AFP's Statement on the Dismissal of Christopher Bollyn
As many people are already aware, we were recently put in a difficult position and felt it had become necessary to distance ourselves from Christopher Bollyn. This decision, made by the entire editorial board, had to be made. So far, we have tried to respect the privacy of Christopher by not discussing our views on this matter with the general public, but following a series of disclosures by Christopher himself, we felt it was necessary to release to the public the details behind his termination.
Recently it came to our attention that, on at least three occasions—publicly and privately—Christopher has given credence to a pernicious charge that American Free Press has been infiltrated and controlled by “Zionists,” thus lending his support to attacks on the credibility and integrity of American Free Press and its staff.
Of course, this isn’t the first time someone has attacked us with baseless smears. However, the fact that they came from one of our own meant we had to take these accusations very seriously and deal with them directly, as our credibility is the foundation upon which this publication has been built.
At first we stood by Christopher following his brutal attack at the hands of the police. We published articles written by him about the terrible incident—even going so far as to add supplementary reports corroborating the view that the police assault could have been provoked by Christopher’s writings.
In addition, we offered to help him with legal bills by collecting money for his defense. We even paid some medical bills related to the incident. So far, we have given him $4,500 for his legal bills and $1,100 for doctor’s fees. In addition, we have approximately $4,000 more we will be giving him in the coming days.
We also approached the Foundation to Defend the First Amendment (FDFA) to assist Christopher’s legal defense. FDFA was willing to provide a direct payment of $5,500 to any attorney retained by Christopher.
However, Christopher seemed hesitant to provide us the name of any attorney, despite the fact that immediately after Christopher’s arrest we gave him at least three valuable contacts for legal assistance in the Chicago area.
We have already engaged Christopher in constructive dialogue, asking him to stand up for the integrity of the newspaper we have all worked so hard to establish. Sadly, our talks came to nothing, as we learned last week that Christopher published a story on the Internet that had a direct link to another site that questioned our credibility, honesty and integrity. This same site has also published false and malicious attacks on many other people and organizations in the alternative media and 9-11 truth movement. For us, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
We all considered Christopher more than just a colleague; he was our friend. So it was with heavy hearts that we had to make the decision to terminate him. All of the money that has been collected so far for Christopher will go to him. However, new donations that have recently come in are being returned as we cannot continue to help someone who could not stand up for us.
The discussion with Christopher is now over, but that does not mean we have closed the door forever on him. If Christopher wants to come back to AFP, all we have asked of him is to give us the same support that we have shown him by publicly stating he believes in AFP’s integrity and credibility.
In addition, we ask that Christopher denounce these absurd charges that we are “controlled by Zionists.” He knows they are preposterous, because there is no evidence to substantiate this claim.
We invite anyone with any concerns to visit our office in Washington to meet with us personally or to call us on the phone to find out for themselves just how baseless these charges really are.
—The Editorial Board at American Free Press