Natalie Solent

Politics, news, libertarianism, Science Fiction, religion, sewing. You got a problem, bud? I like sewing.

E-mail: nataliesolent-at-aol-dot-com (I assume it's OK to quote senders by name.)

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( 'Nother Solent is this blog's good twin. Same words, searchable archives, RSS feed. Provided by a benefactor, to whom thanks.
I also sometimes write for Samizdata and Biased BBC.)

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Sunday, March 20, 2005
Same person or not? Bjørn Stærk has been following the career of Mullah Krekar, a refugee living in Norway and much feted by Norweigan progressives, for several years now. He may or may not be a past or current leader of the terrorist organisation Ansar al-Islam. Trevor Stanley spotted a picture that looked awfully like the respectable Mullah Krekar in a magazine article about information discovered on the drive of an Al-Qaeda computer after the fall of the Taliban. Is the central picture of the same man as in the two framing pictures or not?

The question is not rhetorical. To me the space between the Al-Qaeda man's eyes looks wider than the space between Krekar's. But that could be the lighting.

Also check out the post below, in which Mr Stærk takes on a major Norweigian newspaper and gets a fine display of evasiveness and deliberate missing of the point in return.

Oh, boy. Also also check out this post in which he takes on a blogger, Bernhard of 'Moon of Alabama', who posted a genuine-looking fake news story, which he admits to be fake, admits could mislead, and of which he says:

If people are mislead by this it's fine with me. Maybe they will ask their government who pays for these aids. That should be helpful to find out who has the moral responsibility for the disinformation terror campaign.
The story has been pre-emptively defined as "satire" despite an entirely naturalistic presentation. There is a lot of tittering about how poor foreign Bjørn does not get American humour; good ol' Bernhard is always doing this sort of thing and all his friends are in on the joke. Bernhard and his defenders don't see it as a problem that people casually finding the story via Google would be misled, as has, in fact happened: the story is circulating in Norweigian left wing circles. That, to them, is a feature not a bug. For instance blogger Norvegia disseminated the story as fact and when informed that it was not fact promptly and conscientiously amended his post... by adding a question mark to the title.

The "it's fake but accurate" defenses offered in the comments by Bernhard and his supporters such as Norvegia are far more damning to them than any attack could ever be.

Though, since I'm here, Bjørn Stærk's English spelling is better than Bernhard's.