The actual truth of the matter is obvious: (1) Yahya Ababneh did the field-work and the interviews, for MPN; (2) Ababneh sent his notes to Gavlak for editing into a story, since both of them work for MPN; (3) the two of them naturally shared the byline for the final product on MPN; (4) Gavlak has now been informed by multiple employers that if she doesn’t retract, she’ll never work for them again, which I said at the time would be her penalty for writing it. Apparently, Sharmine Narwani wrote on her Facebook wall (which I can’t access):
Infowarriors are trying to discredit the Mint Press article that has rebels in Ghouta blaming Saudis for bringing chemical weapons into the area. The AP correspondent Dale Gavlak who co-wrote the article is trying to distance herself from it (I hear, under pressure) and has issued a denial. But look at what Dale wrote to me on Aug 30, the day after the article was published: “Basically I helped Yahya Ababneh, who traveled to Gouta, to write what he saw and heard. He mainly met with rebels, of course, the father of one of the rebels killed and doctors treating victims in the area. He has traveled to Syria numerous times. As you know Mint Press News is more of an advocacy journalism site and it seems to be the most likely to publish such a piece.”
Statement By Dale Gavlak On The Mint Press Article: “Syrians
In Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack”
Brown Moses, Sep 20 2013
One article that has become a regular feature in the debate on who was responsible for the Aug 21 sarin attack in Ghouta is “Syrians In Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack“, published on the Mint Press website, with Dale Gavlak and Yahya Ababneh on the byline. Dale Gavlak has now sent me the following statement about the article.
Mint Press News incorrectly used my byline for an article it published on Aug 29 2013 alleging chemical weapons usage by Syrian rebels. Despite my repeated requests, made directly and through legal counsel, they have not been willing to issue a retraction stating that I was not the author. Yahya Ababneh is the sole reporter and author of the Mint Press News piece. To date, Mint Press News has refused to act professionally or honestly in regards to disclosing the actual authorship and sources for this story. I did not travel to Syria, have any discussions with Syrian rebels, or do any other reporting on which the article is based. The article is not based on my personal observations and should not be given credence based on my journalistic reputation. Also, it is false and misleading to attribute comments made in the story as if they were my own statements.
Dale Gavlak contacted me using an email address used in previous correspondence, relating to this article.
AntiWar.com, instead of being properly sceptical of this attempt by Gavlak to dissociate herself, the reasons for which are very easy to guess at, issue a craven ‘apology’ of their own:
Retraction and Apology to Our Readers for Mint Press Article on Syria Gas Attack
Eric Garris, AntiWar.com, Sep 20 2013
On Aug 31, Antiwar.com reprinted an article from Mint Press News: Syrians In Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack. We originally linked to it, but then reprinted on our site at the request of Mint Press because traffic on their site was crashing their server. The validity of the story was primarily based on the fact that the supposed co-author Dale Gavlak is a reporter for AP. Many other articles have been written which refer to the information contained in the Mint Press piece, including ones appearing on Antiwar.com. Dale Gavlak has issued a statement saying she did not co-author the article and denies that she travelled to Syria or contributed to the article in any way. Here is his (sic – RB) statement (as above – RB). The staff of Antiwar.com sincerely and deeply apologizes for being a part of spreading this article. We also apologize to Dale Gavlak.