Oh, Snap! Credibility Comes from Adherence to the Facts
By Al Giordano
A reader writes:
I have been an admirer of your tireless work in getting otherwise un- or underreported news out. I have cited your publications and dispatches repeatedly on my former radio talk show…
This is why I was even more astounded when one of your reporters wrote something along the lines of: "Anyone who thinks Washington is behind the coup in Honduras is as hopelessly stuck in the Cold War as the bad guys themselves." That's a paraphrase, but I believe it correctly conveys the message.
As the evidence is uncovered by other investigative reporters and outlets, it looks as though your staff has quite a bit of egg to wash from your collective faces. Eva Golinger has brought to light a great deal of facts; the U$ admitted it was in on the planning discussions by the gorilas golpistas days--or more--before the coup; yesterday's (Monday, July 20) press conference by one Philip Crowley, mouthpiece for the U$ State Dept., is pretty much a second confession [link to that briefing transcript]. There are plenty more facts, data and logic behind accepting the knowledge that the U$ regime has backed and supported (if not instigated) yet another ouster of a democratic leader.
I think it would be in everyone's best interest if your staff were to come forward and admit this error. It would restore the credibility Narco News has enjoyed for years.
My response to the reader:
I have read every word Golinger and others have written, as well as every State Dept. briefing including the one you cite, and the facts used by you and some others to claim that this was "Obama's coup" do not even come close to proving that claim. There is a lot of slip of the tongue involved.
For example, you write:
"the U$ admitted it was in on the planning discussions by the gorilas golpistas days--or more--before the coup."
That's a misstatement and less than honest portrayal - a distortion - of what was said, which was, more correctly, that US officials knew that a coup was being discussed and tried to dissuade it from happening. What Golinger and some others are doing is using a set of facts to try and claim the opposite of what those facts clearly demonstrate to any honest appraiser that is not desperate to paint a picture from a different script.
The same with your citation of the State Dept. briefing by Crowley. US officials and Venezuelan officials routinely criticize each other and say bad things about each other. None of that proves anything about the US having organized a coup in Honduras.
To the contrary, I agree with Immanuel Wallerstein who has noted that this coup is a challenge to Obama, including from right wing interests in the United States and possibly - though not yet documented - some freelancers his own government, and it is a very inconvenient coup to him.
I have criticized some of the ways that Washington has behaved after the coup, but none of that proves its involvement as an organizer of the coup. The way that some are so desperate to refight the 2002 Venezuela coup all over again (of which I documented US involvement in the first days of it) does reflect a mirror of the Cold War mindset. If you don't like my saying it (and the words you paraphrase were mine, not that of anybody else here), tough luck: That's my informed opinion based on real and reported facts.
Narco News' credibility will survive intact whether you want it to or not. To the contrary, it would be a betrayal of our strict adherence to the facts to jump onto the "Obama coup theory" bandwagon simply to appease those of you who keep shouting that claim but have not at all proved it, and who use evidence that disproves it - see above – in order to claim that it is "proved." It's not rational on your part and it gives you a false geopolitical roadmap to base all other action on, which is a sure road to defeat in any organizing struggle.
My position is in fact closer to the stated views of Chávez (Obama as "prisoner of the empire") and Castro than those of some of their aspiring sycophants.
And to hear some of them talk, or watch some of them write, their view - that nothing could have happened without Washington's approval, and likewise that nothing can be undone unless Washington undoes it – is profoundly ignorant and even disrespectful toward the gains social movements have made over the past 12 years weakening Washington's power throughout the hemisphere. Their eyes are fixated on the circus up above and they're certainly not putting much time into reporting the struggle in Honduras from below, which has been our emphasis. They haven't absorbed the basics of Zapatismo 101 in that sense.
It's nakedly clear to me that some seem to think that repeating a falsehood over and over again somehow makes it true, or even if they know it's not true they think it proffers some kind of tactical advantage for pressuring Washington to do more against the coup.
If you're convinced that Obama co-plotted this coup, file some Freedom of Information Act requests and go out and prove it. Nobody's been able to do demonstrate that yet. If they do, then I'll surely issue a correction, but I don't think that they will, because that's not my interpretation of what has happened.
And, obviously, I don't care what people who don't adhere to the facts say or think about my credibility, which has been built over many years and will continue for many more. I've never cared about what others thought in the "situational ethics" of the game of "if I disagree with you, you have no credibility." Oh, snap! That's why I have credibility.
Addendum: I really don't mean to pick on Golinger, I don't have any personal bone to pick there, nor do I believe that differing conclusions make for a rivalry - they don't - but in the link cited by the letter writer she includes this excerpt from yesterday's State Department briefing to claim that "the United States government has today stated it doesn't consider a coup has taken place":
"QUESTION: Have you ruled this as a coup d'état there legally --
MR. CROWLEY: No."
The operative word in the question was "legally" and as has been reported here and everywhere, the State Department has not yet ruled in or out whether it will determine that the coup in Honduras triggers the consequences of being defined, legally, as a "military coup." It is that definition that would trigger certain sanctions (ones that are already in place pending the final ruling). US officials have stated they are holding off on such a ruling, pending the talks in Costa Rica, whose 72-hour deadline set by mediator Oscar Arias clicks down to zero tomorrow.
The "no" is clearly to any alert observer an answer to the question of "have you ruled?" (or made a ruling). As in: No, the State Department has not made a ruling.
There's no way to read that accurately as evidence that "the United States government has today stated it doesn't consider a coup has taken place."
One can be harshly critical - as I am - of Secretary Clinton and the Obama administration for putting faith in talks that haven't resolved anything, that only serve as a stalling tactic by the coup regime, and that I and others foresaw would not likely bring an agreement, without distorting their gamble on those talks as somehow being proof of a non-existing denial that the coup happened (and continues to happen). Indeed, all the major US officials - Obama, Rice, Clinton, Shannon, Restrepo, Llorens - have used the word "coup" to describe it.
It is the legal definition that awaits a ruling as a tactic of holding a sword over the head of the talks. I don't like the talks. But it doesn't take a degree in rocket science to see the moves on the chess board for what they are.
Finally, that Washington knew that a coup was being plotted doesn't mean it was among the plotters. Hell, Narco News' Kristin Bricker reported that it was being plotted three days before it happened.
Everybody knew, including President Zelaya, that such moves were afoot. That doesn't make Zelaya a coup-plotter against himself, either. Duh.
My concern, always and forever, is to chart the most accurate road map. If others want to insist their maps are more accurate, I wish them well as they wander around the forest in circles. But that don't mean I'm going to follow them into the woods when I can see such gaping lacunas on the maps they have drawn.
Update: And now back to our regularly scheduled journalism...
Guess where Honduran coup General Romeo Vásquez Velásquez is scheduled to be this week?
Yup, the former car thief cum coup general is featured as some kind of "special guest" at this four day (July 22-25) event at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The event features speakers that call themselves "prophet," so I'm guessing it's a holy roller deal of some sort. Check out the video and if anyone can shed light on what this group - MIGAPartners - is about, please inform us in the comments section.