Consortium News Sends Libel Notices to Canadian Signals Intelligence Agency and Major Television Network

Consortium News has sent libel notices to a Canadian spy agency and major broadcaster after their reports said CN is part of a Russian-directed propaganda campaign targeting Canadian leaders.

Canada’s NSA and Global News Said CN Leads
Cyber-Influence Campaign’ Directed by Moscow

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

Consortium News has sent libel notices to the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), Canada’s version of the U.S. National Security Agency, and to a major Canadian television network, Global News, for a report that said Consortium News was “part of a cyber-influence campaign directed by Russia.”

Based on a CSE secret document, Global News’ website said in a Dec. 10, 2019 article entitled, “‘Canadian eyes only’ intelligence reports say Canadian leaders attacked in cyber campaigns,” that Consortium News led this campaign. “The first attack was a February 2017 report in the ‘online Consortium News’ followed ‘in quick succession’ by pro-Russian English language and Russian-language online media, the CSE report says,” according to Global News.

A caption on the Global News site under a screenshot of the Feb. 27, 2017 Consortium News article reads: “A CSE report says Consortium News was part of an attack from Russia on Chrystia Freeland’s reputation.” Freeland was the then Canadian foreign minister and is now deputy prime minister.

Another caption under a Dec. 10 Global News broadcast, which also shows the CN screenshot, says: “Russia is one of numerous hostile foreign states that have recently targeted Canada with online smear campaigns.”

Global News’ website, quoting from the CSE report, said:

“ ‘A small number of nation states’ are involved in cyber campaigns against Western democracy, but the national security assessment warns the threat and range of actors involved are growing. And the tactics used by Canada’s adversaries include ‘human intelligence operations,’ online and cyber influence campaigns and the use of ‘state-sponsored or influenced media.'”

CN portrayed on Global News broadcast as part of “Russian cyber influence” campaign that “targeted high-profile Canadian politicians.”

The libel notices were sent by a Toronto law firm on behalf of Consortium News, which seeks a retraction of all mention of Consortium News and an apology. CN is making a formal Access to Information Act request (Canada’s Freedom of Information Act) to obtain a copy of the CSE report. Part of the CSE report, classified “SECRET CEO,” CEO meaning Canadian Eyes Only, was broadcast by Global News.

Titled, “Cyber Influence Events against Canadian Politicians,” the report says:

“In early 2017 and Spring 2018, sources linked to Russia popularized MFA Freeland’s family history, very likely intended to cause personal reputational damage in order to discredit the Government of Canada’s ongoing diplomatic and military support for Ukraine, to delegitimize Canada’s decision to enact the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Offices Act, and the 2018 expulsion of several Russian diplomats.”

The Act referred to is Canada’s version of the controversial Magnitsky Act passed by the U.S. Congress.

Global News’ website reported:

“The attacks on Freeland, who is now deputy prime minister, were partly meant to combat her support of laws targeting corrupt Russian oligarchs and leaders, the CSE records say, and included allegations that her Ukrainian grandfather had edited a newspaper with ties to Nazis. …

The cyber-campaign directed by Russia involved distortions of facts and was timed, targeted and, according to the CSE, ‘pushed the narrative to suggest that Freeland’s family immigrated to Canada as part of a wave of Nazi-collaborators.’

The first attack was a February 2017 report in the ‘online Consortium News’ followed ‘in quick succession’ by pro-Russian English language and Russian-language online media, the CSE report says.

The CSE records obtained by Global News appear to document for the first time direct allegations from Canada’s government that Russia directed these cyber campaigns.”

Portion of CSE report mentioning Consortium News as broadcast by Global News.

The CN Article

The Feb. 27, 2017 Consortium News article, written by journalist Arina Tsukanova exclusively for CN, was titled “A Nazi Skeleton in the Family Closet.” It reveals that Freeland had lied about her grandfather’s past as an editor of a Nazi newspaper in occupied Poland during the war. The story was first reported by John Helmer a month earlier.

In her version, Tuskanova reported: 

“Last Aug. 24, reflecting on so-called Black Ribbon Day, which lumps together the crimes of Josef Stalin and Adolf Hitler (with Stalin getting top billing), [Freeland] wrote on Twitter, ‘Thinking of my grandparents Mykhailo & Aleksandra Chomiak on Black Ribbon Day. They were forever grateful to Canada for giving them refuge and they worked hard to return freedom and democracy to Ukraine. I am proud to honour their memory today.’

In her autobiography, Freeland presents her grandparents in the following way: ‘My maternal grandparents fled western Ukraine after Hitler and Stalin signed their non-aggression pact in 1939. They never dared to go back, but they stayed in close touch with their brothers and sisters and their families, who remained behind.’

According to Freeland, her grandfather Mykhailo Chomiak was ‘a lawyer and journalist before the Second World War, but they [her grandparents] knew the Soviets would invade western Ukraine (and) fled.’ After the war, her mother was born in a refugee camp in Germany before the family immigrated to western Canada, Freeland wrote. …

Chrystia Freeland’s dark family secret is that her grandfather, Mykhailo Chomiak, faithfully served Nazi Germany right up to its surrender, and Chomiak’s family only moved to Canada after the Third Reich was defeated by the Soviet Union’s Red Army and its allies – the U.S. and Great Britain.

Mykhailo Chomiak was not a victim of the war – he was on the side of the German aggressors who collaborated with Ukrainian nationalists in killing Russians, Jews, Poles and other minorities. Former journalist Freeland chose to whitewash her family history to leave out her grandfather’s service to Adolf Hitler. Of course, if she had told the truth, she might never have achieved a successful political career in Canada. Her fierce hostility toward Russia also might be viewed in a different light.

Michael Chomiak and wife Alexandra, with their children in Canada in 1952. Freeland’s mother Halyna is second from left.

Freeland’s Grandfather

According to Canadian sources, Chomiak graduated from Lviv University in western Ukraine with a Master’s Degree in Law and Political Science. He began a career with the Galician newspaper Dilo (Action), published in Lviv. After the start of World War II, the Nazi administration appointed Chomiak to be editor of the newspaper Krakivski Visti (News of Krakow).

So the truth appears to be that Chomiak moved from Ukraine to Nazi-occupied Poland in order to work for the Third Reich under the command of Governor-General Hans Frank, the man who organized the Holocaust in Poland. Chomiak’s work was directly supervised by Emil Gassner, the head of the press department in the Polish General Government. …

So, it appears Freeland’s grandfather – rather than being a helpless victim – was given a prestigious job to spread Nazi propaganda, praising Hitler from a publishing house stolen from Jews and given to Ukrainians who shared the values of Nazism. …

While it is true that the sins of a grandfather should not be visited on his descendants, Freeland should not have misled the public on history of such importance, especially when her deceptions also concealed how she partly developed her world view.”

A Non-Denial Denial

Chrystia Freeland. (Flickr)

A week after the Consortium News story appeared, The Globe and Mail, Canada’s largest newspaper, reported on March 6, 2017 that: “Recently a number of stories have appeared in pro-Putin regime websites, calling Ms. Freeland ‘Canada’s fiercely anti-Russian Foreign Affairs Minister’ and alleging her grandfather, Michael Chomiak, was a Nazi propagandist in Poland.”

Freeland was asked that day at a press conference in Ottawa about the story. She evaded the question about her grandfather and said: “I don’t think it’s a secret [that] American officials have publicly said, and even [German Chancellor] Angela Merkel has publicly said, that there were efforts on the Russian side to destabilize Western democracies, and I think it shouldn’t come as a surprise if these same efforts were used against Canada.”

On the very next day, March 7, a Globe and Mail headline read: “Freeland knew her grandfather was editor of Nazi newspaper.”

The newspaper reported:

“Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland knew for more than two decades that her maternal Ukrainian grandfather was the chief editor of a Nazi newspaper in occupied Poland that vilified Jews during the Second World War…. Ms. Freeland, who has paid tribute to her maternal grandparents in articles and books, helped edit a scholarly article in the Journal of Ukrainian Studies in 1996 that revealed her grandfather, Michael Chomiak, was a Nazi propagandist for Krakivski Visti (Krakow News).” …

‘Dating back many years, the Minister has supported her uncle’s efforts to study and publish on this difficult chapter in her late grandfather’s past,’ press secretary Alexander Lawrence said in an e-mail Tuesday evening. … [Freeland] did not directly respond to questions about whether the stories about Mr. Chomiak were true. When The Globe asked her office on Monday to refute the allegation, Mr. Lawrence responded: ‘People should be questioning where this information comes from, and the motivations behind it.'”

Two days later, on March 9, 2017, Robert Parry, the late founder of Consortium News, wrote: 

“On Feb, 27, Consortiumnews.com published an article describing misrepresentations by Canada’s new Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland about her Ukrainian maternal grandfather whom she has portrayed as a hero who struggled ‘to return freedom and democracy to Ukraine’ but left out that he was a Nazi propagandist whose newspaper justified the slaughter of Jews. …

Over the next week, the article entitledA Nazi Skeleton in the Family Closet’ by journalist Arina Tsukanova (which I personally edited and fact-checked) circulated enough that Freeland was asked about it by the Canadian news media. As often happens these days, Freeland chose not to tell the truth but rather portrayed the article as part of a Russian propaganda and disinformation campaign. …

Yet, instead of fessing up and acknowledging these facts, Freeland chose to dissemble and slander journalists who were doing their job. And the smears didn’t entirely stop. … This pattern has become all too common in the West, to insult and discredit anyone who doesn’t accept the ‘groupthinks’ about the New Cold War. Just as the major news media marched in lockstep over the Iraq-WMD falsehoods, so it has been toeing the line on the hysteria over supposed ‘Russian propaganda’ and ‘fake news.’

Timing

The timing of the CSE report and the Global News broadcast regarding a three-year old Consortium News article is unclear. A Global News reporter said in the Dec. 10 broadcast that the CSE report was “prepared ahead” of the Oct. 2019 Canadian federal election.

After winning re-election in her downtown Toronto constituency, Freeland was named deputy prime minister a month later. A month after that, she was tabbed to head a powerful cabinet post, that in the words of one analyst quoted by iPOLITICS, means, “Chrystia Freeland is now functionally the prime minister.”

  “A Globe and Mail headline read:
‘Freeland knew her grandfather was editor of Nazi newspaper.'”

 

The date on the CN front page of the screenshot taken by Global News for its report was Dec. 2, 2019. On that date Consortium News republished an article by Yasha Levine with the headline, “Yes, Ukraine Meddled in the 2016 US Election.”

Global News Reporter Sam Cooper on the broadcast (transcript) implies that the Consortium News article in question “amplified” and “distorted” the true fact, admitted by Cooper, that Freeland’s grandfather was editor of a Nazi newspaper “making it appear that the whole family was connected to Nazi activity.”  Cooper also said: 

“Canada has plans in place to combat cyber influence. We don’t know a lot about the plans but the records do say all Canadians need to be aware that they can be targeted. Whether you’re a government official or a voter or a company owner, anyone. You’re a target and that can come down to clicking on the wrong links in your email. Anything really, and these attacks are on the rise and they’re really trying to undermine democracy.”

Global News made no effort to contact Consortium News for comment before it published its article and aired its broadcast.

‘It Looks So Real’

The late Robert Parry.

That may have been because on Global News’ broadcast, the presenter says: “It looks so real, that’s the thing, lots of people get fooled because it looks like a legitimate news source.”

Consortium News is very real, founded in 1995 by Parry, a former investigative reporter for the Associated Press and Newsweek who broke some of the biggest Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s, revealing the identity of Oliver North and his role in the scandal.

Parry began Consortium News after some of his most consequential stories were suppressed by his corporate news editors. His idea was to provide a publication for a consortium of journalists whose work, often critical of the U.S., was similarly suppressed by their editors.

Parry set up the Consortium for Independent Journalism, Inc. a registered non-profit organization, which publishes Consortium News. It does not receive or accept a penny from any government, corporation or advertiser. It is totally funded by its readers. Its editorial decisions are independent.

Consortium News is today created by a consortium of journalists, academics, freelance writers, former intelligence agency professionals and an independent video producer. Most have served at the highest levels of their professions.

CN‘s deputy editor is a former Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswire editor. Its columnists include a former Asia editor for The International Herald Tribune; a professor of Middle East politics at the University of California; and two former Central Intelligence Agency officials. One delivered Oval Office briefings to President Ronald Reagan and President George H.W. Bush. The other led the capture of al-Qaeda militant Abu Zubaydah.

“Global News made no effort to contact Consortium News for comment before it published its article and aired its broadcast.”

 

The executive producer of Consortium News‘ webcast CN Live! was a tenured professor in post-production in Paris, teaches at film schools in Sydney and has worked for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Consortium News‘ editor-in-chief is a veteran journalist with decades of experience in some of the most powerful Establishment media. His first professional job was with The New York Times in 1975.

In 1990 he began reporting on international affairs from United Nations Headquarters in New York for numerous newspapers, including the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph in Britain, as well as six years for The Boston Globe and six and a half years for The Wall Street Journal.

The Consortium editor was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London Insight team and has made numerous media appearances, including on the BBC World Service, CNN, the PBS NewsHour and ABC’s Good Morning America.

He was the UN correspondent from 1994 to 2003 for Southam News, a Canadian newspaper chain that owned the Montreal Gazette, Ottawa Citizen, Vancouver Sun, and several other papers. The former Canadian media conglomerate CanWest bought Southam amid controversy in 2000. The editor worked for CanWest while it also owned Global News (from from 1997 to 2009.)   

The Consortium editor is co-author of a book with former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel, a Quebec descendant, who is a member of Consortium News‘ board. Gravel was close personal friends with former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. Gravel vacationed with Trudeau at Christmas 1977 at a ski resort in Colorado.

From “A Political Odyssey” by Mike Gravel and Joe Lauria, Seven Stories Press, NY 2009

The signals intelligence agency of the government of Justin Trudeau has accused an independent news organization, on whose board sits a close friend of the prime minister’s late father, of being “directed” by a foreign power.

Consortium‘s board members also include Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and famed journalist and filmmaker John Pilger. Ellsberg worked for the Pentagon and  the RAND Corporation, and Pilger was a correspondent for The Daily Mirror and a columnist at The New Statesman.

Having been on the inside of the Establishment, these writers, editors, producers and board members work to provide the public with a significantly different point of view of international and domestic U.S. affairs than the mainstream corporate media.

The CSE and Global News, with this report, are portraying critical journalism as directed by a foreign power, as if legitimate and indigenous dissent cannot exist on its own.

Their report takes place in the context of a broader campaign by powerful interests to link their critics to Russia as a way of discrediting them and protecting themselves. It is reminiscent of the Cold War campaign of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, revived in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and persisting, evidently, until today.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston GlobeSunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .

This article has been updated to show that the story of Freeland’s grandfather was first reported by John Helmer.

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69 comments for “Consortium News Sends Libel Notices to Canadian Signals Intelligence Agency and Major Television Network

  1. January 24, 2020 at 14:21

    best of luck in your legal actions I hope even if they don’t bin this stupid propaganda story defending the skeletons in that warmonger Chystia Freeland’s closet, that they remove all references of Consortium and your at least compensated or apologized to. and remember folks Canada is not the good cousin to the US, even Pierre Trudeau has far too much imperial blood on his hands both at home and abroad. Canada was a partner in crime to the UK empire and is a willing partner (on its own) in crime to the current Anglo-American power, the Five Eyes, NATO and more.

  2. John Gilberts
    January 24, 2020 at 09:58

    Here in Canada, if we don’t go along with whatever the Israel lobby says, we’re ‘anti-semites’. And if we don’t go along with Canada’s outrageous pro-Trump, pro-NATO foreign policy we’re ‘Russian assets’ or ‘useful idiots’. ‘Nice Canada’ and a progressive media, disappeared post 911 and it’s now a reactionary pit-bull. Canada’s critical support for the Banderite-Nazi oligarchy installed by the west in Ukraine was largely driven by a powerful ultranationalist lobby of which Freeland is an item. Our deputy prime minister, formerly the foreign minister Chrystia Freeland, not only supported her ‘dear friend’ Petro Poroshenko, but also the coup of Bolivia’s Evo Morales and the failed one by US-backed Venezuelan pretender Juan Guaido. It’s good to see CN taking on the malign combination of Canadian corporate media and Five Eyes north Canadian operation, CSE. Just don’t expect Canadian media to report it.

    • bevin
      January 25, 2020 at 16:03

      Report it? Are you kidding, Gilberts?
      Picking up my local Torstar flyer vehicle today I was unsurprised to discover that the Government of Canada has now finalised details of a $600 million subsidy for the newspaper industry.
      This is laughingly described as an indication that the government is intent on maintaining the free flow of accurate information, through the media, to the people.
      The re-election-just- of the Liberal government is wholly coincidental.

  3. Ron Craven
    January 23, 2020 at 17:10

    Why is Chrystia Freeland not being investigated to see if she should be relieved of the position with the current government. She has a long history of telling outright lies to sway media and political thought in directions that are not true and are not to the benefit of Canada. This woman has escaped criticism for ears and it is time she is brought to face the consequences of her lying nature.
    This woman is an insult to the Canadian people and a danger to our foreign reputation as well as our government’s ability to make facts based decision on important issues.

  4. Guy
    January 23, 2020 at 12:17

    Thank you CN for giving us a little bit of Canadian news on this update .I love your site by the way ,where I can find the news reported truthfully .

  5. January 23, 2020 at 11:23

    From what I see, read and hear, if one is a Truth-teller, one inevitably will be tagged as a “Russian asset,” a “Russian agent,” a “Russian stooge,” or a “Russian troll farm bot.”
    I support the U S Constitution, as amended, and I endeavor to tell the Truth, especially as necessary to expose Lies. I try to support other Truth-Tellers.
    My “Russian bot” T-shirt is on order. ?
    Unity, comrade, unity. LOL

  6. Ant.
    January 23, 2020 at 09:52

    Good luck with your court case. Justice and truth would seem to be on your side, but we all know how power structures protect themselves.

    Background here is that the Ukrainian diaspora has political significance in Canada.

  7. Stephen Morrell
    January 23, 2020 at 00:42

    Assange, then Greenwald. Who’ll be next on trumped-up charges? The difference between the present and the original McCarthyism is that the latter’s targets were ideologically more specific, with anti-communism as its core: (i) anyone alleged to have sympathies for causes with which the CPUSA had some organisational involvement, no matter how tenuous, including civil rights, Peace/Ban the Bomb/CND; (ii) anyone with mildly leftist views and/or anyone with CPUSA or other left organisational sympathies or associations in the labour movement were purged with the help of the pro-capitalist union bureaucrats, often aided by FBI blacklists. McCarthyism was the US’s answer to Stalin’s ‘Great’ Purges of the 1930s, and McCarthy the US’s (dumber) Vyshinsky.

    Today’s McCarthyism 2.0 is less ideologically specific because what remains of the organised left has no mass support nor roots in the labour movement. Instead the repression is more specifically directed not at an ideology but at the alternative information sources (organisations and journalists) because the corporate media has lost its monopoly on news and information. Not many communist targets there.

    But their fourth estate in its need to prevent its being supplanted by the fifth, as pointed out by Ray McGovern, which drives it into a frenzied, symbiotic relationship with the state to prevent its demise. And the state is extremely anxious to restore the rather tattered fig leaf of the ‘legitimate’, ‘democratic’ dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.

    Of the alternative media outlets that haven’t been purged yet, there appears to be two broad approaches to rendering them less functional: (i) paid trolls infesting the discussion sections, for example, The Intercept, Truthdig; (ii) in the event of reasonable control/moderation of the trolls, denial of service attacks, for example, Off Guardian. Probably there are other means the cyber warfare arm of the state uses as well, but these two are the most evident. Of course this leaves aside the crude censorship role and purging routinely conducted by the Silicon Valley monopolists on behalf of the state.

    For non-corporate journalists and alternative news sites exposing forbidden truths, a pattern of repression escalation has emerged which appears to have the following gradations: (i) the target for repression is ‘associated’ (smeared) publicly with some ‘undesirables’ (eg, Putin, Assad), however implausibly (numerous journalists, Consortium News, Off Guardian, etc); (ii) then there’s publication and/or pressing of wild, trumped-up charges (eg, aiding and abetting a ‘criminal’ act of journalist source protection currently is the current vogue — Assange, Greenwald); (iii) arrest; (iv) torture during ‘remand’ awaiting ‘trial’; (v) ‘confessions’ (aka plea bargaining); (vi) show trial; (vii) sentencing; (viii) carrying out of sentence.

    Against those targetted by the McCarthyism 2.0 repression, the state strives to maintain the fiction of ‘treasonous’ links to a foreign power to make the repression work fully and ‘properly’, similar to the original McCarthyism’s soviet bogeyman.

    This pattern also bears more than a passing resemblance to … Stalin’s ‘Great’ Purges. During the purges, most of whose victims were loyal Bolsheviks, it was essential not only to slander them as ‘traitors’, ‘saboteurs’, ‘counterrevolutionaries’, ‘terrorists’, ‘assassins’ and the like, but also they were always in league with Hitler or other imperialists. Today’s Hitler is Putin and/or Assad. And while the bourgeoisies in the imperial centres have yet to formally execute such ‘traitors’, this will come, especially if charges of ‘imminent’ terrorist threats are can be laid against them. Pompeo Corporosus’ fabrication likely will come into its own.

    Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning are in (iv), the torture stage (Manning’s in round two of course). They’ve not confessed nor plea bargained, and with so much courage and fortitude so far have survived. Greenwald is in (ii), the charging stage, and likely is days away from (iii), being arrested.

    In short, McCarthyism 2.0, like the original McCarthyism owes much to Joseph Stalin. Some might even say it’s all very ‘Russian’ — and ironic.

    Best of luck CN — hopefully you’ll weather and repulse this first stage of the escalation of McCarthyite repression.

  8. David Otness
    January 22, 2020 at 20:32

    I concluded nearly immediately upon her elevation to Canada’s FM that she was the consensus NATO choice.
    My many Canadian friends have essentially agreed with me in most cases. I’ve managed to collect quite a storehouse of bookmarked information on her from numerous viable sources over the past 4 years, including Bill Browder’s tweeted assertion to the world (including several European FMs) that they’d “better get behind the Magnitsky Act in their countries or they’d end up like Stéphane Dion,” the FM who lost his job to Freeland.

    All part of the concerted effort to manage the Maidan Square coup, all of the pieces dropping nicely into place. Except they didn’t, thanks to level-headed, actual statesmen, from the east.
    I found her elevation to Deputy PM a very scary thing indeed, Jello Justin Trudeau is eminently expendable in this game of thuggish international players.
    There’s a 24 part illustrated exposé from Rabble.ca called “The Freeland-Chomiak Connection: It Takes A Village To Raise A Nazi” that tells the whole story. I’d link it, but that seems to keep posts from being accepted.
    John Helmer @Dancing With Bears also has a collection worth perusing, including evidence that Poland was still hunting for Chomiak into the 1980s, and that he had tried to join the Nazis before the German invasion ever occurred.

    Ah yes, the Ukie diaspora. So proud of their heritage there’s even a magnificent bias relief statue to Stepán Bandera in downtown Edmonton.
    I’m really looking forward to seeing how this personal attack unfolds, it’s a critical facet in the ongoing takedown of the Bill of Rights, especially now that the past three Presidents and their commensurate Congresses have made their choices so very clear since Bush in particular. For that matter, Clinton too, with his NATO expansion that got this ball rolling right up to Russia’s borders.
    I’ll be keeping active posting about this, that is, reactivating my focus on Freeland and her undue and in an even nominal democracy, her undeserved influence. She is fully committed to the Dark Side. And well-connected to Ukie oligarchs from her Reuters days, let alone with her Galacian cousins.

    • January 24, 2020 at 06:50

      Is there any material difference between Harpers rightwing neoliberal govt and shiny Trudeaus regime? On the international front Im struggling to notice any difference. That Freeland would give some of the most rabid US officials a run for their money as a rightwing Russophobic fanatic.

  9. Des Kahn
    January 22, 2020 at 19:25

    I’m glad to read that CN is fighting back against this incredible slander. To quote the Isley Brothers, “We’ve got to fight the powers that be!”

  10. Realist
    January 22, 2020 at 16:07

    Just goes to show how monolithic the “West” is. Like lockstep drones all these vassal countries will tell any lie in the service of the American deep state, and for such trivial advantage too! I wish you success, but they make all the rules… and break them with impunity when expedient. The on-line independent media, of which CN is a stalwart, are but a few remaining candles of truth in the abyss of lies that envelop our modern tech-controlled world. They are worth protecting to the last real journalist. Good luck to Glenn Greenwald, as he presently faces very real danger to his freedom in Brazil.

  11. January 22, 2020 at 14:25

    Hmm… My memory’s a bit hazy, but didn’t the whole “Russia, Russia!” thing start with Hillary Clinton and her corrupt Establishment cronies distracting attention from her embarrassing November 2016 election loss while deflecting responsibility for it? Complicit corporate media, of course, played along. “Russia!” served its purpose all too well.

    If I got this wrong, please correct me.

    • Crass
      January 22, 2020 at 17:23

      It was started by Bill Browder who was involved in a massive tax fraud in Russia and working for a HSBC front company. His accountant Sergei Magnitsky was jailed in Russia and died in jail. The Magnitsky Act was passed by US Congress after heavy lobbying by Bill Browder and HSBC. Therein lies the foundations of the Russia Gate conspiracy.

    • David Otness
      January 22, 2020 at 20:39

      Actually, Browder provided a smooth-meshing link to what Podesta and an old Dem operative decided to activate in May of 2016 once JP’s emails were hacked. That is straight from Wikileaks—-er, Podesta himself.

    • caseyf5
      January 24, 2020 at 03:25

      Hello Ira Dember,
      The “Russiagate thingy” is right up there with “Pizzagate thingy”. Just alleged media sucking for the liquid nourishment provided by TPTB! They’re addicted street whores who will do anything for their next fix!

    • Richard Coleman
      January 24, 2020 at 11:32

      Sigh. Once again, HRC didn’t “lose”. She won by 3,000,000 votes. Oh, but the electoral college……. . Listen, the electoral college has nothing to do with elections. That’s partly why no other country has one! It is a con, a swindle to make sure the voters don’t elect the wrong person.

    • Karin Lease
      January 24, 2020 at 12:39

      Thank you for making this connection!

    • Curious
      January 24, 2020 at 14:16

      Ira,
      Just a quick reminder: Hillary was accusing Trump even before she lost, during the debates. If you remember, ALL 17 intelligence agencies were in agreement on Russia, Russia, Russia. Of course the truth was do to a handpicked group out of just three agencies, admitted to later, which just seemed to fly over the many heads of those who only heard “17, 17, 17”
      Jonathan Swift in 1710:Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it; so that when Men come to be undeceiv’d it is too late; the Jest is over and the Tale has had its Effect….
      More modern versions are as succinct but the “Jest” was Clinton outright lying, with many people believing her lies. She’s still at it by the way, as Tulsi Gabbard is somehow now a Russian asset. The clairvoyance of Hillary is astounding, and to think people still listen to her is equally astounding.
      Putin runs a country with 11 time zones and we have a measly 3, but somehow Putin has the time to think only of a US President of choice, and not NATO encroaching on his doorstep against all previous promises.
      I think a better use of Hillarys’ time would be to find the Trillions of Dollars the Pentagon can’t find, since money seems her primary motivation.

  12. rosemerry
    January 22, 2020 at 14:21

    “pro-Putin regime websites” !!!!
    Besides the pandering US Democratic Party, one of the most poisonous and dangerous characters in politics must be Chrystia Freeland. All of her relevant FM actions were so pro-Ukraine and anti-Russian that it was obvious her suitability for such a job was zero. Rather like Samantha and Nikki for the USA!!

    • Anna
      January 22, 2020 at 19:01

      The documents about Chrystia Freeland’s criminal grandad have been deposited, and for a long time, at the Jewish archives. The criminality of Chomiak was known well before the repulsive ‘Chrystia’ managed to become a trusted deputy of US neocons in Canada. Despite the scandalous situation, none of the major holobiz activists and various “protectors” of the “memory of holocaust” have risen their voices against pernicious C. Freeland. None. Neither the ADL thugs nor the Simon Wiesenthal Center “nazi hunters” showed any displeasure with the promotion of the open banderite and progeny of the WWII criminal on the position of power in Canada. Blinded by russophobia, the American Jewish community at large has been totally content with Chrystia Freeland and her grandad,

  13. Rob
    January 22, 2020 at 14:06

    I have a question for Canadian readers. How will the people of Canada be informed of CN’s libel lawsuit? Will it be completely ignored and buried by the MSM? If so, the only sources for this story will be alternative media, i.e. those that have probably already reported that Freeland is a fraud. The great mass of people will remain blissfully ignorant.

    • Consortiumnews.com
      January 22, 2020 at 14:53

      We want to point out that the action we have taken was to serve libel notices at this stage, not a lawsuit.

    • Rob
      January 22, 2020 at 16:16

      Sorry, but I did not appreciate the legal distinction between a notice and a lawsuit. Nevertheless, my question stands: How will the Canadian people learn that a libel notice has been served?

  14. bob Sauerbrey
    January 22, 2020 at 13:22

    You have always been a source of truth in the midst of muddle and misinformation. For Canada to be covering for an escaped Nazi seems to go against all that the country has stood for. Is Donald Trump now a puppet master for Canada’s media and government?

  15. Hide Behind
    January 22, 2020 at 12:49

    The root topic is not Freedom of the Press, it is the Liberty to freely speak and form own independent thoughts, outside of Goverments rto impose restrictions, Freedom of Speech.
    When we live in nations that tell us what words we can use, mandating words you must use, and where.censorship is an allowed practice, situational applications,
    freedoms have become priveleges.
    Your Liberty to do or say are restricted.
    When we cannot decide In public forums what is a lie, is political expediency a lie, or not presenting all or partials of facts are lies and not ommissions, the question becomes, what is truth.
    In US the highest courts of the land made a ruling in regards to civil law proceedings in favor of prosecuting attorneys,; the ruling states that the Prosecting Attorneys and Office of, do not have to present facts that they know would prove the defendents as being not guilty, and cannot face disablement or be brought to Suit for doing so.
    Is the truth of matter; the prosecution is being one of a lie?
    One word not hardly mentioned any more , is Liberty, liberty to speak , and print ones ideas and opinions and most importantly be able to be heard,
    There is a vast difference between Freedom and Liberty, Freedoms can and are limited , where as Liberty allows one to question of the why freedoms are limited.
    From such small allowances, do the powers of the State grow into Leviathons.

  16. Seer
    January 22, 2020 at 12:20

    I’ll donate to any legal fund, and should be able to get others to do the same. Don’t back down on this. I think that people have had enough and it’s time to fight back on this before its too late.

  17. Litchfield
    January 22, 2020 at 12:04

    “popularized MFA Freeland’s family history, very likely intended to cause personal reputational damage in order to discredit the Government of Canada’s ongoing diplomatic and military support for Ukraine”

    Hmm, so no one charged that the information was untrue.
    The charge is “very likely” a hostile intent.
    How can anyone take that seriously?

    In fact, there is a very clear hostile intent to smear CN via innuendo and speculation.

    What a joke. I hope this ends up in court and CN gets major damages and retraction, and a cease and desist order on the the Cananian entities that are spreading these smears.

  18. CoryP
    January 22, 2020 at 11:57

    Yikes. I apologize for my government and my unwilling contribution to this shit.
    Impressive though in what it shows about their concern about Freeland’s horrid reputation.

    Keep up the good work!

  19. worldblee
    January 22, 2020 at 11:54

    The Canadian smear is outrageous and I, like anyone with some grasp on reality, stand firmly behind Consortium News in their effort to hold the miscreants accountable. Keep fighting the good fight for truth!

  20. Mike Madden
    January 22, 2020 at 11:51

    PropOrNot. Not!

    First they ignore you, then they smear you, and then the truth prevails. Here’s hoping this attention brings thousands of new readers to CN.

  21. Crass
    January 22, 2020 at 11:32

    Well done Joe Lauria. No matter how this plays out in the Canadian Judicial system, which i believe to be as corrupt as all Judicial Systems in NATO aligned countries, You will be on the right side of History when honest future historians complete the history of the Disinformation Campaign against Russia and the Alternative Media by the Western Intelligence Agencies and their complicit Presstitute Mainstream Media.

  22. Bob in Portland
    January 22, 2020 at 11:29

    Looks like Gabbard is joining the party. She’s suing Clinton for calling her a Russian asset. Here comes another dose of reality to upset Her Majesty.

    • Tony
      January 23, 2020 at 08:54

      In the UK, no less than 3 Labour MPs have accused Corbyn of ‘standing with Russia’ or similar claims because he did not automatically fall in behind the official government narrative concerning what happened in Salisbury, England.

      Russia was blamed for a chemical attack against Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

    • Richard Coleman
      January 24, 2020 at 11:42

      Indeed. She should also demand HRC report her info to Army intel (Tulsi is an army officer – one assumes the army would be very interested that one of their officers is a foreign/enemy asset!). Likewise the FBI, CIA, her senators and congressperson. Hillary may have really stepped in it this time. Is Jill Stein next? I hope so.

  23. Rael Nidess, M.D.
    January 22, 2020 at 11:16

    Wish all the similarly targeted independent journalists had the resources to do the same & bury ’em in a blizzard of suits & writs!!

    • Rob
      January 22, 2020 at 12:09

      I expect that the defendants in the libel suit will attempt to hide behind a screen of “national security” and thus avoid having to reveal the sources for their claim of Russian control of CN’s reporting. Will the courts allow such an evasion? Even if they do, the suit will raise doubts in many minds about the integrity and trustworthiness of Canada’s intelligence service and its news establishment. Hence, it would still be a limited success in that scenario. Let us hope for more.

  24. Anonymot
    January 22, 2020 at 11:06

    Stay with it! Attacks from neo-fascists are all over the place thanks to pressures from the US administrations over the last 30 years. They are amplified by the actions of our intelligence agencies. Those groups own both parties. Voices from the rare, truly independant thinking journals are all too rare and vital.

  25. January 22, 2020 at 10:36

    We long-time Canadian readers of CN have got your back, Joe.

  26. Skip Scott
    January 22, 2020 at 10:13

    For the empire and their shills, it is impossible to be opposed to their ever continuing campaign for global dominance without being allied with the “evil Rooskies”. It is a laughable argument to anyone with two brain cells and a firing synapse. They need better propagandists at the keyboard of their “Mighty Wurlitzer”.

    I already gave to the winter fund drive, but I’m about to send them an extra hundred bucks. Go get’em Joe!

  27. AnneR
    January 22, 2020 at 09:34

    Your website and its news, its writers opinions, viewpoints are an essential counter to the non-stop Orwellian propaganda spewed out by NPR and the BBC World Service (I cannot face PBS…at least with the radio spouting its lies, I can tune out when it gets too much).

    Of course, NPR was again busy with its Cold War Russophobic crapola this a.m., with regard to the business about Burisma and its (almost certain – but Biden’s son….) interference in the 2016 election…the Russkies and their bots “did it.” And apparently we should all trust completely the Ukrainian firm, Crowdstrike…

    So I really hope that you win your case, CN…

  28. January 22, 2020 at 09:10

    Really Canada? Russia is not the threat – but US Intelligence (oxymoron) is. Quit playing their patsy…

    • CoryP
      January 22, 2020 at 11:58

      Obviously we’re a wholly-owned subsidiary of the US.

  29. Eugenie Basile
    January 22, 2020 at 03:23

    Looks like U.S. intelligence pressure against factual journalism is mounting … Assange
    via proxy UK and Sweden, Greenwald via proxy Brazil and now CN in Canada. It will be interesting to see how corrupt the justice system in Canada has become….. UK, Sweden and Brazil have already shown to be deeply influenced.
    Good luck CN.

  30. geeyp
    January 22, 2020 at 02:51

    I used to watch the McLaughlin group syndicated TV show every week. Chrystia Freeland was on regularly for some time. She, then, didn’t seem too dangerous. These terms the power holders come up with to discredit us started with “conspiracy theory” and then “you’re either with us or you’re against us” and now it’s “online influence”. Shame when some words are deemed more righteous than others. Shame on them. It’s time someone took them on, perhaps at their own game.

  31. Jeremy kuzmarov
    January 21, 2020 at 23:04

    In solidarity. You’ve done some excellent reporting and this is what rankles them.

  32. JOHN CHUCKMAN
    January 21, 2020 at 22:58

    I’m really sorry a Canadian agency is involved.

    But Chrystia Freeland, former Foreign Minister, is truly a Neocon Lite and much liked by the Trump appointees like Mike Pompeo.

    She had a background as an editor at Reuters, an old CIA-friendly outfit. Her husband works for the CIA-friendly New York Times.

    She made a genuine mess of some of Canada’s affairs and relationships, and was never held responsible.

    And she was always supported by the weak and ineffectual Justin Trudeau, perhaps the worst “Liberal” Prime Minister the country has had in the modern era.

    He’s entirely different from his strong and intelligent and tough father, the late Pierre.

    • Piotr Berman
      January 23, 2020 at 07:11

      Neocon Lite — doesn’t it define a Neo-Lib?

      I also wonder what made her “Lite”. I guess that when USA asks to jump, the resolute approach is to jump to the fullest ability, and the lighter one is to ask first how high.

  33. Sojourner Truth
    January 21, 2020 at 22:14

    Scary, sad, but Orwellian predictable.

    The forces in power in Ukraine and with some sympathy in Canada are not “far right.” They are Nazis.

    Period.

    We have descended so far that individual pictures can tell the story. Note the large color photograph in the link included in this post,
    showing an official celebration in Lviv, Ukraine in the summer of 2018.

    The event celebrates the 75th anniversary of the founding of the 14th Waffen SS Divison (the Galician Division, composed of Ukrainians, largely from the UPA and OUN/B.)

    See: spitfirelist.com/for-the-record/ftr-1072-doin-wind-sprints-with-the-snake-in-ukraine/

  34. Michael Keenan
    January 21, 2020 at 21:57

    Ah, a repeat of the old Agent of Influence canard that led to the murder of Canada’s Ambassador to Moscow. Now it is merely updated to Cyber Influence. There was no evidence at all over the CIA instigated murder of John Watkins. No doubt the CIA or Pompeos fingerprints are most likely on this accusation too?
    See: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Watkins_(Canadian_diplomat)
    See: youtube.com/watch?v=udwhq2G_3NI the movie.
    See: theglobeandmail.com/arts/watch-cia-pull-rcmps-strings/article1334252/

    • January 22, 2020 at 23:31

      Thank you for this comment. I looked up John Watkins and learned something horrific about our RCMP – again, and from so long ago…

  35. Lowell Googins
    January 21, 2020 at 21:17

    Forget about nipping this kind of smear tactic in the bud please take a shovel to the roots. I am off to make a donation to CN one of the most reliable news sources available. Thank you for all you do all the time.

  36. Jim
    January 21, 2020 at 20:13

    Partially gone are the days when the public could easily be manipulated by TV and the major papers. Today with the internet people who want to understand our world can turn to high-quality investigative journalism at places like Consortium News. Governments lamenting the loss of a certain degree of control have turned to censorship. Knowing that citizens in Western Democracies would not accept overt censorship, it is instead applied using the dreaded Russian bot narrative. But it is still censorship. I wish you well in your fight.

  37. JWalters
    January 21, 2020 at 20:06

    Robert Parry is proud of you!

  38. Bob in Portland
    January 21, 2020 at 19:49

    Freeland’s family history appears to be much like the story of Hans von Spakovsky, a Republican apparatchik who has apparently dedicated his life to keeping people of color from voting.

    Von Spakovsky’s father and mother were rescued from a displaced persons camp after WWII. According to the official story, they came to the US to flee the Nazis. However, they came to the US in 1951, six years after the Nazis had lost and were no longer in power. They settled in Huntsville. Alabama. Curiously, in fleeing German Nazis they settled in a town where perhaps the most Nazis were, Nazi rockets scientists.

    The story of the importation of Nazis and fascists into the US (and Canada) has been suppressed in the MSM but there are a number of books that document this hidden history. Start with Christopher Simpson’s BLOWBACK and keep going.

  39. Jeff Harrison
    January 21, 2020 at 19:31

    Interesting. Apparently, CN has ruffled some feathers. Good Job!

  40. ML
    January 21, 2020 at 19:08

    Best news site on the entire internet. You go after those bastards, Joe. We are behind you, yes, we are!

  41. jo6pac
    January 21, 2020 at 17:49

    Yep I knew there were commies hiding here;-) Keep up the Great Work CN

  42. countykerry
    January 21, 2020 at 17:30

    Great news !

  43. napier
    January 21, 2020 at 17:18

    I’m happy to have donated to you guys. Please keep up the good work.
    I sure miss Robert Parry…

    • Rob
      January 22, 2020 at 13:27

      I think that we all miss Robert Parry. Fortunately we have Joe Lauria to carry on the mission of Consortium News so ably.

  44. jaycee
    January 21, 2020 at 17:04

    Blogger John Helmer broke the story. He is based in Russia but is not associated with the Russian government. It is entirely sleight-of -hand on behalf of the CSE, and pure laziness on behalf of Global News, which first assumes the logical error of conflating location with official representation, and then asserts half-informed presumptions as to motive. Fact is, Freeland was publicly outspoken and wholly partisan in support of the Maidan coup, which included promoting a false history of her family ties to the region. The presence of far-right political actors currently in Ukraine, and the troubling history which includes participation in events known as the Holocaust, is entirely relevant. The very thin-skin demonstrated by Freeland and representatives of Canada’s government is a poor showing, and Consortium News should be supported in defence of their deserved reputation as true professional journalists.

    • Brian Pahl
      January 21, 2020 at 19:19

      Agree 100%. The official Canadian narrative about the Maidan coup and Ms. Freelands obvious anti-Russian bias does a diservous to Canadians and to the truth itself. I find this very disturbing because the Trudeau government has stated it is going to fund “approved” news sources.

    • Rob
      January 22, 2020 at 13:38

      Are you certain that John Helmer is not working for the Russian government? Oh, you say, where is the evidence that he is. Well don’t you know that in the world of propaganda and disinformation, the burden of proof falls on the accused, not the accuser. That’s what makes smear campaigns so easy.

  45. bardamu
    January 21, 2020 at 16:57

    Yeah, nail ’em.

  46. Gordon Reeves
    January 21, 2020 at 16:49

    Wonderful news, Joe. Those who recklessly impugn the integrity and reputation of noble enterprises dedicated to the highest journa-
    listic standards such as ** CN ** deserve to be put on permanent notice their despicable actions will not be sanctioned or without justified legal reactions. BraVOOOO.

  47. Anonymous
    January 21, 2020 at 16:20

    At first, that seemed like some tabloid level nonsense – but it’s much darker than that. I get wanting to defend someone of political influence, but is the power that people hold this much more important than their character? Even if their priorities are such, perhaps a “damage control” story that wasn’t a literal smear campaign would have better results…

    “Canada has plans in place to combat cyber influence” sure sounds a lot like something that would come from an authoritarian regime in some fictional dystopia, not only in its word choice but the way it elevates the status of propaganda to some sort of self evident moralism.

    It’s also beyond ironic when anyone claims that someone is enacting Russian influence while trying to defend someone’s claims that their family was involved in activity against the Nazis. How quickly we forget whom our past allies were, and how eagerly we trample all other ideals in the name of national interests…

  48. Dan
    January 21, 2020 at 16:10

    This is very dangerous. CN has my support.

  49. lindaj
    January 21, 2020 at 16:09

    Go get ’em, Joe and CN!

Comments are closed.