NYT degeneration into a deep state stooge

News MSM as fake news industry Recommended Links Media as a weapon of mass deception Journalists for Hire How the CIA Buys the News by Dr. Udo Ulfkotte Demonization of Putin Neoliberal newspeak
NeoMcCartyism UK Government, MI6 and "Integrity Initiative" MSM as fake news industry NYT degeneration into a deep state stooge Wapo, the voice  of CIA The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment Edward Lucas as agent provocateur
MSM censorship aka "controlling the narrative" Patterns of Propaganda The Real War on Reality British elite hypocrisy Demonization of Trump and "Trump is insane" meme Co-opting of the Human Rights to embarrass governments who oppose neoliberalism Manipulation of the term "freedom of press"
Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Woodward insinuations Luke Harding a pathetic author of rehash of Steele Dossier book Wolff revelations Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources The importance of controlling the narrative What's the Matter with Kansas
Neo-fascism Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? False Flag Operations Lewis Powell Memo Diplomacy by deception Groupthink Big Uncle is Watching You
Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? Ukraine: From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Pussy Riot Provocation and "Deranged Pussy Worship Syndrome" MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Manifactured consent Nation under attack meme
Soft propaganda Classic Papers  Nineteen Eighty-Four Propaganda Quotes   Humor Etc

The New York Times and Guardian are basically now two neoconservative papers indistinguishable from the Wall Street Journal and Daily Telegraph. Not a word of dissent is even remotely allowed or involved.

NYT promotes the idea which  totally taken over the entirety of the neoliberal establishment which sees Trump's election as "treasonous."

After becoming "yet another War Party" in  2020 Democrats might well run identical foreign policy platforms to the right of Mitt Romney.

Collusion between the New York Times and the CIA

Correspondence and collusion between the New York Times and the CIA Glenn Greenwald US news The Guardian

Glenn Greenwald, Wed 29 Aug 2012 14.58 EDT

Mark Mazzetti's emails with the CIA expose the degradation of journalism that has lost the imperative to be a check to power

CIA spokeswoman Marie Harf told New York Times national security reporter Mark Mazzetti to 'keep me posted' about a forthcoming Maureen Dowd column; he obliged.

The rightwing transparency group, Judicial Watch, released Tuesday a new batch of documents showing how eagerly the Obama administration shoveled information to Hollywood film-makers about the Bin Laden raid. Obama officials did so to enable the production of a politically beneficial pre-election film about that "heroic" killing, even as administration lawyers insisted to federal courts and media outlets that no disclosure was permissible because the raid was classified.

Thanks to prior disclosures from Judicial Watch of documents it obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, this is old news. That's what the Obama administration chronically does: it manipulates secrecy powers to prevent accountability in a court of law, while leaking at will about the same programs in order to glorify the president.

But what is news in this disclosure are the newly released emails between Mark Mazzetti, the New York Times's national security and intelligence reporter, and CIA spokeswoman Marie Harf. The CIA had evidently heard that Maureen Dowd was planning to write a column on the CIA's role in pumping the film-makers with information about the Bin Laden raid in order to boost Obama's re-election chances, and was apparently worried about how Dowd's column would reflect on them. On 5 August 2011 (a Friday night), Harf wrote an email to Mazzetti with the subject line: "Any word??", suggesting, obviously, that she and Mazzetti had already discussed Dowd's impending column and she was expecting an update from the NYT reporter.

A mere two minutes after the CIA spokeswoman sent this Friday night inquiry, Mazzetti responded. He promised her that he was "going to see a version before it gets filed", and assured her that there was likely nothing to worry about:

"My sense is there a very brief mention at bottom of column about CIA ceremony, but that [screenwriter Mark] Boal also got high level access at Pentagon."

She then replied with this instruction to Mazzetti: "keep me posted", adding that she "really appreciate[d] it".

Moments later, Mazzetti forwarded the draft of Dowd's unpublished column to the CIA spokeswoman (it was published the following night online by the Times, and two days later in the print edition). At the top of that email, Mazzetti wrote: "this didn't come from me … and please delete after you read." He then proudly told her that his assurances turned out to be true: "See, nothing to worry about."

This exchange, by itself, is remarkably revealing: of the standard role played by establishment journalists and the corruption that pervades it. Here we have a New York Times reporter who covers the CIA colluding with its spokesperson to plan for the fallout from the reporting by his own newspaper ("nothing to worry about"). Beyond this, that a New York Times journalist – ostensibly devoted to bringing transparency to government institutions – is pleading with the CIA spokesperson, of all people, to conceal his actions and to delete the evidence of collusion is so richly symbolic.

The relationship between the New York Times and the US government is, as usual, anything but adversarial. Indeed, these emails read like the interactions between a PR representative and his client as they plan in anticipation of a possible crisis.

Even more amazing is the reaction of the newspaper's managing editor, Dean Baquet, to these revelations, as reported by Politico's Dylan Byers:

"New York Times Managing Editor Dean Baquet called POLITICO to explain the situation, but provided little clarity, saying he could not go into detail on the issue because it was an intelligence matter.

"'I know the circumstances, and if you knew everything that's going on, you'd know it's much ado about nothing,' Baquet said. 'I can't go into in detail. But I'm confident after talking to Mark that it's much ado about nothing.'

"'The optics aren't what they look like,' he went on. 'I've talked to Mark, I know the circumstance, and given what I know, it's much ado about nothing.'"

There is so much to say about that passage.

First, try though I did, I'm unable to avoid noting that this statement from Baquet – "the optics aren't what they look like" – is one of the most hilariously incoherent utterances seen in some time. It's the type of meaningless, illiterate corporatese that comes spewing forth from bumbling executives defending the indefensible. I've read that sentence roughly a dozen times over the last 24 hours and each time, it provides me with greater amounts of dark amusement.

Second, look at how the New York Times mimics the CIA even in terms of how the newspaper's employees speak: Baquet "provided little clarity, saying he could not go into detail on the issue because it was an intelligence matter". In what conceivable way is Mazzetti's collusion with the CIA an "intelligence matter" that prevents the NYT's managing editor from explaining what happened here?

This is what the CIA reflexively does: insists that, even when it comes to allegations that they have engaged in serious wrongdoing, you (and even courts) cannot know what the agency is doing because it is an "intelligence matter". Now, here we have the managing editor of the Newspaper of Record reciting this same secrecy-loving phrase verbatim – as though the New York Times is some sort of an intelligence agency whose inner workings must be concealed for our own safety – all in order to avoid any sort of public disclosure about the wrongdoing in which it got caught engaging. One notices this frequently: media figures come to identify so closely with the government officials on whom they report that they start adopting not only their way of thinking, but even their lingo.

Third, note how Baquet proudly touts the fact that he knows facts to which you are not and will not be privvy:

"I know the circumstances, if you knew everything that's going on, you'd know it's much ado about nothing."

Isn't the function of a newspaper supposed to be to tell us "everything that's going on", not to boast that it knows the circumstances and you do not?

Baquet's claim that this was all "much ado about nothing" did not, apparently, sit well with at least some people at the New York Times, who seem not to appreciate it when their national security reporter secretly gives advanced copies of columns to the CIA spokesperson. Shortly after Baquet issued his ringing defense of Mazzetti's behavior, a spokesperson for the paper not only provided the details Baquet insisted could not be given, but also made clear that Mazzetti's conduct was inappropriate:

"Last August, Maureen Dowd asked Mark Mazzetti to help check a fact for her column. In the course of doing so, he sent the entire column to a CIA spokeswoman shortly before her deadline. He did this without the knowledge of Ms Dowd. This action was a mistake that is not consistent with New York Times standards."

It may be "inconsistent with the New York Times standards" for one of its reporters to secretly send advanced copy to the CIA and then ask that the agency delete all record that he did so: one certainly hopes it is. But it is not, unfortunately, inconsistent with the paper's behavior in general, when it comes to reporting on public officials. Serving as obedient lapdogs and message-carriers for political power, rather than adversarial watchdogs over power, is par for the course.

The most obvious example of this is the paper's complicity with propagating war-fueling falsehoods to justify the attack on Iraq – though, in that instance, it was hardly alone. Just last month, it was revealed that the NYT routinely gives veto power to Obama campaign officials over the quotes from those officials the paper is allowed to publish – a practice barred by other outlets (but not the NYT) both prior to that revelation and subsequent to it.

Worse, the paper frequently conceals vital information of public interest at the direction of the government, as it did when it learned of George Bush's illegal eavesdropping program in mid 2004 but concealed it for more than a year at the direction of the White House, until Bush was safely re-elected; as it did when it complied with government directives to conceal the CIA employment of Raymond Davis, captured by Pakistan, even as President Obama falsely described him as "our diplomat in Pakistan" and as the NYT reported the president's statement without noting that it was false; and as it did with its disclosure of numerous WikiLeaks releases, for which the paper, as former executive editor Bill Keller proudly boasted, took direction from the government regarding what should and should not be published.

And that's all independent of the chronic practice of the NYT to permit government officials to hide behind anonymity in order to disseminate government propaganda – or even to smear journalists as al-Qaida sympathizers for reporting critically on government actions – even when granting such anonymity violates its own publicly announced policies.

What all of this behavior from the NYT has in common is clear: it demonstrates the extent to which it institutionally collaborates with and serves the interests of the nation's most powerful factions, rather than act as an adversarial check on them. When he talks to the CIA spokesperson, Mazzetti sounds as if he's talking to a close colleague working together on a joint project.

It sounds that way because that's what it is.

One can, if one wishes, cynically justify Mazzetti's helpful co-operation with the CIA as nothing more than a common means which journalists use to curry favor with their sources. Leave aside the fact that the CIA spokesperson with whom Mazzetti is co-operating is hardly some valuable leaker deep within the bowels of the agency but, in theory, should be the supreme adversary of real journalists: her job is to shape public perception as favorably as possible to the CIA, even at the expense of the truth.

The more important objection is that the fact that a certain behavior is common does not negate its being corrupt. Indeed, as is true for government abuses generally, those in power rely on the willingness of citizens to be trained to view corrupt acts as so common that they become inured, numb, to its wrongfulness. Once a corrupt practice is sufficiently perceived as commonplace, then it is transformed in people's minds from something objectionable into something acceptable. Indeed, many people believe it demonstrates their worldly sophistication to express indifference toward bad behavior by powerful actors on the ground that it is so prevalent. This cynicism – oh, don't be naive: this is done all the time – is precisely what enables such destructive behavior to thrive unchallenged.

It is true that Mazzetti's emails with the CIA do not shock or surprise in the slightest. But that's the point. With some noble journalistic exceptions (at the NYT and elsewhere), these emails reflect the standard full-scale cooperation – a virtual merger – between our the government and the establishment media outlets that claim to act as "watchdogs" over them.

From "All the news that's fit to print" to "please delete after you read" and cannot "go into detail because it is an intelligence matter": that's the gap between the New York Times's marketed brand and its reality.

* * * * *

UPDATE: The Times' Public Editor weighed in on this matter today, noting his clear disapproval for what Mazzetti did:
 

"Whatever Mr. Mazzetti's motivation, it is a clear boundary violation to disclose a potentially sensitive article pre-publication under such circumstances. This goes well beyond the normal give-and-take that characterizes the handling of sources and suggests the absence of an arm's-length relationship between a reporter and those he is dealing with."

While Mazzetti himself expresses regret for his behavior -- "It was definitely a mistake to do. I have never done it before and I will never do it again" -- both he and Executive Editor Jill Abramson insist that he had no bad intent, but was simply trying to help out a colleague (Dowd) by having her claims fact-checked. Like Baquet, Abramson invokes secrecy to conceal the key facts: "I can't provide further detail on why the entire column was sent."

The question raised by these excuses is obvious: if Mazzetti were acting with such pure and benign motives, why did he ask the CIA to delete the email he sent? This appears to be a classic case of expressing sorrow not over what one did, but over having been caught.

On a different note, Politico's Byers, in response to my inquiry, advises me that Baquet did indeed say what Byers attributed to him -- "he could not go into detail on the issue because it was an intelligence matter" -- and that his exact quote was: it "has to with intel."


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Old News ;-)

[Aug 09, 2020] NYT as an amplifier for the mislabeled US 'Intelligence' Agencies rumor and baseless claims about foreign interferences in US elections

The first and the most important fact that there will no elections in November -- both candidates represent the same oligarchy, just slightly different factions of it.
Look like NYT is controlled by Bolton faction of CIA. They really want to overturn the results of 2020 elections and using Russia as a bogeyman is a perfect opportunity to achieve this goal.
Neocons understand very well that it is MIC who better their bread, so amplifying rumors the simplify getting additional budget money for intelligence agencies (which are a part of MIC) is always the most desirable goal.
Notable quotes:
"... But a new assessment says China would prefer to see the president defeated, though it is not clear Beijing is doing much to meddle in the 2020 campaign to help Joseph R. Biden Jr. ..."
"... The statement then claims: "Ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections, foreign states will continue to use covert and overt influence measures in their attempts to sway U.S. voters' preferences and perspectives, shift U.S. policies, increase discord in the United States, and undermine the American people's confidence in our democratic process." ..."
"... But how do the 'intelligence' agencies know that foreign states want to "sway preferences", "increase discord" or "undermine confidence" in elections? ..."
"... But ascribing motive and intent is a tricky business, because perceived impact is often mistaken for true intent. [...] Where is the evidence that Russia actually wants to bring down the liberal world order and watch the United States burn? ..."
"... Well there is none. And that is why the 'intelligence' agencies do not present any evidence. ..."
"... Is there a secret policy paper by the Russian government that says it should "increase discord" in the United States? Is there some Chinese think tank report which says that undermining U.S. people's confidence in their democratic process would be good for China? ..."
"... If the 'intelligence' people have copies of those papers why not publish them? ..."
"... Let me guess. The 'intelligence' agencies have nothing, zero, nada. They are just making wild-ass guesses about 'intentions' of perceived enemies to impress the people who sign off their budget. ..."
"... Nowadays that seems to be their main purpose. ..."
Aug 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
No Evidence Of Foreign Interference In U.S. Elections, U.S. Intelligence Says

Yesterday the mislabeled U.S. 'Intelligence' Agencies trotted out more nonsense claims about foreign interferences in U.S. elections.

The New York Times sensationally headlines:

Russia Continues Interfering in Election to Try to Help Trump, U.S. Intelligence Says
But a new assessment says China would prefer to see the president defeated, though it is not clear Beijing is doing much to meddle in the 2020 campaign to help Joseph R. Biden Jr.

But when one reads the piece itself one finds no fact that would support the 'Russia Continues Interfering' statement:

Russia is using a range of techniques to denigrate Joseph R. Biden Jr., American intelligence officials said Friday in their first public assessment that Moscow continues to try to interfere in the 2020 campaign to help President Trump.

At the same time, the officials said China preferred that Mr. Trump be defeated in November and was weighing whether to take more aggressive action in the election.

But officials briefed on the intelligence said that Russia was the far graver, and more immediate, threat. While China seeks to gain influence in American politics, its leaders have not yet decided to wade directly into the presidential contest, however much they may dislike Mr. Trump, the officials said.

The assessment, included in a statement released by William R. Evanina, the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, suggested the intelligence community was treading carefully, reflecting the political heat generated by previous findings.

The authors emphasize the scaremongering hearsay from "officials briefed on the intelligence" - i.e. Democratic congress members - about Russia but have nothing to back it up.

When one reads the statement by Evanina one finds nothing in it about Russian attempts to interfere in the U.S. elections. Here is the only 'evidence' that is noted:

For example, pro-Russia Ukrainian parliamentarian Andriy Derkach is spreading claims about corruption – including through publicizing leaked phone calls – to undermine former Vice President Biden's candidacy and the Democratic Party. Some Kremlin-linked actors are also seeking to boost President Trump's candidacy on social media and Russian television.

After a request from Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's personal attorney, a Ukrainian parliamentarian published Ukrainian evidence of Biden's very real interference in the Ukraine. Also: Some guest of a Russian TV show had an opinion. How is either of those two items 'evidence' of Russian interference in U.S. elections?

The statement then claims: "Ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections, foreign states will continue to use covert and overt influence measures in their attempts to sway U.S. voters' preferences and perspectives, shift U.S. policies, increase discord in the United States, and undermine the American people's confidence in our democratic process."

But how do the 'intelligence' agencies know that foreign states want to "sway preferences", "increase discord" or "undermine confidence" in elections?

As a recent piece in Foreign Affairs noted :

The mainstream view in the U.S. media and government holds that the Kremlin is waging a long-haul campaign to undermine and destabilize American democracy. Putin wants to see the United States burn, and contentious elections offer a ready-made opportunity to fan the flames.

But ascribing motive and intent is a tricky business, because perceived impact is often mistaken for true intent. [...] Where is the evidence that Russia actually wants to bring down the liberal world order and watch the United States burn?

Well there is none. And that is why the 'intelligence' agencies do not present any evidence.

Even the NYT writers have to admit that there is nothing there:

The release on Friday was short on specifics, ...

and

Intelligence agencies focus their work on the intentions of foreign governments, and steer clear of assessing if those efforts have had an effect on American voters.

How do 'intelligence' agencies know Russian, Chinese or Iranian 'intentions'. Is there a secret policy paper by the Russian government that says it should "increase discord" in the United States? Is there some Chinese think tank report which says that undermining U.S. people's confidence in their democratic process would be good for China?

If the 'intelligence' people have copies of those papers why not publish them?

Let me guess. The 'intelligence' agencies have nothing, zero, nada. They are just making wild-ass guesses about 'intentions' of perceived enemies to impress the people who sign off their budget.

Nowadays that seems to be their main purpose.

Posted by b on August 8, 2020 at 18:08 UTC | Permalink

[Aug 08, 2020] The New York Times has finally woken up to the fact that Seattle s CHOP was a complete disaster – a month after it was disbanded by Guy Birchall

Somalia in Seattle ;-)
It would be interesting to see how many of inhabitants of CHAZ zone, who experinced the "summer of love" will vote for Trump in Novemebr.
Notable quotes:
"... The land of soy milk and honey was disbanded on July 1 and was duly eulogised by the usual suspects as basically an extended block party. A month on, the NY Times finally got around to sending a reporter to speak to the people who lived and worked in the area before the protestors moved in and produced an admittedly excellent piece of reportage on the situation. ..."
"... The piece, as journalist Michael Tracey observed on Twitter, would have been dismissed as right-wing propaganda just a month ago and shows that this little experiment in anarcho-communism was a million miles away from paradise. ..."
"... The picture painted by the residents is one of gangs of armed thugs running protection rackets and widespread vandalism. The first person mentioned in the piece, a gay man of Middle Eastern extraction named Faizel Khan, reveals that to get to the coffee shop he runs he had to get permission from "gun wielding white men" who at one point barricaded him and all his customers in the store. ..."
"... In his pre-CHOP days, Mr Hearns was a security guard for many years, but after the police vacated the area (their precinct was taken over by protesters and then promptly set on fire) he became part of the "Black Lives Matter Community Patrol". This patrol had locals "pay for their protection." ..."
"... It doesn't sound like they were particularly good at ensuring community cohesion either, considering six people were shot under their jurisdiction and two of them died. ..."
"... Observers also noted that rather than being a multi-racial melting pot of equality, the CHOP turned into a "white occupation" as the numbers of Antifa activists began to outnumber the BLM protesters. They also established "black only segregated areas" within the CHOP, making it frightening similar to the Confederacy, which also, coincidentally, seceded from the union. ..."
"... The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT. ..."
Aug 08, 2020 | www.rt.com

Following an investigative report the paper of record has revealed that business owners who were stuck in the Capitol Hill Organised Protest 'aren't so sure about abolishing the police'. No sh*t Sherlock.

The New York Times has done something distinctly out of character and actually produced some decent journalism. Taking a break from getting editors sacked for allowing Republican senators to write op-eds and forcing out the few remaining sane people on their staff for not quaffing the identity politics Cool-Aid enthusiastically enough, they dispatched a reporter to Seattle to pick through the remnants of the CHOP , a month after it closed.

The Capital Hill Organised Protest, formally CHAZ (Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone), was the area of the city that, for 23 glorious days, declared independence from the United States. A bunch of Black Lives Matter and Antifa radicals hoofed out the police and decided to try and run the area as some sort of Marxist utopia. What they actually established was a gang run hellhole that made the Wild West look like Switzerland.

It wasn't described as such at the time of course. Seattle's mayor said the city was in for a "summer of love" and most of the left-wing press would have had you believe that it was pretty much a hippy commune full of free vegan food and urban collective farms.

The land of soy milk and honey was disbanded on July 1 and was duly eulogised by the usual suspects as basically an extended block party. A month on, the NY Times finally got around to sending a reporter to speak to the people who lived and worked in the area before the protestors moved in and produced an admittedly excellent piece of reportage on the situation. It was headlined, "Abolish the Police? Those Who Survived the Chaos in Seattle Aren't So Sure." The piece, as journalist Michael Tracey observed on Twitter, would have been dismissed as right-wing propaganda just a month ago and shows that this little experiment in anarcho-communism was a million miles away from paradise.

To say they "aren't sure" has to be the understatement of the year. The picture painted by the residents is one of gangs of armed thugs running protection rackets and widespread vandalism. The first person mentioned in the piece, a gay man of Middle Eastern extraction named Faizel Khan, reveals that to get to the coffee shop he runs he had to get permission from "gun wielding white men" who at one point barricaded him and all his customers in the store.

Mr Khan's experiences during these three and a bit weeks of lawlessness were so horrendous that he and a host of other small business owners, described as "lonely voices in progressive areas," are suing Seattle after the local police force refused to respond to their calls for the duration of the CHOP. And as the litany of horrors they were subjected to is laid bare in the NY Times article, it is not hard to see why.

Another character we meet in this saga is Rick Hearns. In his pre-CHOP days, Mr Hearns was a security guard for many years, but after the police vacated the area (their precinct was taken over by protesters and then promptly set on fire) he became part of the "Black Lives Matter Community Patrol". This patrol had locals "pay for their protection." Now what other organisation does that remind you of? If you can't think of it, may I suggest you watch virtually any Martin Scorsese movie and I think you'll get the picture.

It doesn't sound like they were particularly good at ensuring community cohesion either, considering six people were shot under their jurisdiction and two of them died. Interestingly, since they were replacing the "institutionally racist" police force, (run by a black woman incidentally but why let facts spoil it) one of the victims was a black teenager.

Observers also noted that rather than being a multi-racial melting pot of equality, the CHOP turned into a "white occupation" as the numbers of Antifa activists began to outnumber the BLM protesters. They also established "black only segregated areas" within the CHOP, making it frightening similar to the Confederacy, which also, coincidentally, seceded from the union. Oh, and they had a Warlord, Raz from CHAZ, too, just as an icing on the cake.

Quite why these so-called activists felt the need to see how anarchy turns out in a world where Somaila exists is beyond me, and frankly any sane person who is even vaguely aware of history. I'm sure if they'd managed to get hold of the port it wouldn't have been long before they decided to give piracy on the high seas a try, but alas they didn't have the time.

This just makes the tone of the NY Times piece all the more baffling. While it does chart the horrors of the zone well, framing the notion of "abolishing the police" as anything other than irredeemably stupid is frankly ridiculous. I suppose they do deserve praise for finally telling the story, but in no way does it make up for the way they have fomented and given succour to the absurd and dangerous ideas that gave rise to the CHOP for so long.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Guy Birchall, British journalist covering current affairs, politics and free speech issues. Recently published in The Sun and Spiked Online. Follow him on Twitter @guybirchall 7 Aug, 2020 22:11 Get short URL CHAZ/CHOP protesters remove man for bothering them, June 13, 2020

[Aug 08, 2020] Russia Continues Interfering in Election to Try to Help Trump, U.S. Intelligence Says

Aug 08, 2020 | www.msn.com

Russia Continues Interfering in Election to Try to Help Trump, U.S. Intelligence Says Julian E. Barnes 4 hrs ago


Trump falsely claims coronavirus is "disappearing" and Russia Coronavirus updates: School district says 100 students, staff positive for COVID-19 The New York Times logo Russia Continues Interfering in Election to Try to Help Trump, U.S. Intelligence Says

WASHINGTON -- Russia is using a range of techniques to denigrate Joseph R. Biden Jr., American intelligence officials said Friday in their first public assessment that Moscow continues to try to interfere in the 2020 campaign to help President Trump.

a group of people standing next to a person in a suit and tie: Joseph R. Biden Jr. last week in Wilmington, Del. A new intelligence assessment said Russia continues to interfere in the election on President Trump's behalf, while China prefers Mr. Biden. © Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times Joseph R. Biden Jr. last week in Wilmington, Del. A new intelligence assessment said Russia continues to interfere in the election on President Trump's behalf, while China prefers Mr. Biden.

At the same time, the officials said China preferred that Mr. Trump be defeated in November and was weighing whether to take more aggressive action in the election.

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But officials briefed on the intelligence said that Russia was the far graver, and more immediate, threat. While China seeks to gain influence in American politics, its leaders have not yet decided to wade directly into the presidential contest, however much they may dislike Mr. Trump, the officials said.

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The assessment, included in a statement released by William R. Evanina, the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, suggested the intelligence community was treading carefully, reflecting the political heat generated by previous findings.

The White House has objected in the past to conclusions that Moscow is working to help Mr. Trump, and Democrats on Capitol Hill have expressed growing concern that the intelligence agencies are not being forthright enough about Russia's preference for him and that the agencies are introducing China's anti-Trump stance to balance the scales.

a group of people posing for a picture: Trump supporters in Ohio on Thursday, during the president's visit to a factory in Clyde. © Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times Trump supporters in Ohio on Thursday, during the president's visit to a factory in Clyde.

The assessment appeared to draw a distinction between what it called the "range of measures" being deployed by Moscow to influence the election and its conclusion that China prefers that Mr. Trump be defeated.

It cited efforts coming out of pro-Russia forces in Ukraine to damage Mr. Biden and Kremlin-linked figures who "are also seeking to boost President Trump's candidacy on social media and Russian television."

China, it said, has so far signaled its position mostly through increased public criticism of the administration's tough line on China on a variety of fronts.

An American official briefed on the intelligence said it was wrong to equate the two countries. Russia, the official said, is a tornado, capable of inflicting damage on American democracy now. China is more like climate change, the official said: The threat is real and grave, but more long term.

Democratic lawmakers made the same point about the report, which also found that Iran was seeking "to undermine U.S. democratic institutions, President Trump, and to divide the country" ahead of the general election.

"Unfortunately, today's statement still treats three actors of differing intent and capability as equal threats to our democratic elections," Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representative Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said in a joint statement.

Asked about the report during a news conference on Friday night at his golf club in New Jersey, Mr. Trump said, "The last person Russia wants to see in office is Donald Trump because nobody's been tougher on Russia than I have." He said that if Mr. Biden won the presidency, "China would own our country."

Aides and allies of Mr. Biden assailed Mr. Trump, saying that he had repeatedly sided with President Vladimir V. Putin on whether Russia had intervened to help him in 2016 and that he had been impeached by the House for trying to pressure Ukraine into helping him undercut Mr. Biden.

"Donald Trump has publicly and repeatedly invited, emboldened and even tried to coerce foreign interference in American elections," said Tony Blinken, a senior adviser to the former vice president.

It is not clear how much China is doing to interfere directly in the presidential election. Intelligence officials have briefed Congress in recent days that much of Beijing's focus is on state and local races. But Mr. Evanina's statement on Friday suggested China was on weighing an increased effort.

"Although China will continue to weigh the risks and benefits of aggressive action, its public rhetoric over the past few months has grown increasingly critical of the current administration's Covid-19 response, closure of China's Houston Consulate and actions on other issues," Mr. Evanina said.

Mr. Evanina pointed to growing tensions over territorial claims in the South China Sea, Hong Kong autonomy, the TikTok app and other issues. China, officials have said, has also tried to collect information on the presidential campaigns, as it has in previous contests.

The release on Friday was short on specifics, but that was largely because the intelligence community is intent on trying to protect its sources of information, said Senator Angus King, the Maine independent who caucuses with the Democrats.

"The director has basically put the American people on notice that Russia in particular, also China and Iran, are going to be trying to meddle in this election and undermine our democratic system," said Mr. King, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Intelligence officials said there was no way to avoid political criticism when releasing information about the election. An official with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said that the goal was not to rank order threats and that Russia, China and Iran all pose a danger to the election.

Fighting over the intelligence reports, the official said, only benefits adversaries trying to sow divisions.

While both Beijing and Moscow have a preference, the Chinese and Russian influence campaigns are very different, officials said.

Outside of a few scattered examples, it is hard to find much evidence of intensifying Chinese influence efforts that could have a national effect.

Much of what China is doing currently amounts to using its economic might to influence local politics, officials said. But that is hardly new. Beijing is also using a variety of means to push back on various Trump administration policies, including tariffs and bans on Chinese tech companies, but those efforts are not covert and it is unclear if they would have an effect on presidential politics.

Russia, but not China, is trying to "actively influence" the outcome of the 2020 election, said the American official briefed on the underlying intelligence.

"The fact that adversaries like China or Iran don't like an American president's policies is normal fare," said Jeremy Bash, a former Obama administration official. "What's abnormal, disturbing and dangerous is that an adversary like Russia is actively trying to get Trump re-elected."

Russia tried to use influence campaigns during 2018 midterm voting to try to sway public opinion, but it did not successfully tamper with voting infrastructure.

Mr. Evanina said it would be difficult for adversarial countries to try to manipulate voting results on a large scale. But nevertheless, the countries could try to interfere in the voting process or take steps aimed at "calling into question the validity of the election results."

The new release comes on the heels of congressional briefings that have alarmed lawmakers, particularly Democrats. Those briefings have described a stepped-up Chinese pressure campaign, as well as efforts by Moscow to paint Mr. Biden as corrupt.

"Ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections, foreign states will continue to use covert and overt influence measures in their attempts to sway U.S. voters' preferences and perspectives, shift U.S. policies, increase discord in the United States, and undermine the American people's confidence in our democratic process," Mr. Evanina said in a statement.

The statement called out Andriy Derkach, a pro-Russia member of Ukraine's Parliament who has been involved in releasing information about Mr. Biden. Intelligence officials said he had ties to Russian intelligence.

Intelligence officials have briefed Congress in recent weeks on details of the Russian efforts to tarnish Mr. Biden as corrupt, prompting senior Democrats to request more information.

A Senate committee led by Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, has been leading an investigation of Mr. Biden's son Hunter Biden and his work for Burisma, a Ukrainian energy firm. Some intelligence officials have said that a witness the committee was seeking to call was a witting or unwitting agent of Russian disinformation.

Democrats had pushed intelligence officials to release more information to the public, arguing that only a broad declassification of the foreign interference attempts can inoculate voters against attempts by Russia, China or other countries to try to influence voting.

In meetings on Capitol Hill , Mr. Evanina and other intelligence officials have expanded their warnings beyond Russia and have included China and Iran, as well. This year, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence put Mr. Evanina in charge of election security briefings to Congress and the campaigns.

Intelligence and other officials in recent days have been stepping up their releases of information about foreign interference efforts, and the State Department has sent texts to cellphones around the world advertising a $10 million reward for information on would-be election hackers.

How effective China's campaign or Russia's efforts to smear Mr. Biden as corrupt have been is not clear. Intelligence agencies focus their work on the intentions of foreign governments, and steer clear of assessing if those efforts have had an effect on American voters.

The first reactions from Capitol Hill to the release of the assessment were positive. A joint statement by the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee praised it, and asked colleagues to refrain from politicizing Mr. Evanina's statement.

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, the acting Republican chairman of the committee, and Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the Democratic vice chairman, said they hoped Mr. Evanina continued to make more information available to the public. But they praised him for responding to calls for more information.

"Evanina's statement highlights some of the serious and ongoing threats to our election from China, Russia, and Iran," the two men's joint statement said. "Everyone -- from the voting public, local officials, and members of Congress -- needs to be aware of these threats."

Maggie Haberman contributed reporting from New York.


[Jul 27, 2020] The narratives are breaking down: The entire media class will now spend years leading the public on a wild goose chase for Russian collusion and then act like it's no big deal when the whole thing turned out to be completely baseless by Caitlin Johnstone

Jul 27, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

People's old ways of understanding what's going on in the world just aren't holding together anymore.

... ... ...

New Cold War escalations between the U.S.-centralized empire and the unabsorbed governments of China and Russia are going to cause the media airwaves around the planet to become saturated in ever-intensifying propaganda narratives which favor one side or the other and have no interest in honestly telling people the truth about what's going on.

[Jul 19, 2020] What the MSM cliche According to former U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the matter actually means

Highly recommended!
Yet another evil rumor designed to poison relations with Russia. This time from Yahoo
Jul 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

JLee2027 , 1 hour ago

according to former U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

So, it's made up garbage.

[Jul 18, 2020] That self-admitted CIA linked, deep state propaganda puppet outlet lecturing the rest of us about the virtues of fact-checking and journalistic integrity

Notable quotes:
"... Any NYT reporting on Epstein is meant as a distraction -- to cover up the facts. The NYT is the elites' protector, it punches down instead of up. The NYT 'revelations' about guards are a) punching down to protect elites and b) a distraction to protect elites. The NYT is one of the Augean Stables. ..."
Aug 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Aug 12 2019 2:05 utc | 42

@ Posted by: vk | Aug 11 2019 20:42 utc | 11

Oops, it seems I was too optimistic about the NYT. Not even 24h later, we already have these in its home page:

Jeffrey Epstein's Opaque Finances Could Become a Focus for Investigators

[emphasis on the "could"]

Epstein Suicide Conspiracies Show How Our Information System Is Poisoned

Now, people who are doubting the USG are automatically labelled "conspiracy theorists". Except that, in this case, it is perfectly sensible to doubt about his death. He could've put down really powerful people. He wasn't your daily mafia-boy struggling against his mafia boss over US$ 1 billion in cocaine; no: he could put down half the American royalty.


JW , Aug 12 2019 2:48 utc | 48

Ah yes, that self-admitted CIA linked, totally-not deep state propaganda puppet outlet lecturing the rest of us about the virtues of fact-checking and journalistic integrity...
bjd , Aug 11 2019 21:33 utc | 19
Any NYT reporting on Epstein is meant as a distraction -- to cover up the facts. The NYT is the elites' protector, it punches down instead of up. The NYT 'revelations' about guards are a) punching down to protect elites and b) a distraction to protect elites. The NYT is one of the Augean Stables.

[Jul 16, 2020] NYT 'Chief Threat To Democracy'- Eric Weinstein Takes Flamethrower To Paper Of Record After Bari Weiss Quits

Bari Weiss probably deserved what she got as she practiced the same methods herself.
Jul 16, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Eric Weinstein, managing director of Thiel Capital and hsot of The Portal podcast, has gone scorched earth on the New York Times following the Tuesday resignation of journalist Bari Weiss.

Illustration via DanielMiessler.com

Weinstein describes how The Times has morphed into an activist rag - refusing to cover "news" unpaletable to their narrative, while ignoring key questions such as whether Jeffrey Epstein's sex-trafficking ring was "intelligence related."

Jump into Weinstein's Twitter thread by clicking on the below tweet, or scroll down for your convenience.

me title=

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.395.0_en.html#goog_1939178934

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.395.0_en.html#goog_1119462986 NOW PLAYING

Trump Administration is Reportedly Out to Smear Dr. Anthony Fauci for Early Comments on Coronavirus

Image Deleted From Trump's Tweet After NYT Complaint

New York Times Ends Apple News Partnership

Trump Says His Niece Is Not Allowed To Publish 'Tell-All' Book

Book with 'Salacious' Stories on Trump Set to Be Published by His Niece

Jon Stewart Spoke Out About Police Issues

Trump Accuses New York Times Of `Virtual Act Of Treason` Over Russia Story

Ben Smith Departs BuzzFeed To Join New York times

* * *

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(continued)


At that moment Bari Weiss became all that was left of the "Paper of Record." Why? Because the existence of Black Racists with the power to hunt professors with Baseball Bats and even redefine the word 'racism' to make their story impossible to cover ran totally counter-narrative.

At some point after 2011, the NYT gradually stopped covering the News and became the News instead. And Bari has been fighting internally from the opinion section to re-establish Journalism inside tbe the NYT. A total reversal of the Chinese Wall that separates news from opinion.

about:blank

about:blank

me title=

This is the paper in 2016 that couldnt be interested in the story that millions of Americans were likely lying to pollsters about Donald Trump.

The paper refusing to ask the CIA/FBI if Epstein was Intelligence related.

The paper that can't report that it seeks race rioting:

I have had the honor of trying to support both @bariweiss at the New York Times and @BretWeinstein in their battles simply to stand alone against the internal mob mentality. It is THE story all over the country. Our courageous individuals are being hunted at work for dissenting.

Before Bari resigned, I did a podcast with her. It was chilling. I'd make an innocuous statement of simple fact and ask her about it. She'd reply " That is obviously true but I'm sorry we can't say that here. It will get me strung up ." That's when I stopped telling her to hang on.

So what just happened? Let me put it bluntly: What was left of the New York Times just resigned from the New York Times. The Times canceled itself. As a separate Hong Kong exists in name only, the New New York Times and affiliated "news" is now the chief threat to our democracy.

This is the moment when the passengers who have been becoming increasingly alarmed, start to entertain a new idea: what if the people now in the cockpit are not airline pilots? Well the Twitter Activists at the @nytimes and elsewhere are not journalists.

What if those calling for empathy have a specific deadness of empathy?

Those calling for justice *are* the unjust?

Those calling "Privilege" are the privileged?

Those calling for equality seek to oppress us?

Those anti-racists are open racists?

The progressives seek regress?

The journalists are covering up the news?

Try the following exercise: put a minus sign in front of nearly every banner claim made by "the progressives".

Q: Doesn't that make more sense?

NEVER MISS THE NEWS THAT MATTERS MOST

ZEROHEDGE DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX

Receive a daily recap featuring a curated list of must-read stories.

Those aren't the pilots you imagine. And we are far closer to revolution than you think.

Bari and I agree on a lot but also disagree fiercely. And so I have learned that she is tougher than tough. But these university and journalistic workplaces are now unworkable. They are the antithesis off what they were built to stand for. It is astounding how long she held out.

Read her letter. I have asked her to do a make-up podcast & she has agreed. Stay tuned If you don't want to be surprised again by what's coming understand this: just as there has been no functioning president, there's now no journalism. We're moving towards a 🌎 of pure activism.

Prepare to lose your ability to call the police & for more autonomous zones where kids die so that Govenors & Mayors can LARP as Kayfabe revolutionaries . Disagree with Ms Weiss all you want as she isn't perfect. But Bari is a true patriot who tried to stand alone. Glad she's out.

We are not finished by a long shot. What the Intellectual Dark Web tried to do MUST now be given an institutional home.

Podcast with Bari on The Portal to come as soon as she is ready.

Stay tuned. And thanks for reading this. It is of the utmost importance.

Thank you all. 🙏

P.S. Please retweet the lead tweet from this thread if you understand where we are. Appreciated.


[Jul 16, 2020] Cancel culture letter is about stifling free speech, not protecting it by JONATHAN COOK

Criticisms of "cancel culture" often is hypocrtical, as was the case with Weiss, and are connected with prioritizing speech that shores up the status quo -- necon dominance in the US MSM.
Jul 13, 2020 | mondoweiss.net

An open letter published by Harper's magazine, and signed by 150 prominent writers and public figures, has focused attention on the apparent dangers of what has been termed a new "cancel culture".

The letter brings together an unlikely alliance of genuine leftists, such as Noam Chomsky and Matt Karp, centrists such as J K Rowling and Ian Buruma, and neoconservatives such as David Frum and Bari Weiss, all speaking out in defence of free speech.

Although the letter doesn't explicitly use the term "cancel culture", it is clearly what is meant in the complaint about a "stifling" cultural climate that is imposing "ideological conformity" and weakening "norms of open debate and toleration of differences".

It is easy to agree with the letter's generalized argument for tolerance and free and fair debate. But the reality is that many of those who signed are utter hypocrites, who have shown precisely zero commitment to free speech, either in their words or in their deeds.

Further, the intent of many them in signing the letter is the very reverse of their professed goal: they want to stifle free speech, not protect it.

To understand what is really going on with this letter, we first need to scrutinize the motives , rather than the substance, of the letter.

A new 'illiberalism'

"Cancel culture" started as the shaming, often on social media, of people who were seen to have said offensive things. But of late, cancel culture has on occasion become more tangible, as the letter notes, with individuals fired or denied the chance to speak at a public venue or to publish their work.

The letter denounces this supposedly new type of "illiberalism":

"We uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters. But it is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought.

"Editors are fired for running controversial pieces; books are withdrawn for alleged inauthenticity; journalists are barred from writing on certain topics; professors are investigated for quoting works of literature in class; The result has been to steadily narrow the boundaries of what can be said without the threat of reprisal. We are already paying the price in greater risk aversion among writers, artists, and journalists who fear for their livelihoods if they depart from the consensus, or even lack sufficient zeal in agreement."

Tricky identity politics

The array of signatories is actually more troubling than reassuring. If we lived in a more just world, some of those signing – like Frum, a former speechwriter for President George W Bush, and Anne-Marie Slaughter, a former US State Department official – would be facing a reckoning before a Hague war crimes tribunal for their roles in promoting "interventions" in Iraq and Libya respectively, not being held up as champions of free speech.

That is one clue that these various individuals have signed the letter for very different reasons.

Chomsky signed because he has been a lifelong and consistent defender of the right to free speech, even for those with appalling opinions such as Holocaust denial.

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Frum, who coined the term "axis of evil" that rationalised the invasion of Iraq, and Weiss, a New York Times columnist, signed because they have found their lives getting tougher. True, it is easy for them to dominate platforms in the corporate media while advocating for criminal wars abroad, and they have paid no career price when their analyses and predictions have turned out to be so much dangerous hokum. But they are now feeling the backlash on university campuses and social media.

Meanwhile, centrists like Buruma and Rowling have discovered that it is getting ever harder to navigate the tricky terrain of identity politics without tripping up. The reputational damage can have serious consequences.

Buruma famously lost his job as editor of the New York Review of Books two years ago after after he published and defended an article that violated the new spirit of the #MeToo movement. And Rowling made the mistake of thinking her followers would be as fascinated by her traditional views on transgender issues as they are by her Harry Potter books.

'Fake news, Russian trolls'

But the fact that all of these writers and intellectuals agree that there is a price to be paid in the new, more culturally sensitive climate does not mean that they are all equally interested in protecting the right to be controversial or outspoken.

Chomsky, importantly, is defending free speech for all , because he correctly understands that the powerful are only too keen to find justifications to silence those who challenge their power. Elites protect free speech only in so far as it serves their interests in dominating the public space.

If those on the progressive left do not defend the speech rights of everyone, even their political opponents, then any restrictions will soon be turned against them. The establishment will always tolerate the hate speech of a Trump or a Bolsonaro over the justice speech of a Sanders or a Corbyn.

By contrast, most of the rest of those who signed – the rightwingers and the centrists – are interested in free speech for themselves and those like them . They care about protecting free speech only in so far as it allows them to continue dominating the public space with their views – something they were only too used to until a few years ago, before social media started to level the playing field a little.

The center and the right have been fighting back ever since with claims that anyone who seriously challenges the neoliberal status quo at home and the neoconservative one abroad is promoting "fake news" or is a "Russian troll". This updating of the charge of being "un-American" embodies cancel culture at its very worst.

Social media accountability

In other words, apart from in the case of a few progressives, the letter is simply special pleading – for a return to the status quo. And for that reason, as we shall see, Chomsky might have been better advised not to have added his name, however much he agrees with the letter's vague, ostensibly pro-free speech sentiments.

What is striking about a significant proportion of those who signed is their self-identification as ardent supporters of Israel. And as Israel's critics know only too well, advocates for Israel have been at the forefront of the cancel culture – from long before the term was even coined.

For decades, pro-Israel activists have sought to silence anyone seen to be seriously critiquing this small, highly militarized state, sponsored by the colonial powers, that was implanted in a region rich with a natural resource, oil, needed to lubricate the global economy, and at a terrible cost to its native, Palestinian population.

Nothing should encourage us to believe that zealous defenders of Israel among those signing the letter have now seen the error of their ways. Their newfound concern for free speech is simply evidence that they have begun to suffer from the very same cancel culture they have always promoted in relation to Israel.

They have lost control of the "cancel culture" because of two recent developments: a rapid growth in identity politics among liberals and leftists, and a new popular demand for "accountability" spawned by the rise of social media.

Cancelling Israel's critics

In fact, despite their professions of concern, the evidence suggests that some of those signing the letter have been intensifying their own contribution to cancel culture in relation to Israel, rather than contesting it.

That is hardly surprising. The need to counter criticism of Israel has grown more pressing as Israel has more obviously become a pariah state. Israel has refused to countenance peace talks with the Palestinians and it has intensified its efforts to realize long-harbored plans to annex swaths of the West Bank in violation of international law.

Rather than allow "robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters" on Israel, Israel's supporters have preferred the tactics of those identified in the letter as enemies of free speech: "swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought".

Just ask Jeremy Corbyn, the former leader of the Labour party who was reviled, along with his supporters, as an antisemite – one of the worst smears imaginable – by several people on the Harper's list, including Rowling and Weiss . Such claims were promoted even though his critics could produce no actual evidence of an antisemitism problem in the Labour party.

Similarly, think of the treatment of Palestinian solidarity activists who support a boycott of Israel (BDS), modeled on the one that helped push South Africa's leaders into renouncing apartheid. BDS activists too have been smeared as antisemites – and Weiss again has been a prime offender .

The incidents highlighted in the Harper's letter in which individuals have supposedly been cancelled is trivial compared to the cancelling of a major political party and of a movement that stands in solidarity with a people who have been oppressed for decades.

And yet how many of these free speech warriors have come forward to denounce the fact that leftists – including many Jewish anti-Zionists – have been pilloried as antisemites to prevent them from engaging in debates about Israel's behavior and its abuses of Palestinian rights?

How many of them have decried the imposition of a new definition of antisemitism, by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, that has been rapidly gaining ground in western countries?

That definition is designed to silence a large section of the left by prioritizing the safety of Israel from being criticized before the safety of Jews from being vilified and attacked – something that even the lawyer who authored the definition has come to regret .

Why has none of this "cancel culture" provoked an open letter to Harper's from these champions of free speech?

Double-edge sword

The truth is that many of those who signed the letter are defending not free speech but their right to continue dominating the public square – and their right to do so without being held accountable.

Bari Weiss, before she landed a job at the Wall Street Journal and then the New York Times, spent her student years trying to get Muslim professors fired from her university – cancelling them – because of their criticism of Israel. And she explicitly did so under the banner of "academic freedom", claiming pro-Israel students felt intimidated in the classroom.

The New York Civil Liberties Union concluded that it was Weiss, not the professors, who was the real threat to academic freedom. This was not some youthful indiscretion. In a book last year Weiss cited her efforts to rid Columbia university of these professors as a formative experience on which she still draws.

Weiss and many of the others listed under the letter are angry that the rhetorical tools they used for so long to stifle the free speech of others have now been turned against them. Those who lived for so long by the sword of identity politics – on Israel, for example – are worried that their reputations may die by that very same sword – on issues of race, sex and gender.

Narcissistic concern

To understand how the cancel culture is central to the worldview of many of these writers and intellectuals, and how blind they are to their own complicity in that culture, consider the case of Jonathan Freedland, a columnist with the supposedly liberal-left British newspaper the Guardian. Although Freedland is not among those signing the letter, he is very much aligned with the centrists among them and, of course, supported the letter in an article published in the Guardian.

Freedland, we should note, led the "cancel culture" campaign against the Labour party referenced above. He was one of the key figures in Britain's Jewish community who breathed life into the antisemitism smears against Corbyn and his supporters.

But note the brief clip below. In it, Freedland's voice can be heard cracking as he explains how he has been a victim of the cancel culture himself: he confesses that he has suffered verbal and emotional abuse at the hands of Israel's most extreme apologists – those who are even more unapologetically pro-Israel than he is.

He reports that he has been called a "kapo", the term for Jewish collaborators in the Nazi concentration camps, and a "sonderkommando", the Jews who disposed of the bodies of fellow Jews killed in the gas chambers. He admits such abuse "burrows under your skin" and "hurts tremendously".

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And yet, despite the personal pain he has experienced of being unfairly accused, of being cancelled by a section of his own community, Freedland has been at the forefront of the campaign to tar critics of Israel, including anti-Zionist Jews, as antisemites on the flimsiest of evidence.

He is entirely oblivious to the ugly nature of the cancel culture – unless it applies to himself . His concern is purely narcissistic. And so it is with the majority of those who signed the letter.

Conducting a monologue

The letter's main conceit is the pretence that "illiberalism" is a new phenomenon, that free speech is under threat, and that the cancel culture only arrived at the moment it was given a name.

That is simply nonsense. Anyone over the age of 35 can easily remember a time when newspapers and websites did not have a talkback section, when blogs were few in number and rarely read, and when there was no social media on which to challenge or hold to account "the great and the good".

Writers and columnists like those who signed the letter were then able to conduct a monologue in which they revealed their opinions to the rest of us as if they were Moses bringing down the tablets from the mountaintop.

In those days, no one noticed the cancel culture – or was allowed to remark on it. And that was because only those who held approved opinions were ever given a media platform from which to present those opinions.

Before the digital revolution, if you dissented from the narrow consensus imposed by the billionaire owners of the corporate media, all you could do was print your own primitive newsletter and send it by post to the handful of people who had heard of you.

That was the real cancel culture. And the proof is in the fact that many of those formerly obscure writers quickly found they could amass tens of thousands of followers – with no help from the traditional corporate media – when they had access to blogs and social media.

Silencing the left

Which brings us to the most troubling aspect of the open letter in Harper's. Under cover of calls for tolerance, given credibility by Chomsky's name, a proportion of those signing actually want to restrict the free speech of one section of the population – the part influenced by Chomsky.

They are not against the big cancel culture from which they have benefited for so long. They are against the small cancel culture – the new more chaotic, and more democratic, media environment we currently enjoy – in which they are for the first time being held to account for their views, on a range of issues including Israel.

Just as Weiss tried to get professors fired under the claim of academic freedom, many of these writers and public figures are using the banner of free speech to discredit speech they don't like, speech that exposes the hollowness of their own positions.

Their criticisms of "cancel culture" are really about prioritizing "responsible" speech, defined as speech shared by centrists and the right that shores up the status quo. They want a return to a time when the progressive left – those who seek to disrupt a manufactured consensus, who challenge the presumed verities of neoliberal and neoconservative orthodoxy – had no real voice.

The new attacks on "cancel culture" echo the attacks on Bernie Sanders' supporters, who were framed as "Bernie Bros" – the evidence-free allegation that he attracted a rabble of aggressive, women-hating men who tried to bully others into silence on social media.

Just as this claim was used to discredit Sanders' policies, so the center and the right now want to discredit the left more generally by implying that, without curbs, they too will bully everyone else into silence and submission through their "cancel culture".

If this conclusion sounds unconvincing, consider that President Donald Trump could easily have added his name to the letter alongside Chomsky's. Trump used his recent Independence Day speech at Mount Rushmore to make similar points to the Harper's letter. He at least was explicit in equating "cancel culture" with what he called "far-left fascism":

"One of [the left's] political weapons is 'Cancel Culture' – driving people from their jobs, shaming dissenters, and demanding total submission from anyone who disagrees. This is the very definition of totalitarianism This attack on our liberty, our magnificent liberty, must be stopped, and it will be stopped very quickly."

Trump, in all his vulgarity, makes plain what the Harper's letter, in all its cultural finery, obscures. That attacks on the new "cancel culture" are simply another front – alongside supposed concerns about "fake news" and "Russian trolls" – in the establishment's efforts to limit speech by the left.

Attention redirected

This is not to deny that there is fake news on social media or that there are trolls, some of them even Russian. Rather, it is to point out that our attention is being redirected, and our concerns manipulated by a political agenda.

Despite the way it has been presented in the corporate media, fake news on social media has been mostly a problem of the right. And the worst examples of fake news – and the most influential – are found not on social media at all, but on the front pages of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

What genuinely fake news on Facebook has ever rivaled the lies justifying the invasion of Iraq in 2003 that were knowingly peddled by a political elite and their stenographers in the corporate media. Those lies led directly to more than a million Iraqi deaths, turned millions more into refugees, destroyed an entire country, and fuelled a new type of nihilistic Islamic extremism whose effects we are still feeling.

Most of the worst lies from the current period – those that have obscured or justified US interference in Syria and Venezuela, or rationalized war crimes against Iran, or approved the continuing imprisonment of Julian Assange for exposing war crimes – can only be understood by turning our backs on the corporate media and looking to experts who can rarely find a platform outside of social media.

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Algorithms changed

I say this as someone who has concerns about the fashionable focus on identity politics rather than class politics. I say it also as someone who rejects all forms of cancel culture – whether it is the old-style, "liberal" cancel culture that imposes on us a narrow "consensus" politics (the Overton window), or the new "leftwing" cancel culture that too often prefers to focus on easy cultural targets like Rowling than the structural corruption of western political systems.

But those who are impressed by the letter simply because Chomsky's name is attached should beware. Just as "fake news" has provided the pretext for Google and social media platforms to change their algorithms to vanish left-wingers from searches and threads, just as "antisemitism" has been redefined to demonize the left, so too the supposed threat of "cancel culture" will be exploited to silence the left.

Protecting Bari Weiss and J K Rowling from a baying left-wing "mob" – a mob that that claims a right to challenge their views on Israel or trans issues – will become the new rallying cry from the establishment for action against "irresponsible" or "intimidating" speech.

Progressive leftists who join these calls out of irritation with the current focus on identity politics, or because they fear being labelled an antisemite, or because they mistakenly assume that the issue really is about free speech, will quickly find that they are the main targets.

In defending free speech, they will end up being the very ones who are silenced.

UPDATE:

You don't criticise Chomsky however tangentially and respectfully – at least not from a left perspective – without expecting a whirlwind of opposition. But one issue that keeps being raised on my social media feeds in his defence is just plain wrong-headed, so I want to quickly address it. Here's one my followers expressing the point succinctly:

"The sentiments in the letter stand or fall on their own merits, not on the characters or histories of some of the signatories, nor their future plans."

The problem, as I'm sure Chomsky would explain in any other context, is that this letter fails not just because of the other people who signed it but on its merit too . And that's because, as I explain above, it ignores the most oppressive and most established forms of cancel culture, as Chomsky should have been the first to notice.

Highlighting the small cancel culture, while ignoring the much larger, establishment-backed cancel culture, distorts our understanding of what is at stake and who wields power.

Chomsky unwittingly just helped a group of mostly establishment stooges skew our perceptions of free speech problems so that we side with them against ourselves. There is no way that can be a good thing.

UPDATE 2:

There are still people holding out against the idea that it harmed the left to have Chomsky sign this letter. And rather than address their points individually, let me try another way of explaining my argument:

Why has Chomsky not signed a letter backing the furore over "fake news", even though there is some fake news on social media? Why has he not endorsed the "Bernie Bros" narrative, even though doubtless there are some bullying Sanders supporters on social media? Why has he not supported the campaign claiming the Labour party has an antisemitism problem, even though there are some antisemites in the Labour party (as there are everywhere)?

He hasn't joined any of those campaigns for a very obvious reason – because he understands how power works, and that on the left you hit up, not down. You certainly don't cheerlead those who are up as they hit down.

Chomsky understands this principle only too well because here he is setting it out in relation to Iran:

"Suppose I criticise Iran. What impact does that have? The only impact it has is in fortifying those who want to carry out policies I don't agree with, like bombing."

For exactly the same reason he has not joined those pillorying Iran – because his support would be used for nefarious ends – he shouldn't have joined this campaign. He made a mistake. He's fallible.

Also, this isn't about the left eating itself. Really, Chomsky shouldn't be the issue. The issue should be that a bunch of centrists and right-wingers used this letter to try to reinforce a narrative designed to harm the left, and lay the groundwork for further curbs on its access to social media. But because Chomsky signed the letter, many more leftists are now buying into that narrative – a narrative intended to harm them. That's why Chomsky's role cannot be ignored, nor his mistake glossed over.

UPDATE 3:

I had not anticipated how many ways people on the left might find to justify this letter.

Here's the latest reasoning. Apparently, the letter sets an important benchmark that can in future be used to protect free speech by the left when we are threatened with being "cancelled" – as, for example, with the antisemitism smears that were used against anti-Zionist Jews and other critics of Israel in the British Labour party.

I should hardly need to point out how naive this argument is. It completely ignores how power works in our societies: who gets to decide what words mean and how principles are applied. This letter won't help the left because "cancel culture" is being framed – by this letter, by Trump, by the media – as a "loony left" problem. It is a new iteration of the "politically correct gone mad" discourse, and it will be used in exactly the same way.

It won't help Steven Salaita, sacked from a university job because he criticised Israel's killing of civilians in Gaza, or Chris Williamson, the Labour MP expelled because he defended the party's record on being anti-racist.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=mondoweiss&dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-3&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1281281345243799552&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fmondoweiss.net%2F2020%2F07%2Fcancel-culture-letter-is-about-stifling-free-speech-not-protecting-it%2F&siteScreenName=mondoweiss&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px

The "cancel culture" furore isn't interested in the fact that they were "cancelled". Worse still, this moral panic turns the whole idea of cancelling on its head: it is Salaita and Williamson who are accused – and found guilty – of doing the cancelling, of cancelling Israel and Jews.

Israel's supporters will continue to win this battle by claiming that criticism of Israel "cancels" that country ("wipes it off the map"), "cancels" Israel's Jewish population ("drives them into the sea"), and "cancels" Jews more generally ("denies a central component of modern Jewish identity").

Greater awareness of "cancel culture" would not have saved Corbyn from the antisemitism smears because the kind of cancel culture that smeared Corbyn is never going to be defined as "cancelling".

For anyone who wishes to see how this works in practice, watch Guardian columnist Owen Jones cave in – as he has done so often – to the power dynamics of the "cancel culture" discourse in this interview with Sky News. I actually agree with almost everything Jones says in this clip, apart from his joining yet again in the witch-hunt against Labour's anti-Zionists. He doesn't see that witch-hunt as "cancel culture", and neither will anyone else with a large platform like his to protect:

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=mondoweiss&dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-4&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1281957010880307201&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fmondoweiss.net%2F2020%2F07%2Fcancel-culture-letter-is-about-stifling-free-speech-not-protecting-it%2F&siteScreenName=mondoweiss&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px

This essay first appeared on Jonathan Cook's blog: https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/

[Jun 28, 2020] Unsophisticated disinformation Moscow rebuffs NYT story alleging Russia offered Taliban money to kill US troops in Afghanist

Notable quotes:
"... "covertly offered rewards" ..."
"... On Saturday, the Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed the NYT story as "fake information." ..."
"... This unsophisticated plant clearly illustrates the low intellectual abilities of the propagandists from US intelligence, who, instead of inventing something more plausible, resort to conjuring up such nonsense. ..."
"... "Then again, what else can one expect from intelligence services that have bungled the 20-year war in Afghanistan," the ministry said. ..."
"... Moscow has suggested that this misinformation was "planted" because the US may be against Russia "assisting" in peace talks between the Taliban and the internationally-recognised government in Kabul. ..."
Jun 27, 2020 | www.rt.com

The Russian Foreign Ministry has rejected a US media report claiming Moscow offered to pay jihadi militants to attack US soldiers in Afghanistan. It said such 'fake news' merely betrays the low skill levels of US spy agencies. Citing US intelligence officials – unnamed, of course – the New York Times reported that, last year, Moscow had "covertly offered rewards" to Taliban-linked militants to attack American troops and their NATO allies in Afghanistan.

On Saturday, the Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed the NYT story as "fake information."

This unsophisticated plant clearly illustrates the low intellectual abilities of the propagandists from US intelligence, who, instead of inventing something more plausible, resort to conjuring up such nonsense.

"Then again, what else can one expect from intelligence services that have bungled the 20-year war in Afghanistan," the ministry said.

Moscow has suggested that this misinformation was "planted" because the US may be against Russia "assisting" in peace talks between the Taliban and the internationally-recognised government in Kabul.

US-led NATO troops have been fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan since 2001. The campaign, launched in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, has cost Washington billions of dollars and resulted in the loss of thousands of American soldiers' lives. Despite maintaining a military presence for almost two decades, the US has failed to defeat the Taliban, which is still in control of vast swaths of the country.

Moreover, the office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction has compiled several reports detailing how tens of millions of US taxpayers' funds have been spent on dubious regeneration projects.

[Jun 28, 2020] It is the US intelligence s job to lie to you. NYT s Afghan bounty story is CIA press release by Caitlin Johnstone

This whole "story" stinks to high heaven. Judy Miller redux - regime-change info ops, coordinated across multiple media organizations.
Notable quotes:
"... To be clear, this is journalistic malpractice. Mainstream media outlets which publish anonymous intelligence claims with no proof are just publishing CIA press releases disguised as news. They're just telling you to believe what sociopathic intelligence agencies want you to believe under the false guise of impartial and responsible reporting. This practice has become ubiquitous throughout mainstream news publications, but that doesn't make it any less immoral. ..."
"... "Same old story: alleged intelligence ops IMPOSSIBLE to verify, leaked to the press which reports them quoting ANONYMOUS officials," tweeted journalist Stefania Maurizi. ..."
"... "So we are to simply believe the same intelligence orgs that paid bounties to bring innocent prisoners to Guantanamo, lied about torture in Afghanistan, and lied about premises for war from WMD in Iraq to the Gulf of Tonkin 'attack'? All this and no proof?" ..."
"... "It's totally outrageous for Russia to support the Taliban against Americans in Afghanistan. Of course, it's totally fine for the US to support jihadi rebels against Russians in Syria, jihadi rebels who openly said the Taliban is their hero," ..."
"... On the flip side, all the McResistance pundits have been speaking of this baseless allegation as a horrific event that is known to have happened, with Rachel Maddow going so far as to describe it as Putin offering bounties for the "scalps" of American soldiers in Afghanistan. This is an interesting choice of words, considering that offering bounties for scalps is, in fact, one of the many horrific things the US government did in furthering its colonialist ambitions , which, unlike the New York Times allegation, is known to have actually happened. ..."
Jun 28, 2020 | www.rt.com
By Caitlin Johnstone , an independent journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her website is here and you can follow her on Twitter @caitoz

Whenever one sees a news headline ending in "US Intelligence Says", one should always mentally replace everything that comes before it with "Blah blah blah we're probably lying."

"Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill Troops, US Intelligence Says", blares the latest viral headline from the New York Times . NYT's unnamed sources allege that the GRU "secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan -- including targeting American troops", and that the Trump administration has known this for months.

To be clear, this is journalistic malpractice. Mainstream media outlets which publish anonymous intelligence claims with no proof are just publishing CIA press releases disguised as news. They're just telling you to believe what sociopathic intelligence agencies want you to believe under the false guise of impartial and responsible reporting. This practice has become ubiquitous throughout mainstream news publications, but that doesn't make it any less immoral.

Also on rt.com There they go again: NYT serves up spy fantasy about Russian 'bounties' on US troops in Afghanistan

In a post-Iraq-invasion world, the only correct response to unproven anonymous claims about a rival government by intelligence agencies from the US or its allies is to assume that they are lying until you are provided with a mountain of independently verifiable evidence to the contrary. The US has far too extensive a record of lying about these things for any other response to ever be justified as rational, and its intelligence agencies consistently play a foundational role in those lies.

Voices outside the mainstream-narrative control matrix have been calling these accusations what they are: baseless, lacking in credibility, and not reflective of anything other than fair play, even if true.

"Same old story: alleged intelligence ops IMPOSSIBLE to verify, leaked to the press which reports them quoting ANONYMOUS officials," tweeted journalist Stefania Maurizi.

America to end 'era of endless wars' & stop being policeman, Trump gives same old election promises he broke

"So we are to simply believe the same intelligence orgs that paid bounties to bring innocent prisoners to Guantanamo, lied about torture in Afghanistan, and lied about premises for war from WMD in Iraq to the Gulf of Tonkin 'attack'? All this and no proof?" tweeted author and analyst Jeffrey Kaye.

"It's totally outrageous for Russia to support the Taliban against Americans in Afghanistan. Of course, it's totally fine for the US to support jihadi rebels against Russians in Syria, jihadi rebels who openly said the Taliban is their hero," tweeted author and analyst Max Abrams.

On the flip side, all the McResistance pundits have been speaking of this baseless allegation as a horrific event that is known to have happened, with Rachel Maddow going so far as to describe it as Putin offering bounties for the "scalps" of American soldiers in Afghanistan. This is an interesting choice of words, considering that offering bounties for scalps is, in fact, one of the many horrific things the US government did in furthering its colonialist ambitions , which, unlike the New York Times allegation, is known to have actually happened.

It is true, as many have been pointing out, that it would be fair play for Russia to fund violent opposition the the US in Afghanistan, seeing as that's exactly what the US and its allies have been doing to Russia and its allies in Syria, and did to the Soviets in Afghanistan via Operation Cyclone . It is also true that the US military has no business in Afghanistan anyway, and any violence inflicted on US troops abroad is the fault of the military expansionists who put them there. The US military has no place outside its own easily defended borders, and the assumption that it is normal for a government to circle the planet with military bases is a faulty premise.

'Unsophisticated' disinformation: Moscow rebuffs NYT story alleging Russia offered Taliban money to kill US troops in Afghanistan

But before even getting into such arguments, the other side of the debate must meet its burden of proof that this has even happened. That burden is far from met. It is literally the US intelligence community's job to lie to you. The New York Times has an extensive history of pushing for new wars at every opportunity, including the unforgivable Iraq invasion , which killed a million people, based on lies. A mountain of proof is required before such claims should be seriously considered, and we are very, very far from that.

I will repeat myself: it is the US intelligence community's job to lie to you. I will repeat myself again: it is the US intelligence community's job to lie to you. Don't treat these CIA press releases with anything but contempt.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

[Jun 28, 2020] Trump himself demolished NYT provocation -- the Russia/Taliban story

Jun 28, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Brendan , Jun 28 2020 14:18 utc | 4

Trump himself has rubbished the NYT's Russia/Taliban story on Twitter today:

"Nobody briefed or told me, @VP Pence, or Chief of Staff @MarkMeadows about the so-called attacks on our troops in Afghanistan by Russians, as reported through an "anonymous source" by the Fake News @nytimes. Everybody is denying it & there have not been many attacks on us..... "
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1277202159109537793

"The Fake News @ nytimes must reveal its "anonymous" source. Bet they can't do it, this "person" probably does not even exist! twitter.com/richardgrenell "
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1277215720418484224

Christian J. Chuba , Jun 28 2020 15:17 utc | 11

NYT exclusive: breaking, bombshell report, bombshell report, Russia pays Taliban to kill U.S. Troops

The puppets dance for their puppet masters yet again. I was struck that in all of the MSM responses on CNN and FOX every single host accepted it as an absolute fact that this was true. If an unnamed source said something to a reporter at the NYT then it must have happened in that way and the facts are irrefutable. Wow our 'journalists' are pathetic.

1. The guy who leaked this could be twisting a half or even quarter truth to embarrass Trump, derail our withdrawal from Germany or Afghanistan ... nahh impossible. Our CIA guys never have an agenda.

2. This could be disinformation against Russia ... nahh we are the good guys, that's not how we roll.

The guy on CNN could not believe the WH statement that they were not briefed, 'it strains credibility'. Maybe one POW made an outlandish claim to get better treatment and lower level staff did not think the claim itself had enough credibility. Nope, it was leaked by an Intelligence guy, therefore it must be true.

journalism is dead. buried, dug up, cremated and then scattered over a trash dump in the U.S.

[Jun 28, 2020] Evidence Free Press Release Claims 'Russia Did Bad, Trump Did Not Respond' - NYT, WaPo Publish It

Highly recommended!
Projection, yet another time. An old and very effective dirty propaganda trick. Fake news outlet are intelligence services controlled outlets.
Notable quotes:
"... Reporters from the New York Times and the Washington Post were called up by unnamed 'officials' and told to write that Russia pays some Afghans to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. There is zero evidence that the claim is true. The Taliban spokesman denies it. The numbers of U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan is minimal. The alleged sources of the claims are criminals the U.S. has taken as prisoners in Afghanistan. ..."
"... The journalistic standards at the New York Times and Washington Post must be below zero to publish such nonsense without requesting real evidence. The press release like stories below from anti-Trump/anti-Russian sources have nothing to do with ' great reporting ' but are pure stenography. ..."
"... If the Russians were truly inclined in a direction leading them to "pay bounties" for American scalps in Afghanistan, they would instead be doing what we once did: providing state-of-the-art Manpads to Afghan jihadis. Any sort of bar room or shit house rumor these days is attributed to "intelligence officials" or "intelligence sources", always unnamed of course. ..."
"... The paragraph about "reasons to believe" is vacuous in the extreme: ..."
"... "The intelligence assessment is said to be based at least in part on interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals. The officials did not describe the mechanics of the Russian operation, such as how targets were picked or how money changed hands. It is also not clear whether Russian operatives had deployed inside Afghanistan or met with their Taliban counterparts elsewhere." ..."
"... We know from the past that US forces were torturing TOTALLY RANDOM INDIVIDUALS, occasionally to death. Needless to say, "officials did not describe the mechanics" of the interrogation, neither did not describe any corroborative details. The most benign scenario is that "captured Afghan militants and criminals" are pure fiction rather than actual people subjected to "anal inspections", "peroneal strikes", left overnight hanging from the ceiling etc. to spit out random incoherent tidbits about the Russians, like "it is also not clear".... A long list of "not clear"'s. ..."
"... Together, it is very crude "manufacturing of consent", and unfortunately, this is a workable technique of manipulation. Crudity is the tool, not a defect in this case. I will explain later what I mean, this post is probably too long already. ..."
Jun 28, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Evidence Free Press Release Claims 'Russia Did Bad, Trump Did Not Respond' - NYT , WaPo Publish It A. Pols , Jun 27 2020 14:34 utc | 1

There were allegations about emails that someone exfiltrated from the DNC and provided to Wikileaks . Russia must have done it. The FBI and other intelligence services were all over it. In the end no evidence was provided to support the claims.

There were allegations that Trump did not really win the elections. Russia must have done it. The various U.S. intelligence service, together with their British friends, provided all kinds of sinister leaks about the alleged case. In the end no evidence was provided to support the claims.

A British double agent, Sergej Skirpal, was allegedly injured in a Russian attack on him. The intelligence services told all kind of contradicting nonsense about the case. In the end no evidence was provided to support the claims.

All three cases had two points in common. The were based on sources near to the U.S. and British intelligence community. They were designed to increase hostility against Russia. The last point was then used to sabotage Donald Trump's original plans for better relations with Russia.

Now the intelligence services make another claim that fits right into the above scheme.

Reporters from the New York Times and the Washington Post were called up by unnamed 'officials' and told to write that Russia pays some Afghans to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. There is zero evidence that the claim is true. The Taliban spokesman denies it. The numbers of U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan is minimal. The alleged sources of the claims are criminals the U.S. has taken as prisoners in Afghanistan.

All that nonsense is again used to press against Trump's wish for better relations with Russia. Imagine - Trump was told about these nonsensical claims and he did nothing about it!

The same intelligence services and 'officials' previously paid bounties to bring innocent prisoners to Guantanamo Bay, tortured them until they made false confessions and lied about it. The same intelligence services and 'officials' lied about WMD in Iraq. The same 'intelligence officials' paid and pay Jihadis disguised as 'Syrian rebels' to kill Russian and Syrian troops which defend their countries.

The journalistic standards at the New York Times and Washington Post must be below zero to publish such nonsense without requesting real evidence. The press release like stories below from anti-Trump/anti-Russian sources have nothing to do with ' great reporting ' but are pure stenography.

The New York Times :

Cont. reading: Evidence Free Press Release Claims 'Russia Did Bad, Trump Did Not Respond' - NYT, WaPo Publish It

Posted by b at 13:43 UTC | Comments (3) If the Russians were truly inclined in a direction leading them to "pay bounties" for American scalps in Afghanistan, they would instead be doing what we once did: providing state-of-the-art Manpads to Afghan jihadis. Any sort of bar room or shit house rumor these days is attributed to "intelligence officials" or "intelligence sources", always unnamed of course.

JohnH , Jun 27 2020 14:45 utc | 2

Biden is the intelligence services' ideal candidate -- an easily manipulated empty suit. There's a reason why charges of Biden wrongdoing are as easily dismissed as nonsensical charges against Trump and Russia get fabricated. And that reason is that the media is as happy to be manipulated as Biden.
Piotr Berman , Jun 27 2020 15:03 utc | 3
Two puzzling and disturbing aspects.

The paragraph about "reasons to believe" is vacuous in the extreme:

"The intelligence assessment is said to be based at least in part on interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals. The officials did not describe the mechanics of the Russian operation, such as how targets were picked or how money changed hands. It is also not clear whether Russian operatives had deployed inside Afghanistan or met with their Taliban counterparts elsewhere."

We know from the past that US forces were torturing TOTALLY RANDOM INDIVIDUALS, occasionally to death. Needless to say, "officials did not describe the mechanics" of the interrogation, neither did not describe any corroborative details. The most benign scenario is that "captured Afghan militants and criminals" are pure fiction rather than actual people subjected to "anal inspections", "peroneal strikes", left overnight hanging from the ceiling etc. to spit out random incoherent tidbits about the Russians, like "it is also not clear".... A long list of "not clear"'s.

This is disturbing, although this is precisely the quality of "intelligence" that gets released to the public. The second disturbing aspect is that the article was opened to comments, and as usually in such cases, the comments are full of fury at Russians and Trump, and with the numbers of "recommend"'s reaching thousands. On non-Russian topics, if comments are allowed, one can see a much wider spectrum of opinion, sometimes with huge numbers of "recommend"'s to people who criticize and doubt the official positions. Here I lost patience looking for any skeptical comment.

Together, it is very crude "manufacturing of consent", and unfortunately, this is a workable technique of manipulation. Crudity is the tool, not a defect in this case. I will explain later what I mean, this post is probably too long already.

[Jun 20, 2020] The American Press Is Destroying Itself by Matt Taibbi

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Twitter Robespierres who move from discipline to discipline torching reputations and jobs with breathtaking casualness. ..."
"... The leaders of this new movement are replacing traditional liberal beliefs about tolerance, free inquiry, and even racial harmony with ideas so toxic and unattractive that they eschew debate, moving straight to shaming, threats, and intimidation. They are counting on the guilt-ridden, self-flagellating nature of traditional American progressives, who will not stand up for themselves, and will walk to the Razor voluntarily. ..."
"... Now, this madness is coming for journalism. Beginning on Friday, June 5th, a series of controversies rocked the media. By my count, at least eight news organizations dealt with internal uprisings (it was likely more). Most involved groups of reporters and staffers demanding the firing or reprimand of colleagues who'd made politically "problematic" editorial or social media decisions. ..."
"... The New York Times, the Intercept , Vox, the Philadelphia Inquirier, Variety , and others saw challenges to management. ..."
"... I always question, why does a Black life matter only when a white man takes it?... Like, if a white man takes my life tonight, it's going to be national news, but if a Black man takes my life, it might not even be spoken of It's stuff just like that that I just want in the mix. ..."
"... Bon Apetit ..."
"... Philadelphia Inquirer's ..."
"... Morning Consult ..."
"... Philadelphia Inquirer ..."
"... fuck you, shut up, send money, do better, check yourself, I'm tired ..."
"... Game of Thrones ..."
"... washing the feet ..."
"... The traditional view of the press was never based on some contrived, mathematical notion of "balance," i.e. five paragraphs of Republicans for every five paragraphs of Democrats. The ideal instead was that we showed you everything we could see, good and bad, ugly and not, trusting that a better-informed public would make better decisions. This vision of media stressed accuracy, truth, and trust in the reader's judgment as the routes to positive social change. ..."
Jun 20, 2020 | taibbi.substack.com

Reporting by Matt Taibbi Subscribe

Sometimes it seems life can't get any worse in this country. Already in terror of a pandemic, Americans have lately been bombarded with images of grotesque state-sponsored violence, from the murder of George Floyd to countless scenes of police clubbing and brutalizing protesters.

Our president, Donald Trump, is a clown who makes a great reality-show villain but is uniquely toolless as the leader of a superpower nation. Watching him try to think through two society-imperiling crises is like waiting for a gerbil to solve Fermat's theorem. Calls to "dominate" marchers and ad-libbed speculations about Floyd's "great day" looking down from heaven at Trump's crisis management and new unemployment numbers (" only" 21 million out of work!) were pure gasoline at a tinderbox moment. The man seems determined to talk us into civil war.

But police violence, and Trump's daily assaults on the presidential competence standard, are only part of the disaster. On the other side of the political aisle, among self-described liberals, we're watching an intellectual revolution. It feels liberating to say after years of tiptoeing around the fact, but the American left has lost its mind. It's become a cowardly mob of upper-class social media addicts, Twitter Robespierres who move from discipline to discipline torching reputations and jobs with breathtaking casualness.

The leaders of this new movement are replacing traditional liberal beliefs about tolerance, free inquiry, and even racial harmony with ideas so toxic and unattractive that they eschew debate, moving straight to shaming, threats, and intimidation. They are counting on the guilt-ridden, self-flagellating nature of traditional American progressives, who will not stand up for themselves, and will walk to the Razor voluntarily.

They've conned organization after organization into empowering panels to search out thoughtcrime, and it's established now that anything can be an offense, from a UCLA professor placed under investigation for reading Martin Luther King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" out loud to a data scientist fired* from a research firm for -- get this -- retweeting an academic study suggesting nonviolent protests may be more politically effective than violent ones!

Now, this madness is coming for journalism. Beginning on Friday, June 5th, a series of controversies rocked the media. By my count, at least eight news organizations dealt with internal uprisings (it was likely more). Most involved groups of reporters and staffers demanding the firing or reprimand of colleagues who'd made politically "problematic" editorial or social media decisions.

The New York Times, the Intercept , Vox, the Philadelphia Inquirier, Variety , and others saw challenges to management.

Probably the most disturbing story involved Intercept writer Lee Fang, one of a fast-shrinking number of young reporters actually skilled in investigative journalism. Fang's work in the area of campaign finance especially has led to concrete impact, including a record fine to a conservative Super PAC : few young reporters have done more to combat corruption.

Yet Fang found himself denounced online as a racist, then hauled before H.R. His crime? During protests, he tweeted this interview with an African-American man named Maximum Fr, who described having two cousins murdered in the East Oakland neighborhood where he grew up. Saying his aunt is still not over those killings, Max asked:

I always question, why does a Black life matter only when a white man takes it?... Like, if a white man takes my life tonight, it's going to be national news, but if a Black man takes my life, it might not even be spoken of It's stuff just like that that I just want in the mix.

Shortly after, a co-worker of Fang's, Akela Lacy, wrote, "Tired of being made to deal continually with my co-worker @lhfang continuing to push black on black crime narratives after being repeatedly asked not to. This isn't about me and him, it's about institutional racism and using free speech to couch anti-blackness. I am so fucking tired." She followed with, "Stop being racist Lee."

The tweet received tens of thousands of likes and responses along the lines of, " Lee Fang has been like this for years, but the current moment only makes his anti-Blackness more glaring ," and " Lee Fang spouting racist bullshit it must be a day ending in day ." A significant number of Fang's co-workers, nearly all white, as well as reporters from other major news organizations like the New York Times and MSNBC and political activists (one former Elizabeth Warren staffer tweeted, " Get him !"), issued likes and messages of support for the notion that Fang was a racist. Though he had support within the organization, no one among his co-workers was willing to say anything in his defense publicly.

Like many reporters, Fang has always viewed it as part of his job to ask questions in all directions. He's written critically of political figures on the center-left, the left, and "obviously on the right," and his reporting has inspired serious threats in the past. None of those past experiences were as terrifying as this blitz by would-be colleagues, which he described as "jarring," "deeply isolating," and "unique in my professional experience."

To save his career, Fang had to craft a public apology for "insensitivity to the lived experience of others." According to one friend of his, it's been communicated to Fang that his continued employment at The Intercept is contingent upon avoiding comments that may upset colleagues. Lacy to her credit publicly thanked Fang for his statement and expressed willingness to have a conversation; unfortunately, the throng of Intercept co-workers who piled on her initial accusation did not join her in this.

I first met Lee Fang in 2014 and have never known him to be anything but kind, gracious, and easygoing. He also appears earnestly committed to making the world a better place through his work. It's stunning that so many colleagues are comfortable using a word as extreme and villainous as racist to describe him.

Though he describes his upbringing as "solidly middle-class," Fang grew up in up in a diverse community in Prince George's County, Maryland, and attended public schools where he was frequently among the few non-African Americans in his class. As a teenager, he was witness to the murder of a young man outside his home by police who were never prosecuted, and also volunteered at a shelter for trafficked women, two of whom were murdered. If there's an edge to Fang at all, it seems geared toward people in our business who grew up in affluent circumstances and might intellectualize topics that have personal meaning for him.

In the tweets that got him in trouble with Lacy and other co-workers, he questioned the logic of protesters attacking immigrant-owned businesses " with no connection to police brutality at all ." He also offered his opinion on Martin Luther King's attitude toward violent protest (Fang's take was that King did not support it; Lacy responded, "you know they killed him too right"). These are issues around which there is still considerable disagreement among self-described liberals, even among self-described leftists. Fang also commented, presciently as it turns out, that many reporters were "terrified of openly challenging the lefty conventional wisdom around riots."

Lacy says she never intended for Fang to be "fired, 'canceled,' or deplatformed," but appeared irritated by questions on the subject, which she says suggest, "there is more concern about naming racism than letting it persist."

Max himself was stunned to find out that his comments on all this had created a Twitter firestorm. "I couldn't believe they were coming for the man's job over something I said," he recounts. "It was not Lee's opinion. It was my opinion."

By phone, Max spoke of a responsibility he feels Black people have to speak out against all forms of violence, "precisely because we experience it the most." He described being affected by the Floyd story, but also by the story of retired African-American police captain David Dorn, shot to death in recent protests in St. Louis. He also mentioned Tony Timpa, a white man whose 2016 asphyxiation by police was only uncovered last year. In body-camera footage, police are heard joking after Timpa passed out and stopped moving, " I don't want to go to school! Five more minutes, Mom !"

"If it happens to anyone, it has to be called out," Max says.

Max described discussions in which it was argued to him that bringing up these other incidents now is not helpful to the causes being articulated at the protests. He understands that point of view. He just disagrees.

"They say, there has to be the right time and a place to talk about that," he says. "But my point is, when? I want to speak out now." He pauses. "We've taken the narrative, and instead of being inclusive with it, we've become exclusive with it. Why?"

There were other incidents. The editors of Bon Apetit and Refinery29 both resigned amid accusations of toxic workplace culture. The editor of Variety, Claudia Eller, was placed on leave after calling a South Asian freelance writer "bitter" in a Twitter exchange about minority hiring at her company. The self-abasing apology ("I have tried to diversify our newsroom over the past seven years, but I HAVE NOT DONE ENOUGH") was insufficient. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Inquirer's editor, Stan Wischowski, was forced out after approving a headline, "Buildings matter, too."

In the most discussed incident, Times editorial page editor James Bennet was ousted for green-lighting an anti-protest editorial by Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton entitled, " Send in the troops ."

I'm no fan of Cotton, but as was the case with Michael Moore's documentary and many other controversial speech episodes, it's not clear that many of the people angriest about the piece in question even read it. In classic Times fashion, the paper has already scrubbed a mistake they made misreporting what their own editorial said, in an article about Bennet's ouster. Here's how the piece by Marc Tracy read originally (emphasis mine):

James Bennet, the editorial page editor of The New York Times, has resigned after a controversy over an Op-Ed by a senator calling for military force against protesters in American cities.

Here's how the piece reads now :

James Bennet resigned on Sunday from his job as the editorial page editor of The New York Times, days after the newspaper's opinion section, which he oversaw, published a much-criticized Op-Ed by a United States senator calling for a military response to civic unrest in American cities.

Cotton did not call for "military force against protesters in American cities." He spoke of a "show of force," to rectify a situation a significant portion of the country saw as spiraling out of control. It's an important distinction. Cotton was presenting one side of the most important question on the most important issue of a critically important day in American history.

As Cotton points out in the piece, he was advancing a view arguably held by a majority of the country. A Morning Consult poll showed 58% of Americans either strongly or somewhat supported the idea of "calling in the U.S. military to supplement city police forces." That survey included 40% of self-described "liberals" and 37% of African-Americans. To declare a point of view held by that many people not only not worthy of discussion, but so toxic that publication of it without even necessarily agreeing requires dismissal, is a dramatic reversal for a newspaper that long cast itself as the national paper of record.

Incidentally, that same poll cited by Cotton showed that 73% of Americans described protecting property as "very important," while an additional 16% considered it "somewhat important." This means the Philadelphia Inquirer editor was fired for running a headline – "Buildings matter, too" – that the poll said expressed a view held by 89% of the population, including 64% of African-Americans.

(Would I have run the Inquirer headline? No. In the context of the moment, the use of the word "matter" especially sounds like the paper is equating "Black lives" and "buildings," an odious and indefensible comparison. But why not just make this case in a rebuttal editorial? Make it a teaching moment? How can any editor operate knowing that airing opinions shared by a majority of readers might cost his or her job?)

The main thing accomplished by removing those types of editorials from newspapers -- apart from scaring the hell out of editors -- is to shield readers from knowledge of what a major segment of American society is thinking.

It also guarantees that opinion writers and editors alike will shape views to avoid upsetting colleagues, which means that instead of hearing what our differences are and how we might address those issues, newspaper readers will instead be presented with page after page of people professing to agree with one another. That's not agitation, that's misinformation.

The instinct to shield audiences from views or facts deemed politically uncomfortable has been in evidence since Trump became a national phenomenon. We saw it when reporters told audiences Hillary Clinton's small crowds were a " wholly intentional " campaign decision. I listened to colleagues that summer of 2016 talk about ignoring poll results, or anecdotes about Hillary's troubled campaign, on the grounds that doing otherwise might "help Trump" (or, worse, be perceived that way).

Even if you embrace a wholly politically utilitarian vision of the news media – I don't, but let's say – non-reporting of that "enthusiasm" story, or ignoring adverse poll results, didn't help Hillary's campaign. I'd argue it more likely accomplished the opposite, contributing to voter apathy by conveying the false impression that her victory was secure.

After the 2016 election, we began to see staff uprisings. In one case, publishers at the Nation faced a revolt – from the Editor on down – after articles by Aaron Mate and Patrick Lawrence questioning the evidentiary basis for Russiagate claims was run. Subsequent events, including the recent declassification of congressional testimony , revealed that Mate especially was right to point out that officials had no evidence for a Trump-Russia collusion case. It's precisely because such unpopular views often turn out to be valid that we stress publishing and debating them in the press.

In a related incident, the New Yorker ran an article about Glenn Greenwald's Russiagate skepticism that quoted that same Nation editor, Joan Walsh, who had edited Greenwald at Salon. She suggested to the New Yorker that Greenwald's reservations were rooted in "disdain" for the Democratic Party, in part because of its closeness to Wall Street, but also because of the " ascendance of women and people of color ." The message was clear: even if you win a Pulitzer Prize, you can be accused of racism for deviating from approved narratives, even on questions that have nothing to do with race (the New Yorker piece also implied Greenwald's intransigence on Russia was pathological and grounded in trauma from childhood).

In the case of Cotton, Times staffers protested on the grounds that " Running this puts Black @NYTimes staff in danger ." Bennet's editorial decision was not merely ill-considered, but literally life-threatening (note pundits in the space of a few weeks have told us that protesting during lockdowns and not protesting during lockdowns are both literally lethal). The Times first attempted to rectify the situation by apologizing, adding a long Editor's note to Cotton's piece that read, as so many recent "apologies" have, like a note written by a hostage.

Editors begged forgiveness for not being more involved, for not thinking to urge Cotton to sound less like Cotton ("Editors should have offered suggestions"), and for allowing rhetoric that was "needlessly harsh and falls short of the thoughtful approach that advances useful debate." That last line is sadly funny, in the context of an episode in which reporters were seeking to pre-empt a debate rather than have one at all; of course, no one got the joke, since a primary characteristic of the current political climate is a total absence of a sense of humor in any direction.

As many guessed, the "apology" was not enough, and Bennet was whacked a day later in a terse announcement.

His replacement, Kathleen Kingsbury, issued a staff directive essentially telling employees they now had a veto over anything that made them uncomfortable : "Anyone who sees any piece of Opinion journalism, headlines, social posts, photos -- you name it -- that gives you the slightest pause, please call or text me immediately."

All these episodes sent a signal to everyone in a business already shedding jobs at an extraordinary rate that failure to toe certain editorial lines can and will result in the loss of your job. Perhaps additionally, you could face a public shaming campaign in which you will be denounced as a racist and rendered unemployable.

These tensions led to amazing contradictions in coverage. For all the extraordinary/inexplicable scenes of police viciousness in recent weeks -- and there was a ton of it, ranging from police slashing tires in Minneapolis, to Buffalo officers knocking over an elderly man, to Philadelphia police attacking protesters -- there were also 12 deaths in the first nine days of protests, only one at the hands of a police officer (involving a man who may or may not have been aiming a gun at police).

Looting in some communities has been so bad that people have been left without banks to cash checks, or pharmacies to fill prescriptions; business owners have been wiped out (" My life is gone ," commented one Philly store owner); a car dealership in San Leandro, California saw 74 cars stolen in a single night. It isn't the whole story, but it's demonstrably true that violence, arson, and rioting are occurring.

However, because it is politically untenable to discuss this in ways that do not suggest support, reporters have been twisting themselves into knots. We are seeing headlines previously imaginable only in The Onion, e.g., " 27 police officers injured during largely peaceful anti-racism protests in London ."

Even people who try to keep up with protest goals find themselves denounced the moment they fail to submit to some new tenet of ever-evolving doctrine, via a surprisingly consistent stream of retorts: fuck you, shut up, send money, do better, check yourself, I'm tired and racist .

Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey, who argued for police reform and attempted to show solidarity with protesters in his city, was shouted down after he refused to commit to defunding the police. Protesters shouted "Get the fuck out!" at him, then chanted " Shame !" and threw refuse, Game of Thrones -style , as he skulked out of the gathering. Frey's "shame" was refusing to endorse a position polls show 65% of Americans oppose , including 62% of Democrats, with just 15% of all people, and only 33% of African-Americans, in support.

Each passing day sees more scenes that recall something closer to cult religion than politics. White protesters in Floyd's Houston hometown kneeling and praying to black residents for "forgiveness for years and years of racism" are one thing, but what are we to make of white police in Cary, North Carolina, kneeling and washing the feet of Black pastors? What about Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer kneeling while dressed in " African kente cloth scarves "?

There is symbolism here that goes beyond frustration with police or even with racism: these are orgiastic, quasi-religious, and most of all, deeply weird scenes, and the press is too paralyzed to wonder at it. In a business where the first job requirement was once the willingness to ask tough questions, we've become afraid to ask obvious ones.

On CNN, Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender was asked a hypothetical question about a future without police: "What if in the middle of the night, my home is broken into? Who do I call?" When Bender, who is white, answered , "I know that comes from a place of privilege," questions popped to mind. Does privilege mean one should let someone break into one's home, or that one shouldn't ask that hypothetical question? (I was genuinely confused). In any other situation, a media person pounces on a provocative response to dig out its meaning, but an increasingly long list of words and topics are deemed too dangerous to discuss.

The media in the last four years has devolved into a succession of moral manias. We are told the Most Important Thing Ever is happening for days or weeks at a time, until subjects are abruptly dropped and forgotten, but the tone of warlike emergency remains: from James Comey's firing, to the deification of Robert Mueller, to the Brett Kavanaugh nomination, to the democracy-imperiling threat to intelligence "whistleblowers," all those interminable months of Ukrainegate hearings (while Covid-19 advanced), to fury at the death wish of lockdown violators, to the sudden reversal on that same issue, etc.

It's been learned in these episodes we may freely misreport reality, so long as the political goal is righteous. It was okay to publish the now-discredited Steele dossier, because Trump is scum. MSNBC could put Michael Avenatti on live TV to air a gang rape allegation without vetting, because who cared about Brett Kavanaugh – except press airing of that wild story ended up being a crucial factor in convincing key swing voter Maine Senator Susan Collins the anti-Kavanaugh campaign was a political hit job (the allegation illustrated, "why the presumption of innocence is so important," she said ). Reporters who were anxious to prevent Kavanaugh's appointment, in other words, ended up helping it happen through overzealousness.

There were no press calls for self-audits after those episodes, just as there won't be a few weeks from now if Covid-19 cases spike, or a few months from now if Donald Trump wins re-election successfully painting the Democrats as supporters of violent protest who want to abolish police. No: press activism is limited to denouncing and shaming colleagues for insufficient fealty to the cheap knockoff of bullying campus Marxism that passes for leftist thought these days.

The traditional view of the press was never based on some contrived, mathematical notion of "balance," i.e. five paragraphs of Republicans for every five paragraphs of Democrats. The ideal instead was that we showed you everything we could see, good and bad, ugly and not, trusting that a better-informed public would make better decisions. This vision of media stressed accuracy, truth, and trust in the reader's judgment as the routes to positive social change.

For all our infamous failings, journalists once had some toughness to them. We were supposed to be willing to go to jail for sources we might not even like, and fly off to war zones or disaster areas without question when editors asked. It was also once considered a virtue to flout the disapproval of colleagues to fight for stories we believed in (Watergate, for instance).

Today no one with a salary will stand up for colleagues like Lee Fang. Our brave truth-tellers make great shows of shaking fists at our parody president , but not one of them will talk honestly about the fear running through their own newsrooms. People depend on us to tell them what we see, not what we think. What good are we if we're afraid to do it?

Sean Carson Jun 13

This is such an IMPORTANT story. But it's not just happening in newsrooms, it's happening everywhere: college campuses, corporations and the workplace, social media platforms, politics, you name it. These ideologues are the Red Guard of a new Cultural Revolution. Their goal is power and their method is leveraging progressive guilt. I think they are far, far more dangerous than Donald Trump or anything going on with the right. Thank you Matt for writing about this! 163

Dazed and Confused Jun 13

Bravo for writing this Matt. You could, of course, have written it without first establishing your bona fides as a trump detractor. The problem you address has nothing to do with trump and would exist regardless of who was in the white house. This doesn't mean there are no problems with trump, or that he hasn't made a bad situation worse. But that is where we are today. Before anyone can criticize the obviously insane ideological absurdities within the liberal/left wing press they must first take a swing at trump in case anyone thinks criticism of the press is the same thing as supporting trump. How sad.

[Jun 10, 2020] They Really Are Lying To You The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post's ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Wall Street Journal ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
Jun 10, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The media's Russiagate failures were just a trial-run for the last four months.

June 10, 2020

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12:01 am

Arthur Bloom The most effective kind of propaganda is by omission. Walter Duranty didn't cook up accounts from smiling Ukrainian farmers, he simply said there was no evidence for a famine, much like the media tells us today that there is no evidence antifa has a role in the current protests. It is much harder to do this today than it was back then -- there are photographs and video that show they have been -- which is the proximate cause for greater media concern about conspiracy theories and disinformation.

For all the hyperventilating over the admittedly creepy 2008 article about "cognitive infiltration," by Cass Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule, it was a serious attempt to deal with the problem of an informational center being lost in American public life, at a time when the problem was not nearly as bad as it is today. It proposed a number of strategies to reduce the credibility of conspiracy theorists, including seeding them with false information. Whether such strategies have been employed, perhaps with QAnon, which has a remarkable ability to absorb all other conspiracy theories that came before it, I leave to the reader's speculation.

Books will one day be written about the many failures of the media during the Trump presidency, but much of the Russiagate narrative-shaping was related to the broader problem of decentralization and declining authority of establishment media. One of the more egregious examples is the Washington Post's report that relied upon a blacklist created by an anonymous group, PropOrNot, that found more than 200 sites carried water for the Russians in some way, and not all on the right either. In fact, if the Bush administration had commissioned a list of news sources that were carrying water for Saddam Hussein in 2006, it would have looked almost the same as the PropOrNot list, except here it was, recast as an effort to defend democratic integrity. On the list was Naked Capitalism, Antiwar.com, and Truthdig.

This should have been a bigger scandal, very good evidence that the war on disinformation was not that but a campaign against officially unapproved information. But virtually nobody except Glenn Greenwald objected. There is some evidence that this style of blacklisting went even further, into the architecture of search engines. My reporting on Google search last year found that one of the "fringe domain" blacklists included Robert Parry's Consortium News. In other words, if Google had been around in the 1980s, Parry's exposes on Iran-Contra would have been excluded from Google News results.

The criteria for inclusion on any of these lists are much more amorphous than a more traditional one: taking money from a foreign power. As of this week, we now have a figure for how much the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal have taken from China Daily, a state-run newspaper, since 2016. It's $4.6 million, and $6 million, respectively. This is more than an order of magnitude greater than Russia is thought to have spent on Facebook advertising prior to the 2016 election.

There are other specific Russiagate disgraces one would be remiss to overlook, like star reporter Natasha Bertrand, who was hired at MSNBC after several appearances in which she repeatedly defended the accuracy of the Steele Dossier, which itself was likely tainted by Russian disinformation. The newspaper that published the Pentagon Papers defended the outing of a source to the FBI. How David Ignatius, considered America's top reporter on the intelligence community, can show his face in public after he was allegedly told by James Clapper to "take the kill shot on Flynn," and then two days later doing just that, is disturbing (Clapper's spokesman disputes this account, but Ignatius has not). The scoop, that Flynn, the incoming national security advisor had spoken to the Russian ambassador, is in no way suspicious, but for weeks was treated as if Flynn was making contact with his handler.

What Russiagate amounts to, as Matt Taibbi among others have written, is the use of federal investigative resources to criminalize or persecute dissenters from the foreign policy line of what we here at TAC call the Blob, in the same way that the PropOrNot list amounts to an attempt to suppress unapproved sources of news.

Many of the same figures involved in prolonging the Russiagate hysteria were also big cheerleaders for the Bush and Obama wars. Before Russiagate, there was the Pentagon military analysts scandal, in which it was revealed that dozens of media commentators on military affairs were doing so without disclosing their connections to the Pentagon or defense contractors. It implicated Barry McCaffrey, Bill Clinton's drug war czar, who is now an MSNBC contributor who helped to provide color for the narrative of General Flynn's decline, suggesting he was mentally ill after he had initially been supportive of him getting the job.

In a certain sense, Trump provides journalists who have disturbingly cozy relationships with powerful people a way of looking like they are holding the powerful accountable, without alienating any of their previous friends. Trump is in fact one of the weakest executives in presidential history, partly because of the massive resistance to him in the federal workforce, but also because his White House seems powerless to actually do anything about that. That people actually think the dark cloud of fascism has descended upon the land when Trump can't even figure out how to work those levers of power just shows how obsessed with symbolic matters -- "representation," they call it -- our politics has become.

The subsequent failures of the American information landscape have only served to reinforce this dynamic. Both the self-inflicted economic catastrophe of the coronavirus shutdowns, and the recent civil unrest, will serve to concentrate wealth away from the hated red-state bourgeoise and into the hands of the oligarchs in blue states, including Jeff Bezos, the owner of the Washington Post . This bears repeating: COVID and the protests will lead to a large transfer of wealth from a reliably Republican demographic -- small business owners -- to one that is at best split, which is why you saw Jamie Dimon kneeling in front of a bank vault this week.

Untangling the question of intent is difficult in the best of circumstances, and the same is true here. The contrast between news networks ominously reporting on Florida beachgoers a month ago now cheering on mass gatherings in large cities may not in fact be due to the fact that the large consortiums that own the networks stand to benefit financially from the continued shutdown of the country. They may sincerely believe, along with public health officials , that balancing the risks of institutional racism and getting COVID-19 is worth discussing in relation to protests, but balancing the same risks when it comes to going to church or burying a family member is not. Or it may just be studied naivety, like the kind exhibited a few weeks ago when the whole New York media scene rushed to the defense of the New Yorker 's Jia Tolentino, who played the victim after people on social media revealed that her family was involved in what certainly appears to be an exploitative immigration scam.

The rise of the first-person essay and subjectivity in journalism may turn out to be a perfectly congenial development for the powerful people in America; Tolentino is great at writing about herself. For one thing, this is a lot cheaper than reporting; it probably isn't a coincidence that this development has coincided with a huge decline in newsroom budgets. But at the same time blaming this on economics feels like it misses the point, because there are many people who are convinced this trend is good.

But the way it intersects with official corruption has me rather nervous. To give one example, it seems clear that #MeToo degenerated after the Kavanaugh hearings and Biden's nomination. And given the apparent loyalties of someone like David Ignatius, he isn't going to be the one to unravel the intelligence connections involved in the great sexual violence story of our generation, the Jeffrey Epstein scandal. So we are left with the Netflix version, slotted right into the typical narrative, in which the Epstein story looks fundamentally the same as most other stories of sexual coercion, involving a powerful man and less powerful woman, only with an exceptionally powerful man. And yet there are so many indications it was not typical.

So it is today with George Floyd as well. It seems like there are perfectly reasonable questions to be asked about the acquaintance between him and Derek Chauvin, and the fact that the rather shady bar they both worked at conveniently burned down. But by now most of the media is now highly invested in not seeing anything other than a statistic, another incident in a long history of police brutality, and the search for facts has been replaced by narratives. This is a shame, because it is perfectly possible to think that police have a history of poor treatment toward black people and there might be corruption involved in the George Floyd case, which is something Ben Crump, the lawyer for Floyd's family, seems to suggest in his interview on Face the Nation this weekend.

Two incidents in the last week, the freakout among young New York Times staffers over their publication of an op-ed by Senator Tom Cotton that has now led to the resignation of the editorial page editor, and the report by Cockburn that Andrew Sullivan has been barred from writing about the protests by New York magazine, are a good indication that all of this is going to get worse. As for the class of people who actually own these media properties, they will probably find that building a padded room for woke staffers, in the form of whatever HR and "safety"-related demands they're making, will suit their interests just fine. about the author Arthur Bloom is managing editor of The American Conservative. He was previously deputy editor of the Daily Caller and a columnist for the Catholic Herald. He holds masters degrees in urban planning and American studies from the University of Kansas. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Spectator (UK), The Guardian, Quillette, The American Spectator , Modern Age, and Tiny Mix Tapes.

[Jun 06, 2020] Why Does The New York Times Brazenly Deny The Obvious Zero Hedge

Jun 06, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

by Tyler Durden Fri, 06/05/2020 - 22:00 Authored by Jeffrey Tucker via The American Institute for Economic research,

Don't laugh derisively, as people do these days, but I've always admired the New York Times . First draft of history. Talent everywhere. Best production values. Even with its ideological spin, it can be scrupulous about facts. You can usually extract the truth with a decoder ring. Its outsized influence over the rest of the press makes it essential. I've relied on it for years. Even given everything, and I mean everything.

Until now. It's just too much. Too much unreality, manipulation, propaganda, and flat out untruths that are immediately recognizable to anyone. I can't believe they think they can get away with this with credibility intact. I'm not speaking of the many great reporters, technicians, editors, production specialists, and the tens of thousands who make it all possible. I'm speaking of a very small coterie of people who stand guard over the paper's editorial mission of the moment and enforce it on the whole company, with no dissent allowed.

Let's get right to the offending passage. It's not from the news or opinion section but the official editorial section and hence the official voice of the paper. The paragraph from June 2, 2020, reads as follows.

Healing the wounds ripped open in recent days and months will not be easy. The pandemic has made Americans fearful of their neighbors, cut them off from their communities of faith, shut their outlets for exercise and recreation and culture and learning. Worst of all, it has separated Americans from their own livelihoods.

Can you imagine? The pandemic is the cause!

I would otherwise feel silly to have to point this out but for the utter absurdity of the claim. The pandemic didn't do this. It caused a temporary and mostly media-fueled panic that distracted officials from doing what they should have done, which is protect the vulnerable and otherwise let society function and medical workers deal with disease.

Instead, the CDC and governors around the country, at the urging of bad computer-science models uninformed by any experience in viruses, shut down schools, churches, events, restaurants, gyms, theaters, sports, and further instructed people to stay in their homes, enforced sometimes even by SWAT teams. Jewish funerals were broken up by the police.

It was brutal and egregious and it threw 40 million people out of work and bankrupted countless businesses. Nothing this terrible was attempted even during the Black Death. Maximum economic damage; minimum health advantages . It's not even possible to find evidence that the lockdowns saved lives at all .

But to hear the New York Times tell the story, it was not the lockdown but the pandemic that did this. That's a level of ideological subterfuge that is almost impossible for a sane person to conjure up, simply because it is so obviously unbelievable.

It's lockdown denialism.

Why? From February 2020 and following, the New York Times had a story and they are continuing to stick to it. The story is that we are all going to die from this pandemic unless government shuts down society. It was a drum this paper beat every day.

Consider what the top virus reporter Donald J. McNeil (B.A. Rhetoric, University of California, Berkeley) wrote on February 28, 2020, weeks before there was any talk of shutdowns in the U.S.:

There are two ways to fight epidemics: the medieval and the modern.

The modern way is to surrender to the power of the pathogens: Acknowledge that they are unstoppable and to try to soften the blow with 20th-century inventions, including new vaccines, antibiotics, hospital ventilators and thermal cameras searching for people with fevers.

The medieval way, inherited from the era of the Black Death, is brutal: Close the borders, quarantine the ships, pen terrified citizens up inside their poisoned cities.

For the first time in more than a century, the world has chosen to confront a new and terrifying virus with the iron fist instead of the latex glove.

And yes, he recommends the medieval way. The article continues on to praise China's response and Cuba's to AIDS and says that this approach is natural to Trump and should be done in the United States. ( AIER called him out on this alarming column on March 4, 20202.)

McNeil then went on to greater fame with a series of shocking podcasts for the NYT that put a voice and even more panic to the failed modeling of Neil Ferguson of the Imperial College London.

This first appeared the day before his op-ed calling for global lockdown. The transcript includes this:

I spend a lot of time thinking about whether I'm being too alarmist or whether I'm being not alarmist enough. And this is alarmist, but I think right now, it's justified. This one reminds me of what I have read about the 1918 Spanish influenza.

Reminder: 675,000 Americans died in that pandemic. There were only 103 million people living in the U.S. at the time.

He continues:

I'm trying to bring a sense that if things don't change, a lot of us might die. If you have 300 relatively close friends and acquaintances, six of them would die in a 2.5 percent mortality situation.

That's an astonishing claim that seems to forecast 8.25 million Americans will die. So far as I know, that is the most extreme claim made by anyone, four times as high as the Imperial College model.

What should we do to prevent this?

You can't leave. You can't see your families. All the flights are canceled. All the trains are canceled. All the highways are closed. You're going to stay in there. And you're locked in with a deadly disease. We can do it.

So because this coronavirus "reminds" him of one he read about, he can say on the air that four million people could soon die, and therefore life itself should be cancelled. Because a reporter is "reminded" of something.

This is the same newspaper that in 1957 urged people to stay calm during the Asian flu and trust medical providers – running all of one editorial on the topic. What a change! This was an amazing podcast -- amazingly irresponsible.

McNeil was not finished yet. He was at it again on March 12, 2020, demanding that we not just close big events and schools but shut down everything and everyone "for months." He went back on the podcast twice more, then started riding the media circuit, including NPR . It was also the same. China did it right. We need to lock down or people you know, if you are one of the lucky survivors, will die.

To say that the New York Times was invested in the scenario of "lock down or we die" is an understatement. It was as invested in this narrative as it was in the Russia-collaboration story or the Ukrainian-phone call impeachment, tales to which they dedicated hundreds of stories and many dozens of reporters. The virus was the third pitch to achieve their objective.

Once in, there was no turning back, even after it became obvious that for the vast numbers of people this was hardly a disease at all, and that most of the deaths came from one city and mostly from nursing homes that were forced by law to take in COVID-19 patients.

That the newspaper, a once venerable institution, has something to answer for is apparent. But instead of accepting moral culpability for having created a panic to fuel the overthrow of the American way of life, they turn on a dime to celebrate people who are not socially distancing in the streets to protest police brutality.

To me, the protests on the streets were a welcome relief from the vicious lockdowns. To the New York Times , it seems like the lockdowns never happened. Down the Orwellian memory hole.

In this paper's consistent editorializing, nothing is the fault of the lockdowns.

Everything instead is the fault of Trump, who "tends to see only political opportunity in public fear and anger, as in his customary manner of contributing heat rather than light to the confrontations between protesters and authority."

True about Trump but let us remember that the McNeil's first pro-lockdown article praised Trump as perfectly suited to bring about the lockdown, and the paper urged him to do just that, while only three months later washing their hands of the whole thing, as if had nothing to do with current sufferings much less the rage on the streets.

And the rapid turnaround of this paper on street protests was stunning to behold. A month ago, people protesting lockdowns were written about as vicious disease spreaders who were denying good science. In the blink of an eye, the protesters against police brutality (the same police who enforced the lockdown) were transmogrified into bold embracers of First Amendment rights who posed no threat to public health.

Not even the scary warnings about the coming "second wave" were enough to stop the paper from throwing out all its concern over "targeted layered containment" and "social distancing" in order to celebrate protests in the streets that they like.

And they ask themselves why people are incredulous toward mainstream media today.

The lockdowns wrecked the fundamentals of life in America. The New York Times today wants to pretend they either didn't happen, happened only in a limited way, or were just minor public health measures that worked beautifully to mitigate disease. And instead of having an editorial meltdown over these absurdities, preposterous forecasts, and extreme panic mongering that contributed to vast carnage, we seen an internal revolt over the publishing of a Tom Cotton editorial, a dispute over politics not facts.

The record is there: this paper went all in back in February to demand the most authoritarian possible response to a virus about which we already knew enough back then to observe that this was nothing like the Spanish flu of 1918. They pretended otherwise, probably for ideological reasons, most likely.

It was not the pandemic that blew up our lives, commercial networks, and health systems. It was the response to the virus that did that. The Times needs to learn that it cannot construct a fake version of reality just to avoid responsibility for what they've done. Are we really supposed to believe what they write now and in the future? This time, I hope, people will be smart and learn to consider the source.

[Jun 03, 2020] Not The Onion: NY Times Urges Trump To Establish Closer Ties With Moscow

Highly recommended!
Jul 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

2016 a Russia-Trump campaign collusion conspiracy was afoot and unfolding right before our eyes, we were told, as during his roll-out foreign policy speech at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., then candidate Trump said [ gasp! ]:

" Common sense says this cycle, this horrible cycle of hostility must end and ideally will end soon. Good for both countries. Some say the Russians won't be reasonable. I intend to find out."

NPR and others had breathlessly reported at the time, "Sergey Kislyak, then the Russian ambassador to the U.S., was sitting in the front row" [ more gasps! ].

This 'suspicious' "coincidence or something more?" event and of course the infamous Steele 'Dodgy Dossier' were followed by over two more years of the following connect-the-dots mere tiny sampling of unrestrained theorizing and avalanche of accusations...

Here's a very brief trip down memory lane:

2017, Politico: The Hidden History of Trump's First Trip to Moscow

2017, NYT: Trump's Russia Motives (where we were told: "President Trump certainly seems to have a strange case of Russophilia.")

2017, Business Insider: James Clapper: Putin is handling Trump like a Russian 'asset'

2017, USA Today: Donald Trump's ties to Russia go back 30 years

2018, NYT: Trump, Treasonous Traitor

2018, AP: Russia had 'Trump over a barrel'

2018, BBC: Russia: The 'cloud' over the Trump White House

2018, NYT: From the Start, Trump Has Muddied a Clear Message: Putin Interfered

2018, USA Today: " From Putin with love"

2019, WaPo: Here are 18 reasons Trump could be a Russian asset

2019, Vanity Fair: "The President Has Been Acting On Russia's Behalf": U.S. Officials Are Shocked By Trump's Asset-Like Behavior

2019, Wired: Trump Must Be A Russian Agent... (where we were told...ahem: " It would be rather embarrassing ... if Robert Mueller were to declare that the president isn't an agent of Russian intelligence." )

Embarrassing indeed.

"The walls are closing in!" - we were assured just about every 24 hours .

It's especially worth noting that a July 2018 New York Times op-ed argued that President Trump -- dubbed a "treasonous traitor" for meeting with Putin in Helsinki -- should "be directing all resources at his disposal to punish Russia."

Fast-forward to a July 2019 NY Times Editorial Board piece entitled "What's America's Winning Hand if Russia Plays the China Card?" How dizzying fast all of the above has been wiped from America's collective memory! Or at least the Times is engaged in hastily pushing it all down the memory hole Orwell-style in order to cover its own dastardly tracks which contributed in no small measure to non-stop national Russiagate hype and hysteria, with this astounding line:

President Trump is correct to try to establish a sounder relationship with Russia... -- Editorial Board, New York Times, 7-22-19

That's right, The Times' pundits have already pivoted to the new bogeyman while stating they agree with Trump on Russian relations :

"Given its economic, military and technological trajectory, together with its authoritarian model, China, not Russia , represents by far the greater challenge to American objectives over the long term . That means President Trump is correct to try to establish a sounder relationship with Russia and peel it away from China ."

[... Mueller who? ]

Remember how recently we were told PUTIN IS WEAPONIZING EVERYTHING! from space to deep-sea exploration to extreme climate temperatures to humor to racial tensions to even 'weaponized whales' ?

It's 2019, and we've now come full circle . This is The New York Times editorial board continuing their call for Trump to establish "sounder" ties and "cooperation" with Russia :

"Even during the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union often made progress in one facet of their relationship while they remained in conflict over other aspects. The United States and Russia could expand their cooperation in space . They could also continue to work closely in the Arctic And they could revive cooperation on arms control."

Could we imagine if a mere six months ago Trump himself had uttered these same words? Now the mainstream media apparently agrees that peace is better than war with Russia.

With 'Russiagate' now effectively dead, the NY Times' new criticism appears to be that Trump-Kremlin relations are not close enough , as Trump's "approach has been ham-handed " - the 'paper of record' now tells us.

Or imagine if Trump had called for peaceful existence with Russia almost four years ago? Oh wait...

" Common sense says this cycle, this horrible cycle of hostility must end and ideally will end soon. Good for both countries." -- Then candidate Trump on April 27, 2016

Cue ultra scary red Trump-Kremlin montage.

[May 26, 2020] Too much drinking at working place or what -- omething really strange happening at the NY Times: instead of usual warmongering we see critique of military as white supremacist organization

May 26, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , May 25 2020 18:08 utc | 96

Something's happening at the NY Times .

As I pointed out in my 29 above about the front page noting the names and occupations of 1,000 of the 100,000 that have needlessly died due to Trump's Treasonous Do Nothing COVID-19 Policy, today RT reports about a Memorial Day op/ed that disses the Military: "Why Does the U.S. Military Celebrate White Supremacy?"

That made the Pentagon's Spin Master angry, puff out his chest to fume and moan.

There's not much to the RT report, but I can't recall any similar display done before by the NY Times . IMO, something's happened within the Top Office and it seems to be aimed at Trump.

Of course, I'd never have known about any such happening if it hadn't been for the reporting by RT & Global Times .

[May 14, 2020] The NYT takes whatever it wants from whomever has got it, without giving anything back or acknowledging any help or assistance, if it thinks it can get away with it because it believes that, like the Empire it serves, it is Exceptional.

May 14, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
Jen, May 10, 2020 at 3:54 am

Ben Norton, "Russian Journalists accuse NY Times of stealing stories that earned it the Pulitzer Prize – for second time"

"The New York Times has been accused for a second time of stealing major scoops from Russian journalists. One of those stories won the Times a Pulitzer Prize this May.

The journalists who have accused the Times of taking their work without credit also happen to be the same liberal media crusaders against Vladimir Putin [my emphasis] that Western correspondents at the Times and other mainstream outlets have cast as persecuted heroes

As Yasha Levine further down the page says, the NYT takes whatever it wants from whomever has got it, without giving anything back or acknowledging any help or assistance, if it thinks it can get away with it because it believes that, like the Empire it serves, it is Exceptional.

[May 10, 2020] Fear to tell truth, smoke mirrors, writing not for readers but for other journalists - How UK press got to be the LEAST trust by Neil Clark

MSM now run under control of intelligence agencies and use State Department of Foreign Office talking points, much like in the USSR, where this role was played by communist Party
Notable quotes:
"... Part of the problem is that newspapers have morphed into viewspapers. The distinction between reporting and comment has been blurred. Back in the 70s, leading publications only had one comment piece and an editorial. Their pages were packed with news items, with stories reported factually and without a 'bent'. ..."
"... Today, comment has taken over, but while there's no shortage of 'opinion', most of it is saying very much the same thing. I think we first saw this phenomenon in the lead up to the Iraq War. I was one of the very few mainstream commentators who ridiculed the claim that Iraq had WMDs. It was obvious to me that if the leaders of the UK and US genuinely believed Saddam possessed these terrible weapons, they wouldn't be planning to do the one thing which would provoke the Iraqi leader into using them, i.e. invade his country. Yet the Great WMDs Hoax, which a child of five could see through, was promoted by nearly all 'serious' journalists. The most vociferous media cheerleaders for the invasion faced no professional blowback, on the contrary, their careers have flourished. ..."
May 06, 2020 | www.rt.com

Trust in the written press in Britain is the lowest in 33 European countries. That's hardly surprising seeing how so many journalists have become mere stenographers for, or lackeys of, the Establishment power elites. Just when you think the reputation of the UK media couldn't sink any lower, it just did. An annual survey undertaken by EurobarometerEU, across 33 countries, puts the UK at the bottom, with a net trust of -60. Yes that's right, minus 60 . It's a fall of 24 points since last year. Just 15 percent of Brits trust their print media. But it's not the only survey showing a similar trend.

The attached graphic about trust in the written press, published last week, has not been widely reported in Britain. This is a huge annual survey by @EurobarometerEU across 33 countries. It's the ninth year out of the past ten that the UK has been last. We have a problem. pic.twitter.com/8eYoQR7XZw

-- Brian Cathcart (@BrianCathcart) May 5, 2020

Newspapers came in rock bottom (with a rating of -50) in a YouGov poll on Sky where the question was asked, "How much do you trust the following on Coronavirus?" And in case you think it's only the Sun we're talking about here, another poll showed that distrust of so-called 'upmarket' papers was running at 52 percent.

How did we get here? I've got a collection of old newspapers and magazines dating back several decades. Part of the problem is that newspapers have morphed into viewspapers. The distinction between reporting and comment has been blurred. Back in the 70s, leading publications only had one comment piece and an editorial. Their pages were packed with news items, with stories reported factually and without a 'bent'.

Read more The BBC used to be gold standard, now it's losing public trust with political meddling

Today, comment has taken over, but while there's no shortage of 'opinion', most of it is saying very much the same thing. I think we first saw this phenomenon in the lead up to the Iraq War. I was one of the very few mainstream commentators who ridiculed the claim that Iraq had WMDs. It was obvious to me that if the leaders of the UK and US genuinely believed Saddam possessed these terrible weapons, they wouldn't be planning to do the one thing which would provoke the Iraqi leader into using them, i.e. invade his country. Yet the Great WMDs Hoax, which a child of five could see through, was promoted by nearly all 'serious' journalists. The most vociferous media cheerleaders for the invasion faced no professional blowback, on the contrary, their careers have flourished.

As bad as the Iraq War propaganda was, things have got even worse since then. Obnoxious gatekeepers have ensured that the parameters of what can and can't be said in print have narrowed still further.

In the mid-Noughties, I was writing regularly in the UK mainstream print media. So too was John Pilger. Our articles were popular with readers, but not with the gatekeepers. When I wrote a balanced, alternative view on Belarus for the New Statesman in 2011, I came under fierce gatekeeper attack.

I forgot that on Belarus and many other issues, only one point of view was allowed. Silly me.

Only one thing can save UK print press

Today, the lack of diversity of opinion is one of the reasons why newspaper sales have crashed – (sales have slumped by two-thirds in the past 20 years), and conversely why 'alternative' sites, and media outlets where a wide range of opinions ARE heard have done so well. Who wants to pay money for a paper when the political views published in it range from pro-war centrist-left, to pro-war centrist-right?

If there was a single newspaper or magazine column which examined forensically whether Labour really did have an anti-Semitism 'crisis' under Jeremy Corbyn, I must have missed it.

And apart from Mary Dejevsky in the i paper, where was the journalism examining the many inconsistencies in the official narrative of the Skripal case? Why has 'Private Eye', which bills itself as 'anti-Establishment', not covered the ongoing Philip Cross Wikipedia editing scandal ?

Also on rt.com 'One way to pay for headlines': Backlash after UK govt gifts newspapers £35m Covid-19 advertising bump

I'm sure the old 'Eye' of Richard Ingrams and Bron Waugh would have if Wikipedia had been around then.

And what about the Covid-19 coverage? Has any journalist asked the very simple question: if the virus is as bad as the government says it is, and a domestic lockdown is necessary to stop its spread, why have flights continued to come into the country (including from virus hotspots) unchecked?

Don't get me wrong, there are still some good columnists out there, but sadly you can count them on one hand.

The only thing that can save UK print media from total collapse is if there is a large-scale clear-out of the faux-left/neocon-dominated commentariat and their replacement by writers who actually address the issues that readers are interested in. Newspapers used to be published for their readers, now it seems most are published for people who write for other newspapers – and to enable 'Inside the Tenters' to congratulate each other for their 'brilliant' articles on Twitter.

The smug, mutual back-slapping nonsense, seen at its worst at journalist 'award' ceremonies, has gone on for too long. We need more old-style chain-smoking journos, not frightened of telling truth to power – and less smoke and mirrors.

Trust in British print media can be restored, but only if we go back to the future.

If you like this story, share it with a friend!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Neil Clark is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. His award winning blog can be found at www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66 is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. His award winning blog can be found at www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66 6 May, 2020 17:39 Get short URL

[May 08, 2020] Thiefs stole from a Russian fifth column critter: NY Times Accused Of Ripping Off Pulitzer Prize-Winning Stories From Russian Journalists For 2nd Time

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... While this elite Pulitzer jury praised the New York Times for "at great risk, exposing the predations of Vladimir Putin's regime," it is not exactly clear what that "risk" is supposed to entail – because the major US newspaper appears to have stolen at least part of its reporting from Russian journalists . ..."
"... On May 4, journalist Roman Badanin published a Facebook post accusing the Times of ripping off a story he had released months before without credit. Badanin is the founder and editor-in-chief of the liberal anti-Putin news website Proekt , known as The Project in English. ..."
"... This report is eerily similar to a report published by the New York Times eight months later, in November , titled " How Russia Meddles Abroad for Profit : Cash, Trolls and a Cult Leader." This story, which was filed in Madagascar, does not once link to or credit Proekt's original reporting . ..."
"... Another anti-Putin Russian news website, Meduza, published an article on May 7 drawing attention to these allegations, titled " 'Fuck the Pulitzer -- I just want a hyperlink' : Russian journalists say 'The New York Times' should have acknowledged their investigative work in the newspaper's award-winning reports about the Putin regime's 'predations.'" ..."
"... Meduza interviewed Badanin, who said the New York Times "report about Madagascar from November 2019 repeats all the main and even secondary conclusions from our reporting about Madagascar and Africa generally between March and April last year." ..."
"... Badanin was also given a Stanford John S. Knight international fellowship in journalism. Stanford University has established itself as an outpost for Russian pro-Western liberals, and its journalist fellowship program provides institutional support for dissidents in countries targeted by Washington for regime change. ..."
"... The Times even featured Badanin prominently in the header image of the story -- just two years before the same newspaper would go on to rip off his reporting. ..."
May 08, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

NY Times Accused Of Ripping Off Pulitzer Prize-Winning Stories From Russian Journalists For 2nd Time by Tyler Durden Fri, 05/08/2020 - 20:05 Authored by Ben Norton via TheGrayZone.com,

The New York Times has been accused for a second time of stealing major scoops from Russian journalists . One of those stories won the Times a Pulitzer Prize this May.

The journalists who have accused the Times of taking their work without credit also happen to be the same liberal media crusaders against Vladimir Putin that Western correspondents at the Times and other mainstream outlets have cast as persecuted heroes. The Pulitzer Prize Board is comprised of a who's who of media aristocrats and Ivy League bigwigs. Given the elite backgrounds of the judges, it is hardly a surprise that they rewarded reporting reinforcing the narrative of the new US Cold War against official enemies like Russia and China .

Stephen Kinzer, a former New York Times correspondent who has since become a critic of US foreign policy, noted that the three finalists in the Pulitzer Prize in international reporting "were one story about how evil Russia is and two about how evil China is. These choices encourage reporters to write stories that reinforce rather than question Washington's foreign-policy narrative."

The finalists nominated in this category were Reuters and the New York Times for two separate sets of stories.

The US newspaper of record ended up winning the 2020 award in international reporting , for what the Pulitzer jury described as "a set of enthralling stories, reported at great risk, exposing the predations of Vladimir Putin's regime."

The 3 finalists in the #PulitzerPrize2020 "international reporting" category were one story about how evil #Russia is and two about how evil #China is. These choices encourage reporters to write stories that reinforce rather than question Washington's foreign-policy narative.

-- Stephen Kinzer (@stephenkinzer) May 5, 2020

The Times was nominated again as a finalist for what the jury called its "gripping accounts that disclosed China's top-secret efforts to repress millions of Muslims through a system of labor camps, brutality and surveillance."

The staff of Reuters was selected as the third finalist for its reporting in support of anti-China protesters in Hong Kong . (The photography staff of Reuters ended up winning the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news photography for the same coverage.)

Among the five members of the Pulitzer jury who selected these finalists was Jeffrey Goldberg, the editor-in-chief of the neoliberal magazine The Atlantic and a former volunteer in the Israeli army who worked as a guard at a prison camp where Palestinians who rose up in the First Intifada were interned.

Joining Goldberg on the jury was Susan Chira, a former New York Times editor.

While this elite Pulitzer jury praised the New York Times for "at great risk, exposing the predations of Vladimir Putin's regime," it is not exactly clear what that "risk" is supposed to entail – because the major US newspaper appears to have stolen at least part of its reporting from Russian journalists .

I'm proud and humbled to share a Pulitzer Prize with @ddknyt , @dionnesearcey , as well as @malachybrowne and his visual investigation wizards for our reporting on Russia's shadow wars. https://t.co/yczpVAw1QW

-- Michael Schwirtz (@mschwirtz) May 4, 2020

On May 4, journalist Roman Badanin published a Facebook post accusing the Times of ripping off a story he had released months before without credit. Badanin is the founder and editor-in-chief of the liberal anti-Putin news website Proekt , known as The Project in English.

"I have no illusions about the real role of Russian journalism in the world, but I have to note: the two The New York Times's investigations, for which this honored newspaper won the Pulitzer prize yesterday, repeat the findings of The Project's articles published a few months before," Badanin wrote on Facebook.

"I would also like to note that the winners did not put a single link to the English version of our article, even when, for example, 8 months after The Project, they told about the activities of Eugene Prigozhin's emissaries in Madagascar," he added.

Badanin linked to an article he published, both in Russian and English, back in March 2019 titled " Master and Chef : How Evgeny Prigozhin led the Russian offensive in Africa." The story details how the businessman Evgenу Prigozhin, who is sanctioned by the US government, has been promoting business opportunities in Africa. The piece focuses specifically on Madagascar, where Russia also has a military agreement.

This report is eerily similar to a report published by the New York Times eight months later, in November , titled " How Russia Meddles Abroad for Profit : Cash, Trolls and a Cult Leader." This story, which was filed in Madagascar, does not once link to or credit Proekt's original reporting .

Another anti-Putin Russian news website, Meduza, published an article on May 7 drawing attention to these allegations, titled " 'Fuck the Pulitzer -- I just want a hyperlink' : Russian journalists say 'The New York Times' should have acknowledged their investigative work in the newspaper's award-winning reports about the Putin regime's 'predations.'"

Meduza interviewed Badanin, who said the New York Times "report about Madagascar from November 2019 repeats all the main and even secondary conclusions from our reporting about Madagascar and Africa generally between March and April last year."

While Badanin did not outright accuse the Times of plagiarism, he was frustrated that "nowhere in the story did they acknowledge that we'd already reported on this topic," and said it was either a "professional issue" or an "ethical problem."

A New York Times spokesperson denied that Proekt's reporting was used in any way. And the Times reporter who authored this report from Madagascar, Michael Schwirtz , responded dismissively to the accusations in a Twitter thread full of sarcastic quips.

Another anti-Putin Russian activist accuses the New York Times of lifting his reporting

Michael Schwirtz authored another New York Times article in December that was cited by the Pulitzer jury for the 2020 prize. This piece, "How a Poisoning in Bulgaria Exposed Russian Assassins in Europe," is also suspiciously similar to reporting published before by yet another anti-Putin website, called The Insider .

The Insider is edited by the Western-backed, diehard anti-Putin activist Roman Dobrokhotov. In response to Schwirtz's Twitter thread, Dobrohotov angrily asked why The Insider's reports were not credited as well. Schwirtz denied having used information from the previous stories.

Schwirtz's Twitter thread tagged four Russian accounts: Proekt, The Insider, Dobrokhotov, and Yasha Levine, the last of whom is an occasional contributor to The Grayzone and the author of " Surveillance Valley ."

Time to learn the hard truth: The New York Times -- like the Empire it represents -- doesn't give a fuck about you. It'll take whatever it wants, give nothing in return, and suffer no consequences. And who'll believe you Russians anyway? https://t.co/V1YtZ7K6OB

-- Yasha Levine (@yashalevine) May 7, 2020

Levine reflected on the scandal writing,

"Time to learn the hard truth: The New York Times -- like the Empire it represents -- doesn't give a fuck about you. It'll take whatever it wants, give nothing in return, and suffer no consequences. And who'll believe you Russians anyway?"

"The reverence with which liberal Russian journalists have treated the New York Times has always been baffling to me," Levine continued. "But that's what you get when you're a colonial subject like Russia. You fetishize the master. That reverence is starting to wear off, but it's still there."

New York Times was also accused of stealing Russian journalists' reporting back in 2017

This is not even the first time that the US newspaper of record has been accused of stealing reporting from Russian journalists.

Back in 2017, the New York Times won the Pulitzer Prize in international reporting for its reports on "Vladimir Putin's efforts to project Russia's power abroad."

At the time, journalists from the anti-Putin website Meduza accused the Times of ripping off their reporting. The website Global Voices highlighted the controversy, in an article titled "Russian Journalists Say One of NYT's Pulitzer-Winning Stories Was Stolen ."

Meduza reported Daniil Turovsky accused New York Times Moscow correspondent Andrew E. Kramer of lifting his reporting. Kramer actually took the time to respond in a Facebook comment, acknowledging that his report was based on the Russian journalist's.

"Daniil, I spoke with you while preparing this article and explained that I intended to follow in the footsteps of your fine work, that I would credit Meduza, as I did, and thanked you for your help," Kramer said.

This did not satisfy Meduza, which also reminded readers in its latest 2020 article that the Times had ripped off its 2017 reporting.

The NYT times has been honored with a Pulitzer Prize for "exposing the predations of Vladimir Putin's regime" in 2019, but several top investigative journalists in Russia say the U.S. newspaper ignored their groundbreaking work in this area -- again. https://t.co/R4WZdqHDp4

-- Meduza in English (@meduza_en) May 7, 2020

The Grayzone has also experienced this kind of shameless journalistic theft. In March 2019, the New York Times released a report acknowledging that the so-called "humanitarian aid" convoy that the US government tried to ram across the Venezuelan border in a February coup attempt had been set on fire not by government forces, but rather Washington-backed right-wing opposition hooligans.

At the time of this February 23 putsch attempt, the Times had initially joined US politicians like Senator Marco Rubio and the majority of the corporate media in blaming Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. But The Grayzone editor Max Blumenthal, who was reporting in Venezuela, published a report showing that all of the available evidence pointed to the opposition being responsible.

When the Times finally admitted this fact weeks later, it made no mention whatsoever of Blumenthal's reporting. Glenn Greenwald was the only high-profile journalist to credit Blumenthal and The Grayzone.

New York Times had ironically heroized these Russian journalists before stealing their reporting

Further compounding this staggering hypocrisy is the fact that the New York Times has in fact published numerous articles lionizing these anti-Putin Russian journalists, while simultaneously ripping off their work.

Proekt founder and editor Roman Badanin is not some kind of crypto pro-Kremlin activist – far from it. He has spent years working within mainstream outlets, and was previously the editor-in-chief of the decidedly anti-Putin Russian edition of Forbes magazine.

Badanin does friendly interviews with US-based neoconservative think tanks like the Free Russia Foundation , a right-wing anti-Putin lobbying group that appointed regime-changer Michael Weiss as its director for special investigations.

In an interview conducted by Valeria Jegisman , a neoconservative anti-Russian activist who worked as a spokesperson for the government of Estonia and now works at the US government's propaganda arm Voice of America, group accused the Kremlin of spreading false information, claiming "Russia will continue its disinformation tactics."

Badanin also called for "the West" to "support independent media projects with non-profit funding," stating clearly: "I think that what the West can do is to continue to support independent media in the most transparent and clear way, and to stop being afraid of the million tricks that the Russian authorities come up with to force the West to abandon these investments."

The Russian journalist's pro-Western perspective has been rewarded. Badanin was honored by the European Press Prize , a program backed by Western governments and the top corporate media outlets in Europe, particularly The Guardian and Reuters.

Badanin was also given a Stanford John S. Knight international fellowship in journalism. Stanford University has established itself as an outpost for Russian pro-Western liberals, and its journalist fellowship program provides institutional support for dissidents in countries targeted by Washington for regime change.

Badanin's extensive links to Western regime-change institutions should not come as a surprise to the New York Times; it has in fact honored him in numerous articles.

In 2017, the Times published an entire article framed around Badanin. Reporter Jim Rutenberg explained, "I wanted to better understand President Trump's America So I went to Russia ."

In Moscow, Rutenberg met with Badanin at the headquarters of the anti-Putin station TV Rain, which he described as a "warehouse complex here, populated by young people with beards, tattoos, piercings and colored hair. (Brooklyn hipster imperialism knows no bounds.)"

While praising Badanin and TV Rain, the Times also noted that the channel published a poll suggesting that the Soviet Union "should have abandoned Leningrad to the Nazis to save lives."

The Times even featured Badanin prominently in the header image of the story -- just two years before the same newspaper would go on to rip off his reporting.

The New York Times also reported on Roman Badanin in 2016 and 2011 . It is abundantly clear the newspaper knew who he was.

The Gray Lady's willingness to snatch Badanin's reporting shows how little respect newspapers like the New York Times actually have for the anti-Putin journalists they claim to lionize . For the jet-setting correspondents of Western corporate media outlets, liberal Russian reporters are just tools to advance their own ambitions.

[Apr 24, 2020] With Russiagate discredited New York Times seeks a leading role in Chinagate

Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times ..."
"... I spotted Yahoo News carrying this NYT hit piece today and was tempted to respond. Then I saw the general run of comments that read like the target audience it was meant for, and figured I'd be wasting my time. It might have been worth squandering five minutes, though. ..."
"... It is a scary situation. A lot of people actually believe the New York Times. ..."
"... Did you see this one in today's NYTimes? The pot didn't just call the kettle black: With Selective Coronavirus Coverage, China Builds a Culture of Hate: The state propaganda machine highlights other countries' mistakes while suppressing China's, fueling anger toward foreigners and domestic critics alike. see: http://nytimes.com/2020/04/22/business/china-coronavirus-propaganda.html ..."
Apr 24, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

UPDATED: The paper of record is again laundering, without skepticism, U.S. intelligence meant to ratchet up tensions with China, just as it did with Russia, writes Joe Lauria.

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

D uring the saga of Russiagate The New York Times was the main vehicle for unnamed U.S. intelligence officials to filter uncorroborated allegations about Russia, presenting them as proven fact.

Just as the Democratic Party attempted to shift the blame from its disastrous 2016 loss to Donald Trump onto Russia, the Trump administration is now trying to shift the blame from Trump's disastrous handling of the Coronavirus crisis onto China.


Robert Emmett , April 23, 2020 at 12:06

Yeah, wouldn't expect anything less than well-deserved acrimony for the Grey Hag on this site. Some of us still remember how the so-called paper of record withheld the "smoking gun" of King Geo the Younger's use of mass surveillance until after the 2004 election. Who do you suppose is their target audience for this latest fake scoop? Could it be the newly woke crowd who now raise the NYrag as their gold standard in all things considered Russia bashing? Talk about fuddy-duddy.

Today's mass media is full of rope-a-dope tricks such as placing a tiny nugget of "truth" within a massive hairball of innuendo, exaggeration, disinformation and lies to be extracted at the exact right moment to gainsay those who would question the narrative du jour. Another well-worn deception is to let the lowest common denominator source set the dodgy agenda and then use that cue to follow the "news" as fits to serve their own agendas. Over the years, that often involves skewing reactionary and "forgetting" how to connect dots.

You can see a prime example of this (also part of the current surge of anti-China propaganda) at that other bastion of unnamed sources, the WaPo. Blumenthal lays out how it's done at The Grayzone Project re: allegations that the Wuhan Biotech lab released the virus. Funny though how there's a yawning gap in the story about the hows & whys & wherefores of an actual shutdown of a similar Level 4 lab right in WaPo's own backyard at Fort Detrick.

"Dodgy scoop" made me smile. Are those served on self-licking ice cream cones?

Dan Kuhn , April 23, 2020 at 11:40

China and Russia had better be keeping their powder dry. No telling how far this lunacy is going to go. With Pirro´s rant it looks like the crazies have been let out of the pen and is just the thing to get the mentally challenged in an up roar and demanding military action against China. I have no doubt that China can handle the American military in a conventional confrontation but if it goes nuclear all bets are going to be off. The Better Dead Than Reders seem to be riding high right now. Who knows they may just get their wish. The Pirros et all do sound like the woman in a bar just itching to get a fight going, and then screaming blue murder when her favorite gets the snot beat out of him. You just can never get them to shut up before the fight gets going. but the Pirros of the world never can quite get a grip around the fact that is proven over and over again, wars and fights are easy to start, but hard to finish and no one knows how they aill turn out. And given the lack of success of the American military in wars of choice since the Second World War I would be very careful if I was her of what I was wishing for.

Herman , April 23, 2020 at 11:39

As I understand it, we (our intelligence people) were aware of the "potential" threat of the virus before the Chinese leadership announced it to the world. China did announce it to the world and people can argue they should have done it sooner. But the failure, if we decide there is one, belongs to us in not acting on the intelligence. Why we didn't is a matter worth investigating although what will be learned to prevent such future errors is unclear.

Certainly, those who want to use this as a further wedge between us and China do not serve anyone's interests other than the cui bono horde who benefits from such divisions.

As others have stated our most serious virus is the one that causes who to seek confrontation with other governments whenever opportunity arises. It is a very destructive virus.

DW Bartoo , April 23, 2020 at 10:38

It may be counted upon that ALL institutions in the U$ military empire will deliver the worst possible outcomes.

The evidence for this assertion is voluminous and growing by the hour (quite as obscenely as the "wealth" of Jeff Bezos grows at the rate of $11 thousand every second).

Frankly, one could hardly expect anything less from The NY Times.

Be it war-mongering, hysteria-building, or sycophantic "official" propagandizing [now fully legal thanks to the sainted Obama, who also, it is alkedged, played a highly significant role in destroying the (now obviously) pathetic campaign of Bernie Sander, that Joe Biden, clearly suffering from dementia, and poster boy of the very neoliberal policies which elevated Trump to power, will be the Dem "standard bearer seeking the same power while promising to do nothing at all – about anything, which really IS the Standard Dem policy, U$ politics being about nothing but controlling the spoils and keeping the revolving-door/lobbying graving train rolling merrily along].

Yet the real Powers That Be, cannot only count upon all the vaunted institutions from a pretend democracy and rigged political system, to a complacent, complicit, and criminally compromised MSM to parrot absolute idiocy, they may also count on a thoroughly infantile majority of the public to rally behind any war, of words, of weapons, even of nuclear weapons, simply because the U$ is exceptional, beyond compare, and constitutionally unwilling to learn anything from any other nation, society, or people.

It is not merely the MSM which inculcate these myths of superiority, it is the entire educational system as well.

It is not, necessarily, a conspiracy, it is simply conveniently and comfortably profitable to buy into the idiocy and pass it happily along.

Evidence?

Actual facts?

Not necessary.

And most inconvenient.

It might affect circulation.

U$ian Idiocy is quite as communicable as the "novel" coronavirus.

As my youngest daughter put it, "It's a long story."

Just to test my wits, she then asked me if I got the joke.

Yes, my dear, I got it.

At some point, it is possible that most of us will

Voice from Europe , April 23, 2020 at 08:37

The Chinese reports to the WHO are clear and transparent and date from the end of January. Western MSM has no journalist worth that name !
Just like the new anti Hydrochloroquine study that was reported is full of potholes just waiting for someone to be read.
People please check the published reprints of IHU mediterranee.
Hippocrates said: There are in fact two things, Science and Opinion. The former begets Knowledge, the latter Ignorance.
Please people distinguish fact from opinion.

Mike from Jersey , April 22, 2020 at 18:39

The article states:

"Any reputable journalism school will teach its students that you hold off publishing until you see the evidence underlying an assertion. "

But this was not a reputable newspaper.

So, what did you expect?

... ... ...

AnneR , April 23, 2020 at 14:04

Yastreb – Indeed worse, though less for the reality that propaganda, slanted "reportage" is the common currency of the "news" organs of both the USA and Russia (not to mention pretty much the rest of the world's MSM), than for the fact that while Russians, from USSR days, knows to take everything in the media with some salt, to question the veracity of unsupported, dubiously supported claims, here in the US of A unsubstantiated, or porously backed, weakly supported "facts" usually expressed in Newspeak, slippery ways are very often accepted by the target audience, hook, line and bloody sinker.

I mean – it's the NYT, or WaPo, or The Atlantic, CNN, MSDNC, PBS, NPR; they would never try to mislead us. Would they? Gorblimey. One despairs, one really does.

And *not* as if the gullible readers, audiences (largely composed of the supporters of the Dem face of the single-Janus party) have let Russiagate go, if what I hear on NPR (including its BBC World Service broadcasts) is anything to go by.

China-gate – neither side of the single party can possibly let this opportunity to prevent the rise of China, stop this ancient culture's challenging the "rightful," exceptional(ly barbaric) world hegemon, USA, from maintaining its proper position at the top of the firmament however it is achieved.

Tobin Sterritt , April 22, 2020 at 17:03

I spotted Yahoo News carrying this NYT hit piece today and was tempted to respond. Then I saw the general run of comments that read like the target audience it was meant for, and figured I'd be wasting my time. It might have been worth squandering five minutes, though.

Mike from Jersey , April 23, 2020 at 08:44

Tobin,

It is a scary situation. A lot of people actually believe the New York Times.

O Society , April 22, 2020 at 16:51

Joe ~

Did you see this one in today's NYTimes? The pot didn't just call the kettle black: With Selective Coronavirus Coverage, China Builds a Culture of Hate: The state propaganda machine highlights other countries' mistakes while suppressing China's, fueling anger toward foreigners and domestic critics alike. see: http://nytimes.com/2020/04/22/business/china-coronavirus-propaganda.html

AnneR , April 23, 2020 at 14:08

O Society – well, bien sur. I mean we can blacken every people, culture, society, government (except those we install – that we never do, unless they stray from their [American] defined path) as much as we want, as often as we please and no one has the right to call us out on that, complain. Heaven forfend – we'll bomb 'em, subject them to siege warfare (via ever tightening economic sanctions no matter how many children we kill doing this – "price is worth it" in'it?

Donald Duck , April 22, 2020 at 15:29

"Any reputable journalism school will teach its students that you hold off publishing until you see the evidence underlying an assertion. This is especially true when quoting anonymous sources. And it is doubly true when these sources are intelligence agents, who have a long history of deception. It is part of their job description."

True enough, but we are not talking about 'reputable journalism' – such a fuddy-duddy notion. We are talking about crude propaganda and a ruthless realpolitik. Assertion, anonymous sources, smears, lies, calumny and dancing to the tune of whatever the deep, state and national security play to us. We have entered a post-democratic age and we would be well advised to bear this in mind. The ruling elites are blatantly bereft of any type of moral scruples; Pompeo put it well, 'lie, cheat' an he might have added 'whack' anyone who gets in the way of the grand project. 'Whack' being mafia terminology for murder of ones opponents. Pompeo even looks like a mafia Godfather. Mafia ideology and methodology have permeated the structure and institutions of American society.

bjd , April 22, 2020 at 17:00

Exactly.
And thus articles like these –premised on the idea that the NYT is reputable– belong to the literary genre 'fiction'.

AnneR , April 23, 2020 at 14:17

Donnie – Pompeo claims (proudly? loudly?) to be a christian but somehow he missed all of that stuff about helping your neighbor, turning the other cheek, taking care of the stranger (Samaritan-wise). Or avoided it like the plague.

And given the really existing history of the USA – "mafia ideology and methodology" deriving, backed by profound supremacist racism has permeated this country since the Brits first landed and started grabbing the lands and killing the indigenous, then going to Africa and buying the Africans in order to profit from their sale and their labor While overt slavery has ended (the US Fed and State prisons continue to gain from such prisoner slave labor) and theft of the remainder of Indigenous lands and resources is largely in the shadows, the attitudes, beliefs and behaviors pretty much remain alive and ill-meaning.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , April 22, 2020 at 15:17

The New York Times: the house organ of America's establishment.

Sam F , April 22, 2020 at 14:35

The NYT story is also shaky because broadcasts to the US about a nationwide lockdown would have been implausible, discredited by simple denial, and might well reduce virus panic. The sources of such messages are easily counterfeited and therefore speculative, like the fake "Russian" messages from Ukraine, and far more likely to originate from beneficiaries than the MSM target du jour.

Bob Van Noy , April 23, 2020 at 12:10

Exactly Sam F and thank you Joe Lauria. We keep hearing the same scenario over and over with different characters. I recently read "The Poisoner In Chief" by Stephen Kinzer and I was stunned by the secret drug and mind control experiments of the 1950s and 1960s.

Certainly it's not too much of a stretch to imagine that they continue. Also see the gray zone article "How a Trump media dump mainstreamed Chinese lab corona virus conspiracy theory" by Max Blumenthal and Ajit Singh.

Sam F , April 23, 2020 at 19:19

Good to see you back, Bob. The referenced article is indeed worthwhile.

jaycee , April 22, 2020 at 14:15

Provable links from lockdown protests to domestic right-wing astroturf organizations.

The fact-free claims of foreign interference seeking to exploit divisions or "sow chaos" is itself a domestic program to exploit divisions and and direct projections onto "the other". It is directed by the federal intelligence agencies in collaboration with the major mainstream media outlets. The central "proof" of foreign perfidy is the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's Report on alleged Russian measures to interfere with America (released Nov 2018), which is one of the most vapid and factually barren "products" ever produced. The New York Times has asserted the Report represents established fact. It's all, ironically, very Soviet.

DavidH , April 22, 2020 at 20:19

I get your point, jaycee, I think. The stuff in the Times is all "very soviet" (ironically) by the old Soviets' standards. That's if their old system had had, in addition to domestic propaganda, an effective propaganda campaign abroad. Did they? I mean all this projecting on Russia and China (meant to be digested by the homeland) is accompanied by a considerable outlay for transmitted-outward propaganda. Did the old Soviet system really have an outlay as big as ours is now? For sure they had spies, but so did we.

I'll have to listen again to Tuesday's Loud & Clear to know if Richard Wolff really was as down on Putin as I seem to remember. Geopolitically Putin seems to me to have been pretty much more fair than we have in the past, say, six or seven years. But, in terms of oil, all energy hegemons it seems follow sort of the same patterns of behavior. They want energy dominance for their group [they've got it], and in smaller theaters individual members will attempt to attain it for themselves. But, yes, concomitant is that they must agree some amongst each other just as crime syndicates must. This is a dimension of hegemony it is sad to contemplate but real. One would like to think Russia is more fair, but when it comes to oil Russia doesn't really seem to pay much lip service to any shade at all of some global Green New Deal. And one would like to think China in general less hypocritical, but then you have McKinsey and Prince and that whole mess [we see they had things figured out better than us on SARS-CoV-2 but while as an American maybe I have no room to talk Snowden probably had a point that civilization could have done even better preparation than China's "pretty good" preparation]. So, in thinking about all this you have to try I guess to name the overarching global paradigm and blame it. For sure the US is in it up to its neck. Maybe even we invented it, or invented the things that morphed into it. Everything Lauria wrote above makes sense, and once again we owe Consortium.

Glad to see this written (not just me that believes it) "The early view is that hardly any government responded with the urgency required."

[Apr 18, 2020] Endless NYT Propaganda War on Russia by Stephen Lendman

Apr 18, 2020 | stephenlendman.org

Endless NYT Propaganda War on Russia

by Stephen Lendman ( stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman )

The Times long ago abandoned journalism the way it's supposed to be. All the news it claims fit to print isn't fit to read.

Its daily editions feature state-approved managed news misinformation and disinformation -- notably against sovereign independent nations on the US target list for regime change.

Russia notably has been a prime target since its 1917 revolution, ending its czarist dictatorship.

Except during WW II and Boris Yeltsin's 1990s rule, Times anti-Russia propaganda was and remains relentless, notably throughout the Vladimir Putin era, the nation's most distinguished ever political leader.

When Yeltsin died in April 2007, the Times shamefully called him "a Soviet-era reformer the country's democratic father and later a towering figure of his time as the first freely elected leader of Russia, presiding over the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the demise of the Communist Party (sic)."

He presided over Russia's lost decade. Under him, over half the population became impoverished.

His adoption of US shock therapy produced economic genocide. GDP plunged 50%. Life expectancy fell sharply.

Democratic freedoms died. An oligarch class accumulated enormous wealth.

Western interests profited at the expense of millions of exploited Russians.

Yeltsin let corruption and criminality flourish. One scandal followed others. Grand theft became sport. So did money laundering.

Billions in stolen wealth were secreted in Western banks and offshore tax havens.

A critic reviled him, saying throughout much of his tenure, he "slept, drank, was ill, relaxed, didn't show his face before the people and simply did nothing," adding:

"Despised by the majority of (Russians, he'll) go down in history as the first president of Russia, having corrupted (the country) to the breaking point, not by his virtues and or by his defects, but rather by his dullness, primitiveness, and unbridled power lust of a hooligan."

He was a Western/establishment media favorite, notably by the Times, mindless of the human misery and economic wreckage he caused.

Putin is a preeminent world leader, towering over his inferior Western counterparts, especially in the US, why the Times reviles him.

On Monday, its propaganda machine falsely accused him of waging a long war on US science, claiming he's promoting disinformation to "encourage the spread of deadly illnesses (sic)."

Not a shred of evidence was presented because none exists. The Times' disinformation report was slammed in a preceding article.

On Wednesday, the self-styled newspaper of record was at it again -- reactivating the Big Lie that won't die, saying with no corroborating evidence that "Russia may have sown disinformation in a dossier used to investigate a former Trump campaign aide (sic)," adding:

"Carter Page, a former Trump campaign aide with numerous links to Russia was probably a Russian agent (sic)."

Disinformation the Times cited came from former UK intelligence agent Christopher Steele's dodgy dossier, financed by the DNC and Hillary campaign.

Its spurious accusations were exposed as fake news, notably phony accusations of Russian US election interference that didn't happened.

Probes by Robert Mueller, House and Senate committees found no credible evidence of an illegal or improper Trump campaign connection to Russia or election interference by the Kremlin -- because there was none of either.

According to the Times, Steele's dodgy dossier "was potentially influenced by a 'Russian disinformation campaign to denigrate US foreign relations,' " citing FBI Big Lies as its source.

Another article on Russia this week claimed "many people who don't work for the government or in deep-pocketed state enterprises face economic devastation," adding:

Domestic violence increased because of social distancing and sheltering in place.

Not mentioned in the article is that mass unemployment and other COVID-19 fallout affect Western and other countries adversely.

Putin was slammed for sending COVID-19 aid to the US, calling it "a propaganda coup for the Kremlin -- tempered by an intensifying epidemic at home."

Outbreaks in Russia are a small fraction of US numbers, around 21,000 through Wednesday -- compared to nearly 650,000 in the US and over 28,000 deaths.

Spain, Italy, France, Germany and Britain have five-to-eightfold more outbreaks than Russia.

NYC has over 110,000 cases. In the NY, NJ, CT tristate area, around 300,000 cases were reported, almost as many COVID-19 deaths as outbreaks in Russia -- through Wednesday.

Putin is dealing with what's going on responsibly, stressing "we certainly must not relax, as long as outbreaks occur.

A paid holiday is in effect through end of April for Russian workers, likely to be extended if needed.

Essential workers continue on the job -- at home if able, otherwise operating as before.

National efforts continue to control outbreaks, aid ordinary Russians at a time of duress, and work to restore more normal conditions.

While dealing with outbreaks at home, Russia supplied Italy, Serbia, and the US with aid to combat the virus.

Yet Pompeo falsely accused Russia, China, and Iran with spreading disinformation about COVID-19.

Gratitude and good will aren't US attributes, just the opposite.

[Mar 28, 2020] NYT bad habit of falling for falling for frauds and making them famous

Highly recommended!
Mar 26, 2020 | www.unz.com

Stephen Paul Foster , says: Website Show Comment March 25, 2020 at 11:17 am GMT

@niteranger "For example, New York Times Columnist Nicholas Kristof on Sunday reported the disheartening analysis of Dr. Neil Ferguson of Britain, one of the world's leading epidemiologists."

Nicholas Kristoff has the bad habit of falling for falling for frauds and making them famous. "Three cups of tea" for starters. He's got a long track record of peddling fake stuff.

[Mar 05, 2020] Swamp russsiagators at work again: Apparent US Intel Meddling in US Election, With 'Report' Russia is Aiding Sanders Consortiumnews

Looks like Putin have always been eating CIA homework...
Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... Consortium News ..."
Feb 21, 2020 | consortiumnews.com
Apparent US Intel Meddling in US Election, With 'Report' Russia is Aiding Sanders

96 Comments

Without any proof, The New York Times and Washington Post run "Russia helping Sanders" stories, and Sanders responds by bashing Russia, writes Joe Lauria.

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

W ith Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders spooking the Democratic establishment, The Washington Post Friday reported damaging information from intelligence sources against Sanders by saying that Russia is trying to help his campaign.

If the story is true and if intelligence agencies are truly committed to protecting U.S. citizens, the Sanders campaign would have been quietly informed and shown evidence to back up the claims.

Instead the story wound up on the front page of the Post , "according to people familiar with the matter." Zero evidence was produced to back up the intelligence agencies' assertion.

"It is not clear what form that Russian assistance has taken," the Post reported. That would tell any traditional news editor that there was no story until it is known.

Instead major U.S. media are again playing the role of laundering totally unverified "information" just because it comes from an intelligence source. Reporting such assertions without proof amounts to an abdication of journalistic responsibility. It shows total trust in U.S. intelligence despite decades of deception and skullduggery from these agencies.

Centrist Democratic Party leaders have expressed extreme unease with Sanders leading the Democratic pack. Politico reported Friday that former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg's entry into the race is explicitly to stop Sanders from winning on the first ballot at the party convention.

A day after The New York Times reported , also without evidence, that Russia is again trying to help Donald Trump win in November, the Post reports Moscow is trying to help Sanders too, again without substance. Both candidates whom the establishment loathes were smeared on successive days.

In a Tough Spot

The Times followed the Post report Friday by making it appear that Sanders himself had chosen to make public the intelligence assessment about "Russian interference" in his campaign.

But Sanders had known for a month about this assessment and only issued a statement after the Post asked him for comment before publishing its uncorroborated story based on anonymous sources.

Sanders was put in a difficult spot. If he said, "Show me the proof that Russia is trying to help me," he ran the risk of being attacked for disbelieving (even disloyalty to) U.S. intelligence, and, by default, defending the Kremlin.

So politician that he is, and one who is trying to win the White House, Sanders told the Post :

"I don't care, frankly, who Putin wants to be president. My message to Putin is clear: Stay out of American elections, and as president I will make sure that you do. In 2016, Russia used Internet propaganda to sow division in our country, and my understanding is that they are doing it again in 2020."

The Times quoted Sanders as calling Russian President Vladimir Putin an "autocratic thug." The paper reported Sanders saying in a statement: "Let's be clear, the Russians want to undermine American democracy by dividing us up and, unlike the current president, I stand firmly against their efforts and any other foreign power that wants to interfere in our election."

Responding to a cacophony of criticism that Sanders' supporters are especially vicious online, as opposed to the millions of other vicious people online, Sanders attempted to use Russia as a scapegoat, the way the Clinton campaign did in 2016. He said: "Some of the ugly stuff on the Internet attributed to our campaign may well not be coming from real supporters."

But no matter how strong Sander's denunciations of Russia, his opponents will now target him as being a tool of the Kremlin.

Mission accomplished.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for T he Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe , Sunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .


Juan M Escobedo , February 24, 2020 at 10:55

Let`s face it,even though Bernie is a moderate Social Democrat,at best.He`s the only one capable of beating "the Orange"version of Hitler.But he sounds as if the DNC,big wigs,decide to deny him the nomination;he`d go along with it.Just like before;when he even campaigned for the"Crooked One(Hillary).I guess we`ll see.

Kim Dixon , February 24, 2020 at 04:31

The most-important element missed in this piece is this: Sanders is helping the DNC and the MIC gin up fear of, and hatred for, the only other nuclear superpower on earth.

If you were around during the McCarthy years, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the '73 Arab/Israeli war, and all the other almost-Armageddon crises of Cold War One, you know that nothing could be stupider and more-dangerous than that. The missiles still sit in their silos, waiting for the next early-warning misunderstanding or proxy-war miscalculation to send them flying.

Sanders lived through it all. He's supposed to be the furthest-Left pol in Congress. So how can he possibly advocate for anything but detente and disarmament?

SteveK9 , February 24, 2020 at 20:18

I would really like to support Bernie, but statements like this make me shake my head. It's more a reflection of America today I guess. Politicians believe to a man (or woman) that they must put the hate on Putin and Russia or they have no chance. It doesn't matter that the Russia garbage is 100% false. And, I don't mean they 'interfered' only a little there was nothing, nothing at all. Even Trump has to go along with this propaganda. I don't know how anyone can believe this idiotic (and incredibly dangerous, as you point out) rubbish at this point. But you can't call your friends blanking morons.

J Gray , February 25, 2020 at 02:55

I think he successfully dodged a bullet but set himself up to offer comprehensive election reform if he pulls out a victory .

or it is an early sign that he, the DNC & MIC are coming to terms. It doesn't have that ring to it to me, like when Trump called for regime-change war in Venezuela & defunding schools to build a space army. That was a clear on-the-record sell-out & got him off the Impeachment hook the next day. Similar to when the Clinton signed the Telecom Act to get off his.

They are still coming after Sanders too hard w/their McCarthiast attacks to feel like he is siding with them. I think he has to do this because they are bundling his movement, Venezuela and Russia into the new Red Scare.

Tony Kevin , February 23, 2020 at 21:49

"#JoeLauria's piece in #ConsortiumNews is excellent. He calmly sets out #Sanders' political dilemma. The latest line from US intelligence agency stenographer media like #NYTimes is that #Russians are helping both #Trump and Sanders because they simply want to sow discord and cynicism about US democracy , they do not care who wins. #CaitlinJohnstone neatly satirises this by writing a spoof article claiming that US intelligence agencies have discovered #Bloomberg is being helped by Russians because he has two Russian grandfathers.

It has reached the point , as Lauria shows, where any criticism of such US MSM nonsense leaves the speaker open to the allegation that he is soft on/ naive about/complicit in Russian election meddling. Without being a Trump supporter, one can understand Trump's rage and contempt for what is going on .

Justin Glyn. Consortium News. Joe Lauria. Tony Kevin"

Tony Kevin , February 23, 2020 at 21:32

Sanders and Trump will survive this Deep State manipulation and attempted blackmail . They will see off the Clintonistas and Deep State moles, and will go on to fight a tough but fair election. Americans are sick of Russophobia.

jack , February 24, 2020 at 15:25

agreed – the Russiagate psyop is past its shelf life – BUT Deep State will carry on – it's a global entity and they're into literally everything – no idea how any known, normal governing structure can deal with it

Susan J Leslie , February 23, 2020 at 10:40

Enough with the "Russia" BS already! It is clear to me the wealthy corporate Dems and the MSM are behind all of the smear tactics against Bernie and anyone else who serves the people

Susan J Leslie , February 23, 2020 at 10:40

Enough with the "Russia" BS already! It is clear to me the wealthy corporate Dems and the MSM are behind all of the smear tactics against Bernie and anyone else who serves the people

Dfnslblty , February 23, 2020 at 09:07

Front page drama plus zero evidence began long ago with 'anonymous sources said "!
Complete lack of accountability on the part of the sources and on the part of the reporters.
Thus we receive a "reality teevee " potus , and we are pleased to be hypnotised and titillated.
A true revolution would demand CN-quality reportage and reject msm pablum.

JohnDoe , February 23, 2020 at 03:43

It's enough to look at the news on mainstream media to understand who's, as usual, meddling in the elections. In the latest period for the first time I saw a lot of enthusiastic comments and articles about Bernie Sanders. It's clear they are pushing him. But why those who isolated him in during the primaries against Clinton are now supporting him? It's obvious, that they want to get rid of Elizabeth Warren, first push ahead the weaker candidates, then they'll switch their support towards another candidate, probably Bloomberg.

delia ruhe , February 23, 2020 at 00:14

Well, thank you Joe Lauria! I am in trouble in several comment threads for suggesting that the intel community is at it again, trying to ruin two campaigns by identifying the candidates with Putin and the Kremlin. Now I can quote you. Excellent piece, as usual.

Deniz , February 22, 2020 at 22:44

Imagine Sanders and Trump, putting their differences aside and declaring war on the deep state during a debate. They have the same enemies.

The same people who planted Steele's dirty dosier are going to try to steal Sanders election from him. It wont be Trump and the Republicans who rigs the election against Sanders.

SteveK9 , February 24, 2020 at 20:21

Trump actually seemed to want to help Bernie a bit (well, he keeps calling him 'Crazy Bernie as well). He put out some tweet calling this latest rubbish, Hoax #7. But Bernie would rather say something stupid, like 'I'm not a friend of Putin he is' talk about 5-year olds.

Deniz , February 25, 2020 at 00:49

Its disappointing. Sanders heart seems to be in the right place, but when it comes time to face the sinister forces that run the country for their own benefit, he will be absolutely crushed.

Linda Jean Doucett , February 22, 2020 at 21:32

This will never end.
No president will ever change anything.
The deep state tentacles will eventually kill us all.
I am going to go and enjoy what's left.

Marko , February 22, 2020 at 20:24

" But Sanders had known for a month about this assessment and only issued a statement after the Post asked him for comment before publishing its uncorroborated story based on anonymous sources Sanders was put in a difficult spot. If he said, "Show me the proof that Russia is trying to help me," he ran the risk of being attacked for disbelieving (even disloyalty to) U.S. intelligence, and, by default, defending the Kremlin. "

I suspect that Sanders was given a classified briefing a month ago , which he couldn't disclose to the public. If so , and given that he didn't make this clear immediately after being accused of withholding this information , he has only himself to blame for the resulting "bad look".

JWalters , February 22, 2020 at 19:06

The corporate media has revealed itself to be a monopoly behind the scenes, working in unison to trash Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard. Even though Gabbard is only at a few percent in the polls, her message is potentially devastating to the war profiteers who own America's Vichy MSM.

"Congressman Oscar Callaway lost his Congressional election for opposing US entry into WW 1. Before he left office, he demanded investigation into JP Morgan & Co for purchasing control over America's leading 25 newspapers in order to propagandize US public opinion in favor of his corporate and banking interests, including profits from US participation in the war."
war * profiteerstory. * blogspot. * com/p/war-profiteers-and-israels-bank.html

Thankfully, there is still a free American press, of which Consortium News is a stellar example.

elmerfudzie , February 22, 2020 at 13:25

The CIA and DIA (it has about a dozen agencies under it and is much larger than any other Intel agency) are supposed to monitor threats to our national security, that originate abroad. Aside from a few closed door sessions with a select group of congresspersons, our Intel agencies have practically no real democratic oversight and remain, for all intents and purposes, a parallel government(s) well hidden from public view. In particular how they are financed and what their actual annual budgets really are. How these agencies every managed to seep into any electioneering process what so ever, is beyond me, since they are all intentionally very surreptitious- by design. We ask questions and these Intel agencies are quick to tout the usual phrase; that subject area is secret and needs to be addressed in closed session, blah, blah, blah. Of course "secrecy" translates into, we do what we want when we want and use information any way we want because our parallel governments represent the best example(s) of a perpetual motion machine that does not require outside monitoring. The origins of these "parallel entities" can be traced to the Rockefeller brothers and their associated international corporations. There's the rub folks. Our citizens at large will never overtake for the purposes of real monitoring, this empire and elephant in the room, directly. However we do have one avenue left and it requires a rank and file demand from the people to their state representatives demanding two long standing issues, they remain unresolved and until a solution is found, will permit dark powers to side step every level of democratic governments-anywhere.

The first is true campaign finance reform and the second is assigning, or rather, removing the status of person-hood to corporate entities. The Rockefeller's used their corporate power and wealth to influence legislative, judicial and executive bodies. They cannot help but do as the puppet master commands! Be it some form of, corporatism, fascism, feudalism, monarchy, oligarchy, even bankster-ism or any other "ism We as citizens at large must make every effort to again, obtain true campaign finance reform and remove the lobbying presence inside the beltway. Today, the corporate entity has risen to a level that completely overtakes and smothers any authentic democratic representation, of and by the people. Originally (circa the early1800's) American corporations were permitted to exist and papers were drawn based on the specific duties they were about to perform, this for the benefit of the local community for example, building a bridge. Once the job was completed, the incorporation was either liquidated or remanded over to the relevant governing body for the purposes of reevaluating the necessity of re-certifying the original incorporation papers. Old man Rockefeller changed the governance and oversight privilege by forcing and promulgating legislation(s) such as limited liability clauses, strategies to oppose competition, tax evasion schemes and (eventually) assigning person-hood to corporate entities, thus creating a parallel government within the government. It all began in Delaware and until we clear our heads and assign names to the actual problems, as I've itemized here, our citizenry will never experience the freedom to fashion our destiny. Please visit TUC radio's two part expose' by Richard Grossman. It will help CONSORTIUMNEWS readers to understand just what a monumental task is ahead for all of us. Work for a fair and equitable future in America, demand campaign finance reform and kick the hustling lobbyists out of our government. Voters being choked to death with senseless debates and useless candidates.

Jeff Harrison , February 22, 2020 at 12:36

The real threats to our democracy are our unaccountable surveillance state and the craven politicians in Washington, DC. And, no, Ben, we can't keep our republic because we don't have a sufficient mass of critical thinkers to run it. If we did, this kind of BS, having been shot full of holes once, wouldn't get any air.

Alan Ross , February 22, 2020 at 10:37

Sanders may win the nomination and the election but he cannot get a break from some purists on the left. His reaction may have been quite astute. When Sanders says that we should station troops on the borders of Russia or arm the Ukrainians, then you can say he really is anti-Russian. I have not heard all that he has said, but what I have heard sounds so much like hot air put out by a left politician trying to deal with the ages-old establishment and right wing smear that he is a pawn of the commies, a fellow traveler, a pinko, and now an agent of a foreign power, a Russian asset and so on. There is real criticism of Sanders, but his statements about Putin and Russia do not add up to much.

Skip Scott , February 22, 2020 at 09:51

Anyone who is still under the influence of the MSM hypnosis of RussiaGate, led by Rachel Madcow, needs to think long and hard about this latest propaganda campaign. The real message here is unless you support corporate sponsored warmonger from column A or B, you are a tool of the "evil Rooskies". And the funny thing is, Sanders is "weak tea" when it comes to issues of war and peace, and the feeding of the war machine at the government trough with no limits.

The purpose of this BIG LIE of the "Intelligence" agencies is to make it impossible for someone to be against the Forever War without being tarred as a "Foreign Agent", or at least a "useful idiot", of the "EVIL ROOSKIES". To simply want peaceful coexistence on its own merits is impossible.

Imagine if Sanders dared to mention that Putin enjoys substantial majority support inside Russia, and seeks peaceful coexistence in a multi-polar world, instead of calling him an "autocratic thug". Often for politicians, speaking the truth is a "bridge too far". I wonder if Sanders (like Hillary) finds it necessary to hold "private" positions that differ from his "public" positions? Or does he really believe his own BS?

Jacquelynn Booth , February 22, 2020 at 09:19

I had not seen Mr Joe Lauria's article when I commented on Mr Ben Norton's story, but my reply could fit here as well.
The idiot American public dismays me. To them, the "MSM news" and "celebrity gossip reports" are equal and both to be wholeheartedly believed.
There is no point in trying to educate a resistant public in the differences between data and gossip -- public doesn't care.
I weep for what we have lost -- a Constitution, a nation of free thinkers. My heart breaks for the world's people, and what my country tries to do to them, with only a few resistant other countries confronting and challenging America.
It is so difficult to know the truth of a situation and yet to know that almost no one (statistically speaking) believes you.

Jim Hartz , February 23, 2020 at 12:04

A better distinction might be, concerning the intelligence of the American public, the one Chomsky has used, rooted in Ancient Greek culture, that between KNOWLEDGE and OPINION. Americans, of course, have OPINIONS about everything, but little KNOWLEDGE about much of anything. And it seems their idea of FREEDOM is related to, bound up with, their having OPINIONS about virtually EVERYTHING.

So much for our being a HIGHER life form.

We're in the process of destroying EVERYTHING, not just HIGHER LIFE FORMS [us], but all flora and fauna, water and air on the planet–as I said, EVERYTHING. To paraphrase from memory a citation by Perry Anderson from the work of heterodox Italian Marxist, Sebastiano Timpanaro, "What we are witnessing is not the triumph of man over history, but the victory of nature over man."

Tony , February 22, 2020 at 07:40

The Trump administration has pulled out of the INF missile treaty citing totally unproven claims of Russian violations.
It also looks like allowing the START treaty on strategic nuclear missiles to lapse if we do not stop it.

And so, in what sense would Putin want Trump to get re-elected?

Van Jones of CNN once described the original allegations of Russian meddling in US elections as a 'great big nothing burger'.

Sounds right to me.

Sam F , February 22, 2020 at 07:24

When the secret agencies and mass media stop manipulating public opinion, despite their oligarchy masters' ability to control election results anyway, we will know that they no longer need deception to control the People. Simple force will do the job, with a few marketing claims to assist in hiring goons to suppress any popular movement. Democracy is completely lost, and the pretense of democracy will soon follow.

michael , February 22, 2020 at 07:03

Another foray into domestic politics by the CIA, with anonymous sources and no evidence shown (as no evidence exists). Perhaps the CIA (which probably works for Putin, or Bloomberg, or anyone who pays them best, but they are loyal to the US dollar only; and maybe heroin?) is even now making up another Chris Steele/ Fusion GPS/ CrowdStrike dossier, getting that Russian caterer to the Kremlin to pump out clickbait and sink both Trump and Sanders. Because RUSSIANS!!! are "genetically driven" to interfere in American democracy. Next we'll have the DNC (CIA) pushing Superpredator tropes such as "this enormous cohort of black and Latino males" who "don't know how to behave in the workplace" and "don't have any prospects." With this Clintonian (and Biden and Bloomberg) mindset, America will be increasing incarceration once again. That $500,000 bribe the Clintons took from Putin in 2010 when Hillary was Secretary of State probably plays a role.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon and Defense Secretary Mark Esper have surprisingly noted that China, not Russia, is America's #1 concern: "America's concerns about Beijing's commercial and military expansion should be your concerns as well." Since Bill Clinton's Chinagate fiasco in 1996, Communist China, for a measly $million or so in illegal campaign donations, gained permanent trade status, took millions of American jobs, and suddenly were allowed access to advanced, even military technologies. This was the impetus for China's rise to be the strongest nation in the world. There are no doubt statues of the Clintons all over China, and soon to Hunter Biden, if his Chinese backed hedge funds do well. There are some rumors that Bloomberg has transacted business with China, although doubtful he tried to build a hotel in Beijing or Moscow, or the CIA would be all over it (for a cut)!

Realist , February 24, 2020 at 00:22

Esper is a dangerously deranged man who seems, at least to me, to be telegraphing his intent, and certainly his desire, to get into a kinetic war with both Russia and China (Washington already has most of the hybrid war tactics already fully operational), unless English usage has changed so drastically that insults, overt threats and unrestrained bombast are now part of calm, rational cordial diplomacy. I would not be surprised if neocon mouthpieces like Esper are not secretly honing their rhetorical style to emulate the exaggerated volume and enunciation of der ursprüngliche Führer.

Ma Laoshi , February 22, 2020 at 06:04

"So politician that he is" -- isn't this already on the slippery slope towards double standards, that is, would say Hillary get a similar pass for making McCarthyite statements like this? Isn't a dispassionate reading of the situation that Bernie is an inveterate liar , and moreover specializing in the particular brand of lies that could get us all into nuclear war? Whether it's character or merely age, haven't we seen enough to conclude that Mr. Sanders would be much weaker still vis-a-vis the Deep State than Donald Trump turned out to be?

For those without a dog in this fight, shouldn't it cause great merriment if the various RussiaGaters devour each other? Mr. Sanders has seen for years that the "muh Putin" hoax will be turned against him whenever needed. If he nonetheless persists, doesn't that show his resignation that his role in this election circus is a very temporary one, like in '16? How was that definition of insanity again?

If you want to fix America, then the Empire and Zionism are your enemies; so is the Dem party that is inextricably wedded to these forces. Play along with them and–well what can you expect.

aNanyMouse , February 22, 2020 at 13:29

Yeah, and Bernie sucked up to the Dem brass on the impeachment crap, even tho Tulsi had the stones to at least abstain. How sad.

GMCasey , February 21, 2020 at 22:33

Dear DNC:
KNOCK IT OFF! The only person I am voting for President is the only one who is capable -- and that is Bernie Sanders.
And really, with NATO breaking the agreement where they agreed to NOT go up to Russia's border : it is getting very sad and embarrassing to be an American because the elected ones make agreements and yet break so many. What with Turkey and Israel and Saudi Arabia trying to disrupt the area, I am sure that Russia is too busy to bother disrupting America . Lately America seems to disrupt itself for many ridiculous reasons. I am sorry that the gossip rags, which used to be important newspapers have failed in supporting their First Amendment right of Free speech . I just finished reading "ALL the Presidents Men. " What has happened to you, Washington Post, because as a newspaper, you really used to be somebody. Please review your past and become what you once were, a real genuine news source.

Sam F , February 23, 2020 at 09:18

Wikipedia: "In October 2013, the paper's longtime controlling family, the Graham family, sold the newspaper to Nash Holdings, a holding company established by Jeff Bezos, for $250 million in cash."

Jim Hartz , February 23, 2020 at 12:37

One of the craziest ongoing media phenomena, prevalent in the Impeachment Hearings, is the repeated claim that RUSSIA IS AT WAR WITH UKRAINE.

What kind of "Higher Life Form" enthusiastically EATS IT'S OWN SHIT?

Sam F , February 21, 2020 at 22:10

Mass media denouncing politicians based upon "information" from secret agencies are propaganda operations, and should be sued for proof of their claims. But of course the judiciary are tools of oligarchy as much as the mass media. No one has constitutional rights in the US under our utterly corrupt judiciary, only paid party privileges.

Eddie S , February 21, 2020 at 21:55

Hmmm.. so those oh-so-clever Russkies (I mean they MUST-BE if they were able to outwit ALL the US politicos -- who are immersed in the US political culture 24/7 as well as having grown-up in this country and having billions of $ to spend -- in 2016 with a mere $100k of Facebook ads) messed-up this time! They're supporting OPPOSING candidates, effectively canceling-out their efforts ? Kinda strange, unless that whole 'Russia meddling' thing was a vastly exaggerated distraction by a losing hawkish candidate and her party, further inflated by a sensationalistic media and a predictably antagonistic military & intelligence community??

dale t hood , February 21, 2020 at 22:42

There is NO "intel"; plenty of un-intel, shameless mendacity from these info=dictators zionazi NYT and Wapoop drivel; hopefully the insouciant public is starting to see what a sham these rats are. Hearst outdistanced.

Daniel , February 22, 2020 at 10:45

"Kinda strange, unless that whole 'Russia meddling' thing was a vastly exaggerated distraction by a losing hawkish candidate and her party, further inflated by a sensationalistic media and a predictably antagonistic military & intelligence community??"

Exactly. Shame on Hillary Clinton and all who view the electorate with such disdain as to have pushed this propaganda on us for the last three years, and continue to do so, obviously. If either Hillary Clinton or the "sensationalistic media and a predictably antagonistic military & intelligence community" had any integrity at all, they would have beaten Trump handily in 2016, just as they condescendingly told us they would. They did not, though, and have been outraged to have been exposed as the frauds they are ever since.

When your political party is nothing more than a marketing scheme designed to fool the population, that population will turn on you. Imagine that. And no amount of Russia-gating will save you. Shame on all who would continue this charade.

John Drake , February 21, 2020 at 21:33

Gosh I wish those so called intel people could make up their mind about whom the big bad Ruskies are trying to help. One week its Trump, the next it is Sanders. Frankly on the face, it sounds like bad intel to me.
But fortunately I am a regular reader of this site and Ray McGovern; and know it's all, to put it politely , disinformation; or less politely a pile of diarrhea invented by Hillarybots after a really really bad election day three years ago.
The only thing that disturbs me is the way Bernie buys into this Russiagate thing himself. Maybe you all could send him a trove of articles debunking the whole mess, especially Ray and Bill's forensics.

Fred Dean , February 23, 2020 at 03:52

When Durham starts indicting people and the story of the Deep State coup against the President becomes common knowledge, Bernie's statements on Russiagate will be a liability. Trump's people are digging up whatever videos they can of Bernie talking smack about Trump/Russia. It is a crack in Bernie's armor and we can expect Trump to exploit. Bernie has been such a toadie to the DNC. He cowers to the Democratic establishment because he fears they will pull his credentials to run as a Democrat.

OlyaPola , February 23, 2020 at 08:08

"Gosh I wish those so called intel people could make up their mind about whom the big bad Ruskies are trying to help."

Output is a function of framing and consequently the intelligence community/opponents are helping others including the Russians who encourage such help by doing nothing.

KiwiAntz , February 21, 2020 at 21:26

What a shambolic mess of a Nation that America is! Nothing more than a Billionaire's Banana Republic? A International laughingstock ruled by a Oligarchy, masquerading as a Democracy? And if all else fails to get rid of Bernie Saunders by vote rigging or gerrymandering or other nefarious acts of sabotage with Superdelegates stealing the nominations then resurrect the bogus Russiagate Conspiracy, a ridiculous failed & faked experiment to gaslight, spook & confuse the population again? Wouldn't it be delicious if Russiagate was actually TRUE, it would be payback for the USA, a Nation that meddles in the affairs & politics of every other Country on Earth, overthrowing & regime changing everyone who doesn't "bend the knee" to America, the most corrupt & evil Nation on Earth since Nazi Germany! I've never seen a more propagandised or mindf**ked People on Earth than the American people! It must be soul destroying to live in this Country & have to put up with this nonsense, day in, day out?

Ian , February 22, 2020 at 02:47

Yes, it is. Living with the infuriating unreality and militaristic worldview that is so cultivated here takes a personal emotional and intellectual toll. No place is perfect, but when I travel to Europe I feel a weight lifted.

Broompilot , February 22, 2020 at 03:50

Kiwi you may have a point.

ML , February 22, 2020 at 09:19

Yep. But for those of us with our critical thinking skills intact, we won't let it be soul destroying, Kiwi. Still, the daily crapload of bs we are fed in the "legacy" press is aggravating beyond the beyonds. Cheers, fellow Earthling.

Daniel , February 22, 2020 at 11:09

I hear you, KiwiAntz. It IS soul destroying to withstand this onslaught of disinformation each and every day. There is a rhythm to it that is undeniable, too. One can almost predict when the next propaganda hit will come, as here – after their latest would-be savior, Mike Bloomberg, imploded on live TV, and with Bernie looking more and more inevitable.

Our reality in the US today is that we have to fight against our own media to approach anything resembling a reasonable discussion about what is important to vast majorities (mean tweets and fake memes aren't it) or to champion candidates who display even the slightest integrity. But, of course, it is not 'our' media. It is 'theirs.' And they will continue to abuse us with it until we reject it completely.

robert e williamson jr , February 23, 2020 at 20:31

I see things pretty clearly for what they are and the billionaire democrats are heading for a train wreck and I hate to admit I cannot look away.

Trump is just another self serving U.S. president leaving a stain in America's underwear adding to the humongous pile of America's dirty laundry.

When the demographics finally dictate it change will come and likely not before. On that note I wold like to reach out here. Justin King, who goes as Beau on the net runs a site called the Fifth Column News and does a ton of informative and educational videos on many various topics. .

If you go to youtube, search and watch each of the videos I'm about to list here you stand to learn quite a lot about how Americans got screwed by the two party system without really realizing it. Plenty of blame to go around , no doubt though. You will also learn of the changing demographics in American politics. Many of the poor, minorities and youth of the country are coming into politics for they stand to lose everything if they don't change the status quo.

Feb 11 2020 runs 6:21 minutes and seconds- Search terms, Beau Lets talk about the parties switching and the party of trump

Feb 15 2020 runs 4:11 Search terms, Beau Lets talk about dancing left and dancing right

Feb 20 2020 runs 10:44 Search terms, Beau Lets talk about misunderstanding Bernie's supporters

This last video is a long video by Justin's standards. Most of his videos are under 7 minutes.

Much thanks to CN this site and the Fifth Column New site give me strength and bolster my courage by allowing me to know that there are those of us who know what gong on and know things must change.

[Jan 21, 2020] WaPo columnist endorses all twelve candidates

Highly recommended!
Are WaPo and NYT both encouraging their readerships to split the 'Anybody But Bernie' vote six ways from Super Tuesday? Fantastic!
Jan 21, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

Cassiodorus on Mon, 01/20/2020 - 11:44am Alexandra Petri tells us:

In a break from tradition, I am endorsing all 12 Democratic candidates.

Of course, this is a parody of the NYT's endorsement of Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren , trying to encourage the "who cares about policy we want an identity-politics win" vote. Petri's funniest moment is:

One of two things is wrong with America: Either the entire system is broken or is on the verge of breaking, and we need someone to bring about radical, structural change, or -- we don't need that at all! Which is it? Who can say? Certainly not me, and that is why I am telling you now which candidate to vote for.

[Jan 21, 2020] Bernie Sanders Walks Straight Into the Russiagate Trap

Jan 21, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

Daniel Lazare January 20, 2020 © Photo: Wikimedia The New York Times caused a mini-commotion last week with a front-page story suggesting that Russian intelligence had hacked a Ukrainian energy firm known as Burisma Holdings in order to get dirt on Joe Biden and help Donald Trump win re-election.

But the article was flimsy even by Russiagate standards, and so certain questions inevitably arise. What was it really about? Who's behind it? Who's the real target?

Here's a quick answer. It was about boosting Joe Biden, and its real target was his chief rival, Bernie Sanders. And poor, inept Bernie walked straight into the trap.

The article was flimsy because rather than saying straight out that Russian intelligence hacked Burisma, the company notorious for hiring Biden's son, Hunter, for $50,000 a month job, reporters Nicole Perlroth and Matthew Rosenberg had to rely on unnamed "security experts" to say it for them. While suggesting that the hackers were looking for dirt, they didn't quite say that as well. Instead, they admitted that "it is not yet clear what the hackers found, or precisely what they were searching for."

So we have no idea what they were up to, if anything at all. But the Times then quoted "experts" to the effect that "the timing and scale of the attacks suggest that the Russians could be searching for potentially embarrassing material on the Bidens – the same kind of information that Mr. Trump wanted from Ukraine when he pressed for an investigation of the Bidens and Burisma, setting off a chain of events that led to his impeachment." Since Trump and the Russians are seeking the same information, they must be in cahoots, which is what Democrats have been saying from the moment Trump took office. Given the lack of evidence, this was meaningless as well.

But then came the kicker: two full paragraphs in which a Biden campaign spokesman was permitted to expound on the notion that the Russians hacked Burisma because Biden is the candidate that they and Trump fear the most.

"Donald Trump tried to coerce Ukraine into lying about Joe Biden and a major bipartisan, international anti-corruption victory because he recognized that he can't beat the vice president," the spokesman, Andrew Bates, said. "Now we know that Vladimir Putin also sees Joe Biden as a threat. Any American president who had not repeatedly encouraged foreign interventions of this kind would immediately condemn this attack on the sovereignty of our elections."

If Biden is the number-one threat, then Sanders is not, presumably because the Times sees him as soft on Moscow. If so, it means that he could be in for the same neo-McCarthyism that antiwar candidate Tulsi Gabbard encountered last October when Hillary Clinton blasted her as "the favorite of the Russians." Gabbard had the good sense to blast her right back.

"Thank you @Hillary Clinton. You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain. From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a concerted campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it and why. Now we know – it was always you, through your proxies and powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine ."

If only Sanders did the same. But instead he put out a statement filled with the usual anti-Russian clichés:

"The 2020 election is likely to be the most consequential election in modern American history, and I am alarmed by new reports that Russia recently hacked into the Ukrainian gas company at the center of the impeachment trial, as well as Russia's plans to once again meddle in our elections and in our democracy. After our intelligence agencies unanimously agreed that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, including with thousands of paid ads on Facebook, the New York Times now reports that Russia likely represents the biggest threat of election meddle in 2020, including through disinformation campaigns, promoting hatred, hacking into voting systems, and by exploiting the political divisions sewn [sic] by Donald Trump ."

And so on for another 250 words. Not only did the statement put him in bed with the intelligence agencies, but it makes him party to the big lie that the Kremlin was responsible for putting Trump over the top in 2016.

Let's get one thing straight. Yes, Russian intelligence may have hacked the Democratic National Committee. But cybersecurity was so lax that others may have been rummaging about as well. (CrowdStrike, the company called in to investigate the hack, says it found not one but two cyber-intruders.) Notwithstanding the Mueller report, all the available evidence indicates that Russia did not then pass along thousands of DNC emails that Wikileaks published in July 2016. (Julian Assange's statement six months later that "our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party" remains uncontroverted.) Similarly, there's no evidence that the Kremlin had anything to do with the $45,000 worth of Facebook ads purchased by a St. Petersburg company known as the Internet Research Agency – Robert Mueller's 2018 indictment of the IRA was completely silent on the subject of a Kremlin connection – and no evidence that the ads, which were politically all over the map, had a remotely significant impact on the 2016 election.

All the rest is a classic CIA disinformation campaign aimed at drumming up anti-Russian hysteria and delegitimizing anyone who fails to go along. And now Bernie Sanders is trying to cover his derrière by hopping on board.

It won't work. Sanders will find himself having to take one loyalty oath after another as the anti-Russia campaign flares anew. But it will never be enough, and he'll only wind up looking tired and weak. Voters will opt for the supposedly more formidable Biden, who will end up as a bug splat on the windshield of Donald Trump's speeding election campaign. With impeachment no longer an issue, he'll be free to behave as dictatorially as he wishes as he settles into his second term.

After inveighing against billionaire's wars, he'll find himself ensnared by the same billionaire war machine. The trouble with Sanders is that he thinks he can win by playing by the rules. But he can't because the rules are stacked against him. He'd know that if his outlook was more radical. His problem is not that he's too much of a socialist. Rather, it's that he's not enough.

[Jan 20, 2020] NYT Editors Hedge Their Bets, Endorse Warren Klobuchar

Fake news are consistent: Klobuchar and not Tulsi ?
Jan 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

...

in what the paper described as a "significant break with convention", the members of its editorial board have selected not one, but two candidates - both of them women.

Its chosen candidates are: Elizabeth Warren, the Republican-turned-progressive who for years posed as a Native American to game America's system of affirmative action - and Amy Klobuchar, the midwestern senator from the great state of Minneapolis with a reputation for being an unhinged dragon-lady boss.

That the NYT selected the two remaining women among the top tier of contenders is hardly a surprise: This is, after all, the same newspaper that kicked off #MeToo by dropping the first expose about Harvey Weinstein's history of abusing, harassing and assaulting women just days before the New Yorker followed up with the first piece from Ronan Farrow.

...After all, if the editors went ahead with their true No. 1 choice, Klobuchar, a candidate who has very little chance of actually capturing the nomination, they would look foolish.


DeePeePDX , 2 hours ago link

NYT is like that ex you dumped that won't stop trying to get your attention with increasingly desperate and pathetic acts.

Griffin , 2 hours ago link

Warren is a much better candidate than Biden is in my view.

Warren seems to get into trouble sometimes for all kinds of reasons like most people do, but the problems are usually trivial, more silly than dangerous. There is tendency in her to stick to her guns even when she does not know what she is doing.

When i run into something unexpected or something that seems to be something i don't understand, i usually backtrack and look at the problem from some distance to see what happened and why before trying to correct or fix the problem, rather than just doing something.

Its not a perfect plan, but it seems to work most of the time.

https://9gag.com/gag/ap5AO19

Someone Else , 2 hours ago link

The tennis shoe I threw away last week is a better candidate than Biden. So that's not saying much.

TheManj , 3 hours ago link

NYT remains a joke. Their endorsement is straight up virtue-signalling.

Here's some reality: Warren's latest antics have cemented her image as dishonest and high-strung. Knoblocker has no charisma and remains practically unknown.

John Hansen , 3 hours ago link

Why are foreign ownedNew York Times allowed to meddle in the election?

Where is the investigation?

pitz , 4 hours ago link

I've personally sat down and talked with Klobuchar. Not a lot of depth of intelligence in her, that's for sure, easily manipulated by lobbyists. Warren, at least, knows what the problem is, although she might have swallowed the proverbial Democratic party "kool aid".

spam filter , 4 hours ago link

Warren is the deep state establishment pick. If you must vote Dem, pick someone that isn't, or one the establishment seems to work against. Better yet, vote Trump, safe bet on gun rights, freedoms.

SheHunter , 5 hours ago link

Here's the link. It is a gd editorial.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/01/19/opinion/amy-klobuchar-elizabeth-warren-nytimes-endorsement.html

[Dec 23, 2019] NYT neocon propaganda sing in unison with GE's harpy, Rachel Maddow

Dec 23, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

FSD , Dec 23 2019 14:48 utc | 1

The USA desperately need another resource-rich country to loot and can't find suitable candidate other then Russia. So MIC prostitute Madcow is just a dog of war. The USA deperately need another resource-rich country to loot and can't find sutable candiadate othe then Russia

There is no credible analyst not shackled to the MIC trough who ventures such an analysis beyond of course GE's W-2 harpie, Rachel Maddow.

The Western elites have long decided. WW3 is coming. In recent years, the Russians have repeatedly tried to get this message through the western Mediadrome, but to little effect.

The job of the GE spokespeople (Maddow et al) is diversionary/ preparatory spadework i.e. to drill with numbing repetition into the American consciousness who the enemy is. And you can bet the enemy is not who signs their paychecks. Their employers though happen to be OUR enemy.

Thus we find ourselves in the odd position of having Russia's top general attempting to shout through the Maddow racket that our two nations are on a collision course for war. Strange messenger. Or maybe not. They want to live too.

https://www.dailystar.co.uk/ /russias-top-general-warns-wor

Russia is in demographic collapse. It lacks the human capital to exploit even its own vast resource trove. The western banking system is over-leveraged. The imaginary numbers have gotten too big. Its 'denominator of the real' badly needs shoring up.

Russian resource wealth, Iran's massive South Pars LNG field are viewed with watering eyes as prolongations of the doomed Ponzi. Europe is energy-poor, geriatric and overrun with Islamic jihadists. With all due respect, who would want it at this late stage? At best, it is a funding source --and a battleground-- for WW3.

Meanwhile the Ponzi is ravenous and never sleeps. No growth - negative interest rates is a bell-ringer for WW3. The alternative is deflationary collapse. Maddow's been mysteriously cranked up again: Rushah Rushah!

So we find ourselves in another Goebellian shift: accuse the opposition of your own ulterior motives. They have no designs on us. Our overlords have designs on them.

Americans are just the People in the middle, hostages in a sense yet seemingly feared enough that our minds are still worth battling over. Trump's affinities are too populist. He's a dodgy helmsman for the massive undertaking of a world war where the people are only to be galvanized, not consulted.

Far from a duteous seat-warmer, he's a leader who squeaked through. The Oval Office is no place for leaders. It was thought to have been neutered of all that leadership malarkey post-JFK. Trump's not enough to hold back the MIC. No POTUS is. He either must depart the job or be compromised into executing the plan. But he's a bad Lieutenant. They'll never be comfortable with him.

Then some evil, diseased mind had an epiphany. Don't just Get Trump! Get a twofer! Get Trump and Russah! Weld them together for one kill-shot. Collusion means no daylight and one bullet. Yes, there's a genius to it, a very sick genius.

Annie , Dec 23 2019 15:29 utc | 4

B, great article as usual but disappointed that you didn't write about the latest sanctions on N2.

Another act of WAR by the US. These sanctions now cover the comoany, Allseas, laying the pipeline to Germany. They ceased operations and will not complete the project and Gazprom does not have the expertise. Would love to see your

analysis on that.
The NYT propaganda, true to form and loyal to Dem Russophobes just one more attempt to manufacture consent

This is maddening. These crazies are looking for war on Russia. Are the American people stupid enough to give that consent?

Piotr Berman , Dec 23 2019 15:30 utc | 5
My NYT site has the title "Russia Is a Mess. Why Is Putin Such a Formidable Enemy?"

Some quotes:
---- 1 ----
Under Mr. Putin, Vladislav Surkov, a longtime Kremlin adviser, wrote in Nezavisimaya Gazeta, a Moscow newspaper, earlier this year, Russia "is playing with the West's minds."

Also its own.
---- 2 ----
All the same, said Gleb Pavlovsky, a political scientist who worked for more than a decade as a Kremlin adviser, Russia under Mr. Putin still reminds him of a sci-fi movie exoskeleton: "Inside is sitting a small, weak and perhaps frightened person, but from the outside it looks terrifying."
---- 3 ----
Whatever its problems, Mr. Surkov, the Kremlin adviser, said, Russia has created "the ideology of the future" by dispensing with the "illusion of choice" offered by the West and rooting itself in the will of a single leader capable of swiftly making the choices without constraint.

China, too, has advocated autocracy as the way to get results fast, but even Xi Jinping, the head of the Chinese Communist Party, can't match the lightening speed with which Mr. Putin ordered and executed the seizure of Crimea. The decision to grab the Black Sea peninsula from Ukraine was made at a single all-night Kremlin meeting in February 2014 and then carried out just four days later with the dispatch of a few score Russian special forces officers to seize a handful of government buildings in Simferopol, the Crimean capital.
==========
If true, the resources committed to "Crimea takeover" were comparable with what Israel committed to assassinate one person, Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh, dispatching a team of 33 to Dubai in January 2010. Wasn't the superior productivity the strength of the West?

And this is not a joke. Putin is a maniac for balanced budgets, and compared to the expansive American style, the resources committed by Syria were minuscule. And by all accounts, spend well.

REUTERS. Oct 2, 2015 - U.S. President Barack Obama warned Russia on Friday that its bombing campaign against Syrian rebels will suck Moscow into a "quagmire," after a third straight day of air raids in support of President Bashar al-Assad. <<-- Obama was well aware that Russia committed a very small number of troops, and smallish air force that his military expert were describing as obsolete. Russia could not be many times more effective than USA, could it?

No sign of Obama's predicted 'quagmire' as Russia's ...
https://www.washingtonpost.com › world › 2016/09/30
Sep 30, 2016 - BEIRUT -- In the year since Russia began conducting airstrikes in support of the Syrian government, the intervention has worked to secure two ...

That explains the next quote from today NYT
---- 4 ----
"Maybe he's holding small cards, but he seems unafraid to play them," said Michael McFaul, a former United States ambassador to Moscow and now a scholar at Stanford. "That's what makes Putin so scary."
=========
Seems that Establishment scours most elite universities, Harvard, Yale, Stanford , Princeton etc. for the dumbest possible graduates. I know from private sources that not all graduates are dumb, many are actually brilliant. Does it occur to McFaul that boldness in playing small cards is even worse than playing large card? Russia (and Assad's partisans in Syria) had to do something well that USA (in government supporters in Afghanistan) did not do at all or did badly.

[Nov 06, 2019] Manufacturing Fear and Loathing, Maximizing Corporate Profits! A Review of Matt Taibbi's Hate Inc. Why Today's Media Makes Us

Notable quotes:
"... "Manufacturing Consent," Taibbi writes, "explains that the debate you're watching is choreographed. The range of argument has been artificially narrowed long before you get to hear it" (p. 11). ..."
"... Americans were held captive by the boob tube affords us not only a useful historical image but also suggests the possibility of their having been able to view the television as an antagonist, and therefore of their having been able, at least some of them, to rebel against its dictates. Three decades later, on the other hand, the television has been replaced by iPhones and portable tablets, the workings of which are so precisely intertwined with even the most intimate minute-to-minute aspects of our lives that our relationship to them could hardly ever become antagonistic. ..."
"... The massive political revolution was, going all the way back to 1989, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and then of the Soviet Union itself -- and thus of the usefulness of anti-communism as a kind of coercive secular religion (pp. 14-15). ..."
"... our corporate media have devised -- at least for the time being -- highly-profitable marketing processes that manufacture fake dissent in order to smother real dissent (p. 21). ..."
"... And the smothering of real dissent is close enough to public consentto get the goddam job done: The Herman/Chomsky model is, after all these years, still valid. ..."
"... For Maddow, he notes, is "a depressingly exact mirror of Hannity . The two characters do exactly the same work. They make their money using exactly the same commercial formula. And though they emphasize different political ideas, the effect they have on audiences is much the same" (pp. 259-260). ..."
Nov 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Matt Taibbi's Hate Inc . is the most insightful and revelatory book about American politics to appear since the publication of Thomas Frank's Listen, Liberal almost four full years ago, near the beginning of the last presidential election cycle.

While Frank's topic was the abysmal failure of the Democratic Party to be democratic and Taibbi's is the abysmal failure of our mainstream news corporations to report news, the prominent villains in both books are drawn from the same, or at least overlapping, elite social circles: from, that is, our virulently anti-populist liberal class, from our intellectually mediocre creative class, from our bubble-dwelling thinking class. In fact, I would strongly recommend that the reader spend some time with Frank's What's the Matter with Kansas? (2004) and Listen, Liberal! (2016) as he or she takes up Taibbi's book.

And to really do the book the justice it deserves, I would even more vehemently recommend that the reader immerse him- or herself in Taibbi's favorite book and vade-mecum , Manufacturing Consent (which I found to be a grueling experience: a relentless cataloging of the official lies that hide the brutality of American foreign policy) and, in order to properly appreciate the brilliance of Taibbi's chapter 7, "How the Media Stole from Pro Wrestling," visit some locale in Flyover Country and see some pro wrestling in person (which I found to be unexpectedly uplifting -- more on this soon enough).

Taibbi tells us that he had originally intended for Hate, Inc . to be an updating of Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent (1988), which he first read thirty years ago, when he was nineteen. "It blew my mind," Taibbi writes. "[It] taught me that some level of deception was baked into almost everything I'd ever been taught about modern American life .

Once the authors in the first chapter laid out their famed propaganda model [italics mine], they cut through the deceptions of the American state like a buzz saw" (p. 10). For what seemed to be vigorous democratic debate, Taibbi realized, was instead a soul-crushing simulation of debate. The choices voters were given were distinctions without valid differences, and just as hyped, just as trivial, as the choices between a Whopper and a Big Mac, between Froot Loops and Frosted Mini-Wheats, between Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi, between Marlboro Lites and Camel Filters. It was all profit-making poisonous junk.

"Manufacturing Consent," Taibbi writes, "explains that the debate you're watching is choreographed. The range of argument has been artificially narrowed long before you get to hear it" (p. 11). And there's an indisputable logic at work here, because the reality of hideous American war crimes is and always has been, from the point of view of the big media corporations, a "narrative-ruining" buzz-kill. "The uglier truth [brought to light in Manufacturing Consent ], that we committed genocide of a fairly massive scale across Indochina -- ultimately killing at least a million innocent civilians by air in three countries -- is pre-excluded from the history of the period" (p. 13).

So what has changed in the last thirty years? A lot! As a starting point let's consider the very useful metaphor found in the title of another great media book of 1988: Mark Crispin Miller's Boxed In: The Culture of TV . To say that Americans were held captive by the boob tube affords us not only a useful historical image but also suggests the possibility of their having been able to view the television as an antagonist, and therefore of their having been able, at least some of them, to rebel against its dictates. Three decades later, on the other hand, the television has been replaced by iPhones and portable tablets, the workings of which are so precisely intertwined with even the most intimate minute-to-minute aspects of our lives that our relationship to them could hardly ever become antagonistic.

Taibbi summarizes the history of these three decades in terms of three "massive revolutions" in the media plus one actual massive political revolution, all of which, we should note, he discussed with his hero Chomsky (who is now ninety! -- Edward Herman passed away in 2017) even as he wrote his book. And so: the media revolutions which Taibbi describes were, first, the coming of FoxNews along with Rush Limbaugh-style talk radio; second, the coming of CNN, i.e., the Cable News Network, along with twenty-four hour infinite-loop news cycles; third, the coming of the Internet along with the mighty social media giants Facebook and Twitter.

The massive political revolution was, going all the way back to 1989, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and then of the Soviet Union itself -- and thus of the usefulness of anti-communism as a kind of coercive secular religion (pp. 14-15).

For all that, however, the most salient difference between the news media of 1989 and the news media of 2019 is the disappearance of the single type of calm and decorous and slightly boring cis-het white anchorman (who somehow successfully appealed to a nationwide audience) and his replacement by a seemingly wide variety of demographically-engineered news personæ who all rage and scream combatively in each other's direction. "In the old days," Taibbi writes, "the news was a mix of this toothless trivia and cheery dispatches from the frontlines of Pax Americana . The news [was] once designed to be consumed by the whole house . But once we started to be organized into demographic silos [italics mine], the networks found another way to seduce these audiences: they sold intramural conflict" (p. 18).

And in this new media environment of constant conflict, how, Taibbi wondered, could public consent , which would seem to be at the opposite end of the spectrum from conflict, still be manufactured ?? "That wasn't easy for me to see in my first decades in the business," Taibbi writes. "For a long time, I thought it was a flaw in the Chomsky/Herman model" (p. 19).

But what Taibbi was at length able to understand, and what he is now able to describe for us with both wit and controlled outrage, is that our corporate media have devised -- at least for the time being -- highly-profitable marketing processes that manufacture fake dissent in order to smother real dissent (p. 21).

And the smothering of real dissent is close enough to public consentto get the goddam job done: The Herman/Chomsky model is, after all these years, still valid.

Or pretty much so. Taibbi is more historically precise. Because of the tweaking of the Herman/Chomsky propaganda model necessitated by the disappearance of the USSR in 1991 ("The Russians escaped while we weren't watching them, / As Russians do ," Jackson Browne presciently prophesied on MTV way back in 1983), one might now want to speak of a Propaganda Model 2.0. For, as Taibbi notes, " the biggest change to Chomsky's model is the discovery of a far superior 'common enemy' in modern media: each other. So long as we remain a bitterly-divided two-party state, we'll never want for TV villains" (pp. 207-208).

To rub his great insight right into our uncomprehending faces, Taibbi has almost sadistically chosen to have dark, shadowy images of a yelling Sean Hannity (in lurid FoxNews Red!) and a screaming Rachel Maddow (in glaring MSNBC Blue!) juxtaposed on the cover of his book. For Maddow, he notes, is "a depressingly exact mirror of Hannity . The two characters do exactly the same work. They make their money using exactly the same commercial formula. And though they emphasize different political ideas, the effect they have on audiences is much the same" (pp. 259-260).

And that effect is hate. Impotent hate. For while Rachel's fan demographic is all wrapped up in hating Far-Right Fascists Like Sean, and while Sean's is all wrapped up in despising Libtard Lunatics Like Rachel, the bipartisan consensus in Washington for ever-increasing military budgets, for everlasting wars, for ever-expanding surveillance, for ever-growing bailouts of and tax breaks for and and handouts to the most powerful corporations goes forever unchallenged.

Oh my. And it only gets worse and worse, because the media, in order to make sure that their various siloed demographics stay superglued to their Internet devices, must keep ratcheting up levels of hate: the Fascists Like Sean and the Libtards Like Rachel must be continually presented as more and more deranged, and ultimately as demonic. "There is us and them," Taibbi writes, "and they are Hitler" (p. 64). A vile reductio ad absurdum has come into play: "If all Trump supporters are Hitler, and all liberals are also Hitler," Taibbi writes, " [t]he America vs. America show is now Hitler vs. Hitler! Think of the ratings! " The reader begins to grasp Taibbi's argument that our mainstream corporate media are as bad as -- are worse than -- pro wrestling. It's an ineluctable downward spiral.

Taibbi continues: "The problem is, there's no natural floor to this behavior. Just as cable TV will eventually become seven hundred separate twenty-four-hour porn channels, news and commentary will eventually escalate to boxing-style, expletive-laden, pre-fight tirades, and the open incitement to violence [italics mine]. If the other side is literally Hitler, [w]hat began as America vs. America will eventually move to Traitor vs. Traitor , and the show does not work if those contestants are not eventually offended to the point of wanting to kill one another" (pp. 65-69).

As I read this book, I often wondered about how difficult it was emotionally for Taibbi to write it. I'm just really glad to see that the guy didn't commit suicide along the way. He does describe the "self-loathing" he experienced as he realized his own complicity in the marketing processes which he exposes (p. 2). He also apologizes to the reader for his not being able to follow through on his original aim of writing a continuation of Herman and Chomsky's classic: "[W]hen I sat down to write what I'd hoped would be something with the intellectual gravitas of Manufacturing Consent ," Taibbi confesses, "I found decades of more mundane frustrations pouring out onto the page, obliterating a clinical examination" (p. 2).

I, however, am profoundly grateful to Taibbi for all of his brilliantly observed anecdotes. The subject matter is nauseating enough even in Taibbi's sparkling and darkly tragicomic prose. A more academic treatment of the subject would likely be too depressing to read. So let me conclude with an anecdote of my own -- and an oddly uplifting one at that -- about reading Taibbi's chapter 7, "How the News Media Stole from Pro Wrestling."

On the same day I read this chapter I saw that, on the bulletin board in my gym, a poster had appeared, as if by magic, promoting an upcoming Primal Conflict (!) professional wrestling event. I studied the photos of the wrestlers on the poster carefully, and, as an astute reader of Taibbi, I prided myself on being able to identify which of them seemed be playing the roles of heels , and which of them the roles of babyfaces .

For Taibbi explains that one of the fundamental dynamics of wrestling involves the invention of crowd-pleasing narratives out of the many permutations and combinations of pitting heels against faces . Donald Trump, a natural heel , brings the goofy dynamics of pro wrestling to American politics with real-life professional expertise. (Taibbi points out that in 2007 Trump actually performed before a huge cheering crowd in a Wrestlemania event billed as the "battle of the billionaires." Watch it on YouTube! https://youtu.be/5NsrwH9I9vE -- unbelievable!!)

The mainstream corporate media, on the other hand, their eyes fixed on ever bigger and bigger profits, have drifted into the metaphorical pro wrestling ring in ignorance, and so, when they face off against Trump, they often end up in the role of inept prudish pearl-clutching faces .

Taibbi condemns the mainstream media's failure to understand such a massively popular form of American entertainment as "malpractice" (p. 125), so I felt more than obligated to buy a ticket and see the advertised event in person. To properly educate myself, that is.

... ... ...


Steve Ruis , November 5, 2019 at 8:13 am

I have stopped watching broadcast "news" other than occasional sessions of NPR in the car. I get most of my news from sources such as this and from overseas sources (The Guardian, Reuters, etc.). I used to subscribe to newspapers but have given them up in disgust, even though I was looking forward to leisurely enjoying a morning paper after I retired.

I was brought up in the positive 1950's and, boy, did this turn out poorly.

Dao Gen , November 5, 2019 at 8:59 am

Matt Taibbi is an American treasure, and I love his writing very much, but we also need to ask, Why hasn't another Chomsky (or another Hudson), an analyst with a truly deep and wide-ranging, synthetic mind, appeared on the left to take apart our contemporary media and show us its inner workings? Have all the truly great minds gone to work for Wall Street? I don't have an answer, but to me the pro wrestling metaphor, while intriguing, misses something about the Fourth Estate in America, if it indeed still exists. And that is, except for radio, there is a distinct imbalance between the two sides of the MSM lineup. On the corporate liberal side of the national MSM team you have five wrestlers, but on the conservative/reactionary side you have only the Fox entry. Because of this imbalance, the corruption, laziness, self-indulgence, and generally declining interest in journalistic standards seems greater among the corporate liberal media team, including the NYT and WaPo, than the Fox team.

I'm not a fan of either Maddow (in her current incarnation) or Hannity, but Hannity, perhaps because he thinks he's like David, often hustles to refute the discourse of the corporate liberal Goliath team. Hannity obviously does more research on some topics than Maddow, and, perhaps because he began in radio, he puts more emphasis on semi-rationally structured rants than Maddow, who depends more on primal emotion, body language, and Hollywood-esque fear-inducing atmospherics.

I'd wager that in a single five-minute segment there will often be twice as many rational distinctions made in a Hannity rant than in a Maddow performance. In addition, for the last three years Hannity has simply been demonstrably right about the fake Russiagate propaganda blitz while Maddow has been as demonstrably wrong from the very beginning as propaganda industry trend-setter Adam Schiff. So for at least these last three years, the Maddow-Hannity primal match has been a somewhat misleading metaphor. The Blob and the security state have been decisively supporting (and directing?) the corporate liberal global interventionist media, at least regarding Russia and the permanent war establishment, and because the imbalance between the interventionist and the non-interventionist MSM, Russia and Ukraine are being used as a wedge to steadily break down the firewalls between the Dem party, the intel community, and the interventionist MSM. If we had real public debates with both sides at approximately equal strength as we did during the Vietnam War, then even pro wrestling-type matches would be superior to what we have now, which is truthy truth and thoughtsy thought coming to us from the military industrial complex and monopolistic holding companies. If fascism is defined as the fusion of the state and corporations, then the greatest threat of fascism in America may well be coming from the apparent gradual fusion of the corporate liberal MSM, the Dem party elite, and the intel community. Instead of an MSM wrestling match, we may soon be faced with a Japanese-style 'hitori-zumo' match in which a sumo wrestler wrestles with only himself. Once these sumo wrestlers were believed to be wrestling with invisible spirits, but those days are gone . http://kikuko-nagoya.com/html/hitori-zumo.htm

coboarts , November 5, 2019 at 9:59 am

"If we had real public debates" and if they were even debates where issues entered into contest were addressed point by point with evidence

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg , November 5, 2019 at 10:03 am

Today's Noam Chomksy? Chomsky was part of the machine who broke ranks with it. His MIT research was generously funded by the Military Industrial Complex. Thankfully, enough of his latent humanity and Trotskyite upbringing shone through so he exposed what he was part of. So I guess today that's Chris Hedges, though he's a preacher at heart and not a semiotician.

neighbor7 , November 5, 2019 at 10:04 am

Thank you, Dao Gen. An excellent analysis, and your final image is usefully haunting.

a different chris , November 5, 2019 at 12:11 pm

> In addition, for the last three years Hannity has simply been demonstrably right about the fake Russiagate propaganda blitz while Maddow has been as demonstrably wrong

Eh. Read whats-his-name's (Frankfurter?) book On Bullshit . You are giving Hannity credit for something he doesn't really care about.

jrs , November 5, 2019 at 12:21 pm

I don't believe the media environment as a whole leans corporate Dem/neoliberal.

T.V. maybe, but radio is much more right wing than left (yes there is NPR and Pacifica, the latter with probably only a scattering of listerners but ) and it's still out there and a big influence, radio hasn't gone away. So doesn't the right wing tilt of radio kind of balance out television? (not necessarily in a good way but). And then there is the internet and I have no idea what the overall lean of that is (I mean I prefer left wing sites, but that's purely my own bubble and actually there are much fewer left analysis out there than I'd like)

Self Affine , November 5, 2019 at 9:05 am

Also,

Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism

by Sheldon S. Wolin

Critical deep analysis of not just the media but the whole American political enterprise and
the nature of our "democracy".

DJG , November 5, 2019 at 9:20 am

The whole review is good, but this extract should be quoted extensively:

While Frank's topic was the abysmal failure of the Democratic Party to be democratic and Taibbi's is the abysmal failure of our mainstream news corporations to report news, the prominent villains in both books are drawn from the same, or at least overlapping, elite social circles: from, that is, our virulently anti-populist liberal class, from our intellectually mediocre creative class, from our bubble-dwelling thinking class.

In short, stagnation and self-dealing at the top. What could possibly go wrong?

Yves Smith Post author , November 5, 2019 at 11:51 am

Are you serious? Maddow called Trump a traitor and accused him of betrayal in Russiagate, and was caught out when that fell apart. This was pointed out all over the MSM .

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/03/27/rachel-maddows-deep-delusion-226266

https://www.salon.com/2018/07/17/rachel-maddow-hits-the-panic-button-after-trump-putin-summit-this-is-the-worst-case-scenario/

Carolinian , November 5, 2019 at 9:52 am

This is great stuff. Thanks.

One quibble: the author says

Three decades later, on the other hand, the television has been replaced by iPhones and portable tablets

and then goes on to spend most of the article talking about television. I'd say television is still the main propaganda instrument even if many webheads like yours truly ignore it (I've never seen Hannity's show or Maddow's–just hear the rumors). Arguably even newspapers like the NYT have been dumbed down because the reporters long to be on TV and join the shouting. And it's surely no coincidence that our president himself is a TV (and WWE) star. Mass media have always been feeders of hysteria but television gave them faces and voices. Watching TV is also a far more passive experience than surfing the web. They are selling us "narratives," bedtime stories, and we like sleepy children merely listen.

Jerri-Lynn Scofield , November 5, 2019 at 9:54 am

This rave review has inspired me to add this to my to-read non-fiction queue. Currently reading William Dalrymple's The Anarchy, on the rise of the East India Company. Next up: Matt Stoller's Goliath. And then I'll get to Taibbi. Probably worth digging up my original copy of Manufacturing Consent as well, which I read many moons ago; time for a re-read.

Susan the Other , November 5, 2019 at 12:32 pm

almost every page of mine is dog-eared and marked along the edge with exclamation points

urblintz , November 5, 2019 at 1:41 pm

May I suggest Stephen Cohen's "War with Russia?" if it's not already on your list? In focusing on the danger emerging from the new cold war, seeded by the Democrats, propagated by corporate media (which he thinks is more dangerous than the first), Cohen clarifies the importance of diplomacy especially with one's nuclear rivals.

Imagine that

shinola , November 5, 2019 at 9:56 am

Support your local book store!

Off The Street , November 5, 2019 at 9:57 am

Us rubes knew decades ago about pro wrestling. There was a regional circuit and the hero in one town would become the villain in another town. The ones to be surprised were like John Stossel, who got a perforated eardrum from a slap upside the head for his efforts at in-your-face journalism with a wrestler who just wouldn't play along with his grandstanding. Somewhere, kids cheered and life went on.

The Historian , November 5, 2019 at 10:01 am

Ah, Ancient Athens, here we come – running back to repeat your mistakes! Our MSM media has decided that when we are not at our neighbor's throats, we should be at each other's throats!

teacup , November 5, 2019 at 10:11 am

I was watching old clips of the 'Fred Friendly Seminars' on YouTube. IMHO any channel that produced a format such as this would be a ratings bonanza. Imagine a round table with various media figures (corporate) left, (corporate) right, and independent being refereed by a host-moderator discussing topics in 'Hate, Inc.'. In wrestling it's called a Battle Royale. The Fourth Estate in a cage match!

@ape , November 5, 2019 at 10:12 am

And the smothering of real dissent is close enough to public consentto get the goddam job done: The Herman/Chomsky model is, after all these years, still valid.

This is important, if people don't want to be naive about what democracy buys. Democracy in the end is a ritual system to determine which members of an elite would win a war without actually having to hold the war. Like how court functions to replace personal revenge by determining (often) who would win in a fight if there were one, and the feudal system replaced the genocidal wars of the axial age with the gentler warfare of the middle ages which were often ritual wars of the elite that avoided the full risk of the earlier wars.

That, I think, is important -- under a democracy, the winner should be normally the winner of the avoided violent conflict to be sustainable. Thus, it's enough to get most people to consent to the solution, using the traditional meaning of consent being "won't put up a fight to avoid it". If the choices on the table are reduced enough, you can get by with most people simply dropping out of the questions.

Qui tacet consentire videtur, ubi loqui debuit ac potuit

It shouldn't be a surprise that we've moved to "faking dissent" -- it's the natural evolution of a system where a lot of the effective power is in the hands of tech, and not just as in the early 20th century, how many workers you have and how many soldiers you can raise.

If you don't like it, change the technology we use to fight one another. We went from tribes to lords when we switch from sticks to advanced forged weapons, and we went from feudalism to democracy when we had factories dropping guns that any 15 year old could use (oversimplifying a bit). Now that the stuff requires expertise, you'd expect a corresponding shift in how we ritualize our conflict avoidance, and thus the organization of how we control communication and how we organize our rituals of power.

Aka, it's the scientists and the engineers who end up determining how everything is organized, and people never seem to bother with that argument, which is especially surprising that even hard-core Marxists waste their time on short-term politics rather than the tech we're building.

I'd be curious whether Taibbi thought about the issue of the nature of the technology and whether there are technological options on the horizon which drive the conflict in other directions. If we had only kept the laws on copyright and patent weaker, so that the implementation of communicative infrastructure would have stayed decentralized

Susan the Other , November 5, 2019 at 12:41 pm

Tabby's "manufacturing fake consent" was really the whole punchline – the joke's on us. Hunter S. Thompson, another of Taibbi's heroes, is, along with Chomsky, speaking to us through MT. Our media is distracting us from social coherence. Another thing it is doing (just my opinion) is it is overwhelming us to the point of disgust. Nobody likes it. And we protect ourselves by tuning it out. Turning it off. Once the screaming lunatics marginalize themselves by making the whole narrative hysterical, we just act like it's another family fight and we're gonna go do something else. When everyone is screaming, no one is screaming.

Jerry B , November 5, 2019 at 10:26 am

I have tried to read Hate Inc. and Taibbi's Griftopia but one of my main issues with Taibbi's writing is his lack of notes, references, or bibliography, etc. in his books. In skimming Hate Inc. it seems like a book I would enjoy reading, however my personal value system is that any book without footnotes, endnotes, citations, or at minimum a bibliography is just an opinion or a story. At least Thomas Frank's Listen Liberal has a section for End Notes/References at the end of the book. Again just my personal values.

Sbbbd , November 5, 2019 at 10:45 am

Another classic in the genre of manufactured consent through media from the age of radio and Adolf Hitler:

"The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception", in the book Dialectic of Enlightenment (1947), Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer.

Joe Well , November 5, 2019 at 11:04 am

I am from Greater Boston, far, far from flyover country (which I imagine begins in Yonkers NY), but I sure grew up with pro wrestling as part of the schoolyard discourse. I certainly knew it was as much of a family affair as Disney on Ice and have trouble believing he thought otherwise though I will not impugn his honesty. I am very grateful to the author for taking the time to write this, but is it possible for a male who grew up in the US to be as deeply embedded in the MSNBC demo as he claims to be?

Seriously, how is it possible for a male raised in the US to not at least have some working familiarity with pro wrestling? My family along with my community was very close to the national median income–do higher income boys really not learn about WWF and WWE?

Seriously, rich kids, what was childhood like? I know you had music lessons and sports camps, what else? Was it really that different?

Carolinian , November 5, 2019 at 11:59 am

And it's not just the US. See the British WWE movie: Fighting With My Family.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fighting_with_My_Family

Yves Smith Post author , November 5, 2019 at 12:03 pm

Sorry, my blue collar, lifetime union member brother says your view is horseshit. All the knows about WWE and WWF is that they are big-budget fakery and that's why they are of no interest.

amfortas the hippie , November 5, 2019 at 1:38 pm

aye. in my blue to white collar( and back to blue to no collar) upbringing, wrestling was never a thing. it was for the morons who couldn't read. seen as patently absurd by just about everyone i knew. and this in klanridden east texas exurbia
wife's mexican extended familia oth luche libre is a big thing that all and sundry talked about at thanksgiving. less so these days possibly due to the hyperindiviualisation of media intake mentioned
(and,btw, in my little world , horseshit is a good thing)

BlueStater , November 5, 2019 at 11:11 am

Even allowing for my lefty-liberal bias, I do not see how it is possible to equate Fox Noise and MSNBC, or Hannity and Maddow, as "both-sides" extremists. Fox violates basic professional canons of fairness and equity on a daily basis. MSNBC occasionally does, but is quick to correct errors of fact. Hannity is a thuggish outer-borough New York schmuck without much education or knowledge of the world. Maddow is an Oxford Ph.D. and Rhodes Scholar. It is one of the evil successes of the right-wing news cauldron to have successfully equated these two figures and organizations.

Yves Smith Post author , November 5, 2019 at 12:05 pm

Huh? MSNBC regularly makes errors of omission and commission with respect to Sanders. They are still pushing the Russiagate narrative. That's a massive, two-year, virtually all the time error they have refused to recant.

The blind spots of people on the soi-disant left are truly astonishing.

semiconscious , November 5, 2019 at 1:08 pm

'Hannity is a thuggish outer-borough New York schmuck without much education or knowledge of the world. Maddow is an Oxford Ph.D. and Rhodes Scholar '

oh, well, then – end of conversation! i mean, god knows, it'd be a cold day in hell before a rhodes scholar, or even someone married to one, would ever lead us astray down the rosy neoliberal path to hell, while, at the same time, under the spell of trump derangement syndrome, actually attempt to revive the mccarthy era, eh?

Summer , November 5, 2019 at 12:11 pm

Actual drugs are being used to hinder debate as well as emotional drugs like hate.
They can't trust agency to be removed by words and images alone – the stakes are too high.
Now all of you go take a feel good pill and stop complaining!

McWatt , November 5, 2019 at 1:02 pm

I would like to know if Matt is doing any book signings any where around the states for this new title?

David , November 5, 2019 at 1:15 pm

I've been impressed with Taibbi's work, what I've read of it, but ironically this very article contains a quote from him which exemplifies the problem: his casual assertion that the US committed "genocide" in Indochina. Even the most fervent critics of US policy didn't say this at the time, for the very good reason that there was no evidence that the US tried to destroy a racial, religious, ethnic or nationalist group (the full definition is a lot more complex and demanding than that). He clearly means that the US was responsible for lots of deaths, which is incontestable. But the process of endless escalation of rhetoric, which this book seems to be partly about, means that everything now has to be described in the most extreme, absurd or apocalyptic tones, and at the top of your voice, otherwise nobody takes any notice. So any self-respecting war now has to be qualified as "genocide" or nobody will take any notice.

[Nov 01, 2019] The Piece of Presstitute Excrement known as the NYTimes Has Had to Admit that Yes there Is a Deep State at War with President Trump by Paul Craig Roberts

Nov 01, 2019 | www.unz.com

This is a surprisingly good report from Robert Merry. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/52461.htm

The only mistake Merry makes is his erroneous statement that Trump held up aid to Ukraine to pressure the Ukrainian president to investigate the Ukrainian firm that made $1,750,000 payments to the corrupt Biden and his corrupt son. The transcript of the telephone call between Trump and the Ukrainian president shows no Quid Pro Quo, and the Ukrainian president says there was none. The Quid Pro Quo was entirely on Biden's part when he told the president of Ukraine to fire the prosecutor investigating the firm that was paying him and his son seven figures in protection money or forfeit $1 billion in US aid. You can watch it here: https://www.wsj.com/video/opinion-joe-biden-forced-ukraine-to-fire-prosecutor-for-aid-money/C1C51BB8-3988-4070-869F-CAD3CA0E81D8.html

Moreover, even it Trump did threaten to withhold aid from a country that was covering up corruption by a US vice president and his son, that is the US president's right. There is no reason whatsoever that a president should permit US taxpayers' money to be given to a government that covers up corruption by a vice president of the United States.

We know for a fact that there was corruption by Vice President Biden. He bragged about it before the Council on Foreign Relations. You can watch him doing so here: https://www.wsj.com/video/opinion-joe-biden-forced-ukraine-to-fire-prosecutor-for-aid-money/C1C51BB8-3988-4070-869F-CAD3CA0E81D8.html

Biden's son has admitted that he used poor judgment taking money from a firm in order to protect it from prosecution.

Even if Trump did what the Democrats allege, which he did not, there is nothing illegal or unethical about it whatsoever. Compared to the tactics US prosecutors use to convict the innocent, Trump's conversation with the president of Ukraine is far above the highest ethics known to US prosecutors.

Why aren't the Democrats complaining about the criminally illegal treatment of Julian Assange and Manning? The reason is that the Democrats, the most utterly corrupt political organization on the face of the Earth, are bought and paid for by the Deep State. The Democrats are dog excrement to the core. They are traitors to America and to our Constitutional order. The entire party should be arrested and put on trial for sedition to overthrow the government of the United States.

[Oct 29, 2019] The New York Times itself is part of the Deep State it initially denied and now wholeheartedly supports

Notable quotes:
"... Not that this should surprise anyone who is familiar with Operation Mockingbird and The New York Times' part in co-operating with the CIA to plant CIA-origin reports with reporters who were either willing volunteers or unaware innocents or to practise self-censorship to appease the CIA. ..."
"... The Deep State has little to nothing to do with "rule of law." It is simply the law of the jungle: might makes right, exercised behind the scenes by the true power brokers and their minions. It is not partisan. It does use both parties to put on a show to distract the people while owning and using major parts of both ..."
"... It is they who have us in Syria now to steal Syria's oil. It is they who were enraged that Trump, an outsider, won the election contrary to all expectations and predictions. It is they who control most of the media. They are not the friends of the American people; in fact, they are our mortal enemies. ..."
"... They have hijacked our government and our foreign policy, which they operate largely for their own interests and not in the true interests of the American people. ..."
"... They use the media to sell us on what they are doing, appealing to our pride, our patriotism, the project of spreading peace, prosperity, democracy, and freedom to the world, the project of promoting human rights, the project of prosperity--whatever works to convince us that we should be in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Syria, and Kosovo, and in hundreds of military bases around the world. They equally exploit left and right; thus dividing us, they conquer. ..."
Oct 29, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jen , Oct 28 2019 21:51 utc | 75

I'm sure I'm not the only person here who sees the headlines B has linked to and other NYT headlines (and some of the actual articles themselves, if I have the time and patience to read them) and realised that The New York Times itself is part of the Deep State it initially denied and now wholeheartedly supports. Not that this should surprise anyone who is familiar with Operation Mockingbird and The New York Times' part in co-operating with the CIA to plant CIA-origin reports with reporters who were either willing volunteers or unaware innocents or to practise self-censorship to appease the CIA.
Arthur , Oct 28 2019 17:22 utc | 14
The Deep State has little to nothing to do with "rule of law." It is simply the law of the jungle: might makes right, exercised behind the scenes by the true power brokers and their minions. It is not partisan. It does use both parties to put on a show to distract the people while owning and using major parts of both.

It is they who have us in Syria now to steal Syria's oil. It is they who were enraged that Trump, an outsider, won the election contrary to all expectations and predictions. It is they who control most of the media. They are not the friends of the American people; in fact, they are our mortal enemies.

They have hijacked our government and our foreign policy, which they operate largely for their own interests and not in the true interests of the American people.

They use the media to sell us on what they are doing, appealing to our pride, our patriotism, the project of spreading peace, prosperity, democracy, and freedom to the world, the project of promoting human rights, the project of prosperity--whatever works to convince us that we should be in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Syria, and Kosovo, and in hundreds of military bases around the world. They equally exploit left and right; thus dividing us, they conquer.

[Oct 23, 2019] New York Times Fakes The Record About Arming The Syrian Rebels

Notable quotes:
"... Clearly, the US hopes wrench Turkey from the Russian embrace. Moscow's studied indifference toward the US-Turkish cogitations betrays its uneasiness. Conceivably, Erdogan will expect Putin to take a holistic view, considering Russia's flourishing and high lucrative economic and military ties with Turkey and the imperative to preserve the momentum of Russia-Turkey relationship. ..."
"... If the US policy in Syria in recent years promoted the Kurdish identity, it has now swung to the other extreme of stoking the fires of Turkish revanchism. This is potentially catastrophic for regional stability. ..."
"... the main outcome will be that Turkey feels it has western support for its long-term occupation of Syrian territory. ..."
"... Arguably, US expects Turkey's cooperation to strengthen its strategy in Syria (and Iraq) where it seeks to contain Iran's influence. From Ankara, Pompeo travelled to Jerusalem to brief Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu. " ..."
Oct 23, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

New York Times Fakes The Record About Arming The Syrian Rebels

History as faked by the New York Times :

Kurds' Sense of Betrayal Compounded by Empowerment of Unsavory Rivals
Ben Hubbard, David D. Kirkpatrick, NYT 18. Oct 2019

Now, [..] the sense of betrayal among the Kurds [..] is matched only by their outrage at who will move in: Turkish soldiers supported by Syrian fighters the United States had long rejected as extremists, criminals and thugs .
...
The deadly battles [..] have also given new leeway to Syrian fighters once considered too extreme or unruly to receive American military support.
...
Grandly misnamed the Syrian National Army, this coalition of Turkish-backed militias is in fact largely composed of the dregs of the eight-year-old conflict's failed rebel movement.

Early in the war [..] the military and the C.I.A. sought to train and equip moderate, trustworthy rebels to fight the government and the Islamic State.

A few of those now fighting in the northeast took part in those failed programs, but most were rejected as too extreme or too criminal . Some have expressed extremist sensibilities or allied with jihadist groups.

The reality is the opposite of what the NYT claims. The majority of the groups now fighting with the Turkish army had earlier received support from the U.S. Even their nominal leader is the same one who the U.S. earlier paid, armed and promoted.

COMPONENTS OF THE NATIONAL ARMY AND THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE UNIFICATION
Ömer Özkizilcik, SETA, October 2019

On August 31, the Syrian National Coalition came together and elected the president and the cabinet of the Syrian Interim Government in which Abdurrahman Mustafa was elected president and Salim Idriss was elected defense minister . With the new cabinet, the Syrian Interim Government became more active on the ground, started visiting each faction of the National Army, and accelerated the stalled negotiations to unite the National Army and the NLF under one command.
Salim Idriss with U.S. Senator John McCain

bigger
Salim Idriss with Guy Verhofstadt, then leader of the ALDE group in the European Parliament

bigger
Among the 41 factions that joined the merger, 15 are from the NLF and 26 from the National Army. Thirteen of these factions were formed after the United States cut its support to the armed Syrian opposition. Out of the 28 factions, 21 were previously supported by the United States , three of them via the Pentagon's program to combat DAESH. Eighteen of these factions were supplied by the CIA via the MOM Operations Room in Turkey, a joint intelligence operation room of the 'Friends of Syria' to support the armed opposition. Fourteen factions of the 28 were also recipients of the U.S.-supplied TOW anti-tank guided missiles.

The SETA study provides a detailed list of the groups involved in the current Turkish invasion of Syria. Not only is their commander Salim Idriss a former U.S. stooge but the majority of these groups did receive U.S. support and weapons.


bigger

The New York Times claim that only "a few of those" who now fight the YPG Kurds took part in the U.S. programs is a blatant lie.

The NYT piece quotes three 'experts' who testify that the 'rebels' the U.S. had armed are really, really bad:

"These are the misfits of the conflict, the worst of the worst," said Hassan Hassan, a Syrian-born scholar tracking the fighting. "They have been notorious for extortion, theft and banditry, more like thugs than rebels -- essentially mercenaries."

It was Hassan Hassan who since the start of the conflict lobbied for arming the rebels from his perch at the UAE's media flagship The National .

Another 'expert' quoted is the Israeli propagandist Elizabeth Tsurkov:

"They are basically gangsters, but they are also racist toward Kurds and other minorities," said Elizabeth Tsurkov, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. "No human should be subjected to their rule."

Tsurkov earlier lauded the Israeli hiring and arming of the very same 'Syrian rebels'.

Another 'expert' quoted by the Times is a co-chair of the 'congressionally sponsored bipartisan Syrian Study Group':

"We are turning areas that had been controlled by our allies over to the control of criminals or thugs, or that in some cases groups were associated or fighting alongside Al Qaeda," said Ms. Stroul, of the Syrian Study Group. "It is a profound and epic strategic blunder."

The 'Syrian Study Group' wants to prolong the war on Syria. Ms. Stroul and her co-chair Michael Singh reside at the Washington Institute which is a part of the Zionist lobby and has long argued for 'arming the Syrian rebels'.

The Times report does not mention that the 'experts' it quotes all once lobbied for arming the very same groups they are now lamenting about. When these groups ran rampant in the areas they took from the Syrian government the Times and its 'experts' were lauding them all the way. No effort to support them was big enough. All crimes they committed were covered up or excused.

Now, as the very same rebels attack the Kurds, they are suddenly called out for being what they always have been.

Posted by b on October 20, 2019 at 11:19 UTC | Permalink


Richard , Oct 20 2019 11:46 utc | 1

Hah! More lies from the NYT....mainstream media in the west has deteriorated into a propaganda channel for the Military Industrial Complex and the oligarchy, pumping out a never ending tide of lying filth aimed at more and more war (more and more weapon sales) and promoting and preserving predatory capitalism (more money for the Billionaire class, less for you).

In my own reading of MSM press and my own watching of the MSM Talking Heads I believe I've indentified 8 techniques that amoral, dangerous, barely competent idiots that have the cheek to call themselves journalists use to lie to you, the reader/viewer/listener. Here's my list...

https://richardhennerley.com/2018/10/16/8-techniques-journalists-use-to-lie-to-you/

DontBelieveEitherPr. , Oct 20 2019 12:12 utc | 2
Okay how practical.
Now only is the NYT trying to whitewash themselves by faking, they are also kind enough to do the same for their Jihadi lovin partners in crime.
How empathic! How sensible! Like a true moral authority.

BTW: It seems my previous claims were right. The Turks made a 180 and allied with the US again, reviving the NATO allaince. Now that the Kurds are out of the way in Turk-US relations, US and NATO has much more to offer than Russia, and noe Erdogan has support from NATO and will not be deterred by Putin.
B, i respect you immensly, but your belief the Turkish invasion was Erdogan doing some secret Putin plan was unproven at the time, and now, AT LEAST since the US-Turk deal, is obsolte.

Read M. K. BHADRAKUMARs blog, he thought like you, but after the US-Turk deal, EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED:

https://indianpunchline.com/us-stokes-the-fires-of-turkish-revanchism/

"The extraordinary US overture to Turkey regarding northern Syria resulted in a joint statement on Thursday, whose ramifications can be rated only in the fulness of time , as several intersecting tracks are running.

The US objectives range from Trump's compulsions in domestic politics to the future trajectory of the US policies toward Syria and the impact of any US-Turkish rapprochement on the geopolitics of the Syrian conflict.

Meanwhile, the US-Turkish joint statement creates new uncertainties. The two countries have agreed on a set of principles -- Turkey's crucial status as a NATO power ; security of Christian minorities in Syria; prevention of an ISIS surge; creation of a "safe zone" on Turkish-Syrian border; a 120-hour ceasefire ("pause") in Turkish military operations leading to a permanent halt, hopefully.

The devil lies in the details. Principally, there is no transparency regarding the future US role in Syria . The Kurds and the US military will withdraw from the 30-kilometre broad buffer zone. What thereafter? In the words of the US Vice-President Mike Pence at the press conference in Ankara on Thursday,

"Kurdish population in Syria, with which we have a strong relationship, will continue to endure. The United States will always be grateful for our partnership with SDF in defeating ISIS, but we recognise the importance and the value of a safe zone to create a buffer between Syria proper and the Kurdish population and -- and the Turkish border. And we're going to be working very closely ."

To be sure, everything devolves upon the creation of the safe zone. Turkey envisages a zone stretching across the entire 440 kilometre border with Syria upto Iraqi border, while the US special envoy James Jeffrey remains non-committal, saying it is up to the "Russians and the Syrians in other areas of the northeast and in Manbij to the west of the Euphrates" to agree to Turkey's maximalist stance.

Herein lies the rub. Jeffrey would know Ankara will never get its way with Moscow and Damascus. In fact, President Bashar al-Assad told in unequivocal terms to a high-level Russian delegation visiting Damascus on Friday, "At the current phase it is necessary to focus on putting an end to aggression and on the pullout of all Turkish, US and other forces illegally present in Syrian territories."

Is there daylight between Moscow and Damascus on this highly sensitive issue? Turkish President Recep Erdogan's forthcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi on October 22 may provide an answer.

Clearly, the US hopes wrench Turkey from the Russian embrace. Moscow's studied indifference toward the US-Turkish cogitations betrays its uneasiness. Conceivably, Erdogan will expect Putin to take a holistic view, considering Russia's flourishing and high lucrative economic and military ties with Turkey and the imperative to preserve the momentum of Russia-Turkey relationship.

If the US policy in Syria in recent years promoted the Kurdish identity, it has now swung to the other extreme of stoking the fires of Turkish revanchism. This is potentially catastrophic for regional stability. The heart of the matter is that while Turkey's concerns over terrorism and the refugee problem are legitimate, Operation Peace Spring has deeper moorings: Turkey's ambitions as regional power and its will to correct the perceived injustice of territorial losses incurred during the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire. The ultra-nationalistic Turkish commentator (and staunch supporter of Erdogan) wrote this week in the pro-government daily Yeni Safak:

"Turkey once again revived the millennium-old political history on Anatolian territory. It took action with a mission that will carry the legacy of the Seljuks, the Ottomans, the Republic of Turkey to the next stage It is not possible to set an equation in this region by excluding Turkey – it will not happen. A map cannot be drawn that excludes Turkey – it will not happen. A power cannot be established without Turkey – it will not happen. Throughout history, both the rise and fall of this country has altered the region the mind in Turkey is now a regional mind, a regional conscience, a regional identity. President Erdoğan is the pioneer, the bearer of that political legacy from the Seljuks, the Ottomans, and the Turkish Republic to the future."

Trump is unlikely to pay attention to the irredentist instincts in Turkish regional policies. Trump's immediate concerns are to please the evangelical Christian constituency in the US and silence his critics who allege that he threw the Kurds under the bus or that a ISIS resurgence is imminent. But there is no way the US can deliver on the tall promises made in the joint statement. The Kurds have influential friends in the Pentagon. (See the article by Gen. Joseph Votel, former chief of the US Central Command, titled The Danger of Abandoning our Partners.) Nonetheless, the main outcome will be that Turkey feels it has western support for its long-term occupation of Syrian territory.

All in all, it's a "win-win" for Erdogan insofar as he got what he wanted -- US' political and diplomatic support for "the kind of long-term buffer zone that will ensure peace and stability in the region", to borrow the words of Vice President Pence. A Turkish withdrawal from Syrian territory can now be virtually ruled out. State secretary Mike Pompeo added at the press conference in Ankara on Thursday that there is "a great deal of work to do in the region. There's lots of challenges that remain."

Pompeo said Erdogan's "decision to work alongside President Trump will be one that I think will benefit Turkey a great deal." Arguably, US expects Turkey's cooperation to strengthen its strategy in Syria (and Iraq) where it seeks to contain Iran's influence. From Ankara, Pompeo travelled to Jerusalem to brief Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu. "

DontBelieveEitherPr. , Oct 20 2019 12:16 utc | 3
Add to that, that the Turks now threaten SAA with "full out war".

John Helmers latest post sheds light on the fact, that the Russian military leadership and the Stavka in general has warned Putin since the Idlib deal again and again to no avail that the Turks would do this.

Which seems now to have been proven true since the US-Turk deal, which in essence changed everything overnight.

http://johnhelmer.net/in-the-war-for-syrias-highway-m4-the-kremlin-turks-have-been-beaten-to-the-punch-by-the-russian-general-staff-foreign-ministry-for-the-moment/

oldhippie , Oct 20 2019 12:21 utc | 4
As the extremity of propaganda in mainstream news becomes more obvious a few American consumers of news do begin to have doubts. Most continue to be entirely uncritical. The barflies here are in the habit of being critical, analytic, skeptical when reading any news from any source. That is not the American way.

The cohort of educated prosperous middle class readers of the NYT has total faith in NYT. Having the paper edition on the doorstep in the morning is a badge of membership. A totem that gives them status. Questioning any word or phrase or clause that appears in print is wrong. Asking questions means something is wrong with you. The Times is never wrong. Those who doubt the Times have mental health issues. Or they are alt-right. Or they are deplorable. For the intended audience the propaganda feed is always completely effective. Readers of the Times will never untie the knot.

oldhippie , Oct 20 2019 12:21 utc | 4
As the extremity of propaganda in mainstream news becomes more obvious a few American consumers of news do begin to have doubts. Most continue to be entirely uncritical. The barflies here are in the habit of being critical, analytic, skeptical when reading any news from any source. That is not the American way.

The cohort of educated prosperous middle class readers of the NYT has total faith in NYT. Having the paper edition on the doorstep in the morning is a badge of membership. A totem that gives them status. Questioning any word or phrase or clause that appears in print is wrong. Asking questions means something is wrong with you. The Times is never wrong. Those who doubt the Times have mental health issues. Or they are alt-right. Or they are deplorable. For the intended audience the propaganda feed is always completely effective. Readers of the Times will never untie the knot.

Walter , Oct 20 2019 12:29 utc | 5
"Why" always seem like a good question, eh? The NYT lies...why?

This quote caught my attention> " The powerful and historical walls to study today are those of the Kremlin." (Fisk, information clearing house)

As it was for Winston's "Ministry of Truth" (Orwell) the NYT article is necessary. That's the significance - not the lies but the necessity of lies...

And under what situations are lies required? Think about that when (if) you read Fisk's analysis. (I am not a fan of Fisk, but his views in this instance align with my own rather well)

Fisk article title> "Trump's disgrace in the Middle East is the death of an empire. Vladimir Putin is Caesar now"

Some may recall that the monks on Mt Athos quietly elected VVP as the Byzantine Emperor (about 2 years ago) - the Eastern branch of Christianity continues whilst nominally christian(western) branch is fake and perverse ritual and worse...while his Popeness in Rome has as Luther saw... I think Luther said it was a vast brothel...

Does this need Daniel to read the writing...


which is?

mene mene tekel upharsin (well somebody said..)

By the way my vote for the clown-man was cast because I reasoned the best esthetic feature in the freak parade at the end of empire would be a clown act. I am indebted to the late George Carlin for the symbolism.

I am proved right? I think so. Dogs bark and caravan continue...and many expect dollars to go weimarish. then?

Red Corvair , Oct 20 2019 12:57 utc | 7
Ahh.. "experts"... Hassan Hassan is not a Syrian-born scholar, but a Syrian "born-scholar"... Nuance. Or is it "a natural-born-scholar"? ...
As for Israeli propagandist Elizabeth Tsurkov, those very same "bad extremists" she now repudiates on Twitter she once excused for mutilating children "because they were deeply traumatised"... A very coherent "expert"!!
From The Grayzone, Ben Norton and Aaron Maté (and Dan Cohen) about Tsurkov: Western pundits who lobbied for Syrian rebels now admit they are jihadist extremists, Oct. 16 (about Tsurkov, go about 1:45 and the rest):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tkg4wJFpc_E
Now Tsurkov seems rather busy rooting for some "color revolution" to take place in Lebanon. Where is Israel?...
As for the picture of Guy Verhofstadt next to Salim Idriss, it seems very aptly to epitomize the EU "politics" about the Syrian conflict: "How tasty those American boots are!! Wanna lick more American boots, please!!"
BM , Oct 20 2019 13:11 utc | 8
Ahh.. "experts"... Hassan Hassan is not a Syrian-born scholar, but a Syrian "born-scholar"... Nuance. Or is it "a natural-born-scholar"? ...

If he is writing nothing but lies he is not any kind of scholar at all except a fake scholar. Nor is he a journalist. He is a propagandist, nothing else. Call a spade a spade.


-----


Ahhh, I've just posted to the Media and Pundits thread, but it should have come here much more sensibly. Anyway the post is top a new page over there, on Trump and Syria's oil fields.

Sunny Runny Burger , Oct 20 2019 13:18 utc | 9
The new narrative seems to me to have everything to do with Turkey and nothing to do with Russia. A comment in the last Syria-related thread.

Then again there are so many loose ends concerning Turkey that almost anything could happen (coup attempt and "cleansing", dead ambassadors, Cyprus, Greece, Armenia, Syria, ISIS and others, Kurds, weapon deals, shooting down a Russian plane, annoying Europe and the EU as well as the US and just about everybody, some only politically but many militarily as well (at least the US, Germany, and France), the list surely goes on).

As I commented I'm not convinced Turkey will survive this, are they able to stop and reverse if they find they've set themselves up?

Clueless Joe , Oct 20 2019 14:19 utc | 10
Turkey might be playing a double-game, or plan to betray one side - whether it'll be US or Russia remains to be seen. But that this is all a clever NATO plot conflicts a bit with the fact that the US is systematically destroying its bases in NE Syria. Sure, that might be because they don't want the SAA to use them and to plunder them for techs and scraps, but that would also make things more complicated for a Turkish take-over - it will surely considerably slow the process if the Turkish army and its lackeys have to do everything back from scratches.
Besides, odds are that Putin has taken that into consideration and has some contingency measures ready, just in case - not that they could fully stop Turkish aggression in its tracks in a couple of hours, but still.
Stever , Oct 20 2019 14:46 utc | 11
Meanwhile Nicholas Kristof at the NYTimes also is whitewashing Obama's Syrian policy. He conveniently forgets Timber Sycamore (the CIA's second largest operation, over $1 billion) to overthrow Assad - 2013-2017, that allowed ISIS to get a firm foothold.

Trump Takes Incoherence and Inhumanity and Calls It Foreign Policy

"It was just five years ago that an American president, faced with a crisis on Syria's border, acted decisively and honorably."

"Barack Obama responded with airstrikes and a rescue operation in 2014 when the Islamic State started a genocide against members of the Yazidi sect, slaughtering men and forcing women and girls into sexual slavery. Obama's action, along with a heroic intervention by Kurdish fighters, saved tens of thousands of Yazidi lives."

"Contrast Obama's move, successfully working with allies to avert a genocide, with President Trump's betrayal this month of those same Kurdish partners in a way that handed a victory to the Islamic State, Turkey, Syria, Iran -- and, of course, Russia, ."

Nathan Mulcahy , Oct 20 2019 14:53 utc | 12

@ Walter 5: "I reasoned the best esthetic feature in the freak parade at the end of empire would be a clown act"

Just love it!!

On a side note. Last night met with a new friend couple for dinner. Both are highly educated and work in technical professions. Accordingly they pride themselves in logical thinking ability. I wanted to check out their political leanings and asked about Trump's troop pullback in Syria. Not surprisingly, both were outraged. When asked about their rationale the expected answer was Trump's betrayal of the Kurds. I politely pointed out that our troops' presence in Syria violates both domestic and international laws. That was news to them!!! One of them did lamely point out that Assad is a brutal dictator. Being new "friends", we refrained from further in depth political discussions. That incidence further convinced me of the impending total collapse of the empire.

Don Bacon , Oct 20 2019 15:25 utc | 13
There has been some discussion regarding Syrian oilfields, here's some more on that.

The Syrian Democratic Council is the political wing of the Syrian Democratic Forces in the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, including sites of Syrian oilfields. The SDC's stated mission is working towards the implementation of a "secular, democratic and decentralized system for all of Syria. The Syrian Democratic Council was established on 10 December 2015 in Al-Malikiyah.

Here is a letter dated Jan 21, 2019 from the SDC to the CEO of Global Development Corporation (GDC) Inc. in New Jersey, "a formal acceptance of your company, GDC, to represent the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) in all matters related to the sale of oil owned by SDC . .the estimate off production of crude oil to be 400,000 barrels per day. . .current daily production is 125,000 barrels. ."

The CEO of New Jersey's GDC (no mention on the web) is Mordechai (Moti) Kahana (Hebrew: מוטי כהנא‎; born February 28, 1968, Jerusalem, Israel) is an Israeli-American businessman and philanthropist. He is most notable for his work for the civil war refugees in Syria. . .Since 2011 he heads a group of Israeli businessmen and American Jews who travel to the Syrian refugee camps to provide humanitarian aid to Syrian Civil War refugees.. . He paid for Senator John McCain's trip to war-torn Syria. . . here .

The GDC mailing address is the Roxbury Mall, 275 Route 10 E, Succasunna, NJ.

Hausmeister , Oct 20 2019 15:27 utc | 14

Southfront reports that Turkish mercenaries have taken over Ras Al-Ayn. Did I overlook something? Why didn't the SAA take over after the SDF left?
Don Bacon , Oct 20 2019 15:54 utc | 15
re: Salim Idriss a former U.S. stooge
WSJ, Jun 12, 2013
Rebels Plead for Weapons in Face of Syrian Onslaught
A top Syrian rebel commander has issued a desperate plea for weapons from Western governments to prevent the fall of his forces in Aleppo, pushing the Obama administration to decide quickly whether to agree to arm rebels for the first time or risk the loss of another rebel stronghold just days after the regime's biggest victory.

Gen. Salim Idris, the top Syrian rebel commander backed by the West, issued a detailed request in recent days to the U.S., France and Britain for antitank missiles, antiaircraft weapons and hundreds of thousands of ammunition rounds, according to U.S. and European officials and Mr. Idris's request to the Americans, a copy of which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Gen. Idris's call comes at a pivotal moment in Syria's war, following rapid-fire gains by Bashar al-Assad forces, including last week's recapture of Qusayr, a strategic town near the Lebanon border. Fighters from Hezbollah, which were crucial in helping the Assad regime to take Qusayr, are now massing around Aleppo, say rebels and Western officials. . . here


This was after H. Clinton (SecState) and D. Petraeus (CIA) wanted to fully arm the US-supported rebels but President Obama declined. Clinton had resigned Feb 1, 2013.
worldblee , Oct 20 2019 16:57 utc | 16
I am shocked, shocked, shocked, to find out that lying is going on in the establishment of the NYT.
james , Oct 20 2019 17:24 utc | 17
thanks b... stellar writing and comments throughout... i especially liked your last line :
"Now, as the very same rebels attack the Kurds, they are suddenly called out for being what they always have been."

@13 don bacon - the address says it all.. The GDC mailing address is the Roxbury Mall, 275 Route 10 E, Succasunna, NJ.

james , Oct 20 2019 17:27 utc | 18
regarding the nyt, larry johnson has a post up on sst here.. i quote from it :
"Let us start with a reminder of how damn corrupt the NY Times and its reporters are. Consider this paragraph penned by Adam Goldman and William Rashbaum:

Closely overseen by Mr. Barr, Mr. Durham and his investigators have sought help from governments in countries that figure into right-wing attacks and unfounded conspiracy theories about the Russia investigation, stirring criticism that they are trying to deliver Mr. Trump a political victory rather than conducting an independent review.

"Unfounded conspiracy theories?" What a damn joke."

karlof1 , Oct 20 2019 17:31 utc | 19
Wow! Quite a knee jerk reaction by the NY Times to Max Blumenthal's 16 Oct article in The Grayzone , "The US has backed 21 of the 28 'crazy' militias leading Turkey's brutal invasion of northern Syria," which I linked to Friday. It's great to see such a reaction to what for most people's an obscure online publication.

Notice of MoA website change: I must now type in my name and email every time I want to comment after years of never needing to do so. My issue might be related to the one ben encountered in thinking he couldn't comment, which you can't if those two fields aren't filled.

Tom Ratliff , Oct 20 2019 17:47 utc | 20
@snake #6

See the growing collection of related techniques by David Martin (aka dcdave): Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression

"Strong, credible allegations of high-level criminal activity can bring down a government. When the government lacks an effective, fact-based defense, other techniques must be employed. The success of these techniques depends heavily upon a cooperative, compliant press and a mere token opposition party..."

Cloak And Dagger , Oct 20 2019 18:12 utc | 21
Trump should not have sent Pence and Pompeo to Turkey. They will do everything possible to derail the rollback of the US in Syria. They are both more subtle than Bolton, but they are both neocons. If you want anything done, you have to do it yourself.

[Oct 22, 2019] Hillary claims that Gabbard is being groomed to run as a third-party spoiler candidate, stealing votes from Warren or Biden, exactly as Jill Stein (who, according to Clinton, is also totally a Russian asset )

Notable quotes:
"... "I'm not making any predictions, but I think they've got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate." ..."
"... The Times piece goes on to list an assortment of unsavory, extremist, white supremacist, horrible, neo-Nazi-type persons that Tulsi Gabbard has nothing to do with, but which Hillary Clinton, the Intelligence Community, The Times , and the rest of the corporate media would like you to mentally associate her with. ..."
Oct 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

by Tyler Durden Mon, 10/21/2019 - 22:25 0 SHARES

Authored (satirically) by CJ Hopkins vis The Unz Review,

So, it looks like that's it for America, folks. Putin has gone and done it again. He and his conspiracy of Putin-Nazis have "hacked," or "influenced," or "meddled in" our democracy. Unless Admiral Bill McRaven and his special ops cronies can ginny up a last-minute military coup , it's four more years of the Trumpian Reich, Russian soldiers patrolling the streets, martial law, concentration camps, gigantic banners with the faces of Trump and Putin hanging in the football stadiums, mandatory Sieg-heiling in the public schools, National Vodka-for-Breakfast Day, death's heads, babushkas, the whole nine yards.

We probably should have seen this coming.

That's right, as I'm sure you are aware by now, president-in-exile Hillary Clinton has discovered Putin's diabolical plot to steal the presidency from Elizabeth Warren, or Biden, or whichever establishment puppet makes it out of the Democratic primaries. Speaking to former Obama adviser and erstwhile partner at AKPD Message and Media David Plouffe, Clinton revealed how the godless Rooskies intend to subvert democracy this time:

"I'm not making any predictions, but I think they've got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate."

She was referring, of course, to Tulsi Gabbard, sitting Democratic Member of Congress, decorated Major in the Army National Guard, and long shot 2020 presidential candidate. Apparently, Gabbard (who reliable anonymous sources in the Intelligence Community have confirmed is a member of some kind of treasonous, Samoan-Hindu, Assad-worshipping cult that wants to force everyone to practice yoga) has been undergoing Russian "grooming" at a compound in an undisclosed location that is probably in the basement of Mar-a-Lago, or on Sublevel 168 of Trump Tower.

In any event, wherever Gabbard is being surreptitiously "groomed" (presumably by someone resembling Lotte Lenya in From Russia With Love ), the plan (i.e., Putin's plan) is to have her lose in the Democratic primaries, then run as a third-party "spoiler" candidate, stealing votes from Warren or Biden, exactly as Jill Stein (who, according to Clinton, is also "totally a Russian asset") stole them from Clinton back in 2016, allowing Putin to install Donald Trump (who, according to Clinton, is still being blackmailed by the FSB with that "kompromat" pee-tape) in the White House, where she so clearly belongs.

Clinton's comments came on the heels of a preparatory smear-piece in The New York Times , What, Exactly, Is Tulsi Gabbard Up To? , which reported at length on how Gabbard has been "injecting chaos" into the Democratic primaries . Professional "disinformation experts" supplied The Times with convincing evidence (i.e., unfounded hearsay and innuendo) of "suspicious activity" surrounding Gabbard's campaign. Former Clinton-aide Laura Rosenberger (who also just happens to be the Director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy , "a bipartisan transatlantic national security advocacy group" comprised of former Intelligence Community and U.S. State Department officials, and publisher of the Hamilton 68 dashboard) "sees Gabbard as a potentially useful vector for Russian efforts to sow division."

The Times piece goes on to list an assortment of unsavory, extremist, white supremacist, horrible, neo-Nazi-type persons that Tulsi Gabbard has nothing to do with, but which Hillary Clinton, the Intelligence Community, The Times , and the rest of the corporate media would like you to mentally associate her with.

Richard Spencer, David Duke, Steve Bannon, Mike Cernovich, Tucker Carlson, and so on. Neo-Nazi sites like the Daily Stormer . 4chan, where, according to The New York Times , neo-Nazis like to "call her Mommy."

In keeping with professional journalistic ethics, The Times also reached out to experts on fascism, fascist terrorism, terrorist fascism, fascist-adjacent Assad-apologism, Hitlerism, horrorism, Russia, and so on, to confirm Gabbard's guilt-by-association with the people The Times had just associated her with. Brian Levin, Director of the CSU Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, confirmed that Gabbard has "the seal of approval" within goose-stepping, Hitler-loving, neo-Nazi circles. The Alliance for Securing Democracy (yes, the one from the previous paragraph) conducted an "independent analysis" which confirmed that RT ("the Kremlin-backed news agency") had mentioned Gabbard far more often than the Western corporate media (which isn't backed by anyone, and is totally unbiased and independent, despite the fact that most of it is owned by a handful of powerful global corporations, and at least one CIA-affiliated oligarch). Oh, and Hawaii State Senator Kai Kahele, who is challenging Gabbard for her seat in Congress, agreed with The Times that Gabbard's support from Jew-hating, racist Putin-Nazis might be a potential liability.

"Clearly there's something about her and her policies that attracts and appeals to these type of people who are white nationalists, anti-Semites, and Holocaust deniers."

But it's not just The New York Times , of course. No sooner had Clinton finished cackling than the corporate media launched into their familiar Goebbelsian piano routine, banging out story after television segment repeating the words "Gabbard" and "Russian asset." I've singled out The Times because the smear piece in question was clearly a warm-up for Hillary Clinton's calculated smear job on Friday night. No, the old gal hasn't lost her mind. She knew exactly what she was doing, as did the editors of The New York Times , as did every other establishment news source that breathlessly "reported" her neo-McCarthyite smears.

As I noted in my previous essay , 2020 is for all the marbles, and it's not just about who wins the election. No, it's mostly about crushing the "populist" backlash against the hegemony of global capitalism and its happy, smiley-faced, conformist ideology. To do that, the neoliberal establishment has to delegitimize, and lethally stigmatize, not just Trump, but also people like Gabbard, Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn and any other popular political figure (left, right, it makes no difference) deviating from that ideology.

Ask yourself, what do Trump, Sanders, Corbyn, and Gabbard have in common? No, it's not their Putin-Nazism it's the challenge they represent to global capitalism. Each, in his or her own way, is a symbol of the growing populist resistance to the privatization and globalization of everything. And thus, they must be delegitimized, stigmatized, and relentlessly smeared as "Russian assets," "anti-Semites," "traitors," "white supremacists," "fascists," "communists," or some other type of "extremists."

Gabbard, to her credit, understands this, and is focusing attention on the motives and tactics of the neoliberal establishment and their smear machine. As I noted in an essay last year , "the only way to effectively counter a smear campaign (whether large-scale or small-scale) is to resist the temptation to profess your innocence, and, instead, focus as much attention on the tactics and the motives of the smearers as possible ." This will not save her, but it is the best she can do, and I applaud her for having the guts to do it. I hope she continues to give them hell as they finish off her candidacy and drive her out of office.

Oh, and if you're contemplating sending me an email explaining how these smear campaigns don't work (or you spent the weekend laughing about how Hillary Clinton lost her mind and made an utter jackass of herself), maybe check in with Julian Assange, who is about to be extradited to America, tried for exposing U.S. war crimes, and then imprisoned for the remainder of his natural life.

If you can't get through to Julian at Belmarsh, you could ring up Katharine Viner at The Guardian, which has ruthlessly smeared Assange for years, and published outright lies about him , and is apparently doing very well financially.

And, if Katharine is on holiday in Antigua or somewhere, or having tea with Hillary in the rooftop bar of the Hay-Adams Hotel , you could try Luke Harding (who not only writes and publishes propaganda for The Guardian , but who wrote a whole New York Times best-seller based on nothing but lies and smears). Or try Marty Baron, Dean Baquet, Paul Krugman, or even Rachel Maddow, or any of the other editors and journalists who have been covering the Putin-Nazi " Attack on America ," and keeping us apprised of who is and isn't a Hitler-loving "Russian asset."

Ask them whether their smear machine is working... if you can get them off the phone with their brokers, or whoever is decorating their summer places in the Hamptons or out on Martha's Vineyard .

Or ask the millions of well-off liberals who are still, even after Russiagate was exposed as an enormous hoax based on absolutely nothing , parroting this paranoid official narrative and calling people "Russian assets" on Twitter. Or never mind, just pay attention to what happens over the next twelve months. In terms of ridiculous official propaganda , spittle-flecked McCarthyite smears, and full-blown psychotic mass Putin-Nazi hysteria, it's going to make the last three years look like the Propaganda Special Olympics.

* * *

C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and political satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant Paperbacks. He can be reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org .

[Sep 11, 2019] NYT tries to save Russiagate narrative using Smolenkov defection

Sep 11, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

Some former intelligence officials said the president's closed-door meetings with Mr. Putin and other Russian officials , along with Twitter posts about delicate intelligence matters , have sown concern among overseas sources.

"We have a president who, unlike any other president in modern history, is willing to use sensitive, classified intelligence however he sees fit," said Steven L. Hall, a former C.I.A. official who led the agency's Russia operations. "He does it in front of our adversaries. He does it by tweet. We are in uncharted waters."

But the government had indicated that the source existed long before Mr. Trump took office, first in formally accusing Russia of interference in October 2016 and then when intelligence officials declassified parts of their assessment about the interference campaign for public release in January 2017. News agencies, including NBC , began reporting around that time about Mr. Putin's involvement in the election sabotage and on the C.I.A.'s possible sources for the assessment.

The following month, The Washington Post reported that the C.I.A.'s conclusions relied on "sourcing deep inside the Russian government." And The New York Times later published articles disclosing details about the source .

The news reporting in the spring and summer of 2017 convinced United States government officials that they had to update and revive their extraction plan, according to people familiar the matter.

The extraction ensured the informant was in a safer position and rewarded for a long career in service to the United States. But it came at a great cost: It left the C.I.A. struggling to understand what was going on inside the highest ranks of the Kremlin.

The agency has long struggled to recruit sources close to Mr. Putin, a former intelligence officer himself wary of C.I.A. operations. He confides in only a small group of people and has rigorous operational security, eschewing electronic communications.

James R. Clapper Jr., the former director of national intelligence who left office at the end of the Obama administration, said he had no knowledge of the decision to conduct an extraction. But, he said, there was little doubt that revelations about the extraction were "going to make recruiting assets in Russia even more difficult than it already is." Correction : Sept. 10, 2019

An earlier version of this article referred incorrectly to the timing of the initial reporting on the C.I.A.'s 2016 exfiltration offer to a Russian informant. An offer that appears to be the same one that The New York Times described was reported in 2018 in Bob Woodward's book "Fear."

[Sep 10, 2019] PATRICK LAWRENCE The Establishment is Changing its Tune on Russia

Notable quotes:
"... Macron then outdid himself: "We are living the end of Western hegemony," he told the assembled envoys. ..."
"... Macron is an opportunistic main-chancer in European politics, and it is not at all certain how far he can or will attempt to advance his new vision of either the West or Europe in the Continent's councils of state. But as evidence of a new current in Western thinking about Russia, the non–West in general, and Europe's long-nursed desire for greater independence from Washington, the importance of his comments is beyond dispute. ..."
"... Macron may prove a pushover, or a would-be Gaullist who fails to make the grade. Or he may have just announced a long-awaited inflection point in trans–Atlantic ties. Either way, he has put highly significant questions on the table. It will be interesting to see what responses they may elicit, not least from the Trump White House. ..."
"... who in their right mind would trust the U.S. anymore for any reason? ..."
"... Until now, the conflict with Russia has resulted in the conversion of the Ukrainian (and other formerly eastern bloc countries) economy from highly industrial to a supplier of cheap labor, some agricultural products, and raw materials to the EU. ..."
"... The empire's war machine always needs a boogeyman. ..."
"... America has earned the mistrust of most of the world. Although establishing a good relationship with Russia is a good idea, using it to isolate Russia probably will not work. ..."
"... Many of Patrick's observations are astute and well-reasoned. But he is ABSOLUTELY WRONG to put any faith whatsoever in Trump being able to negotiate ANYTHING of importance, whether it be with North Korea or Russia. Wake up! There is "no one home" in Donald Trump!! ..."
"... We are witnessing a severely incapacitated, mentally ill individual pretending to be a leader, who is endangering the entire planet. If this doesn't scare the shit out of you, you need to have your head examined! ..."
"... IMHO, it is a fool's errand for our policy makers to think that Russia can be "peeled away from China", or that Russia and China has not seen through that strategy as another ploy by the West to retain hegemony. ..."
"... The West has been hostile to Russia since its inception as a non-monarchy in 1917. ..."
"... The New York Times has played an effective Orwellian role in recent years, simply by reflecting unannounced policy directives – notably the smooth shifts in designated official enemies from ISIS to Russia/Putin to China/Xi all in the space of six short years. ..."
"... The Times has become nothing but a bunch of stenographers for the Intelligence Community. ..."
"... You nailed it in calling it Orwellian. ISIS as "official" enemy indeed is a classic representation of 'doublespeak.' All of those *accidental* U.S. arms-drops on their positions, helicopters showing up to rescue their leaders, the apparent invisibility of those oil tanker fleets freely and blatantly running the highways into Turkey for several years ..."
"... As much of that oil was shipped to Israel by Erdogan's kid at below market prices, it was another testament to the duplicitous nature of the entire scheme to bring Syria down. Fail. Epic fail. I love it. That egg looks great on Netanyahu's face. ..."
"... Trump and the establishment punish and sanction Russia but get along fine with MBS Mohammad Bone Sawman. I voted for Trump but got Hillary's foreign policy. The Devil runs America. ..."
Sep 10, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

In desultory fashion over the past month or so, we have had indications that the policy cliques in Washington are indeed reconsidering the Cold War II they set in motion during the Obama administration's final years. And President Donald Trump, persistent in his effort to reconstruct relations with Russia, now finds an unlikely ally in Emmanuel Macron. This suggests a nascent momentum in a new direction.

"Pushing Russia away from Europe is a profound strategic mistake," the French president asserted in a stunning series of remarks to European diplomats immediately after the Group of 7 summit in Biarritz late last month.

This alone is a bold if implicit attack on the hawkish Russophobes Trump now battles in Washington. Macron then outdid himself: "We are living the end of Western hegemony," he told the assembled envoys.

It is difficult to recall when a Western leader last spoke so truthfully and insightfully of our 21 st century realities, chief among them the inevitable rise of non–Western nations to positions of parity with the Atlantic world. You have nonetheless read no word of this occasion in our corporate media: Macron's startling observations run entirely counter to the frayed triumphalism and nostalgia that grip Washington as its era of preeminence fades.

President Donald J. Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron in joint press conference in Biarritz, France, site of the G7 Summit, Aug. 26, 2019. (White House/ Andrea Hanks)

There is much to indicate that the West's aggressively hostile posture toward Russia remains unchanged. The Russophobic rhetoric emanating from Washington and featured daily in our corporate television broadcasts continues unabated. Last month Washington formally abandoned the bilateral treaty limiting deployment of intermediate-range ballistic missiles, signed with Moscow in 1987. As anyone could have predicted, NATO now suggests it will upgrade its missile defense systems in Poland and Romania. This amounts to an engraved invitation to the Russian Federation to begin a new arms race.

But a counter-argument favoring a constructive relationship with Russia is now evident. This is not unlike the abrupt volte-face in Washington's thinking on North Korea: It is now broadly accepted that the Korean crisis can be resolved only at the negotiating table.

The Times Are Changing

The New York Times seems to be on board with this this sharp turn in foreign policy. It reported the new consensus on North Korea in a news analysis on July 11. Ten days later it published another arguing that it's time to put down the spear and make amends with Moscow. Here is the astonishing pith of the piece: "China, not Russia, represents by far the greater challenge to American objectives over the long term. That means President Trump is correct to try to establish a sounder relationship with Russia and peel it away from China."

It is encouraging that the Times has at last discovered the well-elaborated alliance between Moscow and Beijing. It took the one-time newspaper of record long enough. But there is another feature of this article that is important to note: It was published as a lead editorial. This is not insignificant.

It is essential, when reading the Times , to understand the close -- not to say corrupt -- relations it has maintained with political power in Washington over many generations. This is well-documented in histories of the paper and of institutions such as the CIA. An editorial advancing a policy shift of this magnitude almost certainly reflects the paper's close consultations, at senior levels of management, with policy-setting officials at the National Security Council, the State Department, or at the Pentagon. The editorial is wholly in keeping with Washington's pronounced new campaign to designate China as America's most dangerous threat.

It is impossible to say whether Trump is emboldened by an inchoate shift of opinion on Russia, but he flew his banner high at the Biarritz G–7. Prior to his departure for the summit in southwest France he asserted that Russia should be readmitted to the group when it convenes in the U.S. next year. Russia was excluded in 2014, following its annexation of Crimea in response to the coup in Kiev.

Trump repeated the thought in Biarritz, claiming there was support among other members for the restoration of the G–8. "I think it's a work in progress," he said. "We have a number of people that would like to see Russia back."

Macron is plainly one of those people. It was just after Trump sounded his theme amid Biarritz's faded grandeur -- and what an excellent choice for a convention of the Western powers -- that the French president made his own plea for repairing ties with Russia and for Europe to escape its fate as "a theater for strategic struggle between the U.S. and Russia."

Biarritz from the Pointe Saint-Martin, 1999. (Wikimedia Commons)

"The European continent will never be stable, will never be secure, if we don't pacify and clarify our relations with Russia," Macron said in his address to Western diplomats. Then came his flourish on the imminent end of the Atlantic world's preeminence.

"The world order is being shaken like never before. It's being shaken because of errors made by the West in certain crises, but also by the choices made by the United States in the past few years -- and not just by the current administration."

Macron is an opportunistic main-chancer in European politics, and it is not at all certain how far he can or will attempt to advance his new vision of either the West or Europe in the Continent's councils of state. But as evidence of a new current in Western thinking about Russia, the non–West in general, and Europe's long-nursed desire for greater independence from Washington, the importance of his comments is beyond dispute.

The question now is whether or how soon better ties with Moscow will translate into practical realities. At present, Trump and Macron share a good idea without much substance to it.

Better US-Russia Ties May Be in Pipeline

But Trump may have taken a step in the right direction. Within days of his return from Biarritz, he put a hold on the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, a military aid program that was to provide Kiev with $250 million in assistance during the 2019 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1 and runs to Sept. 30, 2020. The funds are designated for weaponry, training and intelligence support.

Trump has asked his national security advisers to review the commitment. The delay, coming hard on his proposal to readmit Russia to a reconstituted G–8, cannot possibly be read as a coincidence.

There will be other things to watch for in months to come. High among these is Trump's policy toward the Nord Stream 2 pipeline linking Russian gas fields to terminals in Western Europe, thereby cutting Ukraine out of the loop. Trump, his desire to improve ties with Moscow notwithstanding, has vigorously opposed this project. The Treasury Department has threatened sanctions against European contractors working on it. If Trump is serious about bringing Russia back into the fold, this policy will have to go. This may mean going up against the energy lobby in Washington and Ukraine's many advocates on Capitol Hill.

To date, U.S. threats to retaliate against construction of Nord Stream 2 have done nothing but irritate Europeans, who have ignored them, while furthering the Continent's desire to escape Washington's suffocating embrace. This is precisely the kind of contradiction Macron addressed when he protested that Europeans need to begin acting in their own interests rather than acquiesce as Washington force-marches them on a never-ending anti–Russia crusade.

Macron may prove a pushover, or a would-be Gaullist who fails to make the grade. Or he may have just announced a long-awaited inflection point in trans–Atlantic ties. Either way, he has put highly significant questions on the table. It will be interesting to see what responses they may elicit, not least from the Trump White House.

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune , is a columnist, essayist, author and lecturer. His most recent book is "Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century" (Yale). Follow him on Twitter @thefloutist . His web site is Patrick Lawrence . Support his work via his Patreon site .


Erelis , September 10, 2019 at 18:49

A few European countries may develop warmer relations .but reproachment with Russia will not happen in our lifetimes. Macron offered nothing but rhetoric. The West continues economic warfare and a militaristic stance toward Russia. Western institutions and interests are too tied into Russo-phobia to give it up–it is a financial and emotional heroin to the West. Break the Russian/Chinese alliance? Ain't gonna happen.

As for the NYTimes. They recently have published unsubstantiated accounts about some spy close to Putin who swears by gawd that Putin personally ordered Trump's victory. How is it going to be possible for Trump or even a new democratic president to engage Russia diplomatically with such widely published and accepted propaganda?. Every leading democratic party candidate have sworn to the Russiagate hoax and issued highly aggressive rhetoric. They will be called traitors if they even speak with Putin unless they attempt to punch out Putin.

Jim Glover , September 10, 2019 at 17:36

Now that the war monger Bolton is gone that is good news for pursuing Peace.
It is also good that Patrick points out what has been hiding in plain site from the divide and conquer propaganda from the mass media that the Cold War and the old ones have always been about the West against the East. Maybe the Trump challengers can join the new Pursuit of Peace for the good of Humanity. It Can't hurt!

Stephen M , September 10, 2019 at 15:14

This is as good a time as any to point to an alternative vision of foreign policy. One based on the principle of non-interference, respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, and, above all, international law. One based on peaceful coexistence and mutual cooperation. A vision of the world at peace and undivided by arbitrary distinctions. Such a world is possible and even though there are currently players around the world who are striving in that direction we need look no further than our own history for inspiration. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you one Henry A. Wallace, for your consideration.

(The following excerpts from an article by Dr. Dennis Etler. Link to the full article provided below.) --

The highest profile figure who articulated an alternative vision for American foreign policy was the politician Henry Wallace, who served as vice president under Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1940-1944 and ran for president in 1948 as the candidate of the Progressive Party.

After he became vice president in 1940, as Roosevelt was increasingly ill, Wallace promoted a new vision for America's role in the world that suggested that rather than playing catch up with the imperial powers, the United States should work with partners to establish a new world order that eliminated militarism, colonialism and imperialism.

Wallace gave a speech in 1942 that declared a "Century of the Common Man." He described a post-war world that offered "freedom from want," a new order in which ordinary citizens, rather than the rich and powerful, would play a decisive role in politics.
That speech made direct analogy between the Second World War and the Civil War, suggesting that the Second World War was being fought to end economic slavery and to create a more equal society. Wallace demanded that the imperialist powers like Britain and France give up their colonies at the end of the war.
In diplomacy, Wallace imagined a multi-polar world founded on the United Nations Charter with a focus on peaceful cooperation. In contrast, in 1941 Henry Luce, publisher of Time Magazine, had called for an 'American century,' suggesting that victory in war would allow the United States to "exert upon the world the full impact of our influence, for such purposes as we see fit and by such means as we see fit."
Wallace responded to Luce with a demand to create a world in which "no nation will have the God-given right to exploit other nations. Older nations will have the privilege to help younger nations get started on the path to industrialization, but there must be neither military nor economic imperialism." Wallace took the New Deal global. His foreign policy was to be based on non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries and mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty.
--
Sadly, since then, despite occasional efforts to head in a new direction, the core constituency for US foreign policy has been corporations, rather than the "common man" either in the United States, or the other nations of the world, and United States foreign relations have been dominated by interference in the political affairs of other nations. As a result the military was transformed from an "arsenal for democracy" during the Second World War into a defender of privilege at home and abroad afterwards.

-- -
Foreign aid for Wallace was not a tool to foster economic dominance as it was to become, but rather "economic assistance without political conditions to further the independent economic development of the Latin American and Caribbean countries." He held high "the principle of self-determination for the peoples of Africa, Asia, the West Indies, and other colonial areas." He saw the key policy for the United States to be based on "the principles of non-interference in the internal affairs of other nations and acceptance of the right of peoples to choose their own form of government and economic system."

--

Wallace's legacy suggests that it is possible to put forth a vision of an honest internationalism in US foreign policy that is in essence American. His approach was proactive not reactive. It would go far beyond anything Democrats propose today, who can only suggest that the United States should not start an unprovoked war with Iran or North Korea, but who embrace sanctions and propagandist reports that demonize those countries.

Rather than ridiculing Trump's overtures to North Korea, they should go further to reduce tensions between the North and the South by pushing for the eventual withdrawal of troops from South Korea and Japan (a position fully in line with Wallace and many other politicians of that age).
Rather than demonizing and isolating Russia (as a means to score political points against Trump), progressives should call for a real détente, that recognizes Russia's core interests, proposes that NATO withdraw troops from Russia's borders, ends sanctions and reintegrates Russia into the greater European economy. They could even call for an end to NATO and the perpetuation of the dangerous global rift between East and West that it perpetuates.
Rather than attempt to thwart China's rise, and attack Trump for not punishing it enough, progressives should seek to create new synergies between China and the US economically, politically and socioculturally.
-- -
In contrast to the US policy of perpetual war and "destroying nations in order to save them," China's BRI proposes an open plan for development that is not grounded in the models of French and British imperialism. It has proposed global infrastructure and science projects that include participants from nations in Africa, Asia, South and Central America previously ignored by American and European elites -- much as Wallace proposed an equal engagement with Latin America. When offering developmental aid and investment China does not demand that free market principles be adopted or that the public sector be privatized and opened up for global investment banks to ravish.
--
The United States should be emulating China, its Belt and Road Initiative and Community of Common Destiny, as a means of revitalizing its political culture and kicking its addiction to a neo-colonial concept of economic development and growth. Rather than relying on militarization and its attendant wars to spark the economy, progressives should demand that the US work in conjunction with nations such as China and Russia in building a sustainable future rather than creating one failed state after another.

Link to the full article provided below.
https://www.globalresearch.ca/henry-wallaces-internationalism-path-american-foreign-policy-could-have-taken-still-can/5683683

Alan Ross , September 10, 2019 at 15:09

Now it is clear why the CIA spilled the phony beans on a spy they had in Putin's inner circle – to revive the anti-Russian animus that has been dying down.

Rob , September 10, 2019 at 12:00

But if there is a rapprochement between the U.S. and Russia, will that put the brakes on the new arms race?Surely, the defense industry will fight that with every fiber of their being. China alone is not so great a potential military adversary as to warrant so a great expenditure. Or is it? I have little doubt that some interested parties will see it that way.

David Otness , September 10, 2019 at 11:16

A breath of fresh air ?
Dare we hope?
Good luck peeling away Russia from China, they have some very solid bonds established. Besides, who in their right mind would trust the U.S. anymore for any reason?

... ... ...

Vera Gottlieb , September 10, 2019 at 11:04

Well, for far too long has Europe allowed itself to be "run" by the US. And sadly, Europe – up to now- has lacked the backbone to stand up to the Americans. Time to realize that, even without the US, the sun will still rise in the East America this America the other why should we have to wait until the US makes up it's mind on anything. We are grown up folks who can manage very well by ourselves without constantly having to worry as to what the US might do or say. Enough of this blackmail.

Richard A. , September 10, 2019 at 10:18

Prime Minister Abe favors readmitting Russia into the G7: https://youtu.be/yOC5g31cL30

Robert , September 10, 2019 at 10:02

Insightful, Patrick. This new shift will present many new challenges and opportunities for the US and Russia. I can see that if Trump is permitted (by deep state and NATO) as much access to Putin as Netanyahu has had, I can see a far more balanced US foreign policy and certainly a large step toward reducing world conflicts. Iran may be convinced to negotiate with Trump for removal of sanctions coupled with a new nuclear deal. I have no idea if this will impact the Iran-China oil/security agreement which is a (very expensive, unpopular but necessary) lifesaver for Iran and huge investment opportunity for China (backed with up to 5000 Chinese military). Syria needs the removal of US sanctions to stabilize its economy, and with the US onside, more pressure can be put on Turkey to stop arming the terrorists in Idlib, enforce their removal/surrender, and accommodate the Kurds within Syria. Finally, with EU participation, I can see rapid settlement of the civil war in Eastern Ukraine, and normalization of trade with Russia. Until now, the conflict with Russia has resulted in the conversion of the Ukrainian (and other formerly eastern bloc countries) economy from highly industrial to a supplier of cheap labor, some agricultural products, and raw materials to the EU.

AnneR , September 10, 2019 at 09:51

Mr Lawrence, apparently the tune has not changed re Russiagate, not really. That is if the news item on the BBC World Service this a.m. is owt to go by.

This was all about some supposed CIA asset in the Kremlin that they got out in 2017 (Smolenkov according to RT and Sputnik) who played a role, so the BBC said in furtherance of maintaining Russophobia, in providing said "reputable" secret agency (as now so viewed by the Demrats and DNC) with info about Russian – nay, Putin's personal – interference in the 2016 US presidential election. All of the (dis/mis) information that the MSM presstitutes have been selling us on both sides of the pond re the "heinous" activities of Russia-Putin were rehearsed again from Russiagate to Russian attempted and completed assassinations of escaped/released ex-spies, Skripal among them.

They, the US-UK-IS deep states, will not let it go. And their stenographers in the MSM continue to propagate the real dis/misinformation in order to keep the corporate-capitalist-imperialist western dominance warmongering/war-profiteering status quo in operation.

Meanwhile, NPR (and PBS doubtless) are to be headed by one John Lansing, who till now was in charge of that dispenser of "the truth, whole and unadulterated" the Voice of America and Radio Marti; and the BBC is partnering with DARPA-Mossad via Google, FB, Twit and the rest of the internet behemoths, as they told us (well, they didn't advert to the underlying structure, of course). Why is the BBC so doing? In order, they said, to ensure that we, the plebeians, the mindless bewildered herd, are no longer subjected to, no longer have our perspectives distorted by "Dis or Misinformation."

Heartening to know, ain't it, that they – the really existing state-funded and controlled media – have our best interests at heart?

Patrick Lawrence , September 10, 2019 at 16:26

I'm v pleased you picked up on this shard of nonsense, AnneR, and then took the trouble to write of it. I thought to do the same while reading this morn's New York Times. A flimsier, more obvious propaganda ploy I have not seen in a while, and this is saying something. This fellow must be Guccifer 2's in-law or something. My read: Those who recklessly over-invested in the Russiagate universe thought it would go away the instant HRC was elected. They're now stuck w/ it three years on, and this is another effort to keep it alive long enough to get it into the histories. They'll never make it. Transparently horse-droppings. Tks again for writing. Patrick.

Skip Scott , September 10, 2019 at 09:23

The empire's war machine always needs a boogeyman. Macron is proposing transitioning to a multi-polar world, and ending its vassal status to empire. Good luck with that. We can only hope that Putin's countering of our war machine keeps MAD a reality, and that the example that Russia and China are setting in opposition to empire will encourage other vassals to rebel. Waging peace in a multi-polar world is the only moral course of action. The war machine, with its huge waste of manpower and resources, is the main factor in our current path to extinction. Reining it in is the first step to ensure mankind's survival.

Herman , September 10, 2019 at 09:11

America has earned the mistrust of most of the world. Although establishing a good relationship with Russia is a good idea, using it to isolate Russia probably will not work. Meremark's comments puts it very well. Meeremark is on the mark.

Peter Janney , September 10, 2019 at 08:23

Many of Patrick's observations are astute and well-reasoned. But he is ABSOLUTELY WRONG to put any faith whatsoever in Trump being able to negotiate ANYTHING of importance, whether it be with North Korea or Russia. Wake up! There is "no one home" in Donald Trump!!

We are witnessing a severely incapacitated, mentally ill individual pretending to be a leader, who is endangering the entire planet. If this doesn't scare the shit out of you, you need to have your head examined!

jessika , September 10, 2019 at 07:47

The US has been fed b.s. for so long and it's hard to see getting the country in any decent shape, foreign policy or otherwise. The Pentagon and alphabet agencies have been calling the shots since the days of the Dulles bros. I can't see anything other than a top heavy collapse since this long con. It's good to hear Macron saying this and good for Orange Bejesus wanting to get along with Russia, but how far gone have humans gone before Mother Nature gives us the swiftest kick due to our stupidity?

peter mcloughlin , September 10, 2019 at 05:09

I agree with Patrick Lawrence's perceptive analyses of 'frayed triumphalism and nostalgia'. An empire on the rise, for example modern China, is probably less dangerous than one in decline. There are more of the latter type, making geopolitics dangerously unstable, and increasingly difficult to prevent world war, where the pattern of history seems to be pointing us.
https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

Moi , September 10, 2019 at 02:54

Zhu, if you are not aware, China has just delivered the biggest F.You to the US in geopolitical history by more or less buying Iran oil.

China is to invest $US280 billion upgrading Iran's oil and gas sectors, unlocking a further $500 billion of otherwise unrecoverable oil, upping it's own oil purchases, opening factories to make "made in China" products, etc.

They also get to deploy 5,000 Chinese "security officers" so if the US attacks Iran they could kill lots of Chinese military.

See: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20190907-a-blow-to-washington-china-to-invest-280-billion-in-iranian-sectors-targeted-by-sanctions/

Zhu , September 10, 2019 at 00:46

Should be "not submit, noy obey."

incontinent reader , September 10, 2019 at 00:39

IMHO, it is a fool's errand for our policy makers to think that Russia can be "peeled away from China", or that Russia and China has not seen through that strategy as another ploy by the West to retain hegemony. As for inviting Russia back into the G-8 and Russia's response, the following exchange at last week's Eastern Economic Forum in Vliadivostok is instructive [Yandex/Google translation of the Russian text]:

Sergey Brilev: Mr Abe, I would like to ask you about this. When I just said, "the big Seven" We all heard the report that President Trump was at the last summit of the "Seven" a kind of lawyer [advocate] for the Russian Federation and Vladimir Putin. You've seen it from the inside. Without breaking any obvious rules, after all it is a closed club, maybe you will tell how it was? (Laughter.)

Shinzo Abe: As for the G–7, there used to be a G-8, there was a discussion that creative influence on the international community is important. But as President Putin is well aware, because he took part in the" G-8″, there are such rules: you can only quote yourself, so other leaders can not be quoted. So I can't say exactly what President Trump said there, for example. But I personally said that Russian influence, Russian creative influence, plays an important role in solving international problems. Therefore, I raised the issue of Russia's possible return to this format. (Applause.)

Sergei Brilev: if they call, will you go, Mr President?

Vladimir Putin: Where?

S. Brilev: The "G-8". In the States, I think it's next. There, however, will be the height of Trump's campaign.

Vladimir Putin: At the time, the next "G-8" was to be held in Russia.

Sergei Brilev: In Sochi, yes.

Vladimir Putin: We are open. If our partners want to come to us, we will be happy. (Applause.) But we did not postpone it, our partners postponed it. If they want to restore the "Eight", please. But I think it's clear to everyone today, and President Macron just recently said publicly that the West's leadership is coming to an end. I cannot imagine an effective international organization that works without India and without China. (Applause.)

Any format is always good, it is always a positive exchange of views, even when it is held in a raised tone, as far as I understand, and it was this time in the "Seven", it is still useful. Therefore, we do not refuse any format of cooperation.

Jeff Harrison , September 10, 2019 at 00:32

I have to object on several levels, Patrick.

"Are Western democracies, the U.S. and France in the lead, rethinking the hostility toward Russia they conjured out of nothing since Moscow responded to the coup Washington cultivated in Ukraine five years ago?" Good question but it beggars the truth that The West has been hostile to Russia since its inception as a non-monarchy in 1917. The US refused to recognize it until 1933. The classic phrase "godless communist hordes" was intended to drive home the point that the commies were theoretically atheists and they were not capitalists. Russia helped it along by trying to spread communism just as the US is trying to spread capitalism now (we like to claim we're spreading democracy but that's bunk.) I'm not sure which is more distasteful, having some foreign economic structure shoved down your throat (communism) or some foreign political structure shoved down your throat (totalitarian dictatorship). Both suck.

"China, not Russia, represents by far the greater challenge to American objectives over the long term. That means President Trump is correct to try to establish a sounder relationship with Russia and peel it away from China." I realize you're quoting the Times but mind if I ask, what, precisely, are American objectives? If our objective was to simply live peaceably with the other nations of the world and dazzle them with the brilliance of every little thing we did, nobody, not Russia, not China, nobody could challenge that objective. But that's not our objective, now is it? It could be best characterized by the weekly exchange between Pinkie and The Brain. Pinkie: What are we going to do this week, Brain? Brain: Same thing we do every week, Pinkie. Establish world domination. That's never going to work. There are too many people in this world and too many countries in this world who will not put up with diktats from somebody else for the Brain to succeed.

As for the G7 becoming the G8, as I've already said, it's not gonna happen. Putin has already said that it should include India and China. The West won't accept that. Frankly, if membership in "the club" can be lifted as easily as it was last time, why should Russia be interested? As I've said, I think that Russia has turned eastward. If the west has something on offer, great but they wouldn't be looking for it. Russia has managed to make the sanctions regime very painful for the EU even though the EU doesn't seem to notice. Offering Russia a very junior chair at the G7 whilst maintaining the sanctions and other visions of economic warfare against Russia is not a calculus that Russia will be interested in.

This could turn into the one bridge too far for the Europeans.

Zhu , September 9, 2019 at 21:13

It'll be China, China, china, next. How dare they prosper! How dare they not submit and not obey!

jaycee , September 9, 2019 at 20:07

The New York Times has played an effective Orwellian role in recent years, simply by reflecting unannounced policy directives – notably the smooth shifts in designated official enemies from ISIS to Russia/Putin to China/Xi all in the space of six short years.

Judging by the Times' own comment sections, a fair number of the general public are quick to internalize a hatred of the "enemy" without reflection on how/why the object of their ire can be one day one villain, and then a whole new villain the next.

Steve , September 10, 2019 at 07:11

The Times has become nothing but a bunch of stenographers for the Intelligence Community. The days of them treating their sources with skepticism are LONG gone. I'm no fan of Ben Rhodes, but that guy was spot-on when he referred to the Washington press corps as a bunch of 20-something know-nothings whose ignorance makes them easily manipulated into becoming an echo chamber of support for whatever policies their government sources are pushing.

lysias , September 10, 2019 at 08:21

Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.

David Otness , September 10, 2019 at 11:01

" .. notably the smooth shifts in designated official enemies from ISIS to Russia/Putin to China/Xi all in the space of six short years."

You nailed it in calling it Orwellian. ISIS as "official" enemy indeed is a classic representation of 'doublespeak.' All of those *accidental* U.S. arms-drops on their positions, helicopters showing up to rescue their leaders, the apparent invisibility of those oil tanker fleets freely and blatantly running the highways into Turkey for several years. (The Russians sure found them in a hurry.) As much of that oil was shipped to Israel by Erdogan's kid at below market prices, it was another testament to the duplicitous nature of the entire scheme to bring Syria down. Fail. Epic fail. I love it. That egg looks great on Netanyahu's face.

Brent , September 9, 2019 at 20:00

Trump and the establishment punish and sanction Russia but get along fine with MBS Mohammad Bone Sawman. I voted for Trump but got Hillary's foreign policy. The Devil runs America.

Tim , September 9, 2019 at 19:48

Yes Bob, it would be a good change, except, if Britain is co-opted by the US, then it will be a wholly owned subsidy and block change in Europe.

Tim Jones , September 9, 2019 at 20:50

subsidiary

Tim Jones , September 9, 2019 at 19:40

Just hope Brexit is negotiated and Britain is not fully taken over by Washington as a new investment opportunity.

Ikallicrates , September 10, 2019 at 10:57

US corporations did indeed anticipate that post Brexit UK would be a new investment opportunity. The US health insurance industry, for example, was poised to swoop down on the UK as soon as the Tories finished destroying the NHS. But thanks to BoJo's bungling of Brexit, the Tories could lose the next general election, so they've reversed direction and are appeasing angry Brits by promising to save the NHS. By bringing down the Tories, BoJo may make Britain great again (#MBGA).

Meremark , September 9, 2019 at 19:18

RT said Putin says Russia in G-8 is improvident without China and India economies and geo-strategies also figured in. A G-10 league?

Putin's chessmanship is operaticly clean. not to be confused with poker as people generally do confuse. This lacks the bluffing of poker; in this the pieces of global power projection are standing on the board, chess obvious.

Maybe not so easy to peel Russia apart from China, if that's Plan B kicking around the Pentagon. At some point maybe they can consider Plan Delta ? which stands for change.

Steve , September 10, 2019 at 07:03

Let's be honest, the G-7 is pretty outdated. Canada and Italy are pretty much out of their league. America's hat and a fourth western European power seem unnecessary. Replace them with China and India, and bring Russia back in to make it the G-8.

floyd gardner , September 10, 2019 at 11:28

Thank you, Meremark. Putin does not take his directives from the NYT.

Daniel Rich , September 9, 2019 at 19:17

Macron, a Rothschild pawn, gives as much abut true Democrat as he does about the Yellow Vests' protest

No, no, not the Hong Kong, US flags waving goons, but ordinary French citizens who're fed up with the direction their government moves onward to, the ones you hear nothing about.

Bob Van Noy , September 9, 2019 at 17:25

Thank you Patrick Lawrence, if your analysis is correct it would be a turning point in international relations and extremely significant. I like to think that the web has put us about a week or two ahead of the headlines here at CN, so if the NYT is finally calling the events accurately, it would by a stunning breakthrough

[Sep 06, 2019] 9-11 and Jeffrey Epstein Media Malfeasance on Steroids by Kevin Barrett

It is not vey clear for whom Epstein used to work. Mossad connection is just one hypothesis. What sovereign state would allow compromising politician by a foreign intelligence service. This just does not compute.
But the whole tone of discussion below clearly point to the crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite. And Russiagate had shown that the elite cares about it and tried to patch the cracks.
Sep 06, 2019 | www.unz.com

As Eric Rasmusen writes: "Everybody, it seems, in New York society knew by 2000 that Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell were corrupting teenage girls, but the press wouldn't cover it." Likewise, everybody in New York society has long known that Larry Silverstein, who bought the asbestos-riddled white elephant World Trade Center in July 2001 and immediately doubled the insurance, is a mobbed-up friend of Netanyahu and a confessed participant in the controlled demolition of Building 7 , from which he earned over 700 million insurance dollars on the pretext that al-Qaeda had somehow brought it down. But the press won't cover that either.

The New York Times , America's newspaper of record, has the investigative talent and resources to expose major corruption in New York. Why did the Times spend almost two decades ignoring the all-too-obvious antics of Epstein and Silverstein? Why is it letting the absurd tale of Epstein's alleged suicide stand? Why hasn't it used the work of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth -- including the brand-new University of Alaska study on the controlled demolition of WTC-7 -- to expose the biggest scandal of the 21 st century, if not all of American history?

The only conceivable answer is that The New York Times is somehow complicit in these monstrous crimes. It must be protecting its friends in high places. So who are those friends, and where are those high places?

One thing Epstein and Silverstein have in common, besides names ending in "-stein," is alleged involvement in the illicit sex industry. Epstein's antics, or at least some of them, are by now well-known. Not so for Silverstein, who apparently began his rags-to-9/11-riches story as a pimp supplying prostitutes and nude dancers to the shadier venues of NYC, alongside other illicit activities including "the heroin trade, money laundering and New York Police corruption." All of this was exposed in a mid-1990s lawsuit. But good luck finding any investigative reports in The New York Times .

Another Epstein-Silverstein connection is their relationships to major American Jewish organizations. Even while he was allegedly pimping girls and running heroin, Larry Silverstein served as president for United Jewish Appeal of New York. As for Epstein, he was the boy toy and protégé of Les Wexner, co-founder of the Mega Group of Jewish billionaires associated with the World Jewish Congress, the Anti-Defamation League, and other pro-Israel groups. Indeed, there is no evidence that "self-made billionaire" Epstein ever earned significant amounts of money; his only investment "client" was Les Wexner. Epstein, a professional sexual blackmailer, used his supposed billionaire status as a cover story. In fact, he was just an employee working for Wexner and associated criminal/intelligence networks.

Which brings us to the third and most important Epstein-Silverstein similarity: They were both close to the government of Israel. Jeffrey Epstein's handler was Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of Mossad super-spy Robert Maxwell; among his friends was Ehud Barak, who is currently challenging Netanyahu for leadership of Israel. Larry Silverstein, too, has friends in high Israeli places. According to Haaretz , Silverstein has "close ties with Netanyahu" (speaking to him on the phone every weekend) as well as with Ehud Barak, "whom Silverstein in the past offered a job as his representative in Israel" and who called Silverstein immediately after 9/11.

We may reasonably surmise that both Jeffrey Epstein and Larry Silverstein have been carrying on very important work on behalf of the state of Israel. And we may also surmise that this is the reason The New York Times has been covering up the scandals associated with both Israeli agents for almost two decades. The Times , though it pretends to be America's newspaper of record, has always been Jewish-owned-and-operated. Its coverage has always been grotesquely distorted in favor of Israel . It has no interest in exposing the way Israel controls the United States by blackmailing its leaders (Epstein) and staging a fake "Arab-Muslim attack on America" (Silverstein). The awful truth is that The New York Times is part of the same Jewish-Zionist " we control America " network as Jeffrey Epstein and Larry Silverstein.

Epstein "Suicide" Illustrates Zionist Control of USA -- and the Decadence and Depravity of Western Secularism

Since The New York Times and other mainstream media won't go there, let's reflect on the facts and lessons of the Jeffrey Epstein suicide scandal -- a national disgrace that ought to shock Americans into rethinking their worldviews in general, and their views on the official myth of 9/11 in particular.

On Saturday, August 10, 2019, convicted child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein was allegedly found dead in his cell at Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in New York City, one of America's most corrupt prisons. The authorities claim Epstein hanged himself. But nobody, not even the presstitutes of America's corporate propaganda media, convincingly pretends to believe the official story.

Jeffrey Epstein was a pedophile pimp to presidents and potentates. His job was recruiting young girls for sex, then offering them to powerful men -- in settings outfitted with hidden video cameras. When police raided his New York townhouse on July 6-7 2019 they found locked safes full of pornographic pictures of underage girls, along with piles of compact discs labeled "young (name of girl) + (name of VIP)." Epstein had been openly and brazenly carrying on such activities for more than two decades, as reported throughout most of that period by alternative media outlets including my own Truth Jihad Radio and False Flag Weekly News . (Even before the 2016 elections, my audience knew that both Bill Clinton and Donald Trump were blackmailed clients of Jeffrey Epstein, that Clinton was a frequent flyer on Epstein's "Lolita Express" private jet, and that Trump had been credibly accused in a lawsuit of joining Epstein in the brutal rape of a 13-year-old, to whom Trump then allegedly issued death threats.) It was only in the summer of 2019 that mainstream media and New York City prosecutors started talking about what used to be consigned to the world of "conspiracy theories."

So who was Epstein working for? His primary employer was undoubtedly the Israeli Mossad and its worldwide Zionist crime network. Epstein's handler was Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of Mossad super-spy Robert Maxwell. According to sworn depositions, Ghislaine Maxwell recruited underage girls for Epstein and oversaw his sex trafficking operations. As the New Yorker reported August 16: "In court papers that were unsealed on August 9th, it was alleged that Maxwell had been Epstein's central accomplice, first as his girlfriend, and, later, as his trusted friend and procuress, grooming a steady stream of girls, some as young as fourteen, coercing them to have sex with Epstein at his various residences around the world, and occasionally participating in the sexual abuse herself." Alongside Maxwell, Epstein's other Mossad handler was Les Wexner, co-founder of the notorious Mega Group of billionaire Israeli spies , who appears to have originally recruited the penniless Epstein and handed him a phony fortune so Epstein could pose as a billionaire playboy.

Even after Epstein's shady "suicide" mega-Mossadnik Maxwell continued to flaunt her impunity from American justice. She no doubt conspired to publicize the August 15 New York Post photograph of herself smiling and looking "chillingly serene" at In-And-Out-Burger in Los Angeles, reading The Book of Honor: The Secret Lives and Deaths of C.I.A. Operatives . That nauseating photo inspired the New Yorker to accuse her of having "gall" -- a euphemism for the Yiddish chutzpah , a quality that flourishes in the overlapping Zionist and Kosher Nostra communities.

Maxwell and The New York Post , both Kosher Nostra/Mossad assets, were obviously sending a message to the CIA: Don't mess with us or we will expose your complicity in these scandalous crimes. That is the Mossad's standard operating procedure: Infiltrate and compromise Western intelligence services in order to prevent them from interfering with the Zionists' over-the-top atrocities. According to French historian Laurent Guyénot's hypothesis, the CIA's false flag fake assassination attempt on President John F. Kennedy, designed to be blamed on Cuba, was transformed by Mossad into a real assassination -- and the CIA couldn't expose it due to its own complicity. (The motive: Stop JFK from ending Israel's nuclear program.) The same scenario, Guyénot argues, explains the anomalies of the Mohamed Merah affair , the Charlie Hebdo killings, and the 9/11 false flag operation. It would not be surprising if Zionist-infiltrated elements of the CIA were made complicit in Jeffrey Epstein's sexual blackmail activities, in order to protect Israel in the event Epstein had to be "burned" (which is apparently what has finally occurred).

So what really happened to Epstein? Perhaps the most likely scenario is that the Kosher Nostra, which owns New York in general and the mobbed-up MCC prison in particular, allowed the Mossad to exfiltrate Epstein to Occupied Palestine, where he will be given a facelift, a pension, a luxury suite overlooking the Mediterranean, and a steady stream of young sex slaves (Israel is the world's capital of human trafficking, an honor it claimed from the Kosher Nostra enclaves of Odessa after World War II). Once the media heat wave blows over, Epstein will undoubtedly enjoy visits from his former Mossad handler Ghislaine Maxwell, his good friend Ehud Barak, and various other Zionist VIPs. He may even offer fresh sex slaves to visiting American congressmen.

This is not just a paranoid fantasy scenario. According to Eric Rasmusen : "The Justice Dept. had better not have let Epstein's body be cremated. And they'd better give us convincing evidence that it's his body. If I had $100 million to get out of jail with, acquiring a corpse and bribing a few people to switch fingerprints and DNA wouldn't be hard. I find it worrying that the government has not released proof that Epstein is dead or a copy of the autopsy."

But didn't the alleged autopsy reportedly find broken neck bones that are more commonly associated with strangulation murders than suicides? That controversy may have been scripted to distract the public from an insider report on 4chan , first published before the news of Epstein's "suicide" broke, that Epstein had been "switched out" of MCC. If so, the body with the broken neck bones wasn't Epstein's.

The Epstein affair (like 9/11) illustrates two critically important truths about Western secularism: there is no truth, and there are no limits. A society that no longer believes in God no longer believes in truth, since God is al-haqq, THE truth, without Whom the whole notion of truth has no metaphysical basis. The postmodern philosophers understand this perfectly well. They taught a whole generation of Western humanities scholars that truth is merely a function of power: people accept something as "true" to the extent that they are forced by power to accept it. So when the most powerful people in the world insist that three enormous steel-frame skyscrapers were blown to smithereens by relatively modest office fires on 9/11, that absurd assertion becomes the official "truth" as constructed by such Western institutions as governments, courts, media, and academia. Likewise, the assertion that Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide under circumstances that render that assertion absurd will probably become the official "truth" as recorded and promulgated by the West's ruling institutions, even though nobody will ever really believe it.

Epstein's career as a shameless, openly-operating Mossad sexual blackmailer -- like the in-your-face 9/11 coup -- also illustrates another core truth of Western secularism: If there is no God, there are no limits (in this case, to human depravity and what it can get away with). Or as Dostoevsky famously put it: "If God does not exist, everything is permitted." Since God alone can establish metaphysically-grounded limits between what is permitted and what is forbidden, a world without God will feature no such limits; in such a world Aleister Crowley's satanic motto "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" becomes the one and only commandment. In today's Godless West, why should men not "do what they wilt" and indulge their libidos by raping young girls if they can get away with it? After all, all the other sexual taboos are being broken, one by one. Fornication, adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism, gender-bending all of these have been transformed during my lifetime from crimes and vices to "human rights" enjoyed by the most liberal and fashionable right-thinking Western secularists. Even bestiality and necrophilia are poised to become normalized "sexual identities" whose practitioners will soon be proudly marching in "bestiality pride" and "necrophilia pride" parades. So why not normalize pedophilia and other forms of rape perpetrated by the strong against the weak? And why not add torture and murder in service to sexual gratification? After all, the secret bible of the sexual identity movement is the collected works of the Marquis de Sade, the satanic prophet of sexual liberation, with whom the liberal progressivist secular West is finally catching up. It will not be surprising if, just a few years after the Jeffrey Epstein "suicide" is consigned to the memory hole, we will be witnessing LGBTQBNPR parades, with the BNPR standing for bestiality, necrophilia, pedophilia, and rape. (It would have been LGBTQBNPRG, with the final G standing for Gropers like President Trump, except that the G was already taken by the gays.) The P's, pioneers of pedophile pride parades, will undoubtedly celebrate Jeffrey Epstein as an ahead-of-his-time misunderstood hero who was unjustly persecuted on the basis of his unusual sexual orientation.

It is getting harder and harder to satirize the decadence and depravity of the secular West, which insists on parodying itself with ever-increasing outlandishness. When the book on this once-mighty civilization is written, and the ink is dry, readers will be astounded by the limitless lies of the drunk-on-chutzpah psychopaths who ran it into the ground.


NoseytheDuke , says: September 5, 2019 at 4:30 am GMT

Correct me if I am wrong but I thought Lucky Larry only leased the WTC buildings rather than actually purchased them. I think I have read that his investment was in the region of 150 mill for which he has recouped a whopping 4 bill.
Wizard of Oz , says: September 5, 2019 at 4:42 am GMT
Would you please answer a preliminary question before I put finishing this on my busy agenda? You stake a fair bit of your credit on what you say about Larry Silverstein and insurance. My present understanding is that the insurance cover for WTC 1 and 2 was increased as a routine part of the financing deal he had made for a purchase which was only months old. Not true? Not the full story? Convince us.

As to WTC 7 my understanding is that he had owned the building for some years and had not recently increased the insurance. Not true? And when did any clause get into his WTC7 insurance contract which might have had some effect on inflating the payout?

Fozzy Bear , says: September 5, 2019 at 4:55 am GMT
“Trump had been credibly accused in a lawsuit of joining Epstein in the brutal rape of a 13-year-old, to whom Trump then allegedly issued death threats.)”
The “Katie Johnson” case collapsed in 2016 when it was revealed that “she” was in fact a middle-aged man, a stringer for the Jerry Springer show. Just another Gloria Allred fraud.
nsa , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:26 am GMT
“a society that no longer believes in god no longer believes in the truth, since god is the truth….blah blah blah”
This is thin gruel indeed…..just silly platitudes from a muzzie convert. There are at least 100 billion galaxies in the universe with each galaxy containing as many as 100 billion stars. And there is no telling how many universes there are. Does anyone really believe Barrett’s preferred deity takes a time out from running this vast empire to service Barrett’s yearning for “truth”? Just goes to prove that humans will believe almost any idea as long as it’s sufficiently idiotic.
utu , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:47 am GMT
The release of Prof. J. Leroy Hulsey report on the finite element analysis of the WTC7 collapse should be a big news.

http://ine.uaf.edu/wtc7

http://ine.uaf.edu/media/222439/uaf_wtc7_draft_report_09-03-2019.pdf

Conclusion form the EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

“The principal conclusion of our study is that fire did not cause the collapse of WTC 7 on 9/11, contrary to the conclusions of NIST and private engineering firms that studied the collapse.”

“It is our conclusion based upon these findings that the collapse of WTC 7 was a global failure involving the near-simultaneous failure of all columns in the building and not a progressive collapse involving the sequential failure of columns throughout the building.”

WorkingClass , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:47 am GMT
Trump is Israel’s best friend. Right? So why is the Jew York Times trying to destroy him? I don’t get it.
Mark James , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:52 am GMT
Speaking of the truth v. parody I’d really rather work on the cause of Epstein’s death –yes I think he’s dead– suicide or strangulation ?
There are some things the Justice Dept. could do if they wanted to. Why they apparently didn’t want to expose the corpse in greater detail, let media view the cell, have correspondent(s) interview the ex- cellmate of Epstein, et.al just leads to suspicions. This is something they should have to answer for . That includes AG Barr. Trump could make it happen–like every thing else– if Barr says no. The President won’t.

... ... ...

utu , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:58 am GMT
Dostoyevsky with his “If God does not exist, everything is permitted.” overlooked the Jewish God who permits much more when it comes to Jewish gentile relations. The Jewish God is not limited by the Kant’s First Moral Imperative. The Jewish God’s moral laws are not universal. They are context dependent according to the Leninist Who, whom rule.
utu , says: September 5, 2019 at 6:00 am GMT

Not so for Silverstein, who apparently began his rags-to-9/11-riches story as a pimp supplying prostitutes and nude dancers to the shadier venues of NYC, alongside other illicit activities including “the heroin trade, money laundering and New York Police corruption.”

I would like to see more about the beginnings of Silverstein’s career.

BlackDragon , says: September 5, 2019 at 6:19 am GMT
Good work Kevin, Irrelevant exactly what Silverstein did in way of insurance.The FACT is that WTC7 DID NOT FALL due to fires. Neither did WTC1 or 2. The 6 million dollar question is ‘WHO put the ‘bang’ in the building?’ to bring them down, by what ever means. Im in favour of nukes for 1 and 2.
Answer that! Why isnt Silverstein arrested? I think Kevin provided the answer in the article..
Antares , says: September 5, 2019 at 6:27 am GMT
I liked the article but skipped the part about some god. Nothing matches intellectual integrity.

“It is getting harder and harder to satirize the decadence and depravity of the secular West”

This is the same line of reasoning as Vltchek’s but then from a(nother) religious point of view.

The Duke of Dork , says: September 5, 2019 at 6:28 am GMT
I just stumbled onto your article from a link on reddit, r/epstein. You make some convincing arguments. I was thrilled that you brought 9/11 into this – because the Epstein “suicide” and how it is being covered reminds me so much of how I felt after 9/11 and the run-up to the war. -But you lost me at the end with the stuff about Godless secularism. I’ve read the bible and it is not the answer to what’s wrong with the world.
Sean , says: September 5, 2019 at 6:31 am GMT

Why did the Times spend almost two decades ignoring the all-too-obvious antics of Epstein and Silverstein? Why is it letting the absurd tale of Epstein’s alleged suicide stand?

One thing cannot be denied : Epstein was arrested, denied bail and jailed awaiting trail on a Federal indictment for much the same offence he had pleaded guilty to a decade ago, which did not involve even a single homicide yet made him universally reviled and in as much trouble with the legal system as a man could be (almost certain never to get out again). Epstein was in far more trouble that anyone of his financial resources has ever been, but then that was for paying for sex acts with young teen girls.

What an awesomely impressive testament to the impunity enjoyed by the Jewish elite Epstein is. It is no wonder that Larry Silverstein was insouciant about the risks of a Jewish lightning fraud controlled demolition killing thousands of people in a building he had just bought and increased the insurance coverage of. After all, it wasn’t anything serious like paying for getting hundreds of handjobs from underage girls. And it is not like someone like the Pizzagate nut that fired his AR15 into underground child molestation complex beneath the Dems restaurant/pedophile centre would take all those WTC deaths seriously enough to shoot at him just because of inevitable internet accusations of mass murder. Mr Barrett, why don’t you step up and do it, thereby proving you believe the things you say .

Macon Richardson , says: September 5, 2019 at 7:11 am GMT
@NoseytheDuke Yes, he leased the World Trade Center buildings one and two from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He built World Trade Center building seven, having acquired a ground lease from Port Authority.

I can’t imagine why you ask this question in a public venue. I found the answer in less than one minute on the internet.

I assume the insurance policies were for the present value of his net profits for the duration of the leases.

Lastoknow , says: September 5, 2019 at 7:26 am GMT
I recall reading about this guy prior to the event. I believe it was USATODAY . He and a silent partner had bought the complex with a down of 63million and had it insured for 7billion. I thought it odd that the port authority would let go of the property at the time.
As the building deficiencies became known afterwards,my thoughts were along the line of insurance fraud.
I came across a copy of the rand Corp “state of the world 2000” which accurately describes the scenario and resulting culture of terror as “one possible future “…. funny how it’s taken all these years to discover this website.
Sean , says: September 5, 2019 at 9:08 am GMT

Indeed, there is no evidence that “self-made billionaire” Epstein ever earned significant amounts of money.

Good thing that Wexner is Jewish so we can discount the possibility that he was telling the truth the other month when he said that Epstein stole vast amounts of Wexner money

his only investment “client” was Les Wexner

Clever of Wexner to give Epstein 80 million dollars to deliberately lose.
http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/07/jeffrey-epstein-lost-usd80-million-in-hedge-fund-bet-gone-bad.html

Alongside Maxwell, Epstein’s other Mossad handler was Les Wexner, co-founder of the notorious Mega Group of billionaire Israeli spies

Wexner and his fellow Mossad spy Maxwell leaving Virginia Roberts alive to repeatedly sue them, and use the world”s media to accuse them of sexually abusing, trafficking, pimping her out to VIPs, and fiming the trysts was a brilliant way to keep everything a secret.

Mossad handler Ghislaine Maxwell, his good friend Ehud Barak, and various other Zionist VIPs.

Yes, they are the greatest covert operatives ever.

Just another serf , says: September 5, 2019 at 9:45 am GMT
Epstein’s crimes are simple breaches of etiquette when compared to Silverstein. I believe the term “Silverstein valleys” has been used to describe the melted granite discovered beneath the former towers, Silverstein grins widely in interviews, while so many suffered horribly.

One might even consider the 9/11 deaths to be something of a “holocaust”. Certainly one of the most evil human beings to have walked the Earth.

Whitewolf , says: September 5, 2019 at 10:11 am GMT
@Wizard of Oz Silverstein said he gave the okay for wtc 7 to be “pulled”. The building was on fire at the time. Either someone wired it to be pulled while it was on fire and already damaged or it was wired for demolition beforehand. The second scenario seems a lot more likely. In that case all the insurance contract details are largely irrelevant to the bigger picture.
Twodees Partain , says: September 5, 2019 at 10:54 am GMT
The idea that the CIA is somehow independent of Mossad and that Mossad would have to warn the CIA off of the Epstein matter is implausible to me. Guyenot’s hypothesis tends to give cover to the CIA in the assassination of JFK by claiming that the CIA plot was set in motion as some sort of attempt to control JFK and that it was hijacked into an actual assassination by Mossad. That just isn’t credible.

It’s much more accurate to observe that the CIA was erected by the same zionists who oversaw the creation of Israel and later the forming of Mossad, and that the two agencies have been joined at the hip ever since.

anon [383] • Disclaimer , says: September 5, 2019 at 11:33 am GMT
@WorkingClass Bad cop good cop. NYT is trying to destroy him . Israel says to him :” send this , do this ,allow us to do this , increase this by this amount , and we will make sure that in final analysis you don’t get hurt ”
Trump possibly knows that the only people who could hurt him is the Jewish people of power .

Has NYT ever criticized Trump for relocating embassy , recognizing Golan, for allowing Israel use Anerican resources to hit Syria or Gaza , for allowing Israel drag US into more military involvement. for allowing Israel wage war against Gaza ,? Has NYT ever explored the dynamics behind abrogation of JCPOA and application of more sanctions?

NYT has focused on Russia gate knowing in advance that it has no merit and no public traction, Is it hurting Trump or itself ?

Kevin Barrett , says: • Website September 5, 2019 at 12:25 pm GMT
@NoseytheDuke It was a 100 year lease, which is better described by the word purchase .
anon [383] • Disclaimer , says: September 5, 2019 at 12:28 pm GMT
People with normal IQ would believe that Epstein killed himself, if the following took place –

Media day and night asking questions about him from 360 degree of inquiries

1 why the surveillance video were not functioning despite the serious nature of the charges against a man who could rat out a lot in court against powerful people
2 why the coroner initially thought that Epstein was murdered
3 how many guards and how many fell asleep?
4 who and why allowed the spin story around Epstein brilliance and high IQ build up over the years ?
5 how does Epstein come to get linked to non -Jews people who have absolute loyalty to Israel
6 how did Epstein get involved with Jewish leaders ?
7 How did Epstein continue to enjoy seat on Harvard and enjoy social celebrity status after plea deal ?
8 Why did Wexner allow this man so much control over his asset ?
9 Media felt if terrorism were unique Muslim thing , why media is not alluding to the fact that pedophilia is a unique Jewish thing ?
10 why the angle of Israel being sex slavery capital and Epstein being sex slave pimp not being connected ?
11 how death in prison in foreign unfriendly countries often become causus celebre by US media , politicians , NGO and US treasury – why not this death ?

Kevin Barrett , says: • Website September 5, 2019 at 12:37 pm GMT
@Fozzy Bear Not true. A respectable civil rights attorney, Lisa Bloom, handled Katie Johnson’s case. Shortly before the scheduled press conference at which Johnson was to appear publicly, she received multiple death threats: “Bloom said that her firm’s website was hacked, that Anonymous had claimed responsibility, and that death threats and a bomb threat came in afterwards.” https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/3/13501364/trump-rape-13-year-old-lawsuit-katie-johnson-allegation Johnson folded because she was terrified (and perhaps paid off).
DaveE , says: September 5, 2019 at 12:51 pm GMT
@Twodees Partain In “Body of Secrets” by James Bamford, a newspaper article from the Truman era is referenced where the OSS, predecessor of the CIA, is described as “a converted vault in Washington used as an office space for 5 or 6 Jews working to protect our national secrets” (or similar wording).

Going from memory and gave away my copy of the book….. sorry for the vague reference, but you can look it up.

DanFromCT , says: September 5, 2019 at 1:24 pm GMT
@nsa An atheist like “nsa” must concede Dosteovsky’s point from his novel The Possessed that even for the atheist the concept of God represents the collective consciousness, highest principles, and ontological aspirations of believers. Given this sense, “nsa’s” real animus is more than likely an atavistic hatred of Christians and Muslims, probably for just being alive in his paranoid mind. What imbecility when this clown cites a multiverse of universes that has no proof and less plausibility for its existence than the tooth fairy. I’d also bet “nsa” speaks algebra, too, like the recently deceased mathematical genius, Jeffrey Epstein.

What’s Mr. Wexner’s, Mega’s, and Mossad/CIA’s involvement? That’s the real question trolls like “nsa” and the Dems and Republicans alike are crapping in their pants we’ll find out. When evidence starts to cascade out of their ability to spin or suppress it, things will get interesting. Meanwhile, Fox News is still doing its best from what I can tell to run cover for 911, now extended to the suspiciously related perps in the Epstein affair.

Patrikios Stetsonis , says: September 5, 2019 at 1:24 pm GMT
“The Epstein affair (like 9/11) illustrates two critically important truths about Western secularism: there is no truth, and there are no limits. A society that no longer believes in God no longer believes in truth…..”

You said it ALL Kevin.

... ... ...

Mulegino1 , says: September 5, 2019 at 1:37 pm GMT

“While the Zionists try to make the rest of the World believe that the national consciousness of the Jew finds its satisfaction in the creation of a Palestinian state, the Jews again slyly dupe the dumb Goyim. It doesn’t even enter their heads to build up a Jewish state in Palestine for the purpose of living there; all they want is a central organisation for their international world swindler, endowed with its own sovereign rights and removed from the intervention of other states: a haven for convicted scoundrels and a university for budding crooks.
It is a sign of their rising confidence and sense of security that at a time when one section is still playing the German, French-man, or Englishman, the other with open effrontery comes out as the Jewish race.”

More prophetic words were ever spoken or written by any of the statesmen of the Twentieth Century than these, even though they themselves were insufficient to describe the horrors that the Zionist state would bring upon the world if left unchecked- and its power and influence have been unchecked since the 1960’s. The last time that the world stood up to Zionist power in an appreciable way was during the Suez Crisis.

renfro , says: September 5, 2019 at 1:41 pm GMT
@Wizard of Oz

Not the full story? Convince us.

Connect the dots….

DOT.. Port loses claim for asbestos removal | Business Insurance
https://www.businessinsurance.com › article › ISSUE01 › port-loses-claim-…
May 13, 2001 – The suit sought claim of the Port Authority’s huge cost of removing asbestos from hundreds of properties ranging from the enormous World Trade Center complex

DOT…Silverstein knew when he leased WTC 7 that he would have to pay out of pocket for asbestos abatement removal in WTC 7, multiple millions, which is why the Port Authority leased it so cheaply.

DOT…In May, 2000, a year before, signing the lease, he already had the design drawn for a new WTC building. Silverstein had no plans to remove the asbestos as he already had plans to replace it.

DOT… Larry Silverstein signs the lease just six weeks before the WTC’s twin towers were brought to the ground by terrorists in the September 11, 2001, attacks.

DOT….After leasing the complex, Silverstein negotiated with 24 insurance companies for a maximum coverage of $3.55 billion per catastrophic occurrence. However, the agreements had not been finalized before 9/11.

DOT…..Silverstein tries to sue insurers for double the payout claiming 2 catastrophic occurrences because of 2 planes involved.

DOT….Silver loses that lawsuit but sues the air lines and settles for almost another billion, $ 750,000,000.

Just another Jew insurance fire folks. He planned on tearing down WTC 7 to begin with. The only missing DOT is who he hired to set the demolition explosives in WTC 7. Were they imported from our ME ally?

[Sep 06, 2019] US State Dept Program Offers $15 Million to Iran Revolutionary Guards

While people do not agree of detail the main theme is common: government stories explaining both 9/11 and Epstein death are not credible. And that government tried to create an "artificial reality" to hide real events and real culprits.
Absence of credible information create fertile ground for creation of myths and rumors, sometimes absurd. But that'a well known sociaological phenomenon studies by late Tamotsu Shibutani in the context of WWII rumors ( Improvised News: A Sociological Study of Rumor (1966)).
Now we can interpret famous quote of William Casey "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false as an admission of the fact that the government can create artificial reality" much like in film Matrix and due to thick smoke of propaganda people are simply unable to discern the truth.
Sep 06, 2019 | www.unz.com

renfro , says: September 5, 2019 at 2:31 pm GMT

A foreign policy of "maximum pressure" and swagger: tawdry bribes, heavy-handed threats, and complete failure ..now what group does this remind me of?

US State Dept Program Offers $15 Million to Iran Revolutionary Guards September 4, 2019

The US State Department has unveiled a new $15 million "reward program" for anyone who provides information on the financial inner workings of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, in an attempt to further disrupt them.
The program comes after the US declared the Revolutionary Guards "terrorists," but remains very unusual, in as much as it targets an agency of a national government instead of just some random militant group.

The Financial Times reports on the farce that is our government's Iran policy:

Four days before the US imposed sanctions on an Iranian tanker suspected of shipping oil to Syria, the vessel's Indian captain received an unusual email from the top Iran official at the Department of State.
"This is Brian Hook . . . I work for secretary of state Mike Pompeo and serve as the US Representative for Iran," Mr Hook wrote to Akhilesh Kumar on August 26, according to several emails seen by the Financial Times. "I am writing with good news."
The "good news" was that the Trump administration was offering Mr Kumar several million dollars to pilot the ship -- until recently known as the Grace 1 -- to a country that would impound the vessel on behalf of the US. To make sure Mr Kumar did not mistake the email for a scam, it included an official state department phone number.
The administration's Iran obsession has reached a point where they are now trying to bribe people to act as pirates on their behalf. When the U.S. was blocked by a court in Gibraltar from taking the ship, they sought to buy the loyalty of the captain in order to steal it. Failing that, they resorted to their favorite tool of sanctions to punish the captain and his crew for ignoring their illegitimate demand. The captain didn't respond to the first message, so Hook persisted with his embarrassing scheme:
"With this money you can have any life you wish and be well-off in old age," Mr Hook wrote in a second email to Mr Kumar that also included a warning. "If you choose not to take this easy path, life will be much harder for you."
Many people have already mocked Hook's message for its resemblance to a Nigerian prince e-mail scam, and I might add that he comes across here sounding like a B-movie gangster. Hook's contact was not an isolated incident, but part of a series of e-mails and texts that he has sent to various ships' captains in a vain effort to intimidate them into falling in line with the administration's economic war. This is what comes of a foreign policy of "maximum pressure" and swagger: tawdry bribes, heavy-handed threats, and complete failure.

independent109 , says: September 5, 2019 at 2:53 pm GMT
The Committee of 300 is an evolution of the British East Indies Company Council of 300. The list personally last seen included many Windsors (Prince Andrew), Rothchilds, other Royals. Some of the Americans included some now dead and other still living: George HW Bush, Bill Clinton Tom Steyer, Al Gore, John Kerry, Netanyahu, lots of bankers, Woolsey (ex CIA), journalists like Michael Bloomberg, Paul Krugman, activists and politians like Tony Blair, now dead Zbigniew Brzezinski, CEOs Charles and Edgar Bronfman. The list is long and out of date but these people control much of what goes on whether good or bad. Their hands are everywhere doing good and maybe some of this bad stuff.
Irish Savant , says: Website September 5, 2019 at 2:56 pm GMT
Given the facts a 10 year-old child could see that the official 911 explanation was totally flawed. Just three of these facts are sufficient, the 'dancing Israelis', Silverstein admitting to the 'pull (demolish) it' order and the collapse of steel-framed WTC 7 in freefall despite not being hit. It is not hyperbole to say that America is a failed state given that the known perpetrators were never even charged. ZOG indeed.
Junior , says: September 5, 2019 at 4:08 pm GMT
@Kevin Barrett

A respectable civil rights attorney, Lisa Bloom, handled Katie Johnson's case.

"Respectable"?
BWAHAHAHAHAHA!
You do realize that Lisa Bloom is the daughter of Glora Allred and defender of Harvey Weinstein do you not?

You people are so desperate to try to link Trump to Epstein it's pathetic.

I suggest you go back to your gatekeeping nonsense of trying to discredit the 9/11 Truth Movement by spreading misinformation about nukes in the towers.

Tony Hall , says: September 5, 2019 at 4:20 pm GMT
This article stakes out much important ground of information and interpretation Kevin Barrett. The essay resonates as a historic statement of some of our current predicaments. What about the comparisons that might be made concerning the mysteries attending the disappearing corpses of Osama bin Laden and Jeffrey Epstein. And according to Christopher Ketcham, the release of the High Fivin' Urban Movers back to Israel was partially negotiated by Alan Dershowitz who played a big role in defending Epstein over a long period.
Tony Hall , says: September 5, 2019 at 4:29 pm GMT
@anon The ultimate "nutjob quackery" of 9/11 is Phillip Zelikow's 9/11 Commission Report, a document that stands as a testimony and marker signifying the USA's descent into a mad hatter's imperium of lies. legend and illusion.
restless94110 , says: September 5, 2019 at 4:40 pm GMT
Has someone (hint: the author of this article) got a real bad case of TDS? Yes, someone has.

Does someone think the pedophilia means consensual relations with 17 year olds? Yes, someone does.

Ronald Thomas West , says: Website September 5, 2019 at 4:58 pm GMT

It is getting harder and harder to satirize the decadence and depravity of the secular West, which insists on parodying itself with ever-increasing outlandishness. When the book on this once-mighty civilization is written, and the ink is dry, readers will be astounded by the limitless lies of the drunk-on-chutzpah psychopaths who ran it into the ground

You might try:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2019/07/29/gina-haspel-wild-indians/

'Believers' aren't exactly innocent in the criminal history of the disintegrating Western culture

follyofwar , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:02 pm GMT
@Kevin Barrett Adding to Junior's comment, I quit reading after you wrote of "credible accusations" of Mr. Trump being involved "in the brutal rape of a 13 year old." And feminist shakedown artist Lisa Bloom, daughter of the even more infamous feminist shakedown artist G. Allred, is your "credible source?" Bloom has about as much credibility as the sicko democrat women who tried to derail Judge Kavanaugh.

Regardless of how much one might hate Trump (and I'm no Trump supporter) levelling such unfounded accusations is journalistic malfeasance. Did we elect the Devil Incarnate? Mr. Barrett, I'm done reading you.

9/11 Inside job , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:09 pm GMT
The special relationship between the CIA and the Mossad was driven partly by the efforts of CIA officer James Angleton . Philip Weiss in his article in Mondoweiss entitled "The goy and the golem: James Angleton and the rise of Israel." states that Angleton's " greatest service to Israel was his willingness no to say a word about the apparent diversion of highly enriched plutonium from a plant in Western Pennsylvania to Israel's nascent nuclear program " The same program which JFK tried to curtail which efforts may have led to his assassination .

... ... ...

Intelligent Dasein , says: Website September 5, 2019 at 5:22 pm GMT

a confessed participant in the controlled demolition of Building 7,

For the love of God, this is stupid. Larry Silverstein was talking about the Fire Commander , for fuck's sake. The Fire Commander made the decision to pull the firefighters out of the building because they could not put the fire out and were in unnecessary danger. That's all he meant. There is not one word in this that has anything to do with a controlled demolition whatsoever.

In order to believe what the 9/11 Douchers would have you believe about this comment, you would have to believe that 1) Building 7 was wired for demolition beforehand; 2) That the NYC Fire Commander somehow knew about this; 3) That the NYC Fire Commander was perfectly okay with allowing his men to spend hours inside a burning building in which he knew that explosive charges had already been rigged to blow; 4) That the NYC Fire Commander had the authority to decide when the charges should be blown and had access to the master switch that would blow them all; 5) That after 7 hours of attempting to fight the fire, the NYC Fire Commander (who by now can be nothing but a full-fledged member of the conspiracy) decides, after briefly consulting with Larry Silverstein, "Oh, the hell with this! Let's just blow up the building now!", to which Larry Silverstein agrees; 6) That after spending 7 hours in a burning building that had fires burning randomly throughout it and that had been struck by multiple pieces of debris, all of the explosive charges and their detonators were still in perfect working order; 7) That none of the firefighters extensively searching the building for survivors happened to notice any of the pre-placed explosive charges nor thought it necessary to report about such; 8) That the NYC Fire Commander then proceeds to "pull" the building after presumably giving some other order for the men to evacuate, which order was never recorded because the "pull" order must have meant "blow up the building"; 9) And that Larry Silverstein, after being part of a massive conspiracy involving insurance fraud, murder, and arson which, if exposed, would send him to a federal death sentence, just decides to casually mention all of this in a television interview for all and sundry to see, but it is only the 9/11 Douchers who pick up on the significance of it.

Does any of this sound remotely believable? Did anyone subscribing to this nonsense stop to think about the context in which this conversation took place? Do any of you 9/11 Douchers even care that you're being completely ridiculous and grasping at nonexistent straws in your vain attempt to establish some sort of case for controlled demolition? Do you even care that everybody can see that what you are saying makes no sense at all? It is perfectly obvious that Larry Silverstein is NOT talking about controlled demolition here. To believe otherwise would require you to literally be insane, to not understand the plain meaning of words and to have no awareness of conversational contexts; yet not only have you swallowed all of this, you have been beating the drum of this insanity for nearly 20 years.

There is no point in reasoning with an insane person. There is, however, the possibility that you don't really believe what you are saying and are just flogging a hobbyhorse, in which case it is you who are engaging in mendacious journalism and trafficking in lies. In either case, you need to be silenced. Neither lies nor insanity have any "right" to be uttered in the public square. You 9/11 Douchers are really the ones doing everything you accuse the mainstream media of doing, and worse. You have become a danger to the public weal and must be stopped. Your conspiratorial nonsense just isn't cute anymore.

Major1 , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:31 pm GMT
Let's recap:

The official stories about the Kennedy assassination, Epstein's death, and 9/11 are clearly suspect. No one with the capacity for critical thinking can seriously deny this. Which elements of these stories are true and which are false will never be resolved.

Because:
The mainstream media including Fox News have abdicated their mission as fact finders and truth tellers. They peddle entertainment and sell ad space. Rachel Maddow foaming at the mouth about Trump's pee tape and Hannity fulminating about FISA abuse are the same product, simply aimed at different demographics.

Nothing in the above two paragraphs is even remotely novel. It's all been said before twenty bazillion times.

... ... ...

Kevin Barrett , says: Website September 5, 2019 at 5:39 pm GMT
Being a feminist or Democrat (or nonfeminist or Republican) is irrelevant to a person's credibility. It's possible that Lisa Bloom was part of a conspiracy to invent a fictitious Katy Johnson story, in which case Bloom is guilty of criminal fraud as well as civil libel. That would be quite a risk for her to take, to say the least. It's also possible that she was somehow duped by others, in which case they would be running the civil and criminal liabilities, while she would just get disbarred for negligence.

The same is true of Johnson's attorney Thomas Meagher.

It is also possible that Johnson's story is at least roughly accurate. There is supporting testimony from another Epstein victim.

If you set aside your prejudices about Democrats-Republicans, feminists-antifeminists, Trump-Hillary, etc., and just look at what's been reported, you'll agree with me that the allegations are credible (but of course unproven). If you suffer emotional blocks against thinking such things about a President, as so many did when similar things were reported about Bill Clinton, I sympathize but also urge you to get psychiatric treatment so you can learn to face unpleasant facts and then get to work cleaning up this country.

CanSpeccy , says: Website September 5, 2019 at 5:42 pm GMT
@utu

The release of Prof. J. Leroy Hulsey report on the finite element analysis of the WTC7 collapse should be a big news.

But won't be.

Democracy works this way. The ruling elite, via the media, Hollywood, etc., tell the people what to think, the people then vote according to the way they think.

Ensuring such top-down control was a primary objective of the bankers, j0urnalists -- including doyen of American journalism, Walter Lippman, and politicians who established the Council on Foreign Relations , America's ruling political establishment.

So the truth of 9/11 will never be known to the majority unless we have a public statement from George W. Bush acknowledging that he personally lit the fuse that set off the explosions that brought WTC 7 down at free-fall speed .

This is fortunate for the intrepid Dr. Hulsey* who would, presumably, otherwise have had to be dispatched by a sudden heart attack, traffic accident, weight-lifting accident suicide with a bullet to the back of the head. As it is, hardly anyone will ever know what he will say or what it means.

* Fortunate also for those who so rashly advocate for truth here and elsewhere on the yet to be fully controlled Internets.

Durruti , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:45 pm GMT
Kevin Barrett

Nicely done. Article will not be featured on front page NYT & discussed on TV.

There are many highlights in your article. This is one.

Epstein's career as a shameless, openly-operating Mossad sexual blackmailer -- like the in-your-face 9/11 coup -- also illustrates another core truth of Western secularism: If there is no God, there are no limits (in this case, to human depravity and what it can get away with). Or as Dostoevsky famously put it: "If God does not exist, everything is permitted."

Morality is officially out of style.

Durruti

anonymous [307] Disclaimer , says: September 5, 2019 at 6:11 pm GMT
Please consult the following papers about the CIA/Mossad crimes against humanity and their pimps who pose as 'politicians' of the fake Western 'democracy' where Epstein was their agent serving their interest as a PIMP.

{from being the work of a single political party, intelligence agency or country, the power structure revealed by the network connected to Epstein is nothing less than a criminal enterprise that is willing to use and abuse children in the pursuit of ever more power, wealth and control.}

https://www.mintpressnews.com/genesis-jeffrey-epstein-bill-clinton-relationship/261455/

[Government by Blackmail: Jeffrey Epstein, Trump's Mentor and the Dark Secrets of the Reagan Era]

https://www.mintpressnews.com/blackmail-jeffrey-epstein-trump-mentor-reagan-era/260760/

Mega Group, Maxwells and Mossad: The Spy Story at the Heart of the Jeffrey Epstein Scandal

https://www.mintpressnews.com/mega-group-maxwells-mossad-spy-story-jeffrey-epstein-scandal/261172/

[Aug 23, 2019] Is nonsense economic throes promoted by NYT a deliberate policy or are they really ignorant ?

Aug 23, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

templar555510 , August 23, 2019 at 8:41 am

Spot-on . Whenever I read this nonsense in the NYT or elsewhere I always ask myself the same question ' Is this deliberate or are they really ignorant ? ' . I suspect the latter, but I could be wrong.

MichaelSF , August 23, 2019 at 12:17 pm

There's no reason it can't be both.

[Aug 05, 2019] US federal court exposes Democratic Party conspiracy against Assange and WikiLeaks by Eric London

Notable quotes:
"... The ruling exposes the illegality of the conspiracy by the US government, backed by the governments of Britain, Ecuador, Australia and Sweden and the entire corporate media and political establishment, to extradite Assange to the US, where he faces 175 years in federal prison on charges including espionage. ..."
"... The dismissal of the civil suit exposes massive unreported conflicts of interest and prosecutorial misconduct and criminal abuse of process by those involved. The criminal prosecution of Assange has nothing to do with facts and is instead aimed at punishing him for telling the truth about the war crimes committed by US imperialism and its allies. ..."
"... The judge labeled WikiLeaks an "international news organization" and said Assange is a "publisher," exposing the liars in the corporate press who declare that Assange is not subject to free speech protections. Judge Koeltl continued: "In New York Times Co. v. United States ..."
"... New York Times Co. v. United States ..."
"... The DNC's baseless complaint cited the New York Times ..."
"... New York Times ..."
"... Everyone seems to forget one thing.. Assange knows who gave Assange the DNC data. At some point you have to entertain the idea that eventually he'll play that card. ..."
"... The DNC never allowed a REAL cyber-inspection of it's servers, did they? They also never said the information contained in the supposedly 'stolen' E-Mails was "WRONG" or "INACCURATE", have they? It says volumes.... Occam's Razor points to disgruntled DNC employee Seth Rich using a large capacity flash drive to download the E-Mails, etc which he then passed to someone who got it to Wikileaks. For which he was killed!! ..."
"... No. they never did. Also, if you examine Mueller's BS indictments, the domain they claim was used to phish for Podesta's password (and others) was registered on the same day or perhaps the day before they unsealed the indictment. It's a total fabrication, start to finish! ..."
"... That's just one example of many. The Malware they allegedly 'discovered' (by a Ukranian owned security company Crowdstrike) was not Russian, it was Ukrainian and been floating around the internet for years prior to this alleged non-existent 'hack'.. The whole thing has more holes than proverbial swiss ..."
"... For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence--on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations ..."
"... Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match ..."
"... It is beyond astonishing that Democrats and the media have successfully shifted 99% of the public's attention AWAY FROM the actual content of what information was stolen from top ranking Democrats, especially the Hillary for President Campaign. ..."
"... beaglebailey > michiganderforfreedom ..."
"... ironically surely an equally damning 'leak' came from the DNCs own ex-Chair Donna Brazille in her self-serving 'memoir' Hacks ... in it she revealed Obama left DNC $24m in debt and Hillary Clinton then bailed it out and effectively bought the entire apparatus as her personal plaything. When that is understood all the 'corruption' about rigging the primaries against Sanders wasn't rigging at all, after all he was standing on Clinton's private property at the time. Blair and Brown dutifully followed the same NSA playbook and left Labour broke, presumably so Blair's 'charity' could then step in to buy it... but Corbyn then balanced the books in 6 months of his taking over ..."
"... The corporate media, having already gone to great lengths to convict Assange of such in the court of public opinion, would like to see that "conviction" stand. ..."
"... "The DNC's published internal communications allowed the American electorate to look behind the curtain of one of the two major political parties in the United States during a presidential election." That's precisely the kind of "problem" the bourgeoisie will no longer tolerate. ..."
"... Reporting the truth “undermined and distorted the DNC's ability to communicate the party's values and visions to the American electorate.” ..."
"... They're sick and tired of basic democratic rights almost as much as they're sick and tired of the working class ..."
Jul 31, 2019 | www.wsws.org

In a ruling published late Tuesday, Judge John Koeltl of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York delivered a devastating blow to the US-led conspiracy against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

In his ruling, Judge Koeltl, a Bill Clinton nominee and former assistant special prosecutor for the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, dismissed "with prejudice" a civil lawsuit filed in April 2018 by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) alleging WikiLeaks was civilly liable for conspiring with the Russian government to steal DNC emails and data and leak them to the public.

Jennifer Robinson, a leading lawyer for Assange, and other WikiLeaks attorneys welcomed the ruling as "an important win for free speech."

The decision exposes the Democratic Party in a conspiracy of its own to attack free speech and cover up the crimes of US imperialism and the corrupt activities of the two parties of Wall Street. Judge Koeltl stated:

If WikiLeaks could be held liable for publishing documents concerning the DNC's political financial and voter-engagement strategies simply because the DNC labels them 'secret' and trade secrets, then so could any newspaper or other media outlet. But that would impermissibly elevate a purely private privacy interest to override the First Amendment interest in the publication of matters of the highest public concern. The DNC's published internal communications allowed the American electorate to look behind the curtain of one of the two major political parties in the United States during a presidential election. This type of information is plainly of the type entitled to the strongest protection that the First Amendment offers.

The ruling exposes the illegality of the conspiracy by the US government, backed by the governments of Britain, Ecuador, Australia and Sweden and the entire corporate media and political establishment, to extradite Assange to the US, where he faces 175 years in federal prison on charges including espionage.

The plaintiff in the civil case -- the Democratic Party -- has also served as Assange's chief prosecutor within the state apparatus for over a decade. During the Obama administration, Democratic Party Justice Department officials, as well as career Democratic holdovers under the Trump administration, prepared the criminal case against him.

The dismissal of the civil suit exposes massive unreported conflicts of interest and prosecutorial misconduct and criminal abuse of process by those involved. The criminal prosecution of Assange has nothing to do with facts and is instead aimed at punishing him for telling the truth about the war crimes committed by US imperialism and its allies.

The judge labeled WikiLeaks an "international news organization" and said Assange is a "publisher," exposing the liars in the corporate press who declare that Assange is not subject to free speech protections. Judge Koeltl continued: "In New York Times Co. v. United States , the landmark 'Pentagon Papers' case, the Supreme Court upheld the press's right to publish information of public concern obtained from documents stolen by a third party."

As a legal matter, by granting WikiLeaks' motion to dismiss, the court ruled that the DNC had not put forward a "factually plausible" claim. At the motion to dismiss stage, a judge is required to accept all the facts alleged by the plaintiff as true. Here, the judge ruled that even if all the facts alleged by the DNC were true, no fact-finder could "draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged."

Going a step further, the judge called the DNC's arguments "threadbare," adding: "At no point does the DNC allege any facts" showing that Assange or WikiLeaks "participated in the theft of the DNC's information."

Judge Koeltl said the DNC's argument that Assange and WikiLeaks "conspired with the Russian Federation to steal and disseminate the DNC's materials" is "entirely divorced from the facts." The judge further ruled that the court "is not required to accept conclusory allegations asserted as facts."

The judge further dismantled the DNC's argument that WikiLeaks is guilty-by-association with Russia, calling the alleged connection between Assange and the Russian government "irrelevant," because "a person is entitled to publish stolen documents that the publisher requested from a source so long as the publisher did not participate in the theft."

Judge Koeltl also rejected the DNC's claim "that WikiLeaks can be held liable for the theft as an after-the-fact coconspirator of the stolen documents." Calling this argument "unpersuasive," the judge wrote that it would "eviscerate" constitutional protections: "Such a rule would render any journalist who publishes an article based on stolen information a coconspirator in the theft."

In its April 2018 complaint, the DNC put forward a series of claims that have now been exposed as brazen lies, including that Assange, Trump and Russia "undermined and distorted the DNC's ability to communicate the party's values and visions to the American electorate."

The complaint also alleged: "Russian intelligence services then disseminated the stolen, confidential materials through GRU Operative #1, as well as WikiLeaks and Assange, who were actively supported by the Trump Campaign and Trump Associates as they released and disclosed the information to the American public at a time and in a manner that served their common goals."

At the time the DNC filed its complaint, the New York Times wrote that the document relies on "publicly-known facts" as well as "information that has been disclosed in news reports and subsequent court proceedings." The lawsuit "comes amid a swirl of intensifying scrutiny of Mr. Trump, his associates and their interactions with Russia," the Times wrote.

It is deeply ironic that Judge Koeltl cited the Pentagon Papers case, New York Times Co. v. United States , in his ruling.

The DNC's baseless complaint cited the New York Times eight times as "proof" of Assange and WikiLeaks' ties to Russia, including articles by Times reporters Andrew Kramer, Michael Gordon, Niraj Chokshi, Sharon LaFraniere, K.K. Rebecca Lai, Eric Lichtblau, Noah Weiland, Alicia Parlapiano and Ashley Parker, as well as a July 26, 2016 article by Charlie Savage titled "Assange, avowed foe of Clinton, timed email release for Democratic Convention."

The first of these articles was published just weeks after the New York Times hired James Bennet as its editorial page editor in March 2016. James Bennet's brother, Michael Bennet, is a presidential candidate, a senator from Colorado and former chair of the DNC's Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. In 2018, Bennet signed a letter to Vice President Mike Pence noting he was "extremely concerned" that Ecuador had not canceled asylum for Assange, who was then trapped in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

"It is imperative," the letter read, "that you raise US concerns with [Ecuadorian] President [Lenin] Moreno about Ecuador's continued support for Mr. Assange at a time when WikiLeaks continues its efforts to undermine democratic processes globally."

In April 2019, after the Trump administration announced charges against Assange, the New York Times editorial board, under James Bennet's direction, wrote: "The administration has begun well by charging Mr. Assange with an indisputable crime." Two weeks later, Michael Bennet announced his presidential run and has since enjoyed favorable coverage in the Times editorial page.

Additionally, the father of James and Michael Bennet, Douglas Bennet, headed the CIA-linked United States Agency for International Development in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

On Wednesday, the Times published a brief, six-paragraph article on page 25 under the headline, "DNC lawsuit against election is dismissed." In its online edition, the Times prominently featured a link to its special page for the Mueller Report, which is based on the same DNC-instigated threadbare lies that Judge Koeltl kicked out of federal court

LC • 9 hours ago

Everyone seems to forget one thing.. Assange knows who gave Assange the DNC data. At some point you have to entertain the idea that eventually he'll play that card.

Liberalism Has Failed • 2 days ago

The DNC never allowed a REAL cyber-inspection of it's servers, did they? They also never said the information contained in the supposedly 'stolen' E-Mails was "WRONG" or "INACCURATE", have they? It says volumes.... Occam's Razor points to disgruntled DNC employee Seth Rich using a large capacity flash drive to download the E-Mails, etc which he then passed to someone who got it to Wikileaks. For which he was killed!!

LC > Liberalism Has Failed • 9 hours ago

No. they never did. Also, if you examine Mueller's BS indictments, the domain they claim was used to phish for Podesta's password (and others) was registered on the same day or perhaps the day before they unsealed the indictment. It's a total fabrication, start to finish!

That's just one example of many. The Malware they allegedly 'discovered' (by a Ukranian owned security company Crowdstrike) was not Russian, it was Ukrainian and been floating around the internet for years prior to this alleged non-existent 'hack'.. The whole thing has more holes than proverbial swiss


Tradairn > SFWhite • a day ago

Then why does the US keep interfering in other countries' political processes? You've become the schoolyard bully of the world.

SFWhite > Tradairn • 18 hours ago

Quoting from JFK's speech archived in the JFK Library:
THE PRESIDENT AND THE PRESS: ADDRESS BEFORE THE AMERICAN NEWSPAPER PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION, APRIL 27, 1961
https://www.jfklibrary.org/...

If the press is awaiting a declaration of war before it imposes the self-discipline of combat conditions, then I can only say that no war ever posed a greater threat to our security. If you are awaiting a finding of "clear and present danger," then I can only say that the danger has never been more clear and its presence has never been more imminent.

It requires a change in outlook, a change in tactics, a change in missions--by the government, by the people, by every businessman or labor leader, and by every newspaper.

***For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence--on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.

Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match.***

michiganderforfreedom • 2 days ago

It is beyond astonishing that Democrats and the media have successfully shifted 99% of the public's attention AWAY FROM the actual content of what information was stolen from top ranking Democrats, especially the Hillary for President Campaign.

Had the actual Content of what had been stolen was simply meeting schedules, work shift assignments, lawn sign purchase orders and speech notes, NONE of this scandal would have happened!!

But, the CONTENT of what was stolen revealed the upper echelon of Democrat Party leadership to be nothing but lying, conniving, cheating, law-breaking dirty politicians who are hell-bent on bringing down the American Federation at any cost.

If the actual Content had been cookie recipes and wedding plans, we would not have been put though this traumatic national wringer!!

beaglebailey > michiganderforfreedom • 7 hours ago

This was the reason Hillary's campaign came up with the idea to blame it on Russia. This kept people from focusing on their content and it worked. To this day Hillary's supporters think that her rigging the primary is a conspiracy theory. And it's why they believe that Russia interfered with the election. How sad to see people who saw through the Saddam had WMDs have fallen for the new WMDs scam.

Charlotte Ruse • 4 days ago

"The decision exposes the Democratic Party in a conspiracy of its own to attack free speech and cover up the crimes of US imperialism and the corrupt activities of the two parties of Wall Street."

One should never forget that the corrupt political duopoly is controlled by the military/security/surveillance/corporate state. Assange, published documents revealing to millions that the US committed war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, murdered innocent civilians, and slaughtered two Reuter Reporters.

Revealing atrocities is BAD MARKETING for the military industry which for decades has been robbing the US Treasury blind. Assange's documents threatens the "official narrative" spread by the state-run mainstream news convincing the public to passively accept the plundering of the US Treasury to enhance the wealth of a small cabal of war profiteer gangsters.

In other words, Assange is being attacked by the US Government because he revealed that a big CON GAME is being perpetuated against the American public by the security state.

Dennis Stein > Charlotte Ruse • 3 days ago

“We’ll Know Our Disinformation Program Is Complete When Everything the American Public Believes Is False”

—CIA Director William Casey at an early February 1981 meeting of newly elected President Reagan.

Adrian • 4 days ago

Great news on Assange... but ironically surely an equally damning 'leak' came from the DNCs own ex-Chair Donna Brazille in her self-serving 'memoir' Hacks ... in it she revealed Obama left DNC $24m in debt and Hillary Clinton then bailed it out and effectively bought the entire apparatus as her personal plaything. When that is understood all the 'corruption' about rigging the primaries against Sanders wasn't rigging at all, after all he was standing on Clinton's private property at the time. Blair and Brown dutifully followed the same NSA playbook and left Labour broke, presumably so Blair's 'charity' could then step in to buy it... but Corbyn then balanced the books in 6 months of his taking over

Ed Bergonzi • 5 days ago

This is good news. But now the advantage is with Trump. What will the Democrats do if Trump presses for extradition claiming "national security" concerns, i.e., Assange's exposure of US war crimes. I think their present silence regarding Judge Koeltl's decision speaks volumes.

Greg • 5 days ago • edited

"Going a step further, the judge called the DNC’s arguments “threadbare,” adding: “At no point does the DNC allege any facts” showing that Assange or WikiLeaks “participated in the theft of the DNC’s information.”

The corporate media, having already gone to great lengths to convict Assange of such in the court of public opinion, would like to see that "conviction" stand.

"On Wednesday, the Times published a brief, six-paragraph article on page 25..."

Greg • 5 days ago • edited

"The DNC's published internal communications allowed the American electorate to look behind the curtain of one of the two major political parties in the United States during a presidential election." That's precisely the kind of "problem" the bourgeoisie will no longer tolerate.

Reporting the truth “undermined and distorted the DNC's ability to communicate the party's values and visions to the American electorate.”

They're sick and tired of basic democratic rights almost as much as they're sick and tired of the working class. They practically come out and say it: "There was no attempt by other reporters to pursue the matter, and Conway then began to rant about Trump's reasons for targeting the four congresswomen, saying, “He's tired, a lot of us are sick and tired of this country—of America coming last, to people who swore an oath of office.”

[Aug 02, 2019] Does the New York Times Have an Editing Program that Automatically Puts "Free" Before "Trade?

Aug 02, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , August 02, 2019 at 04:21 AM

http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/does-the-new-york-times-have-an-editing-program-that-automatically-puts-free-before-trade

August 1, 2019

Does the New York Times Have an Editing Program that Automatically Puts "Free" Before "Trade?"
By Dean Baker

Readers must be wondering because it happens so frequently in contexts where it is clearly inappropriate. The latest example is in an article * about the state of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination following the second round of debates.

The piece told readers:

"After a few candidates used the Detroit debate to demand that Mr. Biden account for Mr. Obama's record on issues such as deportations and free trade, Mr. Biden was joined by some of the former president's advisers, who chastised the critics for committing political malpractice."

The word "free" in this context adds nothing and is in fact wrong. The Obama administration did virtually nothing to promote free trade in highly paid professional services, like physicians services, which would have reduced inequality. It only wanted to reduce barriers that protected less educated workers, like barriers to trade in manufactured goods.

And, it actively worked to increase patent and copyright protections, which are the complete opposite of free trade. These protections also have the effect of increasing inequality.

Given the reality of trade policy under President Obama it is difficult to understand why the New York Times felt the need to modify "trade" with the adjective "free." Maybe it needs to get this editing program fixed.

* https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/01/us/politics/biden-obama.html

[Jul 28, 2019] I hate to say it, but corporate Democrats along with those who Maddow has totally brainwashed are still true believers in the entire lie.

Jul 27, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Drew Hunkins , July 25, 2019 at 15:01

PCR just posted a piece over at his site in which he declares that Russiagate is now over. https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/07/25/repub

I hate to say it, but corporate Democrats along with those who Maddow has totally brainwashed are still true believers in the entire lie. You cannot get through to these people, they will not come to terms with the fact that they've been hoodwinked and bamboozled for the last three years. They read it in WaPo and the NYTimes and heard it on NPR so it's gospel.

For the next 40 years these people will be writing essays, books and giving talks about how the evil Russians interfered in our democracy [sic] to elect their preferred president. It's maddening and perhaps beyond hope.

Rob , July 25, 2019 at 17:18

To your point, the NYT is warning that Russia will interfere AGAIN in the next election. They take it as a given that they interfered in the last one, and so do many, if not most, of their readers, notwithstanding the absence of evidence. This is a full-on, non-stop propaganda effort. Facts will not get in the way.

anon4d2 , July 25, 2019 at 20:37

So we need evidence that Russia
1. Is interfering on both sides of every controversy;
2. Is representing the majority of the US better than the incumbents; or
3. Is plotting with Holland to take over the universe with UFOs and occult powers;
But perhaps it is better to concentrate on the influence of Israel, which is fact.

Drew Hunkins , July 26, 2019 at 10:24

“This is a full-on, non-stop propaganda effort. Facts will not get in the way.”

Exactly!

[Jul 22, 2019] The press of the United States? It is a parasitic growth that battens on the capitalist class

Jul 22, 2019 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

"The press of the United States? It is a parasitic growth that battens on the capitalist class. Its function is to serve the established by moulding public opinion, and right well it serves it.

I know nothing that I may say can influence you. You have no souls to be influenced. You are spineless, flaccid things. You pompously call yourselves Republicans and Democrats. There is no Republican Party. There is no Democratic Party.

There are no Republicans nor Democrats in this House. You are lick-spittlers and panderers, the creatures of the Plutocracy.

You talk verbosely in antiquated terminology of your love of liberty, and all the while you wear the scarlet livery of the Iron Heel."

Jack London, The Iron Heel

[Jul 01, 2019] NYT is totally subservant to MIC and intelligence agencies and it shows

Notable quotes:
"... Somehow, I think Kevin's being too generous saying NY Times is moderate when it comes to political views. IMO, reactionary is more appropriate given its editorial stances and what it's championed over its history. ..."
Jul 01, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jun 30, 2019 6:33:24 PM | 54

Interesting observation of NY Times attitude after first D-Party debate noted by Kevin Gosztola:

"'Moderates' seems to be the New York Times media company's euphemism for itself. Liberals at the Democratic presidential debate made the Times company 'anxious.'"

Somehow, I think Kevin's being too generous saying NY Times is moderate when it comes to political views. IMO, reactionary is more appropriate given its editorial stances and what it's championed over its history.

[Jun 26, 2019] Opinion - NY Times admits it sends stories to US government for approval before publication

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Risen detailed how his editors had been "quite willing to cooperate with the government." In fact, a top CIA official even told Risen that his rule of thumb for approving a covert operation was, "How will this look on the front page of the New York Times?" ..."
"... Bernstein obtained CIA documents that revealed that more than 400 American journalists in the previous 25 years had "secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency." ..."
"... Virtually all major US media outlets cooperated with the CIA, Bernstein revealed, including ABC, NBC, the AP, UPI, Reuters, Newsweek, Hearst newspapers, the Miami Herald, the Saturday Evening Post, and the New York Herald‑Tribune. ..."
"... However, he added, "By far the most valuable of these associations, according to CIA officials, have been with the New York Times, CBS and Time Inc." ..."
"... These layers of state manipulation, censorship, and even direct crafting of the news media show that, as much as they claim to be independent, The New York Times and other outlets effectively serve as de facto spokespeople for the government -- or at least for the US national security state. ..."
Jun 26, 2019 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

The New York Times casually acknowledged that it sends major scoops to the US government before publication, to make sure "national security officials" have "no concerns."

By Ben Norton

June 25, 2019 " Information Clearing House " - The New York Times has publicly acknowledged that it sends some of its stories to the US government for approval from "national security officials" before publication.

This confirms what veteran New York Times correspondents like James Risen have said: The American newspaper of record regularly collaborates with the US government, suppressing reporting that top officials don't want made public.

On June 15, the Times reported that the US government is escalating its cyber attacks on Russia's power grid . According to the article, "the Trump administration is using new authorities to deploy cybertools more aggressively," as part of a larger "digital Cold War between Washington and Moscow."

In response to the report, Donald Trump attacked the Times on Twitter, calling the article "a virtual act of Treason."

The New York Times PR office replied to Trump from its official Twitter account, defending the story and noting that it had, in fact, been cleared with the US government before being printed.

"Accusing the press of treason is dangerous," the Times communications team said. "We described the article to the government before publication."

"As our story notes, President Trump's own national security officials said there were no concerns," the Times added.

NY Times editors 'quite willing to cooperate with the government'

The symbiotic relationship between the US corporate media and the government has been known for some time. American intelligence agencies play the press like a musical instrument, using it it to selectively leak information at opportune moments to push US soft power and advance Washington's interests.

But rarely is this symbiotic relationship so casually and publicly acknowledged.

In 2018, former New York Times reporter James Risen published a 15,000-word article in The Intercept providing further insight into how this unspoken alliance operates.

Risen detailed how his editors had been "quite willing to cooperate with the government." In fact, a top CIA official even told Risen that his rule of thumb for approving a covert operation was, "How will this look on the front page of the New York Times?"

There is an "informal arrangement" between the state and the press, Risen explained, where US government officials "regularly engaged in quiet negotiations with the press to try to stop the publication of sensitive national security stories."

"At the time, I usually went along with these negotiations," the former New York Times reported said. He recalled an example of a story he was writing on Afghanistan just prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks. Then-CIA Director George Tenet called Risen personally and asked him to kill the story.

"He told me the disclosure would threaten the safety of the CIA officers in Afghanistan," Risen said. "I agreed."

Risen said he later questioned whether or not this was the right decision. "If I had reported the story before 9/11, the CIA would have been angry, but it might have led to a public debate about whether the United States was doing enough to capture or kill bin Laden," he wrote. "That public debate might have forced the CIA to take the effort to get bin Laden more seriously."

This dilemma led Risen to reconsider responding to US government requests to censor stories. "And that ultimately set me on a collision course with the editors at the New York Times," he said.

"After the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration began asking the press to kill stories more frequently," Risen continued. "They did it so often that I became convinced the administration was invoking national security to quash stories that were merely politically embarrassing." In the lead-up to the Iraq War, Risen frequently "clashed" with Times editors because he raised questions about the US government's lies. But his stories "stories raising questions about the intelligence, particularly the administration's claims of a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda, were being cut, buried, or held out of the paper altogether."

The Times' executive editor Howell Raines "was believed by many at the paper to prefer stories that supported the case for war," Risen said.

In another anecdote, the former Times journalist recalled a scoop he had uncovered on a botched CIA plot. The Bush administration got wind of it and called him to the White House, where then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice ordered the Times to bury the story.

Risen said Rice told him "to forget about the story, destroy my notes, and never make another phone call to discuss the matter with anyone."

"The Bush administration was successfully convincing the press to hold or kill national security stories," Risen wrote. And the Barack Obama administration subsequently accelerated the "war on the press."

CIA media infiltration and manufacturing consent

In their renowned study of US media, " Manufacturing Consent : The Political Economy of the Mass Media," Edward S. Herman and Chomsky articulated a "propaganda model," showing how "the media serve, and propagandize on behalf of, the powerful societal interests that control and finance them," through "the selection of right-thinking personnel and by the editors' and working journalists' internalization of priorities and definitions of newsworthiness that conform to the institution's policy."

But in some cases, the relationship between US intelligence agencies and the corporate media is not just one of mere ideological policing, indirect pressure, or friendship, but rather one of employment.

In the 1950s, the CIA launched a covert operation called Project Mockingbird, in which it surveilled, influenced, and manipulated American journalists and media coverage, explicitly in order to direct public opinion against the Soviet Union, China, and the growing international communist movement.

Legendary journalist Carl Bernstein, a former Washington Post reporter who helped uncover the Watergate scandal, published a major cover story for Rolling Stone in 1977 titled " The CIA and the Media : How America's Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up."

Bernstein obtained CIA documents that revealed that more than 400 American journalists in the previous 25 years had "secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency."

Bernstein wrote:

"Some of these journalists' relationships with the Agency were tacit; some were explicit. There was cooperation, accommodation and overlap. Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services -- from simple intelligence gathering to serving as go‑betweens with spies in Communist countries. Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors without‑portfolio for their country. Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work; stringers and freelancers who were as interested in the derring‑do of the spy business as in filing articles; and, the smallest category, full‑time CIA employees masquerading as journalists abroad. In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America's leading news organizations."

Virtually all major US media outlets cooperated with the CIA, Bernstein revealed, including ABC, NBC, the AP, UPI, Reuters, Newsweek, Hearst newspapers, the Miami Herald, the Saturday Evening Post, and the New York Herald‑Tribune.

However, he added, "By far the most valuable of these associations, according to CIA officials, have been with the New York Times, CBS and Time Inc."

These layers of state manipulation, censorship, and even direct crafting of the news media show that, as much as they claim to be independent, The New York Times and other outlets effectively serve as de facto spokespeople for the government -- or at least for the US national security state.

Ben Norton is a journalist and writer. He is a reporter for The Grayzone, and the producer of the Moderate Rebels podcast, which he co-hosts with Max Blumenthal. His website is BenNorton.com , and he tweets at @ BenjaminNorton .

This article was originally published by " Grayzone "

[Jun 15, 2019] U.S. Escalates Online Attacks on Russia s Power Grid by David E. Sanger and Nicole Perlroth

Comments published by NYT draw a very sad picture of paranoid, brainwashed society. Very few critical comments (less then a dozen), while number of jingoistic and otherwise stupid comments is in the hundreds). This is very sad, if not tragic.
Petty CIA-controlled provocateurs from Grey Prostitute. Hacking national grid means war.. Bolton needs to be fired for jingoism and stupidity.
I am pretty sure that two of those warmongering neocons David E. Sanger Nicole Perlroth ( MadCow disease.
Do those two presstitutes and their handlers accurately calculated possible reaction from Moscow on such "revelations"?
From comments: "It is horrible to think that we have our of control counterintelligence agencies with their own agenda operating as independent forces capable of dragging the country into international conflict "
From comments: "Aggressive malware intrusions into foreign countries' sensitive (and sovereign) computer systems is now seen as a standard security procedure. "Gunboat diplomacy" is not an apt metaphor, as gunboats remained at discreet distances from borders. Our cyber policy is more akin to placing bombs in the public squares of foreign cities with threats to detonate. "
Notable quotes:
"... But in a public appearance on Tuesday, President Trump's national security adviser, John R. Bolton, said the United States was now taking a broader view of potential digital targets as part of an effort "to say to Russia, or anybody else that's engaged in cyberoperations against us, 'You will pay a price.'" ..."
"... Two administration officials said they believed Mr. Trump had not been briefed in any detail about the steps to place "implants" -- software code that can be used for surveillance or attack -- inside the Russian grid. ..."
"... Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction -- and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister. ..."
"... The intent of the operations was described in different ways by several current and former national security officials. Some called it "signaling" Russia, a sort of digital shot across the bow. Others said the moves were intended to position the United States to respond if Mr. Putin became more aggressive. ..."
"... Already, such attacks figure in the military plans of many nations. In a previous post, General Nakasone had been deeply involved in designing an operation code-named Nitro Zeus that amounted to a war plan to unplug Iran if the United States entered into hostilities with the country. ..."
"... How Mr. Putin's government is reacting to the more aggressive American posture described by Mr. Bolton is still unclear. "It's 21st-century gunboat diplomacy," said Robert M. Chesney, a law professor at the University of Texas, who has written extensively about the shifting legal basis for digital operations. "We're showing the adversary we can inflict serious costs without actually doing much. We used to park ships within sight of the shore. Now, perhaps, we get access to key systems like the electric grid." ..."
"... successful attack on Iranian centrifuges as one example ..."
"... Not willing to discuss it with the President but happy to chat about it with reporters..? ..."
"... This scenario sounds like something straight out of Dr, Strangelove. All sides and all actors need to realize that this is a no win game, with the very real possibility of serious harm to the lives and livelihoods of millions of people hanging in the balance. ..."
"... It's a macho power game that can easily escalate into unintended and out-of-control consequences. As with prior successful nuclear test ban negotiations & treaties we need to step back and consider what's truly in the long-term national interests of all concerned. The citizens of all the countries involved are not pawns to be played with like disposable chess pieces, in a power game with no real winners. ..."
"... This turn of events is truly disturbing, as it presents the seriousness, now, of how cyberwar is more likely a prelude to actual war ..."
"... Restated, the Commander In Chief is not briefed on military operations for fear of betrayal. I feel like I'm going nuts. Someone please tell me what is going on in this country! ..."
Jun 15, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

WASHINGTON -- The United States is stepping up digital incursions into Russia's electric power grid in a warning to President Vladimir V. Putin and a demonstration of how the Trump administration is using new authorities to deploy cybertools more aggressively, current and former government officials said.

In interviews over the past three months, the officials described the previously unreported deployment of American computer code inside Russia's grid and other targets as a classified companion to more publicly discussed action directed at Moscow's disinformation and hacking units around the 2018 midterm elections.

Advocates of the more aggressive strategy said it was long overdue, after years of public warnings from the Department of Homeland Security and the F.B.I. that Russia has inserted malware that could sabotage American power plants, oil and gas pipelines, or water supplies in any future conflict with the United States.

But it also carries significant risk of escalating the daily digital Cold War between Washington and Moscow. Advertisement

The administration declined to describe specific actions it was taking under the new authorities, which were granted separately by the White House and Congress last year to United States Cyber Command, the arm of the Pentagon that runs the military's offensive and defensive operations in the online world.

But in a public appearance on Tuesday, President Trump's national security adviser, John R. Bolton, said the United States was now taking a broader view of potential digital targets as part of an effort "to say to Russia, or anybody else that's engaged in cyberoperations against us, 'You will pay a price.'"

Power grids have been a low-intensity battleground for years. Since at least 2012, current and former officials say, the United States has put reconnaissance probes into the control systems of the Russian electric grid. But now the American strategy has shifted more toward offense, officials say, with the placement of potentially crippling malware inside the Russian system at a depth and with an aggressiveness that had never been tried before. It is intended partly as a warning, and partly to be poised to conduct cyberstrikes if a major conflict broke out between Washington and Moscow.

The commander of United States Cyber Command, Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, has been outspoken about the need to "defend forward" deep in an adversary's networks to demonstrate that the United States will respond to the barrage of online attacks aimed at it. President Trump's national security adviser, John R. Bolton, said the United States was taking a broader view of potential digital targets as part of an effort to warn anybody "engaged in cyberoperations against us." Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

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President Trump's national security adviser, John R. Bolton, said the United States was taking a broader view of potential digital targets as part of an effort to warn anybody "engaged in cyberoperations against us." Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

"They don't fear us," he told the Senate a year ago during his confirmation hearings.

But finding ways to calibrate those responses so that they deter attacks without inciting a dangerous escalation has been the source of constant debate.

Mr. Trump issued new authorities to Cyber Command last summer, in a still-classified document known as National Security Presidential Memoranda 13, giving General Nakasone far more leeway to conduct offensive online operations without receiving presidential approval.

But the action inside the Russian electric grid appears to have been conducted under little-noticed new legal authorities, slipped into the military authorization bill passed by Congress last summer. The measure approved the routine conduct of "clandestine military activity" in cyberspace, to "deter, safeguard or defend against attacks or malicious cyberactivities against the United States."

Under the law, those actions can now be authorized by the defense secretary without special presidential approval.

"It has gotten far, far more aggressive over the past year," one senior intelligence official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity but declining to discuss any specific classified programs. "We are doing things at a scale that we never contemplated a few years ago."

The critical question -- impossible to know without access to the classified details of the operation -- is how deep into the Russian grid the United States has bored. Only then will it be clear whether it would be possible to plunge Russia into darkness or cripple its military -- a question that may not be answerable until the code is activated. Sign Up for On Politics With Lisa Lerer

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Both General Nakasone and Mr. Bolton, through spokesmen, declined to answer questions about the incursions into Russia's grid. Officials at the National Security Council also declined to comment but said they had no national security concerns about the details of The New York Times's reporting about the targeting of the Russian grid, perhaps an indication that some of the intrusions were intended to be noticed by the Russians.

Speaking on Tuesday at a conference sponsored by The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Bolton said: "We thought the response in cyberspace against electoral meddling was the highest priority last year, and so that's what we focused on. But we're now opening the aperture, broadening the areas we're prepared to act in."

He added, referring to nations targeted by American digital operations, "We will impose costs on you until you get the point." Gen. Paul Nakasone, the commander of United States Cyber Command, was given more leeway to conduct offensive online operations without obtaining presidential approval.

Gen. Paul Nakasone, the commander of United States Cyber Command, was given more leeway to conduct offensive online operations without obtaining presidential approval. Credit Erin Schaff for The New York Times

Two administration officials said they believed Mr. Trump had not been briefed in any detail about the steps to place "implants" -- software code that can be used for surveillance or attack -- inside the Russian grid.

Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction -- and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister.

Because the new law defines the actions in cyberspace as akin to traditional military activity on the ground, in the air or at sea, no such briefing would be necessary, they added.

The intent of the operations was described in different ways by several current and former national security officials. Some called it "signaling" Russia, a sort of digital shot across the bow. Others said the moves were intended to position the United States to respond if Mr. Putin became more aggressive.

So far, there is no evidence that the United States has actually turned off the power in any of the efforts to establish what American officials call a "persistent presence" inside Russian networks, just as the Russians have not turned off power in the United States. But the placement of malicious code inside both systems revives the question of whether a nation's power grid -- or other critical infrastructure that keeps homes, factories, and hospitals running -- constitutes a legitimate target for online attack.

Already, such attacks figure in the military plans of many nations. In a previous post, General Nakasone had been deeply involved in designing an operation code-named Nitro Zeus that amounted to a war plan to unplug Iran if the United States entered into hostilities with the country.

How Mr. Putin's government is reacting to the more aggressive American posture described by Mr. Bolton is still unclear. "It's 21st-century gunboat diplomacy," said Robert M. Chesney, a law professor at the University of Texas, who has written extensively about the shifting legal basis for digital operations. "We're showing the adversary we can inflict serious costs without actually doing much. We used to park ships within sight of the shore. Now, perhaps, we get access to key systems like the electric grid."

Russian intrusion on American infrastructure has been the background noise of superpower competition for more than a decade.

A successful Russian breach of the Pentagon's classified communications networks in 2008 prompted the creation of what has become Cyber Command. Under President Barack Obama, the attacks accelerated. But Mr. Obama was reluctant to respond to such aggression by Russia with counterattacks, partly for fear that the United States' infrastructure was more vulnerable than Moscow's and partly because intelligence officials worried that by responding in kind, the Pentagon would expose some of its best weaponry.

At the end of Mr. Obama's first term, government officials began uncovering a Russian hacking group, alternately known to private security researchers as Energetic Bear or Dragonfly. But the assumption was that the Russians were conducting surveillance, and would stop well short of actual disruption.

That assumption evaporated in 2014, two former officials said, when the same Russian hacking outfit compromised the software updates that reached into hundreds of systems that have access to the power switches.

"It was the first stage in long-term preparation for an attack," said John Hultquist, the director of intelligence analysis at FireEye, a security company that has tracked the group.

In December 2015, a Russian intelligence unit shut off power to hundreds of thousands of people in western Ukraine. The attack lasted only a few hours, but it was enough to sound alarms at the White House.

A team of American experts was dispatched to examine the damage, and concluded that one of the same Russian intelligence units that wreaked havoc in Ukraine had made significant inroads into the United States energy grid, according to officials and a homeland security advisory that was not published until December 2016. Advertisement

"That was the crossing of the Rubicon," said David J. Weinstein, who previously served at Cyber Command and is now chief security officer at Claroty, a security company that specializes in protecting critical infrastructure.

In late 2015, just as the breaches of the Democratic National Committee began, yet another Russian hacking unit began targeting critical American infrastructure, including the electricity grid and nuclear power plants. By 2016, the hackers were scrutinizing the systems that control the power switches at the plants. In 2012, the defense secretary at the time, Leon E. Panetta, was warned of Russia's online intrusions, but President Barack Obama was reluctant to respond to such aggression by Moscow with counterattacks. Credit Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

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In 2012, the defense secretary at the time, Leon E. Panetta, was warned of Russia's online intrusions, but President Barack Obama was reluctant to respond to such aggression by Moscow with counterattacks. Credit Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

Until the last few months of the Obama administration, Cyber Command was largely limited to conducting surveillance operations inside Russia's networks. At a conference this year held by the Hewlett Foundation, Eric Rosenbach, a former chief of staff to the defense secretary and who is now at Harvard, cautioned that when it came to offensive operations "we don't do them that often." He added, "I can count on one hand, literally, the number of offensive operations that we did at the Department of Defense."

But after the election breaches and the power grid incursions, the Obama administration decided it had been too passive.

Mr. Obama secretly ordered some kind of message-sending action inside the Russian grid, the specifics of which have never become public. It is unclear whether much was accomplished.

"Offensive cyber is not this, like, magic cybernuke where you say, 'O.K., send in the aircraft and we drop the cybernuke over Russia tomorrow,'" Mr. Rosenbach said at the conference, declining to discuss specific operations.

After Mr. Trump's inauguration, Russian hackers kept escalating attacks.

Mr. Trump's initial cyberteam decided to be far more public in calling out Russian activity. In early 2018, it named Russia as the country responsible for " the most destructive cyberattack in human history ," which paralyzed much of Ukraine and affected American companies including Merck and FedEx.

When General Nakasone took over both Cyber Command and the N.S.A. a year ago, his staff was assessing Russian hackings on targets that included the Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation , which runs a nuclear power plant near Burlington, Kan., as well as previously unreported attempts to infiltrate Nebraska Public Power District's Cooper Nuclear Station, near Brownville. The hackers got into communications networks, but never took over control systems.

In August, General Nakasone used the new authority granted to Cyber Command by the secret presidential directive to overwhelm the computer systems at Russia's Internet Research Agency -- the group at the heart of the hacking during the 2016 election in the United States. It was one of four operations his so-called Russia Small Group organized around the midterm elections. Officials have talked publicly about those, though they have provided few details.

But the recent actions by the United States against the Russian power grids, whether as signals or potential offensive weapons, appear to have been conducted under the new congressional authorities.

As it games out the 2020 elections, Cyber Command has looked at the possibility that Russia might try selective power blackouts in key states, some officials said. For that, they said, they need a deterrent.

In the past few months, Cyber Command's resolve has been tested. For the past year, energy companies in the United States and oil and gas operators across North America discovered their networks had been examined by the same Russian hackers who successfully dismantled the safety systems in 2017 at Petro Rabigh, a Saudi petrochemical plant and oil refinery.

The question now is whether placing the equivalent of land mines in a foreign power network is the right way to deter Russia. While it parallels Cold War nuclear strategy, it also enshrines power grids as a legitimate target.

"We might have to risk taking some broken bones of our own from a counterresponse, just to show the world we're not lying down and taking it," said Robert P. Silvers, a partner at the law firm Paul Hastings and former Obama administration official. "Sometimes you have to take a bloody nose to not take a bullet in the head down the road." David E. Sanger reported from Washington, and Nicole Perlroth from San Francisco


Bitsy Fort Collins, CO 6h ago Times Pick

See the Zero Days documentary, available on several streaming services, if you want to better understand this issue and its origins and early applications (successful attack on Iranian centrifuges as one example). This cat has been out of the bag for some time.
Dubliner Dublin 6h ago Times Pick
Not willing to discuss it with the President but happy to chat about it with reporters..? If the President didn't know about it he does now, so it's hardly a successful strategy. I would presume this is more a way to convince the public that something is being done. Whether there is reality behind it is a different issue.
Stan Chaz Brooklyn,New York 6h ago Times Pick
This scenario sounds like something straight out of Dr, Strangelove. All sides and all actors need to realize that this is a no win game, with the very real possibility of serious harm to the lives and livelihoods of millions of people hanging in the balance.

It's a macho power game that can easily escalate into unintended and out-of-control consequences. As with prior successful nuclear test ban negotiations & treaties we need to step back and consider what's truly in the long-term national interests of all concerned. The citizens of all the countries involved are not pawns to be played with like disposable chess pieces, in a power game with no real winners.

David Henderson Arlington, VA 6h ago Times Pick
On the cyber playing field, the U.S. has so far shown itself still in the minor leagues against other nations. If the U.S. is so bold as to reveal action against Russia's power grid, we'd be best advised to stock up on candles and batteries.
B. Rothman NYC 6h ago Times Pick
And here is yet another reason for the US to get off the use of public utilities alone for the production of electricity. A big goal for national security ought to be the decentralization of electrical production. Businesses and many individual households could do this and create a manufacturing boom at the same time. Too bad the guys in charge are so fixated on making energy money in way only.
newsmaned Carmel IN 6h ago Times Pick
What's most disturbing about this article is that Trump hasn't been told much about it, out of concern he could screw it up. It raises the question of how much the president is actually The President or just an obstacle to be managed while parts of the federal government are haring off on their own into uncharted waters.
TMah Salt Lake City 10h ago Times Pick
The US Military revealing that they have done this means that they believe that they have established superiority with this malware, and also the ability to re-establish it if needed. Else, why would they reveal it. If you think what a patchwork the controls on US Power systems, dams, and other key infrastructure are, Russia's must be in much worse shape. Their national systems are likely made up largely of outdated infrastructure, with controls that are a patchwork. Their economy is the size of Italy's, yet they funnel inordinate amounts of money to their armed forces, starving other areas. Their economy is based on petroleum and natural gas, using technology and expertise from European and American companies --just imagine what opportunities that provides.
Bruce1253 San Diego 10h ago Times Pick
We are extremely vulnerable here. The US power grid is made up of a series of local systems that are tied together with high voltage interconnects that allow power to be sent from one system to another to balance loads. Those interconnects are powered by a few, very few, specialized transformers.

These transformers are huge, expensive, and take a long time to build. Disruption of these transformers would have devastating consequences. Several years ago we got a taste of this in SoCal. There was a region wide power outage. The back up generators for business's promptly kicked in, no problem. The power outage lasted longer than their fuel supply, you could not drive to the gas station to get more fuel, all of SoCal was without power. One by one these businesses and other critical operations shutdown. Now try to imagine you life with no power at all for just a short time, say a week. . . .

Telly55 St Barbara 10h ago Times Pick
This turn of events is truly disturbing, as it presents the seriousness, now, of how cyberwar is more likely a prelude to actual war. But what it most alarming is that we have a President who cannot be trusted to honor the institutional frameworks around National Security and our own Intelligence Institutions and organization. It is the height of incredulity to know that his narcissism, coupled with his sense of authoritarian marriage to wealth and delusions of Royalty, is the weakest point, now, in our security as a nation. So--given these new developments: what about all those earlier attempt to create "back channels" with Russia???

Does Trump feign arrogance and disinterest in reading and keeping up on Security and Intelligence briefings--so that he can assimilate what he chooses to "hear/grasp" and then operate on such information as it might fit is grifter family's greed and faux aristocratic delusions? There is much to worry us--and it is worse than daily lies...

William Romp, Vermont | June 15

It is telling that the language of military "defense" has become indistinguishable from that of military offense. Aggressive malware intrusions into foreign countries' sensitive (and sovereign) computer systems is now seen as a standard security procedure. "Gunboat diplomacy" is not an apt metaphor, as gunboats remained at discreet distances from borders. Our cyber policy is more akin to placing bombs in the public squares of foreign cities with threats to detonate.

Absent in this discussion is the distinction between military targets of cyber warfare and civilian targets, if such distinctions remain. America prepares to unplug millions of Russian citizens, including the elderly and children, plus hospitals and other sensitive civilian infrastructure targets, in order to "inflict pain" (on foreign citizens) and "send a message" (to foreign politicians). The abandonment of moral principles formerly displayed by American institutions is striking.

The failure of leadership on all sides is even more striking. Having spent many months in Russia and China I can tell you (as can anyone who has travelled beyond the tourist destinations) that the people there hold largely positive feelings toward Americans and other foreigners. A small minority of xenophobes and racists dominate the leadership, as in America, and form foreign policies that are at odds with the citizenship, at odds with moral justice, and at odds with humanity.

Viv, .|10h ago

@William Romp

In the abstract, of course people hold positive views of their "enemy" nations. In practice, it is not at all true.

You don't need to travel to Russia to find Russians who have been victims of American xenophobia and bigotry. They're right there in America.

Americans has never really held to "moral" standards of war.

To this day you have people believing that dropping atomic bombs on civilians was the right thing to do because it "minimized" loss of life. This is absurd.

To this day you have people believing that it was okay to not only finance the mujahadeen in Afghanistan, but indoctrinate their children to be war fighters.

There's nothing to be proud about this "moral" leadership.

Tim Rutledge, California | June 15

Won't they just do the same to us? This is the strategy?

DaWill, 11 hours ago

"Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction - and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister."

Restated, the Commander In Chief is not briefed on military operations for fear of betrayal. I feel like I'm going nuts. Someone please tell me what is going on in this country!

Carlos Fiancι Oak Park, Il | June 15
I appreciate this article. The US media breathlessly report on Russia spending a few hundred thousand on Facebook, but rarely do they recount all the ways the US meddles with Russia, as well as a host of other countries. "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone", as Jesus (doubtfully) said.

Pete, CA|11h ago, @HonorB14U

Actually, everything you could think of in American 'technology' is the result of government, usually military, development projects. The internet and everything associated with it came out of DARPA. American advances in solid state integrated circuitry are the results of satellite, rocketry, i.e. military development.

Castanet, MD-DC-VA | June 15

Another theatre of war where Pandora's unintended consequences plays a major role. We hope the better angels will be able to keep the balance. And put the lid back on the box, and put the box away forever.

Norman, NYC|9h ago

@TMah

Outdated infrastructure is less vulnerable to cyberattacks. It's not connected to the internet. It's like the railroads in Atlas Shrugged. When the latest technology is left dysfunctional, you can go back to the manual controls.

If I was designing digital equipment that's so complicated it's essentially a black box and you can't understand what's going on inside, I'd design it with a fallback to simpler controls, even manual controls.

C.O., Germany|11h ago

For me it is really amazing that so many believe in the meddling of Russia in the US-election in 2016. I at least have never seen or read about concrete evidence that they did. What was apparent, however, was the misuse of social media like Facebook and Co in the election. They are open to everyone who can speak English, and everyone can use fake names. I am sure there were indeed waves of misinformation among voters in the US. But every reasonable person could have read American newspapers or watched American television to correct fake news if they pop up. In addition, I think that FoxNews, Trump's and Steve Bannon's disruptive and manipulative ideology and the massive campaign funds have been much more effective for Trump's victory. To blame it all on Russia is really too simple and in the end rather dangerous. To call for "persistent presence" inside Russian and its digital systems, as Bolton does, moreover shows that the US is not an innocent victim but up to the state of art. Frightening.

N. Smith, New York City|6h ago

It speaks volumes that Donald Trump was not informed and purposely kept out of the loop about these cyber operations against Russia's power grid.
But it's not surprising.

Especially when only a few days ago before walking it back, this President said that he'd have no problem taking advantage of any available information to undercut his opponent, obviously forgetting that Russia already took him up this invitation in the 2016 elections.

No doubt they're primed to do it again. Sooner or later Americans will come to the realization that Vladimir Putin is an ex-KGB operative who plans to restore Russia to its former Soviet glory. And the Cold War never ended.

Phil, Brooklyn | 4h ago

So your argument is that it's a good thing that the military is staging attacks against a nuclear power, basically without any oversight from any branch of government?

Paul, Virginia | June 15

The use of cyber attacks is another slippery road to actual shooting war. Some says that cyber warfare would deter or prevent nations from actually going to war with each other. This is wishful thinking for the national survival instinct would force a nation on the verge of being plunged into darkness and thus cyber defeat to resort to nuclear weapons or maximum conventional warfare which could easily lead to the use of nuclear weapons.
The world's leading powers should come together, discuss, and agree to a treaty outlawing the use of cyber attacks against other nations' power grids and other online systems essential for human welfare. The world cannot afford another arm race similar to the nuclear arm race after WW II that has since placed the survival of the human race on the vagaries of a few men.

Michael, Evanston, IL|June 15

@M. Casey Yes, and we have been doing it to them (and others) for some time. So it is a perfectly reasonable response to wonder if this won't simply escalate. And I hardly assume that this is a transparent process in which we will even know what is going on.

TPH, Colorado|11h ago

@David Henderson Actually, the US has been deeply involved in cyber-warfare for over nine years. In June 2010, the US attacked Iran with a cyber-attack and, together with Israel, completely took out the Iranian military nuclear facility in Natanz with the cyber-worm 'Stuxnet'. That attack destroyed over 1,000 nuclear centrifuges and pushed the Iranian nuclear program back by at least two years. The type of attacks on civilian power plants now being discussed would be a cakewalk in comparison. Nearly ten years of continuing development has taken place since -- not just in the US -- and the tech people working for and with the US government are some of the best in the world.

If the US has decided to start implanting the latest 2019 malware in the Russian power grid, they have a real reason for concern. It will be far more damaging and difficult to stop than anything the Russians have yet to develop.

[Jun 15, 2019] In Baltimore and Beyond, a Stolen NSA Tool Wreaks Havoc by Nicole Perlroth and Scott Shane

The idea that NonPetya was developed using NSA exploit EternalBlu is most probably false
Notable quotes:
"... Some F.B.I. and Homeland Security officials, speaking privately, said more accountability at the N.S.A. was needed. A former F.B.I. official likened the situation to a government failing to lock up a warehouse of automatic weapons. ..."
"... "I disagree completely," said Tom Burt, the corporate vice president of consumer trust, insisting that cyberweapons could not be compared to pickup trucks. "These exploits are developed and kept secret by governments for the express purpose of using them as weapons or espionage tools. They're inherently dangerous. When someone takes that, they're not strapping a bomb to it. It's already a bomb." ..."
"... Brad Smith, Microsoft's president, has called for a "Digital Geneva Convention" to govern cyberspace, including a pledge by governments to report vulnerabilities to vendors, rather than keeping them secret to exploit for espionage or attacks. ..."
May 25, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

For nearly three weeks, Baltimore has struggled with a cyberattack by digital extortionists that has frozen thousands of computers, shut down email and disrupted real estate sales, water bills, health alerts and many other services.

But here is what frustrated city employees and residents do not know: A key component of the malware that cybercriminals used in the attack was developed at taxpayer expense a short drive down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway at the National Security Agency, according to security experts briefed on the case.

Since 2017, when the N.S.A. lost control of the tool , EternalBlue, it has been picked up by state hackers in North Korea, Russia and, more recently, China, to cut a path of destruction around the world, leaving billions of dollars in damage. But over the past year, the cyberweapon has boomeranged back and is now showing up in the N.S.A.'s own backyard.

It is not just in Baltimore. Security experts say EternalBlue attacks have reached a high , and cybercriminals are zeroing in on vulnerable American towns and cities, from Pennsylvania to Texas, paralyzing local governments and driving up costs. Advertisement

The N.S.A. connection to the attacks on American cities has not been previously reported, in part because the agency has refused to discuss or even acknowledge the loss of its cyberweapon, dumped online in April 2017 by a still-unidentified group calling itself the Shadow Brokers . Years later, the agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation still do not know whether the Shadow Brokers are foreign spies or disgruntled insiders.

Thomas Rid, a cybersecurity expert at Johns Hopkins University, called the Shadow Brokers episode "the most destructive and costly N.S.A. breach in history," more damaging than the better-known leak in 2013 from Edward Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor.

"The government has refused to take responsibility, or even to answer the most basic questions," Mr. Rid said. "Congressional oversight appears to be failing. The American people deserve an answer."

The N.S.A. and F.B.I. declined to comment.

Since that leak, foreign intelligence agencies and rogue actors have used EternalBlue to spread malware that has paralyzed hospitals, airports, rail and shipping operators, A.T.M.s and factories that produce critical vaccines. Now the tool is hitting the United States where it is most vulnerable, in local governments with aging digital infrastructure and fewer resources to defend themselves.

On May 7, city workers in Baltimore had their computers frozen by hackers. Officials have refused to pay the $100,000 ransom. Credit .

Image
On May 7, city workers in Baltimore had their computers frozen by hackers. Officials have refused to pay the $100,000 ransom. Credit .

Before it leaked, EternalBlue was one of the most useful exploits in the N.S.A.'s cyberarsenal. According to three former N.S.A. operators who spoke on the condition of anonymity, analysts spent almost a year finding a flaw in Microsoft's software and writing the code to target it. Initially, they referred to it as EternalBluescreen because it often crashed computers -- a risk that could tip off their targets. But it went on to become a reliable tool used in countless intelligence-gathering and counterterrorism missions. Advertisement

EternalBlue was so valuable, former N.S.A. employees said, that the agency never seriously considered alerting Microsoft about the vulnerabilities, and held on to it for more than five years before the breach forced its hand.

The Baltimore attack , on May 7, was a classic ransomware assault. City workers' screens suddenly locked, and a message in flawed English demanded about $100,000 in Bitcoin to free their files: "We've watching you for days," said the message, obtained by The Baltimore Sun . "We won't talk more, all we know is MONEY! Hurry up!"

Today, Baltimore remains handicapped as city officials refuse to pay, though workarounds have restored some services. Without EternalBlue, the damage would not have been so vast, experts said. The tool exploits a vulnerability in unpatched software that allows hackers to spread their malware faster and farther than they otherwise could.

North Korea was the first nation to co-opt the tool, for an attack in 2017 -- called WannaCry -- that paralyzed the British health care system, German railroads and some 200,000 organizations around the world. Next was Russia, which used the weapon in an attack -- called NotPetya -- that was aimed at Ukraine but spread across major companies doing business in the country. The assault cost FedEx more than $400 million and Merck, the pharmaceutical giant, $670 million.

The damage didn't stop there. In the past year, the same Russian hackers who targeted the 2016 American presidential election used EternalBlue to compromise hotel Wi-Fi networks. Iranian hackers have used it to spread ransomware and hack airlines in the Middle East, according to researchers at the security firms Symantec and FireEye.

"It's incredible that a tool which was used by intelligence services is now publicly available and so widely used," said Vikram Thakur, Symantec's director of security response. Sign Up for The Daily Newsletter

Every Friday, get an exclusive look at how one of the week's biggest news stories on "The Daily" podcast came together.

One month before the Shadow Brokers began dumping the agency's tools online in 2017, the N.S.A. -- aware of the breach -- reached out to Microsoft and other tech companies to inform them of their software flaws. Microsoft released a patch, but hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide remain unprotected. Microsoft employees reviewing malware data at the company's offices in Redmond, Wash. EternalBlue exploits a flaw in unpatched Microsoft software.

Hackers seem to have found a sweet spot in Baltimore, Allentown, Pa., San Antonio and other local, American governments, where public employees oversee tangled networks that often use out-of-date software. Last July, the Department of Homeland Security issued a dire warning that state and local governments were getting hit by particularly destructive malware that now, security researchers say, has started relying on EternalBlue to spread.

Microsoft, which tracks the use of EternalBlue, would not name the cities and towns affected, citing customer privacy. But other experts briefed on the attacks in Baltimore, Allentown and San Antonio confirmed the hackers used EternalBlue. Security responders said they were seeing EternalBlue pop up in attacks almost every day.

Amit Serper, head of security research at Cybereason, said his firm had responded to EternalBlue attacks at three different American universities, and found vulnerable servers in major cities like Dallas, Los Angeles and New York.

The costs can be hard for local governments to bear. The Allentown attack, in February last year, disrupted city services for weeks and cost about $1 million to remedy -- plus another $420,000 a year for new defenses, said Matthew Leibert, the city's chief information officer.

He described the package of dangerous computer code that hit Allentown as "commodity malware," sold on the dark web and used by criminals who don't have specific targets in mind. "There are warehouses of kids overseas firing off phishing emails," Mr. Leibert said, like thugs shooting military-grade weapons at random targets. Advertisement

The malware that hit San Antonio last September infected a computer inside Bexar County sheriff's office and tried to spread across the network using EternalBlue, according to two people briefed on the attack.

This past week, researchers at the security firm Palo Alto Networks discovered that a Chinese state group, Emissary Panda, had hacked into Middle Eastern governments using EternalBlue.

"You can't hope that once the initial wave of attacks is over, it will go away," said Jen Miller-Osborn, a deputy director of threat intelligence at Palo Alto Networks. "We expect EternalBlue will be used almost forever, because if attackers find a system that isn't patched, it is so useful." Adm. Michael S. Rogers, who led the N.S.A. during the leak, has said the agency should not be blamed for the trail of damage. Credit Erin Schaff for The New York Times

Image

Until a decade or so ago, the most powerful cyberweapons belonged almost exclusively to intelligence agencies -- N.S.A. officials used the term "NOBUS," for "nobody but us," for vulnerabilities only the agency had the sophistication to exploit. But that advantage has hugely eroded, not only because of the leaks, but because anyone can grab a cyberweapon's code once it's used in the wild.

Some F.B.I. and Homeland Security officials, speaking privately, said more accountability at the N.S.A. was needed. A former F.B.I. official likened the situation to a government failing to lock up a warehouse of automatic weapons.

In an interview in March, Adm. Michael S. Rogers, who was director of the N.S.A. during the Shadow Brokers leak, suggested in unusually candid remarks that the agency should not be blamed for the long trail of damage. Advertisement

"If Toyota makes pickup trucks and someone takes a pickup truck, welds an explosive device onto the front, crashes it through a perimeter and into a crowd of people, is that Toyota's responsibility?" he asked. "The N.S.A. wrote an exploit that was never designed to do what was done."

At Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, Wash., where thousands of security engineers have found themselves on the front lines of these attacks, executives reject that analogy.

"I disagree completely," said Tom Burt, the corporate vice president of consumer trust, insisting that cyberweapons could not be compared to pickup trucks. "These exploits are developed and kept secret by governments for the express purpose of using them as weapons or espionage tools. They're inherently dangerous. When someone takes that, they're not strapping a bomb to it. It's already a bomb."

Brad Smith, Microsoft's president, has called for a "Digital Geneva Convention" to govern cyberspace, including a pledge by governments to report vulnerabilities to vendors, rather than keeping them secret to exploit for espionage or attacks.

Last year, Microsoft, along with Google and Facebook, joined 50 countries in signing on to a similar call by French President Emmanuel Macron -- the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace -- to end "malicious cyber activities in peacetime."

Notably absent from the signatories were the world's most aggressive cyberactors: China, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Russia -- and the United States.

[Jun 15, 2019] Two filthy NYT neocons try to provoke Russia to attack the USA power grid

Looks like NYT provocation. Coordinated with whom? With Brennan and his cabal?
I wonder what will be reaction of Russian authorities and military intelligence on reading this stupid provocation. Hopefully they will not overreact.
Notable quotes:
"... I think they're revealing it because it may be for Russian ears, but not necessarily true or as good as stated. Misinformation abounds, especially when they're letting the press in. Mass destruction anyone? In Reply to Socrates ..."
"... While Obama and Trump are obviously different in some ways, this article reveals yet another continuity between their administrations. Burgeoning attacks on a foreign country's power grid, and little need for prior approval and oversight. ..."
"... Given the timing and the decision to talk about something so classified just now, I take this to be a threat aimed at Iran. "General Nakasone had been deeply involved in designing an operation code-named Nitro Zeus that amounted to a war plan to unplug Iran if the United States entered into hostilities with the country." The leak is an escalation, a threat. ..."
"... This will not end well. The unspoken assumption behind this issue is that the US assumes it must have dominance in all relations to other countries, and that moral outrage for such acts do not apply to us, because we are the "good guys" of course. ..."
"... It's always the big-mouth in the bar that starts the bar fight, then he sneaks out the side door while the rest of us get hit with beer bottles. ..."
"... What about attaching a price to the US's misdeeds, there are plenty of them, Iraq, and all the other US forced regime changes or attempted regime change as in Syria and Venezuela. ..."
"... Giving the military the authority to decide if and when a cyber attack occurs seems unconstitutional. And it seems very dangerous. Just because the actions originate on computer networks doesn't mean it's not violence against a foreign power. Even though everyone is dancing around the issue, a cyber attack is an act of war. Congress is supposed to make decisions on attacks by the military. It seems very Dr. Strangelove-like to me. Very risky giving a military commander the authority to start a war. ..."
"... Of course, the problem with all these "implants" and zero-day exploits is that once they are out there, they are readily deconstructed, repurposed, and turned back to bite us in new form, as has already happened on numerous occasions. ..."
"... To this day you have people believing that it was okay to not only finance the mujahadeen in Afghanistan, but indoctrinate their children to be war fighters. There's nothing to be proud about this "moral" leadership. ..."
"... Sure, the US can install malware deep inside Russia's grid. But that doesn't mean that the American cyberwar gambit is effective. And it doesn't mean that the US has the capacity to prevent Russia from using malware to inflict even deeper damage on the American grid. ..."
"... To understand exactly who is probably getting the better of who in this conflict, we need to ask ourselves what motivates Russia and America to fight this conflict. The answer doesn't bode well for Americans. Russia, which has been on the defensive since the fall of the USSR three decades ago, is fighting to protect its sovereignty against American encroachment. ..."
"... We could have mandated IPV6 with its better security model twenty years ago. We could encourage end-to-end encryption to secure networks. We could have directed the NSA and other security agencies to search out and fix bugs in software libraries instead of building backdoors that are now open to everyone. Instead everything gets converted to a weapon. Fear reigns supreme. Then we go to war and the merchants of death make huge profits ..."
"... The U.S. escalates cyber attacks on Russia's power grid. However, the Pentagon [and NSA] will not brief Trump because he might "countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials" as he did before with the Russians. Folks, we're running an unchecked cyber war against a global nuclear power without the involvement of POTUS who isn't interested, doesn't care, and is too busy complaining about CNN on Twitter. We are a banana republic and no one is minding the store ..."
"... I just don't get it. The New York Times publishing what surely must be classified information about a secret incursion by the U.S. government into the Russian power grid! And Julian Assange is criminally charged for doing the same thing? ..."
"... The US is certainly a very offensive country. The US Is considered The Exceptional World Leader. I don't know if the world can survive such leadership. The US is going to drown in its military superiority, and settle into a state of violent mediocrity with a poorly educated, somewhat unhealthy citizenry with loads of of weaponry, poor mental health and lots of drug addiction and a country with the world's highest rate of incarceration and lousy infrastructure. ..."
"... And for all of those who are blaming Russia, kindly remember how the U.S. started all this with the creation and deployment of Stuxnet against Iran. ..."
"... This reminds me of the Cold War. We were sold a bill of goods about Russia's capacity to harm us when, we the US was actually the aggressor, JFK sold this under the brand of "Missile Gap". The United States is, as usual, the aggressor here. The US Empire wants to control the world. Any independent nation will be considered a threat and not be tolerated. This demonization of Russia is an embarrassment and worse, is extremely dangerous, The Russian bear is not to be trifled with, despite American fantasies. ..."
"... The world needs a Cyber Geneva Convention. Immediately if not years ago. All the tunnel vision patriotic cheering in these comments is very alarming. Think about where Cyber War could go, what it could do, who it would harm. ..."
"... This is the path to the military itself becoming a danger to the state through ill-considered unilateral action. ..."
"... "Defend forward?" A new entry in the Newspeak dictionary... We are partying like it's 1984. ..."
"... "Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction..." So the commander of United States Cyber Command, Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, decided to undertake an overt act of war and not tell his Commander in Chief because he thought he might disagree? If true, Trump should fire this guy tomorrow, if not court-martial him for insubordination. ..."
"... Something's wrong with this article. A newspaper is telling the world that the US is messing around with Russia's power grid? Shouldn't this be super confidential? Basically now Russians are allowed to re tagliate in any way for what the USA is doing. What would be the reaction of the US if the situation was reversed? A bunch of blackouts in NYC, Chicago, San Francisco and the Russians saying "we did it"? Our military would bomb them right away! ..."
"... GREAT ! A military junta within the Trump regime...what could go wrong. ..."
"... There is a real danger in deploying cyber-mines in adversary systems. All code can be broken and used in retaliation. Even so-called "encapsulated" code can be disassembled. STUXNET was disassembled and repurposed as ransom-ware. ..."
Jun 15, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

Bruce Rozenblit Kansas City, MO 11h ago

This is very disturbing and it threatens the security of the entire planet. Cyber warfare is cheap. As this technology continues to develop, no nation, no industry, no utility will be safe. Just as many nations want the bomb, many will want this capability and they don't have to spend much to have it. The economic and human costs of disrupting power flows could be huge. This isn't a video game. It is real warfare. We should be extremely cautious with the application of these cyber tools. Do we want to live in a world where nation states are actively trying to cripple any infrastructure they can get at? Talk about the war of all against all. It is also very troubling that organizations within our government can carry out these incursions without specific orders from the top of our command structures. We can't have the dept. of this or that conducting assaults on other nations on their own. Everyone can see where that aircraft carrier is, but no one can see that malware hiding in a water treatment center. These weapons cause us to lose our ability of command and control. That's the real danger here, loss of command and control. We already have president who has command but no control. We don't need a dozen agencies with the same problem.
alanore or 9h ago
@TMah

I think they're revealing it because it may be for Russian ears, but not necessarily true or as good as stated. Misinformation abounds, especially when they're letting the press in. Mass destruction anyone? In Reply to Socrates

Socrates Downtown Verona. NJ 8h ago
@Marcus Aurelius

"the action inside the Russian electric grid appears to have been conducted under little-noticed new legal authorities, slipped into the military authorization bill passed by Congress last summer. " That bipartisan bill, now law, is known as "H.R.5515 - The John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019", was reluctantly signed by Donald Trump; he hated the law because it was named after an American patriot and hero that he hated.

JDM South Bend, IN June 15
While Obama and Trump are obviously different in some ways, this article reveals yet another continuity between their administrations. Burgeoning attacks on a foreign country's power grid, and little need for prior approval and oversight.
David G. Wisconsin 11h ago
How did we ever survive for half a century without putting our power grid on the internet? Get our power back off the internet, create some extra jobs to do what computers do now, raise prices a couple of percent to cover the new employees, and avoid the worry about hacking the grid. 2 Replies
Mark Thomason Clawson, MI 6h ago
Given the timing and the decision to talk about something so classified just now, I take this to be a threat aimed at Iran. "General Nakasone had been deeply involved in designing an operation code-named Nitro Zeus that amounted to a war plan to unplug Iran if the United States entered into hostilities with the country." The leak is an escalation, a threat.
William Wroblicka Northampton, MA 4h ago
It seems to be common knowledge that our country's electric grid has been infiltrated by the Russians. What I don't understand, given this situation, is why the compromised systems can't be purged of any malware that might be present and the security holes that allowed it to be installed in the first place patched.

Retail software companies (e.g., Microsoft) are finding security vulnerabilities in and releasing updates to their products all the time. What's so different about industrial software systems?

Scott Newton San Francisco , Ca 6h ago
This will not end well. The unspoken assumption behind this issue is that the US assumes it must have dominance in all relations to other countries, and that moral outrage for such acts do not apply to us, because we are the "good guys" of course. Almost anything that another country can be accused of (interfering in elections, cyber-espionage, stealing trade secrets and technology) is something almost surely done by the US first to others. I applaud the NYT for reporting this, but reporters should question the reasoning behind it a bit more. 1 Reply
itsmildeyes philadelphia 8h ago
It's always the big-mouth in the bar that starts the bar fight, then he sneaks out the side door while the rest of us get hit with beer bottles. Sure wish the bouncer had stopped DJT and his entourage at the door.
CK Rye 11h ago
@Socrates - But keep in mind: just any blue will NOT do. Reject Neoliberals without hesitation! In

Reply to Mauichuck

KC Okla 4h ago
They're what? My son graduated in 2002 and we've been at war or trying to start one ever since. Can we not do anything but build weapons of death and destruction and look for ways to put them to use? This war thing is getting out of control.
Lucy Cooke California 8h ago
@GV

What about attaching a price to the US's misdeeds, there are plenty of them, Iraq, and all the other US forced regime changes or attempted regime change as in Syria and Venezuela.

The US has wrecked lots of countries with its superior military and awesome financial clout. The US is going to drown in its military superiority, and settle into a state of violent mediocrity with a poorly educated, somewhat unhealthy citizenry with loads of of weaponry, poor mental health and lots of drug addiction and a country with the world's highest rate of incarceration and lousy infrastructure.

If the US would just drown quickly, before it destroys the livability of the world, perhaps Europe, Russia and China could cooperate enough to save the world.

Michael Chicago 11h ago
Giving the military the authority to decide if and when a cyber attack occurs seems unconstitutional. And it seems very dangerous. Just because the actions originate on computer networks doesn't mean it's not violence against a foreign power. Even though everyone is dancing around the issue, a cyber attack is an act of war. Congress is supposed to make decisions on attacks by the military. It seems very Dr. Strangelove-like to me. Very risky giving a military commander the authority to start a war. 1 Reply
LiorSamson Mass 6h ago
Of course, the problem with all these "implants" and zero-day exploits is that once they are out there, they are readily deconstructed, repurposed, and turned back to bite us in new form, as has already happened on numerous occasions.

Those of us in the cybersecurity community have been sounding the alarm for more than a decade, whether in professional papers, the general press, or in fictionalized accounts. With escalation, we are virtually inviting the Russians to mount counterattacks, the cost of which could be incalculable. Our natural gas transmission network may be even more vulnerable than our power grid, as an industry insider confessed to me prompting the writing of Gasline in 2013. Of course, now we have Trump on the trigger and...

Clearwater Oregon June 15
I can't wait until this US president is gone so that our future Executive branch can directly and positively (not out of self interest or hind-covering denial) get back to the the table with Russia and bring about real change on both sides. If we don't, one has to assume that all types of cold war warfare can lead to a thermonuclear exchange.

That has always been the potential endgame since 1948. Did you think that was no longer possible after 1991? You, like myself, were being naive. I think it's more possible now than ever before. For we have two authoritarians, each carrying a football named, Doom. 1 Reply

Viv . 11h ago
@William Romp In the abstract, of course people hold positive views of their "enemy" nations. In practice, it is not at all true. You don't need to travel to Russia to find Russians who have been victims of American xenophobia and bigotry. They're right there in America. Americans has never really held to "moral" standards of war. To this day you have people believing that dropping atomic bombs on civilians was the right thing to do because it "minimized" loss of life. This is absurd.

To this day you have people believing that it was okay to not only finance the mujahadeen in Afghanistan, but indoctrinate their children to be war fighters. There's nothing to be proud about this "moral" leadership. In Reply to Viv

Ted McGuire 3h ago
Sure, the US can install malware deep inside Russia's grid. But that doesn't mean that the American cyberwar gambit is effective. And it doesn't mean that the US has the capacity to prevent Russia from using malware to inflict even deeper damage on the American grid.

To understand exactly who is probably getting the better of who in this conflict, we need to ask ourselves what motivates Russia and America to fight this conflict. The answer doesn't bode well for Americans. Russia, which has been on the defensive since the fall of the USSR three decades ago, is fighting to protect its sovereignty against American encroachment.

The US, meanwhile, isn't fighting because it has to. America is fighting Russia simply to aggrandize its own power, and to expand its influence over world affairs. In my opinion, Russia is the power that has greater motivation to win this fight. For this reason, any American effort to defeat Russia by using cyberwarfare is likely to trigger a devastating Russian response. The US should quit while it's ahead. 1 Reply

rbitset Palo Alto 4h ago
Reagan talked about a missile shield, a Star Wars defense, that would make nuclear weapons obsolete. Almost 40 years later we know that was a pipe dream. But we can be safe in cyberspace. Many of the tools are there. A few more might need to be invented. What stands in the way? A U.S. government that wants, claims to need, to spy on everyone including its citizens stands in the way. Businesses that want to vacuum up and sell everyone's information stand in the way. Hardware companies that want to lease you a networked service instead of a stand alone device stand in the way.

We could have mandated IPV6 with its better security model twenty years ago. We could encourage end-to-end encryption to secure networks. We could have directed the NSA and other security agencies to search out and fix bugs in software libraries instead of building backdoors that are now open to everyone. Instead everything gets converted to a weapon. Fear reigns supreme. Then we go to war and the merchants of death make huge profits.

Bruce1253 San Diego 8h ago
@B. Rothman Micro grids would be helpful, yes, but what about large businesses? Say the ones who make the fuel for your home furnace, or that power the compressors for your natural gas? Or that power the giant freezers at the plant that makes your french fries? My point is that we are really interconnected, and vulnerable to attacks as described in this article. This is the kind of thing that gives the cyber security pro at you local utility nightmares. We are balanced on a ball. In Reply to Eric Peterson
Dave Madison. WI 11h ago
@M. Casey - Here we go with "timidity" and Obama. At the time, and in keeping with the strategy to withhold knowledge of our cyber reach into their systems, Obama's decision probably made sense. Such a thoughtful approach would have benefited us in the phony, "Weapons of Mass Destruction" war against Iraq, which cost thousands of American lives and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives. Such a thoughtful approach, which is anathema to chest-pounding chickenhawks, would have also been useful in Vietnam. And the Falklands. And Beirut. And Cuba and... In Reply to JM
Pelasgus Earth 5h ago
Electricity generation and reticulation worked perfectly satisfactorily before the internet, so why does it need to be connected to the internet? The obvious solution to attacks on systems is to cut the internet out of the equation. 2 Replies
Barbara SC 8h ago
@Bruce1253 I have lived through hurricanes that caused power outages for a week or more. Puerto Ricans can tell us just what it's like right now, given the damage they experienced recently. Our forebears lived without power for centuries. We would survive, but we wouldn't enjoy it. In Reply to Larry L
Mark Kinsler Lancaster, Ohio USA 2h ago
Some thoughts from an obsolete old power engineer:

(1) For the most part our power grid can be run by people at the substations and generating plants. There are always manual overrides--to wit: big levers with handles that actuate big switches. This is not a new development, for the systems were initially designed for manual operation. The digital relays were added later.

(2) The whole business makes power guys cringe, for they've been trained to keep the system going. But if necessary, every section of the power grid can be brought back to life by the employees.

(3) No public utility can operate reliably in a war or anywhere else that's lacking basic civil behavior. I'm surprised that cell phones have done so well in combat zones, for they rely on cables to link the towers.

JAS3rd Florida 11h ago
Overdue indeed. Unfortunately, if the U.S. doesn't do it, we would just disadvantage ourselves.
Aaron VanAlstine DuPont, WA 6h ago
The U.S. escalates cyber attacks on Russia's power grid. However, the Pentagon [and NSA] will not brief Trump because he might "countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials" as he did before with the Russians. Folks, we're running an unchecked cyber war against a global nuclear power without the involvement of POTUS who isn't interested, doesn't care, and is too busy complaining about CNN on Twitter. We are a banana republic and no one is minding the store
ldc Woodside, CA 7h ago
@Mark. Ok, but it is inconceivable that either the national security apparatus or his own advisors would have conspired to keep Obama in the dark because they didn't trust him. In Reply to Mark
Hardbop50 Ohio 4h ago
It's clear that most American, including many Times' readers don't understand Putin's strategy toward the U.S. and other democracies of western Europe. The real danger is his attack on our political system and democratic values. While an aggressive cyber defense and hardening of targets is important, cyber operations also need to undermine Russians' confidence in Putin and his government. There are plenty of ways to spread fake news and paranoia in Russia social and political media. The sanctions are our best "weapon". They hurt Russian economy and threaten wealthy oligarchs. If they didn't, why would Putin try so hard to squash them. Unfortunately, the President fails to enforce or expand them. Any guesses why he undermines sanctions?
Mike Ransmil San Bernardino June 15
that's not nice of the US.---disrupting Russia's power [grid]. They will not be happy about this. Donald can expect a phone call from Vladimir, expressing his displeasure!
Eugene NYC 6h ago
The problem, as usual is management. It is not possible underestimate management. Those of us on Long Island were without power after Sandy. In portions of The Rockaways, some 20' or more above sea level, National Grid turned off the power for 15 days. So we know what it is like to have no power. Having solar cells on the roof is no solution because LIPA / PSEG-LI REQUIRES the system to shut down if grid power drops!

But the real question must be, why is the electrical grid vulnerable? Do the control systems use PCs, or rock solid IBM z/OS architecture? Has any z/OS system ever been compromised? Why aren't individual electric systems designed to operate off the regional and therefore national grid in the event of a failure? And whatever happened to synchronous encrypted communication over secure leased lines? These problems are not difficult to solve. They only require a desire. Mr. Cuomo, are you listening?

Ross Stuart NYC 7h ago
I just don't get it. The New York Times publishing what surely must be classified information about a secret incursion by the U.S. government into the Russian power grid! And Julian Assange is criminally charged for doing the same thing? 2 Replies
Doremus Jessup On the move 8h ago
George Orwell would have a great time with all this.
Lucy Cooke California 11h ago
The US is certainly a very offensive country. The US Is considered The Exceptional World Leader. I don't know if the world can survive such leadership. The US is going to drown in its military superiority, and settle into a state of violent mediocrity with a poorly educated, somewhat unhealthy citizenry with loads of of weaponry, poor mental health and lots of drug addiction and a country with the world's highest rate of incarceration and lousy infrastructure.

If the US would just drown quickly, before it destroys the livability of the world, perhaps Europe, Russia and China could cooperate enough to save the world. Or, if enough citizens vote for Senator Bernie Sanders for President, the US could refresh its world leadership with a sane, even wise foreign policy and provide citizens with quality education for all, health care for all, better infrastructure, and, mostly, A FUTURE TO BELIEVE IN. 1 Reply

Mike Iker Mill Valley, CA 7h ago
It's been pointed out for years that our much higher level of internet control of our systems makes us more vulnerable to cyber attacks that Russia or China or Iran and certainly N. Korea. If this story is getting out, and based on the thesis that nothing happens by accident in the political world, the source must think that our defenses are strong enough to more than offset our inherent vulnerabilities. I hope that's true.
Roger Alaska June 15
The fact that we have implanted code is well-known, or at least should be. To say there has been only a handful of offensive operations is either purposely deceitful or shows the lack of access by the person quoted.
Lauren SW Virginia 6h ago
"Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction -- and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister." Sigh.... our prez. Our number one threat to National Security.
Charles M Saint John, NB, Canada 11h ago
@HonorB14U Always? Who went first into space? If you were a trained technical person in control systems you'd know the names of lots of Russians who made fundamental break-throughs in understanding - more Russian names than I can recall American names. In Reply to HonorB14U
free range upstate 6h ago
This mutual insanity results from the disease people all around the world suffer from: the nation-state. Nation-states, in their modern form only four hundred years old, have taken the world hostage through feverish calls to nationalism and patriotism, deliberately confusing in our minds cultural identity with the nation-state. But cultural identity is not dependent on the nation-state! Either we find a way to free our cultural identities from those in power or, if and when this insane posturing leads to war, we pay the ultimate price of losing our lives.
Woof NY 11h ago
@jrinsc Re to freeze Russian oligarchs out of their ill-gotten assets. London is where Russian oligarchs store their assets See link below No US government has taken on the "City" (UK equivalent of Wall Street) on that issue https://www.economist.com/leaders/2018/10/11/londons-financial-flows-are-polluted-by-laundered-money 16 Replies
Lawrence Colorado 4h ago
Upgrading the grid to be more resilient to hacking and also to better accommodate wind and solar would be a significant, smart, long term investment. It would improve something we all use that really needs improving. It would help reduce our carbon footprint. It would generate good jobs here in America. So instead the GOP spent a trillion dollars on tax breaks for very wealthy people which the corporate kind used mostly for stock buy backs.
Doug Karo Durham, NH 8h ago
If both countries didn't have stable geniuses in charge, I would be pretty worried. If the stability of one of the leaders was not the case, I would be even more worried.
Ron Vermont 11h ago
So all these attacks we're trading have all gone through proper quality control procedures to make sure they don't disrupt anything by accident? Not likely. And with the UK, China, North Korea and others all doing the same, both the large controlling computers and the small embedded control system components are going to start failing due to all the malware they're being asked to hold. Malware will attack expecting it is attacking clean manufacturer supplied software/firmware, but if someone else has already modified it, how will these systems react? This seems like a mutual game of Russian Roulette. Any time an opponent makes a mistake something will break somewhere.
maureen f. Albuquerque, NM 11h ago
The scariest thing about this escalation is that nobody really knows which country--the U.S., Russia, or China--has the best cyber-weapons and cyber-defenses until the cyber-war actually begins. And for all of those who are blaming Russia, kindly remember how the U.S. started all this with the creation and deployment of Stuxnet against Iran. 2 Replies
RL Groves Amherst, MA 2h ago
This reminds me of the Cold War. We were sold a bill of goods about Russia's capacity to harm us when, we the US was actually the aggressor, JFK sold this under the brand of "Missile Gap". The United States is, as usual, the aggressor here. The US Empire wants to control the world. Any independent nation will be considered a threat and not be tolerated. This demonization of Russia is an embarrassment and worse, is extremely dangerous, The Russian bear is not to be trifled with, despite American fantasies.
Floyd New Mexico 4h ago
Why would information of such intelligence operations be publically announced as it has? Baffling. 1 Reply
Ned OSJL 11h ago
The world needs a Cyber Geneva Convention. Immediately if not years ago. All the tunnel vision patriotic cheering in these comments is very alarming. Think about where Cyber War could go, what it could do, who it would harm.
Saba Albany June 15
@M Congress should be at the helm of formulating an overall policy. The power to make war has moved from Congress to the President, and some Presidents have had an attitude of leave it up to the generals. So, the departments have gained power in some cases. Rightfully, Congress should create defensive and offensive policy which the President should endorse and the Cabinet should carry out. In Reply to TJ
J. von Hettlingen Switzerland 6h ago
John Bolton has a long history as a Russia hawk. It seems he's now in involved in ramping up cyber attacks on Russia's power grid, sending the message "You will pay a price" for cyberoperations – like election interference – against the US. ...
James San Clemente, CA 8h ago
I can understand why the U.S. would want to have this capability and to let the Russians know about it for the purposes of deterrence, but still, the news fills me with dread. The U.S. power infrastructure is far from perfect, but as anyone who has lived and worked in Russia knows, their system is much less reliable and far more prone to breakdowns. In addition, for anyone who watched the recent HBO series "Chernobyl," the idea of messing with the power grid in Russia is a little alarming. Russia still operates several RBMK reactors, and although there are repeated assurances that they are safe now, I wouldn't want to put that theory to the test by fiddling with the system. I'm sure our guys are all well aware of this, but, just sayin'...
Joseph Los Angeles 7h ago
And we'd be the first to complain if they did this to us. How about if humans finally stopped behaving like vindictive petulant 8 year olds. We're all stuck on this rock, so get along!
JohnW13 California June 15
Perhaps the most disturbing reveal in this article is that Trump has delegated an undisclosed amount of authority to engage in offensive military action by launching a cyber attack, potentially amounting to an act of war, without direct presidential oversight and approval. Trump issued "National Security Presidential Memoranda 13, giving General Nakasone far more leeway to conduct offensive online operations without receiving presidential approval." 9 Replies
Eric Peterson Napa, CA. 8h ago
@B. Rothman Individual decentralization of your home or business or a factory when the grid power goes out would be a wise move for many. This would most likely be solar or wind and possibly a generator as well, all backed by a battery. The interesting part comes in when your system is connected with the power companies grid. Will it be interactive? If it is then if the power company is hacked you are also hacked. If your system only comes on when the grid power goes off you would not be connected to the power companies grid communication and therefor you would not be hacked. An independent distributed system would keep your power on. Only used when the grid power was off. You would not be able to send excess power to the grid or get paid for excess power from solar or wind. Think military base or critical infrastructure. If all critical systems are isolated they stand alone and cannot be taken down by cyber war fare. This is a redundant system but it does keep the power on when everything else goes down. The only way I can see around this is to be connected to the power grid on a two way communication that is secured and verified to be hack free at all times. Not likely in this day of cyber war. It may be possible to shut down communication to the grid as soon as power goes down, thus isolating the location from any further attack or control by the outside. Then get conformation that it was not an attack, just an ordinary power outage and then reconnect. Simple. In Reply to Eric Peterson
Jo Williams Keizer 11h ago
Power grids as legitimate targets. Affecting hospitals, schools, civilian homes. After 9/11 there was discussion as to whether the Geneva Conventions on war should be modified, and also discussions on designating captured terrorists as POWs or....enemy combatants. A follow up article on how these ...agreements on war....might cover cyber attacks, would be helpful. Shutting off the power to a hospital- or all the hospitals, doctor's offices, clinics in a major city- how many die? Nuclear power plants as targets? If its war, call it war. At least we possible victims will know we aren't just disposable pawns in cyber gamesmanship.
Michael Pittsburgh June 15
Until recently I would be concerned if our military was acting independently of presidential direction or oversight and if the president or presidential advisors were not kept informed of initiatives our military and security forces were undertaking against other nations. Now I am thankful for it. As for the U.S. embedding malware and other malicious software in Russian, Chinese, North Korean, Iranian, Saudi, Israeli, and other potentially hostile nation infrastructure systems, we should be prepared to send them all back to campfires and candles at a moment's notice.
Nick Wright Halifax, NS 6h ago
The article reveals that the military is withholding information from the president about actions it's taking against another country, because it doesn't trust him. Predictably in the current political climate, everyone focuses on what it says about President Trump and fails to consider what it says about the military; i.e., that it feels it has a mandate to decide, at its own discretion, what military action against other nations is in the country's best interests. The military didn't trust President Obama either -- to the extraordinary extent of public insubordination by its top leadership.

How do we know that it obeyed his directive not to wage cyberwarfare against Russia, or any other country? We now have no reason to believe that it did. It doesn't matter that the military distrusts the current and previous president for different reasons. It will defy a strong, competent president as easily as it will sideline a weak, incompetent president. This is the path to the military itself becoming a danger to the state through ill-considered unilateral action.

Meredith New York 8h ago
@Andrzej Warminski...they'd call it 'un-American' to freeze US oligarchs out of ill gotten assets. Russia has its oligarchs, we have ours. Ours get protection for spiraling profits and power by mega donations to the lawmakers we elect, and our own Supreme Court legalized this Constitutional 1st A -Free Speech. This obvious collusion of big money and politics is avoided in our news media, famous for it's 1st Amendment protections from censorship. Russia has it's state media, and we have ours. FOX news functions as the GOP state media, consulting with Trump, and broadcasting his messages daily. Then social media further amplifies this across the country. 16 Replies
R. Fenwick U.S. South 11h ago
@David G. Generally increased use of the internet in any industry is a way to cut labor costs. In the pre-internet days, grid workers were likely paid more in today's dollars and jobs were more plentiful. In Reply to R. Fenwick
Doug Marcum Oxford, Ohio 7h ago
"Defend forward?" A new entry in the Newspeak dictionary... We are partying like it's 1984.
B. Honest Puyallup WA 7h ago
@JohnW13 It bothers me the Most that Mr Bolton is in the line of command there, for some ungodly reason. He is the type that would have flown drones, himself, to do a false flag attack like that. That they were above waterline is telling. I wonder what Iran found when they took whatever it was that attached itself to that tanker. I am sure that will be interesting indeed. 9 Replies
Lawrence Linn Phoenix 4h ago
"Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction..." So the commander of United States Cyber Command, Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, decided to undertake an overt act of war and not tell his Commander in Chief because he thought he might disagree? If true, Trump should fire this guy tomorrow, if not court-martial him for insubordination.
AR San Francisco 8h ago
The Chinese! The Russians! They started it! Anyone who believes fairy tales from the Pentagon or Washington about this is a fool. Let's see at the end of the 'Cold War' Washington promised not expand NATO if the Russians et al handed over much of their nukes. They handed them over and Clinton, etc. marched NATO right up to the Russian border. George Kennan warned it was the greatest strategic error post WWII.

Who knows what nasty things Washington is really up to. Like the mysterious Venezuelan blackouts right at the height of their coup operation. Washington's unending saber-rattling and war mongering can never be trusted. What a horrifying thought that they would cut off heat and power to millions of Russian people in the winter. It will be ordinary people who pay the price on all sides.

Chris Rurally Isolated 1h ago
I have found that nobody listens to my critique of technology by which I state that 1) we no longer possess the skills that technology does for us, 2) our division of labor has become so extreme due to technological advancements that nobody really knows how to do anything but their one job, shopping and driving, and 3) should we lose power, we lose petroleum too, and without both we lose our society in just a few days. Food goes bad immediately, water pressure drops in cities precipitously, and people can't go to work, school or entertainment -- they can't do anything but wait for the power to come back on. But they don't wait, they loot, they attack, they scavenge, they make trouble. Anybody with a personal supply of food and water are targets. None of this is hyperbole or paranoia, yet those who make such slanders are driven by fearsome possibilities they NEVER want to face. Power outages would be akin to full-scale bombing of whole cities. The Defense Department knows this, but the citizenry does not.
Luca F Philadlphia 7h ago
Something's wrong with this article. A newspaper is telling the world that the US is messing around with Russia's power grid? Shouldn't this be super confidential? Basically now Russians are allowed to re tagliate in any way for what the USA is doing. What would be the reaction of the US if the situation was reversed? A bunch of blackouts in NYC, Chicago, San Francisco and the Russians saying "we did it"? Our military would bomb them right away!
Larry L Dallas, TX 8h ago
@Bruce1253, fragmented systems are inherently more resilient because one system going down does not mean everything else goes down. But having fragmented CONTROLS over INTERCONNECTED systems is more problematic. Lack of coordination will mean that if a problem occurs, there will be lack of oversight and will not be able to react quickly enough to contain the situation. As someone else also mentioned: old pre-Internet systems are actually far more secure because they are off the grid. Attempts by companies to make things more efficient (and profitable) actually makes them less secure. 9 Replies
polymath British Columbia 11h ago
"As Washington's strategy shifts to offense ..." What does the word "Washington" mean? It *used* to mean the U.S. gov't -- when it used to speak with more or less one voice. But it doesn't speak with one voice anymore. So, what does it mean now?
Bubba CA 2h ago
Here's the thing - if electricity goes out for any protracted time in the U.S., people will die. Many people, and quickly. The fragile veneer of social cohesion will be the first, and fatal, casualty.
dsbarclay Toronto 7h ago
If you are going to start covert operations that attack Russia's essential power grid, why brag about it? American geeks conducting cyber war can't keep a secret is one answer. Its certainly the wrong thing to do; it gives Putin more ammunition in his propaganda war against the West, and ensures he remain the 'savior' of mother Russia for the people.
HANK Newark, DE 8h ago
GREAT ! A military junta within the Trump regime...what could go wrong. I'm sure these attacks are devastating to Russian citizens, but how will it compare when the Russians are finally successful with similar attacks on us? They've already shown us what happens when they blow up and election.
Debbie Atlanta 6h ago
This brings to mind the devastating power outage in Venezuela recently. Maduro blamed the US for cyberattacking the grid. And others blamed the failing system itself. We may never know but the effects seen there are a sample of what could happen anywhere in the world with this new technology. https://www.forbes.com/sites/kalevleetaru/2019/03/09/could-venezuelas-power-outage-really-be-a-cyber-attack /
Lucy Cooke California 8h ago
@GV and, I suppose the way the game is played, Putin, and any other leader of a country who has suffered because of the US actions, and that list is long, should attach a price to our misdeeds. The word "price" always reminds me of Secretary of State Madeleine Albright saying, when asked about the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children due to US sanctions, "The price was worth it". With the US has The Exceptional World Leader, the world may not survive in a livable state. We need more Nelson Mandelas and Mikhail Gorbachevs. GV, do you know much Russian history? Putin's misdeeds are so minor compared to the killing of hundreds of thousands and wrecking of countries by the US... Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Somalia 14 Replies
Vic Malen Offshore 2h ago
What is wrong with this law system? Open demand on attacking energy sources which could lead to casualties, property and environmental damage is an international criminal case and such officials must be investigated and charged immediately to avoid subsequent collateral effects.
Angelsea Maryland 4h ago
There is a real danger in deploying cyber-mines in adversary systems. All code can be broken and used in retaliation. Even so-called "encapsulated" code can be disassembled. STUXNET was disassembled and repurposed as ransom-ware. To be effective in Internet-connected systems, any attack-code must emulate "normal" behavior. To do this, publicly available programming code, such as, Java, Perl, etc., is used as components of the attack-code. Once the encapsulation of the code is broken, and it will be, the code can be reverse-engineered, defended against, and repurposed to use against us. CYBERCOM, tread lightly.
Socrates Downtown Verona. NJ 7h ago
@TMah Russian hackers are generally superior to American hackers. This won't end well. 9 Replies
markd michigan 8h ago
Is it just me or shouldn't this kind of program be, you know, black? Eyes only, top secret. The US would have a lot more to lose than Russia if we lost the East Coast for a few weeks. We don't stockpile transformers which are the backbones of the grid so if Russia overloaded a few thousand of them we'd be down for months. We shouldn't "overbound our steps" as Stan Laurel used to say. 1 Reply
Righty America 8h ago
@Bruce1253 exactly. We experienced the giant blackout of 2003. You really can't imagine how damaging this can be until you experience it. We lived somewhat near the interstate and hundreds of people had to pull off at our exit - they were low on gas, and there was no way to get gas. In the city, we know someone who was stuck in a subway under the East River for hours not even knowing what had happened, then had to crawl through dirty tunnels to get up to the streets. These are just the relatively minor things that happen in the first few hours. People were generally helpful, but I can't imagine that lasting over a few days. we don't need to be tested like this. We need to be protected. 9 Replies
Old Maywood Arlington, VA 8h ago
Think on this for just a bit... These authorities were delegated downwards and the plans are largely being kept from Trump because the military and other national security authorities don't trust him not to tell Russia about them. That's right, the military does not trust Trump not to tell Russia or "put Russia first." The good news is that as long as this story stays in the newspapers and not on TV, Trump will never know about it.
AR San Francisco 11h ago
Yes but is a useful narrative created by the Clinton campaign to justify their electoral debacle. It also serves as a useful tool to seek to deligitimize Trump (like the Republicans with Whitewater and 'birther' angles-- both parties equally rotten liars). What is most dangerous is the Democrats resurrection of McCarthyite and jingoistic denunciations of 'foreign' influences (like BLM), and calls for greater and greater censorship of the media and social media. While that seems attractive when applied to rightists, they are fools not to understand it will be enforced against the left first and foremost. In Reply to Dan K
Ed Watters San Francisco 2h ago
Yeah, and I'm pretty certain that Venezuela's accusations of US online attack on their power grid has merit.
sonnel Isla Vista, CA 7h ago
Oh great, American politicians who think power originates in the plug on the wall making decisions about things that neither their IQ nor their training allow them to understand. I can hear our President saying, "we just turned off power to the bad guys' houses and crime dens". Meanwhile, our top leaders will never report how many die in the hospitals or accidents that their messing with the power grids in other countries have caused. Just like... bombing Iraq. Collateral damage: out of sight, out of mind.
Marcus Aurelius Terra Incognita 11h ago
@Socrates As usual, the article read in its entirety tells a different story about what the President's involvement actually was and why presidential briefing wasn't required. "Mr. Trump issued new authorities to Cyber Command last summer, in a still-classified document known as National Security Presidential Memoranda 13, giving General Nakasone far more leeway to conduct offensive online operations without receiving presidential approval." And as to what the -- again, as usual, "anonymous") officials purportedly aside: "Because the new law defines the actions in cyberspace as akin to traditional military activity on the ground, in the air or at sea, no such briefing would be necessary, they added." In Reply to Mauichuck
Blank Venice 8h ago
@jrinsc Wisely our military and intelligence 'leaders' restrict information flow to Individual-1. He is very Kirkland Russian asset. Remember that he passed Top Secret information to Russians in the Oval Office as a Russian press entourage looked on. 16 Replies
A Goldstein Portland 8h ago
This is a new definition of war in the 21st century, cyber-war, and I suspect that most Americans, especially Trump supporters are nearly clueless about what is at stake. With Putin and other authoritarian rulers, we must put on display our capabilities in more than nuclear warheads and naval powers. I trust the U.S. intelligence agencies and military much more than the executive branch of government. This is not my preference but it reflects the unprecedented time in which we are living.
Frank Raleigh, NC 7h ago
From yesterdays article on US doing trying to start a war with Iran. That was regarding oil tankers that were attacked in the Gulf of Oman. Your editorial on that yesterday stated that we need to stay on top of this tanker violence because of: "American objectives in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere across the region." Those tankers are not American and the serial lying about the middle east and Russia and of course Venezuela are pathetic. All of this combined with climate change, world population growth and a news media that is only doing the "Manufacturing Consent" thing for the corporations including military industrial complex can only lead to world disaster. It is existential. Russia has been interfering with our military recently and that is another horrid example of why Donald Trump is the worst president we have ever had. A very dangerous man who surrounds himself with the most ignorant, hysterical, people who support the military industrial complex over anything else. Billions and billions of money is given to the military by the congress whenever they ask. We do not look for peace; we look to support the MIC at all costs and those COSTS ARE VERY, VERY HIGH AND GLOOMY. Attacking Russian power plants? Faking news for Venezuela and Iran? "American objectives in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere across the region?" Wake up folks. It's up to you; no one else can save us!
Susan Anderson Boston 8h ago
@jrinsc And, of course, Trump and Senate Republicans will reverse the freezing, as has been done in the past. 16 Replies
Raven Earth 2h ago
Imagine a world where one country tried to tell every other country in the world who to be friends with, who to trade with, who their rulers should be, what products they should buy and from whom, what laws they should pass, what meetings they should attend, how to live, etc, etc. And imagine this same world where the people who lived in this bully of a country thought they and their country had the God-given right to tell other people in other countries how to live. Sounds like some future dystopian hellscape, right? Surprise! It's not. This is 'Murica! in the 21st century on planet Earth.
Leslie Amherst 7h ago
How can we aggress in this manner and then be so indignant when it is done to us?? I hate this!! I don't want to be a citizen of a country that attacks others. I want peace! Defense is understandable; attack is not.
Aram Hollman Arlington, MA 2h ago
The newer and more digital a system is, the more vulnerable it is to hacking. The older and less digital it is, the less vulnerable. That probably makes us more vulnerable than Russia, but our somewhat obsolete infrastructure (the one we need to spend $1 trillion on) may be less vulnerable than expected due to its obsolescence. The inherent immorality of going after power plants, refineries, and other non-military targets is that the effects target civilians. The fact that one nation may have done so (Russia, to Ukraine's electricity during a winter) does not justify another nation doing the same.
J Denver 7h ago
This entire notification is a message for one person... Trump. This is the intelligence agencies using their newfound powers that lack White House oversight, to signal to the White House that the intelligence agencies are DEEP inside Russia's systems and that they will know if Trump shows up inside those systems during the next election cycle. They can't stop Russia from waging cyber war... and they can't stop Trump from welcoming help from or siding with Russia... but they can send a message that they will know if this administration "goes there"... again...
ebmem Memphis, TN 4h ago
@Stan Chaz MAD [mutual assured destruction] between Russia and the United States prevented nuclear devastation because both sides knew they couldn't win. We are in a different universe now. Russia, with its poor economy one fifth of the US is no longer a superpower, although it is rebuilding its network of client states [with some like Cuba and Venezuela dying on the vine, and other former satellites like Ukraine and Georgia resisting their reacquisition by Russia.] China is also a growing player, expanding its wealth an political and economic strength. Various quasi stateless terrorist groups can damage the US and not experience appropriate retaliation because they have no official governments or homelands to hold accountable. In Reply to Ron
LibertyLover California 8h ago
@David Henderson I would suggest going back and reading some of the material Edward Snowden revealed about the NSA. Those capabilities will be oriented toward this objective now rather than just conventional espionage. The expertise is second to none. For that matter, read the DOJ indictment of the 12 GRU officers who hacked the DNC. The amount of detail described there will make you understand their capabilities. It's as if they were in the room with them. 7 Replies
Bob M Whitestone, NY 7h ago
This is very concerning on why the Trump administration would disclose this to the public. What's their motive? More concerning is that Trump in his infinite wisdom had the idea of setting up a joint cyber security task force with none other than Russia. Weird.
Loyd Collins Laurens,SC 7h ago
@Telly55 And this from the article. Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction -- and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister. 4 Replies
WeHadAllBetterPayAttentionNow Southwest 11h ago
I am not so sure I believe much in this. Bragging about such a program would be counterproductive. Meanwhile, our Republican president and Senate continue to deny Russian interference in our elections and do nothing about it.
Chris San Francisco 7h ago
Anyone who thinks that our military is not constantly fighting our enemies doesn't know anything about the military. Some version of this kind of thing has been ongoing throughout history. They are very good at it, often the best in the world. That the US officials would reveal this information can be nothing but part of a strategy related to global objectives, including but not limited to Russia. The revelation itself can be considered a kind of weapon, though, of course, the general public is not privy to it's purpose. I trust the competence of our military almost completely, but I do not trust their ability to set national policy. They control some enormous hammers, and there are many things in the world that could look like a nail. The erosion of civilian oversight described in this article is terrifying. Unfortunately we're all getting used to that.
Dan K Louisville, CO 11h ago
@C.O. I would suggest that you read the Mueller Report. In Reply to Dan K
stan continople brooklyn 8h ago
If I was Russia, I'd demonstrate my prowess by making the NYC subway system run on time. That would cause absolute panic.
chambolle Bainbridge Island 7h ago
All of which begs the question, why on earth do we spend about $750 billion a year on military hardware and personnel, when our adversaries have learned to do as much damage as they want without firing a shell, torpedo or missile? And, it would appear -- and one would hope -- so can we. It cost Russia next to nothing to commence the unraveling of America's political system - a few hackers sitting in cubicles, each with a laptop and an internet connection accomplished that, with the help of Fox News, facebook, instagram, you tube and, above all, an uneducated, bible-thumping American populace uninterested in facts and seemingly incapable of rational thought.
Mike LaFleur Minneapolis, MN 7h ago
To whom it may concern: This article would be far more credible if it listed the names of the companies that make and sell the vulnerable power plant operating systems, transmission line management systems, and the power distribution systems. Which systems are vulnerable? Emerson's? ABB's? Siemens? Who's switch gear is vulnerable? Are they infiltrating the operating systems, the sensors, communications, the actuators, or maybe even the metering? Even the US electric grid is, for the most part, very unsophisticated. Grid operators have very limited visibility into what is happening on the grid. In most of the US, when there is a power outage, linemen are dispatched in trucks to visually look for downed wires with their eyes!!! No computers needed. Combine the fact that Trump shows no interest in fighting election interference with the improbability of vast penetration into the electric grid and all you have left is a paper tiger named John Bolton. This article is likely fake news. Mike
dominic KL 7h ago
I don't quite understand this, if US know that Russia is illegally hacking in to US power grids you either remove the malware or lodge a complaint with with the UN or whatever international authorities involved. If you hack back then you are no better then Russia.
Stuart Alaska 8h ago
@tim k If there was no such thing as global warming your point would be a cogent one. Unfortunately, we can't ignore that fact. 14 Replies
george coastline 7h ago
HOW TO WIN AN ELECTION WITHOUT STEALING ANY EMAILS 1 Restrict early voting in key swing states 2 Pass laws discouraging absentee ballots in those same states 3 On election day, turn off the power in the core of every large city where democrats usually win by large margins, heavily suppressing turnout 4 Count the ballots: Trump wins the state and is re-elected President.
HonorB14U Michigan 7h ago
America decides our wins and losses; not Russia! We decide how much we lose and what success we win on.
Michael Feeley Honolulu 4h ago
Maybe we could do something really useful and sabotage Facebook and Twitter. Now there's an idea that would improve the quality of life.
Michael Tyndall San Francisco 11h ago
My concern with US cyber warfare is the possibility the same code is turned around and used against us or our allies (I think we still have those outside outside our favored Sunni and right wing autocracies). The possibility of boomerang cyber mischief isn't confined to governments either. Remember the stolen NSA hacking tools that ended up on the dark web? Those have been turned against municipal governments and individuals in the form of ransom ware. Perhaps we can limit such risks by forming the most sophisticated cyber weapons as binary tools. Ones where the full capability isn't effective without two secret parts, only one part of which is installed in an adversary's infrastructure. But once fully deployed, there's still the risk the weapon is identified, preserved, and later redeployed against us. I think there are also ways for our adversaries to guard against erasure protocols within cyber weapons. Lastly, we still don't know if our president is a Russian asset. Maybe he just really likes murderous kleptocrats and autocrats like Putin, Kim, MBS, MBZ, and Duterte. Maybe he just has to talk privately with no one else from our side listening. Either way, none of our current top secrets or foreign intelligence assets may be safe while he's in office, or even after he leaves (unless he's in jail).
B. Honest Puyallup WA 8h ago
@maureen f. Israel released Stuxnet, just a minor correction there. That is actually more problem than had we done it, Israel is more unstable than we are, and that says something. In Reply to B. Honest
Jim Georgia 6h ago
What was published here is not classified and if you read the article, you will know that administration officials had no problem with the publication of this work. Assange, on the other hand, definitely published stolen classified information and may have solicited and facilitated its acquisition -- a crime. In Reply to Jim
Alex E elmont, ny 7h ago
I thought that Trump is a stooge of Putin, so, he won't take any action against Russia. This is the misinformation NY Times and other fake news have been telling Americans and the world. Now by releasing this classified information they are jeopardizing American National security. No wonder they are called enemies of the people. 2 Replies
Andy Salt Lake City, Utah 7h ago
Escalating attacks? Or informing Russia of their weaknesses? Cyber assault is inherently centered around stealth. Sounds to me like Trump is intentionally tipping our hand. A submarine isn't much use if you teach your enemy how to find it. The description presented here more closely resembles a joint exercise. However, the US is the only one providing intelligence. Surprise, surprise. Unilaterally providing intelligence to Putin no less.
J Darby Woodinville, WA 7h ago
Good news, I hope we're hitting the cyber bullies as hard or harder than they're hitting us. And it's wise to let trump in on as little as possible.
pb calif 8h ago
This sounds like a coverup story for Trump and the GOP. If it were true, it would have been classified. Gimme a break! Vote them out!
Jomo San Diego 8h ago
Just think what will happen when Russia plants malware into all our self-driving cars.
Mark Conway Naples FL 4h ago
I don't understand why Trump allows such threatening behavior toward one of his closest allies. Isn't he in control of his own government?
Frank Seattle 6h ago
US taxpayers still paying for government officials to create new malware that will eventually be turned against US taxpayers. Thanks "public servants".
Mary Lake Worth FL 7h ago
@M Trump has made unpresented changes much like a fascist dictator, which he wants to be. It's just a wing and a prayer that our government hasn't ceased to function effectively, due to long-standing norms and those who would resist his worst impulses. All Russia would need is another cosy private meeting with Trump to have him bragging about this new secret weapon to deliver all this for Comrad Putin to use on us. Flattery is the way to his heart and there goes everything that should be kept under wraps for security. 8 Replies
md green Topanga, Ca. 8h ago
@GV Couldn't agree more! And it would make the Straits of Hormuz attach a much different issue. What's it going to take to get this oil addicted country to switch to renewables? I guess we'll find out. 14 Replies
Rebel in Disguise TO, Canada 8h ago
This doesn't bode well for Putin's next job performance appraisal of the POTUS he worked so hard to put into power. Trump's been kept in the dark by Americans who aren't subservient to Putin.
New World NYC 8h ago
I keep 14 days worth of water, food, and candles in my apt. I live on the 12th floor and twice a week I use the stairs to get up to my apt. I also keep a shotgun and cash
David Oak Lawn 4h ago
You see how Donald Trump's Iran claims were eaten up by the mainstream media. Now you see how Trump is playing both sides. He claims he wants to be lenient with Russia (which is a fool's errand) but his administration is getting tougher with Russia. Trump is easy to manipulate because he is so beholden to so many interests. Sorry to say it, but this makes him an attractive candidate to powerful interests.
Tim Nelson Seattle 8h ago
The best defense is a good offense, and a vital part of this American offensive capability is to keep the details out of the hands of this president. I have long waited to hear of how we are actively and effectively responding to Russian aggression, but in this age of Trump I have feared his ability to undermine any steps on our part. Of course he is beholden to the regime that got him elected. It is essential to counter the aggression of authoritarian regimes like Putin's and just as important to rid America in 2020 of the authoritarian menace that is Donald Trump.
TTC USA 2h ago
I thought America was the country that always played by the rules, and we're upset because we've been taken advantage of for too long. But apparently we're attacking another nation's power grid. Hypocrites we are. It's better if we're just honest with ourselves. Admit that we spin facts to feed our narrative, to justify the damage we cause to other nations. Next nation to justify going to war with? China. Cause only we can be #1.
uga muga miami fl 4h ago
Finally something presidential about Trump. They say there's a lot of symbolism to the presidency and this piece reflects an instance where he's president in name only.
K. H. Boston 8h ago
GOOD! About time we started punching back. Russia is mistaken if it thinks it can wantonly interfere in other countries (Salisbury, 2016, etc.) without repercussion. Good job boys.
Duane McPherson Groveland, NY 7h ago
Well, if the US decides to engage in some covert cyber-warfare then we should be safe, because the NSA has some really powerful hacking tools. So I'm sleeping easy tonight. Oh, wait, you say those tools got misplaced and lost? Never mind then, just buy some candles for light and a Coleman stove to cook on. You'll be fine; it'll be fun, just like camping out. In your own kitchen.
T OC 4h ago
It is time to go on the offensive in this Cold War. We've been on the losing defensive side of this way too long.
shiningstars122 CT 11h ago
Its obvious that we need to protect our online infrastructure in ways we have never done before, which a majority of the US economy uses. If this is not the case I get nervous if we start kicking the hornets next and we are not fully prepared for the response. As a consumer I am very wary of buying and using " smart" products in my home. It is obvious that the private sector has not even fortified their own firewalls to protect themselves. Do you think that Alexsa or that new refrigerator will have the level of encryption and protection guess against even the most basic cyber attack. I think a parallel approach is to fortify our own network in ways that have not occurred before, but sadly too much of these illegal breaches are based on human error and when it comes to that one you will never be fully secure. It is clear the rules of engagement for cyber warfare need to be discussed and treaties need to be put in play to protect civilians, who sadly in warfare always pay the highest prices when our maligned leaders, like the one currently holding office, go off the deep end.
Easy Goer Louisiana 8h ago
@Bruce1253 Agree. However, imagine your life without any power, for good? Everyone involved, whether they be American, Russian, Chinese, Korean, etc. is playing a deadly chess game, and humanity are the pawns. 9 Replies
steve CT 7h ago
So now we are going to attack other countries power grids , to hurt citizens like it seems we did to Venezuela to try and install our puppet Gaido, because we want to control their oil the largest in the world. We did not like their election of President Maduro so we tried to overthrow him because he wasn't willing to be controlled, like the 73% of dictators around the world that are our allies that we sell arms too. We have never cared about other countries elections, I also wonder if our elections are rigged, with our electronic machines supplied by questionable corporations. Now we are blaming the Russian government for what a troll farm company did in Russia buying election ads for clickbait so they could profit. This sounds like the 1950's red scare. Russia should be our friend just like Iran, except we ally with countries like Saudi Arabia the largest financier of terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and that spreads Wahhabism. This is all so our Military Industrial Complex can profit needing ever larger weapons systems. Peace is not profitable it seems for our Oligarchy.
Robert Richardson Halifax June 15
If the US is openly pursuing this course, and succeeds, I would expect Putin to hit back in kind, by shutting down the power grids of America's less prepared allies. Like Canada, where our aging power grid is already struggling, without being attacked. 1 Reply
PE Seattle 11h ago
I'm not sure we want to perpetuate this tactic as fair game in war. Do we want our power grid hacked? This puts regular people at risk of have no electricity, no heat, no AC. Our war is not with regular people. Our war is with oligarchs.
Marc Chicago 7h ago
"Under the law, those actions [cyber espionage against U.S. adversaries] can now be authorized by the defense secretary without special presidential approval." Because Donny would pick up the phone to tattle to his BFF Vlad.
New World NYC 4h ago
One day we're all gonna wake up and look at our bank statements, 401Ks and our Etrade accounts and see a $0.00 balance. Then what ?
stefanie santa fe nm 7h ago
I thought the stable genius did not reveal what he was doing in terms of attacking another country. And if his good bro, Putin, said nothing was going on, why is the US attacking Russia? (sarcasm).
John Grillo Edgewater, MD 8h ago
What an absurd, clearly unprecedented, and highly dangerous state this country is in when the Commander-in-Chief, as reported herein, cannot be trusted by our own military and intelligence leaders with probably compartmentalized, top secret classified information about our cyber warfare capabilities and plans against Russia for fear that he could very well compromise the operation. Isn't this yet another reason why Trump should be removed from office by impeachment? What his own Administration's national security people are saying is that their leader cannot be trusted with the most sensitive information held by the government. If this Fake President is a threat to the nation on a scale of that profound magnitude, he cannot and must not be allowed to remain in office. Congress, are you listening???
C. Gregory California 2h ago
"Two administration officials said they believed Mr. Trump had not been briefed in any detail..." Um, isn't it normal procedure to brief the president of the United States about major changes in military strategy like this? I mean, the president is supposedly "commander in chief." How about Congress, or at least the relevant Congressional committees? Are they being kept in the loop? Or are Bolton and Co. just winging it on their own? If so, that's quite disturbing.
rjh NY 4h ago
So if a Russian nuclear plant has a meltdown or other catastrophe, will they be justified in wondering if the US caused it? Also, the malware against Iran spread to other countries even thought that was not intended to do so.
saucier Pittsburgh 7h ago
Wasn't their just an excellent show on HBO that shows what happens when you mess with controlling power? No, not Game of Thrones. Chernobyl. Nuclear comprises 20% of Russia's electricity generation. Do we really want our fingerprints all over the crime scene should something go wrong? Can't we mess with computer controlled vodka distillation instead?
Norman McDougall Canada 8h ago
Let me understand this. The same USA that is outraged by Russian election hacking is simultaneously conducting cyber-attacks on Russian infrastructure? This situation would be merely ironic if it weren't so callously hypocritical.
just Robert North Carolina 8h ago
It would be nice to think that the self proclaimed 'genius Trump knows something about the cyber war we are fighting or at least trust the experts on the front lines of this war. As it is he looks into Putin's eyes and declares him without sin and denies that Russia used cyber space to hack our 2016 elections and even declares that this information can be used to help his campaign. He prevaricates a little, but we heard you the first time, Mr.Trump. Our intelligence agencies may be planting these bugs in the Russian electric grid, but what we need is a leader who has the intelligence and wisdom to guide its use.
larry dc 8h ago
So CyberCommand doesn't brief the President because (1) they don't think the law requires them to do so, (2) and they don't trust him with important information? This is deeply disturbing on multiple fronts.
Larry L Dallas, TX 7h ago
@Barbara, in the past, before urbanism, it was possible to survive because you could live off the land. This is not a possibility in the middle of NYC, DC or SF. 9 Replies
joshbarnes Honolulu, HI 8h ago
It will all end in tears, I know it.

[Jun 14, 2019] It has been amusing to watch the New York Times and other mainstream media outlets express their dismay over the rise and spread of fake news.

Notable quotes:
"... "The Times has run neck-and-neck with the Washington Post in stirring up fears of the Russian information war and illicit involvement with Trump. The Times now easily conflates fake news with any criticism of established institutions, as in Mark Scott and Melissa Eddy's 'Europe Combats a New Foe of Political Stability: Fake News,' February 20, 2017. But what is more extraordinary is the uniformity with which the paper's regular columnists accept as a given the CIA's assessment of the Russian hacking and transmission to WikiLeaks, the possibility or likelihood that Trump is a Putin puppet, and the urgent need of a congressional and 'non-partisan' investigation of these claims. This swallowing of a new war-party line has extended widely in the liberal media. Both the Times and Washington Post have lent tacit support to the idea that this 'fake news' threat needs to be curbed, possibly by some form of voluntary media-organized censorship or government intervention that would at least expose the fakery. ..."
"... "The most remarkable media episode in this anti-influence-campaign was the Post's piece by Craig Timberg, 'Russian propaganda effort helped spread 'fake news' during election, experts say,' which featured a report by a group of anonymous "experts" entity called PropOrNot that claimed to have identified two hundred websites that, wittingly or not, were 'routine peddlers of Russian propaganda.' While smearing these websites, many of them independent news outlets whose only shared trait was their critical stance toward U.S. foreign policy, the 'experts' refused to identify themselves, allegedly out of fear of being 'targeted by legions of skilled hackers.' As journalist Matt Taibbi wrote, 'You want to blacklist hundreds of people, but you won't put your name to your claims? Take a hike.' ..."
"... But the Post welcomed and promoted this McCarthyite effort, which might well be a product of Pentagon or CIA information warfare. (And these entities are themselves well-funded and heavily into the propaganda business.) ..."
"... "The success of the war party's campaign to contain or reverse any tendency to ease tensions with Russia was made dramatically clear in the Trump administration's speedy bombing response to the April 4, 2017, Syrian chemical weapons deaths. The Times and other mainstream media editors and journalists greeted this aggressive move with almost uniform enthusiasm, and once again did not require evidence of Assad's guilt beyond their government's claims. The action was damaging to Assad and Russia, but served the rebels well. ..."
Jun 14, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Abe , June 14, 2019 at 15:15

"It has been amusing to watch the New York Times and other mainstream media outlets express their dismay over the rise and spread of 'fake news.' These publications take it as an obvious truth that what they provide is straightforward, unbiased, fact-based reporting. They do offer such news, but they also provide a steady flow of their own varied forms of fake news, often by disseminating false or misleading information supplied to them by the national security state, other branches of government, and sites of corporate power.

"An important form of mainstream media fake news is that which is presented while suppressing information that calls the preferred news into question. [ ]

"The Times has run neck-and-neck with the Washington Post in stirring up fears of the Russian information war and illicit involvement with Trump. The Times now easily conflates fake news with any criticism of established institutions, as in Mark Scott and Melissa Eddy's 'Europe Combats a New Foe of Political Stability: Fake News,' February 20, 2017. But what is more extraordinary is the uniformity with which the paper's regular columnists accept as a given the CIA's assessment of the Russian hacking and transmission to WikiLeaks, the possibility or likelihood that Trump is a Putin puppet, and the urgent need of a congressional and 'non-partisan' investigation of these claims. This swallowing of a new war-party line has extended widely in the liberal media. Both the Times and Washington Post have lent tacit support to the idea that this 'fake news' threat needs to be curbed, possibly by some form of voluntary media-organized censorship or government intervention that would at least expose the fakery.

"The most remarkable media episode in this anti-influence-campaign was the Post's piece by Craig Timberg, 'Russian propaganda effort helped spread 'fake news' during election, experts say,' which featured a report by a group of anonymous "experts" entity called PropOrNot that claimed to have identified two hundred websites that, wittingly or not, were 'routine peddlers of Russian propaganda.' While smearing these websites, many of them independent news outlets whose only shared trait was their critical stance toward U.S. foreign policy, the 'experts' refused to identify themselves, allegedly out of fear of being 'targeted by legions of skilled hackers.' As journalist Matt Taibbi wrote, 'You want to blacklist hundreds of people, but you won't put your name to your claims? Take a hike.'

But the Post welcomed and promoted this McCarthyite effort, which might well be a product of Pentagon or CIA information warfare. (And these entities are themselves well-funded and heavily into the propaganda business.)

"On December 23, 2016, President Obama signed the Portman-Murphy Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act, which will supposedly allow the United States to more effectively combat foreign (namely Russian and Chinese) propaganda and disinformation. It will encourage more government counter-propaganda efforts, and provide funding to non-government entities to help in this enterprise. It is clearly a follow-on to the claims of Russian hacking and propaganda, and shares the spirit of the listing of two hundred tools of Moscow featured in the Washington Post. (Perhaps PropOrNot will qualify for a subsidy and be able to enlarge its list.)

Liberals have been quiet on this new threat to freedom of speech, undoubtedly influenced by their fears of Russian-based fake news and propaganda. But they may yet take notice, even if belatedly, when Trump or one of his successors puts it to work on their own notions of fake news and propaganda.

"The success of the war party's campaign to contain or reverse any tendency to ease tensions with Russia was made dramatically clear in the Trump administration's speedy bombing response to the April 4, 2017, Syrian chemical weapons deaths. The Times and other mainstream media editors and journalists greeted this aggressive move with almost uniform enthusiasm, and once again did not require evidence of Assad's guilt beyond their government's claims. The action was damaging to Assad and Russia, but served the rebels well.

"But the mainstream media never ask cui bono? in cases like this. In 2013, a similar charge against Assad, which brought the United States to the brink of a full-scale bombing war in Syria, turned out to be a false flag operation, and some authorities believe the current case is equally problematic. Nevertheless, Trump moved quickly (and illegally), dealing a blow to any further rapprochement between the United States and Russia. The CIA, the Pentagon, leading Democrats, and the rest of the war party had won an important skirmish in the struggle over permanent war."

Fake News on Russia and Other Official Enemies: The New York Times, 1917–2017

By Edward S. Herman

https://monthlyreview.org/2017/07/01/fake-news-on-russia-and-other-official-enemies/

[Jun 06, 2019] Odd NYT 'Correction' Exculpates British Government And CIA From Manipulating Trump Over Skripal Novichok Incident

Notable quotes:
"... Julian E. Barnes is obviously a long-term intelligence asset and his stories are not based on independent research but are just a repetition of the yarn that the CIA want to spin. Julian E. Barnes and the CIA obviously think Americans and other westerners are DAF. ..."
"... And should we be surprised that such false information about Gina Haspel and Donald Trump puts Trump in a bad light and somehow humanises a CIA director with a reputation for torturing prisoners? ..."
"... A week or 3 ago, a Barnes co-reported "article" flat out stated that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. This was done by pretending to quote someone in the the US Defense establishment as saying "we believe Iran will redouble its work on nuclear weapons". ..."
"... Julian Barnes is a well established liar. Sort of akin to Judith Miller and Michael Gordon. ..."
"... Now the Washington post's narrative is quite colorful too. So Trump really was concerned how many Russians Germany or France expelled? Why was he angry? The vassals did not follow his example as they should have? ..."
"... The CIA and MI6 boys must have blanked out to let this one slip through the cracks. We pay them billions to run false flag and cover-up operations. This makes those of us that believe their lying narratives look stupid. I guess we need to add more billions to their annual budgets. ..."
"... More believable that Julian Barnes performs no cross-referencing and zero research. Investigative reporting (or asking questions) is not the job of the modern MSM stenographer. His job - pushing the war machine agenda. He simply writes that which he is instructed to write. Probably emails all of his articles to his CIA liason for approval prior to publication. ..."
"... In the Skripnal psyop one can readily assess that the only truly "dead ducks" are the MSM journalists and the Western politicians who peddled this incredible slapstick nonsense story in order to further the "demonization of Russia" narrative of Western oligarchy. That these same media "dead ducks" appear to have not even the very slightest interest whatsoever in the current whereabouts or safety of said Skripnals speaks volumes about the true nature of this intelligence operation. ..."
"... both versions of the story expose Gina as a untrustworthy ratfucker ..."
"... At the moment the UK is run by MI6 which sees itself as the real political directorate of the CIA and the Deep State in the US. It seriously believes that it is on the verge of establishing global hegemony. ..."
"... Please note, everyone, that not all of these sad excuses for "journalists" are on the CIA payroll. In fact, very few of them are. Most work with the CIA out of warped senses of patriotism and duty to the empire. Most would never think of themselves as intelligence agency assets, and no small number of them probably think their relationships with the CIA are unique. They think that they are special and that their contacts on the inside at the CIA are unusual. Few would guess that they are just another propaganda mule in the CIA's stable, and that friendly guy who "leaks" to them is actually their handler; their "operator" in spook-speak. ..."
"... CIA did not control many of the Vietnam era journalists that had their pieces printed in mainstream media of the day. Not many left now and perhaps since the nineties they could no longer get their articles published. Regan brought in perception management which eventually brought all MSM 100% under US -CIA control. ..."
"... If you're a CIA guy, you get the editor and the ombudsman on the payroll and he will make certain that the desired propaganda gets published. If he's a Zionist, he's on the same page from the start, anyway. ..."
"... What a strange construction. Doesn't the CIA have PR staff? A decent PR team would review every item referencing their boss and issue clarifications and/or demand corrections immediately. There should have been no need for Julian E. Barnes to figure anything out as the CIA should have pointed out his mistake very quickly. This explanation/exculpation is utter bullshit! ..."
"... I doubt that Trump asked questions about how those ducks and kids were doing. More likely that MI5 was annoyed that they were exposed as the providers of the duck snuff pictures, and put pressure on the NY Times. ..."
"... Those who advocated the strong response to Russia are the intellectual authors of "Russia Gate" to thwart detente with Russia. ..."
Jun 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

A piece in the New York Times showed how in March 2018 Trump was manipulated by the CIA and MI6 into expelling 60 Russian diplomats. Eight weeks after it was published the New York Times 'corrects' that narrative and exculpates the CIA and MI6 of that manipulation. Its explanation for the correction makes little sense.

On April 16 the New York Times published a report by Julian E. Barnes and Adam Goldman about the relation between CIA Director Gina Haspal and President Donald Trump.

Gina Haspel Relies on Spy Skills to Connect With Trump. He Doesn't Always Listen.

The piece described a scene in the White House shortly after the contentious Skripal/Novichok incident in Britain. It originally said (emphasis added):

During the discussion, Ms. Haspel, then deputy C.I.A. director, turned toward Mr. Trump. She outlined possible responses in a quiet but firm voice, then leaned forward and told the president that the "strong option" was to expel 60 diplomats.

To persuade Mr. Trump, according to people briefed on the conversation, officials including Ms. Haspel also tried to show him that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were not the only victims of Russia's attack.

Ms. Haspel showed pictures the British government had supplied her of young children hospitalized after being sickened by the Novichok nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals. She then showed a photograph of ducks that British officials said were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives.

The 60 Russian diplomats were expelled on March 26 2018. Other countries only expelled a handful of diplomats over the Skripal incident. On April 15 2018 the Washington Post reported that Trump was furious about this:

The next day, when the expulsions were announced publicly, Trump erupted, officials said. To his shock and dismay, France and Germany were each expelling only four Russian officials -- far fewer than the 60 his administration had decided on. The President, who seemed to believe that other individual countries would largely equal the United States, was furious that his administration was being portrayed in the media as taking by far the toughest stance on Russia.
...
Growing angrier, Trump insisted that his aides had misled him about the magnitude of the expulsions. 'There were curse words,' the official said, 'a lot of curse words.

In that context the 2019 NYT report about Haspel showing Trump dead duck pictures provided by the Brits made sense. Trump was, as he himself claimed, manipulated into the large expulsion.

The NYT report created some waves. On April 18 2019 the Guardian headlined:

No children or ducks harmed by novichok, say health officials
Wiltshire council clarification follows claims Donald Trump was shown images to contrary

The report of the dead duck pictures in the New York Times was a problem for the CIA and the British government. Not only did it say that they manipulated Trump by providing him with false pictures, but the non-dead ducks also demonstrated that the official narrative of the allegedly poisoning of the Skripals has some huge holes. As Rob Slane of the BlogMire noted :

In addition to the extraordinary nature of this revelation, there is also a huge irony here. Along with many others, I have long felt that the duck feed is one of the many achilles heels of the whole story we've been presented with about what happened in Salisbury on 4th March 2018. And the reason for this is precisely because if it were true, there would indeed have been dead ducks and sick children .

According to the official story, Mr Skripal and his daughter became contaminated with "Novichok" by touching the handle of his front door at some point between 13:00 and 13:30 that afternoon. A few minutes later (13:45), they were filmed on CCTV camera feeding ducks, and handing bread to three local boys, one of whom ate a piece . After this they went to Zizzis, where they apparently so contaminated the table they sat at, that it had to be incinerated.

You see the problem? According to the official story, ducks should have died. According to the official story children should have become contaminated and ended up in hospital. Yet as it happens, no ducks died, and no boys got sick (all that happened was that the boys' parents were contacted two weeks later by police, the boys were sent for tests, and they were given the all clear).

After the NYT story was published the CIA and the British government had to remove the problematic narrative from the record. Yesterday they finally succeeded. Nearly eight weeks after the original publishing of the White House scene the NYT recanted and issued a correction (emphasis. added):

Correction: June 5, 2019

An earlier version of this article incorrectly described the photos that Gina Haspel showed to President Trump during a discussion about responding to the nerve agent attack in Britain on a former Russian intelligence officer. Ms. Haspel displayed pictures illustrating the consequences of nerve agent attacks, not images specific to the chemical attack in Britain. This correction was delayed because of the time needed for research.

The original paragraphs quoted above were changed into this:

During the discussion, Ms. Haspel, then deputy C.I.A. director, turned toward Mr. Trump. She outlined possible responses in a quiet but firm voice, then leaned forward and told the president that the "strong option" was to expel 60 diplomats.

To persuade Mr. Trump, according to people briefed on the conversation, officials including Ms. Haspel tried to demonstrate the dangers of using a nerve agent like Novichok in a populated area. Ms. Haspel showed pictures from other nerve agent attacks that showed their effects on people.

The British government had told Trump administration officials about early intelligence reports that said children were sickened and ducks were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives.

The information was based on early reporting, and Trump administration officials had requested more details about the children and ducks, a person familiar with the intelligence said, though Ms. Haspel did not present that information to the president. After this article was published, local health officials in Britain said that no children were harmed.

So instead of pictures of dead ducks in Salisbury the CIA director showed pictures of some random dead ducks or hospitalized children or whatever to illustrate the effects consequences of nerve agent incidents?

That the children were taken to hospital but unharmed was already reported in British media on March 24 2018, before the Russian diplomats were expelled, not only after the NYT piece was published in April 2019.

Yesterday the author of the NYT piece, Julian E. Barnes, turned to Twitter to issue a lengthy 'apology':

Julian E. Barnes @julianbarnes - 14:52 utc - 5 Jun 2019

I made a significant error in my April 16 profile of Gina Haspel. It took a while to figure out where I went wrong. Here is the correction: 1/9

[...]

The intelligence about the ducks and children were based on an early intelligence report, according to people familiar with the matter. The intelligence was presented to the US in an effort to share all that was known, not to deceive the Trump administration. 7/9

This correction was delayed because conducting the research to figure out what I got wrong, how I got it wrong and what was the correct information took time. 8/9

I regret the error and offer my apology. I strive to get information right the first time. That is what subscribers pay for. But when I get something wrong, I fix it. 9/9

Barnes covers national security and intelligence issues for the Times Washington bureau. His job depends on good access to 'sources' in those circles.

It is remarkable that the CIA spokesperson never came out to deny the original NYT report. There was zero visible push back against its narrative. It is also remarkable that the correction comes just as Trump is on a state visit in Britain.

The original report was sourced on 'people briefed on the conversation'. The corrected version is also based on 'people briefed on the conversation' but adds 'a person familiar with the intelligence'. Do the originally cited 'people' now tell a different story? Are we to trust a single 'person familiar with the intelligence' more than those multiple 'people'? What kind of 'research' did the reporter do to correct what he then and now claims was told to him by 'people'? Why did this 'research' take eight weeks?

That the 'paper of the record' now corrects said 'record' solves a big problem for Gina Haspel, the CIA/MI6 and the British government. They can no longer be accused of manipulating Trump (even as we can be quite sure that such manipulations happen all the time).

In the end it is for the reader to decide if the original report makes more sense than the corrected one.

---
This is a Moon of Alabama fundraising week. Please consider to support our work .

Posted by b on June 6, 2019 at 06:12 AM | Permalink


ADKC , Jun 6, 2019 7:14:50 AM | 2
Julian E. Barnes is obviously a long-term intelligence asset and his stories are not based on independent research but are just a repetition of the yarn that the CIA want to spin. Julian E. Barnes and the CIA obviously think Americans and other westerners are DAF.
John Doe , Jun 6, 2019 7:26:00 AM | 3
Rob Slane, June 5, 2019: The New York Times Tries to Get Itself Out of the Duckgate Hole Using a Spade
Jen , Jun 6, 2019 7:32:17 AM | 4
Surely the time and effort Julian Barnes needed to check what information he had got wrong and how he got it wrong should not have been as major as he makes out. Animals dying and children falling sick to a toxin that could have killed them are incidents that should have stuck out like sore thumbs and warranted careful checks with different and independent sources before reporting that Gina Haspel apparently showed the US President pictures of dead ducks and sick boys in Salisbury.

No wonder Barnes got such a roasting on Twitter after making his abject apology.

And should we be surprised that such false information about Gina Haspel and Donald Trump puts Trump in a bad light and somehow humanises a CIA director with a reputation for torturing prisoners?

John Smith , Jun 6, 2019 7:48:46 AM | 6
J'Accuse News @NewsAccuse:

During years I researched articles published in @nytimes we fact-checked BEFORE publication. Here it comes AFTER bloggers, officials et al point out fatal flaws. That no children were poisoned, and no ducks killed, by #novichok in #Salisbury + was known in Spring 2018. #propaganda

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D8WfKNPUwAAGGWT.jpg

Jay , Jun 6, 2019 8:37:49 AM | 8
A week or 3 ago, a Barnes co-reported "article" flat out stated that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. This was done by pretending to quote someone in the the US Defense establishment as saying "we believe Iran will redouble its work on nuclear weapons".

Except in the Barnes construction it wasn't a quotation, or anything like a phrasing that made clear that the Pentagon source was guessing, not stating, that Iran has a nuclear weapons program.

This was NOT corrected.

Eric Schmitt was the other NY Times "reporter" who signed the article.

Here's the article:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/13/world/middleeast/us-military-plans-iran.html

And here's what the two liars reported, pretending that an Iranian nuclear weapons program is a real thing, first paragraph:

"Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented an updated
military plan that envisions sending as many as 120,000 troops to the
Middle East should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on
nuclear weapons, administration officials said."

So Julian Barnes is a well established liar. Sort of akin to Judith Miller and Michael Gordon.

ger , Jun 6, 2019 8:44:10 AM | 9
Barnes provides the truth then provides a lie about the truth....par for the course at NYT. (Remember Judith Miller?) A fake news organization spreading fake news with revised fake news.
joanna , Jun 6, 2019 9:01:26 AM | 10
can't really get excited by the fact that not everything in this type of creative writing is taken serious. Did anyone expect otherwise?

During the discussion, Ms. Haspel, then deputy C.I.A. director, turned toward Mr. Trump. She outlined possible responses in a quiet but firm voice, then leaned forward and told the president that the "strong option" was to expel 60 diplomats.

To persuade Mr. Trump, according to people briefed on the conversation, officials including Ms. Haspel also tried to show him that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were not the only victims of Russia's attack.

It's pretty obvious that his/their narrative necessarily must be cobbled together by a lot of sources. Some by phone. Those may not even share the same idea what image of the president or Haspel they should convey. I always wonder with this type of newspaper reporting. Maybe both writers should write novels.

Now the Washington post's narrative is quite colorful too. So Trump really was concerned how many Russians Germany or France expelled? Why was he angry? The vassals did not follow his example as they should have?

SharonM , Jun 6, 2019 9:08:20 AM | 11
Superb analysis! Been coming here for 11 years now, and I just have to say that "b" is the best propaganda analyst in the English language. He is the sturdiest anchor in these stormy seas:)
AriusArmenian , Jun 6, 2019 9:42:07 AM | 12
The CIA and MI6 boys must have blanked out to let this one slip through the cracks. We pay them billions to run false flag and cover-up operations. This makes those of us that believe their lying narratives look stupid. I guess we need to add more billions to their annual budgets.

Sarcasm is just about the last pleasure one can get from watching the horrific antics of these morons.

fastfreddy , Jun 6, 2019 10:07:19 AM | 13
More believable that Julian Barnes performs no cross-referencing and zero research. Investigative reporting (or asking questions) is not the job of the modern MSM stenographer. His job - pushing the war machine agenda. He simply writes that which he is instructed to write. Probably emails all of his articles to his CIA liason for approval prior to publication.

Perhaps, the liason can see what this fool types in real time. Who knows?

As the story of the dead ducks and sick children unraveled and fell apart, a sloppy patch up had to be made. Now its fixed. Like a Boeing 737 MAX.

librul , Jun 6, 2019 10:09:17 AM | 14
BoTh vErSioNs of the story (I checked with the "Wayback Machine") still include this paragraph (6th paragraph of story):

Unusually for a president, Mr. Trump has publicly rejected not
only intelligence agencies' analysis, but also the facts they have gathered.
And that has created a perilous situation for the C.I.A.

As usual for the NYT, they did not publicly reject the intelligence agencies' analysis, but also the facts they had gathered. That, of course, would have created a perilous situation for the NYT.

Gary Weglarz , Jun 6, 2019 10:30:32 AM | 16
As the saying goes: "if it looks like a false-flag, walks like a false-flag, and talks like a false-flag, it just might be a "duck."

In the Skripnal psyop one can readily assess that the only truly "dead ducks" are the MSM journalists and the Western politicians who peddled this incredible slapstick nonsense story in order to further the "demonization of Russia" narrative of Western oligarchy. That these same media "dead ducks" appear to have not even the very slightest interest whatsoever in the current whereabouts or safety of said Skripnals speaks volumes about the true nature of this intelligence operation.

Harry Law , Jun 6, 2019 10:36:53 AM | 17
"I made a significant error in my April 16 profile of Gina Haspel. It took a while to figure out where I went wrong". It was only when I found the horses head next to me in bed when I woke up, that I realized what a stupid mistake I had made.
aspnaz , Jun 6, 2019 11:04:23 AM | 20
Gina Haspel has to be as dumb and incompetent as I suspected: someone is paying good money to make her look like an ordinary sociopath, not a depraved tart who sucked cock to climb to the head of the organisation.
Noirette , Jun 6, 2019 11:31:31 AM | 22
Slane is ++ on the Skirpals. One 'fact' that emerged early on, made public by Slane, is that the proposed 'official' time-line ( > press, Gvmt between the lines) of the Skripal movements - trivial as in a town, drinkies, lunch, feeding ducks, etc. -- was never reported correctly, obfuscated.

Idk the reasons, but it is a vital point.
___________________________________

Trump, we see, is treated like the zombie public, flashed random photos, sold tearful narratives about babies, children, recall incubator babies, horrific bio-weapons threats...

The PTB loathes him, Pres. are supposed to be complicit like Obama - or at least keep their resistance toned down, be ready to compromise. .. Obama objected to, and refused to act on, at least two engineered / fake Syria chem. 'attacks.' (Just looked on Goog and can't find links to support.)

The only EU figure who stated there is no evidence that the Russkies novichoked Sergei and Yulia was Macron, afaik. He didn't get the memo in time (the Elysée is inefficient, lots of screw-ups there) but soon caught up! and expelled the minimum. -- I have heard, hush hush, one in F was a receptionist - gofer (an excellent + extremely highly paid position) who is now at the Emb. in Washington! Most likely merely emblematic story (see telephone game) .. but telling.

Hoarsewhisperer , Jun 6, 2019 11:52:33 AM | 24
I like this story. It makes Trump look like a naif which wouldn't bother President Teflon in the least. On the other hand, both versions of the story expose Gina as a untrustworthy ratfucker. I'm hoping she said "cross my heart and hope to die" when he queried her advice...
Zachary Smith , Jun 6, 2019 12:01:15 PM | 25
@ Jay | Jun 6, 2019 8:37:49 AM @8
So Julian Barnes is a well established liar.

I'm glad I checked to see if anyone had mentioned this hack's article about Russia restarting nuclear testing. Using his name as one search item I tried a number of current issues. Like the fellows at local intersections holding up signs "will work for money", Barnes might as well have a tattoo saying "I'll write anything if the price is right. That it took so long to come up with a half-assed "explanation" shows he's not the brightest bulb in the lamp. I suppose people whose jobs consist of slightly re-writing Deep State dictation don't have to be especially clever.

PrairieBear , Jun 6, 2019 12:25:01 PM | 26
That "apology" by Barnes is completely nonsensical. How would you know that there was something wrong with your story, that there was an error in it, without knowing what it was? If the CIA, various bloggers, commenters, etc., alerted him to the errors, it's unlikely they would say, "There's something wrong in this story but I'm not going to say what it is. You'll have to re-research they whole thing to figure it out." I don't think that's how people usually point out errors.
bevin , Jun 6, 2019 12:34:34 PM | 27
"Which narrative is unraveling and which is gathering momentum?"psychohistorian@19

One thing that seems to be unravelling is the tight political cartel that controls Foreign Policy in the UK.

If it does unravel and Labour turns to an independent foreign policy while it reverses the disaster of 'austerity' and neo-liberalism, cases such as that of Assange and the Skripal affair, both products of extremists within the Establishment who regard themselves as privileged members of the DC Beltway, are going to be re-opened.

At the moment the UK is run by MI6 which sees itself as the real political directorate of the CIA and the Deep State in the US. It seriously believes that it is on the verge of establishing global hegemony. And this at a time when the UK is falling apart and its population teeters on the brink of economic disaster. It has fallen into this delusion over the years as it has been able to offer the CIA services which it is afraid to initiate itself. Hence, most recently, the entire Russiagate nonsense which has British fingerprints all over it. Hence too the new aggressiveness in DC towards Assange. Hence the disappearance, without explanation, of the Skripals.
goldhoarder , Jun 6, 2019 12:44:22 PM | 28
Julian Barnes is like Winston Smith without the intellectual curiosity. He quote happily goes about his work. lol. What is the matter with you people? You are supposed to embrace the new narrative!

From wikidpeida... A memory hole is any mechanism for the alteration or disappearance of inconvenient or embarrassing documents, photographs, transcripts or other records, such as from a website or other archive, particularly as part of an attempt to give the impression that something never happened.[1][2] The concept was first popularized by George Orwell's dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, where the Party's Ministry of Truth systematically re-created all potentially embarrassing historical documents, in effect, re-writing all of history to match the often-changing state propaganda. These changes were complete and undetectable.

frances , Jun 6, 2019 12:48:13 PM | 30
I think the"Why now?" answer was Trump is in the UK and asking questions, lots of questions, can't have that.
james , Jun 6, 2019 12:49:34 PM | 31
@37 bevin... maybe they will do with assange what they have done with the skripals... the uk is more then pathetic at this point in time.. craig murray had more to say on the assange case yesterday - A Swedish Court Injects Some Sense
bjd , Jun 6, 2019 1:32:38 PM | 32
Julian E. Barnes' humble confession (a self-incrimination) sounds like one made in a Gulag.
failure of imaginati , Jun 6, 2019 2:23:10 PM | 35
Further down the memory hole is the side tale of the daughter of Brutish Army Chief Nurse helping Skirpals and getting an award without contaminating the news. Was the girl's father Pablo Miller,(of Orbis Dossier MFG) and a pal of Skirpal? There's debunk in their poor narrative. The public has a photogenic memory.
lysias , Jun 6, 2019 2:28:23 PM | 36
Speaking of MI6, Julian Barnes is a very English-looking name. Do we know anything about his biography?
tuyzentfloot , Jun 6, 2019 2:56:36 PM | 37
There are 2 Julian Barneses (at the very least!), one is an English writer, the other has mostly been writing for the WSJ ( https://www.wsj.com/news/author/julian-e.-barnes) but since recently again for the NYTimes .
fastfreddy , Jun 6, 2019 3:10:32 PM | 38
30

Trump is a drug-addled, brain-damaged, hollowed-out shell of the dull con man he once was.

But, he perceives himself to be a brilliant mastermind - a stable genius. So, he might indeed, be prone to making inquiries (generally these would induce the toadies around him to stifle their laughter).

It makes sense that he might ask, while in GB, about the Skirpal incident, since he pulled 60 people from their posts and he remembered the fantasy he was lead to believe about sick children and dead ducks.

The fact that he overreacted without sufficient evidence, may have inspired a tiny amount of self-reflection simply because it may have embarrassed him to have been caught on his back foot. He was lead to believe that his contemporaries intended to react in equal measure. They did not. Therefore - he was "fooled" or tricked.

This is the only way to embarrass the buffoon. That is to have someone fool him personally. And to make him look stupid.

He doesn't mind that he is a fat oaf, a greed head and a pig, but that is the stuff of his own doing. He is comfortable in this. Money is the end-all, etc.

He bought Mar A Lago, making it his own club, because the Palm Beach Club and its elite snobs would not let him join.

Trump was betrayed by Gina Haskell, the CIA and the NYT.

What is he gonna do about it?

joebattista , Jun 6, 2019 3:22:02 PM | 40
All of Western media has been compromised by the CIA and friends since at least the 50s. Remember what late CIA director William Casey said in 1981; "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the US public believes is false".
They 'CIA' controls every talking head you can name. Believe no one. Sad isn't it.
William Gruff , Jun 6, 2019 3:56:52 PM | 41
Please note, everyone, that not all of these sad excuses for "journalists" are on the CIA payroll. In fact, very few of them are. Most work with the CIA out of warped senses of patriotism and duty to the empire. Most would never think of themselves as intelligence agency assets, and no small number of them probably think their relationships with the CIA are unique. They think that they are special and that their contacts on the inside at the CIA are unusual. Few would guess that they are just another propaganda mule in the CIA's stable, and that friendly guy who "leaks" to them is actually their handler; their "operator" in spook-speak.

Of course, there is also the incentive provided by just having to take the story their CIA "friend" gives them, edit it a little to fit their employer's style guidelines, and then submit it as their own. A whole day's worth of work and they can have it finished in half an hour. What's not to like about that?

Peter AU 1 , Jun 6, 2019 4:11:22 PM | 42
40

CIA did not control many of the Vietnam era journalists that had their pieces printed in mainstream media of the day. Not many left now and perhaps since the nineties they could no longer get their articles published. Regan brought in perception management which eventually brought all MSM 100% under US -CIA control.

fastfreddy , Jun 6, 2019 4:45:29 PM | 43
41

If you're a CIA guy, you get the editor and the ombudsman on the payroll and he will make certain that the desired propaganda gets published. If he's a Zionist, he's on the same page from the start, anyway.

The self-important "journalists" are controlled and in fact, they are flattered by their special relationships with informants and the owner/managers. After one has sucked his or her way to the upper level, kissing up and kicking down... Laziness is a bonus.

Jay , Jun 6, 2019 4:47:28 PM | 44
@Zachary Smith:

Barnes' CV has US News and World Report on it. That's big spewer of lies, especially over the last 25 years.

Ghost Ship , Jun 6, 2019 5:35:07 PM | 46
I made a significant error in my April 16 profile of Gina Haspel. It took a while to figure out where I went wrong.

What a strange construction. Doesn't the CIA have PR staff? A decent PR team would review every item referencing their boss and issue clarifications and/or demand corrections immediately. There should have been no need for Julian E. Barnes to figure anything out as the CIA should have pointed out his mistake very quickly. This explanation/exculpation is utter bullshit!

wagelaborer , Jun 6, 2019 5:40:19 PM | 47
Every day when I turn on my computer, I am enticed with offers to "see how the Brady Bunch kids look today" or "what do the stars of the 80s look like today?". Apparently, there is quite a demand for updates on celebrities and their current well being. So why would Julian Barnes do an article about the Skirpals without showing us how they look today? And just where are they living? Enquiring minds want to know!

I doubt that Trump asked questions about how those ducks and kids were doing. More likely that MI5 was annoyed that they were exposed as the providers of the duck snuff pictures, and put pressure on the NY Times.

Featherless , Jun 6, 2019 5:49:29 PM | 48
Whatever happened with the Skripals since ? It's like they fell off the face of the planet.
John Sanguinetti , Jun 6, 2019 6:37:46 PM | 50
Could this be referred to as a good old fashioned SNAFU ?
Jen , Jun 6, 2019 6:44:26 PM | 51
SteveK9 @ 49:

Using ducks is easier. Gina Haspel could always ask one of the bottom-feeding subordinates to nip down the road to one of those Chinese BBQ shops and photograph the display of roast ducks hanging in the shop window . The photos can be uploaded and altered to remove the background of the chef and the cashier and then the actual ducks can be altered or colored appropriately before the pictures are sent to Haspel. Anyone looking at the altered pictures would never guess their actual provenance.

:-)

I'm not sure where Haspel can find hippos or any other large animals that might topple on top of someone (with dire consequences) were s/he to apply a whiff of nerve agent.

Jen , Jun 6, 2019 6:49:22 PM | 52
SteveK9 @ 49:

Oops the link @ 51 isn't working so I'd better link to this instead.

El Cid , Jun 6, 2019 8:10:06 PM | 53
Those who advocated the strong response to Russia are the intellectual authors of "Russia Gate" to thwart detente with Russia.
uncle tungsten , Jun 6, 2019 8:12:21 PM | 54
Thanks b for a good laugh at Barnes and Goldman's expense. I note Goldman is silent and I guess that is because he would likely get his apology wrong and contradict Barnes BS.

[May 28, 2019] New York Times Supports False Trump Claims About An Iranian Nuclear Weapons Program That Does Not Exist

May 28, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

During a press conference in Japan U.S. President Donald Trump today said ( video ):

And I'm not looking to hurt Iran at all. I'm looking to have Iran say, "No nuclear weapons." We have enough problems in this world right now with nuclear weapons. No nuclear weapons for Iran.

And I think we'll make a deal.

Iran said: "No nuclear weapons." It said that several times. It continues to say that.

Iran does not have the intent to make nuclear weapons. It has no nuclear weapons program.

But Trump may be confused because the U.S. 'paper of the record', the New York Times, recently again began to falsely assert that Iran has such a program.

A May 4 editorial in the Times claimed that Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps was running such a nuclear weapons program. After a loud public outrage the Times corrected the editorial. Iran's UN office wrote a letter to the Times which was published on May 6:

In an early version of "Trump Dials Up the Pressure on Iran" (editorial, nytimes.com, May 4), now corrected, you referred to a nuclear weapons program in describing the reach of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
...
The editorial is correct in criticizing the punishing aspects of the Trump administration policy toward Iran -- one that has brought only suffering to the Iranian people and one that will not result in any change in Iran's policies. But it was wrong to refer to a weapons program -- a dangerous assertion that could lead to a great misunderstanding among the public .

Unfortunately that did not help. The NYT continues with the "dangerous assertion".

On May 13 the NYT reporters Eric Schmitt and Julian E. Barnes wrote in White House Reviews Military Plans Against Iran, in Echoes of Iraq War :

At a meeting of President Trump's top national security aides last Thursday, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented an updated military plan that envisions sending as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons , administration officials said.

One can not accelerate one's car, if one does not have one. The phrase "accelerate work on nuclear weapons" implies that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. It may that the White House falsely claimed that but the authors use the phrase and never debunk it.

A May 14 NYT piece by Helene Cooper and Edward Wong repeats the false claim without pointing out that it is wrong:

The Trump administration is looking at plans to send as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons , The New York Times reported.

Also on May 14 the NYT 's editorial cartoon was published under the caption Will Iran Revive Its Nuclear Program? The caption of the orientalist cartoon falsely asserted that Iran had enriched Uranium to weapons grade. And no, Iran does not have a nuclear weapon or a nuclear weapons program in its freezer.


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On May 16, after another public outcry, a correction was added to the cartoon:

An earlier version of a caption with this cartoon erroneously attributed a distinction to Iran's nuclear program. Iran has not produced highly enriched uranium.

After this onslaught of false New York Times claims about Iran NYT critic Belen Fernandez asked: Has the New York Times declared war on Iran? She lists other claims made by the Times about Iran that are far from the truth.

Three days later, on May 25, Palko Karasz reported in the New York Times on Iran's reaction to Trump's tiny troop buildup in the Persian Gulf region. Again the obviously false "accelerate" phrase was used:

Under White House plans revised after pressure from hard-liners led by John R. Bolton, the president's national security adviser, if Iran were to accelerate work on nuclear weapons , defense officials envision sending as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East.

Iran does not have a nuclear program. It can not "accelerate" one. The U.S. claims that Iran once had such a program but also says that it was ended in 2003. The standard formulation that Reuters uses in its Iran reporting is thereby appropriate:

The United States and the U.N. nuclear watchdog believe Iran had a nuclear weapons program that it abandoned. Tehran denies ever having had one.


On July 1 1968 Iran signed and later ratified the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as a non-nuclear-weapon party. Article II of the treaty says:

Each non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to receive the transfer from any transfer or whatsoever of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or of control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly; not to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices; and not to seek or receive any assistance in the manufacture of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

With that Iran said "No nuclear weapons". Iran also accepted the nuclear safeguards demand in Article III of the treaty in form of routine inspections by the treaty's nuclear watchdog organization IAEA.

Article IV of the NPT gives all non-nuclear-weapon state parties like Iran the "inalienable right" to "develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination." After signing the NPT Iran launched several civil nuclear projects. These started under the Shah in 1970s and continued after the 1979 revolution in Iran.


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Ever since the Iranian revolution the U.S. expressed explicit hostility to the Islamic Republic of Iran. It instigated the President Saddam Hussein of Iraq to launch a war against the Islamic Republic and actively supported him throughout. It attempted and continues to attempt to hobble Iran's development, nuclear and non-nuclear, by all possible means.

Under U.S. President George W. Bush the U.S. government claimed that Iran had a nuclear weapons program. The Islamic Republic Iran rejected that claim and in 2004 signed the Additional Protocol to the NPT which allows the IAEA to do more rigorous, short-notice inspections at declared and undeclared nuclear facilities to look for secret nuclear activities.

With that the Islamic Republic of Iran said: "No nuclear weapons".

In a 2006 New York Times op-ed Javid Zarif, then the Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations, wrote :

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the leader of the Islamic Republic, has issued a decree against the development, production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons.

With that Iran's highest political and religious leader said: "No nuclear weapons".

Not only did Iran sign the NPT and its Additional Protocol but its political leadership outright rejects the development and ownership of nuclear weapons.

Zarif also pointed out that the IAEA found that Iran had missed to declare some nuclear activities but also confirmed that it never had the nuclear weapons program the Bush administration claimed it had:

In November 2003, for example, the agency confirmed that "to date, there is no evidence that the previously undeclared nuclear material and activities were related to a nuclear weapons program."

During the "previously undeclared nuclear material and activities" which the IAEA investigated, some Iranian scientists worked on a 'plan for a plan' towards nuclear weapons. They seem to have discussed what steps Iran would have to take, what materials, and what kind of organization it would need to launch a nuclear weapons program. The work was not officially sanctioned and no actual nuclear weapons program was ever launched. It is believed that the Iranian scientists worked on a 'plan for a plan' because they were concerned that Iran's then arch enemy Saddam Hussein, who had bombarded Iranian cities with chemical weapons, was working towards nuclear weapons. In 2003, after the U.S. invaded Iraq, that concern proved to be unfounded and the 'plan for a plan' project was shut down.

In December 2007 all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies confirmed the shut down:

A new assessment by American intelligence agencies concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the program remains frozen, contradicting judgment two years ago that Tehran was working relentlessly toward building a nuclear bomb.
...
[T]he new [National Intelligence Estimate] declares with "high confidence" that a military-run Iranian program intended to transform that raw material into a nuclear weapon has been shut down since 2003, and also says with high confidence that the halt "was directed primarily in response to increasing international scrutiny and pressure."

The National Intelligence Estimate ended efforts by the Bush administration to threaten Iran with war. But the U.S. government, under Bush and then under President Obama, continued its effort to deny Iran its "inalienable right" to civil nuclear programs.

Obama waged a campaign of ever increasing sanctions on Iran. But the country did not give in. It countered by accelerating its civil nuclear programs. It enriched more Uranium to civil use levels and developed more efficiant enrichment centrifuges. It was the Obama administration that finally gave up on its escalatory course. It conceded that Iran has the "inalienable right" to run its civil nuclear programs including Uranium enrichment. It was this concession, not the sanctions, that brought Iran to the table for talks about its nuclear programs.

The result of those talks was the The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which was endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231, adopted on July 20, 2015.

The JCPOA gives the IAEA additional tools to inspect facilities in Iran. It restricts Iran's civil nuclear program to certain limits which will terminate in October 2025. The JCPOA also reaffirms that Iran has full rights under the NPT. The IAEA since regularly inspects facilities in Iran and consistently reaffirms in its reports that Iran has no nuclear weapons program.


The Trump administrations hostility to Iran has nothing to do with anything nuclear. The U.S. wants hegemony over the Persian Gulf region. Iran rejects such imperial desires. The U.S. wants to control the flow of hydrocarbon resources to its competitors, primarily China. Iran does not allow such controls over its exports. The U.S. wants that all hydrocarbon sales are made in U.S. dollars. Iran demands payments in other currencies. Israel, which has significant influence within the Trump administration, uses claims of a non existing Iranian nuclear weapons program to manipulate the U.S. public and to divert from its racist apartheid policies in Palestine.

Trump's talk - "I'm looking to have Iran say, "No nuclear weapons."" - is simply bullshit. Iran said so several times and continues to say so. But Trump obviously believes that he can get away with making such idiotic claims.

The New York Times proves him right. It is again slipping into the role that it played during the propaganda run-up to the war on Iraq in 2002/2003. False claims made by members of the Bush administration about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq were reported by the Times as true, even while diligent reporters at other outlets debunked those claims again and again. The Times later apologized and fired Judith Miller, one of its reporters who wrote several of the pieces that supported the false claims.

But it was never a problem of one reporter who channeled false claims by anonymous administration officials into her reports. It was the editorial decision by the Times , taken long before the war on Iraq began, to use its power to support such a war. That editorial decision made it possible that those false claims appeared in the paper.

This month alone one NYT editorial, one editorial cartoon and at least five reporters in three pieces published in the New York Times made false claims about an Iranian nuclear weapons program that, as all the relevant official institutions confirm, does not exist. This does not happen by chance.

It it is now obvious that the Times again decided to support false claims by an administration that is pushing the U.S. towards another war in the Middle East.

[May 15, 2019] They hate us for our freedom 2.0

Neocons and neolibs control the USA foreign policy. That's given. NYT just reflects foreign policy establishment talking points.
Links between Daniel Jones and Steele are really interesting and new information
Notable quotes:
"... "The goal here is bigger than any one election," said Daniel Jones, a former F.B.I. analyst and Senate investigator whose nonprofit group, Advance Democracy, recently flagged a number of suspicious websites and social media accounts to law enforcement authorities. ..."
"... According to a report published this morning, he notes that the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which has received "significant funding" from technology billionaires, funneled $500,000 to the non-profit group Advance Democracy. That organization shares a street address with The Democracy Integrity Project. ..."
"... That's because both organizations were founded by former Senate Intel staffer Daniel Jones, who at that time worked for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who hails from just down the road from Silicon Valley in San Francisco. As TruNews has previously reported, those connections to the Senate Intel Committee have played a significant role in the ongoing "Russia Narrative" drama in Washington, D.C. ..."
"... Jones has been previously identified as a central figure in the investigation who served as potential go-between with the committee's ranking Democrat, Sen. Mark Warner, and former MI6 agent Christopher Steele. ..."
"... The NYT is very much invested in the post Cold War status quo. ..."
"... That would be the Clintons and the Bushes. Both political parties and every POTUS since 1968. In fact, I believe this is the main reason why the Dems created and are pushing Russiagate so hard. They don't want us looking at what really gave us Trump: the neoliberal neoconservative fiasco of the past 40+ years. ..."
"... told about Russia and that they interfered with not only our elections, but in so many other countries too. I remember a time when people would insist on seeing the evidence on stuff the intelligence agencies tell them, but ever since Her lost the election they lost their minds. I'll see references to articles that say something, but offer no evidence. Like the one this essay is about. ..."
"... Plus they tried to kill the Skripals. And the GOP are also under Vlad's thumb. This is why Russia Gate has to be debunked. ..."
"... So, yes, it's going to take too long. Short of a miracle, I'm starting to think we're all going to be radioactive ash before Cold War II ends. There was a modicum of restraint with Cold War I; some people had enough sense to realize the end result was nuclear war. That type of sense seems nowhere to be found in Washington, D.C., these days. ..."
"... Dick Cheney is as evil as any human being I've ever heard of. I doubt whether he's done everything some folks believe he's done -- but not because he isn't evil enough, only because he lacked either the guts or the necessity. I believe he would have fit in perfectly well with Himmler and Goebbels, and he would enthusiastically embraced their approach to getting and wielding power. ..."
"... A few months ago, I made a comment to someone that it's like we're supposed to hate them (Russia) for their freedoms. ..."
May 15, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

"They hate us for our freedom" 2.0


gjohnsit on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 5:32pm The NY Times just posted one of the most atrocious pieces of journalistic malpractice I have ever read.

Less than two weeks before pivotal elections for the European Parliament, a constellation of websites and social media accounts linked to Russia or far-right groups is spreading disinformation, encouraging discord and amplifying distrust in the centrist parties that have governed for decades.

European Union investigators, academics and advocacy groups say the new disinformation efforts share many of the same digital fingerprints or tactics used in previous Russian attacks, including the Kremlin's interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.

That's a powerful statement. There's just one problem: the article doesn't present a single bit of proof. Just anecdotes. In fact, it doesn't even quote anyone to back up these claims, but for one single exception.

"The goal here is bigger than any one election," said Daniel Jones, a former F.B.I. analyst and Senate investigator whose nonprofit group, Advance Democracy, recently flagged a number of suspicious websites and social media accounts to law enforcement authorities.

"It is to constantly divide, increase distrust and undermine our faith in institutions and democracy itself. They're working to destroy everything that was built post-World War II."

Russia is why people are losing faith in our government institutions. Not because they are owned by oligarchs. If you listen closely you can hear President Bush.
So who is Daniel Jones and Advance Democracy? That's an interesting story .

According to a report published this morning, he notes that the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which has received "significant funding" from technology billionaires, funneled $500,000 to the non-profit group Advance Democracy. That organization shares a street address with The Democracy Integrity Project.

That's because both organizations were founded by former Senate Intel staffer Daniel Jones, who at that time worked for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who hails from just down the road from Silicon Valley in San Francisco. As TruNews has previously reported, those connections to the Senate Intel Committee have played a significant role in the ongoing "Russia Narrative" drama in Washington, D.C.

Jones has been previously identified as a central figure in the investigation who served as potential go-between with the committee's ranking Democrat, Sen. Mark Warner, and former MI6 agent Christopher Steele. That's because TDIP, which receives significant funding from George Soros, funneled some of that money toward Steele's research for Fusion GPS that led to the infamous dossier on President Donald Trump.

However, as Ross reports today: "Mystery surrounds both of Jones's operations. The identities of both groups' donors have largely been kept secret, as Jones has avoided revealing his backers.

Nothing to see here. Just two sketchy political organizations sharing the same street address. Perfectly normal.

"The election has yet to come, and we are already suspected of doing something wrong?" the Russian prime minister, Dmitri A. Medvedev, said in March. "Suspecting someone of an event that has not yet happened is a bunch of paranoid nonsense."

It's not nonsense. It's scapegoating. There's a difference.

gjohnsit on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 5:46pm

The Hill forgot Tulsi again

It's #IgnoreTulsiTime again. @thehill pic.twitter.com/rVe306gXxx

-- K. Rosef (@kayrosef) May 10, 2019

they can't even say it

CBS News (2/4/19) briefly interviewed Honolulu Civil Beats reporter Nick Grube regarding Gabbard's campaign announcement. The anchors had clearly never encountered the term anti-interventionism before, struggling to even pronounce the word, then laughing and saying it "doesn't roll off the tongue."
UntimelyRippd on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 5:59pm
If you have trouble pronouncing "anti-interventionism",

@gjohnsit @gjohnsit
you lack one of perhaps three must-have skills for being a TV reporter.

Centaurea on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 6:49pm
The other skills being

@UntimelyRippd a perky voice and a lack of critical thinking ability? And for women, blonde hair.

Bollox Ref on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 6:14pm
I assume that the meteoric rise of Farage's Brexit party

over the last couple of weeks, is all down to Putin/bots/funding. The NYT is very much invested in the post Cold War status quo.

Centaurea on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 6:44pm
Once again, NYT gets the facts wrong

They're [the Kremlin] working to destroy everything that was built post-World War II.

That would be the Clintons and the Bushes. Both political parties and every POTUS since 1968. In fact, I believe this is the main reason why the Dems created and are pushing Russiagate so hard. They don't want us looking at what really gave us Trump: the neoliberal neoconservative fiasco of the past 40+ years.

It's also why so many people of my generation (over 60) are having trouble understanding and accepting what's going on. To do so will require letting go of everything they thought was true. That kind of change does not come easy to many people.

I heard someone recently say "We have to elect a Dem or else our post-War advantages will disappear."

Got to wonder where he's been for the past 40 years. That horse left the barn a long time ago.

snoopydawg on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 7:12pm
Unfortunately people really believe everything they have been

@Centaurea

told about Russia and that they interfered with not only our elections, but in so many other countries too. I remember a time when people would insist on seeing the evidence on stuff the intelligence agencies tell them, but ever since Her lost the election they lost their minds. I'll see references to articles that say something, but offer no evidence. Like the one this essay is about.

Plus they tried to kill the Skripals. And the GOP are also under Vlad's thumb. This is why Russia Gate has to be debunked.

People say that Mueller has put to rest the fact that Russia indeed interfered with the election, but all he showed was the FBIs "belief' that they did and that some Russians will ties to Vlad hacked the DNC computers. He didn't interview anyone involved with that as laid out in my recent essay.

I've even seen people who were once against our invasions being okay with them and repeating the party line. Unfuckingbelievable!

TheOtherMaven on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 7:28pm
I wonder how much of this is residual Millennial Mania

@snoopydawg

The Year 2000 was not that long ago, and we were bombarded for two decades beforehand with talk of all the dreadful things that might happen, could happen, and some people firmly believed would happen - and then didn't happen. (As it turned out, the most obvious sign of "Y2K" was the "19100" bug that plagued Web pages for months afterward. It was cosmetic and harmless, but annoying.)

I expected it to take about ten years for sanity to return - but it looks like being more like fifty. And there will probably be some cultists who construct their own "reality" around what didn't happen, like the 1840s Millerites (who spun off the still-extant Seventh Day Adventists).

snoopydawg on Mon, 05/13/2019 - 1:33am
It might be longer

@TheOtherMaven

The NYT and WaPoo have new articles out about how bad the dastardly Russians are still interfering with the whole dang country now. And WaPoo had some university do a study on how Russia tried to get people to vote for Bernie and blah, blah,...

I read an article last year saying that Bernie needs to knock off being with the Russia Gaters because he is going to be accused of being in Vlad's pockets anyway. But he's still saying that Trump is under Russia's thumb and that Russia is doing all kinds of bad stuff.

Then there's all the websites like DK, emptyhead, democratic underground and others saying that Mueller confirmed Russia did bad things and maybe if the democrats work harder on their investigations they will find stuff that Mueller missed. I think 10 years is optimistic, but however long it's going to take its going to be too long.

travelerxxx on Mon, 05/13/2019 - 3:10am
A lit fuse with nothing to stop it

@snoopydawg

I think 10 years is optimistic, but however long it's going to take it's going to be too long.

Consider how long it took for Cold War I to finally start to ebb. It took at least a decade, and that was with the memory of a horrendous world war fresh on most minds. Now, we're so insulated from the reality of war, not even allowed reports from the battlefields, much less accurate information and numbers, that we have lost touch with the horror. Evil men such as Bolton spend every minute of every day trying to embroil us in deadly excursions and foreign entanglements. Our "intelligence" agencies are no more than modern versions of the NAZI era Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda.

So, yes, it's going to take too long. Short of a miracle, I'm starting to think we're all going to be radioactive ash before Cold War II ends. There was a modicum of restraint with Cold War I; some people had enough sense to realize the end result was nuclear war. That type of sense seems nowhere to be found in Washington, D.C., these days.

thanatokephaloides on Mon, 05/13/2019 - 8:12pm
the Russians

@travelerxxx

So, yes, it's going to take too long. Short of a miracle, I'm starting to think we're all going to be radioactive ash before Cold War II ends. There was a modicum of restraint with Cold War I; some people had enough sense to realize the end result was nuclear war. That type of sense seems nowhere to be found in Washington, D.C., these days.

Fortunately for us ordinary Americans, the Russians really do love their children too.....

//www.youtube.com/embed/wHylQRVN2Qs?modestbranding=0&html5=1&rel=0&autoplay=0&wmode=opaque&loop=0&controls=1&autohide=0&showinfo=0&theme=dark&color=red&enablejsapi=0

Jen on Mon, 05/13/2019 - 9:02am
If Bernie is the nominee

@snoopydawg Are they going to say they're both (Bernie and Trump) working with Russia? That would be amusing. I wonder if it would cause any of them to vote third party or not vote at all.

Hawkfish on Mon, 05/13/2019 - 7:14pm
As someone in the industry...

@TheOtherMaven

...who was a software development consultant at the time, the reason nothing much happened was that's lot of people worked their butts off for several years. COBOL programmers were dragged out of retirement and all kinds of goofy OS and library hacks were implemented to reduce the amount of work and risk.

Sometimes freaking out gets the job done!

SnappleBC on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 10:03pm
It did not come easy for me anyway

@Centaurea

It's also why so many people of my generation (over 60) are having trouble understanding and accepting what's going on. To do so will require letting go of everything they thought was true. That kind of change does not come easy to many people.

I spent several years grappling with my fall down the rabbit hole. I started freeing myself from the matrix during #Occupy and towards the end of Obama's first term I was starting to really get it... at least get it enough to know I wasn't voting for him a second time. Then Bernie arrived on the scene and it was music to my ears. That pretty much completed the process for me but it STILL took time and I STILL have places where I "don't believe they are that evil" (twin towers anyone) yet I suspect that in the fullness of time I may yet find that they are in fact that evil.

I have a lot of sympathy for those still caught in the matrix. It's a really good trap. That doesn't change the fact that I see them as my enemy and the enemy of all mankind but I at least understand.

UntimelyRippd on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 10:50pm
I've always been clear on one thing:

@SnappleBC
Dick Cheney is as evil as any human being I've ever heard of. I doubt whether he's done everything some folks believe he's done -- but not because he isn't evil enough, only because he lacked either the guts or the necessity. I believe he would have fit in perfectly well with Himmler and Goebbels, and he would enthusiastically embraced their approach to getting and wielding power.

travelerxxx on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 10:58pm
I need to focus better

@UntimelyRippd

I believe he would have fit in perfectly well with Himmler and Goebbels ...

I had to go back and re-read your comment, as I had subconsciously read President Security Advisor John Bolton rather than what you wrote -- Cheney .

I mean, you were talking about evil men ...

snoopydawg on Mon, 05/13/2019 - 1:44am
They really are that evil

@SnappleBC

Just this century this country has killed a million Iraqis and who knows how many people in the other countries we've invaded? 40,000 Venezuelans died last year because of our sanctions and no matter how many people in Yemen die every day because of the Saudis we will continue supporting them.

Then there's Hiroshima and Nagasaki as aliasalias stated. Oh hell yes they are that evil.

Not Henry Kissinger on Mon, 05/13/2019 - 3:01am
After all the millions of people...

@snoopydawg @snoopydawg

killed and displaced around the Globe by the Empire in just this century alone, so many still can't believe this same government could murder 3000 on 9/11.

Cognitive dissidence doesn't even start to explain it.

Pluto's Republic on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 7:41pm
Well, the key issue here

...is the intense access that these privatized propagandists have to the New York Times . And certainly the Times should explain why it freely publishes radical divisive stories that cannot be verified from compromised sources that have previously been exposed as disreputable. This is what Russia is accused of doing, sewing confusion and fear in the US, based on misinformation. Now the New York Times is doing it for them. The fact that a US media outlet is deliberately sabotaging the domestic tranquility with alarming lies is exactly what congress should be investigating. But any congressperson that did so would see their careers destroyed. Congress surrendered to the media monopolies a long time ago.

What we can do is confirm for Americans that they must never trust anything they read in the New York Times and the Washington Post . Remind them of the tragic facts in recent history. The lies that endangers people's lives and disables their intelligence are written between the lines.

snoopydawg on Mon, 05/13/2019 - 1:46am
Ayup

@Pluto's Republic

The NYT and WaPoo and other media are continuing to come up with new stories every day telling us something new that Russia is doing. This is not going away any time soon. Unfortunately.

aliasalias on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 10:36pm
I can't forget those commercials nor the school drills

@Lookout @Lookout with us all getting under our desks or along the walls if we are in the hallway and I don't think any one of us didn't treat this as something critical for us to learn in order to survive.
As a kid that loved riding a bicycle one Public Service announcement I paid careful attention to was the instruction to do if I saw that bright flash which was to throw the bike down and curl up along the curb, I even thought about that problem on unpaved streets.

I remember bomb shelters were advertised a lot and I remember some tv dramas were about people fleeing to their bomb shelter and the dilemma of being only fit to hold a small group but had neighbors, friends and strangers pleading to be let in.

The 'Twilight Zone' series even had one episode where a very wealthy man with a shelter picked certain important people in his life, his school teacher, Priest and others were offered shelter only if they will apologize for things he'd caught criticism for his behavior in his past. Trivial stuff, but he had a screen for them to watch the destruction live.

Long story short, they'd rather die than spend the rest of their lives with him. Especially with all their friends and family gone, so he is alone, goes crazy, runs outside and is found by a policemen to be crying and babbling at a city fountain, in a city that had not been bombed, but for him it had happened and all he could see was destruction around him.

All that aside considering we'd already dropped 'the' bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki those behind all the public warnings and information that was needed in order for people to know how to survive couldn't really believe that nonsense.

Unless they could believe all those dead Japanese would've likely survived if they had ducked under their desks or curled up along a curb, and if that were true they were as loony as the 'Twilight Zone' character.
Yeah if only all those schoolchildren had jumped under their desk before the building and everything around it was obliterated.

...if you see a light brighter than the sun. (1 min)

data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==

aliasalias on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 10:51pm
Today I'm watching the NY Yankees vs Tampa Bay and

in the top of the ninth the screen goes black, the live stream has stopped because the electrical grid the Tropicana had shut down and the stadium was without power for the lights, scoreboard, broadcast, etc. were down.

It took about forty-five minutes for power to be restored but right when it happened I thought it was the stream I was watching so I clicked on other streaming sites and it was on a couple of them I read why all broadcasts were off.

But in the chat box I really couldn't tell if a few were joking or not when they blamed it on the Russians. One in particular didn't look like they were joking as that person repeated the claim a few times. No kidding, and one lamented that (paraphrasing) 'now the Russians are messing with our National sport'.

THIS is what mainstream media has wrought.

travelerxxx on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 11:02pm
Worse yet

@aliasalias

THIS is what mainstream media has wrought.

I'd offer that this is what a mainstream media controlled by handful of corporations, reading from a script, has wrought.

snoopydawg on Mon, 05/13/2019 - 1:41am
Bingo

@aliasalias

Any time something happens now people will willingly accept that Russia did something that caused it. See the tweet I posted above. Secret service agents and police are doing nothing as the Guaido goons keeps people from delivering food and stuff to the embassy sitters. One goon tried taking the bag out of a guy's hands and they just watched. One person tried to throw a cucumber and the cops pounced on him, pushed him to the ground and bloodied him up. But Russia is the one who put the embassy sitters into the embassy and is supporting them. SMDH!

Not Henry Kissinger on Mon, 05/13/2019 - 2:57am
Love the projection...

Advance Democracy, recently flagged a number of suspicious websites and social media accounts to law enforcement authorities."It is to constantly divide, increase distrust and undermine our faith in institutions and democracy itself.

An organization that reports undesirable speech to law enforcement is worried about the undermining of democracy. Got it.

Jen on Mon, 05/13/2019 - 9:09am
It's the other way around this time

A few months ago, I made a comment to someone that it's like we're supposed to hate them (Russia) for their freedoms.

[May 03, 2019] WaPo, CNN Virtually Silent After NYT Reveals 2nd FBI Spy Sent To Infiltrate Trump Campaign

I don't want to say # AGBarr is positively engaged on the Dem(on)rats. His mere level headed and professionalism exposed the Dem(on)rats' circus act.
Notable quotes:
"... You might remember that McCabe picked Goldman of all people to interview him about the use of 'Confidential Human Sources' in Operation Crossfire Hurricane - funny that! ..."
"... Goldman's (McCabe's) argument is that the President was a national security risk because he fired Comey. "Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president's own actions constituted a possible threat to national security." ..."
"... 3 years and at least 33 million have been wasted in attempt to link Trump campaign to Russian intelligence ..."
"... Brennan used any Russian talking to a U.S. person as a reason to surveillance the U.S. person. Red scare...the century old excuse used by the FBI to illegally spy on Americans. The history books won't describe his actions as honorable ..."
"... What was it that prompted Goldman (ie McCabe) to publish his latest article on the FBI Russia investigation? Answer: Barr's criticism's of the FBI. ..."
"... CIA/FBI helping each other out. Informally of course. Standard off the books quid pro quo. ..."
"... The F.B.I. received the information from the Australian government on July 26, 2016, the special counsel's report said, and the bureau code-named its investigation Crossfire Hurricane . ..."
May 03, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Both the Washington Post and CNN - which breathlessly reported on their peers' anonymously-sourced anti-Trump propaganda for two years - have somehow failed to write a single article mentioning Azra Turk . As the Times revealed on Thursday, the FBI operative who went by the name Azra Turk repeatedly flirted with Trump aide George Papadopoulos during their encounters as well as in email exchanges according to an October, 2018 Daily Caller report, confirmed by the Times.

While in London in 2016, Ms. Turk exchanged emails with Mr. Papadopoulos, saying meeting him had been the " highlight of my trip ," according to messages provided by Mr. Papadopoulos.

" I am excited about what the future holds for us :), " she wrote. - New York Times

And as the Times makes clear, "the FBI sent her to London as part of the counterintelligence inquiry opened that summer" to investigate the Trump campaign. Verified account @ ByronYork May 2 Follow Follow @ ByronYork Following Following @ ByronYork Unfollow Unfollow @ ByronYork Blocked Blocked @ ByronYork Unblock Unblock @ ByronYork Pending Pending follow request from @ ByronYork Cancel Cancel your follow request to @ ByronYork More

In his House testimony, George Papadopoulos described undercover FBI informant Stefan Halper introducing him to undercover FBI informant 'Azra Turk.' pic.twitter.com/8jO4lK6Ldt

So I get there. I get to London. And he introduces -- or he does not introduce me to, but I can't remember exactly how I came into contact with his assistant, this young lady named Azra Turk, which I think is a fake name, by the way. My --

Mr. Meadows. Why do you believe it's a fake name?

Mr. Papadopoulos. Reading -- reading Twitter and people saying that Azra in Turkish means pure and then Turk. So unless she has the name of pure Turk. I don't know. Maybe that's -- those are common names in Turkey. I don't know. But it just seems that it was probably a fake alias.

Another beautiful young lady -- you know, I had many young beautiful ladies coming into my life with Joseph Mifsud and now another professor. The professors liked to introduce me to young beautiful women.

And we're sitting there, and she didn't strike me as a Cambridge associate at all. So right away, I was suspicious that there was something not right here. She -- her English was very bad. She spoke with -- I think she was a Turkish national, but she also might have been a dual American citizen. I'm not sure. And she took me to -- out for drinks in London and was probing me a lot.

Meanwhile, a Russian-born academic falsely accused of being a Kremlin 'honeypot' operative against Mike Flynn, Svetlana Lokhova, has an interesting theory as to why the Times published the '2nd spy' revelation in the first place.

Svetlana Lokhova ‏ @ RealSLokhova 8h 8 hours ago More

I am a 'veteran' of reading Adam Goldman (NYT) articles about Halper's role with the FBI so here are pointers. You always have to ask: 1) Why did he write the article? 2) When did he write the article? 3) What is the narrative he is placing? 4) What has he left out? THREAD

Svetlana Lokhova @RealSLokhova

Follow ) v

2/ You might remember that McCabe picked Goldman of all people to interview him about the use of 'Confidential Human Sources' in
Operation Crossfire Hurricane - funny that!

Andrew McCabe intervied by NYT's Adam Goldma...

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe discussed his career, the FBI, and his firing from the Bureau. He was interviewed by New York Times reporter Adam Go...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPYUWZ9AF0M

4/ Goldman's (McCabe's) argument is that the President was a national security risk because he fired Comey. "Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president's own actions constituted a possible threat to national security."

3 years and at least 33 million have been wasted in attempt to link Trump campaign to Russian intelligence. As I stated 2 years ago, I am not A Russian honeytrap for Gen Flynn.

RG ‏ @ rgreader 15h 15 hours ago More

Replying to @ RealSLokhova

Brennan used any Russian talking to a U.S. person as a reason to surveillance the U.S. person. Red scare...the century old excuse used by the FBI to illegally spy on Americans. The history books won't describe his actions as honorable

Svetlana Lokhova @RealSLokhova • 7h v

7/ This is Goldman's implausible explanation for spying. The President is portrayed as nuts, nytimes.com/2018/05/18/us/...

President Trump accused the without evidence, of planting a mole inside his campaign to undermine his presidential run. But the F.B.I. in fact dispatched a confidential informant to meet with Trump campaign advisers as it began its investigation into possible links between his campaign and Russia.

8/ What was it that prompted Goldman (ie McCabe) to publish his latest article on the FBI Russia investigation? Answer: Barr's criticism's of the FBI.

Barr: One of the things I want to look -- there are people -- many people seem to assume that the only intelligence collection that occurred was a single confidential informant and a FISA warrant. I would like to find out whether that is, in fact, true. It strikes me as a fairly anemic effort if that was the counterintelligence effort designed to stop the threat as it's being represented.

9/ The message by NYT (McCabe) is that the FBI threw their best guys at this, hence sudden reference to Operation 'Ghost Stories'.

10/ The main message is that the Russia investigation was legally predicated,

CNN law enforcement analyst and retired FBI agent James A. Gagliano opined on Twitter that perhaps the Times was helping the intelligence community get out in front of the upcoming Inspector General report on the FBI's conduct during the 2016 election.

James A. Gagliano @JamesAGagliano

Must caveat with -- would have had to have been a "CERTIFIED" FBI Undercover Agent (UCA), who had passed the UCA course, been pre-screened (psychologicals) and been handpicked by FBI HQ for a high-profile overseas assignment. Also, Legat London would've assuredly coordinated w/MI5.

James A. Gagliano @JamesAGagliano

Unless it was foreign intelligence service supplying the "honey trap.'' Papadopoulos argued *Azra Turk* had thick accent -- which wouldn't preclude her from FBI service, if US citizen. Some argue Agency employee. Surmise, absent heavy redaction, pending IG report lays this bare.

James A. Gagliano @JamesAGagliano

MAYBE this is why @nytimes helped get out in front of the news cycle that will roil following IG report that may be released this month or next.

Yog Soggoth , 1 hour ago link

Papadapoulos was smart enough to get pictures of her with his phone ... Right?

malek , 1 hour ago link

Who is Azra Turk?

RightLineBacker , 4 minutes ago link

An FBI spy.

Thought Processor , 1 hour ago link

CIA/FBI helping each other out. Informally of course. Standard off the books quid pro quo.

11b40 , 2 hours ago link

As I understand it, the CIA is not supposed to be involved with spying on American citizens, but the FBI has wide ranging latitude. This article says she was presumed to be FBI, but Papadoploulos says he thinks she was CIA. So, it would be a graver offense if she was CIA and busy performing illegal spying activities on an American citizen.

If I am fuzzy on this, maybe someone can clarify who knows the rules a little better.

surf@jm , 2 hours ago link

New York Slimes in collusion with the CIA and FBI deepstate.......

No **** Sherlock...........

my new username , 2 hours ago link

Will she disappear like Mifsud...

C.J. , 2 hours ago link

MSM burying the truth? Well imagine my shock. I'm surprised the likes of CNN and Facebook are still trying to hide their ban on truth and just openly claim truth is hate speech.

HideTheWeenie , 2 hours ago link

If you work at the CIA, do you get "honeypot" privileges ?

They must have a lot of downtime.

Wonder if "honeypot" is a line item in the CIA budget and how they forecast that. Do their rates decline over time, maybe with an associated depletion account set up like for petroleum reserves. Lots of questions here.

Northbridge , 4 hours ago link

Here's a link to the actual article.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/02/us/politics/fbi-government-investigator-trump.html?searchResultPosition=1

[quote]

"Mr. Barr reignited the controversy last month when he told Congress , "I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal." He backed off the charged declaration later in the same hearing, saying: "I think spying did occur. The question is whether it was adequately predicated. And I'm not suggesting that it wasn't adequately predicated. But I need to explore that." "

......

Mr. Barr again defended his use of the term "spying" at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, saying he wanted to know more about the F.B.I.'s investigative efforts during 2016 and explained that the early inquiry most likely went beyond the use of an informant and a court-authorized wiretap of a former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page, who had interacted with a Russian intelligence officer.

.....

Weeks before Mr. Papadopoulos met with Ms. Turk and Mr. Halper, the F.B.I. had opened its investigation into the Russia effort -- based largely on information that Mr. Papadopoulos had relayed to an Australian diplomat about a Russian offer to help the Trump campaign by releasing thousands of hacked Democratic emails.

The F.B.I. received the information from the Australian government on July 26, 2016, the special counsel's report said, and the bureau code-named its investigation Crossfire Hurricane .

Investigators scrambled to determine whether Mr. Papadopoulos had any Russian contacts while deciding to scrutinize three additional Trump campaign aides who had concerning ties to Russia: Paul Manafort, its chairman; Michael T. Flynn, who went on to be the president's first national security adviser; and Mr. Page.

[/quote]

AntiLeMaire , 4 hours ago link

His response: "I'm just going to leave it right now as a 'government investigator.' I use that wording for a reason, and I'm going to leave it at that."

Priceless!

Not FBI, just a 'government investigator.' and "I use that wording for a reason," and people on Twitter all trying to solve that complicated puzzle ! LOL.

[Apr 28, 2019] SBS broadcast a 4 part doco called The Fourth Estate in June last year. It s about the NYT unhealthy obsession with Trump

Apr 28, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Hoarsewhisperer , Apr 28, 2019 5:20:25 PM | link

SBS broadcast a 4 part doco called The Fourth Estate in June last year. It's about the NYT unhealthy obsession with Trump. Episode 1 begins with his swearing in and cuts to stunned(?) NYT staffers watching the speech in which he says "For too long, our politicians have prospered while (blah blah blah) and this stops, right here, and right now."
From then on it consists of an endless stream of huddles as various groups of staffers ponder the best way to spin various 'angles' and approaches, or solo senior staffers pontificating on all manner of hypotheticals. There are lots of opinionated people working at the NYT and none of them is 'stupid'.
I recorded Episode 1 and my conclusion from watching it is that NOTHING the NYT publishes is accidental. I began recording Episode 2 but aborted the mission after 30 minutes or so because the repetitive self-worship and drivel was eerily similar to Episode 1.

Wikipedia has an entry devoted to the series and it's freely available on the www. I recommend watching the first few minutes of Episode 1 just to get a feeling for the tone.

The cartoon in question was published in an International Edition as a gloat or a public (private) joke, imo. I remain unconvinced that the Editorial Staff at the Jew York Times was blissfully unaware that the cartoon 'might' create an opportunity for the "Anti-Semitism!!?" crowd to stir up, and capitalise upon, the ensuing indignation and outrage.

[Apr 21, 2019] NYT The Tables Have Turned -- Time To Investigate The FBI, Steele And The Rest Of The Witch Hunters

The country was divided before Mueller Report. Now it is even more divided.
Notable quotes:
"... We wouldn't know that a Clinton-linked operative, Joseph Mifsud, seeded Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos with the rumor that Russia had 'Dirt' on Hillary Clinton - which would later be coaxed out of Papadopoulos by a Clinton-linked Australian ambassador, Alexander Downer, and that this apparent 'setup' would be the genesis of the FBI's " operation crossfire hurricane " operation against the Trump campaign. ..."
"... We wouldn't know about the role of Fusion GPS - the opposition research firm hired by Hillary Clinton's campaign to commission the Steele dossier. Fusion is also linked to the infamous Trump Tower meeting , and hired Nellie Ohr - the CIA-linked wife of the DOJ's then-#4 employee, Bruce Ohr. Nellie fed her husband Bruce intelligence she had gathered against Trump while working for Fusion , according to transcripts of her closed-door Congressional testimony. ..."
"... Now the dossier -- financed by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee , and compiled by the former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele -- is likely to face new, possibly harsh scrutiny from multiple inquiries . - NYT ..."
"... The report was debunked after internet sleuths traced the IP address to a marketing server located outside Philadelphia, leading Alfa Bank executives to file a lawsuit against Fusion GPS in October 2017, claiming their reputations were harmed by the Steele Dossier. ..."
"... And who placed the Trump-Alfa theory with various media outlets? None other than former FBI counterintelligence officer and Dianne Feinstein aide Dan Jones - who is currently working with Fusion GPS and Steele to continue their Trump-Russia investigation funded in part by George Soros . ..."
"... Of course, when one stops painting with broad brush strokes, it's clear that the dossier was fabricated bullshit. ..."
"... after a nearly two-year investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller and roughly 40 FBI agents and other specialists, no evidence was found to support the dossier's wild claims of "DNC moles, Romanian hackers, Russian pensioners, or years of Trump-Putin intelligence trading ," as the Times puts it. ..."
"... As there was spying, there must necessarily also have been channels to get the information thus gathered back to its original buyer - the Clinton campaign. Who passed the information back to Clinton, and what got passed? ..."
"... the NYTt prints all the news a scumbag would. remember Judith Miller, the Zionazi reporter the NYT ..."
"... There was no 'hack.' That is the big, anti-Russia, pro-MIC lie which all the other lies serve. ..."
"... Seth Rich had the means and the motive. So did Imran Awan, but it would make no sense for Awan to turn anything over to wikileaks . . .he would have kept them as insurance. ..."
"... Until the real criminals are processed and the media can be restored you don't have a United States. This corruption is beyond comprehension. You had the (((media)) providing kickbacks to the FBI for leaked information. These bribes are how CNN was on site during Roger Stones invasion. ..."
"... So now the narrative is, "We were wrong about Russian collusion, and that's Russia's fault"?! ..."
Apr 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

As we now shift from the "witch hunt" against Trump to 'investigating the investigators' who spied on him - remember this; Donald Trump was supposed to lose the 2016 election by almost all accounts. And had Hillary won, as expected, none of this would have seen the light of day .

We wouldn't know that a hyper-partisan FBI had spied on the Trump campaign , as Attorney General William Barr put it during his April 10 Congressional testimony .

We wouldn't know that a Clinton-linked operative, Joseph Mifsud, seeded Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos with the rumor that Russia had 'Dirt' on Hillary Clinton - which would later be coaxed out of Papadopoulos by a Clinton-linked Australian ambassador, Alexander Downer, and that this apparent 'setup' would be the genesis of the FBI's " operation crossfire hurricane " operation against the Trump campaign.

We wouldn't know about the role of Fusion GPS - the opposition research firm hired by Hillary Clinton's campaign to commission the Steele dossier. Fusion is also linked to the infamous Trump Tower meeting , and hired Nellie Ohr - the CIA-linked wife of the DOJ's then-#4 employee, Bruce Ohr. Nellie fed her husband Bruce intelligence she had gathered against Trump while working for Fusion , according to transcripts of her closed-door Congressional testimony.

And if not for reporting by the Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross and others, we wouldn't know that the FBI sent a longtime spook, Stefan Halper, to infiltrate and spy on the Trump campaign - after the Obama DOJ paid him over $400,000 right before the 2016 US election (out of more than $1 million he received while Obama was president).

According to the New York Times , the tables are turning, starting with the Steele Dossier.

[T]he release on Thursday of the report by the special counsel , Robert S. Mueller III, underscored what had grown clearer for months -- that while many Trump aides had welcomed contacts with the Russians, some of the most sensational claims in the dossier appeared to be false, and others were impossible to prove . Mr. Mueller's report contained over a dozen passing references to the document's claims but no overall assessment of why so much did not check out.

Now the dossier -- financed by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee , and compiled by the former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele -- is likely to face new, possibly harsh scrutiny from multiple inquiries . - NYT

While Congressional Republicans have vowed to investigate, the DOJ's Inspector General is considering whether the FBI improperly relied on the dossier when they used it to apply for a surveillance warrant on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The IG also wants to know about Steele's sources and whether the FBI disclosed any doubts as to the veracity of the dossier .

Attorney General Barr, meanwhile, said he will review the FBI's conduct in the Russia investigation after saying the agency spied on the Trump campaign .

Doubts over the dossier

The FBI's scramble to vet the dossier's claims are well known. According to an April, 2017 NYT report , the FBI agreed to pay Steele $50,000 for "solid corroboration" of his claims . Steele was apparently unable to produce satisfactory evidence - and was ultimately not paid for his efforts:

Mr. Steele met his F.B.I. contact in Rome in early October, bringing a stack of new intelligence reports. One, dated Sept. 14, said that Mr. Putin was facing "fallout" over his apparent involvement in the D.N.C. hack and was receiving "conflicting advice" on what to do.

The agent said that if Mr. Steele could get solid corroboration of his reports, the F.B.I. would pay him $50,000 for his efforts, according to two people familiar with the offer. Ultimately, he was not paid . - NYT

Still, the FBI used the dossier to obtain the FISA warrant on Page - while the document itself was heavily shopped around to various media outlets . The late Sen. John McCain provided a copy to Former FBI Director James Comey, who already had a version, and briefed President Trump on the salacious document. Comey's briefing to Trump was then used by CNN and BuzzFeed to justify reporting on and publishing the dossier following the election.

Let's not forget that in October, 2016, both Hillary Clinton and her campaign chairman John Podesta promoted the conspiracy theory that a secret Russian server was communicating with Trump Tower.

The report was debunked after internet sleuths traced the IP address to a marketing server located outside Philadelphia, leading Alfa Bank executives to file a lawsuit against Fusion GPS in October 2017, claiming their reputations were harmed by the Steele Dossier.

And who placed the Trump-Alfa theory with various media outlets? None other than former FBI counterintelligence officer and Dianne Feinstein aide Dan Jones - who is currently working with Fusion GPS and Steele to continue their Trump-Russia investigation funded in part by George Soros .

Dan Jones, George Soros, Glenn Simpson

Russian tricks? The Times notes that Steele "has not ruled out" that he may have been fed Russian disinformation while assembling his dossier.

That would mean that in addition to carrying out an effective attack on the Clinton campaign, Russian spymasters hedged their bets and placed a few land mines under Mr. Trump's presidency as well.

Oleg D. Kalugin, a former K.G.B. general who now lives outside Washington, saw that as plausible. "Russia has huge experience in spreading false information," he said. - NYT

In short, Steele is being given an 'out' with this admission.

A lawyer for Fusion GPS, Joshua Levy, says that the Mueller report substantiated the "core reporting" in the Steele memos - namely that "Trump campaign figures were secretly meeting Kremlin figures," and that Russia's president, Vladimir V. Putin, had directed "a covert operation to elect Donald J. Trump."

Of course, when one stops painting with broad brush strokes, it's clear that the dossier was fabricated bullshit.

The dossier tantalized Mr. Trump's opponents with a worst-case account of the president's conduct. And for those trying to make sense of the Trump-Russia saga, the dossier infused the quest for understanding with urgency.

In blunt prose, it suggested that a foreign power had fully compromised the man who would become the next president of the United States.

The Russians, it asserted, had tried winning over Mr. Trump with real estate deals in Moscow -- which he had not taken up -- and set him up with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel in 2013, filming the proceedings for future exploitation. A handful of aides were described as conspiring with the Russians at every turn.

Mr. Trump, it said, had moles inside the D.N.C. The memos claimed that he and the Kremlin had been exchanging intelligence for eight years and were using Romanian hackers against the Democrats , and that Russian pensioners in the United States were running a covert communications network . - NYT

And after a nearly two-year investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller and roughly 40 FBI agents and other specialists, no evidence was found to support the dossier's wild claims of "DNC moles, Romanian hackers, Russian pensioners, or years of Trump-Putin intelligence trading ," as the Times puts it.

Now that the shoe is on the other foot, and key Democrats backing away from talks of impeachment, let's see if lady justice will follow the rest of us down the rabbit hole.


Yippie21 , 2 minutes ago link

This is why the whole FISA court is a joke. What is their remedy if their power is abused? What happens. Well,... the FISA courts was lied to and found out about it in the early 2000's. Mueller was FBI chief. So they got a strongly worded dressing-down, a mark in their permanent record from high school, and NO ONE was fired... no one was sanctioned, no agent was transferred to Alaska.

Fast forward 10 or 12 years and the FBI is doing this **** again. Lying to the court... you know the court where there are no Democrat judges or Republican judges.. they are all super awesome.... and what is the remedy when the FISA court is told they've been lied to by the FBI and used in a intel operation with MI6, inserting assets, into a freaking domestic Presidential campaign!!! and then they WON. Good god.

And what do we hear from our court? Nadda. Do we hear of some Federal Judges hauling FBI and DOJ folks in front of them and throwing them in jail? Nope. It appears from here... that our Federal Justices are corrupt and have no problem letting illegal police-state actions go on with ZERO accountability or recourse. They could care less evidently. It's all secret you know... trust us they say.. Why aren't these judges publicly making loud noises about how the judiciary is complicit , with the press, in wholesale spying and leaking for political reasons AND a coup attempt when the wrong guy won.???

Where is awesome Justice Roberts? Why isn't he throwing down some truth on just how compromised the rule of law in his courts clearly are in the last 10 years? The FISA court is his baby. It does no good for them to assure us they are concerned too, and they've taken action and sent strongly worded letters. Pisses me off. ? Right? heck of rant...

San Pedro , 2 minutes ago link

When did Russians interfere in our elections?? 2016. Who was president when Russians interfered with elections?? oobama. Who was head of the CIA?? Brennan. Who was National Intelligence director?? Clapper. Who was head of the FBI when the Russians interfered in our elections?? Comey. The pattern is obvious. When Trump was a private citizen the oobama and all his cabinet appointees and Intel Managers had their hands on all the levers and instruments of Government..and did nothing . Your oobama is guilty of treason and failing his Oath Of Office...everybody knows this.

Scipio Africanuz , 4 minutes ago link

This article is still a roundabout gambit to blame Russia.

Fair enough, where's Bill Browder? In England. Browder's allegations were utilized to try and damage Russia, even though Russia (not the USSR), is about the most reliable friend America has.

Russia helped Lincoln, and were it not for that crucial help, there'd be no America to sanction Russia today. The Tsar paid for that help with his dynasty, when Nicholas II was murdered, and dethroned.

Americans are truly ungrateful brutes..

Now, sanctions, opprobrium, and hatred are heaped on Russia, most cogently by chauvinistic racists, who look down their noses at Rus (Russ) and yet, cannot sacrifice 25 millions of their own people, for the sake of others.

Russians are considered subhuman, and yet, the divine spark of humanity resides solely in their breasts. The zionists claim a false figure of 6 million for a faux holocaust, and yet, nobody pays attention to the true holocaust of 25 millions, or the many millions before that disastrous instigated war.

That the Russians are childlike, believing others to be like them, loyal, self sacrificing, and generous, has now brought the world to the brink of armageddon, and still, they bear the burden of proof, though their accusers, who ought provide the evidence, are bereft of any..

Thomas Jefferson it was, who observing whatever he observed, exclaimed in cogent agitation, that "I fear for my countrymen, when I remember that God is Just, and His Justice does not repose forever".

Investigate Jared and Ivanka Kushner, along with Charles Kushner, and much ought be clear, no cheers...

King of Ruperts Land , 5 minutes ago link

I don't buy that "Few bad apples at the top", "Good rank and file" Argument. I have never seen one. We should assume everyone from the top to the bottom of FBI, DOJ, and State, just to get started, probably every other three better agency is bad. At least incompotent, at worst treasonous.

Sanity Bear , 15 minutes ago link

As there was spying, there must necessarily also have been channels to get the information thus gathered back to its original buyer - the Clinton campaign. Who passed the information back to Clinton, and what got passed?

besnook , 20 minutes ago link

the NYTt prints all the news a scumbag would. remember Judith Miller, the Zionazi reporter the NYT used to push the Iraq war with all sorts of ********? after the war was determined to be started under a false premise and became common knowledge there were no wmds in iraq the nyt came forward and reported the war was ******** as if they were reporting breaking news.

they have done the same thing here. they pushed the russiagate story with both barrels even though the informed populace knew it was ******** before trump was sworn in as potus. now that the all the holes in the story are readily apparent the nyt comes forward with breaking revelation that something is wrong with the story.

ClickNLook , 23 minutes ago link

Now we will have another 2 years of investigation and another expensive and meaningless report. WWE Soup Opera continues. Plot sickens.

I Am Jack's Macroaggression , 30 minutes ago link

There was no 'hack.' That is the big, anti-Russia, pro-MIC lie which all the other lies serve.

I Am Jack's Macroaggression , 30 minutes ago link

There was no 'hack.' That is the big, anti-Russia, pro-MIC lie which all the other lies serve.

His name is Seth Rich.

DaBard51 , 24 minutes ago link

The Seth Rich investigation; where is it now? Murder of a campaign staffer; tampering with or influencing an election, is it not? Hmmm... When nine hundred years old you become, look this good you will not.

ClickNLook , 19 minutes ago link

Once upon a time there was a Bernie supporter. And his name was Seth Rich. Then there was a "botched robbery", which evidence that was concluded on, I have no idea. Do you? Anyhow, The End.

Amy G. Dala , 22 minutes ago link

Seth Rich had the means and the motive. So did Imran Awan, but it would make no sense for Awan to turn anything over to wikileaks . . .he would have kept them as insurance.

Why wouldn't Assange name the source for the DNC emails? Is this a future bargaining chip? And what if he did name Seth Rich? He would have to prove it. Could he?

ComeAndTakeIt , 10 minutes ago link

They've got Assange now...Maybe they should ask him if it was Seth Rich who gave him the emails?

Maybe even do it under oath and on national television. I don't think it's still considered "burning a source" if your source has already been murdered....

Bricker , 32 minutes ago link

Until the real criminals are processed and the media can be restored you don't have a United States. This corruption is beyond comprehension. You had the (((media)) providing kickbacks to the FBI for leaked information. These bribes are how CNN was on site during Roger Stones invasion.

Treason and Sedition is rampant in America and all SPY roads lead to Clapper, Brennan and Obama...This needs attention.

The media is abusive and narrating attacks on a dully elected president

Mike Rotsch , 35 minutes ago link

Oleg D. Kalugin, a former K.G.B. general who now lives outside Washington, saw that as plausible. "Russia has huge experience in spreading false information," he said. - NYT

You have got to be ******* kidding me. So now the narrative is, "We were wrong about Russian collusion, and that's Russia's fault"?!

[Apr 18, 2019] NYT reported on children and ducks not merely as a quote of CIA director, but as a straight fact.

Apr 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Piotr Berman , Apr 17, 2019 1:53:14 PM | link

I am not sure if it is clear for folks on the far side of NYT paywall that NYT reported on "children and ducks" not merely as a quote of CIA director, but as a straight fact. This is the caption of one of the photos illustrating the article: "A former Russian intelligence officer, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter were poisoned last year in Britain in a slipshod attack that also sickened children, killed ducks and required careful cleanup.CreditWill Oliver/EPA, via Shutterstock"

Zachary Smith , Apr 17, 2019 1:59:53 PM | link

@ Grieved #74

I'm willing to believe a lot of things about the Brits and Haspel, but "stupid" isn't one of them. That they tried the Skripal stunt demonstrates they had great confidence in their control of the UK and US press, and I'll concede that confidence was justified.

karlof1 , Apr 17, 2019 5:44:31 PM | link

KC @107--

Note Haspel hasn't denied any aspect of the news item.

Why perpetrate a hoax like the Skripal Saga, which was all too real for the one confirmed dead.

Taregt: Russia

Why? Previous sanctions not performing as anticipated--indeed, they are actually backfiring.

But if that policy line's already a proven failure, why double-down?
When faced with failure, Neocons always double-down.

Meanwhile, sanctions employed for almost 4 years when Skripal Act 1 begins clearly aren't working, which brings up the question of how Russia is actually perceived by the genuine International Community--did the provocations and sanctions diminish Russia's standing in the world prior to March 2018?

Given ever growing attendance to Russian sponsored and located symposiums, Russia's reputation seems to be growing at the expense of the smearing nations.

Motive for Skripal Hoax: To do what sanctions couldn't.

Outcome of Skripal Hoax: Russian reputation higher than ever. Indeed, the two hoaxes have had the opposite affect on Russia's international standing and the entire sanctions regime helped to make Russia stronger than it otherwise would be without their imposition.

[Apr 14, 2019] Assange rendition might backfire for Trump administration

Vindictiveness not always play in the vindictive party favour.
You may love Assange you may hate Assange for his WikiLeaks revelation (And Vault 7 was a real bombshell), but it is clear that it will cost Trump some reputation out of tini share that still left, especially in view of Trump declaration "I love Wikileaks"
Apr 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

For seven years, we have had to listen to a chorus of journalists, politicians and "experts" telling us that Assange was nothing more than a fugitive from justice, and that the British and Swedish legal systems could be relied on to handle his case in full accordance with the law. Barely a "mainstream" voice was raised in his defence in all that time.

... ... ...

The political and media establishment ignored the mounting evidence of a secret grand jury in Virginia formulating charges against Assange, and ridiculed Wikileaks' concerns that the Swedish case might be cover for a more sinister attempt by the US to extradite Assange and lock him away in a high-security prison, as had happened to whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

... ... ...

Equally, they ignored the fact that Assange had been given diplomatic status by Ecuador, as well as Ecuadorean citizenship. Britain was obligated to allow him to leave the embassy, using his diplomatic immunity, to travel unhindered to Ecuador. No "mainstream" journalist or politician thought this significant either.

... ... ...

They turned a blind eye to the news that, after refusing to question Assange in the UK, Swedish prosecutors had decided to quietly drop the case against him in 2015. Sweden had kept the decision under wraps for more than two years.

... ... ...

Most of the other documents relating to these conversations were unavailable. They had been destroyed by the UK's Crown Prosecution Service in violation of protocol. But no one in the political and media establishment cared, of course.

Similarly, they ignored the fact that Assange was forced to hole up for years in the embassy, under the most intense form of house arrest, even though he no longer had a case to answer in Sweden. They told us -- apparently in all seriousness -- that he had to be arrested for his bail infraction, something that would normally be dealt with by a fine.

... ... ...

This was never about Sweden or bail violations, or even about the discredited Russiagate narrative, as anyone who was paying the vaguest attention should have been able to work out. It was about the US Deep State doing everything in its power to crush Wikileaks and make an example of its founder.

It was about making sure there would never again be a leak like that of Collateral Murder, the military video released by Wikileaks in 2007 that showed US soldiers celebrating as they murdered Iraqi civilians. It was about making sure there would never again be a dump of US diplomatic cables, like those released in 2010 that revealed the secret machinations of the US empire to dominate the planet whatever the cost in human rights violations.

Now the pretence is over. The British police invaded the diplomatic territory of Ecuador -- invited in by Ecuador after it tore up Assange's asylum status -- to smuggle him off to jail. Two vassal states cooperating to do the bidding of the US empire. The arrest was not to help two women in Sweden or to enforce a minor bail infraction.

No, the British authorities were acting on an extradition warrant from the US. And the charges the US authorities have concocted relate to Wikileaks' earliest work exposing the US military's war crimes in Iraq -- the stuff that we all once agreed was in the public interest, that British and US media clamoured to publish themselves.

Still the media and political class is turning a blind eye. Where is the outrage at the lies we have been served up for these past seven years? Where is the contrition at having been gulled for so long? Where is the fury at the most basic press freedom -- the right to publish -- being trashed to silence Assange? Where is the willingness finally to speak up in Assange's defence?

It's not there. There will be no indignation at the BBC, or the Guardian, or CNN. Just curious, impassive -- even gently mocking -- reporting of Assange's fate.

And that is because these journalists, politicians and experts never really believed anything they said. They knew all along that the US wanted to silence Assange and to crush Wikileaks. They knew that all along and they didn't care. In fact, they happily conspired in paving the way for today's kidnapping of Assange.

They did so because they are not there to represent the truth, or to stand up for ordinary people, or to protect a free press, or even to enforce the rule of law. They don't care about any of that. They are there to protect their careers, and the system that rewards them with money and influence. They don't want an upstart like Assange kicking over their applecart.

Now they will spin us a whole new set of deceptions and distractions about Assange to keep us anaesthetised, to keep us from being incensed as our rights are whittled away, and to prevent us from realising that Assange's rights and our own are indivisible. We stand or fall together.

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His books include "Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto Press) and "Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair" (Zed Books). His website is www.jonathan-cook.net .


anonymous [340] • Disclaimer , says: April 12, 2019 at 10:41 am GMT

Thank you.

This should be an uncomfortable time for the “journalists” of the Establishment. Very few will speak up as does Mr. Cook. Watch how little is said about the recent Manning re-imprisonment to sweat out grand jury testimony. Things may have grown so craven that we’ll even see efforts to revoke Mr. Assange’s awards.

This is also a good column for us to share with those people who just might want not to play along with the lies that define Exceptionalia.

Digital Samizdat , says: April 12, 2019 at 5:11 pm GMT

… from the moment Julian Assange first sought refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, they have been telling us we were wrong, that we were paranoid conspiracy theorists. We were told there was no real threat of Assange’s extradition to the United States, that it was all in our fevered imaginations.

It all reminds me of Rod Dreher’s Law of Merited Impossibility: “That’ll never happen. And when it does , boy won’t you deserve it!”

Equally, they ignored the fact that Assange had been given diplomatic status by Ecuador, as well as Ecuadorean citizenship. Britain was obligated to allow him to leave the embassy, using his diplomatic immunity, to travel unhindered to Ecuador. No “mainstream” journalist or politician thought this significant either.

Why would they? They don’t even recognize diplomatic status for heads of state who get in their way! Remember what they did to President Evo Morales of Bolivia back when he was threatening to grant asylum to Ed Snowden? Here’s a refresher:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evo_Morales_grounding_incident

Any way you slice, this is a sad for liberty.

Carlton Meyer , says: • Website April 13, 2019 at 4:32 am GMT
From my blog:

Apr 13, 2019 – Julian Assange

People who just watch corporate media think Julian Assange is a bad guy who deserves life in prison, except those who watch the great Tucker Carlson. Watch his recent show where he explains why our corporate media and political class hate Assange.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZE7OfU71Sbk?feature=oembed

He is charged with encouraging Army Private Chelsea Manning to send him embarrassing information, specifically this video of a US Army Apache helicopter gunning down civilians in broad daylight in Baghdad.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/25EWUUBjPMo?feature=oembed

But there is no proof of this, and Manning has repeatedly said he never communicated to Assange about anything. Manning got eight years in prison for this crime; the Apache pilots were never charged. and now they want to hang Assange for exposing a war crime. I have recommend this great 2016 interview twice, where Assange calmly explains the massive corruption that patriotic FBI agents refer to as the “Clinton Crime Family.”

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_sbT3_9dJY4?feature=oembed

This gang is so powerful that it ordered federal agents to spy on the Trump political campaign, and indicted and imprisoned some participants in an attempt to pressure President Trump to step down. It seems Trump still fears this gang, otherwise he would order his attorney general to drop this bogus charge against Assange, then pardon him forever and invite him to speak at White House press conferences.

The Alarmist , says: April 13, 2019 at 5:01 am GMT

“… they ignored the fact that Assange was forced to hole up for years in the embassy, under the most intense form of house arrest, even though he no longer had a case to answer in Sweden.”

Meh! Assange should have walked out the door of the embassy years ago. He might have ended up in the same place, but he could have seized the moral high ground by seeking asylum in Britain for fear of the death penalty in the US, which was a credible fear given public comments by various US officials. By rotting away in the Ecuadorian embassy, be greatly diminished any credibility he might have had to turn the UK judicial system inside out to his favour. Now he’s just a creepy looking bail jumper who flung faeces against the wall, rather than being a persecuted journalist.

Endgame Napoleon , says: April 13, 2019 at 6:14 am GMT
@Johnny Rottenborough Millionaire politicians on both sides of the political fence get very emotional about anything that impacts their own privacy & safety and the privacy & safety of their kin, while ignoring the issues that jeopardize the privacy & safety of ordinary voters. While corporate-owned politicians get a lot out of this game, ordinary voters who have never had less in the way of Fourth Amendment privacy rights, and whose First Amendment rights are quickly shrinking to the size of Assange’s, do not get the consolation of riches without risk granted to bought-off politicians in this era’s pay-to-play version of democracy. It’s a lose / lose for average voters.
Tom Welsh , says: April 13, 2019 at 9:31 am GMT
Mr Cook’s criticism of the mainstream media (MSM) is absolutely justified.

It seems to me that their hatred of Mr Assange reflects the unfortunate fact that, while he is a real journalist, they actually aren’t. Instead, they are stenographers for power: what Paul Craig Roberts calls “presstitutes” (a very happy coinage which exactly hits the bull’s eye).

The difference is that real journalists, like Mr Assange, Mr Roberts and Mr Cook, are mainly motivated by the search for objective truth – which they then publish, as far as they are able.

Whereas those people who go by the spurious names of “journalist”, “reporter”, “editor”, etc. are motivated by the desire to go on earning their salaries, and to gain promotion and “distinction” in society. (Sad but true: social distinction is often gained by performing acts of dishonesty and downright wickedness).

Here are some interesting quotations that cast some light on this disheartening state of affairs. If you look carefully at their dates you may be surprised to find that nothing has changed very much since the mid-19th century.

‘Marr: “How can you know that I’m self-censoring? How can you know that journalists are…”

‘Chomsky: “I’m not saying you’re self censoring. I’m sure you believe everything you’re saying. But what I’m saying is that if you believed something different, you wouldn’t be sitting where you’re sitting”’.

– Transcript of interview between Noam Chomsky and Andrew Marr (Feb. 14, 1996) https://scratchindog.blogspot.com/2015/07/transcript-of-interview-between-noam.html

‘If something goes wrong with the government, a free press will ferret it out and it will get fixed. But if something goes wrong with our free press, the country will go straight to hell’.

– I. F. Stone (as reported by his son Dr Jeremy J Stone) http://russia-insider.com/en/media-criticism/hey-corporate-media-glenn-greenwald-video-can-teach-you-what-real-journalism/ri6669

‘There is no such a thing in America as an independent press, unless it is out in country towns. You are all slaves. You know it, and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to express an honest opinion. If you expressed it, you would know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid $150 for keeping honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for doing similar things. If I should allow honest opinions to be printed in one issue of my paper, I would be like Othello before twenty-four hours: my occupation would be gone. The man who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the street hunting for another job. The business of a New York journalist is to distort the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of Mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread, or for what is about the same — his salary. You know this, and I know it; and what foolery to be toasting an “Independent Press”! We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are jumping-jacks. They pull the string and we dance. Our time, our talents, our lives, our possibilities, are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes’.

– John Swinton (1829–1901), Scottish-American journalist, newspaper publisher, and orator. https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_Swinton http://www.rense.com/general20/yes.htm

‘The press today is an army with carefully organized arms and branches, with journalists as officers, and readers as soldiers. But here, as in every army, the soldier obeys blindly, and war-aims and operation-plans change without his knowledge. The reader neither knows, nor is allowed to know, the purposes for which he is used, nor even the role that he is to play. A more appalling caricature of freedom of thought cannot be imagined. Formerly a man did not dare to think freely. Now he dares, but cannot; his will to think is only a willingness to think to order, and this is what he feels as his liberty’.

– Oswald Spengler, “The Decline of the West” Vol. II, trans. C.F. Atkinson (1928), p. 462

‘How do wars start? Wars start when politicians lie to journalists, then believe what they read in the press’.

– Karl Kraus, “Through Western Eyes – Russia Misconstrued” http://www.hellevig.net/ebook/Putin’s%20new%20Russia.pdf

And finally, two quotations from classic novels which go to the heart of the matter.

‘It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it’.

– Upton Sinclair

‘Sometimes a man wants to be stupid if it lets him do a thing his cleverness forbids’.

– John Steinbeck (“East of Eden”)

UncommonGround , says: April 13, 2019 at 10:13 am GMT