Caitlin Johnstone: The Secrecy of Evidence

There’s an evil Russian plot again, according to more anonymous sources.

The First Secret Entrusted to Venus, by François Jouffroy, the Louvre. (Nathan Rupert, Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

By Caitlin Johnstone

Listen to a reading of this article.

Major Western news publications are running a story about a sinister plot by the Russian government, and — you may want to sit down for this — the sources of the report are anonymous, and the evidence for it is secret.

The New York Times reports that according to anonymous individuals within the U.S. and British governments, Russia is currently plotting to topple the existing government of Ukraine in some way using some method and then somehow install a puppet regime that is sympathetic to Moscow using some sort of means. What specifically those means and methods might be are not revealed to us in this very serious news report.

“The communiqué provided few details about how Russia might go about imposing a new government on Ukraine, and did not say whether such plans were contingent on an invasion by Russian troops,” the Paper of Record informs us. “British officials familiar with the situation, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the intent was both to head off the activation of such plans as well as to put Mr. Putin on notice that this plot had been exposed.”

Now if you are hoping to be provided with some sort of evidence for these incendiary claims, I’m afraid I’m going to have to disappoint you, because get this: the journalists reporting on this story have not seen any evidence. Apparently they’re just passing on unverified government assertions made by unknown spies to their readers because they were told to, which I guess is something journalists can do now?

I know, I know, I was a little surprised when I learned that too. But here it is, straight from the horse’s mouth:

“The British communiqué provided no evidence to back up its assertion that Russia was plotting to overthrow the Ukrainian government,” the Times reports.

You will be reassured however to learn that despite the actual evidence of the actual Russian nefariousness being kept invisible to us, anonymous officials within the U.S. government have reviewed the intelligence gathered by anonymous British spies for us and concluded on our behalf that the evidence is solid.

‘Officials Said They Believe … ‘

“In Washington, officials said they believe the British intelligence is correct. Two officials said it had been collected by British intelligence services,” The New York Times informs us.

You see that? These claims about a devious Russian conspiracy have been confirmed by anonymous government operatives in both the U.S. and the U.K. That’s two separate, completely unconnected governments independently verifying that these claims are true. That’s called independent corroboration, gentlesirs. Basically the same as ironclad proof.

It does seem a little strange to me, though, that after taking great license to report anonymous government assertions without evidence The New York Times seems to take issue with the Russian government making unevidenced claims.

“Russian officials have repeatedly denied any intention of launching an attack against Ukraine, dismissing such accusations as ‘hysteria’ and claiming without providing evidence that it is the government in Kyiv that is seeking to escalate tensions,” write the article’s authors.

When this report came out I was a bit surprised by the way unproven claims by anonymous government sources are treated as actual news stories for grown adults to read instead of empty nothing stuff to be ignored and flushed down our mental toilet tubes, as I’m sure you were too.

But I did a little digging and it turns out that this sort of thing is actually quite commonplace within Western news media institutions, like when we were told without evidence that the Russians were plotting a false flag operation in Ukraine, or like when we were told without evidence that the Russians are using high-tech ray guns to scramble the brains of U.S. diplomats and spies and it turned out to be baseless, or like when we were told without evidence that the Russians were paying Afghan resistance fighters to kill western occupying troops and it turned out to be false and wrong, or like when we were told without evidence that Russians interfered in the United States election and it monopolized all news reports and political discourse for years, or like when we were told without evidence for years and years that Russia was about to invade Ukraine any minute now and then it kept not happening.

I’m sure this time is different, though. After all that practice and all that trial and error, I’m sure our trusted news media institutions have perfected their craft and are now masters at reporting the truth.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium.  Her work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking her on Facebook, following her antics on Twitter, checking out her podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following her on Steemit, throwing some money into her tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of her sweet merchandise, buying her books Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative MatrixRogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.

This article is from and re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.



32 comments for “Caitlin Johnstone: The Secrecy of Evidence

  1. Jimm
    January 28, 2022 at 19:19

    Never a wasted word with Caitlin. I am reminded of a line in the movie Platoon; “We’ve been kicking other peoples asses for so long I figure it’s time we got ours kicked.” (Sgt. Elias – William Defoe – to Private Chris Taylor – Charlie Sheen) Holds even more true in 2022.

  2. rick
    January 28, 2022 at 12:38

    This whole thing stinks of a psych ops operation launched to degrade Russia’s credibility (and the talks?) at a critical conjuncture in the tense negotiations between US and Russia to defuse the Ukraine crisis. You can’t but remember when Washington and London were last on a war footing prior to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the Blair Government produced the uranium yellow cake (hoax) report followed by the dodgy WMD intelligence courtesy of UK intelligence Services. These provocative lies along with many recent examples are the trademark of M16 whose unacknowledged and essential function is to disseminate false intelligence to support and often expedite aggressive foreign policy objectives which are shared and agreed with the US Warfare State.

  3. Piotr Berman
    January 28, 2022 at 06:23

    “Russians are using high-tech ray guns to scramble the brains of U.S. diplomats and spies”, which makes those folks, falling by hundreds to scrambled brain disease (and those are only self-diagnosed cases!) very, very believable. Especially under conditions of anonymity.

  4. Jeff Harrison
    January 27, 2022 at 23:42

    Two thumbs up, Caitlin. Your snarkability is awesome.

  5. Skip Edwards
    January 27, 2022 at 14:06

    Fossil fuels and the War Industry – the two prime movers of the American economy. “What me worry?”

  6. Robert Emmett
    January 27, 2022 at 12:15

    “The British communiqué provided no evidence to back up its assertion that Russia was plotting to overthrow the Ukrainian government,” the Times reports.

    “In Washington, officials said they believe the British intelligence is correct. Two officials said it had been collected by British intelligence services,” The New York Times informs us.

    Yeah, I hear ya, bud. If you can say what you will, ad nauseam, for years, about the ravings of one Trumpled Don, or was it Trampled Clown, er, Rumpled Tanskin or some such (I think that’s close enough) then surely you must be allowed to flutter this slight missive before our eyes at your leisure.

    Who knows, it may, in the fullness of time, transmogrify into a full blown dossier. I mean it’s already a communiqué! What else could possibly come after that?

    And the Bitish, er Brutish, I mean Balderdash? Haven’t they already proven sufficiently, like apparently for all time, how just utterly, stiff-upper-lippidly correct they are?

    Mine eyes have seen the glory. Spare me.

  7. robert e williamson jr
    January 27, 2022 at 10:58

    The U.S. has effectively fractured NATO and it appears they are clueless. Nothing new there.

    Hopefully something good can come of this. For instance the rest of the world effectively sending the message to the U.S. that it no longer gets to bully the way to setting the standards for brokered peace. Some one needs to.

    Something the U.S. has been faking for the last 70 years. Black Cloud is right about that fake news info it’s fed to the media.

  8. susan
    January 27, 2022 at 09:46

    I’d say the truth is more like – “there is a sinister plot by the American Government…”

  9. Aaron
    January 27, 2022 at 05:45

    You know we’re in deep shit when fucking Pompeo and Tucker Carlson sound like the wise, restrained voices of reason on this war mongering.

  10. Jorge E Macias Jaramillo
    January 27, 2022 at 00:32

    Por lo pronto ya estánh armando. Vendiendo armas y endeudado a Ucrania.

  11. nwwoods
    January 26, 2022 at 21:00

    You Caitlin, and Patrick and the other contributors to CN, are national treasures. Make that international.

  12. Rob Roy
    January 26, 2022 at 20:57


    Your articles are the best! As I read this one, I began to laugh and continued throughout.
    Just great. Thanks.


    • Lily
      January 27, 2022 at 15:28

      This article is great, so true and so funny. Still laughing.

      I whish i could translate it into Russian and send it to Putin. He would be so pleased as he is known for his humour.

      Thank you, Caitlin.

  13. stephen kelley
    January 26, 2022 at 20:51

    i just completed sending comments to another website concerning the new york times. i shall paraphrase the commentary i made. the times is so full of crap that it has essentially relegated itself to the level of a tabloid rag. and yet it strives so mightily to fraudulently set itself up as some sort of noble institution of journalism. pathetic!

  14. Me Myself
    January 26, 2022 at 20:30

    Caitlin You make the US government sound like a gossiping housewife who thinks her no-good husband is cheating on her and he is probably is. I wouldn’t want. to play against you in poker. Well said!

  15. January 26, 2022 at 18:43

    Don’t you remember all the evidence we were given about Saddam Husein’s weapons of mass destruction? That was 20 year ago. We had iron clad proof and it was all backed up by the Brits and our omniscient, secret and anonymous intelligence sources.

    And who was leading the parade with all the bullshit? Right, the newspaper of record, the New York Times.

    Same song, second verse.

    • Eddie S
      January 27, 2022 at 00:09

      WRK – yeah, and apparently the US public learned virtually NOTHING from that whole ‘WMDs/Iraq War” episode! Not only did they re-elect W after it was revealed that there were NO WMDs (and we had destroyed another country, killing at least very conservatively 100,000 people), they seemed to lose what little healthy skepticism they did have and now seem to just accept Washington’s pronouncements on international affairs as the bonafide truth. And that sorry WMDs episode was one of the few times in recent memory that the PTB ADMITTED that they were grossly in-error and even the MSM issued mea culpas, but here we are again. This international naivety is actually getting frightening in this country, because the next time a Donald Trump type character gets elected, he may be more devious, subtle and more successful in the damage he does to the US and the world.

    • John Ressler
      January 29, 2022 at 10:15

      B i n g o.

  16. Linda Furr
    January 26, 2022 at 18:35

    Holy —!!!! I’ll spread the word!

  17. January 26, 2022 at 18:28

    I would like anyone who believes all this crap to give me a call. I have some wonderful ocean front property for sale in Kansas.

  18. robert e williamson jr
    January 26, 2022 at 17:28

    Yup! Remember when the crazies warned us NATO was planing to take over the US. LMAO repeatedly.

    Sister the only tanks I’m worried about running through American streets are American tanks. The wealthy have us all set up for civil war. Be wary very wary.

    Great stuff. Thanks,

    • Expat
      January 27, 2022 at 13:34

      Wow I thought I was the last rational US citizen left!
      You are 100% spot on! Thank you.
      I have dual citizenship (US/Latvia) and I just can’t get through to the Latvian side which just keeps gulping down Kool Aid by the “Stadium load”.
      I’m glad I’m going expat in the Dominican Republic this year and leaving all the Jonestown types behind .
      It’s crazy …what ever happened to Critical Thinking???

      • robert e williamson jr
        January 27, 2022 at 16:16

        Expat! The US government has been very successful at trying to kill the practice. It is forbidden by the public school systems, trashed in the courts and considered blasphemy by politicians who much prefer the party line. True especially since Nov 22, 1963.

        One thing that happened then was the U.S. population was expected to shallow that single shooter lie hook, line and sinker. Didn’t happen that way and only the sheeple swallowed!

        Bush 41 and his cronies never so much as looked back and have been “trampling souls” (HST) ever since.

  19. Black Cloud
    January 26, 2022 at 16:39

    “unnamed intelligence officials, citing secret documents” was how the NYT announced Russiagate. This is SOP for CIA-fed Western media and has been since the days of the OSS. Reference the Church Committee hearings of the mid-1970’s.

    #IraqiWMDs #prosecutionofWhistleblowers

  20. TFS
    January 26, 2022 at 16:04

    Are the British Officials Christpher Steele and Pablo Miller?

  21. Realist
    January 26, 2022 at 15:35

    After weeks of weighty deliberation on matters of war and peace potentially affecting the life or cessation thereof by most inhabitants of this beaten down planet, the Biden Administration clears its throat and regurgitates the following bit of brilliant diplomacy: “Badges? Badges?! We don’t need no steenking badges!!” In other words: “rules based order” be dashed, we do what we please! If we say it’s war, war it is! You will own nothing, you will stop metabolizing and you will like it! Because we say so!!!

    That’s “them.” “Biden’s” best and brightest. They desperately want war, with the most formidable adversary they could ever find in all the Earth who truly wants no part of their BS. But they are ready to face America’s Scheißbrunnen. Except that America, in its rush to glory, has even forgotten to check off the first box in the “Consumer’s Guide to World Wars” i.e., Chapter 1: “Before You Begin: How to successfully wrap up your war, or extricate one’s self from a disastrous conflict.” One can appreciate the relevance of that chapter when reminiscing over the Vietnam and Afghanistan Wars. Ah, but no problemo for these hotshots!

    One thing that rampaging war mongers never think of before they start the shooting and commit to a “fight to the finish” is how, exactly, do they intend to end the damned war and extricate themselves without lasting damage to their society and humiliation before the entire world when things inevitably go a cropper and they wish they had not been so gung-ho seeking glory and conquest? In this particular fight between the American egomaniacs and a Russian people they consider inferior and incapable of ever defeating them (recall Obama’s endless trash talk when he started all this), I fear that an inexorable escalation will lead to a thermonuclear ending for all of civilisation. Washington’s “friends” and “allies,” like Germany and France (Britain has a death wish), had better talk them out of this or the entire world will pay the price.

    But Blinken, Biden and Nod just cannot see that far ahead or anticipate more than a single possible glorious outcome, securing America’s unipolar hegemony of the entire planet forever and all time. Oh, joy, endless presidential mandates from the sleepy (but Woke!) talking turnip.

  22. Sam F
    January 26, 2022 at 15:23

    If the US and NATO politicians were not making propaganda about imaginary risks, and making threats against Russia and China to pose as defenders while stealing taxpayer money, they could have shifted to a “war footing” against the Covid-19 epidemic. Already the US has over 890,000 Covid deaths, very near the total of all war deaths in US history.

    If US politicians had not been doing this standard tyranny gambit since WWII, the US could easily have lifted half the world from poverty, ignorance, malnutrition, and disease, and would now have no enemies. Instead they bought themselves toys, built grand homes, and murdered 20 million innocents, all to aggrandize themselves.

    The money from US government handouts goes to the MIC, Israel, and big business, then as bribes back to the political parties, whose gangsters claim to believe that corruption is democracy. Until that is stopped we will have monster propaganda from politicians waving the flag and praising the lord.

    • Skip Edwards
      January 27, 2022 at 14:20

      Well said and spoken truthfully. Again, all empires eventually crumble from the top down due to their own weight and belief in its invincibility. The USA will prove to be no different from those which came before it!

    • January 29, 2022 at 00:34

      @ Sam F??
      Until a majority of the citizens of the U.S. petition the SCOTUS and demand that the Bill of Rights exclusively speaks to and imparts the rights of all individual citizens; not to any governmentally contrived rights of any fictitious entities. The Constitution does not allow the government, or its agents or sycophants, to promote private advantage over the public good.
      As Usual,
      Thom Williams? (aka Ethan Allen)

  23. rosemerry
    January 26, 2022 at 15:19

    Who remembers the Skripal saga of 2018 when Russians were assumed to be the perpetrators of a failed plot to kill a former Russians spy (exchanged for Brit 8 years before) and his daughter? Denial by Russia, motive-free -never are those exchanged touched, or the whole system breaks down-,just before Russian presidential election and also the World Cup,all was ignored and the merry tales went on for a year,with all sorts of UN to-and-fro, dark talk of novichok and the wicked Russkies, and then it all disappeared, including the two “victims”, never explained .

  24. January 26, 2022 at 15:14

    And about those weapons of mass destruction; and about Trump being a Manchurian candidate. etc., etc., etc. …. Wolf! Wolf! Wolf (this time, I promise, its real)!!!!

  25. David G Horsman
    January 26, 2022 at 15:03

    How do I get ahold of Caitlin without appearing to be a creepy old stalker?

    Asking for a friend….

Comments are closed.