Cold War II to McCarthyism II

Exclusive: With Cold War II in full swing, the New York Times is dusting off what might be called McCarthyism II, the suggestion that anyone who doesn’t get in line with U.S. propaganda must be working for Moscow, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Perhaps it’s no surprise that the U.S. government’s plunge into Cold War II would bring back the one-sided propaganda themes that dominated Cold War I, but it’s still unsettling to see how quickly the major U.S. news media has returned to the old ways, especially the New York Times, which has emerged as Official Washington’s propaganda vehicle of choice.

What has been most striking in the behavior of the Times and most other U.S. mainstream media outlets is their utter lack of self-awareness, for instance, accusing Russia of engaging in propaganda and alliance-building that are a pale shadow of what the U.S. government routinely does. Yet, the Times and the rest of the MSM act as if these actions are unique to Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin during a state visit to Austria on June 24, 2014. (Official Russian government photo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin during a state visit to Austria on June 24, 2014. (Official Russian government photo)

A case in point is Monday’s front-page story in the Times entitled “Russia Wields Aid and Ideology Against West to Fight Sanctions,” which warns: “Moscow has brought to bear different kinds of weapons, according to American and European officials: money, ideology and disinformation.”

The article by Peter Baker and Steven Erlanger portrays the U.S. government as largely defenseless in the face of this unprincipled Russian onslaught: “Even as the Obama administration and its European allies try to counter Russia’s military intervention across its border, they have found themselves struggling at home against what they see as a concerted drive by Moscow to leverage its economic power, finance European political parties and movements, and spread alternative accounts of the conflict.”

Like many of the Times’ recent articles, this one relies on one-sided accusations from U.S. and European officials and is short on both hard evidence of actual Russian payments and a response from the Russian government to the charges. At the end of the long story, the writers do include one comment from Brookings Institution scholar, Fiona Hill, a former U.S. national intelligence officer on Russia, noting the shortage of proof.

“The question is how much hard evidence does anyone have?” she asked. But that’s about all a Times’ reader will get if he or she is looking for some balanced reporting.

Missing the Obvious

Still, the more remarkable aspect of the article is how it ignores the much more substantial evidence of the U.S. government and its allies themselves financing propaganda operations and supporting “non-governmental organizations” that promote the favored U.S. policies in countries around the world.

Plus, there’s the failure to recognize that many of Official Washington’s own accounts of global problems have been riddled with propaganda and outright disinformation.

For instance, much of the State Department’s account of the Aug. 21, 2013 sarin attack in Syria turned out to be false or misleading. United Nations inspectors discovered only one rocket carrying sarin not the barrage that U.S. officials had originally alleged and the rocket had a much shorter range than the U.S. government (and the New York Times) claimed. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “NYT Backs Off Its Syria-Sarin Analysis.”]

Then, after the Feb. 22, 2014 U.S.-backed coup in Ukraine, the U.S. government and the Times became veritable founts of propaganda and disinformation. Beyond refusing to acknowledge the key role played by neo-Nazi and other right-wing militias in the coup and subsequent violence, the State Department disseminated information to the Times that later was acknowledged to be false.

In April 2014, the Times published a lead story based on photographs of purported Russian soldiers in Ukraine but had to retract it two days later because it turned out that the State Department had misrepresented where a key photo was  taken, destroying the premise of the article. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “NYT Retracts Ukraine Photo Scoop.”]

And sometimes the propaganda came directly from senior U.S. government officials. For instance, on April 29, 2014, Richard Stengel, under secretary of state for public diplomacy, issued a “Dipnote” that leveled accusations that the Russian network RT was painting “a dangerous and false picture of Ukraine’s legitimate government,” i.e., the post-coup regime that took power after elected President Viktor Yanukovych was driven from office. In this context, Stengel denounced RT as “a distortion machine, not a news organization.”

Though he offered no specific dates and times for the offending RT programs, Stengel did complain about “the unquestioning repetition of the ludicrous assertion that the United States has invested $5 billion in regime change in Ukraine. These are not facts, and they are not opinions. They are false claims, and when propaganda poses as news it creates real dangers and gives a green light to violence.”

However, RT’s “ludicrous assertion” about the U.S. investing $5 billion was a clear reference to a public speech by Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland to U.S. and Ukrainian business leaders on Dec. 13, 2013, in which she told them that “we have invested more than $5 billion” in what was needed for Ukraine to achieve its “European aspirations.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Who’s the Propagandist: US or RT?”]

One could go on and on about the U.S. government making false or misleading claims about these and other international crises. But it should be clear that Official Washington doesn’t have clean hands when it comes to propaganda mud-slinging, though you wouldn’t know that from the Times’ article on Monday.

Funding Cut-outs

And, beyond the U.S. government’s direct dissemination of disinformation, the U.S. government also has spread around hundreds of millions of dollars to finance “journalism” organizations, political activists and “non-governmental organizations” that promote U.S. policy goals inside targeted countries. Before the Feb. 22, 2014 coup in Ukraine, there were scores of such operations in the country financed by the National Endowment for Democracy. NED’s budget from Congress exceeds $100 million a year.

But NED, which has been run by neocon Carl Gershman since its founding in 1983, is only part of the picture. You have many other propaganda fronts operating under the umbrella of the U.S. State Department and its U.S. Agency for International Development. Last May 1, USAID issued a fact sheet summarizing its work financing friendly journalists around the world, including “journalism education, media business development, capacity building for supportive institutions, and strengthening legal-regulatory environments for free media.”

USAID estimated its budget for “media strengthening programs in over 30 countries” at $40 million annually, including aiding “independent media organizations and bloggers in over a dozen countries,” In Ukraine before the coup, USAID offered training in “mobile phone and website security.”

USAID, working with billionaire George Soros’s Open Society, also funds the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, which engages in “investigative journalism” that usually goes after governments that have fallen into disfavor with the United States and then are singled out for accusations of corruption. The USAID-funded OCCRP also collaborates with Bellingcat, an online investigative website founded by blogger Eliot Higgins.

Higgins has spread misinformation on the Internet, including discredited claims implicating the Syrian government in the sarin attack in 2013 and directing an Australian TV news crew to what appeared to be the wrong location for a video of a BUK anti-aircraft battery as it supposedly made its getaway to Russia after the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in 2014.

Despite his dubious record of accuracy, Higgins has gained mainstream acclaim, in part, because his “findings” always match up with the propaganda theme that the U.S. government and its Western allies are peddling. Though most genuinely independent bloggers are ignored by the mainstream media, Higgins has found his work touted.

In other words, whatever Russia is doing to promote its side of the story in Europe and elsewhere is more than matched by the U.S. government through its direct and indirect agents of influence. Indeed, during the original Cold War, the CIA and the old U.S. Information Agency refined the art of “information warfare,” including pioneering some of its current features like having ostensibly “independent” entities and cut-outs present the propaganda to a cynical public that rejects much of what it hears from government but may trust “citizen journalists” and “bloggers.”

To top off this modern propaganda structure, we now have the paper-of-record New York Times coming along to suggest that anyone who isn’t disseminating U.S. propaganda must be in Moscow’s pocket. The implication is that now that we have Cold War II, we can expect to have McCarthyism II as well.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com). You also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

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35 comments for “Cold War II to McCarthyism II

  1. Ron
    June 8, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    Back when GHW Bush was President, I cancelled my subscription to Time magazine. They called me trying to find out why. I said: Because you are nothing but a lackey for the Administration. Nothing has changed since then; maybe even more beholden to the powers that be.
    I stopped watching network news when analog disappeared. They own us. Its over with. All that is left is the shouting.

  2. incontinent reader
    June 8, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Russia’s ability to sell its case so effectively seemed also to be a major complaint of General Dempsey’s in his recent WSJ interview which appeared only a day or so after President Putin’s interview with Il Corriere which Ray so brilliantly cited yesterday.

    Too bad if Putin and Lavrov and the Russian Foreign and Defense Ministries are solid on the facts and present them logically and clearly enough for anyone with a half a brain uncluttered by the fog of ideology to begin to question our new cold war mentality, or the reign of terror in our ‘war on terror’ – and our leaders (and their apparachiks and apparachicks) better get it through their thick skulls that some people here, and many more in the non-aligned Third World are getting the message, and that we are screwing ourselves by not dealing realistically and sensibly with the problems we have been creating all over the world.

    The Times has become such a propagandistic rag on foreign policy, that I would argue that
    anyone who still believes it is either a fool, a madman, or a cynic who is suspect not only on the issue of genocide, but also on that of ‘patriotism’ and the protection of our national interests- and furthermore, that, if, in a more settled time, a new Nuremberg Tribunal were convened, the Times publisher and its editors would be in the dock along with our political and military leaders and munitions manufacturers.

    • Peter Loeb
      June 9, 2015 at 6:56 am

      THE NEW RUSSIAN/EASTERN RESPONSE….

      Every nation (no exception) has its own prejudices, poor historical
      experience etc. This includes Russia, China, Far East as well as the
      US and its so-called “allies”.

      The primary issue is not what is written in the NYT or other MSM/
      Washington/Western media. Those PR projects only prove what
      is already known, what Noam Chomsky once called
      “the parameters of free expression” and Gabriel Kolko called
      “the [coerced] consensus”.

      Given statements such as from Western Allies in Germany and
      the US unilateral promises (read threat) to ramp up sanctions
      on Russia based falsely on Russian violation of international law,
      a number of possibilities come to mind:

      1. Russia could immediately stop flow of oil and gas to all
      European nations and to the US until they drop their war-
      mongering threats (re: Ukraine etc.). That may hurt
      Russia and its economy more than the intended targets.
      It certainly would be a crisis for Europe and the US with
      its already precarious economic problems.

      2. Whether this is a realistic step for Russia is for Russia
      to decide.

      3. Russia could increase its presence in so-called “international
      waters” in the Mideast which the US and West currently regard
      as their private lakes.

      4. Russia could initiate a broad suit against the US and Western
      nations for sanctions in defiance (outside of) rules and processes
      of the United Nations in its Charter. Such sanctions or other
      economic seiges or blockades must be recommended by the
      UN Security Council (on which Russia has a veto) for “Chapter VII”
      action which again can be blocked at various points. (Examples
      of Washington’s failure to do this are notably in its utter failure
      to condemn Israel’s illegal wall, continued attacks on its neighbors,
      continued military support (the recently allowcated 1.9 BILLION
      dollars to Israel in weapons, the continued support of illegal
      settlements and on and on.

      There must be many different kinds of possible responses
      by Russia.

      {Incidentally, I disagree with the continued blaming of Joseph
      McCarthy. Anti-communism was pressaged by many programs
      under Democratic Presidents such as “The Red Scare” under
      Woodrow Willson, The Attorney General’s List and The Loyalty
      Oath under Harry Truman as well as all Truman’s foreign
      policies (Marshall Plan etc.). Anti-communist tirades became
      the main unifyer of the body politic in the USA as well as
      most public PR for many decades. (Public dislocure: My father
      who worked in the State Department was forced to sign a Turman/
      FBI “loyakty oath.)

      —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

    • dahoit
      June 9, 2015 at 12:04 pm

      My sentiments exactly.And RT is not the reason at all,its the naked hypocrisy and lack of morals of our govt are so blatant even the comatose called Obomba out today for his speech at the G7(-1,8)

  3. ed
    June 8, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    anything written by erlanger is automatically suspect…….

  4. ed
    June 8, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    richard stengel? isn’t that the same richard stengel who was MD of Time? a greasy fellow, if i remember. a fav on morning joe if i recall……

  5. Pablo Diablo
    June 8, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    “If you tell a lie often enough and keep repeating it, people will come to believe it” — Leo Strauss.
    The neocons should move to the Ukraine so they could wear their swastika openly.

    • Donald Paulus
      June 10, 2015 at 12:39 am

      Now that’s funny and right on point. What in God’s name are we working with these ersatz patriots for? I sure hope the Ukrainians run their nuclear power stations better than their government.

  6. Joe L.
    June 8, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Mr. Parry, one thing I was thinking of today about US wars, coups etc. is are these a last ditch attempt for the US to try and maintain hegemony over the world. To me, it seems that that the US is trying to strong-arm countries into being on its’ side using direct military intervention or through regime change meanwhile trying to splinter economic ties to Russia, China etc. (such as the US take Russia’s place in supplying natural gas). If I look at what is happening in the world today, China is on the doorstep of being the world’s largest economy, it already is according to Purchasing Power Parity, and is already the world’s largest creditor. China, along with Russia and India, are already preparing the way for a New Silk Road which would join Asia with the Middle East and Europe through high-speed rail, pipelines, fibre-optic cable, and other infrastructure projects which would link it all up along with setting up their own financial system by creating the BRICS Development Bank, an alternative to SWIFT, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation etc. Meanwhile I see the US trying to fast-track the TTIP and TTP which I believe would ensure US dominance over European and North American Markets. One other curious thing is that I read that by 2018 it would be China that would be Germany’s largest trading partner usurping the US and France.

    I am just wondering if history will be truthful about this time and will the shunning of Russia be seen as a major mistake which drove Russia into China’s arms accelerating the decline of the United States! Only time will tell.

    Oh and I am also glad to see mention of the links of USAID, National Endowment for Democracy etc. which are interfering in country after country these days. Al Jazeera reported links of these US NGO’s to the fall of Morsi in Egypt, I believe in 2012 it was USAID that was trying to setup a Cuban Twitter to stir up unrest in that country, plus I believe that there are also links to Venezuela 2002, Honduras, Paraguay, Haiti and a number of other nations. I can’t blame Russia, China, Venezuela etc. to try and keep US NGO’s out of their countries.

    • Joe L.
      June 8, 2015 at 5:10 pm

      One thing I would like to add is that I just read today that “Hungary” has become the 1st EU nation to join the New Silk Road project… stay tuned.

      http://thebricspost.com/hungary-becomes-1st-eu-nation-to-join-chinas-silk-road-network/#.VXYEoGBrgeU

    • Joe L.
      June 8, 2015 at 6:35 pm

      Definitely if the OCCRP is funded by USAID then there is most likely some shady agendas along with people such as discredited “blogger” Elliot Higgins.

      *Al Jazeera: “Exclusive: US bankrolled anti-Morsi activists” (July 10, 2013):*

      “Berkeley, United States – President Barack Obama recently stated the United States was not taking sides as Egypt’s crisis came to a head with the military overthrow of the democratically elected president.

      But a review of dozens of US federal government documents shows Washington has quietly funded senior Egyptian opposition figures who called for toppling of the country’s now-deposed president Mohamed Morsi.”

      “Washington’s democracy assistance programme for the Middle East is filtered through a pyramid of agencies within the State Department. *Hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars is channeled through the Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL), The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), USAID, as well as the Washington-based, quasi-governmental organisation the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).*

      In turn, those groups re-route money to other organisations such as the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), and Freedom House, among others. Federal documents show *these groups have sent funds to certain organisations in Egypt, mostly run by senior members of anti-Morsi political parties who double as NGO activists.”*

      http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/07/2013710113522489801.html

      *Associated Press: “US secretly created ‘Cuban Twitter’ to stir unrest” (April 4, 2014):*

      “According to documents obtained by The Associated Press and multiple interviews with people involved in the project, the plan was to develop a bare-bones “Cuban Twitter,” using cellphone text messaging to evade Cuba’s strict control of information and its stranglehold restrictions over the Internet. In a play on Twitter, it was called ZunZuneo — slang for a Cuban hummingbird’s tweet.

      Documents show the U.S. government planned to build a subscriber base through “non-controversial content”: news messages on soccer, music and hurricane updates. Later when the network reached a critical mass of subscribers, perhaps hundreds of thousands, operators would introduce political content aimed at *inspiring Cubans to organize “smart mobs” — mass gatherings called at a moment’s notice that might trigger a Cuban Spring, or, as one USAID document put it, “renegotiate the balance of power between the state and society.”*

      http://bigstory.ap.org/article/us-secretly-created-cuban-twitter-stir-unrest

      *New York Times: “Documents Show C.I.A. Knew of a Coup Plot in Venezuela” (December 3, 2004):*

      “Using the freedom of information act, Eva Golinger, a Long Island attorney who maintains http://www.venezuelafoia.info/ and contracted Mr. Bigwood to secure the CIA documents, has *obtained reams of documents from the National Endowment for Democracy, a nonprofit agency financed by the United States government, that show that $2.2 million was spent from 2000 to 2003 to train or finance anti-Chávez parties and organizations.”*

      http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/03/international/americas/03venezuela.html?_r=1&

    • Brad Owen
      June 9, 2015 at 5:45 am

      Thanks for mentioning BRICS and the New Silk Road. It’s already apparent that the New Era for the World will be the BRICS era. The era will be cemented into place once we eject our Fascist/Tory Financiers from “The Cockpit”, and re-institute a democratic Republic, JOINING BRICS and our long-time Russian ally (rudely interrupted by Cold War I and II shenanigans). The Silk Road will become the World Land Bridge, bridging Chukchi peninsula in Siberia and Wales Alaska, connecting South America, Central America, North America, Eurasia, and Africa directly. BTW, Alaska will become the “New York/California” powerhouse in our future, and the Arctic Ocean will become a de-facto “Mare Nostrum” in a Russo-North American cooperative Pact.

      • Joe L.
        June 9, 2015 at 10:44 am

        I don’t know about all of that but the New Silk Road project seems to be underway and the purpose seems to be to increase the ease of trade and travel between Asia, the Middle East, and Europe by modernizing infrastructure all along the route. It’s an ambitious project for sure but I think anyone with a brain realizes that the future economy will be centred in Asia. China has 1.35 Billion people and already boasts a Middle Class larger than the entire population of the US (China’s population is about 4.25x larger than the US). Right now, it seems that China is switching from focusing solely on exports but rather becoming a domestic driven economy. Much like Japan which produced the world’s cheap products, China will also switch from the cheap products to high-end products. Then we add in India with another 1.2 Billion people and definitely Asia is going to be a marketplace unlike anything that the world has seen.

        So the question is what is Europe going to do – stay with the current system dominated by the United States OR join with the Silk Road Project with its’ neighbouring countries within Asia and the Middle East?

        • Brad Owen
          June 9, 2015 at 11:52 am

          Europe will join with BRICS. South America is already moving that way (“B” is for Brazil). The Western Financial Power (which is primarily UK/USA, along with Canada/Australia/NZ) is already in process of self-destruction; so there will only be a BRICS World left, with the former Powers of Western Finance joining along with them. The Great Peace sought after WWII, will be finally be ours, and “Armies” will refer to large groups of workers, working on Great Projects. We’ll join China’s already-in-progress Space/Lunar Program to mine hydrogen-3 isotope to fuel Earth’s nuclear fusion reactors, and energy abundance for the entire World will be secured for the next 10,000 years. The fusion powerplants will enable a space program that realistically encompasses the Moon, Mars, and the Asteroid Belt, should we have any need for further resources, or living space. The millennia-long reign of shortages will be over. These things are ALREADY do-able; only Vision, and the will to do them, is presently lacking… but I guess we must go through all the moves on the Geopolitical “Chess Board” first, to reach “Checkmate” of the current World Era.

          • Joe L.
            June 9, 2015 at 12:12 pm

            Yes, I think that we are living in interesting times. It’s too bad that our western countries can’t learn to share and work together with all of the countries of the world instead of turning everything into a simplistic “good guy” and “bad guy” scenario. Instead it seems that with the US at the helm of the western world that it is a zero sum game which involves wars, coups, and a lot of death around the world to try to maintain a dying empire.

            I think this is why I am so hopeful for the rise of China even though I am a Canadian. China may be a Communist country but I don’t see it constantly invading other countries to try and control the country along with its’ resources. Instead I see China investing in modern infrastructure throughout the world in order to gain favour. China still has away to go in some aspects such as the environment but I believe in the same breath they are also the largest investor in Green Technology etc. My sincerest hope is that once the US declines that it will be the last empire that the world sees – seems to me that empires just bring wars and death to the world under the guise of “freedom” and “democracy”. Enough of that, I don’t want to live in that world any longer and instead live in a world where it is more equal and we compete for trade rather then invading for resources.

  7. Gregory Kruse
    June 8, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    One doesn’t have to be a Russophile, cast Putin as an innocent, or put the Russian people in general on a pedestal to come to the conclusion that America, President Obama, and the American people in general are no better. It is horrifying to me that I am to live through another Cold War, because I am so much more aware of the depth of evil to which humans can descend.

  8. June 8, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    This breezy story has done a great disservice to organizations like occrp which Mr Parry dismisses as a tool for USAID to attack governments it doesn’t like. That is lazy and disingenuous. OCCRP is a consortium of investigative centers that has done stories that have been rather inconvenient for USAID. Instead it has been recognized by its peers who have awarded it more than 60 journalism prizes since 2011 including Europes top prize in the European Press Prize. It’s sad to see Mr Parry resorting to slapdash journalism that is both poorly reported and intellectually dishonest. More important, he is insulting almost every great journalist fro Eastern Europe to China calling them agents of the USG. You should report better what is happening out here.

    • Zachary Smith
      June 8, 2015 at 7:01 pm

      Five minutes ago I’d never heard of “OCCRP”, but your post made me curious enough to make a quickie search. One of the first things I found was this:

      http://thetruthserumblog.blogspot.com/2015/04/surprise-yet-another-belling-cat-cia.html

      Sure enough, at the very bottom of the OCCRP homepage was the tribute to Soros and USAID.

      This causes me suspect these folks are not exactly independent operators.

      • Brad Owen
        June 9, 2015 at 5:19 am

        Soros…’nuff said. Thanks for the heads up.

    • Mark
      June 8, 2015 at 9:03 pm

      Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) for some reason has failed to accurately report on the most aggregious crime(s) of this century — costing the lives, directly and indirectly, of over a million people to date with millions more displaced — those crimes being the illegal military invasions into Middle Eastern countries aided by media organizations guilty of promoting the invasions with gross distortions and outright lies.

      What could be more organized and corrupt than that when it was industry wide on the part of the mass media, and as organized as any criminal enterprise considering the cooperation back and forth between the mass media networks and US government for the purpose of manipulating the Americam public to go along with and enable these war crimes?

      Have you considered OCCRP is just another branch of the giant propaganda machine serving the even larger crimal enterprise consting of corporate and special interests (Israel), in collusion with the US politicians and others as they attempt to rule the world for their own benefit with a complete disregard for domestic and international law?

      And now the lies and distortions surrounding the Ukraine appear to be every bit as aggregious as those promoting Israel’s PNAC and Yinon plans during this century in the Mid-East while the purpose is the same — for the guilty parties to rule the world for their personal benefit with complete disregard for domestic and international law…

    • Oleg
      June 9, 2015 at 7:17 am

      OCCRP is USAID’s puppet with a clear agenda. They *don’t* go after big money, instead they look for problems in Moldova, Crimea, Russian football, etc. “Vladimir Putin has been named the 2014 Person of the Year by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), an award given annually to the person who does the most to enable and promote organized criminal activity.” https://www.occrp.org/en/announcements/3554-vladimir-putin-wins-occrp-s-person-of-year-for-2014

      Let me remind you that Putin is the person who did the most in the last 20 years to fight organised crime/oligarhs/etc. in Russia and actually made a difference. Given that, it looks like Berezovsky, Khodorkovsky et al. had a hand in OCCRP as well.

      I didn’t notice any investigations of the utterly corrupt and criminal *current* Ukranian regime.

      OCCRP should give “the person of the year award” to themselves. Or a “puppet of the year”, for that matter.

  9. Abe
    June 8, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Eliot Higgins and Bellingcat insist that their “investigations” are “by and for citizen investigative journalists”.

    Higgins and Bellingcat have been enthusiastically promoted by Google.

    Google is the company that runs the most visited website in the world, the company that owns YouTube, the company that’s mission statement from the outset was “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

    In a 2004 letter prior to their initial public offering, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin explained their “Don’t be evil” culture required objectivity and an absence of bias: “We believe it is important for everyone to have access to the best information and research, not only to the information people pay for you to see.”

    Nowhere mentioned in the letter was the fact that Google was seed funded by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/how-the-cia-made-google-e836451a959e

    In addition, Google Earth, originally called EarthViewer 3D, was created by Keyhole, Inc, a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) funded company acquired by Google in 2004.

    Google Earth maps the Earth by the superimposition of images obtained from satellite imagery, aerial photography and geographic information system (GIS) 3D globe.

    Google Earth satellite images are provided by Digital Globe, a supplier of the US Department of Defense (DoD) with direct connections to US defense and intelligence communities.

    The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), both a combat support agency under the United States Department of Defense, and an intelligence agency of the United States Intelligence Community, has praised Digital Globe.

    Robert T. Cardillo, director of the NGA, has described Digital Globe as “a true mission partner in every sense of the word” http://www.afcea.org/content/?q=Article-time-will-tell-geospatial-intelligence

    Examination of the Board of Directors of Digital Globe reveals intimate connections to DoD and CIA.

    Let’s look at just one example:

    Digital Globe Board Director Martin C. Faga served from 1989 to 1993 as Director of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), responsible to the Secretary of Defense and the Director of Central Intelligence for the development, acquisition, and operation of all U.S. satellite reconnaissance programs.

    As Director of the NRO, Faga appointed a Deputy Director for Military Support, and initiated the transition from separate Central Intelligence Agency, Air Force, and Navy programs into functional NRO directorates of signals, imagery, and communications.

    Faga also served as a staff member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives, where he headed the program and budget staff, as an engineer at the Central Intelligence Agency, and as an R&D officer in the Air Force.

    Faga was president and chief executive officer of MITRE from 2000-2006, managing Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) to support the Department of Defense (DOD) activities focused on command, control, communications, and intelligence (C3I).

    Faga is a Director of the Association for Intelligence Officers. He served from 2006-2009 on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board and the Public Interest Declassification Board from 2006 until 2014.

    Faga currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Thomson Reuters Special Services, LLC. Thomson Reuters Corporation is a major multinational mass media and information firm.
    He has also served on the Board of Electronic Data Systems.

    That’s a quick profile of a single member of the Board of Directors at Digital Globe.

    Higgins and Bellingcat use “open source” information. Bellingcat even provides a guide for accessing imagery in Google Earth:

    “the findings of Bellingcat regarding the July 21 Russian MoD satellite images will be reaffirmed, along with a walk-through for anyone to verify Google Earth imagery via free and precisely dated image previews on Digital Globe”
    https://www.bellingcat.com/resources/how-tos/2015/06/05/google-earth-image-verification/

    Google has been promoting Higgins “arm chair analytics” since 2013 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbWhcWizSFY

    Indeed, a very cozy cross-promotion is happening between Higgins/Bellingcat and Google.

    In November 2014, Google Ideas and Google For Media, partnered the George Soros-funded Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) to host an “Investigathon” in New York City.

    Google Ideas promotes Higgins’ “War and Pieces – Social Media Investigations” on their YouTube page https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flCqN8_0cX4,

    Google appears to have replaced the original motto altogether.

    A carefully reworded version appears in the Google Code of Conduct:

    “You can make money without doing evil”
    http://www.google.com/about/company/philosophy/

    More specifically, Google can promote DoD and CIA “information activities” and not be evil.

  10. rexw
    June 8, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Cold War, alive and well. McCarthyism as well, but the rules are different today.

    I used to proclaim loudly that what America needed today was a good dose of McCarthy as it was in the 1950’s. It was misnamed as a Senate enquiry into ‘Anti-American activities’.

    It was so easy in those halcyon days of anti-American purges, seen to be misplaced, misguided and used for the wrong purposes, to identify what an American value was. The country had values and if the same instrumentality was put in place today, based on those ideals, then we could see the end of AIPAC, neocons, Jewish pressure groups, Adelson, ownership of financial organisations by the criminal banksters, one and all, the likes of Clinton and her control by the Zionists and then, Zionists, across the country. We might even see the demise of those institutions so carefully cultivated by Israel, such as the “Christian” Zionists to be asked to account for all their subservience to the Middle East latter-day Third Reich.

    There would certainly be about 5,000 young (then) Americans who would still be alive, 600,000 children still living in Iraq and the use of sanctions as a first line of attack (Cuba, Iraq, Iran, Russia and on) not yet conjured up in the minds of the Dr. Strangelove’s in Washington. And the Muslims of the world would not be so anxious to make life so miserable for the USA and its “Alliance”, a name for a bunch of non-independent fellow-travellers.

    We certainly would not see billions going in aid to the middle east terrorist, Israel, who, with the likes of the USA and Saudi Arabia are promoting regime change across the middle east. All for the ultimata expansion of Israel into some Egypt, Kuwait, some Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, some Iraq and a little piece of Turkey. it is called “Eretz Israel” and Americans and others die for it each day, somewhere.
    That’s the only Jewish game in town. Ask them, they are proud of it and the power they wield in the good old USA. “We own America” saidSharon firstly, then Netanyahu and they does. They have a grip on America’s vitals. Does it hurt? Does anyone really care?

    What we could all do with is some ‘regime change’ in mainland USA and a close investigation by an anti-American organisation into the media, New York Times in particular, strangers to the truth.

    A good place to start.

    The sad thing is that based on what one reads in the media in 2015, could you even find a quorum of 12 members of any elected party in Washington to constitute an honest America-first type investigation into the erosion of a country that once upon a time could spell integrity and knew what it meant.

    Not any more.

  11. ltr
    June 8, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    When I read the New York Times article early today, I was amazed at the falseness of the premises and the confidence with which they were asserted.

  12. Rob
    June 8, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    When you’re in a sinking dirigible one way to stay afloat is to throw honesty out of the window (its pretty heavy) and tell the passengers and crew that, in fact, you are not sinking and those that claim that they can see the ground rising are misreporting its significance or are propagandists Take the US economy for example, the current official reports and their de-bunking by Paul Craig Roberts and other reliable economists.
    Yes, if you tell a lie often enough it becomes the truth…right up to the point when you smash into the incontrovertible ground.

  13. Vega
    June 8, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    When anti-Iraq campaign started, I couldn’t believe how so many people fell for it. It was so illogical. I was sure they would never get the votes to authorize the war – after all aren’t the people in the government smart and educated? I was wrong, they got the votes, the war started – we all know the rest. It made no sense. Then there was Libya, Syria, and Ukraine…

    With the last one, I didn’t need to rely on any country’s official media – being fluent in both English and Russian and thanks to the advancement or social media and the fact that almost everyone these days has a phone camera, I could get my information straight from the people on the ground. I saw Maiden revolution which was called “peaceful” in US and EU media (until then, I didn’t realize that “peaceful” could include Molotov cocktails and bullets), I saw Odessa Massacre May 2nd, 2014 almost in real time (people were filming and posting to the social sites as it was happening), I saw Mariupol Massacre, May 9th, 2014 (policemen locked inside of police station and burned along with it for refusal to turn on their own citizen), I saw bombing of downtown Luhansk, June 2nd, 2014… I could go on but there are way too many.

    All the time, I kept hoping US and EU would realize it went too far and put a stop to it – but the only thing they did, was to heighten anti-Russian rhetoric (on the subject, all major newspapers were sounding more and more like once infamous Soviet “Pravda”). Once again, it was braking all the logic and I needed answers. Is logic my enemy? Perhaps.

    One possible answer was the US and EU officials honestly didn’t know what’s really going on. This couldn’t be true considering how many of them were deeply involved. So it must have been intentional.

    The propaganda was used in the past: Operation Mockingbird (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Mockingbird), Pentagon military analyst program (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentagon_military_analyst_program)… but I was looking for “why” not just “how”. Then I stumbled onto Wolfowitz Doctrine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfowitz_Doctrine) and the puzzle pieces started falling in places.

    Those who’ve read it before, may want to re-read it – not the polished version, the original one: http://work.colum.edu/~amiller/wolfowitz1992.htm

    If you take an original version as an official policy, then everything starts making sense. How anyone could ever think that a policy like that would be in the interest of American people is beyond me.

    Obamas’ speech at Military Academy Commencement Ceremony, which seemed so bizarre when I first heard it, directly falls into that policy: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/05/28/remarks-president-united-states-military-academy-commencement-ceremony

    “America must always lead on the world stage. If we don’t, no one else will.”

    “The United States will use military force, unilaterally if necessary, when our core interests demand it — when our people are threatened, when our livelihoods are at stake, when the security of our allies is in danger. In these circumstances, we still need to ask tough questions about whether our actions are proportional and effective and just. International opinion matters, but America should never ask permission to protect our people, our homeland, or our way of life.”

    Which of the above, except “never ask permission”, applied during Iraq invasion? And what about other countries rights? Aren’t we a democracy?

    Then there is Obama’s answer to CNN reporter where he practically admits that the official version of events is incorrect: “And since Mr. Putin made this decision around Crimea and Ukraine, not because of some grand strategy, but essentially because he was caught off balance by the protests in the Maidan, and Yanukovych then fleeing after we’d brokered a deal to transition power in Ukraine.”

    So, US “brokered a deal to transition power in Ukraine” which resulted in Yanukovich fleeing, and Putin had to react and improvise. Who is on offensive and who is on defensive here?

    “The United States must sufficiently account for the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order” (Wolfowitz Doctrine)

    Could that be a secondary agenda of currently debated TPP agreement considering China is now #1 economy and the rest of BRICS is on the rise?

    There is a saying: “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” It’s scary to think that World-wide power may do to a country if it ever achieves it.

    Sorry for a long rant.

  14. rhys
    June 8, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    One can’t help but be somewhat amazed at the fuss that people display when there is any move towards eroding the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
    Specifically, “abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press” and rightly so.

    So we have a ‘freedom of speech’ emphasis but nowhere does it state that it must be the truth.

    Why then do the American people tolerate the erosion of the truth, the restricting of news to suit the owners of the NYT’s objectives, the manipulation of headlines for their own purposes as well and the constant effort to be the willing mouthpiece of a corrupt US government.

    Having just completed some research into the long range planning of the early Zionists in Israel, their carefully engineered entry into the ownership of key US industries, it has become clear that in their reading of the American psyche they determined that profit was the big motivator and set out to own the media, now running at almost 90% of all that you read, watch and hear on radio. Supported by corrupt banks, this ownership of media, across the board is best exampled by the fast rise to power by the arch enemy of the truth, Rupert Murdoch and his association over decades with Rothschilds.

    So where does one find a source of news that is truthful, not owned by Zionists, not dictated to by governments in all the states? Not possible any more.

    So its back to the bloggers even at the risk of finding the likes of Bellingcat and Higgins and the acceptance they find among the corrupt government officials, proving yet again, that “anything goes” when you lie on their behalf. Murdoch has been doing it for decades and it is now the global norm. Nobody challenges anyone for the truth any more. Near enough is good enough and if it is an absolute lie as with the reporting on Russia these days, it is amplified and becomes the truth. Print it once in the US and it may be questioned. Print it twice and its gospel.

    And that’s the way it is in the USA. Can’t see it changing from here on in.

    Thankfully, we also know that ConsortiumNews is just a keystroke away.

  15. Minnesota Mary
    June 8, 2015 at 11:54 pm

    I get tired of seeing Sen. Joe McCarthy’s corpse dug up and flogged some more. McCarthy was right. Our government/State Department was riddled with Communists. Today it is riddled with Neocons.

    • kc
      June 9, 2015 at 1:50 pm

      McCarthy’s opiate ridden corpse should dug up and beaten especially in times like these where his fascist minority shaming are driving all of us out into the streets to sacrifice ourselves to stop the greed and corruption of free-market fundamentalists who trot out tired old cliches like “commie”.

      we see what happens when there is no useful and powerful lefty-commie-socialist left wing. we end up with one powerful rightwing with two arms called democrat and republican.

    • Abe
      June 14, 2015 at 9:40 pm

      Perhaps we should call them Neocoms.

      Neocoms espouse corporatist communism:
      From each person according to his or her ability,
      to each corporation to its needs!

  16. rex
    June 9, 2015 at 4:06 am

    How right you are Mary.

    Back in the fifties, if there was such a thing as a baddie, a communist was a baddie. They were as bad as it got.

    Today, they could almost pass muster as annointed saints, if you can find one anywhere, when compared to the likes of the dual-passported neocons, Zionists and fellow travellers like Clinton. Add to that the 477 elected representatives who wandered down to AIPAC on 3 March for the mandatory Royal Command Performance from the ‘regime changer’ Netanyahu, sponsored partner to the USA and Saudi.

    All against the wishes of Obama the weak. Although not born at the time of JFK’s assassination, he would well know of the fate of that earlier Democratic President…….. .and the reasons…..and the perpetrators. Play it cool Mr. President. Just 18 months to go. Go with the Zionist flow.

    And then there is the USS Liberty.

    John McCain will have had six terms in 2016. Is it all getting clearer?

    So there’s the problem. These 477 were voted in by the unsuspecting and may I say, mostly apathetic American voters and from then on, all are subservient to Israel for corrupt electoral funding. Look no further than this for all the woes in the USA. including wars for the sake of wars, economic bankruptcy, just around the corner, lack of international respect and soon, civil unrest, about 2017.

    It’s been this way for three decades and there is nothing to make it go away. It just gets worse.

    • Mark
      June 9, 2015 at 7:49 am

      When Reagan convinced the Christian Zionists to get politically organized is the point at which Americas fate for the foreseeable future was sealed.

      What we’re seeing now is American’s just beginning to figure out what’s been going on for decades, even prior to Reagan, when it comes to Zionism and Isreal’s negative influence on US politicians and politics. This awareness is due to the Internet and all the people and websites putting the truth out there for anyone interested in finding it.

  17. Helge
    June 9, 2015 at 6:07 am

    On 1st of June several main-stream medias in Western Europe (Die Zeit, Der Spiegel, De Volkskrant, De Telegraph) had a major article referring to Bellincat who claimed that photos issued by the Russian government about the MH17 crash were falsified (http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/mh17-russland-hat-offenbar-satellitenfotos-zum-abschuss-gefaelscht-a-1036473.html). However, the work done by Bellincat was so amateurish that Der Spiegel had to make a u-turn on it and had to make an apology to its readers about promoting the amateurish Bellincat case because several professional came to the conclusion that the claims made by Bellincat were totally unfounded (http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/spiegelblog/bellingcat-bericht-zu-mh17-was-wir-lernen-a-1037135.html). It is common practice to modify photos before publishing them using Photoshop etc. to highlight areas, details, enlarge them etc. and that will leave a mark on them. That is what obviously the Russian government did as well and Bellincat claimed that as evidence for falsification. The links above are in German so many of you may not be able to read them but I can assure you, they really support Robert’s case. Another good example of western funded NGOs trying to stage a new regime change in Macedonia is the website “Civil” (http://civil.org.mk/). On the bottom it becomes obvious who is sponsoring them: The US government, the German government and the Swiss government.

  18. Abe
    June 9, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    The Reversal of Kerry’s Ukraine Statement Came from Obama, Not Nuland
    By Eric Zuesse.
    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2015/06/the-reversal-of-kerrys-ukraine-statement-came-from-obama-not-nuland.html

  19. Oleg
    June 9, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Looks like nuking Russia just in case would be a popular solution:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNr5czZKEdk#t=257

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