Tag Archives: free speech

‘Breaking Bad Wolf’

Why American cop and whistleblower Mark Dougan turned to Russia for sanctuary

Editor’s Note: This new documentary from RT features Palm Beach Sheriff Deputy Mark Dougan, a whistleblower-turned-political emigre. It illustrates the corruption of a local law enforcement agency and the very real dangers of running a blog critical of one’s publicly-elected employer. If the United States had a truly free press Dougan’s story wouldn’t be suppressed. Note that RT is, of course, a “Kremlin-funded” news outlet.

RT Documentary Channel
(July 13, 2018)

While flying close to a small airstrip just over the US border with Canada, the passenger aboard a small Cessna seemed to have a heart attack. After an emergency landing, he miraculously recovered, jumped out of the plane, threw some money at the pilot and ran away. A few days later, he resurfaced in Russia. It may sound like a spy novel plot, but it’s just one episode in the true story of real-life American cop-turned-whistleblower, Mark Dougan. After exposing endemic corruption in the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, he had to fled the United States and found refuge in Russia.

After leaving the US Marine Corp in, Dougan wanted something more adventurous than an office job and became a police officer. After six years, he left the PBSO, appalled by the blatant criminal activity that he saw within the force. He later started a blog, giving honest cops a forum where they could anonymously discuss and expose illegal conduct by senior law enforcers, who predictably, hated it! After being hounded, harassed, and placed under surveillance for six years, The FBI raided John’s home and seized all his digital equipment; they even gave him his own code name; Bad Wolf.
That was when the whistleblower realised he had to flee and escaped to Russia, leaving behind his wife and young children. RTD’s new and exclusive film, Breaking Bad Wolf, tells his incredible story.
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Health Ranger Mike Adams Launches Video Platform

‘Real.Video’ To Host Censored Views and Analysis

NaturalNews founder Mike Adams has launched a new website, Real.Video, that he intends to open to various content creators, some of whose work has already faced censorship on corporate-controlled sites such as YouTube and Vimeo.

In this July 6 update Adams explains the need for such an outlet, noting how thus far the Beta version of the project has been deluged with thousands of requests for new accounts. As of this writing a full-fledged version of Real.Video that can accommodate this has yet to be launched.

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Florida Officials Fight to Suppress Video Footage of Parkland Shooting

If the Broward County School District and State Attorney’s Office have their way the public will never know exactly what took place on Valentine’s Day 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida. The release of such information will jeopardize the school’s security system and thus student safety, attorneys for the entities argued before the Fourth District Court of Appeals this week.

In April a lower court judge ruled that the additional video of the school’s exteriors be released after suit was brought by ten media companies. The Broward Sheriff’s Office has not joined in the appeal.

According to a Miami Herald report,

Releasing the footage could jeopardize the “integrity” of the video surveillance system at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, putting students at risk, a school board attorney told a three-judge panel at the Fourth District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach. A lawyer representing the Broward state attorney said the footage constituted “criminal investigative information” that should not be disclosed under Florida’s broad public records law.

Some Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies are said to have taken cover during the Feb. 14 attack by former student Nikolas Cruz that killed 17 people. The exterior camera footage — sought by nearly a dozen media outlets, including the Miami Herald — may show what actions deputies took during and shortly after a six-minute shooting spree that left students and staff bleeding to death from grievous wounds.

“The footage is the only objective evidence of what occurred and when,” said Barbara Petersen, president of the First Amendment Foundation, which joined the media in suing for the footage. “The whole purpose of our open government laws is oversight and accountability. Access to the video footage allows us to hold those accountable who may not have done their jobs.”

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Alex Jones’ Actual Malice

How a Talk Show Host Can Help Defeat the First Amendment

By James F. Tracy

Beginning in April the parents of children said to have perished in the December 2012 Sandy Hook School massacre have filed defamation lawsuits against Alex Jones (e.g. here, here and here) and others claiming the radio talk show host defamed them by repeatedly stating to his audience that the incident was staged. The plaintiffs are requesting an unspecified monetary sum from the defendant, claiming he caused them to be harassed and threatened by parties who share Jones belief that the event was a hoax.

In the event these actions are tried they will in all probability not function as a venue where the veracity of the Sandy Hook event itself can be verified or disproven. Nor will the plaintiffs likely have to provide much if any evidence of harassment or pain and suffering.

The parents’ attorneys assert in one suit that “overwhelming–and indisputable–evidence exists showing what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.” This claim is unanimously (though erroneously) supported by Connecticut State authorities and national news media, and has been accepted as settled fact by a federal judge in Lucyv.Richards.

Alex Jones faces new defamation lawsuit, hires attorney

An open question remains whether the suing parties would need to suppress any countervailing evidence. This is largely because over five years after the Sandy Hook massacre event Jones still routinely exhibits uncertainty on whether or not the shooting was real. It is with this suggestion of “actual malice” that he is setting himself up for an untenable position before a jury.

Sullivanv.NewYorkTimes defined actual malice as a primary requisite for a plaintiff to prevail in bringing a defamation suit. In that famous episode the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that an advertisement with factual inaccuracies produced by 1960s civil rights advocates and carried in the Times had not been published with actual malice. The court ruled that under the given circumstances the newspaper’s staff did not run the ad either 1) knowing it was false, or 2) with reckless disregard for the truth.

In the cases at hand Jones’ would-be confusion about Sandy Hook began just hours after the alleged shooting itself, when Jones, perhaps anticipating the mixed orientation of his audience toward the incident, expressed confusion over exactly what took place in Newtown. At the same time, and without any real evidence, he used anonymous callers’ observations to label the event a probable “false flag.” This ambiguity would continue for more than five years.

In the months and years thereafter substantial evidence emerged suggesting the “massacre” was probably a FEMA drill overseen by the Obama administration and presented as an actual attack to lay the groundwork for strengthening gun control legislation. Some of this data was compiled in the book edited by Professor Jim Fetzer, Nobody Died at Sandy Hook.

Instead of inviting Fetzer on to his radio program following the book’s publication and subsequent censorship by Amazon.com in late 2015, Jones ran in the other direction, actually deleting a story by Infowars writer Adan Salazar from his website and thus in effect joining forces with Amazon to suppress that title’s revelations.

Jones conflicted stance toward Sandy Hook is now even mirrored in his attorney Marc Randazza’s public remarks. “We are going to be mounting a strong First Amendment defense and look forward to this being resolved in a civil and collegial manner,” Jones’ counsel Randazza explained to the New York Times, where he continues to note “that Mr. Jones has ‘a great deal of compassion for these parents.'”

Such a statement suggests how the Sandy Hook official narrative as  defined by the media (and in the minds of any potential jury member) is shared by the defendant himself and his own legal team.

University of Texas law professor David Anderson contends that Jones’ repeated waffling on Sandy Hook makes him especially vulnerable.

What I understand is that he’ll say these things at one point, and then later on, he’ll say, “Of course I know that wasn’t true.” If he says things, and then says he knows it wasn’t true, he’s in trouble. If he consistently says, “I never claimed that to be true,” then he’s probably on more solid ground.

Because Jones’ confusing array of broadcast utterances on Sandy Hook are all a matter of public record it will not be difficult for the “prosecution” to demonstrate Jones’ confusion amounts to a “reckless disregard for truth.”

Further, since Jones’ public persona precedes him and given the fact that jurors are often impressionable and will surely not be avid “Infowarriors,” plaintiffs’ counsel will likely find it easy to depict Jones as a devious and malicious actor. Unfortunately, these are all a jury needs to be fed to affirm the parents’ claims.

Jones’ uncertainty on the Sandy Hook massacre is especially unusual for a figure who is the self-proclaimed “founding father of the 9/11 truth movement,” and who for over two decades been the country’s most prominent “conspiracy theorist.”

Moreover, Jones strongly-voiced political opinions in many areas is what his fans find most appealing. In light of this the broadcaster has waffled so much on Sandy Hook that it’s difficult not to believe that he isn’t a pre-designated foil in a broader play to defeat what’s left of speech freedoms in the United States. It’s at least for certain that Jones is not any truth movement’s most desirable ally.

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California Considers Monitoring Online Speech

Editor’s Note: California may set the tone for a national conversation and perhaps even set of laws addressing what the state’s lawmakers deem “false information … spread online.” Since political motivation and ideology often underly what one deems “fake news” this proposed move should be especially concerning for those who truly cherish free thought and expression. As the article below suggests, Facebook’s recent nod to corporate media outlets as an antithesis to “fake news” has demonstrated how such an effort is likely to be instituted in California and elsewhere. The Electronic Frontier Foundation argues that the law is dangerous because it places the governing body in a position to determine what is true and false.

The proposed speech legislation was introduced by California State Senator Richard Pan, a practicing pediatrician and the principal lawmaker behind SB277, the state’s mandatory vaccination law. A voter-driven campaign in 2015 to have Pan ousted from office was not successful.

California State Senator Richard Pan. Image Credit: Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

CBS13 Sacramento reports:

California is considering creating a “fake news” advisory group in order to monitor information posted and spread on social media.

Senate Bill 1424 would require the California Attorney General to create the advisory committee by April 1, 2019. It would need to consist of at least one person from the Department of Justice, representatives from social media providers, civil liberties advocates, and First Amendment scholars.

The advisory group would be required to study how false information is spread online and come up with a plan for social media platforms to fix the problem. The Attorney General would then need to present that plan to the Legislature by December 31, 2019. The group would also need to come up with criteria establishing what is “fake news” versus what is inflammatory or one-sided.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation opposes the bill, calling it “flawed” and “misguided.” The group argues the measure would make the government and advisory group responsible for deciding what is true or false. It also points out the First Amendment prevents content-based restrictions, even if the statements of “admittedly false.”

A recent study by Massachusetts-based MindEdge Learning was conducted with 1,000 young adults, ages 18 to 31-years-old. According to MindEdge’s nine-question survey, 52 percent of the respondents incorrectly answered at least four questions and received a failing grade. The number of young adults who could detect false information on the internet went down by all of the group’s measures. Only 19 percent of the college students and grads scored an “A” by getting eight or nine questions correct. That number is down from 24 percent in last year’s survey.

Facebook recently did away with its “Trending News” section – calling it outdated and unpopular. That section was criticized in the past after reports came out claiming the human editors were biased against conservatives. After Facebook fired those editors, the algorithms it replaced them with couldn’t always distinguish real news from fake.

After the 2016 election, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg denied that fake news spread on the social site he oversees influenced the outcome- calling the idea “crazy.”

A previous bill, AB 155, would have required schools to teach students the difference between “fake news” and “real news.” It died in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.

The current bill SB 1424 was authored by Senator Dr. Richard Pan. It passed the Senate on May 30, 2018 by a vote of 25-11. It will be heard by the Assembly Arts, Entertainment, Sports, tourism, and Internet Media Committee on Tuesday.

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