Ludicrous Claims Department 101

Yet another example of the appalling standards of modern journalism from the Guardian, with journalists not thinking about what they write, and of the fakery of the industry of “analysts” that leech off the “War on Terror”.

Zhukov has analysed some 30,000 violent attacks in the Caucusus region and found that in most cases there is substantial chatter between instigators followed by a claim of responsibility for the incident

Really? 30,000 attacks analysed, including researching the internet traffic of the perpetrators and their public statements?

That is rather a lot of work. Firstly you have to identify the attack and identify the perpetrator. Then you have to access their internet use and go through it looking for relevant reading, comments or relevant messages.

Let us presume you have such good access to the security services that they do all of that for you, and serve up the results to you on a plate, and that you trust their diligence, honesty and analytical ability sufficiently to work just from what you were given. If you were being served up ready to analyse dossiers of relevant internet traffic of perpetrators of attacks, how many such dossiers could you in any meaningful way analyse in a working day to form a view on the individual? Perhaps four?

Now let us presume four weeks holiday a year and five working days a week. It would take you 33 years of solid work, doing nothing else in your professional life, to analyse thirty thousand cases. That is to make the startling assumption that there is meaningful material on as many as thirty thousand cases to analyse, and you have access to it.

30,000 attacks analysed? Bullshit. Pure bullshit.

To compound which the Guardian also brings us that silk suited leech on public funds, Ed Husain of the discredited Quilliam Foundation. What passes for mainstream media analysis on security issues is risible.

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101 thoughts on “Ludicrous Claims Department

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  • Uzbek in the UK

    Well Mr Murray, the depth of analysis is not mentioned. It must have been one of those Russian type of analysis where researchers do not bother to do into sufficient depth and in most cases present opinionated findings in best cases slightly supported by the data.

    By the way talking about Russian research community there have been many scandalous cases recently where number of high profile Russian government ministers were awarded Doctorate for plagiarised dissertations.

  • Yonatan

    Ludicrous? – you ain’t seen nuttin.

    ‘B’ at Moon of Alabama highlights a video purportedly showing victims of gas attacks. They are supposed to be foaming at the mouth. Shaving foam on the lip more like!

  • craig Post author


    Before wading in to me, you might have read the paper you linked to (for which thanks). It gives details of an automated web programme for analysing open source internet information on violent events in the Caucasus and categorising them, in order to construct a database of such events. Its primary aim appears to be an attempt to quantify the number of incidents.

    There is no evidence at all that it attempts to analyse such events, other than in the broadest of categorisations – violence by the insurgents, violence by security forces, shootings, bombings.

    In particular it does not contain ANYTHING that indicates an analysis of such events as to the motives, training and mod. op. of. “insurgents”, the private internet traffic of individuals involved. Nor, incidentally, does it show that Zhukov had uncredited helpers (though doubtless he did). All it shows is that he can write a computer programme which analyses newspaper and other open reports – which rather obviously would make his results highly dependent on the accuracy of those reports.

  • mike

    No sign now on the BBC website of Boston. This is what the mainstream does when the official narrative comes under strain — ignore the story. They’ll come back to it in a week or so, when the “truth” has been tidied up.

  • Passerby

    This kind of research is the basis of;

    Nine out of ten cats prefer a particular brand of the cat food too! As we all know feline alphabet is written in scents (as verified by Lister of the Red Dwarf) and the cats can in fact identify the brand and read the label as well, both cases are as seen on the telly.

    this is the kind of investigative consumer information that is fed to the punters at large as news. Hence the “journos” are only following the current standards set.

    Conclusion, do not read the bastard and save a lot of time for investigating the events yourself.

  • resident dissident

    Looking at the paper provided by Kempe (or more correctly the appendix to the paper) it seems to more about how the insurgent violence in the North Caucuses can be related to geographical position and proximity to roads. I don’t know where the Guardian have got their Zhukov quote from but it isn’t here.

    One thing that does appear to be demonstrated by the sheer number of incidents is that this is very far from being a region where the Russians and the FSB are in control.

  • resident dissident

    As for journalists misunderstanding academic papers and drawing their own incorrect conclusions there really is nothing new there whatsover. The Guardian used to have a “Bad Science” column on just that subject.

  • MarkU

    I think that it is about time that the term ‘mainstream media’ was ditched in favour of a more properly descriptive term such as ‘corporate media’.

  • JimmyGiro

    “Now let us presume four weeks holiday a year and five working days a week. It would take you 33 years of solid work, doing nothing else in your professional life, to analyse thirty thousand cases.”

    Or 33 people, one year. It makes me wonder how many bright lads are being used around the world by various states, to do ‘analysis’ of a highly technical and logical nature, just to ‘work off’ some trumped up criminal charge, such as false rape, a bit of weed in the pocket, or being caught ‘hacking’ into wide open servers.

    [Mod: last paragraph struck out for homophobic language.]

  • craig Post author

    Resident Dissident

    My criticism was aimed largely at the Guardian journalist’s unthinking and poorly written piece conveying that Zhukov had done something impossible. I presume that the journalist phoned Zhukov and got the quote, and then related it to his “analysis” of 30,000 incidents, which were in fact not analysed in any sense relevant to the quote. They were rather “plotted” in the geographical sense, than analysed.

  • resident dissident


    As chairman of a company with gold mining interests in Ghana have you any thoughts on this article in today’s Guardian which appears to be somewhat better researched?

    It certainly should give some thought to those who support the BRICS as offering the way out of many of the world’s problems. Difficult to see how what he Chinese are doing in Ghana and much of Africa doesn’t just represent yet another form of colonialism.

  • craig Post author

    Resident Dissident,

    Yes – I know the author, Afua Hirsch very well. Saw her three days ago, in fact. If anything she underplays the problem.

    The first big kickstart to illegal Chinese gold mining in Ghana was when China started to build the environmentally disastrous Bui dam project (rejected by all Western developmet agencies, including by me in 1999, due to ecological effects probably including the extinction of the West Africa dwarf hippo).

    China announced it was doing it as an “aid” project and it only came out years after signature that in fact Ghana has hypothecated much of its cocoa crop for many years to pay off this “aid”.

    It is a low tech largely earth dam (though very big) and rather than use – and pay -Ghanaian workers China imported large amounts of Chinese convict labour – yes, you read that right. Finding themselves in Ghana with access to earth moving equipment, the convicts immediately started to abscond and soon pretty well all the labour and equipment imported for the dam was engaged in galamfrey gold mining. Word spread in China and now there are unknown numbers of Chinese illegal miners in Ghana, causing massive cyanide poisoning and other environmental damage and bringing a massive increase in gun crime and violence to a hitherto markedly peaceful society.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Resident Dissident

    I do not think that anyone claimed that Russian FSB is in full control in North Caucasus. But I presume you agree that number of security personnel in and around Chechnya is many times more than in most other places in Russia including Moscow. Few people who I know who travelled to North Caucasus and who also travelled to Uzbekistan before, noticed that number of block posts in Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetiya are many times more than around Tashkent. Despite insurgency (which has mainly economic roots) in the region, it is hard to claim that anyone could be in the region unnoticed, especially the one who is in high alert with FSB.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Semi legal Chinese enterprises have been causing some serious environmental issues in neighboring Central Asian republics – Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. There have been few reports about the issues in local and Russian media. The problem with China is that it does not adhere to the most of the international environmental agreements and in Chinese own eyes there is no legal issues with the cause of environmental damage. Everything else does not bother China too much.

    It has to be for the governments and societies affected to stand up to China and others causing damage. But as it stands now there are no mechanics to influence such a giant as China to adhere to internationally agreed standards.

  • resident dissident

    Uzbek in the UK

    While I don’t disagree with much of what you say about Chechenya – the fact that there are so incidences of insurgency within Chechenya would suggest to me that at least some Chechens have managed to find their way around scrutiny from the FSB. In addition, how would you explain how many Chechens have been able to leave to fight against Russia’s allies in Syria?

    At present this is all speculation and might I suggest that we need a few more facts. I have still to hear much of a convincing argument as to why Putin or the FSB would be motivated to support a terrorist attack within the US? Why should he take the risk of doing so and for what reward (which is always pretty high in Putin’s reckoning)?

  • resident dissident

    Uzbek in the UK

    It is not only outside China that the ruling nomenklatura have no concern for the enviroment, liberty or workers rights but within China itself. The issue is pretty much the same in Russia and the rest of the former Soviet Union which continue to be run by elements of the former nomenklatura, whose corruption is really eye watering by Western standards – and will only start to be challenged when the normal checks and balances of a civil society start to develop. It is very difficult to stamp on this corruption in the host country – but the least international institutions should do is to try and do so when it is exported elsewhere.

  • Summerhead

    The Guerrdian has lacked credence for years. You only have to look at their championing of NHS privatisation. Yesterday they had Labour peer and shill of General Healthcare explaining how privatisation would be good for us without any mention of his vested interests or of the fact that General healthcare is on the portfolio of Apax partners, the company that keeps the Guerrdian afloat. Then today it was the turn of Lord Howe, health minister to tell us that the “reforms” are really nothing and won’t change anything. Absolutely no mention of cancer sufferer, Mark McGowan’s heroic attempt to push a toy pig on his hands and Knees four miles across London to Downing Street to protest at the NHS’s destruction and looting.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    The irony of the global situation concerning “terrorism” is that it is the government of the United States of America ( at least a faction of it ) that has gone rogue, but simultaneously is claiming to be hunting down terrorists. One can decide for one’s self by considering the facts and ascertaining what is or is not a truthful narrative:-
    My analysis of the Boston bombings follows:-
    Considering the arrest of Tamerlan Tsarnaev
    A. One brother, in the video is told to come out of the car and strip naked.
    B. He is taken into custody naked and arrested.
    C. Next, we hear of a shoot out and that he is shot dead.
    We have A and B on the video – so by what credible process can we ever arrive at “C”?
    So without conjecture.

    A. There are two(2) brothers – and these have been the focal point of attention as the mass media has been reminding us ever since the Boston bombing.
    B. We remove one brother from the equation (i.e. since he is arrested – in custody – no longer a threat). So – we get to:-

    C. That leaves one (1) brother we know to have been shot ( under what circumstances we have yet to ascertain – but he is shot and is in a serious condition). So, we can all reason that what we saw on the video footage was footage of the one that was killed – not the one shot and placed in a serious condition.

    Surely, if a man is already in custody and alive – then when he is shot – under what circumstances can such a shooting and killing of a man who already had stripped naked be justified homicide?

    Simple question.

    The facts versus the case presented to the public
    At this point, I can but comment as follows:-
    1. The person being arrested in the video does look like Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
    2. If the arrest was related to a different and unconnected incident – then that “different incident” would still have coincided with the very period of the bombing, and since Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a suspect, it would be an odd arrest that would have arrested Tamerlan Tsarnaev then but not pertaining to the bombing but another incident.
    3. Surely, the journalist is clearly there in the video speaking directly to his eye witness account of events that pertain directly to the post-bombing search for suspects.
    4. The video appeared on CNN and seems to be projecting to the public the arrest of Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
    See: – the next video mentions CNN retracting the earlier information announcing that a suspect was arrested:-
    The retraction would be consistent with an attempt to find a new narrative once independent observers started posting youtube videos that either directly challenged and/or questioned the official mainstream media’s version.
    And here is another mainstream media video of someone ( Tsarnaev ?) on his stomach lying flat on the roadway. Can we now begin to piece the original dead Tsarnaev together and link to the man subsequently ( Tsarnaev ?) lying flat and come up with a credible narrative to make the official sequence of events ever fit logically together?:-
    Where is the solid case so far built out of the public information that has been disseminated about the brothers?
    Is there an alternate credible narrative about the Boston bombings?
    Can a government, willfully lie, fabricate evidence, and stage a “false flag” event?
    Yes it can if we consider the following video and the photographs of the events surrounding the Boston bombings:-
    Has this type of strategy ever been used or been deployed by the government of America before? Yes it has been:-
    The foregoing declassified document just about says it all, if proof is required of the capacity of government to deceive the citizenry.

    The global cum domestic dimensions of the Boston bombings
    An entire nation was duped by the WMD line sold, before no less an august body, than the United Nations. Fabrications, lies, deceptions and statecraft manipulation at the highest levels was the order of the day – ably assisted by Colin Powell and others at the highest levels of the United States government. Those are concrete facts about events that recently took place, which led to the illegal invasion of Iraq, followed by a million plus Iraqis dead in consequence ( and still counting) and several Americans dead and maimed – in the service of what – an oil war? Hans Blix, the Chief UN weapons inspector’s book* on this whole, sad and bloodthirsty set of events is probably the most, convincing account I have come across of how events unfolded internationally at the time.
    • Name of book: “Disarming Iraq”.
    That backdrop to say this. The misdeeds of the state and its ability to lie, concoct and cover-up is not to be doubted nor debased, by simply focusing on a view that may be posted or published which tries to make a point about the truth behind the events, but fails to do so in a reasoned, consistently logical or credible way. That fact in and of itself does not negate the need to question, analyse and then draw reasonable conclusions.

    The new official narrative about the Boston bombings is that the brothers were “self-radicalised”. Since they happen to be of Chechen descent and also were of the Muslim religion, this further fits into the “war on terror” narrative that Muslims are the enemy, thus justifying more over- expenditures of the military-industrial complex.
    So, I suspect that now the “war on terrorism” mind-set will increasingly be projected from a 9/11 original position of justifying global warfare, into a “post Boston bombing mind-set” justifying the reduction of civil liberties domestically in the US on the basis of fighting and constraining domestic terrorism.

  • nevermind

    oh dear, the war on terror in its detail is a construct… who would have expected that? Now how can we change this? through elections, little by little, or through????? what, articles that get read and filed away?

    After twelve days in the saddle of my missis’s Brompton, my muscles are tight and I must have lost close to half a stone.

    Great response for Independents, tomorrow a radio Norfolk debate with the party politicians on the panel and the Independent candidates sitting in the audience, don’t you just love the BBC confrontational arrangements….

    FFS its radio and there is no need to re create a Question time type debate, nobody will see it.

    Now, were was I, ahhh, ready for a long slow soak……

  • Jives

    The CE,

    But no mention of the economic violence waged by the casino Capitalists eh?

    I guess life is good for you also CE eh?

    Lucky you.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Conflict

    Nevermind – I ask myself most days…”how can we change this” – even though to me the word ‘change’ is illusionary because nothing changes. Yes we can evolve. 2013 has 4 major protests I am aware of. The 2M Iraq war march in 2003 sealed it’s own sorry fate.

    History can provide a route. The success of the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement is key. A very British protest lasts for a day then we pack up and go, inspired and tired.

    A protest should not be a way to selfishly vent our own outrage; a protest has to be a sustained connection, a blend, a merging of common aims, common intentions. A mission that must be achieved regardless of time. We can radiate awareness like the energy passed from pollinating flower to bee.

    This 100 year phoney ‘war on terror’ as Courtenay explains can only be run out,wound up by a shift in global consciousness. Our minds need to progress, ripening our lives and so the survival of our descendants, those seeds of our love.

    The Fear and terror, the divide and rule, these may be the weapons of the status quo. Knowing they exist is the first step to dispel them.

    1st May, 4th May, 25th May, 22nd Jun

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