11 December 2016

Western Media Clampdown and the Cyber-Power Grab

https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/german-spy-agency-warns-of-rise-in-russian-propaganda-and-cyber-attacks/

The media is filled with calls for investigations into Russian hacking but no evidence is produced. Instead we're provided with 'secret assessments' and calls to trust the intelligence apparatus, despite the fact they have a long and proven track record of lying and attempting to manipulate the public.

Like the many narratives strung together in the wake of 9/11, this present attempt at spin is false and patently so on many levels.

Akin to the Saddam Hussein- al Qaeda pseudo-connections that played a part in the public manipulation leading up to the 2003 Iraq Invasion, we're being told that somehow there's a conspiracy between Wikileaks' Assange, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin's anti-Western propaganda machine.

The paradigm collapses and breaks on the person of Assange. His guilt is also based on the media's false narrative regarding Edward Snowden's presence in Russia, how he got there, why he's stayed, and why Putin has permitted it.

Apparently the public has not looked into Assange or Snowden. While I don't think they are quite what some on the Far Left make them out to be, they have clearly been misunderstood. Snowden is, I'm sorry to say a bit naive and seems to retain a patriotic impulse. For all the damage he's done to the US intelligence apparatus, he still supports it.

Assange is not pro-Putin or pro-Trump in the least. His desire is to break the Western system through revelations of the truth. Putin is (in many ways) a part of that system. While on the one hand he's partly at war with it, in another sense its downfall would wound him severely. Putin's present situation almost perfectly mirrors Russia's role throughout history... neither East nor West but something in-between.

Anyone who spends a bit of time learning about Russian history post 1991, the nature of Assange's project and his own history, as well as the character of Donald Trump will realise these people and the larger forces they represent are not in alliance. In many ways they don't even have a common enemy.

Briefly (it could be said) they shared a hostility to the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency. And yet even this argument breaks down.

Even mainstream analysts have questioned Putin's desire for a Trump presidency and yet their views are not given voice by the Mainstream Media.

If it could be said that Assange desired a Trump presidency, and I don't think it could be said, it's to reap the fruits of chaos and collapse, not to see him succeed.

Trump is clearly not a friend to Assange and even before taking office has signalled he is no friend to Putin or even peace with Russia. His comments with regard to Putin have been exploded and far too much has been read into them.

And what is clear so far during the transition is that the team he is assembling gives no indication of such a move toward a 'reset' or stand down.

It is clear the goal of the Western Establishment is to build an Anti-Putin alliance and use this fear as the basis for keeping NATO together and arresting the Anti-EU political wave. It's ironic because in many ways the United States has fomented and often supported this tendency but at present there's been a sharp tactical reversal and Putin is being used as a means to generate public fear and channel that energy back into support for both Brussels and Atlanticism.

But on a far larger scale this narrative represents an attempt to get a handle on the Internet which over the past 5-6 years or so has (by many estimations) spun out of control. While Facebook, Twitter and social media have been around for more than five years, they have reached a new phase of cultural influence.

Many people are clearly relying on these forms of media as a primary source of news. Social media has completely changed the information landscape and in almost every way the effects have been negative.

There is a real problem with 'Fake News'. This cannot be denied. When you understand how Social Media works and the way in which information is passed about and perpetuated it's easy to see why. A little money and manpower can also greatly influence and shape these forces.

For example we have the Sandy Hook story which many seem to believe was completely faked.



Likewise there are hosts of fake Facebook memes and phony emails which are circulated ad nauseam.

Most of the time a five minute investigation will expose these claims and narratives as false. And yet I'll admit it's difficult at times. Some fact-checking websites are good when it comes to certain topics, and terrible when it comes to others. One must consider the nature of the question. It's one thing to look up rumours of killer clowns and something else when considering the news and 'facts' regarding international events. The fact-checking websites toe the Establishment line which in many cases is less than truthful.

Fake news is a problem and yet clearly the greatest source of fake news is the Mainstream Media itself. This is sometimes accomplished by overt lies and misrepresentations but often that sort of base and crude tact is not needed. Refusing to cover stories, providing shallow reporting and limited and sometimes obfuscatory analysis are often more than sufficient.

Is this deliberate? Sometimes it certainly is. Other times, the shallowness and 'fluffy' nature of the Mainstream (in particular television) news is due to its commercial nature.

The media's coverage of Ukraine over the past decade let alone its reporting on Russia over the past 25 years can be described as misleading if not fake. The coverage of the War on Terror, Arab Spring and especially the Syrian War qualify as fake. In fact fake would only begin to describe the nature of US machinations and policy in Syria, let alone the narratives with regard to the 'rebels', al Qaeda, ISIS, the White Helmets, and the overall tactical narratives of the war.

This article deals extensively with this question and on a larger scale the whole question of how the media is framing false news as well as the falsity of their criteria and methodology. Of course it's not just Wikileaks and Social Media that are under attack. The Mainstream is going after a host of websites and news outlets and in some cases laughably trying to label them as propaganda outlets.


One also must consider the reporting on the Osama bin Laden assassination. Filled with holes and questionable elements from the beginning, the narrative has collapsed. While I don't necessarily subscribe to all of Seymour Hersch's conclusions, he (and now many others) have clearly poked enough holes in the story to render it as fake news.


Of course Hollywood can often play a role in this. Dramatic stories presented on the big screen only fuel the public's misperceptions. This is true not only of news/current events but of the historical record. I cannot think of a single historical movie that is praiseworthy in terms of its presentation of the facts.

Was the media misled over the buildup to the Iraq War and the whole question of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)? Or did their coverage qualify as 'fake news'. Without hesitation I vote the latter and once again only a few minutes of even online inquiry can demonstrate this. There were many of us who were not taken in at the time and watched with horror and indignation as the media outright lied and manipulated the public.

But it wasn't just Iraq. This was happening before, during and after September 11, 2001. The stage was being set with regard to Afghanistan. The media had not told the story since the1980s and even now Hollywood plays its supporting role.

The larger stories surrounding Afghanistan, al Qaeda and 9/11 are largely unknown to the public. The information is out there but it's not in the media's interest to pursue it, then or now.

Has the media told us the story of the Patriot Act and the creation of the security state? There's been some reporting but long after it was already established. In many ways the reporting is a case of damage control and in other cases a means of spin and re-direction.

The fact that many provisions of the Patriot Act were already written well before 9/11 should have been an essential part of the media's analysis. Instead they demonstrated they are collaborators... specifically there to provide 'fake news'.

What about their coverage of Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman?

This was true with the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin resolution and should we see a rash of new legislation in the wake of a cyber 9/11, the media will play the same role.





These are just a handful of 'big' examples. Apart from the Gulf of Tonkin parallels with the Patriot Act and War on Terror, most are from the post-9/11 era. If we move back into the Cold War the list of deceptions and media collaborations becomes overwhelming.

Finally, for those who feel like wading through it, this Washington Post story is noteworthy.

It's an interesting narrative on the discrepancies between FBI and CIA claims that clearly demonstrates there is no objective evidence of Russian attempts to influence the election. That said, it doesn't mean they didn't but to use something so nebulous as the basis for a whole new set of policies and legal doctrine... that indicates this Russian angle is little more than a ploy.


Finally we might ask, when will the US media tackle the reality that the United States stands alone in the world as the government that has interfered with and manipulated more elections than any other nation or organisation in history? From Latin America in the early 20th century to Europe, Asia and Africa after World War II it is safe to say the US has worked to influence and throw elections in dozens of countries and some more than once or twice. This doesn't excuse Russian interference but it is an indictment of both Washington and the prostituted media in its employ.

7 comments:

  1. John Pilger just released another documentary entitled "The Coming War on China", which you can see on RTD (Russian Television Documentaries). It's almost two hours long but worth it. A real eye-opener.

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  2. Ah, very good. I've been waiting for that one to come out. Thanks for the tip.

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  3. I will say that I laughed at the WP's assessment of "cultural differences" between the FBI, namely the FBI's "Law-enforcement ethos that needs facts and evidence beyond a reasonable doubt". What planet do they live on? Do they know how police actually function?

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  4. Basically the FBI says... your case wouldn't stand up in a court of law. The CIA says, you have to trust us, because it's secret.

    Of course there are A LOT of cultural differences between the two agencies.

    I wrote this piece a couple of days ago and then picked up that Post link and added it in early this morning.

    THEN... Trump and Conway get on the news today and completely dismiss the CIA report. I hate to agree with Trump! Of course he's trying to destroy any suggestions that would delegitimise his victory.

    But what's really stunning is his public dismissal of the CIA report. I wouldn't have expected him to do that but then again, he doesn't understand that he just set off a nuclear explosion throughout the Beltway.

    And then to say that he's not going to bother with the daily intelligence briefings?

    Right now there are some very upset people in Langley.

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    1. I'm not sure what is exactly culturally different, but I agree. I only found it humerous that they tried to paint police with some simultaneous realist/idealist brush where they're only interested in getting the bad guys in a court of law. Of course, a court of law has much more in common with a poker table than anything like justice. It was just the way they said it that was ridiculous. Of course, the CIA doesn't have to fabricate evidence or jump through hoops, they can just lie.

      Maybe Trump will be able to ironically end the CIA. Where people before fought according to principles and blunderous errors, perhaps the death of Central Intelligence will be because they picked a fight with the ultimate bully. It's this reason that a Trump presidency is somewhat exciting. Of course, he might end up in the morgue like Kennedy, but who knows. I think he has a little more distance between himself and the Establishment than Kennedy did, who (if you believe the Johnson/CIA conspiratorial take) woke up in a den of theives and tried to fight back. The volatility of Trump's personality might end up knocking some pillars down and in an ironic twist, he might make American great by destroying all geo-political capital and setting the empire up to fall. But I dream.

      Strange times,
      cal

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    2. https://theintercept.com/2016/12/09/a-clinton-fan-manufactured-fake-news-that-msnbc-personalities-spread-to-discredit-wikileaks-docs/

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  5. Now it's come out that the DNI hasn't accepted the CIA narrative. There's another 'tension' within the government bureaucracy. I was pleased to see that portrayed in the recent Jason Bourne movie. I have a piece I'll publish soon on that.

    Wanda- Glad to see you're now reading The Intercept. I don't always agree with their take either but I have to say at least they are an outlet that's raising some much needed questions.

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