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Is Muhammad Movie a Contrived Fraud?

Is Muhammad Movie a Contrived Fraud?

Bizarre story behind film that supposedly sparked middle east unrest

Paul Joseph Watson

An anti-Muslim film that has been blamed for the attacks on U.S. embassies in Egypt, Libya and Yemen is likely a contrived fraud designed to stir up unrest in the Middle East while shielding the true reasons behind the murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens.

A trailer for the film, entitled The Innocence of Muslims, has been on You Tube for over two months. Despite the alleged film maker’s claim that the movie was funded by rich Jewish donors to the tune of $5 million dollars, it has all the quality of a low budget film school project. The trailer has now been banned in several middle eastern countries, including Egypt and Afghanistan.

Indeed, the full film itself may not even exist, a doubt that has also been shared about the existence of its shadowy director Sam Bacile, who told the Associated Press this week that he was a 56-year-old “Israeli Jew” who lives in California, despite telling actors on set that he is Egyptian, while others have claimed he is an American.

Bacile claims he made the film to illustrate how “Islam is a cancer, period.”

However, numerous authorities have failed in attempting to locate a ‘Sam Bacile’ residing in California. Bacile is likely a pseudonym for the only real person who has been positively connected with the movie – Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a 55-year-old Coptic Christian living in California who was convicted for federal bank fraud in 2010.

The movie itself – or the 14 minutes of it which have been released – is also highly suspect. Actors involved in filming were told “they were appearing in a film about the life of a generic Egyptian 2,000 years ago.” Following the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, all 80 cast members put out a joint statement stating that they were misled by the producer.

“The entire cast and crew are extremely upset and feel taken advantage of by the producer. We are 100% not behind this film and were grossly misled about its intent and purpose,” the statement says. “We are shocked by the drastic re-writes of the script and lies that were told to all involved. We are deeply saddened by the tragedies that have occurred.”

The film has been purposely dubbed and edited to elicit maximum outrage from Muslims. The Prophet Muhammad is depicted as a pedophile, a homosexual, a religious phony, a philanderer, a womanizer and a bloodthirsty dictator.

During dialogue, the actors words have been crudely dubbed to include references to Muhammad that were not in the original script.

As Cindy Lee Garcia, an actress involved in the movie, told Gawker, “In the script and during the shooting, nothing indicated the controversial nature of the final product. Muhammed wasn’t even called Muhammed; he was “Master George.”

“The words Muhammed were dubbed over in post-production, as were essentially all other offensive references to Islam and Muhammed,” writes Adrian Chen.

For example, at 9:03 in the trailer, the words “Is your Muhammed a child molester?” are heard, yet the actress’ voice has been dubbed as her lips do not form the word “Muhammed”.

As the Christian Science Monitor summarizes, the film looks like, “it could have been ginned up by someone sitting a basement with cheap dubbing software.”

Everything about the movie suggests it was a contrived fraud to artificially manufacture unrest in the middle east at a time where speculation that the U.S. and Israel are about to launch military interventions in Iran and Syria is rife.

The amateurish nature of the film may be a ruse to deflect suspicion away from its true purpose and the real identities of its creators.

“Those sniffing the air properly smell some sort of intelligence/influence operation in the whole situation,” writes Daniel McAdams, comparing the film to Kony 2012. “A purposely bad cover for what happened in Benghazi yesterday? A badly done attempted cover for what happened yesterday? Arabs — even Muslim Brotherhood — looking to score points by blaming “wealthy Jews” for making the film? A power struggle between Islamist factions in Egypt? Israelis attempting to make it look like Arabs made a crudely anti-Semitic cover story for a crude film?”

What’s known for sure is the fact that the establishment media has seized upon the movie as an excuse to explain away the attacks on the embassies in Cairo and Benghazi as just another instance of extremist Muslims getting riled up over nothing in particular.

Subsequent reports confirmed that the attacks were coordinated well in advance of the release of the Arabic version of the trailer this week and had nothing to do with the film, but the media immediately ran with that narrative.

This conveniently disguises the true narrative behind the attacks, which is the fact that the United States and other NATO powers are seeing their chickens come home to roost having armed and empowered Al-Qaeda affiliated Islamic extremists in pursuit of regime change, most notably in Libya where the removal of Gaddafi was achieved via NATO’s support for the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group – which is listed as a terrorist organization by the State Department and was responsible for killing U.S. troops in Iraq.

Given that these same militants are now being used by Gulf states and NATO powers in a bid to topple President Bashar Al-Assad in Syria, their connection to the embassy attacks must be downplayed. This was evident when NATO stooge Ali Aujali, Libya’s Ambassador to Washington, ludicrously claimed that Gaddafi loyalists were responsible for killing Ambassador Stevens.

With embassies in Yemen, Tunisia and other countries now coming under siege, the mass media’s promotion of what would otherwise have been an obscure, ineffectual and downright laughable 14 minute You Tube trailer has now created a crisis that threatens the stability of the entire region.

The bizarre circumstances behind The Innocence of Muslims, its shadowy creators and the deliberate attempt to manipulate the film to offend Muslims clearly suggests that the whole farce was a contrived set-up to inflame tensions in order to justify an acceleration of U.S., Israeli and NATO aggression across the Middle East and North Africa.

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Race-Based Hate

FBI: Hate Crimes Target Blacks In 70 Percent Of Race-Based Cases
Hate Crimes

Blacks were the group most likely to be the targets of race-based hate crimes, according to a new federal report.

The report, compiled by the FBI’s civil rights division, found that the large majority of racial bias crimes were “motivated by anti-black bias.” Latinos were the targets of 66 percent of all hate crimes motivated by ethnicity or national origin. Jews were the targets of most crimes against religious groups, and most crimes against a particular sexual orientation or gender were motivated by “anti-homosexual male bias.”

The number of hate crimes remained essentially flat between 2009 and 2010. There were 6,628 hate crimes reported in 2010, up very slightly from 6,604 in 2009. About 47 percent of all the reported hate crimes were racially motivated, with 20 percent motivated by religion, 19.3 percent motivated by sexual orientation, and 12.8 percent motivated by nationality.

“Almost a fourth of our 2010 civil rights caseload involved crimes motivated by a particular bias against the victim,
” said Eric Thomas, the bureau’s civil rights chief in Washington. “We frequently worked these cases with state and local law enforcement to ensure that justice was done–whether at the state level or at the federal level.”

The FBI said that because of the James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act, the bureau is making some changes to collect more information for bias crimes against a particular gender or gender identity and for crimes in which juveniles are targets. The law, which was signed by President Obama in 2009 and was meant to bolster and expand existing hate crimes laws. It is named after two of the most high profile victims of hate crimes in recent memory. Shepard was a college student who died in 1998 after being tortured and tied to a fence for being gay. That same year, Byrd, a black man in rural Texas was killed after being dragged behind a pickup truck for miles by a group of white supremacists. At the time of their killings, there were no hate crime laws in many states.


Video ,Deryl Dedmon Leaves The Courtroom In Jackson , Miss. , Pool) , Sept. 30 , After Entering a “Not Guilty” Plea Before Hinds County Circuit Judge Jeff Weill , Friday , On a Capital Murder Indictment. Dedmon Is Charged With Running Down James Craig Anderson On June 26 With a Pickup In What Authorities Say Was a Hate Crime.


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Man jailed for recording “suicide by cop”

A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but Narces Benoit’s decision to videotape a shooting by Miami police landed him in jail after officers smashed his cell-phone camera.

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It was 4am on May 30 when Benoit and his girlfriend Erika Davis saw officers firing dozens of bullets into a car driven by Raymond Herisse, a suspect who hit a police officer and other vehicles while driving recklessly. Herisse died in the hail of lead, and four bystanders also suffered gunshot wounds, the Miami Herald newspaper reported.

Police noticed the man filming the shooting and an officer jumped into his truck, and put a pistol to his head, Benoit said. The video shows officers crowding around Herisse’s vehicle before opening fire, followed by indistinguishable yelling at onlookers, including Benoit, to stop filming.

The cop yelled: “Wanna be a [expletive] paparazzi?” Benoit recounted in a TV interview.

“My phone was smashed, he stepped on it, handcuffed me,
” the 35-year-old car stereo technician told CNN.
Despite his phone being destroyed, Benoit was able to save the footage by taking the memory card out of the device and putting it in his mouth before handing it over to police, he said, adding that officers smashed several other cameras in the chaos which followed the shooting..

Legal issues

“There are two questions at play here that need to be separated,
” said Eugene Volokh, a professor of law at the University of California. “One is: to what extent is it illegal to record officers doing their duties? And secondly, did the police destroy someone’s property and evidence?”

“Whether or not the recording was illegal, the police conduct as alleged would be illegal in any case
,” Volokh told Al Jazeera. In Florida, it is legal to record conversations, unless the conversation is “confidential”, which this public altercation likely was not, Volokh said.

After having his phone smashed, and being taken to a police station to be photographed, Benoit was summoned to appear before the state attorney on June 3 with “any and all video and all corresponding audio recorded on May 30 that captured incidents occurring [sic] prior to, during and after a police-involved shooting”, according to court documents.

Benoit and Davis have hired a lawyer. The couple stopped giving interviews soon after the incident, Reese Harvey, their attorney, told Al Jazeera. Harvey also declined to comment about the couple’s possible plans for legal action against the Miami police.

The incident is the latest in a series of debacles involving citizens using mobile phones to record police actions.

“The impact of citizen recording of police brutality, or activity in general goes back at least 20 years to the LA riots,”
said James Hughes, executive director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, a research organisation. “It increasingly raises questions about surveillance; whether surveillance from citizens can put a check on power,” he told Al Jazeera.

Sparked by video of police beating Rodney King, in what many saw as an example of institutionalised racism, the 1992 Los Angeles riots left more than 50 people dead and caused about $1bn in property damage.

“As almost everyone in the US has a cameraphone at this point, it’s very common to have any kind of police activity in a crowded setting recorded by citizens, usually from multiple angles,” said Jamais Cascio, a research fellow at the Institute for the Future. “These kinds of events are unusual and people will want to show friends and family, and, increasingly, because people are learning that it can be important to have evidence of police misconduct.”

And, with the spread of easily accessible recording technology, US security forces are being joined by counter-parts around the globe in being concerned about mobile technologies.

“Echoes of Rodney King in Karachi and Miami”, was the headline of a New York Times blog, analysing a recent case from Pakistan, where a television journalist recorded security forces killing Sarfraz Shah, an apparently unarmed teenager. The video sparked protests across the country.

Speaking about the recent case in Florida, Police Chief Carlos Noriega told the Miami Herald that the couple’s allegations were the first he’d heard of officers allegedly threatening people or destroying cameras or mobile phones.

“It was quite a chaotic scene,” the chief said of the late night shooting. “We were trying to figure out who was who and it was a difficult process. Not once did I see cameras being taken or smashed,” he said, adding that Benoit’s video is evidence which could help investigators.

The incremental erosion of our rights have been intentional. In fact, there has been a so-called Police State Roadmapwhich has served as guidance.

Technology ‘outpacing’ laws

While visual evidence, through government surveillance cameras and individuals’ phones, can help make prosecutions, police unions and likeminded groups argue that police officers might second-guess themselves if they know they are being recorded and delay making necessary decisions. There are also arguments about privacy; mainly that conversations between private individuals and security forces should not be recorded by third parties.

And even though Eugene Volokh and other legal experts believe recording public police activities isn’t a crime in Florida, that doesn’t mean police are happy about it.

“In the United States, the laws about the recording of police activity vary considerably from state to state. In Massachusetts, for example, existing laws that forbid recording someone without their permission have been extended to prohibit the recording of police. In Illinois, the law now explicitly bans the recording of police,” Cascio told Al Jazeera. “I believe that citizens should have the right to record the actions of officials on duty; Citizens can’t really fight back when they see police misconduct, their only tool is the ability to document the misbehaviour.”

Some experts argue that laws, often designed to deal with audio wiretapping of telephone conversations and now applied to video recordings, are not keeping pace with new technologies. Volokh, however, is not one of those people.

“It isn’t a technical question; it might be a question about basic values,” Volokh, the legal scholar, said. “How much do you value people’s ability to gather the news and how much you value privacy?”

There may be a debate on whether the increasing frequency of security forces, and society in general, being caught on tape is primarily a technological question or an issue of values. But advances in the former may make debates about the latter redundant.

“Efforts to forbid these recordings are ultimately futile. Cameras are becoming smaller, and are able to record and upload video quickly. I’ve seen otherwise normal-looking glasses with built-in cameras,” Cascio said. “The technology is rapidly outpacing any attempt to control it using dated and misapplied laws.”

You can follow Chris Arsenault on twitter @AJEchris

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