Archives for posts with tag: Washington Post

Why is the USA media, intelligence agencies and congress in hysteria over “Russian propaganda”? Because the Russians have,  for quite some time, had the absolute upper hand in the growing field of alternative media. How is that?

What the Russians appear to have clearly recognized is how to take advantage of the corrupt nature of the western ‘mainstream’ press, an institution which has been co-opted by western intelligence agencies for a very long time.

The Russian method? It could not be more simple; report the actual facts in the geopolitical contest and when this is inconvenient, practice lies by omission. Here is an example: Both NATO (an extension of the USA) and Russia are contesting Syria over competing energy pipelines, primarily. One from Iran transiting Syria, favored by Russia; the other from Qatar transiting Syria, favored by NATO.

The disadvantage NATO has faced in this competition is Syria controlled by a Russian ally, that is, the government of Basher al-Assad.

Because NATO sponsored Salafist militants to effect ‘regime change’ (the preferred NATO model since 1980s Afghanistan), a large number had, not surprisingly, gone out of control (e.g. Islamic State is a direct result.) Paradoxically, NATO aligned states have pitched the anti-Assad endeavor in terms of a ‘war on terror’, and there are so many NATO lies (and lies to cover lies) in the co-opted western media, the Russians only need to stick to the facts (omitting the pipeline) to ultimately win the propaganda war. What’s more is, Russia further only need stand back and allow western dissident journalists to dig up the real facts on the ground:

  1. NATO’s ‘moderate’ rebels are aligned with al-Qaida…………….. ✓
  2. NATO policy created the conditions for the rise of IS…………… ✓
  3. Western ally Saudi Arabia bankrolls the Salafist extremists……. ✓
  4. NATO member Turkey has protected & supplied IS…………….. ✓

Depending on the geopolitical reality of the day, for instance whether the paranoid ego-maniac Sultan Erdogan of Turkey is behaving well or not, the stories by western dissident journalists that will withstand a close scrutiny are run in Russian or Russia friendly media outlets. The result? Odds are 100:1 you’ll get more reliable information from Russian state TV or Russian sponsored websites than from ABC, CBS, CNN or NBC.

Shoot the messenger

 At the end of the day, the only solution NATO’s main sponsor, the USA, can come up with to protect it’s colossal efforts to deceive and manipulate the western public is to silence dissident journalists by cutting off access to alternative media. Zerohedge on the present proposal:

“On November 30, one week after the Washington Post launched its witch hunt against “Russian propaganda fake news”, with 390 votes for, the House quietly passed “H.R. 6393, Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017“, sponsored by California Republican Devin Nunes (whose third largest donor in 2016 is Google parent Alphabet, Inc), a bill which deals with a number of intelligence-related issues, including Russian propaganda, or what the government calls propaganda, and hints at a potential crackdown on “offenders.”

“A quick skim of the bill reveals “Title V—Matters relating to foreign countries”,  whose Section 501 calls for the government to “counter active measures by Russia to exert covert influence … carried out in  coordination with, or at the behest of, political leaders or the security services of the Russian Federation and the role of the Russian Federation has been hidden or not acknowledged publicly.”

“The section lists the following definitions of media manipulation:

  • Establishment or funding of a front group.
  • Covert broadcasting.
  • Media manipulation.
  • Disinformation and forgeries.
  • Funding agents of influence.
  • Incitement and offensive counterintelligence.
  • Assassinations.
  • Terrorist acts.

“As ActivistPost correctly notes, it is easy to see how this law, if passed by the Senate and signed by the president, could be used to target, threaten, or eliminate so-called “fake news” websites, a list which has been used to arbitrarily define any website, or blog, that does not share the mainstream media’s proclivity to serve as the Public Relations arm of a given administration [see the immediate preceding post, ‘On Fake News‘, at this blog]

Russian victory enhanced

The reactionary moves by the NATO/USA propagandists to having been bested in the game by Russia only sweetens the Russian victory; similar to Erdogan’s over-reaction in cracking down on anyone who doesn’t follow the ruling party line in Turkey, the USA governing elite is sowing ever deepening dissent in the psyche of those Americans actually inclined to think, understand and know for themselves what is actually going on. The sort of reactionary behavior embodied in the color of law [anti-constitutional order represented in the ‘national security state’] governing the United States and its allies destabilizes any society.

Propaganda budget

The USA media mouthpieces are not going to broadcast the American propaganda budget, so let’s turn to Russia’s Sputnik to get the facts:

“Last year, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the US federal agency responsible for Voice of America and Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe, among others, requested a substantial budget increase. Seeking a boost of $30 million, the BBG’s budget soared to $751.5 million.

“That was, evidently, not enough money. President Obama’s newly proposed budget for fiscal year 2017 proposes another massive increase in spending for the BBG. If granted, the agency will receive nearly $778 million, a roughly $27 million increase” [over the $30 million boost]

The Russians are willing to broadcast the factual news the USA’s intelligence agency co-opted media mouth-pieces will not. Point made?

Western press propagandizing Americans

How much of the USA’s propaganda budget is actually aimed at Americans?

The newest version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes an amendment that would legalize the use of propaganda on the American public, reports Michael Hastings of BuzzFeed.

The amendment — proposed by Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and passed in the House last Friday afternoon — would effectively nullify the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948, which explicitly forbids information and psychological operations aimed at influencing U.S. public opinion

Huh. And yeah, that was made into law.

Odd bedfellows

Glenn Greenwald’s related, and otherwise excellent piece ‘Washington Post Disgracefully Promotes a McCarthyite Blacklist From a New, Hidden, and Very Shady Group‘ throws a bone to one of the very worst propaganda prostitutes extant on the world-wide-web: Elliot Higgins of Bellingcat. WTF.

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Related: On Fake News

Exile

A Ronald Thomas West assessment

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“You hypocrite! First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” -Jesus

The Washington Post has promoted a list of “Russian propaganda” websites [full list] claiming a “Russian propaganda effort” spreading fake news. The problem? Many (most?) of the sites are legitimate sites dispensing news ‘mainstream’ doesn’t cover. How about this instead:

“You could get a [Washington Post] journalist cheaper than a good call girl, for a couple hundred dollars a month.” -CIA operative cited in “Katherine The Great” by Deborah Davis

Meanwhile:

“During the 1976 investigation of the CIA by the Senate Intelligence Committee, chaired by Senator Frank Church, the dimensions of the Agency’s involvement with the press became apparent to several members of the panel, as well as to two or three investigators on the staff. But top officials of the CIA, including former directors William Colby and George Bush, persuaded the committee to restrict its inquiry into the matter and to deliberately misrepresent the actual scope of the activities in its final report”

“Contrary to the notion that the CIA insidiously infiltrated the journalistic community, there is ample evidence that America’s leading publishers and news executives allowed themselves and their organizations to become handmaidens to the intelligence services”

“There is quite an incredible spread of relationships. You don’t need to manipulate Time magazine, for example, because there are [Central Intelligence] Agency people at the management level.” -William B. Bader, former CIA intelligence officer, briefing members of the Senate Intelligence Committee

“The Agency’s relationship with [The New York] Times was by far its most valuable among newspapers, according to CIA officials. [It was] general Times policy … to provide assistance to the CIA whenever possible.”

Preceding quotes from ‘CIA and the Media’ by Carl Bernstein

“Propaganda experts in the CIA station in Kinshasa busily planted articles in the Kinshasa newspapers, Elimo and Salongo. These were recopied into agency cables and sent on to European, Asian, and South American stations, where they were secretly passed to recruited journalists representing major news services who saw to it that many were replayed in the world press. Similarly, the Lusaka station placed a steady flow of stories in Zambian newspapers and then relayed them to major European newspapers

“During a staff meeting I voiced my concern to —-, were we on safe ground, paying agents to propagandize the New York press? The agency had recently been warned against running operations inside the United States and propagandizing the American public. —- seemed unconcerned. We were safe enough, he said, as long as we could plausibly claim that our intent was to propagandize foreigners at the United Nations

“The task force worked out the details by cabling New York, Lusaka, Kinshasa, and key European stations. Each delegation opened a bank account in Europe to which European-based CIA finance officers could make regular deposits. Thereafter the CIA could plausibly deny that it had funded anyone’s propagandists in the United States. It would be extremely difficult for any investigators to prove differently

“Director Colby testified before the House Select Committee on Intelligence, saying: “We have taken particular caution to ensure that our operations are focused abroad and not at the United States to influence the opinion of the American people about things from the CIA point of view.” A remarkable statement in view of what we had been doing in the task force (Director Colby received copies of all [relevant] cables and memoranda.)”

And going to the conclusion of CIA lawlessness:

“CIA written records become mysteriously vague about the Lumumba assassination plot, the Trujillo assassination plot, and the Schneider assassination plot. In each case there are documents which place CIA officers in supportive contact with the eventual assassins but the link seems to break before the final deed”

And:

“Since the Freedom of Information Act, the agency increasingly uses a system of “soft,” “unofficial,” or “convenience” files for sensitive subjects, especially any involving surveillance of Americans. Such files are not registered in the agency’s official records system, and hence can never be disclosed under the FOIA”

Preceding quotes from ‘In Search of Enemies‘ by CIA officer John Stockton

Recalling CIA officer Stockton’s last two paragraphs (cited in bold above), lets not forget Michael Hastings forward looking tip on what became law in 2013:

“The newest version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes an amendment that would legalize the use of propaganda on the American public, reports Michael Hastings of Buzzfeed.

“The amendment — proposed by Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and passed in the House last Friday afternoon — would effectively nullify the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948, which explicitly forbids information and psychological operations aimed at influencing U.S. public opinion”

Yeah THIS Michael Hastings:

Richard Clarke, the counterterrorism chief under both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, told the Huffington Post that Hastings’s [fatal] crash looked “consistent with a [Mercedes computer hacked] car cyber attack”

Furthermore:

“Hastings’ wife Elise Jordan later confirmed that he had been working on a profile of [Obama’s CIA Director John] Brennan when he [Hastings] died. Although Rolling Stone was expected to publish his article posthumously, the editors have not released his final piece and refuse to answer why”

Clearly because:

“The CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media” — former CIA Director William Colby

It would seem then, if the CIA can’t own a significant journalist, the CIA almost certainly can neutralize a significant journalist.

All of the preceding is consistent with former Pentagon liaison to the CIA, the nearly unknown (to the larger American public) whistle-blower, Colonel Prouty’s conclusions:

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“the [Central Intelligence] Agency has a whole stable of writers, its favorite magazines and newspapers, its publishing houses, and its “backgrounders” ready to go at all times” – L Fletcher Prouty

article updated 17 December 2016

An expanded article built around the CIA-media manipulations with examples HERE

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“One thing you can’t hide, is when you’re crippled inside” -John Lennon

The Washington Post and Double Think

When, in the span of six weeks, the Washington Post both; gives a soap box to Zbigniew Brzezinski and receives a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on the Snowden leaks, a thoughtful person might be inclined to ‘think twice.’

Brzezinski’s ‘service’ to the USA has included advising figures from Jimmy Carter to Barack Obama, including the first USA [CIA] involvement in Afghanistan in 1979, and he is one of the architects of policy that has resulted in the rise of militant Islam. It is interesting to me a media outlet that provides platform for world class criminals, is lauded as a giant of journalism. The prize might have better been awarded solely to the Guardian journalists who met with Snowden and passed on the material to secondary outlets in media. Instead, we have an oxymoron; purveyors [The Washington Post] of criminal wonks [Brzezinski, among others] and their vicious ideation responsible for incalculable social damage world-wide, lauded as heroes of journalism.

George Orwell’s original term was not ‘double speak’ or ‘double talk’ but actually is ‘double think’

“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them” -George Orwell

‘Simultaneous’ & ‘accepting’ points to a complete lack of normal brain function. The normal reaction [in a healthy mind] should be ‘cognitive dissonance’, perhaps best explained as ‘grotesque reflex’ of mental state or distress caused by mental apprehension of irreconcilable phenomena.

A comprehensive lack of cognitive dissonance, in face of irreconcilable ideation, points to a clear mental disorder. This mental disorder patently manifests in narcissist sociopath personalities, lacking any sense of taking responsibility for consequence.

For instance, Brzezinski’s replies to the questions…

Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic [integrisme], having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

Brzezinski: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

Q: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated: Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.

Brzezinski: Nonsense! It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid. There isn’t a global Islam. Look at Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism? Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries.

…altogether ignores the fact of Brzezinski, as Carter’s National Security Advisor, dispatched USA support to rebels in Afghanistan in 1979, an endeavor put into hyperdrive by [Obama’s first Secretary of Defense] Robert Gates during the Reagan administration, resulted in the rise not only of the Taliban and al-Qaida but turned Afghanistan into the world’s leading supplier of heroin.

“Political language — and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists — is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind” -George Orwell

In any ‘healthy’ mentality, there would be some sense of contrition in having initiated the policy that had, over the ensuing years, resulted in the 21st century global jihad. Brzezinski experiences no indication of contrition [taking responsibility] and he experiences no sense of cognitive dissonance either. Now, let’s look at the Washington Post providing Brzezinski a soap box on Ukraine:

“Regarding the Russian aggression against Ukraine, much depends on what Vladi­mir Putin does next. But what Putin does depends on not only his calculation of the likely NATO (and especially the U.S.) response but also his estimate of how fiercely the Ukrainian people would respond to any further escalation by Russia. And, to complete the circle, the Ukrainian response would be influenced by citizens’ reaction to any repetition of Putin’s Crimean aggression and by whether the nation believes that the United States and NATO are truly supportive.

To begin with, career Russia hater and author of ‘The Grand Chessboard’ demanding Russia be cornered and isolated to the benefit of USA world domination, casts Russia as the instigator in Ukraine, following a USA supported putsch placing neo-nazis in power in a nation Putin had been telling the western democracies for six years to stay out and not meddle.

“Putin’s thuggish tactics in seizing Crimea offer some hints regarding his planning. He knew in advance that his thinly camouflaged invasion would meet with popular support from the Russian majority in Crimea. He was not sure how the thin and light Ukrainian military units stationed there would react, so he went in masked like a Mafia gangster. In the event of serious Ukrainian resistance, he could disown the initiative and pull back.

Anyone who’d acquired a C+ in the history of the former USSR would know the Russian ethnic majority of Crimeans would welcome a return to Russia with open arms. Putin knew this. Where Brzezinski lies with a clear conscience is in regards to this is, Crimea was the territory of Russia for two hundred years, to 1954, when Khruschev made a technical transfer of Crimea to Ukraine to put work on a canal under a single administrative body. The Crimeans not only celebrated their return to Russia, two thirds of the Ukrainian military stationed in Crimea defected to Russia or changed sides. Crimea had been historically, linguistically, culturally and factually Russia/Russian in everything but name. There was ZERO chance of ‘serious Ukrainian resistance’ but Brzezinski cannot pass up a chance to pose Putin as a thug and coward. The man knows no sense of shame.

“His initial success may tempt him to repeat that performance more directly in the far eastern provinces of Ukraine. If successful, the conclusive third phase could then be directed, through a combination of political unrest and increasingly overt use of Russian forces, to overthrow the government in Kiev. The result would thus be similar to the two phases of Hitler’s seizure of the Sudetenland after Munich in 1938 and the final occupation of Prague and Czechoslovakia in early 1939.

Here, Brzezinski projects a nonsensical historical comparison; the government in Prague was not toppled by forces threatening to Hitler, nor were the ethnic Germans being persecuted by a non-existent power hostile to Germany on its borders … and Putin is not the leader of a NAZI state, rather the reverse is true. The neo-nazi regime installed by the USA in Ukraine, on the other hand, has demonstrated extreme hostility to the large ethic Russian population, and the new leadership in Kiev has demonstrable NAZI roots represented in the five ministries held by the neo-nazi Svoboda party. Notice Brzezinski demonstrates no sense of cognitive dissonance, nor does he blink an eye over this next shameless lie:

“Much depends on how clearly the West conveys to the dictator in the Kremlin — a partially comical imitation of Mussolini and a more menacing reminder of Hitler — that NATO cannot be passive if war erupts in Europe. If Ukraine is crushed while the West is simply watching, the new freedom and security in bordering Romania, Poland and the three Baltic republics would also be threatened.

If Ukraine is ‘crushed’, it will consist of Putin doing exactly what he has stated will be his intention to do, were the nazis in Kiev to follow through with a large scale persecution of Ukraine’s ethnic Russians … put a stop to the nonsense unleashed on Russia’s very doorstep. Russian will go no further than push the Ukrainian military out of the majority Russian areas of a nation [Ukraine] with unnatural borders, deeply dividing a populace with a historical split, western Ukraine’s sympathies are with western Europe and eastern Ukraine’s sympathies are with Russia. The parties behaving like Hitler are the western democracies who’ve been fanning the fires in Ukraine and tossing a civil war in Russia’s face. These are problems Putin does not need or want but also problems he cannot ignore.

“This does not mean that the West, or the United States, should threaten war. But Russia’s unilateral and menacing acts mean the West should promptly recognize the current government of Ukraine as legitimate. Uncertainty regarding its legal status could tempt Putin to repeat his Crimean charade. The West also should convey — privately at this stage, so as not to humiliate Russia — that the Ukrainian army can count on immediate and direct Western aid so as to enhance its defensive capabilities. There should be no doubt left in Putin’s mind that an attack on Ukraine would precipitate a prolonged and costly engagement, and Ukrainians should not fear that they would be left in the lurch.

Brzezinski, who is proud he was able to draw the USSR into Afghanistan, bragging he’d handed the Russians their own Vietnam, is promoting a repeat, and the Washington Post has provided the soap box. There can be no doubt in Brzezinski’s mind that Putin will be forced to act in the circumstance of chaos delivered by the USA’s geo-political sleight-of-hand and then the finger pointed at Putin as the aggressor. Brzezinski is a shameless liar and no matter war breaking out could lead at some point to escalation including tactical nuclear weapons, were NATO to become involved, this is good in the mind of Brzezinski, if it serves his ‘Grand Chessboard.’

“Meanwhile, NATO forces, consistent with the organization’s contingency planning, should be put on alert. High readiness for some immediate airlift to Europe of U.S. airborne units would be politically and militarily meaningful. If the West wants to avoid a conflict, there should be no ambiguity in the Kremlin as to what might be precipitated by further adventurist use of force in the middle of Europe.

Brzezinski is saying here, throughout, goad, lie, provoke, lie, call names, lie, arm up, lie, escalate, lie, and call for peaceful accommodation:

“In addition, such efforts to avert miscalculations that could lead to a war should be matched by a reaffirmation of the West’s desire for a peaceful accommodation with Russia regarding a joint effort to help Ukraine recover economically and stabilize politically. The West should reassure Russia that it is not seeking to draw Ukraine into NATO or to turn it against Russia. Ukrainians themselves can define the depth of their closeness to Europe and the scope of their economic cooperation with Russia, to the benefit of peace and stability in Europe. And after their May elections, they can revise some of the arrangements for a special status for Crimea, but they should not do so under duress or attack from a neighbor driven by imperial or personal ambitions”

And so, our soap box protagonist, Zbigniew Brzezinski, author of his personal imperial ambition named the Grand Chessboard, closes with pointing to Putin as the imperial ambition, when Putin has actually been placed in impossible circumstance demanding action on behalf of the ethnic Russians of east Ukraine, by the geopolitical engineering of the USA, with Putin cast as the boogeyman. This is really very much like the schoolyard bully, USA, smashing the smaller kids [Ukraine’s Russian minority] face and then crying to the neighborhood ‘look what little Billy [lying on the ground bleeding] did to my fists!’ And expect Putin would stand back and do nothing? This is messing with the wrong man. Europe should rethink its relationship of political fellatio to USA and NATO because ‘war is peace’ & ‘newspeak’ freaks like Brzezinski and his numerous fans at USA Department of State, CIA and NATO have no sense of reality. They are neither ‘normal’ nor ‘healthy.’

“For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia… Now a non-Eurasian power is preeminent in Eurasia – and America’s global primacy is directly dependent on how long and how effectively its preponderance on the Eurasian continent is sustained” -Zbigniew Brzezinski writes in ‘The Grand Chessboard

This immediate preceding Brzezinski position on projecting USA empire is at odds a full 180 degrees with what he professes (blames/projects) onto Russia in his Washington Post editorial on Ukraine. Here he admits the USA is the region’s imperial aggressor. If Orwell were here to ask, I would ask him if what he had noticed in people is the phenomena I have noticed; some people seem to have ‘cellularized’ sets of mutually exclusive ‘facts’ they (consciously or unconsciously) shift between, with no noticeable level of psychological discomfort. Brezezinski strikes me as one of these people.

In the end, a media outlet, in this case the Washington Post, giving platform to such depraved criminal mentality, should be disqualified from any journalistic recognition other than propagandist for the criminally insane-

“In the case of a word like DEMOCRACY, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of régime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using the word if it were tied down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way” -George Orwell

Meanwhile, think about it … in regards to media, do the western democracies geopolitical propaganda and depraved acts, promoted by the Washington Post and other outlets, meet Orwell’s description of ‘words used in a consciously dishonest way?’ Methinks: yes.

At the end of the day, it would appear that in any democracy, ethics, self restraint, tolerance and honesty will always play second fiddle to narcissism, avarice, bigotry & persecution, if only because people who play by the rules in any democracy, are at a disadvantage to those who easily subvert the rules to their own advantage.

Ukraine for Dummies

 

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Ronald Thomas West is a former U.S. intelligence professional

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