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The Washington Post and the JFK Records Deadline

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | October 7, 2021

In my blog post yesterday entitled “Mainstream Press Silence on the JFK Deadline, I took the mainstream media to task for remaining steadfastly silent about the upcoming October 26 deadline for the release of the CIA’s long-secret JFK assassination-related records. Instead, I pointed out, the mainstream media simply continues reveling in labeling people who question the official lone-nut theory of the assassination as “conspiracy theorists.” 

Well, who would have thunk it? Yesterday — the very same day I wrote my article and just three weeks before that October 26 deadline — the Washington Post published a super-snazzy article entitled “Will You Fall into the Conspiracy Theory Rabbit Hole? Take Our Quiz and Find Out.

No, the article did not even mention the upcoming October 26 deadline. It remained steadfastly silent on it, just as I pointed out in my article. The two authors of the article — Post staffers David Byler and Yan Wu — labeled those who question the official lone-nut theory of the assassination as “conspiracy theorists,” predictably lumping them in with all sorts of other conspiracy theories in the process.

However, in doing this, Byler and Wu made an intriguing point, one that isn’t often found in mainstream articles on the Kennedy assassination. They wrote: 

The Reagan administration acted secretly and illegally in the Iran-contra affair, and the FBI did spy on King. But the key difference is that these real incidents are backed up by evidence, facts and witnesses. Conspiracy theories are different. They’re just theories. Most have no evidence to support them. They often connect unrelated facts to create an impression of plausibility.

Okay, we might now be getting somewhere. So, the question is: Is there evidence to support the fact that the national-security establishment orchestrated and carried out a highly sophisticated regime-change operation against President Kennedy, ostensibly to protect the nation from Kennedy’s policies, which were deemed to be a grave threat to national security?

As I have repeatedly emphasized in my articles, speeches, and in my two books, The Kennedy Autopsy and The Kennedy Autopsy 2the U.S. national-security state conducted a fraudulent autopsy on the body of President Kennedy on the very evening of the assassination. 

Why is that an important piece of evidence? The answer is simple and profound: There is no innocent explanation for a fraudulent autopsy. None! No one has ever come up with one. No one ever will. A fraudulent autopsy conducted just a few hours after the assassination equals criminal culpability in the assassination itself. 

Yes, it’s that simple. Once one arrives at the conclusion that the military-intelligence establishment conducted a fraudulent autopsy, there is but one conclusion that can reasonably be drawn: the assassination was carried out by the same entity that conducted the fraudulent autopsy — i.e., the national-security establishment. 

Keep in mind, after all, that there is at least one undisputed fact that exists in the Kennedy assassination: It was the national-security establishment that conducted the autopsy. Not the Soviet Union. Not communist Cuba. Not the Mafia. Not space aliens. One and only one entity conducted the fraudulent autopsy: The U.S. military-intelligence establishment.

Consider just one piece of evidence: The two brain exams that were conducted in the Kennedy autopsy. Now, you might say that two different brain exams conducted in one autopsy is not unusual, but actually it is, especially when the military pathologists who conducted the two brain exams lied about it by falsely claiming that there was only one brain exam. 

Of course, everyone has become so accustomed to lying by the military-intelligence establishment (the forever war in Afghanistan being just the latest example) that it’s considered no big deal when they are caught lying. But actually it is a big deal, especially when it involves the assassination of a U.S. president. 

For some 30 years, the national-security establishment had gotten away with its lie regarding the two brain exams that were being falsely and fraudulently conflated into one brain exam. But then the JFK Records Act came into existence in 1992, after Oliver Stone’s movie JFK came out. In that movie, which posited that the Kennedy assassination was a highly sophisticated regime-change operation, Stone let people know that the CIA, the Pentagon, the Secret Service, and other national-security entities were still keeping their assassination-related records secret from the American people, on grounds of “national security” of course. The JFK Records Act mandated that the military-intelligence establishment release its assassination-related records to the public. 

The Assassination Records Review Board was brought into existence to enforce the law, which, not surprisingly, was resisted by the military-intelligence establishment. In fact, that’s what that October 26 deadline is all about. The CIA and other national-security agencies refused to comply with the law thirty years ago and are still asking for continued secrecy some six decades after the assassination.

In the course of its work, the ARRB staff discovered the fraud behind the two brain exams. First, they discovered that the pathologists were lying about having conducted only one brain exam. Second, they realized that the second brain exam could not possibly have been an examination of the president’s brain. That’s because the brain at the first brain exam had been “sectioned” — i.e., cut like a loaf of bread. The brain at the second brain exam involved a fully intact brain. At the risk of belaboring the obvious, a brain that has been sectioned cannot be put back together. 

What’s interesting is that The Washington Post knows about this. How do I know that? Because it published an article about it. It is entitled “Archive Photos Not of JFK’s Brain, Concludes Aide to Review Board” by Washington Post staff writer George Lardner Jr. 

Do Byler and Wu know about that article? I don’t know, but as Washington Post staffers, they certainly should know about it. Even if they don’t, why didn’t they use their article yesterday to demand that President Biden enforce the upcoming October 26 deadline for releasing the CIA’s long-secret assassination-related records? Even if they really subscribe to the official lone-nut theory of the assassination, why the steadfast silence on releasing those long-secret records? 

Unfortunately, for some unknown reason, someone slipped a provision in the JFK Records Act that prohibited the ARRB from investigating any aspect of the Kennedy assassination. Thus, when the ARRB staff learned about the fraudulent brain exams, they were prohibited from investigating the matter. 

But the JFK Records Act didn’t prohibit the Washington Post or any other mainstream newspaper from investigating the matter. Did the Post do a follow-up investigation into the matter? If it did, I am not aware of it. 

The same holds true for other evidence that came out in the 1990s establishing a fraudulent autopsy. For example, former Marine Sergeant Roger Boyajian delivered to the ARRB a copy of his after-action report that he had filed with his superiors immediately after the weekend of the assassination. The report stated that the president’s body had been brought into the Bethesda morgue almost 1 1/2 hours before the official entry time of 8 p.m.

At the risk of again belaboring the obvious, when national-security state officials are surreptitiously sneaking a president’s body into the morgue and then lying about it, you know right away that they are up to no good.

Boyajian’s statement was corroborated by other evidence: (1) statements by members of the Navy team that carried the president’s body into the morgue in a shipping casket rather than the heavy, ornate casket in which the body had been placed in Dallas; (2) a memo by Gawler’s Funeral Home, which conducted the Kennedy funeral; (3) statements by military enlisted men who were helping with the x-rays of the president’s body before the official 8 pm entry time of the body into the morgue; and (4) statements by Col. Pierre Finck, one of the three pathologists who conducted the autopsy, which confirmed that x-rays had been taken of the president’s body before the official 8 p.m. entry time into the morgue.

Oh, if that’s not enough, how about the sworn testimony of U.S. Navy Petty Officer Saundra Spencer, who worked in the Navy’s photographic center on the weekend of the assassination and worked closely with the White House on both classified and unclassified photos? On the weekend of the assassination, she was asked, on a top-secret basis, to develop the photographs of the Kennedy autopsy. When asked to look at the official autopsy photograph in the record showing the back of Kennedy’s head to be intact, she told the ARRB that that was not the photograph she developed. The one she developed showed a massive exit-sized wound in the back of Kennedy’s head, which just happened to match what the physicians at Parkland Hospital and other witnesses had stated 30 years before. 

How’s all that for evidence, facts, and witnesses, Mr. Byler and Ms. Wu? If that’s not enough for you, then I would recommend my two books The Kennedy Autopsy and The Kennedy Autopsy 2, which detail even more evidence of a fraudulent autopsy. Better yet, I would recommend Douglas P. Horne’s massive five-volume book Inside the Assassination Records Review Board. Or just watch Horne’s video presentations for The Future of Freedom Foundation: here, here, and here. Horne served on the staff of the ARRB.

Does all this evidence establish a criminal conspiracy in the Kennedy assassination? Interestingly enough, under U.S. national-security law, it doesn’t. That’s because under U.S. national-security law, a state-sponsored assassination does not constitute a criminal conspiracy. Instead, it’s simply considered an act of state, one based on protecting “national security.”

October 7, 2021 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 1 Comment

The State That Doesn’t Care If You Live Or Die

By Tom Woods | Principia Scientific | September 3, 2021

Ask the average person in whatever country you choose what his chances of hospitalization with or death from COVID are and the answers will shock you. Nearly everyone you speak to is completely uninformed.

Naturally it is impossible to make rational decisions amidst this degree of ignorance.

Now is as good a time as any for some perspective.

The survival rate for people in the 0-19 age group is 99.997 percent. For 20-29 it’s 99.986 percent. You can find all the figures in the graphic below.

The data come from a recent paper by Stanford’s Cathrine Axfors and John Ioannidis, “Infection fatality rate of COVID-19 in community-dwelling populations with emphasis on the elderly: An overview.” Here’s how it breaks down:

A person under 50 is therefore at greater risk of death from drowning, choking on food, sunstroke, or from a sharp object.

This is not to say that we’re not dealing with a nasty virus for some people who contract it. But do you think the average person has any idea that the numbers for survival are this high?

In the UK, the Daily Mail just published an article called, “Is it time to stop obsessing over Covid figures? Statistics reveal virus is NOT the biggest killer — with heart disease, dementia and cancer each claiming four times as many lives in an average week last month.

Even before the rollout of the vaccine,” the article notes, “fewer than one per cent of people who caught Covid died. Now, scientists say that figure is ten times smaller.

They included this graphic, for perspective:

Much as I welcome this, it’s pretty rich for the British press (or indeed any press) to publish an article and a chart like that, though, scratching their heads as to why people are obsessed about COVID, when they themselves are directly responsible for the misinformation that brought about that obsession.

Remember when the Washington Post called Iowa the “state that doesn’t care if you live or die” when that state removed its COVID restrictions? That was seven months ago.

Here’s the chart. Think we’re going to hear any apologies, or any “gee, I guess I don’t understand this virus as well as I thought,” or…?

That’s enough perspective for one day.

September 4, 2021 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 1 Comment

Fess Up, Washington Post, Actual Data Doesn’t Show Climate Change Made Ida Worse

By H. Sterling Burnett | ClimateRealism | August 30, 2021

A story in the Washington Post, titled “How climate change helped make Hurricane Ida one of Louisiana’s worst,” with Hurricane Ida as its news hook, asserts human caused climate change is driving more intense hurricanes. This is false.  Data show tropical storms and hurricanes are neither more numerous nor more powerful than they have been historically. Not in Louisiana and not anywhere else.

By the time Hurricane Ida made landfall in Port Fourchon, La., on Sunday, it was the poster child for a climate change-driven disaster. The fast-growing, ferocious storm brought 150-mile-per-hour wind, torrential rain and several feet of storm surge to the most vulnerable part of the U.S. coast. It rivals the most powerful storm ever to strike the state.

“People there are going to get blasted,” said Kerry Emanuel, an atmospheric scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who studies the physics of hurricanes and their connection to the climate. “This is exactly the kind of thing we’re going to have to get used to as the planet warms.”

As powerful as Ida was when made landfall, the Post and Emanuel are wrong to link Ida or any particular hurricane to climate change.

Ida may rival the most powerful hurricanes ever to strike Louisiana, but that does not make it unique. Research shows since 1957 alone five hurricanes have made landfall in Louisiana with wind speeds exceeding 150 mph. The most powerful of those five hurricanes, 1969’s Category 5 Camille, had wind speeds exceeding 190 mph. Three of the five Category 4 or higher hurricanes Louisiana has experience in the past 70 years occurred during late 1950s and 1960s during a period when the earth was undergoing a period of modest cooling, and many scientists were warning of a coming ice age.

Data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) show hurricanes have neither become more numerous or more powerful during the past half-century of modest warming.

EPA’s May 2021 report, titled “Climate Change Indicators: Tropical Cyclone Activity,” reported:

Since 1878, about six to seven hurricanes have formed in the North Atlantic every year. Roughly two per year make landfall in the United States. The total number of hurricanes (particularly after being adjusted for improvements in observation methods) and the number reaching the United States do not indicate a clear overall trend since 1878.

EPA’s conclusion that hurricanes have not become more numerous in recent years is unsurprising, because, U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2018 interim report came to essentially the same conclusion. As illustrated in figure 1 below, IPCC data demonstrates no increasing trend in tropical cyclone or hurricane numbers.

Figure 1. Tropical cyclone frequency through August 2021. Dr. Ryan Maue

NHC data indicate hurricane impacts on the United States are at an all-time low. The United States recently went more than a decade, 2005 through 2017, without experiencing a major hurricane measuring Category 3 or higher, making landfall—the longest such period in recorded history.

This can be seen in Figure 2 below showing the large gap with no major landfalling hurricanes (Category3 or greater) in the U.S. on the right-hand side.

Figure 2. Landfalling hurricanes category 3 or greater through 2020. Dr. Roger Pielke Jr.

Also from 2009 through 2017, the United States experienced the fewest number of hurricane strikes over any eight-year period, since records have been kept.

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 6th Assessment Report, released in early August, also finds limited evidence human caused climate change is causing more frequent or stronger hurricanes.

“There is low confidence in most reported long-term (multidecadal to centennial) trends in TC frequency- or intensity-based metrics,” writes the IPCC.

This is not surprising. As explained in Climate at a Glance: Hurricanes, warm ocean water is just one factor driving the formation and intensification of hurricanes. Wind shear inhibits strong storms from forming and rips apart storms that have already formed. Science indicates global warming is likely to cause more wind shear in places where hurricanes form and intensify. This is precisely what happened to Henri, in mid-August, with wind shear shredding its top reducing it from a minor hurricane to a tropical depression in a relatively short period of time.

While the human toll and economic costs of Hurricane Ida have yet to be totaled up, they are likely to be great. However, contrary to the Washington Post’s article, there is no evidence the recent modest warming of the earth contributed to Ida or any other recent hurricane’s formation or intensity. The facts show, recent hurricane numbers and wind speeds are well within historical norms. The Post should stop selling unwarranted climate alarmism on the back of real human misery.

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. is managing editor of Environment & Climate News and a research fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute.

August 31, 2021 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | | Leave a comment

Why People Don’t Trust the Mainstream Media

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | August 4, 2021

An article in the Washington Post about the January 6 protests at the Capitol goes a long way toward explaining why people do not trust the mainstream media. The article, written by a Post reporter named Mike DeBonis, focuses on allegations that the FBI infiltrated the ranks of the protestors and actually helped to incite them to illegally enter the Capitol and engage in mayhem after doing so.

The overall tone that DeBonis sets forth is one that is oftentimes found in the mainstream media when it comes to alleged wrongdoing by the federal government. The article has a mocking tone to it, suggesting that the people who are making this allegation are conspiracy theorists for actually believing that federal officials would do such a horrible thing. 

There is a critical sentence in DeBonis’s article: “The FBI declined to comment.”

Why is that line important? Because there are two ways that a reporter can go when he is writing a story about this type of allegation. 

On the one hand, he can mock and ridicule those who are making the allegation, pointing out that they haven’t produced any evidence to support their “unfounded claim.” 

On the other hand, he can aggressively go after FBI officials and demand a definitive yes-or-no answer instead of simply settling for a “no comment” by the FBI and also engage in an aggressive investigative effort to determine whether there is evidence to support the allegation.

DeBonis chose the first route. But why? After all, a “no comment” answer by the FBI is about as incriminating as an answer can be, short of an outright admission of wrongdoing. That’s because if the FBI were not guilty of the wrongdoing, it would undoubtedly simply say, “The allegation is false.” The FBI clearly did not do that with its “no comment” answer. It’s “no comment” answer leaves open the possibility — perhaps even the likelihood — that the FBI was involved in wrongdoing, 

DeBonis makes a big issue of out of the fact that the people who are making this allegation have not provided any evidence to support their allegation. But what people have pointed out is a similar course of conduct by the FBI in other cases, which would be enough to cause any reasonable person to assume that it might have engaged in the same course of conduct with respect to the January 6 protests.

For example, consider the case that involves the alleged kidnapping of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. DeBonis is aware of that case because he links to an article from BuzzFeedNews.com about the case. That article alleges that the FBI played a major role in inducing the defendants in the case to commit the kidnapping. Even if what the FBI allegedly did wasn’t enough to support a defense of entrapment, its alleged actions are nonetheless enough to cause any reasonable citizen, including investigative journalists, concern. 

But that’s not all. As journalist Glenn Greenwald has documented, the FBI has a long history of inciting people to commit acts of domestic terrorism. The idea is to incite people to commit crimes so that the FBI can then be praised and glorified for busting them up. See Greenwald’s July 24 article “FBI Using the Same Fear Tactic From the First War on Terror: Orchestrating its Own Terrorism Plots.” Also, see the July 31 article “Will More Media Bias Save Democracy?” by James Bovard.

Given the history of the FBI engaging in this type of misconduct, you would think that any journalist worth his salt would say, “I need to get to the bottom of this latest assertion. I need to know whether the FBI did the same thing here. Rather than mocking and ridiculing these people by pointing out that they have furnished no evidence to support their allegation, I need to do my job and go after the FBI to see if there is any evidence to support the allegation.”

Rather than do that, DeBonis goes off on the other track by implicitly assuming that the FBI would never do such a thing and implicitly assuming that those who are making the allegation are nothing more than “conspiracy theorists.”

That’s why so many people don’t trust the mainstream media.

This is not a recent phenomenon. 

We can go all the way back to Operation Mockingbird, the CIA’s secret program in the 1960s and 1970s whose aim was to acquire CIA assets from within the mainstream press, whose secret job would be to come to the defense of the national-security establishment whenever necessary, including but calling people “conspiracy theorists” whenever they allege wrongdoing on the part of CIA officials.  

According to the Wikipedia entry on “Operation Mockingbird,” 

In a 1977 Rolling Stone magazine article, “The CIA and the Media,” reporter Carl Bernstein expanded upon the Church Committee’s report and said that around 400 press members were considered intelligence assets by the CIA, including New York Times publisher Arthur Hays Sulzberger, columnist and political analyst Stewart Alsop and Time magazine. Berstein documented the way in which overseas branches of major US news agencies had for many years served as the “eyes and ears” of Operation Mockingbird, which functioned to disseminate CIA propaganda through domestic US media.[6]

The best example, of course, of the deference to the authority of the national-security establishment relates to the Kennedy assassination. Today, there are two separate worlds when it comes to that assassination: the world of the mainstream media and the world of Internet. They are two completely different worlds — actually, parallel universes. 

On the Internet, it’s possible to find people analyzing, questioning, and challenging the official lone-nut theory of the case, pointing to the mountain of evidence, for example, that establishes that the national-security establishment conducted a fraudulent autopsy on President Kennedy’s body. (See my books The Kennedy Autopsy and The Kennedy Autopsy 2 as well as the recorded presentations at The Future of Freedom Foundation’s recent conference “The National Security State and the Kennedy Assassination.”

Not so in the mainstream press. It is considered verboten in the mainstream press for any reporter or commentator to challenge or question any aspect of the official lone-nut theory of the assassination. Woe to the reporter or commentator who does so. He will be looking for a new job post haste — somewhere on the Internet.

In the December 6, 1963, issue of Life magazine, a well-known Life magazine reporter named Paul Mandel wrote an article about the assassination in which he claimed that the famous Zapruder film showed that the president had turned around to face the Texas School Book Depository. The president’s action, Mandel said, explained how it was that the president was shot in the throat.

No one could verify Mandel’s statement because Life magazine had purchased the film from Abraham Zapruder for $150,000, which in today’s dollars amounted to around $1.2 million. Life locked the film away, saying that it wanted to protect the American people from ever having to see such violence.

In 1969, Jim Garrison, the district attorney in New Orleans, brought a criminal prosecution against a man named Clay Shaw in which Garrison alleged that the Kennedy assassination was actually a sophisticated regime-change operation on the part of the U.S. national-security establishment. Garrison subpoenaed the Zapruder film from Life magazine and showed it in court. The film showed that the president had never turned around and faced the school book depository. By this time, of course, the official story revolved around the magic bullet theory, which posited that the president had actually been shot in the rear of the neck (i.e., not through the throat), with the bullet supposedly having come out the front (and then supposedly striking Gov. John Connally in multiple places, with the bullet magically ending up in a pristine condition.) 

In other words, Mandel had lied, either intentionally or because someone at Life magazine had falsely told him that that’s what the film showed. There is no other conclusion that can be reached. There is no way that Mandel’s allegation could be construed to be an innocent mistake, because Life magazine had the film. 

There is another interesting aspect to the saga. According to Wikipedia:

General Charles Douglas (C. D.) Jackson (March 16, 1902 – September 18, 1964) was a United States government propagandist and senior executive of Time Inc. As an expert on psychological warfare he served in the Office of Strategic Services in World War II and later as Special Assistant to the President in the Eisenhower administration…. After Abraham Zapruder took the famous film in Dallas on November 22, 1963, Jackson purchased it on behalf of Time/Life to “protect the integrity of the film.” Upon viewing it on Sunday morning, he ordered it locked in a vault at the Time/Life building in Manhattan.

In 1972 — three years after the Zapruder film was shown in the Shaw trial — Life magazine, which had been one of the most popular weekly magazines in history, cease publication as a weekly. Some people said that it was because of the rising popularity of television. Another possibility is that people no longer trusted Life magazine.

For the past 25 years, the mainstream media has been losing readership  and money. Some people blame it on the rising popularity of the Internet. Another possibility is that people no longer trust the mainstream media.

August 4, 2021 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

New Normal Newspeak #3: “Progressive”

OffGuardian | July 30, 2021

“New Normal Newspeak” is a series of short articles highlighting how our language has come under assault in the past eighteen months.

***

We have a backlog for these NNNS posts, but I saw this today on Twitter, and it made me laugh so it gets to jump the queue.

A few days ago, Saudi Arabia announced they would be introducing vaccine passes for, essentially, anyone that wanted to do anything.

And then Max Boot, the neo-liberal warmonger who’s paid to squat over his keyboard and squeeze out columns for the Washington Post, called it “progressive”:

There it is in black and white – an absolute monarchy that still practices public beheadings, has no religious freedom, democracy or equal rights, has decided to add to their delightful resume by introducing digital surveillance, enforced experimental vaccination and medical apartheid. Doesn’t that sound so progressive?

The Council of Foreign Relations fellow has since deleted the tweet. And it’s not hard to see why.

Maybe no other word has had its meaning as brutally violated as “progressive” in the last decade. It is used to stifle freedom of speech, to camouflage corruption of “liberal” candidates, as a casus belli for regime change and to bang the drum for new cold wars with both Russia and China.

But applying it to Saudi Arabia is a whole new level of stretched meaning.

It’s also a little preview of how the billionaire-owned MSM will be selling medical apartheid to their hypnotized “liberal” readers in coming weeks.

July 30, 2021 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | Leave a comment

They Denied A Lab Leak At Wuhan. They Are Wrong About Other Things.

By Mary Beth Pfeiffer | Trial Site News | June 16, 2021

After months of denial, the U.S. government has acknowledged that the COVID-19 catastrophe may indeed have originated in a leak from a laboratory in Wuhan, China.

We are now allowed to talk about what until May 13 was a debunked conspiracy theory. Like many facets of the pandemic of our age, Wuhan was censored with the dreaded “disinformation” label, on Facebook and just about everywhere else. Not anymore.

The Wuhan debacle shows what happens when public health institutions have too much power, and the media plays mouthpiece rather than watchdog. Truth suffers. So does trust.

This commentary isn’t about the media’s wholesale buy-in of a possibly mythical pangolin that caused a pandemic.

This is about other potential Wuhans — issues that social and mainstream media have put to rest and closed to honest examination. We are told: Vaccines are safe. Lockdowns are just. We must protect, and be protected from, children. All those statements should be open to debate — and dispute.

I have spent the last eight months attacking another insidious COVID myth. It holds that there is no early treatment.

This actual disinformation has led to deaths and debility. In reporting it, the guardians of media have endowed public figures and institutions with wisdom they surely did not and do not have. Once definitive, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health and Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus of the World Health Organization have reversed themselves on a potential Wuhan lab leak.

Then: “Extremely unlikely,” WHO said after a cursory probe.

Now: “Not convinced” the virus came from nature, said Fauci.

What else might they have gotten wrong?

‘Trusted’ News

Just months into the pandemic, research suggested that a handful of approved generic drugs could potentially quell COVID and save lives. By late last year, a safe drug that won its developers the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2015 had risen to the top: ivermectin.

Fifty-eight trials now show this 40-year-old drug, off patent since 1997, greatly reduces the ravages of COVID. It lessens severity, lowers hospitalization, and saves lives. Significantly, it also prevents infection.

That few Americans know this is a direct result of two things: First is an unreasonably high, and shifting, bar set by the NIH, FDA and WHO, which collectively reject, cherry-pick or ignore what is now a trove of studies. Second is a media campaign that upholds the anti-IVM dictum, using charged language – from “controversial” to “snake oil” — that makes doctors, medical journals and other media fearful of backlash.

In a case of government propaganda, the Food and Drug Administration actually warned against ivermectin last spring, based, it said, on “multiple” people sickened by an animal formulation, which turned out to be four. Moreover, FDA admitted it “hadn’t studied” the considerable data then available on treatment with the human form.

As government failed us, mainstream and social media did something unique in modern history. Google, YouTube, Facebook, BBC, Washington Post, Associated Press, Reuters and others conspired to shape content and coverage in the government’s image.

They called it, ironically, the Trusted News Initiative. It existed to ferret out falsehoods and declare certainty in a rapidly changing information landscape. The media became a COVID fact-checking apparatus, devoid of nuance or meaningful investigation.

In the wake of Wuhan relevations, some outlets are now correcting the record.

Vaccine OR Treatment

From the start, there was no room for both vaccines and treatments under the statute that has allowed millions of Americans to be vaccinated with an unlicensed, largely unstudied substance. The key mechanism on which this turned was the vaccine’s “Emergency Use Authorization,” which can be granted by the FDA only if there is “no adequate, approved, and available alternative to the product for diagnosing, preventing or treating” a disease.

But even as the vaccine was minimally tested and maximally hyped, there was an alternative. Ivermectin.

“It’s the most effective antiviral agent we have,” Dr. Paul E. Marik, co-founder of Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance, said in a conversation for this article. “If the WHO was to say that or the NIH — were they to approve ivermectin — the EUA for all the vaccines would become invalid.”

Ivermectin, said FLCCC president Dr. Pierre Kory, “would kneecap the entire global vaccine policy around the world.”

The choice was always vaccines OR treatment. Not both. Operation Warp Speed spent three times as much — $18 billion — to develop a vaccine as it did to develop a treatment. Moreover, money for therapeutics went largely toward costly new drugs, some of which failed and others still in development.

The media did not question the oversight of existing drugs and emerging research. Instead, it became an arm of government in a shared single fixed goal: Vaccinate quickly and at any expense.

A Year Lost

America’s COVID Czar Anthony Fauci predicted in July of 2020 that an antiviral would be available by that fall. Then, last December he said his “highest priority” was a quick-acting COVID drug. In reality, NIH waited until April 29, 2021 to announce a large study of safety-tested, FDA-approved drugs. That was roughly 400 days – and nearly 600,000 U.S. deaths — into the pandemic.

Forget a few dozen studies – most from other countries — that universally agreed on ivermectin’s efficacy. Forget a peer-reviewed meta-analysis that showed 83 percent fewer deaths. Forget the experiences of hundreds of real treating doctors in the U.S. and around the world.

Viewed in the kindest possible way, that delay, that lost year, wasn’t so much intentional as institutionalized. U.S. treatments are driven by the integral and outsized influence of pharmaceutical money on the regulatory process, and no one was putting up $20 million for what are considered, questionably, the “gold-standard” of evidence-based medicine: randomized control trials.

Dr. Robert Malone, a vaccine researcher and inventor of mRNA technology, went bankrupt trying to repurpose old antiviral drugs to treat the Zika virus in the 2010s. “The investment community had zero interest because there’s no way to make a buck,” he said in a must-see podcast on pandemic missteps. “The financial incentives around drug repurposing are such that it doesn’t get done.”

Ivermectin is the penicillin of COVID, particularly when combined with other generics like fluvoxamine and the vilified but effective hydroxychloroquine. Now, however, as at the start of COVID, newly infected patients are still denied treatment and turned back into the community, often to infect others.

As Malone put it, “We’re sending people home and telling them not to come back until your lips are blue.”

“Were this a hundred years ago,” a Pennsylvania opthamologist named Neil Chasin told me months ago, “and Ivermectin was available, it would be used everywhere.”

Media Sees No Evil

The dereliction of duty, by the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal (with the Wuhan exception), Associated Press, USA Today and other media giants, likely cost many thousands of lives. The questions that were never asked, the issues never investigated, include:

–In April 2020, Fauci endorsed the high-priced anti-viral remdesivir, calling it the “standard of care” before the first study was published. Did anyone in those investigative powerhouses question the financial ties between the NIH and the drug’s maker, Gilead? Did they care that the study showed no mortality improvement, and the trial’s endpoint was changed to improve benefits so marginal that the WHO advises against the drug?

–Hospitals vehemently oppose ivermectin, forcing some patients’ families to obtain court orders to get it. Does this comport with their liberal use of treatments like monoclonal antibodies and convalescent plasma that are still considered experimental? Just 19 deaths were associated with ivermectin in 20 years; 503 were linked to remdesivir in its first year. Annualized, that’s roughly a 500-fold higher toll for remdesivir. Why is ivermectin — safe, FDA-approved — not used off-label, especially in dying ICU patients, when the potential harm is miniscule?

–The COVID pandemic has led to the most widespread, government-sanctioned wave of censorship and authoritarian message control in American history. Rather than fighting this, the media carries the water. When Merck disingenuously disavowed ivermectin’s safety — a drug it gave away by the billion in a life-saving campaign against parasites — widespread media reports failed to note the company’s potential to make big money on patented new drugs on which it was already working.

–More importantly, the evidence in favor of ivermectin aligns so uniformly that the odds of it being wrong are infinitesimal. Why not read the studies? Why not talk to doctors who have used the drug and patients who have taken it?

The unholy alliance of media and money was foreshadowed at a 2016 conference on preparation for the next SARS epidemic. There, Peter Daszak, whose NIH funding for virus research in China is under scrutiny, emphasized the need to use the press. He is quoted in the proceedings:

“A key driver is the media, and the economics follow the hype. We need to use that hype to our advantage … Investors will respond if they see profit at the end of process, Daszak stated.”

So far, the hype has prevailed. But it can be wrong. Can we now talk about ivermectin?

***

Mary Beth Pfeiffer is an investigative journalist and author of two books. A list of her article links can be found here.

June 17, 2021 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

CNN tries to make case for trusting anonymous-source echo chamber despite steady stream of fake news

RT | May 3, 2021

CNN took a holier-than-thou approach to explaining away mainstream media’s penchant for telling anonymously sourced stories that later prove to be false, saying that unlike “MAGA media,” it tries to get the news right.

“There are safeguards in place,” CNN media reporter Oliver Darcy told ‘Reliable Sources’ host Brian Stelter on Sunday. “Unfortunately, human error is still at play, and news organizations sometimes do get burned like this.”

Darcy was referring to the latest correction debacle involving multiple MSM outlets that supposedly confirmed each other’s anonymously sourced reports – only to later issue corrections admitting that their central claim was completely false. The New York Times, NBC News and the Washington Post said on Saturday that their reports claiming that US law enforcement had warned Rudy Giuliani and One America News that they were being targeted by a “Russian influence operation” were not true.

The false claim was so integral to the story that correcting it was not as simple as changing a name or recasting a sentence. “The premise and headline of the article below have been changed to reflect the corrected information,” NBC said in its correction.

Stelter lamented that “a bogus report of this magnitude” tars all mainstream outlets and allows “bad-faith actors” to lump them in with less credible outfits. Darcy argued that “responsible” media outlets set themselves apart by correcting their mistakes, whereas publications such as the New York Post avoid admitting their errors.

“Sometimes, it seems like they are intentionally promoting falsehoods and moving on, some of those folks in MAGA media,” Darcy said.

The Post last week removed an article from its website that said copies of a children’s book written by Vice President Kamala Harris were being put in the welcome kits given to migrant children being held at a shelter in California. In an updated version it issued a correction, saying it turned out there was only one known copy of the book at the shelter.

However, it was the New York Post that broke bombshell news last October, reporting on alleged influence-peddling by then-presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, after obtaining emails from a laptop that the younger Biden had allegedly left at a repair shop. At the time, with the presidential election just a couple of weeks away, CNN called the reports “dubious” and cited anonymous people saying that “US authorities” were investigating whether the Hunter Biden emails were part of a Russian disinformation campaign.

Then-Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said there was no connection between Hunter Biden’s laptop and Russian disinformation, but only later did the likes of the New York Times and the Washington Post admit that the evidence-free conspiracy claims were apparently false.

The Washington Post has had its share of falsehoods lately. In March, the newspaper corrected a January story accusing former president Donald Trump of pressuring a Georgia official to help overturn the election’s result. The Post admitted that it had misquoted the official. In fact, it said that claims Trump urged the official to “find the fraud” and that she would be a “national hero” if she did were completely false.

CNN technical director Charlie Chester suggested that such “mistakes” weren’t accidental – at least at his network. Chester was shown on video telling an undercover Project Veritas reporter that CNN’s main focus was to help oust Trump from office through propaganda and that it purposely fearmongered about Covid-19 to boost ratings. He added that CNN also endeavored to make Black Lives Matter look good, a task made more difficult by the group’s conduct.

Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who helped break the Edward Snowden NSA scoops in 2013, said MSM outlets are able to “independently confirm” each other’s false reports because their meaning of “confirm” is misleading. Rather than confirming that a report is true, they merely get the same anonymous source to make the same false claims to them.

“It’d be one thing if this were some rare occurrence,” Greenwald said. “The opposite is true. Over and over and over, these same big corporate outlets purport to have ‘independently confirmed’ one another’s stories that turn out to be totally false. Is that trustworthy?”

May 3, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

The “Russian Threat”

By Paul Craig Roberts | Institute for Political Economy | April 25, 2021

During 2016 CIA director John Brennan and FBI director James Comey, together with the corrupt Democrat party, began orchestrating Russiagate in order to prevent Trump from reducing the risk of nuclear war by normalizing relations with Russia. President Trump tried to nip a New Cold War in the bud, but that was not in the interest of the power and profit of the military/security complex which desperately needs the “Russian threat” as its raison d’etre.

Stephen Cohen, myself and a few others expressed concern that the tensions between the two nuclear powers were being driven to more dangerous highs than ever existed during the 20th century Cold War. Many websites joined in debunking the orchestrated Russiagate fabrication.

To discredit these voices, a new website, PropOrNot, suddenly appeared with a list of 200 “Russian agents/dupes.” Those of us who had raised red flags about Russiagate and the worsening of tensions were on the list. The Washington Post gave the accusation credibility by reporting the PropOrNot accusation that those who dissented from a hostile policy toward Russia were “Putin agents.”

A number of the falsely accused websites were intimidated and abandoned the truth. CounterPunch went even further. It dropped its best and most incisive writers—people such as Mike Whitney and Diana Johnstone. CounterPunch, which had once collected, published, and marketed a collection of my essays as a book, suddenly discovered that it preferred fiction over fact. Other websites that had religiously reproduced all of my columns now became selective about which parts of the official narrative they would permit to be examined on their sites. This was, perhaps, the beginning of the movement to de-platform all who challenge the narrative.

The threat to truth-tellers has now been elevated by election thief Joe Biden’s latest Executive Order declaring a “national emergency” to “deal with the Russian threat.” Pepe Escobar reports that Biden’s order opens every American to being accused of being a Russian agent engaged in undermining US security. “A sub-paragraph (C), detailing ‘actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in the United States or abroad,’ is vague enough to be used to eliminate any journalism that supports Russia’s positions in international affairs.”

“Supports Russia’s position” includes an objective description and non-partisan analysis of Russian policy. The crucial point is that, in effect, Biden’s executive order places everyone reporting objectively on Russia’s political positions as a potential threat to the United States.

If we are honest, we will acknowledge that we have undergone the complete collapse of the United States. Truth is prohibited in the media, school systems, and universities if it conflicts with the elite agendas served by the official narratives. The First Amendment is dead and buried. Free speech is reserved for the official narratives, such as “systemic racism” and “Russian threat.” Those who exercise their Constitutional right find themselves de-platformed or fired.

To understand how the victory of propaganda over truth elevates the likelihood of nuclear Armageddon, consider the difference between the 20th century and 21st century cold wars.

In the original Cold War both Soviet and American leaders worked to defuse tensions. Agreements were made on arms control and the anti-ballistic missile treaty. There were regular meetings or summits between American and Soviet leaders. Diplomatic decorum was maintained. There were agreements that permitted each side to inspect the other’s compliance.

This process began with President John F. Kennedy and Soviet First Secretary Khrushchev. It continued through President Reagan and, more or less, President George H. W. Bush. It ended with the Clinton regime and has been downhill ever since. President Trump intended to reduce the dangerous tensions, but was not permitted. Indeed, his intent was sufficient cause for the Establishment to drive him from office. 2020 was a coup, not an election.

In the 20th century Cold War Russian experts differed in their assessments of the threat, and their differences were publicly aired. Differing assessments were debated. Dissenters were not demonized as Russian agents. Today American Russian experts find that being Russophobic is a career boost. In the 20th century the New York Times and Washington Post were aligned with peace efforts. Today they are part of the neoconservative warmongers’ propaganda ministry.

The alarming conclusion is that since the Clinton regime, the US government has worked consistently to worsen relations with Russia even to the extent of publicly demonizing the Russian president and strangling objective debate in the US. This is the perfect foundation for war.

All the while insouciant Americans elected governments that successively raised the likelihood of nuclear annihiliation while shutting down dissident concerns. As I reported on March 17, “In the United States Russian Studies has degenerated into propaganda. Recently, two members of the Atlantic Council think tank, Emma Ashford and Matthew Burrows, suggested that American foreign policy could benefit from a less hostile approach to Russia. Instantly, 22 members of the think tank denounced the article by Ashford and Burrows.”

Today even in Republican and conservative circles to question Putin’s demonization raises disapproving eyebrows (the same for China and Iran). The US Establishment has succeeded in labeling objective analysis as “pro-Russian” (or pro-Chinese or pro-Iranian). This means that an objective view of US/Russian relations is off-limits to US policymakers.

The “Russian threat” is another hoax, one that will destroy the world.

April 25, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Militarism, Russophobia | , | 2 Comments

WaPo-Style Fake News Russia Bashing

By Stephen Lendman | April 20, 2021

Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post provides propaganda services for Washington’s intelligence community.

Like other establishment media, the broadsheet is militantly hostile toward nations unwilling to sacrifice their sovereign rights to US interests.

Relentless Putin bashing reflects his model leadership and prominence on the world stage — in stark contrast to pygmy US and other Western counterparts.

According to neocon WaPo editors, UN Charter-breaching Biden regime sanctions on Russia weren’t tough enough.

Imposed for invented reasons as part of longstanding US Russia bashing, WaPo claimed “punches were pulled (sic).”

International investors can still buy Russian bonds unobstructed, the broadsheet complained, adding:

Russian energy and mineral enterprises weren’t sanctioned.

A typical litany of Big Lies followed.

WaPo falsely accused Moscow of paying bounties to kill US forces in Afghanistan — citing no evidence because there is none.

Defying reality, the broadsheet falsely claimed that Russia “sponsored… attacks that seriously injured US officials in Moscow, Havana and China” — again no evidence cited.

Fake news accusations of Russian “aggression” persist — how hegemon USA and its partners operate.

The Russian Federation never attacked or threatened other nations.

Under Putin, the Kremlin prioritizes peace, stability, cooperative relations with other countries, and compliance with international law – worlds apart from how the US and its imperial partners in high crimes operate.

In response to years of US-orchestrated Kiev aggression against Donbass, WaPO falsely accused Moscow of US-led high crimes of war and against humanity.

Calling for more illegal sanctions on Russia, perhaps its editors won’t be satisfied unless US hardliners launch WW III.

Separately, WaPo ignored US war on humanity at home and abroad while falsely accusing Russia of “crush(ing) opposition” elements.

Falsely accusing China of spying on and repressing Uyghur Muslins, WaPo defied reality by claiming Russia operates the same way against targeted individuals.

It lied claiming Putin amassed billions of dollars of hidden wealth.

It lied saying he heaps “extravagances” on political allies.

It lied accusing him of poisoning political nobody Navalny.

It lied claiming he persecutes protesters and activists.

It lied accusing democratic Russia of being authoritarian, calling Putin a dictator.

Compared to low approval ratings for US leaders and Congress, nearly two-thirds of Russians approve of Putin’s leadership.

According to Statista Research on February 25, “65 percent of Russians approved of activities of Russian president Vladimir Putin.”

Biden’s approval rating hovers around 50, almost entirely from undemocratic Dem support.

Mind-manipulated Americans don’t understand how badly they’re harmed by US policymakers until they’re bitten hard on their backsides.

Even then, it takes multiple abusive practices for them to realize that dominant US hardliners are their enemies, not allies.

State-sponsored repression and other forms of abuse are longstanding US practices, notably against its most vulnerable people, as well as against targeted individuals of the wrong race, ethnicity, and/or nationality.

In stark contrast to long ago US/Western abandonment of international law, Russia scrupulously abides by its principles.

On all things related to truth and full-disclosure, the US, its hegemonic partners and press agent media stick exclusively to the fabricated official narrative.

On all things related to nations from from US control, both right wings of its war party target them for regime change — wars by hot and/or other means their favored strategies.

On issues mattering most, the US and its hegemonic partners consistently breach the rule of law, operating by their own rules exclusively.

Instead of straight talk, US-led Western officials and their press agent media feature managed news misinformation and disinformation exclusively — truth and full disclosure nowhere in sight.

April 20, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | 1 Comment

WAPO Opens “Domestic Terrorist” Campaign Against Those Who Refuse the Experimental COVID Vaccines

By Brian Shilhavy | Health Impact News | March 8, 2021

And so it begins.

Those of us who have been exposing the corruption in Big Pharma, and especially in the vaccine industry, for more than a decade now, knew this day was coming.

It’s been coming for a long time now, but the COVID Plandemic has shifted medical tyranny into high gear, primarily because this time around the masses have complied with the medical tyrants and, so far, voluntarily surrendered their rights all in the name of “public safety.”

Very soon now, the supply of experimental COVID vaccines will exceed the demand for those who have been lining up and begging to be injected with who-knows-what to fight the unseen enemy, the dreaded Coronavirus, and then it will be time to deal with the “vaccine resistant” who are perceived as a threat to public health.

Domestic Terrorists. That’s the new label for those who dare to question the new experimental COVID injections.

And who else should Big Pharma and their media anoint to start this new campaign, but California Senator Dr. Richard Pan?

Richard Pan is a pediatrician-turned-politician who has spearheaded California’s descent into medical tyranny, since 2015, when he wrote bill SB277 to remove all religious exemptions to childhood vaccines in the State of California, despite widespread public opposition by parents, doctors, lawyers, and educators.

Dr. Pan has a long history of lying to his constituents and selling them out to Big Pharma.

Not being content with spearheading the movement to remove religious exemptions to childhood vaccines in 2015, in 2019 he spearheaded an effort to remove the medical exemptions also, by going after California doctors who were writing medical exemptions to childhood vaccines as well. See:

Senator-Doctor Wants California to Eliminate Doctor’s Medical Exemptions to Vaccines

Today, if you live in California, it is nearly impossible to get any exemptions to childhood vaccines, which has driven many families out of California, and those that remain who want to protect their children from vaccines must home-educate their children and keep them out of the system (a good thing to do in ANY state!).

So it did not surprise me at all last week when an “Opinion” piece published in Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post titled: Opinion: Anti-vaccine extremism is akin to domestic terrorism, was written by none other than the California Big Pharma spokesperson, Richard Pan.

I have probably written a couple of dozen of articles on Senator Pan over the years, so if you want to learn more about him, click here.

Kit Knightly, writing for OffGuardian, also picked up on this, relating it back to the January 6th “insurrection” and a way to enact new legislation on “domestic terrorism.”

CALLED IT: WaPo calls anti-vaxxers “domestic terrorists”

By Kit Knightly  | Off-Guardian | March 8, 2021

BACK IN JANUARY I WROTE ABOUT HOW THE CAPITOL HILL “INSURECTION” WAS LAYING THE GROUNDWORK FOR BIDEN’S ADMINISTRATION TO INTRODUCE A MUCH-TALKED-ABOUT NEW “DOMESTIC TERRORISM” LAW.

The piece speculated that any definition of “domestic terrorism” will be very loose, and include essentially anybody the state finds problematic. Including those who spread “anti-vaccine misinformation” [emphasis added]:

What will “Domestic Terrorism” mean in this law? The answer to that is pretty much always “whatever they want it to mean.”

It will probably be tied into the Covid “pandemic” in some way, too. After all, what is discouraging people from taking vaccines if not the very definition of “terrorism”, right?

It took less than two months for the mainstream media to prove OffG right. Just last week the Washington Post ran an op-ed piece by California State Senator Richard Pam headlined:

Anti-vaccine extremism is akin to domestic terrorism

The article goes on to insist that “Laws need to be strengthened” to protect people administering vaccines from being “harassed”. That “Social media companies should not be complicit in this dangerous movement”, and caps it all off with glorious jingoism:

Getting vaccinated is a patriotic act. So is speaking up to support public health efforts. Let’s not allow extremism, division or fear to slow the efforts to end this deadly chapter in our nation’s history.

The message is clear: anyone who questions vaccination, especially the Covid “vaccine”, is a threat to public health and national security. A terrorist.

The WaPo is the first mainstream outlet to make the parallel so blatantly, but they almost certainly won’t be the last.

Be on the lookout for other examples. They’ll probably start building up this narrative quite fast.

And we can likely expect a new false-flag.

Something along the lines of a “lone wolf extremist” who was “radicalised online” by “militant anti-vaxxers” and then allegedly does something crazy like mail Bill Gates a suitcase full of home-made explosives or drives a tanker truck into a vaccination centre.

Of course, that will mean we need to start shutting down and censoring “vaccine misinformation” which is “encouraging violence” and “damaging public health”.

It’s all very predictable at this point.

March 8, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 1 Comment

Claims of Silicon Valley bias are ‘disinformation’, say researchers citing disgraced partisan ‘experts’ and Big Tech itself

By Nebojsa Malic | RT | February 2, 2021

Silicon Valley wants you to know that even thinking they might be biased against conservatives is ‘disinformation,’ and cite a paper informed by censorious busybodies, partisan hacks and their own executives to prove it.

Twitter spokesman Nick Pacilio approvingly quoted the Washington Post story about a report arguing that the “claim of anti-conservative animus on the part of social media companies is itself a form of disinformation: a falsehood with no reliable evidence to support it.”

Nothing to see here, folks, just a former press secretary for Democrat Kamala Harris (it’s in his bio) retweeting a newspaper that openly endorsed the Biden-Harris ticket saying that Democrats are right and Republicans are wrong, right?

Before the “fact checkers” declare that actually, Pacilio was a spokesman for Harris in 2011-2014, when she was California’s attorney general – the point is that he doesn’t bother hiding his political allegiance, and neither does the Post. But it would be wrong to judge a report solely by the people who endorse it, so let’s take a look at it, shall we?

Authored by Paul M. Barrett, deputy director of Stern Center for Business and Human Rights at New York University (NYU) and research fellow J. Grant Sims, the 28-page paper is a regurgitation of talking points by mainstream media, “disinformation researchers” advocating for censorship under the guise of ‘Russiagate,’ and Big Tech companies themselves. Looking at their 74 endnotes, one finds multiple mentions of mainstream media outlets, but also citations of the Democrat propaganda shop Media Matters, the German Marshall Fund, and even the Biden-Harris campaign.

Any study of social media censorship that doesn’t address the New York Post getting locked out by Twitter and suppressed by Facebook over the story about Hunter Biden’s laptop in the run-up to the 2020 election is a farce. This report mentions it exactly once – in a “conservatives pounce” way, no less.

Describing the NY Post story as “questionable” and “apparently based on stolen emails,” the researchers claim it was a case of “reasonable decisions wrapped in mystifying processes.” Their conclusion mirrors the (footnoted) Washington Post editorial, literally headlined “Twitter and Facebook were right to suppress a Biden smear. But they should tell us why they did.” No bias here, everyone!

In other words, they literally want increased censorship on social media platforms, justified by the conservatives supposedly “falsely” claiming they’re being censored.

To no one’s surprise, the researchers conclude that platforms need a “content overseer” executive who would report directly to the top, and “do a better job of protecting users and society at large from harmful content.” They also want the Biden administration to either set up a new agency for digital oversight or give more power to existing ones, and reform Section 230 – the legal shield protecting platforms from lawsuits over content – to make it conditional on their censorship, or as they put it, “acceptance of a range of new responsibilities related to policing content.”

Now comes the best part. Among the people the authors thanked for their “time and insight” are representatives of Google, Twitter, and Facebook; two people from NewsGuard, a few Big Tech apologists from the neoliberal and neoconservative circles, a former Obama White House tech policy advisor – identified here by his new gig at Harvard Kennedy School – and Renée DiResta of the Stanford Internet Observatory. 

DiResta has made herself quite a career at Stanford, producing alarmist reports of what Russia “might” do to harm American democracy or something, but she started out as research director at a shop called New Knowledge. This group of “tech specialists who lean Democratic,” to use a New York Times understatement, was literally caught running a false flag “Russian bot” operation on Twitter in 2017, during the US Senate special election in Alabama, in order to elect a Democrat.

Her inclusion is just the cherry on top of the giant hypocrisy cake that is the Barrett-Sims paper. It’s worse than merely factually wrong: it’s an exercise in gaslighting, projection and breath-taking dishonesty, it relies on self-serving and dishonest sources, and literally advocates for censorship. Whatever it takes to protect Our Democracy from “disinformation,” I guess.

Once the story of that broke – in December 2018, too late to change anything – New Knowledge quietly rebranded as Yonder, and that was it. No accountability. Instead of being disqualified as partisan hacks, the Senate Intelligence Committee doubled down on “insights” from New Knowledge/Yonder to insist there was “Russian meddling” in the 2016 election. DiResta simply moved to Stanford and kept doing the same thing.

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

February 2, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite | , | Leave a comment

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

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

By Glenn Greenwald | December 23, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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