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Cheerleading Politicized Impeachment

By Stephen Lendman | January 12, 2021

Big media cheerlead preemptive wars, support corporate predation, and are indifferent toward world peace, equity, justice, the rule of law, and well-being of ordinary people.

They’re press agents for wealth, power and privilege, hostile toward governance serving everyone equitably.

What democracy is supposed to be, they scorn, supporting its fantasy version alone that’s none at all.

The NYT is in the vanguard of proliferating deep state-approved propaganda exclusively on major domestic and geopolitical issues, truth-telling on what matters most banned in its editions.

Managed news misinformation and disinformation drowns it out. All the news it claims is fit to read responsible editors wouldn’t touch.

Times editors, columnists, and correspondents demand Trump’s impeachment and removal from office — for unconstitutional reasons, not legitimate ones.

In its latest edition, the Times editorial board in charge of misinformation, disinformation, fake news, and Big Lies featured in daily editions screamed “Impeach Trump Again.”

A litany of bald-faced Big Lies followed — a longstanding Times specialty.

The Times : “Trump’s efforts to remain in office in defiance of democracy (sic) cannot be allowed to go unanswered, lest they invite more lawlessness from this president or those who follow (sic).”

According to Times fake news, impeaching Trump a second time is for use of constitutionally protected speech.

It’s about politicized revenge for defeating media darling Hillary, wanting him removed from office in defiance of the rule of law.

It’s unrelated to protecting democracy in America that exists in fantasy version alone.

The real thing is banned, along with peace, equity, justice, the rule of law, and governance serving all Americans equitably — notions the Times and other Big Media abhor.

The Times : Week ago Capitol Hill violence “was the culmination of a campaign waged by (Trump and his congressional) allies… to overturn the results of a free and fair election (sic).”

There’s nothing “free and open” about irrefutable brazen fraud and election theft — nor wanting the Trump team’s constitutional right to challenge the diabolical scheme denied.

The Times wants hard evidence of election theft suppressed.

It called legitimate Trump team challenges “farcical,” along with defying reality by claiming that “Joe Biden won fairly (sic).”

He lost. Trump won, politicized impeachment underway and possible conviction after returning to private life.

What’s going on plunged a dagger into the heart of an open, free and fair society, along with the rule of law — supported by Big Media instead of condemning it.

Falsely claiming Trump incited Capitol Hill violence last week by the Times and other Big Media is typical of how they proliferate Big Lies and breach the public trust.

So is calling totalitarian police state USA democratic.

Suppressing legitimate reasons to want Trump held accountable, the Times and other Big Media want him crucified for invented ones.

The Times virtually called Trump’s First Amendment right of free expression “a crime so brazen (sic) that it demands the highest form of accountability that the legislature can deliver (sic),” adding:

“(T)here is no other option but to vote to impeach (him) a second time” — no matter how unlawful and unjustifiable.

The Times disgracefully called remarks made by Trump below “the most un-American speech ever uttered by a president (sic),” saying:

“We will stop the steal. States want to revote. The states got defrauded.”

“They were given false information. They voted on it. Now they want to re-certify.”

If ballot counting is accurate instead of manipulated and corrupted in key swing states, “we become president.”

“We’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and-women, and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them.”

“Because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.”

“We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated.”

“We fight. We fight like hell. If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

Do any of the above remarks and similar ones urge violence? Clearly not!

Do any of Trump’s above remarks and similar ones in tweets warrant impeachment for inciting insurrection?

The answer is self-evident!

What’s going on by Pelosi/Schumer-led undemocratic Dems is an old-fashioned political lynching.

Supported by the Times and other Big Media, it’s flagrantly unconstitutional without a leg to stand on.

Guilt by accusation is the law of the land in the US, Trump’s illegitimate impeachment virtually certain.

The fate of the nation and few remaining freedoms hang in the balance.

America as it once was long ago, warts and all, is long gone.

Totalitarian police state harshness replaced it — heading toward full-blown tyranny, notably by lynch mob injustice against a sitting president that endangers all Americans.

That’s the deplorable state of the nation today.

January 12, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Leave a comment

Anti-Trump NYT Wants Him Removed from Office and Prosecuted

By Stephen Lendman | January 7, 2021

The self-styled newspaper of record has been hostile toward Trump since he announced his candidacy for president in 2015.

The broadsheet’s rage greatly intensified after he defeated media darling Hillary.

It continued virtually daily throughout his time in office — largely for invented reasons, ignoring most important ones.

It wants him tarred and feathered by impeachment and prosecution. See below.

Pre-dawn January 7, the race for the White House officially ended — after what may have been orchestrated Wednesday violence on Capitol Hill.

It shifted over half of congressional Republicans to join with Dems in formally ending Trump’s tenure by elevating Biden/Harris to power in days.

It’s all over but the postmortems that may include an attempt by undemocratic Dems and perhaps GOP collaborators to remove Trump from office despite only days remaining in his tenure.

No US president was ever removed by impeachment. Will Trump break precedent a scant two weeks before Biden/Harris replace him?

What’s inconceivable at this late stage is possible though unlikely.

The Times is leading the 11th hour jihad against him.

In its latest edition, it carpet-bombed him with a virtual blitzkrieg of calls for his head.

Its pro-war, pro-business, anti-governance of, by, and for everyone equitably according to the rule of law editors led the charge — to their disgrace.

“Trump is to blame for Capitol (Hill) attack (sic),” they falsely raged, adding:

He “incited his followers to violence (sic). There must be consequences (sic).”

Claiming he “sparked” Wednesday Capitol Hill violence was a bald-faced Big Lie — typical of how the Times operates while suppressing what’s vital for everyone to know.

Times editors want Trump held “accountable” for what he had nothing to do with, and more.

They want him “criminal(ly) prosecut(ed) (sic).”

They want congressional Republicans “bear(ing) a measure of responsibility for the attack on the Capitol (sic).”

They continue to pretend that Biden/Harris won the November 3 election they lost.

Notably they pretend that fantasy US democracy is the real thing.

They, Times correspondents and columnists consistently lie, deceive and betray the public trust.

Election 2020 and its aftermath are glaring examples of breaching journalism the way it should be, what Times management and editors long ago banned on its pages.

A same day article explained what may have been a Wednesday Capitol Hill false flag to elevate Biden/Harris to power by falsely blaming Trump for what happened.

No evidence suggests it because there is none.

The latest Times edition included the following anti-Trump hit pieces:

“Congress Confirms Biden’s Win (sic), Defying Mob Attack”

“Daily Distortions: There is no evidence that antifa activists stormed the Capitol (sic)”

“A West Virginia lawmaker was a part of the mob of Trump supporters who breached the building (sic).”

“Biden Denounces Storming of Capitol as a ‘Dark Moment’ in Nation’s History (sic)”

“Trump Told Crowd ‘You Will Never Take Back Our Country With Weakness’ ”

None of Trump’s remarks Wednesday or earlier called for inciting violence on Capitol Hill — just the opposite.

“A Mob and the Breach of Democracy (sic): The Violent End of the Trump Era (sic)”

“ ‘Be There. Will Be Wild!’: Trump All but Circled the Date (sic)”— his remark expressing no support for violence.

“Jeff Flake: My Fellow Republicans, Trump Is Destroying Us (sic)”

“Trump’s Real Claim to Fame… He’s going to be remembered by history as the Biggest Loser (sic).”

“Trump Incites Rioters (sic)” — Repeating the Times’ bald-faced Big Lie

The hit piece called him a “Benedict Arnold (sic).”

“The Pro-Trump Movement Was Always Headed Here” — falsely blaming him for Capitol Hill violence.

“Have Trump’s Lies Wrecked Free Speech?”

Indeed he’s a serial liar, but claiming he incited Capitol Hill violence by the Times is a whopper of a Big Lie.

“America’s Friends and Foes Express Horror as Capitol Attack ‘Shakes the World’ ”

How will they react if and when it’s known that Wednesday’s violence was orchestrated against Trump to assure he’s replaced on January 20?

“Impeach and Convict. Right Now (sic).”

The hit piece defied reality by calling Trump “too dangerous to leave in office for even another minute” — typical of Times contempt for truth-telling, along with insulting its readers by feeding them this rubbish.

The piece urged House and Senate members to reconvene straightaway, “remove” him from office, and “bar him from ever holding office again.”

“To allow Trump to serve out his term, however brief it may be, puts the nation’s safety at risk (sic).”

No responsible editors would permit publication of this rubbish.

Like many times before on other issues, the Times featured it.

Thursday’s anti-Trump blitzkrieg by the Times and other Big Media will likely be followed by much more as long as he remains in office, perhaps continuing after his tenure ends.

Instead of truth and full disclosure, continued managed news misinformation and disinformation ahead is certain.

A Final Comment

ABC News reported that unnamed members of Trump’s cabinet are “discussing invoking the 25th Amendment.”

Referring to presidential disability and succession, it states:

“In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.”

The amendment largely deals with presidential succession in case an incumbent dies in office or is too ill or unable to serve.

A number of former presidents died in office, including Lincoln and JFK by assassination and FDR from natural causes.

Others suffered debilitating illnesses and injuries and were unable to perform their duties.

The 25th amendment became US law to assure a smooth transition of power under the above circumstances — not for impeachment by other means.

At this time, it’s unclear what’s ahead during Trump’s remaining days in office.

What’s very clear is that an open, free, and fair US society, according to the rule of law, suffered a major body blow, perhaps a fatal one.

That’s what 1/6/21 will be most remembered for long after the dust clears.

January 7, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 4 Comments

With Biden’s New Threats, the Russia Discourse is More Reckless and Dangerous Than Ever

The U.S. media demands inflammatory claims be accepted with no evidence, while hacking behavior routinely engaged in by the U.S. is depicted as aberrational.

By Glenn Greenwald | December 23, 2020

To justify Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss to Donald Trump, leading Democrats and their key media allies for years competed with one another to depict what they called “Russia’s interference in our elections” in the most apocalyptic terms possible. They fanatically rejected the view of the Russian Federation repeatedly expressed by President Obama — that it is a weak regional power with an economy smaller than Italy’s capable of only threatening its neighbors but not the U.S. — and instead cast Moscow as a grave, even existential, threat to U.S. democracy, with its actions tantamount to the worst security breaches in U.S. history.

This post-2016 mania culminated with prominent liberal politicians and journalists (as well as John McCain) declaring Russia’s activities surrounding the 2016 [election] to be an “act of war” which, many of them insisted, was comparable to Pearl Harbor and the 9/11 attack — the two most traumatic attacks in modern U.S. history which both spawned years of savage and destructive war, among other things.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) repeatedly demanded that Russia’s 2016 “interference” be treated as “an act of war.” Hillary Clinton described Russian hacking as “a cyber 9/11.” And Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) on MSNBC in early February, 2018, pronounced Russia “a hostile foreign power” whose 2016 meddling was the “equivalent” of Pearl Harbor, “very much on par” with the “seriousness” of the 1941 attack in Hawaii that helped prompt four years of U.S. involvement in a world war.

With the Democrats, under Joe Biden, [presumably] just weeks away from assuming control of the White House and the U.S. military and foreign policy that goes along with it, the discourse from them and their media allies about Russia is becoming even more unhinged and dangerous. Moscow’s alleged responsibility for the recently revealed, multi-pronged hack of U.S. Government agencies and various corporate servers is asserted — despite not a shred of evidence, literally, having yet been presented — as not merely proven fact, but as so obviously true that it is off-limits from doubt or questioning.

Any questioning of this claim will be instantly vilified by the Democrats’ extremely militaristic media spokespeople as virtual treason. “Now the president is not just silent on Russia and the hack. He is deliberately running defense for the Kremlin by contradicting his own Secretary of State on Russian responsibility,” pronounced CNN’s national security reporter Jim Sciutto, who last week depicted Trump’s attempted troop withdrawal from Syria and Germany as “ceding territory” and furnishing “gifts” to Putin. More alarmingly, both the rhetoric to describe the hack and the retaliation being threatened are rapidly spiraling out of control.

Democrats (along with some Republicans long obsessed with The Russian Threat, such as Mitt Romney) are casting the latest alleged hack by Moscow in the most melodramatic terms possible, ensuring that Biden will enter the White House with tensions sky-high with Russia and facing heavy pressure to retaliate aggressively. Biden’s top national security advisers and now Biden himself have, with no evidence shown to the public, repeatedly threatened aggressive retaliation against the country with the world’s second-largest nuclear stockpile.

Congressman Jason Crow (D-CO) — one of the pro-war Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee who earlier this year joined with Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) to block Trump’s plan to withdraw troops from Afghanistan — announced: “this could be our modern day, cyber equivalent of Pearl Harbor,” adding: “Our nation is under assault.” The second-ranking Senate Democrat, Dick Durbin (D-IL), pronounced: “This is virtually a declaration of war by Russia.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), who has for years been casting Russia as a grave threat to the U.S. while Democrats mocked him as a relic of the Cold War (before they copied and then surpassed him), described the latest hack as “the equivalent of Russian bombers flying undetected over the entire country.” The GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee also blasted Trump for his failure to be “aggressively speaking out and protesting and taking punitive action,” though — like virtually every prominent figure demanding tough “retaliation” — Romney failed to specify what he had in mind that would be sufficient retaliation for “the equivalent of Russian bombers flying undetected over the entire country.”

For those keeping track at home: that’s two separate “Pearl Harbors” in less than four years from Moscow (or, if you prefer, one Pearl Harbor and one 9/11). If Democrats actually believe that, it stands to reason that they will be eager to embrace a policy of belligerence and aggression toward Russia. Many of them are demanding this outright, mocking Trump for failing to attack Russia — despite no evidence that they were responsible — while their well-trained liberal flock is suggesting that the non-response constitutes some form of “high treason.”

Indeed, the Biden team has been signalling that they intend to quickly fulfill demands for aggressive retaliation. The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Biden “accused President Trump [] of ‘irrational downplaying’” of the hack while “warning Russia that he would not allow the intrusion to ‘go unanswered’ after he takes office.” Biden emphasized that once the intelligence assessment is complete, “we will respond, and probably respond in kind.”

Threats and retaliation between the U.S. and Russia are always dangerous, but particularly so now. One of the key nuclear arms agreements between the two nuclear-armed nations, the New START treaty, will expire in February unless Putin and Biden can successfully negotiate a renewal: sixteen days after Biden is [tentatively] scheduled to take office. “That will force Mr. Biden to strike a deal to prevent one threat — a nuclear arms race — while simultaneously threatening retaliation on another,” observed the Times.


This escalating rhetoric from Washington about Russia, and the resulting climate of heightened tensions, are dangerous in the extreme. They are also based in numerous myths, deceits and falsehoods:

First, absolutely no evidence of any kind has been presented to suggest, let alone prove, that Russia is responsible for these hacks. It goes without saying that it is perfectly plausible that Russia could have done this: it’s the sort of thing that every large power from China and Iran to the U.S. and Russia have the capability to do and wield against virtually every other country including one another.

But if we learned nothing else over the last several decades, we should know that accepting claims that emanate from the U.S. intelligence community about adversaries without a shred of evidence is madness of the highest order. We just had a glaring reminder of the importance of this rule: just weeks before the election, countless mainstream media outlets laundered and endorsed the utterly false claim that the documents from Hunter Biden’s laptop were “Russian disinformation,” only for officials to acknowledge once the harm was done that there was no evidence — zero — of Russian involvement.

Yet that is exactly what the overwhelming bulk of media outlets are doing again: asserting that Russia is behind these hacks despite having no evidence of its truth. The New York Times’ Michael Barbaro, host of the paper’s popular The Daily podcast, asked his colleague, national security reporter David Sanger, what evidence exists to assert that Russia did this. As Barbaro put it, even Sanger is “allowing that early conclusions could all be wrong, but that it’s doubtful.” Indeed, Sanger acknowledged to Barbaro that they have no proof, asserting instead that the basis on which he is relying is that Russia possesses the sophistication to carry out such a hack (as do several other nation-states), along with claiming that the hack has what he calls the “markings” of Russian hackers.

But this tactic was exactly the same one used by former intelligence officials, echoed by these same media outlets, to circulate the false pre-election claim that the documents from Hunter Biden’s laptop were “Russian disinformation”: namely, they pronounced in lockstep, the material from Hunter’s laptop “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information.” This was also exactly the same tactic used by the U.S. intelligence community in 2001 to falsely blame Iraq for the anthrax attacks, claiming that their chemical analysis revealed a substance that was “a trademark of the Iraqi biological weapons program.”

These media outlets will, if pressed, acknowledge their lack of proof that Russia did this. Despite this admitted lack of proof, media outlets are repeatedly stating Russian responsibility as proven fact.

“Scope of Russian Hacking Becomes Clear: Multiple U.S. Agencies Were Hit,” one New York Times headline proclaimed, and the first line of that article, co-written by Sanger, stated definitively: “The scope of a hacking engineered by one of Russia’s premier intelligence agencies became clearer on Monday.” The Washington Post deluged the public with identically certain headlines.

Nobody in the government has been as definitive in asserting Russian responsibility as corporate media outlets. Even Trump’s hawkish Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, crafted his accusation against Moscow with caveats and uncertainty: “I think it’s the case that now we can say pretty clearly that it was the Russians that engaged in this activity.”

If actual evidence ultimately emerges demonstrating Russian responsibility, it would not alter how dangerous it is that — less than twenty years after the Iraq WMD debacle and less than a couple of years after media endorsement of endless Russiagate falsehoods — the most influential media outlets continue to mindlessly peddle as Truth whatever the intelligence community feeds them, without the need to see any evidence that what they’re claiming is actually true. Even more alarmingly, large sectors of the public that venerate these outlets continue to believe that what they hear from them must be true, no matter how many times they betray that trust. The ease with which the CIA can disseminate whatever messaging it wants through friendly media outlets is stunning.

Second, the very idea that this hack could be compared to rogue and wildly aberrational events such as Pearl Harbor or the 9/11 attack is utterly laughable on its face. One has to be drowning in endless amounts of jingoistic self-delusion to believe that this hack — or, for that matter, the 2016 “election interference” — is a radical departure from international norms as opposed to a perfect reflection of them.

Just as was true of 2016 fake Facebook pages and Twitter bots, it is not an exaggeration to say that the U.S. Government engages in hacking attacks of this sort, and ones far more invasive, against virtually every country on the planet, including Russia, on a weekly basis. That does not mean that this kind of hacking is either justified or unjustified. It does mean, however, that depicting it as some particularly dastardly and incomparably immoral act that requires massive retaliation requires a degree of irrationality and gullibility that is bewildering to behold.

The NSA reporting enabled by Edward Snowden by itself proved that the NSA spies on virtually anyone it can. Indeed, after reviewing the archive back in 2013, I made the decision that I would not report on U.S. hacks of large adversary countries such as China and Russia because it was so commonplace for all of these countries to hack one another as aggressively and intrusively as they could that it was hardly newsworthy to report on this (the only exception was when there was a substantial reason to view such spying as independently newsworthy, such as Sweden’s partnering with NSA to spy on Russia in direct violation of the denials Swedish officials voiced to their public).

Other news outlets who had access to Snowden documents, particularly The New York Times, were not nearly as circumspect in exposing U.S. spying on large nation-state adversaries. As a result, there is ample proof published by those outlets (sometimes provoking Snowden’s strong objections) that the U.S. does exactly what Russia is alleged to have done here — and far worse.

“Even as the United States made a public case about the dangers of buying from [China’s] Huawei, classified documents show that the National Security Agency was creating its own back doors — directly into Huawei’s networks,” reported The New York Times’ David Sanger and Nicole Perlroth in 2013, adding that “the agency pried its way into the servers in Huawei’s sealed headquarters in Shenzhen, China’s industrial heart.”

In 2013, the Guardian revealed “an NSA attempt to eavesdrop on the Russian leader, Dmitry Medvedev, as his phone calls passed through satellite links to Moscow,” and added: “foreign politicians and officials who took part in two G20 summit meetings in London in 2009 had their computers monitored and their phone calls intercepted on the instructions of their British government hosts.” Meanwhile, “Sweden has been a key partner for the United States in spying on Russia and its leadership, Swedish television said on Thursday,” noted Reuters, citing what one NSA document described as “a unique collection on high-priority Russian targets, such as leadership, internal politics.”

Other reports revealed that the U.S. had hacked into the Brazilian telecommunications system to collect data on the whole population, and was spying on Brazil’s key leaders (including then-President Dilma Rousseff) as well as its most important companies such as its oil giant Petrobras and its Ministry of Mines and Energy. The Washington Post reported: “The National Security Agency is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world, according to top-secret documents and interviews with U.S. intelligence officials, enabling the agency to track the movements of individuals — and map their relationships — in ways that would have been previously unimaginable.” And on and on.

[One amazing though under-appreciated episode related to all this: the same New York Times reporter who revealed the details about massive NSA hacking of Chinese government and industry, Nicole Perlroth, subsequently urged (in tweets she has now deleted) that Snowden not be pardoned on the ground that, according to her, he revealed legitimate NSA spying on U.S. adversaries. In reality, it was actually she, Perlorth, not Snowden, who chose to expose NSA spying on China, provoking Snowden’s angry objections when she did so based on his view this was a violation of the framework he created for what should and should not be revealed; in other words, not only did Perlroth urge the criminal prosecution of a source on which she herself relied, an absolutely astonishing thing for any reporter to do, but so much worse, she did so by falsely accusing that source of doing something that she, Perlroth, had done herself: namely, reveal extensive U.S. hacking of China].

What all of this makes demonstrably clear is that only the most deluded and uninformed person could believe that Russian hacking of U.S. agencies and corporations — if it happened — is anything other than totally normal and common behavior between these countries. Harvard Law Professor and former Bush DOJ official Jack Goldsmith, reviewing growing demands for retaliation, wrote in an excellent article last week entitled “Self-Delusion on the Russia Hack: The U.S. regularly hacks foreign governmental computer systems on a massive scale”:

The lack of self-awareness in these and similar reactions to the Russia breach is astounding. The U.S. government has no principled basis to complain about the Russia hack, much less retaliate for it with military means, since the U.S. government hacks foreign government networks on a huge scale every day. Indeed, a military response to the Russian hack would violate international law . . . .

As the revelations from leaks of information from Edward Snowden made plain, the United States regularly penetrates foreign governmental computer systems on a massive scale, often (as in the Russia hack) with the unwitting assistance of the private sector, for purposes of spying. It is almost certainly the world’s leader in this practice, probably by a lot. The Snowden documents suggested as much, as does the NSA’s probable budget. In 2016, after noting “problems with cyber intrusions from Russia,” Obama boasted that the United States has “more capacity than anybody … offensively” . . . .

Because of its own practices, the U.S. government has traditionally accepted the legitimacy of foreign governmental electronic spying in U.S. government networks. After the notorious Chinese hack of the Office of Personnel Management database, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said: “You have to kind of salute the Chinese for what they did. If we had the opportunity to do that, I don’t think we’d hesitate for a minute.” The same Russian agency that appears to have carried out the hack revealed this week also hacked into unclassified emails in the White House and Defense and State Departments in 2014-2015. The Obama administration deemed it traditional espionage and did not retaliate. “It was information collection, which is what nation states—including the United States—do,” said Obama administration cybersecurity coordinator Michael Daniel this week.

But over the last four years, Americans, particularly those who feed on liberal media outlets, have been drowned in so much mythology about the U.S. and Russia that they have no capacity to critically assess the claims being made, and — just as they were led to believe about “Russia’s 2016 interference in Our Sacred Elections” — are easily convinced that what Russia did is some shocking and extreme crime the likes of which are rarely seen in international relations. In reality, their own government is the undisputed world champion in perpetrating these acts, and has been for years if not decades.

Third, these demands for “retaliation” are so reckless because they are almost always unaccompanied by any specifics. Even if Moscow’s responsibility is demonstrated, what is the U.S. supposed to do in response? If your answer is that they should hack Russia back, rest assured the NSA and CIA are always trying to hack Russia as much as it possibly can, long before this event.

If the answer is more sanctions, that would be just performative and pointless, aside from wildly hypocritical. Any reprisals more severe than that would be beyond reckless, particularly with the need to renew nuclear arms control agreements looming. And if you are someone demanding retaliation, do you believe that Russia, China, Brazil and all the other countries invaded by NSA hackers have the same right of retaliation against the U.S., or does the U.S. occupy a special place with special entitlements that all other countries lack?

What we have here, yet again, is the classic operation of the intelligence community feeding serious accusations about a nuclear-armed power to an eagerly gullible corporate media, with the media mindlessly disseminating it without evidence, all toward ratcheting up tensions between these two nuclear-armed powers and fortifying a mythology of the U.S. as grand victim but never perpetrator.

If you ever find yourself wondering how massive military budgets and a posture of Endless War are seemingly invulnerable to challenge, this pathological behavior — from a now-enduring union of the intelligence community, corporate media outlets, and the Democratic Party — provides one key piece of the puzzle.

December 23, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hunter Biden News Should Shame Dismissive Media Outlets

By Mark Hemingway | RealClear Politics | December 14, 2020

Hunter Biden announced Wednesday he is under federal investigation for his financial dealings in foreign countries, including China. While the news sent shockwaves through Washington, D.C., it shouldn’t have been surprising. The announcement confirms many of the allegations of corruption that were leveled against Hunter Biden in the months leading up to the November elections – allegations the media steadfastly refused to cover.

The nation’s largest social media companies went further: They made the shocking decision to actively censor the New York Post’s eye-opening scoop revealing evidence of Joe Biden’s son’s influence peddling that was recovered from an abandoned laptop. Twitter locked the newspaper out of its own account for weeks. Facebook prevented the Post’s story from being widely distributed, even though neither Joe Biden nor his campaign disputed the authenticity of the documents published by the paper.

In retrospect, not only do the documents appear to be authentic, but a Daily Beast report Thursday notes evidence that the Hunter Biden investigation was hiding in plain sight. One of the FBI documents from the laptop published by the Post “included a case number that had the code associated with an ongoing federal money laundering investigation in Delaware, according to several law enforcement officials who reviewed the document. Another document — one with a grand jury subpoena number — appeared to show the initials of two assistant U.S. attorneys linked to the Wilmington, Delaware, office.” Hunter Biden claims he only learned of the  investigation this past week, but these documents suggest otherwise.

Even a cursory inquiry by the New York Post’s competitors would have confirmed that Biden was under federal investigation. One journalist did behave like a reporter. In late October, Sinclair Broadcast Group correspondent James Rosen reported that Hunter Biden was under active investigation and a Justice Department official confirmed his scoop. Almost without exception, America’s press corps refused to follow up on Rosen’s revelation — or even report it.

It’s bad enough that the allegations were ignored, but the media response to the story was far worse. Without making any meaningful attempts to independently verify any of the details, they immediately asserted that Hunter Biden’s laptop was part of a “Russian disinformation” campaign.

Natasha Bertrand, a Politico reporter known among Trump supporters for her credulous reporting on the Steele dossier, wrote a piece headlined “Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say.” The New York Times reported, “Trump Said to Be Warned That Giuliani Was Conveying Russian Disinformation” and, further, that Trump “shrugged off” the warning about his aide, who was involved in bringing the laptop story to light.

Both stories appeared on Oct. 15, the day after the Post’s bombshell report. In the broader media, the default explanation for the laptop became – once again – a Vladimir Putin-backed conspiracy. By contrast, the idea that an erratic Hunter Biden, who once left a crack pipe and his dead brother’s state attorney general badge in a rental car, forgot to pick up his laptop at a computer repair shop a short distance from his house was deemed far-fetched.

Even setting aside the charges specifically connected to the laptop, what was known about Hunter’s foreign dealings was damning enough that the media should have demanded Joe and Hunter answer a slew of pointed questions. Instead, there was only one puffy, televised ABC News interview with Hunter Biden that also aired, probably not coincidentally, on Oct. 15, perfectly timed to rebut the Post.

When asked about his controversial job serving on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma, Biden’s response to ABC vacillated between self-serving and dishonest. “There’s been a lot of misinformation about me. … Bottom line is that I know that I was completely qualified to be on the board to head up the corporate governance and transparency committee on the board,” he said.

The assertion, absurd on its face, went largely unchallenged by ABC. Biden didn’t speak the language of the country where Burisma is headquartered, had no experience in the oil and gas sector, and had never served on the board of a for-profit company. Moreover, getting paid a million dollars a year to serve on a corporate board is unheard of. Corporate watchdogs have noted that his post was rife with conflicts that would have violated federal securities law if Burisma was a U.S. company. He got the job weeks after it was announced his father was overseeing America’s Ukraine policy from the White House.

Instead, Hunter was allowed by ABC to present himself as the victim. “I gave a hook to some very unethical people to act in illegal ways to try to do some harm to my father. That’s where I made the mistake,” Biden told the credulous network. “So I take full responsibility for that. Did I do anything improper? No, not in any way. Not in any way whatsoever.”

ABC also whiffed on the China question. Biden told ABC News he hadn’t personally profited from a $1.5 billion deal with Chinese interests brokered by his investment firm, an implausible denial for which he presented no evidence. ABC did not ask him about an email in the New York Post report purportedly showing that Ye Jianming, chairman of the CEFC China Energy Co. conglomerate, was paying Hunter Biden $10 million for “introductions alone.”

A recent Senate report reviewed by Fox News seems to confirm these troubling allegations. “Hunter Biden had business associations with Ye Jianming, Gongwen Dong and other Chinese nationals linked to the Communist government and the People’s Liberation Army,” the report says. “Those associations resulted in millions of dollars in cash flow.”

Nor did ABC News ask Hunter Biden about receiving a 2.8 carat diamond worth $80,000 that a shadowy Chinese tycoon delivered to his hotel room. Neither Joe nor Hunter were asked about this during the campaign, even though Hunter admitted to taking the diamond in the pages of the New Yorker magazine last year. This suspicious gift is now reportedly part of the FBI probe.

In fairness, some skepticism of an October surprise being foisted on the public by a right-leaning tabloid and Rudy Giuliani, who’s no stranger to getting out over his skis in defense of Trump, would have been warranted.

But some media figures so quickly descended into condescending arrogance that some apologies appear in order, given what we now know. The managing editor of taxpayer-funded NPR declared it a “waste of time” to report on the Hunter Biden allegations. The Atlantic’s Anne Applebaum assured us, “Those who live outside the Fox News bubble and intend to remain there do not, of course, need to learn any of this stuff [about Hunter Biden].”

However, many of the key allegations in the New York Post report weren’t just about Hunter. They raised questions about whether Joe Biden was a participant in his son’s foreign wheeling and dealing. Nonetheless, Applebaum’s Atlantic colleague David Frum went even further. “The people on the far right and far left that publicized the obviously bogus [New York Post ] story were not dupes. They were accomplices. The story could not have been more fake if it had been wearing dollar-store spectacles and attached plastic mustache,” he wrote.

Unfortunately for Frum, the question of who was acting as an “accomplice” is now a bigger issue than ever. “According to Biden campaign metrics, online chatter about the Hunter Biden story during the election’s last week was greater than it was around Hillary’s emails during last month of ’16,” observed the Daily Beast’s Sam Stein last month. “The difference: it never spilled over into mainstream outlets.”

Given that Biden’s Electoral College victory was even narrower than Trump’s in 2016 – about 40,000 votes spread across three narrowly won states – Stein’s observation that the media suppression of the Hunter Biden story may have helped Joe Biden win now looks like a troubling indictment. A chilling media precedent has been set to not just discredit, but actively censor legitimate reporting on political corruption weeks before an election.

Mark Hemingway is a writer in Alexandria, Va. You can follow him on twitter @heminator.

Copyright © 2020 RealClearHoldings, LLC.

December 15, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | 2 Comments

Virus Avoidance Is Not the Whole of Life

By Jenin Younes | American Institute of Economic Research | December 11, 2020

Lest you were hopeful that some semblance of normal life will return in 2021, either due to the development of vaccines or the pandemic fizzling out on its own, the New York Times and 700 epidemiologists have news for you. An article that appeared in the paper on December 4, 2020, entitled “How 700 Epidemiologists are Living Now, and What They Think is Next,” with the subheading “They are going to the grocery store again, but don’t see vaccines making life normal right away,” reveals that most in the profession, or at least the vast majority of those interviewed for the piece, believe that masks and some form of social distancing should continue for years, if not forever.

As an aside, I wonder how these scientists believe groceries arrive at their doorsteps, if not by another human being whose safety is, apparently, less worthy of consideration.

While a minority of epidemiologists interviewed for the article believe that “if highly effective vaccines were widely distributed, it would be safe for Americans to begin living more freely this summer,” these relative optimists are vastly outnumbered by those who think that life should not return to normal for many years, if ever. Indeed, only one third of the 700 plan to “return to more activities of daily life” once vaccinated. The others intend to severely restrict travel, gather only in small groups with close relatives, work from home at least part time, avoid crowded places, and wear a mask, all indefinitely, because they are concerned about the efficacy of a vaccine, as well as issues with respect to distribution and reluctance to get it.

One epidemiologist declares that “[b]eing in close proximity to people I don’t know will always feel less safe than it used to.”

I may not have a background in psychology or psychiatry, but I am fairly confident that before March of 2020, this mentality would have been recognized as some form of ailment of the mind warranting intervention. These epidemiologists implicitly embrace the principle that virus avoidance is a singularly important goal. If not life’s sole priority, it is certainly among its most crucial objectives.

This is a dogma that should be resoundingly rejected. As I (and many others) have written before, there is no reason to assign SARS-CoV-2 a special status as a killer virus, or to view it as significantly worse than many other of the world’s problems that typically go largely unnoticed by educated professionals in the developed world. Over the past year, around 1.5 million deaths worldwide have been attributed to SARS-Cov-2. On average, 1.35 million people die in traffic accidents, 1.7 million people die of AIDS, and 1.4 million of tuberculosis, each year (We know that the counter to this — that if we did not take extreme mitigation measures, the virus would spiral out of control and bodies would be falling in the streets — is not borne out by the reality).

Back to our 700 epidemiologists. Unfortunately, because of their profession – expertise in the incidence, distribution, and control of disease within a population– there is a danger that their ideas will be endowed with undeserved authority. Although not expressly stated, that is, presumably, the article’s objective: to encourage readers to conclude that, if this is what the experts are doing, perhaps I should, too. That is why the Times did not run an article about how 700 lawyers or baseball players or receptionists are living now.

I urge readers not to pay attention to the ideas propagated in that article. These epidemiologists are no better equipped to weigh the competing values that inform how one chooses to live during the coronavirus era than individuals are to make their own choices. To the contrary, we should entirely discount these epidemiologists’ opinions on the topic, as it appears that immersion in the world of infectious disease control has robbed them of perspective.

If you are under 70 and in reasonably good health, there is no reason to rearrange your existence and sacrifice activities that are crucial to your happiness and flourishing in the name of virus avoidance unless, perhaps, that was your lifestyle prior to 2020. And if the concern is others, one could devote resources to saving some of the twenty-five thousand people succumbing to starvation each day or the million children who die annually of malaria, with considerably less disruption to one’s life. It is puzzling that these epidemiologists, so concerned with the spread of coronavirus, have not chosen to devote their time and money to these causes.

Thankfully, more and more people appear to be reaching the same conclusion (including many of the politicians who have been exhorting people to stay home and shaming them for refusing to do so), as evidenced by the fact that only four percent fewer Americans traveled long distances for Thanksgiving than they did last year, and there has been increased resistance to illogical, disruptive measures such as closures of schools, playgrounds, and outdoor dining.

Of course, we are far from triumphing over the oppression inflicted upon us by politicians and so-called experts, but refusing to give into their absurd dictates is the only path to victory. The more of us who reject the idea that avoiding the coronavirus should inform virtually every aspect of life, the harder it will be for these epidemiologists to achieve their goal of making the new normal last forever.

Jenin Younes is a graduate of Cornell University and New York University School of Law. Jenin currently works as an appellate public defender in New York City.

December 12, 2020 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment

How Israel deployed an intelligence deception to justify killing scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh

By Gareth Porter · The GrayZone · December 2, 2020

Israel’s Mossad has spent years on a propaganda campaign aimed at convincing the world Iran possessed a nuclear weapons program – and legitimizing its assassinations of Iranian academics.

The Israeli assassination of Iranian defense official Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is being treated as a triumph of Israeli intelligence, with ubiquitous references in the New York Times and other major media outlets to the killing of “Iran’s top nuclear scientist”. In fact, Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency eliminated Fakhrizadeh, a defense official, despite the knowledge that its public depiction of him as the key architect of an Iranian nuclear weapons program was a deception.

For years, US media outlets have portrayed Fakhrizadeh as Iran’s equivalent to J. Robert Oppenheimer, marketing him to the public as the mastermind behind an Iranian version of the Manhattan Project. This image was developed primarily through a carefully constructed Israeli disinformation operation based on documents that displayed signs of fabrication.

Birth of a Mossad propaganda operation

The origin of the Mossad propaganda operation on Fakhrizadeh lies in the early 1990’s, when the US and Israel first developed suspicions of Iranian ambitions to develop a nuclear weapon. U.S., British, German and Israeli intelligence analysts had intercepted telexes from Sharif University about various “dual use” technologies — those that could be exploited in a nuclear program but also be applied for non-nuclear use.

Many of the telexes contained the number of an organization called Physics Research Center that operated under the watch of Iran’s Defense Ministry. The CIA and its allied intelligence agencies interpreted those intercepts as evidence that the Iranian military was running its own nuclear program, and thus that Iran was covertly seeking a nuclear weapons capability.

During the first term of the George W. Bush administration, the notorious militarist and Likud ally John Bolton took charge of Iran policy, prompting the CIA to issue an estimate concluding for the first time that Iran had initiated a nuclear weapons program. Israel’s Mossad apparently saw Washington’s new posture as a green light to set into motion a black propaganda campaign to dramatize and personalize the secret Iranian nuclear weapons program that was presumed to exist.

Between 2003 and 2004, Mossad produced a large cache of alleged Iranian documents depicting efforts to mate a nuclear weapon with Iran’s Shahab-3 missile and a bench system to convert uranium.

The Mossad files contained multiple tell-tale signs of forgery. For example, the reentry vehicle depicted in the drawings had already been abandoned by 2002 – before these drawings were supposedly created, according to the documents themselves – in favor of a design that looked entirely different and which was first shown in an August 2004 test. So whoever was responsible for the drawings was clearly unaware of the single most important Defense Ministry decision affecting the future of Iran’s missile deterrent.

The CIA never revealed who spirited the documents out of Iran or how. However, former senior German Foreign Office official Karsten Voigt explained to this reporter in 2013 that the German intelligence agency, the BND, had been furnished with the collection by an occasional source whom the intel chiefs considered less than credible.

And who was this source? According to Voigt, he belonged to the Mujahedeen e-Khalq (MEK), the exile Iranian cult which had fought for Saddam’s Iraqi forces against Iran during the eight-year war and by the early 1990s was passing information and propaganda that Mossad did not want to have attributed to itself.

Painting Fakrhizadeh as nuclear mastermind

Those Mossad documents identified Mohsen Fakhrizadeh as the manager of a supposedly top-secret Iranian project called the “AMAD Plan.” In reality, Fakhrizadeh was an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps officer and official in the Ministry of Defense Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL), who also taught Physics at Imam Hussein University in Tehran.

To implicate him as a nuclear project mastermind, the collection of Mossad documents featured a directive supposedly signed by Fakhrizadeh. But since no one outside Iran had ever seen the previously obscure official’s signature, and given the lack of effort to show any official government markings on the documents, there was little to prevent Mossad from forging it.

In their 2012 history of Israel’s intelligence service, “Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service”, Michael Bar-Zohar and Nisham Mishal pointed to Mossad as the culprit behind the appearance of the supposed Iranian nuclear documents. The writers recounted how Mossad gathered the personal information on Fakhrizadeh that was later released to the public through the MEK, including his passport number and his home telephone number.

“This abundance of detail and means of transmission,” Bar-Zohar and Mishal wrote, “leads one to believe that… ‘a certain secret service’ ever suspected by the West of pursuing its own agenda, painstakingly collected these facts and figures about the Iranian scientist and passed them on to the Iranian resistance [MEK].”

The documents also fingered Fakhrizadeh as the former head of the Physics Research Centre, thus deceptively linking him to the procurement efforts for “dual use” nuclear items in 1990-91 that were well known to CIA and other intelligence agencies. That accusation was reflected in the 2006 United Nations Security Council Resolution 1747 listing Iranian officials responsible for nuclear and missile proliferation in Iran. In the UN resolution, Fakhrizadeh was identified as a “[s]enior MODAFL scientist and former head of the Physics Research Centre (PHRC).”

But the Israeli identification of Fakhrizadeh as the head of the PHRC was proven to be a lie. Iran turned over extensive documentation to the IAEA in late 2004 or early 2005 on the PHRC and the procurement telexes, and the documents — which the IAEA did not challenge — showing that a professor at Sharif University of Technology in Tehran named Sayyed Abbas Shahmoradi-Zavari had headed the PHRC from its inception in 1989 until it closed in 1998.

Further, the documents provided to the IAEA revealed that the dual-use technology that Shahmoradi-Zavari helped the university procure through his PHRC connections was actually intended for the university faculty’s own teaching and research. In at least one case, the IAEA personnel found one “dual-use” item had been procured by the university.

These facts should have put an end to the Mossad-created myth of Fakrizadeh as the head of a vast underground nuclear weapons program. But the IAEA never revealed Shamoradi-Zavari’s name, and therefore avoided having to acknowledge that the documents the agency had embraced as genuine had misled the world about Fakhrizadeh.

It was not until 2012 that David Albright, the director of Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security, acknowledged that Shahmoradi-Zavari — not Fakhrizadeh — had been the head of the Physics Research Center – although he avoided admitting that the IAEA had relied on documents that turned out be false.

Revving up the propaganda 

The Mossad got busy again after the CIA’s November 2007 assessment that Iran had ceased work on nuclear weapons. Determined to neutralize the political impact of that finding, the Israelis apparently began work on a new batch of Iranian top secret documents. This time, however, the Israelis provided the documents directly to the IAEA in late 2009, as then-IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei revealed in his memoirs.

The documents supposedly revealed Iranian defense ministry activities related to nuclear weapons after the cessation of such work that the CIA. One of those documents, leaked to the London Times in December 2009, purported to be a 2007 letter from Fakhrizadeh as the chairman of an organization presiding over nuclear weapons work. But as ElBaradei recalled, the IAEA’s technical experts “raised numerous questions about the documents’ authenticity…”

Even the CIA and some European intelligence analysts were skeptical about the authenticity of the Fakhrizadeh document. Although it had been circulating among the intelligence agencies for months, even the normally unquestioning New York Times reported that the CIA had not authenticated it. Former CIA counterterrorism official Philip Giraldi, who had maintained contacts with active agency personnel, told this reporter CIA analysts regarded the document as a forgery.

A pattern of assassinations justified by disinformation

The killing of Fakhrizadeh was not the first time Mossad bumped off an Iranian it had baselessly accused of playing a leading role in a weapons program. In July 2011, someone working for Mossad — apparently an MEK member — gunned down a 35-year old engineering student named Darioush Rezaeinejad and wounded his wife in front of a kindergarten in Tehran.

The young man was targeted on the basis of nothing more than the research he had conducted on high-voltage switches and his publication of a scholarly paper about his scholarship. The abstract of the professional paper Rezaienejad had published made it clear that his work involved what is called “explosive pulsed power” involved in high-power lasers, high-power microwave sources and other commercial applications.

A few days after the assassination of Rezaienejad, however, an official of an unnamed “member state” provided Associated Press reporter George Jahn the abstract of Rezaienejad’s paper, successfully persuading Jahn that it “appeared to back” the claim that he had been “working on a key component in setting off the explosives needed to trigger a nuclear warhead.”

Then, in September 2011, the Israelis provided Jahn with an “intelligence summary” advancing the ludicrous claim that Rezaeinejad was not an electrical engineering specialist at all, but rather a “physicist” who had worked for the Ministry of Defense on various aspects of nuclear weapons.

The deployment of absurd assertions backed by paper-thin evidence to justify the cold-blooded murder of a young electrical engineer with no record of nuclear weapons involvement illuminated a Mossad modus operandi that has reappeared in the case of Fakhrizadeh: Israeli intelligence simply gins up a narrative centered around fictional ties to a nonexistent nuclear weapons program. It then watches as the Western press uncritically disseminates the propaganda to the public, establishing the political space for cold-blooded assassinations in broad daylight.

Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist who has covered national security policy since 2005 and was the recipient of Gellhorn Prize for Journalism in 2012. His most recent book is The CIA Insider’s Guide to the Iran Crisis co-authored with John Kiriakou, just published in February.

December 3, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

‘I want blood’: Rachel Maddow’s audience fired up by NYT story baselessly accusing ‘Russian hackers’ of attacking US hospital

By Nebojsa Malic | RT | November 30, 2020

Accusing Russia of hacking anything from the 2016 election to US cancer hospitals may be fun and games for MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, but when her audience responds by demanding apocalypse, the shtick stops being funny.

Maddow’s conspiracy theories about ‘Russian collusion’ and supposed hacking of the 2016 election that resulted in President Donald Trump have been a staple of MSNBC audiences over the past four years. She’s not giving up that routine now, even as the entire mainstream media machine has turned on a dime and insists that the 2020 election was flawless – since it resulted in Democrat Joe Biden’s victory, that is.

On Monday, Maddow cherry-picked a couple of quotes and linked a New York Times story – published last week – about ‘Russian’ hackers allegedly targeting the University of Vermont Medical Center last month.

The Times story is long on feelings and emotions of the medical personnel and cancer patients affected by the fact that the UVMC computers stopped working, but short on actual facts about the case. It works in a jab at President Donald Trump for firing head of the cybersecurity agency Chris Krebs – for disputing “baseless claims of voter fraud,” of course – even though that happened long after the alleged attack.

The story also notes that the FBI has requested the center administrators to refrain from commenting on the case – even to confirm or deny their own statements about alleged ransom requests. Absent the facts, the Times is happy to fill in the blanks by citing a private cybersecurity company, Hold Security.

Hold Security and its chief executive Alex Holden are the sole source for the claim that ‘Russian’ hackers were behind the alleged cyberattack on UVMC and other US hospitals – at least according to the Times, as well as the media coverage of the FBI’s warning in late October that Maddow referenced.

The whole thing sounds much like the debunked Times story about Russia allegedly paying “bounties” to the Taliban for killing US troops in Afghanistan, a June bombshell that was used to hammer Trump and oppose his efforts to end the endless US war there.

Even the Pentagon’s own denials didn’t make a difference; Maddow and her colleagues were “all in” on the bounties story being true. So was her audience, as evidenced by some of the replies to her tweet.

While much of the replies were in the same vein, there were some that crossed the line from partisanship into genocidal – and apocalyptic – calls for blood.

“Russia needs to finally be handled. They need to be knocked back into the stone age,” said one follower.

“I did not hate the leaders of the old Soviet Union as much as I hate the leaders of Russia right now. I want them to experience monumental, historic, unprecedented, apocalyptic pain for what they have done to us. I want blood,” said another.

Earlier this year, MSNBC’s lawyers defended Maddow against a defamation lawsuit by One America News (OANN) – whom she called “literally Russian propaganda” – by arguing her show isn’t news but opinion, and that her statement was “rhetorical hyperbole” that no reasonable person would understand as fact.

While that admission got Maddow and MSNBC off the legal hook, it raises the question of how many of her followers and their audience qualify as “reasonable” people – as the comments on her tweet about the Times story show anew.

No one, Maddow included, should be held legally liable for the content of their replies, obviously. It’s something beyond their control. But when a steady diet of propaganda, ‘insinuendo’ and conspiracy theories presented as facts creates an atmosphere that results in this sort of bloodthirst that’s on display, it doesn’t inspire confidence in her audience’s mental state.

Keep in mind that the politicians Maddow supports may soon end up with absolute power, if Trump’s claims about election fraud are really as “baseless” as the media claim. Also, don’t forget that the US and Russia have enough nuclear weapons between themselves to destroy all life on the planet. And that’s something people so obsessed with their feelings to be calling for “monumental, historic, unprecedented, apocalyptic pain” clearly haven’t given any thought.

December 1, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , | 1 Comment

Demanding Silicon Valley Suppress “Hyper-Partisan Sites” in Favor of “Mainstream News” (The NYT) is a Fraud

By Glenn Greenwald | November 25, 2020

The most prolific activism demanding more Silicon Valley censorship is found in the nation’s largest news outlets: the media reporters of CNN, the “disinformation” unit of NBC News, and especially the tech reporters of The New York Times. That is where the most aggressive and sustained pro-internet-censorship campaigns are waged.

Due in part to a self-interested desire to re-establish their monopoly on discourse by crushing any independent or dissenting voices, and in part by a censorious and arrogant mindset which convinces them that only those of their worldview and pedigree have a right to be heard, they largely devote themselves to complaining that Facebook, Google and Twitter are not suppressing enough speech. It is hall-monitor tattletale whining masquerading as journalism: petulantly complaining that tech platforms are permitting speech that, in their view, ought instead be silenced.

In Tuesday’s New York Times, three of those censorious tech reporters — Kevin Roose, Mike Isaac, and Sheera Frenkel — published an article on Facebook’s post-election deliberations over how to alter its algorithms to prevent the spread of what they deem “misinformation” regarding the election. The most consequential change they implemented, The New York Times explained, was one in which “hyperpartisan pages” are repressed in favor of promoting “a spike in visibility for big, mainstream publishers like CNN, The New York Times and NPR” — a change the Paper of Record heralded as having fostered “a calmer, less divisive Facebook.”

More alarmingly, the NYT suggested (i.e., prayed) that these changes, designed by Facebook as an election-related emergency measure, would instead become permanent. Marvel at these two paragraphs and all of tenuous and self-serving assumptions buried in them:

New York Times article, “Facebook Struggles to Balance Civility and Growth,” Nov. 24, 2020

The conceit that outlets like The New York Times, CNN and NPR are the alternatives to “hyper-partisan pages” is one you would be eager to believe, or at least want to induce others to believe, if you were a tech reporter at The New York Times, furious and hurt that millions upon millions of people would rather hear other voices than your own, and simply do not trust what you tell them. Inducing Facebook to manipulate the algorithmic underbelly of social media to artificially force your content down the throats of citizens who prefer to avoid it, while rendering your critics’ speech invisible — all in the name of reducing “hyper-partisanship,” “divisiveness,” and “misinformation” — is of course a highly desirable outcome for mainstream outlets like the NYT.

The problem with this claim is that it’s a complete and utter fraud, one that is easily demonstrated as such. There are few sites more “hyper-partisan” than the three outlets which the NYT applauded Facebook for promoting. In the 2020 election, over 70 million Americans — close to half of the voting population — voted for Donald Trump, yet not one of them is employed by the op-ed page of the “non-partisan” New York Times and are almost never heard on NPR or CNN. That’s because those news outlets, by design, are pro-Democratic-Party organs, who speak overwhelmingly to Democratic readers and viewers.

It is hard to get more partisan than the news outlets which the NYT tech reporters, and apparently Facebook, consider to be the alternatives to “hyper-partisan” discourse. In April, Pew Research asked Americans which outlet is their primary source of news, and the polling firm found that the audiences of NPR, CNN and especially The New York Times are overwhelmingly Democrats, in some cases almost entirely so.

As Pew put it: “about nine-in-ten of those who name The New York Times (91%) and NPR (87%) as their main political news source identify as Democrats, with CNN at about eight-in-ten (79%).” These outlets speak to Democrats, are built for Democrats, and produce news content designed to be pleasing and affirming to Democrats — so they keep watching and buying. One can say many things about these news outlets, but the idea that they are the alternatives to “hyper-partisan pages” is the exact opposite of the truth: it is difficult to find more hyper-partisan organs than these.

Then there is the question of who does and does not spread “misinformation.” It is rather astonishing that the news outlets that did more than anyone to convince Americans to believe the most destructive misinformation of this generation: that Saddam had WMDs and was in an alliance with Al Qaeda — The New York Times, The Atlantic, NBC and The New Yorker — have the audacity to prance around as the bulwarks against misinformation rather than what they are: the primary purveyors of it.

Over the last four years, they devoted themselves to the ultimate deranged, mangled conspiracy theory: that the Kremlin had infiltrated the U.S. and was clandestinely controlling the levers of American power through some combination of sexual and financial blackmail. The endless pursuit of that twisted conspiracy led them to produce one article after the next that spread utter falsehoods, embraced reckless journalism and fostered humiliating debacles. The only thing more absurd than these hyper-partisan, reckless outlets posturing as the alternatives to hyper-partisanship is them insisting that they’re the only safeguards against misinformation.

Note how insidiously creepy is The New York Times’ description of a censored, regulated internet. They call it “a vision of what a calmer, less divisive Facebook might look like,” and claim an unnamed Facebook employee described it as “a nicer news feed.”

Yes, discourse that is centralized and regulated, where no dissent is tolerated, where alternative voices are silenced, is always “calmer” and “less divisive.” That’s always the core goal of censorsing speech and ideas: to eliminate “divisiveness” and to pacify the population (“calmer” and “nicer”). That is always the result when orthodoxies imposed downward from the most powerful institutions of authority can no longer be meaningfully challenged.

The censorious mentality being peddled with increasing aggression is always chilling and dangerous. That it is media outlets — which ought to be the most vocal champions of free discourse — instead taking the lead in begging and pressuring Silicon Valley to censure the internet more and more is warped beyond belief. The internet should be free and left alone, especially by those with their record of deceit and propaganda.

Indeed, if we are to have it an internet controlled from above by unseen tech overlords in the name of eliminating “hyper-partisanship” and “disinformation” and fostering a “calmer” and “nicer” population, the sites now being artificially and manipulatively promoted are the absolute last ones who can credibly claim entitlement to that benefit.

November 25, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , , | Leave a comment

Ex-spooks again join for an anti-Trump missive, demanding Republican leaders pressure president to concede to Biden

RT | November 23, 2020

President Donald Trump has again inspired former US spy bosses and national security bureaucrats to get together for a joint letter – this time to demand that GOP leaders urge him to concede the election to Democrat Joe Biden.

Trump’s legal challenges to election results in several key states, more than two weeks on from media outlets declaring Biden the winner, represent “a serious threat to America’s democratic process and to our national security,” signatories to the letter said on Monday.

“It is now time for the rest of the Republican leadership to put politics aside and insist that President Trump cease his dilatory and anti-democratic efforts to undermine the result of the election and begin a smooth and orderly transition of power to President-elect Biden,” the Washington insiders said.

More than 100 former security and intelligence agency officials signed the letter. Many of the same names were on an October letter that sought – without any evidence – to dismiss reporting by the New York Post on the Biden family’s alleged influence-peddling in China and Ukraine. Team spook also came together for a collaborative letter in August to allege that Trump had “imperiled America’s security” by firing certain officials in his administration.

Much the same cast of characters highlighted the list of names on Monday’s letter, including former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, former CIA and NSA director General Michael Hayden, ex-national intelligence director John Negroponte and Ronald Reagan-era FBI and CIA director William Webster.

The group apparently aims through a large number of names to carry more influence than might be achieved by individuals. Some of those individuals have credibility issues, such as Hayden, who was never held accountable for lying to Congress about the CIA torture program. Hayden also is a paid contributor for anti-Trump media outlet CNN. Negroponte was accused of supporting Contra death squads in Honduras.

More than 100 chief executives, concerned that the president’s refusal to accept the election results is hurting the U.S., plan to ask the administration on Monday to immediately acknowledge Joe Biden as the winner and begin a transfer of power. https://t.co/O8XnGPQF1j

— The New York Times (@nytimes) November 23, 2020

Mainstream media outlets in recent days have posted stories suggesting growing momentum to speak out against Trump’s election challenges, including such Republicans as former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and US Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) calling on the president to quit his fight. The New York Times on Monday promoted a story about more than 100 corporate CEOs urging Trump to concede defeat to Biden.


November 23, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Video | , , | 2 Comments

New York Times job listing shows how Western propaganda operates

By Caitlin Johnstone | November 21, 2020

People who are only just beginning to research what’s wrong with the world often hold an assumption that mainstream news reporters are just knowingly propagandizing people all the time.

That they sit around scheming up ways to deceive their audiences into supporting war, oligarchy and oppression for the benefit of their plutocratic masters.

Once you’ve learned a bit more you realize it’s not quite happening that way. Most mainstream news reporters are not really witting propagandists – those are to be found more in plutocrat-funded think tanks and other narrative management firms, and in the opaque government agencies which feed news media outlets information designed to advance their interests. The predominant reason mainstream news reporters say things that aren’t true is because in order to be hired by mainstream news outlets, you need to jack your mind into a power-serving worldview that is not based in truth.

A recent job listing for a New York Times Russia Correspondent which was flagged by Russia-based journalist Bryan MacDonald illustrates this dynamic perfectly. The listing reads as follows:

“Vladimir Putin’s Russia remains one of the biggest stories in the world.

It sends out hit squads armed with nerve agents against its enemies, most recently the opposition leader Aleksei Navalny. It has its cyber agents sow chaos and disharmony in the West to tarnish its democratic systems, while promoting its faux version of democracy. It has deployed private military contractors around the globe to secretly spread its influence. At home, its hospitals are filling up fast with Covid patients as its president hides out in his villa.

If that sounds like a place you want to cover, then we have good news: We will have an opening for a new correspondent as Andy Higgins takes over as our next Eastern Europe Bureau Chief early next year.”

Does this sound like the sort of job someone with a less than hostile attitude toward the Russian government would apply to? Is it a job listing that indicates it might welcome someone who sees mainstream Russia hysteria as cartoonish hyperbole designed to advance the longstanding geostrategic interests of Western power structures against a government which has long resisted bowing to the dictates of those power structures? Someone who voices skepticism about the plotholeriddled establishment narratives of Russian election meddling and Novichok assassinations? Someone who, as Moon of Alabama notes, might point out that Putin is in fact at work in the Kremlin right now and not “hiding out” in a “villa”?

Of course not. In order to get a job at the New York Times, you need to demonstrate that you subscribe to the mainstream oligarchic imperialist worldview which forms the entirety of Western mass media output. You need to demonstrate that you have been properly indoctrinated, and that you can be guided into toeing the imperial line with simple attaboys and tisk-tisks from your superiors rather than being explicitly told to knowingly lie.

Because if they did tell you to knowingly lie to the public to advance the interests of the powerful, that would be propaganda. And propaganda is what happens in evil backwards countries like Russia.

Mainstream establishment orthodoxy is essentially a religion, as fake and power-serving as any other, and if you want to work in mainstream politics or media you need to demonstrate that you are a member of that religion.

That’s all you’re ever seeing when you notice blue-checkmarked reporters tweeting in promotion of imperialist interests and status quo politics. They are not laboring under the delusion that they are saying anything new or insightful that a hundred other people aren’t saying at the exact same time; they are signaling. They are letting current and prospective peers and employers know, “I am a believer. I am a member of the faith.” This way they are ensured the continued advancement of their careers in mainstream news media.

This is why you have labels for anyone expressing skepticism of establishment narratives like “conspiracy theorist,” “useful idiot,” “Russian asset” or “Assadist”; the powerful people who understand that whoever controls the narrative controls the world need labels to separate the faithful from the heathens. It means the same thing as “heretic.”

The fast and easy way to get rich and famous has always been to promote the interests of the powerful. This is as true in every other sector as it is in media. For this reason, those who pour their energy into criticizing existing power structures and shining a bright light on their dynamics aren’t likely to be living in fancy mansions or going to ritzy parties any time soon, while those who do the opposite actually will. And yet when someone sets up a Substack or a Patreon account to make criticizing the powerful their life’s work, it is they who will get called money-grubbing grifters by the propagandized.

The faces you see thrust onto screens by the plutocratic media are not spouting falsehoods while being aware of their deception, any more than any preacher is knowingly lying when they say you’ll burn for eternity if you don’t accept the gospel. Most of them believe everything they are saying, because they have been propagandized into becoming good acolytes and proselytizers of the faith.

The most propagandized people on earth are those who are responsible for promulgating propaganda.

Caitlin Johnstone is an independent journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her website is here and you can follow her on Twitter @caitoz

November 22, 2020 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | Leave a comment

Why is challenging suspicious election results ‘a threat to our democracy’?

By Jack Hellner | American Thinker | November 21, 2020

On Thursday, President Trump’s legal team presented many pieces of information about the election that deserve to be investigated.

But the media have no interest in that.

Instead, they essentially black out the news and ask Trump to concede so they can crown their chosen king. Worst of all, they continue to falsely claim there is no evidence of fraud.

The New York Times and others have written about the potential fraud on universal mail-in ballots in the past, as have other outlets, but now they call Trump a liar.

The media outlets know that rules were changed to make mail-in ballots less verifiable, but they don’t care.

They know that observation of the counting has been essentially blocked in some towns in violation of the law, and they don’t care.

They know that election officials in some states are violating laws, but laws aren’t important as long as the media’s chosen one is ahead.

Statistically, it is rare for the up-ballot candidate, the president, to significantly underperform the down-ballot candidates, but the media don’t care.

Coattails without a coat? Tell us exactly how that could happen.

They know, or should know, that Biden outperformed Hillary in only four cities: Milwaukee, Detroit, Atlanta, and Philadelphia, not the nation as a whole. They also know about over-votes in cities — that is, more votes than registered voters — and once again, they don’t care.

They know there have been questions about Dominion, the software provider in many states, because they certainly had those questions before.

They know that Democrat senators Elizabeth Warren, Ron Wyden, and Amy Klobuchar had significant questions about Dominion in December 2019, but they don’t care. Can anyone imagine how loud the senators and journalists would be about potential fraud by Dominion if Biden were behind? But what we have now is silence from the senators and the supposed journalists.

They know that several swing states mysteriously stopped counting votes on Election Night, but they don’t care. As a CPA with 43 years of experience, the only reason I can think they stopped counting is to cook the books, commit fraud, and change the vote.

Yet journalists don’t even ask the states why they stopped counting.

The same supposed journalists who say Trump is destroying democracy by challenging election results are the ones who:

  • Claimed that Trump was an illegitimate president for four years. These same journalists and other Democrats also called Bush an illegitimate president for four years after he beat Al Gore twenty years earlier. The playbook is always the same. Not once did I hear that Gore was threatening democracy by challenging election results for more than one month. Instead, the media cheered him on because Democrats are special.
  • Regurgitated the Russian collusion lie for years with zero evidence.
  • Never cared about all the lies and crimes of people in the Obama/Biden administration as they set out to destroy Trump and protect career criminal Hillary Clinton from prosecution.
  • Called Trump a liar for saying the Obama administration spied on his team when it is clearly true.
  • Use congenital liars and criminals like James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Jim Clapper, and John Brennan to attack Trump with known lies.
  • Cheered Obama/Biden on as they lied continuously about Obamacare and the Iran deal.
  • Willingly spread the lies about what Trump said in Charlottesville and spread the lie that Trump had not denounced radical white supremacists.
  • Along with other Democrats, called Trump and his supporters racists, sexists, bigots, homophobes, xenophobes, and every other name in the book as they bragged that Trump was divisive and continually say they are for unity. The media and other Democrats always play the race and sex card because their policies are so unpopular.
  • Looked the other way concerning all the kickbacks to the Clinton and Biden families from foreign sources and never cared about the women the Clintons and Biden were accused of abusing. The women were expendable.
  • Sought to destroy white Christian boys from Kentucky and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, without evidence, solely because of their connection to Trump. The party that preaches unity will destroy anyone who gets in its way as it pursues its quest for power.
  • Continually lie that Trump never cared about the coronavirus and never did anything about it and didn’t care about the people dying, and falsely blamed him for all deaths related to COVID. The truth is, from the CDC in August, that less than 7% of the people who died with COVID died solely because of COVID. Over 93% died because of cancer, heart disease, liver disease, lung disease, diabetes, obesity, and other co-morbidity factors. Therefore, blaming all of the deaths on COVID is a political, agenda-driven decision, not a scientific one. I assume that it is to scare the public into submission. Why don’t the media ask the CDC why it never counted deaths the same on the seasonal flu or swine flu?
  • Continually claim that the science is settled that humans and oil cause temperatures to rise and climate change when there is no scientific data to support that. The scientific data shows that in the last 150 years crude oil use went from zero to around one hundred million barrels per day, yet temperatures have risen and fallen and are within one to two degrees. It should be noted that a little ice age ended in 1850 and a little warming would be normal. Facts haven’t mattered for a long time, only power for government with Democrats in control.

Lately, the public have been treated to an Obama bragging tour where he and the fawning media have been rewriting history as fast as they can. They lie that Obama/Biden handed off a thriving economy. The truth is they had the slowest economic recovery in seventy years. They lie that there were no scandals during the Obama/Biden years. The truth is that there were massive continuous scandals that the media chose to bury. Obama lies that the only reason that Hillary lost is because we are racists. The truth is his policies were unpopular and wages were stagnant, especially for those at the bottom.

Summary: The biggest threat to our democracy, freedom and prosperity is a sycophant media that campaigns for one party and seeks to destroy the other. We are not a systemically racist country and it is absolutely not a threat to our democracy for anyone to challenge the results in an election especially when there are so many questions.

November 21, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite | , , | 6 Comments

The Blizzard of Bogus Journalism on Covid

BY Jeffrey A. Tucker | American Institute for Economic Research | November 20, 2020

This game of hunt-and-kill Covid cases has reached peak absurdity, especially in media culture.

Take a look at Supermarkets are the most common place to catch Covid, new data reveals. It’s a story on a “study” assembled by Public Health England (PHE) from the NHS Test and Trace App. Here is the conclusion. In the six days of November studied, “of those who tested positive, it was found that 18.3 per cent had visited a supermarket.”

Now, if the alarm bells don’t go off with that one, you didn’t pay attention to 7th grade science. If the app had also included showering, eating, and breathing, it might have found a 100% correlation. Yes, the people who tested positive probably did shop, as do most people. That doesn’t mean that shopping gives you Covid and it certainly doesn’t mean that shopping kills you.

Even if shopping is a way to get Covid, this is a very widespread and mostly mild virus for 99.8% percent of the population with an infection fatality rate as low as 0.05% for those under 70. Competent infectious disease experts have said multiple times that test, track, and isolate strategies are nearly useless for controlling viruses such as this.

This story/study was so poor and so absurd that it was too much even for Isabel Oliver, Director of the National Infection Service at Public Health England. She sent out the following note:

Thank you. One down, a thousand to go.

The New York Times pulled a mighty fast one with this piece: “States That Imposed Few Restrictions Now Have the Worst Outbreaks.” This would be huge news if true because it would imply not only that lockdowns save lives (which no serious study has thus far been able to document) but also that granting people basic freedoms are the reason for bad health outcomes, an astonishing claim on its own.

The piece, put together by two graphic artists and seemingly very science-like, speaks of “outbreaks,” which vaguely sounds terrible: packed with mortality. It’s odd because anyone can look at the data and see that New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Connecticut lead the way with deaths per million, mostly owing to the fatalities in long-term care facilities. These were the states that locked down the hardest and longest. Indeed they are locking down again! Deaths per million in states like South Dakota are still low on the list.

How in the world can the NYT claim that states that did not lock down have the worst outbreaks? The claim hinges entirely on a trivial discovery. Some clever someone discovered that if you reflow data by cases per million instead of deaths per million, you get an opposite result. The reasons: 1) when the Northeast experienced the height of the pandemic, there was very little testing going on, so the “outbreak” was not documented even as deaths grew and grew, 2) by the time the virus reached the Midwest, tests were widely available, 3) the testing mania grew and grew to the point that the non-vulnerable are being tested like crazy, generating high positives in small-population areas.

By focusing on the word “outbreak,” the Times can cleverly obscure the difference between a positive PCR result (including many false positive and perhaps half or more asymptomatic cases) and a severe outcome from catching the virus. In other words, the Times has documented an “outbreak” of mostly non-sick people in low-population areas.

There are hundreds of ways to look at Covid-19 data. The Times picked the one metric – the least valuable one for actually discerning whether and to what extent people are sick – in order to generate the result that they wanted, namely that open states look as bad as possible. The result is a chart that massively misrepresents any existing reality. It makes the worst states look great and the best ones look terrible. The visual alone is constructed to make it looks as if open states are bleeding uncontrollably.

How many readers will even know this? Very few, I suspect. What’s more amazing is that the Times itself already debunked the entire “casedemic” back in September:

Some of the nation’s leading public health experts are raising a new concern in the endless debate over coronavirus testing in the United States: The standard tests are diagnosing huge numbers of people who may be carrying relatively insignificant amounts of the virus.

Most of these people are not likely to be contagious, and identifying them may contribute to bottlenecks that prevent those who are contagious from being found in time….

In three sets of testing data that include cycle thresholds, compiled by officials in Massachusetts, New York and Nevada, up to 90 percent of people testing positive carried barely any virus, a review by The Times found.

All of which makes one wonder what precisely is going on in this relationship between cases and severe outcomes. The Covid Tracking Project generates the following chart. Cases are in blue while deaths are in red.

Despite this story and these data, the graphic artists at the Times got to work generating a highly misleading presentation that leads to one conclusion: more lockdowns.

(My colleague Phil Magness has noted further methodological problems even within the framework that the Times uses but I will let him write about that later.)

Let’s finally deal with Salon’s attack on Great Barrington Declaration co-creator Jayanta Bhattacharya. Here is a piece that made the following claim of the infection fatality rate: “the accepted figure of 2-3 percent or higher.” That’s an astonishing number, and basically nuts: 10 million people will die in the US alone.

Here is what the CDC says concerning the wildly disparate risk factors based on age:

These data are not inconsistent with the World Health Organization’s suggestion that the infection fatality rate for people under 70 years of age is closer to 0.05%.

The article further claims that “herd immunity may not even be possible for COVID-19 given that infection appears to only confer transient immunity.” And yet, the New York Times just wrote that:

How long might immunity to the coronavirus last? Years, maybe even decades, according to a new study — the most hopeful answer yet to a question that has shadowed plans for widespread vaccination.

Eight months after infection, most people who have recovered still have enough immune cells to fend off the virus and prevent illness, the new data show. A slow rate of decline in the short term suggests, happily, that these cells may persist in the body for a very, very long time to come.

How is it possible for people to make rational decisions with this kind of journalism going on? Truly, sometimes it seems like the world has been driven insane by an astonishing blizzard of false information. Just last week, an entire state in Australia shut down completely – putting all its citizens under house arrest – due to a false report of a case in a pizza restaurant. One person lied and the whole world fell apart.

Meanwhile, serious science is appearing daily showing that there is no relationship at all, and never has been, between lockdowns and lives saved. This study looks at all factors related to Covid death and finds plenty of relationship between age and health but absolutely none with lockdown stringency. “Stringency of the measures settled to fight pandemia, including lockdown, did not appear to be linked with death rate,” says the study, echoing a conclusion of dozens of other studies since as early as March.

It’s all become too much. The world is being seriously misled by major media organs. The politicians are continuing to panic and impose draconian controls, fully nine months into this, despite mountains of evidence of the real harm the lockdowns are causing everyone. If you haven’t lost faith in politicians and major media at this point, you have paid no attention to what they have been doing for the better part of this catastrophic year.

Jeffrey A. Tucker is Editorial Director for the American Institute for Economic Research. He is the author of many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press and nine books in 5 languages, most recently Liberty or Lockdown.

November 21, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 2 Comments