When Richard Silverstein isn’t expressing support for the end of the Jewish state, defending terror groups like Hamas, or engaging in smears and reckless attacks against his opponents, he’s often busy peddling false scoops about Israel based on the flimsiest of evidence.
While CiF Watch’s exposes on his hateful rhetoric may have been partially responsible for his near disappearance, since Dec. 2009, from the pages of ‘Comment is Free’ (a possibility he openly acknowledged), his notoriety somehow hasn’t prevented him from being taken seriously, on one or two occasions, as a “journalist” by other media outlets.
Bibi’s Secret War Plan:
Silverstein’s post claimed to be based on information he received from a high-level Israeli source detailing the possible methods of an upcoming attack on Iran. However, the “secret document” he had “obtained” was a near verbatim quote from a Hebrew forum which had appeared online days before his post, and which itself was based on mere speculation from open-source information.
Today, Feb. 13, Silverstein reported this about the identity of an unknown prisoner who was being held in solitary confinement in an Israeli jail – known as “Prisoner X” – who committed suicide in 2010.
“Back in 2010, I reported that Israel had arrested an unidentified individual, and imprisoned him in total secrecy in an Israeli jail. …Even his jailers didn’t know who he was. His jailers apparently did a lousy job of monitoring Prisoner X, as he was called and he hung himself from a bar in his cell.
Now Australia’s ABC network blows open the story.
He was a Mossad agent named Ben Zygier”
However, the alleged (and completely unverified) identity of Prisoner X, which Silverstein is now reporting, totally contradicts his original Dec. 2010 “scoop”, where he first “revealed” the identity of the ‘secret’ prisoner.
Here’s Silverstein on Dec. 11, 2010:
“Until today, we didn’t know [the identity of] “Prisoner X”…a story I broke [in] June (2010).
[But], through a confidential Israeli source I have exposed his identity. He is a former Iranian Revolutionary Guard general and government minister under former President Khatami named Ali-Reza Asgari. Western news outlets reported in 2007 that he either defected or was kidnapped by the Mossad, with the assistance of western intelligence agencies (either the CIA or British or German intelligence depending on the source) in Istanbul. A conservative Iranian publication first reported last year that Asgari was in an Israeli prison and this wasreported by AP as well.”
So, it seems as if Silverstein was again duped by his “high level” Israeli source.
In today’s post, however, Silverstein explained his “error”, thus:
“A word now about the error in my own reporting. My source was told by an Israeli intelligence official that the dead man was Ali Reza Asgari. In hindsight, it appears this was a ruse designed to throw the media off the scent of the real story.”
Whilst information on the true identity of the prisoner has not been definitively corroborated, as one Twitterer cheekily observed at the time of his ‘Bibi War’ post, about the credulity of those in the media who take Silverstein’s gossip as serious “scoops”:
They’re more likely to obtain incisive Middle East analysis from a man on the street corner with a sandwich board reading ‘The End is Nigh!’.