Впрочем, как и большая часть американских медиа, они служили рупором пропаганды Аль Кайды с самого начала сирийской войны. Гаденыши визжало о "геноциде" раздувая фальшивки о химических атаках правительсвенных войск, и замалчивая реальный геноцид когда их "герои" аль-нусровцы вырезали целые деревни христиан, шиитов или друзов.
CNN Hired Top al-Qaeda Propagandist for Award-Winning Syria Documentary and Wants to Cover Its Tracks
...With a sardonic grin, Abdul Kareem described how he was slighted: “This Undercover in Syria, you can Google it — it won the prestigious Peabody Award, and it won the prestigious Overseas Press Club Award, which are basically the highest awards in journalism for international reporting. Now, [CNN] barely mentioned my name! I’m telling you, somehow CNN must have forgotten that I was the one that filmed it, I guess they forgot that.”
...Contrary to Abdul Kareem’s claim that CNN had simply “forgotten” him, the network may have had reason to airbrush him out of its public relations material. The man Ward contracted to take her into rebel-controlled territory was well established as one of the top English-language propagandists for al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra, along with other extremist groups fighting the Syrian government.
In fact, the Saudi Arabian news outlet Al Arabiya reported on June 7 that Abdul Kareem officially joined al-Nusra in 2012.
...Fighters in Thawar al-Sham, according to Abu Azzam, refer to Abdul Kareem as the "American mujahid” (mujahid is Arabic for jihadist).
Abu Azzam claimed Abdul Kareem had applied his videography skills to make a series of YouTube videos for the official account of Jaish al-Fatah, the Salafi-jihadist fighting coalition led by al-Nusra. He added that Abdul Kareem worked directly with the late public relations director for Jaish al-Fateh, Ammar Abu al-Majid. For these videos, he said Abdul Kareem used the alias, Abu Osama.
...AlterNet contacted the senior press manager for CNN International, along with CNN’s Middle East press officer and public relations coordinator, to request comment on Abdul Kareem’s relationship to the network. We asked for details about Abdul Kareem’s contractual obligations with CNN and whether the network felt his well-documented relationship with al-Qaeda compromised the reporting it carried out in Syria.
CNN did not respond.
...Abdul Kareem arrived in Syria in 2012 after a stint promoting the NATO-backed Islamist rebels in Libya. With his On the Ground News, he quickly established himself as the leading English-language reporter on Salafi groups in Syria, and the only American media figure welcomed as a long-term resident in al-Nusra-controlled territory.
Dozens of other journalists have been kidnapped and even killed in these extremist-held areas. When asked why he had not faced the same dangers from al-Qaeda, Abdul Kareem said in his Facebook video response to Al Arabiya, “I don't feel threatened by them because I think there's a mutual respect.”
...Muhaysini is indeed popular among the Al Qaeda-allied rebels of Syria, and holds considerable sway over the entire region of Idlib. He has appeared in refugee camps to recruit child soldiers, raised millions of dollars for jihadist offensives and granted his blessing to the mass executions of captured Syrian soldiers on the grounds that the captives were kuffar, or blasphemers. The cleric's goal, like that of ISIS, has been to establish an exclusively Sunni state purged of Shia, Druze and Christian citizens of Syria, and run according to a strict interpretation of Islamic law.
Today, Salafi-jihadist leaders refer to Abdul Kareem as their “media man.” But there also was a time when Abdul Kareem was CNN’s media man, as well. It was when Clarissa Ward, the network’s Middle East correspondent, contracted Abdul Kareem to help lead her and her crew into eastern Aleppo and Idlib, both areas under the control of al-Nusra and extremist groups like Ahrar al-Sham that have been responsible for well-documented atrocities. She was on her way to meet the rebels she would later describe as “heroes on the ground.”
...She returned from her journey into rebel-held territory with what amounted to a commercial for the Free Syrian Army, a now-defunct collection of CIA-backed militias, who in her words, “pledge to defend the Syrian people against the Assad regime.”
It was the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship with the Syrian opposition as it evolved into an armed insurgency led by al-Qaeda’s local franchise.
...The New York Times' Ben Hubbard published a sympathetic profile of Abdul Kareem, summarizing him euphemistically as "an American with a point of view and a message." For an accompanying photo, the Times chose a screenshot from a video in which Abdul Kareem rationalized suicide bombing.
...Abdul Kareem never attempted to conceal his sectarian agenda. As AlterNet documented, he once praised the late al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and openly questioned whether Shia are actually Muslim. In his friendly sit-down with Abdul Razzaq al-Mahdi, Abdul Kareem introduced the extremist preacher who has called for the genocide of Syria’s minority sects as a religious expert who “specializes in understanding the Shia ideology.”
...At the U.N., Ward was seated beside Sahloul and Attar, and repeatedly heaped praise on the two opposition activists. She lashed out at the “international community” for “wringing their hands on the sidelines while homes, hospitals and bakeries and schools were bombed,” an apparent plea for military intervention against the Syrian government.
Her jeremiad might have been straightforward advocacy, but its content was well in line with her network’s editorial agenda, which has encouraged primetime personalities like Jake Tapper and Arwa Damon to also make the case for attacking Syria.
Ward’s speech crested with a tribute to Salafi-jihadist insurgent groups like al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham.
Whitewashing rebel atrocities, attacking critics
...During her U.N. testimony, Ward slipped in a bizarre reference to the rebels who had been transferred by bus from territory they lost to other zones of opposition control in accordance with internationally brokered agreements.
“Many of them are loaded onto buses and never see the light of day again,” she claimed, falsely suggesting that the so-called “green buses” common to such transfer deals were a one-way ticket to slaughter.
There was, in fact, one incident where such a gruesome scenario took place during a population transfer agreement. But it did not fit the regime change narrative propagated by CNN, so Ward and her colleagues did their best to gloss over it.
On April 15, a suicide bomber affiliated with the armed opposition attacked a convoy of buses evacuating civilians from Shia-majority villages that had been besieged for years by rebels led by al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham. When the bomber arrived, he had reportedly dangled bags of potato chips from his truck to lure hungry children toward him. Over 100 evacuees were killed in the blast, including 80 children.
The massacre in Rashidin was one of the most obscene atrocities of the Syrian civil war. But Assad and his forces were not responsible. Indeed, the killers were the very men Ward had celebrated before the U.N. as “heroes on the ground."
CNN covered the incident in a single brief report, with correspondent Nick Patton Walsh downplaying the atrocity as a "hiccup."
...Since the beginning of Syria’s civil war, CNN has virtually ignored the experiences of those who live in constant fear of the U.S. and Gulf-backed rebels that Ward branded as "heroes."
In her apparent zeal for access, Clarissa Ward solicited a working partnership with one of al-Qaeda’s top propagandists in Syria, Bilal Abdul Kareem. Having reaped the benefits of its star correspondent’s partnership with a jihadist “media man,” CNN now seeks to erase their affiliation altogether.