The natural tendency of intelligence agencies (like financial institutions) is to escape civilian
control and in turn try to control the government. So after a while tail is wagging the dog. The temptation of get themselves involved
in determining or at least facilitating the most favorable result of elections might be too strong to resist and FBI was involved in
this since Hoover days.
From the Congressional investigations involving the Department of Justice and the FBI it looks like that those institutions
are protecting themselves at the expense of transparency and accountability to the American people.
In other words, the government employees involved consider the survival of the Deep State more important than the survival of the
Constitution. That is the definition of National Security State... The basic scheme of the most recent intelligence gambit in
this area was as following: using Steele dossier for obtaining FICA order for wiretapping Trump team, launching Russiagate
investigation of Trump team under false premises, creating "17 agencies memo" to damage Trump, unleashing MSM Russiagate hysteria,
dismissal of Comey (sacrificial bishop), Comey leaks to NYT,
Rosenstein appointment of the Special Prosecutor Mueller with a very wide mandate, fishing expedition in order to force Trump to
resign or impeach him
When we dig deep into the Russiagate, we will find that is fought by very influential group (including belong already known FBI
"gang of three", some senior figures in CIA, Justice Department, MIC and Wall Street, all of whom
are profoundly interested in continuation of the existence of global neoliberal led by the USA empire.
And they are ready to fighting for
this lucrative for them personally goal to the last American, excluding, of course, their own families. On the other side of this battle are much weaker forces which
understand that the USA needs to retrench and revise neocon foreign policy, and regroup concentrating on solving internal
economic problems coursed by outsourcing and rampant offshoring of manufacturing first. They also want to stop or at least downsize the imperial wars
that cost a lot of money, but often do not provide tangible benefits or even worsen the USA geostrategic position. Essentially those wars for
remaking Middle East and the expansion of neoliberal empire facilitated semi-alliance of Iran (81 million people), Russia (144
million people), and China (1.4 billion), which despite being very fragile is a real threat to the USA hegemony.
Published evidence suggests that there were at least four intelligence organization were possibly involved in rigging the US
Presidential elections (by pushing Sanders under the bus and then trying to install Hillary on the throne):
All other including Mossad, Russian intelligence services, as well as intelligence agencies some European countries other then
Great Britain ( Ukraine, France,
http://theduran.com/ukraines-collusion-with-hillary-clinton-to-meddle-in-us-elections-now-exposed/)) as well as Asia countries (
Pakistan (Avan brothers), KSA, China ) were probably the second
league players. Although Pakistan-related story of Imran Awan is really interesting in its own right due to
his connection to
Debbie Wasserman (of DNC email scandal fame) and fall
out of this classification.
Looks like sometimes foreign intelligence agencies were used as outsourcers/subcontractors to do work for
CIA (possibly in case of
Steele dossier and spying on Trump), sometime
they might provide some
important information that helps to discredit one of the candidates (although during the last election Trump was in their
hairlines, most of them probably got a lot of
information against Hillary due to Clinton foundation activities as well as her amateurish and completely incompetent "private" email
server setup, see
Understanding Hillary Clinton email scandal )
Sanders would definitely became Democratic Party candidate if Hillary was charges with "gross negligence" for her "bathroom"
email server. As of December 2017 we have some information that the "gang of three" (Comey, McCabe and Strzok) conspired to
swipe the dirt under the carpet and exonerate Hillary from any wrongdoing.
Probably not without direct pressure from Justice Department and indirect from the President Obama.
It is now probably provable that Sanders was deprived the position of Democratic Party candidate in the last Presidential
election cycle due to activities of FBI. In now way Hillary could became candidate if she would have been charged with
"gross negligence". And this charge was 100% provable.
Much of this like with JFK assassination is hidden and might surface in a decade or two. Currently we know very little. The
key elements of this scheme at the center of which is Steele dossier cutting are as following:
The basic chronology might be as following (partially based on Stefan Molyneux YouTube presentation):
Under the smoke screen of Russian hackers we probably more complex picture which might
of at least two of the US intelligence agencies (specifically CIA and FBI; most probably CIA via FBI) to influence the elections. The role of Brennan in this whole story is still a
mystery, but recent hearings does not inspire any confidence in him and methods that he used (John
Brennan, Obama loyalist and CIA director, drove FBI to investigate Trump associates - Washington
It could well be that the role of Steele dossier might be create a pretext of using total
surveillance on Trump team on the part of FBI. Which was a pretty devious plot, indeed. And they are real specialists in
this area due to their track record of implementing
revolutions in various parts of the globe, and, especially, in former Soviet Union and its
Unprecedented rate of hacking of emails of officials around the globe is really disturbing. but
in the USA it might well came not so much from
external as internal sources, including possible false flag operations. Intrusion onto political process happened
before. One telling example is JFK assassination.
Interference in foreign election is also a proven fact: CIA role in "fixing" Italian elections
of 1948 is a historical fact.
Tensions between CIA and Pentagon is well know due to events in Syria, where they sometimes found
themselves on the opposite sides of barricades. So Military intelligence might well play restraining
role on CIA and probably, not accidentally, General Flynn got into Trump's team
(BREAKING CIA Director John Brennan Targeted General Flynn and Sean Hannity For Surveillance):
Brenna also have had a peculiar relationship with Obama, who most people would expect should be very
vary of CIA and its influence on White House and Congress (heonce mentioned that he does not want to became another JFK). But on the contrary, "in the 67
years since the C.I.A. was founded, few presidents have had as close a bond with their intelligence
chiefs as Mr. Obama has forged with Mr. Brennan." (Obama
There is also always some level of inter-fighting
between different US intelligence agencies, for example NSA vs CIA.
Connections between Bush clan and CIA are well documented. Strange biography of Barack Obama also
raises interesting questions. And Clintons also seems to be connected to the US intelligence one way
or the other due to their
Arkansas past. Amazing level of confidence of Bill Clinton (and to a lesser extent Hillary
Clinton) that he/she is above the law might well be connected with this fact.
In this sense anti-Russian campaign and accusations of Russia in interfering into the US election
(after the US interfered in Russian election of 2011-2012, trying to stage a color revolution in
this country) might be just a smoke screen.
That fact the CIA personnel was spying on Senate Intelligence Committee is an established fact (Is
CIA Spying on Senate Intelligence Committee ) If so, were other senators, or political
candidates with view that are opposed to view of CIA on important issues, or Obama
himself, or several of his official are immune from being watched ? From this
point nobody is off-limit.
We also have Loretta Lynch tarmac story and her recommendation to Comey to call Clinton email investigation "a matter".
Obama was pressed by US intelligence agencies to react and at the last days of his administration fueled promoted by
Intelligence agances (and first of all by Brennan and Clapper) Russiagate witch hunt by ordering (supposedly relying on Brennan's 17
agencies memo and other flaky evidence) 35 Russian diplomats to leave the USA and seizing of Russian property. Please note
that after proved attempts to stage a color revolution (nicknamed
White revolution) in Russia
in 2012 election circle (to prevent re-election of Putin) and Snowden revelations Obama really looks like that
the pot calling the kettle black. Here is how
neoliberal (and rabidly pro-Obama and Hillary Clinton) Guardian described this witch hunt (Obama
expels 35 Russian diplomats in retaliation for US election hacking, Dec 30, 2016)
Obama just can't assept that clinton wing of Democratic party looks like an Ayn Rand clique compared to the Eisenhower
Republicans of the 1950s and that election of Trump singnigy the crisi of neoliberalism in the USA (and deep crisis of the civil
society, see Neoliberalism and Christianity) , not so
much Russian interference (which probably was a magniture less then Izraile, GB (stele dossier) and KSA interference to mane a few).
In any case this is a deliberate and petty attempt to provide fundament for continuation of neocon foreign policy and tie Trump
hands. It also logically led to Flynn meeting with the Russian ambassador
Sergey Kislyak which in this sense can be considered as an entrapment (In a November 2016 speech at
Stanford University, Kislyak denied that
Russia had interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections.
In the same speech, Kisylak accused the United States of waging a "huge propaganda campaign against Russia" and stated that the
American-Russian relationship was currently at "the worst point in our relations after the end of the Cold War. You've re-entered a
policy of containing Russia … You've tried to contain Russia through economic pressure and through sanctions.")
A retired Australian diplomat who served in Moscow dissects the emergence of the new Cold
War and its dire consequences.
I n 2014, we saw violent U.S.-supported regime change and civil war in Ukraine. In February,
after months of increasing tension from the anti-Russian protest movement's sitdown strike in
Kiev's Maidan Square, there was a murderous clash between protesters and Ukrainian police,
sparked off by hidden shooters (we now know that were expert Georgian snipers) , aiming at
police. The elected government collapsed and President Yanukevich fled to Russia, pursued by
The new Poroshenko government pledged harsh anti-Russian language laws. Rebels in two
Russophone regions in Eastern Ukraine took local control, and appealed for Russian military
help. In March, a referendum took place in Russian-speaking Crimea on leaving Ukraine, under
Russian military protection. Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to join Russia, a request promptly
granted by the Russian Parliament and President. Crimea's border with Ukraine was secured
against saboteurs. Crimea is prospering under its pro-Russian government, with the economy
kick-started by Russian transport infrastructure investment.
In April, Poroshenko ordered full military attack on the separatist provinces of Donetsk and
Luhansk in Eastern Ukraine. A brutal civil war ensued, with aerial and artillery bombardment
bringing massive civilian death and destruction to the separatist region. There was major
refugee outflow into Russia and other parts of Ukraine. The shootdown of MH17 took place in
Poroshenko: Ordered military attack.
By August 2015, according to UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
estimates, 13,000 people had been killed and 30,000 wounded. 1.4 million Ukrainians had been
internally displaced, and 925,000 had fled to neighbouring countries, mostly Russia and to a
lesser extent Poland.
There is now a military stalemate, under the stalled Minsk peace process. But random fatal
clashes continue, with the Ukrainian Army mostly blamed by UN observers. The UN reported last
month that the ongoing war has affected 5.2 million people, leaving 3.5 million of them in need
of relief, including 500,000 children. Most Russians blame the West for fomenting Ukrainian
enmity towards Russia. This war brings back for older Russians horrible memories of the Nazi
invasion in 1941. The Russia-Ukraine border is only 550 kilometres from Moscow.
Russian forces joined the civil war in Syria in September 2015, at the request of the Syrian
Government, faltering under the attacks of Islamist extremist rebel forces reinforced by
foreign fighters and advanced weapons. With Russian air and ground support, the tide of war
turned. Palmyra and Aleppo were recaptured in 2016. An alleged Syrian Government chemical
attack at Khan Shaykhun in April 2017 resulted in a token U.S. missile attack on a Syrian
Government airbase: an early decision by President Trump.
NATO, Strategic Balance, Sanctions
An F-15C Eagle from the 493rd Fighter Squadron takes off from Royal Air Force Lakenheath,
England, March 6, 2014. The 48th Fighter Wing sent an additional six aircraft and more than 50
personnel to support NATO's air policing mission in Lithuania, at the request of U.S. allies in
the Baltics. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Emerson Nunez/Released)
Tensions have risen in the Baltic as NATO moves ground forces and battlefield missiles up to
the Baltic states' borders with Russia. Both sides' naval and air forces play dangerous
brinksmanship games in the Baltic. U.S. short-range, non-nuclear-armed anti-ballistic missiles
were stationed in Poland and Romania, allegedly against threat of Iranian attack. They are
easily convertible to nuclear-armed missiles aimed at nearby Russia.
Nuclear arms control talks have stalled. The INF intermediate nuclear forces treaty expired
in 2019, after both sides accused the other of cheating. In March 2018, Putin announced that
Russia has developed new types of intercontinental nuclear missiles using technologies that
render U.S. defence systems useless. The West has pretended to ignore this announcement, but we
can be sure Western defence ministries have noted it. Nuclear second-strike deterrence has
returned, though most people in the West have forgotten what this means. Russians know exactly
what it means.
Western economic sanctions against Russia continue to tighten after the 2014 events in
Ukraine. The U.S. is still trying to block the nearly completed Nordstream Baltic Sea
underwater gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. Sanctions are accelerating the division of the
world into two trade and payments systems: the old NATO-led world, and the rest of the world
led by China, with full Russian support and increasing interest from India, Japan, ROK and
Return to Moscow
In 2013, my children gave me an Ipad. I began to spend several hours a day reading well
beyond traditional mainstream Western sources: British and American dissident sites, writers
like Craig Murray in UK and in the U.S. Stephen Cohen, and some Russian sites – rt.com,
Sputnik, TASS, and the official Foreign Ministry site mid.ru. in English.
In late 2015 I decided to visit Russia independently to write Return to Moscow , a
literary travel memoir. I planned to compare my impressions of the Soviet Union, where I had
lived and worked as an Australian diplomat in 1969-71, with Russia today. I knew there had been
huge changes. I wanted to experience 'Putin's Russia' for myself, to see how it felt to be
there as an anonymous visitor in the quiet winter season. I wanted to break out of the familiar
one-dimensional hostile political view of Russia that Western mainstream media offer: to take
my readers with me on a cultural pilgrimage through the tragedy and grandeur and inspiration of
Russian history. As with my earlier book on Spain 'Walking the Camino' , this was not
intended to be a political book, and yet somehow it became one.
I was still uncommitted on contemporary Russian politics before going to Russia in January
2016. Using the metaphor of a seesaw, I was still sitting somewhere around the middle.
My book was written in late 2015 – early 2016, expertly edited by UWA Publishing. It
was launched in March 2017. By this time my political opinions had moved decisively to the
Russian end of the seesaw, on the basis of what I had seen in Russia, and what I had read and
thought during the year.
I have been back again twice, in winter 2018 and 2019. My 2018 visit included Crimea, and I
happened to see a Navalny-led Sunday demonstration in Moscow. I thoroughly enjoyed all three
independent visits: in my opinion, they give my judgements on Russia some depth and
Russophobia Becomes Entrenched
Russia was a big talking point in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. As the initially
unlikely Republican candidate Donald Trump's chances improved, anti-Putin and anti-Russian
positions hardened in the outgoing Obama administration and in the Democratic Party
establishment which backed candidate Hillary Clinton.
Russia and Putin became caught up in the Democratic Party's increasingly obsessive rage and
hatred against the victorious Trump. Russophobia became entrenched in Washington and London
U.S. and UK political and strategic elites, especially in intelligence circles: think of
Pompeo, Brennan, Comey and Clapper. All sense of international protocol and diplomatic
propriety towards Russia and its President was abandoned, as this appalling Economist
cover from October 2016 shows.
My experience of undeclared political censorship in Australia since four months after
publication of 'Return to Moscow' supports the thesis that:
We are now in the thick of a ruthless but mostly covert Anglo-American alliance
information war against Russia. In this war, individuals who speak up publicly in the cause of
detente with Russia will be discouraged from public discourse.
In the Thick of Information War
When I spoke to you two years ago, I had no idea how far-reaching and ruthless this
information war is becoming. I knew that a false negative image of Russia was taking hold in
the West, even as Russia was becoming a more admirable and self-confident civil society, moving
forward towards greater democracy and higher living standards, while maintaining essential
national security. I did not then know why, or how.
I had just had time to add a few final paragraphs in my book about the possible consequences
for Russia-West relations of Trump's surprise election victory in November 2016. I was right to
be cautious, because since Trump's inauguration we have seen the step-by-step elimination of
any serious pro-detente voices in Washington, and the reassertion of control over this
haphazard president by the bipartisan imperial U.S. deep state, as personified from April 2018
by Secretary of State Pompeo and National Security Adviser Bolton. Bolton has now been thrown
from the sleigh as decoy for the wolves: under the smooth-talking Pompeo, the imperial policies
Truth, Trust and False Narratives
Let me now turn to some theory about political reality and perception, and how national
communities are persuaded to accept false narratives. Let me acknowledge my debt to the
fearless and brilliant Australian independent online journalist, Caitlin Johnstone.
Behavioural scientists have worked in the field of what used to be called propaganda since
WW1. England has always excelled in this field. Modern wars are won or lost not just on the
battlefield, but in people's minds. Propaganda, or as we now call it information warfare, is as
much about influencing people's beliefs within your own national community as it is
about trying to demoralise and subvert the enemy population.
The IT revolution of the past few years has exponentially magnified the effectiveness of
information warfare. Already in the 1940s, George Orwell understood how easily governments are
able to control and shape public perceptions of reality and to suppress dissent. His brilliant
books 1984 and Animal Farm are still instruction manuals in principles of
information warfare. Their plots tell of the creation by the state of false narratives, with
which to control their gullible populations.
The disillusioned Orwell wrote from his experience of real politics. As a volunteer fighter
in the Spanish Civil War, he saw how both Spanish sides used false news and propaganda
narratives to demonise the enemy. He also saw how the Nazi and Stalinist systems in Germany and
Russia used propaganda to support show trials and purges, the concentration camps and the
Gulag, anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, German master race and Stalinist class enemy
ideologies; and hows dissident thought was suppressed in these controlled societies. Orwell
tried to warn his readers: all this could happen here too, in our familiar old England. But
because the good guys won the war against fascism, his warnings were ignored.
We are now in Britain, U.S. and Australia actually living in an information warfare world
that has disturbing echoes of the world that Orwell wrote about. The essence of information
control is the effective state management of two elements, trust and fear , to
generate and uphold a particular view of truth. Truth, trust and fear : these are the
three key elements, now as 100 years ago in WWI Britain.
People who work or have worked close to government – in departments, politics, the
armed forces, or top universities – mostly accept whatever they understand at the time to
be 'the government view' of truth. Whether for reasons of organisational loyalty, career
prudence or intellectual inertia, it is usually this way around governments. It is why moral
issues like the Vietnam War and the U.S.-led 2003 invasion of Iraq were so distressing for
people of conscience working in or close to government and military jobs in Canberra. They were
expected to engage in 'doublethink' as Orwell had described it:
Even in Winston's nightmare world, there were still choices – to retreat into the
non-political world of the proles, or to think forbidden thoughts and read forbidden books.
These choices involved large risks and punishments. It was easier and safer for most people to
acquiesce in the fake news they were fed by state-controlled media.
'Trust, Truth and False Narratives'
Fairfax journalist Andrew Clark, in the Australian Financial Review , in an essay
optimistically titled "Not fake news: Why truth and trust are still in good shape in
Australia", (AFR Dec. 22, 2018), cited Professor William Davies thus:
"Most of the time, the edifice that we refer to as "truth" is really an investment of
trust in our structures of politics and public life' 'When trust sinks below a certain point,
many people come to view the entire spectacle of politics and public life as a sham."
Here is my main point: Effective information warfare requires the creation of enough
public trust to make the public believe that state-supported lies are true.
The key tools are repetition of messages, and diversification of trusted
voices. Once a critical mass is created of people believing a false narrative, the lie locks
in: its dissemination becomes self-sustaining.
Caitlin Johnstone a few days ago
put it this way:
" Power is being able to control what happens. Absolute power is being able
to control what people think about what happens. If you can control what happens,
you can have power until the public gets sick of your BS and tosses you out on your ass. If
you can control what people think about what happens, you can have power forever. As
long as you can control how people are interpreting circumstances and events, there's no
limit to the evils you can get away with."
The Internet has made propaganda campaigns that used to take weeks or months a matter of
hours or even minutes to accomplish. It is about getting in quickly, using large enough
clusters of trusted and diverse sources, in order to cement lies in place, to make the
lies seem true, to magnify them through social messaging: in other words, to create credible
false narratives that will quickly get into the public's bloodstream.
Over the past two years, I have seen this work many times: on issues like framing Russia for
the MH17 tragedy; with false allegations of Assad mounting poison gas attacks in Syria; with
false allegations of Russian agents using lethal Novichok to try to kill the Skripals in
Salisbury; and with the multiple lies of Russiagate.
It is the mind-numbing effect of constant repetition of disinformation by many eminent
people and agencies, in hitherto trusted channels like the BBC or ABC or liberal Anglophone
print media that gives the system its power to persuade the credulous. For if so many diverse
and reputable people repeatedly report such negative news and express such negative judgements
about Russia or China or Iran or Syria, surely they must be right?
We have become used to reading in our quality newspapers and hearing on the BBC and ABC and
SBS gross assaults on truth, calmly presented as accepted facts. There is no real public debate
on important facts in contention any more. There are no venues for dissent outside contrarian
social media sites.
Sometimes, false narratives inter-connect. Often a disinformation narrative in one area is
used to influence perceptions in other areas. For example, the false Skripals poisoning story
was launched by British intelligence in March 2018, just in time to frame Syrian President
Assad as the guilty party in a faked chemical weapons attack in Douma the following month.
The Skripals Gambit
The Skripals gambit was also a failed British attempt to blight the Russia –hosted
Football World Cup in June 2018. In the event, hundreds of thousands of Western sports fans
returned home with the warmest memories of Russian good sportsmanship and hospitality.
How do I know the British Skripals narrative is false? For a start, it is illogical,
incoherent, and constantly changes. Allegedly, two visiting Russian FSB agents in March 2018
sprayed or smeared Novichok, a deadly toxin instantly lethal in the most microscopic
quantities, on the Skripals' house front doorknob. There is no video footage of the Skripals at
their front door on the day. We are told they were found slumped on a park bench, and that is
maybe where they had been sprayed with nerve gas? Shortly afterwards, Britain's Head of Army
Nursing who happened to be passing by found them, and supervised their hospitalisation and
Allegedly, much of Salisbury was contaminated by Novichok, and one unfortunate woman
mysteriously died weeks later, yet the Skripals somehow did not die, as we are told. But where
are they now? We saw a healthy Yulia in a carefully scripted video interview released in May
2018, after an alleged 'one in a million' recovery. We were assured her father had recovered
too, but nobody has seen him at all. The Skripals have simply disappeared from sight since 16
months ago. Are they now alive or dead? Are they in voluntary or involuntary British
A month after the poisoning, the UK Government sent biological samples from the Skripals to
the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons , for testing. The OPCW sent the
samples to a trusted OPCW laboratory in Spiez, Switzerland.
Lavrov Spiez BZ claims, April 2018
A few days later, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov dramatically announced in Moscow
that the Spiez lab had found in the samples a temporary-effect nerve agent BZ, used by U.S. and
UK but not by Russia, that would have disabled the Skripals for a few days without killing
them. He also revealed the Spiez lab had found that the Skripal samples had been twice tampered
with while still in UK custody: first soon after the poisoning, and again shortly before
passing them to the OPCW. He said the Spiez lab had found a high concentration of Novichok,
which he called A- 234, in its original form. This was extremely suspicious as A-234 has high
volatility and could not have retained its purity over a two weeks period. The dosage the Spiez
lab found in the samples would have surely killed the Skripals. The OPCW under British pressure
rejected Lavrov's claim, and suppressed the Spiez lab report.
Let's look finally at the alleged assassins.
'Boshirov and Petrov'
These two FSB operatives who visited Salisbury under the false identities of 'Boshirov' and
'Petrov' did not look or behave like credible assassins. It is more likely that they were sent
to negotiate with Sergey Skripal about his rumoured interest in returning to Russia. They
needed to apply for UK visas a month in advance of travel: ample time for the British agencies
to identify them as FSB operatives, and to construct a false attempted assassination narrative
around their visit. This false narrative repeatedly trips over its own lies and contradictions.
British social media are full of alternative theories and rebuttals. Russians find the whole
British Government Skripal narrative laughable. They have invented comedy skits and video games
based on it. Yet it had major impact on Russia-West relations.
The Douma False Narrative
I turn now to the claimed Assad chemical weapons attack in Douma in April 2018.This falsely
alleged attack triggered a major NATO air attack on Syrian targets, ordered by Trump. We came
close to WWIII in these dangerous days. Thanks to the restraint of the then Secretary of
Defence James Mattis and his Russian counterparts, the risk was contained.
The allegation that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had used outlawed chemical weapons
against his own people was based solely on the evidence of faked video images of child victims,
made by the discredited White Helmets, a UK-sponsored rebel-linked 'humanitarian' propaganda
organisation with much blood on its hands. Founded in 2013 by a British private security
specialist of intelligence background, James Le Mesurier, the White Helmets specialised in
making fake videos of alleged Assad regime war crimes against Syrian civilians. It is by now a
thoroughly discredited organisation that was prepared to kill its prisoners and then film their
bodies as alleged victims of government chemical attacks.
As the town of Douma was about to fall to advancing Syrian Government forces, the White
Helmets filled a room with stacked corpses of murdered prisoners, and photographed them as
alleged victims of aerial gas attack. They also made a video alleging child victims of this
attack being hosed down by White Helmets. A video of a child named Hassan Diab went viral all
over the Western world.
Hassan Diab later testified publicly in The Hague that he had been dragged terrified from
his family by force, smeared with some sort of grease, and hosed down with water as part of a
fake video. He went from hero to zero overnight, as Western governments and media rejected his
testimony as Russian and Syrian propaganda.
In a late development, there is proof that the OPCW suppressed its own engineers' report
from Douma that the alleged poison gas cylinders could not have possibly been dropped from the
air through the roof of the house where one was found, resting on a bed under a convenient hole
in the roof.
I could go on discussing the detail of such false narratives all day. No matter how often
they are exposed by critics, our politicians and mainstream media go on referencing them as if
they are true. Once people have come to believe false narratives, it is hard to refute
So it is with the false narrative that Russian internet interference enabled Trump to win
the 2016 U.S. presidential elections: a thesis for which no evidence was found by [Special
Counsel Robert] Mueller, yet continues to be cited by many U.S. liberal Democratic media as if
it were true. So, even, with MH17.
Managing Mass Opinion
This mounting climate of Western Russophobia is not accidental: it is strategically
directed, and it is nourished with regular maintenance doses of fresh lies. Each round of lies
provides a credible platform for the next round somewhere else. The common thread is a claimed
malign Russian origin for whatever goes wrong.
So where is all this disinformation originating? Information technology firms in Washington
and London that are closely networked into government elites, often through attending the same
establishment schools or colleges like Eton and Yale, have closely studied and tested the
science of influencing crowd opinions through mainstream media and online. They know, in a way
that Orwell or Goebbels could hardly have dreamt, how to put out and repeat desired media
messages. They know what sizes of 'internet attraction nodes' need to be established online, in
order to create diverse critical masses of credible Russophobic messaging, which then attracts
enough credulous and loyal followers to become self-propagating.
Firms like the SCL Group (formerly Strategic Communication Laboratories) and the now defunct
Cambridge Analytica pioneered such work in the UK. There are many similar firms in Washington,
all in the business of monitoring, generating and managing mass opinion. It is big business,
and it works closely with the national security state.
Starting in November 2018, an enterprising group of unknown hackers in the UK , who go by
the name 'Anonymous', opened a remarkable window into this secret world. Over a few weeks, they
hacked and dumped online a huge volume of original documents issued by and detailing the
activities of the Institute for Statecraft (IfS) and the Integrity initiative
(II). Here is the first page of one of their dumps, exposing propaganda against Jeremy
We know from this material that the IfS and II are two secret British disinformation
networks operating at arms' length from but funded by the UK security services and broader UK
government establishment. They bring together high-ranking military and intelligence personnel,
often nominally retired, journalists and academics, to produce and disseminate propaganda that
serves the agendas of the UK and its allies.
Stung by these massive leaks, Chris Donnelly, a key figure in IfS and II and a former
British Army intelligence officer, made a now famous seven-minute YouTube video in December
2018, artfully filmed in a London kitchen, defending their work.
He argued – quite unconvincingly in my opinion – that IfS and II are simply
defending Western societies against disinformation and malign influence, primarily from Russia.
He boasted how they have set up in numerous targeted European countries, claimed to be under
attack from Russian disinformation, what he called 'clusters of influence' , to
'educate' public opinion and decision-makers in pro-NATO and anti-Russian directions.
Donnelly spoke frankly on how the West is already at war with Russia, a 'new kind of
warfare', in which he said 'everything becomes a weapon'. He said that 'disinformation is the
issue which unites all the other weapons in this conflict and gives them a third
He said the West has to fight back, if it is to defend itself and to prevail.
We can confirm from the Anonymous leaked files the names of many people in Europe being
recruited into these clusters of influence. They tend to be significant people in journalism,
publishing, universities and foreign policy think-tanks: opinion-shapers. The leaked documents
suggest how ideologically suitable candidates are identified: approached for initial screening
interviews; and, if invited to join a cluster of influence, sworn to secrecy.
Remarkably, neither the Anonymous disclosures nor the Donnelly response have ever been
reported in Australian media. Even in Britain – where evidence that the Integrity
Initiative was mounting a campaign against [Labour leader] Jeremy Corbyn provoked brief media
interest. The story quickly disappeared from mainstream media and the BBC. A British
under-foreign secretary admitted in Parliamentary Estimates that the UK Foreign Office
subsidises the Institute of Statecraft to the tune of nearly 3 million pounds per year. It also
gives various other kinds of non-monetary assistance, e.g. providing personnel and office
support in Britain's overseas embassies.
This is not about traditional spying or seeking agents of influence close to governments. It
is about generating mass disinformation, in order to create mass climates of belief.
In my opinion, such British and American disinformation efforts, using undeclared clusters
of influence, through Five Eyes intelligence-sharing, and possibly with the help of British and
American diplomatic missions, may have been in operation in Australia for many years.
Such networks may have been used against me since around mid-2017, to limit the commercial
outreach of my book and the impact of its dangerous ideas on the need for East-West detente;
and efficiently to suppress my voice in Australian public discourse about Russia and the West.
Do I have evidence for this? Yes.
It is not coincidence that the Melbourne Writers Festival in August 2017 somehow lost all my
sign-and-sell books from my sold-out scheduled speaking event; that a major debate with
[Australian writer and foreign policy analyst] Bobo Lo at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne was
cancelled by his Australian sponsor, the Lowy institute, two weeks before the advertised date;
that my last invitation to any writers festival was 15 months ago, in May 2018; that Return
to Moscow was not shortlisted for any Australian book prize, though I entered it in all of
them ; that since my book's early promotion ended around August 2017, I have not been invited
to join any ABC discussion panels, or to give any talks on Russia in any universities or
institutes, apart from the admirable Australian Institute of International Affairs and the
My articles and shorter opinion commentaries on Russia and the West have not been published
in mainstream media or in reputable online journals like Eureka Street, The Conversation,
Inside Story or Australian Book Review . Despite being an ANU Emeritus Fellow, I
have not been invited to give a public talk or join any panel in ANU (Australian National
University) or any Canberra think tank. In early 2018, I was invited to give a private briefing
to a group of senior students travelling on an immersion course to Russia. I was not invited
back in 2019, after high-level private advice within ANU that I was regarded as too
In all these ways – none overt or acknowledged – my voice as an open-minded
writer and speaker on Russia-West relations seems to have been quietly but effectively
suppressed in Australia. I would like to be proved wrong on this, but the evidence is
This may be about "velvet-glove deterrence" of my Russia-sympathetic voice and pen, in order
to discourage others, especially those working in or close to government. Nobody is going to
put me in jail, unless I am stupid enough to violate Australia's now strict foreign influence
laws. This deterrence is about generating fear of consequences for people still in their
careers, paying their mortgages, putting kids through school. Nobody wants to miss their next
There are other indications that Australian national security elite opinion has been
indoctrinated prudently to fear and avoid any kind of public discussion of positive engagement
with Russia (or indeed, with China).
There are only two kinds of news about Russia now permitted in our mainstream media,
including the ABC and SBS: negative news and comment, or silence. Unless a story can be given
an anti-Russian sting, it will not be carried at all. Important stories are simply spiked, like
last week's Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivistok, chaired by President Putin and attended by
Prime Ministers Abe, Mahathir and Modi, among 8500 participants from 65 countries.
The ABC idea of a balanced panel to discuss any Russian political topic was exemplified
in an ABC Sunday Extra Roundtable panel chaired by Eleanor Hall on July, 22 2018, soon after
the Trump-Putin Summit in Helsinki. The panel – a former ONA Russia analyst, a professor
of Soviet and Russian History at Melbourne University, and a Russian émigré
dissident journalist introduced as the 'Washington correspondent for Echo of Moscow radio'
spent most of their time sneering at Putin and Trump. There were no other views.
A powerful anti-Russian news narrative is now firmly in place in Australia, on every topic
in contention: Ukraine, MH17, Crimea, Syria, the Skripals, Navalny and public protest in
Russia. There is ill-informed criticism of Russia, or silence, on the crucial issues of arms
control and Russia-China strategic and economic relations as they affect Australia's national
security or economy. There is no analysis of the negative impact on Australia of economic
sanctions against Russia. There is almost no discussion of how improved relations with China
and Russia might contribute to Australia's national security and economic welfare, as American
influence in the world and our region declines, and as American reliability as an ally comes
more into question. Silence on inconvenient truths is an important part of the disinformation
I see two overall conflicting narratives – the prevailing Anglo-American false
narrative; and valiant efforts by small groups of dissenters, drawing on sources outside the
Anglo-American official narrative, to present another narrative much closer to truth. And this
is how most Russians now see it too.
The Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki in July 2018 was damaged by the Skripal and Syria
fabrications. Trump left that summit friendless, frightened and humiliated. He soon surrendered
to the power of the U.S. imperial state as then represented by [Mike] Pompeo and [John] Bolton,
who had both been appointed as Secretary of State and National Security Adviser in April 2018
and who really got into their stride after the Helsinki Summit. Pompeo now smoothly dominates
Trump's foreign policy.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (Gage Skidmore)
Finally, let me review the American political casualties over the past two years –
self-inflicted wounds – arising from this secret information war against Russia. Let me
list them without prejudging guilt or innocence. Slide 20 – Self-inflicted wounds:
casualties of anti-Russian information warfare.
Trump's first National Security Adviser, the highly decorated Michael Flynn lost his job
after only three weeks, and soon went to jail. His successor H R McMaster lasted 13 months
until replaced by John Bolton. Trump's first Secretary of State Rex Tillerson lasted just 14
months until his replacement by Trump's appointed CIA chief (in January 2017) Mike Pompeo.
Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon lasted only seven months. Trump's former campaign
chairman Paul Manafort is now in jail.
Defence Secretary James Mattis lasted nearly two years as Secretary of Defence, and was an
invaluable source of strategic stability. He resigned in December 2018. The highly capable
Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman lasted just two years: he is resigning next month. John Kelly
lasted 18 months as White House Chief of Staff. Less senior figures like George Papadopoulos
and Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen both served jail time. The pattern I see here is that
people who may have been trying responsibly as senior U.S. officials to advance Trump's initial
wish to explore possibilities for detente with Russia – policies that he had advocated as
a candidate – were progressively purged, one after another . The anti-Russian U.S.
bipartisan imperial state is now firmly back in control. Trump is safely contained as far as
Russia is concerned .
Russians do not believe that any serious detente or arms control negotiations can get under
way while cold warriors like Pompeo continue effectively to control Trump. There have been
other casualties over the past two years of tightening American Russophobia. Julian Assange and
Chelsea Manning come to mind. The naive Maria Butina is a pathetic victim of American judicial
rigidity and deep state vindictiveness.
False anti-Russian Government narratives emanating from London and Washington may be laughed
at in Moscow , but they are unquestioningly accepted in Canberra. We are the most gullible of
audiences. There is no critical review. Important contrary factual information and analysis
from and about Russia just does not reach Australian news reporting and commentary, nor –
I fear – Australian intelligence assessment. We are prisoners of the false narratives fed
to us by our senior Five Eyes partners U.S. and UK.
To conclude: Some people may find what I am saying today difficult to accept. I understand
this. I now work off open-source information about Russia with which many people here are
unfamiliar, because they prefer not to read the diverse online information sources that I
choose to read. The seesaw has tilted for me: I have clearly moved a long way from mainstream
Western perceptions on Russia-West relations.
Under Trump and Pompeo, as the Syria and Iran crises show, the present risk of global
nuclear war by accident or incompetent Western decision-making is as high as it ever was in the
Cold War. The West needs to learn again how to dialogue usefully and in mutually respectful
ways with Russia and China. This expert knowledge is dying with our older and wiser former
public servants and ex-military chiefs.
These remarks were delivered by Tony Kevin at the Independent Scholars Association of
Australia in Canberra, Australia on Wednesday.
Watch Tony Kevin interviewed Friday night on CN Live!
Tony Kevin is a retired Australian diplomat who was posted to Moscow from 1969 to 1971,
and was later Australia's ambassador to Poland and Cambodia. His latest book is Return to
Moscow, published by UWA Publishing.
Bruce , September 17, 2019 at 08:58
Excellent article. It's very interesting to see how the state and its media lackey set the
Most of this comment relates to the Skripals but also applies to other matters (the
Skripals writing was some of Craig Murray's finest work in my opinion). One of the hallmarks
of a hoax is a constantly evolving storyline. I think governments have learned from past
"mistakes" with their hoaxes/deception where they've given a description of events and then
scientists/engineers/chemists etc have come in and criticised their version of events with
details and scientific arguments. Nowadays, governments are very reluctant to commit to a
version of events, and instead rely on the media (their propaganda assets) to provide a
scattergun set of information to muddy the waters and thoroughly confuse the population. The
government is then insulated from some of the more bizarre allegations (the headlines of
which are absorbed nonetheless), and can blame it on the media (who would use an anonymous
government source naturally). Together with classifying just about everything on national
security grounds, they can stonewall for as long as they want.
The British are masters of propaganda. They maintained a global empire for a very long
time, and the prevailing view (in the west at least) was probably one of tea-drinking cricket
playing colonials/gentlemen. But you don't maintain an empire without being absolutely
ruthless and brutal. They've been doing this for a very long time.
When we hear something from the BBC or ABC, we should think "State Media".
That's probably why its got a nice folksy nickname of "aunty" .build up the trust.
Leslie Louis , September 17, 2019 at 04:00
Society is suffering the extreme paradox; there is the potential for everyone to have a
voice, but the last vestiges of free speech have been whittled away. Fake news is universal,
assisted by the fake "left". It is impossible to get published any challenge to even the most
outlandish versions of identity politics. As the experience of Tony Kevin exemplifies, all
avenues for dissent against hegemonic orthodoxies are closed off.
Disinformation is now an essential weapon in waging hot and cold wars. Cold War historians
are well informed on false flags, "black ops", and other organised dirty tactics. I do not
know what happened to the Skripals, and while it is legitimate to bear in mind KGB
assassinations, despite the enormous resources at its disposal, the English security state
has been unable to construct a credible case. Surely scepticism is provoked by the leading
role being played by the notorious Bellingcat outfit.
Zenobia van Dongen , September 17, 2019 at 00:29
Here is part of an eyewitness account:
"After the Orange Revolution which began in Kiev, the country was divided literally into two
parts -- the supporters of integration with Russia and the supporters of an independent
Ukraine. For almost 100 years belonging to the Soviet Union, the propaganda about the
assistance and care from our "big brother" Russia, in Ukraine as a whole and the Donbass in
particular has borne fruit. At the end of February 2014, some cities of the Southeast part
were boiling with mass social and political protest against the new Ukrainian government in
defense of the status of the Russian language, voicing separatist and pro-Russian slogans.
The division took place in our city of Sloviansk too. Some people stood for separation from
Ukraine, while Ukrainian patriots stood for the unity of our country.
On April 12, 2014 our city of Sloviansk in the Donetsk region was seized by Russian
mercenaries and local volunteers. From that moment onward, armed assaults on state
institutions began. The city police department, the Sloviansk City Hall, the building of the
Ukraine Security Service was occupied. Armed militants seized state institutions and
confiscated private property. They threatened and beat people, and those who refused to obey
were taken away to an unknown destination and people started disappearing. The persecution
and abduction of patriotic citizens began."
Michael McNulty , September 16, 2019 at 11:36
Watching Vietnam news coverage as a kid in the '60s I noticed the planes carpet-bombing
South East Asia were American, not Russian. And as I only watched the footage and never
listened to the commentary (I was waiting for the kids programs that followed) the BS they
came out with to explain it all never reached me. I saw with my own eyes what the US really
was and is, and always believed growing up they were the belligerent side not Russia. Once
the USSR fell it was clear there were no longer any constraints on US excesses.
dean 1000 , September 15, 2019 at 18:17
Doublethink, not to mention doublespeak, is so apt to describe what is happening. If
Orwell was writing today it would have to be classified as non-fiction.
Free speech is impossible unless every election district has a radio/TV station where
candidates, constituents, and others can debate, discuss and speak to the issues without
bending a knee to large campaign contributors or the controllers of corporate or government
media. It may start with low-power pirate radio/TV broadcasts. No, the pirate speakers will
not have to climb a cell tower to broadcast an opinion to the neighborhood or precinct.
If genuine free speech is going to exist it will start as something unauthorized and
unlawful. If it sticks to the facts it will quickly prove its value.
Download a free pdf copy of '1984.' https://www.planetebook.com/free-ebooks/1984.pdf
Njegos , September 15, 2019 at 03:39
Excellent article. The only exhibit missing was reference to Bill Browder's lies.
Browder's rubbish has been exposed by intrepid journalists and documentary makers such as
Andrei Nekrasov, Sasha Krainer and Lucy Komisar but to read or listen to our media, you'd
think BB was some sort of human rights hero. That's because BB's fairy tale fits nicely into
the MSM's hatred of Putin and Russia. Debunk Browder and a major pillar of anti-Russia
prejudice collapses. Therefore, Browder will never face any serious questions by the MSM.
John A , September 16, 2019 at 09:18
judges of the European Court of Human Rights published a judgement a fortnight ago which
utterly exploded the version of events promulgated by Western governments and media in the
case of the late Mr Magnitskiy. Yet I can find no truthful report of the judgement in the
mainstream media at all.
MSM propaganda by omission. Anything that doesn't fit the government narrative gets zero
Jim Ingram , September 14, 2019 at 21:12
Well said and needing to be said Tony.
Mr. Dan , September 14, 2019 at 19:41
I have stopped following australian mainstream media including the darlings of the 'left'
ABC/SBS over a decade ago, completely. My disgust with their 'coverage' of the 2008 GFC was
more than enough. Since 2008-9 things have deteriorated drastically into conspiracy theory
propaganda by omission la-la land *it seems*, given I don't tune in at all.
The author has a well supported view. I find it a little naive in him thinking that the
MSM has that much power over shaping public opinion in australia.
People who want to be informed do so. The half intelligent conformists on hamster wheel of
lifetime mortgage debt have 'careers' to hold onto, so parroting the group think or living in
ignorance is much easier. The massive portion of australian racists, inbred bogans and idiots
that make up the large LNP, One Nation etc. voting block are completely beyond salvation or
ability to process, and critically evaluate any information. The smarter ones drool on about
the 'UN Agenda 21' conspiracy at best. Utterly hopeless.
I don't expect things to change as the australian economy is slowly hollowed out by the
rich, and the education system (that has always been about conforming, wearing school uniform
and regurgitating what the teacher/lecturer says at best) is gutted completely. Welcome to
Fran Macadam , September 14, 2019 at 19:21
Note that the prohibition against false propaganda to indoctrinate the domestic population
by the American government was lifted by President Obama at the tail end of his
administration. The Executive Order legalizes all the deceptive behavior Tony itemizes in his
Josep , September 17, 2019 at 04:10
I thought it was Reagan who did that by abolishing the Fairness Doctrine in 1987. At least
in terms of television and radio (?) broadcasts.
Stephen Morrell , September 14, 2019 at 19:02
Thank you Tony for your thoughtful talk (and interview on CN Live! too).
What's encouraging is this cohort of what might be called 'millennial journalists' coming
through willing to do 'shoe-leather' journalism and stand up to smears and flack for
revealing uncomfortable facts and truth. They're the online 5th estate holding the 4th to
account (to steal Ray McGovern's apt view), and they're congealing against the onslaught.
Some include Max Blumenthal and Rania Kahlek (both now being pilloried by MSM and others
for visiting Syrian government held areas and reporting that life isn't hellish as MSM would
have everyone believe heaven forbid); Vanessa Bealey who's exposed a lot of White Helmet
horrors and false-flag attacks in Syria (and being attacked by all and sundry for exposing
the White Helmets in particular); Abby Martin whose Empire Files are excellent and always
edifying; Dan Cohen who has written the best expose of the actors behind the Hong Kong
rioting and co-authored the best expose of the background of Guaido et al.; Whitney Webb of
Mint Press whose series on Epstein is overwhelming and likely a ticking timebomb; Caitlin
Johnstone of course; and Aaron 'Buzzsaw' Mate who made his first mark with a wonderful
takedown interview of Russiaphobe MI6 shill Luke Harding. Others too of course, with most
appearing or having written pieces on CN. John Pilger, Robert Fisk, Greg Palast, et al. won't
drop off their twigs disappointed.
This, along with the fact that MSM -- that cowed and compromised fourth estate --
increasingly is held in such laughable contempt by most people under about 50 yr, is highly
encouraging indeed. Truth is the new black.
nwwoods , September 15, 2019 at 11:49
The Blogmire is an excellent resource for detailed analysis of the Skripal hoax. The
author happens to be a long-time resident of Salisbury, and is intimately familiar with the
topography, public services, etc., and a very thorough investigator.
John Wright , September 14, 2019 at 18:35
I'm not surprised that Mr. Kevin is being isolated and shunned by the Australian
establishment. Truth and truth tellers are always the first casualties of war. I do hope that
his experience will encourage him to increase his resistance to the corrosiveness of
mendacious propaganda and those who promulgate it.
Truth is the single best weapon when fighting for a peaceful future.
If Australia is to flourish in the 21st century, it really needs to understand Russia and
China, how they relate to each other, and how this key alliance will interface with the rest
of the world. Australia and Australians simply cannot afford to get sucked down further by
facilitating the machinations of the collapsing Anglo-American Empire. They have served the
empire ably and faithfully, but now need to take a cold hard look at reality and realign
their long-term interests with the coming global power shift. If not, they could literally
find themselves in the middle of an unwinnable and devastating war.
* * *
The first Anglo-American Russian cold war began with the Russian revolution and was only
briefly suspended when the West needed the Soviet people to throw themselves in front of the
Nazi blitzkrieg in order to save Western Europe. Following their catastrophically costly
contribution to the victory on the Continent, the Russians were greeted with an American
nuclear salute on their eastern periphery, signalling their return to the diplomatic and
economic deep freeze.
While the Anglo-American Empire solidified and extended its hold on the globe, the
enlarged but war-ravaged and isolated Soviet Union hunkered down and survived on scraps and
sheer will until its collapse in 1989. Declaring the cold war over, and with promises to help
their new Russian friends build a prosperous future, the duplicitous West then ransacked
their neighbors resources and sold them into debt peonage. The Russians cried foul, the West
shrugged and Putin pushed back. Unable to declaw the bear, the west closed the cage door
again and the second cold war commenced.
* * *
The first cold war was essentially an offensive war disguised as a defensive war. It
enabled the Anglo-American Empire to leverage its post-war advantage and establish near total
dominance around the globe through naked violence and monetary hegemony.
Today, with its dominance rapidly slipping away, the Anglo-American Empire is waging a
truly defensive cold war. On the home front, they fight to convince their subjects of their
eternal exceptionalism with ever more absurd and vile propaganda denigrating their
adversaries . Abroad, they disrupt and defraud in a desperate attempt to delay the demise of
the PetroDollar ponzi.
The Russians and the Chinese, having both been brutally burned by the Western elites, will
not be fooled into abandoning their natural geographic partnership. They are no longer
content to sit quietly at the kids' table taking notes. While they may not demand to sit at
the head of the table, it is clear that they will insist on a round table, and one that is
large enough to include their growing list of friends.
If the Americans don't smash the table, it could be the first of many peaceful pot
John Read , September 15, 2019 at 02:11
Well said. Great comments. Thanks to Tony Kevin.
Mia , September 14, 2019 at 18:33
Thank you Tony for continuing to shine light on the pathetic propaganda information bubble
Australians have been immersed in .. you demonstrate great courage and you are not alone
Peter Loeb , September 14, 2019 at 12:58
WITH THANKS TO TONY KEVIN
An excellent article.
There is a lack of comments from some of the common writers upon whose views I often
Personally, I often avoid the very individual responses from websites as I have no way
of checking out previous ideas of theirs. Who funds them? With which organizations are
affiliated? And so forth and so on.
Peter Loeb, Boston, Massachusetts
Peter Sapo , September 14, 2019 at 10:24
As a fellow Australian, everything Tony Kevin said makes perfect sense. Our mainstream
media landscape is designed to distribute propaganda to folk accross the political spectrum.
Have you noticed that the ABC regurgitates stories from the BBC? The BBC has a long history
(at least since WW2) of supporting government propaganda initiatives. Based on this fact, it
is hard to see how ABC and SBS don't do the same when called upon by their minders.
Francis Lee , September 14, 2019 at 09:48
I just wonder where the Anglo-Zionist empire thinks it is going. It should be obvious that
any NATO war against Russia involving a nuclear exchange is unwinnable. It seems equally
likely the even a conventional war will not necessarily bring the result expected by the
assorted 'experts' – nincompoops living in their own fantasy world. The idea that the
US can fight a war without the US homeland becoming very much involved basically ended when
Putin announced the creation of Russia's set of advanced hypersonic missile system. But this
was apparently ignored by the 'defence' establishment. It was not true, it could not possibly
be true, or so we were told.
Moreover the cost of such wars involving hundreds of thousands of troops and military
hardware are massively expensive and would occasion a massive resistance from the populations
affected. It was the wests wars in Korea, and Indo-China that bankrupted the US and led to
the US$ being removed from the gold standard. The American military is rapidly consuming the
American economy, or at least what is left of it. From a realist foreign policy perspective
this is simply madness. Great powers end wars, they don't start them. Great powers are
creditor nations, not debtor nations. Such is the realist foreign policy view. But foreign
policy realists are few and far between in the Washington Beltway and MIC/NSA Pentagon and
Thus the neo-hubris of the English speaking world is such that if it is followed to its
logical conclusion then total annihilation would be the logical outcome. A sad example of not
very bright people who face no domestic opposition, believing in their own bullshit:
"American elites proved themselves to be master manipulators of propaganda constructs But
the real danger from such manipulations arises not when those manipulations are done out of
knowledge of reality, which is distorted for propaganda purposes, but when those who
manipulation begin to sincerely believe in their own falsifications and when they buy into
their own narrative. They stop being manipulators and they become believers in a narrative.
They become manipulated themselves." (Losing Military Supremacy – Andrei,
Or maybe just the whole thing is a bluff. Those policy elites maybe just want to loot the
US Treasury for more cash to be put their way.
John Wright , September 15, 2019 at 19:15
The self-serving Israeli Zionists know that the American cow is running dry and their days
of freely milking it are coming to an end. They have an historic relationship with Russia
and, leveraging their nuclear arsenal, know they can make a deal with the emerging
China-Russia-centric global paradigm to extort enough protection to maintain their armed
enclave for the foreseeable future. Their no so hidden alliance with the equally sociopathic
Saudis will become even more obvious for all to see.
Israel, like China and Russia, knows how to play a long game. Thus, Israel will
consolidate its land grab with the just announced expansion into the Jordan Valley and
quietly continue as much ethnic cleansing as possible while the rest of the world is
preoccupied with the incipient global power shift (True victims of history, the Palestinians
have no real friends). While they will bemoan the loss of their muscular American stooge,
Israel enjoyed a very lucrative 70 year run and will part with a pile of useful and deadly
toys. They're also fully aware that no one else will ever let them take advantage to the
degree they've been able to with the U.S.A. (Unlimited Stupidity of Arrogance?)
Eventually, the social schizophrenia that is the state of Israel will catch up with them
and they will implode. Let's hope that breakdown doesn't involve the use of their nuclear
Yes, the U.S. Treasury will continue to be looted until the last teller turns the lights
out or the electricity is shut off, whichever comes first.
The Western transnational financial elites will accept their losses, regroup and make
deals with the new bosses where they can; but their days of running the game unopposed are
Today is a good day to learn Mandarin (or Russian, if you prefer to live in Europe).
Bill , September 16, 2019 at 03:36
Very well said and I agree with a lot of what you say.
Tiu , September 14, 2019 at 06:01
Won't be too long before writing articles like this will get you busted for "hate-speech"
(e.g. anything that is contrary to the official version prescribed by the "democratically
Personally I always encourage people to read George Orwell, especially 1984. We're there, and
have been for a long time.
geeyp , September 14, 2019 at 01:15
Tony Kevin – Nice rundown of what ails society. You have a fine writing style that
gets the point across to the reader. Kudos and cheers.
Michael , September 13, 2019 at 22:34
The 'modernization' of the Smith Mundt Act in 2013 "to authorize the domestic
dissemination of information and material [PROPAGANDA] about the United States intended
primarily for foreign audiences" was a major nail in the Democracy coffin, consolidating the
blatant ruling of the US Police State by our 17 Intelligence Agencies (our betters). The
Telecommunications Act of 1996 lead to ownership of (>80%) of our media (the MSM by a
handful of owners, all disseminating the same narratives from above (CIA, State Department,
FBI etc) and squelching any dissenting views, particularly related to foreign policies.
Tony's article sadly just confirms the depth and breadth of our Global Stasi, with improved,
innovative and (mostly) subtle surveillance, and the controlling constant interference with
alternate viewpoints and discussions, the real basis for free societies. It is bad enough to
be ruled by neoliberal psychopathic hyenas and jackals, soon we won't be able to even bitch
about what they are doing.
Tom Kath , September 13, 2019 at 21:42
The most impressive article I have read in a very long time. I congratulate and thank
I have myself recently addressed the issue of whether it is a virtue to have an "open mind".
– The ability to be converted or have your mind changed, or is it the ability to change
your own mind ?
Tony Kevin clearly illustrates the difference.
Litchfield , September 13, 2019 at 16:11
Please keep writing.
Do start a website, a la Craig Murray.
There are people who are proactively looking for alternative viewpoints and informed
How about starting a website and publishing some excerpts of your book there?
Or, sell chapters separately by download from your website?
You could also have a discussion blog/forum there.
John Zimmermann , September 13, 2019 at 16:02
Excellent essay. Thanks Mr. Kevin.
rosemerry , September 13, 2019 at 15:37
At least Tony Kevin was an Australian ambassador, not like Mike Morrell and the chosen
russop?obes the USA assumes are needed as diplomats!! Now he is treated as Stephen Cohen is-
a true expert called "controversial" as he dares to go by real facts and evidence, not
If instead of enemies, the West could consider getting to understand those they are wary
of, and give them a chance to explain their point of view and actually listen and reflect on
(Dmitri Peskov valiantly explained the Russian official response as soon as the "Skripal
poisoning" story broke, but it was fully ignored by UK/US media, while all of Theresa May's
fanciful imaginings were respectfully relayed to the public).
geeyp , September 14, 2019 at 23:26
As you usually are with your comments, you are spot on again, rosemerry.
Martin - Swedish citizen , September 13, 2019 at 14:46
I find the mechanics of how the propaganda is spread and the illusion upheld the most
important part of this article, since this knowledge is required to counter it.
When (not if) the fraud becomes more common knowledge, our societies are likely to
Pablo Diablo , September 13, 2019 at 14:45
Whoever controls the media, controls the dialogue.
Whoever controls the dialogue, controls the agenda.
mcloughlin , September 13, 2019 at 13:40
' The present risk of global nuclear war is as high as it ever was in the Cold War.' And
possibly higher. The Cold War, though dangerous, was the peace. The world has experienced
periods of peace (or relative peace) throughout history. The Thirty Years Peace between the
two Peloponnesian Wars, Pax Romana, Europe in the 19th century after the Congress of Vienna,
to name a few. The Congress System finally collapsed in 1914 with the start of World War One.
That conflict was followed by the League of Nations. It did not stop World War Two. That was
followed by the United Nations and other post-war institutions. But all the indications are
they will not prevent a third world war. The powers that are leading us towards conflagration
see this as a re-run of the first Cold War. They are dangerously mistaken.
Guy , September 13, 2019 at 13:21
With so many believing the lies ,how will this mess ever come to light . I don't reside in
Australia but anywhere in the Western world the shakedown is the same .In my own house ,the
discussion on world politics descends into absolute stupidity . As one can't get past the
constant programming that has settled in the minds of the comfortable with the status quo of
lies by our media. There are intelligent sources of news sources but none get past the
absolutely complete control of MSM.So the bottom line is ,for now ,the lies and liars are
winning the propaganda war.
Anton Antonovich , September 13, 2019
He speaks the truth. Liars and dissemblers have won over the minds and hearts of so many
lazy shameful citizens who will not accept the truth Tony Kevin wants to share with the
junaid , September 13,
2019 at 13:08
Washington resumes military assistance to Kyiv. According to American lawmakers, Ukraine
is fighting one of the main enemies. "Contain Russia": what the US pays for Ukraine
Russia": what the US pays for Ukraine
Lily , September 13, 2019 at 23:42
The Pentagon is using the Ukrainian territory for experiments on chemical weapons.
John A , September 14, 2019 at 06:55
Anyone or article who spells Kiev as Kyiv can be safely ignored as western anti-Russia
propaganda. It's a true tell.
Robert Edwards , September 13, 2019 at 12:53
The Cold war is totally manufacture to keep the dollars flowing into the MIC – what
a sham . and a disgrace to humanity.
Cavaleiro Marginal , September 13, 2019 at 12:52
"The key tools are repetition of messages, and diversification of trusted voices. Once a
critical mass is created of people believing a false narrative, the lie locks in: its
dissemination becomes self-sustaining."
This had occurred in Brazil since the very first day of Lula's presidency. Eleven years
late, 2013, a color revolution began. Nobody (and I mean REALLY nobody) could realize a color
revolution was happening at that time. In 2016, Dilma Rousseff was kicked from power
throughout a ridiculous and illegal coup perpetrated by the parliament. In 2018 Lula was
imprisoned in an Orwellian process; illegal, unconstitutional, with nothing (REALLY nothing)
proved against him. Then a liar clown was elected to suppress democracy
I knew on the news that in Canada and Australia the police politely (how civilized ) went
to some journalist's homes to have a chat this year. Canadians and Aussies, be aware. The
fascism's dog is a policial state very well informed by the propaganda they call news.
Robert Fearn , September 13, 2019 at 12:48
As a Canadian author who wrote a book about various tragic American government actions,
like Vietnam, I can relate to the difficulties Tony has had with his book. I would mail my
book, Amoral America, from Canada to other countries, like the US, and it would never arrive.
Book stores would not handle it, etc. etc.
Josep , September 17, 2019 at 05:21
Not to disagree, but some years ago I read about anecdotes of anti-Americanism in Canada,
coming from both USians and Canadians, whether it be playful banter or legitimate criticism.
I believe it is more concentrated among the people than among the governmental elites (with
the exception of the Iraq War era when both the people and the government were against it).
And considering what you describe in your book and the difficulty you've faced in
distributing it abroad, maybe the said people are on to something.
Stephen , September 13, 2019 at 11:44
This interview by Abby Martin with Mark Ames is a little dated but is a fairly accurate
history. I post it to try and counter the nonsense.
All the empire wants is to do it all again.
Jeremy Kuzmarov , September 13, 2019 at 10:33
Outstanding article and analysis. Thank you Sir! Jeremy Kuzmarov
Jeff Harrison , September 13, 2019 at 10:17
Thank you, sir. A far better peroration than I could have produced but what I have
Skip Scott , September 13, 2019 at 10:10
Fantastic article. Left unmentioned is the origin of the west's anti-Russia narrative.
Russia was being pillaged by the west under Yeltsin, and Russia was to become our newest
vassal. Life expectancy dropped a full decade for the average Russian under Yeltsin. The
average standard of living dropped dramatically as well. Putin reversed all that, and enjoys
massive popular support as a result. The Empire will never tolerate a national leader who
works for the benefit of the average citizen. It must be full-on rape, pillage and plunder-
OR ELSE. Keep that in mind as we watch the latest theatrical performances by our DNC
controlled "Commander in Chief" wannabes.
Realist , September 17, 2019 at 05:48
?The ongoing success of the "Great Lie" (that Washington is protecting the entire world
anarchy perpetrated by a few bad actors on the global stage) and all of its false narrative
(including but far from limited to the Maidan, Crimea, Donbass, MH-17, the Skripals,
"one's own people," piracy on the high Mediterranean, etc) just underscores how successful
the false flag operation known as 9-11, even as the truth of that travesty is slowly
unraveled by relentless truth-seekers applying logic and the scientific method to the
Most Americans today would gladly concur, if queried, that Osama bin Laden was most
a perfidious tool of Russia and its diabolical leader, Mr. Putin (be sure to call him "Vlad,"
conjure up images of Dracula for effect). The Winston Smith's are rare birds in America or
any of its reliable vassal states. Never mind that the spooks from Langley (and the late
"chessmaster") concocted and orchestrated all these tales from the crypt.
Lily , September 13, 2019 at 07:54
Great summary of the developement of a new cold war. The narrative of the Mainstream Media
is dangerous as well as laughable. I am glad to hear the Russian reaction to this bullshit
propaganda. As often the people are so much wiser than their government – at least in
During the Football WM a famous broadcaster of the German State TV channel ARD, who is a
giftet propagandist, regrettet publicly the difficulty to convince the stubborn Germans to
look at Russia as an enemy because they have started to look at Russia as a friend long
Contrary to the people and the big firms who are completely against the sanctions against
Russia and 100 % pro Northstream the German government with Chancelor Merkel is one of the
top US vassalles. Even the Green Party which started as an environmental and peace party are
now against North Stream and in favour of the filthy US fracking gas thanks to NATO
propaganda although Russia has never let them down. Most of "Die Grünen" party have been
turned into fervent friends of our American occupants which is very sad.
Thank you Tony Kevin. It has been great to read your article. I cant wait to read your
book 'Return to Moscow' and to watch your interview on CN Live.
Godfree Roberts , September 13, 2019 at 07:37
Good summary of the status quo. From my experience of writing similarly about China,
precisely the same policies and forces are at work.
The good news is that they are failing.
junaid , September 13,
2019 at 07:15
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced the end of the war in Syria and the
country's return to a state of peace. "Syria is returning to normal life": Lavrov announced
the end of the war
"Syria is returning to normal life": Lavrov announced the end of the war
Gezzah Potts , September 13, 2019
You hit several nails squarely on the head with your excellent article Tony. Thank you for
the truth of how the media is in Australia. It is indeed chilling where all this is leading.
The blatant lies just spewed out as fact by both ABC and SBS. They, in my opinion are nothing
but stenographers for the Empire, of which Australia is a fully subservient vassal state,
with no independence.
I try to boycott all Australian presstitutes . Oops, I mean 'media' now. Occasionally, I do
slip up and watch SBS or The Drum or News on ABC.
Virtually all my news comes from independent news sites like this one.
I have been accused of being a 'Putin lover', a Russian troll, a conspiracy theorist, while
people I know have claimed that "Putin is a monster whose murdered millions of people".
On and on this crap goes. And the end result? Ask Stephen Cohen. Things are very surreal now.
Sadly, you've been made an Unperson Tony.
Robyn , September 13, 2019 at 04:08
Bravo, Tony, great article. I enjoyed your book and recommend it to CN readers who haven't
yet read it.
The world looks entirely different when one stops reading/watching the MSM and turns to
CN, Caitlin Johnstone and many others who are doing a sterling job.
Cascadian , September 13, 2019 at 03:52
I don't know which is worse, to not know what you are (reliably uninformed) and be happy,
or to become what you've always wanted to be (reliably informed) and feel alone.
Realist , September 14, 2019 at 00:19
Knowing the truth has always seemed paramount to me, even if it means realising that the
entire world and all in it are damned, and deliberately by our own actions. Hope is always
the last part of our essence to die, or so they say: maybe we will somehow be redeemed
through our own self-immolation as a species.
Deb , September 13, 2019 at 02:54
As an Australian I have no difficulty accepting what Tony Kevin has said here. He should
do what Craig Murray has done start a website.
The Guardian, Britain's leading liberal newspaper with a global reputation for independent and critical journalism, has been
successfully targeted by security agencies to neutralise its adversarial reporting of the 'security state', according to newly released
documents and evidence from former and current Guardian journalists.
The UK security services targeted The Guardian after the newspaper started publishing the contents of secret US government documents
leaked by National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden in June 2013.
Snowden's bombshell revelations continued for months and were the largest-ever leak of classified material covering the NSA and
its UK equivalent, the Government Communications Headquarters. They revealed programmes of
operated by both agencies.
According to minutes of meetings of the UK's Defence and Security Media Advisory
Committee, the revelations caused alarm in the British security services and Ministry of Defence.
" This event was very concerning because at the outset The Guardian avoided engaging with the [committee] before publishing the
first tranche of information," state
minutes of a 7 November
2013 meeting at the MOD.
The DSMA Committee, more commonly known as the D-Notice Committee, is run by the MOD, where it meets every six months. A small
number of journalists are also invited to sit on the committee. Its
stated purpose is to "prevent inadvertent public disclosure
of information that would compromise UK military and intelligence operations". It can issue "notices" to the media to encourage them
not to publish certain information.
The committee is currently chaired by the MOD's director-general of security policy Dominic Wilson, who was
previously director of security and intelligence
in the British Cabinet Office. Its secretary is Brigadier Geoffrey Dodds OBE, who
describes himself as an "accomplished, senior
ex-military commander with extensive experience of operational level leadership".
The D-Notice system describes itself as voluntary ,
placing no obligations on the media to comply with any notice issued. This means there should have been no need for the Guardian
to consult the MOD before publishing the Snowden documents.
Yet committee minutes
note the secretary saying: "The Guardian was obliged to seek advice under the terms of the DA notice code." The minutes
add: "This failure to seek advice was a key source of concern and considerable efforts had been made to address it."
' Considerable efforts'
These "considerable efforts" included a D-Notice sent out by the committee on 7 June 2013 – the day after The Guardian published
the first documents – to all major UK media editors, saying they should refrain from publishing information that would "jeopardise
both national security and possibly UK personnel". It was
marked "private and confidential: not
for publication, broadcast or use on social media".
Clearly the committee did not want its issuing of the notice to be publicised, and it was nearly successful. Only the right-wing
blog Guido Fawkes made it public.
At the time, according to the committee
minutes , the "intelligence
agencies in particular had continued to ask for more advisories [i.e. D-Notices] to be sent out". Such D-Notices were clearly seen
by the intelligence services not so much as a tool to advise the media but rather a way to threaten it not to publish further Snowden
One night, amidst the first Snowden stories being published, the D-Notice Committee's then-secretary Air Vice-Marshal Andrew Vallance
personally called Alan Rusbridger, then editor of The Guardian. Vallance "made clear his concern that The Guardian had failed to
consult him in advance before telling the world",
according to a Guardian journalist who interviewed Rusbridger.
Later in the year, Prime Minister David Cameron again used the D-Notice system as a threat to the media.
" I don't want to have to use injunctions or D-Notices or the other tougher measures," he
in a statement to MPs. "I think it's much better to appeal to newspapers' sense of social responsibility. But if they don't
demonstrate some social responsibility it would be very difficult for government to stand back and not to act."
The threats worked. The Press Gazette
at the time that "The FT [Financial Times] and The Times did not mention it [the initial Snowden revelations] and the Telegraph
published only a short". It continued by noting that only The Independent "followed up the substantive allegations". It added, "The
BBC has also chosen to largely ignore the story."
The Guardian, however, remained uncowed.
According to the committee
minutes , the fact
The Guardian would not stop publishing "undoubtedly raised questions in some minds about the system's future usefulness". If the
D-Notice system could not prevent The Guardian publishing GCHQ's most sensitive secrets, what was it good for?
It was time to rein in The Guardian and make sure this never happened again.
GCHQ and laptops
The security services ratcheted up their "considerable efforts" to deal with the exposures. On 20 July 2013, GCHQ officials
The Guardian's offices at King's Cross in London, six weeks after the first Snowden-related article had been published. At the request of the government and security services, Guardian deputy editor Paul Johnson, along with two others, spent
three hours destroying the laptops containing the Snowden documents.
The Guardian staffers, according to one of the newspaper's reporters,
brought "angle-grinders, dremels – drills with revolving bits – and masks". The reporter added, "The spy agency provided
one piece of hi-tech equipment, a 'degausser', which destroys magnetic fields and erases data."
that the destruction of the computers was "purely a symbolic act", adding that "the government and GCHQ knew, because we
had told them, that the material had been taken to the US to be shared with the New York Times. The reporting would go on. The episode
hadn't changed anything."
Yet the episode did change something. As the D-Notice Committee
minutes for November
2013 outlined: "Towards the end of July [as the computers were being destroyed], The Guardian had begun to seek and accept D-Notice
advice not to publish certain highly sensitive details and since then the dialogue [with the committee] had been reasonable and improving."
The British security services had carried out more than a "symbolic act". It was both a show of strength and a clear threat. The
Guardian was then the only major newspaper that could be relied upon by whistleblowers in the US and British security bodies to receive
and cover their exposures, a situation which posed a challenge to security agencies.
The increasingly aggressive overtures made to The Guardian worked. The committee chair
noted that after
GCHQ had overseen the smashing up of the newspaper's laptops "engagement with The Guardian had continued to strengthen".
Moreover, he added
, there were now "regular dialogues between the secretary and deputy secretaries and Guardian journalists". Rusbridger later
testified to the Home Affairs Committee that Air Vice-Marshal Vallance of the D-Notice committee and himself "collaborated"
in the aftermath of the Snowden affair and that Vallance had even "been at The Guardian offices to talk to all our reporters".
But the most important part of this charm and threat offensive was getting The Guardian to agree to take a seat on the D-Notice
Committee itself. The committee minutes are explicit on this,
noting that "the
process had culminated by [sic] the appointment of Paul Johnson (deputy editor Guardian News and Media) as a DPBAC [i.e. D-Notice
At some point in 2013 or early 2014, Johnson – the same deputy editor who had smashed up his newspaper's computers under the watchful
gaze of British intelligence agents – was approached to take up a seat on the committee. Johnson attended his first meeting in
May 2014 and was
to remain on it until
The Guardian's deputy editor went directly from the corporation's basement with an angle-grinder to sitting on the D-Notice Committee
alongside the security service officials who had tried to stop his paper publishing.
A new editor
Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger withstood intense pressure not to publish some of the Snowden revelations but agreed to Johnson
taking a seat on the D-Notice Committee as a tactical sop to the security services. Throughout his tenure, The Guardian continued
to publish some stories critical of the security services.
But in March 2015, the situation changed when the Guardian
appointed a new editor, Katharine Viner, who had less experience than Rusbridger of dealing with the security services. Viner
started out on fashion and entertainment magazine Cosmopolitan and had no history in national security reporting. According
to insiders, she showed much less leadership during the Snowden affair than Janine Gibson in the US (Gibson was another
to be Rusbridger's successor).
Viner was then editor-in-chief of Guardian Australia, which was
launched just two weeks before the first Snowden
revelations were published. Australia and New Zealand comprise two-fifths of the so-called
"Five Eyes" surveillance alliance exposed by Snowden.
This was an opportunity for the security services. It appears that their seduction began the following year.
In November 2016, The Guardian
published an unprecedented "exclusive" with Andrew Parker, the head of MI5, Britain's domestic security service. The article
noted that this was the "first newspaper interview given by an incumbent MI5 chief in the service's 107-year history". It was co-written
by deputy editor Paul Johnson, who had never written about the security services before and who was still sitting on the D-Notice
Committee. This was not mentioned in the article.
The MI5 chief was given
copious space to make claims about the national security threat posed by an "increasingly aggressive" Russia. Johnson
and his co-author noted, "Parker said he was talking to The Guardian rather than any other newspaper despite the publication of the
Parker told the two reporters, "We recognise that in a changing world we have to change too. We have a responsibility to talk
about our work and explain it."
Four months after the MI5 interview, in March 2017, the Guardian
published another unprecedented "exclusive", this time with Alex Younger, the sitting chief of MI6, Britain's external
intelligence agency. This exclusive was awarded by the Secret Intelligence Service to The Guardian's investigations editor, Nick
Hopkins, who had been appointed 14 months previously.
The interview was the first Younger had given to a national newspaper and was again softball.
Titled "MI6 returns to 'tapping up' in an effort to recruit black and Asian officers", it focused almost entirely on the
intelligence service's stated desire to recruit from ethnic minority communities.
" Simply, we have to attract the best of modern Britain," Younger told Hopkins. "Every community from every part of Britain should
feel they have what it takes, no matter what their background or status."
Just two weeks before the interview with MI6's chief was published, The Guardian itself
reported on the high court stating that it would "hear an application for a judicial review of the Crown Prosecution Service's
decision not to charge MI6's former counterterrorism director, Sir Mark Allen, over the abduction of Abdel Hakim Belhaj and his pregnant
wife who were transferred to Libya in a joint CIA-MI6 operation in 2004".
None of this featured in The Guardian article, which did, however, cover discussions of whether the James Bond actor Daniel Craig
would qualify for the intelligence service. "He would not get into MI6," Younger told Hopkins.
More recently, in August 2019, The Guardian was
awarded yet another exclusive, this time with Metropolitan police assistant commissioner Neil Basu, Britain's most senior
counter-terrorism officer. This was Basu's " first major interview since taking up his post" the previous year and resulted in a
three-part series of articles, one of which was
entitled "Met police examine Vladimir Putin's role in Salisbury attack".
The security services were probably feeding The Guardian these "exclusives" as part of the process of bringing it onside and neutralising
the only independent newspaper with the resources to receive and cover a leak such as Snowden's. They were possibly acting to prevent
any revelations of this kind happening again.
What, if any, private conversations have taken place between Viner and the security services during her tenure as editor are not
known. But in 2018, when Paul Johnson eventually left the D-Notice Committee, its chair, the MOD's Dominic Wilson,
Johnson who, he said, had been "instrumental in re-establishing links with The Guardian".
Decline in critical reporting
Amidst these spoon-fed intelligence exclusives, Viner also oversaw the breakup of The Guardian's celebrated investigative team,
whose muck-racking journalists were told to apply for other jobs outside of investigations.
One well-placed source
told the Press Gazette at the time that journalists on the investigations team "have not felt backed by senior
editors over the last year", and that "some also feel the company has become more risk-averse in the same period".
In the period since Snowden, The Guardian has lost many of its top investigative reporters who had covered national security issues,
notably Shiv Malik, Nick Davies, David Leigh, Richard Norton-Taylor, Ewen MacAskill and Ian Cobain. The few journalists who were
replaced were succeeded by less experienced reporters with apparently less commitment to exposing the security state. The current
defence and security editor, Dan Sabbagh,
at The Guardian as head of media and technology and has no history of covering national security.
" It seems they've got rid of everyone who seemed to cover the security services and military in an adversarial way," one current
Guardian journalist told us.
Indeed, during the last two years of Rusbridger's editorship, The Guardian published about 110 articles per year tagged as MI6
on its website. Since Viner took over, the average per year has halved and is decreasing year by year.
" Effective scrutiny of the security and intelligence agencies -- epitomised by the Snowden scoops but also many other stories
-- appears to have been abandoned," a former Guardian journalist told us. The former reporter added that, in recent years, it "sometimes
seems The Guardian is worried about upsetting the spooks."
A second former Guardian journalist added: "The Guardian no longer seems to have such a challenging relationship with the intelligence
services, and is perhaps seeking to mend fences since Snowden. This is concerning, because spooks are always manipulative and not
always to be trusted."
While some articles critical of the security services still do appear in the paper, its "scoops" increasingly focus on issues
more acceptable to them. Since the Snowden affair, The Guardian does not appear to have published any articles based on an intelligence
or security services source that was not officially sanctioned to speak.
The Guardian has, by contrast,
published a steady stream of exclusives on the major official enemy of the security services, Russia, exposing Putin,
his friends and the work of its intelligence services and military.
In the Panama Papers leak in April 2016, which revealed how companies and individuals around the world were using an offshore
law firm to avoid paying tax, The Guardian's front-page launch scoop was authored by Luke Harding, who has received many security
tips focused on the "Russia threat", and was
the $2bn offshore trail that leads to Vladimir Putin".
Three sentences into the piece, however, Harding notes that "the president's name does not appear in any of the records" although
he insists that "the data reveals a pattern – his friends have earned millions from deals that seemingly could not have been secured
without his patronage".
There was a much
in the Panama Papers which The Guardian chose to downplay by leaving it to the following day. This concerned the father of
the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, who "ran an offshore fund that avoided ever having to pay tax in Britain by hiring a small
army of Bahamas residents – including a part-time bishop – to sign its paperwork".
We understand there was some argument between journalists about not leading with the Cameron story as the launch splash. Putin's
friends were eventually deemed more important than the Prime Minister of the country where the paper published.
Getting Julian Assange
The Guardian also appears to have been engaged in a campaign against the WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, who had been a collaborator
during the early WikiLeaks revelations in 2010.
One 2017 story came from investigative reporter Carole Cadwalladr, who writes for The Guardian's sister paper The Observer,
"When Nigel Farage met Julian Assange". This concerned the visit of former UKIP leader Nigel Farage to the Ecuadorian embassy
in March 2017,
organised by the radio station LBC, for whom Farage worked as a presenter. Farage's producer at LBC accompanied Farage
at the meeting, but this was not mentioned by Cadwalladr.
Rather, she posited that this meeting was "potentially a channel of communication" between WikiLeaks, Farage and Donald Trump,
who were all said to be closely linked to Russia, adding that these actors were in a "political alignment" and that " WikiLeaks is,
in many ways, the swirling vortex at the centre of everything".
Yet Cadwalladr's one official on-the-record source for this speculation was a "highly placed contact with links to US intelligence",
who told her, "When the heat is turned up and all electronic communication, you have to assume, is being intensely monitored, then
those are the times when intelligence communication falls back on human couriers. Where you have individuals passing information
in ways and places that cannot be monitored."
It seems likely this was innuendo being fed to The Observer by an intelligence-linked individual to promote disinformation to
In 2018, however, The Guardian's attempted vilification of Assange was significantly stepped up. A new string of articles began
on 18 May 2018 with
one alleging Assange's "long-standing relationship with RT", the Russian state broadcaster. The series, which has been
documented elsewhere, lasted for several months, consistently alleging with little or the most minimal circumstantial
evidence that Assange had ties to Russia or the Kremlin.
One story, co-authored again by Luke Harding,
claimed that "Russian diplomats held secret talks in London with people close to Julian Assange to assess whether they
could help him flee the UK, The Guardian has learned". The former consul in the Ecuadorian embassy in London at this time, Fidel
Narvaez, vigorously denies the existence of any such "escape plot" involving Russia and is involved in a complaint process with The
Guardian for insinuating he coordinated such a plot.
This apparent mini-campaign ran until November 2018, culminating in a front-page
splash , based on anonymous sources, claiming that Assange had three secret meetings at the Ecuadorian embassy with Trump's
former campaign manager Paul Manafort.
This "scoop" failed all tests of journalistic credibility since it would have been impossible for anyone to have entered the highly
secured Ecuadorian embassy three times with no proof. WikiLeaks and others have strongly argued that the story was
and it is telling that The Guardian has since failed to refer to it in its subsequent articles on the Assange case. The Guardian,
however, has still not retracted or apologised for the story which remains on its website.
The "exclusive" appeared just two weeks after Paul Johnson had been congratulated for "re-establishing links" between The Guardian
and the security services.
The string of Guardian articles, along with the vilification and smear stories about Assange elsewhere in the British media, helped
create the conditions for
a deal between Ecuador, the UK and the US to expel Assange from the embassy in April. Assange now sits in Belmarsh maximum-security
prison where he faces extradition to the US, and life in prison there, on charges under the Espionage Act.
Acting for the establishment
Another major focus of The Guardian's energies under Viner's editorship has been to attack the leader of the UK Labour Party,
The context is that Corbyn appears to have recently been a target of the security services. In 2015, soon after he was elected
Labour leader, the Sunday Times
serving general warning that "there would be a direct challenge from the army and mass resignations if Corbyn became prime minister".
The source told the newspaper: "The Army just wouldn't stand for it. The general staff would not allow a prime minister to jeopardise
the security of this country and I think people would use whatever means possible, fair or foul, to prevent that."
On 20 May 2017, a little over two weeks before the 2017 General Election, the Daily Telegraph was
fed the story that "MI5 opened a file on Jeremy Corbyn amid concerns over his links to the IRA". It formed part of a Telegraph
investigation claiming to reveal "Mr Corbyn's full links to the IRA" and was sourced to an individual "close to" the MI5 investigation,
who said "a file had been opened on him by the early nineties".
The Metropolitan Police Special Branch was also said to be monitoring Corbyn in the same period.
Then, on the very eve of the General Election, the Telegraph gave space to an
article from Sir Richard Dearlove, the former director of MI6, under a headline: "Jeremy Corbyn is a danger to this nation.
At MI6, which I once led, he wouldn't clear the security vetting."
Further, in September 2018, two anonymous senior government sources
told The Times that Corbyn had been "summoned" for a "'facts of life' talk on terror" by MI5 chief Andrew Parker.
Just two weeks after news of this private meeting was leaked by the government, the Daily Mail
reported another leak, this time revealing that "Jeremy Corbyn's most influential House of Commons adviser has been barred
from entering Ukraine on the grounds that he is a national security threat because of his alleged links to Vladimir Putin's 'global
The article concerned Andrew Murray, who had been working in Corbyn's office for a year but had still not received a security
pass to enter the UK parliament. The Mail reported, based on what it called "a senior parliamentary source", that Murray's application
had encountered "vetting problems".
Murray later heavily suggested that the security services had leaked the story to the Mail. "Call me sceptical if you must, but
I do not see journalistic enterprise behind the Mail's sudden capacity to tease obscure information out of the [Ukrainian security
service]," he wrote
in the New Statesman. He added, "Someone else is doing the hard work – possibly someone being paid by the taxpayer. I doubt
if their job description is preventing the election of a Corbyn government, but who knows?"
Murray told us he was approached by the New Statesman after the story about him being banned from Ukraine was leaked. "However,"
he added, "I wouldn't dream of suggesting anything like that to The Guardian, since I do not know any journalists still working there
who I could trust."
The Guardian itself has run a remarkable number of news and comment articles criticising Corbyn since he was elected in 2015 and
the paper's clearly hostile stance has been widely
Given its appeal to traditional Labour supporters, the paper has probably done more to undermine Corbyn than any other. In particular,
its massive coverage of alleged widespread anti-Semitism in the Labour Party has helped to disparage Corbyn more than other smears
carried in the media.
The Guardian and The Observer have published hundreds of articles on "Labour anti-Semitism" and, since the beginning of this year,
carried over 50 such articles with headlines clearly
negative to Corbyn. Typical headlines have included "
The Observer view: Labour leadership is complicit in anti-Semitism ", "
Corbyn is either blind to anti-Semitism – or he just doesn't care ", and "
problem is institutional. It needs investigation ".
The Guardian's coverage of anti-Semitism in Labour has been suspiciously extensive, compared to the known extent of the problem
in the party, and its focus on Corbyn personally suggests that the issue is being used politically. While anti-Semitism does exist in the Labour Party, evidence suggests it is at relatively low levels. Since September 2015, when
Corbyn became Labour leader, 0.06% of the Labour membership has been
investigated for anti-Semitic comments or posts. In 2016, an independent inquiry commissioned by Labour
that the party "is not overrun by anti-Semitism, Islamophobia or other forms of racism. Further, it is the party that initiated
every single United Kingdom race equality law."
Analysis of two YouGov surveys, conducted in 2015 and 2017,
shows that anti-Semitic views held by Labour voters declined substantially in the first two years of Corbyn's tenure and
that such views were significantly more common among Conservative voters.
Despite this, since January 2016, The Guardian has published 1,215 stories mentioning Labour and anti-Semitism, an average of
around one per day, according to a search on Factiva, the database of newspaper articles. In the same period, The Guardian published
just 194 articles mentioning the Conservative Party's much more serious problem with Islamophobia. A YouGov poll in 2019, for example,
found that nearly half of the Tory Party membership would prefer not to have a Muslim prime minister.
At the same time, some stories which paint Corbyn's critics in a negative light have been suppressed by The Guardian. According
to someone with knowledge of the matter, The Guardian declined to publish the results of a months-long critical investigation by
one of its reporters into a prominent anti-Corbyn Labour MP, citing only vague legal issues.
In July 2016, one of this article's authors emailed a Guardian editor asking if he could pitch an investigation about the first
attempt by the right-wing of the Labour Party to remove Corbyn, informing The Guardian of very good inside sources on those behind
the attempt and their real plans. The approach was rejected as being of no interest before a pitch was even sent.
A reliable publication?
On 20 May 2019, The Times newspaper
reported on a Freedom of Information request made by the Rendition Project, a group of academic experts working on torture
and rendition issues, which showed that the MOD had been "developing a secret policy on torture that allows ministers to sign off
intelligence-sharing that could lead to the abuse of detainees".
This might traditionally have been a Guardian story, not something for the Rupert Murdoch-owned Times. According to one civil
society source, however, many groups working in this field no longer trust The Guardian.
A former Guardian journalist similarly told us: "It is significant that exclusive stories recently about British collusion in
torture and policy towards the interrogation of terror suspects and other detainees have been passed to other papers including The
Times rather than The Guardian."
The Times published its scoop under a strong
headline , "Torture: Britain breaks law in Ministry of Defence secret policy". However, before the article was published,
the MOD fed The Guardian the same documents The Times were about to splash with, believing it could soften the impact of the revelations
by telling its side of the story.
posted its own article just before The Times, with a headline that would have pleased the government: "MoD says revised
torture guidance does not lower standards".
Its lead paragraph was a simple summary of the MOD's position: "The Ministry of Defence has insisted that newly emerged departmental
guidance on the sharing of intelligence derived from torture with allies, remains in line with practices agreed in the aftermath
of a series of scandals following the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq." However, an inspection of the documents showed this was clearly
The Guardian had gone in six short years from being the natural outlet to place stories exposing wrongdoing by the security state
to a platform trusted by the security state to amplify its information operations. A once relatively independent media platform has
been largely neutralised by UK security services fearful of being exposed further. Which begs the question: where does the next Snowden
The Guardian did not respond to a request for comment.
Daily Maverick will formally launch Declassified – a new UK-focused investigation and analysis organisation run by the
authors of this article – in November 2019.
Matt Kennard is an investigative journalist and co-founder of Declassified . He was previously director of the
Centre for Investigative Journalism in London, and before that a reporter for the Financial Times in the US and UK. He is the author
of two books, Irregular Army and The Racket .
Mark Curtis is a leading UK foreign policy analyst, journalist and the author of six books including Web of
Deceit: Britain's Real Role in the World and Secret Affairs: Britain's Collusion with Radical Islam .
When Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev received his peace prize in 1990, the Nobel Prize committee
declared that "the two mighty power blocs,
have managed to abandon their life-threatening confrontation" and confidently expressed that "It is our hope that we are now celebrating
the end of the Cold War." Recently, U.N. General Secretary António Guterres funereally closed the celebrations with the
realization that "The Cold War is back."
In a very short span of history, the window that had finally opened for Russia and the United States to build a new international
system in which they work cooperatively to address areas of common interest had slammed back closed. How was that historic opportunity
wasted? Why was the road from the Nobel committee's hope to the UN's eulogy such a short one?
The doctrinal narrative that is told in the U.S. is the narrative of a very short road whose every turn was signposted by Russian
lies, betrayal, deception and aggression. The American telling of history is a tale in which every blow to the new peace was a Russian
blow. The fact checked version offers a demythologized history that is unrecognizably different. The demythologized version is also
a history of lies, betrayal, deception and aggression, but the liar, the aggressor, is not primarily Russia, but America. It is the
history of a promise so historically broken that it laid the foundation of a new cold war.
But it was not the first promise the United States broke: it was not even the first promise they broke in the new cold war.
The Hot War
Most histories of the cold war begin at the dawn of the post World War II period. But the history of U.S-U.S.S.R. animosity starts
long before that: it starts as soon as possible, and it was hot long before it turned cold.
The label "Red Scare" first appeared, not in the 1940s or 50s, but in 1919. Though it is a chapter seldom included in the history
of American-Russian relations, America actively and aggressively intervened in the Russian civil war in an attempt to push the Communists
back down. The United States cooperated with anti-Bolshevik forces: by mid 1918, President Woodrow Wilson had sent 13,000 American
troops to Soviet soil. They would remain there for two years, killing and injuring thousands. Russian Premier Nikita Khrushchev would
later remind America of "the time you sent your troops to quell the revolution." Churchill would record for history the admission
that the West "shot Soviet Russians on sight," that they were "invaders on Russian soil," that "[t]hey armed the enemies of the Soviet
government," that "[t]hey blockaded its ports, and sunk its battleships. They earnestly desired and schemed for its downfall."
When the cause was lost, and the Bolsheviks secured power, most western countries refused to recognize the communist government.
However, realism prevailed, and within a few short years, by the mid 1920s, most countries had recognized the communist government
and restored diplomatic relations. All but the US It was not until several years later that Franklin D. Roosevelt finally recognized
the Soviet government in 1933.
The Cold War
It would be a very short time before the diplomatic relations that followed the hot war would be followed by a cold war. It might
even be possible to pin the beginning of the cold war down to a specific date. On April 22 and 23, President Truman told Soviet foreign
minister Vyacheslav Molotov to "Carry out his agreement" and establish a new, free, independent government in Poland as promised
at Yalta. Molotov was stunned. He was stunned because it was not he that was breaking the agreement because that was not what Roosevelt,
Churchill and Stalin had agreed to at Yalta. The final wording of the Yalta agreement never mentioned replacing Soviet control of
The agreement that Roosevelt revealed to congress and shared with the world – the one that still dominates the textbook accounts
and the media stories – is not the one he secretly shook on with Stalin. Roosevelt lied to congress and the American people. Then
he lied to Stalin.
In exchange for Soviet support for the creation of the United Nations, Roosevelt secretly agreed to Soviet predominance in Poland
and Eastern Europe. The cold war story that the Soviet Union marched into Eastern Europe and stole it for itself is a lie: Roosevelt
handed it to them.
So did Churchill. If Roosevelt's motivation was getting the UN, Churchill's was getting Greece. Fearing that the Soviet Union
would invade India and the oil fields of Iran, Churchill saw Greece as the geographical roadblock and determined to hold on to it
at all cost. The cost, it turned out, was Romania. Churchill would give Stalin Romania to protect his borders; Stalin would give
Churchill Greece to protect his empire's borders. The deal was sealed on October 9, 1944.
Churchill says that in their secret meeting, he asked Stalin, "how would it do for you to have ninety percent predominance in
Romania, for us to have ninety percent predominance in Greece? . . ." He then went on to offer a fifty-fifty power split in in Yugoslavia
and Hungary and to offer the Soviets seventy-five percent control of Bulgaria. The exact conversation may never have happened, according
to the political record, but Churchill's account captures the spirit and certainly captures the secret agreement.
Contrary to the official narrative, Stalin never betrayed the west and stole Eastern Europe: Poland, Romania and the rest were
given to him in secret. Then Roosevelt lied to congress and to the world.
That American lie raised the curtain on the cold war.
The New Cold War
Like the Cold War, the new cold war was triggered by an American lie. It was a lie so duplicitous, so all encompassing, that
it would lead many Russians to see the agreement that ended the cold war as a devastating and humiliating deception that was really
intended to clear the way for the US to surround and finally defeat the Soviet Union. It was a lie that tilled the soil for all future
At the close of the cold war, at a meeting held on February 9, 1990, George H.W. Bush's Secretary of State, James Baker, promised
Gorbachev that if NATO got Germany and Russia pulled its troops out of East Germany, NATO would not expand east of Germany and engulf
the former Soviet states. Gorbachev records in his memoirs that he agreed to Baker's terms "with the guarantee that NATO jurisdiction
or troops would not extend east of the current line." In Super-power Illusions , Jack F. Matlock Jr., who was the American
ambassador to Russia at the time and was present at the meeting, confirms Gorbachev's account, saying that it "coincides with my
notes of the conversation except that mine indicate that Baker added "not one inch." Matlock adds that Gorbachev was assured that
NATO would not move into Eastern Europe as the Warsaw Pact moved out, that "the understanding at Malta [was] that the United States
would not 'take advantage' of a Soviet military withdrawal from Eastern Europe." At the February 9 meeting, Baker assured Gorbachev
that "neither the President or I intend to extract any unilateral advantages from the processes that are taking place."
But the promise was not made just once, and it was not made just by the United States. The promise was made on two consecutive
days: first by the Americans and then by West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. According to West German foreign ministry documents,
on February 10, 1990, the day after James Baker's promise, West German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher told his Soviet counterpart
Eduard Shevardnadze "'For us . . . one thing is certain: NATO will not expand to the east.' And because the conversation revolved
mainly around East Germany, Genscher added explicitly: 'As far as the non-expansion of NATO is concerned, this also applies in general.'"
A few days earlier, on January 31, 1990, Genscher had said in a major speech that there would not be "an expansion of NATO territory
to the east, in other words, closer to the borders of the Soviet Union."
Gorbachev says the promise was made not to expand NATO "as much as a thumb's width further to the east." Putin also says mourns
the broken promise, asking at a conference in Munich in February 2007, "What happened to the assurances our Western partners made
after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact? Where are those declarations today? No one even remembers them."
Putin went on to remind his audience of the assurances by pointing out that the existence of the NATO promise is not just the
perception of him and Gorbachev. It was also the view of the NATO General Secretary at the time: "But I will allow myself to remind
this audience what was said. I would like to quote the speech of NATO General Secretary Mr. [Manfred] Woerner in Brussels on 17 May
1990. He said at the time that: 'The fact that we are ready not to place a NATO army outside of German territory gives the Soviet
Union a firm security guarantee.' Where are those guarantees?"
Recent scholarship supports the Russian version of the story. Russian expert and Professor of Russian and European Politics at
the University of Kent, Richard Sakwa says that "[r]ecent studies demonstrate that the commitment not to enlarge NATO covered the
whole former Soviet bloc and not just East Germany." And Stephen Cohen, Professor Emeritus of Politics at Princeton University and
of Russian Studies and History at New York University, adds that the National Security Archive has now published the actual
documents detailing what Gorbachev was promised. Published on December 12, 2017, the documents finally, and authoritatively,
reveal that "The truth, and the promises broken, are much more expansive than previously known: all of the Western powers involved
– the US, the UK, France, Germany itself – made the same promise to Gorbachev on multiple occasions and in various emphatic ways."
That key promise made to Gorbachev was shattered, first by President Clinton and then subsequently supported by every American
President: NATO engulfed Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic in 1999; Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia
and Slovenia in 2004, Albania and Croatia in 2009 and, most recently, Montenegro.
It was this shattered promise, this primal betrayal, this NATO expansion to Russia's borders that created the conditions and causes
of future conflicts and aggressions. When, in 2008, NATO promised Georgia and Ukraine eventual membership, Russia saw the threat
of NATO encroaching right to its borders. It is in Georgia and Ukraine that Russia felt it had to draw the line with NATO encroachment
into its core sphere of influence. Sakwa says that the war in Georgia was "the first war to stop NATO enlargement; Ukraine was the
second." What are often cited as acts of Russian aggression that helped maintain the new cold war are properly understood as acts
of Russian defense against US aggression that made a lie out of the promise that ended the Cold War.
When Clinton decided to break Bush's promise and betray Russia, George Kennen, father of the containment policy,
warned that NATO expansion would be
"the most fateful error of American foreign policy in the entire post-cold-war era." "Such a decision," he prophesied, "may be expected
to . . . restore the atmosphere of the cold war in East-West relations . . .."
The broken promise restored the cold war. Though it is the most significant root of the new cold war, it was not the first. There
was a prior broken promise, and this time the man who betrayed Russia was President H.W. Bush.
The end of the Cold War resulted from negotiations and not from any sort of military victory. Stephen Cohen says that "Presidents
Reagan and George H.W. Bush negotiated with the last Soviet Russian leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, what they said was the end of the
Cold War on the shared, expressed premise that it was ending 'with no losers, only winners.'"
The end of the Cold War and the end of the Soviet Union occurred so closely chronologically that it permitted the American mythologizers
to conflate them in the public imagination and create the doctrinal history in which the US defeat of the Soviet Union ended the
cold war. But the US did not defeat the Soviet Union. Gorbachev brought about what Sakwa calls a "self-willed disintegration of the
Soviet bloc." The Soviet Union came to an end, not by external force or pressure, but out of Gorbachev's recognition of the Soviet
Union's own self interest. Matlock flatly states that "pressure from governments outside the Soviet Union, whether from America or
Europe or anywhere else, had nothing to do with [the Soviet collapse]." "Cohen demythologizes the history by reinstating the chronological
order: Gorbachev negotiated the end of the cold war "well before the disintegration of the Soviet Union." The Cold War officially
ended well before the end of the Soviet Union with Gorbachev's December 7, 1988 address to the UN
Matlock says that "Gorbachev is right when he says that we all won the Cold War." He says that President Reagan would write in
his notes, "Let there be no talk of winners and losers." When Gorbachev compelled the countries of the Warsaw Pact to adopt reforms
like his perestroika in the Soviet Union and warmed them that the Soviet army would no longer be there to keep their communist
regimes in power, Matlock points out in Superpower Illusions that "Bush assured Gorbachev that the United States would not
claim victory if the Eastern Europeans were allowed to replace the Communist regimes that had been imposed on them." Both the reality
and the promise were that there was no winner of the Cold War: it was a negotiated peace that was in the interest of both countries.
When in 1992, during his losing re-election campaign, President Bush arrogantly boasted that "We won the Cold War!" he broke his
own promise to Gorbachev and helped plant the roots of the new cold war. "In psychological and political terms," Matlock says, "President
Bush planted a landmine under the future U.S.-Russian relationship" when he broke his promise and made that claim.
Bush's broken promise had two significant effects. Psychologically, it created the appearance in the Russian psyche that Gorbachev
had been tricked by America: it eroded trust in America and in the new peace. Politically, it created in the American psyche the
false idea that Russia was a defeated country whose sphere of interest did not need to be considered. Both these perceptions contributed
to the new cold war.
Not only was the broken promise of NATO expansion not the first broken American promise, it was also not the last. In 1997, when
President Clinton made the decision to expand NATO much more than an inch to the east, he at least signed the
Russia-NATO Founding Act , which explicitly
promised that as NATO expanded east, there would be no "permanent stationing of substantial combat forces." This obliterated American
promise planted the third root of the new cold war.
Since that third promise, NATO has, in the words of Stephen Cohen, built up its "permanent land, sea and air power near Russian
territory, along with missile-defense installations." US and NATO weapons and troops have butted right up against Russia's borders,
while anti-missile installations have surrounded it, leading to the feeling of betrayal in Russia and the fear of aggression. Among
the earliest moves of the Trump administration were the moving of NATO troops into Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria and nearby Norway.
Mikhail Gorbachev, who offered the West Russia and cooperation in place of the Soviet Union and Cold War, was rewarded with lies,
broken promises and betrayal. That was the sowing of the first seeds of the new cold war. The second planting happened during the
Yeltsin years that followed. During this stage, the Russian people were betrayed because their hopes for democracy and for an economic
system compatible with the West were both destroyed by American intervention.
The goal, Matlock too gently explains, "had to be a shift of the bulk of the economy to private ownership." What transpired was
what Naomi Klein called in The Shock Doctrine "one of the greatest crimes committed against a democracy in modern history."
The States allowed no gradual transition. Matlock says the "Western experts advised a clean break with the past and a transition
to private ownership without delay." But there was no legitimate private capital coming out of the communist system, so there was
no private money with which to privatize. So, there was only one place for the money to come. As Matlock explains, the urgent
transition allowed "privileged insiders[to] join the criminals who had been running a black market [and to] steal what they could,
as fast as they could." The sudden, uncompromising transition imposed on Russia by the United States enabled, according to Cohen,
"a small group of Kremlin-connected oligarchs to plunder Russia's richest assets and abet the plunging of some two-thirds of its
people into poverty and misery."
The rape of Russia was funded, overseen and ordered by the United States and handed over by President George H.W. Bush
to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Much of their advice, Matlock says generously, "was not only useless, but
sometimes actually damaging."
Sometimes damaging? In the first year, millions lost their entire life savings. Subsidy cuts meant that many Russians didn't get
paid at all. Klein says that by 1992, Russians were consuming 40% less than they were the year before, and one third of them had
suddenly sunk below the poverty line. The economic policies wrestled onto Russia by the US and the transition experts and international
development experts it funded and sent over led to, what Cohen calls, "the near ruination of Russia." Russia's reward for ending
the Cold War and joining the Western economic community was, in Cohen's words, "the worst economic depression in peacetime, the disintegration
of the highly professionalized Soviet middle class, mass poverty, plunging life expectancy [for men, it had fallen below sixty],
the fostering of an oligarchic financial elite, the plundering of Russia's wealth, and more."
By the time Putin came to power in 2000, Cohen says, "some 75% of Russians were living in poverty." 75%! Millions and millions
of Russian lives were destroyed by the American welcoming of Russia into the global economic community.
But before Putin came to power, there was more Boris Yeltsin. Yeltsin was a necessity for Clinton and the United States because
Yeltsin was the pliable puppet who would continue to enforce the cruel economic transition. But to continue the interference in,
and betrayal of, the Russian people economically, it would now be necessary to interfere in and betray the Russian democracy.
In late 1991, after the fall of the Soviet Union, Boris Yeltsin won a year of special powers from the Russian Parliament: for
one year, he was to be, in effect, the dictator of Russia to facilitate the midwifery of the birth of a democratic Russia. In March
of 1992, under pressure from the, by now, impoverished, devastated and discontented population, parliament repealed the dictatorial
powers it had granted him. Yeltsin responded by declaring a state of emergency, re-bestowing upon himself the repealed dictatorial
powers. Russia's Constitutional Court ruled that Yeltsin was acting outside the constitution. But the US sided – against the Russian
people and against the Russian Constitutional Court – with Yeltsin.
Intoxicated with American support, Yeltsin dissolved the parliament that had rescinded his powers and abolished the constitution
of which he was in violation. In a 636-2 vote, the Russian parliament impeached Yeltsin. But, President Clinton again sided with
Yeltsin against the Russian people and the Russian law, backed him and gave him $2.5 billion in aid. Clinton was blocking the Russian
people's choice of leaders.
Yeltsin took the money and sent police officers and elite paratroopers to surround the parliament building. Clinton "praised the
Russian President has (sic) having done 'quite well' in managing the standoff with the Russian Parliament," as The New York Times
reported at the time.
Clinton added that he thought "the United States and the free world ought to hang in there" with their support of Yeltsin against
his people, their constitution and their courts, and judged Yeltsin to be "on the right side of history."
On the right side of history and armed with machine guns and tanks, in October 1993, Yeltsin's troops opened fire on the crowd
of protesters, killing about 100 people before setting the Russian parliament building on fire. By the time the day was over, Yeltsin's
troops had killed approximately 500 people and wounded nearly 1,000. Still, Clinton stood with Yeltsin. He provided
ludicrous cover for Yeltsin's
massacre , claiming that "I don't see that he had any choice . If such a thing happened in the United States, you would have
expected me to take tough action against it." Clinton's Secretary of State, Warren Christopher, said that the US supported Yeltsin's
suspension of parliament in these "extraordinary times."
In 1996, elections were looming, and America's hegemonic dreams still needed Yeltsin in power. But it wasn't going to happen without
help. Yeltsin's popularity was nonexistent, and his approval rating was at about 6%. According to Cohen, Clinton's interference in
Russian politics, his "crusade" to "reform Russia," had by now become
official policy . And so, America
boldly interfered directly in Russian elections . Three American political consultants, receiving "direct assistance from Bill
Clinton's White House," secretly ran Yeltsin's reelection campaign.
As Time magazine
broke the story , "For four months, a group of American political consultants clandestinely participated in guiding Yeltsin's
"Funded by the US government," Cohen reports, Americans "gave money to favored Russian politicians, instructed ministers,
drafted legislation and presidential decrees, underwrote textbooks, and served at Yeltsin's reelection headquarters in 1996."
More incriminating still is that Richard Dresner, one of the three American consultants, maintained a direct line to Clinton's
Chief Strategist, Dick Morris. According to
reporting by Sean Guillory , in his book, Behind the Oval Office , Morris says that, with Clinton's approval, he received
weekly briefings from Dresner that he would give to Clinton. Based on those briefings, Clinton would then provide recommendations
to Dresner through Morris.
Then ambassador to Russia, Thomas Pickering, even
pressured an opposing candidate to drop out of the election to improve Yeltsin's odds of winning.
The US not only helped run Yeltsin's campaign, they helped pay for it. The US backed a $10.2 billion International Monetary Fund
(IMF) loan for Russia, the second-biggest loan the IMF had ever given. The New York Times
that the loan was "expected to be helpful to President Boris N. Yeltsin in the presidential election in June." The Times explained
that the loan was "a vote of confidence" for Yeltsin who "has been lagging well behind in opinion polls" and added that the US Treasury
Secretary "welcomed the fund's decision."
Yeltsin won the election by 13%, and Time magazine's cover declared: "Yanks to the rescue: The secret story of how American
advisers helped Yeltsin win". Cohen reports that the US ambassador to Russia boasted that "without our leadership we would see a
considerably different Russia today." That's a confession of election interference.
Asserting its right as the unipolar victor of a Cold War it never won, betraying the central promise of the negotiated end
of the cold war by engulfing Russia's neighbors, arming those nations against its written and signed word and stealing all Russian
hope in capitalism and democracy by kidnapping and torturing Russian capitalism and democracy, the roots of the new cold war were
not planted by Russian lies and aggression, as the doctrinal Western version teaches, but by the American lies and aggression that
the fact checked, demythologized version of history reveals.
Ted Snider writes on analyzing patterns in US foreign policy and history.