The New York Times’ Credibility Problem in Somalia
Who is Jeffrey Gettleman?
According to the New York Times, Gettleman is a journalist. In point of fact, he is nothing more than a propagandist in the employ of an Anglo-American disinformation machine. More simply, Jeffrey Gettleman creates images and distorts reality to serve a larger purpose.
How do we know this? We know this because the peoples of Somalia have established that Europeans have illegally dumped toxic and nuclear waste in their waters. We know this because many of the so-called pirates are actually doing the work of a government that exists largely in name only. We know this because Gettleman actually admits this in an article, but did his damnedest to hide it.
Back in October 2008, Gettleman wrote a piece which painted all Somalian sailors with the same broad brush. According to Gettleman, they were all living in sumptuous new homes painted in garish colors and imposing a violent regime on the people of this desperate nation.
Gettleman writes 12 paragraphs about these evil “Somali pirates” before he gets to the heart of the matter. In fact, it is his 13th paragraph that contains his only direct quotes from more than a single man engaged in this activity. Gettleman wrote:
Nobody, it seems, has a clear plan for how to tame Somalia’s unruly seas. Several fishermen along the Gulf of Aden talked about seeing barrels of toxic waste bobbing in the middle of the ocean. They spoke of clouds of dead fish floating nearby and rogue fishing trawlers sucking up not just fish and lobsters but also the coral and the plants that sustain them. It was abuses like these, several men said, that turned them from fishermen into pirates.
Jeffrey Gettleman’s Millionaire Pirates
How does this critical revelation get such short shrift? Gettleman never mentions toxic waste again. He never says that much of this waste is nuclear. He never mentions the impact of the tsunami several years ago. He never mentions the European nations or private shipping firms engaged in this heinous practice. He never mentions the many requests made by the sovereign people of Somalia for these nations and firms to cease and desist.
Jeffrey Gettleman is a mendacious manufacturer of half-truths.
How did Jeffrey get to be this way?
Perhaps being a mendacious manufacturer of half-truths is a prerequisite for serving as a bureau chief in Africa for the New York Times. Well, of course it is.
How did Gettleman come to qualify from this job? It seems he graduated from Cornell University with honors. It was there that he met his wife Courtenay Morris.
Jeff’s dad is a judge in Illinois. I wonder if he’s proud of the liar his boy has grown up to be?
Check out the photo on the wall in the background…no doubt sent from East Africa by Jeff during one of his fabrication trips to the Horn.
Courtenay’s dad is a publisher. She works in the public defenders office in New Jersey.
It’s all so romantic. Jeff’s dad was responsible for getting wheelchairs put on public transportation in Chicago. He can’t be all bad. Where did Jeff get it?
Perhaps he picked it up in Perfidious Albion.
Jeff earned a Marshall Scholarship and studied at Oxford after completing his run in Ithaca, New York. The Marshall Scholarship, like the Rhodes Scholarship before it, was intended to serve as an intellectual and cultural bridge to cement the imperialist aims of the UK and the United States. The goal was to attract the most promising scholars in various disciplines and ensnare their commitments for future service. Jeffrey Gettleman is completely pledged to the imperialist disinformation project. The collateral damage will be subverting an authentic, indigenous Somalian effort for justice.
From the Huffington Post:
The words of one pirate from that lost age – a young British man called William Scott – should echo into this new age of piracy. Just before he was hanged in Charleston, South Carolina, he said: “What I did was to keep me from perishing. I was forced to go a-pirating to live.” In 1991, the government of Somalia – in the Horn of Africa – collapsed. Its nine million people have been teetering on starvation ever since – and many of the ugliest forces in the Western world have seen this as a great opportunity to steal the country’s food supply and dump our nuclear waste in their seas.
Yes: nuclear waste. As soon as the government was gone, mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken. At first they suffered strange rashes, nausea and malformed babies. Then, after the 2005 tsunami, hundreds of the dumped and leaking barrels washed up on shore. People began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died. Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy to Somalia, tells me: “Somebody is dumping nuclear material here. There is also lead, and heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury – you name it.” Much of it can be traced back to European hospitals and factories, who seem to be passing it on to the Italian mafia to “dispose” of cheaply. When I asked Ould-Abdallah what European governments were doing about it, he said with a sigh: “Nothing. There has been no clean-up, no compensation, and no prevention.”
At the same time, other European ships have been looting Somalia’s seas of their greatest resource: seafood. We have destroyed our own fish-stocks by over-exploitation – and now we have moved on to theirs. More than $300m worth of tuna, shrimp, lobster and other sea-life is being stolen every year by vast trawlers illegally sailing into Somalia’s unprotected seas. The local fishermen have suddenly lost their livelihoods, and they are starving. Mohammed Hussein, a fisherman in the town of Marka 100km south of Mogadishu, told Reuters: “If nothing is done, there soon won’t be much fish left in our coastal waters.”
This is the context in which the men we are calling “pirates” have emerged. Everyone agrees they were ordinary Somalian fishermen who at first took speedboats to try to dissuade the dumpers and trawlers, or at least wage a ‘tax’ on them. They call themselves the Volunteer Coastguard of Somalia – and it’s not hard to see why. In a surreal telephone interview, one of the pirate leaders, Sugule Ali, said their motive was “to stop illegal fishing and dumping in our waters… We don’t consider ourselves sea bandits. We consider sea bandits [to be] those who illegally fish and dump in our seas and dump waste in our seas and carry weapons in our seas.” William Scott would understand those words.
For more images, check this link.
The New York Times and its many envoys of disinformation continue to undermine the capacity of the American people and the international community to make informed, honest and ethical decisions. It is people like Jeffrey Gettleman that make justice a distinctly difficult proposition. Gettleman is a man of means. He has options and resources. He is the son of a judge and a graduate of Cornell and Oxford. He is employed by the most powerful news organization on the entire planet. When he wanted to write about Somalis killing CIA informants and others masquerading as NGO helpers, he solicited comment from UN bureau chiefs as far away as Kenya. When it came time to report on the extent of toxic dumping — 15 years worth — Gettleman turned the other way and declined to mention a 2005 UN report that could have clarified this entire situation. Gettleman is a criminal of the first order.
This man has blood on his hands.
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- April 10, 2009 / 12:18 pm