Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Russophobia digest: 5 top Russia scares launched by MSM this week

RT | July 22, 2018

Russia has lately been accused of numerous deadly sins, as politicians and media throw around scary-sounding but unverified stories and opinions. To help you plot a course in the roiling sea of Russophobia, RT has compiled a list.

With the Helsinki summit between US President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin hitting the news on Monday, this week didn’t wait to erupt in headline upon headline of Trump and Russia bashing, including the long-sought “proof” of the Kremlin’s interference in the US. Many of those were quickly adopted by the anti-Trump #Resistance for obvious political gain.

Putin ‘confirms’ he interfered in 2016 election

One bombshell that fell during the post-summit press conference in Helsinki, and one that the CNN immediately picked up, was Putin’s supposed first-hand confirmation that he had ordered interference in the 2016 presidential election to help Trump win. This proved to be a translation mistake.

Putin was responding to a question by a Reuters reporter, who asked whether he had wanted Trump to win in 2016, and whether he had dispatched any of his officials to help Trump win.

What Putin really said was yes, he did want Trump to win, because Trump was talking about normalizing the relations between the US and Russia. With the help of a faulty translation this transformed into a “Yes I did. Yes I did,” making multiple #Resistance fighters scream bloody murder online.

Trump ‘agrees’ to send US officials to Russia for questioning

Another memorable take-away from the press conference was Putin’s suggestion that Moscow be allowed to interview some of the persons of interests in Russian criminal investigations who are now in the US, and in exchange the FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his Russiagate team would be granted the opportunity to question the Russians indicted on “meddling” charges. Since Trump did not dismiss that option out of hand, an outcry rose in the establishment media and officials, escalating to farcical suggestions online that the president was about to haul American citizens off to be tortured in the KGB cellars.

Central to this was former ambassador Michael McFaul, who Moscow believes may have facilitated the shady dealings of UK financier and tax dodger Bill Browder, wanted in Russia. Considering there are no charges against McFaul and no extradition treaty between the US and Russia, the worst that could have awaited the ex-envoy was an interview on American soil. Still, the Senate discussed the proposal to allow for the questioning of US officials by Russia, and voted it down 98-0.

‘Traitor’ Trump invites Putin to Washington

After the summit in Helsinki, which Trump hailed as a success and his opponents branded a disaster, the White House announced that the president was inviting Vladimir Putin to visit Washington DC this fall. While some might have seen it as a potential diplomatic breakthrough, the usual suspects could not forgive such a new level of “treason” on part of the POTUS.

Responses ranged from calling the planned diplomatic visit event the “fall of Democracy,” all the way through accusing Trump of choosing “Putin over the American people” and down to comparing it to George W. Bush inviting Osama bin Laden to the White House right after 9/11.

The most widely-publicized reaction was that of Trump’s own Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, who was caught flat-footed by the news in the middle of a TV interview. His incredulous “say that again?” was promptly interpreted as a sign of resistance and an omen that he could soon be fired – so much so, that Coats later had to explain himself, admitting his reaction was “awkward,” but no disrespect was implied.

GOP Congressman Rohrabacher is a ‘Russian hire’

Browder, who resides in the US and deems himself a personal enemy of Putin, was speaking at the Aspen Security Forum this week along with numerous other adherents of the ‘Russiagate.’ Among other things, Browder accused Republican Dana Rohrabacher of being “on the payroll of Russia,” because of his lobbying to overturn the Magnitsky Act – a piece of legislation that led to sanctions against Russian officials accused of human rights violations. It began with Browder’s accusations against Moscow over the death of a member of his staff in a Russian jail.

Faced with a request for evidence, Browder downplayed the accusation, saying he didn’t really mean Rohrabacher was a full-blown Russian agent, just “under some type of influence by the Russian government.” In any case, Browder didn’t have the “bank transfers to prove it.”

Russia planted ‘honey trap’ Butina in GOP – and going to ‘war’ to get her back

Detained late last week in the US, Russian student and gun rights activist Maria Butina has been charged with being an unregistered Russian agent on American soil. The prosecution’s claims include her using sex to get into a position of influence with Republican officials. Russia believes the arrest is a political stunt, especially considering it was timed to the Helsinki meeting between Trump and Putin, while charges against Butina have been fabricated.

The Russian Foreign Ministry’s attempt to defend Butina online with a hashtag and a user pic change was met with a torrent of mockery, expletives and puns from the US establishment’s digital conscripts. One award-winning journalist went as far as equating the Foreign Ministry’s support campaign to a declaration of war. She clarified she had meant a “troll war,” but that didn’t spare her a few reminders by concerned commentators of what a real war actually looks like.

Read more:

US establishment rallies around martyr figure of ex-ambassador McFaul

Lost in translation: CNN claims Putin admitted to election-meddling. He did not. 

Accused fraudster Browder claims GOP Congressman Rohrabacher is ‘on Russia’s payroll’

July 22, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | 1 Comment

From ‘disgusting’ to ‘treason’: Mainstream US media horrified by Trump-Putin summit

RT | July 16, 2018

The sight of US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin not attacking each other at the press conference following their summit in Helsinki sent mainstream US media into a spiral of rage.

“You have been watching one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president at a summit in front of a Russian leader that I have ever seen,” CNN anchor Anderson Cooper declared at the end of the joint press conference.

“Trump declines to side with US intelligence over Putin” blared a CNN chyron a little while later, as anchor Wolf Blitzer somberly declared the “Russians must be high-fiving each other” following the summit.

CNN has been openly confrontational with Trump since before his inauguration and the president has called them “fake news” on more than one occasion – most recently during his visit to the UK.

The network’s White House correspondent Jeff Zeleny was appalled that, instead of confronting Putin publicly, Trump brought up the Democratic National Committee servers – which the FBI never inspected – as well as servers of House Democrats managed by Imran Awan, a Pakistani national who was recently convicted of wire fraud.

The mere fact that the summit happened in the first place was a “political victory for the Kremlin,” added senior international correspondent Matthew Chance. “Russians must be toasting Trump with champagne right now, I imagine.”

Russia’s “invasion” of Crimea, the shooting down of the MH17 passenger jet, the “novichok” poisoning in Salisbury – all the favorite talking points the US politicians and media have used to attack Russia since 2014, without offering any proof – “none of it matters now,” Chance lamented.

MSNBC let the former CIA director, now contributor, John Brennan set the tone of the debate, with a tweet declaring Trump’s behavior at the press conference “nothing short of treasonous.”

AP correspondent Jonathan Lemire, who had asked Trump to denounce Putin at the press conference, told MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle that the president bringing up the DNC servers instead was “an attack on [Special Counsel] Robert Mueller.”

Putin admitted he’d wanted Trump to win the presidency and Trump castigated the FBI instead of Russia, New York Times correspondent Peter Baker chimed in.

Republicans have traditionally been more suspicious and skeptical of Russia than Democrats but, in light of the summit, they now either have to oppose the president of their party or accept that “President Putin is really running the show,” Baker argued.

Trump and Putin “essentially parroted each other’s talking points,” said former CIA officer Ned Price, who dubbed as “delusional” those Republicans who thought Trump would raise the issue of elections-meddling, even though “we know in minute detail” the names and methods of the conspirators that “attacked our democracy in 2016.”

Evelyn Farkas, the former State Department official in charge of Russia during the Obama administration, declared it “despicable” that Trump was siding “against democracy,” reminding viewers she’s descended from Hungarian immigrants who fled a Soviet crackdown in 1956.

“We have to defend Langley, we have to defend the US,” Farkas added.

Earlier, MSNBC had interviewed Michael McFaul, the former US ambassador to Russia.

Even Fox News, accused by Democrats of being a propaganda network for Trump, had several anchors blasting the president.

Neil Cavuto of Fox Business thought it was “disgusting” that Trump did not use the press conference to publicly accuse Putin of interfering in the 2016 election.

“I’m sorry, it’s the only way I feel. It’s not a right or left thing to me, it’s just wrong,” Cavuto said. “A US president on foreign soil talking to our biggest enemy, or adversary, or competitor … is essentially letting the guy get away with this. That sets us back a lot.”

Brett Baier, who hosts Special Report, wondered how exactly the summit might improve US interests and brought up the Republican lawmakers who were putting out statements against the summit, such as Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) and Jeff Flake (R-Arizona).

Fox anchors were also puzzled by Putin’s offer to interrogate suspects in the presence of Mueller’s investigators, as long as the US would allow Russian prosecutors to question Americans suspected by Russia of crimes, as outlined in a treaty going back to 1999.

“What we did hear was this kind of moral equivalence when it comes to meddling,” Baier said, adding Trump standing in a foreign country next to a leader who “clearly attacked the US” and saying such things is going to “ruffle a lot of feathers.”

As to what the summit may have produced in terms of nuclear disarmament, peace in the Korean Peninsula, resolving the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, or ratcheting down tensions in Europe… no one in the US media seemed interested in asking.

July 16, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment

More Mumbo Jumbo on Russia

By Michael AVERKO | Strategic Culture Foundation | 12.07.2018

The modern political lexicon includes a host of terms that are ironically applied, given how they can be applied to those who use them against others. For numerous reasons, Michael McFaul’s continued standing as a leading Kremlinologist, highlights the ongoing flaws in US policy towards Russia.

The group of American mass media promoted Russia watchers includes an overrated lot, whose shortcomings are downplayed, as they regularly reemerge in high profile settings – typically with little if any substantive opposition. These truly bad actors prop each other, while downplaying their inconvenient (for them) detractors.

As I earlier noted, McFaul lauded The Atlantic for hiring Julia Ioffe. She essentially got a pass after making an inappropriately perverse sexual reference concerning Ivanka Trump’s relationship with her father. The record shows that Politico fired Ioffe over that remark. However, her new and current position at The Atlantic isn’t reflective of a demotion and quite likely a promotion, in terms of stature and earnings, along with her appearances on CNN and MSNBC.

The McFauls of the world don’t seem particularly concerned about the fake news which Ioffe peddles. During a June 3 exchange with CNN’s Brian Stelter, Ioffe said that the Russian government had poisoned the Skripals – something that’s factually quite suspect on the basis of what’s presently known and unknown. Likewise, her other claim (to Stelter) that the Russian government downed a civilian airliner over the former Ukrainian SSR isn’t a conclusively well established fact.

Stelter offered no challenge to Ioffe. Mind you that his media review show on CNN is supposedly an intent to critically review media fault lines.

In Ioffe’s July 2 Washington Post article on the 2018 World Cup, she states (when describing Russia’s victory over Spain): “No one celebrated like this when Russia crushed the competition in the medal race at the Sochi Olympics in 2014 – a victory of which it was later stripped amid allegations of systemic doping. When Russia illegally annexed Crimea in 2014, the celebrations were fraught with anger and political division that broke up friendships and families.”

In point of fact, Russia hasn’t been stripped of its first place tally at Sochi. On this particular matter, Ioffe erroneously went by a prior ruling that was successfully challenged. The put mildly suspect claim of “systemic doping”hasn’t been conclusively proven.

Ioffe’s mantra about “when Russia illegally annexed Crimea” has been stated by McFaul. That characterization is sheer hypocritical chutzpah, given the examples of Kosovo and northern Cyprus. On US TV, McFaul can be depended upon to not challenge the negatively inaccurate comments about Russia.

In a June 27 Brian Williams’ hosted MSNBC segment, McFaul suggested that Putin wins by default by just having a summit with Trump – as if the Russian leader is internationally ostracized, which is clearly not so. Actually, some are reasonably wondering if it’s really in Putin’s best interests to have the meeting, with the kind of anti-Russian and anti-Putin theatrics, that will be evident in the background (Washington Post, New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, et al). Trump’s mass media detractors have been constantly critical of his advocacy for improved US-Russian ties. To date, Trump has fallen short in achieving that desire.

In this particular MSNBC segment, McFaul appeared with Frank Figliuzzi, who falsely presented as fact several (put mildly) dubious and negative claims about Putin. This was a moment for a true adult in the room to caution against Figliuzzi’s reckless innuendo. None were evident in that segment.

US mass media TV news continues to be inundated with anti-Russian propaganda. On the same day as the MSNBC Williams segment with McFaul and Figliuzzi, CNN’s Anderson Cooper hosted Ralph Peters, who pretty much said the same as Fgliuzzi. (I’ve previously discussed Peters’ anti-Russian spin.) On Cooper’s show, Peters called Trump an “infant child.” Never mind Peters’ brashly insulting inaccuracies that are rhetorical empty calories when assessing US-Russian relations.

Peters gave up commenting on Fox News for the absurd reason that it was soft on Russia. His departure from that network came shortly after Fox news host Tucker Carlson had challenged Peters’ views on Russia. In US mass media TV Carlson remains a rare exception to the one-sided anti-Russian leaning slant of his peers. He can’t be legitimately accused of being soft on Russia. For the likes of Peters, an attempt at even-handedness is misinformation.

Hillary Clinton’s not too distant outburst in Ireland ranks with some of the most inaccurate things said about Putin. According to her “Vladimir Putin has positioned himself as the leader of an authoritarian, white supremacist and xenophobic movement that wants to break the EU, weaken America’s traditional alliances and undermine democracy. We can see this authoritarian movement rippling out from the Kremlin, reaching across Europe and beyond. It’s emboldening right-wing nationalists, separatists, racists and even neo-Nazis.”

Some white supremacist, seeing how Putin has been reaching out to the leaders of China, Japan and South Korea, in addition to Russia being part of the BRICS bloc, that includes South Africa, India, Brazil and China. Putin isn’t primarily responsible for the breakdown in Russia-West relations. Rather, he has sought a policy for Russia to have good ties with the West and others. The relatively small nation of Saudi Arabia outspending Russia on armed forces is one of several examples indicating that the “Russian threat” theme is over-hyped BS.

That some extremists in the West might see Putin as a kind of great white hope isn’t his doing. BTW, Russian extremists aren’t so supportive of Putin because they know that he’s the opposite of what Hillary Clinton said.

McFaul, Ioffe, Figliuzzi, Peters and Clinton, constitute a partial sampling of the fault ridden, Russia related commentary.

July 12, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | Leave a comment

NY Times Pours Linguistic Gasoline on North Korea-US Negotiations

By K.J. Noh | Dissident Voice | July 10, 2018

On the heels of the historic June 12 Trump-Kim Singapore Summit that de-escalated tensions between North Korea and the US, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made his third visit to NK to move the negotiations for denuclearization and security on the peninsula forward. He met with his North Korean counterpart, Vice Chair of the Party Central Committee, Kim Young Chol, on July 6 and 7, for intensive negotiations. At the end of the meeting, on leaving Pyongyang, Secretary Pompeo declared that the summit had been conducted in good faith and that he had “made progress on almost all central matters”. Without divulging details, he stated there was more work to be done, which would be continued by working groups on both sides and that a follow up meeting had been scheduled.

The North Korean Foreign Ministry released a more sobering assessment, stating that despite high expectations after the summit they found “regrettable” the US failure to approach the negotiations in a balanced and constructive manner, and critiquing the “opposing winds” that recapitulate the “tired old process” (CVID, disclosure, verification first) that could lead to failure, and that have ignored or misinterpreted their unilateral gestures of good will, forbearance, and their desire for phased, mutual, step-wise measures based on the creation of “objective conditions for trust”.

Clearly, after the euphoria of the Singapore summit, this is a drilling down onto the details on process, timing, specifics, and reciprocity necessary for the successful implementation of the Singapore Summit’s four enumerated commitments: normalization, peace, denuclearization, and repatriation of remains. Clearly there is much to bridge in terms of procedure, protocol, sequencing, as well as a need to overcome mutual distrust and historical antagonism.

The North Korean statement is a quiet but firm dressing down of the Bolton Approach that seems to have been upfront in the recent negotiation, that seeks to rapidly frontload the process with North Korean concessions on disarmament, after which US concessions and security guarantees could be provided. The North points to this “tired old approach” as lacking simultaneity, mutuality, and trust-building measures, and points out it has clearly failed in the past. They peg it—in polite diplomatic language—as the definitionally insane practice of doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different outcomes. They take great pains to point out that Trump’s approach was the promise of a bold, new approach to denuclearization, mutually agreed-upon at the summit, and they hint that “working level groups”, and “oppositional winds” might be working in a way that contravenes what they understand to have been proposed and agreed to by Trump. There is, in the statement, a question to Washington as to whether its charges are faithfully implementing its own stated desires and will, as well as an inquiry as to whether there is congruence and internal alignment (or change of tactics) within the administration. It is also a not-so-subtle hint that if the Bolton faction is ascendant, then the bets are likely to be called off.

It’s important to note here that the North Korean Foreign Ministry statement, while clearly critical and inquiring, is very measured, relative to past statements from the leadership, and there is little overblown rhetoric there. If anything, the language is careful and circuitous, and the recrimination is largely self-directed: they may have been “naïve to the point of foolishness in their hopes and expectations”, and they express their worries of “great disappointment and tragedy”. They critique the “erroneous thinking” that assumes that “our forbearance” will accommodate the “demands based on such a strong-arming mindset” and consider “unhelpful” the “hurriedness that has seized” the US that elides the need for confidence-building measures to overcome “deep-rooted mistrust”. Nevertheless, they mention that they still “faithfully maintain their trust” in Trump and make clear their intentions to continue to denuclearize. They finish with an almost wistful tone: they warn of deep disappointment to the international society and global peace and security, and that there is no guarantee that a tragic outcome will not follow from this one-sided approach.

Trust the New York Times to misrepresent the above statement, the better to pour linguistic gasoline over the still unextinguished of pyres of recent North Korea-US brinksmanship. There’s nothing like headlining a linguistic firebomb to torch any fragile, combustible agreements or relations that might be in the process of negotiation or exploration: “North Korea Criticizes ‘Gangster-Like’ U.S. Attitude After Talks With Mike Pompeo.”

By attributing “Gangster-like” invective to North Korea, the Times refreshes the “irrational, out-of-control, over- the- top, can’t-be-negotiated-with” framing that has prevented, sabotaged and derailed negotiation in the past. It also puts the Trump administration further on the back foot, reprising the illogical trope that the US had demeaned its global standing just by meeting with North Korea, and is now further demeaned by tolerating being insulted by it. Although early media outlets were circumspect in their characterization of the disagreement, focusing appropriately on the disappointment and regret by North Korea in the divergence in the talks from agreed upon approaches in Singapore, after the NY Times published this incendiary headline, the “gangster” trope was then picked up by the BBC, CNN, Bloomberg, even DemocracyNow! and is now the standard media sound bite about the meeting. The administration is now in the awkward position of defending against the NY Times epithet rather than discussing its work for peace and denuclearization.

The phrase the NY Times is referring to in the statement is “강도적인 비핵화요구” . In literal translation, this would be “robber-like”, but in this context would be more accurately translated as “strong arming, or high pressure demands for denuclearization.”1 The North has no problem using strong language in its statements, but this statement hardly conforms to that type. As noted above, it’s a pointed critique of the “cancerous” Bolton approach—tempered with self-criticism and an appeal to faithfully implement the new approaches and attitudes of the Singapore summit. It’s hardly the incendiary firebomb the NY Times would like it to be.

Further reading of the statement clarifies this:

But, if the US, sized by a sense of impatience, tries to enforce on us, the old ways asserted by previous administrations, this will not give us any help in solving the problem.

If the objective conditions conducive to denuclearization in accordance with our wills are not established, then it’s possible that the currents of positive development in developing bilateral relations in the beginning could become confused [turbulent].

Should opposing winds start to blow, this could bring great disappointment to international society that desires peace and security, as well as to the US and NK; and if that happens, then both sides would start to explore other options; there is no guarantee that this would not lead to tragic consequences.

[However] We still faithfully maintain our trust in President Trump.

The US should reflect seriously whether, in opposition to the will of its [own] leaders, permitting these opposing forces (“winds”) meets the aspirations and expectations of the people of the world, and whether it meets the interests of its own county.

This not a minor exegetical divergence. The upfront voicing of a legitimate disagreement with an approach—at the beginning of a long, complex, negotiation fraught with mistrust—and an appeal to return to the agreed-upon spirit and intent of the summit are a far cry from reductively headlining and encapsulating the disagreement to a deal-breaking, incendiary cri-de-coeur of violent criminality and thuggishness. On the contrary, the North Korean position is clear and reasoned:

Dispelling deep-rooted mistrust, and building trust between the DPRK and the U.S.; seeking to resolve the problem in completely new way—by boldly breaking away from past methods and being unconstrained by conventional methods that have only resulted in failure; prioritizing trust-building while solving one-by-one problems that can be solved through a step-by-step process, [based on the] principle of simultaneous [reciprocal] actions: this is the fastest shortcut to denuclearization.

Perhaps the storied NY Times has no one on their large staff capable of rendering a nuanced, contextual interpretation of North Korean statements—even for the most delicate of delicate negotiations. Perhaps this is part of their baked-in, irredeemable, click-baiting journalistic incompetence. But taken in context with a past record of journalistic gangsterism—namely criminally irresponsible lies and misrepresentation agitating for violent wars of aggression—it’s understandable it might jump to see gangsters and gangsterism everywhere.

*****Full Translation of NK Statement (Author’s Translation)7/7/2018 Ministry of Foreign Affairs

조선민주주의인민공화국 외무성 대변인담화

Pyongyang, July 7 (KCNA) – Statement of the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

력사적인 첫 조미수뇌상봉과 회담이 진행된 이후 국제사회의 기대와 관심은 조미수뇌회담 공동성명의 리행을 위한 조미고위급회담에 쏠리였다.

After the first historic summit meeting was held between the DPRK and the U.S., international society has focused its expectation and attention on the high-level DPRK-U.S. talks for the implementation of the Joint Statement of the DPRK-U.S. summit.

우리는 미국측이 조미수뇌상봉과 회담의 정신에 맞게 신뢰조성에 도움이 되는 건설적인 방안을 가지고 오리라고 기대하면서 그에 상응한 그 무엇인가를 해줄 생각도 하고있었다.

We expected that the U.S. side would bring [to the talks] constructive proposals that would help trust-building in accordance with the spirit of the DPRK-U.S. summit meeting.

We, on our part, were also thinking of offering things to match this.

그러나 6일과 7일에 진행된 첫 조미고위급회담에서 나타난 미국측의 태도와 립장은 실로 유감스럽기 그지없는것이였다.

However, the the attitude and position that appeared in the US Side during the first high level talks held on July 6th and 7th was truly regretful.

우리측은 조미수뇌상봉과 회담의 정신과 합의사항을 성실하게 리행할 변함없는 의지로부터 이번 회담에서 공동성명의 모든 조항들의 균형적인 리행을 위한 건설적인 방도들을 제기하였다

Our side, during the talks, put forward constructive proposals in order to seek a balanced implementation of the Joint Statement, out of our firm willingness faithfully implement of the spirit and the agreed-upon provisions of the DPRK-U.S. summit meeting and talks.

조미관계개선을 위한 다방면적인 교류를 실현할데 대한 문제와 조선반도에서의 평화체제구축을 위하여 우선 조선정전협정체결 65돐을 계기로 종전선언을 발표할데 대한 문제,비핵화조치의 일환으로 ICBM의 생산중단을 물리적으로 확증하기 위하여 대출력발동기시험장을 페기하는 문제,미군유골발굴을 위한 실무협상을 조속히 시작할데 대한 문제 등 광범위한 행동조치들을 각기 동시적으로 취하는 문제를 토의할것을 제기하였다.

These included proposing wide-ranging, simultaneous, mutual, proactive steps, such as realizing multilateral exchanges for improved relations between the DPRK and the U.S; making a public declaration to the end of war on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the signing of the Korean Armistice Agreement, in order to build a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula; as a single element of the denuclearization process, dismantling [our] high thrust jet engine test grounds as concrete proof of the suspension of ICBM production; and making the earliest start on working-level talks for repatriating POW/MIA remains.

회담에 앞서 조선민주주의인민공화국 국무위원회 위원장 김정은동지께서 트럼프대통령에게 보내시는 친서를 위임에 따라 우리측 수석대표인 김영철 당중앙위원회 부위원장이 미국측 수석대표인 폼페오국무장관에게 정중히 전달하였다.

Prior to the talks, Kim Yong Chol, vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, our chief delegate from our side to the talks, was tasked to convey, with due respect, to U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo, a personal letter from the Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK, Kim Jong Un to President Trump.

국무위원회 위원장동지께서는 싱가포르수뇌상봉과 회담을 통하여 트럼프대통령과 맺은 훌륭한 친분관계와 대통령에 대한 신뢰의 감정이 이번 고위급회담을 비롯한 앞으로의 대화과정을 통하여 더욱 공고화되리라는 기대와 확신을 표명하시였다.

Chairman Kim Jong Un expressed his hope and conviction that the excellent personal relations and his feelings of trust forged with President Trump at the Singapore summit would be further consolidated through the process of this and other future dialogues.

그러나 미국측은 싱가포르수뇌상봉과 회담의 정신에 배치되게 CVID요,신고요,검증이요 하면서 일방적이고 강도적인 비핵화요구만을 들고나왔다.

But, contrary to the spirit of the [agreed upon provisions of] the Singapore summit, the U.S. side came out only with unilateral and strong-arm demands for denuclearization, that is, calling only for CVID, declaration and verification.

정세악화와 전쟁을 방지하기 위한 기본문제인 조선반도평화체제구축문제에 대하여서는 일절 언급하지 않고 이미 합의된 종전선언문제까지 이러저러한 조건과 구실을 대면서 멀리 뒤로 미루어놓으려는 립장을 취하였다.

The U.S. side never mentioned the issue of establishing a peace regime on the Korean peninsula which is essential for preventing the deterioration of the situation and preventing war. It took the position that it could delay the agreed-upon statement to end the war with sundry conditions and excuses.

종전선언을 하루빨리 발표할데 대한 문제로 말하면 조선반도에서 긴장을 완화하고 공고한 평화보장체제를 구축하기 위한 첫 공정인 동시에 조미사이의 신뢰조성을 위한 선차적인 요소이며 근 70년간 지속되여온 조선반도의 전쟁상태를 종결짓는 력사적과제로서 북남사이의 판문점선언에도 명시된 문제이고 조미수뇌회담에서도 트럼프대통령이 더 열의를 보이였던 문제이다.

The issue of announcing the declaration of the end of war at the earliest possible date, is the [key] priority process [necessary] to defuse tension and establish a lasting peace regime on the Korean peninsula. It is the priority factor in building trust between the DPRK and the U.S. This issue was also stipulated in Panmunjom Declaration as the historical task to terminate the nearly 70-year-old condition of war on the Korean peninsula. President Trump, too, was more enthusiastic about this issue at the DPRK-U.S. summit talks.

미국측이 회담에서 끝까지 고집한 문제들은 과거 이전 행정부들이 고집하다가 대화과정을 다 말아먹고 불신과 전쟁위험만을 증폭시킨 암적존재이다.

The issues the U.S. side insisted on till the very end at the talks are a cancerous [i.e. destructive] entity [position], which previous administrations also had stubbornly insisted on, that sabotaged the dialogue process, and increased distrust and the danger of war.

미국측은 이번 회담에서 합동군사연습을 한두개 일시적으로 취소한것을 큰 양보처럼 광고했지만 총 한자루 페기하지 않고 모든 병력을 종전의 자기 위치에 그대로 두고있는 상태에서 연습이라는 한개 동작만을 일시적으로 중지한것은 언제이건 임의의 순간에 다시 재개될수 있는 극히 가역적인 조치로서 우리가 취한 핵시험장의 불가역적인 폭파페기조치에 비하면 대비조차 할수 없는 문제이다.

The U.S. side, during the talks, made a great publicity about suspension of one or two joint military exercises as a tremendous concession. But the temporary suspension of single exercise-type action is a highly reversible step which can be resumed immediately at any moment as all of its military force remains in its previously positioning, with not a single rifle removed. This is incomparable with the irreversible steps taken by us to explode and dismantle our nuclear testing site.

회담결과는 극히 우려스러운것이라고 하지 않을수 없다.

We cannot but be extremely worried about the outcomes of the talks.

미국측이 조미수뇌상봉과 회담의 정신에 부합되게 건설적인 방안을 가지고 오리라고 생각했던 우리의 기대와 희망은 어리석다고 말할 정도로 순진한것이였다.

One could say we were naïve to the point of foolishness in our expectation and hope that the US would come forth with a constructive proposals in accordance with the spirit of the US-NK summit meeting.

낡은 방식으로는 절대로 새것을 창조할수 없으며 백전백패한 케케묵은 낡은 방식을 답습하면 또 실패밖에 차례질것이 없다.

Tired, old methods can never create new outcomes. Only failure comes from following proven-to-fail, worn out methods.

조미관계력사상 처음으로 되는 싱가포르수뇌회담에서 짧은 시간에 귀중한 합의가 이룩된것도 바로 트럼프대통령자신이 조미관계와 조선반도비핵화문제를 새로운 방식으로 풀어나가자고 하였기때문이다.

Because President Trump himself proposed that US-NK relations and denuclearization of the peninsula be resolved in a new fashion, for the first time in US-NK relations, a valuable agreement was reached in a very short time.

쌍방이 수뇌급에서 합의한 새로운 방식을 실무적인 전문가급에서 줴버리고 낡은 방식에로 되돌아간다면 두 나라 인민의 리익과 세계의 평화와 안전을 위한 새로운 미래를 열어나가려는 수뇌분들의 결단과 의지에 의하여 마련되였던 세기적인 싱가포르수뇌상봉은 무의미해지게 될것이다.

The historic Singapore summit—achieved by the determination and the will of its top leaders to open a new future for the peace and benefit of the whole world—will become pointless, if working-level groups renege on the mutually agreed new approach agreed at the summit, and return to the old methods.

이번 첫 조미고위급회담을 통하여 조미사이의 신뢰는 더 공고화되기는커녕 오히려 확고부동했던 우리의 비핵화의지가 흔들릴수 있는 위험한 국면에 직면하게 되였다.

These first DPRK-U.S. high-level talks, rather than consolidating trust, have brought us face-to-face with a dangerous situation where our unshakable will for denuclearization might waiver.

우리는 지난 몇달동안 할수 있는 선의의 조치들을 먼저 취하면서 최대의 인내심을 가지고 미국을 주시하여왔다.

In the past few months, we exercised maximum forbearance and observed the U.S. while initiating as many goodwill measures as we could.

그러나 미국은 우리의 선의와 인내심을 잘못 리해한것 같다.

But, it seems that the U.S. misunderstood our goodwill and forbearance.

미국은 저들의 강도적심리가 반영된 요구조건들까지도 우리가 인내심으로부터 받아들이리라고 여길 정도로 근본적으로 잘못된 생각을 하고있다.

The U.S. is fundamentally mistaken in its reasoning if it goes so far as to conclude that its demands—reflecting its strong-arm mindset—would be accepted by us out of our forbearance.

조미사이의 뿌리깊은 불신을 해소하고 신뢰를 조성하며 이를 위해 실패만을 기록한 과거의 방식에서 대담하게 벗어나 기성에 구애되지 않는 전혀 새로운 방식으로 풀어나가는것,신뢰조성을 앞세우면서 단계적으로 동시행동원칙에서 풀수 있는 문제부터 하나씩 풀어나가는것이 조선반도비핵화실현의 가장 빠른 지름길이다.

Dispelling deep-rooted mistrust, and building trust between the DPRK and the U.S. seeking to resolve the problem in completely new way—by boldly breaking away from past methods and being unconstrained by conventional methods that have only resulted in failure; prioritizing trust-building while solving one-by-one problems that can be solved through a step-by-step process, [based on the] principle of simultaneous [reciprocal] actions: this is the fastest fastest shortcut to denuclearization.

그러나 미국측이 조바심에 사로잡혀 이전 행정부들이 들고나왔던 낡은 방식을 우리에게 강요하려 한다면 문제해결에 아무런 도움도 주지 못할것이다.

But, if the US, sized by a sense of urgency [impatience], tries to enforce on us, the old ways asserted by previous administrations, this will not give us any help in solving the problem.

우리의 의지와는 별개로 비핵화실현에 부합되는 객관적환경이 조성되지 못한다면 오히려 좋게 시작된 쌍무관계발전의 기류가 혼탕될수 있다.

If the objective conditions conducive to denuclearization in accordance with our wills are not established, then it’s possible that the currents of positive development in developing bilateral relations in the beginning could become confused [turbulent].

역풍이 불기 시작하면 조미량국에는 물론 세계평화와 안전을 바라는 국제사회에도 커다란 실망을 안겨줄수 있으며 그렇게 되면 서로가 필경 다른 선택을 모색하게 되고 그것이 비극적인 결과에로 이어지지 않으리라는 담보는 어디에도 없다.

Should opposing winds start to blow, this could bring great disappointment to an international society that desires peace and security, as well as to the US and NK; and if that happens, then both sides would start to explore other options; there is no guarantee that this would not lead to tragic consequences.

우리는 트럼프대통령에 대한 신뢰심을 아직 그대로 간직하고있다.

We still faithfully maintain our trust in President Trump.

미국은 수뇌분들의 의지와는 달리 역풍을 허용하는것이 과연 세계인민들의 지향과 기대에 부합되고 자국의 리익에도 부합되는것인가를 심중히 따져보아야 할것이다.

The U.S. should reflect seriously whether, in opposition to the will of its [own] leaders, permitting these opposing forces (“winds”) meets the aspirations and expectations of the people of the world, and whether it meets the interests of its own country.

주체107(2018)년 7월 7일
평 양(끝)

Juche Year 107 (2018), July 7th
PyongYang (end)

  1. KCNA seems to have used this word, but its translations often contain context-free and connotation-blind malapropisms, that should be taken with a grain of salt; for example, it states, “captivated in a fidget” when it means “seized by impatience.”

K.J. Noh is a long time activist, writer, and teacher. He is a member of Veterans for Peace and works on global justice issues. He can be reached at: k.j.noh48@gmail.com.

July 10, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Russian Talking Points” Look An Awful Lot Like Well-Documented Facts

By Caitlyn Johnstone | Rogue Journalist | May 2, 2018

Things aren’t looking great for the Democratic establishment, which recently admitted that it stacks its primaries against progressive candidates and is currently engaged in a desperate, hail Mary lawsuit against WikiLeaks for its factual publications about the party. So of course you know what that means.

That’s right! It’s time for Democratic pundits to begin down-punching Jill Stein.

“Jill Stein is on @NewDay right now repeating Russian talking points on its interference in the 2016 election and on US foreign policy,” tweeted CNN Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto today, without shame or self-reflection.

Sciutto was referring to comments Stein made on a CNN interview today about America’s undeniable, entirely factual and well-documented history of meddling in other countries’ elections, including a citation of an ex-CIA Director’s recent admission that the US has interfered in foreign electoral processes and continues to do so to this day.

Because that’s what constitutes a “Russian talking point” these days: raw, easily verifiable facts.

Stein’s interviewer, Chris “It’s illegal to read WikiLeaks” Cuomo, echoed a similar sentiment in response to her points, in essence arguing that only Russians should be stating these blatantly obvious and extremely relevant facts.

“You know, that would be the case for Russia to make, not from the American perspective,” Cuomo said. “Of course, there’s hypocrisy involved, lots of different big state actors do lots of things that they may not want people to know about. But let Russia say that the United States did it to us, and here’s how they did it, so this is fair play. From the American perspective and you running for president, more than once of this country, shouldn’t your position have been, this was bad what they did, they’re trying to do it right now and we have to stop it?”

Right. Because you have so many Russians on your show making that case, do you Chris?

This is absolute lunacy. The implication here is that it isn’t ever okay for Americans to talk about Russia in any other context than how awful and evil its government is; that nobody can speak about how America’s behavior factors into the equation in a very real and significant way. Not because it’s not factual, not because it’s not relevant, but because it’s a “Russian talking point”, and only Russians should be saying it.

And this sentiment being promulgated by these establishment pundits is being swallowed hook, line and sinker by the rank-and-file citizenry who consume such media. Every single day, without exception, I am accused multiple times of being a propagandist for the Kremlin. Not because there’s any evidence for that, not because I’m writing anything that is untruthful, but because I’m writing “Russian talking points”, i.e. arguments that have ostensibly been made at some point by Russians.

And it is, to be perfectly honest, infuriating. These people are actively making the case for willful ignorance and stupidity. They’re actively arguing that facts which don’t support the narratives being promulgated by the CIA and the State Department should be completely excluded from all discussion within the western hemisphere, and that only Russians should be making them. They do this while simultaneously arguing that Russian media is dangerous and should be avoided by Americans. Only Russians should argue against CIA/CNN narratives, and we should never, ever listen to those arguments.

They’re arguing for the deliberate omission of relevant facts from dialogue. They are arguing that we should all be morons, on purpose.

Of course it’s relevant to the discussion that the US interferes with foreign democratic processes far more than any other government on the planet! Are you nuts? Yes, obviously if yours is the primary country responsible creating a climate wherein governments meddle in the elections of other nations, that undeniable fact must necessarily be a part of any sensible analysis of what’s happening and what should be done about it. Anyone who tries to argue that that fact shouldn’t be a part of the conversation is making an argument in favor of stupidity.

That’s not a “whataboutism”, as empire loyalists like Eric Boehlert habitually claim. It’s crucial factual information.

The environment that these pundits are creating is itself hostile to democracy. If all “talking points” are excluded from the conversation other than those which lead to continually escalating sanctions, proxy wars, nuclear posturing and brinkmanship, then there’s no way for activism or democracy to tap the brake on the west’s ongoing trajectory toward direct military confrontation with a nuclear superpower.

In her interview, Stein outlined this quite clearly:

“You know, I think that kind of position which says that we’re in a totally different category from the rest of the world is not working. This century of American domination, you know, sort of didn’t play out the way we thought it would, we’re embroiled now — we have the military in practically every country around the world. In the recent taxes that people pay, the average American paid almost $3,500 that went into the Department of Offense, I would call it, not the Department of Defense, $3,500, whereas we put $40 into the EPA.

“You know, 57 percent of our discretionary dollars now are going into the military. It’s part of a mindset that says, we’re always right and they’re always wrong and we’re going to be dominating militarily and economically. We’re in a multi-polar world right now and, you know, we need to behave as an exemplary member of the community and that is by upholding ourselves and leading the way on international law, human rights and diplomacy. That approach is really paying off on the Korean peninsula right now. I think we should be using it more broadly.”

Cuomo, who as the son of a New York Governor and brother of the current New York Governor is as much Democratic Party royalty as a Clinton, had some very interesting facial expressions in response to Stein’s arguments. Whenever an interviewee makes strong points which go against the establishment grain he always looks like he’s taking a really uncomfortable shit:

There have been far too many cartoonishly absurd responses to Stein’s interview for me to address in a single article without putting my laptop through the wall in a fit of rage, but this tweet from MSNBC and Atlantic contributor Natasha Bertrand is really something else.

“Jill Stein just told @CNN that her presence at RT gala in Moscow Dec 2015 wasn’t controversial at the time because Obama ‘was still on track for a reboot’ with Putin,” said Bertrand, adding that “Russia had already annexed Crimea, invaded eastern Ukraine, intervened in Syria for Assad, and hacked the DNC.”

This is actual, real-life “Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia” Orwellian revisionist doublethink. There was no public information about any Russian DNC hack in 2015, and the average American hardly ever thought about Russia at that time. Then-Secretary of State John Kerry personally met with Vladimir Putin in July of 2016 to discuss collaboration against terrorist forces in Syria. Only in the most warped, revisionist, funhouse mirror Orwellian reality tunnel can it be claimed that Stein visiting Moscow in December of 2015 would have been considered shady or controversial at the time.

The fact that Bertrand’s tweet was liked and shared thousands of times on Twitter is extremely creepy and disturbing. Establishment media didn’t start indoctrinating American liberals with Russia hysteria until the tail end of 2016, but it’s been so effective that MSNBC mainliners are now gaslighting themselves into a revision of their own history.

This is why people like myself fight the CIA/CNN Russia narrative so aggressively. Not because we’re propagandists, not because we’re “useful idiots”, not because of “Russian talking points”, but because the US-centralized power establishment’s nonstop campaign to manufacture support for its agendas of global hegemony are making us all stupid and crazy.

Stop playing along with this bullshit. Stop letting them make us stupid and crazy. Stop letting them manipulate us into consenting to escalations with a nuclear superpower. Stop. Turn back. Wrong way.

May 3, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , | Leave a comment

Tapper-Clapper Leak Proves Media, Intelligence ‘Collaborated’ to Make Russiagate

Sputnik – May 3, 2018

Former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper, who landed a job at CNN in August 2017 after leaving the government, leaked information to CNN’s Jake Tapper regarding the infamous Steele dossier and its salacious allegations against then-candidate Donald Trump – then denied his actions to Congress under oath.

The leak, and the cover up, shows the “collaboration between the media and the intelligence community in building up Russiagate,” Max Blumenthal, a journalist and bestselling author, told Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear.

​The dossier, which was first published in January by BuzzFeed, includes allegations that Russian authorities “had been cultivating and supporting US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for at least five years.”

In addition, the dossier states that the Kremlin “had been feeding Trump and his team valuable intelligence on his opponents, including Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, for several years.” The document, which was created by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, also makes claims about sexual acts between Trump and Russian sex workers, among other things.

On Friday, the US House Intelligence Committee released a 253-page report stating that Clapper leaked details of the dossier to Tapper. Clapper initially declined discussing the dossier information with the journalist, but later admitted to it. The committee’s report also states that there was “no evidence” of collusion between Trump campaign associates and Russia.

“When initially asked about leaks related to the International Committee Assessment in July 2017, former DNI Clapper flatly denied ‘discussing the dossier [compiled by Steele] or any other intelligence related to Russia hacking of the 2016 election with journalists,'” the report reads.

The report also states that Clapper “subsequently acknowledged discussing the dossier with CNN journalist Jake Tapper and admitted that he might have spoken with other journalists about the same topic.”

Blumenthal explained that the dossier was the catalyst for the Russiagate scandal.

“I think this should be a bigger scandal than it is,” he told hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou.

“James Clapper — when he was the DNI — oversaw both the CIA and the FBI. There was a dossier going around in [January 2017] in Washington that everyone was talking about but hadn’t been reported on. It was the dossier produced by Christopher Steele, which is the basis for the Russia narrative. Clapper and the intelligence community wanted the dossier out there. On January 6, Clapper sends James Comey, who is then the FBI director, to brief Trump on the dossier. Meanwhile, Clapper leaks the story to Tapper. Tapper and his team at CNN report that Trump was the subject of a two-page dossier by an unnamed British agent,” Blumenthal said.

“The next thing you know, Buzzfeed releases the entire dossier. Trump calls it fake news and the whole blow-up with the press begins on January 9. Russiagate goes to a whole other level. Tapper is going on Twitter and talking about the veracity of the document. You can see the collaboration between the media and the intelligence community in building up Russiagate,” Blumenthal added.

On Monday, George Washington University Law professor Jonathan Turley said on “Fox & Friends” that there is a “serious issue here.”

“Clapper has already admitted that he did speak with CNN. Now, he is insisting he didn’t speak to any media until January 20, but he indicated he spoke to CNN in early January. CNN reported that high-level people had confirmed the information and if one of those individuals is Clapper, it is a serious problem. He could be accused, again, of perjury,” Turley said.

This is not the first time that Clapper has run into issues with Congress.

In 2013, he apologized for telling Congress that the National Security Agency does not collect data on Americans. He later said his statement was “clearly erroneous.”

See Also:

Clinton Team Was ‘Feeding’ Allegations to Trump’s Dossier Author – Released Memo

May 3, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

Ex-DNI Clapper leaked Steele dossier info to CNN, then tried to deny it in Congress – House report

RT | April 28, 2018

James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence-turned CNN pundit, first denied and then admitted to discussing the anti-Trump ‘Steele dossier’ with a CNN journalist while in office, an intelligence report reveals.

The 253-page US House Intelligence Committee report on the alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections outlines Clapper’s “inconsistent testimony to the Committee about his contacts to the media, including CNN.” Pages 107-108 feature the record of how Clapper “flatly denied” discussing the dossier compiled by Christopher Steele with the media during a congressional testimony in July, but then “subsequently acknowledged discussing the dossier with CNN journalist Jake Tapper.”

Tapper co-authored a breaking CNN report on a briefing that US President Donald Trump received from senior intelligence officials on a Steele Dossier.

The heavily-redacted House report notes that Clapper discussed the topic with Tapper around the same time that Trump and outgoing President Barack Obama received their respective briefings on the Steele dossier. The conversation took place in “early January,” which runs counter to Clapper’s own account of events, in which he previously insisted that he had not leaked any info to the media about the infamous dossier before he left office on January, 20.

The House report also says that the CNN article served as a trigger for all the subsequent dossier-related publications, becoming a “proximate cause of BuzzFeed News’ decision to publish the dossier for the first time just a few hours later.” The report notes that the dossier had long been circulating in the intelligence community and among the media, but only following the CNN release that cited “multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings” in its report, Pandora’s box was opened.

Ironically, a day after CNN published its report, which it now turns out could have been sourced by Clapper himself, the former DNI chief publicly denounced the leaks, voicing his “profound dismay,” and saying that he does not “believe the leaks came from within the IC [ intelligence community],” the report notes.

The Steele dossier features unverified, salacious details about Trump’s stay in Moscow, sparking speculations that Russia might be in possession of compromising material, which it could use to blackmail the US president.

Topping off the Clapper-CNN controversy is the fact that soon after leaving office, he was hired by none other than CNN as its national security analyst. The timing is mentioned specifically in the House report, which says Clapper started working for CNN “shortly after his testimony to the committee.”

This is not the first time that Clapper has been caught red-handed lying to lawmakers. Last month marked five years since he told the US Select Committee on Intelligence how the National Security Agency (NSA) was not collecting the data on millions of Americans. Three months later, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden uncovered a mass surveillance program that had been run by the agency for years.

April 28, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Media suspiciously quiet on US & UK-backed Saudi atrocities in Yemen

By Danielle Ryan | RT | April 24, 2018

On Sunday night, the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen hit a wedding party in Hajja province, killing up to 50 people. Strangely, no one in the Western media is calling for sanctions or regime change in Riyadh.

In fact, it seems they’re not that concerned at all. This is despite the fact that Saudi Arabia has been repeatedly accused of indiscriminate bombing in Yemen during a military campaign which has brought 8 million civilians to the brink of famine.

By early evening on Monday, BBC News was displaying not one, not two, but five stories about the birth of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s new baby boy. At the time of checking, there was no story at all about Yemen featured on the BBC’s front page.

Cynical minds might suspect this is because the British government is party to the slaughter in Yemen through its selling of massive amounts of weapons to the Saudi government. In the BBC’s piece on the attack, hidden seven stories down on the World News page, there was no mention at all of this relationship between London and Riyadh.

The Guardian and the Independent gave more prominence to the Yemen story than the BBC, both displaying reports on the front pages of their websites – but the levels of outrage were seriously muted in comparison with the reaction to alleged attacks on civilians by the Syrian government.

Journalists in the United States seem to be suffering from the same kind of selective outrage. A CNN story on the deaths in Yemen initially did not mention the words ‘Saudi Arabia’ until the seventh paragraph. The story was later updated to include news of the death of top Houthi leader Saleh al-Sammad, while the news about the deaths of up to 50 people at the wedding was knocked down to the fourth paragraph. This strange reluctance to be harsh on Riyadh or to give the Yemen war the prominence it deserves in the media, is clearly an effort to downplay atrocities which won’t play as well in front of a Western audience. It’s harder to play the role of the outraged anchor when you have to explain that the US signed an arms deal worth $110 billion with Saudi Arabia last year – a deal which included $7 billion worth of “precision weapons” from Raytheon and Boeing.

Perhaps if the White Helmets had shown up with a video camera and accusations of chemical weapons use, the story would have gotten more traction. Alas, it appears a gentler kind of bomb was used to kill the civilian victims. Reading the Western reports on Yemen, you get the sense that it is being reported out of duty, only to be buried somewhere and forgotten about the next day.

In a joint communiqué issued following a visit by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Britain, the UK government wrote that it welcomed Riyadh’s “continuing commitment” to ensuring that its military campaign in Yemen “is conducted in accordance with international humanitarian law.”

It remains to be seen whether UK Prime Minister Theresa May and the British press corps will issue a tough rebuke to Saudi Arabia following the most recent atrocity. Op-ed pieces about how the Saudi regime ‘must go’ are surely in the works as we speak.

April 24, 2018 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

CNN reporter inhales deadly ‘chemical weapons’ on camera: ‘Yeah that stings’

The global Fake News leader’s Arwa Damon sampled a little sarin in the course of her humanitarian propaganda piece on Syria

By Ricky Twisdale | The Duran | April 20, 2018

CNN, the world leader in hard hitting, real news (do you sense any irony?), has produced this stupendous report from a refugee camp in Northern Syria, with people it says “survived” the “chemical attack” in Douma earlier this month.

The US, Britain and France alleged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad pointlessly attacked his own people in Douma with sarin nerve agent, prompting the three nations to launch air strikes on Syria on the night of April 13-14th.

CNN correspondent Arwa Damon was at the camp to interview the “survivors” – as well as sample a little sarin herself.

The report (below) shows Damon and others, handling backpacks, clothing and toys allegedly exposed to Syrian government chemical weapons.

Damon plunges her face into one backpack, reacting, “There’s definitely something that stings” after taking her first whiff of sarin.

Neither Damon nor anyone else in the video, uses gloves or any form of protection when handling the articles allegedly contaminated with deadly chemicals.

As a reminder, here are the effects of sarin exposure according to the US government’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

  • A person’s clothing can release sarin after it has come in contact with sarin vapor, which can lead to exposure of other people.
  • Sarin is the most volatile of the nerve agentsPeople can be exposed to the vapor even if they do not come in contact with the liquid form of sarin.
  • Symptoms likely will appear within a few seconds after exposure to the vapor form of sarin
  • People may not know that they were exposed because sarin has no odor.
  • Even a small drop of sarin on the skin can cause sweating and muscle twitching where sarin touched the skin
  • People exposed to a low or moderate dose of sarin by breathing contaminated air…or touching contaminated surfaces may experience some or all of the following symptoms within seconds to hours of exposure:
    • Runny nose
    • Watery eyes
    • Small, pinpoint pupils
    • Eye pain
    • Blurred vision
    • Drooling and excessive sweating
    • Cough
    • Chest tightness
    • Rapid breathing
    • Diarrhea
    • Nausea, vomiting, and/or abdominal pain
    • Increased urination
    • Confusion
    • Drowsiness
    • Weakness
    • Headache
    • Slow or fast heart rate
    • Low or high blood pressure

Those are the symptoms of a low to moderate dose. The CDC webpage goes on to note a large dose immediately leads to convulsions and death.

There’s definitely something that stings” – yeah that about sums up the symptoms of exposure to the deadly nerve agent.

The CNN fake news report goes on to interview others in the camp, without any proof of where they in fact came from, or more importantly, the political allegiance of the alleged witnesses.

All in a day’s work for the network that now prides itself on promotion of salacious gossip, unverified atrocity claims, and warmongering hysteria.

April 20, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Video | , | 1 Comment

‘Dictator’ Putin wins ‘fraud-tainted’ vote: Western media sticks to narrative on Russian election

RT | March 18, 2018

From Soviet comparisons to accusations of authoritarianism, mainstream coverage of Russia’s presidential election has barely changed since 2004, though mentions of the UK spy poisoning scandal did add a fresh layer of insinuation.

As Putin was thanking his supporters for a landslide victory from the stage in Red Square, Western outlets rolled out long, pre-written news stories, liberally mixing reporting and opinion.

“The vote was tainted by widespread reports of ballot-box stuffing and forced voting, but the complaints will likely do little to undermine Putin,” wrote AP’s lead report. “The Russian leader’s popularity remains high despite his suppression of dissent and reproach from the West over Russia’s increasingly aggressive stance in world affairs and alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. election.”

The Washington Post called Sunday’s vote an “elaborate presidential-election-day spectacle” that sought “to legitimize the election,” which “critics described as a charade,” by boosting the turnout as “a lack of suspense or popular opposition candidates threatened to keep people home.”

Calling the election a “hollow exercise,” the New York Times reached for the most predictable of parallels.

“Gone were the Soviet days when there was just one name on the ballot and the winner habitually harvested 99 percent of the vote. The spirit was similar, however, with pictures of Mr. Putin and his campaign slogan, ‘Strong president, strong Russia,’ blanketing the country,” it wrote.

In its top report. CNN said that Putin “seeks tighter grip on power,” while also reminding its readers that “he is already the country’s longest-serving leader since the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin” (which is not actually true – that would be Leonid Brezhnev). CNN added that Putin is “banking on confrontation with international players this election.”

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp Australia didn’t even bother with such nuances, calling Putin a straight-up “dictator,” though the article was later amended to merely describe the vote as “inevitable.”

For the Guardian, “paradoxically, the first order of business now… is for Putin to set up an escape plan.”

“Kremlin politics have become a bloodsport,” wrote Andrew Roth, the Guardian’s correspondent for Moscow. “With a shrinking economy [also untrue] and elites manoeuvring before a possible succession battle, the knives are out.”

This year, the usual analysis was also sprinkled with allegations that a Moscow agent poisoned Sergei Skripal with the toxin “Novichok, a gruesome calling card” to provoke a British response, according to the Guardian.

“A row with London can do Putin no harm, especially among voters who share his uncompromising nationalist worldview and his smouldering sense of victimhood,” an article in the Guardian said this week.

“The diplomatic crisis this poisoning case has caused may help him get more people into polling booths,” echoed Australia’s ABC.

March 18, 2018 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | 2 Comments

When Former Spies Turn into TV ‘Experts’

By Philip M. GIRALDI | Strategic Culture Foundation | 15.02.2018

Once upon a time in the United States there was a general perception that organizations like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) were both apolitical and high-minded, existing only to calmly and professionally promote the safety and security of the nation. Directors of both organizations often retired quietly without fanfare to compose their memoirs, but apart from that, they did not meddle in politics and maintained low profiles. There was a widespread belief at CIA that former officers should rightly retire to a log cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains where they could breed Labrador retrievers or cultivate orchids.

But the relative respectability of America’s national security agencies largely vanished in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist incidents. It was learned that both the CIA and FBI had made fatal mistakes in their investigations of the al-Qaeda group, putting in question their effectiveness, and the leaders of both organizations began to focus on pleasing their political masters. The appearance of CIA Director George Tenet at the United Nations supporting lies promoted by Secretary of State Colin Powell was a low point, but there were many more to follow.

The 2016 election brought out the worst in the CIA’s leadership, with its Director John Brennan lining up behind Hillary Clinton together with former Acting Director Michael Morell and former Director Michael Hayden. Morell even claimed that Trump was a Russian agent. Indeed, there has been remarkably little speculation regarding the possible roles of some senior intelligence officials, most notably CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, both of whom were in office during the electoral campaign. In September 2016, the two men reportedly were involved in obtaining information on Page and it has also been suggested that Brennan sought and obtained raw intelligence from British, Polish, Dutch and Estonian intelligence services, which might have motivated FBI’s James Comey to investigate the Trump associates. Brennan and Clapper, drawing on intelligence resources and connections, might have helped the FBI build a fabricated case against Trump.

Currently the senior officials who were so hostile to Donald Trump have decided against going quietly into their generously rewarded retirements. Morell has long been a paid contributing “expert” for CBS news, Hayden has had the same role at CNN, and they are are now being joined by John Brennan at NBC. Brennan, an NBC “senior national security and intelligence analyst,” is an Obama-Clinton loyalist who can be relied upon to oppose policies and actions undertaken by the Trump Administration, admittedly not a bad thing, but he will be doing so from a strictly partisan perspective. And the danger is that his tag as former CIA Director will give him a certain credibility, which, depending on the issue, might not be deserved or warranted. To be sure CIA interests will be protected, but they will be secondary to commentary from a partisan and revenge seeking John Brennan who is out to burnish his own sorry reputation. He looks perpetually angry when he is on television because he is.

Brennan has behaved predictably in his new role. In his first appearance on Meet the Press last Sunday he said that the Steele dossier did “not play any role whatsoever in the intelligence community assessment that was presented to President Obama…” which is a lie.  He denounced the release of the so-called “Nunes memo” by the House Intelligence Committee because it was “exceptionally partisan,” which is true, and because it exposes secrets, which it does not. Brennan is also a leader of the blame Russia movement. He has claimed without providing any evidence that Russia “brazenly interfered” in the 2016 election and he can be counted upon to be yet one more anti-Russian voice on the mainstream media.

Brennan, who was hated by much of the CIA’s rank-and-file during his tenure as director, does not have much of a reputation for truth-telling. He lied  about how the Agency under his leadership tried to spy on and disrupt the Senate’s investigation into CIA torture. He was also the driving force behind the Obama administration “kill list” of U.S. citizens selected for assassination. Concerns that Brennan will represent the Agency’s viewpoint on NBC News are largely irrelevant as the network should have instead considered his credibility and judgment before hiring him.

February 15, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Lifting of US Propaganda Ban Gives New Meaning to Old Song

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan discuss allegations of Russian influence in presidential elections (CNN Screenshot)
By Whitney Webb – Mint Press News – February 12, 2018

Though its ostensible purpose is to fund the US military over a one year period, the National Defense Authorization Act, better known as the NDAA, has had numerous provisions tucked into it over the years that have targeted American civil liberties. The most well-known of these include allowing the government to wiretap American citizens without a warrant and, even more disturbingly, indefinitely imprison an American citizen without charge in the name of “national security.”

One of the lesser-known provisions that have snuck their way into the NDAA over the years was a small piece of legislation tacked onto the NDAA for fiscal year 2013, signed into law in that same year by then-President Barack Obama. Named “The Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012,” it completely lifted the long-existing ban on the domestic dissemination of US government-produced propaganda.

For decades, the US government had been allowed to produce and disseminate propaganda abroad in order to drum up support for its foreign wars but had been banned from distributing it domestically after the passage of the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948. However, the Modernization Act’s co-authors, Reps. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) and Adam Smith (D-WA, no relation to the Smith of the 1948 act), asserted that removing the domestic ban was necessary in order to combat “al-Qaeda’s and other violent extremists’ influence among populations.”

Thornberry stated that removing the ban was necessary because it had tied “the hands of America’s diplomatic officials, military, and others, by inhibiting our ability to effectively communicate in a credible way.” Yet, given that Thornberry is one of the greatest beneficiaries of weapon manufacturers’ campaign contributions, the real intent — to skeptics at least — seemed more likely related to an effort to ramp up domestic support for US military adventurism abroad following the disastrous invasions of Iraq and Libya.

Five years later, the effects of the lifting of the ban have turned what was once covert manipulation of the media by the government into a transparent “revolving door” between the media and the government. Robbie Martin — documentary filmmaker and media analyst whose documentary series,  “A Very Heavy Agenda,” explores the relationships between neoconservative think tanks and media — told MintPress, that this revolving door “has never been more clear than it is right now” as a result of the ban’s absence.

In the age of legal, weaponized propaganda directed at the American people, false narratives have become so commonplace in the mainstream and even alternative media that these falsehoods have essentially become normalized, leading to the era of “fake news” and “alternative facts.”

Those who create such news, regardless of the damage it causes or the demonstrably false nature of its claims, face little to no accountability, as long as those lies are of service to US interests. Meanwhile, media outlets that provide dissenting perspectives are being silenced at an alarming rate.

The effects of lifting the ban examined

Since 2013, newsrooms across the country, of both the mainstream and “alternative” variety, have been notably skewed towards the official government narrative, with few outside a handful of independently-funded media outlets bothering to question those narratives’ veracity. While this has long been a reality for the Western media (see John Pilger’s 2011 documentary “The War You Don’t See”), the use of government-approved narratives and sources from government-funded groups have become much more overt than in years past.

From Syria to Ukraine, US-backed coups and US-driven conflicts have been painted as locally driven movements that desperately need US support in order to “help” the citizens of those countries — even though that “help” has led to the near destruction of those countries and, in the case of  Ukraine, an attempted genocide. In these cases, many of the sources were organizations funded directly by the US government or allied governments, such as the White Helmets and Aleppo Media Centre (largely funded by the US and U.K. governments) in the case of Syria, and pro-Kiev journalists with Nazi ties (including Bogdan Boutkevitch, who called for the “extermination” of Ukrainians of Russian descent on live TV) in the case of Ukraine, among other examples. Such glaring conflicts of interests are, however, rarely — if ever — disclosed when referenced in these reports.

More recently, North Korea has been painted as presenting an imminent threat to the United States. Recent reports on this “threat” have been based on classified intelligence reports that claim that North Korea can produce a new nuclear bomb every six or seven weeks, including a recent article from the New York Times. However, those same reports have admitted that this claim is purely speculative, as it is “impossible to verify until experts get beyond the limited access to North Korean facilities that ended years ago.” In other words, the article was based entirely on unverified claims from the US intelligence community that were treated as compelling.

As Martin told MintPress, many of these government-friendly narratives first began at US-funded media organizations overseen by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) — an extension of the US state department.

Martin noted that US-funded media, like Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe (RFE), were among the first to use a State Department-influenced narrative aimed at “inflaming hostilities with Russia before it soaked into mainstream reporting.” Of course, now, this narrative — with its origins in the US State Department and US intelligence community — has come to dominate headlines in the corporate media and even some “alternative” media outlets in the wake of the 2016 US election.

This is no coincidence. As Martin noted, “after the ban was lifted, things changed drastically here in the United States,” resulting in what was tantamount to a “propaganda media coup” where the State Department, and other government agencies that had earlier shaped the narrative at the BBG, used their influence on mainstream media outlets to shape those narratives as well.

A key example of this, as Martin pointed out, was the influence of the new think-tank “The Alliance for Securing Democracy,” whose advisory council and staff are loaded with neocons, such as the National Review’s Bill Kristol, and former US intelligence and State Department officials like former CIA Director Michael Morell. The Alliance for Securing Democracy’s Russia-focused offshoot, “Hamilton 68,” is frequently cited by media outlets — mainstream and alternative — as an impartial, reliable tracker of Russian “meddling” efforts on social media.

Martin remarked that he had “never seen a think tank before have such a great influence over the media so quickly,” noting that it “would have been hard to see [such influence on reporters] without the lifting of the ban,” especially given the fact that media organizations that cite Hamilton 68 do not mention its ties to former government officials and neoconservatives.

In addition, using VOA or other BBG-funded media has become much more common than it was prior to the ban, an indication that state-crafted information originally intended for a foreign audience is now being used domestically. Martin noted that this has become particularly common at some “pseudo-alternative” media organizations — i.e., formerly independent media outlets that now enjoy corporate funding. Among these, Martin made the case that VICE News stands out.

After the propaganda ban was lifted, Martin noticed that VICE’s citations of BBG sources “spiked.” He continued:

One of the things I immediately noticed was that they [VICE news ] were so quick to call out other countries’ media outlets, but yet — in every instance I looked up of them citing BBG sources — they never mentioned where the funding came from or what it was and they would very briefly mention it [information from BBG sources] like these were any other media outlets.”

He added that, in many of these cases, journalists at VICE were unaware that references to VOA or other BBG sources appeared in their articles. This was an indication that “there is some editorial staff [at VICE News ] that is putting this in from the top down.”

Furthermore, Martin noted that, soon after the ban was lifted, “VICE’s coverage mirrored the type of coverage that BBG was doing across the world in general,” which in Martin’s view indicated “there was definitely some coordination between the State Department and VICE.” This coordination was also intimated by BBG’s overwhelmingly positive opinion of VICE in their auditing reports, in which the BBG “seemed more excited about VICE than any other media outlet” — especially since VICE was able to use BBG organizations as sources while maintaining its reputation as a “rebel” media outlet.

Martin notes that these troubling trends have been greatly enabled by the lifting of the ban. He opined that the ban was likely lifted “in case someone’s cover [in spreading government propaganda disguised as journalism] was blown,” in which case “it wouldn’t be seen as illegal.” He continued:

For example, if a CIA agent at the Washington Post is directly piping in US government propaganda or a reporter is working the US government to pipe in propaganda, it wouldn’t be seen as a violation of the law. Even though it could have happened before the ban, it’s under more legal protection now.

Under normal circumstances, failing to disclose conflicts of interests of key sources and failing to question government narratives would be considered acts of journalistic malpractice. However, in the age of legal propaganda, this dereliction matters much less. Propaganda is not intended to be factual or impartial — it is intended to serve a specific purpose, namely influencing public opinion in a way that serves US government interests. As Karl Rove, the former advisor and deputy chief of staff to George W. Bush, once said, the US “is an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.” This “reality” is defined not by facts but by its service to empire.

Meanwhile, counter-narratives, however fact-based they may be, are simultaneously derided as conspiracy theories or “fake news,” especially if they question or go against government narratives.

The revolving door

Another major consequence of the ban being lifted goes a step further than merely influencing narratives. In recent years, there has been the growing trend of hiring former government officials, including former US intelligence directors and other psyops veterans, in positions once reserved for journalists. In their new capacity as talking heads on mainstream media reports, they repeat the stance of the US intelligence community to millions of Americans, with their statements and views unchallenged.

For instance, last year, CNN hired former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Clapper, a key architect of RussiaGate, has committed perjury by lying to Congress and more recently lied about the Trump campaign being wiretapped through a FISA request. He has also made racist, Russophobic comments on national television. Now, however, he is an expert analyst for “the most trusted name in news.” CNN last year also hired Michael Hayden, who is a former Director of both the CIA and the NSA, and former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence.

CNN isn’t alone. NBC/MSNBC recently hired former CIA director John Brennan — another key architect of RussiaGate and the man who greenlighted (and lied about) CIA spying on Congress — as a contributor and “senior national security and intelligence analyst.” NBC also employs Jeremy Bash, former CIA and DoD Chief of Staff, as a national security analyst, as well as reporter Ken Dilanian, who is known for his “collaborative relationship” with the CIA.

This “revolving door” doesn’t stop there. After the BBG was restructured by the 2016 NDAA, the “board” for which the organization was named was dissolved, making BBG’s CEO — a presidential appointee — all powerful. BBG’s current CEO is John Lansing, who – prior to taking the top post at the BBG – was the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM), a marketing association comprised of 90 of the top US and Canadian cable companies and television programmers. Lansing’s connection to US cable news companies is just one example of how this revolving door opens both ways.

Media-government coordination out of the shadows

Such collusion between mainstream media and the US government is hardly new. It has only become more overt since the Smith-Mundt ban was lifted.

For instance, the CIA, through Operation Mockingbird, started recruiting mainstream journalists and media outlets as far back as the 1960s in order to covertly influence the American public by disguising propaganda as news. The CIA even worked with top journalism schools to change their curricula in order to produce a new generation of journalists that would better suit the US government’s interests. Yet the CIA effort to manipulate the media was born out of the longstanding view in government that influencing the American public through propaganda was not only useful, but necessary.

Indeed, Edward Bernays, the father of public relations, who also worked closely with the government in the creation and dissemination of propaganda, once wrote:

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.

While this was once an “invisible” phenomenon, it is quickly becoming more obvious. Now, Silicon Valley oligarchs with ties to the US government have bought mainstream and pseudo-alternative media outlets and former CIA directors are given prominent analyst positions on cable news programs. The goal is to manufacture support at home for the US’ numerous conflicts around the world, which are only likely to grow as the Pentagon takes aim at “competing states” like Russia and China in an increasingly desperate protection of American hegemony.

With the propaganda ban now a relic, the once-covert propaganda machine long used to justify war after war is now operating out in the open and out of control.

February 13, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Fake News, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments