The Black Rod

The origin of the Usher of the Black Rod goes back to early fourteenth century England . Today, with no royal duties to perform, the Usher knocks on the doors of the House of Commons with the Black Rod at the start of Parliament to summon the members. The rod is a symbol for the authority of debate in the upper house. We of The Black Rod have since 2005, adopted the symbol to knock some sense and the right questions into the heads of Legislators, pundits, and other opinion makers.

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

We are citizen journalists in Winnipeg. When not breaking exclusive stories, we analyze news coverage by the mainstream media and highlight bias, ignorance, incompetence, flawed logic, missed angles and, where warranted, good work. We serve as the only overall news monitors in the province of Manitoba. We do the same with politicians (who require even more monitoring.) EMAIL:

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The rehabilitation of Lesley Hughes hits a bump

No sooner had we posted a commemoration of the first decade of The Black Rod than we got a tip that one of our featured players had popped up on the radar again.

Lesley Hughes is the infamous Liberal party candidate who was kicked off the party slate in 2008 when she got caught up in a firestorm over something she wrote years earlier that critics attacked as a blatantly anti-semitic remark.

It was The Black Rod that first publicized her comment, which almost instantly took on a life of its own and within 24 hours immolated her fledging political career.

For the record, here's the relevant segment of what Lesley Hughes wrote in a column titled Get The Truth written for community newspapers in Winnipeg in 2002.

"Many official sources are claiming to have warned the American intelligence community, which spends $30 billion a year gathering information, about the attacks on the twin towers on that heartbreaking day.

German Intelligence (BND) claims to have warned the U.S. last June, the Israeli Mossad and Russian Intelligence in August. Israeli businesses, which had offices in the Towers, vacated the premises a week before the attacks, breaking their lease to do it. About 3000 Americans working there were not so lucky."

"You oughta read this," said the message to us following our ten-year lookback. 

Lesley Hughes has written a book and was plugging it with an interview and book excerpt in the Jewish Post. The book is, the Post tells us, titled "An Enemy of the Jews".   A few years ago when she announced she was writing the book she was planning on calling it "Hit and Run: My Brilliant Career in Canadian Politics." The new title is definitively more provocative. We appear in the role of "an anonymous local blogger." (Sigh...ed.)

The Jewish Post wrote that they had "asked  Hughes to write an introduction to the excerpt from her book in which she could provide some context for what she is writing about. Here is what she sent us:

“In the federal election of 2008, Winnipeg journalist Lesley Hughes was nominated as Liberal candidate in the riding of Kildonan St. Paul.

“An anonymous local blogger reacted by claiming Hughes was guilty of anti-semitism and conspiracy mongering, citing a column she had written in community newspapers six years earlier, in which she questioned Canada’s co-operation with the US invasion of Afghanistan. The blogger’s claims were picked up by mainstream media and by leaders of national Jewish organizations, who demanded successfully that Hughes be dismissed as unfit for public office by Liberal leader Stephane Dion.

“In her column “Get the Truth”, still available on the internet, Hughes reported that 3 intelligence agencies, among them Mossad, claimed they had warned Americans that the tragic events of 9/11 were on the horizon but were disregarded. She also observed that Israeli tenants had vacated the Twin Towers shortly before the actual events. 

The blogger and his followers reported that Hughes was blaming those events, as well as the deaths of 3,000 victims on Israel.

“In her forthcoming book, Hughes maintains that while foreign intel agencies were entitled to share their information with their allies and with nationals living abroad, only the US government was entitled to warn US citizens of possibly impending attacks, and they had not done so. She therefore suggested Canadians should not be involved in Afghanistan until more was known about American motives in the middle east.

“Experiencing personal and public humiliation as a result of her dismissal, Hughes brought defamation suits against then Conservative MP Peter Kent, B'nai Brith (national) and the Canadian Jewish Congress. The suit ended after 4 1/2 years with an out of court settlement and a statement in which Hughes was cleared of the charges which ended her political career.”

We were astonished.

No, absolutely floored.

Lesley Hughes was not only reiterating the offending claim that Jewish businessmen were tipped off to the imminent terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, and that they sneaked away without telling non-Jews, indeed, condemning thousands of the goyim to certain death. But she had the chutzpah to say it in the Jewish Post. And...she added a bizarre and twisted explanation for why they did it!

Apparently, according to her, there's some sort of heretofore secret diplomatic protocol that prevents the security apparatus of one nation from warning the citizens of another country of an imminent terrorist attack, even if it means thousands of innocent people could be saved.  

Pure poppycock.

The "Jews-fled-the-Towers" canard was debunked almost as soon as it raised its ugly head.  
Even University of Lethbridge professor and 911 Truther Anthony Hall, Lesley Hughes' biggest fan and chief defender, admitted it was false. He wrote in her defence:
Prof. Anthony Hall on the Lesley Hughes affair
Reprehensor Sun, 09/28/2008 - 11:12pm 
Anthony J. Hall 
(The sacking of Lesley Hughes reeks of political maneuvering in the run-up to elections in Canada. Hughes was indeed incorrect in writing, "Israeli businesses, which had offices in the Towers, vacated the premises a week before the attacks, breaking their lease to do it." Hughes was apparently referring to the Zim transportation company which did vacate the WTC, but had announced their decision to leave publicly, six months before 9/11. This misinformation is propagated by others, as well.Hughes' short article was dredged up by political muckraking blog, The Black Rod..."
But Hughes, herself, has never repudiated her words. 

She has clung to the Jews-fled story over the years like a drowning man to a rope.  

In the immediate aftermath of her dismissal as a Liberal candidate for Parliament, with charges of anti-semitism still flying around her, she issued a statement containing this excerpt:
Lesley Hughes responds
October 1st 2008
"Six years ago, I wrote a column which examined evidence that the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan may have been motivated by the drive for oil and drug profits.
As background, I reported that the intelligence agencies of Germany, Israel and Russia all warned the CIA that the attacks of Sept. 11 were coming, a fact also reported in the London Telegraph, the Jerusalem Post, and on Fox News. I noted that the U.S. disregarded the warnings, but Israeli businesses took them seriously, and (sensibly) vacated the Twin Towers."

And now, she's pitching the same falsehood again, in a book.

What's troubling is that she obviously sees nothing wrong with saying that Jews look after their own at the expense of anyone who is not Jewish. She doesn't grasp at how this could be seen as offensive.

Caroline Cramer, the first chairman of the newly formed Manitoba Human Rights Commission in the early Seventies may provide the answer to this attitude. 

Reminiscing in a story online, she recalled how one of the first complaints to the rights commission involved a storeowner (in rural Manitoba, if blog memory is correct...ed) who advertised a "Jew Me Down" sale.

When challenged, the storeowner said he couldn't understand why anyone would find his ad offensive. It was, he said, only recognizing that Jews were well-known to get the best price they could for items, and his sale invited customers to bargain for the lowest price they could get.

In the same fashion, Lesley Hughes is recognizing that Israel has a very efficient spy network which, according to her, discovered that Muslim terrorists intended to attack the World Trade Towers in New York. 

That country simply tipped off their citizens ( how remains a big mystery) and those businessmen acted on the tip. 

So what's the problem? Other than the fact 3000 people were murdered when they could have been saved, by her reasoning.

We look forward to reading her book. And to how the Jewish Post handles her book. 

Following is a sampling of the feedback we received for our tenth anniversary post.

Via email:
Congratulations on your amazing first decade,
in which you have certainly taught Many in Media 
an extremely good lesson.
And, keep it wide and open during your second
10 years.
Your Jan. 6 column was a well-deserved pat on your own back.
(That's PW as in Peter Warren.)
From: RS <>
Date: January 10, 2016 at 9:30:37 PM CST
To: <>
Subject: Congratulations for the best in these past ten years!
You deserve it. So few tell it as it truly is. You do a great service. Long live the Black Rod!

And, via Twitter:
derick ‏@infidelatheist  and after 10 years it may be time for The Black Rod to update it's website and get a real URL.

Not yet.
Thanks to all the well-wishers. More stories coming soon.

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