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Bellingcat - Elliot Higgins - NATO propaganda

 
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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:09 pm    Post subject: Bellingcat - Elliot Higgins - NATO propaganda Reply with quote

Bellingcat was started on 15th July 2014, funded by a Kickstarter campaign, just 2 days before the MH17 tragedy by Higgins, formerly known as Brown Moses, has a long track record for selling his ‘citizen journalist reports‘ to anyone willing to Eliot Higginspay. Who exactly pays is something Higgins has always been tight-lipped about, from 2013 he received a’£5,000 donation, which he says is from an anonymous source‘. Back when he called himself Brown Moses, Eliot, from South Wigston, near Leicester, the United Kingdom, was advertising what £250 could buy –

– The £100 reward, and a video blog dedicated to you, or an individual/organisation of your choice, with a 10 second dedication at the start and end of the video. Also, a note of personal thanks sent from me to you, as well as inclusion on the page of thanks. I reserve the right to exclude offensive organisations or individuals.

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2015/03/16/piers-mellor-and-the-bellingcat- exposure/

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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Consistently pro US UK @bellingcat lands new role deciding what's true or not true for Facebook and mainstream media
https://www.twitter.com/ShoebridgeC/status/779794421772591104

Facebook and Twitter join coalition to improve social media newsgathering
Channel 4 News, Telegraph, New York Times, Washington Post and BuzzFeed have also signed up to network organised through Google-backed First Draft
https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/sep/13/facebook-twitter-social- media-newsgathering

Facebook and Twitter have signed up to a coalition of news organisations aimed at improving reporting from social media and tackling fake news.

Channel 4 News, the Telegraph, the New York Times, Washington Post, BuzzFeed News, ABC News in Australia and Agence France-Presse are among more than 20 news organisations to have signed up to the partner network, which is being organised through Google-backed First Draft.

The involvement of Facebook in particular is seen as significant given its huge role in the distribution and gathering of news, as well as growing concerns about its role in spreading fake stories and its approach to what can and can’t be posted on its platform.

The partner network is designed to help news organisations work with the tech companies to improve newsgathering, and make verification of information from social media more effective and easier to access.

It also hopes to improve the experience of eyewitnesses contacted by news organisations, and help social media users assess news they find on networks.

Áine Kerr, Facebook’s journalism partnerships manager, said the network would help it support reporters in using Facebook to find and distribute news more effectively.

“The network will help Facebook showcase the products, tools and services we have built for journalists but also ensure we are constantly learning about how to improve them based on feedback from newsrooms,” she said. “We want to ensure we are building opportunities to learn from the industry and to ensure we continually hear their questions and feedback.”

The members of the partner network will develop guidelines for best practice, but the recommendations will not be binding.

First Draft operates as a coalition of organisations specialising in social media newsgathering and verification, including News Corp-owned Storyful, Elliot Higgins’ Bellingcat and Reportedly.

First Draft managing director Jenni Sargent said: “First Draft already works so closely with both news organisations and social platforms that we feel uniquely positioned to coordinate efforts and facilitate real progress in tackling some of the key challenges facing journalists and their audiences.”

Other organisations joining the network include Al Jazeera’s AJ+, Breaking News, International Business Times UK, Reveal project, Euronews, Amnesty International, European Journalism Centre and American Press Institute.

Other news providers are understood to be considering joining following the launch.

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Whitehall_Bin_Men
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ABOUT COMMENT POLICY CONTACT SUBMISSIONS LINKS SUPPORT US
OffGuardianHeaderOffGraun8
FEATURED, MEDIA WATCH, UKRAINE
Published on February 28, 2016 Comments 18
Bellingcat: the Dead Cat Factory
by Bryan Hemming
https://off-guardian.org/2016/02/28/bellingcat-the-dead-cat-factory/

There have been two new developments in the long-awaited criminal investigation report into MH17 over the last couple of weeks. Though you might’ve read about one, you’re far less likely to have heard about the other — more important — one.

What could be seen as an interim report on the progress of the criminal investigation into the downing of MH17 wasn’t announced at a big press conference, nor did it grab the headlines in the main corporate media outlets. Signed by Fred Westerbeke, the Dutch prosecutor leading the international Joint Investigation Team (JIT) investigating MH17, the report took the form of a letter sent to family members of the victims.

But not all family members received the letter. In what has all the appearances of having been an incredibly insensitive and vindictive move by someone, Denise Kenke, daughter of Willem Grootscholten, one of the victims of the tragedy, didn’t hear about the interim report either. Not first hand, at least.

Miss Kenke is the only family member to have lodged a case charging the Ukraine Government with culpable negligence at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). An 11-page application was filed as early as November 17, 2014. And if that’s another thing you didn’t hear from in the corporate media, it might be because the ECHR has imposed a blackout covering all details of the case, which also prevents website access.

You could be forgiven for thinking a blackout of information on such a high-profile case might be something British corporate hacks would be clawing at each other to get to the bottom of. But no, they have shown as little interest in that as they have in the Fred Westerbeke letter.

TIME TO LET A DEAD CAT OUT OF THE BAG

That’s not to say two of Britain’s leading smarmsheets didn’t report anything on MH17 this week. The Independent and the Guardian both published stories on Wednesday, February 24th. And, by some amazing coincidence, both stories centred on the completely different, unofficial report.

So similar were the stories conjured up by Lizzie Dearden and Alec Luhn they could have been penned by Wonderland twins, Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Not only are both centred round a Bellingcat report on MH17, released the week following Westerbeke’s letter, but both appeared on the same day within hours of one another. And, surprise, surprise, both lend support to the Bellingcat accusation that Russia was behind the downing of the plane. But the real surprise is that there was no mention by either media outlet of the fact the Westerbeke letter makes a point of discounting the re-churned ‘evidence’ contained in the Bellingcat report, despite the Guardian story referring to the letter. Or perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise at all.

On December 26, 2015 Bellingcat has submitted a draft report to the JIT. The report has been gathered using social media and other public Internet sources, include information about members of a Russian military unit with, according to Bellingcat, a possible BUK-missile system in Ukraine.”
Fred Westerbeke

In total, Westerbeke mentions Bellingcat by name no less than eight times in his letter, even if it was only to eventually conclude the report was a load of cobblers.

No evidence of direct involvement of individual members of this unit at the shooting of the MH17 follows from the report of Bellingcat.”
Fred Westerbeke

You wouldn’t have guessed that from reading Tweedledum and Tweedledee. The Independent report opened with this little insight.

The missile system used to down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was transported into Ukraine by Russian soldiers with “high-level” authorisation, a new report has claimed.”
Lizzie Dearden

Not to be outdone, in the Guardian’s pick’n’mix Alec Luhn chooses to meld Fred Westerbeke’s letter with Bellingcat’s report, in order to lend the latter more credence, amazingly enough.

The head of the MH17 investigation, Fred Westerbeke, told victims’ families in a letter last week that finding and prosecuting those responsible “could take a long time”. But the new report raises the likelihood that “justice could be served”, Bellingcat head Eliot Higgins told the Guardian. Although names were changed and faces blurred in the public report, the identities were provided in a version given to Dutch prosecutors in December.”
Alec Luhn

All this in spite of the fact Fred Westerbeke seeks to emphasise — as part of his reason for sending the letter — his intention of clarifying any confusion some family members of the victims might suffer from believing evidence like Bellingcat’s is solid enough to be used in a court of law.

Recently, the Dutch Minister of Security and Justice informed the Lower House of radar and satellite data, the research collective Bellingcat and prosecution capabilities. The same issues are also discussed in a public hearing in the House. I noticed that among family members of the deceased there are still questions about this.”
Fred Westerbeke

Unfortunately, parts of the English translation from the original Dutch are very poor. Nevertheless, for both Independent and the Guardian journalists to completely misinform their readers by repeating the discounted evidence raised in the Bellingcat report is nothing less than despicable.

To read the full Independent and Guardian articles follow the links: MH17: Buk missile system used to down plane ‘transported to Ukraine rebels by Russian soldiers’, report claims and MH17 report identifies Russian soldiers suspected of downing plane in Ukraine.

To judge by the translation it certainly looks as though the Westerbeke letter was cobbled together in bit of a rush. Rather than take the Bellingcat ‘report’ seriously journalists should be asking why such an experienced prosecutor as Westerbeke felt the urgent need to address questions about the Bellingcat ‘research’ he noticed some families of the victims feel haven’t been answered satisfactorily.

Most likely it was due to a real concern for those families, as they have been bombarded with contradictions, lies and disinformation over the last eighteen months, coming mainly from the corporate media. References mentioning Bellingcat specifically — as opposed to other sources — suggest there was information indicating Eliot Higgins was about to release his ‘evidence’ prematurely and Westerbeke decided to pre-empt it. The pain of reading another bag of disinformation produced by the dead cat factory could cause a lot of unnecessary distress.

Westerbeke may have assumed experienced journalists would realise it isn’t part of his remit to judge whether the conclusions Eliot Higgins reaches from looking at his own flawed evidence are right or wrong. The job of the international investigating team is to consider what evidence is admissible in a court of law, and what is most likely to bring about a successful prosecution, should the culprits be identified and brought to justice.

The Bellingcat research collective, or whatever it now calls itself, amounts to little more than one neo-con conspiracy nut being exploited being by Western intelligence agencies to spread disinformation.

What is particularly contemptible about the Guardian and Independent stories is that neither shows any respect for the families of the victims. The journalists involved didn’t even consider how helping Eliot Higgins throw another dead cat on the table might affect their feelings.

But through the fog of lies, propaganda and confusion being created around MH17, one thing is that is becoming abundantly clear, the international Joint Investigation Team charged with investigating the crime is coming under increasing pressure to reach the ‘right’ verdict, which has Russia taking the fall. Bellingcat is just one more tool being used to apply that pressure. The fact that Independent and Guardian journalists are now also allowing themselves to be used as tools should be a cause of great concern to us all.

Links to sources for further reading:

Global Research: European Court of Human Rights Refuses MH17 Victim’s Case against Ukraine Government, Imposes Secrecy Blackout on Evidence by John Helmer.

Global Research: The Malaysian MH17 Crash Investigation: Dutch Safety Board (DSB) Prepares “Missile Attack On Moscow” by John Helmer.

Consortium News: Here’s what Robert Parry has to say about Bellingcat.
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THIS ENTRY WAS POSTED IN: featured, media watch, Ukraine
TAGGED WITH: Alec Luhn, Bellingcat, Bryan Hemming, Elliot Higgins, guardian, Independent, Lizzie Dearden, mh17, Robert Parry, ukraine
18 Comments


thebloodneverdried
April 24, 2016
Cui bono? Nobody. So whoever shot it down probably didn’t know it was a passenger plane. What was a passenger plane doing flying through a war zone anyway? Ukrainian authoroties would’ve had to have known. & maybe they just didn’t warn them not to take that route. Anyway, nice job, America, on the latest regime change operation. Those always work out so well, don’t they…
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sinalohr
July 15, 2016
Cui bono? The west benefits in blaming russia and so called “prorussian” Ukrainian rebels.
Didnt you noticed the russophobic actions all over state/commercial western medias?
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Dominic
March 13, 2016
On the MH17 story the credibility of the Russian state was finally blown out of the water as if a torpedo had hit its magazine. All sensible normal people with any knowledge of the Russian media already knew before this that they had moved from anti-western spin to bare faced lies following the Crimean Anschluss and the resulting sanctions, but in the press conference on MH17, so diligently reported on by Elliot Higgins, it was the Ministry of Defence (with Putin at its head) that told the lies and brazenly presented the fabrications.
I would be happy for anyone to let me know what new insight persuaded Russia and its state-controlled media that they were wrong about their original theory, presented at the press conference, that MH17 was shot down by a Ukrainian fighter plane and changed to saying that it was a Buk missile, but fired from Ukrainian controlled territory. Eliot Higgins has explained (with publicly available information) why. Because they painted themselves into a corner.
THE MOST OBVIOUS FAKED IMAGE in the press conference was a squiggly line which they said was the flight path, without explaining why it started from a direction due west and not from Amsterdam (I checked it myself). No one else in the world agrees with that peculiar flight path.
These fabrications have put the final nail in the coffin for Russia’s side of the story, (no need to consider the laughable photoshopped “satellite image” of the fighter plane firing the missile) and yet Off Guardian is bringing the zombie back to life.
The Joint Investigation Team was perfectly correct in taking pains to point out thet none of their conclusions would rely on information from Bellingcat. None of mine rely on it either but it is extremely useful.
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Eric_B
March 16, 2016
The Russian MoD never stated that a Ukrainian plane had shot down MH17.
You should probably be reading statements more carefully.
Eliot Higgins and Bellingcat are a joke.
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Drago Varsas
June 11, 2016
Lets start from the beginning and the beginning in Ukraine was fascists and Neo-Nazis taking over Ukraine in a bloody CIA organized coup. Motive? See the Wolfowitz doctrine ( the original version, not the modified version). Read also “The Grand Chess Board” by Brezinsky. The motive is clear: Destabilize Russia, dominate Russia and China. Now to MH17. 10 questions asked by the Russian military which the fascist West is refusing to answer. Nor is the regime in Kiev willing to answer those question. Google it and you know the questions. A good video about MH17 was made by James Corbett. Watch it. Lets move forward. A Russian buk allegedly downed by Russians in Ukraine. In order to do this a buk system was smuggled from Russia to Ukraine and back to Russia and the OSCE guarding the border saw nothing. Nor American spy satellites or drones. The motive? The motive sucks. Now lets move to the claims by the Kiev junta. The Kiev junta accused Russia of smuggling a buk system ( at least 3 different equipment ) from Russia to Ukrine and back to Russia. On their website they had the picture of the “Russian” buk 312. Well, unfortunately buk 312 was a Ukrainian buk. Ten we have the non-disclosure agreement between Ukraine, Netherlands, Australia and UK. Not Malaysia. How come? And why would the prime suspect, Ukraine being part of the non-disclosure agreement? Lets move to the facts we have. The first to arrive at the scene of the crashed MH17 was a OSCE inspector frm Canada stating it looks lke MH17 was shot down by heavy machine-gun fire from a military plane. Looking at the damage we see the biggest damage was done to the pilots cockpit. Not a place a buk missile will seek. Watching the holes we entry and exit holes. Many are perfectly round. Then we have witnesses seing Ukrainian SU-25 close to MH17 before it was shot down but zero witness with regards to a buk missile trail. MH17 was burning for hours after crashing. This would not happen if MH17 ws hit by a buk missile. All the fuel would be consumed at once. I personally have screen captures from flightradar showing that after MH17 was hit, it didn’t loose altitude for the next 2 minutes. Then it went off radar. If hit by a buk missile the plane would loose tremendous altitude while falling to the ground. We know the empire lies? Don’t we? Vietnam: The gulf of Tonkin lie. Iraq: The incubator lie. Iraq 2003 the Saddam has WMD lie. 2011 the Gaddafi killing his own people lie and many many more since 240 years the empire is waging war 92% of the time and always based on lies. I had enough of the empires lies and mass-murders.
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Dominic
March 13, 2016
OG, RT what’s the difference? It is hard to believe that you have no Russian connection. (This is just to test if comment is really free on this site).
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O Lucky Man!
March 5, 2016
Bellingcat would simply be bizarre, perverse, laughable if it wasn’t for the kind of implications exposed here. I remember reading Nick Davies’ Flat Earth some years back and having my eyes opened as to how limited the sources of news have become, almost everything that any major outlet uses is filtered through two or three major agencies or gleaned from press release spin. Budgets for investigative journalism are now just a quaint antique of the 20th century.
The Bellingcat method takes this towards its logical conclusion. A single person is charged with the authority to manufacture the news feed for a whole swathe of the media on a given subject. So much easier to manage the message. If there are enough people consuming your news at a surface skim level what’s the difference between a bloke on the internet in his bedroom and a qualified/ official/ ministry of defence/ team/ report/ assessment? Nothing. The surface is all that counts. The headline. The big deceit, the hypnotists trick.
How many spend time to look into these things for themselves? 10%? 5%? Less than that? So easy to perpetrate this credulous nonsense to set the tone, the agenda, spread the psychic pollution. I mean I can still sit here and laugh at it, how reality has become more perverse than any satire I could have imagined twenty years back. Why such a ridiculous game? Why not just lie to our faces? Plausible deniability is the shrine at which all this is manifested. Here is our patsy who can simply be faded away wraithlike if ever the * hits the fan. What a hollowed out worthless pantomime.
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DagoDingo
March 2, 2016
Don’t believe anything printed or broadcast on mainstream media!!!
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Paolo
March 1, 2016
I wonder which “crowd” is crowd funding Bellingcat. I suspect its a rather small one. Can one donor still be referred to as a crowd?
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Tom Lowe
March 1, 2016
UK has become the desert island in Lord Of The Flies. No rule of law is left there. Nothing but utter legal chaos obtains in UK today.
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Sarah
February 29, 2016
What I don’t understand about the likes of Higgins & the other authors that write BS is when the SHTF (thanks to their propaganda) they will all be in the same boat as the rest of us. The only ones safe will be the elites and I doubt they will save a bunker place for Higgins and his mum.
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Allan Saunders
February 29, 2016
With luck Mr Higgins will soon return to the last job he did before becoming a propaganda whore, namely selling ladies’ underwear.
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Shelly
February 29, 2016
I love bellingcat. Whatever he claims I can be sure the opposite is true.
Also he is part funded by Google which tells you a lot about Google.
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marknesop
February 29, 2016
The fact that the Joint Investigation Team is being run out of the Kiev Prosecutor-General’s office in Ukraine should tell most people all they need to know about the desired findings. I mean, when one of the suspects is not only allowed full access to all the evidence, but is allowed to control the investigation, it sort of narrows the field of those who are going to get it pinned on them.
https://www.slachtofferhulp.nl/en/Corporate/Calamiteiten/IVC-Planecras h-Ukraine/Test/Press-release-Joint-investigation-into-Flight-MH17/
http://foreignminister.gov.au/releases/Pages/2016/jb_mr_160210.aspx

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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat, Who is He? Everything You Need to Know…
https://thetruthspeaker.co/2016/02/28/eliot-higgins-of-bellingcat-who- is-he-everything-you-need-to-know/

This is part of the series, Who’s Who in Ukraine Propaganda (#3)

Graham Phillips

In 2016, I’ll be returning to my country of the UK, and there’s a man I’d certainly like to meet for an interview. While I was working on the scene from the war in Eliot Higgins 2Donbass, Eliot Higgins, of Bellingcat, was the man sitting on a sofa taking, and manipulating, YouTube videos (including my own) of Donbass, MH17, Syria, using them to disseminate misinformation, lies, to the world.

However, he’s unlikely ever to agree to an interview with me, because, you see, Higgins, from the UK, born 1979, avoids sources who may raise uncomfortable questions much like critics have accused his work of avoiding basis in science, or fact (see below for more on that).

So, who exactly is Eliot Higgins? The man western media fawn over to the extent you may think it’s Eliot’s own mum writing the press, with headlines like ‘Putin’s Fullscreen capture 28022016 123353.bmpMH17 Nemesis‘ and ‘One-Man Intelligence Unit‘ (and that, enthusiastically promoted by the UK government in Ukraine, and not only them – US, Estonian government sources and more, open fans of his work).

Well, this is how a standard Eliot Higgins piece, and they are manifold, begins, in the western press – ‘As rockets fell in Syria Eliot Higgins was asleep at his house 2,300 miles away, in Leicester. He woke a few hours later, roused his toddler daughter, Ela, and padded downstairs to make her porridge.’

That from the Telegraph, March 29th, 2014. Higgins affectionately portrayed as a kind of Winnie the Pooh meets a Beautiful Mind as he goes on to crack the enigma which had eluded the world etc etc.

Here, the Independent from January 18th, 2015 –

Eliot Higgins 1‘Any of us can pause a YouTube video or find an old friend on Facebook. But only one man has used these simple online tools to expose the world’s darkest secrets. No wonder everyone from the police to Google wants a piece of the blogger from Leicester.’

Newsweek – from June 2015 –

‘Sipping a can of beer and devouring french fries in a Brussels hotel room, Eliot Higgins doesn’t look like the type to get involved in armed conflicts. The Englishman has a baby face, slumped shoulders and a soft Midlands accent. But over the past three years, the 36-year-old former administrator and obsessive gamer has spent hundreds of hours scouring the Internet to find out the truth about faraway wars – from the use of chemical weapons in Syria to Russian troops invading Ukraine – all from the comfort of his couch.’

But what if it’s not really like that, at all?

What if the ‘Founder of Bellingcat. Visiting research associate at King’s College London. Nonresident Senior Fellow – New Information Frontiers @AtlanticCouncil.‘ (his own Twitter description), isn’t really that?

Chauncey GardinerWhat if Eliot Higgins is, at best, a latter day Chauncey Gardiner , (pictured, the Peter Sellers character from film ‘Being There’ who rose to success on the back of mental limitations mistaken for genius)? Or what if it’s even worse – what if Higgins is actually a liar, a faker, a fraud?

Let’s have a look at a 10 Higgins bullet-points –

Higgins is from Leicester in the UK, born in 1979, He never finished college, dropping out of the Southampton Institute of Higher Education. When asked for interview what he studied at university, his answer was , “Media . . . I think.”

He once worked as payments officer at a women’s underwear company. (“I’m more interested in lingerie than asylum seekers,”). In 2012, the hardcore online gamer (a World of Warcraft addict), Higgins was laid off from his job as an administrator at a non-profit providing housing for asylum seekers, turns to blogging, under the pseudonym ‘Brown Moses‘, from a Frank Zappa track.

Сredited, by some, with uncovering chemical weapons in Syria in 2013. Whether he actually did this, is the subject of debate (what he is documented as doing is agreeing to suppress information that the rebels had chemical weapons, Eliot Higgins Bellingcatand were behind chemical weapon attacks on Aleppo which had killed civilians). In any case, Higgins’ chemical weapons revelations were enthusiastically disseminated across western media, the US, UN, glowingly endorsed by western governments, but comprehensively debunked by Theodore Postol, a professor in the Science, Technology, and Global Security Working Group at MIT –

“It’s clear and unambiguous this munition could not have come from Syrian government-controlled areas as the White House claimed.”

While the western media fell in love with tale of the ‘expert who exposed Syrian chemical weapons from his bedroom‘, other, real, experts (and Higgins has always been completely open about his lack of expertise) were less convinced. Higgins, Postol said, “has done a very nice job collecting information on a website. As far as his analysis, it’s so lacking any analytical foundation it’s clear he has no idea what he’s talking about.”

In January 2015, Bellingcat published a report into events in Mariupol, Ukraine, May 9th, 2014, when Ukrainian forces entered the city, opening fire, resulting in a death count given by Ukrainian sources as over 20, but by some sources as high as 100. Bellingcat took the figure down to 13. Despite video of Ukrainian forces opening fire on unarmed civilians, Bellingcat entirely exonerated them, described them as ‘acting with restraint’.

This exoneration of the actions of Ukrainian forces, and others of its kind, has allowed Eliot Higgins MH17western governments to continue their unconditional support for Ukraine, in the war in Donbass, without question.

Through 2015, Higgins’ Bellingcat rises to become one of the key agents in the MH17 investigation, with Higgins himself frequently trumpeting his appearances across the world’s media. This is despite Bellingcat’s frequently being caught out in fabrications – those MH17 videos which formed the bedrock of Bellingcat’s claims, comprehensively debunked here. Then there was the humiliation of Der Spiegel, one of Europe’s largest publications … issuing an apology for using Bellingcat’s work as a reliable source. German image forensics expert Jens Kriese tore Bellingcat apart here –

‘From the perspective of forensics, the Bellingcat approach is not very robust. The core of what they are doing is based on so-called Error Level Analysis (ELA). The Bellingcatmethod is subjective and not based entirely on science. This is why there is not a single scientific paper that addresses it. Contrary to what Bellingcat claims, Error Level Analysis does not provide clear results.

The conclusion is always based on the perspective of humans, on their interpretation.’This, along with stringent criticism from a range of sources – from the ‘Off-Guardian‘ site -‘Even casual conversation with him reveals the embarrassing truth that his “research”, so lauded in the popular media, consists of entry-level computer skills and an awful lot of smoke-blowing. You or I or literally anyone over the age of seven with internet access could do it. If we thought it was worth while.’

The criticism hasn’t just been limited to text, this German satirical programme did a quite unerring take-off of Higgins –


Higgins is actually becoming rather an internet joke –


These have done the rounds –

Eliot Higgins internet joke Eliot Higgins

And just have a look on Twitter with the search #Bellingcrap

Higgins either vehemently hates, or has been told to hate Russia, and Russia’s president Putin. Have a look at his Twitter timeline, of some 127,000 tweets, and it can read at times like one man trolling an entire country. A stream, a barrage, of anti-Russian tweets, retweets, and Higgins doesn’t even try to hide that he despises Russia, or has been told to – this just from a quick ‘Russia‘ search of his recent tweets, and just a small sampling –Screen CapturesWith this taken into account, what conclusion was Higgins’ Bellingcat ever going to come to, apart from that it was Russia, indeed Putin himself, responsible for the tragic downing of MH17? And for the ‘expert’ on Donbass, Higgins has made his feelings similarly clear –Fullscreen capture 28022016 163501.bmp

Higgins hates RT now, never missing a chance to tear into them. Typical tweet –Fullscreen capture 28022016 145812.bmpBut, he used to be proud of their endorsement – this, from 2013 – a list of media he was happy to advertise his connection to.Screen Captures1So what happened there? I’ve worked for RT, and will say this with all due respect, they are quite modest in the payment they offer. It’s not hard to find channels, and outlets, who pay a lot more.

In the early, Brown Moses, days, Higgins used to make frequent appeals for finances, with support links prominently displayed. However, the current Bellingcat site doesn’t even appear to have a ‘donate’ / ‘support’ option. And Fullscreen capture 28022016 154321.bmpBellingcat has grown to an operation which lists itself as being run by ‘eight volunteers’ but is clearly far in excess of that – a professional website which is updated sometimes with several articles a day, on which extensive research has been expended. But when it’s Bellingcat, all the evidence shows that the research is done to back up a conclusion already arrived at, rather than arrive at a conclusion based on research.

Higgins now works not from home, but from an office, in his hometown of Leicester. So where’s the money coming from for Bellingcat, clearly now an operation requiring considerable financial support?That’s unclear, Higgins has yet to publish any record of where the finance comes from, all the ‘About‘ section of the Bellingcat site says is -‘Bellingcat uses open source and social media investigation to investigate a variety of subjects, from Mexican drug lords to conflicts being fought across the world. Bellingcat brings together contributors who specialise in open source and social media investigation, and creates guides and case studies so others may learn to do the same.’

For a lot of people, it’s highly convenient that Eliot Higgins is an ‘expert’, and his agency Bellingcat taken seriously. This is a man who, with his agency Bellingcat, will absolutely always back the position of western governments, and powerful western organisations. And they’ll do whatever it takes to make sure Eliot Higgins expert 1he’s taken seriously, lay on all the the trappings, auspices of highbrow, on trend terms like ‘open source investigation’ and ‘error level analysis‘, be sure he’s given awards, plaudits, made a ‘fellow’, ‘expert’, at sympathetic organisations, appears at the right seminars, conferences, everything to apply the sheen of credibility.

When it comes to defending himself from criticism, Eliot is adept at deflecting criticism of himself onto the seemingly ‘too cool to criticise ‘open source investigation’, of which he is a leading practitioner. These tweets, from today, in response to his being told this article would be coming out –

Fullscreen capture 28022016 144044.bmpFullscreen capture 28022016 144338.bmp

Yet, what if behind the new, buzz ‘open source’ investigation of Higgins lies just plain old falsification?

This recent, absolutely comprehensive, article makes the point, one yet to have penetrated the public perception of ‘open source Fullscreen capture 28022016 152434.bmp
investigation’, that all this new jazz can be used as the respectable front for one of the oldest scams, falsification – see this tweet on the theme.

Creating social media accounts to post misinformation, free of all the source checks, verification of other sources as this is ‘citizen journalism’ and all things cool, which can’t be questioned because a lot of people don’t really know what they are. This, then passed off, and on, into Bellingcat, and up it goes higher into the food chain of mass media, unquestioned, unchecked.

So you can see why a lot of people really have an interest in making Eliot Higgins out to be an authority, a Fullscreen capture 28022016 153608.bmpreputed source, an expert. Have a look at his profile on the Atlantic Council site, an agency funded by governments across the world (25, no less), to promote their position under the guise of being a ‘think tank’. Higgins now works with them, and they call him ‘

Eliot Higgins – Nonresident Senior Fellow, New Information Frontiers, Future Europe Initiative, Expertise Topics, Digital Forensic Research and Open Source Intelligence.’

There’s a real convenience about Higgins. He’s positioned himself as one of the foremost exponents of the still-being-defined ‘open source’. Higgins himself has shaped and defined what we currently know as ‘open source investigation’. And he’s made one of the tenets of it never, ever, needing to go to the place in question.

Eliot Higgins expert

Higgins has never been near the MH17 site, Syria, or anywhere else on where he’s an apparent ‘expert’. Higgins may not go to any of the places he ‘investigates’, but he does travel the world being an ‘expert’ at various conferences, receiving awards – all of these used (and used by Higgins himself, who doesn’t shy from self-promotion , making extensive mention on Twitter of his own participation at conferences, using a photo from such for his profile) to propagate ‘Higgins, the expert.

It’s very handy for some people, having a guy who doesn’t need to be sent anywhere, who, from his sofa, can quickly come up with the conclusions so beloved of western press, and governments. He’s also clearly a hard worker, dogmatic, persistent, the man who used to spend endless hours gaming now happy to spend that time on Bellingcat ‘investigations’. Higgins took part in the official MH17 investigation, and even boasted about knowing the result of the MH17 report before it was released – so sure was he, he even challenged me to a bet over it (I declined).

So, make your own mind up.

Who is Eliot Higgins, and Bellingcat, really? Are they indeed the experts the western media would have us believe? Or are we

Eliot Higgins Bellingcrapbeing stitched up by a man either of limited abilities plunged into the limelight, making the most of all that goes with it – fawning western media write ‘He often doesn’t finish sentences, as if his mind is racing elsewhere‘ – but could it be, that Higgins is actually rather simply rather a dim man, being used, and fine with that, by higher powers?

Or is Higgins actually an intelligent calculating individual, who has exploited the opportunity to make a name for himself, make a lot of money? One thing about Higgins is sure. He’s a liar. A conman. A charlatan. And whatever associations the name ‘Higgins’ and ‘Bellingcat’ have now, the future can surely only be these names associated with fabrication, fraud, a scam. All that will be debated, is whether Higgins is a latter-day Donald Crowhurst, a hapless man forced into a web of deceit, or a Bernie Madoff, who knew just what he was doing all along.

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