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Old 2020-01-24, 22:06   #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
Pushback against the promulgators of Red Scare 2.0:

o Consortium News Sends Libel Notices to Canadian Signals Intelligence Agency and Major Television Network: Consortium News has sent libel notices to a Canadian spy agency and major broadcaster after their reports said CN is part of a Russian-directed propaganda campaign targeting Canadian leaders.

o Tulsi Gabbard sues Hillary Clinton for $50M over Russian asset remark | MSN.com -- Gabbard may no longer be a viable candidate - thanks in no small part to the orchestrated establishment smear campaign against her - but if she could manage to get Toxic Hillary to finally STFU by suing her pantsuit off her, that would be an invaluable public service.

And Netflix once again as a spreader of US imperial propaganda:

o Netflix, Iran and the Documentary as Geopolitical Weapon | FAIR
Quote:
Kirchner is talking about "lawfare," the weaponized use of legal tactics to destroy political enemies.
Historical note: The "weaponized use of legal tactics to destroy political enemies" predates the founding of the USA. Two well-known examples are (1) the use of fabricated treason charges, and, (2) bills of attainder.

The latter could mandate someone's execution without trial. Quite a time saver! Also a good way to avoid embarrassing facts coming out during a trial. Acts of attainder could also be used to disinherit the descendants of those attainted, or convicted of treason. (Apparently an Act of Attainder was needed to strip descendants of nobility of their hereditary titles and the properties that went with them. Personal estates were already forfeit upon any felony conviction.)

Both were popular with Henry VIII. Bills of attainder were popular during the 17th Century in England.

This may help explain the Constitutional prohibition of bills of attainder, and an explicit, narrow definition of the crime of treason against the United States, with a unique standard of proof necessary for conviction.

Last fiddled with by Dr Sardonicus on 2020-01-24 at 22:10 Reason: transcription error
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Old 2020-01-26, 12:36   #145
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Default How Western Left Media Helped Legitimate US Regime Change in Venezuela

https://fair.org/home/how-western-le...-in-venezuela/
The list of liberal/progressive/"left" publications which have parroted US propaganda against Venezuela is truly depressing. Seeing Jacobin and The Nation in that list is particularly painful.
Quote:
It’s been a year since Juan Guaidó began his US-anointed mandate as “interim president” of Venezuela.

Following the opposition leader’s failure to secure reelection as National Assembly president this month, Washington and its corporate media stenographers have hysterically decried a “coup” (FAIR.org, 1/10/20) against the coup leader, moving absurdly to recognize a new parallel parliament that he can still be in charge of.

However, the January 23 anniversary of Guaidó’s farcical self-proclamation has a darker legacy largely ignored by the corporate media: the almost unprecedented US decision to recognize a leader with no effective state control has unleashed a level of economic warfare unseen outside of Cuba, Iran or North Korea.

The recognition was a not-so-subtle signal to transnational economic actors to terminate their business with Caracas, and was followed by a crippling oil embargo, later upgraded to a blanket ban on all dealings with Venezuela’s state. Last year alone, illegal US sanctions are estimated to have destroyed one quarter of Venezuela’s economy, which had already shrunk by half since 2013, in part due to longstanding US economic siege.
Quote:
Western progressive outlets have a peculiar habit of rolling out their “critiques” of leftist or otherwise independent governments in the global South right at the moment when these states are under imperial assault, echoing the corporate media’s unanimous regime-change chorus (FAIR.org, 4/30/19).

In the days and weeks following the January 23, 2019, start of the US-backed opposition’s sixth coup effort of the past 20 years, Northern leftist publications posted a number of articles featuring scathing attacks on the Maduro administration.

NACLA (2/5/19) and Jacobin (2/5/19) led the charge, simultaneously publishing a piece by sociologist Gabriel Hetland denying that Maduro was democratically elected and accusing him of “increasing authoritarianism.” On top of numerous factually problematic attacks on the Venezuelan government, Hetland went as far as to outline hypothetical conditions that “potentially warranted” foreign intervention—namely a “humanitarian catastrophe”—but declining to say that they apply to Venezuela, despite the existence of what he termed a “humanitarian crisis.” The Trump administration repeatedly cites “humanitarian catastrophe” as a justification for its coup and illegal sanctions, a charge that has been echoed by corporate media and the Western human rights industrial complex.

Also in NACLA (2/13/19), Rebeca Hanson and Francisco Sanchez professed their agnosticism regarding whether Guaidó’s US-backed self-proclamation constituted a coup, stating that “depending on how the constitution is interpreted, one of the two men has a rightful claim to assume executive power.”

They went on to anecdotally note a “general sentiment in many popular sectors…that neither [the government nor opposition] ‘side’ can be trusted,” conveniently ignoring the fact that around 31% of the Venezuelan electorate voted to reelect Maduro in May 2018 and a similar percent of the population told Pew they trusted the government a few months later. A smaller percentage of the electorate routinely wins elections in the US. That is, around 6 million people—overwhelmingly from Venezuela’s working-class and poor sectors—still support Maduro.
Quote:
Following the devastating March blackouts, The Nation (3/13/19) likewise posted a piece by Hetland, lambasting Maduro as “corrupt and increasingly repressive” and claiming that his “authoritarian” government “bears primary responsibility for the country’s dire situation,” though conceding that “US sanctions and violence by the US-supported opposition have contributed to Venezuelans’ suffering.”

The article contained wild factual inaccuracies, including the claim that Caracas residents were collecting water from the extremely polluted Guaire River, as well as misleading death statistics from the blackouts. Hetland also cites pro-opposition pollster Datanalisis to assert that an “estimated 15% of the population” supports Chavismo, a dramatic underestimation refuted by the fact that Maduro won 6.2 million votes in 2018—or 31% of the total electorate—which is firmly in line with Chavista turnout levels since 2013. Datanalisis also badly overestimated what opposition turnout would be in both the 2017 regional elections and the 2018 presidential elections, undermining its credibility.

Last fiddled with by kladner on 2020-01-26 at 12:36
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Old 2020-01-29, 20:06   #146
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o Associated Press Sees "Hundreds" Where Pictures Show Millions | Moon of Alabama: At 10:01 UTC today the Associated Press tweeted that "hundreds" gather in central Baghdad to demand that American troops leave the country ... Thirty eight minutes earlier CNN had already reported that "hundreds of thousands" are protesting in Baghdad against the U.S. troop presence in Iraq.

o Update on the Consortium News libel lawsuit story I linked to in post #143:

The Truth & the Irony: Consortium News and The Continuing Tale of Chrystia Freeland’s Grandfather and His and Her Nazi Scheme for Ukraine Today | naked capitalism
Quote:
Consortium News promoted a story that was widely picked up and deservedly embarrassing to Chyrstia Freeland, then Canada’s foreign minister, more recently its deputy prime minister. Freeland is of Ukrainian descent and is rabidly anti-Russian. She has falsely and knowingly depicted her family as victims of the Nazis who fled persecution, when her grandfather was a prominent Nazi propagandist operating out of Krakow.

Mind you, this is all factually accurate. But Consortium News may not be on solid ground in challenging the Canadian accounts of its story.

A [John] Helmer describes, Consortium News may have badly undermined its position via its attribution. Helmer himself originated the story, as the Consortium News story linked to above acknowledges….but Consortium News didn’t in its piece on l’affaire Freeland a month later.

Instead, its story came from “journalist Arina Tsukanova exclusively for CN”. The problem is that no such person appears to exist; it looks to be a handle created by the Strategic Culture Foundation in Moscow. Helmer points out that there is speculation that the Strategic Culture Foundation gets funding from the Russian Orthodox Church; the Canadian government believes the Russian government supports it. Regardless, it appears to have an explicit mission of promoting Russian nationalism.

So Consortium News has undermined its case, perhaps fatally, by not making clear when it ran its Freeland piece that it was re-reporting Helmer’s work. Helmer is in hot water with the Russian government and was even barred from entering Russia at the time the Freeland story ran. Helmer also knew Freeland from his days at the Financial Times, when she was his editor for a bit. To put it politely, he found her to be ideological and sloppy. So it would be well nigh impossible to depict Consortium News as a Russian stooge for relying on Helmer. But apparently fabricated personas created by a shadowy Russian foundation?

I don’t mean to sound unsympathetic, particularly since we [at Naked Capitalism] were falsely smeared for being Russian stooges, apparently for sins like questioning rising inequality and other failings of our purported leaders. But if you are going to attack government officials even in a small country like Canada for misrepresentations about their backgrounds, as opposed to garden variety incompetence and mendacity, you need to have your ducks in a row. Going to court similarly requires you to be able to defend your bona fides. Consortium News looks to have set itself up to be vulnerable. I sincerely hope they prevail, but I would not bet on it.

Last fiddled with by xilman on 2020-01-29 at 21:30 Reason: Fix tag
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Old 2020-01-29, 22:36   #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
o Associated Press Sees "Hundreds" Where Pictures Show Millions | Moon of Alabama: At 10:01 UTC today the Associated Press tweeted that "hundreds" gather in central Baghdad to demand that American troops leave the country ... Thirty eight minutes earlier CNN had already reported that "hundreds of thousands" are protesting in Baghdad against the U.S. troop presence in Iraq.
<snip>
I'm not sure where this claim comes from.

The only AP story on the rally I could find, This one, dated Friday January 24, same as the CNN story reporting "hundreds of thousands," says (my emphasis)
Quote:
BAGHDAD (AP) — Waving national flags and banners denouncing U.S. President Donald Trump, tens of thousands of Iraqis marched peacefully through Baghdad on Friday to demand the ouster of U.S. troops from their country in a protest organized by a populist Shiite cleric.
The AP story was picked up by other outlets which quoted the "tens of thousands" figure.

I did find outlets, e.g. The Review Times which used the "hundreds" figure, and attributed the story to the AP, but the story they published is quite different from the AP story quoted above.
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Old 2020-01-30, 00:05   #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
I'm not sure where this claim comes from.
Have you considered clicking the link to the MoA article? It links to a Tweet form an "The Associated Press verified account", which I still see saying this:

Hundreds of supporters of an influential, radical Iraqi Shiite cleric gather in central Baghdad to demand that American troops leave the country.

Said tweet links to a later-dated official AP article which indeed says "tens of thousands", but with regard to online articles, it's worth noting that it has become distressingly routine for news outlets to edit online content, often without any notice of having done so. So MoA seems to have been using the original Tweet as a kind of Internet wayback machine.
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Old 2020-01-30, 00:50   #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
Have you considered clicking the link to the MoA article? It links to a Tweet form an "The Associated Press verified account", which I still see saying this:

Hundreds of supporters of an influential, radical Iraqi Shiite cleric gather in central Baghdad to demand that American troops leave the country.

<snip>
You might want to compare that with the Review Times article I linked to.

EDIT: I may be running the risk of arrest for belaboring the obvious, but...

The phrase "gather in central Baghdad" indicates activity before people were marching in the streets. So the "hundreds" story may have been written before the marching began, and was supplanted by the story about the march itself.

Last fiddled with by Dr Sardonicus on 2020-01-30 at 01:12 Reason: As indicated
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Old 2020-02-15, 06:11   #150
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Default When CNN Introduces Bernie-Bashers Only as "Former," CNN Is Lying to You

https://readersupportednews.org/opin...s-lying-to-you
Quote:
CNN and CBS do it. NPR and PBS do it. They all do it.
It’s a “gentleman’s” agreement between elite media and their establishment guests – a courtesy major news outlets bestow upon former officials who get to pontificate and editorialize about today’s events with no worry they’ll be identified by their jobs TODAY.

On Wednesday night, CNN’s Don Lemon hosted ubiquitous Bernie Sanders-basher Jim Messina – solo, without an opposing view – to slam Sanders and his Medicare for All proposal.

Messina was introduced and repeatedly identified by only his former positions: “Former Obama Campaign Manager” and “Former Deputy Chief of Staff, Obama Administration.”

As is typical, viewers weren’t told what Messina’s current job is – perhaps far more relevant information than his positions years ago.

Messina is now a corporate consultant. He is CEO of The Messina Group, whose website boasts corporate clients such as Amazon’s pharmaceutical subsidiary PillPack, Google, Uber, Delta – and the slogan: “Unlocking Industries So Businesses Can Win.”

If properly introduced, it would have been no surprise to CNN viewers that a corporate consultant would malign Sanders, the most popular anti-corporate politician in recent US history.

Host Lemon also neglected to inform viewers that since leaving Team Obama, Messina has been paid handsomely to elect conservative politicians across the globe, including Tory Prime Ministers David Cameron and Theresa May in Britain, and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in Spain. Messina’s company website features an image of Cameron next to the banner: “Campaigning for candidates we believe in.”
In U.S. corporate media, such misidentification is a hoary tradition, and a dishonest one. More relevant to news consumers in judging the quality of information from a former government official would be the current employment and entanglements of that ex-official.
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Old 2020-02-15, 15:04   #151
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladner View Post
Clicking on the link to The Messina Group, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but
Quote:
We help solve political problems for companies. The Messina Group harnesses the power of political campaign strategies to help our clients win public support, engage key stakeholders, and obtain needed approvals for proposed business purchases, mergers, and contracts.
There is a simple word to describe all this. That word is bribery!
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Old 2020-02-20, 20:29   #152
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Unlike the aforementioned Mr. Messina, I have serious doubts the author of the following will ever be invited onto a CNN lying-liars segment:

The American Health Care System Costs Four Times More Than Canada’s Single-Payer System (and the Public Option Won’t Help) | Alternet

And a bonus related to the media group owned by a fast-rising, MSM-bribing oligarch of a presidential candidate:

When Bloomberg News’s Reporting on China Was Challenged, Bloomberg Tried to Ruin Me for Speaking Out | Intercept

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2020-02-20 at 20:36
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Old 2020-02-21, 20:57   #153
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Pair of Moon of Alabama links:

o Sanders Wins Democrats Primary Debate
Quote:
The Democrats will likely have a brokered convention. If there is no candidate who gets a majority in the first round, hand selected 'superdelegates' will also vote. They will select the candidate the party's paymasters want. They may even try to rerun Hillary Clinton through this backdoor.

Op-eds that argue for such sham democratic processes already get published. Even under the slogan "Democracy Dies in Darkness":

[Picture of WaPo "It's time to give the elites a bigger say in choosing the president" op-ed piece headline]

(The Washington Post changed the above headline after it had caused an outrage on social media.)
BTW, I think WaPo gets unfairly maligned over its "Democracy Dies in Darkness" slogan, by people who simply mistake it as something WaPo is fighting against, rather than what it in fact is, the paper's mission statement.

o Syria - Turkey's Bluff Is Called - Media Opposition Sources Run By British Intelligence
Quote:
Reports now speak of more than a million refugees in Idleb even as the pre-war population of Idleb governorate never exceeded 1.5 million. Many of those already fled during the early war either to government held areas or to Turkey and beyond. Where are the million reported now supposed to have come from?

The 'western' media is again practicing tear jerking about these refugees in Idleb. But its reports forget to mention that al-Qaeda rules Idleb and that it prevents the people from crossing the line into Syrian government held areas:
Quote:
In yet another lengthy, expensive, lavishly illustrated story about Idlib, the NYT once again failed to make any mention of the politics of what is happening in that enclave of northwestern Syria– namely, the fact that well-armed jihadist/takfiri fighters from all around the world have controlled it for the past several years, while Syria’s government forces have been battling to regain control.

In that latest article, as in all of the lengthy, one-sided tearjerkers it has published about Idlib over the past year, the NYT has no actual journalists or photographers on the ground reporting the story. It is wholly reliant instead on “stories” and footage it gathers from unverifiable sources inside the enclave– sources who notably never include any mention of the jihadi armed groups that control all aspects of life there.
Today we learn that many of these unverifiable sources have been on the British government payroll since at least 2012:
Quote:
A number of leaked documents seen by Middle East Eye show how the propaganda initiative began in 2012 and gathered pace the following year, shortly after the UK parliament refused to authorise British military action in Syria.

Drawing upon British, American and Canadian funding, UK government contractors set up offices in Istanbul and Amman, where they hired members of the Syrian diaspora, who in turn recruited citizen journalists inside Syria.
...
During 2015, Free Syria, Syrian Identity and Undermine were funded in both British pounds and Canadian dollars, with the equivalent of around £410,000 ($540,000) being spent each month.
These 'sources' which were hired and instructed by the UK government are the ones quoted in 'western' papers. The whole scheme, like the British organized 'White Helmets', was run by military intelligence officers:
Quote:
Individuals familiar with the project say that around nine companies were invited to bid for the contracts. They included a number of firms established by former British diplomats, intelligence officers and army officers.

Although the contracts were awarded by the UK’s foreign office, they were managed by the country’s Ministry of Defence, and sometimes by military intelligence officers.

These companies set up offices in Amman, Istanbul and, for a period, at Reyhanli in southeast Turkey. From here they would employ Syrians who would in turn recruit citizen journalists inside Syria, who were under the impression that they were working for the media offices of Syrian opposition groups.
The British intelligence also hired journalists to write 'Syrian rebel' propaganda stories. Britain also organized and directed the opposition's spokespersons:
Quote:
Meanwhile, other leaked documents seen by MEE show that the British government had awarded contracts to communications companies, which selected and trained opposition spokespeople, ran press offices that operated 24 hours a day, and developed opposition social media accounts.

British staff running these offices were told that their Syrian employees were permitted to talk to British journalists – as spokespeople for the Syrian opposition – but only after receiving clearance from officials at the British consulate in Istanbul.

One of the responsibilities of the press offices set up covertly by the British government under the terms of these contracts was to “maintain an effective network of correspondents/stringers inside Syria to report on MAO [moderate armed opposition] activity”.

In this way, the British government was able to exert behind-the-scenes influence over conversations that the UK media was having with individuals who presented themselves as Syrian opposition representatives.
It wasn't just UK media who cited those persons. The whole 'civil opposition movement' was, like the 'White Helmets', a well organized and paid British government front. But when Turkey increased its role in Syria the British dis-information operation began to shut down:
Quote:
British government enthusiasm for much of the work appears to have begun to wane as it became increasingly clear that the Assad government and its Russian and Iranian allies were winning the civil war, and funding for contracts began to dry up.

Early in 2019, the Free Syrian Police, a British-backed organisation, finally ceased operations following a militant takeover of Idlib province, much to the dismay of civilians and civil society activists.

The Turkish government is also said to have become less tolerant of the propaganda initiatives being co-ordinated from its territory.

One British contractor is understood to have been expelled after the Turkish authorities discovered she had entered the country on a tourist visa.
That Turkey's government became less tolerant to the British operation may also explain the death of the British military intelligence officer who ran the 'White Helmets' propaganda group from his apartment in Istanbul.

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2020-02-21 at 20:57
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Old 2020-03-16, 23:23   #154
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o Truthdig Employees Stop Work To Protest Labor Conditions | Popular Resistance
Quote:
Truthdig, one of the few progressive sites willing to call out the Russiagate hysteria, challenge the Democratic Party hierarchy and donor class and lift up the voices of the Palestinians in the face of Israeli war crimes, is imploding.

The publisher, Zuade Kaufman, who has lent the site an estimated two or three million dollars, has had bitter clashes with the legendary Editor-in-Chief and the co-owner of the site, Robert Scheer, over the past few months. Their disputes, staff members say, revolve around Kaufman’s desire to make the site more mainstream and commercially viable by catering to the Democratic Party establishment and adopting the dominant narratives about supposed Russian interference in the 2106 presidential election, as well as other stances embraced by mainstream outlets such as MSNBC. The dispute between Scheer and Kaufman came to a head last week when Kaufman attempted to fire Scheer. Scheer’s and Kaufman’s lawyers are now in mediation.
o New York Times Magazine editor Jake Silverstein attempts to slither away from central 1619 Project fabrication | WSWS
Quote:
The Times editor is attempting to palm off a minor change in wording as a sufficient correction of a historically untenable rendering of the American Revolution. Hannah-Jones’ passage now reads, with the changed phrase in italics:

“Conveniently left out of our founding mythology is the fact that one of the primary reasons some of the colonists decided to declare their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery. By 1776, Britain had grown deeply conflicted over its role in the barbaric institution that had reshaped the Western Hemisphere.”

This passage is still false. Protecting slavery could not have been a significant cause of the American Revolution, because, far from posing a threat to slavery, the British Empire controlled the slave trade and profited immensely from its commerce in people, as well as from its Caribbean plantations which remained loyal during the war for independence.

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2020-03-16 at 23:25
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