WPost Plays Ukraine’s Lapdog

Exclusive: Ukraine’s Prime Minister Yatsenyuk and Finance Minister Jaresko are on a U.S. trip to drum up weapons and money to crush the ethnic Russian resistance in the east and they are finding a lapdog U.S. press that won’t ask them tough questions, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

There once was a time when the U.S. news media investigated U.S. imperial adventures overseas, such as Washington-sponsored coups. Journalists also asked tough questions to officials implicated in corruption even if those queries were inconvenient to the desired propaganda themes. But those days are long gone, as the Washington Post demonstrated again this week.

On Wednesday, the Post’s editorial board had a chance to press Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk about the U.S. government’s role in the Feb. 22, 2014 coup that elevated him to his current post after he was handpicked by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who declared “Yats is the guy” in a pre-coup intercepted phone call.

The Washington Post building. (Photo credit: Daniel X. O'Neil)

The Washington Post building. (Photo credit: Daniel X. O’Neil)

Wouldn’t it have been interesting to ask Yatsenyuk about his pre-coup contacts with Nuland and U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt and what their role was in fomenting the “regime change” that ousted elected President Viktor Yanukovych and hurtled Ukraine into a civil war? Sure, Yatsenyuk might have ducked the questions, but isn’t that the role that journalists are supposed to play, at least ask? [See Consortiumnews.com’s “What Neocons Want from Ukraine Crisis.”]

Or why not question Yatsenyuk about the presence of neo-Nazis and other right-wing extremists who spearheaded the violent coup and then were deployed as the shock troops in Ukraine’s “anti-terrorism operation” that has slaughtered thousands of ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine? Wouldn’t that question have spiced up the interview? [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Wretched US Journalism on Ukraine.”]

And, since Ukraine’s Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko was at the editorial board meeting as well, wouldn’t it have made sense to ask her about the propriety of her enriching herself while managing a $150 million U.S.-taxpayer-financed investment fund for Ukraine over the past decade? What kind of message does her prior work send to the people of Ukraine as they’re asked to tighten their belts even more, with cuts to pensions, reduction of worker protections, and elimination of heating subsidies?

How would Jaresko justify her various schemes to increase her compensation beyond the $150,000 limit set by the U.S. Agency for International Development and her decision to take court action to gag her ex-husband when he tried to blow the whistle on some improprieties? Wouldn’t such an exchange enlighten the Post’s readers about the complexities of the crisis? [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Ukraine Finance Minister’s American ‘Values.’”]

Yet, based on what the Post decided to report to its readers, the editorial board simply performed the stenographic task of taking down whatever Yatsenyuk and Jaresko wanted to say. There was no indication of any probing question or even the slightest skepticism toward their assertions.

On Thursday, the Post combined a news article on the visit with an editorial that repeated pretty much as flat fact what Yatsenyuk and Jaresko had said. So, after Yatsenyuk alleged that Russia had 10,000 troops on the ground inside Ukraine, the Post’s editorial writers simply asserted the same number as a fact in its lead editorial, which stated: “Russia has deployed an estimated 10,000 troops to eastern Ukraine and, with its local proxies, attacks Ukrainian forces on a near-daily basis.”

Though both assertions are in dispute with many of the cease-fire violations resulting from Ukrainian government assaults around the rebel-controlled Donetsk Airport the Post had no interest in showing any skepticism, arguably one of the consequences from the failure to impose any accountability for the Post’s similarly biased writing prior to the Iraq War.

In 2002-03, editorial-page editor Fred Hiatt repeatedly declared as flat fact that Saddam Hussein possessed stockpiles of WMDs, thus supposedly justifying the U.S.-led invasion. After the invasion failed to locate these WMD stockpiles, Hiatt was asked about his editorials and responded:

“If you look at the editorials we write running up [to the war], we state as flat fact that he [Saddam Hussein] has weapons of mass destruction,” Hiatt said. “If that’s not true, it would have been better not to say it.” [CJR, March/April 2004]

Yes, journalists generally aren’t supposed to say something is a fact when it isn’t and when a news executive oversees such a catastrophic error, which contributed to the deaths of nearly 4,500 U.S. soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, you might expect him to be fired.

Yet, Hiatt remains the Post’s editorial-page editor today, continuing to push neoconservative propaganda themes, now including equally one-sided accounts of dangerous crises in Ukraine, Syria and elsewhere. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Why WPost’s Hiatt Should Be Fired.”]

On Ukraine although the risks of neocon “tough-guy-ism” against nuclear-armed Russia could mean extermination of life on the planet the Post refuses to present any kind of balanced reporting. Nor apparently will the Post even direct newsworthy questions to Ukrainian officials.

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.

38 comments for “WPost Plays Ukraine’s Lapdog

  1. Celestial Navigator
    June 13, 2015 at 11:35

    The WP is a corporate shill since this techo-guru bought it.

  2. jaycee
    June 12, 2015 at 15:55

    Samantha Powers in Kiev: “”You are still living in the revolution, and delivering on its promise will require all the resilience, smarts and compassion you’ve got.”

    The canard that the events in Ukraine represented some kind of “revolution” still holds pride of place in the rhetoric. The term serves to flatter the Ukrainians, mislead Westerners, and does an end run around the obviously unconstitutional usurpation of the government last year. It is a curious revolution, whereby everything was supposed to remain essentially the same except that the opposition, who had been defeated at the polls in 2010, takes over. And imposes an austerity program, which Powers may actually believe is the will of the “people”. Just like the Libyan revolution where the people overthrew a dictator to realize their dream of an unaccountable central bank tied to Western economic infrastructure.

    • Abe
      June 13, 2015 at 02:13

      The Ambassador from Hell returns to the scene of the crime:

      Remarks at the October Palace in Kyiv, Ukraine (June 11, 2015)
      Samantha Power — U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations

      “Many eyewitnesses among the Maidan protesters reported snipers firing from the Hotel Ukraina during the massacre of the protesters, specifically, about killing eight of them. Bullet holes in trees and electricity poles on the site of the massacre and on the walls of Zhovtnevyi Palace indicate that shots came from the direction of the hotel. There are several similar recorded testimonies of the eyewitnesses among the protesters about shooters in October Palace and other Maidan-controlled buildings.”

      The “Snipers’ Massacre” on the Maidan in Ukraine
      By Ivan Katchanovski, Ph.D.

    • dahoit
      June 14, 2015 at 11:13

      I believe it was foreign terrorists supplied by NATO that took out Khaddafi,not the Libyan people.

  3. Drew Hunkins
    June 12, 2015 at 10:23

    In many ways the Washington Post, NY Times, NPR, PBS News Hour and Brookings are almost more insidious than Fox News, CNN, Rush and other rightwingers. This is b/c the former enjoy the veneer of respectability in certain circles. The R2Pers and other fuzzy headed liberal minded pseudo intellectuals fall more easily for the cool headed rational words and analyses of the Wash Post et al. versus the Hannityies and Limbaughs.

    For some reason limousine liberals and all-knowing “centrists” never seem to critically think that the Post, NY Times, NPR, PBS News Hour and Brookings have long been major cogs in the establishment power structure. In fact, these outlets have been the primary mouthpieces selling various wars and vilification campaigns to the educated respectable crowd.

    I’ll never forget in 2002/early-2003 Brookings dispatched one of their best and brightest to the Oprah Winfrey show to sell the war on Iraq to her audience (and thereby tens of millions of American women). It was a disgraceful scene. For those of us who were dead set against that war from the outset, when it was unpopular to be on the peace and anti-war side — during the height of the 2002/2003 propaganda blitz — it was a fairly lonely place.

    • Anonymous
      June 12, 2015 at 12:11

      The “US” media is in the hands of pro-Zionist forces and the 2003 Iraq war was Israel’s war as laid out in the Wolfowitz doctrine, PNAC’s ‘new strategy for securing the realm’, and the sonister Yinon plan for creating chaos and strife among the ME Muslim nations for Israel’s benefit — and you can see it’s all working out according to the plans of putting the wishes of Zionists ahead of any human consideration concerning rights, morality, ethics or law.

      The US media, both major political parties in the US, multinational corporations and Zionists with all their influence in media and banking in the Western nations — are all in bed together — the true axis of evil — and they are royally screwing the world with what they claim is divine right as ordained by God.

      The Ukraine and entire world are part of their present and future plans as they leave a wake of death and destruction with an unlimited capacity for imposition on others wherever they go.

      And now a moment of silence in thanks and remembrance to all who’ve made considerable and ultimate sacrifices and, though not alone, have accepted seeming loneliness and considerable abuse from the legions in support of psychopaths who march this country and the world straight down the road to hell.

      • Anonymous
        June 12, 2015 at 12:14

        That was supposed to be “sinister” Yinon plan.

      • Drew Hunkins
        June 12, 2015 at 14:55

        I agree with you Anonymous, the Zionist power configuration (ZPC) in America wields enormous control.

        Two terrific books on the ZPC are by Dr. James Petras (one of the finest intellectuals in the world today analyzing world affairs): 1. ‘The Power of Israel in the United States’ and 2.) ‘Zionism, Militarism and the Decline of U.S. Power.’ Both of these works are relatively short reads and both are utterly enthralling. Both were published within about the last 8 yrs.

        • Anonymous
          June 14, 2015 at 08:27

          I would agree that professor Petras knowledge and concise poignant explanations of world affairs has few rivals concerning the reality of US/Zionism’s supremacist exceptionalism.

  4. Mark
    June 11, 2015 at 19:14

    With all the US is doing since 9/11, it seems the neocons, Zionists, neo-liberal interventionalist capitalists, mainstream mass media, war profiteers, corporate America in general and all those who support US policies amounting to lawless exceptionalism — all have at least two common traits — with the first being to deny the facts regarding who the original criminal aggressors are in our foreign policies that constitute economic, psychological and/or covert or overt warfare — while the second trait is that they all have a psychopathic nature sufficient enough to disregard all the human suffering and destruction brought by the lies they condone or deny by not speaking against those war crimes committed by “our” US representatives.

    Granted, most who go along with the lies are victims of propaganda to some degree, but some of the violations are so obvious that anyone paying attention should be able to see these actions as the crimes they are — and that should be enough to cast doubt on anything significant the US government or mainstream media is telling us.

    We are collectively a psychopath nation as defined by our actions and the results they deliver…

    • Regina Schulte
      June 11, 2015 at 23:35

      I’m in full agreement with you. “Lawless exceptionalism”—good label.

  5. Jay
    June 11, 2015 at 18:35

    And here the New York Times is deeply concerned that the eastern Ukraine residents rebelling against the coup may be using crowd funding on the inter webs to raise funds.

    Also reads like the Times advocating control of the press by some governing body:


    I’m sure if the Times reporters had looked, they could have found online crowd funding appeals for all sorts of wars and thugs backed by the USA, including neo-Nazis in Ukraine.

  6. June 11, 2015 at 16:43

    Hey, BEZOS!


    2LT Dennis Morrisseau USArmy [armor – Vietnam era] retired. POB 177 W Pawlet, VT 05775 802 645 9727 [email protected]

    • Joe L.
      June 11, 2015 at 16:51

      What are “BEZOS” and why the ALL CAPS?

      • bobzz
        June 11, 2015 at 17:36

        “Bezos” is the owner of the Post. In this case, the all caps represents intensity of feeling. If I am wrong, Dennis can correct me.

        • Joe L.
          June 11, 2015 at 18:33

          Thank you for the explanation, I did not understand the message as I am clearly not very astute with the Washington Post. Cheers.

      • dahoit
        June 14, 2015 at 11:14

        Because he’s PISSED.Shouldn’t you be?

    • dahoit
      June 14, 2015 at 11:07

      Yeah,is Bezos a Zionist also?I had hopes he’s clean house there,that nest of Zionist traitors,and the enemies of America.The NY lying times also.
      Obomba to send tanks to Eastern Europe.What a maroon.
      Yankee Come Home!

  7. Brendan
    June 11, 2015 at 16:36

    According to the Washington Post editorial, “The United States and European Union have, meanwhile, provided only paltry amounts of help, including $3 billion in U.S. loan guarantees spread over two years.”

    That’s probably billions of dollars down the drain because Ukraine is on the verge of economic collapse and of defaulting on much of its debt in the next couple of months. Kiev’s increased military spending is a large part of the reason for that.

    Michael Hudson sees the opportunistic foreign buyers of Ukrainian assets as the biggest winners:
    “With Ukraine’s economy broken, the only buyers with serious money are European and American. Selling to foreigners is thus the only way for managers and owners to get a meaningful return – paid in foreign currency safely in offshore accounts, outside of future Ukrainian clawback fines. Privatization and capital flight go together.

    So does short-changing labor. The new buyers will reorganize the assets they buy, declare the old firms bankrupt and erase their wage arrears, along with any other bills that are owed. The restructured companies will claim that bankruptcy has wiped out whatever the former firms (or public enterprises) owed to workers. It is much like what corporate raiders do in the United States to wipe out pension obligations and other debts. They will claim to have to “saved” Ukrainian economy and “made it competitive.” ”


    • Guest
      June 12, 2015 at 21:10

      Hudson is accurate in that assessment:

      “Soros continues, ‘The investments will be for-profit but I will pledge to contribute the profits to my foundations. This should allay suspicions that I am advocating policies in search of personal gain. ‘” (http://journal-neo.org/2015/06/12/an-american-oligarch-s-dirty-tale-of-corruption/)

      How can anybody on the “left” in the world and the US who accepts that foundation funding, knowing where/how a “liberal” foundation accumulates its neoliberal vulture capitalism/death squad wealth, sleep at night?

  8. Lynne Gillooly
    June 11, 2015 at 16:27

    When Crimea was given to Ukraine from Russia decades ago, part of the agreement was that UP TO 10,000 Russian troops could be there because of the Russian naval base and ships in Crimea’s port.

    When the coup took place in Kiev the Crimeans (mostly ethnic Russians) VOTED to be annexed by Russia. How can the media keep pushing the story that Putin aggressively took over when the vote was a landslide to be annexed? There has to be proof of this vote or interviews with Crimeans could put this lie to bed…. I don’t understand how FACTS like this cannot be exposed.

    • Joe L.
      June 11, 2015 at 16:38

      Well, I think at this point, anyone with a brain realizes that the “Crimeans voted a gunpoint” line was just blatant propaganda. How we know this is because there are Gallup, GFK, and Pew Research Center polls which all indicate that Crimeans are happy to be Russian again and don’t want to go back to Ukraine.

      Pew Research Center: “Despite Concerns about Governance, Ukrainians Want to Remain One Country” (May 8, 2014):

      “Crimean residents are almost universally positive toward Russia. At least nine-in-ten have confidence in Putin (93%) and say Russia is playing a positive role in Crimea (92%). Confidence in Obama is almost negligible at 4%, and just 2% think the U.S. is having a good influence on the way things are going on the Crimean peninsula.

      International attention has focused on Crimea in large part due to the March 16th referendum on seceding from Ukraine and joining Russia. According to the reported results, most of the Crimean residents who participated voted for secession. However, the legitimacy of the referendum has been hotly disputed, and few in the international community have accepted the outcome.

      For their part, Crimeans seem content with their annexation by Russia. Overwhelming majorities say the March 16th referendum was free and fair (91%) and that the government in Kyiv ought to recognize the results of the vote (88%).”


      Forbes: “One Year After Russia Annexed Crimea, Locals Prefer Moscow To Kiev” (March 20, 2015):

      “The U.S and European Union may want to save Crimeans from themselves. But the Crimeans are happy right where they are.

      One year after the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula in the Black Sea, poll after poll shows that the locals there — be they Ukrainians, ethnic Russians or Tatars are mostly all in agreement: life with Russia is better than life with Ukraine.

      Little has changed over the last 12 months. Despite huge efforts on the part of Kiev, Brussels, Washington and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the bulk of humanity living on the Black Sea peninsula believe the referendum to secede from Ukraine was legit. At some point, the West will have to recognize Crimea’s right to self rule. Unless we are all to believe that the locals polled by Gallup and GfK were done so with FSB bogey men standing by with guns in their hands.

      In June 2014, a Gallup poll with the Broadcasting Board of Governors asked Crimeans if the results in the March 16, 2014 referendum to secede reflected the views of the people. A total of 82.8% of Crimeans said yes. When broken down by ethnicity, 93.6% of ethnic Russians said they believed the vote to secede was legitimate, while 68.4% of Ukrainians felt so. Moreover, when asked if joining Russia will ultimately make life better for them and their family, 73.9% said yes while 5.5% said no.”


    • Joe L.
      June 11, 2015 at 17:32

      You’re right! I think it is apparent at this point that the “Crimeans voted at gunpoint” story was blatant propaganda especially when we have Gallup, GFK, and Pew Research Center polls which indicate that Crimeans are happy to be Russians again and don’t want to go back to Ukraine. Please check out the links below.

      Pew Research Center: “Despite Concerns about Governance, Ukrainians Want to Remain One Country” (May 8, 2014) – scroll down to the 10th paragraph and read the following 2 paragraphs as well:

      Forbes: “One Year After Russia Annexed Crimea, Locals Prefer Moscow To Kiev” (March 20, 2015):

  9. Joe L.
    June 11, 2015 at 16:27

    The mainstream media is getting so bad these days that I don’t even know why they even attempt to report anything when the message is so very clear:

    1) Hate Russians
    2) Hate Muslims
    3) Hate Chinese
    4) Hate North Koreans
    5) Hate Venezuelans etc.
    6) Love America
    7) Love Capitalism
    8) Love all of America’s allies
    9) Ignore America’s transgressions (or those of its’ allies)
    10) Chastise any country that is not subservient or goes against America’s interests

    Doesn’t that basically boil down the message that the mainstream media is trying to relay – we are “good” and anyone that does not support what we want to do is “bad” (you are either with us or against us ideology). Stupid and childish…

    • Drew Hunkins
      June 12, 2015 at 10:36

      You nailed it Joe L.

  10. Vega
    June 11, 2015 at 16:25

    A short interview with locals from Donetsk, very young ones:

    (with English subtitles)

    • Gina
      June 12, 2015 at 15:06

      Thx for sharing. It’s so deeply saddening. – The Anglozionists or the Corporatists whatever you may call them are so utterly insane, & it is them who rule the US & its allies. I think the US has lost interest in the Ukraine which means that Poroshenko simply can do what he wants to, & he is freaking out.

      Btw have you watched the video I linked above? The ordeals of a young mother.

  11. Gina
    June 11, 2015 at 15:22

    “If This Video Doesn’t End the War in Ukraine, Nothing Will”

    — That the mainstream media is not reporting the true nature of this conflict is a journalistic failure of historic proportions, and it is no exaggeration to say that they have been criminally negligent. —

    Unfortunately we can state that mass manipulation was successful. Greetings from Siegmund Freud & Edward Bernays! People forgo certain subjects, because dealing with them entails bashing & ostracizing. The result is the Neocons=1%=Anglozionists=Corporatists have their way. It has cost millions of people their lives.

    • Oleg
      June 14, 2015 at 06:08

      Tragic. The worst is that it is an everyday reality in Donbass. And the West is encouraging it and paying for it. I never thought I’d see something like that in my lifetime.

  12. Pablo Diablo
    June 11, 2015 at 15:10

    George W. Obama. What a disappointment. Have a cookie.

  13. June 11, 2015 at 15:06

    This is a movie, from the Cannes Film Festival called “People Live Here”
    I thought maybe you could show people.

    As an American born and raised, it hurts my heart to think my government is in any way involved with what Kiev is doing. I cried while watching this.

    I started watching what was happening in Kiev about a year before Maidan, I would post tweets “these people don’t want war, they are just people, they just want to live, peacefully”

    I still tweet everyday, am called names, terrible names from people. Many online are too scared to retweet what I show, they are afraid they will get on some list.
    I am just an old lady, what list could they put me on, how could they hurt me, I’ve not even left my home for two years, (disabled).

    The whole situation is so bad.
    No One in the US will standup and speak up, our representatives signing documents that don’t even both to state anything similar to a truth (dec. 15th doc from representatives).

    What makes it far worse, by degrees, is our Mass Media, course “Mass” is an oxymoron considering it’s General Electric, Comcast and 3 or 4 others that own it all. I can’t believe the lies, and then of course, if they lie about this, what else are they lying about? Everything?

    I am afraid what is happening to the Donbas is exactly what’s going to happen here, because countries aren’t going to keep letting the US bomb them and their people. Our own Government puts it’s people in peril by their actions more than anything else could ever come close. Our Own Government.

    I grew up in the 60’s/70
    I never ever thought my heart would hurt so bad, and I would be this embarrassed to be an American.

    • June 11, 2015 at 15:08

      I’m sorry I forgot to post the link, here it is:
      Cannes Film Festival 2015:
      “People Live Here”


      • Oleg
        June 11, 2015 at 21:43

        Brilliant movie, thanks for the link!

    • Joe Tedesky
      June 11, 2015 at 16:06

      I feel for you. Although, your immediate friends are afraid to talk to you about the truth as it pertains to worldly events, you are making a difference. What you wrote here on this comment board is reaching a lot of people. There are many who disagree with you, but also there are many who would agree with you, as well. Your neighbors may seem apart from you, but deep down inside they may also know how right you are. I find many people are either afraid to go against the governments policies, or they just flat out can’t handle the news. Besides all that, I believe change takes time. Who knows who your words may inspire. Wouldn’t it be nice if the leader/leaders who may save this country, were moved by what you wrote. Anything is possible, but having your opinion is all yours. Thanks for sharing it with the rest of us! & stay well!

    • gonchalabas
      June 12, 2015 at 02:13

      Your words have invigorated my hope that I might have the energy and avenues available to assuage your disdain with the current state of the world. I have been following this since the beginning with the help of Parry, Consortium, and others and, along with the other actions of the US in the past six+ years, I have come to the conclusion that the only worthwhile trajectory for the next 50+ years of my life is to expose and stop the madness that is the Fed/MIC/Wallst. multi-decadal regime, to save and revamp the barely redeemable, genocidal American culture I have been born into, and to awaken my fellow luxurians. There is no better way to use my uniquely American golden spoon drawer (minus the money) than to demolish the whole unfair kitchen. Or I guess I could go make pointless phone games up in Silicon Valley for the plebian sleepwalkers:P

    • dahoit
      June 14, 2015 at 11:02

      The alleged mass media is in the hands of Zion,not corporate control,that’s just a false trail.
      Yes,they are working together,but Zion leads the way.
      This is all Trotskiite Zionist revenge against the Russians,and we get our own payback by their feudalizing our nation and economy into a giant money stealing scheme from gambling,sports,insurance,pharmaceuticals and banksters,to name just a few of their massive wealth scams on US.

  14. ltr
    June 11, 2015 at 15:01


    June 11, 2015

    Washington accuses Russia of ‘outright lies’ on Ukraine
    By Dmitry Zaks – AFP

    [ Samantha Power picking up where President Obama left off. This is a Cold War administration now. ]

  15. Joe Tedesky
    June 11, 2015 at 14:19

    In my opinion the whole ‘Beltway’ crowd is corrupt. The reason for this, is because they are all owned by some kind of big corporate entity. The corporate ownership of the United States is complete, and thorough. This was all predicted by some over 100 years ago, with the establishment of the Federal Reserve. When the Federal Reserve was created the American public handed over their government to Wall Street. Think about it, this privately owned entity stands master over all our countries debt. If these corporations fear a loss of pipeline profit due to an Iranian/Syrian/Russian desire for the same pipeline route, then that means war. These same corporation would never think to compete as business would require, no it’s time for us to lock and load. I have owned a very successful business for many years. I didn’t get to be a success by bombarding with real bombs my competition. No, my employees had to work hard, and we had to think quick to gain some of the market that we could service. Wall Street is a poor excuse of the way to conduct business. Although, they are smart to know how to donate to political candidates, and thusly acquire access to the world’s largest government. I’m not sure how to change all of this, but we must bend this government towards the people and way from all this corporate favoritism.

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