Friday, June 27, 2008

Freedom for All (except the Western Saharans)

Over at One Hump or Two, Nick Brooks of Sand & Dust recently alerted us to the appearance of another outrageous pro-autonomy website titled Freedom for All:

I thought the Together Foundation had slipped gently away after it became obvious that it was a put-up job by Moroccan spooks. It seems to have been replaced by this:

http://www.freedom-for-all.org/index.php

They seem to have hired someone with better web skills and a more comprehensive command of the English language for FFA. However, it's still the same unsubtle pro-Rabat bilge.

As if it wasn't obvious enough who's behind this, there's a watermark-style background that shows a greater Morocco, with a Moroccan flag squatting over the western Mediterranean.

Same old craaap, just a bit slicker.

I checked out the Freedom for All site, and Nick is quite right that this is a far slicker production than the Together Foundation. Since the site does not list officers, board members, or any names for that matter, I thought I’d try to find out who was behind this blatant propaganda effort.

A quick google of their phone number in London (+44 (0) 7711 67 1896) shows that Freedom for All shares a number with a public relations and marketing firm also in London named Davis Warburg Associates, named after the partners of the enterprise Helen Davis and Tanya Warburg.

Googling “Helen Davis” and Morocco revealed nothing of interest; “Tanya Warburg” and Morocco, however, pulls up around 25 results informing us that Tanya Warburg is the director of Freedom for All. She sprang onto the Western Sahara scene in October 2006 when she testified in support of Morocco’s autonomy proposal and on behalf of Freedom for All at the 4th Committee in New York.

After this testimony, she kept a low profile until she registered her website in April 2007 under the name of her web designer, Paul Freedman of Red Sphere Media (thank you Laroussi for posting this on One Hump or Two).

Given that PR firms (most notably Edelman) are the main conduits of Moroccan propaganda and misinformation regarding the Western Sahara in the U.S., the fact that Freedom for All is run by a partner in a U.K. PR firm raises all kinds of red flags.

A quick call to London confirmed that Tanya Warburg is indeed director of Freedom for All. To my rather pointed questions, she denied receiving any money at all from Morocco and said that her work for Freedom for All was strictly a hobby. With no evidence to the contrary, I will take her at her word on this.

Of course, if she is not being paid by Morocco that raises the question of what then explains the grotesque pile of misinformation, factual errors, errors of omission, and flawed analysis that makes up her site.

2 comments:

  1. Sharp work, Chasli. I emailed Freedman last week and offered to send him some information about Morocco to make his site more balanced. He didn't respond, surprise.

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  2. Anonymous3:54 PM

    well Inspector Clouseau , you've been googling google to google some goooooooogling information about (freedom for all)website , now you think you have the evidence and the (suspect or culprit) what your next move , inform the UN and the international court or sell the information to the algerian and polisario , choose wise , choose pink panther

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