Imperialist spinmeisters are trial-ballooning a new Syria narrative that is so breathtakingly stupid it needs its own article solely for the purpose of mockery.

On Christmas Eve PBS aired a bizarre segment on the death of James Le Mesurier, the former military intelligence officer who founded the extremely shady propaganda construct known as the White Helmets. The segment makes relentless, ham-fisted appeals to emotion, even attempting to associate the White Helmets with Armistice Day using wistful camera pans over poppy flowers and misty war memorial art exhibits, but by far the most yogurt-brained part is its repeated suggestions that Le Mesurier killed himself because people had been accusing him of being a propagandist.

“And now a story of a humanitarian trying to help Syria: the suspicious death in Turkey last month of James Le Mesurier, the co-founder of the White Helmets rescue organization in Syria,” opens PBS News Hour‘s Judy Woodruff. “Friends and colleagues fear that he may have been murdered or driven to suicide by a campaign of character assassination.”

“Whatever the cause, Le Mesurier was a victim of a very modern war,” the special’s narrator solemnly intones. “There is no hiding place in cyberspace. Le Mesurier was at the epicenter of a propaganda war, and his friends are appalled at what they regard as a campaign of character assassination.”

“The amount of abuse, the amount of ill-placed propaganda, disinformation that’s on social media and the Internet coming out of Russian bots and Syria, Syrian regime, and others was unbearable,” Col. Hamish de Bretton-Gordon mourns.

This ridiculous narrative was picked up and run with by Syria narrative managers on Twitter.

“On lethal disinformation— a thread,” tweeted virulent Syria narrative manager Idrees Ahmad. “This is a disturbing report by Malcolm Brabant on the lethal consequences of conspiracism. It shows how slander and disinformation may have pushed James Le Mesurier, one of the finest humanitarians, to his death. The report highlights the pernicious lies issuing from the self-described ‘Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media’, which is a small group of academics, none specialising in Syria or the Middle East, in alliance with a group of pro-Kremlin trolls like Vanessa Beeley et al.”

It is true that both Beeley and the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media have accused Le Mesurier of running a propaganda operation on behalf of western governments using western government funding. But if Ahmad truly believed that accusing people of conducting propaganda caused them to kill themselves, he should turn himself in for attempted murder, because he accuses people of being propagandists constantly.

Here’s a link to Ahmad calling journalist Max Blumenthal a “propagandist for Maduro”. Here’s a link to Ahmad calling Beeley a “pro-regime propagandist”. Here’s a link to Ahmad calling award-winning journalist Jonathan Steele “a fabricator and a propagandist”. Here’s a link to Ahmad calling CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou “a propagandist for Putin”.

Talk about “lethal disinformation”, Idrees.

But of course, no one really believes that accusations of conducting propaganda actually drive people to suicide. If that were so, people like me would have thrown ourselves off a building years ago.

I am accused of being a propagandist nearly every day. At the height of Russiagate hysteria it happened many times a day in my blog post comments and social media notifications. Depending on what’s in the news and how I’ve responded to it I’ve been accused of writing paid propaganda for the Kremlin, Assad, the Iranian government, Palestinians, Pyongyang, Beijing, Maduro, the alt-right, George Soros, and WikiLeaks, just off the top of my head.

Every anti-imperialist, anti-interventionist, and antiwar activist with any kind of platform has had this experience. Ever since the new McCarthyism of establishment-driven Russia hysteria took off, accusing people who question imperialist narratives of conducting psyops for foreign governments has become the norm in political discourse. It’s created an extremely hostile and vitriolic environment in which productive conversations are vanishingly rare.

Where’s our PBS special? Does anyone care? Is there any compassion from these hand-wringing establishment loyalists for the fact that Vanessa Beeley and the members of the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media are hounded day in and day out by establishment narrative managers and their brainwashed followers with accusations of spreading propaganda, supporting genocide, and embracing war crimes? I know I’ve never had a garment-rending Idrees Ahmad thread written about concerns for my psychological well being, and I’ve been targeted by multiple online harassment campaigns over the years.

The amount of hateful vitriol that gets leveled at people for simply opposing imperialism, for wanting peace, is truly astonishing. Just for saying “Hey here are some reasons we should maybe reconsider toppling yet another government in yet another Middle Eastern nation” will bring in complete strangers calling you all sorts of names, calling you disgusting, calling you evil, calling you a monster. For supporting peace.

There are all kinds of people in the world who are very deserving of harsh words. Powerful exploiters, oppressors and manipulators. People who destroy the environment for profit. People who get rich selling weapons of war while paying politicians and think tanks to advance the cause of war. War criminals who’ve never faced justice. With all those people in the world who we can all agree are terrible, you wouldn’t think peace activists should feature anywhere near the top of anyone’s list. But they do. Because war propaganda is just that influential.

And, of course, nobody cares. None of these narrative managers care about what psychological burden they might be placing on people by assuring their audiences that it’s perfectly sane and normal to hound and harass anyone who questions imperialist propaganda. Their concern is not and has never been about anyone’s psychological health. Their concern is in managing narratives in a way that favors the US-centralized empire that they serve.

I do not know what caused Le Mesurier’s death; to be in any way confident that a known spook committed suicide at all, or was murdered by Russians, is absurd. Maybe he killed himself because he failed to listen to the adage “Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.”

What I absolutely do know, with absolute certainty, is that only idiots believe that skepticism about western regime change agendas in the Middle East kills people.


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46 responses to “Narrative Managers Claim White Helmets Founder Was Driven To Suicide By Syria Skeptics”

  1. Appeals to emotion are a key element in the capability to twist lies into truth, often preface by an touching image as illustrated here and here.

    As of April 2018, the ‘White Helmets’ claimed to have saved over 114,000 lives, and yet have never once released any records of proof of this wild claim. But it’s claims like this which have been used to elevate the group’s public image and to pull in hundreds of millions of dollars in financial support and government patronage from the West.

    The “White Helmets” operation managed for MI6 by Le Mesurier was both a channel for logistic support to Western backed jihadists and a propaganda operation to shill for war in Syria, as in Iraq or Libya.

    The ‘financial support’ to rescue at risk ‘White Helmets’ from Syria disappeared as a result of fraud and greed into the pockets of fellow directors Emma Winberg (also his wife) and Rupert Davis as ‘remuneration benefits’ paid out every month on top of their salaries. Le Mesurier admitted this swindle.

    To protect the Secret Intelligence Services from sensitive and damaging facts emerging from a resulting inquiry into duplicity that would retrieve emails sent to donor countries and expose extremely shady propaganda constructs, heads had to be put together and the sequitur from the highest levels including top military intelligence appeared to be a ‘rub out’ to ‘shut out’ national harm from release of top secret information that was the forward to a proxy war in Syria.

  2. USA-ma Bin Laden Avatar
    USA-ma Bin Laden

    On a serious note, it’s obvious what the agenda behind these mainstream media reports like the PBS Newshour is:

    1. Discredit and demonize anyone questioning the narratives that America, Britain, or their other war partners have been pushing to justify their occupation, bombing, or invasion of Syria.
    2. Threaten academics and other individuals with possibly losing their jobs if they continue with their dissent from mainstream war propaganda.

    This development must be understood in terms of the broader crackdown on dissent and censorship of alternative views on social media like Facebook and Twitter, particularly targeting antiwar or anti-interventionist dissent.

    This indeed is the New McCarthyism.

  3. USA-ma Bin Laden Avatar
    USA-ma Bin Laden

    So a former British military officer like White Helmets founder James Mesurier killed himself because some people said some kinda mean things about him on the interwebs.

    Are you kidding me?

    So the media really expects people to believe that, apparently, a former British Army officer is more thin-skinned than cyber-bullied teenagers and millennial snowflakes?

    The solution is obvious: Mandatory Safe Spaces for all Military-Intel personnel!

  4. Here is a link to photographic evidence that the White Helmets are evil murdering terrorists. This report was put together by a Marine Corps vet.
    Warning: This report has extreme graphic content of a 12yo boys head being cut off by a White Helmet member and other dead bodies!
    This is how sick and evil the White Helmets are!

  5. Le Mesurier was a dude with a lot of enemies. I read that he was more likely running away from somebody who got into his door, that he was trying to jump off his roof, onto another, and missed. It wasn’t the kind of roof you would choose if you wanted to kill yourself. He fell badly.

  6. Idrees Ahmad, Eliot Higgins, Alexander Ross, Brian Whitaker, and Judy Woodruff are demonstrably, provably, undeniably, Syria war propagandists. Therefore, if PBS’s latest pro-empire narrative is correct, these “journalists” will soon be making the world a measurably better place.

  7. I can see that the libertarian nature of the internet is going away in favor of a government/corporate managed and curated internet where there will be an “overton internet window” of approved range of views on any topic. There will not be any real dissent of the official narrative. Just fake managed dissent. Coke vs Pepsi dissent.

    Historically, when there are bans, black markets develop in the banned items. This will likely be true of the internet as well. Which means that a separate dark web will likely develop that is 100% illegal with heavy punishment for anyone caught using it. This new separate net will be the place where unofficial opinions go.

  8. I can just hear it now….
    “after executing all the leftists we could find we were unfairly criticized for brutality which was cruel to us, we tried so hard to exterminate all the critics, is the very litany of complaint we sought to curtail never the less to be our reward?”
    If leftists are going to whine about being executed the individuals working for the executing agency might even commit suicide, have the leftists thought about that as they criticize?
    In historic times stopping the holocaust might have deeply hurt Nazi feelings, why look, Hitlers entourage in fact ended up tragically killing themselves for all the horrible things the victims of genocide were doing against them, the sorrow is unbearable…the loss.

  9. No matter how many United States of Americans might vote for mere reform, they are wrong. Sometimes, only a minority are right.
    Being correct is not a majority or minority matter; it is a true or false matter.
    A misinformed public can willingly participate in its own – or even the worlds – destruction.
    That could happen. Democracy is a prerequisite to peace, but it can not exist if the public are being systematically misinformed. Lies and democracy do not mix together any more effectively than do oil and water. Please read this great article here:

  10. Even as real United States economic and military global power has slipped relative to the rise of Russia, China, India and other nations in the 21st century, the determination of the United States and its ruling Deep State elite to act as if they were the sole arbitrator of global power, sovereignty and legitimacy has expanded manically and without limit. Please read this fine article here:

  11. this is the dumbest propaganda since “they hate us for our freedoms”. which is not to say it won’t work, cause that did, too.

  12. Rael Nidess, M.D. Avatar
    Rael Nidess, M.D.

    My guess it that Le Mesurier had a sudden epiphany and realized the horrors that he was responsible for and, in a fit of guilt & depression, threw himself off his roof in an attempt to expiate his sins.

  13. I thought the organ trafficking was about to be exposed. Disposed of or disappeared? May he find the light. May 2020 be a years of revelations, and responsible transformation. Keep up the great work Cait!

  14. As a lifelong peace activist I’m reminded of the line in Pete Seeger’s anti-war anthem Where Have the Flowers Gone? – “When will they ever learn?”

    50 years ago in the US I took part in a swelling that grew into a movement to stop the atrocities that our government was committing in Vietnam. While we were labeled commies, traitors, agitators and rebels the movement kept growing as the bombs napalm and Agent Orange kept flowing. At the time there was no internet, no social media, and a handful of TV and print news agencies directing the narrative. Still when young men starting coming back in coffins and reports showed the war’s overall futility more and more people, especially the young, brought the war home.

    Some of us still remember it and as we witness these new regime change wars raging in other small countries we don’t belong, it is really not the time to remain silent. Unfortunately the majority of people are so stressed out that they are easily manipulated – the “us and them” mentality is pushed to the level of sporting rivalries. The sad thing about being brainwashed is that the people who are cannot see it. When will they ever learn?

  15. Something else is happening in Istanbul. The great fake “Ujghur” story is providing witnesses of Ujghur family members. While journalists trawl Xinjiang for them without success, they have been produced for the BBC in Istanbul.
    Now there have been for years Ujghurs with Isis, and they are likely to have family in Istanbul. Unlike 99% of Ujghurs, these wannabe rebel fighters may well have other family members in re-education prisons in Xinjiang (where domestic Ujghur terrorism is a genuine threat).
    Can you think of a perfect candidate to broker interviews between BBC and Ujghur terrorist families. Have the trust of both sides. Be known to be pushing the establishment view on behalf of the UK government. Contacts with ISIS and BBC.
    What would China say to that?

    1. Julius Skoolafish Avatar
      Julius Skoolafish

      Thank you for your comment. Indeed China has plenty to say … for example

      True story in Xinjiang: alleged ‘missing’ people found safe and sound

      Fighting terrorism in Xinjiang

      CGTN Exclusive: Western propaganda on Xinjiang ‘camps’ rebutted

      1. That was a very interesting and informative link. Thanks.

        1. Julius Skoolafish Avatar
          Julius Skoolafish

          Thank you for your acknowledgement – however I merely follow the trail blazers of people like Caitlin and kick over the odd pebble looking for the truth. Of course, one must always ask is this propaganda or counter-propaganda, which reminds me of this quote:

          “Good propaganda does not need to lie, indeed it may not lie. It has no reason to fear the truth. It is a mistake to believe that people cannot take the truth. They can. It is only a matter of presenting the truth to people in a way that they will be able to understand. A propaganda that lies proves that it has a bad cause. It cannot be successful in the long run.”

          • Joseph Goebbels at Nuremberg Rally, 1934

      2. Interesting and informative. Thanks.

    2. Julius Skoolafish Avatar
      Julius Skoolafish

      and just a couple more …

      Xinjiang religious leader: U.S. should get facts straight

      CGTN’s exclusive interview with reportedly missing Uygur

  16. Well said Caitlin and your commenters.
    It is phenomenal how much propaganda we prols are expected to swallow. Hapilly for the ‘system’ most people are lazy and easily duped. Only when it hurts them do they take notice (bread and circuses still rule). It is highly unlikely, but maybe le Mesurier had a conscience and topped himself. More likely her was fed drugs that depressed him or was ‘neutralised’ by MI6 because he could become a whistle blower and had threatened (probably Sjripal too).

    1. Not necessarily “lazy or easily duped”, but consumed with trying to create a life while being a tax slave. Considering most working people lose about half their income to the Sociopaths In Charge by taxation of everything they do, not so terribly surprising they don’t have a lot of energy left for examining the lies they are told. They are living lives that don’t add up. They spend X amount of energy, which should produce Y amount of income, but only produces 0.5xY of income. Makes it easier to sell them other delusions.

      1. But they are easily duped. The PBS audience is not composed of working people. It’s the supposed “educated” class, generally comfortable financially. They accept the BS narrative because it doesn’t threaten their simplistic view of the world.

      2. most working people lose half their income to tax? link? you don’t mention that corporations have driven down wages by various means for 50 years or so.

  17. After the second world war for some peculiar reason all those Jewish souls who chose to save themselves by helping the Nazis find other Jews to kill, including their own family, all chose to jump from a second floor balcony. Weird; isn’t it? Because, everyone knows that the higher up you go the better your chances are of dying after you hit the ground. In fact it is highly recommended to jump from at least the 15th floor onto a hard surface if you really want to die, but yet all these people managed to die from a jump from a second floor balcony. My guess is that it was a typical Mossad calling card murder. Or whoever the Jewish community uses for such ritual sacrifices.

  18. From Mr. Tom Welsh December 4, 2019 posted here on the blog of Ms “Caitlin

    “Every time you think you might have the bastards on the ropes, every time you see a shining crack in the cage, a glowing glitch in the matrix, it is quickly covered up by some gibberish about Russia or empty shrieking about Donald Trump, and then everyones herded along into the next authorised imperial narrative”.

    A mistake intelligent, educated people like Ms Caitlin Johnstone usually make is to see these political arguments as debates based on facts, figures and logic. (And conducted with goodwill, under Roberts Rules of Order).

    They are not!!

    What is actually happening is that the “Powers That Be” are using every dirty trick in the book to get their way, which depends critically on keeping the population misinformed about everything that matters.

    To do this, their most powerful weapon is the primate mind.

    When properly stimulated, all higher primates (except perhaps the solitary orang-utan) are powerfully compelled to cling together in an outward-facing group.

    Everyone in the group is a friend; everyone outside the groups is an enemy.

    And the group needs one or more leaders.

    You can recognise them by their ultra-dominant behaviour, the confident way they give orders, and their assumption that they have an inborn right to command. (Also the way they ruthlessly beat up – or kill – anyone who disobeys, obstructs, questions or even disrespects them).

    Sound familiar so far?

    Well, that is exactly how chimps and baboons behave – and, take my word for it, human beings are just the same.

    So what we want to treat as a civilised, intelligent, informed debate is really a simple yes-or-no question.

    “Do you choose to be a member in good standing of our in-group, or not?

    If so, you must swear allegiance, obey all commands without hesitation or thought, and – above all – believe whatever you are told, however absurd.

    The penalty for not doing any of this is to be cast into outer darkness beyond the protection of the group”.

    So when someone says that Jeremy Corbyn or Boris Johnson or Donald Trump (or anyone else) is a Russian agent, what they are really telling you is

    “That person is not a member of our group.

    He is, in fact, a spy for the enemy group.

    KILL HIM!!!”

    1. That’s brilliant! I was imagining David Attenborough narrating it as I read it, lol.

  19. James Le Mesurier, the co-founder of the terrorist group “The White Helmets,” became a liability for the big shots who direct the war machine behind the scene, such as Jeffrey Epstein, who was a ticking time bomb for the top perverse echelons. The saying holds for both of them; The Moor has done his duty, the Moor can go. Both didn’t commit suicide but were suicide.
    My heart bleeds when I hear that Mesurier “killed himself” out of grief about a so-called “assassination campaign.” Folks like Mesurier or Epstein weren’t saints; they were political criminals who follow orders by their masters. To make Mesurier a victim of people who support the cause of peace against the global interest of the U. S. Empire and their European vassals is baloney.
    In this form of cyber warfare, the propagandists of the Empire have to discredit independent social media activist who fulfills the duty of honest reporting that the mainstream media whores don’t do anymore. They have become the mouthpieces of regime change and war by Western imperialist powers.
    People such as Vanessa Beeley, Abby Martin, Max Blumenthal, Caitlin Johnstone, and others are stigmatized as “monsters” because they support peace and oppose the Western instigated wars. For Western warmongers, peace means war. The few independent voices have to be slandered because they are considered troublemakers in the alliance between the mainstream media and war profiteers who pay them.

    1. Max Blumenthal used to support war in Syria and has deleted his past work to hide the fact.

      1. Joe Van Steenbergen Avatar
        Joe Van Steenbergen

        I did not know that; thanks for sharing. If he had any integrity at all, he would acknowledge his mistake, instead of trying to hide it or pretend he didn’t make it.

  20. Good riddance to the imperialist swine and mercenary Le Mesurier. It’s worse though: as pointed out by Max Blumenthal in the ‘White Helmets Whitewash’ link posted here, Le Mesurier engaged in exactly the same smearing operations that his supporters accuse the opponents of the official Syria narrative of engaging in. He pushed for the London Times to do a smear piece on the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media which they did; and he smeared Max Blumenthal in his campaign to have the latter’s book tour for ‘The Management of Savagery’ (which amongst much else exposed the White Helmets) cancelled.

    It’s always amusing when the slanderers of critics are so clearly projecting their own behaviours onto others, and this example is as chemically pure as one could wish. Never has the hack Judy Woodruff spoken such a truth: “Le Mesurier was at the epicenter of a propaganda war, and his friends are appalled at what they regard as a campaign of character assassination.” He sure was, and his White Helmets wasn’t only propaganda weapon this mercenary wielded. And maybe his friends did become appalled when they found out his true role.

  21. Hmmm

    Obviously the headline should read something along the lines of:


    Trump’s claims of a Syrian gas attack apart on technical grounds) within hours of his announcement of a “retaliatory” strike. None of the “evidence” was even remotely credible. In fact ironically, even a cursory examination of that so called “evidence” actually provided all the necessary proof that it was physically impossible for the attack to NOT have been staged……..

  22. Hmmm

    Obviously the headline should read something along the lines of:


    Trump’s claims of a Syrian gas attack apart on technical grounds) within hours of his announcement of a “retaliatory” strike. None of the “evidence” was even remotely credible. In fact ironically, even a cursory examination of that so called “evidence” actually provided all the necessary proof that it was physically impossible for the attack to NOT have been staged……..

  23. Well if Russia really has the magical ability to make rich warmongers kill themselves, all I can say is “do it again! do it again!”

  24. Unfortunately, there are too many brain dead people who swallow this sort of garbage as the truth. What they don’t realise, once it is digested and leaves their bodies, it is just a pile of shit! One really has to admire Julian Assange to have the strength to withstand the relentless accusations thrown against him by war cheerleaders like pseudo journo Idrees Ahmad and not allow the system to crush him. Lucky though, there are enough not brain dead people to keep the truth alive!

  25. Your astonishing and brilliant missives leave me practically breathless. I love your prose, your hilarious phrasings, your passion and compassion. You are in that wonderful field of the principled few – an excellent writer and exposure of ideas and ideals.

    In short, you’re cool, Cait. Never change.

  26. Another target for early skepticism about alleged Syrian poison gas attacks was Mother Agnes Maryam whom Jeremy Skahill (sp?) prevented from participating in an international peace conference.
    The Interfaith Tent (occupy) took a lot of flack for featuring her presentation.

  27. Julius Skoolafish Avatar
    Julius Skoolafish

    Encouraging news – so if these vile genocidal psychopaths and their supporters and patrons are called out publicly – they just die?

    Bad Boris …

  28. I have little doubt that Mesurier has merely changed his handle and is now scurrying about his habitual rat warrens, still on the British and US payroll of course.

  29. Even as a corpse, Le Mesurier remains useful to the mission. It is perfectly fitting that he be shamelessly exploited in death by his fellow propagandists, just as he shamelessly exploited others in life.

    This post reminds me of your celebrating John McCain’s death as a win for humankind. You were absolutely correct, and you got every kind of shit for speaking out.

    1. I received multiple death threats for that one.

  30. Julius Skoolafish Avatar
    Julius Skoolafish

    It is worth linking to Eva Bartlett’s latest post which contains some marvellous videos of the Syrian people rebuilding after these terrorists have been kept at bay – particularly in Aleppo. Still much work to be done to fumigate them from Idlib, of course.

    The only things to mourn about the extinction of Le Messurier is that it was not held publicly accountable and the pollution its carcass has done to Mother Earth.

  31. Brilliant – thanks Caitlin!

  32. Oh, those former UK Army and now MI-6 people are such total Snowflakes! Please, get them to a Safe Space!

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