New York Times and the New McCarthyism

Special Report: The New Cold War and its fellow-traveler, the New McCarthyism, are arriving on the hawkish wings of The New York Times and other mainstream U.S. media outlets, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Traditional U.S. journalism and the American people are facing a crisis as the preeminent American newspaper, The New York Times, has fully lost its professional bearings, transforming itself into a neoconservative propaganda sheet eager for a New Cold War with Russia and imposing a New McCarthyism on public debate.

The crisis is particularly acute because another top national newspaper, The Washington Post, is also deeply inside the neocon camp.

Lawyer Roy Cohn (right) with Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

Lawyer Roy Cohn (right) with Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

The Times’ abandonment of journalistic principles has become most noticeable with its recurring tirades about Russia, as the Times offers up story after story that would have embarrassed Sen. Joe McCarthy and his 1950s Red-baiters.

Operating without any actual evidence, a recent Times article by Neil MacFarquhar sought to trace public challenges to official U.S. government narratives on world events to a massive “disinformation” campaign by Russian intelligence. Apparently, it is inconceivable to the Times that independent-minded people might simply question some of the dubious claims made by Official Washington.

Perhaps most stunningly, the Times sought to prove its point by citing the slogan of Russia’s English-language television network, saying: “RT trumpets the slogan ‘Question More.’”

So, now, presumably if someone suggests questioning a claim from the U.S. government or from the NATO alliance, that person is automatically a “Russian agent of influence.” For a major newspaper to adopt such a position is antithetical to the tenets of journalism which call on us journalists to question everything.

The Times’ position is particularly outrageous because many key claims by the U.S. government, including some used to justify aggressive wars against other countries, have turned out to be false. Indeed, the Times has been caught peddling some of these bogus claims, often fed to the “newspaper of record” by U.S. government officials or from think tanks funded by American military contractors.

Disinformation Conduit

Most memorably, in 2002, the Times pushed disinformation about the Iraqi government reconstituting its nuclear weapons program, a lie that was then cited by Vice President Dick Cheney and other senior officials to help stampede the American people behind the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

The controversial map developed by Human Rights Watch and embraced by the New York Times, supposedly showing the flight paths of two missiles from the Aug. 21 Sarin attack intersecting at a Syrian military base.

The controversial map developed by Human Rights Watch and embraced by the New York Times, supposedly showing the flight paths of two missiles from the Aug. 21 Sarin attack intersecting at a Syrian military base.

Lesser known moments of the Times serving as a disinformation conduit include a discredited assertion about the 2013 sarin attack in Syria, in which the Times purported to show how the flight paths of two missiles traced back to a Syrian military base, only later to grudgingly acknowledge that aeronautical experts judged that the one missile found to be carrying sarin had a maximum range of about one-fourth the required distance.

During the 2014 Ukraine crisis, the Times accepted photographs from the U.S. State Department which purported to show Russian military personnel in Russia and then later inside Ukraine, except that it turned out that the photograph supposedly taken in Russia was actually taken in Ukraine, destroying the premise of the Times article.

Photograph published by the New York Times purportedly taken in Russia of Russian soldiers who later appeared in eastern Ukraine. However, the photographer has since stated that the photo was actually taken in Ukraine, and the U.S. State Department has acknowledged the error.

Photograph published by the New York Times purportedly taken in Russia of Russian soldiers who later appeared in eastern Ukraine. However, the photographer has since stated that the photo was actually taken in Ukraine, and the U.S. State Department has acknowledged the error.

Yet, the Times holds itself out as some paragon of objectivity. This delusion further underscores how out of control and indeed dangerous the Times has become as a source of U.S. government disinformation, while accusing others of spreading Russian disinformation which often isn’t disinformation at all.

In its recent article, the Times cites reasonable questions raised by Swedish citizens about a proposal for the country entering into a military association with NATO and dismisses these concerns as proof of Russian government propaganda and lies:

“The claims were alarming: If Sweden, a non-NATO member, signed the deal, the alliance would stockpile secret nuclear weapons on Swedish soil; NATO could attack Russia from Sweden without government approval; NATO soldiers, immune from prosecution, could rape Swedish women without fear of criminal charges.”

Yet, all these worries raised by Swedish citizens – and cited by MacFarquhar in the Times – are not unreasonable concerns since nuclear weapons often are stored in NATO countries, NATO members are obliged to go to war to protect allies, and there have been problems with rape cases in countries with NATO or other foreign bases.

How those realities might affect a country agreeing to a NATO military association are reasonable concerns for Swedes to raise, but instead these worries are dismissed as Russian disinformation without any evidence to support the charge.

No Evidence

MacFarquhar even concedes the point that his lead allegation lacks evidentiary support, writing: “As often happens in such cases, Swedish officials were never able to pin down the source of the false reports.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin, following his address to the UN General Assembly on Sept. 28, 2015. (UN Photo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, following his address to the UN General Assembly on Sept. 28, 2015. (UN Photo)

MacFarquhar then adds: “But they, numerous analysts and experts in American and European intelligence point to Russia as the prime suspect, noting that preventing NATO expansion is a centerpiece of the foreign policy of President Vladimir V. Putin, who invaded Georgia in 2008 largely to forestall that possibility.”

Though MacFarquhar cites the Russian “invasion” of Georgia supposedly to thwart its entrance into NATO as a flat fact to support his thesis, that historical reference is a far more complicated issue since it was Georgia that launched an attack on South Ossetia, a breakaway province, and killed Russian peacekeepers stationed there.

An investigation by the European Union laid most of the blame on Georgia for initiating the conflict, with the Russians then reacting to the Georgian assault. A 2009 report on the E.U. mission led by Swiss diplomat Heidi Tagliavini rejected Georgian claims about self-defense, finding that Georgia, not Russia, started the conflict.

“None of the explanations given by the Georgian authorities in order to provide some form of legal justification for the attack lend it a valid explanation,” Tagliavini said.

The E.U. report stated: “There was no ongoing armed attack by Russia before the start of the Georgian operation. Georgian claims of a large-scale presence of Russian armed forces in South Ossetia prior to the Georgian offensive could not be substantiated by the mission. It could also not be verified that Russia was on the verge of such a major attack.”

In other words, Putin’s military did not “invade” Georgia in 2008 “largely to forestall” Georgia’s entrance into NATO, but as a reaction – arguably an over-reaction – to Georgia’s violent offensive into South Ossetia.

Yet, MacFarquhar cites this dubious point as some sort of indirect “evidence” that Putin is responsible for questions posed by Swedish citizens about what a NATO association would mean for them.

After acknowledging no real evidence and citing a historical “fact” that really isn’t a fact, MacFarquhar expands his conspiracy theory into more recent events claiming that Putin “has invested heavily in a program of ‘weaponized’ information, using a variety of means to sow doubt and division. …

“The fundamental purpose of dezinformatsiya, or Russian disinformation, experts said, is to undermine the official version of events — even the very idea that there is a true version of events — and foster a kind of policy paralysis.”

The MH-17 Case

As an example, MacFarquhar cites the case of the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, claiming “Russia pumped out a dizzying array of theories.” The Times correspondent then asserts as flat fact that “The cloud of stories helped veil the simple truth that poorly trained insurgents had accidentally downed the plane with a missile supplied by Russia.”

The Dutch Safety Board's reconstruction of where it believed the missile exploded near Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on July 17, 2014.

The Dutch Safety Board’s reconstruction of where it believed the missile exploded near Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on July 17, 2014.

But, according to official investigations that have been underway for more than two years, MacFarquhar’s claim is not “the simple truth,” as he put it. Last year’s report by the Dutch Safety Board reached no conclusion about who was responsible for shooting down the plane, killing 298 people.

Indeed, the DSB’s report included a statement by Dutch intelligence (reflecting NATO’s intelligence data) that the only powerful anti-aircraft-missile systems in eastern Ukraine on that day – capable of hitting MH-17 at 33,000 feet – were under the control of the Ukrainian military. (Though an official document, this Dutch intelligence report has never been mentioned by The New York Times, presumably because it conflicts with the favored Russia-did-it narrative.)

The U.S. government, which in the five days after the crash did rush to a judgment blaming ethnic Russian rebels supposedly using a Russian-supplied Buk missile, then went silent on the issue after CIA analysts had a chance to examine the evidence in more detail.

Despite appeals from the families of Dutch victims, including the father of the one young American citizen who died in the crash, the U.S. government has refused to release its radar, satellite images and other intelligence information that presumably could establish exactly who was responsible.

Why the U.S. government would obstruct the investigation into this tragedy if indeed the evidence proved Putin’s responsibility doesn’t make any sense. Indeed, it is the kind of question that a responsible journalist would press the U.S. government to answer, but MacFarquhar and the Times take the pressure off by simply reaffirming the impression that the U.S. government wants the public to have: the Russkies did it.

In the weeks after the crash, I was told by a source briefed by U.S. intelligence analysts that the secret U.S. data points the finger of guilt at a rogue Ukrainian military operation, which would fit with the statement by Dutch intelligence. But whatever the ultimate finding, it is simply bad journalism to state as flat fact something that remains seriously in doubt, a professional failure reminiscent of how the Times and Post treated Iraq’s WMD as a certainty in 2002-2003.

More Insidious

But there is something even more insidious about what The New York Times and The Washington Post have been up to. They are essentially saying that any questioning of the official U.S. government narrative on any international topic puts you in league with Moscow in its purported attempt to “weaponize” information, whatever that is supposed to mean.

New York Times building in New York City. (Photo from Wikipedia)

New York Times building in New York City. (Photo from Wikipedia)

The two newspapers are engaging in a breathtaking form of McCarthyism, apparently in some twisted effort to force a neoconservative ideological conformity on the American people in support of the New Cold War.

There is also a stunning lack of self-awareness. While MacFarquhar sees a Russian desire to portray U.S. life as “hellish,” including RT’s decision to show protest demonstrations – rather than some speeches – during the Republican and Democratic conventions, he and other writers who have picked up this theme consistently present the situation in Russia in the darkest possible terms.

Relatively innocent actions, such as the Kremlin seeking to make its case to the world, are transformed into evil deeds, using buzzwords like “weaponized” information and “hybrid war.” Yet, there is no reference to the billions upon billions of dollars that the U.S. government has invested in disseminating propaganda and funding political activists around the world.

NATO has even established what it calls a “Strategic Communications Command,” or Stratcom, in Riga, Latvia, which – as veteran war correspondent Don North has written – views “the control and manipulation of information as a ‘soft power’ weapon, merging psychological operations, propaganda and public affairs under the catch phrase ‘strategic communications.’

“This attitude has led to treating psy-ops manipulative techniques for influencing a target population’s state of mind and surreptitiously shaping people’s perceptions as just a normal part of U.S. and NATO’s information policy. …

“And, as part of this Brave New World of ‘strategic communications,’ the U.S. military and NATO have now gone on the offensive against news organizations that present journalism which is deemed to undermine the perceptions that the U.S. government seeks to convey to the world.”

In other words, the U.S. government and NATO are engaged in what psychologists call “projection,” accusing someone else of one’s own behavior. Yet The New York Times has never investigated Washington’s and NATO’s involvement in “strategic communications.” Only the Russians do such dirty deeds.

A Darker Side

But there is even a darker side to the Times’ recent propaganda barrage about Russian propaganda. On the heels of MacFarquhar’s indictment of Russia for questioning Washington’s official narratives, the Times published a vicious attack on WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, entitled “How Russia Often Benefits When Julian Assange Reveals the West’s Secrets.”

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at a media conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo credit: New Media Days / Peter Erichsen)

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at a media conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo credit: New Media Days / Peter Erichsen)

The article portrays Assange as a participant, wittingly or otherwise, in Russia’s allegedly nefarious scheme to release truthful information, such as the Democratic National Committee’s emails confirming what many had long suspected, that some party officials were favoring Hillary Clinton over her rival, Bernie Sanders. No one has suggested that the emails aren’t real.

However, without presenting any real evidence proving that Russian intelligence was responsible for the hack, the Times and the rest of the mainstream U.S. news media have made that assumption conventional wisdom based on the opinions of some unnamed U.S. officials.

Or as the Times’ takedown of Assange wrote, “United States officials say they believe with a high degree of confidence that the Democratic Party material was hacked by the Russian government. …That raises a question: Has WikiLeaks become a laundering machine for compromising material gathered by Russian spies? And more broadly, what precisely is the relationship between Mr. Assange and Mr. Putin’s Kremlin? …

“Among United States officials, the emerging consensus is that Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks probably have no direct ties to Russian intelligence services. But they say that, at least in the case of the Democrats’ emails, Moscow knew it had a sympathetic outlet in WikiLeaks, where intermediaries could drop pilfered documents in the group’s anonymized digital inbox.”

Though it’s nice that some U.S. officials acknowledge a lack of evidence proving an operational relationship between Assange and Russian intelligence, the fact that a high-profile journalistic institution, such as WikiLeaks, has been under that sort of U.S. government investigation should be troubling to the Times and other news organizations.

However, instead the newspaper appears disappointed that it cannot declare outright that Assange is a “Moscow stooge.” (Also note that in the last passage, the Times treats the suspicion that Russian intelligence hacked the Democratic emails as flat fact when U.S. intelligence officials say they don’t know for sure.)

Verify, Don’t Moralize

The usual rule of thumb for journalists is to accept and verify information regardless of where it comes from. While occasionally you get a selfless leaker, it’s more common to get leaks from interested parties seeking to undermine their rivals. We see that in legal proceedings when lawyers supply documents helpful to their cases and in political contests when campaigns dig up dirt on their opponents.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders. (NBC photo)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders. (NBC photo)

Yet, journalists don’t throw away newsworthy information because it may be self-serving. We check it out and – if it checks out – we use it. The only real problem would be if you run the material as flat fact, without caveats, and it turns out to be false, as has happened repeatedly with material that the U.S. government has leaked to the Times and the Post.

What is particularly unprofessional about how the Times is treating Assange is that no one is saying that the Democratic Party emails are disinformation; they appear to be quite real and reflect a newsworthy concern, which is: Did the Democratic National Committee seek to throw the presidential nomination to Hillary Clinton?

But the Times’ unprofessional treatment of truthful information from WikiLeaks as well as the Times’ disdain for legitimate debate about the New Cold War with Russia has contributed to another dangerous development – a McCarthyistic launching of official U.S. government investigations into people who question the official Washington narratives.

An Official Investigation

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that “U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies are investigating what they see as a broad covert Russian operation in the United States to sow public distrust in the upcoming presidential election and in U.S. political institutions. …

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

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

“The aim is to understand the scope and intent of the Russian campaign, which incorporates cyber-tools to hack systems used in the political process, enhancing Russia’s ability to spread disinformation. … A Russian influence operation in the United States ‘is something we’re looking very closely at,’ said one senior intelligence official,” while admitting that there is no “definitive proof” of such a Russian scheme.

The danger of this investigation – and what a normal news media would focus on – is the U.S. government taking an unfocused look at how Russia supposedly influences the U.S. public debate, a probe that could easily cross the line into questioning the loyalty of Americans who simply dispute what the U.S. government is claiming about current events.

The Post reported, “U.S. intelligence officials described the [Russian] covert influence campaign here as ‘ambitious’ and said it is also designed to counter U.S. leadership and influence in international affairs. …

“Russia has been in the vanguard of a growing global movement to use propaganda on the Internet to influence people and political events, especially since the political revolt in Ukraine, the subsequent annexation of Crimea by Russia, and the imposition of sanctions on Russia by the United States and the European Union. …

“‘Our studies show that it is very likely that [the influence] operations are centrally run,’ said Janis Sarts, director of the NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence, a research organization based in Riga, Latvia.”

Yes, that is the same NATO Stratcom complex that, as Don North reported, blends psychological operations with traditional public relations. Yet, you wouldn’t know that from reading The Washington Post’s article, which cites Stratcom as a source for accusing Russia of running influence operations.

A Vast Conspiracy

According to the Post, Sarts “also said there is ‘a coordinated effort involving [groups using] Twitter and Facebook and networks of bots to amplify their message. The main themes seem to be orchestrated rather high up in the hierarchy of the Russian state, and then there are individual endeavors by people to exploit specific themes.’

“Sarts said the Russian propaganda effort has been ‘successful in exploiting the vulnerabilities within societies.’ In Western Europe, for instance, such Russian information operations have focused on the politically divisive refugee crisis.”

In other words, any reporting or commenting on significant foreign policy issues could open a journalist or a citizen to a U.S. government investigation into whether you are part of some nefarious Russian propaganda/disinformation scheme.

This McCarthyistic investigative style has already begun to have a chilling effect on public debate in the United States where dissident views on Russia, Syria or other hot topics are quickly disparaged as enemy propaganda. Almost anyone who questions whether a new, costly and dangerous Cold War is necessary is immediately tagged as a “Russian agent of influence,” a “Putin apologist,” or a “Moscow stooge.”

In this case, the Democrats have been particularly aggressive in playing the Joe McCarthy role by denouncing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in such overheated terms, even suggesting his disloyalty for suggesting that he could, as President, get along with Putin.

During the McCarthy era of the 1950s, defense of freedom of thought required courageous journalists, most notably Edward R. Murrow, to stand up to the often unfounded smears against the patriotism of Americans. In 2016, however, it is the prestige news media, particularly The New York Times and The Washington Post, that have been leading the rush into the New Cold War and into the New McCarthyism.

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).

 

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56 comments for “New York Times and the New McCarthyism

  1. Drew Hunkins
    September 7, 2016 at 10:11 am

    Tremendous piece by Mr. Parry as is typical. To fail to regularly read Parry is to court genuine ignorance.

    There are about six to ten intellectuals and writers today who everyone should try and read as often as possible, Mr. Parry is indeed one of them.

    • Peter Loeb
      September 7, 2016 at 4:27 pm

      I would only point out that the NYT is not alone in these attacks. In fact
      Sen McCarthy was hardly a lone voice. Harry Truman’s Secretary of State
      (Dean Acheson) was known to testify about the USSR as “commies”. HST
      persistently used anti-communism to achieve most of its foreign policy
      goals (see Joyce and Gabriel Kolko’s LIMITS OF POWER….).

      Then there is Woodrow Wilson’s “Red Scare”..

      While Robert Parry’s article is excellent, Parry like most, seems
      so easily to forget sdimilar behaviors especially if they occurred
      under Democratic presidents.

      —–Peter Loeb, Boston, MA. UZSA

      • J. D.
        September 7, 2016 at 6:24 pm

        True, in that McCarthyism might better be called “Trumanism.” However, the greater concern here is that Hillary Clinton’s near total embrace of the neo-con policy of a “unipolar world’ at all costs might lead not just to a new Cold War, but to a hot one which could very easily turn into a thermonuclear war. with consequences far greater than those narrowly averted by President Kennedy and Premier Khruschev in 1962.

      • Bill Bodden
        September 7, 2016 at 9:12 pm

        The fear mongering and abuse of power by the likes of McCarthy and Woodrow Wilson are part of a pattern within the human condition that goes back for millennia.

        • Bill Bodden
          September 8, 2016 at 1:44 pm

          The Spanish Inquisition is an infamous example predating McCarthy’s comparatively mild abuse.

    • eole
      September 11, 2016 at 12:49 pm

      I couldnt agree more! I wish that Europeans and particularly their governments would also read him rather than mainstream media!

  2. Wobblie
    September 7, 2016 at 10:23 am

    It’s all falling into place, isn’t it? Militarization of the police, eradicating civil liberties, and a further crumbling of the already media.

    Woe unto the next generation. Paradise is not yours.

    https://therulingclassobserver.com/2016/09/04/paradise-suppressed/

    • Kent Smith
      September 7, 2016 at 11:02 am

      Wobblie: that is one bizarre site on your bottom link. The introduction —

      “A unit of consciousness becomes alienated from the Great Whole. It feels vulnerable. It becomes aware of its condition and feels compelled to control its environment. Before long the unit of consciousness challenges the Whole for supremacy…”

      Yikes! Madame Blavatsky, are you speaking to us from the Beyond?

      kent

  3. Tom Welsh
    September 7, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Most professionally pulled together and documented. Thank goodness for the few remaining serious American journalists, such as Mr Parry!

  4. Joe Tedesky
    September 7, 2016 at 11:33 am

    Great article Mr Parry.

    Between Israel’s getting cozy with Putin’s Russia, and Obama’s poor treatment at the G20 conference, America may want to rethink it’s current militaristic foreign policy. Apparently, the world is changing, and America isn’t changing with it.

    The other thing America should do, is establish an independent news media. A news media free from corporate, and government influence and control. In fact America needs to do a reboot of it’s one time famous antitrust laws, and break these mega corporations down to size.

    If you need proof to see how overwhelmingly corporate owned America has come, well then just look at the many corporate friendly trade agreements America has and is sponsoring, and then look at America’s two front running presidential candidates. Americans need to start running business, and not allowing business to run America. These corporations need to serve the people, and not the other way around.

    • Erik
      September 7, 2016 at 5:23 pm

      Yes, mass media must be defined (related groups under the same ownership or control, serving over ten percent of the audience in any subject or region) and regulated to the extent of requiring them to:
      1. Accept no funds except registered individual donations less than the average day’s pay in any year;
      2. Prove that all internal groups and functions (editors, reporters, etc.) follow the national distribution of race, ethnicity, religion, etc. (within the error of one person in the group)
      3. Prove that all major viewpoints are represented equally, to the satisfaction of critics.
      4. State prominently that they are or are not a regulated mass medium meeting these standards.

      This regulation does not permit government control of the media, any more than regulation of their buildings, cars, tax withholding, etc. It does free the media from undue influence of economic concentrations and other scammers seeking to deceive the nation.

      The US needs this as a constitutional amendment to ensure that Congress cannot play with it.
      We need the same financial provisions for all political parties, candidates, and funds, as another constitutional amendment. Together these would save democracy; without them we do not have a democracy.

      • Erik
        September 7, 2016 at 5:38 pm

        I should have added that neither mass media nor political entities may be permitted to accept funding, staff, etc from government or any foreign controlled entity, or other mass media or political entity.

        All of their staff and their relatives must be audited to prove the absence of such influence.

        • Joe Tedesky
          September 8, 2016 at 1:14 am

          Erik nice work, if we were able to draft a bill I would put forth the motion to have you author our first draft. I may rant, but holy cow man you go right to it…nice job. JT

  5. Annie
    September 7, 2016 at 11:34 am

    I don’t know why so many people, knowledgeable about world events, continue to read the NY Times. When the US government lied us into a war in Iraq, the NY Times did the same. I always saw them as equally complicit in that lie that has resulted in the deaths of millions of people, and destroyed whole countries. What Bush/Cheney did, what their administration did, what the NY Times did is not forgivable in my book, and that it continues to propagandize for the US government should make it a rag in anyone’s book.

    • evelync
      September 7, 2016 at 3:08 pm

      Yes, indeed, Annie. I can’t stomach the NYT or the Washington Post. I never read them except when linked to from an outside article. After the NYT published Judith Miller’s lies about WMD on the front page which smelled bad to me at the time I learned they were a rag that served something or somebody who did not have my best interests or the interests of honest journalism in mind.
      Shame on them.

      They are lying to themselves and us about who we are as a country or what we should be doing. The 2 candidates one of whom will soon be “the leader of the free world”, ugh… lack qualities or personal gifts that suggest either one could help make this country a better place that would serve everyone. Or that they even care about such things. They are shills. One is a clown. The other is a power hungry apparatchik. If one reads her 1969 thesis – available on line in PDF format by googling: “There is Only the Fight…..: An Analysis of the Alinsky Model”, it sheds some light on her ambitions from the time she was young.

      In the concluding section of her thesis she explains that Alinski’s goal – to help lift people, especially poor people and poc out of the extreme poverty of the Chicago stockyards by using massive public works programs like the TVA – was not realistic. She said it might work in some other countries. But in this “mass consumption, mass production economy” it would not be achievable. A polar opposite of Bernie Sanders, who Noam Chomsky called “a decent, honest New Deal Democrat. Her cynical cartoon at the end of the thesis mocks the community organizer and anyone with civic minded impulses.

      I do not know how Obama could have persuaded himself to give her State. To the extent that good will existed within his goals perhaps he felt himself in a box from the beginning.
      I believe he has some good will, given his visits to prisons, his release of non violent criminals caught up during and following the Clinton presidency from their horrendous “3 strikes and you’re out” and their for profit prisons and draconian Welfare Reform Act.

      Yesterday I watched a recent video on privacy hosted by the University of Arizona and featuring Noam Chomsky, Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden.
      https://web.sbs.arizona.edu/privacy
      https://theintercept.com/a-conversation-about-privacy/

      Thank goodness for people who value truth and take huuuuge risks to expose it.

      And thanks to Robert Parry for a place to read honest, credible stuff and to be able to post “subversive” comments.

      • Bill Bodden
        September 7, 2016 at 9:05 pm

        I do not know how Obama could have persuaded himself to give her State.

        Political expediency in Obama’s self-interest.

        • Procopius
          September 12, 2016 at 10:04 am

          Some representative from the Deep State whispered in his ear, “Remember Dallas, 1963.”

    • Kevin O
      September 7, 2016 at 7:23 pm

      I couldn’t agree more Annie. Bravo

  6. Brad Owen
    September 7, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    With this, and the previous two articles (Old Cold Warriors & Neocon Dilemma), I detect a subtle paradigm-shift in the making. The new Zeitgeist has Her hand on the Paradigm-Kaleidoscope and is slowly working it…and a new pattern is presenting itself to the consciousness. The Afghan women risking all to plant new seeds in a burned-out shell of an old Worldview is an appropriate symbol…Localists of the World unite, The Empire is collapsing.

  7. John
    September 7, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Power or Influence ?

    Imagine you have total power. Whatever you say goes. Then, one day, you decide to share your power with 10 others. Now at best you have 1/10 of the power you had before……

    Now Imagine you have a certain amount of influence and you decide to share that influence with 10 others. Now you have 10 times the influence you started with……

    Power works by division. Influence works by manipulation…..Power is a zero sum game, the more you share the less you have, whereas influence works by multiplication, the more you share the more you have……

    Please refer to the picture provided. McCarthy represents power and Cohn represents influence (manipulation)….Power is short lived whereas influence can be agenda seeking for many generations…….

    Also refer to the possible Israel shift toward Russia….When influencing manipulators feel they have extracted all the life from a “power” structure, they will have another host waiting in the wings………..

  8. M.
    September 7, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    Where did the antitrust laws go?

    • Brad Owen
      September 8, 2016 at 6:49 am

      They must have followed the Constitution into the trashcan. It was W who said the Constitution is “just a goddamn piece of paper”…or so I’ve read.

  9. Skip Scott
    September 7, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    Mr. Parry has done it again. It is a shame that speaking truth to power is something only to be found on the internet. No doubt the Stratcom people are furious that even a few of us know the truth. Thank god for Consortium News!

    • Ray G Johns
      September 10, 2016 at 1:10 pm

      Skip, Did you read the news today? President Obama reached an agreement with Putin to jointly work together to fight ISIL and bring about a ceasefire in Syria’s civil war . Now,I ask you, that does not sound like Obama is pushing for a new Cold War with Russia,now does it?

      ” The United States and Russia hailed a breakthrough deal on Saturday to put Syria’s peace process back on track, including a nationwide truce effective from sundown on Monday, improved humanitarian aid access and joint military targeting of banned Islamist groups”
      http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN11F0HC

      • Ray G Johns
        September 10, 2016 at 1:13 pm
      • Skip Scott
        September 10, 2016 at 5:43 pm

        So Ray, with all the information presented in this article, this is supposed to be some kind of rebuttal? The NYT is good and Robert Parry is wrong? Plus this article is talking about the NYT, not Obama. It is the NYT and the deep state that is pushing a new cold war, and shamelessly using propaganda to that end. Obama is not a dictator, and frankly the neocons have more juice than he does. He should have cleaned house when he first got into office. If he lived, the tail wouldn’t have been wagging the dog for most of the last eight years.

  10. Robert Keith
    September 7, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Hacking, just another form of surveillance, is a good thing between governments, because it ensures that each has the truth about the others – a much more reliable way to keep the peace then ignorance.
    As for the they-said-we-said between Russia and the U.S., this writer can vouch for the lying hypocritical U.S. government. We are complaining about the Russians buzzing our ships off the Baltic coast? How inappropriate! Imagine daring to have the “right” to protect your “space”! Well, this U.S. Naval pilot, with several years seniority on John MacCain, by the way, buzzed their ships 12 miles off their far eastern coastline from the Bering Straits to South Korea for three years (1956-9), frequently escorted by Mig-17s. That was like their buzzing our California coast, and we are indignant? It’s embarrassing enough to have your government be a lying whiner, but to be a hypocrite on top of that?
    We are just grateful that they didn’t shoot us down. Putin is not our enemy; the Zionist Neo-Cons are.

  11. ltr
    September 7, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Superb article, simply superb.

  12. F. G. Sanford
    September 7, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Access for sale or rent, pay to play is cash well spent.
    Some might say that it’s graft, we maintain that it’s statecraft.
    Ah, but, big bank drafts buy good grace, So, we’re stayin’ in the race.
    We’re a char-i-ty with plenty of clout, figure it out!

    We left the White House broke, then we had a lucky stroke.
    We kept some silverware, Dolly Madison don’t care!
    You see, perjury doesn’t count, If you pay the right amount.
    We’re a char-i-ty with plenty of clout, figure it out!

    We know every potentate and rich billionaire,
    They get an appointment if they pay their share,
    I got my hand out, and Bill works the crowd,
    I delete the email chains so they won’t be found, I sing:

    New Yorkers at the polls, had been purged from voter rolls.
    Foundation finance flaws, got around campaign fund laws.
    Ah, but, California’s recount failed, Bernie backers got derailed.
    We’re a char-i-ty with plenty of clout, figure it out!

    Six times a coin toss won, odds exceed a thousand to one.
    Those exit polls mislead, Bernie’s rout was guaranteed.
    Ah, but, big donors grant consent, we appease the one percent.
    We’re a char-i-ty with plenty of clout, figure it out!

    We know every banker and corporate stooge,
    All of their stock schemes and tax subterfuge,
    They know we’ll protect them and work for trade deals
    All we gotta do is hope that nobody squeals, I sing:

    Abe Lincoln’s room for rent, nubile interns heaven sent.
    Those speaking fees will soar, we might even start a war.
    Ah, but, Influence peddling, Isn’t such an evil thing.
    We’re a char-i-ty with plenty of clout, figure it out!

    Arms merchants flock and fawn, parties on the White House Lawn.
    They want a cold war stance, McCarthyism is their chance.
    Ah, but, domestic crackdowns loom, any time war profits boom.
    We’re a char-i-ty with plenty of clout, figure it out!

    Figure it out!…Figure it out!…Figure it out!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZWvi0MaIZs Dean Martin, King of the Road

    • Erik
      September 7, 2016 at 5:34 pm

      Thanks, FG, I have the same tune (King of the Road, about a vagabond) set up as a song about establishing a charity school on a minimal budget. Yours is very comprehensible; I like it.

  13. D5-5
    September 7, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    The Washington Post article Robert links to in the concluding part of the essay includes this comment:

    “The Kremlin’s intent may not be to sway the election in one direction or another, officials said, but to cause chaos and provide propaganda fodder to attack U.S. democracy-building policies around the world, particularly in the countries of the former Soviet Union.”

    This neocon boilerplate shows the article and the WA POST for what it is as it decries “Russian propaganda” and demonizes and waves the flag around “U.S. democracy-building policies around the world . . .” Ah . . . what?

    But I don’t think we’re quite as nervous and hysterical and ignorant as it was in 1954, at least not yet. We’re tired, cynical, fed up with the rich people, appalled at the worst candidates for president on record while decent alternatives are being suppressed from the debates, and this happening right after the DNC’s criminal behavior in blocking Sanders.

    This WA POST thing looks like neocon desperation to me, and what do you do when desperate? Demonize, wave the flag, blow smoke.

    • Brad Owen
      September 8, 2016 at 6:53 am

      And I think the paradigm is shifting, and that they’re breaking up & crumbling like glaciers in a warm Arctic Ocean. Liberation-by-default just around the corner (hopefully).

  14. chuck b
    September 7, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    and hillary’s remarks at the american legion make clear where they’re taking their claim of russian hacking.

    if she becomes president, she’ll heat up the new cold war (to avoid any more leaks?), made possible by goebbels’ disciples goosesteping all the way to NATO’s eastern front.

    the nutjob general at the DNC staging will be taking over the press conferences (which she’s incapable of holding) as soon as obama has left the premises. one tiny incident will be enough to let the psychopaths go full jack d. ripper.

  15. Jay
    September 7, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    That MacFarquhar lie about the method and reason the Malaysia air passenger jet was shot down was amazing to read a week ago in the Times.

    The likes of the World Socialist Website objected to the Times “red” baiting Assange, but they missed the MacFarquhar lies from the earlier article. Glad Mr Parry called attention to MacFarquhar’s lying, must be embarrassing to the few remaining reporters at the Times who want to do a half decent job of reporting.

    I see the Times has only just acknowledged that Hillary Clinton has suffered a big drop in her polling numbers against Trump, after the Times pretended all August that the election of Hillary was a sure thing. That’s what you get for spending August in places like the Hamptons and Martha’s Vineyard–only talking to the “right” people, well except when pretending that Russian is running the Trump campaign’s intelligence department. (This is not a mistake that Bernie Sanders would ever have made.)

    • Brad Owen
      September 8, 2016 at 4:11 am

      That’s just the lying press doing what they have to to shape the horse race narrative. It is meant to scare Green voters back into the hillary camp (trump hasn’t got a chance). This tired old act doesn’t work anymore; the paradigm is slowly shifting and the same old tactics don’t work like they used to. Too bad the voting machines are hackable and controlled. We won’t really know how well 3rd parties did, or how poorly the establishment parties did.

      • Jay
        September 8, 2016 at 4:26 pm

        Brad,

        I’m sorry, I think Trump has a chance, not a big chance, but people in Ohio, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are very angry at the corporatist democratic party. And many of these people would be considered part of the democratic base.

        I live in a liberal city, in the most liberal neighborhood, in a state that will vote for Hillary come November, and I see pretty much an equal number of Trump and Hillary tee shirts on the streets.

        I’ll be voting Stein–just as I did in 2012.

        • Brad Owen
          September 9, 2016 at 6:18 am

          Well, all we have is the anecdotal evidence of what we see on the street. Me, I don’t see shirts anywhere in town, no evidence of “shirt-advertised” interest anywhere about the election. I don’t trust the press (nor the vote-counting machines) to accurately reflect the political leanings of the citizenry at all. I do notice a large number of commenters on various sites that I visit (such as you and me) supporting Jill & the Greens; but I doubt the vote-counting machines will show how well-received Jill & the Greens are, by the people. It seems to me “The Establishment”(the 1%ers) is throwing all in with Hill & the Dems, and the vote-counting machines will probably be set up accordingly. Divine intervention perhaps? Karl Rove did seem shocked that Romney lost Ohio to Obama, like he was expecting the tally to lean his man’s way…invisible hand of an Angel intervened, to stay the electronic hacking signals perhaps?? (not that Obama is any good, just that Romney was even worse, perhaps fatally so). Anyway, I’m 100% behind Jill & the Greens.

  16. Paul
    September 7, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    Back in the 1970s and 1980s, the New York Times was an impressive paper. It is sad to see what it has become.

  17. hal lewis
    September 7, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    Albert Camus one of the worlds best journalism ( if you do not believe this pick up his book on COMBAT writings.)

    This statement covers all this:

    ‘WE HAVE A RIGHT TO THINK, THAT TRUTH WITH A CAPITAL LETTER IS RELATIVE. BUT FACTS ARE FACTS. AND WHOEVER SAYS THAT THE SKY IS BLUE WHEN IT IS GREY IS PROSTITUTING WORDS AND PREPARING THE WAY FOR TYRANNY.
    ALBERT CAMUS

  18. Marko
    September 7, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    Coming soon to America : the ” Inform America Act ” , which will provide free subscriptions to the NYT and the Post to every citizen over the age of 12. This is seen as only a temporary measure , as a companion bill ( the ” Resistance Is Futile Act ” ) provides a boost in funding for research on perfecting methods to program the minds of Americans directly via electromagnetic propagation techniques.

    • Brad Owen
      September 8, 2016 at 4:28 am

      The machinery for EM propagation’s already in place (Cel phone towers…seemingly popped up everywhere overnight like mushrooms); and we’re already “chipped” (our Cel phones…can’t leave home without it). Probably why there hasn’t already been a massive General Strike against the Establishment by now. The Old-School European Oligarchs knew what they were doing when they turned over the reins (& reigns) of Empire to Madison Avenue after WWII…just kidding (I think).
      P.S.
      People like “CBswork” (his handle) are carrying on ether-warfare against these “mind control” devices. It would make a good sci-fi series. Z.S. Livingstone has some cool things to say about it all too.

      • Marko
        September 8, 2016 at 1:09 pm

        I don’t really believe in the mind control stuff but I line my baseball cap with tinfoil just in case.

  19. jaycee
    September 7, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    All of this seems to reflect a certain panic, or desparation, on behalf of the powers-that-be. The 1950s were an era of general trust and confidence in established government and media. That is not the case now, and these rather weak attempts to spin the narrative will likely fall flat.

    • D5-5
      September 7, 2016 at 9:02 pm

      I agree . . . just listening to advertising between innings of a game and being continually talked to in a baby voice, and a tendency towards a slow sing-song approach, as though the audience is four years old. I’m drawing a parallel here to all this new demonizing, particularly directed at Putin, who has about 80-90 percent approval in Russia. Infantilizing of this sort is up against a large range of forces at this time, counter forces. In the 50’s no athlete would have refused to stand to the national anthem. I could be dead wrong. I was wrong about Bernie.

  20. Bill Bodden
    September 7, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    The NYT has company in the propaganda business: Mexican heritage textbook for Texas schools full of ‘offensive stereotypes’: Ruben Cortez and a committee found Mexican American studies textbook for use in public schools has 141 errors of fact, interpretation and omission – https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/07/mexican-heritage-textbook-texas-offensive-stereotypes

  21. September 7, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    Then they wonder why so many people in the west r no longer buying these local rags of disinformation. More people r not listening to their hasbra . Weapons of mass delusion. More people r seeing things differently ever since 9/11 and after circa 15 years the west can see with their own eyes the death and destruction of the ME , the financialisation of every aspect of their way of life since the derivatives crash of 2007 and how corporate socialism is great when they r loosing. Privatise the gains and socialise the loses. The widening gap potential earnings between the little guy and the 1 percent has never been this wide since the GUILDED age. So one does not have to be an expert to see historical facts and their outcomes since 2001 and 2007. LO STATO CORPORATE Mussolini’s guide to modern fascism and TTP TTIP CAFTA and all those trade deals will guarantee the full domination and financialisation of modern western society. Fascism is truely here and if we allow it will it will be hear to stay for many generations to come.
    Yesterdays news gets wrapped in todays fish

    • Bill Bodden
      September 7, 2016 at 10:42 pm

      Fascism is truely here and if we allow it will it will be hear to stay for many generations to come.

      If Nazi Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, Franco’s Spain, and Pinochet’s Chile may be taken as examples, fascist governments are limited to one or a little more than one generation.

  22. Michael Meo
    September 7, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    The New York Times is Pravda-on-the-Hudson; the Washington Post is Izvestiya-on-the-Potomac.

  23. exiled off mainstreet
    September 8, 2016 at 12:30 am

    Thank you Mr. Parry for this comprehensive expose of the nature of the press-propaganda apparatus of the US regime. It is reminiscent of Pravda or the Voelkische Beobachter which served the Nazi regime. What is really frightening is that the end result of this propaganda agitation is to make nuclear armageddon not only thinkable but politically correct and inevitable. This is a profoundly regrettable depressing development.

  24. Khalid Talaat
    September 8, 2016 at 1:07 am

    A fine article Mr. Parry. What a contrast between this article’s professionalism and the propaganda blabber called the New York Times. Please don’t hold your breath for a response from the prestitutes.

  25. Secret Agent
    September 8, 2016 at 7:46 am

    I was encouraged to hear Paul Craig Roberts say he has a bigger readership than the NYT.

    And for good reason. There is nothing to be gained from reading any lame stream paper. It’s all bullshit and propaganda.

    Makes on wonder, how long can you run a country on bad information?

  26. Louis Lewis
    September 8, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Perhaps if these mainstream media reporters and editors were actually real journalists, they would ask how is it possible that people who get shot with a military-style high-powered rifle multiple times, breaking and shattering bones and skin and tissue, are able to sit on their injuries, smile and laugh, move around freely, not have any effects from opiates or painkillers, and are then released 1 or 2 days later. How is that possible? No ‘journalists’ like CIA Cooper or Lester Holt or any of the paid shills will ask these questions. You have to go to Youtube (I know, I know….) to find these people ask the relevant questions, and then get nothing but stone walls as an answer.

    Or perhaps they can ask themselves why we would trust proven liars that freely and happily spread government propaganda and question nothing. Or we could just dive into our Smartphones, find Pokémon, and watch endless vapid entertainment. That is much more comforting to the average moron, isn’t it?

  27. NobodysaysBOO
    September 8, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    RAGS and FISH WRAPPERS with lots of adds, never buy this trash ever, NEVER by from their adds, never buy an add,let them starve instead, they will go away soon they are now on their last legs.They should have gone down like the WTC, maybe soon lets hope.

  28. L Garou
    September 8, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    Meet the neo-commies..
    (same as the old commies)

  29. Group Captain Mandrake
    September 8, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Nice work again by Parry. It makes me miss Alexander Cockburn more than usual. He would regularly gut the Grey Lady and had a remarkable memory for its scores of blown stories and putrid scandals. Here he is on Judy Miller: http://www.counterpunch.org/2003/08/16/judy-miller-s-war/

  30. September 9, 2016 at 10:45 am

    The New York Times, often regarded without much reflection as the American newspaper of record, has been more aptly described as the house organ for America’s establishment.

    It contains enough good writing and general information to give it the “feel” of a credible information source.

    But it marches in lockstep with establishment interests without exception.

    It beats the drum for every war.

    It regularly practices deliberately incomplete reporting and even censorship, it being learned only recently that all of its stories about Israel are passed under the scrutiny of Israeli censors before printing.

    There have been a number of times that CIA plants have been discovered on staff, too, some having worked for years.

    There never was a story that the CIA’s “giant Wurlitzer organ” wanted placed that wasn’t. And ditto for the FBI, the paper several times running actual campaigns against individuals with no basis in fact, just FBI gossip.

    We saw this in the case of Wen Ho Lee, American nuclear scientist, accused of spying for China some years ago, but never convicted of anything of substance despite having his name dragged through the mud.

    Richard Jewell, a simple decent security guard, was hounded over the Atlanta Olympics bombing of 1996, until it was finally discovered to be the work of anti-abortion fanatics. Jewell proved actually to have been something of a hero.

    There is a long list of such events.

    The Times also plays big favorites with establishment friends. For example, some years back when a Kennedy relative was accused of rape, The Times did all it could to build him up and even violated journalistic ethics by identifying the woman victim in print.

    Of course, The Times regularly publishes the world’s most irresponsible and unfair big-name journalist, a man by the name of Thomas Friedman, whose entire output for years has castigated Muslims, praised some unpleasant Israeli figures, and put out floods of pro-Pentagon stories.

    You’ll find entertaining stuff on Mr Friedman here:

    https://chuckmanwords.wordpres

    and here:

    https://chuckmanwords.wordpres

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