University of Lethbridge Professor Anthony Hall recently had his day in court – one of them, anyway – in his fight for academic freedom. Below is his report. We will discuss this, and much more, on False Flag Weekly News tomorrow (Friday) 11 to noon Eastern. –Kevin Barrett, Veterans Today Editor
The Folly of University Governance Through Facebook Machinations
By Anthony Hall
Professor of Liberal Education and Globalization Studies
University of Lethbridge
On August 26, 2017, B’nai Brith Canada reported on its web site that a horrific Facebook post was affixed to my Facebook wall. The creator of the post, said to be Ben Garrison, was made to proclaim the intention to “Kill All Jews.” The text contained a very provocative image and other odious anti-Jewish phrases too disgusting to be reproduced here.
As I would learn in mid-September of 2016, B’nai Brith Canada began on August 26 a ruthless smear campaign against me. At the roots of this campaign was a maliciously engineered Facebook post. This post I did not create. Nor was I even aware of it until I first ran into a screen shot of the offending item on a web site called Israellycool.
What first caught my attention about the Israellycool report was a screen shot of a letter from the President of my University, Dr. Mike Mahon. Unlike the miniature text on the Facebook post, that would have such a profound impact on my life, the wording of Dr. Mahon’s letter was at least legible. It explained to a correspondent referred to simply as “J.P.” that “academic freedom….. should not be a shield for those who engage in illegal hate speech, or promote discrimination and violence.”
I am able now to understand better the background of Dr. Mahon’s letter. Its inspiration comes from a set of documents circulated on Aug. 27, one day after the planting of the maliciously engineered Facebook post. These documents were made to enter the offices of Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, Alberta Minister of Justice and Solicitor-General Kathleen Ganley, and the office of the U of L President. The damning documents came my way recently as a result of a Freedom of Information request directed at the Alberta Ministry of Justice. This FOIP request began with an initiative by the Canadian Association of University Teachers, the umbrella organization of professional faculty associations representing 68,000 professors in our country.
CAUT became involved in this matter because Dr. Mahon suspended this tenured full professor based initially on a specious assertion by B’nai Brith Canada that I wrote the maliciously-engineered Facebook post. As time passed the story changed to become that the post’s reprehensible contents somehow embodied my views.
In the early hours of the B’nai Brith/Facebook Facebook campaign the post was described to the Notley/Ganley/Mahon triumvirate as if the words on the offending digital item were my own. The most provocative letter forwarded to the triumvirate indicated “academic freedom…was never intended as a shield for spewing hatred and threats against minorities, without accountability.” This turn of phrase invoking academic freedom as a “shield” for hate speech seems close to that of Dr. Mahon in his letter to J.P. published by “Aussie Dave” in Israellycool.
I was particularly dismayed to see the writer of this intervention pose the question to Dr. Mahon, copied to Alberta’s top law enforcement agents, “I encourage you to seriously consider whether you want someone on your faculty who would advocate the murder of Jews.”
Advocate the murder of Jews! Now that is a stunning accusation whose extremity strikes me as more a matter for the criminal law than for the civil law. And the criminality lies on the part of the zealot or zealots that have slanderously attributed such a grotesque opinion to me. Who is responsible?
The staff of B’nai Brith Canada was very busy on August 26. Moments after the post appeared, B’nai Brith officials say they contacted Facebook officials to ask them to take the item down. Then they say they widened their campaign. They raised the alarm in a press release with the headline, “Kill All Jews Is Now an Acceptable Message, Facebook Says.” Underneath this headline B’nai Brith reported, “The image, which was posted as a comment on the Facebook wall of University of Lethbridge Professor Anthony Hall, depicts a white man assaulting an Orthodox Jew, accompanied by a lengthy, violent antisemitic screed beside the photograph. It should be noted that Hall is well-known for using his academic credentials to deny the Holocaust and promote 9/11 conspiracy theories.”
When I initially saw this post in mid-September it was the first time I had ever seen myself referred to as a “holocaust denier” let alone a “well-known” holocaust denier. Based on what evidence is this assertion made? Let me add that I am indeed genuinely sceptical of the official narrative outlined in the report of the 9/11 Commission in the United States. I am far from alone in this position.
As for the repugnant image and the heavily racialized B’nai Brith description of it, the Zionist organization fails to acknowledge that the item has been photoshopped to insert the head of cartoonist Ben Garrison in the place of the Israeli security guard who appeared in the original photograph. This Israeli security guard was captured on film strongarming one of the rabbis involved in a demonstration protesting the running of an Israeli highway through a burial ground.
When I contacted Ben Garrison about the image and offending text, he said their real creator is Joshua Goldberg. From my research I have learned that the now-notorious Mr. Goldberg is presently in FBI custody for allegedly feeding bomb-making information to supposed jihadists while pretending on the Internet to be an Islamic terrorist himself.
On behalf of B’nai Brith Canada, Ryan Bellerose persuaded police in Lethbridge and Calgary to investigate me for hate speech and incitement to genocide. Rather than recognize that I had been framed by the authors of a Facebook scam, that I was the victim of an atrocious fraud, I was put in the category of protagonist.
After bringing in the police Mr. Bellerose became point person in B’nai Brith’s Alberta-wide media campaign including on the morning radio show of CBC Calgary. On the airwaves of the public broadcaster Mr. Bellerose introduced the story of the Facebook post on my wall by indicating, “He used words like kike. He said he wanted to see them all killed.” Any reasonable listener would infer that the “he” Mr. Bellerose was referring to would be me. Why did CBC even treat this matter as a story given that that they played the audio tape where I first publicly condemned the reprehensible Facebook post. Is CBC been reduced to the level of a PR outlet for B’nai Brith Canada
The Lethbridge Herald has been a major participant in the litany of misrepresentations. Its reporter, J.W. Schnarr, added to the trial-by-planted-Facebook-post when he conflated the story of police and university investigations of me in the B’nai Brith-instigated operation. Recall that this operation began on its very first day with the spreading of false news to the offices of the Premier and Attorney-General of Alberta. This targeting of me for professional ruination included the over-the-top characterization of this suspended prof as “an advocate for the murder of Jews.”
On the front page of the Sept 29 LH Mr. Schnarr described the “image of an Orthodox Jew being assaulted and an anti-Semitic screed beside it. The text of the post denied the Holocaust but stated all Jewish people should be killed. In a media release Lethbridge police stated the post ‘while extremely offensive and inappropriate does not meet the threshold for intent set out in the Criminal Code of Canada for advocating genocide or public incitement of hatred.’”
J.W. Schnarr, “Professor Investigated by U of L,” Lethbridge Herald, 29 September, 2016 (Internet post seems to have been removed)
In the article Mr. Schnarr indicated that the source of the offending post was not me but that it came “from an account with the name ‘Glen Davidson’” On January 20 Mr. Davidson, a Lethbridge resident and an acquaintance of mine, responded to J.W. Schnarr. Mr. Davidson indicatied that he was not the source of the post and that he was prepared to sue the Lethbridge Herald for disseminating unfounded information about him. He asserted, “Try being a real investigative journalist, instead of a cut and paste “FAKE” pathetic never-investigate moron.” If Mr. Davidson did not post the offending item on my Facebook wall on Aug. 26, then who did? Why did police not investigate the originating source of the genuinely reprehensible Facebook post in question?
I have been left no real choice but to sue Dr. Mahon and the University of Lethbridge Board of Governors for defamation.
The origins of this defamation, now before the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, clearly go back to the actions and accusations of B’nai Brith Canada in relationship to the maliciously engineered and planted Facebook post. The University Administration took over the B’nai Brith initiative by suspending me without due process. This action put the University Administration in conflict with the University of Lethbridge Faculty Association (ULFA), with CAUT and now with the Alberta government as well. What began as a fraud has morphed into major problem threatening the stability of a host of relationships between workers and employers.
On August 8 a lawyer representing Justice Minister, Kathleen Ganley, intervened in court in Lethbridge in the dispute between the University Administration and ULFA. Alberta’s chief law enforcement officer took the side of ULFA against that of Bob Thompson, the highly-paid Calgary lawyer representing Dr. Mike Mahon and the Board of Governors. The Minister of Justice’s brief to the court explained that her intervention in this litigious contention was necessary to prevent the chaos that a ruling in favour of Mr. Thompson’s arguments would mean for the whole system of Labour Relations in Alberta.
In a section under the headline, “Why Is the Minister Here?” the lawyer for the Alberta government explains, “It is extremely rare that the Minister actually participates in an application for judicial review, once a decade or thereabouts…. The Minister is here concerned about how the position urged on the Court by the University [Administration], if accepted, will disrupt our statutory scheme governing labour relations.”
Who stands to gain by overturning the whole systems of collegial governance in Alberta and beyond through, for instance, weakening the conditions for academic freedom by terminating the protections of tenure? How can universities in Alberta be places of open debate based on scientific application of empirically-based evidence if they are made to give way to the unilateral suspension of faculty members through disreputable and dishonest procedures like trial-through-media-based-on-maliciously-engineered-Facebook posts?
Dr. Kevin Barrett, a Ph.D. Arabist-Islamologist is one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror.
He also has appeared many times on Fox, CNN, PBS, and other broadcast outlets, and has inspired feature stories and op-eds in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Tribune, and other leading publications.
Dr. Barrett has taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin; where he ran for Congress in 2008. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, author, and talk radio host.