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Washington Post hypes fake news on coronavirus ‘burial pits’ in Iran

Press TV – March 14, 2020

The Washington Post has turned to publishing fake news about Iran’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, claiming that Iran has dug mass “burial pits” for victims of the disease and was covering the true number of deaths.

As countries across the world grapple with the COVID-19 outbreak, Iran’s struggle to contain the deadly disease has attracted more than usual attention from mainstream outlets in certain countries.

Despite numerous statements from World Health Organization officials praising Iran’s efforts against the outbreak, certain outlets have focused on erringly similar themes regarding Iran; that the country is in chaos, is mishandling the outbreak and that it’s “putting other countries at risk”.

The Washington Post has specifically published a string of exclusively conspiracy-minded and politicized reports about the coronavirus outbreak in Iran.

Its latest reports include headlines such as “Iran’s government is lying its way to a coronavirus catastrophe”, “Iran struggles to contain coronavirus outbreak, putting Middle East countries at risk” and “Coronavirus pummels Iran leadership as data show spread is far worse than reported”.

In its latest article on Iran – titled “Coronavirus burial pits so vast they’re visible from space” – the US daily claims satellite images showed newly-dug “trenches” the size of a “football field” to accommodate bodies of the coronavirus victims.

The satellite images purportedly illustrate a cemetery near Iran’s epicenter city of Qom. The paper proceeds to cite dubious reports and videos circulating over the internet about Iran covering up its coronavirus deaths.

The report concludes that the graves have been dug to “accommodate the rising number of virus victims in Qom”.

Many observers, however, have been quick to point out inconsistencies and flaws in the report, with some highlighting the unprofessional reporting used in the article; using hyped expressions such as “seen from space” to portray a false image of mass graves.

Observers have pointed that the overall length of the purported 100 yards of “burial pits” in the satellite images cannot accommodate more than about 75-100 graves, not significantly higher than the official death toll announced for the city.

Others have presented evidence showing that the vacant graves in the area are not specifically related to the coronavirus outbreak and that long rows of graves had been also dug long before the outbreak.

The dubious report, however, has circulated widely among social media accounts and various foreign-funded anti-Iran outlets, prompting Iranian officials to issue official statements on the matter.

Speaking with the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), executive manager of Qom Municipality’s burial sites Seifoddin Mousavi said the graves had been planned before the outbreak as part of usual procedures in the cemetery.

He stressed that all the operations in the cemetery are taking place according to international protocols regarding burial sites.

On Friday, Kianoush Jahanpour, the head of the public relations and information center of the Iranian Ministry of Health, said that the new coronavirus has claimed 514 lives in the country.

March 14, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 3 Comments

Trump campaign sues Washington Post for ‘millions of dollars’ over ‘false and defamatory’ statements on ‘Russia collusion’

RT | March 3, 2020

Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign has reportedly filed a libel suit against the Washington Post for “millions of dollars,” accusing the newspaper of publishing “false and defamatory” statements about alleged collusion with Russia.

The lawsuit, which was filed in the US District Court in Washington, DC on Tuesday, highlights two articles published by the Post in 2019 linking Trump’s team to alleged foreign interference in the 2016 election, Fox News reported.

The complaint, which was seen by the news outlet, alleges that the Post was “well aware” that the statements were false but published them anyway for the “intentional purpose” of hurting Trump’s campaign. The articles were part of the newspaper’s “systematic pattern of bias” against Trump, it said.

One of the articles, published on June 13, stated that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s extensive investigation into alleged collusion concluded that Trump’s campaign “tried to conspire with” a “sweeping and systematic” attack by Russia during the 2016 election.

Trump’s team noted that Mueller’s report in fact “concluded there was no conspiracy” between then-candidate Trump’s campaign and Russia – and that no US person intentionally coordinated with any alleged Russian effort to interfere with the 2016 election.

The second article, published on June 20, suggested Trump had “invited” both Russia and North Korea to “offer their assistance” to his campaign. This was also described as “false and defamatory” since there “has never been any statement” by anyone associated with Trump’s campaign inviting the two countries to interfere or assist.

The lawsuit also says there is “an extensive record” of statements from Trump’s campaign and the White House disavowing any notion of Russian assistance and “not a shred of evidence” that there were contacts between the campaign and North Korea.

Trump’s campaign said the lawsuit had been filed in order to “publicly establish the truth” and “properly inform” readers, as well as to seek “appropriate remedies for the harm caused.” The complaint says Trump’s campaign was damaged “in the millions of dollars” – the exact amount to be determined in court.

The suit against the Post comes on the heels of a similar lawsuit filed by Trump’s campaign against the New York Times last week in relation to a 2019 op-ed, which it said contained similarly false statements intended to influence the 2020 presidential election.

March 3, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment

Washington Post’s ‘relative quiet’ ignores Israeli violence against Palestinians

Nine-year-old Palestinian Malik Eissa, Feb. 20, 2020, after being shot in the face by Israeli police the previous week. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)
By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | February 24, 2020

On February 24th, the Washington Post reported that a “flare up” of violence in Israel-Palestine “followed weeks of relative quiet.” This statement ignores massive Israeli violence against Palestinians. The following is a partial list of Israeli actions against Palestinians during the previous three and a half weeks:

  • Israeli soldiers Shot and killed 4 Palestinian civilians, including a 19-year-old shot in the neck, a 17-year-old shot in the head, and a 24-year-old policeman shot in the stomach.
  • Israeli soldiers shot an additional 100 Palestinians, including 15 minors, 3 fishermen, 3 journalists, and a photographer working for an Israeli human rights organization. One of the injured minors was a 9-year-old whose eye was shot out.
  • Israeli forces conducted 418 military raids into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.
  • Israeli forces abducted 190 Palestinian civilians, including 52 teens and children and 4 women.
  • Israeli forces perpetrated 15 shootings against Palestinian farmers and farm structures.
  • Israeli forces perpetrated 7 shootings against Palestinian fishing boats.
  • Israel demolished 8 Palestinian homes.
  • Israeli interrogators tortured a Palestinian mother imprisoned by Israel.
  • Israeli forces escorted thousands of Israeli settlers while they stormed two Palestinian villages.
  • Israeli forces perpetrated several airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.
  • A fifteen-year-old Palestinian boy, who had been shot earlier by Israeli forces, died.

(For details on the above incidents go here. For information on additional actions that took place during this time go here. For a Timeline of Israelis and Palestinians killed in the conflict go here.)

Ruth Eglash Washington Post reporter Israel Palestine
Ruth Eglash, Israeli citizen

Reporter Ruth Eglash partisan

Ruth Eglash, lead author of the Washington Post report that ignored the above events, moved to Israel 20 years ago, became an Israeli citizen, and was an editor of a right-wing Israeli newspaper for 10 years before moving to the Post.

She has been a featured speaker at events by pro-Israel organizations in the U.S. and used to be listed on the speakers’ bureau of the Jewish National Fund (JNF), known for taking over Palestinian land for Israel. (Her listing by the JNF has since been removed from the Internet.)

Shortly before joining the Post, Eglash had served on a panel entitled “Telling Israel’s Story,” alongside an Israeli army spokesperson. The panel was chaired by a former advisor to the Israeli government.

According to the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, Eglash lives in a “spacious home in Mevessert Zion,” which is one of the wealthiest enclaves in the area. It was built in the 1950s on top of the destroyed Palestinian villages of Al Qastal and Qalunya, which had been ethnically cleansed by Israeli forces. Some parts of the town are in the West Bank, making the residents settlers. Settlements are illegal under international law.

Eglash’s husband, also an Israeli citizen, is originally from Milwaukee, where he “lived and breathed Israel” as a student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He started and continues to head a PR firm called “Upstart” that markets Israel to the US.

Media watchdog organization Fairness and Accuracy In Media (FAIR) reports: “Upstart’s clients include the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Tourism, the Jewish Agency for Israel and the World Zionist Organization. Other clients, like Hillel and Birthright for Israel, are active in promoting a pro-Israel message on college campuses.”


Martin Baron, Washington Post executive editor

FAIR states that the Washington Post seems to be violating its own ethics conflict of interest code by employing a reporter “whose spouse works for an Israeli government-linked public relations firm.”

Marty Baron

The Editor of the Post is Martin Baron, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Israel. Baron says he has visited Israel often, where he has family connections. Baron sometimes gives talks on Israel.

(According to Israeli law, individuals who are born to a parent who is an Israeli citizen automatically are Israeli citizens themselves. It is unknown whether this is the case for Baron.)

A member of the Israel lobby once divulged to an undercover reporter that it was easy for the lobby to get stories onto the front page of the Washington Post.

February 25, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | 1 Comment

Collusion: Franklin Roosevelt, British Intelligence, and the Secret Campaign to Push the US Into War

President Roosvelt, Prime Minister Churchill and premier Stalin, at the historic “Big Three” conference in Yalta, February 1945
By Mark Weber – Institute for Historical Review – February 2020

We’ve heard a lot recently about alleged secret and illegal collaboration by prominent Americans with foreign governments. Collusion is widely regarded as so malign and disgraceful that any official who cooperates with a foreign power in an underhanded way is considered unfit to hold public office. In particular, politicians and media commentators have been charging that devious cooperation by Donald Trump with the government of Ukraine or Russia renders him unfit to be President.

However valid such accusations may be, secretive and unlawful collusion by an American leader with a foreign power that subverts the US political process is not new. The most far-reaching and flagrant case was by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1940-41.

The stage for this had been set some months earlier. In September 1939, Germany and then Soviet Russia attacked Poland. Two days after the German assault, Britain and France declared war against Germany.

Following the defeat of Poland after barely five weeks of fighting, the German leader appealed to Britain and France for peace. Hitler’s plea was rejected. After British and French leaders made clear their determination to continue the war, Germany struck in the West in May 1940. Military and political leaders in Britain and France were confident that their forces would prevail. After all, those two countries had more soldiers, more artillery, more tanks and armored vehicles, and vastly more impressive and numerous naval vessels, than did the Germans. Nonetheless, in just six weeks German forces subdued France and forced the British to flee to their island nation.[1]

Hitler then launched yet another peace initiative. In a dramatic July 19, 1940, appeal for an end to the conflict, he stressed that his proposal did not in any way harm vital British interests or violate British honor. This offer was also rejected, and Prime Minister Winston Churchill vowed to continue the war.[2]

Privately, though, he and all other high-level British officials knew that their country’s resources were hopelessly inferior to those of Germany and her allies, and that Britain’s only hope for “victory” required somehow bringing the United States into the war. In a one-on-one conversation during this period Randolph Churchill pointedly asked his father just how Britain could possibly beat Germany. “With great intensity,” he later recalled, Winston Churchill replied: “I shall drag the United States in.”[3]

From mid-1940 onwards, bringing the US into war was a priority British government objective. The great problem, though, was that the great majority of Americans wanted to keep their country neutral, and avoid any direct involvement in the European conflict. Millions remembered with bitterness the deceit by which the US had entered the world war of 1914-1918, and the betrayal of the solemn, noble-sounding pledges made during those years by US President Wilson and the leaders of Britain and France.

Roosevelt secretly supported Churchill’s efforts. Even before the outbreak of war in September 1939, the President was already working, behind the scenes, to encourage Britain to make war against Germany, with the goal of “regime change” there.[4] America’s most influential newspapers, magazines and radio commentators shared Roosevelt’s hostile attitude toward Hitler’s Germany, and they supported his campaign for war by putting out stories designed to persuade the public that Germany was a grave danger. Even prior to the outbreak of war in Europe, for example, the country’s most influential illustrated weekly, Life magazine, published a major article headlined “America Gets Ready to Fight Germany, Italy, Japan.” Readers were told that Germany and Italy “covet … the rich resources of South America,” and warned that “fascist fleets and legions may swarm across the Atlantic.”[5]

In the months before December 1941, when the US formally entered the war in the wake of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt did everything he could to get America into the global conflict without actually declaring war. He proceeded with caution and cunning, because his measures were often contrary to US law, and without Congressional or Constitutional mandate. Roosevelt also acted with ever more brazen disregard for international law and America’s legal standing as a neutral country. As part of his campaign, he sought to convince the public that Hitler’s Germany threatened the US.

“The Nazi masters of Germany,” he announced in a December 1940 radio address, “have made clear that they intend not only to dominate all life and thought in their own country, but also to enslave the whole of Europe, and then to use the resources of Europe to dominate the rest of the world …” In August 1941, the President met with British premier Churchill to pledge US support for war against Germany. They issued a joint declaration, the “Atlantic Charter,” that laid out the ambitious and noble-sounding war aims of the two countries.[6]

Roosevelt and Churchill at their historic “Atlantic Charter” meeting off the coast of Newfoundland, August 1941
Roosevelt and Churchill at their historic “Atlantic Charter” meeting off the coast of Newfoundland, August 1941

In a nationally-broadcast address two weeks later, Roosevelt told Americans that “… our fundamental rights – including the rights of labor – are threatened by Hitler’s violent attempt to rule the world,” and pledged that “we shall do everything in our power to crush Hitler and his Nazi forces.”[7] In another radio address on September 11 the President announced a “shoot-on-sight” order to US naval warships to attack German and Italian vessels on the high seas.

In spite of these and other hostile measures, German leaders fervently sought to avoid conflict with the US. Hitler ordered German submarines to avoid any clash with American forces, and to use their weapons only in self-defense and as a final resort. So belligerent were US actions against Germany and her allies, and so blatant was US disregard for the country’s officially neutral status, that Admiral Harold Stark, US Chief of Naval Operations, warned the Secretary of State that Hitler “has every excuse in the world to declare war on us now, if he were of a mind to.”[8]

As part of Churchill’s effort to bring the US into the war, in 1940 his government established an agency that came to be known as the British Security Coordination (BSC), which managed operations in North and South America of Britain’s key intelligence bureaus, including MI5, MI6, the Special Operations Executive, and the Political Warfare Executive.

BSC operations were headed by William Stephenson. Born in Canada, he had distinguished himself as a flier with British forces during the First World War, and afterwards became a highly successful businessman in England. From its central offices on two floors of the Rockefeller Center building on Fifth Avenue in New York City, the BSC at its height supervised the work of more than two thousand full- and part-time employees, agents and operatives. These included linguists, cipher and crytology experts, intelligence agents, propaganda specialists, people skilled in business and finance, and operatives in a range of other fields. Nearly a thousand were active in New York, while more than that number worked in Washington, DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle, as well as in Canada, Mexico City, Havana, and other centers in Latin America. “The scale and audacity” of British intelligence acclivities in the US between June 1940 and December 1941, concludes one historian, “were without parallel in the history of relations between allied democracies.”[9]

William Stephenson
William Stephenson

At the end of World War II, Stephenson arranged for an official history of the British Security Coordination to be written, based on its voluminous files and records. Just twenty copies of this secret and very restricted work were produced, and then the entire archive of BSC documents and papers was gathered together and burned.[10]

In the years that followed, some information about BSC operations came to public attention in a few widely-read books. But it was not until 1999 – more than half a century after the end of World War II – that the full text was finally published. This important primary source, titled British Security Coordination: The Secret History of British Intelligence in the Americas, 1940-1945, throws light on the carefully hidden record of collusion between the Roosevelt White House and a foreign government.

Not long after William Stephenson arrived in the US to begin work, Prime Minister Churchill informed President Roosevelt of Stephenson’s assignment. After a briefing on the BSC’s planned operations, Roosevelt said: “There should be the closest possible marriage between the FBI and British intelligence.” The president also communicated his views on this to the British ambassador in Washington.[11] Roosevelt arranged for Stephenson’s agency to work closely with William Donovan, a highly trusted colleague of the President who went on to establish and head the wartime Office of Strategic Services, which after the war became the CIA, the Central Intelligence Agency.

William Donovan
William Donovan

As the official BSC history acknowledges, BSC operations “could not have come into being at all without American approval on the highest level.” The official history goes on: “The climax of that offensive was reached some six months before Pearl Harbor when BSC secured, through the establishment of the organization which eventually came to be known as the Office of Strategic Services, an assurance of full American participation and collaboration with the British in secret activities directed against the enemy throughout the world.”[12]

Moreover, “Inasmuch as the cause of American intervention was symbolized in the foresight and determination of the President himself, the ultimate purpose of all BSC’s Political Warfare was to assist Mr Roosevelt’s own campaign for preparedness. This was not merely an abstract conception, for WS [William Stephenson] kept in close touch with the White House and as time went on the president gave clear indication of his personal concern both to encourage and take advantage of BSC’s activities.”[13]

This cooperation with British intelligence by the President and other high-ranking US officials, as well as with the FBI, the US federal government’s main domestic security and police agency, was quite illegal. Such collusion by the nominally neutral US to further the war aims of a foreign government was contrary to both US law and universally accepted international norms. Accordingly, the White House kept this collaboration secret even from the State Department.

Incidentally, the official BSC history acknowledges the role of Donovan in a little known but important chapter of World War II history. On March 25, 1941, Yugoslavia joined the Axis alliance with Germany, Italy and other European countries. Two days later, a group of Serbian officers led by General Dusan Simovic, carried out a putsch in Belgrade, the Yugoslav capital, that violently overthrew the country’s legal government. Ten days later the new regime signed a treaty of friendship with the Soviet Union.

How did this sudden “regime change” come about? Several months earlier, during a visit to Belgrade in January 1941, William Donovan was in the Yugoslav capital as an agent of President Roosevelt and of the British government. During a crucial meeting and conversation with General Simovic, he set the stage for the “regime change” overthrow of the country’s government. The official BSC history puts it this way: “In Yugoslavia, Donovan paved the way for the coup d’état which resulted at the eleventh hour in Yugoslav resistance to, instead of acquiescence in, German aggression. He interviewed General Simovic, who asked him whether Britain could hold out against the Nazis and whether the United States would enter the war … He answered both questions in the affirmative; and at his persuasion Simovic agreed to organize the revolution which a few months later overthrew the pro-German government of Prince Paul.”[14]

William Stephenson is honored for his wartime service with the US “Medal of Merit,” presented by William Donovan at a ceremony in 1946
William Stephenson is honored for his wartime service with the US “Medal of Merit,” presented by William Donovan at a ceremony in 1946

A major task of the BSC – as the official history reports – was “to organize American public opinion in favour of aid to Britain.” As part of what the BSC called “political warfare designed to influence American public opinion,” BSC agents were “placing special material in the American press.” Stephenson’s operatives were very active in prodding, cajoling and steering the US media to foment fear and hatred of Germany, and to encourage public support for Roosevelt’s ever more overt campaign of military backing for Britain, and later for Soviet Russia.

“Of particular value,” the BSC history notes, was the cooperation of the publisher of the New York Post, the editor of the New York daily PM, the publisher of the New York Herald Tribune, the publisher of the Baltimore Sun, and the president of the New York Times, as well as the country’s most influential columnists, including Walter Lippman, Drew Pearson, and Walter Winchell. Pearson’s column alone appeared in 616 newspapers with a combined readership of more than twenty million. In working “to bring the United Sates into the `shooting’ war by attacking isolationism and fostering interventionism,” the BSC “was able to initiate internal propaganda through its undercover contacts with selected newspapers, such as the New York Times, the New York Herald Tribune, the New York Post, and the Baltimore Sun; with newspaper columnists and radio commentators; and with various political pressure organizations.”

The BSC worked closely with a specially created news service. Set up in July 1940, the “Overseas News Agency” was a supposedly legitimate and trustworthy enterprise. Actually, and as the BSC history notes, this was “a branch of the Jewish Telegraph[ic] Agency, owned in part by the rich New York Jew who controlled the liberal and vehemently anti-Nazi New York Post.”

As the official history goes on to explain: “After a series of secret negotiations, BSC agreed to give ONA [Overseas News Agency] a monthly subsidy in return for promise of cooperation in certain specific ways … It’s value … lay in its ability not only to channel propaganda outwards but to assure wide dissemination of material originated by BSC and intended for internal consumption. In April 1941, the ONA clients within the United States already numbered more than forty-five English language papers, which included such giants as the New York Times … It afforded a useful instrument for rapid dissemination abroad of subversive propaganda originated by BSC in the United States.”[15]

The Jewish-run ONA agency soon became an important distributor of “fake news” as part of the widening campaign to smear and discredit National Socialist Germany, and to promote public support for US involvement in war against Germany and her allies. As one historian put it: “From the start, attacking Nazi Germany was a higher priority for ONA than hewing to the truth.” ONA articles influenced many millions of Americans, appearing in such major daily papers as the New York Times, the New York Herald Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Washington Post.[16]

Here are a few examples:

In August 1940 an ONA report cited anonymous “qualified Czech sources” to inform Americans that “Czechoslovak girls and young women have been transported from the [Czech] Protectorate to German garrison towns to become white slaves.” It went on to tell readers that “Nazi officials, dispatching these trainloads of prospective white slaves to the Reich, informed husbands and relatives that the women `will be entrusted with the important work of amusing German soldiers, in order to keep up the morale of the troops’.”[17]

In February 1941 American newspapers carried a sensational ONA report claiming that the US was threatened by “fascist bands” in the Caribbean country of Haiti, which had become a dangerous center of Nazi activity. Germans were supposedly preparing that county as a base for attacks on Florida, the Panama Canal, and Puerto Rico.[18] In June 1941 an ONA report appearing in newspapers across the US told of a daring British parachute raid within Germany that had succeeded in capturing 40 German pilots. This and similar stories were meant to encourage Americans to believe that the British had the skill and resolve to defeat Germany and her allies. But the raid never happened. This “fake news” story was conceived in London by the MI6 agency, and was written by a British agent.[19]

In August 1941, an ONA item in the New York Post told readers that “Hitler is not at the Russian front, but at Berchtesgaden suffering from a severe nervous breakdown.” The article went on to assert that the German leader’s personal physician had recently traveled to Switzerland to consult with the famed psychiatrist Carl Jung to discuss “the rapid deterioration of Hitler’s mental condition,” which was supposedly characterized by delusional rages.[20] That same month, The New York Times published a report of the Overseas News Agency telling readers that in the Middle East the recent death of a 130-year-old Bedouin soothsayer was widely regarded as “a sign of a coming defeat for Hitler.”[21]

Stephenson’s BSC also rigged public opinion polls to give the impression that Americans were more willing to join Britain and the Soviet Union in war against Germany than was actually the case. Polls that showed American unhappiness with British policies, such as Britain’s imperial rule in India, were suppressed. As a result, one historian cautions, many surveys of American public opinion during this period “should be seen for what they were: at worst they were flatly rigged, at best they were tweaked and massaged and cooked – advocacy polls without the advocate being visible.”[22]

An important British propaganda outlet during this period was radio station WRUL, an American short-wave broadcaster based in Long Island, New York. With 50,000 watts of power, its reach was unsurpassed by any other station either in the US or Europe. “By the middle of 1941,” the official BSC history reports, “station WRUL was virtually, though quite unconsciously, a subsidiary of BSC, sending out covert British propaganda all over the world … Daily broadcasts went out in no less than twenty-two different languages …”[23]

In its efforts to influence the American public, the British had formidable competition. News, photos and contextual information provided by German agencies was more timely and detailed, and consequently better appreciated and more effective, than what Britain provided. The German “news agencies, Transocean and DNB, were always first with the headlines,” the BSC history acknowledged.[24]

In two confidential telegrams sent to London in April 1941, Stephenson wrote frankly about the unsatisfactory situation: “Close examination of US press during past fortnight indicates almost complete failure [to] prevent Axis monopoly of war news coverage … most journals … carry predominance of Axis news … [and] photographs … few if any British photographs appear … Axis news reports reach here more quickly than ours … rapidly followed by copious flow of descriptive material, photographs and films … Transocean and DNB keep up flow and build up stories even in quiet periods … invariably beat our news to headlines … US newsmen here say Germans show far better sense of news and timing … infinitely better understanding US psychology.”[25]

As the BSC official history goes on to explain, “these warnings went unheeded, and accordingly WS [William Stephenson] decided to take action on his own initiative” by waging a “covert war against the mass of American groups which were organized throughout the country to spread isolationism and anti-British feeling.” This included coordination with vehemently anti-German organizations that were pushing for US involvement in war against Germany. BSC was especially keen to counter the formidable influence and effectiveness of the America First Committee. As the official history notes, “because America First was a particularly serious menace, BSC decided to take more direct action.” It took measures to “disrupt” America First rallies, and to “discredit” America First speakers. “Such activities by BSC agents and cooperating pro-British committees were frequent, and on many occasions America First was harassed and heckled and embarrassed.”

Gerald Nye
Gerald Nye

British intelligence agents also worked to elect candidates who favored US intervention in the European war, to defeat candidates who advocated neutrality, and to silence or destroy the reputations of Americans who were deemed to be a menace to British interests. An important target of BSC operations was US Senator Gerald Nye, an influential critic of the President’s campaign for war. Once, when he was getting ready to address a meeting in Boston, a BSC-backed group called “Fight for Freedom” “passed out 25,000 handbills attacking him as an appeaser and as a Nazi-lover.”[26]

Another political figure whom BSC operatives sought to discredit was US Representative Hamilton Fish, a vigorous critic of Roosevelt’s war policy. Fish was particularly effective because he was intelligent, well educated, and exceptionally knowledgeable about international relations, with extensive first-hand understanding of European affairs. British agents funded Fish’s election opponents, published pamphlets suggesting he was pro-Hitler, released a faked photo of Fish with the head of the pro-Nazi German American Bund, and planted stories saying that he was getting financial aid from German agents. Such underhanded activities were important in finally removing him from Congress in the November 1944 elections. The BSC history notes that while Fish “attributed his defeat to Reds and Communists. He might – with more accuracy – have blamed BSC.”[27]

Hamilton Fish
Hamilton Fish

Fortune tellers were also used by British intelligence to sway public opinion. Such propaganda, the official BSC history notes, is effective only with people who are not very discerning or sophisticated. The BSC begins its description of these operations with condescending remarks about American gullibility:

“A country that is extremely heterogeneous in character offers a wide variety of choice propaganda methods. While it is probably true that all Americans are intensely suspicious of propaganda, it is certain that a great many of them are unusually susceptible to it even in its most patent form … The United States is still a fertile field for outré practices. It is unlikely that any propagandist would seriously attempt to influence politically the people of England, say, or France through the medium of astrological predictions. Yet in the United States this was done with effective if limited results.”[28]

In the summer of 1941 the BSC employed Louis de Wohl, who is described in the BSC history as a “bogus Hungarian astrologer.” He was directed to issue predictions to show that Hitler’s “fall was now certain.” At public meetings, in radio appearances, in interviews, and in widely distributed press items, he “declared that Hitler’s doom was sealed.” De Wohl, who was presented as an “astro-philosopher,” also sought to discredit Charles Lindbergh, the much admired American aviator who was also a prominent spokesman for the America First Committee and an effective critic of Roosevelt’s war policies. De Wohl claimed that Lindbergh’s first son, who had been kidnapped and killed in 1932, was actually still alive and living in Germany, where he was being trained as a future Nazi leader. “There is little doubt,” the BSC history concludes, that the work of de Wohl “had a considerable effect upon certain sections of the [American] people.”[29]

British agents also publicized the equally absurd predictions of an Egyptian astrologer who claimed that within four months Hitler would be killed, as well as similarly fantastic predictions of a Nigerian priest named Ulokoigbe. As Stephenson and his BSC colleagues intended, American newspapers eagerly picked up and spread such nonsense to millions of readers.[30]

The BSC also set up a center that fabricated letters and other documents, as well as an organization that excelled in spreading expedient rumors. British agents illegally interecpted and copied US mail. They carried out wiretapping to get embarrassing information on those it wished to discredit, and leaked the results of its illegal surveillance. One important target was the French embassy in Washington, DC, which was wiretapped and burgled by Stephenson’s agents.[31]

Ernest Cuneo
Ernest Cuneo

An important figure in all this was Ernest Cuneo, a publicist, lawyer, and intelligence operative who played a key role as liaison between Stephenson’s BSC, the White House, Donovan’s agency, the FBI, and the media. He later described the scope of British operations in a memo. The BSC, he wrote, “ran espionage agents, tampered with the mails, tapped telephones, smuggled propaganda into the country, disrupted public gatherings, covertly subsidized newspapers, radios, and organizations, perpetrated forgeries – even palming one off on the president of the United States (a map that out-lined Nazi plans to dominate Latin America) – violated the aliens registrations act, shanghaied sailors numerous times, and possibly murdered one or more persons in this country.”[32]

A high point of British-White House collusion, and of the BSC campaign to influence American public opinion, came on October 27, 1941. While Franklin Roosevelt was not the first or the last American president to deliberately mislead the public, rarely has a major political figure given a speech as loaded with brazen falsehood as he did in his address on that date. His remarks, delivered to a large gathering at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC, were broadcast live over nationwide radio.[33]

In a nationally broadcast address of Oct. 27, 1941, President Roosevelt claimed to have documents proving German plans to take over South America and abolish all the world’s religions.
In a nationally broadcast address of Oct. 27, 1941, President Roosevelt claimed to have documents proving German plans to take over South America and abolish all the world’s religions.

After giving a highly distorted review of recent US-German relations, Roosevelt made a startling announcement. He said: “Hitler has often protested that his plans for conquest do not extend across the Atlantic Ocean … I have in my possession a secret map, made in Germany by Hitler’s government – by the planners of the new world order. It is a map of South America and a part of Central America as Hitler proposes to reorganize it.” This map, the President explained, showed South America, as well as “our great life line, the Panama Canal,” divided into five vassal states under German domination. He said: “That map, my friends, makes clear the Nazi design not only against South America but against the United States as well.”

Roosevelt went on to announce another startling revelation. He told his listeners that he also had in his possession “another document made in Germany by Hitler’s government. It is a detailed plan to abolish all existing religions – Catholic, Protestant, Mohammedan, Hindu, Buddhist, and Jewish alike” which Germany will impose “on a dominated world, if Hitler wins.”

“The property of all churches will be seized by the Reich and its puppets,” he continued. “The cross and all other symbols of religion are to be forbidden. The clergy are to be forever silenced under penalty of the concentration camps … In the place of the churches of our civilization, there is to be set up an international Nazi church – a church which will be served by orators sent out by the Nazi government. In the place of the Bible, the words of Mein Kampf will be imposed and enforced as Holy Writ. And in place of the cross of Christ will be put two symbols – the swastika and the naked sword.”

“Let us well ponder,” he said, “these grim truths which I have told you of the present and future plans of Hitlerism.” All Americans, he went on, “are faced with the choice between the kind of world we want to live in and the kind of world which Hitler and his hordes would impose on us.” Accordingly, he said, “we are pledged to pull our own oar in the destruction of Hitlerism.”

The full story about these documents did not emerge until many years later. The map cited by the President did exist, but it was a forgery produced by British intelligence. Stephenson had passed it on to Donovan, who had it delivered to the President. The other “document” cited by Roosevelt, purporting to outline German plans to abolish the world’s religions, was even more fanciful than the “secret map.”

The “secret map” cited by President Roosevelt as proof of German plans to take over South America was produced by British intelligence and passed on to the White House by William Donovan.

It’s not clear if Roosevelt himself knew that the map was a fake, or whether he was taken in by the British fraud and actually believed it to be authentic. In this case we don’t know if the President was deliberately lying to the American people, or was merely a credulous dupe and tool of a foreign government.

The German government responded to the President’s speech with a statement that categorically rejected his accusations. The purported secret documents, it declared, “are forgeries of the crudest and most brazen kind.” Furthermore, the statement went on: “The allegations of a conquest of South America by Germany and an elimination of the religions of the churches in the world and their replacement by a National Socialist church are so nonsensical and absurd that it is superfluous for the Reich government to discuss them.”[34] German propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels also responded to Roosevelt’s claims in a widely read commentary. The American president’s “absurd accusations,” he wrote, were a “grand swindle” designed to “whip up American public opinion.”[35]

That the President’s claims were absurd on their face should have been obvious to any discerning and reasonably well-informed person. Assertions that Germany was planning to take over South America were clearly fantastic given that, first, Germany had been unable or unwilling even to launch an invasion of Britain, and, second, that German forces at that moment were fully engaged in a titanic clash with Soviet Russia, a conflict that would ultimately end with the victory of the Red Army.

Roosevelt’s claim that Hitler was bent on quashing the world’s religions was not just a falsehood; it was nearly the opposite of the truth. At the same time he was telling Americans that Hitler’s Germany threatened religious life in their country and the rest of the world, President Roosevelt and his government were organizing military aid to the one country that was ruled by an openly atheist regime, the Soviet Union. While Roosevelt was speaking, military forces of Germany, Italy, Romania, Finland, Hungary and other European countries were battling to bring down the anti-religious Bolshevik state. Millions of Ukrainians, Russians, Lithuanians, Belarusians, and others who had already been freed from Soviet rule were, with German support, opening churches and restoring the traditional religious life that had been so brutally suppressed by the Stalinist regime.

During the war years, Germany’s Protestant and Catholic churches not only received government financial support, they were packed with worshipers. In Catholic regions of the Reich, notably in Bavaria and Austria, crucifixes were displayed in many public buildings, including courtrooms and school classrooms. The government of one country that was closely allied with Hitler’s Germany during World War II, Slovakia, was actually headed by a Roman Catholic priest.

In 1941 few Americans could believe that their President would so deliberately and emphatically deceive them, especially about matters of the gravest national and global importance. Millions accepted Roosevelt’s alarmist claims as true. After all, whom should any decent, patriotic citizen believe?: Their President, or the government of a foreign country that much of the American media told them was a mendacious regime dedicated to brutally imposing oppressive rule over the United States and the entire planet?

The Roosevelt-British propaganda campaign of 1940-41 was based on a great falsehood: the claim that Hitler was trying to “take over the world.” Actually, it was not Germany that launched war against Britain and France, but rather the reverse. It was Churchill, later joined by the US President, who rejected all German initiatives to end the terrible war. Demanding “unconditional surrender,” they insisted on the complete capitulation of Germany, including “regime change” elimination of the country’s government.

The legacy of President Roosevelt’s secretive and unlawful collusion with a foreign government, including his sanctioning of crimes by British and US agents, are relevant for our time. That’s especially true because Roosevelt is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most admirable of America’s past leaders. He is, for example, one of the very few persons whose image appears on US coins. Roads, streets, schools and other learning centers across the country bear his name.

His legacy should concern those who today are understandably unhappy with the routinely partisan and often polemical presentation of news and information in the mainstream media. The way that “fake news” and slanted, sensationalized information were given to the public in 1940-41 by the mainstream media, in secret collaboration with the White House and a foreign government, tells us much about how news and opinion can be manipulated in our country, and by whom.

In 1990 The New York Times issued a kind of apology for having published, decades earlier, the reporting of its once highly regarded correspondent in Moscow. In 1932 Walter Duranty’s dispatches from the Soviet Union earned him America’s highest award for journalistic achievement, the Pultizer Prize. Only years later did it become clear that Duranty’s portrayal of life in the USSR amounted to a deliberate whitewashing of reality. In particular he concealed the famine, starvation, and deaths of millions, especially in Ukraine, due to the Stalinist regime’s brutal “collectivization” of the vast country’s rural and farming population. Although reporting by major American newspapers in 1940-41 about Roosevelt administration’s policies for war was similarly distorted and misleading, neither the The New York Times, The Washington Post, nor any other paper has been moved to issue a comparable apology.

President Roosvelt, Prime Minister Churchill and premier Stalin, at the historic “Big Three” conference in Yalta, February 1945

President Richard Nixon is today widely regarded as a disgraced figure who deserved impeachment for trying to cover up the “Watergate” break-in. President Trump, many say, should likewise be punished for breaking the law. If that’s true, how then should we regard Franklin Roosevelt? His deceit and crimes – which are routinely ignored, excused or justified – vastly overshadow the misdeeds of Nixon and Trump.

Those who admire Franklin Roosevelt seem to believe that presidential deception and misconduct are justified if the perpetrator’s motives or goals are good. One influential scholar who has expressed this view is American historian Thomas A. Bailey. He acknowledged Roosevelt’s record, but sought to justify it. “Franklin Roosevelt repeatedly deceived the American people during the period before Pearl Harbor,” he wrote. “He was like the physician who must tell the patient lies for the patient’s own good … The country was overwhelmingly noninterventionist to the very day of Pearl Harbor, and an overt attempt to lead the people into war would have resulted in certain failure and an almost certain ousting of Roosevelt in 1940, with a complete defeat of his ultimate aims.”[36]

Prof. Bailey went on with a further justification: “A president who cannot entrust the people with the truth betrays a certain lack of faith in the basic tenets of democracy. But because the masses are notoriously shortsighted and generally cannot see danger until it is at their throats, our statesmen are forced to deceive them into an awareness of their own long-run interests. This is clearly what Roosevelt had to do, and who shall say that posterity will not thank him for it?”

In spite of all the rhetoric we hear about “our democracy” and “government of the people,” it seems that our leaders do not really believe that American-style democracy works as it’s supposed to. They don’t trust the people to “handle the truth.” The defenders of the Roosevelt legacy apparently believe that, at least sometimes, political leaders can and must break the law, violate the Constitution, and deliberately deceive the people for what a supposedly enlightened elite believes is in the nation’s “real” best interest, and for what it regards as a “higher” and worthy cause.

Roosevelt set a precedent for similarly deceitful and unlawful behavior by later presidents. Senator J. William Fulbright, a prominent critic of President Lyndon Johnson’s deception and disregard for law and the Constitution during the Vietnam war remarked that “FDR’s deviousness in a good cause made it much easier for LBJ to practice the same kind of deviousness in a bad cause.”[37]

“After a generation of presidential wars,” observed historian Joseph P. Lash, “it is possible to see that, in the hands of Roosevelt’s successors, the powers that he wielded as commander in chief to deploy the army, navy and air force as he deemed necessary in the national interest and to portray clashes in distant waters and skies as enemy-initiated led the nation into the Vietnam quagmire.”[38]

J. William Fulbright
J. William Fulbright

Roosevelt’s methods seem to have become firmly entrenched in modern American political life. President George W. Bush, for one, followed in Roosevelt’s path when he and other high-level officials in his administration, with support from the mainstream media, deceived the American people to make possible the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. “I used to puzzle over the question of how American democracy could be adapted to the kind of role we have come to play in the world,” Senator Fulbright said in 1971. “I think I now know the answer: it cannot be done.”[39]

While many Americans today yearn for honest and ethical political leaders, transparent governance, and “real” democracy, such hopes are likely to remain elusive as long as the mainstream media, educators and politicians continue to portray Franklin Roosevelt as an exemplary President, and his administration as a paragon of leadership, while successfully suppressing or justifying his record of deceit and wrongdoing.

Endnotes

[1] Basil H. Liddell-Hart, The Second World War (New York: Putnam, 1971), pp. 17-22, 66; Clive Ponting, 1940: Myth and Reality (Chicago: 1993), pp. 79-80; Niall Ferguson, The War of the World (New York: Penguin, 2006), pp. 387-390; William Carr, Poland to Pearl Harbor (1986), pp. 93, 96.

[2] Patrick J. Buchanan, Churchill, Hitler and `The Unnecessary War’ (New York: Crown, 2008), pp. 361-366; John Charmely, Churchill’s Grand Alliance (Harcourt Brace, 1996), pp. 82-83, 178; Clive Ponting, 1940: Myth and Reality (1993), p. 124; Friedrich Stieve, What the World Rejected: Hitler’s Peace Offers, 1933-1939.

[3] Martin Gilbert, Finest Hour: Winston Churchill,1939-41 (1984), p. 358. Quoted in: Jon Meacham, Franklin and Winston (2004), p. 51; M. Hastings, Winston’s War, 1940-1945 (2010), p. 25.

[4] Joseph P. Lash, Roosevelt and Churchill (1976), pp. 23-31; M. Weber, “President Roosevelt’s Campaign to Incite War in Europe,” The Journal of Historical Review, Summer 1983.

[5] “America Gets Ready to Fight Germany, Italy, Japan,” Life, Oct. 31, 1938.
( http://mk.christogenea.org/content/it-was-planned-way-3-years-previously-page-1 )

[6] Roosevelt “fireside chat” radio address of Dec. 29, 1940. ; Regarding the “Atlantic Charter,” see: William H. Chamberlin, America’s Second Crusade (1950 and 2008); Benjamin Colby, ‘Twas a Famous Victory (1975).

[7] Roosevelt Labor Day radio address, Sept. 1, 1941.

[8] Joseph P. Lash, Roosevelt and Churchill (1976), pp. 360, 415, 429; Stark memo to Secretary Hull, Oct. 8, 1941. Quoted in: J. P. Lash, Roosevelt and Churchill (1976), p. 426.

[9] Thomas E. Mahl, Desperate Deception: British Covert Operations in the United States, 1939-44 (1999), p. 16; Steven T. Usdin, Bureau of Spies: The Secret Connections Between Espionage and Journalism in Washington (Prometheus, 2018), pp. 101-104; Lynne Olson, Those Angry Days (New York: Random House, 2013), p. 117; William Boyd, “The Secret Persuaders,” The Guardian (Britain), Aug. 19, 2006.

[10] Nigel West (introduction) in: William Stephenson, ed., British Security Coordination (New York: 1999), pp. xi, xii.

[11] W. Stephenson, ed., British Security Coordination (1999), p. xxv.

[12] W. Stephenson, ed., British Security Coordination (1999), pp. xxxvi, xxxiii.

[13] W. Stephenson, ed., British Security Coordination (1999), p. 16.

[14] W. Stephenson, ed., British Security Coordination (1999), p. 14.

[15] W. Stephenson, ed., British Security Coordination (1999), pp. 58, 59.

[16] Steven T. Usdin, Bureau of Spies (2018), esp. pp. 135-140, 325-327; P. J. Grisar, “Sharks Defending Britain From Nazis? How ‘Fake News’ Helped Foil Hitler,” Forward, Oct. 22, 2018; Menachem Wecker, “The true story of a Jewish news agency that peddled fake news to undo Hitler.” Religion News Service, October 1, 2018

[17] Steven T. Usdin, Bureau of Spies (2018), p. 135.

[18] S. T. Usdin, Bureau of Spies (2018), pp. 138-139, 326 (n.).

[19] Larry Getlen, “The Fake News That Pushed US Into WWII,” New York Post, Oct. 3, 2019, pp. 20-21.

[20] S. T. Usdin, Bureau of Spies (2018), p. 142.

[21] Steven T. Usdin, Bureau of Spies (2018), pp. 139, 326 (n.); Menachem Wecker, “The true story of a Jewish news agency that peddled fake news to undo Hitler.” RNS, Oct. 1, 2018

[22] Thomas E. Mahl, Desperate Deception (1999), pp. 70-86; S. T. Usdin, Bureau of Spies (2018), pp. 113-116, 154-155; W. Stephenson, ed., British Security Coordination (1999), pp. 81-84.

[23] W. Stephenson, ed., British Security Coordination (1999), pp. 59, 60, 61.

[24] W. Stephenson, ed., British Security Coordination (1999), p. 68.

[25] W. Stephenson, ed., British Security Coordination (1999), p. 69.

[26] W. Stephenson, ed., British Security Coordination (1999), p. 74.

[27] W. Stephenson, ed., British Security Coordination (1999), pp. 74, 80; T. E. Mahl, Desperate Deception (1999), pp. 107-135; Steven T. Usdin, Bureau of Spies (2018), pp. 119-127; Christopher Woolf, “How Britain Tried to Influence the US Election in 1940,” PRI, Jan. 17, 2017.

[28] W. Stephenson, ed., British Security Coordination (1999), pp. 102.

[29] W. Stephenson, ed., British Security Coordination (1999), pp. 102-103, 104; S. T. Usdin, Bureau of Spies (2018), p. 139.

[30] W. Stephenson, ed., British Security Coordination (1999), p. 103.

[31] W. Stephenson, ed., British Security Coordination (1999), pp. 104, 105, 107, 109; Steven T. Usdin, Bureau of Spies (2018), pp. 102, 140, 145-148.

[32] Thomas E. Mahl, Desperate Deception: British Covert Operations in the United States, 1939-44 (1999), pp. 16, 193; Michael Williams, “FDR’s Confidential Crusader,” Warfare History Network. Jan. 17, 2019.

[33] John F. Bratzel, Leslie B. Rout, Jr., “FDR and The ‘Secret Map’,” The Wilson Quarterly (Washington, DC), New Year’s 1985, pp. 167-173; Ted Morgan, FDR: A Biography (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1985), pp. 602, 603, 801 (notes); Mark Weber, “Roosevelt’s `Secret Map’ Speech,” The Journal of Historical Review, Spring 1985.

[34] “The Reich Government’s Reply To Roosevelt’s Navy Day Speech,” The New York Times, Nov. 2, 1941; Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945. Series D, Vol. XIII, (Washington, DC: 1954), pp. 724-725 (Doc. No. 439 of Nov. 1, 1941).

[35] Joseph Goebbels, “Kreuzverhör mit Mr. Roosevelt,” Das Reich, Nov. 30, 1941. Nachdruck (reprint) in Das eherne Herz (1943), pp. 99-104. English translation: “Mr. Roosevelt Cross-Examined.”
( http://research.calvin.edu/german-propaganda-archive/goeb2.htm )

[36] Thomas A. Bailey, The Man in the Street: The Impact of American Public Opinion on Foreign Policy. (New York: 1948), pp. 11-13. Quoted in: W. H. Chamberlin, America’s Second Crusade (Indianapolis: Amagi/ Liberty Fund, 2008), p. 125.

[37] Joseph P. Lash, Roosevelt and Churchill, 1939-1941 (New York: 1976), pp. 9, 10, 420, 421; Address by Fulbright, April 3, 1971. Published in: Congressional Record – Senate, April 14, 1971, p. 10356.
( https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/GPO-CRECB-1971-pt8/pdf/GPO-CRECB-1971-pt8-4-1.pdf )

[38] J. Lash, Roosevelt and Churchill (1976), p. 421.

[39] Address by Fulbright, April 3, 1971. Congressional Record – Senate, April 14, 1971, p. 10356.

Bibliography / For Further Reading

Nicholson Baker, Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2008

Harry Elmer Barnes, ed., Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace. Institute for Historical Review, 1993

William Boyd, “The Secret Persuaders,” The Guardian (Britain), August 19, 2006.
( https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2006/aug/19/military.secondworldwar )

John F. Bratzel and Leslie B. Rout, Jr., “FDR and The ‘Secret Map’,” The Wilson Quarterly (Washington, DC), New Year’s 1985 (Vol. 9, No. 1), pp. 167-173.

Anthony Cave Brown, The Last Hero: Wild Bill Donovan. New York: Times Books, 1982

Patrick J. Buchanan, Churchill, Hitler and `The Unnecessary War’: How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World. New York: Crown, 2008.

William H. Chamberlin, America’s Second Crusade. Chicago: 1950; Indianapolis: 2008

John Charmley, Churchill’s Grand Alliance: The Anglo-American Special Relationship, 1940-1957. Harvest/ Harcourt Brace, 1995.

Benjamin Colby, ‘Twas a Famous Victory. Arlington House, 1975

David Cole, “Tyler Kent and the Roosevelt Whistle-Blow Job,” Taki’s Mag, Nov. 19, 2019.
( https://www.takimag.com/article/tyler-kent-and-the-roosevelt-whistle-blow-job/ )

Jennet Conant, The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington. Simon & Schuster, 2008.

Robert Dallek, Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, 1932-1945. New York: Oxford University Press, 1979.

Hunter DeRensis, “The Campaign to Lie America Into World War II,” The American Conservative, December 7, 2019
( https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-campaign-to-lie-america-into-world-war-ii/ )

Larry Getlen, “The Fake News That Pushed US Into WWII,” New York Post, Oct. 3, 2019.
( https://nypost.com/2019/10/02/the-fake-news-that-pushed-us-into-world-war-ii/ )

P. J. Grisar, “Sharks Defending Britain From Nazis? How ‘Fake News’ Helped Foil Hitler,” Forward, Oct. 22, 2018.
( https://forward.com/culture/412422/sharks-defending-britain-from-nazis-how-fake-news-helped-foil-hitler/ )

Henry Hemming, Agents of Influence: A British Campaign, a Canadian Spy, and the Secret Plot to Bring America into World War II. PublicAffairs, 2019.

Robert Higgs, “Truncating the Antecedents: How Americans Have Been Misled About World War II.” March 18, 2008.
( http://www.lewrockwell.com/higgs/higgs77.html )

Herbert C. Hoover, Freedom Betrayed: Herbert Hoover’s Secret History of the Second World War and its Aftermath (George H. Nash, ed.). Stanford University, 2011.

David Ignatius, “Britain’s War in America: How Churchill’s Agents Secretly Manipulated the U.S. Before Pearl Harbor, The Washington Post, Sept. 17, 1989, pp. C-1, C-2.

Tyler Kent, “The Roosevelt Legacy and The Kent Case.” The Journal for Historical Review. Summer 1983 (Vol. 4, No. 2), pages 173-203. With Introduction by Mark Weber.
( http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v04/v04p173_Kent.html )

Warren F. Kimball, The Juggler: Franklin Roosevelt as Wartime Statesman. Princeton University Press, 1991

Charles C. Kolb. Review of: W. S. Stephenson, ed., British Security Coordination: The Secret History of British Intelligence in the Americas 1940-1945. H-Diplo, H-Net Reviews. December 1999.
( http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=3623 )

Thomas E. Mahl, Desperate Deception: British Covert Operations in the United States, 1939-44. Brassey’s, 1999.

Jerome O’Connor, “FDR’s Undeclared War,” Naval History (U.S. Naval Institute), Feb. 1, 2004.
( http://historyarticles.com/undeclared-war/ )

Joseph E. Persico, Roosevelt’s Secret War: FDR and World War II Espionage. Random House, 2001.

“The Reich Government’s Reply To Roosevelt’s Navy Day Speech,” The New York Times, Nov. 2, 1941. ( http://ibiblio.org/pha/policy/1941/411101a.html )

Bruce M. Russett, No Clear and Present Danger: A Skeptical View of the U.S. Entry into World War II. New York: Harper & Row, 1972

Friedrich Stieve. What the World Rejected: Hitler’s Peace Offers, 1933- 1939.
( http://ihr.org/other/what-the-world-rejected.html )

Steven T. Usdin, Bureau of Spies: The Secret Connections Between Espionage and Journalism in Washington. Prometheus, 2018

Steve Usdin, “When a Foreign Government Interfered in a U.S. Election – In 1940, by Britain,” Politico, Jan. 16, 2017.
( https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/01/when-a-foreign-government-interfered-in-a-us-electionto-reelect-fdr-214634 )

Mark Weber, “The ‘Good War’ Myth of World War Two.” May 2008.
( http://www.ihr.org/news/weber_ww2_may08.html )

Mark Weber, “Roosevelt’s `Secret Map’ Speech,” The Journal of Historical Review, Spring 1985 (Vol. 6, No. 1), pp. 125-127.
( http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v06/v06p125_Weber.html )

Menachem Wecker, “The true story of a Jewish news agency that peddled fake news to undo Hitler.” Religion News Service, October 1, 2018
( https://religionnews.com/2018/10/01/the-true-story-of-a-jewish-news-agency-that-peddled-fake-news-to-undo-hitler/ )

Michael Williams, “FDR’s Confidential Crusader,” Warfare History Network. Jan. 17, 2019.
( https://warfarehistorynetwork.com/2019/01/22/fdrs-confidential-crusader-2/ )

Christopher Woolf, “How Britain Tried to Influence the US Election in 1940,” Public Radio International, January 17, 2017
( https://www.pri.org/stories/2017-01-17/how-britain-tried-influence-us-election-1940 )

February 22, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

WaPo wants a bigger role for ‘elites’ in picking the president, & doesn’t even try to hide why

The “fake the consensus” model

One big happy family © AFP / Rick Odell
By Helen Buyniski | RT | February 19, 2020

“Elites” should get “a bigger say in choosing the president,” a Washington Post oped has declared, describing a system where regular voters just tell elites their pick and go home to let their betters work it all out.

The popular vote has been declared an anachronistic inconvenience in a WaPo oped by Marquette University professor Julie Azari that bemoans the “rocky start” to the Democratic primaries. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is leading the popular vote in the first two states, but this doesn’t match the delegate count, which unsurprisingly favors establishment favorite Pete Buttigieg. It’s best, then — according to Azeri — to throw out the whole system.

© screenshot, WaPo

Starting from the relatively uncontroversial principle that the current primary system is overly complex and sometimes coughs up unviable candidates, Azari takes a hard oligarchic turn. She calls for further disenfranchising ordinary voters by making their “vote” merely a suggestion given to an elected “intermediate representative,” who then “bargains” with the other representatives without being bound by the wishes of the voters who put them in place.

If that sounds like the nominating system already in place at the party conventions, you’re not wrong. Azeri, it seems, merely wants to extend the elites’ ability to pull the ripcord on populist drift down a step to make even the state primaries safe for her preferred, predetermined form of “democracy.” And if that sounds unfair — surely, she can’t be suggesting party elites rig the primaries — the whole point, in her mind, is to remove “uncertainty” from the nominating process, then allow a kayfabe (controlled, pro-wrestling-style theatre) version in the general contest:

“Democracy thrives on uncertainty — outcomes that are not known at the beginning of the process. But uncertainty doesn’t help parties strategize for the general election.”

But Azari would be hard-pressed to find any rank-and-file voter who would agree that the problem with American elections is “uncertainty” — or that the solution to the real problem is to give less power to the people. It’s not, after all, like the “elites” are underrepresented in circles of power. No one who has made it to the general election in the last 20 years has done so without an Ivy League pedigree, the ultimate elite signifier, and the journalists who write about them (and sell them to the voters) often move in the same elite social circles. A for-show “preference primary” in which the hoi polloi merely “inform elites about voter preferences,” which those elites are free to disregard, would forever seal off the process to genuine democracy, enshrining the “smoke-filled rooms” Democratic National Committee lawyers defended when they were sued over rigging the 2016 primary into procedure for the foreseeable future. At a time when exclusion mechanisms like superdelegates are less popular than ever, to try to shove this “reform” down voters’ throats is almost guaranteed to backfire.

This is, in a way, the point — both of the headline and of WaPo in general: to gaslight the reader into believing there is a national consensus behind the odious ideas it publishes, which are in reality the views of a moneyed oligarchy that feels only disdain for not only “flyover country,” but for the working-class denizens of the cities its members inhabit who keep the lights on and the shelves stocked. If the reader believes “superdelegates for primaries” are a done deal, they’re less likely to take to the streets and start breaking things.

If the response on social media was any indication, Azari’s “fake the consensus” model isn’t doing so hot these days — though it did inspire a bizarre consensus of its own between pro-Trump conservatives, #Resistance liberals, and progressives:

It’s still over a month until April Fool’s Day, and Azari at no point breaks character, so the reader can only assume the piece is meant in full seriousness.

Helen Buyniski is an American journalist and political commentator at RT. Follow her on Twitter @velocirapture23

February 19, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Leave a comment

Anatomy of a Washington Post Editorial

By Bill Willers | Dissident Voice | January 26, 2020

Martin Luther King Jr. Day has morphed into an annual reminder of the truth in Vladimir Lenin’s observation that great revolutionaries, while alive, are hounded by the powerful, and later, after they’ve been terminated, are lauded by their oppressors and transformed into harmless icons to placate the masses. Among the MLK-related articles to appear recently is a reposting of Edward Curtin’s 2017 review of Willam Pepper’s book The Plot to Kill King. Pepper, King’s friend and attorney for the King Family, spent 40 years researching the assassination, and Curtin’s review is a superb encapsulation of that history. King was murdered by elements of the U.S. government, a fact unsurprising for people who read history, because political assassinations have been stock power plays since antiquity. From the point of view of the psychosis that drives empires, King had to go.

There are certain facts governments and their journalistic mercenaries go to any length to suppress, because to reveal them necessarily leads to related facts that expose governmental crime. A key fact can be like a keystone species in a biological ecosystem: snuff it, and things begin to unravel. For example, that World Trade Center Building 7 was most certainly professionally prepared for demolition well before 9/11 cannot be allowed to be publicly discussed. Open acceptance of that would, as if a spring loaded canister had been opened, force the litany of related lies into the light. King’s murder is like that. Accept U.S. government-as-assassin as the truth, and one is forced to deal with associated issues: American soldiers posted to kill King if the first shooter fails; the probability that trusted colleagues were involved; Government hand-in-hand with organized crime.

The 1999 Trial in Memphis, The King Family vs Loyd Jowers et al.  was arguably the most important trial of the 20th Century, involving as it did the foremost civil rights figure of that century and the U.S. government. But “The Media” were nowhere to be seen there. For the American journalistic world it was a nonevent, and although the jury was unanimous in finding that King had been murdered by way of governmental conspiracy, the media, to this day, reinforce the fiction of a lone gunman. Many taped interviews of Pepper after the release of his most recent book have disappeared, but this one, still available on BitChute, is an hour well spent. It is shocking in details. A transcript of the trial is available at the King Center’s Website.

But there was sufficient awareness of the trial that an official comment had to come from a reliable source, such as a “newspaper of record”, and nothing fills that bill more dependably than the Washington Post, what some (e.g., me) consider to be an official mouthpiece for the CIA, such that much of it seems as if written at headquarters in Langley, VA. Following the trial, the Washington Post published an editorial on Sunday, December 12, 1999, “The King Verdict,” that could serve as a classic study of techniques of persuasion for a class on rhetoric. I can no longer find the editorial online, but the paper itself still exists, of course, and one can always get the public library to send for a xerox copy. Here, the full 418-word text of the editorial:

THE KING VERDICT

Normally, a jury verdict — even one that seems uncomfortably at variance with the public record — is due a considerable amount of deference. The decision last week by a jury in Memphis, however, that the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the result of a vast governmental conspiracy should alter no one’s view of the assassination. It’s not that the jury misbehaved; based on the evidence presented in court, it was an open-and-shut case. Rather, the problem is that nothing approximating the real history of the assassination was ever presented to the jury.

The King family, having publicly embraced the claim of innocence of the real killer, the late James Earl Ray, was represented in the litigation by Mr. Ray’s lawyer, a conspiracy theorist named William Pepper. The supposed defendant, Loyd Jowers, was the peddler of a long since discredited tale about being a part of a conspiracy to kill Dr. King. His defense was not based on historical truth — that there was no government conspiracy — merely that his own involvement in this alleged conspiracy was limited.

In other words, the King family sued for $ 100 in damages a man who did not even contest their false thesis. The litigation in Memphis, therefore, involved no party that would go to bat for history. Meanwhile, the judge admitted a pile of hearsay evidence, even some “testimony” that had been given in a mock trial staged a few years back by HBO. Both judge and jury are reported to have nodded off during the proceedings. The inevitable result of such a sham trial is a jury verdict that — to those who have not studied the peculiar circumstances that gave rise to it — may give to a wild conspiracy theory the imprimatur of a legal finding. It should not be allowed to do so.

The deceit of history, whether it occurs in the context of Holocaust denial or in an effort to rewrite the story of Dr. King’s death, is a dangerous impulse for which those committed to reasoned debate and truth cannot sit still. That it has, in this case, been perpetrated by Dr. King’s nearest family in a court of law makes it, in addition, a mystifying act of self-deception and an abuse of the legal system. That the King family has a movie deal with filmmaker Oliver Stone gives the whole affair, to add insult to injury, a commercial feel. The case, in short, had nothing to do with law, and it had nothing to do with truth. The more quickly and completely this jury’s discredited verdict is forgotten, the better.

Even a quick scan of the editorial reveals liberal use of what communications experts call ‘loaded language’ (i.e., words or phrases employed to invoke a desired assumption or emotional reaction), as with “supposed defendant,” “the peddler of,”  “a pile of heresay,” “a sham trial,” “wild conspiracy theory,” “dangerous impulse,” “abuse of the legal system.” They appeal to emotion rather than to the intellect, always a danger sign for the critical thinker. In addition, the use of quotation marks on an otherwise neutral word, as with “testimony” in the editorial, is a common technique for mocking or trivializing or casting doubt on reliability.

The reader is set up in the first sentence to understand that the subject of the editorial is “uncomfortably at variance with the public record,” which advises the reader that acceptance of the verdict would be to counter the prevailing opinion of society. That the King Family’s attorney, William Pepper, is described as a “conspiracy theorist” reveals much about the editors, as that epithet was a creation of the CIA in the years following the Kennedy assassination as an attempt to delegitimize the groundswell of doubt surrounding the official governmental account of that killing. As was the intent, “conspiracy theorist” soon became — and has remained —  a form of insult and a means of shutting down discourse regarding many controversial issues, particularly those concerning governmental narratives.

The first sentence of the third paragraph begins with “In other words …”, indicating a summation of information from the previous paragraph. But the sentence, although presented forcefully, does not follow logically from preceding material. What the editors claim the King Family’s “thesis” to be (that James Earl Ray was innocent) is not “even” contested by Jowers, for the reason that Jowers knows that Ray is indeed innocent. The odd sentence, which a careful reader could interpret as undermining the larger editorial position, is indicative of writers struggling to make a spurious case knowing they have precious little to work with and depending on assertive style to carry them through.

The linking of the trial to an event as emotive as the Holocaust is in itself surprising, but the linking, expressed in the form of denial of the Holocaust, becomes an attempt to establish a false correspondence in the mind of the reader, as much as to say that “… the denial of the Holocaust is a deceit of history, hence any departure from the official description of King’s death is likewise a deceit of history.” It is ironic that the authors, within the same sentence, claim to associate themselves with “… those committed to reasoned debate” because elements of reason are altogether lacking in the editorial. Indeed, the use of “should,” as in “should alter no one’s view” and “should not be allowed,” rather than employment of reason is simply appeal to the editorial authority of an influential newspaper.

The 3-hour long, 1993 televised mock trial so disparagingly cited by the editors (a copy still available here) was organized for the sole reason that, due to media blackout, it finally became the only way that censored information supporting Ray’s innocence could reach the public. The editors had to have known this. Their claim that Jower’s account was “a long since discredited tale” is absolutely vacuous. Since Jowers made his first claim on an ABC news program (not to be shown again) and repeated it in the 1999 trial, at no time was it ever discredited. The editors apparently relied solely on the reputation of the Washington Post (at that time) for acceptance by readers of their claim. Had the editors been forced to provide solid, defensible evidence countering Jowers, they would have come up empty.

But they never sink lower in the editorial than when they suggest that the King family was motivated not by a search for truth but by the money to be made from a movie deal. By any decent standard, that was offensive and uncalled for. Few families have had to suffer their level of tragedy in full view of the public, and for history. They have always presented themselves as models of decorum in the most difficult of circumstances.

The editors fret that, “to those who have not studied the peculiar circumstances that gave rise to it”, the verdict of the trial may be justifiable. They are claiming that they have studied those circumstances in sufficient detail. They most assuredly have not, while William Pepper obviously has. In fact, the editors are functioning exactly as expected by protecting criminal elements of government through their attempts to cast doubt on the verdict in a civil trial that exposed those criminal elements. That they end their editorial with a terse declaration that the unanimous verdict of an American jury simply be forgotten says more about the Washington Post than many within its ranks would want to admit.

It’s difficult to overlook the facts that the CIA has long involved itself in political assassinations and, at the same time, that the newspaper so strongly linked to the CIA quickly (two days following the trial) attempted to forestall embarrassing questions about the trial with so shameful (shameless?) an editorial. Perhaps there’s something to be learned from it all.

Bill Willers is an emeritus professor of biology, University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh. He is founder of the Superior Wilderness Action Network and editor of Learning to Listen to the Land, and Unmanaged Landscapes, both from Island Press. He can be contacted at willers@uwosh.edu.

January 26, 2020 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

The Terrifying Rise of the Zombie State Narrative

By Craig Murray | January 2, 2020

The ruling Establishment has learnt a profound lesson from the debacle over Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction. The lesson they have learnt is not that it is wrong to attack and destroy an entire country on the basis of lies. They have not learnt that lesson despite the fact the western powers are now busily attacking the Iraqi Shia majority government they themselves installed, for the crime of being a Shia majority government.

No, the lesson they have learnt is never to admit they lied, never to admit they were wrong. They see the ghost-like waxen visage of Tony Blair wandering around, stinking rich but less popular than an Epstein birthday party, and realise that being widely recognised as a lying mass murderer is not a good career choice. They have learnt that the mistake is for the Establishment ever to admit the lies.

The Establishment had to do a certain amount of collective self-flagellation over the non-existent Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, over which they precipitated the death and maiming of millions of people. Only a very few outliers, like the strange Melanie Phillips, still claimed the WMD really did exist, and her motive was so obviously that she supported any excuse to kill Muslims that nobody paid any attention. Her permanent pass to appear on the BBC was upgraded. But by and large everyone accepted the Iraqi WMD had been a fiction. The mainstream media Blair/Bush acolytes like Cohen, Kamm and Aaronovitch switched to arguing that even if WMD did not exist, Iraq was in any case better off for having so many people killed and its infrastructure destroyed.

These situations are now avoided by the realisation of the security services that in future they just have to brazen it out. The simple truth of the matter – and it is a truth – is this. If the Iraq WMD situation occurred today, and the security services decided to brazen it out and claim that WMD had indeed been found, there is not a mainstream media outlet that would contradict them.

The security services outlet Bellingcat would publish some photos of big missiles planted in the sand. The Washington Post, Guardian, New York Times, BBC and CNN would republish and amplify these pictures and copy and paste the official statements from government spokesmen. Robert Fisk would get to the scene and interview a few eye witnesses who saw the missiles being planted, and he would be derided as a senile old has-been. Seymour Hersh and Peter Hitchens would interview whistleblowers and be shunned by their colleagues and left off the airwaves. Bloggers like myself would be derided as mad conspiracy theorists or paid Russian agents if we cast any doubt on the Bellingcat “evidence”. Wikipedia would ruthlessly expunge any alternative narrative as being from unreliable sources. The Integrity Initiative, 77th Brigade, GCHQ and their US equivalents would be pumping out the “Iraqi WMD found” narrative all over social media. Mad Ben Nimmo of the Atlantic Council would be banning dissenting accounts all over the place in his role as Facebook Witchfinder-General.

Does anybody seriously wish to dispute this is how the absence of Iraqi WMD would be handled today, 16 years on?

If you do wish to doubt this could happen, look at the obviously fake narrative of the Syrian government chemical weapons attacks on Douma. The pictures published on Bellingcat of improvised chlorine gas missiles were always obviously fake. Remember this missile was supposed to have smashed through ten inches of solid, steel rebar reinforced concrete.

As I reported back in May last year, that the expert engineers sent to investigate by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) did not buy into this is hardly surprising.

That their findings were deliberately omitted from the OPCW report is very worrying indeed. What became still more worrying was the undeniable evidence that started to emerge from whistleblowers in the OPCW that the toxicology experts had unanimously agreed that those killed had not died from chlorine gas attack. The minutes of the OPCW toxicology meeting really do need to be read in full.

actual_toxicology_meeting_redacted

The highlights are:

“No nerve agents had been detected in environmental or bio samples”
“The experts were conclusive in their statements that there was no correlation between symptoms and chlorine exposure”

I really do urge you to click on the above link and read the entire minute. In particular, it is impossible to read that minute and not understand that the toxicology experts believed that the corpses had been brought and placed in position.

“The experts were also of the opinion that the victims were highly unlikely to have gathered in piles at the centre of the respective apartments, at such a short distance from an escape from any toxic chlorine gas to much cleaner air”.

So the toxicology experts plainly believed the corpse piles had been staged, and the engineering experts plainly believed the cylinder bombs had been staged. Yet, against the direct evidence of its own experts, the OPCW published a report managing to convey the opposite impression – or at least capable of being portrayed by the media of giving the opposite impression.

How then did the OPCW come to do this? Rather unusually for an international organisation, the OPCW Secretariat is firmly captured by the Western states, largely because it covers an area of activity which is not of enormous interest to the political elites of developing world states, and many positions require a high level of technical qualification. It was also undergoing a change of Director General at the time of the Douma investigation, with the firmly Francoist Spanish diplomat Fernando Arias taking over as Director General and the French diplomat Sebastian Braha effectively running the operation as the Director-General’s chef de cabinet, working in close conjunction with the US security services. Braha simply ordered the excision of the expert opinions on engineering and toxicology, and his high-handedness worked, at least until whistleblowers started to reveal the truth about Braha as a slimy, corrupt, lying war hawk.

FFM here stands for Fact Finding Mission and ODG for Office of the Director General. After a great deal of personal experience dealing with French diplomats, I would say that the obnoxious arrogance revealed in Braha’s instructions here is precisely what you would expect. French diplomats as a class are a remarkably horrible and entitled bunch. Braha has no compunction about simply throwing around the weight of the Office of the Director General and attempting to browbeat Henderson.

We see now how the OPCW managed to produce a report which was the opposite of the truth. Ian Henderson, the OPCW engineer who had visited the site and concluded that the “cylinder bombs” were fakes, had suddenly become excluded from the “fact finding mission” when it had been whittled down to a “core group” – excluding any engineers (and presumably toxicologists) who would seek to insert inconvenient facts into the report.

France of course participated, alongside the US and UK, in missile strikes against Syrian government positions in response to the non-existent chlorine gas attacks on Douma. I was amongst those who had argued from day one that the western Douma narrative was inherently improbable. The Douma enclave held by extreme jihadist, western and Saudi backed forces allied to ISIL, was about to fall anyway. The Syrian government had no possible military advantage to gain by attacking it with two small improvised chemical weapons, and a great deal to lose in terms of provoking international retaliation.

That the consequences of the fake Douma incident were much less far-reaching than they might have been, is entirely due (and I am sorry if you dislike this but it is true) to the good sense of Donald Trump. Trump is inclined to isolationism and the fake “Russiagate” narrative promoted by senior echelons of his security services had led him to be heavily sceptical of them. He therefore refused, against the united persuasion of the hawks, to respond to the Douma “attack” by more than quick and limited missile strikes. I have no doubt that the object of the intended false flag was to push the US into a full regime change operation, by falsifying a demonstration that a declared red line on chemical weapon use had been crossed.

There is no doubt that Douma was a false flag. The documentary and whistleblower evidence from the OPCW is overwhelming and irrefutable. In addition to the two whistleblowers reported extensively by Wikileaks and the Courage Foundation, the redoubtable Peter Hitchens has his own whistleblowers inside OPCW who may well be different persons. It is also great entertainment as well as enlightening to read Hitchens’ takedown of Bellingcat on the issue.

But there are much deeper questions about the Douma false flag. Did the jihadists themselves kill the “chlorine victims” for display or were these just bodies from the general fighting? The White Helmets were co-located with the jihadist headquarters in Douma, and involved in producing and spreading the fake evidence. How far were the UK and US governments, instrumental in preparing the false flag? That western governments, including through the White Helmets and their men at the OPCW, were plainly seeking to propagate this false flag, to massively publicise and to and make war capital out of it, is beyond dispute. But were they involved in the actual creation of the fake scene? Did MI6 or the CIA initiate this false flag through the White Helmets or the Saudi backed jihadists? That is unproven but seems to me very probable. It is also worth noting the coincidence in time of the revelation of the proof of the Douma false flag and the death of James Le Mesurier.

Now let me return to where I started. None of the New York Times, the Washington Post, the BBC, the Guardian nor CNN – all of which reported the Douma chemical attack very extensively as a real Syrian government atrocity, and used it to editorialise for western military intervention in Syria – none of them has admitted they were wrong. None has issued any substantive retraction or correction. None has reported in detail and without bias on the overwhelming evidence of foul play within the OPCW.

Those sources who do publish the truth – including the few outliers in mainstream media such as Peter Hitchens and Robert Fisk – continue to be further marginalised, attacked as at best eccentric and at worse Russian agents. Others like Wikileaks and myself are pariahs excluded from any mainstream exposure. The official UK, US, French and Spanish government line, and the line of the billionaire and state owned media, continues to be that Douma was a Syrian government chemical weapons attack on civilians. They intend, aided and abetted by their vast online propaganda operations, to brazen out the lie.

What we are seeing is the terrifying rise of the zombie state narrative in Western culture. It does not matter how definitively we can prove that something is a lie, the full spectrum dominance of the Establishment in media resources is such that the lie is impossible to kill off, and the state manages to implant that lie as the truth in the minds of a sufficient majority of the populace to ride roughshod over objective truth with great success. It follows in the state narrative that anybody who challenges the state’s version of truth is themselves dishonest or mad, and the state manages also to implant that notion into a sufficient majority of the populace.

These are truly chilling times.

In the next installment I shall consider how the Establishment is brazening out similar lies on the Russophobe agenda, and sticking to factually debunked narratives on the DNC and Podesta emails, on the Steele Dossier and on the Skripals.

January 2, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Afghan Papers Inadvertently Document WaPo’s Role in Spreading Official Lies

By Joshua Cho | FAIR | December 18, 2019

The Washington Post’s publication of the “Afghanistan Papers” (12/9/19) unveiled over 2,000 pages of unpublished notes of interviews with US officials involved in the Afghanistan War, from a project led by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) to investigate waste and fraud. Hailed by some as the “Pentagon Papers of Our Generation” after the Post won access to those documents under the Freedom of Information Act in a three-year legal battle, the Post’s exposé found that senior US officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable.

The paper published direct remarks on the war by US officials who assumed that “their remarks would not be made public”:

Every data point was altered to present the best picture possible,” Bob Crowley, an Army colonel who served as a senior counterinsurgency adviser to US military commanders in 2013 and 2014, told government interviewers. “Surveys, for instance, were totally unreliable but reinforced that everything we were doing was right and we became a self-licking ice cream cone.

While more explicit admissions of deception on the part of US officials involved in wars are always appreciated, one question rarely discussed among the reports and opinion pieces praising the “Afghanistan Papers” is what this scoop says about the Washington Post.

If the Post is now publishing material demonstrating that US officials have been “following the same talking points for 18 years,” emphasizing how they are “making progress,” “especially” when the war is “going badly,” shouldn’t the paper acknowledge that it has been cheerleading this same line for all of those 18 years? Doesn’t it have a responsibility to examine how it served as a primary vehicle for those officials to spread these same “talking points” to spin the coverage in the desired fashion?

FAIR has been tracking the Post’s coverage of the Afghanistan War from the very beginning, when the paper—along with the rest of corporate media—was actively following the Bush administration’s “guidance” on how to cover the war. In 2001, a FAIR survey (11/2/01) of the Post’s op-ed pages for three weeks following the September 11 attacks found that

columns calling for or assuming a military response to the attacks were given a great deal of space, while opinions urging diplomatic and international law approaches as an alternative to military action were nearly nonexistent.

Eight years later, FAIR (3/1/09) found that the Post’s cheerleading coverage didn’t change much from 2001, as 7 out of 9 Post op-eds and 4 out of 5 editorials supported some kind of military escalation from the day Barack Obama was elected president (11/4/08) through March 1, 2009, as the US was debating a “surge” of additional troops in Afghanistan later that year.

Another study (Extra!11/1/09) of the first ten months of the Post’s opinion columns that same year found that

pro-war columns outnumbered antiwar columns by more than 10 to 1: Of 67 Post columns on US military policy in Afghanistan, 61 supported a continued war, while just six expressed antiwar views. Of the pro-war columns, 31 were for escalation and 30 for an alternative strategy.

The Post offered this lopsided coverage even though there were several polls at the time showing a majority of the US public opposed the war, because they believed that the Afghan War was “not worth fighting.”

The Post also has a history of facilitating official spin for the war. When WikiLeaks posted tens of thousands of classified intelligence documents related to the Afghanistan War, FAIR (7/30/10) found that the Post either dismissed them as not being as important as the Pentagon Papers (7/27/10), or absurdly spun the leaks as good news for the US war effort (7/27/10) because the “release could compel President Obama to explain more forcefully the war’s importance,” and because they “bolstered Obama’s decision in December to pour more troops and money into a war effort that had not received sufficient attention or resources from the Bush administration.”

The Post also buried attempts by whistleblowers and other journalists who were working to expose official lies and war crimes in Afghanistan. When US Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning was sentenced to serve 35 years in prison for sharing intelligence documents that first exposed what the “Afghanistan Papers” are now corroborating, the Post, along with other corporate outlets, largely neglected Manning’s legal trials and punishment (FAIR, 12/4/126/18/141/18/174/1/19). The New York Times, to its credit, did give Manning space for an op-ed (6/14/19) to explain why she risked her freedom to expose matters that the US military recorded but left unreported, including hundreds of US military attacks on Afghan civilians. The Post, for its part, found room to publish frequent op-eds by the Brookings Institution’s Michael O’Hanlon (e.g., 11/16/096/26/106/3/112/10/137/12/13) spouting the same optimistic US official talking points that the Post’s “Afghanistan Papers” has now exposed as lies (FAIR, 1/3/14).

In fact, one major reason why the Afghanistan Papers are unnecessary to discern deceit from US officials is that—as Michael Parenti pointed out in The Face of Imperialism—when US officials constantly provide new and different justifications for invasions, it’s a sign that they’re being dishonest, not incompetent.

The Post (12/9/19) admits this when it mentions that the US “largely accomplished what it set out to do,” with Al Qaeda and Taliban officials “dead, captured or in hiding,” yet “veered off in directions that had little to do with Al Qaeda or 9/11.” This is consistent with FAIR’s finding (Extra!7/11) that corporate media largely ignored the question of whether to end the Afghanistan War after the ostensible goal of the invasion—to capture or kill the leader of the group that carried out the September 11 attack—was [allegedly] accomplished in the death of Osama bin Laden.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that the Post’s Afghanistan Papers have inadvertently exposed the Post as a subservient accomplice in disseminating US official lies; corporate media rely on official sources for free content and “scoops” to subsidize their journalism, which often spreads dishonest but convenient talking points by these same sources to retain “access” to this information, trustworthy or not (Extra!5/02; New York Times4/20/08; FAIR, 12/12/19).

Political cartoonist and journalist Ted Rall pointed out, in an account (Common Dreams12/11/19) of being marginalized by corporate outlets like the Post :

“The Afghanistan Papers” is a bright, shining lie by omission. Yes, our military and civilian leaders lied to us about Afghanistan. But they could never have spread their murderous BS—thousands of US soldiers and tens of thousands of Afghans killed, trillions of dollars wasted—without media organizations like the Washington Post, which served as unquestioning government stenographers.

Press outlets like the Post and New York Times weren’t merely idiots used to disseminate pro-war propaganda. They actively censored people who knew we never should have gone into Afghanistan and tried to tell American voters the truth.

It’s this mutually beneficial relationship between the need for corporate media outlets like the Post for “access” to US official sources, and US officials who need corporate media outlets to propagate their preferred spin on US foreign policy to manipulate public opinion, that explains what the Afghanistan Papers expose as the Post’s own role in deceiving the US public. It’s why the Post’s coverage and editorial board can argue that the Trump administration shouldn’t “abandon the country in haste” (even though it’s been 18 years), and rally around the US’s “forever war” in Afghanistan (FAIR1/31/199/11/19), even as the paper investigates the official lies the continuing occupation depends on.

Of course, this is also the reason why it’s systemically impossible for corporate outlets like the Post to take the opportunity to raise more substantive and provocative questions about whether deceit is a constant and essential aspect of US foreign policy, and not merely confined to isolated military invasions of “quagmire” countries like Vietnam and Afghanistan, despite the Afghanistan Papers providing a perfect opportunity to do so. To say nothing of challenging a worldview that invokes “winnable” wars, in which predictions of increasing numbers of (enemy) human deaths are best described as “rosy.”

There’s quite a long history of US media assisting officials in fabricating moral pretexts for invasion—from fictional accounts of North Vietnamese attacks on American destroyer ships in the Gulf of Tonkin (FAIR, 8/5/17), to conflating very different Islamic groups like the Taliban and Al Qaeda, or claims that formerly US-backed dictator Saddam Hussein possessed WMDs and the intent to use them against the US (CounterPunch6/11/14; FAIR, 3/19/07).

Observers note that the Afghanistan Papers “only confirm what we already know” (Daily Beast12/14/19), or that “the shocking thing about the Post stories… is how unshocking they are” (Atlantic, 12/9/19); even the Washington Post (12/12/19) reminds us that only people who “haven’t been paying attention” to the Afghan War are “surprised” by what’s found in the Afghanistan Papers.

Perhaps instead of pursuing FOIA requests to confirm the obvious, the Post could just interrogate its own contradictory coverage of the Afghan War and stop functioning as credulous mouthpieces for the US government. But to do that would also require confronting the lie that this entire so-called “War on Terror” has any moral credibility, when the US is a leading terrorist state that consciously pursues imperial policies that inflame hatred against the US to serve corporate interests (FAIR3/13/1911/22/19).

Absent that, an exercise like the Afghanistan Papers come off more as a “please consider” note to the Pulitzer judges than as an earnest effort to use the spotlight of journalistic investigation to speak truth to power and halt the ongoing, generation-long destruction of a foreign nation.

December 22, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 2 Comments

The Carter Page/Ukraine Lie That Kept On Lying for Mueller and the FBI

By Paul Sperry – RealClearInvestigations – December 12, 2019

The FBI and Special Counsel Robert Mueller repeatedly kept alive a damning narrative that investigators knew to be false: namely, that a junior Trump campaign aide as a favor to the Kremlin had “gutted” an anti-Russia and pro-Ukraine plank in the Republican Party platform at the GOP’s 2016 convention.

Federal authorities used this claim to help secure spy warrants on the aide in question, Carter Page, suggesting to the court that he was “an agent of Russia” – even though investigators knew that Page was working for U.S., not Russian, intelligence, and that they had learned from witnesses, emails and other evidence that Page had no role in drafting the Ukraine platform plank.

The revelation is buried in the Justice Department watchdog’s just-released report on FISA surveillance abuses. RealClearInvestigations fleshed out this unreported story with footnotes from the Mueller report and exclusive interviews with Trump campaign officials who worked on the convention platform.

Of all the Trump-Russia rumors, insinuations and falsehoods – from secret payments for shadowy hackers, to videotaped prostitutes with active bladders, to a clandestine rendezvous with Kremlin figures in Prague – the supposedly pro-Russia Ukraine platform alteration stands out. It seemed to offer early, public, concrete evidence of an actual bending of prospective U.S. policy to suit Moscow. The false narrative is also significant because it was initially pushed not by Democrats, but by associates of Republican Sen. John McCain and other so-called Never Trumpers. As a bipartisan red flag, it helped build momentum around a narrative of Trump treachery with, then as now, Ukraine playing a central role. It also shows how the Russia and Ukraine controversies were linked from the beginning by Trump’s foes.

This episode loomed so large that the first person Mueller’s team interviewed after taking over the Russia investigation in May 2017 was Rachel Hoff, who was serving as McCain’s policy adviser on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Like her boss, Hoff was no fan of President Trump. Agents sought to confirm with her reports that the Trump campaign had “gutted” the GOP’s platform plank on Ukraine to favor Russia during the party’s convention in Cleveland in early July 2016.

As a disgruntled convention delegate, Hoff got the story started by putting Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin in touch with another Never Trump delegate, Diana Denman, who had lost her bid to amend the GOP plank to call for providing “lethal” weapons to Ukraine to help fend off Russian incursions, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter. Instead, the platform called for “appropriate assistance to the armed forces of Ukraine.”

Denman was overruled because heavily arming Ukraine was out of step with the GOP consensus at the time – to say nothing of the Obama administration’s policy, which refused to arm the Ukrainians. And it was at odds with Trump’s stated position, which sought to avoid military escalation in the region, while encouraging the European Union to take a larger peacekeeping role.

On July 18, 2016, the Post ran Rogin’s sensational story under the misleading headline, “Trump Campaign Guts GOP’s Anti-Russia Stance on Ukraine.” Pushing the narrative that Trump was doing the Kremlin’s bidding, it quoted Hoff warning that Trump “would be dangerous for America and the world.” The story left out the key part of the final Trump-approved plank pledging aid “to the armed forces of Ukraine.” Reached by phone, Rogin declined comment.

This story was quickly amplified in the Steele dossier, the series of now-debunked opposition research memos alleging Trump-Russia collusion. Compiled by ex-British intelligence officer Christopher Steele for the Clinton campaign, those memos became a foundation for the FBI and Mueller probes even though – as this week’s IG report established – bureau agents knew that the material in them included demonstrably false assertions and exaggerated gossip dismissed as nonsense by Steele’s own purported source.

Steele also embellished the GOP convention story by claiming that Carter Page had played a key role in drafting the Ukraine plank as part of a commitment he had allegedly made to his Kremlin handlers “to sideline Russian intervention in Ukraine as a campaign issue.”

None of this was true. And the FBI — and Mueller — knew it, the Justice inspector general reveals in his report.

Still, the FBI presented the Steele dossier’s smear, cataloged as “Steele Report 95,” as key evidence in all four of its warrant applications to obtain wiretaps to eavesdrop on Page, according to the IG report.

To keep renewing the spy warrants, the FBI had to produce fresh evidence for FISA judges to support suspicions Page was “an agent of Russia.” Just a few weeks before the FISA warrant was set to expire in June 2017, Mueller had his investigators interview Hoff, as his first witness, followed by Denman, hoping they could provide fresh details to keep building an espionage case against Page and the Trump campaign.

But Mueller struck out.

According to agents’ notes documenting their June 2017 interview, as revealed in the IG report, Denham told the FBI that Page was not involved in the drafting of the Ukraine plank. But Mueller’s team did not update its fourth and final FISA warrant application on Page with this exculpatory information. Instead, it recited the same baseless claim that he had shaped the Ukraine policy with guidance from Russia. And the court renewed the warrant that June to electronically monitor Page, allowing the government to continue vacuuming up all of his emails, phone calls, text messages and other communications for another 90 days.

“Although the FBI did not develop any information that Carter Page was involved in the Republican Platform Committee’s change, the FBI did not alter its assessment of Page’s involvement in the FISA applications,” Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz noted in his 476-page report released Monday.

Added Horowitz: “We found that, other than this information from Report 95 [of the Steele dossier], the FBI’s investigation did not reveal any information to demonstrate that Page had any involvement with the Republican Platform Committee.” Yet, “all four FISA applications relied upon information in the Steele reporting” alleging Page’s role in drafting the Republican plank on Ukraine and Russia.

A former U.S. Navy lieutenant, Page was never charged with espionage or any crime. He told RealClearInvestigations that he has received “numerous death threats that directly resulted from the false allegations” that he was a traitor.

The FBI and Mueller failed to correct the record about Page in their FISA warrant applications even after they identified the Trump campaign officials who actually had a hand in influencing the GOP plank, J.D. Gordon and Matt Miller. A July 14, 2016, email from Gordon confirmed what Page had personally told the FBI in an interview — that he had not taken part in the decision. The FBI knew about the email since at least March 2017, when agents sat down with Page. (Gordon and Page were chatting by email about the convention, and it’s clear from Page’s responses he had no idea what Gordon had done in the Ukraine-Russia platform drafting sessions. IG Horowitz published the relevant excerpt in his report and noted the FBI had the email in its possession.)

Still, Horowitz found, “The FBI never altered the assessment.”

Horowitz further concluded that the FBI should not have included the dossier’s rumor even in its original October 2016 application for a FISA warrant targeting Page, let alone its three renewals, because a confidential source the FBI assigned to spy on Page at the time found no basis for it. In the IG report, Horowitz noted that during that same month of October 2016, the FBI informant met with Page and tape-recorded him denying he was involved in the drafting of the Ukraine plank. Page told the informant, Stefan Halper, that he “stayed clear of that.”

Horowitz’s investigators established that the informant’s recorded statements were sent to the FBI agent assigned at the time to Page’s case, and were copied to a supporting team of other agents, supervisors and analysts. Yet the FBI also withheld that critical exculpatory evidence from the FISA court in the initial application for a warrant on Page (and then continued to deny the court the information in subsequent requests to monitor Page).

The lead case agent, unnamed in the report, told investigators the FBI was operating on a “belief” that Page was involved in the Ukraine and Russia platform, and that he and the FISA team were “hoping to find evidence of that” from the wiretaps. Despite all the snooping on Page, the FBI never collected the hoped-for proof.

The lead supervisor, also unidentified, told investigators “he did not recall why Page’s denial was not included.”

Horowitz reports that the exculpatory documents were also sent to a Justice Department attorney before the warrant was renewed for the first time in January 2017, “[y]et, the information remained unchanged in the renewal applications.”

Added Horowitz: “The attorney told us that he did not recall the circumstances surrounding this, but he acknowledged that he should have updated the descriptions in the renewal applications to include Page’s denials.”

The FBI also failed to inform surveillance court judges that Page was an “operational contact” for the CIA for several years, according to the Horowitz report. In 2013, Page also volunteered as a cooperating witness in an FBI espionage case, and helped put away a real Russian agent in 2016. This was additional exculpatory evidence the FBI kept from the FISA court, as RealClearInvestigations first reported last year.

Peter Strzok, then the FBI’s top counterintelligence official, rode herd on the Page wiretap requests and reported back to FBI attorney Lisa Page (no relation to Carter), who in turn, updated then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

Text messages previously uncovered by Horowitz and shared with Mueller revealed that Strzok and Page, who were having an affair, rooted for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign and held Trump in complete contempt. In one exchange, they discussed the need to “stop” Trump from winning the election. And the two of them had also huddled with McCabe in his office to devise an “insurance policy” in the “unlikely event” Trump ended up winning.

The inspector general’s report points out that it was McCabe who urged investigators to look at the Clinton-funded dossier. The previous year, his Democratic politician wife, Jill, received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations arranged by Clinton ally and Virginia’s governor at the time, Terry McAuliffe.

Strzok remained central to the investigation well into 2017 – until Mueller was forced to kick him off his team when the anti-Trump bias was revealed. The bureau fired him in 2018, the same year Lisa Page resigned from the FBI. In spite of their anti-Trump political bias, Horowitz said he found “no evidence” their bias influenced their investigative decisions.

Lawyers for Strzok and McCabe did not respond to requests for comment. The FBI and a spokesman for Mueller declined comment.

Putting Carter Page under surveillance starting in October 2016 effectively let the FBI spy on the Trump campaign since its beginnings, because it allowed the bureau to scoop up all of Page’s prior communications. Former Trump officials who have reviewed Horowitz’s new findings confirmed their view that the bureau was trying to make it look like Page and the Trump campaign were doing something sinister to help Russia.

“Page actually had no role in the platform, whatsoever,” Gordon, the Trump campaign’s director of national security, told RCI. “Failing to include the exculpatory information in the FISA application is horrifying.”

While it’s true that Trump sought better relations with Russia, Gordon said, there was nothing nefarious about the drafting of the Ukraine platform. He said the FBI simply assumed it was watered down as a favor to Russia based on a false narrative driven by liberal media outlets like the Post and Never Trumpers such as Rachel Hoff. He said the FBI, under the direction of McCabe, Mueller and former FBI Director James Comey, also wanted to believe the worst about Trump, whom they simply did not like.

Gordon noted that, except for the two Never Trump delegates, nobody in the platform drafting sessions raised a fuss about the Ukraine plank — not even the press.

“The media was present in the room, yet not one person wrote about the Ukraine issue,” he said — until, that is, the Never Trumpers went to the Washington Post that July and helped launch the Trump-Russia “collusion” myth.

Moreover, the narrative was untrue even on its own terms – without the spurious inclusion of Carter Page. Internal platform committee documents show the Ukraine plank could not have been weakened as claimed, because the “lethal” weapons language was never part of the GOP platform in the first place. The final language actually strengthened the platform by pledging direct assistance not just to the country of Ukraine, but to its military in its struggle against Russian-backed forces.

Far from “gutting” assistance, the Trump administration approved the transfer of tank-busting Javelin missiles to Kiev — something the Obama administration refused to do. More than 200 of those weapons have been sold to Ukraine since Trump took office. And the sale and delivery of Javelins never stopped even during this year’s temporary suspension of military aid to Ukraine that is now the subject of the Democrats’ impeachment proceedings.

The final draft of the Ukraine plank also branded Russia a menace, and pledged to stand against “any territorial change imposed by force in Ukraine.” Yet Mueller and his prosecuting staff of mostly Democratic donors still suspected collusion, and they dispatched FBI agents to grill Gordon about the drafting of the platform three times between 2017 and 2019. They also got a grand jury to subpoena his phone records.

In the end, the Mueller report found no Russian influence in the platform.

But the false narrative – that the Ukraine plank stood as early proof of the “extensive conspiracy” between the Trump campaign and Moscow that Steele alleged in his now-debunked dossier – has persisted.

Earlier this year, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler demanded Gordon provide additional documents, and he has complied. Nadler is now marking up articles of impeachment against Trump over a request he lodged with Ukraine’s new president this summer to help investigate the former Clinton-friendly regime’s attempts to “sabotage” Trump’s election bid in 2016. Trump also asked Kiev to look into possible corruption involving former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter and a Ukrainian energy oligarch.

Meanwhile, Nadler’s impeachment partner, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, continues to insist that the Trump team “softened” the GOP platform to accommodate “Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.”

A retired Navy commander and former Pentagon spokesman, Gordon said he has run up a five-figure legal bill defending against what he calls a “hoax” perpetrated by Never Trumpers, the media, Comey, Mueller, and now congressional Democrats.

“In the vicious frenzy to destroy President Trump and his associates at all costs, they attempted to turn a routine foreign policy debate in conjunction with the four-year renewal of the GOP platform into a crime scene,” Gordon said in an interview with RCI.

“Incredibly,” he added, “the GOP platform change hoax [later] became the very first order of business in Mueller’s nearly two-year investigation.”

December 16, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , , | 1 Comment

Unprecedented brazenness

By Paul Robinson | IRRUSIANALITY | December 11, 2019

‘Something is rotten with the state of Denmark’, or if not Denmark then certainly the United States of America. It’s the only conclusion one can draw from the way the absolutely normal is nowadays treated as the most extraordinary drama.

On Monday, US President Donald Trump met Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. It’s about as normal a diplomatic event as one could possibly imagine, but it caused much of the American commentariat to go into a collective meltdown.

Lavrov-Trump-Dec-10

‘Trump welcoming Russia’s top diplomat to the Oval Office is one of his most brazen moves yet,’ declared the Washington Post, which makes you think that Trump really needs to step up his game on the brazenness front. The Post isn’t alone in thinking this way, however. What one might call the ‘liberal’ TV channels leapt on the story too, dragging in some representatives of the American security apparatus to ram home the point (there was a time when liberals regarded the FBI and CIA with suspicion, but such days are apparently long gone).

And so it was that CNN brought on as a guest former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe to ‘explain why the photograph tweeted by President Trump of his meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov is so extraordinary.’ As McCabe told CNN:

There’s no doubt there’s something deeply odd about the way this president interacts with Russia. We’ve never seen anything like this before. … Russia is our most significant enemy on the world stage. … I don’t think that we’ve ever seen a photograph out of the Oval Office on the lines of the one we saw today.

Meanwhile, MSNBC had its own star witness, former Under Secretary of State Richard Stengel. ‘Why is a head of state meeting with the Russian foreign minister?’ Stengel asked, ‘Vladimir Putin doesn’t meet with Mike Pompeo when he comes to Moscow. So it’s very curious and it’s very strange.’

Actually Rick, dear boy, Putin does meet with Pompeo, as you can see from this photo here. But when did one ever let little details like factual accuracy get in the way of a good line?

putin pompeo

Stengel wasn’t MSNBC’s only witness to Trump’s suspicious behaviour. Former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul also put in an appearance. ‘He’s obsessed with the East, like a certain world leader in the 1940s was obsessed with the East. Why is this guy obsessed with meeting with Russians all over the place’, the host asked McFaul. The latter let pass the gratuitous Hitler comparison, and gave his learned response: ‘It’s truly bizarre. I confess I do not have a rational explanation for it,’ said McFaul.

Just in case you think it was only the media, FBI, and the State Department, others were on the ball too. The Trump-Lavrov meeting had Twitter abuzz. Anne Applebaum, for instance, had the following to say.

applebaum

It’s all simply nuts. Trump is Hitler. A former ambassador can’t think of any reason why representatives of two major powers might wish to meet. A former deputy head of the US foreign service thinks that heads of state never meet foreign ministers. And all of them believe that a photograph of the US President and the Russian foreign minister is totally unprecedented and suggestive of something deeply suspicious, though exactly what they can’t quite tell us. Which makes you wonder what they’d all make of this picture.

800px-Lavrov_and_Obama

I don’t know about you, but that looks a lot like Sergei Lavrov and President Obama to me. So, was Obama a Russian agent? Was he secretly selling out US interests to a foreign power? Should we be investigating him as well? It’s all rather suspicious, don’t you think?

I’ll leave the last word to the excellent Fred Weir of the Christian Science Monitor :

It’s pretty clear by now that no normal dialog is going to be possible between Russia and the US. Perhaps ever again. It’s not my job to advise the Russians what to do, but if it were I would suggest they just give it up. Spend your time going to Beijing, Delhi, Ankara, even Berlin and Paris, but give Washington a miss.

It’s the most peculiar damned thing I have ever seen. Even at the lowest depths of the Cold War, the Washington Post would never have run a headline that described a US president meeting a Soviet leader in the Oval Office as “one of his most brazen moves yet.”

Analyzing the official photo of Trump and Lavrov in the Oval Office, the main — disapproving — takeaway the WaPo has to offer here is: “Judging by the expressions on their faces, the conversation does not seem to have been particularly acrimonious.” Geez.

December 12, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | 2 Comments

US Federal Court Orders Tehran to Pay $180M to Washington Post Journalist – WaPo

Sputnik – 23.11.2019

Jason Rezaian, 43, the chief of The Washington Post’s Tehran bureau, was detained for over 18 months in Iran. along with his wife, who was released after two months of detention.

Washington DC federal Judge Richard Leon has ordered the government of Iran to pay Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian and his family “compensatory damages” in the amount of $180 million, according to The Washington Post.

“Holding a man hostage and torturing him to gain leverage in negotiations with the United States is outrageous, deserving of punishment, and surely in need of deterrence”, the judge wrote in a 30-page ruling.

The federal judge distributed the amount between Rezaian and his family members as $23.8 million to the journalist in compensatory damages for pain, suffering, and economic losses; $2.7 million to his brother, Ali; $2.7 million to his mother, Mary; and $150 million for the whole family in punitive damages, according to WaPo.

Rezaian’s then-newlywed wife, fellow journalist and Iranian citizen Yeganeh Salehi, was not a plaintiff in the lawsuit against Iran, although she was detained together with her husband before being released after two months.

Rezaian, who served as The Washington Post’s Tehran bureau chief, was arrested on 22 July 2014 and was charged with espionage and three other security-related crimes, including “collaborating with hostile governments” and “propaganda against the establishment”. The administration of US President Barack Obama  urged Tehran many times to free the journalist, accusing Iran of violating international law.

In 2015, Rezaian was sentenced to several years in jail after being indicted on all four charges, including espionage and propaganda against the establishment.

Rezaian, along with three other Americans, was released in January 2016 under a prisoner-swap deal with the United States, in exchange for seven Iranian-US nationals serving jail time in the US.

The swap agreement also envisaged that the international criminal police group Interpol would cease prosecuting 14 other Iranian nationals.

Following the prisoner swap exchange, The Wall Street Journal alleged that the US had paid a ransom for the US nationals, allegations that were denied by the Obama administration.

November 23, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 6 Comments

Trump Declared Anti-Ukrainian Racist by Clownish Mainstream Media

By Tim Kirby | Strategic Culture Foundation | November 9, 2019

Donald Trump has been accused of racism since the moment he decided to run as a Republican, but The Washington Post is pushing this narrative one step farther, claiming that the President of the United States is so blinded by his own “loathing” for Ukraine, that he is blowing critical American foreign policy opportunities in that nation. CNN has also jumped on the propaganda bandwagon declaring that Trump has a “disdain” for the Ukraine that is “raising alarm bells”. Trump does not have an irrational hatred for Ukrainians and there is nothing in this region to be gained which has not already been achieved in recent years.

WaPo’s bizarre and utterly irrational condemnation of Trump begins with the following statement…

“Three of President Trump’s top advisers met with him in the Oval Office in May, determined to convince him that the new Ukrainian leader was an ally deserving of U.S. support.”

Ukraine’s leadership has no choice but to be an ally of the United States, much in the same way that India had to be allies of Britain during Queen Victoria’s reign. Ukraine is a vassal entity whose near future will be determined by Washington and/or Moscow. Ukraine is too battered and poor and infiltrated by both greater powers to actually have any real self-determination, meaning that there is no need for Trump or any other President to woo Kiev. The region is now almost completely under Washington’s control thanks to the US meddling that was the cause for the Maidan and the war in the Donbass. The “powers that be” in Kiev push a hardcore anti-Russian\pro-EU\pro-Western agenda because they have to serve masters who got them into power, this is only natural. Presenting the Ukraine as a sovereign nation that needs to be won over to America’s side is a complete lie and a slap in the face to The Washington Post’s readership. But this is only the beginning…

“They had barely begun their pitch when Trump unloaded on them, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with the meeting. In Trump’s mind, the officials said, Ukraine’s entire leadership had colluded with the Democrats to undermine his 2016 presidential campaign.”

The words “In Trump’s mind…” imply that his beliefs of Ukrainian influence against his campaign are completely made up and irrational. Basically the big hint is that Trump’s fears are paranoia/delusional, which could be true if fake dirt hadn’t actually been directly thrown onto Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort from Ukraine. The implication that Trump has just dreamt up a conspiracy against himself from around the Dnieper is factually proven to be untrue.

So far, a dozen witnesses have testified before House lawmakers since the closed-door impeachment inquiry began a month ago. One theme that runs through almost all of their accounts is Trump’s unyielding loathing of Ukraine, which dates to his earliest days in the White House.”

No examples of these tweets were supplied (Trump is known to be very loose with his tweets so this very well could be fully true) but you can see in this statement that there is a heavy handed hinting that a dislike of the status quo in Kiev is now a form of hatred and racism.

This is the most cheap and basic way to try to get a politician to shut up – using the “if you don’t approve of X, then you are a racist against X”, which sadly very often works. A “loathing” for some Israeli policy makes one anti-Semitic, a “disdain” for sending US troops to die in countries with odd names means you are against the troops or at the very least unpatriotic.

But thankfully for the President of the United States, unlike Israel or “The Troops”, no one actually cares about the Ukraine outside of the Beltway. Furthermore, if Trump had been projecting a blazing hatred towards everything Russian over the last few years, no one would be accusing him of Russophobia.

The Washington Post’s wretched hypocrisy in this article can me smelled from over the ocean.

“Inside the administration, Trump’s top advisers debated the origins of his ill-feeling. Some argued that Trump saw Ukraine as an impediment to better U.S. relations with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin, who was angry about U.S. sanctions imposed on Moscow for its annexation of Crimea and for the Kremlin’s ongoing support of pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.”

If the Russians took away the entire South of the United States, put a puppet government into power that is fanatically anti-American that then killed thousands of its own citizens (i.e. Americans) one would sure see that as an “impediment” to better US-Russian relations. Ukraine is a blip on the radar for America but for Russia it is basically the holy land from which it was born and an inalienable part of its civilization. Russia can be Russia without Tajikistan, but not without the Ukraine and Belarus. The horrors in the Donbass witnessed by many Russian-speakers that reminded them of the atrocities committed by the Nazis on the Eastern Front will not be soon be forgotten and make a submissive compromise situation a non-option. Thus, unless Washington throws away half of its current territorial control of Ukraine to the Russians (i.e. the regions that are strongly pro-Russian) there is no chance of reaching some sort of resolution that will improve US-Russian relations.

“Trump’s entire national security Cabinet unanimously supported it. But Trump hesitated. “He kept saying it… wasn’t worth pissing off Russia and what a bad country Ukraine was,” said the former senior White House official.”

If we take the time to reformat this question we can see where Trump could be coming from – “is it worth risking WWIII over a region of the world that means nothing to America (or the West) and everything to the Russians?” Protecting American territory from the Russians is important, protecting the West as a whole is also worth it, but funneling buckets of money into an endless Ukrainian hole on former Russian territory will not yield anything positive for America.

“None of those lofty arguments worked with Trump. “Many Americans feel strongly about supporting Ukraine because it’s the little guy and is fighting for values we consider fundamentally American”

There are more Americans who are concerned over plastic straws and the rights of men in dresses to pee in the women’s room than the Ukrainian situation. American men often voluntarily signed up for WWII and to a lesser extent Vietnam to fight a real ideological threat to the USA. How many guys would register for the draft over the Donbass? The overwhelming majority of Americans do not care about the fate of Kiev and why should they?

Fundamentally this primitive article by The Washington Post, is one long blunt implication that if Trump does not want to use American resources to push for maintaining a firm grasp on a heavily anti-Russian Ukraine then he is a racist bad person or at the very least is heavily misguided and irrational due to hurt feelings from his election campaign.

The Washington Post demonstrates in this piece the mentality of a Medieval peasant – if you don’t agree with me then you must be evil or possessed by demons blinding your judgment. This publication’s motto is “Democracy dies in Darkness” but their attitude towards the President having a viewpoint they don’t like is straight out of the Dark Ages.

November 9, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Leave a comment