Friday, August 14, 2009

HuffPost's Protection Of Blood Libels Against The U.S. Military


A Special Report by Huff-Watch --- June 2009:




Starting on May 28, 2009, a Huff-Watch operative, "DavidInHartford," observed and documented the following:
  1. Huffington Post ("HuffPost") was repeatedly reviewing, approving and deciding to publish comments by an obsessive* user, "rich_misty," containing outrageous blood libels against American soldiers. This was occurring all over HuffPost's top news threads --- where the vast majority of its users and moderators are focused at any given time --- regardless of the topics of these threads (a violation of HuffPost's policies regarding "off-topic" comments).
    (*On May 27-28 alone, HuffPost allowed "rich_misty" to post approximately 500 "comments" over 28 straight hours --- an average of one comment every three minutes)

  2. Towards this end, HuffPost repeatedly allowed "rich_misty" to:
    (a) Post comments alleging that American soldiers, as a matter of "standard operating procedure," routinely engage in the sexual torture and murder of Muslim women and children
    (b) Post
    a link to a website (right) that he alleged contains explicit photos of American soldiers committing these crimes --- which he insistently claimed "are real"

  3. On May 28, 2009, after observing "rich_misty's" comments and becoming skeptical of his claims, "DavidInHartford" conducted a minimal amount of basic research, through which he determined the following:
    (a) That
    the photos are
    fakes; they depict male figures in U.S. military-style uniforms sexually attacking olive-skinned women --- but they are not American soldiers (more)
    (b) That the site hosting these photos contains vicious anti-U.S. military and anti-Semitic hate, libels and propaganda.

  4. On May 28 and 30, in response to "rich_misty's" blood libels against American soldiers, "DavidInHartford" repeatedly attempted to post evidence containing the truth. In all but one instance, however, HuffPost repeatedly either:
    (a) Refused to publish DavidInHartford's comments
    (b) Removed his comments shortly after they were published

  5. In contrast, HuffPost continued to review, approve and publish "rich_misty's" abusive comments, and obsessive anti-U.S. military propaganda, in near real-time, 24-7. It also permitted him to repeatedly attack any user who expressed a conservative viewpoint on any subject, on any news thread (regardless of the topic), as being supportive of, aroused by, or a perpetrator of "kiddie sex torture."

  6. Despite the fact that his acts were gross violations of its Comment Policy and Terms of Service, HuffPost allowed "rich_misty" to essentially "live" on its site 24-7, engaging in this behavior.

  7. Even though "rich_misty" explicitly asked HuffPost to ban him, it refused to do so. Instead, HuffPost banned "DavidInHartford" and other users who stood up to "rich_misty," primarily by:
    (a) Challenging his sanity
    (b) Accusing him of being a paid or volunteer anti-U.S. military propagandist
    (c) Demanding that he post proof of his libels against American soldiers, and against them, personally

  8. "Rich_misty" apparently felt so protected on HuffPost that he began:
    (a) "Flagging"* other users who dared to disagree with him (*alerting HuffPost to review their posts, as being potential violations of its policies)
    (b) Bragging when these users were banned, claiming that "they got what they deserved"
    (c) Claiming that HuffPost "watches my back" (which he described as protecting him)

  9. As a result of HuffPost's enabling and protection of "rich_misty," other users became convinced that his allegations --- and the site to which he repeatedly linked --- are legitimate, and began to repeatedly post them (on HuffPost, and possibly beyond).

  10. HuffPost continues to review, approve and publish "rich_misty's" obsessive, hateful, libelous comments 24-7, as of this date. He now averages 220 comments per day (one comment every four minutes for 16 hours straight, on average).
April 2010 update: HuffPost has now made "rich_misty" a Moderator, in charge of determining which users are "abusive," and helping to get others banned (screencap).

May 2011 update: HuffPost has now allowed "rich_misty" to accumulate over 77,000 comments:

This report documents in extreme detail the physical evidence that supports these very serious accusations.

Those who care about the members of America's armed forces and our national security are encouraged to review this report in detail, and participate in the Action Items suggested in Part 5. Because if HuffPost's acts are not publicly exposed and opposed --- particularly given its rapidly-increasing user base*, its cultural and political influence*, and its growing linkages to the Muslim world* --- this situation may well end up in tragedy... if it hasn't already.

(*See "Fast Facts About HuffPost")

See detailed background information below, or continue to Part 2: The May 28 Encounter With "Rich Misty"


(1) Background: What is a "blood libel"?


Most people are familiar with the term "libel." Nolo defines it as "
An untruthful statement about a person, published in writing or through broadcast media, that injures the person's reputation or standing in the community."

Most people, however, have never heard the term "blood libel" --- even though the concept stretches back thousands of years. In summary, a blood libel is an untrue accusation against a group (most frequently Jews) of so vicious and incendiary a nature that it often incites those who sympathize or identify with the fictitious "victims" (usually women and children) to lash out with savage violence.

* * *

Rape has been called "the oldest war crime," with good reason. T
yrannical governments through time have systematically used rape as "standard operating procedure" within their military forces, for the purpose of repressing, intimidating and humiliating anyone they identify as an "enemy."

Despite the rantings of anti-U.S. military propagandists, both outside and within our borders, America has never ordered or condoned such crimes as a matter of policy.
To the contrary, the U.S. Department of Defense has gone to great lengths to prevent such crimes from being committed by those who wear America's uniforms. Despite this, a miniscule minority (far smaller than in America, in general) of our soldiers commit rape and other sexual crimes anyway. Yet unlike in many nations, American soldiers accused of rape, particularly against civilians in wartime, face extremely severe punishments.

Those who are familiar with the U.S. military know that it has the highest standards for decency, honor and compassion of any fighting force in the world. To maintain this reputation, legions of trainers, lawyers and policy-makers work diligently to root out and punish those who commit crimes while wearing America's uniforms --- especially crimes as serious and humiliating as rape.

* * *

Unfortunately, due to the revelation of isolated sexual crimes being perpetrated by a handful of American soldiers against Iraqi civilians and detainees --- which were breathlessly reported and re-reported by the news media --- certain dedicated anti-U.S. military propagandists have initiated campaigns based on the false claim that our soldiers engage in these reprehensible acts as a matter of "standard operating procedure."

These individuals, many of whom are aligned with radical Islamist groups dedicated to this purpose, generate fake accounts and "evidence" to validate this blood libel. And no blood libel is more serious or deadly in the Islamic world than the claim that "infidels" are systematically raping Muslim women and children, in an effort to humiliate and force their nations or tribes into submission. It is for this reason that their accusations, repeated often enough, can lead to violence against American soldiers who have committed no crimes.

This report documents the fact that:
(1) This blood libel was not only propagated by a commenter at --- now one of the world's most popular "news" websites

(2) actively prevented the truth behind this blood libel from being revealed, and protected the user who was espousing it, 24-7


(2) Five vital facts to keep in mind as you review this report


(1) HuffPost's actions, as documented in this report, are exactly what feeds into cases of "Sudden Jihad Syndrome." Did its actions in regards to "rich_misty" lead directly to the murder of a U.S. soldier in Arkansas?

June 1, 2009, an American who recently converted to Islam murdered a U.S. Army Recruiter in Arkansas by. His explanation was that he had developed a "hatred" of the U.S. military, and, according to prosecutors...
Muhammad was targeting U.S. soldiers "because of what they had done to Muslims in the past"
This murder was perpetrated 4 days after the events documented in this report occurred.

It is unknown whether this crime was the direct or indirect result of blood libels against American soldiers being published on major websites, such as HuffPost.

What is known, however, is that the Internet has become the primary medium through which radical Islamists (Muslim supremacists) and jihadists spread and reinforce their propaganda --- including their incendiary blood libels (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). Al Qaeda even has its own Web propaganda division.

What is also known is that one of these groups' missions is to infiltrate Western websites to spread their messages of hate
, in order to demoralize and undermine their nations' efforts to combat militant and cultural Islamism (1, 2, 3, 4).

It is unquestionable that vicious blood libels against American soldiers, based on fabricated photos, supposedly depicting them sexually torturing Muslim women and children as part of their "standard operating procedure," can only help incite radical Islamists to perpetrate violence.

Although earlier incidents of vicious libels against American soldiers have harmed and endangered them (1, 2, 3), it is well-known that photos are often uniquely incendiary, and may push some who harbor hate over the edge. As Islamic author-researcher Robert Spencer noted:
Some analysts have opined that Muhammad (the perpetrator of the Arkansas shootings) was committing what has been described as “sudden jihad syndrome” – that is, something made him snap, and his murder was unpremeditated. However, Fox News reported Tuesday night that Muhammad was not acting alone. His act was part of a larger jihad plot to attack military personnel.

(Note: The term "sudden jihad syndrome" is thought to have been first coined by Dr. Daniel Pipes, one of the world's foremost experts on radical Islam)

For a prominent American political website to knowingly* allow such blood libels (and links to hate-sites) against American soldiers to be posted on its pages can only be classified as shameful. For such a site to actively suppress efforts to reveal the truth behind these blood libels is unfathomable to those with a modicum of patriotism, or appreciation of justice.
(*See Sections 4 and 5, below)

Yet the evidence contained in this report demonstrates that this is, in fact, exactly what happened on HuffPost --- and is, to some extent, still happening.

135,000 of HuffPost's unique monthly visitors originate in Iran and Pakistan. What would motivate people in two of the world's primary incubators of jihadist terror to visit HuffPost? Could it be to participate in the cyber-jihad? And is "rich_misty" a cyber-jihadi?

According to Alexa, a Web traffic monitoring service, an estimated 135,000 of HuffPost's unique monthly visitors reside in Iran and Pakistan (
documented in Sections 4 - 4.3 here) --- two of the nations most responsible for fomenting, supporting and exporting Islamist terrorism around the world. What could attract these individuals to an American news and blog site? The next section may provide an indication.

(3) HuffPost repeatedly frames "news" stories concerning the Middle East in ways that can only serve to incite hate against the U.S. military, Israel and Jews.

Despite its claims that it presents "news" in a nonpartisan fashion (see Myth #1 here),
HuffPost has repeatedly framed stories concerning Middle Eastern affairs using biased, inflammatory headlines and headline imagery, which collectively incite unfairly anti-U.S. military and anti-Israel perceptions. Examples: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. In numerous instances, HuffPost has also featured top-line stories from terrorist-friendly "news" entities, including the notorious al Jazeera (which has advertised on HuffPost). Examples: 1, 2, 3.

Contrary to its denials, not a single user comment appears anywhere on HuffPost unless it is reviewed and approved, in advance, by one of its moderators.

HuffPost's Comment Policy claims that it post-moderates user comments on its news threads. This means that (a) all comments are published as and when submitted, and (b) comments that violate its policies are removed after-the-fact, once the site becomes aware of them.

The fact is that since at least March 2008, and to some degree since October 2007, HuffPost has actually been pre-moderating all user comments on its news threads. This means that the only comments that appear on HuffPost's news threads are those that it has reviewed, approved and made the decision to publish.

This fact is documented in detail here --- and was confirmed by Ms. Huffington, the site's co-founder and namesake,
in a July 2008 interview with PoynterOnline (the webzine for the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based journalism school). Ms. Huffington was asked:
(Q) What's been the Huffington Post's biggest mistake and what would you have done differently?

Huffington: From the beginning, I would have established a policy of pre-moderating all comments on the site. We started with pre-moderation only on blog posts, since we felt it was important to provide a civil environment for our bloggers (i.e., one where critical comments would of course be allowed but no ad hominem attacks or name calling). Our comments on the news site were originally post-moderated (i.e., objectionable comments were removed only after our moderators were alerted). We eventually decided that it was worth the substantial effort and expense to have human pre-moderation on both blogs and news.

(5) Contrary to its denials, HuffPost actively protects the worst-of-the-worst violators of its Comment Policy --- including cyber-jihadis --- and censors and bans users who attempt to speak out against or mock them.

HuffPost's Comment Policy and Terms of Service claim (a)
that the site "never censor(s) comments based on political or ideological point of view," and (b) that users who submit comments that breach the following rules are subject to censoring and, in persistent cases, banning:
"Are abusive or off-topic; include ad hominem attacks; contain slurs; thread spamming (posting the same comment elsewhere on the site); publish(ing) falsehoods or misrepresentations that could damage... any third party; submit(ting) material that is... obscene, defamatory, libelous... pornographic, harassing, hateful, racially or ethnically offensive... or is otherwise inappropriate."

Yet as is documented in this report, no matter how often or egregiously "rich_misty" violates HuffPost's policies, it will not ban, or even censor him. This is in sharp contrast to the fact that as in the case of "DavidInHartford," HuffPost has censored and banned users who dare to challenge or mock "rich_misty" and other such users, often within minutes (see Part 4).

Also, see
HuffPost's protection of the most egregious violators of its "policies" --- and its banning of non-violators, on a minute-to-minute basis

Note: The following materials, written by "DavidInHartford," have been edited for length and clarity, and supplemented with links to supporting documentation.


(3) Lead-up to the encounter with "rich_misty" --- and HuffPost's suppression of the truth regarding his blood libels against the U.S. military


By "DavidInHartford"

At 5:05am EST on May 28, 2009, I observed that HuffPost's top news thread was
"Some Abortion Rights Backers Show Unease Over Sotomayor"

As I was interested in this story, I clicked upon the headline, read the piece, then scrolled down to see what user comments had been posted. Upon seeing them, I was stunned in two regards:
(1) Because so many of the comments had absolutely nothing to do with the topic of the thread

(2) Because HuffPost had approved one user, "rich_misty," to post the following on this thread --- which cascaded into numerous replies, occupying a good portion of the page:
rich misty
I have been over on the GOP torture, rape, and child molestation thread.
These links are not for the squeemish, not that I worry about the posters here.
Posted 03:09 AM on 05/28/2009

rich misty
Conservatism is a criminal ideology and it is very very wrong for America.
Posted 04:55 AM on 05/28/2009

Upon clicking on "rich_misty's" comment history, I observed that over the past eight hours alone, HuffPost had permitted him to put up comments including the following:
rich misty [...]
Posted 11:57 PM on 05/27/2009

rich misty
They* raped children and videotaped while restraining their mothers.
Posted 12:06 AM on 05/28/2009

(*Ed.:"They" refers to American soldiers)

rich misty
We have been expecting you. We have already discussed your defense, and it does not hold water.
Posted 12:55 AM on 05/28/200
rich misty

People were not tortured,
children were not systematically raped under FDR. Posted 01:01 AM on 05/28/2009

rich misty

Posted 01:24 AM on 05/28/2009 rich misty

Republicans are saying that rape, sodomy, child molestation and a host of other preversions are all perfectly legal... For them.
Posted 02:30 AM on 05/28/2009

rich misty

The problem is the photos are all over the place. Some are on the net now..
There are thousands of them, and we will be the last to see them.

Posted 02:46 AM on 05/28/2009

rich misty

It's all true, this is the tip of the iceberg... Videotapped torture kiddie porn is among the material that has not come out in the main stream media yet.
Posted 02:50 AM on 05/28/2009

rich misty

Posted 02:52 AM on 05/28/2009

Clearly, HuffPost was acting in violation of its own "policies" in at least two regards:
  • By repeatedly approving "rich_misty" to post such inflammatory, off-topic content on a news thread discussing the Sotomayor nomination

  • By repeatedly approving "rich_misty" to spam numerous news threads with these posts, over and over again

I decided to take a look at the "aztlan" site that HuffPost allowed "rich_misty" to keep posting links to. The first thing one sees is the following image, titled: "Photos Show Rape Of Iraqi Women By U.S. Occupation Forces" (click to enlarge):

You'll note the very-small red text just beneath the headline. Using Firefox's zoom-in function (Ctrl +), the text reads as follows:

A cursory review revealed that the site contains the following quotes, at the very top of the front page, and those in near-proximity:
"Even today, naive Latinas who join the US Armed Forces are being brutalized and raped by racist Jews and white military personnel. They are being recruited for the exclusive enjoyment of depraved US Jewish... military personnel."

"...many in Aztlan do not consider the stupid jock Pat Tillman a hero. He was, for us, just another "white (or Jewish) rapist..."

"Please do not follow the example of Congressowman Loretta Sanchez of Orange County, California who shamelessly partied with the Jewish pornographer Hugh Hefner at the PlayBoy Mansion?

"PlayGirl Loretta Sanchez has now been instrumental in electing as a congresswoman her "do-nothing sister" Linda Sanchez because apperantly she colluded with certain questionable elements of the Califronia Jewish dominated Democratic Party. We have been witnesses of the Jewish inspired pornographic tactics that Loretta Sanchez utilized during her campaign."

These kinds of vicious anti-U.S. military, anti-Semitic libels caused me to suspect that the graphic photos the site hosts are fakes.

About 10 minutes of research on Google was all it took to reveal that these photos are, in fact, fakes.
hey depict male figures in U.S. military-style uniforms sexually attacking olive-skinned women, whom the site claims are Iraqi civilians --- but they are not American soldiers.

Here is information on "aztlan," and the phenomenon of fake photos such as these:
"The Boston Globe Runs Faked Photos of Rape in Iraq: May, 2004"

"News & Propaganda Sites Originating in the Middle East Mix U.S. Atrocity Photos With Staged Photos Purporting To Show Rape By Occupation Forces"

"Sherrie Gossett: 'Bogus GI Rape Photos Used As Arab Propaganda'"

CAMERA-IRAQ (more here).

"Rape And Rumor: Exploring Allegations That American Soldiers Are Raping Iraqi Women," by Glen Reinsford, The Religion Of Peace, April 14, 2006.

"Papers Run Fake Abuse Photos", by Roger Aronoff, Accuracy In Media, May 31, 2004.

"Fake Photos and Insurgent Imagery," by James Joyner, Outside The Beltway, April 10, 2006.

Further research revealed the true, anti-U.S., anti-Semitic nature of the "aztlan" site:
A Link to Hatred: Web Site Spreads Anti-Semitism Through L.A.'s Latino Community, by By Gustavo Arellano, Jewish Journal, June 28, 2001.

Backgrounder: Nation of Aztlan --- The Nation of Aztlan: In Their Own Words Anti-Defamation League press release (est. 2001).

Gay-Bashing, Jew-Trashing La Voz de Aztlan Rushes to Defend Anti-Semitic KPFK Show, by Gustavo Arellano, Orange County Weekly, March 20, 2009.

A profile of La Voz de Aztlan (The Voice Of Aztlan) by DiscoverTheNetworks

It is unknown whether HuffPost knew before I logged on that the links "rich_misty" was posting constituted blood libels against American soldiers.

What is known, however, is that starting at approximately 5:24am on May 28, when HuffPost reviewed and rejected the first comment I submitted that indicated this was the case, it clearly had reason for suspicion.

Yet in response, for the next hour and a half, HuffPost blocked every substantive comment I submitted in this regard --- while continuing to review, approve and publish "rich_misty's" comments in near real-time, no matter how afoul of its "policies" they clearly were. This occurred even though HuffPost claims in its Comment Policy that the site "never censor(s) comments based on political or ideological viewpoint."


Go to: Part 2: The May 28 Encounter With "Rich Misty"

Or go to other sections:
Part 1: HuffPost's Protection Of Blood Libels Against The U.S. Military
Part 2: The May 28 Encounter With "Rich Misty"
Part 3: The May 30 Encounter With "Rich Misty"
Part 4: HuffPost's continuing protection of "Rich Misty" and his "friends"
Part 5: Addendum and Action Items


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