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ewmayer 2020-06-28 22:50

[url=]This Russia-Afghanistan Story Is Western Propaganda At Its Most Vile[/url] | Caitlin Johnstone
[quote]All western mass media outlets are now shrieking about the story [i]The New York Times[/i] [url=]first reported[/url], citing zero evidence and naming zero sources, claiming intelligence says Russia paid out bounties to Taliban-linked fighters in Afghanistan for attacking the occupying forces of the US and its allies in Afghanistan. As of this writing, and probably forevermore, there have still been zero intelligence sources named and zero evidence provided for this claim.

As we [url=]discussed yesterday[/url], the only correct response to unsubstantiated claims by anonymous spooks in a post-Iraq invasion world is to assume that they are lying until you’ve been provided with a mountain of hard, independently verifiable evidence to the contrary. The fact that [i]The New York Times[/i] instead chose to uncritically parrot these evidence-free claims made by operatives within intelligence agencies with a known track record of lying about exactly these things is nothing short of journalistic malpractice. The fact that western media outlets are now unanimously regurgitating these [b]still 100 percent baseless assertions[/b] is nothing short of state propaganda.

The consensus-manufacturing, Overton window-shrinking western propaganda apparatus has been in full swing with mass media outlets claiming on literally no basis whatsoever that they have confirmed one another’s “great reporting” on this completely unsubstantiated story.[/quote]
I believe one term for this kind of orchestrated-by-the-Intel-services-and-blared-by-the-MSM propaganda-gasm is, by way of reference to the pipe organs used in old silent movie theaters, [url=]"The Mighty Wurlitzer"[/url]. Those of you who may still be clinging to the hope that the world might be a slightly safer place under a Biden presidency, note his appearance in the article.

And this could make for a cross-posting in the neighboring Unclear Security thread:
[quote]And indeed, the unified campaign to shove this story down people’s throats in stark defiance of everything one learns in journalism school does appear to be geared toward advancing pre-existing foreign policy agendas which have nothing to do with any concern for the safety of US troops. Analysts have pointed out that this new development arises just in time to sabotage the last of the nuclear treaties between the US and Russia, the scaling down of US military presence in Afghanistan, and, as Haas already openly admitted, any possibility of peace in Syria.

“This story is published just in time to sabotage US-Russia arms control talks,” Antiwar‘s Dave DeCamp noted on Twitter. “As the US is preparing for a new arms race — and possibly even live nuclear tests — the New York Times provides a great excuse to let the New START lapse, making the world a much more dangerous place. Russiagate has provided the cover for Trump to pull out of arms control agreements. First the INF, then the Open Skies, and now possibly the New START. Any talks or negotiations with Russia are discouraged in this atmosphere, and this Times story will make things even worse.”[/quote]
And of course providing Afghan guerilla forces with weapons and cash to attack a foreign occupation force is exactly what the US and CIA did during the 1979-89 Soviet occupation of the country, which has now lasted a mere half as long as the ongoing US one has. Classic propaganda jiu-jitsu: accuse the Other Guys of doing the same dirty deeds as oneself.

kladner 2020-06-29 16:12

Only Idiots Believe The CIA, And Other Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix
Here is a follow-on from jolly Ms Johnstone. It is sort of a bullet list on spooks and propaganda.
[QUOTE]If it were possible to scare people into averting climate disaster it would have already happened. You can scare people into a state of paralysis so they’ll stand frozen while you wage wars against “terrorists” and “dictators”, but for mass-scale positive action, fear is useless.

We’re just going to have to wake up. As a species. Collectively. A drastic transformation in our entire relationship with thought is going to be required. There’s just no getting around this. And this transformation happens to be in the exact opposite direction of fear.

Dr Sardonicus 2020-06-30 12:34

WRT the disintegration of the newspaper business, it's been underway for decades.

IMO an early contributing factor was the advent of the "24-hour news cycle," as exemplified by CNN. By the time tomorrow morning's paper landed at your doorstep, the headlines were "old news."

As I understand it, printed newspapers traditionally relied on advertising. Circulation (subscriptions and sales through news stands, retail stores, "newsboys," etc) indicated eyeballs on the pages, but it was ads that paid the bills.

So when circulation started dropping due to the increasing popularity of more immediate news coverage, the whole "business model" of printed newspapers began to fail.

I will mention a newspaper I became familiar with, [b]Chicago Today[/b]. It was an afternoon paper, successor to the deceased Chicago [i]American[/i], which had been sold on the street as an afternoon paper. Unlike the [i]American[/i], [b]Chicago Today[/b] was printed in tabloid format. It was popular with commuters returning home from work. It had a circulation of over 100,000, but it died because local businesses declined to advertise in it.

Looking on line, I have found various dates for its demise. So far the latest year I have found is 1985. But I know for a fact that [b]Chicago Today[/b] was still publishing in early 1986. The reason I know this is as follows: On January 26, 1986, I watched the Super Bowl with my father, who was living in the greater Chicago metro area. I made and baked a pizza for the occasion. On Tuesday, January 28, 1986, I was in downtown Chicago. I saw small amounts of confetti and similar material the street sweepers had missed when cleaning up after the parade for the victorious Chicago Bears. On my way back out to my folks' place, I rode a commuter train. I saw abandoned copies of [b]Chicago Today[/b] with the headline

[size=5][b]Space Shuttle Explodes[/b][/size]

That is how I first learned about the Challenger disaster. The fact that commuters often bought the paper, then read and abandoned it on the train, was the basic reason businesses declined to place ads in it.

This trend accelerated with the advent of the World Wide Web. So the entire "business model" for printed newspapers became obsolete, and there was no effective replacement.

At the same time, I believe that news reporting in all forms was being undermined in a more fundamental way: people were becoming less interested in the news. Perhaps they simply had less time than people used to have. Instead of spending 45 minutes reading detailed coverage of current happenings, they would make do with 3-minute summary on TV or online. Faced with that reality, what is a newspaper to do? One thing is, determine what kinds of news people are least interested in, and cut in those areas. People aren't interested in news from abroad? Time to close the Foreign Bureau. And so on.

And now the Post-Factual Age has arrived. The notion of "critical thinking" isn't even on a lot of folks' radar any more. Many, many people are perfectly willing to accept without question the most unmitigated bull:censored: they get via social media. More than willing, in fact. The bull:censored: becomes dogma. Anyone telling them different is The Enemy.

kladner 2020-07-01 16:09

To Keep Russiagate Alive 'Officials' Make New Claims Without Providing Evidence
Moon of Alabama

So another dissident voice weighs in. My own reaction has been cued by the use of the word "assessment." This is the same word used by the three hand-picked agents and agencies in the earlier reports of Russian election interference,
[U]"Assessing[/U] Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections"

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

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

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

kladner 2020-07-01 16:29

RAY McGOVERN: Russiagate’s Last Gasp
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
[INDENT][QUOTE]One can read this most recent flurry of Russia, Russia, Russia paid the Taliban to kill GIs as an attempt to pre-empt the findings into Russiagate’s origins. [/QUOTE][/INDENT][LEFT][QUOTE]On Friday The New York Times featured a report based on anonymous intelligence officials that the Russians were paying bounties to have U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan with President Donald Trump refusing to do anything about it. The flurry of Establishment media reporting that ensued provides further proof, if such were needed, that the erstwhile “paper of record” has earned a new moniker — Gray Lady of easy virtue.[/QUOTE][/LEFT]

kladner 2020-07-04 02:21

In ‘Russian Bounty’ Story, Evidence-Free Claims From Nameless Spies Became Fact Overnight
Based upon a bombshell [B]New York Times[/B] report ([URL=""]6/26/20[/URL]), virtually the entire media landscape has been engulfed in the allegations that Russia is paying Taliban fighters bounties to kill US soldiers.
The [B]Washington Post[/B] ([URL=""]6/27/20[/URL]) and the [B]Wall Street Journal[/B] ([URL=""]6/27/20[/URL]) soon published similar stories, based on the same intelligence officials who refused to give their names, and did not appear to share any data or documents with the news[/QUOTE][QUOTE]This would be troublesome enough, but there are a number of reasons to be skeptical of the veracity of the claims. Firstly, the [B]Times[/B], [B]Post[/B] and [B]Journal[/B]’s reports are all based on fundamentally untrustworthy actors who refuse to go on the record. Here is a list of all the sources mentioned in the [B]Times[/B] report:
[LIST][*]“According to officials briefed on the matter”[*]“Officials said”[*]“Officials said”[*]“Officials said”[*]“Said Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary for President Vladimir V. Putin”[*]“Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, denied”[*]“The officials spoke”[*]“Russian government officials have dismissed such claims”[*]“Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr., the commander of American forces in Afghanistan at the time, said”[*]“Officials were said to be confident”[*]“Some officials have theorized”[*]“Officials have also suggested”[*]“The officials briefed on the matter said”[*]“Western intelligence officials say”[*]“American intelligence officials say”[*]“American officials say”[*]“Officials briefed on its operations say”[/LIST][/QUOTE]

ewmayer 2020-07-19 22:16

[QUOTE=kladner;549544]Russiagate's Last Gasp[/QUOTE]

Would that this were true, but the same folks who whole-cloth-manufactured and peddled the original fraud keep re-booting it under new guises. "OK, so fewer people than we had hoped bought the Russian-bounty BS ... but it still resulted in Congress canceling Orange Satan's latest initiative to pull all remaining US troops from Afghanistan ... mission accomplished! Now let's see, what can we come up with next? Ooh, I got it! Something that again invokes the oh-so-reliable Evil-Rooskies bogeyman, and gives us Deep Staters the perfect cover to rig the November election, under the guise of 'protecting America's precious democracy and bodily fluids. Check this out, the 'obvious conclusion' we want the rubes to draw, with helpful nudging from the MSM, of course, is 'A pandemic is raging, and Outside Enemies™ are trying to hack both our vaccine efforts and our democracy. We need [oh-so-manipulable] electronic and mail-in voting for the November election to protect americans from both.' Ha, ha - and our buds in the MSM are gonna love pushing it, they've been bugging us for the latest 'release':"

[url=]“Putin Hacked Our Coronavirus Vaccine” Is The Dumbest Story Yet[/url] | Caitlin Johnstone -- I disagree: It's not dumb if said BS is deployed deliberately, and achieves the aims of its peddlers.

In other Heroic-Defenders-of-Democracy-and-Freedom news, I wonder if there will a followup Hollywood-peddled docudrama about this group's latest activities? After all, the tear-jerkingly hagiographical initial doco not only captured the hearts of the world, but also won an Oscar™. Somehow I have the feeling Hollywood and the MSM are gonna give the proposed "where are they now" update a miss:
[quote]“Dutch accountant discovered that leaders of Mayday Rescue, the foundation behind the White Helmets, used money intended for rescue for their own bonuses instead. James Le Mesurier, the founder, died in an apparent suicide days after this discovery” [url][/url]

— Tim Hayward (@Tim_Hayward_) [url=]July 17, 2020[/url][/quote]

ewmayer 2020-08-22 21:03

The neocon Deep State regime change creeps aren't even trying to be original anymore - now that the above-described Russia-bountygate BS has run its course, who else can we reuse it to smear? Ooh, I got it - a few text replacements and here we go - note the by-now-familiar 'tell' of a CIA talking point memo 'intelligence assessment'. And I left in the little sidebar BS-link, which regurgitates the by-now-debunked Russian-bounty garbage:

[url=]Iran reportedly paid bounties to Afghan group for attacks on Americans[/url] | The Guardian
[quote]According to CNN, US intelligence assessed that Iran paid the bounties to the Haqqani network, for the Bagram attack on 11 December, which killed two civilians and injured more than 70 others, including two Americans.

[i]Trump views US troops as disposable – the Russian bounty scandal makes that clear | Simon Tisdall
[url=]Read more[/url]
The Pentagon decided not to take retaliatory action in the hope of preserving a peace deal the Trump administration agreed with the Taliban in February, the CNN report said. In January, less than a month after the Bagram attack, the US killed the Iranian Revolutionary Guard general Qassem Suleimani, in a drone strike in Baghdad, but that attack is not thought to have been a direct retaliation for Bagram.[/quote]
Note the multiple levels of absurdity:

o As usual peace-loving Pentagon folks "decided not to take retaliatory action" for an attack which happened in December, "in the hope of preserving a peace deal" which was struck 2 months later ... because US DoD types are noted for their extreme patience in ordering retaliatory strikes, right? "Shoot first, ask questions later", the US war machine never does that sort of thing /sarc;

o "In January, less than a month after the Bagram attack, the US killed the Iranian Revolutionary Guard general Qassem Suleimani, in a drone strike in Baghdad, but that attack is not thought to have been a direct retaliation for Bagram" -- right, that was just a flat-out assassination there. Because doing that sort of thing "as retaliation" - that would look bad. Best to be above-board and just flat-out murder the guy for no good reason other than whaddya-gonna-do-about-it?

The Iran-bounty claim, assuming it's BS, which is justified based on the long past history of such claims, strikes me as some sort of weird attempt at post hoc justification for the Suleimani assassination.

And On Thursday the western MSM were (Novi)chock full of headlines like this:

[url=]Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny ‘poisoned’[/url] | BBC

The Beeb dutifully parrots Navalny's spokeswoman, then frames things thusly:
[quote]Mr Navalny, 44, has for years been among President Vladimir Putin's staunchest critics.

In June he described a vote on constitutional reforms as a "coup" and a "violation of the constitution". The reforms allow Mr Putin to serve another two terms in office, after the four terms he has already had.

o [url=]Russia's vociferous Putin critic[/url]

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he was "deeply concerned" by the reports Mr Navalny had been poisoned, and sent his thoughts to him and his family.[/quote]
So evil mastermind Ras-Putin had put up with this guy's "staunch criticism" for years, and despite the fact that this so-called "opposition leader" persistently polls in the 2% range and that his "vociferous criticisms" have clearly had 0 effect on Russian poltical happenings, Putin, knowing full well that the western propaganda MSM are forever looking to hang every mishap which mis-happens to a member of the Russian opposition on him via another round of dastardly-Kremlin-plot allegations, decides to go full Lucrezia Borgia on gadfly Navalny now, perhaps out of sheer boredom. And BFS Raab sent his thoughts ... so he's communicating, like, telepathetically with the family?

But consider the shocking - downright damning! - 'evidence' trotted out by the Beeb:
[quote]Video footage on social media shows Mr Navalny being taken on a stretcher to an ambulance on the airport runway.

Other disturbing video appears to show a stricken Mr Navalny in pain on the flight.

Passenger Pavel Lebedev said: "At the start of the flight he went to the toilet and didn't come back. He started feeling really sick. They struggled to bring him round and he was screaming in pain."

Another photograph on social media purports to show Mr Navalny drinking from a cup at a Tomsk airport cafe.[/quote]
Oh my, "disturbing video" of someone sick on a flight - and before the flight, drinking from a cup at an airport cafe! The horror ... the horror.

Anyhow, MoA has a suitably detailed and scathing [url=]takedown of this latest BS-fest today[/url], noting that the symptoms appear to be consistent with diabetic insulin shock. None of the articles I've seen note whether Navalny was diabetic - if not, it is certainly possible that someone tried to poison him with insulin, the way Swedish richie-rich playboy [url=]Claus von Bülow[/url] allegedly tried to off his wife Sunny. But Navalny is the kind of person who would've had plenty of enemies, and MoA notes Putin is an unlikely candidate in that regard, as Navalny was actually a kind of useful idiot for him:
[quote]The 'western' media jumped onto the 'Navalny was poisoned' claim to heap the usual trash on Russia. They also claimed that Navalny is the 'opposition leader' in Russia even as he polls at 2% which is lower than the leader of the communist party and several other real opposition politicians. Nor is Navalny a 'liberal'. He is a rightwing nationalist and racist who sees Cechen and other non-Russian people as [url=]cockroaches that should be killed[/url] (vid).

In an interview with the Guardian Navalny [url=]confirmed those views[/url]:
Several years ago, [Navalny] released a number of disturbing videos, including one in which he is dressed as a dentist, complaining that tooth cavities ruin healthy teeth, as clips of migrant workers are shown. In another video, he speaks out in favour of relaxing gun controls, in a monologue that appears to compare migrants to cockroaches.

I ask him if he regrets those videos now, and he’s unapologetic. He sees it as a strength that he can speak to both liberals and nationalists. But comparing migrants to cockroaches? “That was artistic license,” he says. So there’s nothing at all from those videos or that period that he regrets? “No,” he says again, firmly.
The 'western' media also try to connect the 'poisoning' of Navalny to Russia's President Vladimir Putin. That makes no sense at all. Navalny is no danger to Putin and is actually useful for him as he keeps other 'liberals' busy with nonsensical ideas.

During the last years Navalny has made some enemies by uncovering corruption cases. His latest one was about the local governor of Tomsk. It was also the reason why he had flown there. Should Navaly become the victim of a crime the suspects should be sought there.[/quote]

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