Agents Provocateurs 191


A number of pro Iraq War bloogers have started commenting more or less full time on this blog for the last few weeks. If you look through a number of comments threads, you will see that angrysoba and Larry from St Louis, for example, have actually spent more time on this blog in the last couple of weeks than I have.

When they first appeared, I made a point of saying that free speech is the basic rule of this blog, and they were welcome.

But increasingly angrysoba, Larry from St Louis, and alan campbell are not putting any rational argument about the whole string of vital, evidential posts on Iraq that prompted their appearance. Instead they seek to provoke commenters into discussing, 9/11, and attempt to provoke anti-semitic commenters to inhabit the blog.

For example, in the post about Lord Goldsmith below, at 11.47am Alan Campbell posted:

“And not only is he not an expert in international law, he’s looking particularly Jewish, ‘eh lads?”

Nothing in my post or in any of the comments had made any inference at all about Goldsmith’s ethnic origin, of which I know nothing and which is in any case completely irrelevant.

Similarly Larry from St Louis at 8.56pm on the thread “Government Ban Protest Outside Blair Iraq Hearing” posted

Still waiting on Craig to delete references to the Protocols …

on a thread where the only nutter wittering on about the Protocols of Zion was Larry.

The object of these interventions is to provoke anti-semites and others to comment on this blogsite. On other sites around the blogosphere, the same individuals then post entries and comments saying

“Ignore Craig Murray’s articles, his site is inhabited by 9/11 truthers, green lizards and anti-semites”, with an inference, or sometimes direct accusation, that I hold those views myself.

The objective of the exercise is to reduce public belief in my evidential postings on extraordinary rendition, Iraq and Afghanistan.

I am not positing that the individuals involved are anything other than individuals with an amazing amount of time on their hands and a fervent attachment to the “War on Terror”.

I remain fundamentally committed to free speech. Contrary comments from all angles remain welcome here. I don’t read all comments – it would be a full time job – but I will knock out racism where I come across it. You can bring it to my attention by email. The only views which are mine are those I post myself.

We have some regular commenters who regularly take an opposite view to me, and who remain welcome – Eddie for one is a good example. Eddie does argue about the posting in question and does not routinely try to provoke strange views. But I will be much more ruthless in deleting off topic comment.


191 thoughts on “Agents Provocateurs

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  • tony_opmoc

    Ruth,

    I think I read it on the education forum last week, in an almost totally unrelated thread.

    I briefly tried to search it, but I think you need to be a registered user to search.

    http://www.educationforum.co.uk/

    You could try registering and searching there. I maybe mistaken, but I don’t think the name of the company was mentioned, but there is loads of really interesting historical stuff there that is so well buried and so well described that it may in fact be true.

    I think it was in here somewhere

    educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?s=1eb830586d2cf925d07fac2be50678a1&showforum=209

    Or it may have been linked from there

    Tony

  • glenn

    Alan: Do you think you might have added something positive to the world, had you not chosen instead to spend your life drawing out negativity?

  • Richard Robinson

    “There is also a great deal of historical evidence, that the supposed issue of the Tragedy of The Commons, never actually happenned with small stable populations, and that the commons were not misused to the point of destruction.”

    I daresay. My point was, perhaps that’s what’s happening here ?

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Craig,

    You said:-

    “But increasingly angrysoba, Larry from St Louis, and alan campbell are not putting any rational argument about the whole string of vital, evidential posts on Iraq that prompted their appearance. Instead they seek to provoke commenters into discussing, 9/11, and attempt to provoke anti-semitic commenters to inhabit the blog.”

    Larry from St. Louis, did set out to bait me. He wanted to drag me at one point down the 9/11 conspiracy theory road. I set out my views and posted as I best saw an issue in question.

    I believe that you have called the shot.

    In a manner of speaking(posting – so to speak) – intelligence will be met by “counter-intelligence” ( if you get my meaning).

    Larry, keep posting – if you must – but keep it on topic. Fair comment,and, fair approach.

    Courtenay

  • tony_opmoc

    Richard Robinson,

    I did immediately understand that your point was about the population of this bulletin board.

    I did a little test about 10 years ago by writing and posting a bit of code on what seemed a busy bulletin board.

    The results amazed me.

    Whilst my code may have been a bit flaky, and I only tried it for about an hour, it indicated there were over 100 times more lurkers than posters.

    On some American forums, the raw statistics indicate in a typical day they may get around 100,000 unique visitors reading the contents of the views of around 100 contributors, which would indicate a ratio of around 1000 times more lurkers than posters.

    I guess people watch too much television and text and tweet too much, that they have nothing to say that can’t be said in one sentence.

    Maybe we are regressing to grunt mode.

    Who reads books?

    Tony

  • Courtenay Barnett

    “Angry…” you too – you tried to make me out as one of the looneys as well mate. But, not to worry, altought I am not one – make take an operative to try and make me one – 9/11 …huh. NO! – keep it on topic – Craig has called your shot.

  • angrysoba

    “”Angry…” you too – you tried to make me out as one of the looneys as well mate. But, not to worry, altought I am not one – make take an operative to try and make me one – 9/11 …huh. NO! – keep it on topic – Craig has called your shot.”

    Not sure I understand that post. But, okay. I am quite willing to keep to the topic of threads. And the topic of this thread is ME!!!1!

  • Richard Robinson

    tony_o – “Who reads books?”

    I do.

    I don’t think I see your point. More people read than come out and post anything ? yes, I’m sure they do. Bound to be that way, unless/until the spambots swamp us.

  • Larry from St. Louis

    Angrysoba, exactly – I, just as you, was the topic of this thread. And then the thread veered off into ___________, _____________ and ___________.

    Operation Hang Back has been a resounding success!

  • Subrosa

    ‘Steelback at January 27, 2010 8:02 PM’

    I find your comments about Vronsky bordering on offensive. Have you declared your life history and given references before posting on here?

    As for Vronsky, I can vouch he is firstly a gentleman (not many of those to the pound these days), a trustworthy individual and reliable.

    He occasionally contributes guest posts to my blog and all are most welcome by my readers.

  • angrysoba

    “Angrysoba, exactly – I, just as you, was the topic of this thread.”

    It’s bizarre that we’re tarred as “pro-Iraq war bloogers”.

    I’ve barely written on the Iraq Inquiry threads except to point commenters to where they can watch it live.

    I think this is where the conspiratorial thinking comes in, “They must be pro-Iraq War agents provocateurs because they don’t talk about it. Unlike Eddie, who does.”

    I don’t think such paranoia is healthy.

  • angrysoba

    Subrosa, Steelback (along with Apostate and tungsten – who may be the same person) is a nasty racist with a Jew-fixation. His comments aren’t bordering offensive, they are highly offensive.

    It seems to me Craig is really denouncing the wrong people, but then I would say that.

  • Larry from St. Louis

    There’s gotta be a clever Latin phrase for “Deleting some comments implies some tacit approval for other comments that are not deleted.”

  • tony_opmoc

    I read books too.

    Around 20 a year

    I learn far more from reading books than I do from reading stuff posted on the internet, but what motivates me to buy and read a book is almost always a result of reading someone’s point of view on the internet that I thought was totally new and interesting and he or she recommended a book.

    Sometimes, I think the book I have bought is not well written, and the contents are inaccurate and reflect a prejudiced personal view, but even in such books I usually find something interesting

    And if I read a book that is exceedingly convincing of one particular point of view, I may buy a book that promotes the total opposite point of view.

    I am not a scientist, cos I thought there was probably not sufficient money in it to discover the world as it really is doing totally unrelated things, but I was trained in science and maths, and would recommend it to everyone.

    Which reminds me of Physics Professor Howard C. Hayden

    Who said something like

    Politicians will spend billions of dollars trying to fix the world, and will do almost anything except learn even basic science

    Do a Degree in Pure Physics and Maths instead

    Tony

  • tony_opmoc

    Larry,

    When I first started Flying at The Derby & Lancs Gliding Club in Great Hucklow, Derbyshire, England in 1976 there was a kid about the same age as me flying a little white glider at around 130mph along the ridge about 20 feet above it in a really fierce gale that was providing enormous lift. It was like he was flying a Spitfire for fun

    I thought fuck, that looks really cool. I want to do that, and so I did, eventually.

    However Rich American Lawyers Have Now Outdone Us British 34 years later, and I see you are All Now Doing Base Jumping

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttz5oPpF1Js

    Is that you Larry?

    I’m Impressed.

    Tony

  • Barbara

    I’d prefer more Craig and on-topic commentary only.

    Like Mr Dick who had trouble with the head of Charles I getting into everything he wrote, many comments have nothing to do with the subject matter, but return to personal obsessions.

  • tony_opmoc

    Barbara,

    You don’t have to read what anyone else writes.

    Why are you in fact reading this blog at 4:54 AM?

    What is the reason?

    Can’t you sleep?

    If you are in the UK, couldn’t you have had another hours sleep, before you get dressed and have a cup of coffee and maybe a bit of breakfast, before you run to the bus stop to go to the tube or train station to get you to work in Central London?

    Have you ever asked why you are living the life that you live?

    How on Earth do you do it?

    I couldn’t stand it for more than a few weeks a year that due to my job and the training courses I had to go on, I had to submit to the humiliation of being crushed into a mobile tin can that was incredibly hot and sweaty in summer.

    Why not give it up and take up art instead?

    Tony

  • Jaded.

    Any chance of anrgysoba, Larry, Eddie, Gordon or Barbara coming up with one quote between them to back up the accusations that I have had levelled at me. No, didn’t think so.

    Thanks for the confirmation. 😉

  • Jaded.

    Tony, you’ll find that when a blog is targeted it is usually 24 hours a day. I know this from experience.

  • Barbara

    It’s lunchtime here. I live in Manila, the Philippines, as I have mentioned before.

    Do try to keep up.

    I’m a designer and have my best ideas doodling on the internet.

    What’s your excuse?

  • Barbara

    Re: when a blog is targeted it is usually 24 hours a day. I know this from experience (Jaded)

    _______________________________________

    Thanks for illustrating my observations about personal obsessions.

    No plot. No “targetting”. Just a great big world out there where people live in different time zones.

    People can disagree with you without being part of any conspiracy, you know.

    You’ve been punked.

    BWA hahahah.

  • angrysoba

    Barbara,

    Jaded had some difficulty with this in the past, noting that I was sometimes posting at 3:00 in the morning or various times in the middle of the night. He didn’t seem to grasp the idea of timezones then either, so it might be cruel of us to keep trying his little mind.

  • Jaded.

    Whatever you say. 😉 I reiterate:

    ‘Any chance of anrgysoba, Larry, Eddie, Gordon or Barbara coming up with one quote between them to back up the accusations that I have had levelled at me. No, didn’t think so.

    Thanks for the confirmation. ;-)’

    Not one single quote. Just as I stated… 😉

  • Vronsky

    Thanks for the character reference subrosa, but I wasn’t putting myself forward as a moderator anyway. Craig doesn’t know me and I don’t know him (other than through this blog). I was merely pointing out that with a team of moderators, say five or six people whose judgment he trusts, the work thus shared is not onerous.

    I was also concerned at his remark that he did not read all comments – this rather leaves him vulnerable to legal action as he would be held responsible for material on his blog even if it is not of his authorship – the Glasgow Herald got done in this way a few years ago.

    My modding is on another blog (non-political) and it’s the system where readers can report a post if they think it in some way inappropriate. I don’t know how many moderators there are in total, but I see an average of one complaint per week.

  • Rob Lewis

    @Larry, angrysoba: Just for reference then, did you you support the Iraq War in March 2003? Dd you think that was a good idea at the time?

  • Richard Robinson

    I think that moderating a blog like this might be, or could become, more onerous than a “non-political” site (noting that mileages can vary widely, of course).

    It would require constant attention – the frequency with which a moderator checks for new posts would be, on average, the timelag people experience till they see their post come up, so the conversation would suffer if the moderator took a couple of hours off.

    Someone in Craig’s position, travelling to places where he can’t get a connection for much longer periods, couldn’t possibly do that. It would need a team, definitely, on the case 24/7

    Whatever peoples’ motivations for the behaviours that might make moderation desirable (if it is. I express no opinion here), wouldn’t the moderator(s) promptly receive all the same stuff ? The howling about free speech and censorship, the personal abuse ? Which they could delete, of course, but.

    Would the moderators be people who have commented here, and have taken Positions on things ? Imagine the fun to be had with suggestions of less-than-impartiality.

    Can of worms. Not to say it couldn’t be done, just that it wouldn’t necessarily be trivial.

  • Cherry O Babby

    A user comment rating system would help to remove the pointless rantings of the trolls and idiots.

    Another simple to do fix would be to post the Name of the poster at the start so that when a troll is spotted you can move on down the page without having to read all the text. Some on here tony O for example do seem to go on a bit and some of us have limited time to go through the tedious outpourings of their minds. Could the post be limited to say 500 characters to keep the content relevant and sharp?

  • Craig

    I understand more or less nothing in the cooment format can be changed because of the extremely creaky ancient Movable Type platform this blog rests on.

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