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The mysterious “Alice Donovan”: a tale brought to you by the FBI

An apology to our readers for publishing a writer who unknown to us plagiarises and writes under a pseudonym

Alexander Mercouris

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On returning to London from a short trip during the Christmas vacation I became aware of two articles, one in the Washington Post and one by Counterpunch, which have exposed “Alice Donovan”, an individual or entity with a significant publication history, as a person or persons writing under a pseudonym, and as someone who has plagiarised the work of other writers.

A detailed account of who “Alice Donovan” is and of her activities has been provided by Counterpunch, which after being alerted by the Washington Post that she is not what she purports to be has researched her activities exhaustively.

Counterpunch, which has exposed her plagiarism and which has made painstaking but ultimately unsuccessful efforts to establish her identity, published five of her articles.

However various other internet publications have published “Alice Donovan” articles also, and The Duran has published two of them.

Here is what Counterpunch has to say about this

In digging deeper into Donovan’s online presence, we found that she had been published on many other sites, across a political spectrum that runs from right to left: The Duran, Ground Report, GlobalResearchMintPress Newsthe ActivistPostVeterans TodayOp-Ed NewsPopular ResistanceRestoring Liberty and, most prolifically, on  WeAreChange, where her pieces began appearing regularly in June 2016. In total, we identified 28 unique stories under Donovan’s byline on more than a dozen websites. (See below: “Alice Donovan: a Chronological Bibliography.”)

On checking I found that The Duran published two articles by “Alice Donovan”, one on 26th May 2017 on the subject of the US cruise missile attack on Syria, the other on 15th October 2017 on the subject of the situation in Venezuela.

Both are subjects about which “Alice Donovan” has written about extensively on other sites.

Counterpunch has this comment to make about “Alice Donovan’s” articles

Based solely on what we’d just reviewed was there any reason at the time to suspect that Alice Donovan was anything other than what she appeared to be: an occasional contributor of topical stories? Not as far as we could tell. The stories weren’t pro-Russian polemics and they didn’t read like awkward Google-translations of the Russian language. The most controversial thing that could be said about them was that some stories attempted to present a particular Syrian view of the war, a perspective rarely heard in the US media.

That is exactly the same impression the two pieces by “Alice Donovan” published by The Duran made on me when I reviewed them.  There was nothing about the pieces or the way they were submitted to suggest a fictitious individual, and there was nothing about them that made them appear unfit for publication.

As it happens “Alice Donovan’s” first submission to us in May 2017 came with this email, which suggested someone with a real personality and an extensive publication history

Hello,

My name is Alice Donovan and I am an independent writer, blogger, meme maker and activist. I’ve been published in different alternative media outlets including WeAreChange, VeteransToday, CounterPunch, ActivistPost and MintPress News.

I’d like to be published by The Duran so do you need my article?

Best regards,
A

Our internal correspondence shows that we found the submission lacked originality but like Counterpunch we were keen to encourage a new writer with a good publication history.

In this sort of situation there are certain things which need to be done.

The first is to take down “Alice Donovan’s” two pieces, which we have done.

Here I should say that the problem is not with the pieces themselves or that she has chosen to write them under a pseudonym but rather (1) that she deceived us about her use of a pseudonym; and (2) that she is plagiarising the work of other writers.

The second is to thank Counterpunch and indeed the Washington Post for exposing this individual as fictitious and in Counterpunch’s case for exposing her also as a plagiarist.  We are particularly grateful to Counterpunch for their exhaustive research into “Alice Donovan’s” background.

The third is to apologise to our readers for publishing the work of a fictitious individual and a plagiarist, though I would reiterate that there was nothing about the two submissions she sent to us which raised obvious red flags.

Now however comes the most curious part of this strange story.

The Washington Post says it was alerted to “Alice Donovan’s” fictitious identity by no less an agency than the FBI, which supposedly identified her as a Russian intelligence disinformation operation (“a Kremlin troll”) by way of a counter intelligence operation known as “Northern Light”.

The Washington Post does not say what evidence the FBI has for this assertion, but I have to say that I find it extremely difficult to believe.

Though “Alice Donovan’s” pieces take a line which is consistently critical of US foreign policy, they add nothing to the work of scores of hundreds of other bona fide writers who write about the same subjects and of whom exactly the same could be said.

For an intelligence agency to create and sustain the “Alice Donovan” persona for the two years of its existence in order to duplicate badly the work of other writers looks to me like an exercise in utter pointlessness.

Besides “Alice Donovan’s” reach was far too small to make creating her persona and sustaining it for two years worthwhile.  It seems she has only 48 twitter followers.

Even if one allows for gross inefficiency and wastefulness on the part of Russian intelligence this seems just too crazily disproportionate to be believable.

Frankly it seems to me far more likely that behind “Alice Donovan” is an actual person anxious to get published but who feels the need to use a pseudonym, possibly because of the extent to which her work relies on plagiarism.  By contrast I find the claim that an intelligence agency lies behind her altogether too farfetched to be true.

Counterpunch is apparently continuing to investigate the mystery of “Alice Donovan”.  Perhaps more will become known about her in due course.  If so then we too shall update our readers about this strange story, though in the scale of things this has to be treated as a small affair.

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US media suffers panic attack after Mueller fails to deliver on much-anticipated Trump indictment

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

RT

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Important pundits and news networks have served up an impressive display of denials, evasions and on-air strokes after learning that Robert Mueller has ended his probe without issuing a single collusion-related indictment.

The Special Counsel delivered his final report to Attorney General William Barr for review on Friday, with the Justice Department confirming that there will be no further indictments related to the probe. The news dealt a devastating blow to the sensational prophesies of journalists, analysts and entire news networks, who for nearly two years reported ad nauseam that President Donald Trump and his inner circle were just days away from being carted off to prison for conspiring with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Showing true integrity, journalists and television anchors took to Twitter and the airwaves on Friday night to acknowledge that the media severely misreported Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, as well as what Mueller’s probe was likely to find. They are, after all, true professionals.

“How could they let Trump off the hook?” an inconsolable Chris Matthews asked NBC reporter Ken Dilanian during a segment on CNN’s ‘Hardball’.

Dilanian tried to comfort the CNN host with some of his signature NBC punditry.

“My only conclusion is that the president transmitted to Mueller that he would take the Fifth. He would never talk to him and therefore, Mueller decided it wasn’t worth the subpoena fight,” he expertly mused.

Actually, there were several Serious Journalists who used their unsurpassed analytical abilities to conjure up a reason why Mueller didn’t throw the book at Trump, even though the president is clearly a Putin puppet.

“It’s certainly possible that Trump may emerge from this better than many anticipated. However! Consensus has been that Mueller would follow DOJ rules and not indict a sitting president. I.e. it’s also possible his report could be very bad for Trump, despite ‘no more indictments,'” concluded Mark Follman, national affairs editor at Mother Jones, who presumably, and very sadly, was not being facetious.

Revered news organs were quick to artfully modify their expectations regarding Mueller’s findings.

“What is collusion and why is Robert Mueller unlikely to mention it in his report on Trump and Russia?” a Newsweek headline asked following Friday’s tragic announcement.

Three months earlier, Newsweek had meticulously documented all the terrible “collusion” committed by Donald Trump and his inner circle.

But perhaps the most sobering reactions to the no-indictment news came from those who seemed completely unfazed by the fact that Mueller’s investigation, aimed at uncovering a criminal conspiracy between Trump and the Kremlin, ended without digging up a single case of “collusion.”

The denials, evasions and bizarre hot takes are made even more poignant by the fact that just days ago, there was still serious talk about Trump’s entire family being hauled off to prison.

“You can’t blame MSNBC viewers for being confused. They largely kept dissenters from their Trump/Russia spy tale off the air for 2 years. As recently as 2 weeks ago, they had @JohnBrennan strongly suggesting Mueller would indict Trump family members on collusion as his last act,” journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted.

While the Mueller report has yet to be released to the public, the lack of indictments makes it clear that whatever was found, nothing came close to the vast criminal conspiracy alleged by virtually the entire American media establishment.

“You have been lied to for 2 years by the MSM. No Russian collusion by Trump or anyone else. Who lied? Head of the CIA, NSA,FBI,DOJ, every pundit every anchor. All lies,” wrote conservative activist Chuck Woolery.

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom was more blunt, but said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

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Canadian Lawmaker Accuses Trudeau Of Being A “Fake Feminist” (Video)

Rempel segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career

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Via Zerohedge

Canada’s feminist-in-chief Justin Trudeau wants to support and empower women…but his support stops at the point where said women start creating problems for his political agenda.

That was the criticism levied against the prime minister on Friday by a conservative lawmaker, who took the PM to task for “muzzling strong, principled women” during a debate in the House of Commons.

“He asked for strong women, and this is what they look like!” said conservative MP Michelle Rempel, referring to the former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould, who has accused Trudeau and his cronies of pushing her out of the cabinet after she refused to grant a deferred prosecution agreement to a Quebec-based engineering firm.

She then accused Trudeau of being a “fake feminist”.

“That’s not what a feminist looks like…Every day that he refuses to allow the attorney general to testify and tell her story is another day he’s a fake feminist!”

Trudeau was so taken aback by Rempel’s tirade, that he apparently forgot which language he should respond in.

But Rempel wasn’t finished. She then segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career. This from a man who once objected to the continued use of the word “mankind” (suggesting we use “peoplekind” instead).

The conservative opposition then tried to summon Wilson-Raybould to appear before the Commons for another hearing (during her last appearance, she shared her account of how the PM and employees in the PM’s office and privy council barraged her with demands that she quash the government’s pursuit of SNC-Lavalin over charges that the firm bribed Libyan government officials). Wilson-Raybould left the Trudeau cabinet after she was abruptly moved to a different ministerial post – a move that was widely seen as a demotion.

Trudeau has acknowledged that he put in a good word on the firm’s behalf with Wilson-Raybould, but insists that he always maintained the final decision on the case was hers and hers alone.

Fortunately for Canadians who agree with Rempel, it’s very possible that Trudeau – who has so far resisted calls to resign – won’t be in power much longer, as the scandal has cost Trudeau’s liberals the lead in the polls for the October election.

 

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Why Joe May be Courting Stacey

Joe Biden has a history on compulsory integration dating back to the 1970s that Sen. Jesse Helms called “enlightened.”

Patrick J. Buchanan

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Authored by Patrick Buchanan via The Unz Review:


Of 895 slots in the freshman class of Stuyvesant High in New York City, seven were offered this year to black students, down from 10 last year and 13 the year before.

In the freshman class of 803 at The Bronx High School of Science, 12 students are black, down from last year’s 25.

Of 303 students admitted to Staten Island Technical High School, one is African-American.

According to The New York Times, similar patterns of admission apply at the other five most elite high schools in the city.

Whites and Asians are 30 percent of middle school students, but 83 percent of the freshman at Bronx High School of Science, 88 percent at Staten Island Technical and 90 percent at Stuyvesant.

What do these numbers tell us?

They reveal the racial composition of the cohort of scientists and technicians who will lead America in the 21st century. And they tell us which races will not be well represented in that vanguard.

They identify a fault line that runs through the Democratic Party, separating leftists who believe in equality of results for all races and ethnic groups, and those who believe in a meritocracy.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has expressed anger and frustration at the under-representation of blacks and Hispanics in the elite schools. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature have ignored his pleas to change the way students are admitted.

Currently, the same test, of English and math, is given to middle school applicants. And admission to the elite eight is offered to those who get the highest scores.

Moreover, Asians, not whites, are predominant.

Though 15 percent of all middle school students, Asians make up two-thirds of the student body at Stuyvesant, with 80 times as many slots as their African-American classmates.

The egalitarian wing of the Democratic Party sees this as inherently unjust. And what gives this issue national import are these factors:

First, the recent scandal where rich parents paid huge bribes to criminal consultants to get their kids into elite colleges, by falsifying records of athletic achievement and cheating on Scholastic Aptitude Tests, has caused a wave of populist resentment.

Second, Harvard is being sued for systemic reverse racism, as black and Hispanic students are admitted with test scores hundreds of points below those that would disqualify Asians and whites.

Third, Joe Biden has a history on compulsory integration dating back to the 1970s that Sen. Jesse Helms called “enlightened.”

Here are Biden’s quotes, unearthed by The Washington Post, that reflect his beliefs about forced busing for racial balance in public schools:

“The new integration plans being offered are really just quota systems to assure a certain number of blacks, Chicanos, or whatever in each school. That, to me, is the most racist concept you can come up with.

“What it says is, ‘In order for your child with curly black hair, brown eyes, and dark skin to be able to learn anything, he needs to sit next to my blond-haired, blue-eyed son.’ That’s racist!

“Who the hell do we think we are, that the only way a black man or woman can learn is if they rub shoulders with my white child?

“I am philosophically opposed to quota systems. They insure mediocrity.”

That was 44 years ago. While those views were the thinking of many Democrats, and perhaps of most Americans, in the mid-’70s, they will be problematic in the 2020 primaries, where African-Americans could be decisive in the contests that follow Iowa and New Hampshire.

Biden knows that just as Bernie Sanders, another white male, fell short in crucial South Carolina because of a lack of support among black voters, he, too, has a problem with that most loyal element in the Democratic coalition.

In 1991, Biden failed to rise to the defense of Anita Hill when she charged future Justice Clarence Thomas with sexual harassment. In the Senate Judiciary Committee, he was a law-and-order champion responsible for tough anti-crime legislation that is now regarded as discriminatory.

And he has a record on busing for racial balance that made him a de facto ally of Louise Day Hicks of the Boston busing case fame.

How, with a record like this, does Biden inoculate himself against attacks by rival candidates, especially candidates of color, in his run for the nomination?

One way would be to signal to his party that he has grown, he has changed, and his 2020 running mate will be a person of color. Perhaps he’ll run with a woman of color such as Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost the 2018 governor’s race in Georgia.

An ancillary benefit would be that Abrams on the ticket would help him carry Georgia, a state Donald Trump probably cannot lose and win re-election.

Wrote Axios this morning:

“Close advisers to former Vice President Joe Biden are debating the idea of packaging his presidential campaign announcement with a pledge to choose Stacey Abrams as his vice president.”


Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

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