Narrative Managers in Overdrive After Death of White Helmets Founder

Caitlin Johnstone tackles the “lie factory” surrounding James Le Mesurier.    

By Caitlin Johnstone

James Le Mesurier, the founder of the White Helmets, has died. He was found to have plummeted from a height to the street outside his home, and authorities are reportedly calling it a suicide.

Le Mesurier has a history with British military intelligence and was fundamentally involved with an extremely shady narrative management operation geared toward manufacturing support for yet another imperialist military intervention in yet another Middle Eastern nation, so obviously any claims of suicide should be taken with a grain of salt no smaller than a Buick. But it is worth noting that according to Middle East Eye, Le Mesurier’s wife told police that he’d been struggling with psychological issues for which he was taking medications and had previously been hospitalized. Le Mesurier’s home was reportedly only accessible by fingerprint and no video footage of anyone besides Le Mesurier and his wife entering or leaving has been found.

Establishment narrative managers, for their part, have been floating the possibility that the White Helmets founder was murdered by the Russian government. The Washington Examiner has published an article titled “Did Russia kill White Helmets founder James Le Mesurier?,” calling to mind Betteridge’s law of headlines, which states that “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.” The BBC’s Mark Urban tweeted out and then deleted a thread (screenshots here) in which he cites an anonymous source who claims to have known Le Mesurier’s flat well enough to be sure that it’s not possible to “fall” from his balcony, then meaningfully pointing to a “black propaganda campaign by Russia and Assad media” against Le Mesurier. He apparently didn’t consider the possibility of suicide until later, saying he deleted his thread due to “new information.”

For more info on Le Mesurier and his White Helmet mates, I highly recommend watching this excellent half-hour video by James Corbett. It’s full of primary-source video footage indisputably confirming the organization’s ties to Western governments and to violent extremist factions in Syria, and explaining how an allegedly “neutral” organization on the ground has been used to control the narrative about what’s been happening in Syria.

Pundits who’ve built their name on Syria narrative management have been expressing grief over Le Mesurier’s death, including Eliot Higgins, Charles Lister, Julian Röpke and Oz Katerji. Katerji, an especially aggressive imperialism proponent, was particularly stricken, acknowledging that this pervasively corrupt operative was actually a dear friend of his.

“It is with a deeply heavy heart that I do this, but I can confirm my friend James Le Mesurier, founder of Mayday Rescue of White Helmets fame, died at his home in Istanbul last night,” Katerji tweeted. “I am profoundly saddened by this, Jakes was a brave and decent man who saved countless lives. I will miss him. I am at a loss for words.”

Janine di Giovanni, who in 2016 authored a fawning puff piece on Le Mesurier and the White Helmets for Newsweektweeted, “Terrible news. James was funny, smart, brave, committed. He stood up to bullies. On the right side of history. Believed in the White Helmets, their mission, their drive for good. A loss to humanity.”

Journalist Jonathan Cook criticized di Giovanni’s gushing hagiography, tweeting, “This is what access journalism looks like: prize-winning war correspondents like Janine di Giovanni hanging out with ‘funny’ spooks like James Le Mesurier who’ve been responsible for stoking the very wars they report on — wars that have destroyed whole societies.”

Former U.K. ambassador Craig Murray has flagged the fact that Wikipedia’s imperialist narrative manager “Philip Cross” has made dozens of edits to Le Mesurier’s Wiki page since his death. Cross, who I’ve reported on previously, has made a more-than-full-time job of constantly managing the Wikipedia pages of both pro-establishment and anti-establishment media figures in a very pro-establishment slant; an article by Five Filters which you can read by clicking here documents how the “Philip Cross” account has been working morning to night with precisely zero days off toward this endeavor.

An article published by Murray last year documents the curious fact that although the serial Wikipedia editor had only about 200 followers on Twitter, he was followed by many high-profile narrative managers from huge British news media outlets like The GuardianThe Times and the BBC, as well as none other than James Le Mesurier himself.

Murray wrote at the time:

“Why then does James LeMesurier, founder of the ‘White Helmets’, follow Philip Cross on twitter? Why does ex-minister Tristram Hunt follow Philip Cross on Twitter? Why does Sarah Brown, wife of Gordon, follow Philip Cross on twitter? Why then do so the following corporate and state journalists follow ‘Philip Cross’ on twitter?”

To these questions I would add, why was Le Mesurier seen defending “Philip Cross” from someone voicing suspicion of him on Twitter after George Galloway offered a reward for information about the account? These questions have never been satisfactorily answered. And now this same account is frantically editing the Wikipedia page of his late fan James Le Mesurier. Some excerpts from the editing notes Cross has made to the page (note: according to Wikipedia, “RS” is short for Reliable Source):

  • not WH alone: “Unfounded conspiracy theories latched onto the White Helmets’ foreign funding and ties to Mr. Le Mesurier” and (earlier in the article) “who has been the target of repeated online disinformation campaigns”
  • Alternet is not considered RS, the article is by Max Blumenthal
  • this is the Assadist line which has no usable sources & should not be given undue credibility
  • rumour/conspiracy theory spread by non-RS

The article also has an editorial discussion section about whether or not it’s appropriate to have a “criticisms” section on the page, and how much any criticisms should be limited. Cross is of course intimately involved in this discussion as well.

There is an immense narrative management campaign dedicated to controlling what people think about what’s happening in Syria, aimed not solely at advancing the longstanding regime change agenda of the U.S.-centralized empire but at protecting the credibility of the warmongering government and media institutions who the public is growing increasingly skeptical of in a post-Iraq invasion information age. If people become doubtful in the propaganda machine which greases the gears of war, then warmongering itself will become impossible to carry out without waking the masses up from the narrative control matrix they’ve worked so hard to lull us into. Without endless war, the empire will crumble.

Whoever controls the narrative controls the world. Narrative control comes before any other priority the empire might have; before resources, before land, before even war itself. Our rulers and their goons will protect their ability to control the story of what’s happening tooth and claw. It’s up to us to see through their lies and bring an end to the lie factory.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Follow her work on FacebookTwitter, or her website. She has a podcast and a  book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.” 

 This article was re-published with permission.

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12 comments for “Narrative Managers in Overdrive After Death of White Helmets Founder

  1. November 16, 2019 at 16:06

    So grateful to you, Caitlin. Lydia

  2. CitizenOne
    November 16, 2019 at 15:27

    The narrative managers in my estimation are winning the information wars. I have not been able to convince anyone of these “alternate facts” that differ from the lie factory. Nobody knows about what the US was doing in Ukraine and there is actually an impeachment trial going on which can be considered the highest and most serious trial we can have where these facts will not be brought up. Nobody knows the other side of any story and it’s getting worse not better. Barely a word about Bolivia. And certainly never any real analysis about the goings on in Syria. Venezuela’s Maduro was clever and tricked Pompeo into outing all Maduro’s enemies when he was rumored to have arranged a deal like Morales but failed to show up for his exile. Morales is calling it a coup but nobody else has any explanation other than vagaries about an election result. The military politely requested he step down so he obliged them in a courteous way. There was no coup, just a friendly chat over tea.

    The war in Syria was started by Obama and we supplied “freedom fighters” with weapons and intelligence and everything they needed to overthrow Assad. Problem is the freedom fighters had other priorities. Trump will never be forgiven for pulling out. The first two times he did attempt to pull out of Syria there were chemical gas attacks allegedly by Assad that had the desired effect of keeping us there. This website has done a good job of asking one really simple question which apparently no other news agency can rub two brain cells togrther and come up with; “Why would Assad gas his people especially on the eve that the US president of the Country that started and funded the war against his country was waving bye bye?” “Why do it again after the first attack being unsuccessful in that it just got the US to stay in Syria not go away the first time?”

    It makes no sense yet these narratives exist to control us. To cause us not to know about the millions , yes millions of refugees. A good documentary about the crisis in the middle east is “Human Flow: by Ai Weiwei. To cause us not to care that there are 3.6 million Syrian refugees just in Turkey after European nations began turning the tidal wave of refugees away and paying Turkey to take them. Did this come up at all as the klaxons were going off that Trump had done a deal with the Erdogan?

    There is no analysis because there can be no real analysis that would justify what we have done and are still doing around the World. There can be no real judgment of our actions because they are inexcusable and in many cases they are war crimes. If anybody actually saw the scale of the destruction of nations and the hardships leveled on entire populations driving nations into poverty with millions starving or dying from lack of medical care with the most insidious new weapon of mass destruction, Economic Sanctions. These are the equivalent of a Roman Siege. The US is camped outside the walls of the city and nothing goes in or gets out alive. As we drive the international sales of the only two nations that have nationalized oil fields, Iran and Venezuela, to zero and as the economies of both nations spirals down there is the very real possibility of war. There could be more attacks on oil terminals. And do not let anyone fool you into more mumbo jumbo about democracy and freedom. The commonality here is the vast quantity of black gold that giant corporations do not get to sell.

    Colonialism dictates that the natives be denied any compensation for their resources. It has been that way for thousands of years and it will not change because at its ugly core reside the deadly sins of human nature, greed, envy, wrath and pride.

    All of this as the whole thing is actually showing no signs of getting better. We pull this stuff with Russia all day long and Russia is responding by engaging in a massive military buildup which is exactly what the mad dogs of war want. It’s coming.

  3. Jayeles
    November 14, 2019 at 22:04

    Could have been suicide. When a man’s wife and children find out that their husband/father is a mass murderer, thief, and liar guilty of the most horrendous sins against hundreds of thousands of innocent wives and children just like themselves, there is no telling what effect that will have on a man who just might still have a scintilla of decency remaining. You just never know.

  4. uncle tungsten
    November 14, 2019 at 18:46

    Thanks Caitlin, I loved the line “according to his wife he had been struggling with psychological issues”. Yeah like the murdering of children for show videos, the brutal jamming of needles into a dying child, the gassing of innocents and then the invading of hospital treatment centres to make fake videos.

    Don’t tell me he was feeling guilty?

    This murderous thug was an MI6 global functionary, an agent of death and misery. He was a crime against humanity as was Joseph Mengele aka the white angel.

  5. Brian Eggar
    November 14, 2019 at 17:07

    Being somebody who is completely bemused by the world and who has given up mainstream media entirely for news, this death raises a number of questions.

    Why did the British Government send out a plane to pick up the body so quickly especially when they put out a statement that he was never connected to British intelligence. Was it to find out what happened or to bury the evidence?

    He appears to have had a fingerprint lock but no CCTV which I find strange but there again when Epstein jumped from his bunk there was no CCTV then.

    I wonder if Le Mesurier had the same broken bones in the neck as jumping from that balcony is not sure way of committing suicide.

    It is stated that he gave his girl friend a sleeping pill at 2.30 am which seems to me very odd. Was it because he was meeting somebody and he didn’t want her to get involved?

    I am still perplexed that the Jo Cox Foundation gave a large amount of money to the White Helmets. Why?

    The alternative media has documented the antics of the White Helmets over many years and things have only got more and more bizarre especially when you read about the many conflicting reports coming from the OPCW both official and unofficial.

    As for Mark Orban, he is the same person who flits in and out of the Skripal story.

  6. rosemerry
    November 14, 2019 at 15:09

    When we see that so many people seem to get their “facts” from fb, twitter etc, it is no surprise that so many believe the White Helmets propaganda. When Higgins, Luke Harding and others are considered journalists while Julian Assange languishes in a British prison on trumped-up charges from the USA “justice” the whole idea of truth gets tossed aside.

  7. November 14, 2019 at 13:20

    Caitlin is a treasure.

  8. Sam F
    November 14, 2019 at 12:45

    Thanks for this excellent article on narrative control, the disease that defines wikipedia on all matters controversial or profitable to someone.

  9. Bob Van Noy
    November 14, 2019 at 12:13

    “Whoever controls the narrative controls the world.”

    Thank you Caitlin Johnstone but I think that that previous propaganda statement is about to be destroyed by the ridiculousness of current MSM reporting…

  10. tpmco
    November 14, 2019 at 05:37

    I think you’ve got it down for posterity. Thanks Caitlin.

  11. Victor
    November 13, 2019 at 21:40

    A possible answer to Le Mesurier’s death might be found in whatever medication he was taking. despite the warnings on the cable many psychotropic drugs prescribed for depression have the side effect of causing suicidal ideation, or in many cases in the US, homicidal tendencies. Almost every one of our recent mass murderers has been on some psychotropic medication.

    Of course this is never covered in the media since hundreds of millions in advertising revenue are at stake. But it could explain an otherwise unexplained suicide.

  12. Toxik
    November 13, 2019 at 20:52

    Le Mesurier is being welcomed somewhere by all the victims of him and his White Helmets’ murders. Good riddance.

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