Robert Parry and the Relativity of Truth
I’m not a fan of Robert Parry. This is not a disclaimer, rather it is a healthy aversion to disinformation that comes of both training and experience. What put me on to Robert Parry was an article at Consortium News on the history of the American ‘framers’ of our constitution, reproduced elsewhere (notably at ‘truth-out’), which I took some time to dissect and rebut. Looking back at the article and with only a few strokes of the keyboard, I notice Parry fancies himself an American constitutional scholar.
In one article Parry writes:
“In other words, the Right’s modern interpretation of the Founding Principles was not shared by the key Framers of the Constitution. Instead, the Right’s position on the Constitution apes the opposition to the Constitution by the Anti-Federalists, who warned that the new federal structure would subordinate the states to the central government and endanger slavery in the South.
“Despite that real history, today’s Right has largely succeeded in distorting the Founding Narrative to convince millions of lightly educated Americans that – by joining with the Tea Party – they are defending the Constitution as the Framers devised it when, in reality, they are channeling the views of those who fiercely opposed the Constitution”
Parry is hammering on disingenuous theme of the American federalists versus anti-federalists, essentially overlooking the dynamic between the two which had led to a COMPROMISE between the factions. Parry altogether omits what that compromise had been meant to accomplish, the ratification of our federal constitution with added checks on central power by avenue of an agreed upon ‘Bill of Rights’ to be subsequently and separately submitted for ratification subsequent to our constitution’s adoption by the several states. Parry writes as though these two philosophies were mutually exclusive phenomena but in fact they’d been fused into one document by separate but closely related process.
I write in my rebuttal of Parry’s presumed authority on the issue:
“I somehow doubt the anti-federalist 4th amendment concerning privacy had anything to do with propping up slavery, a given example of motivation in the anti-federalists’ actual intentions. Or the prohibition of a bill of attainder. Or the right to petition for redress. Or the right to confront your accuser. To name but a few provisions of the first through eighth amendments”
I’d been adjunct professor of American constitutional law at one of Europe’s most prestigious universities, Johannes Guttenberg University, and at the university’s law school at that (Summer semester 2008.) As well, I received high marks as instructor. That doesn’t happen without a firm historical understanding of our founding document’s underpinnings. And outside the religious right, I’d never before seen such rank historical revisionism in relation to our constitution as that put forward by Robert Parry. Beyond irony, Parry’s patent disinformation regarding our founding document is aimed at the very religious right whose disinformation he attacks (with his own disinformation.)
But this subsequent article is not as much about Parry’s disseminating patent lies concerning the origins and intent of the USA’s founding charter, as much as the preceding influencing myself having a bit more close look on his reporting concerning Ukraine. The constitutional issue is the material that had placed Robert Parry’s work in my sights.
In this essay, we will briefly look at two of Robert Parry’s recent works on Ukraine; “Ukraine’s ‘Dr Strangelove’ Reality” & “What Obama Can Do To Save Ukraine”, and distill further instance where he misleads his many readers.
In the mentioned ‘Dr Strangelove’ article by Parry, he puts forward a seemingly reasonable assessment of the situation in Kiev in relation to the neo-nazi element but nonetheless falls short:
“Though clearly a minority, Ukraine’s neo-Nazis remain a potent force that is well-organized, well-motivated and prone to extreme violence, whether throwing firebombs at police in the Maidan or at ethnic Russians trapped in a building in Odessa.
“As vengeance now seeks vengeance across Ukraine, this Nazi imperative will be difficult to hold down, much as Dr. Strangelove struggled to stop his arm from making a “Heil Hitler” salute”
The problem with this closing assessment is suggesting this “minority” element will be difficult to control (clearly true), without overtly stating the neo-nazi elements are without question purposely empowered by the regime in Kiev (and by clear implication, the USA.) I am saying the neo-nazis have been deliberately unleashed and Parry misses this (or deliberately glosses it over.) Ok, so this is a strong statement on my part. But if you take time to look deeply into Svoboda with its five ministries in Kiev (Parry counts four, perhaps he doesn’t count the deputy Prime Minister), it is clear this is NOT a neo-nazi ‘minority’ playing in the regime, it is according to a honest research a neo-nazi empowered coalition:
“One of the “Big Three” political parties behind the protests is the ultra-nationalist Svoboda, whose leader, Oleh Tyahnybok, has called for the liberation of his country from the “Muscovite-Jewish mafia.” After the 2010 conviction of the Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk for his supporting role in the death of nearly 30,000 people at the Sobibor camp, Tyahnybok rushed to Germany to declare him a hero who was “fighting for truth.” In the Ukrainian parliament, where Svoboda holds an unprecedented 37 seats, Tyahnybok’s deputy Yuriy Mykhalchyshyn is fond of quoting Joseph Goebbels – he has even founded a think tank originally called “the Joseph Goebbels Political Research Center.” According to Per Anders Rudling, a leading academic expert on European neo-fascism, the self-described “socialist nationalist” Mykhalchyshyn is the main link between Svoboda’s official wing and neo-Nazi militias like Right Sector”
I have a larger problem with the second mentioned article by Parry; “What Obama Can Do To Save Ukraine” and its suggestions that mislead the ordinary reader. In this ‘Ukraine light’ analysis, Parry quotes an ‘unnamed diplomat’ as though the diplomat’s words were gospel:
“I was told by one senior international diplomat who was on the scene that after the Feb. 22 putsch, Western officials scrambled to help the shaken parliament cobble together a new government to avoid having a bunch of unsavory right-wing thugs become the de facto rulers of Kiev”
But in fact that is exactly what we have; a bunch of unsavory right wing thugs HAVE become the de facto rulers in Kiev. In an otherwise seeming thoughtful dissecting of the New York Times biased coverage, Parry slips in an unattributed quote that softens his attack on false narrative. The reader without training in psychological ploy can take this preceding quote delivered by Parry to mean somehow the ‘Western officials’ managed to circumvent a de facto neo-nazi rule when in fact they had not.
Parry follows his preceding with:
“that means that the legitimacy of the acting government in Kiev is open to debate, not a flat-fact, as the Times would have you believe”
MISLEADING CONCLUSION. There should be no “open to debate” because it has been clearly established the coup d’état regime in Kiev is patently neo-nazi empowered and the real “flat-fact” is the Kiev regime must therefore be illegitimate, without equivocation. What Parry has done here, when attacking the New York Times false narrative, is to feed the reader alternative false narrative. This is precisely what Parry had done when attacking the constitutional narrative of the religious-right; noted at the beginning of this essay.
Following on this section of the Parry article, he allows a very reasonable assessment of Putin but then goes off into some high philosophical moral argument as if Obama could find in his ‘higher-self’ the courage of a JFK. I cannot help but wonder how it is Robert Parry could give a fair assessment of Putin and then blow it with proposing Obama has the wherewithal to discover in himself character traits he has never once demonstrated after six years in office. This is pure Obama fantasy fed to a public that has been fed Obama fantasy from the get go.
And now the clincher, Parry’s concluding paragraph:
“The question now regarding Ukraine and the possibility of a new Cold War is whether Obama can pick up Kennedy’s torch of peaceful understanding – and see the world through the eyes of the ethnic Russians in Donetsk as well as the pro-European youth in Kiev – recognizing the legitimate concerns and the understandable fears of both”
In fact “the pro-European youth in Kiev”, do not play in the equation, at all, in the present circumstance, in fact no one does other than now regime integrated neo-nazis:
“An Anarchist group called AntiFascist Union Ukraine attempted to join the Euromaidan demonstrations but found it difficult to avoid threats of violence and imprecations from the gangs of neo-Nazis roving the square. “They called the Anarchists things like Jews, blacks, Communists,” one of its members said. “There weren’t even any Communists, that was just an insult”” (read it at salon.com)
What Robert Parry does with his journalism is string people along with ‘hope’ that has no foundation in reality. He softens the geo-political facts in relation to the criminal acts of the USA and deflects attention from the most critical points. The facts are, Obama will do nothing to effectively control the Siamese twin that is the CIA-Department of State and the horrors it is unleashing in Ukraine. The factual reality is, neo-nazi rule in Kiev, thinly disguised, will be utilized to deliberately provoke Putin endlessly, until the entire caper implodes/explodes in one way or another. To call it any other way is simply dishonest.
Why isn’t the ‘Christian al Qaida’ embedded at the Pentagon (not to mention at CIA, Department of State, et al) focused on in the work of Parry? It’s not only highly relevant, it’s not as though every element of information pointing to this severe danger is buried at sea, any good investigator can turn up the ample facts. As well, I’d been asked about Parry’s past investigative journalism (Iran Contra & the 1980 ‘October Surprise’) apparently not squaring with his support for the official version of 9/11… my reply:
“I’d simply note ‘truth’ cannot be entirely suppressed in every instance, in which case it must be ‘managed.’ Perhaps Parry came to the conclusion he did not wish to be ‘webbed’ (Gary Webb shot himself in the head TWICE, superman could do that…) Insofar as the official version of 9/11, Building 7 doesn’t fit the narrative. One need not have answers as to what actually happened to grasp there can be no honest embrace of the official version. What I’ve noticed about Parry and his bosom buddy [Ray] McGovern is, they consistently ‘soften’ hard facts and avoid taking the reader into the more dangerous back alleys where you’re more likely to find the real dirt”
Parry had poo-pooed when supporting the incredible government fantasies fed the public on the collapse of Building 7:
“After the fire and devastation spread next door to Building Seven, Bush’s team also detonated explosives there to bring down that smaller tower”
Ignoring independent professional investigators and established structural science, a by far more far-fetched scenario than the conspiracy theorists put forward, is the government scenario Parry supports; Building 7 is the only major modern steel reinforced, concrete pillar supported structure in the world to collapse from a mediocre fire, essentially claiming Building 7 died of fright:
Parry observes in his Obama article:
“Not only would Obama have to come down off the U.S. “high horse” and admit that his own administration has been guilty of spinning the facts – waging “information warfare” – but he’d have to recognize that Putin’s cooperation is essential to bringing this increasingly bloody crisis under control. Obama would also have to admit that Putin was not the cause of the Ukraine mess”
To become a trustworthy source of information, Robert Parry would have to do something remarkably similar; admit his own patent disinformation. A good beginning would be retracting his several articles on the federalist vs anti-federalist founders’ original intent in relation to our constitution and move on to endorsing Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth
On 11 May, I left this comment at Parry’s Consortium News 10 May 2014 Article “Burning Ukraine’s Protesters alive”
“Nice to see Robert Parry drop the ‘stupid stuff’ in his reporting, since I’d posted this one:
^ But still needs to clean up his act and fire whoever is feeding him patent bs”
The comment was taken down by the site before the day was far gone, so there is no indication of open to a wider understanding, rather continuing deceptive narrative (at the least.) Returning to Parry’s attack on the anti-federalist founders, there is no more insidious example of psychological ploy to undermine American civil liberties than to subliminally associate the founding principles underpinning our historic freedoms with slavery; by a research narrowly focused on the bigotry of the founders’ era and in the same moment ignoring the far greater sentiment of noble intent. Robert Parry does exactly that.
Note to Ray McGovern, you could be next
Poison Fruit (collection) Robert Parry’s false flag journalism
Ronald Thomas West is a former U.S. intelligence professional