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Fake News PropOrNot propaganda smears non MSM news/Russia

 
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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:09 pm    Post subject: Fake News PropOrNot propaganda smears non MSM news/Russia Reply with quote

Koch Bros. & PropOrNot: Feud Explodes Through the Pages of History
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-12/koch-bros-propornot-feud-expl odes-through-pages-history
TDB's picture - by TDB Dec 12, 2016 3:26 PM
Via The Daily Bell
The Martens find PropOrNot background ties to the billionaire Koch brothers, to the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, to the Sarah Scaife Foundation (the Mellon fortune), ExxonMobil, US Senators Chris Murphy and Rob Portman, who tie into Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, “two Wall Street behemoths that would very much like to pivot the national debate to anything other than Wall Street power and corruption.” –Paul Craig Roberts
The recent naming of 200 websites and writers by PropOrNot as agents of Russian disinformation can only be fully appreciated as an explosion ripping through the pages of history and revealing a millennia-old struggle between freedom and repression.

The Koch Brothers and Scaife exercise considerable control over the “moderate” libertarian media including the famous Cato Institute think tank and the leading libertarian magazine Reason.

Meanwhile, the more vigorous and successful (in the 21st century) faction of libertarianism has been anarcho-capitalism, championed notably in modern times by Lew Rockwell and his mentor Murray Rothbard, an important student of the great Ludwig von Mises himself.

Mises’s writings further established the problems of state control by analyzing them through the lens of human action, marginal utility and business cycles. These are explosive insights that are once again under formal attack in some quarters even though the marginal utility, especially, is accepted throughout modern economics. (You can see recent articles of ours here and here.)

Rothbard in fact helped found the Cato Institute before leaving after a fight with the Koch Brothers over ideology and direction. Rothbard and Rockwell then founded the Mises Institute. Lew Rockwell went on to found LewRockwell.com, the eponymous and successful libertarian web-publication.

It never made sense that LewRockwell.com was listed on the PropOrNot website as a disseminator of Russian propaganda (not that any of it makes sense). But if the Koch Brothers and Scaife (through his foundation) are behind PropOrNot it all becomes a lot clearer. At least partially, this would seem to be a furtherance of the Koch vs. Rothbard feud. Congressman Ron Paul, a good friend of Rothbard’s was listed as well.

One way or another many of the often important and passionate websites on the PropOrNot list are grounded (whether they know it or not – or even would admit it) in the Austrian, free-market vision so eloquently (and often voluminously) documented by Mises in such great works as Human Action.

Mises’s books have had such an impact – once the Internet came along and they censorship ceased to be effective – because his codification of human action and business cycles rehearse the age-old confrontation between freedom and tyranny and even, in its largest application, good and evil.

The PropOrNot list is therefore history’s reverberation, an echo of these larger confrontations. It is so very shocking because it confronts us once again with humanity’s larger struggle.

Meanwhile, there are other issues to consider that are slightly more mundane however. Again, both Roberts (above) and the Martens believe the Kochs and Scaife are behind PropOrNot, especially based on PropOrNot’s recommendations and the language used in some of PropOrNot’s statements – among other reasons. If this is so, then both Cato and Reason (the magazine and Foundation) are in some sense participative in the libel of some 200 websites and a former almost-successful presidential candidate Ron Paul.

If this is true, shouldn’t Cato and Reason make every effort to find out the truth? If it is true, shouldn’t they then disassociate themselves from Koch and Scaife and refuse further funding? Prominent libertarian and free-market scholars sitting on the boards or trustee organizations of these groups should also try to find out what’s going on and speak out on the subject.

We’ve mentioned Rand Paul in particular, see here. As a Senator whose father has been directly attacked by PropOrNot, shouldn’t he do what he can to find out who’s behind PropOrNot and if it really is the Kochs and the Scaife Foundation? The silence seems well … “deafening,” yet the issues could not be more important. They are as old as time and as integral to humanity as history itself.

These are important days – see here, the Internet Reformation. The Gutenberg press ushered in convulsive changes that echoed for some 500 years. Books circulated to the general public changed society and then culture. The process helped expand the Renaissance and eventually created the US republic and its “united States.”

The elites of the day were powerless to combat the tumult (though they did try to co-opt certain parts of the press’s impact). Additionally, various elements of freedom were lost as society became more centralized after the so-called Dark Ages. But science was to a degree re-established, along with philosophy and the arts.

Conclusion: The changes wrought by the Internet have hardly begun to be felt. They cannot be stopped without stopping human history. If the Kochs and Scaife are really involved in trying to stop what’s occurring, it’s very sad. And those with any involvement in it, even tangentially, should not be silent. If the Scaife Foundation and the Kochs are not involved, they should speak up and help us understand what's going on.

_________________
www.lawyerscommitteefor9-11inquiry.org
www.rethink911.org
www.patriotsquestion911.com
www.actorsandartistsfor911truth.org
www.mediafor911truth.org
www.pilotsfor911truth.org
www.mp911truth.org
www.ae911truth.org
www.rl911truth.org
www.stj911.org
www.v911t.org
www.thisweek.org.uk
www.abolishwar.org.uk
www.elementary.org.uk
www.radio4all.net/index.php/contributor/2149
http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
https://37.220.108.147/members/www.bilderberg.org/phpBB2/


Last edited by TonyGosling on Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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TonyGosling
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_________________
www.lawyerscommitteefor9-11inquiry.org
www.rethink911.org
www.patriotsquestion911.com
www.actorsandartistsfor911truth.org
www.mediafor911truth.org
www.pilotsfor911truth.org
www.mp911truth.org
www.ae911truth.org
www.rl911truth.org
www.stj911.org
www.v911t.org
www.thisweek.org.uk
www.abolishwar.org.uk
www.elementary.org.uk
www.radio4all.net/index.php/contributor/2149
http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
https://37.220.108.147/members/www.bilderberg.org/phpBB2/
PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the 'bad guys' folks!
Enjoy Smile


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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Anonymous Blacklist Promoted by the Washington Post Has Apparent Ties to Ukrainian Fascism and CIA Spying
Digging deeper into the PropOrNot controversy.
By Mark Ames / AlterNet December 7, 2016
http://www.alternet.org/media/anonymous-blacklist-promoted-washington- post-has-shocking-roots-ukrainian-fascism-eugenics-and

Last month, the Washington Post gave a glowing front-page boost to an anonymous online blacklist of hundreds of American websites, from marginal conspiracy sites to flagship libertarian and progressive publications. As Max Blumenthal reported for AlterNet, the anonymous website argued that all of them should be investigated by the federal government and potentially prosecuted under the Espionage Act as Russian spies, for wittingly or unwittingly spreading Russian propaganda.

My own satirical newspaper was raided and closed down by the Kremlin in 2008, on charges of “extremism”—akin to terrorism—which I took seriously enough to leave for home for good. What the Washington Post did in boosting an anonymous blacklist of American journalists accused of criminal treason is one of the sleaziest, and most disturbing (in a very familiar Kremlin way) things I’ve seen in this country since I fled for home. The WaPo is essentially an arm of the American deep state; its owner, Jeff Bezos, is one of the three richest Americans, worth $67 billion, and his cash cow, Amazon, is a major contractor with the Central Intelligence Agency. In other words, this is as close to an official US government blacklist of journalists as we’ve seen—a dark ominous warning before they take the next steps.

It’s now been a few days, and the shock and disgust is turning to questions about how to fight back—and who we should be fighting against. Who were the Washington Post’s sources for their journalism blacklist?

Smearing a progressive journalism icon

The WaPo smear was authored by tech reporter Craig Timberg, a former national security editor who displayed embarrassing deference to the head of the world’s largest private surveillance operation, billionaire Eric Schmidt—in contrast to his treatment of his journalism colleagues. There’s little in Timberg’s history to suggest he’d lead one of the ugliest public smears of his colleagues in decades. Timberg’s father, a successful mainstream journalist who recently died, wrote hagiographies on his Naval Academy comrades including John McCain, the Senate’s leading Russophobic hawk, and three Iran-Contra conspirators—Oliver North, John Poindexter, and Robert McFarlane, whose crimes Timberg blames on their love of country and sacrifices in Vietnam.

WaPo’s key source was an anonymous online group calling itself PropOrNot (i.e., “Propaganda Or Not”). It was here that the blacklist of American journalists allegedly working with the Kremlin was posted. The Washington Post cited PropOrNot as a credible source, and granted them the right to anonymously accuse major American news outlets of treason, recommending that the government investigate and prosecute them under the Espionage Act for spreading Russian propaganda.

Featured alongside those anonymously accused of treason by PropOrNot, among a long list of marginal conspiracy sites and major news hubs, is Truthdig. This news and opinion site was co-founded by Zuade Kaufman and the veteran journalist Robert Scheer, who is a professor of USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and former columnist for the LA Times. It would not be the first time Scheer has come under attack from dark forces. In the mid-late 1960s, Scheer made his fame as editor and reporter for Ramparts, the fearless investigative magazine that changed American journalism. One of the biggest bombshell stories that Scheer’s magazine exposed was the CIA’s covert funding of the National Student Association, then America’s largest college student organization, which had chapters on 400 campuses and a major presence internationally.

The CIA was not pleased with Scheer’s magazine’s work, and shortly afterwards launched a top-secret and illegal domestic spying campaign against Scheer and Ramparts, believing that they must be a Russian Communist front. A secret team of CIA operatives—kept secret even from the rest of Langley, the operation was so blatantly illegal—spied on Scheer and his Ramparts colleagues, dug through Ramparts’ funders lives and harassed some of them into ditching the magazine, but in all of that they couldn’t find a single piece of evidence linking Scheer’s magazine to Kremlin agents. This secret illegal CIA investigation into Scheer’s magazine expanded its domestic spying project, code-named MH-CHAOS, that grew into a monster targeting hundreds of thousands of Americans, only to be exposed by Seymour Hersh in late 1974, leading to the creation of the Church Committee hearings and calls by Congress for the abolition of the Central Intelligence Agency.

It’s one of the dark ugly ironies that 50 years later, Scheer has been anonymously accused of working for Russian spies, only this time the accusers have the full cooperation of the Washington Post’s front page.

PropOrNot’s Ukrainian fascist salute

Still the question lingers: Who is behind PropOrNot? Who are they? We may have to await the defamation lawsuits that are almost certainly coming from those smeared by the Post and by PropOrNot. Their description sounds like the “About” tab on any number of Washington front groups that journalists and researchers are used to coming across:

“PropOrNot is an independent team of concerned American citizens with a wide range of backgrounds and expertise, including professional experience in computer science, statistics, public policy, and national security affairs.”

The only specific clues given were an admission that at least one of its members with access to its Twitter handle is “Ukrainian-American”. They had given this away in a handful of early Ukrainian-language tweets, parroting Ukrainian ultranationalist slogans, before the group was known.

One PropOrNot tweet, dated November 17, invokes a 1940s Ukrainian fascist salute “Heroiam Slava!!” to cheer a news item on Ukrainian hackers fighting Russians. The phrase means “Glory to the heroes” and it was formally introduced by the fascist Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) at their March-April 1941 congress in Nazi occupied Cracow, as they prepared to serve as Nazi auxiliaries in Operation Barbarossa. As historian Grzgorz Rossoliński-Liebe, author of the definitive biography on Ukraine’s wartime fascist leader and Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera, explained:

“the OUN-B introduced another Ukrainian fascist salute at the Second Great Congress of the Ukrainian Nationalists in Cracow in March and April 1941. This was the most popular Ukrainian fascist salute and had to be performed according to the instructions of the OUN-B leadership by raising the right arm ‘slightly to the right, slightly above the peak of the head’ while calling ‘Glory to Ukraine!’ (Slava Ukraїni!) and responding ‘Glory to the Heroes!’ (Heroiam Slava!).”

Two months after formalizing this salute, Nazi forces allowed Bandera’s Ukrainian fascists to briefly take control of Lvov, at the time a predominantly Jewish and Polish city—whereupon the Ukrainian “patriots” murdered, tortured and raped thousands of Jews, in one of the most barbaric and bloodiest pogroms ever.

Since the 2014 Maidan Revolution brought Ukrainian neo-fascists back into the highest rungs of power, Ukraine’s Nazi collaborators and wartime fascists have been rehabilitated as heroes, with major highways and roads named after them, and public commemorations. The speaker of Ukraine’s parliament, Andriy Parubiy, founded Ukraine’s neo-Nazi “Social-National Party of Ukraine” and published a white supremacist manifesto, “View From the Right” featuring the parliament speaker in full neo-Nazi uniform in front of fascist flags with the Nazi Wolfsangel symbol. Ukraine’s powerful Interior Minister, Arsen Avakov, sponsors several ultranationalist and neo-Nazi militia groups like the Azov Battalion, and last month he helped appoint another neo-Nazi, Vadym Troyan, as head of Ukraine’s National Police. (Earlier this year, when Troyan was still police chief of the capital Kiev, he was widely accused of having ordered an illegal surveillance operation on investigative journalist Pavel Sheremet just before his assassination by car bomb.)

A Ukrainian intelligence service blacklist as PropOrNot’s model

Since coming to power in the 2014 Maidan Revolution, Ukraine’s US-backed regime has waged an increasingly surreal war on journalists who don’t toe the Ukrainian ultranationalist line, and against treacherous Kremlin propagandists, real and imagined. Two years ago, Ukraine established a “Ministry of Truth”. This year the war has gone from surreal paranoia to an increasingly deadly kind of “terror.”

One of the more frightening policies enacted by the current oligarch-nationalist regime in Kiev is an online blacklist of journalists accused of collaborating with pro-Russian “terrorists.” The website, “Myrotvorets” or “Peacemaker”—was set up by Ukrainian hackers working with state intelligence and police, all of which tend to share the same ultranationalist ideologies as Parubiy and the newly-appointed neo-Nazi chief of the National Police.

Condemned by the Committee to Protect Journalists and numerous news organizations in the West and in Ukraine, the online blacklist includes the names and personal private information on some 4,500 journalists, including several western journalists and Ukrainians working for western media. The website is designed to frighten and muzzle journalists from reporting anything but the pro-nationalist party line, and it has the backing of government officials, spies and police—including the SBU (Ukraine’s successor to the KGB), the powerful Interior Minister Avakov and his notorious far-right deputy, Anton Geraschenko.

Ukraine’s journalist blacklist website—operated by Ukrainian hackers working with state intelligence—led to a rash of death threats against the doxxed journalists, whose email addresses, phone numbers and other private information was posted anonymously to the website. Many of these threats came with the wartime Ukrainian fascist salute: “Slava Ukraini!” [Glory to Ukraine!] So when PropOrNot’s anonymous “researchers” reveal only their Ukrainian(s) identity, it’s hard not to think about the spy-linked hackers who posted the deadly “Myrotvorets” blacklist of “treasonous” journalists.

The DNC’s Ukrainian ultra-nationalist researcher cries treason

Because the PropOrNot blacklist of American journalist “traitors” is anonymous, and the Washington Post front-page article protects their anonymity, we can only speculate on their identity with what little information they’ve given us. And that little bit of information reveals only a Ukrainian ultranationalist thread—the salute, the same obsessively violent paranoia towards Russia, and towards journalists, who in the eyes of Ukrainian nationalists have always been dupes and stooges, if not outright collaborators, of Russian evil.

One of the key media sources who blamed the DNC hacks on Russia, ramping up fears of crypto-Putinist infiltration, is a Ukrainian-American lobbyist working for the DNC. She is Alexandra Chalupa—described as the head of the Democratic National Committee’s opposition research on Russia and on Trump, and founder and president of the Ukrainian lobby group “US United With Ukraine Coalition”, which lobbied hard to pass a 2014 bill increasing loans and military aid to Ukraine, imposing sanctions on Russians, and tightly aligning US and Ukraine geostrategic interests.

In October of this year, Yahoo News named Chalupa one of “16 People Who Shaped the 2016 Election” for her role in pinning the DNC leaks on Russian hackers, and for making the case that the Trump campaign was under Kremlin control. “As a Democratic Party consultant and proud Ukrainian-American, Alexandra Chalupa was outraged last spring when Donald Trump named Paul Manafort as his campaign manager,” the Yahoo profile began. “As she saw it, Manafort was a key figure in advancing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s agenda inside her ancestral homeland — and she was determined to expose it.”

Chalupa worked with veteran reporter Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News to publicize her opposition research on Trump, Russia and Paul Manafort, as well as her many Ukrainian sources. In one leaked DNC email earlier this year, Chalupa boasts to DNC Communications Director Luis Miranda that she brought Isikoff to a US-government sponsored Washington event featuring 68 Ukrainian journalists, where Chalupa was invited “to speak specifically about Paul Manafort.” In turn, Isikoff named her as the key inside source “proving” that the Russians were behind the hacks, and that Trump’s campaign was under the spell of Kremlin spies and sorcerers.

(In 2008, when I broke the story about the Manafort-Kremlin ties in The Nation with Ari Berman, I did not go on to to accuse him or John McCain, whose campaign was being run by Manafort’s partner, of being Manchurian Candidates under the spell of Vladimir Putin. Because they weren’t; instead, they were sleazy, corrupt, hypocritical politicians who followed money and power rather than principle. A media hack feeding frenzy turned Manafort from what he was—a sleazy scumbag—into a fantastical Kremlin mole, forcing Manafort to resign from the Trump campaign, thanks in part to kompromat material leaked by the Ukrainian SBU, successor to the KGB.)

Meanwhile, Chalupa’s Twitter feed went wild accusing Trump of treason—a crime that carries the death penalty. Along with well over 100 tweets hashtagged #TreasonousTrump Chalupa repeatedly asked powerful government officials and bodies like the Department of Justice to investigate Trump for the capital crime of treason. In the weeks since the election, Chalupa has repeatedly accused both the Trump campaign and Russia of rigging the elections, demanding further investigations. According to The Guardian, Chalupa recently sent a report to Congress proving Russian hacked into the vote count, hoping to initiate a Congressional investigation. In an interview with Gothamist, Chalupa described alleged Russian interference in the election result as “an act of war.”

To be clear, I am not arguing that Chalupa is behind PropOrNot. But it is important to provide context to the boasts by PropOrNot about its Ukrainian nationalist links—within the larger context of the Clinton campaign’s anti-Kremlin hysteria, which crossed the line into Cold War xenophobia time and time again, an anti-Russian xenophobia shared by Clinton’s Ukrainian nationalist allies. To me, it looks like a classic case of blowback: A hyper-nationalist group whose extremism happens to be useful to American geopolitical ambitions, and is therefore nurtured to create problems for our competitor. Indeed, the US has cultivated extreme Ukrainian nationalists as proxies for decades, since the Cold War began.

As investigative journalist Russ Bellant documented in his classic exposé, “Old Nazis, New Right,” Ukrainian Nazi collaborators were brought into the United States and weaponized for use against Russia during the Cold War, despite whatever role they may have played in the Holocaust and in the mass slaughter of Ukraine’s ethnic Poles. After spending so many years encouraging extreme Ukrainian nationalism, it’s no surprise that the whole policy is beginning to blow back.

WaPo’s other source: A loony, far-right eugenicist think tank

Besides PropOrNot, the Washington Post’s Craig Timberg relied on only one other source to demonstrate the influence of Russian propaganda: the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI), whose “fellow” Clint Watts is cited by name, along with a report he co-authored, “Trolling for Trump: How Russia is Trying to Destroy Our Democracy.”

Somehow, in the pushback and outrage over the WaPo blacklist story, the FPRI has managed to fly under the radar. So much so that when Fortune’s Matthew Ingram correctly described the FPRI as “proponents of the Cold War” he was compelled to issue a clarification, changing the description to “a conservative think tank known for its hawkish stance on relations between the US and Russia.”

In fact, historically the Foreign Policy Research Institute has been one of the looniest (and spookiest) extreme-right think tanks since the early Cold War days, promoting “winnable” nuclear war, maximum confrontation with Russia, and attacking anti-colonialism as dangerously unworkable. One of the key brains behind the FPRI’s extreme-right Cold War views also happened to be a former Austrian fascist official who, upon emigrating to America, became one of this country’s leading proponents of racial eugenics and white supremacy.

The Foreign Policy Research Institute was founded by Robert Strausz-Hupé and set up on the University of Pennsylvania campus, with backing from the Vick’s chemical company, funder of numerous reactionary rightwing causes since the New Deal began. And, as the New York Times reported, the FPRI also was covertly funded by the CIA, a revelation that would lead to student protests and the FPRI removing itself from Penn’s campus in 1970.

_________________
www.lawyerscommitteefor9-11inquiry.org
www.rethink911.org
www.patriotsquestion911.com
www.actorsandartistsfor911truth.org
www.mediafor911truth.org
www.pilotsfor911truth.org
www.mp911truth.org
www.ae911truth.org
www.rl911truth.org
www.stj911.org
www.v911t.org
www.thisweek.org.uk
www.abolishwar.org.uk
www.elementary.org.uk
www.radio4all.net/index.php/contributor/2149
http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
https://37.220.108.147/members/www.bilderberg.org/phpBB2/
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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:42 pm    Post subject: Fake News propaganda to smear non MSM news and Russia Reply with quote

Interesting to note Google Chrome 'Fake News' apps launched two days before 17th Nov 2016 Obama/Merkel 'Fake News' speech in Berlin.
So the president and the chancellor were doing PR for Google.


Download these Chrome extensions that flag fake news on your parents' computers
http://mashable.com/2016/11/16/fake-news-alert-chrome-extension/
BY EMMA HINCHLIFFE NOV 16, 2016
A week after the presidential election, the fight against fake news is finally ramping up.
A new browser extension will warn readers when they arrive at a website known to produce fake news or hoaxes. The pop-up or banner alerts readers that "the information on this site might be false or misleading."
The "Fake News Alert" Chrome extension, created by New York magazine journalist Brian Feldman, joins the B.S. Detector Chrome extension launched Tuesday that identifies hoax news articles on Facebook.

'Russian hackers' penetrate US power grid with 'outdated Ukrainian malware' [LOL!]
https://www.rt.com/usa/372347-russian-hackers-power-grid/
31 Dec 2016 | A Vermont utility sounded the alarm after finding malware code on a laptop that the FBI and DHS had touted as associated with Russian hackers. However, cybersecurity specialists say the code came from an outdated Ukrainian hacking tool. On Thursday, the FBI and DHS released a joint report on a hacking operation they called 'Grizzly Steppe'. They claimed the operation was linked to the Russian government, alleging that it had targeted "US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations." ...The US media [Grade 'A' sociopaths] reported the incident as if Russian hackers had penetrated America's electric grids, prompting some officials to call on the federal government to protect Americans from Russian President Vladimir Putin. [In actuality, it was the US that released the Stuxnet virus on Iran's nuclear reactors (an act of war) and possibly on TEPCO's Fukushima nuclear plant. --LRP]

_________________
www.lawyerscommitteefor9-11inquiry.org
www.rethink911.org
www.patriotsquestion911.com
www.actorsandartistsfor911truth.org
www.mediafor911truth.org
www.pilotsfor911truth.org
www.mp911truth.org
www.ae911truth.org
www.rl911truth.org
www.stj911.org
www.v911t.org
www.thisweek.org.uk
www.abolishwar.org.uk
www.elementary.org.uk
www.radio4all.net/index.php/contributor/2149
http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
https://37.220.108.147/members/www.bilderberg.org/phpBB2/


Last edited by TonyGosling on Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:56 pm; edited 4 times in total
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'BBC sets up team to debunk fake news':
https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/jan/12/bbc-sets-up-team-to-debu nk-fake-news

'

The BBC is to assemble a team to fact check and debunk deliberately misleading and false stories masquerading as real news.

Amid growing concern among politicians and news organisations about the impact of false information online, news chief James Harding told staff on Thursday that the BBC would be “weighing in on the battle over lies, distortions and exaggerations”.

The plans will see the corporation’s Reality Check series become permanent, backed by a dedicated team targeting false stories or facts being shared widely on social media.

“The BBC can’t edit the internet, but we won’t stand aside either,” Harding said. “We will fact check the most popular outliers on Facebook, Instagram and other social media.
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“We are working with Facebook, in particular, to see how we can be most effective. Where we see deliberately misleading stories masquerading as news, we’ll publish a Reality Check that says so.

“And we want Reality Check to be more than a public service, we want it to be hugely popular. We will aim to use styles and formats – online, on TV and on radio – that ensure the facts are more fascinating and grabby than the falsehoods.”

False information around big events such as the UK’s referendum on leaving the EU and the US election has been especially rife, with numerous instances of completely fabricated stories, many of which are created with the sole aim of generating advertising revenue from people viewing the stories.

Facebook has been singled out as the platform that has enabled false stories to spread most widely. Late last year the site unveiled plans to allow users to flag false stories, which would then be assessed with the help of third party fact checking organisations such as FullFact and Snopes in the US.
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The BBC’s Reality Check team will focus on content that is clearly fabricated and attempting to mislead the public into thinking it has been produced by a reputable news organisation.

The decision to combat what has come to be called fake news comes at an especially sensitive time in the debate over the veracity of information online. Following reports concerning a document containing a number of serious and salacious allegations against Donald Trump, the US president-elect held a press conference in which he told a reporter from CNN “you are fake news”.

The new emphasis on tackling false information is part of the BBC’s attempt to do more “slow news”, using in-depth analysis and expertise in a bid to help the public understand an especially tumultuous period in the UK’s history.

The plans also include establishing an expertise network drawing on staff across the BBC, creating an “intelligence unit” within the World Service, which has received £290m to expand its reach into new languages, and putting more resources into data journalism.

Harding said the corporation had been inundated by news in 2016 because the world was “living in an age of instability”.

“Normal rules disrupted by low growth and high inequality; technological innovation spurring behavioural change and job insecurity; identity politics supplanting the old parties and fuelling narratives of exclusion.

“We also need to explain what’s driving the news. We need slow news, news with more depth – data, investigations, analysis, expertise – to help us explain the world we’re living in.”

I had to double-check it wasn't April 1st!

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, The World Service has been handed £289million to counteract RT.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Diamonds in the cesspool: our directory of fake ‘fake news’
‘Fake news’ – Corporate/military propagandists & intelligence agencies’ assault on bloggers/social media
https://politicsthisweek.wordpress.com/fake-fake-news/

Fake fake news – a page dedicated to some of Martin Summers and Tony Gosling’s picks of the world’s best internet news sites and aggregators which, because they are showing up mainstream media (MSM) lies, are, as of US president Barack Obama’s visit to Germany on Thursday 17th November 2016, denounced by the mainstream London and Washington media. A common thread running between these ‘fake news’ sites is many don’t accept the official account of Al Qaeda/Bin Laden being behind the 2001, 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington.

Two types of lists of ‘fake news’ are being published, some list only commercial disinformation and sensationalist websites but most deliberately mix up the world’s most reliable sources of internet news with the deliberate disinformation sites in an attempt to ‘contaminate’, or reduce traffic to the legitimate sites and awareness of the issues they raise. An attemp to discredit critiques of EU/US corporate propaganda. All disinfo sites also include some genuine stories, usually reproduced from legitimate sources.

‘Fake news’ sites denounced and listed by:

Melissa Zimdars – an assistant professor of communication at Merrimack College in Massachusetts – False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and Satirical “News” Sources

Anonymous – An ‘independent team of concerned American citizens with a wide range of backgrounds and expertise’ – Prop Or Not – Is It Propaganda Or Not?

The Daily Dot – Here are all the ‘fake news’ sites to watch out for on Facebook, by Andrew Couts

Diamonds in the cesspool:

Global Research – Michel Chossudovsky – www.GlobalResearch.ca

1000 times better than corporate owned Wikipedia – Wikispooks – Robin Upton – www.WikiSpooks.com

Zero Hedge – www.ZeroHedge.com

Intelligence Hub – www.IntelliHub.com

The Duran – www.TheDuran.com

Information Clearing House – recommended by ex-Bristol MP Tony Benn – www.InformationClearingHouse.info


Former UN military analyst – The Saker – www.TheSaker.is

Blacklisted News – www.BlacklistedNews.com

Consortium News – www.ConsortiumNews.com

21st Century Wire – Patrick Henningson – www.21stCenturyWire.com

Foreign Policy Journal – www.ForeignPolicyJournal.com

Investment Watch – www.InvestmentWatchBlog.com

New Eastern Outlook – www.Journal-NEO.org

Mint Press News – www.MintPressNews.com

Former economic adviser to US president Ronald Reagan – Paul Craig Roberts – www.PaulCraigRoberts.org

Pravda – Russian – www.PravdaReport.com

Iran State Broadcasting service – www.PressTV.ir

Resistance Is Not Futile – Mick Meaney – www.RINF.com

Russian State Broadcasting service – Russia Today – www.RT.com

Russia Insider – www.Russia-Insider.com

Signs Of The Times – Quantum Future Group (QFG) – www.SOTT.net

Peoples’ military analysis site – www.SouthFront.org

Russian State radio service – www.SputnikNews.com

Strategic Culture – www.Strategic-Culture.org

Veterans of the Israeli attack on US Navy ship USS Liberty – www.USSlibertyVeterans.org

World’s first 911 Truth site – Voltaire Network – Thierry Meyssan – www.VoltaireNet.org/en

Washington’s blog – www.WashingtonsBlog.com

We Are Change – Luke Rudkowski – www.WeAreChange.org

Breitbart News – www.Breitbart.com

Natural News – www.NaturalNews.com

The Fourth Media – www.4thMedia.org

Daily Anti War News – Justin Raimondo – www.AntiWar.com

The Corbett report – James Corbett – www.CorbettReport.com

Countercurrents – www.Countercurrents.org

What Really Happened – Mike Rivero’s news aggregator – www.WhatReallyHappened.com

Wikileaks – Julian Assange – www.WikiLeaks.org

Corners of free news – fie on all MILINCOM mass media propaganda

www.globalresearch.ca The Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) is an independent research and media organization based in Montreal. The CRG is a registered non-profit organization in the province of Quebec, Canada

www.911forum.org.uk long-running 9/11 discussion news site which Tony edits

www.thesaker.is Judge me not by what I say about myself, but by my blog or, better, my book. All of the above is true, but these are my *external life circumstances* and they do not say much about who I really *am*. My writings do. Study them (if so inclined) and you will know who I am.

www.washingtonsblog.com Government leaders are doing all of the wrong things for the economy, and that the economy cannot fundamentally stabilize – and we cannot regain prosperity – unless:

The widespread fraud as a business model by the biggest Wall Street players is prosecuted
The giant but insolvent banks are broken up
Government policies stop making the rich richer and everyone else poorer
Government stops encouraging insane levels of leverage
Governments stop trying to prop up unsustainable levels of debt to protect bondholders, and start forcing a debt “jubilee”
The endless wars are stopped (contrary to widespread myth, war greatly weakens our economy)
Launched on March 26, 2002, SOTT.net is a research project of the non-profit Quantum Future Group (QFG). The project includes collecting, arranging, and analyzing news items that seem to best reflect the dominant ‘energies’ on the planet. This research further includes noting whether or not human beings, individually and/or collectively, can actually remember from one day to the next the state of the planet, and whether they are able to accurately read that information and make intelligent decisions about their future based on that knowledge. In short, SOTT.net is an experiment. Today, SOTT is comprised of an international body of 159 volunteer editors, including many leading-edge professionals in the so-called hard sciences, medicine, history, sociology, psychology, engineering, and information technology. Whatever the topic, SOTT.net has an expert (or two!) who handles content in that particular field.

cogbias wrote:
Also, The World Service has been handed £289million to counteract RT.

Link?

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http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great example of a BBC researcher asking a satire site to come on national radio to discuss a real story.

Daily news, satire and comment from the world's worst local newspaper.
http://rochdaleherald.co.uk/




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www.rethink911.org
www.patriotsquestion911.com
www.actorsandartistsfor911truth.org
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www.pilotsfor911truth.org
www.mp911truth.org
www.ae911truth.org
www.rl911truth.org
www.stj911.org
www.v911t.org
www.thisweek.org.uk
www.abolishwar.org.uk
www.elementary.org.uk
www.radio4all.net/index.php/contributor/2149
http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
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outsider
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'FAKE NEWS WEEK: Exposing The Mainstream Consensus Reality Complex':
http://21stcenturywire.com/2017/02/07/fake-news-week-exposing-the-main stream-consensus-reality-complex/

'February 7, 2017 By 21wire 10 Comments

'In response to the establishment media’s contrived ‘fake news’ crisis designed to marginalise independent and alternative media sources of news and analysis, 21WIRE is running its own #FakeNewsWeek campaign, where each day our editorial team at 21st Century Wire will feature media critiques and analysis of mainstream corporate media coverage of current events – exposing the government and the mainstream media as the real purveyors of ‘fake news’ throughout modern history…

Patrick Henningsen
21st Century Wire

Some things never change. In the 21st century, people in power are still attacking independent voices for speaking up for what they believe, and for sharing their opinions.

The first time I heard the term ‘fake news’ uttered in unison from the mouths of mainstream media pundits, the irony was overtaken by the absurdity of it. It was beyond outrageous, and hearing it coming from the mainstream media was bordering on vaudeville. After watching and analyzing decades of media deception and government-issued press releases masquerading as hard news, and then to see the establishment attempting to force-feed this meme down our collective mainstream feeding tube, I suppose that would make the old editorial board at Soviet Izvestia wince (not that they were any worse than CNN is today).

Sure it’s laughable, but it’s also incredibly sad to watch otherwise well-educated, smart and intelligent media professionals get so caught up in the political comedy-tragedy that was the 2016 Election – they volunteered en mass to abandon their senses and any semblance of journalistic objectivity, in order to join in a virtual witch-hunt. This was a new low-point for mainstream media, and for America.

This topic is vast and growing more controversial by the day. There’s a lot to unpack and we know, based on past performance, the mainstream media can’t be trusted to do an objective job, much less critique itself. Their conversation is completely out of order. To help right this process, 21WIRE has launched Fake News Week to help educate the public on aspects of this important issue which will most certainly be ignored by the establishment media. Throughout this week, we will present a number well-researched articles cataloguing actual fake news and demonstrating this is a mainstream problem, and one as old as the media itself.

The Story of Fake News

Since the dawn of mass media in the 20th century, media propaganda has been steadily advancing in western societies. This process is being accelerated through technology. If you are waiting for the mainstream media to finally get together for some mass-mea culpa or have one giant come to Jesus moment, then you’ll just be waiting for Godot. No, instead of reigning itself in, they have constructed an elaborate straw man instead, which they are calling “fake news.”

With the passage of the US presidential election, many thought that the ‘fake news’ meme would die off. Instead, the Establishment is doubling down on it, in hysterical fashion.

We’re told that the real problem started because of an unlikely ‘fake news’ cottage industry, supposedly run out of the Balkans, in a little Macedonian village called Velles (if we are to take The Guardian and BuzzFeed’s word for it, anyway), where enterprising eastern European teens started pumping out countless fake news articles, making use major social media platforms to propel their articles. That’s right, there was actual fake news circulating on Facebook, but calling it news is a bit of an overstatement. If one were to accurately label it, it would just be called junk.

It was in late September that I first noticed all of these fake news posts pouring into nearly every Facebook news groups I subscribed to. I began collecting links from about 50 URLs in a vain attempt construct a database in order to work out where it was coming from, who was behind it, and what was the object of the exercise. At first thing I thought, ‘how could anyone take any of these seriously?’ Everyone is used to junk on Facebook, but these were ridiculous like, “Hillary Clinton Buying Illegal Weapons – Kremlin Reports.”

As it turns out, the only people who took these stories seriously were the mainstream media and Clinton supporters – both of whom are insisting that these spoof stories somehow swung the US election. Sure, there is a radical minority of short attention span web surfers and 3am Reddit junkies who would grab and run with these type of stories, but I would think that most normal people would have thought, “What idiot would believe any of these.” By November, my database of fake news and “election news” websites was approach 300. It became clear that new websites were being launched almost daily. These sites had a few things in common; all were over-loaded with Click Bait pop-up ads, and many of them carried malicious malware. Undoubtedly, the owners of these faux news sites had been raking-in a fortune in CMP ad revenues based on traffic that was not so much driven by genuine interest, but rather out of entertainment-based curiosity, and possibly a depraved desire to shock friends and loved ones with crazy online stories. The real damage was subtle – by flooding social media with junk, they would rapidly push real independent news and alternative media articles down the page’s timeline, and into cyber limbo.

Qui bono? Certainly, the establishment media, watching their main competition – real independent media outlets, drowning in a cesspool of internet flotsam and jetsam of fake Trump and Hillary ‘articles.’ Just like those cheap Chinese knock-offs at your local flea market, someone aped the alternative media, devaluing and damaging it in the process. If only it had ended there…

On Nov 18, 2016, I woke up to an inbox full of friends and colleagues informing me that this website, 21stCenturyWire.com, had been featured in the L.A. Times exposé on ‘fake news’ – the first major blacklist of ‘fake news’ websites featured in the mainstream media entitled, “Want to keep fake news out of your newsfeed? College professor creates list of sites to avoid.” A number of these blacklists have appeared online for a number of years, but this was the first time such a list was given credence by a mainstream publication.

The list was created by Dr Melissa Zimdars, an academic and radical liberal activist from Merrimack College in Massachusetts. The story was quickly syndicated all over the globe, including spinoff reports by CNN and The Guardian. Not surprisingly, the author of the article was another liberal activist, a journalist named Jessica Roy. Like Zimdars, Jessica Roy is a feminist activist, and had previously used her position as a mainstream journalist to produce hit pieces promoting a radical liberal social agenda. Both Roy and Zimdars appear to support many of the same causes and are pushing similar political campaigns on social media, and were likely committed Hillary Clinton supporters too. With that in mind, both Roy and Zimdars were probably very unhappy about 21WIRE’s harsh criticism of Secretary Clinton’s tenure as head of the US State Department under Obama from 2009-2013, and probably were not chuffed either that we called the establishment’s official ‘Russian Hack’ conspiracy theory a hoax during the presidential campaign. Both of those articles went viral in the week before the election.

Many other excellent and reputable independent news sites were also on the list, but were intentionally placed alongside well-known satire websites, as well as with obvious poorly crafted ‘fake news’ sites. I seriously wondered if Dr Zimdars, a professor in media studies, thought so little of her own students that they should require her professional guidance to tell them that the The Onion is not a real news site. She also lists other satirical websites like Britain’s Private Eye on her list. Less than two days after the article appeared, Zimdars removed Private Eye from the list (probably after getting an email from their legal department). Here we can see she has thrown a variety of people into one giant basket (of deplorables), thus branding everyone with the same derogatory label of ‘fake news’ or its progenitor, ‘conspiracy theory.’

What’s worse however, is that Merrimack College’s Melissa Zimdars appears to have lifted her celebrated list from a wacky left-wing blog site who had haphazardly cobbled the original list together (no visible methodology as to the selection process) and which had been fermenting up online for quite some time, long before Dr Zimdars was elevated by the LA Times and CNN. Not exactly academic, but the culture cops don’t seem to care.

Regardless, one would hope that any conscientious professional would agree that Zimdars’ effort, or lack thereof, was a foolhardy attempt at passing off a politically-motivated virtual book burning list as a ‘study.’ It would be unacceptable for any undergraduate, or graduate student, much less something submitted as course material by a professor. And, to think that her students would pay thousands of dollars in course fees for Dr. Zimdars to teach them how to surf the internet. Is the bar really that low? I can’t help but wonder how many of those students also signed-up for Critical Thinking 101.

Judging by the amount of right-wing websites on her list, it’s clear this was a political hit piece. That was the intention of article author Jessica Roy, evidenced by the fact that she offered no specifics of why any of these sites were on the list, nor did she challenge Dr Zimdars. Whatever it was, it was not journalism.

A few days later, after the article in question was published in the LA Times, the paper removed the PDF image of the list, stating ‘fears and threats’ as the reason for its disappearance. Their editor issued this statement:

“The professor who created the list has taken down the Google doc. She said it was a safety measure in response to threats and harassment she and her students and colleagues had received. She is continuing to work on it and plans to release it in the future in a format other than a Google doc.”

It’s hard to keep up with Dr Zimdars’ definitive guide to the internet because she has revised and changed so many times. Here is a version from January 2017:

2017-DR ZIMDARS – False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and Satirical “News” Sources – Google Docs

Soon after, I contacted the LA Times, asking their editorial board for the right to reply in my own defense in their opinion section, citing my belief that Roy and Zimdars had created a politicized piece which was hardly fair and balanced, and was designed to slander and discredit all of the websites on their list. I finally received a reply from Larry Ingrassia at the LA Times. The paper’s excuse for denying me a right of reply was weak and evasive. Ingrassia stated to me that:

LA Times letter 2017-02-06 at 18.02.54

Ingrassia’s claim that my website is not mentioned in the article was not true. In fact, 21stCenturyWire.com appeared at the very top of the list in the database table image of Zimdars’ list in the article. Just because it wasn’t in the text of the article doesn’t mean it wasn’t still visible to millions of readers. Likewise, just because the LA Times had later removed the database table image from the article, and replaced it with a hyperlink to Zimdars’ Google Doc, is no excuse either – because the list was up on the LA Times website, and was widely syndicated during that time.

As it happened, I did email Dr Zimdars immediately after seeing Jessica Roy’s LA Times article asking her why she had included my website on her list, and to cite any specific news articles which she thought were ‘fake’ or ‘conspiracy’ and asked her to please remove 21stCenturyWire.com from her list. Not surprisingly, she did not reply to my request. Perhaps she realized that every one of the thousands of articles on our website contain either secondary, or primary source, and include more reference links than you will find on most mainstream media reports. For an academic who purports to hold so many persons and their websites accountable for being ‘fake news’ – when confronted about her work, she acts aloof and completely unaccountable. This further proves the point that this was not a study, but rather an activist campaign, done on the Merrimack College’s dime.

My experience with the LA Times was a disappointing one – seeing a paper running with a cheap politicized hit piece, and then being dismissive when asked for equal time on the issue. Such is the state of many leading American media institutions. If this is what passes for the Fourth Estate in today’s America, then the country is in deep trouble.

Mainstream Trolling

A few days later, I was then contacted by one of the US mainstream media most established investigative news programs, NBC Dateline. It was clear from their correspondence that they wanted to draw me into another fake news hit piece. This is one of NBC Dateline’s email to me:

1 NBC 2017-02-06 at 22.45.46

If was bad enough to be slandered by a major national news outlet, now I was being trolled by the country’s largest broadcast TV network?

My reply to NBC’s Calabrese was long but polite, and at the end I simply asked her for specifics – in other words, what exactly were these “unconfirmed reports” she was accusing 21st Century Wire of publishing? As a reporter for a major outlet like NBC, I should rightly assume that she might be able to provide me with some substance, and not just an ad hominem accusation. Here is part of my reply:

“Our content is not “fake” and anyone with a basic understanding of geopolitics and media should be able to tell that. Many people like our work, and many I am sure do not like it. But the content should speak for itself. If you find some articles on our site that you feel are “Click Bait-y” or “fake news” – then let me know and I would be more than happy to help and discuss your findings.”

Just like with Dr. Zimdars, I received no reply from NBC. This led me to conclude that they were not at all interested in having a candid discussion about the state of the media today, a discussion I offered to have. But NBC wasn’t looking for a real conversation on media. Maybe they were just looking for an easy mark, someone to set-up and frame in a exposé on the scourge of ‘fake news.’ Another drive-by, hit-and-run piece.

This wasn’t the first time. We’ve had similar approaches before by the BBC and others, sometimes through a third party, and always looking to draw us into one of their discomfiting ‘conspiracy’ features on their network.

Whatever it is that NBC thought we did that warranted an NBC Dateline hit piece, surely it can’t be any worse than NBC’s disgraced anchorman Brian Williams, now widely regarded as a serial liar. If you expected the company would want to preserve some integrity by letting him go after that embarrassment, you’d be wrong. The same with CNN, after it was revealed how many of their staff were colluding with the Clinton campaign. Was anyone fired? The only person they let go was Donna Brazile, who was only a contributor and not a real member of staff.

This begs the question: are big mainstream media outlets really capable of policing themselves? The answer to that question might tell us why the mainstream media have a 14% approval rating according to a recent Gallop poll.

Take the big network’s Syria coverage for instance. What about its ridiculous coverage of the 7 year old human agit-prop Twitter sensation, Bana of Aleppo? What about NBC getting its reports exclusively from Nusra Front (al Qaeda in Syria) occupied East Aleppo, and then spreading exaggerated false claims of “a complete meltdown of humanity” when in reality the terrorist-held part of the city was being liberated by the Syrian government? Unlike NBC, a billion dollar media operation, little 21WIRE actually had journalists like Vanessa Beeley reporting from on the ground in Aleppo during this period. Unlike NBC, we were able to give our readers and listeners an accurate depiction of events – although maybe not the pro-terrorist, or ‘activist’ version of events which the western mainstream media have relied on through six years of war in Syria, consistently and conveniently feeding the mainstream media what it wanted – a regime change’ narrative which was streamlined with US State Department, CIA and British Foreign Office policy. Did it ever occur to them that someone should go and talk to Aleppo’s residents? It did to us. We figured the terrorists already had plenty of media coverage, what with NBC, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, BBC, Channel 4, the New York Times, The Guardian and others all in tow.

These mainstream outlets would never give any any credit to 21WIRE and Vanessa Beeley for its coverage in Syria, no matter good the reporting is – because we’re not conveying the ‘right’ narrative, which is the Establishment’s narrative. In that sense, we out-performed the entire mainstream media on one of the biggest stories of the last five years – the Liberation of Aleppo. Maybe that’s why they are coming after us.

Channelling McCarthy

Clearly, the corporate mainstream media in America has attempted to blame Hillary Clinton’s loss on ‘fake news.’ Clinton herself called it ‘an epidemic.’ Indeed, it is an epidemic, however the unwashed masses on the internet are not the source of that pandemic. They should be looking in the mirror – for colluding behind the scenes with the Clinton campaign, first to kill-off the Bernie Sanders nomination, before colluding in the general election, too, thus betraying the fundamental principles of a Fourth Estate.

As bad as those outlets appear to be, they almost pale in comparison to this next incident…

On November 24, 2016, The Washington Post descended deep into the lower detritus of the DC swamp. This piece of propaganda was simply breathtaking. The journalist who drew the short straw for this job was none other than Craig Timberg, who is also a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University. It sounds impressive, until you see his work.

In his feature entitled, “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, Experts say,” Timberg placed The Post into a leading role in waging a new McCarthy-style witch hunt, targeting hundreds of independent websites and blogs, most of them American, accusing them of being part of a giant Russian conspiracy to undermine American democracy on behalf of the Kremlin.

“Experts say”? Did they really? Only, in this case, Timberg would name his ‘experts’ – a cadre of secret sources operating under the anonymous collective brand of PropOrNot. We’re told that these patriots had to protect their identity for fear of retribution from Putin’s equally secret army of hackers. What was this, other than a propaganda piece run by The Post, one which could just as easily be classed as actual “fake news.”

“The flood of “fake news” this election season got support from a sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign that created and spread misleading articles online with the goal of punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy, say independent researchers who tracked the operation,” wrote Timberg.

Way back when, if a piece this bad managed to escape out into the public sphere, either the editor or the reporter would get the sack. No such luck here.

Timberg’s cloak and dagger source managed to slandered some 200 websites, including many well-established, popular alternative news outlets like AntiWar.com, Counterpunch, Information Clearing House, OpEd News, Activist Post, Global Research.ca, Oriental Review, Truth-Out, Truth Dig, Zero Hedge, Consortium News (run by award-winning investigative journalist Robert Parry), Ron Paul Institute (headed by former US Congressman and Presidential candidate, Dr Ron Paul)) and Paul Craig Roberts (former Cabinet member under President Reagan), to name only a few from PropOrNot’s list of alleged ‘Russian propaganda’ collaborators, in an attempt to reverse engineer a virtual conspiracy – trying to link 200 popular alternative websites with a theoretical Russian plot.

When you read the content on most of these websites, you can see a few common themes – nearly all of them were highly critical of U.S. foreign policy under the last three US Administrations of Clinton, Bush and Obama. Most were also critical of Hillary Clinton’s chequered record as Obama’s Secretary of State. They also challenged the prevailing anti-Russian party line in Washington. Here, The Washington Post is channelling the spirit of Joe McCarthy by promoting a ‘Blacklist’ of independent journalists and commentators. A political hit piece by The Post, that’s all.

Soon after the publication of Timberg’s fictional feature, The Washington Post caved-in to pressure by critics, printing this retraction soon afterwards:

Editor’s Note: The Washington Post on Nov. 24 published a story on the work of four sets of researchers who have examined what they say are Russian propaganda efforts to undermine American democracy and interests. One of them was PropOrNot, a group that insists on public anonymity, which issued a report identifying more than 200 websites that, in its view, wittingly or unwittingly published or echoed Russian propaganda. A number of those sites have objected to being included on PropOrNot’s list, and some of the sites, as well as others not on the list, have publicly challenged the group’s methodology and conclusions. The Post, which did not name any of the sites, does not itself vouch for the validity of PropOrNot’s findings regarding any individual media outlet, nor did the article purport to do so. Since publication of The Post’s story, PropOrNot has removed some sites from its list.

They must hold their readership in such utter contempt as to not care what people think about the paper. How sad. What kind of paper would run a gargantuan fake news story like that? Are they still a ‘paper of record’?

Here at 21WIRE, and unlike the Washington Post, we recognize that our readership is intelligent enough to spot what the LA Times and the Washington Post are serving up and calling news. Unlike the Washington Post, we are not trying to bury under endless column inches government-issued propaganda. Instead, we are trying to expose those lies of the mainstream’s multibillion dollar consensus reality complex.

Tune in, as each day this week we’ll give you an original inside look into the inner workings of the mainstream media’s fake news empire. Aside from showing you how to spot their lies, we’ll also demonstrate how truly dangerous their propaganda mill truly is.

By this time next week, we hope you’ll be even a smarter media consumer.

***
Author Patrick Henningsen is and international journalist and current affairs analyst, and Executive Editor of 21st Century Wire, as well as the host the SUNDAY WIRE radio show on Alternate Current Radio, and also host of Patrick Henningsen LIVE on Independent Talk 1100 KFNX AM in Phoenix.

READ MORE ABOUT MSM FAKE NEWS AT: FAKE NEWS WEEK

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do believe the Fake News of which Trump does speak will very quickly shift into shutting down the alternative media :

Donald Trump, H.J.Heinz, Himmler who connects to Goring to Braun and onto Hitler? What has just been birthed?

http://thebridgelifeinthemix.info/history/donald-trump-h-j-heinz-himml er-connects-goring-braun-hitler-birthed/#sthash.wPErrqGf.dpuf

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

These websites — and the fake news they peddled — were part of a marketing campaign for 20th Century Fox’s new horror-tinged mystery film “A Cure for Wellness,” directed by Gore Verbinski of “The Ring” fame. All of the sites now redirect to the film’s website.

To promote film, 20th Century Fox created fake news sites with fake anti-Trump stories
By Travis M. Andrews
February 17
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/02/17/to-promo te-film-20th-century-fox-created-fake-news-sites-with-fake-anti-trump- stories/?utm_term=.79bfa7945a63

This is not a real publication.
“BOMBSHELL,” the headline howled in bold, all-capital letters, before continuing, “Trump and Putin Spotted at Swiss Resort Prior to Election.”

WHAT?!

A cursory glance around the Sacramento Dispatch’s website revealed it to be like any other local newspaper. On the right: a graphic displaying the current weather (44.8 degrees with clear skies). Above the story, the standard labels — News, Business, Sports, Entertainment.

So you read on.

“Amidst controversy that President Trump had ties with the Russian government prior to the 2016 presidential election, a shocking, yet currently unsubstantiated report comes from sources within the Alpine region of Switzerland,” it read.

The story was fake, and so was the news organization. The Sacramento Dispatch does not exist. Neither do its sister “news outlets,” such as the Houston Leader, the Salt Lake Guardian, the New York Morning Post or the Indianapolis Gazette.


These websites — and the fake news they peddled — were part of a marketing campaign for 20th Century Fox’s new horror-tinged mystery film “A Cure for Wellness,” directed by Gore Verbinski of “The Ring” fame. All of the sites now redirect to the film’s website.

Trailer: 'A Cure for Wellness' Play Video2:00

An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company's CEO from an idyllic but mysterious "wellness center" at a remote location in the Swiss Alps. (20th Century Fox)
Most of the stories made outlandish claims about President Trump. One, which can be viewed in archive mode, claimed that Trump, citing “sanctuary cities,” “refuses to provide California federal support” when 188,000 citizens were evacuated as the state’s massive Oroville Dam was expected to flood.


No, he didn’t.
This story, in particular, spread throughout social media like wildfire, tricking lay person and celebrity alike.


The websites simply confused others.


Eventually, many Twitter users began to seriously question the claims of these “newspapers.”

“I mean I have literally never heard of the Sacramento Dispatch and I went to school up there so … yeah,” Joanna Robinson, senior writer for Vanity Fair, tweeted.



Snopes, the popular myth-debunking website, got in on the action, declaring the stories “false.”

It required such digging because the websites didn’t contain any disclaimers or any other indication that they weren’t, in fact, actual publications. Scattered throughout some stories were prompts for readers to share their thoughts on social media using #acureforwellness.


For this to mean anything to readers, they would have had to know either the title of a then-unreleased film or search the hashtag on Twitter. As most news consumers offer roughly 15 seconds of their attention to a story, according to Tony Haile, the founding chief executive of Chartbeat, it’s unlikely many took these steps to verify their sources.

When asked by BuzzFeed News about the strategy, a spokesperson for Regency Enterprises, a production company involved with the film, said in a statement, “‘A Cure for Wellness’ is a movie about a ‘fake’ cure that makes people sicker. As part of this campaign, a ‘fake’ wellness site healthandwellness.co was created and we partnered with a fake news creator to publish fake news.”

The identity of this “fake news creator” remains unclear. But there are people who do this for a living.

On Thursday, 20th Century Fox released a lengthy statement apologizing for the websites, calling them “inappropriate on every level.”

In raising awareness for our films, we do our best to push the boundaries of traditional marketing in order to creatively express our message to consumers. In this case, we got it wrong.

The digital campaign was inappropriate on every level, especially given the trust we work to build every day with our consumers. We have reviewed our internal approval process and made appropriate changes to ensure that every part of a campaign is elevated to and vetted by management in order to avoid this type of mistake in the future. We sincerely apologize.

One marketing expert, speaking to Variety on the condition of anonymity, called the plan “monumentally stupid.”

“On a moral level, I give it an F. On an execution level, I give it an F,” the expert said. “We don’t need more fake news stories. We don’t need more lies right now. There is already plenty of that out on the Web. It’s already hard enough for people.”


“Fake news,” of course, is no longer news. It has become one of President Trump’s favorite talking points. He repeatedly brought the term up during Thursday’s news conference, and his Twitter feed is littered with the phrase. From Jan. 20 to the time of this writing, he has tweeted the phrase 20 times, according to an advanced Twitter search.

In this instance, he wouldn’t be wrong. Which is what makes it even more shocking that the websites were born of a major media company (albeit one that no longer contains a news operation).

This barrage of fake news is far from an amusing quirk of the digital age. As residents of Washington, D.C. know all too well, it can have real-world consequences. In December, a North Carolina man was arrested for taking an assault rifle, which he fired, into Comet Ping Pong, a family-friendly pizzeria. He did it because he believed a fake news story that gained massive popularity linking the pizzeria to a child sex-trafficking ring and Hillary Clinton. You likely know the terrifying episode better as Pizzagate.


Dane DeHaan stars in 20th Century Fox’s “A Cure for Wellness.” (20th Century Fox)
The climate of fake news has grown so rapidly that in early January, The Washington Post’s media columnist Margaret Sullivan wrote a column titled, “It’s time to retire the tainted term ‘fake news.’ ”

Perhaps, though, it will prove useful in selling movies, despite any moral or ethical costs associated with it.


We’ll soon know — the movie opens Friday.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Anonymous Blacklist Promoted by the Washington Post Has Apparent Ties to Ukrainian Fascism and CIA Spying
Digging deeper into the PropOrNot controversy.
By Mark Ames / AlterNet
December 7, 2016
http://www.alternet.org/media/anonymous-blacklist-promoted-washington- post-has-shocking-roots-ukrainian-fascism-eugenics-and

Last month, the Washington Post gave a glowing front-page boost to an anonymous online blacklist of hundreds of American websites, from marginal conspiracy sites to flagship libertarian and progressive publications. As Max Blumenthal reported for AlterNet, the anonymous website argued that all of them should be investigated by the federal government and potentially prosecuted under the Espionage Act as Russian spies, for wittingly or unwittingly spreading Russian propaganda.

My own satirical newspaper was raided and closed down by the Kremlin in 2008, on charges of “extremism”—akin to terrorism—which I took seriously enough to leave for home for good. What the Washington Post did in boosting an anonymous blacklist of American journalists accused of criminal treason is one of the sleaziest, and most disturbing (in a very familiar Kremlin way) things I’ve seen in this country since I fled for home. The WaPo is essentially an arm of the American deep state; its owner, Jeff Bezos, is one of the three richest Americans, worth $67 billion, and his cash cow, Amazon, is a major contractor with the Central Intelligence Agency. In other words, this is as close to an official US government blacklist of journalists as we’ve seen—a dark ominous warning before they take the next steps.

It’s now been a few days, and the shock and disgust is turning to questions about how to fight back—and who we should be fighting against. Who were the Washington Post’s sources for their journalism blacklist?

Smearing a progressive journalism icon

The WaPo smear was authored by tech reporter Craig Timberg, a former national security editor who displayed embarrassing deference to the head of the world’s largest private surveillance operation, billionaire Eric Schmidt—in contrast to his treatment of his journalism colleagues. There’s little in Timberg’s history to suggest he’d lead one of the ugliest public smears of his colleagues in decades. Timberg’s father, a successful mainstream journalist who recently died, wrote hagiographies on his Naval Academy comrades including John McCain, the Senate’s leading Russophobic hawk, and three Iran-Contra conspirators—Oliver North, John Poindexter, and Robert McFarlane, whose crimes Timberg blames on their love of country and sacrifices in Vietnam.

WaPo’s key source was an anonymous online group calling itself PropOrNot (i.e., “Propaganda Or Not”). It was here that the blacklist of American journalists allegedly working with the Kremlin was posted. The Washington Post cited PropOrNot as a credible source, and granted them the right to anonymously accuse major American news outlets of treason, recommending that the government investigate and prosecute them under the Espionage Act for spreading Russian propaganda.

Featured alongside those anonymously accused of treason by PropOrNot, among a long list of marginal conspiracy sites and major news hubs, is Truthdig. This news and opinion site was co-founded by Zuade Kaufman and the veteran journalist Robert Scheer, who is a professor of USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and former columnist for the LA Times. It would not be the first time Scheer has come under attack from dark forces. In the mid-late 1960s, Scheer made his fame as editor and reporter for Ramparts, the fearless investigative magazine that changed American journalism. One of the biggest bombshell stories that Scheer’s magazine exposed was the CIA’s covert funding of the National Student Association, then America’s largest college student organization, which had chapters on 400 campuses and a major presence internationally.

The CIA was not pleased with Scheer’s magazine’s work, and shortly afterwards launched a top-secret and illegal domestic spying campaign against Scheer and Ramparts, believing that they must be a Russian Communist front. A secret team of CIA operatives—kept secret even from the rest of Langley, the operation was so blatantly illegal—spied on Scheer and his Ramparts colleagues, dug through Ramparts’ funders lives and harassed some of them into ditching the magazine, but in all of that they couldn’t find a single piece of evidence linking Scheer’s magazine to Kremlin agents. This secret illegal CIA investigation into Scheer’s magazine expanded its domestic spying project, code-named MH-CHAOS, that grew into a monster targeting hundreds of thousands of Americans, only to be exposed by Seymour Hersh in late 1974, leading to the creation of the Church Committee hearings and calls by Congress for the abolition of the Central Intelligence Agency.

It’s one of the dark ugly ironies that 50 years later, Scheer has been anonymously accused of working for Russian spies, only this time the accusers have the full cooperation of the Washington Post’s front page.

PropOrNot’s Ukrainian fascist salute

Still the question lingers: Who is behind PropOrNot? Who are they? We may have to await the defamation lawsuits that are almost certainly coming from those smeared by the Post and by PropOrNot. Their description sounds like the “About” tab on any number of Washington front groups that journalists and researchers are used to coming across:

“PropOrNot is an independent team of concerned American citizens with a wide range of backgrounds and expertise, including professional experience in computer science, statistics, public policy, and national security affairs.”

The only specific clues given were an admission that at least one of its members with access to its Twitter handle is “Ukrainian-American”. They had given this away in a handful of early Ukrainian-language tweets, parroting Ukrainian ultranationalist slogans, before the group was known.

One PropOrNot tweet, dated November 17, invokes a 1940s Ukrainian fascist salute “Heroiam Slava!!” to cheer a news item on Ukrainian hackers fighting Russians. The phrase means “Glory to the heroes” and it was formally introduced by the fascist Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) at their March-April 1941 congress in Nazi occupied Cracow, as they prepared to serve as Nazi auxiliaries in Operation Barbarossa. As historian Grzgorz Rossoliński-Liebe, author of the definitive biography on Ukraine’s wartime fascist leader and Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera, explained:

“the OUN-B introduced another Ukrainian fascist salute at the Second Great Congress of the Ukrainian Nationalists in Cracow in March and April 1941. This was the most popular Ukrainian fascist salute and had to be performed according to the instructions of the OUN-B leadership by raising the right arm ‘slightly to the right, slightly above the peak of the head’ while calling ‘Glory to Ukraine!’ (Slava Ukraїni!) and responding ‘Glory to the Heroes!’ (Heroiam Slava!).”

Two months after formalizing this salute, Nazi forces allowed Bandera’s Ukrainian fascists to briefly take control of Lvov, at the time a predominantly Jewish and Polish city—whereupon the Ukrainian “patriots” murdered, tortured and raped thousands of Jews, in one of the most barbaric and bloodiest pogroms ever.

Since the 2014 Maidan Revolution brought Ukrainian neo-fascists back into the highest rungs of power, Ukraine’s Nazi collaborators and wartime fascists have been rehabilitated as heroes, with major highways and roads named after them, and public commemorations. The speaker of Ukraine’s parliament, Andriy Parubiy, founded Ukraine’s neo-Nazi “Social-National Party of Ukraine” and published a white supremacist manifesto, “View From the Right” featuring the parliament speaker in full neo-Nazi uniform in front of fascist flags with the Nazi Wolfsangel symbol. Ukraine’s powerful Interior Minister, Arsen Avakov, sponsors several ultranationalist and neo-Nazi militia groups like the Azov Battalion, and last month he helped appoint another neo-Nazi, Vadym Troyan, as head of Ukraine’s National Police. (Earlier this year, when Troyan was still police chief of the capital Kiev, he was widely accused of having ordered an illegal surveillance operation on investigative journalist Pavel Sheremet just before his assassination by car bomb.)

A Ukrainian intelligence service blacklist as PropOrNot’s model

Since coming to power in the 2014 Maidan Revolution, Ukraine’s US-backed regime has waged an increasingly surreal war on journalists who don’t toe the Ukrainian ultranationalist line, and against treacherous Kremlin propagandists, real and imagined. Two years ago, Ukraine established a “Ministry of Truth”. This year the war has gone from surreal paranoia to an increasingly deadly kind of “terror.”

One of the more frightening policies enacted by the current oligarch-nationalist regime in Kiev is an online blacklist of journalists accused of collaborating with pro-Russian “terrorists.” The website, “Myrotvorets” or “Peacemaker”—was set up by Ukrainian hackers working with state intelligence and police, all of which tend to share the same ultranationalist ideologies as Parubiy and the newly-appointed neo-Nazi chief of the National Police.

Condemned by the Committee to Protect Journalists and numerous news organizations in the West and in Ukraine, the online blacklist includes the names and personal private information on some 4,500 journalists, including several western journalists and Ukrainians working for western media. The website is designed to frighten and muzzle journalists from reporting anything but the pro-nationalist party line, and it has the backing of government officials, spies and police—including the SBU (Ukraine’s successor to the KGB), the powerful Interior Minister Avakov and his notorious far-right deputy, Anton Geraschenko.

Ukraine’s journalist blacklist website—operated by Ukrainian hackers working with state intelligence—led to a rash of death threats against the doxxed journalists, whose email addresses, phone numbers and other private information was posted anonymously to the website. Many of these threats came with the wartime Ukrainian fascist salute: “Slava Ukraini!” [Glory to Ukraine!] So when PropOrNot’s anonymous “researchers” reveal only their Ukrainian(s) identity, it’s hard not to think about the spy-linked hackers who posted the deadly “Myrotvorets” blacklist of “treasonous” journalists.

The DNC’s Ukrainian ultra-nationalist researcher cries treason

Because the PropOrNot blacklist of American journalist “traitors” is anonymous, and the Washington Post front-page article protects their anonymity, we can only speculate on their identity with what little information they’ve given us. And that little bit of information reveals only a Ukrainian ultranationalist thread—the salute, the same obsessively violent paranoia towards Russia, and towards journalists, who in the eyes of Ukrainian nationalists have always been dupes and stooges, if not outright collaborators, of Russian evil.

One of the key media sources who blamed the DNC hacks on Russia, ramping up fears of crypto-Putinist infiltration, is a Ukrainian-American lobbyist working for the DNC. She is Alexandra Chalupa—described as the head of the Democratic National Committee’s opposition research on Russia and on Trump, and founder and president of the Ukrainian lobby group “US United With Ukraine Coalition”, which lobbied hard to pass a 2014 bill increasing loans and military aid to Ukraine, imposing sanctions on Russians, and tightly aligning US and Ukraine geostrategic interests.

In October of this year, Yahoo News named Chalupa one of “16 People Who Shaped the 2016 Election” for her role in pinning the DNC leaks on Russian hackers, and for making the case that the Trump campaign was under Kremlin control. “As a Democratic Party consultant and proud Ukrainian-American, Alexandra Chalupa was outraged last spring when Donald Trump named Paul Manafort as his campaign manager,” the Yahoo profile began. “As she saw it, Manafort was a key figure in advancing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s agenda inside her ancestral homeland — and she was determined to expose it.”

Chalupa worked with veteran reporter Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News to publicize her opposition research on Trump, Russia and Paul Manafort, as well as her many Ukrainian sources. In one leaked DNC email earlier this year, Chalupa boasts to DNC Communications Director Luis Miranda that she brought Isikoff to a US-government sponsored Washington event featuring 68 Ukrainian journalists, where Chalupa was invited “to speak specifically about Paul Manafort.” In turn, Isikoff named her as the key inside source “proving” that the Russians were behind the hacks, and that Trump’s campaign was under the spell of Kremlin spies and sorcerers.

(In 2008, when I broke the story about the Manafort-Kremlin ties in The Nation with Ari Berman, I did not go on to to accuse him or John McCain, whose campaign was being run by Manafort’s partner, of being Manchurian Candidates under the spell of Vladimir Putin. Because they weren’t; instead, they were sleazy, corrupt, hypocritical politicians who followed money and power rather than principle. A media hack feeding frenzy turned Manafort from what he was—a sleazy scumbag—into a fantastical Kremlin mole, forcing Manafort to resign from the Trump campaign, thanks in part to kompromat material leaked by the Ukrainian SBU, successor to the KGB.)

Meanwhile, Chalupa’s Twitter feed went wild accusing Trump of treason—a crime that carries the death penalty. Along with well over 100 tweets hashtagged #TreasonousTrump Chalupa repeatedly asked powerful government officials and bodies like the Department of Justice to investigate Trump for the capital crime of treason. In the weeks since the election, Chalupa has repeatedly accused both the Trump campaign and Russia of rigging the elections, demanding further investigations. According to The Guardian, Chalupa recently sent a report to Congress proving Russian hacked into the vote count, hoping to initiate a Congressional investigation. In an interview with Gothamist, Chalupa described alleged Russian interference in the election result as “an act of war.”

To be clear, I am not arguing that Chalupa is behind PropOrNot. But it is important to provide context to the boasts by PropOrNot about its Ukrainian nationalist links—within the larger context of the Clinton campaign’s anti-Kremlin hysteria, which crossed the line into Cold War xenophobia time and time again, an anti-Russian xenophobia shared by Clinton’s Ukrainian nationalist allies. To me, it looks like a classic case of blowback: A hyper-nationalist group whose extremism happens to be useful to American geopolitical ambitions, and is therefore nurtured to create problems for our competitor. Indeed, the US has cultivated extreme Ukrainian nationalists as proxies for decades, since the Cold War began.

As investigative journalist Russ Bellant documented in his classic exposé, “Old Nazis, New Right,” Ukrainian Nazi collaborators were brought into the United States and weaponized for use against Russia during the Cold War, despite whatever role they may have played in the Holocaust and in the mass slaughter of Ukraine’s ethnic Poles. After spending so many years encouraging extreme Ukrainian nationalism, it’s no surprise that the whole policy is beginning to blow back.

WaPo’s other source: A loony, far-right eugenicist think tank

Besides PropOrNot, the Washington Post’s Craig Timberg relied on only one other source to demonstrate the influence of Russian propaganda: the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI), whose “fellow” Clint Watts is cited by name, along with a report he co-authored, “Trolling for Trump: How Russia is Trying to Destroy Our Democracy.”

Somehow, in the pushback and outrage over the WaPo blacklist story, the FPRI has managed to fly under the radar. So much so that when Fortune’s Matthew Ingram correctly described the FPRI as “proponents of the Cold War” he was compelled to issue a clarification, changing the description to “a conservative think tank known for its hawkish stance on relations between the US and Russia.”

In fact, historically the Foreign Policy Research Institute has been one of the looniest (and spookiest) extreme-right think tanks since the early Cold War days, promoting “winnable” nuclear war, maximum confrontation with Russia, and attacking anti-colonialism as dangerously unworkable. One of the key brains behind the FPRI’s extreme-right Cold War views also happened to be a former Austrian fascist official who, upon emigrating to America, became one of this country’s leading proponents of racial eugenics and white supremacy.

The Foreign Policy Research Institute was founded by Robert Strausz-Hupé and set up on the University of Pennsylvania campus, with backing from the Vick’s chemical company, funder of numerous reactionary rightwing causes since the New Deal began. And, as the New York Times reported, the FPRI also was covertly funded by the CIA, a revelation that would lead to student protests and the FPRI removing itself from Penn’s campus in 1970.

The FPRI’s founder, Strausz-Hupe, emigrated to the US from Austria in the 1920s. In the early Cold War years, he became known as an advocate of aggressive confrontation with the Soviet Union, openly advocating total nuclear war rather than anything like surrender or cohabitation. In a 1961 treatise “A Forward Strategy for America” that Strausz-Hupe co-authored with his frequent FPRI collaborator, the former Austrian fascist official and racial eugenics advocate Stefan Possony, they wrote:

“Even at a moment when the United States faces defeat because, for example, Europe, Asia and Africa have fallen to communist domination, a sudden nuclear attack against the Soviet Union could at least avenge the disaster and deprive the opponent of the ultimate triumph. While such a reversal at the last moment almost certainly would result in severe American casualties, it might still nullify all previous Soviet conquests.”

But it was Russian propaganda that most concerned Strausz-Hupe and his FPRI. In 1959, for example, he published a three-page spread in the New York Times, headlined “Why Russia Is Ahead in Propaganda,” that has odd echoes of last month’s paranoid Washington Post article alleging a vast conspiracy of American journalists secretly poisoning the public’s mind with Russian propaganda. The article argued, as many do today, that America and the West were dangerously behind the Russians in the propaganda arms race—and dangerously disadvantaged by our open and free society, where propaganda is allegedly sniffed out by our ever-vigilant and fearless media.

The only way for America to protect itself from Russian propaganda, he wrote, was to massively increase its propaganda warfare budgets, and close the alleged “propaganda gap”—echoing again the same solutions being peddled today in Washington and London:

“[W]ithin the limitations of our society, we can take steps to expand and improve our existing programs.

“These programs have been far from generous. It has been estimated, for example, that the Communists in one single propaganda offensive—the germ-warfare campaign during the Korean conflict—spent nearly as much as the entire annual allocation to the United States Information Agency. We should increase the austere budget of the U.S.I.A. We should give our information specialists a greater voice in policy-making councils. We should attempt to coordinate more fully and effectively the propaganda programs of the Western alliance.”

A few years later, the FPRI’s Strausz-Hupe published a deranged attack in the New York Times against Stanley Kubrick’s film Dr. Strangelove, calling it “the most vicious attack to date launched by way of our mass media against the American military profession”. The FPRI’s founding director went further, accusing Kubrick of being, if not a conscious Russian agent of propaganda, then a Soviet dupe undermining American democracy and stability—the same sort of paranoid accusations that FPRI is leveling again today. As Strausz-Hupe wrote:

“Anyone who cares to scan the Soviet press and the Communist press in other lands will note that it is one of the principal Communist objectives to drive a wedge between the American people and their military leaders. Mr. Kubrick’s creation certainly serves this purpose.”

Reading that then, knowing how the Soviet Union eventually collapsed on itself without firing a shot—and seeing the same paranoid, sleazy lies being peddled again today, one is dumbstruck by just how stagnant our intellectual culture is. We’ve never thawed ourselves out from our Cold War pathologies; we’re still trapped in the same structures that nurture these pathologies. Too many careers and salaries depend on it...

But Strausz-Hupe was the voice of reason compared to his chief collaborator and co-author at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, Stefan Possony. He too was an Austrian emigre, although Possony didn’t leave his homeland until 1938. Before then he served in the Austrofascist governments of both Dollfuss and Schuschnigg, but left after the Nazi Anschluss deposed the native fascists and installed Hitler’s puppets in their place.

Possony was a director and fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and according to historian Robert Vitalis’ recent book “White World Power” [Cornell University Press], Possony co-authored nearly all of the FPRI’s policy research material until he moved to Stanford’s Hoover Institute in 1961, where he helped align the two institutions. Possony continued publishing in the FPRI’s journal Orbis throughout the 1960s and beyond. He was also throughout this time one of the most prolific contributors to Mankind Quarterly, the leading race eugenics journal in the days before The Bell Curve—and co-author race eugenics books with white supremacist Nathaniel Weyl.

So even as he was publishing aggressive Cold War propaganda for the Foreign Policy Research Institute, Possony wrote elsewhere that the “average African Negro functions as does the European after a leucotomy [prefrontal lobotomy] operation” In other articles, Possony described the people of “the Middle East, Latin America and Southeast Asia” as “genetically unpromising“ because they “lack the innate brain power required for mastery and operation of the tools of modern civilization[.] . . .” For this reason he and Strausz-Hupe opposed the early Cold War policy of de-colonization: “The accretion of lethal power in the hands of nation states dominated by populations incapable of rational thought could be a harbinger of total disaster.” Instead, they argued that white colonialism benefited the natives and raised them up; western critics of colonialism, they argued, were merely “fashionable” dupes who would be responsible for a “genocide” of local whites.

As late as a 1974 article in Mankind Quarterly, Possony was defending race eugenics loon William Shockley’s theories on the inferiority of dark skinned races, which he argued could prove that spending money on welfare was in fact a “waste” since there was no way to improve genetically inferior races. Around the same time, Possony emerged as the earliest and most effective advocate of the “Star Wars” anti-ballistic missile system adopted by President Reagan. The way Possony saw it, the Star Wars weapon was entirely offensive, and would give the United States sufficient first strike capability to win a nuclear war with Russia.

It was this history, and a 1967 New York Times exposé on how the Foreign Policy Research Institute had been covertly funded by the CIA, that led US Senator Fulbright in 1969 to reject Nixon’s nomination of Strausz-Hupe as ambassador to Morocco. Fulbright denounced Strausz-Hupe as a Cold War extremist and a threat to world peace: ''the very epitome of a hard-line, no compromise.” However, he gave in a couple of years later when Nixon named him to the post of ambassador in Sri Lanka.

Today, the Foreign Policy Research Institute proudly honors its founder Strausz-Hupe, and honors his legacy with blacklists of allegedly treasonous journalists and allegedly all-powerful Russian propaganda threatening our freedoms.

This is the world the Washington Post is bringing back to its front pages. And the timing is incredible—as if Bezos’ rag has taken upon itself to soften up the American media before Trump moves in for the kill. And it’s all being done in the name of fighting “fake news” ...and fascism.

Mark Ames is the Co-host of the Radio War Nerd podcast. Read more of his work at eXiledonline.com. He is the author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder, and Rebellion: From Reagan's Workplaces to Clinton's Columbine and Beyond.

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www.rl911truth.org
www.stj911.org
www.v911t.org
www.thisweek.org.uk
www.abolishwar.org.uk
www.elementary.org.uk
www.radio4all.net/index.php/contributor/2149
http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fake news, propaganda and threats to journalism
By Professor Piers Robinson
http://www.spinwatch.org/index.php/issues/propaganda/item/5942-fake-ne ws-propaganda-and-threats-to-journalism

Fake news, propaganda and threats to journalism
Threats to journalism and journalistic autonomy come in many forms. At the most extreme, journalists are directly threatened, intimidated and, all too frequently, harmed by political actors seeking to influence the ‘information environment’.

As a form of coercion, aimed at controlling what journalists write and say, threats and attacks can be understood as a form of propaganda: as a kind of ‘propaganda of the deed’ they function not only to silence individual journalists but also to send an unequivocal message to other journalists.

More common forms of propaganda involve approaches to shaping perceptions and actions through the manipulation of information. Although of a different scale to threats and killings, their effect can also be profoundly damaging to the autonomy of journalists. Understood by some to refer to any form of persuasive communication, most definitions of propaganda throughout the 20th and 21st century have recognised that, at some level, propaganda is a form of persuasion that works via manipulation and subversion of the rational will.

One important way in which propaganda manifests itself, and perhaps the one which is most frequently associated with propagandistic communication, involves some form of deception. Whether through outright lying, omission of important information, distortion or misdirection, propaganda frequently involves manipulation through deceiving people with respect to reality.

For Western publics, the most recent high-profile and well-documented example of this occurred in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. During this period, through a combination of distortion and omission, US and UK government information campaigns misled many people into believing there was a clear and imminent threat from Iraqi WMD. As Chilcot, (chair of the Iraq Inquiry) recently noted, Tony Blair went ‘beyond the facts of the case’ in promoting the war against Iraq.

Of course, recently, the issue of deception and manipulation has become a major focal point for debate in the so-called ‘fake news’ crisis. Much of this debate has been driven by concerns from within the liberal centre ground that political crises surrounding the debate in the UK over Brexit, and the election of Trump as US President, have been fuelled by the resort to outright lies by anti-establishment actors utilising alternative media outlets.

At the same time, the term ‘fake news’ has itself become a propaganda meme providing a useful shorthand to discredit information being provided by alternative media, whether truthful or deceptive, and serving to underpin the frequent allegations being levelled at Russia with respect to interference in the US elections and its military actions in Syria. At this point, no evidence has been presented to confirm the allegations being levelled at Russia. Moreover, there has been little sustained mainstream media attention to the content of the DNC (Democratic National Congress) leaks/hack which have fuelled so much of the controversy regarding the US elections and alleged Russian information warfare.

Indeed, these leaked/hacked emails, released by Wikileaks, showed that the DNC actively favoured Clinton over Sanders during the primaries whilst evidence of question fixing with CNN was also revealed. There are no serious challenges to the authenticity of these emails and, as such, they do not appear to be actual examples of fake news. This has not stopped, however, media coverage linking Russia with the leaks and, arguably, conflating all of this with a fake news/propaganda narrative. Moreover, whilst the fake news debate has been overwhelmingly focused on alternative media and external actors (i.e. Russia), little attention has been paid to the use of deception and propaganda by Western governments.

Moving beyond claims and counter-claims regarding fake news, bias and deception, it is also critical to recognise that propaganda involves coordinated actions and activities beyond simply the crafting of manipulative media messages: It also involves the mobilisation of resources and physical actions.

For example, in relation to the current Syrian conflict, US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton authorised the ‘training for more than a thousand (Syrian) activists, students, and independent journalists’ in order to promote her regime change preference in 2012. More prominently, the much-lauded White Helmets Syria Civil Defence entity has been critiqued for its function as a pro-intervention propaganda tool. This group, apparently set up to rescue injured civilians in Syria, and which has been an important source for Western mainstream media outlets, is heavily funded by Western governments and associated only with opposition groups and opposition-held areas.

We are also witnessing a worrying increase in organised attempts to silence dissenting voices here in the West. For example, the apparently self-styled Propornot entity now provides a list of news sites which it claims to be distributing Russian propaganda, whilst Professorwatch blacklists US professors accused (anonymously) for alleged liberal bias and ‘anti-American values’.

It is likely that these, and similar activities, are contributing to a significant restriction of freedom of expression here in the West, as well as across non-liberal democratic states, and are inhibiting news media from performing their expected roles as watchdogs and truth seekers. Indeed, as has recently been argued by Louis Allday, individuals challenging official claims regarding Syria have frequently been met with tirades of abuse whilst former British Ambassador to Syria Peter Ford and mainstream commentator Peter Hitchens have recently both stated that Western publics are being profoundly misled with regard to the reality of the situation in Syria.

We must now seriously entertain the possibility that the war in Syria has involved similar, if not greater, levels of manipulation and propaganda than that which occurred in the case of the 2003 Iraq War: In a nutshell, it appears increasingly likely that a Western-backed regime-change operation in Syria, which includes the supporting and arming of extremist groups, has been obscured via a propaganda campaign aimed at demonising Assad’s autocratic regime and promoting a simplistic narrative of good vs. evil.

Does it go too far to say there is now a crisis across Western public spheres whereby propaganda and ‘fake news’ emanating from mainstream media and governments has created a situation in which there is ‘major media malfunction’?

There probably is a crisis. Government communications strategies involving deceptive combinations of exaggeration and omission, as well as probably occasional outright lies, and the organisation of entities whose objective it is to shape the information environment, including via the intimidation of dissent and free thought, mean that journalistic autonomy and freedom are under severe threat.

When a country can be invaded based upon spurious and bogus claims regarding weapons of mass destruction whilst a second subjected to a five-year-long regime-change war based upon, it seems likely, propaganda and lies, all within the space of 10 years, there are signs that something is seriously wrong. The means are less brutal than those instances of threat and violence usually seen outside the West. But they are, nonetheless, effective. Before casting stones, the West needs to get its own house in order.

Professor Piers Robinson is chair in politics, society and political journalism at the the University of Sheffield.

_________________
--
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vault 7: CIA Hacking Tools Revealed
https://wikileaks.org/ciav7p1/


'....UMBRAGE
The CIA's hand crafted hacking techniques pose a problem for the agency. Each technique it has created forms a "fingerprint" that can be used by forensic investigators to attribute multiple different attacks to the same entity.

This is analogous to finding the same distinctive knife wound on multiple separate murder victims. The unique wounding style creates suspicion that a single murderer is responsible. As soon one murder in the set is solved then the other murders also find likely attribution.

The CIA's Remote Devices Branch's UMBRAGE group collects and maintains a substantial library of attack techniques 'stolen' from malware produced in other states including the Russian Federation.

With UMBRAGE and related projects the CIA cannot only increase its total number of attack types but also misdirect attribution by leaving behind the "fingerprints" of the groups that the attack techniques were stolen from.


UMBRAGE components cover keyloggers, password collection, webcam capture, data destruction, persistence, privilege escalation, stealth, anti-virus (PSP) avoidance and survey techniques......'

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ten basic forms of fake news used by major media

by Jon Rappoport - June 28, 2017
https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2017/06/28/ten-basic-forms-of-fake- news-used-by-major-media-2/

The basic purpose of these ten forms: the presentation of a false picture of reality.

You could find more forms, or divide these ten into sub-categories.

The ten basic forms are:

* Direct lying about matters of fact. (This sometimes includes doubling down on lies already told, or telling a bigger lie after the first one.)

* Leaving out vital information.

* Limited hangout. (This is an admission of a crime or a mistake, which only partially reveals the whole truth. The idea is that by admitting a fraction of what really happened and burying the biggest revelations, people will be satisfied and go away, and the story will never be covered again.)

* Shutting down the truth after publishing it—includes failing to follow up and investigate a story more deeply.

* Not connecting dots between important pieces of data.

* Censoring the truth, wherever it is found (or calling it “fake news”).

* Using biased “experts” to present slanted or false “facts.”

* Repeating a false story many times—this includes the echo-chamber effect, in which a number of outlets “bounce” the false story among themselves.

* Claiming a reasonable and true consensus exists, when it doesn’t, when there are many important dissenters, who are shut out from offering their analysis.

* Employing a panoply of effects (reputation of the media outlet, voice quality of the anchor, acting skills, dry mechanical language, studio lighting, overlay of electronic transmissions, etc.) to create an impression of elevated authority which is beyond challenge.

These are all traditional forms and methods.

Here’s an example of a big story that deployed all ten forms of fake news: the Swine Flu pandemic of 2009.

In the spring of 2009, the World Health Organization (elevated authority whose pronouncements are beyond challenge) announced that Swine Flu was a level-6 pandemic—its highest category of “danger.” In fact, there were only 20 confirmed cases at the time (direct lying about “danger”). And W.H.O. quietly changed the definition of “level-6” so widespread death and damage were no longer required (another aspect of direct lying).

The story was, of course, picked up by major media outlets all over the world (echo chamber effect, fake consensus, never connected dots re W.H.O. lies), and quite soon, Swine Flu case numbers rose into the thousands (direct lying, as we’ll soon see).

Medical experts were brought in to bolster the claims of danger (biased experts; important dissenters never given space to comment).

In the early fall of 2009, Sharyl Attkisson, then a star investigative reporter for CBS News, published a story on the CBS News website. She indicated that the CDC had secretly stopped counting the number of Swine Flu cases in America. No other major news outlet reported this fact (omitting vital information).

Attkisson discovered the reason the CDC had stopped counting: the overwhelming number of blood samples taken from the most likely Swine Flu patients were coming back from labs with: no trace of Swine Flu or any other kind of flu. Therefore, a gigantic hoax was revealed. The pandemic was a dud, a fake.

Despite Attkisson’s efforts, CBS never followed up on her story (shutting down the truth after exposing it). Never probed the lying by the CDC (failure to connect dots). In a sense, CBS turned Attkisson’s story into a limited hangout—a further investigation would have uncovered acres of criminal behavior by both the CDC and the World Health Organization, to say nothing of the governments and media outlets that supported these lying agencies. The mainstream press essentially censored Attkisson’s revelations.

Then, about three weeks after CBS published Attkisson’s story, WebMD published a piece in which the CDC claimed that its own (lying) estimate of 10,000 or so cases of Swine Flu in the US was a gross understatement. Truly, there were 22 MILLION cases of Swine Flu in the US (doubling-down on lying).

And that was that.

And these mainstream sources are currently shouting and bloviating about independent media spreading fake news. I guess you could call that number 11: accusing their opponents of committing the crimes they are, in fact, committing.


(To read about Jon’s mega-collection, The Matrix Revealed, click here.)

Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.

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'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How Syria's White Helmets became victims of an online propaganda machine

The Russia-backed campaign to link the volunteer rescuers with al-Qaida exposes how conspiracy theories take root: ‘It’s like a factory’
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/18/syria-white-helmets-cons piracy-theories

by Olivia Solon - Mon 18 Dec ‘17 08.01 GMT

The Syrian volunteer rescue workers known as the White Helmets have become the target of an extraordinary disinformation campaign that positions them as an al-Qaida-linked terrorist organisation.

The Guardian has uncovered how this counter-narrative is propagated online by a network of anti-imperialist activists, conspiracy theorists and trolls with the support of the Russian government (which provides military support to the Syrian regime).

The White Helmets, officially known as the Syria Civil Defence, is a humanitarian organisation made up of 3,400 volunteers – former teachers, engineers, tailors and firefighters – who rush to pull people from the rubble when bombs rain down on Syrian civilians. They’ve been credited with saving thousands of civilians during the country’s continuing civil war.

They have also exposed, through first-hand video footage, war crimes including a chemical attack in April. Their work was the subject of an Oscar-winning Netflix documentary and the recipient of two Nobel peace prize nominations.

Despite this positive international recognition, there’s a counter-narrative pushed by a vocal network of individuals who write for alternative news sites countering the “MSM agenda”. Their views align with the positions of Syria and Russia and attract an enormous online audience, amplified by high-profile alt-right personalities, appearances on Russian state TV and an army of Twitter bots.

The way the Russian propaganda machine has targeted the White Helmets is a neat case study in the prevailing information wars. It exposes just how rumours, conspiracy theories and half-truths bubble to the top of YouTube, Google and Twitter search algorithms.

“This is the heart of Russian propaganda. In the old days they would try and portray the Soviet Union as a model society. Now it’s about confusing every issue with so many narratives that people can’t recognise the truth when they see it,” said David Patrikarakos, author of War in 140 Characters: How Social Media is Reshaping Conflict in the 21st Century.
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The first page of results for ‘White Helmets’ on YouTube shows how the conspiracy theories bubble to the top of search engines. Photograph: YouTube
Hybrid warfare

The campaign to discredit the White Helmets started at the same time as Russia staged a military intervention in Syria in September 2015, supporting President Bashar al-Assad’s army with airstrikes bombarding opposition-held areas. Almost immediately, Russian state media such as RT and Sputnik started falsely claiming that Isis was the only target and throwing doubt on the bombings of infrastructure and civilian sites.

The same propaganda machine scooped up fringe anti-American activists, bloggers and researchers who believe the White Helmets are terrorists, giving them a platform on state TV and amplifying their articles through social media.

There is no evidence to suggest that these activists and bloggers are knowingly spreading disinformation, although the stories are often thinly sourced.

Scott Lucas, professor of international politics at the University of Birmingham, describes the overall campaign as “agitation propaganda” but said that some of its participants don’t realise they are being used as pawns.

“The most effective propaganda is when you find someone who believes it then give them support – you don’t create them from scratch,” he added.
Why the White Helmets?

The White Helmets play two roles within Syria. The first is their rescue work: providing an ambulance service, fire service and search and rescue in conflict areas where infrastructure has been decimated.

The second role is the documentation of what is taking place within the country via handheld and helmet cameras.

“This is the thing that has annoyed not just the Assad regime and Russian authorities but a lot of the propagandists who work in their orbit,” said Amnesty International’s Kristyan Benedict, a crisis response manager who specialises in Syria.

Their footage has helped organisations like Amnesty and the Syria Justice and Accountability Center corroborate testimony they receive from people in Syria via phone, Skype and WhatsApp. It allows them to check the aftermath of airstrikes to see whether civilians were targeted and whether there was any military presence or checkpoints.

“That’s really been damaging to the war narrative of Syria and Russia,” said Benedict.

Raed al-Saleh, head of the White Helmets. Photograph: Bernd von Jutrczenka/AFP/Getty Images


It was the White Helmets’ footage that documented the chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun in April, which killed at least 83 people, a third of them children. UN war crimes investigators later concluded the attack was carried out by the Syrian regime against its own people. Russian state media and a network of supportive alternative news sites continue to cast doubt on investigators’ findings, describing it as “illogical” and “deliberately staged” by militants. The alt-right site Infowars repeated the conspiracy theory, describing the attack as staged by the White Helmets, who were described as an “al-Qaida affiliated group funded by George Soros”. The White Helmets have never received funding from George Soros or any of his foundations.

Some of the most vocal sceptics of the UN’s investigation include the blogger Vanessa Beeley, the daughter of a former British diplomat who visited Syria for the first time in July 2016; a University of Sydney senior lecturer, Timothy Anderson, who described the April chemical attack as a “hoax”; and Eva Bartlett, a Canadian writer and activist who said the White Helmets staged rescues using recycled victims – a claim that’s been debunked by Snopes and Channel 4 News.

“They are basically excusing the inexcusable,” said Lucas.

“They have a range of websites that will publish whatever nonsense and Russia Today will have them on TV,” he added.

The Russian strategy has been very successful at shaping the online conversation about the White Helmets. By gaming the social media algorithms with a flood of content, boosted by bots, sock puppet accounts and a network of agitators, propagandists are able to create a “manufactured consensus” that gives legitimacy to fringe views. Even Russia’s official channels, such as its UK embassy Twitter accounts, post memes discrediting the organisation.
Russian Embassy, UK
(@RussianEmbassy)

Russia welcomes #Oscars award for “White Helmets” film. Indeed, they are actors serving an agenda, not rescuers. #OscarMistake pic.twitter.com/RsQesgZ4Te
February 28, 2017

“If you scroll through tweets about the White Helmets, pretty much every other conversation is equating them with Isis, calling them terrorists. It looks like they are the bad guys,” said Sam Woolley, who studies computational propaganda at the University of Oxford.

“It’s all part of an effort to delegitimise western efforts to stabilise Syria,” he said.

His colleague Samantha Bradshaw adds: “The more confusion there is, the easier it is to manipulate people.”

The research that shows the link

The Guardian spoke to several researchers studying the spread of disinformation and propaganda online who have found evidence of a targeted Russian influence campaign against the White Helmets.

Fil Menczer, a computer science professor at Indiana University, has developed a tool called Hoaxy to chart the spread of misinformation online. Searching for “White Helmets” reveals a handful of sources generated hundreds of stories about the organisation. “It’s like a factory,” he said.

The same handful of people are quoted as “experts” in articles that are repackaged and interlinked to create a body of content whose conspiracy claims gain a semblance of legitimacy.

The analytics firm Graphika has spent years analysing a range of Russian disinformation campaigns including those around the Macron leaks and the Russian doping scandal. In research commissioned by the human rights group the Syria Campaign, it found that the patterns in the online network of the 14,000 Twitter users talking about the White Helmets looked “very similar” and included many known pro-Kremlin troll accounts, some of which were closed down as part of the investigation into Russian interference in the US election. Other accounts appeared to generate more than 150 tweets per day (more than 70 is seen by scholars studying bots as suspicious).
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A Graphika map of the online conversation about the White Helmets. Photograph: Graphika

Graphika also found evidence of coordination of timing and messaging around significant events in the news cycle relating to the White Helmets.

Separately, both Graphika and Menczer’s Hoaxy tool identify Beeley, the British blogger, as among the most influential disseminators of content about the White Helmets.

Their findings also correlate with work done by Kate Starbird from the University of Washington in Seattle, who asserts that Beeley and the alternative news site 21st Century Wire have dominated the Twitter conversation about White Helmets over the last few months, along with Sputnik and RT.com.
Kate Starbird
(@katestarbird)

Created a domain network graph for “white helmets” tweets May-Aug 2017. These are websites connected by users (who tweet to both). pic.twitter.com/5j0YkmF7D1
September 21, 2017

Beeley frequently criticises the White Helmets in her role as editor of the website 21st Century Wire, set up by Patrick Henningsen, who is also an editor at Infowars.com.

In 2016, Beeley had a two-hour meeting with Assad in Damascus as part of a US Peace Council delegation, which she described on Facebook as her “proudest moment”. She was also invited to Moscow to report on the “dirty war in Syria”; there, she met senior Russian officials including the deputy foreign minister, Mikhail Bogdanov, and Maria Zakharova, director of information and press at Russia’s foreign ministry.
The mannequin challenge

To understand the propaganda machine in action, you only have to look at what happened when the White Helmets posted their version of the mannequin challenge, a viral internet video trend where people would film themselves frozen mid-action. The rescue group filmed themselves in a staged rescue and shared the video on social media with the hashtag #MannequinChallenge.

The video, posted in November 2016 by the Revolutionary Forces of Syria Media Office, was immediately stripped of its context and reshared as evidence that the organisation uses “crisis actors” in staged rescues designed to make the Russian and Syrian armies look bad.
ms_knowital
(@ms_knowital)

Here is the White Helmets caught faking a rescue after a fake attack. https://t.co/T8xzX6kKtM
April 9, 2017

One Twitter user, retweeted hundreds of times, stated: “Unbelievable! Must watch video showing White Helmets fakery.”

RT reported on the incident, including some of the tweets, and cited Beeley as an independent researcher asserting that the video fuelled suspicion around the “already questionable credibility” of the organisation. The following day Beeley wrote a story on 21st Century Wire in which she argued that the video caused “widespread doubt, even among diehard supporters, as to the veracity of their much edited slick video reports”.

The White Helmets later issued an apology, saying they had hoped the viral video would create a connection between the horror or Syria and the outside world, but acknowledged it was an “error of judgement”..

“It was a stupid thing to do,” said Eliot Higgins, founder of the investigative reporting collective Bellingcat, “but it was then completely misused by people who have an agenda.”

A year on and the White Helmets’ mannequin challenge video is still widely circulated as evidence that they stage rescues.

There have, however, been isolated rogue actors within the White Helmets who are used to discredit the entire group. One former White Helmet was fired after he was filmed assisting armed militants in disposing of the mutilated corpses of pro-Assad fighters, and others have been photographed with guns despite marketing themselves as unarmed. There is also footage of White Helmets taking a body away from an execution carried out by rebel militants, which critics claim shows they are “assisting” executions.

“These are isolated incidents at the volunteer level – there has never been any kind of incident involving anyone in the leadership,” added Saleh, the White Helmets leader, looking down at his phone as he received a breaking news notification about a British politician resigning over sexual harassment allegations. “No one is saying that the government of the UK is a predatory organisation just because of this one incident.”

Meanwhile, Beeley’s influence continues. In April 2017, she gave a talk at a conference alongside ministers in Assad’s cabinet (who spoke via video conference) titled “White Helmets: Fact or Fantasy?” Her briefing paper and slides on the topic were then submitted to the UN security council and UN general assembly by the Russian government as “evidence” against the White Helmets.
The White Helmets have been credited with saving thousands of lives. Photograph: Depo Photo/Rex/Shutterstock


“These leaked documents offer cast-iron proof that the Russian government is doing what it can to elevate Vanessa Beeley as a key player in its propaganda campaign,” said James Sadri, executive director of the Syria Campaign. “A blogger for a 9/11 truther website who only visited Syria for the first time last year should not be taken seriously as an impartial expert on the conflict.”

The Guardian contacted Beeley several times asking for comment and she declined to respond to specific queries, saying that the questions put to her were “a disgrace” containing “no relevant facts and are reminiscent of a McCarthyite interrogation”.

The Guardian also contacted Eva Bartlett, who said she had “no interest in participating in your quite evidently already-decided ‘story’ (an odd term for a journalist to use for an article)”.


Shortly after the requests for comment, Beeley appeared on a 40-minute-long YouTube programme in which she discussed the emailed requests for comment and criticised the Guardian’s coverage of Syria, alleging “faux reporting” based on footage provided by “al-Qaida affiliates” the White Helmets. Beeley said that the “majority consensus” was that the White Helmets were a fraudulent terrorist organisation.

_________________
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http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Former Associated Press journalist Robert Parry, who was smeared by Google as 'fake news' has died

One of the world's greatest investigative journalists just passed away. RIP Robert Parry, who exposed the Iran-Contra CIA drug running scandal in the 1980s, then got permanently blacklisted by the corporate #FakeNews media, who have ignored his passing
https://consortiumnews.com/2018/01/28/robert-parrys-legacy-and-the-fut ure-of-consortiumnews/





Consortiumnews
Independent Investigative Journalism Since 1995
Robert Parry’s Legacy and the Future of Consortiumnews
January 28, 2018

Robert Parry, editor and publisher of Consortiumnews.com, died peacefully Saturday evening. In this tribute, his son Nat Parry describes Robert’s unwavering commitment to independent journalism.



Robert Parry, 1949-2018
By Nat Parry

ƒIt is with a heavy heart that we inform Consortiumnews readers that Editor Robert Parry has passed away. As regular readers know, Robert (or Bob, as he was known to friends and family) suffered a stroke in December, which – despite his own speculation that it may have been brought on by the stress of covering Washington politics – was the result of undiagnosed pancreatic cancer that he had been unknowingly living with for the past 4-5 years.

He unfortunately suffered two more debilitating strokes in recent weeks and after the last one, was moved to hospice care on Tuesday. He passed away peacefully Saturday evening. He was 68.

Those of us close to him wish to sincerely thank readers for the kind comments and words of support posted on recent articles regarding Bob’s health issues. We read aloud many of these comments to him during his final days to let him know how much his work has meant to so many people and how much concern there was for his well-being.

I am sure that these kindnesses meant a lot to him. They also mean a lot to us as family members, as we all know how devoted he was to the mission of independent journalism and this website which has been publishing articles since the earliest days of the internet, launching all the way back in 1995.

With my dad, professional work has always been deeply personal, and his career as a journalist was thoroughly intertwined with his family life. I can recall kitchen table conversations in my early childhood that focused on the U.S.-backed wars in Central America and complaints about how his editors at The Associated Press were too timid to run articles of his that – no matter how well-documented – cast the Reagan administration in a bad light.

One of my earliest memories in fact was of my dad about to leave on assignment in the early 1980s to the war zones of El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala, and the heartfelt good-bye that he wished to me and my siblings. He warned us that he was going to a very dangerous place and that there was a possibility that he might not come back.

I remember asking him why he had to go, why he couldn’t just stay at home with us. He replied that it was important to go to these places and tell the truth about what was happening there. He mentioned that children my age were being killed in these wars and that somebody had to tell their stories. I remember asking, “Kids like me?” He replied, “Yes, kids just like you.”

Bob was deeply impacted by the dirty wars of Central America in the 1980s and in many ways these conflicts – and the U.S. involvement in them – came to define the rest of his life and career. With grisly stories emerging from Nicaragua (thanks partly to journalists like him), Congress passed the Boland Amendments from 1982 to 1984, which placed limits on U.S. military assistance to the contras who were attempting to overthrow the Sandinista government through a variety of terrorist tactics.

The Reagan administration immediately began exploring ways to circumvent those legal restrictions, which led to a scheme to send secret arms shipments to the revolutionary and vehemently anti-American government of Iran and divert the profits to the contras. In 1985, Bob wrote the first stories describing this operation, which later became known as the Iran-Contra Affair.

Contra-Cocaine and October Surprise


Poster by street artist and friend of Bob, Robbie Conal
Parallel to the illegal arms shipments to Iran during those days was a cocaine trafficking operation by the Nicaraguan contras and a willingness by the Reagan administration and the CIA to turn a blind eye to these activities. This, despite the fact that cocaine was flooding into the United States while Ronald Reagan was proclaiming a “war on drugs,” and a crack cocaine epidemic was devastating communities across the country.

Bob and his colleague Brian Barger were the first journalists to report on this story in late 1985, which became known as the contra-cocaine scandal, and became the subject of a congressional investigation led by then-Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) in 1986.

Continuing to pursue leads relating to Iran-Contra during a period in the late 80s when most of Washington was moving on from the scandal, Bob discovered that there was more to the story than commonly understood. He learned that the roots of the illegal arm shipments to Iran stretched back further than previously known – all the way back to the 1980 presidential campaign.

That electoral contest between incumbent Jimmy Carter and challenger Ronald Reagan had come to be largely dominated by the hostage crisis in Iran, with 52 Americans being held at the U.S. embassy in Tehran since the 1979 Iranian Revolution. The Iranian hostage crisis, along with the ailing economy, came to define a perception of an America in decline, with former Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan promising a new start for the country, a restoration of its status as a “shining city on a hill.”

The hostages were released in Tehran moments after Reagan was sworn in as president in Washington on January 20, 1981. Despite suspicions for years that there had been some sort of quid pro quo between the Reagan campaign and the Iranians, it wasn’t until Bob uncovered a trove of documents in a House office building basement in 1994 that the evidence became overwhelming that the Reagan campaign had interfered with the Carter administration’s efforts to free the hostages prior to the 1980 election. Their release sooner – what Carter hoped would be his “October Surprise” – could have given him the boost needed to win.

Examining these documents and being already well-versed on this story – having previously travelled three continents pursuing the investigation for a PBS Frontline documentary – Bob became increasingly convinced that the Reagan campaign had in fact sabotaged Carter’s hostage negotiations, possibly committing an act of treason in an effort to make sure that 52 American citizens continued to be held in a harrowing hostage situation until after Reagan secured the election.

Needless to say, this was an inconvenient story at a time – in the mid-1990s – when the national media had long since moved on from the Reagan scandals and were obsessing over new scandals, mostly related to President Bill Clinton’s sex life and failed real estate deals. Washington also wasn’t particularly interested in challenging the Reagan legacy, which at that time was beginning to solidify into a kind of mythology, with campaigns underway to name buildings and airports after the former president.

At times, Bob had doubts about his career decisions and the stories he was pursuing. As he wrote in Trick or Treason, a book outlining his investigation into the October Surprise Mystery, this search for historical truth can be painful and seemingly thankless.

“Many times,” he wrote, “I had regretted accepting Frontline’s assignment in 1990. I faulted myself for risking my future in mainstream journalism. After all, that is where the decent-paying jobs are. I had jeopardized my ability to support my four children out of an old-fashioned sense of duty, a regard for an unwritten code that expects reporters to take almost any assignment.”

Nevertheless, Bob continued his efforts to tell the full story behind both the Iran-Contra scandal and the origins of the Reagan-Bush era, ultimately leading to two things: him being pushed out of the mainstream media, and the launching of Consortiumnews.com.

I remember when he started the website, together with my older brother Sam, back in 1995. At the time, in spite of talk we were all hearing about something called “the information superhighway” and “electronic mail,” I had never visited a website and didn’t even know how to get “on line.” My dad called me in Richmond, where I was a sophomore at Virginia Commonwealth University, and told me I should check out this new “Internet site” he and Sam had just launched.

He explained over the phone how to open a browser and instructed me how to type in the URL, starting, he said, with “http,” then a colon and two forward slashes, then “www,” then “dot,” then this long address with one or two more forward slashes if I recall. (It wasn’t until years later that the website got its own domain and a simpler address.)

I went to the computer lab at the university and asked for some assistance on how to get online, dutifully typed in the URL, and opened this website – the first one I had ever visited. It was interesting, but a bit hard to read on the computer screen, so I printed out some articles to read back in my dorm room.

I quickly became a fan of “The Consortium,” as it was called back then, and continued reading articles on the October Surprise Mystery as Bob and Sam posted them on this new and exciting tool called “the Internet.” Sam had to learn HTML coding from scratch to launch this online news service, billed as “the Internet’s First Investigative ‘Zine.” For his efforts, Sam was honored with the Consortium for Independent Journalism’s first Gary Webb Freedom of the Press Award in 2015.

X-Files and Contra-Crack

At some point along the way, Bob decided that in addition to the website, where he was not only posting original articles but also providing the source documents that he had uncovered in the House office building basement, he would also take a stab at traditional publishing. He compiled the “October Surprise X-Files” into a booklet and self-published it in January 1996.


Original Consortium merchandise from 1996.
He was also publishing a newsletter to complement the website, knowing that at that time, there were still plenty of people who didn’t know how to turn a computer on, much less navigate the World Wide Web. I transferred from Virginia Commonwealth University to George Mason University in the DC suburbs and started working part-time with my dad and Sam on the newsletter and website.

We worked together on the content, editing and laying it out with graphics often culled from books at our local library. We built a subscriber base through networking and purchasing mailing lists from progressive magazines. Every two weeks we would get a thousand copies printed from Sir Speedy and would spend Friday evening collating these newsletters and sending them out to our subscribers.

The launching of the website and newsletter, and later an even-more ambitious project called I.F. Magazine, happened to coincide with the publication in 1996 of Gary Webb’s “Dark Alliance” series at the San Jose Mercury-News. Webb’s series reopened the contra-cocaine controversy with a detailed examination of the drug trafficking networks in Nicaragua and Los Angeles that had helped to spread highly addictive crack cocaine across the United States.

The African-American community, in particular, was rightly outraged over this story, which offered confirmation of many long-standing suspicions that the government was complicit in the drug trade devastating their communities. African Americans had been deeply and disproportionately affected by the crack epidemic, both in terms of the direct impact of the drug and the draconian drug laws and mandatory minimum sentences that came to define the government’s approach to “the war on drugs.”

For a moment in the summer of 1996, it appeared that the renewed interest in the contra-cocaine story might offer an opportunity to revisit the crimes and misdeeds of the Reagan-Bush era, but those hopes were dashed when the “the Big Media” decided to double down on its earlier failures to cover this story properly.

Big Papers Pile On

The Los Angeles Times launched the attack on Gary Webb and his reporting at the San Jose Mercury-News, followed by equally dismissive stories at the Washington Post and New York Times. The piling on from these newspapers eventually led Mercury-News editor Jerry Ceppos to denounce Webb’s reporting and offer a mea culpa for publishing the articles.

The onslaught of hostile reporting from the big papers failed to address the basic premises of Webb’s series and did not debunk the underlying allegations of contra-cocaine smuggling or the fact that much of this cocaine ended up on American streets in the form of crack. Instead, it raised doubts by poking holes in certain details and casting the story as a “conspiracy theory.” Some of the reporting attempted to debunk claims that Webb never actually made – such as the idea that the contra-cocaine trafficking was part of a government plot to intentionally decimate the African-American community.


Gary Webb holds up a copy of the San Jose Mercury-News with his front-page story.
Gary Webb and Bob were in close contact during those days. Bob offered him professional and personal support, having spent his time also on the receiving end of attacks by journalistic colleagues and editors who rejected certain stories – no matter how factual – as fanciful conspiracy theories. Articles at The Consortium website and newsletter, as well as I.F. Magazine, offered details on the historical context for the “Dark Alliance” series and pushed back against the mainstream media’s onslaught of hostile and disingenuous reporting.

Bob also published the book Lost History which provided extensive details on the background for the “Dark Alliance” series, explaining that far from a baseless “conspiracy theory,” the facts and evidence strongly supported the conclusion that the Reagan-Bush administrations had colluded with drug traffickers to fund their illegal war against Nicaragua.

But sadly, the damage to Gary Webb was done. With his professional and personal life in tatters because of his courageous reporting on the contra-cocaine story, he committed suicide in 2004 at the age of 49. Speaking about this suicide later on Democracy Now, Bob noted how painful it is to be ridiculed and unfairly criticized by colleagues, as his friend had experienced.

“There’s a special pain when your colleagues in your profession turn on you, especially when you’ve done something that they should admire and should understand,” he said. “To do all that work and then have the New York Times and the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times attack you and try to destroy your life, there’s a special pain in that.”

In consultation with his family, Bob and the Board of Directors for the Consortium for Independent Journalism launched the Gary Webb Freedom of the Press Award in 2015.

The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush

The presidency of George W. Bush was surreal for many of us, and no one more so than my dad.

In covering Washington politics for decades, Bob had traced many stories to “Dubya’s” father, George H.W. Bush, who had been implicated in a variety of questionable activities, including the October Surprise Mystery and Iran-Contra. He had also launched a war against Iraq in 1991 that seemed to be motivated, at least in part, to help kick “the Vietnam Syndrome,” i.e. the reluctance that the American people had felt since the Vietnam War to support military action abroad.

As Bob noted in his 1992 book Fooling America, after U.S. forces routed the Iraqi military in 1991, President Bush’s first public comment about the victory expressed his delight that it would finally put to rest the American reflex against committing troops to far-off conflicts. “By God, we’ve kicked the Vietnam Syndrome once and for all,” he exulted.

The fact that Bush-41’s son could run for president largely on name recognition confirmed to Bob the failure of the mainstream media to cover important stories properly and the need to continue building an independent media infrastructure. This conviction solidified through Campaign 2000 and the election’s ultimate outcome, when Bush assumed the White House as the first popular-vote loser in more than a century.

Despite the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court had halted the counting of votes in Florida, thus preventing an accurate determination of the rightful winner, most of the national media moved on from the story after Bush was sworn in on Jan. 20, 2001. Consortiumnews.com continued to examine the documentary record, however, and ultimately concluded that Al Gore would have been declared the winner of that election if all the legally cast ballots were counted.

At Consortiumnews, there was an unwritten editorial policy that the title “President” should never precede George W. Bush’s name, based on our view that he was not legitimately elected. But beyond those editorial decisions, we also understood the gravity of the fact that had Election 2000 been allowed to play out with all votes counted, many of the disasters of the Bush years – notably the 9/11 tragedy and the Iraq War, as well as decisions to withdraw from international agreements on arms control and climate change – might have been averted.

As all of us who lived through the post-9/11 era will recall, it was a challenging time all around, especially if you were someone critical of George W. Bush. The atmosphere in that period did not allow for much dissent. Those who stood up against the juggernaut for war – such as Phil Donahue at MSNBC, Chris Hedges at the New York Times, or even the Dixie Chicks – had their careers damaged and found themselves on the receiving end of death threats and hate mail.

While Bob’s magazine and newsletter projects had been discontinued, the website was still publishing articles, providing a home for dissenting voices that questioned the case for invading Iraq in late 2002 and early 2003. Around this time, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern and some of his colleagues founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity and a long-running relationship with Consortiumnews was established. Several former intelligence veterans began contributing to the website, motivated by the same independent spirit of truth-telling that compelled Bob to invest so much in this project.

At a time when almost the entire mainstream media was going along with the Bush administration’s dubious case for war, this and a few other like-minded websites pushed back with well-researched articles calling into question the rationale. Although at times it might have felt as though we were just voices in the wilderness, a major groundswell of opposition to war emerged in the country, with historic marches of hundreds of thousands taking place to reject Bush’s push for war.


Neck Deep was published by the Media Consortium in 2007.
Of course, these antiwar voices were ultimately vindicated by the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the fact that the war and occupation proved to be a far costlier and deadlier enterprise than we had been told that it would be. Earlier assurances that it would be a “cakewalk” proved as false as the WMD claims, but as had been so often the case in Washington, there was little to no accountability from the mainstream media, the think tanks or government officials for being so spectacularly wrong.

In an effort to document the true history of that era, Bob, Sam and I co-wrote the book Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, which was published in late 2007. The book traced the work of Consortiumnews, juxtaposing it against the backdrop of mainstream media coverage during the Bush era, in an effort to not only correct the record, but also demonstrate that not all of us got things so wrong.

We felt it was important to remind readers – as well as future historians – that some of us knew and reported in real time the mistakes that were being made on everything from withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol to invading Iraq to implementing a policy of torture to bungling the response to Hurricane Katrina.

Obama Era

By the Obama presidency, Consortiumnews.com had become a home to a growing number of writers who brought new perspectives to the website’s content. While for years, the writing staff had been limited primarily to Bob, Sam and me, suddenly, Consortiumnews was receiving contributions from journalists, activists and former intelligence analysts who offered a wide range of expertise – on international law, economics, human rights, foreign policy, national security, and even religion and philosophy.

One recurring theme of articles at the website during the Obama era was the enduring effect of unchallenged narratives, how they shaped national politics and dictated government policy. Bob observed that even a supposedly left-of-center president like Obama seemed beholden to the false narratives and national mythologies dating back to the Reagan era. He pointed out that this could be at least partially attributed to the failure to establish a strong foundation for independent journalism.

In a 2010 piece called “Obama’s Fear of the Reagan Narrative,” Bob noted that Obama had defended his deal with Republicans on tax cuts for the rich because there was such a strong lingering effect of Reagan’s messaging from 30 years earlier. “He felt handcuffed by the Right’s ability to rally Americans on behalf of Reagan’s ‘government-is-the-problem’ message,” Bob wrote.

He traced Obama’s complaints about his powerlessness in the face of this dynamic to the reluctance of American progressives to invest sufficiently in media and think tanks, as conservatives had been doing for decades in waging their “the war of ideas.” As he had been arguing since the early 1990s, Robert insisted that the limits that had been placed on Obama – whether real or perceived – continued to demonstrate the power of propaganda and the need for greater investment in alternative media.

He also observed that much of the nuttiness surrounding the so-called Tea Party movement resulted from fundamental misunderstandings of American history and constitutional principles. “Democrats and progressives should be under no illusion about the new flood of know-nothingism that is about to inundate the United States in the guise of a return to ‘first principles’ and a deep respect for the U.S. Constitution,” Bob warned.

He pointed out that despite the Tea Partiers’ claimed reverence for the Constitution, they actually had very little understanding of the document, as revealed by their ahistorical claims that federal taxes are unconstitutional. In fact, as Bob observed, the Constitution represented “a major power grab by the federal government, when compared to the loosely drawn Articles of Confederation, which lacked federal taxing authority and other national powers.”

Motivated by a desire to correct falsified historical narratives spanning more than two centuries, Bob published his sixth and final book, America’s Stolen Narrative: From Washington and Madison to Nixon, Reagan and the Bushes to Obama, in 2012.

Along with revenues from book sales, growing donations from readers enabled Bob to not only pay writers but also to hire an assistant, Chelsea Gilmour, who began working for Consortiumnews in 2014. In addition to providing invaluable administrative support, Chelsea also performed duties including research, writing and fact-checking.

Political Realignment and the New McCarthyism

Although at the beginning of the Obama era – and indeed since the 1980s – the name Robert Parry had been closely associated with exposing wrongdoing by Republicans, and hence had a strong following among Democratic Party loyalists, by the end of Obama’s presidency there seemed to be a realignment taking place among some of Consortiumnews.com’s readership, which reflected more generally the shifting politics of the country.

In particular, the U.S. media’s approach to Russia and related issues, such as the violent ouster in 2014 of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, became “virtually 100 percent propaganda,” Bob said.

He noted that the full story was never told when it came to issues such as the Sergei Magnitsky case, which led to the first round of U.S. sanctions against Russia, nor the inconvenient facts related to the Euromaidan protests that led to Yanukovych’s ouster – including the reality of strong neo-Nazi influence in those protests – nor the subsequent conflict in the Donbass region of Ukraine.

Bob’s stories on Ukraine were widely cited and disseminated, and he became an important voice in presenting a fuller picture of the conflict than was possible by reading and watching only mainstream news outlets. Bob was featured prominently in Oliver Stone’s 2016 documentary “Ukraine on Fire,” where he explained how U.S.-funded political NGOs and media companies have worked with the CIA and foreign policy establishment since the 1980s to promote the U.S. geopolitical agenda.

Bob regretted that, increasingly, “the American people and the West in general are carefully shielded from hearing the ‘other side of the story.’” Indeed, he said that to even suggest that there might be another side to the story is enough to get someone branded as an apologist for Vladimir Putin or a “Kremlin stooge.”


The PropOrNot logo
This culminated in late 2016 in the blacklisting of Consortiumnews.com on a dubious website called “PropOrNot,” which was claiming to serve as a watchdog against undue “Russian influence” in the United States. The PropOrNot blacklist, including Consortiumnews and about 200 other websites deemed “Russian propaganda,” was elevated by the Washington Post as a credible source, despite the fact that the neo-McCarthyites who published the list hid behind a cloak of anonymity.

“The Post’s article by Craig Timberg,” Bob wrote on Nov. 27, 2016, “described PropOrNot simply as ‘a nonpartisan collection of researchers with foreign policy, military and technology backgrounds [who] planned to release its own findings Friday showing the startling reach and effectiveness of Russian propaganda campaigns.’”

As Bob explained in an article called “Washington Post’s Fake News Guilt,” the paper granted PropOrNot anonymity “to smear journalists who don’t march in lockstep with official pronouncements from the State Department or some other impeccable fount of never-to-be-questioned truth.”

The Post even provided an unattributed quote from the head of the shadowy website. “The way that this propaganda apparatus supported [Donald] Trump was equivalent to some massive amount of a media buy,” the anonymous smear merchant said. The Post claimed that the PropOrNot “executive director” had spoken on the condition of anonymity “to avoid being targeted by Russia’s legions of skilled hackers.”

To be clear, neither Consortiumnews nor Robert Parry ever “supported Trump,” as the above anonymous quote claims. Something interesting, however, did seem to be happening in terms of Consortiumnews’ readership in the early days of the Trump presidency, as could be gleaned from some of the comments left on articles and social media activity.

It did appear for some time at least that a good number of Trump supporters were reading Consortiumnews, which could probably attributed to the fact that the website was one of the few outlets pushing back against both the “New Cold War” with Russia and the related story of “Russiagate,” which Bob didn’t even like referring to as a “scandal.” (As an editor, he preferred to use the word “controversy” on the website, because as far as he was concerned, the allegations against Trump and his supposed “collusion” with Russia did not rise to the level of actual scandals such as Watergate or Iran-Contra.)

In his view, the perhaps understandable hatred of Trump felt by many Americans – both inside and outside the Beltway – had led to an abandonment of old-fashioned rules of journalism and standards of fairness, which should be applied even to someone like Donald Trump.

“On a personal note, I faced harsh criticism even from friends of many years for refusing to enlist in the anti-Trump ‘Resistance,’” Bob wrote in his final article for Consortiumnews.

“The argument was that Trump was such a unique threat to America and the world that I should join in finding any justification for his ouster,” he said. “Some people saw my insistence on the same journalistic standards that I had always employed somehow a betrayal.”

He marveled that even senior editors in the mainstream media treated the unproven Russiagate allegations as flat fact.

“No skepticism was tolerated and mentioning the obvious bias among the never-Trumpers inside the FBI, Justice Department and intelligence community was decried as an attack on the integrity of the U.S. government’s institutions,” Bob wrote. “Anti-Trump ‘progressives’ were posturing as the true patriots because of their now unquestioning acceptance of the evidence-free proclamations of the U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies.”

An Untimely End and the Future of Consortiumnews

My dad’s untimely passing has come as a shock to us all, especially since up until a month ago, there was no indication whatsoever that he was sick in any way. He took good care of himself, never smoked, got regular check-ups, exercised, and ate well. The unexpected health issues starting with a mild stroke Christmas Eve and culminating with his admission into hospice care several days ago offer a stark reminder that nothing should be taken for granted.

And as many Consortiumnews readers have eloquently pointed out in comments left on recent articles regarding Bob’s health, it also reminds us that his brand of journalism is needed today more than ever.

“We need free will thinkers like you who value the truth based on the evidence and look past the group think in Washington to report on the real reasons for our government’s and our media’s actions which attempt to deceive us all,” wrote, for example, “FreeThinker.”

“Common sense and integrity are the hallmarks of Robert Parry’s journalism. May you get better soon for you are needed more now then ever before,” wrote “T.J.”

“We need a new generation of reporters, journalists, writers, and someone always being tenacious to follow up on the story,” added “Tina.”

As someone who has been involved with this website since its inception – as a writer, an editor and a reader – I concur with these sentiments. Readers should rest assured that despite my dad’s death, every effort will be made to ensure that the website will continue going strong.

Indeed, I think that everyone involved with this project wants to uphold the same commitment to truth-telling without fear or favor that inspired Bob and his heroes like George Seldes, I.F. Stone, and Thomas Paine.

That commitment can be seen in my dad’s pursuit of stories such as those mentioned above, but also so many others – including his investigations into the financial relationship of the influential Washington Times with the Unification Church cult of Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the truth behind the Nixon campaign’s alleged efforts to sabotage President Lyndon Johnson’s Paris peace talks with Vietnamese leaders in 1968, the reality of the chemical attack in Syria in 2013, and even detailed examinations of the evidence behind the so-called “Deflategate” controversy that he felt unfairly branded his favorite football team, the New England Patriots, as cheaters.

Reviewing these journalistic achievements, it becomes clear that there are few stories that have slipped under Consortiumnews.com’s radar, and that the historical record is far more complete thanks to this website and Bob’s old-fashioned approach to journalism.

But besides this deeply held commitment to independent journalism, it should also be recalled that, ultimately, Bob was motivated by a concern over the future of life on Earth. As someone who grew up at the height of the Cold War, he understood the dangers of allowing tensions and hysteria to spiral out of control, especially in a world such as ours with enough nuclear weapons to wipe out all life on the planet many times over.

As the United States continues down the path of a New Cold War, my dad would be pleased to know that he has such committed contributors who will enable the site to remain the indispensable home for independent journalism that it has become, and continue to push back on false narratives that threaten our very survival.

Thank you all for your support.

In lieu of flowers, Bob’s family asks you to please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Consortium for Independent Journalism.

_________________
--
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
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Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

University press releases about research - PAID FOR by BIG PHARMA - IS distorting the news
Thread alert: Lots of heated discussion going on about this. It’s not the 1st time – this issue comes up repeatedly. I used to be firmly of the “I’m a scientist. Yes” camp, but I changed my views quite profoundly & here’s why. Gather round fellow scientists.
https://twitter.com/chrisdc77/status/960304692449435648


The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study
BMJ 2014; 349 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g7015 (Published 10 December 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g7015
http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g7015

Petroc Sumner, professor12, Solveiga Vivian-Griffiths, research assistant12, Jacky Boivin, professor2, Andy Williams, lecturer3, Christos A Venetis, senior lecturer4, Aimée Davies, research assistant2, Jack Ogden, research assistant2, Leanne Whelan, research assistant2, Bethan Hughes, research assistant2, Bethan Dalton, research assistant2, Fred Boy, senior lecturer5, Christopher D Chambers, professor12

Author affiliations

Correspondence to: P Sumner or C D Chambers sumnerp@cardiff.ac.uk or chambersc1@cardiff.ac.uk

Accepted 5 November 2014

Abstract

Objective To identify the source (press releases or news) of distortions, exaggerations, or changes to the main conclusions drawn from research that could potentially influence a reader’s health related behaviour.

Design Retrospective quantitative content analysis.

Setting Journal articles, press releases, and related news, with accompanying simulations.

Sample Press releases (n=462) on biomedical and health related science issued by 20 leading UK universities in 2011, alongside their associated peer reviewed research papers and news stories (n=668).

Main outcome measures Advice to readers to change behaviour, causal statements drawn from correlational research, and inference to humans from animal research that went beyond those in the associated peer reviewed papers.

Results 40% (95% confidence interval 33% to 46%) of the press releases contained exaggerated advice, 33% (26% to 40%) contained exaggerated causal claims, and 36% (28% to 46%) contained exaggerated inference to humans from animal research. When press releases contained such exaggeration, 58% (95% confidence interval 48% to 68%), 81% (70% to 93%), and 86% (77% to 95%) of news stories, respectively, contained similar exaggeration, compared with exaggeration rates of 17% (10% to 24%), 18% (9% to 27%), and 10% (0% to 19%) in news when the press releases were not exaggerated. Odds ratios for each category of analysis were 6.5 (95% confidence interval 3.5 to 12), 20 (7.6 to 51), and 56 (15 to 211). At the same time, there was little evidence that exaggeration in press releases increased the uptake of news.

Conclusions Exaggeration in news is strongly associated with exaggeration in press releases. Improving the accuracy of academic press releases could represent a key opportunity for reducing misleading health related news.




Science and health news hype: where does it come from?
https://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2014/dec/10/science-health-ne ws-hype-press-releases-universities

Our research shows that most exaggeration in health-related science news is already present in the press releases issued by universities. As alarming as this is, it creates an opportunity to foster more accurate journalism

Chris Chambers, Petroc Sumner, Jacky Boivin, Solveiga Vivian-Griffiths and Andy Williams - Wed 10 Dec 2014 07.00 GMT

A tin of assorted biscuits
If a study found a correlation between eating biscuits and cancer but a subsequent news story reported that biscuits cause cancer, could the university press release be to blame? Photograph: Graham Turner/Guardian

Three years ago, as riots swept across England, one of our studies became the target of some bizarre science reporting. “Brain chemical lack spurs rioting, say scientists”, claimed one journalist. “Nose spray to stop drunks and brawls” declared a tabloid. What we actually found was more prosaic: the concentration of a naturally occurring brain chemical called GABA was associated with impulsivity in a group of adult men. No mention of riots. No mention of nasal sprays. Unfortunately, we made the novice mistake of issuing the press release about our research during the riots, prompting a media circus.

Our experience spurred us to start a discussion about the state of British science reporting, and naturally we joined battle in defence of our own tribe, the scientists. This took us all the way to a debate at the Royal Institution, which raised an intriguing question. Given the rising competition between universities for media impact, was it possible that at least some misreporting originated within academia? To what extent were scientists publishing hype – deliberately or inadvertently – in their own public relations material?
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Only research could answer this question, so we decided to embark on a project that at the time seemed mammoth but irresistible. Over the next year we collected all press releases about health-related science in 2011 issued by 20 major UK universities, together with the peer-reviewed scientific journals from which they originated and the printed news stories that followed. We then asked to what extent exaggerated statements in the news stories (relative to statements in peer-reviewed journals) were already present in each press release. For example, if the journal article reported a correlation between eating biscuits and cancer risk, and the news story claimed that biscuits cause cancer, what did the press release say? Similarly, if a news story claimed a new treatment for humans but the actual study was on mice, what did the press release say?

The results, published today in the BMJ, are alarming, but not in the way we had initially anticipated. Hype invented in news, as we had experienced, was relatively uncommon. Instead, in most cases when news stories made claims beyond those made in the peer-reviewed journal article, such exaggeration was already present in the university press release. What’s more, exaggerated press releases weren’t statistically associated with greater news coverage, challenging the received wisdom that hype generates impact.
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Because it was retrospective, our study can’t prove that exaggeration in press releases causes exaggeration in the news, or that exaggeration has no impact on coverage when all else is equal. To dig deeper we need to move beyond observational research and conduct an experiment. With funding from the Economic and Social Research Council we are now preparing to conduct a randomised trial on how different styles of press releases, and variants in specific phrasing, influence the accuracy and quantity of science news. To do this we’re partnering with press offices around the UK.

Pressures applied at different points in the news cycle can make science reporting go wrong. Many people rush to blame journalists, just as we did. But our research suggests that behind many misleading news reports is a misleading press release, normally part-written, or at least approved, by the scientists themselves. This makes academics responsible for their own press releases, and they must be held accountable, as Ben Goldacre points out today in an editorial for the BMJ about our research.

This doesn’t let journalists off the hook. After all, what is the job of a journalist if not to investigate and critique hyped claims? Still, we have no choice but to accept the sombre reality that many journalists who report science don’t have time to conduct investigations or challenge the content of press releases. Competition between universities and the drive toward self-promotion have combined with economic pressures on journalism to create an unhealthy ecosystem.

Accurate science journalism isn’t sufficient to improve the public understanding of science. On the other hand, nobody can reasonably claim that accuracy isn’t a vital starting point. We hope that working out ways to improve press releases will trigger a boost in the accuracy of science news.

If you work in a UK press office and would like to join our randomised trial then please contact us. We would be glad to hear from you.

Chris Chambers, Petroc Sumner, Jacky Boivin, Solveiga Vivian-Griffiths and Andy Williams are at the School of Psychology and School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University. We are grateful to our many collaborators for their tireless work on this project, and to our professional advisory group of journalists and press officers. Our research paper and all associated data are free to download.

_________________
www.lawyerscommitteefor9-11inquiry.org
www.rethink911.org
www.patriotsquestion911.com
www.actorsandartistsfor911truth.org
www.mediafor911truth.org
www.pilotsfor911truth.org
www.mp911truth.org
www.ae911truth.org
www.rl911truth.org
www.stj911.org
www.v911t.org
www.thisweek.org.uk
www.abolishwar.org.uk
www.elementary.org.uk
www.radio4all.net/index.php/contributor/2149
http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
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Whitehall_Bin_Men
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Russiagate Suddenly Becomes Bigger
http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/russiagate-suddenly-becomes-bigger/

Will every critic of our government policies soon be indictable?
Philip Giraldi • February 20, 2018 • 2,000 Words • 213 Comments • Reply

It’s hard to know where to begin. Last Friday’s indictment of 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies by Special Counsel Robert Mueller was detailed in a 37 page document that provided a great deal of specific evidence claiming that a company based in St. Petersburg, starting in 2014, was using social media to assess American attitudes. Using that assessment, the company inter alia allegedly later ran a clandestine operation seeking to influence opinion in the United States regarding the candidates in the 2016 election in which it favored Donald Trump and denigrated Hillary Clinton. The Russians identified by name are all back in Russia and cannot be extradited to the U.S., so the indictment is, to a certain extent, political theater as the accused’s defense will never be heard.

In presenting the document, Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General, stressed that there was no evidence to suggest that the alleged Russian activity actually changed the result of the 2016 presidential election or that any actual votes were altered or tampered with. Nor was there any direct link to either the Russian government or its officials or to the Donald Trump campaign developed as a result of the nine-month long investigation. There was also lacking any mention in the indictment of the Democratic National Committee, Hillary Clinton and Podesta e-mails, so it is to be presumed that the activity described in the document was unrelated to the WikiLeaks disclosures.

Those of the “okay, there’s smoke but where’s the fire” school of thought immediately noted the significant elephant in the room, namely that the document did not include any suggestion that there had been collusion between Team Trump and Moscow. As that narrative has become the very raison d’etre driving the Mueller investigation, its omission is noteworthy. Meanwhile, those who see more substance in what was revealed by the evidence provided in the indictment and who, for political reasons, would like to see Trump damaged, will surely be encouraged by their belief that the noose is tightening around the president.

Assuming the indictment is accurate, I would agree that the activity of the Internet Research Agency does indeed have some of the hallmarks of a covert action intelligence operation in terms how it used some spying tradecraft to support its organization, targeting and activity. But its employees also displayed considerable amateur behavior, suggesting that they were not professional spies, supporting the argument that it was not a government intelligence operation or an initiative under Kremlin control. And beyond that, so what? Even on a worst-case basis, stirring things up is what intelligence agencies do, and no one is more active in interfering in foreign governments and elections than the United States of America, most notably in Russia for the election of Boris Yeltsin in 1996, which was arranged by Washington, and more recently in Ukraine in 2014. From my own experience I can cite Italy’s 1976 national election in which the CIA went all out to keep the communists out of government. Couriers were discreetly dispatched to the headquarters of all the Italian right wing parties dropping off bags of money for “expenses” while the Italian newspapers were full of articles written by Agency-paid hacks warning of the dangers of communism. And this all went on clandestinely even though Italy was a democracy, an ally and NATO member.

Does that mean that Washington should do nothing in response? No, not at all. Russia, if the indictment is accurate, may have run an influencing operation and gotten caught with its hand in the cookie jar. Or maybe not. And Washington might also actually have information suggesting that Russia is preparing to engage in further interference in the 2018 and 2020 elections, as claimed by the heads of the intelligence agencies, though, as usual, evidence for the claim is lacking. There has to be bilateral, confidential discussion of such activity between Washington and Moscow and a warning given that such behavior will not be tolerated in the future, but only based on irrefutable, solid evidence. The leadership in both countries should be made to understand very clearly that there are more compelling reasons to maintain good bilateral working relations than not.

With that in mind, it is important not to overreact and to base any U.S. response on the actual damage that was inflicted. The indictment suggests that Russia is out to destroy American democracy by promoting “distrust” of government as well as sowing “discord” in the U.S. political system while also encouraging “divisiveness” among the American people. I would suggest in Russia’s defense that the U.S. political system is already doing a good job at self-destructing and the difficult-to-prove accusations being hurled at Moscow are the type one flings when there is not really anything important to say.

I would suggest that Moscow might well want to destroy American democracy but there is no evidence in the indictment to support that hypothesis. I particularly note that the document makes a number of assumptions which appear to be purely speculative for which it provides no evidence. It describes the Russian company Internet Research Agency as “engaged in operations to interfere with elections and political processes.” Its employees were involved in

“interference operations targeting the United States. From in or around 2014 to the present, Defendants knowingly and intentionally conspired with each other (and with persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury) to defraud the United States by impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the government through fraud and deceit for the purpose of interfering with the U.S. political and electoral processes, including the presidential election of 2016.”

The theme of Russian subversion is repeated throughout the indictment without any compelling evidence to explain how Mueller knows what he asserts to be true, suggesting either that the document would have benefited from a good editor or that whoever drafted it was making things up. Internet Research Agency allegedly “conduct[ed] what it called ‘information warfare against the United States of America’ through fictitious U.S. personas on social media platforms and other Internet-based media.” The indictment goes on to assert that

“By in or around May 2014, the ORGANIZATION’s strategy included interfering with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, with the stated goal of ‘spread[ing] distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general’”

with a

“strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Defendants posted derogatory information about a number of candidates, and by early to mid-2016, Defendants’ operations included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump (“Trump Campaign”) and disparaging Hillary Clinton. Defendants made various expenditures to carry out those activities, including buying political advertisements on social media in the name of U.S. persons and entities. Defendants also staged political rallies inside the United States, and while posing as U.S. grassroots entities and U.S. persons, and without revealing their Russian identities and ORGANIZATION affiliation, solicited and compensated real U.S. persons to promote or disparage candidates. Some Defendants, posing as U.S. persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities.”

Two company associates

“traveled in and around the United States, including stops in Nevada, California, New Mexico, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Louisiana, Texas, and New York to gather intelligence. After the trip, [they] exchanged an intelligence report regarding the trip. The conspiracy had as its object the opening of accounts under false names at U.S. financial institutions and a digital payments company in order to receive and send money into and out of the United States to support the ORGANIZATION’s operations in the United States and for self-enrichment. Defendants and their co-conspirators also used the accounts to receive money from real U.S. persons in exchange for posting promotions and advertisements on the ORGANIZATION-controlled social media pages. Defendants and their co-conspirators typically charged certain U.S. merchants and U.S. social media sites between 25 and 50 U.S. dollars per post for promotional content on their popular false U.S. persona accounts, including Being Patriotic, Defend the 2nd, and Blacktivist. All in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349.”

Note particularly the money laundering and for-profit aspects of the Internet Research scheme, something that would be eschewed if it were an actual intelligence operation. There is some speculation that it all might have been what is referred to as a click-bait commercial marketing scheme set up to make money from advertising fees. Also note how small the entire operation was. It focused on limited social media activity while spending an estimated $1 million on the entire venture, with Facebook admitting to a total of $100,000 in total ad buys, only half of which were before the election. It doesn’t smell like a major foreign government intelligence/influence initiative intended to “overthrow democracy.” And who attended the phony political rallies? How many votes did the whole thing cause to change? Impossible to know, but given a campaign in which billions were spent and both fake and real news were flying in all directions, one would have to assume that the Russian effort was largely a waste of time if it indeed was even as described or serious in the first place.

And apart from the money laundering aspect of the alleged campaign was it even illegal apart from the allegations of possible visa fraud and money laundering? If the Russians involved were getting their financial support from the Moscow government then it would be necessary to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) of 1938, but if not, they would be protected by the Constitution and have the same First Amendment right to express their opinions of Hillary Clinton on blogs and websites while also associating with others politically as do all other residents of the United States. Many of the commenters on this Unz site are foreign and are not required either by law or custom to state where they come from.

And, of course, there is one other thing. There always is. One major media outlet is already suggesting that there could be consequences for American citizens who wittingly or unwittingly helped the Russians, identified in the indictment as “persons known and unknown.” A former federal prosecutor put it another way, saying “While they went to great pains to say they are not indicting any Americans today, if I was an American and I did cooperate with Russians I would be extremely frightened…” Politico speculates that “Now, a legal framework exists for criminal charges against Americans…” and cites a former U.S. district attorney’s observation that “Think of a conspiracy indicting parties ‘known and unknown’ as a Matroyshka doll. There are many more layers to be successively revealed over time.”

Under normal circumstances, an American citizen colluding with a foreign country would have to be convicted of engaging in an illegal conspiracy, which would require being aware that the foreigners were involved in criminal behavior and knowingly aiding them. But today’s overheated atmosphere in Washington is anything but normal. Russia’s two major media outlets that operate in the U.S., Sputnik and RT America, have been forced to register under FARA. Does that mean that the hundreds of American citizens who appeared on their programs prior to the 2016 election to talk about national politics will be next in line for punishment? Stay tuned.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is www.councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

_________________
--
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WATCH: This is extremely dangerous to our democracy…

A few days ago, every local news station in America owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group – a massive media conglomerate – read short a statement about the spread of “fake news”. The same statement, word-for-word. CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox, it didn’t matter. They were united in their chant.

As you watch the montage – put together by user “D” on youtube – you have to ask yourself: What is the mechanism behind this? Who wrote the statement, and what structure allows their words to be spoken by hundreds of mouths to millions of viewers?

Most importantly – how revealing is this of our media? How often has this united-front of opinion been present, but less obvious?

https://off-guardian.org/2018/04/02/watch-this-is-extremely-dangerous- to-our-democracy/

_________________
--
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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Whitehall_Bin_Men
Trustworthy Freedom Fighter
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Joined: 13 Jan 2007
Posts: 2265
Location: Westminster, LONDON, SW1A 2HB.

PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your country needs you to fight fake news, UK journalists told
Defence minister says armed forces need specialist skills to counter cyber-propaganda
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/may/01/your-country-needs-yo u-to-fight-fake-news-uk-journalists-told

Jessica Elgot Political correspondent @jessicaelgot Tue 1 May 2018

Journalists and IT specialists should join the UK’s reserve forces to help the counter fake news and cyber-propaganda, the defence secretary, Gavin Williamson, has said.

Williamson said the armed forces needed more specialists with skills in “getting messages across” and said the army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force needed to do more to entice tech-literate and communications professionals to consider careers in the forces.

In an interview with The House magazine to be published later this week, Williamson said the armed forces needed skills that could be used to combat propaganda on social media.

He said army recruitment should be about “looking to different people who maybe think, as a journalist: ‘What are my skills in terms of how are they relevant to the armed forces?’

“They are more relevant today than anything else, having those skills, whether it be journalists, those people with amazing cyber and IT skills, those people with the ability to really understand about getting messages across.”


Guardian Today: the headlines, the analysis, the debate - sent direct to you
Read more
Williamson said warfare was evolving rapidly and needed a new approach for the next generation. “We have to start changing the armed forces in terms of actually attracting those people as well.

“Sometimes people see the armed forces as being quite traditional in terms of its approach. But in this disinformation age, this cyber-age – people often look at cyber as something that’s separate. Actually, it’s completely relevant to every other different part of our services.”

Williamson has previously spoken about the threat Russian disinformation poses to the UK, saying after the Salisbury chemical attack that the Kremlin should “go away and shut up”.

He later revealed that his “undiplomatic language” had earned him a ticking off from Downing Street.

He compared the tactics used by Russian internet trolls to Nazi propaganda, saying last month that it “completely distorts the narrative of what people think about things … effectively the Lord Haw-Haws of the modern era”.

_________________
--
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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Whitehall_Bin_Men
Trustworthy Freedom Fighter
Trustworthy Freedom Fighter


Joined: 13 Jan 2007
Posts: 2265
Location: Westminster, LONDON, SW1A 2HB.

PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jean Paul Guyse
For propaganda to work it has to based on some sense of truth. The fact that the government dictat has lost all connection to reality, any propaganda they produce will only amplify their idiocy instead of justifying their stance.

Marcus Buckingham
Your Country Needs YOU (to sell Russian Fear Propaganda)
British politics has become a burlesque parody of the mad. Politicians are the source of almost all Fake News & they have the nerve to claim that they are under cyber attack. It's so pathetic, it would be Pythonesque funny - if it were not so serious.
Gavin 'the fireplace salesman' Williamson (who came out of nowhere, which should tell you everything you need to know) means the UK is the only country in the world that has a Minister of Defence, that has no background in defence. He probably couldn't tell a NATO uniform from a Russian one, but gallantly told Russia to 'shut up & go away'. Wow Putin must be really * himself!

Yours Truly
Great example of mass media fake news.
Did Ken say "Hitler was a Zionist" or "Hitler supported Zionism"?
Mr Livingstone insisted: I only do it answering a question like you’ve just put. "I’ve never written a speech or article about Hitler. It always gets you into trouble if you tell the truth." https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/ken-livingstone-hitler- labour-barnet-jewish-voters-local-elections-tory-a8336016.html

Whitehall_Bin_Men wrote:
Your country needs you to fight fake news, UK journalists told
Defence minister says armed forces need specialist skills to counter cyber-propaganda
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/may/01/your-country-needs-yo u-to-fight-fake-news-uk-journalists-told

Jessica Elgot Political correspondent @jessicaelgot Tue 1 May 2018

Journalists and IT specialists should join the UK’s reserve forces to help the counter fake news and cyber-propaganda, the defence secretary, Gavin Williamson, has said.

Williamson said the armed forces needed more specialists with skills in “getting messages across” and said the army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force needed to do more to entice tech-literate and communications professionals to consider careers in the forces.

In an interview with The House magazine to be published later this week, Williamson said the armed forces needed skills that could be used to combat propaganda on social media.

He said army recruitment should be about “looking to different people who maybe think, as a journalist: ‘What are my skills in terms of how are they relevant to the armed forces?’

“They are more relevant today than anything else, having those skills, whether it be journalists, those people with amazing cyber and IT skills, those people with the ability to really understand about getting messages across.”


Guardian Today: the headlines, the analysis, the debate - sent direct to you
Read more
Williamson said warfare was evolving rapidly and needed a new approach for the next generation. “We have to start changing the armed forces in terms of actually attracting those people as well.

“Sometimes people see the armed forces as being quite traditional in terms of its approach. But in this disinformation age, this cyber-age – people often look at cyber as something that’s separate. Actually, it’s completely relevant to every other different part of our services.”

Williamson has previously spoken about the threat Russian disinformation poses to the UK, saying after the Salisbury chemical attack that the Kremlin should “go away and shut up”.

He later revealed that his “undiplomatic language” had earned him a ticking off from Downing Street.

He compared the tactics used by Russian internet trolls to Nazi propaganda, saying last month that it “completely distorts the narrative of what people think about things … effectively the Lord Haw-Haws of the modern era”.

_________________
--
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
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