WikiLeaks’ in-house Holocaust denier

Whether or not you think Julian “WikiLeaks” Assange is guilty of heinous crimes or the successor to Barack Obama’s saviour-of-mankind crown – in my view the jury is still out – it seems he’s been keeping some interesting company.

As reported by Reason magazine, the author of the article that first suggested the CIA might have had something to do with the Swedish rape accusation against him, was none other than Israel Shamir – an activist who also uses the aliases Adam Ermash and Jöran Jermas.

Michael C Moynihan, the magazine’s senior editor, writes “Israel Shamir, when he is not accusing Assange’s accusers of setting CIA honey traps, works with WikiLeaks in an official capacity.”

According to the article, Mr Shamir is the man who “selects and distributes” which WikiLeaks documents go to which Russian media organisations.

Mr Moynihan adds: “Yulia Latynina, a reporter at the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta…also found that the Kremlin-friendly paper working with Shamir to promote the WikiLeaks material had already published “outright lies” Shamir claimed were supported by leaks.

“According to Latynina, Shamir faked a cable related to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech to the United Nations, which supposedly showed collusion amongst those who walked out of the talk in protest.

“That he would invent such a cable is perhaps unsurprising, considering Shamir has previously written an encomium to the “brave and charismatic leader” of Iran.”

So who is Mr Shamir? Well, for those unaware, he is no friend to the country that bears his name or to the Jewish community in general. Moynihan describes him as “an antisemite and semi-literate Holocaust denier with ties to both the extreme right and left and a well-documented penchant for lying”.

Elsewhere, The Times columnist David Aaronovitch has noted that he is a “believer in the blood libel”.

Mr Shamir has also spoken of those age-old Jewish conspiracies, stating that the Middle East policy of the United States and Britain was driven by “the same old fight for ensuring Jewish supremacy,” and that “Jews indeed own, control and edit a big share of mass media.” (This at a reception in the House of Lords in 2005 organised by Labour peer Lord Ahmed).

At one point he allegedly praised the BNP leader Nick Griffin as an “anti-bourgeois nationalist,” and at another he suggested the Jews had been warned in an advance to escape the Twin Towers before the September 11 attacks.

What a lovely fellow. Positively Wiki-ed, if you ask me.

This post originally appeared on theJC.com

Gossip Girl recap: The Townie

So, by far the high point of Gossip Girl so far this series was when Dan, in a bid to be allowed to visit Serena in the loony bin, explained to the disinterested nurse that he’s her brother “but mostly tries to forget this because we dated”. Says so, so much about the twisted plotlines of this delightful programme.

As Blair points out, they treat people for far less serious conditions than that.

The odd couple, Blair and Dan, are desperate to enact retribution on the evil Juliette. With other avenues turning up nothing, they decide to go to the source herself; Gossip Girl.

GG comes up trumps, with an address and an angry “find the bitch”. It appears Juliette has skipped town, for some kind of pseudo-1950s style suburbia.

Hi ho, hi ho (literally, when it comes to Juliette), it’s off to Connecticut we go.

Then the plot thickens, because after a Serena-the-skank flashback, we learn she was at boarding school in Juliette’s sleepy home town.

Sleepy might not be the word for it. Scooby Doo and Scrappy happen upon a debauched party at the aforementioned address. Juliette is nowhere to be seen, but drug-dealer-Damian (who had school-era history with Serena and helped in the ruination of Jenny) is.

Still up to his old tricks, he’s the one who sold Juliette drugs. He lead the gang to the heart of the plot, which is that prison-Ben was Serena’s teacher and got fired for sleeping with a student.

So far, so Serena. As the therapist delves into her past, we get a speeded-up version of how to be a teenage homewrecker: “partying, boys…”

But then, an epiphany. “I think he was the only guy to ever say no to me”, she ruminates, tossing her hair, pushing her boobs up and secretly vowing to never, ever let that happen again. The question is, did the rejection spur Serena to destroy Ben’s life, hence triggering Juliette-the-crazy to attempt to destroy hers?

Ben realises that his sister has entirely loss the plot (you’d think that would have come earlier, when he discovered she’d kidnapped and drugged her) but the evil prison guards won’t let him help. Luckily, in one of those ever so believable twists of fate, white knight Nate hears and can scamper off to save the day (he’s there because of his dad, but that storyline is simply too dull to discuss).

Because the writers have given up all pretence at logic and plot continuity, Serena returns to her Ostroff centre room to find Juliette there, with a murderous look on her over made-up face.

The blonde out to get blonde drama (without breaking a nail) is beginning to remind me of the horror specials from the Sweet Valley High books.

Anyway, to cut to the chase, someone blonde and rich did frame Ben. But it wasn’t Serena, it was Lily. Which Serena decides to tell everyone, at a fancy party. She let’s Juliette off the hook (as Blair says, is she still on drugs) and confronts Lily.

Upshot is; everyone hates Lily, Serena’s off to clear Ben’s name, Chuck is off to make a deal with the devil, and Nate and his dad are having a hotel-fuelled reunion.

Oh, and are Blair and Dan about to be friends? Aaaw.

Gossip Girl: Gaslit

Meh. That was my initial reaction to this week’s episode, which was, essentially, just another spin of the old “Serena the walking train wreck” waltzer. But hey. This is Gossip Girl, a show that is nothing if not fascinated by the meltdowns of the rich and glamorous.

Some time seems to have passed since the last episode. Blair is escaping to Paris for Thanksgiving (someone should remind her it’s not exactly a European holiday), Lily, Rufus and Eric are planning a Turkey family dinner and Dan and Vanessa are hanging out as friends again. Even Nate is preoccupied, intercepting his parents’ divorce papers. Clearly, the Gossip Gang have been busy.

But the question is, exactly how much time has passed? Because Serena is, well, in exactly the same position she was in at the close of Chuck’s shindig. That is, kidnapped by stalker blonde.

“I don’t know where I am or how I got here,” she yelps to the policeman, failing to mention that the sentence pretty much sums up her teenage years.

Actually, she’s not still kidnapped. She’s in hospital, or, specifically, a mysterious place with no information and a direct line to a seedy motel in Queens.

It seems drugs were involved. “Drugs and a cheap motel, queries Dan. “That doesn’t sound like Serena.” He’s spot on. A cheap motel? Not likely.

Even when Serena is spiralling into disarray, she does it in five star luxury.

And on the news. Someone leaks it to the press and, since the obious solution to a paparazzi swarm is to book your daughter into a phyciatric centre, stat, (incidentally the one her gay brother resided in after his overdose), Serena is carted off to the Ostroff Centre.

Jenni, who still has the last dregs of the soul, confronts Juliette with a view towards coming clean about the whole plot. But before she can do that Vanessa double crosses her and lays all the blame on Little J. The look of surprise on Rufus’ face at her deviant behaviour is a timely reminder of the short memories on this show.

But before the shit can hit the Upper East Side, Loved-up Dan jailbreaks his step sister to take her on vacation. It doesn’t work, and ultimately Serena gives in to her own incarceration.

Meanwhile Jenny decides if she’s going down, the other two witches are coming with her, and goes to Blair with the truth. Its her final move – Little J exits the chessboard (amidst rumours of on-set tantrums) leaving Blair to contemplate frontier justice with Dan and Vanessa running for the hippies. Yay.

Oh, and despite the fact that everyone else Serena has ever met is at the hospital, Nate is preoccupied with the break-up of the Archibald union. Frankly, I’m with Nate’s mum when he whines about how out of the blue the divorce is? Hello? Remember when your dad was heading off to hide out in (insert tropical destination) and abandon his family? Add in a few years in jail, and I’d say she’s got good reason. A heart-toheart with dimples change sher mind, but it’s likely to only be a short term stay of execution since it seems Mr A is planning a new life for himself. Looking forward to meeting teh skank Nate works through his daddy-abandonment issues with.