Thursday, December 28, 2006

Portland Indymedia is censoring me re 9/11

In the last couple of weeks, I have had some strange experiences with censorship by Portland Independent Media Center (P-IMC), which began when I published comments here under the name Ningen:

In short, it began when I questioned P-IMC for shunting 9/11 researcher Gerard Holmgren's comment to a hidden "discussion" section, and resulted in my comments being moved to that section. My comments questioning their actions were not published at all. Since then, my comments about any subject have been shunted to the "discussion" section after vetting, or not published at all.

None of my later comments have been controversial. I acknowledge that my comments at the link above were somewhat heated, but I felt strongly that the article was wrong in labeling certain researchers as "disinformation," and did not like someone telling me what is an approved line of 9/11 inquiry.

Yesterday I published my "Open letter to a 'conspiracy theory' expert" as an article, not a comment. It was somewhat of an experiment, as I knew my posts were being intercepted and subjected to human review, and did not expect it to be published. To my surprise, after a long delay, they published it here:

But now P-IMC will not allow me to publish a response to a comment about an article they "allowed" me to publish. It has been many hours and I have sent it several times, so it is reasonable to assume it is being censored.

My comment is a reply to "historian." who made some statements I disagree with --- that Professor Fenster's book was funded by the CIA, and that in any case, he cannot be believed because he is a lawyer.

The comment is similar to the article that started all this censorship, in that includes a baseless accusation that someone is speaking as an agent of the government. I very much oppose such accusations, unless there is solid evidence of that, because such accusations can be aimed at anyone, and they interfere with rational inquiry and debate.

Now I cannot make a polite comment about a reaction to my own article that I disagree with, and which borders on defamation.

Is it Portland IMC's policy to allow defamatory articles and comments to be published and then censor the responses?

Is this "open publishing," which they claim is the heart of Indymedia?

I have not violated any of the editorial policies here:

Why am I being treated this way?

Who is vetting my publications, and under what standards?

I have read P-IMC for years, and thought it was the best IMC. I have posted a few articles there over the years, and commented dozens if not hundreds of time. Never were my contributions subject to review, and they were posted automatically within a few minutes.

Is it because I questioned their actions, or because of the content of my work?

This is creepy. It seems my trust in Indymedia was misplaced.

Because Portland Indymedia will not publish my reply to "historian," I will publish it here:

Thank you for your ideas

That CIA document is very interesting. Thank you. I thought propaganda against American citizens was illegal, though I don't know when that law was passed. I would like to see the memo on 9/11 - maybe in 20 years.

I agree with the CIA on this point that physical evidence is more reliable, assuming it has not been fabricated or tampered with (a big assumption):

"b. Critics usually overvalue particular items and ignore others. They tend to place more emphasis on the recollections of individual witnesses (which are less reliable and more divergent--and hence offer more hand-holds for criticism) and less on ballistics, autopsy, and photographic evidence. A close examination of the Commission's records will usually show that the conflicting eyewitness accounts are quoted out of context, or were discarded by the Commission for good and sufficient reason."

Fenster's resume is linked from here:

I see no reason to think he is a CIA asset, or to say that even if he is. [I would change this -- if he were, that would be noteworthy. My point is that I see no evidence of that and such speculation is not good.] It might be interesting to know if he got a grant for the book and from where, but the book is finished. His ideas are out there and he is being quoted in the media, so his ideas should be refuted where wrong.

He wrote the book while in law school, but I think it is based on his prior work in communications and popular culture. Saying his work cannot be believed because he is a lawyer is not very persuasive. I think that in general, accusations that a person is not acting with sincerity are not useful and serve mainly to disrupt rational inquiry. Arguments have to be addressed on their merits. I'm sorry to use your comment to make this point, and I am not at all saying you are doing that, but I think it is an important point.

Update: I published this piece at Seattle Indymedia, where I am apparently still welcome:

I added this as a comment:

I just realized Portland IMC is also censoring me by not moving my article to its 9/11 topic page, where it obviously belongs and where it would be visible longer.

I consider myself part of the "People's Investigation of 9/11" described at that topic page, and agree with this statement there by Portland IMC:

"Keeping an open mind to examine all information, wherever it may lead, and courageously pursuing basic investigative questions such as who had motive, who had means, and who benefitted are the means to uncover the truth."

I'm wondering whether this principle is being applied, and if I am being censored because I think that questions about what hit the World Trade Center towers should be pursued.

I was not pushing this question at Portland IMC, but merely responding to someone who says that anyone asking such questions must be a government agent, which is ridiculous and defamatory.


Ningen said...

Portland IMC published my comments after I published this article here and at Seattle IMC.

I stand by my objections to being singled out for review and delay.

Ningen said...

Portland IMC also moved my article to the 9/11 topic page, where it will remain accessible longer.

Just to clarify, the dates and times of my comments are when I posted them, not when they appeared.