auspice.
Why are they being so heavily protected? But I think it’s more to do with the concept. It’s more to do with the importance of this concept going forward. As James Le Mesurier said very recently, who would you trust more than the fire brigade or a first response NGO? There you have it. That’s the key to why this group is so important.
In the end, the point is no more that we should uncritically accept every statement made in opposition to the White Helmets than that we should uncritically accept every statement made in their favour. The point is that in a world where people were concerned about the real truth of the matter we would not be forced to rely on the on-the-ground reports of Beeley, Bartlett and the handful of other independent journalists who actually bother to visit Syria and talk to actual Syrians about what is happening in their country. In such a world, there would be many different journalists, researchers and citizens all trying to get to the bottom of what was really happening in the country.
But we do not live in such a world, and one thing is perfectly clear: we cannot rely on outlets like The Guardian and their fellow travellers like BBC News, Channel 4, CNN and other mainstream establishment outlets to report the truth on these matters.
BARLTETT: So I wasn’t really aware of Olivia Solon prior to her having contacted me, so I wasn’t following her on Twitter. However, after the article came out, I found that first her Twitter account was closed to comments, and then it was opened, but people like myself were blocked from commenting. And she was seemingly outraged at one point that we went ahead and made our own statements and rebuttals without having the courtesy of sending her an email, even though we were the subject of her smear piece. And the other thing is that The Guardian comments section is closed except on social media. I don’t look at The Guardian that much except when I want to prove how they’re lying, so I’m not aware if that’s been their policy for a while [or] if that’s a new thing. I do notice that at the bottom of many of their articles there’s a plea for donations for honest investigative journalism, and I say, “Yes! Definitely support honest investigative journalism! But you won’t find it on The Guardian.”
Olivia Solon was contacted for comment on this report, but she did not respond to the request.