Meet a Propagandist04/08/2011 19:50
By Tony Cartalucci - BLN Contributing Writer
Just how badly compromised is the mainstream media? Frequent readers will undoubtedly know it is pretty bad. Entire editing staffs concertedly use weasel words in tandem with other organizations and agencies around the Western world to produce immense lies that are propagated to the four corners of the globe. The selling of the Iraq War is one good example. Syria is another more recent example, with protesters being termed as, "mostly unarmed" by every news agency from the Australian, to MSNBC, to BBC and the Washington Post. When one thinks about the term "mostly unarmed" carefully, they realize that indeed the protesters are armed and that the violence unfolding across Syria is a two-way street, not the massacre it is being portrayed as.
Wikileaks is another example of a massive lie concerning cables that in and of themselves have been obtained through dubious means, remain unverified, and the content of which primarily consist of the alleged word of US diplomats serving an admittedly criminal US State Department. Despite this, entire narratives are spun for the sake of promoting the globalist agenda using this incredibly tenuous alleged evidence as their foundations.
While it would seem the Wikileaks gambit has fully run its course, it is still being used in an attempt to undermine the legitimacy of targeted governments around the world. One example which will be examined in depth involves former Reuters journalist Andrew Marshall and his new-found crusade, writing what he calls his "Thai Story." "Thai Story" consists of various Wikileaks cables covering Thailand and his biased spin interjected throughout. The purpose of examining this crass propaganda in such depth, besides countering malicious lies, is to expose the method of operation used by these propagandists so that similar plots can be discovered, exposed, and balked, along with the networks from which they fester forth.
Meet a Propagandist
It doesn't take much of an effort to uncover Marshall, with a long history of exhibiting less than journalistic behavior, as a writer for hire, especially when his otherwise non-story based on unverified US diplomatic cables gets concertedly trumped up overnight by the likes of the Economist, within the Council on Foreign Relations, and by the globalists' handpicked puppet in Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra through his hired globalist lawyer Robert Amsterdam (For Amsterdam's complete background click here).
While Marshall claims to now be unemployed and based in Singapore, he was still working at Reuters in Thailand when Amsterdam first registered as Thaksin's lobbyist in July of 2010. That same month Marshall would find it news worthy to pen "Thaksin Strikes Back," where he claimed Amsterdam's immediate torrent of paid-for lies were "well-researched," "comprehensive," "recommended reading," and "of a quality far superior to the embarrassingly unsophisticated invective that tends to dominate the debate in Thailand from the pro-establishment side."
It is safe to say Marshall at that point, abandoned any sense of journalistic objectivity. Admittedly one would be at a loss to explain why a journalist of 17 years for an allegedly reputable news agency like Reuters would be spending any time at all covering the intricacies of a hired lobbyist's PR campaign. However, from July onward, Marshall would spend his time doing just that. In August, Robert Amsterdam would reciprocate Marshall's unabashed praise by stating on his "Robert Amsterdam Thailand" blog, that "Andrew Marshall of Reuters has been writing some terrific stuff lately, including this latest piece which takes a look at Thailand’s political crisis from a class struggle perspective, and the role of the middle class (or at least the concept of middle class) in the development of Thai democracy." Both links lead off to Marshall's Reuters blog - the first of which leads to Marshall's sycophantic praising of Amsterdam lobbying work, the second leading off to one of Marshall's typical pro-globalist anti-Thai establishment hit pieces.
Over time, the relationship between Amsterdam and Marshall would get surreal. Marshall, in February of 2011, while still at Reuters, would pen a herculean 10,000 word, 40 page essay titled "Reclaiming the Truth in Thailand" where he would attempt to rewrite the history of the 2010 failed Thai color revolution by citing Robert Amsterdam's paid-for appeal to the illegitimate International Criminal Court. Marshall to this day claims that "Reclaiming the Truth in Thailand" was actually a critique of Robert Amsterdam's report. In reality, while Marshall does point out several flaws in Amsterdam's appeal, he then proceeds to compensate for them himself with equally dubious efforts aimed at bolstering Amsterdam's narrative.
Perhaps the most absurd claim in the report put forth by Marshall and an indicative illustration of just how either ignorant, incompetent, or purposefully disingenuous he is, revolves around a section regarding a notorious M79 grenade attack at Bangkok's Silom elevated train station in April of 2010. The attack killed one woman and injured scores of people. The Thai government reported that the grenades were fired from nearby Lumpini Park, an area held exclusively at the time by the globalist-backed Thaksin "red shirt" supporters. Such a claim, if true, would have again confirmed that the "pro-democracy" opposition was in actuality armed terrorists.
Images: (Left) Viewed from Lumpini Park where the grenades were fired from, the Silom area consists of two rows of tall buildings between which a road and an elevated train station is located. From this vantage point, simply walking to the left affords a clear view of the station, unobstructed if indirect firing of the M79 grenade launcher over the highway overpass is employed. A graphic from the Bangkok Post (right) shows where the grenades landed, all of which would have appeared to have been fired from above as they descended down a steep indirect fire trajectory. (click image to enlarge)
Marshall concludes, citing witness accounts that claimed the grenades had come from above, that they were most likely fired from a tall building overlooking the area and that it was "clear that it would have been impossible for the grenades to have been fired from Lumpini – there were too many obstacles in the way."
However, Marshall, either ignorant of the basic characteristics and use of an M79 grenade launcher, or preying on the ignorance of potential readers regarding such technicalities, fails to mention that the weapon is commonly used both for direct and indirect fire. Direct firing of the M79 from Lumpini Park and hitting the various targets attacked in Silom that evening would be unlikely indeed. However, using the weapon for indirect fire (FM 23-31) not only would have made it possible to fire grenades from the park, it would make it probable that they were fired from nowhere else.
From Lumpini Park to the train station, if fired indirectly, the M79 grenades would have an unobstructed direct path between the two rows of tall buildings that line either side of the road and train station elevated above. The maximum range of the M79 when used indirectly is 400m, shot at an angle of 41 degrees. When the angle of fire is increased to 58 degrees, targets at 300m can be hit. At 69 degrees, area targets as close as 200m can be accurately hit using indirect fire. At these angles and ranges, the grenades would have easily cleared the "obstacles" cited by Marshal, including a highway overpass separating the Silom area from Lumpini Park and hit each of the targets, coming in at steep angles as if fired from above (see graphics).
Graphics: (Top) Taken from a US Army field manual (FM 23-31) the M79 grenade launcher is clearly capable and intended to be used as an indirect, mortar like, weapon as well as for direct fire. Elevations of 69, 58, and 41 degrees yield ranges of 200, 300, and 400 meters respectively. These trajectories (bottom) clearly show the grenades could easily be fired clear over the highway overpass cited as an impassable "obstacle" by Marshall's disingenuous 40 page report. (click images to enlarge)
With actual facts in hand, Marshall's conclusions are quickly turned on their heads as either incompetent research or intentional dishonesty preying on the ignorance of those not familiar with the somewhat technical subject matter at hand. This is just one of many examples where Marshall helps fill in the gaps of Robert Amsterdam's report - perhaps in an attempt for one paid liar to one-up another.
Wikileaks: Propaganda Big League
In April 2011, the Thai government began hinting that it would hold general elections. Coincidentally, Andrew Marshall began work on his voluminous Wikileaks based hit-piece titled "Thai Story." Meanwhile, Robert Amsterdam would continue citing Marshall's work, including within a special report concerning the upcoming elections themselves. Marshall would complete the first part of the narrative and announce his departure from Reuters, literally just days before the July 2011 elections. In a concerted effort, it was promptly given front page attention on the UK Independent (and here), the Economist, the Council on Foreign Relations, National Endowment for Democracy-funded Prachatai, the Australian and New Mandala both with close connections to the globalist Lowy Institute who also covered it in their own fake-news journal called the "Interpreter."
It was also referenced by globalist-stooge Thaksin Shinawatra's paid lobbyist Robert Amsterdam to once again implicate the Thai government in the April 10, 2010 death of Reuters journalist Hiro Muramoto, killed in crossfire when government troops were ambushed by pro-Thaksin armed militants. The new "evidence" Marshall produced and Amsterdam leveraged regarding Muramoto's death, was the result of a third-party investigation commissioned by Reuters itself. The report stated explicitly that it "was not able to sight an official autopsy report or any forensics carried out on his body." The conclusion of the report was instead drawn from an interview which claimed the bullet most likely was a 5.56mm round. With this tenuous "new evidence" in hand, both Amsterdam and Marshall would renew making innuendos indicating that the Thai military was responsible. What both failed to mention was the fact that both the military and the protesters had weapons that chambered 5.56mm rounds in hand the night of Muramoto's death.
The picture above features a Thaksin-backed "red shirt" militant carrying numerous seized weapons including an M-16 and several Tavors. While wounds consistent with 5.56mm rounds have been squarely blamed on the Thai Army, as the only photographic and video evidence of militants firing weapons involved 7.62mm chambered AK-47's, it is quite clear that at some point during the clash, red shirt militants verifiably had 5.56mm chambered weapons in their possession. Here is an article with a photograph of the same man on the UDD/red shirt stage after the deadly April 10 clashes attempting to explain why his arms were full of weapons that night.
With the publication and corporate-backed publicizing of Marshall's "Thai Story," yet another Wikileaks hit unfolded attempting to undermine yet another targeted government. The globalist stooge of choice, Thaksin Shinawtra, received a proxy victory in the Thai elections. As it were, he had been running Thailand's opposition party from Dubai since 2006 and placed his own sister as the party's leader in his absence. Despite his sister now poised to become Thailand's next prime minister, Thaksin's party secured only 35% of all eligible votes and won but a narrow majority in the Thai Parliament making it unlikely that Marshall, Amsterdam, or the corporate interests they represent will abandon their disingenuous campaigns anytime soon.
An Ironic Twist of Fate
Land Destroyer only reports what can be documented. However, in this rare instance, perhaps for a touch of poetic justice, an exception will be made for a man who himself cites unverified sources to construct his self-serving narratives. A reliable source within the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand has confirmed that Andrew Marshall indeed is working directly for Robert Amsterdam, along with other "journalists" and "academics" including Andrew Walker of Australia's National University's New Mandala website. Circumstantial evidence alone presents a damning case difficult for anyone to honestly explain or deny, but confirmation coming from within the same embassy fueling Marshall's post-Reuters career truly is an ironic twist of fate.
Mention by the same embassy source of Andrew Walker of ANU's New Mandala should not be surprising either. He is also repeatedly cited and praised by both Robert Amsterdam and Andrew Marshall as "academic" confirmation that their lofty assertions are "true." In turn, Walker sycophantically allots space for Amsterdam as a guest contributor and for Marshall's work to be featured, defended, and praised on his Australia's National University website. Walker also has in the past contributed to reports produced by the globalist Fortune 500-funded Lowy Institute of Australia. He has made ham-fisted denials of this, which can easily be dispelled by simply scrolling down to the last page and finding his name.
It appears that former Reuters journalist, turned Wikileaks-scribe Andrew Marshall had been contacted by Amsterdam as early as 2010. This can be owed to the fact that both Amsterdam's firm, Amsterdam & Peroff, as well as Thomson Reuters who was employing Marshall at the time and had been for the past 17 years are both major corporate members of the globalist Chatham House consortium. As explained by the Economist, yet another Chatham House member working closely with both Amsterdam and Marshall, these policy think tanks do indeed shape and "sway policy" and play host to not only corporate interests but members of the media (including the editor of the Economist) who then inevitably help sell such policy to an unwitting public.
Make no mistake, Andrew Marshall is a paid propagandist who preys on ignorance and abuses his journalistic credentials and the legitimacy they engender - legitimacy that many other reporters have painstakingly built-up over the years, sacrificed and even died for. He is truly exemplary of everything that is increasingly wrong with Western society, the degenerating state of Western journalism and the tenuous state the truth is in. Whether his motivation is money or fame, the end result is identical - the deception and misleading of good people down a treacherous path and into a dark future.
Let this profile in duplicity serve as a means to root out and expose other professional liars lurking in the presumed legitimacy of the mainstream press as well as in the long overvalued academic communities where degenerate liars like Dr. Andrew Walker of ANU peddle their agenda. Let this also serve as an example of why we all need to take greater interest in uncovering the truth for ourselves. Knowledge is power, while ignorance, for those unfortunate enough to take the lies of men like Marshall, Amsterdam, or Walker to heart, can literally lead to destitution and death.