25 Aug 2012

Malaysia’s Poison Blogger Exposed In The US!

Malaysia’s Poison Blogger Exposed In The US!

This post is also available in: Iban, Malay

"My red hair and my pale skin IS my passport - bureaucrats!" - racist outbursts by Taib and Najib's hired blogger on Twitter!

The dirty blogger behind numerous websites commissioned by BN to defame Anwar Ibrahim and also Sarawak Report, has now been sacked as a commentator in the US by the prestigious Guardian Newspaper.

The Guardian cited our exposes of Josh Trevino as evidence of his unsuitability as a writer in their statement confirming his dismissal last night.

In what was described as a ‘mutual agreement to go separate ways’, Trevino accepted that he had not declared his interest as a “consultant for an agency that had Malaysian business interests” or his role running the pro-BN website Malaysia Matters, when promoting Najib Razak and attacking Anwar in articles published not only in the Guardian newspaper, but also in the Washington Times and Huffington Post. [see http://www.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeedpolitics/guardian-splits-conservative-writer-over-malaysia].

Our investigations have already established that the agency he is referring to is the discredited UK-based TV Production company, FBC Media, which was closed down after we revealed it had been paid RM84million (USD$27million) by Prime Minister Najib Razak’s private office to promote his image abroad and in Malaysia. [see our FBC Media stories as well as UK Independent Newspaper coverage of the scandal and the BBC's apology]

FBC Media was also hired on a RM15million (USD$5million) a year rolling contract by Taib Mahmud, specifically to counter the investigations of Sarawak Report and to conduct a dirty campaign to discredit its author and her family, which included the former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

"Nothing unethical" - Trevino finally admits he was working for Malaysia, something we exposed last year!

Josh Trevino lasted a week

Trevino was promoted as the Guardian’s new right-wing commentator in a press statement on 15th August.  The paper would soon have realised that the appointment was ill-judged after it provoked a storm of protest because of Trevino’s extreme and aggressive right-wing views.

These views, which we have already recorded in Sarawak Report, are virulently pro-Israel and anti-Muslim.  For example, Trevino had called upon the Israelis to shoot dead the civilians who had joined the Palestinian ‘Mercy Flotilla’ to bring aid and food to that community.  These civilians included US citizens and also Malaysian citizens, whom Najib Razak later praised as heroes.

Trevino has also gloried in being ‘pale skinned’.

So, why, we have queried, did Taib Mahmud and Najib Razak find it appropriate to hire a person with these public standpoints, given they are Muslim leaders whose own policies are so virulently anti-Israel?

Perhaps it is because if you want dirty work done you need to hire someone prepared to do it?

The US group Act For Israel portrayed the Palestinian mercy boats as terrorists like Nazis. Josh Trevino is on the organisation's Advisory Board

Trevino’s Dirty Tricks against Anwar and Sarawak Report 

Sarawak Report has received inside information, corroborated by extensive evidence, that Josh Trevino was hired by FBC media to conduct a defamation campaign against this blog and against Anwar Ibrahim as part of the two contracts with Najib and Taib.

Meanwhile, FBC Media was abusing its position as a production company with outlets on the BBC, CNBC and CNN to promote these Malaysian clients as well as other dictators who were paying them, such as Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan and Gulnara Karimova, known as the ‘World’s Worst Daughter’ of Uzbekistan.

'Strategic' - part of the $5million a year contract between FBC Media and Taib Mahmud to improve his image in the face of criticism from Sarawak Report!

Trevino, who acts as a political consultant and speech writer to right-wing politicians in the US, runs a right-wing website called Red State.  He also has a sideline called Rogue Strategic Services, designed to:

“assist clients wishing to engage in strategic planning, organizational conversations, political outreach, communications and new media” [Act for Israel Advisory Board]

'Columnist for the Guardian' - how was Josh Trevino planning to use his new found respectability?

In this capacity he set up blogs to attack Anwar and Sarawak Report in the US and in Malaysia.

The blog New Ledger (now pulled down from the web) was based in the United States and was openly linked to Red State, posing as a political website authored by “volunteers”.

In fact New Ledger was obsessed with Malaysian affairs and 50% of its content was devoted to attacking Anwar  or Sarawak Report.

Trevino also constructed two other key sites.  One was www.sarawakreports.org, designed to mimic our own site and to attack and defame it in the process and the other was Malaysia Watcher, which attacked and brutally defamed Anwar Ibrahim, calling him a sodomist, “vile anti-semite” and “abuser of women”!

Articles posted first on New Ledger were then “bounced” onto Sarawak Reports and Malaysia Watcher as if they reflected genuine mainstream political opinion in the United States!

BN -friendly newspapers and the BN controlled News Agency, Bernama would then also pick up on these articles and disseminate them throughout Malaysia.

'Bouncing back international recognition into the local press' and 'countering falsehoods about corruption'. An excerpt from FBC Media's International Strategic Communications Proposal to Taib Mahmud! Josh Trevino was the 'consultant' FBC used to set up its "special blogging" operation

Never once did Trevino or any of these publications acknowledge that this was all a paid-for negative PR campaign being funded by Malaysian taxpayers.  It was when Trevino took the process a step further and tried to get his paid-for promotional material into mainstream newspapers, also without declaring his interest, that he created his own undoing.

It was on these grounds that the Guardian hastily terminated his contract yesterday.

Even dirtier – ‘Sock Puppet’ activity!

Confirmed then blocked - Wikipedia investigations confirmed that Yaya222010 was a deceptive 'sock puppet'

But we have evidence that activities linked to FBC’s and Josh Trevino’s “special blogging” operation also extended to deceptive tampering of Wikipedia sites linked to Taib and Sarawak Report.

These activities were all clearly and maliciously designed to discredit Sarawak Report and other critics of Taib and BN and they even implicated the former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who was also defamed in the process.

Beginning on 30th March, shortly after FBC’s Sarawak campaign was launched, a single operator with the concealed identify Yaya222010 started tampering with a series of Wikipedia sites in what is known as ‘Sock Puppet’ activity.

First, they created a Wikipedia entry for Sarawak Report Editor ‘Clare Rewcastle Brown’, focusing on some false accusations which were made during the so-called Parliamentary expenses scandal in the UK. Those accusations had all long-since been retracted by the newspapers, with substantial damages having been paid for libel.

This negative Wikipedia entry was also heavily linked to Josh Trevino’s Malaysian attack site Sarawak Report(s), encouraging browsers to read the even more aggressive defamation on that site as well. Yaya222010 also added links from the established Radio Free Sarawak Wikipedia site to their new creation.

Sock puppet - a disguised operator on the web who tampers with sites for a hidden purpose

Also on the same day, the same Yaya222010 went about altering the existing Wikipedia entry for Andrew Brown, husband to Clare Rewcastle Brown.

Yaya222010 added content that repeated the expenses libel and also created a new link from his site to the entry they had created against his wife Clare. They also added further links to Sarawak Report(s).

The clear purpose of this malicious activity was to lead readers to the conclusion that the long-since discredited and withdrawn allegations about Andrew Brown were in fact true, despite the substantial libel damages that that the Browns have already won.

The same dirty tricks were even played by the same operator on the same day against the Wikipedia website of the former UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. Yaya222010 linked his site to their Wikipedia entry about Clare Rewcastle Brown and also to Sarawak Reports.org, where he is further defamed in a number of articles.

That very same day Yaya222010 also linked Taib Mahmud’s own Wikipedia site to their entry on Clare Rewcastle Brown in an effort to give the impression that criticism of Taib was made by discredited people!

Yaya222010 made positive al!terations on Taib's site on the same day and linked to Sarawak Reports

Other Wikipedia pages that were tampered with that day by Yaya222010 include site of the famous Malaysian opposition blogger, Raja Petra Kamarudin. Yaya222010 also linked his site to Sarawak Report(s) where he is shown as attacking Anwar.

Trevino's attack site Sarawak Reports defamed the former British PM as it tried to defend criticism of paymaster Taib Mahmud

There can be little doubt that these activities were part of a deliberately orchestrated and malevolant campaign to attack the author of Sarawak Report on behalf of Taib Mahmud, much in the way that was promised in FBC Media’s contract.

Wikipedia have now confirmed that Yaya222010 was indeed a sock puppet and have conducted an investigation into its activities.  Wikipedia’s report shows that it has also linked Yaya222010 to other subsidiary sock puppets which in August last year were actively trying to erase information about our exposes about FBC President, CNN’s John Defterios and FBC Chairman, Alan Friedman from the web!

Deceptive web activity - master 'sock puppet' Yaya222010 spawned sub-puppets that were trying to alter on-line coverage about FBC Media's bosses during the scandal about the company

 ”These new accounts (apart from the sockmaster) and IPs originating from London and Overland Park, KS, have been editing three articles – Clare Rewcastle Brown, John Defterios and Alan Friedman – for the past few days trying to remove coverage of a controversy involving Defterios and Friedman and making subtle negative POV edits to the Brown article. Recently, Brown implicated FBC Media in a controversy, while Defterios & Friedman are/were among the most senior people running FBC. Since story broke, there has been a coordinated attempt by these accounts to remove coverage of the controversy on the Defterios & Friedman pages. — Yk ʏк yƙ talk ~ contrib 00:31, 8 August 2011 (UTC)“[wikipedia investigations]

FBC Media closed, after our exposes last year caused the BBC and CNBC to sever their contracts.

Would the Chaiman, Alan Friedman, President, John Defterios and blogging ‘Consultant’, Josh Trevino care to deny involvement in this sock puppet activity that was all linked to the sites they set up on behalf of Taib Mahmud?

Sarawak Report has issued enquiries to Wikipedia.

  • Pingback: Guardian journalist parts way over lack of disclosure of ties to Malaysian government

  • THE WHITE TALIBAN

    This Josh Trevino is the White version of Taliban…look at his thick beard…easily can hide few Jihadists inside…

    In Afghanistan he will face excruciating torture to death for being a Taliban goons…

    The best torture is practiced by General Abdul Rashid Dostum (North Alliance leader) infamous for chaining his Taliban prisoners under tank tracks and dragged him for fun…or tied them on rockets before firing them on air…Boom!

    Therefore Josh Trevino the WHITE TALIBAN should get the same treatments too He He He!

    ______________________

    General Abdul Rashid Dostum: Ex-wrestler warlord with ruthless image is not the perfect ally

    Rupert Edis met Gen Abdul Dostum when he last ran Mazar-i-Sharif

    By Rupert Edis, The Telegraph, 10 Nov 2001

    GEN Abdul Rashid Dostum is a bearish ex-wrestler and former communist who looks like an overweight Stalin with stubbly hair. He has ruthlessly changed sides during the civil war, and is an unstable factor in the Northern Alliance, although he commands a loyal following in the Uzbek parts of the country.

    Fond of belly dancers and whisky – he once toured a Scottish distillery – he has a ferocious reputation. He once had a looter crushed under a tank in the fort near Balkh, a Silk Route town near Mazar-i-Sharif, and his gruff laugh alone is supposed to have made a man die of a heart attack.

    His forces, including infantry in distinctive three quarter-length trousers, and a horde of richly caparisoned cavalry, terrorised rebellious villages during the Soviet puppet President Najibullah’s period in power.

    But when he showed me through his garden, proudly showing plants and peacocks imported from France, he was bluffly charming, swapping me a large silk rug for a pair of binoculars. “I want a broad-based and tolerant Afghan government, and hate the Taliban’s ignorant and oppressive laws”, he explained.

    To show his proto-liberal leanings, he arranged a tour of mixed schools, and a flight in a Hind helicopter gunship, piloted by two sisters – veterans of several combat missions – who were refugees from the Taliban in Kabul.

    I first went to Mazar-i-Sharif in 1997, when it was the capital of a mini-state held by Gen Dostum, with much of the rest of the country held by the Taliban.

    There was a patina of life there as we might know it. Vodka was on sale in street stalls. Women in Western clothes went to university and shopping arcades through the muddy streets, reflecting the relaxed approach to Islam taken by many northern Afghans.

    There was even a local airline, Balkh Airlines – known as “BA” – and Coca-Cola was sold in its distinctive bottle, proudly inscribed “bottled in Afghanistan”.

    But signs of the civil war were not far away. In the main square of Balkh, a menacing band of heavily bandoliered warriors cruised in Toyota pick-ups, largely unaffiliated to any faction – a reminder of how fractured the Northern Alliance was.

    At the hostel in Mazar, there were instructions to go to a nearby bunker “in case heavy fighting breaks out”.

    Mazar fell briefly to the Taliban three weeks later, after one of Gen Dostum’s commanders betrayed him. But before that I had an odd meeting on the border of Uzbekistan. Down the road from Mazar, which is half submerged by dunes and littered with the husks of Soviet equipment, came a red sports car with gull-wing doors and tigerskin seats.

    Out leapt Homayun Naderi, Gen Dostum’s engaging representative in Washington, who invited me to stay with his leader the next year. Naderi’s family, allies of Gen Dostum, are the traditional rulers of Kayan, an Ismaili region known as the “Switzerland of Afghanistan” for its mountainous beauty.

    He introduced me to his nephew Jaffar, an anti-Taliban commander with a resemblance to James Belushi, who warmed up for battle listening to the heavy metal band AC/DC, saying: “Hell’s Bells really gets me in the mood.”

    Jaffar had attended public school in England before being expelled for punching a teacher and then joined a Harley Davidson gang in the United States before returning to Afghanistan.

    It was due to this encounter that the next year, after arriving in a juddering ex-Soviet helicopter which sloshed with fuel from a punctured tank – “Afghan no smoking policy”, Naderi giggled – I was allowed to meet Gen Dostum at his headquarters at Shiberghan, four miles west of Mazar-i-Sharif, to which he commuted in a black Cadillac.

    During that time I saw two very different sides to the Taliban. One morning at breakfast in his compound three Taliban commanders showed up unexpectedly, after flying in secretly via Iran.

    _____________________

    Taking tea with Afghanistan’s most fearsome warlord, General Abdul Rashid Dostum

    By Magsie Hamilton-Little in Kabul, The Telegraph, 29 Jul 2012

    In a rare interview, General Abdul Rashid Dostum, the powerful northern warlord who was a key US ally against the Taliban and threw his support behind President Karzai at the last election, gives an interview at his Kabul home.

    Gen Abdul Rashid Dostum and Magsie Hamilton-Little in his his Kabul home
    http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02291

    General Dostum, lfet, Hamid Karzai and Zalmay Khalilzad
    http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02291

    It is Friday – holy day – in Kabul. Near the checkpoint barrier a woman begs, her burka hiding her shame, but the only thing she receives is a spattering of dirt cast up by the passing trucks. The barrier lifts. Soldiers in dark green uniforms, rifles slung over their shoulders, wave me through. As I climb out of the car a thousand eyes burn into me, but I am careful not to return anyone’s gaze. Such brazen conduct from a foreign woman would be sure to get me into trouble.

    Inside the house, in a marble room with a shiny new lift that wouldn’t look out of place in a Manhattan hotel, a man in a long gown greets me like a long-lost daughter. At six feet tall, he towers a good seven inches above me. I feel my legs wobble – his reputation is nearly as fearsome as his bushy moustache. He is General Abdul Rashid Dostum, Afghanistan’s most powerful warlord, head of the Uzbek tribe, unofficial ruler of the north, and, as the government’s chief of staff, commander of an army of over 25,000 men.

    It is only when I tell myself I have nothing to fear that I remember the allegations that make your stomach turn and heart pound, such as the one about how, at Dostum’s command, women had been raped and their breasts cut off before they were killed during the siege of Kabul in 1991. Or the one that told how Dostum ordered two thousand Taliban prisoners to be asphyxiated in metal shipping containers and left to rot in the desert in 2001. Or how he is said to have treated his prisoners – tying them to the muzzles of cannons before firing them into the air. The General has always denied such widely made claims.

    I know from experience how genial a host he is, having encountered him on my many previous visits to Afghanistan. A donation of books from my charity to his children’s foundation is a wonderful excuse for a get together to talk politics.

    As we sit down to tea in his home, the General is unequivocal about the problems facing Afghanistan in the light of the withdrawal of foreign troops; David Cameron has said he wants to withdraw all combat troops by 2014.

    What does the General think of the timing? “Most Afghans believe it is too soon,” he says fearing the country might disintegrate into chaos. I put it to him the comments I have heard from his own soldiers making up part of the Afghan army who complain that their equipment is inadequate. A common complaint is that the foreign armies are kitted out well (although some back home may beg to differ) whereas the Afghan army has their cast-offs. Their boots are falling apart, their helmets have holes.

    Dostum is nodding gravely. “We are not ungrateful,” he insists, “but if you commit to any form of assistance, you must do it properly. You have a duty to do a good job.”

    It is not just the poor equipment that leaves the Afghan army feeling despondent for the future security of their country. Many talk of a general lack of respect fuelled by events, however accidental or isolated, such as the Qur’an burnings this February – when US soldiers set alight religious texts – or tales of soldiers urinating on dead bodies. Such occurrences have turned many Afghans against those same foreign forces trying to help them.

    “Why come here and insult our culture?” says Dostum. “Such events have only served to create an atmosphere of mistrust and anger. New recruits to the Afghan army have to be watched closely in case they are Taliban spies. Acts of disrespect from US troops only serve to strengthen the position of the Taliban and will have made it harder to work out a peaceful solution.”

    I first came to Afghanistan after witnessing the bus bombing in London’s Tavistock Square on 7 July 2005. Having studied Islamic history at university, my rose-tinted world of Persian miniatures and Sufi poetry had been shattered by the first-hand experience of Islamic terrorism. To my mind, there were now big questions to be asked – and I wanted answers. Against the advice of friends and family, I packed my bags and bought a plane ticket to Kabul.

    Luckily, the Afghans I met took pity on me. I was, of course, a woman; I was an infidel; and I was alone. My first time I stayed among the locals, venturing into the bazaars unchallenged, often donning a burka. Having expected the worst, I found the Afghans proud and strong, as kind as they were canny, and with a nobility that seemed to me to have been all too often lost in our own society. The generosity I had received from those who owned little more than the clothes they stood up in had moved me beyond words.

    I had subsequently returned to Britain armed with an entirely new set of questions about the nature of terrorism, the war, and the cultural and religious divisions between our societies, along with a sense of responsibility. I wanted to do something that would help the Afghans that was peaceful and positive. Education was at the heart of what was needed for the long-term regeneration of Afghanistan. However, over 50 percent of the country’s children didn’t go to school at all and reading materials were a scarcity. So I set up a small charity printing books in Kabul for children with little or no access to schooling.

    During that initial visit – and in my subsequent trips to the country – I have encountered drug dealers, feudal chiefs and Taliban sympathisers, men of influence whose track records are as murky as the toxic waters of Lake Quargha. In a country where corruption is so endemic it is said to be part of the constitution, I never once batted an eyelid. After all, no one else did.

    So does the General believe the Taliban can ever be defeated? “Tell your government,” he roars, letting out a great belly laugh, moustache bristling, “that the Taliban amount to no more than around 9,000 individuals. We know who they are and where to find them. Given the order, I estimate it would take less than a year to destroy their ringleaders. I have said this on many occasions.”

    Dostum’s despondency at the current leadership is surprising given that he helped bring President Karzai to power in the first place, backing him in the last elections. “After the troops withdraw, his days will be numbered,” he shrugs. “In Afghanistan we say he is half-Afghan, half-American because he spends so much time in that country and even owns businesses there.”

    I hesitate to ask the General his view of what he thinks will happen to the rights of Afghan women in the future, especially given his own alleged track record.

    Many women have told me how scared they are of the return to a Taliban-styled government, I say. Women are concerned Karzai will seek peace at any price, and if that means kowtowing to the Taliban on women’s rights, they will do so. “To ensure progress is made on all fronts, Afghan and US leaders must ensure women are actively involved in a settlement that protects the rights accorded to them in recent years.”

    His reassurances offer some comfort, but the fact is that Afghanistan remains a very hard place to live as a woman. Despite incremental improvements following the US invasion that brought in new laws protecting women’s rights, oppression is still rife, particularly in the south. It is estimated that 87% of women suffer violence at home, and medical care is so poor that one woman dies every half hour in childbirth.

    On the way down in the lift, the sense of apprehension I might previously have felt has all but evaporated as I realise I have survived the meeting unscathed. I ask the General if he has any ideas for a future leader, a Jeffersonian figure who could build the brave new Afghanistan so many of us have been praying for. Is there such a person? Maybe he even plans to stand for office himself, I suggest almost playfully.

    He shakes his head firmly. He does not want the job, but it comes as no surprise that he has someone else in mind.

    It is no less than I would expect from Afghanistan’s greatest deal-maker. Let’s hope it will be his best deal yet.