28 May 2015
Reporting breakthrough: INSURGE's Pentagon-ISIS exclusive makes national headlines in Germany
Last week, my crowdfunded investigative journalism project, INSURGEintelligence, was able to break into the mainstream a story about startling assertions contained in a just released declassified Pentagon intelligence report, confirming that the West, the Gulf states and Turkey had, essentially, created ISIS through their support for Islamist militant rebels in Syria.
The Pentagon report was among a batch of documents obtained under a Freedom of Information lawsuit by Judicial Watch. The implications of this particular document from the US Defense Intelligence Agency, however, had been systematically overlooked or misconstrued by mainstream reporters.
As far as I'm aware, the only journalist to have first noticed those implications was Brad Hoff, managing editor of Levant Report.
My INSURGE report, published here, consists of an in-depth analysis of the document itself, along with interviews with two British intelligence experts familiar with the region, and the Syria question in particular - and contextualisation against my own previous reporting and analysis of the ISIS question.
In the week since publication, the story has received nearly 60,000 views. It has been endorsed by a number of leading intelligence experts and whistleblowers, including: retired FBI Special Agent and TIME Person of the Year, Coleen Rowley; former NSA senior executive Thomas Drake; former US military analyst Daniel Ellsberg who leaked the Pentagon Papers; among others.
But most heartening of all, the story has now fully broken into the mainstream in Germany, making national headlines across several leading daily newspapers and widely-read political magazines, including Junge Welt, Die Welt, News.de, General Anzeiger, FOCUS Online, WAZ (Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung), Hamburger Abendblatt,Ostthuringer Zeitung, and even the German TV news channel, n-TV.
INSURGEintelligence has in one week, and with a shoestring budget, managed to inform millions of people about the hidden dimensions of the current crisis in the Middle East.
This is the power of crowdfunded investigative journalism. My supporters via patreon.com made this possible. So did the brave, independent outlet, Levant Report, where Brad Hoff first quietly dropped news of the document.
Of course, while heartening, we're only scratching the surface of possibility here. With more supporters and a modestly more robust budget, we can, and will, do more. I am still working right now to break this story in the mainstream of English-language media.
With your support, at every level, we can - and will - do more. There's a new model of people-powered watchdog journalism emerging, and we're leading the way. Join us.
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