by Jared Israel (4 -1-00)
A grim miscarriage of justice has just occurred in Britain.
Living Marxism, the iconoclastic magazine edited by Mike Hume, was found guilty of libel against ITN, the British news station.
Living Marxism has been ordered to pay $580,000 U.S. This punishment is an attempt to crush the Living Marxism (LM) journalists for doing their job. In this article, I'll discuss the background of the case and take a look at a truly amazing Reuters dispatch about the verdict.
First, some background
In 1992, ITN, the British news station, sent a film team to Bosnia. It was led by Penny Marshall. (Note: she is not the Penny Marshall who starred in the TV show Laverne and Shirley.)
The ITN people came back with what was supposedly film of a Serbian concentration camp. A "death camp," if you will.
Or will you? A "death camp?" What is wrong with this story?
[The picture above is from "JUDGMENT!", the new film from Emperors-clothes. Interviewing from inside a fenced-in storage area, ITN reporter Penny Marshall asked why the man in the black shirt (front left) was so thin. Embrassed, the man in black stopped smiling and looked away. The man in overalls (front right) tried to tell Marshall: "Everyone not the same." Then someone in the crowd pushed Fikret Allich forward as if to say,"You want thin? We'll give you thin!" Hence Allich is smiling. This scene was edited to create ITN's "death camp" images.]
First off, how did Marshall and an entire film crew manage to get into a Serbian "death camp" and shoot a film? Didn't somebody have to transport them plus a mountain of equipment? Didn't somebody have to show them around? Feed them? Didn't the crew need time to set up their cameras and other equipment? How did they do this without getting caught? Did they parachute from the sky? Didn't they need the cooperation of the administration of the so-called death camp?
But why would the authorities want to help? Didn't they know the West was hostile to the Yugoslav-loyalist Serbs? Weren't the loyalists attacked every day in the British press? Wasn't the Islamist secessionist leader, Izetbegovic, treated as a hero? Knowing that ITN was probably pro-secessionist, why would the authorities let an ITN crew film a "death camp?"
Could it be that the place ITN filmed was not a death camp? That the authorities let Penny Marshall and her film crew in precisely because they had nothing to hide?
A lucky break...
Fortunately we don't have to speculate. By luck, a Yugoslav film crew from RTS, the Serbian TV network, accompanied Penny Marshall and the ITN crew that day. The RTS people filmed the same subjects that the ITN people filmed and sometimes they filmed Marshall and the ITN crew as well. The Yugoslav production company, EXP-Production, ILKE, used this RTS footage to produce a film that shows the truth, that shows what Penny Marshall really saw in Bosnia.
Emperors-clothes.com has translated and edited the Serbian film to produce a 32 minute video called "JUDGMENT!" It is of excellent quality. It is now available in English. Soon it will be translated into other languages as well.
Viewing "JUDGMENT!" is a unique opportunity. For we are able to see how reality - what Marshall actually saw - was edited to produce the nightmare images - the pictures which ITN distributed around the world.
I urge you to get this video. Show it to friends, to student, labor, business, veterans and political groups. Get it shown on TV. Give a copy to your Congressman or Senator. Give it to news people. It is an eye-opener; no, it is a MIND opener because it proves we have been lied to with a purpose. The Establishment in the US and other Western countries wanted to a) the break-up of Yugoslavia and b) destroy the pro-unity forces in Yugoslavia. This meant and means demonizing the Serbian people. For it is the Serbs who have always been the biggest supporters of unity in that part of the world. What better way to demonize and demoralize these advocates of ethnic unity than by smearing them as Nazis? (To order click here.)
The ITN crew shot film on two locations that day. The first was a detention center at Omarska. The second was a refugee center at Trnopolje (pronounced Turnopolyay.) Here's what they saw, as shown in "JUDGMENT!"
The Omarska detention center: definitely not ready for prime time...
The Omarska detention center was a modern facility, pleasant, unthreatening. Before the war it had been a mining company's administrative center. Now it was used by the loyalist government to hold Bosnian Islamist rebels, prisoners of war.
The men were not shackled; they were not behind bars. Rather, they lounged about. They ate in a relaxed atmosphere in the regular cafeteria. They appeared well fed. The Serbian guards were casual. Frankly, the whole thing looked a lot more humane than a US jail.
A loyalist administrator made a little speech. He explained that the loyalist authorities viewed most of the prisoners as good people who had been suckered into supporting the secessionist revolt against Yugoslavia. He said only a small group was hard core. The loyalists wanted to rehabilitate the ones who had been misled so they could live together once again, in peace.
So here was a real, live Serbian detention center. Marshall's crew interviewed prisoners and their wives. Why didn't ITN use any of this film?
Could it be because this footage proved the loyalist authorities were humanitarian?
Feeding refugees and other atrocities...
The ITN crew (and the Yugoslav crew) moved on to the refugee center at Trnopolje. After filming refugees who were wandering around freely, Marshall took her crew into a small area partially enclosed by a fence. The fence, mainly chicken wire with a few strands of barbed wire, was falling apart. It had been erected before the war to secure a storage shed, some wheelbarrows and other equipment. The only people inside the enclosure were the ITN and RTS crews. A group of refugees gathered outside. They were curious to find all these movie people crammed into an awkward space, filming through a fence.
Penny Marshall went out of her way to film in the storage area.
[ Penny Marshall after her film crew has set up inside the fenced-in area at the Trnopolje refugee center. Is she hunting for the perfect subject? In any case, she soon found him: Fikret Allich. Note that in the libel case against LM magazine, the judge admitted that Marshall was the one behind barbed wire - but instructed the jury that this did not absolve LM of charges of libel. ]
As you will see when you watch "JUDGMENT!" Marshall's crew and the RTS people had already shot interviews with refugees and others. Why didn't Marshall use this film?
The obvious answer: she wanted a fence. She wanted to film through barbed wire. When you film refugees wandering freely in a refugee center it's hard to create pictures that look like a death camp. But when you film through barbed wire it's easy as pie.
Is there any other explanation for why an experienced film worker would squeeze her crew into an inhospitable litter of wheelbarrows and overgrown weeds? Why she would pick a spot where she had to talk to the refugees through a barrier?
Marshall tried to find someone who spoke English. She settled on a refugee named Mekmed. She asked him, Do they treat you badly? No, said the man; very kind, very kind. Marshall was clearly impatient. She pressed the man to criticize the loyalist officials. The man insisted: everything is good; I think it is very safe but just too hot. Very hot.
Marshall asked Mekmed about another refugee, a man in a black tee shirt. That man is very thin, she said. Mekmed shrugged as one does when forced to explain the obvious. Yes, he said, and shrugged. I think all people is not the same.
Apparently someone in the crowd translated Marshall's question about the thin man, for soon afterwards someone pushed a very thin man forward, as if to say. "You want thin? We'll give you thin!" As the man, Fikret Allich, stumbled toward Marshall, he laughed, then reached over the fence to shake her hand.
Allich had suffered from a childhood disease, probably TB, that produced a scurvy-like effect. He was stripped to the waist from the heat. In "JUDGMENT!" we see that his ribs were deformed. The appearance is shocking.
Editing to make a statement
Marshall never aired the conversation with Mekmed. Why not? Was it because he refused to bash the loyalist authorities?
Instead, ITN produced film clips and stills that gave a totally false impression. These pictures made it appear that Fikret Allich and the other refugees were the ones behind barbed wire.
Everyone saw these pictures and because human beings tend to believe what they see, millions of people were fooled. They thought they had seen proof that the Serbs were the new Nazi's. Western public opinion thus came to favor Alija Izetbegovic, the Bosnian Islamist whose model of tolerance was the Iran of Ayatollah Khomeini. Amazing.
David takes on Goliath
LM, a brave little British magazine, exposed this fraud. A link to that exposť is posted below. Amazingly, they were sued by ITN for slander. Consider: ITN, a news station, had itself visually lied about the Bosnian Serbs; now it was suing a magazine for exposing the lies.
Last week we learned that ITN won their libel suit. Apparently, instead of focusing on the real evidence - the uncut footage of the film - the trial was dominated by the testimony of a witness, a Bosnian doctor, who claimed Serbian guards had beaten people at this "concentration camp." The doctor's testimony created an anti-Serb atomosphere at the trial and I believe it was this atmosphere which lost the case for LM.
But why, now that the movie "JUDGMENT!" proves ITN had no scruples about lying, that ITN betrayed its trust by deliberately misrepresenting what the film crew had seen in Bosnia - why should we believe the testimony of an ITN witness? False testimony is a commodity in the free marketplace of our brave new world, especially when one has the monetary resources of a big player like ITN. Money can buy lies.
During his summation, the Judge admitted that ITN was "mistaken" when it argued that the refugees were imprisoned behind barbed wire. "Mistaken?" How is that possible? Were Penny marshall and her people sleep walking?
The judge insisted that the ITN "mistake" did not justify LM's article. In other words, even though ITN was wrong about who was behind the barbed wire, LM could be convicted of libel. LM had to prove that Marshall and Ian Williams and their associates edited the film with the conscious intention of fooling people?
Well, all I can say is, get a copy of "JUDGMENT!" and see for yourself exactly what the ITN people had to do to get from the raw film to the "death camp" pictures.
They had to be acting with a clear goal in mind. Period.
Compounding a lie
Below I've posted a link to the Reuters story covering this verdict. You will notice that Reuters never mentions what was said in the Living Marxism exposť. It never mentions that ITN shot pictures from inside a barbed wire enclosure and then claimed the people in the film were "behind barbed wire." Instead it simply asserts that Trnopolje was a concentration camp as if that assertion were a proven fact.
So then, ITN sues to silence freedom of speech - freedom of speech which was here used in the most honorable way, to challenge the lies of the mighty. ITN wins. LM is crushed for telling the truth.
And what does Reuters do? It uses the occasion to once again broadcast the very lie that Living Marxism got sued for disproving! Truly beyond belief.
Playing for effect
One final point. In the new journalism, emotions are shamelessly exploited for political effect. Consider this from the Reuters story:
This is a crass emotional lie. Consider: Marshall, in reality the representative of great power, is presented as frail, in need of protection (the weeping woman). By focusing our attention on her tears (vulnerability) Reuters engages our emotions and suspends our disbelief. Penny Marshall has been made real to us precisely the way a fictional character is made real - we identify with her emotions. Having identified with her, having suspended disbelief, we tend to receive with scant skepticism her comment that:
How clever! A fiction within a fiction. Reuters has made up a weak, defenseless Penny Marshall that we can believe in - the real P. Marshall is backed by the most powerful forces in Britain - and likewise Marshall has her own little fictional characters. For she has invented the Bosnian victims in that non-existent 'death camp' where refugees came for food and where the only complaint was 'the weather is too hot.' Now she weeps for her own creations.
No similar emotional pitch is made for the LM people. Marshall comes alive whereas they lie obediently flat. And LM, which dared defend the victims of Ms. Marshall's lies - LM that has been crushed under an impossible financial burden - LM comes off as - the bully!
Let's stop beating around the bush, shall we?
Why didn't Britain just launch a missile attack on the LM offices like the one where they blew apart those dangerous reporters and 23 year old makeup girls at Serbian TV, and get it over with? Hmmm? Afterwards, the media could endlesly repeat, like a mantra, that the LM people were lying propagandists who had accidentally died as collateral damage in a revenge attack for which the finger of responsibility must in the end ultimately and totally point to... Slobodan Milosevich.
Lady's and gentlemen, this is Jared Israel signing off, and that's show business.
What, Ms. Marshall is still weeping? Well of course Ms. Marshall is still weeping. She's weeping all right, she's weeping all the way to the bank.
Let's hope there's a Hell.
The film is available now for $20.00 plus shipping and handling. Note: If you cannot afford $20.00, send what you can afford. We'll send you the film.
HOW TO ORDER
BY MAIL - Send check to EMPERORS CLOTHES, PO Box 610-321, Newton, MA 02461-0321 If you are making an extra donation, please tell us!
BY PHONE - all 617-916-1705 from 8:30 am to 4:30 PM Eastern Standard Time
BY SECURE SERVER - Go to https://emperor.securesites.com/transactions/index.php Pay the appropriate amount as a donation. Then send us an email so we know the donation is to be used to pay for on or more videos. Send the email by clicking on firstname.lastname@example.org or email to: email@example.com
WHOLESALE: We urge websites, organizations and individuals to sell this film. If needed, Emperors-clothes can handle your phone and credit card sales. The cost to re-sellers is $15 a copy. We can put your name or logo on the jacket. This tape is an expression of the antiwar movement. Let's use it to build all parts of that movement!
Price FOR VHS TAPES
Total cost for tapes with shipping and handling added:
Like the best Emperors-clothes articles, "Judgment!" relies on evidence and thoughtful analysis. It proves that the British news station, ITN, fabricated images of a non-existent Serbian death camp in Bosnia in 1992. These images were enthusiastically spread by press and politicians. They created public opinion to justify NATO bombing of the Bosnian Serbs. Every Westerner should see this film. We urge you to buy one, show it to friends, get it on local TV stations, get it shown to unions, business groups, veterans groups, student groups (!), everywhere possible. It will challenge people, change their minds. (It is written so that it speaks for itself; no explanation or introduction is needed.)
Further reading on the Libel case...
* 'English Libel law, a Disgrace to Democracy' by Mike Hume, editor of LM magazine. Mr. Hume remains defiant, and is looking for a job. Also, for those near London, details of an after-the-trial party, March 18th. http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/hume/english.htm
"The Truth vs. ITN
- And Reuters"
Includes the original LM
article, over which ITN sued, and the Reuters
article on the trial. If you look at the pictures shown
on this page, pictures that were produced by ITN and that
are reproduced here from the front pages of newspapers -
if you look carefully at these pictures and you are at
all familiar with barbed wire, you will be able to tell
that the men are on the outside of the enclosure.