Two Turkish nationals and their company, recently sanctioned by the US Treasury for aiding and abetting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and identified in 2016 by Russia at the UN Security Council as operatives of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT), turned out to be connected to Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, which is led by Islamist President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Nordic Monitor’s review of postings on Twitter and Facebook reveals that a senior leader of Erdoğan’s party met with the managers of the sanctioned firm in the border province of Şanlıurfa, where ISIS cells have been known to be active for years. In the multiple postings, the AKP provincial chairman in Şanlıurfa, Bayattin Yıldız, was seen visiting and meeting with the owners of the ACL export-import firm, an entity that has been designated under sanctions by the US government for providing logistical supplies to ISIS.
This is not surprising given the fact that Russia had already identified the two US-designated Turkish individuals as ISIS suppliers long before and connected them to Turkey’s notorious MIT, led by Erdoğan confidant Hakan Fidan, another Islamist figure. “The main supplier of weapons and military equipment to ISIL fighters is Turkey, which is doing so through non-governmental organizations. Work in this area is overseen by the National Intelligence Organization of Turkey. Transportation mainly involves vehicles, including as part of humanitarian aid convoys,” Russia’s then-UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told members of the Security Council in a letter.
Although the US Treasury designation on November 18, 2019 only listed 30-year old İsmail Bayaltun (Turkish identity No: 43867949044) and his brother Ahmet Bayaltun as the individuals who provided support to ISIS fighters in Syria through ACL İthalat İhracat, Nordic Monitor’s review of family business activities show multiple members of the family have been active in commercial activities linked to ACL not only in the border province but also in Istanbul’s Tahtakale business district, where smuggled goods, especially electronics, were widely traded.
According to official trade registry data, İsmail Bayaltun filed the papers to establish ACL İthalat İhracat, an import-export company, on March 29, 2011 in Şanlıurfa. Registration No.11586 was assigned to the company under his name. The company’s address was declared as Dünya İş Merkezi, 2.Kat No: 96 in the same city. On December 5, 2018 he changed the company’s address to Yusufpaşa Mahallesi, 886 Sokak No:31/1 Eyyübiye, Şanlıurfa. On July 5, 2019 İsmail Bayaltun filed a form with the trade registration office declaring that he had turned the company over to İsmail Soylu and that the firm’s name was changed to İsmail Soylu ACL İthalat İhracat. The change appears to have been merely cosmetic.
No matter who was listed on the official papers, the company is really run by the Bayaltun family, which is headed by Hacı Halil Bayaltun. Other members of the family were identified as Harun, Mustafa, Raşit, Ali and more, all carrying the family name of Bayaltun. The general manager, who travels abroad, especially to Hong Kong, to procure electronic and computer parts, is Mustafa Bayaltun, according to travel photos shared by him on Facebook. Mustafa Bayaltun travels between Istanbul and Şanlıurfa to manage the business when he is not abroad and is closely connected to Erdoğan’s governing party.
According to the US Treasury announcement, Ahmet Bayaltun has materially assisted, sponsored or provided financial, material or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, ISIS. As of early 2017, he was identified as an ISIS procurement agent, although Russia had named him as such a year earlier.
Yıldız, Erdoğan’s ruling party provincial representative in Şanlıurfa, even visited Mustafa Bayaltun in his Istanbul office on June 23, 2019 in a bid to secure support for the AKP’s Istanbul mayoral candidate, Binali Yıldırım, a former prime minister and parliament speaker. Yıldız also visited him and Halil Bayaltun on November 26, 2019, three days before the US Treasury designated the company under its sanctions regime.
Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin’s letter to the UNSC on March 18, 2016:United NationsS/2016/262SecurityCouncilDistr.: General21 March 2016EnglishOriginal: Russian16-04581 (E) 280316300316*1604581*Letter dated18 March 2016 from the Permanent Representativof the Russian Federation addressed to the President of theSecurity CouncilI have the honour to transmit herewith information on the involvement of anumber of Turkish individuals and entities in trafficking weapons and ammunition to territory under the control of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) (seeannex).I should be grateful if you would have this letter and its annex circulated as a document of the Security Council.(Signed) V.Churkinwww.NordicMonitor.comS/2016/26216-045812/3Annex to the letter dated 18 March 2016 from the PermanentRepresentative of the Russian Federation addressed to thePresident of the Security CouncilIllegal trafficking in weapons and ammunition to Syrian territoryunder ISIL controlThe main supplier of weapons and military equipment to ISIL fighters isTurkey, which is doing so through non-governmental organizations. Work in this area is overseen by the National Intelligence Organization of Turkey. Transportationmainly involves vehicles, including as part of humanitarian aid convoys.The Beşar foundation (President— D. Şanlı) is most actively engaged inpursuing these objectives and, in 2015, formed around 50 conveys to the Turkmenareas of Bayırbucak and Kızıltepe (260 km north of Damascus). Donations fromindividuals and entities are “officially” its main source of funding. In point of fact,the organization’s account receives such funds from a specific budget allocation ofthe National Intelligence Organization. The Beşar foundation has opened currentaccounts in Turkish and foreign banks with the support of the Government.The İyilikder foundation (President— Mr. I. Bahar) is also a major supplier ofweapons and military equipment to Syrian territory under ISIL control, havingdispatched around 25 different supply convoys in 2015. The leadership of thisnon-governmental organization is funded by sources from European and MiddleEastern countries. Funds in hard currency are transferred to Kuveyt Türk and Vakıfbank accounts.The Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms (President— Mr. B. Yıldırım)is actively engaged in delivering munitions to terrorists in Syria. It is officiallysupported by the Government of Turkey and acts under the direction of the Turkishintelligence services. Since 2011, the foundation has sent 7,500 vehicles withvarious supplies to territory under ISIL control. This organization is funded fromTurkish sources and by other States. The Turkish banks Ziraat and Vakıf are used forfundraising.Furthermore, to address the challenge of delivering weapons and militaryequipment to ISIL-controlled territory, officials from the National IntelligenceOrganization have arranged for control over the weapons and ammunitions storeslocated in the border towns of Bükülmez and Sansarin (530 km south-east ofAnkara, Hatay province). The weapons are delivered to fighters through theCilvegözü checkpoint (530 km south-east of Ankara), with the support of Turkey’sintelligence officers and gendarmerie forces.For example, between 2 and 8 November 2015, a batch of weapons was transferred from the Cilvegözü checkpoint to the town of Atma (310 km north of Damascus). Fighters in the area were supplied with rounds for TOW anti-tank missile systems and for RPG-7 grenade launchers, as well as ammunition for small arms.In November 2015, the movement of military equipment was organized for illegal armed groups located in the province of Latakia. Islamists received M-60recoilless rifles and ammunition, 82mm mortar shells, 23mm and 12.7mm ammunition, hand grenades, communications tools and equipment from the Turkish intelligence services.www.NordicMonitor.com
S/2016/2623/316-04581Between 11 and 21 January 2016, Turkish intelligence officers supplied Jabhatal-Sham terrorists with 7.62mm and 12.7mm ammunition and with rounds forRPG -7 grenade launchers. The cargo was transferred across the Turkish- Syrianborder, in the area of Kizilcat (540 km south- east of Ankara), to a fighters’ camp inthe province of Latakia. Some of the weapons and ammunition received weresubsequently sold by field commanders to ISIL representatives (in exchange forpetroleum products, food and tangible assets).On 25 January 2016, the Turkish Foundation for Human Rights and Freedomsfinanced a shipment of equipment and food (approximately 55 tons) to ISILterrorists. The union of fraternal societies and foundations of Turkey wasresponsible was forming the convoy. The “humanitarian cargo” travelled throughthe Yayladağı border crossing (530 km south– east of Ankara, Hatay province) to theBayırbucak district. Earlier, in July 2015, the Foundation assisted The Associationfor Human Rights and Solidarity for the Oppressed in transferring over 177 tons ofmilitary cargo to the north of Syria.Smuggling explosives and industrial chemicals to terrorist groups operating inSyria is also usually organized from Turkish territory, through border crossings inthe vicinity of Reyhanlı (Turkey), Azaz (Syria), AlQamishli (Syria) and Jarablus(Syria). Waterways, particularly the Euphrates River, are often used to transpor large consignments of explosive components: nitroglycerine, ammonium nitrate,gunpowder and trinitrotoluene (TNT).Total supplies to terrorists through Turkey were as follows in 2015: 2,500 tonsof ammonium nitrate (worth approximately US$ 788,700); 456 tons of potassiumnitrate ($468,700); 75 tons of aluminium powder ($496,500); sodium nitrate($19,400); glycerine ($102,500); and nitric acid ($34,000).The bulk of the chemical components are purchased in the south- easternprovinces of Turkey (Mersin, Hatay, Kilis, Gaziantep and Şanlıurfa) with the assistanceof local companies. In particular, one company acting as an intermediary is TevhidBilişim Merkezi (city of Şanlıurfa, Alcak district, Bağdat trading centre, office 1). Theowners of the company, Ismail and Ahmet Bayaltun, acquire products manufactured inenterprises from the “Mersin free economic zone” (city of Mersin) and ensure that thecargo is then dispatched to the fighters. In addition, the company Tsitrkimya (Istanbul,owner Zaur Guliyev) supplies aluminium powder directly to ISIL.The companies Trend Limited Şirketi (city of Şanlıurfa) and Maxam Anadolu(city of Malatya) specialize in transferring safety and detonating fuses to terrorists(main active ingredient— pentaerythritol tetranitrate), as well as caps, primers andelectric denotators.In order to pass through the border controls unimpeded, effectively with thecomplicity of the Turkish authorities, products are processed for companies that arepurportedly registered in Jordan and Iraq. “Transit through the Syrian ArabRepublic” is indicated in the supporting documents, under the section on method ofdelivering the cargo to the recipient. Registration and processing of the cargo areorganized at customs posts in the cities of Antalya, Gaziantep and Mersin (Turkey).Once the necessary procedures have been carried out, the goods pass unhinderedthrough the border crossings at Cilvegözü and Öncüpınar (520 km south- east of Ankara, Kilis province).www.NordicMonitor.com
According to the registry data, Tevhid Bilişim was established by Ahmet Bayaltun on June 27, 2013, not surprisingly in the same neighborhood in which ACL was located (Yusufpaşa Mahallesi, Bagdat Pasaji 1. Kat No:56, Şanlıurfa). The company’s operations were described as the sale of mobile phones and accessories, similar to ACL. Perhaps under pressure from his handlers at the intelligence agency after the Russians outed the firm and with the Americans close on his heels, Bayaltun filed a notification on October 21, 2019 declaring that the Tevhid firm had ceased its activities. The request for dissolution was approved three days later by the authorities.
Tevhid Bilişim’s trade registry data:
The family was alleged to have been involved in shipping aluminium powder, which is used to create a stronger blast in explosives. According to Russia’s findings, Turkey had shipped some half a million dollars worth of aluminum powder to ISIS by March 2016. “Total supplies to terrorists through Turkey were as follows in 2015: 2,500 tons of ammonium nitrate (worth approximately US$ 788 ,700); 456 tons of potassium nitrate ($468,700); 75 tons of aluminium powder ($496,500); sodium nitrate ($19,400); glycerine ($102,500); and nitric acid ($34,000),” the Russian ambassador explained in the letter to the UN.
Under pressure from both the Americans and the Russians, Turkey was eventually forced to take action, albeit limited, to convince the international community that it had been cracking down on ISIS activities in Turkey. On June 25, 2015 three trucks with a load of 144 tons aluminum power were reportedly seized by Turkish authorities while en route to Syria. The seller’s name on the bill of lading was Ahmet Bayaltun, and the origin of the shipment was China. The shipment was reportedly seized and an administrative investigation launched, but it is not clear what happened with the probe or the seized trucks. It is more than likely that the case was hushed up. Turkish authorities made no announcement on the outcome of the probe with regard to the shipment.
Counterterrorism designations by the US Department of Treasury:
11/22/2019Counter Terrorism Designationshttps://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20191118.aspx1/2U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURYResource CenterCounter Terrorism Designations11/18/2019OFFICE OF FOREIGN ASSETS CONTROLSpecially Designated Nationals List UpdateThe following individuals have been added to OFAC’s SDN List:BAYALTUN, Ahmet, Turkey; DOB 1971; citizen Turkey; Gender Male (individual) [SDGT] (Linked To: ISLAMIC STATE OF IRAQ AND THE LEVANT).BAYALTUN, Ismail (a.k.a. BAYALTUN, Ismail Halil), Dunya Is Mer, Gaziantep, Turkey; No:/A Atlikonak, Sanliurfa 63000, Turkey; DOB 01 Oct 1989; alt.DOB 21 Nov 1980; citizen Turkey; Gender Male; National ID No. C13638980 (Turkey); Identification Number 4386794904 (Turkey) (individual) [SDGT](Linked To: ISLAMIC STATE OF IRAQ AND THE LEVANT).KHAN, Sayed Habib Ahmad (a.k.a. KHAN, Syed Habib Ahmad; a.k.a. “HABIB, Sayed”), Kuwait; Arzan Qemat Area, PD 12, Kabul City, Afghanistan;DOB 1970; POB Kunar Province, Afghanistan; nationality Afghanistan; Gender Male; Residency Number 270010174266 (Kuwait) issued 25 Apr 2016expires 24 Jun 2018 (individual) [SDGT] (Linked To: NEJAAT SOCIAL WELFARE ORGANIZATION).WAKIL, Rohullah (a.k.a. WAKIL, Haji Sahib Rohullah; a.k.a. “Haji Rohullah”), Afghanistan; DOB 1962; alt. DOB 1963; POB Nangalam, Afghanistan;Gender Male (individual) [SDGT] (Linked To: ISIL KHORASAN).The following entities have been added to OFAC’s SDN List:ACL ITHALAT IHRACAT (a.k.a. ACL GSM IMPORT EXPORT; a.k.a. ACL ITHALAT IHRACAT ISMAIL BAYALT; a.k.a. ACL ITHALAT IHRACAT ISMAILBAYALTUN), No: 96 Dunya Is Merkezi 2 Kat, Sanliurfa, Turkey; Cengiz Topel Mah 2 Dun is Merk, Sanliurfa, Turkey; Yusufpasa Mah Dunya Is MerkeriCtr, Sanliurfa 63000, Turkey; 96 Earth Business Center, 2nd Floor, Sanliurfa, Turkey [SDGT] (Linked To: BAYALTUN, Ismail).AL SULTAN MONEY TRANSFER COMPANY (a.k.a. AL SULTAN GOLD & JEWELRY; a.k.a. AL SULTAN GOLD AND JEWELRY; a.k.a. AL SULTANJEWELRY; a.k.a. AL-SULTAN JEWELRY & GENERAL TRADING CO; a.k.a. AL-SULTAN JEWELRY AND GENERAL TRADING CO; a.k.a. ALSULTANKUYUMCULUK; a.k.a. ALSULTAN KUYUMCULUK ELEKTRONIK GIDA ITHALAT IHRACAT LIMITED SIRKETI; a.k.a. SULTAN GOLD), Ataturk Mah.Sehit Nusret Cad., No: 17 A/1 Haliliye-Haliliye, Sanliurfa, Turkey [SDGT] (Linked To: ISLAMIC STATE OF IRAQ AND THE LEVANT).NEJAAT SOCIAL WELFARE ORGANIZATION (a.k.a. NEJAT-E EJTIMAYEE), House Number 1297, Lot Number 2, Sub-District number 2, Narang BaghArea, Jalalabad, Nangarhar, Afghanistan; Police District 12, Kabul City, Kabul Province, Afghanistan; Jalalabad City, Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan[SDGT] (Linked To: ISIL KHORASAN).SAHLOUL MONEY EXCHANGE COMPANY (a.k.a. AL-SAHLOUL MONEY EXCHANGE COMPANY; a.k.a. SAHLUL HAWALA OFFICE), Axray,Masseeh Basha, Lalleli Street, Kalvan Centre Building #22, Office #203, Istanbul, Turkey; Mersin, Turkey [SDGT] (Linked To: ISLAMIC STATE OFIRAQ AND THE LEVANT).TAWASUL COMPANY (a.k.a. AL-TAWASUL COMPANY; a.k.a. TAWASUL FINANCIAL EXCHANGE; a.k.a. TAWASUL HAWALA COMPANY), Harim,Syria [SDGT] (Linked To: ISLAMIC STATE OF IRAQ AND THE LEVANT).www.NordicMonitor.com
The YPG’s advance near Turkish border at the expense of ISIS was a game changer for the Erdoğan government. When the conflict in Syria escalated, threatening the safety of Turkish truck drivers, Turkey’s Trade and Customs Ministry prohibited trucks from crossing into Syria, but in a decision issued on November 15, 2013 the government allowed the trucks to go through customs gates at three locations — Cilvegözü, Öncüpınar and Akçakale — on the Syrian border as long as Syrian truckers were used in the unloading and transport on the Syrian side. Therefore, ISIS continued to procure supplies from Turkey using the customs gates where it picked up trailers with Syrian tractors that hauled Turkish trailers from the border gate.
The open-door policy at the customs gate was changed, at least on paper, when in 2015 the Americans put greater pressure on Turkey to control its Syrian border in order to cut off supplies to ISIS and other jihadist groups. Furthermore, Turkey had a new incentive to do so when the YPG took over Tal Abyad, prompting Turkish authorities to shut down the gate for shipments shortly afterwards. The Trade and Customs Ministry decided to ban the export of aluminum to Syria on July 1, 2015, citing an intelligence note it received from MIT that showed the shipments were in fact coordinated by MIT. The illegal shipments continued through other crossing points according to the intelligence provided to the UNSC by Russia in 2016.
In a second letter submitted to the UNSC on May 17, 2016, Russian Ambassador Churkin further informed the UN that ISIS acquired items to manufacture improvised explosive devices from Turkey with the help of Turkish intelligence agency MIT. It stated that the basic chemical components of explosives seized in the region of Tikrit (Iraq) and in Kobani (Syria), with subsequent identification of the manufacturers and review of the conditions for selling such components to other countries, indicate that they were either manufactured in Turkey or delivered to that country without the right of re-export.
The document identified Turkish firms Gultas Kimya, Marikem Kimyevi ve Endustriyel Urunler, Metkim, EKM Gubre and Diversey Kimya as intermediaries. “These companies have delivered to Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) aluminium powder, ammonium nitrate, pelletized carbamide and hydrogen peroxide produced by various Turkish and foreign companies. In this context, there has been a remarkable seven-fold increase in the volume of deliveries from Turkey to Syria of ammonium nitrate (at a time when agriculture in the Syrian Arab Republic is in decline), which is used by terrorists in the manufacture of improvised explosive devices,” the letter said.
Russia claimed that “the Turkish authorities are deliberately involved in ISIL activity, as they are providing access to components for improvised explosive devices that are being widely used to commit terrorist acts.”
Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin’s letter to the UNSC on May 17, 2016:
United NationsS/2016/457SecurityCouncilDistr.: General19 May 2016EnglishOriginal: Russian16-08099 (E) 200516 230516*1608099*Letter dated 17 May 2016 from the Permanent Representative ofthe Russian Federation to the United Nations addressed to theSecretary-GeneralI have the honour to transmit hereby an information note on the procurementby Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant of components for the manufacture ofimprovised explosive devices (see annex).I should be grateful if this letter and its annex could be distributed as adocument of the Security Council.(Signed) B.Churkinwww.NordicMonitor.comS/2016/45716-080992/2Annex to the letter dated 17 May 2016 from the PermanentRepresentative of the Russian Federation to the United Nationsaddressed to the Secretary-GeneralProcurement by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant ofcomponents for the manufacture of improvised explosive devices Terrorists in Iraq and Syria are being supplied through foreign channels with the items needed to manufacture improvised explosive devices. An analysis of thebasic chemical components of explosives captured from Islamists in the region ofTikrit (Iraq) and in Kobani (Syria), with subsequent identification of themanufacturers and review of the conditions for selling such components to othercountries, indicates that they were either manufactured in Turkey or delivered tothat country without the right of re-export.The following Turkish firms acted as intermediaries: Gultas Kimya, Marikem Kimyevi ve Endustriyel Urunler, Metkim, EKM Gubre and Diversey Kimya. Thesecompanies have delivered to Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) aluminium powder, ammonium nitrate, pelletized carbamide and hydrogen peroxide producedby various Turkish and foreign companies. In this context, there has been aremarkable seven – fold increase in the volume of deliveries from Turkey to Syria ofammonium nitrate (at a time when agriculture in the Syrian Arab Republic is in decline), which is used by terrorists in the manufacture of improvised explosivedevices.One notable feature of the improvised explosive devices assembled in ISILworkshops in the Middle East is the use of the following:PIC16F1827microcontrollers made by Microchip Technology, a United States company; TIP102and BDX53C transistors from the Swiss company ST Microelectronics; and mobiletelephones from Nokia, model 105 RM-908.Furthermore, detonation cords manufactured in third countries have beenillegally resold through Turkey to ISIL fighters.These facts demonstrate that the Turkish authorities are deliberately involvedin ISIL activity, as they are providing access to components for improvised explosive devices that are being widely used to commit terrorist acts.www.NordicMonitor.comAbdullah Bozkurt
The Turkish government’s allegation that the United States was involved in a failed coup in 2016 has been further undermined with the exposure of a Turkish military document which revealed that the US Air Force had decided to temporarily scale back operations in Turkey.
According to the document, the US Air Force had already decided to reduce tanker flights operating out of Turkey’s Incirlik Airbase in southeastern Adana province before a limited mobilization by the Turkish army took place on the night of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt. The decision was conveyed to Turkish Brig. Gen. Irfan Özsert by US Army Brig. Gen. Edwin J. Deedrick, who was serving as the assistant commanding general of the Joint Special Operations Command at the time.
The military experts Nordic Monitor spoke to argued that it made no sense for the US to reduce its air cover if it was somehow involved in the putschist attempt in Turkey as the government claimed to be the case. The allegations that the US was involved in the attempt were made publicly by Turkish government officials at various times. Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu accused the US of orchestrating the coup in a phone interview with CNN Türk on July 16 while events were still unfolding.
He repeated the same allegation on various occasions, saying that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s vocal critic, Fethullah Gülen, lacked the capability of mounting such an attempt. The government accuses the Gülen of being behind the failed coup although no evidence has been presented to prove the claim. Gülen himself denied playing any role and asked for an international inquiry to ascertain the real perpetrator, a proposal that Erdoğan declined.
Interestingly, the meeting between Özsert and Deedrick took place on July 15, 2016 during which the US general informed his Turkish counterpart that Maj. Gen. James E. Kraft Jr., the commander of the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force (CJSOTF), was on temporary leave and would return to his post in early August after visiting Kuwait and then the US on a leave of absence. Maj. Gen.Kraft who departed for Kuwait on July 15, left him as acting commander during his absence, Deedrick added.
MESAJ FORMUMESAJ TALİMATIGRUP–ÖN EK BO:ÖNCELİKDERECESİTARİH SAATGRUBUGİZLİLİK DERECESİDOSYANUMARASIGEREĞİBİLGİ C TEM 16GİZLİHRK:79146872–3000––16İVEDİKİMDEN:TKS/İNCİRLİKKİME: GENKURHRKİLGİ:TKS/İNCİRLİK’İN 071840C TEM 16 TSG’Lİ, HRK.:79146872–3000–387–16 SAYILI VE “MÜNBİÇHAREKATI VE MARE HATTI İLE İLGİLİ GELİŞMELER” KONULU MESAJI.KONU:BMÖHGK.K.YRD.TUĞG. ERWINDEEDRICK’INGÖREVİ DEVRALMASI1.BİRLEŞİK MÜŞTEREK ÖZEL HAREKÂT GÖREV KUVVETİ (BMÖHGK (CJSOTF)) K. TÜMG.JAMESKRAFT,15TEMMUZ 2016 TARİHİNDE KUVEYT’E İNTİKAL ETMİŞ, YRD. TUĞG.ERWIN DEEDRICK İNCİRLİK’TE GÖREVİDEVRALMIŞTIR. TÜMG. KRAFT’IN BİR HAFTA KUVEYT’TE KALMAYI MÜTEAKİP, İZİNLİ OLARAK ABD’YEGİDECEĞİ VE AĞUSTOS AYI BAŞINDA DÖNECEĞİ ÖĞRENİLMİŞTİR.2.GÖREVİ DEVRALAN TUĞG. E.DEEDRICK VE TUĞG.İ.ÖZSERT ARASINDA15 TEMMUZ 2016 TARİHİNDEBİRTOPLANTI GERÇEKLEŞTİRİLMİŞ, TOPLANTIDA GÖRÜŞÜLEN KONULAR AŞAĞIDA SUNULMUŞTUR;A.TUĞG.DEEDRICK’EMÜNBİÇ HAREKATI İLE İLGİLİ BEKLENTİLERİMİZİN NELER OLDUĞU, ŞUANAKADAR BERABERCE NASIL ÇALIŞILDIĞI VE HASSASİYETLERİMİZ İLE PKK VE PYD’NİN AYNI TERÖR ÖRGÜTÜOLDUĞU DETAYLI OLARAK İZAH EDİLMİŞ, KENDİSİ TARAFINDAN HASSASİYETLERİMİZ HAKKINDA BİLGİSAHİBİ OLDUĞU İFADE EDİLEREK KARŞILIKLI GÜVEN VE ŞEFFAFLIK İÇERİSİNDE BUKONUDAAYNIŞEKİLDEÖZELLİKLE HASSAS DAVRANACAĞIBELİRTİLMİŞTİR.B.TUĞG.DEEDRICK TARAFINDAN,17 TEMMUZ 2016 TARİHİNDE BÖLGEYE VE GELİŞMELERE HAKİMOLMAK KAPSAMINDA ABD BÜYÜKELÇİSİ VE ODC–T K. İLE GÖRÜŞMEK MAKSADIYLA ANKARA’YA GİDECEĞİ,ANKARA’DA, MÜNBİÇ’EYÖNELİK OLARAK AÇILMASI PLANLANAN İNSANİ YARDIM KORİDORUNUN DETAYLARINIDA GÖRÜŞECEĞİVEDÖNÜŞTE HİRFANLI’YIZİYARET EDECEĞİNİNİFADE EDİLMESİ ÜZERİNE,TUĞG.İ.ÖZSERT TARAFINDAN;(1)İLGİMESAJDA ARZ EDİLDİĞİ ÜZERE GENELKURMAY BAŞKANLIĞI’NIN EMİRLERİ DOĞRULTUSUNDAPLANLANAN İNSANİ YARDIM KORİDORUNUN AR RAİ BÖLGESİNDEN AÇILMASININ DAHA UYGUN OLDUĞU,DOLAYISIYLA AÇMAK İSTEDİĞİMİZ ÇOBANBEY SINIR KAPISINI DA ETKİN BİR HALE GETİRECEĞİ VE DAHAÖNCE BURADAN GÖÇ ETMİŞ MÜLTECİLERİN DÖNÜŞLERİNİ KOLAYLAŞTIRACAĞI,(2)AYRICA BURADAN GÜNEYE DOĞRU İLERLEMENİN, MARE BÖLGESİNDEKİ DEAŞ UNSURLARININGERİSİNİ KUŞATACAĞINDAN DEAŞ’IN GERİ ÇEKİLMESİNİ DE SAĞLAYACAĞI,(3)BU KAPSAMDA EN ÖNEMLİ HUSUSUN EĞİT DONATÇERÇEVESİNDEMUHALİFLERDEN KISA SÜREDEDAHA ÇOK BİRLİK OLUŞTURULMASI VE SAYILARININ ARTIRILARAK DAHAETKİN HALE GETİRİLMELERİOLDUĞU BELİRTİLMİŞTİR.C.TUĞG. DEEDRICK TARAFINDANAYRICA AFRICOM BÖLGESİNDEKİ ARTAN TANKER UÇAK İHTİYACINAPARALEL OLARAK, ABD SAVUNMA BAKANLIĞI’NIN ALDIĞI KARARLAR DOĞRULTUSUNDAGEÇİCİ BİR SÜRE İLESURİYE VE IRAK’TA KULLANILAN TANKER UÇAKLARIN BİR KISMININ AFRICOM SORUMLULUK SAHASINDAKONUŞLANDIRILACAĞI, BU NEDENLESURİYE VE IRAK HAREKÂT ALANINDA YAKIN HAVA DESTEĞİPLANLAMASINDA YAKLAŞIK %27ORANINDA BİR AZALMA MEYDANA GELECEĞİ VE BU DURUMUN MAREHATTINDAKİ FAALİYETLERİ DE AYNI ORANDA ETKİLEYECEĞİ İFADE EDİLMİŞTİR.3.ARZ EDİLEN HUSUSLARLA İLGİLİ GELİŞMELERİN ZAMANA BAĞLI KALMAKSIZIN BİLDİRİLECEĞİNİ.PARAFE/KOORDİNEKALEME ALANINİMZA BLOKUMÜSAADE EDENİNİMZA BLOKU(İMZALIDIR)ERTAN ŞAHİNP.KUR.BNB.PL.SB.(İMZALIDIR)İRFAN ÖZSERTTUĞGENERALTÜRK TEMSİL HEYET BŞK.SAYFAMESAJIN GELDİĞİMESAJIN ÇEKİLDİĞİ1/1TSGİŞLETMENTSGSİSTEMİŞLETMENwww.NordicMonitor.com
The memo shoots holes in the Turkish government narrative and appears to be yet another piece of evidence that the US actually had nothing to do with the coup attempt. It also undermines the government argument that Incirlik Airbase, which the government propagandists claimed played a crucial role in the events of July 15, was not really relevant in the limited mobilization. Nevertheless, that did not prevent Turkish prosecutors from launching criminal investigations connected to the base, In fact, they decided to investigate not only Turkish officers but also a number of US service people who were deployed at the base.
One would have expected the US to beef up its logistical capabilities in Turkey in preparation for the coup if it had really been involved as the government claimed, according to one expert Nordic Monitor spoke to on condition of anonymity. The opposite took place, and the US decided to reduce its footprint by deploying some of its tanker planes to the Africa command, according to this document, the expert said.
During the meeting with Özsert, the US general further noted that he would be going to Ankara on July 17 to meet with the US ambassador as well as representatives of the Office of Defense Cooperation Turkey (ODC-T), which is a US Security Assistance Organization (SAO) to Turkey. He said he would have a better grasp of the developments and would pay another visit to Özsert upon his return. Nordic Monitor previously published confidential documents showing how US servicemen and US defense contractors were the subject of coup investigations in Ankara due to regular meetings and contacts with their Turkish counterparts. Meetings that were scheduled long before as part of multi-year service contracts for Turkish military procurement needs were also treated as suspicions activities by Turkish prosecutors.
The role Gen. Özsert played at Incirlik Airbase during the July 15 events was also questioned by experts. According to the secret document, he was acting as the Turkish military representative (Türk Askeri Temsil Heyeti Başkani) when he met with the US general. While he was accusing his colleagues, including the commander of Incirlik Airbase, Bekir Ercan Van, of involvement in the coup, he claimed he was on temporary duty at Incirlik but did not explain what that temporary assignment was.
It was also quite odd that while the Turkish command at Incirlik was on a terrorism alert and troops were deployed to counter a possible attack, Özsert kept his distance for reasons that were not explained. Instead he talked to an unidentified person in Ankara and received a different set of instructions, while his colleagues were ordered within the chain of command to report to their positions.
In his statement Özsert said he contacted Gen. Zekai Aksakallı, commander of the Special Forces who played in a key role in orchestrating what many believe to have been a false flag coup bid in cooperation with the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT). Military experts also found it strange for Özsert to have made contact with Aksakallı, who was not his commanding officer. The question of why Gen. Özsert did not contact his superior officer on the night of July 15 remains unanswered.
Özsert further claimed that he ordered the removal of flight equipment from tanker planes to cut off fuel supplies for F-16s in the air on the night of July 15 but later stated that he identified three tanker planes taking off from the base to provide fuel for fighter jets that were alleged to have been involved in the coup events. How did those tanker planes manage to fly when key flight equipment had been removed and they were disabled? Numerous inconsistencies in Gen. Özsert’s statement were not addressed, either, in the indictments or hearings in several leading cases in which alleged putschists were tried. As seen in dozens of other coup cases, the government-appointed judges seemed to be in rush to convict pro-NATO officers en masse on dubious charges during the trials without leaving much room for the defense to contest the evidence presented by prosecutors.
For the clandestine role he played in and around Incirlik Airbase, Özsert was rewarded by President Erdoğan and promoted to major general two weeks after the failed coup. He was one of only four generals to attain that rank, while two-thirds of all flag officers in NATO’s second largest army were dismissed and/or jailed on dubious terrorism and coup plotting charges. He was later appointed to head of the General Staff Intelligence Directorate (Genelkurmay İstihbarat Başkanlığı). In August 2019 he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general.
Özsert and his team of defense and intelligence officials were exposed when their passports were published by the al-Marsad news outlet earlier this year. They were reportedly involved in classified military and intelligence operations in Libya, where the Erdoğan government was providing supplies, technical expertise and military assistance to armed Islamist groups. He is currently head of the the Defense’s Ministry Defense and Security Directorate (Milli Savunma Bakanlığı Savunma ve Güvenlik Genel Müdürlüğü).
In the coup trial concerning events at General Staff headquarters, Lt. Kübra Yavuz testified that she was deprived of food, beaten, tortured and electrocuted while in custody for two days at a shooting range on the General Staff compound to give a false statement while blindfolded and handcuffed from behind. She said the torture was carried out on the orders of Gen. Özsert and Gen. Aksakallı to coerce her to provide a false statement. She said she recanted her initial statement when she was finally brought before a court to stand trial in June 2018, two years after the incidents in question.
Yavuz was working for the protocol section at the General Staff and escorted MIT Undersecretary Hakan Fidan to the main door when he wrapped up a meeting with Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar in the evening hours of July 15. Many believe Fidan and Akar, who had had long meetings the day before, hammered out the final details of the false flag coup attempt at that meeting held at General Staff headquarters. As soon as Fidan left the building, the mobilization started, with units deployed to various locations on the pretext of responding to an imminent terrorist threat to military installations.
3.A wounded protester is taken to receive first aid during clashes with security forces in Baghdad, Iraq, over corruption and Iran’s growing influence, Nov. 28, 2019. (AP/Khalid Mohammed)Dec 1, 2019“While the Iranian regime is killing its own people, European countries rush to support that very murderous regime ,” Netanyahu declares. “Now is the time to change course.”
Despite the danger, the people of Iran, Iraq and Lebanon continue to risk their lives and protest against the tyrannical Islamic regime.
Yet while the Iranian regime is developing nuclear weapons and terrorizing its own people as well and the entire Middle East, European countries continue to support the Ayatollahs.
Netanyahu is right. These countries should be ashamed of themselves! Now is the time for them to change course and follow the American lead.
4.04.12.2019Macron, Londra’da düzenlenen NATO Liderler Zirvesi’nin ardından basın toplantısı düzenlendi.“NATO’nun beyin ölümü gerçekleşti” yönündeki ifadesini, zirvede ülkelerin maddi katkılarının konuşulmaması için kullandığını belirten Macron, zirve sırasında bir araya geldiği birçok liderlere Fransa‘nın Rusya ile ilişkileri hakkında bilgi verdiğini söyledi.
“Türkiye ile terörün tanımı konusunda bir konsensüsün oluşması mümkün değil.” diyen Macron, Avrupa’nın savunmasını önemsediğini ancak bunun NATO’ya alternatif olmadığını kaydetti.Macron, “Avrupa’nın istikrarı ve güvenliği ancak Rusya ile sağlam bir ilişki kurarak garanti edilebilir.” ifadesini kullandı.
Avrupa’nın istikrar ve güvenliğinin önemli olduğunu ifade eden Macron, Rusya’nın artık NATO’nun düşmanı olmadığını vurguladı.
“DİYALOĞUN GÜÇLENDİRİLMESİ GEREKİYOR”
Macron, El Kaide ve DEAŞ’ın düşmanları olduğunu dile getirerek, “Türkiye’nin güvenliği ve terörün bedelini ağır ödemesine duyduğum saygı ve müttefiklik ilişkimiz kapsamında, DEAŞ’in yeniden canlanmaması adına Suriye’nin kuzeydoğusundaki durum ile ilgili diyaloğun güçlendirilmesi gerekiyor. Bu konuda diyalog eksikliği oldu ve müttefikler arasında saygıda kusur edildi.” diye konuştu.
“YENİDEN BİR ARAYA GELECEĞİZ”
Macron, dün Cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan, Almanya Başbakanı Angela Merkel ve İngiltere Başbakanı Boris Johnson ile gerçekleştirilen Dörtlü Zirve’yi hatırlatarak, “Suriye, Libya ve diğer konularda E3 ülkeleri olarak Türkiye ile diyaloğu sürdürmeye karar verdik. 2020’nin ilk üç ayında muhtemelen Türkiye’de tekrar bir araya geleceğiz.” dedi.
Fransa Cumhurbaşkanı, Türkiye ile anlaşamadıkları konular bulunduğunu ancak diyaloğun devam etmesi gerektiğini söyledi.
FRANSA’NIN AFRİKA’DAKİ ASKERİ VARLIĞI
Macron, Mali’de 13 Fransız askerin hayatını kaybetmesinin ardından Fransa’nın Afrika’daki askeri varlığına ilişkin eleştirelere de cevap verdi.
Fransa’nın Sahel ülkelerindeki askeri varlığının meşru olduğunu savunan Macron, “Kısa zamanda, G5 Sahel üyesi 5 ülkedeki askeri varlığımız ve siyasi şartlarımız konusuna açıklık getirmemiz gerekiyor. Bu ülkelerden, Fransa ve uluslararası toplumdan talepleri konusuna açıklık getirmesini ve resmi olarak duyurmasını bekliyoruz. Bize ihtiyaçları olup olmadığına karar vermeliler.” ifadelerini kullandı.
Fransa’nın bölgedeki askeri varlığının, bu ülkelerin vereceği karara göre devam edip etmeyeceğini dile getiren Macron, bu bağlamda G5 Sahel ülkelerini (Mali, Burkina Faso, Nijer, Çad ve Moritanya) 16 Aralık’ta Fransa’nın Pau kentine davet ettiğini duyurdu.KAYNAK: AAYedi Gündem5.
Fuat Oktay’dan kritik NATO çıkışı!
Cumhurbaşkanı Yardımcısı Fuat Oktay, “Ülkemize yönelik tehditler göz önüne alındığında NATO’nun güvenlik kodlarının güncellenmesi kaçınılmazdır” dedi.
ABD Savunma Bakanı Mike Esper, Amerikan güçlerinin Suriye‘nin kuzeydoğusundan çekilme işlemlerinin tamamlandığını açıkladı. Esper, ayrıca Türkiye‘nin başından bu yana “NATO‘nun vazgeçilmez bir parçası olduğunu” vurguladı.
İngiliz haber ajansı Reuters’a özel mülakat veren Mark Esper’in açıklaması, ABD Başkanı Donald Trump‘ın ekim ayında Suriye‘den çekilme kararını vermesinin ardından bölgedeki Amerikan askeri varlığına yönelik belirsizliği ortadan kaldırdı.
ABD’li bakan, ülke genelinde daha stabil pozisyonda yaklaşık 600 Amerikan askerinin bulunduğunu aktardı. Mike Esper, Avrupalı müttefikler Suriye görevi için katkı sağladığı takdirde, bölgedeki Amerikan askeri sayısını düşürebileceklerini de sözlerine ekledi.
Esper, “Koalisyon tekrar konuşuyor. Bazı müttefiklerin gönüllü askerler göndermek istediğini görüyoruz. Müttefik bir ülke, bir NATO ülkesi, bize 50 kişi vermeye karar verirse, 50 kişiyi (Amerikan askeri) devre dışı bırakabilirim” dedi.
ABD Başkanı Donald Trump: NATO Türkiye ile güçlü
Başkan Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Londra’da ABD Başkanı Donald Trump’la bir araya geldi. ABD Başkanı “NATO Türkiye ile daha güçlü” dedi. NATO Zirvesi’nde, birlik beraberlik çıktı. 29 ülke “Birbirimizi korumak adına hepimiz birimiz, birimiz de hepimiz için hareket edecek” yazan metne imza attı.Erdoğan, Trump’la yarım saatlik zirve gerçekleştirdi. Suriye‘den enerji konusuna kadar Türkiye‘nin kararlılığını bir kez daha iletti.
NATO Zirvesi’nde, birlik beraberlik çıktı. 29 ülke “Birbirimizi korumak adına hepimiz birimiz, birimiz de hepimiz için hareket edecek” yazan metne imza attı.
Londra‘daki NATO Zirvesi’nde, birlik beraberlik çıktı. Ülkeler fikir birliğine vardı.
HEPİMİZ BİRİMİZ İÇİN BİRİMİZ NATO İÇİN
Başkan Recep Tayyip Erdoğan‘ın katıldığı NATO’nun 70. Kuruluş Yıldönümü toplantısı, birlik beraberlik mesajıyla sona erdi. Londra Deklarasyonu’na 29 ülkenin liderleri imza attı. Buna göre:
Çin’e karşı birlik olma kararı verildi.
Rusya ile ilişkilerin açık tutulacağı kayda geçirildi.
Baltık ülkelerinin güvenlik planları kabul edildi.
“Terörizm bütün türleri ve tezahürleriyle hepimiz için tehdit olmaya devam ediyor” vurgusuna yer verildi.
Müttefiklerin terörle mücadele konusunda kararlı olduğu ve bu çerçevede birlikte daha güçlü adımlar attığı kaydedildi.
“Farklılıklarımız ne olursa olsun, asıl görevimizin etrafında birleşmeye devam edeceğiz. Birbirimizi korumak adına hepimiz birimiz, birimiz de hepimiz için hareket edecek” denildi.
NATO Genel Sekreteri Jens Stoltenberg, “NATO kurulduğundan beri fikir ayrılıkları olmuştur. Üyelerimiz iletişim alt yapısının güvenliği konusunda mutabık kaldılar. Müttefiklerimiz aynı zamanda ortak yük paylaşımı konusunda görülmemiş iş birliği yaptı. Tüm müttefiklerimizi korumak için planlarımız mevcut. Bizim birinci amacımız savaş açmak değil barıştır. Savaşları engellemektir. Bunun en iyi yolu çelik gibi bir kenetlenmedir. Bir müttefike saldırıldığında bu ittifaktan karşılık görmek demektir” ifadelerini kullandı.
TERÖRE KARŞI İŞBİRLİĞİ
Başkan Erdoğan, NATO’nun bir yenilenme ihtiyacının ortada olduğunu belirtti. İttifakın, terör örgütlerinden kaynaklanan asimetrik tehditler karşısında çok daha kararlı ve etkin davranması gerektiğine vurgu yaptı. Türkiye’nin terörle mücadelesinde müttefik ülkelerden daha fazla dayanışma beklediklerini kaydetti.
NATO’nun beyin sağlığı nasıl?!
Londra’daki NATO zirvesi, bir öncekinde de olduğu gibi hayli sancılı geçiyor… Zirve öncesinde, Türkiye’ye siyasi ve psikolojik baskı amaçlı yoğun bir karalama teşebbüsü vaki oldu. Türkiye’nin NATO’ya şantaj yaptığını söyleyecek kadar işi ileri götürdüler. Tabiatıyla Türkiye, bu hücumlara bütün kademelerde en net cevapları verdi. Barış ve istikrarın korunması için, NATO’nun bölgesel ve küresel harekât merkezlerinde, en fazla katkı veren beş ülkeden biri olduğunu hatırlattı. Yasa dışı göç ve insani misyon konularında, bilhassa en fazla destek veren üç ülkeden biri olarak, Türkiye’nin NATO’ya olan katkılarının asla inkâr edilemeyeceğini belirtti… Bu gerçeklere rağmen, karalama çabalarının altında ne yatıyor? En önce bunun sebebi, Batı’nın bencil ve hatalı yaklaşımlarıdır. 1980’li yılların sonunda, Sovyetler Birliği’nin dağılacağına dair emareler yayılırken, Ronald Reagan ve Margaret Thatcher gibi dişli siyasetçiler, NATO’nun bundan sonraki düşman renginin “Kızıl” yerine “Yeşil” olacağını söylüyorlardı… 1991’de Sovyetler Birliği resmen dağıldığında ve Varşova Paktı tarihe karıştığında, NATO’ya artık ihtiyaç olup olmadığı hararetle tartışılmıştı. 1992’de Yugoslavya’nın dağılmasıyla birlikte, Sırpların Bosna Hersek’te başlattığı soykırım, katliam ve toplu tecavüz vahşeti, tam üç sene boyunca AB ve ABD tarafından sadece seyredildi. 20. Yüzyılın bitiminde, bu utanç verici faciaya tam üç yıl sessiz kaldıktan sonra, nihayet 1995 Ağustos ayında, Sırp vahşetine karşı NATO harekete geçebilmişti… Fakat 11 Eylül 2001 saldırısından sonra, aynı NATO, ABD’nin peşinden Afganistan’a sürüklenmek için bu kadar beklememişti! Hele hele 2011 Mart’ında, Libya’yı bombalamak için; Fransa, BM Güvenlik Konseyi’nin kararını bile beklemeden harekete geçmişti…
Peki, 2007’de, Elize Sarayı’nın bahçesine, Kaddafi’nin bedevi çadırını kurdurtan Sarkozy’nin acelesi neydi acaba? Yoksa kendisinin seçim kampanyası için, Kaddafi’den aldığı yüklü miktarda rüşvetin izlerini silmek miydi hedefi? Şimdilerde tuhaf tavırlarıyla dikkat çeken Macron’a bunu birileri sormuyor mu? Hani, “NATO’nun beyin ölümü gerçekleşiyor” derken neyi kastediyor, daha açıkçası neyin peşinde? Merkel ile rekabet amaçlı, birtakım teşebbüslerde bulunmaya çalışırken kendisini De Gaulle filan mı zannediyor? De Gaulle, iki dünya savaşında da görev yapmış, daha sonra da Fransa’nın başına ikinci defa geçen bir liderdi. Ülkeyi nükleer güç hâline getirdikten sonra, ABD hegemonyasına kafa tutmuş ve bu sebeple de, 1966 yılında Fransa’yı NATO’nun askerî kanadından çekmişti…
Evet, o zamanlar Fransa yükselen güçtü… ABD’nin kendisini müstemleke gibi görmesine (Fransa’daki üsleri tepe tepe kullanıyordu) son vermek için, NATO’nun genel merkezini; ABD’nin elli bin asker ve sivil memuru ile birlikte, Fransa dışına (Belçika’ya) yolladı… Ancak Fransa 43 yıl sonra (2009), Sarkozy döneminde, yeniden Paktın askerî kanadına dönme ihtiyacı hissetti. ABD’nin bastonu olarak, Macron’un; Güney Savunma Planına karşı çıktığı, Türkiye’nin de onayıyla… Acemi Macron, kendisini dev aynasında görüyor. Bu zata, birileri asla De Gaulle gibi bir rol oynayamayacağını hatırlatmalı herhâlde… 1960’larda Fransa, ABD’ye karşı bağımsız hareket etme hamleleri yapıyordu. Ama bugün aynı Fransa’da, üniversiteli gençler “Açız…” diye sokaklarda nümayiş yapıyor! Emmanuel Macron, boyundan büyük laflar ederken, bu tabloyu gözünün önünden ayırmamalı. Nitekim “NATO’nun beyin ölümü gerçekleşiyor…” lafı üzerine, Cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan’dan çok sert bir zılgıt yedi. Macron, Trump’ın koltuğu altında bir yere gidemeyeceğini fark etse kendi yararına olacak… Çünkü Trump uyanık tüccar olarak, tahsilat peşinde ve başta Almanya-Fransa olmak üzere, AB ülkelerine savunma için daha fazla para harcayın diyor. “Gayri Safi Millî Hasılanızın yüzde ikisini bu işe ayırın. Sizi daha fazla sırtımızda taşımak zorunda değiliz” diyor. AB bu azarları işitmekten fena hâlde rahatsız, ama NATO konusunda ilave bir şeyler yapmak için de istekli görünmüyor. Bu arada Macron, tam tersine daha çok şey bekliyor havasında…
Londra zirvesinin en sıcak konusu, NATO’nun Baltık ve Polonya için hazırlanan yeni savunma planı… Türkiye bu konuda açık tavrını koydu. Suriye’nin kuzeyi için önerdiği güvenli bölge ve oradaki PKK/PYD tehdit unsurunu içine alan, “Güney Savunma Planı” açıkça desteklenmeden ve terör örgütüne karşı, NATO tarafından resmî ortak dayanışma tutumu açıklanmadan, Baltık Planına destek vermeyeceğini peşinen ilan etti. Kısacası Türkiye nereden gelirse gelsin, dayatmaları asla kabul etmiyor, etmeyecek. Bu kararlı tavrımızı artık müttefiklerimizin anlaması ve hazmetmesi gerekiyor. 1974 Kıbrıs Harekâtı’ndan sonra, Yunanistan; müdahaleye mâni olamadığı için protesto maksadıyla, NATO’nun askerî kanadından çekilmişti. Daha sonra dönmek istediğinde ise, Türkiye’nin vetosu ile yüz yüze geldi. Sivil hükûmetler, ABD’nin zorlamasına direndi. Ne var ki, 12 Eylül Darbesinden sonra; askerî yönetim, karşılığında hiçbir taviz almadan itirazı kaldırdı ve böylece Yunanistan dönebildi!..
Şunu net olarak belirtelim ki, Türkiye 1980’lerin, 90’ların Türkiye’si değil. Batı’nın anlamak istemediği şey de bu. Ama anlayacaklar. Birileri bizi dışlamak istiyor. Ama unutmasınlar, Türkiye NATO’nun ikinci büyük ordusuna sahip… Tarihî mirasının icabı olarak, yeni çekim merkezi olma yolunda ilerliyor. Dolayısıyla NATO meselesi bizim için yegane alternatif değil. Biliyoruz ki, yeni bir dünya düzeninin oluşma sancıları yaşanıyor. İkinci Dünya Savaşı sonrasında kurulan BM de, NATO da, artık günümüz şartlarına cevap veremiyor. Üstelik ABD, her iki kuruluşu kendi emellerine alet ediyor!.. Bu sakil durum devam edemez. Dünya siyasi dengeleri yerine oturmadan da, çalkantılar sona ermez. Cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan’ın ifadesiyle, NATO artık kendini güncellemeli. Atlantik Paktı’nın beynindeki hasar, ancak ciddi bir reformla tedavi edilebilir…
9.Dec 4, 2019A Special Forces undercover unit arrested two ISIS terrorists who planned to carry out an attack in Jerusalem on Independence Day, the police revealed Wednesday.
A Special Forces undercover unit led the operation to arrest two Islamic State (ISIS) operatives who planned to carry out a terrorist attack in Jerusalem on Israel’s Independence Day, the police revealed Wednesday.
Following the publication of an indictment by the Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office against Ahmad Ja’abis, 21, and Basel Abidat, 19, for their alleged membership in a terrorist organization and prohibited action with terror-related property, the police disclosed that the Border Police’s undercover unit conducted the arrests in Jerusalem.
On the night of October 28, dozens of troops simultaneously raided two houses in the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood.“The moment the conditions ripened, we dispatched forces to arrest them in two houses in the village,” said an officer who oversaw the operation.
The indictment published by the Jerusalem District Attorney charges that the defendants acted together and separately to join ISIS and support it in various ways.
In September 2019, the defendants discussed the possibility of committing a terrorist attack at various locations in Jerusalem or at a military base in the Jordan Valley area, with the aim of killing as many Jews as possible in ISIS’ name.
The defendants discussed the possibility of acquiring weapons to carry out a shooting attack during a mass event in Jerusalem at the Safra Square in front of the Town Hall or at the Sultan Pool during the Independence Day celebrations.
They also discussed the possibility of carrying out a stabbing attack if they could not obtain firearms.Additionally, during 2016-2019, the defendants surfed on various websites covering ISIS military, religious and political activities, and watched instructional videos and read training manuals on how to produce explosives and rockets.
In June 2019, Abidat tried to join ISIS in Sinai but failed in doing so. Ja’abis raised a sum of NIS 2,000 and transferred it through another man to ISIS.
“The special police units of the Israeli police, including the Border Police, will continue to work creatively and resolutely with all security organizations in order to thwart terror and protect the lives of Israeli citizens throughout the country,” the police stated.
Over the past several years, Israeli security forces have arrested several cells in Israel and in the Palestinian Authority (PA) which were inspired by ISIS or which had actual connections with the terror organization.
10. ΕΔΩ ΔΙΑΒΑΣΤΕ ΛΑΜΟΓΙΑ ΔΗΜ/ΦΟΙ ΤΟΥ ΣΟΡΟΣ-ΣΥΣΤΗΜΑΤΟΣ!
Journalists Against Free Speech
A strange new world.
Reprinted from City Journal.
Suppose you’re the editorial-page editor of a college newspaper, contemplating the big news on campus: protesters have silenced an invited speaker and gone on a violent rampage. Should you, as a journalist whose profession depends on the First Amendment, write an editorial reaffirming the right to free speech?
If that seems like a no-brainer, you’re behind the times. The question stumped the staff of the Middlebury Campus after protesters silenced conservative social thinker Charles Murray and injured the professor who’d invited him. The prospect of taking a stand on the First Amendment was so daunting that the paper dispensed with its usual weekly editorial, devoting the space instead to a range of opinions from others—most of whom defended the protesters. When a larger and more violent mob at the University of California at Berkeley prevented Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking on campus, students at the Daily Californian did write a forceful editorial—but not in favor of his right to speak. Instead, they reviled Yiannopoulos and denounced those who “invited chaos” by offering a platform to “someone who never belonged here.”
Free speech is no longer sacred among young journalists who have absorbed the campus lessons about “hate speech”—defined more and more broadly—and they’re breaking long-standing taboos as they bring “cancel culture” into professional newsrooms. They’re not yet in charge, but many of their editors are reacting like beleaguered college presidents, terrified of seeming insufficiently “woke.” Most professional journalists, young and old, still pay lip service to the First Amendment, and they certainly believe that it protects their work, but they’re increasingly eager for others to be “de-platformed” or “no-platformed,” as today’s censors like to put it—effectively silenced.
These mostly younger progressive journalists lead campaigns to get conservative journalists fired, banned from Twitter, and “de-monetized” on YouTube. They don’t burn books, but they’ve successfully pressured Amazon to stop selling titles that they deem offensive. They encourage advertising boycotts designed to put ideological rivals out of business. They’re loath to report forthrightly on left-wing censorship and violence, even when fellow journalists get attacked. They equate conservatives’ speech with violence and rationalize leftists’ actual violence as . . . speech.
It’s a strange new world for those who remember liberal journalists like Nat Hentoff, the Village Voice writer who stood with the ACLU in defending the free-speech rights of Nazis, Klansmen, and others whose views he deplored—or who recall the days when the Columbia Journalism Review stood as an unswerving advocate for press freedom. While America has seen its share of politicians eager to limit speech, from John Adams and Woodrow Wilson (who both had journalists prosecuted for “sedition”) to Donald Trump (who has made various unconstitutional threats), journalists on the left and the right have long shared a reverence for the First Amendment, if only out of self-interest. When liberals supported campaign-finance laws restricting corporations’ political messages during election campaigns, they insisted on exemptions for news organizations. One could fault them for being self-serving in this selective censorship, which the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional in its Citizens United decision, but at least they stood up for their profession’s freedom.
Today, though, journalists are becoming zealous to silence their ideological rivals—and the fervor is mainly on the left. During the 1960s, the left-wing activists leading Berkeley’s Free Speech movement fought for the rights of conservatives to speak on campus, but today’s activists embrace the New Left’s intellectual rationalizations for censorship. To justify the protection of an ever-expanding array of victimized groups, theorists of intersectionality—the idea that subgroup identities, such as race, gender, and sexuality, overlap to make people more oppressed—have adapted Herbert Marcuse’s neo-Marxist notion of “repressive tolerance.” Marcuse propounded that Orwellian oxymoron in the 1960s to justify government censorship of right-wing groups that were supposedly oppressing the powerless.
Greg Lukianoff, who has fought free-speech wars on campus for two decades as the head of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), dates the ascendancy of the new censors to 2013, when student protesters at Brown University forced the cancellation of a speech by Raymond Kelly, the New York City police commissioner. “For the first time, rather than being ashamed of this assault on free speech, most people on campus seemed to rally around the protesters,” says Lukianoff, coauthor of The Coddling of the American Mind. “That’s when we started hearing the language of medicalization, that free speech would cause medical harm. Outsiders dismissed this as a college phenomenon and predicted that these intolerant fragile kids would have to change when they hit the real world. But instead, they’re changing the world.”
This change can be seen at the once-stalwart ACLU, which has retreated to a new policy of rejecting First Amendment cases when the speech in question “can inflict serious harms” on “marginalized communities.” That’s the paternalistic rationale for campus speech codes, which have repeatedly been declared unconstitutional but remain popular, especially among Democrats and young people. In a national survey in 2017 by the Cato Institute, a majority of Democrats (versus a quarter of Republicans) said that the government should prohibit hate speech, and 60 percent of respondents under age 30 agreed that hate speech constitutes an act of violence.
Even journalists are adopting these attitudes, as Robby Soave observed while reporting on young radicals in his book Panic Attack. A decade ago, when Soave was an undergraduate on the University of Michigan’s student paper, his fellow editors stood in the Hentoff tradition: devout leftists but also free-speech absolutists. Starting around 2013, though, Soave saw a change at Michigan and other schools. “The power dynamic switched on campus so that the anti-speech activists began dominating the discourse while those who believed in free speech became afraid to speak up,” says Soave, now a writer for Reason. “Campus newspapers, especially at elite institutions, have become increasingly sympathetic to the notion that speech isn’t protected if it makes students feel unsafe. And now you’re seeing these graduates going into professional journalism and demanding that their editors provide a safe workplace by not employing people whose views make them uncomfortable.”
The result is what Dean Baquet, the New York Times executive editor, recently called a “generational divide” in newsrooms. The progressive activism of younger journalists often leaves their older colleagues exasperated. “The paper is now written by 25-year-old gender studies majors,” said one Washington Post veteran. She wouldn’t speak for the record, though: as fragile and marginalized as these young progressives claim to be, they know how to make life miserable for unwoke colleagues.
If their publication is considering hiring a conservative, or if a colleague writes or tweets something that offends them, young progressives express their outrage on social media—sometimes publicly on Twitter, sometimes in internal chat rooms. The internal chat is supposed to be confidential, but comments often get leaked, stoking online outrage. It takes remarkably little to start the cycle, as Times opinion writer Bari Weiss discovered last year. Weiss, already in disfavor among progressives for criticizing aspects of the #MeToo movement, got into trouble for celebrating the Olympic performance of gymnast Mirai Nagasu, the American-born daughter of Japanese immigrants. Weiss adapted a line from the Hamilton musical to tweet: “Immigrants: They get the job done.” Weiss was promptly attacked for describing Nagasu as an immigrant, making her guilty of a progressive offense known as “othering.”
HuffPost’s Ashley Feinberg, who did her own version of othering by labeling Weiss a “feminist apostate” and “troll,” published the leaked transcript of an internal chat among Times staffers in which Weiss’s tweet was compared to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. The staffers called for an expansion of the company’s program in implicit-bias training to combat the paper’s “microaggressions” and “hostile work environment.” Weiss tried explaining that she’d been aware of the gymnast’s family background and had been using poetic license, but eventually she tweeted her surrender: “I am being told that I am a racist, a ghoul and that I deserve to die. So I deleted the tweet. That’s where we are.”
Ian Buruma, the editor of The New York Review of Books, was fired for publishing an article by a man accused of sexual assault (a Canadian journalist who’d been acquitted of the charges in court but saw his career ruined). Buruma was doomed by online outrage, a staff revolt, and threats from university presses to withdraw advertising. Harper’s was similarly roiled by internal rebellion and online fury for publishing articles by John Hockenberry, the NPR host who lost his job over sexual harassment accusations, and by Katie Roiphe, whose criticism of #MeToo was controversial even before the magazine published it. Rumors about the pending article prompted Nicole Cliffe, a columnist at Slate, to call for freelance writers to boycott Harper’s unless it killed Roiphe’s piece; Cliffe even offered to compensate them for any money they lost by withdrawing their articles. Her preemptive strike didn’t stop publication of the Roiphe article, but it did inspire at least one company to withdraw an ad from Harper’s.
The Atlantic faced a campaign to fire Kevin Williamson shortly after he was hired away from National Review. Writers at theNew Republic, the New York Times, Slate, Vox, the Daily Beast, and other outlets called him unfit for the job. They were particularly appalled by an earlier podcast in which Williamson, in a spirit of provocation, said that women who have abortions deserved the same punishment as those who commit first-degree murder, even if that meant hanging. The Atlanticinitially stood by him, and Ta-Nehisi Coates, one of its star progressive writers, even praised Williamson’s work and said that he’d advised hiring him. But the online dragging and internal discontent soon led to his exit. At a staff meeting (a video of which was leaked to HuffPost) after Williamson’s firing, Coates apologized to his colleagues. “I feel like I kind of failed you guys,” he said.
The online outrage against Williamson was fanned by Media Matters for America, the nonprofit that employs dozens of researchers to dig up damaging material on conservatives—or, at least, material that will sound especially bad if it’s quoted without context. (Williamson, for instance, had also expressed reservations about imposing the death penalty for any crime.) One Media Matters researcher, heroically profiled in the Washington Post, spent ten hours a day listening to recordings from 2006 to 2011 of Tucker Carlson’s conversations with Bubba the Love Sponge, a shock-jock radio host. Media Matters published some of Carlson’s cruder comments and followed up with new ones on subsequent days to keep the story alive and provide ammunition for activists demanding that corporations stop advertising on Carlson’s Fox News show. The campaign succeeded in pressuring advertisers like Land Rover and IHOP to abandon the program, which runs fewer commercials than it did last year.
It’s easy to see why progressive activists have made advertising boycotts one of their chief weapons against Fox, Breitbart, and other conservative outlets. What’s harder to fathom is why so many journalists have cheered a tactic that’s bad for their profession. This kind of boycott is different from the traditional ones against companies accused of bad behavior like mistreating their workers or polluting the environment. In this case, companies are targeted not for the way they run their businesses but simply for advertising their wares. Jack Shafer, the longtime media critic, has been a lonely libertarian voice warning of the threat that this poses to journalism and public discourse. “I barely trust IHOP to make my breakfast,” he wrote in Politico. “Why would I expect it to vet my cable news content for me?”
Journalists have traditionally prided themselves on their independence from advertisers. Now the boycotters want to end that independence. If advertisers start being held accountable for content, their aversion to controversy will put pressure on media companies to churn out bland fare that won’t risk offending anyone. “It’s easy to imagine today’s boycotts turning into tomorrow’s blacklist,” wrote Shafer.
Instead of worrying about this threat to their autonomy, journalists at progressive and mainstream publications have promoted it. Activists announce boycotts regularly, but these rarely make an impact unless they get widespread public attention. Sleeping Giants, an activist group leading the boycotts, has gotten lots of publicity (and web traffic) from largely uncritical articles heralding its leaders’ pure motives. Margaret Sullivan, the Washington Post’s media columnist, acknowledged that there might be a problem if boycotters aimed at a provocative outlet like Gawker—a left-leaning site that meets her approval—but she couldn’t bring herself to condemn the tactic. Quite the reverse: “To those who sympathize with Sleeping Giants’ objections to online racism, sexism and hate-mongering—count me in this number—their efforts seem worthwhile, sometimes even noble.”
Other journalists have explicitly endorsed the Carlson boycott, including Kevin Drum of Mother Jones, and Michelangelo Signorile of HuffPost. Some have even pitched in to pressure the advertisers directly. Jenna Amatulli, a reporter at HuffPost, published a list of the show’s advertisers, complete with links to their contact information, and wrote that she had “reached out” for statements from each company—meaning, in effect, that she had personally threatened them with bad publicity. No one wants to be named in a story accusing an advertiser of supporting “racism,” “white nationalism,” and “misogyny,” Carlson’s alleged sins, reported as established facts in HuffPost articles.
Other HuffPost reporters used similar tactics against Daryush Valizadeh, known as Roosh, a male critic of feminism who ran a website called Return of Kings. After the reporters “reached out” to Amazon, YouTube, and other companies that enabled Roosh to collect online revenue, Amazon removed some of his books, and YouTube banned him from livestreaming. HuffPost triumphantly reported the campaign’s outcome: “Rape Apologist ‘Roosh’ Shutting Down Website After Running Out of Money.”
How would the management of HuffPostreact if conservative journalists similarly “reached out” to its advertisers? I put that question to Lydia Polgreen, the editor-in-chief, noting that it would be easy to find articles (like one by Jesse Been defending violence against Trump supporters) that could scare off corporations. She dodged the question, referring me to a spokesperson’s bland statement about HuffPost being trusted by advertisers because of its “factual insights.”
A few conservatives have tried these censorious tactics against liberals, with little success. They’ve hired researchers to dig up damaging social-media posts by liberal reporters—a move that Polgreen called an “extremely alarming” threat to “independent journalism,” though it’s precisely what her HuffPost staff and Media Matters do to conservative journalists. Some conservatives responded to the Fox boycotts by announcing counter-boycotts against MSNBC, but these efforts got virtually no press coverage. Conservative journalists eagerly criticize the bias of their progressive colleagues, but they don’t have the same power to censor—or the same zeal.
To get an idea of the imbalance, consider the cases of Quinn Norton, a libertarian technology writer, and Sarah Jeong, a progressive technology writer. After the Times announced that it was hiring Norton for its editorial page, it took just seven hours for progressives to get her fired. On Twitter and in an internal Times chat room (as HuffPost reported), Norton was attacked for having tweeted that she was friends with a neo-Nazi hacker whom she had covered. She had always repudiated his ideology, calling him a “terrible person,” but that wasn’t enough to save her job. Six months later, in August 2018, when the Times hired Jeong for the editorial page, conservative activists unearthed tweets from Jeong, an Asian-American, denigrating white men as well as whites as a race. One used a hashtag “#CancelWhitePeople”; another predicted that whites would soon go extinct and said, “This was my plan all along.” The Times stuck with its decision to hire her. (The paper recently announced that Jeong would no longer be part of its editorial board, though she will continue as a contributing writer.)
Conservative journalists criticized the Times for its double standard, but they didn’t unite with the online activists demanding that Jeong be fired. The Times’s Bret Stephens wrote a column urging the paper to overlook the offensive tweets. In New York, Andrew Sullivan lambasted Jeong’s bigotry and the progressive dogma that it’s impossible to be racist against whites, but he, too, urged the Times not to fire her because media companies should not succumb to online mobs. You might think that Sullivan’s forbearance would win him some points with progressives, and perhaps even make them question their own enthusiasm for purges, but the column didn’t play well even with Sullivan’s colleagues at New York. Brian Feldman, an associate editor, tweeted: “Andrew Sullivan’s newest column is complete garbage and I’m embarrassed to be even tangentially associated with it.” Not exactly collegial, but again, that’s where we are.
Another thought experiment: suppose, after a small organization announces a march in support of abortion rights, that an alliance of antiabortion protesters vows to shut it down. As the marchers proceed, they’re confronted by a much larger group of counterprotesters wearing masks, carrying clubs, and chanting, “Whose streets? Our streets!” The counterprotesters block the marchers’ progress and throw eggs, milk shakes, and rocks at them. Fights break out, inspiring a news article: “Six people were injured today in clashes between anti-murder demonstrators and a far-left group linked to infanticide. Leaders of the anti-murder protesters blamed the left-wing group for provoking the violence and vowed to ‘continue defending ourselves and the most vulnerable members of our society.’ ”
Are there any right-wing journalists capable of misreporting a story so dishonestly? They haven’t had a chance to try. There’s no group of right-wing masked thugs who regularly try to stop left-wing speeches and marches. The “no-platforming” strategy is a specialty of Antifa, the left-wing network whose members have brawled at conservative and Republican events in Berkeley, San Jose, Charlottesville, Washington, D.C., Boston, Portland, Vancouver, and other cities. They describe themselves as “anti-fascist,” a ludicrous term for a masked mob suppressing free speech, but journalists respectfully use it anyway.
Media coverage obscures Antifa’s aggression by vaguely reporting “clashes” between antifascists who claim to be acting in “self-defense” (though they typically outnumber their enemies by at least four to one) against the violence of “racists” and “white supremacists” of the “alt-right.” It doesn’t matter if the conservative group is rallying to support free speech—hardly a traditional priority for fascists—and has specifically banned white supremacists from participating. Enterprising journalists can always find someone at the rally somehow linked to what some left-wing organization has designated a dangerous “hate group.” And journalists can turn to the much-quoted Mark Bray, a historian at Dartmouth, to provide a rationale for the masked mob’s tactics. In his Anti-Fascist Handbook, Bray acknowledges that Antifa’s no-platforming strategy infringes on others’ free speech but maintains that it is “justified for its role in the political struggle against fascism” and approvingly describes violence as “a small though vital sliver of anti-fascist activity.”
This coverage jibes with the media narrative that the great threat to civil liberties comes from the right, a rationale used for censoring conservatives. If a lone sociopath with right-wing leanings turns violent, commentators rush to blame it on the “climate” created by President Trump and Fox News, which makes no more sense than blaming Elizabeth Warren for the recent killing spree in Dayton by a supporter of hers, or blaming MSNBC for the Rachel Maddow fan who opened fire on Republican members of Congress in Alexandria, Virginia. Violent young men certainly exist on the right, but no conservative academic or journalist tries to rationalize their attacks as “self-defense.” They can post online threats and domination fantasies, but they don’t have the numbers or the institutional power to silence their opponents.
Yet most journalists obsess over right-wing dangers while ignoring or downplaying the actual violence on the left. There are exceptions, like Peter Beinart of TheAtlantic, who has warned about Antifa and criticized The Nation and Slate for celebrating one of its assaults (the punching of white nationalist Richard Spencer). But few others have paid much heed to Antifa. Some, like Carlos Maza and the New Republic’s Matt Ford, have praised its milk-shaking tactic. While working at Vox, Maza tweeted, “Milkshake them all. Humiliate them at every turn. Make them dread public organizing.” He has also tweeted, “Deplatform the bigots,” and put that idea into practice with the outspoken support of Vox’s executives. His pressure on YouTube triggered the “Vox Adpocalypse,” in which YouTube cut off advertising revenue to Steven Crowder and other conservative commentators.
Outside of conservative and libertarian outlets, Antifa hasn’t attracted much scrutiny, even as its followers have assaulted journalists. (They also stood outside Carlson’s home, chanting, “Tucker Carlson, we will fight! We know where you sleep at night!”) The latest victim is Andy Ngo, a writer for Quillette, City Journal, the Wall Street Journal, and other publications, whose coverage of Antifa’s violence led to threats and harassment from the group’s members over the last two years. In June, Ngo was attacked at a rally in Portland for men’s rights that attracted two dozen supporters. They were opposed by 400 protesters who blocked streets and threw milk shakes handed out by organizers. As Ngo was reporting, masked Antifa protesters rushed him, stole his camera, showered him with milk shakes and eggs, kicked him, and pummeled his head, cutting his face and tearing his earlobe. He was hospitalized with a brain hemorrhage.
Any attack on a journalist for reporting usually inspires displays of professional solidarity, but the Wall Street Journal was the only major newspaper to editorialize in support of Ngo. The Committee to Protect Journalists, which issues frequent news bulletins on threats to the press, published nothing on the assault. Last year, the committee ran a detailed report on American journalists who felt threatened by the far right (none of whom had been physically injured), but it seems uninterested in Antifa.
Some progressive journalists condemned the assault on Ngo but faulted him and the conservative organizers of the rally for inviting violence, as in a HuffPost article headlined “Far-Right Extremists Wanted Blood in Portland’s Streets. Once Again, They Got It.” Aymann Ismail, a staff writer at Slate, tweeted, “This is bad, but Ngo has done worse.” The Portland Mercury tried discrediting Ngo by claiming that he previously had been complicit in an attack by right-wingers on Antifa—a baseless claim debunked by Reason’s Soave but nonetheless repeated by the Daily Beast, Vice, and Rolling Stone. Zack Beauchamp of Vox condemned the physical assault on Ngo but offered excruciating rationalizations for Antifa’s rage. “The mere fact that Ngo was assaulted doesn’t say what the meaning of that assault is, or what the broader context is that’s necessary to understand it,” he wrote, explaining that the controversy “isn’t really a debate about press freedoms” but rather about “two divergent visions of where American politics is.” One of those visions just happens to require silencing the other side.
Free speech should be of special interest to the Columbia Journalism Review, which calls itself “the leading global voice on journalism news and commentary.” But CJR sees the issue through a progressive filter. It not only criticized The New York Review of Books and Harper’s for publishing articles by journalists fired for sexual harassment but also essentially advocated a blacklist: “The men who feel they have been unfairly treated following accusations of harassment or abuse are entitled to their perspective, but nothing demands that editors turn over the pages of their publications to these figures.” CJRapplauded Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for “stemming the flow of toxic ideas” by banning “hate-mongers like Milo Yiannopoulos and Alex Jones.” After the violence at Berkeley and Middlebury, CJRurged reporters covering campus unrest to “be wary of amplifying flashpoints that match Trump’s own ‘intolerant left’ narrative,” and it has been following its own advice.
CJR showed little interest in Antifa’s censorious tactics until prompted recently by Quillette, the online magazine devoted to “dangerous ideas,” which has run articles by journalists and academics on the culture wars over free speech. Eoin Lenihan, a researcher in online extremism, reported in May on an analysis of the Twitter users who interact most heavily with Antifa sites. Most turned out to be journalists, including writers for the Guardian, the New Republic, and HuffPostas well for pro-Antifa publications. Following a group closely on Twitter, of course, doesn’t mean that one endorses its activity; journalists do need to track the subjects they cover. But these journalists seemed more devoted to promoting the cause than covering it impartially. “Of all 15 verified national-level journalists in our subset, we couldn’t find a single article, by any of them, that was markedly critical of Antifa in any way,” Lenihan wrote. “In all cases, their work in this area consisted primarily of downplaying Antifa violence while advancing Antifa talking points, and in some cases quoting Antifa extremists as if they were impartial experts.”
CJR responded to Lenihan’s article—but not by analyzing the press coverage of Antifa. Instead, it ran an article, “Right-Wing Publications Launder an Anti-Journalist Smear Campaign,” by Jared Holt of Right Wing Watch, a project of the liberal advocacy group People for the American Way. Holt’s article was a mix of ad hominem attacks, irrelevancies, and inaccuracies. Cathy Young, who wrote about the controversy for Arc Digital, concluded that every key point in his argument was wrong. Even worse was what Holt omitted. He didn’t even address Lenihan’s main conclusion: that press coverage of Antifa was biased—the issue that should have been most relevant to a journalism review.
Yet CJR remained uninterested in Antifa even after the subsequent assault on Andy Ngo. This past summer, it ran an article about rightists attacking journalists in Greece, but Ngo’s assault didn’t even rate a mention in CJR’s daily digest of journalism news. The only reference to the Portland melee was a summary of a Media Matters article criticizing Fox News for its coverage. Fox, like other outlets, had quoted a report from the Portland police that some of the milk shakes handed out by Antifa contained quick-drying cement, but no other evidence existed that this was true. To the nation’s leading journalism review, that was apparently the most important lesson of the episode for reporters: be careful not to exaggerate the violence of leftists opposed to free speech. And never mind that a journalist is in the hospital as a result of that violence.
Is there any hope of reviving the spirit of Nat Hentoff on the left? The zeal for banning “hate speech” doesn’t seem to be abating, though some progressives are developing a new appreciation for the First Amendment, thanks to Trump’s incoherent comments about it, like his offhand remark that “bad” speech is not “free speech” because it is “dangerous.” While the dangers of Trump’s “war on the press” have been exaggerated—no matter how much he’d like to silence “fake news CNN” or the “failing New York Times,” the courts won’t suspend the First Amendment to please him—there is a danger of the federal government stifling speech on social media.
There’s some bipartisan support in Congress and even among journalists for removing what’s been called the Internet’s First Amendment: the exemption that allows social media platforms to publish controversial material without being held legally liable for it. Removing the exemption appeals to some Democrats who want to restrict “hate speech,” and to some Republicans, too, angry at the platforms for censoring right-wing voices. This censorship is often blamed on social media companies’ progressive bias, which may well exist, but it’s due at least in part simply to the greater external pressure from progressive activists and journalists. If progressives keep trying to de-platform their opponents—and if Twitter and Facebook and YouTube keep caving to the pressure—there’ll be more bipartisan enthusiasm to restrict all speech on social media.
A more immediate danger is self-censorship by writers fearful of being fired or blacklisted and by editors fearful of online rage, staff revolts, and advertising boycotts. After the firing of Williamson, The Atlantic (to its credit) published a dissent from that decision by Conor Friedersdorf, in which he worried about the chilling effect it would have on the magazine’s writers and editors, and how their fear of taking chances would ultimately hurt readers. That’s the danger at every publication that bows to the new censors. Resisting them won’t be easy if journalism keeps going the way of academia.
But all editors and publishers can take a couple of basic steps. One is to concentrate on hiring journalists committed to the most important kind of diversity: a wide range of ideas open for vigorous debate. The other step is even simpler: stop capitulating. Ignore the online speech police, and don’t reward the staff censors, either. Instead of feeling their pain or acceding to their demands, give them a copy of Nat Hentoff’s Free Speech for Me—but Not for Thee. If they still don’t get it—if they still don’t see that free speech is their profession’s paramount principle—tactfully suggest that their talents would be better suited to another line of work.