Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

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

The Washington Post Can’t Stop Babbling About Russians ‘Hacking Our Minds’

By Caitlin Johnstone | December 19, 2020

The Washington Post has published another article warning its readers that the Russians are “hacking our minds”, this one authored by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria.

Russia hasn’t just hacked our computer systems. It’s hacked our minds.” blares the ridiculous, propagandistic headline for an article about “the Russian model” of propaganda which “rests on the principle that people get convinced when they hear the same message many times from a variety of sources, no matter how biased.”

Which is funny, since this is not the first time WaPo itself has repeated this cartoonish narrative about Russian mind-hackers.

Just two months ago the Washington Post editorial board published an article titled “The US may be safe from foreign interference in this election. But what about perception hacking?“, which opens with the line “Russia and other adversaries may not need to hack the election if they can hack something else: our minds.”

The paranoid screed unironically argued that Russia is using its super powerful propaganda engine to make people paranoid and doubtful of US electoral systems, which could actually have an adverse effect on the US election. As though telling people their mental and perceptual faculties are being hacked by a hostile foreign enemy with the goal of influencing the election would not make them paranoid and doubtful of US electoral systems.

Zakaria’s piece builds on this already established theme by parroting the still completely evidence-free claim that Russia was responsible for the far-reaching cyber intrusion into the IT company SolarWinds, whose cybersecurity we recently learned was left so unprotected that its update server’s password was literally “solarwinds123”.

“But what about the perhaps more insidious Russian efforts at disinformation, which have helped to reshape the information environment worldwide?” Zakaria asks. He then does a few mental gymnastics to tie Russia’s propaganda campaign to Donald Trump, because of course he does, and leaves the reader with the closing line, “The problem is not just that Russia has hacked America’s computer systems. It seems to have hacked our minds.”

WaPo keeps hammering this narrative about powerful Russian mind-hackers as though Russia is the only nation with an existing propaganda campaign on the world stage and not one of the weaker ones doing so. The US government itself openly uses propaganda on foreigners with programs like Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Asia and Voice of America, which actually serve the more important function of presenting the illusion that those are the only form of US government propaganda.

In reality the plutocratic class which owns the mass media works closely with the US government and sets up its institutions to only elevate voices which advance narratives that are favorable to the status quo those plutocrats have built their kingdoms upon. WaPo itself is owned by the richest man in the world who is also a CIA contractor and sits on a Pentagon advisory board. The unofficial propaganda operations of the oligarchic empire give it a massive edge in international narrative control that dwarfs both official US propaganda programs and anything the Russian government could ever come up with.

Among some very stiff competition, one of the dumbest recurring themes in western imperialist media is the idea that world affairs, entire electoral and governmental systems, and even our very minds, are being controlled by a nation with the same GDP as South Korea. Russia does not have an especially strong sway over the world stage, it just happens to be one of the few remaining power structures which have resisted absorption into the US-centralized empire and is being targeted with a propaganda campaign aimed at changing that.

Russia is not hacking your mind. If anyone is hacking your mind, it’s the vast globe-spanning power structure loosely centralized around the United States which has been aggressively propagandizing you into supporting the continuation of status quo politics since you were born.

The dawn of political insight comes when you realize that propaganda is not just something that is done by other nations to other people. It is done by your own rulers, in your own nation, and it is being done to you.

Support Caitlin on Patreon.

December 21, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | 2 Comments

Washington Post claims RUSSIA behind SolarWinds hack, citing same ‘sources’ as it did for Russiagate

By Nebojsa Malic | RT | December 14, 2020

Having accused Russia of a ‘secret war’ on the US, the Washington Post is apparently trying to make that a self-fulfilling prophecy, citing anonymous sources to blame the alleged hack of US cyber infrastructure on the Kremlin.

“Russian government hackers breached the Treasury and Commerce departments, along with other US government agencies,” the Post declared on Monday. It’s a serious accusation that one would think demands a serious weight of evidence. The Post offers only anonymous “people familiar with the matter,” however, and demands we take their word for it.

The alleged hack in question is what the US authorities described as an “active exploitation” of the SolarWinds Orion Platform, a network monitoring tool used by corporations as well as US government agencies such as the State Department, NASA, the Department of Justice, the Pentagon, the Executive Office and even the spying agency NSA. The breach supposedly happened between March and June.

One of the first to report the hack was FireEye, a cyber-security outfit that last week said its own hacking tools had been stolen. While FireEye didn’t name names, it was the Washington Post that blamed Russia for the theft. The paper’s editorial board then cited the hack of FireEye as one of the arguments for the existence of a “secret war” by Russia against the US.

The others ranged from fake news like the “bounties” for killing US troops in Afghanistan, to esoteric conspiracy theories like the Russian “hacking” of the DNC and attacking US diplomats in Cuba with “microwave weapons.”

The Post was one of the driving forces behind ‘Russiagate’, the conspiracy pushed by Democrats claiming that President Donald Trump “colluded” with Russia to “hack” the 2016 election and serving as the basis for “resisting” his administration ever since.

Its reporters can’t help bringing that up, either, treating as a statement of fact the utterly unproven assertion that Russia hacked the DNC emails in 2016 and leaked them “to the online anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks in an operation that disrupted the Democrats’ National Convention in the midst of the presidential campaign.”

To further bolster its ‘nonpartisan’ bona fides, the Post sought comment from Michael Daniel, White House cybersecurity coordinator during the Obama administration and now president and CEO of the Cyber Threat Alliance, “an information-sharing group for ­cybersecurity companies.” Huh, no wonder all these cyber outfits always spout the same talking points!

At the very end of the story, the reporters also quote a tweet from Dmitri Alperovitch, identified only as “cybersecurity expert and founder of the Silverado Policy Accelerator think tank.” Yet Alperovitch would be far more familiar to the public as a fellow of NATO’s Atlantic Council and a former head of CrowdStrike, the security contractor hired by the DNC that’s the sole source of claims “Russia” hacked them.

Admittedly, CrowdStrike president Shawn Henry told Congress under oath that they never had more than circumstantial evidence the data was actually “exfiltrated” – i.e. that the hack happened – but that tiny detail from a secret testimony was only made public in May. Russiagate is an assumed fact now and Dmitry has moved to bigger and better things. As Hillary Clinton herself once put it: What difference, at this point, does it make?

Meanwhile, other mainstream media outlets were perfectly happy to report Russia was behind the “hack,” citing other “media reports” as sources and conflating them with US officials confirming only the existence of the breach.

One notable example was NPR, previously known for declaring that “Hunter Biden isn’t a story but a distraction.”

Getting back to the Post, however, you can see how the paper that’s basically been spreading disinformation about ‘Russian hackers’ for years is at it again. Never mind that no evidence is offered beyond anonymous sources and the usual suspects, or that the charges are serving a partisan political agenda – and that of their own editorial board.

Then again, why wouldn’t they? What’s stopping them exactly, journalist ethics? Their ‘Russiagate’ activism has only resulted in awards and rewards – and a return to political power. And in Washington, power is everything.

Nebojsa Malic is a Serbian-American journalist, blogger and translator, who wrote a regular column for Antiwar.com from 2000 to 2015, and is now senior writer at RT. Follow him on Twitter @NebojsaMalic

December 14, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | | Leave a comment

There is no ‘Russian secret war’ on the US, but WaPo fantasy risks Biden starting a very real one

By Nebojsa Malic | RT | December 12, 2020

In a normal world, the Washington Post claiming the existence of a Russian ‘secret war’ against the US based on far-fetched conjecture and debunked conspiracy theories would be a laughing matter. We don’t live in such a world.

Democrat Joe Biden, anointed by the US mainstream media and Silicon Valley as the next president, “must call out Putin’s secret war against the United States” when he assumes office, the Post’s editorial board argued this week.

But this “secret war” exists only in their feverish imagination. Each and every one of the things they list as examples of it consists of assertions based on insinuation at best, or has otherwise been debunked as outright fake news.

Exhibit A is the “mysterious attacks” that supposedly “targeted” US diplomats and spies in Cuba, China, Australia and Taiwan. This ‘Havana Syndrome’ was blamed on Russia last week in a coordinated media campaign, but the “scientific” paper it was based on carefully avoids actual attribution, saying only that the vague symptoms were “consistent” with a posited microwave weapon.

This is an evolution of the original story, which claimed that Russia had used “sonic weapons,” not microwave ones. Even the New York Times later admitted that the headaches, sleep deprivation and other problems were more likely caused by the loud chirping of Cuban crickets.

Exhibit B is another doozy, the infamous “Russian bounties” story. The New York Times claimed in June that some money captured from local mobsters in Afghanistan was somehow proof that Russia was paying the Taliban to kill US soldiers – again, not on the basis of actual evidence, but on conjecture that this was “consistent” with what the CIA and US military said were Russian objectives.

Thing is, neither the US intelligence community nor the Pentagon were ever able to confirm the story, having investigated it for months. It just so happened that it was brought up just as the DC establishment sought to torpedo President Donald Trump’s plan to pull out of Afghanistan and end the 20-year war that has long since forgotten its purpose.

Exhibit C is the “looting of valuable hacking tools” from the cybersecurity firm FireEye, announced earlier this week. FireEye itself never named the culprit, with its CEO Kevin Mandia only saying it was “consistent with a nation-state cyber-espionage effort.”

That didn’t stop the Post from claiming that “spies with Russia’s foreign intelligence service” are “believed” to have hacked FireEye, citing “people familiar with the matter.” Well there you go, anonymous and unverifiable sources asserted it, therefore it must be true!

Last but not least, Exhibit D is the assertion that the “Democratic National Committee’s computers were raided by Russian military intelligence to disrupt the 2016 election.” That is another assertion, based on allegations listed in indictments by special counsel Robert Mueller. As a federal judge helpfully reminded Mueller in another ‘Russiagate’ case, which the government later dropped, allegations made in indictments aren’t statements of fact.

If the phrase “consistent with” jumps out at you here, that’s no accident. Notice there is no actual evidence offered for any of these claims, only an insinuation that these alleged attacks would be “consistent” with what the US spies, anonymous sources and mainstream media think might be Russian objectives.

That’s exactly the claim made by the infamous January 2017 “intelligence community assessment,” which the media falsely attributed to “17 intelligence agencies” instead of a hand-picked team involved in spying on the Trump campaign at the time.

Keep in mind that these are the same spies and media that never saw the demise of the Soviet Union coming, and have been predicting Russia’s impending collapse any day now – for the past 20 years. So much for their actual knowledge of Russian goals or thinking.

Speaking of ‘Russiagate,’ the Post has been on the leading edge of that conspiracy theory from the start. It won Pulitzers for pushing it on the American public. It also played a key role in smearing Trump’s first national security adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn, so he would be fired – and later cheered his railroading by Mueller. At least they’re consistent, so to speak.

Now, the Post editors may be privileged people, living comfortably off of Jeff Bezos’s Amazon fortune even as their country collapses under pandemic lockdowns. However, it would be a mistake to write off this editorial as a mere product of their vivid and feverish imaginations. After four years of Russiagate hysteria that even the Trump administration has internalized, this kind of rhetoric is actually dangerous.

That’s because the Post is literally in bed with what Trump called the Washington “swamp,” the entrenched US political establishment. What they print is what that establishment thinks and wants Americans to believe. With Joe Biden in the White House, the objectives of that establishment and the official US government would be, to use their own phrase, consistent.

Which is why the Post’s “secret war” fantasy is, shall we say, highly likely to become an actual shooting war with Moscow. As the US and Russia have enough nuclear weapons between themselves to destroy the world several times over, that can’t possibly be good for Amazon’s bottom line. Someone ought to tell Bezos.

Nebojsa Malic is a Serbian-American journalist, blogger and translator, who wrote a regular column for Antiwar.com from 2000 to 2015, and is now senior writer at RT. Follow him on Twitter @NebojsaMalic

December 12, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | 1 Comment

No, Climate Change Is Not Eliminating Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce

By James Taylor | ClimateRealism | November 19, 2020

The Washington Post published an article yesterday claiming climate change is devastating Massachusetts cranberry production and threatening to eliminate America’s Thanksgiving cranberry sauce. In related news, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is forecasting a record 2020 Massachusetts cranberry crop.

The Washington Post article is titled, “How Climate Change Is Complicating a Thanksgiving Staple.” The subtitle is, “Heatwave, drought, lack of winter ice are taking a toll on a quintessential Massachusetts crop.” In the article, the Post quotes Bay Staters voicing their subjective feelings that climate change is making cranberry farming harder. The article is littered with subheads like, “The fight to save a small fruit.” The article, however, presents no objective data to support the claims. That struck us at Climate Realism as odd, considering objective cranberry data is available for Massachusetts and America as a whole.

Let’s take a look at objective cranberry facts:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agriculture Statistics Service estimates record Massachusetts cranberry production in 2020. This directly contradicts the message of the Washington Post article, which likely explains why the Washington Post chose not to include any data in its article. USDA also estimates strong cranberry production in Wisconsin this year. Wisconsin and Massachusetts are the two leading states for cranberry production.

Cranberry production in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and the rest of the United States has been so strong in recent years that, according to the Wisconsin State Farmer news site, “Facing a continued glut of cranberries and depressed prices, in 2017 the cranberry industry asked federal officials in 2017 to take unusual steps aimed at reducing production.”

“The industry’s U.S. Cranberry Marketing Committee asked the USDA to cap the amount of cranberries grown in 2018 at 75% of the normal crop. The committee also has asked the USDA to have cranberry companies withhold 15% of the 2017 crop from the marketplace,” the State Farmer reported.

The chart below, published by National Geographic, documents and illustrates the consistent, long-term growth in cranberry production. The chart ends with the year 2018, but that trend will continue with the estimated 2020 record crop production.

Ultimately, yesterday’s Washington Post article is merely the latest example of a nefarious strategy executed by climate activists and their corporate media allies. Their dishonest tactic is to identify an upcoming holiday or something that people really love, and then claim that global warming is destroying it, whether or not there is any evidence, truth, or basis for the alarmist claim.

November 20, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | | Leave a comment

Imagine If MSM Consistently Applied The Evidentiary Standards It’s Applying To Hunter Biden’s Emails

By Caitlin Johnstone | October 14, 2020

Mainstream media and social media platforms are actively blacking out an October surprise published by The New York Post which purports to show “smoking gun” emails from the laptop of Hunter Biden, son of Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

Both Twitter and Facebook have censored the story on their platforms, the first time we’ve seen the powerful social media giants deplatform a mainstream news media article, both citing concerns about the origins of the emails and an uncertainty about the veracity of the claims.

“Facebook was limiting distribution of the story while its outside fact-checkers reviewed the story’s claims, spokesman Andy Stone said,” reports NPR, adding that “Twitter said it decided to block the story because it couldn’t be sure about the origins of the emails.”

Twitter claims it found the emails to be in violation of its policies banning content which contained private information and its rules against “hacked materials”, both of which would have forbidden all articles sharing the contents of the 2016 WikiLeaks drops if those rules had existed back then. As I warned could happen back in August, these rules have set the stage for the cross-platform censorship of a 2020 October surprise.

There’s a good thread going around Twitter compiling posts that mainstream media reporters have been making in objection to the circulation of Hunter Biden’s emails alongside posts made by those same reporters promoting far more ridiculous and insubstantial allegations, like MSNBC’s virulent Russia conspiracy theorist Kyle Griffin saying nobody should link to the New York Post report because if they do they’ll be “amplifying disinformation”.

A new Reason article discusses how the mass media are not just avoiding the story but actively discouraging it:

On Wednesday, The New York Post published an attention-catching original report: “Smoking-gun email reveals how Hunter Biden introduced Ukrainian businessman to VP dad.” In the previously unreleased email, which was allegedly sent on April 17, 2015, an executive with Burisma, the Ukrainian natural gas company, thanks Hunter Biden for “giving an opportunity” to meet Joe Biden, according to The NY Post.

It’s a story that merits the attention of other journalists, political operatives, national security experts, and also the public at large — not least of all because there are serious questions about its accuracy, reliability, and sourcing. And yet many in the media are choosing not just to ignore the story, but to actively encourage others to suppress any discussion of it.

Indeed, two mainstream reporters who acknowledged (and criticized) the Post’s scoop — The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman and Politico’s Jake Sherman — faced thunderous denunciation on Twitter from Democratic partisans simply for discussing the story. Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden accused Haberman of promoting disinformation, and New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg told Sherman that he was helping nefarious conservative activists “launder this bullshit into the news cycle.” Historian Kevin Kruse asked why they were “amplifying” the story.

Indeed a scroll through today’s mainstream news reporting does appear to show some consensus among most news media that the topic of the emails should be avoided, with most MSM articles on the matter covering the after-effects of the New York Post release or explaining why readers should be dubious about its contents. A new Washington Post article titled “Hunter Biden’s alleged laptop: an explainer” takes great pains to outline how important it is to be very, very certain that this story is everything it purports to be before investing any credulity in it.

“How do we know the email is authentic? We do not,” WaPo tells us. “The New York Post posted PDF print-outs of several emails allegedly from the laptop, but for the ‘smoking gun’ email, it shows only a photo made the day before the story was posted, according to Thomas Rid, author of Active Measures, a book on disinformation. ‘There is no header information, no metadata.’ The Washington Post has been unable to independently verify or authenticate these emails, as requests to make the laptop hard drive available for inspection have not been granted.”

This would be the same Washington Post that has been circulating disinformation about Russia for years due to its disinterest in verifying information before reporting, and has alongside the rest of the mass media been promoting the narrative that Russia interfered in the 2016 US election based solely on unproven assertions promoted by government agencies despite many gaping plot holes in that narrative. Where was the journalistic concern for seeing the data and inspecting the hard drives then?

In and of itself there is no problem at all with mainstream news media applying high evidentiary standards to its reporting and making sure readers are aware when political manipulators could be pulling the wool over their eyes. In and of itself this would be a good thing. The problem is that all this emphasis on verification and truth only comes up when it is politically convenient for these plutocratic media outlets, because only favoring truth when it’s convenient is the same as lying constantly.

Where were these high evidentiary standards when The Guardian reported without evidence and against all common sense that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange had been having secret meetings with Trump lackey Paul Manafort? That evidence never came out, because the story was ridiculous bullshit from the beginning, yet mass media outlets everywhere parroted it to their audiences like it was a fact. You can still post that bogus Guardian story on Twitter and Facebook to this very day without so much as a warning.

Where were these high evidentiary standards when Politico published the idiotic, nonsensical story that Iran was plotting to assassinate the American ambassador to South Africa? The report sparked many news reports and Twitter threats from the president, but when it was dismissed by the South African government itself there was barely a whisper about it. You are still free to share this bogus Politico article anywhere online you like.

Where were these high evidentiary standards when leaks by anonymous spooks dominated headlines for days with their evidence-free allegation that the Russian government had been paying Taliban-linked fighters bounties on western occupying forces? We now know that story was completely baseless and would have been dismissed by news reporters who were actually doing their due diligence, yet it’s still being cited as fact on Twitter by sitting US senators and in a recent vice presidential debate by Kamala Harris. If news reporters had spent anywhere near as much energy cautioning their audiences to be skeptical about this story and educating them about its plot holes as they’re spending on Hunter Biden’s emails, this would not be happening.

The problem is not that there are high evidentiary standards for Hunter Biden’s emails, the problem is that there are virtually no evidentiary standards when the plutocratic media want to sell the world on a narrative which benefits the establishment upon which the media-owning class has built its kingdom. News reports will be waved through on a vague assertion by some anonymous government operative if they are damaging to Russia, Iran, China, North Korea, Syria or any other US-targeted nation, and they are on a pretty much daily basis to greater or lesser degrees.

If a news report facilitates the national security state, all journalistic protocol goes out the window and nobody knows the meaning of the word evidence. As soon as a report becomes inconvenient for a friend of the national security state like Joe Biden, suddenly strict evidentiary standards and warnings against potential disinformation are of paramount importance. This is the same as lying all the time.

They lie because the mass media within the US-centralized empire are the propaganda engine for that empire. The drivers of empire understand that whoever controls the narrative controls the world, so they ensure that all points of narrative influence are tightly controlled by them.

A world where all news stories are held to the same evidentiary standards as Hunter Biden’s emails are currently being held would be a world without empire. People would never consent to the insanity of imperialism and endless war if their consent wasn’t manufactured, and depriving them of the information that is inconvenient for that empire is essential in that manufacturing.

October 15, 2020 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | 2 Comments

MSM Promotes Yet Another CIA Press Release As News

By Caitlin Johnstone | September 23, 2020

The Washington Post, whose sole owner is a CIA contractor, has published yet another anonymously sourced CIA press release disguised as a news report which just so happens to facilitate longstanding CIA foreign policy.

In an article titled “Secret CIA assessment: Putin ‘probably directing’ influence operation to denigrate Biden“, WaPo’s virulent neoconservative war pig Josh Rogin describes what was told to him by unnamed sources about the contents of a “secret” CIA document which alleges that Vladimir Putin is “probably” overseeing an interference operation in America’s presidential election.

True to form, at no point does WaPo follow standard journalistic protocol and disclose its blatant financial conflict of interest with the CIA when promoting an unproven CIA narrative which happens to serve the consent-manufacturing agendas of the CIA for its new cold war with Russia.

And somehow in our crazy, propaganda-addled society, this is accepted as “news”.

The CIA has had a hard-on for the collapse of the Russian Federation for many years, and preventing the rise of another multi-polar world at all cost has been an open agenda of US imperialism since the fall of the Soviet Union. Indeed it is clear that the escalations we’ve been watching unfold against Russia were in fact planned well in advance of 2016, and it is only by propaganda narratives like this one that consent has been manufactured for a new cold war which imperils the life of every organism on this planet.

There is no excuse for a prominent news outlet publishing a CIA press release disguised as news in facilitation of these CIA agendas. It is still more inexcusable to merely publish anonymous assertions about the contents of that CIA press release. It is especially inexcusable to publish anonymous assertions about a CIA press release which merely says that something is “probably” happening, meaning those making the claim don’t even know.

None of this stopped The Washington Post from publishing this propaganda piece on behalf of the CIA. None of it stopped this story from being widely shared by prominent voices on social media and repeated by major news outlets like CNN, The New York Times, and NBC. And none of it stopped all the usual liberal influencers from taking the claims and exaggerating the certainty.

The CIA-to-pundit pipeline, wherein intelligence agencies “leak” information that is picked up by news agencies and then wildly exaggerated by popular influencers, has always been an important part of manufacturing establishment Russia hysteria. We saw it recently when the now completely debunked claim that Russia paid bounties on US troops to Taliban-linked fighters in Afghanistan first surfaced; unverified anonymous intelligence claims were published by mass media news outlets, then by the time it got to spinmeisters like Rachel Maddow it was being treated not as an unconfirmed analysis but as an established fact.

If you’ve ever wondered how rank-and-file members of the public can be so certain of completely unproven intelligence claims, the CIA-to-pundit pipeline is a big part of it. The most influential voices who political partisans actually hear things from are often a few clicks removed from the news report they’re talking about, and by the time it gets to them it’s being waved around like a rock-solid truth when at the beginning it was just presented as a tenuous speculation (the original aforementioned WaPo report appeared on the opinion page).

The CIA has a well-documented history of infiltrating and manipulating the mass media for propaganda purposes, and to this day the largest supplier of leaked information from the Central Intelligence Agency to the news media is the CIA itself. They have a whole process for leaking information to reporters they like (with an internal form that asks whether the information leaked is Accurate, Partially Accurate, or Inaccurate), as was highlighted in a recent court case which found that the CIA can even leak documents to select journalists while refusing to release them to others via Freedom of Information Act requests.

lying, torturingpropagandizingdrug traffickingassassinatingcoup-stagingwarmongeringpsychopathic spook agency with an extensive history of deceit and depravity that selectively gives information to news reporters with whom it has a good relationship is never doing so for noble reasons. It is doing so for the same rapacious power-grabbing reasons it does all the other evil things it does.

The way mainstream media has become split along increasingly hostile ideological lines means that all the manipulators need to do to advance a given narrative is set it up to make one side look bad and then share it with a news outlet from the other side. The way media is set up to masturbate people’s confirmation bias instead of report objective facts will then cause the narrative to go viral throughout that partisan faction, regardless of how true or false it might be.

The coming US election and its aftermath is looking like it will be even more insane and hysterical than the last one, and the enmity and outrage it creates will give manipulators every opportunity to slide favorable narratives into the slipstream of people’s hot-headed abandonment of their own critical faculties.

And indeed they are clearly prepared to do exactly that. An ODNI press release last month which was uncritically passed along by the most prominent US media outlets reported that China and Iran are trying to help Biden win the November election while Russia is trying to help Trump. So no matter which way these things go the US intelligence cartel will be able to surf its own consent-manufacturing foreign policy agendas upon the tide of outrage which ensues.

The propaganda machine is only getting louder and more aggressive. We’re being prepped for something.

September 27, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment

A Truly Poisonous Foreign Policy: A Ridiculous Proposal from The New York Times

By Philip Giraldi | American Herald tribune | September 13, 2020

If one had been reading America’s leading newspapers and magazines over the past several weeks the series of featured stories suggesting that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is some kind of latter day Lucrezia Borgia would have been impossible to avoid. Putin, who was simultaneously being branded as some kind of totalitarian monster, apparently does not just go around chopping off heads. Instead, he prefers to slip military grade poison into people’s tea or wipes it onto their doorknobs. The case of the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in England is being cited as evidence that poisoning is a routine way of cleaning out the closets, so to speak, together with that of Aleksandr Litvinenko, who died in England in 2006 under mysterious circumstances after reportedly drinking a radioactive isotope that had been placed into his cup of tea while dining at a sushi restaurant in London. Apparently the raw fish had nothing to do with it.

There are, of course, parts of the story that just don’t fit no matter how hard one tries. The Skripals, father and daughter, lived in Salisbury within walking distance of Britain’s chemical and biological weapons lab located at Porton Down, an option for poisoning that was never fully explored. And there was no real reason to kill them in 2018 as they no longer posed any threat to Russian interests, having escaped [in a spy swap] to England twelve years before. In fact, they did not die, which in itself seems odd since the lethal agent was eventually reported by the British to have been Novichok, which may have been smeared on their from door latch. Novichok is designed for battlefield use and reputedly kills instantly.

Poisoning is certainly a convenient short cut when one is unable or unwilling to persevere with the basic principle of politics among nations, often referred to as Diplomacy 101. The first rule in Diplomacy 101 is that you prioritize your interests so that you are not wasting your time and energy by pursuing objectives that are either essentially inconsequential or even meaningless at the expense of authentic vital national interests. By all accounts, Vladimir Putin is an astute politician who would recognize that killing political opponents is counter-productive. Far better to let them live to demonstrate that Russia is truly a country that allows dissent.

At the same time, if one wants to witness ignorance and hubris combined in news reporting, at its worst, it is only necessary to journey through the stories on Russia and Putin that comes out of the strange world inhabited by the punditry at newspapers like the New York Times and Washington Post.

Bret Stephens, a self-proclaimed conservative voice at the New York Times, makes no attempt to conceal his hostility to nations like Russia, China and Iran. His latest foray into the unknown is to advocate congressional legislation to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin. He calls it the “Navalny Act.” The eponymous Navalny is Alexei Navalny, a leading Russian dissident who is currently in Germany being treated for what has been described as a poisoning carried out by unknown persons using a somewhat unidentifiable poison for an unknown objective, which is presumed to be killing him as he is a critic of the Putin regime.

Stephens advocates a law by Congress that would empower the U.S. government to both initiate and increase sanctions while also placing travel bans on those individuals who might be implicated in the claimed poisoning of Navalny. It is, in effect, direct interference in a foreign government’s domestic activities, which might have the consequence of inviting foreign governments and the U.N. to start inquiring into just how the U.S. does business. Stephens goes beyond sanctions and travels by further advocating linking his Navalny Act to the Senate’s proposed Defending American Security From Kremlin Aggression Act, or DASKA, that is being promoted by none less than Lindsey Graham. It would require inter alia that intelligence agencies issue available to the public reports on Vladimir Putin’s personal wealth.

There are inevitably a number of problems with the blame Putin narrative. As Israel Shamir observed shortly after the fact, it was at first by no means completely clear if Navalny was actually poisoned at all. He fell ill while flying from Siberia to Moscow and was tested for poisons before it being determined that he might have suffered a diabetic attack. When in Germany for treatment, a mysterious water bottle was produced by his family that the Bundeswehr labs are now claiming had traces of Novichok on its surface. If Novichok truly were on the bottle Navalny, his family and the air crew would all be dead, as well as the Bundeswehr technicians.

If Putin was behind the poisoning of a prominent dissident, it would have served no purpose beyond freeing oneself up from a political nuisance, so there would have been little in the way of motive. Quite the contrary, as Russia is, in fact, in the final stages of setting up the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project with Germany, which with be highly profitable to both countries and is being strongly opposed by the Trump regime.

The White House has been trying hard to kill the project on “national security grounds” to benefit potential U.S. gas suppliers, so much for Trump being a tool of Putin. That rather suggests that the U.S. might have more motive than the Kremlin to poison Navalny, namely to create a cause celebre damning Putin. At the moment, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in fact reported to be hesitant about completing the project due to the Navalny furor and pressure from Washington.

Interestingly, Stephens quotes his good friend Bill Browder, who was enthusiastic about the prospects for a new piece of legislation to beat Putin over the head with. Browder, the original darling of the war party who has described himself as Vladimir Putin’s “number one enemy,” was the driving force behind much of the original legislation to punish Russia, but his story has more holes in it than a Swiss cheese.

Browder is much loved by Congress as he embodies Russo-phobia. He is a major hedge fund figure who, inter alia, is an American by birth. He renounced his U.S. citizenship in 1997 in exchange for British citizenship to avoid paying federal taxes on his worldwide income. He is what used to be referred to as an oligarch, having set up shop in Russia in 1999 as Hermitage Capital Management Fund, a hedge fund registered in tax havens Guernsey and the Cayman Islands. It focused on “investing” in Russia, taking advantage initially of the loans-for-shares scheme under Russia’s drunkard President Boris Yeltsin, and then continuing to profit greatly during the early years of Vladimir Putin. By 2005 Hermitage was the largest foreign investor in Russia.

Similar to the proposed Navalny Act and central to the tale of what Browder really represents is the Magnitsky Act, which the U.S. Congress passed into law to sanction individual Kremlin officials for their treatment of alleged whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky, arrested and imprisoned in Russia. Browder has sold a narrative which basically says that he and his “lawyer” Sergei Magnitsky uncovered massive tax fraud and, when they attempted to report it, were punished by a corrupt police force and magistracy, which had actually stolen the money. Magnitsky was arrested and died in prison, allegedly murdered by the police to silence him.

The Magnitsky Act asserts American “rights” to punish crimes occurring anywhere in the world, a right that is claimed by no other nation. By it, the U.S. asserted its willingness to punish foreign governments for human rights abuses. The Act, initially limited to Russia, has now been expanded by virtue of 2016’s Global Magnitsky Act, which enabled U.S. sanctions worldwide. The proposed Navalny Act coupled with Lindsay Graham’s DASKA would together go well beyond even that bit of draconian legislation.

The basis for the Magnitsky Act was essentially fraudulent, just as might turn out to be the case with the Navalny story. Contrary narrative to that provided by Browder concedes that there was indeed a huge fraud related to as much as $230 million in unpaid Russian taxes, but that it was not carried out by corrupt officials. Instead, it was deliberately ordered and engineered by Browder with Magnitsky, who was actually an accountant, personally developing and implementing the scheme, using multiple companies and tax avoidance schemes to carry out the deception.

The pending legislation dreamed up by Stephens is undeniably driven by extreme hatred of Putin and of Russia, using contrived and evidence-free scenarios to condemn the Russian government for crimes that do not even make sense from a risk-gain perspective. The Magnitsky Myth alone has already done more even than the contrived Russiagate to launch and sustain a dangerous new Cold War between a nuclear-armed United States and a nuclear-armed Russia.

It would perhaps not be too off base to suggest that the Navalny poisoning has the smell of a possible false flag operation by the U.S. with the possible collusion of anti-Russian elements in Germany. Moscow had no real motive to kill Navalny while the White House is certainly keen on terminating Nord Stream 2. That the U.S. media also continues to be attracted to schemes like Stephens’ is symptomatic of just how far the Russia-phobia current in America and Europe has robbed people of their ability to see what important even when it is right in front of them. Good relations with Russia are more important than either getting involved in Moscow’s politics by validating Navalny or selling gas. To suggest that yet more foreign meddling as advocated by Brent Stephens of the New York Times could well lead to tragedy for all of us would be an understatement.

September 13, 2020 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment

The Case of General Michael Flynn: The Use of Law as a Political Weapon

By Paul Craig Roberts | Institute for Political Economy | May 20, 2020

The audacious corruption of the FBI and the US Department of Justice (sic) is demonstrated by their frame-up of the three-star general, former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and National Security Adviser to President Donald Trump.

US Department of Justice (DOJ) documents that the department was forced to turn over to General Michael Flynn’s attorney reveal that the FBI found no wrongdoing by Flynn in its investigation of him and recommended the investigation be closed. Corrupt FBI official Peter Strzok, a leader of the anti-Trump cabal in the FBI, intervened. Strzok convinced the official managing the investigation not to close the case as it was the wishes of the “7th floor” (top FBI officials) to keep the case open. In the absence of evidence against Flynn, released FBI documents prove that the FBI leadership decided to frame General Flynn. The documents reveal that the FBI’s plan is “to get him (Flynn) to lie so we can prosecute him or get him fired. . . . we should try to frame them in a way we want.” General Flynn was forced to incriminate himself with a guilty plea. Otherwise, the corrupt DOJ prosecutors threatened to indict Flynn’s son.

When this proof of egregious government misconduct came to light, the DOJ had no choice but to drop the case against General Flynn. Otherwise it would be clear that law in the US is a weapon in the hands of government. This would mean that control of government would be a life and death matter for the two political parties as it is in Ecuador and Bolivia where incoming presidents arrest or attempt to arrest outgoing presidents.

But we didn’t hear a word about the frame-up of General Flynn from the corrupt presstitutes. On May 7 the editorial board of the New York Times published the largest and most egregious collection of lies in the entire history of the disreputable organization. The editorial— “Don’t Forget, Michael Flynn Pleaded Guillty. Twice.” —claimed the lies coerced from Flynn proved Flynn’s guilt, and that Attorney General William Barr is a “personal fixer for the president” and used the Department of Justice to protect friends and to go after political enemies.

The New York Times has it backwards. Going after political enemies is precisely what the Obama Regime’s concocted case against General Flynn (and Trump) was all about. Remember, it was General Flynn who said on television that it was a “willful decision” of the Obama Regime to send the mercenary jihadists to attack Syria, a decision Obama made in the face of contrary advice by General Flynn, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. When Flynn revealed this, it blew up the fake news story spread by the Obama Regime and the presstitutes that the Obama-supported invasion of Syria by CIA mercenaries was an uprising by Syrian moderates fighting for democracy. Flynn’s blood is blood that the corrupt Obama Regime wanted very badly.

Obama’s role in the frame-up of Flynn and the orchestration of the Russiagate hoax is now coming to light, making the former president nervous. On May 10 the Wall Street Journal editorial board asked if Obama’s nerves are getting in the way of his judgment:

“Barack Obama is a lawyer, so it was stunning to read that he ventured into the Michael Flynn case in a way that misstated the supposed crime and ignored the history of his own Administration in targeting Mr. Flynn. Since the former President chose to offer his legal views when he didn’t need to, we wonder what he’s really worried about.”

The Democrats’ frame-up of General Flynn and their two attempted frame-ups of President Trump show an extraordinary audacity and a corruptly compliant FBI and DOJ. They thought that they could get away with it, and, of course, they had all the help possible from the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, and the rest of the presstitute scum for whom lies are the currency of their fake news realm. The presstitutes have made clear that the US media is devoid of integrity.

After high officials such as James Clapper, Susan Rice, Samatha Power, and others repeatedly claimed evidence of Trump and Flynn’s guilt, when under oath their story changed 180 degrees. Here is Director of National Intelligence James Clapper:

“I never saw any direct empirical evidence that the Trump campaign or someone in it was plotting/conspiring with the Russians to meddle with the election.”

Susan Rice, Obama’s incompetent National Security Adviser, and Samatha Power, Obama’s Russia-baiting ambassador to the UN, along with the rest of the disreputable Obama cabal, have admitted that they saw no specific evidence of any collusion between Trump and Russia. The entire thing was an orchestrated hoax that proves beyond all doubt that the Democrat Party and the US media are corrupt beyond redemption.

When the case against Flynn was dropped as a result of the damning evidence of egregious government misconduct in framing a senior official of the US government, the corrupt prosecutors who had prosecuted the innocent Flynn all resigned in a huff, pretending that it was Barr, not them, who used the Department of Justice for self-interested political purpose.

Two Georgetown University law professors, Kean K. Katyal and Joshua A. Geltzer, totally discredited themselves and the Obama contingent in the DOJ, by alleging in the New York Times that the dropped charge against Flynn has resulted in the “utter demoralization” of “the law enforcement community.” In other words, for these law professors and “the law enforcement community” for which they claim to speak, dropping a case consisting entirely of an orchestrated frame-up, a contrived perjury trap, and threats against family members is demoralizing. The professors are so thoroughly dishonest that they use the lies coerced from Flynn—the price of his “cooperation with the investigation” in order that his son would not also be framed-up—as “evidence” of Flynn’s guilt and proof of the political use of the Justice Department by Trump and Barr in dropping the contrived case.

The frame-up of Flynn is not acknowledged by the law professors as political use of the Justice Department.

Instead the law professors describe the vindication of an innocent man on the basis of undeniable evidence as political use of the Justice Department.

If this is the kind of law Georgetown University teaches, the law school should be promptly shut down.

The question that demands an answer is how do people as corrupt and devoid of integrity as Comey, Mueller, and Strzok get into top FBI positions?

May 20, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Anti-Iranian Boomerang Policies: How America Celebrated the Pandemic and Incited the Oil Crisis, and Got Stuck by Both

By Ivan KESIĆ | Strategic Culture Foundation | May 7, 2020

Two months after the coronavirus pandemic broke out in Iran, we are seeing signs of a significant improvement for the total situation. The number of daily deaths has dropped below one hundred for a week in a row, the number of new COVID-19 cases has been on a continuous decline for more than three weeks, the restrictions are gradually being lifted and the streets are again vibrant. Iran’s success in combating the pandemic is the result of mobilizing all available governmental organizations and relying on its own know-how and industrial production. Alone and under the harshest sanctions seen in history, Iran has proven to be extremely effective, compared to the leading Western countries. In the face of global disasters and the vulnerability of civilians, it is traditionally common for nations to help one another, but recently we see something quite different from the U.S. regime.

The largest mass-produced face masks factory in Southwest Asia was put into operation in Eshtehard Industrial Town of Alborz province, west of Tehran. The head of the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order, Mohammad Mokhber said the factory will produce every day four million masks equipped with a nano filter, which guarantees a high level of protection.

Accusations, lies, more sanctions, and warmongering

The outbreak of the pandemic in Iran and China, two largest rival countries in Asia, had come as a refreshing for American politicians. In the Chinese case, they hoped for their economic slowdown and the deterioration of their international reputation, thus opening space for expanding and strengthening America’s international policies and position. In the case of Iran, expectations were much higher. Before coronavirus fully took hold in the U.S., the Trump administration appeared to be viewing the outbreak as an opportunity to gain advantage by amplifying its maximum pressure strategy, the view that by squeezing Iran’s economy crippling sanctions will force Tehran to choose between its own economic viability and geopolitical independence.

When Iran asked for international medical assistance, lifting sanctions and a loan from the IMF, the Trump administration saw it as a confirmation of the success of their policies. Instead of showing signs of goodwill for Iranian demands, the proudly compassionate United States responded by announcing a new round of economic sanctions aimed at closing loopholes that might allow Iran to export its products and leave it in scarcity of money then desperately needed for respirators, face masks, and other medical equipment. Formerly called blockade or embargo, now rebranded as “economic sanctions,” embody the beloved fantasy that coercive pressure alone can make countries submit to America’s will.

The U.S. Treasury says its sanctions do not prohibit humanitarian contributions that ease coronavirus pressure on Iran, a claim the Iran’s Foreign Ministry has called deception. Even though the U.S. claims that its sanctions don’t prevent the sale of medicine and medical devices, the secondary sanctions on financial institutions and businesses have prevented Iran from buying necessary items like ventilators that could save the lives of coronavirus patients. The problems do not stop there, for example the Iranian government released an official coronavirus app for Iranians, but Google pulled it from its app store due to U.S. sanctions. Basically, the U.S. government has taken the same approach as during the last year’s floods in Iran, when they prevented international aid.

In addition to preventing international aid to Iran, we have also seen crocodile tears and false mercy from Trump and his administration, allegedly offering their own coronavirus aid “if Iranians ask for it.” Only someone extremely naive can believe in the sincerity of this offer, considering that they have prevented the aid of other countries, and even stolen medical equipment from Italy, France, Germany and Canada. There is no trace of U.S. aid collection for Iran, which, after all, could have been sent quietly. For example, even though they were in a more difficult situation at the end of March, the Iranians collected medical aid for the American people and sent it through the Swiss Embassy, without media noise. The truth is that Trump had no intention of sending any aid, in fact he just wanted to hear Iranian begging and then use it for propaganda purposes. Of course, Iranians did not bite it and rejected the offer. Still, the fake aid offer and Iran’s refusal were later reported in many Western media as key evidence of U.S. benevolence and Iranian cruelty.

After putting Iran in an unpleasant situation, U.S. politicians began pouring bizarre accusations against the Iranian authorities. Mike Pompeo, Brian Hook and Morgan Ortagus accused Iran of “lying” about the coronavirus outbreak and “stealing” funds intended for the fight against pandemic. “It’s not the sanctions, it’s the regime,” Ortagus claimed. Aggressive elements within the U.S. government have even begun calling for war on Iranian-backed militias in Iraq, thinking that Iran is in too difficult a crisis to respond adequately.

The alleged Iranian incompetence required some kind of evidence, so the new U.S. disinformation campaign was launched. Anti-Iranian propaganda has mostly focused on exaggerating the numbers of infected and dead, despite the fact that the World Health Organization confirms Iranian reports as credible. The Washington Post has turned to publishing fake news, claiming that Iran has dug mass “burial pits” in Qom for victims of the disease. Netanyahu went even further, sharing a video clip from a 2007 TV mini-series, as the evidence of Iranian trying to hide the true number of fatalities.

Numerous Western media have kept up with similar nonsense and hateful claims. One of the finest examples is the op-ed piece by Graeme Wood for The Atlantic. “Iran cannot handle the coronavirus,” he claims in the title, further representing Iran as the Orientalist dystopia. The city of Qom, with over 1.2 million inhabitants, for Wood is “a small city” with “cramped hotels, communal toilets, junk food and unhygienic scenes,” a sort of “Shiite Disneyland,” assuring his audience “that comparison might be the best way for Americans to understand the gravity of this outbreak.” Then he jumps to the ideological patriotism, claiming China’s authoritarianism has the advantages in dealing with a disaster like this, while Iran’s authoritarianism has none. He claims that Iran has no intention of closing the holy shrines, despite the fact that they were closed shortly after.

Wood also shows video of Iraj Harirchi, a top Iranian health official who has contracted the coronavirus, describing it as “incredible” and “comic,” calls Iranian officials “notoriously cruel,” and the country as the place where “incompetence and evil become indistinguishable.” This op-ed perfectly summarizes the distorted vision given by everyone from the American leadership to the authors of racist cartoons on social networks: Iran is bad, dirty, everything opposite to the U.S., and it will fall. After all, deadly disasters occur only in far off Oriental despotates, never in famed liberal democracies. Except Italy. And except for the post-March 2020 period.

Coronavirus knocks at the U.S. door

In mid-March, the coronavirus knocked heavily on the U.S. door and from the wealthiest country in the world, whose president boasts with the best institutions and whose government enjoys giving lessons to other countries, it was expected that pandemic would be a piece of cake. But what do we see, and what’s the difference between the U.S. and Iran? Inside Iran, we don’t see massive dissatisfaction or protests over the Khamenei’s and Rouhani’s crisis management, but according to a Gallup Poll conducted on 14 April, Trump’s approval rating is down significantly, now standing at 43%. We also see thousands of protesters in many U.S. states, with truly inspiring slogans demanding freedom and liberation. We don’t see chaos in Iranian hospitals either, but we do see large-scale theft of equipment in U.S. hospitals, as well as U.S. nurses refusing to work due to lack of protective equipment. While the story of Qom’s mass burial pits is refuted to the last detail, it remains for Americans to explain burials of unclaimed bodies on Hart Island and in New York city parks.

The New York City itself today looks like Chernobyl or a “never-in-liberal-democracy” thing, a sort of Orientalist dystopia from Hollywood movies or unhygienic Disneyland from The Atlantic’s agitprop-eds. With junk food, or no food on the shelves at all. We don’t see hungry Iranians begging the Trump administration for help, but we see such moans on the multi-billion-dollar U.S. aircraft carriers. We don’t see any regime change in Tehran, but we do see dismissal of the U.S. aircraft carrier’s captain, only because he dared to seek help for his infected sailors. There’s no trace of the alleged Iranian government’s “lying” or “theft,” but there is overwhelming evidence of U.S. piracy of protective masks around the world. This evidence comes from the governments of Italy, Germany, France and Canada. If U.S. authorities cooperated with Iranian experts at the outbreak of the pandemic, they would surely have had fewer casualties at home. But they did not want to cooperate, as with Chinese experts, they just looked like scavengers. Now, Trump is blaming the WHO, which has replaced Iran as a bogeyman.

We also don’t see the collapse of the Iranian economy, although by 18 April around 600,000 people had registered as unemployed. By comparison, over 22 million Americans had lost their jobs by the same date, proportionally ten times more. Moreover, we don’t see the collapse of the Iranian oil industry, nor their tankers floating hopelessly alone on the sea. During the pandemic, Iran has launched 25 new electricity projects in five provinces worth nearly half a billion dollars, successfully installed a giant oil drilling platform at Salman oilfield, as well as a gas drilling rig in the Persian Gulf. All domestically produced, and all for the domestic market. In contrast, we are witnessing a historic oil crisis in the West, the collapse of the North American shale industry, and a crowd of full oil tankers parked off the U.S. coast with nowhere to unload. In other words, in their backyard they are looking at a scenario they intended for Iran two years ago, or one that they had hoped for when a pandemic broke out in that country. Yet Iran has proven to be much more resilient and effective.

Everything seen before

Despite all the obstacles and wet dreams of its enemies, Iran has not fallen, and it will not fall. Its initial perceived weakness subsequently proved to be false. Iran did not ask for aid and the IMF loan because it could not cope alone with the crisis, but to accelerate the fight against the pandemic. Negative responses to Iran’s demands and attempts to block other countries from sending aid are a wake-up call for the last naives who think the U.S. government has compassion for anyone’s civilian population. Or even their own. The mask thefts from their own allies also prove that the U.S. government will treat everyone the same way as Iran. As a nation with a strong sense of identity and group responsibility, Iran has proven to be extremely enduring in similar historical situations. In the 1980s, Iran withstood the aggression of the fourth largest army, backed by America and all the world powers, and a decade later it rebuilt the country despite being more isolated and weaker than today.

Even deadly disasters, accompanied by aid refusals and military aggression, are not unseen in Iranian history. Going back a century, Iran has been hit by an epidemic and mass famine that has claimed two million lives, or 20% of the total population. In 1918 the Iranian government asked the U.S. for a multi-million-dollar loan to be used solely for famine relief, but Washington refused. Furthermore, the British recognized the perfect circumstance to temporarily occupy the western parts of Iran and impose a humiliating agreement that was terminated by the Iranian parliament in June 1921. This is also a lesson for those who think that Anglo-American vulturous policy towards Iran began in 1979 or 1953. Going back a century or two more, in 1820 and 1721 northwestern Iran was hit by catastrophic earthquakes, and the city of Tabriz recorded tens of thousands dead. Just a few months after both events, the Ottomans invaded Iran, but were repulsed soon after both times. Today we are witnessing the centennial repetition of history, with new fools repeating old mistakes and expecting different results.

May 7, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

How a US Government-Sponsored Outlet Sparked Media Hysteria About Kim Jong-un’s ‘Death’

By Ilya Tsukanov – Sputnik – May 3, 2020

After weeks of speculation fueled by a lengthy absence, the North Korean leader suddenly reappeared in public on May 1 at the opening of a new fertilizer plant, dispelling rumours that he was dead or ‘gravely ill’.

Kim Jong-un’s surprise reemergence in public after weeks of speculation regarding his health raise a couple of important questions, specifically: how did the rumours get started, and who was behind them?

Queries regarding the North Korean leader’s whereabouts began swirling in mid-April, after he missed the public celebration of the Day of the Sun, the all-important April 15 anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, founder of North Korea and Kim Jong-un’s grandfather. Before that, Kim also missed the session of the Supreme People’s Assembly, making his last public appearance on April 11 at a meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea politburo.

NED-Sponsored Rumours

It was Daily NK, a South Korean-based online newspaper which receives grant funding from the National Endowment for Democracy, a US government-funded non-profit with the stated goal of ‘promoting democracy abroad’, which began the rumour that Kim had undergone a “cardiovascular surgical procedure.” What was the paper’s information based on? An unnamed source inside North Korea.

CNN took the rumour and ran with it, with a US official ‘with direct knowledge’ of the situation telling the network on April 21 that US intelligence was monitoring reports that Kim was “in grave danger” after undergoing surgery.

South Korean officials, meanwhile, maintained at the time that Seoul had “seen no unusual signs with regard to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s health.” Also telling was the fact that US President Donald Trump, who initially ‘wished Kim well’ after hearing the reports, quickly corrected himself, saying he thought CNN’s reporting was “incorrect” and based on “old documents.”

On April 26, a senior advisor to South Korean President Moon Jae-in spoke to CNN directly, once again dismissing rumours regarding Kim’s health, and reiterating that as far as Seoul was aware, he was doing just fine.

As for North Korean media, it issued a series of statements about Kim’s regular back-and-forth communications with officials, foreign leaders, and construction workers in Samjiyon, a model city in the country’s north.

Still, the lack of photos or videos meant that speculation would go on, with political talking heads mulling over Kim’s possible successor, possibly his sister Kim Yo-jong, while the Washington Post and the New York Times chalked out various apocalyptic scenarios, from panic buying in Pyongyang stores to fears of a cross-border refugee crisis and even a possible military incursion into North Korea leading to nuclear war.

Kim Reappears

On May 1, following an absence of 20 days, North Korean television broadcast a report featuring Kim attending a ceremony opening a new fertilizer plant in Sunchon, an industrial city north of Pyongyang. Photos shared by Korean Central News Agency showed Kim cutting a ceremonial red ribbon at the factory, flanked by officials. Video footage of the event emerged a day later, showing Kim speaking with officials, seemingly in good health and good spirits.

Undeterred by the photo and video evidence challenging their claims, the rumour mill has continued to churn, with ‘health professionals’ telling NK News, a South-Korean-based online newspaper with alleged links to the CIA, that a mark on Kim’s arm seen in the footage actually “corroborates” earlier reports about his alleged heart surgery.

On Sunday, a senior official from the South Korean President’s office dismissed these claims, telling Yonhap that Seoul has “reasons to believe that there was no surgery, but cannot disclose such details.”

The swirling of rumours regarding Kim’s health led to an explosion of memes after his reemergence in public.

Still, only a handful of observers have called out the mainstream media for this latest bout of “fake news,” with journalist and The Grayzone assistant editor Ben Norton calling it “example number 92,730,274 of how the Western corporate media is a totally useless propaganda machine that prints lie after lie in service of Western governments.”

Meanwhile, in South Korea, the country’s ruling Democratic Party reportedly demanded an apology from two defector parliamentarians on Sunday for their alleged role in circulating the fake news regarding Kim’s health. Before the release of fresh photos and video of Kim, high-profile defector and lawmaker Thae Yong-ho publicly said he was confident that the North Korean leader “cannot stand up by himself or walk properly,” while Ji Seong-ho, another opposition lawmaker, claimed he was “99 percent sure” Kim was dead. Jung Choun-sook, Democratic Party lawmaker and spokesperson, called on the pair of MPs to apologize over their now demonstrably “groundless remarks.”

May 3, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | 1 Comment

U.S. Concocting Intel to Frame China for COVID-19 Crisis

By Finian Cunningham | Strategic Culture Foundation | April 25, 2020

China’s communist leaders have blood on their hands, so say U.S. hawks. Chinaphobes in Congress and a battalion of media pundits are demanding compensation from Beijing for the spiraling death toll and economic destruction incurred by the United States.

Already U.S. states have begun litigation to sue China. Rightwing think-tanks like the Hudson Institute are projecting that China is liable to pay out trillions of dollars for American losses over the Covid-19 pandemic.

The chorus of “Yellow Peril” fever goes beyond financial retribution right up to creating a casus belli against China. It is no coincidence that U.S. warships have stepped up provocative maneuvers in the South China Sea this week.

President Donald Trump and his top envoy Mike Pompeo have weighed in to point the finger at China for pandemic mayhem hitting the U.S. China is being set up as the scapegoat to “explain” why the supposedly most powerful nation in the world has been left so ravaged by a virus.

The “blame China” narrative turns on two sub-plots. It is claimed in U.S. media that the Chinese authorities knew a lot more than they let on they did about the potential harm from the epidemic when it first emerged in the city of Wuhan in December. The insinuation is that China (and the World Health Organization) engaged in a cover-up about the scale of the disease, thereby putting other nations in danger through misinformation.

The second sub-plot in the “blame China” agenda is that a Chinese virology laboratory leaked out the deadly virus, either by accident or as part of biowarfare program. That again implies a China cover-up. Both sub-plots fit the slogan taken up by Trump supporters and anti-China hawks more generally: “China Lied, People Died”.

In both cases, however, it is more than plausible that the media agitation is information warfare to scapegoat China. What is happening here this: a disastrous current situation in America is being retrospectively “explained” with false U.S. intelligence claims that seek to shift blame on to China, and, crucially, distract from questions about inherent systematic failure in Washington.

On the “China knew more but didn’t let on” claim, the primer for this theme came from an ABC report published on April 9. It quotes anonymous U.S. sources as saying that the Pentagon’s disease experts were briefing the White House and senior national security officials about a new contagion sweeping through China’s Wuhan region as far back as November.

As ABC reported with convenient sinister implication: “Those analyses said China’s leadership knew the epidemic was out of control even as it kept such crucial information from foreign governments and public health agencies.”

The basic problem is “those analyses” referred to by ABC’s anonymous sources are only alleged to have happened. Where’s the evidence, transcripts, memos and so on? An open mind should ask the question: was such an intel assessment even formulated?

ABC’s report took off in the pundit-sphere even though it updated its report with a disclaimer from the Pentagon denying that any such assessment existed. Fair enough, maybe the Pentagon is mischievously disowning. There again, more likely, ABC is being played by its anonymous sources to concoct an anti-China narrative?

A few other contradictions are the following: Mark Esper, the Pentagon chief, subsequently told ABC in an interview that he didn’t know anything about any such alleged contagion warning which he had supposedly received back in November or December. Esper’s cack-handed tone suggests he simply did not receive any such briefing, rather than any sort of smart sophistry on his part.

Furthermore, if the alleged Pentagon intelligence warning of a new contagion was presumably circulated in Presidential Daily Briefs, why was Trump voicing complacency about the potential pandemic during January and February? Indeed, why was Trump on record for praising China’s efforts at controlling the outbreak during this crucial period if he had been warned, allegedly, about the pandemic and the implied cover-up by Beijing?

Here’s another amusing cause for doubt. The Pentagon’s National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI) – the agency which purportedly warned of a contagion in China back in November – is officially tasked with detecting diseases which “pose serious risk to U.S. forces” in Asia and internationally. Strangely enough, the NCMI didn’t seem to know about outbreaks of COVID-19 onboard U.S. aircraft carriers deployed in Asia-Pacific which only came to light when navy crews publicly complained – yet we are led to believe the same agency knew what was going down in the obscure environs of Wuhan, even before Chinese authorities knew about the virus.

The second sub-plot is the alleged escape of the virus from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The WIV is an internationally respected disease research center, which has partnered with French and other governments’ researchers. It operates at the highest international safety standards, yet somehow the WIV supposedly let a deadly virus escape. There is an added insinuation that the virus was man-made as part of a scientific program. President Trump said last week that Washington “was looking into it” and hinted that the release may even have been deliberate.

This is a shoddy conspiracy theory based on zero evidence, as documented by investigative journalist Max Blumenthal. The claim of “lab release” has been doing the rounds in dodgy rightwing U.S. media like the Washington Times for months. It has recently been elevated by equally dodgy reporting in the Washington Post that has all the hallmarks of an intel psy-ops.

The World Health Organization, as well as a vast body of scientific opinion, concludes that the Covid-19 virus (also known as SARS-CoV-2) is of natural origin emanating from wildlife, and that it is neither man-made nor manipulated in a lab. Indeed, many eminent scientists in the field of virology have condemned “conspiracy theories” claiming the virus came out of a lab as “pure baloney”.

What this all boils down to is an attempt by American anti-China hawks and elements of U.S. intelligence to retrospectively construct a narrative which lays the blame for the Covid-19 global crisis on Beijing. Given the abysmal failure of the U.S. to mitigate this crisis – exposing the deep flaws of its capitalistic society – the temptation is all the stronger for Washington to jump on the bandwagon scapegoating China.

Considering Trump’s re-election hopes are at stake, it is not surprising he is clambering into the driving seat of this bandwagon.

But concocting intel to fit a conclusion is a precarious pursuit. It has disturbing resonance with the Iraqi WMD intel manufacturing and media indulgence which led to disastrous war.

Is U.S. power so shameless that it would prefer war rather than face public accountability for its own criminal complacency and neglect? You better believe it.

April 26, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 1 Comment