Fake news: Haro sur le Daily Mail ! (After the Wikipedia ban of the British conservative Daily Mail as a reliable source, is the antisemitic cartoon-peddling NYT next in the post-truth firing line ?)

31 mai, 2019
https://jcdurbant.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/efe2c-daily2bmail2bdishonest2b2017.pngMail Online
https://twitter.com/Harry1T6/status/1122140959968350209?ref_src=twsrc^tfw
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L’image correspondait à la réalité de la situation, non seulement à Gaza, mais en Cisjordanie. Charles Enderlin (Le Figaro, 27/01/05)
Look, you read it, right? You liked it? You had fun? Well, what’s the problem? Armisen-as-Wolff
The Israelis say they’re actually trying to restrict our access to these areas and they say it’s too dangerous for you to be there and my response to that is that it wouldn’t be nearly as dangerous if you didn’t shoot at us when we’re clearly labelled as CNN crews and journalists. And so this must stop, this targeting of the news media both literally and figuratively must come to an end immediately. Eason Jordan
Over the last dozen years I made 13 trips to Baghdad to lobby the government to keep CNN’s Baghdad bureau open and to arrange interviews with Iraqi leaders. Each time I visited, I became more distressed by what I saw and heard — awful things that could not be reported because doing so would have jeopardized the lives of Iraqis, particularly those on our Baghdad staff. For example, in the mid-1990’s one of our Iraqi cameramen was abducted. For weeks he was beaten and subjected to electroshock torture in the basement of a secret police headquarters because he refused to confirm the government’s ludicrous suspicion that I was the Central Intelligence Agency’s Iraq station chief. CNN had been in Baghdad long enough to know that telling the world about the torture of one of its employees would almost certainly have gotten him killed and put his family and co-workers at grave risk. Working for a foreign news organization provided Iraqi citizens no protection. The secret police terrorized Iraqis working for international press services who were courageous enough to try to provide accurate reporting. Some vanished, never to be heard from again. Others disappeared and then surfaced later with whispered tales of being hauled off and tortured in unimaginable ways. Obviously, other news organizations were in the same bind we were when it came to reporting on their own workers. We also had to worry that our reporting might endanger Iraqis not on our payroll. I knew that CNN could not report that Saddam Hussein’s eldest son, Uday, told me in 1995 that he intended to assassinate two of his brothers-in-law who had defected and also the man giving them asylum, King Hussein of Jordan. If we had gone with the story, I was sure he would have responded by killing the Iraqi translator who was the only other participant in the meeting. After all, secret police thugs brutalized even senior officials of the Information Ministry, just to keep them in line (one such official has long been missing all his fingernails). Still, I felt I had a moral obligation to warn Jordan’s monarch, and I did so the next day. King Hussein dismissed the threat as a madman’s rant. A few months later Uday lured the brothers-in-law back to Baghdad; they were soon killed. I came to know several Iraqi officials well enough that they confided in me that Saddam Hussein was a maniac who had to be removed. One Foreign Ministry officer told me of a colleague who, finding out his brother had been executed by the regime, was forced, as a test of loyalty, to write a letter of congratulations on the act to Saddam Hussein. An aide to Uday once told me why he had no front teeth: henchmen had ripped them out with pliers and told him never to wear dentures, so he would always remember the price to be paid for upsetting his boss. Again, we could not broadcast anything these men said to us. (…) Then there were the events that were not unreported but that nonetheless still haunt me. A 31-year-old Kuwaiti woman, Asrar Qabandi, was captured by Iraqi secret police occupying her country in 1990 for  »crimes, » one of which included speaking with CNN on the phone. They beat her daily for two months, forcing her father to watch. In January 1991, on the eve of the American-led offensive, they smashed her skull and tore her body apart limb by limb. A plastic bag containing her body parts was left on the doorstep of her family’s home. I felt awful having these stories bottled up inside me. Now that Saddam Hussein’s regime is gone, I suspect we will hear many, many more gut-wrenching tales from Iraqis about the decades of torment. At last, these stories can be told freely. Eason Jordan (2003)
The only CNN journalist wounded in that region was Ben Wedeman, who got shot when he wandered into a crossfire. [Jordan’s] own producer, Bruce Conover, told CNN that no one could tell who shot him, as the bullets and mortars were flying in from all directions. Ed Morrisey
[Eason Jordan] made a mistake. I did not think he deserved to lose his job over it. A little context is important. He had just come back from Baghdad, 16th trip. We were on the eve of the elections there. He was extremely tense, because he thought a CNN journalist as well as other journalists were in great danger there, and he was — he praised U.S. troops for protecting CNN journalists and others, but he said, look, this is a place where we lost 63 journalists on all sides, and journalists on all sides are being — are getting killed often carelessly — and he used the word targeting. And certainly left the impression that U.S. troops were targeting journalists on the other side — Al Jazeera, for example — just as insurgents were clearly targeting American journalists. And it was a startling charge, and I think everybody in the room sort of, you know, their head swerved. But as soon as he said it, it was clear he knew he had made a mistake. He had gone too far. Used — he’d been — his emotions I think just got the better of him. And he tried to walk it back. And he tried to be — clarify it. But soon it was on the blog, and frankly, the — it just — the story just built up. David Gergen
As prejudices go, anti-Semitism can sometimes be hard to pin down, but on Thursday the opinion pages of The New York Times international edition provided a textbook illustration of it. Except that The Times wasn’t explaining anti-Semitism. It was purveying it. It did so in the form of a cartoon, provided to the newspaper by a wire service and published directly above an unrelated column by Tom Friedman, in which a guide dog with a prideful countenance and the face of Benjamin Netanyahu leads a blind, fat Donald Trump wearing dark glasses and a black yarmulke. Lest there be any doubt as to the identity of the dog-man, it wears a collar from which hangs a Star of David. Here was an image that, in another age, might have been published in the pages of Der Stürmer. The Jew in the form of a dog. The small but wily Jew leading the dumb and trusting American. The hated Trump being Judaized with a skullcap. The nominal servant acting as the true master. The cartoon checked so many anti-Semitic boxes that the only thing missing was a dollar sign. (…) The Times has a longstanding Jewish problem, dating back to World War II, when it mostly buried news about the Holocaust, and continuing into the present day in the form of intensely adversarial coverage of Israel. The criticism goes double when it comes to the editorial pages, whose overall approach toward the Jewish state tends to range, with some notable exceptions, from tut-tutting disappointment to thunderous condemnation. (…) The problem with the cartoon isn’t that its publication was a willful act of anti-Semitism. It wasn’t. The problem is that its publication was an astonishing act of ignorance of anti-Semitism — and that, at a publication that is otherwise hyper-alert to nearly every conceivable expression of prejudice, from mansplaining to racial microaggressions to transphobia. Imagine, for instance, if the dog on a leash in the image hadn’t been the Israeli prime minister but instead a prominent woman such as Nancy Pelosi, a person of color such as John Lewis, or a Muslim such as Ilhan Omar. Would that have gone unnoticed by either the wire service that provides the Times with images or the editor who, even if he were working in haste, selected it? The question answers itself. And it raises a follow-on: How have even the most blatant expressions of anti-Semitism become almost undetectable to editors who think it’s part of their job to stand up to bigotry? The reason is the almost torrential criticism of Israel and the mainstreaming of anti-Zionism, including by this paper, which has become so common that people have been desensitized to its inherent bigotry. So long as anti-Semitic arguments or images are framed, however speciously, as commentary about Israel, there will be a tendency to view them as a form of political opinion, not ethnic prejudice. But as I noted in a Sunday Review essay in February, anti-Zionism is all but indistinguishable from anti-Semitism in practice and often in intent, however much progressives try to deny this. Add to the mix the media’s routine demonization of Netanyahu, and it is easy to see how the cartoon came to be drawn and published: Already depicted as a malevolent Jewish leader, it’s just a short step to depict him as a malevolent Jew. The paper (…) owes itself some serious reflection as to how its publication came, to many longtime readers, as a shock but not a surprise. Bret L. Stephens
The past several days have left many Jews in the United States feeling shell-shocked. Attacks against them seem to be coming from all quarters. First, on Thursday, the New York Times’ International Edition published a stunningly antisemitic cartoon on its op-ed page. It portrayed a blind President Donald Trump wearing the garb of an ultra-Orthodox Jew, replete with a black suit and a black yarmulke, with the blackened sunglasses of a blind man being led by a seeing-eye dog with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s face. If the message – that Jewish dogs are leading the blind American by the nose — wasn’t clear enough, the Netanyahu dog was wearing a collar with a Star of David medallion, just to make the point unmistakable. Under a torrent of criticism, after first refusing to apologize for the cartoon, which it removed from its online edition, the Times issued an acknowledment on Sunday, but has taken no action against the editors responsible. Two days after the Times published its hateful cartoon, Jews at the Chabad House synagogue in Poway, outside San Diego, were attacked by a rifle-bearing white supremacist as they prayed. (…) On the face of things, there is no meaningful connection between the Times’ cartoon and the Poway attack. In his online manifesto, Earnest presented himself as a Nazi in the mold of Robert Bowers, the white supremacist who massacred 11 Jews at the Tree of Life Synagogue last October. The New York Times, on the other hand, is outspoken in its hatred of white supremacists whom it associates with President Donald Trump, the paper’s archenemy. On the surface, the two schools of Jew hatred share no common ground. But a serious consideration of the Times’ anti-Jewish propaganda leads to the opposite conclusion. The New York Times — as an institution that propagates anti-Jewish messages, narratives, and demonizations — is deeply tied to the rise in white supremacist violence against Jews. This is the case for several reasons. First, as Seth Franzman of the Jerusalem Post pointed out, Bowers and Earnest share two hatreds – for Jews and for Trump. Both men hate Trump, whom they view as a friend of the Jews. Earnest referred to Trump as “That Zionist, Jew-loving, anti-White, traitorous c**ks****er.” Bowers wrote that he opposed Trump because he is supposedly surrounded by Jews, whom Bowers called an “infestation” in the White House. The New York Times also hates Trump. And like Bowers and Earnest, it promotes the notion in both news stories and editorials that Trump’s support for Israel harms U.S. interests to benefit avaricious Jews. In 2017, just as the Russia collusion narrative was taking hold, Politico spun an antisemitic conspiracy theory that placed Chabad at the center of the nefarious scheme in which Russian President Vladimir Putin connived with Trump to steal the election from Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. (…) The story, titled “The Happy-Go-Lucky Jewish Group that Connects Trump and Putin,” claimed that Russia’s Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar, who is Chabad’s senior representative there, served as an intermediary between Putin and Trum-p. He did this, Politico alleged, through his close ties to Chabad rabbis in the United States who have longstanding ties to Trump. (…) In other words, the antisemitic Chabad conspiracy theory laid out by Politico, which slanderously placed Chabad at the center of a nefarious plot to steal the U.S. presidency for Trump, was first proposed by the New York Times. The Times is well known for its hostility towards Israel. But that hostility is never limited to Israel itself. It also encompasses Jewish Americans who support Israel. For instance, in a 11,000 word “analysis” of the antisemitic “boycott, divestment, sanctions” (BDS) movement published in late March, the Times effectively delegitimized all Jewish support for Israel. (…) Last week the Times erroneously claimed that Jesus was a Palestinian. The falsehood was picked up by antisemitic Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). The Times waited a week to issue a correction. (…) In an op-ed following the cartoon’s publication, the Times’ in-house NeverTrump pro-Israel columnist Bret Stephens at once condemned the cartoon and the paper’s easy-breezy relationship with antisemitism, and minimized the role that antisemitism plays at the New York Times. Stephens attributed the decision to publish the cartoon in the New York Times international edition to the small staff in the paper’s Paris office and insisted that “the charge that the institution [i.e., the Times] is in any way antisemitic is a calumny.” (…) Stephens tried to minimize the Times’ power to influence the public discourse in the U.S. by placing its antisemitic reporting in the context of a larger phenomenon. But the fact is that while the New York Times has long since ceased serving as the “paper of record” for anyone not on the political left in America, it is still the most powerful news organization in the United States, and arguably in the world. The Times has the power to set the terms of the discourse on every subject it touches. Politico felt it was reasonable to allege a Jewish world conspiracy run by Chabad that linked Putin with Trump because, as Haberman suggested, the Times had invented the preposterous, bigoted theory three weeks earlier. New York University felt comfortable giving a prestigious award to the Hamas-linked antisemitic group Students for Justice in Palestine last week because the Times promotes its harassment campaign against Jewish students. (…) It has co-opted of the discourse on antisemitism in a manner that sanitizes the paper and its followers from allegations of being part of the problem. It has led the charge in reducing the acceptable discourse on antisemitism to a discussion of right wing antisemitism. Led by reporter Jonathan Weisman, with able assists from Weiss and Stephens, the Times has pushed the view that the most dangerous antisemites in America are Trump supporters. The basis of this slander is the false claim that Trump referred to the neo-Nazis who protested in Charlottesville in August 2017 as “very fine people.” As Breitbart’s Joel Pollak noted, Trump specifically singled out the neo-Nazis for condemnation and said merely that the protesters at the scene who simply wanted the statue of Robert E. Lee preserved (and those who peacefully opposed them) were decent people. The Times has used this falsehood as a means to project the view that hatred of Jews begins with Trump – arguably the most pro-Jewish president in U.S. history, goes through the Republican Party, which has actively defended Jews in the face of Democratic bigotry, and ends with his supporters. By attributing an imaginary hostility against Jews to Trump, Republicans, and Trump supporters, the Times has effectively given carte blanche to itself, the Democrats, and its fellow Trump-hating antisemites to promote Jew-hatred. John Earnest and Robert Bowers were not ordered to enter synagogues and massacre Jews by the editors of the New York Times. But their decisions to do so was made in an environment of hatred for Jews that the Times promotes every day. Following the Bowers massacre of Jewish worshippers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the New York Times and its Trump-hating columnists blamed Trump for Bowers’s action. Not only was this a slander. It was also pure projection. Caroline Glick
Avec la multiplication de ces auditions à la DGSI, on a l’impression que c’est une logique antiterroriste qui est appliquée aux journalistes. (…) On parle de l’affaire Benalla, une affaire d’État. On parle des armes françaises au Yémen, un mensonge d’État. Et là, on n’est pas dans le cadre traditionnel du droit de la presse, devant les tribunaux devant lesquels on peut se défendre. (…) le journaliste a une fonction sociale, il n’est pas là uniquement pour publier passivement des communiqués officiels du gouvernement. Dans le cas des ventes d’armes de la France utilisées au Yémen, on parle quand même de la pire catastrophe humanitaire depuis la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale : on entend que les journalistes ne sont pas au-dessus des lois, mais l’État non plus ! La France ne respecte pas les traités sur le commerce des armes qu’elle a signés. Benoît Collombat (Radio France)
Des entraîneurs et des stratégistes du Hezbollah ainsi que des Iraniens ont travaillé avec les houthis et les ont supervisés, ce qui les a aidés à prendre Sanaa. L’Iran a également aidé les houthis à développer la technologie de fabrication d’armes, y compris des missiles. Nadwa Dawsari (Center for Civilians in Conflict in Yemen)
Nous sommes d’accord avec la conclusion du Groupe d’experts, selon laquelle les missiles tirés par les houthistes – d’origine iranienne et fournis après l’imposition de l’embargo sur les armes – signifient que l’Iran a agi en violation du paragraphe 14 de la résolution 2216 (2015). Nous demandons à l’Iran de cesser toutes les activités qui alimentent le conflit au Yémen. Stephen Hickey (représentant britannique à l’ONU)
L’offensive des houthistes, avec le soutien de l’Iran, menace la stabilité de la région, et les groupes terroristes comme Daech et Al-Qaida profitent de cette situation pour promouvoir leurs visées malsaines. (…) Ainsi que le rapport du Groupe d’experts (S/2018/68) l’indique clairement, l’Iran viole l’embargo ciblé sur les armes mis en place par la résolution 2216 (2015). Plus précisément, le Groupe a conclu que les missiles tirés par les rebelles houthistes contre l’Arabie saoudite l’année dernière étaient d’origine iranienne et avaient été introduits au Yémen après l’imposition de l’embargo ciblé sur les armes. Hier, nous avons vu la délégation russe user de son droit de veto afin d’éviter que la résolution assortie de sanctions sur le Yémen ne mentionne les activités de l’Iran dans ce pays. Cependant, les preuves montrent clairement que les missiles balistiques étaient d’origine iranienne. Le mois dernier à Washington, les membres du Conseil ont vu de leurs propres yeux certaines des preuves impliquant l’Iran. Onze membres du Conseil ont convenu avec nous que ces préoccupations méritaient d’être mentionnées dans la résolution assorties de sanctions, et seuls deux membres du Conseil ont voté contre.Nous continuerons de parler haut et fort pour rap-peler au Conseil que nous avons l’obligation de dénoncer tous les comportements dangereux et déstabilisateurs chaque fois que nous les constaterons. L’Iran ne peut pas violer les sanctions du Conseil de sécurité en toute impunité. Le Conseil doit faire en sorte que ceux qui, comme l’Iran, enfreignent le régime de sanctions répondent de leurs actes. Il doit également veiller à ce que les tech-nologies militaires, les missiles balistiques, les engins explosifs aquatiques improvisés, les mines marines, les drones militaires et autres armes iraniennes ne parviennent aux personnes et entités désignées au Yémen. Kelley Eckels-Currie (représentante américaine à l’ONU)
Nous avons dit notre préoccupation face aux conclusions du rapport du Groupe d’experts sur le Yémen publié le 15 février, et condamné à plusieurs reprises les tirs de missiles balistiques effectués par les houthistes, en particulier contre l’Arabie saoudite. Comme nous l’avons dit hier, la France continuera d’être mobilisée sur la question des transferts de technologies et biens balistiques dans la région dans les mois à venir. C’est un sujet que le Ministre de l’Europe et des affaires étrangères, M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, abordera à Téhéran à l’occasion de son déplacement, le 5 mars. François Delattre (représentant français à l’ONU)
NewsGuard has made changes to the dailymail.co.uk Nutrition Label shown above, which reflect the discussions we have had with a senior Daily Mail news executive who insisted that we not use his name… The senior Daily Mail news executive wrote NewsGuard a long, point by point letter summarising the complaints and the views that he expressed in the discussions we had with him. However, he declined to allow us to publish the letter, which is what we would have preferred. Thus, what follows is a review of the points he made in our discussions and in the letter, followed by our reaction to them… The senior Daily Mail news executive complained that we had overstated and relied too heavily on the number of complaints against the Daily Mail, MailOnline, and Mail on Sunday that had been verified by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), and, in fact, that the newsrooms’ voluntary participation in IPSO’s process was evidence of its dedication to high standards. After reflecting on his comments — and following discussions with some of the U.K.-based journalists whom we are consulting as we prepare to launch in the United Kingdom — we agree. We have changed this rating to green… …the senior Daily Mail news executive also stated that dailymail.co.uk published 144,000 articles over the last year. While we do not believe measuring a set percentage of “false” articles is appropriate, some consideration of volume is appropriate when considering whether a website repeatedly publishes content that is clearly and significantly false. Because the content on a website is also cumulative — it does not disappear daily — consideration should also be given to whether the website corrects and/or takes down content discovered to be false. In other words, because NewsGuard is attempting to inform online users of the overall reliability of a website, the best measure of “repeatedly” should include how likely is it that on any given day a reader will see false content. Therefore, NewsGuard has now determined that dailymail.co.uk does not repeatedly publish content that is clearly and significantly false… The senior Daily Mail news executive maintained that the website’s headlines are not deceptive — and that they accurately reflect what is in the ensuing story. After undertaking a new review of the website and considering also the argument that a few arguably deceptive headlines (or at least headlines that overstate the importance of the story) need to be considered against the volume of stories published on dailymail.co.uk, we agree. We made a mistake and have changed the rating. Newsguard
My tweet yesterday about Trump preferring Kim Jong Un to Biden as President was meant in jest. The President correctly quoted me as saying it was a “completely ludicrous” statement. I should have been clearer. My apologies. Ian Bremmer
Bon nombre de récits de ce qui s’est passé à la Maison-Blanche sous Trump se contredisent ; beaucoup, à l’image de ceux de Trump, sont tout bonnement faux. Ces conflits, et ce flou avec la vérité, sinon avec la réalité elle-même, sont un fil conducteur élémentaire du livre. Parfois, j’ai laissé les acteurs offrir leurs versions, à tour de rôle, permettant au lecteur de les juger. Dans d’autres cas, grâce à la cohérence des récits et aux sources auxquelles j’ai fait confiance, je suis parvenu à une version des faits que je crois vraie. Michael Wolff
Even if some things are inaccurate/flat-out false, there’s enough notionally accurate that people have difficulty knocking it down. Maggie Haberman (NYT)
There are two issues here. One is Michael Wolff himself. In my view, I don’t know what to believe in the book because I don’t think he practices the kind of journalism that we practice. He doesn’t practice the kind that could allow you to work in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, PBS. Many of the things he reports are true, and many of the things he reports are fictionalized. And a lot of things all throughout his career — this is not a new thing with him. Some of the things in the book are factually completely inaccurate. Some of the things ring false to me. Maybe somebody told him, so he put it in the book without checking it out. When I started my career in journalism at the City News Bureau of Chicago, we had a phrase- If your mom tells you she loves you, check it out. And I’m not sure he does a lot of that. So, that’s one fact. So, I’m very dubious about accepting everything. (…) Nonetheless, the general picture confirms what we already knew. And I think there is a general sense the president is unfit. They treat — they do treat him like a child. It’s too simplistic, though, to say it’s like the madness of King George. I certainly have talked to many people over the last several months who said, yes, I went into a meeting, he was surprisingly well-informed, surprisingly ran a good meeting. I have certainly had that experience. And he’s running a White House that, whether you approve of the policies or not, has done this Pakistan deal, or the change in Pakistan policy, which is defensible — they did pass a tax bill. They are doing this regulatory stuff, this judicial stuff. It’s not completely dysfunctional. They are getting stuff done. And so I think that he has severe mental flaws. But the picture that’s coming out that he’s completely off his rocker, I think that’s overly simplistic and underestimates this… David Brooks
I don’t think there’s any question that the explosive in this book, as far as Donald Trump is concerned, were the charges about the meeting that Donald Trump Jr. hosted with Paul Manafort and others at the Trump Tower with the Russians, and that he called it traitorous. (…) Steve Bannon, whatever his shortcomings are — and I think they are manifest — is somebody who has worn the uniform of his country, did serve at the Pentagon, and has a gravitas on these matters that nobody in that meeting had or understood. Mark Shields (PBS)
Trump was vulnerable because for 40 years he had run what increasingly seemed to resemble a semi-criminal enterprise. I think we can drop the ‘semi’ part. (…) This is where it isn’t a witch hunt – even for the hard core, this is where he turns into just a crooked business guy, and one worth $50m instead of $10bn. Not the billionaire he said he was, just another scumbag. Steve Bannon (cité par Michael Wolff)
It’s a distinction between journalists who are institutionally wedded and those who are not. I’m not. You make those pro forma calls to protect yourself, to protect the institution. It’s what the institution demands. I’m talking about those calls where you absolutely know what the response is going to be. They put you in the position in which you’re potentially having to negotiate what you know. In some curious way, that’s what much journalism is about. It’s about a negotiated truth. For someone else, a book writer, I don’t have to do that. When I know something is true, I don’t have to go back and establish some kind of middle ground with whoever I’m writing about, which will allow me at some point to go back to them… As a journalist — or as a writer — my obligation is to come as close to the truth as I possibly can. And that’s not as close to someone else’s truth, but the truth as I see it. Remember, it’s a difference between a book and something else — you don’t have to read my book, you don’t have to agree with my book. But at the end of the day, what you are going to know is that it is my book. It is my vision. It is my report on my experience. It’s not put together by a committee. What you do is a committee project at some point. What I do is not. And I’m not saying one is better than the other, they’re just different functions. Michael Wolff
“Fire and Fury,” which portrayed a president with a strained relationship to the truth, raised questions about Mr. Wolff’s own adherence to the facts. Minor errors cropped up; anecdotes were denied. (…) The new book’s claims range from the intriguing — Mr. Wolff writes that Alan Dershowitz asked for a million-dollar retainer to defend Mr. Trump, a claim Mr. Dershowitz said on Wednesday was “completely, categorically false”— to the lurid, including a description based on a secondhand source of a supposed encounter between Mr. Trump and an unnamed woman aboard his private jet before his presidency. In an interview at his Manhattan townhouse on Tuesday — his first public comments about “Siege” — Mr. Wolff, 65, praised his reporting, defended his reliance on Mr. Bannon as a source and explained why he had little use for the usual fact-checking procedures valued by reporters at mainstream news outlets. He was trending on Twitter at the time of the interview. A spokesman for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, had issued a rare statement denying a central claim of “Siege,” which had just leaked out: that Mr. Mueller’s team had drafted an indictment of Mr. Trump on obstruction charges that was never used. NYT
I would only say my source is impeccable, and I have no doubt about the authenticity and the significance of the documents. (…) When “Fire and Fury” came out, I thought Steve Bannon would certainly never speak to me again, and the truth is, he never stopped speaking. But the other element of this is — I think a key one — is I’m a New York guy. Donald Trump is a New York guy. In the end, we know a lot of the same people. There is this conversation among these people about Donald Trump. And I am fortunate to be in that loop. (…) I have not been in the White House for this book, no. But a very large percentage of the people who spoke to me for the first book have continued to speak to me for the second book. Partly because they can’t stop talking about Donald Trump, and I’m a good listener. But also because I think the portrait in the first book worked for them. (…) I think that would be a fool’s errand, to invite the president of the United States to come down on you. (…) If the president of the United States comes after you, you feel concerned. (…) I’ve said many times: I’m not a Washington reporter. And Washington reporters, they do a great job. They do their job. I approached this as, that the more significant factor here, beyond policy, was buffoonery, psychopathology, random and ad hominem cruelties. In a way, my thesis is that this administration, this character, needed a different kind of writer. (…) I’ve been sorting this now for actually close to three years, so I think I have a fairly good sense of the reality quotient at any given point. But then I think you have to look to Bannon’s insights. When he says something, in my experience, he can often get right to the kernel, into the hub of the situation, where you say, ‘Damn, of course that’s it.’ Among the hundreds of people I have spoken to, he is the most insightful person about Donald Trump, about what makes him tick. (…) As I say, I didn’t contact Donald Trump at all. But why would you? Literally, this is not a man who is going to suddenly at this point of his life ’fess up to being a sexual harasser. (…) it’s a difference between an institutional reporter and a non-institutional reporter. I don’t have to ask the silly questions. (…) because can you imagine a circumstance under the sun in which Fox would come clean on that? (…) I actually don’t believe, if you know the answer, it is necessary to go through the motions of getting an answer that you are absolutely certain of. (…) It’s a distinction between journalists who are institutionally wedded and those who are not. I’m not. You make those pro forma calls to protect yourself, to protect the institution. It’s what the institution demands. I’m talking about those calls where you absolutely know what the response is going to be. They put you in the position in which you’re potentially having to negotiate what you know. In some curious way, that’s what much journalism is about. It’s about a negotiated truth. For someone else, a book writer, I don’t have to do that. When I know something is true, I don’t have to go back and establish some kind of middle ground with whoever I’m writing about, which will allow me at some point to go back to them. (…) As a journalist — or as a writer — my obligation is to come as close to the truth as I possibly can. And that’s not as close to someone else’s truth, but the truth as I see it. Remember, it’s a difference between a book and something else — you don’t have to read my book, you don’t have to agree with my book. But at the end of the day, what you are going to know is that it is my book. It is my vision. It is my report on my experience. It’s not put together by a committee. What you do is a committee project at some point. What I do is not. And I’m not saying one is better than the other, they’re just different functions. Michael Wolff
Bannon has been driven out of the White House by Trump and dumped by his financial patrons, the Mercers, and has set up shop in a shabby Capitol Hill townhouse, theatrically known as the Embassy, which, it slowly becomes clear, might as well be Hoth. It takes 193 pages, but we eventually learn that Bannon hasn’t talked to Trump since he was fired. That doesn’t prevent Wolff from centering the entire narrative on the president’s former aide. So the new Wolff book is much like the last one: a sail through the Trump diaspora and inside the president’s head with Bannon as the cruise director. But also like the last book, “Siege” is ultimately crippled by three flaws: Wolff’s overreliance on a single character, and one who is now more distant from the action; factual errors that mar the author’s credibility; and sourcing that is so opaque it renders the scoops highly suspicious and unreliable. For long stretches of “Siege,” Trump and the White House staff disappear and the reader is subjected to a tedious ticktock of Bannon’s travels and his plotting from the Embassy, where he pontificates throughout 2018 about how the Republicans will win the midterms (they didn’t), how his nationalist project is still ascendant in the GOP (it isn’t), how Robert Mueller will destroy the Trump presidency (he didn’t), and how Bannon himself may have to replace Trump and run for president in 2020, with Sean Hannity as his running mate (we’ll have to wait for Episode III). In the acknowledgments, Bannon is the only named source whom Wolff thanks, praising him effusively and, in an allusion to Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” calling him “the Virgil anyone might be lucky enough to have as a guide for a descent into Trumpworld.” In reality Bannon is more like Wolff’s Farinata, the former Florentine political leader whom Dante portrays as banished to the circle of hell for heretics, where, alone in his tomb, he still obsesses about his own era in politics but has no access to current events unless one of the dead brings him a snippet of news from the center of power. In “Siege,” the dead arrive at Bannon’s doorstep in the form of former Trump aides such as Corey Lewandowski, David Bossie, Sam Nunberg and Jason Miller, and Wolff, like many other Washington reporters, absorbs a mix of gossip, misinformation and occasional insight that the outer rings of Trump advisers are famous for circulating. This rogues’ gallery of Trump hangers-on that Wolff seems to depend on is sometimes presented as a group of devoted ideological rebels trying to keep the flame of true MAGA alive. According to Wolff, several of them, usually working through Hannity, who has better access to the president, press Trump on issues like building the border wall or declaring a national emergency over immigration. Bossie and Lewandowski “weren’t operatives, they were believers,” Wolff credulously reports, a statement that will generate guffaws among Republicans. But mostly, Bannon’s knitting circle is involved in low-level score-settling — often against then-White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner — and making money off their association with Trump. Lewandowski and Bossie hawk a conspiracy book about the “deep state” even though, according to Wolff, Bannon tells their ghostwriter that “none of this is true.” (…) Wolff’s broad conceptual error — that the real heart of Trumpism is heroically being kept alive by Bannon’s band of true-believing outsiders — would be forgivable if the book wasn’t marred by two more strikes: some cringeworthy errors, and sourcing that is so opaque it renders the extremely fun and juicy quotes sprinkled across every chapter as — sadly — difficult to trust. Wolff reports that he had two fact-checkers assigned to the book, but they apparently weren’t enough. He writes that after Ty Cobb left the White House, Trump’s only lawyers were Jay Sekulow and Rudy Giuliani (whom he describes as “drunk on a bid for further attention, or just drunk”). Wolff seems not to know that Trump hired Jane and Martin Raskin, whose names do not appear in the book, to deal with the Mueller probe. He writes that Russians hacked the email account of John Podesta and servers at the Democratic National Committee after July 27, 2016, the day Trump famously called on Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s missing emails. That’s wrong. The Podesta hack happened in March, the DNC hack happened in April, and the fruits of those hacks had already been released, which is why Trump made the comment. (…) Dramatic scoops are plopped down on the page with no sourcing whatsoever. Would-be newsmaking quotes are often attributed to Trump and senior officials without any context about when or to whom they were made. Wolff clearly relies on the work of dozens of other reporters on the Trump beat, but because he rarely uses any attributions, the reader never knows whether a fact he’s relaying comes from him or elsewhere. For example, he writes that Kushner was briefed by intelligence officials that his friend Wendi Deng might be a Chinese spy. The reader would be forgiven for thinking this was another Wolff scoop, rather than a major exclusive reported by the Wall Street Journal in early 2018. The cutting comments Wolff attributes to Trump certainly sound like the president: “the stupidest man in Congress” and a “religious nut” (Mike Pence); “gives me the creeps” (Karen Pence); “feeble” (John Kelly); “a girl” (Kushner); “looks like a mental patient” (Giuliani); “a pretty stupid boy” who “has too many f—ing kids” (Donald Trump Jr.); “men’s shop salesmen” (Republican House candidates); “ignoramuses” (Trump’s communications team); “the only stupid Jew” (Michael Cohen); “a dirty rat” (former White House counsel Donald McGahn); a “virgin crybaby” who was “probably molested by a priest” (Brett Kavanaugh); “the poor man’s Ann Coulter” (Kellyanne Conway); “sweaty” (Stephen Miller). But the lack of sourcing transparency and footnotes does not inspire confidence. By far the biggest scoop in the book is a document that Wolff alleges is a draft indictment, eventually ignored, of the president from inside the special counsel’s office. In addition to the alleged indictment, Wolff reports on several interesting and newsworthy memos outlining Mueller’s legal strategy for what to do if Trump pardoned Michael Flynn or tried to shut down the investigation. These documents, if verified, would rescue the book, because they offer the first real glimpse inside the nearly airtight Mueller operation. On Tuesday, the special counsel’s office issued a rare on-the-record statement insisting that the “documents described do not exist.” Ryan Lizza (senior political analyst for CNN)
Several news outlets published excerpts of Michael Wolff’s new book about the Trump campaign and the White House. And almost every word of it is unbelievable. Some of it, literally so. In one passage from “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” Wolff recounts how Roger Ailes recommended former House speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) to serve as Trump’s chief of staff. Trump’s response, according to Wolff: “Who’s that?” Never mind that Trump had golfed with Boehner in 2013 and mentioned him several times on the 2016 campaign trail. Using the Donald Trump Factbase, I found Trump mentioning Boehner on the campaign trail at least four times: April 10, 2016; Nov. 30, 2015; Oct. 14, 2015; and Sept. 25, 2015. He also tweeted about him on Oct. 8, 2015, and Sept. 25, 2015 — that last date being when Boehner resigned as speaker during the 2016 campaign. Is it possible Trump misheard the name or momentarily forgot who Boehner was? Sure. He may have even meant the “Who’s that?” as a slight to Boehner. But the impression Wolff seeks to leave is that Trump is a novice completely out of his element in the Oval Office. This was an anecdote meant to serve that narrative. (…) Then there is the apparent re-created conversation between Stephen K. Bannon and Ailes, the New York Times’s Nick Confessore points out, which raises questions about accuracy. As for the other claims, many are of the kind that has been whispered about but never reported on with any authority or certainty. Wolff has taken some of the most gossiped-about aspects of the Trump White House and put them forward as fact — often plainly stated fact without even anonymous sources cited. In his introduction, Wolff acknowledges this is an imperfect exercise and often a daunting challenge. Here’s a key excerpt pulled by Benjy Sarlin: Many of the accounts of what has happened in the Trump White House are in conflict with one another; many, in Trumpian fashion, are baldly untrue. Those conflicts, and that looseness with the truth, if not with reality itself, are an elemental thread of the book. Sometimes I have let the players offer their versions, in turn allowing the reader to judge them. In other instances I have, through a consistency in accounts and through sources I have come to trust, settled on a version of events I believe to be true. In some ways, this is the tell-all that Trump’s post-truth presidency deserves. Trump’s own version of the truth is often subject to his own fantastic impulses and changes at a moment’s notice. The leaks from his administration have followed that pattern, often painting credulity-straining images of an American president. As the New York Times’s Maggie Haberman notes, that makes claims in Wolff’s book that would ordinarily seem implausible suddenly plausible. But just because the administration doesn’t seem to have much regard for the truth and because there are all kinds of insane things happening behind closed doors doesn’t mean the truth isn’t a goal worth attaining. And in an environment in which the press is widely distrusted by a large swath of the American people — and overwhelmingly by Trump’s base — the onus is even more on accounts of his presidency to try to filter out the tabloid stuff. Part of Trump’s mission statement is fomenting distrust of the press. Oftentimes the wild leaks that come from the White House seem to further that goal by giving the media juicy stories that will ring false to people who doubt reporters’ anonymous sources. Wolff even writes that it’s often Trump himself doing the gossiping about White House staff — which seems about right. For whatever reason, Wolff seems to have arrived at a stunning amount of incredible conclusions that hundreds of dogged reporters from major newspapers haven’t. Whether that’s because he had unprecedented access — Wolff says he had “something like a semi-permanent seat on a couch in the West Wing” — or because his filter was just more relaxed than others, it’s worth evaluating each claim individually and not just taking every scandalous thing said about the White House as gospel. Aaron Blake (NYT)
Le Feu et la Fureur : Trump à la Maison-Blanche (Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House) est un livre de Michael Wolff qui décrit en détail le quotidien du président américain Donald Trump, ainsi que celui de son équipe de campagne en 2016 et de ses collaborateurs à la Maison-Blanche. L’ouvrage dresse un portrait peu flatteur de Trump, décrit comme un homme au comportement chaotique, et de ses relations avec son équipe. Il fait notamment une large place à l’ancien conseiller stratégique Steve Bannon, qui livre entre autres des commentaires désobligeants sur la famille Trump. Donald Trump apparaît dans ce livre comme un chef d’État tenu en piètre estime par son entourage à la Maison-Blanche, ce qui conduit Wolff à postuler que « 100 % des gens autour de lui » pensent que le président des États-Unis n’est pas capable de remplir sa fonction. (…) L’ouvrage fait l’objet d’un accueil très contrasté, la validité de son contenu étant totalement niée par Donald Trump et Sarah Huckabee Sanders, la porte-parole de la Maison-Blanche. Des critiques mettent en doute les sources d’une partie du livre, mais estiment néanmoins qu’il constitue un travail majeur sur la présidence de Trump, et que le tableau qu’il en dresse est globalement exact. (…) La plupart des citations le plus controversées du livre proviennent de Steve Bannon, directeur de la campagne de Trump dans ses derniers mois et chef stratège de la Maison Blanche de janvier à août 2017. (…) Un biographe de Trump, Michael D’Antonio, déclare à CNN que le portrait de Trump dressé par Wolff est globalement conforme à sa propre compréhension, comme à celle d’autres biographes de celui-ci, notamment en ce qu’il attire l’attention sur des aspects qui ont fait polémique, tels sa misogynie et son suprémacisme blanc allégués, ainsi que son opinion sur la « surestimation de l’expertise ». Il ajoute que les descriptions par Wolff de l’entourage de Trump forment aussi « un tableau crédible ». Bien qu’il critique la « prose [de] tabloïd » de Wolff et recommande au lecteur de lire le livre avec un certain scepticisme, D’Antonio conclut qu’il s’agit d’une « lecture essentielle » qui fournit un cadre sur lequel les futurs écrivains pourront s’appuyer. David Brooks, s’exprimant sur la chaîne PBS NewsHour, déclare que, parce que dans le passé Wolff s’est fait connaitre pour ne pas vérifier les faits, il est « très dubitatif sur l’acceptation de tout ce qui est » dans le livre. « Néanmoins, de manière générale, cela confirme ce que nous savions déjà. Et je pense qu’il y a un sens général, le président est inapte. Ils le traitent — ils le font traiter comme un enfant ». Wikipedia
Un biographe de Trump, Michael D’Antonio, déclare à CNN que le portrait de Trump dressé par Wolff est globalement conforme à sa propre compréhension, comme à celle d’autres biographes de celui-ci, notamment en ce qu’il attire l’attention sur des aspects qui ont fait polémique, tels sa misogynie et son suprémacisme blanc allégués, ainsi que son opinion sur la « surestimation de l’expertise ». Il ajoute que les descriptions par Wolff de l’entourage de Trump forment aussi « un tableau crédible ». Bien qu’il critique la « prose [de] tabloïd » de Wolff et recommande au lecteur de lire le livre avec un certain scepticisme, D’Antonio conclut qu’il s’agit d’une « lecture essentielle » qui fournit un cadre sur lequel les futurs écrivains pourront s’appuyer. David Brooks, s’exprimant sur la chaîne PBS NewsHour, déclare que, parce que dans le passé Wolff s’est fait connaitre pour ne pas vérifier les faits, il est « très dubitatif sur l’acceptation de tout ce qui est » dans le livre. « Néanmoins, de manière générale, cela confirme ce que nous savions déjà. Et je pense qu’il y a un sens général, le président est inapte. Ils le traitent — ils le font traiter comme un enfant Les journalistes d’Axios, Jim VandeHei et Mike Allen, estiment qu’il y a des parties de l’ouvrage qui ont été « mal [enregistrées], bâclées, ou qui trahissent la confidentialité de l’enregistrement, mais [que] deux choses sont tout à fait vraies » : la description de Trump comme un « président émotionnellement erratique » et celle de la « mauvaise opinion » qu’ont de lui certains membres de la Maison-Blanche. Andrew Prokop écrit dans Vox que « nous devons interpréter le livre comme un recueil de ragots que Wolff a entendu. Une bonne quantité de ceux-ci ne semblent manifestement pas précis ». Aaron Blake écrit pour The Washington Post que « Wolff semble être arrivé à une quantité superbe et incroyable de conclusions que des centaines de journalistes tenaces de grands quotidiens n’ont pas trouvées… il faut évaluer chaque déclaration individuellement et non pas seulement prendre chaque chose scandaleuse dite au sujet de la Maison-Blanche comme vérité d’évangile ». Mick Brown dans The Daily Telegraph décrit un livre à sensation, à la fois emphatique et tout à fait fidèle à son sujet. Pour David Sexton, de l’Evening Standard, le livre est un reportage politique qui vaut la peine d’être lu et qui est « destiné à devenir le principal compte-rendu des neuf premiers mois de présidence de Trump ». Lloyd Green, dans The Guardian parle d’un livre « à lire absolument », qui dévoile tout sur la Maison-Blanche de Trump en donnant la parole à ceux qui connaissent le mieux le président des États-Unis. Dans The Independent, Andrew Griffin écrit que « pour un livre qui a pour but de raconter l’histoire de l’homme le plus important dans la construction du monde, le nouveau travail explosif de Michael Wolff consiste à se battre, pas à penser ; c’est un livre qui a en son centre un vide géant – celui qui est à l’intérieur de la tête de Trump. Ce n’est pas vraiment un livre sur Trump, mais sur les gens qui essaient de combler ce trou noir ». Il note également que le livre est surtout concentré sur Bannon. Dans l’Irish Independent, Darragh McManus note que Fire and Fury « semble être le livre révélateur d’autres livres parlant du “Commandant Suprême”, avant d’énumérer « une douzaine de déclarations parmi les plus explosives ». Wikipedia
Michael Wolff, né le 27 août 1953, est un écrivain et journaliste américain. Il écrit régulièrement pour USA Today, The Hollywood Reporter, et l’édition britannique de GQ. Il a reçu deux National Magazine Award, un Mirror Award, et il a publié sept livres dont Burn Rate (1998) qui parle de sa propre entreprise internet, et The Man Who Owns the News (2008), une biographie de Rupert Murdoch. Pour ce dernier livre, il réussit à initialement gagner la confiance du magnat de la presse en critiquant le travail de ses confrères journalistes à son égard et en prenant la défense de son interlocuteur ; il réussit ainsi à obtenir des confidences faisant regretter par la suite à Rupert Murdoch d’avoir accepté de le rencontrer, l’ouvrage le présentant sous un jour négatif. (…) En janvier 2018, après avoir réutilisé qu’avec Rupert Murdoch la même tactique pour approcher le président, il publie le livre Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, consacré à la première année de présidence de Donald Trump. L’ouvrage contient des descriptions peu flatteuses du comportement de Trump et du fonctionnement chaotique de son équipe, ainsi des commentaires désobligeants sur la famille Trump émis par l’ancien stratège en chef de la Maison Blanche, Steve Bannon. Wikipedia
The Daily Mail’s front page had helped to open the story up. In fact the press had always been interested, but that report was said to have “touched Middle England”, the feelings of white people who don’t normally care much what happens to black youths in inner cities. Baroness Lawrence
Quite simply, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that if it hadn’t been for the Mail’s headline in 1997 – “Murderers: The Mail accuses these men of killing” – and our years of campaigning, none of this would have happened: Britain’s police might not have undergone the huge internal reform that was so necessary; race relations might not have taken the significant step forward that they have;  and an 18-year-old A-Level student who dreamed of being an architect would have been denied justice. Paul Dacre
When David Cameron gave evidence to the Leveson Inquiry he wanted to give an example of newspaper campaigning that had benefited society. With the entire modern output of the national press to pick from, he chose the Daily Mail’s work on the Stephen Lawrence murder. This, he informed the judge, had been ‘extremely important’. No doubt many others would have made the same choice. Even the Mail’s rivals sometimes hold up its coverage of the infamous 1993 race murder as a high point for British journalism and as proof of the essential role of the press. As for the Mail’s critics, they find the case a stumbling block. If the Mail really played a heroic part in achieving justice for a black family that had been failed by the white establishment, it becomes harder for them to classify the paper as simply intolerant or racist. (…) Most famously, in February 1997, at a moment when the police and the justice system appeared to have failed the Lawrence family, it published a front page accusing five young men of the murder and defying them to sue for libel. A stroke of editorial brilliance, this caused a sensation, raising the profile of this troubling case and stirring debate about trial by media. Over the years that followed, the Mail would return many times to the Lawrence case in front pages, inside spreads and editorials, and the paper has made some bold claims about the difference it made. (…) The Mail has also claimed that its reporting brought about the 1998-99 Macpherson Inquiry into the murder and that its campaigning led to the reform of the double jeopardy rule that made possible one of the 2012 convictions. Dacre has also asserted that he risked jail by publishing the 1997 front page. These claims have rarely been examined closely, but in an article just published in the journal Political Quarterly I have tested them against the historical record. I found that, while the paper’s actions involved editorial brilliance and probably had positive consequences, its principal claims are at best exaggerated and at worst unsupported by evidence. Even where it can be argued that the paper did help bring about changes for the better, they were not the changes it actually sought. One example is the assertion that the Mail’s reporting ‘prompted Home Secretary Jack Straw to initiate a major inquiry’, as the paper put it in February 1999. That claim has been made on a number of occasions but it is problematic and at the very least needs careful qualification – chiefly because in the relevant months of 1997 the Mail never once called for a public inquiry. Even when the Lawrence family demanded one, the Mail conspicuously did not give its support. And once it became clear, in the early summer of 1997, that there would be an inquiry, the Mail publicly opposed the kind of inquiry – into police failures – that Doreen (now Baroness) Lawrence was arguing for and that the government of the time ultimately set up. In short, the paper has been claiming credit for the establishment of an inquiry which the record shows it didn’t seek and which took a form it actually opposed. Of course this is not a simple matter. While Jack Straw, in his autobiography, gave credit for the establishment of the inquiry ‘above all’ to Baroness Lawrence, he also wrote that the Mail helped give him political ‘space’ to make his decision. No doubt this is correct: that a conservative paper was conspicuously involved will have made a difference, but again the context must be considered. Straw made his decision in July 1997. It is conceivable that, had he not had the ‘space’ created by the Mail, he might have said no. But the events of 1997 show that six months later, no matter what the position of the Daily Mail, he would have had no choice but to order an inquiry anyway. When, that December, a report by the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) revealed wholesale incompetence and worse in the original police investigation of Stephen Lawrence’s murder, all arguments against a public inquiry would have fallen away. In other words, insofar as the Mail’s involvement might have made a difference by giving Straw more room to act, the difference was between the announcement of an inquiry in July 1997 and the same announcement five months later. The Mail’s claim – repeated as recently as June this year during an angry spat with the Guardian – that its campaign to bring the Stephen Lawrence murderers to justice “did more to improve race relations in this country than anything the Guardian has achieved” is a claim which, at best, requires considerable qualification, not least because throughout the whole history of the Lawrence case the Mail’s understanding of the role of race has been a very particular one. In its reporting just after the murder in 1993 its principal interest was in challenging mostly black ‘race militants’ whom it accused of ‘hijacking a tragedy’. The paper was happy to quote the Lawrences when they expressed concern about ‘militants’, but it conspicuously failed to quote them on the subject of racism in British law enforcement and justice and its role in their plight. Even in 1997 the Mail still refused to accept that the Lawrences’ colour might have made a difference. An editorial published on the same day as the famous ‘Murderers’ front page declared bluntly: ‘But suggestions made by his grief-stricken mother that that police were less than assiduous because of Stephen’s colour are misplaced.’ In the eyes of the Mail, in other words, Doreen Lawrence was simply wrong to see racism in the British establishment as a factor in her family’s tragedy. Why did the Mail get involved at all, if it took that view? Look at the record and the answer is clear. Dacre was outraged by what he called the swaggering conduct of the five suspects at the inquest (which had just ended when the front page was published). He was appalled that they appeared to be getting away with murder, as his own crime reporters and senior police officers told him they were. His focus and that of his paper was on five white ‘thugs’ from southeast London, and accusations about racism in the police or the justice system or in wider British society were wrong, and worse, were damaging distractions. It was for that reason that the Mail did not want a public inquiry into police failure and instead looked to the Macpherson inquiry (in vain) to hold the five suspects to account. When the inquiry report declared that the police service suffered from ‘institutional racism’, and when the Tony Blair government asserted that the whole country had lessons to learn from this, the Mail was openly disgusted. This was, it said, ‘a kind of politically correct McCarthyism’, and it asked: ‘Should the majority in this fundamentally decent and tolerant nation be tainted by collective guilt?’ The only racism the Mail would ever acknowledge in the case was the racism of the attackers (who were heard to use the word ‘n****r’) and conceivably of a few ‘bad apple’ police officers who, it said, should be driven out of the police service. Against this background, assertions by the Mail that it was instrumental in improvements in race relations and also in reforms of the police that flowed from the Macpherson inquiry must ring hollow. Not only did it not want the inquiry in the first place, but it was also broadly dismissive of the inquiry’s eventual findings. There is, however, one significant way in which the Mail probably helped bring positive change. The Stephen Lawrence affair was the first occasion when the white majority in this country came to understand and identify with the grief and anger of a black British family. They saw past angry black faces and recognised human suffering and a case of injustice. Those chiefly responsible for that change are the Lawrences themselves, but the Mail also deserves some credit. Baroness Lawrence wrote in her autobiography, And Still I Rise: ‘The Daily Mail’s front page had helped to open the story up. In fact the press had always been interested, but that report was said to have “touched Middle England”, the feelings of white people who don’t normally care much what happens to black youths in inner cities.’ It may well be that the public inquiry would have done this anyway, with its months of shocking testimony vindicating the family’s position, but it is clear that the Mail’s sensational intervention in February 1997 accelerated the process and it seems likely that many who would not otherwise have given consideration to the Lawrences’ grievances were induced to do so as a result. My article in Political Quarterly looks at all of this in some detail, and also at the other claims made by the Mail. For example, I found no evidence in the historical record to support the suggestion that the Mail campaigned in any sustained way for reform of the double jeopardy rule, nor for the suggestion that the editor of the Mail risked jail when he accused the five suspects of murder. Dacre’s assertion that if it had not been for the Mail Stephen Lawrence would have been denied justice is particularly hard to credit since there is nothing to support it in the known narrative of the police investigation that led to the two convictions. Even a general proposition that the Mail helped bring about convictions by continuing to highlight the issue does not withstand scrutiny. Brian Cathart
«Meurtriers», titrait hier le Daily Mail, ajoutant en une, photos et identités à l’appui: «le Mail accuse ces cinq hommes d’un meurtre raciste. Si nous avons tort, qu’ils nous fassent un procès.» Il n’est pas dans les habitudes du tabloïd conservateur de prendre ainsi parti dans un crime raciste. Mais son rédacteur en chef expliquait hier soir que l’assassinat jusqu’ici impuni d’un adolescent noir, il y a quatre ans, était devenu le symbole d’une justice à deux vitesses, efficace pour les Blancs, déficiente pour les sujets de couleur de Sa Majesté. Avant d’ajouter que le Daily Mail entendait faire pression sur le gouvernement. Jeudi soir, les parents de Stephen Lawrence, qui mènent combat depuis quatre ans pour que justice soit faite, ont finalement obtenu qu’un tribunal reconnaisse que leur fils a été tué «au cours d’une attaque raciste, non provoquée, par cinq jeunes Blancs». Une victoire certes, mais limitée: les cinq jeunes dénoncés par le Daily Mail et meurtriers présumés de l’adolescent restent libres, après une enquête de police bâclée et une instruction maladroite. Stephen Lawrence a été poignardé à mort en avril 1993 par un groupe de cinq jeunes Blancs alors qu’il attendait le bus à Eltham, dans le sud-est de Londres. Stephen avait dix-huit ans et a été tué parce qu’il était noir. «Prends-ça, sale Nègre», avait crié l’un des meurtriers, le perçant de coups de couteau. Sa famille était arrivée de Jamaïque, sa mère est institutrice, son père maçon, et Stephen, étudiant brillant, voulait devenir architecte. Les soupçons de la police se portent immédiatement sur un groupe de cinq jeunes, membres d’un club, «The Firm», ouvertement raciste et supporters du National Front (un minuscule parti raciste britannique ), qui vivent dans une cité voisine. Ils ont déjà injurié et agressé les quelques Noirs vivant dans le quartier. Entre mai et juin 1993, ils sont tous arrêtés mais nient avoir tué Stephen; faute de preuves suffisantes présentées par la police, le procureur les libère. La famille persévère et, à ses frais, monte en avril 1996 une private prosecution, un «procès privé», comme l’autorise une procédure rarement usitée du droit anglais, devant des magistrats publics de l’Old Bailey de Londres (l’équivalent de la Cour de cassation). Personne ne veut se présenter à l’audience pour témoigner contre les cinq assassins présumés. Par peur, selon la police; parce que l’enquête a été mal faite, selon la famille. Les enquêteurs peuvent seulement présenter des enregistrements effectués par la police de conversations ouvertement racistes des cinq jeunes. On entend l’un d’entre eux dire: «Il faut couper les bras et les jambes des Noirs pour qu’ils n’aient plus que des putains de moignons.» On voit un autre, sur un film vidéo, donner des coups de couteau dans l’air en criant: «Sale Nègre, sale Nègre.» Des éléments à charge certes, mais pas de preuves, témoignages ou aveux suffisants pour assurer une condamnation. Ce nouveau procès s’effondre. Entre-temps, Stephen est devenu une cause célèbre: Nelson Mandela, lors de sa visite en Grande-Bretagne, rencontrera même les parents de l’adolescent assassiné. Jeudi soir, le ministre de l’Intérieur a finalement décidé d’ouvrir une enquête sur le travail de la police. Sinon, reconnaissait l’avocat de la famille, Imran Khan, «les Britanniques de couleur finiront pas croire qu’ils doivent eux-mêmes se faire justice». Libération
L’affaire Stephen Lawrence fait suite au meurtre d’un adolescent noir britannique, tué le 22 avril 1993 à l’âge de 18 ans lors d’une agression pendant qu’il attendait un autobus. Cet homicide devint une cause célèbre et l’un des meurtres raciaux les plus en vue dans l’histoire du Royaume-Uni. Il a amené de profonds changements culturels dans l’attitude vis-à-vis du racisme, notamment dans les forces de police, et des modifications importantes de la législation et des pratiques policières ; ainsi de la révocation partielle des lois appelées double jeopardy (dérivées du Non bis in idem et par lesquelles une personne ne peut être jugée deux fois pour la même chose). Deux des meurtriers furent finalement condamnés presque vingt ans plus tard en 2012. Après sa journée du jeudi 22 avril 1993 à son école la Blackheath Bluecoat School, Stephen Lawrence visite quelques magasins à Lewisham puis passe la soirée chez l’un de ses oncles à jouer à des jeux vidéo en compagnie de son ami Duwayne Brooksnote. Quittant la maison vers 22h00, les deux amis décident de revenir chez eux par l’un ou l’autre des bus 161 ou 122 sur Well Hall Road (faisant partie de la South Circular road), au lieu du bus 286 qui passe dans une rue proche mais les ramènerait chez eux plus tard. Ils arrivent à l’arrêt de bus sur Well Hall Road à 22h25. Lawrence marche jusqu’à la jonction de Dickson Road pour voir si un bus est sur le point d’arriver ; puis il revient vers l’arrêt de bus. (…) À ce stade, Brooks voit un groupe de 5 ou 6 jeunes blancs en train de traverser Rochester Way de l’autre côté de la route (par rapport à l’arrêt de bus), vers le passage pour piétons, et venant dans leur direction. À 22h38 ou juste après, il appelle Lawrence pour lui demander s’il voit un bus venir. Brooks affirme que l’un du groupe dit alors : « What, what, nigger? » (« Quoi, quoi, nègre ? »), pendant que le groupe traverse la rue et submerge Lawrence. Lawrence est poussé à terre et est poignardé deux fois : à la clavicule droite et à l’épaule gauche, à une profondeur d’environ 13 cm, sur l’avant du corps. Chacune des deux blessures coupe en deux endroits les artères axillaires pour chaque bras, et un poumon est également percé. Son bras droit perd toute sensation, et sa respiration est perturbée. Brooks, qui a commencé à courir pour fuir les assaillants, crie à Lawrence de courir aussi. Pendant que les assaillants s’enfuient par Dickson Road, Brooks et Lawrence courent vers Shooters Hill ; mais Lawrence tombe après avoir couru 120 mètres, et perd son sang jusqu’à en mourir. (…) Lawrence a été tué seulement 9 mois après que Rohit Duggal, un garçon d’origine asiatique, a été poignardé à mort à Eltham dans une autre attaque raciste non provoquée. Une première enquête a lieu. Les trois témoins à l’arrêt de bus font état d’une attaque rapide et courte ; aucun ne peut identifier les suspects3. Dès le lendemain du meurtre cinq suspects sont identifiés : les frères Neil et Jamie Acourt, David Norris, Gary Dobson et Luke Knight, dont les quatre premiers nommés dans une lettre anonyme. Cependant, très rapidement l’enquête est publiquement taxée de biais ; vue par beaucoup comme un crime haineux, la mort de Lawrence est généralement perçue comme étant due à son origine ethnique et les policiers chargés de l’enquête comme racistes ainsi que les employés du Crown Prosecution Service concernés. Les parents de Stephen tiennent une conférence de presse le 04 mai, soutenant que la police ne traite pas le cas assez activement, et rencontrent Nelson Mandela le 06 mai. Entre le 7 mai et le 23 juin 1993, les cinq sont arrêtés et Neil Acourt et Luke Knight sont mis en accusation ; mais le Crown Prosecution Service tient pour non fiable la déposition de Duwayne Brooks en regard de l’identification de Neil Acourt et Luke Knight. Les charges envers Acourt et Knight sont annulées le 29 juillet, et les trois autres sont acquittés. Quelques mois plus tard l’avocat de la famille Lawrence annonce de nouvelles données, mais le coroner fait cesser l’enquête le 22 décembre 1993, et en avril 1994 le Crown Prosecution Service refuse de poursuivre l’accusation malgré de nouvelles preuves de l’identification des suspects. Le ministère public ayant refusé d’instruire l’affaire, les parents de Stephen lancent des poursuites judiciaires à titre privé contre Gary Dobson, Luke Knight et Neil Acourt en septembre 1994. En décembre – trois mois plus tard – des caméras cachées installées par la police montrent les trois, ainsi que Norris, usant de langage violent et raciste. Les poursuites sont présentées en tribunal du 18 au 25 avril 1996, mais les plaignants sont déboutés sur la même base que précédemment : les preuves d’identification fournies par Brooks sont refusées comme peu fiables. Les trois accusés sont de nouveau acquittés. Le 13 février 1997 l’enquête recommence. Les cinq accusés refusent de répondre aux questions. Verdict : meurtre au cours d’une attaque entièrement non provoquée perpétrée par cinq jeunes. Le lendemain 14 février, le Daily Mail consacre sa première page aux photos des cinq accusés surmontées d’un titre-choc : « Meurtriers – Le Mail accuse ces hommes de tuerie. Si c’est faux, qu’ils nous mènent en justice. » — Daily Mail, 14 février Cette intervention vigoureuse du Daily Mail modifie profondément la perception du public concernant l’affaire Lawrence. Cinq semaines plus tard, le 20 mars 1997 la Commission indépendante des plaintes contre la police pour le Kent lance une investigation sur le comportement de la police dans l’affaire Lawrence. Neuf mois plus tard cette enquête conclut à des « faiblesses significatives, oublis et opportunités manquées», mais sans reconnaître de conduite raciste. En juillet 1997 Jack Straw, Home Secretary (ministre de l’Intérieur) à l’époque, ordonne une enquête publique sur le meurtre et sur son investigation réalisée par le Metropolitan Police Service (MPS, couramment abrégé en « Met »). L’enquête est présidée par Sir William Macpherson, juge retraité de la Haute Cour de justice d’Angleterre et du pays de Galles, avec l’aide notamment de trois conseillers : Tom Cook (président du Runnymede Trust), John Sentamu (évêque de Stepne et Richard Stone (officier de police). L’enquête publique est ouverte le 20 mars 19982,15,16. En juillet 1998 la famille Lawrence demande la démission du chef de la Met Sir Paul Condon, qui en octobre 1998 présente des excuses publiques et admet que des erreurs ont été commises. Le rapport de l’enquête publique, couramment appelé rapport Macpherson (Macpherson report), est publié en février 1999. Il conclut que la force policière est « institutionnellement raciste » et contient 70 recommandations destinées à améliorer l’attitude de la police concernant le racisme, ainsi que des propositions de changements dans la loi pour renforcer le Race Relations Act qui vise à promouvoir l’égalité entre les races ; il propose notoirement que la règle non bis in idem soit abrogée dans le cas de meurtres, ceci en vue de permettre la tenue d’un nouveau procès sur présentation de nouvelles preuves convaincantes. C’est ce que permet le Criminal Justice Act (2003) britannique entré en vigueur en 2005. La publication en 1999 du Macpherson Report est qualifiée « d’un des plus importants moments de l’histoire moderne de la justice criminelle en Grande Bretagne». Dès 2004 son remarquable impact sur le débat des relations raciales s’est étendu non seulement sur l’appareil de justice criminelle, avec entre autres de nombreux changements à Scotland Yard pour éliminer le racisme, mais sur toutes les institutions publiques qui sont dès lors elles aussi tenues par la loi de promouvoir l’égalité et d’éliminer la discrimination en regard des diverses minorités. (…) Le 5 mai 2004 un nouveau passage au tribunal est bloqué : le Crown Prosecution Service annonce que suite à une revue du cas les preuves sont insuffisantes pour accuser quiconque dans l’affaire Lawrence. Mais en avril 2005 le principe légal de double jeopardy est amendé, rendant possible une deuxième mise en accusation après un acquittement préalable pour le même cas. 26 July 2006 – un documentaire de la BBC examine l’affaire Lawrence et émet de nouvelles questions quant aux principaux suspects. Subséquemment, la Met doit revoir ses preuves ; en octobre 2007 la Commission indépendante des plaintes contre la police affirme que contrairement à ce qu’affirme le documentaire elle n’a pas trouvé de preuve d’exactions par un officier. Mais le 8 novembre 2007 la police confirme qu’après cette revue du cas par une équipe de 32 officiers l’été précédent, la médecine légale examine de nouvelles preuves. La revue s’est penchée sur les données réunies à l’époque du meurtre, utilisant de nouvelles techniques d’examen pour les objets. Trois mois plus tard, le 07 février 2008 Doreen Lawrence, mère de Stephen, inaugure le centre éducatif Stephen Lawrence à Deptford2 ; ce dernier est attaqué plusieurs fois peu après18. En février 2009, 10 ans après le rapport Macpherson, Richard Stone – conseiller pour l’investigation et la rédaction de ce rapport – affirme que la police a fait des progrès notables dans le sens de sa propre réforme mais que le racisme y persiste. Jack Straw, alors ministre de la Justice, dit que la police n’est plus institutionnellement raciste ; mais la mère de Stephen Lawrence dit pour sa part que la police manque encore à son devoir vis-à-vis des Britanniques de couleur. En 2010, le meurtre est cité comme « l’un des plus évidents meurtres raciaux n’ayant pas été résolus». Toutefois, suite à la revue des preuves commencée en été 2006 Dobson (qui a été emprisonné pour 5 ans le 9 juillet 2010 pour fourniture de drogue de classe B) et Norris sont de nouveau accusés du meurtre en septembre 2010 ; et la cour d’appel décide en mai 2011 que les nouvelles données recueillies sont suffisantes pour les ramener au tribunal. L’acquittement de Dobson en juillet 1993 est donc supprimé, ce qui n’était pas possible avant l’amendement du double jeopardy act de 2005. Les deux accusés font face au tribunal le 14 novembre 20112. De l’ADN provenant de Stephen Lawrence a été trouvé dans les vêtements des accusés. Une minuscule tache de sang sur la veste de Dobson ne pouvait provenir que de Lawrence, ainsi qu’un cheveu sur les jeans de Norris, et des fibres des vêtements de Stephen ont été retrouvées sur les vêtements des accusés20. Les deux accusés sont déclarés coupables le 03 janvier 2012 et condamnés à vie, avec Dobson emprisonné pour un minimum de 15 ans et 2 mois, et Norris pour un minimum de 14 ans et 3 mois. Le 24 juin 2013 The Guardian présente les révélations de Peter Francis alias Pete Black, ancien officier de police ayant appartenu à la Special Demonstration Squad spécialiste de l’infiltration de groupes de protestations. Peter Francis aurait avec trois autres officiers participé à une opération en vue d’espionner et de tenter de vilipender la famille Lawrence, son ami Duwaine Brooks témoin du crime et les groupes de campagne et de soutien à la famille en colère de l’absence de condamnation des coupables. Il aurait infiltré ces groupes dès 1993, à la recherche de « désinformation » à utiliser contre ceux qui critiquaient la police. Il aurait également avec un autre officier cherché parmi les films pris de la manifestation de mai 1993 du matériel afin d’incriminer Duwaine Brooks, qui fut subséquemment arrêté et accusé de dégâts criminels ; mais cette affaire fut rejetée par le juge responsable qui considéra qu’il y avait là un abus de la procédure légale. Peter Francis affirme que cette démarche faisait partie d’un plan plus général visant à endommager le mouvement de campagne grandissant autour de la mort de Lawrence et tenter de stopper la campagne. La mère de Stephen signale qu’en 1993 la famille avait été très surprise de ce que la police prit les noms de toutes les personnes entrant et sortant de la maison, et qu’ils en arrivèrent rapidement à soupçonner la police de chercher des preuves pour discréditer la famille ; cette dernière n’avait à l’époque aucun rapport avec les groupes de soutien naissants, et n’était pas politisée. Francis confirme que malgré toutes leurs recherches pour du matériel de désinformation, aucun des quatre officiers n’a trouvé quoi que ce soit de concret. En 1997, lors de l’enquête publique dans le cadre du rapport Macpherson, Peter Francis souhaite que la Special Demonstration Squad fasse connaître l’opération sous couverture auquel il avait participé concernant l’affaire Lawrence. Mais ses supérieurs, fixés sur la mémoire du passage à tabac deux ans auparavant du citoyen noir Rodney King par la police de Los Angeles et des subséquentes émeutes sans précédent à Los Angeles, disent craindre des émeutes si cette opération devient publique, et la taisent. La Special Demonstration Squad, très controversée, a été démantelée en 2008 et partiellement remplacée par la National Domestic Extremism Unit. Wikipedia
Before the usual suspects start bouncing up and down, squealing ‘homophobia’, don’t bother. I supported civil partnerships long before it was fashionable and I’d rather children were fostered by loving gay couples than condemned to rot in state-run institutions, where they face a better-than-average chance of being abused. That said, and despite the fact that countless single parents do a fantastic job, I still cling to the belief that children benefit most from being brought up by a man and a woman. Which is precisely what worries me most about the Daley publicity stunt. Here we have two men drawing attention to the fact that ‘they’ are having a baby. But where’s the mum, the possessor of the womb which features in this photograph? She appears to have been written out of the script entirely. We are not told her identity, where she lives, or even when the baby is due. She is merely the anonymous incubator. My best guess is that she lives in America, since it is still illegal in Britain to pay surrogate mothers other than modest expenses. That’s why wealthy gay couples, such as Elton John and David Furnish, turn to the States when they want to start a family. Good luck to them. No one is suggesting that homosexual couples can’t make excellent parents. But nor is everyone comfortable with the trend towards treating women as mere breeding machines and babies as commodities. I’ve written before about the modern tendency in some quarters to regard children as fashion accessories, like those preposterous designer handbag dogs. (…) What I also find slightly disconcerting is that this story was reported virtually everywhere without so much as a raised eyebrow, as if it would be impolite even to ask any questions about the parentage. The Daily Mail
En novembre 2016, le groupe Lego décide de ne plus promouvoir ses jouets dans le Daily Mail à la suite des campagnes menées par celui-ci concernant le Brexit et la crise des migrants, campagnes jugées « haineuses » par le fabricant de jouets. En février 2018, Center Parcs cesse toute annonce publicitaire dans le Daily Mail à la suite d’un éditorial jugé homophobe. Ce journal est parfois critiqué pour son manque de vérification, et accusé de sensationnalisme. Son utilisation comme source a d’ailleurs été rejetée par la communauté de Wikipédia en anglais en février 2017. Ainsi, le navigateur Internet de Microsoft avertit les utilisateurs de ne pas faire confiance au journalisme du Daily Mail dans le cadre d’une fonctionnalité conçue pour lutter contre les fausses informations. Le message, qui est produit par une startup tierce appelée NewsGuard, invite le lecteur à agir avec prudence, sachant que « le site publie régulièrement des contenus qui ont porté atteinte à la réputation, provoqué une alarme répandue ou qui constituent du harcèlement ou une atteinte à la vie privée ». Le Daily Mail est également accusé par The Guardian de tenir des propos racistes, homophobes et islamophobes. Wikipedia
The Daily Telegraph has had the highest number of complaints upheld against it by the Independent Press Standards Organisation since the regulator was set up two years ago. According to adjudications posted to the IPSO website, the IPSO Complaints’ Committee found the national daily to have breached the Editor’s Code of Conduct nine times. The Times and Daily Express have each committed seven breaches, with the regulator having upheld five complaints against The Sun (including The Scottish Sun). The Sunday Times, Daily Mail and Mail Online have each had four complaints upheld over the two years of regulation under IPSO, which replaced the Press Complaints Commission in September 2014. Press Gazette
As a historian who wrote the first major biography of King and a separate book The FBI and Martin Luther King,Jr., Garrow’s new revelations must be taken seriously. His article appears in a distinguished British newspaper, not a Murdoch British rag or a tabloid such as our country’s National Enquirer. Undoubtedly, people like Roy Moore, Richard Spencer, David Duke, and various alt-right hangers-on will revel in this news and argue that it demolishes Martin Luther King Jr.’s standing as an American hero. That would be the wrong conclusion to take. King was a man who risked his own life by practicing non-violence and who publicly rejected the two primary alternatives to the civil rights movement: black nationalism and racial separatism. He rejected the use of guns in the fight against the oppressors, especially the police. Because of this, the more radical groups were not fond of King and called him the Uncle Tom of the movement. Let me not mince words. King’s behavior toward women should not be buried or excused. They should be condemned. But does acknowledging these truths mean that we can no longer recognize King’s accomplishments as a civil rights leader? Does it mean we have to ignore what he said in his powerful sermons and writings? Does it diminish his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”? It was there that King wrote that citizens had “not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws,” and at the same time “to disobey unjust laws.” Remember, King led an entire community to risk everything on behalf of freedom, fighting off Bull Connor’s police dogs and fire hoses as they were unleashed on unarmed citizens protesting for their rights as American citizens. Our leaders are human. King was deeply flawed in his view of women and his sexual proclivities. It is obvious, reading Garrow’s quotation from King’s sermon on March 3, 1968, that he was alluding to himself when he said “There is a schizophrenia . . . going on in all of us. There are times that all of us know somehow that there is a Mr. Hyde and a Dr. Jekyll in us.” God, King said, “does not judge us by the separate incidents or the separate mistakes that we make, but by the total bent of our lives.” The word “mistake” does not begin to cover King’s behavior toward women. But King is yet another reminder that good men can do bad things, and even bad men can sometimes accomplish great goods. How do we balance those ledgers in a final accounting? It’s hard. It’s messy. And there are no neat or obvious answers. Some thought Garrow should keep his discoveries under wraps, but it is the job of the historian to tell the truth. This is especially true for a historian who has already devoted a good chunk of his career to chronicling the man’s life. It would not be too much to say that Garrow had almost a unique duty to write this piece. It is unfortunate that the racists among us will cheer this news. But that is not an excuse to keep the truth hidden. If Garrow is right that a “profoundly painful historical reckoning and reconsideration” is upon us, then so be it. We are better off confronting the truth than living with a comfortable lie. Ronald Radosh
Should we prohibit the use of The Daily Mail as a source? I envisage something just short of blacklisting, whereby its introduction to an article could be accepted only upon there being a demonstrable need to use it instead of other sources. —Hillbillyholidaytalk 13:44, 7 January 2017 (UTC)
Consensus has determined that the Daily Mail (including its online version, dailymail.co.uk) is generally unreliable, and its use as a reference is to be generally prohibited, especially when other more reliable sources exist. As a result, the Daily Mail should not be used for determining notability, nor should it be used as a source in articles. An edit filter should be put in place going forward to warn editors attempting to use the Daily Mail as a reference. The general themes of the support votes centred on the Daily Mail’s reputation for poor fact checking, sensationalism, and flat-out fabrication. Examples were provided to back up these claims. Wikipedia
There is no justification for the blanket banning of a mass-circulation newspaper as a source. There will be cases where it is a suitable rs source. The problem with the « Mail-related arguments » mentioned, if the latest example here [2] is typical, is just with editors not knowing what appropriate sources to use. Should the Daily Mail be used to support a claim related to astronomy? Well duh, obviously not! The proposer seems to have a longterm pov agenda here, in an earlier comment he actually compared the Daily Mail to Völkischer Beobachter and has been busy compiling [3]. Tiptoethrutheminefield (talk) 14:16, 7 January 2017 (UTC)
It is hard to know whether to laugh or cry at this move by Wikipedia – a website that is notorious for its own inaccuracy and false truths, and which was co-founded by a man who doctored his own biographical entry. For the record the Daily Mail, in common with most reputable academic institutions, banned all its journalists from using Wikipedia as a sole source in 2014 because of its unreliability. Last year, the Daily Mail and Mail Online together published more than half a million stories and yet received just two upheld adjudications each for inaccuracy from the UK Industry’s regulator IPSO. This so-called ban by Wikipedia came at the end of a month-long ‘debate’ – triggered by a clearly obsessive newspaper-hater who hides behind the pseudonym ‘Hillbillyholiday’ – which attracted just 75 votes from Wikipedia’s 30 million anonymous registered editors. The debate makes it abundantly plain that the majority of those calling for the Mail to be banned were driven primarily by political motives. The so-called ‘vote’ was then endorsed by five anonymous administrators after a secret email exchange and then deliberately leaked to the media. All those people who believe in freedom of expression should be profoundly concerned at this cynical politically motivated attempt to stifle the free press. Spokesperson for Mail Newspapers
Cockram is a regular editor of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, where (according to multiple posts on his Facebook feed) he operates under the alias ‘Hillbillyholiday’. Last month, ‘Hillbillyholiday’ was the architect of a cynical PR stunt which saw this newspaper publicly smeared by damning its journalism ‘unreliable’. He and 52 like-minded anti-Press zealots, almost all of whom remain anonymous, collaborated in a vote which persuaded Wikipedia, the sixth most popular website in the world, that it ought to ban the Daily Mail. The move by the online encyclopedia — which was founded in 2001 and has in a few short years become a hugely influential source of information — was revealed in the pages of the Left-wing Guardian newspaper. It reported that Wikipedia’s editors had decided, in a democratic ballot, that the Mail’s journalism cannot be trusted. No statistics were offered in support of this claim, which, incidentally, came days before the Mail won Sports Newspaper Of The Year for an unprecedented fourth straight time, and was shortlisted for 15 awards at the British Press Awards, the news industry’s Oscars. (Indeed, as we shall see, the Mail has an enviable record on accuracy.) Neither did Wikipedia, nor The Guardian, bother to shed much light on how this decision was reached. If they had, then it would have become apparent to readers that this supposed exercise in democracy took place in virtual secrecy, and that Wikipedia’s decision to censor the Mail — the only major news outlet on the face of the Earth to be so censored — was supported by a mere 53 of its editors, or 0.00018 per cent of the site’s 30 million total, plus five ‘administrators’. Curiously, though it has now placed a ban on this paper, the website remains happy to use the state propaganda outlets of many of the world’s most repressive and autocratic Left-wing dictatorships as a source for information. Wikipedia has not, for example, banned the Chinese government’s Xinhua news agency, Iran’s Press TV or the Kremlin mouthpiece Russia Today. Neither does it place a black mark against Kim Jong-un’s in-house propaganda outlet, the Korean Central News Agency, which in 2012 published a report claiming that archaeologists in the country’s capital, Pyongyang, had discovered the remains of a 1,000-year-old unicorn lair. Wikipedia even heralds Exaro, the now-defunct British website notorious for making false claims about an establishment paedophile ring which saw a number of innocent people arrested, as a valid ‘investigative news source’. And yet, it has declared that the Daily Mail — one of the most popular mainstream newspapers published in any Western democracy — is somehow too ‘unreliable’ to be included on its site. In an era where the term ‘fake news’ is increasingly used as a desperate slur, with Donald Trump applying it to CNN, the BBC and any major outlet that tends to disgruntle him, it’s tempting to suggest that both Wikipedia and The Guardian are guilty, in this deeply disturbing saga, of creating what might be regarded as false news. More worrying, this ban has set a dangerous precedent, raising profoundly troubling questions about free speech and censorship in the online era. And ultimately it provides an object lesson in the way well-organised campaigners from extremes of the political spectrum are now seeking to impose their prejudices on society by seizing control of the most valuable resource of the internet age: information. (…) Tasked for evidence to support this claim, ‘Hillbillyholiday’ simply claimed that this newspaper had more of press regulator IPSO’s sanctions against it than his favourite title, The Guardian. He failed to state that The Guardian is not regulated by IPSO, so can’t possibly have been sanctioned by it. In other words, this opponent of the popular Press was using a deeply misleading claim to accuse someone else of inaccuracy. As it happens, like every newspaper in the land, the Mail does of course sometimes make mistakes. In common with most titles, we correct all significant factual errors pointed out to us, via the Corrections and Clarifications column. According to IPSO’s own report, the regulator’s figures suggest the Mail’s record is better, not worse, than our peers. In 2015, with our sister website MailOnline, the Mail published more than half a million stories; IPSO upheld complaints against two of them. By way of comparison, five articles in The Times had complaints of one kind or another upheld against them, along with four in the Daily Express, and ten published by the Telegraph group. This would tend to suggest that Wikipedia’s decision to ‘ban’ the Mail was based on naked prejudice rather than any empirical evidence. It should be noted here that, ironically enough, the Mail wrote to all its writers and reporters three years ago instructing them never to rely on Wikipedia as a single source, such were the concerns about its accuracy. Of course, the Wikipedia ban would never have made headlines if news of the website’s debate result had not promptly been leaked to The Guardian which — surprise surprise — has Jimmy Wales on its board. (…) It’s a perverse state of affairs, and one which must, surely, rile Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales. Only last month, he wrote in The Guardian on the subject of fake news, arguing: ‘None of us is comfortable with the social media giants deciding what’s valid or not.’ Yet here is Wikipedia, a social media giant whose pages are riddled with inaccuracies, unilaterally deciding, at the request of a handful of people, that a major newspaper is somehow not valid. (…) financial papers filed by the Foundation show that, for an organisation that calls itself a ‘small non-profit’ business and begs users for donations (‘the price of a cup of coffee’) to keep it afloat, it enjoys bulging cash reserves. The Foundation’s accounts show it has assets of more than $90 million (£73 million), and spent $31 million (£25 million) in salaries last year, up from $26 million (£21 million) the year before. Since the same documents state that it employs 280 members of staff and contractors, their average salary appears to be more than $110,000 (£90,000). Meanwhile, the Foundation’s last tax return showed that its former executive director, Lila Tretikov, earned $308,149 (£251,000), plus another $18,213 (£15,000) in ‘other’ compensation, while former boss Sue Gardner was on roughly the same. The Daily Mail
Editors are supposed to always use judgment when choosing sources. Usually the broadsheets are better than the tabloids but there are circumstances when tabloids provide better coverage such as sports and crime. And if we exclude the Mail, there are a lot of other publications of lower quality that would still be considered reliable. TFD (talk) 12:18, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
there are some things for which it’s useful, despite all that’s been said above. Occasionally it accurately rakes muck that nobody else has turned over. If the proposer could be a little clearer about how we might demonstrate need to use it in those rare cases where the DM can be considered reliable, I might well change my mind. Richard Keatinge (talk) 17:10, 10 January 2017 (UTC)
Noting that this has been discussed a few dozen times now. Neither the DM nor any other news source is absolutely reliable on articles concerning celebrities. IMO, Wikipedia would be best off declining to republish « celebrity gossip » in the first place. More to the point, the DM has not been shown to be unreliable in other matters, although its headlines may misstate the content of articles, this is also true of every single newspaper known to man. I suggest, in fact, that « headlines » not be allowed as a source for what an article states, and only be allowed to illustrate what the headline stated and cited as such. Collect (talk) 14:27, 11 January 2017 (UTC)
The reliability of a Daily Mail should be judged on a case-by-case basis. Most material is uncontroversial and mistakes occur no more often than in other publications. A user should not have to hunt around for the same fact to be found in a different source because the Daily Mail is disliked by certain editors. ¡Bozzio! 05:37, 15 January 2017 (UTC)<h5 style= »text-align: justify; »><em>
Daily Mail gives coverage to many international news outside Europe and America. Daily Mail is not a good source in content dispute. But Daily Mail is good to prove notability of a subject. Daily Mail covers news stories which are not getting coverage in other English Media. We can use Daily Mail to establish notability of a politician, celebrity from Eastern Europe, Asia. Sometimes Daily Mail gives coverage to very ordinary things, but due to this they give coverage to many important Asian news, North African news and East-European news (where English is not official language). Marvellous Spider-Man 03:03, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
The Daily Mail, as hated as it is, is a very mixed bag. It can contain wonderful information such as accurate and informative interviews of highly respected people like Lord Puttnam (yes, I’ve seen that; can find the link if you need it), informative and detailed film and television articles, detailed information on various openings, galas, and so on. Many of these items are exclusives, so we can’t blacklist the publication. It also has an excellent (theatre, film, etc.) review team. We just have to keep in mind that it often stoops to tabloid scandal-mongering (and ridiculous political opinions). I think any intelligent editor can tell the difference. So with this publication it has to always be on a case-by-case basis. It’s a middle-market newspaper, so we cannot avoid it or blacklist it. I’d say it’s not to be used as a source for politics, science, medicine. But as a source for entertainment updates it is often helpful and often contains accurate information that is not available anywhere else. If it is contradicted by a more reliable source, it should not be used. Nothing negative, contentious, or potentially libelous or in any way scandalous should be sourced to the DM (unless it is a direct quote from an interview). Softlavender (talk) 06:26, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
The DM falls on a spectrum of news quality and it is far from the worst; singling it out for prohibition is not the solution here. It is hard not to suspect that it is being singled out because it combines a strong right-wing bias with a very large circulation. I see several editors above citing statistics regarding complaints and corrections as though this was a reason for prohibiting its use; but WP:NEWSORG gives the very fact that a complaints process exists and corrections are published as a reason to consider the source reliable. It should certainly be considered WP:BIASED, but then so should every news organisation that takes an editorial stance. This is already policy. Outright banning established, regulated, large-circulation newspapers from use on enwiki would be a terrible precedent to set, especially for having « ridiculous political opinions, » as one editor has put it a few lines above. GoldenRing (talk) 10:56, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
Awful and biased as the Mail often is, there is also much that may be uncontentious. For example, take e.g. an article that I did some editing on a long time ago, on Mary Marquis, a Scottish newsreader of the ’70s and ’80s, who is still a much cherished and remembered figure in Scotland. The article contains multiple citations to an 1998 interview / profile piece from the Mail — all of which, I would submit, are entirely uncontroversial; and (I submit) contribute valuably to giving a rounded-out account of her. Of course there are reasons why one should very often be cautious of the Mail, but IMO a blanket ban is not the way. I would add that, although people like to throw around the word « Tabloid », there can be a distinction between the connotations of that word on different sides of the Atlantic, and I wouldn’t throw the Record or the Mirror or the Standard or Metro into the same class as eg the National Enquirer. Jheald (talk) 20:03, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
The paper has been around since 1896. Its bad reputation in the first few years of the 21st century speak nothing about the reliability of more than a hundred years of volumes. Clearly a blanket ban is unjustified (per Thincat). – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 03:17, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
Existing policy is enough. If it is worth adding to a Wikipedia article, it will have appeared in better sources than the Mail and other red top British tabloids. I am not an anti-tabloid snob like some of the people here, and the broadsheets are not perfect either. However, the Mail should be off limits for anything BLP related. This discussion is reminiscent of this tweet by Gavin Each case has to be judged on its merits because all sources are prone to error. The Daily Mail seems fairly average as journalism goes and should not be singled out when there are many worse sources. The following specific points demonstrate this. Andrew D. (talk) 13:50, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
The Daily Mail is somewhat unusual for a UK paper as it was the first newspaper specifically aimed at women and is read by more women than men. For example, the word suffragette was first coined in the pages of the Daily Mail and so is naturally cited by the Oxford English Dictionary. When the singer Lynsey de Paul died, there was some confusion about her exact age. The Daily Mail was one of the few news sources which got this right. I started our article about churnalism and this can be found in most news media now. One interesting case was a project which deliberately planted fake stories to see whether they would be circulated. The Daily Mail didn’t fall for this when many other news media did. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Andrew Davidson (talkcontribs)
This is ridiculous that you even consider to ban such a large newspaper. It reminds me of a witch hunt or collective responsibility (good articles banned by default, because someone else did something wrong earlier). Someone reverted DM as a source, even though DM was the only source, which actually bothered to interview the authors of the paper, therefore it was a better source than all other sources. There was nothing wrong with that DM article the only reason for removal was actually this discussion here. That can’t be right. Musashi miyamoto (talk) 17:18, 24 January 2017 (UTC)

Quel deux poids deux mesures ?

A l’heure où …

Après les faux notoires des Walter Duranty (NYT), Dan Rather (NBC), Eason Jordan (CNN) ou Scott Beauchamp (NYT) …

Où  sans parler, comme avec les toutes récentes révélations d’un spécialiste de Martin Luther King rejetées par tant le Guardian que l’Atlantic, de la rétention active d’information

Des usages de faux, plus près de chez nous, des Patrice De Beer et Jean-Claude Pomonti, PPDA, Charles Enderlin, Sara Daniel, Pascal Riché, Eric Laurent, Alain Ménargues (RFI) ou Michel Foucault

Le journal de référence américain lui-même se permet, hystérie anti-Trump oblige, un dessin antisémite

Ou un professeur de journalisme de NYU, parce que c’est « plausible », un faux tweet du président américain …

Où un journaliste qui présente explicitement son travail sur la présidence Trump comme …

Pour « beaucoup » « à l’image de ceux de Trump tout bonnement faux » …

Le « flou avec la vérité, sinon avec la réalité elle-même » comme  « fil conducteur élémentaire » de ses livres …

La vérité comme « une version des faits que je crois vraie » …

Son non-rappel des personnes incriminées pour vérification comme non nécessaire puisque l’on « sait à l’avance ce que la réponse sera »

Son obligation d’arriver à « la vérité telle que je la vois » comme plus importante que la vérification des faits …

Et sa principale source comme les dires d’un ancien conseiller du président américain …

Non seulement ouvertement déterminé à régler ses comptes avec celui qui l’a éconduit …

Mais considéré justement par tous comme l’âme damnée et le principal inspirateur du rapport controversé de l’hôte de la Maison Blanche à la vérité …

Ne va pas manquer, comme avec son premier livre, de remplir les colonnes de nos valeureux journalistes avec son irresistible flot d’ « anecdotes croustillantes, risibles et parfois invraisemblables sur Donald Trump » …

Et où, de ce côté-ci de l’Atlantique, les mêmes journalistes qui n’hésitent pas à balancer en une des notes classées secret défense pour dénoncer les ventes d’armes à l’Arabie saoudite ou à compromettre l’identité d’un membre des forces spéciales pour alimenter leur feuilleton Benalla

Multiplient les précautions oratoires quand ils ne mettent pas systématiquent en doute les informations des services secrets américains ou israéliens, voire de l’ONU même sur les activités explicitement terroristes, livraisons d’armes aux Houtis du Yemen comprises, des mollahs et de leurs affidés au Moyen-Orient …

Comment voir …

Non seulement la qualification de « haineux » pour avoir osé soulever …

Entre deux campagnes pour dénoncer un crime raciste ou une condamnation injuste

Les questions qui fâchent comme le problèmes de l’immigration sauvage ou la tentative par les juges de la Cour suprême britannique de remettre en cause le vote populaire du Brexit …

Ou d’ « homophobe » pour, dans les cas de parenté homosexuelle, avoir osé rappeler l’intérêt des enfants ou des mères porteuses …

Mais le rejet comme source fiable il y a deux ans du seul Daily Mail …

Par un Wikipédia qui a pourtant ses propres problèmes  …

Alors que, prenant notamment en compte l’important volume d’articles du premier site de presse britannique (144 000 articles par jour), l’extension pour navigateur Newsguard vient de lui redonner son label vert

Pour autre chose que ce qu’il n’est vraiment …

A savoir, comme le dit bien le Daily Mail lui-même, une « tentative cynique et politiquement motivée d’étouffer la presse libre » ?

Wikipedia ban condemned by Daily Mail as ‘cynical politically motivated attempt to stifle the free press’
The Daily Mail has said a decision by Wikipedia editors to ban references to its articles for sourcing entries is a “politically motivated attempt to stifle the free press”.
Freddy Mayhew
Press Gazette
February 10, 2017

The Daily Mail and Mail Online publications were the subject of a debate this week among a section of the self-regulating community of voluntary Wikipedia editors, most of whom post under pseudonyms.

It began when one editor, called Hillbillyholiday, proposed a “request for comment” from the editorial community on whether it should “prohibit the use of the Daily Mail as a source”.

They said: “I envisage something just short of blacklisting, whereby its introduction to an article could be accepted only upon there being a demonstrable need to use it instead of other sources.”

The motion passed within 24 hours, supported by 58 out of 84 editors.

It stated: “Consensus has determined that the Daily Mail (including its online version, dailymail.co.uk) is generally unreliable, and its use as a reference is to be generally prohibited, especially when other more reliable sources exist.

“As a result, the Daily Mail should not be used for determining notability, nor should it be used as a source in articles. An edit filter should be put in place going forward to warn editors attempting to use the Daily Mail as a reference.”

Editors said support for the ban “centred on the Daily Mail’s reputation for poor fact checking, sensationalism, and flat-out fabrication” and encouraged volunteers to “review” and “remove/replace” the many thousands of existing citations on Wikipedia referencing Mail stories.

The ban was opposed by some members, with one stating: “There is no justification for the blanket banning of a mass-circulation newspaper as a source. There will be cases where it is a suitable [as a] source.

“The problem with the ‘Mail-related arguments’ mentioned… is just with editors not knowing what appropriate sources to use.”

Mail Online publishes around half a million stories a year. According to Press Gazette analysis the Daily Mail and Mail Online had four adjudications upheld against them each under the first two years of press regulator IPSO (to September 2016).

Anyone can edit a Wikipedia page by simply clicking on the “edit” button along the top of an article and signing up for free. There is no vetting process and only deliberate “vandalism” will invoke arbitration.

A spokesperson for Mail Newspapers said: “It is hard to know whether to laugh or cry at this move by Wikipedia – a website that is notorious for its own inaccuracy and false truths, and which was co-founded by a man who doctored his own biographical entry.

“For the record the Daily Mail, in common with most reputable academic institutions, banned all its journalists from using Wikipedia as a sole source in 2014 because of its unreliability.

“Last year, the Daily Mail and Mail Online together published more than half a million stories and yet received just two upheld adjudications each for inaccuracy from the UK Industry’s regulator IPSO.

“This so-called ban by Wikipedia came at the end of a month-long ‘debate’ – triggered by a clearly obsessive newspaper-hater who hides behind the pseudonym ‘Hillbillyholiday’ – which attracted just 75 votes from Wikipedia’s 30 million anonymous registered editors.

“The debate makes it abundantly plain that the majority of those calling for the Mail to be banned were driven primarily by political motives.

“The so-called ‘vote’ was then endorsed by five anonymous administrators after a secret email exchange and then deliberately leaked to the media.

“All those people who believe in freedom of expression should be profoundly concerned at this cynical politically motivated attempt to stifle the free press.”

The editor behind the motion to ban the Daily Mail as a Wikipedia source, Hillbillyholiday, has since left Wikipedia. A sign on their page, which reveals next to no detail about the individual, states: “Hillbillyholiday is taking a short wikibreak and will be back on Wikipedia soon.”

In one public message from an editor called Bounder, Hillbillyholiday is awarded a merit badge for their “excellent work in opening the RfC on the Daily Mail”. Bounder added of the Mail: “Its presence on what is supposed to be an encyclopaedia is a constant source of embarrassment.”

In response, Hillbillyholiday said: “Thanks, Bounder… really didn’t expect the RfC [Request for Coment] to pass and was beginning to regret using Mail-style tactics of blatant sensationalization [sic] and flagrant misrepresentation of sources; it seemed rather ‘poetic’ at the time.

“Anyway, job’s a good’un, I’m off to hide somewhere where [Daily Mail editor Paul] Dacre won’t find me.”

In a leader column today, the Times said Wikipedia’s ban on the Daily Mail was evidence of a “promiscuous extension of the phrase ‘fake news’ to cover stories and publications that the complainer happens merely to dislike”.

“Newspapers make errors and have the responsibility to correct them. Wikipedia editors’ fastidiousness, however, appears to reflect less a concern for accuracy than dislike of the Daily Mail’s opinions,” the paper said, adding: “It is the duty of legitimate news organisations to reveal real news.”

On the Daily Mail ban, Juliet Barbara, director of communications at the Wikimedia Foundation, said in a statement: “Editors have discussed the reliability of the Daily Mail since at least early 2015.

“In January 2017, an RfC (Request for Comment) discussion was proposed to evaluate the use of the Daily Mail as a reliable source on English Wikipedia. This is one of many community discussions that take place every day about a broad range of issues, including reliable sources.

“In this case, volunteer editors seem to have come to a consensus that the Daily Mail is ‘generally unreliable and its use as a reference is to be generally prohibited, especially when other more reliable sources exist’.

“This means that there is a general recommendation according to this discussion that the Daily Mail not be referenced as a ‘reliable source’ on English Wikipedia or used to demonstrate an article subject’s notability.

“That said, I encourage you to read the comments in the RfC itself. You will find considerable discussion on the topic, including views both for and against the proposal. Wikipedia is a living, breathing ecosystem where volunteers regularly discuss and evolve the norms that guide the encyclopaedia.

“Among Wikipedia’s many policies and guidelines, there is even a policy to ignore all rules. It captures the open spirit of the community: ‘If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore it.’

“As a general guide to reliable sources, articles on Wikipedia should be based on reliable, third-party, published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. Editors assess the reliability of a source at these levels:

  • The piece of work itself (the article, book)
  • The creator of the work (the writer, journalist)
  • The publisher of the work (for example, Random House or Cambridge University Press)

“They also use a variety of criteria to evaluate reliability within each of these levels. For example, one signal that a news organization engages in fact-checking and has a reputation for accuracy is the publication of corrections.”

Voir aussi:

The making of a Wiki-Lie: Chilling story of one twisted oddball and a handful of anonymous activists who appointed themselves as censors to promote their own warped agenda on a website that’s a byword for inaccuracy 

    • Wikipedia’s editors decided that the Mail’s journalism cannot be trusted
    • The ban was supported by just 0.00018 per cent of site’s ‘administrators’
    • The Mail is the only major news outlet on the face of the Earth to be so censored
    • Ban sets a dangerous precedent, raising troubling questions about free speech

Guy Adams
The Daily Mail
4 March 2017

Here, you will learn that he’s ‘single’, is a fan of graffiti and folk music, and has worked variously as an ‘artist’ and ‘education management professional’.

Cockram boasts 153 online friends, and claims to live in Angoisse, a village in the Dordogne in south-western France. He also appears to take great pleasure in regularly circulating obscene images and racist sentiments via the social network.

His Facebook page includes an image of two gay men performing a sex act in public, a photograph of a naked, dark-haired man having oral sex with himself, and a painting that depicts bestiality between a man and a sheep.

Three years ago, Cockram wrote on his timeline that ‘all Muslim men admitted to Paradise will have an ever-erect penis and they will each marry 70 wives, all with appetising vaginas’.

Around the same time, he declared: ‘If you gently lick the outside of a Kinder Egg, you can slowly recreate the changing skin tones of Michael Jackson.’

It’s lubricious, utterly unedifying stuff. Indeed, a casual observer could be forgiven for pigeon-holing Cockram as a bigoted oddball who spends rather too much of his life in darker corners of the internet.

Yet in the modern world, bigoted oddballs who are over-familiar with the internet can wield tremendous power — and this potty-mouthed man is a case in point. For when he’s not posting obscene images or racist sentiments, Cockram is a regular editor of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, where (according to multiple posts on his Facebook feed) he operates under the alias ‘Hillbillyholiday’.

Last month, ‘Hillbillyholiday’ was the architect of a cynical PR stunt which saw this newspaper publicly smeared by damning its journalism ‘unreliable’.

He and 52 like-minded anti-Press zealots, almost all of whom remain anonymous, collaborated in a vote which persuaded Wikipedia, the sixth most popular website in the world, that it ought to ban the Daily Mail.

The move by the online encyclopedia — which was founded in 2001 and has in a few short years become a hugely influential source of information — was revealed in the pages of the Left-wing Guardian newspaper.

It reported that Wikipedia’s editors had decided, in a democratic ballot, that the Mail’s journalism cannot be trusted.

No statistics were offered in support of this claim, which, incidentally, came days before the Mail won Sports Newspaper Of The Year for an unprecedented fourth straight time, and was shortlisted for 15 awards at the British Press Awards, the news industry’s Oscars. (Indeed, as we shall see, the Mail has an enviable record on accuracy.)

Neither did Wikipedia, nor The Guardian, bother to shed much light on how this decision was reached.

If they had, then it would have become apparent to readers that this supposed exercise in democracy took place in virtual secrecy, and that Wikipedia’s decision to censor the Mail — the only major news outlet on the face of the Earth to be so censored — was supported by a mere 53 of its editors, or 0.00018 per cent of the site’s 30 million total, plus five ‘administrators’.

Curiously, though it has now placed a ban on this paper, the website remains happy to use the state propaganda outlets of many of the world’s most repressive and autocratic Left-wing dictatorships as a source for information.

Wikipedia has not, for example, banned the Chinese government’s Xinhua news agency, Iran’s Press TV or the Kremlin mouthpiece Russia Today.

Neither does it place a black mark against Kim Jong-un’s in-house propaganda outlet, the Korean Central News Agency, which in 2012 published a report claiming that archaeologists in the country’s capital, Pyongyang, had discovered the remains of a 1,000-year-old unicorn lair.

Wikipedia even heralds Exaro, the now-defunct British website notorious for making false claims about an establishment paedophile ring which saw a number of innocent people arrested, as a valid ‘investigative news source’.

And yet, it has declared that the Daily Mail — one of the most popular mainstream newspapers published in any Western democracy — is somehow too ‘unreliable’ to be included on its site.

In an era where the term ‘fake news’ is increasingly used as a desperate slur, with Donald Trump applying it to CNN, the BBC and any major outlet that tends to disgruntle him, it’s tempting to suggest that both Wikipedia and The Guardian are guilty, in this deeply disturbing saga, of creating what might be regarded as false news.

More worrying, this ban has set a dangerous precedent, raising profoundly troubling questions about free speech and censorship in the online era.

And ultimately it provides an object lesson in the way well-organised campaigners from extremes of the political spectrum are now seeking to impose their prejudices on society by seizing control of the most valuable resource of the internet age: information.

To understand how, you must first understand Wikipedia and the manner in which it works. Founded in 2001 by Jimmy Wales, husband of Tony Blair’s former diary secretary Kate Garvey (Alastair Campbell played bagpipes at their wedding), the site is an encyclopedia whose pages can be written and edited by anyone in the world.

Wales has said he wants it to contain ‘the sum of all human knowledge available to all in their own language’.

Over time, the theory goes, successive contributors, or ‘editors’, will gradually improve and update every Wikipedia article. Thanks to the so-called ‘wisdom of crowds’, they will slowly but surely create an ever-more-valuable repository of facts.

Today, Wikipedia has more than five million pages in English, and is visited about 269 million times a day, making it more popular than the sales site Amazon.

Thirty million people have now registered as ‘editors’, of whom around 130,000 have been active in the past six months.

Since it’s easily accessed online by Google, billions more use its pages as a key source of what they assume is accurate and unbiased information.

That’s the theory, at least. However in practice, the site — so quick to smear the Mail as ‘unreliable’ — has itself become a byword for inaccuracy.

Banned as source material by many universities, Wikipedia’s reputation for carrying fake news has seen it claim (among other things) that Robbie Williams eats domestic pets, that the Greek philosopher Plato was a Hawaiian surfer who discovered Florida, and that the TV news presenter Jon Snow has been patron of the British Conifer Society. (For the record, Mr Snow himself has said: ‘I hate conifers and I’m not the society’s patron.’)

Victims of ‘Wiki-lies’ have over recent years included some of the loftiest figures in the land.

Take Lord Justice Leveson, whose vast report on the Press informed readers that the Independent newspaper had been founded by a man called Brett Straub.

In fact, Mr Straub is a Californian student whose name had been uploaded to Wikipedia by way of a prank. Leveson’s team had simply cut-and-pasted it from the online encyclopedia into the report without checking: quite a boob for a man who lectured the Press for sometimes getting facts wrong.

Behind the scenes, Wikipedia is supposed to be run along broadly democratic lines, with groups of users making key decisions and founder Jimmy Wales describing himself as its ‘constitutional monarch, like the Queen’.

He doesn’t wield executive power, and, indeed, has occasionally fallen out spectacularly with users of the site.

In 2005, they discovered that Wales had edited his own Wikipedia entry to remove references to the pornographic nature of a search engine he once ran called Bomis Babes (which contained images of ‘lesbian strip poker threesomes’ among other things). The references were soon re-added. In 2010, he deleted 1,000 pornographic images from Wikipedia only for furious users to restore 900 of them.

As a result of its devolved structure, major policy decisions that affect the online encyclopedia are supposed to be vigorously discussed in chat-rooms and then put to a vote.

That’s the idea, at least. Yet as the recent censorship of the Daily Mail shows, the website’s version of democracy does not always work perfectly in practice.

For this momentous decision was made not by a large proportion of the site’s billions of users, or even by many of its 30 million editors, but instead as the result of an online debate in which just a few dozen people participated, despite the fact that it took place over a month.

There was then an election, in which a mere 77 of them voted, with 53 endorsing a ‘ban’ on the Mail. As elections go, it’s hardly a popular landslide.

No further steps were taken to gauge the opinion of Wikipedia’s wider user base, or to establish if there was any evidence to support the contention that this paper is somehow ‘unreliable’.

The wheels of this stunt were set in motion on January 7 by ‘Hillbillyholiday’, whose attitude towards the popular Press is evident in the fact that he also uses the alias ‘Tabloid Terminator’ and who has included an image of himself burning a copy of the Mail on his profile page.

In the past, he has declared: ‘If the Daily Mail were a person, I would kick them square in the nut.’ He’s also said he ‘hates The Sun and thinks anyone who treats it as a reliable source is stark raving mad’.

Using an obscure chatroom browsed by some Wikipedia editors, he kicked things off by saying: ‘Should we prohibit the use of the Daily Mail as a source?’ He continued: ‘I envisage something just short of blacklisting.’

Blacklisting is a term which in its modern context was popularised by the Nazis, who drew up a ‘Black Book’ of 2,820 Britons, including the philosopher Bertrand Russell and Winston Churchill, who would be sent to concentration camps if Hitler won the war.

Discussion was then joined by a number of other Wikipedia editors with either Left-wing political leanings or wider anti-Press agendas. Steven Slater, a fortysomething science fiction fan from Essex, declared this newspaper a ‘fake news’ outlet.

Another regular contributor was an American called Guy Macon who has said: ‘Kill it. Kill it with fire. Under NO circumstances should the Daily Mail be used for anything, ever.’

All of them were apparently of the view that the Mail is far more inaccurate than any other news organisation on the face of the Earth. Yet they failed to cite any data to back up their contention.

Indeed, asked for evidence to support this claim, ‘Hillbillyholiday’ simply claimed that this newspaper had more of press regulator IPSO’s sanctions against it than his favourite title, The Guardian. He failed to state that The Guardian is not regulated by IPSO, so can’t possibly have been sanctioned by it.

In other words, this opponent of the popular Press was using a deeply misleading claim to accuse someone else of inaccuracy.

As it happens, like every newspaper in the land, the Mail does of course sometimes make mistakes. In common with most titles, we correct all significant factual errors pointed out to us, via the Corrections and Clarifications column.

According to IPSO’s own report, the regulator’s figures suggest the Mail’s record is better, not worse, than our peers.

In 2015, with our sister website MailOnline, the Mail published more than half a million stories; IPSO upheld complaints against two of them. By way of comparison, five articles in The Times had complaints of one kind or another upheld against them, along with four in the Daily Express, and ten published by the Telegraph group.

This would tend to suggest that Wikipedia’s decision to ‘ban’ the Mail was based on naked prejudice rather than any empirical evidence.

It should be noted here that, ironically enough, the Mail wrote to all its writers and reporters three years ago instructing them never to rely on Wikipedia as a single source, such were the concerns about its accuracy.

Of course, the Wikipedia ban would never have made headlines if news of the website’s debate result had not promptly been leaked to The Guardian which — surprise surprise — has Jimmy Wales on its board.

The Left-wing newspaper carried a short report of the Daily Mail ban in its print edition, and a longer one online. Each was originally published before this newspaper was in a position to comment.

Its online report was then re-published, with a quotation from a spokesman for this newspaper describing Wikipedia’s ban as ‘a politically motivated attempt to stifle the free Press’.

Amazingly, that comment was edited by The Guardian prior to publication to remove criticism of Jimmy Wales for editing his own Wikipedia page. Disgracefully, it was also altered to remove the crucial information about just how few of Wikipedia’s 30 million editors had been responsible for the ban.

This was only subsequently added into the online story after further representations by the Mail. Even then, The Guardian did not include the fact that the ‘vote’ had been endorsed by just five anonymous administrators.

Talk about fake news! Because, of course, by now this misleading story had been validated by its publication in a well-known national newspaper, and was being repeated verbatim by other news outlets, particularly from the Left — showing just how corruptible information has become in the online age.

To this end, it’s worth noting that while the number of articles in English-language pages of Wikipedia has more than doubled in seven years, the number of people editing the site has declined by a quarter — thus concentrating editorial power in a small number of hands, and creating a narrow nexus of obsessive meddlers.

Today, around 90 per cent of these editors are men, and most are white. Only a tiny proportion come from outside the developed world. Most are under the age of 40 and have a liberal world view. Some could be accurately described as cranks.

Such a man is Michael Cockram, whose Facebook page (in between the obscenity and racist bile) also celebrates juvenile acts of vandalism that appear to have been carried out on Wikipedia entries.

‘The common tadpole, also known as a polliwog, is in fact not from frog eggs, but from goose poo,’ reads one. ‘Tadpoles can sing at a frequency higher than what humans can hear.’

This, then is the bizarre individual who, with a self-selecting handful of other zealots, has managed to ban a major popular newspaper from the world’s sixth largest website.

It’s a perverse state of affairs, and one which must, surely, rile Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales. Only last month, he wrote in The Guardian on the subject of fake news, arguing: ‘None of us is comfortable with the social media giants deciding what’s valid or not.’

Yet here is Wikipedia, a social media giant whose pages are riddled with inaccuracies, unilaterally deciding, at the request of a handful of people, that a major newspaper is somehow not valid.

I asked the website’s parent organisation, the Wikimedia Foundation, how it squares Wales’s ethos with recent events. It refused to answer.

Perhaps it has something to hide. After all, financial papers filed by the Foundation show that, for an organisation that calls itself a ‘small non-profit’ business and begs users for donations (‘the price of a cup of coffee’) to keep it afloat, it enjoys bulging cash reserves.

The Foundation’s accounts show it has assets of more than $90 million (£73 million), and spent $31 million (£25 million) in salaries last year, up from $26 million (£21 million) the year before.

Since the same documents state that it employs 280 members of staff and contractors, their average salary appears to be more than $110,000 (£90,000).

Meanwhile, the Foundation’s last tax return showed that its former executive director, Lila Tretikov, earned $308,149 (£251,000), plus another $18,213 (£15,000) in ‘other’ compensation, while former boss Sue Gardner was on roughly the same.

Are these amounts not excessive? Again the Foundation refused to answer my questions about the subject.

Perhaps they feel no need. For theirs is a world where it has become troublingly easy to ignore awkward questions, or indeed everything, from a newspaper which an infinitesimally small number of their members happen to dislike.

Voir également:

‘We were wrong’: US news rating tool boosts Mail Online trust ranking after talks with unnamed Daily Mail exec
James Walker
Press Gazette
January 31, 2019

US news website rating tool Newsguard has changed its verdict on Mail Online after originally declaring the UK’s most-read news website failed to uphold “basic standards of accuracy or accountability”.

Newsguard now says the website “generally maintains basic standards of accuracy and accountability”. The start-up said the changes had been made following “discussions” with an unnamed Daily Mail executive

New York-based Newsguard runs a free extension for the Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers that dishes out “red” and “green” ratings to news websites based on its judgement of their trustworthiness.

It was revealed last week that the ranking tool, which is included as an opt-in extension on Microsoft Edge’s mobile web app, handed Mail Online a red rating that put it on par with Kremlin-backed newsbrands RT and Sputnik.

When the browser extension is installed, red or green shields appear to give Newsguard’s appraisal of the website, which it calls “nutrition labels”.

In its previous “red” rating for Mail Online, Newsguard claimed it failed on six counts:

  • To gather and present information responsibly
  • Handle the difference between news and opinion responsibly
  • Avoid deceptive headlines
  • Reveal who is in charge and potential conflicts of interest
  • Provide the names of content creators with contact information
  • Repeatedly published false content.

In its new “green” label for the website, Newsguard has rowed back on its previous claims about deceptive headlines, publishing false content and the failure to reveal who is in charge along with conflicts of interest.

It still regards Mail Online as failing to gather and present information responsibility, handle the difference between news and opinion responsibly and provide the names of content creators with contact information.

In its editor’s note on the updated “nutrition label” for Mail Online, Newsguard said: “This label now has the benefit of the dailymail.co.uk’s input and our view is that in some important respects their objections are right and we were wrong, which we think demonstrates the value of the transparency and accountability that imbues what we do.”

Newsguard said the Daily Mail executive pointed out that it had relied too heavily on complaints filed with watchdog the Independent Press Standards Organisation when making a judgement on whether or not the site repeatedly published fake news.

Newsguard accepted that point and said it “should not be over-relying on IPSO’s process for our judgement on this criterion” and also needed to consider the number of IPSO complaints levelled at a publication against how much content it publishes.

Mail Online publishes some 1,500 stories per day – well over half-a-million per year. It has 12m average daily unique browsers, according to circulation auditor ABC.

The “red” ratings for deceptive headlines was reversed after Newsguard similarly considered the number of Mail Online stories that carried misleading headlines versus those that did not.

The Mail executive also challenged the media start-up’s claim that it failed to handle the difference between news and opinion responsibly, pointing out that UK newspapers “have long-held politically oriented viewpoints … and that this is a widely accepted practice in British journalism”.

Newsguard said it would not change Mail Online’s “red” rating on that criteria because there was no “disclosure of its conservative orientation” on its website.

The start-up said the Mail executive agreed with its point on revealing who was in charge and possible conflicts of interest and has put more information about editorial leadership on its website.

Newsguard has claimed more than 500 online news outlets have “improved their journalism practices” based on its nine trustworthiness factors, which are:

  • Not repeatedly publishing false content
  • Gathering and presenting information responsibly
  • Regular corrections and clarifications (where necessary)
  • Handling the difference between news and opinion responsibly
  • Avoiding deceptive headlines
  • Disclosing ownership and source(s) of financing
  • Clearly labels advertising
  • Reveals who is in charge and any conflicts of interest
  • Provides name of content creators with either contact or biographical information.

It said that Mail Online, Reuters and Yahoo News are among those that have improved practices as a result of its browser extension.

Newsguard co-chief executive Steven Brill said: “We created Newsguard because we believe strongly that when news organizations are held to a high standard of accuracy and accountability, the result is good for both those news organizations and their readers.

“Our results thus far show that this is indeed the case. The most common side effect of what we do is for news organisations to improve their journalistic practices.”

Newsguard ratings are calculated by a leadership and analyst team that includes alumnus from The Week, the Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press.

Microsoft partnered with the firm in August last year as part of its Defending Democracy Program.

Brill told Press Gazette that Newsguard has so far rated the 2,000 most read news and information websites in the US – and that some UK publications happened to appear in that bracket.

It rates website on a 0 to 100 points scale, with 60 being the threshold between “green” and “red” rankings.

Each of the nine trustworthiness factors are weighted differently, with reporting true and accurate stories gaining the most points at 22 and providing information on “content creators”, such as journalist bios, the least at 5 points.

Voir de même:

The Daily Mail is an amoral cash cow, and the most effective way to reject the bile it prints is to never read it

Shortly after the Olympics opening ceremony, the Daily Mail published a great steaming turd of an article by a « journalist » called Rick Dewsbury. I won’t reproduce the whole sorry thing here, but suffice to say it was an unpleasant mix of contempt, misanthropy and thinly disguised racism. As he complained bitterly of the ceremony’s « politically driven multiculturalism », Dewsbury observed: « This was supposed to be a representation of modern life in England but it is likely to be a challenge for the organisers to find an educated white middle-aged mother and black father living together with a happy family in such a set-up. »

Every now and then the Daily Mail will publish an article that, even by its own dubious standards, is offensive to the point of unacceptable. Rick Dewsbury’s journalistic offal is the latest in a long line of these: from Richard Littlejohn’s declaration that the deaths of five women was « no great loss », to Samantha « don’t hate me because I’m beautiful » Brick. But it’s not the articles themselves that spark my curiosity; it’s the liberal reaction to them, which judging by form seems to be: 1. Angrily share the article as much as possible. 2 ????? 3. Close the Daily Mail.

I’ve often wondered whether the Daily Mail’s critics realise that the sole consequence of their actions is to increase traffic to its website, and whether next time they might consider cutting out the middle man by simply emptying the contents of their wallets on to Paul Dacre’s desk. I posed this question to those responding to the Dewsbury article and the answer I got was that, despite increasing the paper’s hit rate, it is nonetheless important to « expose » the Daily Mail. To which I ask, expose what? That a paper which once supported the Blackshirts is occasionally racist?

The blogger John Walker gave a more detailed answer. In a widely praised and shared article, he wrote:

« I still meet many people who do not understand how the Daily Mail is not just another tabloid, not just as bad as the rest of them, but instead something far more despicable and dangerous. It’s one of the most popular papers in Britain, and when we say, ‘Just ignore it – they’re just trying to get hits,’ I shudder. We do not ignore evil – we challenge it and get angry about it. »

For me, this is where it all gets a bit ridiculous. The Daily Mail is not some kind of bigoted Sauron, casting a shadow over the citizens of middle England. There is no grand conspiracy; no ideological plan to make everyone that little bit worse. The Daily Mail is an amoral cash cow; one that knows its readers frighteningly well, and makes money by appealing to their very worst instincts. For all the sexism contained therein, as Kira Cochrane pointed out some months ago, the Daily Mail has more female bylines than any other newspaper – for the simple reason that the majority of its readers are female. In other words, this is a newspaper operating upon mercenary, not malevolent principles.

The editors of the Daily Mail don’t think their readers are nice people; they think they’re small-minded, curtain-twitching misers, largely because that’s what the editors are like as well. As a Daily Mail journalist once put it to me, « There is no conspiracy with the Mail. It’s just what you get when you have a newspaper run by [censored]. »

But don’t take my word for it: read Private Eye, which will tell you that the Mail’s morning editorial conference is nicknamed « The Vagina Monologues » by staff, because of the liberty with which Paul Dacre dispenses the c-word. Or a New Yorker piece on the Mail, where journalist Lauren Collins asked picture editor Martin Clarke why he was publishing a picture of an acne-ridden actress. His response was not that he wished to ensure women’s sexual and social oppression, but: « Well, we all just looked at the picture and went, ‘Yuck, look, she’s an actress in 90210, and she’s spotty.' »

Now I am not suggesting that angry liberals should attempt to peacefully co-exist with the Daily Mail – far from it. I am arguing that said liberals should know their enemy. See, the fact is: the Daily Mail doesn’t care that you’re angry. It only cares that you buy it. And if the Daily Mail lives for profit, then the most effective way to keep it in check is to hit it in the wallet.

How do we do that? I hear you cry. Well luckily, there are plenty of precedents. In 2008, the residents of Hackney persuaded the borough’s suppliers not to stock the Hackney Gazette unless it withdrew an advert in its pages for the BNP. The campaign worked and the Hackney Gazette agreed not to run the advert. And only last year, online activists persuaded advertisers in the News of the World to withdraw their custom after the hacking of Milly Dowler’s phone, which in part led to the newspaper’s closure.

So liberals, if you are serious about taking on the Daily Mail, stop clicking and start acting. And when you find yourselves getting fruitlessly angry the next time it publishes some swill, just remember the wisdom attributed to George Bernard Shaw: « I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it. »

Voir de plus:

The judgment is not about sabotaging Britain’s EU exit. It’s about respecting democracy and getting the best deal possible

It has become painfully clear since June’s vote to leave the European Union that Theresa May’s government and its supporters have little or no idea where the country is heading. Lacking a plan or a shared philosophy, they are united by an arbitrary and destructive rush to the exit. Their hysterical reaction to last week’s unanimous high court ruling that Britain cannot quit the EU without parliament’s consent also reveals extraordinary ignorance about where we, as a country, have come from. It is dismaying that those who campaigned so passionately to reclaim British sovereignty appear not to have the first idea about their country’s long-established constitutional arrangements.

It is a fundamental principle of British democracy that parliament is sovereign. Not the government. Not the executive or a self-selecting clique within it. Certainly not this prime minister, who lacks a personal mandate. Sovereign power resides with our elected, representative parliament. This state of affairs did not come about by chance. A power struggle between the crown and its subjects raged almost unceasingly in the centuries following Magna Carta. The proposition that the monarch cannot rule without parliament’s consent lay at the heart of England’s serial 17th-century civil wars. The question was settled by the parliamentarians’ victory at the battle of Worcester in 1651. Parliament’s ascendancy was legally established in the Glorious Revolution of 1688, which spawned the landmark Bill of Rights.

It is also a long-established fact of British constitutional life that the country’s senior judges do not make domestic law. Their independent role is to interpret laws agreed by parliament, say what they mean and how and if they may be legally implemented. When Britain joined what was then the EEC, the European Communities Act, passed by parliament in 1972, incorporated many European laws into domestic law. Thus it is both illogical and ignorant to castigate the high court for doing its job and stating the constitutionally obvious: that having passed the act, only parliament can override it by consenting to activate article 50 of the Lisbon treaty.

Yet castigating the judges and by extension, anybody who has the effrontery to agree with them, is exactly what the hard Tory Brexiters and their accomplices in the lie factories of Fleet Street have resorted to with a venom, vindictiveness and vituperation remarkable even by their standards. The will of the people has been thwarted by an “activist” judiciary. These bewigged, closet Remainers, members of the fabled “well-heeled liberal metropolitan elite”, are “enemies of the people”, they shriek. Some of these sleaze-peddlers even dipped into homophobia, highlighting the sexual orientation of one of the judges. Inexcusable.

This is mendacious bile. It wilfully misunderstands the relationship between parliament, government and the judiciary. Partisanship is understandable, but this level of stupidity is unforgivable. It misleads and distorts – either deliberately or out of ignorance. As Hilary Benn pointed out yesterday, the high court judgment has nothing to do with defying the “will of the people”. As he explained, “the judgment is not to do with the fact that we will be leaving the European Union. It was a ruling on who starts the process, who fires the starting gun and in upholding the principle of parliamentary sovereignty… the judges said that since it was legislation that took us in, it should be parliament that takes the decision to start that process and not the government.”

Or here is Conservative MP and ex-attorney general Dominic Grieve speaking on Newsnight on Friday: “I was horrified at the newspaper coverage, which reminded me of Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. The judges did exactly what was asked of them – they highlighted that our constitution does not allow you to overturn statute law by decree.”

The judiciary are at the heart of our commitment to the rule of law and those who question their legitimacy (because they disagree with their view) threaten to undermine a critical institution vital to our democracy. Yesterday, the Bar Council took the extraordinary step of asking the lord chancellor, Liz Truss, to condemn the “serious and unjustified” attacks on senior judges over the Brexit court ruling. Senior judges having to appeal to the lord chancellor to defend them from unjustified attacks, in Britain, in 2016?

Since 23 June, the country has loosed itself from tolerant, civil discourse – on both sides. The world has often looked to Britain as an example of a pluralist, inclusive democracy and a cultured, ordered and civil society. But that is changing. As the world looked at the response of politicians and the popular press to last week’s court judgment, many will have concluded that it had more in common with Sisi’s Egypt or Erdoğan’s Turkey than the Britain they thought they knew. A country that hounds, demonises and implicitly threatens its independent judiciary is one that toys menacingly with the very tenets of democracy.

We noted in these columns some weeks ago that Theresa May, who coined the phrase the “nasty party” to describe the Conservatives some years ago, was threatening to turn Britain into the nasty country. That is increasingly the message being sent across the world. It is also the message being sent to foreigners living here, including long-resident EU nationals now afraid to speak openly for fear of rebuke or worse.

Many more reasonable Brexit supporters have rightly distanced themselves from campaign to demonise the judges responsible for last week’s ruling. But the government’s ill-advised decision to appeal to the supreme court means judges sitting on England’s highest bench, who will consider the matter next month, may now also be subject to overt political pressure and similarly contemptuous, intimidatory invective. In Turkey or Burundi, such tactics by the state and its surrogates might not be considered surprising. But here?

What sort of country is Britain becoming that this sort of menacing behaviour is not only tolerated but implicitly encouraged by senior government ministers who fear, correctly, they are losing the argument? As has been repeated ad nauseam, the issue is not about reversing or somehow sabotaging the referendum result. It is about ensuring proper democratic scrutiny of the government’s negotiating positions, about ascertaining whether its approach advances the national interest rather than sectional, business and City interests. It is about getting the best deal for Britain.

The concerted assault on the judiciary comes in the context of wider institutional vandalism indulged by the hard Tory Brexiters and their international sympathisers and emulators. They would recklessly tear up nearly 45 years of carefully navigated British relationships with our European neighbours. The resulting damage to the economy and living standards is mounting fast.

Much worse is to come. In America, Donald Trump runs a presidential campaign based on fear, prejudice, ignorance and xenophobia, which he claims represents change, not abject regression, and threatens to reject the election outcome if it goes against him. The dire cost of Trumpism to America’s national unity and cohesion is already plain.

Across Europe, iconoclastic extremist and nationalist parties compete to demonstrate who is most intolerant, most hateful and best at scaring people. In France, their vile message may be working as presidential elections approach and the Front National gains ground. But hard Tory Brexiters do not see the link, deny any crossover, cannot understand how their institutional dumpster fire stokes nihilism and chauvinism. They dwell in their Little England bubble, detached from the real world or, as the high court said of their article 50 arguments, “divorced from reality”. Anybody who disturbs their narrative, such as Stephen Phillips, who resigned as a Conservative MP on Friday, is shunned as a blood foe. Nick Clegg, for daring to add his voice to the democratic debate over Brexit, is ridiculed. Will these people who hound reasonable public figures ever understand what a mature democracy involves? Formidable, robust, intelligent and reasoned debate.

As Dominic Grieve said: “Debate helps outcomes, suppressing it destroys it.” Would they rather our public discourse – and hence, public life – be characterised by childish slurs, homophobia, distortions and vicious rhetoric? That is where Britain is being driven by a new hard Brexit elite.

It behoves any sensible, reasonable public figure to recognise that a 52-48 referendum result is one where national cohesiveness matters. And while it delivered a mandate to exit the European Union, it did not give sweeping powers to brush aside challenges on the nature, timing and texture of that exit. There is a lack of reason on both sides of this debate and there is a danger that the public fissures that have opened up since June 23rd become wider still. We all have a responsibility to ensure that does not happen. As Iain Martin says elsewhere on these pages, “Neither set of extremists is representative of, nor has a majority in, parliament or the country. What becomes ever more apparent over Brexit is that there is a need for an alliance between moderate (of which there are many) Leavers and moderate Remainers, those who regret the result on 23 June but accept it.”

The truth is, hard Tory Brexiters are fearful of losing the argument. The truth is there is little confidence that May can keep her head and rein in the irresponsible fantasies of her more wild-eyed colleagues. The truth is, May has already shown a talent for wrong-headedness, an instinct for the bad call, as seen with Hinkley Point, grammar schools, child obesity and Nissan subsidies. She appears unable to grasp the EU’s blunt insistence that access to the single market cannot be divorced from freedom of movement.

The disdain, scepticism and bewilderment of Britain’s EU partners is wounding. At last month’s Brussels summit, her first, May was kept waiting until the early morning before being allowed to deliver a short statement on Brexit. She was listened to in silence. Nobody deigned to respond. On Friday, her calls to Germany’s Angela Merkel and the commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, when she tried to persuade them, implausibly, that her March deadline for article 50 still stood, were embarrassingly brief. Few in Europe now believe Britain’s government has a roadmap.

In such circumstances, it is imperative that parliament, now given its chance – and reminded of its duty – to shape Britain’s future course by the high court, steps up to the mark. For too long, too many MPs who support continued EU membership (a majority overall) have been cowering in silence, fearful that any expression of unease over the Brexit process will be misrepresented as a bid to overturn the referendum result. No one disputes the result of the referendum, or the social, cultural and political tensions that delivered it, but it is right that the manner of our exit are properly scrutinised. That has yet to be decided. And parliament, rightly, has a role to play.

To be worthy of its sovereign status, both Houses of Parliament should now inject themselves into the Brexit process. This means cross-examining ministers and demanding a green paper on the government’s plans. It means proposing alternative strategies. It means amending and, if need be, discarding wrong-headed approaches. And it means the holding of binding votes not only on when article 50 should be triggered but also on the final terms of any eventual exit agreement.

In short, parliament must be ready to exercise veto power over any Brexit deal that does not ultimately serve the national interest – because this government simply cannot be trusted not to deliver serious economic self-harm on the altar of blind ideology. It is a tall order. The growing prospect of an early general election, should May continue to trip, fumble and flop, presents many MPs with an existential dilemma: whether to vote with their conscience and uphold the democratic rights of parliament and their constituents or be pushed and pulled along by a populist tide, propelled by lies. Most Labour MPs, for example, represent constituencies where a majority voted Leave. It is still likely that last week’s ruling proves a pyrrhic victory, by provoking an early election that, with the current dire state of the Labour party, will give May an enhanced majority. Thus, we will have a parliament with fewer teeth and providing less scrutiny or push-back than is required.

Perhaps prodded by the shadow Brexit minister, Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, could be stirred from his lethargic ambivalence over Europe. If the Liberal Democrats and Scottish Nationalists add their voice, as Nicola Sturgeon suggests they will, in opposition to any hasty Brexit “plan”, and if the House of Lords finds the courage, as it has in the past, to challenge unwise and overweening executive power, it is possible a sensible path forward acceptable to the country as a whole – and to Europe – can yet be found.

Last week, independent judges courageously stood up for constitutional governance in Britain and, defying the bullies, did their job. Now parliament must follow suit.

Voir par ailleurs:

Michael Wolff Talks ‘Siege,’ Trump, Journalism and His Definition of Truth
“I’m a New York guy,” the author says. “Trump is a New York guy. In the end, we know a lot of the same people.”
Michael M. Grynbaum
The New York Times
May 30, 2019

“Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” Michael Wolff’s account of President Trump’s early tenure, sold more than four million copies, spawned a TV deal, prompted the president to threaten legal action and led to the ouster of Stephen K. Bannon from the White House and Breitbart News.

On Tuesday, Mr. Wolff returns with a sequel, “Siege: Trump Under Fire.” Author and subject seem well-matched: A pair of acid-tongued gossipmongers fixated on the foibles of New York’s elite, Mr. Wolff and Mr. Trump are gifted storytellers who are unafraid to punch back.

But the similarities extend in less flattering ways. “Fire and Fury,” which portrayed a president with a strained relationship to the truth, raised questions about Mr. Wolff’s own adherence to the facts. Minor errors cropped up; anecdotes were denied. On “Saturday Night Live,” Fred Armisen, in Mr. Wolff’s thick glasses and bald pate, dismissed questions about the book’s accuracy.

“Look, you read it, right?” Armisen-as-Wolff said. “You liked it? You had fun? Well, what’s the problem?”

The new book’s claims range from the intriguing — Mr. Wolff writes that Alan Dershowitz asked for a million-dollar retainer to defend Mr. Trump, a claim Mr. Dershowitz said on Wednesday was “completely, categorically false”— to the lurid, including a description based on a secondhand source of a supposed encounter between Mr. Trump and an unnamed woman aboard his private jet before his presidency.

In an interview at his Manhattan townhouse on Tuesday — his first public comments about “Siege” — Mr. Wolff, 65, praised his reporting, defended his reliance on Mr. Bannon as a source and explained why he had little use for the usual fact-checking procedures valued by reporters at mainstream news outlets.

He was trending on Twitter at the time of the interview. A spokesman for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, had issued a rare statement denying a central claim of “Siege,” which had just leaked out: that Mr. Mueller’s team had drafted an indictment of Mr. Trump on obstruction charges that was never used. Edited and condensed excerpts from the conversation with Mr. Wolff follow.

I’m surprised you’re not fielding calls from your lawyer.

I fielded.

The special counsel denied that the documents you describe in “Siege” exist. Do you want to respond?

I would only say my source is impeccable, and I have no doubt about the authenticity and the significance of the documents.

How did you find all these sources? After “Fire and Fury,” weren’t you persona non grata in the West Wing?

Everybody continued to talk to me. When “Fire and Fury” came out, I thought Steve Bannon would certainly never speak to me again, and the truth is, he never stopped speaking. But the other element of this is — I think a key one — is I’m a New York guy. Donald Trump is a New York guy. In the end, we know a lot of the same people. There is this conversation among these people about Donald Trump. And I am fortunate to be in that loop.

You wrote “Fire and Fury” with physical access to the White House. Did you have that this time?

I have not been in the White House for this book, no. But a very large percentage of the people who spoke to me for the first book have continued to speak to me for the second book. Partly because they can’t stop talking about Donald Trump, and I’m a good listener. But also because I think the portrait in the first book worked for them.

Did you seek an interview with the president?

No.

Why not?

He tried to stop the publication last time. I think that would be a fool’s errand, to invite the president of the United States to come down on you.

Arguably, Trump’s anger was an accelerant for the sales of the book.

As it turned out. But at that moment, it didn’t feel like that was what it was going to be.

You felt concerned?

Yeah! If the president of the United States comes after you, you feel concerned.

In your author’s note, you write that “Siege” captures “an emotional state rather than a political state” of the presidency.

I’ve said many times: I’m not a Washington reporter. And Washington reporters, they do a great job. They do their job. I approached this as, that the more significant factor here, beyond policy, was buffoonery, psychopathology, random and ad hominem cruelties. In a way, my thesis is that this administration, this character, needed a different kind of writer.

Is there an argument you wanted to make in “Siege”?

The argument is, this was a wholly different kind of president, a wholly different kind of administration. And even beyond that, you have this figure that is strangely isolated. It’s really just Donald Trump. There really isn’t a government functioning here. I think the historical understanding is that the presidency changes the person who holds the office. I think the reverse is true here — he’s changed the White House into the Trump Organization.

Steve Bannon no longer works in the White House and has been cast out from Trump’s inner circle. How much should we trust in what Bannon has to say?

I’ve been sorting this now for actually close to three years, so I think I have a fairly good sense of the reality quotient at any given point. But then I think you have to look to Bannon’s insights. When he says something, in my experience, he can often get right to the kernel, into the hub of the situation, where you say, ‘Damn, of course that’s it.’ Among the hundreds of people I have spoken to, he is the most insightful person about Donald Trump, about what makes him tick.

How many sources did you talk to for “Siege”?

150 people.

Critics of “Fire & Fury” said you were fast and loose with facts.

I think every successive account has only confirmed what was in “Fire and Fury.” And often months, or years, later.

What did you make of Fred Armisen’s impression of you?

When you get portrayed on “Saturday Night Live,” you take it any way you can get it.

In some ways, that caricature captured the central skepticism around your book.

I would push back against that. Literally every book, every account since has either repeated “Fire and Fury” in many of its specifics, or confirmed virtually everything that I wrote about in that book.

Do you think you’ll get flak from other journalists for “Siege”?

I assume so.

In “Siege,” you quote a witness — a former sound engineer on “The Apprentice” named Erik Whitestone — who describes episodes of what could be construed as sexual misconduct by Trump before his taking office. Did you seek a response from Trump?

I did not. As I say, I didn’t contact Donald Trump at all. But why would you? Literally, this is not a man who is going to suddenly at this point of his life ’fess up to being a sexual harasser.

Were you able to speak with the women involved?

No. I’m just reporting this person’s account of his life with Donald Trump.

Whitestone struck you as credible?

Wholly.

You also write that Fox News provided questions ahead of time for its interview with Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court nomination fight. Did you ask Fox for comment?

No, but, again — it’s a difference between an institutional reporter and a non-institutional reporter. I don’t have to ask the silly questions.

Are they silly if it’s a matter of fact in the book?

Yes, because can you imagine a circumstance under the sun in which Fox would come clean on that?

[Contacted on Wednesday, Fox News called Mr. Wolff’s claim “pure fiction.”]

But “Siege” went through a fact-checking period?

Of course.

And that did not include reaching out to —

I actually don’t believe, if you know the answer, it is necessary to go through the motions of getting an answer that you are absolutely certain of.

Just to be clear, by “answer,” you mean the response you would hear from the subject?

Yes.

I guess I’d press you again on fact-checking.

It’s a distinction between journalists who are institutionally wedded and those who are not. I’m not. You make those pro forma calls to protect yourself, to protect the institution. It’s what the institution demands. I’m talking about those calls where you absolutely know what the response is going to be. They put you in the position in which you’re potentially having to negotiate what you know. In some curious way, that’s what much journalism is about. It’s about a negotiated truth.

For someone else, a book writer, I don’t have to do that. When I know something is true, I don’t have to go back and establish some kind of middle ground with whoever I’m writing about, which will allow me at some point to go back to them.

As a journalist, is there a responsibility to seek out the subject’s side of the story? To gather as much information as you can?

As a journalist — or as a writer — my obligation is to come as close to the truth as I possibly can. And that’s not as close to someone else’s truth, but the truth as I see it. Remember, it’s a difference between a book and something else — you don’t have to read my book, you don’t have to agree with my book. But at the end of the day, what you are going to know is that it is my book. It is my vision. It is my report on my experience. It’s not put together by a committee. What you do is a committee project at some point. What I do is not. And I’m not saying one is better than the other, they’re just different functions.

Is “Siege” a work of journalism?

Of course.

Voir aussi:

Michael Wolff’s trip inside Trumpworld, and inside the president’s head, with Steve Bannon as guide
Ryan Lizza
The Washington Post
May 29 2019
Ryan Lizza is a senior political analyst for CNN and chief political correspondent for Esquire.

The author’s note that opens “Siege,” Michael Wolff’s sequel to “Fire and Fury” — which documented President Trump’s first year in office, much of it through the anonymous musings of Steve Bannon — reads like the scene-setting crawl at the start of a Star Wars movie. The reader learns that Wolff’s new account begins in February 2018, when the “president’s capricious furies have been met by an increasingly organized and methodical institutional response” and Trump’s “own government, even his own White House, has begun to turn on him.” Instead of cutting to Hoth, the distant ice planet in “The Empire Strikes Back” that’s home to the struggling rebellion, we soon cut to Bannon’s kitchen table.

Bannon has been driven out of the White House by Trump and dumped by his financial patrons, the Mercers, and has set up shop in a shabby Capitol Hill townhouse, theatrically known as the Embassy, which, it slowly becomes clear, might as well be Hoth. It takes 193 pages, but we eventually learn that Bannon hasn’t talked to Trump since he was fired.

That doesn’t prevent Wolff from centering the entire narrative on the president’s former aide. So the new Wolff book is much like the last one: a sail through the Trump diaspora and inside the president’s head with Bannon as the cruise director. But also like the last book, “Siege” is ultimately crippled by three flaws: Wolff’s overreliance on a single character, and one who is now more distant from the action; factual errors that mar the author’s credibility; and sourcing that is so opaque it renders the scoops highly suspicious and unreliable.

For long stretches of “Siege,” Trump and the White House staff disappear and the reader is subjected to a tedious ticktock of Bannon’s travels and his plotting from the Embassy, where he pontificates throughout 2018 about how the Republicans will win the midterms (they didn’t), how his nationalist project is still ascendant in the GOP (it isn’t), how Robert Mueller will destroy the Trump presidency (he didn’t), and how Bannon himself may have to replace Trump and run for president in 2020, with Sean Hannity as his running mate (we’ll have to wait for Episode III).

In the acknowledgments, Bannon is the only named source whom Wolff thanks, praising him effusively and, in an allusion to Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” calling him “the Virgil anyone might be lucky enough to have as a guide for a descent into Trumpworld.” In reality Bannon is more like Wolff’s Farinata, the former Florentine political leader whom Dante portrays as banished to the circle of hell for heretics, where, alone in his tomb, he still obsesses about his own era in politics but has no access to current events unless one of the dead brings him a snippet of news from the center of power.

In “Siege,” the dead arrive at Bannon’s doorstep in the form of former Trump aides such as Corey Lewandowski, David Bossie, Sam Nunberg and Jason Miller, and Wolff, like many other Washington reporters, absorbs a mix of gossip, misinformation and occasional insight that the outer rings of Trump advisers are famous for circulating.

This rogues’ gallery of Trump hangers-on that Wolff seems to depend on is sometimes presented as a group of devoted ideological rebels trying to keep the flame of true MAGA alive. According to Wolff, several of them, usually working through Hannity, who has better access to the president, press Trump on issues like building the border wall or declaring a national emergency over immigration. Bossie and Lewandowski “weren’t operatives, they were believers,” Wolff credulously reports, a statement that will generate guffaws among Republicans. But mostly, Bannon’s knitting circle is involved in low-level score-settling — often against then-White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner — and making money off their association with Trump. Lewandowski and Bossie hawk a conspiracy book about the “deep state” even though, according to Wolff, Bannon tells their ghostwriter that “none of this is true.”

Wolff’s rebels and Trump are co-dependent but clear-eyed about each other. Trump, Wolff writes, likes Lewandowski more than his own sons, even though he derides him as an “ass kisser.” Trump says Bossie, who unsuccessfully maneuvers to become chief of staff, is “shifty.” Nunberg is mocked by the president for living with his parents, and Wolff quotes Trump remarking of Miller, “I get the people who no one else wants.”

Likewise, they have no illusions about Trump. Wolff summarizes the view of the president from the ragtag Embassy team: Trump is a “clown,” an “idiot” and a “nutter.”

Bannon’s core political project of attaining power by stoking racial resentment is left uncriticized by Wolff. (In case there is any doubt about this, Bannon tells Wolff: “If you voted for Trump, every picture of a Mexican immigrant, a parent or a child, together or apart, reconfirms that vote.”) Wolff’s obsession with documenting Bannon’s every thought, while remaining uninterested in the reality of the racial politics unleashed by him and Trump, reaches peak hilarity when he earnestly quotes Bannon’s dissection of whether the president is an anti-Semite (probably not) or a racist (probably). While many who have studied Trump — for a fraction of the time that Wolff has — have easily made up their minds on the issue, Wolff, who quotes Trump making racist and anti-Semitic remarks and calling Mexicans “wetbacks,” writes that whether he is a racist or not is “a rosebud riddle.”

However, Bannon’s frequently shrewd observations make it clear why Wolff finds him irresistible. The author is mostly interested in Trump’s psychology. He is adept at documenting the president’s lunacy, and Bannon is frequently an able fellow shrink. For example, he credibly theorizes that Trump’s inevitable disgust with anyone who works for him is a natural outgrowth of his alleged self-hatred. “Hating himself, he of course comes to hate anyone who seems to love him,” Bannon tells Wolff. “If you seem to respect him, he thinks he’s put something over on you — therefore you’re a fool.”

But the idea that Wolff is documenting some larger ideological struggle in the Trump GOP is mostly familiar Bannon spin. According to Wolff, Lewandowski reports that “he had almost wet himself” during a White House confrontation with Kelly, a former Marine, who grabbed Lewandowski by the collar outside the Oval Office. What Wolff leaves out about this well-known episode, first reported by the New York Times, is that Kelly was yelling at Lewandowski for trying to profit off Trump’s presidency. Wolff also ignores, perhaps because of his publishing deadline, that Bossie was officially excommunicated from Trumpworld in May when the Trump campaign suggested he was running a “scam group” that was “interested in filling their own pockets with money from innocent Americans’ paychecks.” Believers indeed.

Wolff’s broad conceptual error — that the real heart of Trumpism is heroically being kept alive by Bannon’s band of true-believing outsiders — would be forgivable if the book wasn’t marred by two more strikes: some cringeworthy errors, and sourcing that is so opaque it renders the extremely fun and juicy quotes sprinkled across every chapter as — sadly — difficult to trust.

Wolff reports that he had two fact-checkers assigned to the book, but they apparently weren’t enough. He writes that after Ty Cobb left the White House, Trump’s only lawyers were Jay Sekulow and Rudy Giuliani (whom he describes as “drunk on a bid for further attention, or just drunk”). Wolff seems not to know that Trump hired Jane and Martin Raskin, whose names do not appear in the book, to deal with the Mueller probe. He writes that Russians hacked the email account of John Podesta and servers at the Democratic National Committee after July 27, 2016, the day Trump famously called on Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s missing emails. That’s wrong. The Podesta hack happened in March, the DNC hack happened in April, and the fruits of those hacks had already been released, which is why Trump made the comment.

Wolff observes that reporting on Trump is difficult because the president and many of the people who work for him or advise him lie indiscriminately. Other reporters have faced this dilemma by maximizing the number of sources needed to confirm the many rumors that swirl around Trump and by generally increasing transparency to retain reader trust in an environment where the president regularly attacks truthful reporting as fake.

Wolff takes a different approach. Dramatic scoops are plopped down on the page with no sourcing whatsoever. Would-be newsmaking quotes are often attributed to Trump and senior officials without any context about when or to whom they were made.

Wolff clearly relies on the work of dozens of other reporters on the Trump beat, but because he rarely uses any attributions, the reader never knows whether a fact he’s relaying comes from him or elsewhere. For example, he writes that Kushner was briefed by intelligence officials that his friend Wendi Deng might be a Chinese spy. The reader would be forgiven for thinking this was another Wolff scoop, rather than a major exclusive reported by the Wall Street Journal in early 2018.

The cutting comments Wolff attributes to Trump certainly sound like the president: “the stupidest man in Congress” and a “religious nut” (Mike Pence); “gives me the creeps” (Karen Pence); “feeble” (John Kelly); “a girl” (Kushner); “looks like a mental patient” (Giuliani); “a pretty stupid boy” who “has too many f—ing kids” (Donald Trump Jr.); “men’s shop salesmen” (Republican House candidates); “ignoramuses” (Trump’s communications team); “the only stupid Jew” (Michael Cohen); “a dirty rat” (former White House counsel Donald McGahn); a “virgin crybaby” who was “probably molested by a priest” (Brett Kavanaugh); “the poor man’s Ann Coulter” (Kellyanne Conway); “sweaty” (Stephen Miller). But the lack of sourcing transparency and footnotes does not inspire confidence.

By far the biggest scoop in the book is a document that Wolff alleges is a draft indictment, eventually ignored, of the president from inside the special counsel’s office. In addition to the alleged indictment, Wolff reports on several interesting and newsworthy memos outlining Mueller’s legal strategy for what to do if Trump pardoned Michael Flynn or tried to shut down the investigation. These documents, if verified, would rescue the book, because they offer the first real glimpse inside the nearly airtight Mueller operation.

On Tuesday, the special counsel’s office issued a rare on-the-record statement insisting that the “documents described do not exist.”

Siege
Trump Under Fire

By Michael Wolff

Henry Holt. 335 pp. $30

Voir de même:

Bannon described Trump Organization as ‘criminal enterprise’, Michael Wolff book claims
Former White House adviser says financial investigations will take down president in sequel to Fire and Fury
Edward Helmore
The Guardian
29 May 2019

The former White House adviser Steve Bannon has described the Trump Organization as a criminal entity and predicted that investigations into the president’s finances will lead to his political downfall, when he is revealed to be “not the billionaire he said he was, just another scumbag”.

The startling remarks are contained in Siege: Trump Under Fire, the author Michael Wolff’s forthcoming account of the second year of the Trump administration. The book, published on 4 June, is a sequel to Fire and Fury: Trump in the White House, which was a bestseller in 2018. The Guardian obtained a copy.

In a key passage, Bannon is reported as saying he believes investigations of Donald Trump’s financial history will provide proof of the underlying criminality of his eponymous company.

Assessing the president’s exposure to various investigations, many seeded by the special counsel Robert Mueller during his investigation of Russian election interference, Wolff writes: “Trump was vulnerable because for 40 years he had run what increasingly seemed to resemble a semi-criminal enterprise.”

He then quotes Bannon as saying: “I think we can drop the ‘semi’ part.”

Bannon, a leading promoter of far-right populism, was a White House adviser until August 2017, when he was removed. He was a major source for Fire and Fury, also first reported by the Guardian. Among other claims in that book, he labelled as “treasonous” an infamous Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, campaign manager Paul Manafort and a Russian lawyer.

Amid publicity surrounding Fire and Fury, Bannon was ejected from circles close to Trump and his position at Breitbart News.

In Siege, Wolff pays close attention to Trump’s financial affairs. Investigations into Trump’s business dealings, spearheaded by the southern district of New York, have shuttered the president’s charity and seen the Trump Organization chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, receive immunity for testimony in investigations of Michael Cohen, the former Trump attorney and fixer who is now in jail in New York.

This month, the New York Times obtained tax information that showed Trump’s businesses lost more than $1bn from 1985 to 1994.

The newspaper subsequently reported that in 2016 and 2017, Deutsche Bank employees flagged concerns over possible money laundering through transactions involving legal entities controlled by the president and Kushner. Some of the transactions involved individuals in Russia.

The bank did not act but Congress and New York state are now investigating its relationship with Trump and his family. Deutsche Bank has lent billions to Trump and Kushner companies. Trump has attempted to block House subpoenas for his financial records sent to Deutsche Bank.

In Siege, Wolff quotes Bannon saying investigations into Trump’s finances will cut adrift even his most ardent supporters: “This is where it isn’t a witch hunt – even for the hard core, this is where he turns into just a crooked business guy, and one worth $50m instead of $10bn.

“Not the billionaire he said he was, just another scumbag.”

Wolff also details a 2004 Palm Beach property deal involving the now disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein and the Putin-friendly oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev that, the author writes, earned Trump “$55m without putting up a dime”.

Epstein, he writes, invited Trump to see a $36m Palm Beach mansion he planned to buy. According to Wolff, Trump went behind Epstein’s back to buy the foreclosed property for around $40m, a sum Epstein had reason to believe Trump couldn’t raise in his own right, through an entity called Trump Properties LLC, which was entirely financed by Deutsche Bank.

Epstein, Wolff writes, knew Trump had been loaning out his name in real estate deals for a fee and suspected that in his case Trump was fronting for the property’s real owners. Epstein threatened to expose the deal. As the dispute increased, he found himself under investigation by the Palm Beach police.

According to Wolff, Trump made only minor improvements and put the house on the market for $125m. It was purchased for $96m by Rybolovlev, part of a circle of government-aligned industrialists in Russia, thereby earning Trump $55m without risking any of his own money.

Wolff presents two theories as to how the deal worked: first, perhaps “Trump merely earned a fee for hiding the real owner – a shadow owner quite possibly being funneled cash by Rybolovlev for other reasons beyond the value of the house”.

Second, he suggests the real owner of the house and the real buyer were one and the same. “Rybolovlev might have, in effect, paid himself for the house, thereby cleansing the additional $55m for the second purchase of the house.”

“This,” Wolff writes, “was Donald Trump’s world of real estate.”

Michael Wolff’s unbelievable — sometimes literally — tell-all about the Trump administration
Three takeaways from the new book on Trump
Aaron Blake
The Washington Post
January 3, 2018

Several news outlets published excerpts of Michael Wolff’s new book about the Trump campaign and the White House. And almost every word of it is unbelievable.

Some of it, literally so.

In one passage from “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” Wolff recounts how Roger Ailes recommended former House speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) to serve as Trump’s chief of staff. Trump’s response, according to Wolff: “Who’s that?”

Never mind that Trump had golfed with Boehner in 2013 and mentioned him several times on the 2016 campaign trail. Using the Donald Trump Factbase, I found Trump mentioning Boehner on the campaign trail at least four times: April 10, 2016; Nov. 30, 2015; Oct. 14, 2015; and Sept. 25, 2015. He also tweeted about him on Oct. 8, 2015, and Sept. 25, 2015 — that last date being when Boehner resigned as speaker during the 2016 campaign.

Is it possible Trump misheard the name or momentarily forgot who Boehner was? Sure. He may have even meant the “Who’s that?” as a slight to Boehner. But the impression Wolff seeks to leave is that Trump is a novice completely out of his element in the Oval Office. This was an anecdote meant to serve that narrative.

Other bold claims made in the book (New York magazine published a whole chapter) include a deal hatched by Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump for Ivanka to one day run for president, Ivanka making fun of her father’s “comb-over” in private, Rupert Murdoch calling Trump a “f—ing idiot,” and Trump and his wife, Melania, not actually wanting to win the presidency and basically being disappointed that they had.

In another anecdote, billionaire Robert Mercer — a former Ted Cruz backer and Breitbart investor — offers Trump’s campaign $5 million, and Trump is clueless as to why Mercer would invest in him. “This thing,” Trump reportedly told Mercer of his campaign, “is so f—ed up.”

But Mercer couldn’t give $5 million to Trump’s campaign — not legally, anyway. He spent his money on Trump through a super PAC, which is independent of the Trump campaign and is subject to plenty of rules preventing coordination between the two.

Is it possible this was shorthand — or even that Mercer represented the money as a campaign contribution rather than super PAC spending? Again, sure. But it seems a weird thing not to address in the text.

Then there is the apparent re-created conversation between Stephen K. Bannon and Ailes, the New York Times’s Nick Confessore points out, which raises questions about accuracy.

As for the other claims, many are of the kind that has been whispered about but never reported on with any authority or certainty. Wolff has taken some of the most gossiped-about aspects of the Trump White House and put them forward as fact — often plainly stated fact without even anonymous sources cited.

In his introduction, Wolff acknowledges this is an imperfect exercise and often a daunting challenge. Here’s a key excerpt pulled by Benjy Sarlin:

Many of the accounts of what has happened in the Trump White House are in conflict with one another; many, in Trumpian fashion, are baldly untrue. Those conflicts, and that looseness with the truth, if not with reality itself, are an elemental thread of the book. Sometimes I have let the players offer their versions, in turn allowing the reader to judge them. In other instances I have, through a consistency in accounts and through sources I have come to trust, settled on a version of events I believe to be true.

In some ways, this is the tell-all that Trump’s post-truth presidency deserves. Trump’s own version of the truth is often subject to his own fantastic impulses and changes at a moment’s notice. The leaks from his administration have followed that pattern, often painting credulity-straining images of an American president. As the New York Times’s Maggie Haberman notes, that makes claims in Wolff’s book that would ordinarily seem implausible suddenly plausible.

But just because the administration doesn’t seem to have much regard for the truth and because there are all kinds of insane things happening behind closed doors doesn’t mean the truth isn’t a goal worth attaining. And in an environment in which the press is widely distrusted by a large swath of the American people — and overwhelmingly by Trump’s base — the onus is even more on accounts of his presidency to try to filter out the tabloid stuff.

Part of Trump’s mission statement is fomenting distrust of the press. Oftentimes the wild leaks that come from the White House seem to further that goal by giving the media juicy stories that will ring false to people who doubt reporters’ anonymous sources. Wolff even writes that it’s often Trump himself doing the gossiping about White House staff — which seems about right.

For whatever reason, Wolff seems to have arrived at a stunning amount of incredible conclusions that hundreds of dogged reporters from major newspapers haven’t. Whether that’s because he had unprecedented access — Wolff says he had “something like a semi-permanent seat on a couch in the West Wing” — or because his filter was just more relaxed than others, it’s worth evaluating each claim individually and not just taking every scandalous thing said about the White House as gospel.

Voir encore:

Michael Wolff, l’auteur qui déclenche « le feu et la fureur » de Trump
Washington – Le journaliste américain Michael Wolff est un habitué des controverses et son livre « Le feu et la fureur: dans la Maison Blanche de Trump » provoque depuis mercredi une tempête politique à Washington.
>AFP/L’Express
04/01/2018

Washington – Le journaliste américain Michael Wolff est un habitué des controverses et son livre « Le feu et la fureur: dans la Maison Blanche de Trump » provoque depuis mercredi une tempête politique à Washington.

L’éditorialiste multicarte (Hollywood Reporter, Vanity Fair, New York Magazine…), âgé de 64 ans, affirme avoir gravité pendant 18 mois autour de la galaxie Trump, de la campagne présidentielle à la Maison Blanche, et interrogé « plus de 200 » personnes, du président à ses proches collaborateurs.

Après l’élection surprise du candidat républicain, qu’il avait interviewé en juin 2016, il demande à Donald Trump un accès à la Maison Blanche, que le président élu ne lui refuse pas. Le journaliste devient alors « une mouche sur le mur« , se fondant dans le décor. Il fait le trajet New York-Washington chaque semaine pour devenir un habitué de l’aile Ouest, compilant dans son livre confidences des conseillers de la présidence et anecdotes croustillantes.

L’une d’elles, publiée mercredi par le quotidien britannique The Guardian, a déclenché les foudres du président américain. Dans un communiqué vengeur, il a accusé son ancien conseiller Stephen Bannon d’avoir « perdu la raison » pour avoir estimé que son fils aîné Donald Trump Jr. avait commis une « trahison » en rencontrant une avocate russe offrant des informations compromettantes sur Hillary Clinton.

Natif du New Jersey mais installé de longue date à New York, Wolff est le double lauréat du prix National Magazine, section commentaire (2002 et 2004). Son livre le plus connu, sorti en 2008, est consacré à un autre magnat, Rupert Murdoch (« The man who owns the news« ).

– ‘Omniscience’ –

En 2004, un portrait dans le magazine New Republic évoque un personnage « en partie éditorialiste mondain, en partie psychothérapeute, en partie anthropologue social (qui) invite les lecteurs à être une mouche sur le mur du premier cercle des magnats« .

Mais sa narration, basée sur des conversations ou des informations obtenues de source indirecte, ont semé le trouble et provoqué des réactions furieuses.

« Historiquement, l’un des problèmes avec l’omniscience de Wolff est que même s’il peut tout savoir, il a parfois tout faux« , écrivait le critique littéraire David Carr dans le Washington Post en commentant le livre sur Murdoch.

La journaliste britannique Bella Mackie, ancienne du Guardian, a estimé sur Twitter que son nouveau livre sur la Maison Blanche était « très divertissant » avant toutefois de mettre en garde que « si vous connaissez bien MW vous l’apprécierez mais ne prendrez pas tout pour argent comptant« .

La porte-parole de la Maison Blanche, Sarah Sanders, a fustigé le contenu du livre, affirmant qu’il contenait « beaucoup de choses complètement fausses« , assurant que Michael Wolff n’avait eu qu’une « brève conversation » téléphonique de 5 à 7 minutes avec le président depuis son investiture et qui n’avait « rien à voir » avec la présidence.

M. Trump, par la voix de ses avocats personnels, a demandé jeudi à M. Wolff et au responsable des éditions Henry Holt et Cie la non-publication du livre, qui doit sortir le 9 janvier, menaçant de les poursuivre pour diffamation, atteinte à la vie privée et malveillance.

Ils se basent notamment sur l’introduction du livre, où Michael Wolff admet que « beaucoup d’informations sur ce qu’il s’est passé à la Maison Blanche de Trump sont contradictoires; beaucoup, dans le style trumpien, sont simplement fausses« . Ces contradictions ou cette prise de liberté avec la vérité constituent « le fil » du livre, dit-il, ajoutant avoir publié « la version des évènements que je croyais vraie« .

Voir par ailleurs:

The MLK tapes: Secret FBI recordings accuse Martin Luther King Jr of watching and laughing as a pastor raped a woman, having 40 extramarital affairs – and they are under lock in a U.S. archive, claims author

    • The shocking unearthed tapes have been analyzed by biographer David Garrow
    • Material shows the scale of King’s philandering and claims he fathered a child
    • It also show how King looked on while Logan Kearse raped a parishioner
    • Revelations could lead to a ‘painful historical reckoning’ for the civil rights hero

Jack Newman
The Daily Mail
26 May 2019

Secret FBI tapes that accuse Martin Luther King Jr of having extramarital affairs with ’40 to 45 women’ and even claim he ‘looked on and laughed’ as a pastor friend raped a parishioner exist, an author has claimed.

The civil rights hero was also heard allegedly joking he was the founder of the ‘International Association for the Advancement of P***y-Eaters’ on an agency recording that was obtained by bugging his room, according to the sensational claims made by biographer David Garrow – a Pulitzer prize-winning author and biographer of MLK.

Writing in British magazine Standpoint, Garrow says that the shocking files could lead to a ‘painful historical reckoning’ for the man who is celebrated across the world for his campaign against racial injustice.

Along with many US civil rights figures, King was subject to an FBI campaign of surveillance ordered by Director J Edgar Hoover in an effort to undermine his power amid fears he could have links to the Communist Party.

The FBI surveillance tapes detailing his indiscretions are being held in a vault at the U.S. National Archives and are not due for release until 2027.

How J. Edgar Hoover kept incriminating evidence against the great and the good of American society

The first FBI director was responsible for making the intelligence service what it is today but used tactics which many thought were unethical.

Hoover was mainly concerned about what he considered to be ‘subversion’ and tens of thousands of suspected radicals were interviewed under his directorship.

Some believe Hoover exaggerated the potential dangers of these subversive characters.

He has also been criticised for going too far and overstepping his brief.

Hoover founded a covert ‘dirty tricks’ program under the name COINTELPRO to disrupt the Communist Party.

He went after big-name stars such as Charlie Chaplin, Malcolm X, Ernest Hemingway, Muhammad Ali, Jane Fonda and John Lennon.

He spied on the celebrities using methods such as wire-tapping, infiltration, forging documents and spreading false rumours.

Some have even alleged COINTELPRO incited violence and arranged murders.

In one particularly controversial incident, a white civil rights worker was killed by a member of the Ku Klux Klan who happened to also be an FBI informant.

The FBI then spread rumours that she was a Communist and abandoned her children to have sex with black people involved in the civil rights movement.

FBI records later showed that Hoover personally communicated these rumours to President Johnson.

Even President Nixon said he did not fire Hoover because he feared he had too much dirt on him.

Hoover’s actions came to be seen as abuses of power and the tenure of the FBI director was later limited to ten years.

But David Garrow, a biographer of King who won a Pulitzer Prize for his 1987 book Bearing the Cross about the Baptist minister, has unearthed the FBI summaries of the various incidents.

In an article to be published in Standpoint, Garrow tells how the FBI planted transmitters in two lamps in hotel rooms booked by King in January 1964, according to The Sunday Times.

FBI director J Edgar Hoover ordered the surveillance of King in an effort to undermine his power amid fears he could have links to the Communist Party.

The intelligence service carried out surveillance on a number of civil rights figures and suspected communists and they had an interest in smearing their reputation.

The recording from the Willard Hotel near the White House shows how King was accompanied his friend Logan Kearse, the pastor of Baltimore’s Cornerstone Baptist church who died in 1991, along with several female parishioners of his church.

In King’s hotel room, the files claim they then ‘discussed which women among the parishioners would be suitable for natural and unnatural sex acts’.

The FBI document says: ‘When one of the women protested that she did not approve, the Baptist minister immediately and forcefully raped her’ as King watched.

He is alleged to have ‘looked on, laugh and offered advice’ during the encounter.

FBI agents were in the room next door but did not intervene.

The following day, King and a dozen others allegedly participated in a ‘sex orgy’ engaging in ‘acts of degeneracy and depravity’.

When one woman showed reluctance, King was allegedly heard saying that performing the act ‘would help your soul’.

Senior FBI officials later sent King a copy of the incriminating tape and called him an ‘evil abnormal beast’ and his sexual exploits would be ‘on record for all time’.

The letter also suggested he should commit suicide before his wrongs were revealed to the world.

King’s philandering has long been suspected, however Garrow, who spent several months digging through the archive material, said he had no idea of the scale or the ugliness of it and his apparent indifference to rape until he saw the files.

He said: ‘It poses so fundamental a challenge to his historical stature as to require the most complete and extensive historical review possible.’

Among the revelations is a claim by a prostitute who said she was involved in a threesome with King, which she described as the worst orgy she had ever experienced.

His wife Coretta often complained he was hardly with her and even said he would spend less than 10 hours a month at home.

Who is David Garrow?

David Garrow’s biography of King earned him a Pulitzer Prize

The American historian and author, 66, has frequently written about the civil rights movement in the US.

His 1986 biography about King, Bearing the Cross, won the Pulitzer Prize for biography.

He has taught history at a number of universities across the US and also written about Barack Obama and reproductive rights.

The distinguished researcher detailed some of King’s affairs in his original biography but he said he was not aware of its scale until now.

He also published The FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr, a work that analyses the relationship between the intelligence service and the civil rights leader.

According to one FBI report, King even said: ‘She should go out and have some sexual affairs of her own.’

There is even a suggestion in the files that King fathered a daughter with a secret girlfriend in Los Angeles.

Both the mother and child are alive but refused to talk to Garrow.

Dr King was assassinated in 1968 by James Earl Ray but many conspiracy theories suggest that the government was involved.

Small-time criminal Ray was caught trying to board a plane at London Heathrow on a fake Canadian passport. He pleaded guilty to the killing and quickly recanted, claiming he was set up.

The conviction stood and Ray died in prison at the age of 70 in 1998. He had been serving a 99-year jail term.

Marking the anniversary of Dr King’s assassination last year, President Donald Trump issued a proclamation in honour of Dr King, saying: ‘In remembrance of his profound and inspirational virtues, we look to do as Dr King did while this world was privileged enough to still have him.’

The president was heavily criticised by some speakers at MLK commemorations around the time of the anniversary as they complained of fraught race relations and other divisions since he was elected.

Thousands marched and sang civil rights songs to honour the fallen leader in April 2018.

Among the largest gatherings was a march through the Mississippi River city where the civil rights leader was shot dead on a motel balcony.

In the immediate aftermath of Dr King’s assassination there were race riots across the country, from Washington DC to Chicago and Baltimore.

A national day of mourning was later declared by then-President Lyndon B. Johnson following Dr King’s death.

From 1971 onwards Martin Luther King JR Day has been observed to remember him.

But it wasn’t until 2000 that all 50 states took part in the national holiday, the last three being Arizona, Utah and New Hampshire.

In 2016 the US Treasury Secretary announced that images from the iconic I Have A Dream speech would be among several to feature on the back of American bank notes from 2020.

Voir aussi:

The troubling legacy of Martin Luther King
Newly-revealed FBI documents portray the great civil rights leader as a sexual libertine who ‘laughed’ as a forcible rape took place
David J. Garrow
Standpoint
30/05/2019

Newly-released documents reveal the full extent of the FBI’s surveillance of the civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King in the mid-1960s. They expose in graphic detail the FBI’s intense focus on King’s extensive extramarital sexual relationships with dozens of women, and also his presence in a Washington hotel room when a friend, a Baptist minister, allegedly raped one of his “parishioners”, while King “looked on, laughed and offered advice”. The FBI’s tape recording of that criminal assault still exists today, resting under court seal in a National Archives vault.

The FBI documents also reveal how its Director, J. Edgar Hoover, authorised top Bureau officials to send Dr King a tape-recording of his sexual activities along with an anonymous message encouraging him to take his own life.

The complete transcripts and surviving recordings are not due to be released until 2027 but when they are made fully available a painful historical reckoning concerning King’s personal conduct seems inevitable.

On January 31, 1977, US District Judge John Lewis Smith signed an extraordinary court order requiring the Federal Bureau of Investigation to surrender all the fruits of its extensive electronic surveillance of Martin Luther King, Jr to the National Archives. “Said tapes and documents,” Smith instructed, shall be “maintained by the Archivist of the United States under seal for a period of fifty years,” or until January 31, 2027.

However, in recent months, hundreds of never-before-seen FBI reports and surveillance summaries concerning King have silently slipped into public view on the Archives’ lightly-annotated and difficult-to-explore web site. This has occurred thanks to the provisions of The President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act, which mandated the public release of tens of thousands of government documents, many of which got swept up into congressional investigations of US intelligence agencies predating Judge Smith’s order. Winnowing the new King items from amidst the Archive’s 54,602 web-links, many of which lead to multi-document PDFs that are hundreds of pages long, entailed weeks of painstaking work.

The FBI began wiretapping King’s home and Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) office in Atlanta on November 8, 1963, pursuant to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy’s written approval. For the previous 18 months, the FBI had insistently told Kennedy that King’s closest and most influential adviser, New York attorney Stanley D. Levison, was a “secret member” of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA). Kennedy’s aides, and finally his brother—the President of the United States—warned King to cease contact with Levison, but King’s promised compliance was dissembling: he and Levison communicated indirectly through another attorney, Clarence Jones, who, like Levison, was himself already being wiretapped by the FBI. Presented with evidence of King’s duplicity, plus FBI claims that King had told Levison that he was a Marxist, a reluctant Attorney General approved the FBI’s request to place King under direct surveillance too.

Unbeknownst to Kennedy, part of the FBI’s motivation in seeking to tap King stemmed from something it had learned just prior to the August 28 March on Washington, when King had stayed at Jones’s wiretapped Bronx home to work on his soon-to-be-famous “I Have a Dream” speech. As one internal FBI memo reported, “King, who is married, maintains intimate relationships with at least three women, one in Atlanta, one in Mt Vernon, New York, and one in Washington, DC . . . King’s extramarital affairs while posing as a minister of the gospel leave him highly susceptible to coercion and possible blackmail,” presumably by knowledgeable communists.

Within weeks, the FBI’s wiretap on King’s Atlanta home confirmed the Bureau’s expectations. On December 15 King “contacted a girlfriend by the name of Lizzie Bell,” and the FBI mobilised to “determine more background information regarding this girl”. Six days later, “King was in contact with a girlfriend in Los Angeles”, Dolores Evans, the wife of a black dentist. California agents were tasked to investigate Evans “in connection with counter-intelligence program”, i.e. the Bureau’s subsequently notorious COINTELPRO dirty tricks playbook. That same day King was “in contact with another girlfriend, Barbara Meredith”, a member of his Ebenezer Baptist Church congregation, and “a file was opened on Barbara Meredith in order to determine more information regarding her background and activities in connection with counter-intelligence”.

Wiretap summaries like these were supposed to be sealed pursuant to Judge Smith’s 1977 order, but by then the Department of Justice had forced the FBI to share many of its King records with the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Activities, often called the Church Committee after the name of its chairman, Idaho Democrat Frank Church. In turn, all of the FBI’s documents relating to the Church Committee and the subsequent House Select Committee on Assassinations came to be covered by the 1992 Kennedy assassination records act.

In December 1963, the information from the Atlanta wiretaps about King’s expansive private life whetted the FBI’s appetite for recordings more intrusive and graphic than could be obtained via telephone lines. Knowing how frequently King travelled to major US cities, the FBI resolved to plant microphone bugs in his hotel rooms. In this endeavour the prime decision-maker was not long-time FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover but Assistant Director William C. Sullivan, head of the Domestic Intelligence Division. With Supreme Court oral arguments in a case from Alabama, New York Times Co v. Sullivan—in which four black clergy supporters of King, plus the newspaper, had been socked with a $500,000 state court judgment—scheduled for January 6 and 7, 1964, King and a variety of ministerial friends were scheduled to be in Washington, DC, for a three-night stay. Immediately after the new year, FBI Washington Field Office security supervisor Ludwig Oberndorf summoned the office’s senior “sound man”, Special Agent Wilfred L. Bergeron, as well as Special Agent William Welch, the office’s “hotel contact man”. Waiting in Oberndorf’s office was Assistant Director Sullivan, who told the assembled agents that “FBI interest in King was a national security matter” on account of his “communist contacts”, Bergeron told Church Committee interviewers in another newly-available document.

Welch had ascertained that King and his party would be staying at the historic Willard Hotel, on Pennsylvania Avenue just east of the White House, and Welch introduced Bergeron to a Willard manager who arranged for Bergeron to “survey” the rooms in question. Bergeron then “placed a transmitter in each of two lamps and then through the hotel contact, it was arranged to have the housekeeper change the lamps in two rooms which had been set aside for King and his party”. In two other nearby rooms Bergeron and fellow Special Agent William D. Campbell set up “radio receivers and tape recorders” prior to when King and his friends first checked in on January 5. Staying in one of the two targeted rooms was King’s friend Logan Kearse, the pastor of Baltimore’s Cornerstone Baptist Church and, like King, the holder of a PhD from the Boston University School of Theology. Kearse “had brought to Washington several women ‘parishioners’ of his church”, a newly-released summary document from Sullivan’s personal file on King relates, and Kearse invited King and his friends to come and meet the women. “The group met in his room and discussed which women among the parishioners would be suitable for natural or unnatural sex acts. When one of the women protested that she did not approve of this, the Baptist minister immediately and forcibly raped her,” the typed summary states, parenthetically citing a specific FBI document (100-3-116-762) as its source. “King looked on, laughed and offered advice,” Sullivan or one of his deputies then added in handwriting.

While that claim appears only as an annotation, other similar marginalia, e.g. “more on this” one page prior, suggest that Sullivan was seeking an expanded, more detailed indictment of King’s behaviour. The document’s recently-released final pages, narrating events until March 30, 1968, suggest that the unfinished revision was abandoned following King’s assassination on April 4. Without question Sullivan and his aides had both the microphone-transmitted tape-recording, and a subsequent full transcript at hand while they were annotating their existing typescript; in 1977 Justice Department investigators would publicly attest to how their own review of both the tapes and the transcripts showed them to be genuine and accurate. Throughout the 1960s, when no precedent for the public release of FBI documents existed or was even anticipated, Sullivan could not have imagined that his and his aides’ jottings would ever see the light of day. Similarly, they would not have had any apparent motive for their annotations to inaccurately embellish upon the actual recording and its full transcript, both of which remain under court seal and one day will confirm or disprove the FBI’s summary allegation.

At the Willard Hotel, King and his friends’ activities resumed the following evening as approximately 12 individuals “participated in a sex orgy” which the prudish Sullivan felt included “acts of degeneracy and depravity . . . When one of the women shied away from engaging in an unnatural act, King and several of the men discussed how she was to be taught and initiated in this respect. King told her that to perform such an act would help your soul.” Sometime later, in language that would reflect just how narrow Sullivan’s mindset was, “King announced that he preferred to perform unnatural acts on women and that he had started the ‘International Association for the Advancement of Pussy Eaters’.” Anyone familiar with King’s often-bawdy sense of humour would not doubt that quotation.

At FBI headquarters, an aide to the Bureau’s number three official, Alan H. Belmont, prepared a comprehensive summary of the Willard recordings: “We do not contemplate dissemination of this information at this time but will utilise it, together with results of additional future coverage, in our plan to expose King for what he is.” Hoover disagreed, instructing in his distinctive scrawl that White House liaison Cartha “Deke” DeLoach should show the summary memo to Walter Jenkins, President Lyndon Johnson’s top aide.

Within 24 hours of King’s return to Atlanta from the Willard, his wiretapped home phone gave the Bureau more raw material. King used a modest apartment at 3006 Delmar Lane NW, rented in the name of aide Fred Bennette, as a hideaway, and there on January 8 King met alone with the woman to whom he had become closest, SCLC citizenship education staffer Dorothy Cotton. Four days later “King was in contact with another girlfriend in New York by the name of Effie”, whom the FBI quickly identified. In early February agents listened in as “King’s wife became upset and berated King for not spending enough time at home with her. This happened at a time when King was at Fred Bennette’s apartment” and the wiretap indicated “he had Dorothy Cotton . . . in the apartment alone with him”.

Stanley Levison, a “secret” member of the Communist Party,  gave King $10,000 in cash in two years, the equivalent of $87,000 today, which was only discovered by an IRS probe

The Atlanta wiretaps kept the FBI fully apprised of King’s upcoming travels, and in mid-February King, SCLC aide Wyatt Walker and Baltimore’s Reverend Kearse all flew to Honolulu to rendezvous with Dolores Evans and at least one other woman. A sound squad from the Bureau’s San Francisco office, with microphones already in place, awaited them at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. But King’s party tired of Honolulu within 72 hours and flew to Los Angeles, where they spent one night at the Ambassador Hotel before moving to the Hyatt House near Los Angeles airport, where another squad of FBI agents quickly deployed in-room microphones while standing by to carry out photographic surveillance in public areas as well. On February 23 they snapped pictures of “Wyatt Walker, Dolores Sheffey, Dorothye Boswell and Martin Luther King, Jr and Dolores Evans”; the following day they filmed movie footage of King and Evans at the Hyatt House. Assistant Director Sullivan himself telephoned the Los Angeles office for updates, with the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) explaining that television noise plus jet planes made for less-than-ideal audio recordings. Los Angeles also notified Sullivan that Evans and her husband Theodore “are both scheduled to appear in court on March 4, 1964, concerning the granting of the interlocutory decree of divorce”.

Back in Atlanta, the SCLC office wiretap memorialised King’s friend Barbara Meredith recounting how at a small party “King got very drunk and made uncomplimentary remarks about some of the SCLC personnel”.  At FBI headquarters, desire for comprehensive scrutiny of King led to a tardy discovery that would have received far more attention had not executives become so preoccupied with King’s personal life. Supervisor Seymor Fred Phillips, who had direct charge of the King case, recommended to Sullivan that they obtain King’s tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service, and when King’s IRS file arrived in mid-March, it contained a previously unreported bombshell: in 1957 and 1958, Stanley Levison, who had first met King only at the very end of 1956, had arranged for King to receive a total of $10,000 in cash gifts—the equivalent of $87,000 in 2019 dollars—from himself and a close friend, 70-year-old Alice Rosenstein Loewi. In early 1961, the IRS had subjected King’s late 1950s’ returns to “investigative scrutiny” and determined that he owed an additional $1,556.02 but had had no fraudulent intent.

In April, 1961, King, Levison, and Chicago attorney Chauncey Eskridge, himself a former IRS agent, had met with an IRS investigator, but only in response to subsequent questions regarding “adjustments in King’s income” did King say that he had received $5,000 in each of those two calendar years. “This sounded like a complete fabrication,” the investigator opined in a December 12, 1961 memo, and seeing this information for the first time more than two years later, J. Edgar Hoover asked: “Doesn’t IRS intend to take some action?” No, a liaison agent reported, but “King’s current income tax return will be scrutinised very carefully to determine whether any violations appear.” Hoover responded: “What a farce!”

Phillips prepared an unremarkable memo to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy reporting the new IRS information, but only in the fifth paragraph, on page two, was Levison’s responsibility for the $10,000 in gift income to King finally cited. In retrospect, the FBI’s failure to highlight Levison’s remarkable munificence towards his new friend is almost as startling as its failure to similarly emphasise to Kennedy how those gifts had taken place simultaneously with Levison’s ongoing contributions to the Communist Party. Levison’s substantial involvement in CPUSA fundraising through 1956, along with that of his twin brother Roy Bennett, has long been known, but FBI documents emphasised how “as of January, 1957, Stanley Levison and Roy Bennett were to become inactive in CP financial operations”. Although it previously has been known that Levison and Bennett continued making personal contributions to the CP until an explicit break in March, 1963, not until now have internal Bureau documents revealed the astonishing amounts involved: $25,000 in 1957, $12,000 in 1958, $13,000 in 1959, $12,000 in 1960, $12,000 in 1961 and at least $2,500 in early 1962. That total of $76,500 in 1960 dollars is the equivalent of more than $650,000 today.

The FBI’s failure ever to cite those figures in its warning memos to Kennedy, coupled in March 1964 with its failure to emphasise Levison’s simultaneous large gifts to King, inexplicably rendered its “secret member” allegation against Levison far less powerful than could have been the case. To have a reported “secret member” writing some of King’s speeches, as the FBI highlighted to Kennedy, was one thing, but the remarkable dollar amounts Levison was bandying about could have made for a much more striking portrayal than the FBI ever painted.

By March, 1964, when the FBI received the IRS information about King, it appears obvious in retrospect that Sullivan’s and Phillips’s intense fixation on King’s personal conduct had totally eclipsed their once-central concern over whether Levison was exerting subversive influence on King. The extent of that preoccupation was underscored in mid-May 1964, when the FBI’s Las Vegas office furnished headquarters with a detailed memo a Nevada Gaming Control Board agent had prepared after learning what had transpired when King, Wyatt Walker, and a Los Angeles minister friend had visited Las Vegas three weeks earlier.

Agent William H. Been had heard rumours that King had patronised a local prostitute and decided that given King’s “position as a God-fearing man of the cloth . . . perhaps a casual inquiry made to the prostitute in question might shed an interesting side light to King’s extra-curricular activities”. At 3 a.m. on May 16 Been met Gail LaRue, a married 28-year-old who had left four children from a prior marriage in Sheridan, Wyoming. Gail explained that at 2 a.m. on April 27, a hotel bellman had asked her to go to the New Frontier Hotel and see the well-known black gospel musician Clara Ward, whose Clara Ward Singers were performing there. In the lobby, Ward handed Gail $100 and told her: “I have a couple of friends in town that would like to meet you and have you take care of them.” Ward said “she was paying Gail . . . because these two men did not believe in paying a girl for her service and for Gail to keep quiet about receiving any money.”

Clara took Gail to the bar at the Sands Hotel and made a call on the house phone. Martin Luther King then appeared in the bar and took both women to his room, where all three began drinking. King phoned one of his colleagues and told him to “get your damned ass down here because I have a beautiful white broad here”. Then “both the Rev King and Clara Ward stripped naked and told Gail to do the same.” With Gail seated in a chair, “King went down on his knees and started nibbling on her right breast, while Clara Ward did the same with her left breast. Gail then stated, ‘I guess the Reverend got tired of that and put his head down between my legs and started nibbling on “that”.’ After a while he got up and told Clara Ward to try some of it, so Clara went down on Gail for a while. Gail stated, ‘I think Clara Ward is queer’.”

Then King had intercourse with Gail while Clara watched. “After what Gail stated seemed like hours, King rolled off and had another drink, then climbed back on for a second go around.” After King paused again, his friend showed up, had a drink, and had intercourse with Gail “while both Clara Ward and the Rev King watched the action from a close-by position”, with Clara sometimes stroking Gail as well. “Gail then stated that she was getting scared as they were pretty drunk and all using filthy language and at last she told Clara Ward she would have to go.” Clara informed King, who “then whispered in Gail’s ear, ‘I would like to try you sometime again if I could get you away from Clara’.”

Been wrote that “Gail stated to this investigator that ‘that was the worst orgy I’ve ever gone through’,” and added that she had declined a subsequent request from Clara Ward to get together again. Been’s three-page memo made its way to the FBI’s Las Vegas SAC, who had it retyped and labelled “Secret” for direct transmission to J. Edgar Hoover. On May 23, Been conducted a follow-up interview with Gail, and passed the additional information to Bureau agents two days later. Gail volunteered that both King and his friend had each asked her to perform oral sex on them with the words “Here—eat this,” which she claimed not to have done, but Been was dubious, telling the FBI that Gail “was not too emphatic in her denial”. In yet another direct report to Hoover, this one labelled “Top Secret”, Las Vegas agents reported that “a paramour of King’s from Los Angeles, Dolores Castillo”, was “known to have spent some time in King’s suite around midnight, April 26”, prior to King’s early-morning assignation with Gail LaRue and Clara Ward.

Unsurprisingly, in late May the wiretap on King’s home telephone overheard a conversation in which “King and his wife had an argument and information was brought out concerning King’s extra-marital activities”. At headquarters, Supervisor Phillips expressed displeasure that Atlanta agents had waited 48 hours before reporting what they had heard and instructed them to “furnish the Bureau, by communication marked for the personal attention of Assistant Director William C. Sullivan, any tape available concerning the reported conversation” or “the most detailed transcript available”. Atlanta case agent Bob Nichols quickly sent the tape, explaining that “the pronouns ‘he’ and ‘she’ used by both parties” made it “impossible to know the identities of the individuals to whom they are making reference”. Sullivan himself later wrote that Coretta King had told her husband that he was “not fulfilling his marital ‘responsibilities’” and “that if he spent ten hours a month at home, this would be an exaggeration”. Sullivan added that King “told her she should go out and have some sexual affairs of her own”.

Three weeks later King called Dolores Evans and they agreed to meet in Los Angeles on July 8. Soon after Kingreturned to Atlanta, a Ms Ruby Hubert of Los Angeles called him on SCLC’s wiretapped lines “and berated him for not seeing her or calling her when he was in Los Angeles, Calif., recently. King gave the excuse that he was in a conference and could not talk to her.” That very same day King “contacted his ‘hideout’ and told Fred Bennette . . . that he was bringing Dorothy Cotton . . . out to the hideout in a few minutes”. The following month, shortly before leaving for the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey, “King told Dorothy Cotton that he had contacted Fred Bennette and everything was OK for the night of 8/19/64.”

The “special squad” coverage that the FBI’s Deke DeLoach deployed against civil rights advocates during the Democratic convention at the behest of President Johnson has long been a well-known story in the annals of FBI abuses, but the newly-released documents add memorable details to this infamous tale. Special Agent Ben Hale was able to pose as NBC correspondent “Bill Peters” thanks to how Robert ‘Shad’ Northshield, a much-heralded television news executive from the 1950s until the 1990s “and a long-time, well-established contact of my office, furnished us NBC credentials”, DeLoach boasted to Bureau superiors. The Bureau also deployed two of its few black agents, John M. Cary and William P. Crawford, to Atlantic City in “undercover assignment roles”. One of the men “successfully established contact with Dick Gregory”, the entertainer and activist, “and maintained this relationship throughout the course of the entire convention. By midweek, he had become one of Gregory’s confidants.” The Johnson White House was highly impressed, and every agent involved received a financial reward.

That same month, in another newly-available document, Assistant Director Sullivan told his boss, Alan Belmont, that the Domestic Intelligence Division would “develop highly placed, quality informants in certain legitimate organisations whose activities generally relate to racial matters”, such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and King’s SCLC.

Whether pursuant to that plan, or simply by happenstance, late in the summer of 1964 a young black man with an accounting background who had already worked as an FBI informant in both San Francisco and Little Rock moved to Atlanta and began “spending a lot of his spare time working on the books of the SCLC”, Atlanta Special Agent Donald P. Burgess wrote. James A. Harrison’s role as the FBI’s sole human informant inside SCLC’s Atlanta headquarters was first revealed by this author in 1981, but only now do new documents, available on the web following a Freedom of Information Act request, reveal Harrison’s pre-existing role as an FBI informant. On October 2 Agent Burgess recounted how “Harrison has completely ingratiated himself in the SCLC and is considered a staff member at present . . . Harrison has met and been in the home of Martin Luther King, Jr, and apparently meets with the approval of King.” At least weekly, Harrison informed Atlanta agents what was happening at SCLC, but his early reports featured only mundane office gossip.

On Wednesday, November 18, J. Edgar Hoover told a group of women reporters that King was “the most notorious liar” in the US, ostensibly because of how King had criticised southern FBI agents two years earlier. Hoover added “off the record” that King “is one of the lowest characters in the country”, but the “notorious liar” characterisation generated widespread headlines. King responded with a telegram telling Hoover that he was “appalled and surprised at your reported statement maligning my integrity” and with a public statement asserting that the 69-year-old Hoover “has apparently faltered under the awesome burden, complexities and responsibilities of his office”.

King professed “nothing but sympathy for this man who has served his country so well,” but in wiretapped phone conversations that were quickly passed to FBI headquarters, King instructed aides to ask civil rights allies to speak out so that Hoover would be “hit from all sides.” Hoover complained to his own aides that “I can’t understand why we are unable to get the true facts before the public” and that “we are never taking the aggressive.”

Now, more newly-available documents offer a far more detailed account of what then transpired on Saturday November 21 in what would become the most notorious episode in the FBI’s pursuit of King. At the Domestic Intelligence Division’s offices on the eighth floor of the Riddell Building at 1730 K Street, Washington, Supervisor Seymor Phillips had possession of all the reel-to-reel tapes from the hotel room microphone surveillances on King. Early that morning Assistant Director Sullivan instructed FBI Laboratory supervisor John M. Matter to prepare multiple composite copies containing what Matter called “highlights” from the Willard Hotel and Los Angeles Hyatt House recordings. Soon thereafter, as Phillips recalled in a lengthy, never before cited recollection of that day’s events, Sullivan, whose office “was directly across the hall” from his, “came into my office and asked me for some unwatermarked stationery”. Then, “later that morning”, Sullivan “telephoned me for the address of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference headquarters in Atlanta”. Phillips jotted it down and took it to Sullivan, who was busy typing and again sought assurance that the stationery Phillips had given him was unwatermarked.

Phillips went on: “Around noon, Sullivan called me into his office and handed me a sealed manila envelope which appeared to contain something other than written matter as it was a solid package. He gave me a sum of money and asked that I have one of the men working with me immediately take the package by cab to the Justice Building and hand it over to Al Belmont,” whose office was at “Main Justice” on Pennsylvania Avenue.

From there, the day’s events shift to a second narrator, whose April 1975 interview with Church Committee investigators is also among the newly-disclosed documents. Supervisor Lish Whitson, one of the Domestic Intelligence Division’s most senior agents, recounted how on that Saturday Sullivan had called him at home and told him that Hoover wanted him to take a package to Miami, one that only Sullivan, Deputy Director Clyde Tolson, Hoover, and Assistant to the Director Belmont knew about. Sullivan told him to go to National Airport, and “Whitson said that when he arrived at the North terminal of National Airport, following Sullivan’s telephonic instructions, a young man who was unknown to Whitson but who addressed him as ‘Mr Whitson’ turned a package over to him which was wrapped in brown paper and sealed with sealing tape” and approximately eight inches by eight inches and one inch thick.

Upon landing in Miami, Whitson telephoned Sullivan for further instructions and was told to address it to Martin Luther King in Atlanta, with no return address. At a post office, Whitson had it weighed and affixed stamps. On Sunday Whitson flew back to Washington, and upon reporting in on Monday morning, Sullivan remarked, “Someday I will tell you about that.” About a week later, “Sullivan commented to Whitson that the package had not yet been received by Martin Luther King,” and only come January 5, 1965, more than six weeks later, did agents listening in on the Atlanta wiretaps hear King and his aides discussing a troubling and embarrassing tape-recording he had received. At FBI headquarters, Seymor Phillips mentioned that news to John Matter, who said nothing in response “but rather smiled ‘knowingly,’” Phillips later wrote.

As history has long known, at SCLC headquarters the package containing the tape was presumed to be of one of King’s speeches and was put aside for delivery to his wife. When King learned of the contents, he became distraught, telling one aide over the wiretapped phone lines that the FBI was “out to get me, harass me, break my spirit”. King went to the apartment of an SCLC secretary, Edwina Smith, to try to rest and get some sleep, only to be awakened by firemen responding to a false fire alarm instigated by Atlanta FBI agents. Ralph Abernathy and Andrew Young, two of King’s closest aides, sought a meeting with the FBI’s Deke DeLoach to ask whether the Bureau was investigating King’s personal life, but the duplicitous DeLoach denied any such thing.

In reality, throughout late November and early December, even following a highly-publicised but completely banal face-to-face meeting between King and Hoover, FBI officials followed Hoover’s instructions to have all of the hotel room recordings transcribed in full and prepared new summary reports for agents to use in privately spreading the word about King’s personal conduct. “THIS MEMORANDUM IS NOT TO BE DISSEMINATED OUTSIDE THE BUREAU AND IS TO BE USED ONLY FOR ORAL BRIEFING PURPOSES,” one newly-available document describing King as “a moral degenerate” forcefully warns.

The FBI’s anonymous letter sent with the tape warned King that you will find on the record for all time audio evidence of  your adulterous acts, your sexual orgies involving various evil playmates

Almost exactly one decade later, when the FBI had chosen none other than Seymor Fred Phillips to be its principal liaison with the Church Committee, a committee request that the Bureau survey the personal files that William Sullivan had left behind when Hoover forced him into sudden retirement in 1971 led Phillips to make an historic discovery. On Sunday morning January 26, 1975, Phillips was asked to “inventory a drawer full of folders pertaining to King” among Sullivan’s papers. Therein he found “a document which I considered at the time of extreme significance”, the original of an anonymous, unsigned letter ostensibly written by one of “us Negroes” and addressed simply “King”. A heavily-redacted version of that letter was later publicly released, and in time a fully unredacted copy would become available too. But writing in early 1975, soon after discovering the original of that missive, Phillips explained in his newly-released memo how he had realised that back on November 21, 1964, Sullivan had no doubt employed carbon paper when typing on that unwatermarked stationery Phillips had given him, thereby creating an untraceable carbon copy with “that copy used as the cover communication” in the package that then made its way first to Al Belmont and then to Lish Whitson. Phillips insisted that in November 1964, “I didn’t at that time conceive of any communication being sent with the tape” that he knew Sullivan had had dispatched, and only upon studying the text of the letter did Sullivan’s intent become clear.

After telling King to “lend your sexually psychotic ear to the enclosure”, the letter warned that “you will find on the record for all time” audio evidence of “your adulterous acts, your sexual orgies” involving “various evil playmates” including “Dolores Evans”. Calling him “an evil, abnormal beast”, the letter instructed: “King, there is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is. You have just 34 days in which to do (this exact number has been selected for a specific reason . . . There is but one way out for you. You better take it before your filthy, abnormal fraudulent self is bared to the nation.” As Phillips realised in 1975 after seeing the text, 34 days from November 21 was December 25, Christmas Day—with Sullivan’s clear but unspoken implication being that King had better take his own life by that date.

Notwithstanding how privately distraught King was upon realising the extent of the FBI’s efforts to destroy him, no word of what was taking place in Washington and Atlanta broke into public view in 1965 or in the years immediately following. When King’s family moved from the house they had rented since 1960 to a newly-purchased home in April 1965, Atlanta agents sought headquarters’ approval to continue wiretapping King’s phone at the new address. In the three months leading up to the move, the home tap had revealed “18 contacts of King by individuals having CP connections”, such as Clarence Jones and singer Harry Belafonte, that were all decades old, “and 11 contacts by King of females relating to extra-marital activity on his part”. With Hoover seeking to minimise the FBI’s overall number of active wiretaps, Atlanta’s request was denied.

At SCLC headquarters, Jim Harrison continued filing regular informant reports, but when he told Atlanta agents that he had met Stanley Levison at SCLC’s August convention in Birmingham, their lack of interest revealed once again how “communist influence” was now a very small figleaf indeed in the Bureau’s ongoing surveillance of King. They evinced more interest in second-hand gossip that some Atlanta radio station employee supposedly possessed “blackmail type of information on King”. Similarly, several months later Phillips and Sullivan eagerly welcomed Atlanta news—whether from the office wiretap or Harrison is unclear—“that King is reported to have gone to the apartment of one of his female employees on 11/4/65 and to have torn her clothes off of her in an apparent attempt to attack her”. Whatever the truth of that rumour, throughout early 1966 King became closer and closer to his “constant paramour” Dorothy Cotton, ostensibly running up more than $600 in international telephone charges to call Cotton in Atlanta during a spring speaking trip to France.

In June 1966, Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach instructed the FBI to end its wiretapping of SCLC’s office phones because the Justice Department was considering charging one of King’s aides in an interstate car theft case, but Jim Harrison remained in place. When a meeting that included Stanley Levison and Clarence Jones discussed how SCLC’s payroll might be trimmed, Harrison told Atlanta agents that the possibility of firing receptionist Xernona Clayton, the wife of SCLC’s former public relations director, had foundered in part because of the fact that Clayton “has engaged in promiscuous relations with Martin Luther King, Jr”. Atlanta’s suggestion that COINTELPRO possibilities involving Clayton be considered was turned down by FBI headquarters.

Not to be outdone, the Chicago FBI office energetically followed up on a lead that an additional King girlfriend was 33-year-old Barbara Moore, a secretary at Sears-Roebuck & Co headquarters who had been introduced to King two or three years earlier by his attorney friend Chauncey Eskridge, who was himself involved with Moore’s sister Judy. Chicago agents had a criminal informant, CG 6732-C, who “has been intimately acquainted for a number of years” with Moore and who claimed that “King sees Barbara Moore every time he comes to Chicago,” which in 1965-66 was quite often. Moore was reportedly competing for King’s Chicago affections with another woman, Rosemary Mitchell, who owned Rosemary Mitchell Interiors in Hyde Park and was formerly the common-law partner of a South Side crime figure. The informant told the agents that according to Moore, on one occasion King “became involved in a fist fight” over Moore with an unknown attorney, and the agents’ own investigation of Moore’s background established that under several previous names she “was reportedly a prostitute” at the age of 18.

Even with no further electronic surveillance sources reporting on King’s private life, information continued to flow in, whether from Jim Harrison or from other human sources. By late 1967 the Bureau was reporting King’s dependence upon sleeping pills and how he “frequently flew into a rage over relatively insignificant matters”, a claim later confirmed by King’s aides. Then, in December 1967, the King case took its most curious turn of all when Don Newcombe, a famous African-American former major league baseball pitcher, became worried about King’s newly-announced plan to mount an aggressively disruptive “Poor People’s Campaign” in Washington in 1968.

Writing to President Lyndon B. Johnson just before Christmas, Newcombe explained that “I have information I consider highly classified” which “would be of great value to your Administration” but which he would furnish only to the president himself. Top Johnson aides Harry McPherson, Clifford Alexander, and Marvin Watson puzzled with great seriousness over Newcombe’s curious missive before Watson wrote back to say that the president was very busy but that Watson himself would welcome receiving Newcombe’s information. In early January Newcombe reached Watson by phone, and while Newcombe made clear that his information concerned Martin Luther King, he declined Watson’s request that he submit a fully detailed letter: “There are so many people involved and so many people that could possibly be hurt by this information that I find myself unable to put it down in writing.”

The FBI reported that an intoxicated King had threatened to jump out of a New York hotel window if Dolores Evans would not say she loved him, and that they believed he had fathered a baby girl born to her

Newcombe soon found his way to the FBI, and by February 20 an FBI report went to the White House detailing Newcombe’s information. Newcombe was an in-law of Dolores Evans, King’s long-time Los Angeles girlfriend, whom Newcombe said had been involved with King since 1962. Once when Evans was with King in a New York hotel room, Newcombe related, an intoxicated King had threatened to jump out a window if Evans would not say she loved him. The FBI quickly updated its existing summary report, “Martin Luther King, Jr, A Current Analysis,” to incorporate all of Newcombe’s information. Most shockingly, Newcombe “believes King fathered a baby girl born to this woman inasmuch as her husband is allegedly sterile. The child resembles King to a great degree and King contributes to the support of this child. He calls this woman every Wednesday and frequently meets her in various cities throughout the country.”

Following King’s death, a White House aide shared the Newcombe information with syndicated columnist Jack Anderson, who travelled to Los Angeles for what he described as “an emotional interview” with Dolores Evans, who insisted that her relationship with King had been “merely a friendship”. She told Anderson, “I didn’t call him. He called me,” and steadfastly “denied any intimacies”. When Evans’s daughter Chrystal, who had been born on October 30, 1964, married in 2003, her New York Times wedding announcement listed “the late Dr Theodore L. Evans, Jr,” as her father. The ceremony itself was performed by Martin Luther King’s closest surviving associate, Reverend Andrew J. Young. In a brief 2007 essay about fathers and daughters, Dr Chrystal Evans-Bowman, an only child, wrote that her parents separated in 1976-77 and reported that her father died in 1994. Dr Evans-Bowman, with whom the now 82-year-old Dolores Evans lives, has not responded to multiple requests for an interview with her mother.

Don Newcombe’s involvement in the FBI’s pursuit of King exemplifies the single most important truth about J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI: its domestic intelligence investigations relied far more on human informants than on costly and time-consuming electronic surveillance. Typical of the FBI’s late 1960s’ onslaught against a wide range of political groups was the Bureau’s early 1968 recruitment of a second SCLC staff member, Chicago-based Ralph Henry, as a paid informant, the new documents reveal. A significant if little-known SCLC organiser, Henry not only attended a February 12 conference with King and all his top aides in Atlanta, but when Fred Bennette, King’s “hideaway” facilitator, was “assigned to be in charge of security for Martin Luther King”, Chicago agents reported, “Ralph Henry was assigned to be Reverend Bennette’s assistant.” More than three years later, Henry was still on SCLC’s payroll, and also still on the FBI’s. John Furfey, a Chicago-based CIA agent, conducted a long November 18, 1971 interview with Henry. “Subject earns about $600 clear from the SCLC each month and this is supplemented by money from the FBI,” Furfey reported to his CIA superiors.

But Ralph Henry was far from alone. Jim Harrison left SCLC in February 1970 yet remained an FBI informant until 1974, the newly-released documents reveal. In addition, the Bureau also deployed an important, heretofore unknown informant from Cincinnati, known only as CI 652-R, to cover Martin Luther King’s funeral. In a long, newly-available written report, CI 652-R detailed how he and his family flew to Atlanta on April 9, 1968, and drove fellow Hilton Hotel guests Myrlie and Charles Evers to the funeral service at Ebenezer Baptist Church. The following morning CI 652-R had a long face-to-face conversation at SCLC headquarters with Andrew Young before SCLC leaders held a press conference. “My wife and I left after the press conference and went to visit Coretta King and later Rev M. L. King, Sr.,” CI 652-R wrote to Special Agent John T. Pryor. (The likelihood is that the informant was Reverend L. V. Booth, a longtime friend of the King family and the pastor of Cincinnati’s Zion Baptist Church from 1952. He died in 2002 aged 83.)

But Martin Luther King and his aides and family were far from alone in drawing the attention of multiple FBI informants. In 1963, the Communist Party USA had a grand total of 4,453 members, new Bureau documents reveal, and as of two years later no fewer than 336 of them were FBI informants. Even in 1971, the Bureau was boasting privately of how 11 of its informants were members of the CPUSA’s National Committee, and early that year the FBI dispatched WF (as in Washington Field) 1777-S to a Soviet-backed World Council for Peace conference in Stockholm where “she” proved to be “of exceptional value”.

Yet the scale of the FBI’s penetration of the CPUSA paled next to its success against a far more iconic political group. By 1971 the Black Panther Party was weaker than it had been several years earlier, but its membership decline had not attenuated the FBI’s presence in its ranks. “The present membership is 710,” a newly-available August 1971 Domestic Intelligence Division document reports, “and we have 156 informants . . . which represents 21.7 percent of the membership.” The Division eagerly boasted that all told “we are operating 7,477 extremist informants”, more than 6,500 of whom were low-import “ghetto informants who provide general information”, but the Bureau’s targeting was not limited solely to leftists and African-Americans. Nationwide, “353 informants report on white extremist organisations”, and when in late 1967 the United Klans of America, by far the largest Ku Klux Klan group in the United States, elected an Imperial Board at its National Klonvocation, “four of the ten newly-elected members of this Board are FBI informants,” the Division crowed. What’s more, “in the early stages of Klan growth in the State of Tennessee, we were able to develop as a Bureau informant the Grand Dragon of the United Klans of America, Realm of Tennessee. Through this high-level source we were able to control the expansion of the Klan” and “discourage violence throughout the state”. Across Tennessee, the Klan’s “lack of success can be attributed to our highly-placed informant”, ME 313-E (as in Extremist), who was handled by Special Agent M. E. McCloughan. (The evidence points to ME 313-E being former UKA Grand Dragon V. Doyle Ellington, now aged 80, who lives in Brownsville and is on Facebook.)

The new hoard of largely-unredacted, previously unreleased FBI documents raises more questions than can presently be answered. Irrespective of whether or not Martin Luther King actually has an additional, never-acknowledged daughter, the scores and scores of informant identities that can be pried out of the new material will primarily interest only a small handful of historians and journalists. But many other nuggets await discovery. For example “Ironclad”, a Soviet “defector-in-place” who “has identified hundreds of SIS [Soviet Intelligence Service] officers and furnished information concerning approximately 250 intelligence operations”, appears never before to have come into public view. “The value of information he has furnished and has a potential to furnish is beyond estimate,” the Domestic Intelligence Division wrote in August 1971.

Yet without any doubt the uppermost issue raised by the new documents concerns just how fundamental a reconsideration of Martin Luther King’s historical reputation will take place when the complete trove of still-sealed FBI tape recordings and attendant transcripts is released for public review. Until now, some voices in 2027 might have called for the physical destruction of all those historical records, notwithstanding how the FBI’s electronic surveillance of King was not, under the regrettably relaxed standards of that time, in any way illegal.

But the FBI’s allegation that King “looked on, laughed and offered advice” as a forcible rape took place right in front of him makes that stance unsupportable by anyone. Dorothy Cotton, the most important woman in King’s life, went to her grave without ever giving an interview in which she explicitly discussed their relationship, and how many of the additional 40 or more women, such as Dolores Evans, Barbara Meredith and Barbara Moore, whom the now-public documents identify as King’s more occasional partners, might have something of value to offer the historical record?

King’s far-from monogamous lifestyle, like his binge-drinking, may fit albeit uncomfortably within his existing life story, but the suggestion—actually more than one—that he either actively tolerated or personally employed violence against any woman, even while drunk, poses so fundamental a challenge to his historical stature as to require the most complete and extensive historical review possible.

In retrospect, it now seems certain that Martin Luther King knew himself better and more fully than we have over the past 50 years. As he told his Ebenezer congregation on March 3, 1968, “There is a schizophrenia, as the psychologists or the psychiatrists would call it, going on within all of us. There are times that all of us know somehow that there is a Mr Hyde and a Dr Jekyll in us.” But he nonetheless insisted that “God does not judge us by the separate incidents or the separate mistakes that we make, but by the total bent of our lives.” Some of us now-ageing King scholars “may not get there with you” come 2027, but there is no question that a profoundly painful historical reckoning and reconsideration inescapably awaits. 

Voir également:

The British newsmagazine Standpoint hit newsstands in England today featuring an article titled “The Troubling Legacy of Martin Luther King” with the subtitle “Newly revealed documents portray the great civil rights leader as a sexual libertine who ‘laughed’ as a forcible rape took place.” The article is written by historian David J. Garrow, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his 1986 biography, Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

The story of how the article came to be is striking. Garrow claims to have learned of new information after hearing that King-related materials had been “dumped” on the National Archives website.

Garrow claims that as he went through these materials what he found were never-before-seen documents from FBI files and surveillance summaries, that he writes “silently slipped into public view on the Archives’ lightly-annotated and difficult-to-explore website.” According to his account, many of these came from tens of thousands of government documents from congressional investigations of U.S. intelligence agencies. They are among over 54,000 web links that led to multi-document PDFs, that took him many weeks to go through.

According to an editorial in the same issue, Garrow came to publish this extraordinary piece at Standpoint after it had been accepted by, and then killed at, the Guardian and subsequently rejected by the Atlantic.

Those in the civil rights movement and close to it knew of King’s reputation as a womanizer who cheated on his wife regularly. They thought, as Garrow himself told the U.K. newspaper, the Sunday Times, that he had perhaps about 10 or 12 other women—not the 40 to 45 alleged in the newly discovered FBI files. The charges are so serious and troubling that Garrow reached the conclusion that King’s indifference to, or approval of, a rape he witnessed and encouraged, “poses so fundamental a challenge to the historical stature as to require the most complete and extensive historical review possible.”

Here is a rough summation of Garrow’s new findings:

  1. King had scores of extramarital affairs. When his wife complained that he was hardly ever home, he advised her, the FBI said, to “go out and have some sexual affairs of her own.”
  2. The FBI bugged the various hotel rooms he was booked to stay in as he traveled the country, recording everything that took place. Sometimes they were in the room next door to King’s, as was the case in the Willard Hotel when King stayed there in 1964.
  3. King used his position as the pastor of his church to pick out women from his own parish to sleep with, and pressure them into going along.
  4. King witnessed and egged on the rape of a parishioner by his friend Logan Kearse, pastor of a Baltimore Baptist church.
  5. King may well have had a daughter from his serious relationship with Dolores Evans, a Los Angeles girlfriend. He is alleged to have regularly paid Evans for child support, although he never acknowledged being father of her baby. Evans is alive, as is the daughter who might have been sired by King, Dr. Chrystal Evans-Bowman. Neither have talked to the press, despite many requests for an interview.

There is another aspect of the revelations that do not relate to King’s sexual life and which are very important. After J. Edgar Hoover spoke to Robert F. Kennedy, King was advised to break his contact with Stanley Levison, a man who advised King, gave his movement money, and was a secret member of the American Communist Party. The history of the civil rights movement has always assumed that King took this advice to heart.

The new documents suggest, however, that King secretly both kept up his contact with Levison and continued to take large amounts of money from him. These funds came essentially from the CPUSA, and thus from the Soviet Union. From 1957 through 1962, Levison gave what Garrow calls “the astonishing amounts” of a total of $76,500; the equivalent of $650,000 today. Levison was in charge of handling all CPUSA funds, including those secretly coming from the Soviet Union, which helped finance the American Communist Party. At a time when segregationist Mississippi Senator James Eastland was accusing the civil rights movement of being run by Communists, such knowledge, had it come out, could have had damaging effects on it.


As a historian who wrote the first major biography of King and a separate book The FBI and Martin Luther King,Jr., Garrow’s new revelations must be taken seriously. His article appears in a distinguished British newspaper, not a Murdoch British rag or a tabloid such as our country’s National Enquirer.

Undoubtedly, people like Roy Moore, Richard Spencer, David Duke, and various alt-right hangers-on will revel in this news and argue that it demolishes Martin Luther King Jr.’s standing as an American hero.

That would be the wrong conclusion to take.

King was a man who risked his own life by practicing non-violence and who publicly rejected the two primary alternatives to the civil rights movement: black nationalism and racial separatism. He rejected the use of guns in the fight against the oppressors, especially the police. Because of this, the more radical groups were not fond of King and called him the Uncle Tom of the movement.

Let me not mince words. King’s behavior toward women should not be buried or excused. They should be condemned.

But does acknowledging these truths mean that we can no longer recognize King’s accomplishments as a civil rights leader? Does it mean we have to ignore what he said in his powerful sermons and writings? Does it diminish his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”? It was there that King wrote that citizens had “not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws,” and at the same time “to disobey unjust laws.”

Remember, King led an entire community to risk everything on behalf of freedom, fighting off Bull Connor’s police dogs and fire hoses as they were unleashed on unarmed citizens protesting for their rights as American citizens.

Our leaders are human. King was deeply flawed in his view of women and his sexual proclivities. It is obvious, reading Garrow’s quotation from King’s sermon on March 3, 1968, that he was alluding to himself when he said “There is a schizophrenia . . . going on in all of us. There are times that all of us know somehow that there is a Mr. Hyde and a Dr. Jekyll in us.” God, King said, “does not judge us by the separate incidents or the separate mistakes that we make, but by the total bent of our lives.”

The word “mistake” does not begin to cover King’s behavior toward women. But King is yet another reminder that good men can do bad things, and even bad men can sometimes accomplish great goods. How do we balance those ledgers in a final accounting? It’s hard. It’s messy. And there are no neat or obvious answers.

Some thought Garrow should keep his discoveries under wraps, but it is the job of the historian to tell the truth. This is especially true for a historian who has already devoted a good chunk of his career to chronicling the man’s life. It would not be too much to say that Garrow had almost a unique duty to write this piece.

It is unfortunate that the racists among us will cheer this news. But that is not an excuse to keep the truth hidden.

If Garrow is right that a “profoundly painful historical reckoning and reconsideration” is upon us, then so be it. We are better off confronting the truth than living with a comfortable lie.

Ronald Radosh is a contributing opinion columnist for The Daily Beast, professor emeritus of history at CUNY, and co-author of A Safe Haven: Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel.

‘Adults are pretending to be children’: Now even aid workers admit ‘Calais kids’ are LYING about their age as vulnerable nine-year-old African boy is refused UK entry in ‘shambolic’ selection process 

  • Migrant ‘children’ arriving in Britain on coaches from Calais Jungle camp
  • But critics argue they look much older than the 14 to 17 they claim to be 
  • Aid workers said some are lying about their age to get entry to Britain
  • They claim those arriving in the UK are ‘adults pretending to be children’
  • Daniel Gadi, nine, from Eritrea is among those still stranded in France

Aid workers in Calais have warned the most vulnerable children face being stranded in the Jungle camp because adults are lying about their age to gain entry to Britain.

Volunteers working in the migrant camp said the process for registering those with family members was ‘chaotic’ and warned vulnerable children are being left behind.

Critics have claimed that migrants arriving into Britain over the last two days appear to look older than the 14 to 17 years the Government claims they are.

The Home Office has come under fire for not carrying out routine tests such as dental checks to determine their age because they are deemed ‘too intrusive’.

The second wave of ‘child’ migrants from the Jungle Camp arrived in Britain at lunchtime today with up to 300 more expected to follow in their footsteps in the coming week – although the Home Office has not yet confirmed the exact number.

Some 14 children arrived in the first wave yesterday, but the Home Office also refused to confirm how many came to the UK today.

After photographs of the refugees arriving were published, Conservative MP David Davies wrote on Twitter: ‘These don’t look like ‘children’ to me. I hope British hospitality is not being abused.’

Officials insist the migrants have undergone rigorous interviews and document checks to establish they are aged under 18.

But it has emerged that this is simply a screening process where they are verified as a child based on their ‘physical appearance’ and ‘demeanour’, with social workers signing off an ‘age assessment’.

A Whitehall source added that the migrants may simply look older because fleeing war zones had ‘probably toughened them up so they’ve grown up a bit quicker’.

Daniel Gadi, a nine-year-old boy, from Eritrea, in Africa, whose mother is dead, is among those still stranded in France.

WHY IS HOME OFFICE NOT DOING MEDICAL CHECKS?

On background checks, the Home Office states:

We work closely with the French Authorities to ensure that the cases applying to come to the UK qualify under Dublin.

Initial interviews are conducted to gather information on identity, medical conditions and age among other criteria.

On age we use a number of determining factors:

– That the individual has provided credible and clear documentary evidence proving their claimed age;

– That the individual has a physical appearance/demeanour which does not strongly suggest they are significantly over 18 years of age

– That the individual has been subject to a Merton compliant age assessment by a local authority and been assessed to be 18 years of age or over, which must be signed off by two social workers.

His father Abaye said he wants his son to be looked after by his late wife’s sister in London, but was refused entry to Britain as he is not an unaccompanied child.

‘My son is nine,’ Abaye said. ‘I want him to go to London to be with his mother’s sister. We have been here for three months, I do not want my son to be here.

‘I have two sons aged 12 and 16 who are already in London with their aunt. Their mother is dead.’

The first child migrants began arriving in Britain from Calais on Monday, while the second wave got to the UK Visas and Immigration office in Croydon, south London, this afternoon.

They being transferred from the Jungle before it is demolished later this month.

Some waved to the waiting cameras as they stepped off the packed bus before being escorted into the main building by UK border enforcement officers.

Between 200 and 300 youngsters with family already in the UK will be brought across the Channel by the end of the week, according to French police.

But as the transfers began, volunteers working in the Jungle camp raised concerns that those most in need would be left behind because adults are taking their places.

One unnamed aid worker in Calais raised concerns that adults may be lying about their age to gain entry into Britain.

The worker said: ‘It is a complete mess. Those at the front of the queue are not the most needy and vulnerable – they are adults pretending to be children.’

Another volunteer, Neha, added: ‘I know there are vulnerable kids, kids with epilepsy, who are still here that have family in the UK they could be with right now.

‘It’s a shambles. Children are not being told what they are queuing up for, they are not being given information, there is complete confusion.’

Up to 1,200 children are stranded in the sprawling Jungle camp in the French Port town, which is due to be demolished this month.

A Home Office spokesman admitted that routine medical tests, such as checking dental records, have not been carried out because it could be ‘intrusive’. Pictured: Arrivals in Croydon – There is no suggestion that those pictured are lying about being under 17

Migrant ‘children’ arriving in Britain from Calais to critics claiming they look ‘old enough to be adults’ may look older ‘because war has toughened them up’, a Whitehall source claims. Pictured: An Afghani migrant waves as he leaves Saint Omer, France, for Britain today

One British volunteer said: ‘It’s a shambles. Children are not being told what they are queuing up for, they are not being given information, there is complete confusion.’ Pictured: Migrants in the Calais jungle, which is due to be bulldozed later this month

Home Office staff have gone out to Calais to ensure a smooth transition. Pictured here is a UK official (centre, black coat) and a camp volunteer (hat and beige coat) assisting a group of migrant children aged 12-16 ahead of their departure

Around half say they have family in the UK, giving them the right to move here.

Under the system, the children have to apply for asylum in France with their claims transferred to Britain once they show they have family links already in the country.

A team of Home Office officials has been dispatched to Calais to work with the French authorities to screen applicants before they are granted entry.

Part of the vetting process will include attempting to determine their ages.

CHILD ARRIVALS SPARK HUGE DEBATE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

The arrival of the migrant children has caused a huge stir on social media, with everyone from politicians to television presenters weighing in.

UKIP temporary leader Nigel Farage said the pictures of the refugees proved the need to ‘verify who was coming into our country’.

But ex-England footballer and Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker hit out at those accusing the migrants of lying about their ages.

He wrote on Twitter: ‘The treatment by some towards these young refugees is hideously racist and utterly heartless. What’s happening to our country?’

Many people were unswayed by his comments though, taking aim at the Home Office over the process and questioning the ages of those arriving.

Owen Gibbs replied: ‘@GaryLineker i think it has a lot to do with the fact that we were told it would be refugee children but we’re seeing migrant men.’ 

Tony Pearce tweeted: ‘@AmberRudd_MP we wanted a strong home secretary who will keep our country safe, but you want to import migrant men posing as children.’

Laird Glencaird added: ‘Errrrrr, when are the first migrant children from Calais due. Lots of Migrants coming over but haven’t seen any kids yet. Please Help??’ 

Many made light of the situation, joking about what the ‘children’ will do when they arrive in the UK.

‘Dukesy’ tweeted: ‘The Calais migrant children have all been offered places at a local junior school but have decided 2 go straight into labouring for brickies.’

And another Twitter user known only as ‘Lee’ added: ‘These Calais migrant children aren’t aging well, are they?!’ 

The Government said it has ‘worked closely with the French Authorities to ensure that the cases applying to come to the UK qualify’, but admitted tests are based on ‘physical appearance’ and ‘demeanour’, with social workers signing off an ‘age assessment’.

A Home Office spokesman admitted medical tests, such as checking dental records, were not carried out because it could be ‘intrusive’.

The first group of children from war-torn countries including Syria and Sudan, arrived yesterday by coach at Lunar House, followed by a second batch today.

As part of the process, family members will also have been grilled by a team of screening officers trained to spot inconsistencies in their stories.

As doubts were raised about the new arrivals’ ages, Tory MP David Davies tweeted: ‘These don’t look like ‘children’ to me. I hope British hospitality is not being abused.’

Meanwhile, Twitter user Iain McGregor wrote: ‘Does the British Foreign Office think we are stupid? I was expecting kids under the age of 16, not over the age of 21.’

Another, writing under the name Dot, added: ‘When I read child migrants I thought it was youngsters. These are young men!!’

And David Moore said: ‘Lie about your age and you get a ride into the land of milk and honey. Don’t think they will be asked for ID at the pub.’

Others commented that some of the ‘children’ had managed to grow facial hair, while Mr Davies questioned why no girls or women had been brought to Britain.

He told The Telegraph: ‘These young men don’t look like minors to me. They are hulking teenagers who look older than 18. I’m all for helping the genuine children but the well of goodwill is rapidly being exhausted here.

‘I’m also curious that there are no young women – I would have thought they would be much more vulnerable. I worry that once again British hospitality is being abused.

‘There is no way of knowing if someone is a child. We could end up causing even more misery if we are not careful. We should invite anyone who wants to come to the UK to take dental tests.’

However, a Whitehall source said the child migrants may look older because fleeing war zones had ‘probably toughened them up so they’ve grown up a bit quicker’.

The youngsters now face further screening by the Home Office before they are reunited with family members. Some might be housed in specialist accommodation while these safeguarding checks take place, the spokesman said.

A Home Office spokesman said: ‘This is the start of the process to transfer as many eligible children as possible before the start of the clearance, as the Home Secretary set out in Parliament.

‘The transfer process is not straightforward. We need to make sure the essential checks have been made for their safety and the safety of others.’

Earlier, campaigners and faith leaders warned there are many more children left behind at the Jungle camp who also deserve Britain’s help.

WHAT THE LAW SAYS

The law which governs EU asylum claims states migrants should claim asylum in the first EU country reached. 

However there is a clause which allows minors to apply for asylum in another European country if they already have family living there.  

Lord Dubs, who came to Britain on the Kindertransport programme for Jewish children fleeing Nazi Germany, brought an amendment to the Immigration Act which was passed in May. 

This states the UK will take ‘vulnerable unaccompanied child refugees’ who arrived in the EU before March 20. 

These child refugees must be travelling on their own and fleeing conflict in their home country. Exceptions also apply to children under 13, girls and orphans. 

More than 80 unaccompanied children have so far been accepted to Britain under EU asylum law this year, according to the Home Office. 

It is not yet clear how many children will be accepted from Calais this week, although some figures suggest it will be around 100. 

‘We know that at least three children have died trying to get into Britain. Three children who actually had a legal right to be with their families,’ said former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.

Speaking to reporters in Croydon in south London, where the teenagers were being processed, he said yesterday: ‘I really hope it will be the beginning of some kind of new life experience with none of the horrors they’ve endured.’

Charities estimate up to 10,000 migrants from Africa, the Middle East and Asia have settled in the ‘Jungle’ in the hope of reaching Britain, but French authorities are expected to close it down by the end of the year.

‘No child must be left behind in the chaos of demolition,’ said Lord Alf Dubs, who fled the Nazis for Britain in 1939 and helped force the change in the law on child refugees.

A Home Office spokeswoman said Britain had agreed to transfer ‘as many minors as possible’ under EU asylum law before the Calais camp is closed.

She said that those eligible under British law must be looked after while their cases were assessed, adding: ‘Work is continuing on both sides of the Channel to ensure this happens as a matter of urgency.’

Meanwhile a French court today rejected a request by aid groups to delay the closure of the migrant camp in Calais, allowing authorities to clear out its thousands of residents in the coming weeks.

French authorities are gradually relocating or deporting the 6,000 to 10,000 migrants from the camp.

No date has been set for a large-scale clear-out operation, but the government has promised to shut it down by the start of winter.

Several aid groups filed an emergency request last week to postpone the closure, arguing that authorities aren’t ready to relocate its residents.

A Lille court rejected the request Tuesday, according to Pierre Henry of aid group Terre d’Asile.

Charity groups have warned that many of the migrants don’t want to stay in France and may set up camp elsewhere to continue trying to cross the English Channel to Britain.

‘Please don’t pretend two dads is the new normal’: RICHARD LITTLEJOHN says children benefit most from being raised by a man and woman

The Daily Mail

Call me old-fashioned, but I’ve never understood why so many pregnant women these days insist on flaunting the ultrasound scans of their unborn children.

Then again, I come from a generation reluctant even to discover the sex of their baby in advance, because it would spoil the surprise.

Anyway, surely making a song-and-dance at such an early stage of pregnancy is tempting fate. Why not wait until the child is actually born?

More to the point, who outside the immediate family is remotely interested?

You wouldn’t share the X-ray of your duodenal ulcer or triple heart bypass on the internet. Would you?

Ask a silly question. There are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of websites dedicated to displaying intimate snapshots of surgical procedures.

Come to think of it, I’ve got a picture of my last colonoscopy somewhere, if anyone’s interested. It looks like the menu board at Dunkin’ Donuts. Not that I’d dream of subjecting you to it here, in place of one of Gary’s brilliant cartoons. I wouldn’t want to put you off your breakfast.

So what makes diver Tom Daley and his husband think we want to look at the ultrasound of their yet-to-be-born baby? For a start, one foetus looks pretty much like all the others, just as all babies look like Winston Churchill.

Yet there they were this week, all over the newspapers and on social media, posing proudly with the grainy image taken inside a womb. Daley posted it on Instagram on Valentine’s Day, complete with emojis of two men, a child and love hearts.

As John Junor, late of this parish, used to remark: Pass the sick bag, Alice.

Before the usual suspects start bouncing up and down, squealing ‘homophobia’, don’t bother.

 Here we have two men drawing attention to the fact that ‘they’ are having a baby. But where’s the mum, the possessor of the womb which features in this photograph? She appears to have been written out of the script entirely

I supported civil partnerships long before it was fashionable and I’d rather children were fostered by loving gay couples than condemned to rot in state-run institutions, where they face a better-than-average chance of being abused.

That said, and despite the fact that countless single parents do a fantastic job, I still cling to the belief that children benefit most from being brought up by a man and a woman.

Which is precisely what worries me most about the Daley publicity stunt. Here we have two men drawing attention to the fact that ‘they’ are having a baby.

But where’s the mum, the possessor of the womb which features in this photograph? She appears to have been written out of the script entirely.

We are not told her identity, where she lives, or even when the baby is due. She is merely the anonymous incubator.

My best guess is that she lives in America, since it is still illegal in Britain to pay surrogate mothers other than modest expenses.

That’s why wealthy gay couples, such as Elton John and David Furnish, turn to the States when they want to start a family. Good luck to them. No one is suggesting that homosexual couples can’t make excellent parents. But nor is everyone comfortable with the trend towards treating women as mere breeding machines and babies as commodities.

I’ve written before about the modern tendency in some quarters to regard children as fashion accessories, like those preposterous designer handbag dogs.

This week’s photos of a beaming Tom Daley, his husband and their ultrasound scan are all about the parents (except the birth mother). Look at us, we’re having a bay-bee!

What I also find slightly disconcerting is that this story was reported virtually everywhere without so much as a raised eyebrow, as if it would be impolite even to ask any questions about the parentage.

For instance, is Daley or his husband the father? Was it Bill, or was it Ben? Or neither of them? More pertinently, never mind Who’s The Daddy? Who’s The Mummy? Which brings me to the Number One ‘Oi, Doris!’ news story of the week, headlined: ‘Woman born a man is first to breastfeed’.

Apparently, a 30-year-old transgender woman has successfully breastfed ‘her’ baby after being given hormone therapy to encourage milk production. It’s probably easiest if I quote directly from one of the reports:

‘The woman, who has not been named, approached doctors in New York after her partner became pregnant. She had received no surgery to transition from a man, but had been undergoing hormone therapy for some years and had already developed fully-grown breasts.

‘She explained that her partner was pregnant but not interested in breastfeeding, and that she hoped to take on the role of being the primary food source for her infant.’ There goes another couple of paragraphs I thought I’d never read, let alone write. Or, rather, reproduce. In the perceptive words of reggae star Johnny Nash, there are more questions than answers.

For a start, this person is described as a woman, but has had no surgery to transition from a man. Sorry, but I’m with Germaine Greer — someone in possession of a full set of wedding tackle is a man, not a woman.

Secondly, if this is his/her baby, did he/she fertilise the egg in the traditional fashion? On third thoughts, let’s not go there.

Fourthly, of about 40 other questions, has anyone considered what could be the long-term effects of feeding a baby breast milk manufactured artificially in the body of someone who was born — and remains biologically — a man?

Of course not. This is the most extreme example yet of the demands of selfish adults being given priority over the best interests of the unborn child.

No doubt scientists are already working on a way of ensuring that someone born a man can both father a baby and give birth to it, cutting out the middle-woman altogether. Stand by for the coming Hermaphrodites’ Rights movement.

Look, I don’t want to ban anything, within reason, but there are limits. Depressingly, this bizarre breastfeeding story was also given credulous coverage everywhere, as if it was the most natural thing in the world.

Why are so many of my fellow journalists taking stuff like this at face value? Are they all afraid of asking awkward questions, lest they are monstered by the deranged diversity bigots on Twitter?

Can they please grow a pair — if that’s not too ‘transphobic’ — and stop pretending this is the new normal. Not in our house, it isn’t. Nor, I suspect, in yours or 99.99 per cent of the rest of the world, either.

Still, I’m looking forward to the photos of Tom Daley breastfeeding his new baby.

Britain may have voted 52-48 to quit the EU, but the world of the arts and showbiz was over-whelmingly pro-EU.

Ninety-six per cent of those in the so-called ‘creative’ industries backed Remain. Now the four per cent have formed their own support group, after suffering online abuse and worse from Remoaners.

Brexiteers say they are being refused work by EU fanatics determined to punish them for voting Leave. They had their first meeting at a Wetherspoon’s pub in North London recently.

Sounds like my idea of a good night out. Who would you rather go drinking with — Leavers John Cleese, Michael Caine and Roger Daltrey?

Or luvvie Remoaners like Steve Coogan, Benedict Cumberbatch and Bob Geldof?

Basil Fawlty versus Alan Partridge? Get Carter v Sherlock? The Who v The Boomtown Rats?

No contest. We won’t get fooled again!

The BBC is in trouble for referring to female competitors at the Winter Olympics as ‘girls’. Only ‘ladies’ or ‘women’ will do. No one ever complains when football managers on Match Of The Day talk about ‘the boys done good’.

But the England women’s football team gets very grumpy if you call them ‘ladies’ or ‘women’. So they have to be described simply as ‘England’.

Confused? You’re supposed to be. It’s difficult keeping up. Now that ‘girls’ is verboten, can we expect Posh, Baby, Scary, Ginger and the Other One to bill their reunion tour as the Spice Women?

London City Airport was closed for 48 hours while a World War II bomb in the nearby River Thames was defused. If the UXB teams had taken that long during the Blitz in 1940/41, most of London would still have been off-limits come VE Day.

For years, we’ve been told that we mustn’t call prostitutes ‘prostitutes’. Apparently, it’s demeaning. The only acceptable term is ‘sex workers’.

Yet ever since the Oxfam sex-for-aid scandal broke, all we hear about is child ‘prostitutes’.

Obviously, when the prostitutes in question are Haitian children, not British women, it’s OK. And why is anyone remotely surprised that aid workers at Oxfam and the UN have been abusing vulnerable children?

The notorious American gangster Willie Sutton said he robbed banks ‘because that’s where the money is’.

Predatory paedophiles join international aid organisations because that’s where the kids are.

Now baby food and biscuits are linked to cancer: Food watchdog issues alerts for 25 big brands after claiming that crunchy roast potatoes and toast could cause the disease

  • Crisps, biscuits and baby food have ‘raised levels of cancer-linked chemicals’
  • Food Standards Agency says 25 products have higher amount of ‘acrylamide’
  • Studies on animals suggests the chemical can trigger DNA mutations
  • Products including Kettle Chips, McVitie’s and Hovis are on the danger list 

Tests on best-selling crisps, biscuits and baby food showed raised levels of a chemical linked to cancer.

The health alert comes just 24 hours after an official watchdog warned of the risks of eating burnt toast and roast potatoes.

The latest products on the danger list include Kettle Chips, Burts crisps, Hovis, Fox’s biscuits, Kenco coffee, McVitie’s and products from Cow & Gate.

A number of big name brand products contain raised levels of acrylamide, a chemical linked to cancer, according to the Food Standards Agency

According to the Food Standards Agency, 25 products have raised levels of acrylamide.

Animal studies suggest the chemical can trigger DNA mutations and cancer.

The link to acrylamide was also behind the warning over fried, roasted and toasted foods such as potatoes and bread.

The agency cautioned that any risk to humans related to lifetime consumption and not occasional eating.

However a renowned statistician yesterday insisted the link to cancer in humans from acrylamide was extremely weak.

‘There is no good evidence of harm from humans consuming acrylamide in their diet,’ said Professor David Spiegelhalter.

The FSA and other watchdogs in Europe test supermarket food to assess whether acrylamide levels are above a suggested limit – IV, for indicative value.

Of 526 products in targeted tests in 2014 and 2015, 25 had raised levels. Although the agency is not advising consumers to stop eating the products, the manufacturers have been told to cut the levels.

The FSA said: ‘For all of these samples we followed up with the manufacturers or brand owners via local authority inspectors.

‘They alerted them to the findings and requested information about what is being done to control acrylamide in those products.

‘We would emphasise though that the indicative values are not legal maximum limits nor are they safety levels.

‘They are performance indicators and designed to promote best practice in controlling acrylamide levels, Helen Munday of the Food and Drink Federation, which speaks for the manufacturers, said: ‘Food companies have been lowering acrylamide in UK-made products for years.

‘The FSA report provides a useful snapshot of acrylamide levels in a wide range of foods.

‘At the time of surveying these products, up to three years ago in some cases, any individual foods found to contain levels of acrylamide above indicative values would have prompted a review by both FSA and the brand owner.

‘UK food manufacturers have been working with supply chain partners, regulators and other bodies, at home and abroad, to lower acrylamide levels for years.

‘To continue to make progress, the food and drink industry, in partnership with the European Commission, has developed detailed codes of practice.’

Cow & Gate said: ‘We take food safety extremely seriously and have been working hard to reduce acrylamide levels.

‘In fact, in 2015 we took the decision to discontinue Sunny Start Baby Wheat Flakes as we were unable to reduce the level sufficiently.’

The statement said a spaghetti bolognese failure was expected to be a ‘one-off result’.

M&S said all the products highlighted in the research had since been shown to have low levels of the chemical.

Acrylamide has been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as ‘probably carcinogenic in humans’ and the World Health Organisation has concluded that exposure to the chemical in food ‘indicates a human health concern’.

Professor Spiegelhalter said: ‘Adults with the highest consumption of acrylamide could consume 160 times as much and still only be at a level that toxicologists think unlikely to cause increased tumours in mice.

‘People may just consider this yet another scare story from scientists, and lead them to dismiss truly important warnings about, say, the harms from obesity.

‘To be honest, I am not convinced it is appropriate to launch a public campaign on this basis.’

However Steve Wearne, the FSA’s policy director, said: ‘All age groups have more acrylamide in their diet than we would ideally want.

‘As a general rule of thumb when roasting or toasting, people should aim for a golden yellow colour, possibly a bit lighter, when cooking starchy foods like potatoes.’

These are scare stories of an attention seeking quango, writes JOHN NAISH

Why is the Food Standards Agency so keen to frighten us off crispy roasties and toast that is well done?

Apparently because of a potential cancer risk from acrylamide, a chemical that is created by cooking starchy foods at high temperatures – the longer and hotter such foods are cooked the more acrylamide forms.

But hang on, what does potential risk mean here? All sorts of chemicals might potentially cause cancer, but the risks are so small and vague that no one can tell either way.

The experts at Cancer Research UK say that the evidence for any link between acrylamide from burnt food and cancer is at best only weak and inconsistent.

And here’s the clincher: the charity points out that: ‘Even food industry workers, who are exposed to twice as much acrylamide as other people, do not have higher rates of cancer.’

As a health correspondent of 25 years’ standing, that’s good enough for me and my toaster.

So why would the FSA apparently want to scare people unnecessarily? Well, it makes people think that the FSA is doing something useful to protect our health.

After its initial announcement, the FSA not-so-helpfully clarified that it wasn’t telling people to avoid roast potatoes altogether – just to make them aware of the risk and how to reduce it.

On a section of its website devoted to its latest campaign, it advised people to ‘check for cooking instructions on the pack and follow carefully when frying or oven-cooking packaged food products such as chips, roast potatoes and parsnips.

This ensures that you aren’t cooking starchy foods for too long or at temperatures which are too high’.

To call this mere window-dressing would be an insult to the nation’s window-dressers, as they do indeed perform a useful job.

For such pointless cancer scaremongering on the FSA’s part only distracts people from the real and preventable risks of cancer, such as smoking, being overweight and drinking heavily.

The agency is charged with protecting the nation from dangerous food. But offering worthless, patronising advice is a less challenging task than protecting the public against contaminated, diseased, fake or dirty foodstuffs.

It has past form on patronising warnings. Among them was its ‘Your Fridge is Your Friend’ campaign, which aimed to nudge us about food safety at home, yet treated us like a nation of dunderheads.

Before you go shopping, check what’s in the fridge or freezer,’ was one piece of advice. ‘Make a list of what you need to buy,’ said another.

This could be comical, but such stunts only mask the fact that the Food Standards Agency is sadly unfit for purpose.

The agency was set up by the Blair government in 2000, in the wake of the salmonella and BSE disasters.

It was supposed to be a tough watchdog that would make safety scares a thing of the past, by protecting us from food poisoning, ensuring we know what goes into the food we buy, and policing the hygiene standards of restaurants.

But in early 2013, its inability to perform this most basic public-protection task was exposed when the horsemeat scandal broke.

Safety tests conducted by the Irish government revealed widespread adulteration of beef burgers with horsemeat. It warned the FSA. Caught on the hop, the FSA then asked suppliers to conduct their own tests.

These revealed, among other things, that the ‘beef’ in frozen lasagne and spaghetti bolognese made for Tesco, Aldi and Findus was up to 100 per cent horse.

In the wake of the scandal, Christopher Elliott, the director of the Institute of Global Food Security, was asked to examine how the FSA should pull its socks up.

He recommended that the agency set up a food crime unit, with a special department dedicated to using investigative powers to punish offenders counterfeiting foods such as meat, honey and wine.

In 2015, Professor Elliott complained that the FSA had failed to create the special department. The FSA says it is still considering the matter.

As a result, the agency has a food crime unit – which costs £2million a year to run – but it does not have a department to investigate or convict offenders.

This might help to explain why its work has not resulted in any prosecutions.

The FSA says the unit has been fully operational only for the past nine months and is working on a number of criminal investigations.

‘In that time it has focused on building links with sources of information in order to better understand the nature and scale of the food crime threat,’ a spokesman told reporters last month.

Professor Elliott is unimpressed and told a parliamentary inquiry into food fraud that: ‘We are quite far behind a number of other European countries in relation to thinking about the scale of food crime and food fraud.’

Meanwhile, there is bafflement about the agency’s food protection policies. The most likely place you will see an FSA logo is on the food-hygiene ratings posted on a restaurant’s doors.

But in England, restaurants and takeaways with awful hygiene ratings – such as only one star or no stars at all (meaning urgent improvement is required to address dreadful cleanliness) – don’t actually have to put the sticker up.

They can just ignore the rating and trust you won’t notice. What’s more, a zero hygiene rating does not automatically mean public health officials will issue enforcement notices – or that the business will have to close down.

It’s hard not to conclude that the FSA apparently prefers to fret over toast, rather than enforcing hygiene measures that would improve our health – and potentially save lives.

Voir encore:

Ariane Chemin et Benoît Collombat : « Les journalistes ne sont pas au-dessus des lois, mais l’État non plus »

Les journalistes Ariane Chemin et Benoît Collombat sont les invités de Léa Salamé à 7h50. Ils reviennent sur les convocations à la DGSI de plusieurs journalistes enquêtant sur des scandales ou des mensonges d’État.

Léa Salamé

France inter

30 mai 2019

« On a l’impression d’une erreur de casting », raconte la journaliste du Monde Ariane Chemin sur sa convocation à la DGSI. « Ça ressemble un peu au Bureau des Légendes, on descend au quatrième sous-sol, c’est gris, il y a des néons, une paire de menottes qui pendouille… Vous êtes interrogé dans un cadre normalement réservé à des personnes accusées de terrorisme. » C’est d’ailleurs ce qui inquiète le plus les deux journalistes, qui s’alarment d’une forme de « criminalisation du travail journalistique ».

« Avec la multiplication de ces auditions à la DGSI, on a l’impression que c’est une logique antiterroriste qui est appliquée aux journalistes », explique Benoît Collombat, journaliste à la Cellule investigations de Radio France. « On parle de l’affaire Benalla, une affaire d’État. On parle des armes françaises au Yémen, un mensonge d’État. Et là, on n’est pas dans le cadre traditionnel du droit de la presse, devant les tribunaux devant lesquels on peut se défendre. »

Pour eux, quand Sibeth Ndiaye dit que les journalistes « sont des justiciables comme les autres », elle se trompe. « C’est vrai dans la vie quotidienne, mais pas dans l’exercice de leur métier », s’agace Ariane Chemin. Le principe du secret d’État et celui de la liberté de la presse « ne se valent donc pas ».

Benoît Collombat enfonce le clou : « le journaliste a une fonction sociale, il n’est pas là uniquement pour publier passivement des communiqués officiels du gouvernement ». « Dans le cas des ventes d’armes de la France utilisées au Yémen, on parle quand même de la pire catastrophe humanitaire depuis la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale : on entend que les journalistes ne sont pas au-dessus des lois, mais l’État non plus ! La France ne respecte pas les traités sur le commerce des armes qu’elle a signés. »

Bref les deux journalistes sont inquiets sur la liberté des journalistes dans le pays, notamment avec la crise des gilets jaunes. « Il y a une accumulation de faits qui devient inquiétante », assure Ariane Chemin. « C’est pas en cassant le thermomètre (les journalistes) qu’on fait baisser la fièvre », conclut Benoît Collombat.

Voir enfin:

L’Iran fournit aux Houthis des armes sophistiquées internationalement prohibées, entre autres des missiles destinés à frapper l’Arabie saoudite et des drones de type « tempête »
la Référence
21/décembre/2018

Depuis le coup d’Etat des houthis, de nombreux rapports internationaux prouvent sans équivoque que l’Iran a fourni des armes aux milices putschistes. Certaines de ces armes sont prohibées sur le plan international. Le dernier rapport en date a été annoncé par le secrétaire général de l’ONU, Antonio Gueterrs le 12 décembre. De nouvelles armes que l’on croit fabriquées en Iran, ont été trouvées au Yémen.

Selon le rapport, le Secrétariat des Nations Unies a « examiné deux lance-missiles anti-char saisis par la coalition arabe dirigée par l’Arabie saoudite au Yémen, et a constaté qu’ils avaient des caractéristiques iraniennes. Ces lance-missiles ont été fabriqués en 2016 et 2017 ».

Le rapport indique que l’enquête en cours déterminera l’origine de ces armes. L’Iran a toujours nié livrer des armes aux rebelles Houthis, affirmant qu’il les soutient politiquement uniquement. Le rapport onusien porte sur le respect par l’Iran de l’accord nucléaire signé en 2015 avec six grandes puissances. Les Etats-Unis s’en sont retirés en mai dernier rétablissant les sanctions à l’encontre de Téhéran.

Accusations américaines

Washington avait par le passé accusé l’Iran de violer ses obligations en ce qui a trait à l’accord nucléaire, en fabriquant notamment des missiles balistiques. L’administration américaine affirme que les missiles testés par Téhéran sont capables de transporter des ogives nucléaires. Un fait nié par l’Iran, qui affirme que son programme d’armement est « défensif» et « traditionnel ».

Les Nations Unies ont constaté le lancement, par les rebelles  Houthis, de roquettes iraniennes sur l’Arabie saoudite. Fin novembre, les Etats-unis ont révélé la présence de nouvelles armes qui constituent une preuve que des missiles iraniens sont diffusés au Moyen-Orient. Parmi ces armes se trouve un missile sol-air Hunter-2C. Il y a un an, le gouvernement américain avait montré les restes d’un missile iranien tiré par les rebelles Houthis sur l’Arabie saoudite.

Ce n’est pas tout. De nombreuses armes iraniennes ont été saisies ces dernières années, notamment aux mains des Houthis dont des missiles balistiques à longue portée et des missiles anti-char. L’Iran fournit également aux Houthis des drones de fabrication iranienne de type « Qasif » utilisés pour attaquer les systèmes de défense aérienne, et d’autres de type « Ababil » utilisés pour attaquer les radars.

Le Liban, zone de transit

Téhéran a également collaboré avec ses agents régionaux comme le Hezbollah pour approvisionner les Houthis en armes par le biais de la contrebande. Le navire iranien Ceyhan 1, saisi en janvier 2013, contenait de grandes quantités d’armes, d’explosifs cet de missiles sol-air.

En février 2013, le navire Jihan 2, a été saisi près de Bab Al-Mandab, alors qu’en février 2016, la marine australienne a intercepté un voilier transportant des milliers de Kalachnikov, de grenades et de lance-roquettes. Il venait d’Iran et se dirigeant vers les rebelles Houthis. En juillet 2016, la résistance populaire a saisi un bateau de pêche qui avait réussi à transporter, en l’espace d’une semaine, six cargaisons d’armes vers les Houthis. « L’Iran a l’intention de fabriquer et de moderniser jusqu’à 800 chars », a déclaré le vice-ministre iranien de la Défense, cité par l’agence Tasnim. Il n’a pas indiqué le type de chars ni leur nombre dans chaque catégorie. « Notre programme prévoit la production de 50 à 60 chars par an. Le budget nécessaire à cette production a été alloué en raison des besoins urgents de l’armée et des gardiens de la révolution », a indiqué le ministre iranien.

Rapport britannique

Un rapport britannique sur l’armement confirme l’implication du régime iranien dans la livraison de mines aux milices houthies au Yémen, ainsi que la formation de plusieurs de leurs éléments pour construire un grand nombre de mines localement.

L’expert international Jonah Leif, directeur des opérations à l’Arms Research Foundation britannique, affirme que Téhéran est directement impliqué dans la livraison de mines aux milices houthies. Ces mines n’étaient pas en possession de l’armée yéménite avant le coup d’Etat contre la légitimité. Dans un rapport intitulé « Les mines et les explosifs utilisées par les militants houthis sur la côte ouest », le chercheur souligne l’importance d’élaborer des cartes pour le déminage. Le rapport donne un aperçu des mines et des engins explosifs improvisés utilisés par les milices houthies sur la côte ouest du Yémen.

Le rapport souligne les dispositifs électroniques utilisés par les Houthis sur la côte ouest et permettant d’actionner les engins explosifs à distance comme les capteurs et les transmetteurs. Le document affirme que la conception de ces dispositifs est « identique à ceux fabriqués en Iran en 2008 ». Le rapport souligne également que les mines utilisées par les houthis sur la côte ouest du Yémen, sont identiques à ceux saisis aux avec Da’ech à la ville yéménite d’Aden, ce qui révèle que l’Iran soutient cette organisation terroriste et pas seulement les Houthis.

Rapports de renseignement

D’autre part, selon un rapport des renseignements américains publié mi 2018, les flottes occidentales ont intercepté trois voiliers en mer d’Oman, certaines armes trouvées sur ces voiliers étaient identiques à celles confisquées au Yémen et qui étaient en possession des combattants Houthis. Le rapport, citant des sources officielles iraniennes, affirme que deux de ces bateaux non immatriculés étaient fabriqués par la société de construction navale iranienne, Mansur, dont le bassin est situé à proximité d’une base des Gardiens de la révolution.

« Depuis 2012, les bateaux de la compagnie Mansour sont impliqués dans de nombreuses opérations de contrebande d’héroïne, de cannabis et, plus récemment, d’armes », déclare l’Arms Research Institute basée en Grande-Bretagne. Et d’ajouter : « L’analyse des armes indique qu’au moins deux des trois cargaisons ont été envoyées avec la complicité des forces de sécurité iraniennes »

Selon le rapport, certaines armes confisquées lors de l’interception des bateaux portaient des numéros de série nouveaux, ce qui indique qu’elles proviennent du stock de l’un des pays. Les numéros d’identification des armes antichars découverts dans l’un des bateaux correspondaient aux numéros de production d’armes similaires qui, selon les Emirats Arabes Unis, avaient été confisquées aux Houthis.

Le rapport souligne enfin le rôle des ports somaliens en tant que zones de transit : « Les navires de guerre HMA S Darwin, FS Provence et USS Sirocco ont saisi plus de 4 500 fusils, obus de mortiers et de lance-roquettes en l’espace de 4 semaines entre février et mars 2016 », affirme le rapport.

Voir par ailleurs:

Londres, de notre correspondant

«Meurtriers», titrait hier le Daily Mail, ajoutant en une, photos et identités à l’appui: «le Mail accuse ces cinq hommes d’un meurtre raciste. Si nous avons tort, qu’ils nous fassent un procès.» Il n’est pas dans les habitudes du tabloïd conservateur de prendre ainsi parti dans un crime raciste. Mais son rédacteur en chef expliquait hier soir que l’assassinat jusqu’ici impuni d’un adolescent noir, il y a quatre ans, était devenu le symbole d’une justice à deux vitesses, efficace pour les Blancs, déficiente pour les sujets de couleur de Sa Majesté. Avant d’ajouter que le Daily Mail entendait faire pression sur le gouvernement.

Jeudi soir, les parents de Stephen Lawrence, qui mènent combat depuis quatre ans pour que justice soit faite, ont finalement obtenu qu’un tribunal reconnaisse que leur fils a été tué «au cours d’une attaque raciste, non provoquée, par cinq jeunes Blancs». Une victoire certes, mais limitée: les cinq jeunes dénoncés par le Daily Mail et meurtriers présumés de l’adolescent restent libres, après une enquête de police bâclée et une instruction maladroite.

Stephen Lawrence a été poignardé à mort en avril 1993 par un groupe de cinq jeunes Blancs alors qu’il attendait le bus à Eltham, dans le sud-est de Londres. Stephen avait dix-huit ans et a été tué parce qu’il était noir. «Prends-ça, sale Nègre», avait crié l’un des meurtriers, le perçant de coups de couteau. Sa famille était arrivée de Jamaïque, sa mère est institutrice, son père maçon, et Stephen, étudiant brillant, voulait devenir architecte. Les soupçons de la police se portent immédiatement sur un groupe de cinq jeunes, membres d’un club, «The Firm», ouvertement raciste et supporters du National Front (un minuscule parti raciste britannique ), qui vivent dans une cité voisine. Ils ont déjà injurié et agressé les quelques Noirs vivant dans le quartier. Entre mai et juin 1993, ils sont tous arrêtés mais nient avoir tué Stephen; faute de preuves suffisantes présentées par la police, le procureur les libère. La famille persévère et, à ses frais, monte en avril 1996 une private prosecution, un «procès privé», comme l’autorise une procédure rarement usitée du droit anglais, devant des magistrats publics de l’Old Bailey de Londres (l’équi- valent de la Cour de cassation). Personne ne veut se présenter à l’audience pour témoigner contre les cinq assassins présumés. Par peur, selon la police; parce que l’enquête a été mal faite, selon la famille. Les enquêteurs peuvent seulement présenter des enregistrements effectués par la police de conversations ouvertement racistes des cinq jeunes. On entend l’un d’entre eux dire: «Il faut couper les bras et les jambes des Noirs pour qu’ils n’aient plus que des putains de moignons.» On voit un autre, sur un film vidéo, donner des coups de couteau dans l’air en criant: «Sale Nègre, sale Nègre.» Des éléments à charge certes, mais pas de preuves, témoignages ou aveux suffisants pour assurer une condamnation. Ce nouveau procès s’effondre. Entre-temps, Stephen est devenu une cause célèbre: Nelson Mandela, lors de sa visite en Grande-Bretagne, rencontrera même les parents de l’adolescent assassiné. Jeudi soir, le ministre de l’Intérieur a finalement décidé d’ouvrir une enquête sur le travail de la police. Sinon, reconnaissait l’avocat de la famille, Imran Khan, «les Britanniques de couleur finiront pas croire qu’ils doivent eux-mêmes se faire justice».

Voir aussi:

Some of Paul Dacre’s most memorable Daily Mail front pages

During 26 years at the helm of the Daily Mail, editor Paul Dacre has published some striking and memorable front pages.

His strong pro-Brexit stance, and anti-Labour sentiment, has been unabashed, while he has spearheaded a number of successful campaigns including calling for justice for murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence.

Dacre announced yesterday that he will leave his role as Daily Mail editor to become chairman and editor-in-chief of Associated Newspapers later this year, stepping back from day-to-day editorial responsibilities.

In a statement to staff, Dacre described them as “Fleet Street’s greatest team of journalists”, who had been behind the paper’s “countless successful campaigns” that often made the front page.

Here are some of Dacre’s most memorable splashes through the years.

Stephen Lawrence

Dacre recently revealed he caused a “deathly silence” on the Daily Mail back bench when he proposed the now famous splash accusing the five suspects in the Stephen Lawrence murder case of killing him.

Dacre had been moved to run the front page after watching the suspects repeatedly refused to answer questions at Lawrence’s inquest, which returned a verdict of “unlawful killing”.

Under the headline “Murderers”, Dacre wrote: “The Mail accuses these men of killing. If we are wrong, let them sue us.”

In 2012, after David Norris and Gary Dobson were convicted of Lawrence’s murder 19 years on, Dacre wrote that the newspaper had taken a “monumental risk” with the front page but that he believed “as a result we did a huge amount of good and made a little bit of history that day”.

Daily Mail ‘Murderers’ front page from 14 February, 1997.

Marine A

The Daily Mail led a campaign for the release of Royal Marine Sergeant Alexander Blackman after he was jailed for shooting a Taliban fighter.

Mail readers raised £810,000 to go towards a legal challenge against his life sentence after the campaign launched in September 2015 with the headline: “A shameful injustice”.

The battle lasted two years before Blackman’s release from jail in April last year. The newspaper put the news of his release on the front, giving it equal billing with Theresa May’s signing the letter to begin Brexit.

Gary McKinnon

In 2009 the Daily Mail threw its weight behind Gary McKinnon, a British Asperger’s sufferer accused of hacking into Pentagon and NASA computers.

The newspaper campaigned to stop McKinnon being extradited to the US, calling it an “Affront to British justice” in a splash headline. McKinnon was eventually told he would not be extradited, and then that he would face no further criminal action, in 2012.

Plastic

In 2008 the Daily Mail launched a “Banish The Bags” campaign with the striking image of a turtle entangled by plastic.

The campaign resulted in the introduction of a 5p charge for plastic bags at supermarkets and other large retailers.

This year, the newspaper has stepped up its anti-plastic crusade again with its “let’s turn the tide on plastic” message.

Brexit

Some of the Mail’s most famous front pages of recent times relate to Brexit, for which it campaigned fervently and has been credited with perhaps tipping the balance in Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.

When a panel of judges ruled that Brexit could not be triggered without a Westminster vote in November 2016, Dacre didn’t hold back, calling them “Enemies of the people” in a move that drew criticism and even comparisons with a Nazi newspaper headline.

When peers voted to give Parliament the power to force ministers to reopen talks if MPs rejected the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal with Brussels, the newspaper took aim once again, calling the House of Lords the a “House of unelected wreckers” and writing that the “Remainer elite” was “fighting a guerilla war against Brexit using any weapon it can” in a leader column.

In February 2016, as David Cameron negotiated with Brussels ahead of the EU referendum, the newspaper dedicated its front page to a leader comment asking: “Who will speak for England?”

The Daily Mail supported Theresa May’s call for a snap General Election in 2017, saying it was a chance for her to “crush the saboteurs” of Brexit. The outcome didn’t quite go as planned for May or the Mail.

In December, the Daily Mail asked Tory Remainers “Proud of yourselves?” after siding with Labour in a Brexit vote, picturing each of those “accused of treachery”.

In June 2017, the front page was dedicated to accusing Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Diane Abbott of being “apologists of terror”.

Voir de même:

The murder of Stephen Lawrence, an 18 year old young black student stabbed to death in a racist attack in 1993, was one of the defining moments in the British 20th Century.

A public inquiry later concluded that « institutional racism » from London’s Metropolitan Police bungled the case and let the men suspected of killing Lawrence walk free.

Today, 18 years later, two men were finally convicted of the murder. And one man played a huge role in that eventual result. The Daily Mail’s editor in chief, Paul Dacre.

It was Dacre’s decision to put the photos of those accused of murder on the front page in 1997, possibly in contempt of court, under the headline « MURDERERS:The Mail accuses these men of killing. If we are wrong, let them sue us ».

Not one of the men ever sued, and public opinion swung wildly against the accused and the police who had mishandled the case. Eventually, in 2007, police began re-investigating the case, and in 2011 charges were brought against two men.

It was certainly out of character for Dacre, often characterized as a right wing populist with little time for concerns of racism — in his book Flat Earth News, Nick Davies writes that the group changed its coverage after a personal link to the family was suggested (reports suggest that Lawrence’s father had at one time worked on Dacre’s house). But even Dacre’s detractors have to accept his huge role in getting the case reopened and an eventual guilty verdict.

Voir de plus:

Stephen Lawrence’s parents thank Daily Mail for ‘going out on a limb’
Newspaper’s ‘Murderers’ headline in 1997 put the case at heart of public consciousness, say David Cameron and Ed Miliband
Lisa O’Carroll
The Guardian
4 Jan 2012

Stephen Lawrence have praised the Daily Mail for « going out on a limb » and branding suspects in the death of their son as « murderers » 15 years ago.

They led the tributes to the paper that campaigned for justice ever since. David Cameron said the Lawrences were helped enormously by the paper while Labour leader Ed Miliband said it played an « honourable role » in helping to bring the killers to heel.

Neville Lawrence, the teenager’s father, said that along with the intervention of Nelson Mandela, the Daily Mail’s campaign was the crucial turning point in the case.

And Doreen Lawrence, Stephen’s mother said the landmark front page of the Daily Mail on 14 February 1997 branding five suspects as « Murderers » made the case matter to the whole country.

Her former husband said he was in Jamaica when the paper ran that highly risky story inviting the suspects to sue if they were not the killers.

He told the Mail today: « I was very pleased, but I admit I was very frightened, too, because I realised the implications. If you name people as murderers you have to be pretty sure you have the proof or you’ll be in trouble. »

He added: « The fact that the Mail – which is a very influential newspaper – went out on a limb for us showed how committed you were to the case. Not a lot of editors would have done that. Not a lot would have chanced it. »

Ms Lawrence said: « When the Mail first published their faces, up until that point nobody – apart from those in their local neighbourhood – really knew what those boys looked like.

« Then the whole country knew. They were no longer faceless people …

« [The Mail’s front page] definitely surprised me; that a newspaper would go out on a limb because at the time, even though we suspected they were guilty, there was nothing to prove that they were murderers.

« It makes a big difference to have that support because you don’t want to be this lone voice. »

The Daily Mail devotes 21 pages to the story today with tributes from 11 key public figures for its unstinting campaign.

Miliband told the Mail that its quest for justice was important to salute at a moment when journalism is under fire.

« At a time when the reputation of the newspaper industry is at an all time low, it is important to recognise when campaigning journalism makes a difference.

« That includes the honourable role the Daily Mail has played over almost two decades. »

In its editorial today, the Mail says it hopes readers will forgive it if it takes « credit from our own trade » and for the « special pride » it had in bringing Gary Dobson and David Norris to justice.

« When the entire British press is, in a sense, on trial at the Leveson inquiry, we believe this case offers a timely reminder of the vital importance to a healthy democracy of independent, self-regulating and viable newspapers. »

Former journalist and chairman of the Human Rights Commission Trevor Phillips described the decision to brand the accused as murderers as an « act of great courage » by the paper’s editor Paul Dacre.

« But it was also a shrewd recognition by the most acute judge of middle England’s temperature that attitudes to race had changed profoundly. »

Sir Peter Bottomley, the Tory MP who represented the suburb of Eltham at the time, said that in 1993 the media didn’t care because the boy was a black kid from south London.

« I would like to give praise to the Daily Mail and Paul Dacre for their bravery in naming the suspects on 14 February 1997.

« This helped keep the attention of the country and police on the need to find the evidence which would lead to a full trial and possible conviction of the killers.

« Without the Daily Mail, I do not believe this would have happened. »

The full impact of Paul Dacre’s decision to run the headline he has described as a « monumental risk » was revealed today by the former home secretary Jack Straw.

He told the paper today that it helped secure the co-operation of the police inquiry into the Met’s handling of the case.

« The Daily Mail’s intervention made my job much easier in getting agreement from the Metropolitan police to set up the inquiry, which itself changed the face of policing in Britain. »

Voir encore:

Paul Dacre admits Daily Mail ran ‘Murderers’ Stephen Lawrence splash because father Neville did his plastering
inews
April 10th 2018

The Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre has admitted that he ran the newspaper’s famous front page, calling five suspects in the racist killing of Stephen Lawrence “murderers”, because the teenager’s father had performed excellent work plastering his house.

Neville Lawrence said the unprecedented 1997 front page played a major role in bringing to justice some of the men who killed 18 year-old student Stephen, who was stabbed to death whilst waiting for a bus in south-east London.

Dacre knew Lawrence family

The Daily Mail front page put ‘rocket boosters’ under campaign to bring Stephen Lawrence killers to justice, a BBC film says

In a rare interview, Mr Dacre tells a landmark BBC series marking the 25th anniversary of the murder, that the Mail would not have backed the family’s campaign without his unlikely personal connection to the Lawrences.

Neville Lawrence had been recommended as a “very good plasterer” when Mr Dacre needed “lots of work doing” at his home, the Mail editor-in-chief said.

“He did a lot of plastering work. He was clearly a very decent, hard-working man. Would the Mail have done it without that knowledge? Probably not.”

Mr Lawrence, unaware of his employer’s position, had complained about the Daily Mail’s coverage of the family in the aftermath of the murder.

Mr Dacre offered the Lawrence family a chance to “put the record straight” in an exclusive interview.

Suspects ‘Taking the piss’

A meeting with Paul Condon, the Met Police commissioner, after three suspects were acquitted of the murder, convinced Mr Dacre to challenge all five in print.

“Paul said he would bet his life these men were the killers but they couldn’t get the evidence,” Mr Dacre said. “These guys were taking the piss out of British justice.”

Mr Dacre sketched out the headline “Murderers”, challenging the five suspects “if we are wrong, let them sue us” at 9pm, 45 minutes before the paper went to press.

He forced the “cataclysmic” front page through nervous libel lawyers. “The next day the s-h-i-t hit the fan.”

The paper was accused of interfering with justice by naming the “killers”.

Two suspects convicted

Gary Dobson and David Norris were convicted of murdering Lawrence in 2012 and are serving life sentences.

The talented architecture student was set upon by a racist gang. From Stephen: The Murder that Changed a Nation Stephen Lawrence – (C) The Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon OBEHowever the teenager is believed to have been surrounded by up to six attackers that night.

Imran Khan, who has represented Stephen’s mother Baroness Lawrence since a few days after her son’s death, said he did not expect anyone else to face prosecution for the murder, despite police appeals.

Mr Khan claimed institutional racism is “thriving” in the Metropolitan Police, 25 years after the murder, despite the 1999 Macpherson inquiry which made 70 recommendations after finding that the initial murder inquiry was riddled with police incompetence and racist attitudes.

PM backs undercover police probe

Theresa May tells the film that the Undercover Policing Inquiry she launched as Home Secretary three years ago, to discover whether the undercover policing units developed over 40 years were out of control, would provide important evidence about alleged police corruption.

Theresa May tells the BBC series of her concerns over undercover policing operations (©MoD/Crown Copyright/Jay Allen)

The inquiry was launched after allegations that Scotland Yard infiltrated the Stephen Lawrence campaign 20 years ago, in order to find material to smear the family.

:: Stephen: The Murder that Changed a Nation begins BBC1, Tuesday April 17, 9pm and continues April 18, 19.

Voir encore:

“MURDERERS” – of myths, Macpherson, and the Daily Mail
As we approach the 25th anniversary of Stephen Lawrence’s murder, it’s time to critically assess whether the Daily Mail really played the pivotal and progressive role it likes to claim in the case, and its impact on Britain’s race relations.
Brian Cathcart
Open democracy
2 November 2017

When David Cameron gave evidence to the Leveson Inquiry he wanted to give an example of newspaper campaigning that had benefited society. With the entire modern output of the national press to pick from, he chose the Daily Mail’s work on the Stephen Lawrence murder. This, he informed the judge, had been ‘extremely important’.

No doubt many others would have made the same choice. Even the Mail’s rivals sometimes hold up its coverage of the infamous 1993 race murder as a high point for British journalism and as proof of the essential role of the press. As for the Mail’s critics, they find the case a stumbling block. If the Mail really played a heroic part in achieving justice for a black family that had been failed by the white establishment, it becomes harder for them to classify the paper as simply intolerant or racist.

Next April will be the 25th anniversary of the murder. It will be a moment for commemoration and for reflection about race in Britain. For the Mail, which takes intense pride in its own involvement in the case, it will also be an opportunity to remind the public of what it did.

So what did it do? Most famously, in February 1997, at a moment when the police and the justice system appeared to have failed the Lawrence family, it published a front page accusing five young men of the murder and defying them to sue for libel. A stroke of editorial brilliance, this caused a sensation, raising the profile of this troubling case and stirring debate about trial by media. Over the years that followed, the Mail would return many times to the Lawrence case in front pages, inside spreads and editorials, and the paper has made some bold claims about the difference it made. Several of these were drawn together in a single statement by its editor, Paul Dacre, after two men were convicted of the killing in 2012:

‘Quite simply, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that if it hadn’t been for the Mail’s headline in 1997 – “Murderers: The Mail accuses these men of killing” – and our years of campaigning, none of this would have happened: Britain’s police might not have undergone the huge internal reform that was so necessary; race relations might not have taken the significant step forward that they have;  and an 18-year-old A-Level student who dreamed of being an architect would have been denied justice.’

The Mail has also claimed that its reporting brought about the 1998-99 Macpherson Inquiry into the murder and that its campaigning led to the reform of the double jeopardy rule that made possible one of the 2012 convictions. Dacre has also asserted that he risked jail by publishing the 1997 front page.

These claims have rarely been examined closely, but in an article just published in the journal Political Quarterly I have tested them against the historical record. I found that, while the paper’s actions involved editorial brilliance and probably had positive consequences, its principal claims are at best exaggerated and at worst unsupported by evidence. Even where it can be argued that the paper did help bring about changes for the better, they were not the changes it actually sought.

One example is the assertion that the Mail’s reporting ‘prompted Home Secretary Jack Straw to initiate a major inquiry’, as the paper put it in February 1999. That claim has been made on a number of occasions but it is problematic and at the very least needs careful qualification – chiefly because in the relevant months of 1997 the Mail never once called for a public inquiry. Even when the Lawrence family demanded one, the Mail conspicuously did not give its support. And once it became clear, in the early summer of 1997, that there would be an inquiry, the Mail publicly opposed the kind of inquiry – into police failures – that Doreen (now Baroness) Lawrence was arguing for and that the government of the time ultimately set up. In short, the paper has been claiming credit for the establishment of an inquiry which the record shows it didn’t seek and which took a form it actually opposed.

Of course this is not a simple matter. While Jack Straw, in his autobiography, gave credit for the establishment of the inquiry ‘above all’ to Baroness Lawrence, he also wrote that the Mail helped give him political ‘space’ to make his decision. No doubt this is correct: that a conservative paper was conspicuously involved will have made a difference, but again the context must be considered. Straw made his decision in July 1997. It is conceivable that, had he not had the ‘space’ created by the Mail, he might have said no. But the events of 1997 show that six months later, no matter what the position of the Daily Mail, he would have had no choice but to order an inquiry anyway. When, that December, a report by the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) revealed wholesale incompetence and worse in the original police investigation of Stephen Lawrence’s murder, all arguments against a public inquiry would have fallen away. In other words, insofar as the Mail’s involvement might have made a difference by giving Straw more room to act, the difference was between the announcement of an inquiry in July 1997 and the same announcement five months later.

The Mail’s claim – repeated as recently as June this year during an angry spat with the Guardian – that its campaign to bring the Stephen Lawrence murderers to justice “did more to improve race relations in this country than anything the Guardian has achieved” is a claim which, at best, requires considerable qualification, not least because throughout the whole history of the Lawrence case the Mail’s understanding of the role of race has been a very particular one.

In its reporting just after the murder in 1993 its principal interest was in challenging mostly black ‘race militants’ whom it accused of ‘hijacking a tragedy’. The paper was happy to quote the Lawrences when they expressed concern about ‘militants’, but it conspicuously failed to quote them on the subject of racism in British law enforcement and justice and its role in their plight. Even in 1997 the Mail still refused to accept that the Lawrences’ colour might have made a difference. An editorial published on the same day as the famous ‘Murderers’ front page declared bluntly: ‘But suggestions made by his grief-stricken mother that that police were less than assiduous because of Stephen’s colour are misplaced.’ In the eyes of the Mail, in other words, Doreen Lawrence was simply wrong to see racism in the British establishment as a factor in her family’s tragedy.

Why did the Mail get involved at all, if it took that view? Look at the record and the answer is clear. Dacre was outraged by what he called the swaggering conduct of the five suspects at the inquest (which had just ended when the front page was published). He was appalled that they appeared to be getting away with murder, as his own crime reporters and senior police officers told him they were. His focus and that of his paper was on five white ‘thugs’ from southeast London, and accusations about racism in the police or the justice system or in wider British society were wrong, and worse, were damaging distractions.

It was for that reason that the Mail did not want a public inquiry into police failure and instead looked to the Macpherson inquiry (in vain) to hold the five suspects to account. When the inquiry report declared that the police service suffered from ‘institutional racism’, and when the Tony Blair government asserted that the whole country had lessons to learn from this, the Mail was openly disgusted. This was, it said, ‘a kind of politically correct McCarthyism’, and it asked: ‘Should the majority in this fundamentally decent and tolerant nation be tainted by collective guilt?’ The only racism the Mail would ever acknowledge in the case was the racism of the attackers (who were heard to use the word ‘n****r’) and conceivably of a few ‘bad apple’ police officers who, it said, should be driven out of the police service.

Against this background, assertions by the Mail that it was instrumental in improvements in race relations and also in reforms of the police that flowed from the Macpherson inquiry must ring hollow. Not only did it not want the inquiry in the first place, but it was also broadly dismissive of the inquiry’s eventual findings.

There is, however, one significant way in which the Mail probably helped bring positive change. The Stephen Lawrence affair was the first occasion when the white majority in this country came to understand and identify with the grief and anger of a black British family. They saw past angry black faces and recognised human suffering and a case of injustice. Those chiefly responsible for that change are the Lawrences themselves, but the Mail also deserves some credit. Baroness Lawrence wrote in her autobiography, And Still I Rise: ‘The Daily Mail’s front page had helped to open the story up. In fact the press had always been interested, but that report was said to have “touched Middle England”, the feelings of white people who don’t normally care much what happens to black youths in inner cities.’

It may well be that the public inquiry would have done this anyway, with its months of shocking testimony vindicating the family’s position, but it is clear that the Mail’s sensational intervention in February 1997 accelerated the process and it seems likely that many who would not otherwise have given consideration to the Lawrences’ grievances were induced to do so as a result.

My article in Political Quarterly looks at all of this in some detail, and also at the other claims made by the Mail. For example, I found no evidence in the historical record to support the suggestion that the Mail campaigned in any sustained way for reform of the double jeopardy rule, nor for the suggestion that the editor of the Mail risked jail when he accused the five suspects of murder. Dacre’s assertion that if it had not been for the Mail Stephen Lawrence would have been denied justice is particularly hard to credit since there is nothing to support it in the known narrative of the police investigation that led to the two convictions. Even a general proposition that the Mail helped bring about convictions by continuing to highlight the issue does not withstand scrutiny.

Newspapers boast, and they often exaggerate – how often do we see two papers claiming the same story as an ‘exclusive’? In that light the exaggerations of the Mail about the Stephen Lawrence case may be seen as normal. But where a matter is as important as this one, and where it remains important even after the passage of nearly 25 years, it is essential to test the boasts against the record and try to arrive at a more accurate picture of what has happened.

Voir enfin:

The Daily Mail and the Stephen Lawrence Murder
Brian Cathcart
The Political quaterly
23 October 2017

Abstract

The Daily Mail‘s coverage of the 1993 race murder of Stephen Lawrence has been held up as an example of newspaper journalism at its best. It is a cause of pride to the paper, which has asserted that its 1997 front page accusing five men of the murder, and the comment and reporting that followed, brought about significant social and policy changes and helped achieve justice. The coverage has also been cited by the paper to rebut critics who accuse it of intolerance. Examined in detail here and set in their context, the paper’s claims about its role in the case prove to be either exaggerated or not supported by evidence. The Mail‘s engagement in the Lawrence case involved a famous instance of editorial brilliance, but insofar as its campaign brought about or contributed to changes, they were not usually changes sought by the paper and they were sometimes contrary to its aims.

WHAT DID the Daily Mail do in the Stephen Lawrence case and what did it achieve? Although nearly 25 years have passed since the notorious race killing in south‐east London and 21 years since the Mail‘s famous front page naming five men as the murderers, these questions remain relevant. They are relevant because the Mail‘s actions have gained a special place in the story and self‐image of modern British newspaper journalism, often held up as an example—sometimes the leading example—of editorial brilliance and bravery; of inspired campaigning for justice; of the press bringing about change against the odds. The Mail takes a special pride in what it did, its editor declaring that it proves that ‘the power of journalism, courageous headlines and relentless campaigning can act as a huge force for good in society and make a major difference to countless lives’.1 Other newspapers cite the case as proof of the social value of the press: last year, for example, the Daily Telegraph identified among the principal achievements of the industry that it had ‘ensured that criminals such as the killers of Stephen Lawrence were brought to justice’.2 And at the Leveson inquiry in 2012 the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, when he wished to give an example of valuable newspaper campaigning, and with the entire modern output of the industry to choose from, singled out the Mail‘s Lawrence coverage for praise, saying it was ‘extremely important’.3

For critics of the Mail it is no less significant. The paper is often characterised as reactionary and unsympathetic towards minorities but its treatment of the Lawrence story, as it is generally understood, is not easily reconciled with such a picture. Alastair Campbell has written that the paper’s coverage of the case ‘makes it so much harder to challenge the Mail over its overt and its more subtle racism’.4 This works in the other direction too. Responding to a suggestion in The Guardian that it encouraged Islamophobia, the Mail said it would not take lessons on the subject: ‘Our campaign to bring Stephen Lawrence’s murderers to justice, for which the editor of this paper could have been jailed, did more to improve race relations in this country than anything The Guardian has ever achieved’ (Daily Mail, 22 June 2017).

Given all this, it is surprising that the history of the Mail and the Lawrence case has received little detailed scrutiny.5 That is the purpose of this article. It will look first at what the Mail did and identify the various assertions that have been made about its impact. It will then review the context and background of the Mail‘s actions and will assess, against the various claims, what the consequences have been.

The pivot of the story is the front page of 14 February 1997. The headline was one word in capitals: ‘MURDERERS’. Then came: ‘The Mail accuses these men of killing. If we are wrong, let them sue us.’. Below that were photographs of the principal suspects in the case: five young white men from the district where the murder occurred. This caused a sensation. The five had not been convicted in a court of law. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had refused to prosecute them for want of evidence and a rare private prosecution brought by Stephen Lawrence’s parents had ended in acquittals. If people in Britain are innocent until proven guilty, then these men were innocent, yet one of the country’s biggest‐selling newspapers had called them murderers.

For a few days, the headline dominated public discussion. Other papers reported it on their front pages and published editorials; the news bulletins and current affairs broadcasts kept returning to it; the legal profession was exercised, for and against, and the matter was discussed in Parliament. People asked: was this trial by media? Had the Mail gone too far? Might the five sue? And if they could not sue, was that fair? There were also questions about the case itself. Why was this murder still unsolved? Had the system failed the Lawrence family, as they claimed? Was their race a factor? And simply, what were the facts?

The Mail would return many times to the story in the years that followed, publishing occasional front pages, inside spreads and editorials, including scoops relating mainly to the suspects and to the police investigations. January 2012, when two of the five—Gary Dobson and David Norris—were convicted for their parts in the murder, saw a kind of crescendo. The paper’s editor, Paul Dacre, released an unusual video statement on the day of the verdicts that is still viewable online and which gives the fullest account to date of the Mail‘s understanding of its own contribution to the case.6 Stating first that it was a glorious day for the Lawrences, for the police, for politicians who took vital decisions and for newspapers generally, Dacre continued:

Quite simply, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that if it hadn’t been for the Mail‘s headline in 1997 … and our years of campaigning, none of this would have happened. Britain’s police might not have undergone the huge internal reform that was so necessary. Race relations might not have taken the significant step forward that they have. And an 18 year‐old A‐level student who dreamed of being an architect would have been denied justice.

Without the Mail, in other words, Britain might not have seen important police reforms and gains in race relations, and no one would have been convicted of the murder. As we have seen above, the Mail has also claimed that its editor risked jail in publishing that front page. And elsewhere it has asserted both that its actions prompted the government of the day to order a public inquiry—the 1998–99 Macpherson inquiry—and that those actions brought about the ending of double jeopardy, the ancient legal convention that prevented people being tried twice for the same crime.

What prompted the Mail to publish that front page and what was the background? To understand this we need to see the paper’s relationship with the case from the beginning. Stephen Lawrence, a black sixth‐former on his way home from an evening out with his friend, Duwayne Brooks, was stabbed to death close to a bus stop in Eltham, south‐east London, on 22 April 1993. Witnesses saw at least four assailants and possibly as many as six, all white. One shouted the word ‘nigger’ at Brooks as they attacked. Brooks managed to escape unhurt. The murder was formally recognised as racially motivated by the police, and local black people were quick to note that it was the third or fourth race murder in the area in a couple of years. In common with other papers, the Mail reported this news in a straightforward fashion, under the headline ‘Murdered just for being black’ and the sub‐heading ‘Fear of reprisals after white gang knife teenage student’ (Daily Mail, 24 April 1993).

The family swiftly formed the view that the police were failing to investigate the case properly and after ten days they made their concerns public at a press conference. Shortly afterwards they met Nelson Mandela, then on his second visit to London after his release from prison, and stood with him as he told reporters that their story reminded him of South Africa, ‘where black lives are cheap’.7 The Mail did not report either the family’s press conference or the Mandela meeting. It returned to the case only after there had been violence at a demonstration prompted by the murder, and then its focus was not on the police. A two‐page spread carried the headline: ‘How race militants hijacked a tragedy’ and there followed an interview with Neville and Doreen Lawrence headlined ‘For the sake of Stephen, please put an end to this violence’ (Daily Mail, 10 and 12 May 1993).

The Lawrences and their close supporters were indeed horrified by the violence and were angry with some groups they suspected of using outrage among black Londoners to advance their own causes. What is striking about the Mail‘s coverage at this stage is not that it addressed this—challenging left wing ‘militants’ has long been a routine Mail activity—but that it did so to the exclusion of the family’s other concerns. Mandela was now mentioned, but only in passing and without repeating his remark about the cheapness of black lives, and where the police were discussed, it was with approval: police sources were quoted as saying that detectives were working ‘flat out’ and ‘in a professional and diligent manner’. If there were any difficulties in solving the crime, the Mail‘s reporting suggested, they were caused by radical groups getting in the way of the police.

One development at this early stage has attracted attention, though it did not become public knowledge until later. When the Mail reporter was interviewing the Lawrences it emerged that Neville Lawrence, Stephen’s father, knew the paper’s editor, Paul Dacre, because he had done plastering work at Dacre’s Islington home in the 1980s. The significance of this connection is hard to measure. The journalist Nick Davies suggested in his 2008 book Flat Earth News that it had an instant effect, with the news desk issuing orders to ‘do something sympathetic’.8 Such an instruction could have made little difference on that occasion, however, since there was no reason for the Mail to be unsympathetic—its interest was purely in militants and the Lawrences were ready to criticise militants. Nor was there any sign in the coverage over the next two or three years that the paper or its editor felt any special sympathy towards the family.

This was a bleak period for the Lawrences. Though arrests were eventually made, the charges were soon dropped, the suspects were released and police and prosecutors professed themselves helpless to deliver justice. A private prosecution seemed the only way to make progress, but it proved a cruel ordeal: after a long, stressful build‐up it ended abruptly with acquittals before the jury had even begun to hear evidence. Through most of this period the Mail, in common with most other national newspapers, reported developments without comment, without probing in depth and without giving the case any particular prominence. It was only with the collapse of the private prosecution in April 1996 that, again like other papers, the Mail began to suggest that something special might be happening. A headline used words from Stephen Lawrence’s mother Doreen (now Baroness Lawrence): ‘What do people like us have to do to get justice?’ And near the end of the report came a striking paragraph: ‘The Lawrences’ legal battle has been conducted throughout with quiet dignity. They have refused to allow extremists to make political capital out of Stephen’s death, insisting: ‘What we are fighting for is justice’’ (Daily Mail, 26 April 1996).

February 1997 brought the long‐postponed inquest. By now there was widespread unease that something was wrong and frustration that this blameless family had been let down. Those feelings would be brought to the point of maximum discomfort by what happened in the coroner’s court, and most national papers had reporters there to report it. On the first day, Doreen Lawrence made a passionate, angry speech that was reported by the Mail under the headline: ‘White justice failed my son’. An editorial commented on this ‘anguished cry for justice’, noting the problems of evidence and the failure of the private prosecution. It concluded with a revealing passage:

Sadly this bereaved mother has now convinced herself that her son’s killers walked free because racial bias retarded the initial police investigation and somehow inhibits the whole judicial system. What is undeniable, however, is that the Lawrences are a thoroughly decent family who have suffered a tragic loss and been grievously denied justice. They should know that the hearts of the overwhelming majority of British people (of whatever colour) go out to them. (Daily Mail, 11 February 1997)

While the Mail felt sympathy and frustration, therefore, it rejected the idea that race played any part in the failure to secure convictions and it presented Doreen Lawrence’s opinion purely as a sign of motherly desperation.

Sympathy and frustration increased as the inquest unfolded, as they did in other papers, especially when the five suspects were brought before the court and refused to account for themselves, responding to almost all questions with the words: ‘I claim privilege’. By chance, in this period senior Daily Mail executives, including the editor, had lunch with the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Paul (now Lord) Condon, and some of his staff. The inquest and the conduct of the suspects were discussed and, Dacre would relate, ‘one of the Yard’s most senior police officers … said words to the effect that he’d stake his life on their guilt’.9 By now the editor was angry. His own crime staff shared the officer’s view and yet it seemed to him that the suspects were not only getting away with it but mocking the authority of the courts as they did so. He would describe their conduct in court as ‘the most sickening thing’. When the inquest jury returned a verdict that Stephen Lawrence had been unlawfully killed ‘in a completely unprovoked racist attack by five white youths’—all but identifying the culprits—everything was in place for that front page.

Fifteen years later, in his video statement, Dacre would provide a dramatic account of the final act:

It was about 8 o’clock. I reached for a layout pad. This was in the days before on‐screen make‐up and I literally wrote down with a thick pencil the words ‘Murderers’ and underneath it the sub‐deck: ‘The Mail accuses these men of killing. If we are wrong, let them sue us’. I showed it to the senior sub‐editors. There was a kind of nervous laughter.

The next step was to consult the in‐house lawyer, Eddie Young.

To his eternal credit, he was unfazed by the headline … The mood, surprisingly, was very calm. Clearly, there were many powerful reasons against the headline. But there wasn’t one over‐riding reason not to do it.

And so the front page was printed.

Its effect has been described above, but it is worth pausing to consider what the Mail did and did not do on that day. It provided a lightning rod for public feeling. Editors, and especially editors of tabloid newspapers, often seek to give voice to their readers’ stronger feelings and even to articulate their unformed thoughts; here was a brilliant example of that function at work. And it was more than this, because by saying what had generally been thought unsayable, it provided a sudden, unexpected emotional release. The suspicion that these young men were guilty was no longer something to be kept to oneself or whispered, because the Daily Mail had announced it on the front page. As an act of journalism connecting a paper with public sentiment at a difficult moment, it is rightly celebrated, and it is no surprise that expressions of gratitude flowed into the paper for weeks afterwards, in many cases from people otherwise hostile to the Mail.

Significantly, however, nowhere in its commentary or in its reporting on that or subsequent days did the Mail give its support to the Lawrences’ arguments that the police had let them down and that their son’s race had played a part in the failure of the justice system. A Mail editorial pinned the blame squarely on the suspects. ‘Ever since the attack, a climate of fear has gripped the mean streets where members of the gang live.’ It was this, the paper asserted, that had prevented the police from gathering evidence and had left ‘a pack of bigots … walking free and smirking at the thrill of getting away with it’. The editorial continued: ‘Small wonder that Stephen’s relatives feel betrayed, or that they lash out in their grief at the police and the CPS for failing to bring the murderers of ‘only a black boy’ to justice. But suggestions made by his grief‐stricken mother that police were less than assiduous because of Stephen’s colour are misplaced’ (Daily Mail, 14 February 1997).

For the Mail in February 1997, therefore, the front page was intended as a challenge to an outrage against justice, but the scandal was not about the police or about race and the Lawrences were wrong to believe that it was. The paper’s wrath was directed at five white men who it complained had terrorised their white neighbours into silence and then raised two fingers to the white establishment. Describing it in 1999 I adapted the language of apartheid: this was primarily a ‘white‐on‐white’ matter.10

As mentioned above, in the 20 years since 1997, many assertions have been made by the Mail and others about the effect of the front page and of the paper’s subsequent coverage of the case. It is time to examine those.

The risk of jail

As recently as June 2017, a Mail editorial referred to ‘our campaign to bring Stephen Lawrence’s murderers to justice, for which the editor of this paper could have been jailed’. Paul Dacre had made the same claim at the Leveson inquiry in 201211 and he has also recounted in his video statement that on the night of publication, when he instructed his staff to publish the ‘Murderers’ headline, he used the words: ‘Let’s go … You can always come and visit me in jail.’

There was never a serious chance that he would go to jail. Indeed, the legal risks to the paper were modest, which is presumably why, in Dacre’s words, the Mail lawyer Eddie Young was ‘unfazed’ and ‘very calm’ on the night of publication. There were two possible legal dangers, of which the greater was in libel—the suspects were challenged to sue. Dacre and Young knew, however, that they were unlikely to do so, first because they couldn’t afford it (there is no legal aid in libel), and second because suspects who had been so anxious to avoid answering questions under oath at an inquest would scarcely place themselves voluntarily in a position where they were obliged to do so in a libel court. The other risk was contempt of court—meaning interference with the course of justice. For a paper to be guilty of contempt, as experienced news journalists know, criminal proceedings have to be ‘active’, but in this case the whole point was that the justice process was not active. It had been exhausted.

Insofar as any legal risk existed, moreover, it was primarily to the newspaper rather than the editor. And even if by some outrageous misfortune Dacre had been found personally guilty of libel, he would not have gone to jail because the remedy in such cases is the award of damages. Had he been convicted of contempt, a jail sentence was theoretically possible, but in practice the punishment would certainly have been a fine. The 1990s saw at least three cases in which national newspapers were found guilty of very serious contempts of court and no editor was ever jailed. Indeed, so far as I can establish, no editor has been sent to prison for contempt of court since 1949.

The most forthright critic of the Mail‘s actions at the time was a retired Master of the Rolls, Lord Donaldson, who said the paper ought to be prosecuted for contempt of common law. This notion received no support elsewhere, but the Attorney General’s office, which had already dismissed the idea that there might have been a statutory contempt, agreed to consider the question of common law contempt, and two weeks passed before it again announced there was no case to answer. Could Dacre have been in fear of imprisonment in this two‐week period? If he was, he was at odds with his own paper, which issued a statement on the day Lord Donaldson spoke, stating: ‘We are entirely satisfied that we have not committed any form of contempt, whether statutory or common law’.12 The Mail also published news reports the next morning declaring on the authority of one former Attorney General and three QCs that the ex‐judge had got it wrong. One QC dismissed Lord Donaldson’s suggestion as ‘logical nonsense’, and another, George Carman, stated: ‘I find it very difficult to conceive of circumstances in which the Mail could be considered in contempt of court’ (Daily Mail, 17 February 1997). It is worth noting too that even Lord Donaldson did not propose that the editor should be prosecuted, let alone that he should face prison.

The very idea that in 1997 the editor of a national newspaper might have gone to jail under any law for publishing such matter was far‐fetched, and in the weeks after the front page was published no serious public suggestion to that effect was advanced or discussed. This is not to say that there were no risks to the Mail and its editor in publishing that front page, because undoubtedly there were, but the risks were to their reputations and to their bank balances.

Prompting the inquiry

On 2 October 1998, while the Macpherson inquiry into the Lawrence case was sitting, the Mail wrote: ‘It is arguable that there would not have been an inquiry but for our decision to name the five’. The following February, just before the inquiry report was published, it wrote more categorically: ‘The paper’s move led to an uproar. It also prompted Home Secretary, Jack Straw, to initiate a major inquiry’ (Daily Mail, 4 February 1999). In 2012 the paper repeated the claim, referring again to Straw, ‘who, responding to the Mail‘s campaign, commissioned the Macpherson inquiry’ (Daily Mail, 4 February 2012). At that time, Dacre also said in his video statement: ‘Jack [Straw], whom I’d known at university, told me that it was the Mail‘s coverage that persuaded him of the necessity of this move.’

Any claim that the inquiry was established in response to the paper’s actions, or that it might not have occurred without them, must at the very least be heavily qualified—chiefly because, as the published record shows, the Mail never sought a public inquiry. From the day of the famous front page in February 1997 to the day the inquiry was announced five months later, the Daily Mail did not once call for an inquiry in its pages. Even when the Lawrences publicly demanded an inquiry, the paper remained silent on the subject. More than that, it explicitly opposed an inquiry of the kind that came about.

The narrative is as follows. The Lawrences had been seeking an inquiry since 1993, meeting only rebuffs from the Conservative government of John Major, but in May 1997, two months after the inquest and the Mail‘s front page, Labour won power and by the following month, after public appeals by the family and by sympathetic Labour MPs, it was clear an inquiry would happen. The next question was: what kind of inquiry? In his autobiography Jack Straw explains that there were two possibilities: a general inquiry into race relations or one that scrutinised the handling of the Lawrence case and drew conclusions.13 The Mail made plain its preference in an editorial:

Of course police methods are open to criticism and claims of racism within the force will have to be investigated. But it would be tragic if such an inquiry were to turn into a witch‐hunt against the police. It is not the police who should be on trial. The truth that cries out to be told is about a monstrous wall of silence which continues to shield the guilty. (Daily Mail, 25 June 1997)

Doreen Lawrence took a different view, believing that only close scrutiny of the police investigation would reveal what had gone wrong. Her 2006 book And Still I Rise confirms that when she met Straw in June 1997, the two options were discussed and she felt under pressure to accept the more general option. Instead, she dug in her heels and showed her anger in a conversation with Straw as the meeting broke up. She writes: ‘I believe it was that exchange as we walked along the corridor that changed his mind and persuaded him not to go down the line of least resistance.’14 In July, Straw announced an inquiry under the retired judge Sir William Macpherson, tasked with investigating ‘matters arising from the death of Stephen Lawrence’ and identifying lessons to be learned for the future handling of race crimes.15 Contrary to the Mail‘s wishes, therefore, the Metropolitan Police would be on trial. The paper made clear its view that this was a mistake: ‘The new inquiry … will have wide powers. It should use them to question these five men again. More than anything it must investigate the terrifying intimidation surrounding the case’ (Daily Mail, 1 August 1997).

It is clear from this that the inquiry was not a direct result of the Mail‘s actions. Though the family had been seeking an inquiry for years, and though they renewed the request for an inquiry after the inquest verdict and were supported in this by others, the Mail chose not to endorse that position. Instead, when it became clear that there would be an inquiry the Mail welcomed the prospect but, contrary to the wishes of the Lawrences, urged that the investigation should not focus on police failure.

Nonetheless, it might be argued that the Mail‘s campaign helped bring about the inquiry in indirect rather than direct ways. Here again, any such claim must be qualified, and one way to show why is to adopt the newspaper’s own formula and ask what would have happened ‘had it not been for the Mail’.

First, it is worth remembering that while the Mail greatly increased public awareness of the case, it did not pluck it from obscurity. By February 1997, the story of the black teenager murdered at a bus stop was well known and the family had a good deal of public support, albeit mostly on the left of the political spectrum. The inquest verdict, overshadowed at the time by the Mail‘s actions, gave them powerful new leverage in their demands for action. Though the Conservative government was deaf to these demands, there is surely a strong possibility that, given the family’s case, its strong support and the verdict, the incoming Labour government would have set up a public inquiry in much the way that it did, even without the Mail‘s front page.

Straw describes the position in his autobiography: ‘Once I had become Home Secretary I was determined to establish an inquiry in any event and it is Doreen above all who deserves the credit for pushing me to do so.’ He goes on: ‘But there is no doubt that the Mail‘s dramatic intervention—and the suspects’ refusal to react to the invitation to sue—profoundly changed public sentiment about this appalling crime. It also gave me much more political “space” in which to act.’16

Let us imagine, then, that in the absence of the Mail front page and therefore deprived of this ‘political space’, Straw had felt unable to order an inquiry in July 1997. He would have faced the anger of the Lawrences and their supporters, including MPs on his own back benches. He might well have weathered this but it is impossible to imagine that the family, having come so far, would then simply have given up the struggle. The pressure would have continued, and just five months later an event occurred that had nothing to do with the Mail but which would have left Straw with no choice but to grant an inquiry. The family’s allegations about the Metropolitan Police at the inquest prompted the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) to commission an investigation. This was conducted by Kent Constabulary, whose report appeared in December 1997 and presented a shocking catalogue of police error, negligence and stupidity, vindicating beyond doubt the Lawrences’ complaints about the quality of the first police investigation. After this, Doreen Lawrence could not have been denied the public inquiry she demanded.

This suggests that ‘had it not been for the Daily Mail’ a public inquiry into the killing of Stephen Lawrence would have begun in 1998 anyway. The most that can be claimed with confidence on the paper’s behalf is that, by raising the profile of the case as it did, it helped ensure that it was ordered in July 1997 rather than December. And in saying that, we need to remind ourselves that for the paper this was an unintended consequence, since the Mail did not actively seek an inquiry.

Double jeopardy

In 1997 the principle of double jeopardy applied and, had this not changed, it would not have been possible to try Gary Dobson for murder in 2011–12, since (unlike David Norris) he was one of those acquitted at the private prosecution. Paul Dacre’s video statement after the guilty verdicts on Dobson and Norris in 2012 referred to this:

Throughout the Mail campaign we highlighted the need for the double jeopardy law—which prevented an individual being charged with the same crime twice—to be reformed … The 800 year‐old law was finally reformed in 2005 by the Home Secretary, David Blunkett, a man whom I’d come to like and respect. Many senior police officers and prosecution officials believed that this momentous change would not have occurred but for the relentlessness of the Mail‘s campaign.

If any viewers of the video inferred from this that the Mail mounted a relentless campaign for the law to be changed they would be mistaken. The facts are as described below.

When, in the week after the Lawrence inquest, Geoffrey Robertson QC floated the idea that the double jeopardy rule might be overridden where new evidence has emerged, a Mail editorial on 19 February 1997 noted that this was being discussed but said no more. It was only seven months later that the Mail first gave explicit support to the idea, and that was in response to an initiative by Brian (now Lord) MacKenzie, the president of the Police Superintendents’ Association (PSA). MacKenzie wrote in his 2004 autobiography, Two Lives of Brian, that he had been concerned about the rule for many years and was prompted by the Lawrence case to challenge it in a speech at his association’s conference in September 1997.17 While preparing that speech he met a Daily Mail journalist who persuaded him to use the ‘Murderers’ front page as a backdrop.18 The speech was widely reported, most prominently in the Mail, which carried a photograph of MacKenzie alongside the projection of the front page. The Mail also published an editorial stating firmly that MacKenzie was right, and that his idea ‘demands serious consideration’ (Daily Mail, 15 September 1997).

After this, however, the paper’s coverage of the issue was no more than routine—nothing like the persistent reporting and prominent commentary associated with a genuine Daily Mail campaign. When the PSA raised double jeopardy at the Macpherson inquiry in September 1998 and when the inquiry report recommended in February 1999 that the Law Commission consider the merits of amending the rule, the paper showed little interest. After this came a four‐year process of official deliberation, through two stages at the Law Commission, a Commons select committee report, a further review by a senior judge, two consultations, a White Paper, a Bill, debates in the Commons and Lords and ultimately the passing into law of Part 10 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. Though all of this, most Mail readers could hardly have been aware that their paper had an opinion on the issue.

Only once, in an editorial responding to the White Paper, did it offer a comment: ‘Yes there is still unease among lawyers over the proposals. But in the present climate Mr Blunkett is probably pushing at an open door … Isn’t it an affront to justice when killers swagger free, knowing they can’t be touched?’ (Daily Mail, 18 July 2002). Against this, however, a news report in the Mail in 1999 seemed hostile to change, describing double jeopardy as ‘a basic safeguard of the legal system’ (Daily Mail, 1 March 1999). And Melanie Phillips declared in an opinion article in 2002 that moves to change the rule ‘threaten to undermine the presumption of innocence on which liberty depends’ (Daily Mail, 24 June 2002).

The Mail did not mount a sustained campaign for change to the double jeopardy rule, nor can it be said to have ‘highlighted the need’ for change with any persistence. Instead, over the whole relevant period of almost six years it published just three editorials that mentioned the matter, only one of which genuinely advocated it, while its reporting on the issue, after that engagement with MacKenzie’s initiative in September 1997, is best described as occasional and unengaged. This is not how the Daily Mail behaves when it really wants something.

The convictions

In his video statement in 2012, Dacre gave that list of things that he believed would not have happened but for the 1997 front page, one of which was this: ‘an 18 year‐old A‐level student who dreamed of being an architect would have been denied justice’. The description is of Stephen Lawrence, so on the face of it this is an assertion that nobody would have been convicted of the murder had it not been for the Mail—a claim that has also been made elsewhere.19

The evidence that led to the jailing of Dobson and Norris was uncovered by forensic scientists who, at the instigation of a senior detective tackling the case afresh, re‐tested clothing that had been held by investigators since 1993. It is obvious that the Daily Mail had no role in work of that kind, so how else could it have contributed? It might be argued that, by raising the profile of the case in 1997 and revisiting it many times in the years that followed, the Mail ensured that the police did not drop the investigation where otherwise they might have done. This argument is also difficult to sustain because the Metropolitan Police had long had their own powerful reasons for wishing to see the case resolved. As early as April 1996—significantly, almost a year before the Mail front page—Assistant Police Commissioner Ian Johnston pledged in response to the family’s complaints: ‘We will never give up on this inquiry. We will never close this case and we will go on looking forever’.20 Once the PCA had confirmed the inadequacy of the first investigation, and even more so once those failures had been humiliatingly laid bare by the Macpherson inquiry, that determination to mitigate the disaster by securing convictions was all the stronger. A series of well‐resourced investigations led by top detectives followed, but it seemed the breakthrough would never come.

On 25 May 2002, the Daily Mail published a scoop: ‘After nine years and £30 million, police finally admit defeat in Stephen Lawrence case.’ The latest team of detectives, it reported, had presented their best evidence to the CPS, which was about to announce that it was not sufficient to justify prosecuting anyone. It seemed no more could be done. What is most relevant here is the Mail‘s editorial comment. The paper did not protest at the prospect that the search for justice was over, nor did it insist, as it might have done, that the police must try again. Instead it offered words of closure. Yes, the killers were still free, but Britain had changed for the better since the murder of Stephen Lawrence, and the police too. It concluded: ‘we would like to think that his death was not entirely in vain’.

It follows that, when Detective Chief Inspector Clive Driscoll volunteered to look afresh at the evidence four years later, it was not because of pressure from the Mail. Nor, we have to assume, did the Mail‘s views weigh on the senior officers who gave him the go‐ahead and the resources to proceed. The explanation lies elsewhere. As Driscoll’s 2015 autobiography, In Pursuit of the Truth, makes clear, he was an officer with a record of solving difficult cases and this was just the kind of challenge he relished. It took a good team and a great deal of patience, but ultimately he produced a case sufficiently airtight to convince a jury that Dobson and Norris were guilty.

Police reform

In his video statement in 2012, Paul Dacre stated that he did not think it was an exaggeration to say that if it had not been for the ‘Murderers’ front page ‘Britain’s police might not have undergone the huge internal reform that was so necessary’.

This is not the place to assess the extent of reform in the police service since Stephen Lawrence’s murder, a substantial subject in its own right. However, it seems safe to say that where relevant changes occurred they were due primarily to the recommendations of the Macpherson inquiry, whose mission was ‘to identify the lessons to be learned for the investigation and prosecution of racially motivated crimes’. As we have seen, the Daily Mail did not seek a public inquiry and specifically resisted one that focused on policing. Given this record it is not obvious how the paper can deserve credit for anything achieved in this area by the inquiry, unless it subsequently changed its views and supported the process in some significant way. Did that happen?

There was certainly a change. Once the PCA findings on police failure had been made public in December 1997, the Mail‘s line on the case could not stand. Until then it had endorsed the Metropolitan Police assertion that its officers had done their best. The paper’s explanation for the absence of convictions was the ‘wall of silence’, meaning both the refusal of the suspects to account for themselves and their alleged intimidation of witnesses. The PCA report not only showed that the first investigation had been incompetent, but also made clear that the local community, far from remaining silent, had done its very best to point the investigation towards the suspect group. The Mail made no attempt to shield the police, roundly condemning the ‘blunders’ that ‘let Stephen down’. It reported the lengthy exploration of this at the inquiry and it pressed strongly for the punishment of the officers found to be to blame. To the Mail, however, the most important aspect of the inquiry was always the prospect that the five men it had named as killers would testify. The paper’s view remained that these were the real guilty parties who needed to be brought to justice. They did testify, but in most respects it was an anti‐climax. Since the inquiry was not a criminal court they could not be examined directly about the murder, with the result that the questioning was oblique and little was learned.

After this, the Mail‘s tone about the inquiry became carping and resentful and, in particular, it was deeply suspicious of suggestions of police racism. It was prepared to accept that there were individual ‘bad apples’ in the police and it expressed concern about a lack of trust in the police among black people, but it would go no farther. An article by columnist Peter McKay in July asked: ‘Even if the Metropolitan Police were to announce that racism in its ranks was the reason the killers were not brought to justice, where would that leave us?’ (Daily Mail, 6 July 1998). And when the possibility arose that Sir Paul Condon might be forced to resign, the Mail drew a line. ‘Don’t forget where the guilt really lies’, a headline declared, pointing at the suspects, while an editorial argued that ‘there is something unedifying in the hue and cry to make an honourable police officer the scapegoat’ (Daily Mail, 2 October 1998). Doreen Lawrence, who had lent her voice to calls for Condon’s departure, was ‘mistaken’, the Mail declared. In the end the inquiry did not call for Condon to go, but by then the Mail had an even greater concern.

On the eve of the publication of the report, in an editorial entitled ‘For Stephen’s sake avoid a witch‐hunt’, it begged Sir William Macpherson not to conclude that the police were affected by ‘institutional racism’. ‘The words could hardly be more chilling. However he tries to define them, they must damn every member of the force’ (Daily Mail, 24 February 1999). This, the paper warned, would amount to ‘a kind of politically correct McCarthyism’ and would ultimately ‘make matters worse’. Contrary to the Mail‘s wishes, however, Sir William did indeed use those two words in his report, carefully defining their meaning, and he was adamant about their central importance to progress: ‘There must be an unequivocal acceptance of the problem of institutional racism and its nature before it can be addressed, as it needs to be, in full partnership with members of minority ethnic communities.’ He made clear that the interpretation of the term ‘institutional racism’ offered by the Mail, and also by police officers opposed to change, was mistaken. ‘We say with emphasis that such an accusation [of institutional racism] does not mean or imply that every police officer is guilty of racism. No such sweeping condemnation can be or should be made.’21

The Mail was not interested in such arguments and explanations. To apply such a term to the police was, the paper would insist in the months that followed, inaccurate, counterproductive, preposterous and dangerous. It consistently took the side of police officers resisting reform. ‘Muggings soar as Lawrence case criticisms “paralyse” police’, said one headline, while an editorial declared: ‘The pendulum has swung too far’ (Daily Mail, 15 May and 16 December 1999). An opinion article by Simon Heffer announced: ‘Since the Stephen Lawrence inquiry accused the police of ‘institutional racism’ many bobbies have been afraid to stop and search black people in case cynical lawyers accuse them of racism’ (Daily Mail, 31 July 1999).

The dominant message from the Mail to its readers about the Macpherson report was negative. There is very little in the story of the paper’s relationship with the inquiry, from inception to aftermath, to support the view that the newspaper deserves credit for any reforms of the police that followed.

Race relations

The most general of the claims made by the Mail in relation to the Lawrence case relates to what it calls race relations. According to Paul Dacre in 2012, one of the things that would not have happened but for the 1997 front page was that ‘race relations might not have taken the significant step forward that they have’. This was echoed in that 2017 editorial: ‘Our campaign… did more to improve race relations in this country than anything The Guardian has ever achieved.’

For reasons given above we can set aside any idea that the Mail might be due credit for reforms in this area that flowed from the recommendations of the Macpherson inquiry. That leaves one alternative: that the Mail‘s famous front page and its subsequent reporting of the Lawrence case in themselves helped to improve relations between white people and ethnic minorities in Britain. Is this true? There can be no objective measure, but here is a personal view.

The Lawrence case altered the way Britain thinks about race. It was the first conspicuous occasion on which a black family got past the stage of simply airing a grievance against this country’s institutions and managed to achieve very public proof that their complaints were justified. In crude terms, the Lawrences fought the law and the Lawrences won. Of course this did not instantly bring about a level playing field for ethnic minority people—far from it—but a particular form of white superiority came to an end. The credit for this rests with Doreen and Neville Lawrence.

At the same time, another, softer change happened. This was the first occasion when the white majority in this country came to understand and identify with the grief and anger of a black British family. They saw past black faces and recognised human suffering. Again, nothing would be quite the same afterwards, and again, those chiefly responsible are the Lawrences themselves. But here, the Mail also deserves some credit. Baroness Lawrence wrote in her autobiography: ‘The Daily Mail‘s front page had helped to open the story up. In fact the press had always been interested, but that report was said to have “touched Middle England”, the feelings of white people who don’t normally care much what happens to black youths in inner cities.’22 It may well be that the public inquiry would have done this anyway, with its months of shocking testimony vindicating the family’s position day after day, but it is clear that the Mail‘s sensational intervention accelerated the process. Though the famous front page concerned itself with the suspects, in the days that followed the paper did not shy away from the involvement of a black family as victims of injustice. It is likely that many who would not otherwise have given consideration to the Lawrences’ grievances were induced to do so as a result.

An irony in the Mail‘s insistence that it helped improve race relations is that, at the time, it flatly refused to accept that race had any part in the story except as a motive for the killers. It even stated, more than once, that the Lawrences were wrong to see race as a factor. Further, the Mail doggedly rejected the view expressed both by Jack Straw and Tony Blair, after the Macpherson report was published, that the whole of white Britain had lessons to learn from the case. The paper caricatured this as an assertion ‘that literally everyone in Britain is riddled with racism and must be forcibly shaken out of it’, and asked: ‘Should the majority in this fundamentally decent and tolerant nation be tainted by collective guilt?’ (Daily Mail, 27 February 1999).

In short, in my view the Mail can legitimately claim to have contributed to improving relations between races through the exposure and support it gave the Lawrences—even though it never embraced their ideas, or those of the Macpherson report, or of the government of the time, about the importance of racism in the case or about what should be done to tackle it.

Conclusion

The achievements of the Daily Mail in the Stephen Lawrence case are not so grand or transformative as the paper, its longtime editor and others in Fleet Street have asserted in recent years. There has been exaggeration, to say the least. This began within months of the publication of the ‘Murderers’ front page and reached its most expansive after the convictions in 2012. Significantly, that was the time of the Leveson inquiry into press standards, when much of the national press, including the Daily Mail, was under scrutiny. The paper’s Lawrence coverage was promoted as a positive factor in the midst of a debate prompted by the disgrace of illegal phone‐hacking at the News of the World. In the arguments relating to the implementation of the Leveson recommendations over the succeeding years, exaggerated accounts of the impact of the Lawrence coverage have become part of the effort to prove that the proposed reforms are unjustified.

In disposing of these exaggerations, however, we should not lose sight of what was achieved. The front page of 14 February 1997 was a remarkable coup. Arising from a sincere sense of outrage, it provoked debate to a degree that editors normally only dream of. That a conservative paper should have acted in this way in relation to a racially motivated murder in which the victim and his family were black, and that it followed the case over a long period, is to that paper’s credit. And it is argued above that this accelerated the process by which white Britain came to acknowledge the Lawrences’ ordeal, a process that brought benefits for toleration and diversity.

Reviewing the story, one is struck not by how far the Mail departed from its normal agenda but by how little. It saw young men who appeared to be getting away with a serious crime while humiliating the justice system and it attacked them. It stuck for as long as it could to a narrative about hard‐working detectives frustrated by a wall of silence. Having no interest in an inquiry into police shortcomings, it focused on the testimony of the suspects and once that was over it turned against a process that implied challenges to policing and to society, ultimately ridiculing its core finding as mere political correctness. Thereafter, the paper stayed with the case in the sense that it remained interested in the fate of those suspects, and when two of them were convicted, it revelled in the news. In short, whatever anyone else may have thought, for the Mail, the case of Stephen Lawrence was always about crime and punishment and never about race.


Affaire Benalla: A Paris comme à Gaza, le théâtre de rue vaincra ! (Pallywood comes to Paris)

23 juillet, 2018

https://static.mediapart.fr/etmagine/default/files/2018/07/21/img-1217.jpg?width=481&height=1334&width_format=pixel&height_format=pixel

Lorsqu’un Sanhédrin s’est déclaré unanime pour condamner, l’accusé sera acquitté. Le Talmud
Presque aucun des fidèles ne se retenait de s’esclaffer, et ils avaient l’air d’une bande d’anthropophages chez qui une blessure faite à un blanc a réveillé le goût du sang. Car l’instinct d’imitation et l’absence de courage gouvernent les sociétés comme les foules. Et tout le monde rit de quelqu’un dont on voit se moquer, quitte à le vénérer dix ans plus tard dans un cercle où il est admiré. C’est de la même façon que le peuple chasse ou acclame les rois. Marcel Proust
Prévoyante, la ville d’Athènes entretenait à ses frais un certain nombre de malheureux […]. En cas de besoin, c’est-à-dire quand une calamité s’abattait ou menaçait de s’abattre sur la ville, épidémie, famine, invasion étrangère, dissensions intérieures, il y avait toujours un pharmakos à la disposition de la collectivité. […] On promenait le pharmakos un peu partout, afin de drainer les impuretés et de les rassembler sur sa tête ; après quoi on chassait ou on tuait le pharmakos dans une cérémonie à laquelle toute la populace prenait part. […] D’une part, on […] [voyait] en lui un personnage lamentable, méprisable et même coupable ; il […] [était] en butte à toutes sortes de moqueries, d’insultes et bien sûr de violences ; on […] [l’entourait], d’autre part, d’une vénération quasi-religieuse ; il […] [jouait] le rôle principal dans une espèce de culte.  René Girard
Il arrive que les victimes d’une foule soient tout à fait aléatoires ; il arrive aussi qu’elles ne le soient pas. Il arrive même que les crimes dont on les accuse soient réels, mais ce ne sont pas eux, même dans ce cas-là, qui joue le premier rôle dans le choix des persécuteurs, c’est l’appartenance des victimes à certaines catégories particulièrement exposées à la persécution. (…) il existe donc des traits universels de sélection victimaire (…) à côté des critères culturels et religieux, il y en a de purement physiques. La maladie, la folie, les difformités génétiques, les mutilations accidentelles et même les infirmités en général tendent à polariser les persécuteurs. (…) l’infirmité s’inscrit dans un ensemble indissociable du signe victimaire et dans certains groupes — à l’internat scolaire par exemple — tout individu qui éprouve des difficultés d’adaptation, l’étranger, le provincial, l’orphelin, le fils de famille, le fauché, ou, tout simplement, le dernier arrivé, est plus ou moins interchangeables avec l’infirme. (…) lorsqu’un groupe humain a pris l’habitude de choisir ses victimes dans une certaine catégorie sociale, ethnique, religieuse, il tend à lui attribuer les infirmités ou les difformités qui renforceraient la polarisation victimaire si elles étaient réelles. (…) à la marginalité des miséreux, ou marginalité  du dehors, il faut en ajouter une seconde, la marginalité du dedans, celle des riches et du dedans. Le monarque et sa cour font parfois songer à l’oeil d’un ouragan. Cette double marginalité suggère une organisation tourbillonnante. En temps normal, certes, les riches et les puissants jouissent de toutes sortes de protections et de privilèges qui font défaut aux déshérités. Mais ce ne sont pas les circonstances normales qui nous concernent ici, ce sont les périodes de crise. Le moindre regard sur l’histoire universelle révèle que les risques de mort violente aux mains d’une foule déchaînée sont statistiquement plus élevés pour les privilégiés que pour toute autre catégorie. A la limite ce sont toutes les qualités extrêmes qui attirent, de temps en temps, les foudres collectives, pas seulement les extrêmes de la richesse et de la pauvreté, mais également ceux du succès et de l’échec, de la beauté et de la laideur, du vice de la vertu, du pouvoir de séduire et du pouvoir de déplaire ; c’est la faiblesse des femmes, des enfants et des vieillards, mais c’est aussi la force des plus forts qui devient faiblesse devant le nombre. René Girard
La participation médiocre, les conditions de cette victoire dans le contexte du «Fillongate», puis face à un adversaire «repoussoir», dans sa fonction d’épouvantail traditionnel de la politique française, donnent à cette élection un goût d’inachevé. Les Français ont-ils jamais été en situation de «choisir»? Tandis que la France «d’en haut» célèbre son sauveur providentiel sur les plateaux de télévision, une vague de perplexité déferle sur la majorité silencieuse. Que va-t-il en sortir? Par-delà l’euphorie médiatique d’un jour, le personnage de M. Macron porte en lui un potentiel de rejet, de moquerie et de haine insoupçonnable. Son style «jeunesse dorée», son passé d’énarque, d’inspecteur des finances, de banquier, d’ancien conseiller de François Hollande, occultés le temps d’une élection, en font la cible potentielle d’un hallucinant lynchage collectif, une victime expiatoire en puissance des frustrations, souffrances et déceptions du pays. Quant à la «France d’en haut», médiatique, journalistique, chacun sait à quelle vitesse le vent tourne et sa propension à brûler ce qu’elle a adoré. Jamais une présidence n’a vu le jour sous des auspices aussi incertains. Cette élection, produit du chaos, de l’effondrement des partis, d’une vertigineuse crise de confiance, signe-t-elle le début d’une renaissance ou une étape supplémentaire dans la décomposition et la poussée de violence? En vérité, M. Macron n’a aucun intérêt à obtenir, avec «En marche», une majorité absolue à l’Assemblée qui ferait de lui un nouvel «hyperprésident» censé détenir la quintessence du pouvoir. Sa meilleure chance de réussir son mandat est de se garder des sirènes de «l’hyperprésidence» qui mène tout droit au statut de «coupable idéal» des malheurs du pays, à l’image de tous ses prédécesseurs. De la part du président Macron, la vraie nouveauté serait dans la redécouverte d’une présidence modeste, axée sur l’international, centrée sur l’essentiel et le partage des responsabilités avec un puissant gouvernement réformiste et une Assemblée souveraine, conformément à la lettre – jamais respectée – de la Constitution de 1958. Maxime Tandonnet (07.05.2017)
Dans la guerre moderne, une image vaut mille armes. Bob Simon
Pendant 24 mn à peu près on ne voit que de la mise en scène … C’est un envers du décor qu’on ne montre jamais … Mais oui tu sais bien que c’est toujours comme ça ! Entretien Jeambar-Leconte (RCJ)
Karsenty est donc si choqué que des images truquées soient utilisées et éditées à Gaza ? Mais cela a lieu partout à la télévision, et aucun journaliste de télévision de terrain, aucun monteur de film, ne seraient choqués. Clément Weill-Raynal (France 3)
Oh, ils font toujours ça. C’est une question de culture. Représentants de France 2 (cités par Enderlin)
L’image correspondait à la réalité de la situation, non seulement à Gaza, mais en Cisjordanie. Charles Enderlin (Le Figaro, 27/01/05)
J’ai travaillé au Liban depuis que tout a commencé, et voir le comportement de beaucoup de photographes libanais travaillant pour les agences de presse m’a un peu troublé. Coupable ou pas, Adnan Hajj a été remarqué pour ses retouches d’images par ordinateur. Mais, pour ma part, j’ai été le témoin de pratique quotidienne de clichés posés, et même d’un cas où un groupe de photographes d’agences orchestraient le dégagement des cadavres, donnant des directives aux secouristes, leur demandant de disposer les corps dans certaines positions, et même de ressortir des corps déjà inhumés pour les photographier dans les bras de personnes alentour. Ces photographes ont fait moisson d’images chocs, sans manipulation informatique, mais au prix de manipulations humaines qui posent en elles-mêmes un problème éthique bien plus grave. Quelle que soit la cause de ces excès, inexpérience, désir de montrer de la façon la plus spectaculaire le drame vécu par votre pays, ou concurrence effrénée, je pense que la faute incombe aux agences de presse elles-mêmes, car ce sont elles qui emploient ces photographes. Il faut mettre en place des règles, faute de quoi toute la profession finira par en pâtir. Je ne dis pas cela contre les photographes locaux, mais après avoir vu ça se répéter sans arrêt depuis un mois, je pense qu’il faut s’attaquer au problème. Quand je m’écarte d’une scène de ce genre, un autre preneur de vue dresse le décor, et tous les autres suivent… Brian X (Journaliste occidental anonyme)
L’attaque a été menée en riposte aux tirs incessants de ces derniers jours sur des localités israéliennes à partir de la zone visée. Les habitants de tous les villages alentour, y compris Cana, ont été avertis de se tenir à l’écart des sites de lancement de roquettes contre Israël. Tsahal est intervenue cette nuit contre des objectifs terroristes dans le village de Cana. Ce village est utilisé depuis le début de ce conflit comme base arrière d’où ont été lancées en direction d’Israël environ 150 roquettes, en 30 salves, dont certaines ont atteint Haïfa et des sites dans le nord, a déclaré aujourd’hui le général de division Gadi Eizenkot, chef des opérations. Tsahal regrette tous les dommages subis par les civils innocents, même s’ils résultent directement de l’utilisation criminelle des civils libanais comme boucliers humains par l’organisation terroriste Hezbollah. (…) Le Hezbollah place les civils libanais comme bouclier entre eux et nous, alors que Tsahal se place comme bouclier entre les habitants d’Israël et les terroristes du Hezbollah. C’est la principale différence entre eux et nous. Rapport de l’Armée israélienne
Après trois semaines de travail intense, avec l’assistance active et la coopération de la communauté Internet, souvent appelée “blogosphère”, nous pensons avoir maintenant assez de preuves pour assurer avec certitude que beaucoup des faits rapportés en images par les médias sont en fait des mises en scène. Nous pensons même pouvoir aller plus loin. À notre avis, l’essentiel de l’activité des secours à Khuraybah [le vrai nom de l’endroit, alors que les médias, en accord avec le Hezbollah, ont utilisé le nom de Cana, pour sa connotation biblique et l’écho du drame de 1996] le 30 juillet a été détourné en exercice de propagande. Le site est devenu en fait un vaste plateau de tournage, où les gestes macabres ont été répétés avec la complaisance des médias, qui ont participé activement et largement utilisé le matériau récolté. La tactique des médias est prévisible et tristement habituelle. Au lieu de discuter le fond de nos arguments, ils se focalisent sur des détails, y relevant des inexactitudes et des fausses pistes, et affirment que ces erreurs vident notre dossier de toute valeur. D’autres nous étiquètent comme de droite, pro-israéliens ou parlent simplement de théories du complot, comme si cela pouvait suffire à éliminer les éléments concrets que nous avons rassemblés. Richard North (EU Referendum)
Lorsque les médias se prêtent au jeu des manipulations plutôt que de les dénoncer, non seulement ils sacrifient les Libanais innocents qui ne veulent pas que cette mafia religieuse prenne le pouvoir et les utilise comme boucliers, mais ils nuisent aussi à la société civile de par le monde. D’un côté ils nous dissimulent les actes et les motivations d’organisations comme le Hamas ou le Hezbollah, ce qui permet aux musulmans ennemis de la démocratie, en Occident, de nous (leurs alliés progressistes présumés) inviter à manifester avec eux sous des banderoles à la gloire du Hezbollah. De l’autre, ils encouragent les haines et les sentiments revanchards qui nourrissent l’appel au Jihad mondial. La température est montée de cinq degrés sur l’échelle du Jihad mondial quand les musulmans du monde entier ont vu avec horreur et indignation le spectacle de ces enfants morts que des médias avides et mal inspirés ont transmis et exploité. Richard Landes
S’il est trop tôt pour affirmer qu’une telle action de combat a pleinement rempli ses objectifs, une grande partie de ces objectifs ont sans nul doute été atteints. Le premier objectif atteint à ce stade est que ces marches ont rétabli le droit au retour dans la conscience palestinienne, arabe et internationale comme l’un des droits et principes importants du peuple palestinien. […] Un autre but atteint par ces marches est qu’elles ont remis la cause nationale palestinienne à l’ordre du jour international, alors que certains défaitistes prétendaient que l’agenda mondial était trop chargé et n’avait pas de place pour la cause nationale palestinienne. Ils ont essayé de l’utiliser pour promouvoir d’autres concessions. […] Je dois souligner un important objectif stratégique accompli le 14 mai. Notre peuple à Gaza a enregistré, aux yeux du monde entier, son témoignage sur le transfert de l’ambassade américaine à Jérusalem et sur la déclaration de Jérusalem comme la capitale de l’entité d’occupation. Au nom du peuple arabe palestinien et de tous les peuples arabes et islamiques, notre peuple de Gaza a rejeté cette décision et cette démarche, par cette importante activité, en enregistrant son témoignage pour l’histoire, et en signant ce témoignage avec le sang des martyrs – notre peuple a sacrifié soixante martyrs le 14 mai, ainsi que trois mille blessés. Ils ont été utilisés pour signer le rejet de notre peuple de la décision imprudente de transférer l’ambassade des États-Unis à Jérusalem. […] Notre peuple a imposé son ordre du jour au monde entier – les écrans de télévision du monde devaient présenter une image romantique de l’ouverture de l’ambassade américaine à Jérusalem, mais notre peuple… a forcé le monde entier à diviser les écrans de télévision … Cette méthode [de combat] est appropriée pour cette étape, mais les circonstances peuvent changer, et nous devrons peut-être retourner à la lutte armée. Lorsque cela se produira, notre peuple, les factions et le Hamas n’hésiteront pas à utiliser tous les moyens requis par les circonstances. […] L’ennemi affirme que nous utilisons les gens comme boucliers humains et les poussons vers la clôture, mais nous disons que ces jeunes et ces hommes auraient pu choisir une autre option. Ils auraient pu faire pleuvoir des milliers de missiles sur les villes de l’occupation lorsque les États-Unis ont ouvert leur ambassade à Jérusalem. Mais ils n’ont pas choisi cette voie. Nombre d’entre eux ont quitté leurs uniformes militaires et mis leurs armes de côté. Ils ont temporairement abandonné les moyens de la lutte armée et se sont tournés vers cette merveilleuse méthode civilisée, respectée par le monde et adaptée aux circonstances actuelles. […] Notre peuple a imposé son ordre du jour au monde entier. Les écrans de télévision du monde devaient présenter une image romantique de l’ouverture de l’ambassade américaine à Jérusalem, mais notre peuple, par sa conscience collective, a forcé le monde entier à diviser les écrans de télévision entre les images de fraude, de tromperie, de fausseté et d’oppression, manifestes dans la tentative d’imposer Jérusalem comme la capitale de l’Etat d’occupation, et les images d’injustice, d’oppression, d’héroïsme et de détermination, données par notre propre peuple dans ses sacrifices, le sacrifice de ses enfants comme une offrande pour Jérusalem et pour le droit au retour. […] Lorsque nous avons décidé de nous lancer dans ces marches, nous avons décidé de transformer ce qui nous est le plus cher – les corps de nos femmes et de nos enfants – en barrage pour stopper l’effondrement de la réalité arabe, un barrage qui empêche la course de nombreux Arabes vers la normalisation des liens avec l’entité spoliatrice, qui occupe notre Jérusalem, pille notre terre, souille nos lieux saints et opprime notre peuple jour et nuit. Yahya Sinwar
On Friday, the Palestinian terror group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, is inaugurating what it is calling “The March of Return.” According to Hamas’s leadership, the “March of Return” is scheduled to run from March 30 – the eve of Passover — through May 15, the 70th anniversary of Israel’s establishment. According to Israeli media reports, Hamas has budgeted $10 million for the operation. Throughout the “March of Return,” Hamas intends to send thousands of civilians to the Israeli border. Hamas is planning to set up tent camps along the border fence and then, presumably, order participants to overrun it on May 15. The Palestinians refer to May 15 as “Nakba,” or Catastrophe Day. (…) what is it trying to accomplish by sending them into harm’s way? Why is the terror group telling Gaza residents to place themselves in front of the border fence and challenge Israeli security forces charged with defending Israel? The answer here is also obvious. Hamas intends to provoke Israel to shoot at the Palestinian civilians it is sending to the border. It is setting its people up to die because it expects their deaths to be captured live by the cameras of the Western media, which will be on hand to watch the spectacle. In other words, Hamas’s strategy of harming Israel by forcing its soldiers to kill Palestinians is predicated on its certainty that the Western media will act as its partner and ensure the success of its lethal propaganda stunt. Given widespread assessments that Iran is keen to start a new round of war between Israel and its terror proxies, Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, it is possible that Hamas intends for this lethal propaganda stunt to be the initial stage of a larger war. By this assessment, Hamas is using the border operation to cultivate and escalate Western hostility against Israel ahead of a larger shooting war. (…) The real issue revealed by Hamas’s planned operation — as it was revealed by the Mavi Marmara, as well as by Hamas’s military campaigns against Israel in 2014, 2011 and 2008-09 —  is not how Israel will deal with it. The real issue is that Hamas’s entire strategy is predicated on its faith that the Western media and indeed the Western left will side with it against Israel. Hamas is certain that both the media and leftist activists and politicians in Europe and the U.S. will blame Israel for Palestinian civilian casualties. And as past experience proves, Hamas is right to believe the media and leftist activists will play their assigned role. So long as the media and the left rush to indict Israel for its efforts to defend itself and its citizens against its terrorist foes, who turn the laws of war on their head as a matter of course, these attacks will continue and they will escalate. If this border assault does in fact serve as the opening act in a larger terror war against Israel, then a large portion of the blame for the bloodshed will rest on the shoulders of the Western media for empowering the terrorists of Hamas and Hezbollah to attack Israel. Caroline Glick
The video turned out to be from an art workshop which creates this health exercise annually in Gaza. The goal of the workshop is to recreate child injuries sustained in warzones so that doctors can get familiar with them and learn how to care for injured children, the owner of the workshop, Abd al-Baset al-Loulou said. Al Arabya
Dix-huit morts et au moins 1 400 blessés. La « grande marche du retour », appelée vendredi par la société civile palestinienne et encadrée par le Hamas, le long de la barrière frontalière séparant la bande de Gaza et Israël, a dégénéré lorsque l’armée israélienne a tiré à balles réelles sur des manifestants qui s’approchaient du point de passage. (…) Famille, enfants, musique, fête, puis débordements habituels de jeunes lançant des cailloux à l’armée. Lorsque les émeutiers sont arrivés à quelques centaines de mètres de la fameuse grille, les snipers israéliens sont entrés en action. L’un des garçons, « armé » d’un pneu, a été abattu d’une balle dans la nuque alors qu’il s’enfuyait. (…) Ce mouvement, qui exige le « droit au retour » et la fin du blocus de Gaza, doit encore durer six semaines. C’est long. Le gouvernement israélien compte peut-être sur l’usure des protestataires, la fatigue, le renoncement, persuadé que quelques balles en plus pourraient faire la différence. A-t-il la mémoire courte ? Selon la Torah, Moïse avait 80 ans lorsqu’a commencé la traversée du désert. Ces quarante années d’errance douloureuse sont au coeur de tous les Juifs. Espérer qu’après soixante-dix ans d’exil les Palestiniens oublient leur histoire à coups de fusil est aussi absurde que ne pas faire la différence entre une balle de 5,56 et une pierre calcaire … Le Canard enchainé (Balles perdues, 04.04.2018)
Pro-Israel organization StandWithUs has resorted to claiming Palestinians are faking injuries to garner international sympathy and supported their claims by posting videos showing « Palestinians practicing for the cameras. » The Palestinians in the video were actually practicing how to evacuate the wounded during the protest… Telesur
Oui ! Oui ! Je suis tellement heureux ! L’Afrique a gagné la Coupe du monde ! L’Afrique a gagné la Coupe du monde ! Je sais bien, je sais bien. Il faut dire que c’est l’équipe de France. Mais regardez ces gars, hein ? Regardez ces gars ! Vous n’avez pas ce bronzage en vous promenant dans le sud de la France, les mecs. La France est devenue l’équipe de rechange de l’Afrique, une fois que le Nigeria et le Sénégal ont été éliminés. Trevor Noah
Toutes les « personnes noires » du monde ont célébrité la victoire des joueurs français en raison de leur « identité africaine. (…) J’ai trouvé ces arguments bizarres de dire qu’ils ne sont pas Africains, ils sont Français. Pourquoi ne peuvent-ils pas être les deux ? Pourquoi cette réflexion binaire de devoir choisir un groupe de personnes ? Pourquoi ne peuvent-ils pas être africains ? Dans ce que je lis, pour être français, il faut effacer tout ce qui te lie à l’Afrique. Quand je dis qu’ils sont Africains, je ne le dis pas pour exclure leur identité française, mais je le fais pour les inclure et partager avec eux l’identité africaine qui est la mienne. Je leurs dis : je vous vois mes frères français d’origine africaine. Trevor Noah
I’ve lived a life where I’ve never really fitted in in any particular way. Even now, people still debate on what I am. People will say, “Oh you’re black,” And then someone will turn around and say, “No but he’s not black, he’s not black; he’s colored.” And then colored people will say “but you’re not colored.” And then when you get older it’s cool because you’ve lived everywhere and nowhere, you’ve been everyone and no one, so you can say everything and nothing, and that’s really what affects my comedy and everything that I say. And if ever this comedy thing doesn’t work out, I’ve got poverty to fall back on, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be cool there. Trevor Noah
On a beau résister à l’envie (la nécessité) de réagir aux identitaires de l’autre bord, ceux du Sud en échec qui l’affirment avec le sourire sale, on finit par y venir. Non pour verser dans le contre-argument (inutile face aux extrémistes du Net), mais parce que cela a des conséquences, consolide un déni spectaculaire au Sud et sert à habiller la joie de rancune. Car la victoire de l’équipe française à la Coupe du monde n’est pas une victoire de l’Afrique. C’est un échec de l’Afrique. L’échec des pays de ce continent à retenir leurs enfants, à les faire rêver d’autre chose que de fuir par mers et par déserts, les soutenir, les former et leur offrir la sécurité, la possibilité du succès et celle de l’hommage. Si la moitié de l’équipe algérienne de football avait été française et qu’elle avait réussi la prouesse de décrocher deux Coupes du monde, j’aurais conclu à l’échec de la France à aimer et retenir ses enfants, pas à la victoire de l’Algérie seulement. Proclamer que c’est une victoire africaine n’est pas seulement un contresens, mais aussi un déni. Cela sert à fermer les yeux sur l’état des pays au Sud, l’état de leurs démocraties. Terres des rêves chétifs, des injustices, des caricatures des régimes assassins de sens et de vies et des « pères de la nation », déshérence des élites et sécheresse des cœurs et des gazons. Où est la victoire de l’Afrique si pour réussir il faut la quitter ? Ces joueurs que l’on dit « africains » (…), que serait-il advenu d’eux chez nous au Sud, entre nous ? Répéter que c’est une victoire des immigrés et de leurs descendants est une belle chose : cela peut aider la France à voir dans l’Autre autre chose qu’une menace. Mais le répéter pour faire le procès de la France sans faire le procès des siens, de leur racisme chez nous, leur rejet de l’autre, leurs campagnes d’expulsions nocturnes dans les déserts, c’est une forme de rancune seulement. Faire la leçon de l’acceptation et de l’altérité heureuse et ses bénéfices, sans retourner contre soi ce jugement juste et sévère, est une lâcheté. Quel est l’état du migrant, son périple, ses douleurs, ses blessures et l’histoire de ses rejets entre les pays africains eux-mêmes ? Quel est l’état de nos frontières, entre nous, au Sud ? Entre le Maghreb et les pays subsahariens ? En France, ces joueurs que l’on dit « africains » ont pu finir champions du monde dans un pays qui a ses difficultés, ses peurs, ses xénophobes, ses justes et ses âmes magnifiques. Que serait-il advenu d’eux chez nous au Sud, entre nous ? « J’aurais voulu, par exemple, que l’Algérie gagne une Coupe du monde, au lieu de médire sur celle des autres et y trouver des consolations risibles à ses échecs » rajoute encore le journalMais il se trouve qu’il y avait aussi des raisons idiotes : des Italiens y voyaient, dans cette équipe, le rêve de la souche pure, l’équipe d’un pays « sans mélange », sans « races importées », sans couleurs, rêve des identitaires du vieux continent, au moment même où des Maghrébins ou d’autres y voyaient une revanche sur leur sort, une occasion de joie par l’aigreur, une vengeance presque, une leçon faite à la France. Tout le paradoxe malheureux de ceux qui n’assument pas le présent, son don et sa complexité pour rêver les uns de revanche, les autres de souche pure. La belle équipe croate se retrouva chargée d’incarner la pureté des extrêmes droites en Occident ou le contrepoids à nos défaites au Sud, nos jalousies. Autant que l’équipe de France se retrouva, pour certains, objet de fantasmes sur une Afrique où ils ne veulent pas vivre, qu’ils défendent en la quittant, qu’ils proclament glorieuse en fermant les yeux sur nos échecs. Voilà, c’est dit. Il le fallait. Il était si insupportable pour le chroniqueur de garder le silence sur cette foire des dénis et des hypocrisies. La France a gagné, elle en a été heureuse et j’aurais voulu vivre ce moment chez moi, moi aussi, grâce aux miens. Les voir réussir dans la diversité, être acclamés dans le festin des différences, sur les toits du monde, avoir un président capable de saluer les siens et de rire avec leur bonheur. J’aurais voulu, par exemple, que l’Algérie gagne une Coupe du monde, au lieu de médire sur celle des autres et y trouver des consolations risibles à ses échecs. Répéter que c’est une victoire de l’Afrique, c’est faire l’éloge de l’échec en croyant défendre la vertu, réelle et nécessaire cependant, de l’acceptation. Kamel Daoud
Dans le cas français spécialement, et européen plus largement, la colonisation a particulièrement concerné des populations de religion musulmane. Depuis la décolonisation d’une part et la fin des grands récits de l’émancipation nationaliste ou anti-impérialiste d’autre part, une forme de pensée post-coloniale s’est développée, accompagnée des désormais incontournables « études » qui vont avec dans le monde universitaire. Elle est appuyée sur une idée simple: l’homme « blanc », européen, occidental, chrétien (et juif aussi) est resté fondamentalement un colonisateur en raison de traits qui lui seraient propres, par essence en quelque sorte : raciste, impérialiste, dominateur, etc. Par conséquent, les anciens colonisés sont restés des dominés, des victimes de cet homme « blanc », européen, occidental, judéo-chrétien… À partir des années 1970, à l’occasion de la crise économique qui commence et de l’installation d’une immigration venue de ses anciennes colonies, cette manière de voir postcoloniale va peu à peu phagocyter la pensée de l’émancipation ouvrière classique et de la lutte des classes qui s’est développée depuis la Révolution industrielle et incarnée dans le socialisme notamment. La figure du « damné de la terre » va ainsi se replier sur celle de l’ancien colonisé, donc de l’immigré désormais, c’est-à-dire celui qui est différent, qui est « l’autre ». Non plus principalement à raison de sa position dans le processus de production économique ou de sa situation sociale mais de son pays d’origine, de la couleur de sa peau, de son origine ethnique puis, plus récemment, de sa religion. Et ce, précisément au moment même où de nouvelles lectures, radicalisées, de l’islam deviennent des outils de contestation des régimes en place dans le monde arabo-musulman. (…) Toute une partie de la gauche, politique, associative, syndicale, intellectuelle, orpheline du grand récit socialiste et communiste, va trouver dans le combat pour ces nouveaux damnés de la terre une nouvelle raison d’être alors qu’elle se convertit très largement aux différentes formes du libéralisme. Politique avec les droits de l’Homme et la démocratie libérale contre les résidus du totalitarisme communiste ; économique avec la loi du marché et le capitalisme financier contre l’étatisme et le keynésianisme ; culturel avec l’émancipation individuelle à raison de l’identité propre de chacun plutôt que collective. En France, la forme d’antiracisme qui se développe dans les années 1980 sous la gauche au pouvoir témoigne bien de cette évolution. À partir de là, on peut aisément dérouler l’histoire des trente ou quarante dernières années pour arriver à la situation actuelle. Être du côté des victimes et des dominés permet de se donner une contenance morale voire un but politique alors que l’on a renoncé, dans les faits sinon dans le discours, à toute idée d’émancipation collective et de transformation de la société autrement qu’au travers de l’attribution de droits individuels aux victimes et aux dominés précisément. À partir du moment où ces victimes et ces dominés sont incarnés dans la figure de « l’autre» que soi-même, ils ne peuvent en aucun cas avoir tort et tout ce qu’ils font, disent, revendiquent, devient un élément indissociable de leur identité de victime et de dominé. Dans un tel cadre, l’homme « blanc », européen, occidental, judéo-chrétien… ne peut donc jamais, par construction, avoir raison, quoi qu’il dise ou fasse. Il est toujours déjà coupable et dominateur. On retrouve là la dérive essentialiste dont on parlait plus haut. Pour toute une partie de la gauche, chez les intellectuels notamment, tout ceci est devenu une doxa. Tout questionnement, toute remise en question, toute critique étant instantanément considérée à la fois comme une mécompréhension tragique de la société, de l’Histoire et des véritables enjeux contemporains. Mais aussi comme une atteinte insupportable au Bien, à la seule et unique morale, et comme le signe d’une attitude profondément réactionnaire, raciste, « islamophobe », etc. C’est pour cette raison, me semble-t-il, que l’on retrouve aujourd’hui, dans le débat intellectuel et plus largement public, une violence que l’on avait oubliée depuis l’époque de la guerre froide. Tout désaccord, toute nuance, tout questionnement est y immédiatement disqualifié. (…) Ce qui est intéressant en l’espèce, chez ces « nouvelles » féministes – on pourrait plutôt parler de post-féminisme d’ailleurs -, c’est qu’elles enrobent leur discours de toute une rhétorique  dite « intersectionnelle » du nom du concept forgé par l’universitaire Kimberlé Crenshaw en 1993 (dans un article de la Stanford Law Review). Le but est de montrer que la lutte féministe et la lutte antiraciste peuvent se recouper pour défendre les minorités opprimées après les difficultés des mouvements identitaires des années 1970-80 à unir leurs forces (notamment après l’échec des « Rainbow Coalitions »1 et l’affaire Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas2) et à s’articuler ensuite aux revendications sociales. Or, ce qui pouvait être adapté aux Etats-Unis des années 1980-90 ne l’est pas à la France d’aujourd’hui, pour tout un ensemble de raisons qu’il serait long de détailler ici. Tout ce discours que l’on retrouve dans l’idée de convergence des luttes également ces derniers temps masque en réalité une forme de hiérarchisation implicite entre les différentes minorités à défendre. Et, comme on le constate à chaque fois, les exemples que vous citez sont très clairs : ce ne sont pas les femmes qui sont en haut de la liste, ni d’ailleurs les homosexuels. Ce qui prévaut systématiquement, y compris chez ces post-féministes, c’est l’attention à des critères identitaires de type ethno-raciaux ou religieux. Ce qui induit d’étranges alliances et de bien plus étranges contradictions encore puisque, par exemple, on retrouve des militants du progressisme des mœurs, favorables aux droits des femmes ou des homosexuels aux côtés de militants islamistes qui sont très conservateurs en matière de mœurs. Dans ce post-féminisme, on n’hésite plus désormais à parler d’émancipation de la femme à propos de jeunes filles portant le voile islamique, au prétexte qu’elles auraient librement choisi de se soumettre à des règles religieuses qui sont pourtant explicitement contraires à l’égalité entre hommes et femmes. La confusion est totale, sur le plan philosophique, entre liberté, consentement et choix. Mais aussi sur le plan politique puisque dans toute une partie de la gauche, ce genre de renversement idéologique apparaît désormais comme tout à fait normal. On en a eu récemment un exemple frappant avec l’affaire de la présidente de la section de l’Unef de Paris-Sorbonne, qui porte un voile islamique. (…) il y a un dévoiement d’une partie de la lutte antiraciste, devenue relativiste et essentialiste. Là encore, le fait que des organisations (associations, syndicats, partis) qui se réclament de la gauche, du projet progressiste, de l’émancipation collective… en viennent à adopter ou à justifier l’idée qu’on puisse se rassembler dans des réunions « non mixtes », entre « racisés », pour lutter contre le racisme, est d’une incohérence philosophique et politique totale. Si la gauche, c’est ça, alors il n’y a plus de gauche. C’est aussi simple que cela. Tout le combat historique pour l’universalisme, l’humanisme, contre le racisme, pour l’émancipation… perd son sens. Derrière de telles idées, on trouve finalement une forme de racisme brut et qui ne se cache même plus chez certains auteurs et certains militants de la mouvance dite « décoloniale » ou « indigéniste ». Je pense à Houria Bouteldja notamment dans son livre Les Blancs, les Juifs et nous paru en 2016. Ce racisme, venu du raisonnement sur la colonisation dont on parlait plus haut, conduit à rendre responsables et coupables de toutes les injustices, de toutes les discriminations et de tous les crimes… les « blancs », par un processus d’essentialisation pur et simple. De telles idées sont ultra-minoritaires, mais cela ne les rend pas moins dangereuses par le véritable terrorisme intellectuel qu’elles font peser sur toute cette gauche, sur nombre de médias notamment qui n’osent pas en révéler le caractère aussi fallacieux intellectuellement que destructeur politiquement et socialement. S’il y a un politiquement correct, c’est bien là qu’il se trouve : dans le refus non seulement de dire ce que l’on voit mais surtout de voir ce que l’on voit comme nous y incitait Péguy. Et gare à celui, surtout s’il est un « mâle blanc », qui ose ne serait-ce que constater cette dérive. Il sera immédiatement accusé d’être à son tour un « identitaire » et, évidemment, raciste, sexiste, islamophobe… Toute réalité, on n’ose même pas parler de vérité, est abolie au profit d’une vision purement idéologique qui ne fonctionne que par la terreur qu’elle fait régner. Laurent Bouvet
Aujourd’hui, ce jeune si ’brun’ auquel on demandait plus qu’au ’petit blond’ d’à côté est aux USA. Il m’a dit récemment : ’Je voudrais revoir mon prof de sixième. Celui-ci lui avait dit : ’Jamais tu n’iras au-delà de la cinquième’… Aujourd’hui, les Nations unies le sollicitent. Il a réussi sa vie, mais garde en tête ce prof ! Acteur de l’emploi
C’est toujours les mêmes métiers qui reviennent pour les filles et les mêmes métiers pour les garçons (garde d’enfants, vendeuse pour les filles, et mécanicien, plombier pour les garçons. Acteur de l’emploi
L’humoriste Yassine Belattar (…) est venu à Nantes, pour rencontrer les proches d’Aboubakar Fofana, tué le 3 juillet par un tir policier, parler aux animateurs du quartier du Breil où a eu lieu le drame, aux avocats de la famille… Sans mettre en avant sa nouvelle casquette de membre du Conseil présidentiel des villes. L’humoriste issu des banlieues franciliennes a une voix qui porte, quitte à faire grincer des dents, et il n’est pas du genre à la fermer quand un sujet lui tient à cœur. « Ça sert à quoi, sinon, d’être artiste ? » Jordan, 24 ans, habitant du Breil et  «meilleur ami» d’Aboubakar se tient à ses côtés. Ils partagent la même indignation.  « Pendant 48 heures, notre ami s’est fait traiter de voyou. Il a été insulté sur les réseaux sociaux. Des commentaires racistes se sont réjouis de sa mort ! Une double peine pour sa famille,  se désole le jeune Nantais.  « Tout ça parce que la police – via les médias- a laissé croire qu’il avait été tué dans un acte de légitime défense »,  renchérit Yassine. Ils racontent : «  Ce garçon de 22 ans vivait à Nantes depuis un an et neuf mois. Ok, il avait fait des conneries à Garges-lès-Gonesses, difficile d’y échapper quand on grandit dans l’une des banlieues les plus mal famées de France. Mais, fort d’une famille très unie, aimante, il était parti à Nantes pour se reconstruire, trouver du travail. Et il est victime d’un fait divers affreux. »  Yassine Belattar ajoute : « Je suis tombé de ma chaise quand je me suis rendu compte que le policier avait menti ! » Le drame a provoqué cinq nuits d’émeutes à Nantes : 175 voitures brûlées, une trentaine de bâtiments public et commerces dégradés ou ravagés par des incendies… Un choc pour la ville.  « En banlieue parisienne, ça aurait été bien pire, affirme Belattar.  Ici, les habitants espèrent encore dans la justice, les associations sont présentes dans des quartiers qui ne sont pas éloignés du centre-ville. Mais la violence n’est pas une solution. Ce n’est pas en brûlant une bibliothèque qu’on va faire revivre Aboubakar. Le problème des émeutes, c’est qu’au bout d’un moment, ça devient comme une espèce de jeu pour des très jeunes gens. Et dans cinq ans, à cause de ça, le gamin qui aura marqué Breil sur son CV ne va pas forcément se faire rappeler ». Ils ne veulent pas évoquer les suites judiciaires de cette affaire, pour laisser le champ aux avocats de la famille. Mais l’humoriste, confirmant que le CRS auteur du tir est d’origine maghrébine, balaie l’hypothèse d’un homicide raciste :  « Pour nous, ce n’est pas un Rebeu qui a tué un Noir. C’est un policier qui a tué un jeune. Voilà le problème. »  Jordan et lui espèrent que le « mensonge » initial du policier, provoquera un déclic,  « un renouveau »,  dans les relations devenues détestables entre les forces de l’ordre et les jeunes.  « C’est peut-être l’occasion d’ouvrir une nouvelle page. Il faut qu’ils se parlent. Qu’ils crèvent l’abcès pour de vrai. Oui, des policiers n’en peuvent plus de se faire insulter. Oui, certains peuvent friser le  burn-out . Oui, les gens des quartiers se font maltraiter, insultés eux aussi et ont peur de la police, contrairement aux gens des centres-villes, martèle l’humoriste. Ouest France
Dans les cas de crime flagrant ou de délit flagrant […], toute personne a qualité pour en appréhender l’auteur et le conduire devant l’officier de police judiciaire le plus proche. Code de procédure pénale (article 73)
Monsieur Alexandre BENALLA est abasourdi par l’utilisation médiatique et politique de son action du 1er mai 2018 sur deux fauteurs de trouble qui agressaient les policiers. Monsieur BENALLA, en sa qualité de chargé de mission, adjoint au chef de cabinet du Président de la République, a été invité par la DOPC de la Préfecture de police de Paris, à observer les opérations de maintien de l’ordre à l’occasion des manifestations du 1er mai, annoncées pour être particulièrement violentes. Il a été accueilli et équipé par les services de police qui lui ont assigné différentes positions. A l’occasion de cette observation, Monsieur BENALLA a pu compléter ses connaissances du maintien de l’ordre et n’avait pas vocation à intervenir personnellement sur ces opérations. Toutefois, témoin des agissements de deux individus particulièrement virulents et de l’apparent dépassement des capacités opérationnelles des policiers sur place, Monsieur BENALLA a pris l’initiative de prêter main forte au dispositif en aidant à la maîtrise de ces personnes. Cette action vigoureuse mais menée sans violence n’a causé aucune blessure. Les individus ont pu être interpellés, présentés à un officier de police judiciaire, et n’ont déposé plainte contre personne. Monsieur BENALLA a immédiatement rendu compte de de son intervention personnelle qui lui a été vivement reprochée. Il a fait l’objet d’une sanction administrative de la part de son employeur. Cette initiative personnelle de Monsieur BENALLA, qui s’inscrit dans le cadre des dispositions de l’article 73 du code de procédure pénale et n’a eu aucune conséquence pour les personnes interpellées, sert manifestement aujourd’hui à porter atteinte à la Présidence de la République dans des conditions qui défient l’entendement. Monsieur BENALLA est un serviteur de l’Etat et n’a jamais failli dans cet engagement. Il collabore pleinement avec l’institution judiciaire et appelle chacun à garder sa raison. Mes Laurent-Franck Lienard et Audrey Gadot (avocats d’Alexandre Benalla)
Ne relayer pas l’article de libération parlant de rétropédalage concernant tolbiac. Ce n’est que mensonges et calomnie. Après avoir voulu nous faire taire nous empêcher de parler, après nous avoir voulu nous intimider et nous faire peur, après nous avoir lâchés à la vindicte populaire et aux chiens fascistes, aujourd’hui ils mentent comme des arracheurs de dents pour nous discréditer. La journaliste en question a demander le contact avec les témoins ce qui lui a été refusé pour protéger les témoins qui ont rdv dans la semaine avec l’avocat. Elle a ensuite sollicité Leila qui lui a répondu qu’elle ne donnait aucune interview. Cet article est un torchon, et toute la machine politico-médiatique se met en marche contre des étudiants résistants. ON NE LÂCHERA RIEN !
hasta la victoria siempre ! Taha Bouhafs (24.04.2018)
C’est une rumeur qui a enflé depuis ce vendredi, jusqu’à prendre des proportions énormes et qui semble prendre de court aujourd’hui tous ses protagonistes. L’un d’eux, Taha Bouhafs, militant insoumis grenoblois âgé d’une vingtaine d’années est l’ex-candidat de la France insoumise aux dernières législatives en Isère. Le candidat malheureux aux élections de juin 2017 a participé au blocus de la faculté de Tolbiac et se retrouve depuis quelques jours pris sur les charbons ardents des réseaux sociaux. Le militant, qui a relayé certaines rumeurs de violence sans avoir vérifié leur véracité est aujourd’hui la cible d’une violente campagne de dénigrement. Le campus de Tolbiac, occupé par des étudiants qui militaient contre la loi ORE (qui instaure une sélection à l’entrée de l’université) depuis le 26 mars dernier, a été évacué par les CRS ce vendredi tôt dans la matinée. Si l’évacuation s’est fait dans un climat de tension, les confrontations violentes redoutées n’ont finalement pas eu lieu, malgré quelques accrochages. Pourtant, assez rapidement, une rumeur faisant état d’un blessé grave imputable à l’intervention des forces de l’ordre a été relayée sur les réseaux sociaux. Le magazine en ligne Reporterre a le premier relayé trois témoignages faisant état d’une chute grave. Des témoignages confus évoquaient tour à tour « une chute », « une flaque de sang », « un homme inanimé » gisant au sol, « un homme entre la vie et la mort », et même un décès. Problème, personne n’a réussi au bout de plusieurs jours, à mettre la main sur ce soi-disant blessé grave et la préfecture de police a démenti cette version dès ce vendredi. Face aux rumeurs de violences et au sous-entendus complotistes, Libération a finalement publié ce mardi une enquête fouillée qui démonte les rumeurs faisant état d’un blessé grave. Selon le quotidien, qui cite le magazine Reporterre, les témoins qui affirmaient avoir vu le blessé grave n’étaient pas des témoins directs et leur témoignage est infondé. Reporterre, qui a mené en interne une contre-enquête va dans le même sens et reconnaît que ces témoignages étaient « fallacieux ». Taha Bouhafs, qui était à Tolbiac au moment de l’évacuation persiste pourtant et remet en cause l’enquête de Libé. Le militant insoumis, dans un post Facebook aux accents victimaires, accuse le quotidien national de « mensonges et de calomnie ». Il assure que le contact des témoins a été « refusé » à la journaliste pour les « protéger » car ils ont « rendez-vous dans la semaine avec l’avocat ». Là aussi, Reporterre met à mal cette version et assure que l’un des prétendus témoins, qui devait rencontrer un avocat, a fait faux-bond deux fois au rendez-vous juridique… Taha Bouhafs est depuis ce mercredi ciblé sur les réseaux sociaux, par des internautes qui lui reprochent d’avoir relayé des accusations graves sans les avoir vérifiées. Il avait également affirmé dans un Tweet que « les CRS avaient épongé le sang des étudiants à l’intérieur de la Fac pour ne laisser aucune trace » (son compte Twitter est aujourd’hui protégé). (…)  le député FN Gilbert Collard a publié une vidéo de l’évacuation où on voit Taha Bouhafs face aux forces de l’ordre. Le jeune homme, visiblement à bout de nerfs, interpelle et insulte les CRS impassibles qui l’empêchent de franchir le cordon de sécurité. (…) Face au flot de critiques, le militant a publié un nouveau communiqué ce mercredi, il y assure que « l’évacuation ne s’est pas faite dans le calme » mais reconnaît ne pas avoir été « témoin direct de l’événement ». Contacté par la rédaction de France 3, Taha Bouhafs n’a pour le moment pas directement répondu à nos questions. France 3 régions
L’affaire Benalla évoque un climat nauséabond de basse police et de cabinet privé au cœur de l’Élysée. Cette privatisation de la sécurité présidentielle, avec ses dérives barbouzardes, dévoile la part d’ombre du monarchisme macronien. C’est une alerte sur la dérive de cette présidence vers un pouvoir encore plus sans partage du chef de l’État, dans une marche consulaire, avec coup de force permanent. Edwy Plenel (Mediapart)
Ce qui paraissait au départ n’être qu’une affaire subalterne de brutalité individuelle commise par un sous-fifre se change en affaire d’Etat. Pourquoi ? A cause du mensonge. Le gorille n’a pas été sanctionné, mais protégé. Sur ordre de qui, sinon du président lui-même ? Et pourquoi cette mansuétude ? On craint de comprendre : diverses sources corroborées par d’autres vidéos montre qu’Alexandre Benalla vivait en fait dans l’intimité du couple présidentiel, qu’il accompagnait le chef de l’Etat dans ses visites officielles mais aussi dans ses activités privées, au tennis, au ski ou pendant ses vacances. Pourquoi (…) s’en remettre à un affidé, alors même qu’il est sans réelle qualification et connu pour son impulsivité ? Parce que c’est un proche, qui a rendu tant de services, ou qui en sait trop ? Hypothèses redoutables… Laurent Joffrin (Libération)
Ces faits montrent « qu’il existe au ‘château’ des nervis au statut flou, chargés d’opaques sinon basses besognes. On se croirait revenu au sale temps des barbouzeries orchestrées par le SAC gaulliste. Cette découverte fissure l’image d’Emmanuel Macron, qui a toujours insisté sur l’exemplarité et l’intégrité nécessaire à sa fonction. La communication présidentielle, jusque-là parfaitement lissée, a volé en éclats. Et l’on constate que le vieux monde, rance, est toujours bien là. La tentative manifeste d’étouffer le scandale est explosive. Pourquoi ce président, qui dès son arrivée n’avait pas hésité à virer le chef d’état-major des armées pour quelques mots critiques sur le budget de la Défense, a-t-il été incapable de se défaire d’un collaborateur instable traînant déjà plusieurs casseroles ? Pourquoi l’Elysée avait-il besoin de cet homme, alors qu’il existe un service officiel pour cela, le Groupe de sécurité de la présidence de la République (GSPR) ? Quelle était la relation exacte entre le candidat-puis-président Macron et cet homme qui le suivait comme son ombre ? En ne traitant pas cette affaire comme elle aurait dû l’être, l’Elysée a ouvert la boîte des mille questions légitimes, mais forcément embarrassantes. Pascal Riché (L’Obs)
Les égards et avantages dont il bénéficiait avant l’affaire témoignent tout à la fois de la grande confiance que lui accordait le chef de l’État que des tâches ambiguës dont il s’acquittait pour lui. Récent bénéficiaire d’un appartement de fonction quai Branly à Paris, Alexandre Benalla disposait également d’une voiture de fonction équipée de tous les attributs d’un véhicule de police haut de gamme. À la demande du directeur de cabinet du président de la République, il s’était également vu attribuer un badge lui donnant accès à l’ensemble des locaux de l’Assemblée nationale dont l’Hémicycle. De quoi s’interroger sur l’étendue de son champ d’action au service du président de la République. (…) Selon nos informations, c’est notamment lui qui aurait supervisé la sécurisation du Palais de l’Élysée, notamment l’installation des barrières de plots rétractables rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré, après avoir démontré au chef de l’État qu’un commando déterminé et aguerri pourrait mettre moins de cinq minutes à atteindre son bureau depuis la rue. De quoi mettre en porte-à-faux le commandement militaire de l’Élysée, officiellement en charge de la sécurisation du Palais. Au fil du temps, le poids et l’influence d’Alexandre Benalla à l’Élysée ont fini par agacer fortement. Notamment au sein de l’équipe officielle chargée de la protection du président, le GSPR, qui dépend du ministère de l’Intérieur. Avec Emmanuel Macron, il travaillait d’égal à égal avec l’équipe d’Alexandre Benalla. De quoi nourrir de solides inimitiés, et pas qu’avec le GSPR. Face à l’omniprésence du garde du corps du président sur le terrain et ses velléités de diriger l’ensemble des opérations, l’agacement des forces de l’ordre n’a fait que grandir. La semaine dernière encore, alors que l’équipe de France de football revenait victorieuse de sa campagne de Russie, un incident a opposé Alexandre Benalla et un gendarme sur le tarmac de l’aéroport. Décrit comme «agité et très autoritaire», il tente de prendre en main le dispositif de sécurité, jusqu’à ce qu’un gendarme lui demande qui il est. «Vous me manquez de respect», réplique-t-il alors en exhibant le pin qui atteste qu’il travaille à l’Élysée et en ajoutant: «Le préfet, je l’emmerde.» Selon plusieurs témoignages, Alexandre Benalla est coutumier de ces coups de sang. À la manière d’Emmanuel Macron, qu’il admire au-delà de tout pour avoir «disrupté» l’élection présidentielle, lui veut «disrupter» la sécurité présidentielle. Au total, ce sont quatre services différents qui s’occupent de la sécurité du président de la République. Lequel avait engagé une réflexion pour rationaliser l’ensemble. Il était notamment question de fusionner le GSPR et le commandement militaire pour former un organe de protection unique. Pour avoir participé à la réflexion et en avoir initié le chantier, Alexandre Benalla était suspecté de vouloir prendre la tête de cette sorte de secret service à la française. Une sorte de revanche pour lui, qui avait très mal vécu la fin de la campagne présidentielle en 2017. Approché par En marche! pour assurer la sécurité du candidat Macron, Alexandre Benalla recrute des gardes du corps et entre très vite dans les petits papiers du futur président. Il y a d’un côté l’équipe politique, le premier cercle de la macronie, de l’autre l’équipe sécurité, elle aussi au contact d’Emmanuel Macron quasiment 24 heures sur 24 et 7 jours sur 7. C’est dans cette période que se crée son lien d’amitié avec ce candidat qu’il adore. Comme beaucoup de ceux qui approchent Emmanuel Macron, il tombe en admiration devant lui. Au point d’éprouver un sentiment de dépossession lorsque l’État entre dans le jeu et dépêche des policiers du SPHP (service de protection des hautes personnalités) pour assurer sa protection. Il faut passer la main, les frictions sont nombreuses. Car les policiers observent d’un très mauvais œil les libertés que prend Emmanuel Macron avec sa sécurité personnelle. Les contraintes de l’État d’un côté, la liberté revendiquée d’un candidat de l’autre. Entre les deux, les gardes du corps privés d’Alexandre Benalla, qui cèdent tout au patron. Comme ce jour de mars 2017 à Mayotte lorsqu’Emmanuel Macron décide, malgré un retard important, de traverser une rue bondée pour tenir un meeting en plein air, alors que la nuit est déjà noire. «C’est de la folie», souffle alors un policier selon qui aucune des conditions élémentaires de sécurité n’était réunie ce soir-là. Mais pas pour les gardes du corps d’Emmanuel Macron. Ce sont d’ailleurs eux que l’on retrouve derrière le candidat, Alexandre Benalla en tête, dans l’entre-deux-tours de la campagne présidentielle lorsqu’il décide d’aller au contact des salariés de Whirlpool dont l’usine va fermer. Ils viennent de recevoir la visite de Marine Le Pen, le climat est survolté, le chaos indescriptible. Il a bien sûr été fortement recommandé à Emmanuel Macron de ne pas se rendre sur le site. «C’est pas les mecs de la sécurité qu’il faut écouter. […] Il faut prendre le risque. Il faut aller au cœur à chaque fois. Si vous écoutez les mecs de la sécurité, vous finissez comme Hollande. Peut-être que vous êtes en sécurité, mais vous êtes mort», lance-t-il alors à ses équipes. La prise de risque physique s’avérera payante. Ceux qui lui auront permis de le prendre en tireront profit et une solide réputation de «cow-boys». Une fois élu président de la République, Emmanuel Macron emmène Alexandre Benalla avec lui au Palais. C’est même lui qui l’accompagne le soir de son élection lors de sa grande marche à travers la cour du Louvre. Quelques jours plus tôt, c’est aussi lui qui avait joué le rôle d’Emmanuel Macron pour les repérages de la séquence. Pour ce président qui ne veut rien sacrifier de sa précieuse liberté, son garde du corps est celui qui lui permet de sortir du cadre extrêmement contraint qu’impose sa fonction. On retrouve d’ailleurs Benalla au côté du chef de l’État sur presque toutes les images disruptives qui façonnent l’image d’un président jeune et moderne, en balade à vélo au Touquet, en ski à La Mongie ou sur un terrain de foot à Marseille. Malgré la sanction disciplinaire infligée par le directeur de cabinet du président, Patrick Strzoda, après les événements du 1er Mai, Alexandre Benalla est resté jusqu’au bout dans le premier cercle. Il était notamment présent dans le bus des Bleus lors de leur descente des Champs-Élysées la semaine dernière. Le Figaro
Sous Emmanuel Macron, les deux équipes – celle du GSPR et celle d’Alexandre Benalla – travaillaient d’égal à égal, et ce dispositif a fait naître d’importantes rivalités. En théorie, les déplacements du chef de l’Etat sont protégés par les policiers et gendarmes d’élite du GSPR. Mais interrogé sur sa mission à l’Elysée, Alexandre Benalla, alors âgé de 25 ans, se vantait de gérer « toute la sécurité privée » autour du chef de l’Etat. D’après nos informations, le jeune gendarme réserviste travaillait d’ailleurs activement à une fusion des différents services en charge de la sécurité du chef de l’Etat: entre policiers et gendarmes, au sein et à l’extérieur de l’Elysée. Une sorte de « Secret Service », du nom de agents qui assurent la sécurité du président américain et la Maison-Blanche, à la française. Une idée qui devait permettre de corriger des « incohérences » dans les moyens de communication utilisés par les différents agents, et qui a été approuvé par Emmanuel Macron. Le projet a fait l’objet de plusieurs réunions au Palais, avec des annonces prévues pour le mois de septembre. Ce nouveau service cherchait par ailleurs un local, avec en tête l’actuelle salle de presse. Mais malgré l’aval présidentiel, il n’était pas du goût de tous. L’idée déplaisait notamment au ministère de l’Intérieur, croit savoir le JDD. Des éléments qui alimentent l’hypothèse selon laquelle la fuite de la vidéo, mais surtout l’identification de Benalla sur les images des violences du 1er mai, pourraient directement être liées à ces rivalités et tensions. Une question qui se pose légitimement, tant l’attitude du jeune protégé d’Emmanuel Macron semble avoir fait grincer des dents. BFMTV
Benalla voulait aller plus loin : avec d’autres, il faisait partie du comité de pilotage sur la création d’une direction de la sécurité de la présidence de la République (DSPR), destinée à chapeauter toute la protection du chef de l’État. « L’idée était de reprendre la main, de devenir autonome par rapport au GSPR, qui dépend de l’Intérieur, d’ouvrir le recrutement à des profils mieux adaptés, tout en ayant la main sur la formation. C’était un projet de la présidence, validé au plus haut niveau. » Macron en avait accepté le principe, ce qui ne plaisait guère à la Place Beauvau. « Ça ne se fera pas », avaient assuré des responsables policiers, refusant même de participer aux réunions budgétaires. De quoi attiser les rivalités. « Ce jeune de 26 ans qui recadre tout le monde ne pouvait que se créer des inimitiés dans la police », poursuit cet ami pour lequel, si les premières vidéos ont été diffusées par les réseaux de La France insoumise, l’identification ultérieure de Benalla semble signée : « Le coup vient de l’Intérieur. » Au-delà d’une sanction initiale (deux semaines de mise à pied avec suspension de salaire), de nouvelles révélations sur l’appartement de fonction qu’il s’était vu attribuer à Paris, quai Branly (là où résidait jadis Mazarine, la fille cachée de François Mitterand), sur sa Renault Talisman de fonction ou sur son confortable salaire de 7.113 euros brut mensuels posent question : pourquoi tant de faveurs? Volonté de préserver un proche qui connaît nombre de ses secrets? Dérive du système monarchique français, où le chef de l’État donne ses ordres au GSPR, à la différence du Secret service américain, qui impose ses exigences? JDD
« Sentant le vent tourner en recevant des appels de journalistes, il y a trois jours, à propos de la vidéo le mettant en cause», comme le raconte une source policière au Figaro, Alexandre Benalla, aux abois, aurait alors tenté d’allumer un contre-feu en cherchant d’autres séquences de la scène de la Contrescarpe, susceptibles, à ses yeux, de le dédouaner. Le «chargé de mission» aurait alors sollicité un contrôleur général affecté à l’état-major de la DOPC, réputé proche de lui. Ce haut fonctionnaire, dont le nom avait publiquement circulé l’hiver dernier pour le très prisé poste de directeur de la sécurité du PSG, aurait consenti à rendre ce précieux «service». Sans en avertir a priori son directeur, le contrôleur général aurait alors demandé à un jeune commissaire, lui aussi affecté à l’état-major de l’ordre public, de sélectionner la séquence. Il se trouve que ce dernier, considéré comme un fonctionnaire jusqu’ici irréprochable et très prometteur, était aussi place de la Contrescarpe ce fameux 1er Mai, avec un détachement de CRS, afin de libérer les lieux occupés par un reliquat de militants anarcho-autonomes. Sur place, il aurait même croisé Alexandre Benalla, avant de rédiger une fiche de «mise à disposition» de la personne maîtrisée. «C’est la preuve que ce commissaire n’a rien dissimulé», assure un de ses pairs dans la police, convaincu qu’«il s’est trouvé là à la mauvaise heure, au mauvais moment». «Connu comme le loup blanc des services d’ordre parisien, poursuit en off ce fonctionnaire, Benalla était aussi redouté sur le terrain en raison d’une proximité avec le chef de l’État dont il ne se cachait pas…» Le soir du 1er Mai, Alexandre Benalla s’était ainsi invité à la salle d’information et de commandement (SIC) de la DOPC, au moment où le ministre de l’Intérieur et le préfet de police étaient venus soutenir les forces après une éprouvante journée. Mais ce n’est qu’en voyant la vidéo le lendemain que le grand patron de la police parisienne a découvert qu’Alexandre Benalla avait été dans le dispositif. Après s’être exécuté, en faisant copie de la séquence de vidéoprotection demandée, le jeune commissaire l’a transmise à un officier. Lequel, au printemps dernier, est passé au grade de commandant. À la surprise de syndicats, dont l’un d’eux parle de «circonstances rocambolesques». Une promotion à laquelle s’en est ajoutée une autre, dans la foulée, puisqu’il a été bombardé «officier de liaison» à l’Élysée. Alors que le parquet de Paris a par ailleurs cosaisi l’Inspection générale de la police nationale (IGPN, «police des polices»), les trois fonctionnaires ont été suspendus à titre conservatoire jusqu’à quatre mois, en l’absence de poursuite judiciaire. Samedi matin, ils ont cependant été placés en garde à vue pour «détournement d’images issues d’un système de vidéo-protection» et «violation du secret professionnel». Face à la polémique qui enfle, Gérard Collomb a «condamné lourdement» des «agissements qui, s’ils devaient être confirmés, […] portent atteinte à l’image d’exemplarité […] de la police nationale». Depuis 48 heures, les investigations sont menées au pas de charge. Après l’audition en toute discrétion, et en qualité de témoin, jeudi, du directeur de cabinet d’Emmanuel Macron, Patrick Strzoda, les policiers ont aussi placé en garde à vue Vincent Crase. Comme pour Alexandre Benalla, cette dernière a été prolongée de 24 heures samedi matin. Ce chef d’escadron de réserve de la gendarmerie, employé de LaREM et proche d’Alexandre Benalla, est lui aussi accusé d’avoir commis des violences sur la place de la Contrescarpe. Les enquêteurs pourraient aussi s’intéresser au «3e homme» présent à ses côtés sur les images. Il s’agit d’un major de la DOPC qui avait pour mission de l’accompagner toute la journée pendant sa «mission d’observation». De ces auditions, qui pourraient éclabousser d’autres protagonistes et les faire tomber comme dans un jeu de dominos, il ressort déjà les contours d’un curieux cercle de relations personnelles, risquant d’écorner l’image de «République exemplaire» promue au plus haut sommet de l’État. Le Figaro
« Alexandre » Benalla, 26 ans, en charge de la protection très rapprochée d’Emmanuel Macron est né en septembre 1991 dans cette ville, une arrière-cour de la banlieue parisienne. Originaire du Maroc, lui qui aurait modifié son prénom pour le franciser, n’a pas laissé le souvenir du solide gaillard aux épaules larges qu’on lui connaît après les images de l’agression commise sur un manifestant le 1er mai dernier à Paris sur la place de la Contrescarpe. (…) Mais « Ben » est ambitieux. « Il avait de l’ambition trop sans doute… Mais il lui manquait un peu d’éducation. Sans lui faire injure, il était lourdaud mais côté physique il en imposait. Même trop. C’était le robocop de l’équipe. Il fallait parfois le retenir », se souvient un réserviste qui a fait sa préparation militaire gendarmerie (PMG) avec lui. Une formation accélérée d’une centaine d’heures qui permet à des civils d’endosser l’uniforme dans la réserve opérationnelle. Il devient gendarme adjoint de réserve militaire du rang avant d’obtenir le grade de brigadier-chef et a pour responsable un certain Sébastien Lecornu, lieutenant de réserve de la gendarmerie et maire de Vernon (Eure), devenu depuis secrétaire d’État à la Transition écologique. (…) « Il ne cachait rien de ses ambitions. Il voulait briller. Il était attiré par le milieu politique, car il savait qu’il pouvait en tirer profit. Moi au bout de 8 ans, je suis toujours simple gendarme… », critique cet ancien qui a côtoyé Alexandre Benalla et qui juge « immorale » cette promotion « au grade de lieutenant-colonel ». Dans un communiqué interne, la gendarmerie indique qu’Alexandre Benalla « n’a plus été employé dans la réserve opérationnelle depuis 2015 et radié en 2017 à sa demande ». Curieusement, il a été intégré comme « spécialiste expert » de la gendarmerie et son grade de lieutenant-colonel lui a été été attribué en raison de son « niveau d’expertise ». Une promotion qui « ulcère » dans les rangs de la gendarmerie. C’est sur proposition de l’Élysée que le brigadier-chef de réserve a en effet été nommé en 2017 lieutenant-colonel de la réserve opérationnelle, la plus prestigieuse, au titre « de la sécurité des installations » sans aucune référence militaire ou universitaire reconnue ou même professionnelle. Une promotion vertigineuse surtout pour son âge. Nous on passe les concours de Saint-Cyr, d’autres l’École militaire inter-armes, ou de Polytechnique ! Au mieux on peut être colonel à 40 ans à quelques exceptions si on a réussi encore le concours de l’École de guerre. C’est plutôt vers 43/44 ans pour la plupart », s’étonne un patron de groupement de gendarmerie. Le Parisien
Ils avaient une attitude extrêmement pacifique, souriante et décontractée. Je ne suis pas certain que ces deux jeunes faisaient partie des manifestants, puis le garçon a pointé un doigt en direction des CRS, sans doute pour dire sa manière de penser sur cette charge. (…) le garçon, à mon sens, fait de la résistance passive et en même temps, il essaie de dialoguer. Naguib Michel Sidhom (photographe et ancien journaliste AFP et Monde)
Presque au contact de la ligne de CRS, on reconnaît sans difficulté les deux manifestants qui seront quelques instants plus tard interpellés par Alexandre Benalla et Vincent Crase. Ce couple, qui parle en grec et en français dans les vidéos et qui n’est pas réapparu depuis, jette alors violemment trois objets sur la ligne de CRS, qui est à quelques mètres d’eux. Juste avant que la jeune femme leur fasse un bras d’honneur. (…) Alors que le manifestant est maîtrisé et à terre, Alexandre Benalla le saisit, le relève, lui donne plusieurs coups, le jette à terre, et enfin lui adresse un violent coup de pied. Ismaël Halissat
Avec le report, à la rentrée, de la révision constitutionnelle, dont l’examen n’était que suspendu à l’Assemblée nationale, l’affaire Benalla a pris, lundi, une ampleur nouvelle car elle affecte, désormais, la mise en oeuvre des réformes voulues par le chef de l’Etat. Même si elle apparaît sage dans ce contexte d’hystérie estivale qui s’est emparée du monde politique, cette décision marque un tournant dans le quinquennat d’Emmanuel Macron. Ce n’est plus Jupiter omnipotent, mais Jupiter empêtré. Et, plus Janus que jamais, le peuple français, royaliste hier encore, se redécouvre des pulsions régicides. La verticalité du pouvoir, qu’était parvenu à rétablir le successeur de François Hollande, vacille, heurtée par les écarts de conduite d’un barbouzard. Mais ce qui doit inquiéter dans cette affaire, ce n’est pas tant ce qu’elle révélerait d’un fonctionnement – assurément perfectible – du pouvoir, c’est qu’elle relance la vieille mécanique du dénigrement. Elites et populistes, progressistes et conservateurs, tout ce que la transformation macronienne compte d’adversaires s’est coalisé en une conjuration des défaitistes, prompte à jeter le bébé avec l’eau du bain. A leurs yeux, le comportement condamnable d’un homme, et la liberté qui lui fut donnée d’agir ainsi, deviennent les symptômes d’un mal plus profond. Selon cette habitude bien française qui consiste à tirer des leçons de tout événement en toutes circonstances, l’affaire Benalla signerait la faillite d’un système et d’une politique. Il n’est qu’à écouter les sermons de Jean-Luc Mélenchon pour s’en convaincre. C’est la revanche de ceux qui ont perdu dans les urnes et dans les rues. Profiter de l’occasion pour instruire le procès du Président, de son équipe et de sa gouvernance, éreinter sa majorité certes maladroite et inexpérimentée, c’est affaiblir le redressement du pays. (…) Ce qui se joue, dans cette tempête de l’été 2018, ce n’est pas seulement une épreuve politique, dont dépendra en partie la capacité du Président à poursuivre avec autorité des réformes courageuses, c’est d’abord une bataille intellectuelle avec les forces de l’ultra-gauche. Laquelle n’hésite pas, il faut le rappeler, à user d’une grande violence dans les manifestations. C’est à cette inversion des valeurs que l’on reconnaît les glissements de l’histoire. Pour que ce triste épisode n’ouvre pas un chapitre aux populismes, les responsables politiques des formations de gouvernement feraient bien de ramener l’affaire Benalla à ce qu’elle est en réalité : un scandale d’été, pas un scandale d’Etat. Jean-François Pécresse
C’est en définitive la conséquence la plus grave de cette affaire, qui menace de ternir dans son ensemble l’action des forces de l’ordre chargées d’encadrer ces manifestations violentes. Or leur comportement lors de ces événements est, compte tenu de la situation, largement exemplaire. Seulement certains journalistes, on l’a vu avec Yann Moix à Calais, conçoivent effectivement la police comme un instrument d’État de nature essentiellement répressive et non comme une force de sécurité et de protection de la population. Dans cette mesure, ils voient dans toutes les bavures, qui sont statistiquement très rares, le signe d’une pratique générale ; ce qu’aucun élément concret ne confirme. (…) La manière dont communiquent les mouvements violents vise à présenter leurs membres comme des jeunes laissant exploser leur colère. Le phénomène serait donc spontané et passionnel. Cette violence est en réalité méthodique et renvoie à une longue tradition de pratiques dites subversives. Les partis ou groupes révolutionnaires veulent renverser l’ordre établi. Pour justifier leur propre violence il leur faut prouver que l’ordre qu’ils combattent est illégitime, qu’il est lui-même violent et injuste. Pour ce faire il leur faut exposer les forces de l’ordre à des situations où leurs concepts opérationnels deviennent inopérants et où elles sont donc amenées à commettre des erreurs et exercer la force de manière excessive ou sur des innocents. Le black block constitue un exemple typique de cette technique. Le public comprend que la police soit habilitée à faire un usage proportionnel de la force contre les manifestants violents. L’objectif du black block est donc d’attirer l’action de la police en dehors de ce cadre. Pour cela les militants ne vont pas créer une manifestation séparée mais au contraire s’immiscer au milieu des manifestants pacifiques. Les organisations ou individus non violents, mais favorables à la cause ou aux moyens d’action du black block, vont quant à eux tâcher d’empêcher l’identification des éléments violents. Par exemple en s’interposant entre le black block et la police ou encore en portant le même genre de vêtements noirs que ces derniers. Les forces de sécurité sont alors confrontées à une alternative. Soit elles agissent et prennent alors le risque de provoquer des victimes collatérales. Soit elles n’agissent pas et laissent faire les violences. En sachant que même lorsqu’elles interviennent, les techniques citées plus haut rendent impossible le rassemblement des preuves ou l’identification des auteurs. Le perfectionnement des téléphones portables a rendu possible une mise en scène de la violence policière qui consiste à capter les images des réactions policières en omettant le travail préalable de harcèlement et de provocation effectué par certains militants violents. Pour faire une guerre civile, il faut être deux. Étant donné la détermination de ces groupes violents à provoquer des incidents, on peut au contraire saluer le professionnalisme des forces de sécurité. Avec la prise vidéo systématique des interventions par les « journalistes indépendants », le petit nombre d’incidents justifiant des sanctions à l’égard des policiers montre que le portrait d’une institution violente et raciste est très éloigné de la réalité. Aussi navrante que soit l’affaire Benalla, elle ne doit pas servir de prétexte afin de discréditer le difficile travail des forces de l’ordre. Alexis Carré
Attention: un théâtre de rue peut en cacher un autre !

Au lendemain d’un couronnement ô combien fêté, saccages et pillages compris, de la diversité d’une équipe de France de football…

Présentée comme « victoire de l’Afrique » à la fois par les plus « réactionnaires » comme les plus « progressistes » …

Mais d’une Afrique que, comme le rappelle l’écrivain algérien Kamel Daoud, il faut quitter pour réussir …

Eclipsant totalement une vraie « bavure » cette fois et cinq nuits d’émeute suite à la mort apparemment accidentelle – mais à caractère non racial en ce pays où l’on vient de bouter le mot même hors de la constitution – il y a à peine trois semaines d’un délinquant multirécidiviste noir refusant une interpellation par un policier d’origine maghrébine
Les griefs n’en finissent pas de s’accumuler sur la tête, nouveau pharmakos, du garde du corps personnel de l’Elysée, pour avoir, comme le montre les images d’avant-interpellation, prêté main-forte à des policiers assaillis par des manifestants particulièrement récalcitrants et déchainés …
Et se voit même reprocher non seulement de s’être procuré, pour assurer sa défense, les images de la séquence complète de son intervention …
Mais d’avoir osé, contre l’assignation identitaire, pousser l’ambition et la volonté d’intégration lui ou sa famille jusqu’à franciser son propre prénom
Comment ne pas voir avec le chercheur Alexis Carré
La véritable banalisation, derrière tout cela, du discours anti-flics des groupuscules violents tentant non seulement d’imposer, à partir de « bavures » statistiquement très rares, le signe d’une pratique générale ?
Mais comment aussi ne pas reconnaitre …
A l’instar de la longue tradition du théâtre de rue palestinien connu sous le nom de Pallywood
Qui vient encore, selon les dires mêmes de leurs dirigeants, de « sacrifier 60 martyrs ainsi que 3 000 blessés dont « nombre d’entre eux avaient quitté leurs uniformes militaires et mis leurs armes de côté » pour « forcer le monde entier à diviser leurs écrans de télévision » …
Le véritable cas d’école que constitue cet épisode des tactiques de subversion de l’ordre établi de ces groupes …
Qui peuvent aller jusqu’à la fabrication desdites « bavures » en poussant les forces de l’ordre à la faute, y compris en se mêlant à des manifestants pacifiques plus ou moins consentants …
Pour, perfectionnement des téléphones portables aidant, finalement mettre en scène la violence policière dénoncée …
En omettant tout simplement des images desdites réactions policières tout le travail préalable de harcèlement et de provocation de la part des militants violents qui les ont motivées ?

Polémique
Affaire Benalla : bien plus qu’un fait divers, l’indicateur d’une décomposition française
Alors que la polémique médiatique se concentre sur les violences honteuses commises par Alexandre Benalla, le garde du corps d’Emmanuel Macron, Alexis Carré s’interroge sur l’identité de l’homme qui filme la scène. Taha Bouhafs, militant insoumis proche de Jean-Luc Mélenchon, est connu pour avoir déjà été présent lors de nombreuses scènes d’agitation similaire.
Atlantico
20 Juillet 2018

Atlantico.fr : L’ampleur que prend « l’affaire Benalla » vous surprend-elle ?

Alexis Carré : Les faits qui sont reprochés à ce chargé de mission de l’Élysée sont difficilement justifiables. C’est aussi le cas de la manière dont sa hiérarchie semble les avoir traités.
Il est toutefois difficile de suivre les nombreuses voix qui voudraient faire de cet incident l’illustration d’un appareil d’État globalement arbitraire, violent et inégalitaire.
Et c’est en définitive la conséquence la plus grave de cette affaire, qui menace de ternir dans son ensemble l’action des forces de l’ordre chargées d’encadrer ces manifestations violentes. Or leur comportement lors de ces événements est, compte tenu de la situation, largement exemplaire.
Seulement certains journalistes, on l’a vu avec Yann Moix à Calais, conçoivent effectivement la police comme un instrument d’État de nature essentiellement répressive et non comme une force de sécurité et de protection de la population. Dans cette mesure, ils voient dans toutes les bavures, qui sont statistiquement très rares, le signe d’une pratique générale ; ce qu’aucun élément concret ne confirme.

L’homme qui a filmé le garde du corps d’Emmanuel Macron en train de rouer de coups un manifestant est Taha Bouhafs, un militant de la France insoumise qui s’est fait déjà connaître pour de nombreuses violences lors de manifestations. Si cette vidéo est accablante pour le garde du corps d’Emmanuel Macron, ne l’est-elle pas au moins autant pour les militants insoumis qui ont provoqué les forces de l’ordre violemment ?

La manière dont communiquent les mouvements violents vise à présenter leurs membres comme des jeunes laissant exploser leur colère. Le phénomène serait donc spontané et passionnel. Cette violence est en réalité méthodique et renvoie à une longue tradition de pratiques dites subversives. Les partis ou groupes révolutionnaires veulent renverser l’ordre établi. Pour justifier leur propre violence il leur faut prouver que l’ordre qu’ils combattent est illégitime, qu’il est lui-même violent et injuste. Pour ce faire il leur faut exposer les forces de l’ordre à des situations où leurs concepts opérationnels deviennent inopérants et où elles sont donc amenées à commettre des erreurs et exercer la force de manière excessive ou sur des innocents. Le black block constitue un exemple typique de cette technique. Le public comprend que la police soit habilitée à faire un usage proportionnel de la force contre les manifestants violents. L’objectif du black block est donc d’attirer l’action de la police en dehors de ce cadre. Pour cela les militants ne vont pas créer une manifestation séparée mais au contraire s’immiscer au milieu des manifestants pacifiques. Les organisations ou individus non violents, mais favorables à la cause ou aux moyens d’action du black block, vont quant à eux tâcher d’empêcher l’identification des éléments violents. Par exemple en s’interposant entre le black block et la police ou encore en portant le même genre de vêtements noirs que ces derniers.
Les forces de sécurité sont alors confrontées à une alternative. Soit elles agissent et prennent alors le risque de provoquer des victimes collatérales. Soit elles n’agissent pas et laissent faire les violences. En sachant que même lorsqu’elles interviennent, les techniques citées plus haut rendent impossible le rassemblement des preuves ou l’identification des auteurs.

Comment se fait-il que les exactions des policiers soient si systématiquement filmées par les mêmes militants ? L’extrême gauche, d’une certaine manière, ne cherche-t-elle pas à susciter les violences pour mieux se victimiser ?

Le perfectionnement des téléphones portables a rendu possible une mise en scène de la violence policière qui consiste à capter les images des réactions policières en omettant le travail préalable de harcèlement et de provocation effectué par certains militants violents.

En somme, les insoumis ont adopté le 1er mai une stratégie proche de la guerre civile ?

Pour faire une guerre civile, il faut être deux. Étant donné la détermination de ces groupes violents à provoquer des incidents, on peut au contraire saluer le professionnalisme des forces de sécurité. Avec la prise vidéo systématique des interventions par les « journalistes indépendants », le petit nombre d’incidents justifiant des sanctions à l’égard des policiers montre que le portrait d’une institution violente et raciste est très éloigné de la réalité. Aussi navrante que soit l’affaire Benalla, elle ne doit pas servir de prétexte afin de discréditer le difficile travail des forces de l’ordre.
Voir aussi:

L’affaire Benalla, un scandale d’été, pas un scandale d’Etat
Non, l’affaire Benalla ne signe pas la faillite d’un système ou d’une politique, comme le voudraient les populistes.
Jean-Francis Pecresse
Les Echos
23/07/2018

Avec le report, à la rentrée, de la révision constitutionnelle, dont l’examen n’était que suspendu à l’Assemblée nationale, l’affaire Benalla a pris, lundi, une ampleur nouvelle car elle affecte, désormais, la mise en oeuvre des réformes voulues par le chef de l’Etat. Même si elle apparaît sage dans ce contexte d’hystérie estivale qui s’est emparée du monde politique, cette décision marque un tournant dans le quinquennat d’Emmanuel Macron.

Ce n’est plus Jupiter omnipotent, mais Jupiter empêtré . Et, plus Janus que jamais, le peuple français, royaliste hier encore, se redécouvre des pulsions régicides. La verticalité du pouvoir, qu’était parvenu à rétablir le successeur de François Hollande, vacille, heurtée par les écarts de conduite d’un barbouzard.

Conjuration des défaitistes

Mais ce qui doit inquiéter dans cette affaire, ce n’est pas tant ce qu’elle révélerait d’un fonctionnement – assurément perfectible – du pouvoir, c’est qu’elle relance la vieille mécanique du dénigrement. Elites et populistes, progressistes et conservateurs, tout ce que la transformation macronienne compte d’adversaires s’est coalisé en une conjuration des défaitistes, prompte à jeter le bébé avec l’eau du bain.

A leurs yeux, le comportement condamnable d’un homme, et la liberté qui lui fut donnée d’agir ainsi, deviennent les symptômes d’un mal plus profond. Selon cette habitude bien française qui consiste à tirer des leçons de tout événement en toutes circonstances, l’affaire Benalla signerait la faillite d’un système et d’une politique. Il n’est qu’à écouter les sermons de Jean-Luc Mélenchon pour s’en convaincre.

Le procès du Président

C’est la revanche de ceux qui ont perdu dans les urnes et dans les rues. Profiter de l’occasion pour instruire le procès du Président , de son équipe et de sa gouvernance, éreinter sa majorité certes maladroite et inexpérimentée, c’est affaiblir le redressement du pays. Bien sûr, passées la suppression de l’ISF et la réforme du Code de Travail, le bilan est incomplet les projets parfois décevants. Une grosse année après l’élection, tout reste à faire pour réduire la sphère publique pour baisser les charges, déréguler l’économie pour doper la croissance, moderniser l’organisation et le financement de la santé pour soigner mieux et moins cher, rénover les banlieues pour relancer l’ascenseur social…

Inversion des valeurs

Mais, fût-elle isolée dans un monde qui se replie sur ses frontières, la direction empruntée est la bonne. A force d’exiger toujours le meilleur, le tempérament national finit par récolter le pire. Ce qui se joue, dans cette tempête de l’été 2018, ce n’est pas seulement une épreuve politique, dont dépendra en partie la capacité du Président à poursuivre avec autorité des réformes courageuses, c’est d’abord une bataille intellectuelle avec les forces de l’ultra-gauche. Laquelle n’hésite pas, il faut le rappeler, à user d’une grande violence dans les manifestations. C’est à cette inversion des valeurs que l’on reconnaît les glissements de l’histoire. Pour que ce triste épisode n’ouvre pas un chapitre aux populismes, les responsables politiques des formations de gouvernement feraient bien de ramener l’affaire Benalla à ce qu’elle est en réalité : un scandale d’été, pas un scandale d’Etat.

Voir également:

Alexandre Benalla, gloire et chute d’un garde du corps

RÉCIT – L’ancien membre du service d’ordre d’En marche! avait pris une importance grandissante à l’Élysée, où il s’était attiré de solides inimitiés.

C’est une série de paires de baffes qui ébranle les fondements du macronisme, menace le chef de l’État et fait vaciller la République. Au fil des révélations sur celui qui les a distribuées ce mardi 1er mai place de la Contrescarpe, à Paris, Alexandre Benalla, le mystère s’épaissit sur le rôle exact du garde du corps du président de la République.

Les égards et avantages dont il bénéficiait avant l’affaire témoignent tout à la fois de la grande confiance que lui accordait le chef de l’État que des tâches ambiguës dont il s’acquittait pour lui. Récent bénéficiaire d’un appartement de fonction quai Branly à Paris, Alexandre Benalla disposait également d’une voiture de fonction équipée de tous les attributs d’un véhicule de police haut de gamme.

À la demande du directeur de cabinet du président de la République, il s’était également vu attribuer un badge lui donnant accès à l’ensemble des locaux de l’Assemblée nationale dont l’Hémicycle. De quoi s’interroger sur l’étendue de son champ d’action au service du président de la République.

À l’Élysée, les mots sont d’ailleurs pesés au trébuchet pour décrire son poste. «Il était chargé de mission rattaché au pôle chefferie du cabinet, explique un conseiller d’Emmanuel Macron. Dans ce cadre, il était en charge de la logistique et de l’organisation des déplacements du président de la République. Il assurait également l’interface entre divers services chargés de la protection du président et du Palais: le GSPR (groupe de sécurité du président de la République), le commandement militaire et la Préfecture de police. Il n’avait aucune fonction, aucune activité et aucune mission au sein du GSPR.»

Voilà pour le cadre général. Dans le détail, Alexandre Benalla était tout de même extrêmement impliqué, et de très près, dans la gestion de la sécurité du chef de l’État.

Selon nos informations, c’est notamment lui qui aurait supervisé la sécurisation du Palais de l’Élysée, notamment l’installation des barrières de plots rétractables rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré, après avoir démontré au chef de l’État qu’un commando déterminé et aguerri pourrait mettre moins de cinq minutes à atteindre son bureau depuis la rue. De quoi mettre en porte-à-faux le commandement militaire de l’Élysée, officiellement en charge de la sécurisation du Palais.

Au fil du temps, le poids et l’influence d’Alexandre Benalla à l’Élysée ont fini par agacer fortement. Notamment au sein de l’équipe officielle chargée de la protection du président, le GSPR, qui dépend du ministère de l’Intérieur. Avec Emmanuel Macron, il travaillait d’égal à égal avec l’équipe d’Alexandre Benalla. De quoi nourrir de solides inimitiés, et pas qu’avec le GSPR.

«Le préfet, je l’emmerde»

Face à l’omniprésence du garde du corps du président sur le terrain et ses velléités de diriger l’ensemble des opérations, l’agacement des forces de l’ordre n’a fait que grandir. La semaine dernière encore, alors que l’équipe de France de football revenait victorieuse de sa campagne de Russie, un incident a opposé Alexandre Benalla et un gendarme sur le tarmac de l’aéroport. Décrit comme «agité et très autoritaire», il tente de prendre en main le dispositif de sécurité, jusqu’à ce qu’un gendarme lui demande qui il est. «Vous me manquez de respect», réplique-t-il alors en exhibant le pin’s qui atteste qu’il travaille à l’Élysée et en ajoutant: «Le préfet, je l’emmerde.»

Selon plusieurs témoignages, Alexandre Benalla est coutumier de ces coups de sang. À la manière d’Emmanuel Macron, qu’il admire au-delà de tout pour avoir «disrupté» l’élection présidentielle, lui veut «disrupter» la sécurité présidentielle.

Au total, ce sont quatre services différents qui s’occupent de la sécurité du président de la République. Lequel avait engagé une réflexion pour rationaliser l’ensemble. Il était notamment question de fusionner le GSPR et le commandement militaire pour former un organe de protection unique. Pour avoir participé à la réflexion et en avoir initié le chantier, Alexandre Benalla était suspecté de vouloir prendre la tête de cette sorte de secret service à la française. Une sorte de revanche pour lui, qui avait très mal vécu la fin de la campagne présidentielle en 2017.

Approché par En marche! pour assurer la sécurité du candidat Macron, Alexandre Benalla recrute des gardes du corps et entre très vite dans les petits papiers du futur président. Il y a d’un côté l’équipe politique, le premier cercle de la macronie, de l’autre l’équipe sécurité, elle aussi au contact d’Emmanuel Macron quasiment 24 heures sur 24 et 7 jours sur 7. C’est dans cette période que se crée son lien d’amitié avec ce candidat qu’il adore. Comme beaucoup de ceux qui approchent Emmanuel Macron, il tombe en admiration devant lui. Au point d’éprouver un sentiment de dépossession lorsque l’État entre dans le jeu et dépêche des policiers du SPHP (service de protection des hautes personnalités) pour assurer sa protection. Il faut passer la main, les frictions sont nombreuses.

Sur tous les fronts

Car les policiers observent d’un très mauvais œil les libertés que prend Emmanuel Macron avec sa sécurité personnelle. Les contraintes de l’État d’un côté, la liberté revendiquée d’un candidat de l’autre. Entre les deux, les gardes du corps privés d’Alexandre Benalla, qui cèdent tout au patron. Comme ce jour de mars 2017 à Mayotte lorsqu’Emmanuel Macron décide, malgré un retard important, de traverser une rue bondée pour tenir un meeting en plein air, alors que la nuit est déjà noire. «C’est de la folie», souffle alors un policier selon qui aucune des conditions élémentaires de sécurité n’était réunie ce soir-là. Mais pas pour les gardes du corps d’Emmanuel Macron.

Ce sont d’ailleurs eux que l’on retrouve derrière le candidat, Alexandre Benalla en tête, dans l’entre-deux-tours de la campagne présidentielle lorsqu’il décide d’aller au contact des salariés de Whirlpool dont l’usine va fermer. Ils viennent de recevoir la visite de Marine Le Pen, le climat est survolté, le chaos indescriptible. Il a bien sûr été fortement recommandé à Emmanuel Macron de ne pas se rendre sur le site. «C’est pas les mecs de la sécurité qu’il faut écouter. […] Il faut prendre le risque. Il faut aller au cœur à chaque fois. Si vous écoutez les mecs de la sécurité, vous finissez comme Hollande. Peut-être que vous êtes en sécurité, mais vous êtes mort», lance-t-il alors à ses équipes.

La prise de risque physique s’avérera payante. Ceux qui lui auront permis de le prendre en tireront profit et une solide réputation de «cow-boys».

Une fois élu président de la République, Emmanuel Macron emmène Alexandre Benalla avec lui au Palais. C’est même lui qui l’accompagne le soir de son élection lors de sa grande marche à travers la cour du Louvre. Quelques jours plus tôt, c’est aussi lui qui avait joué le rôle d’Emmanuel Macron pour les repérages de la séquence.

Pour ce président qui ne veut rien sacrifier de sa précieuse liberté, son garde du corps est celui qui lui permet de sortir du cadre extrêmement contraint qu’impose sa fonction. On retrouve d’ailleurs Benalla au côté du chef de l’État sur presque toutes les images disruptives qui façonnent l’image d’un président jeune et moderne, en balade à vélo au Touquet, en ski à La Mongie ou sur un terrain de foot à Marseille.

Malgré la sanction disciplinaire infligée par le directeur de cabinet du président, Patrick Strzoda, après les événements du 1er Mai, Alexandre Benalla est resté jusqu’au bout dans le premier cercle. Il était notamment présent dans le bus des Bleus lors de leur descente des Champs-Élysées la semaine dernière. Comme si le chef de l’État avait fait à ses troupes la même promesse que Didier Deschamps à ses joueurs pendant la Coupe du monde: «Je vous protégerai tous un par un.» Difficile, voire impossible désormais tant l’affaire a pris de l’ampleur et menace de se retourner contre le président de la République. Lequel a dû se résoudre à engager la procédure de licenciement de son collaborateur. Non sans l’avoir eu auparavant au téléphone. Selon le JDD, Emmanuel Macron et Alexandre Benalla se sont parlé dès les débuts de l’affaire.

Voir de même:

Émeutes à Nantes. Yassine Belattar : « Jeunes et police doivent se parler »
Recueilli par François Chrétien
Ouest France
10/07/2018

Venu à Nantes rencontrer les proches du jeune homme tué par un tir policier, l’humoriste Yassine Belattar espère que ce drame servira à enclencher un renouveau dans les relations entre Police et quartiers.

Il est venu à Nantes, pour rencontrer les proches d’Aboubakar Fofana, tué le 3 juillet par un tir policier, parler aux animateurs du quartier du Breil où a eu lieu le drame, aux avocats de la famille… Sans mettre en avant sa nouvelle casquette de membre du Conseil présidentiel des villes. L’humoriste issu des banlieues franciliennes a une voix qui porte, quitte à faire grincer des dents, et il n’est pas du genre à la fermer quand un sujet lui tient à cœur. « Ça sert à quoi, sinon, d’être artiste ? »

« Double peine pour la famille »
Jordan, 24 ans, habitant du Breil et  «meilleur ami» d’Aboubakar se tient à ses côtés. Ils partagent la même indignation.  « Pendant 48 heures, notre ami s’est fait traiter de voyou. Il a été insulté sur les réseaux sociaux. Des commentaires racistes se sont réjouis de sa mort ! Une double peine pour sa famille,  se désole le jeune Nantais.  « Tout ça parce que la police – via les médias- a laissé croire qu’il avait été tué dans un acte de légitime défense »,  renchérit Yassine. Ils racontent : «  Ce garçon de 22 ans vivait à Nantes depuis un an et neuf mois. Ok, il avait fait des conneries à Garges-lès-Gonesses, difficile d’y échapper quand on grandit dans l’une des banlieues les plus mal famées de France. Mais, fort d’une famille très unie, aimante, il était parti à Nantes pour se reconstruire, trouver du travail. Et il est victime d’un fait divers affreux. »  Yassine Belattar ajoute : « Je suis tombé de ma chaise quand je me suis rendu compte que le policier avait menti ! »

« En Ile-de-France, ça aurait été pire »
Le drame a provoqué cinq nuits d’émeutes à Nantes : 175 voitures brûlées, une trentaine de bâtiments public et commerces dégradés ou ravagés par des incendies… Un choc pour la ville.  « En banlieue parisienne, ça aurait été bien pire, affirme Belattar.  Ici, les habitants espèrent encore dans la justice, les associations sont présentes dans des quartiers qui ne sont pas éloignés du centre-ville. Mais la violence n’est pas une solution. Ce n’est pas en brûlant une bibliothèque qu’on va faire revivre Aboubakar. Le problème des émeutes, c’est qu’au bout d’un moment, ça devient comme une espèce de jeu pour des très jeunes gens. Et dans cinq ans, à cause de ça, le gamin qui aura marqué Breil sur son CV ne va pas forcément se faire rappeler ».

« Pas un homicide raciste »
Ils ne veulent pas évoquer les suites judiciaires de cette affaire, pour laisser le champ aux avocats de la famille. Mais l’humoriste, confirmant que le CRS auteur du tir est d’origine maghrébine, balaie l’hypothèse d’un homicide raciste :  « Pour nous, ce n’est pas un Rebeu qui a tué un Noir. C’est un policier qui a tué un jeune. Voilà le problème. »  Jordan et lui espèrent que le « mensonge » initial du policier, provoquera un déclic,  « un renouveau »,  dans les relations devenues détestables entre les forces de l’ordre et les jeunes.  « C’est peut-être l’occasion d’ouvrir une nouvelle page. Il faut qu’ils se parlent. Qu’ils crèvent l’abcès pour de vrai. Oui, des policiers n’en peuvent plus de se faire insulter. Oui, certains peuvent friser le  burn-out . Oui, les gens des quartiers se font maltraiter, insultés eux aussi et ont peur de la police, contrairement aux gens des centres-villes, martèle l’humoriste.  S’il faut faire des Assises, c’est le moment. Et je suis prêt à donner un coup de main pour animer des débats. »

Voir de plus:

Rumeurs de violence à Tolbiac : un ex-candidat de la France Insoumise en Isère pris dans la tempête

Taha Bouhafs, ex-candidat de la France Insoumise aux législatives en Isère s’est retrouvé mêlé ces derniers jours aux événements de Tolbiac et aux rumeurs de violence policière. Le militant, qui a relayé des témoignages infondés est désormais la cible d’une violente campagne de dénigrement.

FT

C’est une rumeur qui a enflé depuis ce vendredi, jusqu’à prendre des proportions énormes et qui semble prendre de court aujourd’hui tous ses protagonistes. L’un d’eux, Taha Bouhafs, militant insoumis grenoblois âgé d’une vingtaine d’années est l’ex-candidat de la France insoumise aux dernières législatives en Isère.

Le candidat malheureux aux élections de juin 2017 a participé au blocus de la faculté de Tolbiac et se retrouve depuis quelques jours pris sur les charbons ardents des réseaux sociaux. Le militant, qui a relayé certaines rumeurs de violence sans avoir vérifié leur véracité est aujourd’hui la cible d’une violente campagne de dénigrement.

Une évacuation, des rumeurs confuses

Le campus de Tolbiac, occupé par des étudiants qui militaient contre la loi ORE (qui instaure une sélection à l’entrée de l’université) depuis le 26 mars dernier, a été évacué par les CRS ce vendredi tôt dans la matinée. Si l’évacuation s’est fait dans un climat de tension, les confrontations violentes redoutées n’ont finalement pas eu lieu, malgré quelques accrochages.

Pourtant, assez rapidement, une rumeur faisant état d’un blessé grave imputable à l’intervention des forces de l’ordre a été relayée sur les réseaux sociaux. Le magazine en ligne Reporterre a le premier relayé trois témoignages faisant état d’une chute grave.

Des témoignages confus évoquaient tour à tour « une chute », « une flaque de sang », « un homme inanimé » gisant au sol, « un homme entre la vie et la mort », et même un décès. Problème, personne n’a réussi au bout de plusieurs jours, à mettre la main sur ce soi-disant blessé grave et la préfecture de police a démenti cette version dès ce vendredi.

Des témoignages « fallacieux »

Face aux rumeurs de violences et au sous-entendus complotistes, Libération a finalement publié ce mardi une enquête fouillée qui démonte les rumeurs faisant état d’un blessé grave. Selon le quotidien, qui cite le magazine Reporterre, les témoins qui affirmaient avoir vu le blessé grave n’étaient pas des témoins directs et leur témoignage est infondé. Reporterre, qui a mené en interne une contre-enquête va dans le même sens et reconnaît que ces témoignages étaient « fallacieux« .

Taha Bouhafs, qui était à Tolbiac au moment de l’évacuation persiste pourtant et remet en cause l’enquête de Libé. Le militant insoumis, dans un post Facebook aux accents victimaires, accuse le quotidien national de « mensonges et de calomnie« . Il assure que le contact des témoins a été « refusé » à la journaliste pour les « protéger » car ils ont « rendez-vous dans la semaine avec l’avocat« .

Là aussi, Reporterre met à mal cette version et assure que l’un des prétendus témoins, qui devait rencontrer un avocat, a fait faux-bond deux fois au rendez-vous juridique…

Taha Bouhafs est depuis ce mercredi ciblé sur les réseaux sociaux, par des internautes qui lui reprochent d’avoir relayé des accusations graves sans les avoir vérifiées. Il avait également affirmé dans un Tweet que « les CRS avaient épongé le sang des étudiants à l’intérieur de la Fac pour ne laisser aucune trace » (son compte Twitter est aujourd’hui protégé).

Mais le jeune homme est également pris pour cible par des commentaires injurieux, dont certains aux relents clairement racistes, d’autres appelant à la violence.

Histoire d’ajouter de l’huile sur le feu, le député FN Gilbert Collard a publié une vidéo de l’évacuation où on voit Taha Bouhafs face aux forces de l’ordre.
Le jeune homme, visiblement à bout de nerf, interpelle et insulte les CRS impassibles qui l’empêchent de franchir le cordon de sécurité.

En légende de la vidéo, le député frontiste regrette que le jeune homme « n’ait pas pris de tarte avec ou sans crème »…

« Jamais je n’ai affirmé ou même laissé croire que j’aurais été témoin de la scène »

Face au flot de critiques, le militant a publié un nouveau communiqué ce mercredi, il y assure que « l’évacuation ne s’est pas faite dans le calme » mais reconnaît ne pas avoir été « témoin direct de l’événement« .

Contacté par la rédaction de France 3, Taha Bouhafs n’a pour le moment pas directement répondu à nos questions.

Voir encore:

Blessé grave à Tolbiac: un témoin avoue avoir menti, le site «Reporterre» rétropédale

«Libération» a enquêté sur la rumeur d’un blessé grave lors de l’évacuation du campus parisien. Aucun élément ne vient l’accréditer. Mercredi, «Reporterre», qui citait trois témoins directs du «drame», va publier une enquête pour revenir sur ses premiers articles
Pauline Moullot
Libération
24 avril 2018

La rumeur finit de se dégonfler. Elle courait depuis l’évacuation de Tolbiac: un étudiant aurait chuté et serait tombé dans le coma. Malgré les démentis (de la préfecture, des hôpitaux) ce week-end, l’affirmation a continué à circuler, se nourrissant même des démentis officiels pour instiller le soupçon d’un mensonge d’Etat… Libération a enquêté. Plusieurs riverains, dont les fenêtres donnent directement sur l’endroit de la chute supposée, confirment formellement n’avoir vu ni ambulance, ni pompiers, ni chute. Nous n’avons retrouvé aucun témoin direct ayant vu la scène. Au contraire, Leïla, l’une des trois témoins principaux cités par les médias ayant accrédité cette rumeur, nous a avoué avoir menti. Le magazine en ligne Reporterre, qui a le premier relayé des témoignages faisant état d’une chute grave, nous a confirmé «après enquête» que ces témoignages ne sont pas fiables. Ils révèlent à Libération qu’ils publieront un article (publié depuis) revenant sur leur premier article. Récit d’une rumeur.

Comme nous l’expliquions dans une réponse CheckNews, des rumeurs faisant état d’un étudiant mort, puis dans le coma et gravement blessé ont commencé à circuler vendredi après-midi. Plusieurs heures déjà après l’évacuation. Tout s’emballe en milieu d’après-midi, quand le journal en ligne Reporterre publie plusieurs témoignages affirmant qu’un étudiant aurait chuté en tentant de s’enfuir: «Un baqueux lui a chopé la cheville. Ça l’a déséquilibré, et le camarade est tombé du haut du toit, en plein sur le nez. On a voulu le réanimer. Il ne bougeait pas. Du sang sortait de ses oreilles…» Un deuxième témoin aurait assisté à la scène. Et un troisième aurait vu le corps et les flaques de sang. Car, selon les étudiants, des policiers ou équipes de nettoyage de la Ville de Paris (selon les versions) auraient nettoyé des traces de sang. Problème: on ignore l’identité de la victime présumée, son état, et l’hôpital où elle aurait été transférée.

Rumeur qui persiste

Plusieurs médias reprennent ces informations: Politis relaie les témoignages de deux témoins; le Média diffuse le témoignage d’une jeune fille, Leïla, qui raconte avoir vu du sang lui sortir par les oreilles; et Marianne reprend le récit d’une responsable de l’Unef affirmant qu’un étudiant est dans le coma, avant de se corriger pour écrire «gravement blessé», puis de finalement reprendre le démenti de la préfecture.

Car au fur et à mesure de la journée, la préfecture dément à deux reprises qu’un étudiant ait été gravement blessé. L’université dit se fier au communiqué de la préfecture et affirme que ses équipes de sécurité n’ont vu aucune scène de ce genre. Le ministère de l’Intérieur confirme le démenti, mais la rumeur continue de persister. Vendredi soir, en assemblée générale sur le site de Censier à Paris-III, des étudiants affirment que la victime serait un migrant, ce qui expliquerait notamment qu’aucun proche ne se soit manifesté…

Samedi matin, Reporterre maintient son information et publie trois témoignages. Il y aurait deux témoins directs et une troisième personne ayant vu le corps à terre. Dans la foulée, SUD Santé, qui a cherché sans succès où la personne blessée aurait pu être hospitalisée, s’interroge dans un communiqué sur une «rumeur ou [un] mensonge d’Etat». «Nous savons qu’un patient a été proposé à la grande garde de neurochirurgie mais refusé parce que ne relevant pas de la chirurgie et transféré dans un autre établissement, note le syndicat sans qu’aucun lien direct ne soit établi avec Tolbiac. Les faits sont pour pour le moins troublants», conclut-il en demandant à l’APHP de «lever le voile sur cette affaire».

Samedi après-midi, c’est au tour des hopitaux de Paris de communiquer… en démentant la rumeur.

Que ce soit vendredi ou samedi, Reporterre a mis à jour ses articles au fur et à mesure. Notamment en publiant des démentis contredisant leurs témoignages, dont celui de Mao Peninou, maire adjoint chargé de la propreté de la Ville de Paris: « Nous avons mené une enquête dans nos services. Qui conclut que n’avons ni nettoyé ni repéré de taches de sang ou quoi que ce soit de ressemblant à Tolbiac ou dans ses environs.» Une témoin citée par Reporterre confirme pourtant que des traces ont été nettoyées.

Reporterre de moins en moins affirmatif

Résumons la situation en fin de week-end: d’un côté, plusieurs témoins continuent d’être cités pour affirmer qu’une personne est grièvement blessée. De l’autre, les autorités dans leur ensemble démentent formellement. Lundi matin, quand on commence à revenir à froid sur l’enquête, les étudiants et SUD AP-HP renvoient vers l’article de Reporterre. Sauf que le site, de son côté, commence à être moins sûr…

Le fondateur du site et rédacteur en chef, Hervé Kempf, explique à Libération qu’un des témoignages évoqués brièvement dans l’article publié vendredi soir, s’est révélé faux. On y lisait: «Selon un.e membre de la « Commune libre de Tolbiac » et ami.e de l’étudiant blessé, contacté.e par Reporterre, son camarade a été transporté à l’hôpital Cochin, à Paris. Le personnel hospitalier lui a confirmé l’arrivée d’un étudiant de Tolbiac, inconscient. L’étudiant, inscrit à Tolbiac, est âgé d’une vingtaine d’années. Il est membre de la Commune libre.» Sauf que «l’ami», n’a plus jamais répondu aux sollicitations de Reporterre. «Peu après, on a eu le démenti de SUD Santé [disant n’avoir aucune confirmation d’une hospitalisation, ndlr] et on l’a publié à la suite.» Hervé Kempf explique avoir conservé l’article en l’état, sans le retirer et en publiant les démentis au fur et à mesure, dans un souci de transparence. «S’il s’avère que les témoignages ne sont pas fiables, on le dira», prévient-il alors.

Libération a cherché à entrer en contact avec les autres témoins cités. En vain. Il s’avère que le témoin clé, Désiré dans l’article de Reporterre, est injoignable: il protégerait son identité. Le deuxième témoin, selon la Commune libre de Tolbiac, serait beaucoup plus difficile à joindre, dit-on sur un ton un peu embarrassé. A mi-mots, on nous concède que sa fiabilité commence à être mise en doute. Quant au troisième témoin de Reporterre, celui qui a vu la flaque, les étudiants ignorent qui il est. On apprendra par la suite qu’il s’agit de Leïla, l’étudiante qui racontait au Média que «la première chose qu’on a vue […], c’est un gars devant les grilles, la tête complètement explosée, une flaque de sang énorme». Contactée par Libération, elle reconnaît pourtant avoir menti… tout en continuant d’affirmer qu’il y a bien eu un blessé grave. Mais elle ne l’a pas vu : «Je ne suis pas un témoin visuel. Les témoins ne veulent pas parler aux médias, c’est pourquoi nous relatons les faits.» 

Flaque de sang nettoyée ?

La rumeur s’appuie donc finalement sur deux témoins… introuvables. Un avocat aurait été contacté, mais n’aurait finalement pas pris le dossier. Impossible de le contacter aussi. Des riverains auraient-ils pu assister à la scène? On nous parle d’une passante qui, dans un bus, aurait aperçu un camion de pompiers… Les étudiants ont mis sur pied une équipe d’enquête, qui n’a en fait rien de plus que les témoignages. Ni vidéo, ni photos…

Une enquête de voisinage a été menée par Libération dans l’immeuble qui donne sur la rue Baudricourt (où auraient eu lieu les faits) et les fameux parapets de l’université. Six riverains, réveillés au moment de l’évacuation et qui l’ont regardée par leurs fenêtres, assurent formellement n’avoir ni vu, ni entendu aucune ambulance, camion de pompiers ou gyrophare. Personne non plus nettoyant d’éventuelles flaques de sang.

Contacté par Libération, mardi soir, Reporterre a affirmé avoir fini son enquête. Et en conclut donc que les témoignages cités dans leurs précédents articles n’étaient pas fiables. Les journalistes «n’arrivent pas à remettre la main» sur les témoins, et Désiré, «qui avait pourtant tout consigné dans un récit écrit très cohérent» (qui sera publié sur le site mercredi matin), a fait deux fois faux bond à l’avocat contacté par les étudiants. Le journal en ligne explique donc qu’il reviendra sur cette enquête, «en expliquant le contexte de l’intervention, avec des étudiants choqués, dans un état d’excitation, de peur et de colère», dans un article finalement publié mardi soir.

Vendredi, à l’aube, les CRS ont débarqué dans l’université occupée. Une opération «sans incident» pour les autorités, mais les étudiants parlent de matraques et de blessures.

Voir par ailleurs:

Incidents après la victoire des Bleus : deux morts, des heurts et 292 gardes à vue

V.F. avec AFP
Le Parisien
16 juillet 2018

La célébration de la victoire des Bleus a été endeuillée par deux accidents mortels et marquée par de nombreux incidents à Paris et en province.

La victoire des Bleus en finale de la Coupe du monde de football, dimanche, à Moscou, a été endeuillée par deux accidents mortels, dans l’Oise et en Haute-Savoie. Lors de cette soirée, des heurts opposant notamment forces de l’ordre et « casseurs » ont également éclaté dimanche à Paris et en régions, en marge des rassemblements festifs célébrant la victoire française.

Un total de 292 personnes ont été placées en garde à vue dans toute la France, selon le bilan établi lundi par le ministère de l’Intérieur. Quarante-cinq policiers et gendarmes ont été blessés au cours d’incidents mais aucun ne l’a été gravement, a précisé le porte-parole du ministère.

Quand les Champs-Elysées explosent de joie au coup de sifflet final Deux accidents mortels. La victoire des Bleus a été endeuillée par plusieurs accidents graves, dont deux mortels. A Annecy (Haute-Savoie), un quinquagénaire s’est tué en plongeant dans un canal, dans une trop faible profondeur d’eau. A Saint-Félix (Oise), un automobiliste qui faisait la fête tout en conduisant est mort après avoir encastré sa voiture dans un platane.

Trois enfants, âgés de 3 et 6 ans, ont été gravement blessés après avoir été percutés par une moto à Frouard (Meurthe-et-Moselle).

A Toul (Meurthe-et-Moselle), un policier a été blessé dans une échauffourée et un spectateur touché par l’explosion d’un pétard, selon L’Est Républicain.

A Aubenas (Ardèches), trois piétons marchant sur le trottoir ont été heurtés par un automobiliste, rapporte le Dauphiné. Très légèrement blessés, ils ont été transportés au centre hospitalier.

A La Flèche (Sarthe), une femme a été blessée et hospitalisée dimanche soir après avoir chuté de la plateforme d’un pick-up explique Ouest France.

Des blessés et 102 interpellations à Paris. 102 personnes ont été interpellées dimanche soir à Paris, et 90 d’entre elles placées en garde à vue, a annoncé lundi le préfet de police de Paris. De nombreux blessés sont à déplorer.

« Compte tenu de la foule présente et malgré des débordements inacceptables, on doit enregistrer un bilan mesuré », a souligné le préfet Michel Delpuech, lors d’une conférence de presse.

Ailleurs en Ile-de-France, 24 voitures ont brûlé dans le département de la Seine-Saint-Denis et la fête a été gâchée en Essonne (voitures de police caillassées, affrontements entre bandes et incendies en série). Des voitures ont également brûlé en Seine-et-Marne et dans le Val-de-Marne. Une cinquantaine de personnes ont été interpellées ce week-end dans le Val-d’Oise.

Trente interpellations après les violences à Lyon. Les forces de l’ordre ont interpellé 30 personnes dimanche soir à Lyon après les violences, vols et échauffourées.

Parmi elles, 18 ont été placées en garde à vue pour des « vols » par effraction après le saccage, notamment, d’une boutique de vêtements Lacoste et d’une vitrine du grand magasin Le Printemps au centre-ville.

Les 12 autres sont mises en cause pour des « violences » et « jets de projectiles » sur les forces de l’ordre, ces affrontements sur la presqu’île et dans le quartier de la Guillotière ayant fait 11 blessés légers parmi les 360 gendarmes et policiers mobilisés pour encadrer la soirée.

Le Drugstore des Champs-Elysées pillé par des casseurs. Dans la capitale, une trentaine de casseurs ont pénétré avant 22 heures dans le Drugstore Publicis des Champs-Elysées, pillant notamment bouteilles de vin ou de champagne, avant d’être dispersés par les forces de l’ordre qui se sont ensuite employées à protéger l’entrée du magasin. Au moins deux autres supérettes ont également fait l’objet de pillages.

Champs-Elysées : des casseurs pillent le Drugstore Publicis Des échauffourées ont éclaté sporadiquement sur la prestigieuse avenue entre forces de l’ordre et groupes de « casseurs », les gaz lacrymogènes répondant aux jets de bouteilles ou de chaises. L’avenue s’est progressivement vidée des centaines de milliers fêtards qui y ont célébré la victoire des Bleus dès le coup de sifflet final. Vers 23 h 30, les forces de l’ordre ont fait usage d’engins lanceurs d’eau pour disperser les derniers fauteurs de troubles.

Deux hommes grièvement blessés à Paris. Un homme a reçu un violent coup de casque lors d’une rixe survenue vers 21 h 10 à proximité des Champs-Elysées. Il a été hospitalisé dans un état grave, selon une source policière.

Un peu plus tard dans la soirée, vers 23 h 30, le conducteur d’un scooter, sans saque, s’est engagé à contresens de la circulation sur le boulevard périphérique extérieur au niveau de la porte de Champerret dans le 17e arrondissement rapporte Le Point. Le pilote a heurté de plein fouet une automobile puis un deux-roues. Il a été transporté dans un état critique vers l’hôpital du Kremlin-Bicêtre dans le Val-de-Marne.

Ailleurs en Ile-de-France, quelque 24 voitures ont brûlé en Seine-Saint-Denis et de nombreux incidents ont gâché la fête en Essonne (voitures de police caillassées, affrontements entre bandes, incendies en série). Des voitures ont également brûlé en Seine-et Marne et dans le Val-de-Marne. Une cinquantaine de personnes ont été interpellées ce week-end dans le Val-d’Oise.

Incidents à Marseille. Plusieurs incidents ont éclaté, notamment autour du Vieux-Port et de la fan zone. « ll y a eu de nombreux jets de projectiles, deux membres des forces de l’ordre ont été blessés, et 10 personnes ont été interpellées », a rapporté un porte-parole de la police. Peu avant 23 heures, la situation était redevenue calme.

A Nantes, sept personnes ont été interpellées dimanche soir pour notamment des jets de projectiles sur les forces de l’ordre quai de Turenne indique une journaliste de Presse Océan sur Twitter.

A Ajaccio, des échauffourées ont éclaté après le coup de sifflet final entre des supporteurs de l’équipe de France qui fêtaient la victoire et des personnes affirmant soutenir la Croatie, ont rapporté les pompiers et les services de la préfecture. Il n’y a pas eu de blessés.

A Strasbourg ou à Rouen, des heurts sporadiques ont opposé des jeunes aux forces de l’ordre, les gaz lacrymogènes répondant aux jets de projectiles. Sept personnes ont été interpellées à Rouen, a rapporté la préfecture.

Voir de plus:

« L’Afrique a gagné la Coupe du monde ! » : La blague raciste de Trevor Noah dans « The Daily Show »
Florian Guadalupe
Téléstar
17 Juillet 2018

Une blague très douteuse. Hier soir, dans « The Daily Show », un late show américain de la chaîne Comedy Central, l’animateur Trevor Noah a commenté la victoire de l’équipe de France à la Coupe du monde de football en Russie. Après avoir diffusé un zapping des réactions médiatiques au sacre des joueurs tricolores, le présentateur s’est amusé à assimiler les joueurs menés par Didier Deschamps à des Africains.

« Vous n’avez pas ce bronzage dans le sud de la France »

« Oui ! Oui ! Je suis tellement heureux ! L’Afrique a gagné la Coupe du monde ! L’Afrique a gagné la Coupe du monde !« , a chanté Trevor Noah, en croisant les bras, clin d’oeil au film « Black Panther », et geste notamment repris par la communauté afro-américaine. Il a ensuite poursuivi en montrant les joueurs tricolores titulaires lors de la finale contre la Croatie : « Je sais bien, je sais bien. Il faut dire que c’est l’équipe de France. Mais regardez ces gars, hein ? Regardez ces gars !« . Et d’enchaîner : « Vous n’avez pas ce bronzage en vous promenant dans le sud de la France, les mecs. La France est devenue l’équipe de rechange de l’Afrique, une fois que le Nigeria et le Sénégal ont été éliminés« . puremedias.com vous propose de visionner la séquence.

En Italie, les réseaux sociaux ont été le réceptacle de nombreux propos racistes envers l’équipe de France, victorieuse. « Ce n’est pas la France qui a gagné, c’est l’Afrique« , a par exemple titré « La Repubblica », citant un commentaire lu sur les réseaux sociaux, dans un article les dénonçant. Dans le journal le plus vendu du pays, le « Corriere della Sera », un journaliste a tenu pour sa part des propos douteux : « Une équipe pleine de champions africains mélangés à de très bons joueurs blancs face à une équipe seulement de blancs d’un pays au centre de trois grandes écoles de football, celle slave, allemande et italienne.« 

« C’est l’Afrique qui a gagné »

Auparavant, le président vénézuélien avait déjà dérapé après le sacre des Bleus, en déclarant : « L’équipe de France ressemblait à l’équipe d’Afrique, en vrai, c’est l’Afrique qui a gagné (…) L’Afrique a tellement été méprisée et dans ce mondial, la France gagne grâce aux joueurs africains ou fils d’Africains

Voir aussi:

« Honteux » : Nagui réagit au dérapage raciste de Trevor Noah sur l’Équipe de France
Clément Garin
Téléstar
19 juillet 2018

L’animateur de Tout le monde veut prendre sa place et N’oubliez pas les paroles a réagi à la blague douteuse faite par l’animateur américain Trevor Noah, affirmant que l’Afrique avait remporté la Coupe du monde.

Trevor Noah se croyait-il vraiment drôle en annonçant l’Afrique gagnante de la Coupe du monde ? En voulant faire une « blague », l’animateur américain a provoqué une vive polémique en France. Sur le plateau du Daily Show, Trevor Noah a félicité les joueurs de l’Équipe de France tout en les ramenant honteusement à leurs origines : « Je sais que ce sont les joueurs de l’équipe de France, mais regardez ces gars-là ».

Très vite, le sketch a fait le tour du monde, et l’animateur doit aujourd’hui faire face à une véritable volée de bois vert sur les réseaux sociaux. Accusé de racisme par des centaines de milliers d’internautes, Trevor Noah a même fait réagir Nagui. Très fan des Bleus, qu’il est allé supporté durant toute la Coupe du monde en Russie, l’animateur de N’oubliez pas les paroles et de Tout le monde veut prendre sa place a commenté ce dérapage sur Twitter : « Honteux et surtout pas drôle ».

Benjamin Mendy répond aux tweets racistes

Reste à savoir quelle suite va être donnée à ce dérapage aux États-Unis. L’animateur réagira-t-il de lui-même à la polémique ? La chaîne Comedy Central va-t-elle, de facto, s’en mêler ? Depuis plusieurs jours, les Bleus champions du monde font face à de nombreux commentaires racistes sur les réseaux sociaux, poussant même Benjamin Mendy à répondre à SPORF avec un tweet liké près de 150 000 fois.

Voir également:

Trevor Noah répond à la polémique qu’il a lancée sur la victoire des Bleus : « C’est le miroir du colonialisme de la France »
Clément Garin
Téléstar
19 juillet 2018

Il y a quelques jours, l’animateur américain Trevor Noah félicitait « les Africains » d’avoir remporté la Coupe du monde. Une blague douteuse qu’il a tenté d’expliquer ce mercredi sur le plateau du Daily Show.

La polémique ne désemplit pas. Lundi dernier, sur le plateau du Daily Show, l’animateur vedette Trevor Noah évoquait la victoire des Bleus à la Coupe du monde en félicitant les « Africains » champions du monde. Une supposée blague qui n’a pas été appréciée, et qui a provoqué un véritable tollé en France. Ce mercredi, l’animateur s’est expliqué, sans pour autant s’excuser.

Évoquant ce qui est pour lui « le miroir du colonialisme en France », Trevor Noah a estimé que les Bleus étaient les simples représentants de « la diversité » française : « Ils ont été éduqués en France, ils ont appris à joueur au football en France, ils sont des citoyens français. Ils sont fiers de leur pays, la France. Les origines riches et variées de ces joueurs sont le miroir de la diversité de la France. Maintenant, je ne veux pas passer pour un trou du cul, mais je pense que c’est plus le miroir du colonialisme de la France » a estimé l’animateur.

« Si vous tracez la lignée de ces joueurs, vous verrez comment ils sont devenus Français, comment leur famille a appris la langue française » a osé Trevor Noah, assumant les nombreuses critiques et insultes qu’il a reçues sur les réseaux sociaux, et s’en prenant aux « nazis de France qui utilisent le fait que ces joueurs ont des origines africaines pour chier sur leur identité française« . Trevor Noah a tenu à indiquer que toutes les « personnes noires » du monde ont célébrité la victoire des joueurs français en raison de leur « identité africaine ».

« Je partage avec eux l’identité africaine qui est la mienne »

« J’ai trouvé ces arguments bizarres de dire qu’ils ne sont pas Africains, ils sont Français. Pourquoi ne peuvent-ils pas être les deux ? Pourquoi cette réflexion binaire de devoir choisir un groupe de personne ? Pourquoi ne peuvent-ils pas être africains ? Dans ce que je lis, pour être français, il faut effacer tout ce qui te lie à l’Afrique. Quand je dis qu’ils sont Africains, je ne le dis pas pour exclure leur identité française, mais je le fais pour les inclure et partager avec eux l’identité africaine qui est la mienne. Je leurs dis : je vous vois mes frères français d’origine africaine » a conclu l’animateur. La boucle est bouclée.

Voir enfin:

Laurent Bouvet: « Si la gauche, c’est ça, alors il n’y a plus de gauche »

Entretien avec le fondateur du Printemps républicain (1/3)


Universitaire et républicain de gauche membre du Parti socialiste jusqu’en 2007, Laurent Bouvet a créé en 2016 le Printemps républicain, un mouvement en pointe dans la défense de la laïcité et le combat contre l’islamisme et l’antisémitisme. Entretien (1/3). 


Franck Crudo : Une interview entre deux mâles blancs de bientôt plus de 50 ans, ça craint un peu par les temps qui courent non ? Que vous inspire cette terminologie employée de plus en plus souvent, y compris au plus haut sommet de l’Etat ?

Laurent Bouvet : Ça m’inspire toujours la même chose, depuis que j’ai rencontré pour la première fois cette manière de désigner les gens à raison de tel ou tel critère de leur identité, dans les années 1990 sur les campus américains que j’ai fréquentés pour faire ma thèse de doctorat : un mouvement immédiat de répulsion à l’égard de tout identitarisme, donc de tout essentialisme. Il faut se tenir le plus loin possible de cette manière de parler, de faire, de penser. Elle est contraire à l’humanisme universaliste qui est pour moi le socle d’un monde et d’une société vivables.

Dans le même ordre d’idée, Alain Finkielkraut écrit : « Un Arabe qui brûle une école c’est une révolte. Un blanc qui brûle une école, c’est du fascisme… »

Ce que dénonce ici Alain Finkielkraut, et il a entièrement raison, c’est le deux poids deux mesures qui est pratiqué par une partie des médias notamment, ou encore par une partie du monde politique, et, bien sûr, par une partie du monde académique, dans les sciences sociales notamment. Or on devrait pouvoir se mettre d’accord, malgré nos divergences politiques, sur le fait que quelqu’un qui brûle une école doit être jugé en fonction de son acte, criminel, et non de tel ou tel critère de son identité. Ça vaut pour tout.

Comment expliquez-vous qu’une partie de nos élites républicaines soit autant dans le déni voire la compromission vis-à-vis de l’islam radical et abandonne les valeurs de la République et des Lumières (sur la laïcité, l’égalité homme-femme, la liberté d’expression, etc.) au nom de l’antiracisme ?

On ne peut que constater et regretter, d’abord, qu’il existe des raisons électoralistes et clientélistes, à l’attitude de certains élus ou candidats, dans certaines villes, dans certains quartiers, à l’égard de représentants ou supposés tels, de l’islam radical, dans ses différentes acceptions : salafiste, frériste… Ça n’est d’ailleurs pas propre à la politique, cela existe aussi dans le syndicalisme, dans l’entreprise, dans les services publics. Le raisonnement qui conduit à ce genre de considérations est en général assez sommaire : il s’agit de gagner des élections, d’acheter la paix sociale…

C’est surtout un raisonnement à court terme, car le résultat est toujours le renforcement de cet islam radical, de son image, de ses moyens, en particulier auprès des musulmans. Et le calcul (d’intérêt) conduit donc le plus souvent à un résultat inverse à celui qui était attendu. Le problème est que l’on est là dans un phénomène assez large qui fonctionne comme une échelle de perroquet : il est très difficile, voire impossible, dès lors que l’on a fait une concession ou accepté une demande de revenir en arrière.

Y a-t-il uniquement des raisons électoralistes ? 

Non, il n’y a pas que de l’électoralisme ou du calcul d’intérêts immédiats. Il y a aussi une explication plus large, de nature à la fois historique et idéologique, du fait que certains acteurs politiques et sociaux se montrent complaisants voire favorables vis-à-vis de l’islam radical. On peut essayer de résumer cette inclination à partir de ce que j’appellerai ici le complexe colonial.

Dans le cas français spécialement, et européen plus largement, la colonisation a particulièrement concerné des populations de religion musulmane. Depuis la décolonisation d’une part et la fin des grands récits de l’émancipation nationaliste ou anti-impérialiste d’autre part, une forme de pensée post-coloniale s’est développée, accompagnée des désormais incontournables « études » qui vont avec dans le monde universitaire. Elle est appuyée sur une idée simple: l’homme « blanc », européen, occidental, chrétien (et juif aussi) est resté fondamentalement un colonisateur en raison de traits qui lui seraient propres, par essence en quelque sorte : raciste, impérialiste, dominateur, etc. Par conséquent, les anciens colonisés sont restés des dominés, des victimes de cet homme « blanc », européen, occidental, judéo-chrétien…

À partir des années 1970, à l’occasion de la crise économique qui commence et de l’installation d’une immigration venue de ses anciennes colonies, cette manière de voir postcoloniale va peu à peu phagocyter la pensée de l’émancipation ouvrière classique et de la lutte des classes qui s’est développée depuis la Révolution industrielle et incarnée dans le socialisme notamment. La figure du « damné de la terre » va ainsi se replier sur celle de l’ancien colonisé, donc de l’immigré désormais, c’est-à-dire celui qui est différent, qui est « l’autre ». Non plus principalement à raison de sa position dans le processus de production économique ou de sa situation sociale mais de son pays d’origine, de la couleur de sa peau, de son origine ethnique puis, plus récemment, de sa religion. Et ce, précisément au moment même où de nouvelles lectures, radicalisées, de l’islam deviennent des outils de contestation des régimes en place dans le monde arabo-musulman.

Notre histoire et cette vision purement idéologique expliquent ainsi qu’une partie de la gauche fasse aujourd’hui de l’islam la religion des opprimés et des musulmans les nouveaux damnés de la terre… ?

Oui. Toute une partie de la gauche, politique, associative, syndicale, intellectuelle, orpheline du grand récit socialiste et communiste, va trouver dans le combat pour ces nouveaux damnés de la terre une nouvelle raison d’être alors qu’elle se convertit très largement aux différentes formes du libéralisme. Politique avec les droits de l’Homme et la démocratie libérale contre les résidus du totalitarisme communiste ; économique avec la loi du marché et le capitalisme financier contre l’étatisme et le keynésianisme ; culturel avec l’émancipation individuelle à raison de l’identité propre de chacun plutôt que collective. En France, la forme d’antiracisme qui se développe dans les années 1980 sous la gauche au pouvoir témoigne bien de cette évolution.

À partir de là, on peut aisément dérouler l’histoire des trente ou quarante dernières années pour arriver à la situation actuelle. Être du côté des victimes et des dominés permet de se donner une contenance morale voire un but politique alors que l’on a renoncé, dans les faits sinon dans le discours, à toute idée d’émancipation collective et de transformation de la société autrement qu’au travers de l’attribution de droits individuels aux victimes et aux dominés précisément. À partir du moment où ces victimes et ces dominés sont incarnés dans la figure de « l’autre» que soi-même, ils ne peuvent en aucun cas avoir tort et tout ce qu’ils font, disent, revendiquent, devient un élément indissociable de leur identité de victime et de dominé. Dans un tel cadre, l’homme « blanc », européen, occidental, judéo-chrétien… ne peut donc jamais, par construction, avoir raison, quoi qu’il dise ou fasse. Il est toujours déjà coupable et dominateur. On retrouve là la dérive essentialiste dont on parlait plus haut.

Pour toute une partie de la gauche, chez les intellectuels notamment, tout ceci est devenu une doxa. Tout questionnement, toute remise en question, toute critique étant instantanément considérée à la fois comme une mécompréhension tragique de la société, de l’Histoire et des véritables enjeux contemporains. Mais aussi comme une atteinte insupportable au Bien, à la seule et unique morale, et comme le signe d’une attitude profondément réactionnaire, raciste, « islamophobe », etc.

C’est pour cette raison, me semble-t-il, que l’on retrouve aujourd’hui, dans le débat intellectuel et plus largement public, une violence que l’on avait oubliée depuis l’époque de la guerre froide. Tout désaccord, toute nuance, tout questionnement est y immédiatement disqualifié.

L’un des exemples les plus frappants, ce sont ces féministes qui relèguent au second plan leur combat en tentant de minimiser une triste réalité, voire même une horreur (Caroline de Haas au sujet du harcèlement dans le quartier de la Chapelle, Clémentine Autain après les viols de Cologne, etc.). Comment expliquer qu’un antiracisme à ce point dévoyé écrase toutes les autres valeurs, y compris le féminisme chez certaines féministes ?

C’est la suite logique de ce que nous disions plus haut. Ce qui est intéressant en l’espèce, chez ces « nouvelles » féministes – on pourrait plutôt parler de post-féminisme d’ailleurs -, c’est qu’elles enrobent leur discours de toute une rhétorique  dite « intersectionnelle » du nom du concept forgé par l’universitaire Kimberlé Crenshaw en 1993 (dans un article de la Stanford Law Review). Le but est de montrer que la lutte féministe et la lutte antiraciste peuvent se recouper pour défendre les minorités opprimées après les difficultés des mouvements identitaires des années 1970-80 à unir leurs forces (notamment après l’échec des « Rainbow Coalitions »1 et l’affaire Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas2) et à s’articuler ensuite aux revendications sociales.

Or, ce qui pouvait être adapté aux Etats-Unis des années 1980-90 ne l’est pas à la France d’aujourd’hui, pour tout un ensemble de raisons qu’il serait long de détailler ici. Tout ce discours que l’on retrouve dans l’idée de convergence des luttes également ces derniers temps masque en réalité une forme de hiérarchisation implicite entre les différentes minorités à défendre. Et, comme on le constate à chaque fois, les exemples que vous citez sont très clairs : ce ne sont pas les femmes qui sont en haut de la liste, ni d’ailleurs les homosexuels. Ce qui prévaut systématiquement, y compris chez ces post-féministes, c’est l’attention à des critères identitaires de type ethno-raciaux ou religieux. Ce qui induit d’étranges alliances et de bien plus étranges contradictions encore puisque, par exemple, on retrouve des militants du progressisme des mœurs, favorables aux droits des femmes ou des homosexuels aux côtés de militants islamistes qui sont très conservateurs en matière de mœurs.

Dans ce post-féminisme, on n’hésite plus désormais à parler d’émancipation de la femme à propos de jeunes filles portant le voile islamique, au prétexte qu’elles auraient librement choisi de se soumettre à des règles religieuses qui sont pourtant explicitement contraires à l’égalité entre hommes et femmes. La confusion est totale, sur le plan philosophique, entre liberté, consentement et choix. Mais aussi sur le plan politique puisque dans toute une partie de la gauche, ce genre de renversement idéologique apparaît désormais comme tout à fait normal. On en a eu récemment un exemple frappant avec l’affaire de la présidente de la section de l’Unef de Paris-Sorbonne, qui porte un voile islamique.

Le racisme et l’antiracisme ne sont-ils pas au final l’avers et le revers de la même médaille ? Cette tendance à tout racialiser, à catégoriser les individus en fonction de la couleur de leur peau…

Oui, il y a un dévoiement d’une partie de la lutte antiraciste, devenue relativiste et essentialiste. Là encore, le fait que des organisations (associations, syndicats, partis) qui se réclament de la gauche, du projet progressiste, de l’émancipation collective… en viennent à adopter ou à justifier l’idée qu’on puisse se rassembler dans des réunions « non mixtes », entre « racisés », pour lutter contre le racisme, est d’une incohérence philosophique et politique totale. Si la gauche, c’est ça, alors il n’y a plus de gauche. C’est aussi simple que cela. Tout le combat historique pour l’universalisme, l’humanisme, contre le racisme, pour l’émancipation… perd son sens.

Derrière de telles idées, on trouve finalement une forme de racisme brut et qui ne se cache même plus chez certains auteurs et certains militants de la mouvance dite « décoloniale » ou « indigéniste ». Je pense à Houria Bouteldja notamment dans son livre Les Blancs, les Juifs et nous paru en 2016. Ce racisme, venu du raisonnement sur la colonisation dont on parlait plus haut, conduit à rendre responsables et coupables de toutes les injustices, de toutes les discriminations et de tous les crimes… les « blancs », par un processus d’essentialisation pur et simple.

De telles idées sont ultra-minoritaires, mais cela ne les rend pas moins dangereuses par le véritable terrorisme intellectuel qu’elles font peser sur toute cette gauche, sur nombre de médias notamment qui n’osent pas en révéler le caractère aussi fallacieux intellectuellement que destructeur politiquement et socialement. S’il y a un politiquement correct, c’est bien là qu’il se trouve : dans le refus non seulement de dire ce que l’on voit mais surtout de voir ce que l’on voit comme nous y incitait Péguy. Et gare à celui, surtout s’il est un « mâle blanc », qui ose ne serait-ce que constater cette dérive. Il sera immédiatement accusé d’être à son tour un « identitaire » et, évidemment, raciste, sexiste, islamophobe… Toute réalité, on n’ose même pas parler de vérité, est abolie au profit d’une vision purement idéologique qui ne fonctionne que par la terreur qu’elle fait régner.

Face à cela, il faut garder le calme des vieilles troupes, et continuer de se battre pour un antiracisme fondé sur l’universalisme et l’humanisme. En développant les mesures concrètes et les moyens des politiques publiques contre toutes les discriminations. En s’engageant, publiquement, avec détermination et rigueur pour défendre les principes qui, depuis deux cents ans, sont ceux qui ont permis l’émancipation de tous, sans distinction de sexe, de race, de religion, d’origine.

Voir par ailleurs:

Yahya Sinwar, chef du Hamas à Gaza : Nos hommes ont quitté leurs uniformes militaires pour rejoindre les marches ; nous avons décidé de créer un barrage avec les corps de nos femmes et enfants

MEMRI

27 mai 2018

Voir les extraits vidéo sur MEMRI TV

Yahya Al-Sinwar, chef du Hamas à Gaza, a souligné dans une interview accordée à Al-Jazira que même si le Hamas a choisi la méthode « merveilleuse et civilisée » des affrontements non armés, il n’hésiterait pas à recourir de nouveau à la lutte armée, le cas échéant. Selon lui, les membres du Hamas auraient pu « faire pleuvoir des milliers de missiles » sur les villes israéliennes, mais ont plutôt choisi de quitter leurs uniformes militaires et de rejoindre les marches. Il a ajouté que, face aux images de la nouvelle ambassade des Etats-Unis à Jérusalem, les Palestiniens avaient donné une image d’héroïsme et de détermination avec leurs sacrifices, « le sacrifice de leurs enfants comme offrande pour Jérusalem et le droit au retour ».

« Lorsque nous avons décidé de nous lancer dans ces marches, nous avons décidé de transformer ce qui nous est le plus cher – les corps de nos femmes et de nos enfants – en un barrage empêchant l’effondrement de la réalité arabe », a-t-il déclaré. Extraits : 

Les objectifs de la « Marche du retour » : rétablir le droit au retour dans la conscience palestinienne, arabe et internationale ; remettre la cause nationale palestinienne à l’ordre du jour mondial 

Yahya Sinwar : S’il est trop tôt pour affirmer qu’une telle action de combat a pleinement rempli ses objectifs, une grande partie de ces objectifs ont sans nul doute été atteints. Le premier objectif atteint à ce stade est que ces marches ont rétabli le droit au retour dans la conscience palestinienne, arabe et internationale comme l’un des droits et principes importants du peuple palestinien. […]

Un autre but atteint par ces marches est qu’elles ont remis la cause nationale palestinienne à l’ordre du jour international, alors que certains défaitistes prétendaient que l’agenda mondial était trop chargé et n’avait pas de place pour la cause nationale palestinienne. Ils ont essayé de l’utiliser pour promouvoir d’autres concessions. […]

Je dois souligner un important objectif stratégique accompli le 14 mai. Notre peuple à Gaza a enregistré, aux yeux du monde entier, son témoignage sur le transfert de l’ambassade américaine à Jérusalem et sur la déclaration de Jérusalem comme la capitale de l’entité d’occupation. Au nom du peuple arabe palestinien et de tous les peuples arabes et islamiques, notre peuple de Gaza a rejeté cette décision et cette démarche, par cette importante activité, en enregistrant son témoignage pour l’histoire, et en signant ce témoignage avec le sang des martyrs – notre peuple a sacrifié soixante martyrs le 14 mai, ainsi que trois mille blessés. Ils ont été utilisés pour signer le rejet de notre peuple de la décision imprudente de transférer l’ambassade des États-Unis à Jérusalem. […] 

Notre peuple a imposé son ordre du jour au monde entier – les écrans de télévision du monde devaient présenter une image romantique de l’ouverture de l’ambassade américaine à Jérusalem, mais notre peuple… a forcé le monde entier à diviser les écrans de télévision

Cette méthode [de combat] est appropriée pour cette étape, mais les circonstances peuvent changer, et nous devrons peut-être retourner à la lutte armée. Lorsque cela se produira, notre peuple, les factions et le Hamas n’hésiteront pas à utiliser tous les moyens requis par les circonstances. […]

L’ennemi affirme que nous utilisons les gens comme boucliers humains et les poussons vers la clôture, mais nous disons que ces jeunes et ces hommes auraient pu choisir une autre option. Ils auraient pu faire pleuvoir des milliers de missiles sur les villes de l’occupation lorsque les États-Unis ont ouvert leur ambassade à Jérusalem. Mais ils n’ont pas choisi cette voie. Nombre d’entre eux ont quitté leurs uniformes militaires et mis leurs armes de côté. Ils ont temporairement abandonné les moyens de la lutte armée et se sont tournés vers cette merveilleuse méthode civilisée, respectée par le monde et adaptée aux circonstances actuelles. […]

Notre peuple a imposé son ordre du jour au monde entier. Les écrans de télévision du monde devaient présenter une image romantique de l’ouverture de l’ambassade américaine à Jérusalem, mais notre peuple, par sa conscience collective, a forcé le monde entier à diviser les écrans de télévision entre les images de fraude, de tromperie, de fausseté et d’oppression, manifestes dans la tentative d’imposer Jérusalem comme la capitale de l’Etat d’occupation, et les images d’injustice, d’oppression, d’héroïsme et de détermination, données par notre propre peuple dans ses sacrifices, le sacrifice de ses enfants comme une offrande pour Jérusalem et pour le droit au retour. […]

Lorsque nous avons décidé de nous lancer dans ces marches, nous avons décidé de transformer ce qui nous est le plus cher – les corps de nos femmes et de nos enfants – en barrage pour stopper l’effondrement de la réalité arabe, un barrage qui empêche la course de nombreux Arabes vers la normalisation des liens avec l’entité spoliatrice, qui occupe notre Jérusalem, pille notre terre, souille nos lieux saints et opprime notre peuple jour et nuit.

Journaliste : Vous parlez de « l’Accord du siècle »…

Yahya Sinwar : L’Accord du siècle et tout compromis visant à éliminer notre cause palestinienne nationale. […]


Affaire de la petite Yanela: C’est la formulation, imbécile ! (It’s not fake news, it’s misstated news, stupid !)

24 juin, 2018
https://i1.wp.com/www.theaugeanstables.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/ghetto-boy-2.jpg

Two children detained by the Border Patrol in a holding cell in Nogales, Ariz. This image has been widely shared on social media in recent days, offered as an example of the Trump administration’s cruel policies toward immigrants, but in fact the picture was taken in 2014.

« La version originale de cet article a donné une mauvaise formulation du sort de la petite fille après la photographie. Elle n’a pas été emmenée en larmes par les patrouilles frontalières ; sa mère l’a récupérée et les deux ont été interpellées ensemble. »

Les fausses images d'enfants séparés de leurs parents à la frontière USA-Mexique

Devrai-je sacrifier mon enfant premier-né pour payer pour mon crime, le fils, chair de ma chair, pour expier ma faute? On te l’a enseigné, ô homme, ce qui est bien et ce que l’Eternel attend de toi: c’est que tu te conduises avec droiture, que tu prennes plaisir à témoigner de la bonté et qu’avec vigilance tu vives pour ton Dieu. Michée 6: 7-8
Laissez les petits enfants, et ne les empêchez pas de venir à moi; car le royaume des cieux est pour ceux qui leur ressemblent. Jésus (Matthieu 19: 14)
Quiconque reçoit en mon nom un petit enfant comme celui-ci, me reçoit moi-même. Mais, si quelqu’un scandalisait un de ces petits qui croient en moi, il vaudrait mieux pour lui qu’on suspendît à son cou une meule de moulin, et qu’on le jetât au fond de la mer. Jésus (Matthieu 18: 5-6)
Une civilisation est testée sur la manière dont elle traite ses membres les plus faibles. Pearl Buck
Le monde moderne n’est pas mauvais : à certains égards, il est bien trop bon. Il est rempli de vertus féroces et gâchées. Lorsqu’un dispositif religieux est brisé (comme le fut le christianisme pendant la Réforme), ce ne sont pas seulement les vices qui sont libérés. Les vices sont en effet libérés, et ils errent de par le monde en faisant des ravages ; mais les vertus le sont aussi, et elles errent plus férocement encore en faisant des ravages plus terribles. Le monde moderne est saturé des vieilles vertus chrétiennes virant à la folie.  G.K. Chesterton
Je crois que le moment décisif en Occident est l’invention de l’hôpital. Les primitifs s’occupent de leurs propres morts. Ce qu’il y a de caractéristique dans l’hôpital c’est bien le fait de s’occuper de tout le monde. C’est l’hôtel-Dieu donc c’est la charité. Et c’est visiblement une invention du Moyen-Age. René Girard
Notre monde est de plus en plus imprégné par cette vérité évangélique de l’innocence des victimes. L’attention qu’on porte aux victimes a commencé au Moyen Age, avec l’invention de l’hôpital. L’Hôtel-Dieu, comme on disait, accueillait toutes les victimes, indépendamment de leur origine. Les sociétés primitives n’étaient pas inhumaines, mais elles n’avaient d’attention que pour leurs membres. Le monde moderne a inventé la « victime inconnue », comme on dirait aujourd’hui le « soldat inconnu ». Le christianisme peut maintenant continuer à s’étendre même sans la loi, car ses grandes percées intellectuelles et morales, notre souci des victimes et notre attention à ne pas nous fabriquer de boucs émissaires, ont fait de nous des chrétiens qui s’ignorent. René Girard
L’inauguration majestueuse de l’ère « post-chrétienne » est une plaisanterie. Nous sommes dans un ultra-christianisme caricatural qui essaie d’échapper à l’orbite judéo-chrétienne en « radicalisant » le souci des victimes dans un sens antichrétien. René Girard
J’espère offrir mon fils unique en martyr, comme son père. Dalal Mouazzi (jeune veuve d’un commandant du Hezbollah mort en 2006 pendant la guerre du Liban, à propos de son gamin de 10 ans)
Nous n’aurons la paix avec les Arabes que lorsqu’ils aimeront leurs enfants plus qu’ils ne nous détestent. Golda Meir
Les Israéliens ne savent pas que le peuple palestinien a progressé dans ses recherches sur la mort. Il a développé une industrie de la mort qu’affectionnent toutes nos femmes, tous nos enfants, tous nos vieillards et tous nos combattants. Ainsi, nous avons formé un bouclier humain grâce aux femmes et aux enfants pour dire à l’ennemi sioniste que nous tenons à la mort autant qu’il tient à la vie. Fathi Hammad (responsable du Hamas, mars 2008)
L’image correspondait à la réalité de la situation, non seulement à Gaza, mais en Cisjordanie. Charles Enderlin (Le Figaro, 27/01/05)
Oh, ils font toujours ça. C’est une question de culture. Représentants de France 2 (cités par Enderlin)
La mort de Mohammed annule, efface celle de l’enfant juif, les mains en l’air devant les SS, dans le Ghetto de Varsovie. Catherine Nay (Europe 1)
Il y a lieu de décider que Patrick Karsenty a exercé de bonne foi son droit à la libre critique (…) En répondant à Denis Jeambar et à Daniel Leconte dans le Figaro du 23 janvier 2005 que « l’image correspondait à la réalité de la situation, non seulement à Gaza, mais en Cisjordanie », alors que la diffusion d’un reportage s’entend comme le témoignage de ce que le journaliste a vu et entendu, Charles Enderlin a reconnu que le film qui a fait le tour du monde en entrainant des violences sans précédent dans toute la région ne correspondait peut-être pas au commentaire qu’il avait donné. Laurence Trébucq (Présidente de la Cour d’appel de Paris, 21.05.08)
Voilà sept ans qu’une campagne obstinée et haineuse s’efforce de salir la dignité professionnelle de notre confrère Charles Enderlin, correspondant de France 2 à Jerusalem. Voilà sept ans que les mêmes individus tentent de présenter comme une « supercherie » et une « série de scènes jouées » , son reportage montrant la mort de Mohammed al-Doura, 12 ans, tué par des tirs venus de la position israélienne, le 30 septembre 2000, dans la bande de Gaza, lors d’un affrontement entre l’armée israélienne et des éléments armés palestiniens. Appel du Nouvel observateur (27 mai 2008)
This is not staging, it’s playing for the camera. When they threw stones and Molotov cocktails, it was in part for the camera. That doesn’t mean it’s not true. They wanted to be filmed throwing stones and being hit by rubber bullets. All of us — the ARD too — did reports on kids confronting the Israeli army, in order to be filmed in Ramallah, in Gaza. That’s not staging, that’s reality. Enderlin
Dans le numéro 1931 du Nouvel Observateur, daté du 8 novembre 2001, Sara Daniel a publié un reportage sur le « crime d’honneur » en Jordanie. Dans son texte, elle révélait qu’à Gaza et dans les territoires occupés, les crimes dits d’honneur qui consistent pour des pères ou des frères à abattre les femmes jugées légères représentaient une part importante des homicides. Le texte publié, en raison d’un défaut de guillemets et de la suppression de deux phrases dans la transmission, laissait penser que son auteur faisait sienne l’accusation selon laquelle il arrivait à des soldats israéliens de commettre un viol en sachant, de plus, que les femmes violées allaient être tuées. Il n’en était évidemment rien et Sara Daniel, actuellement en reportage en Afghanistan, fait savoir qu’elle déplore très vivement cette erreur qui a gravement dénaturé sa pensée. Une mise au point de Sara Daniel (Le Nouvel Observateur, le 15 novembre 2001)
Les Israéliens ne savent pas que le peuple palestinien a progressé dans ses recherches sur la mort. Il a développé une industrie de la mort qu’affectionnent toutes nos femmes, tous nos enfants, tous nos vieillards et tous nos combattants. Ainsi, nous avons formé un bouclier humain grâce aux femmes et aux enfants pour dire à l’ennemi sioniste que nous tenons à la mort autant qu’il tient à la vie. Fathi Hammad (responsable du Hamas, mars 2008)
Les pays européens qui ont transformé la Méditerranée en un cimetière de migrants partagent la responsabilité de chaque réfugié mort. Erdogan
Mr. Kurdi brought his family to Turkey three years ago after fleeing fighting first in Damascus, where he worked as a barber, then in Aleppo, then Kobani. His Facebook page shows pictures of the family in Istanbul crossing the Bosporus and feeding pigeons next to the famous Yeni Cami, or new mosque. From his hospital bed on Wednesday, Mr. Kurdi told a Syrian radio station that he had worked on construction sites for 50 Turkish lira (roughly $17) a day, but it wasn’t enough to live on. He said they depended on his sister, Tima Kurdi, who lived in Canada, for help paying the rent. Ms. Kurdi, speaking Thursday in a Vancouver suburb, said that their father, still in Syria, had suggested Abdullah go to Europe to get his damaged teeth fixed and find a way to help his family leave Turkey. She said she began wiring her brother money three weeks ago, in €1,000 ($1,100) amounts, to help pay for the trip. Shortly after, she said her brother called her and said he wanted to bring his whole family to Europe, as his wife wasn’t able to support their two boys alone in Istanbul. “If we go, we go all of us,” Ms. Kurdi recounted him telling her. She said she spoke to his wife last week, who told her she was scared of the water and couldn’t swim. “I said to her, ‘I cannot push you to go. If you don’t want to go, don’t go,’” she said. “But I guess they all decided they wanted to do it all together.” At the morgue, Mr. Kurdi described what happened after they set off from the deserted beach, under cover of darkness. “We went into the sea for four minutes and then the captain saw that the waves are so high, so he steered the boat and we were hit immediately. He panicked and dived into the sea and fled. I took over and started steering, the waves were so high the boat flipped. I took my wife in my arms and I realized they were all dead.” Mr. Kurdi gave different accounts of what happened next. In one interview, he said he swam ashore and walked to the hospital. In another, he said he was rescued by the coast guard. In Canada, Ms. Kurdi said her brother had sent her a text message around 3 a.m. Turkish time Wednesday confirming they had set off. (…) “He said, ‘I did everything in my power to save them, but I couldn’t,’” she said. “My brother said to me, ‘My kids have to be the wake-up call for the whole world.’” WSJ
Personne ne dit que ce n’est pas raisonnable de partir de Turquie avec deux enfants en bas âge sur une mer agitée dans un frêle esquife. Arno Klarsfeld
La justice israélienne a dit disposer d’une déposition selon laquelle la famille d’un bébé palestinien mort dans des circonstances contestées dans la bande de Gaza avait été payée par le Hamas pour accuser Israël, ce que les parents ont nié. Vif émoi après la mort de l’enfant. Leïla al-Ghandour, âgée de huit mois, est morte mi-mai alors que l’enclave palestinienne était depuis des semaines le théâtre d’une mobilisation massive et d’affrontements entre Palestiniens et soldats israéliens le long de la frontière avec Gaza. Son décès a suscité un vif émoi. Sa famille accuse l’armée israélienne d’avoir provoqué sa mort en employant des lacrymogènes contre les protestataires, parmi lesquels se trouvait la fillette. La fillette souffrait-elle d’un problème cardiaque ? L’armée israélienne, se fondant sur les informations d’un médecin palestinien resté anonyme mais qui selon elle connaissait l’enfant et sa famille, dit que l’enfant souffrait d’un problème cardiaque. Le ministère israélien de la Justice a rendu public jeudi l’acte d’inculpation d’un Gazaoui de 20 ans, présenté comme le cousin de la fillette. Selon le ministère, il a déclaré au cours de ses interrogatoires par les forces israéliennes que les parents de Leila avaient touché 8.000 shekels (1.800 euros) de la part de Yahya Sinouar, le chef du Hamas dans la bande de Gaza, pour dire que leur fille était morte des inhalations de gaz. Une « fabrication » du Hamas dénoncée par Israël. Les parents ont nié ces déclarations, réaffirmé que leur fille était bien morte des inhalations, et ont contesté qu’elle était malade. Selon la famille, Leïla al-Ghandour avait été emmenée près de la frontière par un oncle âgé de 11 ans et avait été prise dans les tirs de lacrymogènes. Europe 1
Donald Trump aurait (…) menti en affirmant que la criminalité augmentait en Allemagne, en raison de l’entrée dans le pays de 1,1 million de clandestins en 2015. (…) Les articles se sont immédiatement multipliés pour dénoncer « le mensonge » du président américain. Pourquoi ? Parce que les autorités allemandes se sont félicitées d’une baisse des agressions violentes en 2017. C’est vrai, elles ont chuté de 5,1% par rapport à 2016. Est-il possible, cependant, de feindre à ce point l’incompréhension ? Car les détracteurs zélés du président omettent de préciser que la criminalité a bien augmenté en Allemagne à la suite de cette vague migratoire exceptionnelle : 10% de crimes violents en plus, sur les années 2015 et 2016. L’étude réalisée par le gouvernement allemand et publiée en janvier dernier concluait même que 90% de cette augmentation était due aux jeunes hommes clandestins fraîchement accueillis, âgés de 14 à 30 ans. L’augmentation de la criminalité fut donc indiscutablement liée à l’accueil de 1,1 millions de clandestins pendant l’année 2015. C’est évidement ce qu’entend démontrer Donald Trump. Et ce n’est pas tout. Les chiffres du ministère allemand de l’Intérieur pour 2016 révèlent également une implication des étrangers et des clandestins supérieure à celle des Allemands dans le domaine de la criminalité. Et en hausse. La proportion d’étrangers parmi les personnes suspectées d’actes criminels était de 28,7% en 2014, elle est passée à 40,4% en 2016, avant de chuter à 35% en 2017 (ce qui reste plus important qu’en 2014). En 2016, les étrangers étaient 3,5 fois plus impliqués dans des crimes que les Allemands, les clandestins 7 fois plus. Des chiffres encore plus élevés dans le domaine des crimes violents (5 fois plus élevés chez les étrangers, 15 fois chez les clandestins) ou dans celui des viols en réunion (10 fois plus chez les étrangers, 42 fois chez les clandestins !). Factuellement, la criminalité n’augmente pas aujourd’hui en Allemagne. Mais l’exceptionnelle vague migratoire voulue par Angela Merkel en 2015 a bien eu pour conséquence l’augmentation de la criminalité en Allemagne. Les Allemands, eux, semblent l’avoir très bien compris. Valeurs actuelles
Je vous demande de ne rien céder, dans ces temps troublés que nous vivons, de votre amour pour l’Europe. Je vous le dis avec beaucoup de gravité. Beaucoup la détestent, mais ils la détestent depuis longtemps et vous les voyez monter, comme une lèpre, un peu partout en Europe, dans des pays où nous pensions que c’était impossible de la voir réapparaître. Et des amis voisins, ils disent le pire et nous nous y habituons. Emmanuel Macron
Il y a des choses insoutenables. Mais pourquoi on en est arrivé là ? Parce que justement il y a des gens comme Emmanuel Macron qui venaient donner des leçons de morale aux autres. Il y a une inquiétude identitaire » en Europe, « c’est une réalité politique. Tous les donneurs de leçon ont tué l’Europe, il y a une angoisse chez les Européens d’être dilués, pas une angoisse raciste, mais une angoisse de ne plus pouvoir être eux, chez eux. Jean-Sébastien Ferjou
Our message absolutely is don’t send your children unaccompanied, on trains or through a bunch of smugglers. We don’t even know how many of these kids don’t make it, and may have been waylaid into sex trafficking or killed because they fell off a train. Do not send your children to the borders. If they do make it, they’ll get sent back. More importantly, they may not make it. Obama (2014)
I also think that we have to understand the difficulty that President Obama finds himself in because there are laws that impose certain obligations on him. And it was my understanding that the numbers have been moderating in part as the Department of Homeland Security and other law enforcement officials understood that separating children from families — I mean, the horror of a father or a mother going to work and being picked up and immediately whisked away and children coming home from school to an empty house and nobody can say where their mother or father is, that is just not who we are as Americans. And so, I do think that while we continue to make the case which you know is very controversial in some corridors, that we have to reform our immigration system and we needed to do it yesterday. That’s why I approved of the bill that was passed in the Senate. We need to show humanity with respect to people to people who are working, contributing right now. And deporting them, leaving their children alone or deporting an adolescent, doing anything that is so contrary to our core values, just makes no sense. So I would be very open to trying to figure out ways to change the law, even if we don’t get to comprehensive immigration reform to provide more leeway and more discretion for the executive branch. (…) the numbers are increasing dramatically. And the main reason I believe why that’s happening is that the violence in certain of those Central American countries is increasing dramatically. And there is not sufficient law enforcement or will on the part of the governments of those countries to try to deal with this exponential increase in violence, drug trafficking, the drug cartels, and many children are fleeing from that violence. (…) first of all, we have to provide the best emergency care we can provide. We have children 5 and 6 years old who have come up from Central America. We need to do more to provide border security in southern Mexico. (…) they should be sent back as soon as it can be determined who responsible adults in their families are, because there are concerns whether all of them should be sent back. But I think all of them who can be should be reunited with their families. (…) But we have so to send a clear message, just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay. So, we don’t want to send a message that is contrary to our laws or will encourage more children to make that dangerous journey. Hillary Clinton (2014)
Over the past six years, President Obama has tried to make children the centerpiece of his efforts to put a gentler face on U.S. immigration policy. Even as his administration has deported a record number of unauthorized immigrants, surpassing two million deportations last year, it has pushed for greater leniency toward undocumented children. After trying and failing to pass the Dream Act legislation, which would offer a path to permanent residency for immigrants who arrived before the age of 16, the president announced an executive action in 2012 to block their deportation. Last November, Obama added another executive action to extend similar protections to undocumented parents. “We’re going to keep focusing enforcement resources on actual threats to our security,” he said in a speech on Nov. 20. “Felons, not families. Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a mom who’s working hard to provide for her kids.” But the president’s new policies apply only to immigrants who have been in the United States for more than five years; they do nothing to address the emerging crisis on the border today. Since the economic collapse of 2008, the number of undocumented immigrants coming from Mexico has plunged, while a surge of violence in Central America has brought a wave of migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. According to recent statistics from the Department of Homeland Security, the number of refugees fleeing Central America has doubled in the past year alone — with more than 61,000 “family units” crossing the U.S. border, as well as 51,000 unaccompanied children. For the first time, more people are coming to the United States from those countries than from Mexico, and they are coming not just for opportunity but for survival. The explosion of violence in Central America is often described in the language of war, cartels, extortion and gangs, but none of these capture the chaos overwhelming the region. Four of the five highest murder rates in the world are in Central American nations. The collapse of these countries is among the greatest humanitarian disasters of our time. While criminal organizations like the 18th Street Gang and Mara Salvatrucha exist as street gangs in the United States, in large parts of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador they are so powerful and pervasive that they have supplanted the government altogether. People who run afoul of these gangs — which routinely demand money on threat of death and sometimes kidnap young boys to serve as soldiers and young girls as sexual slaves — may have no recourse to the law and no better option than to flee. The American immigration system defines a special pathway for refugees. To qualify, most applicants must present themselves to federal authorities, pass a “credible fear interview” to demonstrate a possible basis for asylum and proceed through a “merits hearing” before an immigration judge. Traditionally, those who have completed the first two stages are permitted to live with family and friends in the United States while they await their final hearing, which can be months or years later. If authorities believe an applicant may not appear for that court date, they can require a bond payment as guarantee or place the refugee in a monitoring system that may include a tracking bracelet. In the most extreme cases, a judge may deny bond and keep the refugee in a detention facility until the merits hearing. The rules are somewhat different when children are involved. Under the terms of a 1997 settlement in the case of Flores v. Meese, children who enter the country without their parents must be granted a “general policy favoring release” to the custody of relatives or a foster program. When there is cause to detain a child, he or she must be housed in the least restrictive environment possible, kept away from unrelated adults and provided access to medical care, exercise and adequate education. Whether these protections apply to children traveling with their parents has been a matter of dispute. The Flores settlement refers to “all minors who are detained” by the Immigration and Naturalization Service and its “agents, employees, contractors and/or successors in office.” When the I.N.S. dissolved into the Department of Homeland Security in 2003, its detention program shifted to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Federal judges have ruled that ICE is required to honor the Flores protections for all children in its custody. Even so, in 2005, the administration of George W. Bush decided to deny the Flores protections to refugee children traveling with their parents. Instead of a “general policy favoring release,” the administration began to incarcerate hundreds of those families for months at a time. To house them, officials opened the T. Don Hutto Family Detention Center near Austin, Tex. Within a year, the administration faced a lawsuit over the facility’s conditions. Legal filings describe young children forced to wear prison jumpsuits, to live in dormitory housing, to use toilets exposed to public view and to sleep with the lights on, even while being denied access to appropriate schooling. In a pretrial hearing, a federal judge in Texas blasted the administration for denying these children the protections of the Flores settlement. “The court finds it inexplicable that defendants have spent untold amounts of time, effort and taxpayer dollars to establish the Hutto family-detention program, knowing all the while that Flores is still in effect,” the judge wrote. The Bush administration settled the suit with a promise to improve the conditions at Hutto but continued to deny that children in family detention were entitled to the Flores protections. In 2009, the Obama administration reversed course, abolishing family detention at Hutto and leaving only a small facility in Pennsylvania to house refugee families in exceptional circumstances. For all other refugee families, the administration returned to a policy of release to await trial. Studies have shown that nearly all detainees who are released from custody with some form of monitoring will appear for their court date. But when the number of refugees from Central America spiked last summer, the administration abruptly announced plans to resume family detention. (…) From the beginning, officials were clear that the purpose of the new facility in Artesia was not so much to review asylum petitions as to process deportation orders. “We have already added resources to expedite the removal, without a hearing before an immigration judge, of adults who come from these three countries without children,” the secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, told a Senate committee in July. “Then there are adults who brought their children with them. Again, our message to this group is simple: We will send you back.” Elected officials in Artesia say that Johnson made a similar pledge during a visit to the detention camp in July. “He said, ‘As soon as we get them, we’ll ship them back,’ ” a city councilor from Artesia named Jose Luis Aguilar recalled. The mayor of the city, Phillip Burch, added, “His comment to us was that this would be a ‘rapid deportation process.’ Those were his exact words.” (…) “I arrived on July 5 and turned myself in at 2 a.m.,” a 28-year-old mother of two named Ana recalled. In Honduras, Ana ran a small business selling trinkets and served on the P.T.A. of her daughter’s school. “I lived well,” she said — until the gangs began to pound on her door, demanding extortion payments. Within days, they had escalated their threats, approaching Ana brazenly on the street. “One day, coming home from my daughter’s school, they walked up to me and put a gun to my head,” she said. “They told me that if I didn’t give them the money in less than 24 hours, they would kill me.” Ana had already seen friends raped and murdered by the gang, so she packed her belongings that night and began the 1,800-mile journey to the U.S. border with her 7-year-old daughter. Four weeks later, in McAllen, Tex., they surrendered as refugees. Ana and her daughter entered Artesia in mid-July. In October they were still there. Ana’s daughter was sick and losing weight rapidly under the strain of incarceration. Their lawyer, a leader in Chicago’s Mormon Church named Rebecca van Uitert, said that Ana’s daughter became so weak and emaciated that doctors threatened drastic measures. “They were like, ‘You’ve got to force her to eat, and if you don’t, we’re going to put a PICC line in her and force-feed her,’ ” van Uitert said. Ana said that when her daughter heard the doctor say this, “She started to cry and cry.” (…) Many of the volunteers in Artesia tell similar stories about the misery of life in the facility. “I thought I was pretty tough,” said Allegra Love, who spent the previous summer working on the border between Mexico and Guatemala. “I mean, I had seen kids in all manner of suffering, but this was a really different thing. It’s a jail, and the women and children are being led around by guards. There’s this look that the kids have in their eyes. This lackadaisical look. They’re just sitting there, staring off, and they’re wasting away. That was what shocked me most.” The detainees reported sleeping eight to a room, in violation of the Flores settlement, with little exercise or stimulation for the children. Many were under the age of 6 and had been raised on a diet of tortillas, rice and chicken bits. In Artesia, the institutional cafeteria foods were as unfamiliar as the penal atmosphere, and to their parents’ horror, many of the children refused to eat. “Gaunt kids, moms crying, they’re losing hair, up all night,” an attorney named Maria Andrade recalled. Another, Lisa Johnson-Firth, said: “I saw children who were malnourished and were not adapting. One 7-year-old just lay in his mother’s arms while she bottle-fed him.” Mary O’Leary, who made three trips to Artesia last fall, said: “I was trying to talk to one client about her case, and just a few feet away at another table there was this lady with a toddler between 2 and 4 years old, just lying limp. This was a sick kid, and just with this horrible racking cough.” (…) Attorneys for the Obama administration have argued in court, like the Bush administration previously, that the protections guaranteed by the Flores settlement do not apply to children in family detention. “The Flores settlement comes into play with unaccompanied minors,” a lawyer for the Department of Homeland Security named Karen Donoso Stevens insisted to a judge on Aug. 4. “That argument is moot here, because the juvenile is detained — is accompanied and detained — with his mother.” Federal judges have consistently rejected this position. Just as the judge reviewing family detention in 2007 called the denial of Flores protections “inexplicable,” the judge presiding over the Aug. 4 hearing issued a ruling in September that Homeland Security officials in Artesia must honor the Flores Settlement Agreement. “The language of the F.S.A. is unambiguous,” Judge Roxanne Hladylowycz wrote. “The F.S.A. was designed to create a nationwide policy for the detention of all minors, not only those who are unaccompanied.” Olavarria said she was not aware of that ruling and would not comment on whether the Department of Homeland Security believes that the Flores ruling applies to children in family detention today. (…) As the pro bono project in Artesia continued into fall, its attorneys continued to win in court. By mid-November, more than 400 of the detained women and children were free on bond. Then on Nov. 20, the administration suddenly announced plans to transfer the Artesia detainees to the ICE detention camp in Karnes, Tex., where they would fall under a new immigration court district with a new slate of judges. That announcement came at the very moment the president was delivering a live address on the new protections available to established immigrant families. In an email to notify Artesia volunteers about the transfer, an organizer for AILA named Stephen Manning wrote, “The disconnect from the compassionate-ish words of the president and his crushing policies toward these refugees is shocking.” Brown was listening to the speech in her car, while driving to Denver for a rare weekend at home, when her cellphone buzzed with the news that 20 of her clients would be transferred to Texas the next morning. Many of them were close to a bond release; in San Antonio, they might be detained for weeks or months longer. Brown pulled her car to the side of the highway and spent three hours arguing to delay the transfer. Over the next two weeks, officials moved forward with the plan. By mid-December, most of the Artesia detainees were in Karnes (…) One of McPhaul’s colleagues, Judge Gary Burkholder, was averaging a 91.6 percent denial rate for the asylum claims. Some Karnes detainees had been in the facility for nearly six months and could remain there another six. (…) “I agree,” Sischo said. “We should not be spending resources on detaining these families. They should be released. But people don’t understand the law. They think they should be deported because they’re ‘illegals.’ So they’re missing a very big part of the story, which is that they aren’t breaking the law. They’re trying to go through the process that’s laid out in our laws.” Wil S. Hylton (NYT magazine, 2015)
It was the kind of story destined to take a dark turn through the conservative news media and grab President Trump’s attention: A vast horde of migrants was making its way through Mexico toward the United States, and no one was stopping them. “Mysterious group deploys ‘caravan’ of illegal aliens headed for U.S. border,” warned Frontpage Mag, a site run by David Horowitz, a conservative commentator. The Gateway Pundit, a website that was most recently in the news for spreading conspiracies about the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., suggested the real reason the migrants were trying to enter the United States was to collect social welfare benefits. And as the president often does when immigration is at issue, he saw a reason for Americans to be afraid. “Getting more dangerous. ‘Caravans’ coming,” a Twitter post from Mr. Trump read. The story of “the caravan” followed an arc similar to many events — whether real, embellished or entirely imagined — involving refugees and migrants that have roused intense suspicion and outrage on the right. The coverage tends to play on the fears that hiding among mass groups of immigrants are many criminals, vectors of disease and agents of terror. And often the president, who announced his candidacy by blaming Mexico for sending rapists and drug dealers into the United States, acts as an accelerant to the hysteria. The sensationalization of this story and others like it seems to serve a common purpose for Mr. Trump and other immigration hard-liners: to highlight the twin dangers of freely roving migrants — especially those from Muslim countries — and lax immigration laws that grant them easy entry into Western nations. The narrative on the right this week, for example, mostly omitted that many people in the caravan planned to resettle in Mexico, not the United States. And it ignored how many of those who did intend to come here would probably go through the legal process of requesting asylum at a border checkpoint — something miles of new wall and battalions of additional border patrol would not have stopped. (…) The story of the caravan has been similarly exaggerated. And the emotional outpouring from the right has been raw — that was the case on Fox this week when the TV host Tucker Carlson shouted “You hate America!” at an immigrants rights activist after he defended the people marching through Mexico. The facts of the caravan are not as straightforward as Mr. Trump or many conservative pundits have portrayed them. The story initially gained widespread attention after BuzzFeed News reported last week that more than 1,000 Central American migrants, mostly from Honduras, were making their way north toward the United States border. Yet the BuzzFeed article and other coverage pointed out that many in the group were planning to stay in Mexico. That did not stop Mr. Trump from expressing dismay on Tuesday with a situation “where you have thousands of people that decide to just walk into our country, and we don’t have any laws that can protect it.” The use of disinformation in immigration debates is hardly unique to the United States. Misleading crime statistics, speculation about sinister plots to undermine national sovereignty and Russian propaganda have all played a role in stirring up anti-immigrant sentiment in places like Britain, Germany and Hungary. Some of the more fantastical theories have involved a socialist conspiracy to import left-leaning voters and a scheme by the Hungarian-born Jewish philanthropist George Soros to create a borderless Europe. NYT
With the help of a humanitarian group called “Pueblo Sin Fronteras” (people without borders), the 1,000 plus migrants will reach the U.S. border with a list of demands to several governments in Central America, the United States, and Mexico. Here’s what they demanded of Mexico and the United States in a Facebook post:  -That they respect our rights as refugees and our right to dignified work to be able to support our families -That they open the borders to us because we are as much citizens as the people of the countries where we are and/or travel -That deportations, which destroy families, come to an end -No more abuses against us as migrants -Dignity and justice -That the US government not end TPS for those who need it -That the US government stop massive funding for the Mexican government to detain Central American migrants and refugees and to deport them -That these governments respect our rights under international law, including the right to free expression -That the conventions on refugee rights not be empty rhetoric. The Blaze
La photographie du 12 juin de la petite Hondurienne de 2 ans est devenue le symbole le plus visible du débat sur l’immigration actuellement en cours aux Etats-Unis et il y a une raison pour cela. Dans le cadre de la politique appliquée par l’administration, avant son revirement de cette semaine, ceux qui traversaient la frontière illégalement étaient l’objet de poursuites criminelles, qui entraînaient à leur tour la séparation des enfants et des parents. Notre couverture et notre reportage saisissent les enjeux de ce moment. Edward Felsenthal (rédacteur en chef de Time)
De nombreuses photos et vidéos circulent sur internet depuis que Donald Trump a mis en place sa politique de tolérance zéro face à l’immigration illégale, ce qui a mené plus de 2.300 enfants à être séparés de leurs parents à la frontière entre Etats-Unis et Mexique. Mais beaucoup d’entre elles ne correspondent pas à la réalité. Vendredi, après la publication d’un décret du président américain marquant son revirement vis-à-vis de cette politique, le doute demeurait sur le temps que mettront ces mineurs à retrouver leurs familles. (…) Au moins trois images, largement partagées sur les réseaux sociaux ces derniers jours, illustrent des situations qui ne sont pas celles vécues par les 2.342 enfants détenus en raison de leur statut migratoire irrégulier. La première montre une fillette hondurienne, Yanela Varela, en larmes. Elle est vite devenue sur Twitter ou Facebook un symbole de la douleur provoquée par la séparation des familles. (…) La photo a été prise le 12 juin dans la ville de McAllen, au Texas, par John Moore, un photographe qui a obtenu le prix Pulitzer et travaille pour l’agence Getty Images. Time Magazine en a fait sa Une, mettant face à face, dans un photomontage sur fond rouge, la petite fille apeurée et un Donald Trump faisant presque trois fois sa taille et la toisant avec cette simple légende: « Bienvenue en Amérique ». Un article en ligne publié par Time et portant sur cette photo affirmait initialement que la petite fille avait été séparée de sa mère. Mais l’article a ensuite été corrigé, la nouvelle version déclarant: « La petite fille n’a pas été emmenée en larmes par des agents de la police frontalière des Etats-Unis, sa mère est venue la chercher et elles ont été emmenées ensemble ». Time a néanmoins utilisé la photo de la fillette pour sa spectaculaire couverture. Mais au Honduras, la responsable de la Direction de protection des migrants au ministère des Affaires étrangères, Lisa Medrano, a donné à l’AFP une toute autre version: « La fillette, qui va avoir deux ans, n’a pas été séparée » de ses parents. Le père de l’enfant, Denis Varela, a confirmé au Washington Post que sa femme Sandra Sanchez, 32 ans, n’avait pas été séparée de Yanela et que les deux étaient actuellement retenues dans un centre pour migrants de McAllen (Texas). Attaqué pour sa couverture, qui a été largement jugée trompeuse, y compris par la Maison Blanche, Time a déclaré qu’il maintenait sa décision de la publier. (…) Un autre cliché montre une vingtaine d’enfants derrière une grille, certains d’entre eux tentant d’y grimper. Il circule depuis des jours comme une supposée photo de centres de détention pour mineurs à la frontière mexicaine. Mais son auteur, Abed Al Ashlamoun, photographe de l’agence EPA, a pris cette image en août 2010 et elle représente des enfants palestiniens attendant la distribution de nourriture pendant le ramadan à Hébron, en Cisjordanie. Enfin, une troisième image est celle d’un enfant en train de pleurer dans ce qui semble être une cage, et qui remporte un grand succès sur Twitter, où elle a été partagée au moins 25.000 fois sur le compte @joseiswriting. Encore une fois, il s’agit d’un trompe-l’oeil: il s’agit d’un extrait d’une photo qui mettait en scène des arrestations d’enfants lors d’une manifestation contre la politique migratoire américaine et publiée le 11 juin dernier sur le compte Facebook Brown Berets de Cemanahuac. La Croix
Au moins 150 migrants centraméricains sont arrivés à Tijuana au Mexique, à la frontière avec les États-Unis. Ils sont décidés à demander l’asile à Washington. Plusieurs centaines de migrants originaires d’Amérique centrale se sont rassemblés dimanche 30 avril à la frontière mexico-américaine au terme d’un mois de traversée du Mexique. Nombre d’entre eux ont décidé de se présenter aux autorités américaines pour déposer des demandes d’asile et devraient être placés en centres de rétention. « Nous espérons que le gouvernement des États-Unis nous ouvrira les portes », a déclaré Reyna Isabel Rodríguez, 52 ans, venu du Salvador avec ses deux petits-enfants. L’ONG Peuple Sans Frontières organise ce type de caravane depuis 2010 pour dénoncer le sort de celles et ceux qui traversent le Mexique en proie à de nombreux dangers, entre des cartels de la drogue qui les kidnappent ou les tuent, et des autorités qui les rançonnent. « Nous voulons dire au président des États-Unis que nous ne sommes pas des criminels, nous ne sommes pas des terroristes, qu’il nous donne la chance de vivre sans peur. Je sais que Dieu va toucher son cœur », a déclaré l’une des organisatrices de la caravane, Irineo Mujica. L’ONG, composée de volontaires, permet notamment aux migrants de rester groupés – lors d’un périple qui se fait à pied, en bus ou en train – afin de se prémunir de tous les dangers qui jalonnent leur chemin. En espagnol, ces caravanes sont d’ailleurs appelées « Via Crucis Migrantes » ou le « Chemin de croix des migrants », en référence aux processions catholiques, particulièrement appréciées en Amérique du Sud, qui mettent en scène la Passion du Christ, ou les derniers événements qui ont précédé et accompagné la mort de Jésus de Nazareth. Cette année, le groupe est parti le 25 mars de Tapachula, à la frontière du Guatemala, avec un groupe de près de 1 200 personnes, à 80 % originaires du Honduras, les autres venant du Guatemala, du Salvador et du Nicaragua, selon Rodrigo Abeja. Dans le groupe, près de 300 enfants âgés de 1 mois à 11 ans, une vingtaine de jeunes homosexuels et environ 400 femmes. Certains se sont ensuite dispersés, préférant rester au Mexique, d’autres choisissant de voyager par leurs propres moyens. En avril, les images de la caravane de migrants se dirigeant vers les États-Unis avaient suscité la colère de Donald Trump et une forte tension entre Washington et Mexico. Le président américain, dont l’un des principaux thèmes de campagne était la construction d’un mur à la frontière avec le Mexique pour lutter contre l’immigration clandestine, avait ordonné le déploiement sur la frontière de troupes de la Garde nationale. Il avait aussi soumis la conclusion d’un nouvel accord de libre-échange en Amérique du Nord à un renforcement des contrôles migratoires par le Mexique, une condition rejetée par le président mexicain Enrique Pena Nieto. France 24 
Il faut noter que les migrants qui veulent demander l’asile se rendent facilement aux agents de patrouille aux frontières. Ce ne sont pas des migrants sans papiers classiques, ils viennent avec autant de documents que possible pour obtenir l’asile politique. Dans ce groupe se trouvaient une vingtaine de femmes et d’enfants. La plupart venaient du Honduras.  (…) J’avais remarqué une mère qui tenait un enfant. Elle m’a dit que sa fille et elle voyageaient depuis un mois, au départ du Honduras. Elle m’a dit que sa fille avait 2 ans, et j’ai pu voir dans ses yeux qu’elle était sur ses gardes, exténuée et qu’elle avait probablement vécu un voyage très difficile. C’est l’une des dernières familles à avoir été embarquée dans le véhicule. Un des officiers a demandé à la mère de déposer son enfant à terre pendant qu’elle était fouillée. Juste à ce moment-là, la petite fille a commencé à pleurer, très fort. J’ai trois enfants moi-même, dont un tout petit, et c’était très difficile à voir, mais j’avais une fenêtre de tir très réduite pour photographier la scène. Dès que la fouille s’est terminée, elle a pu reprendre son enfant dans ses bras et ses pleurs se sont éteints. Moi, j’ai dû m’arrêter, reprendre mes esprits et respirer profondément. J’avais déjà photographié des scènes comme ça à de nombreuses reprises. Mais celle-ci était unique, d’une part à cause des pleurs de cette enfant, mais aussi parce que cette fois, je savais qu’à la prochaine étape de leur voyage, dans ce centre de rétention, elles allaient être séparées. Je doute que ces familles aient eu la moindre idée de ce qui allait leur arriver. Tous voyageaient depuis des semaines, ils ne regardaient pas la télévision et n’avaient aucun moyen d’être au courant de la nouvelle mesure de tolérance zéro et de séparation des familles mise en place par Trump. (…) Cela fait dix ans que je photographie l’immigration à la frontière américaine, toujours avec l’objectif d’humaniser des histoires complexes. Souvent, on parle de l’immigration avec des statistiques, arides et froides. Et je crois que la seule manière que les personnes dans ce pays trouvent des solutions humaines est qu’elles voient les gens comme des êtres humains. Je n’avais jamais imaginé que j’allais un jour mettre un visage sur une politique de séparation des familles, mais c’est le cas aujourd’hui. John Moore
Pourquoi aurait-elle fait subir ça à notre petite fille ? (….) Je pense que c’était irresponsable de sa part de partir avec le bébé dans les bras parce qu’on ne sait pas ce qui aurait pu arriver. Denis Hernandez
Interrogé par le Daily Mail, Denis Varela a indiqué que sa femme voulait expérimenter le rêve américain et trouver un travail au pays de l’Oncle Sam, mais qu’il était opposé à l’idée qu’elle parte avec sa fille : « Elle est partie sans prévenir. Je n’ai pas pu dire « Au revoir » à ma fille et maintenant la seule chose que je peux faire, c’est attendre. » Le couple a aussi trois autres enfants, un fils de 14 ans, et deux filles de 11 et 6 ans. « Les enfants comprennent ce qu’il se passe. Ils sont un peu inquiets mais j’essaye de ne pas trop aborder le sujet. Ils savent que leur mère et leur sœur sont en sécurité. » Il a ajouté qu’il espère que « les droits de sa femme et de sa fille sont respectés, parce qu’elles sont des reines […] Nous avons tous des droits. » Ouest France
Protecting children at the border is complicated because there have, indeed, been instances of fraud. Tens of thousands of migrants arrive there every year, and those with children in tow are often released into the United States more quickly than adults who come alone, because of restrictions on the amount of time that minors can be held in custody. Some migrants have admitted they brought their children not only to remove them from danger in such places as Central America and Africa, but because they believed it would cause the authorities to release them from custody sooner. Others have admitted to posing falsely with children who are not their own, and Border Patrol officials say that such instances of fraud are increasing. (…) [Jessica M. Vaughan, the director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies] said that some migrants were using children as “human shields” in order to get out of immigration custody faster. “It makes no sense at all for the government to just accept these attempts at fraud,” Ms. Vaughan said. “If it appears that the child is being used in this way, it is in the best interest of the child to be kept separately from the parent, for the parent to be prosecuted, because it’s a crime and it’s one that has to be deterred and prosecuted.” NYT
Over the weekend, you may have seen a horrifying story: Almost 1,500 migrant children were missing, and feared to be in the hands of human traffickers. The Trump administration lost track of the children, the story went, after separating them from their parents at the border. The news spread across liberal social media — with the hashtag #Wherearethechildren trending on Twitter — as people demanded immediate action. But it wasn’t true, or at least not the way that many thought. The narrative had combined parts of two real events and wound up with a horror story that was at least partly a myth. The fact that so many Americans readily believed this myth offers a lesson in how partisan polarization colors people’s views on a gut emotional level without many even realizing it. As other articles have explained, the missing children and the Trump administration’s separation of families who are apprehended at the border are two different matters. (…) These “missing” children had actually come to the United States without their parents, been picked up by the Border Patrol and then released to the custody of a parent or guardian. Many probably are not really missing. The figure represents the number of children whose households didn’t answer the phone when the Department of Health and Human Services called to check on them. The unanswered phone calls may warrant further welfare checks, but are not themselves a sign that something nefarious has happened. The Obama administration also detained immigrant families and children, as did other recent administrations. This past weekend, some social media users circulated a photo they said showed children detained as a result of President Trump’s policies, but the image was actually from 2014. (…) Long-running social science surveys have found that since the 1980s, Republicans’ opinions of Democrats and Democrats’ opinions of Republicans have been increasingly negative. At the same time, as Lilliana Mason, a political scientist at the University of Maryland, writes in a new book, partisan identity has become an umbrella for other important identities, including those involving race, religion, geography and even educational background. It has become a tribal identity itself, not merely a matter of policy preferences. So it’s not that liberals didn’t care about immigrant children until Mr. Trump became president, or that they’re only pretending to care now so as to score political points. Rather, with the Trump administration’s making opposition to immigrants a signature issue, the topic has become salient to partisan conflict in a way it wasn’t before. Mr. Trump’s treatment of immigrant families and children, when refracted through the lens of partisan bias, affirms liberals’ perception of being engaged in a broader moral struggle with the right, making it feel like an urgent threat. Mr. Obama’s detaining of immigrant children, by contrast, felt like a matter of abstract moral concern. Identity polarization means “you want to show that you’re a good member of your tribe,” Sean Westwood, a political scientist at Dartmouth College who studies partisan polarization, said in an interview early last year. “You want to show others that Republicans are bad or Democrats are bad, and your tribe is good.” Sharing stories on social media “provides a unique opportunity to publicly declare to the world what your beliefs are and how willing you are to denigrate the opposition and reinforce your own political candidates,” he said. Accurate news can serve that purpose. But fake news has an advantage. It can perfectly capture one side’s villainous archetypes of the other, without regard for pesky facts that might not fit the story line. The narrative that President Trump’s team lost hundreds of children after tearing them away from their parents combines some of the main liberal critiques of the administration: that it is racist, that it is authoritarian and that it is incompetent. The administration’s very real policy of separating families already plays to the first two archetypes. By adding in the missing children, the story manages to incorporate an incompetence angle as well. NYT
Nous ne voulons pas séparer les familles, mais nous ne voulons pas que des familles viennent illégalement. Si vous faites passer un enfant, nous vous poursuivrons. Et cet enfant sera séparé de vous, comme la loi le requiert. Jeff Sessions
Le dilemme est si vous êtes mou, ce que certaines personnes aimeraient que vous soyez, si vous êtes vraiment mou, pathétiquement mou… le pays va être envahi par des millions de gens. Et si vous êtes ferme, vous n’avez pas de coeur. C’est un dilemme difficile. Peut-être que je préfère être ferme, mais c’est un dilemme difficile. Donald Trump
La version originale de cet article a donné une représentation inexacte de ce qui est arrivé à la petite fille après la photo. Elle n’a pas été emmenée en larmes par les patrouilles frontalières ; sa mère l’a récupérée et les deux ont été interpellées ensemble. Time
Time has not responded to a request for comment from The Post, but in a statement sent to media outlets, the magazine said it’s standing by its cover. Washington Post
La photographie du 12 juin de la petite Hondurienne de 2 ans est devenue le symbole le plus visible du débat sur l’immigration en cours aux États-Unis et il y a une raison pour cela. Dans le cadre de la politique appliquée par l’administration, avant son revirement de cette semaine, ceux qui traversaient la frontière illégalement étaient l’objet de poursuites criminelles, qui entraînaient à leur tour la séparation des enfants et des parents. Notre couverture et notre reportage saisissent les enjeux de ce moment. Edward Felsenthal (rédacteur en chef de Time).
The Time cover is an illustration that interprets a wider issue being reported on within the magazine. The photograph I took is a straightforward and an honest image; it shows a brief moment in time of a distressed little girl, whose mother is being searched as they are both taken into custody. I believe this image has raised awareness of the zero tolerance policy of the current administration. Having covered immigration for Getty Images for 10 years, this photograph for me is part of a much larger story. John Moore
Obviously this child never met the president, it’s not misleading at all in that sense. I think that the power of it is in the juxtaposition of the two figures, of the child who quickly came to represent all of the children that we’re talking about, and the president who was making the decisions about their fate. Nancy Gibbs (former editor of Time)
It was well within the parameters of editorial license. This is a caustic, sharp-edged cover. But it’s a caustic, sharp-edged cover about an issue that is deeply emotional that has divided America. Moore’s photos are « iconic » and will be remembered alongside historic images of Emmett Till and the photo of a naked little girl running from a Naplam attack in Vietnam. Bruce Shapiro (Columbia University)
Il existe aux Etats-Unis un grave problème d’immigration illégale. Trump a commencé à prendre des décisions pour le régler. Les entrées clandestines dans le pays par la frontière Sud ont diminué de 70 pour cent. Elles sont encore trop nombreuses. Les immigrants illégaux présents dans le pays ne sont pas tous criminels, mais ils représentent une proportion importante des criminels incarcérés et des membres de gangs violents impliqués, entre autres, dans le trafic de drogue. Jeff Sessions, ministre de la justice inefficace dans d’autres secteurs, est très efficace dans ce secteur. Les Démocrates veulent que l’immigration illégale se poursuive, et s’intensifie, car ils ont besoin d’un électorat constitué d’illégaux fraîchement légalisés pour maintenir à flot la coalition électorale sur laquelle ils s’appuient et garder des chances de victoire ultérieure (minorités ethniques, femmes célibataires, étudiants, professeurs). La diminution de l’immigration clandestine leur pose problème. Les actions de la police de l’immigration (ICE; Immigration Control Enforcement) suscitent leur hostilité, d’où l’existence de villes sanctuaires démocrates et, en Californie, d’un Etat sanctuaire(démocrate, bien sûr). Ce qui se passe depuis quelques jours à la frontière Sud du pays est un coup monté auquel participent le parti démocrate, les grands médias américains, des organisations gauchistes, et le but est de faire pression sur Trump en diabolisant son action. La plupart des photos utilisées datent des années Obama, au cours desquelles le traitement des enfants entrant clandestinement dans le pays était exactement similaire à ce qu’il est aujourd’hui, sans qu’à l’époque les Démocrates disent un seul mot. Les enfants qui pleurent sur des vidéos ont été préparés à être filmés à des fins de propagande et ont appris à dire “daddy”, “mummy”. Le but est effectivement de faire céder Trump. Quelques Républicains à veste réversible ont joint leur voix au chœur. Trump, comme il sait le faire, a agi pour désamorcer le coup monté. On lui reproche de faire ce qui se fait depuis des années (séparer les enfants de leurs parents dès lors que les parents doivent être incarcérés) ? Il vient de décider que les enfants ne seront plus séparés des parents, et qu’ils seront placés ensemble dans des lieux de rétention.  Cela signifie-t-il un recul ? Non. La lutte contre l’immigration clandestine va se poursuivre selon exactement la même ligne. Les parents qui ont violé la loi seront traités comme ils l’étaient auparavant. Les enfants seront-ils dans de meilleures conditions ? Non. Ils ne seront pas dans des conditions plus mauvaises non plus. Décrire les lieux où ils étaient placés jusque là comme des camps de concentration est une honte et une insulte à ceux qui ont été placés dans de réels camps de concentration (certains Démocrates un peu plus répugnants que d’autres sont allés jusqu’à faire des comparaisons avec Auschwitz !) : les enfants sont placés dans ce qui est comparable à des auberges pour colonies de vacances. Un enfant clandestin coûte au contribuable américain à ce jour 35.000 dollars en moyenne annuelle. Désamorcer le coup monté ne réglera pas le problème d’ensemble. Des femmes viennent accoucher aux Etats-Unis pour que le bébé ait la nationalité américaine et puisse demander deux décennies plus tard un rapprochement de famille. Des gens font passer leurs enfants par des passeurs en espérant que l’enfant sera régularisé et pourra lui aussi demander un rapprochement de famille. Des parents paient leur passage aux Etats Unis en transportant de la drogue et doivent être jugés pour cela (le tarif des passeurs si on veut passer sans drogue est  de 10.000 dollars par personne). S’ils sont envoyés en prison, ils n’y seront pas envoyés avec leurs enfants.  Quand des trafiquants de drogue sont envoyés en prison, aux Etats-Unis ou ailleurs, ils ne vont pas en prison en famille, et si quelqu’un suggérait que leur famille devait les suivre en prison, parce que ce serait plus “humain”, les Démocrates seraient les premiers à hurler. Les Etats-Unis, comme tout pays développé, ne peuvent laisser entrer tous ceux qui veulent entrer en laissant leurs frontières ouvertes. Un pays a le droit de gérer l’immigration comme il l’entend et comme l’entend sa population, et il le doit, s’il ne veut pas être submergé par une population qui ne s’intègre pas et peut le faire glisser vers le chaos. Les pays européens sont confrontés au même problème que les Etats-Unis, d’une manière plus aiguë puisqu’en Europe s’ajoute le paramètre “islam”. La haine de la civilisation occidentale imprègne la gauche européenne, qui veut la dissolution des peuples européens. Une même haine imprègne la gauche américaine, qui veut la dissolution du peuple américain. Les grandes villes de l’Etat sanctuaire de Californie sont déjà méconnaissables, submergées par des sans abris étrangers (pas un seul pont de Los Angeles qui n’abrite désormais un petit bidonville, et un quart du centre ville est une véritable cour des miracles, à San Francisco ce n’est pas mieux). Il n’est pas du tout certain que le coup monte servira les Démocrates lors des élections de mi mandat. Nombre d’Américains ne veulent pas la dissolution du peuple américain. Guy Millière
Sur le plateau de la NBCNews, l’ancien président du Comité national du parti Républicain, Michael Steele, vient de comparer les centres dans lesquels sont accueillis les enfants de clandestins aux Etats-Unis à des camps de concentration. Il s’adresse alors aux Américains : « Demain, ce pourrait être vos enfants ». La scène résume à elle seule la folie qui s’est emparée de la sphère politico-médiatique après que Donald Trump a ordonné aux autorités gardant la frontière mexicaine d’appliquer la loi et de séparer les parents de leurs enfants entrés illégalement aux Etats-Unis. Passons sur la comparaison. Aussi indécente que manipulatrice : ces enfants ne sont pas enfermés en attendant la mort. Quant à la mise en garde, elle est grotesque. Aucun Américain ne se verra subitement séparé de ses enfants. A moins d’avoir commis un crime ou un délit puni de prison. Quand un citoyen lambda est condamné à une peine de prison, personne ne s’offusque jamais de cette séparation … Jusqu’à ce que cela touche des clandestins. Leur particularité étant de n’avoir aucun logement dans le pays dont ils viennent de violer la frontière, leurs enfants sont donc pris en charge dans des camps, en attendant que la situation des adultes soit examinée. Aux frais des Américains. (…) Reste que les parents, prévenus de la loi que nul n’est censé ignorer, sont les premiers responsables du sort qui menace leurs enfants, en choisissant de la violer. Ce sont eux qui font payer leur délit à leur propre progéniture. Les clandestins sont des adultes tout aussi responsables que n’importe quel autre adulte : leur retirer leur capacité de décision, leur liberté et donc leur responsabilité n’est pas exactement les respecter. Mais (…) remontons à 2014, époque bénie du président Barack Obama. Cette année-là, 47.017 mineurs sont appréhendés, alors qu’ils traversent la frontière… seuls. Des enfants, envoyés par leurs parents qui n’ont apparemment pas eu peur de s’en séparer pour leur faire prendre des risques inconsidérés. Comment est-ce possible ? L’administration américaine d’alors avait affirmé que les étrangers envoyaient leurs enfants seuls, persuadés qu’ils seraient ainsi mieux traités que des adultes. Le New York Times avait donné raison à l’administration : « alors que l’administration Obama a évolué vers une attitude plus agressive d’expulsion des adultes, elle a, dans les faits, expulsé beaucoup moins d’enfants que par le passé. » Les clandestins le savent, tout comme ils connaissent aujourd’hui les risques qui pèsent sur leurs propres enfants. On apprend également qu’à l’époque, les enfants mexicains sont directement reconduits de l’autre côté de la frontière et que les autres sont « pris en charge par le département de la Santé et des Services humanitaires qui les place dans des centres temporaires en attendant que leur processus d’expulsion soit lancé. » En 2013, 80 centres accueillaient 25 000 enfants non accompagnés. Et ce, dans les mêmes conditions aujourd’hui dénoncées. Si similaires d’ailleurs que certains ont voulu critiquer la politique migratoire de Donald Trump en usant de photos datant de… 2014 ! Rien n’a changé. A un détail près. Les enfants dont on parle en ce mois de juin 2018 sont parfois accompagnés d’adultes. Comme sous l’administration Obama, les enfants sont séparés de ces adultes lorsqu’il y a un doute sur le lien réel de parenté, en cas de suspicion de trafic de mineurs ou par manque de place dans les centres de rétention pour les familles. Restent les enfants effectivement accompagnés de leurs parents et malgré tout séparés de ces derniers qui partent en prison. Chaque mois, 50.000 clandestins entrent aux Etats-Unis, parmi lesquels 15% de familles. Une fois arrêtés, les clandestins sont pénalement poursuivis avant toute demande d’asile. (…) Mais il a suffi de quelques images, publiées en même temps que la sortie du très attendu rapport sur la possible partialité du FBI lors des dernières élections présidentielles américaines, pour que l’opinion politico-médiatique hurle au scandale. Jusqu’à la première dame du pays, Mélania Trump, qui a confié « détester » voir les clandestins séparés de leurs enfants. Le Président lui-même a fini par douter publiquement : «Le dilemme est si vous êtes mou, ce que certaines personnes aimeraient que vous soyez, si vous êtes vraiment mou, pathétiquement mou… le pays va être envahi par des millions de gens. Et si vous êtes ferme, vous n’avez pas de coeur. C’est un dilemme difficile. Peut-être que je préfère être ferme, mais c’est un dilemme difficile.» Donald Trump a subi l’indignation générale (à moins d’en profiter), au point de montrer au monde que même lui avait du cœur en annonçant la signature d’un décret mettant fin à cette séparation forcée. Tout le monde s’est félicité du résultat de la mobilisation : enfin, les enfants vont pouvoir rejoindre leurs parents en prison ! Quelle victoire… Charlotte d’Ornellas

Attention: une manipulation peut en cacher beaucoup d’autres !

Au lendemain de la révélation que la petite Hondurienne de deux ans dont les larmes avaient fait le tour du monde comme symbole de la séparation des familles de migrants aux Etats-Unis …

N’avait en fait jamais été séparée de sa mère, comme a bien dû le reconnaitre – problème de « mauvaise formulation », s’il vous plait  ! – le célèbre « Time magazine » lui-même qui en avait fait sa couverture

Ayant même, selon les dires du père resté seul avec leurs trois autres enfants, été emmenée à son insu par sa mère après une première tentative il y a cinq ans non de fuir la violence de son Honduras natal comme il avait été dit mais de « réaliser son rêve américain »…

Et sans compter la fausse attribution à l’Administration Trump de photos d’enfants détenus datant de 2014 et donc, comme d’ailleurs la pratique elle-même (mesure de protection des enfants – faut-il le rappeler ? – que, sauf en Corée du nord, l’on n’emprisonne normalement pas avec leur parents délinquants), de l’Administration Obama qui l’avait précédée …

Comment ne pas repenser …

Au-delà de la véritable situation de chaos, y compris par le simple effet de leur nombre dans les centres de rétention, que fuient et subissent depuis au moins dix ans nombre de demandeurs d’asile …

Des enfants boucliers humains du Hamas au petit Mohammed ou au petit Aylan ou même tout dernièrement à la petite Leila de Gaza …

A non seulement, dévoyant et détournant ce singulier souci des plus faibles qui fait la singularité de l’Occident judéo-chrétien, l’irresponsabilité voire de l‘intention clairement criminelle de tous ces parents, appuyés par militants et ONG sansfrontieristes, qui exploitent ainsi la misère de leurs enfants …

Mais aussi à la lourde responsabilité de médias qui, entre deux « mauvaises formulations » ou manipulations, leur servent de caisse de résonance ou même les encouragent …

Et qui aujourd’hui n’ont que le mot « fake news » à la bouche quand il s’agit de qualifier les dires du président Trump ou des rares médias qui le défendent encore ?

Charlotte d’Ornellas

Valeurs actuelles

21 juin 2018

Immigration. Pendant plusieurs jours, les médias du monde entier ont fait tourner en boucle des images d’enfants clandestins séparés de leurs parents à la frontière mexicano-américaine. Au point d’empêcher toute possibilité de réflexion.

Sur le plateau de la NBCNews, l’ancien président du Comité national du parti Républicain, Michael Steele, vient de comparer les centres dans lesquels sont accueillis les enfants de clandestins aux Etats-Unis à des camps de concentration. Il s’adresse alors aux Américains : « Demain, ce pourrait être vos enfants ».

La scène résume à elle seule la folie qui s’est emparée de la sphère politico-médiatique après que Donald Trump a ordonné aux autorités gardant la frontière mexicaine d’appliquer la loi et de séparer les parents de leurs enfants entrés illégalement aux Etats-Unis. Passons sur la comparaison. Aussi indécente que manipulatrice : ces enfants ne sont pas enfermés en attendant la mort. Quant à la mise en garde, elle est grotesque. Aucun américain ne se verra subitement séparé de ses enfants. A moins d’avoir commis un crime ou un délit puni de prison.

Quand un citoyen lambda est condamné à une peine de prison, personne ne s’offusque jamais de cette séparation … Jusqu’à ce que cela touche des clandestins. Leur particularité étant de n’avoir aucun logement dans le pays dont ils viennent de violer la frontière, leurs enfants sont donc pris en charge dans des camps, en attendant que la situation des adultes soit examinée. Aux frais des Américains.

Parce qu’un rappel n’est pas inutile dans le débat : franchir illégalement la frontière d’un pays est une violation de la loi. Un délit, puni d’emprisonnement aux Etats-Unis. Avec sa raison et non ses bons sentiments irrationnels, l’homme politique interrogé aurait donc pu être plus juste : si vous commettez un crime ou un délit passible de prison, vous aussi pourriez être séparés de vos enfants.

Reste que les parents, prévenus de la loi que nul n’est censé ignorer, sont les premiers responsables du sort qui menace leurs enfants, en choisissant de la violer. Ce sont eux qui font payer leur délit à leur propre progéniture. Les clandestins sont des adultes tout aussi responsables que n’importe quel autre adulte : leur retirer leur capacité de décision, leur liberté et donc leur responsabilité n’est pas exactement les respecter.

Certains ont voulu critiquer la politique migratoire de Donald Trump en usant de photos datant de… 2014

Mais penchons-nous plus précisément sur ce qui se passe à la frontière mexico-américaine. Et plutôt que de regarder la situation actuelle, qui ne saurait être analysée de manière raisonnable maintenant que Trump préside les Etats-Unis, remontons à 2014, époque bénie du président Barack Obama. Cette année-là, 47.017 mineurs sont appréhendés, alors qu’ils traversent la frontière… seuls.

Des enfants, envoyés par leurs parents qui n’ont apparemment pas eu peur de s’en séparer pour leur faire prendre des risques inconsidérés. Comment est-ce possible ? L’administration américaine d’alors avait affirmé que les étrangers envoyaient leurs enfants seuls, persuadés qu’ils seraient ainsi mieux traités que des adultes. Le New York Times avait donné raison à l’administration : « alors que l’administration Obama a évolué vers une attitude plus agressive d’expulsion des adultes, elle a, dans les faits, expulsé beaucoup moins d’enfants que par le passé. » 

Les clandestins le savent, tout comme ils connaissent aujourd’hui les risques qui pèsent sur leurs propres enfants. On apprend également qu’à l’époque, les enfants mexicains sont directement reconduits de l’autre côté de la frontière et que les autres sont « pris en charge par le département de la Santé et des Services humanitaires qui les place dans des centres temporaires en attendant que leur processus d’expulsion soit lancé. » En 2013, 80 centres accueillaient 25 000 enfants non accompagnés. Et ce, dans les mêmes conditions aujourd’hui dénoncées. Si similaires d’ailleurs que certains ont voulu critiquer la politique migratoire de Donald Trump en usant de photos datant de… 2014 !

Rien n’a changé. A un détail près. Les enfants dont on parle en ce mois de juin 2018 sont parfois accompagnés d’adultes. Comme sous l’administration Obama, les enfants sont séparés de ces adultes lorsqu’il y a un doute sur le lien réel de parenté, en cas de suspicion de trafic de mineurs ou par manque de place dans les centres de rétention pour les familles.

Restent les enfants effectivement accompagnés de leurs parents et malgré tout séparés de ces derniers qui partent en prison. Chaque mois, 50.000 clandestins entrent aux Etats-Unis, parmi lesquels 15% de familles. Une fois arrêtés, les clandestins sont pénalement poursuivis avant toute demande d’asile. Or Trump a été élu pour une tolérance zéro : la loi est donc strictement appliquée. Cette même loi américaine ne permet pas que les enfants puissent suivre leurs parents lorsque ces derniers sont poursuivis pénalement. La séparation était donc une conséquence logique, même très pénible, du choix des Américains.

«Le dilemme est si vous êtes mou, le pays va être envahi par des millions de gens. Et si vous êtes ferme, vous n’avez pas de coeur» 

C’est d’ailleurs ce qu’a immédiatement répondu le ministre américain de la justice Jeff Session : « Nous ne voulons pas séparer les familles, mais nous ne voulons pas que des familles viennent illégalement. Si vous faites passer un enfant, nous vous poursuivrons. Et cet enfant sera séparé de vous, comme la loi le requiert ». 

Mais il a suffi de quelques images, publiées en même temps que la sortie du très attendu rapport sur la possible partialité du FBI lors des dernières élections présidentielles américaines, pour que l’opinion politico-médiatique hurle au scandale. Jusqu’à la première dame du pays, Mélania Trump, qui a confié « détester » voir les clandestins séparés de leurs enfants.
Le Président lui-même a fini  par douter publiquement : «Le dilemme est si vous êtes mou, ce que certaines personnes aimeraient que vous soyez, si vous êtes vraiment mou, pathétiquement mou… le pays va être envahi par des millions de gens. Et si vous êtes ferme, vous n’avez pas de coeur. C’est un dilemme difficile. Peut-être que je préfère être ferme, mais c’est un dilemme difficile.»

Donald Trump a subi l’indignation générale (à moins d’en profiter), au point de montrer au monde que même lui avait du cœur en annonçant la signature d’un décret mettant fin à cette séparation forcée. Tout le monde s’est félicité du résultat de la mobilisation : enfin, les enfants vont pouvoir rejoindre leurs parents en prison ! Quelle victoire… Mais Donald Trump a insisté sur sa détermination à stopper l’immigration illégale en même temps, appelant de ses vœux un vote du Congrès pour « changer les lois ». Depuis son accession à la présidence, notamment due à un discours extrêmement ferme sur l’immigration, Donald Trump est empêché par les démocrates, comme par son administration : ils bloquent son projet de mur à la frontière, l’immigration fondée sur le mérite ainsi que tous les ajustements proposés pour les forces de l’ordre.

La situation finit par le servir, et il ne pouvait l’ignorer : il vient de faire une concession, il appelle maintenant le Congrès à voter contre les « anciennes lois horribles » en adoptant la sienne. Nul ne connaît la suite. Mais pour Donald Trump, le défi est immense. S’il n’a pas été élu sur la seule promesse d’une tolérance zéro vis-à-vis de l’immigration illégale, le sujet reste l’une des préoccupations majeures de ses électeurs.

Voir aussi:

Yanela, symbole des enfants séparés dans « Time magazine »… tout n’était pas tout à fait vrai

DÉCRYPTAGE – Son visage, en larmes, s’affiche en une du célèbre « Time Magazine » face au président Donald Trump dans un photomontage saisissant. Symbole de la politique migratoire qui a éloigné des milliers d’enfants de leurs parents, la petite Yanela Hernandez n’aurait en réalité jamais été séparée de sa mère. Le sort de la maman et de la fille, originaires du Honduras, reste néanmoins inconnu. Explications.

C’est une image qui a fait le tour du monde en quelques heures. Pour illustrer sa dernière Une, consacrée à la polémique autour de la politique migratoire de Donald Trump, le célèbre « Time Magazine » a réalisé un photomontage sur fond rouge qui met en scène une fillette en pleurs, sous les yeux du président, un sourire en coin. Le titre ? « Welcome to America » (Bienvenue en Amérique).

Sur le site de l’hebdomadaire, le photographe de l’agence Getty John Moore expliquait mercredi les coulisses du cliché, pris le 11 juin dernier à la frontière entre le Texas et le Mexique. Il a été réalisé au moment où les policiers étaient en train de fouiller la mère de la petite fille, âgée de 2 ans. « Dès qu’ils ont eu terminé, elles ont été mises dans un camion (…) Tout ce que je voulais, c’est la prendre avec moi. Mais je ne pouvais pas. »

Le photographe laisse également entendre que la mère et l’enfant, originaires du Honduras, ont pu être séparées par la suite, comme l’ont été au moins 23.000 enfants sans papiers depuis avril dernier, dans le cadre de politique de tolérance zéro menée par l’administration en matière migratoire. Face au tollé international, le président américain a annoncé mettre fin à ces séparations, expliquant également avoir été influencé par son épouse Melania.

Quid de la petite fille en une de « Time » ? Depuis la parution du magazine, de nombreux internautes ont relayé un appel pour aider à la retrouver, soutenus par de nombreuses personnalités comme les écrivains Don Winslow et Stephen King. Interrogé mercredi par le site américain Buzzfeed, un porte-parole de la police des frontière affirmait toutefois que mère et fille n’avait pas été séparées, sans donner plus de précision.

C’est finalement le père de la fillette qui a donné de ses nouvelles, ce vendredi. Dans un entretien téléphonique accordé au Daily Mail depuis le Honduras, Denis Javier Valera Hernandez, 32 ans, révèle que l’enfant s’appelle Yanela et qu’elle n’aurait pas été séparée de sa mère, Sandra. « Vous imaginez ce que j’ai ressenti lorsque j’ai vu la photo de ma fille. J’en ai eu le coeur brisé. C’est difficile pour un père de voir ça. Mais je sais maintenant qu’elles sont hors de danger. Elles sont plus en sécurité que lorsqu’elles ont fait le voyage vers la frontière. »

Denis Hernandez explique que sa femme et sa fille ont quitté leur pays en bateau, le 3 juin dernier, depuis le port de Puerto Cortes, sans le prévenir, afin de rejoindre des membres de sa famille déjà installés aux Etats-Unis. Pour effectuer le voyage, la mère aurait payé 6.000 dollars à un passeur. Depuis leur arrestation, Il affirme qu’elles sont détenues ensemble dans la ville frontalière de McAllen, au Texas, dans l’attente de l’examen d’un dossier de demande d’asile que la mère a déposé. S’il est refusé, elles seront contraintes de rentrer au Honduras.

« J’attends de voir ce qui va leur arriver »,  réagit le père dans un autre entretien accordé à l’agence de Reuters, qui a eu confirmation des faits par Nelly Jerez, la ministre des Affaires étrangères du Honduras. Ni les autorités américaines, ni « Time Magazine », n’ont commenté ces informations pour le moment. Et certains internautes continuent de les mettre en doute, tant que Yanela et sa mère n’auront pas été filmées par les caméras de télévision…

Quoi qu’il en soit, cet imbroglio vient mettre en lumière la difficulté de réunir les familles, dans la foulée de la décision  spectaculaire de la Maison Blanche. D’après Jodi Goodwin, avocate spécialisée dans l’immigration au Texas,  l’organisme ayant pris en charge les enfants ne dispose pas d’un système pour se synchroniser avec les autorités migratoires qui détiennent les parents et assurer ainsi une fluidité des informations.

« Lorsque je parle avec les parents, ils ont le regard fixé dans le vide parce qu’ils ne peuvent tout simplement pas comprendre, ils ne peuvent accepter, ils ne peuvent croire qu’ils ignorent où se trouvent leurs enfants et que le gouvernement américain les leur a retirés », a-t-elle expliqué à l’AFP. Un discours partagé dans les médias par de nombreuses ONG pour qui le revirement de Donald Trump n’est qu’une étape.

Rappelons que le décret, signé par le président américain devant les caméras, stipule que des poursuites pénales continueront à être engagées contre ceux qui traversent la frontière illégalement. Mais que parents et enfants seront détenus ensemble dans l’attente de l’examen de leur dossier. La petite Yanela et sa mère bénéficieront-elles de la clémence de la Maison Blanche ?

Voir de même:

La fillette en larmes sur la couverture du « Time » n’avait pas été séparée de sa mère
La petite fille éplorée lors de l’arrestation de sa mère hondurienne à la frontière n’a pas été séparée d’elle.
Delphine Bernard-Bruls
Le Monde
22.06.2018

Sur sa dernière couverture, le magazine américain Time a réutilisé une photographie déjà célèbre montrant une fillette en larmes alors que sa mère est arrêtée par la police à la frontière entre les Etats-Unis et le Mexique. Placée face au président américain, Donald Trump, et à l’expression « Bienvenue en Amérique », la photo devait illustrer la politique migratoire de « tolérance zéro » qui a mené à plus de 2 000 séparations entre parents et enfants clandestins. Sauf que, contrairement à ce que de nombreux observateurs ont laissé penser, la mère et la fille n’ont pas été séparées à leur arrivée à McAllen, au Texas.

Le photographe de Getty Images, John Moore, savait que la fillette au gilet rose et sa mère arrivaient du Honduras, rien de plus. S’il ignorait que son cliché illustrerait le mouvement d’indignation contre la politique migratoire de M. Trump – contre laquelle ce dernier a finalement signé un décret le 20 juin – il ne savait pas plus que mère et fille n’avaient pas été séparées mais internées ensemble. Dans le Time, M. Moore a expliqué avoir photographié la mère et la fille dans la nuit du 12 au 13 juin alors qu’elles achevaient un mois de marche en direction des Etats-Unis.
Mise à jour tardive

Interrogé sur CNN, le photographe a souligné en début de semaine ne pas avoir été témoin d’une quelconque séparation, mais a rapporté que mère et fille « ont été envoyées vers un centre où elles ont peut-être été séparées », comme quelque 2 000 familles au cours de ces deux derniers mois. Le Time a lui-même fait l’erreur : après avoir d’abord affirmé le 19 juin que mère et fille avaient été séparées, le magazine a ajouté une mise à jour au bas de son article.

« La version originale de cet article a fait une fausse affirmation quant au sort de la petite fille après la photographie. Elle n’a pas été emmenée en larmes par les patrouilles frontalières ; sa mère l’a récupérée et les deux ont été interpellées ensemble. »

A des milliers de kilomètres de là, au Honduras, Denis Javier Varela Hernandez a reconnu la bambine en larmes figurant sur la photo devenue virale, et assuré qu’il s’agissait de sa fille, qu’il n’avait pas vue depuis plusieurs semaines. Il a d’abord affirmé cela, mardi sur la chaîne de télévision hispanophone Univision : « Cette photo… dès que je l’ai vue j’ai su que c’était ma fille. » Il a répété cette affirmation au quotidien britannique Daily Mail, précisant que sa compagne ne l’avait pas mis au courant de ses projets de migration vers les Etats-Unis. Sans nouvelles d’elle depuis son départ, il a appris la semaine dernière qu’elle avait été interpellée à son arrivée au Texas, mais internée avec sa fille.

D’autres sources sont venues corroborer les propos du père, resté au Honduras : « La mère et la fille n’ont pas été séparées », a déclaré une porte-parole des autorités douanières et frontalières au Daily Beast. Côté hondurien, la ministre adjointe des relations internationales, Nelly Jerez, a confirmé le récit du père auprès de l’agence de presse Reuters. Optimiste, ce dernier a estimé que « si elles sont déportées, ça ne fait rien, tant qu’ils ne laissent pas l’enfant sans sa mère ».

Voir de plus:

Que devient la fillette qui a ému l’Amérique ?

Valentin Davodeau

Ouest France

22 juin 2018

La photo de cette enfant de 2 ans en pleurs, arrêtée à la frontière entre le Mexique et les États-Unis avec sa mère, avait fait le tour des médias américains et internationaux. Selon le père de la fillette, elles seraient toutes les deux détenues actuellement dans un centre au Texas.

« Elles sont détenues dans un établissement du Texas mais elles vont bien », a déclaré Denis Javier Varela Hernandez, père de la petite Yanela, 2 ans, et mari de Sandra Sanchez, 32 ans. Interrogé par différents médias, cet homme de 32 ans vivant à Puerto Cortes au Honduras dit avoir reconnu sa fille sur cette photo qui a fait le tour du monde. « Mon cœur était en miette quand j’ai vu ma petite fille sur cette image », a-t-il expliqué à Univision,

La mère et sa fille n’ont pas été séparées

Denis Varela a précisé que sa femme et sa fille n’ont pas été séparées quand elles ont été interceptées le 12 juin par la patrouille des frontières, à proximité de la ville d’Hidalgo, au Texas. Depuis le 5 mai, plus de 2 300 enfants ont été écartés de leurs parents alors que ces familles tentaient de passer la frontière entre le Mexique et les États-Unis.

Yanela et sa mère se trouveraient actuellement dans un centre de rétention à Dilley, au sud du « Lone Star State ». Parties du Honduras le 3 juin, Sandra Sanchez et Yanela ont parcouru près de 2 900 kilomètres pour arriver jusqu’aux États-Unis.

Le rêve américain

Interrogé par le Daily Mail, Denis Varela a indiqué que sa femme voulait expérimenter le rêve américain et trouver un travail au pays de l’Oncle Sam, mais qu’il était opposé à l’idée qu’elle parte avec sa fille : « Elle est partie sans prévenir. Je n’ai pas pu dire « Au revoir » à ma fille et maintenant la seule chose que je peux faire, c’est attendre. »

Le couple a aussi trois autres enfants, un fils de 14 ans, et deux filles de 11 et 6 ans. « Les enfants comprennent ce qu’il se passe. Ils sont un peu inquiets mais j’essaye de ne pas trop aborder le sujet. Ils savent que leur mère et leur sœur sont en sécurité. » Il a ajouté qu’il espère que « les droits de sa femme et de sa fille sont respectés, parce qu’elles sont des reines […] Nous avons tous des droits. »

Voir encore:

Cette photo bouleverse le monde entier et illustre les effets de la politique de « tolérance zéro » revendiquée par Donald Trump sur la politique de séparation des familles pour lutter contre l’immigration illégale.

Une petite fille en pleurs, vêtue d’un tee-shirt rose et de chaussures assorties. Du haut de ses 2 ans, elle regarde avec effroi un garde-frontière qui vient d’arrêter sa mère, une immigrée hondurienne qui tentait de passer la frontière entre les États-Unis et le Mexique. La photo a été prise le 12 juin et a, depuis, fait le tour du monde. Elle donne un visage aux 2 000 enfants séparés de leurs parents depuis que l’administration de Donald Trump a abruptement décrété début mai une politique de « tolérance zéro », sous la houlette de l’ultraconservateur ministre de la Justice, Jeff Sessions.

L’auteur de cette image, John Moore, s’efforce depuis dix ans d’illustrer l’immigration et ses souffrances. Mais cette photo restera unique à ses yeux. Ce correspondant spécial de Getty Images, titulaire du prix Pulitzer et auteur du livre de photos Undocumented (« Clandestin » en français), répond aux questions de franceinfo et nous raconte l’émotion de cette scène.

Franceinfo : Dans quelles circonstances avez-vous photographié cette famille ? 

John Moore : J’étais à McAllen, dans la vallée du Rio Grande, dans le sud du Texas, près de la frontière avec le Mexique. Je suivais les patrouilles aux frontières pendant leurs opérations. Cette nuit-là, un groupe de migrants a atteint les États-Unis. Ils ont été arrêtés et réunis au bord d’une route en terre par les patrouilles. Il faut noter que les migrants qui veulent demander l’asile se rendent facilement aux agents de patrouille aux frontières. Ce ne sont pas des migrants sans papiers classiques, ils viennent avec autant de documents que possible pour obtenir l’asile politique. Dans ce groupe se trouvaient une vingtaine de femmes et d’enfants. La plupart venaient du Honduras. Tous ces migrants ont dû se débarrasser de leurs effets personnels, ils ont dû se défaire de leurs sacs, de leurs bijoux et même des lacets de leurs chaussures. Il ne leur restait plus que leurs vêtements. Ils ont ensuite été fouillés avant d’être embarqués dans un van qui allait les emmener dans un centre de rétention.

Pourquoi la petite fille pleure-t-elle sur votre photo ? 

J’avais remarqué une mère qui tenait un enfant. Elle m’a dit que sa fille et elle voyageaient depuis un mois, au départ du Honduras. Elle m’a dit que sa fille avait 2 ans, et j’ai pu voir dans ses yeux qu’elle était sur ses gardes, exténuée et qu’elle avait probablement vécu un voyage très difficile. C’est l’une des dernières familles à avoir été embarquée dans le véhicule. Un des officiers a demandé à la mère de déposer son enfant à terre pendant qu’elle était fouillée.

Juste à ce moment-là, la petite fille a commencé à pleurer, très fort. J’ai trois enfants moi-même, dont un tout petit, et c’était très difficile à voir, mais j’avais une fenêtre de tir très réduite pour photographier la scène. Dès que la fouille s’est terminée, elle a pu reprendre son enfant dans ses bras et ses pleurs se sont éteints. Moi, j’ai dû m’arrêter, reprendre mes esprits et respirer profondément.

Comment avez-vous vécu la scène ? 

J’avais déjà photographié des scènes comme ça à de nombreuses reprises. Mais celle-ci était unique, d’une part à cause des pleurs de cette enfant, mais aussi parce que cette fois, je savais qu’à la prochaine étape de leur voyage, dans ce centre de rétention, elles allaient être séparées. Je doute que ces familles aient eu la moindre idée de ce qui allait leur arriver. Tous voyageaient depuis des semaines, ils ne regardaient pas la télévision et n’avaient aucun moyen d’être au courant de la nouvelle mesure de tolérance zéro et de séparation des familles mise en place par Trump.

Même maintenant, quand je regarde ces photos, cela m’attriste toujours, alors que je les ai maintenant vues de nombreuses fois. Cela fait dix ans que je photographie l’immigration à la frontière américaine, toujours avec l’objectif d’humaniser des histoires complexes. Souvent, on parle de l’immigration avec des statistiques, arides et froides. Et je crois que la seule manière que les personnes dans ce pays trouvent des solutions humaines est qu’elles voient les gens comme des êtres humains. Je n’avais jamais imaginé que j’allais un jour mettre un visage sur une politique de séparation des familles, mais c’est le cas aujourd’hui.

Je suis actuellement de retour chez moi, dans le Connecticut. Je suis très heureux d’être à la maison, avec mes enfants, pendant un moment. Ma dernière semaine de reportage m’a rappelé que nous ne pouvons jamais prendre la présence de nos êtres aimés pour acquise.

Voir aussi:

The crying Honduran girl on the cover of Time was not separated from her mother

The widely shared photo of the little girl crying as a U.S. Border Patrol agent patted down her mother became a symbol of the families pulled apart by the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy at the border, even landing on the new cover of Time magazine.

But the girl’s father told The Washington Post on Thursday night that his child and her mother were not separated, and a U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman confirmed that the family was not separated while in the agency’s custody. In an interview with CBS News, Border Patrol agent Carlos Ruiz, who was among the first to encounter the mother and her daughter at the border in Texas, said the image had been used to symbolize a policy but “that was not the case in this picture.”

Ruiz, who was not available for an interview Friday, said agents asked the mother, Sandra Sanchez, to put down her daughter, nearly 2-year-old Yanela, so they could search her. Agents patted down the mother for less than two minutes, and she immediately picked up her daughter, who then stopped crying.

“I personally went up to the mother and asked her, ‘Are you doing okay? Is the kid okay?’ and she said, ‘Yes. She’s tired and thirsty. It’s 11 o’clock at night,” Ruiz told CBS News.

The revelation has prompted a round of media criticism from the White House and other conservatives.

“It’s shameful that dems and the media exploited this photo of a little girl to push their agenda,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted Friday. “She was not separated from her mom. The separation here is from the facts.”

The heart-wrenching image, captured by award-winning Getty Images photographer John Moore, was spread across the front pages of international newspapers. It was used to promote a Facebook fundraiser that has collected more than $18 million to help reunite separated families.

And on Thursday, hours before the little girl’s father spoke out, Time magazine released its July 2 cover using the child’s image — without the mother — in a photo illustration that shows her looking up at President Trump, who is seen towering above her.

“Welcome to America,” the cover reads.

Time has not responded to a request for comment from The Post, but in a statement sent to media outlets, the magazine said it’s standing by its cover.

Time also has added a correction to an online article and gallery that ran Tuesday, before the cover was released: “The original version of this story misstated what happened to the girl in the photo after she [was] taken from the scene. The girl was not carried away screaming by U.S. Border Patrol agents; her mother picked her up and the two were taken away together.”

Moore, the photographer, told The Post in an email that Time corrected the story after he made a request minutes after it was published. He said that the picture “is a straightforward and honest image” showing a “distressed little girl” whose mother was being searched by border officials.

“I believe this image has raised awareness to the zero-tolerance policy of this administration. Having covered immigration for Getty Images for 10 years, this photograph for me is part of a much larger story,” Moore said, adding later: “The image showed a moment in time at the border, but the emotion in the little girl’s distress has ignited a response. As a photojournalist, my job is to inform and report what is happening, but I also think it is important to humanize an issue that is often reported in statistics.”

Moore told The Post’s Avi Selk that he ran into the mother and toddler in McAllen, Tex., on the night of June 12. He knew only that they were from Honduras and had been on the road for about a month. “I can only imagine what dangers she’d passed through, alone with the girl,” he said.

Moore photographed the girl crying as the border agent patted down the mother.

Moore said the woman picked up her daughter, they walked into the van, and the van drove away. When he took the picture, he said he did not know whether the mother and her daughter would be separated, “but it was a very real possibility,” given the slew of family separations carried out by the Trump administration.

He said he’s glad that although the two were detained, “they are together.”

In Honduras, Denis Javier Varela Hernandez recognized his daughter in the photo and also feared that she was separated from her mother, he told The Post.

But he said he learned this week that his 32-year-old wife and daughter were, in fact, detained together at a facility in McAllen. Honduran Deputy Foreign Minister Nelly Jerez confirmed Varela’s account to Reuters.

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman said in a statement to The Post that Sanchez was arrested by the U.S. Border Patrol near Hidalgo, Tex., on June 12 while traveling with a family member. She was transferred to ICE custody on June 17 and is being housed at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Tex., according to ICE.

ICE said Sanchez was previously deported to Honduras in July 2013.

Sanchez and her daughter left for the United States from Puerto Cortes, north of the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, on June 3, Varela said. Sanchez had told her husband that she hoped to go to the United States to seek a better life for her children, away from the dangers of their home country. But she left without telling him that she was taking their youngest daughter with her. Varela, who has three other children with Sanchez, feared for the little girl’s safety, he said. Yanela is turning 2 years old in July.

After Sanchez left, Varela had no way to contact her or learn of her whereabouts. Then, on the news, he saw the photo of the girl in the pink shirt.

“The first second I saw it, I knew it was my daughter,” Varela told The Post. “Immediately, I recognized her.”

He heard that U.S. officials were separating families at the border, before Trump reversed the policy Wednesday. Varela felt helpless and distressed “imagining my daughter in that situation,” he said.

This week, Varela received a phone call from an official with Honduras’s foreign ministry, letting him know his wife and daughter were detained together. While he doesn’t know anything about the conditions of the facility or what is next for Sanchez and Yanela, he was relieved to hear they were in the same place.

As news emerged late Thursday that the mother and child were not separated, conservative media jumped on the story, portraying it as evidence of “fake news” surrounding the Trump administration’s immigration policies.

It was the most prominent story on the home page of the conservative news outlet Breitbart, which called it a “fake news photo.” Infowars, owned by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, singled out Time and CNN for using the “completely misleading” image to push “open border propaganda.”

Donald Trump Jr. has been talking about the photo on Twitter on Friday.

“No one is shocked anymore. There is a no low they won’t go to for their narrative,” the president’s eldest son tweeted.

Varela pushed back against the portrayals of his daughter’s story, saying it should not cast doubt on the “human-rights violations” taking place at the border.

“This is the case for my daughter, but it is not the case for 2,000 children that were separated from their parents,” Varela said.

At least 2,500 migrant children have been separated from their parents at the border since May 5.

Varela said he felt “proud” that his daughter has “represented the subject of immigration” and helped propel changes in policy. But he asked that Trump “put his hand on his heart.”

He hopes that U.S. officials will grant asylum to his wife and daughter, he said.

Asked whether he would also like to come to the United States, he said, “Of course, someday.”

Voir de même:

EXCLUSIVE: ‘They’re together and safe’: Father of Honduran two-year-old who became the face of family separation crisis reveals daughter was never separated from her mother, but the image of her in tears at U.S. border control ‘broke his heart’

  • Denis Javier Varela Hernandez spoke out about the status of his wife Sandra, 32, and daughter, Yanela, 2
  • Yanela became the face of the immigration crisis after a Getty photographer snapped a photo of her in tears
  • Speaking to DailyMail.com Hernandez said he has still not been in direct contact with his wife Sandra because he does not have a way of communicating
  • Denis said a Honduran official in the US told him that his wife and daughter are together and are doing ‘fine’
  • Sandra was part of a group that were caught by Border Patrol agents after making their way across the Rio Grande river on a raft
  • She set out on her journey from Puerto Cortes, Honduras to the U.S. at 6am on June 3 and allegedly paid $6,000 for a coyote
  • Hernandez  said he did not support his wife’s decision to make the journey with their young daughter in her arms and never got to properly say goodbye

The father of the Honduran girl who became the face of the family separation crisis has revealed that he still has not been in touch with his wife or daughter but was happy to learn they are safe.

Denis Javier Varela Hernandez, 32, said that he had not heard from his wife Sandra, 32, who was with his two-year-old daughter Yanela Denise, for nearly three weeks until he saw the image of them being apprehended in Texas.

In an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com, Hernandez, who lives in Puerto Cortes, Honduras, says that he was told on Wednesday by a Honduran official in the US that his wife and child are being detained at a family residential center in Texas but are together and are doing ‘fine.’

‘You can imagine how I felt when I saw that photo of my daughter. It broke my heart. It’s difficult as a father to see that, but I know now that they are not in danger. They are safer now than when they were making that journey to the border,’ he said.

A spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has told DailyMail.com that Sandra had been previously been deported from the US in 2013.

The spokeswoman said that she was ‘encountered by immigration officials in Hebbronville, Texas’ in and sent back to Honduras 15 days later under ‘expedited removal.’

Sandra current immigration proceedings are ‘ongoing’ and she is being housed at a family detention center in Texas.

Denis said that his wife had previously mentioned her wish to go to the United States for a ‘better future’ but did not tell him nor any of their family members that she was planning to make the trek.

‘I didn’t support it. I asked her, why? Why would she want to put our little girl through that? But it was her decision at the end of the day.’

He said that Sandra had always wanted to experience ‘the American dream’ and hoped to find a good job in the States.

Denis, who works as a captain at a port on the coast of Puerto Cortes, explained that things back home were fine but not great, and that his wife was seeking political asylum.

He said that Sandra set out on the 1,800-mile journey with the baby girl on June 3, at 6am, and he has not heard from her since.

‘I never got the chance to say goodbye to my daughter and now all I can do is wait’, he said, adding that he hopes they are either granted political asylum or are sent back home.

‘I don’t have any resentment for my wife, but I do think it was irresponsible of her to take the baby with her in her arms because we don’t know what could happen.’

The couple has three other children, son Wesly, 14, and daughters Cindy, 11, and Brianna, six.

‘The kids see what’s happening. They’re a little worried but I don’t try to bring it up that much. They know their mother and sister are safe now.’

Denis said that he believes the journey across the border is only worth it to some degree, and admits that it’s not something he would ever consider.

He said he heard from friends that his wife paid $6,000 for a coyote – a term for someone who smuggles people across the border.

‘I wouldn’t risk my life for it. It’s hard to find a good job here and that’s why many people choose to leave. But I thank God that I have a good job here. And I would never risk my life making that journey.’

The heart-breaking photo was taken by Getty photographer John Moore close to midnight on the night of June 12 near McAllen, Texas, as the row over Donald Trump’s separation of migrant parents and children escalated.

Denis said that he hopes to use the photo and his family’s situation to help him reunite with his daughter.

‘I don’t want money, what I want is someone to tell me that my daughter is going to be OK.’

When asked about his views on Trump’s border policy, Denis said: ‘I’ve never seen it in a positive light the way others do. It violates human rights and children’s rights. Separating children from their parents is just wrong. They are suffering and are traumatized.

‘The laws need to be modified and we need to have a conversation. It’s just not right.

‘[Illegal] Immigration and drug smuggling across the United States border is never gonna stop. They can build a wall and it’s never going to stop,’ he said.

Sandra was part of a group that were caught by Border Patrol agents after making their way across the Rio Grande river on a raft.

Moore’s photo showed Yanela crying on a dirt track as her mother is patted down by a Border Patrol agent.

For many the photo summed up the cruelty of Trump’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy towards migrants which has caused 2,300 children to be separated from their mothers and fathers.

A photo of Yanela was used on the front cover of TIME magazine to show the devastating effect of the policy, which was brought in in April.

But actually Yanela remained with her mother after she arrived in the US after making the perilous 1,800 mile journey North through Central America and Mexico,

TIME magazine later issued a clarification saying that the original version of its story accompanying the cover was wrong because Yanela ‘was not carried away screaming by Border Patrol Agents’.

TIME’s editor in chief Edward Felsenthal said in a statement that it stood behind the wider point which is that Yanela was ‘the most visible symbol of the ongoing immigration debate’

Among those who have Tweeted DailyMail.com’s story have been White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

She wrote: ‘It’s shameful that dems and the media exploited this photo of a little girl to push their agenda. She was not separated from her mom. The separation here is from the facts’.

Moore, who has worked on the border with Mexico for years and has won a Pulitzer for his photography, has said the the image of Yanela was the last one he took that night.

Speaking to People magazine he said that the girl’s mother was the last to be searched and a female agent asked her to put Yanela down so she could pat her down

Moore said: ‘The mother hesitated and then set down the little girl and the child immediately started crying.

‘As a father, it was very emotional for me just to hear those cries. When I saw this little girl break down in tears I wanted to comfort this child.

‘But as a photojournalist we sometimes have to keep photographing when things are hard. And tell a story that people would never see.’

Moore crouched 6ft from the girl as she looked up at her mother and took seven shots, Yanela’s mother’s hands spread out on the Border Patrol truck.

The image was a major factor in pressuring Trump to do a U-turn on his immigration policy and sign an executive order allowing families to stay together.

The President said that he wanted to look strong but admitted that the ‘zero tolerance’ policy made him look like he had ‘no heart’.

Trump’s climb down came after worldwide outrage including British Prime Minister Theresa May who called his policy ‘deeply disturbing’ while Pope Francis said it was ‘immoral’.

The climb down was a rare one from Trump, who almost never apologizes and rarely backs down.

But he had not choice when his policy created a wall of opposition between him and others, including his own wife Melania, Democrats, Republicans, every living former First Lady, Amnesty International and the United Nations.

Voir encore:

‘All I Wanted to Do Was Pick Her Up.’ How a Photographer at the U.S.-Mexico Border Made an Image America Could Not Ignore

« This one was tough for me. As soon as it was over, they were put into a van. I had to stop and take deep breaths, » Getty photographer John Moore said
June 19, 2018

John Moore has been photographing immigrants and the hardship and heartbreak of crossing the U.S.-Mexico border for years — but this time, he said, something is different.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer for Getty Images said the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents — part of its “zero tolerance” stance toward people who illegally cross into the U.S. — has changed everything about enforcement at the U.S.-Mexico border and resulted in a level of despair for immigrants that Americans can no longer ignore.

“It’s a very different scene now,” he said. “I’m almost positive these families last week had no idea they’d be separated from their children.”

Moore’s image last week of a 2-year-old Honduran girl crying as a U.S. Border Patrol agent patted down her mother has become a symbol of the human cost — and many critics say cruelty — of President Donald Trump’s hard line on immigration. The crying girl has become the face of the family separation policy, which has been criticized by Democrats and Republicans alike.

“When the officer told the mother to put her child down for the body search, I could see this look in the little girl’s eyes,” Moore told TIME. “As soon as her feet touched the ground she began to scream.”

Moore said the girl’s mother had a weariness in her eyes as she was stopped by Border Patrol agents. The father of three said his years of experience did not inoculate him from feeling intense emotions as he watched agents allowed the mother to pick up her child and loaded them both into a van. But, he said, he knew he had to keep photographing the scene.

“This one was tough for me. As soon as it was over, they were put into a van. I had to stop and take deep breaths,” he said. “All I wanted to do was pick her up. But I couldn’t.”

More than 2,000 children have been taken away from their parents since April, when Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced at “zero tolerance” policy that refers all cases of illegal entry at the border for prosecution. The Trump administration has said Border Patrol agents separate children from parents because children cannot be locked up for the crimes of their mothers and fathers.

A Honduran mother holds her two-year-old as U.S. Border Patrol as agents review their papers near the U.S.-Mexico border in McAllen, Texas on June 12, 2018. The asylum seekers had rafted across the Rio Grande from Mexico and were detained by U.S. Border Patrol agents before being sent to a processing center for possible separation.
A Honduran mother holds her two-year-old as U.S. Border Patrol as agents review their papers near the U.S.-Mexico border in McAllen, Texas on June 12, 2018. The asylum seekers had rafted across the Rio Grande from Mexico and were detained by U.S. Border Patrol agents before being sent to a processing center for possible separation.
John Moore—Getty Images
A U.S. Border Patrol spotlight shines on a terrified mother and son from Honduras as they are found in the dark near the U.S.-Mexico border in McAllen, Texas on June 12, 2018.
A U.S. Border Patrol spotlight shines on a terrified mother and son from Honduras as they are found in the dark near the U.S.-Mexico border in McAllen, Texas on June 12, 2018.
John Moore—Getty Images
U.S. Border Patrol agents detain a group of Central American asylum seekers near the U.S.-Mexico border in McAllen, Texas on June 12, 2018.
U.S. Border Patrol agents detain a group of Central American asylum seekers near the U.S.-Mexico border in McAllen, Texas on June 12, 2018.
John Moore—Getty Images

Moore has followed immigrant families and enforcement efforts since 2014 and recently published a book of some of his most stirring photographs, Undocumented: Immigration and the Militarization of the United States-Mexico Border. He said despite the tough new policy, immigrants are not likely to lose the determination that drives them to make the dangerous journey to the United States.

“It’s been very easy for Americans to ignore over the years the desperation that people have to have a better life,” Moore said. “They often leave with their children with their shirts on their backs.”

A boy from Honduras watches a movie at a detention facility run by the U.S. Border Patrol in McAllen, Tex. on Sept. 8, 2014.
A boy from Honduras watches a movie at a detention facility run by the U.S. Border Patrol in McAllen, Tex. on Sept. 8, 2014.
John Moore—Getty Images

Footage released Monday of a detention facility where families arrested at the border and children taken from their parents are held echo a photo Moore took in 2014 of a Honduran child watching Casper in the same facility, alone except for a guard keeping watch. That photo, taken at the same detention center in McCallen, Texas where children are now being grouped inside cages, has stayed with Moore over the years.

While he is not sure if that boy was an unaccompanied minor or what happened to him, he said many of the other children at the facility were without their parents. “That picture is still haunting for me.”

Most of the photos below come from Moore’s 2018 book, published by powerHouse Books.

Families attend a memorial service for two boys who were kidnapped and killed in San Juan Sacatepequez, Guatemala on Feb. 14, 2017. More than 2,000 people walked in a funeral procession for Oscar Armando Top Cotzajay, 11, and Carlos Daniel Xiqin, 10 who were abducted walking to school Friday morning when they were abducted.
Families attend a memorial service for two boys who were kidnapped and killed in San Juan Sacatepequez, Guatemala on Feb. 14, 2017. More than 2,000 people walked in a funeral procession for Oscar Armando Top Cotzajay, 11, and Carlos Daniel Xiqin, 10 who were abducted walking to school Friday morning when they were abducted.
John Moore—Getty Images
Sonia Morales massages the back of her son Jose Issac Morales, 11, at the door of their one-room home in San Pedro Sula, Honduras on Aug. 20, 2017. The mother of three said that her son's spinal deformation began at age four, but has never been able to afford the $6,000 surgery to correct his spinal condition. The boy's father, Issac Morales, 30, said he tried to immigrate to the U.S. in 2016 to work and send money home but was picked up by U.S. Border Patrol officers in the Arizona desert and deported back to Honduras.
Sonia Morales massages the back of her son Jose Issac Morales, 11, at the door of their one-room home in San Pedro Sula, Honduras on Aug. 20, 2017. The mother of three said that her son’s spinal deformation began at age four, but has never been able to afford the $6,000 surgery to correct his spinal condition. The boy’s father, Issac Morales, 30, said he tried to immigrate to the U.S. in 2016 to work and send money home but was picked up by U.S. Border Patrol officers in the Arizona desert and deported back to Honduras.
John Moore—Getty Images
An Indigenous family walks from Guatemala into Mexico after illegally crossing the border at the Suchiate River in Talisman, Mexico on Aug. 1, 2013.
An Indigenous family walks from Guatemala into Mexico after illegally crossing the border at the Suchiate River in Talisman, Mexico on Aug. 1, 2013.
John Moore—Getty Images
Undocumented immigrant families walk before being taken into custody by Border Patrol agents near McAllen, Texas on July 21, 2014.
Undocumented immigrant families walk before being taken into custody by Border Patrol agents near McAllen, Texas on July 21, 2014.
John Moore—Getty Images
Families of Central American immigrants, including Lorena Arriaga, 27, and her son Jason Ramirez, 7, from El Salvador, turn themselves in to U.S. Border Patrol agents after crossing the Rio Grande River from Mexico to Mission, Texas on Sept. 8, 2014.
Families of Central American immigrants, including Lorena Arriaga, 27, and her son Jason Ramirez, 7, from El Salvador, turn themselves in to U.S. Border Patrol agents after crossing the Rio Grande River from Mexico to Mission, Texas on Sept. 8, 2014.
John Moore—Getty Images
Immigrants from Central America wait to be taken into custody by U.S. Border Patrol agents in Roma, Texas on August 17, 2016.
Immigrants from Central America wait to be taken into custody by U.S. Border Patrol agents in Roma, Texas on August 17, 2016.
John Moore—Getty Images
U.S. Border Patrol agents take undocumented immigrants into custody after capturing them after they crossed Rio Grande from Mexico into Texas near Sullivan City, Texas on Aug. 18, 2016.
U.S. Border Patrol agents take undocumented immigrants into custody after capturing them after they crossed Rio Grande from Mexico into Texas near Sullivan City, Texas on Aug. 18, 2016.
John Moore—Getty Images
Undocumented immigrants are led after being caught and handcuffed by Border Patrol agents near the U.S.-Mexico border in Weslaco, Texas on April 13, 2016.
Undocumented immigrants are led after being caught and handcuffed by Border Patrol agents near the U.S.-Mexico border in Weslaco, Texas on April 13, 2016.
John Moore—Getty Images
Women and children sit in a holding cell at a U.S. Border Patrol processing center after being detained by agents near the U.S.-Mexico border near McAllen, Texas on Sept. 8, 2014.
Women and children sit in a holding cell at a U.S. Border Patrol processing center after being detained by agents near the U.S.-Mexico border near McAllen, Texas on Sept. 8, 2014.
John Moore—Getty Images
Women and children wait in a holding cell at a U.S. Border Patrol processing center after being detained by agents near the U.S.-Mexico border near McAllen, Texas on Sept. 8, 2014.
Women and children wait in a holding cell at a U.S. Border Patrol processing center after being detained by agents near the U.S.-Mexico border near McAllen, Texas on Sept. 8, 2014.
John Moore—Getty Images
A girl from Central America rests on thermal blankets at a detention facility run by the U.S. Border Patro in McAllen, Texasl on Sept. 8, 2014.
A girl from Central America rests on thermal blankets at a detention facility run by the U.S. Border Patro in McAllen, Texasl on Sept. 8, 2014.
John Moore—Getty Images
Donated clothing await immigrants at the Catholic Sacred Heart Church Immigrant Respite Center from McAllen, Texas on Aug. 15, 2016.
Donated clothing await immigrants at the Catholic Sacred Heart Church Immigrant Respite Center from McAllen, Texas on Aug. 15, 2016.
John Moore—Getty Images
A detained Mexican immigrant (L) visits with his wife and children at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facility in Florence, Ariz on July 30, 2010.
A detained Mexican immigrant (L) visits with his wife and children at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facility in Florence, Ariz on July 30, 2010.
John Moore—Getty Images
Immigrants from Central America await transport from the U.S. Border Patrol in Roma, Texas on Aug. 17, 2016.
Immigrants from Central America await transport from the U.S. Border Patrol in Roma, Texas on Aug. 17, 2016.
John Moore—Getty Images
Central American immigrant families depart ICE custody, pending future immigration court hearings in McAllen, Texas on June 11, 2018.
Central American immigrant families depart ICE custody, pending future immigration court hearings in McAllen, Texas on June 11, 2018.
John Moore—Getty Images

Correction (Posted June 19): The original version of this story misstated what happened to the girl in the photo after she was taken from the scene. The girl was not carried away screaming by U.S. Border Patrol agents; her mother picked her up and the two were taken away together.

Voir par ailleurs:

Smuggler abandons 6-year-old in blazing desert heat

– A 6-year-old Costa Rican boy was rescued by U.S. Border Patrol agents after he was abandoned on a border road in Arizona on Tuesday evening.

The agents discovered the boy just north of the border west of Lukeville in temperatures over 100 degrees.

The child claimed that he was dropped off by « his uncle » and that Border Patrol would pick him up. Agents say the boy said he was on his way to see his mother in the U.S.

They say that the child was found in good condition.  He was taken to Tucson to be checked out and processed.  It was unclear what would happen to him next.

The Border Patrol says the incident highlights the dangers faced by migrants at the hands of smugglers. Children in particular are extremely vulnerable, not only to exploitation, but also to the elements in the environment.

They added that Arizona’s desert « is a merciless environment for those unprepared for its remote, harsh terrain and unpredictable weather. »

Voir aussi:

Guy Millière
Dreuz
21 juin 2018

Les titres des journaux européens et de bon nombre de journaux américains ces derniers jours prêtent à sourire une fois de plus. Trump, dit-on, aurait “reculé” en matière d’immigration.

Ceux qui disent cela ajoutent qu’il se conduit de manière infâme vis-à-vis des enfants à la frontière Sud des Etats-Unis. Des photos sont fournies à l’appui, montrant des enfants dans des lieux décrits comme des “camps de concentration”. Des vidéos ont été montrées où on voit des enfants pleurer de manière déchirante en appelant leurs parents, dont un agent de l’immigration vient de les séparer, et ils utilisent des mots anglais (ce qui est normal puisqu’ils viennent de pays où on parle espagnol et puisqu’ils ne parlent pas un mot d’anglais).

Ceux qui disent cela ajoutent aussi que “sous une large pression”, Trump vient de signer un executive order permettant d’éviter que les enfants soient séparés de leur famille et a donc dû se conduire de manière un peu moins infâme.

Ceux qui disent cela ne disent pas un seul mot de ce qui est en train de se passer par ailleurs aux Etats-Unis. L’Etat profond anti-Trump est en train de s’effondrer. Il résiste, certes, mais il est désormais très mal en point, comme c’était prévisible.

Disons ici ce qui doit l’être, car ce ne sera pas fait ailleurs, j’en suis, hélas, certain.

1. Il existe aux Etats-Unis un grave problème d’immigration illégale. Trump a commencé à prendre des décisions pour le régler. Les entrées clandestines dans le pays par la frontière Sud ont diminué de 70 pour cent. Elles sont encore trop nombreuses. Les immigrants illégaux présents dans le pays ne sont pas tous criminels, mais ils représentent une proportion importante des criminels incarcérés et des membres de gangs violents impliqués, entre autres, dans le trafic de drogue. Jeff Sessions, ministre de la justice inefficace dans d’autres secteurs, est très efficace dans ce secteur.

2. Les Démocrates veulent que l’immigration illégale se poursuive, et s’intensifie, car ils ont besoin d’un électorat constitué d’illégaux fraîchement légalisés pour maintenir à flot la coalition électorale sur laquelle ils s’appuient et garder des chances de victoire ultérieure (minorités ethniques, femmes célibataires, étudiants, professeurs). La diminution de l’immigration clandestine leur pose problème. Les actions de la police de l’immigration (ICE; Immigration Control Enforcement) suscitent leur hostilité, d’où l’existence de villes sanctuaires démocrates et, en Californie, d’un Etat sanctuaire(démocrate, bien sûr).

3. Ce qui se passe depuis quelques jours à la frontière Sud du pays est un coup monté auquel participent le parti démocrate, les grands médias américains, des organisations gauchistes, et le but est de faire pression sur Trump en diabolisant son action. La plupart des photos utilisées datent des années Obama, au cours desquelles le traitement des enfants entrant clandestinement dans le pays était exactement similaire à ce qu’il est aujourd’hui, sans qu’à l’époque les Démocrates disent un seul mot. Les enfants qui pleurent sur des vidéos ont été préparés à être filmés à des fins de propagande et ont appris à dire “daddy”, “mummy”. Le but est effectivement de faire céder Trump. Quelques Républicains à veste réversible ont joint leur voix au chœur.

4. Trump, comme il sait le faire, a agi pour désamorcer le coup monté. On lui reproche de faire ce qui se fait depuis des années (séparer les enfants de leurs parents dès lors que les parents doivent être incarcérés) ? Il vient de décider que les enfants ne seront plus séparés des parents, et qu’ils seront placés ensemble dans des lieux de rétention.  Cela signifie-t-il un recul ? Non. La lutte contre l’immigration clandestine va se poursuivre selon exactement la même ligne. Les parents qui ont violé la loi seront traités comme ils l’étaient auparavant. Les enfants seront-ils dans de meilleures conditions ? Non. Ils ne seront pas dans des conditions plus mauvaises non plus. Décrire les lieux où ils étaient placés jusque là comme des camps de concentration est une honte et une insulte à ceux qui ont été placés dans de réels camps de concentration (certains Démocrates un peu plus répugnants que d’autres sont allés jusqu’à faire des comparaisons avec Auschwitz !) : les enfants sont placés dans ce qui est comparable à des auberges pour colonies de vacances. Un enfant clandestin coûte au contribuable américain à ce jour 35.000 dollars en moyenne annuelle.

5. Désamorcer le coup monté ne réglera pas le problème d’ensemble. Des femmes viennent accoucher aux Etats-Unis pour que le bébé ait la nationalité américaine et puisse demander deux décennies plus tard un rapprochement de famille. Des gens font passer leurs enfants par des passeurs en espérant que l’enfant sera régularisé et pourra lui aussi demander un rapprochement de famille. Des parents paient leur passage aux Etats Unis en transportant de la drogue et doivent être jugés pour cela (le tarif des passeurs si on veut passer sans drogue est  de 10.000 dollars par personne). S’ils sont envoyés en prison, ils n’y seront pas envoyés avec leurs enfants.  Quand des trafiquants de drogue sont envoyés en prison, aux Etats-Unis ou ailleurs, ils ne vont pas en prison en famille, et si quelqu’un suggérait que leur famille devait les suivre en prison, parce que ce serait plus “humain”, les Démocrates seraient les premiers à hurler.

6. Les Etats-Unis, comme tout pays développé, ne peuvent laisser entrer tous ceux qui veulent entrer en laissant leurs frontières ouvertes. Un pays a le droit de gérer l’immigration comme il l’entend et comme l’entend sa population, et il le doit, s’il ne veut pas être submergé par une population qui ne s’intègre pas et peut le faire glisser vers le chaos. Les pays européens sont confrontés au même problème que les Etats-Unis, d’une manière plus aiguë puisqu’en Europe s’ajoute le paramètre “islam”. La haine de la civilisation occidentale imprègne la gauche européenne, qui veut la dissolution des peuples européens. Une même haine imprègne la gauche américaine, qui veut la dissolution du peuple américain. Les grandes villes de l’Etat sanctuaire de Californie sont déjà méconnaissables, submergées par des sans abris étrangers (pas un seul pont de Los Angeles qui n’abrite désormais un petit bidonville, et un quart du centre ville est une véritable cour des miracles, à San Francisco ce n’est pas mieux). Il n’est pas du tout certain que le coup monte servira les Démocrates lors des élections de mi mandat. Nombre d’Américains ne veulent pas la dissolution du peuple américain.

7. Le coup monté m’est pas arrive par hasard, à ce moment précisément. Le rapport de l’inspecteur général Michael Horowitz, même s’il est édulcoré, contient des éléments accablants pour James Comey, John Mc Cabe, l’enquêteur appelé Peter Strzoc. Le Congres procède à des auditions très révélatrices. Ce n’est que le début. L’Etat profond anti-Trump est en train de s’effondrer, disais-je. La monstruosité totalitaire que fut l’administration Obama finissante et le caractère criminel des activités d’Hillary Clinton commencent tout juste à être mis au jour. Des peines de prison suivront. L’équipe sinistre conduite par Robert Mueller avance dans le vide : tout ce qui lui sert de prétexte se révèle être une gigantesque imposture. La complicité des grands médias américains et mondiaux ne pourra pas être cachée indéfiniment. Un écran de fumée devait monter dans l’atmosphère pour détourner l’attention et éviter qu’on parle de l’effondrement de l’Etat profond. Le coup monte a servi d’écran de fumée. Que nul ne soit dupe. La révolution Trump ne fait que commencer.

Voir de plus:

Selon les déclarations d’un homme présenté comme le cousin de l’enfant, rendues publiques par Israël, les parents de la fillette morte mi-mai auraient touché 8.000 shekels (1.800 euros).

La justice israélienne a dit disposer d’une déposition selon laquelle la famille d’un bébé palestinien mort dans des circonstances contestées dans la bande de Gaza avait été payée par le Hamas pour accuser Israël, ce que les parents ont nié.

Vif émoi après la mort de l’enfant. Leïla al-Ghandour, âgée de huit mois, est morte mi-mai alors que l’enclave palestinienne était depuis des semaines le théâtre d’une mobilisation massive et d’affrontements entre Palestiniens et soldats israéliens le long de la frontière avec Gaza. Son décès a suscité un vif émoi. Sa famille accuse l’armée israélienne d’avoir provoqué sa mort en employant des lacrymogènes contre les protestataires, parmi lesquels se trouvait la fillette.

La fillette souffrait-elle d’un problème cardiaque ? L’armée israélienne, se fondant sur les informations d’un médecin palestinien resté anonyme mais qui selon elle connaissait l’enfant et sa famille, dit que l’enfant souffrait d’un problème cardiaque. Le ministère israélien de la Justice a rendu public jeudi l’acte d’inculpation d’un Gazaoui de 20 ans, présenté comme le cousin de la fillette. Selon le ministère, il a déclaré au cours de ses interrogatoires par les forces israéliennes que les parents de Leila avaient touché 8.000 shekels (1.800 euros) de la part de Yahya Sinouar, le chef du Hamas dans la bande de Gaza, pour dire que leur fille était morte des inhalations de gaz.

Une « fabrication » du Hamas dénoncée par Israël. Les parents ont nié ces déclarations, réaffirmé que leur fille était bien morte des inhalations, et ont contesté qu’elle était malade. Selon la famille, Leïla al-Ghandour avait été emmenée près de la frontière par un oncle âgé de 11 ans et avait été prise dans les tirs de lacrymogènes. L’armée israélienne, en butte aux accusations d’usage disproportionné de la force, a dénoncé ce cas comme une « fabrication » de la part du Hamas, le mouvement islamiste qui dirige la bande de Gaza et contrôle les autorités sanitaires, et auquel Israël a livré trois guerres depuis 2008.

Voir également:

Valeurs actuelles

19 juin 2018

Fake News. Donald Trump aurait donc menti en affirmant que la criminalité augmentait en Allemagne, en raison de l’entrée dans le pays de 1,1 million de clandestins en 2015. Pas si simple…

Nouveau tweet, nouvelle agitation médiatique. Les commentateurs n’ont pas tardé à s’armer de leur indéboulonnable mépris pour le président des États-Unis pour dénoncer un « mensonge », au lieu d’user d’une saine distance permettant de décrypter sereinement l’affirmation de Donald Trump.

« Le peuple allemand se rebelle contre ses gouvernants alors que l’immigration secoue une coalition déjà fragile », a donc entamé le président des États-Unis dans un tweet publié le 18 juin, alors que le gouvernement allemand se déchirait sur fond de crise migratoire. Propos factuel si l’on en croit un récent sondage allemand qui révèle que 90% des allemands désirent plus d’expulsions des personnes déboutées du droit d’asile.

Le chiffre ne laisse aucune place au doute : la population allemande penche du côté du ministre de l’Intérieur qui s’applique, depuis quelques jours, à contraindre Angela Merkel à la fermeté.

Et Donald Trump de poursuivre avec la phrase qui occupe nombre de journalistes depuis sa publication : « la criminalité augmente en Allemagne. Une grosse erreur a été commise partout en Europe : laisser rentrer des millions de personnes qui ont fortement et violemment changé sa culture. » Que n’avait-il pas dit. Les articles se sont immédiatement multipliés pour dénoncer « le mensonge » du président américain.

Pourquoi ? Parce que les autorités allemandes se sont félicitées d’une baisse des agressions violentes en 2017. C’est vrai, elles ont chuté de 5,1% par rapport à 2016.

Est-il possible, cependant, de feindre à ce point l’incompréhension ? Car les détracteurs zélés du président omettent de préciser que la criminalité a bien augmenté en Allemagne à la suite de cette vague migratoire exceptionnelle : 10% de crimes violents en plus, sur les années 2015 et 2016. L’étude réalisée par le gouvernement allemand et publiée en janvier dernier concluait même que 90% de cette augmentation était due aux jeunes hommes clandestins fraîchement accueillis, âgés de 14 à 30 ans.

En 2016, les étrangers étaient 3,5 fois plus impliqués dans des crimes que les Allemands, les clandestins 7 fois plus

L’augmentation de la criminalité fut donc indiscutablement liée à l’accueil de 1,1 millions de clandestins pendant l’année 2015. C’est évidement ce qu’entend démontrer Donald Trump.

Et ce n’est pas tout. Les chiffres du ministère allemand de l’Intérieur pour 2016 révèlent également une implication des étrangers et des clandestins supérieure à celle des Allemands dans le domaine de la criminalité. Et en hausse. La proportion d’étrangers parmi les personnes suspectées d’actes criminels était de 28,7% en 2014, elle est passée à 40,4% en 2016, avant de chuter à 35% en 2017 (ce qui reste plus important qu’en 2014).

En 2016, les étrangers étaient 3,5 fois plus impliqués dans des crimes que les Allemands, les clandestins 7 fois plus. Des chiffres encore plus élevés dans le domaine des crimes violents (5 fois plus élevés chez les étrangers, 15 fois chez les clandestins) ou dans celui des viols en réunion (10 fois plus chez les étrangers, 42 fois chez les clandestins !).

Factuellement, la criminalité n’augmente pas aujourd’hui en Allemagne. Mais l’exceptionnelle vague migratoire voulue par Angela Merkel en 2015 a bien eu pour conséquence l’augmentation de la criminalité en Allemagne. Les Allemands, eux, semblent l’avoir très bien compris.

Voir par ailleurs:

La caravane des migrants a atteint la frontière avec la Californie

 FRANCE 24

30/04/2018

Au moins 150 migrants centraméricains sont arrivés à Tijuana au Mexique, à la frontière avec les États-Unis. Ils sont décidés à demander l’asile à Washington.

Plusieurs centaines de migrants originaires d’Amérique centrale se sont rassemblés dimanche 30 avril à la frontière mexico-américaine au terme d’un mois de traversée du Mexique.

Nombre d’entre eux ont décidé de se présenter aux autorités américaines pour déposer des demandes d’asile et devraient être placés en centres de rétention. « Nous espérons que le gouvernement des États-Unis nous ouvrira les portes », a déclaré Reyna Isabel Rodríguez, 52 ans, venu du Salvador avec ses deux petits-enfants.

« Nous ne sommes pas des criminels »

L’ONG Peuple Sans Frontières organise ce type de caravane depuis 2010 pour dénoncer le sort de celles et ceux qui traversent le Mexique en proie à de nombreux dangers, entre des cartels de la drogue qui les kidnappent ou les tuent, et des autorités qui les rançonnent. « Nous voulons dire au président des États-Unis que nous ne sommes pas des criminels, nous ne sommes pas des terroristes, qu’il nous donne la chance de vivre sans peur. Je sais que Dieu va toucher son cœur », a déclaré l’une des organisatrices de la caravane, Irineo Mujica.

L’ONG, composée de volontaires, permet notamment aux migrants de rester groupés – lors d’un périple qui se fait à pied, en bus ou en train – afin de se prémunir de tous les dangers qui jalonnent leur chemin. En espagnol, ces caravanes sont d’ailleurs appelées « Via Crucis Migrantes » ou le « Chemin de croix des migrants », en référence aux processions catholiques, particulièrement appréciées en Amérique du Sud, qui mettent en scène la Passion du Christ, ou les derniers événements qui ont précédé et accompagné la mort de Jésus de Nazareth.

Cette année, le groupe est parti le 25 mars de Tapachula, à la frontière du Guatemala, avec un groupe de près de 1 200 personnes, à 80 % originaires du Honduras, les autres venant du Guatemala, du Salvador et du Nicaragua, selon Rodrigo Abeja. Dans le groupe, près de 300 enfants âgés de 1 mois à 11 ans, une vingtaine de jeunes homosexuels et environ 400 femmes. Certains se sont ensuite dispersés, préférant rester au Mexique, d’autres choisissant de voyager par leurs propres moyens.

La colère de Donald Trump

En avril, les images de la caravane de migrants se dirigeant vers les États-Unis avaient suscité la colère de Donald Trump et une forte tension entre Washington et Mexico. Le président américain, dont l’un des principaux thèmes de campagne était la construction d’un mur à la frontière avec le Mexique pour lutter contre l’immigration clandestine, avait ordonné le déploiement sur la frontière de troupes de la Garde nationale.

Il avait aussi soumis la conclusion d’un nouvel accord de libre-échange en Amérique du Nord à un renforcement des contrôles migratoires par le Mexique, une condition rejetée par le président mexicain Enrique Pena Nieto.

Avec AFP et Reuters

Voir aussi:

WASHINGTON — It was the kind of story destined to take a dark turn through the conservative news media and grab President Trump’s attention: A vast horde of migrants was making its way through Mexico toward the United States, and no one was stopping them.

“Mysterious group deploys ‘caravan’ of illegal aliens headed for U.S. border,” warned Frontpage Mag, a site run by David Horowitz, a conservative commentator.

The Gateway Pundit, a website that was most recently in the news for spreading conspiracies about the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., suggested the real reason the migrants were trying to enter the United States was to collect social welfare benefits.

And as the president often does when immigration is at issue, he saw a reason for Americans to be afraid. “Getting more dangerous. ‘Caravans’ coming,” a Twitter post from Mr. Trump read.

The story of “the caravan” followed an arc similar to many events — whether real, embellished or entirely imagined — involving refugees and migrants that have roused intense suspicion and outrage on the right. The coverage tends to play on the fears that hiding among mass groups of immigrants are many criminals, vectors of disease and agents of terror. And often the president, who announced his candidacy by blaming Mexico for sending rapists and drug dealers into the United States, acts as an accelerant to the hysteria.

The sensationalization of this story and others like it seems to serve a common purpose for Mr. Trump and other immigration hard-liners: to highlight the twin dangers of freely roving migrants — especially those from Muslim countries — and lax immigration laws that grant them easy entry into Western nations.

The narrative on the right this week, for example, mostly omitted that many people in the caravan planned to resettle in Mexico, not the United States. And it ignored how many of those who did intend to come here would probably go through the legal process of requesting asylum at a border checkpoint — something miles of new wall and battalions of additional border patrol would not have stopped.

“They end up in schools on Long Island, some of which are MS-13!” declared Brian Kilmeade on the president’s preferred morning news program, “Fox & Friends,” referring to the predominantly Central American gang.

The coverage became so distorted that it prompted a reporter for Breitbart News who covers border migration, Brandon Darby, to push back. “I’m seeing a lot of right media cover this as ‘people coming illegally’ or as ‘illegal aliens.’ That is incorrect,” he wrote on Twitter. “They are coming to a port of entry and requesting refugee status. That is legal.”

In an interview, Mr. Darby said it was regrettable that the relatively routine occurrence of migrant caravans — which organizers rely on as a safety-in-numbers precaution against the violence that can happen along the trek — was being politicized. “The caravan isn’t something that’s a unique event,” he said. “And I think people are looking at it wrong. If you’re upset at the situation, it’s easier to be mad at the migrant than it is to be mad at the political leaders on both sides who won’t change the laws.”

As tends to be the case in these stories, the humanitarian aspects get glossed over as migrants are collapsed into one maligned category: hostile foreign invaders.

In November, Mr. Trump touched off an international furor when he posted a series of videos on Twitter that purported to show the effects of mass Muslim migration in Europe. Initially circulated by a fringe ultranationalist in Britain who has railed against Islam, the videos included titles like “Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!” “Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary!” and “Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death!”

The assailant in one video the president shared, however, was not a “Muslim migrant.” And the other two videos depicted four-year-old events with no explanation.

These items tend to metastasize irrespective of the facts, but contain powerful visual elements to which Mr. Trump is known to viscerally respond.

Last February, Mr. Trump insinuated that some kind of terror-related episode involving Muslim immigrants had taken place in Sweden. “Who would believe this? Sweden,” he said at a rally in Florida, leaving Swedes and Americans baffled because nothing out of the ordinary had happened at all. “They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible.”

Like the caravan story, which apparently came to Mr. Trump’s attention as he watched “Fox & Friends,” the president was referring to something he had seen on cable news. And he later had to clarify that he was referring to a Fox News segment on issues Sweden was having with migrants generally, not any particular event.

The conservative National Review later called the piece in question “sensationalistic” and pointed out that a lack of government data made it virtually impossible to determine whether crime rates in the country were related to immigration.

When the president himself has not spread stories about immigration that were either misleading or turned out to be false, his White House aides have. Last year, the White House joined a pile-on by the conservative news media after it called attention to the account of a high school student in Montgomery County, Md., who said she was raped at school by two classmates, one of whom is an undocumented immigrant. The case became a national rallying cry on the right against permissive border policies and so-called sanctuary cities that treat undocumented immigrants more leniently. Fox News broadcast live outside the high school for days.

Prosecutors later dropped the charges after they said the evidence did not substantiate the girl’s claims.

The story of the caravan has been similarly exaggerated. And the emotional outpouring from the right has been raw — that was the case on Fox this week when the TV host Tucker Carlson shouted “You hate America!” at an immigrants rights activist after he defended the people marching through Mexico.

The facts of the caravan are not as straightforward as Mr. Trump or many conservative pundits have portrayed them. The story initially gained widespread attention after BuzzFeed News reported last week that more than 1,000 Central American migrants, mostly from Honduras, were making their way north toward the United States border. Yet the BuzzFeed article and other coverage pointed out that many in the group were planning to stay in Mexico.

That did not stop Mr. Trump from expressing dismay on Tuesday with a situation “where you have thousands of people that decide to just walk into our country, and we don’t have any laws that can protect it.”

The use of disinformation in immigration debates is hardly unique to the United States. Misleading crime statistics, speculation about sinister plots to undermine national sovereignty and Russian propaganda have all played a role in stirring up anti-immigrant sentiment in places like Britain, Germany and Hungary. Some of the more fantastical theories have involved a socialist conspiracy to import left-leaning voters and a scheme by the Hungarian-born Jewish philanthropist George Soros to create a borderless Europe.

Anyone watching Fox News this week would have heard about similar forces at work inside “the caravan.”

“This was an organized plan and deliberate attack on the sovereignty of the United States by a special interest group,” said David Ward, whom the network identified as a former agent for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “They rallied a bunch of foreign nationals to come north into the United States to test our resolve.”

Voir aussi:

Humanitarian group that organized migrant ‘caravan’ headed to US issues list of demands for refugees

One thousand Central American migrants are headed to the United States border. Adolfo Flores, a BuzzFeed News reporter, has been traveling with the group of migrants and wrote that “no one in Mexico dares to stop them.” President Donald Trump reacted to the report and called off all negotiations with Democrats over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) if the migrants arrive.

With the help of a humanitarian group called “Pueblo Sin Fronteras” (people without borders), the 1,000 plus migrants will reach the U.S. border with a list of demands to several governments in Central America, the United States, and Mexico.

Here’s what they demanded of Mexico and the United States in a Facebook post: 

-That they respect our rights as refugees and our right to dignified work to be able to support our families
-That they open the borders to us because we are as much citizens as the people of the countries where we are and/or travel
-That deportations, which destroy families, come to an end
-No more abuses against us as migrants
-Dignity and justice
-That the US government not end TPS for those who need it
-That the US government stop massive funding for the Mexican government to detain Central American migrants and refugees and to deport them
-That these governments respect our rights under international law, including the right to free expression
-That the conventions on refugee rights not be empty rhetoric

“The border is stained red!”
“Because there they kill the working class!”
“Why do they kill us? Why do they murder us…”
“If we are the hope of Latin America?”

Sincerely,

2018 Refugee Caravan “Migrantes en la Lucha”
Pueblo Sin Fronteras

Voir enfin:

American Nightmare
The shame of America’s refugee camps
Wil S. Hylton
The NYT magazine
February 2015

CHRISTINA BROWN pulled into the refugee camp after an eight-hour drive across the desert. It was late July of last year, and Brown was a 30-year-old immigration lawyer. She had spent a few years after college working on political campaigns, but her law degree was barely a year old, and she had only two clients in her private practice in Denver. When other lawyers told her that the federal government was opening a massive detention center for immigrants in southeastern New Mexico, where hundreds of women and children would be housed in metal trailers surrounded by barbed wire, Brown decided to volunteer legal services to the detainees. She wasn’t sure exactly what rights they might have, but she wanted to make sure they got them. She packed enough clothes to last a week, stopped by Target to pick up coloring books and toys and started driving south.Brown spent the night at a motel, then drove to the detention camp in the morning. She stood in the wind-swept parking lot with the other lawyers, overlooking the barren plains of the eastern plateau. After a few minutes, a transport van emerged from the facility to pick them up. It swung to a stop in the parking lot, and the attorneys filed on. They sat on the cold metal benches and stared through the caged windows as the bus rolled back into the compound and across the bleak brown landscape. It came to a stop by a small trailer, and the lawyers shuffled out.As they opened the door to the trailer, Brown felt a blast of cold air. The front room was empty except for two small desks arranged near the center. A door in the back opened to reveal dozens of young women and children huddled together. Many were gaunt and malnourished, with dark circles under their eyes. “The kids were really sick,” Brown told me later. “A lot of the moms were holding them in their arms, even the older kids — holding them like babies, and they’re screaming and crying, and some of them are lying there listlessly.”Brown took a seat at a desk, and a guard brought a woman to meet her. Brown asked the woman in Spanish how she ended up in detention. The woman explained that she had to escape from her home in El Salvador when gangs targeted her family. “Her husband had just been murdered, and she and her kids found his body,” Brown recalls. “After he was murdered, the gang started coming after her and threatening to kill her.” Brown agreed to help the woman apply for political asylum in the United States, explaining that it might be possible to pay a small bond and then live with friends or relatives while she waited for an asylum hearing. When the woman returned to the back room, Brown met with another, who was fleeing gangs in Guatemala. Then she met another young woman, who fled violence in Honduras. “They were all just breaking down,” Brown said. “They were telling us that they were afraid to go home. They were crying, saying they were scared for themselves and their children. It was a constant refrain: ‘I’ll die if I go back.’ ”As Brown emerged from the trailer that evening, she already knew it would be difficult to leave at the end of the week. The women she met were just a fraction of those inside the camp, and the government was making plans to open a second facility of nearly the same size in Karnes County, Tex., near San Antonio. “I remember thinking to myself that this was an impossible situation,” she said. “I was overwhelmed and sad and angry. I think the anger is what kept me going.”***OVER THE PAST six years, President Obama has tried to make children the centerpiece of his efforts to put a gentler face on U.S. immigration policy. Even as his administration has deported a record number of unauthorized immigrants, surpassing two million deportations last year, it has pushed for greater leniency toward undocumented children. After trying and failing to pass the Dream Act legislation, which would offer a path to permanent residency for immigrants who arrived before the age of 16, the president announced an executive action in 2012 to block their deportation. Last November, Obama added another executive action to extend similar protections to undocumented parents. “We’re going to keep focusing enforcement resources on actual threats to our security,” he said in a speech on Nov. 20. “Felons, not families. Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a mom who’s working hard to provide for her kids.” But the president’s new policies apply only to immigrants who have been in the United States for more than five years; they do nothing to address the emerging crisis on the border today.Since the economic collapse of 2008, the number of undocumented immigrants coming from Mexico has plunged, while a surge of violence in Central America has brought a wave of migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. According to recent statistics from the Department of Homeland Security, the number of refugees fleeing Central America has doubled in the past year alone — with more than 61,000 “family units” crossing the U.S. border, as well as 51,000 unaccompanied children. For the first time, more people are coming to the United States from those countries than from Mexico, and they are coming not just for opportunity but for survival.The explosion of violence in Central America is often described in the language of war, cartels, extortion and gangs, but none of these capture the chaos overwhelming the region. Four of the five highest murder rates in the world are in Central American nations. The collapse of these countries is among the greatest humanitarian disasters of our time. While criminal organizations like the 18th Street Gang and Mara Salvatrucha exist as street gangs in the United States, in large parts of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador they are so powerful and pervasive that they have supplanted the government altogether. People who run afoul of these gangs — which routinely demand money on threat of death and sometimes kidnap young boys to serve as soldiers and young girls as sexual slaves — may have no recourse to the law and no better option than to flee.The American immigration system defines a special pathway for refugees. To qualify, most applicants must present themselves to federal authorities, pass a “credible fear interview” to demonstrate a possible basis for asylum and proceed through a “merits hearing” before an immigration judge. Traditionally, those who have completed the first two stages are permitted to live with family and friends in the United States while they await their final hearing, which can be months or years later. If authorities believe an applicant may not appear for that court date, they can require a bond payment as guarantee or place the refugee in a monitoring system that may include a tracking bracelet. In the most extreme cases, a judge may deny bond and keep the refugee in a detention facility until the merits hearing.The rules are somewhat different when children are involved. Under the terms of a 1997 settlement in the case of Flores v. Meese, children who enter the country without their parents must be granted a “general policy favoring release” to the custody of relatives or a foster program. When there is cause to detain a child, he or she must be housed in the least restrictive environment possible, kept away from unrelated adults and provided access to medical care, exercise and adequate education. Whether these protections apply to children traveling with their parents has been a matter of dispute. The Flores settlement refers to “all minors who are detained” by the Immigration and Naturalization Service and its “agents, employees, contractors and/or successors in office.” When the I.N.S. dissolved into the Department of Homeland Security in 2003, its detention program shifted to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Federal judges have ruled that ICE is required to honor the Flores protections for all children in its custody.Even so, in 2005, the administration of George W. Bush decided to deny the Flores protections to refugee children traveling with their parents. Instead of a “general policy favoring release,” the administration began to incarcerate hundreds of those families for months at a time. To house them, officials opened the T. Don Hutto Family Detention Center near Austin, Tex. Within a year, the administration faced a lawsuit over the facility’s conditions. Legal filings describe young children forced to wear prison jumpsuits, to live in dormitory housing, to use toilets exposed to public view and to sleep with the lights on, even while being denied access to appropriate schooling. In a pretrial hearing, a federal judge in Texas blasted the administration for denying these children the protections of the Flores settlement. “The court finds it inexplicable that defendants have spent untold amounts of time, effort and taxpayer dollars to establish the Hutto family-detention program, knowing all the while that Flores is still in effect,” the judge wrote. The Bush administration settled the suit with a promise to improve the conditions at Hutto but continued to deny that children in family detention were entitled to the Flores protections.In 2009, the Obama administration reversed course, abolishing family detention at Hutto and leaving only a small facility in Pennsylvania to house refugee families in exceptional circumstances. For all other refugee families, the administration returned to a policy of release to await trial. Studies have shown that nearly all detainees who are released from custody with some form of monitoring will appear for their court date. But when the number of refugees from Central America spiked last summer, the administration abruptly announced plans to resume family detention.From the beginning, officials were clear that the purpose of the new facility in Artesia was not so much to review asylum petitions as to process deportation orders. “We have already added resources to expedite the removal, without a hearing before an immigration judge, of adults who come from these three countries without children,” the secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, told a Senate committee in July. “Then there are adults who brought their children with them. Again, our message to this group is simple: We will send you back.” Elected officials in Artesia say that Johnson made a similar pledge during a visit to the detention camp in July. “He said, ‘As soon as we get them, we’ll ship them back,’ ” a city councilor from Artesia named Jose Luis Aguilar recalled. The mayor of the city, Phillip Burch, added, “His comment to us was that this would be a ‘rapid deportation process.’ Those were his exact words.”***DURING THE FIRST five weeks that the Artesia facility was open, officials deported more than 200 refugees to Central America. But as word of the detention camp began to spread, volunteers like Christina Brown trickled into town. Their goal was to stop the deportations, schedule asylum hearings for the detainees and, whenever possible, release the women and children on bond. Many of the lawyers who came to Artesia were young mothers, and they saw in the detained children a resemblance to their own. By last fall, roughly 200 volunteers were rotating through town in shifts: renting rooms in local motels, working 12-hour days to interview detainees and file asylum paperwork, then staying awake into the night to consult one another. Some volunteers returned to Artesia multiple times. A few spent more than a month there. Brown never moved back to Denver. She rented a little yellow house by the detention facility, took up office space in a local church and, with help from a nonprofit group called the American Immigration Lawyers Association, or AILA, she began to organize the volunteers pouring in.As Brown got to know detainees in Artesia, grim patterns emerged from their stories. One was the constant threat of gangs in their lives; another was the prevalence of sexual violence. A detainee in Artesia named Sofia explained that a gang murdered her brother, shot her husband and then kidnapped and raped her 14-year-old stepdaughter. A Guatemalan woman named Kira said that she fled when a gang targeted her family over their involvement in a nonviolence movement at church; when Kira’s husband went into hiding, the gang subjected her to repeated sexual assaults and threatened to cut her unborn baby from her womb. An inmate named Marisol said she crossed the U.S. border in June after a gang in Honduras murdered the father of her 3-year-old twins, then turned its attention to her.Less than a week after her arrival in Artesia, Brown represented the young Salvadoran mother she met on her first day. It was a preliminary hearing to see whether the woman met the basic preconditions for asylum. A frequent consideration in the refugee process is whether an applicant is being targeted as a member of a “particular social group.” Judges have interpreted the phrase to include a refugee’s victimhood on the basis of sex or sexual orientation. At the hearing, Brown planned to invoke the pervasiveness of gang violence and sexual assault, but she says the immigration judge refused to let her speak.“I wasn’t allowed to play any role,” Brown said. Speaking to the judge, her client described her husband’s murder and the threats she faced from gangs. “She testified very well,” Brown said. But when the judge asked whether she felt targeted as a member of a “social group,” the woman said no. “Because that is a legal term of art,” Brown said. “She had no idea what the heck it means.” Brown tried to interject, but the judge wouldn’t allow it. He denied the woman’s request for an asylum hearing and slated her for deportation. Afterward, Brown said, “I went behind one of the cubicles, and I started sobbing uncontrollably.”Detainees who passed their initial hearings often found themselves stranded in Artesia without bond. Lawyers for Homeland Security have adopted a policy they call “no bond or high bond” for the women and children in detention. In court filings, they insist that prolonged detention is necessary to “further screen the detainees and have a better chance of identifying any that present threats to our public safety and national security.” Allowing these young mothers and children to be free on bond, they claim, “would have indirect yet significant adverse national-security consequences.”

As the months ticked by in Artesia, many detainees began to wonder if they would ever be free again. “I arrived on July 5 and turned myself in at 2 a.m.,” a 28-year-old mother of two named Ana recalled. In Honduras, Ana ran a small business selling trinkets and served on the P.T.A. of her daughter’s school. “I lived well,” she said — until the gangs began to pound on her door, demanding extortion payments. Within days, they had escalated their threats, approaching Ana brazenly on the street. “One day, coming home from my daughter’s school, they walked up to me and put a gun to my head,” she said. “They told me that if I didn’t give them the money in less than 24 hours, they would kill me.” Ana had already seen friends raped and murdered by the gang, so she packed her belongings that night and began the 1,800-mile journey to the U.S. border with her 7-year-old daughter. Four weeks later, in McAllen, Tex., they surrendered as refugees.

Ana and her daughter entered Artesia in mid-July. In October they were still there. Ana’s daughter was sick and losing weight rapidly under the strain of incarceration. Their lawyer, a leader in Chicago’s Mormon Church named Rebecca van Uitert, said that Ana’s daughter became so weak and emaciated that doctors threatened drastic measures. “They were like, ‘You’ve got to force her to eat, and if you don’t, we’re going to put a PICC line in her and force-feed her,’ ” van Uitert said. Ana said that when her daughter heard the doctor say this, “She started to cry and cry.”

In October, as van Uitert presented Ana’s case to an immigration judge, the lawyer broke down in the courtroom. “I’m starting to make these arguments before the judge, and I just couldn’t,” she said. “I sounded like a barking seal, just sucking and gasping, and because I was crying, a lot of people started crying. The attorney next to me was crying, Ana was crying, her little girl started crying. I looked over at the bailiff, who actually ended up being my friend when I went back another time. He had tears in his eyes.” The judge granted Ana’s release on bond; she is currently waiting for an asylum hearing in North Carolina.

Many of the volunteers in Artesia tell similar stories about the misery of life in the facility. “I thought I was pretty tough,” said Allegra Love, who spent the previous summer working on the border between Mexico and Guatemala. “I mean, I had seen kids in all manner of suffering, but this was a really different thing. It’s a jail, and the women and children are being led around by guards. There’s this look that the kids have in their eyes. This lackadaisical look. They’re just sitting there, staring off, and they’re wasting away. That was what shocked me most.”

The detainees reported sleeping eight to a room, in violation of the Flores settlement, with little exercise or stimulation for the children. Many were under the age of 6 and had been raised on a diet of tortillas, rice and chicken bits. In Artesia, the institutional cafeteria foods were as unfamiliar as the penal atmosphere, and to their parents’ horror, many of the children refused to eat. “Gaunt kids, moms crying, they’re losing hair, up all night,” an attorney named Maria Andrade recalled. Another, Lisa Johnson-Firth, said: “I saw children who were malnourished and were not adapting. One 7-year-old just lay in his mother’s arms while she bottle-fed him.” Mary O’Leary, who made three trips to Artesia last fall, said: “I was trying to talk to one client about her case, and just a few feet away at another table there was this lady with a toddler between 2 and 4 years old, just lying limp. This was a sick kid, and just with this horrible racking cough.”

***

IN EARLY AUGUST, a paralegal from Oregon named Vanessa Sischo arrived at the camp. Raised in a small town near Mount Hood, Sischo did not realize until high school that her parents brought her into the United States from Mexico as an infant without documentation. She gained protection from deportation under the president’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in 2012. When Sischo learned that children arriving from Central America were being incarcerated in Artesia, she volunteered immediately. She arrived a week after Christina Brown, and like Brown, she stayed. After about a month, AILA and another nonprofit, the American Immigration Council, hired Brown as the pro bono project’s lead attorney. Brown recommended Sischo for the job of project coordinator. The two women began rooming together in the small yellow house near Main Street.

Brown and Sischo make an unlikely pair. Brown, who has a sturdy build and dark brown hair, has an inborn skepticism and a piercing wit. Sischo is six years younger and preternaturally easygoing. Until she discovered her own immigration background, she had little interest in political affairs and spent much of her time in Oregon as a competitive snowboarder. For both, Artesia was a jarring shift from life at home. As they sat together one evening in December, they described a typical week. “The new volunteers come in on Sunday, go through orientation, and by Wednesday night, everyone is crying,” Brown said. “A lot of the attorneys come in and say: ‘I’ve been doing this for 20 years. I’ve seen all of this before. I’ll be fine.’ ”

“I remember the first time I went in,” Sischo said. “I just stopped, and all I could hear was a symphony of coughing and sneezing and crying and wailing.”

“Kids vomiting all over the place,” Brown said.

“There was a big outbreak of fevers,” Sischo said. “It sent an infant into convulsions.”

“Pneumonia, scabies, lice,” Brown said.

Officials for ICE say these accounts are exaggerated. But they declined multiple requests to visit the Artesia facility and took weeks to answer questions about its facilities. Brown, who oversaw more than 500 detainee cases as lead attorney, was also unable to gain access to the camp’s housing, dining, medical and educational facilities. “I requested three times to be taken on a tour,” she said. “I sent it through the appropriate channels. No one ever responded, to date, to my request.”

Visitors who did gain access to the facility have raised troubling questions about the ethics — and legality — of how it handled children. The Flores settlement requires the government to provide regular schooling for juveniles in detention, but the mayor of Artesia, Phillip Burch, said that on several visits to the compound, the classrooms were always empty. “I was told that children were attending classes,” he recalled. “Did I personally witness it? No. And none of the tours that I made did I see the children actually in class.” Members of the New Mexico Faith Coalition for Immigrant Justice, who toured the facility in October, say that officials also showed them the empty school. When one member asked why the building was empty, an ICE official replied that school was temporarily closed. Detainees have consistently told their lawyers that the school was never reliably open. They recall a few weeks in October when classes were in session for an hour or two per day, then several weeks of closure through November, followed by another brief period of classes in December.

In response to questions about the school, ICE officials would say only that “regular school instruction began Oct. 13, 2014, and ended Dec. 17.” Asked whether the school was open consistently, and for how many hours, ICE officials declined to respond. The senior counselor for immigration issues at the Department of Homeland Security, Esther Olavarria, said that she was aware “there were challenges” at the Artesia school, but couldn’t say exactly when it was open or for how long. Olavarria has a distinguished record as advocate for refugees and previously served as a top immigration adviser for Senator Edward M. Kennedy. She said that she was under the impression that attorneys in Artesia were granted access to the facility, and she could not explain why Brown was not. She also believed that the meal service in Artesia was adapted to reflect the dietary norms of Central America and that medical care was adequate and available. After hearing what detainees, attorneys, faith advocates and elected officials described in Artesia, Olavarria promised to look into these issues and provide further documentation. Despite several attempts to elicit that documentation, she provided none. In a statement, the Department of Homeland Security said: “The regular school instruction began Oct. 13, 2014, but was suspended shortly thereafter in order to ensure appropriate vetting of all teachers.” Officials say that school resumed on Oct. 24 and continued through Dec. 17.

Attorneys for the Obama administration have argued in court, like the Bush administration previously, that the protections guaranteed by the Flores settlement do not apply to children in family detention. “The Flores settlement comes into play with unaccompanied minors,” a lawyer for the Department of Homeland Security named Karen Donoso Stevens insisted to a judge on Aug. 4. “That argument is moot here, because the juvenile is detained — is accompanied and detained — with his mother.”

Federal judges have consistently rejected this position. Just as the judge reviewing family detention in 2007 called the denial of Flores protections “inexplicable,” the judge presiding over the Aug. 4 hearing issued a ruling in September that Homeland Security officials in Artesia must honor the Flores Settlement Agreement. “The language of the F.S.A. is unambiguous,” Judge Roxanne Hladylowycz wrote. “The F.S.A. was designed to create a nationwide policy for the detention of all minors, not only those who are unaccompanied.” Olavarria said she was not aware of that ruling and would not comment on whether the Department of Homeland Security believes that the Flores ruling applies to children in family detention today.

***

AS THE PRO BONO project in Artesia continued into fall, its attorneys continued to win in court. By mid-November, more than 400 of the detained women and children were free on bond. Then on Nov. 20, the administration suddenly announced plans to transfer the Artesia detainees to the ICE detention camp in Karnes, Tex., where they would fall under a new immigration court district with a new slate of judges.

That announcement came at the very moment the president was delivering a live address on the new protections available to established immigrant families. In an email to notify Artesia volunteers about the transfer, an organizer for AILA named Stephen Manning wrote, “The disconnect from the compassionate-ish words of the president and his crushing policies toward these refugees is shocking.” Brown was listening to the speech in her car, while driving to Denver for a rare weekend at home, when her cellphone buzzed with the news that 20 of her clients would be transferred to Texas the next morning. Many of them were close to a bond release; in San Antonio, they might be detained for weeks or months longer. Brown pulled her car to the side of the highway and spent three hours arguing to delay the transfer. Over the next two weeks, officials moved forward with the plan.

By mid-December, most of the Artesia detainees were in Karnes, and Brown and Sischo were scrambling to pack the contents of their home and office. On the afternoon of Dec. 16, they threw their final bags into a U-Haul, its cargo area crammed with laundry baskets, suitcases, file boxes and hiking backpacks, all wedged precariously in place, then set out for the eight-hour drive across the desert to central Texas.

The next morning, a law professor named Barbara Hines was also speeding into San Antonio. Hines is a wiry woman in her 60s with a burst of black curls and an aspect of bristling intensity. In the battle over refugee detention, she is something of a seminal figure for advocates like Brown and Sischo. As co-director of the Immigration Law Clinic at the University of Texas, Hines helped lead the 2007 lawsuit against the Hutto facility, which brought about its closure in 2009 and the abolition of widespread family detention until last summer. When the Obama administration announced plans to resume the practice in Artesia, Hines was outraged; when officials opened the second facility in Karnes, just two hours from her home in Austin, Hines began to organize a pro bono project of her own. Although she’d never met Brown or Sischo, she had been running a parallel operation for months. Now that they were in Texas, Hines was eager to meet them.

But first, she had a client to represent. Hines pulled into a parking lot behind the immigration court in downtown San Antonio and rushed inside, up a clattering elevator to the third floor and down a long hallway to a cramped courtroom. At the front, behind a vast wooden desk, sat Judge Glenn McPhaul, a tidy man with slicked hair and a pencil mustache. He presided from an elevated platform, with a clerk to his right, an interpreter to his left, and a large television monitor in the corner. On screen was the pale and grainy image of a dozen exhausted Central American women.

These were just a few of the Karnes detainees, linked by video feed to the courtroom. Another 500 women and children were in the compound with them. There was no legal distinction between their cases and those of the women in Artesia; they had simply been sent to a different facility, weeks or months earlier. Each of them, like the women in Artesia, had already been through the early stages of the asylum process — presenting herself to immigration authorities, asking for refugee status and passing the “credible-fear interview” to confirm a basis for her claim. But the odds of release in Karnes were worse. One of McPhaul’s colleagues, Judge Gary Burkholder, was averaging a 91.6 percent denial rate for the asylum claims. Some Karnes detainees had been in the facility for nearly six months and could remain there another six.

***

THE SITTING AREA of the courtroom was nearly empty, save for half a dozen attorneys. Many of the volunteers at Karnes are friends and former students of Hines, who has been drafting every licensed lawyer she can find. As she slid down the long bench to a seat, she nodded to some of the attorneys in the room and stopped to whisper with another. Then she spent a few minutes fidgeting with her phone until the clerk called her client’s name, and Hines sprang forward, slipping past the bar rail to a table facing the judge. On the television screen, her client, Juana, was stepping toward the camera at Karnes. She was a young woman with a narrow face and deep eyes. Her hair was pulled back to reveal high cheekbones and a somber expression.

McPhaul asked the stenographer to begin transcription, then he commenced with the ritualized exchange of detention proceedings, recording the names of the attorneys, the detainee and everyone on the bench. He noted the introduction of a series of legal documents and confirmed that Juana was still happy to be represented by Hines. There was a stream of legal jargon and a few perfunctory remarks about the status of the case, all of it in clipped judicial vernacular and a flat, indifferent tone. Then McPhaul set a date for the next hearing, at which Hines could begin to present an argument for Juana’s release on bond.

For now, Juana’s turn was over; the whole affair took less than 10 minutes, without any meaningful discussion of her case or its merits. As Hines stepped out of the courtroom, Juana was turning away from the camera to return to her children in Karnes. It was impossible to say how much of the hearing she understood, since none of the proceedings were translated into Spanish. The courtroom interpreter was there only to translate the judge’s questions and the detainees’ responses; everything else was said exclusively in English, including the outcome. For all that Juana knew, she might have been granted reprieve or confined for another six months.

Over the next two hours, the scene would repeat a dozen times. Each time McPhaul called a name, a new lawyer would step forward, taking a seat before the bench and proceeding through the verbal Kabuki. In a few cases, McPhaul offered the detainee the opportunity to post bond — usually around $3,000. But the courtroom interpreter was not allowed to convey this news to the detainee, either. If the pro bono attorney spoke Spanish fluently, there might be a few minutes at the end of the session to explain what happened. If not, the detainee would return to custody and might not discover that she had been granted bond until, or unless, someone paid it.

These, of course, were the lucky women with an attorney to represent them at all. Although the families in Artesia and Karnes have been detained in an environment that closely resembles incarceration, there is no requirement in American law to provide them with the sort of legal representation afforded to other defendants. Unlike the Artesia project, where the involvement of AILA brought in hundreds of volunteers from across the country, Hines could scrape together only so many friends and compatriots to lend their time. She formed a partnership with the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, or Raices, in San Antonio, and the law firm Akin Gump assigned a young lawyer named Lauren Connell to help organize the Karnes project. But there still weren’t enough lawyers to represent the detainees, and Hines and Connell were forced to evaluate which cases were most likely to win. The remaining refugees would proceed to court alone. They would understand little of what happened, and most would be deported.

It was difficult for Hines to think about what might happen to those women next. The refugees who are returned to Central America can be subject to even greater harassment by gangs for having fled. Hector Hernandez, a morgue operator in Honduras, has said that children who come back from U.S. detention “return just to die.” Jose Luis Aguilar, the city councilor for Artesia, recalled a group deportation on the day in July when Secretary Jeh Johnson visited the facility. “He came in the morning, and that same night, they took 79 people and shipped them to El Salvador on the ICE plane,” Aguilar said. “We got reports later that 10 kids had been killed. The church group confirmed that with four of the mortuaries where they went.”

***

HINES WAS HOPING the attorneys from Artesia would help represent the women in Karnes, but she had no idea whether they would be willing to do so. This was her agenda for the first meeting with Christina Brown, which took place that afternoon in a sunlit conference room in the downtown offices of Akin Gump. Hines sat at the head of a long table, with Lauren Connell to her left and an attorney from Raices named Steven Walden to her right. After a few minutes, Brown appeared in the doorway. She was wearing the same green T-shirt and black leggings she had been wearing the day before in Artesia, and she smiled sheepishly, offering a handshake to Hines.

“I’m really sorry,” Brown said with a small laugh. “I want to let you know that I believe very strongly in first impressions — but I am living out of a U-Haul right now.”

Hines smiled sympathetically as they sat down. “So,” she said. “What are you all going to do here?”

Brown paused. “Well, we know we’re going to be continuing our cases,” she said.

“Mmm-hmm,” Hines said.

“And I’m working on cleaning up our spreadsheet and figuring out who’s here,” Brown said. “Many of our clients who were transferred here had already been granted bond.”

“Wait,” Connell said. “They transferred them here to have them bond out?”

Brown sighed. “Yes,” she said.

“That’s ridiculous,” Connell said.

“We’ve had numerous fights on this issue,” Brown said. “We’ve had family members go to pay, and they can’t because the client is already in transit to Karnes.”

Hines shook her head in disbelief.

“It’s been kind of a nightmare,” Brown said.

“Do you have people who have been detained more than 90 days?” Hines asked.

“Every one we’re going forward with on merits has been detained more than 90 days,” Brown said. “So I want to see how you all are moving forward, so I can see what resources are here for Artesia clients.”

Hines laughed. “We can barely staff our cases,” she said. “My hope was that people who were at Artesia, after they’re finished your cases, are going to help with ours.”

“If she says that enough, maybe it will come true,” Connell said.

Brown shook her head. “At the moment, I can commit to nothing,” she said. “Right now, I’m the only attorney, and there’s no guarantee that other volunteers are coming.”

Hines and Connell exchanged a look. Even if the Artesia lawyers could double or triple their workload, the number of detainees would soon overwhelm them. The day before, officials in Karnes had approved a plan to expand the detention facility from about 500 beds to roughly 1,100. At the same time, two hours west of Karnes, in the little town of Dilley, the Department of Homeland Security was about to open another refugee camp for women and children. It would be the largest detention facility in the country, with up to 2,400 beds. If Hines and Brown had trouble finding lawyers to represent a few hundred women and children, there was little chance of generating support for more than 3,000.

***

AFTER THE MEETING, Brown returned to her motel and spent the afternoon searching for an apartment, but the options were limited, and by late afternoon, she and Sischo still had nowhere to live. They decided to spend their first evening in Texas at a vegetarian restaurant downtown. As they settled into a booth at the back of the cafe, they talked about the situation they’d left behind in Artesia, where much of the town opposed the detention facility and the lawyers with equal measure. Town-hall meetings in Artesia became so heated that city officials asked the police to stand guard.

“For people there, it’s a resource issue,” Brown said. “They blame the immigrant community for coming in and being jailed, and for us having to educate their children, when they would like more resources put into their own schools.”

Sischo nodded. “That’s what a guy at the electronics store said: ‘Oh, you’re helping the illegals?’ That’s how they view it. I remember a sign that a protester was holding that was like, ‘What about our children?’ ”

“It’s a legitimate question,” Brown said. “They don’t have a lot of resources in that town, and they should have more.”

“I agree,” Sischo said. “We should not be spending resources on detaining these families. They should be released. But people don’t understand the law. They think they should be deported because they’re ‘illegals.’ So they’re missing a very big part of the story, which is that they aren’t breaking the law. They’re trying to go through the process that’s laid out in our laws.”

For Sischo, seeing the families struggle — families much like her own — was almost more than she could stand. On visits to her parents in Oregon, she struggled to maintain composure. “Every time I’ve gone home, I’ve just cried pretty much nonstop,” she said. “It’s grief and anger and hopelessness and confusion as to how this could happen and whether we’re making a difference.”

For Brown, by contrast, the same experiences seemed to have amplified her energy and commitment. “I haven’t had time to go home and cry yet,” she said. “Maybe I’ll get a job at Dilley, because then I won’t have to process anything!” Brown laughed, but she acknowledged that some part of her was ready to commit to the nomadic life of a legal activist, parachuting into crises for a few months at a time. “That appeals to me,” she said. “It’s nice to be where people need you.”

As dinner came to an end, Brown and Sischo stepped outside into the night. They had parked the U-Haul in a nearby lot, and it had just been towed.

***

IN THE COMING YEAR, most of the families who are currently in detention will wend their way through the refugee system. Some will be released on bond to await their asylum hearing; others will remain in custody until their hearings are complete. Those without an attorney will most likely fail to articulate a reason for their claim in the appropriate jargon of the immigration courts and will be deported to face whatever horror they hoped to flee. Of the 15 families who have been shepherded through the process by the volunteer lawyers so far, 14 have received asylum — “Which should be all you need to know about the validity of their claims,” Brown said.

By late spring, the construction of the new facility at Dilley should be complete. It already represents a drastic departure from the refugee camp in Artesia. Managed by the Corrections Corporation of America, the largest private prison company in the country, the South Texas Family Residential Center has its own promotional website with promissory images of the spacious classrooms, libraries, play areas and lounges that will eventually be available to refugees in long-term detention. Architectural drawings for the site show eight distinct neighborhoods on the campus, with dormitory housing, outdoor pavilions, a chapel and several playgrounds. How much of this will ultimately materialize remains to be seen. Last week, C.C.A. listed job openings for child care workers, library aides and mailroom clerks at the site.

Esther Olavarria, the senior counselor for immigration issues at the Department of Homeland Security, acknowledged that there had been shortcomings in Artesia but described the Dilley facility as a correction. “We stood up Artesia very, very quickly and did the best that we could under the circumstances,” Olavarria said. “As concerns were brought to our attention by advocates, we worked with them to try to address the concerns as quickly as possible.”

Many advocates have expressed concerns about the Dilley facility as well. Its management company, C.C.A., is the same firm that ran the Hutto detention center, and it has been at the center of other significant controversies in recent years. In 2006, federal investigators reported that conditions at a C.C.A. immigration jail in Eloy, Ariz., were so lacking that “detainee welfare is in jeopardy.” Last March, the F.B.I. started an investigation of C.C.A. over a facility the company ran in Idaho, known by inmates as the “Gladiator School” because of unchecked fighting; in 2010, a video surfaced of guards watching one inmate beat another into a coma. Two years ago, C.C.A. executives admitted that employees falsified 4,800 hours of business records. The state has now taken control of the facility.

The management contract at Dilley was also created with unusual terms. In their hurry to open the new facility, officials for the Obama administration bypassed normal bidding procedures and established Dilley under an existing contract for the troubled C.C.A. jail in Eloy. Although the Dilley camp is nearly 1,000 miles away from Eloy, all federal funding for the new camp in Texas will flow through the small town in Arizona, which will keep $438,000 of the annual operating budget as compensation. Eloy city officials say they do not expect to monitor, or even visit, the Dilley facility.

Any new refugees who surrender this spring may spend more than a year in Dilley before their asylum hearings can be scheduled. Olavarria said that officials hope the process will move more quickly, but it will depend on the immigration courts in San Antonio, which fall under the Department of Justice. “From what I’ve heard from the Justice Department, generally it’s not taking 18 months,” Olavarria said. “We’re hearing that cases are being completed in a shorter time. But it’s a case-by-case situation that depends on the complexity, it depends on continuances that are provided to seek counsel, to prepare for cases, all those kinds of things.” The cost to house each detainee at Dilley is about $108,000 per year. A study funded by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, of more than 500 detainees between 1997 and 2000, found that 93 percent will appear in court when placed in a monitoring program. The savings of such a program for the 2,400 detainees at Dilley would be about $250 million per year.

Officials from the Department of Homeland Security say the facilities in Karnes and Dilley are still insufficient to house the detainees they expect to process in the coming year. “Last year, we saw 60,000 families come in,” Olavarria said. “We’re hoping we don’t see those kinds of numbers this year, but even if we see half, those two facilities would hold a fraction of those numbers.” Olavarria said the department was not yet considering additional facilities. “We are in the middle of a battle with the Congress on our funding, so there’s very little discussion about long-term planning,” she said.

For now, the Artesia facility is closed, its bunk beds and hallways empty. Brown and Sischo remain in Texas; they rescued their U-Haul from an impound lot and found an apartment soon thereafter. That same week, an email from the mayor of Artesia, Phillip Burch, was circulating among city residents. “The pro bono attorneys have left our community,” he wrote. “Hopefully not to return.”


Wil S. Hylton is a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine and the author of Vanished. His complete archive is available on Longform.

Voir par ailleurs:

Les fausses images d’enfants séparés de leurs parents à la frontière USA-Mexique
La Croix
23/06/2018

De nombreuses photos et vidéos circulent sur internet depuis que Donald Trump a mis en place sa politique de tolérance zéro face à l’immigration illégale, ce qui a mené plus de 2.300 enfants à être séparés de leurs parents à la frontière entre Etats-Unis et Mexique.

Mais beaucoup d’entre elles ne correspondent pas à la réalité.

Vendredi, après la publication d’un décret du président américain marquant son revirement vis-à-vis de cette politique, le doute demeurait sur le temps que mettront ces mineurs à retrouver leurs familles.

Que vérifie-t-on et que sait-on?

Au moins trois images, largement partagées sur les réseaux sociaux ces derniers jours, illustrent des situations qui ne sont pas celles vécues par les 2.342 enfants détenus en raison de leur statut migratoire irrégulier.

La première montre une fillette hondurienne, Yanela Varela, en larmes. Elle est vite devenue sur Twitter ou Facebook un symbole de la douleur provoquée par la séparation des familles.

Cette image a même contribué à déclencher des donations d’un total de plus de 18 millions de dollars à une association texane d’aide aux migrants appelée RAICES.

La photo a été prise le 12 juin dans la ville de McAllen, au Texas, par John Moore, un photographe qui a obtenu le prix Pulitzer et travaille pour l’agence Getty Images.

Time Magazine en a fait sa Une, mettant face à face, dans un photomontage sur fond rouge, la petite fille apeurée et un Donald Trump faisant presque trois fois sa taille et la toisant avec cette simple légende: « Bienvenue en Amérique ».

Un article en ligne publié par Time et portant sur cette photo affirmait initialement que la petite fille avait été séparée de sa mère. Mais l’article a ensuite été corrigé, la nouvelle version déclarant: « La petite fille n’a pas été emmenée en larmes par des agents de la police frontalière des Etats-Unis, sa mère est venue la chercher et elles ont été emmenées ensemble ».

Time a néanmoins utilisé la photo de la fillette pour sa spectaculaire couverture.

Mais au Honduras, la responsable de la Direction de protection des migrants au ministère des Affaires étrangères, Lisa Medrano, a donné à l’AFP une toute autre version: « La fillette, qui va avoir deux ans, n’a pas été séparée » de ses parents.

Le père de l’enfant, Denis Varela, a confirmé au Washington Post que sa femme Sandra Sanchez, 32 ans, n’avait pas été séparée de Yanela et que les deux étaient actuellement retenues dans un centre pour migrants de McAllen (Texas).

Attaqué pour sa couverture, qui a été largement jugée trompeuse, y compris par la Maison Blanche, Time a déclaré qu’il maintenait sa décision de la publier.

« La photographie du 12 juin de la petite Hondurienne de 2 ans est devenue le symbole le plus visible du débat sur l’immigration actuellement en cours aux Etats-Unis et il y a une raison pour cela », a affirmé dans un communiqué aux médias américains le rédacteur en chef de Time, Edward Felsenthal.

« Dans le cadre de la politique appliquée par l’administration, avant son revirement de cette semaine, ceux qui traversaient la frontière illégalement étaient l’objet de poursuites criminelles, qui entraînaient à leur tour la séparation des enfants et des parents. Notre couverture et notre reportage saisissent les enjeux de ce moment », argumente M. Felsenthal dans son communiqué.

Un autre cliché montre une vingtaine d’enfants derrière une grille, certains d’entre eux tentant d’y grimper. Il circule depuis des jours comme une supposée photo de centres de détention pour mineurs à la frontière mexicaine.

Mais son auteur, Abed Al Ashlamoun, photographe de l’agence EPA, a pris cette image en août 2010 et elle représente des enfants palestiniens attendant la distribution de nourriture pendant le ramadan à Hébron, en Cisjordanie.

Enfin, une troisième image est celle d’un enfant en train de pleurer dans ce qui semble être une cage, et qui remporte un grand succès sur Twitter, où elle a été partagée au moins 25.000 fois sur le compte @joseiswriting.

Encore une fois, il s’agit d’un trompe-l’oeil: il s’agit d’un extrait d’une photo qui mettait en scène des arrestations d’enfants lors d’une manifestation contre la politique migratoire américaine et publiée le 11 juin dernier sur le compte Facebook Brown Berets de Cemanahuac.

Que peut-on conclure?

Les trois photographies mentionnées et amplement partagées sur internet ont été sorties de leur contexte et détournées, et ne peuvent servir de preuves des conditions de vie dans les centres de détention de mineurs clandestins.


« Marche du retour »: The show must go on (From Gaza to Iran, it’s all smoke and mirrors, stupid !)

9 mai, 2018

 

Le président de l'Autorité palestinienne Mahmoud Abbas devant le Parlement européen à Bruxelles, le 23 juin 2016. (Crédit : AFP/John Thys)
Au coeur de l’accord iranien, il y avait un énorme mythe selon laquelle un régime meurtrier ne cherchait qu’un programme pacifique d’énergie nucléaire. Aujourd’hui nous avons la preuve définitive que la promesse iranienne était un mensonge. Le futur de l’Iran appartient à son peuple et les Iraniens méritent une nation qui rende justice à leurs rêves, qui honore leur histoire. (…) Nous n’allons pas laisser un régime qui scande « Mort à l’Amérique » avoir accès aux armes les plus meurtrières sur terre. Donald Trump
La paix ne peut être obtenue où la violence est récompensée. Donald Trump
Un écran de fumée désigne, dans le domaine militaire, une tactique utilisée afin de masquer la position exacte d’unités à l’ennemi, par l’émission d’une fumée dense. Cette dernière peut-être naturelle mais est le plus souvent produite artificiellement à partir de grenades fumigènes (composées notamment d’acide chlorosulfurique). Certains véhicules blindés, en général des chars, disposent de lance-grenades spécifiquement conçus à cet effet, mais utilisent surtout l’injection de carburant Diesel dans l’échappement de leur moteur pour produire des écrans de fumée pouvant atteindre 400 m de long et persister plusieurs minutes. Par exemple, le T-72 soviétique injecte dix litres de carburant à la minute pour créer ses écrans de fumée. Dans les temps anciens, des simples feux de broussailles bien nourris suffisaient parfois à faire l’affaire.Wikipedia
More ink equals more blood, newspaper coverage of terrorist incidents leads directly to more attacks. It’s a macabre example of win-win in what economists call a « common-interest game. Both the media and terrorists benefit from terrorist incidents. Terrorists get free publicity for themselves and their cause. The media, meanwhile, make money « as reports of terror attacks increase newspaper sales and the number of television viewers. Bruno S. Frey and Dominic Rohner
Nous avons constaté que le sport était la religion moderne du monde occidental. Nous savions que les publics anglais et américain assis devant leur poste de télévision ne regarderaient pas un programme exposant le sort des Palestiniens s’il y avait une manifestation sportive sur une autre chaîne. Nous avons donc décidé de nous servir des Jeux olympiques, cérémonie la plus sacrée de cette religion, pour obliger le monde à faire attention à nous. Nous avons offert des sacrifices humains à vos dieux du sport et de la télévision et ils ont répondu à nos prières. Terroriste palestinien (Jeux olympiques de Munich, 1972)
Les Israéliens ne savent pas que le peuple palestinien a progressé dans ses recherches sur la mort. Il a développé une industrie de la mort qu’affectionnent toutes nos femmes, tous nos enfants, tous nos vieillards et tous nos combattants. Ainsi, nous avons formé un bouclier humain grâce aux femmes et aux enfants pour dire à l’ennemi sioniste que nous tenons à la mort autant qu’il tient à la vie. Fathi Hammad (responsable du Hamas, mars 2008)
Je n’ai pas l’intention de cesser de payer les familles des martyrs prisonniers, même si cela me coûte mon siège. Je continuerai à les payer jusqu’à mon dernier jour. Mahmoud Abbas
 Récemment, un certain nombre de rabbins en Israël ont tenu des propos clairs, demandant à leur gouvernement d’empoisonner l’eau pour tuer les Palestiniens. Mahmoud Abbas
Après qu’il soit devenu évident que les déclarations supposées d’un rabbin, relayées par de nombreux médias, se sont révélées sans fondement, le président Mahmoud Abbas a affirmé qu’il n’avait pas pour intention de s’en prendre au judaïsme ou de blesser le peuple juif à travers le monde. Communiqué Autorité palestinienne
Du XIe siècle jusqu’à l’Holocauste qui s’est produit en Allemagne, les juifs vivant en Europe de l’ouest et de l’est ont été la cible de massacres tous les 10 ou 15 ans. Mais pourquoi est-ce arrivé ? Ils disent: « parce que nous sommes juifs » (…) L’hostilité contre les juifs n’est pas due à leur religion, mais plutôt à leur fonction sociale, leurs fonctions sociales liées aux banques et intérêts. Mahmoud Abbas
Si mes propos devant le Conseil national palestinien ont offensé des gens, en particulier des gens de confession juive, je leur présente mes excuses. Je voudrais assurer à tous que telle n’était pas mon intention et réaffirmer mon respect total pour la religion juive, ainsi que pour toutes les religions monothéistes. Je voudrais renouveler notre condamnation de longue date de l’Holocauste, le crime le plus odieux de l’histoire, et exprimer notre compassion envers ses victimes. Mahmoud Abbas
J’espère que les journalistes diront qu’il s’agit de la seule démocratie pluraliste du Moyen-Orient, un pays libre, un pays sûr. Un pays normal, comme la France ou l’Italie. Il n’y a aucune ville dans le monde qui s’appelle Jérusalem-Ouest. Il n’y a pas de Paris-Ouest ou de Rome-Ouest. La course part de la ville de Jérusalem, donc on écrit « Jérusalem » sur la carte. Sylvan Adams
Amer anniversaire. Israël a fêté mercredi son 70e anniversaire en brandissant sa puissance militaire et son improbable réussite économique face aux menaces régionales renouvelées et aux incertitudes intérieures. Après s’être recueillis depuis mardi à la mémoire de leurs compatriotes tués au service de leur pays ou dans des attentats, les Israéliens ont entamé mercredi soir les célébrations marquant la création de leur Etat proclamé le 14 mai 1948, mais fêté en ce moment en fonction du calendrier hébraïque. (…) Israël agite régulièrement le spectre d’une attaque de l’Iran, son ennemi juré. La crainte d’un tel acte d’hostilité, à la manière de l’offensive surprise d’une coalition arabe lors des célébrations de Yom Kippour en 1973, a été attisée par un raid le 9 avril contre une base aérienne en Syrie, imputé à Israël par le régime de Bachar al-Assad et ses alliés iranien et russe. Mais en février, Israël a admis pour la première fois avoir frappé des cibles iraniennes après l’intrusion d’un drone iranien dans son espace aérien. C’était la première confrontation ouvertement déclarée entre Israël et l’Iran en Syrie. Israël martèle qu’il ne permettra pas à l’Iran de s’enraciner militairement en Syrie voisine. Les journaux israéliens ont publié mercredi des éléments spécifiques sur la présence en Syrie des Gardiens de la révolution, unité d’élite iranienne. La publication de photos satellite de bases aériennes et d’appareils civils soupçonnés de décharger des armes, de cartes et même de noms de responsables militaires iraniens constitue un avertissement, convenaient les commentateurs militaires: Israël sait où et qui frapper en cas d’attaque. (…) Avec plus de 8,8 millions d’habitants, la population a décuplé depuis 1948, selon les statistiques officielles. La croissance s’est affichée à 4,1% au quatrième trimestre 2017. Le pays revendique une douzaine de prix Nobel. Cependant, Israël accuse parmi les plus fortes inégalités des pays développés. L’avenir du Premier ministre, englué dans les affaires de corruption présumée, est incertain. S’agissant du conflit israélo-palestinien, une solution a rarement paru plus lointaine. L’anniversaire d’Israël coïncide avec «la marche du retour», mouvement organisé depuis le 30 mars dans la bande de Gaza, territoire palestinien soumis au blocus israélien. Après bientôt trois semaines de violences le long de la frontière qui ont fait 34 morts palestiniens, de nouvelles manifestations sont attendues vendredi. Le ministère israélien de la Défense a annoncé qu’un «puissant engin explosif», apparemment destiné à un attentat lors des fêtes israéliennes, avait été découvert dans un camion palestinien intercepté à un point de passage entre la Cisjordanie occupée et Israël. Libération
Le Giro d’Italia débute ce vendredi de Jérusalem, offrant à l’Etat hébreu son premier événement sportif d’envergure. Tracé qui esquive les Territoires palestiniens, équipes qui hésitent à s’engager, soupçons d’enveloppes d’argent… les autorités ont éteint toutes les critiques pour en faire une vitrine. Libération
Le monde a basculé ce 8 mai 2018. Rien n’y a fait. Ni les câlins d’Emmanuel Macron. Ni les menaces du président iranien. Ni les assurances des patrons de la CIA et de l’AIEA. Donald Trump a tranché : sous le prétexte non prouvé que l’Iran ne le respecte pas, i l retire les Etats-Unis de l’accord nucléaire signé le 14 juillet 2015. Une folle décision aux conséquences considérables. Après la dénonciation de celui de Paris sur le climat, voici l’abandon unilatéral d’un autre accord qui a été négocié par les grandes puissances pendant plus de dix ans. L’Amérique devient donc, à l’évidence, un « rogue state » – un Etat voyou qui ne respecte pas ses engagements internationaux et ment une fois encore ouvertement au monde. L’invasion de l’Irak n’était donc pas une exception malheureuse : Washington n’incarne plus l’ordre international mais le désordre.  Si l’on en doutait encore, le monde dit libre n’a plus de leader crédible ni même de grand frère. Ce qui va troubler un peu plus encore les opinions publiques et les classes dirigeantes occidentales. Puisque l’Iran en est l’un des plus gros producteurs et qu’il va être empêché d’en vendre, le prix du pétrole, déjà à 70 dollars le baril, va probablement exploser, ce qui risque de ralentir voire de stopper la croissance mondiale – et donc celle de la France.
D’ailleurs, de tous les pays occidentaux, la France est celui qui a le plus à perdre d’un retour des sanctions américaines – directes et indirectes. L’Iran a, en effet, passé commandes de 100 Airbus pour 19 milliards de dollars et a signé un gigantesque contrat avec Total pour l’exploitation du champ South Pars 11. Or Trump a choisi la version la plus dure : interdire de nouveau à toute compagnie traitant avec Téhéran de faire du business aux Etats-Unis. Pour continuer à commercer sur le marché américain, Airbus et Total devront donc renoncer à ces deals juteux. L’Obs
Of all the arguments for the Trump administration to honor the nuclear deal with Iran, none was more risible than the claim that we gave our word as a country to keep it. The Obama administration refused to submit the deal to Congress as a treaty, knowing it would never get two-thirds of the Senate to go along. Just 21 percent of Americans approved of the deal at the time it went through, against 49 percent who did not, according to a Pew poll. The agreement “passed” on the strength of a 42-vote Democratic filibuster, against bipartisan, majority opposition. “The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (J.C.P.O.A.) is not a treaty or an executive agreement, and it is not a signed document,” Julia Frifield, then the assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs, wrote then-Representative Mike Pompeo in November 2015 (…) In the weeks leading to Tuesday’s announcement, some of the same people who previously claimed the deal was the best we could possibly hope for suddenly became inventive in proposing means to fix it. This involved suggesting side deals between Washington and European capitals to impose stiffer penalties on Tehran for its continued testing of ballistic missiles — more than 20 since the deal came into effect — and its increasingly aggressive regional behavior. But the problem with this approach is that it only treats symptoms of a problem for which the J.C.P.O.A. is itself a major cause. The deal weakened U.N. prohibitions on Iran’s testing of ballistic missiles, which cannot be reversed without Russian and Chinese consent. That won’t happen. The easing of sanctions also gave Tehran additional financial means with which to fund its depredations in Syria and its militant proxies in Yemen, Lebanon and elsewhere. Any effort to counter Iran on the ground in these places would mean fighting the very forces we are effectively feeding. Why not just stop the feeding? Apologists for the deal answer that the price is worth paying because Iran has put on hold much of its production of nuclear fuel for the next several years. Yet even now Iran is under looser nuclear strictures than North Korea, and would have been allowed to enrich as much material as it liked once the deal expired. That’s nuts. Apologists also claim that, with Trump’s decision, Tehran will simply restart its enrichment activities on an industrial scale. Maybe it will, forcing a crisis that could end with U.S. or Israeli strikes on Iran’s nuclear sites. But that would be stupid, something the regime emphatically isn’t. More likely, it will take symbolic steps to restart enrichment, thereby implying a threat without making good on it. What the regime wants is a renegotiation, not a reckoning. (…) Even with the sanctions relief, the Iranian economy hangs by a thread: The Wall Street Journal on Sunday reported “hundreds of recent outbreaks of labor unrest in Iran, an indication of deepening discord over the nation’s economic troubles.” This week, the rial hit a record low of 67,800 to the dollar; one member of the Iranian Parliament estimated $30 billion of capital outflows in recent months. That’s real money for a country whose gross domestic product barely matches that of Boston. The regime might calculate that a strategy of confrontation with the West could whip up useful nationalist fervors. But it would have to tread carefully: Ordinary Iranians are already furious that their government has squandered the proceeds of the nuclear deal on propping up the Assad regime. The conditions that led to the so-called Green movement of 2009 are there once again. Nor will it help Iran if it tries to start a war with Israel and comes out badly bloodied. (…) Trump’s courageous decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal will clarify the stakes for Tehran. Now we’ll see whether the administration is capable of following through. Bret Stephens
Hello ! Welcome to the show ! Al Jazeera
It was supposed to be a peaceful day. But as then. Unarmed protesters marched towards the border fence, Israeli soldiers opened fire. Al Jazeera journalist
We will continue to sacrifice the blood of our children. Hamas leader
All impure Jews are dogs. They should be burned. They are dirty. Palestinian woman
Je crois dans la volonté d’un peuple. Ce qui m’inspire, c’est la destruction du mur de Berlin. On ne veut pas mourir. Notre message est pacifique, on ne veut jeter personne à la mer. Si les Israéliens nous tuent, ce sera leur crime. Ahmed Abou Irtema
Nous préférons mourir dans notre pays plutôt qu’en mer, comme les réfugiés syriens, ou enfermés à Gaza ou dans les camps au Liban. Moïn Abou Okal (ministère de l’intérieur de Gaza et membre du comité de pilotage de la marche)
 Les gens sont plein de fureur et de colère, dit  On n’a pris aucune décision pour pousser des centaines de milliers de personnes vers la frontière. On veut que cela reste une manifestation pacifique. Mais il n’y a ni négociations avec Israël ni réconciliation entre factions. Il faut laisser les gens s’exprimer. Ghazi Hamad (responsable des relations internationales du Hamas)
Le cauchemar israélien se résume en une image : celle de dizaines de milliers de manifestants non armés, avançant vers la frontière, pour réclamer leur sortie de la prison à ciel ouvert qu’est Gaza. Les responsables sécuritaires israéliens ont averti : tout franchissement illégal sera considéré comme une menace. Plusieurs alertes sérieuses ont eu lieu ces derniers jours, des individus ayant passé la clôture trop aisément. L’armée, qui craint l’enfouissement d’engins explosifs, a prévu d’employer des drones pour larguer des canettes de gaz lacrymogène. (…) En présentant les manifestants comme des personnes achetées, manipulées ou dangereuses, Israël réduit l’événement de vendredi à une question sécuritaire. Il prive ainsi les Gazaouis de leur intégrité comme sujets politiques, de leur capacité à formuler des espérances et à se mobiliser pour les défendre. Or, l’initiative de ce mouvement n’est pas du tout le fruit de délibérations au bureau politique du Hamas, qui gouverne la bande de Gaza depuis 2007. Le mouvement islamiste, affaibli et isolé, soutient comme les autres factions cette mobilisation, y compris par des moyens logistiques, parce qu’il y voit une façon de mettre enfin Israël sous pression. L’idée originelle, c’est Ahmed Abou Irtema qui la revendique. C’était juste après l’annonce de la reconnaissance unilatérale de Jérusalem comme capitale d’Israël par Donald Trump, le 6 décembre 2017. La réconciliation entre le Hamas et le Fatah du président Mahmoud Abbas était dans l’impasse. La situation humanitaire, plus dramatique que jamais. Ce journaliste de 33 ans, père de quatre garçons, a évoqué l’idée, sur Facebook, d’un vaste rassemblement pacifique. (…) Le jeune homme, comme les autres activistes, ne parle pas d’un Etat palestinien, mais de leurs droits historiques sur des terrains précisément délimités. (…) Ils invoquent l’article 11 de la résolution 194, adoptée par les Nations unies (ONU) à la fin de 1948, sur le droit des réfugiés à retourner chez eux ou à obtenir compensation. (…) de son côté Moïn Abou Okal, fonctionnaire au ministère de l’intérieur et membre du comité de pilotage (…) affirme que les manifestants ne tenteront de pénétrer en Israël que le 15 mai. Le Monde
Depuis deux semaines le Hamas et autres organisations terroristes ont repris à leur compte ce qu’ils veulent faire passer pour un soulèvement populaire «pacifiste». Une fois de plus, le détournement du vocabulaire est habile car ces manifestations à plusieurs couches – l’une pacifique et bon enfant, servant de couverture aux multiples tentatives de destruction de la barrière de séparation entre Gaza et Israël, d’enlèvement de soldats, et d’attentats terroristes heureusement avortés – voudraient promouvoir un «droit au retour» à l’intérieur d’Israël des descendants de descendants de «réfugiés». (…) Voici que des milliers de civils, hommes, femmes, enfants, se massent à proximité des zones tampons établies en bordure de la barrière de sécurité israélienne, dans une ambiance de kermesse destinée à nous faire croire qu’il s’agit là de manifestations au sens démocratique du terme. Voici, également, que des milliers de pneus sont enflammés, dégageant une fumée noirâtre visible depuis les satellites, dans le but d’aveugler les forces de sécurité israéliennes qui ont pourtant prévenu: aucun franchissement sauvage de la barrière-frontière ne sera toléré. Toute tentative sera stoppée par des tirs à balle réelle – ce qui, n’en déplaise à beaucoup, est absolument légal dans toute buffer zone entre entités ennemies. À cette annonce, les dirigeants du Hamas ont dû jubiler! Eux qui jouent gagnant-gagnant dans une stratégie impliquant l’utilisation de leurs civils comme boucliers humains, puisqu’il s’agit surtout d’une guerre d’influence, n’en espéraient pas autant. Dès lors ils allaient enfin pouvoir de nouveau compter leurs morts comme autant de victoires médiatiques. Et cela – au grand dam des Israéliens – s’est déroulé exactement comme prévu. Au moment où paraissent ces lignes, Gaza pleure plus de trente morts et les hôpitaux sont débordés par le nombre de blessés – même si les chiffres sont sujets à caution puisque seulement fournis par le Hamas. Pour une fois, cependant, le Hamas s’est piégé lui-même, en publiant avec fierté l’identité de la majorité des victimes qui, de toute évidence appartiennent à ses troupes. C’est le cas du journaliste Yasser Mourtaja dont le double rôle de correspondant de presse et d’officier salarié du Hamas a également été dévoilé.Mais aurait-il été possible pour Israël d’avoir recours à d’autres moyens? L’alignement de snipers parallèlement à l’utilisation de procédés antiémeutes, était-il vraiment indispensable? Imaginons, un instant, que, dans les semaines à venir, comme annoncé par le dirigeant de l’organisation terroriste, Yahya Sinwar, la «marche du retour» permette à ses militants de détruire les barrières, tandis que des milliers de manifestants, femmes et enfants poussés en première ligne, se ruent à l’intérieur d’Israël, bravant non plus les tirs ciblés des soldats entraînés mais la riposte massive d’un peuple paniqué? En menaçant d’avoir recours à des mesures extrêmes, et en tenant cet engagement, Israël ne fait que dissuader et empêcher le développement d’un cauchemar humanitaire dont les dirigeants du Hamas, acculés économiquement et politiquement, pourraient se régaler. Contrairement aux images promues par d’autres abus du vocabulaire, Gaza n’est pas une «prison à ciel ouvert» mais une bande de 360 km² relativement surpeuplée, où vivent également nombre de millionnaires dans des villas fastueuses côtoyant des quartiers miséreux. Chaque jour, environ 1 500 à 2 500 tonnes d’aide humanitaire et de biens de consommation sont autorisés à passer la frontière par le gouvernement israélien. Plusieurs programmes permettent aux habitants de Gaza de se faire soigner dans les hôpitaux de Tel Aviv et de Haïfa. Un projet d’île portuaire sécurisée est à l’étude à Jérusalem, et des tonnes de fruits et légumes sont régulièrement achetés aux paysans gazaouis par les réseaux de distribution alimentaires israéliens. L’Égypte contrôle toute la partie sud et fait souvent montre de beaucoup plus de rigueur qu’Israël pour protéger sa frontière, sachant que le Hamas est issu des Frères Musulmans, organisation interdite par le gouvernement de Abdel Fatah Al Sissi.Mais Gaza souffre, en effet, et même terriblement! Gaza souffre du fait que le Hamas détourne la majorité des fonds destinés à sa population pour creuser des tunnels et se construire une armée dont le seul but, ouvertement déclaré dans sa charte, est d’oblitérer Israël et d’exterminer ses habitants. Gaza souffre des promesses d’aide financière non tenues par les pays Arabes et qui se chiffrent en milliards de dollars. Gaza souffre de n’avoir que trois heures d’électricité par jour, car les terroristes du Hamas ont envoyé une roquette sur la principale centrale pendant le dernier conflit et l’Autorité Palestinienne, de son côté, refuse de payer les factures correspondant à son alimentation, espérant de la sorte provoquer une crise qui conduira à la perte de pouvoir de son concurrent. Gaza souffre d’un taux de chômage de plus de 50 %, après que ses habitants, dans l’euphorie du départ des Juifs, aient saccagé et détruit les serres à légumes et les manufactures construites par Israël et donc jugées «impures» selon les théories islamistes qui les ont conduits, ne l’oublions pas non plus, à voter massivement pour le Hamas. Gaza souffre enfin de ces détournements du vocabulaire, de ces concepts esthétiques manichéens conçus au détriment des êtres, qui empêchent les hommes de conscience de comprendre le cœur du problème et sont forcés de penser qu’Israël est l’unique cause du malheur de ses habitants.C’est pour cela qu’il faut, une fois de plus, clamer quelques faits incontournables. Israël ne peut faire la paix avec une organisation terroriste vouée à sa disparition. Les habitants de Gaza seraient libres de circuler et de se construire un avenir à l’instant même où ils renonceraient à la disparition de leur voisin. Le Hamas et autres organisations terroristes savent qu’ils peuvent compter sur la sympathie des Nations unies et de nombre d’ONG à prétention humanitaire et ne se privent donc pas d’exploiter la population qu’ils détiennent en otage puisqu’ils savent qu’Israël sera systématiquement condamné à leur place. Pierre Rehov
Welcome to the parade for the return – the latest big show organized by Hamas. Every day between 10,000 and 30,000 Muslim Arabs will participate in this smoke screen operation. Pierre Rehov
I shot the video because I observed many times first hand how Palestinians build their propaganda and I strongly believe that no peace will be possible as long as international media believe their narrative instead of seeing the facts. Hamas knows that it can count on the international community when it launches initiatives such as those ‘peaceful protests’ which have claimed too many lives already, while Israel has no choice but to defend its borders. Pierre Rehov
Behind the Smoke Screen, which was shot in recent weeks by two Palestinian cameramen who work with Rehov on a regular basis, went viral and was published by many pro-Israel organizations. The short movie then goes on to show shocking images of children being dragged to the front lines of the clashes as human shields and disturbing footage of animal cruelty. It shows the contradictory tone of Palestinian leaders speaking in English in front of an international audience versus speaking in Arabic to their own people. It shows the health and environmental risk of the burning tire protests and then asks rhetorically: « Where are the ecologist protests? »It shows Hamas’ goals of crossing the border and carrying out attacks, and, if all else fails, trying to provoke soldiers, hoping for a stray bullet and making the front pages of international newspapers. Jerusalem Post
Pour ceux qui croyaient encore que les écrans ou rideaux de fumée étaient une tactique militaire
Infiltration de terroristes armés, sabotage de la barrière de sécurité, destruction de champs israéliens via l’envoi de cerf-volants enflammés, torture et incinération d’animaux, boucliers humains de femmes et d’enfants, miroirs, écran de fumée …
A l’heure où après avoir le mensonge de 70 ans du refus des ambassades étrangères à Jérusalem …
Et l’imposture entre une accusation d’empoisonnement de puits sous les ovations du Parlement européen et une justification de l’antisémitisme européen sous celles de son propre parlement …
D’un président d’une Autorité palestinienne et auteur enfin reconnu d’une thèse négationniste sur le génocide juif …
Le va-t-en-guerre de la Maison blanche vient, entre – excusez du peu – le retour nord-coréen à la table des négociations, la libération de trois otages américains et avec 57% le plus haut taux d’optimisme national depuis 13 ans, d’éventer la supercherie de 40 ans du programme prétendument pacifique …
D’un régime qui, sous couvert d’un accord jamais avalisé par le Congrès américain mais soutenu par les quislings et gros intérêts économiques européens et entre deux « Mort à l’Amérique ! » et menaces de rayement de la carte d’Israël, multiplie les essais balistiques et du Yemen au Liban met le Moyen-Orient à feu et à sang …
Pendant qu’entre dénonciation de son 70e anniversaire et médisance sur la première venue d’un grand évènement sportif dans la seule démocratie du Moyen-Orient …
Nos médias rivalisent dans la mauvaise foi et la désinformation
Bienvenue au grand barnum de la « Marche du retour » !
Cet incroyable de mélange de fête de l’Huma et kermesse bon enfant …
Qui monopolise depuis six semaines nos écrans et les unes de nos journaux …
Et qui comme le montre l’excellent petit documentaire du réalisateur franco-israélien Pierre Rehov
Se révèle être un petit joyau de propagande et de prestidigitation …
Miroirs et écrans de fumée compris …
Des maitres-illusionistes du Hamas et de nos médias !

WATCH: Exclusive footage from inside Gaza reveals true face of protests

« Hamas knows that it can count on the international community when it launches initiatives such as those ‘peaceful protests’ which have claimed too many lives already. »

Juliane Helmhold
The Jerusalem Post
May 7, 2018 13:13

The short movie Behind the Smoke Screen by filmmaker Pierre Rehov shows exclusive images from inside the Gaza Strip, aimed at changing the international perception of the ongoing six-week protests dubbed the « Great March of Return » by Hamas.

« I shot the video because I observed many times first hand how Palestinians build their propaganda and I strongly believe that no peace will be possible as long as international media believe their narrative instead of seeing the facts, » the French filmmaker told The Jerusalem Post.

« Hamas knows that it can count on the international community when it launches initiatives such as those ‘peaceful protests’ which have claimed too many lives already, while Israel has no choice but to defend its borders. »

Rehov, who also writes regularly for the French daily Le Figaro, has been producing documentaries about the Arab-Israeli conflict for 18 years, many of which have aired on Israeli media outlets, including The Road to Jenin, debunking Mohammad Bakri’s claim of a massacre in Jenin, War Crimes in Gaza, demonstrating Hamas’ use of civilians as human shields and Beyond Deception Strategy, exploring the plight of minorities inside Israel and how BDS is hurting Palestinians.

Behind the Smoke Screen, which was shot in recent weeks by two Palestinian cameramen who work with Rehov on a regular basis, went viral and was published by many pro-Israel organizations.Behind The Smoke Screen (Pierre Rehov/Youtube)

« Welcome to the parade for the return – the latest big show organized by Hamas. Every day between 10,000 and 30,000 Muslim Arabs will participate in this smoke screen operation, » the video introduces the subject matter in the opening remarks.

The short movie then goes on to show shocking images of children being dragged to the front lines of the clashes as human shields and disturbing footage of animal cruelty.

It shows the contradictory tone of Palestinian leaders speaking in English in front of an international audience versus speaking in Arabic to their own people.

It shows the health and environmental risk of the burning tire protests and then asks rhetorically: « Where are the ecologist protests? »

It shows Hamas’ goals of crossing the border and carrying out attacks, and, if all else fails, trying to provoke soldiers, hoping for a stray bullet and making the front pages of international newspapers.

« I want to present facts, and one image is worth 1000 words, » the filmmaker emphasized.

Voir aussi:

Pierre Rehov : un autre regard sur Gaza

Pierre Rehov
Le Figaro
20/04/2018

FIGAROVOX/TRIBUNE – Le reporter Pierre Rehov s’attaque, dans une tribune, à la grille de lecture dominante dans les médias français des événements actuels à Gaza. Selon lui, la réponse d’Israël est proportionnée à la menace terroriste que représentent les agissements du Hamas.

Pierre Rehov est reporter, écrivain et réalisateur de documentaires, dont le dernier, «Unveiling Jérusalem», retrace l’histoire de la ville trois fois sainte.

Les organisations islamistes qui s’attaquent à Israël ont toujours eu le sens du vocabulaire dans leur communication avec l’Occident. Convaincus à juste titre que peu parmi nous sont capables, ou même intéressés, de décrypter leurs discours d’origine révélateur de leurs véritables intentions, ils nous arrosent depuis des décennies de concepts erronés, tout en puisant à la source de notre propre histoire les termes qui nous feront réagir dans le sens qui leur sera favorable. C’est ainsi que sont nés, au fil des ans, des terminologies acceptées par tous, y compris, il faut le dire, en Israël même.

Prenons par exemple le mot «occupation». Le Hamas, organisation terroriste qui règne sur la bande de Gaza depuis qu’Israël a retiré ses troupes et déraciné plus de 10 000 Juifs tout en laissant les infrastructures qui auraient permis aux Gazaouites de développer une véritable économie indépendante, continue à se lamenter du «fait» que l’État Juif occupe des terres appartenant «de toute éternité au Peuple Palestinien». Il s’agit là, évidemment, d’un faux car les droits éventuels des Palestiniens ne sauraient être réalisés en niant ceux des Juifs sur leur terre ancestrale.

Le terme «occupation» étant associé de triste mémoire à l’Histoire européenne, lorsqu’un lecteur, mal informé, se le voit asséner à longueur d’année par les médias les ONG et les politiciens, la première image qui lui vient est évidemment celle de la botte allemande martelant au pas de l’oie le pavé parisien ou bruxellois.

Cette répétition infligée tout autant qu’acceptée d’un terme erroné a pour but d’occulter un fait essentiel, gravé dans l’Histoire: selon la loi internationale, ces territoires dits «occupés» ne sont que «disputés». Car, afin d’occuper une terre, encore eût-il fallu qu’elle appartînt à un pays reconnu au moment de sa conquête. La «Palestine», renommée ainsi par l’Empereur Hadrien en 127 pour humilier les Juifs après leur seconde révolte contre l’empire romain, n’était qu’une région de l’empire Ottoman jusqu’à la défaite des Turcs en 1917. Ce sont les pays Arabes dans leur globalité qui, en rejetant le plan de partition de l’ONU en 1947, ont empêché la naissance d’une «nation palestinienne» dont on ne retrouve aucune trace dans l’histoire jusqu’à sa mise au goût du jour, en 1964, par Nasser et le KGB.

Depuis deux semaines le Hamas et autres organisations terroristes ont repris à leur compte ce qu’ils veulent faire passer pour un soulèvement populaire « pacifiste ».

Lorsqu’à l’issue d’une guerre défensive, Israël a «pris» la Cisjordanie et Gaza en 1967, ces deux territoires avaient déjà été conquis par la Jordanie et l’Égypte. Ce qui nous conduit à remettre en question une autre révision sémantique. Pourquoi des terres qui, pendant des siècles, se sont appelées Judée-Samarie deviendraient-elles, tout à coup, Cisjordanie ou Rive Occidentale, de par la seule volonté du pays qui les a envahies en 1948 avant d’en expulser tous les Juifs dans l’indifférence générale? Serait-ce pour effacer le simple fait que la Judée… est le berceau du judaïsme?

Mais revenons à Gaza.

Depuis deux semaines le Hamas et autres organisations terroristes ont repris à leur compte ce qu’ils veulent faire passer pour un soulèvement populaire «pacifiste». Une fois de plus, le détournement du vocabulaire est habile car ces manifestations à plusieurs couches – l’une pacifique et bon enfant, servant de couverture aux multiples tentatives de destruction de la barrière de séparation entre Gaza et Israël, d’enlèvement de soldats, et d’attentats terroristes heureusement avortés – voudraient promouvoir un «droit au retour» à l’intérieur d’Israël des descendants de descendants de «réfugiés».

J’ai déjà abondamment écrit, y compris dans ces pages, sur cette aberration tragique perpétuée au profit de l’UNWRA, une agence onusienne empêchant, dans sa forme actuelle, l’établissement et le développement des Arabes de Palestine sur leurs terres d’accueil. Je n’y reviendrai que par une phrase. Pourquoi un enfant, né à côté de Ramallah ou à Gaza, de parents nés au même endroit, ou pire encore, né à Brooklyn ou à Stockholm de parents immigrés, serait-il considéré comme «réfugié» – comme c’est le cas dans les statistiques de l’UNRWA – si un enfant Juif né à Tel Aviv, de parents nés à Bagdad, Damas ou Tripoli, et chassés entre 1948 et 1974 n’a jamais bénéficié du même statut?

Mais voici que des bus affrétés par le Hamas et la Jihad Islamique, et décorés de clés géantes et de noms enluminés de villages disparus censés symboliser ce «droit au retour» au sein d’un pays honni, viennent cueillir chaque vendredi devant les mosquées et les écoles de Gaza une population manipulée, prête aux derniers sacrifices afin de répondre à des mots d’ordre cyniques ou désuets.

Voici que des milliers de civils, hommes, femmes, enfants, se massent à proximité des zones tampons établies en bordure de la barrière de sécurité israélienne, dans une ambiance de kermesse destinée à nous faire croire qu’il s’agit là de manifestations au sens démocratique du terme.

Voici, également, que des milliers de pneus sont enflammés, dégageant une fumée noirâtre visible depuis les satellites, dans le but d’aveugler les forces de sécurité israéliennes qui ont pourtant prévenu: aucun franchissement sauvage de la barrière-frontière ne sera toléré. Toute tentative sera stoppée par des tirs à balle réelle – ce qui, n’en déplaise à beaucoup, est absolument légal dans toute buffer zone entre entités ennemies.

À cette annonce, les dirigeants du Hamas ont dû jubiler! Eux qui jouent gagnant-gagnant dans une stratégie impliquant l’utilisation de leurs civils comme boucliers humains, puisqu’il s’agit surtout d’une guerre d’influence, n’en espéraient pas autant. Dès lors ils allaient enfin pouvoir de nouveau compter leurs morts comme autant de victoires médiatiques. Et cela – au grand dam des Israéliens – s’est déroulé exactement comme prévu. Au moment où paraissent ces lignes, Gaza pleure plus de trente morts et les hôpitaux sont débordés par le nombre de blessés – même si les chiffres sont sujets à caution puisque seulement fournis par le Hamas.

En menaçant d’avoir recours à des mesures extrêmes, Israël ne fait que dissuader et empêcher le développement d’un cauchemar humanitaire.

Pour une fois, cependant, le Hamas s’est piégé lui-même, en publiant avec fierté l’identité de la majorité des victimes qui, de toute évidence appartiennent à ses troupes. C’est le cas du journaliste Yasser Mourtaja dont le double rôle de correspondant de presse et d’officier salarié du Hamas a également été dévoilé .

Mais aurait-il été possible pour Israël d’avoir recours à d’autres moyens? L’alignement de snipers parallèlement à l’utilisation de procédés antiémeutes, était-il vraiment indispensable?

Imaginons, un instant, que, dans les semaines à venir, comme annoncé par le dirigeant de l’organisation terroriste, Yahya Sinwar, la «marche du retour» permette à ses militants de détruire les barrières, tandis que des milliers de manifestants, femmes et enfants poussés en première ligne, se ruent à l’intérieur d’Israël, bravant non plus les tirs ciblés des soldats entraînés mais la riposte massive d’un peuple paniqué?

En menaçant d’avoir recours à des mesures extrêmes, et en tenant cet engagement, Israël ne fait que dissuader et empêcher le développement d’un cauchemar humanitaire dont les dirigeants du Hamas, acculés économiquement et politiquement, pourraient se régaler.

Contrairement aux images promues par d’autres abus du vocabulaire, Gaza n’est pas une «prison à ciel ouvert» mais une bande de 360 km² relativement surpeuplée, où vivent également nombre de millionnaires dans des villas fastueuses côtoyant des quartiers miséreux.

Chaque jour, environ 1 500 à 2 500 tonnes d’aide humanitaire et de biens de consommation sont autorisés à passer la frontière par le gouvernement israélien. Plusieurs programmes permettent aux habitants de Gaza de se faire soigner dans les hôpitaux de Tel Aviv et de Haïfa.

Un projet d’île portuaire sécurisée est à l’étude à Jérusalem, et des tonnes de fruits et légumes sont régulièrement achetés aux paysans gazaouis par les réseaux de distribution alimentaires israéliens.

L’Égypte contrôle toute la partie sud et fait souvent montre de beaucoup plus de rigueur qu’Israël pour protéger sa frontière, sachant que le Hamas est issu des Frères Musulmans, organisation interdite par le gouvernement de Abdel Fatah Al Sissi.

Mais Gaza souffre, en effet, et même terriblement!

Gaza souffre du fait que le Hamas détourne la majorité des fonds destinés à sa population pour creuser des tunnels et se construire une armée dont le seul but, ouvertement déclaré dans sa charte, est d’oblitérer Israël et d’exterminer ses habitants.

Gaza souffre des promesses d’aide financière non tenues par les pays Arabes et qui se chiffrent en milliards de dollars.

Gaza souffre de n’avoir que trois heures d’électricité par jour, car les terroristes du Hamas ont envoyé une roquette sur la principale centrale pendant le dernier conflit et l’Autorité Palestinienne, de son côté, refuse de payer les factures correspondant à son alimentation, espérant de la sorte provoquer une crise qui conduira à la perte de pouvoir de son concurrent.

Gaza souffre d’un taux de chômage de plus de 50 %, après que ses habitants, dans l’euphorie du départ des Juifs, aient saccagé et détruit les serres à légumes et les manufactures construites par Israël et donc jugées «impures» selon les théories islamistes qui les ont conduits, ne l’oublions pas non plus, à voter massivement pour le Hamas.

Israël ne peut faire la paix avec une organisation terroriste vouée à sa disparition.

Gaza souffre enfin de ces détournements du vocabulaire, de ces concepts esthétiques manichéens conçus au détriment des êtres, qui empêchent les hommes de conscience de comprendre le cœur du problème et sont forcés de penser qu’Israël est l’unique cause du malheur de ses habitants.

C’est pour cela qu’il faut, une fois de plus, clamer quelques faits incontournables.

Israël ne peut faire la paix avec une organisation terroriste vouée à sa disparition.

Les habitants de Gaza seraient libres de circuler et de se construire un avenir à l’instant même où ils renonceraient à la disparition de leur voisin.

Le Hamas et autres organisations terroristes savent qu’ils peuvent compter sur la sympathie des Nations unies et de nombre d’ONG à prétention humanitaire et ne se privent donc pas d’exploiter la population qu’ils détiennent en otage puisqu’ils savent qu’Israël sera systématiquement condamné à leur place.

J’en veux, pour exemple, une anecdote affligeante.

En septembre 2017, une organisation regroupant des femmes arabes et israéliennes a organisé une marche en Cisjordanie (Judée-Samarie). Aucun parent n’aurait pu être indifférent aux images de ces mères juives et arabes qui avouent leur quête d’un avenir meilleur