Saturday, October 23, 2010

The New York Times Continues To Use The Dubious "Zabiullah Mujahid" As Convenient Source For Anti-Wikileaks Propaganda

Not only is a recent article in the New York Times on Julian Assange a carefully prepared piece of propaganda which tries to play down his great recent successes against the military industrial complex of America and instead present him as a strange failure, but it might also be using a purposely fictional Taliban source in an attempt to incriminate Assange and Wikileaks.

From The New York Times.

A Taliban spokesman in Afghanistan using the pseudonym Zabiullah Mujahid said in a telephone interview that the Taliban had formed a nine-member “commission” after the Afghan documents were posted “to find about people who are spying.” He said the Taliban had a “wanted” list of 1,800 Afghans and was comparing that with names WikiLeaks provided.

“After the process is completed, our Taliban court will decide about such people,” he said.

So who is this useful contact of the New York Times behind Taliban lines, Zabiullah Mujahid?

Writers on Wikipedia have this to say about him:

Shortly after the CNN interview was broadcast, with highlights shared on the CNN web page on May 5, 2009, some jihadi web sites carried denials, some attributed to Mujahid himself, saying the person Robertson interviewed was not Mujahid. [3] [4]
Zabihullah Mujahid is described to be about 30 years old, with a beard, and is little over 6 feet (1.8 m) tall.[2] Although his association with Taliban leader Mullah Omar is not confirmed, it is suggested that Mujahid may be representing the Haqqani network or Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and the Hezb-e-Islami political party of Afghanistan.[5] The dialect of Pashto language spoken by the man CNN claims was Mujahid during the interview with Robertson is similar to that of Hezb-e Islami, which belongs to the area covering Kunar, Laghman, Nangarhar, and Paktia.
Zabihullah Mujahid may possibly be a number of individuals who assume the persona of the "Taliban Spokesman" when contacting western and middle eastern reporters. His claims of Taliban victories and US and coalition failings are often cited uncritically by several reporters who have developed a close working relationship with "Zabihullah". For example, after an attack on Bagram Air Base in May 2010, CNN reporter Atia Abawi revealed on the air that she received phone calls directly from Zabihullah claiming credit for this and earlier attacks, and repeated his casualty claims, later shown to be gross exaggerations, as being "spot on." [6]

Sounds like a patsy/puppet/agent used by the military-industrial complex for the purpose of disinfo to me.

UPDATE: I found this old CNN interview allegedly with Mujahid. Comments point out that the room has several decorative calendars with photos of enemies of the Taliban. Wouldn't that be an odd place for a Taliban leader to go for an interview?

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