'On November 11, 2019, the British founder of the notorious White Helmets, James Le Mesurier, died in Istanbul, Turkey. The circumstances surrounding his death immediately elicited a flurry of Turkish and corporate media reports, many of them contradictory, as the details of his final hours came to light.
Mark Urban, the diplomatic editor at BBC Newsnight, immediately tweeted that “a former colleague” had told him it was impossible to “fall from that balcony,” referencing Le Mesurier’s reported cause of death and intimated that there may have been “state involvement.” Urban did not identify his mysterious “former colleague” or explain what made him sufficiently qualified to conclude that Le Mesurier’s death may have been a state-sanctioned hit.
Urban, declaring ignorance over Le Mesurier’s suspected ties to Britain’s MI6 intelligence agency, then suggesting that a “black propaganda campaign by Russian and Syria media and their social media acolytes” against Le Mesurier was “a prelude to murder” (emphasis added). Extraordinary claims for a journalist to make prior to the publication of any official autopsy.
Urban deleted his tweets soon after, maintaining that “there is a good deal of suspicion it may be murder by a state actor, but others suggest he may have taken his own life.” Did Urban jump the gun? Was he instructed to delete the tweets, and if so, by whom?
In the tangle of media reports that ensued, a pattern of denials and misdirection became apparent. The overriding response from the narrative curators in corporate media was to blame Russia for everything. Russian Foreign Office spokesperson Maria Zakharova was vilified for her description of Le Mesurier as a British intelligence agent and for condemning his previous association with al-Qaeda in Kosovo in 1999. The author and investigative journalist, Whitney Webb, previously exposed those connections for MintPress News.'
Read more: After His Mysterious Death, the Media Scrambles to Get its Story Straight About White Helmets Founder James Le Mesurier
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