Is Sherman Avenging Ellen Via Fake News for Criminal Indictment in Global Witness Case?
13 months ago, the on-line platform, Globe Afrique emerged purporting to be “a US-based, Africa specific, diaspora exclusive, integrated and unique online media platform and magazine with an established following of readers and writers in Africa, the United States and around the world.”
Whether that was the true intent of the founders, or not, our investigation has since revealed that the platform is compromised, follows no journalistic or ethical standards, and can be summed up as Fake News, masked by packaging it with legitimate reporting from Africa by credible news organizations.
The purpose of the medium, as revealed from a careful analysis of the content over the past several months, is to undermine President Sirleaf, attack her family and friends, and at the same time, defend Mr. Varney Sherman, the disgraced former chairman of the Unity Party (UP), who is facing a criminal indictment in Liberia for bribery and fraud in the case of Sable Mining now in the Liberian courts.
Many believe that this on-line platform, along with Mr. Sherman’s attempts to hold the electoral process hostage with unproven allegations of fraud, is part of his plan for seeking political leverage to stay out of jail, and keep his ill-gotten gains.
Here are the facts on Globe Afrique:
- Nearly every original content article published since the platform emerged in October 2016, has focused on president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and is filled with criticisms, charges and allegations of wrong doing. There are no other original source reports, until recently, that is explained below.
- Its content of this nature offers no fact checks, no second-sourcing, no links are attached, and the investigative journalists from Globe Afrique uncovering the stories are anonymous, their credentials are never shared with the reader.
- Original opinion pieces aired by Globe Afrique are written by fictional characters, with descriptions like “unemployed youth.” Investigation reveals that these authors have no presence on social media. When asked for contact details of their contributors, an official connected with the organization said that, “it is not their policy to require background on any opinion contributors.”
- From analysis of the articles, both its opinion and investigative, it appears that the majority of the articles are written by the same unique individual, the style of writing, the choice of words, and the format chosen to display the information.
- Most recently, Globe Afrique has started to propagate directly for Mr. Varney Sherman. In an original content piece called the “Deceivers” Globe Afrique attempted to take apart the indictment against Mr. Sherman on the Global Witness case, which was conducted in cooperation with the United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO), and through an intelligence sharing agreement, with the knowledge of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
In contrast, Globe Afrique concludes, “had Global Witness conducted a good investigation with due diligence, it might not have accused Senator Sherman and former Liberian Government officials of the crimes for which they have been indicted in Liberia.”
- One Mr. Larry Kennedy, of Kennedy & Williams, of which Globe Afrique Media is a subsidiary of, was directly involved in writing the “Deceivers” story according to sources contacted by him in Liberia. Under U.S. law, the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA), it is against the law to openly propagate for foreign interests, or receive funds, directly or indirectly from that interest, without disclosing and filing as a foreign agent with the U.S. Department of Justice. Something Kennedy and Williams will need to account for.
Further, any foreign citizen involved in such a deception, one Mr. Varney Sherman, and confirmed thereof, will be subject to U.S. sanction including withdrawal of all favorable immigration status.
Moses Warner, Contributing Writer