we must try to encourage this guy, to set an example to others, if we live long enough

Newsweek Journo Quits After Editors Kills Report On Syria Chemical Attack Scandal
Alan Macleod, Mint Press News, Dec 9 2019

A journalist on a media tour in Douma, Apr 23 2018. Photo: Ali Hashisho/Reuters

A top journalist has resigned from his post after management killed his report on the bombshell news that the OPCW suppressed a mountain of evidence suggesting that the 2018 Douma CW attack in Syria was staged. Newsweek’s Tareq Haddad announced on Twitter that, rather than accepting top-down censorship on an important issue, he was publicly walking away from his job at the NYC-based magazine.

The shocking news that the OPCW fixed its own report in order to frame the Syrian government for a CW attack that likely did not even happen, according to its own expert investigators, has been roundly ignored by corporate media, but not by Mint Press News, who has covered the news in depth. Members of the OPCW team have come forward to express their “gravest concern” about “selective representation of the facts (and) intentional bias undermining the credibility of the report.” Even former OPCW DG Dr Jose Bustani stated that the whistleblowers’ testimonies have “confirmed the doubts and suspicions” he already had about the organization and Syria. The alleged CW attack was immediately used as a justification for foreign intervention in the conflict. Within days, FUKUS launched a bombing campaign on the country, risking a potential nuclear conflict with Russia to the great approval of corporate media. Not one of the top 100 Pindo newspapers by circulation opposed the extremely hasty actions. Haddad is a rare reporter in today’s corporate media landscape; one who insists on covering important issues such as the OPCW report, police killings of citizens, and the treatment of Julian Assange. He was also literally the only journalist across the entire mainstream spectrum to cover the astonishing news that a senior Twitter executive was unmasked as a British army psyops officer from their propaganda and online warfare battalion, something that MintPress News covered, but the NYT, CNN, Fox News, CNBC no other national outlet. I interviewed Haddad in October about the Twitter scandal for FAIR and The Canary. I asked him why this story was not front-page news, given the concern over foreign interference online that has dominated the corporate news cycle for years now. He downplayed the possibility of malevolence, suggesting perhaps naively that the entirety of the Pindo press missed the story because it was revealed by a small British publication. Haddad came across as somebody who was not overtly political but was simply a rare true believer in the clichéd myths of journalism about speaking truth to power and scrutinizing those with it, claiming that editors would always support journalists opposing the government as long as they had their facts straight, an ironic statement given the recent news. He revealed that the coverage of the weapons of mass destruction saga, where the media refused to be skeptical of the Bush administration’s claims, was the spark that made him want to become a reporter. Since then he has maintained an admirable skepticism of the powerful. Whether Haddad knew exactly the risks he was taking or whether he was blithely skipping over all the untouchable third rails of modern journalism (like Assange, the Twitter story or the OPCW report), unaware of the danger he was in, is something of a moot point. But it is rare that the world gets to see so publicly the myth of a free and independent press busted.

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