Thursday, 22 January 2015

Profile of MH17 "Expert": Eliot Higgins Cracked Nazi Enigma Machine Using Only YouTube and Google Earth

The man who uncovered Santa's sleigh-route using Google Maps. A true legend

  • The UK Independent drools all over much admired expert-on-everything Eliot Higgins, proprietor of "Bellingcat"
  • According to The Independent, Higgins has "exposed" Assad and Putin, and will probably expose you next, so be careful
  • We respectfully take issue with this immodest circle-jerk

We have nothing personally against Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins. We're sure he's a first-rate father and responsible taxpayer. But The Independent's weekend profile of Mr. Higgins and his YouTube detective work should make even the most ardent Bellingcat fanboyblush with embarrassment. Higgins' work is hotly contested and far from accepted as authoritative or even reliable, as Russia Insider has previously demonstrated. You would never know this if you read Ian Burrell's recent profile of the blogger-sleuth.
Instead we are led to believe that Higgins' critics are nothing more than "jealous rivals" who vandalize his Wikipedia page with rude names. That's seriously the closest Burrell comes to even mentioning, in passing, the fact that there are plenty of thoughtful critics with legitimate criticisms of Bellingcat. Isn't that sort of...fishy?
We will now endeavor to show that Eliot Higgins is right about everything. According to The Independent
Higgins "has exposed the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime"
This is an incredibly bold claim to make. But don't take our word for it. Just askThe Associated Press
The U.S. government insists it has the intelligence to prove it, but the American public has yet to see a single piece of concrete evidence — no satellite imagery, no transcripts of Syrian military communications — connecting the government of President Bashar Assad to the alleged chemical weapons attack last month that killed hundreds of people.
Or have a look at the write-up by Project Censored, the award-winning media research program founded by Sonoma State University: 
In a report assessing possible implications of faulty US intelligence Richard Lloyd, a former UN weapons inspector, and Theodore A. Pistol, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), examined the delivery rocket’s design and calculated possible trajectories based on the rocket’s payload. The authors concluded that sarin gas, “could not possibly have been fired at East Ghouta from the ‘heart’, or from the Eastern edge, of the Syrian government controlled area shown in the intelligence map published by the White House on August 30, 2013.”
Even France, one of Assad's most vicious critics, plainly admits that "samples it had collected suggesting Syrian government forces had used chlorine gas in the country's civil war may not prove to be conclusive."
If Higgins is certain that he has cracked the Da Vinci Code of the Syrian chemical attacks, he needs to get on the phone with the Associated Press and the United Nations and set the record straight. Also, he should get a job at MIT. 
How did The Independent fail to mention this? 
Higgins "embarrassed Putin's regime with detailed photographs allegedly tracking the movements through Ukraine of a Russian missile launcher linked to the downing of Malaysian airliner MH17...It's testimony to the meticulous nature of Bellingcat's work that the Russians have failed to disprove the website's allegations"
Is there a rule somewhere that a government has to respond to every accusation made by a guy with a blog? 
We've seen several YouTube videos which make strong cases to support the theory that Barack Obama could be a secret space lizard, and yet he refuses (i.e. "has failed") to disprove this allegation. Can you even begin to imagine? The Russian government won't formally respond to a blog -- How preposterous!
The reality, friends, is that nobody knows what the heck happened to MH17. This could be easily remedied if the US released the satellite images it claims to have. But, just like with Syria, it appears that the US feels quite comfortable making serious accusations without providing any real evidence. Because who needs evidence when you have bloggers? 
"The question is whether a great army of investigative citizen journalists will follow his lead"
The answer, we hope, is no. 
Governments should be required to present evidence when they accuse other nations of blowing up airplanes or gassing their population. How is it even remotely acceptable that people are saying, "Well, the US won't share any information, but thank goodness we have amateurs combing through Russian Facebook accounts."
And yet, somehow this is a trendy way to think, in 2015. 
We're in loads of trouble.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
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