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Journalists for Hire How the CIA Buys the News by Dr. Udo Ulfkotte

News Color revolutions Recommended Links Media as a weapon of mass deception US and British media are servants of security apparatus Integrity Initiative Edward Lucas as agent provocateur
The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment Patterns of Propaganda The Real War on Reality Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism 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 and slander 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 MSM censorship aka "controlling the narrative" Diplomacy by deception Groupthink Lewis Powell Memo
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
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In 2014, German journalist Udo Ulfkotte, former director of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, author of the book “Gekaufte Journalisten”, (Journalists for Hire), denounced European media who write lies under pressure from the CIA. An English translation now is available but is very expensive.  Wikipedia has the following information about the book:

In 2014, Ulfkotte published the book Gekaufte Journalisten (German Bought Journalists), in which he stated that the CIA and other secret services pay money to journalists to report stories in a certain light. According to Ulfkotte, the CIA and German intelligence (BND) bribe journalists in Germany to write pro-NATO propaganda articles, and it is well understood that one may lose their media job if they fail to comply with the pro-Western agenda.[19] Der Spiegel noted that "Ulfkotte’s book was published by Kopp, a melting pot for conspiracy theorists. Kopp publishes works by ufologists, and by authors who claim the Americans destroyed the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center themselves in 2001... Ulfkotte’s critics see the book as a vendetta against the FAZ, which he left on bad terms."[20]

On May 15, 2017 Next Revelation Press, an imprint of US-Canadian-based publisher Tayen Lane, released the English version of Bought Journalists, under the title, Journalists for Hire: How the CIA Buys the News. James F. Tracy wrote on the globalresearch.ca conspiracy theory website that this English translation appears to have been suppressed throughout North America and Europe, that Tayen Lane has since removed any reference to the title from its website, and that, correspondingly, Amazon.com (per 31 July 2017) indicates the title is “currently unavailable,” with opportunities to purchase from independent sellers offering used copies for no less than $1309.09. The book’s subject matter and unexplained disappearance from the marketplace suggest that powerful entities are seeking to prevent its circulation, according to Tracy. Tracy also cites Ulfkotte saying the book "was almost completely ignored by mainstream German news media",[21] although Gekaufte Journalisten sold more than 120,000 copies, lingered on the Der Spiegel bestseller list for 18 weeks, and was reviewed (and ridiculed) in Der Spiegel[22] by Jan Fleischhauer who in June 2015 also wrote a portrait of Ulfkotte which was republished in January 2017.[23]

Here is an informative review by


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[May 19, 2019] Why The Takedown Of Heinz-Christian Strache Will Strengthen The Right

Notable quotes:
"... In July 2017 Strache and his right hand man Johann Gudenus, who is also the big number in the FPOe, get invited for dinner to a rented villa on Ibiza, the Spanish tourist island in the Mediterranean. They are told that the daughter of a Russian billionaire plans large investments in Austria. It was said that she would like to help his party. The alleged daughter of the Russian billionaire, who is actually also Austrian, and her "friend" serve an expensive dinner. Alcohol flows freely. The pair offers a large party donation but asks for returns in form of mark ups on public contracts. ..."
"... Unknown to Strache the villa is professionally bugged with many hidden cameras and microphones. ..."
"... The right-wing parties will use the case to boost their legitimacy. ..."
"... Strache was obviously set up by some intelligence services, probably a German one with a British assist. The original aim was likely to blackmail him. But during the meeting on Ibiza Strache promised and did nothing illegal. Looking for potential support for his party is not a sin. Neither is discussing investments in Austria with a "daughter of a Russian oligarch." Some boosting while drunk is hardly a reason to go to jail. When the incident provided too little material to claim that Strache is corrupt, the video was held back until the right moment to politically assassinate him with the largest potential damage to his party. That moment was thought to be now. ..."
"... The massive economic shock following the banking collapse of 2007–8 is the direct cause of the crisis of confidence which is affecting almost all the institutions of western representative democracy. The banking collapse was not a natural event, like a tsunami. It was a direct result of man-made systems and artifices which permitted wealth to be generated and hoarded primarily through multiple financial transactions rather than by the actual production and sale of concrete goods, and which then disproportionately funnelled wealth to those engaged in the mechanics of the transactions. ..."
"... The political assassination of Christian Strache is unjust. What was done during the 2007-8 banking crisis was utterly corrupt and also unjust. Instead of going to jail the bankers were rewarded with extreme amounts of money for their assault on the well being of the people. The public was then told that it must starve through austerity to make up for the loss of money. ..."
May 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

During the last days a right wing politician in Austria was taken down by using an elaborate sting. Until Friday Heinz-Christian Strache was leader of the far right (but not fascist) Freedom Party of Austria (FPOe) and the Vice Chancellor of the country. On Friday morning two German papers, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung and Der Spiegel published (German) reports (English) about an old video that was made to take Strache down.

The FPOe has good connections with United Russia, the party of the Russian President Putin, and to other right-wing parties in east Europe. It's pro-Russian position has led to verbal attacks on and defamation of the party from NATO supporting and neoliberal circles.

In July 2017 Strache and his right hand man Johann Gudenus, who is also the big number in the FPOe, get invited for dinner to a rented villa on Ibiza, the Spanish tourist island in the Mediterranean. They are told that the daughter of a Russian billionaire plans large investments in Austria. It was said that she would like to help his party. The alleged daughter of the Russian billionaire, who is actually also Austrian, and her "friend" serve an expensive dinner. Alcohol flows freely. The pair offers a large party donation but asks for returns in form of mark ups on public contracts.

Unknown to Strache the villa is professionally bugged with many hidden cameras and microphones.


A scene from the video. Source: Der Falter (vid, German)

During the six hour long party several schemes get proposed by the "Russian" and are discussed. Strache rejects most of them. He insists several times that everything they plan or do must be legal and conform to the law. He says that a large donation could probably be funneled through an endowment that would then support his party. It is a gray area under Austrian party financing laws. They also discuss if the "Russian" could buy the Kronen Zeitung , Austria's powerful tabloid, and use it to prop up his party.

The evening goes on with several bottles of vodka on the table. Starche gets a bit drunk and boosts in front of the "oligarch daughter" about all his connections to rich and powerful people. He does not actually have these.

Strache says that, in exchange for help for his party, the "Russian" could get public contracts for highway building and repair. Currently most of such contracts in Austria go to the large Austrian company, STRABAG, that is owned by a neoliberal billionaire who opposes the FPOe. At that time Strache was not yet in the government and had no way to decide about such contracts.

At one point Strache seems to understand that the whole thing is a setup. But his right hand man calms him down and vouches for the "Russian". The sting ends with Strache and his companion leaving the place. The never again see the "Russian" and her co-plotter. Nothing they talked about will ever come to fruition.

Three month later Strache and his party win more than 20% in the Austrian election and form a coalition government with the conservative party OeVP led by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. Even while the FPOe controls several ministries, it does not achieve much politically. It lacks a real program and the government's policies are mostly run by the conservatives.

Nearly two years after the evening on Ibiza, ten days before the European parliament election in which Strache's party is predicted to achieve good results, a video of the evening on Ibiza is handed to two German papers which are known to be have strong transatlanticist leanings and have previously been used for other shady 'leaks'. The papers do not hesitate to take part in the plot and publish extensive reports about the video.

After the reports appeared Strache immediately stepped down and the conservatives ended the coalition with his party. Austria will now have new elections.

On Bloomberg Leonid Bershidsky opines on the case:

Strache's discussion with the Russian oligarch's fake niece shows a propensity for dirty dealing that has nothing to do with idealistic nationalism. Nationalist populists often agitate against entrenched, corrupt elites and pledge to drain various swamps. In the videos, however, Strache and Gudenus behave like true swamp creatures, savoring rumors of drug and sex scandals in Austrian politics and discussing how to create an authoritarian media machine like Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's.

I do not believe that the people who voted for the FPOe (and similar parties in other countries) will subscribe to that view. The politics of the main stream parties in Austria have for decades been notoriously corrupt. Compared to them Strache and his party are astonishingly clean. In the video he insists several times that everything must stay within the legal realm. Whenever the "Russian" puts forward a likely illegal scheme, Starche emphatically rejects it.

Bershidsky continues:

Strache, as one of the few nationalist populists in government in the European Union's wealthier member states, was an important member of the movement Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has been trying to cobble together ahead of the European Parliament election that will take place next week. On Saturday, he was supposed to attend a Salvini-led rally in Milan with other like-minded politicians from across Europe. Instead, he was in Vienna apologizing to his wife and to Kurz and protesting pitifully that he'd been the victim of a "political assassination" -- a poisonous rain on the Italian right-winger's parade.
...
This leaves the European far right in disarray and plays into the hands of centrist and leftist forces ahead of next week's election. Salvini's unifying effort has been thoroughly undermined, ...

This is also a misreading of the case. The right-wing parties will use the case to boost their legitimacy.

Strache was obviously set up by some intelligence services, probably a German one with a British assist. The original aim was likely to blackmail him. But during the meeting on Ibiza Strache promised and did nothing illegal. Looking for potential support for his party is not a sin. Neither is discussing investments in Austria with a "daughter of a Russian oligarch." Some boosting while drunk is hardly a reason to go to jail. When the incident provided too little material to claim that Strache is corrupt, the video was held back until the right moment to politically assassinate him with the largest potential damage to his party. That moment was thought to be now.

But that Strache stepped down after the sudden media assault only makes him more convincing. The right-wing all over Europe will see him as a martyr who was politically assassinated because he worked for their cause. The issue will increase the right-wingers hate against the 'liberal' establishment. It will further motivate them: "They attack us because we are right and winning." The new far-right block Natteo Salvini will setup in the European Parliament will likely receive a record share of votes.

Establishment writers notoriously misinterpret the new right wing parties and their followers. This stand-offish sentence in the Spiegel story about Strache's party demonstrates the problem:

In the last election, the party drew significant support from the working class, in part because of his ability to simplify even the most complicated of issues and play the common man, even in his role as vice chancellor.

The implicit thesis, that the working class is too dumb to understand the "most complicated of issues", is not only incredibly snobbish but utterly false. The working class understands very well what the establishment parties have done to it and continue to do. The increasing vote share of the far-right is a direct consequence of the behavior of the neoliberal center and of the lack of real left alternatives.

Last week, before the Strache video appeared, Craig Murray put his finger on the wound:

The massive economic shock following the banking collapse of 2007–8 is the direct cause of the crisis of confidence which is affecting almost all the institutions of western representative democracy. The banking collapse was not a natural event, like a tsunami. It was a direct result of man-made systems and artifices which permitted wealth to be generated and hoarded primarily through multiple financial transactions rather than by the actual production and sale of concrete goods, and which then disproportionately funnelled wealth to those engaged in the mechanics of the transactions.

...

The rejection of the political class manifests itself in different ways and has been diverted down a number of entirely blind alleys giving unfulfilled promise of a fresh start – Brexit, Trump, Macron. As the vote share of the established political parties – and public engagement with established political institutions – falls everywhere, the chattering classes deride the political symptoms of status quo rejection by the people as "populism". It is not populism to make sophisticated arguments that undermine the received political wisdom and take on the entire weight of established media opinion.

If one wants to take down the far right one has to do so with arguments and good politics for the working class. Most people, especially working class people, have a strong sense for justice. The political assassination of Christian Strache is unjust. What was done during the 2007-8 banking crisis was utterly corrupt and also unjust. Instead of going to jail the bankers were rewarded with extreme amounts of money for their assault on the well being of the people. The public was then told that it must starve through austerity to make up for the loss of money.

While I consider myself to be a strong leftist who opposes the right wherever possible, I believe to understand why people vote for Strache's FBOe and similar parties. When one talks to these people issues of injustice and inequality always come up. The new 'populist' parties at least claim to fight against the injustice done to the common men. Unlike most of the establishment parties they seem to be still mostly clean and not yet corrupted.

In the early 1990s Strache actually flirted with violent fascists but he rejected their way. While he has far-right opinions, he and his like are no danger to our societies. If we can not accept that Strache and his followers have some legitimate causes, we will soon find us confronted with way more extreme people. The neoliberal establishment seems to do its best to achieve that.

Posted by b on May 19, 2019 at 01:10 PM | Permalink

[May 16, 2019] The Disinformationists by C.J. Hopkins

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... I don' know what are the revenues of NYT or The Guardian, but I know that the US government spends 750 million a year on the Agency for Global Media (formerly Broadcasting Board of Governors). If you think US or France is under attack by warmongers, you can't imagine how many propagandists are these 750 million hiring in low-COL places like Serbia, Burma, Venezuela. ..."
"... The situation is even worse today as the CIA and Pentagon have massive propaganda budgets and have infiltrated the media at every level , the public is unaware that each day they are brainwashed by the MSM to support the agenda of the "deep State' and the MIC. ..."
"... No mention of the journalists as CIA assets who publish planted stories? Isn't Dr Udo Ulfkotte one who did that, repented, told all in his best-seller Bought Journalists, and as a warning to others unselfishly dropped dead of a heart attack within a couple of years? ..."
"... The best sentence was the one expressing the Establishment's collective faux shock that anything other than Russian spybots could be responsible for the serfs' rejection of the "two centrist parties" that have sponged up lobbyist money for 3 decades, cashing in on the globalist-Neoliberal economy, as rents rose and wages fell. ..."
"... Not too sure about the US even remaining important as a continent wide farm.. The aquifers in the West and Midwest are being inexorably drawn down to sustain the current rate of farming, so it's possible North America's value would primarily be as a source of pockets of human talent in the sciences and technologies. ..."
May 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

paraglider , says: May 15, 2019 at 3:39 pm GMT

the hysteria emanating from the nyt, cnn and the rest of the msm is the result of a conscious or subconscious grasp that socialism dying worldwide. the great ponzi scam of forcing future generations to pay for the cookies and ice cream of the present generation has hit the math of the complete dearth of unencumbered assets from which to emit more unpayable debt, insufficient economic growth upon which to pretend the debt can be serviced forget about repayment and the simple fact demographichs throughout the west are so negative the government and public pension scheme blowup in the several years

the more intelligent members of the establishment know in their bones the jig is up. hence the great and urgent need to turn up .lets over throw sovereign nations so the plunder model ..venezuela, syria, russia, china et al.can find more unencumbered assets to be brought into the nyc, london orbit of banks from which new debt can be emitted.

the west is staring at its last decade of global rule, a rule that began 500 years ago. by the 2030's finance, manufacturing and all the global power and prestige that goes with it moves from ny, london to shanghai and moscow.

if the united states is lucky and remains intact, a giant IF, we may wind up as continent size farm with a smidgen of non competitive industry here and there.

the west has only disinformation with which to go to war against the rising east. the weapons of the west are powerful ONLY in their quantity. Russian weapons already are many years beyond anything the pentagon has in the field and the gap is only increasing, ergo the us treasury is forced to fight the battle using sanctions and other forms of restrictions, a long term losing strategy irrespective of any short terms gains.

so, cj worry not, the disinformation campaign is backed by nothing but hot air and the rage from being thwarted by china and russia as well as brave pipsqueakes like iran and venezuela.

see it for what it is, transparent sound and fury signifying nothing

Anon [232] Disclaimer , says: May 15, 2019 at 5:59 pm GMT
I don' know what are the revenues of NYT or The Guardian, but I know that the US government spends 750 million a year on the Agency for Global Media (formerly Broadcasting Board of Governors). If you think US or France is under attack by warmongers, you can't imagine how many propagandists are these 750 million hiring in low-COL places like Serbia, Burma, Venezuela.
Gordo , says: May 15, 2019 at 9:16 pm GMT
@Anon

I don' know what are the revenues of NYT or The Guardian, but I know that the US government spends 750 million a year on the Agency for Global Media (formerly Broadcasting Board of Governors). If you think US or France is under attack by warmongers, you can't imagine how many propagandists are these 750 million hiring in low-COL places like Serbia, Burma, Venezuela.

The UK gov't covertly subsidizes the Guardian.

9/11 Inside job , says: May 16, 2019 at 1:11 am GMT
In 1917 US Congressman Calloway informed Congress that J.P. Morgan interests had purchased 25 of the nations leading newspapers and replaced their editors in order to control the mass media for the benefit of the plutocrats/money interests who ran the country and who still do . The situation is even worse today as the CIA and Pentagon have massive propaganda budgets and have infiltrated the media at every level , the public is unaware that each day they are brainwashed by the MSM to support the agenda of the "deep State' and the MIC.
obwandiyag , says: May 16, 2019 at 3:18 am GMT
See, half a century after McCarthy, wingers got their noses into some (not all) Soviet files, and got to scream, nonstop and to this day, "See!@@#$% McCarthy was RIGHT!"

Betya in a half century, if we're still around, the same type people are going to get nosing in some files somewhere and find incontrovertible evidence that: "See!@#%$%^^ The New York Times was RIGHT!"

Same kind of people. They never change.

OEMIKITLOB , says: May 16, 2019 at 4:13 am GMT
@9/11 Inside job There is a virus-free link to a declassified CIA memo at the end of the article. It's interesting.

https://www.spyculture.com/cia-memos-on-task-force-on-greater-openness/

Nicolás Palacios Navarro , says: Website May 16, 2019 at 4:37 am GMT

And then there's the evil Russian spywhale, which the disinformationists want us to believe is just a harmless "therapy Beluga" for kids, but which has clearly been strapped with some sort of monstrous, mind-controlling apparatus that enables the Kremlin to remotely implant a host of dangerous "populist" ideas in the brains of defenseless Norwegian fishermen, weaponizing them into a horde of neo-Odinist Viking berserkers who will scream down out of Scandinavia and storm the EU Parliament in Brussels smelling of akvavit and fermented shark.

You had me doing a cartoon spit-take with this beaut!

Giuseppe , says: May 16, 2019 at 4:42 am GMT

these enormous corporate media conglomerates, and the transnational corporations that own them, and these intelligence agencies, and their fronts and cutouts, and corporate lobbyists and PR firms, and councils, and think tanks, and research institutes, to disinform the Western masses, or to manufacture an official narrative

No mention of the journalists as CIA assets who publish planted stories? Isn't Dr Udo Ulfkotte one who did that, repented, told all in his best-seller Bought Journalists, and as a warning to others unselfishly dropped dead of a heart attack within a couple of years?

" that enables the Kremlin to remotely implant a host of dangerous "populist" ideas in the brains of defenseless Norwegian fishermen, weaponizing them into a horde of neo-Odinist Viking berserkers who will scream down out of Scandinavia and storm the EU Parliament in Brussels smelling of akvavit and fermented shark "

It isn't the akvavit that does it, but you can't do it without the akvavit.

Biff , says: May 16, 2019 at 4:45 am GMT

And then there's the evil Russian spywhale, which the disinformationists want us to believe is just a harmless "therapy Beluga" for kids, but which has clearly been strapped with some sort of monstrous, mind-controlling apparatus that enables the Kremlin to remotely implant a host of dangerous "populist" ideas in the brains of defenseless Norwegian fishermen, weaponizing them into a horde of neo-Odinist Viking berserkers who will scream down out of Scandinavia and storm the EU Parliament in Brussels smelling of akvavit and fermented shark.

I had a good laugh at the Spy Whale schtick. One look at the thing, and you get the idea it should've been in a Pink Panther movie.

Made up shit that only a mind of a child could believe.

Endgame Napoleon , says: May 16, 2019 at 4:56 am GMT
The best sentence was the one expressing the Establishment's collective faux shock that anything other than Russian spybots could be responsible for the serfs' rejection of the "two centrist parties" that have sponged up lobbyist money for 3 decades, cashing in on the globalist-Neoliberal economy, as rents rose and wages fell.

The serfs have to love that. How could they not embrace it? Only spybots beaming up doom-and-gloom messages from halfway around the globe could persuade the thick-headed serfs that the part-time / churn / gig economy is anything but nirvana.

Alfa158 , says: May 16, 2019 at 5:18 am GMT
@paraglider I think you're probably right about the inevitable collapse of the West as the dominant global power.

Not too sure about the US even remaining important as a continent wide farm.. The aquifers in the West and Midwest are being inexorably drawn down to sustain the current rate of farming, so it's possible North America's value would primarily be as a source of pockets of human talent in the sciences and technologies.

Also Russia has been making some progress, but unless that continues it may not reach the level of competitiveness in science, industry and domestic product to be any more than a junior partner to China.

Whatever happens, a sea change in history seems unavoidable and it won't be what our present rulers think it will. I don't pretend to think I can reliably predict what is coming.

unit472 , says: May 16, 2019 at 5:19 am GMT
I used to know Russian disinformation when I saw it because it was obvious when it came from the USSR. Then the MSM peddled it as authentic as when, in response to Soviet deployment of IRBM in Europe, pinkos magically appeared to protest the American deployment of similar weapons. It was well funded too as Brezhnev had serious oil revenues to finance both his military and his disinformation campaigns and the USSR had 125% of America's population and a satellite Eastern Europe to boot.

Now I am to believe a motheaten "Russia' with less than half the US population, a hostile Ukraine and no Eastern European satrapies is able to exert more 'influence' in the West than the mighty USSR. Yet those same 'pinkos' would have me believe a castrated Russia is an existential threat. Come on!

[May 14, 2019] The Propaganda Multiplier How Global News Agencies and Western Media Report on Geopolitics

Highly recommended!
Images omitted.
Important article that shed some light on the methods of disinformation in foreign events used by neoliberal MSM
Notable quotes:
"... However, there is a simple reason why the global agencies, despite their importance, are virtually unknown to the general public. To quote a Swiss media professor: "Radio and television usually do not name their sources, and only specialists can decipher references in magazines." (Blum 1995, P. 9) The motive for this discretion, however, should be clear: news outlets are not particularly keen to let readers know that they haven't researched most of their contributions themselves. ..."
"... Much of our media does not have own foreign correspondents, so they have no choice but to rely completely on global agencies for foreign news. But what about the big daily newspapers and TV stations that have their own international correspondents? In German-speaking countries, for example, these include newspapers such NZZ, FAZ, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Welt, and public broadcasters. ..."
"... Moreover, in war zones, correspondents rarely venture out. On the Syria war, for example, many journalists "reported" from cities such as Istanbul, Beirut, Cairo or even from Cyprus. In addition, many journalists lack the language skills to understand local people and media. ..."
"... How do correspondents under such circumstances know what the "news" is in their region of the world? The main answer is once again: from global agencies. The Dutch Middle East correspondent Joris Luyendijk has impressively described how correspondents work and how they depend on the world agencies in his book "People Like Us: Misrepresenting the Middle East" : ..."
"... The central role of news agencies also explains why, in geopolitical conflicts, most media use the same original sources. In the Syrian war, for example, the "Syrian Observatory for Human Rights" – a dubious one-man organization based in London – featured prominently. The media rarely inquired directly at this "Observatory", as its operator was in fact difficult to reach, even for journalists. ..."
"... Ulrich Tilgner, a veteran Middle East correspondent for German and Swiss television, warned in 2003, shortly after the Iraq war, of acts of deception by the military and the role played by the media: ..."
"... What is known to the US military, would not be foreign to US intelligence services. In a remarkable report by British Channel 4, former CIA officials and a Reuters correspondent spoke candidly about the systematic dissemination of propaganda and misinformation in reporting on geopolitical conflicts: ..."
"... "In all press systems, the news media are instruments of those who exercise political and economic power. Newspapers, periodicals, radio and television stations do not act independently, although they have the possibility of independent exercise of power." (Altschull 1984/1995, p. 298) ..."
Jun 01, 2016 | www.globalresearch.ca

By Swiss Propaganda Research Global Research, May 14, 2019 Swiss Propaganda Research Region: Europe , USA Theme: Media Disinformation

This study was originally published in 2016.

Introduction: "Something strange"

"How does the newspaper know what it knows?" The answer to this question is likely to surprise some newspaper readers: "The main source of information is stories from news agencies. The almost anonymously operating news agencies are in a way the key to world events. So what are the names of these agencies, how do they work and who finances them? To judge how well one is informed about events in East and West, one should know the answers to these questions." (Höhne 1977, p. 11)

A Swiss media researcher points out:

"The news agencies are the most important suppliers of material to mass media. No daily media outlet can manage without them. () So the news agencies influence our image of the world; above all, we get to know what they have selected." (Blum 1995, p. 9)

In view of their essential importance, it is all the more astonishing that these agencies are hardly known to the public:

"A large part of society is unaware that news agencies exist at all In fact, they play an enormously important role in the media market. But despite this great importance, little attention has been paid to them in the past." (Schulten-Jaspers 2013, p. 13)

Even the head of a news agency noted:

"There is something strange about news agencies. They are little known to the public. Unlike a newspaper, their activity is not so much in the spotlight, yet they can always be found at the source of the story." (Segbers 2007, p. 9)

"The Invisible Nerve Center of the Media System"

So what are the names of these agencies that are "always at the source of the story"? There are now only three global agencies left:

  1. The American Associated Press ( AP ) with over 4000 employees worldwide. The AP belongs to US media companies and has its main editorial office in New York. AP news is used by around 12,000 international media outlets, reaching more than half of the world's population every day.
  2. The quasi-governmental French Agence France-Presse ( AFP ) based in Paris and with around 4000 employees. The AFP sends over 3000 stories and photos every day to media all over the world.
  3. The British agency Reuters in London, which is privately owned and employs just over 3000 people. Reuters was acquired in 2008 by Canadian media entrepreneur Thomson – one of the 25 richest people in the world – and merged into Thomson Reuters , headquartered in New York.

In addition, many countries run their own news agencies. However, when it comes to international news, these usually rely on the three global agencies and simply copy and translate their reports.

The three global news agencies Reuters, AFP and AP, and the three national agencies of the German-speaking countries of Austria (APA), Germany (DPA) and Switzerland (SDA).

Wolfgang Vyslozil, former managing director of the Austrian APA, described the key role of news agencies with these words:

"News agencies are rarely in the public eye. Yet they are one of the most influential and at the same time one of the least known media types. They are key institutions of substantial importance to any media system. They are the invisible nerve center that connects all parts of this system." (Segbers 2007, p.10)

Small abbreviation, great effect

However, there is a simple reason why the global agencies, despite their importance, are virtually unknown to the general public. To quote a Swiss media professor: "Radio and television usually do not name their sources, and only specialists can decipher references in magazines." (Blum 1995, P. 9) The motive for this discretion, however, should be clear: news outlets are not particularly keen to let readers know that they haven't researched most of their contributions themselves.

The following figure shows some examples of source tagging in popular German-language newspapers. Next to the agency abbreviations we find the initials of editors who have edited the respective agency report.

News agencies as sources in newspaper articles

Occasionally, newspapers use agency material but do not label it at all. A study in 2011 from the Swiss Research Institute for the Public Sphere and Society at the University of Zurich came to the following conclusions (FOEG 2011):

"Agency contributions are exploited integrally without labeling them, or they are partially rewritten to make them appear as an editorial contribution. In addition, there is a practice of 'spicing up' agency reports with little effort; for example, visualization techniques are used: unpublished agency reports are enriched with images and graphics and presented as comprehensive reports."

The agencies play a prominent role not only in the press, but also in private and public broadcasting. This is confirmed by Volker Braeutigam, who worked for the German state broadcaster ARD for ten years and views the dominance of these agencies critically:

"One fundamental problem is that the newsroom at ARD sources its information mainly from three sources: the news agencies DPA/AP, Reuters and AFP: one German/American, one British and one French. () The editor working on a news topic only needs to select a few text passages on the screen that he considers essential, rearrange them and glue them together with a few flourishes."

Swiss Radio and Television (SRF), too, largely bases itself on reports from these agencies. Asked by viewers why a peace march in Ukraine was not reported, the editors said : "To date, we have not received a single report of this march from the independent agencies Reuters, AP and AFP."

In fact, not only the text, but also the images, sound and video recordings that we encounter in our media every day, are mostly from the very same agencies. What the uninitiated audience might think of as contributions from their local newspaper or TV station, are actually copied reports from New York, London and Paris.

Some media have even gone a step further and have, for lack of resources, outsourced their entire foreign editorial office to an agency. Moreover, it is well known that many news portals on the internet mostly publish agency reports (see e.g., Paterson 2007, Johnston 2011, MacGregor 2013).

In the end, this dependency on the global agencies creates a striking similarity in international reporting: from Vienna to Washington, our media often report the same topics, using many of the same phrases – a phenomenon that would otherwise rather be associated with "controlled media" in authoritarian states.

The following graphic shows some examples from German and international publications. As you can see, despite the claimed objectivity, a slight (geo-)political bias sometimes creeps in.

"Putin threatens", "Iran provokes", "NATO concerned", "Assad stronghold": Similarities in content and wording due to reports by global news agencies.

The role of correspondents

Much of our media does not have own foreign correspondents, so they have no choice but to rely completely on global agencies for foreign news. But what about the big daily newspapers and TV stations that have their own international correspondents? In German-speaking countries, for example, these include newspapers such NZZ, FAZ, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Welt, and public broadcasters.

First of all, the size ratios should be kept in mind: while the global agencies have several thousand employees worldwide, even the Swiss newspaper NZZ, known for its international reporting, maintains only 35 foreign correspondents (including their business correspondents). In huge countries such as China or India, only one correspondent is stationed; all of South America is covered by only two journalists, while in even larger Africa no-one is on the ground permanently.

Moreover, in war zones, correspondents rarely venture out. On the Syria war, for example, many journalists "reported" from cities such as Istanbul, Beirut, Cairo or even from Cyprus. In addition, many journalists lack the language skills to understand local people and media.

How do correspondents under such circumstances know what the "news" is in their region of the world? The main answer is once again: from global agencies. The Dutch Middle East correspondent Joris Luyendijk has impressively described how correspondents work and how they depend on the world agencies in his book "People Like Us: Misrepresenting the Middle East" :

"I'd imagined correspondents to be historians-of-the-moment. When something important happened, they'd go after it, find out what was going on, and report on it. But I didn't go off to find out what was going on; that had been done long before. I went along to present an on-the-spot report. ()

The editors in the Netherlands called when something happened, they faxed or emailed the press releases, and I'd retell them in my own words on the radio, or rework them into an article for the newspaper. This was the reason my editors found it more important that I could be reached in the place itself than that I knew what was going on. The news agencies provided enough information for you to be able to write or talk you way through any crisis or summit meeting.

That's why you often come across the same images and stories if you leaf through a few different newspapers or click the news channels.

Our men and women in London, Paris, Berlin and Washington bureaus – all thought that wrong topics were dominating the news and that we were following the standards of the news agencies too slavishly. ()

The common idea about correspondents is that they 'have the story', () but the reality is that the news is a conveyor belt in a bread factory. The correspondents stand at the end of the conveyor belt, pretending we've baked that white loaf ourselves, while in fact all we've done is put it in its wrapping. ()

Afterwards, a friend asked me how I'd managed to answer all the questions during those cross-talks, every hour and without hesitation. When I told him that, like on the TV-news, you knew all the questions in advance, his e-mailed response came packed with expletives. My friend had relalized that, for decades, what he'd been watching and listening to on the news was pure theatre." (Luyendjik 2009, p. 20-22, 76, 189)

In other words, the typical correspondent is in general not able to do independent research, but rather deals with and reinforces those topics that are already prescribed by the news agencies – the notorious "mainstream effect".

In addition, for cost-saving reasons many media outlets nowadays have to share their few foreign correspondents, and within individual media groups, foreign reports are often used by several publications – none of which contributes to diversity in reporting.

"What the agency does not report, does not take place"

The central role of news agencies also explains why, in geopolitical conflicts, most media use the same original sources. In the Syrian war, for example, the "Syrian Observatory for Human Rights" – a dubious one-man organization based in London – featured prominently. The media rarely inquired directly at this "Observatory", as its operator was in fact difficult to reach, even for journalists.

Rather, the "Observatory" delivered its stories to global agencies, which then forwarded them to thousands of media outlets, which in turn "informed" hundreds of millions of readers and viewers worldwide. The reason why the agencies, of all places, referred to this strange "Observatory" in their reporting – and who really financed it – is a question that was rarely asked.

The former chief editor of the German news agency DPA, Manfred Steffens, therefore states in his book "The Business of News":

"A news story does not become more correct simply because one is able to provide a source for it. It is indeed rather questionable to trust a news story more just because a source is cited. () Behind the protective shield such a 'source' means for a news story, some people are quite inclined to spread rather adventurous things, even if they themselves have legitimate doubts about their correctness; the responsibility, at least morally, can always be attributed to the cited source." (Steffens 1969, p. 106)

Dependence on global agencies is also a major reason why media coverage of geopolitical conflicts is often superficial and erratic, while historic relationships and background are fragmented or altogether absent. As put by Steffens:

"News agencies receive their impulses almost exclusively from current events and are therefore by their very nature ahistoric. They are reluctant to add any more context than is strictly required." (Steffens 1969, p. 32)

Finally, the dominance of global agencies explains why certain geopolitical issues and events – which often do not fit very well into the US/NATO narrative or are too "unimportant" – are not mentioned in our media at all: if the agencies do not report on something, then most Western media will not be aware of it. As pointed out on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the German DPA: "What the agency does not report, does not take place." (Wilke 2000, p. 1)

America's "Righteous" Russia-gate Censorship. "Russia Bashing All the Time"

"Adding questionable stories"

While some topics do not appear at all in our media, other topics are very prominent – even though they shouldn't actually be: "Often the mass media do not report on reality, but on a constructed or staged reality. () Several studies have shown that the mass media are predominantly determined by PR activities and that passive, receptive attitudes outweigh active-researching ones." (Blum 1995, p. 16)

In fact, due to the rather low journalistic performance of our media and their high dependence on a few news agencies, it is easy for interested parties to spread propaganda and disinformation in a supposedly respectable format to a worldwide audience. DPA editor Steffens warned of this danger:

"The critical sense gets more lulled the more respected the news agency or newspaper is. Someone who wants to introduce a questionable story into the world press only needs to try to put his story in a reasonably reputable agency, to be sure that it then appears a little later in the others. Sometimes it happens that a hoax passes from agency to agency and becomes ever more credible." (Steffens 1969, p. 234)

Among the most active actors in "injecting" questionable geopolitical news are the military and defense ministries. For example, in 2009, the head of the American news agency AP, Tom Curley, made public that the Pentagon employs more than 27,000 PR specialists who, with a budget of nearly $ 5 billion a year, are working the media and circulating targeted manipulations. In addition, high-ranking US generals had threatened that they would "ruin" the AP and him if the journalists reported too critically on the US military.

Despite – or because of? – such threats our media regularly publish dubious stories sourced to some unnamed "informants" from "US defense circles".

Ulrich Tilgner, a veteran Middle East correspondent for German and Swiss television, warned in 2003, shortly after the Iraq war, of acts of deception by the military and the role played by the media:

"With the help of the media, the military determine the public perception and use it for their plans. They manage to stir expectations and spread scenarios and deceptions. In this new kind of war, the PR strategists of the US administration fulfill a similar function as the bomber pilots. The special departments for public relations in the Pentagon and in the secret services have become combatants in the information war. () The US military specifically uses the lack of transparency in media coverage for their deception maneuvers. The way they spread information, which is then picked up and distributed by newspapers and broadcasters, makes it impossible for readers, listeners or viewers to trace the original source. Thus, the audience will fail to recognize the actual intention of the military." (Tilgner 2003, p. 132)

What is known to the US military, would not be foreign to US intelligence services. In a remarkable report by British Channel 4, former CIA officials and a Reuters correspondent spoke candidly about the systematic dissemination of propaganda and misinformation in reporting on geopolitical conflicts:

Former CIA officer and whistleblower John Stockwell said of his work in the Angolan war,

"The basic theme was to make it look like an [enemy] aggression in Angola. So any kind of story that you could write and get into the media anywhere in the world, that pushed that line, we did. One third of my staff in this task force were covert action, were propagandists, whose professional career job was to make up stories and finding ways of getting them into the press. () The editors in most Western newspapers are not too skeptical of messages that conform to general views and prejudices. () So we came up with another story, and it was kept going for weeks. () [But] it was all fiction."

Fred Bridgland looked back on his work as a war correspondent for the Reuters agency: "We based our reports on official communications. It was not until years later that I learned a little CIA disinformation expert had sat in the US embassy, in Lusaka and composed that communiqué, and it bore no relation at all to truth. () Basically, and to put it very crudely, you can publish any old crap and it will get newspaper room."

And former CIA analyst David MacMichael described his work in the Contra War in Nicaragua with these words:

"They said our intelligence of Nicaragua was so good that we could even register when someone flushed a toilet. But I had the feeling that the stories we were giving to the press came straight out of the toilet." (Hird 1985)

Of course, the intelligence services also have a large number of direct contacts in our media, which can be "leaked" information to if necessary. But without the central role of the global news agencies, the worldwide synchronization of propaganda and disinformation would never be so efficient.

Through this "propaganda multiplier", dubious stories from PR experts working for governments, military and intelligence services reach the general public more or less unchecked and unfiltered. The journalists refer to the news agencies and the news agencies refer to their sources. Although they often attempt to point out uncertainties with terms such as "apparent", "alleged" and the like – by then the rumor has long been spread to the world and its effect taken place.

The Propaganda Multiplier: Governments, military and intelligence services using global news agencies to disseminate their messages to a worldwide audience.

As the New York Times reported

In addition to global news agencies, there is another source that is often used by media outlets around the world to report on geopolitical conflicts, namely the major publications in Great Britain and the US.

For example, news outlets like the New York Times or BBC have up to 100 foreign correspondents and other external employees. However, Middle East correspondent Luyendijk points out:

"Dutch news teams, me included, fed on the selection of news made by quality media like CNN, the BBC, and the New York Times . We did that on the assumption that their correspondents understood the Arab world and commanded a view of it – but many of them turned out not to speak Arabic, or at least not enough to be able to have a conversation in it or to follow the local media. Many of the top dogs at CNN, the BBC, the Independent, the Guardian, the New Yorker, and the NYT were more often than not dependent on assistants and translators." (Luyendijk p. 47)

In addition, the sources of these media outlets are often not easy to verify ("military circles", "anonymous government officials", "intelligence officials" and the like) and can therefore also be used for the dissemination of propaganda. In any case, the widespread orientation towards the Anglo-Saxon publications leads to a further convergence in the geopolitical coverage in our media.

The following figure shows some examples of such citation based on the Syria coverage of the largest daily newspaper in Switzerland, Tages-Anzeiger. The articles are all from the first days of October 2015, when Russia for the first time intervened directly in the Syrian war (US/UK sources are highlighted):

Frequent citation of British and US media, exemplified by the Syria war coverage of Swiss daily newspaper Tages-Anzeiger in October 2015.

The desired narrative

But why do journalists in our media not simply try to research and report independently of the global agencies and the Anglo-Saxon media? Middle East correspondent Luyendijk describes his experiences:

"You might suggest that I should have looked for sources I could trust. I did try, but whenever I wanted to write a story without using news agencies, the main Anglo-Saxon media, or talking heads, it fell apart. () Obviously I, as a correspondent, could tell very different stories about one and the same situation. But the media could only present one of them, and often enough, that was exactly the story that confirmed the prevailing image." (Luyendijk p.54ff)

Media researcher Noam Chomsky has described this effect in his essay "What makes the mainstream media mainstream" as follows: "If you leave the official line, if you produce dissenting reports, then you will soon feel this. () There are many ways to get you back in line quickly. If you don't follow the guidelines, you will not keep your job long. This system works pretty well, and it reflects established power structures." (Chomsky 1997)

Nevertheless, some of the leading journalists continue to believe that nobody can tell them what to write. How does this add up? Media researcher Chomsky clarifies the apparent contradiction:

"[T]he point is that they wouldn't be there unless they had already demonstrated that nobody has to tell them what to write because they are going say the right thing. If they had started off at the Metro desk, or something, and had pursued the wrong kind of stories, they never would have made it to the positions where they can now say anything they like. () They have been through the socialization system." (Chomsky 1997)

Ultimately, this "socialization process" leads to a journalism that generally no longer independently researches and critically reports on geopolitical conflicts (and some other topics), but seeks to consolidate the desired narrative through appropriate editorials, commentary, and interviewees.

Conclusion: The "First Law of Journalism"

Former AP journalist Herbert Altschull called it the First Law of Journalism:

"In all press systems, the news media are instruments of those who exercise political and economic power. Newspapers, periodicals, radio and television stations do not act independently, although they have the possibility of independent exercise of power." (Altschull 1984/1995, p. 298)

In that sense, it is logical that our traditional media – which are predominantly financed by advertising or the state – represent the geopolitical interests of the transatlantic alliance, given that both the advertising corporations as well as the states themselves are dependent on the US dominated transatlantic economic and security architecture.

In addition, our leading media and their key people are – in the spirit of Chomsky's "socialization" – often themselves part of the networks of the transatlantic elite. Some of the most important institutions in this regard include the US Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Bilderberg Group, and the Trilateral Commission (see in-depth study of these networks ).

Indeed, most well-known publications basically may be seen as "establishment media". This is because, in the past, the freedom of the press was rather theoretical, given significant entry barriers such as broadcasting licenses, frequency slots, requirements for financing and technical infrastructure, limited sales channels, dependence on advertising, and other restrictions.

It was only due to the Internet that Altschull's First Law has been broken to some extent. Thus, in recent years a high-quality, reader-funded journalism has emerged, often outperforming traditional media in terms of critical reporting. Some of these "alternative" publications already reach a very large audience, showing that the „mass" does not have to be a problem for the quality of a media outlet.

Nevertheless, up to now the traditional media has been able to attract a solid majority of online visitors, too. This, in turn, is closely linked to the hidden role of news agencies, whose up-to-the-minute reports form the backbone of most news portals.

Will "political and economic power", according to Altschull's Law, retain control over the news, or will "uncontrolled" news change the political and economic power structure? The coming years will show.

Case study: Syria war coverage

As part of a case study, the Syria war coverage of nine leading daily newspapers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland were examined for plurality of viewpoints and reliance on news agencies. The following newspapers were selected:

The investigation period was defined as October 1 to 15, 2015, i.e. the first two weeks after Russia's direct intervention in the Syrian conflict. The entire print and online coverage of these newspapers was taken into account. Any Sunday editions were not taken into account, as not all of the newspapers examined have such. In total, 381 newspaper articles met the stated criteria.

In a first step, the articles were classified according to their properties into the following groups:

  1. Agencies : Reports from news agencies (with agency code)
  2. Mixed : Simple reports (with author names) that are based in whole or in part on agency reports
  3. Reports : Editorial background reports and analyzes
  4. Opinions/Comments : Opinions and guest comments
  5. Interviews : interviews with experts, politicians etc.
  6. Investigative : Investigative research that reveals new information or context

The following Figure 1 shows the composition of the articles for the nine newspapers analyzed in total. As can be seen, 55% of articles were news agency reports; 23% editorial reports based on agency material; 9% background reports; 10% opinions and guest comments; 2% interviews; and 0% based on investigative research.

Figure 1: Types of articles (total; n=381)

The pure agency texts – from short notices to the detailed reports – were mostly on the Internet pages of the daily newspapers: on the one hand, the pressure for breaking news is higher than in the printed edition, on the other hand, there are no space restrictions. Most other types of articles were found in both the online and printed editions; some exclusive interviews and background reports were found only in the printed editions. All items were collected only once for the investigation.

The following Figure 2 shows the same classification on a per newspaper basis. During the observation period (two weeks), most newspapers published between 40 and 50 articles on the Syrian conflict (print and online). In the German newspaper Die Welt there were more (58), in the Basler Zeitung and the Austrian Kurier , however, significantly less (29 or 33).

Depending on which newspaper, the share of agency reports is almost 50% (Welt, Süddeutsche, NZZ, Basler Zeitung), just under 60% (FAZ, Tagesanzeiger), and 60 to 70% (Presse, Standard, Kurier). Together with the agency-based reports, the proportion in most newspapers is between approx. 70% and 80%. These proportions are consistent with previous media studies (e.g., Blum 1995, Johnston 2011, MacGregor 2013, Paterson 2007).

In the background reports, the Swiss newspapers were leading (five to six pieces), followed by Welt , Süddeutsche and Standard (four each) and the other newspapers (one to three). The background reports and analyzes were in particular devoted to the situation and development in the Middle East, as well as to the motives and interests of individual actors (for example Russia, Turkey, the Islamic State).

However, most of the commentaries were to be found in the German newspapers (seven comments each), followed by Standard (five), NZZ and Tagesanzeiger (four each). Basler Zeitung did not publish any commentaries during the observation period, but two interviews. Other interviews were conducted by Standard (three) and Kurier and Presse (one each). Investigative research, however, could not be found in any of the newspapers.

In particular, in the case of the three German newspapers, a journalistically problematic blending of opinion pieces and reports was noted. Reports contained strong expressions of opinion even though they were not marked as commentary. The present study was in any case based on the article labeling by the newspaper.

Figure 2: Types of articles per newspaper

The following Figure 3 shows the breakdown of agency stories (by agency abbreviation) for each news agency, in total and per country. The 211 agency reports carried a total of 277 agency codes (a story may consist of material from more than one agency). In total, 24% of agency reports came from the AFP; about 20% each by the DPA, APA and Reuters; 9% of the SDA; 6% of the AP; and 11% were unknown (no labeling or blanket term "agencies").

In Germany, the DPA, AFP and Reuters each have a share of about one third of the news stories. In Switzerland, the SDA and the AFP are in the lead, and in Austria, the APA and Reuters.

In fact, the shares of the global agencies AFP, AP and Reuters are likely to be even higher, as the Swiss SDA and the Austrian APA obtain their international reports mainly from the global agencies and the German DPA cooperates closely with the American AP.

It should also be noted that, for historical reasons, the global agencies are represented differently in different regions of the world. For events in Asia, Ukraine or Africa, the share of each agency will therefore be different than from events in the Middle East.

Figure 3: Share of news agencies, total (n=277) and per country

In the next step, central statements were used to rate the orientation of editorial opinions (28), guest comments (10) and interview partners (7) (a total of 45 articles). As Figure 4 shows, 82% of the contributions were generally US/NATO friendly, 16% neutral or balanced, and 2% predominantly US/NATO critical.

The only predominantly US/NATO-critical contribution was an op-ed in the Austrian Standard on October 2, 2015, titled: "The strategy of regime change has failed. A distinction between ‚good' and ‚bad' terrorist groups in Syria makes the Western policy untrustworthy."

Figure 4: Orientation of editorial opinions, guest comments, and interviewees (total; n=45).

The following Figure 5 shows the orientation of the contributions, guest comments and interviewees, in turn broken down by individual newspapers. As can be seen, Welt, Süddeutsche Zeitung, NZZ, Zürcher Tagesanzeiger and the Austrian newspaper Kurier presented exclusively US/NATO-friendly opinion and guest contributions; this goes for FAZ too, with the exception of one neutral/balanced contribution. The Standard brought four US/NATO friendly, three balanced/neutral, as well as the already mentioned US/NATO critical opinion contributions.

Presse was the only one of the examined newspapers to predominantly publish neutral/balanced opinions and guest contributions. The Basler Zeitung published one US/NATO-friendly and one balanced contribution. Shortly after the observation period (October 16, 2015), Basler Zeitung also published an interview with the President of the Russian Parliament. This would of course have been counted as a contribution critical of the US/NATO.

Figure 5: Basic orientation of opinion pieces and interviewees per newspaper

In a further analysis, a full-text keyword search for "propaganda" (and word combinations thereof) was used to investigate in which cases the newspapers themselves identified propaganda in one of the two geopolitical conflict sides, USA/NATO or Russia (the participant "IS/ISIS" was not considered). In total, twenty such cases were identified. Figure 6 shows the result: in 85% of the cases, propaganda was identified on the Russian side of the conflict, in 15% the identification was neutral or unstated, and in 0% of the cases propaganda was identified on the USA/NATO side of the conflict.

It should be noted that about half of the cases (nine) were in the Swiss NZZ , which spoke of Russian propaganda quite frequently ("Kremlin propaganda", "Moscow propaganda machine", "propaganda stories", "Russian propaganda apparatus" etc.), followed by German FAZ (three), Welt and Süddeutsche Zeitung (two each) and the Austrian newspaper Kurier (one). The other newspapers did not mention propaganda, or only in a neutral context (or in the context of IS).

Figure 6: Attribution of propaganda to conflict parties (total; n=20).

Conclusion

In this case study, the geopolitical coverage in nine leading daily newspapers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland was examined for diversity and journalistic performance using the example of the Syrian war.

The results confirm the high dependence on the global news agencies (63 to 90%, excluding commentaries and interviews) and the lack of own investigative research, as well as the rather biased commenting on events in favor of the US/NATO side (82% positive; 2% negative), whose stories were not checked by the newspapers for any propaganda.

*

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English translation provided by Terje Maloy.

[May 13, 2019] The CIA does the coordination of media narratives. You can think of them as the conductor of the neoliberal MSM orchestra...

May 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

dan , May 11, 2019 9:34:36 AM | link

Whats difficult to understand here is who is driving who. The white house uses the media, the media uses the white house. The CIA uses both. All of them use the Pentagon, which in turn uses and serves the MIC. These stories that suddenly appear could be any one of those parties using the press, or a drive by the press to prepare the stage for war on behalf of their corporate overlords.
It is not " the job of the media to point that out", the job of the media is to serve shareholders interest, whoever they may be. It is, however, the responsibility of a conscientious public to discriminate very carefully between various consumable media outlets.

William Gruff , May 11, 2019 9:43:04 AM | link

It is the duty of patriotic journalists to support their country's war efforts in times of war, is it not? America has been at war for a very long time. For as long as the latest crop of crappy "journalists" can remember (assuming they can remember anything beyond yesterday's breakfast, which we see precious little evidence of).

Maybe in Europe and the rest of the world outside America there remains this idealized conception of what journalism should be about, but that is long gone in the US. In America the journalists consider themselves the "boots on the ground" in the psy-op information war. They know that they are just as vital to America's imperial ambitions as the Special Forces assassins and CIA covert operatives directing the death squads.

somebody , May 11, 2019 9:51:15 AM | link
Posted by: Don Bacon | May 11, 2019 9:33:11 AM | 4

There is always Poland .

William Gruff , May 11, 2019 10:07:24 AM | link
dan @5

The CIA does the coordination of media narratives. You can think of them as the conductor of the orchestra... the organist at the Mighty Wurlitzer . The CIA also direct a lot of covert operations to strong-arm vassals into line and to knock states off balance that try to resist the empire. They also do lots of assassinations of labor organizers and the like.

But who is above the CIA? Who does the CIA work for? Certainly not the US Executive Branch! The CIA kills presidents when they feel the need.

Just ask yourself who benefits. The corporate elites at Coca-Cola, Nestle, Exxon, Monsanto, GE, and so on; and above them the elites at maybe a dozen giant financial syndicates whose evils psychohistorian is always going on about (he is right, by the way). These are the folks that gather at the Bilderberg and Bohemian Grove meet-ups where the large scale plans are hatched and corrections to faltering plans are debated and that the CIA must then fine tune and implement.

Full Spectrum Domino , May 11, 2019 3:07:11 PM | link
@ William Gruff 8#

"The CIA does the coordination of media narratives."

For an example of just how tightly choreographed that coordination is 2:08-4:25:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LVfi3NInsg&t=156s

[May 07, 2019] How many CIA fucksticks, or boondoggle procuring disinformation spewing, sell-their-own-mother contractors, like New Knowledge, are out there conspiring to screw people over and install some goomed poodle puppet of the empire like Juan Guido?

May 07, 2019 | theintercept.com

1 week ago

The Obama adminstration knew about the Russian attempts, yet did not alert the Trump campaign. Instead the Obama administration sent spies to entrap low level operatives, with the hope of eventually nailing Trump himself or a close advisor. Why?

Because the intelligence community wanted that insurance policy on Trump. Not to remove him from office, but to control him in the event he won. The intelligence community and defense community wants and needs perpetual war and conflict to justify themselves. Trump was campaigning on better relations with Russia and pulling back the us global defense footprint. This was not acceptable to them, so they needed to make sure they could control him. Do what we want or certain information is released.

Somehow, they lost control over the operation, which resulted in the appointmemt of Mueller. Forcing the plot against Trump out into the open is the best thing that could have happened to Trump. Trump now holds all the cards in his control and possible retaliation against the wrongdoers. I predict no action against any of the real wrongdoers, so Trump maintains his control over a severly wounded intelligence community. He has the power over them now, by threating prosecutions and disclosure of what they really did.

1 week ago

"Sprawling" How many CIA fucksticks, or boondoggle procuring disinformation spewing, sell-their-own-mother contractors, like New Knowledge, are out there conspiring to screw people over and install some goomed poodle puppet of the empire like Juan Guido? Jesus titty-fucking Christ. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Look! Russians!

1 week ago

Look! A whale!

https://amp.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/29/whale-with-harness-could-be-russian-weapon-say-norwegian-experts

1 week ago (Edited)

"[Risen and his ilk] are engaged in a calculated rear-guard campaign to prevent the public from moving on to the next level of implications. Since the MSM and deep state PTB were so clearly willing and able to fabricate 'collusion', what other articles of faith are fabrications? WMDs of course.

But then there are the others: ISIS and Al Qaeda were our enemies? The news media tells the truth? Syrian government gas attacks? Iran is a menace? Russian "invasion" of Ukraine? [Anita Hill and Christine Blasey were 'abused' by being asked questions?]

Assertions that Qadafi and now Maduro were/are bad guys?

America is a free country? Mass immigration is AOK? The rich create wealth?

The 9/11 attacks were the work of a handful of Arab guys? Israel is our true friend and wants peace?

The whole edifice is undermined and Congressional and media reciters [and deep state shills posting here like Alberto, Lela, Felix95, and Mike5000] have the job of diverting the public from thinking the unthinkable."

1 week ago

"Too little too late."

Not for all of us. A significant number of progressives who ardently rejected the evidence-free hysteria retain credibility to press for all of those things.

1 week ago

"If you or Glenn cared about any of those things, you'd be writing incessantly about them, but you don't."

Even if that were true, it would not alter that we were right about this Russiagate moral panic, and many of you were recklessly wrong

"It's not a non sequitur to say so."

It is. (As is your peculiar fixation on Pierre Omidyar.) See above.

1 week ago

that's a reply to Mona above...

1 week ago

" let's look at gun control, climate change, immigration, infrastructure, medical needs, college debt, abortion rights, justice for people of color, gerrymandering, voting rights"

What progressives and Democrats should have been doing the last three years, not promoting and agitating for a baseless -- and recklessly dangerous -- moral panic. Direction for how to proceed should come from those who had the wisdom and reason to reject the evidence-free mania.

1 week ago

Instead of telling others what they should be doing, why don't you do it yourself?

Too exhausted trying to control what you can't?

1 week ago

" why don't you do it yourself?"

I do. Part of that effort is making clear to one and all that many progressives never promoted a baseless moral panic that made Democrats and the media look like Alex Jones. Some of us can be trusted to be evidence-based.

1 week ago

And you dont think that was part of the purpose?

You think the DNC cares about any of those important things? Keeping the focus off the democrats was the most important objective of Russiagate.That and starting another cold war which makes them even more dangerous than Trump.

1 week ago

you won't find it on the 2020 Democratic Party platform either ... which is still stuck on 2016:

https://democrats.org/about/party-platform/

biden 2020: yes we should

1 week ago

Hopefully, this the coda of the Russiagate saga. From my perspective it revealed more about America's Deep State than it did about Russia's alleged malign intent.

The Deep State has entered into mainstream American politics. We know it is there and that it is a potent threat to American self rule, far more dangerous than Russia or any of the external challenges.

Many things remain unanswered. For example, in an interconnected, internet world, where does big tech fit in? Are Google, Facebook et al American companies? Do they enforce American policy? Is it just America or do they whore for anybody with money? Does it mean that people in China and Russia are not allowed to use these platforms even though it is freely available on the net? One thing remains the same. The Establishment likes a rigged game.

It's nasty mess and over all looms the specter of the Deep State.

1 week ago

Absolutely. Also, all this banter about Russia influence and Trump, will not change the *fact* that Mueller did not recommend to indict Trump on the 'collusion/conspiracy' issue, nor the 'obstruction' issue. It's fact. Fact. Meaning it can't go backwards. Meaning all the howling and screaming is not going to change anything from that report. Mueller would have nailed Trump to the proverbial wall if he could, but didn't, because he Just.Didn' t.Have.It .

Secondly, we have a much more serious issue. We have the Deep State who has infiltrated our political system, to the point that they attempted a coup. Like they do in totalitarian countries. Right here in the good ole USA.

While voters naively went to vote in 2016, the intelligence agencies coupled with the strong arm of HRC and the DNC conspired to upend the election because they wanted their favorite to win. And they were so sure she was going to win, that they all jumped on it...gleefully.

They committed sedition. They all need to go to jail.

They did far more damage to this country and our laws, our Constitution, and our belief in an honest voting system than all the Russian bots around. Add in a conspiring media, who spewed lies and half truths and glaring omissions of facts to the American people..

What more do you folks need? This isn't about Trump. It's about the rule of law. If they get away with this travesty, you can kiss our elections goodbye. Totalitarianism here we come.

1 week ago (Edited)

"You can kiss our elections goodbye"

I did that back in 2004 when our voting system turned into a Black Box with moronic/ignorant government officials overseeing a cabal of opportunistic, conflict of interest ridden, behind-closed-doors contractors, running a back door littered, populace duping sham.

1 week ago

How about December 12, 2000, when the Supreme Court lawlessly intervened to hand the presidency to Bush and the entire political establishment submitted with barely a peep? That was a judicial coup, and we cannot escape the consequences.

1 week ago

Yes. That, too.

But now we have stinging evidence that the coup was attempted and they used false information to obtain FISAs to unmask people in their scheme to get Trump to take him down.

I don't like Trump. But I will stick up for any President who is duly elected by the people. For the people, by the people, of the people. Anyone who tries to take away our rights because THEY feel they are arbiters of who becomes President, needs to have their proverbial heads on a platter. Put orange suits on all of them, and let them ponder about their stupidity and arrogance behind bars.

And that goes also for Missy Hillary, the ringleader.

1 week ago

Understatement of the year - hell, the millennia:

The Deep State has entered into mainstream American politics. We know it is there and that it is a potent threat to American self rule, far more dangerous than Russia or any of the external challenges.
The U.S. Deep State most likely did that in November, 1963, and has been ensconced in power ever since.
1 week ago

They dont even hide it anymore.Heck they are out front cheer leading this ruse...How do criminals like Brennan and Clapper and Haden get jobs at MSNBC and CNN?

They belong in prison.

1 week ago

The classic rumor I remember was the Russians employing a killer whale with a bear trap attached as an anti-personnel device esp. against SEAL types.

1 week ago

We need to address the Clientelist War Wing of the Dem Party that has formed an ugly alliance with our intelligence apparatus, before we can even start confronting Trump.Repeat after me, "The Russiagate Spin has actually worked in Trump's favor"..

Chomsky: "By Focusing On Russia, Democrats Handed Trump A "Huge Gift" And Possibly The 2020 Election"

Did Trump lie the world into wars?

That madman wanted to work with Russia and not start WW3.....

That madman wanted to pull out of Syria and Afghanistan and make peace with N korea

That madman hasnt started any new wars and wouldn't be in Venezuela if not for Russia gate.

Trump is lot of unsavory thing but the real madmen are the people who pushed this Russiagte ruse and another Cold War with Russia based on lies and there is this....

The Mueller Report Indicts the Trump-Russia Conspiracy Theory The real Russiagate scandal is the damage it has done to our democratic system and media. By Aaron Maté

https://www.thenation.com/article/russiagate-trump-mueller-report-no-collusion/

6 days ago

Feeling inadequate again?

Since, as Woody Allen once famously observed 90% of life is just showing up, I might recommend you'd have a better sense of accomplishment if you didn't waste all your time on an internet comment board. Then maybe you could earn some kind of descriptive label beyond TDS victim.

1 week ago

THIS:

This dead end conspiracy theory is the only weapon Trump will have in 2020 and he will use it mercilessly. Provided him by clowns like you.
Russiagters have handed Donald Trump a pretty package going into the 2020 election. Now he can accurately say the establishment media and Democrats traffic in conspiracies and delusional lies. That he is also a deluded lying freak won't destroy the value of the gift -- delivered with a big lovely bow called the Mueller Report.
1 week ago (Edited)

Even if every accusation, every hyped news story, every rumour of the Russian "interference" in the US election, an "interference" that we are bizarrely told did not influence the outcome of the election, were true, it would amount to an existential madness by a species whose "sell by" date has long passed on this planet.

Prove that Russian "interference," as opposed to Israeli or Saudi or every other interference, influenced the results of an election where lobbies and billionaires hold sway, where political party corruption determines the candidate, where the loser refuses to concede the results, where local corruption and disenfranchisement determine state results, where corporations are considered human beings and where Americans cannot vote directly for President in an undemocratic system and you will have grounds to fulfill the wish of blindered journalists like James Risen whose unwitting obsession is to extinguish human life on Earth, a consequence that, truth be told, is only conditionally negative.

1 week ago

More embarrassing, paranoid nonsense from Intercept's house Russiagater, James Risen. I usually skim the works of Risen, just to make sure he's still as lunatic as ever. This is the line that sums up the entire laughably dangerous farrago of Risen-think above:

"Manafort and Butina may have been on two sides of a complex new kind of spy game that few outsiders understand."

Boy, you got that right, James. C'mon, Mr. Insider, explain it to us Outsiders again.

1 week ago

The first casualty of Russia's sprawling spy game seems to have been the mental health of large swathes of America's 4th Estate.

Just because Sergei Millain is Johnny Foreigner (or Ivan Foreigner if you prefer), it doesn't follow he is in Putin's pocket.

Sergei Millain offered money to George Papadopolous for the sole reason of justifying the FBI's FISA warrant. Because Papadopolous refused Millain's offer they had to claim they believed he was an agent of Israel.

1 week ago

Stephen F. Cohen: Mueller Probe Hysteria Endangers National Security By Preventing Trump From Talking With Russia

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/12/04/stephen_f_cohen_russia_probe_hysteria_endagers_national_security.html

The real costs of Russiagate (by Stephen Cohen)

Its perpetrators, not Putin or Trump, "attacked American democracy."

https://www.google.com/amp/s/mysticpost.com/2019/03/the-real-costs-of-russiagate-by-stephen-cohen/amp/

1 week ago

And the Rachel Maddow prize for investigative conspiracy theorising goes to...

1 week ago

The point of these articles is not to make Liberals hate Trump, it is to make liberals hate Russia. Why is that? Why did Obama and his admin, including Neocons Susan Powers, Susan Rice, Victoria Nuland and Billary Clinton want to create a new cold war. Of all the nations to be worried about influencing our elections, Russia is way down on the list.

Just embarrassing. Come out and say it. You are a voice for the lobbies and special interests

1 week ago

When can we expect Mr. Risen's series of articles about Israel's documented and undocumented interference in our elections, ongoing spy campaign and/or (much) worse?

We await with bated breath.

1 week ago

LOL. James Risen article with "Russia" in headline. Stopped reading went straight to comments.

1 week ago

Same. Risen is a one-dimensional hack.

1 week ago

"Claims made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence."

The above statement completely negates any impact from Risen's article, as the entire wretched thing is innuendo.

1 week ago

Maddow shows how Russiagate borders on clinically significance delusion:

Glenn Greenwald ‏ Verified account @ggreenwald

Maddow is claiming the Republic is existentially threatened because YouTube recommended a show hosted by Chris Hedges, a Pulitzer-winning ex-NYT reporter, talking to @aaronjmate, Izzy Award winner, all because it's hosted on RT. Both have more journalistic achievements then she. https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/1122552675445420032

1 week ago (Edited)

Jesus Christ.....rather than let the Bush era neocon/rightwing nonsense peter out or self-destruct, the so-called liberal corporate MIC/Wall Street-captured MSM and establishment insiders have decided to fully discredit themselves too by doubling down on the Fox News model. I doubt they or their followers really grasp the magnitude of the implications. And they've been silent on the gubmint's big data approach to warehousing all of our communications in any format which they've been illegally intercepting for at least two decades. The Intercept is now silent on this, perhaps in part because of Omidyar's conflicting financial interests.

Sadly, or perhaps mercifully, we will be put out of our collective misery by the AI killer-bot army that will begin to exert its control within the next 10 years.

1 week ago

Watch Aaron Maté Destroy Russiagate Propagandist and "Collusion" Author Luke Harding

https://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2018/10/06/watch-aaron-mate-destroy-russiagate-propagandist-and-collusion-author-luke-harding/

What Risen is really proposing is that Obama ignored all this even while spying on everyone

Thats called logic

1 week ago

Yes and No.

Risen, like a lot people I believe, is simply unable to accept the hard, cold reality that his neighbors, friends, countrymen ~ Americans ~ actually, truly voted for the creature from the black lagoon. It's too painful. The mind reels.

*therefore, in Risen's mind, Putin did it.

1 week ago

"The mind reels. *therefore, in Risen's mind, Putin did it."

This is true for a great many. I had my own rather severe emotional crisis in the weeks after the 2016 election -- and a close friend who is a therapist reported that this was virtually all that most of her clients wanted to discuss.

Fear and shock do odd things to the mind. None of us is immune, some just got particularly afflicted and along came Russiagate into which to direct their distorted and distressed minds.

1 week ago

If regurgitating the same theme over and over again is the game for Mr. Risen, well, we can all play at that game, can't we? Here, however, is a fact-based narrative that nobody on any side of Russiagate seems to want to discuss, not the RT-sector, not the billionaire-foundation neoliberal sector (Intercept fits in here), the corporate shareholder-military-industrial sectors (MSNBC, Fox, etc.). It's really very strange.

One of the more fundamental flaws in the Russiagate story that's important to understand is that Trump really hasnʼt changed direction on the core US policy towards Russia - the evidence for that is Trumpʼs assault on the Nordstream 2 pipeline deal that would bring Russian gas to Germany via an undersea pipeline across the Baltic, bypassing Ukraine (which is basically now a US client state, since the 2014 coup). That's been US policy on Russia since about 2003, unchanged under Bush, Obama, and Trump - it's about who gets to sell gas to Europe and oil to the world, basically, and where the money from those sales is parked.

As far as the backstory on this situation, if you want to understand the rise of Putin, the best popular history to read is Ben Mezrich:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23846393-once-upon-a-time-in-russia

What the likes of Risen will not go into is how the US and Wall Street had a positive view of Putin up till about 2003. Steve Collʼs Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power outlines the break point in US-Russian relations, when ExxonMobil tried to acquire a majority interest in Russian oil in 2003, and Putin rejected the offer and arrested Mikhail Khodorkovsky on tax evasion charges; thatʼs officially when Russia became the bad guy, as he was clearly not going to become a Saudi-like partner in the global petrodollar recycling scheme.
This opened the door to the pipeline wars over who was going to deliver oil and gas to European markets; this was a central story in Georgia, Ukraine, Syria, and continues to this day with the US trying to sell LNG shipments to Europe while Russia tries to build Nordstream 2 to Germany, bringing us up to today. Clearly, US fossil fuel corporations want to ship LNG to Europe, and Nordstream 2 is competition, and Trump, like Obama is a tool of US corporate interests who really want that market:

https://www.lngworldnews.com/u-s-to-boost-lng-exports-to-europe-with-sanctions-on-russia/

However, there is a confounding factor - and also, one of the main reasons to distrust the corporate media narrative on this story - i.e. the refusal to bring ExxonMobil into the picture. ExxonMobil has lost several billion dollars over the Russia sanctions (over oil deals more than gas), and as a private company, really wants a piece of the Russian oil production: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/19/business/energy-environment/exxon-mobil-russia-sanctions-waiveroil.html

The PR monkeys in the corporate media (including Risen & Co.) and the "humanitarians" in the State Department wonʼt touch this story, because it reveals too much about whatʼs really going on - i.e. that this kind of oil/gas policy by Trump is largely what Clinton would have done (i.e. opposed Nordstream), and that the whole Russiagate story is merely political theater run on behalf of war profiteers and the diehard Hilllary Clinton camp in the Democratic Party. Everything else - Manfort in the Ukraine, Trump Tower in Moscow, etc. - is just business as usual in the American Empire, as seen in the Clinton Foundation, Viktor Pinchuk, Uranium One, Frank Giustra, come on...

Leaving nothing but this hysterical spy game nonsense ... utter garbage, just like the KGB-CIA private meeting rules story that Risen hyped recently - pure neocon propaganda

https://theintercept.com/2018/07/16/trump-putin-summit-helsinki/

Reality check...
https://www.nytimes.com/1985/11/21/world/reagan-continues-private-meetinfs-with-gorbachev.html

"President Reagan and Mikhail S. Gorbachev held three more private meetings today and agreed to conclude their conference here with a joint appearance on Thursday morning, Larry Speakes, the White House spokesman, announced tonight. . . Mr. Reagan and Mr. Gorbachev began their second day of talks with a private meeting that had been scheduled to last 15 minutes but ran for nearly 70 minutes, with only interpreters present. They met in a small room in the Soviet Mission, with the Soviet leader seated in a small armchair and Mr. Reagan on a sofa. In the afternoon, they meet alone for a little over 20 minutes and then again for 90 minutes. All told, the two leaders have spent 4 hours and 51 minutes alone, except for interpreters, over the two days here."
These kind of private meetings at diplomatic events are entirely not unusual. In fact anything that gets world leaders to talk to one another is a good idea, that can lead to, for example, talks on nuclear weapons reductions.

Risen, turned into a PR monkey for the National Security State... that's just sad. Why don't you parachute him into Yemen so he can see up close the results of what he's cheerleading for?

1 week ago

Not a single American voter was influenced by Russian bots. No American voter was strong-armed in the voting booth when they voted for Trump. Hillary lost after she ignored great swathes of ordinary working class folks and called them 'irredeemable deplorables'.... because they voted for Trump.

She didn't even have the insight to understand that they voted for him over her because she had a smug, condescending 'tude and it rankled.

The Democrats will have to unseat Trump under a strong economy. The average American working class stiff is not spending sleepless nights worried about climate change. They are worried about how they will pay their bills.

All the other issues are secondary to this. Democrats will have to get up at home base and bat it out of the ballpark. Or they will lose again. Mocking religious people, particularly Christians, is not a good idea, unless you think denigrating voters are going to make them want to vote for you. The contempt for these white, Christian, Catholic, Jewish voters is wide and long within the Democrat party.

Not wise.

1 week ago
The Democrats will have to unseat Trump under a strong economy. The average American working class stiff is not spending sleepless nights worried about climate change. They are worried about how they will pay their bills.
Partly true, but the economy is not actually very strong. The corporate media won't tell you this - and that is proof that they're not "liberal" in any meaningful fashion, but the indicators are being skewed and lied about.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-04-27/jpmorgan-we-are-approaching-point-again-where-us-banks-run-out-liquidity

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-04-28/fake-growth-exploring-big-mystery-fridays-gdp-report

But keep believing your "black unemployment" at a record low propaganda as such. At least you might be retired and the inevitable crash that is coming after Trump's re-election won't hurt you much. In any case, if it does you can bet that Trump will attack Iran, as he is a complete stooge to Israel and Saudi Arabia at this point - just like his swamp neocon cabinet.

1 week ago

I think Trump is pragmatic...financially. He ran on "no more wars' that leave our economy in shreds and killing millions of innocents and thousands of our soldiers. He was explicit about this, so if he turn now to attacking Iran, he will have lost his head completely.

Everyone knows a war in the ME will ignite another Holocaust, Armageddon if you will. It will be certainly, WWIII.

No, I have no idea, nor anyone else, if the economy improve or plummets, but I still believe it is the bread and butter issues that cause the American voter to push that lever. And they one they trust most; that they feel understand them best.

1 week ago

Borrowing one from Tom Drake though he agrees with your conclusions more than I do, Jim.

I'm old enough to remember when Jim Risen wrote about the sprawling American spy game.

1 week ago

Fer chrissake, Jim, give it up! You are becoming like the Japanese soldier who didn't know World War 2 ended 20 years earlier and his side LOST!

1 week ago
Butina was "not a spy in the traditional sense," the Justice Department now says.
This is true .. . traditional spies rarely "infiltrate the NRA (National Rifle Association)" and various associated "right wing groups".

*what could the NRA possibly have of value?

1 week ago

She wanted to sell guns and make money.....You do know the USA is the biggest arms dealer on the planet right ?......bar none?

1 week ago

Maybe I misunderstood? Did I miss the irony? I thought he was saying that Butina was a Russian spy? And her association with the NRA was a link to that? Putin is vociferously against gun rights and she was under constant surveillance from Putin.

1 week ago

Heres another unanswered question....

Why did the FBI allow a private company with proved Bias against Russia and worked for the DNC to investigate the servers?......Wasnt this a crime scene and then hacking was blamed on Russia based on this bogus and biased investigation?

"Both the DNC and the security firm Crowdstrike, hired to respond to the breach, have said repeatedly over the years that they gave the FBI a "COPY"of all the DNC images back in 2016." "The FBI was given" IMAGES" of servers, forensic "COPIES", as well as a host of other forensic information we collected from our systems," said Adrienne Watson, the DNC's deputy communications director.

"We were in close contact and worked cooperatively with the FBI and were always responsive to their requests. Any suggestion that they were denied access to what they wanted for their investigation is completely incorrect." The FBI declined comment for this story, but in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee last year, then-director James Comey said that Crowdstrike "ultimately shared with us their forensics.

"At that same hearing, Comey complained that the DNC didn't give the FBI direct access to the DNC's servers" Comey: DNC denied FBI's requests for access to hacked servers

https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/313555-comey-fbi-did-request-access-to-hacked-dnc-servers

FBI: DNC rebuffed request to examine computer servers

https://www.cnn.com/2017/01/05/politics/fbi-russia-hacking-dnc-crowdstrike/index.html

Cybersecurity Firm That Attributed DNC Hacks to Russia May Have Fabricated Russia Hacking in Ukraine

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/23/cybersecurity-firm-that-attributed-dnc-hacks-to-russia-may-have-fabricated-russia-hacking-in-ukraine/

The Democratic Money Behind Russia-gate

By Joe Lauria The two sources that originated the allegations claiming that Russia meddled in the 2016 election -- without providing convincing evidence -- were both paid for by the Democratic National Committee, and in one instance also by the Clinton campaign: the Steele dossier and the CrowdStrike analysis of the DNC servers.

Think about that for a minute.

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/10/29/the-democratic-money-behind-russia-gate/

1 week ago

Risen is the modern version of a haruspex . A new word I just picked up.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haruspex

1 week ago

They always forget the disclaimer: "No animals were harmed in the writing of this story, only humans."

1 week ago

You know what they are still pushing this right?.......to get Assange and criminalize real journalism.

They have already tried to tie Assange to Stone....who is a liar and fraud

And they need this ruse to tie Assange to Russia and Trumps election....its about criminalizing journalism and overturning a USA election.

1 week ago (Edited)
"Manafort and Butina may have been on two sides of a complex new kind of spy game that few outsiders understand." - Risen
If that's so, why aren't you busting the chops of Mueller and our "intelligence" agencies for not doing their job? Hell, the Mueller report cost more than the Russians allegedly spent to influene both our election and Trump.

Also, specifically regarding Butina, who was actually quite overt in her activities during the years preceding this imbroglio, the only "conspiracy" seems to be the "conspiracy" to act as an agent for a foreign government (which is not being a "spy") and which has never garnered this type of charge or sentencing based on the evidence that existed or what was actually presented at trial.

It's this ongoing Russiagate hysteria that The Intercept, via Risen, Reed, Schwarz, et al keep promoting for all the wrong reasons that gives us a world where journalists and publishers like Assange are facing jail time in a foreign country; where Chelsea Manning is in jail right now for refusing to cooperate with charades like this; and where harmless foreigners like Butina are tortured in solitary confinement, then sentenced to prison by misusing the law in order to punish them.

How in the world can the article here even approach the Intercepts own standards of: "holding the powerful accountable...[with] in-depth investigations and unflinching analysis..." when it starts with an unverified premise that hasn't been corroborated independently and ends with the exact same theme?

"[Russiagate is] a complex new kind of spy game that few outsiders understand." - Risen & The Intercept editors

Again - this type of "journalism" is what prevents me and many others from donating to The Intercept. We simply won't pay for elaborate and unqualified hearsay.
1 week ago

Real journalism... The Spy who Wasnt

The U.S. government went looking for someone to blame for Russia's interference in the 2016 election -- and found Maria Butina, the perfect scapegoat. By James Bamford

https://newrepublic.com/article/153036/maria-butina-profile-wasnt-russian-spy

1 week ago

While we're doing speculative writing, I wonder if Risen is the anonymous coward from TI who said Glenn was an impediment to TI's credibility?

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/04/24/the-intercept-greenwald-grim-profile-media-politics-left-liberal-226710

But internally, some employees say Greenwald's presence undermines the site's work. "People assume Glenn's tweets reflect some sort of internal consensus, but the truth is I don't think there's a single other person here who agreed with him on Trump/Russia," says one Intercept staffer. "I'd hope people don't view us as less legitimate just because of one guy."
No they view TI as less legit because of James Risen, Mehdi Hasan, Juan Thompson, Betsy Reed, and Beto Mackey.

Exactly...

1 week ago

The last sentence mentioning Manafort and Butina is unsettling.
Already Manafort, an acknowledged operative for hire, got the shaft.
Risen bringing in Butina, who already spent a good time in solitary confinement smells really bad.
She got no justice.
She is the new symbol of mind-boggling Russophobia.

1 week ago

"Risen bringing in Butina, who already spent a good time in solitary confinement smells really bad. She got no justice."

It really is a travesty of justice. James Bamford published this in The New Republic: "The Russian Spy Who Wasn't: The U.S. government went looking for someone to blame for Russia's interference in the 2016 election -- and found Maria Butina, the perfect scapegoat." https://newrepublic.com/article/153036/maria-butina-profile-wasnt-russian-spy

Prosecutors were hoping to get her to plead guilty rather than go to trial, and had even agreed to drop the major charge against her: acting as an unregistered foreign agent of Russia. Born and raised in Siberia, she is terrified of solitary confinement. Fifteen days later, still in solitary, she signed the agreement, pleading guilty to the lesser charge, one count of conspiracy.
 During our interviews before her arrest, Butina told me that she was "a huge fan" of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. "I love the story," she said. "For some reason it fascinates me. It seems to be simple, but it's so complicated a story." Stepping off the plane to begin grad school at the start of the Trump-Russia maelstrom, she, like Alice, began her tumble down the rabbit hole.
1 week ago

It is mind boggling. I would expect a man of Risen' s experience to have the nous to start rowing back now. Instead he's doubling down, getting wilder, allowing the very last vestiges of his credibility to circle the drain. Very sad to witness.

1 week ago

Maybe he is crying for help....his hysteria and hyperbole are almost comical.

the deep state seems to have gotten him and good

1 week ago

It's reminiscent of what Risen did to Mr Wen Ho Lee who also served time in solitary and did so because Risen had singled him out to be the spy of the century.

Ultimately Risen's former employer, The New York Times, apologized for their coverage of Lee but that may have had something to do with Lee's lawsuit against the Times and other major outlets in which he ultimately won.

But having a 1.3 million in legal fees, loss of his job, 9 months in solitary, reputation obliterated does make the 1.6 million award seem merely symbolic. Risen's career continued and now he's doing the same thing to others here. In this country, scoundrels are rewarded while their victims suffer more under the system.

Butina's treatment under our "justice" system is even worse than Lee's and being a non citizen, she may have fewer recourse available to her to address this injustice.

1 week ago

Democrats didnt protest when Obama tortured Manning to try to get her to lie about Assange....this is the new normal

Washington Has Destroyed Western Liberty: The Era of Tyranny Has Begun

"The entire Western world is adopting Washington's approach to Assange and criminalizing the practice of journalism, thus protecting governments' criminality. If you reveal a government crime, as Wikileaks did, you will be prosecuted by the criminal government for doing so. It is like permitting a criminal to prosecute the police and prosecutor who want him arrested."

The "war on terror" was a disguise for an attack on the US Constitution, an attack that has succeeded. The worst act of treason in history is the US government's destruction of the US Constitution. The era of tyranny has begun. Elections cannot stop it. "

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/04/26/washington-has-destroyed-western-liberty-the-era-of-tyranny-has-begun/

1 week ago

Risen is desperately trying to revive his career by reanimating this Russia zombie.

His sprawling narrative has gone from "Trump committed treason" to "Trump conspired" to "Trump and co made illicit contacts". At each step, what has motivated the change in narrative is cold hard reality.

He's a grifter. We can all see this.

1 week ago

Risen is right that there are plenty of unanswered questions. Just not the ones he is asking

Special Counsel Mueller: Disingenuous and Dishonest Larry C. Johnson "The impetus, the encouragement for the Moscow project came from one man -- Felix Sater. This produced nothing. No deal, no trip. But Sater persisted, targeting Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer and an executive in the Trump Organization To reiterate -- if the Steele Dossier were based on truthful intelligence then the Trump Organization only had to sit back, stretch out its hands and seize the moment. Instead, little Felix Sater keeps coming back to the well. "Why was Felix Sater the one repeatedly identified pushing to arrange deals with the Russians and yet did not face any subsequent charges by the Mueller team? Sater had been working as part of the Trump team since 2003. Why is it that the proposed deals and travel to Moscow came predominantly from Felix Sater? As I noted in my previous piece -- The FBI Tried and Failed to Entrap Trump -- Sater was an active FBI undercover informant. He had been working with the FBI since 1998. When he agreed to start working as an undercover informant aka cooperator in December 1998 guess who signed off on the deal? Andrew Weissman, a member of Mueller's special counsel team.You can see the deal here. It was signed Dec. 10, 1998." "An honest prosecutor would have and should have disclosed this fact. He, Sater, was the one encouraging the Trump team to cozy up to Russia. Mueller does not disclose one single instance of Trump or Cohen or any of the Trump kids calling Sater on the carpet and chewing his ass for not bringing them deals and not opening doors in Russia. Omitting this key fact goes beyond simple disingenuity. It is a conscious lie. The circumstantial evidence indicates that Sater was doing this at the behest of FBI handlers. We do not yet know who they are."

https://consortiumnews.com/2019/04/24/special-counsel-mueller-disingenuous-and-dishonest/

Larry C. Johnson is a former CIA analyst and counterterrorism official at the State Department.

1 week ago

Stefan Halper was also an FBI 'player' who was feeding information to Papadopoulos, and Joseph Midsuf, Alexander Downer and Christopher Steele were also working for the Brits and American intelligence groups (although the FBI cut off paying Steele for lying to them). Natalya Veselnitskaya was the Russian lawyer who met with the Trump people. She had meetings with Fusion GPS both before and after her meetings with Trump's campaign, and since Fusion GPS was also working with the Ohrs and FBI/Justice department with the Kremlin dossier, it seems Russiagate was an elaborate entrapment scheme by the DNC/ Obama administration that failed. Once Hillary stated that Trump was a Putin puppet, that made it official and the wheels started turning.

Moreover as Risen notes Manafort and Kelly went to jail for lying under oath. Mueller lied under oath about WMD in Iraq, and Clapper and Brennan also lied under oath about illegally surveilling Americans. Hopefully they'll also be in jail soon.

1 week ago

Dont hold your breath.....Criminals are now in complete control.No matter how much "evidence" is provided there is no consequence for them.
ask Bush and Cheney who lied the world into war.....and worse.....

Clapper and Brennan and Haden and Haskel were all promoted FOR LYING....{As was Mueller.}.. and even given jobs on MSNBC and CNN........!!

Apparently the more heinous the crime the higher you get in the USA government.Isnt that the only lesson here?And democrats are the cheerleader for the Bush criminals?

I afraid the only people who will see the inside of a jail cell are the ones who go against them....and they are being purged from the internet left and right!!

1 week ago

The real sprawling Russian spy games were on the democrats side.

The bogus Steele Dossier was compiled from top Russian government officials and used to illegally spy on the Trump campaign.

Halper a FBI Informant in the U.K. pushed Trump advisors to seek out dirt on Hillary as did FBI Informant Felix Sater

The Russian lawyer who met with Trump jr worked for Fusion GPS and had nothing.

The FBI never saw the servers but used the company that worked for the DNC and has proved anti Russia bias to do the "investigation "

Wasnt this a crime scene?

Now all the "evidence " of Russian "hacking " is tainted and can't be used in any trials or court.

Both Assange and Ambassador Craig Murray say that it was a leak and not a hack and neither of them have ever been interviewed by the FBI even though they both offered to.

Worse than Watergate and it went to the very Top!

FBI texts: Obama 'wants to know everything we're doing'

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna845531

Thats the only spy games and Russian collusion that can be proved.

1 week ago

So, Mike5000, why do you think millions of Democratic-leaning and Democratic voters didn't turn out to vote for Hillary Clinton? Was it all the "Buff Bernie" coloring books St. Petersberg trolls were pitching on FB?

1 week ago

Mueller is a bush criminal who hates Trump

FBI texts: Obama 'wants to know everything we're doing'

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna845531

1 week ago

A rather significant "unanswered question" that predates Trump slightly is why Obama didn't initiate both investigation and counter measures to attempts he claimed had been going on for years .... (because the internet is porous and hackers will hack, regardless of "motive" (like the bear and the mountain**) or even reward.

** The bear went over the mountain to see what he could see.

1 week ago

Risen omitting the fact that Manafort was working with the Podesta Group seems quite the oversight.

Obama and Biden were well aware of Manaforts efforts in the Ukraine. Manafort was working against Russian interests. Remember that the USA backed a coup in the Ukraine with Nazis with PNAC Victoria " F the EU" Nuland support. Manafort's pro-Ukraine lobbying campaign reached Obama, Biden

"Alan Friedman, a former journalist based in Europe who helped Manafort launch the group, told Manafort after the meeting that the member of the Hapsburg Group "delivered the message of not letting 'Russians steal Ukraine from the West,'" prosecutors say."

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.politico.com/amp/story/2018/09/14/manafort-ukraine-obama-biden-824747

What the USA did in the Ukraine was the real crime.

1 week ago

yes, Trump in a crook, a conman, a liar and a racist and is oddly "collateral damage", a bit part, in this passion play that began when Putin took office and eventually took the reins to the Russian economy back from the wanna-be American rulers of the universe. I saw/heard a day or so ago a brilliant Max Blumental 3 minute oral summary of this ongoing vendetta against Putin for thwarting American interests in gutting Russia.

There probably is a real scandal here ... just not the one the media is interested in ...

1 week ago

Exactly!!

Putin dares to fight back against the looting and starvation of the Russian people.

Start here

The usual suspects

Can We Blame Larry Summers for the Collapse of Russia?

http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/can-we-blame-larry-summers-for-the-collapse-of-russia

The Harvard Boys Do Russia After seven years of economic "reform" financed by billions of dollars in U.S.

https://www.thenation.com/article/harvard-boys-do-russia/

The Real Larry Summers Scandal?

http://www.unz.com/isteve/real-larry-summers-scandal/

1 week ago

Man, this Risen guy sure has a serious case of TDS.

GIVE IT UP, RISEN; THERE'S NO GOOD REASON TO TREAT RUSSIA AS AN ENEMY, and LOTS of good reasons NOT to!

It's called THERMONUCLEAR WAR, silly.

Don't beat the drum of war with them, you just might get it!

1 week ago

Trump couldn't even get the tower project through and never talked to anyone above a secretary and asked Stone to connect with Wikileaks

If he was at all colluding with Putin he wouldn't have needed Wikileaks

All Logic has disappeared from these people.

1 week ago

Russian ruling class oligarchs colluding with American ruling class oligarchs? Oh so unbelievable! Ties and lies --- shocking, just shocking. I'm sure we will have the oligarchy-owned mainstream media to black this rumor out and telling us it just ain't so.

1 week ago

Much of this is being pushed by the olygarchs Putin kicked out!

They went to the UK and USA and are working to depose Putin.

1 week ago

The problem with your thinking is that the American oligarchs hate Trump, and loved Hillary, while the Russian oligarchs hate the American oligarchs because the American oligarchs want to crush them.
And the best way for AMERICAN oligarchs to keep the American public from voting in an antiTrump (not a pseudoliberal of the Clinton and Obama type, but an ACTUAL liberal of the MLK type, whose antioligarch stances have been almost edited away) is to divert attention away from the flaws in the American system he lays bare (the cheating, thieving, and racism endemic amongst the oligarchs) is to create a 'hidden enemy of the people' (The same tactic that a certain short Austrian used in Germany)

1 week ago

Like the one Israeli govt has been doing, especially as uncovered in the Al Jazeera documentary?

1 week ago

Rachel Maddow finds that a Youtube video boosted by that site constitutes "death by algorithm." She linked https://twitter.com/maddow/status/1122222811249086465 to this Wapo piece:

AlgoTransparency, founded by former YouTube engineer Guillaume Chaslot, analyzed the recommendations made by the 1,000 YouTube channels it tracks daily. The group found that 236 of those collectively recommended RT's "On Contact: Russiagate & Mueller Report w/ Aaron Mate" more than 400,000 times. https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/04/26/youtube-recommended-russian-media-site-above-all-others-analysis-mueller-report-watchdog-group-says/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.b5973636077d

Maddow is shameless.
1 week ago

But she isn't cheap.

1 week ago
In the end, Mueller's investigators could not find evidence that Manafort coordinated his actions with the sophisticated Russian cybercampaign to help Trump win. But the report makes clear that there were many instances in which Mueller wasn't able to get to the bottom of things and often couldn't determine the whole story behind the Trump-Russia contacts.
For whatever reason, the pro-Trump narrative leaves out the fact that Mueller was repeatedly stonewalled or lied to by members of the Trump team.

I think they leave out this crucial bit of information because they think it's fine for their side to lie, dissemble and stonewall investigations, but not for the other side. It's hypocritical and a double standard, but it's worse than that because it makes clear that lying, stonewalling and all the rest is OK and getting away with it is admirable -- depending of course on who gets away with it. If it's Trump, whoo-hoo! If it's Hillary or Obama, booooooooo! These are examples of pure partisanship but the process extends well beyond political calculations.

Risen, of all people, should be all too familiar with the process, as he was very deeply involved as a reporter and conduit of misinformation and scapegoating in the Wen Ho Lee debacle. A reporter is in a tough position when s/he is lied to and stonewalled, but as I often say, "skepticism is a virtue," regardless of who is doing the lying and stonewalling.

Instead of normalizing this behavior, we should be refusing to accept the lack of accountability by our leaders, whoever they are, and we should reject a double standard that encourages impunity and immunity depending on one's status.

1 week ago

"Manafort coordinated his actions with the sophisticated Russian cybercampaign to help Trump win."

Uh, well: https://theintercept.com/2019/04/28/mueller-report-trump-russia-questions/?commentId=0f4d7165-0b6e-45c8-af83-5a65688b1681

1 week ago

Yes, we know your pro-Trump narrative is one of denial about what was going on during the 2016 campaign and what is documented in the Mueller Report -- which itself is incomplete.

1 week ago

" https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/04/26/youtube-recommended-russian-media-site-above-all-others-analysis-mueller-report-watchdog-group-says/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.b5973636077d "

Yes, it's objectively "pro-Trump" to have panic attacks about Facebook ads advising that Jesus will help masturbating young lads "beat it together." pfffft

1 week ago

Deny, deflect, dissemble. Kellyann gets away with it, why shouldn't you?

1 week ago

Oh, I'm sure Kellyanne is deeply concerned about the dread scourge of masturbating American youth. Just so long as she doesn't also support the dire Russian threats Risen alludes to, the ones that seek to exploit those poor suffering, self-abusing children of god. Lured to the Kremlin's lair by Yosemite Sam!

1 week ago

If you ever bother to read the report -- or even if you have more than superficial memories of what was going on during the 2016 election campaign -- you'll find out that your continued denials are simply stupid. You really should be skeptical of the White House's spin, Greenwald's triumphalism, Maté's authority, and yes, Mueller's incomplete report.

Laugh while you can. Blowback is a bitch.

1 week ago

A wee-tad over the top, Felix
phase two of the Kubler Ross "Five Stages of Grief".
Sadly, there is no one in the Cult of Mueller who can help you.
You need to understand that many good progressives contend that Russiagate actually served Trump; so, please chill it.

1 week ago

Whut? You're really out of your depth.

Reread:

You really should be skeptical of the White House's spin, Greenwald's triumphalism, Maté's authority, and yes, Mueller's incomplete report.
Then tell me again about the Cult of Mueller.

Mona, Glenn, Barr, Trump and many others like to mischaracterize what's in the Mueller Report in order to keep their "exoneration" narrative going. They would be delighted if Trump were kept in the White House after the 2020 election. If they can celebrate his invincibility, so much the better.

Whether or not the myriad investigations into Trump's corruption and criminality are helping him is beside the point.

If he didn't have the kind of help he needs from the right people who matter, whether media, politicians, billionaires or the smartest people in the room, he wouldn't be in office. So long as those people are happy enough with Trump, he stays, no matter what the Dems do or don't do.

"Progressives" have no say in the matter.

Well, maybe except for that "progressive" named "Pierre."

Have a nice day.

1 week ago

Now see, Felix, this is no the product of a temperate mind with a capacity for sound reasoning:

Mona, Glenn, Barr, Trump and many others like to mischaracterize what's in the Mueller Report in order to keep their "exoneration" narrative going. They would be delighted if Trump were kept in the White House after the 2020 election.

I've read the Mueller Report -- parts of it multiple times. Nothing therein salvages the Russian trolls as anything but the silly, financially motivated goofballs my quotes of their adolescent output show them to be. That you take their childish junk with the utmost seriousness suggests disturbing things about your emotional health.
1 week ago

Guess what? I don't believe you have read the report. I think you're lying again. If you think the only thing Mueller describes Russian interests doing is buying a few ads on Facebook (just as Jared was saying the other day) you couldn't have read it, nor could you have any memory at all what was taking place during the 2016 campaign.

Losing one's mind to perpetuate a false narrative is a terrible thing. Watching your deterioration as Mueller's report makes mincemeat of your pathetic revisionism and Glenn's triumphalism is sad.

1 week ago

This is...like arguing evolution with a creationist fundamentalist:

"Watching your deterioration as Mueller's report makes mincemeat of your pathetic revisionism and Glenn's triumphalism is sad."

Inverted reality. What mental processes allow your brain to ignore this: https://theintercept.com/2019/04/28/mueller-report-trump-russia-questions/?commentId=21ab14b9-5404-4e8a-8bbc-1cf326c9ad5f

1 week ago

"Mueller describes Russian interests doing is buying a few ads on Facebook"

Like what, and please be specific about the three most serious.

1 week ago

What happened during the campaign was Hillary Clinton picked Trump and cheated Sanders and conspired with the FBI and DOJ to blackmail and illegally spy on the Trump campaign and put moles in his campaign and with the help of Fusion GPS and FBI informants Halper I'm the UK and Felix Sater pushed meetings with Russians.

Not a mention of Fusion GPS and the bogus Steele Dossier that the FBI used to lie to the FISA court and illegally spy on Trump campaign.

Thats quite the omission.

We need to get Steele and Halper and Fusion GPS CEO under oath to testify.

1 week ago

None of the " lies" had anything to do with Russia collusion.Most of the "Lies" didn't even have an underlying crime.

Gen Flynn didn't lie but they did bankrupt him and blackmail him and destroy his life.And got him to plea guilty to make it stop.

Comey Told Congress FBI Agents Didn't Think Flynn Lied

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/2018/02/13/comey_told_congress_fbi_agents_didn039t_think_flynn_lied_434274.html

1 week ago (Edited)
In the end, Mueller's investigators could not find evidence that Manafort coordinated his actions with the sophisticated Russian cybercampaign to help Trump win.
Narrator: "Risen never mentioned in his piece that Manafort was found in the investigation to have been working with the Ukrainian government, trying to get them to move away from Russia, and embrace the West in economic policies. That the reality of what Manafort was doing undercut the core Russiagate allegation that Manafort was working as a go-between for Russia and Trump didn't seem to perturb Risen one bit."
The report doesn't offer any other explanation for the release of the Podesta emails on what turned out to be one of the most important days of the 2016 campaign.
Narrator: "Risen seems to argue that, in the absence of any evidence that his conspiracy theory is true, the absence of any counter-explanation is nonetheless evidence in favor of his conspiracy theory."
1 week ago
"In the end, Mueller's investigators could not find evidence [of] the sophisticated Russian cybercampaign to help Trump win."
It's garbage journalism that allows this uncorroborated assertion to take what has always been the first step in the downward spiral of hysteria that is Russiagate.

Everything that follows this argument is based on this claim being true. Without this claim there would be no Russiagate.

Again, it's journalistic malpractice to allow this claim to remain unchallenged - yet Jim Risen, Jon Schwarz, and the Intercept editorial staff just continue the ruse.

I'm not saying it didn't happen; I'm saying there's not enough independent corroboration to allow for the amount of coverage here (of all places) and elsewhere based on the single-source- consensus (our intelligence agencies) that this continues to receive.

Is The Intercept is buying into the gateway drug of "Russia Attacks!" because they either want to be "fair and balanced" or they want the traffic generated by the articles to attract readership?

Creating content that, whatever the subject, 1) assumes an allegation to be true, 2) posits further possible outcomes based on that assumption is not journalism, it's reading tea leaves.

1 week ago

" is not journalism, it's reading tea leaves."

Indeed. Here I post a link to, and quote from, Aaron Maté's definitive analysis of the Mueller Report and the collapse of Russiagate https://theintercept.com/2019/04/28/mueller-report-trump-russia-questions/?commentId=21ab14b9-5404-4e8a-8bbc-1cf326c9ad5f

Aaron reports he's been blackballed from this site since his one piece (on Rachel Maddow and Russigate) in 2017. (Scahill had Aaron on a podcast, but the site refused to publish anything Aaron submitted.) Instead we get the dreck above, notwithstanding that Aaron won an Izzy Award for his Russigate reporting.

1 week ago

Greenwald extensively addresses the dynamics with his Intercept colleagues -- and with the world of journalism more broadly -- in this podcast with Michael Tracey from a few days ago: "Glenn Greenwald on Mueller Report fallout and media corruption - Glennzilla shares his insights on the horrendous conduct of the American media in relation to the spellbindingly deluded fallout from the Mueller Report." https://www.patreon.com/posts/26365124

1 week ago

The detritus above is cured by Aaron Maté here: "The Mueller Report Indicts the Trump-Russia Conspiracy Theory - The real Russiagate scandal is the damage it has done to our democratic system and media." https://www.thenation.com/article/russiagate-trump-mueller-report-no-collusion/

Maté definitively addresses these points:

1. RUSSIAGATE WITHOUT RUSSIA
2. RUSSIAGATE'S PREDICATE LED NOWHERE
3. SERGEY KISLYAK HAD "BRIEF AND NON-SUBSTANTIVE" INTERACTIONS WITH THE TRUMP CAMP
4. TRUMP TOWER MOSCOW HAD NO HELP FROM MOSCOW
5. AND TRUMP DIDN'T ASK COHEN TO LIE ABOUT IT
6. THE TRUMP TOWER MEETING REALLY WAS JUST A "WASTE OF TIME"
7. MANAFORT DID NOT SHARE POLLING DATA TO MEDDLE IN THE US ELECTION
8. THE STEELE DOSSIER WAS FICTION
9. THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN HAD NO SECRET CHANNEL TO WIKILEAKS
10. THERE WAS NO COVER-UP

About Point 1, Aaron writes:
The report contains no evidence that anyone from the Trump campaign spoke to a Kremlin representative during the election, aside from conversations with the Russian ambassador and a press-office assistant, both of whom were ruled out as having participated in a conspiracy (more on them later).

It should be no surprise, then, to learn from Mueller that, when "Russian government officials and prominent Russian businessmen began trying to make inroads into the new administration" after Trump's election victory, they did not know whom to call. These powerful Russians, Mueller noted, "appeared not to have preexisting contacts and struggled to connect with senior officials around the President-Elect." If top Russians did not have "preexisting contacts and struggled to connect with" the people that they supposedly conspired with, perhaps that is because they did not actually conspire.

[May 03, 2019] These reporters and networks have been named in the WikiLeaks to have colluded with the DNC or Hillary campaign during the 2016 election cycle

May 03, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

GUS100CORRINA , 23 minutes ago link

There Was Spying: NYT Admits Obama Admin Used 'Honeypot' To Spy Against Trump Campaign In 2016

My response: Why would the MSM want to get out in front of what is coming by issuing this news story? May be they are implicated as well! Below is the list of MSM career criminals who are facing the real possibility of jail time.

=== List of MSM Career Criminals Guilty of TREASON, SEDITION and/or SUBVERSIVE activities!! ===

These reporters and networks have been named in the WikiLeaks to have colluded with the DNC or Hillary campaign during the 2016 election cycle:

ABC – Cecilia Vega
ABC - David Muir
ABC – Diane Sawyer
ABC – George Stephanoplous
ABC – Jon Karl
ABC – Liz Kreutz
AP – Julie Pace
AP – Ken Thomas
AP – Lisa Lerer
AURN – April Ryan
Bloomberg – Jennifer Epstein
Bloomberg – John Heillman
Bloomberg/MSNBC – Jonathan Alter
Bloomberg – Mark Halperin
Buzzfeed – Ben Smith
Buzzfeed – Ruby Cramer
CBS – Gayle King
CBS – John Dickerson
CBS – Norah O'Donnell
CBS – Steve Chagaris
CBS – Vicki Gordon
CNBC – John Harwood
CNN – Brianna Keilar
CNN – Dan Merica
CNN – David Chailan
CNN – Erin Burnett
CNN – Gloria Borger
CNN – Jake Tapper
CNN – Jeff Zeleny
CNN - Jeff Zucker
CNN – John Berman
CNN – Kate Bouldan
CNN – Maria Cardona
CNN – Mark Preston
CNN – Sam Feist
Daily Beast – Jackie Kucinich
GPG – Mike Feldman
HuffPo – Amanda Terkel
HuffPo – Arianna Huffington
HuffPo – Sam Stein
HuffPo – Whitney Snyder
LAT – Evan Handler
LAT – Mike Memoli
McClatchy – Anita Kumar
MORE – Betsy Fisher Martin
MSNBC – Alex Seitz-Wald
MSNBC – Alex Wagner
MSNBC – Andrea Mitchell
MSNBC - Beth Fouhy
MSNBC – Ed Schultz
MSNBC – Joe Scarborough
MSNBC – Mika Brzezinski
MSNBC – Phil Griffin
MSNBC – Rachel Maddow
MSNBC – Rachel Racusen
MSNBC – Thomas Roberts
National Journal – Emily Schultheis
NBC – Chuck Todd
NBC – Mark Murray
NBC – Savannah Gutherie
New Yorker – David Remnick
New Yorker – Ryan Liza
NPR – Mike Oreskes
NPR – Tamara Keith
NY Post – Geofe Earl
NYT – Amy Chozik
NYT – Carolyn Ryan
NYT – Gail Collins
NYT – John Harwoodje
NYT – Jonathan Martin
NYT – Maggie Haberman
NYT – Pat Healey
PBS – Charlie Rose
People – Sandra Sobieraj Westfall
Politico – Annie Karni
Politico – Gabe Debenedetti
Politico – Glenn Thrush
Politico – Kenneth Vogel
Politico – Mike Allen
Reuters – Amanda Becker
Tina Brown – Tina Brown
The Hill – Amie Parnes
Univision – Maria-Elena Salinas
Vice – Alyssa Mastramonoco
Vox – Jon Allen
WaPo – Anne Gearan
WaPo – Greg Sargent
WSJ – Laura Meckler
WSJ – Peter Nicholas
WSJ – Colleen McCain Nelson
Yahoo – Matt Bai

[May 01, 2019] Is not it

It is not amazing. That's about intelligence agencies control, nothing else.
Notable quotes:
"... Zero Percent of Elite Commentators Oppose Regime Change in Venezuela ..."
"... It's so frustrating to see the current lunacy in the mainstream media, and the idiotocracy at work in Washington DC, regardless of political party or who's fat ass sits in the oval office. Tulsi Gabbard is about the only sane person in DC right now on foreign affairs - forget Sanders, Warren and 'regular guy' Joe Biden ..."
May 01, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
michaelj72 , Apr 30, 2019 5:51:12 PM | link

michaelj72 , Apr 30, 2019 5:41:44 PM | link

< somewhat surprising to me at first glance, but with a little further thought, as to be expected - the US media is corporate controlled, pro-militarism, pro-interventionism, pro-armaments sales, and totally pro-regime change - anywhere in the world. All editorialists are neo-colonialists and imperialists at heart, regardless of who occupies the white house>

https://fair.org/home/zero-percent-of-elite-commentators-oppose-regime-change-in-venezuela/

Zero Percent of Elite Commentators Oppose Regime Change in Venezuela

A FAIR survey of US opinion journalism on Venezuela found no voices in elite corporate media that opposed regime change in that country. Over a three-month period (1/15/19 -- 4/15/19), zero opinion pieces in the New York Times and Washington Post took an anti -- regime change or pro-Maduro/Chavista position.

Not a single commentator on the big three Sunday morning talkshows or PBS NewsHour came out against President Nicolás Maduro stepping down from the Venezuelan government.....

Let's make a mess of Venezuela, you know, like the US has done across the middle east/north Africa since.... well since almost forever....

It's so frustrating to see the current lunacy in the mainstream media, and the idiotocracy at work in Washington DC, regardless of political party or who's fat ass sits in the oval office. Tulsi Gabbard is about the only sane person in DC right now on foreign affairs - forget Sanders, Warren and 'regular guy' Joe Biden


and as Lebanese geo-political commentator Sarah Abdallah at twitter https://twitter.com/sahouraxo
correctly notes:


US interventions in:

#Iraq -> Millions killed and displaced + the rise of ISIS.

#Libya -> Thousands killed, millions displaced + slave markets.

#Syria -> Death and destruction + millions displaced.

But sure, US intervention in #Venezuela sounds like a totally wonderful idea.

Barovsky , Apr 30, 2019 5:57:04 PM | link

There's a link to this doc in the libya360 link I posted earlier but here it is. It was written in May of 2018:

https://libya360.wordpress.com/2018/05/13/masterstroke-the-us-plan-to-overthrow-the-venezuelan-government/

Masterstroke: The US Plan to Overthrow the Venezuelan Government
Posted by Internationalist 360° on May 13, 2018

By Stella Calloni

[Apr 28, 2019] Psyops and propaganda have a cumulative effect on the thought processes of the target populations. After 9/11 it became legal for our intelligence services to turn these insidious weapons on our own people.

Apr 28, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Copeland , Apr 28, 2019 1:39:54 PM | link

Psyops and propaganda have a cumulative effect on the thought processes of the target populations. After 9/11 it became legal for our intelligence services to turn these insidious weapons on our own people. The result is a metastasis of political polarization into fear and loathing in more vulnerable minds. These Dark State practitioners are manipulating the outcomes and expect cult-like (or occult) spasms of mass murder. The crude scapegoating, the Orwellian menagerie of enemies, the contamination of public forums with trolls, the false flags, and constant promotion of political hysteria, has a methodology that we have seen in the 20th Century. I am always grateful when b reminds us of this danger.

[Apr 28, 2019] Due to the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the arrests of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning, Sixteen Films and Journeyman Pictures are providing a time-limited free access to the Wikileaks road movie Mediastan

Apr 28, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

S , Apr 28, 2019 6:30:29 PM | link

Mediastan: A Wikileaks Road Movie | Full Documentary

Mediastan: A Wikileaks Road Movie: Due to the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the arrests of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning, Sixteen Films and Journeyman Pictures are providing a time-limited free access to the Wikileaks road movie Mediastan. Mediastan is a documentary film directed by Johannes Wahlström and co-produced by Julian Assange, detailing the publication of the very documents for which both Assange and Manning have been incarcerated.

[Apr 27, 2019] Top German Journalist Admits Mainstream Media Is Completely Fake We All Lie For The CIA

Apr 27, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

03/28/2016 With the increasing propaganda wars, we thought a reminder of just how naive many Westerners are when it comes to their news-feed. As Arjun Walia, of GlobalResearch.ca, notes, Dr. Ulfkotte went on public television stating that he was forced to publish the works of intelligence agents under his own name, also adding that noncompliance with these orders would result in him losing his job.

He recently made an appearance on RT news to share these facts:

I've been a journalist for about 25 years, and I was educated to lie, to betray, and not to tell the truth to the public.

But seeing right now within the last months how the German and American media tries to bring war to the people in Europe, to bring war to Russia -- this is a point of no return and I'm going to stand up and say it is not right what I have done in the past, to manipulate people, to make propaganda against Russia, and it is not right what my colleagues do and have done in the past because they are bribed to betray the people, not only in Germany, all over Europe.

[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 13, 2019] The natural evolution of bought press: Few year ago t>he Guardian was a left leaning newspaper and reported the news in a fairly unbiased manner. It was always quite critical of the Zionists and Israel. A few years ago, it became very defensive of Israel and started to censor readers comments about Israel

Apr 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

APB , says: April 13, 2019 at 4:30 pm GMT

@UncommonGround Many years ago The Guardian was a left leaning newspaper and reported the news in a fairly unbiased manner. It was always quite critical of the Zionists and Israel and supported good causes but then suddenly, a few years ago, it became very defensive of Israel and started to censor readers comments about Israeli news stories, then it stopped publishing any story criticizing Israel.

There must have a change of ownership or some kind of right wing or Zionist takeover.

Then it started really blocking comments to news articles which didn't agree with the opinion of the Guardian editors.

Then Wikileaks published its leaks through the Guardian, and others, who used the info to sell news.

Then it quite shockingly turned around and stabbed Wikileaks and Assange in the back.

I think now it is operated as a controlled media outlet in favour of the UK security services and the Israelis, it's a real shame as it has the potential to be an excellent news source but it's reputation is now trashed in my opinion.

[Apr 13, 2019] The presstituting crowd of stenographers (MSM) and the zionized X-tian war profiteers have made everything in their power (inadvertently) to ensure that Assange is and will be a towering figure of our time

Apr 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

annamaria , says: April 13, 2019 at 12:19 pm GMT

"Assange was reduced from one of the few towering figures of our time – a man who will have a central place in history books, if we as a species live long enough to write those books "

-- The presstituting crowd of stenographers (MSM) and the zionized X-tian war profiteers have made everything in their power (inadvertently) to ensure that Assange is and will be a towering figure of our time.

Even in distress, Assange has been fighting for truth and dignity; the ongoing show of lawlessness exposes the rot. The moral and creative midgets constituting the core of MSM and the satanic deciders are upset. Good!

The idiotic Senior District "Judge" Emma Arbuthnot (a wife and beneficiary of a mega-war profiteer Lord Arbuthnot -- Arbuthnot served as Chairman of the Defence Select Committee from 2005 to 2014) and the no less idiotic District "Judge" Michael Snow have entered the history books as well. As scoundrels: http://members5.boardhost.com/xxxxx/msg/1555064882.html

Snow does his best to bring the Judiciary into disrepute by playing to the gallery. He comments on the extradition in the same vein in a totally unprofessional manner. He is of course in a long line of disreputable members of the judiciary Snow's place in history is now secured – he chose to abuse the defendant rather than perform his role which was really quite straightforward. He is the narcissist and guilty of self interest not Julian Assange.

Daniel Rich , says: April 13, 2019 at 10:38 pm GMT
@annamaria Once one realizes 'justice' is a monetized commodity, lawlessness becomes a viable [and justifiable] option.

[Apr 13, 2019] CIA s 60-Year History of Fake News How the Deep State Corrupted Many American Writers

Apr 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

Agent76 says: April 13, 2019 at 3:12 pm GMT

April 2, 2019 The CIA Takeover of America in the 1960s Is the Story of Our Times. The Killing of the Kennedys and Today's New Cold War

'We're all puppets,' the suspect [Sirhan Sirhan] replied, with more truth than he could have understood at that moment." – Lisa Pease, quoting from the LAPD questioning of Sirhan

https://www.globalresearch.ca/cia-takeover-america-1960s/5673387

March 19, 2017 The CIA's 60-Year History of Fake News How the Deep State Corrupted Many American Writers

Whitney's new book, "Finks: How the C.I.A. Tricked the World's Best Writers," explores how the CIA influenced acclaimed writers and publications during the Cold War to produce subtly anti-communist material.

During the interview, Scheer and Whitney discuss these manipulations and how the CIA controlled major news agencies and respected literary publications (such as the Paris Review).

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46688.htm

[Apr 13, 2019] The precedent set by imprisoning a foreign journalist under the Espionage Act will enable the US government to arrest leak publishers anywhere in the world who expose its crimes

Apr 13, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

Caitlin nailed it This part goes for all those who cheer what is happening to Assange. You all are short sighted fools. you are cheering for your own demise. I have posted something similar in the past over at the other place and have watched the idiots over there tie themselves into knots defending their blood thristy anti-Assange positions. It is unconscionable.

8  --  The precedent set by imprisoning a foreign journalist under the Espionage Act will enable the US government to arrest leak publishers anywhere in the world who expose its crimes. This will cripple our ability to hold the most powerful institution on the planet to account in any way. There is no excuse for any journalist anywhere not to oppose this tooth and claw. If you see anyone calling themselves a journalist but failing to oppose Assange's extradition, you should call them out for the frauds that they are.

I would add to Caitlin's point above. There is no excuse for any free thinking human being to oppose this tooth and claw. Without freedom of speech and freedom to share information, we are no longer a free people.

People scream about protecting the second amendment, but for me without the first amendment, there is nothing left to protect. up 11 users have voted. --

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

"Propaganda is one hell of a drug." Abby Martin

[Apr 01, 2019] People Will Never, Ever Rebel As Long As They're Successfully Propagandized

Apr 01, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

Our predicament is simple to describe.

Since the dawn of civilization, powerful individuals have controlled the stories people tell themselves about who they are, who's in charge, how a good citizen behaves, what groups should be loved, what groups should be hated, and what's really going on in the world. When you study what we call history, you're mostly just reading the ancient proto-propaganda of whatever kingdom happened to win the last war during that period of time. When you study what we call religion, you're mostly reading stories that were advanced by ancient governments explaining why the people should be meek, forgiving taxpayers instead of rising up and killing their wealthy exploiters.

This continues to this day. We fill our children's heads with lies about how the world works, how the government works, how the media works, and, on a deeper level, how their own consciousness works , and the entire process is shaped to funnel power toward the people who control our stories. The modern schooling system was largely formed by John D Rockefeller , widely considered the wealthiest person in modern history , in order to create generations of docile gear-turners for the industrial plutocratic machine. Modern schooling is essentially mainstream media in a building; it promotes authorized narratives day in and day out to ensure that children will have a reaction of cognitive dissonance and rejection when confronted with information which contradicts those narratives.

This funnels the populace seamlessly into the narrative control matrix of adulthood, where childhood indoctrination into mainstream narratives lubricates the way for continual programming of credulous minds with mass media propaganda. All the print, TV and online media they are presented with supports the status quo-supporting agendas of the same plutocratic class that John D Rockefeller dominated all those years ago. This ensures that no matter how bad things get, no matter how severely our spirits are crushed by end-stage metastatic neoliberalism, no matter how many stupid, pointless wars we're duped into, no matter how much further we are drawn along the path toward extinction via climate chaos or nuclear war, we will never revolt to overthrow our rulers.

That's three paragraphs. Our predicament is simple to describe and easy to understand. But that doesn't mean it's easy to solve.

Everyone has at some point known someone in some kind of an abusive relationship, whether it be with a partner, a family member, or a job, and we all know that helpless feeling of being unable to help someone who refuses to walk away from the source of their abuse.

"Just leave him!" we say in exasperation. "The door's right there! It's not locked!"

But it's never that simple. It's never that simple because, although the abusee is indeed physically capable of walking out the door, the thoughts that are in their head keep them from choosing that option.

This is because no abuser is simply violent or cruel: they are also necessarily manipulative. If they weren't manipulative, there wouldn't be any "abusive relationship"; there'd just be someone doing something horrible one time, followed by a hasty exit out the door. There can't be an ongoing relationship that is abusive unless there's some glue holding the abusee in place, and that glue always consists primarily of believed narrative.

"I didn't mean it. I love you. I just get frustrated sometimes because of your stupidity."

"You can't leave; you'll never make it out there on your own. You need me."

"I'm the only one who'll ever be there for you. Nobody else will ever love you because you're so disgusting."

"Your children need their father. You have to stay."

"I need you! I'll die without you!"

"I'm not doing that. You're paranoid and crazy."

"Your inability to forgive me means something is wrong with you."

They seldom say it so overtly, because if they did its malignancy would be easy to spot, but those are the ideas which get subtly implanted into the abusee's head day after day after day by way of skillful manipulation.

"It's her own fault for staying," someone will inevitably say.

No it isn't. Not really. The abuser is at fault for the overt abuse, and the abuser is also at fault for the psychological manipulations which keep the abusee in place in spite of terrible cruelty. It's all one thing, and it's entirely the abuser's fault.

Humanity's predicament is the same. I often hear revolutionary-minded thinkers voicing frustration at the mainstream public for choosing to stay within this transparently abusive dynamic instead of rising up and forcing change, and yes, it is self-evident that the citizenry could easily use its vastly superior numbers to do that if it collectively chose to. The door is right there. It's not even locked.

But the people aren't failing to choose the door because they love being abused, they're failing to choose the door because they've been manipulated into not choosing it. From cradle to grave they're pummeled with stories telling them that this is the only way things can be, in exactly the same way a battered wife or a cult member are pummeled with stories about how leaving is impossible.

The difficulty of our times is not that we are locked up; we aren't. The difficulty is that far too many of us are manipulated into choosing a prison cell over freedom.

The fact of the matter is that a populace will never rise up against its oppressors as long as it is being successfully propagandized not to. It will never, ever happen. The majority will choose the prison cell every time.

You'd expect that more dissident thinking would be pouring into solving this dilemma, but not much is. People talk about elections and political strategies, they talk about who has the most correct ideology, they talk about rising up and seizing the means of production due to unacceptable material conditions, they wax philosophical about the tyranny of the state and the immorality of coercion, but they rarely address the elephant in the room that you can't get a populace to oust the status quo when they do not want to.

Nothing will ever be done about our predicament as long as powerful people are controlling the stories that the majority of the public believe. This is as true today as it was in John D Rockefeller's time, which was as true as when Rome chose to spread the "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's" submissiveness of Christianity throughout the Empire. The only difference is that now the powerful have a century of post-Bernays propaganda science under their belt, and a whole lot of research and development can happen in a hundred years.

So what's the solution? How do you awaken a populace that is not just manipulated into choosing its prison cell every time, but is also manipulated into believing that any suggestion that they're in a prison cell is a crazy conspiracy theory?

Well, what do you do when a loved one is in an abusive relationship? It never works to shake them and scream "You're being abused!"; that just causes them to tighten up and dig in deeper with their abuser's narratives about how this is the only way things can be and anyone who says otherwise is crazy. What works is to lovingly help that sovereign spark within them gather evidence that the narratives they're being fed by their abuser are lies. Point out every time where reality contradicts the stories they've been told. Weaken their trust in the old stories while strengthening their confidence in their own perception and their sense of entitlement and worthiness. Help them to see that they're being lied to, and that they deserve better.

This breaking of trust needs to happen within the respective partisan echo chambers of those who are being propagandized. It's useless to increase the distrust of CNN and MSNBC among Trump's base, for example, but it's very useful to increase their distrust in right-wing narratives. It's useless to increase Democrats' distrust in Trump and Fox News, but it's very useful to get them skeptical of the narrative control machine they've been plugged into. Each head of the two-headed one-party system needs to be attacked in a way that makes sense inside each of its respective echo chambers.

Mostly, though, what we need is we need is for more thinkers to be more focused on the real problem. I know some influential minds read this blog; if they can help seed the idea out among the movers and shakers of dissident thought that propaganda is our first and foremost problem, we just might get somewhere. We need a major shift of focus onto the narrative control matrix and the obstacle that it poses to revolution, and everyone can help shift us there in their own way.

The propaganda machine won't be adequately disrupted without intensive effort, and until it is we're going to keep selecting the prison cell every time.

* * *

Thanks for reading! My articles are entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of my sweet merchandise , buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone , or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers . The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish.

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fezline , 1 minute ago link

That is why Q is in play... it makes people complacent so they don't rebel because they think an insider already has it in hand... here is a list of some of the Q posts that were wrong:

Drop #1 "claimed that "HRC extradition [was] already in motion effective yesterday with several countries in case of cross border run" with Drop #2 alleging "HRC detained, not arrested (yet)" and that there would be "massive riots organized in defiance and others fleeing the US."

After a stretch of posts full of rhetorical questions and vague claims, Q used Drop #15 to predict that John Podesta would be indicted on Nov. 3, and Clinton aide Huma Abedin indicted on Nov. 6.

Drop #16, posted the same day, claimed that "Friday & Saturday will deliver on the MAGA promise" with a thorough house-cleaning of the government. That Friday, Nov. 3, saw the president leave for a tour of Asia, and no firings, but the predictions continued.

After a series of vague insinuations about the National Guard being activated in various major cities (which was not true), Q again claimed in Drop #25 that proof of his predictions would "begin 11.3." Again, the only significant event of this day was the president leaving for Asia.

In Drop #32, Q claimed that the "initial wave [of arrests] will be fast and meaningful," with many members of the media "jailed as deep cover agents."

Finally, Drop #34 unveiled a host of predictions for what Q claimed would happen imminently. He claimed that "over the course of the next several days you will undoubtedly realize that we are taking back our great country." He claimed that everything he'd been talking about in secret "will then be revealed and will not be openly accepted," resulting in "public riots."

Q claimed that because of the imminent unrest of Nov. 3 and the announcement of John Podesta's arrest the next day, "a state of temporary military control will be actioned," and that "we will be initiating the Emergency Broadcast System (EMS) during this time in an effort to provide a direct message (avoiding the fake news) to all citizens."

Drop #38 continued with the conspiracy fantasizing, predicting "other state actors attempting to harm us during this transition," along with "increased military movement," "[National Guard] deployments starting tomorrow, and "false flags."

As part of the "imminent event" of the 3, Q claimed in Drop #44 that "before POTUS departs on Friday he will be sending an important message via Twitter," used Drop #47 to warn his readers to "be vigilant today and expect a major false flag," and claimed in Drop #55 that President Trump would unleash the massive military purge (now nicknamed "The Storm") with a tweet reading "My fellow Americans, the Storm is upon us ."

continued to ratchet up the tension, predicting in Drop #61: that there would be "Twitter and other social media blackouts" that would accompany the massive deep state purge.

Finally, in Drop #65 , Q claimed "it has begun," with Drop #67 predicting that news of John Podesta's military plane being "forced down" "will be leaked" with a prominent "fake news anchor" being pulled off the air.

Needless to say, none of what Q predicted in his first 60+ posts took place. The National Guard was never called up, mass arrests never took place, Hillary Clinton and John Podesta weren't detained, Donald Trump never sent a tweet mentioning "The Storm," and the Emergency Alert System wasn't activated.

But that didn't stop the movement.

However, Q seemed to learn from his mistakes and mostly stopped making specific predictions about events to come, shifting to vague statements about world events, terror attacks, and political intrigue.

On Dec. 10, Q predicted in Drop #326 that "false flag(s)" would occur, with "POTUS 100% insulated" and to "expect fireworks." Q believers seized on a partially detonated pipe bomb at New York's Port Authority Bus Terminal, and Q took credit the next day for "thwarting" the attack.

In Drop #647, Q seemed to predict a major event involving the Department of Defense for Feb. 1, calling it the "[D]ay [Of] [D]ays." Nothing of note happened either to that agency or the federal government in general that day.

A few days after that fizzled, Q insinuated in Drop #700 that the weekend of Feb. 10 and 1 would be a "suicide weekend" for individuals targeted by the president. There were no high-profile suicides by public figures that weekend.

Drop #796 was a post full of quasi-military chatter that seemed to predict a possible car bombing in London around Feb. 16. No terrorist attack of any type happened in London at all that month.

As talk of President Trump's military parade ramped up, Q predicted in Drop #856 that "a parade that will never be forgotten" would take place on 11/11/18. That parade has now been postponed until next year due to costs, and likely won't take place at all.

Then, in Drop #912, Q claimed that the intelligence sharing alliance known as "Five Eyes" "won't be around much longer." As of August, it is still in effect.

Drop #997 predicted on April 3 that the Pope would "have a terrible May." The closest to this that happened was the resignation of several Chilean bishops in June after Pope Francis criticized them over their handling of a sex abuse scandal.

On April 7, Q made a cryptic post in Drop #1067 that read simply "China. Chongqing. Tuesday." The next Tuesday was April 10, and no newsworthy event took place on that day in that city.

Finally, in Drop #1302 on April 27, Q claimed a "Mother of All Bombs" related to negotiations with North Korea would be "dropped" in the next week.

Some Q believers took this to be the North Korea/United States summit announcement on the 28, but the negotiations had already been reported, and only the location and exact date remained to be set -- neither of which Q provided.

Even as he was seeming to reveal world events that never took place, Q kept up his hammering of favored foes Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John McCain.

Even though she wasn't indicted or arrested, Q predicted on March 5 in Drop #854 that "HRC +++ + +++++(raw vid 5:5)" [sic] would soon emerge, and that it would be the "nail in many coffins."

Using Barack Obama's middle name , Q predicted in Drop #1043 that "pics will surface of Hussein holding AK47 in tribal attire," and insinuated in two April drops that photos of Obama with a young girl named "Wendy" would appear and open him up to charges of pedophilia. No such pictures have ever appeared.

Finally, again using a nickname, Q predicted John McCain's resignation from the Senate as "imminent" several times, including Drop #1319 and Drop #1850 , as well as predicting the "end near" in Drop #1555. Only this week did McCain announce he would stop seeking treatment for cancer.

Politicians aren't the only suspected deep state members that Q has made failed predictions about.

On April 4, Q claimed in Drop #1014 that Mark Zuckerberg was going to step down as chair of Facebook and flee the United States. The same day Q predicted this, Zuckerberg reiterated that he was NOT going to step down -- and he still hasn't.

Q has also made some fizzled predictions about Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, saying "goodbye" to him in Drops #525 and #598 , insinuating that Dorsey would be removed from Twitter in Drop #799 , predicting in Drop #1102 that Dorsey was "next"

It's not surprising that as Q's predictions fizzled, he became less specific and more generalized with what he claimed would happen. It's here that QAnon truly began taking on the language of prosperity scams, substituting vague claims of "next week" or "soon" in place of anything more specific.

Q's use of the phrase "next week" to denote the occurrence of something important started with Drop #243 when Q told his followers "just wait until next week" without making any kind of claim as to what was going to happen. It would be the first of over a dozen times Q would kick the can down the road to "next week."

In Drop #464: Q vaguely predicted a "BIG NEXT WEEK" on Jan. 5, doubling down in Drop #527, predicting "Next Week – BIGGER," repeating the claim three drops later.

If you still belive in Q in the face of all of these failed predictions you should sterialize yourself... And no... not a libtard... I put libtards and qtards in the same basket of stupid../

FlKeysFisherman , 2 minutes ago link

Too many dumb asses.

JB Say , 5 minutes ago link

This crazy bitch is hit or miss for me. She completely misses on "climate chaos" which is part of the mind control narrative. Most obvious and discredited government and corporate funded hoax of our era. Post religious eschatology to tax and control the serfs to the satisfaction of the powerful.

ScratInTheHat , 8 minutes ago link

Fat dumb and happyland!

Rest Easy , 9 minutes ago link

This lady is an enemy agent. Why do you continue posting her articles?

Yeah. I don't think nuclear war and fukishima are good ideas also.

What needs sorely addressing, and why Trump was elected, is the complete deviousness and near stranglehold, outright, that America hating marxists wield.

We are possibly a hair's breath away from something so sobering. That a vicious civil war may sound quite refreshing in contrast.

But, bring it on crazy. Just don't think I at least, can't see who you represent. And it isn't tree hugging, American ultra pot smoking nice boys and girl hippies. Who also sideline as cia operators and super stealth super agents. Kidding. Interesting movie. And somewhat funny. Unlike most of this. Sitch.

God is in charge. Jesus is the way. If there be fighting or calamity. If there be peace and prosperity. Rest, when possible in the Lord. And fight like lions when, and if called to do so.

BLOTTO , 18 minutes ago link

Most people's pineal gland are too calcified to think so that they may breakdown the doors of perception.

.

Independent thinking is a dying art.

Ozymango , 21 minutes ago link

Turn off the ******* TV, Caitlin.

BGO , 22 minutes ago link

It only takes 5% of the population to become sufficiently agitated in order to affect social and political change. The requisite force is already in place. All they are waiting for is an impetus.

quesnay , 24 minutes ago link

"People will never rebel"

What are you talking about?

What was Trump if not the biggest "**** you" in history. It's true these haven't gone anywhere, or accomplished anything, but this is far different thing than "not rebelling". Half the population is rebelling within the system as much as they can. The other half the population also feel they are rebelling to, but in the opposite direction. Cancel 1st and 2nd amendments, ban conservative voices, impeach Trump. If/when civil war breaks out you will long for these halcyon days of peaceful rebellion.

Groundround , 17 minutes ago link

I see how they fooled so many with Trump. In no way whatsoever are elections left up to the citizens. They all have to be portrayed as being close to hide the fact that those at the top choose the president and the president has no real power anyway.

quesnay , 13 minutes ago link

The billionaires, shadow government and king makers actually wanted Trump to win ...

Not buying it.

beemasters , 2 minutes ago link

A billionaire for billionaires...what's so odd about it?

Rashomon , 25 minutes ago link

There's a pseudo-everything phenomena occurring, lots of phoney stuff going on out there.. All you can do really is not believe everything you read, hear and/or see and be careful what you take as truth/fact. We have been lied to about our money, our history and even much of the food we eat is suspect and possibly the creation(or part) of some laboratory experiment.

If people were to find out that they were all subjects of the oligarchs and being preyed on, ripped off, experimented on or were products of their creations in a world built on lies things might not turn out so great for the oligarchs.

stacking12321 , 26 minutes ago link

So, so you think you can tell
Heaven from hell
Blue skies from pain
Can you tell a green field
From a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

Did they get you to trade
Your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
Did you exchange
A walk on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?

EndOfDayExit , 27 minutes ago link

90% of humanity is basically livestock, 2% are sociopaths enjoying to control the human livestock, and the remaining few are left to wonder wtf is wrong with those 2 groups. It has been like this since the dawn of time. Note that the actual revolutions happen very rarely, and they only happen when the elites screw up badly. Most of the time things change simply because the elites have finally realized they could not continue the status quo.

Long popcorn.

Future_Cannibal , 28 minutes ago link

Not enough suffering going on for there to be enough people demanding real change. Self policing prisoners will keep the rest in line. It is what it is. Point of no return has come and gone. Now we just have to play the hand we've been dealt.

John Law Lives , 28 minutes ago link

This song by the band, Anthrax, comes to mind:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zc7-6vq4GUQ

'In My World'

lyrics (excerpt):

They're gonna put me in jail?
Man, I'm already in jail
Don't they know that my life
Is just one big cell.

johnwburns , 28 minutes ago link

They'll never rebel as long as they are allowed to keep their flat screen and some toys, and the niggers aren't coming directly over the back fence.

Marysduby , 15 minutes ago link

You forgot the ******* muslims

trysophistry , 30 minutes ago link

I believe a less violent and more highly effective way of making change is to stop being a consummate consumer.

Forget Amazon, cease consumer loans and pay for what you need in cash. Stop frivolous spending. The effect from deflation would be far more painful to the 1% than anyone else and core prices would drop like a rock.

Mouldy , 32 minutes ago link

Say we overthrew our respective governments - I give it a year, nay... A week, and a new batch of psychopaths will be vying for top job - and we're back to square one again. Two options;

1. Shoot/hang psychos (the fun/gratifying option)

2. Place four of these assoles in charge instead of one

What does a psycho hate moar than us peasants - competition. They will fight and kill each other, never agreeing on any new laws (see where i'm going with this) Basically reversing the situation we're in now.

shankster , 33 minutes ago link

Pull the plug on Google, Facebook, Twitter and You Tube and throw your TV in the trash, along with your phone.

dirty dogs , 34 minutes ago link

Going Lorena Bobbit.

1982xls , 35 minutes ago link

Enough cheezburgers for the family = no revolution

lo2hi , 38 minutes ago link

okay.........that's one fucked up point of view. Chill out. Smoke some weed... lots of it. Hell, get drunk... but stop scaring yourself.

XBroker1 , 39 minutes ago link

Medium is a website that tries to funnel you into google or facebook. Do we need to say more? I haven't yet done a blog about the fear factor. All those cell tower pump fear into the masses. The side effect s of wireless technology will never be officially admitted to.

bustdriver , 40 minutes ago link

Read a little history of the media. It is eye opening.

qdone , 42 minutes ago link

mao : "power comes from the barrel of a gun" . figuratively (including propaganda) or literally, so true.

fulliautomatix , 43 minutes ago link

In fact, this is surprisingly simple to counter - don't tell lies. The difficulties experienced with this choice, this exercise of will, lend a contempt in the assessment of the mouthings of the liars - system wide (i.e. at the societal level) it is a self-reinforcing behaviour because not many people are prepared to embrace the social status associated with open displays of contempt for their person. Of course, if you are not conditioned to exercising your will you have no reason to be upset with the outcome, you are in some sense as worthy as my coffee cup and have as much influence on the world as any other unconsciousness - why worry?

dirty dogs , 33 minutes ago link

Did you hurt something tossing that load?

boattrash , 44 minutes ago link

And yet, when the Obama Administration "legalized" Domestic Use of Propaganda,it went by the MSM without so much as a ******* sound (but that was to be expected, as we knew who would be delivering it).

Stuto , 45 minutes ago link

NO. Lack of food always create violent revolution.

Rashomon , 38 minutes ago link

The literal and figurative diet of scientific animal excrement seems to be doing the trick. From the money to the food to the news....

CJgipper , 36 minutes ago link

not in a capitalist country

NAchodwarf , 46 minutes ago link

There is a new series on Netflix called Dirty Money, the First Episode is on the VW scandal. In it VW decided to counter with a scientific study where they use MONKEYS TRAINED TO WATCH TV while they breath car exhaust. And I thought...OMG I've allowed myself to become a trained monkey, presented with information to believe.

bustdriver , 42 minutes ago link

I feel that way every time I use a vending machine...

koan , 49 minutes ago link

You need to take out the media and Internet, if there's no social media or brain-numbing "entertainment", people get bored and restless, an excellent precursor to revolution.

bamawatson , 43 minutes ago link

Alexa, should i wipe my azzz from front to back, or from back to front?

Tzanchan , 11 minutes ago link

Guys, it doesn't matter; girls front to back only...

not dead yet , 51 minutes ago link

Like many who claim to be totally awake and resistant to the propaganda dear Caitlin is a true believer in man made climate change. Also a socialist although lately she is has been trying distance herself from it. These people spend their career exposing the lies from government and the compliant press but are all on board with the we're all gonna die from climate change bunk as if the government and it's shills are suddenly telling the truth.

Lesson here is even those you trust can fall victim to the propaganda so it's best to not take everything they say as gospel.

BGO , 22 minutes ago link

It only takes 5% of the population to become sufficiently agitated in order to affect social and political change. The requisite force is already in place. All they are waiting for is an impetus.

quesnay , 24 minutes ago link

"People will never rebel"

What are you talking about?

What was Trump if not the biggest "**** you" in history. It's true these haven't gone anywhere, or accomplished anything, but this is far different thing than "not rebelling". Half the population is rebelling within the system as much as they can. The other half the population also feel they are rebelling to, but in the opposite direction. Cancel 1st and 2nd amendments, ban conservative voices, impeach Trump. If/when civil war breaks out you will long for these halcyon days of peaceful rebellion.

Rashomon , 25 minutes ago link

There's a pseudo-everything phenomena occurring, lots of phoney stuff going on out there.. All you can do really is not believe everything you read, hear and/or see and be careful what you take as truth/fact. We have been lied to about our money, our history and even much of the food we eat is suspect and possibly the creation(or part) of some laboratory experiment.

If people were to find out that they were all subjects of the oligarchs and being preyed on, ripped off, experimented on or were products of their creations in a world built on lies things might not turn out so great for the oligarchs.

EndOfDayExit , 27 minutes ago link

90% of humanity is basically livestock, 2% are sociopaths enjoying to control the human livestock, and the remaining few are left to wonder wtf is wrong with those 2 groups. It has been like this since the dawn of time. Note that the actual revolutions happen very rarely, and they only happen when the elites screw up badly. Most of the time things change simply because the elites have finally realized they could not continue the status quo.

Long popcorn.

[Mar 24, 2019] Taibbi It s Official - Russiagate Is This Generation s WMD

This is the most grandiose False flag propaganda operation known to the mankind. McCarthyism while more vicious was just a blip of the screen in comparison this this tide of disinformation and insinuations. Iraq WDM resulted in more casualties but was much more short term. Damage for the USA from this false flag operation might even exceed the damage for Iraq WDM fiasco.
British government and intelligence serves were active participants and in this sense "Skripals poisoning" looks like a perverted form of "witness protection:" program. A false flag operation on the top of a false flag operation ("Russiagate").
What is amazing is how unapt were the major players.
Notable quotes:
"... Nobody wants to hear this, but news that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is headed home without issuing new charges is a death-blow for the reputation of the American news media. ..."
"... A few weeks after that hearing, Steele gave testimony in a British lawsuit filed by one of the Russian companies mentioned in his reports. In a written submission , Steele said his information was "raw" and "needed to be analyzed and further investigated/verified." He also wrote that (at least as pertained to the memo in that case) he had not written his report "with the intention that it be republished to the world at large." ..."
"... That itself was a curious statement, given that Steele reportedly spoke with multiple reporters in the fall of 2016, but this was his legal position. This story about Steele's British court statements did not make it into the news much in the United States, apart from a few bits in conservative outlets like The Washington Times. ..."
"... The Steele report was the Magna Carta of #Russiagate. It provided the implied context for thousands of news stories to come, yet no journalist was ever able to confirm its most salacious allegations: the five year cultivation plan, the blackmail, the bribe from Sechin, the Prague trip, the pee romp, etc. In metaphorical terms, we were unable to independently produce Steele's results in the lab. Failure to reckon with this corrupted the narrative from the start. ..."
"... "Just called," Page said to McCabe. "Apparently the DAG [Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates] now wants to be there, and WH wants DOJ to host. So we are setting that up now. ... We will very much need to get Cohen's view before we meet with her. Better, have him weigh in with her before the meeting. We need to speak with one voice, if that is in fact the case." ..."
"... Someday I hope that Hillary has to be rolled up to testify about the Benghazi business. Grab the guns and the gold (and the oil). Ukraine gold: check. Libyan gold and weapons: check. ..."
Mar 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Matt Taibbi, excerpted from his serial book Hate Inc.,

The Iraq war faceplant damaged the reputation of the press. Russiagate just destroyed it...

Note to readers: in light of news that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's investigation is complete, I'm releasing this chapter of Hate Inc. early, with a few new details added up top. Nobody wants to hear this, but news that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is headed home without issuing new charges is a death-blow for the reputation of the American news media.

As has long been rumored , the former FBI chief's independent probe will result in multiple indictments and convictions, but no " presidency-wrecking " conspiracy charges, or anything that would meet the layman's definition of "collusion" with Russia.

With the caveat that even this news might somehow turn out to be botched, the key detail in the many stories about the end of the Mueller investigation was best expressed by the New York Times :

A senior Justice Department official said that Mr. Mueller would not recommend new indictments.

The Times tried to soften the emotional blow for the millions of Americans trained in these years to place hopes for the overturn of the Trump presidency in Mueller. Nobody even pretended it was supposed to be a fact-finding mission, instead of an act of faith.

The Special Prosecutor literally became a religious figure during the last few years, with votive candles sold in his image and Saturday Night Live cast members singing " All I Want for Christmas is You " to him featuring the rhymey line: "Mueller please come through, because the only option is a coup."

The Times story today tried to preserve Santa Mueller's reputation, noting Trump's Attorney General William Barr's reaction was an "endorsement" of the fineness of Mueller's work:

In an apparent endorsement of an investigation that Mr. Trump has relentlessly attacked as a "witch hunt," Mr. Barr said Justice Department officials never had to intervene to keep Mr. Mueller from taking an inappropriate or unwarranted step.

Mueller, in other words, never stepped out of the bounds of his job description. But could the same be said for the news media?

For those anxious to keep the dream alive, the Times published its usual graphic of Trump-Russia "contacts," inviting readers to keep making connections. But in a separate piece by Peter Baker , the paper noted the Mueller news had dire consequences for the press:

It will be a reckoning for President Trump, to be sure, but also for Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, for Congress, for Democrats, for Republicans, for the news media and, yes, for the system as a whole

This is a damning page one admission by the Times. Despite the connect-the-dots graphic in its other story, and despite the astonishing, emotion-laden editorial the paper also ran suggesting " We don't need to read the Mueller report " because we know Trump is guilty, Baker at least began the work of preparing Times readers for a hard question: "Have journalists connected too many dots that do not really add up?"

The paper was signaling it understood there would now be questions about whether or not news outlets like themselves made a galactic error by betting heavily on a new, politicized approach , trying to be true to "history's judgment" on top of the hard-enough job of just being true. Worse, in a brutal irony everyone should have seen coming , the press has now handed Trump the mother of campaign issues heading into 2020.

Nothing Trump is accused of from now on by the press will be believed by huge chunks of the population, a group that (perhaps thanks to this story) is now larger than his original base. As Baker notes, a full 50.3% of respondents in a poll conducted this month said they agree with Trump the Mueller probe is a "witch hunt."

Stories have been coming out for some time now hinting Mueller's final report might leave audiences " disappointed ," as if a President not being a foreign spy could somehow be bad news.

Openly using such language has, all along, been an indictment. Imagine how tone-deaf you'd have to be to not realize it makes you look bad, when news does not match audience expectations you raised. To be unaware of this is mind-boggling, the journalistic equivalent of walking outside without pants.

There will be people protesting: the Mueller report doesn't prove anything! What about the 37 indictments? The convictions? The Trump tower revelations? The lies! The meeting with Don, Jr.? The financial matters ! There's an ongoing grand jury investigation, and possible sealed indictments, and the House will still investigate, and

Stop. Just stop. Any journalist who goes there is making it worse.

For years, every pundit and Democratic pol in Washington hyped every new Russia headline like the Watergate break-in. Now, even Nancy Pelosi has said impeachment is out, unless something "so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan" against Trump is uncovered it would be worth their political trouble to prosecute.

The biggest thing this affair has uncovered so far is Donald Trump paying off a porn star. That's a hell of a long way from what this business was supposedly about at the beginning, and shame on any reporter who tries to pretend this isn't so.

The story hyped from the start was espionage: a secret relationship between the Trump campaign and Russian spooks who'd helped him win the election.

The betrayal narrative was not reported at first as metaphor. It was not "Trump likes the Russians so much, he might as well be a spy for them." It was literal spying, treason, and election-fixing – crimes so severe, former NSA employee John Schindler told reporters, Trump " will die in jail ."

In the early months of this scandal, the New York Times said Trump's campaign had "repeated contacts" with Russian intelligence; the Wall Street Journal told us our spy agencies were withholding intelligence from the new President out of fear he was compromised; news leaked out our spy chiefs had even told other countries like Israel not to share their intel with us, because the Russians might have "leverages of pressure" on Trump.

CNN told us Trump officials had been in "constant contact" with "Russians known to U.S. intelligence," and the former director of the CIA, who'd helped kick-start the investigation that led to Mueller's probe, said the President was guilty of "high crimes and misdemeanors," committing acts " nothing short of treasonous ."

Hillary Clinton insisted Russians "could not have known how to weaponize" political ads unless they'd been "guided" by Americans. Asked if she meant Trump, she said, " It's pretty hard not to ." Harry Reid similarly said he had "no doubt" that the Trump campaign was " in on the deal " to help Russians with the leak.

None of this has been walked back. To be clear, if Trump were being blackmailed by Russian agencies like the FSB or the GRU, if he had any kind of relationship with Russian intelligence, that would soar over the "overwhelming and bipartisan" standard, and Nancy Pelosi would be damning torpedoes for impeachment right now.

There was never real gray area here. Either Trump is a compromised foreign agent, or he isn't. If he isn't, news outlets once again swallowed a massive disinformation campaign, only this error is many orders of magnitude more stupid than any in the recent past, WMD included. Honest reporters like ABC's Terry Moran understand: Mueller coming back empty-handed on collusion means a " reckoning for the media ."

Of course, there won't be such a reckoning. (There never is). But there should be. We broke every written and unwritten rule in pursuit of this story, starting with the prohibition on reporting things we can't confirm.

#Russiagate debuted as a media phenomenon in mid-summer, 2016. The roots of the actual story, i.e. when the multi-national investigation began, go back much further, to the previous year at least. Oddly, that origin tale has not been nailed down yet, and blue-state audiences don't seem terribly interested in it, either.

By June and July of 2016, bits of the dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, which had been funded by the Democratic National Committee through the law firm Perkins Coie (which in turn hired the opposition research firm Fusion GPS), were already in the ether.

The Steele report occupies the same role in #Russiagate the tales spun by Ahmed Chalabi occupied in the WMD screwup. Once again, a narrative became turbo-charged when Officials With Motives pulled the press corps by its nose to a swamp of unconfirmable private assertions.

Some early stories, like a July 4, 2016 piece by Franklin Foer in Slate called " Putin's Puppet ," outlined future Steele themes in "circumstantial" form. But the actual dossier, while it influenced a number of pre-election Trump-Russia news stories (notably one by Michael Isiskoff of Yahoo! that would be used in a FISA warrant application ), didn't make it into print for a while.

Though it was shopped to at least nine news organizations during the summer and fall of 2016, no one bit, for the good reason that news organizations couldn't verify its "revelations."

The Steele claims were explosive if true. The ex-spy reported Trump aide Carter Page had been offered fees on a big new slice of the oil giant Rosneft if he could help get sanctions against Russia lifted. He also said Trump lawyer Michael Cohen went to Prague for "secret discussions with Kremlin representatives and associated operators/hackers."

Most famously, he wrote the Kremlin had kompromat of Trump "deriling" [sic] a bed once used by Barack and Michelle Obama by "employing a number of prostitutes to perform a 'golden showers' (urination) show."

This was too good of a story not to do. By hook or crook, it had to come out. The first salvo was by David Corn of Mother Jones on October 31, 2016: " A Veteran Spy Has Given the FBI Information Alleging a Russian Operation to Cultivate Donald Trump ."

The piece didn't have pee, Prague, or Page in it, but it did say Russian intelligence had material that could "blackmail" Trump. It was technically kosher to print because Corn wasn't publishing the allegations themselves, merely that the FBI had taken possession of them.

A bigger pretext was needed to get the other details out. This took place just after the election, when four intelligence officials presented copies of the dossier to both President-Elect Trump and outgoing President Obama.

From his own memos , we know FBI Director James Comey, ostensibly evincing concern for Trump's welfare, told the new President he was just warning him about what was out there, as possible blackmail material:

I wasn't saying [the Steele report] was true, only that I wanted him to know both that it had been reported and that the reports were in many hands. I said media like CNN had them and were looking for a news hook. I said it was important that we not give them the excuse to write that the FBI has the material or [redacted] and that we were keeping it very close-hold [sic].

Comey's generous warning to Trump about not providing a "news hook," along with a promise to keep it all "close-held," took place on January 6, 2017. Within four days, basically the entire Washington news media somehow knew all about this top-secret meeting and had the very hook they needed to go public. Nobody in the mainstream press thought this was weird or warranted comment.

Even Donald Trump was probably smart enough to catch the hint when, of all outlets, it was CNN that first broke the story of "Classified documents presented last week to Trump" on January 10 .

At the same time, Buzzfeed made the historic decision to publish the entire Steele dossier, bringing years of pee into our lives. This move birthed the Russiagate phenomenon as a never-ending, minute-to-minute factor in American news coverage.

Comey was right. We couldn't have reported this story without a "hook." Therefore the reports surrounding Steele technically weren't about the allegations themselves, but rather the journey of those allegations, from one set of official hands to another. Handing the report to Trump created a perfect pretext.

This trick has been used before, both in Washington and on Wall Street, to publicize unconfirmed private research. A short seller might hire a consulting firm to prepare a report on a company he or she has bet against. When the report is completed, the investor then tries to get the SEC or the FBI to take possession. If they do, news leaks the company is "under investigation," the stock dives, and everyone wins.

This same trick is found in politics. A similar trajectory drove negative headlines in the scandal surrounding New Jersey's Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, who was said to be under investigation by the FBI for underage sex crimes (although some were skeptical ). The initial story didn't hold up, but led to other investigations.

Same with the so-called " Arkansas project ," in which millions of Republican-friendly private research dollars produced enough noise about the Whitewater scandal to create years of headlines about the Clintons. Swiftboating was another example. Private oppo isn't inherently bad. In fact it has led to some incredible scoops, including Enron. But reporters usually know to be skeptical of private info, and figure the motives of its patrons into the story.

The sequence of events in that second week of January, 2017 will now need to be heavily re-examined. We now know, from his own testimony , that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper had some kind of role in helping CNN do its report, presumably by confirming part of the story, perhaps through an intermediary or two (there is some controversy over whom exactly was contacted, and when).

Why would real security officials help litigate this grave matter through the media? Why were the world's most powerful investigative agencies acting like they were trying to move a stock, pushing an private, unverified report that even Buzzfeed could see had factual issues? It made no sense at the time , and makes less now.

In January of 2017, Steele's pile of allegations became public, read by millions. "It is not just unconfirmed," Buzzfeed admitted . "It includes some clear errors."

Buzzfeed's decision exploded traditional journalistic standards against knowingly publishing material whose veracity you doubt. Although a few media ethicists wondered at it , this seemed not to bother the rank-and-file in the business. Buzzfeed chief Ben Smith is still proud of his decision today. I think this was because many reporters believed the report was true.

When I read the report, I was in shock. I thought it read like fourth-rate suspense fiction (I should know: I write fourth-rate suspense fiction). Moreover it seemed edited both for public consumption and to please Steele's DNC patrons.

Steele wrote of Russians having a file of "compromising information" on Hillary Clinton, only this file supposedly lacked "details/evidence of unorthodox or embarrassing behavior" or "embarrassing conduct."

We were meant to believe the Russians, across decades of dirt-digging, had an empty kompromat file on Hillary Clinton, to say nothing of human tabloid headline Bill Clinton? This point was made more than once in the reports, as if being emphasized for the reading public.

There were other curious lines, including the bit about Russians having "moles" in the DNC, plus some linguistic details that made me wonder at the nationality of the report author.

Still, who knew? It could be true. But even the most cursory review showed the report had issues and would need a lot of confirming. This made it more amazing that the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, held hearings on March 20, 2017 that blithely read out Steele report details as if they were fact. From Schiff's opening statement:

According to Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer who is reportedly held in high regard by U.S. Intelligence, Russian sources tell him that Page has also had a secret meeting with Igor Sechin (SEH-CHIN), CEO of Russian gas giant Rosneft Page is offered brokerage fees by Sechin on a deal involving a 19 percent share of the company.

I was stunned watching this. It's generally understood that members of congress, like reporters, make an effort to vet at least their prepared remarks before making them public.

But here was Schiff, telling the world Trump aide Carter Page had been offered huge fees on a 19% stake in Rosneft – a company with a $63 billion market capitalization – in a secret meeting with a Russian oligarch who was also said to be "a KGB agent and close friend of Putin's."

(Schiff meant "FSB agent." The inability of #Russiagaters to remember Russia is not the Soviet Union became increasingly maddening over time. Donna Brazile still hasn't deleted her tweet about how " The Communists are now dictating the terms of the debate ." )

Schiff's speech raised questions. Do we no longer have to worry about getting accusations right if the subject is tied to Russiagate? What if Page hadn't done any of these things? To date, he hasn't been charged with anything. Shouldn't a member of Congress worry about this?

A few weeks after that hearing, Steele gave testimony in a British lawsuit filed by one of the Russian companies mentioned in his reports. In a written submission , Steele said his information was "raw" and "needed to be analyzed and further investigated/verified." He also wrote that (at least as pertained to the memo in that case) he had not written his report "with the intention that it be republished to the world at large."

That itself was a curious statement, given that Steele reportedly spoke with multiple reporters in the fall of 2016, but this was his legal position. This story about Steele's British court statements did not make it into the news much in the United States, apart from a few bits in conservative outlets like The Washington Times.

I contacted Schiff's office to ask if the congressman if he knew about Steele's admission that his report needed verifying, and if that changed his view of it at all. The response (emphasis mine):

The dossier compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele and which was leaked publicly several months ago contains information that may be pertinent to our investigation. This is true regardless of whether it was ever intended for public dissemination. Accordingly, the Committee hopes to speak with Mr. Steele in order to help substantiate or refute each of the allegations contained in the dossier.

Schiff had not spoken to Steele before the hearing, and read out the allegations knowing they were unsubstantiated.

The Steele report was the Magna Carta of #Russiagate. It provided the implied context for thousands of news stories to come, yet no journalist was ever able to confirm its most salacious allegations: the five year cultivation plan, the blackmail, the bribe from Sechin, the Prague trip, the pee romp, etc. In metaphorical terms, we were unable to independently produce Steele's results in the lab. Failure to reckon with this corrupted the narrative from the start.

For years, every hint the dossier might be true became a banner headline, while every time doubt was cast on Steele's revelations, the press was quiet. Washington Post reporter Greg Miller went to Prague and led a team looking for evidence Cohen had been there. Post reporters, Miller said, "literally spent weeks and months trying to run down" the Cohen story.

"We sent reporters through every hotel in Prague, through all over the place, just to try to figure out if he was ever there," he said, "and came away empty."

This was heads-I-win, tails-you-lose reporting. One assumes if Miller found Cohen's name in a hotel ledger, it would have been on page 1 of the Post. The converse didn't get a mention in Miller's own paper. He only told the story during a discussion aired by C-SPAN about a new book he'd published. Only The Daily Caller and a few conservative blogs picked it up.

It was the same when Bob Woodward said, "I did not find [espionage or collusion] Of course I looked for it, looked for it hard."

The celebrated Watergate muckraker – who once said he'd succumbed to "groupthink" in the WMD episode and added, "I blame myself mightily for not pushing harder" – didn't push very hard here, either. News that he'd tried and failed to find collusion didn't get into his own paper. It only came out when Woodward was promoting his book Fear in a discussion with conservative host Hugh Hewitt.

When Michael Cohen testified before congress and denied under oath ever being in Prague, it was the same. Few commercial news outlets bothered to take note of the implications this had for their previous reports. Would a man clinging to a plea deal lie to congress on national television about this issue?

There was a CNN story , but the rest of the coverage was all in conservative outlets – the National Review , Fox , The Daily Caller . The Washington Post's response was to run an editorial sneering at " How conservative media downplayed Michael Cohen's testimony ."

Perhaps worst of all was the episode involving Yahoo! reporter Michael Isikoff. He had already been part of one strange tale: the FBI double-dipping when it sought a FISA warrant to conduct secret surveillance of Carter Page, the would-be mastermind who was supposed to have brokered a deal with oligarch Sechin.

In its FISA application, the FBI included both the unconfirmed Steele report and Isikoff's September 23, 2016 Yahoo! story, " U.S. Intel Officials probe ties between Trump adviser and Kremlin ." The Isikoff story, which claimed Page had met with "high ranking sanctioned officials" in Russia, had relied upon Steele as an unnamed source.

This was similar to a laundering technique used in the WMD episode called "stove-piping," i.e. officials using the press to "confirm" information the officials themselves fed the reporter.

But there was virtually no non-conservative press about this problem apart from a Washington Post story pooh-poohing the issue. (Every news story that casts any doubt on the collusion issue seems to meet with an instantaneous "fact check" in the Post .) The Post insisted the FISA issue wasn't serious among other things because Steele was not the "foundation" of Isikoff's piece.

Isikoff was perhaps the reporter most familiar with Steele. He and Corn of Mother Jones , who also dealt with the ex-spy, wrote a bestselling book that relied upon theories from Steele, Russian Roulette , including a rumination on the "pee" episode. Yet Isikoff in late 2018 suddenly said he believed the Steele report would turn out to be " mostly false ."

Once again, this only came out via a podcast, John Ziegler's "Free Speech Broadcasting" show. Here's a transcript of the relevant section:

Isikoff: When you actually get into the details of the Steele dossier, the specific allegations, you know, we have not seen the evidence to support them. And in fact there is good grounds to think some of the more sensational allegations will never be proven, and are likely false.

Ziegler: That's...

Isikoff: I think it's a mixed record at best at this point, things could change, Mueller may yet produce evidence that changes this calculation. But based on the public record at this point I have to say that most of the specific allegations have not been borne out.

Ziegler: That's interesting to hear you say that, Michael because as I'm sure you know, your book was kind of used to validate the pee tape, for lack of a better term.

Isikoff: Yeah. I think we had some evidence in there of an event that may have inspired the pee tape and that was the visit that Trump made with a number of characters who later showed up in Moscow, specifically Emin Agalarov and Rob Goldstone to this raunchy Las Vegas nightclub where one of the regular acts was a skit called "Hot For Teacher" in which dancers posing as college Co-Ed's urinated – or simulated urinating on their professor. Which struck me as an odd coincidence at best. I think, you know, it is not implausible that event may have inspired...

Ziegler: An urban legend?

Isikoff: ...allegations that appeared in the Steele dossier.

Isikoff delivered this story with a laughing tone. He seamlessly transitioned to what he then called the "real" point, i.e. "the irony is Steele may be right, but it wasn't the Kremlin that had sexual kompromat on Donald Trump, it was the National Enquirer. "

Recapping: the reporter who introduced Steele to the world (his September 23, 2016 story was the first to reference him as a source), who wrote a book that even he concedes was seen as "validating" the pee tape story, suddenly backtracks and says the whole thing may have been based on a Las Vegas strip act, but it doesn't matter because Stormy Daniels, etc.

Another story of this type involved a court case in which Webzilla and parent company XBT sued Steele and Buzzfeed over the mention their firm in one of the memos. It came out in court testimony that Steele had culled information about XBT/Webzilla from a 2009 post on CNN's "iReports" page .

Asked if he understood these posts came from random users and not CNN journalists who'd been fact-checked, Steele replied, " I do not ."

This comical detail was similar to news that the second British Mi6 dossier released just before the Iraq invasion had been plagiarized in part from a thirteen year-old student thesis from California State University, not even by intelligence people, but by mid-level functionaries in Tony Blair's press office.

There were so many profiles of Steele as an " astoundingly diligent " spymaster straight out of LeCarre : he was routinely described like a LeCarre-ian grinder like the legendary George Smiley, a man in the shadows whose bookish intensity was belied by his "average," "neutral," "quiet," demeanor, being "more low-key than Smiley." One would think it might have rated a mention that our "Smiley" was cutting and pasting text like a community college freshman. But the story barely made news.

This has been a consistent pattern throughout #Russiagate. Step one: salacious headline. Step two, days or weeks later: news emerges the story is shakier than first believed. Step three (in the best case) involves the story being walked back or retracted by the same publication.

That's been rare. More often, when explosive #Russiagate headlines go sideways, the original outlets simply ignore the new development, leaving the "retraction" process to conservative outlets that don't reach the original audiences.

This is a major structural flaw of the new fully-divided media landscape in which Republican media covers Democratic corruption and Democratic media covers Republican corruption. If neither "side" feels the need to disclose its own errors and inconsistencies, mistakes accumulate quickly.

This has been the main difference between Russiagate and the WMD affair. Despite David Remnick's post-invasion protestations that "nobody got [WMD] completely right," the Iraq war was launched against the objections of the 6 million or more people who did get it right, and protested on the streets . There was open skepticism of Bush claims dotting the press landscape from the start, with people like Jack Shafer tearing apart every Judith Miller story in print. Most reporters are Democrats and the people hawking the WMD story were mostly Republicans, so there was political space for protest.

Russiagate happened in an opposite context. If the story fell apart it would benefit Donald Trump politically, a fact that made a number of reporters queasy about coming forward. #Russiagate became synonymous with #Resistance, which made public skepticism a complicated proposition.

Early in the scandal, I appeared on To The Point, a California-based public radio show hosted by Warren Olney, with Corn of Mother Jones. I knew David a little and had been friendly with him. He once hosted a book event for me in Washington. In the program, however, the subject of getting facts right came up and Corn said this was not a time for reporters to be picking nits:

So Democrats getting overeager, overenthusiastic, stating things that may not be [unintelligible] true ? Well, tell me a political issue where that doesn't happen. I think that's looking at the wrong end of the telescope.

I wrote him later and suggested that since we're in the press, and not really about anything except avoiding "things that may not be true," maybe we had different responsibilities than "Democrats"? He wrote back:

Feel free to police the Trump opposition. But on the list of shit that needs to be covered these days, that's just not high on my personal list.

Other reporters spoke of an internal struggle. When the Mueller indictment of the Internet Research Agency was met with exultation in the media, New Yorker writer Adrian Chen, who broke the original IRA story, was hesitant to come forward with some mild qualms about the way the story was being reported:

"Either I could stay silent and allow the conversation to be dominated by those pumping up the Russian threat," he said, "or I could risk giving fodder to Trump and his allies."

After writing, " Confessions of a Russiagate Skeptic ," poor Blake Hounsell of Politico took such a beating on social media, he ended up denouncing himself a year later.

"What I meant to write is, I wasn't skeptical," he said.

Years ago, in the midst of the WMD affair, Times public editor Daniel Okrent noted the paper's standard had moved from "Don't get it first, get it right" to "Get it first and get it right." From there, Okrent wrote , "the next devolution was an obvious one."

We're at that next devolution: first and wrong. The Russiagate era has so degraded journalism that even once "reputable" outlets are now only about as right as politicians, which is to say barely ever, and then only by accident.

Early on, I was so amazed by the sheer quantity of Russia "bombshells" being walked back, I started to keep a list. It's well above 50 stories now. As has been noted by Glenn Greenwald of the Intercept and others, if the mistakes were random, you'd expect them in both directions , but Russiagate errors uniformly go the same way.

In some cases the stories are only partly wrong, as in the case of the famed " 17 intelligence agencies said Russia was behind the hacking " story (it was actually four: the Director of National Intelligence "hand-picking" a team from the FBI, CIA, and NSA).

In other cases the stories were blunt false starts, resulting in ugly sets of matching headlines:

" Russian operation hacked a Vermont utility "

Washington Post, December 31, 2016.

" Russian government hackers do not appear to have targeted Vermont utility "

Washington Post, Jan. 2, 2017.

" Trump Campaign Aides had repeated contacts with Russian Intelligence ," published by the Times on Valentine's Day, 2017, was an important, narrative-driving "bombshell" that looked dicey from the start. The piece didn't say whether the contact was witting or unwitting, whether the discussions were about business or politics, or what the contacts supposedly were at all.

Normally a reporter would want to know what the deal is before he or she runs a story accusing people of having dealings with foreign spies. "Witting" or "Unwitting" ought to be a huge distinction, for instance. It soon after came out that people like former CIA chief John Brennan don't think this is the case. "Frequently, people who are on a treasonous path do not know they're on a treasonous path," he said, speaking of Trump's circle.

This seemed a dangerous argument, the kind of thing that led to trouble in the McCarthy years. But let's say the contacts were serious. From a reporting point of view, you'd still need to know exactly what the nature of such contacts were before you run that story, because the headline implication is grave. Moreover you'd need to know it well enough to report it, i.e. it's not enough to be told a convincing story off-the-record, you need to be able to share with readers enough so that they can characterize the news themselves.

Not to the Times, which ran the article without the specifics. Months later, Comey blew up this "contacts" story in public, saying, " in the main, it was not true ."

As was the case with the "17 agencies" error, which only got fixed when Clapper testified in congress and was forced to make the correction under oath, the "repeated contacts" story was only disputed when Comey testified in congress, this time before the Senate Intelligence Committee . How many other errors of this type are waiting to be disclosed?

Even the mistakes caught were astounding. On December 1, 2017, ABC reporter Brian Ross claimed Trump "as a candidate" instructed Michael Flynn to contact Russia. The news caused the Dow to plummet 350 points. The story was retracted almost immediately and Ross was suspended .

Bloomberg reported Mueller subpoenaed Trump's Deutsche Bank accounts; the subpoenas turned out to be of other individuals' records. Fortune said C-SPAN was hacked after Russia Today programming briefly interrupted coverage of a Maxine Waters floor address. The New York Times also ran the story, and it's still up, despite C-SPAN insisting its own "internal routing error" likely caused the feed to appear in place of its own broadcast.

CNN has its own separate sub-list of wrecks. Three of the network's journalists resigned after a story purporting to tie Trump advisor Anthony Scaramucci to a Russian investment fund was retracted. Four more CNN reporters (Gloria Borger, Eric Lichtblau, Jake Tapper and Brian Rokus) were bylined in a story that claimed Comey was expected to refute Trump's claims he was told he wasn't the target of an investigation. Comey blew that one up, too.

In another CNN scoop gone awry, " Email pointed Trump campaign to WikiLeaks documents ," the network's reporters were off by ten days in a "bombshell" that supposedly proved the Trump campaign had foreknowledge of Wikileaks dumps. "It's, uh, perhaps not as significant as what we know now," offered CNN's Manu Raju in a painful on-air retraction .

The worst stories were the ones never corrected. A particularly bad example is " After Florida School Shooting, Russian 'Bot' Army Pounced ," from the New York Times on Feb 18, 2018. The piece claimed Russians were trying to divide Americans on social media after a mass shooting using Twitter hashtags like #guncontrolnow, #gunreformnow and #Parklandshooting.

The Times ran this quote high up:

"This is pretty typical for them, to hop on breaking news like this," said Jonathon Morgan, chief executive of New Knowledge, a company that tracks online disinformation campaigns. "The bots focus on anything that is divisive for Americans. Almost systematically."

About a year after this story came out, Times reporters Scott Shane and Ann Blinder reported that the same outfit, New Knowledge , and in particular that same Jonathon Morgan, had participated in a cockamamie scheme to fake Russian troll activity in an Alabama Senate race. The idea was to try to convince voters Russia preferred the Republican.

The Times quoted a New Knowledge internal report about the idiotic Alabama scheme:

We orchestrated an elaborate 'false flag' operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet

The Parkland story was iffy enough when it came out, as Twitter disputed it, and another of the main sources for the initial report, former intelligence official Clint Watts, subsequently said he was "not convinced" on the whole "bot thing."

But when one of your top sources turns out to have faked exactly the kind of activity described in your article, you should at least take the quote out, or put an update online. No luck: the story remains up on the Times site, without disclaimers.

Russiagate institutionalized one of the worst ethical loopholes in journalism, which used to be limited mainly to local crime reporting. It's always been a problem that we publish mugshots and names of people merely arrested but not yet found guilty. Those stories live forever online and even the acquitted end up permanently unable to get jobs, smeared as thieves, wife-beaters, drunk drivers, etc.

With Russiagate the national press abandoned any pretense that there's a difference between indictment and conviction. The most disturbing story involved Maria Butina. Here authorities and the press shared responsibility. Thanks to an indictment that initially said the Russian traded sex for favors, the Times and other outlets flooded the news cycle with breathless stories about a redheaded slut-temptress come to undermine democracy, a "real-life Red Sparrow," as ABC put it.

But a judge threw out the sex charge after "five minutes" when it turned out to be based on a single joke text to a friend who had taken Butina's car for inspection.

It's pretty hard to undo public perception you're a prostitute once it's been in a headline, and, worse, the headlines are still out there. You can still find stories like " Maria Butina, Suspected Secret Agent, Used Sex in Covert Plan " online in the New York Times.

Here a reporter might protest: how would I know? Prosecutors said she traded sex for money. Why shouldn't I believe them?

How about because, authorities have been lying their faces off to reporters since before electricity! It doesn't take much investigation to realize the main institutional sources in the Russiagate mess – the security services, mainly – have extensive records of deceiving the media.

As noted before, from World War I-era tales of striking union workers being German agents to the "missile gap" that wasn't (the "gap" was leaked to the press before the Soviets had even one operational ICBM) to the Gulf of Tonkin mess to all the smears of people like Martin Luther King, it's a wonder newspapers listen to whispers from government sources at all.

In the Reagan years National Security Adviser John Poindexter spread false stories about Libyan terrorist plots to The Wall Street Journal and other papers. In the Bush years, Dick Cheney et al were selling manure by the truckload about various connections between Iraq and al-Qaeda, infamously including a story that bomber Mohammed Atta met with Iraqi intelligence officials in Prague.

The New York Times ran a story that Atta was in Prague in late October of 2001, even giving a date of the meeting with Iraqis, April 8, or "just five months before the terrorist attacks." The Prague story was another example of a tale that seemed shaky because American officials were putting the sourcing first on foreign intelligence, then on reporters themselves. Cheney cited the Prague report in subsequent TV appearances, one of many instances of feeding reporters tidbits and then selling reports as independent confirmation.

It wasn't until three years later, in 2004, that Times reporter James Risen definitively killed the Atta-in-Prague canard (why is it always Prague?) in a story entitled " No evidence of meeting with Iraqi ." By then, of course, it was too late. The Times also held a major dissenting piece by Risen about the WMD case, "C.I.A. Aides Feel Pressure in Preparing Iraqi Reports," until days after war started. This is what happens when you start thumbing the scale.

This failure to demand specifics has been epidemic in Russiagate, even when good reporters have been involved. One of the biggest "revelations" of this era involved a story that was broken first by a terrible reporter (the Guardian's Luke Harding) and followed up by a good one (Jane Mayer of the New Yorker ). The key detail involved the elusive origin story of Russiagate.

Mayer's piece, the March 12, 2018 " Christopher Steele, the Man Behind The Trump Dossier " in the New Yorker , impacted the public mainly by seeming to bolster the credentials of the dossier author. But it contained an explosive nugget far down. Mayer reported Robert Hannigan, then-head of the GCHQ (the British analog to the NSA) intercepted a "stream of illicit communications" between "Trump's team and Moscow" at some point prior to August 2016. Hannigan flew to the U.S. and briefed CIA director John Brennan about these communications. Brennan later testified this inspired the original FBI investigation.

When I read that, a million questions came to mind, but first: what did "illicit" mean?

If something "illicit" had been captured by GCHQ, and this led to the FBI investigation (one of several conflicting public explanations for the start of the FBI probe, incidentally), this would go a long way toward clearing up the nature of the collusion charge. If they had something, why couldn't they tell us what it was? Why didn't we deserve to know?

I asked the Guardian: "Was any attempt made to find out what those communications were? How was the existence of these communications confirmed? Did anyone from the Guardian see or hear these intercepts, or transcripts?"

Their one-sentence reply:

The Guardian has strict and rigorous procedures when dealing with source material.

That's the kind of answer you'd expect from a transnational bank, or the army, not a newspaper.

I asked Mayer the same questions. She was more forthright, noting that, of course, the story had originally been broken by Harding , whose own report said "the precise nature of these exchanges has not been made public."

She added that "afterwards I independently confirmed aspects of [Harding's piece] with several well-informed sources," and "spent months on the Steele story [and] traveled to the UK twice for it." But, she wrote, "the Russiagate story, like all reporting on sensitive national security issues, is difficult."

I can only infer she couldn't find out what "illicit" meant despite proper effort. The detail was published anyway. It may not have seemed like a big deal, but I think it was.

To be clear, I don't necessarily disbelieve the idea that there were "illicit" contacts between Trump and Russians in early 2015 or before. But if there were such contacts, I can't think of any legitimate reason why their nature should be withheld from the public.

If authorities can share reasons for concern with foreign countries like Israel, why should American voters not be so entitled? Moreover the idea that we need to keep things secret to protect sources and methods and "tradecraft" (half the press corps became expert in goofy spy language over the last few years, using terms like "SIGINT" like they've known them their whole lives), why are we leaking news of our ability to hear Russian officials cheerin g Trump's win?

Failure to ask follow-up questions happened constantly with this story. One of the first reports that went sideways involved a similar dynamic: the contention that some leaked DNC emails were forgeries.

MSNBC's "Intelligence commentator" Malcolm Nance, perhaps the most enthusiastic source of questionable #Russiagate news this side of Twitter conspiracist Louise Mensch, tweeted on October 11, 2016: " #PodestaEmails are already proving to be riddled with obvious forgeries & #blackpropaganda not even professionally done."

As noted in The Intercept and elsewhere, this was re-reported by the likes of David Frum (a key member of the club that has now contributed to both the WMD and Russiagate panics) and MSNBC host Joy Reid . The reports didn't stop until roughly October of 2016, among other things because the Clinton campaign kept suggesting to reporters the emails were fake. This could have been stopped sooner if examples of a forgery had been demanded from the Clinton campaign earlier.

Another painful practice that became common was failing to confront your own sources when news dispositive to what they've told you pops up. The omnipresent Clapper told Chuck Todd on March 5, 2017, without equivocation, that there had been no FISA application involving Trump or his campaign. " I can deny it ," he said.

It soon after came out this wasn't true. The FBI had a FISA warrant on Carter Page. This was not a small misstatement by Clapper, because his appearance came a day after Trump claimed in a tweet he'd had his " wires tapped ." Trump was widely ridiculed for this claim, perhaps appropriately so, but in addition to the Page news, it later came out there had been a FISA warrant of Paul Manafort as well, during which time Trump may have been the subject of " incidental " surveillance.

Whether or not this was meaningful, or whether these warrants were justified, are separate questions. The important thing is, Clapper either lied to Todd, or else he somehow didn't know the FBI had obtained these warrants. The latter seems absurd and unlikely. Either way, Todd ought to been peeved and demanded an explanation. Instead, he had Clapper back on again within months and gave him the usual softball routine, never confronting him about the issue.

Reporters repeatedly got burned and didn't squawk about it. Where are the outraged stories about all the scads of anonymous "people familiar with the matter" who put reporters in awkward spots in the last years? Why isn't McClatchy demanding the heads of whatever "four people with knowledge" convinced them to double down on the Cohen-in-Prague story ?

Why isn't every reporter who used "New Knowledge" as a source about salacious Russian troll stories out for their heads (or the heads of the congressional sources who passed this stuff on), after reports they faked Russian trolling? How is it possible NBC and other outlets continued to use New Knowledge as a source in stories identifying antiwar Democrat Tulsi Gabbard as a Russian-backed candidate?

How do the Guardian's editors not already have Harding's head in a vice for hanging them out to dry on the most dubious un-retracted story in modern history – the tale that the most watched human on earth, Julian Assange, had somehow been visited in the Ecuadorian embassy by Paul Manafort without leaving any record? I'd be dragging Harding's "well placed source" into the office and beating him with a hose until he handed them something that would pass for corroborating evidence.

The lack of blowback over episodes in which reporters were put in public compromised situations speaks to the overly cozy relationships outlets had with official sources. Too often, it felt like a team effort, where reporters seemed to think it was their duty to take the weight if sources pushed them to overreach. They had absolutely no sense of institutional self-esteem about this.

Being on any team is a bad look for the press, but the press being on team FBI/CIA is an atrocity, Trump or no Trump. Why bother having a press corps at all if you're going to go that route?

This posture all been couched as anti-Trump solidarity, but really, did former CIA chief John Brennan – the same Brennan who should himself have faced charges for lying to congress about hacking the computers of Senate staff – need the press to whine on his behalf when Trump yanked his security clearance? Did we need the press to hum Aretha Franklin tunes, as ABC did, and chide Trump for lacking R-E-S-P-E-C-T for the CIA? We don't have better things to do than that "work"?

This catalogue of factual errors and slavish stenography will stand out when future analysts look back at why the "MSM" became a joke during this period, but they were only a symptom of a larger problem. The bigger issue was a radical change in approach.

A lot of #Russiagate coverage became straight-up conspiracy theory, what Baker politely called "connecting the dots ." This was allowed because the press committed to a collusion narrative from the start, giving everyone cover to indulge in behaviors that would never be permitted in normal times.

Such was the case with Jonathan Chait's #Russiagate opus , "PRUMP TUTIN: Will Trump be Meeting With his Counterpart – or his Handler?" The story was also pitched as "What if Trump has been a Russian asset since 1987," which recalls the joke from The Wire: " Yo, Herc, what if your mother and father never met ?" What if isn't a good place to be in this business.

This cover story (!) in New York magazine was released in advance of a planned "face-to-face" summit between Trump and Putin, and posited Trump had been under Russian control for decades. Chait noted Trump visited the Soviet Union in 1987 and came back "fired up with political ambition." He offered the possibility that this was a coincidence, but added:

Indeed, it seems slightly insane to contemplate the possibility that a secret relationship between Trump and Russia dates back this far. But it can't be dismissed completely.

I searched the Chait article up and down for reporting that would justify the suggestion Trump had been a Russian agent dating back to the late eighties, when, not that it matters, Russia was a different country called the Soviet Union.

Only two facts in the piece could conceivably have been used to support the thesis: Trump met with a visiting Soviet official in 1986, and visited the Soviet Union in 1987. That's it. That's your cover story.

Worse, Chait's theory was first espoused in Lyndon Larouche's " Elephants and Donkeys " newsletter in 1987, under a headline, "Do Russians have a Trump card?" This is barrel-scraping writ large.

It's a mania. Putin is literally in our underpants. Maybe, if we're lucky, New York might someday admit its report claiming Russians set up an anti-masturbation hotline to trap and blackmail random Americans is suspicious, not just because it seems absurd on its face, but because its source is the same "New Knowledge" group that admitted to faking Russian influence operations in Alabama.

But what retraction is possible for the Washington Post headline, " How will Democrats cope if Putin starts playing dirty tricks for Bernie Sanders (again )?" How to reverse Rachel Maddow's spiel about Russia perhaps shutting down heat across America during a cold wave? There's no correction for McCarthyism and fearmongering.

This ultimately will be the endgame of the Russia charade. They will almost certainly never find anything like the wild charges and Manchurian Candidate theories elucidated in the Steele report. But the years of panic over the events of 2016 will lead to radical changes in everything from press regulation to foreign policy, just as the WMD canard led to torture, warrantless surveillance, rendition, drone assassination, secret budgets and open-ended, undeclared wars from Somalia to Niger to Syria. The screw-ups will be forgotten, but accelerated vigilance will remain.

It's hard to know what policy changes are appropriate because the reporting on everything involving the Russian threat in the last two to three years has been so unreliable.

I didn't really address the case that Russia hacked the DNC, content to stipulate it for now. I was told early on that this piece of the story seemed "solid," but even that assertion has remained un-bolstered since then, still based on an " assessment " by the intelligence services that always had issues, including the use of things like RT's "anti-American" coverage of fracking as part of its case. The government didn't even examine the DNC's server, the kind of detail that used to make reporters nervous.

We won't know how much of any of this to take seriously until the press gets out of bed with the security services and looks at this whole series of events all over again with fresh eyes, as journalists, not political actors. That means being open to asking what went wrong with this story, in addition to focusing so much energy on Trump and Russia.

The WMD mess had massive real-world negative impact, leading to over a hundred thousand deaths and trillions in lost taxpayer dollars. Unless Russiagate leads to a nuclear conflict, we're unlikely to ever see that level of consequence.

Still, Russiagate has led to unprecedented cooperation between the government and Internet platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google, all of which are censoring pages on the left, right, and in between in the name of preventing the "sowing of discord." The story also had a profound impact on the situation in places like Syria, where Russian and American troops have sat across the Euphrates River from one another, two amped-up nuclear powers at a crossroads.

As a purely journalistic failure, however, WMD was a pimple compared to Russiagate. The sheer scale of the errors and exaggerations this time around dwarfs the last mess. Worse, it's led to most journalists accepting a radical change in mission. We've become sides-choosers, obliterating the concept of the press as an independent institution whose primary role is sorting fact and fiction.

We had the sense to eventually look inward a little in the WMD affair, which is the only reason we escaped that episode with any audience left. Is the press even capable of that kind of self-awareness now? WMD damaged our reputation. If we don't turn things around, this story will destroy it


motherjones , 31 minutes ago link

Taibbi is spot on, and in depth with this writing. The main stream media sold Americans on the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Almost 2 decades later, we have spent 6 trillion dollars, 8 millions lives have been lost, and millions of refugees have flooded out of those countries, causing instability in Europe and beyond. For the past 2 years, 24/7, we have not been able to escape the claims of Russiagate. He does not mention how the very same media gave Trump 24/7 coverage long before he was elected, and in fact this free publicity, is probably why Trump is in the White House today. Without the constant press coverage of his campaign, coverage that was not provided to other candidates, he would most likely not have found his way to the White House. Taibbi does not go on to tell us what the motivation of the press is, or what he thinks can be done. News shows in the US have become little more than entertainment. Many of us no longer rely on main stream press for any real news. The mass media has become irrelevant at it's best, and dangerous, at it's worst. The driving force behind the so called news today, is the advertising dollars, and the politics of the owners of the networks. How can we have a "free press" when just a few individuals own all the major news outlets? We are not going to get the real news on tv of from the big newspapers, as long as the power is in the hands of a few rich and powerful individuals, who decide what is news.

southpaw47 , 50 minutes ago link

"Fools rush in where angels fear to tread" - Alexander Pope

The rash or inexperienced will attempt things that wiser people are more cautious of.

Finally the libs will agree that guns do have their place in society. These crazy zealots may just blow their own brains out or just find the nearest cliff. Ace Hardware is loading up on rope.

hooligan2009 , 1 hour ago link

hmmm....just imagine if - sleyers money contribution fo impeach trump was turned into a movie where a "sponsor" drew up a hit list of batshit crazy MSM "personalities" to include late night "comfuckedupedians"

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-04-25/billionaire-tom-steyer-s-quest-to-impeach-trump

PerilouseTimes , 1 hour ago link

Even if you were stupid enough to believe Trump was getting dirt on Hillary from the Russians, what is wrong with that? Is there a law against that? Why is it OK for Obama and the FBI to get away with wiretapping Trump during the election? Why is it OK for NSA to wiretap All Americans and store all their conversations and internet traffic on hard drives?

foxenburg , 1 hour ago link

Steele, Orbis, Pablo Miller, Salisbury, Porton Down, golden-shower dossier supposedly written by a native Russian speaker with an intelligence background....it all makes me wonder what happened to Skripal.

hooligan2009 , 1 hour ago link

"Skripalgate" is suppressed by UK law. All russians are evil in the UK. The fact that (as with tony Bliar and yellowcake Iraq) any sitting government can prosecute another country without a trial, witnesses or evidence - as in the Skripals and within the FUKUS cabal that bombed syria because of - "chlorine barrel bomb attacks on civilians" who later showed up unscathed in Den Haag.

UK governments cannot be held to account for their actions domestically or overseas.

motherjones , 1 hour ago link

Both parties have been playing up the threat from Russia for decades. The Military Industrial Complex was built on creating fear about the possibility of war with Russian. The military industrial complex owns Congress, so of course Congress is going to play up this threat. " The reason why media is working so hard to create the impression that Russia is actively conspiring against is because conflict with the former Soviet Union is good for business." We can expect this to continue in one form or another. If Americans were not afraid of Russia, we would not support a defense budget that is equal to all other countries in the world combined.

https://www.wakingtimes.com/2016/08/30/defense-contractors-tell-investors-world-war-iii-great-for-business/?fbclid=IwAR0rSFD3EPOgCd_dohnRg_4W1VUMcu-u33PBi9LW8Pdcv4F4pL4_MTXU31c

devnickle , 1 hour ago link

Put a sock in it. You should be embarrassed to even comment.

motherjones , 1 hour ago link

Right. The depth of your analysis is impressive. You seem to have an unlimited knowledge of world and national affairs too. Other than some stalking tendencies, why do you post on ZH? You don't really seem to have any interest in the content, or the discussion.

Bricker , 2 hours ago link

The head of the pin starts with OBAMA

I dont want to type up everything that led me to believe this. But the racism, his empathy towards certain muslims groups and how he treated the war, the prisoner release, the sailors broadcasted on tv about drifting into territorial waters, I mean it was so obvious how he felt about America.

Pile on his efforts to interfere in the election and eavesdrop, unmasking with Hillary getting and receiving emails from her home brew server not to mention her foundation pulling in 145 million from Russia.

The CIA is sickening to what has developed over the last 20 years

blind_understanding , 2 hours ago link

Taibbi: 'Russiagate' Is This Generation's WMD

Blind: If so, it just means it will not be reported on in the MainStream Media(MSM) and soon forgotten.

The same people who own the private central bank and currency, also own the MSM, and they control the narrative on ALL TOPICS. And control of narrative mean control of what people think.

Control of money and mind means TOTAL control of a country.

Nothing will change until control of minds is returned to the people, then issuance of currency can be returned to the government.

Alex Jones' of Infowars got it right when he said "There's a war on for your mind!" ... even though he became a turncoat himself, soon after.

SnottyBubbles , 2 hours ago link

Hillary lost a freaking election. After almost 3 freaking years of coup d'état the left deserves mocking humiliation. Mock them ruthlessly. Never, ever let them forget the horrible thing that they did.

Never stop making fun of them and reminding them how stupid and crazy they acted during this humiliating period of US history. Never let them forget what they did to the nation or what they cost us all. Never let Democrats forget how much time and energy they wasted, how very, very wrong they were.

Every politician, every media figure, every Twitter pundit and everyone who swallowed this moronic load of Russia! Russia! Russia! has utterly discredited themselves for life. They executed and failed to accomplish a coup d'état. These are the very last people anyone should ever listen to ever again when determining the future direction of our world or an ice cream truck.

Refuse them, laugh at them, ignore them. They earned it and deserve nothing but the greatest disdain.

devnickle , 1 hour ago link

Revenge is best served cold. I am dishing out in buckets to the retards.

artistant , 2 hours ago link

Russia is an IMPEDIMENT to APARTHEID Israhell's design for the region .

Without Russia, ASSAD would be long gone and IRAN would have been bombed to oblivion, and Greater Israhell would have been fulfilled and ruling over the MidEast.

In other words, Russiagate is simply PAYBACK .

youshallnotkill , 2 hours ago link

There was never real gray area here. Either Trump is a compromised foreign agent, or he isn't.

Of course there isn't. But this doesn't mean that a prosecutor like Mueller can prove this beyond any reasonable doubt. In fact it is quite likely that he cannot. The only charge that should be fairly easy to establish is obstruction of justice.

Without knowing what is in the report, Taibbi really jumps the gun here. Especially given the comparison to WMDs.

I knew there were no WMDs in Iraq before the invasion because I followed, and chose to believe, a credible diplomat like Hans Blix over the dog and pony show that Colin Powell put on. But WMDs are very tangible you either find the hardware or you do not. Yet, what Putin and Trump discuss without a single other American in the room nobody knows but the Kremlin and Trump.

Amy G. Dala , 2 hours ago link

Um, they talked about grandchildren and golf. MSM bought that about Bill and Loretta.

youshallnotkill , 2 hours ago link

At least Loretta probably did not aspire to bring the US to its knees.

Amy G. Dala , 2 hours ago link

Then I guess you didn't catch her "blood in the streets" speech.

youshallnotkill , 2 hours ago link

Original quote:

"It has been people, individuals who have banded together, ordinary people who simply saw what needed to be done and came together and supported those ideals who have made the difference.

They've marched, they've bled and yes, some of them died. This is hard. Every good thing is. We have done this before. We can do this again ."

Hardly the call for violent civil war at which it has been portrayed.

hanekhw , 2 hours ago link

The most coiffed, manicured, made up sacks of **** ever to glorify the airwaves tell US what THEY think and get paid handsome salaries for their effort to overthrow the American system. Freedom of Speech? That'll be gone in a heartbeat if THEY get power. We have an obligation to not just protect it but a greater one to preserve it.

Tunga , 2 hours ago link

"I didn't really address the case that Russia hacked the DNC, content to stipulate it for now." - exce

The State Department paused its investigation of the Secretary's emails so as not to interfere with the Mueller investigation. Here we see Taibbi writes an exhaustive condemnation of the Western press while leaving out the very crux of the story, the very source of the stolen DNC emails was Clapper and Brennan pretending to be Guccifer 2.0.

Pitiful attempt at redemption there Matt. Seriously, go **** your self.

"After reading several articles, it seemed clear that key difficulties for Russians communicating in English include: definite and indefinite articles, the use of presuppositions and correct usage of say/tell and said/told. Throughout 2017, I constructed a corpus of Guccifer 2.0's communications and analyzed the frequency of different types of mistakes. The results of this work corroborate Professor Connolly's assessment.

Overall, it appears Guccifer 2.0 could communicate in English quite well but chose to use inconsistently broken English at times in order to give the impression that it wasn't his primary language. The manner in which Guccifer 2.0's English was broken, did not follow the typical errors one would expect if Guccifer 2.0's first language was Russian.

To date, Connolly's language study has not drawn any significant objections or criticism."

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-25/guccifer-20-game-over-year-end-review-0

Amy G. Dala , 2 hours ago link

Here's the goddam thing IMO. There is this thing called freedom of the press, it's constitutionally protected, no different than the right to bear arms.

But just because I have the right to carry an M+A 9mm around, that doesn't mean I can point it at the guy who cut me off in traffic. In that case, I go to jail.

For almost three years now, I've been hearing "bombshell" after unsourced "bombshell" from CNN/MSNBC/WaPo/NPR/NYT et. al. Here's how it usually goes:

And now let's turn to our panel of experts to "unpack" this latest revelation . . .

These people have criminally abused their rights, and those rights need to be taken away.

Otschelnik,

If Rachel Maddow, Chris Mathews, Judy Woodruff, Chuck Todd, Anderson Cooper, Brian Stelter, Chris Hayes, Mika Brzezinski, Don Lemon, Alysin Camerota, Lawrence O'Donnell had the slightest inkling of professional integrity, and human conscience - they'd commit seppuku on national live TeeVee to restore their honor.

A rope leash, 3 hours ago

In his effort to cleanse himself of the slimy residue of his profession, Tiabbi has written a fine piece here, a nice little documentation of press collusion with government spooks and political operatives.

If a little honest reporting will offer some redemption to damned journalists, his name was Seth Rich.

hooligan2009, 3 hours ago

don't forget that Obama was PERSONALLY and DIRECTLY involved in all aspects of Russiagate.

read between these lines

On Oct. 14, 2016, Page again wrote to McCabe, this time concerning a meeting with the White House.

"Just called," Page said to McCabe. "Apparently the DAG [Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates] now wants to be there, and WH wants DOJ to host. So we are setting that up now. ... We will very much need to get Cohen's view before we meet with her. Better, have him weigh in with her before the meeting. We need to speak with one voice, if that is in fact the case."

newworldorder, 3 hours ago

The simple truth here is that most Americans no longer have any critical thinking skills, - all media realized this a long time ago, and catered to their audience.

The Benjamin Franklin famous quote in answer to the question of "what kind of government have you given us?" rings very hollow after 240+ years. The "Republic" exists in name only, because its people have not protected it, after the passing of the WW2 generation.

Unrestricted, open borders invasion disguised as alleged migration, and the legalization of an eventual 100+ million new "migrant" voters will be the final nail on the coffin of the US Republic by 2030.

Mob rule will finally destroy the greatest Republic ever conceived by the mind of men.

Mike Rotsch, 3 hours ago (Edited)

If "open borders" is your measuring stick on Americans' critical-thinking skills, then where does that place Europeans? They actually have them officially.

Paracelsus, 3 hours ago

Someday I hope that Hillary has to be rolled up to testify about the Benghazi business. Grab the guns and the gold (and the oil). Ukraine gold: check. Libyan gold and weapons: check.

Ghaddafi actually warned the west that after him would come a deluge of illegals (okay refugees: young males, black, often Islamic, with little respect for women or experience with western society).

While I have reservations about Trump and his policies, the MSM owe him a huge mea culpa.

[Mar 18, 2019] Journalists who are spies

Highly recommended!
Can you trust the BBC news? How many journalists are working for the security services?
Notable quotes:
"... Can you trust the BBC news? How many journalists are working for the security services? ..."
"... "Most tabloid newspapers - or even newspapers in general - are playthings of MI5." ..."
"... Bloch and Fitzgerald, in their examination of covert UK warfare, report the editor of "one of Britain's most distinguished journals" as believing that more than half its foreign correspondents were on the MI6 payroll. ..."
"... The heart of the secret state they identified as the security services, the cabinet office and upper echelons of the Home and Commonwealth Offices, the armed forces and Ministry of Defence, the nuclear power industry and its satellite ministries together a network of senior civil servants. ..."
"... As "satellites" of the secret state, their list included "agents of influence in the media, ranging from actual agents of the security services, conduits of official leaks, to senior journalists merely lusting after official praise and, perhaps, a knighthood at the end of their career". ..."
"... Stephen Dorril, in his seminal history of MI6, reports that Orwell attended a meeting in Paris of resistance fighters on behalf of David Astor, his editor at the Observer and leader of the intelligence service's unit liasing with the French resistance. ..."
Mar 03, 2006 | www.nytimes.com

Can you trust the BBC news? How many journalists are working for the security services? The following extracts are from an article at the excellent Medialens

http://www.medialens.org/alerts/06/060303_hacks_and_spooks.php

HACKS AND SPOOKS

By Professor Richard Keeble

And so to Nottingham University (on Sunday 26 February) for a well-attended conference...

I focus in my talk on the links between journalists and the intelligence services: While it might be difficult to identify precisely the impact of the spooks (variously represented in the press as "intelligence", "security", "Whitehall" or "Home Office" sources) on mainstream politics and media, from the limited evidence it looks to be enormous.

As Roy Greenslade, media specialist at the Telegraph (formerly the Guardian), commented:

"Most tabloid newspapers - or even newspapers in general - are playthings of MI5."

Bloch and Fitzgerald, in their examination of covert UK warfare, report the editor of "one of Britain's most distinguished journals" as believing that more than half its foreign correspondents were on the MI6 payroll.

And in 1991, Richard Norton-Taylor revealed in the Guardian that 500 prominent Britons paid by the CIA and the now defunct Bank of Commerce and Credit International, included 90 journalists.

In their analysis of the contemporary secret state, Dorril and Ramsay gave the media a crucial role. The heart of the secret state they identified as the security services, the cabinet office and upper echelons of the Home and Commonwealth Offices, the armed forces and Ministry of Defence, the nuclear power industry and its satellite ministries together a network of senior civil servants.

As "satellites" of the secret state, their list included "agents of influence in the media, ranging from actual agents of the security services, conduits of official leaks, to senior journalists merely lusting after official praise and, perhaps, a knighthood at the end of their career".

Phillip Knightley, author of a seminal history of the intelligence services, has even claimed that at least one intelligence agent is working on every Fleet Street newspaper.

A brief history

Going as far back as 1945, George Orwell no less became a war correspondent for the Observer - probably as a cover for intelligence work. Significantly most of the men he met in Paris on his assignment, Freddie Ayer, Malcolm Muggeridge, Ernest Hemingway were either working for the intelligence services or had close links to them.

Stephen Dorril, in his seminal history of MI6, reports that Orwell attended a meeting in Paris of resistance fighters on behalf of David Astor, his editor at the Observer and leader of the intelligence service's unit liasing with the French resistance.

The release of Public Record Office documents in 1995 about some of the operations of the MI6-financed propaganda unit, the Information Research Department of the Foreign Office, threw light on this secret body - which even Orwell aided by sending them a list of "crypto-communists". Set up by the Labour government in 1948, it "ran" dozens of Fleet Street journalists and a vast array of news agencies across the globe until it was closed down by Foreign Secretary David Owen in 1977.

According to John Pilger in the anti-colonial struggles in Kenya, Malaya and Cyprus, IRD was so successful that the journalism served up as a record of those episodes was a cocktail of the distorted and false in which the real aims and often atrocious behaviour of the British intelligence agencies was hidden.

And spy novelist John le Carré, who worked for MI6 between 1960 and 1964, has made the amazing statement that the British secret service then controlled large parts of the press – just as they may do today.

In 1975, following Senate hearings on the CIA, the reports of the Senate's Church Committee and the House of Representatives' Pike Committee highlighted the extent of agency recruitment of both British and US journalists.

And sources revealed that half the foreign staff of a British daily were on the MI6 payroll.

David Leigh, in The Wilson Plot, his seminal study of the way in which the secret service smeared through the mainstream media and destabilised the Government of Harold Wilson before his sudden resignation in 1976, quotes an MI5 officer: "We have somebody in every office in Fleet Street"

Leaker King

And the most famous whistleblower of all, Peter (Spycatcher) Wright, revealed that MI5 had agents in newspapers and publishing companies whose main role was to warn them of any forthcoming "embarrassing publications".

Wright also disclosed that the Daily Mirror tycoon, Cecil King, "was a longstanding agent of ours" who "made it clear he would publish anything MI5 might care to leak in his direction".

Selective details about Wilson and his secretary, Marcia Falkender, were leaked by the intelligence services to sympathetic Fleet Street journalists. Wright comments: "No wonder Wilson was later to claim that he was the victim of a plot". King was also closely involved in a scheme in 1968 to oust Prime Minister Harold Wilson and replace him with a coalition headed by Lord Mountbatten.

Hugh Cudlipp, editorial director of the Mirror from 1952 to 1974, was also closely linked to intelligence, according to Chris Horrie, in his recently published history of the newspaper.

David Walker, the Mirror's foreign correspondent in the 1950s, was named as an MI6 agent following a security scandal while another Mirror journalist, Stanley Bonnet, admitted working for MI5 in the 1980s investigating the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

Maxwell and Mossad

According to Stephen Dorril, intelligence gathering during the miners' strike of 1984-85 was helped by the fact that during the 1970s MI5's F Branch had made a special effort to recruit industrial correspondents – with great success.

In 1991, just before his mysterious death, Mirror proprietor Robert Maxwell was accused by the US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh of acting for Mossad, the Israeli secret service, though Dorril suggests his links with MI6 were equally as strong.

Following the resignation from the Guardian of Richard Gott, its literary editor in December 1994 in the wake of allegations that he was a paid agent of the KGB, the role of journalists as spies suddenly came under the media spotlight – and many of the leaks were fascinating.

For instance, according to The Times editorial of 16 December 1994: "Many British journalists benefited from CIA or MI6 largesse during the Cold War."

The intimate links between journalists and the secret services were highlighted in the autobiography of the eminent newscaster Sandy Gall. He reports without any qualms how, after returning from one of his reporting assignments to Afghanistan, he was asked to lunch by the head of MI6. "It was very informal, the cook was off so we had cold meat and salad with plenty of wine. He wanted to hear what I had to say about the war in Afghanistan. I was flattered, of course, and anxious to pass on what I could in terms of first-hand knowledge."

And in January 2001, the renegade MI6 officer, Richard Tomlinson, claimed Dominic Lawson, the editor of the Sunday Telegraph and son of the former Tory chancellor, Nigel Lawson, provided journalistic cover for an MI6 officer on a mission to the Baltic to handle and debrief a young Russian diplomat who was spying for Britain.

Lawson strongly denied the allegations.

Similarly in the reporting of Northern Ireland, there have been longstanding concerns over security service disinformation. Susan McKay, Northern editor of the Dublin-based Sunday Tribune, has criticised the reckless reporting of material from "dodgy security services". She told a conference in Belfast in January 2003 organised by the National Union of Journalists and the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission: "We need to be suspicious when people are so ready to provide information and that we are, in fact, not being used." (www.nuj.org.uk/inner.php?docid=635)

Growing power of secret state

Thus from this evidence alone it is clear there has been a long history of links between hacks and spooks in both the UK and US.

But as the secret state grows in power, through massive resourcing, through a whole raft of legislation – such as the Official Secrets Act, the anti-terrorism legislation, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act and so on – and as intelligence moves into the heart of Blair's ruling clique so these links are even more significant.

Since September 11 all of Fleet Street has been awash in warnings by anonymous intelligence sources of terrorist threats.

According to former Labour minister Michael Meacher, much of this disinformation was spread via sympathetic journalists by the Rockingham cell within the MoD.

A parallel exercise, through the office of Special Plans, was set up by Donald Rumsfeld in the US. Thus there have been constant attempts to scare people – and justify still greater powers for the national security apparatus.

Similarly the disinformation about Iraq's WMD was spread by dodgy intelligence sources via gullible journalists.

Thus, to take just one example, Michael Evans, The Times defence correspondent, reported on 29 November 2002: "Saddam Hussein has ordered hundred of his officials to conceal weapons of mass destruction components in their homes to evade the prying eyes of the United Nations inspectors." The source of these "revelations" was said to be "intelligence picked up from within Iraq". Early in 2004, as the battle for control of Iraq continued with mounting casualties on both sides, it was revealed that many of the lies about Saddam Hussein's supposed WMD had been fed to sympathetic journalists in the US, Britain and Australia by the exile group, the Iraqi National Congress.

Sexed up – and missed out

During the controversy that erupted following the end of the "war" and the death of the arms inspector Dr David Kelly (and the ensuing Hutton inquiry) the spotlight fell on BBC reporter Andrew Gilligan and the claim by one of his sources that the government (in collusion with the intelligence services) had "sexed up" a dossier justifying an attack on Iraq.

The Hutton inquiry, its every twist and turn massively covered in the mainstream media, was the archetypal media spectacle that drew attention from the real issue: why did the Bush and Blair governments invade Iraq in the face of massive global opposition? But those facts will be forever secret.

Significantly, too, the broader and more significant issue of mainstream journalists' links with the intelligence services was ignored by the inquiry.

Significantly, on 26 May 2004, the New York Times carried a 1,200-word editorial admitting it had been duped in its coverage of WMD in the lead-up to the invasion by dubious Iraqi defectors, informants and exiles (though it failed to lay any blame on the US President: see Greenslade 2004). Chief among The Times' dodgy informants was Ahmad Chalabi, leader of the Iraqi National Congress and Pentagon favourite before his Baghdad house was raided by US forces on 20 May.

Then, in the Observer of 30 May 2004, David Rose admitted he had been the victim of a "calculated set-up" devised to foster the propaganda case for war. "In the 18 months before the invasion of March 2003, I dealt regularly with Chalabi and the INC and published stories based on interviews with men they said were defectors from Saddam's regime." And he concluded: "The information fog is thicker than in any previous war, as I know now from bitter personal experience. To any journalist being offered apparently sensational disclosures, especially from an anonymous intelligence source, I offer two words of advice: caveat emptor."

Let's not forget no British newspaper has followed the example of the NYT and apologised for being so easily duped by the intelligence services in the run up to the illegal invasion of Iraq.

~

Richard Keeble's publications include Secret State, Silent Press: New Militarism, the Gulf and the Modern Image of Warfare (John Libbey 1997) and The Newspapers Handbook (Routledge, fourth edition, 2005). He is also the editor of Ethical Space: The International Journal of Communication Ethics. Richard is also a member of the War and Media Network.

[Mar 18, 2019] Disney, Militarization and the National Security State After 9-11 by Henry A Giroux

Notable quotes:
"... In these shorts, Hitler is depicted as waging a mind-control campaign over the German people based on the manipulation of emotions such as anger, love, fear, sympathy, pride, and hate, while also occasionally employing force, regimentation, depravation, and false rewards. ..."
"... Demonizing the enemy, according to Disney historian Leonard Maltin, "relieves aggression." ..."
Aug 23, 2011 | Truthout

At the onset of World War II, Walt Disney was not alone in his belief that film should play a dominant role in the teaching process or, as he claimed, in "molding opinion."7 He was, however, at the forefront of a movement to recognize a "new aspect of the use of films in war": training industrial workers and soldiers.8 Some historians try to account for Disney's participation in generating military propaganda by claiming that the studios were "taken over by the military as part of the war effort"9 on December 8, 1941. But Richard Shale has meticulously documented Disney's much earlier attempts to court contracts with the aircraft industry, the U.S. Council of National Defense, and Canadian military supporters.10 Indeed, despite a "popular (and frequently quoted) misconception" that the relationship between Disney Studios and the U.S. military was "unexpected or unsolicited," Shale observes an explicit shift in Disney's focus from "entertainment values to teaching values" that occurred before Disney acquired his first U.S. military contracts in December 1941.11 For instance, in 1940 Disney approached the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation with the idea of generating a training film on flush riveting. And in the spring of 1941, with Canada already engaged in war, Disney convinced the commissioner of the National Film Board of Canada, John Grierson, that animated films were better positioned as teaching tools than documentary films because of their "capacity for simplifying the presentation of pedagogical problems."12 Grierson then bought the Canadian rights to Four Methods of Flush Riveting and commissioned Disney to produce an instructional film that taught soldiers how to use an antitank rifle and four short films that encouraged Canadians to purchase war savings certificates.

Then, in the fall of 1941, Walt Disney toured South America at the bequest of the U.S. Office of Inter-American affairs, which was attempting to establish good relations and "hemispheric unity as explicated in Roosevelt's Good Neighbor policy."13 With material collected on the trip, Disney proceeded to generate two feature films, Saludos Amigos (1943) and The Three Caballeros (1945), both intended to celebrate Latin American culture while accentuating its similarities with North American culture (and downplaying or ignoring issues like national politics and poverty).14 Born out of U.S. fear of a Nazi alliance with countries like Argentina, the films aimed to "enhance the Latin American image in the United States," while also "enhanc[ing] America's appreciation of Latin American Everymen."15 Yet, in making The Three Caballeros palatable to white Middle America and American imperialism less threatening to southerners, Disney more often than not caricatures Latin American culture as a voluptuous, exotic female who is fleeing the attentions of a libidinous, but comically ineffectual Donald Duck.16 There is little doubt that a relationship between Disney Studios and the U.S. government had been fully cemented by 1943, when 94 percent of the footage produced by Disney was under government contract.17

From 1941 to 1945, the Disney Studios produced dozens of short educational films, with their subjects ranging from aircraft and warship identification to dental hygiene to the household conservation of cooking oil for the making of military weapons. The studio also produced a number of anti-Nazi short films, including Der Fuehrer's Face (1943), Education for Death: The Making of the Nazi (1943), and Reason and Emotion (1943), two of which were nominated for Academy Awards. In these shorts, Hitler is depicted as waging a mind-control campaign over the German people based on the manipulation of emotions such as anger, love, fear, sympathy, pride, and hate, while also occasionally employing force, regimentation, depravation, and false rewards. Of course, the success of the films' efforts to expose Nazi propaganda overwhelmingly relies on the use of comic devices, caricatures, and stereotypes to make Hitler, Mussolini, and Hirohito seem irrational and absurd.

Demonizing the enemy, according to Disney historian Leonard Maltin, "relieves aggression."18 This claim, suggesting that the films function to disperse rather than focus emotional energy, clearly sidesteps the multiple ways in which the films, much like the propaganda they critique, attempt to shape their audience's emotional responses, such as when Donald Duck, clad in starred-and-striped pajamas, croons to the Statue of Liberty, "Oh, boy, am I glad to be a citizen of the United States of America!" Most significant about the techniques used by these Disney shorts is how they embody animation's capacity to draw clear, simple lines and present a selective representation of an otherwise complex reality. Through the use of comedy and comedic violence, in particular, Disney films are often released from the expectation that they might be attempting to do more than entertain.

Viewers wooed by animation's unique capacity to create novel images through exaggeration, distortion, and aesthetic style are easily absorbed into an imaginary world that quite deliberately focuses their eyes on a constructed reality to the exclusion of other possibilities. The value of the anti-Nazi short films for today's audiences lies in their obvious attempt to win the hearts and minds of American viewers through clever visual and ideological manipulation, while ironically issuing repeated warnings to viewers not to allow emotion to short-circuit their critical faculties. A historical perspective on the subject matter sets in relief how Disney's critique of propaganda using the medium of animation inevitably ventures into the realm of propaganda itself.

Also Read: Truthout's Book Review of "The Mouse That Roared"

And, Also See: "How Disney Magic and the Corporate Media Shape Youth Identity in the Digital Age"

During the war, a significant number of the studio's resources were devoted to making another feature-length propaganda film, Victory through Air Power (1943). The film, based in part on a book written by Major Alexander P. De Seversky, advocates the development of airplane and weapons technology as the means to win the war against the Axis powers. We are told the airplane will not only "revolutionize warfare" but is "the only weapon of war to develop such usefulness during peacetime." Dramatic music punctuates scenes that explore new models of airplanes with increased bombing potential. The United States as the "arsenal of democracy" is represented as a giant heart comprising factories that pump "war supplies" through "the arteries of our transport lines over distances that actually girdle the globe." This organic, humanizing image of "the great industrial heart of America" contrasts with the mechanical image of a spoked wheel used to represent the Nazi war industries, which are also vividly portrayed in dark reds and blacks suggestive of a hellish inferno. Japan is represented as a deadly, black octopus extending its "greedy tentacles" over its "stolen empire." We are told of the necessity for U.S. long-range bombers to strike at "the heart and vitals of the beast." With the lethal combination of the "superior" American "science of aviation" and "science of demolition," the "enemy lies hopelessly exposed to systematic destruction." At the same time, the film announces that "scientific bombing" will enable a "minimum investment in human lives," an oddly ambiguous use of language suggestive of two possible meanings in the context in which it appears: the assertion that aerial bombing of enemy territories requires a "minimum investment" of American soldiers and, what is both more sinister and perhaps in need of such coded language, the claim that bombing the enemy entails such "total destruction" that no human lives requiring "investment" will be left in its wake. Indeed, the film's climax consists of a montage of exploding bombs among Japanese cities and factories, which begin curiously unpopulated and end utterly annihilated. At the pinnacle of the climactic violence, the screen resolves into an image of a bald eagle descending upon and crushing the land-ridden octopus, which then dissolves into a dark cloud of smoke rising above Japan as "America the Beautiful" plays in the background.

Walt Disney believed that Victory through Air Power convinced President Franklin D. Roosevelt to support to long-range bombing.19 For a contemporary viewer who has the benefit of hindsight, the unquestioned propaganda offered by Victory through Air Power leaves one with the eerie feeling that the perspective being shaped by the film would not only fail to question the use of technology such as the atomic bomb but even wholeheartedly celebrate it as the quickest and most effective way to win the war. Indeed, it is precisely the film's unflinching support of the development of bigger and better bombing technology, from small hand-dropped bombs to ten-ton delayed-action bombs and armor-piercing bomb rockets, that might seem most disturbing given the devastating effects of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as the postwar escalation of arms development during the Cold War and the ongoing expansion of the military-industrial complex in the United States.20 But Walt Disney did not just support the development of larger weapons; he was a firm supporter of what might be called the atomic age and made the classic 1956 propaganda film Our Friend the Atom, which was also produced as a book and appeared as an atomic submarine ride in the Tomorrowland section of Disney's Magic Kingdom. In this instance, as Mark Langer points out, Our Friend the Atom was designed to "counter opposition to the military use of atomic weaponry."21 The Magic Kingdom became an outpost for leading young people and adults to believe that an "Atomic reactor . . . is like a big furnace. An atomic chain reaction is likened to what happens when a stray ping-pong ball is thrown at a mass of mousetraps with ping-pong balls set on each one."22 Disney played a formidable role in convincing every school child that atomic energy was central not merely to winning the Cold War but also to preparing them for a future that would be dominated by the United States and its use of new energy sources, which incidentally could be instrumental in elevating the United States to the position of the world's preeminent military power. Mouse power easily and readily made the shift to celebrating atomic power and militarism while enlarging Disney's role as a major purveyor of propaganda.

The Disney films discussed above alert us to the fact that Disney animators honed their skills and gained widespread popular appeal in the 1940s by first producing propaganda films for the U.S. government. This often neglected reality underlying Disney's origins as a cultural entertainment icon should make us all the more careful to heed Janet Wasko's warning that Disney encodes preferred readings of both its animated films and its own brand image to such an extent that "one of the most amazing aspects of the Disney phenomenon is the consistently uniform understanding of the essence of 'Disney.'"23

Attuned to Disney's willingness to assume an overt pedagogical role during World War II, several critics of a more recent Disney film, Aladdin (1992), noted that the timing of the film's production and release coincided with U.S. military efforts in the Persian Gulf war. According to Christiane Staninger, Aladdin is "a propaganda movie for Western imperialism" that "shows the supposed unworkability of Middle Eastern traditions and the need for American intervention."24 Dianne Sachko Macleod takes this critique a step further, suggesting a link between Disney's "revival of British and French colonial stereotypes of Arab traders, fanatics, and beauties" and the "storehouse of racial and cultural images" used by the Pentagon to justify the war.25 Macleod notes that regardless of the filmmakers' intentions, the film had the general effect of "privileging the American myths of freedom and innocence at a time of nationalist fervor."26 Other connections between the film and the first Iraq war are not especially subtle: in addition to locating Aladdin in the fictional city of "Agrabah," it makes the villainous Grand Vizier Jafar look like a combination of Saddam Hussein and the Ayatollah Khomeini, while the two young heroes, Aladdin and Jasmine, not only look American-Disney animators made it publicly known that Aladdin was modeled after Tom Cruise27-but also, as Brenda Ayres suggests, display their heroism by "contesting (and changing) Arabian law and Islamic religious tradition."28 While it is impossible to discern the actual motives of the Disney animators, it is equally impossible to ignore the cultural context in which the American public viewed Aladdin. At the time of the film's release, the dominant media were aggressively promoting similar images of liberation from barbaric traditions in order to justify the United States' "right to intervene in Middle Eastern politics."29

Disney's Conservative Path

Despite the well-documented history of collaboration between the Walt Disney Company and U.S. military and state institutions, Disney has more recently claimed to have no interest in politics. How Disney's decision in May 2004 to block its Miramax division from distributing Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 might qualify as a nonpolitical gesture is uncertain. At the time, a senior executive stated that "it's not in the interest of any major corporation to be dragged into a highly charged partisan political battle."30 Not only were a number of Disney's top executives known to be campaign contributors to the George W. Bush administration,31 but then CEO Michael Eisner was reported to have said that any criticism of the Bush administration might "endanger tax breaks Disney receives for its theme park, hotels and other ventures in Florida, where Mr. Bush's brother, Jeb, is governor."32 Miramax arranged privately to buy Moore's film and distribute it independently, and in 2005, the founders of Miramax, Harvey and Bob Weinstein, did not renew their contracts with Disney.33

As suggested above, the company's alleged desire to remain outside politics contradicts the reality of Disney's historical pattern of intervening in political matters. It is hardly surprising, then, that in the wake of the unprecedented success of Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 documentary, Disney/ABC decided to produce its own account of the events leading up to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. A $40 million miniseries titled The Path to 9/11, originally touted as a docudrama "based on the 9/11 Commission Report" and later as the "official true story," constituted a blatant political move on the part of Disney/ABC.34 In addition, Scholastic, Inc., the educational distribution partner for Disney/ABC, sent one hundred thousand letters to high school teachers across the United States encouraging them to use The Path to 9/11 in the classroom curriculum and directing them to online study guides.35

The miniseries was billed by its self-labeled conservative writer Cyrus Nowrasteh as an "objective telling of the events of 9/11"36 but faced severe criticism for its partisan depiction of events and actors. The Path to 9/11, directed by evangelical Christian filmmaker David Cunningham,37 depicted members of the Bill Clinton administration as totally incompetent, having repeatedly ignored opportunities to capture Osama bin Laden and overlooked warnings of an incipient attack before September 11, 2001. When prescreened to a select number of film reviewers before it aired on television, the miniseries was received with skepticism and outrage, not merely from Democrats and Clinton supporters. Robert Cressey, a top counterterrorism official to both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, argued that a scene depicting the Clinton administration's refusal to pursue bin Laden was "something straight out of Disney and fantasyland. It's factually wrong. And that's shameful."38 Nearly one hundred thousand readers of the online journal Think Progress sent protest letters to Robert Iger, president and CEO of the Walt Disney Company, stating that the film inaccurately "places primary responsibility for the attacks of 9/11 on the Clinton administration while whitewashing the failures of the Bush administration."39 According to Tom Shales, writing for the Washington Post, the miniseries qualified as an "assault on truth."40 Shales added, "Blunderingly, ABC executives cast doubt on their own film's veracity when they made advance copies available to such political conservatives as Rush Limbaugh but not to Democrats who reportedly requested the same treatment. . . . Democrats have a right to be suspicious of any product of the conservative-minded Walt Disney Co."41 A group of academic historians led by Arthur M. Schlesinger sent a letter to ABC calling for the network to "halt the show's broadcast and prevent misinforming Americans about their history."42

The film presents a number of clichéd stereotypes of "big government" and bureaucratic incompetence, depicting paper-pushing officials as woefully indecisive at crucial moments, primarily because they are too self-interested to put their necks on the line. Clinton, for example, is represented as not wanting to issue orders for military action against al-Qaeda because he's too worried about the effect such decisions might have on the polls, that is, when he is not caught up in dealing with the fallout from the Monica Lewinsky scandal. In one scene, General Ahmad Shah Massoud, leader of the Afghan Northern Alliance, which waits for U.S. approval to go after bin Laden, asks in a scornful tone, "Are there any men left in Washington?" Individuals working on the ground who buck procedure and orders from their superiors are, by contrast, willing to "take the heat." So, apparently, is George W. Bush, whose decisiveness in giving a strike-down order to the military after the 9/11 attacks really functions as the climax of the whole miniseries. One could imagine Bush political supporters cheering as this scene unfolded: finally, they could rest assured that there was a real man in Washington. Meanwhile, several FBI and U.S. customs agents recognize the nature of the "new kind of war" being waged against America, and their appeals to racial profiling and domestic spying appear justified in the film. For example, in a brief dialogue, one FBI agent states, "Americans have the right to be protected from domestic spying," and the central protagonist of the film, FBI counterterrorism agent John O'Neil (portrayed by Harvey Keitel), replies, "Do they have the right to be killed by terrorists?" Heroic individuals such as O'Neil are willing to bypass "red tape" and stand in stark contrast to (1) politicians who are too worried about public opinion not to bow to the pressures of "political correctness," (2) uncooperative CIA officials who jealously guard intelligence when they are not mindlessly adhering to obsolete federal legislation that protects individuals' rights, and (3) various utterly casual security officials and workers who would rather appease suspicious-looking members of the public than be confronted with a situation that might embroil them in conflict. And that is not all. The film contrasts the coolness of John O'Neil's astute judgments with the irrationality of emotionally overwrought women, such as the ambassador to Yemen, Barbara Bodine (Patricia Heaton), and the fanatic zeal of the terrorists. In fact, many of the characters who represent terrorists such as Mohamed Atta (Martin Brody) and Ramzi Yousef (Nabil Elouahabi) share the same intense stare, bristly mustache, and swarthy skin exhibited by Hitler in Disney's World War II propaganda films. While it might be possible for a viewer to overlook insipid dialogue, fallacious logic, melodrama, and weak narrative structure, it is virtually impossible to ignore the film's use of racist and sexist stereotypes to lend legitimacy to all the standard bogeys of extreme right-wing ideology. And, most importantly, there remains the film's utterly deceptive self-presentation as a historically accurate depiction of events. Even lead actor Harvey Keitel told a CNN interviewer prior to the airing of the miniseries,

I had questions about certain events-material I was given in The Path to 9/11 that I did raise questions about. . . . Not all the facts were correct. . . . You cannot cross the line from a conflation of events to a distortion of the event. No. Where we have distorted something, we made a mistake, and that should be corrected. It can be corrected, by the people getting involved in the story that they are going to see.43

In response to the controversy surrounding The Path to 9/11, Scholastic, Inc., announced that its online study guide did not meet the company's "high standards for dealing with controversial issues" and would be replaced with new materials that would focus more on media literacy and critical thinking.44 ABC also responded to protests by broadcasting disclaimers about the miniseries's "fictionalized" representation while airing a minimally reedited version on September 10 and 11, 2006. But ABC's rather inexplicable decision to air the broadcast without commercials-entailing a loss of $40 million45-fostered an illusion of the film's closer proximity to real life, if not also conveying the impression that it was a public service announcement. Most significantly, the broadcast that aired on the second night was framed by a strategic interruption-George W. Bush's Address to the Nation-prompting one journalist to note the "thematic synchronicity," as the president's speech called for ongoing support for the war on terror.46 It is difficult to deny the political synergy suggested by the combination of the rightwing The Path to 9/11 and Bush's speech-synergy being a profitdriven marketing strategy by no means unfamiliar to a megacorporation like Disney47-as Bush appealed to Americans to recognize the ongoing threat of terrorism and the necessity of preemptive action as the only way to safeguard "advancing freedom and democracy as the great alternatives to repression and radicalism."48 When placed in the context of the film, Bush's success could be measured in terms of how the post9/11 decisions made by his government succeeded where Clinton's administration apparently had failed. Furthermore, the timely juxtaposition allowed the film to gain a greater veneer of authenticity from the speech's presentation of topical and really existing political concerns, while the film in turn provided credible images and points of reference for listeners trying to engage the highly rhetorical, often self-referential use of language characteristic of Bush's speech. Additionally, the blurring of fact and fiction embodied by the film lent to the speech the mythic or symbolic power generated by extended narrative, and the grandeur of the presidential address added authority to the film.

As a context for Bush's speech, The Path to 9/11 made an effort to point out some of the problems in law enforcement and governance that preceded the terrorist attacks of 9/11, but the nature of the critique-although presented as objective and all encompassing-never rises above criticizing particular individuals for their character failings. The film was cleverer, however, in the way it indicated the supposed gaps in the system and advocated taking a hard line, but offered no concrete alternatives. In doing so, the film left it to Bush to emerge as the ultimate hero, opening up a space for a timely description of the measures instituted since 9/11:

We've created the Department of Homeland Security. We have torn down the wall that kept law enforcement and intelligence from sharing information. We've tightened security at our airports and seaports and borders, and we've created new programs to monitor enemy bank records and phone calls. Thanks to the hard work of our law enforcement and intelligence professionals, we have broken up terrorist cells in our midst and saved American lives.49

If The Path to 9/11 presented a single narrative perspective (the "path" taken) as the infallible "truth," then Bush's speech, with a similar kind of religious confidence, also took for granted that only one predetermined course could secure the nation from the terrorist threat. At no point did the film or Bush's speech suggest that the situation was complex enough to necessitate the consideration of several possible paths; indeed, both narratives closed off the possibility of questioning the effectiveness of the security measures endorsed and instituted. Difficult questions-such as the extent to which freedom should be limited in order to be secured or the kinds of sacrifices entailed by "national security"-were simply ignored in favor of the message that Americans must do whatever it takes to defeat the "enemy." It is hard to believe that the gross trivializations of the complex issues surrounding terrorism and the war in Iraq in The Path to 9/11 and Bush's address could almost escape public protest only five years after the horrifying events of September 11, 2001.

One notable exception to the general complaisance with which the public received The Path to 9/11 involved a group of students at Ithaca College who protested the college's acceptance of a private donation from Robert Iger on the grounds that The Path to 9/11, touted as a docudrama, was actually an egregious display of media bias. Students argued that "accepting Disney money would send the wrong message about the importance of objectivity to the school's journalism and communications students."50 Although a Disney spokesperson responded to the student protesters by calling them "people who can't distinguish between fact and fiction," Ithaca College president Peggy R. Williams lent credence to the students' concerns by reassuring them that Iger's donation "does not buy Disney any influence on campus. . . . Our curriculum decisions are our own."51 Although certainly admitting no wrongdoing, Disney has uncharacteristically and tellingly opted not to sell The Path to 9/11 on DVD-defying the expectations of both those who assumed the company would try to recover the costs of making the miniseries and vociferous right-wing groups who continue to support the film's representation of the events leading to 9/11.52

The National Security-Family: Meet The Incredibles

As films like Aladdin and The Path to 9/11 suggest, the Walt Disney Company has an impressive ability to revise more or less familiar stories, updating the issues to make them resonate in people's lives at the current moment. It is how Disney offers audiences not simply escape but also a mode of relating to the real conditions of their existence that makes Disney films such a long-lived and potent force in U.S. and global popular culture. As Louis Marin suggests regarding the powerful cultural role of Disney theme parks, Disney represents both "what is estranged and what is familiar: comfort, welfare, consumption, scientific and technological progress, superpower, and morality." Importantly, Marin adds, "These are values obtained by violence and exploitation; [in Disney culture] they are projected under the auspices of law and order."53 Marin's framework is especially useful for understanding a film such as The Incredibles as mediating the "imaginary relationship that the dominant groups of American society maintain with their real conditions of existence, with the real history of the United States, and with the space outside of its border."54 In a post-9/11 world, Academy Award winner The Incredibles brings home the need not only to reclaim "superpower" identity as a quintessential American quality but also to recognize that American soil is not immune to the threat of violent attacks. In response to the forces threatening America-internally, the weakening of superhero resolve in the face of excessive bureaucracy, public cynicism, and unthinking adherence to the law; externally, enemies whose infantile resentment at being "not super" results in a genocidal campaign against everything "super," even to the extent of terrorizing an innocent public-the PG-rated film sanctions violence as a means to establish a new brand of "law and order." Although hearkening back to the nuclear family as the source of America's security and strength, the film diverges from past narratives in its emphasis on a natural order in which authority and power belong in the hands of the few strong leaders left in America, while the rest of us must duly recognize our inevitable "mediocrity." This overall message is especially disturbing in light of the events following 9/11, when the United States witnessed a growing authoritarianism throughout the larger culture.55 Some consequences of the American response to the tragic terrorist attacks have been a general tolerance for the use of preemptive violence and coercion, control of the media, the rise of repressive state power, an expanding militarization, and a thriving surveillance and security industry that is now even welcomed in public schools. And these are only some of the known consequences: many of the effects of the Bush administration's policies are still coming to light. In 2009, President Barack Obama ordered the release of top-secret Bush administration memos that sanctioned the CIA's use of torture on terror suspects. A year previous, New York Times reporter David Barstow wrote an exposé of "independent" military analysts who appeared on television networks to inform the public with their expert and objective impressions of the war in Iraq (many were retired army generals and had direct ties to corporations that were courting government military contracts). It turned out the Pentagon was coaching the military analysts behind the scenes to put a favorable spin on the Bush administration's "wartime performance," with the apparent collusion of U.S. media networks, including ABC, which failed to check for, or simply ignored, evident conflicts of interest.56 In addition to calling into question the journalistic integrity of the media, the scandal made it seem as if the Bush administration's public relations machine was taking its cues from corporations such as Disney by not only launching a marketing campaign carefully tailored to uphold its public image but also secretly controlling access to information and limiting public discourse, all in order to sell a sense of security to the American people.

An emphasis on controlling public speech and public spaces-not to mention autocratic rule, secrecy, and the appeal to security-is nothing new to Disney, whose theme parks, according to Steven Watts, "blur the line between fantasy and reality by immersing visitors in a totally controlled environment."57 Disneyland is a useful space, apparently, to undertake surveillance, and Walt Disney offered the FBI "complete access" to Disneyland facilities in the 1950s for "use in connection with official matters and for recreational purposes."58 Indeed, the development of a cordial relationship between Walt Disney and FBI director J. Edgar Hoover is now better understood not only in relation to Walt Disney's fervent anticommunism but also in light of revelations that he may have served as "a secret informer for the Los Angeles office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation."59 Certainly, as Watts indicates, it is known that Disney was appointed a special FBI agent in part because of his desire to root out so-called communist agitators from the film industry.60 More recently, Eric Smoodin notes that the Disney corporation remains "interested in constructing surveillance as entertainment," as suggested by the marketing of products such as a Mickey Mouse doll with glow-in-the-dark eyes that illuminate sleeping children for the benefit of parental scrutiny.61

The Incredibles, with its complex appeal to several levels of audience, received overwhelming praise from film critics, who admired not only its retromodern aesthetic and detailed animation but also its "stinging wit."62 However, most reviewers who observed an "edge of intellectual indignation"63 focused on the first thirty minutes of the film in which the main character, Mr. Incredible (voiced by Craig T. Nelson), is forced to conceal his superhero identity as a consequence of public disaffection and a string of lawsuits (he is sued after rescuing a suicidal man named Sansweet who claimed Mr. Incredible had "ruined [his] death"). With "average citizens" now proclaiming they want "average heroes," Mr. Incredible; his superhero wife, Elastigirl/Helen (Holly Hunter); and their children become the middle-of-the-road Parr family, trying to maintain a normal suburban lifestyle by suppressing their superpowers in what one reviewer suggests is a "suspicious society that's decidedly below-Parr."64 As suggested by a Boston Globe film review, Bob Parr's cubicle office job as a claims adjuster at Insuricare is designed to evoke identification with the "middle-age blues felt by audience members."65 But many reviewers, in choosing to highlight the film's critique of suburban conformity and corporate greed, misread or overlook the film's central message, which does not elicit identification on the part of a mere newspaper journalist or academician: in fact, normal people who wrongly identify with superheroes and devalue their worth are society's worst threat. The film's villain, Buddy aka Syndrome (Jason Lee), begins as Mr. Incredible's "number one fan" but then transgresses the boundary between admiration and emulation. Conflict arises when Buddy asserts that his rocket boot technology enables him "to be super" without being born with superpowers. When rejected by Mr. Incredible, who prefers to "work alone," Buddy turns the pathological injury into villainy with an ideological goal: to provide the technology "so that everyone can be superheroes. . . . And when everyone's super, no one will be." The connections between Buddy and the dominant media's portrayal of international terrorists are multiple: his fixation on demolishing a superpower, his development of hightech weaponry, his narcissistic rage, his ideological purpose, and, what resonates most clearly, his plan to gain power over a fearful public by launching a plane at Manhattan. At one point, Buddy even tells Mr. Incredible, "Now you respect me, because I'm a threat. . . . It turns out there's a lot of people, whole countries, who want respect. And they will pay through the nose to get it." Given the film's resounding judgment of Buddy/Syndrome-he is shredded by a jet turbine while attempting to kidnap the Parr baby-it is difficult to understand how the film's message could be interpreted, as one reviewer suggests, as empowering viewers to recognize the "secret identities we all keep tucked away in our hearts."66 Even if one were to extend an allegorical reading of The Incredibles to argue that all Americans are super, it would not be possible to elide the film's clear validation of a social hierarchy along primordial lines.

Throughout the film, the plight of the super family is closely linked to their superiority. The Incredibles' son Dash (Spencer Fox), frustrated by not being able to demonstrate his speed in school sports competi-tions, acts out in his fourth-grade class by playing pranks on his teacher. Dash wins his father's admiration, but the thought of a graduation ceremony for fourth-graders leads Mr. Incredible to burst out, "It's psychotic! They keep creating new ways to celebrate mediocrity, but if someone is genuinely exceptional . . . " Later in the film, Elastigirl reassures daughter Violet (Sarah Vowell), "Your identity is your most valuable possession. . . . Doubt is a luxury we can't afford anymore. You have more power than you realize. Don't think. Don't worry. If the time comes, you'll know what to do. It's in your blood." As A. O. Scott astutely recognizes in a New York Times review, the movie argues, "Some people have powers that others do not, and to deny them the right to exercise those powers, or the privileges that accompany them, is misguided, cruel and socially destructive."67 Being "super" in such a framework does not mean being smart or being virtuous; it simply means possessing innate power. The highly advanced modern society produces mediocrity because its ethics (a belief in social justice and equality) counter the effects of natural selection by nullifying Darwinian fitness as the condition for survival.

If the film indeed offers up "the philosophy of Ayn Rand"-who opposed collectivism, altruism, and the welfare state in favor of egoistic individualism-then it turns to violence as the means to achieve supremacy.68 At no point during The Incredibles' "eardrum-bashing, metal-crunching action sludge" and its self-referential mockery of "monologuing" does the film suggest that reasoning, discussion, or any other form of peaceful resolution might be pursued instead of violence. More in keeping, however, with Disney conventions than Rand's philosophy is the film's conflation of the pursuit of individualism with the protection of the nuclear family. One reviewer cleverly summarizes the film's main theme as "the family that slays together stays together."69 In this way, the white, nuclear, middle-class family becomes the ethical referent for a bombproof collectivity: only a muscular protection of one's own will ensure stability, identity, and agency, not to mention consumerism, heterosexuality, clearly defined gender roles, parenthood, and class chivalry. The result is that the film brings "individuals and their families to the centers of national life, offering the audience an image of itself and of the nation as a knowable community, a wider public world beyond the routines of a narrow existence."70 But the American nation drawn by the film is imaged as one that neither shies away from use of force nor requires any justification for its display of blatant chauvinism when confronted by others.

The Incredibles further contrasts the banality of suburban life with the glamour and excitement of "hero work." The elaborate security compounds of Syndrome's island and the home of fashion designer Edna Mode (Brad Bird) are suped up with the latest high-tech gadgetry, the exhilarating navigation of which bears a close resemblance to video game playing, particularly in the medium of computer-generated animation. And even if the filmmakers' intended to parody gated homes à la Hollywood Hills in their representation of Edna Mode's mansion, the cumulative message makes security and surveillance systems seem not only unthreatening but also quite normal-at least as familiar as, say, the presence of gates and cameras at Walt Disney World. In fact, Syndrome's island has a developed monorail system, which implies a double reference both to the James Bond movie Dr. No (1962) and to Disney World itself. Referentiality seems to come full circle as The Incredibles' island imitates Bond films that likely drew on the model of Disney theme parks in portraying the villain's lair. For instance, Bond's antagonist in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) "inhabits a politically autonomous island that features an amusement park funhouse,"71 an allusion that betrays cultural anxiety about a rigidly controlled theme park environment governed by an autocrat who deliberately toys with defenseless people's perceptions and plays upon their fears. The Bond films were tapping into a darker side of the Disney-designed spaces, also noted by M. Keith Booker, who writes, "The fictional utopias portrayed in the [Disney] parks have a definite dystopian side, as anyone who has ever been bothered by the efficiency with which the parks are able to control and manipulate the vast populations who visit them has noticed."72 Yet, the lush tropical island in The Incredibles works less to expose the dark side of a totally regulated world than to associate it with exotic thrills and gamelike suspense as the superheroes infiltrate Syndrome's compound-a brilliant advertisement for a family adventure at Walt Disney World, if there ever was one. More disturbing is the recognition that as dominant culture in the United States accepts the expansion of a security-military-surveillance-intelligence complex, negotiating such altered environments can be reduced to slapstick comedy (when, for instance, Elastigirl finds herself stretched between two security doors and must fight against a number of armed guards). Not rendered entirely harmless, the island environment also represents the ideal locale for the Incredible children to rise to the challenge of a real danger-their mother tells them that unlike "the bad guys" on "Saturday morning cartoons . . . these guys will kill you"-and to engage the enemy in a display of family loyalty and heroic exceptionalism.

Because "calls to action litter the film," critics such as David Hastings Dunn have suggested that The Incredibles is "an allegorical tale justifying U.S. foreign policy under George W. Bush."73 Indeed, the only imaginable way the "slightly fascist" Incredibles could be labeled a "family-friendly film,"74 as one critic claims, is if one assumes the "super" refrain throughout the film is an oblique reference to American superiority and supremacy, such that viewers are included as part of one big national family, a family that has recently demonstrated its mettle on the world stage by waging wars against Afghanistan and Iraq. Indeed, Mr. Incredible repeatedly argues for an ethic of intervention and pushes aside anyone who poses an obstacle to action. Those individuals who wish to prevent superheroes from acting are fundamentally weak: people who claim their right to noninterference, politicians who cravenly seek public approval, lawyers who succumb to financial pressures, teachers who suppress any challenges to their authority, and employers who expect blind obedience to corporate policy. Interventionism is legitimated when Bob/Mr. Incredible helps an elderly woman with her insurance claim, only to face his irate boss, who indicates that Bob's loyalties must be redirected to one specific purpose: "Help our people! Starting with our stockholders." While the diminutive Mr. Huph (Wallace Shawn) launches into a speech about the necessity for the "little cogs" in the company machine to "mesh together," Mr. Incredible is prevented from saving a man in the street who is being mugged. The film deserves credit for extending a clichéd critique of office work as crushing of individual creativity to a representation of greed and corruption plaguing private corporations charged with providing public services. Unfortunately, the only solution to the social ills of exploitation and dehumanization proffered by the film is to put one's faith in the individuals who have the power to subjugate a clear and unambiguous enemy, in other words, a militaristic version of the old adage "Father knows best." Before we join the throngs of enthusiastic reviewers who laud the film for its exposure of corporate abuses of power, it should be understood that the film is as much invested in showing how postindustrial capitalism-and liberal democracy even more so-elevates the weak manipulators above the authentic strongmen. Instead of presenting a viable solution to the ravages of neoliberal economics on social democracy, The Incredibles offers only one reactionary alternative devised in the realm of fantasy: superheroes will save us as long as we recognize our natural inferiority and give them our unqualified vote of confidence. The huge, hard-bodied Mr. Incredible is ready to rescue America from the city slicker, ladies' man softness of the postwar era. (Admittedly, this superhero for a "postfeminist" generation has an exceedingly competent female sidekick/wife, but one who tellingly possesses the complementary superhero power of extreme malleability).

When considered alongside the blockbuster success of The Incredibles and its overarching message in 2004, it probably should not surprise us that George W. Bush was reelected the same year-in part because his public relations team managed to convince voters that, in an insecure world rife with terrorist threats, they should depend on his uncompromising judgments of good and evil, his impervious cowboylike manner, and his "strong, stable personality." What makes The Incredibles appear to be superheroes is the same quality that apparently made George W. Bush seem presidential: the ability to act free from the paralyzing effects of thoughtful consideration. This orientation toward decisive action in the film becomes an end in itself since, as Jeremy Heilman points out, "There are no scenes in which characters learn to use their power responsibly (except for those that extol conformity), and no moments in which loss of life is felt."75

According to George Soros, the events of 9/11 renewed a "distorted view" of American supremacy that "postulates that because we are stronger than others, we must know better and we must have right on our side."76 If American patriotism reached a fever pitch in the aftermath of 9/11, then The Incredibles clearly tapped into a desire to assert U.S. preeminence on the world stage. Indeed, all the superheroes are American, and the only non-American with any power is a villainous French mime named Bomb Voyage. The overall message of the film, as Hastings Dunn points out, is a perennial neoconservative theme: "America's failure to spread its values can lead to 'blowback' from former clients and protégés."77 The only response offered by the film to a society supposedly weakened by a misguided egalitarianism and the post–Cold War softening of American resolve is to minimize in-stitutional and legal controls while letting unrestrained power achieve its deserved place of domination. For "supers" to dictate the common good once again, The Incredibles concludes, "it's up to the politicians." It is difficult to imagine a more resounding dismissal of democratic processes than this final assertion, suggesting less the need for political accountability and public participation than the need for emboldened leaders whose decisive action should be divorced from the values and constraints imposed by the mediocre masses.

Disney and the Rhetoric of Innocence

The bizarre way in which The Incredibles marries two dangerous social ideals-a Darwinist notion of survival of the fittest and a retrograde identity politics based on biological superiority-can verge on acceptability when it is packaged as a Disney animated film that carries the overarching association with childhood innocence. Audiences are meant to appreciate the fact that if in a fit of rage Mr. Incredible destroys a car, or another human being for that matter, then it is simply a natural expression of his innate "super" identity and not something that requires moral assessment. Or, worse yet, it is something that can only be considered as intrinsically good. By appealing to the view that "might is right," the film fails to open up the possibility that values and ethics are constituted by various social mechanisms and material relations of power. Instead, the tautological rationale suggests that being "right" is simply entailed by being "super," such that the imperative to conquer the enemy who threatens one's way of life remains not only above question but also without any negative consequences (after all, the enemy is not "super" like us). The presumption of innate American benevolence is implied by a reading of The Incredibles as a national allegory. At stake in this concept of America as a superpower is the belief that its leaders and the entire populace are incorruptible and therefore exemplify absolute goodness.78

As we have seen in previous chapters, this notion of a benign, incorruptible nature is nothing new to Disney, whose cultural productions rely on innocence as a rhetorical tool to legitimate dominant relations of power. The Incredibles slightly modifies the concept of childhood innocence by linking it to a citizenry in need of a blameless and absolute paternalistic authority to safeguard its interests. The appeal to innocence often enables animated Disney films to fly below a critical radar. The Incredibles probably does so, despite its authoritarian overtones, because of the historical and cultural context in which it was received. After the tragic events of 9/11, Americans sought an opportunity to envision themselves as proactive agents of history rather than its passive victims and as part of a community with strong leadership that could instill hope for security and redemption in a world that seemed hostile to such desires.

However, when politics is cloaked in the guise of innocence, more is at stake than a simple affirmation of desire. At stake is the way in which Disney films garner the cultural power to influence how people think not simply through their particular mode of representation but also through shaping the knowledge and subjectivities of their viewers in order to valorize some identities while disabling others. Film watching involves more than entertainment; it is an experience that reproduces the basic conditions of learning. To understand Disney films, we need to understand how Disney culture influences public understandings of history, national coherence, and popular values in ways that often conceal injustice, dissent, and the possibility of democratic renewal. While the retro style and clever allusiveness of The Incredibles appeal to what is aesthetically pleasing about America's past, there is no acknowledgment of an underlying totalitarian ethos driving, for instance, U.S. military and imperial expansion during the Cold War. Although weakling institutions and individuals hinder all things "super," Mr. Incredible, as an exemplary cultural icon, enables the reconstruction of American history purged of its seamy side, not least of all through an appeal to nostalgia, stylized consumption, and a reinvigorated patriotism. Moreover, The Incredibles' comic representation of 1950s suburban mediocrity does little to challenge the prevailing discourses of patriarchy, class, and sexism. In fact, the film pays tribute to the consumerism, patriarchy, and family values associated with 1950s sitcoms by suggesting that the failing of such a family orientation lies not in its oppressive control but in how settling into a mundane reality and accepting the onset of complacency sap its inherent magisterial vitality. Taking what it considers best from that era, the film revitalizes conservative ideology for a new generation of video-gaming kids, sexing up the suburban doldrums with designer superhero garb and high-tech stunts that substitute spectacle for critical engagement.

The Incredibles and The Path to 9/11 are films produced at a particular historical moment that share the theme of defending U.S. hegemony and values against the insidious forces of a weak-willed political correctness at home and envious terrorists determined to destroy the American way of life abroad. One interesting outcome of the comparison can be seen in the way the different film genres elicited much different responses from the public despite their thematic similarities. The Path to 9/11's claim to portray historical events objectively in the form of a documentary-style ABC miniseries drew some public resistance, whereas the animated Disney film whose very representation defies objectivity drew virtually none. But the messages of The Incredibles are no less persuasive for being more fantastic.

Clearly, The Incredibles' inscription of biological supremacy represents not only an assertion of dominant family values but an ideological justification for genderand race-based conceptions of U.S. global imperialism and national identity. The Path to 9/11 is less clever in concealing its affirmation of racist and sexist attitudes and its legitimation of violence, but The Incredibles is far more dangerous in that it has been viewed in a generally unfiltered manner by millions of children and adults worldwide. Recognizing the conservative influence of Disney films-a conservatism that manifests with unprecedented boldness in The Incredibles-should not entail avoiding them, suppressing them, or complacently accepting their cultural ascendancy. It should involve making explicit how and what we learn from the very political messages being taught by Disney films, rather than accepting them at face value or dismissing their existence altogether.

Consuming culture even as a form of entertainment is fundamentally a pedagogical experience, and the more educators, parents, students, and other cultural workers become active in their attempts to decode the complex representations being offered by Disney, the more rich and rewarding our experiences with popular culture will become. For this reason, a nuanced criticism of Disney films would not assume that they inherently disempower the audience but would instead view such cultural encounters as opportunities that can empower children and adults by creating the conditions that give people control over the production and types of knowledge and values arising from their experiences as cultural consumers. Being resisted here is the attitude that turns Disney's native utopianism into an excuse to adopt a stance that willfully overlooks the risks incurred by allowing a multinational corporation to escape any critical scrutiny as it reproduces dominant forms of identity, authorizes particular forms of history, and validates "hierarchies of value as universally valid, ecumenical, and effectively consensual."79 Nothing could be more dystopian in its consequences than the abdication of our responsibility to be critical and thoughtful of the ways the U.S. media represents America to itself and others. Disney should not be allowed to dictate, limit, and monopolize the only current and future possibilities imaginable for an increasingly global culture that must be able to imagine a better life-a life built upon the precepts of compassion and justice rather than American-centered images of power, nostalgia, insularity, and world domination.

[Mar 18, 2019] The Why are the media playing lapdog and not watchdog – again – on war in Iraq?

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... General Electric, the world's largest military contractor, still controls the message over at the so-called "liberal" MSNBC. MSNBC's other owner is Comcast, the right wing media conglomerate that controls the radio waves in every major American Market. Over at CNN, Mossad Asset Wolf Blitzer, who rose from being an obscure little correspondent for an Israeli Newspaper to being CNN's Chief "Pentagon Correspondent" and then was elevated to supreme anchorman nearly as quickly, ensures that the pro-Israeli Message is always in the forefront, even as the Israeli's commit one murderous act after another upon helpless Palestinian Women and Children. ..."
"... Every single "terrorism expert", General or former Government Official that is brought out to discuss the next great war is connected to a military contractor that stands to benefit from that war. Not surprisingly, the military option is the only option discussed and we are assured that, if only we do this or bomb that, then it will all be over and we can bring our kids home to a big victory parade. I'm 63 and it has never happened in my lifetime--with the exception of the phony parade that Bush Senior put on after his murderous little "First Gulf War". ..."
"... The Generals in the Pentagon always want war. It is how they make rank. All of those young kids that just graduated from our various academies know that war experience is the only thing that will get them the advancement that they seek in the career that they have chosen. They are champing at the bit for more war. ..."
"... the same PR campaign that started with Bush and Cheney continues-the exact same campaign. Obviously, they have to come back at the apple with variations, but any notion that the "media will get it someday" is willfully ignorant of the obvious fact that there is an agenda, and that agenda just won't stop until it's achieved-or revolution supplants the influence of these dark forces. ..."
"... The US media are indeed working overtime to get this war happening ..."
"... In media universe there is no alternative to endless war and an endless stream of hyped reasons for new killing. ..."
"... The media machine is a wholly owned subsidiary of the United States of Corporations. ..."
"... Oh, the greatest propaganda arm the US government has right now, bar none, is the American media. It's disgraceful. we no longer have journalists speaking truth to power in my country, we have people practicing stenography, straight from the State Department to your favorite media outlet. ..."
"... But all that research from MIT, from the UN, and others, has been buried by the American media, and every single story on Syria and Assad that is written still refers to "Assad gassing his own people". It's true, it's despicable, and it's just one example of how our media lies and distorts and misrepresents the news every day. ..."
Oct 10, 2014 | The Guardian
BradBenson, 10 October 2014 6:14pm
The American Public has gotten exactly what it deserved. They have been dumbed-down in our poor-by-intention school systems. The moronic nonsense that passes for news in this country gets more sensational with each passing day. Over on Fox, they are making the claim that ISIS fighters are bringing Ebola over the Mexican Border, which prompted a reply by the Mexican Embassy that won't be reported on Fox.

We continue to hear and it was even reported in this very fine article by Ms. Benjamin that the American People now support this new war. Really? I'm sorry, but I haven't seen that support anywhere but on the news and I just don't believe it any more.

There is also the little problem of infiltration into key media slots by paid CIA Assets (Scarborough and brainless Mika are two of these double dippers). Others are intermarried. Right-wing Neocon War Criminal Dan Senor is married to "respected" newsperson Campbell Brown who is now involved in privatizing our school system. Victoria Nuland, the slimey State Department Official who was overheard appointing the members of the future Ukrainian Government prior to the Maidan Coup is married to another Neo-Con--Larry Kagan. Even sweet little Andrea Mitchell is actually Mrs. Alan Greenspan.

General Electric, the world's largest military contractor, still controls the message over at the so-called "liberal" MSNBC. MSNBC's other owner is Comcast, the right wing media conglomerate that controls the radio waves in every major American Market. Over at CNN, Mossad Asset Wolf Blitzer, who rose from being an obscure little correspondent for an Israeli Newspaper to being CNN's Chief "Pentagon Correspondent" and then was elevated to supreme anchorman nearly as quickly, ensures that the pro-Israeli Message is always in the forefront, even as the Israeli's commit one murderous act after another upon helpless Palestinian Women and Children.

Every single "terrorism expert", General or former Government Official that is brought out to discuss the next great war is connected to a military contractor that stands to benefit from that war. Not surprisingly, the military option is the only option discussed and we are assured that, if only we do this or bomb that, then it will all be over and we can bring our kids home to a big victory parade. I'm 63 and it has never happened in my lifetime--with the exception of the phony parade that Bush Senior put on after his murderous little "First Gulf War".

Yesterday there was a coordinated action by all of the networks, which was clearly designed to support the idea that the generals want Obama to act and he just won't. The not-so-subtle message was that the generals were right and that the President's "inaction" was somehow out of line-since, after all, the generals have recommended more war. It was as if these people don't remember that the President, sleazy War Criminal that he is, is still the Commander in Chief.

The Generals in the Pentagon always want war. It is how they make rank. All of those young kids that just graduated from our various academies know that war experience is the only thing that will get them the advancement that they seek in the career that they have chosen. They are champing at the bit for more war.

Finally, this Sunday every NFL Game will begin with some Patriotic "Honor America" Display, which will include a missing man flyover, flags and fireworks, plenty of uniforms, wounded Vets and soon-to-be-wounded Vets. A giant American Flag will, once again, cover the fields and hundreds of stupid young kids will rush down to their "Military Career Center" right after the game. These are the ones that I pity most.

BaronVonAmericano , 10 October 2014 6:26pm
Let's be frank: powerful interests want war and subsequent puppet regimes in the half dozen nations that the neo-cons have been eyeing (Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan). These interests surely include industries like banking, arms and oil-all of whom make a killing on any war, and would stand to do well with friendly governments who could finance more arms purchases and will never nationalize the oil.

So, the same PR campaign that started with Bush and Cheney continues-the exact same campaign. Obviously, they have to come back at the apple with variations, but any notion that the "media will get it someday" is willfully ignorant of the obvious fact that there is an agenda, and that agenda just won't stop until it's achieved-or revolution supplants the influence of these dark forces.

IanB52, 10 October 2014 6:57pm

The US media are indeed working overtime to get this war happening. When I'm down at the gym they always have CNN on (I can only imagine what FOX is like) which is a pretty much dyed in the wool yellow jingoist station at this point. With all the segments they dedicate to ISIS, a new war, the "imminent" terrorist threat, they seem to favor talking heads who support a full ground war and I have never, not once, heard anyone even speak about the mere possibility of peace. Not ever.

In media universe there is no alternative to endless war and an endless stream of hyped reasons for new killing.

I'd imagine that these media companies have a lot stock in and a cozy relationship with the defense contractors.

Damiano Iocovozzi, 10 October 2014 7:04pm

The media machine is a wholly owned subsidiary of the United States of Corporations. The media doesn't report on anything but relies on repeating manufactured crises, creating manufactured consent & discussing manufactured solutions. Follow the oil, the pipelines & the money. Both R's & D's are left & right cheeks of the same buttock. Thanks to Citizens United & even Hobby Lobby, a compliant Supreme Court, also owned by United States of Corporations, it's a done deal.

ID5868758 , 10 October 2014 10:20pm
Oh, the greatest propaganda arm the US government has right now, bar none, is the American media. It's disgraceful. we no longer have journalists speaking truth to power in my country, we have people practicing stenography, straight from the State Department to your favorite media outlet.

Let me give you one clear example. A year ago Barack Obama came very close to bombing Syria to kingdom come, the justification used was "Assad gassed his own people", referring to a sarin gas attack near Damascus. Well, it turns out that Assad did not initiate that attack, discovered by research from many sources including the prestigious MIT, it was a false flag attack planned by Turkey and carried out by some of Obama's own "moderate rebels".

But all that research from MIT, from the UN, and others, has been buried by the American media, and every single story on Syria and Assad that is written still refers to "Assad gassing his own people". It's true, it's despicable, and it's just one example of how our media lies and distorts and misrepresents the news every day.

[Feb 17, 2019] Wouldn't surprise me one bit if Kristol and Boot work for the CIA and MI6. They tend to lead with placed stories, either before or after events, helping to persuade those who have yet to make up their minds or those looking to have someone else do their thinking for them

Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Renov8 February 16, 2019 at 8:01 am

Wouldn't surprise me one bit if Kristol and Boot work for the CIA and MI6. They tend to lead with placed stories, either before or after events, helping to persuade those who have yet to make up their minds or those looking to have someone else do their thinking for them.

With the ongoing internet reformation we are experiencing, its a lot easier for the masses to see the bigger picture, the parties involved and the corrupt characters playing the puppet strings for the media.

Glad to see these shysters exposed for what they are propagandists.

[Feb 13, 2019] The guardian "stands by the story" by censoring critical comments, while never bothering to try to defend the actual reporting

What "pretzelattack" does not understand is for whom Luke Harding actually works. Intelligence agencies control The Guardian and shape forums in the direction they consider beneficial.
Notable quotes:
"... As far as upholding our Community Standards is concerned, The Guardian has decided to stand by the article and thus The Guardian views comments such as yours as misrepresentation. ..."
Feb 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

pretzelattack , Feb 13, 2019 11:07:59 AM | link

fu guardian.
Hello "pretzelattack",

When you take issue with Editorial decisions of the Guardian, the Moderation team is the wrong place to address it. You would have better luck following the procedures outlined on https://www.theguardian.com/info/complaints-and-corrections.

As far as upholding our Community Standards is concerned, The Guardian has decided to stand by the article and thus The Guardian views comments such as yours as misrepresentation.

There is also the matter that most of your removed comments are Off Topic for the discussions on which you post them, which breaches point 8 of our Community Standards.

8. Keep it relevant. We know that some conversations can be wide-ranging, but if you post something which is unrelated to the original topic ("off-topic") then it may be removed, in order to keep the thread on track. This also applies to queries or comments about moderation, which should not be posted as comments.

Premoderation is usually only a temporary measure. Post consistently in line with the community standards you agreed to abide by when creating your account and the sanction will be lifted and full commenting privileges restored to your account. Post consistently against the spirit of the community standards and you risk a permanent ban.

Best wishes

Meg,

Community Moderator

Links: The Guardian's Community Standards & FAQs

This was about the blatant bullshit, by Luke Harding, about Assange and manning meeting at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

"The guardian stands by the story" by censoring critical comments, while never bothering to try to defend the actual reporting.

Of course, that would be difficult since there is no evidence that Manafort somehow whisked himself (maybe a dr. who tardis) in and out of one of the most heavily surveilled sites in the world.

"Independent journalism" at its finest.

[Feb 08, 2019] NBC = CIA = NBCIA

Feb 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

Asagirian , says: February 8, 2019 at 3:24 pm GMT

NBC = CIA = NBCIA
Agent76 , says: February 8, 2019 at 3:39 pm GMT
March 19, 2017 The CIA's 60-Year History of Fake News How the Deep State Corrupted Many American Writers

Whitney's new book, "Finks: How the C.I.A. Tricked the World's Best Writers," explores how the CIA influenced acclaimed writers and publications during the Cold War to produce subtly anti-communist material. During the interview, Scheer and Whitney discuss these manipulations and how the CIA controlled major news agencies and respected literary publications (such as the Paris Review).

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46688.htm

JANUARY 18, 2017 CIA Publishes About 13 Million Pages of Declassified Files Online

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) published nearly 13 million pages of declassified files on its official website for the first time in its history. The declassified files were previously publicly available only at the National Archives in Maryland.

http://investmentwatchblog.com/cia-publishes-about-13-million-pages-of-declassified-files-online/

[Feb 08, 2019] The CIA Then and Now Old Wine in New Bottles by Edward Curtin

Intelligence agencies like CIA is a threat to "normal" societies as they tend to acquire power with time and tail start wagging the dog. Mechanism of control are usually subverted and considerable part of their activities is dome without informing "supervisory" structures.
In the USA sometimes CIA monitor Congress communications and tries to coerce them like was the case when the torture program was revealed. In other words intelligence agencies are the core neofascist structures in modern society and as such represent a distinct danger.
Notable quotes:
"... Organizations like the CIA are obviously fallible and have made many mistakes and failed to anticipate world events. But they are also very powerful, having great financial backing, and do the bidding of their masters in banking, Wall St., finance, etc. They are the action arm of these financial elites, and are, as Douglass Valentine has written, organized criminals. ..."
"... The corporate mass media take their orders, orders that need not be direct, but sometimes are, because these media are structured to do the bidding of the same elites that formed the CIA and own the media. And while their ostensible raison d'ȇtre is to provide intelligence to the nation's civilian leaders, this is essentially a cover story for their real work that is propaganda, killing, and conducting coups d'états at home and abroad. ..."
"... Because they have deep pockets, they can afford to buy all sorts of people, people who pimp for the elites. Some of these people do work that is usually done by honest academics and independent intellectuals, a dying breed, once called free-floating intellectuals. These pimps analyze political, economic, technological, and cultural trends. They come from different fields: history, anthropology, psychology, sociology, political science, cultural studies, linguistics, etc. They populate the think tanks and universities. They are often intelligent but live in bad faith, knowing they are working for those who are doing the devil's work. But they collect their pay and go their way straight to the bank, the devil's bank. They often belong to the Council of Foreign Relations or the Heritage Foundation. They are esteemed and esteem themselves. But they are pimps. ..."
"... Infecting minds with such symbols and stories must be done directly and indirectly, as well as short-term and long-term. Long term propaganda is like a slowly leaking water pipe that you are vaguely aware of but that rots the metal from within until the pipe can no longer resist the pressure. Drip drop, drip drop, drip drop -- and the inattentive recipients of the propaganda gradually lose their mettle to resist and don't know it, and then when an event bursts into the news -- e.g. the attacks of September 11, 2001 or Russia-gate -- they have been so softened that their assent is automatically given. They know without hesitation who the devil is and that he must be fought. ..."
"... The purpose of the long-term propaganda is to create certain predispositions and weaknesses that can be exploited when needed. Certain events can be the triggers to induce the victims to react to suggestions. When the time is ripe, all that is needed is a slight suggestion, like a touch on the shoulder, and the hypnotized one acts in a trance. ..."
"... Very entertaining. Now tell us how all this works. And what the CIA gets out of it. I mean they surely don't do it for nothing do they? Does the CIA Director get rich for working for 'masters in banking, Wall St., finance, etc'? Or is everyone under a giant Satanic Cult in the sky and the CIA is their headquarters on earth? ..."
Feb 08, 2019 | www.unz.com
Edward Curtin • January 31, 2019 • 3,100 Words • 24 CommentsReply

...The Nazis had a name for their propaganda and mind-control operations: weltanschauungskrieg -- "world view warfare." As good students, they had learned many tricks of the trade from their American teachers, including Sigmund Freud's nephew, Edward Bernays, who had honed his propagandistic skills for the United States during World War I and had subsequently started the public relations industry in New York City, an industry whose raison d'etre from the start was to serve the interests of the elites in manipulating the public mind.

In 1941, U.S. Intelligence translated weltanschauungskrieg as "psychological warfare," a phrase that fails to grasp the full dimensions of the growing power and penetration of U.S. propaganda, then and now. Of course, the American propaganda apparatus was just then getting started on an enterprise that has become the epitome of successful world view warfare programs, a colossal beast whose tentacles have spread to every corner of the globe and whose fabrications have nestled deep within the psyches of many hundreds of millions of Americans and people around the world. And true to form in this circle game of friends helping friends, this propaganda program was ably assisted after WW II by all the Nazis secreted into the U.S. ("Operation Paperclip") by Allen Dulles and his henchmen in the OSS and then the CIA to make sure the U.S. had operatives to carry on the Nazi legacy (see David Talbot's The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, The CIA, and The Rise of America's Secret Government , an extraordinary book that will make your skin crawl with disgust).

This went along quite smoothly until some people started to question the Warren Commission's JFK assassination story. The CIA then went on the offensive in 1967 and put out the word to all its people in the agency and throughout the media and academia to use the phrase "conspiracy theory" to ridicule these skeptics, which they have done up until the present day. This secret document -- CIA Dispatch 1035-960 -- was a propaganda success for many decades, marginalizing those researchers and writers who were uncovering the truth about not just President Kennedy's murder by the national security state, but those of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy. Today, the tide is turning on this score, as recently more and more Americans are fed up with the lies and are demanding that the truth be told. Even the Washington Post is noting this, and it is a wave of opposition that will only grow.

The CIA Exposed -- Partially

But back in the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s, some covert propaganda programs run by the CIA were "exposed." First, the Agency's sponsorship of the Congress of Cultural Freedom, through which it used magazines, prominent writers, academics, et al. to spread propaganda during the Cold War, was uncovered. This was an era when Americans read serious literary books, writers and intellectuals had a certain cachet, and popular culture had not yet stupefied Americans. The CIA therefore secretly worked to influence American and world opinion through the literary and intellectual elites. Frances Stonor Saunders comprehensively covers this in her 1999 book, The Cultural Cold War: The CIA And The World Of Arts And Letters , and Joel Whitney followed this up in 2016 with Finks: How the CIA Tricked the World's Best Writers, with particular emphasis on the complicity of the CIA and the famous literary journal The Paris Review.

Then in 1975 the Church Committee hearings resulted in the exposure of abuses by the CIA, NSA, FBI, etc. In 1977 Carl Bernstein wrote a long piece for Esquire -- "The CIA and the Media" -- naming names of journalists and publications ( The New York Times, CBS , etc.) that worked with and for the CIA in propagandizing the American people and the rest of the world. (Conveniently, this article can be read on the CIA's website since presumably the agency has come clean, or, if you are the suspicious type, or maybe a conspiracy theorist, it is covering its deeper tracks with a "limited hangout," defined by former CIA agent Victor Marchetti, who went rogue, as "spy jargon for a favorite and frequently used gimmick of the clandestine professionals. When their veil of secrecy is shredded and they can no longer rely on a phony cover story to misinform the public, they resort to admitting -- sometimes even volunteering -- some of the truth while still managing to withhold the key and damaging facts in the case. The public, however, is usually so intrigued by the new information that it never thinks to pursue the matter further.")

Confess and Move On

By the late 1970s, it seemed as if the CIA had been caught in flagrante delicto and disgraced, had confessed its sins, done penance, and resolved to go and sin no more. Seeming, however, is the nature of the CIA's game. Organized criminals learn to adapt to the changing times, and that is exactly what the intelligence operatives did. Since the major revelations of the late sixties and seventies -- MKUltra, engineered coups all around the world, assassinations of foreign leaders, spying on Americans, etc. -- no major program of propaganda has been exposed in the mainstream media. Revealing books about certain CIA programs have been written -- e.g. Douglas Valentine's important The Phoenix Program being one -- and dissenting writers, journalists, researchers, and whistleblowers (Robert Parry, Gary Webb, Julian Assange, James W. Douglass, David Ray Griffin, Edward Snowden, et al.) have connected the U.S. intelligence services to dirty deeds and specific actions, such as the American engineered coup d'état in Ukraine in 2013-14, electronic spying, and the attacks of September 11, 2001.

But the propaganda has for the most part continued unabated at a powerful and esoteric cultural level, while illegal and criminal actions are carried out throughout the world in the most blatant manner imaginable, as if to say fuck you openly while insidiously infecting the general population through the mass electronic screen culture that has relegated intellectual and literary culture to a tiny minority.

Planning Ahead

Let me explain what I think has been happening.

Organizations like the CIA are obviously fallible and have made many mistakes and failed to anticipate world events. But they are also very powerful, having great financial backing, and do the bidding of their masters in banking, Wall St., finance, etc. They are the action arm of these financial elites, and are, as Douglass Valentine has written, organized criminals. They have their own military, are joined to all the armed forces, and are deeply involved in the drug trade. They control the politicians. They operate their own propaganda network in conjunction with the private mercenaries they hire for their operations. The corporate mass media take their orders, orders that need not be direct, but sometimes are, because these media are structured to do the bidding of the same elites that formed the CIA and own the media. And while their ostensible raison d'ȇtre is to provide intelligence to the nation's civilian leaders, this is essentially a cover story for their real work that is propaganda, killing, and conducting coups d'états at home and abroad.

Because they have deep pockets, they can afford to buy all sorts of people, people who pimp for the elites. Some of these people do work that is usually done by honest academics and independent intellectuals, a dying breed, once called free-floating intellectuals. These pimps analyze political, economic, technological, and cultural trends. They come from different fields: history, anthropology, psychology, sociology, political science, cultural studies, linguistics, etc. They populate the think tanks and universities. They are often intelligent but live in bad faith, knowing they are working for those who are doing the devil's work. But they collect their pay and go their way straight to the bank, the devil's bank. They often belong to the Council of Foreign Relations or the Heritage Foundation. They are esteemed and esteem themselves. But they are pimps.

... ... ...

Methods of Propaganda

Infecting minds with such symbols and stories must be done directly and indirectly, as well as short-term and long-term. Long term propaganda is like a slowly leaking water pipe that you are vaguely aware of but that rots the metal from within until the pipe can no longer resist the pressure. Drip drop, drip drop, drip drop -- and the inattentive recipients of the propaganda gradually lose their mettle to resist and don't know it, and then when an event bursts into the news -- e.g. the attacks of September 11, 2001 or Russia-gate -- they have been so softened that their assent is automatically given. They know without hesitation who the devil is and that he must be fought.

The purpose of the long-term propaganda is to create certain predispositions and weaknesses that can be exploited when needed. Certain events can be the triggers to induce the victims to react to suggestions. When the time is ripe, all that is needed is a slight suggestion, like a touch on the shoulder, and the hypnotized one acts in a trance. The gun goes off, and the entranced one can't remember why (see: Sirhan Sirhan). This is the goal of mass hypnotization through long-term propaganda: confusion, memory loss, and automatic reaction to suggestion.

Intelligence Pimps and Liquid Screen Culture

When the CIA's dirty tricks were made public in the 1970s, it is not hard to imagine that the intellectual pimps who do their long-range thinking were asked to go back to the drawing board and paint a picture of the coming decades and how business as usual could be conducted without further embarrassment. By that time it had become clear that intellectual or high culture was being swallowed by mass culture and the future belonged to electronic screen culture and images, not words. What has come to be called "postmodernity" ensued, or what the sociologist Zygmunt Bauman calls "liquid modernity" and Guy Debord "the society of the spectacle." Such developments, rooted in what Frederic Jameson has termed "the cultural logic of late capitalism," have resulted in the fragmentation of social and personal life into pointillistic moving pictures whose dots form incoherent images that sow mass confusion and do not cohere.

... ... ...

Edward Curtin is a writer whose work has appeared widely. He teaches sociology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. His website is http://edwardcurtin.com/


renfro , says: February 8, 2019 at 6:53 am GMT

But they are also very powerful, having great financial backing, and do the bidding of their masters in banking, Wall St., finance, etc. They are the action arm of these financial elites, and are, as Douglass Valentine has written, organized criminals. They have their own military, are joined to all the armed forces, and are deeply involved in the drug trade. They control the politicians. They operate their own propaganda network in conjunction with the private mercenaries they hire for their operations. The corporate mass media take their orders, orders that need not be direct, but sometimes are, because these media are structured to do the bidding of the same elites that formed the CIA and own the media. And while their ostensible raison d'ȇtre is to provide intelligence to the nation's civilian leaders, this is essentially a cover story for their real work that is propaganda, killing, and conducting coups d'états at home and abroad.

Very entertaining. Now tell us how all this works. And what the CIA gets out of it. I mean they surely don't do it for nothing do they? Does the CIA Director get rich for working for 'masters in banking, Wall St., finance, etc'? Or is everyone under a giant Satanic Cult in the sky and the CIA is their headquarters on earth?

... ... ...

Michael Kenny , says: February 8, 2019 at 10:36 am GMT
Is the author saying anything other than the CIA operates like all other intelligence agencies? Does he really think his readers don't know that?
Commentator Mike , says: February 8, 2019 at 11:32 am GMT
Under "The CIA Exposed" could have mentioned Philip Agee's "Inside the Company" as he was the Edward Snowden of his day.

Interestingly, CIA agent Miles Copeland, Jr., the father of the drummer of the British band "The Police", said the book was "as complete an account of spy work as is likely to be published anywhere" and that it is "an authentic account of how an ordinary American or British 'case officer' operates

All of it is presented with deadly accuracy."

(ref. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Agee )

Jake , says: February 8, 2019 at 2:22 pm GMT

" Sigmund Freud's nephew, Edward Bernays, who had honed his propagandistic skills for the United States during World War I and had subsequently started the public relations industry in New York City, an industry whose raison d'etre from the start was to serve the interests of the elites in manipulating the public mind.

In 1941, U.S. Intelligence translated weltanschauungskrieg as "psychological warfare," a phrase that fails to grasp the full dimensions of the growing power and penetration of U.S. propaganda, then and now."

The Yank propaganda machine always was an alliance between WASP Elites and Jews. Always. The Yank WASPs knew that Brit and British Commonwealth WASPs had done the same thing: make alliance to rule the world, which featured – not a bug but a feature – new ways to use psy ops to pervert the vast majority of white Christians they ruled.

Until that is understood, which means accepting that WASP culture itself is a problem as big as Jews and Jewish culture, all that is done in opposition to all that is horrendously wrong today is wasted time and energy.

Jake , says: February 8, 2019 at 2:28 pm GMT
@DESERT FOX The CIA is a British creation, just like Israel's Mossad and Saudi Arabia's General Intelligence Presidency.

The CIA is a pure WASP Elite creation. It always has served the interests of the WASP Elite, in the UK and the rest of the Anglosphere as well the US. And the CIA always has served the interests of Jews and Israel, because that makes perfect sense for WASP culture, which was formed fully, completed, by the Judaizing heresy Anglo-Saxon Puritanism.

Judaizing heresy guarantees pro-Jewish politics and culture.

AWM , says: February 8, 2019 at 2:48 pm GMT
James Jesus Angleton
This guy had it figured out.
Insert Fake Iriish Name here , says: February 8, 2019 at 3:38 pm GMT
Sean, Who else, is here first with the CIA line, "CIA works for the president!" CIA shoehorned that into the Pike Committee report right after Don Gregg visited the committees and gave them an ultimatum: back off or it's martial law.

Then Sean mouths a bit of bureaucratic bafflegab about feasibility.

The feasibility of CIA crime is a product of CIA impunity. So next Sean feeds you more CIA boilerplate by trying to pathologize anyone who's aware of CIA impunity through formal legal pretexts in municipal law. John Bolton, Trump's CIA ventriloquist, had one prime directive as unauthorized UN ambassador: remove any reference to impunity from the Summit Outcome Document. To that end he submitted 600+ NeoSoviet amendments to paralyze the drafting process.

That's how touchy CIA is about its impunity. CIA is the state, with illegal absolute sovereignty because they can kill you or torture you and get away with it.

If you're John Kennedy, if you're Robert Kennedy, if you're Dag Hammarskjöld, if you're Judge Robert Vance. No matter who you are.

[Jan 29, 2019] FBI, CIA [supposedly] Told WaPo They Doubted Key Allegation In Steele Dossier but Wapo still run their own anti-Trump campaign popularizing Steele dossier.

Hand of Brennan? Hand of MI6?
From comments: "Miller also admits that the dossier's broad claims are more closely aligned with reality, but that the document breaks down once you focus on individual claims. " What?!?
Notable quotes:
"... FBI and CIA sources told a Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter that they didn't believe a key claim contained in the "Steele Dossier ..."
"... The Post 's Greg Miller told an audience at an October event that the FBI and CIA did not believe that former longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen visited Prague during the 2016 election to pay off Russia-linked hackers who stole emails from key Democrats, reports the Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross. ..."
"... Miller also admits that the dossier's broad claims are more closely aligned with reality, but that the document breaks down once you focus on individual claims. ..."
"... Steele, using Kremlin sources, claimed in his dossier that Cohen and three associates went to Prague in August 2016 to meet with Kremlin officials for the purpose of discussing "deniable cash payments" made in secret so as to cover up "Moscow's secret liaison with the TRUMP team." ..."
Dec 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

FBI and CIA sources told a Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter that they didn't believe a key claim contained in the "Steele Dossier," the document the Obama FBI relied on to obtain a surveillance warrant on a member of the Trump campaign.

The Post 's Greg Miller told an audience at an October event that the FBI and CIA did not believe that former longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen visited Prague during the 2016 election to pay off Russia-linked hackers who stole emails from key Democrats, reports the Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross.

"We've talked to sources at the FBI and the CIA and elsewhere -- they don't believe that ever happened," said Miller during the October event which aired Saturday on C-SPAN.

We literally spent weeks and months trying to run down... there's an assertion in there that Michael Cohen went to Prague to settle payments that were needed at the end of the campaign. We sent reporters to every hotel in Prague, to all over the place trying to - just to try to figure out if he was ever there, and came away empty . -Greg Miller

Ross notes that WaPo somehow failed to report this information, nor did Miller include this tidbit of narrative-killing information in his recent book, "The Apprentice: Trump, Russia, and the Subversion of American Democracy."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/7GvXI61p21k

Miller also admits that the dossier's broad claims are more closely aligned with reality, but that the document breaks down once you focus on individual claims.

Steele, using Kremlin sources, claimed in his dossier that Cohen and three associates went to Prague in August 2016 to meet with Kremlin officials for the purpose of discussing "deniable cash payments" made in secret so as to cover up "Moscow's secret liaison with the TRUMP team."

Cohen's alleged Prague visit captured attention largely because the former Trump fixer has vehemently denied it, and also because it would seem to be one of the easier claims in Steele's 35-page report to validate or invalidate.

Debate over the salacious document was reignited when McClatchy reported April 15 that special counsel Robert Mueller had evidence Cohen visited Prague. No other news outlets have verified the reporting, and Cohen denied it at the time.

Cohen last denied the dossier's allegations in late June, a period of time when he was gearing up to cooperate with prosecutors against President Donald Trump . Cohen served as a cooperating witness for prosecutors in both New York and the special counsel's office. - Daily Caller

Cohen's attorney and longtime Clinton pal Lanny Davis vehemently denied on August 22, one day after Cohen pleaded guilty in his New York case - that Cohen had never been to Prague, telling Bloomberg " Thirteen references to Mr. Cohen are false in the dossier, but he has never been to Prague in his life ."

youshallnotkill , 19 minutes ago link

Trump never ceases to crack me up. While his (terrible) current lawyer, declares on TV that there was collusion but it just didn't last long, Trump calls his former lawyer/fixer at "Rat".

This is just too funny, I mean this is the President of the United States calling his former personal lawyer a "Rat" which of course is a common mob term for a witness testifying against you.

monkeyshine

Of course it never happened, just like Manafort didn't make 3 trips to London to meet Julian Assange. These fictions were just used as a pretext for diving into the backgrounds of Trump's political supporters and find crimes to charge them with.

The Cohen raid was particularly egregious, a likely violation of attorney-client privilege. Not suprisingly the American Bar Association is silent.

brewing_it

So here is a WaPo reporter saying they sent reporters to every hotel in Prague to find out if Cohen had been there, they spent weeks and weeks researching, interviewing, and nothing. What they are not saying is that they also spent shitloads of Bezo's money exploring all the other fake dossier claims.

And nothing.....all you hillarytards have been completely scammed by, your pulses sent aflutter with clickbait and page views and thats it. So sorry you losers.

Demologos

Yeah, like rubles are worth anything outside of Russia. Gold on the other hand ...

But seriously, you two should get a room. If you can't see the conspiracy in the Strzok/Page texts, the setup of Papadapoulous by the Brits, the phony FISA warrant using the FBI informant, the setup of General Flynn, and the seedy cast of characters in the DOJ breaking laws right and left, you should be checked for brain wave activity. You probably think the Russians paid for all of the above too. Go suck a bag of Russian dicks.

[Jan 20, 2019] CIA had an agent at a newspaper in every world capital at least since 1977

Jan 20, 2019 | failedevolution.blogspot.com

January 08, 2018 Joel Whitney is a co-founder of the magazine Guernica, a magazine of global arts and politics, and has written for many publications, including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. His book Finks: How the C.I.A. Tricked the World's Best Writers describes how the CIA contributed funds to numerous respected magazines during the Cold War, including the Paris Review, to subtly promote anti-communist views. In their conversation, Whitney tells Robert Scheer about the ties the CIA's Congress for Cultural Freedom had with literary magazines. He talks about the CIA's attempt during the Cold War to have at least one agent in every major news organization in order to get stories killed if they were too critical or get them to run if they were favorable to the agency. And they discuss the overstatement of the immediate risks and dangers of communist regimes during the Cold War, which, initially, led many people to support the Vietnam War.

globinfo freexchange

James Jesus Angleton was part of this post-OSS group that understood how important spying and covert ops had been in World War II. And from there, he makes all kinds of terrible mistakes. He and his group believed essentially that they needed to do better propaganda than the Soviets did, and one of the ways that they thought they could do it better was to do it subtly and, you could say, secretly.

Image result for cia

So, when this program is threatened with exposure in '64, '65, '66 and '67 through various sources like Ramparts and The New York Times, this privilege of secrecy that they enjoyed was not something that they were willing to give up. So you have something that is described as relatively benign, this funding of culture through the Congress for Cultural Freedom, a funding of student movements through the National Student Association, the funding of labor unions that would be less communist-influenced than the communist-dominated ones that they presumed were out there. These were seen as benign answers. They were reactions to Soviet penetration. So, secrecy is a key to making them work.
So, even if you want to make the argument that, for instance, the Congress for Cultural Freedom never censored its magazines–which I think has been severely disproved; they did censor. Even if you wanted to say that they published all sorts of great writers–which clearly they did; that was part of the subtlety of it and part of the brilliance of it, and part of the soft-power charm of it. Even if you wanted to say all that, when the secrecy is exposed by honest accounting in the media, the fourth estate, the adversarial media of American bragging around the world, they are so attached to their secrecy, and so upset, the CIA group led by people like Angleton, that they commit something that is about as anti-American as anything in our system. Which is: more secrecy, more media penetration to the point of penetrating, first, the anti-Vietnam War press; second, the student, the college student newspapers and press; the alternative, so-called, press. Which essentially is a license to do what they did later. So, where Ramparts was penetrated, leads to Operation Chaos, presumably; that leads to Operation Mockingbird in the seventies.
By the time we have Carl Bernstein reporting on Operation Mockingbird, and John Crewdson reporting on its international equivalent in the New York Times–Bernstein in Rolling Stone–you essentially see the CIA trying to have at least one agent at every major news and media organization it can do in the world.
And Crewdson reporting in the Times at the end of 1977 essentially says that they had one agent or contract agent at a newspaper in every world capital on Earth. They could get stories killed or get stories to run that portrayed the CIA's views in a favorable way, or kill them if they did not.

https://www.kcrw.com/news-culture/shows/scheer-intelligence/joel-whitney-the-cias-cold-war-literary-influence/embed-player?autoplay=false


https://www.kcrw.com/news-culture/shows/scheer-intelligence/joel-whitney-the-cias-cold-war-literary-influence/

[Jan 19, 2019] The press in the USA is more effectively controlled and conformist than in Germany in the late 1930s

Jan 19, 2019 | www.unz.com

Giuseppe , says: April 10, 2018 at 12:10 pm GMT

I challenge anyone to name a modern war prosecuted by the US government and its allies that did not involve at its root the direct fabrication of blatant lies on enormous levels, both as a casus belli and also to manipulate public opinion in favor of hostilities.

The clandestine activity represented by these *provocations* isn't even good spycraft. The Skripal case and the latest use of chlorine gas in Syria are risible, clumsy, amateur attempts to wangle the empire into war that the callowest rube could see through. And yet, it's working its magic on the media. The politicians, suborned by the war machine, give unanimous bipartisan assent.

What the hell is going on?

JoaoAlfaiate , says: April 10, 2018 at 12:35 pm GMT
@Giuseppe Saddam's WMD, Gulf of Tonkin, etc., etc. And now a ridiculous false flag attack in Syria. Did it take place at all? But the narrative is all. The press in the USA is more effectively controlled and conformist than in Germany in the late 1930s and nobody goes around beating up journalists or sending them to a KZ. The Syrian Gov't is winning the civil war, things are going well but what Assad really needs is to have the crap bombed out of his military by Uncle Sam. What transparent bullshit.
jacques sheete , says: April 10, 2018 at 1:05 pm GMT
@JoaoAlfaiate

The press in the USA is more effectively controlled and conformist than in Germany in the late 1930s

Who controlled the press there and then?

What can be said about the control and conformity of the Soviet, British and American press of the time?

and nobody goes around beating up journalists or sending them to a KZ.

That's probably because the usual thugs don't need to do that any longer since they control virtually everything.

A couple of anecdotes to illustrate my point.:

2 of the reasons we don't hear much about mobsters these days are that the press and judiciary are owned by them and if you do get something published, you run the risk of getting snuffed. They probably don't stop at mere blinding anymore.

Victor Riesel was an American newspaper journalist and columnist who specialized in news related to labor unions. In 1956 a mobster threw sulfuric acid in his face on a public street in Chicago causing his permanent blindness.

"Treason is a strong word, but not too strong to characterize the situation in which the Senate is the eager, resourceful, and indefatigable agent of interests as hostile to the American people as any invading army could be." This indictment launched a nine-part series of articles entitled "Treason of the Senate."

-David Graham Phillips, Cosmopolitan magazine, February 1906

In 1911 Phillips was shot multiple t imes by Fitzhugh Coyle Goldsborough, a Harvard-educated scion of a prominent Maryland family ,at Gramercy Park in New York City.

Joe Hide , says: April 10, 2018 at 1:34 pm GMT
Good article.

Still, you authors need to start digging deeper. Trump and his Allies are putting on an amazing show / act to distract their ( and Humanities going back generations) hidden enemies.

The Bad Guys have for millennia weoponized information, convincing the public, reporters, and journalists that the rabbit hole ends here, that they don't need to dig any deeper, to just accept this slightly deeper layer of the onion. That warm and fuzzy feeling from scratching just a little deeper into to information matrix, isn't enough anymore. You guys have the intelligence, experience, and ability just do it please!

Jake , says: April 10, 2018 at 2:12 pm GMT
@tjm The CIA, the Mossad, and the Saudi General Intelligence Presidency are all children of British secret service.

[Jan 13, 2019] They don't want popular support. They want agents in complete control

Notable quotes:
"... Their fundamental problem is, Aspen Institute is CIA. Their first and only instinct is to use people like toilet paper. They don't want popular support. They want agents in complete control. ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

MK-DELTABURKE , says: July 22, 2018 at 8:25 pm GMT

@Cagey Beast Aspen Institute does make attempts at outreach, but they invariably cock it up by eliciting, recruiting, or suborning every single person they bring in. The shitheads even tried to do it to me. You would think they'd have a dossier saying I hate those cobags.

Their fundamental problem is, Aspen Institute is CIA. Their first and only instinct is to use people like toilet paper. They don't want popular support. They want agents in complete control.

Cagey Beast , says: July 22, 2018 at 10:58 pm GMT
@MK-DELTABURKE Exactly.

Aspen Institute is CIA.

Yes, the Aspen Institute is the CIA and the CIA is the Aspen Institute. Or, to be more precise, the CIA is the armed wing of Washington's permanently governing technocratic party, in the same way the KGB was the armed wing of the Soviet Communist Party.

Poor Julian Assange is likely going to be in their hands not too long from now. The citizen of one Five Eyes country will be arrested by another and then sent off to the imperial metropole, to be kicked around like a political football. The rest of us Anglosphericals are expected to cheer or remain silent. Either is acceptable.

skrik , says: July 23, 2018 at 8:59 am GMT
@TG

there is nothing at all mindless or demented about them

Me: Oh yes there is; by *them* I don't mean "Zuckerberg, others" but the actual rulers of 'the West,' then see this:

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Consider also:

Aspen Institute is CIA

and [perhaps most critically] this:

may depend on support for Trump from Israel and the Pentagon!

Now, I term the actual rulers of 'the West' the ccc = covert criminal cabal. Of course they are in hiding -- acting from 'behind the curtain,' as some have it -- it has to be that *dishonest* way -- for them. Among their most notable 'fruits' are the JFK murder, USS Liberty outrage, inside-job 9/11 psyop and the utterly wicked destruction of Libya/Gaddafi, just 4 of many. The extended list is looong, and note that the 1st 3 in my list demonstrate the ccc 'murdering their own' -- except that to the ccc, anybody not actually in the ccc itself is not 'their own' but only exploitable/disposable objects. Of course the ccc causes lies to be promulgated, hence the Lügenpresse . Neoliberalism/austerity must also come from the ccc, causing misery wherever it's forced upon us, we the people. One of the spivs in suits who 'sold' neoliberalism to the Aus people called it 'economic rationalism' and jeered: 'What would you rather -- irrational economics?' Another ccc modus operandi item is coercion as demonstrated by the downstream effects of Downer's "Get a briefing!" -- which shows us that the CIA et al. is a 'command conduit' if not a command originator. What I'm trying to illustrate here is that the ccc does not merely operate like a mafia, it *is* a mafia, and one of the author's "may depend on" items suggests a name for this mafia, namely: Khazar. That's our miserable world, deliberately made that way by that mafia; if that's not 'mindless and demented' what is? rgds

Pancho Perico , says: July 23, 2018 at 10:27 pm GMT
@MK-DELTABURKE The Aspen Institute is CIA, but the CIA is an organization created and controlled by the globalist conspirators at the Council on Foreign Relations, mostly the Rockefellers and other banksters.

[Jan 04, 2019] Veteran NBC-MSNBC Journalist Blasts Network in Resignation

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Neoliberal media has always embraced boundary transgression, always embraced invasiveness, always embraced adventurism, always embraced war. ..."
"... Fox is a racist bully. MSNBC is poison, & CNN is a joke. If nothing else, Trump is right about one thing. The American media is the enemy of the people. ..."
"... That an entire generation of Democrats paying attention to politics for the first time is being instilled with formerly right-wing Cold Warrior values of jingoism, über-pat riotism, reverence for security state agencies and prosecutors, a reckless use of the "traitor" accusation to smear one's enemies, and a belief that neoconservatives embody moral rectitude and foreign policy expertise has long been obvious and deeply disturbing. ..."
"... Years ago, whilst this reactionary putsch was still in it's infancy, my mom would listen to the "news" on the local CBS affiliate, and many times I heard her gasp and say, referring to the "reporters" jabbering, "My God, they're a bunch of dopes!" The dopes are ascendant; stupid, scared, violent-minded, and very well-paid. ..."
"... We, The People, Are Fed Up With Neo-Cons and Neo-Libs! ..."
"... Democratic Party leadership has basically always been neoconservative supporters of the national security state, but there has been some resistance within the rank and file. ..."
"... But the democrats will help republicans squeeze the peons with excessive education costs, unaffordable health care premiums and copays, expensive housing,.... ..."
"... We've known for a long time that NBC & MSNBC "have become ground zero for these political pathologies of militarism and servitude to security state agencies." ..."
"... The US military presence in the Middle East has nothing to do with national security (i.e protecting American citizens from military attack by foreign nations, or even with disrupting the activities and funding of terrorist groups like ISIS or Al Qaeda, groups we financed and armed as part of the overthrow Assad strategy). ..."
"... It has everything to do with controlling the region's oil flow and propping up regimes like Saudi Arabia who agree to invest the majority of their oil money in Wall Street banks. This is called petrodollar recycling, a strategy devised in the 1970s. Here is a foundational document discussing the plan, from 1974: https://search.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1974LONDON16506_b.html ..."
"... Real News vs "fake news" is almost impossible to find and dissect. Even looking for real reporting beyond echoing is hard to find. The real problems are ignored or misstated to the extent real solutions are impossible. Not just security and endless wars but every aspect of civil existence, education, healthcare, you name it. We exist in an echo-chamber where real knowledge and understanding have been all but banished. ..."
"... Gotta hand it to the neocons, soon after the Vietnam debacle (I served 3 tours there), and Watergate, they quickly licked their wounds and devised a new playbook that, over time, would become a 'Project for the New American Century'. First things first, get rid of the draft. Go professional, and then only a very minuscule percentage of Americans have skin in the game, meaning their own sons and daughters at risk, while the rest of America can focus on the more important things, like watching the Housewives of New Jersey, New York, Beverly Hills, etc. etc., or sports, or the newest fashions, or the current fad diets, or the newest Trump tweet, bla bla bla. ..."
"... Next, and this is genius because it incorporates that great American pastime, greed, spread all of that endless supply of taxpayer money around to each and every State, County, and municipality in the form of jobs tied to the military industrial complex. ..."
"... And finally, silence and denigrate any meaningful opposition. As Kierkegaard stated, "Once you label me you negate me." Hence the long, ongoing labeling of opposition with terms like traitor, anti-American, unpatriotic, (insert name or country here) sympathizer. The sad part of all of this, too many Americans are gullible enough to swallow this crap, hook, line and sinker, as long as they get their daily ration of manna. ..."
"... What's the central reason MSNBC is so pro-war? Because the shareholders in its parent corporation, Comcas, have a deep vested interest in militarism, arms sales, and the capture of natural resources around the word ..."
"... Maddow long ago described herself as a "national security liberal." ..."
"... Still, that a network insider has blown the whistle on how all this works, and how MSNBC and NBC have become ground zero for these political pathologies of militarism and servitude to security state agencies, while not surprising, is nonetheless momentous given how detailed and emphatic he is in his condemnations. ..."
"... . . if they mean by the word partisan that it is New Yorkers and Washingtonians against the rest of the country then they are right. ..."
"... This essay is critical for every American to read. No exaggeration. NBC/MSNBC has become the proverbial spear tip in the march toward nuclear war with Russia. ..."
"... Perhaps, but I would suggest that Iran has become the most desired target for a war, and due in no small part to the aggressive advocacy for such a war by Israel and Saudi Arabia, and their subservient boot-licking, ass kissing American politicians. ..."
"... Project Mockingbird was publicly revealed years ago, but pretty much totally ignored by the audiences who lap contentedly from the MSM koolaid bowl. ..."
"... It's ironic that these politicians who have gorged themselves on literally millions of dollars in campaign funding from Big Pharma, Defense Contractors, Energy, Big Banking, and even insider stock trading now feel compelled to warn us of graft and corruption they all fostered. These politicians get elected as nobodies, sell their votes, retire as millionaires, then have the nerve to tell us how corrupted our government has become as they check out to become Lobbyist' ..."
"... I am so glad to see this man speak out. For the longest time, war and the military budget has been a third rail in politics ..."
"... State Department has become another branch of the MIC, not a diplomatic corps. And I am not saying this is all because of Trump. Probably started when we "won" the Cold War. ..."
Jan 04, 2019 | theintercept.com

Veteran NBC/MSNBC Journalist Blasts the Network for Being Captive to the National Security State and Reflexively Pro-War to Stop Trump

A VETERAN national security journalist with NBC News and MSNBC blasted the networks in a Monday email for becoming captive and subservient to the national security state, reflexively pro-war in the name of stopping President Donald Trump, and now the prime propaganda instrument of the War Machine's promotion of militarism and imperialism.

As a result of NBC/MSNBC's all-consuming militarism, he said, "the national security establishment not only hasn't missed a beat but indeed has gained dangerous strength" and "is ever more autonomous and practically impervious to criticism."

The NBC/MSNBC reporter, William Arkin, is a longtime prominent war and military reporter, perhaps best known for his groundbreaking, three-part Washington Post series in 2010, co-reported with two-time Pulitzer winner Dana Priest, on how sprawling, unaccountable, and omnipotent the national security state has become in the post-9/11 era. When that three-part investigative series, titled "Top Secret America," was published, I hailed it as one of the most important pieces of reporting of the war on terror, because while "we chirp endlessly about the Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court, the Democrats and Republicans, this is the Real U.S. Government: functioning in total darkness, beyond elections and parties, so secret, vast and powerful that it evades the control or knowledge of any one person or even any organization."

Arkin has worked with NBC and MSNBC over the years and continuously since 2016. But yesterday, he announced that he was leaving the network in a long, emphatic email denouncing the networks for their superficial and reactionary coverage of national security, for becoming fixated on trivial Trump outbursts of the day to chase profit and ratings, and -- most incriminating of all -- for becoming the central propaganda arm of the CIA, the Pentagon, and the FBI in the name of #Resistance, thus inculcating an entire new generation of liberals, paying attention to politics for the first time in the Trump era, to "lionize" those agencies and their policies of imperialism and militarism.

That MSNBC and NBC have become Security State Central has been obvious for quite some time. The network consists of little more than former CIA, NSA, and Pentagon officials as news "analysts"; ex-Bush-Cheney national security and communications officials as hosts and commentators; and the most extremists pro-war neocons constantly bashing Trump (and critics of Democrats generally) from the right, using the Cheney-Rove playbook on which they built their careers to accuse Democratic Party critics and enemies of being insufficiently patriotic, traitors for America's official enemies , and abandoning America's hegemonic role in the world.

MSNBC's star national security reporter Ken Dilanian was widely mocked by media outlets for years for being an uncritical CIA stenographer before he became a beloved NBC/MSNBC reporter (where his mindless servitude to his CIA masters has produced some of the network's most humiliating debacles ). The cable network's key anchor, Rachel Maddow, once wrote a book on the evils of endless wars without congressional authorization, but now routinely depicts anyone who wants to end those illegal wars as reckless weaklings and traitors .

Some of the most beloved and frequently featured MSNBC commentators are the most bloodthirsty pro-war militarists from the war on terror: David Frum, Jennifer Rubin, Ralph Peters, and Bill Kristol (who was just giddily and affectionately celebrated with a playful nickname bestowed on him: "Lil Bill"). In early 2018, NBC hired former CIA chief John Brennan to serve as a "senior national security and intelligence analyst," where the rendition and torture advocate joined -- as Politico's Jack Shafer noted -- a long litany of former security state officials at the network, including "Chuck Rosenberg, former acting DEA administrator, chief of staff for FBI Director James B. Comey, and counselor to former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III; Frank Figliuzzi, former chief of FBI counterintelligence; Juan Zarate, deputy national security adviser under Bush."

As Shafer noted, filling your news and analyst slots with former security state officials as MSNBC and NBC have done is tantamount to becoming state TV, since "their first loyalty -- and this is no slam -- is to the agency from which they hail." As he put it: "Imagine a TV network covering the auto industry through the eyes of dozens of paid former auto executives and you begin to appreciate the current peculiarities."

All of this led Arkin to publish a remarkable denunciation of NBC and MSNBC in the form of an email he sent to various outlets, including The Intercept. Its key passages are scathing and unflinching in their depiction of those networks as pro-war propaganda outlets that exist to do little more than amplify and serve the security state agencies most devoted to opposing Trump, including their mindless opposition to Trump's attempts (with whatever motives) to roll back some of the excesses of imperialism, aggression, and U.S. involvement in endless war, as well as to sacrifice all journalistic standards and skepticism about generals and the U.S war machine if doing so advances their monomaniacal mission of denouncing Trump. As Arkin wrote (emphasis added):

My expertise, though seeming to be all the more central to the challenges and dangers we face, also seems to be less valued at the moment. And I find myself completely out of synch with the network, being neither a day-to-day reporter nor interested in the Trump circus.

To me there is also a larger problem: though they produce nothing that resembles actual safety and security, the national security leaders and generals we have are allowed to do their thing unmolested . Despite being at "war," no great wartime leaders or visionaries are emerging. There is not a soul in Washington who can say that they have won or stopped any conflict. And though there might be the beloved perfumed princes in the form of the Petraeus' and Wes Clarks', or the so-called warrior monks like Mattis and McMaster, we've had more than a generation of national security leaders who sadly and fraudulently have done little of consequence. And yet we (and others) embrace them, even the highly partisan formers who masquerade as "analysts". We do so ignoring the empirical truth of what they have wrought: There is not one county in the Middle East that is safer today than it was 18 years ago. Indeed the world becomes ever more polarized and dangerous.

Windrem again convinced me to return to NBC to join the new investigative unit in the early days of the 2016 presidential campaign. I thought that the mission was to break through the machine of perpetual war acceptance and conventional wisdom to challenge Hillary Clinton's hawkishness. It was also an interesting moment at NBC because everyone was looking over their shoulder at Vice and other upstarts creeping up on the mainstream. But then Trump got elected and Investigations got sucked into the tweeting vortex, increasingly lost in a directionless adrenaline rush, the national security and political version of leading the broadcast with every snow storm. And I would assert that in many ways NBC just began emulating the national security state itself – busy and profitable. No wars won but the ball is kept in play.

I'd argue that under Trump, the national security establishment not only hasn't missed a beat but indeed has gained dangerous strength. Now it is ever more autonomous and practically impervious to criticism. I'd also argue, ever so gingerly, that NBC has become somewhat lost in its own verve, proxies of boring moderation and conventional wisdom, defender of the government against Trump, cheerleader for open and subtle threat mongering, in love with procedure and protocol over all else (including results). I accept that there's a lot to report here, but I'm more worried about how much we are missing. Hence my desire to take a step back and think why so little changes with regard to America's wars.

In our day-to-day whirlwind and hostage status as prisoners of Donald Trump, I think – like everyone else does – that we miss so much. People who don't understand the medium, or the pressures, loudly opine that it's corporate control or even worse, that it's partisan. Sometimes I quip in response to friends on the outside (and to government sources) that if they mean by the word partisan that it is New Yorkers and Washingtonians against the rest of the country then they are right.

For me I realized how out of step I was when I looked at Trump's various bumbling intuitions: his desire to improve relations with Russia, to denuclearize North Korea, to get out of the Middle East, to question why we are fighting in Africa, even in his attacks on the intelligence community and the FBI. Of course he is an ignorant and incompetent impostor. And yet I'm alarmed at how quick NBC is to mechanically argue the contrary, to be in favor of policies that just spell more conflict and more war. Really? We shouldn't get out Syria? We shouldn't go for the bold move of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula? Even on Russia, though we should be concerned about the brittleness of our democracy that it is so vulnerable to manipulation, do we really yearn for the Cold War? And don't even get me started with the FBI: What? We now lionize this historically destructive institution?

That an entire generation of Democrats paying attention to politics for the first time is being instilled with formerly right-wing Cold Warrior values of jingoism, über-patriotism, reverence for security state agencies and prosecutors, a reckless use of the "traitor" accusation to smear one's enemies, and a belief that neoconservatives embody moral rectitude and foreign policy expertise has long been obvious and deeply disturbing. These toxins will endure far beyond Trump, particularly given the now full-scale unity between the Democratic establishment and neocons .


photosymbiosis1 hour ago

Just remembered something about Arkin. This book: Code Names: Deciphering U.S. Military Plans, Programs and Operations in the 9/11 World January 25, 2005 by William M. Arkin https://books.google.com/books/about/Code_Names.html?id=KXLfAAAAMAAJ In particular there was this one exercise called Vigilant Guardian, run by NORAD, simulating terrorist attacks by hijackers which, curiously enough, happened to be in operation on the very day the Saudi hijackers were actually conducting such attacks:

NORAD's next Vigilant Guardian exercise, in 2001, will actually be several days underway on 9/11 (see (6:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001). It will include a number of scenarios based around plane hijackings, with the fictitious hijackers targeting New York in at least one of those scenarios (see September 6, 2001, September 9, 2001, September 10, 2001, and (9:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 2004; VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006]

http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=vigilant_guardian However, what's interesting from Arkin's book, as I recall, is that this operation name was then reused in Afghanistan (a very rare practice, apparently, to reuse an operation name, but perhaps if you wanted to hide the original program, etc...), in 2003 or so - here's a NYT article about Vigilant Guardian in Afghanistan: https://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/20/magazine/where-the-enemy-is-everywhere-and-nowhere.html It's just one of many stories that makes one wonder exactly how much pre-warning the Bush Administration had about the 9/11 attacks, and whether there was a deliberate decision to allow the hijackers to seize control of the planes without any interference. It did save the Bush presidency, it did open the door to the Iraq invasion, and the Saudi intelligence services were involved with helping the hijackers. All very suspicious, really. Point being, Arkin's book is one of the few sources that lay out all those covert/overt program names, and is a real treasure for anyone interested in the history of that era.

bobhope1: 2 hours ago

This has been clearly obvious for several years. Goebbels would be proud.

Dysnomia 3 hours ago

If there were some kind of political realignment (similar to the realignment that took place in the 60s and 70s where racist white Democrats became racist white Republicans) where neoconservatives and warmongers become Democrats, and the Republican Party becomes the party of, surely not peace, but at least moderation in foreign military intervention, that might not be too bad, or at least not too much worse than the earlier post-9/11 status quo.

But I'm afraid this shift in discourse heralds something worse than that. So-called "liberal" media's embrace of neoconservatism and imperialism is likely to have the effect of narrowing the Overton window on issues of war and peace, making genuine anti-war positions even more unthinkable and beyond the pale. There will increasingly be no place for public anti-war discourse.

The single greatest threat to human freedom in the world today is the U.S. national security state. Inculcating public reverence for the state is perhaps the most dangerous thing that a media organization could do.

open_hearted_jade 2 hours ago

Neoliberal media has always embraced boundary transgression, always embraced invasiveness, always embraced adventurism, always embraced war.

... ... ...

Tom_Collins 2 hours ago ( Edited )

...America as the single biggest threat to world peace, right? https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/08/07/polls-us-greatest-threat-to-peace-world-today.html

AtheistInChief 3 hours ago

Fox is a racist bully. MSNBC is poison, & CNN is a joke. If nothing else, Trump is right about one thing. The American media is the enemy of the people.

Lawrence_Hill 4 hours ago ( Edited )

Do we remember way back in the 80's/Reagan admin war involvement in the El Salvador civil war when NBC anchor Tom Brokaw openly questioned the US's support for death squad leader D' Auboissan's terror regime on the air? Shocking! A Walter Cronkite-Vietnam War moment Brokaw supposed, maybe?

I remember that in all the hullabaloo that followed one of our ruling class commented that Brokaw was being $5 million a year not to say such subversive things. Lesson learned, Brokaw nor any other gainfully employed MSM tool has made the same mistake again, and now Brokaw has emeritus status in the NBC "News" hierarchy.

That comment opened my eyes for the first time to the reality of American MSM...

Michael_Wilk 4 hours ago
That an entire generation of Democrats paying attention to politics for the first time is being instilled with formerly right-wing Cold Warrior values of jingoism, über-pat riotism, reverence for security state agencies and prosecutors, a reckless use of the "traitor" accusation to smear one's enemies, and a belief that neoconservatives embody moral rectitude and foreign policy expertise has long been obvious and deeply disturbing.

I have to take issue with your use of the word 'formerly' in describing Cold War values. They are still very much right-wing. They never stopped being right-wing, nor did the current and former government and security state apparatchiks polluting the airwaves with their lies.

TimN 5 hours ago

The neo-con and neo-lib argument against this unfortunate reveal of things present, and things to come: "But Trump! Trump!" I didn't think I'd see things unravel so quickly, but Goddamn. Years ago, whilst this reactionary putsch was still in it's infancy, my mom would listen to the "news" on the local CBS affiliate, and many times I heard her gasp and say, referring to the "reporters" jabbering, "My God, they're a bunch of dopes!" The dopes are ascendant; stupid, scared, violent-minded, and very well-paid.

haugeneder 6 hours ago

Great piece. America is on the precipice and there are few who care -- very few. Time for an great economic depression -- not recession -- to shift the ground or open it to swallow us whole.

Tlaloc 7 hours ago

Interesting that we might be seeing a shift on both parties, the republicans finally embracing their libertarian side (long being a part of the republican party) and the neocons trying to find a new home on the democratic party. I wonder where the progressive side of the DNC will go, they might be the ones pushed out of any national party :(

Art 6 hours ago
[...] the progressive side of the DNC [...] might be the ones pushed out of any national party

Fuck that! They're headed for permanent electoral failure on every occasion they put forward neocons on any ballot. We, The People, Are Fed Up With Neo-Cons and Neo-Libs!

Dysnomia 3 hours ago

Unfortunately, I think it's more likely that we'll see a shift only on the Democratic side. Democratic Party leadership has basically always been neoconservative supporters of the national security state, but there has been some resistance within the rank and file. The narrowing of the Overton window we're seeing will make such resistance increasingly beyond the pale.

But I don't think the Republican Party, in terms of leadership or rank and file, will become more "libertarian" (in the American sense of that word) or less pro-war. I think there's likely to be greater consensus among the political class in favor of U.S. imperialism generally, and Trump, to the extent he occasionally makes moves in the opposite direction, is a convenient foil to bring that about.

johnanderson 7 hours ago ( Edited )

There is no "means test" for the empire military spending supports energy supplies supports international banking supports global corporatism but the democrats will help republicans squeeze the peons with excessive education costs, unaffordable health care premiums and copays, expensive housing, and social security cutbacks because they are playing the same elite economic game against the majority true the democratic leadership has a better stance on abortion and a generally more rainbow-flavored social agenda. Because they want this stuff for their own social class however economic policy will be at our expense ... just watch Pelosi and Company

open_hearted_jade 2 hours ago
But the democrats will help republicans squeeze the peons with excessive education costs, unaffordable health care premiums and copays, expensive housing,....

Those costs rise for one reason...

Mona 7 hours ago

...And here's Joe Biden: ""Paul Ryan was correct when he did the tax code, what was the first thing we have to go after, Social Security and Medicare. Now we need to do something about Social Security and Medicare. It's the only way to find room to pay for it." Biden is after means testing and other "adjustments" slashing SS, as endorsed by his pal. Paul Ryan. (This is called Republican Lite.)

And then there's Nancy Pelosi with her neoliberal austerity economics; her budget rules that would preemptively block a #GreenNewDeal & #MedicareForAll : https://theintercept.com/2019/01/02/nancy-pelosi-pay-go-rule/

trailgrub 7 hours ago ( Edited )

Thanks for publishing this story, Glenn, and putting your perspective on it. We've known for a long time that NBC & MSNBC "have become ground zero for these political pathologies of militarism and servitude to security state agencies." Before Comcast purchased them, General Electric owned these networks for many years. The public's interests are the last thing on their minds when they do "news reporting."

Have you watched when MSNBC's "prime time" talk shows are doing live sports-like camera angles, moves, and shots in their studio, trying to make it look all-the-more sensational on your TV screen? I mean, they're doing these intricate camera shots, rapid switching between cameras, zooming, panning, trying to make it look like a high-production-value shoot, and it looks like they've hired some live sports producers and technical directors to make this pathetic illusion on the air. All this shit for talking heads. Rotf-lmao.

What's next? Slow-motion HDTV instant replays of Rachel Maddow, utilizing zoomed-in camera shots of her mouth, when she's spraying spittle into her guests' faces? That's what happens when she launches into her infamous hissy fits.

The round table MSNBC uses in their cheap studio is only 4 feet in diameter. In other words, they're shooting these live action shots of people talking around an itty-bitty little table, and they're doing all this intricate camera work with approximately 8 cameras to make it look 'sensational', action-packed, and thrilling. Instead, it's extremely ugly, stupid, idiotic, disgusting, and ridiculous. It's not sensational. It's a disgusting cocktail of vomit, puss, and diarrhea.

I need reliable sources of news and weather so I can live my life sustainably with dignity while I maintain my values. My pride and dignity are invaluable to me. All these a-holes are doing for me is raising my blood pressure and pissing me off. That's why I read The Intercept. I'd like to have the option to just sit back and watch TI's reporting on a news channel someday SOON, if possible.

Again, what's our msm network news alternatives, besides Fox news, and why are they so pathetic? CBS news: Les Moonves in particular has cheered the Trump phenomenon, telling investors in 2016 that the Trump campaign "may not be good for America, but it's damn good for CBS." -- https://theintercept.com/2017/02/24/cbs-fcc-trump/ -- Moonves got fired and lost his pension -- The longtime chairman-CEO was forced out Sept. 9, 2018 amid a cascade of sexual assault and misconduct allegations. "The CBS board of directors has denied former chairman-CEO Leslie Moonves any of the $120 million severance he was due under his employment contract after conducting a five-month internal probe of his conduct and the corporate culture at CBS Corp." -- https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/tv/ct-ent-les-moonves-denied-severance-20181217-story.html ABC news: Who owns ABC? Walt Disney bought ABC 22 years ago. Exactly, we're in Disneyland.

photosymbiosis 8 hours ago ( Edited )

Some basic facts:

The US military presence in the Middle East has nothing to do with national security (i.e protecting American citizens from military attack by foreign nations, or even with disrupting the activities and funding of terrorist groups like ISIS or Al Qaeda, groups we financed and armed as part of the overthrow Assad strategy).

It has everything to do with controlling the region's oil flow and propping up regimes like Saudi Arabia who agree to invest the majority of their oil money in Wall Street banks. This is called petrodollar recycling, a strategy devised in the 1970s. Here is a foundational document discussing the plan, from 1974: https://search.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1974LONDON16506_b.html
"CENTRAL THESIS, BASED ON BELIEF THAT THERE IS NO EARLY PROSPECT OF BREAKING OIL CARTEL, IS THAT WE SHOULD SEEK EARLY DIALOGUE WITH PRODUCERS TO WORK OUT ARRANGEMENTS WITH ALL OR SOME OF THEM TO (A) INDEX PRICE OF OIL AND (B) BRING THEM INTO RECYCLING MECHANISM IN ORDER TO SHARE THE RISK. SECOND PAPER LARGELY DUPLICATES FIRST, THOUGH IT DOES ADD SOME STRESS ON LONGER RANGE PROBLEM OF MASSIVE SURPLUS OF OPEC COUNTRIES, ESTIMATED AT $400 BILLION BY 1980, FOR WHICH NO SOLUTION IS PROPOSED OTHER THAN NEW INTERNATIONAL RECYCLING AGENCY PROPOSED IN BOTH PAPERS."

One key point is that the proponents of this scheme in the United States, be they Democrats or Republicans, have zero interest in replacing fossil fuels with wind and solar and battery storage. That would sour the whole deal; nobody would buy Saudi oil. Of course the Russkies, the stated enemy, don't want to see Europe go 100% renewable either, any more than the Clinton-Bush-Obama-Trump Administrations did. The Russia-US conflict is mostly over who gets to sell gas to Europe, and neither dealer wants the addict to kick the habit, right?

This is a very consistent policy, year-to-year.

Now, why can't the corporate media honestly discuss this? Because they are the corporate establishment's propaganda monkeys, little more, regardless of whether they work at MSNBC or at FOX.

Oh, and this is why #Resist Trump is so nonsensical, when those supporting that them want to install a Joe Biden or Kamela Harris, who would continue right on with this status quo, i.e. blocking the development of renewable energy and continuing the idiotic military entanglements in the Middle East.

Fred_Cowan 8 hours ago

Real News vs "fake news" is almost impossible to find and dissect. Even looking for real reporting beyond echoing is hard to find. The real problems are ignored or misstated to the extent real solutions are impossible. Not just security and endless wars but every aspect of civil existence, education, healthcare, you name it. We exist in an echo-chamber where real knowledge and understanding have been all but banished.

Mona 8 hours ago

@Tom Collins & Art

"Yeah one wonders if [Snowden's] cover would have been blown so decisively had he done it anonymously through Wikileaks"

No need to wonder! Snowden made clear -- explicitly stated-- he wanted Greenwald and Poitras, and not Wikileaks. He deeply desired journalists to exercise judgment over what should be released to the public and did not want a data dump.

Further, he insisted on outing himself , and did so several days after the first document was published. At his behest, Poitras videotaped a 20-minute video of him taking responsibility, which was then posted at The Guardian. He did this, among other reasons, to spare his co-workers from suspicion and investigation.

Mona 1 hour ago

Citizen 4 won the Oscar for best documentary in 2013 or '14. It's all Snowden, Greenwald, Poitras, and other real players.

DC_Reade 8 hours ago

If the only way someone can manage to frame any of these issues is as "Fox vs. MSNBC" or "Trump Corruption vs. Washington Establishment Defenders of Democracy", they've assented to a two-valued action-reaction Pavlovian conditioned response loop.

No way should that be confused with a process of independent thought.

Unsurprisingly, I don't read one mention in the above post to any of the specifics of the content in Glenn Greenwald's remarks, or to any of the observations made by Arkin in his email resignation.

You're too busy fitting everyone with Team Jerseys tailored to your preconceived ideas.

Mona 6 hours ago

"This article does not inform."

Oh, it does lots of informing, you just don't like what it informs us of, to wit, the first paragraph:

A VETERAN national security journalist with NBC News and MSNBC blasted the networks in a Monday email for becoming captive and subservient to the national security state, reflexively pro-war in the name of stopping President Donald Trump, and now the prime propaganda instrument of the War Machine's promotion of militarism and imperialism . As a result of NBC/MSNBC's all-consuming militarism, he said, "the national security establishment not only hasn't missed a beat but indeed has gained dangerous strength" and "is ever more autonomous and practically impervious to criticism."

Any substantive response, Milton?

MiltonWiltmellow 6 hours ago ( Edited )
Any substantive response, Milton?

As always, Mr. Greenwald's description is hyperbolic and bordering on unhinged. As DC_Reade suggested, I read Arkin's email. You should too. It seemed more like a Montaigne Essaiy or a reflective note for posterity than a thundering repudiation of MSNBC.

Mr. Greenwald turns it into a typical Greenwald crie du guerre™ against the evil Deep State (a term which he appears to have mercifully discarded. Too Foxy I suppose.) Here's his problem. Crying "wolf" only works for awhile. Eventually it becomes part of the information flood drowning everyone. Any bit of flotsam is as good as another.

Tom_Collins 5 hours ago

What's your point again? Do you even know?

DC_Reade 4 hours ago ( Edited )

Excerpts from Arkin's email:

"Seeking refuge in its political horse race roots, NBC (and others) meanwhile report the story of war as one of Rumsfeld vs. the Generals, as Wolfowitz vs. Shinseki, as the CIA vs. Cheney, as the bad torturers vs. the more refined, about numbers of troops and number of deaths, and even then Obama vs. the Congress, poor Obama who couldn't close Guantanamo or reduce nuclear weapons or stand up to Putin because it was just so difficult. We have contributed to turning the world of national security into this sort of political story. I find it disheartening that we do not report the failures of the generals and national security leaders. I find it shocking that we essentially condone continued American bumbling in the Middle East and now Africa through our ho-hum reporting..."

"...I argued endlessly with MSNBC about all things national security for years, doing the daily blah, blah, blah in Secaucus, but also poking at the conventional wisdom of everyone from Matthews to Hockenberry. And yet I feel like I've failed to convey this larger truth about the hopelessness of our way of doing things, especially disheartened to watch NBC and much of the rest of the news media somehow become a defender of Washington and the system..."

"...For me I realized how out of step I was when I looked at Trump's various bumbling intuitions: his desire to improve relations with Russia, to denuclearize North Korea, to get out of the Middle East, to question why we are fighting in Africa, even in his attacks on the intelligence community and the FBI. Of course he is an ignorant and incompetent impostor. And yet I'm alarmed at how quick NBC is to mechanically argue the contrary, to be in favor of policies that just spell more conflict and more war. Really? We shouldn't get out Syria? We shouldn't go for the bold move of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula? Even on Russia, though we should be concerned about the brittleness of our democracy that it is so vulnerable to manipulation, do we really yearn for the Cold War? And don't even get me started with the FBI: What? We now lionize this historically destructive institution?..."

https://medium.com/@ggreenwald/full-email-from-william-arkin-leaving-nbc-and-msnbc-1fb0d1dc692b

Yes, William Arkin does go on to be gracious and complimentary of some of his (former) colleagues at NBC. Arkin mantains his professional composure. His critique of the focus and practices of NBC/MSNBC News is tempered and reasoned. But the critique is scathing, nonetheless.

Tom_Collins 4 hours ago ( Edited )

You are missing Milton's point altogether. Like "Craig Summers", MW expects that his word alone is enough to dismiss the editorial/investigative/analytical work put in by Greenwald, Arkin or anyone else on the topics considered most important by the U.S. State Department.

When MW or CS weigh in on these things to dismiss or diminish these stories/opinions/facts with the wave of a hand or incorrect reading (and absolutely nothing of substance), we are supposed to defer to them respectfully and re-consider the respect we have developed for the professionalism, dedication and personal/career risks taken on by the people who bring us these stories that are inconvenient to the establishment government and media actors.

Mona 3 hours ago

"As DC_Reade suggested, I read Arkin's email. "

Cool, Milton, and what are your substantive comments on this part:

My expertise, though seeming to be all the more central to the challenges and dangers we face, also seems to be less valued at the moment. And I find myself completely out of synch with the network, being neither a day-to-day reporter nor interested in the Trump circus. To me there is also a larger problem: though they produce nothing that resembles actual safety and security, the national security leaders and generals we have are allowed to do their thing unmolested. Despite being at "war," no great wartime leaders or visionaries are emerging. There is not a soul in Washington who can say that they have won or stopped any conflict. And though there might be the beloved perfumed princes in the form of the Petraeus' and Wes Clarks', or the so-called warrior monks like Mattis and McMaster, we've had more than a generation of national security leaders who sadly and fraudulently have done little of consequence. And yet we (and others) embrace them, even the highly partisan formers who masquerade as "analysts". We do so ignoring the empirical truth of what they have wrought: There is not one county in the Middle East that is safer today than it was 18 years ago. Indeed the world becomes ever more polarized and dangerous. Windrem again convinced me to return to NBC to join the new investigative unit in the early days of the 2016 presidential campaign. I thought that the mission was to break through the machine of perpetual war acceptance and conventional wisdom to challenge Hillary Clinton's hawkishness. It was also an interesting moment at NBC because everyone was looking over their shoulder at Vice and other upstarts creeping up on the mainstream. But then Trump got elected and Investigations got sucked into the tweeting vortex, increasingly lost in a directionless adrenaline rush, the national security and political version of leading the broadcast with every snow storm. And I would assert that in many ways NBC just began emulating the national security state itself – busy and profitable. No wars won but the ball is kept in play. I'd argue that under Trump, the national security establishment not only hasn't missed a beat but indeed has gained dangerous strength. Now it is ever more autonomous and practically impervious to criticism. I'd also argue, ever so gingerly, that NBC has become somewhat lost in its own verve, proxies of boring moderation and conventional wisdom, defender of the government against Trump, cheerleader for open and subtle threat mongering, in love with procedure and protocol over all else (including results). I accept that there's a lot to report here, but I'm more worried about how much we are missing. Hence my desire to take a step back and think why so little changes with regard to America's wars. In our day-to-day whirlwind and hostage status as prisoners of Donald Trump, I think – like everyone else does – that we miss so much. People who don't understand the medium, or the pressures, loudly opine that it's corporate control or even worse, that it's partisan. Sometimes I quip in response to friends on the outside (and to government sources) that if they mean by the word partisan that it is New Yorkers and Washingtonians against the rest of the country then they are right. For me I realized how out of step I was when I looked at Trump's various bumbling intuitions: his desire to improve relations with Russia, to denuclearize North Korea, to get out of the Middle East, to question why we are fighting in Africa, even in his attacks on the intelligence community and the FBI. Of course he is an ignorant and incompetent impostor. And yet I'm alarmed at how quick NBC is to mechanically argue the contrary, to be in favor of policies that just spell more conflict and more war. Really? We shouldn't get out Syria? We shouldn't go for the bold move of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula? Even on Russia, though we should be concerned about the brittleness of our democracy that it is so vulnerable to manipulation, do we really yearn for the Cold War? And don't even get me started with the FBI: What? We now lionize this historically destructive institution?
OftenWrongSeldomInDoubt 9 hours ago

This is SO validating to read! Surely no other ruler in history with a cute butt and polite voice ordered killings in 56 countries in one year. I want someone to discuss this without accusing me of being pro-Rump. I guess, the Rachel Maddows of the world cannot criticize Hillary/Obama for expanding every awful thing for which the good people of the world hated Bush.

There are two giant problems in the world today-
1. the scale of people who lost their homes and countries because of the good guy's wars and
2. climate change which the good guy's 27,600 odd bombs of 2016 might or might not have exacerbated. After all, each bomb costs upward of $10,000,000. Who is measuring the greenhouse gases released by them?

The media needs to be equally adversarial to 'liberal' governments as they are to 'conservative' ones, so that majority parties cannot take credit for granting me bathroom and bedroom permissions that are surely my personal domain! The media must shed light on whether it is bad to tell 'aliens' not to cross a border or it is bad to win a Nobel Peace prize before raining bombs on brown people in other countries, never separating children from families, when blowing up ten civilians for every 'target' we extra-judicially decided to label as militant.

So thank you for this article!!

bluecurl3 9 hours ago

Gotta hand it to the neocons, soon after the Vietnam debacle (I served 3 tours there), and Watergate, they quickly licked their wounds and devised a new playbook that, over time, would become a 'Project for the New American Century'. First things first, get rid of the draft. Go professional, and then only a very minuscule percentage of Americans have skin in the game, meaning their own sons and daughters at risk, while the rest of America can focus on the more important things, like watching the Housewives of New Jersey, New York, Beverly Hills, etc. etc., or sports, or the newest fashions, or the current fad diets, or the newest Trump tweet, bla bla bla.

Next, and this is genius because it incorporates that great American pastime, greed, spread all of that endless supply of taxpayer money around to each and every State, County, and municipality in the form of jobs tied to the military industrial complex. Now, lots of Americans have skin in the game, as long as the lobbyists, politicians, government and the military can provide a pipeline of endless wars and conflicts. Of course, in order to provide and maintain the patina of morality and righteousness, a subservient and corporate controlled media is vital.

And finally, silence and denigrate any meaningful opposition. As Kierkegaard stated, "Once you label me you negate me." Hence the long, ongoing labeling of opposition with terms like traitor, anti-American, unpatriotic, (insert name or country here) sympathizer. The sad part of all of this, too many Americans are gullible enough to swallow this crap, hook, line and sinker, as long as they get their daily ration of manna.

Xavi 8 hours ago

Orwellian times.

firstpersoninfinite 9 hours ago

No, it's not rocket science. Otherwise you couldn't have proven Greenwald's point with your own views about "supporting" the security state so easily. You missed the entire point of the article, which is that the neocons and the neoliberals support the same cast of nefarious personalities that got us into the Middle East, over and over again. Why is NBC/MSNBC normalizing right-wing radicalism? Because they've joined hands with neocons and neoliberals to support the military/industrial complex. Your argument is akin to someone claiming that their Communion wafer is more holy than anyone else's because it has the Pope's imprint on it.

firstpersoninfinite 8 hours ago

Neocons, like Irving Kristol, Bill Kristol's father, were leftists in the 1930's. It's not a difficult term to come to terms with, historically. I don't wonder why anyone questions what Trump is doing. I never said such a thing.

What Trump has done during his first two years in office has not been questioned by the mainstream press at all. Only the imbecile tweets and the gaffes are of any interest to the citizens of such a redoubtable empire as our own. A friend of mine who fights anti-wolf and anti-bear laws in Montana, laws sent down by the Trump administration, says that these are the same laws they fought during 8 years of Obama. The mainstream of both parties are the two sides of the same coin. So I agree with the "role reversal."

Dysnomia 2 hours ago

I think the problem is not that supporting the "deep state" is becoming a convenient excuse to oppose Trump, but that opposing Trump is becoming a convenient excuse to support the deep state.

DC_Reade 10 hours ago

Bravo, William Arkin. I only wish that you could have found some way for you to resign on the air in the middle of a broadcast. (I've been wishing such a scenario for decades. Preferably featuring one or more news anchors.)

Incredible that the USA has spent trillions of dollars in a game of whack-a-mole that's been extended over the entire globe with no time limitations, occasionally interspersed with declarations of surprise that the nation faces more emergent terror threats than ever. We spend more money on the military and warfare than we spent during the Cold War. And all that was required to trigger this spiral into perpetual militarism was a single special operation carried out 17 years ago by a small team of not-particularly-elite commandos who hijacked four airliners, thereby obtaining the one-time ability to repurpose three of them into cruise missiles.

By now, it should be no surprise that other large nations have taken notice of the American assumption of entitlement to police the world and begun their own rearmament campaigns. Also worth noting that the focus on the Terror Threat has served as the rationale for massive investment in a level of surveillance technology that's unknown in human history. As for the norms and values that international law was supposedly intended to provide for governments everywhere, all of that went out the window in 2003, with the unprovoked invasion of Iraq by the Benevolent Hegemon Hyperpower. American scolding of other nations for their armed territorial incursions and imperial designs has rung awfully hollow, ever since.

The emphasis on massive military escalation to deal with terrorism outbreaks is reminiscent of the War on Drugs- which, it should be noted, also remains largely in effect, notwithstanding occasional feints toward de-escalation. And we all know what the War on Drugs did in terms of empowering the criminal elite that it was supposed to eliminate.

What's that all about? The leaders of this country- and for that matter, the supposed leaders of the rest of the world- aren't leading. To me, almost all of them look like they're running from something: they're running from fossil fuels addiction and its toxic blowback, looming climate catastrophe, natural resource depletion, maldistribution of wealth and neglect of the commons.

photosymbiosis 11 hours ago

What's the central reason MSNBC is so pro-war? Because the shareholders in its parent corporation, Comcas, have a deep vested interest in militarism, arms sales, and the capture of natural resources around the word:

Comcast, a large cable operator, completed its purchase of a majority stake in NBCUniversal from General Electric in January 2011. The cable giant bought the rest of NBCUniversal in February 2013. NBCUniversal is the parent company of MSNBC, as well as NBC, Bravo, USA and other channels.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bernie-sanders-asks-who-owns-msnbc_us_572e3d0fe4b0bc9cb0471df1 https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/CMCSA/holders/

Comcast major holders, $US:

  • Vanguard Group, Inc. 10,965,964,846
  • Blackrock Inc. 10,179,872,652
  • State Street Corporation 5,785,488,229
  • Capital World Investors 5,427,547,692
  • Massachusetts Financial Services Co. 4,787,803,825

Lockheed Martin major holders, $US:

  • State Street Corporation 13,394,660,471 Vanguard Group, Inc. (The) 6,210,096,924
  • Capital World Investors 5,098,130,465
  • Blackrock Inc. 5,084,573,828
  • Bank of America Corporation 2,826,426,091

ExxonMobil major holders, $US:

  • Vanguard Group, Inc. (The) 26,661,034,588
  • Blackrock Inc. 21,669,998,686
  • State Street Corporation 16,964,902,104
  • Northern Trust Corporation 4,566,789,988
  • Bank Of New York Mellon Corporation 4,420,622,076

It pretty obvious once you look at the value of an outfit like Blackrock's investments in media, arms, and oil - they don't want any stories told on MSNBC that would threaten the profit margins of Exxon, Lockheed or Comcast.

The only real solution is government enforcement of anti-trust legisation which would require the likes of Comcast, TimeWarner(CNN) and NewsCorp(FOX) to divest their media holdings, creating dozens of independently owned outfits not beholden to some corporate master who won't let them discuss important topics like, say NAFTA....

Benito_Mussolini 10 hours ago
The only real solution is government enforcement of anti-trust legislation

Hopefully, MSNBC will be smart enough to provide a friendly platform for ex-government officials. It means a great deal to government officials to know their influence, public visibility (and associated appearance fees) will continue into their retirement. I don't watch MSNBC, so I don't know if they have implemented this strategy, but the pictures in the article seem encouraging.

johnnyred 11 hours ago

War is touted exclusively by those who've never experienced it. Get rid of the generals, put in some infantry casualties, those who've lost a limb or two.
Then we can have some informed comment.

Somewherearoundtikrit 11 hours ago

Meanwhile, over at The Guardian, "In these critical times..." their "editorial independence" is in sincere need of your donation. They're just 80K away from their million dollar goal! Pardon me while I retch. Julian Assange is still being robbed of his freedom. In these critical times indeed. Thank you Glenn.

Tom_Collins 11 hours ago

The Guardian can get its funding from the organizations for whom they carry water. Not a damn cent from me. After they caved in on the Snowden files, I was done with them for good.

Tom_Collins 11 hours ago

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jun/04/surreal-moment-guardian-destroyed-snowden-files

Yeah one wonders if his cover would have been blown so decisively had he done it anonymously through Wikileaks, but I think they were onto him anyway. Ultimately the information got out, and media orgs like The Guardian were exposed for their fealty to the national security state(s).

Somewherearoundtikrit 11 hours ago

Speaking of leaks, whenever I hear "water carrier," this inevitably comes to mind https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JGfXiIXTpE0

Orville 6 hours ago

Cryptome wouldn't have censored the releases, as WikiLeaks has. Still WikiLeaks continues to be one of the world's premier journalistic outlets.

MyInnocuousUsernameWasBanned 9 hours ago

Was anyone else surprised by how long it took them to get to a million? I've seen Kickstarters for video games that got to a million faster. The slow pace of the fundraising seemed like a rebuke. I was hoping they'd never hit a million.

And I say all of that as someone who has recurring donations set up for about a dozen podcasts and blogs. The nonprofit/fundraiser model is the way to go, but I also think that publicly owned media outlets, or privately owned but public-interest-minded news organizations, while editorially independent, can't be totally contemptuous of their reader/donors.

I would never donate to the Guardian for a million reasons, but to pick just one: they have played the lead role in smearing Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters as dangerous radicals and anti-Semites.

And I would never donate to The Intercept, for instance, because of the crucial role it has played in promoting Russiagate and amplifying voices like Mattathias Schwartz's. (I'll never stop reminding people that Schwartz non-jokingly advocated here for what would essentially be a coup -- Obama "putting a hold on the transfer of power" -- after the most recent presidential election. The Intercept published that. Amazing.) And the face of the Intercept, arguably, is no longer Greenwald but Mehdi Hasan, who publishes rank propaganda smearing peace activists as "Bashar al-Assad Apologists" who revere human rights abusers as "heroes." (Again: the Intercept published that. Amazing.)

My favorite line from that Arkin email is the one about the tension between worship of "officialdom" and respect for "public yearnings." To political elites and reporters (including the experts at the Intercept who spent a week running PR for Nancy Pelosi's speaker bid, and who constantly write off the 2016 election as a consequence either of sinister foreign interference or of the squalid bigotry, stupidity and ugliness of non-coastal Americans), officialdom always wins, and "public yearnings" are just the bleatings of deplorables.

If Glenn's excellent reporting was removed from this site, The Intercept would be as deserving of Arkin's critique as NBC and the Guardian are.

tigertiger 8 hours ago

They didn't hit their million, which they wanted before the end of the year, but they're still begging. Not for lack of trying, that 'give us money!' pop up has to be about the loudest, most intrusive of it's kind I've ever seen.

And yes, TI is only marginally less repulsive (thanks to Glenn, Lee Fang, and Jon Schwartz). It amazes me that an outlet owned by a bajillionaire constantly begs for money. I guess they think it makes them more 'populist' or something- 'look, the peons are sacrificing their pennies to help us!'.

TravisTea 11 hours ago

As an American author (and journalist) once wrote:

"Man is the only Patriot. He sets himself apart in his own country, under his own flag, and sneers at the other nations, and keeps multitudinous uniformed assassins on hand at heavy expense to grab slices of other people's countries, and keep them from grabbing slices of his . And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood off his hands and works for the 'universal brotherhood of man' -- with his mouth."

-- Mark Twain, Man's Place in the Animal World (1896)

P.S. As always, thank you very much, Mr. Greenwald (and thank you, Mr. Arkin).

Carlaly 11 hours ago

Just vindicates what you have been saying all along. Although I expect the denialists will dismiss Arkin as some anti-American, anti-troop stooge of Putin.

Mona 11 hours ago

"The cable network's key anchor, Rachel Maddow, once wrote a book on the evils of endless wars without congressional authorization, but now routinely depicts anyone who wants to end those illegal wars as reckless weaklings and traitors."

She's just coming home. Liberals have long been dominated by hawks (after all, Vietnam was a Democrats' war, albeit Nixon/Kissinger took the war crimes up to 11.)

Maddow long ago described herself as a "national security liberal."

Which leads to yet another element of Ms. Maddow's portfolio: the daughter of an Air Force captain who served stateside during the Vietnam War, she is an admitted defense-policy wonk. "I'm a national security liberal, which I tell people because it's meant to sound absurd," she said. "I'm all about counterterrorism. I'm all about the G.I. Bill."

https://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/17/arts/television/17madd.html

Tom_Collins 11 hours ago

Madcow would like nothing more than to see open war with Russia.

brer_rabbit 11 hours ago ( Edited )

maddcow . . my laugh of the day.

Tom_Collins 11 hours ago

It's a common refrain in far-right reaches of the Internet. I almost felt bad for saying it, but that's what she's become on the topic of Russia.

brer_rabbit 11 hours ago

Yes, whenever is see her, or Anderson Cooper, or any of these guys for that matter (which is rare . . usually for a few minutes to catch a glimpse of the latest environmental disaster, mass shooting, or whatever) my first thought always goes to question the kind of upbringing that could have produced such vapid people, who enthusiastically shame themselves on a daily basis for money. What must they think of their audience?

open_hearted_jade 11 hours ago

Maddow is less respected by an awakening public -- therefore she must be a conservative right winger. Didn't you learn anything after 1945?

Tom_Collins 11 hours ago

You've made made totally missing the point into a trolling form of art. Bravo.

endlesswar 11 hours ago

Attacking an extreme right wing president from the right, while lauding unrepentant war criminals like Bush and McCain. Just about sums up what it means to be a liberal in this day and age.

PatrickShaw 6 hours ago

MSNBC and their national security contributors do not speak for liberals. They never invite liberal voices on who are anti-war/pro diplomacy.

xochtl 12 hours ago
Still, that a network insider has blown the whistle on how all this works, and how MSNBC and NBC have become ground zero for these political pathologies of militarism and servitude to security state agencies, while not surprising, is nonetheless momentous given how detailed and emphatic he is in his condemnations.

perfect summary

brer_rabbit 12 hours ago ( Edited )
. . if they mean by the word partisan that it is New Yorkers and Washingtonians against the rest of the country then they are right.

bingo

clawhammerjake 13 hours ago

War is a business decision.

Steeeve 13 hours ago ( Edited )

I've been consistently surprised that anyone is still watching these things. Personally, I've already divested from special-interest funded media outlets and the DNC for that matter. It's always interesting when I run across someone parrotting their viewpoints though.

TheManj 13 hours ago ( Edited )

The greatest scam of the millennium, after cruptocurrency, was the use of Trump Derangement Syndrome to pervert "progressives" into acolytes of the security establishment.

pedinska2 13 hours ago

Actually, TDS wasn't used in the original perversion so much as it was used as the cement to keep it firmly in place.

I lay blame for much of the greatest scam of the millenium on Obama with his drone policies, expansion of our involvement in the ME, retention of the same Smartest Guys in the Room who tanked our economy and wholesale conversion of liberals into acceptance of further erosion of our Constitutional rights with his warm embrace of the same criminals running the security state when torture became de rigueur. He was just so darn pretty and eloquent they had no choice but to believe all the lies dripping from those sexy lips. And have you seen Michelle's arms???!? /s

Benito_Mussolini 13 hours ago

To herd people, it's more effective to use both the carrot (Obama) and the stick (TDS). The fact that progressives needed to be herded is a testament to their numbers and success.

Erelis 13 hours ago

This essay is critical for every American to read. No exaggeration. NBC/MSNBC has become the proverbial spear tip in the march toward nuclear war with Russia. Every day, step by step, brick by brick, they are laying the foundation for the justification of war--in fact, for needing and demanding war, almost any war, but more particularly with Russia. Let's remember that when Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq, 72% of Americans supported it to according to Gallup. That didn't happen overnight with some big propaganda event.

bluecurl3 4 hours ago

Perhaps, but I would suggest that Iran has become the most desired target for a war, and due in no small part to the aggressive advocacy for such a war by Israel and Saudi Arabia, and their subservient boot-licking, ass kissing American politicians. I'm all for pulling our troops out of Syria, but mark my word, Bibi and his zionist war-hawks will seize the opportunity to bomb the hell out of Syria, and use it as a pretext to launch attacks against Iran.

Mike5000 13 hours ago

Maddow is not really pro-war or anti-war. She is just pro whatever Clinton and Pelosi happen to be pushing this week. It's a shame. She's a good presenter but hopelessly biased.

PresumptuousInsect 13 hours ago

I think she is more enthralled to the people who are paying her.

Erelis 13 hours ago

Maddows rhetoric and reporting is pro-war regardless of her motivations. She uses the language of aggression and conspiracy and accusation in describing the Russians and other Americans such as Jill Stein. She without exception imputes malevolent motives on "the enemy" which is Russia leading to a truly a bizarre clip telling Americans in somber and concerned tones that Russia and N. Korea share a border. The conspiracy has been exposed.

Bill_Owen 10 hours ago

What is it, exactly, about Hillary Clinton that enthralls Rachel Maddow so much that she now pretty much spends her days building a case (in-the-sky) for war on Russia? Seems pathological somehow.

MyInnocuousUsernameWasBanned 9 hours ago

Look at how her ratings and salary have been affected by her transformation. She's gone from "cable news anchor" to "superstar." The Russiagate scam has also given dozens of mediocrities like Seth Abramson a chance to be noticed and to feel important. Even the writers on the Intercept's "intelligence" beat have been doing some sort of Tom Clancy cosplay for the last two years. It's profitable and fun to be one of these people, as long as you don't have a nagging sense of shame.

William 13 hours ago

Indeed, none of this is new. I read Norman Solomon's and Martin Lee's UNRELIABLE SOURCES: A GUIDE TO DETECTING BIAS IN NEWS MEDIA back when I was in college in the late 80s and they cite General Electric's ownership of NBC (before there was an "MSNBC") uncritically:

General Electric's Influence on NBC GE is by no means a hands off owner of NBC. Lee and Solomon in their book Unreliable Sources have detailed how GE insisted on the removal of references to itself in an NBC programme on substandard products. They also point out that NBC journalists have not been particularly keen to expose GE's environmental record and that TV commercials by a group called INFACT, urging a boycott of GE products, were banned by NBC as well as other television stations. NBC did however briefly report GE's indictment for cheating the Department of Defense which was reported more extensively in other media outlets. (Lee and Solomon 1990, pp. 77-81) Former NBC News Chief, Lawrence Grossman, claims that the head of GE, Jack Welch made it clear to him that he worked for GE and told him not to use terms such as 'Black Monday' to describe the stock market crash in 1987 because it depressed share prices such as GE's (Cited in Naureckas 1995). Todd Putnam, editor of National Boycott News, tells of how he was approached by the NBC's Today Show to do an interview about consumer boycotts. Their biggest boycott at the time was against General Electric and its nuclear defense contracts but the show wouldn't let him talk about that and was reluctant to have him mention boycotts against any large corporation preferring him to talk about "a boycott that was 'small,' 'local' and 'sexy'." (1991) Mark Gunther writing in American Journalism Review claims that references to General Electric's use of the bolts in an NBC Today Show on defective bolts in planes, bridges and nuclear plants, were edited out and only mentioned in a follow-up segment after criticism of the omission (1995, p. 40). In 1990 NBC Nightly News ran 14 minutes of coverage over three days of a breast cancer detection machine produced by GE, without mentioning that it was made by NBC's owners. The other two major television networks didn't bother to cover it at all. (FAIR 1991) Helen Caldicott who had been featured on the Today Show previously found that when she wrote her book If You Love This Planet, which used GE as a case study of an environmentally damaging company, her scheduled appearance was mysteriously cancelled (Anon. 1992). In 1987, one year after GE took over NBC, NBC broadcast a special documentary promoting nuclear power using France as a model. The promotion for the programme proclaimed that "French townspeople welcome each new reactor with open arms". The documentary won a Westinghouse sponsored prize for science journalism. (Westinghouse Electric Company also builds nuclear power stations.) Shortly after the documentary was screened, when there were a couple of accidents at French power stations and there was significant opposition to nuclear power amongst the French population (polls showed about one third opposed it), NBC did not report the story although some US newspapers did. (Lee and Solomon 1990, p. 78) Karl Grossman documents in Extra! (1993) how the programme What Happened? broadcast on NBC in 1993 gave a one sided account of the Three Mile Island nuclear accident and its aftermath. It showed local resident Debbie Baker saying that she was not as afraid of the nuclear plant as she used to be. However, according to Grossman, Baker, whose son was born with Down's syndrome 9 months after the accident and who has received $1.1 million in a settlement arising from the accident, was shocked at how the programme had been edited to imply her acceptance of the plant. She said she was still extremely uncomfortable with the plant and that what she had said was she felt safer since her groups set up a network of radiation monitors around the plant. Neither Baker's settlement nor the 200 or so others "made to families who have suffered injury, birth defects and death because of the 1979 accident" were mentioned. Instead a nuclear power industry expert was featured who said the plant's back-up safety systems worked successfully. When EXTRA! pointed out that no scientists critical of nuclear power appeared in the program, Jaffe [executive producer of the show] responded, 'That is correct. Maybe there is some misunderstanding. That show is not a journalistic show but an entertainment show to look into and to find out the reason and cause of various accidents and incidents.' (Grossman 1993, p. 6) NBC has not been alone in putting a positive spin on the Three Mile Island nuclear accident. On the tenth anniversary of the accident, the New York Times ran an anniversary article opposite the editorial page headlined "Three Mile Island: The Good News" which argued that the accident had been good for the nuclear power industry prompting better management and emergency planning. The paper did not report the fact that 2000 residents living near the plant had filed claims for cancer and other health problems they blamed on the accident, nor the 280 personal-injury settlements paid out to such claimants, nor the unusual clusters of leukemia, birth defects and hypothyroidism around the plant. (Lee and Solomon 1990, p. 210) This was not the first time Times reporting had fitted with General Electric's views. In 1986 the Times reported on the use of humans as subjects in tritium absorption experiments. Tritium is routinely handled by nuclear power plant workers. An early edition of the paper said: "The tritium study was financed by the Atomic Energy Commission and conducted by the General Electric Company at Richland, which abuts the Hanford [nuclear weapons] reservation." In the late edition the sentence ended after Commission and no longer named General Electric. (Tenenbaum 1990)

Tom_Collins 11 hours ago

Sure, but the question then becomes: Why didn't the corporate networks and newspapers with whom NBC competed point these things out?

Art 11 hours ago

That's what my father always said about media - that it was self-correcting. But he was wrong. They're all influenced by the same thing, namely the ultra-rich and their money.

Tom_Collins 11 hours ago

But wouldn't another network stand to gain more clout from the ultra-rich, corporations, and their money from NBC's losing viewers/ratings due to exposure for their corrupt unwillingness to report negatively on their parent corporation's actions?

Art 11 hours ago

They share a huge fraction of investors, that's the problem.

Midwest 14 hours ago

Nothing has changed except that there is an outsider independent president. NBC was just as bad 20 years ago.

TheManj 13 hours ago

Project Mockingbird was publicly revealed years ago, but pretty much totally ignored by the audiences who lap contentedly from the MSM koolaid bowl.

Phil 14 hours ago

William Arkin is right on point with his email to MSNBC, especially when he says:

"And yet we (and others) embrace them, even the highly partisan formers who masquerade as "analysts". We do so ignoring the empirical truth of what they have wrought: There is not one county in the Middle East that is safer today than it was 18 years ago. "

In that same vein I have problems with MSNBC et al also covering the farewell speeches of outgoing Senators and Representatives which are full of warnings as to how the current system is "broken" [Paul Ryan, ClaireMcCaskill, Orrin Hatch, Jeff Flake, among many] and not calling them out.

It's ironic that these politicians who have gorged themselves on literally millions of dollars in campaign funding from Big Pharma, Defense Contractors, Energy, Big Banking, and even insider stock trading now feel compelled to warn us of graft and corruption they all fostered. These politicians get elected as nobodies, sell their votes, retire as millionaires, then have the nerve to tell us how corrupted our government has become as they check out to become Lobbyist's.

Orrin Hatch was a Senator for 42 years but last week he woke up one morning to find the Senate needs fixing? Paul Ryan was Speaker of the House and fiercely defended Trump but now as he leaves he's suddenly discovers that things aren't right in Washington? And what about all those who are still in office now – where are their warnings and concern? The answer is it's difficult to talk while you're in office stuffing your mouths at the trough.

Sadly, MSNBC and the media carry these farewell speeches with no comment except that they are all great public servants and their viewers soak it all up because to do otherwise would be unpatriotic. And the march of the lemmings to the voting booths continues.

PresumptuousInsect 14 hours ago

I am so glad to see this man speak out. For the longest time, war and the military budget has been a third rail in politics, and "support the troops!"--however hypocritical that slogan might be--has been a rallying cry as well as an accusation of treason/unAmericanism/communism, etc., for those who have had doubts. But finally we are starting to see signs of dissatisfaction with the status quo among the political class, and even antiwar bullet points listed on some platforms. There are even calls for diplomacy, a word that seemed to have been deleted from all U.S. dictionaries. I hope that Arkin's outcry serves to move this agitation forward.

shenebraskan 14 hours ago

Dunno if you noticed (I did because I watch State Department briefings), but when Brett McGurk resigned as Syria envoy, in a similar huff to McMaster, he bemoaned the loss of his colleagues at State and Pentagon. State Department has become another branch of the MIC, not a diplomatic corps. And I am not saying this is all because of Trump. Probably started when we "won" the Cold War.

[Dec 27, 2018] Is it possible to wrench control of MSM out of hand on large corporations and intelligence agencies?

Dec 27, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

RatioDecidend , 4 Jun 2018 01:33

This article is excellent and well overdue. All we need to do now is to wrench control of our mainstream media out of the hands of Corporate (foreign) control. We are being told to vote against ourselves in order for the few corporate elite to accrue massive wealth and power over us.

MEDIA laws need to be very strict with very, very severe financial penalties for bias and propaganda. Certainly remove this concept of self regulation whereby they sit on their own disciplinary boards. Raise the standards of our media and allow us to retrieve some semblance of our democracy.

Without media control, how would corporations be able to manipulate and propagandise the populace with their own vested interests.

That is why governments are doing corporate bidding and getting fascist style surveillance of its people, in order to counteract the ability of the people to gain knowledge through the internet and vote against corporate control of our democracy.... nothing to do with terrorism which was caused mostly by corporate foreign extraction of wealth through weapon sales; resource acquisition, etc.

Oops, got to go, hope that makes sense.

RatioDecidend -> Lawrie Griffith , 4 Jun 2018 00:51
It is back to control of our mainstream media by the very (foreign) corporations that are sucking out our wealth and putting nothing back.

Corporate media ia all powerful. They insidiously permeate the populace with corporate views of Australia's financial and economy; infrastructure and every aspect of social life from birth to euthanasia with racism and religion thrown in for good measure.

Should a politician have the audacity to act against their corporate interests, they do not last long, without exclusions - PMs Whitlam and Rudd being prime examples.

This current mob of gutless underachieving dinosaur neo con nutters in govt, are completely turning over Australia to these Corporate (foreign) parasites and our prospect is not looking good.

Within no time we will be a Corporatocracy (as is the USA) and along with that comes 1% owning 99% of the wealth; third world poverty; crime through the roof; drugs out of control; public health and education a joke; public services non existent; legal system in disarray and entrenched with bias and inequity.

[Dec 22, 2018] We can be actually confident not just that the journalists in the MSM are on the payroll but that the invoices and accounts for their bribes are carefully preserved.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Craig Murray today publishes accounts from the "Integrity Initiative" showing that journalists in Scotland are receiving retainers of 2500 a month Sterling, plus expenses and payment for actual articles published. ..."
"... We can be actually confident not just that the journalists in the MSM are on the payroll but that the invoices and accounts for their bribes are carefully preserved. ..."
"... What we are witnessing is the complete incompetence of those running the Empire. While malicious, indeed deadly, they simply cannot keep up with the critics of imperialism. Their power rests entirely on their ability to use force, both physical and financial. ..."
Dec 22, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , Dec 22, 2018 9:33:42 AM | link

The journalism scandals are just beginning.

Craig Murray today publishes accounts from the "Integrity Initiative" showing that journalists in Scotland are receiving retainers of 2500 a month Sterling, plus expenses and payment for actual articles published.

And if this is going on in Scotland we can be quite sure that it is actually happening in North America and Europe, generally, and, of course, in the less prosperous parts of the world where standards of integrity are just as low as they are hereabouts.

We can be actually confident not just that the journalists in the MSM are on the payroll but that the invoices and accounts for their bribes are carefully preserved.

Murray's blog is almost always worth following, just as 'b's is. Yesterday more news about the Skripal case emerged: it seems that the British government was prepared well in advance for the sudden attack on Skripal.

What we are witnessing is the complete incompetence of those running the Empire. While malicious, indeed deadly, they simply cannot keep up with the critics of imperialism. Their power rests entirely on their ability to use force, both physical and financial. Their attempts to use social medias to their advantage are lame and ineffective. It seems clear to me that they will soon be reduced to using their power not just to hobble but to cripple critics- net neutrality is already finished.

[Dec 22, 2018] British Security Service Infiltration, the Integrity Initiative and the Institute for Statecraft by Craig Murray

Highly recommended!
Craig Murray is right that "As the Establishment feels its grip slipping, as people wake up to the appalling economic exploitation by the few that underlies the very foundations of modern western society, expect the methods used by the security services to become even dirtier." Collapse of neoliberal ideology and rise of tentions in neoliberal sociarties resulted in unprecedented increase of covert and false flag operations by British intelligence services, especially against Russia, which had been chosen as a convenient scapegoat. With Steele dossier and Skripal affair as two most well known.
New Lady Macbeth (Theresa May) Russophobia is so extreme that her cabinet derailed the election of a Russian to head Interpol.
Looks like neoliberalism cannot be defeated by and faction of the existing elite. Only when shepp oil end mant people will have a chance. The US , GB and EU are part of the wider hegemonic neoliberal system. In fact rejection of neoliberal globalization probably will lead to "national neoliberals" regime which would be a flavor of neo-fascism, no more no less.
Notable quotes:
"... The British state can maintain its spies' cover stories for centuries. ..."
"... I learnt how highly improbable left wing firebrand Simon Bracey-Lane just happened to be on holiday in the United States with available cash to fund himself, when he stumbled into the Bernie Sanders campaign. ..."
"... It is, to say the least, very interesting indeed that just a year later the left wing, "Corbyn and Sanders supporting" Bracey-Lane is hosting a very right wing event, "Cold War Then and Now", for the shadowy neo-con Institute for Statecraft, at which an entirely unbalanced panel of British military, NATO and Ukrainian nationalists extolled the virtues of re-arming against Russia. ..."
"... the MOD-sponsored Institute for Statecraft has been given millions of pounds of taxpayers' money by the FCO to spread covert disinformation and propaganda, particularly against Russia and the anti-war movement. Activities include twitter and facebook trolling and secretly paying journalists in "clusters of influence" around Europe. Anonymous helpfully leaked the Institute's internal documents. Some of the Integrity Initiative's thus exposed alleged covert agents, like David Aaronovitch, have denied any involvement despite their appearance in the documents, and others like Dan Kaszeta the US "novichok expert", have cheerfully admitted it. ..."
"... By sleuthing the company records of this "Scottish charity", and a couple of phone calls, I discovered that the actual location of the Institute for Statecraft is the basement of 2 Temple Place, London. This is not just any basement – it is the basement of the former London mansion of William Waldorf Astor, an astonishing building . It is, in short, possibly the most expensive basement in London. ..."
"... Which is interesting because the accounts of the Institute for Statecraft claim it has no permanent staff and show nothing for rent, utilities or office expenses. In fact, I understand the rent is paid by the Ministry of Defence. ..."
"... I have a great deal more to tell you about Mr Edney and his organisation next week, and the extraordinary covert disinformation war the British government wages online, attacking British citizens using British taxpayers' money. Please note in the interim I am not even a smidgeon suicidal, and going to be very, very careful crossing the road and am not intending any walks in the hills. ..."
"... I am not alleging Mr Bracey-Lane is an intelligence service operative who previously infiltrated the Labour Party and the Sanders campaign. He may just be a young man of unusually heterodox and vacillating political opinions. He may be an undercover reporter for the Canary infiltrating the Institute for Statecraft. All these things are possible, and I have no firm information. ..."
"... one of the activities the Integrity Initiative sponsors happens to be the use of online trolls to ridicule the idea that the British security services ever carry out any kind of infiltration, false flag or agent provocateur operations, despite the fact that we even have repeated court judgements against undercover infiltration officers getting female activists pregnant. The Integrity Initiative offers us a glimpse into the very dirty world of surveillance and official disinformation. If we actually had a free media, it would be the biggest story of the day ..."
"... As the Establishment feels its grip slipping, as people wake up to the appalling economic exploitation by the few that underlies the very foundations of modern western society, expect the methods used by the security services to become even dirtier. ..."
"... You can bank on continued ramping up of Russophobia to supply "the enemy". ..."
Dec 13, 2018 | craigmurray.org.uk

in Uncategorized by craig

The British state can maintain its spies' cover stories for centuries. Look up Eldred Pottinger, who for 180 years appears in scores of British history books – right up to and including William Dalrymple's Return of the King – as a British officer who chanced to be passing Herat on holiday when it came under siege from a partly Russian-officered Persian army, and helped to organise the defences. In researching Sikunder Burnes, I discovered and published from the British Library incontrovertible and detailed documentary evidence that Pottinger's entire journey was under the direct instructions of, and reporting to, British spymaster Alexander Burnes. The first historian to publish the untrue "holiday" cover story, Sir John Kaye, knew both Burnes and Pottinger and undoubtedly knew he was publishing lying propaganda. Every other British historian of the First Afghan War (except me and latterly Farrukh Husain) has just followed Kaye's official propaganda.

Some things don't change. I was irresistibly reminded of Eldred Pottinger just passing Herat on holiday, when I learnt how highly improbable left wing firebrand Simon Bracey-Lane just happened to be on holiday in the United States with available cash to fund himself, when he stumbled into the Bernie Sanders campaign.

Recent university graduate Simon Bracey-Lane took it even further. Originally from Wimbledon in London, he was inspired to rejoin the Labour party in September when Corbyn was elected leader. But by that point, he was already in the US on holiday. So he joined the Sanders campaign, and never left.
"I had two weeks left and some money left, so I thought, Fuck it, I'll make some calls for Bernie Sanders," he explains. "I just sort of knew Des Moines was the place, so I just turned up at their HQ, started making phone calls, and then became a fully fledged field organiser."

It is, to say the least, very interesting indeed that just a year later the left wing, "Corbyn and Sanders supporting" Bracey-Lane is hosting a very right wing event, "Cold War Then and Now", for the shadowy neo-con Institute for Statecraft, at which an entirely unbalanced panel of British military, NATO and Ukrainian nationalists extolled the virtues of re-arming against Russia.

Nor would it seem likely that Bracey-Lane would be involved with the Integrity Initiative. Even the mainstream media has been forced to give a few paragraphs to the outrageous Integrity Initiative, under which the MOD-sponsored Institute for Statecraft has been given millions of pounds of taxpayers' money by the FCO to spread covert disinformation and propaganda, particularly against Russia and the anti-war movement. Activities include twitter and facebook trolling and secretly paying journalists in "clusters of influence" around Europe. Anonymous helpfully leaked the Institute's internal documents. Some of the Integrity Initiative's thus exposed alleged covert agents, like David Aaronovitch, have denied any involvement despite their appearance in the documents, and others like Dan Kaszeta the US "novichok expert", have cheerfully admitted it.

The mainstream media have tracked down the HQ of the "Institute for Statecraft" to a derelict mill near Auchtermuchty. It is owned by one of the company directors, Daniel Lafayeedney, formerly of D Squadron 23rd SAS Regiment and later of Military Intelligence (and incidentally born the rather more prosaic Daniel Edney).

By sleuthing the company records of this "Scottish charity", and a couple of phone calls, I discovered that the actual location of the Institute for Statecraft is the basement of 2 Temple Place, London. This is not just any basement – it is the basement of the former London mansion of William Waldorf Astor, an astonishing building. It is, in short, possibly the most expensive basement in London.

Which is interesting because the accounts of the Institute for Statecraft claim it has no permanent staff and show nothing for rent, utilities or office expenses. In fact, I understand the rent is paid by the Ministry of Defence.

Having been told where the Institute for Statecraft skulk, I tipped off journalist Kit Klarenberg of Sputnik Radio to go and physically check it out. Kit did so and was aggressively ejected by that well-known Corbyn and Sanders supporter, Simon Bracey-Lane. It does seem somewhat strange that our left wing hero is deeply embedded in an organisation that launches troll attacks on Jeremy Corbyn.

I have a great deal more to tell you about Mr Edney and his organisation next week, and the extraordinary covert disinformation war the British government wages online, attacking British citizens using British taxpayers' money. Please note in the interim I am not even a smidgeon suicidal, and going to be very, very careful crossing the road and am not intending any walks in the hills.

I am not alleging Mr Bracey-Lane is an intelligence service operative who previously infiltrated the Labour Party and the Sanders campaign. He may just be a young man of unusually heterodox and vacillating political opinions. He may be an undercover reporter for the Canary infiltrating the Institute for Statecraft. All these things are possible, and I have no firm information.

But one of the activities the Integrity Initiative sponsors happens to be the use of online trolls to ridicule the idea that the British security services ever carry out any kind of infiltration, false flag or agent provocateur operations, despite the fact that we even have repeated court judgements against undercover infiltration officers getting female activists pregnant. The Integrity Initiative offers us a glimpse into the very dirty world of surveillance and official disinformation. If we actually had a free media, it would be the biggest story of the day.

As the Establishment feels its grip slipping, as people wake up to the appalling economic exploitation by the few that underlies the very foundations of modern western society, expect the methods used by the security services to become even dirtier.

You can bank on continued ramping up of Russophobia to supply "the enemy".

As both Scottish Independence and Jeremy Corbyn are viewed as real threats by the British Establishment, you can anticipate every possible kind of dirty trick in the next couple of years, with increasing frequency and audacity

[Dec 17, 2018] How you can tell that MSM is the front man for the CIA

Dec 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

24 minutes ago remove Share link Copy How you can tell that MSM is the front man for the CIA...nothing happens until MSM picks up the story

[Dec 09, 2018] NYT and CIA have had relationship with, and was caught having planted CIA workers as NYT writers

Notable quotes:
"... Non-elite members of the Party -- functionaries -- mistake their "secret" knowledge as professional courtesy rather than as perquisite and status marker. (I don't suppose it's a secret to anyone that the US CIA regularly plants stories in the NYTimes and elsewhere... unless you weren't paying attention in the strident disinfo campaign prior to the Iraq invasion.) ..."
Aug 30, 2012 | www.theguardian.com
sanda1scuptorNYC , 30 Aug 2012 07:36
Howard Zinn said, in a speech given shortly after the 2008 Presidential election, "If you don't know history, it's like you were born yesterday. The government can tell you anything." (Speech was played on DemocracyNow www.democracynow.org about Jan. 4, 2009 and is archived, free on the website.)

Being older (18 on my last Leap Year birthday - 72), I recall the NYTimes and CIA have had relationship with, and was caught having "planted CIA workers" as NYTimes writers. Within my adult lifetime, in fact.

sigil , 30 Aug 2012 05:49

This is what the CIA reflexively does: insists that [...] it is an "intelligence matter".

In a sense the CIA is always going to be right on this one - "Central Intelligence Agency" - but only as a matter of nomenclature, rather than of any other dictionary definition of the word "intelligence".

Brusselsexpats , 30 Aug 2012 05:49
Actually the collusion between the CIA and big business is far more damaging. The first US company I worked for in Brussels (it was my first job) was constantly being targeted by the US media for having connections to corrupt South American and Third World regimes. On what seemed like an almost monthly basis our personnel department would send round memos saying that we were strictly forbidden to talk to journalists about the latest exposé.

It was great fun - even the telex operators knew who the spies were.

kcameron , 30 Aug 2012 05:26
The line "'The optics aren't what they look like,' is truly an instant classic. It reminds me of one of my favorite Yogi Berra quotes (which, unlike many attributed to him, is real, I think). Yogi once said about a restaurant in New York "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded." Perhaps Yogi should become an editor for the Times.
AmityAmity , 30 Aug 2012 04:55
British readers will no doubt be shocked -- shocked! -- to learn of cozy relations between a major news organization and a national intelligence agency.

... ... ...

MiltonWiltmellow , 30 Aug 2012 02:40

"'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.'"

How can you have a Party if you don't have Party elites?

And how can a self-respecting member of the Party claim their individual status within the Party without secret knowledge designed to identify one another as members of the Party elite?

[Proles are] natural inferiors who must be kept in subjection, like animals ... Life, if you looked about you, bore no resemblance not only to the lies that streamed out of the telescreens, but even to the ideals the Party was trying to achieve. ... The ideal set up by the Party was something huge, terrible, and glittering -- a world of of steel and concrete, of monstrous machines and terrifying weapons -- a nation of warriors and fanatics, marching forward in perfect unity, all thinking the same thoughts and shouting the same slogans, perpetually working, fighting, triumphing, persecuting -- 300 million people all with the same face. The reality was decaying, dingy cities, where underfed people shuffled to and fro in leaky shoes... [ 1984 ,pp 73-74]

It makes no difference if an imagined socialist England, a collapsing Roman city-state empire, an actual Soviet Union, or a modern American oligarchy.

Party members thrive while those wretched proles flail in confused and hungry desperation for something authentic (like a George Bush) or even simply reassuring (like a Barack Obama.)

Non-elite members of the Party -- functionaries -- mistake their "secret" knowledge as professional courtesy rather than as perquisite and status marker. (I don't suppose it's a secret to anyone that the US CIA regularly plants stories in the NYTimes and elsewhere... unless you weren't paying attention in the strident disinfo campaign prior to the Iraq invasion.)

Manzetti has "no bad intent" because he is loyal to the Party.

Like all loyal (and very well compensated) Party members, he would never do anything as subversive as reveal Party secrets.

People can be detained for almost any reason these days!

After all, what's the future of a Party that lacks effective enforcement?

[Dec 05, 2018] Manufacturing Official Narrative by C.J. Hopkins

Guardian is just a propaganda outlet. That sad fact does not exclude the possibility of publishing really good articles, thouth. That still happens occasionally.
The fact that they follow MI6 and Foreign Office talking points in all foreign events coverage a is just a testament the GB is a "national security state". Nothing more, nothing less.
Notable quotes:
"... I'm not going to debunk the Guardian article here. It has been debunked by better debunkers than I (e.g., Jonathan Cook , Craig Murray , Glenn Greenwald , Moon of Alabama , and many others). ..."
"... The short version is, The Guardian 's Luke Harding, a shameless hack who will affix his name to any propaganda an intelligence agency feeds him, alleged that Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, secretly met with Julian Assange (and unnamed "Russians") on numerous occasions from 2013 to 2016, presumably to conspire to collude to brainwash Americans into not voting for Clinton. Harding's earth-shaking allegations, which The Guardian prominently featured and flogged, were based on well, absolutely nothing, except the usual anonymous "intelligence sources." After actual journalists pointed this out, The Guardian quietly revised the piece ( employing the subjunctive mood rather liberally ), buried it in the back pages of its website, and otherwise pretended like they had never published it. ..."
"... By that time, of course, its purpose had been served. The story had been picked up and disseminated by other "respectable," "authoritative" outlets, and it was making the rounds on social media. Nonetheless, out of an abundance of caution, in an attempt to counter the above-mentioned debunkers (and dispel the doubts of anyone else still capable of any kind of critical thinking), Politico posted this ass-covering piece speculating that, if it somehow turned out The Guardian 's story was just propaganda designed to tarnish Assange and Trump well, probably, it had been planted by the Russians to make Luke Harding look like a moron. This ass-covering piece of speculative fiction, which was written by a former CIA agent, was immediately disseminated by liberals and "leftists" who are eagerly looking forward to the arrest, rendition, and public crucifixion of Assange. ..."
"... And this is why The Guardian will not be punished for publishing a blatantly fabricated story. Nor will Luke Harding be penalized for writing it. Luke Harding will be rewarded for writing it, as he has been handsomely rewarded throughout his career for loyally serving the ruling classes. Greenwald, on the other hand, is on thin ice. It will be instructive to see how far he pushes his confrontation with The Guardian regarding this story. ..."
"... It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it. ..."
"... Those who are conforming to [official truth] are doing so, not because they are deceived, but because it is safer and more rewarding to do so. ..."
"... The powerless are either servants of power or they are heretics. There is no third alternative. ..."
"... It is important to realize that "the truth" is not going to "rouse the masses from their slumber" and inspire them to throw off their chains. People are not going to suddenly "wake up," "see the truth" and start "the revolution." ..."
"... The distinction is simple. We can't know the truth about distant and complex events like 9/11 or JFK unless we were directly involved, and those people are all dead. For big events we have to rely on, or ignore, the official accounts. ..."
"... Given all this, still, we can approach an approximation of truth that some can agree on. Here is where the trouble starts . ..."
Dec 03, 2018 | www.unz.com

...First, let's look at a concrete example of our system manufacturing official narrative (aka "official truth" or "truth" -- note quotes ). I'm going to use The Guardian 's most recent blatantly fabricated article (" Manafort held secret talks with Assange in Ecuadorian embassy ") as an example, but I could just as well have chosen any of a host of other fabricated stories disseminated by "respectable" outlets over the course of the last two years. The " Russian Propaganda Peddlers " story. The " Russia Might Have Poisoned Hillary Clinton " story. The " Russians Hacked the Vermont Power Grid " story. The " Golden Showers Russian Pee-Tape " story. The " Novichok Assassins " story. The " Bana Alabed Speaks Out " story. The " Trump's Secret Russian Server " story. The " Labour Anti-Semitism Crisis " story. The " Russians Orchestrated Brexit " story. The " Russia is Going to Hack the Midterms " story. The " Twitter Bots " story. And the list goes on.

I'm not going to debunk the Guardian article here. It has been debunked by better debunkers than I (e.g., Jonathan Cook , Craig Murray , Glenn Greenwald , Moon of Alabama , and many others).

The short version is, The Guardian 's Luke Harding, a shameless hack who will affix his name to any propaganda an intelligence agency feeds him, alleged that Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, secretly met with Julian Assange (and unnamed "Russians") on numerous occasions from 2013 to 2016, presumably to conspire to collude to brainwash Americans into not voting for Clinton. Harding's earth-shaking allegations, which The Guardian prominently featured and flogged, were based on well, absolutely nothing, except the usual anonymous "intelligence sources." After actual journalists pointed this out, The Guardian quietly revised the piece ( employing the subjunctive mood rather liberally ), buried it in the back pages of its website, and otherwise pretended like they had never published it.

By that time, of course, its purpose had been served. The story had been picked up and disseminated by other "respectable," "authoritative" outlets, and it was making the rounds on social media. Nonetheless, out of an abundance of caution, in an attempt to counter the above-mentioned debunkers (and dispel the doubts of anyone else still capable of any kind of critical thinking), Politico posted this ass-covering piece speculating that, if it somehow turned out The Guardian 's story was just propaganda designed to tarnish Assange and Trump well, probably, it had been planted by the Russians to make Luke Harding look like a moron. This ass-covering piece of speculative fiction, which was written by a former CIA agent, was immediately disseminated by liberals and "leftists" who are eagerly looking forward to the arrest, rendition, and public crucifixion of Assange.

At this point, I imagine you're probably wondering what this has to do with manufacturing "truth." Because, clearly, this Guardian story was a lie a lie The Guardian got caught telling. I wish the "truth" thing was as simple as that (i.e., exposing and debunking the ruling classes' lies). Unfortunately, it isn't. Here is why.

Much as most people would like there to be one (and behave and speak as if there were one), there is no Transcendental Arbiter of Truth. The truth is what whoever has the power to say it is says it is. If we do not agree that that "truth" is the truth, there is no higher court to appeal to. We can argue until we are blue in the face. It will not make the slightest difference. No evidence we produce will make the slightest difference. The truth will remain whatever those with the power to say it is say it is.

Nor are there many "truths" (i.e., your truth and my truth). There is only one "truth" the "official truth". The "truth" according to those in power. This is the whole purpose of the concept of truth. It is the reason the concept of "truth" was invented (i.e., to render any other "truths" lies). It is how those in power control reality and impose their ideology on the masses (or their employees, or their students, or their children). Yes, I know, we very badly want there to be some "objective truth" (i.e., what actually happened, when whatever happened, JFK, 9-11, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Schrödinger's dead cat, the Big Bang, or whatever). There isn't. The truth is just a story a story that is never our story.

The "truth" is a story that power gets to tell, and that the powerless do not get to tell, unless they tell the story of those in power, which is always someone else's story. The powerless are either servants of power or they are heretics. There is no third alternative. They either parrot the "truth" of the ruling classes or they utter heresies of one type or another. Naturally, the powerless do not regard themselves as heretics. They do not regard their "truth" as heresy. They regard their "truth" as the truth, which is heresy. The truth of the powerless is always heresy.

For example, while it may be personally comforting for some of us to tell ourselves that we know the truth about certain subjects (e.g., Russiagate, 9-11, et cetera), and to share our knowledge with others who agree with us, and even to expose the lies of the corporate media on Twitter, Facebook, and our blogs, or in some leftist webzine (or "fearless adversarial" outlet bankrolled by a beneficent oligarch), the ruling classes do not give a shit, because ours is merely the raving of heretics, and does not warrant a serious response.

Or all right, they give a bit of a shit, enough to try to cover their asses when a journalist of the stature of Glenn Greenwald (who won a Pulitzer and is frequently on television) very carefully and very respectfully almost directly accuses them of lying. But they give enough of a shit to do this because Greenwald has the power to hurt them, not because of any regard for the truth. This is also why Greenwald has to be so careful and respectful when directly confronting The Guardian , or any other corporate media outlet, and state that their blatantly fabricated stories could, theoretically, turn out to be true. He can't afford to cross the line and end up getting branded a heretic and consigned to Outer Mainstream Darkness, like Robert Fisk, Sy Hersh, Jonathan Cook, John Pilger, Assange, and other such heretics.

Look, I'm not trying to argue that it isn't important to expose the fabrications of the corporate media and the ruling classes. It is terribly important. It is mostly what I do (albeit usually in a more satirical fashion). At the same time, it is important to realize that "the truth" is not going to "rouse the masses from their slumber" and inspire them to throw off their chains. People are not going to suddenly "wake up," "see the truth" and start "the revolution." People already know the truth the official truth, which is the only truth there is. Those who are conforming to it are doing so, not because they are deceived, but because it is safer and more rewarding to do so.

And this is why The Guardian will not be punished for publishing a blatantly fabricated story. Nor will Luke Harding be penalized for writing it. Luke Harding will be rewarded for writing it, as he has been handsomely rewarded throughout his career for loyally serving the ruling classes. Greenwald, on the other hand, is on thin ice. It will be instructive to see how far he pushes his confrontation with The Guardian regarding this story.

As for Julian Assange, I'm afraid he is done for. The ruling classes really have no choice but to go ahead and do him at this point. He hasn't left them any other option. Much as they are loathe to create another martyr, they can't have heretics of Assange's notoriety running around punching holes in their "truth" and brazenly defying their authority. That kind of stuff unsettles the normals, and it sets a bad example for the rest of us heretics.

#

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. He can be reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org .

Manufacturing Truth

James Forrestal , says: December 3, 2018 at 6:26 pm GMT

Good piece. I think there's another layer, though.

The truth or falsehood of individual facts about the physical world can often be determined with near-certainty. But when it comes to history, or "news" about current events/ politics, reality is much too complex to address directly. Too many individual facts to be comprehensible, let alone useful.

We must pick, choose, emphasize, or ignore particular elements, and arrange them into some kind of structure, in order to form a useful narrative. Or in the case of "news," the legacy media oligarchy largely performs this function for us -- we simply passively accept/ adopt their narrative. Or, in many cases, "choose" between the closely-related variants of that narrative offered by the "liberal" vs. "conservative" press.

This process of abstraction, simplification, and organization inevitably involves data loss. So no narrative is "true" in the same sense that individual facts about the real world are true. But some narratives incorporate large amounts of "facts" that are demonstrably false, and some are more useful/ descriptive/ predictive than others. No one engaged in this process is "objective." They -- or we -- are all in some way part of the story. It should be self-evident that some narratives are more useful to the perceived interests of owners of major media outlets than others, and that these will assume a much more prominent place in their coverage than ones that are deleterious to those interests.

Ideally, most people would take these factors into account when evaluating the "news," and maintain a much more skeptical attitude than they typically do. But there are several factors that prevent this.

One is simply time/ efficiency. These individual narratives, taken together, support -- and are supported by -- our overall worldview. There aren't enough hours in the day to be constantly skeptical about everything, especially since the major tools of distortion involved in constructing mainstream narratives tend to be selection bias/ memory-holing, with obvious lies about known facts (like the Guardian story referenced here) used only sparingly. It's simply not practical to to constantly consider potentially "better" narratives, and to reevaluate one's worldview based on these.

And which narrative we believe often has more to do with perceived social pressure/ social acceptability than with "truth." As you put it,

Those who are conforming to it are doing so, not because they are deceived, but because it is safer and more rewarding to do so.

Mass media pushing a common narrative creates an artificial perception of social consensus. Creating, or even finding, alternative narratives means fighting the inertia of this perceived consensus, and potentially suffering social costs for believing in the "wrong" one. The social role of narratives is largely independent of their "truth" -- if what you're "supposed" to believe is highly implausible, that actually gives it higher value as a signal of loyalty to the establishment.

It's probably best to maintain a resolutely agnostic attitude toward most "news" items, unless one is particularly interested in that particular event. " Why are they pushing this particular story?" "Why now ?" and " What are they trying to accomplish here?" are often more useful questions than "Is it true?"

It's not a new issue -- only exacerbated by the advent of mass visual media:
"Propaganda" -- Edward Bernays (1928)
"The Free Press"– Hilaire Belloc (1918)

Kratoklastes , says: December 3, 2018 at 11:17 pm GMT
I get what Hopkins is trying to do here, but redefining terms (i.e., "truth") doesn't do what he thinks it does.

The truth is not ' what most people think '; it's not ' what we are told to believe '; it's not ' the official narrative '.

There is a useful cautionary tale embedded in Hopkins' piece, but he doesn't tease it out properly.

Take this excerpt:

The truth is what whoever has the power to say it is says it is. If we do not agree that that "truth" is the truth, there is no higher court to appeal to. We can argue until we are blue in the face. It will not make the slightest difference. No evidence we produce will make the slightest difference. The truth will remain whatever those with the power to say it is say it is.

With significant caveats, it is a reasonable description of the way the political world works: if the political class decides that its interests are best served by declaring that a specific narrative X is 'true', it will obtain immediate compliance from about half the livestock, and can then rely on force (peer pressure; subsidy or taxation; state coercion) to get an absolute majority of the herd to declare that they accept the 'truth' of X .

If X is objectively false, too bad.

Try to run a legal argument based on the objective falsity of a thing that the political class has deemed to be true: you'll be shit outta luck.

This is highly relevant where I am sitting: here are two examples – one really obvious, one a bit less so (but far more important because of its radical implications).

Obvious Example: Drug Dogs

Recent research has shown that drug sniffing dogs give false positive signals between 60% and 80% of the time – i.e., in terms of identifying people who are in actual physical possession of drugs at any point in time, drug sniffing dogs perform worse than a coin toss.

Note that this is before considering that the dog's handler is often pointing the dog at a target that the handler thinks is likely to be carrying drugs. (Although in reality, drug dogs are paraded around at concerts and in public spaces, sniffing every passer-by).

However there is an Act of Parliament (capitalise all the magic words) that asserts that a signal from a drug sniffing dog is sufficient to qualify as what Americans call "probable cause" – i.e., reasonable suspicion for a search.

Does anyone think that evidence should be admissible if it results from a search conducted based on 'probable cause' derived from a method that produces worse outcomes than tossing a coin?

Judges will tie themselves into absolute epistemological knots to get that evidence admitted – and they will refuse to permit defence Counsel from adducing evidence about drug dog inaccuracy because since the defendant actually did have drugs in their possession, the dog didn't signal falsely.

In other words, the judge conflates posterior probability with prior probability; the prior probability that the dog is correct, is 10%-40%; this should not suffice to generate probable cause (or 'reasonable suspicion).

More Interesting Example: 'Representative' Democracy

In general, Western governments assert that their legitimacy stems from two primary sources: some founding set of principles (usually a constitution – written or otherwise), and 'representativeness' (including ratification of the constitution by a representative mechanism, for those places with written foundational documents).

The Arrow Impossibility Theorem [1,2] and the Gibbard-Satterthwaite Theorem [3,4], both show that there is no way of accurately determining group preferences using an ordinal voting mechanism.

What this boils down to, is that representativeness is a lie – and it's a lie before any consideration of voting outcomes ; it's a meta -problem (the problem that ordinal voting cannot do what it is claimed to do – viz ., accurately identify the 'will of the people'/'social preferences'/'what the people want').

Beyond the meta-problem, there is also the actual counting problem: no government has ever been elected having obtained the votes of an outright bare majority, i.e., 50%-plus-1 of the entire eligible franchise. (It's more like 25-35% for most parliamentary systems – for US presidential elections in the full-franchise period, the winner is voted for by 29% of the eligible population; you would be horrified to look at US Senate results).

So when the new unhappy lords (and their Little Eichmann bureaucrat enablers) promulgate laws based on assertions of legitimacy because of a constitutional Grundnorm and/or the representative nature of government both of those things are pretty obvious furphies; they are objectively not 'truth' and no amount of heel-clicking and wishing will make it so.

Which brings us to a key legal aphorism that has a jurisprudential history going back four centuries: Ratio legis est anima legis, et mutata legis ratione, mutatur ex lex – which dates from Milborn's case ( Coke 7a KB [1609]).

The reason for a law is the soul of the law, and if the reason for a law has changed, the law is changed .

What this means – explicitly – is that " no law can survive the [extinction of the] reasons on which it is founded ".

American courts re-expressed this as " cessante ratione legis, cessat ipsa lex " (the reason for a law having ceased, the law itself ceases) – e.g., in Funk v. United States , 290 US 371 (1933) in which Justice Sutherland opined –

This means that no law can survive the reasons on which it is founded. It needs no statute to change it; it abrogates itself . If the reasons on which a law rests are overborne by opposing reasons, which in the progress of society gain a controlling force, the old law, though still good as an abstract principle, and good in its application to some circumstances, must cease to apply as a controlling principle to the new circumstances.

(Emphasis mine)

Again: try running this argument in a court: " The asserted basis for all laws promulgated by the government, is provably false. Under a doctrine with a 4-century jurisprudential provenance, the law itself is void ."

See how far you get.

So Hopkins makes a good-but-obvious point – power does not respect either rights or truth; as such it does you no good whatsoever to have the actual truth on your side. He should have made the point better.

References (links are to PDFs of each paper)

[1] Arrow (1950). " A Difficulty in the Concept of Social Welfare " Journal of Political Economy 58 (4): 328–346

[2] Geanakoplos, John (2005). " Three Brief Proofs of Arrow's Impossibility Theorem " Economic Theory 26 (1): 211–215

[3] Gibbard (1973). " Manipulation of voting schemes: a general result " Econometrica 41 (4): 587–601.

[4] Satterthwaite (April 1975). " Strategy-proofness and Arrow's Conditions: Existence and Correspondence Theorems for Voting Procedures and Social Welfare Functions " Journal of Economic Theory 10: 187–217.

Brabantian , says: December 3, 2018 at 11:18 pm GMT
C J Hopkins, despite some good quotes and insights above, regrettably falls into the trap of peddling Derrida-tier relativistic nonsense, playing a word game about 'truth', as if 'truth' was not real merely because most people have strong incentives to avoid being devoted to it

Where you stand depends upon where you sit, etc., Karl Marx's dictums about economic and power positions shaping consciousness, and of course the century-old classic:

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.

from Upton Sinclair (1878-1968). Hopkins more or less repeats Sinclair when he says

Those who are conforming to [official truth] are doing so, not because they are deceived, but because it is safer and more rewarding to do so.

Despite selling-out truth to the relativism devil in some passages, Hopkins nevertheless creates some quotable, including the particularly insightful:

The powerless are either servants of power or they are heretics. There is no third alternative.

The following notion of Hopkins is seen now and then in the alt-sphere, but always bears repeating

It is important to realize that "the truth" is not going to "rouse the masses from their slumber" and inspire them to throw off their chains. People are not going to suddenly "wake up," "see the truth" and start "the revolution."

... ... ...

Kratoklastes , says: December 3, 2018 at 11:28 pm GMT
@Tulip

The coin of truth is iron and blood.

That's absolutely, 100% wrong.

Iron and blood are the tools used to force people to accept what isn't true. (Another way to tell: it was uttered by a fucking politician – a cunt who wanted to live in palaces paid for by the sweat of other people's brows).

Truth does not need violence to propagate itself: in a completely-peaceful system of free exchange, bad ideas (of which lies are a subset) will get driven out of the market place because they will fail to conform to ground truth.

Falsehood requires violence (arguably it is a form of violence: fraud is 'violent' because it causes its victims to misallocate their resources or to deform their preferences and expectations).

In a very real sense, truth does not need friends: all it requires is an absence of powerful enemies.

RobinG , says: December 4, 2018 at 12:21 am GMT
@James Forrestal

Occupation of the American Mind: Israel's Public Relations War in the United States

https://www.occupationmovie.org/

This film shows a great example of propaganda in action. Free to watch now and this link also includes a short version and a trailer.

Jett Rucker , says: Website December 4, 2018 at 3:04 am GMT
When I tell any Truth, it is not for the sake of Convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those who Do.

~ William Blake, 1810

polistra , says: December 4, 2018 at 7:33 am GMT
The distinction is simple. We can't know the truth about distant and complex events like 9/11 or JFK unless we were directly involved, and those people are all dead. For big events we have to rely on, or ignore, the official accounts.

But we CAN know the truth about our own situation, our own neighborhood, and our own families. The current riots in France are a concrete ASSERTION of local truth against the blatant and condescending official lies. The majority of France is getting poorer and suffering more from migrant crime. Macron insists that starvation is necessary to serve Gaia, and crime is necessary to serve Juncker. The people would prefer to have a leader that serves France.

The scalpel , says: Website December 4, 2018 at 1:07 pm GMT
@FB Scientific truth is limited by two factors – assumptions, and hidden variables. For example, we might drop a brick in a vacuum and believe that it falls at 9.8 m/s squared. Here, we make the assumption that the force of gravity is constant. And for most of history we were unaware of the hidden variable of relativity to the speed of light.

So, assuming (LOL) that we are able to eliminate all assumptions and account for all hidden variables, there is a scientific truth. That is ASSUMING we are not just a simulation in someone elses computer!

Given all this, still, we can approach an approximation of truth that some can agree on. Here is where the trouble starts .

DFH , says: December 4, 2018 at 4:05 pm GMT
What is truth? – John 18:38
FB , says: December 4, 2018 at 4:26 pm GMT
@The scalpel LOL and then there is the 'observer effect' also especially in good old quantum mechanics in the end scientific truth does boil down to what 'some can agree on'
Tulip , says: December 4, 2018 at 5:40 pm GMT
@Kratoklastes Strength is the production of force over distance. That is to say, force is a quantifiable, physical phenomenon that, deconstruct it as much as you want, will hit you like a tsunami whether you believe it or not.

Force only works because there is a real world that transcends philosophical bullshit and marketing.

The subjective piece is will: victory is attained when the enemies will to resist is crushed. Through the repeated use of physical force, eventually any enemy can be worn down and vanquished.

The world is finite, desire is infinite, and for every desire and appetite, there is a will. As multiple wills will that they attain their infinite desires in a finite world, there will always be a conflict of will, which will always ultimately be resolved by force. Which means ultimately, despite the rich imaginations and appetites of humans, and their related striving, physical force will ultimately rule the day, and conquer, condition, and constrain the mental life of mankind.

Of course, desire and appetite will not take no for an answer, and in their frustration, they will imagine, fantasize, and conceptualize rationales for why this is not so. This is the nature of our desires, and in good times of prosperity and peace, they may even bend our reason in the direction of these appetites and fantasies, until the instincts for self preservation and endurance rust, and are even forgotten. But like the moon revealed by a passing cloud, the perpetual war of human existence will inevitably reassert itself, and those that have prepared for the inevitable will vanquish those who were content to daydream when they should have been preparing.

TimothyPMadden , says: December 4, 2018 at 8:52 pm GMT
What is truth ?

Truth is a word .

After reading the article and the aggregate comments, I am strengthened in my belief that the physics analogy of Schrödinger's cat is among the most useful (and notwithstanding the otherwise valid criticism of it in the comments). In the same way that the Oxford English Dictionary, for example, does not purport to define a given word, per se , but rather gives a detailed description of how the word has in fact been used over the years and centuries.

I refer to my version of Schrödinger's cat as counter-sense words or oscillating-contradictions .

Oscillating contradictions and cogno-linguistic manipulation

The primary means by which corporate supremacy, for example, is achieved and maintained in practice is via the maintenance and use of a small arsenal of about two dozen critical counter-sense or yo-yo -like words/terms that are asserted or claimed to mean either "X" or "Minus-X" at the option of the decision-maker.

Among the most important and sui generis (in a class of its own) is the word person which is held to mean a living, breathing being of conscience (literally a being of equity) with the rights, powers and privileges of such being ("X"), or else it can mean a corporate entity which is a notional/inanimate item of property to be bought and sold and otherwise traded for profit in the stock and financial markets ("Minus-X").

By way of example/demonstration of the ongoing cognitive manipulation process, if someone had managed to hit the judges of the U.S. Supreme Court with a blast of truth-ray just before they announced their decision in Citizens United, here is what we may have got instead:

[MORE]

We here at the Supreme Court are part of what can be fairly and broadly referred to as an arm of the entrenched-money-power.

At certain times and under certain circumstances it is to our enormous advantage over you the masses that corporations be natural-persons-in-law with the rights, powers and privileges of a natural person or living being of conscience.

At other times and other circumstances it is to our enormous advantage over you the masses that corporations be items of property that can be actively bought and sold and traded for profit in the stock and financial markets.

Your laughable naiveté is manifest in your expectation that you are going to receive a definitive answer from this Court, or even that it is possible for us to give you one. Among the foundational purposes of this Court is to actively prevent that question from being answered definitively at all. The instant we give a definitive answer, the game is over.

Whatever answer we give you must perpetuate the systematized delusion that the same concept (corporate personhood) can mean either X (a living being of conscience), or minus-X (an item of property), depending on the ever-changing needs of the decider.

So our current answer is that a corporation is a natural-person-in-law with the rights, powers and privileges of a natural person, except when it isn't. We'll let you know next time whether that situation has changed in the meantime.

Essentially all counter-sense words/terms follow that same template .

Notwithstanding that the respective concepts are logically and objectively mutually exclusive , the judges of the Courts (and the broadly-defined financial-world/social-control-structure) maintain that it can be either or both , and we'll let you know if and when it becomes important.

So a corporate person has a right of free speech when giving money to influence political parties, but not to object to itself being sold as a piece of property in the stock and financial markets or when it is acquired in a merger or takeover financed by its own assets. If a corporation has the legal capacity and rights of a natural person, then how can it be owned as the legal property of another? The purpose of the Courts is to ensure that that question is never presented in that way.

After person , the remaining most significant counter-sense or yo-yo -like words are (surprise surprise) essentially all money-and-finance-based, and the most important among these is the word principal and its role in facilitating illegal front-loading or ex-temporal fraud (interest illegally and unlawfully compounded in advance).

Is the amount of principal the actual or net amount advanced by the creditor and received by the debtor for their own use and control?

Or is it the amount that the debtor agrees that they owe regardless of the amount received?

Is the amount of principal a question of fact ? Or of the agreement of parties ?

[Here is the premise / offer that is referenced immediately below:]

Lender (e.g., typical second-mortgage lender): "I will loan you $10,000 at 20% per annum provided that you sign and give to me a marketable security that claims or otherwise purports to evidence that I have loaned you $15,000 at 10% per annum, plus an undisclosed and unregistered side-agreement and cheque (check) back to me for a bonus or loan fee of $5,000 as a payment from the nominal proceeds."

In the process example used above, what is the principal amount of the loan? Is it $10,000 because that is the factual net amount invested by the creditor and received by the debtor for their own use? Or is it $15,000 because that is the amount that the debtor is required to falsely agree that they have received and owe as a condition of the loan? Or is it $20,000 because that is the total cash-equivalent/money assets ($15,000 mortgage + $5,000 cheque) that the debtor has to give to the creditor?

Is it a noun/fact ? Or is it an adjective/opinion merely pretending to be a noun? All debt and therefore money in the world today depends on the answer to that question that theoretically cannot exist.

Principal is a special type (and most significant form) of counter-sense word or oscillating contradiction where dictionaries normally only give one sense, while commercial practice defines the contrary. It would be very difficult to put the Whatever-the-debtor-agrees-that-they-owe sense into a dictionary, because the fraud against meaning (as well as the criminal law) is manifest in spelling it out, and ever more so in more specialized financial dictionaries.

So virtually every legal, financial, accounting, and ordinary English dictionary and/or regulation defines it to the effect "The actual amount invested, loaned or advanced to the debtor/borrower net of any interest, discount, premium or fees", while virtually every financial security in the real world at least implicitly incorporates the fraudulent alternative/contrary meaning.

This in turn allows the academic world to function on the rational/factual definition, while the markets maintain a wholly contradictory deemed or pretended reality, while both remain oblivious to the contradiction.

Thus principal means the nominal creditor's actual and net investment, unless it doesn't .

With this class of counter-sense word where there is a necessary and definitive answer, the real job of the judges of the Courts becomes to make certain that the question is never officially asked, and under no circumstances is it to be definitively answered.

With just one of these words you can theoretically steal the Earth . With a financial system that is relatively saturated with them, such becomes child's play . With these rules a group of competently-trained chimpanzees otherwise pulling levers at random could do as well as the so-called wizards of Wall Street .

And significantly, these oscillating contradictions enable the judges to be self-righteous in the extreme on behalf of the entrenched-money-power, while looting the little people of the product of their labour.

As in: You have received the principal amount ($10,000) and you are going to pay back the principal amount ($15,000) plus the ever-accumulating (and super-leveraged) interest upon it according to your contract, while the meaning of the word oscillates between fact and opinion – between a noun and an adjective – according to what the judge needs it to mean (or accommodate) at any given instant in time.

It seems impossibly obvious in this simple example, but with several of them orchestrated simultaneously or sequentially, anything can truly be made to mean anything .

A partial list of the most critical oscillating-contradicitions includes: loan, credit, discount, interest, rate-of-interest, agreement, contract, security, repay, restitution, etc., all of which mean either "X" or its conceptual opposite "Minus-X" at the option of the entrenched-money-power whose vast financial fortunes are founded on such cogno-linguistic arbitrage .

Here are what I believe to be four essential tools needed to triangulate reality via congo-linguistic parallax . The first two are mine, and the last two are from the American and English Courts, respectively.

1. Humans are highly cogno-linguistic . We perceive reality very largely as a function of the language that we use to describe it. Most everyone inherently believes and presumes that you have to be able to think something before you can say it. The greater reality is that, above a certain base level of perception and communication, you have to have the words and language by which to say something before you can think it .

2. The world is ever-increasingly controlled and administered by people who genuinely believe whatever is necessary for the answer they need. Administrative agents of the entrenched-money-power have solved the criminal-law enigma of mens rea or guilty mind by evolving or devolving (take your pick) into professional schizophrenics who genuinely believe whatever they need to believe for the answer they need, and who communicate among themselves subconsciously by how they name things. They suffer a cogno-linguistically-induced diminished capacity that renders them incapable of perceiving reality beyond labels .

3. Their core business model or modus operandi is the systematized delusion :

"A "systematized delusion" is one based on a false premise, pursued by a logical process of reasoning to an insane conclusion ; there being one central delusion, around which other aberrations of the mind converge." Taylor v. McClintock, 112 S.W. 405, 412, 87 Ark. 243. (West's Judicial Words and Phrases (1914)).

4.

One must not confuse the object of a conspiracy [to defraud] with the means by which it is intended to be carried out. Scott v. Metropolitan Police Commissioner [1974] 60 Cr. App. R. 124 H.L.

I have long since abandoned my search for truth, per se, since I came to realize that the best I can ever do is to constantly strive to move closer to it. With apologies to the physicists, Truth is the Limit of Infinite Good Faith .

The Scalpel , says: Website December 5, 2018 at 12:34 am GMT
@Tulip " which will always ultimately be resolved by force."

Right there is where you lost the plot. That statement is just your opinion and it cannot be proven true. The rest of your argument falls victim to this logical error.

" and those that have prepared for the inevitable will vanquish those who were content to daydream when they should have been preparing."

Also, just your opinion. For example, the "dreamer" might die still comforted by his/her dreams, while the "prepper" might waste his life witing for the "inevitable' that never arrives.

redmudhooch , says: December 5, 2018 at 2:15 am GMT
Truth shall set you free.

For the First Time Since 9/11, Federal Gov't Takes Steps to Prosecute the Use of Explosives to Destroy WTCs

https://thefreethoughtproject.com/911-lawyers-petition-grand-jury-explosives/

In what can be described as a monumental step forward in the relentless pursuit of 9/11 truth, a United States Attorney has agreed to comply with federal law requiring submission to a Special Grand Jury of evidence that explosives were used to bring down the World Trade Centers.

The Lawyers' Committee for 9/11 Inquiry successfully submitted a petition to the federal government demanding that the U.S. Attorney present to a Special Grand Jury extensive evidence of yet-to-be-prosecuted federal crimes relating to the destruction of three World Trade Center Towers on 9/11 (WTC1, WTC2 and WTC7).

After waiting months for the reply, the U.S. Attorney responded in a letter, noting that they will comply with the law.

Some good documentary films here to watch for free:

http://metanoia-films.org/psywar/

Heres a couple more. Occupation of the American Mind is very good. All of John Pilgers films are great.

James Forrestal , says: December 5, 2018 at 3:58 am GMT

@Wizard of Oz

My question/quibble relates to your objection to the use of sniffer dogs to establish probable cause for search because it is no better than a coin toss. That seems fallacious if, according to your figures, the dogs sniff 500 people and get excited by 10 of them of which 3 are correctly identified and 7 are false positives.

Yeah. The concepts of sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value might be very helpful in assessing this.

[Dec 01, 2018] An interesting book: The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence by Victor Marchetti

Notable quotes:
"... Here's a wonderful example of the NYT's propensity for re-writing history: http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2012/08/30/ny-times-scrubs-mention-cia-arming-syrian-rebels-177311/ Long live the memory hole. ..."
Aug 30, 2012 | www.theguardian.com

bilejones, 30 Aug 2012 16:16

Here's a wonderful example of the NYT's propensity for re-writing history: http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2012/08/30/ny-times-scrubs-mention-cia-arming-syrian-rebels-177311/ Long live the memory hole.
BillOwen , 30 Aug 2012 13:15
The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence Victor Marchetti

"It is the first book the federal government of the United States ever went to court to censor before its publication. The CIA demanded the authors remove 399 passages but they stood firm and only 168 passages were censored. The publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, chose to publish the book with blanks for censored passages and with boldface type for passages that were challenged but later uncensored."

There exists in our nation today a powerful and dangerous secret cult -- the cult of intelligence. Its holy men are the clandestine professionals of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Its patrons and protectors are the highest officials of the federal government. Its membership, extending far beyond governmental circles, reaches into the power centers of industry, commerce, finance, and labor. Its friends are many in the areas of important public influence -- the academic world and the communications media.

The cult of intelligence is a secret fraternity of the American political aristocracy.

The purpose of the cult is to further the foreign policies of the U.S. government by covert and usually illegal means, while at the same time containing the spread of its avowed enemy, communism. Traditionally, the cult's hope has been to foster a world order in which America would reign supreme, the unchallenged international leader.

Today, however, that dream stands tarnished by time and frequent failures. Thus, the cult's objectives are now less grandiose, but no less disturbing. It seeks largely to advance America's self-appointed role as the dominant arbiter of social, economic, and political change in the awakening regions of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. And its worldwide war against communism has to some extent been reduced to a covert struggle to maintain a self-serving stability in the Third World, using whatever clandestine methods are available.

Wiki

[Nov 26, 2018] Orwell's story is an allegory of modern Western politics and social commentary, where so many essential but inconvenient facts are "silently dropped" from analysis.

Notable quotes:
"... Homage to Catalonia ..."
"... Homage to Catalonia ..."
"... typhlophthalmism ..."
Nov 26, 2018 | www.unz.com

In Homage to Catalonia (1938), his memoir of the Spanish Civil War, George Orwell describes how his wife was rudely woken by a police-raid on the hotel room she was occupying in Barcelona:

In the small hours of the morning there was a pounding on the door, and six men marched in, switched on the light, and immediately took up various positions about the room, obviously agreed upon beforehand. They then searched both rooms (there was a bathroom attached) with inconceivable thoroughness. They sounded the walls, took up the mats, examined the floor, felt the curtains, probed under the bath and the radiator, emptied every drawer and suitcase and felt every garment and held it up to the light. ( Homage to Catalonia , ch. 14)

The police conducted this search "in the recognized OGPU [then the Russian communist secret-police] or Gestapo style for nearly two hours," Orwell says. He then notes that in "all this time they never searched the bed." His wife was still in it, you see, and although the police "were probably Communist Party members they were also Spaniards, and to turn a woman out of bed was a little too much for them. This part of the job was silently dropped, making the whole search meaningless."

Orwell's story suggests a new word to me: typhlophthalmism , meaning "the practice of turning a blind eye to essential but inconvenient facts" (from Greek typhlos , "blind," + ophthalmos , "eye"). But it's a long word, so let's call it typhlism for short. Shorter is better, because the term could be used so often today. Orwell's story is an allegory of modern Western politics and social commentary, where so many essential but inconvenient facts are "silently dropped" from analysis.

[Oct 19, 2018] UK press riddled with spooks, conduits for intelligence agencies keen to score one for the Empire by John Wight

Notable quotes:
"... A 2000 article reveals Coughlin was fed material by MI6 for years, which he then turned into Telegraph news articles ..."
"... There is - or has been until recently - a very active programme by the secret agencies to colour what appears in the British press, called, if publications by various defectors can be believed, information operations, or 'I/Ops'. ..."
"... A colourful example of the way these techniques expanded to meet the exigencies of the hour came in the early 70s, when the readers of the News of the World were treated to a front-page splash, "Russian sub in IRA plot sensation", complete with aerial photograph of the conning tower of a Soviet sub awash off the coast of Donegal ..."
"... Read more British intelligence now officially a by-word for organized crime ..."
"... he [Coughlin] regaled [the newspaper's] readers with the dramatic story of the son of Libya's Colonel Gadafy (sic) and his alleged connection to a currency counterfeiting plan. The story [implicating Saif Gaddafi] was falsely attributed to a 'British banking official.' In fact, it had been given to him by officers of MI6, who, it transpired, had been supplying Coughlin with material for years. ..."
"... It could well be, therefore, that the unfortunate Mr Khashoggi has become the victim of the region's dangerous and conflicting currents. ..."
"... The incestuous relationship between the intelligence services and sections of the [British] media is, of course, nothing new. The connection is notoriously close in the case of foreign correspondents Sandy Gall, the ITN reporter and newsreader, boasted of his work for MI6 in Afghanistan during the 1980s ..."
"... After US Senate hearings in 1975 revealed the extent of CIA recruitment of both American and British journalists, 'sources' let it be known that half the foreign staff of a British daily [newspaper] were on the MI6 payroll. ..."
Oct 18, 2018 | www.rt.com

John Wight has written for a variety of newspapers and websites, including the Independent, Morning Star, Huffington Post, Counterpunch, London Progressive Journal, and Foreign Policy Journal. Published time: 18 Oct, 2018 13:16 Edited time: 18 Oct, 2018 14:44

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That a free press underpins British democracy is an enduring myth that has been allowed to go unchallenged, up there with unicorns and the Loch Ness Monster. Because if a clutch of right-wing reactionary billionaires owning the bulk of a nation's major newspaper titles and media constitutes a free press, the word 'free' has been stripped and shorn of all meaning.

Yet, while the aforementioned – let's be kind here – 'anomaly' has long been understood by anyone of adult years with the ability to put their underpants on the right way round in the morning, the extent to which the British establishment press and media has been penetrated by intelligence services and acts as a conduit for their agenda is less well known.

Read more Guardian columnist Owen Jones © REUTERS / Simon Dawson Telegraph defence editor savaged by Owen Jones over Saudi-links, deletes Twitter account

That it is less well known remains one of life's great mysteries nonetheless. Scratch your average British journalist and you have yourself a frustrated spook; someone who would be on their toes at the sound of a car door slamming shut in the street, while harbouring fantasies of coming across Vladimir Putin in a dark alley one night and scoring one for the Empire.

Take Con Coughlin, for example, Defence Editor at The Daily Telegraph (more colloquially and accurately known as The Daily Torygraph). Coughlin is a product of a private school production line that has unleashed more knaves on the world than spittle on a dentist's chair. While his outing as an MI6 asset may have been a long time coming, now that it has, it marks yet another nail in the coffin of a media class whose relationship to truth and objectivity belongs in the box marked non-existent.

Though I hold no candle for Guardian columnist, Owen Jones, it remains a truism that even a blind chicken gets a piece of corn sometimes; and on this basis Jones has rendered us a service in outing Coughlin in a recent series of devastating tweets. Also providing an invaluable service in helping join the dots of the story is The Canary , independent left-wing news and views web journal that currently boasts a larger readership than a growing section of the mainstream media.

As it turns out, Mr Coughlin's links to MI6 (Britain's foreign intelligence agency) go back some time. As Jones writes: " A 2000 article reveals Coughlin was fed material by MI6 for years, which he then turned into Telegraph news articles ."

The Guardian article Jones is referring to was published at a time when the centre-left newspaper was a worthy source of information and analysis, home to the likes of Seumas Milne, one of Britain's finest-ever columnists currently plying his trade as chief press adviser to Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. It just goes to show that whoever said evolution only moves in one direction had never taken the time to follow the trajectory of The Guardian in recent years.

But that's another story.

We are informed in the aforesaid 2000 Guardian article that " There is - or has been until recently - a very active programme by the secret agencies to colour what appears in the British press, called, if publications by various defectors can be believed, information operations, or 'I/Ops'. "

Further on: " A colourful example of the way these techniques expanded to meet the exigencies of the hour came in the early 70s, when the readers of the News of the World were treated to a front-page splash, "Russian sub in IRA plot sensation", complete with aerial photograph of the conning tower of a Soviet sub awash off the coast of Donegal ."

Read more British intelligence now officially a by-word for organized crime

This story was of course entirely bogus, as was one published in the Sunday Telegraph, sister paper of the aforementioned Daily Telegraph, over two decades later, written by – you guessed it – Con Coughlin.

From the article: " he [Coughlin] regaled [the newspaper's] readers with the dramatic story of the son of Libya's Colonel Gadafy (sic) and his alleged connection to a currency counterfeiting plan. The story [implicating Saif Gaddafi] was falsely attributed to a 'British banking official.' In fact, it had been given to him by officers of MI6, who, it transpired, had been supplying Coughlin with material for years. "

Coughlin, by the way, is also revealed, according to Jones, to have been an eager shill for the Saudis.

In the wake of the disappearance of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, whom according to Turkish authorities was brutally murdered and dismembered by a group of Saudis, who, equipped with a bone saw, flew in to the country from the Kingdom to carry out the deed especially, Coughlin went to work shrouding matters in a fog of benign uncertainty. Consider: " It could well be, therefore, that the unfortunate Mr Khashoggi has become the victim of the region's dangerous and conflicting currents. " Ahem indeed.

Coughlin also saw fit to describe current Saudi tyrant - sorry Crown Prince - Muhammad Bin Salman (affectionately known as MbS) as a " human dynamo ," after he was afforded the privilege of a sit down interview.

At the risk of focusing too much on Mr Coughlin and his work, however, we are obliged to make the point that he is merely one among many British establishment journalists who have eagerly embraced the role of conduit of the nation's intelligence services over the years.

In his classic work on the 1984-85 miners' strike, The Enemy Within, Seumas Milne writes: " The incestuous relationship between the intelligence services and sections of the [British] media is, of course, nothing new. The connection is notoriously close in the case of foreign correspondents Sandy Gall, the ITN reporter and newsreader, boasted of his work for MI6 in Afghanistan during the 1980s ."

Milne, in the same passage, goes on to reveal how " After US Senate hearings in 1975 revealed the extent of CIA recruitment of both American and British journalists, 'sources' let it be known that half the foreign staff of a British daily [newspaper] were on the MI6 payroll. "

So there you have it, the murky relationship between British intelligence and the country's establishment journalists is one that reaches far back in time and continues in the present, as redoubtable and reliable as Big Ben itself.

In fact considering where we are, the indefensible positions taken by prominent newspaper journalists and columnists at not only The Telegraph but also The Times and, yes, The Guardian over Russia, Ukraine, Syria, Venezuela et al. – in other words, the way that almost to a man and woman they have fallen into line behind their own government when it comes to who the officially designated enemies of the moment should be – the question we need to ask ourselves is not how many of them might be in the pay of MI6 and MI5, but how many of them might not?

In fact considering where we are, the indefensible positions taken by prominent newspaper journalists and columnists at not only The Telegraph but also The Times and, yes, The Guardian over Russia, Ukraine, Syria, Venezuela et al. – in other words, the way in which they have fallen into line behind their own government when it comes to who the officially designated enemies of the moment should be – the question we need to ask ourselves is not how many of them might be in the pay of MI6 and MI5, but how many of them might not?

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.

[Sep 27, 2018] Hiding in Plain Sight Why We Cannot See the System Destroying Us

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... But strangely most of us are much readier to concede the corrupting influence of the relatively small power of individuals than we are the rottenness of vastly more powerful institutions and structures. We blame the school teacher or the politician for abusing his or her power, while showing a reluctance to do the same about either the education or political systems in which they have to operate. ..."
"... It is relatively easy to understand that your line manager is abusing his power, because he has so little of it. His power is visible to you because it relates only to you and the small group of people around you ..."
"... It is a little harder, but not too difficult, to identify the abusive policies of your firm – the low pay, cuts in overtime, attacks on union representation ..."
"... It is more difficult to see the corrupt power of large institutions, aside occasionally from the corruption of senior figures within those institutions, such as a Robert Maxwell or a Richard Nixon ..."
"... But it is all but impossible to appreciate the corrupt nature of the entire system. And the reason is right there in those aphorisms: absolute power depends on absolute control over knowledge, which in turn necessitates absolute corruption. If that were not the case, we wouldn't be dealing with serious power – as should be obvious, if we pause to think about it ..."
"... The current neoliberal elite who effectively rule the planet have reached as close to absolute power as any elite in human history. And because they have near-absolute power, they have a near-absolute control of the official narratives about our societies and our "enemies", those who stand in their way to global domination ..."
"... What is clear, however, is that the British intelligence services have been feeding the British corporate media a self-serving, drip-drip narrative from the outset – and that the media have shown precisely no interest at any point in testing any part of this narrative or even questioning it. They have been entirely passive, which means that we their readers have been entirely passive too ..."
"... Journalists typically have a passive relationship to power, in stark contrast to their image as tenacious watchdog. But more fundamental than control over narrative is the ideology that guides these narratives. Ideology ensures the power-system is invisible not only to us, those who are abused and exploited by it, but also to those who benefit from it. ..."
"... It is precisely because power resides in structures and ideology, rather than individuals, that it is so hard to see. And the power-structures themselves are made yet more difficult to identify because the narratives created about our societies are designed to conceal those structures and ideology – where real power resides – by focusing instead on individuals ..."
"... Before neoliberalism there were other systems of rule. There was, for example, feudalism that appropriated a communal resource – land – exclusively for an aristocracy. It exploited the masses by forcing them to toil on the land for a pittance to generate the wealth that supported castles, a clergy, manor houses, art collections and armies. For several centuries the power of this tiny elite went largely unquestioned ..."
"... Neoliberalism, late-stage capitalism, plutocratic rule by corporations – whatever you wish to call it – has allowed a tiny elite to stash away more wealth and accrue more power than any feudal monarch could ever have dreamt of. And because of the global reach of this elite, its corruption is more endemic, more complete, more destructive than any ever known to mankind ..."
"... A foreign policy elite can destroy the world several times over with nuclear weapons. A globalised corporate elite is filling the oceans with the debris from our consumption, and chopping down the forest-lungs of our planet for palm-oil plantations so we can satisfy our craving for biscuits and cake. And our media and intelligence services are jointly crafting a narrative of bogeymen and James Bond villains – both in Hollywood movies, and in our news programmes – to make us fearful and pliable ..."
"... The system – whether feudalism, capitalism, neoliberalism – emerges out of the real-world circumstances of those seeking power most ruthlessly. In a time when the key resource was land, a class emerged justifying why it should have exclusive rights to control that land and the labour needed to make it productive. When industrial processes developed, a class emerged demanding that it had proprietary rights to those processes and to the labour needed to make them productive. ..."
"... In these situations, we need to draw on something like Darwin's evolutionary "survival of the fittest" principle. Those few who are most hungry for power, those with least empathy, will rise to the top of the pyramid, finding themselves best-placed to exploit the people below. They will rationalise this exploitation as a divine right, or as evidence of their inherently superior skills, or as proof of the efficiency of the market. ..."
"... And below them, like the layers of ball bearings, will be those who can help them maintain and expand their power: those who have the skills, education and socialisation to increase profits and sell brands. ..."
"... None of this should surprise us either. Because power – not just the people in the system, but the system itself – will use whatever tools it has to protect itself. It is easier to deride critics as unhinged, especially when you control the media, the politicians and the education system, than it is to provide a counter-argument. ..."
"... so neoliberalism is driven not by ethics but the pursuit of power and wealth through the control of the planet. ..."
"... The only truth we can know is that the western power-elite is determined to finish the task of making its power fully global, expanding it from near-absolute to absolute. It cares nothing for you or your grand-children. It is a cold-calculating system, not a friend or neighbour. It lives for the instant gratification of wealth accumulation, not concern about the planet's fate tomorrow. ..."
Sep 27, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

I rarely tell readers what to believe. Rather I try to indicate why it might be wise to distrust, at least without very good evidence, what those in power tell us we should believe.

We have well-known sayings about power: "Knowledge is power", and "Power tends to corrupt, while absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely." These aphorisms resonate because they say something true about how we experience the world. People who have power – even very limited power they hold on licence from someone else – tend to abuse it, sometimes subtly and unconsciously, and sometimes overtly and wilfully.

If we are reasonably self-aware, we can sense the tendency in ourselves to exploit to our advantage whatever power we enjoy, whether it is in our dealings with a spouse, our children, a friend, an employee, or just by the general use of our status to get ahead.

This isn't usually done maliciously or even consciously. By definition, the hardest thing to recognise are our own psychological, emotional and mental blind spots – and the biggest, at least for those born with class, gender or race privileges, is realising that these too are forms of power.

Nonetheless, they are all minor forms of power compared to the power wielded collectively by the structures that dominate our societies: the financial sector, the corporations, the media, the political class, and the security services.

But strangely most of us are much readier to concede the corrupting influence of the relatively small power of individuals than we are the rottenness of vastly more powerful institutions and structures. We blame the school teacher or the politician for abusing his or her power, while showing a reluctance to do the same about either the education or political systems in which they have to operate.

Similarly, we are happier identifying the excessive personal power of a Rupert Murdoch than we are the immense power of the corporate empire behind him and on which his personal wealth and success depend.

And beyond this, we struggle most of all to detect the structural and ideological framework underpinning or cohering all these discrete examples of power.

Narrative control

It is relatively easy to understand that your line manager is abusing his power, because he has so little of it. His power is visible to you because it relates only to you and the small group of people around you.

It is a little harder, but not too difficult, to identify the abusive policies of your firm – the low pay, cuts in overtime, attacks on union representation.

It is more difficult to see the corrupt power of large institutions, aside occasionally from the corruption of senior figures within those institutions, such as a Robert Maxwell or a Richard Nixon.

But it is all but impossible to appreciate the corrupt nature of the entire system. And the reason is right there in those aphorisms: absolute power depends on absolute control over knowledge, which in turn necessitates absolute corruption. If that were not the case, we wouldn't be dealing with serious power – as should be obvious, if we pause to think about it.

Real power in our societies derives from that which is necessarily hard to see – structures, ideology and narratives – not individuals. Any Murdoch or Trump can be felled, though being loyal acolytes of the power-system they rarely are, should they threaten the necessary maintenance of power by these interconnected institutions, these structures.

The current neoliberal elite who effectively rule the planet have reached as close to absolute power as any elite in human history. And because they have near-absolute power, they have a near-absolute control of the official narratives about our societies and our "enemies", those who stand in their way to global domination.

No questions about Skripals

One needs only to look at the narrative about the two men, caught on CCTV cameras, who have recently been accused by our political and media class of using a chemical agent to try to murder Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia back in March.

I don't claim to know whether Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov work for the Russian security services, or whether they were dispatched by Vladimir Putin on a mission to Salisbury to kill the Skripals.

What is clear, however, is that the British intelligence services have been feeding the British corporate media a self-serving, drip-drip narrative from the outset – and that the media have shown precisely no interest at any point in testing any part of this narrative or even questioning it. They have been entirely passive, which means that we their readers have been entirely passive too.

That there are questions about the narrative to be raised is obvious if you turn away from the compliant corporate media and seek out the views of an independent-minded, one-time insider such as Craig Murray.

A former British ambassador, Murray is asking questions that may prove to be pertinent or not. At this stage, when all we have to rely on is what the intelligence services are selectively providing, these kinds of doubts should be driving the inquiries of any serious journalist covering the story. But as is so often the case, not only are these questions not being raised or investigated, but anyone like Murray who thinks critically – who assumes that the powerful will seek to promote their interests and avoid accountability – is instantly dismissed as a conspiracy theorist or in Putin's pocket.

That is no meaningful kind of critique. Many of the questions that have been raised – like why there are so many gaps in the CCTV record of the movements of both the Skripals and the two assumed assassins – could be answered if there was an interest in doing so. The evasion and the smears simply suggest that power intends to remain unaccountable, that it is keeping itself concealed, that the narrative is more important than the truth.

And that is reason enough to move from questioning the narrative to distrusting it.

Ripples on a lake

Journalists typically have a passive relationship to power, in stark contrast to their image as tenacious watchdog. But more fundamental than control over narrative is the ideology that guides these narratives. Ideology ensures the power-system is invisible not only to us, those who are abused and exploited by it, but also to those who benefit from it.

It is precisely because power resides in structures and ideology, rather than individuals, that it is so hard to see. And the power-structures themselves are made yet more difficult to identify because the narratives created about our societies are designed to conceal those structures and ideology – where real power resides – by focusing instead on individuals.

That is why our newspapers and TV shows are full of stories about personalities – celebrities, royalty, criminals, politicians. They are made visible so we fail to notice the ideological structures we live inside, which are supposed to remain invisible.

News and entertainment are the ripples on a lake, not the lake itself. But the ripples could not exist without the lake that forms and shapes them.

Up against the screen

If this sounds like hyperbole, let's stand back from our particular ideological system – neoliberalism – and consider earlier ideological systems in the hope that they offer some perspective. At the moment, we are like someone standing right up against an IMAX screen, so close that we cannot see that there is a screen or even guess that there is a complete picture. All we see are moving colours and pixels. Maybe we can briefly infer a mouth, the wheel of a vehicle, a gun.

Before neoliberalism there were other systems of rule. There was, for example, feudalism that appropriated a communal resource – land – exclusively for an aristocracy. It exploited the masses by forcing them to toil on the land for a pittance to generate the wealth that supported castles, a clergy, manor houses, art collections and armies. For several centuries the power of this tiny elite went largely unquestioned.

But then a class of entrepreneurs emerged, challenging the landed artistocracy with a new means of industrialised production. They built factories and took advantage of scales of economy that slightly widened the circle of privilege, creating a middle class. That elite, and the middle-class that enjoyed crumbs from their master's table, lived off the exploitation of children in work houses and the labour of a new urban poor in slum housing.

These eras were systematically corrupt, enabling the elites of those times to extend and entrench their power. Each elite produced justifications to placate the masses who were being exploited, to brainwash them into believing the system existed as part of a natural order or even for their benefit. The aristocracy relied on a divine right of kings, the capitalist class on the guiding hand of the free market and bogus claims of equality of opportunity.

In another hundred years, if we still exist as a species, our system will look no less corrupt – probably more so – than its predecessors.

Neoliberalism, late-stage capitalism, plutocratic rule by corporations – whatever you wish to call it – has allowed a tiny elite to stash away more wealth and accrue more power than any feudal monarch could ever have dreamt of. And because of the global reach of this elite, its corruption is more endemic, more complete, more destructive than any ever known to mankind.

A foreign policy elite can destroy the world several times over with nuclear weapons. A globalised corporate elite is filling the oceans with the debris from our consumption, and chopping down the forest-lungs of our planet for palm-oil plantations so we can satisfy our craving for biscuits and cake. And our media and intelligence services are jointly crafting a narrative of bogeymen and James Bond villains – both in Hollywood movies, and in our news programmes – to make us fearful and pliable.

Assumptions of inevitability

Most of us abuse our own small-power thoughtlessly, even self-righteously. We tell ourselves that we gave the kids a "good spanking" because they were naughty, rather than because we established with them early on a power relationship that confusingly taught them that the use of force and coercion came with a parental stamp of approval.

Those in greater power, from minions in the media to executives of major corporations, are no different. They are as incapable of questioning the ideology and the narrative – how inevitable and "right" our neoliberal system is – as the rest of us. But they play a vital part in maintaining and entrenching that system nonetheless.

David Cromwell and David Edwards of Media Lens have provided two analogies – in the context of the media – that help explain how it is possible for individuals and groups to assist and enforce systems of power without having any conscious intention to do so, and without being aware that they are contributing to something harmful. Without, in short, being aware that they are conspiring in the system.

The first :

When a shoal of fish instantly changes direction, it looks for all the world as though the movement was synchronised by some guiding hand. Journalists – all trained and selected for obedience by media all seeking to maximise profits within state-capitalist society – tend to respond to events in the same way.

The second :

Place a square wooden framework on a flat surface and pour into it a stream of ball bearings, marbles, or other round objects. Some of the balls may bounce out, but many will form a layer within the wooden framework; others will then find a place atop this first layer. In this way, the flow of ball bearings steadily builds new layers that inevitably produce a pyramid-style shape. This experiment is used to demonstrate how near-perfect crystalline structures such as snowflakes arise in nature without conscious design.

The system – whether feudalism, capitalism, neoliberalism – emerges out of the real-world circumstances of those seeking power most ruthlessly. In a time when the key resource was land, a class emerged justifying why it should have exclusive rights to control that land and the labour needed to make it productive. When industrial processes developed, a class emerged demanding that it had proprietary rights to those processes and to the labour needed to make them productive.

Our place in the pyramid

In these situations, we need to draw on something like Darwin's evolutionary "survival of the fittest" principle. Those few who are most hungry for power, those with least empathy, will rise to the top of the pyramid, finding themselves best-placed to exploit the people below. They will rationalise this exploitation as a divine right, or as evidence of their inherently superior skills, or as proof of the efficiency of the market.

And below them, like the layers of ball bearings, will be those who can help them maintain and expand their power: those who have the skills, education and socialisation to increase profits and sell brands.

All of this should be obvious, even non-controversial. It fits what we experience of our small-power lives. Does bigger power operate differently? After all, if those at the top of the power-pyramid were not hungry for power, even psychopathic in its pursuit, if they were caring and humane, worried primarily about the wellbeing of their workforce and the planet, they would be social workers and environmental activists, not CEOs of media empires and arms manufacturers.

And yet, base your political thinking on what should be truisms, articulate a worldview that distrusts those with the most power because they are the most capable of – and committed to – misusing it, and you will be derided. You will be called a conspiracy theorist, dismissed as deluded. You will be accused of wearing a tinfoil hat, of sour grapes, of being anti-American, a social warrior, paranoid, an Israel-hater or anti-semitic, pro-Putin, pro-Assad, a Marxist.

None of this should surprise us either. Because power – not just the people in the system, but the system itself – will use whatever tools it has to protect itself. It is easier to deride critics as unhinged, especially when you control the media, the politicians and the education system, than it is to provide a counter-argument.

In fact, it is vital to prevent any argument or real debate from taking place. Because the moment we think about the arguments, weigh them, use our critical faculties, there is a real danger that the scales will fall from our eyes. There is a real threat that we will move back from the screen, and see the whole picture.

Can we see the complete picture of the Skripal poisoning in Salisbury; or the US election that led to Trump being declared president; or the revolution in Ukraine; or the causes and trajectory of fighting in Syria, and before it Libya and Iraq; or the campaign to discredit Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour party; or the true implications of the banking crisis a decade ago?

Profit, not ethics

Just as a feudal elite was driven not by ethics but by the pursuit of power and wealth through the control of land; just as early capitalists were driven not by ethics but by the pursuit of power and wealth through the control of mechanisation; so neoliberalism is driven not by ethics but the pursuit of power and wealth through the control of the planet.

The only truth we can know is that the western power-elite is determined to finish the task of making its power fully global, expanding it from near-absolute to absolute. It cares nothing for you or your grand-children. It is a cold-calculating system, not a friend or neighbour. It lives for the instant gratification of wealth accumulation, not concern about the planet's fate tomorrow.

And because of that it is structurally bound to undermine or discredit anyone, any group, any state that stands in the way of achieving its absolute dominion.

If that is not the thought we hold uppermost in our minds as we listen to a politician, read a newspaper, watch a film or TV show, absorb an ad, or engage on social media, then we are sleepwalking into a future the most powerful, the most ruthless, the least caring have designed for us.

Step back, and take a look at the whole screen. And decide whether this is really the future you wish for your grand-children.

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are " 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 http://www.jonathan-cook.net/

[Sep 15, 2018] In view of neoliberal MSM witch hunt, the book Journalists for Hire by Udo Ufkotte is now even more important that at the time of its publication

Notable quotes:
"... Robinson talks like he has given up on impeachment by what he calls a powerless and spineless Congress. Maybe he's thinking of something quicker and cleaner than a coup, something that could be carried out by a small group of conspirators within an agency trained in removing uncooperative heads of state? ..."
"... Since deep state conspirators routinely smear all those who demand evidence as "Russian agents," maybe non-conspirators should use the same tactic on them, e.g.: Is Robinson on the CIA payroll? Because anyone who agrees with anything the CIA says is obviously working for the CIA, right? ..."
Aug 24, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

alley cat, August 16, 2018 at 1:58 pm

From the WaPo op-ed "God Bless the Deep State," by Eugene Robinson:

Democrats in Congress are powerless; the Republican leadership, spineless. Experienced government officials know that their job is to serve the president. But what if the president does not serve the best interests of the nation?

In this emergency [emphasis mine], the loyal and honorable deep state has a higher duty. It's called patriotism.

Is Robinson really suggesting a military coup? That would take a lot of planning and organization and would be almost impossible to keep secret. Some honest military officer might find out and put the kibosh on it, like Kirk Douglas did in Frankenheimers's classic political thriller, Seven Days in May .

Robinson talks like he has given up on impeachment by what he calls a powerless and spineless Congress. Maybe he's thinking of something quicker and cleaner than a coup, something that could be carried out by a small group of conspirators within an agency trained in removing uncooperative heads of state?

Since deep state conspirators routinely smear all those who demand evidence as "Russian agents," maybe non-conspirators should use the same tactic on them, e.g.: Is Robinson on the CIA payroll? Because anyone who agrees with anything the CIA says is obviously working for the CIA, right?

What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

I'm still looking for an English copy of Journalists for Hire by Udo Ufkotte.

Frederike , August 17, 2018 at 6:34 pm

There is only one article that is translated into English: "The world upside down" 2006, http://www.ulfkotte.de/18.html
Journalists for Hire is available in German only. (I was able to buy a copy last year.)

Frederike , August 17, 2018 at 6:47 pm

http://it-book.org/pdf/journalists-for-hire You can download the ebook in English

[Sep 14, 2018] The CIA Owns the US and European Media

Notable quotes:
"... The US media has send journalists to Salisbury very early. For example Ellen Barry, NYT. These journalists have influenced the official narrative to a decisive extent. ..."
"... Paul Craig Roberts: The CIA Owns the US and European Media ..."
"... One of the best books I have ever read is "Bought Journalists" : https://www.globalresearch.ca/english-translation-of-udo-ulfkottes-bought-journalists-suppressed/5601857 ..."
"... I recommend everyone to watch the video on Liane's link: https://youtu.be/sGqi-k213eE 15 minutes well worth watching. ..."
Sep 14, 2018 | www.theblogmire.com

Liane Theuer says: August 20, 2018 at 9:09 am

The US media has send journalists to Salisbury very early. For example Ellen Barry, NYT. These journalists have influenced the official narrative to a decisive extent.

On March 9 ABC News has send their chief reporter Terry Moranto to Salisbury. This is the video : https://abcnews.go.com/International/video/soldiers-heading-scene-poisoning-attack-england-53638197

He used the Snap Fitness CCTV to establish the „fact" that the Skripals went from Zizzis through Market Walk to the bench.

Rob, just another false translation of what Putin said about traitors. Listen to Moran´s interpretation at 2:00 in the video. Quote : Vladimir Putin's held a town hall session and he was asked about this five's that had been traded and he said, and this is almost a direct quote : „They will kick the bucket. Trust me. They betrayed their colleagues, their brothers in arms. And they took thirty pieces of silver and are gonna choke on all that." [End quote]

At 3:00 Terry Moran shows the CCTV of Snap Fitness. It´s outside at the right side of the entrance.

Noone says: August 20, 2018 at 5:03 am
Paul Craig Roberts: The CIA Owns the US and European Media

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/08/18/the-cia-owns-the-us-and-european-media/

Liane Theuer says: August 20, 2018 at 7:38 am
One of the best books I have ever read is "Bought Journalists" : https://www.globalresearch.ca/english-translation-of-udo-ulfkottes-bought-journalists-suppressed/5601857
Miheila says: August 20, 2018 at 10:01 am
Noone & Liane:
Excellent articles, thanks.
I recommend everyone to watch the video on Liane's link: https://youtu.be/sGqi-k213eE 15 minutes well worth watching.

[Sep 14, 2018] European media writing pro-US stories under CIA pressure - German journo

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... OPERATION MOCKINGBIRD - Operation Mockingbird was (IS) a secret campaign by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to influence media. Begun in the 1950s, it was initially organized by Cord Meyer and Allen W. Dulles, and was later led by Frank Wisner after Dulles became the head of the CIA. The organization recruited leading American journalists into a network to help present the CIA's views, and funded some student and cultural organizations, and magazines as fronts. As it developed, it also worked to influence foreign media and political campaigns, in addition to activities by other operating units of the CIA. In addition to earlier exposés of CIA activities in foreign affairs, in 1966 Ramparts magazine published an article revealing that the National Student Association was funded by the CIA. The United States Congress investigated, and published its report in 1976. Other accounts were also published. The media operation was first called Mockingbird in Deborah Davis's 1979 book, Katharine the Great: Katharine Graham and her Washington Post Empire. ..."
"... the secret societies, the banks, the oil families and other super rich powerful groups of people all call the shots in secret, doesn't matter who the "elected" president is, they are going to do what they want to do, unless, people know the truth... ..."
"... It wouldn't surprise me if this also applied on Swedish media. For decades our journalism was very neutral showing two sides of the story, but nowdays, last 7-8 years, things have changed. Swedish media has to a high degree become incredible one-sided in the writing of world politics... I started to notice the change some 7-8 years ago. Of course I find expectations like the municipal Television station SVT that still seems two-sided, but most written press in Sweden have become rotten, very rotten. ..."
"... The US's MIC has to find other ways to make money. This MIC could spend money on developing outer space programs, go the depths of the oceans, and study the fauna and flora on the earth. This nonsense of creating and making enemies on earth has to stop. The world is too small for this NONSENSE. ..."
"... Who has built the first concentration camp? It was the British Empire during the war against the Boers. The British put women, children and old people in these camps to make the Boers surrender. ..."
Oct 18, 2014 | www.youtube.com

German journalist and editor Udo Ulfkotte says he was forced to publish the works of intelligence agents under his own name, adding that noncompliance ran the risk of being fired. Ulfkotte made the revelations during interviews with RT and Russia Insider.


Abel Danger , 3 years ago

OPERATION MOCKINGBIRD - Operation Mockingbird was (IS) a secret campaign by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to influence media. Begun in the 1950s, it was initially organized by Cord Meyer and Allen W. Dulles, and was later led by Frank Wisner after Dulles became the head of the CIA. The organization recruited leading American journalists into a network to help present the CIA's views, and funded some student and cultural organizations, and magazines as fronts. As it developed, it also worked to influence foreign media and political campaigns, in addition to activities by other operating units of the CIA. In addition to earlier exposés of CIA activities in foreign affairs, in 1966 Ramparts magazine published an article revealing that the National Student Association was funded by the CIA. The United States Congress investigated, and published its report in 1976. Other accounts were also published. The media operation was first called Mockingbird in Deborah Davis's 1979 book, Katharine the Great: Katharine Graham and her Washington Post Empire.

2dogarage , 1 year ago

Dead at 56... RIP brave man

Aljo , 2 years ago

the secret societies, the banks, the oil families and other super rich powerful groups of people all call the shots in secret, doesn't matter who the "elected" president is, they are going to do what they want to do, unless, people know the truth...

John Zook , 2 years ago

Being of German decent my sympathies are with the people of Germany. Not to say that the Russian people haven't had a bad deal, of course they have under the Bolshevik Jews who nearly destroyed Russia for the sake of Zionist ideology.

The people of Germany deserve better than this. They need to overthrow American control of their government and their media and replace it with pro German people who will serve the interests of Germany, not that of the vicious prostitute Washington and their pimps. Not that of the corrupt child molesting swine in Belgium who control the E.U.

They need to do something about it now and decisively take back control of their own country. Germany must stop being a puppet controlled by the worst criminal element in the world.... the CIA. Freedom for Germany!

Владимир Порфирьевич , 3 years ago

The EU pawns are ruled by the US lords! and The EU has Imposed the sanctions on Russia and thanks to that destroys the European economies because it is good for the US economy!

The US has weaken the EU companies so the Americans have weak competitors in Europe and on the agreement between the European Union and the United States the American companies and economy will gain but European companies and farms will lost and many Europeans will lost their jobs for the sake of US welfare!

The US manufacturers will earning and developing but the Europeans will go bankrupt and lost their jobs!

Christian Christensen , 2 years ago

It wouldn't surprise me if this also applied on Swedish media. For decades our journalism was very neutral showing two sides of the story, but nowdays, last 7-8 years, things have changed. Swedish media has to a high degree become incredible one-sided in the writing of world politics... I started to notice the change some 7-8 years ago. Of course I find expectations like the municipal Television station SVT that still seems two-sided, but most written press in Sweden have become rotten, very rotten.

Olav Larsen , 3 years ago (edited)

Good for you, coming clean about Germany's role in all this. Germany pretending to be innocent since WW2 but they're just as involved as any of the other usual suspects. And when I say Germany, I don't mean ordinary citizens but the intelligence media and political establishment.

colin porter , 2 years ago

I wouldn't mind if America was controlling the world if they had any moral integrity. The country was born through the genocide of the natives and the re population of the country with slaves. Covertly funding and supporting dictators tyrants and terrorists since the end of the second world war as part of their foreign policy. Training illiterate Afghan farmers in terrorist tactics to fight the Russians in a proxy war encouraging Jihad to get more Muslims to fight the Russians creating what we call today modern radical extremism. Funny how it became immoral when American blood was shed. Funny how all of Saddam's transgressions were ignored while he was at war with Iran and how stopping the war with Iran suddenly made these actions unacceptable to America(how did Saddam gain power again?).

The really astounding thing to me is how the American public seem to have this idea of being the bastion of freedom and democracy. But then Again everyone in my country seems to be similarly ignorant about our own foreign policy and atrocities committed in the name of Empire.

We killed more than Hitler did and were a lot worse. Just most of our victims were brown or black so don't seem to matter. You are only really evil if you commit Genocide against white European Jews. Non whites don't seem to matter.

Ro Nom , 3 years ago (edited)

Brave man. Corporate news is what we get in the western world. I did not know Europe did not have a free press also. Russia has government news, which is more free than our military industrial complex and corporate news. The big military industries want wars and endless wars. Our government is a puppet on their strings. I would rather have a government in control rather than a government under the control of military industries which creates endless wars to feed this military corporate monster.

This is a small planet. We are all inter connected. This nonsense of creating and making enemies on this little planet has to stop. We have to learn to get all along.

The US's MIC has to find other ways to make money. This MIC could spend money on developing outer space programs, go the depths of the oceans, and study the fauna and flora on the earth. This nonsense of creating and making enemies on earth has to stop. The world is too small for this NONSENSE.

Qrayon , 2 years ago

Herr Ulfkotte is a man of courage, but when he says that the BND was formed by the CIA, he doesn't mention that the CIA has roots in the Gehlen Spy network of the 3rd Reich after WW2.

Justus v. Blutacker , 3 years ago

Who has built the first concentration camp? It was the British Empire during the war against the Boers. The British put women, children and old people in these camps to make the Boers surrender.

The same is true for the Americans in WW2 in regard to German and Japanese civilians. (Just two examples of many!) These f*** Anglo-Saxons killed millions of people just for the heck of it -- in Dresden, Hiroshima, many smaller places all around the world... -- and they keep doing it in several Arabian countries these days. Of course, other empires, like the Russian, or the German, did evil deeds in their history but they took the responsibility. I hope that the Anglo-Saxons once will have their own 'Nuremberg'.

[Sep 14, 2018] English Translation of Udo Ulfkotte s Bought Journalists Suppressed

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... My guess is that this book is just too dangerous to allow it to become part of the debate on "fake news" and "Russiagate." Of course now the CIA doesn't even have to exclusively – "own"- journalists as fronts when ex-CIA heads are being hired outright by MSM as pundits. I just wish someone with access would post an English language PDF version online. It would be a real contribution to free thought and free speech to do so. ..."
"... Western elites realize what they could have, what they could do and what they could get away with, but only if they reinvent the political system Hitler created. If they defeat every enemy abroad who might stop them, next they'll do to their own people what the Nazis did to those they didn't want alive ..."
"... Journos have long been pliant enablers for Intel agencies. It's strange how Dr. Ulfkotte's revelations have been taken as some signifier of further Western moral decay/decadence. ..."
"... The real story here, which the media pretends not to notice, is that if Intelligence services and corporations did not finance newspapers they would cease to exist. The old business model whereby newspapers covered their costs by selling advertising and paid circulation is finished. Under that model there were, to an extent, incentives for the publisher to preserve a modicum of credibility in order to keep readership, as well as reasons to publish sensational stories to beat competition. ..."
"... The days that Ulfkotte recalled were times when it took lots of money and careful preparation to put spooks into the newsroom, nowadays the papers are only too happy to publish the CIA's PR and very grateful if the government pays their journalists' salaries. ..."
"... To understand how journalism is bought, go analyze the output of the Uk's Daily Telegraph. They literally sell space to lobbyists and for several years outraged BTL comment would tear the articles to shreds. The whole UK Press prostitutes itself whenever there is a US war on i.e. all the time. It really is about time the CIA were unmasked – they do not serve our interests, they serve only their own . ..."
Sep 14, 2018 | off-guardian.org

intergenerationaltrauma says February 11, 2018

The rather obvious suppression of the English version of what was a "best seller" in Germany suggests that the Western system of thought manipulation and consent manufacture sees itself as weaker and more vulnerable than one might at first imagine.

We can see from a year+ of "Russiagate" that Western media is a clown-show, much of so called "alternative media" included.

My guess is that this book is just too dangerous to allow it to become part of the debate on "fake news" and "Russiagate." Of course now the CIA doesn't even have to exclusively – "own"- journalists as fronts when ex-CIA heads are being hired outright by MSM as pundits. I just wish someone with access would post an English language PDF version online. It would be a real contribution to free thought and free speech to do so.

Google Talpiot Program says January 30, 2018
Just like "200 years together" by Solzhenitsyn which was never officially published in English despite Andrei having authored many works which were big sellers. Just an example of other private business and corporations are often fully responsible for pro-establishment censorship.
Harry Stotle says January 15, 2018
The treatment of the book aroused suspicion because of its content – ie supine news outlets forever dancing to the tune of western military imperatives.

Ongoing support for illegal wars tell us that the MSM has hardly been at the forefront of informing readers why war criminals like Hilary and Obama keep getting away with it. In fact Obama, just like Kissinger was awarded a peace prize – so obviously something has gone very wrong somewhere.

It may be, although it seems unlikely that the mis-handling of an important theme like this is simply due to oversight by the publisher (as Matt claims) but neither is it beyond the realms of possibility that somebody has had a word with someone in the publishing world, perhaps because they are not overly keen on the fact Udo Ulfkotte has deviated from the media's mono-narrative about why it is necessary for the US to destabilise countries and kill so many of their citizens.

Lets face it – it would be harder for the pattern to be maintained if the MSM was not so afraid of telling the truth, or at least be more willing to hold to account politicians as the consequences of their disastrous policies unfold for all to see.

Maybe you want to have a go at answering the obvious question begged by such self evident truths – why are the MSM usually lying?

Marcus says January 20, 2018
The book was never published in English. It was advertised, and then withdrawn. That is suppression...
Michael McNulty says January 14, 2018
Somebody said banning books is the modern form of book burning, and like Heinrich Heine said two centuries ago, "Where they burn books, in the end, they start burning people."

Western elites realize what they could have, what they could do and what they could get away with, but only if they reinvent the political system Hitler created. If they defeat every enemy abroad who might stop them, next they'll do to their own people what the Nazis did to those they didn't want alive. If enough water sources are lost to fracking, and enough food sources lost through poisoned seas and forest fires, many people will go to their camps as refuge but few will survive them. This ecological destruction is for future population reduction.

In the US they use newspeak to say what the Nazis described with more honesty. Their master race became the indispensable nation, their world domination became full spectrum dominance, and Totalerkrieg became the global war on terror. There will be others.

jones says January 12, 2018
Farzad Basoft anyone ? Journos have long been pliant enablers for Intel agencies. It's strange how Dr. Ulfkotte's revelations have been taken as some signifier of further Western moral decay/decadence.
summitflyer says January 15, 2018
Maybe I am taking what you wrote out of context but I don't find it strange at all .It is just that someone, Udo, on the inside has become a whistle blower , and confirmed what most suspected .The establishment can't have that.

See John Swinton on the independence of the press at http://constitution.org/pub/swinton_press.htm

Connect says January 12, 2018
As the economy growth has this so-called invisible hand, journalism also has an 'invisible pen'. One of the questions that need an answer: how come feminists are so anti-Putin and anti-Russia? Easy to connect to dots?
bevin says January 11, 2018
The real story here, which the media pretends not to notice, is that if Intelligence services and corporations did not finance newspapers they would cease to exist. The old business model whereby newspapers covered their costs by selling advertising and paid circulation is finished. Under that model there were, to an extent, incentives for the publisher to preserve a modicum of credibility in order to keep readership, as well as reasons to publish sensational stories to beat competition.

Those days are gone: none of the newspapers make financial profits, they now exist because they have patrons. They always did, of course, but now they have nothing else- the advertisers have left and circulation is diminishing rapidly.

The days that Ulfkotte recalled were times when it took lots of money and careful preparation to put spooks into the newsroom, nowadays the papers are only too happy to publish the CIA's PR and very grateful if the government pays their journalists' salaries.

As to competition that is restricted to publishers competing to demonstrate their loyalty to the government and their ingenuity in candy coating its propaganda.

Anyone doubt that Luke Harding will be in the running for a Pulitzer? Or perhaps even the Nobel Prize for Literature?

Serge Lubomudrov says January 11, 2018
For those whose German is not good enough (like me, unfortunately), but know Russian, there's a Russian translation: https://www.litres.ru/udo-ulfkotte/prodazhnye-zhurnalisty-lubaya-pravda-za-vashi-dengi/
vexarb says January 9, 2018
For what it's worth, I skimmed through this very long link by Matt, and could find no mention of poison gas -- certainly no denunciation -- just horrific conventional arms : Der Spiegel 1984: http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-13508659.html

Also for what it's worth, the German publisher's blurb which I got Google to translate above, says there is much more to the book than old Soddem: the author names names and points to organizations.

Now, without any evidence, based only on my faulty memory and highly biased interpretation of events strung together on a timeline, here is my conspiracy story about a very nice country called Iraq and a very nasty Iraqi called Saddam who came to a very nasty end at the hands of his much more nasty friends, who first gave him a boost and then put in the boot.

George Cornell says January 9, 2018
That is more than plausible. Unfortunately. Hard not to sympathize with the Iraqis and feel shame for what has been done in the name of the US and UK. Rotten to the core, and sanctimonious to boot.
rtj1211 says January 9, 2018
To understand how journalism is bought, go analyze the output of the Uk's Daily Telegraph. They literally sell space to lobbyists and for several years outraged BTL comment would tear the articles to shreds. The whole UK Press prostitutes itself whenever there is a US war on i.e. all the time. It really is about time the CIA were unmasked – they do not serve our interests, they serve only their own .
Carrie says January 9, 2018
The Guardian sells space to lobbyists too. Not ad space – article space. It's literally hiring itself out to whomever wants to buy the right to publish an article under its name.
Brian Steere says January 8, 2018
Well one things stands out in bold and that is the fear that such a revelation is associated with. 'Broad spectrum dominance' of a central intelligent agency is a reversal of the wholeness of being expressing through all its parts.

Fake intelligence is basically made up to serve a believed goal. The terrorism of fear generates the goal of a self-protection that sells true relationship to 'save itself'.

This goes deep into what we take to be our mind. The mind that thinks it is in control by controlling what it thinks.

If I can observe this in myself at will, is it any surprise I can see it in our world?

What is the fear that most deeply motivates or drives the human agenda?
I do not ask this of our superficial thinking, but of a core self-honesty that cannot be 'killed' but only covered over with a thinking-complex.

And is it insane or unreal to be moved by love?

We are creatures of choice and beneath all masking, we are also the creator of choice.
But the true creative is not framed into a choosing between, but feeling one call as the movement of it.

When the 'intelligence' of a masking narrative no longer serves, be the willingness for what you no longer claim to have, and open to being moved from within.

candideschmyles says January 8, 2018
I am so tired of the simmering fury that lives inside me. This bubbling cauldron brim full of egregious truths, images and accounts accumulated over nearly 40 years of looking behind the headlines. I disagree that the usurpation of journalists and media organisations is in any way a recent phenomena. It certainly predates my emergent mind. And even the most lauded of anti-establishment hacks and film makers self-censored to some degree. True, the blatant in your face propaganda and thought control agenda has accelerated, but it was always there. I do not believe Chomsky, Oliver Stone, Pilger and their like could have done much more than they have, that is to guide us in a direction counter to the official narrative. And to insinuate they are gatekeepers, when our heads never stretch above the parapet, is really just a reflection of our own frustration that despite their work the only change remains for the worse.
Yet I fear worse is to come. Our safe bitching in glorious anonymity has been all that we have had as solace to the angst that pervades us, the other 1%. But the the thumbscrew is tightening. We may be as little as months away from any dissent being entirely removed from the internet by AI algorithms. I have already been receiving warnings on several sites anyone here would call legitimate that have had their security certificates removed and the statement that the site may contain malicious code etc. How prepared are we for blackout?
Serge Lubomudrov says January 8, 2018
The publisher even removed the 2 year old news announcement about the book! Though the twit is still there. Probably, overlooked.

https://twitter.com/saumacus/status/950468330086858757

summitflyer says January 8, 2018
A foundation should be set up in remembrance of Udo and sponsored by all true journalists and truth seekers. Maybe some day there will be a Udo Ulfkotte award to the bravest journalist of the year .Wouldn't that be something .Udo's work would not have been in vain . That would throw a monkey wrench into orgs like the Guardian and their ilk .Just dreaming out loud maybe , but with good intentions.
Alun Thomas says January 8, 2018
Original German version can be found here: http://gen.lib.rus.ec/book/index.php?md5=ABA05365ABE35FD446D6F83B149A32A2
Unfortunately no english version, but other controversial texts have sometimes been crowd-translated, maybe something like this may happen
Chris G says January 8, 2018
Thank you Alun for the link to the German edition, which I have managed to download (naughty me!) I think the suggestion of retranslating important sections and dressing these in some commentary for (presumably legitimate) publication on e.g. Off-G would be a good idea. I'm quite fluent in German and would be glad to help.
Mods: do you see any legal pitfalls?
Admin says January 8, 2018
That depends on who holds the rights to the English language version and the original and whether they would want to take issue. If it's Ulfkotte's family they may be happy to see his work get some sort of airing in English. If it's his publishers we can imagine they will see things differently – as indeed would whoever it is that seems to want the book buried.
Martin Read says January 8, 2018
Tried to get to that site and was told that I couldn't via my Virgin provider because of a High Court order. Somebody moved a bit quickly.
Carrie says January 8, 2018
Me too! My Broadband provider is blocking access due to a High Court injunction.

@ChrisG & @Alun Thomas – can you guys still get there? It might be a country or region thing.

Alun Thomas says January 8, 2018
I heard it is blocked in many western countries, as the site is well known for its disregard for copyright. Fortunately not the case where I am (NZ). If you're technically inclined, a VPN or anonymising application may help, although a VPN that 'exits' in a western area won't get you any further ahead.
George Cornell says January 8, 2018
I had no problem, but provider in Canada
Arrby says January 11, 2018
One hopes. I also hold out hope for F. William Engdahl's "Geheimakte NGOs." Here's a Dissident Voice article in which Engdahl discusses the role of NGOs in aiding and abetting the US regime change program:

https://dissidentvoice.org/2017/07/the-us-empire-the-cia-and-the-ngos/

I also recommend, highly, Stephen Gowans's article about social networking in the service of the US regime change program:

"Overthrow Inc.: Peter Ackerman's quest to do what the CIA used to do, and make it seem progressive" by Stephen Gowans
https://gowans.wordpress.com/2009/08/06/overthrow-inc-peter-ackerman%E2%80%99s-quest-to-do-what-the-cia-used-to-so-and-make-it-seem-progressive/

Frank says January 8, 2018
Yes, it has also been interesting to note that in 2015 the Guardian published a review of Richard Sakwa's book 'Frontline Ukraine' in which the author was critical of both NATO and the EU, in fomenting this crisis. The 2014 'coup' which was carried out in February 2014 was, according to the independent geopolitical publication, Strator, 'the most blatant in history.' The appraisal which was carried out by Guardian journalist Jonathon Steele was generally favourably disposed to Sakwa's record of events; however, Mr Steele now rarely publishes anything in the Guardian. Read into this what you like.

As to Sakwa's latest book,'' Russia Against the Rest'', – nothing, not a peep, it doesn't exist, it never existed, it never will exist. It would appear to be the case that the Guardian is now fully integrated into the military/surveillance/media-propaganda apparatus. The liberal gatekeeper as to what is and what isn't acceptable. Its function is pure to serve the interests of the powerful, in much the same way as the church did in the middle ages. The media doesn't just serve the interests power it is also part of the same structure of dominance, albeit the liberal wing of the ruling coalition.

During the British war against the Boers in South Africa, at the turn of the 19/20 century, the then Manchester Guardian took a brave and critical stand against the UK government. This lead to its offices in Manchester being attacked by jingoistic mobs, as was the home of the then editor C.P.Scott, whose family needed police protection. In those days 'Facts were Sacred', unlike the present where opposing views are increasingly ignored or suppressed.

Hugh O'Neill says January 8, 2018
Having just watched the documentary film tribute to I.F. Stone, "All Governments Lie", I was struck by the fact that no-one mentioned Michael Hastings, the Rolling Stone journalist (who outed General McChrystal, but whose Mercedes went mysteriously out of control, hit a tree and exploded, throwing the engine 200 yards clear of the wreck ). Here was a film about control and self-censorship, yet no-one even breathed the acronyms C.I.A. or FBI. Matt Taibbi referred to a silent coup, but none dared to mention the assassinations of JFK, MLK and RFK. These doyens of Truth included the thoroughly dodgy Noam Chomsky. Finally, the Spartacus website suggests that the saintly I.F. Stone was in the pay of the CIA. Other terms unspoken were CIA Operation Mockingbird or Operation Northwoods. There was a clip of 9/11, but zero attempt to join up all the dots.
RIP Udo Ulfkotte. CIA long ago developed a dart to induce all the signs of a heart attack, so one is naturally somewhat suspicious. Lies and assassinations are two sides of the same coin.
Harry Stotle says January 8, 2018
The only thing harder to find than Udo Ulfkotte's book is a Guardian review of it.

I daresay any mention of this book, BTL, would immediately be moderated (i.e censored) followed by a yellow or red card for the cheeky commentator.
The level of pretence on this forum has now reached epic proportions, and seems to cuts both ways, ie. commentators pretending that there are not several subjects which are virtually impossible to discuss in any depth (such as media censorship), and moderators pretending that 'community standards' is not simply a crude device to control conversational discourse, especially when a commentators point of view stray beyond narrow, Guardian approved borders.

Books, such as 'Bought Journalists' (which expose the corruption at the heart of western media) are especially inconvenient for the risible 'fake news' agenda currently being rammed down the readerships throat – some of these people at the Guardian have either absolutely no insight, or no shame.

Harry Stotle says January 8, 2018
This piece put me in mind of Daniele Gansers seminal book, 'NATOs secret armies' Of course Off-G picked up on it but I can't find any commentary from the Guardian
https://off-guardian.org/2015/07/17/natos-secret-armies-gladio-in-western-europe/

Ulfkotte and Ganser in their ways are both telling a similar story – NATO, i.e an arm of the US military industrial complex are mass murderers and sufficiently intimidating to have most western journalists singing from the same hymn sheet.

Since the Guardian follows the party line it is only possible to send coded or cryptic messages (BTL) should commentators wish to deviate from the approved narrative.
For example, I was 'pre-moderated' for having doubts about the veracity of the so called 'Parsons Green tube bomb', especially the nature of the injuries inflicted on a young model who looked like she was suffering from toothache.
https://www.thenational.ae/image/policy:1.628812:1505494262/wo16-web-parsons-green.JPG?f=16×9&w=1024&$p$f$w=e135eda

My guess is NATO's secret army are still in full swing but there is no chance the Guardian will pick up on it – they're too busy whipping up antipathy towards Iran.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/05/west-ignores-iranian-people-power-peril#comments

George Cornell says January 8, 2018
Been there, done that. What ordinarily happens if the submission is proper and cannot be censored on the basis of impropriety or foulmouthedness or any other good reason, but exposes a Guardian sacred cow in an embarrassing light, is that it is said to be off topic. Now this is really unaccountable, and truly subjective.

The community in community standards is "them" and has close ties to the 1%, if I hazard a guess.

[Sep 14, 2018] Russian translation of the book

Sep 14, 2018 | www.litmir.me

ЛитМир - Электронная Библиотека > Ульфкотте Удо > Продажные журналисты. Любая правда за ваши деньги

[Sep 14, 2018] The book Journalists for Hire How the CIA Buys the News Dr. Udo Ulfkotte was "privished"

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Anyone who claims there are no conspiracies, that there are no behind-the-scenes efforts by powerful people to suppress information that would expose their efforts at global domination, is full of crap. ..."
"... How many CIA-paid journalists do you have on staff at the Washington Post? ..."
"... The author who was a deputy editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine and worked there for 17 years turns whistleblower and spills the beans on the corruption of German media by US lobby agencies which have CIA backing. ..."
"... The news is always given a pro American slant and journalists can look forward to rewards for their efforts. Should they not collude then their career is over. Corrupted German journalists are named and shamed. The EU is also revealed to be equally corrupt . ..."
"... German journalists assigned to EU reporting have to sign a document stating that they will never write anything negative about the EU. The level of manipulation by the EU is also frightening. ..."
"... This situation reeks of Stasi or Asian plutocratic realms. We want our freedom back! What are you people (including colluding Amazon) trying to cover up? Shame on you! ..."
"... The collussion of corporate media and Western intelligence is a taboo subject one must surmise. It suggests that our power structure realizes it has a rather fragile hold on the popular mind when the CIA morphs into the former KGB to simply suppress and disappear unacceptable reporting. ..."
"... I would suggest that the absolute silence by MSM about this book and its censorship validates the authors contentions that much of MSM reporting is right out of the Western intelligence agencies and has nothing whatsoever to do with reality on the ground. ..."
Sep 14, 2018 | www.amazon.com

Steven Yates 5.0 out of 5 stars August 7, 2017 Format: Hardcover

This book was "privished"

No, I haven't read the book, because it is priced completely out of my reach. I am giving it five stars anyway because of what I've read *about* it, as I've followed its author's saga -- the blackout by German media of the original German edition Gekaufte Journalisten (Bought Journalists) for a couple of years now, raids by German police on the author's house, his noting how he feared for his life, and his finally being found dead on January 13 of this year "from a heart attack" (he was only 56, and because it is possible to kill someone in ways that look like a heart attack, some people believe he was murdered).

The fate of a whistleblower against one of the world's most powerful organizations in a controlled society being passed off as a democracy?

Two things are abundantly clear:

(1) The English translation of this book has been "privished." There are a couple of good recent discussions of what it means to "privish" a book, but Amazon will not allow me to link to them. So let's just say: the purpose of "privishing" is make a book with an unwanted message disappear without a trace by limiting information about it, destroying its marketability by printing too few copies, and refusing reprint rights, so that the copies available are too expensive for readers of ordinary means (which is nearly all of us).

(2) Anyone who claims there are no conspiracies, that there are no behind-the-scenes efforts by powerful people to suppress information that would expose their efforts at global domination, is full of crap.

XXX, September 30, 2017 Format: Paperback
Sell this book so we can buy it!

Amazon, you are a tool of the State. This book is available in English at a market competitive price. Why do you refuse to make it available to your customers?

How many CIA-paid journalists do you have on staff at the Washington Post? To the reviewer who asked how much money the author will see from the exhorbotant price of the book, he won't see any because he is dead.

He died of hearth issues shortly after the publication of the book. He did have a history of heart ailments so I am not implying a sinister act. You can find an good interview with him on YouTube if they haven't removed it.

XXX, November 11, 2017 Format: Paperback
Dynamite

Have read this book in German but as far as I know it is no longer available in bookshops in Germany either. The author who was a deputy editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine and worked there for 17 years turns whistleblower and spills the beans on the corruption of German media by US lobby agencies which have CIA backing.

The news is always given a pro American slant and journalists can look forward to rewards for their efforts. Should they not collude then their career is over. Corrupted German journalists are named and shamed. The EU is also revealed to be equally corrupt .

German journalists assigned to EU reporting have to sign a document stating that they will never write anything negative about the EU. The level of manipulation by the EU is also frightening. The author himself was part of the set up and even received a prestigious reward for his pro America efforts but eventually became disgusted by the system and his collusion in it.

I pre ordered the book last year in English on Amazon as my son wanted to read it but I kept receiving emails from Amazon changing publication dates and eventually they informed me that they were unable to access the book. There is no doubt that the book is dynamite and has been suppressed because of this.

XXX, July 31, 2017 Format: Hardcover
Tyranny in America Writ Large In A Super-Large Price

Somebody has set the price of this book -- available in English though it is -- so high as to make it unavailable. I wonder, if some rich or extremely extravagant person were to bye this book at the $1300 price it's offered at, would the author ever see a dime of that?

This situation reeks of Stasi or Asian plutocratic realms. We want our freedom back! What are you people (including colluding Amazon) trying to cover up? Shame on you!

XXX, August 16, 2017 Format: Paperback
Second book I've wanted that's been banned

Second book I've wanted that's been banned by Amazon. Shame on you, Mr. Bezos. Unfortunately for you, more people are waking up to this. The cracks are starting to show.

bossaboy on November 19, 2017
The suppression of the English language version of this book is censorship of the most Orwellian kind.

I have been awaiting the English version of this book for several years now, watching with interest while the publishing date was delayed multiple times. As a best seller in Germany one had to wonder why it would take years to translate the book to English unless there were forces working against publication. Well, low and behold it is finally set to publish in May 2017 when it again doesn't and finally disappears from sight. The obvious suppression of this book is censorship of the press and of course speaks volumes about Western "freedom of the press" as a fantasy.

The collussion of corporate media and Western intelligence is a taboo subject one must surmise. It suggests that our power structure realizes it has a rather fragile hold on the popular mind when the CIA morphs into the former KGB to simply suppress and disappear unacceptable reporting.

I would suggest that the absolute silence by MSM about this book and its censorship validates the authors contentions that much of MSM reporting is right out of the Western intelligence agencies and has nothing whatsoever to do with reality on the ground.

Somewhere in the great beyond Orwell is smiling and thinking "I told you so."

[Mar 06, 2018] In Her Majesty's Secret Service: How an Agent of British Intelligence Tried (and Failed) to Prevent the Election of Donald Trump

Notable quotes:
"... Another new point in the Mayer piece, not in the above list, is an alleged meeting between the head of the British spy service GCHQ and the head of the CIA John Brennan in which GCHQ briefs Brennan about alleged interceptions of communication between Trump campaign associates and Russia. This is curious because the usual contact for such a case should have been the FBI, not the CIA. ..."
"... But some have suggested that the Brennan came up with the idea or at least directed the campaign of smearing Trump over made-up connections with Russia. For legal reasons and deniability the affair the creation of "evidence" was outsourced to the British partners. As Pat Lang, who has led large intelligence spying and counter-intelligence operations, opines : ..."
"... An unnamed, unknown, unvetted "government official" source is reported by, say, WP, which is then reported by the Times (? since when did competing newspapers use each other as confirmation?), so that official government spokespeople now report "as confirmed by multiple newspaper stories..." ..."
"... Use big words to conceal nonsense and say nothing. ..."
"... Robert Hannigan, head of GCHQ, resigned for "personal reasons" on Jan. 23 2017, a week after Trump's inauguration. ..."
Mar 06, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

... ... ...

Chuck Ross of the Daily Caller (yes, I know it is not deemed reputable) looked into some claims Mayer makes in her piece which, if true, contain new morsels on the issue. They support the standpoint that the whole dossier is fake. These points are:

  1. Steele likely knew who funded the dossier
  2. Steele used dozens of paid confidential 'collectors', not unpaid ones
  3. Steele may have earlier worked for a Kremlin-connected oligarch
  4. The salacious claims in the dossier were based on secondhand information
  5. Steele briefed Jane Mayer during the campaign
  6. A John McCain associate wanted to use dossier to force Trump to resign

Another new point in the Mayer piece, not in the above list, is an alleged meeting between the head of the British spy service GCHQ and the head of the CIA John Brennan in which GCHQ briefs Brennan about alleged interceptions of communication between Trump campaign associates and Russia. This is curious because the usual contact for such a case should have been the FBI, not the CIA.

But some have suggested that the Brennan came up with the idea or at least directed the campaign of smearing Trump over made-up connections with Russia. For legal reasons and deniability the affair the creation of "evidence" was outsourced to the British partners. As Pat Lang, who has led large intelligence spying and counter-intelligence operations, opines :

IMO there was a criminal conspiracy among various parts of the government, the Clinton Campaign and the MSM to rig the election against Trump, and it continues. pl

Posted by b on March 6, 2018 at 05:12 AM | Permalink

Comments


Pictorex , Mar 6, 2018 6:04:54 AM | 1

Very astute observations, as usual.

A more fitting title for Jane Mayer's piece would have been:

"In Her Majesty's Secret Service: How an Agent of British Intelligence Tried (and Failed) to Prevent the Election of Donald Trump"

By the way, please correct this: "They pledged guilty on unrelated issues." should read: "They pleaded guilty on unrelated issues."

J Swift , Mar 6, 2018 6:41:08 AM | 2
Nicely written piece. It just leaves you shaking your head in disbelief sometimes, the brazen repetition of utter nonsense and total lies in hopes that it will eventually start to stick. And I had also noticed some time back the rampant circular citations bootstrapped into being called evidence. An unnamed, unknown, unvetted "government official" source is reported by, say, WP, which is then reported by the Times (? since when did competing newspapers use each other as confirmation?), so that official government spokespeople now report "as confirmed by multiple newspaper stories..."

No wonder the New Yorker and their ilk stick to print rather than video...with AV media, you would be able to hear the heavy breathing and wiki-wiki-wiki sounds of turd polishing in the background.

ELRIUS , Mar 6, 2018 7:12:54 AM | 4
common core education. Use big words to conceal nonsense and say nothing.
Christian Chuba , Mar 6, 2018 7:19:27 AM | 5
And of course this one assertion by Steele is used by the Hannity's of the world to assert that Trump was the victim of a Russian misinformation campaign ...
"In the reports Steele had collected, the names of the sources were omitted, but they were described as "a former top-level Russian intelligence officer still active inside the Kremlin,""

The beauty of it is that this alleged source never has to be revealed because it would endanger the source so we have to take this Boy Scouts word for it.

lysias , Mar 6, 2018 11:49:39 AM | 21
Robert Hannigan, head of GCHQ, resigned for "personal reasons" on Jan. 23 2017, a week after Trump's inauguration.
dahoit , Mar 6, 2018 12:18:58 PM | 22
How about the report graun had today; The Russians had poisoned their ex-spy? Another made up crap. The NYer is another web of deceit, the web of zionism. All of msm is.
Ike , Mar 6, 2018 1:20:15 PM | 26
@22
The possible poisoned spy case is now being used by Boris Johnson for a possible boycott of the Moscow World Cup. It is obvious bullshit and a rerun of the litvinenko affair some years ago.

Also an Mi6 setup in my opinion. The Russians provided a shipload of LNG to alleviate gas shortages in Britain. Boris Johnson is an ungrateful sack of S--t

Erelis , Mar 6, 2018 5:35:39 PM | 49

Max Blumenthal has observed that much of what is in the "dossier" was available in the public sphere. The dossier is touted as being deep revelation totally missed a figure like Papadopoulos, who only appeared to the public after the dossier was published. Strange that.

What seems strange is that so many people in Russia were willing to divulge what would have been closely held secrets like the golden showers tape. Putin is described in the Western press as somebody who would disappear you if you even criticized his shoe laces.

[Mar 03, 2018] Glenn Greenwald to Tucker Carlson Journalists Eagerly Being Manipulated By Intelligence Community On Russia

Notable quotes:
"... So, you and I don't agree on a lot of issues but I think we share the same concern about this story, and that is that American journalists are being manipulated for whatever reason by the intelligence community in the United States, and I'm wondering why after years of having this happen to American journalists, they are allowing this to happen again. ..."
"... Well, that's the thing I would refrain that a little bit. I don't actually think so much that journalists are the victims in the sense of that formulation that they're being manipulated. I think at best what you can say for them is they are willingly and eagerly being manipulated. ..."
"... Because what you see is over and over they publish really inflammatory stories that turn out to be totally false and what happens in those cases? Nothing. They get enormous benefits when they publish recklessly. They get applause on social media from their peers, they get zillions of re-tweets, huge amounts of traffic, they end up on TV. They get applauded across the spectrum because people are so giddy and eager to hear more about this Russia and Trump story. ..."
Mar 03, 2018 | www.realclearpolitics.com
Greenwald Journalists 'eagerly manipulated' on Russia story - YouTube

Tucker Carlson interviews Green Greenwald of The Intercept about journalists "willingly" being taken advantage of by the intelligence community on stories about Russia to reap the benefits, even when they know what they are publishing is "totally false."

From Tuesday's broadcast of Tucker Carlson Tonight on the FOX News Channel:

TUCKER CARLSON: So, Glenn, just to get to the facts of this story, it is conclusively shown that the story about the 21 voting systems being hacked is untrue, correct?
GLENN GREENWALD, JOURNALIST: It's false in two ways, one is that several of the states included in the list, such as Wisconsin, California, and Texas, said that the websites that the Homeland Security Department cited had nothing to do with voting systems, they are entirely unrelated.

And it's false in a second way, which is a lot of the stories, in fact, most of them said that Russia tried to hack into the voting systems when in fact even Homeland Security, it can only show that what they did was scan those computer systems, which is basically casing something to say for vulnerabilities and made no attempts to actually hack into them. So, it was false on various levels.

CARLSON: So, you and I don't agree on a lot of issues but I think we share the same concern about this story, and that is that American journalists are being manipulated for whatever reason by the intelligence community in the United States, and I'm wondering why after years of having this happen to American journalists, they are allowing this to happen again.

GREENWALD: Well, that's the thing I would refrain that a little bit. I don't actually think so much that journalists are the victims in the sense of that formulation that they're being manipulated. I think at best what you can say for them is they are willingly and eagerly being manipulated.

(LAUGHTER)

Because what you see is over and over they publish really inflammatory stories that turn out to be totally false and what happens in those cases? Nothing. They get enormous benefits when they publish recklessly. They get applause on social media from their peers, they get zillions of re-tweets, huge amounts of traffic, they end up on TV. They get applauded across the spectrum because people are so giddy and eager to hear more about this Russia and Trump story.

And when their stories get completely debunked, it just kind of, everybody agrees to ignore it and everyone moves on and they pay no price. At the same time, they are feeling and pleasing their sources by publishing these sources that their sources want them to publish. And so, there is huge amounts of career benefits and reputational benefits and very little cost when they publish stories that end up being debunked because the narrative they are serving is a popular one, at least within their peer circles.

CARLSON: Gosh! That is so dishonest. I mean, I think all of us and journalism have gotten things wrong, I certainly have. If you feel bad about it, I mean, you really do and there's a consequence. Do you really think there's that level of dishonesty in the American press?

GREENWALD: I think what it is more than dishonesty is a really warped incentive scheme bolstered by this very severe groupthink that social media is fostering in ways that we don't yet fully understand.

CARLSON: Yes.

GREENWALD: Most journalists these days are in Congressional Committees or at zoning board meetings or using -- they're sitting on Twitter talking to one another and this produces this extreme groupthink where these orthodoxies arise in deviating from them or questioning them or challenging, believe me, results in all kinds of recrimination and scorn. And embracing them produces this sort of in group mentality where you are rewarded, and I think a lot of it is about that kind of behavior.

CARLSON: That is really deep. I mean, you live in a foreign country, I'm not on social media, so maybe we have a little bit of distance from this, where do you think the story is going? What's the next incarnation of it?

GREENWALD: Well, the odd part about it, and about the inpatients that journalists have in trying to just jump to the finish line is that there are numerous investigations underway in the city, including by credible investigators, including Senator Burr and Warner and the Senate Intelligence Committee, which most people seem to trust and certainly Robert Mueller who is armed with subpoena power, and everyone is really eager to lavish with praise.

So, we are going to find out presumably one way or the other soon enough. I guess that one thing that is so odd to me Tucker, is that, this has been going on now for a year, this accusation that the Trump administration or the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to hack the DNC and John Podesta's email and we know that there are huge numbers of people inside the government who are willing to leak, even at the expense of committing crimes in order to undermine Trump and yet, there has been no leaks so far showing any evidence of that kind of collusion leading one to wonder why that is.

So, I hope that everybody is willing to wait until the actual investigation reveals finally the real answers. But it doesn't seem that will be the case.

CARLSON: Bravery is when you disagree in public with your peers. And by that definition, you are a very brave man. Glenn Greenwald, thanks for joining us tonight. I appreciate it.

[Dec 28, 2017] I think many British journalists work for the British secret service, and they were recruited at university and slotted into journalist employment

Notable quotes:
"... Tisdall's weekly spiel about the Evil Empire and its Dark Lord made many CiFers comment that he must report regularly to Chatham House, London, at weekends for briefings, after which he'd knock out some good, blood-curdling copy about Russia in order to please his masters. ..."
"... As a matter of fact, I think many British "journalists" – Tisdall and Harding being prime examples thereof – primarily work for the British not-so-secret secret service, that they were recruited at university and were slotted into journalist employment to do their business of propagandizing. ..."
Sep 15, 2012 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile says: September 15, 2012 at 11:58 am

Something went wrong there!

Here's Tisdall on Russia:

And on and on

Tisdall's weekly spiel about the Evil Empire and its Dark Lord made many CiFers comment that he must report regularly to Chatham House, London, at weekends for briefings, after which he'd knock out some good, blood-curdling copy about Russia in order to please his masters.

I don't think that's far from the truth actually. As a matter of fact, I think many British "journalists" – Tisdall and Harding being prime examples thereof – primarily work for the British not-so-secret secret service, that they were recruited at university and were slotted into journalist employment to do their business of propagandizing. That might explain why Harding is such a god awful journalist that has had on occasion to take recourse to a spot of cut and paste plagiarism.

Tisdall and Harding being prime examples thereof – primarily work for the British not-so-secret secret service, that they were recruited at university and were slotted into journalist employment to do their business of propagandizing. That might explain why Harding is such a god awful journalist that has had on occasion to take recourse to a spot of cut and paste plagiarism.

[May 29, 2017] Loesch Americans Are Tired of Being Manipulated Lied to by Mainstream Media

Notable quotes:
"... On "Tucker Carlson Tonight," Dana Loesch said the agenda-driven media is focused on negatively portraying Trump, while they're largely giving Democrats a pass. ..."
"... Let's talk for a moment about the California Democrat convention ... where you had a number of Democrats on stage screaming 'expletive Trump' and 'expletive Republicans.'" She said Democrats and the mainstream media then want to turn around and accuse Trump and those on the right of fomenting violence. ..."
May 29, 2017 | insider.foxnews.com

Following Montana Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte's alleged assault of a reporter, some in the mainstream media are trying to blame the incident on President Trump. CNN host Don Lemon argued that Trump has culpability because he's said "very horrible things" about reporters and suggested that they are the enemy of the American people. MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell said that Trump has helped whip up "hostility" toward the press, while Joe Scarborough said a "straight line" can be drawn between Trump's anti-media rhetoric and the Gianforte incident.

On "Tucker Carlson Tonight," Dana Loesch said the agenda-driven media is focused on negatively portraying Trump, while they're largely giving Democrats a pass.

"Let's discuss Tom Perez and his cussing crusade that he's been giving at so many different fundraisers.

Let's talk for a moment about the California Democrat convention ... where you had a number of Democrats on stage screaming 'expletive Trump' and 'expletive Republicans.'" She said Democrats and the mainstream media then want to turn around and accuse Trump and those on the right of fomenting violence.

Watch more above.

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Vol 25, No.12 (December, 2013) Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks The efficient markets hypothesis : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2013 : Unemployment Bulletin, 2010 :  Vol 23, No.10 (October, 2011) An observation about corporate security departments : Slightly Skeptical Euromaydan Chronicles, June 2014 : Greenspan legacy bulletin, 2008 : Vol 25, No.10 (October, 2013) Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A) : Vol 25, No.08 (August, 2013) Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : Inequality Bulletin, 2009 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Copyleft Problems Bulletin, 2004 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Energy Bulletin, 2010 : Malware Protection Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 26, No.1 (January, 2013) Object-Oriented Cult : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2011 : Vol 23, No.11 (November, 2011) Softpanorama classification of sysadmin horror stories : Vol 25, No.05 (May, 2013) Corporate bullshit as a communication method  : Vol 25, No.06 (June, 2013) A Note on the Relationship of Brooks Law and Conway Law

History:

Fifty glorious years (1950-2000): the triumph of the US computer engineering : Donald Knuth : TAoCP and its Influence of Computer Science : Richard Stallman : Linus Torvalds  : Larry Wall  : John K. Ousterhout : CTSS : Multix OS Unix History : Unix shell history : VI editor : History of pipes concept : Solaris : MS DOSProgramming Languages History : PL/1 : Simula 67 : C : History of GCC developmentScripting Languages : Perl history   : OS History : Mail : DNS : SSH : CPU Instruction Sets : SPARC systems 1987-2006 : Norton Commander : Norton Utilities : Norton Ghost : Frontpage history : Malware Defense History : GNU Screen : OSS early history

Classic books:

The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-MonthHow to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Hater’s Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite

Most popular humor pages:

Manifest of the Softpanorama IT Slacker Society : Ten Commandments of the IT Slackers Society : Computer Humor Collection : BSD Logo Story : The Cuckoo's Egg : IT Slang : C++ Humor : ARE YOU A BBS ADDICT? : The Perl Purity Test : Object oriented programmers of all nations : Financial Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : The Most Comprehensive Collection of Editor-related Humor :