Thursday, May 20, 2010

Juan Forero, Chief Propagator

Juan Forero, the Washington Post's resident LatAm ignoramus, goes all in today with his article about Chavez and ties to terrorism. There is really nothing new here; magic laptops, former FARC rebels speaking anonymously, and of course "Colombian government documents". No surprise that the article got Ray Walser's panties in a bunch.

A couple points though; first and foremost, why the fuck would anybody trust anything from the Colombian government? On the same day as Forero's article, Latin America News Dispatch has a terrific rundown on Colombia during the Uribe years and specifically the intelligence agency, DAS. One of the many issues raised being that "documents surfaced indicating that the DAS coordinated “political warfare” against government critics, by disseminating false rumors accusing them of connections with leftist guerrillas." And it gets even better, the article quotes from some files that were released recently, outlining how DAS planned on linking a certain group they didn't like to rebels:

The mission’s objective was to “establish ties” between the collective and the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN), a guerrilla group. “STRATEGIES: Sabotage. ACTION: Exchange message with ELN leader, which will be found during a search of the premises.”

So it is public knowledge that the DAS actually tries to plant evidence, and then find it during raids on the camps. Sound familiar? It should, since it's the basis for almost all the allegations against Venezuela and Chavez.

So there are also former FARC rebels who spoke anonymously to Forero. But if this is such conclusive evidence of anything then why hasn't Forero written about the former DAS member Rafael Garcia who outlined how DAS coordinated with the Venezuelan opposition and Colombian paramilitary forces to assassinate Chavez. Or the former Army major who said there were some 2000 Colombian paramilitaries in Venezuela trying to topple the government.

Now, I'm not saying all these allegations are true, but that's exactly the point. Former members of DAS, just like former members of the FARC have plenty of reasons to say plenty of different things. But you'd never see the MSM air these types of allegations against Colombia, only if they fit the narrative of evil, terrorist supporting Venezuela. But maladjusted is hardly the first to notice this, just the most recent to point it out. For a much deeper look at the hypocritical coverage of Colombia vs. Venezuela, check out this FAIR study, or Kevin Young's take for Media Accuracy on Latin America. Young looks at how MSM coverage fits the Edward Herman/Noam Chomsky propaganda model, put simply:

The model predicts that the news media will look favorably upon the Colombian government of Álvaro Uribe, a close U.S. ally, while consistently vilifying the Venezuelan government of Hugo Chávez, whom the U.S. government frequently identifies as an antagonist. If the model holds, U.S. media outlets will be found to portray the Uribe government as relatively democratic, progressive, and peaceful, while casting the Chávez government as authoritarian, regressive, and militaristic.

Well, the model holds, and Forero is the chief propagator.

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