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Old 2020-06-28, 22:50   #166
ewmayer
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This Russia-Afghanistan Story Is Western Propaganda At Its Most Vile | Caitlin Johnstone
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All western mass media outlets are now shrieking about the story The New York Times first reported, 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 discussed yesterday, 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 The New York Times 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 still 100 percent baseless assertions 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.
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, "The Mighty Wurlitzer". 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:
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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.”
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.

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2020-06-28 at 23:10
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Old 2020-06-29, 16:12   #167
kladner
 
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Default Only Idiots Believe The CIA, And Other Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2020/06...rative-matrix/
Here is a follow-on from jolly Ms Johnstone. It is sort of a bullet list on spooks and propaganda.
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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.
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Old 2020-06-30, 12:34   #168
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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, Chicago Today. It was an afternoon paper, successor to the deceased Chicago American, which had been sold on the street as an afternoon paper. Unlike the American, Chicago Today 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 Chicago Today 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 Chicago Today with the headline

Space Shuttle Explodes

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 they get via social media. More than willing, in fact. The bull becomes dogma. Anyone telling them different is The Enemy.
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Old 2020-07-01, 16:09   #169
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Default To Keep Russiagate Alive 'Officials' Make New Claims Without Providing Evidence

Moon of Alabama

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/55294.htm
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,
"Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections"

https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf
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.
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Old 2020-07-01, 16:29   #170
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Default RAY McGOVERN: Russiagate’s Last Gasp

https://consortiumnews.com/2020/06/2...tes-last-gasp/
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
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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:
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.
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Old 2020-07-04, 02:21   #171
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Default In ‘Russian Bounty’ Story, Evidence-Free Claims From Nameless Spies Became Fact Overnight

https://fair.org/home/in-russian-bou...act-overnight/
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Based upon a bombshell New York Times report (6/26/20), virtually the entire media landscape has been engulfed in the allegations that Russia is paying Taliban fighters bounties to kill US soldiers.
The Washington Post (6/27/20) and the Wall Street Journal (6/27/20) 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:
This would be troublesome enough, but there are a number of reasons to be skeptical of the veracity of the claims. Firstly, the Times, Post and Journal’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 Times report:
  • “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”
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