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By Jenny Goldsberry
Top Pentagon officials knew about the attack Hamid Karzai International Airport about 24 hours before it happened. According to a report from Politico Monday, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin warned world leaders around the world to prepare for an imminent “mass casualty event.” Pakistan’s ISIS K ultimately committed the suicide bombing.
The news organization received detailed notes from three classified phone calls. That Wednesday, at about 4:30 PM in Afghanistan, Austin relayed his concerns.
“I don’t believe people get the incredible amount of risk on the ground,” Austin said then.
Later, at about 12:30 AM in Afghanistan, officials talked about the high risk at Abbey Gate. This was the gate Americans were instructed to gather at to enter the airport. They attempted to close it, but their British allies needed it open for the accelerated evacuation of their personnel. Previously, they had been based out of Baron Hotel.
Politico’s source released these notes much earlier, but the Department of Defense prevented them from publishing them any sooner than Monday.
Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby called it an “unlawful disclosure” in a statement. “As soon as we became aware of the material divulged to the reporter, we engaged Politico at the highest levels to prevent the publication of information that would put our troops and our operations at the airport at greater risk,” Kirby said. “We condemn the unlawful disclosure of classified information and oppose the publication of a story based on it while a dangerous operation is ongoing.”
The White House did not comment to Politico.
Since then, two ISIS K targets were killed in a U.S. counterterrorism operation.
Read the full article here.
You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.
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Facebook, Instagram Employees ‘Censor or Delete’ Protests against Iran
Former and current Facebook and Instagram employees are shedding light onto the “fact checkers” that are censoring vital content such as protests against Iran. “According to a report by BBC Persian, these employees admitted that at all levels of the company, the Iran regime’s influence has infiltrated, leaving biased and pro-regime content monitors to restrict, censor or delete posts about the current protests in Iran” reports The Foreign Desk.
Similar to censorship at the companies in the United States and elsewhere, the behavior is its own political movement. “The actions by these Iranian employees to remove images of the demonstrations in Iran and associated hashtags helps reinforce the Islamic Republic’s argument that the protests are not so widespread.”
According to one of the former employees who had his identity hidden for security purposes, told the BBC Persian in an interview from Germany, that the workers travel back and forth between Europe and Iran. “About 90 percent” of the decision making on censorship is done by these “fact checkers.”
“These are individuals who single-handedly take posts down. According to the source, employees are not allowed to have their personal cellular devices with them at their workstations, so these individuals go to the break room to report a post from their personal phones and then come back to their workstations and address the ‘complaint’ they just created.”
Instagram removed the below post from the @FarashgardFdn becase people chanted “down with Khamenei”.
— Iranian Americans for Liberty (@LibertyIranian) May 16, 2022
The Foreign Desk adds:
In 2019 TELUS International became the third-party company contracted with Instagram and Facebook to become their fact checkers and address complaints from users reporting posts for violent, hateful, or threatening material.
A second source, a former TELUS employee, said approximately 400-500 Iranians work at the company in Germany, a country that is known to have diplomatic and bilateral relations with the Islamic Republic.
The Islamic Republic has learned from the Green Revolution of 2009 to infiltrate Western social media outlets and their parent companies to control the narrative and prevent the international community from siding with anti-regime demonstrators.
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