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Vicious anti-Russian lies and hate now saturate American media

A look at TIME and The New Republic magazines show the propaganda is literally everywhere

Eric Zuesse

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(Strategic Culture Foundation) – Billionaires, both liberal and conservative ones, own, and their corporations advertise in and their ‘charities’ donate to, America’s mainstream (and also many ‘alternative news’) media. They do this not so as to profit directly from the national ‘news’media (a money-losing business, in itself), but so as to control the ’news’ that the voting public (right and left) are exposed to and thus will accept as being “mainstream” and will reject all else as being “fringe” or even ‘fake news’, even if what’s actually fake is, in fact, the billionaires’ own mainstream ’news’, such as their ’news’media had most famously ‘reported’ about ’Saddam’s WMD’ (but the’news’media never changed after that scandal — even after having pumped uncritically that blatant lie to the public).

Have America’s numerous foreign coups and outright military invasions (including Iraq 2003) been the result of fake-news that was published by the mainstream ’news’media, or only by some of the ‘alternative news’ sites that mirror what the mainstream ones have been ‘reporting’ (passing along the Government’s lies just like the mainstream ones do)? Obviously, the catastrophic fake news — the fake news that ‘justified’ America’s invading and destroying Iraq, Libya, and many other countries — was all published in the mainstream ’news’media. That’s where to go for the really dangerous lies: it’s the mainstream ’news’media. If those media, and their Government (whose lies they stenographically report to the public) will now censor the Internet, such as is increasingly happening not only in the US but in its allies including the European Union, then the only ‘information’ that the public will have access to, at all, will be the billionaires’ lies. Have we already almost reached 1984, finally, in 2017?

Two typical examples of this coordinated mass-deception-operation happened to be showing at the top of the magazine-pile at an office recently and struck my attention there, because of the ordinariness of the propaganda that was being pumped. One of them was the cover of TIME magazine, dated “July 24, 2017” and with the cover headlined “RED HANDED: The Russia Scandal Hits Home”, overprinting onto the face of Donald Trump Jr., as their menacing-looking cover-image. That cover-story, as published inside, was titled “How Donald Trump Jr.’s Emails Have Cranked Up the Heat on His Family”, and it used such phrases as “potentially treasonous” and “Russia is the one country that could physically destroy America” (as if it weren’t also the case that US is the one country that could physically destroy Russia, and very much the case also that possession of the weaponry isn’t any indication of being evil, such as this particular propagandist was implicitly assuming). Hillary Clinton’s V.P. running-mate was reported to be “saying that these fresh revelations move the Russia investigation into the realms of ‘perjury, false statements and even, potentially, treason.’”

These mere speculations, with slimy inferences of evil, with no real facts that back them up, were the front-cover ‘news’, in TIME. The facts were thin, but the speculations were thick, and the only thing really clear from it was that almost all of America’s billionaires and centi-millionaires want Trump ousted, and want Vice President Mike Pence to become America’s President as soon as possible — before Trump’s term is up. Democratic ones certainly do, and many of the Republican ones apparently do as well. Perhaps Trump isn’t hostile enough toward Russia to suit their fancy. At least Pence would be predictable — predictably horrible, in precisely the way that the controllers of the ‘news’media overwhelmingly desire.

The other example was the cover of The New Republic magazine, dated “December 2017” and it simply headlined in its center, “HOW TO ATTACK A DEMOCRACY, and the opening page of the article inside was bannered “WEAKEN FROM WITHIN” and below that in the printed edition (the December physical issue of the magazine) was:

“Russian manipulation of American social media in the 2016 presidential election took the United States by surprise. But Moscow has been honing an information-age art of war — through fake news, disinformation, leaks, and trolling — for more than a decade. How can these societies protect themselves?”

The online version of that article (which was dated 2 November 2017) opened almost the same: “Moscow has been honing an information age art of war — through fake news, disinformation, leaks, and trolling — for more than a decade. How can free societies protect themselves?”

The unspoken assumption in this article is that the US CIA hasn’t been doing the same thing — and doing it even worse than the old (and thankfully expired) KGB ever did. (And the CIA, even after the end of communism as its supposed enemy until 1991, still does far worse to other countries than Russia’s FSB does or ever did.)

Underlying both the TIME article and the TNR article are unstated speculations about the American situation, which are based upon thin facts such as that “at least $100,000 in ads purchased through 470 phony Facebook pages and accounts” were “using Facebook to incite anti-black hatred and anti-Muslim prejudice and fear while provoking extremism”, and that supposedly somehow (they never say how) such puny expenses threw the multi-billion-dollar 2017 US Presidential election to Trump. How is a case such as that, to be viewed by an intelligent reader as constituting anything but propaganda for the weapons-making firms such as Lockheed Martin, who benefit from such international anti-Russia hate-spewing to NATO countries, which are those firms’ major markets (other than Saudi Arabia, and the other fundamentalist-Sunni kingdoms that together constitute the Gulf Cooperation Council or “GCC” nations, which hate Shiite Iran as much as the US regime hates Russia)?

Also among the underlying and unstated speculations in the background here is the older mass-media allegation about Russia’s allegedly having spied and swayed the US election by ‘hacking’ it, which is likewise being pumped by Democrats and other opponents of Mr. Trump, alleging that ‘Russia hacked the election’. And, so, for an example of the flimsiness of those allegations, one of the two main ‘authorities’ who are the source of that, the Bush and Obama Administration’s James Clapper, was headlined at Politico on 7 July 2017, “Clapper: No evidence others besides Russia hacked US election”. Mr. Clapper happens to be a military-industrial-complex revolving-door ‘intelligence’ ‘professional’ whom, on 10 February 2011, even Politico was reporting to be “backing away from comments he made Thursday calling Egypt’s branch of the Muslim Brotherhood movement ‘largely secular’,” and who had also covered-up George W. Bush’s lies about ‘WMD in Iraq’ so as to protect the liars. On 29 October 2003, the New York Times stenographically passed along his deception about the non-existent WMD by headlining, “WEAPONS SEARCH; Iraqis Removed Arms Material, US Aide Says” and reported, “The official, James R. Clapper Jr., a retired lieutenant general, said satellite imagery showing a heavy flow of traffic from Iraq into Syria, just before the American invasion in March, led him to believe that illicit weapons material ‘unquestionably’ had been moved out of Iraq.” No evidence ever existed that Saddam Hussein still had any WMD after the U.N. monitors (UNSCOM) destroyed the last of them in 1998; but Clapper ‘unquestionably’ ‘knew’ to the contrary — though no evidence was ever made available to the contrary of UNSCOM’s reports, and lots of evidence existed that Bush simply lied about the entire matter.

The other main source for the allegation that ‘Russia hacked the election’ is the Obama Administration’s John Brennan, whom Glenn Greenwald exposed as a fraud back on 7 January 2013, headlining “John Brennan’s extremism and dishonesty rewarded with CIA Director nomination”.

Both of the official ‘experts’ who are promoting the Russiagate charges, are longtime, and repeatedly, exposed liars — but that’s the best they can do, always assuming that the public don’t know that these people are propagandists for the military-industrial complex, not real ‘public servants’ at all.

This isn’t to say that Trump isn’t also a liar — just that the ‘news’ in America is full of conflicting lies — and that they constantly are coming from the fake ‘news’media that are the mainstream ones who are now trying to censor out, and ultimately to obliterate, the few small news-operations (some of which, unlike any of the mainstream ones, actually are good, and authentic journalistic operations, no mere PR hackery) that are constantly exposing the fraudulence of the mainstream ones, which want to impose their dictatorship — the mainstream lies — even more rigorously than they already do. After all, the mainstream Western media still haven’t yet reported US President Obama’s bloody racist-fascist coup that in February 2014 replaced the democratically elected President of Ukraine (and his supporters in the legislature) by a racist-fascist or ideologically nazi regime that’s rabidly hostile toward its neighboring nation of Russia. Even now — nearly four years after the event. It’s already solidly documented history, but the mainstream US-and-allied press still hasn’t reported it.

The fake-news masters are certainly the mainstream ‘news’media themselves — and they, and the billionaires and centi-millionaires who own and control them, are the real megaphones by which the US dictatorship constantly fools the American people (and the publics in its allied nations), to keep in line, for the aristocracy.

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Trump Demands Tribute from NATO Vassals

The one thing that we should all understand, and which Trump perfectly and clearly understands, is that the members of NATO are a captive audience.

Strategic Culture Foundation

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Authored by Tim Kirby via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Regardless of whether one loves or hates President Trump at least we can say that his presidency has a unique flavor and is full of surprises. Bush and Obama were horribly dull by comparison. Trump as a non-politician from the world of big (real estate) business and media has a different take on many issues including NATO.

Many, especially in Russia were hoping that “The Donald’s” campaign criticism of NATO would move towards finally putting an end to this anti-Russian alliance, which, after the fall of Communism really has no purpose, as any real traditional military threats to Europe have faded into history. However, Trump as President of the United States has to engage in the “realpolitik” of 21st century America and try to survive and since Trump seems rather willing to lie to get what he wants, who can really say which promises from his campaign were a shoot and which were a work.

So as it stands now Trump’s recent decision to maintain and build US/NATO bases across the world “and make country X pay for it” could mean anything from him trying to keep his campaign promises in some sort of skewed way, to an utter abandonment of them and submission to the swamp. Perhaps it could simply be his business instincts taking over in the face of “wasteful spending”. Making allies have to pay to have US/NATO forces on their territory is a massive policy shift that one could only predict coming from the unpredictable 45th President.

The one thing that we should all understand, and which Trump perfectly and clearly understands, is that the members of NATO (and other “allies”) are a captive audience, especially Germany, Japan and South Korea, which “coincidentally” are the first set of countries that will have to pay the “cost + 50%” to keep bases and US soldiers on their soil. Japan’s constitution, written primarily by American occupation forces forbids them from having a real military which is convenient for Trump’s plan. South Korea, although a very advanced and wealthy nation has no choice but to hide behind the US might because if it were to disappear overnight, then Gangnam would be filled with pictures of the Kim family within a few weeks.

In the past with regard to these three countries NATO has had to keep up the illusion of wanting to “help” them and work as “partners” for common defense as if nuclear and economic titan America needs countries like them to protect itself. Trump whether consciously or not is changing the dynamic of US/NATO occupation of these territories to be much more honest. His attitude seems to be that the US has the possibility to earn a lot of money from a worldwide mafia-style protection scam. Vassals have no choice but to pay the lord so Trump wants to drop the illusions and make the military industrial complex profitable again and God bless him for it. This level of honesty in politics is refreshing and it reflects the Orange Man’s pro-business and “America will never be a socialist country” attitude. It is blunt and ideologically consistent with his worldview.

On the other hand, one could look at this development as a possible move not to turn NATO into a profitable protection scam but as a means to covertly destroy it. Lies and illusion in politics are very important, people who believe they are free will not rebel even if they have no freedom whatsoever. If people are sure their local leaders are responsible for their nation they will blame them for its failings rather than any foreign influence that may actually be pulling the real strings.

Even if everyone in Germany, Japan and South Korea in their subconscious knows they are basically occupied by US forces it is much harder to take action, than if the “lord” directly demands yearly tribute. The fact that up to this point US maintains its bases on its own dime sure adds to the illusion of help and friendship. This illusion is strong enough for local politicians to just let the status quo slide on further and further into the future. Nothing is burning at their feet to make them act… having to pay cost + 50% could light that fire.

Forcing the locals to pay for these bases changes the dynamic in the subconscious and may force people’s brains to contemplate why after multiple-generations the former Axis nations still have to be occupied. Once occupation becomes expensive and uncomfortable, this drops the illusion of friendship and cooperation making said occupation much harder to maintain.

South Korea knows it needs the US to keep out the North but when being forced to pay for it this may push them towards developing the ability to actually defend themselves. Trump’s intellectual “honesty” in regards to NATO could very well plant the necessary intellectual seeds to not just change public opinion but make public action against US/NATO bases in foreign countries. Japan has had many protests over the years against US bases surging into the tens of thousands. This new open vassal status for the proud Japanese could be the straw to break the camel’s back.

Predicting the future is impossible. But it is clear that, changing the fundamental dynamic by which the US maintains foreign bases in a way that will make locals financially motivated to have them removed, shall significantly affect the operations of US forces outside the borders of the 50 States and make maintaining a global presence even more difficult, but perhaps this is exactly what the Orange Man wants or is just too blind to see.

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High-ranking Ukrainian official reports on US interference in Ukraine

It is not usually the case that an American media outlet tells the truth about Ukraine, but it appears to have happened here.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The Hill committed what may well have been a random act of journalism when it reported that Ukrainian Prosecutor General, Yuriy Lutsenko, told Hill.tv’s reporter John Solomon that the American ambassador to that country, Marie Yovanovitch, gave him a “do not prosecute” list at their first meeting.

Normally, all things Russia are covered by the American press as “bad”, and all things Ukraine are covered by the same as “good.” Yet this report reveals quite a bit about the nature of the deeply embedded US interests that are involved in Ukraine, and which also attempt to control and manipulate policy in the former Soviet republic.

The Hill’s piece continues (with our added emphases):

“Unfortunately, from the first meeting with the U.S. ambassador in Kiev, [Yovanovitch] gave me a list of people whom we should not prosecute,” Lutsenko, who took his post in 2016, told Hill.TV last week.

“My response of that is it is inadmissible. Nobody in this country, neither our president nor our parliament nor our ambassador, will stop me from prosecuting whether there is a crime,” he continued.

Indeed, the Prosecutor General appears to be a man of some principles. When this report was brought to the attention of the US State Department, the response was predictable:

The State Department called Lutsenko’s claim of receiving a do not prosecute list, “an outright fabrication.” 

“We have seen reports of the allegations,” a department spokesperson told Hill.TV. “The United States is not currently providing any assistance to the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO), but did previously attempt to support fundamental justice sector reform, including in the PGO, in the aftermath of the 2014 Revolution of Dignity. When the political will for genuine reform by successive Prosecutors General proved lacking, we exercised our fiduciary responsibility to the American taxpayer and redirected assistance to more productive projects.”

This is an amazing statement in itself. “Our fiduciary responsibility to the American taxpayer”? Are Americans even aware that their country is spending their tax dollars in an effort to manipulate a foreign government in what can probably well be called a low-grade proxy war with the Russian Federation? Again, this appears to be a slip, as most American media do a fair job of maintaining the narrative that Ukraine is completely independent and that its actions regarding the United States and Russia are taken in complete freedom.

Hill.TV has reached out to the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine for comment.

Lutsenko also said that he has not received funds amounting to nearly $4 million that the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine was supposed to allocate to his office, saying that “the situation was actually rather strange” and pointing to the fact that the funds were designated, but “never received.”

“At that time we had a case for the embezzlement of the U.S. government technical assistance worth 4 million U.S. dollars, and in that regard, we had this dialogue,” he said. “At that time, [Yovanovitch] thought that our interviews of Ukrainian citizens, of Ukrainian civil servants, who were frequent visitors of the U.S. Embassy put a shadow on that anti-corruption policy.”

“Actually, we got the letter from the U.S. Embassy, from the ambassador, that the money that we are speaking about [was] under full control of the U.S. Embassy, and that the U.S. Embassy did not require our legal assessment of these facts,” he said. “The situation was actually rather strange because the funds we are talking about were designated for the prosecutor general’s office also and we told [them] we have never seen those, and the U.S. Embassy replied there was no problem.”

“The portion of the funds, namely 4.4 million U.S. dollars were designated and were foreseen for the recipient Prosecutor General’s office. But we have never received it,” he said.

Yovanovitch previously served as the U.S. ambassador to Armenia under former presidents Obama and George W. Bush, as well as ambassador to Kyrgyzstan under Bush. She also served as ambassador to Ukraine under Obama.

Former Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), who was at the time House Rules Committee chairman, voiced concerns about Yovanovitch in a letter to the State Department last year in which he said he had proof the ambassador had spoken of her “disdain” for the Trump administration.

This last sentence may be a way to try to narrow the scope of American interference in Ukraine down to the shenanigans of just a single person with a personal agenda. However, many who have followed the story of Ukraine and its surge in anti-Russian rhetoric, neo-Naziism, ultra-nationalism, and the most recent events surrounding the creation of a pseudo-Orthodox “church” full of Ukrainian nationalists and atheists as a vehicle to import “Western values” into a still extremely traditional and Christian land, know that there are fingerprints of the United States “deep state” embeds all over this situation.

It is somewhat surprising that so much that reveals the problem showed up in just one report. It will be interesting to see if this gets any follow-up in the US press.

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President Putin signs law blocking fake news, but the West makes more

Western media slams President Putin and his fake news law, accusing him of censorship, but an actual look at the law reveals some wisdom.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The TASS Russian News Agency reported on March 18th that Russian President Vladimir Putin signed off on a new law intended to block distorted or untrue information being reported as news. Promptly after he did so, Western news organizations began their attempt to “spin” this event as some sort of proof of “state censorship” in the oppressive sense of the old Soviet Union. In other words, a law designed to prevent fake news was used to create more fake news.

One of the lead publications is a news site that is itself ostensibly a “fake news” site. The Moscow Times tries to portray itself as a Russian publication that is conducted from within Russian borders. However, this site and paper is really a Western publication, run by a Dutch foundation located in the Netherlands. As such, the paper and the website associated have a distinctly pro-West slant in their reporting. Even Wikipedia noted this with this comment from their entry about the publication:

In the aftermath of the Ukrainian crisis, The Moscow Times was criticized by a number of journalists including Izvestia columnist Israel Shamir, who in December 2014 called it a “militant anti-Putin paper, a digest of the Western press with extreme bias in covering events in Russia”.[3] In October 2014 The Moscow Times made the decision to suspend online comments after an increase in offensive comments. The paper said it disabled comments for two reasons—it was an inconvenience for its readers as well as being a legal liability, because under Russian law websites are liable for all content, including user-generated content like comments.[14]

This bias is still notably present in what is left of the publication, which is now an online-only news source. This is some of what The Moscow Times had to say about the new fake news legislation:

The bills amending existing information laws overwhelmingly passed both chambers of Russian parliament in less than two months. Observers and some lawmakers have criticized the legislation for its vague language and potential to stifle free speech.

The legislation will establish punishments for spreading information that “exhibits blatant disrespect for the society, government, official government symbols, constitution or governmental bodies of Russia.”

Insulting state symbols and the authorities, including Putin, will carry a fine of up to 300,000 rubles and 15 days in jail for repeat offenses.

As is the case with other Russian laws, the fines are calculated based on whether the offender is a citizen, an official or a legal entity.

More than 100 journalists and public figures, including human rights activist Zoya Svetova and popular writer Lyudmila Ulitskaya, signed a petition opposing the laws, which they labeled “direct censorship.”

This piece does give a bit of explanation from Dmitry Peskov, showing that European countries also have strict laws governing fake news distribution. However, the Times made the point of pointing out the idea of “insulting governmental bodies of Russia… including Putin” to bolster their claim that this law amounts to real censorship of the press. It developed its point of view based on a very short article from Reuters which says even less about the legislation and how it works.

However, TASS goes into rather exhaustive detail about this law, and it also gives rather precise wording on the reason for the law’s passage, as well as how it is to be enforced. We include most of this text here, with emphases added:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law on blocking untrue and distorting information (fake news). The document was posted on the government’s legal information web portal.

The document supplements the list of information, the access to which may be restricted on the demand by Russia’s Prosecutor General or his deputies. In particular, it imposes a ban on “untrue publicly significant information disseminated in the media and in the Internet under the guise of true reports, which creates a threat to the life and (or) the health of citizens, property, a threat of the mass violation of public order and (or) public security, or the threat of impeding or halting the functioning of vital infrastructural facilities, transport or social infrastructure, credit institutions, energy, industrial or communications facilities.”

Pursuant to the document, in case of finding such materials in Internet resources registered in accordance with the Russian law on the mass media as an online media resource, Russia’s Prosecutor General or his deputies will request the media watchdog Roskomnadzor to restrict access to the corresponding websites.

Based on this request, Roskomnadzor will immediately notify the editorial board of the online media resource, which is in violation of the legislation, about the need to remove untrue information and the media resource will be required to delete such materials immediately. If the editorial board fails to take the necessary measures, Roskomnadzor will send communications operators “a demand to take measures to restrict access to the online resource.”

In case of deleting such untrue information, the website owner will notify Roskomnadzor thereof, following which the media watchdog will “hold a check into the authenticity of this notice” and immediately inform the communications operator about the resumption of the access to the information resource.
The conditions for the law are very specific, as are the penalties for breaking it. TASS continued:

Liability for breaching the law

Simultaneously, the Federation Council approved the associated law with amendments to Russia’s Code of Administrative Offences, which stipulates liability in the form of penalties of up to 1.5 million rubles (around $23,000) for the spread of untrue and distorting information.

The Code’s new article, “The Abuse of the Freedom of Mass Information,” stipulates liability for disseminating “deliberately untrue publicly significant information” in the media or in the Internet. The penalty will range from 30,000 rubles ($450) to 100,000 rubles ($1,520) for citizens, from 60,000 rubles ($915) to 200,000 rubles ($3,040) for officials and from 200,000 rubles to 500,000 rubles ($7,620) for corporate entities with the possible confiscation of the subject of the administrative offence.

Another element of offence imposes tighter liability for the cases when the publication of false publicly significant information has resulted in the deaths of people, has caused damage to the health or property, prompted the mass violation of public order and security or has caused disruption to the functioning of transport or social infrastructure facilities, communications, energy and industrial facilities and banks. In such instances, the fines will range from 300,000 rubles to 400,000 rubles ($6,090) for citizens, from 600,000 rubles to 900,000 rubles ($13,720) for officials, and from 1 million rubles to 1.5 million rubles for corporate entities.

While this legislation can be spun (and is) in the West as anti-free speech, one may also consider the damage that has taken place in the American government through a relentless attack of fake news from most US news outlets against President Trump. One of the most notable effects of this barrage has been to further degrade and destroy the US’ relationship with the Russian Federation, because even the Helsinki Summit was attacked so badly that the two leaders have not been able to get a second summit together.

While it is certainly a valued right of the American press to be unfettered by Congress, and while it is also certainly vital to criticize improper practices by government officials, the American news agencies have gone far past that, to deliberately dishonest attacks, based in innuendo and everything possible that was formerly only the province of gossip tabloid publications. The effort has been to defame the President, not to give proper or due criticism to his policies, nor credit. It can be properly stated that the American press has abused its freedom of late.

This level of abuse drew a very unusual comment from the US president, who wondered on Twitter about the possibility of creating a state-run media center in the US to counter fake news:

Politically correct for US audiences? No. But an astute point?

Definitely.

Freedom in anything also presumes that those with that freedom respect it, and further, that they respect and apply the principle that slandering people and institutions for one’s own personal, business or political gain is wrong. Implied in the US Constitution’s protection of the press is the notion that the press itself, as the rest of the country, is accountable to a much Higher Authority than the State. But when that Authority is rejected, as so much present evidence suggests, then freedom becomes the freedom to misbehave and to agitate. It appears largely within this context that the Russian law exists, based on the text given.

Further, by hitting dishonest media outlets in their pocketbook, rather than prison sentences, the law appears to be very smart in its message: “Do not lie. If you do, you will suffer where it counts most.”

Considering that news media’s purpose is to make money, this may actually be a very smart piece of legislation.

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