Movie Review ‘The Damp Squibel’: Cult hit or hit cult?

We don’t normally do movie reviews here at BSNews. In fact, we usually concentrate exclusively on geopolitics and foreign policy, we steer clear of sports and let others cover gossip and popular culture. My co-ed occasionally reveals her anthropological fascination and subsequent exasperation with the insidious twins of celebrity culture and the advertising industry but for me, I avoid them both like the plague, I never watch TV and I wouldn’t know a Kardashian if one punched me in the face.

The exception to this golden rule came earlier this month when I wrote a satirical trailer for an upcoming movie. This was my black-humoured attempt to poke fun at its producer; an instinctive reaction to her unprovoked and tedious aggression towards friends and colleagues in the alternative independent media community. Having seen enough hit pieces recently I was convinced the touted production would be yet one more cynical attempt to discredit indispensable truth tellers:

Coming Soon

Sibel Edmonds is Olivia Solon in this barely anticipated, predictably asinine rehash of last years Guardian hit piece attempting to discredit the bravest of truth tellers reporting on the ground from ‘the dirty war on Syria’.

Prior to accepting her debut starring role Edmonds told Vanity Fair that, like Solon, she had not set foot in Syria but her Turkish roots and former career in the FBI meant she was perfectly placed to promote the western narrative of regime change in yet another official enemy country.

Last year California-based technology writer, Solon, narrowly missed out on a Pulitzer Prize for the poorly researched bile she churned out after watching the deeply disturbing shite helmets spoof documentary on Netflix. In December Vanity Fair asked what inspired her to go to all the trouble of dishonouring real truth tellers: “After thinking how darkly comic a film portraying the abuse of children could be, and then seeing real footage of a war zone skilfully spliced alongside handheld video footage of the worst paid crisis actors manipulating bodies of dead children in what was essentially a modern day, NATO approved snuff movie, I knew I could knock out a few paragraphs smearing those attempting to expose the macabre crime”.

Image is from a selection of the frames from a White Helmets video

For her upcoming travesty Edmonds said she employed the same lack of empathy and the same common sense deficiency so evident in all Guardian coverage of Syria but this time over at NewsBud. We mentioned that critics had questioned whether such an alignment with western government sources and the corporate news media might damage the reputation of genuine alternative media outlets. As she stormed out of the interview Edmonds was heard muttering “It is difficult to get a sister to understand something, when her salary depends upon her not understanding. Now fuck off”

Olivia Solon was unavailable for comment

Full disclosure: I have made a minor grammatical change to the last paragraph (for readability) and I have also corrected a genuine error – I had originally written ‘Buzzfeed’ instead of ‘Newsbud’. I apologise to all those over at Buzzfeed and hope I have not caused offence with the inaccurate association. I have also included a photo here to indicate the White Helmets (the ‘propaganda construct’ Solon was shilling for) and their supernatural ‘lifesaving’ medical practices performed on dead babies. Those wishing to see full analysis of this faked medical procedure are encouraged to read the report by Swedish Doctors for Human Rights (SWEDHR) which concluded:

‘Lifesaving’ procedures on the children showed in the White Helmets videos were found to be fake, and ultimately performed on dead children.

The trailer was obviously a spoof; my humble attempt at satire. I was really just giving a heads up to friends and followers on social media to expect another hit piece in the same carping vein and, in fact, targeting the exact same people as the Guardian article did last year.

In truth, it’s now obvious that Edmonds would probably not storm out of an interview uttering profanity – she made it abundantly clear she despises those who curse. In fact, it’s her seemingly deeply held puritanical values which undoubtedly prompted her attack on journalist Glenn Greenwald whom she insinuated  with zero evidence, was somehow involved in child pornography or paedophilia:

Sibel Edmonds tweet insinuating Glenn Greenwald was involved in child pornography

After reluctantly agreeing to watch this latest NewsBud ‘exposé’ I settled down and clicked the link taking me to the 75 minute YouTube video. The first ten minutes evoked a quote from the great historian Howard Zinn: ‘You can’t be neutral on a moving train’. You see, Edmonds was trying, unconvincingly, to suggest that journalism should always be non-partisan and objective. But who else claims to be objective and neutral I ask rhetorically? The corporate media epitomizes partisan coverage and subjective reporting while simultaneously purporting to be the exact opposite.

The Creed of Objectivity

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and New York Times best selling author Chris Hedges makes the argument that ‘the creed of objectivity and balance, formulated at the beginning of the 19th century by newspaper owners to generate greater profits from advertisers, disarms and cripples the press’. By some accounts it is this profit motive rather than any professed ethical standard which is the real reason Edmonds claims to be objective and non-partisan and why she has such a problem with journalists who refuse to allow their ’empathy and compassion to be washed out by layers of editors standing in the way between reporter and reader’. Hedges goes on to say that:

the creed of objectivity becomes a convenient and profitable vehicle to avoid confronting unpleasant truths or angering a power structure on which news organizations depend for access and profits. This creed transforms reporters into neutral observers or voyeurs. It banishes empathy, passion and a quest for justice. Reporters are permitted to watch but not to feel or to speak in their own voices. They function as “professionals” and see themselves as dispassionate and disinterested social scientists. This vaunted lack of bias, enforced by bloodless hierarchies of bureaucrats, is the disease of American journalism.

The markedly infected Edmonds went on to imply that because journalists and activists who visit Syria lawfully are under the protection of the Assad regime Syrian coalition government their reporting is somehow tainted and therefore not credible. What a ridiculous assertion to make; when we travel lawfully to any country we are automatically and implicitly under the protection of that country’s government. Edmonds’ clique of irrational, anti-logical supporters have also claimed that an appearance on RT is equally damaging to a journalist’s credibility and, presumably, trustworthiness. Of course this principled stand was nowhere to be seen when Edmonds appeared on RT herself; for Sophie and Co in 2014 and with Abby Martin in 2016. Say what you like about Sibel Edmonds but that woman has principles… and if you don’t like them, well, she has others.

Rather than tuning into RT or seeking out journalists reporting directly from inside Syria, maybe Edmonds would prefer us to trust the impressively named Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Perhaps in this age of information warfare she would rather we relied upon one man in Coventry, Abdul Rahman, being fed stories exclusively from ‘armed opposition’ groups.

Armed Opposition

Before continuing I’d like to reflect for a moment on that phrase, ‘armed opposition’. Can we think of any country on the planet tolerating such a concept within its borders? The closest analogy I can think of from my own experience would be the IRA and the struggle to form a united Ireland against the backdrop of British military occupation. During the height of the troubles the British government imposed a ban on the voices of representatives from Sinn Féin and several Irish republican and loyalist groups from being broadcast on television and radio in the UK. Addressing the House of Commons on the ban, then Home Secretary Douglas Hurd said, “the terrorists themselves draw support and sustenance from access to radio and television … the time has come to deny this easy platform to those who use it to propagate terrorism”, while the Conservative Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, said it would “deny terrorists the oxygen of publicity”.

Now, I never thought I’d ever be quoting Thatcher to make a point, and while there are grave doubts about her sincerity, this example exposes the utter hypocrisy of today’s corporate media and political class with their promotion of terrorist factions inside Syria while simultaneously marginalizing those working to bring back the voices and stories of ordinary Syrians. To refer to terrorists in Syria as armed opposition or worse, moderate rebels, to cite, without disclaimer, the one-sided reports of SOHR and to broadcast the staged rescues of the White Helmets the corporate media, and by her own exacting standards, Edmonds’ NewsBud, are ‘propagating terrorism’ by giving it the ‘oxygen of publicity’. Incidentally the BBC doesn’t even specifically credit Rahman’s SOHR outfit these days, preferring instead the vague ‘monitoring group’ designation for their ‘trusted’ partisan source.

In case you were wondering, the doubts I mentioned over Thatcher’s sincerity arise from the fact that from her first year in office her government was secretly colluding with radical Islam by flying Mujahideen fighters into ‘Londonistan‘ on tourist visas and then driving them north to Scotland to be trained by the SAS. They would be sent back to their drug and war lords to fight the Soviets who had been invited into Afghanistan to quell the terrorist insurgency. Plus ça change…

In Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam Mark Curtis wrote that “in public, the prime minister and other British leaders denied British military involvement in Afghanistan and claimed to be seeking purely diplomatic solutions to the conflict. In reality, British covert aid to the Afghan resistance began to flow even before the Soviet ‘invasion’, while Whitehall authorised MI6 to conduct operations in the first year of the Soviet occupation, coordinated by MI6 officers in Islamabad in liaison with the CIA and Pakistan’s intelligence service, the ISI.” Thatcher had no intention of denying the Mujahideen the oxygen of publicity however she was less candid when it came to revealing her policy of financing terrorism to British taxpayers. Mark Curtis went on to say that “British and US covert training programmes were critical, since many of the indigenous Afghan forces, and the vast majority of the jihadi volunteers arriving in Afghanistan, had no military training. It was a policy that was to have profound consequences.”

When we spoke with Fares Shehabi, MP for Aleppo, last year he expressed similar concerns. The tens of thousands of foreign jihadists from up to one hundred countries currently fighting in Syria (UN estimates) will eventually go home, with battlefield experience and explosives expertise. It’s a ticking time bomb which could have tragic consequences for us all but we’d be hard pressed to find such an analysis in western corporate media.

Mary Tyler “Molly” Ivins

The late columnist, author and political commentator Molly Ivans once wrote “the press’s most serious failures are not its sins of commission, but its sins of omission — the stories we miss, the stories we don’t see, the stories that don’t hold press conferences, the stories that don’t come from ‘reliable sources.’ ”. By attempting to discredit, and more seriously physically endanger, Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett (see under heading ‘Incitement to Violence below) NewsBud and Edmonds in particular are unforgivably doing the job of the corporate journalist – striving to turn the stories we don’t see in the mainstream media into stories we won’t see in the alternatve media.

Sectarian Division

Edmonds actually began her epic hit piece by telling viewers about the ethnic and religious makeup of Syria, of its various minorities and the origins of its population. Her first guest, Zak Alsawat, suggested that because there were so many ethnic groups in the country it’s hard to determine who’s who and it’s ‘confusing for outsiders’. What utter nonsense. My past visits to Syria in 2016 and 2017 left me with the overwhelming impression that one’s religious and ethnic background is a secondary or even tertiary characteristic. People first and foremost identify as Syrian. I even spoke with a man from Homs who told me that before 2011 he did not know the religions of his neighbours. Religion was essentially a private matter which Syrians did not need to publicise in their pluralistic, secular society. Unnecessary sectarian division is reminiscent of the cynical and deliberate efforts of Paul Bremmer in Iraq who worked tirelessly to break the societal bonds and manipulate Sunni and Shia groups into fighting one another in what became a brutal, sectarian, US fueled civil war during the time the US / UK militarily machine was ostensibly ‘bringing peace and democracy to the Middle East’.

Less than two minutes into Edmonds’ film and I was already seething. This squibel was damper than I had expected. By the end of it I was so disgusted and angered by its content I felt compelled to write this review:

First Impressions

What a thoroughly unconvincing, poorly researched, vomit-inducing contribution to the annals of utter dullness – that’s an hour and a quarter of my life I won’t get back.

With a handful of tweets and a few disgruntled former colleagues answering blatantly leading but suspiciously unrevealed questions Edmonds thinks she has the scoop of the century. Someone contact the Pulitzer Prize committee and the Martha Gellhorn Foundation! We’ve got this years winner… NOT!!

One has to wonder why, as a supposedly seasoned journalist, Edmonds seems so easily, or more likely readily, offended by profanity – she needs to get out more. I’m offended by the fucking deliberate targeting of civilians, of kids having their legs blown to pieces by terrorist mortars, of entire communities held under brutal siege for years.

Edmonds has done so much damage to the cause, to attempts to bring back the Syrian voices habitually ignored by the western mainstream media. It is tragically ironic that it is, in fact, Edmonds and this Newsbud hit piece that has put people in real danger. She cannot possibly be proud of this kind of output; an hour of monotone drudge serving only those wishing to obscure the truth of what’s happening in Syria.

There were so many unsubstantiated and libellous claims I lost count. To smear the Grand Mufti, Ahmad Hassoun, with a deliberate mistranslation of his words was unforgivable. If he was not the man of peace I know him to be he would have taken the filthy lucre offered by the Saudis to defect and lived out his days in opulent exile. Instead he has remained in solidarity and in support of his fellow Syrians and lives in a simple dwelling in the Damascus suburbs.

The disgusting smearing of Professor Tim Anderson, a man who has played a crucial role in enabling western audiences to understand the causes of the Syrian criss and the motivations of the belligerent parties is equally unforgivable. To suggest the acquittal in one of Australia’s worst miscarriages of justice was a ‘mysterious pardoning’ is a distortion of truth worthy of a regular column in any Fleet Street tabloid rag.

To claim Vanessa and Eva are doing this for profit is about as insane as the former BBC producer telling them they wear the wrong clothes. When visiting Syria they are not staying in the corporate hack infested $800 per night Four Seasons hotel – they sleep and eat at modest establishments – with ordinary Syrians.

At one point Edmonds was banging on about how no one in mainstream media has ever insulted her or questioned her sanity; well there’s a very simple reason for that – she’s not engaging and challenging their output! I sent Channel 4’s Alex Thomson a few questions about Libya once and he wrote back that I needed a psychiatrist. Clearly, anyone questioning the corporate media must be mentally ill.

Whatever Newsbud and Edmonds like to claim about objectivity and professional ethics, all journalism is advocacy journalism. Advocacy journalism on behalf of the people of Syria is an honourable craft. Vanessa and Eva are following in the tradition of the greats of adversarial journalism and they know to expect this kind of scurrilous rubbish from The Guardian, BBC, Snopes or Channel 4 – the so-called liberal end of the corporate media. Newsbud, ostensibly part of the alternative media, has plumbed new depths to be aligned with such enemies of reason and truth.

As the great Howard Zinn once said, you can’t be neutral on a moving train.

That would have been it from me; I was reluctant to publicise Edmonds or NewsBud any more than I already had on Twitter and Facebook. I sat back and watched the reaction: lots of likes and re-tweets of my initial review, positive and negative comments on the movie’s Youtube page and an as-expected negative response on our Twitter timeline.

Within a few days of the release of ‘Damp Squibel’ however, I began to hear and read of former NewsBud contributors, associates and supporters. Their testimonies revealed a familiar pattern, Edmonds’ sinister modus operandi being to silence any dissenting voices (deleting comments or demanding objectors unsubscribe) then going after any alternative media outlets not towing the NewsBud line. The slightest scintilla of nonconformity was pounced upon by Edmonds and the Newsbud team.

I was actually debating whether to write this article at all but since the movie’s release our Twitter feed has been bombarded by incessant, childish goading from Edmonds and her click-bait clique, mostly directed at Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett. I also noticed that anyone politely questioning Edmonds, requesting evidence or seeking sources of claims, were summarily blocked.

Crimes Against Humanity

Edmonds really went to town on the accusations that Vanessa and Eva have called for journalists promoting terrorist groups in Syria to be prosecuted using UK anti-terror laws. I say why stop at UK legislation? Those promoting or excusing terrorist atrocities are guilty of crimes against humanity.

Can any of us contemplate the harmless Krishnan Guru-Murthy of Channel 4 News describing a suicide attack in London as an act of defence as he did in Syria whilst ensconced with Al Nusra? (see video below). Imagine him for a moment presenting a report while embedded with such terrorists in the east end. Imagine him looking earnestly towards the camera before announcing: “their way of defending east London is to hit back, by sending suicide bombers to the British Army” then proceeding to show footage of al Qaeda affiliated groups preparing the deadly attack. The moral outrage would reverberate so hard he would struggle to find gainful employment in the Murdoch empire let alone any news organisation. Yet when he became the apologist for al Nusra Front terrorists in Aleppo in 2016 and solemnly uttered those despicable words there was no public outcry, no outraged viewers and seemingly no crime against humanity on which to adjudicate.

No doubt this outcome would have pleased Edmonds who would have considered the Channel 4 News report balanced and objective, perhaps even thought provoking. We suggest she step away from Twitter for a few hours and contemplate the fate of Julius Streicher. The Nuremberg judgment against him read, in part::

For his 25 years of speaking, writing and preaching hatred of the Jews, Streicher was widely known as ‘Jew-Baiter Number One.’ In his speeches and articles, week after week, month after month, he infected the German mind with the virus of anti-Semitism, and incited the German people to active persecution. … Streicher’s incitement to murder and extermination at the time when Jews in the East were being killed under the most horrible conditions clearly constitutes persecution on political and racial grounds in connection with war crimes, as defined by the Charter, and constitutes a crime against humanity.

Its probably worthwhile familiarising ourselves with the wording of the legislation, especially when it comes to the encouragement of terrorism.

UK The Terrorism Act 2006

Encouragement of Terrorism

  1. Section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006 creates the offence of Encouragement of Terrorism. In order for a person to commit the offence a three element test must be met. Those three elements are as follows:
  2. The defendant must publish a statement, or cause another to publish a statement
  3. The statement must be likely to be understood by some or all of the members of the public to whom it is published as a direct or indirect encouragement to them to commit, prepare or instigate acts of terrorism or Convention offences
  4. When publishing the statement, or causing it to be published, the defendant must have the necessary state of mind. This is an offence that can be committed intentionally or recklessly:
    1. The necessary intention is that the defendant must intend members of the public to be encouraged to commit, prepare or instigate acts of terrorism or Convention offences
    2. To be reckless the defendant must be reckless as to the possibility that the statement will have the effect of members of the public being encouraged to commit, prepare or instigate acts of terrorism or Convention offences. During the debates on the Bill it was made clear that the term ‘reckless’ would be interpreted in accordance with current case law on the meaning of recklessness. As the law currently stands in order to be reckless the defendant will need to be shown to have been aware of the risk that an effect of the statement would be to encourage terrorism or Convention offences, and in the circumstances known to him, it was unreasonable for him to take that risk
  5. Glorifying statements: Subsection (3) provides an example of statements that may be understood as indirectly encouraging terrorism or Convention offences. It provides that:
  6. statements that glorify terrorism constitute an indirect encouragement to terrorism or Convention offences but only if
  7. the statements are of a type that the audience may reasonably infer that the conduct is being glorified as conduct that should be emulated in existing circumstances

Inciting Violence

I couldn’t quite believe it when someone suggested that Edmonds’ final remarks towards the end of the hour long dirge might be construed as inciting violence. I had to watch again, this time with a sick bag at hand, to check for myself. Sure enough, around 1 hour 12 minutes into the YouTube video we hear that dangerously psychopathic, and let’s be frank, lying bitch actually utter this profoundly disturbing statement:

Grand Mufti, Ahmad Hassoun

Me and Grand Mufti, Ahmad Hassoun (Damascus 2016)

The deliberate smearing of Syria’s most senior Muslim cleric was far beyond lazy journalism. This was the real Sibel Edmonds; exceptionally loathsome and truly unforgivable. Her wilful repetition of the mistranslation of the Grand Mufti, Ahmad Hassoun’s 2011 speech was intended to be used to throw more petrol on her inbecilic bonfire, to once more sully the reputations of Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett (who have met Dr Hassoun) by claiming ‘guilt by association’. Edmonds is deluded if she thinks the honest people of Syria would fall for this ruse. As others and Dr Hassoun himself have pointed out, rather than threatening Europe with terrorist sleeper cells he was predicting and warning. A prediction which, as we now know, turned out to be so prescient. I met Dr Hassoun in 2016 and know him to be a man of peace, loved and respected by Syrians and a beacon of hope for Syria, and the entire world, to see.

Professor Tim Anderson

Equally unforgivable was the slanderous remarks Edmonds made about Professor Tim Anderson. I forget whether it was Edmonds herself or her petted slave Spiro who actually made the remark (I’m not watching that nauseating perversion again) but it was suggested that Tim Anderson’s acquittal in one of Australia’s worst miscarriages of justice was a ‘mysterious pardoning’. We must wonder to what level of ignorance and spite this pair are prepared to degenerate.

If Edmonds took the time to read the details of this case she would know the evidence for the defense was overwhelming. The Australian Court of Criminal Appeal allowed Tim Anderson’s appeal because the Crown Prosecutor failed to abide by any standards of fairness. Sibel, I think we might have found your true calling.

NewsBud’s Previous Targets

Edmonds’ previous targets have included Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept, Paul Jay of the Real News Network and many of her former colleagues at Boiling Frogs Post and NewsBud. Bizarrely, Edmonds even went after Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) demanding to know its sources of funding.

Edmonds’ naive contention here was that media watchdogs, some of whom, like FAIR, have been around for over three decades, are ineffectual because the corporate media is still failing to provide balanced, accurate reportage, is still pumping out propaganda. In the opinion of Edmonds this alleged ineffectualness is deliberate and paid for by big tax avoiding charitable foundations or sugar daddies as she calls them. In the same piece, Edmonds informs her viewers that audience numbers for mainstream news media have been falling over the last few dacades. Most people would rightly conclude that the media watchdogs have been very effective indeed and, in fact, instrumental in causing trust in mainstream media and audiences numbers to plummet.

NewsBud Founder & Editor in Chief, Sibel Edmonds

Did Edmonds really think that the valuable contributions to public understanding of media bias made by FAIR in the US, or Media Lens here in the UK, would result in the corporate media becoming less biased? Media watchdog organisations strive to educate the population and improve the critical thinking faculties of news consumers but they’re hardly going to bring down the multi-billion dollar media moguls or change the habits of the carefully selected professional journalist. Media Lens’ aim is more realistically, ‘correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media’. Biased output will still be produced but an appreciation of the propaganda model coupled with the means to challenge corporate journalists allows us to be more discerning and even more likely to actively seek out alternative news sources.

This is the trend Edmonds is too blind to see. We as news consumers are no longer content to be passively fed our daily diet almost without thinking. We’re actively looking for journalists who haven’t been selected for obedience and are free to report on any topic. Media watchdogs like FAIR and Media Lens should be the butter to the NewsBud bread but instead Edmonds foolishly seeks to make enemies of them all.

Edmonds’ Crumbling Inner Circle

Over the past few days I have also heard of how dissent within Edmonds’ own inner circle was simply not tolerated. This explains why none of the original Boiling Frogs Post (Edmonds original media outlet) team are still around at NewsBud – they had either been sacked or left due to serious concerns over the management of what some described as a cult.

According to one former BFP team member, Edmonds was obsessed with producing output tailored to what she considered her ‘true base’ – retired, white, male libertarians. Another former colleague has written about how Edmonds even told her which journalists she was permitted to follow on social media. Is it any wonder that in such a toxic atmosphere with a such ludicrously warped editorial policy the original team disintegrated?

Despite the absence of the original lineup and the repeated requests from former BFP and Newsbud associates to have their bios removed, Edmonds maintains a list over at  which contains all those former colleagues who have long since jumped ship and swam to editorially calmer waters. The Newsbud_Associates list still includes:

  • Peter B. Collins
  • Pepe Escobar
  • Professor Filip Kovacevic
  • Guillermo Jimenez
  • Pearse Redmond
  • Tom Secker
  • Christoph Germann
  • Katie Aguilera

None of those above have anything good to say about Edmonds and many have expressed their deeply held concerns for all those still spellbound and deceived, hoodwinked yet fawning, sacrificing their hard-earned at the altar of Cult Edmonds.

NewsBud Funding

Edmonds’ first attempt to crowdfund NewsBud (had what some people described as a ludicrously ambitious target of $950,000. By the end of the campaign it had fallen short by over $750,000 with each of the 1,792 backers pledging an average of just over $100.

The next attempt, called Phase 1 ( exceeded its $150,000 target and raised $171,755 from 1,330 backers (averaging approximately $130 each)

Phase 2 () which also aimed to raise $150,000 failed with 1,015 backers promising a total of $137,811 or an average of $135 each.

The most recent attempt to crowdfund, Phase 3 () missed its target by more than 50% seeing a mere $65,568 pledged from 620 backers ($105 per backer).

By my reckoning, and going solely by the Kickstarter records, Edmonds has secured just over 12% of the funding she’s asked for over the past couple of years. Is it any wonder she’s so enraged when she sees other alternative news outlets not only adequately financed but producing valuable and effective output? No wonder she aggressively demands to know how other people are funded, how they manage to survive and fund trips to war zones. Meanwhile back at NewsBud HQ Edmonds is still harping on about the meaningless ‘Gladio B’ while repeatedly failing to raise money from a dwindling pool of backers.

What Others Have Said

There are many people with intimate knowledge of Edmonds’ suspicious operation. Here are some of their concerns – its a short sample of a long and growing list:

  • I could never shake the feeling with Sibyl Edmonds that she was too good to be true. She promised so much and never really delivered.
  • I am disgusted by Edmonds’ attacks. They lack substance, facts, and are, in fact, fucking deranged.
  • I think that when Sibel Edmonds first became a public figure, her motives were good. But frankly, I grew tired of her constant hints that world-changing revelations were a-comin’ any day now. As a cult of expectation formed around her, she began to remind me of Joanna Southcott or Melanie Calvet. In the end, I decided that Sibel simply likes attention. So I decided never to write about her again, unless circumstances forced the issue, as they do now.
  • If anyone is guilty of squeezing out information in drips and drabs, it’s Sibel Edmonds. If anyone is guilty of an unbecoming tendency toward self-aggrandizement, it’s Sibel Edmonds. And if anyone is guilty of relentlessly pushing hard-core libertarianism (a charge unfairly leveled at Greenwald), God knows it’s Sibel Edmonds: See here and here and…oh, hell, just see here. Her motive for dissing Greenwald is obvious: Edmonds runs a whistleblower organization and Snowden bypassed it. She’s jealous.

Another former colleague of Edmonds is James Corbett – I’ve not watched it all yet but am prepared to include the link to the Corbett Report where James dissects this latest inexplicable outburst from Edmonds – see for yourself here.

Sibel’s State of Mind

Throughout the past couple of months I’ve been wondering what it was exactly that led Sibel Edmonds to take this bizarre and ultimately self-destructive path. I feel that once she’s thrown the last of her toys out of the pram there will be no way back for NewsBud. They might just as well be swallowed up by a corporate media behemouth. Maybe she’ll sell out to NBC or Fox News. Who knows? What we do know (to borrow a phrase from the late Harold Pinter) is that this infantile insanity – the harassment, lies and fake news coupled with the malicious threats and endangerment of real truth tellers – is at the heart of present NewsBud political philosophy.

For some reason, impossible for us to apprehend at this moment, Edmonds seems to be defending herself against her own unconscious impulses by denying their existence in herself while attributing them to others. This is what’s known as psychological projection. Might this mean she has a ‘sugar daddy’ mysterious funder of her own like some have speculated and is attacking others to shield herself from closer scrutiny?

In calmer moments of reflection I often find myself feeling sorry for her – she must be going through some kind of emotional turmoil at this point in her life. That its manifestation is evidently so destructive must have close colleagues and family members deeply concerned. If I were a friend I would consider discussing with her next of kin the option of involuntary committal to a mental health institution where she might receive the professional help she clearly needs.


Meanwhile, back in the real world, Vanessa Beeley is in Syria right now, reporting on the liberation of eastern Ghouta and investigating the ongoing terrorist atrocities, including the deliberate targeting of civilians in Damascus. Eva Bartlett has just completed a whistle-stop speaking tour bringing western audiences images and stories from Syria we might otherwise never see.

Who else can we rely on to bring back the Syrian voices airbrushed out of mainstream media coverage? NewsBud? Sibel Edmonds? Don’t make me laugh!

Photo and Video Diary from Eastern Ghouta

Conversations with Camille Otrakji on Eastern Ghouta and the Future of the Region

MintPress Meets The Father Of Iconic Aleppo Boy, Who Says Media Lied About His Son

Civilians Escaping Eastern Ghouta

Vanessa Beeley is an independent researcher, writer and photographer from the UK and the daughter of Sir Harold Beeley K.C.M.G C.B.E. Middle Eastern Advisor to Ernest Bevin and Special Envoy to Cairo during both Suez Crises. She is Associate Editor at 21st Century Wire. Her reports can be found here and on her personal blog The Wall Will Fall.


Eva Bartlett is a Canadian independent journalist and activist. She has spent years on the ground covering conflict zones in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Palestine. She is a recipient of the International Journalism Award for International Reporting. Eva writes for many outlets, including Mint Press News. Her personal blog is In Gaza and Beyond

Mike Raddie is co-editor at BSNews



  1. Sibel Edmonds aka Newsbud thought she could discredit & undermine the incredibly honest ‘on the ground ‘reporting by 2 courageous independent journalists who are relaying the voices of the Syrian people screaming out to be heard above the lies and propaganda narrative of western mainstream media, by western governments and even most UNSC members.
    At a time when all alternative media outlets should be uniting against the imperialistic hegemony of the west, Israel and Gulf States, here we witness, what I can only describe as ‘professional jealousy ‘ from Sibel Edmonds who truly seems to have turned to the ‘dark side’ or possibly compromised by someone who’s backing Newsbud financially. That’s my opinion, but whatever is fuelling this smear campaign by her on Vanessa Beeley & Eva Bartlett what she lacks in understanding is the tremendous support from our family, yes family of truth seekers and anti war supporters who stand by Vanessa and Eva, not because we are blinkered by their reports, but by our own ethical morals of human decency and reasoning between right and wrong, and Sibel, you are WRONG!

  2. Daniel Wirt

    Sibel Edmonds and NewsBud seek to protect and apologize for MSM journalists who continually lie in support of the dirty war on Syria, making them ALL complicit in terrorism. Their “fair and balanced” reporting is a smokescreen to conceal the lies. What really counts is EVIDENCE. Bias is not only desirable but necessary if that is where the best evidence points.

    Congratulations to Mike Raddie for an excellent article. (Howard Zinn and Molly Ivins in one article!)

  3. You obviously have a talent for movie reviews based on this exploration of Edmonds’ recently videographed hissy-fit , but I hope you’re not tempted to take it up as a vocation , or even an avocation , as your other work is much more important. Still , bravo for this one !

  4. Colin Connaughton

    Others have voiced this question and I keep wondering, ‘Who is Sibel Edmonds working for?’ Perhaps we will never know.

  5. Not everything I learned from Newsbud, which isn’t all from the mind of Sibel Edmonds, was garbage. She made good points about Glenn Greenwald, in my view But now I am thinking that when he insulted her, it was deserved. I only ever heard her side of it. I still think that I do not have the whole picture, but I do think that I don’t need to see any more. I’ve always liked Glenn’s reportage. But I can NEVER get behind an organization run by a billionaire who helped fund the MURDEROUS (if that actually matters) Nazi regime in Ukraine. Those who continue to work for Pierre Omidyar, as much as I don’t want to, I must distrust. Indeed, The Intercept’s true soul began to show – in similar fashion to Newsbud – when Murtaza wrote a pro-USAID, pro-White Helmets piece. And smarter folks than myself have issues with that org. Elizabeth Vos, Mark Ames, Paul Carr, Ken Silverstein are some examples.

    This article could have been more balanced. I too blogged about the destruction (which, even if FOX or some other sugar daddy picks it up, it has undergone, from one standpoint) of Newsbud after it was clear that it had self-destructed, which James Corbett helped it to be. So, I am not defending Sibel. But it was hard to see her go bananas like that. I really liked Newsbud, except for the huge money focus.

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