Caitlin Johnstone: Defending the Lies of Psychological War

This is the stage of narrative control where the public is trained to defend their government’s right to commit psychological warfare, even when it’s openly based on outright lies. 

By Caitlin Johnstone

NBC News has a report out citing multiple anonymous U.S. officials, humorously titled “In a break with the past, U.S. is using intel to fight an info war with Russia, even when the intel isn’t rock solid.“

The officials say the Biden administration has been rapidly pushing out “intelligence” about Moscow’s plans in Ukraine that is “low-confidence” or “based more on analysis than hard evidence” or even just plain false, in order to fight an information war against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The report says that toward this end the U.S. government has deliberately circulated false or poorly evidenced claims about impending chemical weapons attacks, about Russian plans to orchestrate a false flag attack in the Donbass to justify an invasion, about Putin’s advisers misinforming him and about Russia seeking arms supplies from China.

Excerpt, emphasis mine:

“It was an attention-grabbing assertion that made headlines around the world: U.S. officials said they had indications suggesting Russia might be preparing to use chemical agents in Ukraine.

President Joe Biden later said it publicly. But three U.S. officials told NBC News this week there is no evidence Russia has brought any chemical weapons near Ukraine. They said the U.S. released the information to deter Russia from using the banned munitions.

It’s one of a string of examples of the Biden administration’s breaking with recent precedent by deploying declassified intelligence as part of an information war against Russia. The administration has done so even when the intelligence wasn’t rock solid, officials said, to keep Russian President Vladimir Putin off balance.”

So, they lied. They may hold that they lied for a noble reason, but they lied. They knowingly circulated information they had no reason to believe was true, and that lie was amplified by all the most influential media outlets in the western world.

Another example of the Biden administration releasing a false narrative as part of its “information war”:

“Likewise, a charge that Russia had turned to China for potential military help lacked hard evidence, a European official and two U.S. officials said.

The U.S. officials said there are no indications China is considering providing weapons to Russia. The Biden administration put that out as a warning to China not to do so, they said.”

On the empire’s claim last week that Putin is being misled by his advisers because they are afraid of telling him the truth, NBC reports that this assessment “wasn’t conclusive — based more on analysis than hard evidence.”

I’d actually made fun of this ridiculous C.I.A. press release when it was uncritically published disguised as a breaking news report by The New York Times:

We’d also had fun with State Department Spokesman Ned Price’s bizarre February impersonation of Alex Jones, where he wrongly claimed that Russia was about to release a “false flag” video using crisis actors to justify its invasion:

Other U.S. government lies discussed in the NBC report were less cute:

“In another disclosure, U.S. officials said one reason not to provide Ukraine with MiG fighter jets is that intelligence showed Russia would view the move as escalatory.

That was true, but it was also true of Stinger missiles, which the Biden administration did provide, two U.S. officials said, adding that the administration declassified the MiG information to bolster the argument not to provide them to Ukraine.”

So the Biden administration knew it was sending weapons to Ukraine that would be perceived by a nuclear superpower as a provocative escalation, sent them anyway and then lied about it. Cool, cool, cool.

This NBC report confirms rumors we’ve been hearing for months. Professional war monger Max Boot said via The Council on Foreign Relations think tank in February that the Biden administration had ushered in “a new era of info ops” with intelligence releases designed not to tell the truth but to influence Putin’s decisions. Former MI6 chief John Sawers told The Atlantic Council think tank in February that the Biden administration’s “intelligence” releases were based more on a general vibe than actual intelligence and were designed to manipulate rather than to inform.

And in case you were wondering, no, NBC did not just publish a major leak by whistleblowers within the U.S. government who are bravely exposing the lies of the powerful with the help of the free press. One of the article’s authors is Ken Dilanian, who in 2014 was revealed to have worked as a literal C.I.A. asset while writing for The Los Angeles Times. If you see Dilanian’s name in a byline, you may be certain that you are reading exactly what the managers of the U.S. empire want you to read.

So why are they telling us all this now? Is the U.S. government not worried that it will lose the trust of the public by admitting that it is continuously lying about its most high-profile international conflict? And if this is an “information war” designed to “get inside Putin’s head” as NBC’s sources claim, wouldn’t openly reporting it through the mainstream press completely defeat the purpose?

Well, the answer to those questions is where it gets really creepy. I welcome everyone’s feedback and theories on the matter, but as near as I can figure the only reason the U.S. government would release this story to the public is because they want the general public to know about it. And the only plausible reason I can think of that they would want the public to know about it is that they are confident the public will consent to being lied to.

To get a better sense of what I’m getting at, it helps to watch the televised version of this report in which Dilanian and NBC anchor Alison Morris enthuse about how brilliant and wonderful it is that the Biden administration is employing these psychological warfare tactics to mess with Putin’s mind:

The message an indoctrinated NBC viewer will get when watching this segment is, “Isn’t this awesome? Our president is pulling off all these cool 3D chess moves to beat Putin, and we’re kind of a part of it!”

It’s been obvious for a long time that the U.S. empire has been working to shore up narrative control to strengthen its hegemonic domination of the planet via internet censorshippropaganda, Silicon Valley algorithm manipulation, and the normalization of the persecution of journalists. We may now simply be at the stage of imperial narrative control where they can begin openly manufacturing the consent of the public to be lied to for their own good.

Just as the smear campaign against Julian Assange trained mainstream liberals to defend the right of their government to keep dark secrets from them, we may now be looking at the stage of narrative control advancement where mainstream liberals are trained to defend the right of their government to lie to them.

The U.S. is ramping up cold war aggressions against Russia and China in a desperate attempt to secure unipolar hegemony, and psychological warfare traditionally plays a major role in Cold War maneuverings due to the inability to aggress in more overt ways against nuclear-armed foes. So now would definitely be the time to get the “thinkers” of America’s two mainstream political factions fanatically cheerleading their government’s psywar manipulations.

A casual glance around the internet at what mainstream liberals are saying about this NBC report shows that this is indeed what is happening. In liberal circles there does appear to be widespread acceptance of the world’s most powerful government using the world’s most powerful media institutions to lie to the public for strategic gains. If this continues to be accepted, it will make things a whole lot easier for the empire managers going forward.

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.

54 comments for “Caitlin Johnstone: Defending the Lies of Psychological War

  1. anon y'mouse
    April 10, 2022 at 18:52

    Caitlin says: “So why are they telling us all this now? Is the U.S. government not worried that it will lose the trust of the public by admitting that it is continuously lying about its most high-profile international conflict?”

    well, i know you’re asking this rhetorically and you somewhat answer it immediately yourself, but here’s a thought: the U.S. gov’t knows full well that it can’t undermine trust any further, and that the public here in the U.S. has entered a stage where the “truth” is either unrecoverable, or even if fully well known, makes not one bit of difference to anyone anymore.

    that should scare the fecal matter out of our backsides!

  2. Steven
    April 10, 2022 at 09:30

    Reminds me of when Fauci lied about lying about the effectiveness of masks.

  3. Rachael
    April 10, 2022 at 00:41

    I can think of one other plausible explanation that is slightly less creepy. I’m not saying I think you’re wrong, only that this explanation would fit too. Perhaps they’re spinning this “get inside Putin’s head” line because they know, or at least strongly fear, that their lies were about to be exposed and this is an effort to get ahead of the reveal. In other words, now that they’ve put this out there, no one would bother to leak evidence that they were lying, since everyone already knows. Like I said, your explanation is good and probably correct, but this one could be part of it too.

  4. lester
    April 9, 2022 at 21:58

    Lying is a break with the past? I thought it was Standard Operating Procedure!

  5. delia ruhe
    April 9, 2022 at 17:44

    Thanks for this, Caitlin. Good work. I hope more investigations of this kind are happening.

  6. Disgruntled
    April 9, 2022 at 17:38

    They’re lying to us, every single minute of every day. Our government and our media. I don’t believe a single word they say, and certainly not one single bit of their war “reporting”.

  7. delia ruhe
    April 9, 2022 at 17:34

    Just downloaded this: the opening sentence stopped me in my tracks.

    What’s this “In a break with the past” garbage? Anyone who, for e.g., was following Russiagate is only too aware of the involvement of the intel community—Brennan and Clapper were up to their armpits in it. I could go on and on, ad nauseam, but it’s enough to remind people that Stephen Cohen called them “the godfathers of Russiagate.” If he’d lived to complete the 2nd ed of War with Russia? he likely would have included a new section on intelligence. I hope Katrina vdH was briefed on the topic, as I think it’s she who’s doing that 2nd ed.

  8. wut
    April 9, 2022 at 06:00

    It’s not being lied to if we are playing along. At least they know we are smart enough to understand how they operate and don’t patronize us by pretending their information is actually solid (like they have even up to the invasion of Iraq). This is how it’s always operated, so why not do our part, with an understanding that the ‘news’ from these sources obviously isn’t ‘news’ but our own propaganda (as it’s always been)? Like with the chemical weapons claims, that was all just a game of “I know you are but what am I?” Since Russia brought it up out of the blue first – how else to respond besides “methinks the lady doth protest to much”? Any story that has to add “intelligence officials said” should be taken with many grains of sand, and you have to be a total moron not to understand that, so as long as they say it’s just being said by intelligence officials, what’s the problem? anyway, russia needs to get better at this. i was ready to believe those war crimes were all set up by Ukrainians (yet pretend they were not, of course), but then russia had to go say that the dead bodies were all actors, LOL! and basically prove that they did them with their horrible lying ability. bad spin is more convincing than good facts, sorry.

  9. Mary Caldwell
    April 8, 2022 at 23:04

    “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.” – William J. Casey, CIA Director …

  10. Moi
    April 8, 2022 at 22:58

    The US let it be known via NBC that it’s undertaking information warfare. Infowar, by it’s very nature, knows no boundaries.

    It infuriates me that, at US behest, the media in my own nation enthusiastically engaged in infowar against it’s own population.

    People simply want the right to make up their own minds. Journalists who knowingly mislead their own people as part of infowar waged by a foreign power border on being traitors.

  11. paul
    April 8, 2022 at 22:00

    Just assume that anything at all you hear from western MSM presstitutes is a pack of lies and you can’t go far wrong.

  12. NarcoRepublican
    April 8, 2022 at 19:51

    Perspicacious article by one of the best commentators of our era. Thank you CN for publishing.

    I cannot help but think that this is the war that the Americans (government and pundit castes) wanted all along. And the biggest lie is that they didn’t.

    How else to explain that Biden and Co. for months were yammering about “Putin is going to invade Ukraine” to the extent that even Zelensky told them to quiet down, especially in the face of the reported movement of 20,000 Ukrainian Army troops to the Kherson-Crimea border in January, 2021 and Kuleba’s accompanying statement that Ukraine was going to re-take the Crimea by force and depopulate it. I read the latter in Ukrainian press, the much-maligned/sanctioned I’ll bet Putin thought it was encouragement, and he probably had to overcome misgivings about falling for some American deception before calling our bluff.

    And all during this time, the US was pumping Ukraine full of weapons, ostensibly for “peace”. And the pundit class was lying by omission in failing to report what was actually going on in that poor country. As well as just about everything else that was going on in the Donbass for the past 8 years. Did you read any articles in the WaPo or NYT stating that the “Language law” outlaws educational instruction in the Russian language starting in 2023? Or that Z said “anyone who thinks they are Russian can move to Russia” after signing that Indigenous People’s law? Or that Z’s first special representative to present a plan to achieve an equitable outcome by agreement with the little Donbass republics was attacked by Nazis and pushed down a long marble staircase resulting in a fairly long hospitalization? Z did a complete 180 after that. Probably saved his life, for now, at least.

    I guess I haven’t trusted the press since Vietnam. So, every report comes with doubt, skepticism, and an attempt to suss out who benefits. So, when G. Bush Sr. waved that bag of crack around his head announcing he was going after Noriega (that was the entertainment for the kiddies), I figured the US wanted to re-establish better military control of the Panama canal, which we did.

    Anyway, I think that the media lies are now more of an internalization of the old “blowback” phenomenon interacting with a savvier, more cynical and distrusting populace, viz., after American journos reported that the Russian Presidential elections were “widely regarded as a sham”, we got Jan. 6. And there is no excuse for reporting without criticism (looking at you, PBS) that American foreign policy toward Russia comprised “nonstarter” and “Russia lies”, and then acting upset when Russia responded. It really is true — America will fight Russia to the last Ukrainian.

  13. Drew Hunkins
    April 8, 2022 at 17:44

    Let’s see now, Washington has missile bases in Poland and Romania. It desperately wants to put them into Ukraine, and it’s offering NATO membership to Finland and Sweden where it no doubt will place missile bases. It also intends on putting missile bases in the Baltic states.

    Within a few years these missile bases will be able to store Washington’s forthcoming hypersonic missiles, which will be able to reach Moscow in three to four minutes.

    Ergo, Russia has absolutely nothing to fear whatsoever, nothing, nada. Move on.

    The completely honest and forthright Western corporate-militarist media present a 100% realistic picture of the Kremlin’s plight, highlighting everything one needs to know to understand the entire geo-political picture. Just like the mass media did when it came to Iraq in the 2002/’03 run-up and Libya and Syria. Just like they continually do regarding Palestine and Israel.

    So thankfully our corporate-militarist media would never let things spiral out of control putting us on the brink of a major conflagration between two nuclear armed super powers.

    • Vesa Sainio
      April 9, 2022 at 09:05

      I live in Finland and the situation here is very sad and depressing. The media, politicians and the president have joined to the chorus of NATO cheerleading. Everybody was SO moved by the speech of Zelensky in which he surprise, surprise, compared the current war to Finland`s so called winter war agains Soviet Union in WW2. Finland is certain to join NATO and endanger seriously its security especially when the US missiles come. Also one should know that Finland just decided to buy F35 fighters from US and as we know, these planes are able to carry nukes. It is just mindboggling how all this is happening and without any logic. Have our leaders been bribed, or do they fear something or are the just so vulnerable to the propaganda that fills our world so pervasively.
      I am a secular person, however i want to say `god help us`.

  14. dogs
    April 8, 2022 at 16:03

    But what about Iraq and Afghanistan?


  15. Gregg
    April 8, 2022 at 15:39

    Everybody needs to read Putin’s treatise on Ukraine, published last year. It is entitled “On the historical unity of Russians and Ukrainians”. It gives insight into the lack of acceptance by the Russian political establishment of Ukraine as an independent sovereign state, no matter what the circumstances. People also need to read the transcripts of Zhirinovsky’s speeches in the Russian Duma over the last 29 years to understand the position of one of Russia’s main political parties as to Ukraine. Next, listen to the speeches of Dmitry Rogozin, pre Roskosmos days, and see how they stack up against the words of the Azov Battalion in Ukraine. Don’t know who Mr. Milchakov is? Find out, keep an open mind, and educate yourself. We hear lots about Ukrainian “Neo-Nazis”. Now familiarize yourself with the many position statements of Putin and his colleagues in regards to Ukraine, and then analyze his warm words for Alexander Gauland, leader of the “Alternative for Germany” party, and Marine Le Pen of France. Yes, you will need to be able to understand spoken and written Russian to do all of this, but if you cannot understand Russian, then maybe you are missing a big chunk of the picture in your attempts to understand what is happening in that part of the world.

  16. Sam F
    April 8, 2022 at 14:29

    I see judges and lawyers very deliberately and consistently lying all day about everything, as a shared value system.
    To them lying is a profession, truth is of no value at all, money=virtue, and all gains are from political gangs.
    So upholding the lie is the highest value, an expression of patriotism = political gang loyalty.
    They must uphold even the lie that benefits another political gang, to keep the people subject to the gangs.
    That dedication to lies extends throughout the DOJ, FBI, and secret agencies, for whom democracy is for losers.
    They uphold no law: rules and laws are used only to attack the appointed enemies of the political gangs.

    The mass media lie, cheat, and steal all day with advertisements, and treat that as humor to be shared by the audience.
    It would never occur to them to tell the truth if there were the slightest advantage otherwise, which is always the case.
    To them as well, lying is a profession, truth is of no value at all, money=virtue, and all gains are from political gangs.

  17. Mark Thomason
    April 8, 2022 at 13:22

    The US may be able to control its domestic audience with lies.

    It is failing to control the worldwide audience with those same lies. The Greek parliament for example just rebelled against the Azov battalion’s claim for a role, despite US insistence that all the “Nazi’s” are on the Russian side — “Putin is a Nazi.”

    This is a worldwide effort to squeeze Russia. Convincing the world is fighting the war. Failing to convince the world means losing that war.

    Lies lose that war.

  18. Henry Smith
    April 8, 2022 at 12:32

    There was no pushback when the CIAs fat blimp Pompasshole admitted that the CIA lies, so why are people surprised now ?
    They are consistent.

  19. Duane
    April 8, 2022 at 12:23

    “…as near as I can figure the only reason the U.S. government would release this story to the public is because they want the general public to know about it. And the only plausible reason I can think of that they would want the public to know about it is that they are confident the public will consent to being lied to.”

    I agree with you on the first part, but not the second. Clearly the State Dept. wants the public to know about these propaganda actions, and of course NBC is happy to provide the distribution channel. But I don’t accept that the public will consent to being lied to. Rather, I think the U.S. government wants to send a mixed message, along the lines of: “Most of what we’re telling you is true, but some of it is intentionally false to confuse our enemy. And because you’re our trusted friend, we’re letting you in on the secret.”

    The expected outcome, as I see it, is that the public will accept what comes through the media channels and will either accept it as true or else accept it as part of our plan to confuse the enemy. Then, when it comes to arguing about what’s really going on, John Q. Public has the option to either defend the factual truth of what he saw on NBC, or to explain it away as part of our clever campaign to confuse the enemy. It’s not so much a matter of getting the public to accept lies, but of getting the public to join in the clever information war.

    As a side benefit, it has the net effect that the public really has no handle any more on what is factually true or false in the major media, but is no longer concerned about the truth or falseness of the information. I believe that Hannah Arendt said something to the effect that the purpose of distributing misinformation in a totalitarian system was not to convince people that they should believe falsehoods, but rather to convince them that NONE of the information they received was reliable. At which point, people are effectively blind and clueless and more easily controlled. They believe nothing and everything at the same time. What the U.S. government and its media allies are doing may well be the ‘soft’ version of this strategy: it CLAIMS not to impose misinformation on the public, while at the same time it distributes this flagrantly overt misinformation mixed in with all the usual ‘covert’ misinformation (and a dash of actual reliable information for seasoning).

  20. doris
    April 8, 2022 at 11:08

    “The truth?! You can’t handle the truth!”

    Amerikans really can’t handle the truth that their beloved nation is a giant criminal operation. It’s just too painful. They’ll cling to the insane bullshit til the factory farmed, antibiotic-ridden cows come home.

    Thanks for being constant source of intelligent, truthful news, CN. I just wonder when they’ll come for you for going against their narrative, like they did with RT, who carried Chris Hedges and Lee Camp, two other people who speak truth to power.

    The same thing happened during the Covid “crisis.” Any narrative, even those from highly credentialed people, that went against the official big pharma and big government narrative, was shut down, just like this scenario. They’re after total global domination and use the term “Full Spectrum Dominance” freely, as if it’s something to be proud of. They tell whatever lies it takes to fulfill their manifest destiny.

    • Jeano
      April 8, 2022 at 14:44

      You are so right. And really it’s been going on since the post Hippie generation came of age. You could tell those guys anything and they’d believe it. This is the generation born from 1958 to 1972. They’re about 64 to 50 now—I’m lookin at you Maddow. The empire liars call them the Baby Boomers because lumping them together with the Hippie anti war generation made them more palatable to the left and more easily attacked by the right. Because this was a frightened generation. I don’t know why, but they were. They feared radical thought processes, they LOOOOVED a corporations as their Big Daddy, they hated unions and the working class and were afraid of integrating with black people. They didn’t know WHAT to think about war so they didn’t thank about it at all. They just went to Nordstroms for “power suits” , to Wall Street to show how much smarter they were because they had this new thing called a laptop, they hated Social Security and all got 401k’s, and then set about climbing the nearest corporate ladder, driving Humvees, buying the biggest house they could finesse, and idolizing the Clintons. Believe me, I was married to one and watched the transformation of society by this bunch with ever increasing horror. Ain’t love grand? 50 to 64 is full metal power in the society and the empire liars will continue to find fertile ground for their agenda in this crowd fir at least 10 more years.

  21. Lois Gagnon
    April 8, 2022 at 11:06

    The “Empire of Lies” as Putin accurately described the US, admits it lies, for our own good of course. Sad state of affairs when the population accepts such insults to their intelligence as a good thing.

  22. firstpersoninfinite
    April 8, 2022 at 09:49

    Excellent article! And very good points made in the comments. I would say the path to this collusion of intent began with Microsoft being threatened to be broken up by the Bush administration for monopoly power, etc., in the early 2000’s. Silicon Valley became Valley Forge for the forces described in this article after Microsoft’s complicity was brokered going forward. We’ve seen nothing but the creep of authoritarianism and its concomitant lies ever since. My question about this very indubitable future is this: what makes the not-very smart people in Washington and the not-very smart people in the think tanks surrounding them believe that Russia, China, anyone else for that matter, can’t do the same psy-ops to them? It’s a narrow threshold between controlling your own population’s opinions and honest complicity and having someone outside doing the same. Then the darkness closes in – for our own good, of course.

  23. April 8, 2022 at 09:43

    With this actually hardly so new policy of utilizing any half-truth or outward lie one can find that might be useful to employ in justifying the righteous cause of imperialist war, the regnant neocon jingoist monsters In Washington take us deeper into the world of anarchist, Sergey Nechayev’s, still rightly infamous, “Catechism of a Revolutionary,” with its fanatical program for the “merciless destruction” of all existing political, economic, social, cultural, and, of course, religious, institutions in the service of a grand “Revolution,” and some highly utopian end never clearly specified, this Revolution is supposed to instate.

    Nechayev’s operative principle, or better, SLOGAN, reiterated ever again in his many writings and in the agitprop of his followers, was the always dangerous, quite literally Machiavellian, notion that the “THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS,” indeed, even the stronger notion that NO means, including war, subversion, treason, blackmail, terrorism, and especially intentional deceptions, like frauds and hoaxes, should be considered off limits to glorious “Revolutionaries” pursuing “higher” transformational ends which, at least in their own minds, are necessary for the imminent global destruction of “all things existing” and, presumably, the subsequent rebuilding of the world in a manner supposedly in the interests of all members of the oppressed classes, based, of course, upon the favored precepts of Revolutonaries.

    Dostoyevsky, although himself attracted to such wildly ultra-left ideas in his youth, pillories Nechayev’s claim that the “the ends justify the means” very poignantly in his novel, “The Possessed,” a work which spins out in intricate detail just what the ACTUAL, generally terrifying, “ends” are that such a doctrine can be expected to wreak, — or wreck, — any time it is, even only partially, implemented in social practice. Indeed, one cannot but imagine that Dostoyevsky would be anything but thoroughly dismayed could he be apprised of the enormous damage to societies and cultures, as well as the wholesale immiseration of human lives, that this same doctrine has produced throughout the 20th and now 21st Centuries, centuries marked by ever repeated attempts, on the part of all manner of fanatics and crazies, from all political perspectives, peoples and societies, to impose through “any means necessary” some phantom ideal lying like a maggot in in their own diseased brains onto society as a whole and everyone in it.

    Now in a more sane world than our own, such puerile political, not to mention ethical, nonsense as is contained in the “ends justify the means” dogma would have died out long ago, which I assume was one of Dostoevsky’s main intentions when writing “The Possessed.” Unfortunately, such is obviously not the case, and we can see one of the most vicious reassertions of the principle in the policy recommendations of today’s still deeply entrenched neocon jingoists. For them, of course, the glorious END, for the attainment of which no sacrifice in lives and social misery — at least on the part of OTHERS — can be too great, is their idee fixe of a neutered Russia, with its current demonic leadership deposed and imprisoned, and the country broken, ala’ Yugoslavia, into several minor states each too small to present any serious resistance to the ever more imperiled US imperialist project. It is precisely this malicious doctrine, with its complete REFUSAL, even in the face of the most enormous and blatant failures, to reconsider the heretical notion that, in the present case, it is precisely the stalwart intransigence of the US govt. and of NATO’s inveterate refusal l even to consider Russian’s concerns, repeated loudly for decades now, that the always tightening encroachment of NATO weapons and troops upon Russia’s borders posed what THEY anyway considered to be a “existentialist threat.” To see this stunning arrogance in operation in just one recent instance we might consider the West’s preposterous alleged “right” for “NATO to decide,” without taking into account any opposed, or even just non-NATO perspectives, “whichever nations it deems should be, or not be, admitted to the alliance.” So important is their dogmatic chimerical END of deposing Putin and breaking up Russia into smaller and hence more controllable pieces, that the MEANS selected, whatever their ACTUAL consequences for millions of innocent people may be, need not be considered at all. And thus we get the pseudo-justification for that US policy which has been nicely summarized as “fighting Russia to the last Ukrainian.” Can it be any wonder then that the US neocon policy makers adoption of an essentially Nechayevian conception of politics, ethics, and social transformation, is largely responsible for the legion horrors we witness daily in the war in Ukraine?

  24. michael888
    April 8, 2022 at 07:14

    The CIA has often interfered illegally in domestic Official Narratives (generally in Operation Mockingbird and specifically in many other individual issues).
    With the “modernization” (abolition) of domestic antipropaganda laws (Smith Mundt Act), the State Department/ CIA has been tasked with domestic control of the six major, now essentially State Media. They increasingly control all Official Narratives (probably including Silicon Valley?)
    The CIA learned long ago that it was much better to create chaos in Wars (leading to the concept of Forever Wars, benefitting the MICIMATT– a good example was the CIA, Saudis and Israel funding and training ISIS “warriors” in Syria to fight the Pentagon-supported Kurds, both expendable pawns); much better than reaching a quick endpoint and Peace.
    They now are applying that same chaos theory to Information Control. Rather than get caught continually in their bald-faced lies, they now say “Of course we lie. That is what we are trained to do. But it is for the best (in our support of Ukraine, Saudi Arabia and Israel)”. They learned long ago that the emotional impact and thus decision making occurs instantaneously in response to horror (and false flags) in today’s Americans, who totally ignore measured, history-based, fact-filled investigations.

    • Vincent ANDERSON
      April 8, 2022 at 15:05

      Just trying to get this, and related, theories down to a manageable single stream, that of BBC News, to determine just ‘what’ was the tipping point, from journalism to US state-ism.

      3 fairly representative oldies here, all of which express real skepticism of US anti-Russkie slant:
      3/19 re Zel. as candidate

      Until quite recently, BBC still did journalism for years after the 2014 Clinton/Nuland putsch. Admittedly a small sample, but I’ve googled dozens of these on-air analyses. So, what has happened since? Besides mass media hysteria, willingness to be lied to, etc., which must be defeasible in some sense. Maybe ‘the’ bottom line was expressed by George Lucas, if unwittingly, in an early interview after the Star Wars phenom. Can’t find the exact quote, but basically: ‘In the 70s the left and right were spending so much energy beating each other up that I thought, there has to be a way of bringing them together on some common enemy.’ Lightbulb answer: the Russkies, still known as Soviets back then….

    • Willow
      April 9, 2022 at 18:43

      Thank you for mentioning the Repeal of Smith-Mundt. The late journalist Michael Hastings and the late political activist Aaron Schwartz sounded the alarm that about the repeal of the domestic propaganda ban as part of the 2013 NDAA.

  25. Manifold Destiny
    April 8, 2022 at 03:54

    It does feel like the lies have become more openly brazen, but when one considers the years of Western media manipulation and indoctrination — the exceptionalism, the over-simple reduction of complex relations to good and evil, the erasure of historically relevant lessons — perhaps Power knows that it can safely dispense with any notion of a hidden agenda.

    In fact, it’s gotten to a point where the masses have been weapon-ized. A simple nudge-nudge, wink-wink from their favorite source (“news” or otherwise), and everyone becomes a Chicken Little, parroting the accepted narrative.

    Add to that a lazy, narcissistic, distracted, frenetic, fear-trained culture, and who has the time to actually wade through the muck and mire to determine factual veracity, let alone critical analysis?

  26. mgr
    April 8, 2022 at 02:43

    Thank you Caitlin. MoonofAlabama also reported on this and summed it up pretty well: “U.S. ‘intelligence’ folks tell their stenographers at NBC News that their obvious lies are obvious lies. That announced ‘break with the past’ of faking ‘intelligence’ happened when? How ‘rock solid’ was the ‘intelligence’ about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction or chemical weapons attacks in Douma, Syria? U.S. ‘intelligence’, then and now, is pure imagination for the purpose of deceiving the U.S. and ‘western’ public about the reality of this or that conflict.”

    NATO also announced last year that it was developing its own psychops capabilities, the unvoiced assumption being that these techniques would be directed toward the “enemy.” Of course, the reality hidden in plain sight is that the psychops are directed toward one’s own population, to control the narrative, as we are seeing now.

    Of course, this is being revealed in the current conflict with Ukraine but this only a trial run, look for more and more blatant narrative/social control for more and more issues, just whatever America’s elite wants to sell you.

    I suspect that one important reason why they are announcing this now is that after all the hyping and misinformation by the Western press on the brave and noble Ukrainian resistance (that is, Nazis) and how they are defeating the Russian invaders, Russia’s operation seems to have gone according to plan and is achieving all its objectives of neutralizing and de-Nazifying Ukraine, which is the only way that the people of Ukraine are going to find any peace going forward. If the impending collapse of the Ukrainian resistance occurred without some pre-narrative spinning the cognitive dissonance would threaten ongoing Western narrative control operations. Not to mention that roughly half the world is not on board.

    • mgr
      April 8, 2022 at 09:12

      One other thought on why the government is now admitting the information ruse; efficiency. Perhaps it’s just too much overhead, constantly spinning and fixing the lies one by one as they become known. So now, rather than undermining trust, everything they say, whether a falsehood or not, is either true, or it’s part of the plan for victory (so it’s not really a lie); our lying government is actually our friend, after all. By telling us that they are lying to us, it provides the illusion that they are trustworthy. And since we have been “let in on the joke,” in effect, it seems that we are part of the joke, rather than the object of it.

      The architects of narrative control must be delighted to see that the outcome of their ongoing efforts at psychological manipulation over the years has produced a public that is well groomed for anything they want to feed it. The US version of democracy has yielded a fulsome crop of mushrooms. Who knows what they will feed us next..

      • susan mullen
        April 8, 2022 at 18:16

        Today, April 8, was Opening Day at Yankee Stadium. Per ESPN reporter: “A beautiful rendition of the Ukrainian national anthem” was played at Yankee Stadium Opening Day.

    • April 8, 2022 at 13:08

      good summary of events

  27. Mikael Andresson
    April 7, 2022 at 23:52

    Winning a propaganda campaign might not be of strategic significance. I call them “air pushers”. Their lie machine only pushes air. The worst it could do is gain consent for a hot war, which seems to have support in the USA (guess a uranium bomb on LA doesn’t scare them as much as it scares me). As long as that doesn’t happen things might work out OK. Ukraine will declare neutrality. It will resolve never to join NATO (NATO will likely do that itself after the AZOV murders in Bucha, There’s only so much myth and bald lies a “defence alliance” can push.) Hopefully all the neo-NAZI nutcases will have been liquidated in Matiupol and they won’t threaten Zelo’s life again. Who knows, he might even survive and keep the political promises he made before the election. There is hope …

  28. sam
    April 7, 2022 at 23:02

    I just can’t believe the level of delusion that has swept our country today. As if Putin sits down at 6 PM and watches NBC News, just like all those rubes cheering over the news their government is lying to them. Just to get in “Putin’s head”? How can they swallow that scenario? It is like childish nonsense. Worse than that, it’s insanity! It’s plainer that day that Putin isn’t the target of their propaganda, it’s us! This is so sick, I feel physically ill over what they are doing to our country. I used to have hope, but there is no way this kind of mass schizophrenia leads anywhere good. Frankly, I don’t even see where to turn at this point.

    • Richard
      April 8, 2022 at 07:31

      I think you are right: their biggest lie is their justification. As you point out it is silly to think their target is Putin! Their target is us.

  29. z
    April 7, 2022 at 22:05

    “Well, the answer to those questions is where it gets really creepy. I welcome everyone’s feedback and theories on the matter, but as near as I can figure the only reason the U.S. government would release this story to the public is because they want the general public to know about it. And the only plausible reason I can think of that they would want the public to know about it is that they are confident the public will consent to being lied to.”

    Made me wonder if they are nervous about having other lies of theirs exposed by Russia in the near future. Maybe they put this story out so now they can say, “see we just said [blank] to mess with Putin, we never actually thought [blank] was real, [blank] was part of the plan all along”. Lies on top of lies on top of lies…

    • RMB
      April 8, 2022 at 16:55

      I was thinking exactly the same thing as I scrolled to your comment.

      Maybe they are just trying to get out ahead of the eventual, inevitable revelation of their lies.

  30. Jimm
    April 7, 2022 at 20:56

    I agree with Scott Ritter’s early assessment that Russia knows it will lose the propaganda war and that Putin does not care. Just 2 weeks ago the NYP runs a blaring story about Putin’s extravagant yacht. Missing from this story was any mention of extravagant yachts including the land and air based varieties that are owned by our own political opportunists and financial criminals. The United States is at war with Russia, that is a fact. Where it all ends we will likely soon find out.

    • April 8, 2022 at 13:19

      Hopefully Ukranian and Russian oligarchs make a deal that benefits the people of both countries, especially over Crimea. Putin utilizes territorial gains in Eastern Ukraine as a bargaining chip, and for security, the way Israel did with Egypt in the 70’s and Syria about the Golan Heights, and a mutual benefit agreement about developing the gas deposits in Crimea with Russian technology, and water brought down from Ukranian rivers for economic development in Crimea, and Russian control of the Black Sea ports to the benefit of the local people, meanwhile revival of the non-aligned movement, economically, with all the countries who have remained neutral, particularly India, Brazil, Mexico, much of Latin America and Asia, even their own independent banking system and development funds, as long as Russia, and Ukranians who resist being used as a pawn by the west, resist the propaganda and resist the sending of more weapons into Ukraine to foment a war that serves as a distraction to the globalist agenda of social credit system of control

    • Rob Roy
      April 8, 2022 at 19:21

      Putin doesn’t have an extravagant yacht. He also hates oligarchs. Ever wonder why the CIA can’t find his riches? He doesn’t have any. He lives modestly. When elected, he called the oligarchs together and told them things would be different: they would pay taxes and they would stay the hell out of politics. Those who didn’t were dealt with in short order.
      The interesting thing about Caitlin’s article (she’s always great!) that brought to mind is something our government folks don’t know: Putin doesn’t lie. He says what he means, says what he will do and then does it. People who lie and steal and cheat always assume others do the same. They have no concept that some others don’t lie and cheat and steal. I’ve been watching Putin ever since he became president of Russia, listening to hours of him speaking, reading what he’s written. Americans who have a knee-jerk reaction of hate to him are uninformed. How?… by the lies of the United States, proving Caitlin’s point. Oh, yes, and those stories about him wanting to “bring back glory days” of such and such are just more lies. He said, “Anyone who doesn’t miss the days of the Soviet Union has no heart. Anyone who wants it back has no brain.”

  31. Brent
    April 7, 2022 at 20:42

    Another possible theory. The coverage of Jan. 6 may come to be understood as intel-driven. If that can be seen as defending America from danger (Trump), many will “understand”, abide, or buy-in.

  32. robert e williamson jr
    April 7, 2022 at 20:39

    Yes Mam, I wish you were wrong, but I damned well you are not. Very nice stuff here.

    They have controlling the financial networks down, once the have control of the world media and internet, they will have us all in a Terminal Bind! Pun intended!

    What the WTE remains to be controlled will seem very insignificant at that point!

    Give them hell!

    Thanks CN

  33. Robert Emmett
    April 7, 2022 at 18:42

    This latest test of acceptance of blatant disinformation by the un-silent majority also serves to reveal the lines of discord between those who cling most willingly to the flood of psychobabble bullshit poured out upon the land and those who do not. Thus is it easier to mark more precisely who is in line to be dispensable, ie. the Great Cull, utilizing all the hideous means, both active & passive, to reduce populations of the unworthy &/or to leave them behind en masse, unless more & more people snap out of it, pronto.

    I know this is friggin’ diabolical and there’s a lot more to it. But hey, as Leonard Cohen asked in his final recording, You Want It Darker? No problem.

    • anon y'mouse
      April 11, 2022 at 18:49

      what makes you think that the cullable and unworthy are those who won’t snap out of it?

      they want us in their simulation box, “for our own good” (for their benefit). they want a fully manipulable public to follow them anywhere, even off a cliff (where we are all headed due to the environmental issues, anyway).


  34. Guy
    April 7, 2022 at 18:05

    Pure and simple obfusacation . Biden sets stage for US false flag . Then this article pops up to muddy the waters saying US intel up to tricks . The only thing happening is Biden setting stage for US false flag . US will do it then say we told you so . The news casters are govt. assests suggesting that govt. “may” have or not intel for their claim . Fake news ?

  35. Wilikins
    April 7, 2022 at 17:20

    Disclosure of conflict of interests produces public trust while the person or institution continues the intention to benefit from them whether the benefit is derived honestly or not.

  36. Eddie S
    April 7, 2022 at 17:02

    Hmmmm.. the US government and its MSM accomplices are lying to us, ostensibly for our ‘own good’, as part of their 3-dimensional chess game of international politics with those Russians who are EVIL liars, unlike our GOOD liars. What could possibly go wrong there — other than possibly nuclear war in the worst-case? But even if that hopefully doesn’t happen, for-sure these institutions will lose whatever remaining credibility they do have left on the international stage and ultimately with the US electorate. These kind of revelations will only help solidify the views of people like the Trump ‘stolen election’ believers and similar ideas, and make it harder to argue against them.
    The NBC article essentially states that it was good that Biden predicted that Russia was going to invade, because it actually happened, but the West had time to construct a united front. Left unsaid was the idea that premature accusations like that poisoned the well for negotiations that might’ve avoided the whole thing — like if the US/NATO had just agreed to Ukraine being neutral and NOT becoming a member of NATO — effectively formalizing the existing status quo at that time without giving up anything other than that potential membership.

    • anon y'mouse
      April 11, 2022 at 18:45

      they warned of the invasion because they deliberately goaded Putin into it, and have been doing so for years.

      if you pay enough attention, you can sense the gloating.

  37. jaycee
    April 7, 2022 at 15:32

    The collapse of critical thinking amongst the educated classes in western countries began somewhere around 2014 – associated even then with the Russian bogeyman and a deceitful narrative re: Ukraine. A decade earlier, a healthy majority of such persons understood the Iraq war as a criminal undertaking based on deliberate lies, and could articulate such understandings to friends and acquaintances without controversy. After 2014, getting worse year by year, articulation of counter-narratives invite not just angry retorts but actual suspicion if not accusations of being some sort of foreign agent. I’ve had once solid friendships dissolve over positions on Russia-Ukraine-Putin, as once tolerant free-thinkers suddenly became intolerant and viscerally angry when faced with information they simply did not want to hear – no matter the degree of verified material accuracy. The reasons for this are surely complex and multi-faceted, and rely in some degree on psychological programs laundered through the mainstream media, but that it noticeably switched almost all at once (somewhere between Maidan and MH-17) is very curious.

    • Cara
      April 7, 2022 at 16:55

      Things went right over the cliff during Trump’s presidency and four plus years of Russiagate. The entire liberal establishment and most ordinary Democrats lost their minds. It is not too much of an exaggeration to say so. I cannot talk to any of my family or friends about anything other than… the weather. You’re right though in tracing the origins back into the Obama years. It was altogether forbidden to criticize our first Black president. Although how much that actually had to do with a cynical weaponization of race I have no idea. It was during that time Seymour Hersh could no longer get published in the U.S. and I think much of that was because of his investigations of the Obama Administration and what his reporting revealed.

      • robert e williamson jr
        April 11, 2022 at 13:02

        Cara can you remind us of what it was that Hersh reported?

        Thanks Cara and thank you CN

    • April 8, 2022 at 13:11

      good points

  38. Vera Gottlieb
    April 7, 2022 at 15:31

    Surely I am not the only one sick and tired of all this filth! of all these lies! all this hatred! all this backstabbing !

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