Since the inside dynamics of the 3 year-old clusterfuck in Syria is no longer really a global headline, I haven’t been really going out of my way to sniff them around. I’d still tweet something if a scoop whiffs my way, but deep down I knew: ISIS is the news now.
Syria’s Inheritor-in-Chief causing mass death, systematic destruction/starvation/displacement of Syrians is old news to you by now.
Whatever. It is our shit reality. I just changed the topics I write about (mostly), and kept tweeting my own business. Until I noticed that a small but healthy chunk of my Twitter followers were questioning my sources. It pissed me off, but I thought “fuck it, they are just Twitter followers, don’t let people inside your phone piss you off.”
This attitude was good until I tweeted some insider info on how Saudi & Qatar will finally kiss & make up. This was after a huge fallout, one that came with major media & proxy war that ultimately led to both countries calling back their Ambassadors for good.
A few days later, and just as I tweeted: the two GCC nations’ announced the return of Ambassadors, and that all is kosher now. That made me happy, made my followers happy, and everything was cool. Until some ppl again started questioning my sources again.
And that’s not cool.
See, when I used to care about breaking news: Journalists, Embassy “attachés”*, Gov officials and others lined up to to find out what the f I knew, and how the hell I knew.
I’m not exagerating, believe me: I leaked some serious news locally, regionally, and globally.
On Syria, I exclusively reported every high-ranking defection: from Assad’s ex-Prime Minister Riad Hijab to his best friend & confidant Manaf Tlass. I even detailed the defections of about half a dozen parliament-members. I did it all, before it happened, while it happened, and made sense of it to people after it happened.
Check it out: I broke the news about Manaf’s defection in this tweet on the 4th of July 2012, 2 days before ANY news outlet even knew anything was happening. CNN later ran the story as “BREAKING NEWS” on the 6th of July, 2012..other news orgs followed.
After the above tweet, there was a 2 day period of confusion. Wires & news orgs started noticing my tweets, and just wanted to know what’s up! Rumors were spread fast, ppl thought VP Farouk Al Sharaa defected (again), others said they knew for a fact that the mystery defector was Foreign Minister Waleed Al Muallem! This all was happening when Assad’s gov was suffering from a series of defections, assassinations, his dictatorship was lit!
Then after a much-awaited after green light from my source & a few glasses of wine: I broke the news:
Then you know the rest of the story…Manaf makes the defection official, ppl start paying more attention to my leaks..bla bla bla.
I had a few more Syrian scoops later, but let’s focus on regional ones.
I leaked -with exact dates- that a coup will happen against Egypt’s newly-elected president Mohammad Morsi. On Monday July 1st 2013, I tweeted about a newsbit I heard from a US Diplomatic source, saying that a coup would happen by Wednesday, July 3rd.
On July 3rd, At about 5:30pm, General Mohammed Zaki -The commander of Egypt’s Republic Guards- arrested the Egyptian president Mohammad Morsi, and Abdelfatah Al Sisi announced a vacancy in the presidential office and called for elections, as I tweeted. By way of background: there was a frenzy of media speculation back then on what the Egyptian Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) would do. Everyone knew something was gonna happen, but few thought SCAF would depose the 1st democratically elected president in Egypt’s history.
I specified the coup by time and date..before SCAF even announced the first (and last) extension of the deadline.
Still think it is all a fluke? check this one out:
On June 5, 2013 I leaked a report that Obama will sack Tom Donilon and replace him with Susan Rice. DC insiders like NYT, Politico and Foreign Policy were trying to find out what’s going on, but yours truly struck again.
* Attachés, NOT spies.