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Thursday, June 22, 2017

The chutzpah!! B'nai B'rith falsely claims they have been "reaching out" to me


emailed to daniel.koren@bnaibrith.ca

Dear Daniel Koren 

We have on several occasions attempted to engage Mr. Barrett in conversation on how his views are terribly misinformed, misguided and incorrect, but he is not interested in such a dialogue.
I just left you a telephone message at 416 633 6224 x 172 pointing out that I have never been contacted by anyone “reaching out” from B’nai B’rith. On the contrary, I was the one who repeatedly “reached out” to B’nai B’rith during August of 2015, leaving many telephone messages asking for a dialogue on your efforts to impede my Canadian speaking tour. None of my calls was ever returned.

Please let me know the times, dates, and phone numbers/email addresses used for your alleged “reaching out.” If there is a problem with communications reaching me, I need to locate and fix it.

In my recent phone message I also re-stated my desire to have a reasoned dialogue with someone from B’nai B’rith, and invited you or someone from your organization to appear on my radio show. 

So please do “reach out” and accept my invitation! Next Monday or Tuesday would be ideal for a pre-recorded radio conversation. Any time between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. Eastern could work. 

I thank you in advance for your willingness to engage in reasoned dialogue, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Best

Kevin Barrett

(phone #)


* * *
B'nai B'rith email to one of my readers/listeners:

Hi there,

Thanks so much for your email. Allow me to assure you that B’nai Brith does not seek to engage in censorship in any kind. On the contrary, our campaign is a bid to protect religious and identity groups in Canada against the willful promotion of hatred, which is illegal in Canada. We have on several occasions attempted to engage Mr. Barrett in conversation on how his views are terribly misinformed, misguided and incorrect, but he is not interested in such a dialogue. As such, our only recourse was to launch a campaign to prevent him from entering Canada to attend an anti-Israel rally where he would most likely promote hatred against members of the Jewish community, both in Canada and abroad.

Thanks again for taking the time. 

Best,

Daniel Koren daniel.koren@bnaibrith.ca
Media Coordinator 
B'nai Brith Canada
15 Hove St | Toronto, ON | M3H 4Y8
416 633 6224 x 172 
id:image001.png@01D2AE2A.287C7430

Friday, June 9, 2017

FFWN: False flags backfire in Britain – voters repudiate lying establishment



1) PSA: Keep False Flag Weekly News on the air! https://fundrazr.com/31FL5b

2) PSA: Support the Left Out Forum  http://noliesradio.org/leftforum

3) Stephen M. Brown's retraction and apology followed by Kevin Barrett's response http://truthjihad.blogspot.com/2017/06/stephen-m-browns-retraction-and-apology.html

British Election and Its False Flags



6) Jeremy Corbyn is now odds-on favourite to become next prime minister – did FFWN help Theresa May’s false flags backfire? http://www.independent.co.uk/News/uk/politics/jeremy-corbyn-prime-minister-labour-results-election-latest-betfair-exchange-odds-a7780431.html

7) "This Is For Allah" - Six Killed In London Terrorist Rampage; Three Assailants Shot http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-03/van-rams-pedestrians-serious-incident-london-bridge-knife-attack-follows-live-feed

8) London Bridge false flag alert – even CNN says “psy-op” http://www.veteranstoday.com/2017/06/03/cnn-psy-op/

9) Dundee independence campaigner defends posts suggesting terror attacks may have been ‘false flag’ operations https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/local/dundee/442135/dundee-independence-campaigner-defends-posts-suggesting-terror-attacks-may-have-been-false-flag-operations/

10) Mother of London attacker ‘believed he was under police control & not dangerous’ https://www.rt.com/uk/391305-london-attacker-zaghba-mother/

11) London Bridge attacker appeared in Channel 4 doc on ‘British jihadis’ https://www.rt.com/uk/391020-jihadi-documentary-terrorists-london/

12) Dearborn Muslims have never heard of "famous Dearborn jihadi preacher" http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/michigan-muslims-reject-online-preacher-who-radicalised-london-attacker-244509751

13) Rita Katz (SITE): ISIS claims responsibility for London Bridge attack https://www.rt.com/news/390853-isis-claims-responsibility-london-attack/

14) Nafeez Ahmed: ISIS recruiter who radicalised London Bridge attackers was protected by MI5 https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/isis-recruiter-who-radicalised-london-bridge-attackers-was-protected-by-mi5-232998ab6421

15) Flashback: Kevin Barrett debates Anjum Chaudary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFmRlyxs6yE

Corbyn talks sense

16) Jeremy Corbyn defends banned vicar Sizer who suggested Israel was behind 9/11  http://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/jeremy-corbyn-defends-banned-vicar-who-suggested-israel-was-behind-911/

17) ‘We must have some difficult conversations with Saudi Arabia’ – UK opposition leader Corbyn https://www.rt.com/uk/390850-corbyn-saudi-extremists-funding/

Madness of Saudis: “ISIS” Terror in Tehran

18) 12 killed, dozens injured in shootings & bombings at Iranian parliament & Khomeini shrine https://www.rt.com/news/391183-iran-parliament-shooting-injured/

19) Saudi Royals and Trump "take the battle to Tehran" (as promised) with "ISIS" attack https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/07/world/middleeast/iran-parliament-attack-khomeini-mausoleum.html?_r=0

20) Iran attacks: ‘Saudi Wahhabi ideology is main culprit’ https://www.rt.com/op-edge/391268-iran-attacks-terrorist-saudi-isis/

Madness of Saudis: Blockade of Qatar

21) Bahrain, Saudi Arabia & Egypt cut diplomatic ties with Qatar https://www.rt.com/news/390863-bahrain-cuts-diplomatic-relations-qatar/



ISIS is US

24) ISIS, a radical ANTI-Islam group, is on its last legs http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2017/06/08/524587/Daesh-Islamic-World-Muslims

25) Syrian Army's Allies Threaten US With Retaliatory Strike After Tuesday Attack https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201706071054408564-syria-us-attack-retaliation/

26) New Video Destroys “Little Omran” White Helmets Story – Proves WH, Terrorists Used Boy As Propaganda http://www.activistpost.com/2017/06/new-video-destroys-little-omran-white-helmets-propaganda-proves-wh-terrorists-used-boy-as-propaganda.html 

30) Philippines: Muslim saves dozens of Christians from “ISIS”  https://www.rt.com/news/390737-philippines-marawi-isis-christians-flee/

Madness of Zion

31) Read Roger Waters' Response to Thom Yorke Over Radiohead Israel Controversy https://www.yahoo.com/amphtml/music/read-roger-waters-apos-response-125800287.html

32) Israeli Companies Are Making a Killing off Technology Perfected Over 50 Years of Occupation http://www.alternet.org/world/israeli-companies-are-making-killing-technology-perfected-over-50-years-occupation\

Madness of Trump

33) Comey Says Trump Tried to Derail Inquiry and Accuses the White House of ‘Lies’ https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/08/us/politics/comey-hearing-trump-russia.html

34) Trump picks Gitmo criminal, Bonesman (?) as FBI chief https://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2017/06/breaking-trump-nominates-guantanamo-bay-architect-christopher-wray-as-new-fbi-director-3520059.html


9/11 fallout


37) Corbyn’s a truther – will he push for an independent investigation? http://www.jpost.com/International/British-Labor-leader-Jeremy-Corbyn-Osama-bin-Laden-was-framed-for-911-419266

Alleged “hijacker” Ziad Jarrah case gets curiouser and curiouser


39) Photographic Evidence Showing Ziad Jarrah Was Not a 9/11 Hijacker http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/jarrah.html

40) 9/11 “hijacker” Jarrah from a family of Israeli spies https://crescent.icit-digital.org/articles/mossad-link-to-9-11-hijackers-established

Sanity from Russia

41) Putin’s Conspiracy Theory: ‘Kennedy’s Assassination Was Arranged By US Intelligence’ https://swarajyamag.com/insta/putins-conspiracy-theory-kennedys-assassination-was-arranged-by-us-intelligence

42) As China pulls trade from North Korea, Russia gets cozy with Kim Jong Un https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/06/05/russia-boosts-trade-north-korea-china-cuts/102389824/

Odds and Ends

43) Canada's PM Trudeau Highlights His Government's Opposition to "Anti-Zionism," https://canadatalksisraelpalestine.ca/2017/05/11/in-unexpected-move-trudeau-commits-canada-to-defending-zionism/

44) Homo sapiens lived in Morocco 300,000 years ago – pre-history timeline overturned  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/07/science/human-fossils-morocco.html

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Stephen M. Brown's retraction and apology (re: Left Forum) followed by my response

Retraction and Apology
for my June 4 Post


On June 4, I sent out an email (attached) in which I ridiculed the claims, widely circulated on the internet, that 4 panels had been banned by the Left Forum because some of their panelists were allegedly “anti-Semitic” and “Holocaust deniers.”

Given what I knew about the Left Forum, and because a Forum member had specifically assured me that no “banning” had taken place, I wrote that the panelists’ claims -- that they had been banned or censored -- were false. I went further. I also questioned the motives of the panelists – their good faith -- and accused them of making a “scurrilous fake news attack” against the Left Forum board.

But I was wrong.

Not wrong about whether some of the panelists were actually “anti-Semitic” and “Holocaust deniers” (they may or may not be). But wrong to deny that they had been banned by the Left Forum for allegedly being anti-Semitic and Holocaust deniers. It now appears that the panelist were indeed banned by the Left Forum board for allegedly being anti-Semitic and Holocaust deniers. And that their banning was the result of a letter-writing campaign (organized by someone named Spencer Sunshine, in collaboration with several Jewish groups) that intimidated the Board and prompted an important German organization (Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung NYC) to withdraw its support from the Forum if the accused panelists were allowed to speak.

I now know that I was wrong because there exist at least two (and more are claimed) “smoking gun” emails written by high-ranking members of the Left Forum administration. These emails make it clear that the Forum board did knuckle under to outside pressure groups by prohibiting the panelists from speaking. Here are those emails.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ashley Abbott <ashley@leftforum.org>
Date: Mon, May 29, 2017 at 1:45 PM
Subject: Re: Another panel has to be canceled

And to elaborate, hundreds of people contacted us. This prompted us to do further research and upon doing so, we (the board and staff) agree that a panel featuring Anthony Hall should not occur at Left Forum.

Ashley Abbott
Co-Director
Left Forum 
-------------------------------------------------------
On Mon, May 29, 2017 at 1:34 PM Left Forum <leftforum@leftforum.org> wrote:
Dear C***** and C**,

a big german organization Left Forum has worked together with many years said they will withdraw panels etc. when Anthony Hall speaks at Left Forum, he is
 Holocaust denier.

The board and the staff of Left Forum will act now and cancel the panel
"Political Correctness: The Dangers of Thought Crime Police"

Marcus Graetsch
Co-Director
Left Forum
leftforum.org  | 212-817-2003
------------------------------------------------------

The above emails were sent to me by organizers of the banned panels. Had I done my homework properly, and interviewed them, instead of only speaking with Forum board members, I would have seen the emails earlier -- and not published what I now acknowlege to be my poorly researched (and unforgivably smug) account of the affair. Which would have spared me the embarrassment of writing this retraction, and spared the panelists the additional injury of my unjustified attack on their motives.  


To be fair about the emails, I should point out -- as a Forum board member informed me – that Ashley Abbott and Marcus Graetsch, who wrote the above emails, are not themselves board members. So they did not participate in the vote to accept or reject the 4 panels, and perhaps also were not privy to other, possible reasons for which the board might have rejected the 4 panels. If such reasons exist, I hope the Forum will one day share them with the public.

In any case, here is a detailed account of the affair, with the names of the banned panels and their presenters: http://dissidentvoice.org/2017/06/cancelled-left-forum-panels-to-appear-instead-at-left-out-forum-protest-event-on-left-forum-conferences-last-day/. Although it was written by one of the banned panelists, it is more informative, and seems closer to reality, than was my own account.

Disappointingly (and suprisingly, given the widespread interest generated by this affair), there has been no public clarification from the Left Forum. As I have already suggested to a board member, it would be a good idea for the Forum to issue one -- not only for the sake of its own reputation, but because its supporters deserve no less. In fact, they would probably welcome anyexplanation that allows them to continue having faith in the Forum.

After all, only the CIA can expect to get away with an official policy of “no comment” when accused of bad behavior. That’s because the CIA doesn’t care what people think of it -- it knows it can always get funding and political support, no matter what it is accused of. But the Left Forum must care what people think of it, because it can’t get funding and political support if people no longer respect it.

But – what if the Forum had been right? What if the banned panelists really were anti-Semitic or Holocaust deniers? Well, what of it? Neither anti-Semitism nor Holocaust denial was part of their panels. So why ban them? Richard Wagner was a howling anti-Semite, but the Met doesn’t ban performances of “Tristan und Isolde.” The only issue should have been whether the panelists had anything new, interesting, or thought provoking to say about “9/11” or “the Deep State” or “False Flag operations” or “Censorship” – which were among the the topics they promised to address.

Even if offensive anti-Semitic sentiments might be expressed during a panel, audiences are always free to picket, to protest from the floor, or to simply walk out. The Forum could then issue a a denunciation – afterwards -- which would reaffirm its principles and at the same time honor the strong American tradition against pre-censorship.

Instead, the Forum caved under pressure from groups it evidently feared to offend, and thus prohibited reputably credentialed academics and scientists from presenting unorthodox views on subjects of great interest to a significant segment of attendees. To whatever extent my June 4 post misrepresented that fact, I apologize. It was a glaring example of “confirmation bias” – what psychologists define as “the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one's preexisting beliefs or hypotheses.”

Well, clearly I had a pre-existing belief (aka bias) in favor of the Left Forum. I wrote what I hoped was true, instead of searching for what was really true.

I expect to do better next time.
 



Hello Steve,

I was one of the banned panelists (Spencer Sunshine’s letter to the Left Forum said I was the “best known” of the evil anti-Semites). As much as I appreciate your retraction, I don’t particularly appreciate the “so maybe they are anti-Semites” part, any more than you would appreciate me sending a mass email saying, “well, maybe it’s true that Steve Brown beats his wife and rapes his dog, but that’s not the issue – he should be allowed to speak and if he starts raping his dog during the speech, animal rights groups can picket him.”

So while rectifying your injustice against us, you arguably perpetrated another injustice. Nobody on any of the banned panels is bigoted or racist. By tentatively accepting the Left Forum’s lies about that, even while exposing their lies denying that the panels were banned, you made a second mistake. Having swallowed the lie and slandered the truth-tellers once, you should have presumed in favor of the truth-tellers the second time.

I would appreciate it if you were willing to have a conversation about this. How about a one-hour pre-recorded discussion for my radio show? I would be happy to answer any and all of your questions about my take on 9/11, Israel, Zionism, the power of organized Jewish groups, and so on. This would give you (and any Left Forum people who listen) a better idea about whether the “so maybe they are anti-Semites” thing is reasonable – or whether it’s an odious smear that needs to be put to bed.  

Let me know if you could do that and if so, what times/dates would work.

Best

Kevin Barrett
New books: 
Middle East Affairs and Islamic Studies expert guest at Press TV, Al-Alam, Al-Etejah, Russia Today, etc


Muhammad Ali Carter and Marwa Osman: Bahrain at the heart of Middle East crisis

Broadcast here June 12th, 11 to noon Eastern then archived. For less than a dollar a week you can subscribe...and listen to this show RIGHT NOW! 
Both of today's guests argue that the ongoing uproar around the Persian Gulf – notably Saudi Arabia's  "act of war" blockade against Qatar, and its proxy terrorist attack in Tehran – has much to do with the struggle for Bahrain, where the Shia-majority population wants to overthrow the Saudi-backed al-Khalifa dictatorship in favor of democracy. (Bahrain is an island off Saudi Arabia's Shia-majority east, where most of the oil happens to be located.) Are the Saudis freaking out because their hideously corrupt regime is about to crumble? Let's ask two experts:

First half hour: Muhammad Ali Carter says Bahrain's massively unpopular al-Khalifa dynasty is caught between a rock and a hard place: The democracy movement's spiritual leader, Shaykh Isa Qassim, is difficult to stop in part because he's not directly involved in politics: "Ayatollah Isa Qassim is now playing the same role in Bahrain that many of his great Shia clerical colleagues have played before him, such as Grand Ayatollah Khoei in Iraq during Saddam’s reign or Grand Ayatollah Khomeini, the spiritual leader of the united opposition, in Iran under the rule of the Shah."

Robert Carter is an English journalist and political commentator based in London, UK. Robert, who also goes by his Muslim name, Muhammad Ali Carter, specializes in Middle Eastern culture, politics and history as well as the current affairs of the global Muslim world. Robert has visited the region many times with a focus on Lebanon, Iran, Bahrain, and Yemen. Robert currently works with Ahlulbayt TV as a TV news presenter but has also contributed for Iraq Insider, Veterans Today, Shafaqna, and Press TV. 

Second half hour: Marwa Osman says the Bahrain democracy movement is central to the region's liberation struggle against US-British imperialism and Zionism. She points out that the British and later the US created and weaponized the Wahhabi-Takfiri terrorists to use against the people of the region, and more recently to justify imperialist intervention – including the plundering of the Gulf's oil resources and the use of its geostrategically important position for military bases, such as the US Fifth Fleet's HQ in Bahrain.

Ms. Marwa Osman is a PhD Candidate in Beirut, Lebanon, University Lecturer at the Lebanese International University and Maaref University, and political writer/commentator on Middle East issues with many international and regional media outlets.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Left Forum freakout continues! Award-winning journalist shreds the "holocaust denial" lies

Dave Lindorff, one of America's best investigative journalists, just responded to an absurdly mendacious letter from Stephen Brown concerning the banned panels at the Left Forum.  Brown's letter, mass-emailed to  many people, is appended below.  -Kevin Barrett

Steve, 

Let me start by saying that I am an award-winning investigative jouralist with 43 years' experience (Village Voice, Business Week, Minneapolis Tribune, Los Angeles Daily News, KCET-TV, Mother Jones, WhoWhatWhy, the Nation, etc.). I'm also married (47 years!) to a non-Zionist Jewish woman, and have two kids, one by birth and an adopted Chinese son, both of whom we sent to Jewish school while living in HK, and then to the Philadelphia Jewish Folkshul (purely secular Jewish cultural education). While of German/Irish/Scottish/Native American ancestry myself, I am clearly no anti-semite. 

Having established that, let me say that I was on the panel on False Flags. My topic, about which I wrote a number of major investigative articles, was the Boston Marathon bombing. I have no idea what that was all about, but I made the point, with plenty of evidence, that whatever it was, it could not have been the official version of the story, namely that two frustrated Chechin-American  Americanized young men decided suddenly to blow up some runners and spectators to protest US military actions against Islamic people. My evidence against this ranges from having bought the exact pressure cooker said to have been their weapon of choice, filled it with nails and some weights equivalent to the black powder and shrapnel they were said to have filled them with, and placed them in two backpacks similar to the ones the two Tsarnaev brothers were filmed wearing. It becomes obvious comparing the images that Dzohkar and Tamerlan could not have been carrying those heavy pots in their backpacks, which hung limply on their coat shoulders. I went on to note that the exploded pack shown by the FBI actually most closely resembled one of the black packs worn by the guys in black who were all over the finish line wearing emblems of Chris Kyle's mercenary outfit, Craft International. I went on to tell how I found that no responsible party -- not the race organizers, not the Boston cops, not the state's national guard, and not the FBI, would say they had hired Craft, though when I called the FBI and asked, the woman at the FBI's Boston office said, "Just a minute, and then, through her muffled hand, I heard, "Some reporter from WhoWhatWhy is asking who hired the Craft guys. What should I tell him?"  After a pause, she came back on and said, "We don't know anything about that."  To which I replied, "Oh, is that what they said you should tell me?"

You might have actually enjoyed my presentation had you attended. It is what I do: present the facts as I find them. I said at the outset that I don't connect dots and come up with a conspiracy theory. I just punch holes where they need to be punched.  Others can take it from there if they like.

By the way -- I sat through all the four banned -- and they were banned and cancelled -- it's even in written emails from the co-director of the Left Forum Marcus Graetsch -- and was prepared to denounce or call out any anti-semitism I heard -- and there was none. None. Nor did anyone "deny the holocaust," though I know at least one speaker, Tony Hall, has been called a denier because he refuses to allow Jews to claim that word as their own property, saying -- and as a part Native American I completely agree with him on this -- that there have been many holocausts, including a current one of Arab peoples at the hands of the US military and US policymakers, who have also been responsible for a holocaust of Native Americans, a holocaust of Filipinos, a Holocaust of Japanese people, a holocaust of Germans -- both residents of firebombed German cities like Bremen, Dresden and Darmstadt (where I lived for a year in 1965 and saw the two mountains outside of town made of the rubble that had been a city of 200,000, burned to the ground in one night's raid), and POWs at the end of the war. 

Thankfully, your trashy and ignorant report on the Left Out Forum failed to impact attendance, which was standing room only by the end. There were some obviously Jewish observers at the panels, as evident from their clothing and in one case heir, but in fact, there was nothing for them (or me) to object to during the entire time.

In my considered view, the Left Forum made a huge mistake in banning these panels, which would have been excellent additions to the three-day event. Instead of looking like censorious jerks and chicken shits afraid of losing a few Euros from some group in Germany that threatened a pull-out, the Forum Board would have looked like the true endorsers of open debate and discussion that they claim to be. 

I'm frankly disgusted by both the Board and by your poor excuse for a "journalistic" report on the dispute. 

The folks who put together the five Deep State panels and the panelists who came in some cases across the continent despite the Left Form's pathetic attempt to shut them down, were in the end far better and bigger people than all of you.

Shande! Shame on you.

Dave Lindorff
founding editor of ThisCantBeHappening.net



Dear Pacifica Supporter --

Yesterday I received an alert from several friends in California and New York claiming that Left Forum 2017 had "banned" 4 panels that dealt with the "deep state."

Wow, banning and censorship! How could the Left Forum do such a thing? But was it true? Well, lots of people were ready to believe it. In fact, later that day, emails suddenly started to appear (some of them from people I knew) condemning the Left Forum for censoring -- for banning -- 4 "deep state" panels.

But the email writers didn't say where they got their information, or why they beleived it was true. They were just repeating what they heard from their friends. But the emails said that "to learn more," I should go to a site called www.noliesradio.org. But that site only repeated the same charges, without offering any evidence of "banning."

So how did these accusation get such currency? Who was spreading them? I assume the accusations came from those who organized the 4 (allegedly) "banned" panels. And indeed, at the Saturday Left Forum session, they or their representatives were passing out flyers with the headline "Left Forum BANS 4 Panels on the Deep State."

The flyers claimed that the panels were banned because the Left Forum beleived the "speakers are so dangerous [that] ... you should be prevented from hearing them" and that "the Left Forum is dictating what ideas you can be exposed to."

The flyer also implied that the 4 panels had been falsely accused of anti-Semitism by "Zionist elements to shut down free speech," and that the Left Forum's cowardly board members had presumably knuckled under to the Zionist demands (which the flyers characterized as "Left Forum capitulation to shadowy pressure [that is] part of a brazen repression of thoughts that challenge official versions of controversial events").

For good measure, the flyers also threw in charges of "neo-McCarthy witch hunts," "thought policing," and "organized meta strategy to oppose any criticism of Israel."

In short, the flyers deployed all the tried and true buzz-words guaranteed to whip honorable knee-jerk free-speech leftie junkies like us into a frenzy of righteous indignation. The flyers did everything but offer us torches and pitchforks (or maybe I missed that paragraph).

I know I sound like I'm sneering at anyone foolish enough to believe that stuff about the Left Forum (the Left Forum, for Pete's sake). But I'm not sneering, really, because, for a while, I wondered if it really might be true. Could the Left Forum have left its principles behind? Many of my friends seemed to think the answer was yes.

To find out, I did something that (I know, I know)  must seem pretty naive. I looked for some actual evidence. Doing my best Seymour Hersh impersonation, I buttoholed one of the Left Forum board members, the Marxist economist Richard D Wolff.

I showed him the flyer and asked him if it was true. He was astonished when he saw the flyer. He had not seen it before, or even heard the allegations. He said they were preposterous. Hundreds of panels are proposed every year, and it was impossible to accomodate them all, given the limitations of time and facilities.

As for banning "deep state" discussions, Wolff pointed out that those same 4 panels had been accepted at last year's Left Forum. The board felt there was no need to repeat them, given the large number of new panels asking for time.

When I asked Wolf if someone named Spencer Sunshine had written to accuse the 4 panels of being anti-Semitic, he said yes. The board members had read and considered Sunshine's letters, as they read and consider everything they receive. But Sunshine's letters had nothing at all to do with not accepting those 4 panels for this year's forum.

So it all comes down to whom one believes. For my part, I know the Left Forum, and the principles it espouses. I feel it has always lived up to those principles. I also know Richard Wolff, and I believe what he says.

My personal feeling, therefore, is that the allegations are false. Worse, I think they are the result of sour grapes on the part of the organizers of those 4 panels, who have cynically manufactured a campaign of false news worthy of Roger Stone, Fox News, Hill+Knowlton, or any of the other devious "deep state" twisters of public opinion for private gain. 


The 4 panels themselves look interesting. I might have made a point of attending them, since I missed them last year. But on second thought, although the subject of the "deep state" certainly deserves critical attention, I would not trust anything said by the people responsible for the fake news campaign described above.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Mitchel Cohen on Spencer Sunshine's lies (re: Left Forum)

Be a part of the Left Out Forum as we protest censorship by the self-appointed ThoughtCrime Commissars of the Left Forum! Come in person or watch the livestream – details at http://NoLiesRadio.org/leftforum  -Kevin Barrett

Guest post by Mitchel Cohen


I was one of those targeted by Spencer Sunshine and the little group of thugs who tried to intimidate people so that they would not attend Chris Bollyn’s talk at the Brookyn Commons last autumn, 2016. I even interviewed Spencer and others during that episode in my capacity as a journalist for WBAI radio and as a longtime radical leftist and Green activist. I came away from that event critical of Bollyn’s presentation and at the same time disgusted with the politics and actions of Spencer Sunshine, who’d tried (and failed) to shut it down.

The one thing Spencer Sunshine did succeed in accomplishing through his libelous campaigns is in promoting himself to the fore of his authoritarian circle. (I wouldn’t be surprised if he turned out to be some sort of a cop.) But he utterly failed in his alliance with local real estate developers and Democratic Party officials (like NY City Council members Steve Levin and Brad Lander) in breaking The Commons and forcing it to be put up for sale, as the Left community, for the most part, rallied to save this crucial open-minded venue.

I consider myself an anarcho-communist who is also Jewish. In my view, protesters of Bollyn and other controversial speakers have the right to express their views and to air them at events -- and even to verbally challenge the speakers at those events. But they do not have the right to physically assault those who, utilizing their own freedom of speech, challenge them about what they are saying.

By the way, I didn’t find Bollyn’s talk all that controversial. For the first 1/2 hour Bollyn presented a pretty standard (for those of us on the activist Left in New York) anti-imperialist analysis that included a very strong critique of Zionism (not Judaism). Where he went wrong -- and what I objected to -- was that contrary to the stipulations governing use of the space, Bollyn’s speech went unnecessarily on and on for hours; by doing so he undermined his own initially interesting critique and truncated actual discussion from taking place. He did so, it seemed, in fear of actually being publicly challenged on things he’d written or said.

I was also subjected to a smear campaign by Sunshine and his associates, who said I’d sexually assaulted one of their disruptors at another event at the Commons a few weeks later, and claimed they had video to prove it. Of course they have no such thing, because it never happened. In reality, four of Sunshine’s collaborators disrupted a discussion of the debate between Clinton and Trump -- a discussion led and attended primarily by young people of color. The main disruptor here was a white NYU Ph.D. student, who -- in the name of anti-racism -- acted like a racist thug and seized the microphone and prevented others from speaking. Of course I never grabbed his genitals as Sunshine et al. had charged (you could check the video for yourself).

So I have no choice but to question everything that Sunshine et. al. posit as fact. I see that the same sort of libelous attacks that he and his group had made about me are now being used as “evidence” against the others on Kevin Barrett’s panel, in their attempt to get their panels banned from the Left Forum.

I am appalled that, in the name of “research”, Sunshine et al. is compiling dossiers on left activists who claim, for example, that 9/11 was an inside job. There’s nothing like weaving for oneself that air of authority -- using innuendo and decontextualized comments, such as the obvious satire presented by Kevin Barrett -- which allows them with self-righteous impunity to smear activists, with the effect of shutting down legitimate discussion and debate.

As a longtime participant in the Left Forum and an occasional presenter there, I have only the highest regard for its organizers. Left institutions need to continue to provide venues that offer the widest latitude to leftist speakers on controversial topics even if -- and especially if -- currents in the Left have failed to do so in the past.

Mitchel Cohen
Brooklyn Greens / Green Party