Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’ Guilt, by Robert Parry

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Re: Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’ Guilt, by Robert Parry

Postby admin » Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:01 pm

Newly Obtained Documents Prove: Key Claim of Snowden’s Accusers Is a Fraud
by Glenn Greenwald
March 21 2017

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FOR ALMOST FOUR years, a cottage industry of media conspiracists has devoted itself to accusing Edward Snowden of being a spy for either Russia and/or China at the time he took and then leaked documents from the National Security Agency. There has never been any evidence presented to substantiate this accusation.

In lieu of evidence, the propagators of this accusation have relied upon the defining tactic of tawdry conspiracists everywhere: relentless repetition of rumor and innuendo based on alleged inconsistencies until it spreads far enough through the media ecosystem to take on the appearance of being credible. In this case, there was one particular fiction — about where Snowden spent his first 11 days after arriving in Hong Kong — which took on particular significance for this group.

They insist that Snowden, contrary to what he has always maintained, did not check into the Mira Hotel on May 21, 2013, the day after he arrived in Hong Kong. Instead, they assert, he checked-in only on June 1, which means Snowden has 11 “unaccounted-for” days from the time he arrived in Hong Kong until he met with journalists at the Mira in the beginning of June. They have repeatedly leveraged this Missing Eleven Days into the insinuation that Snowden used this time to work with his Russian and/or Chinese handlers in preparation for meeting the U.S. journalists in Hong Kong.

While such reckless conspiracy-mongering is often relegated to online fringes, this accusatory fable found its way to the nation’s mainstream journalistic venues: the Wall Street Journal, Slate, Yahoo News, Lawfare, Business Insider; these media conspiracists were subsequently joined by several former officials of the intelligence community now embedded in the pundit class in affirming this tale. These outlets have repeatedly laundered and thus sanctioned the tale of the Missing Eleven Days, despite its utter lack of any journalistic basis.

Most remarkably, these conspiracists were permitted by these media outlets to repeat this lie about Snowden’s Missing Eleven Days over and over, all in service of suggesting that he was acting as an agent of a foreign power, despite the fact that even top intelligence officials who loathe Snowden have repeatedly said that they do not believe — and have seen no evidence to suggest — that he worked with any foreign government, including Russia. Obama’s own acting CIA Director Michael Morell told the Daily Beast’s Shane Harris in 2015:

My own view on this question is that both Chinese and Russian intelligence officers undoubtedly pitched him — offering him millions of dollars to share the documents he had stolen and to answer any questions they had about the NSA and CIA. But my guess is that Snowden said, “No, thank you,” given his mind-set and his clear dislike for intelligence services of any stripe.


The NSA’s second-highest official at the time of the Snowden leak, Chris Inglis, was similarly clear that no such evidence exists:

NSA's Deputy Director on the "Russian Spy" theory:https://t.co/BrRNo4zExx

— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) June 13, 2016


But these media conspiracists have gotten away with this fable of the Missing Eleven Days in Hong Kong and similar tales because their core assertions were deliberately designed to be insusceptible to being affirmatively disproven. Because their accusatory story rests on claims of invisible and hidden events, they could not be exposed as frauds with definitive documentary evidence — until now.

Newly obtained documents conclusively prove that the central tale invented by these Snowden-accusing commentators is a wholesale fabrication. These documents negate the edifice on which this entire fiction has been based from the start.

THE CAMPAIGN TO depict Snowden as a Russian or Chinese spy has centrally depended upon the accusation that he is lying about how he spent his first 11 days in Hong Kong. Snowden’s version of events has never changed from the very first interview we published with him at the Guardian: on May 20, 2013, he boarded a flight from Honolulu to Hong Kong, checked into the Mira Hotel on May 21 under his own name, and then stayed continuously in Room 1014 at the Mira as he waited for the arrival of the journalists with whom he was working, paying for the room with his own credit cards.

As the journalists working on the Snowden documents, Laura Poitras and I arrived in Hong Kong on June 2, and spent the next eight days working with Snowden in Room 1014 at the Mira. Snowden thus stayed continuously at the Mira from May 21, the day after he arrived Hong Kong, until June 10, when he left due to the media craze triggered by our Guardian article revealing his identity.

But this group of accusatory journalists has repeatedly accused Snowden of lying about this time-line. They insist that Snowden checked into the Mira Hotel for the first time only on June 1: eleven days after he claims he did. They have thus spent years discussing the significance of what they ominously refer to as “The Missing Eleven Days.” This sinister Missing Eleven Days has become key to the tale they have woven to prove Snowden is a spy.

But that claim is an outright lie, and always has been. Documents now provided by the Mira Hotel to Snowden’s lawyers in Hong Kong prove the truth of exactly what Snowden has always said: that he checked into the Mira Hotel on May 21 and stayed there, under his own name, continuously through June 10.

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Snowden’s original reservation, made through booking.com, confirms that the check-in date was always May 21, and the reservation was originally scheduled for 10 nights (check-out on May 30). The hotel records confirm he arrived and checked-in on May 21, staying continually for the full reservation. Once that reservation ended, he extended it for one more day, then made another 10-day reservation through booking.com with a check-out date of June 10, and stayed continually through then, when he checked out.

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These newly obtained documents (all of which are available here and here) thus conclusively prove that the accusatory fable repeated and circulated over and over in U.S. mainstream media outlets — that Snowden did not check into the Mira prior to June 1 and thus cannot account for the mysterious Missing Eleven Days in Hong Kong — is a falsehood.

Despite its utter falsity, it is hard to overstate how continually this lie was repeated in mainstream outlets until it metastasized into Truth among a certain set of journalists and pundits obsessed with the claim that Snowden worked for the Russians and/or Chinese governments. Editors at leading U.S. media outlets continually allowed this tale to be published even though there was never any evidence to suggest that Snowden was lying. It became their give-us-the-real-birth-certificate foundation for the conspiracy web about Snowden they have spent years spinning.

THAT SNOWDEN CHECKED into the Mira only on June 1 was first asserted by a Wall Street Journal article published on June 10, 2013 — the day after we first revealed Snowden’s identity in the Guardian. The article made this claim in passing, with no basis identified.

It did not remotely suggest that Snowden had lied: to the contrary, it seems to be a case where reporting on rapidly unfolding events sloppily but innocuously misstated what seemed at the time to be an ancillary fact: the date on which Snowden checked into the Mira Hotel. Alternatively, the reporter may have spoken with a clerk who looked only at Snowden’s most recently renewed reservation form (which began on June 1) rather than the first one Snowden signed upon checking in on May 21.

Either way, nobody ever tried to vest the WSJ’s misreporting about the check-in date with significance until a year later when the paper’s op-ed page writer, Edward Jay Epstein, seized on what he thought was a critical discrepancy to build a sprawling, accusatory conspiracy theory that he ultimately parlayed into a book, a central theme of which is that Snowden systematically lied about this key event. Epstein repeatedly cited this Missing Eleven Days to suggest that Snowden could have been in cahoots with a foreign government. The first time he implied this was in a June 29, 2014 WSJ column, when he made these claims:

From May 20, the day he landed, to May 31, according to a source familiar with the Defense Intelligence Agency report on the Snowden affair, U.S. investigative agencies have been unable to find any credit-card charges or hotel records indicating his whereabouts. …

Mr. Snowden would tell Mr. Greenwald on June 3 that he had been “holed up” in his room at the Mira Hotel from the time of his arrival in Hong Kong. But according to inquiries by Wall Street Journal reporter Te-Ping Chen, Mr. Snowden arrived there on June 1. I confirmed that date with the hotel’s employees. A hotel security guard told me that Mr. Snowden was not in the Mira during that late-May period and, when he did stay there, he used his own passport and credit card.

So where was Edward Snowden between May 20 and May 31?


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Epstein, screen shot, RT interview

All of these claims are outright lies, as proven by the documents we are publishing today. Snowden arrived at and checked-into the Mira on May 21, not June 1. He paid for the room with his credit cards. It defies belief that some anonymous official told Epstein that “U.S. investigative agencies have been unable to find any credit-card charges or hotel records indicating his whereabouts” given that the hotel records and credit cards were all in Snowden’s name. The whole story is false.

Actual journalists — ones who are careful with and care about facts — fully recognized the baselessness of this key accusation. The New York Times’ reporter Charlie Savage, recipient of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize, wrote a devastating denunciation last month of Epstein’s book in the New York Review of Books, featuring the issue of the check-in date discrepancy in indicting Epstein’s conspiracy theories as hollow:

It is unfortunate that Epstein builds his imagined scenarios upon allegations that may not be real facts.

For example, Epstein gives sinister significance to the “fact” that Snowden arrived in Hong Kong eleven days before he checked into the hotel where he met the journalists, leaving his activities during that period a mystery. Snowden has insisted that he was in that hotel the whole time, waiting for the journalists to arrive. In one of his columns written in 2014, Epstein first claimed that there was an eleven-day mystery gap, citing his conversation with an unnamed hotel security guard. I am aware of no independent verification of this allegation. So as things stand, this “fact” appears to be vaporous.


In subsequent correspondence between Epstein and Savage, the New York Times reporter repeatedly points to the lack of any persuasive or substantive basis for Epstein’s Missing Eleven Days claim, while noting how central this claim has become to the accusatory herd that has assembled around this theory:

I remain unaware of any other place in the public record except Epstein’s work where this June 1 claim independently appears, ranging from numerous other news articles about Snowden’s time in Hong Kong to a September 2016 report by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which — seeking to counter the premiere of Oliver Stone’s movie — scoured the government’s investigative file for material to portray Snowden as a liar.

Perhaps someday the Mira’s records will emerge into public view and we will have more solid information to evaluate this question. Either way, my central point remains unchanged: Epstein treated the check-in claim as a factual anchor for his insinuations about what Snowden might have been doing earlier, but at the time he wrote his book (and still today) the evidence for this claim was insufficient to establish it as a proven fact. This is part of a recurring pattern with his methodology.


Those Mira records have indeed now “emerged into public view,” and they prove what was clear all along: this whole theory was invented from whole cloth. As Savage argued: “wherever one falls in the spectrum of views about Edward Snowden’s actions, Edward Jay Epstein’s book about him is not credible because it indulges in speculation, treats questionable claims as established facts, and contains numerous inaccuracies about surveillance.”

Unfortunately, large parts of the U.S. media do not adhere to the basic standards of journalism Savage applied to these claims. Here, for instance, is Epstein spinning his tale on the podcast of Lawfare’s Benjamin Wittes, who concluded the published podcast with people literally applauding Epstein:

https://soundcloud.com/the_intercept/ed ... ays#t=0:00

All of that was totally false. But as a result of this type of uncritical treatment, this utter fiction for which there was never any evidence — that Snowden checked into the Mira 11 days after he claims, thus leaving almost two weeks of unaccounted-for time in Hong Kong — was laundered over and over in service of casting Snowden as a liar and a traitor.

THIS LIE ABOUT the Missing Eleven Days was repeated so often, in so many venues, that chronicling them all is impossible. Flagging some of the most flagrant, typical offenders will thus have to suffice.

One of the most aggressive disseminators of this lie is the Yahoo News reporter Michael B. Kelley, formerly of Business Insider, who has spent years repeating and mainstreaming this Missing Eleven Days fable.

So how about those 11 missing days in Hong Kong? http://t.co/5xf3LyzQ5K https://t.co/eIahZ1qmja

— Michael B Kelley (@MichaelBKelley) September 29, 2015


On July 20, 2014, Kelley wrote an article for Business Insider under the headline “There’s An 11-Day Hole In Snowden’s Story About Hong Kong.” It began this way:

Edward Snowden says that he wanted the U.S. to know where he was after he arrived in Hong Kong.

But U.S. authorities still don’t know what he did for the first 11 days after his arrival.


Kelley then added this sentence, in which he called a total falsehood a fact that had been “confirmed”: “But Edward Jay Epstein of The Wall Street Journal went to Hong Kong and confirmed that Snowden didn’t check into the Mira Hotel until June 1.” Illustrating the slimy insinuations constantly attached to this falsehood, Kelley ended his article this way:

“To answer the question in three words: I don’t know where he was for these 11 days,” Epstein said in an interview. “It’s very important because if we knew where he was, then we’d know who he went to see in Hong Kong.”

Strangely, no one seems to know — even though Snowden says he made it obvious.


Snowden did exactly this: “made it obvious” where he was in Hong Kong by checking into the Mira under his own name and using his own credit cards — precisely to prevent smear artists from retroactively insinuating that he must be a spy given his untraceable activities. Yet none of that stopped Epstein or Kelley from making the claim anyway.

Kelley, during his time at Business Insider, spent years claiming that Snowden lied about these eleven days. He was rewarded with a new job working for Yahoo News chief investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff. Kelley continued to spread this lie under the banner of Yahoo News.

periodic reminder: It is still not publicly known how Snowden spent his time in Hong Kong from May 20-June 1, 2013 https://t.co/8NqBPFeZBq

— Michael B Kelley (@MichaelBKelley) November 23, 2016


Cool. So now can we talk about the initial missing 11 days in Hong Kong & the huge trove docs not given to journos? https://t.co/7LCf83hzsU

— Michael B Kelley (@MichaelBKelley) May 27, 2016


Nice to see @Snowden active, though it makes me wonder about those lost 11 days in Hong Kong http://t.co/8NqBPFeZBq

— Michael B Kelley (@MichaelBKelley) October 12, 2015


One thing we probably won't learn at the 'Citzenfour' premiere: How Snowden spent his first 11 days in Hong Kong http://t.co/8NqBPFeZBq

— Michael B Kelley (@MichaelBKelley) October 10, 2014


Snowden says he didn't cover his tracks in Hong Kong. But no one knows where he was for the first 11 days. http://t.co/DJLglvFmbG

— Business Insider (@businessinsider) July 20, 2014


On September 13, 2016, Yahoo News published what it called a “Fact Check”, written by Kelley, of Oliver Stone’s film “Snowden.” In its headline, Yahoo purported that the article documents “5 key parts of Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ biopic that don’t match reality.” Yahoo continued: “As with many Stone movies that are based on real events, the director took multiple liberties with the known facts. Here are five significant inaccuracies in ‘Snowden.'”

The second purported “inaccuracy” was titled “‘3 weeks’ at the Mira Hotel.” Citing Epstein, Kelley wrote: “Snowden didn’t check into the Mira Hotel until June 1, despite having arrived in the Chinese special-administrative region on May 20.″ He then drew this conclusion: “If Snowden didn’t check into the Mira until June 1, he initially visited someone else in Hong Kong. Albert Ho, one of Snowden’s Hong Kong lawyers, referred to the unidentified person as Snowden’s ‘carer.’ This person’s crucial role in Snowden’s escape has never been explained.”

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In sum, Kelley’s editors at both Business Insider and Yahoo News allowed him to repeatedly label as “confirmed” and “fact” and “known” a claim that was, in fact, a complete falsehood. He then used that fiction as the basis to construct an elaborate conspiracy that he has spent years pushing.

Then there’s Slate, which also purported to fact-check Stone’s film in the form of a column by its national security columnist Fred Kaplan, who also peddled this fable. “This much is definitely known,” proclaims Kaplan: Snowden “flew to Hong Kong on May 20 after telling his bosses that he needed to undergo tests for epilepsy, and on June 2 checked in at the Mira Hotel in Hong Kong.” Kaplan began the review by announcing that “Stone’s Snowden is a bad movie, stuffed with myth,” but it is Kaplan’s own column which is guilty of that.

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Then we have the Daily Beast’s Michael Weiss and former NSA employee John Schindler, who has recently become a favorite of liberals for his frenzied conspiracies about Russia. Here is how this duo took this utter lie, presented it as fact, and then used it to imply that Snowden was a Russian agent:

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#Snowden hung out 1st in Hong Kong, ie China, post-defection. 10 days of missing time. Where exactly was he? Just putting that out there…

— John Schindler (@20committee) June 12, 2015


On June 11, 2016, Schindler wrote an article headlined “Edward Snowden is a Russian Agent.” He featured this Missing Eleven Days lie from the start: “Snowden left his job in Hawaii with the National Security Agency in May 2013 and appeared at Hong Kong’s Mira Hotel on June 1,” Schindler asserted. He continued: “significant questions remain. Where was Snowden from 21 to 31 May 2013? His whereabouts in that period are unknown.” In June, 2015, the former NSA operative similarly wrote in the Interpreter:

Where was Snowden during the last ten days of May 2013, after he left Hawaii but before he checked into Hong Kong’s Mira Hotel on June 1? It smacks of naïveté to think Beijing did not expect something in return for giving Snowden sanctuary en route to Moscow.


This factually false claim was so laundered and sanctioned by journalists and editors who were either malicious or reckless that it ended up getting repeated as fact even by those who meant well. In Gizmodo, for instance, Adam Clark Estes urged readers to see CitizenFour, but criticized the film for what he regarded as important omissions, such as: “Where exactly was Snowden for the 11 days before he checked into the Mira Hotel in Hong Kong?”

Upon release earlier this year of Epstein’s book — which was overwhelmingly denounced by reviewers as filled with unproven conspiracy theories — this claim about Snowden’s Missing Eleven Days was repeated as fact over and over. This mixed review of Epstein’s book in the San Francisco Chronicle was typical:

On May 18 [Snowden] flew to Hong Kong, where he hid at a still-unknown location for 11 days before meeting the journalists at the Mira Hotel. Epstein emphasizes how carefully Snowden arranged things, as if “pulling strings.” He insinuates there may have been a hidden hand.


The lie traveled internationally, as highlighted by this sentence in one of the few favorable reviews of Epstein’s book, from Brazil’s largest newspaper, Folha de S.Paulo, written by Igor Gielow: “The fact that [Snowden] had disappeared for 11 days in Hong Kong, carrying secrets before divulging some of them to the press, remains a mystery.” Note that Snowden’s 11-day disappearance is now “a fact.”

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All of this culminated with this falsehood being embraced by George W. Bush’s chief of the NSA and CIA, Gen. Michael Hayden. In an unsurprisingly gushing review of Epstein’s book, Hayden cites Epstein asking: “where was Snowden during those unaccounted-for first 11 days in Hong Kong”?

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WHERE “SNOWDEN WAS” during this time is exactly where he said, from the start, that he was: at the Mira Hotel (the only exception to his unbroken stay at the Mira was the very first day when Snowden arrived in Hong Kong, having made no advanced hotel reservations before leaving the U.S. so as to not alert authorities, and thus grabbed the first hotel he found online: the Icon Hotel. After staying there the first night, he moved to the Mira on May 21 and remained there for the next 21 days).

Yet again we find that the same U.S. media that loves to decry Fake News and mock “the Arab World” and “Russian-state media” and InfoWars for wallowing in baseless conspiracy theories routinely peddle their own as long as the targets are the right ones. The Economist, for instance, hailed Epstein’s screed as “a meticulous and devastating account.” This episode once again shows how easily and how often mainstream media outlets in the U.S. circulate and affirm complete fictions using the most authoritative tones, and how the journalists and editors responsible for it never pay any price for doing so.

For three years, we watched as this lie was launched, then took root, then spread until it became unquestionable truth, notwithstanding the fact that it lacked any basis all along, as the NYT’s Savage noted. Now that the documents have emerged proving it to be a lie, the next steps are obvious for any media outlet with integrity: retractions and accountability for those who spread such false and toxic claims so recklessly. But that qualifier — “media outlet with integrity” — is a significant one, and for that reason, it is just as likely that they will allow their falsehoods, and those who spread them, to fester, unmolested by corrective action.

UPDATE: Three quick updates to this story:

1) I should have known that MSNBC’s Joy Ann Reid, never one to be excluded from disseminating wild conspiracy theories, publicly endorsed the Missing Eleven Days tale:

Ahem… Snowden Won't Talk About His Time In Hong Kong — And Now We Know Why http://t.co/TthVSLrjkN via @BI_Defense

— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) July 1, 2014


2) Only two of the commentators who spread this false claim have thus far commented: former NSA employee Schindler, who responded by blocking me on Twitter and then suggesting that both myself and the Intercept are controlled by Putin; and

2) Kelley, who implied that the documents may be forged because the name of the reservationist at the Mira that appears on the booking form is the same as an Asian actress (it’s also a name shared by dozens of other women, at least, in Hong Kong), only to delete those tweets, finally blaming the Wall Street Journal for the multiple tweets and articles he wrote over the years accusing Snowden of lying about his whereabouts and using that to strongly imply that he was working with the Russians and/or Chinese.


3) The New York Times’ Charlie Savage confirmed the authenticity of the documents by interviewing the barrister in Hong Kong who obtained them, Robert Tibbo, and adds more thoughts here about what this all means for the conspiracists who spread this fiction.
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Re: Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’ Guilt, by Robert Parry

Postby admin » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:28 am

Alex Jones Calls Charlottesville Violence a False Flag, Because Alternative Facts Are Still a Thing
by Alexander Nazaryan
8/13/17

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

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George Soros did it. Or maybe it was the Deep State. That was the reaction of the far right to Saturday’s violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, which left three dead. Even as images played on television of James Alex Fields, Jr., plowing his car into a crowd protesting the Unite the Right rally, a counter-narrative was coalescing on the Internet that offered a competing reality, one that had little grounding in confirmable fact.

The disconnect between what most Americans saw or read about the events in Charlottesville, where white nationalists had gathered to protest the removal of a Confederate statue, and what the far right told itself about the very same events, suggests that nearly a year after fake news helped elect a president, alternative facts remain as alluring, and persuasive, as they have ever been.

For the extreme right, Charlottesville was not a cautionary tale about emboldened white supremacists who appear to have found troubling succor in the presidential administration of Donald J. Trump. Instead, the entire Unite the Right rally was potentially a false flag perpetrated by the Democrats and their enablers in the Deep State, a nonexistent figment of the right-wing imagination that invokes a network of career federal and military officials seeking to bring down Donald Trump. A global network of elites, many of them Jewish, may also have been involved, according to this version of events.

Although it is now common to assert — as a form of in-the-know mockery — that the notion of a “Deep State” in the U.S. was invented by Trump supporters only in the last year, the reality is that the U.S. Deep State has been reported on and openly discussed in numerous circles long before Trump. In 2010, the Washington Post’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Dana Priest, along with Bill Arkin, published a three-part series that the paper titled “Top Secret America: A hidden world, growing beyond control.”

The Post series documented that the military-intelligence community “has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.” The Post concluded that it “amounts to an alternative geography of the United States, a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in thorough oversight.”

In 2014, mainstream national security journalists Marc Ambinder and D.B. Grady published a book titled “Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry,” which documented — in its own words — that “there is a hidden country within the United States,” one “formed from the astonishing number of secrets held by the government and the growing ranks of secret-keepers given charge over them.”

Other journalists such as Peter Dale Scott and Mike Lofgren have long written about the U.S. Deep State completely independent of Trump. The belief that the “Deep State” was invented by Trump supporters as some recent conspiratorial concoction is based in pure ignorance about national security discourse, or a jingoistic desire to believe that the U.S. (unlike primitive, inferior countries) is immune from such malevolent forces, or both....

That the U.S. has a shadowy, secretive world of intelligence and military operatives who exercise great power outside of elections and democratic accountability is not some exotic, alt-right conspiracy theory; it’s utterly elemental to understanding anything about how Washington works. It’s hard to believe that anyone on this side of a sixth grade civics class would seek to deny that.

-- What’s Worse: Trump’s Campaign Agenda or Empowering Generals and CIA Operatives to Subvert It?, by Glenn Greenwald


A false flag is a diversionary tactic employed in battle at sea. Today, it most commonly refers to a government staging a terrorist attack it subsequently uses to malign and possibly prosecute forces hostile to the establishment. The notion of pervasive “false flags” has been popularized by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, founder of Infowars. According to Jones, the attacks of 9/11 were a false flags, as was the murder of 20 children at the Sandy Hook elementary school in 2012.

Jones presented his depressingly predictable explanation of what transpired in Charlottesville in a video posted on Saturday. “EXCLUSIVE: Virginia Riots Staged To Bring In Martial Law, Ban Conservative Gatherings,” the headline read. The video was an hour-long diatribe against some of Jones’s favorite targets, including liberal philanthropist George Soros, Black Lives Matter, globalists, elitists, the Democrats, the Republicans and anarchists, among many others. However, Jones failed to provide even remotely compelling evidence that anyone of these forces was directly responsible for the weekend’s violence (Fields killed one woman with his car, while two Virginia State Police officers died when their helicopter crashed en route to Charlottesville).

Exclusive: Virginia Riots Staged To Bring in Martial Law, Ban Conservative Gatherings
State of Emergency declared in Charlottesville as protesters clash
by Infowars.com
August 12, 2017
[Partial Transcript]

[Alex Jones] So they're trying to trigger this, they're trying to do it, to absolutely divide America more than they've ever divided it, while we have North Korea threatening to launch these missiles, while we have the Deputy Director of the FBI under Mueller saying "We're going to kill Trump." I mean, that's how biased Mueller is, and why he should recuse himself. You've got Mudd, his name really is "Mudd," I mean it's not me saying it. Here's "CNN's Phil Mudd Nails Trump." Nails him! I have the article here in my stack. It says "We're going to kill him." This is mainstream news. Here it is. Here's one of them. "Former Mueller Deputy says Deep State Will Kill Trump." So that's the level they've gotten to.

***

[Alex Jones] You've got Mudd, who from our researches in Virginia as well, looks like a relative of the Dr. Mudd that helped kill Lincoln on CNN. By the way, Mudd is from Latin which means "a man from the swamp." There's a guy named "A Man From the Swamp" who is the deputy FBI director, best buddy with Mueller, appointed by and from the CIA to run the FBI, and basically take it over a few years ago. He's on TV saying, "Oh, Trump is doing a horrible job; North Korea is going to defeat us, ha ha; Trump needs to get tougher, he's not being tough enough" -- trying to stir things up -- and "We're going to kill him." And this is actually happening.

And then I go "'Mudd'; your name is 'Mudd.'" And I go, "there's something [snaps fingers] -- Lincoln! Wasn't there a doctor who helped John Wilkes Booth get away and helped his leg, and one of the only guys they caught and executed? There's movies about that: Mudd, Mudd.” And I go "look." It means, "A Man From the Swamp." And it looks like he is related to that rare name from a Virginia family -- that's where he's from -- Mudd. And then he's saying, "Let's kill a Republican President!" I mean, I'm about to show you this! I couldn't believe it! And that's what's so crazy! And then he's cheerleading --

I'm sorry, I'm digressing on North Korea ...

We're allied with the communist Chinese. A man named "Mudd" is saying "kill the President." The Man From the Swamp says "kill the President." And then he is the deputy FBI director put in by Mueller. And he says, "The Government is going to kill him! Mueller is going to take him out!" This is like Mueller's salacious crumb sitting in Jabba the Hutt's lap hopping around saying, "Kill the President; we're going to kill him, hee hee; North Korea's going to kill us; we're going to have nuclear war."

And I'm like watching this, and I'm looking at my children, and I'm beyond not liking these people. And Mudd looks all crazy, like spots all over his face, saying like, "kill, kill, kill", and Mueller is like petting his head...

Now, if I said I was going to kill Mr. Mudd, which I wouldn't want to because he's a pile of crap, they would have the FBI come visit me and I would probably get indicted, he being a former official FBI deputy director, and former counterterrorist deputy of the CIA. And you know, "it's very serious what you did, Mr. Jones." But he can get on TV and say, "We're going to kill the President." And his best buddy is Robert Mueller who appointed him who is over the new witch hunt. Out of the swamp, out of the mud, his last name means "mud." It looks like when you do the genealogy, he is related to Dr. Mudd, who helped kill Lincoln. I'm not kidding. That's why his name is Mudd. And his name means "mud." "Mudd" in Latin means "Of the swamp." It was Romans who actually stayed and settled in central England. I probably know more about Mudd than he knows about himself now. He doesn't care about his ancestors! He shits all over them!

Anyway, the point is if I said that, they'd be here tomorrow. But oh, he can get on CNN and say, "We're planning on killing the President," along with Brennan and everyone else, and it's cute. All they have to do is a week and a half ago say I'm crazy; I'm planning to kill the President -- they're all over the TV saying it. So that's the rest of the story.

So now that we're on this, let's go ahead and show you Mudd, the meaning of Mudd: "a topographic name for someone who lived in a particularly muddy area. Middle English." Okay, let's go on to the next deal. There's your Charlotte riots being all funded by Soros. Your name is "Mudd." "Dr. Mudd gave medical help to John Wilkes Booth, who broke his leg while escaping." See, I told you the sky was blue, now I'm showing you. See? See? I didn't just tell you that wild story, I'm going to show you. That's why they hate me. "Oh, Jones lies about everything." ... No, I'm saying Dr. Mudd, the term your name is Mudd, is a historical fact.

Let's go back.

"Dr. Mudd gave medical help to John Wilkes Booth who broke his leg while escaping after shooting Lincoln in 1865. Mudd was convicted of being Booth's conspirator, although the evidence against him was ambiguous and circumstantial, and many historians argue that he was innocent of any murderous intent. He has since been pardoned and even a Facebook site" -- probably run by Mudd -- "dedicated to salvaging his reputation. A stupid twaddling fellow. 'And his name is mud' ejaculated upon the conclusion of a silly oration, of the leader in the Courier. Your name is Mudd. Soft, moist, glutinous material of the swamp."

But see, that's even more ancient. In Rome they have a bunch of their temples out in the swamp, out on the western end, which is the place of sages. So not only is he a man of the swamp, but of the sages. It's sort of deep stuff here. But he's a sage now. He's the proclaimer. He was told to go forth as a little priest class and announce -- that's why they stayed behind there in England -- to tell us that they're going to kill the President! The priest comes out of the swamp. The priest comes out of the mud. You can't make it up with these people, folks. So there you go.

"Former Mueller Deputy on Trump 'Government is Going to Kill This Guy.'" [The Hill]. Like he's a candy ass butler or something of Mueller. He's really excited. Like Mueller is his college football team captain, he's the cheerleader, and they're going to get married. He's like, [mimicking] "Oh, Mueller, we're going to kill him, ah, ah." But he didn't kill anyone in the CIA or FBI, he let other people do that. He was a torture bureaucrat. And now you think you're going to kill America, and kill the President? Your name is Mudd! Literally, "swamp man." "Out of the swamp comes the tottering priest: "We are going to kill the President!" Ha!

See, they're delusional. They would never talk like that in the past. But they would never have articles saying, "I'm crazy; he didn't say it." I could quote you a bunch of articles right now saying, "Jones is insane. He says they're saying 'kill the President,' and organizing a coup." And then they are all over the news saying it, and the CIA directors are saying it, and all this other crap.

And then he's cheerleading in these videos for North Korea to try and start a war to make trouble with that. But what if nukes rain down because of the Russians? "Oh, they don't have nukes; maybe one or two." The Russians and Chinese do. You see, Korea is not about Korea. Of course, we could obliterate it in five minutes with two submarines. There's only four cities. It's a horrible, backward place. Six or seven high yield tactical nukes along the DMZ, hit the major cities -- bye bye. It's China and Russia. They've been using it as a set piece since 1949, and that's coming to an end because it's Clinton that gave them the nukes.

Anyways, DUM DUM TA DUM. Wasn't that Beethoven? I'm out of time here. I came down to do some hardcore focus videos, and that picture set me off right there. Look at it. [Hillary pix]...

And Mueller is so arrogant that he has his adjunct on TV saying, "Mueller is going to get him. We're going to kill him." Imagine if the judge's deputy went to the judge: [mimicking] "We're going to kill you! Now come to our courtroom!" That's like Episode 3 from Star Wars when Darth Vader is in danger. It's like you're literally going, [mimicking] "You'll never stop us; Darth Vader is more powerful than either of us; Mueller is going to kill you. Argh! Ha ha ha ha ha!" And on TV, "We'll kill anyone; kill, kill! I'm the deputy CIA director. Kill the President! Kill him!"

What the hell? People are crazy! And this is your God? [Pointing to Hillary pix] You destroy the whole world so you can worship them? They all have the same looks on their faces!

I'm going to stop now. My name is Jones! Your name is Mudd! I guess you just can't escape that family name now, can you?

Try to keep up with the Joneses.




8/10/17

[CNN Lead Host Jake Tapper] The comments that President Trump made when asked about the fact that in retaliation for the sanctions against Russia, Vladimir Putin expelled 755 U.S. diplomats and other personnel from the embassy in Moscow. Take a listen to what President Trump had to say:

[President Donald Trump] No, I want to thank him, because we're trying to cut down our payroll, and as far as I'm concerned, I'm very thankful that he let go of a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll. There's no real reason for them to go back, so I greatly appreciate the fact that they have been able to cut our payroll in the United States. We'll save a lot of money.

[CNN Lead Host Jake Tapper] Okay, first of all, it's not going to help cut payroll at all. That's not how government budgets work. But beyond that, what Putin did was an anti-American action. Period. That's all it was. That's the definition of an anti-American action. And there President Trump is thanking him for carrying it out.

[Latina 1] Yeah, and Americans vs. the Russian interest, right? This is actually happening because of the sanctions, and Putin said it is retaliation against America for what it did. He is expelling American diplomats and others, and the President is cheering him on. It is a bizarre act for the American President to take the side of a foreign government against their own State Department personnel who are being expelled.

[CNN Lead Host Jake Tapper] And when we first heard that he had said this, I think we all thought to ourselves, "Well, maybe he was joking. He was trying to be funny." But there wasn't any obvious attempt at humor there.

[Latina 2] No, it looked like he was being fairly serious. Does he believe his own spin? I'm not sure. But that is the answer he gave when asked about Americans leaving the country. In think in the next election, he should just roll over and ask Putin to scratch his belly. I mean, this is an act of submission. There is no win for America when we don't have staff on the ground for this very important country, not only for geopolitical reasons but because they meddled in our election and there are investigations going on. I can't accept that as an excuse, and I think other people should press him for a better answer.

[CNN Lead Host Jake Tapper] What was your response, Phil Mudd?

[CNN counterterrorism analyst and former CIA agent Philip Mudd] A couple of surprises! Let me give you one bottom line as a former government official: government is going to kill this guy. He defends Vladimir Putin. There are State Department and CIA officers coming home, and at Langley, and at Foggy Bottom, CIA and State, they are saying, "Is this the way you defend us?" We saw the same thing in his transgender comments. What is the military saying to him on transgender? "Show us the policy." You know what that means inside government? Ain't gonna happen. What did the Department of Justice say on Paul Manafort? "You can say what you want but a judge told us we had cause to search his home early in the morning because we don't trust the guy who was your campaign manager." Government's gonna kill this guy because he doesn't support them.

[CNN Lead Host Jake Tapper] What's interesting also, his comments about Paul Manafort, the campaign chair, about the fact that on July 26th there was this early morning FBI raid on his home. According to ABC News, they actually went into his home and knocked on his bedroom door, not knocked on the front door. And you do this when you are worried that people are going to get rid of documents. The President's remarks were that Paul Manafort's a good man, he hasn't talked to him in a long time, and that was a very aggressive action.

[Latina 1] Yes, and he kind of intimated that it was too aggressive, they had gone too far, and in his words. It's interesting that if I had a campaign manager, where the FBI was knocking on the door meaning they have probable cause or a lot of evidence and got a judge to agree to that, you know I think a normal act would be "What does Paul Manafort have that I don't know about?" vs. the "FBI may well be in the wrong." It's another instance in which it doesn't seem like he's trying to get to the bottom of what's happened here, he's really trying to push back against the investigation.

[CNN Lead Host Jake Tapper] And Phil, before, I mean, I want to ask you a question, but Phil, just to reiterate, obviously, when you're talking about killing, you're using that as a metaphor, you're not --

[CNN counterterrorism analyst and former CIA agent Philip Mudd] Obviously. What I'm saying is government -- people talk about the Deep State -- when you disrespect government officials who have done 20 or 30 years, they're gonna say, "Really, you're -- Vladimir Putin sends officers home and you support him before you support us? --"


[CNN Lead Host Jake Tapper] Yeah, I just want to underline Amanda that you were struck by the President's comments on Guam --


Former Mueller deputy on Trump: 'Government is going to kill this guy'
by Joe Concha
The Hill
08/11/17

CNN counterterrorism analyst Phil Mudd warned that President Trump is agitating the government, saying during a Thursday afternoon interview with CNN anchor Jake Tapper that the U.S. government "is going to kill this guy."

Mudd, who served as deputy director to former FBI Director Robert Mueller, said Trump's defense of Russian President Vladimir Putin has compelled federal employees "at Langley, Foggy Bottom, CIA and State" to try to take Trump down.

"Let me give you one bottom line as a former government official. Government is going to kill this guy," Mudd, a staunch critic of Trump, said on "The Lead."

"He defends Vladimir Putin. There are State Department and CIA officers coming home, and at Langley and Foggy Bottom, CIA and State, they’re saying, 'This is how you defend us?' " he continued.


Mudd also broached Trump's recent announcement of a ban on transgender soldiers in the military as another reason some in the government are turning on him.

"We saw the same thing in his transgender comments. What is the military saying to him on transgender? 'Show us the policy.' You know what that means inside government? 'Ain’t going to happen,' " he said.

Mudd pivoted to a newly revealed July FBI raid on the home of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort to emphasize his point about the mistrust between the intelligence community and the president.

"What did the Department of Justice say on Paul Manafort? 'You can say what you want, a judge told us we had cause to search his home early in the morning because we don’t trust the guy who was your campaign manager.' The government is going to kill this guy because he doesn't support them," he concluded.

Leaks out of the White House and the intelligence community have occurred on a regular basis since Trump took office.

Many in Washington, including Democrats, expressed concern last week after transcripts of Trump’s phone calls with foreign leaders were leaked to The Washington Post, citing national security concerns.

“This is beyond the pale and will have a chilling effect going forward on the ability of the commander in chief to have candid discussions with his counterparts,” Ned Price, a former National Security Council official under former President Obama, told The Hill.

“Granted, the White House contributed to this atmosphere by welcoming the free-for-all environment, where anonymous leaks are commonplace. But we must draw the line somewhere.”


At one point, Jones appeared to suggest that the Southern Poverty Law Center was responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. Jones also claimed that the media had failed to cover widespread assaults on families of Trump supporters in Washington, D.C., during January’s presidential inauguration.

Jones is hardly the only Charlottesville conspiracy theorist desperately trying to protect the alt-right from accusations of violence. The most far-flung of these have focused on Fields, the 20-year-old Ohio man who drove his car into a gather of counterprotestors, killing one and injuring 19. Fields was subsequently apprehended and is now being held at Albermarle-Charlottesville County Regional Jail. He will be arraigned on Monday, likely on second degree murder charges.

Some on the far right, however, have suggested that Fields was a government agent provocateur sent to cause havoc that would ultimately be blamed on Unite the Right and its constituent factions.

“The CIA drove that car into the crowd,” wrote a user on 4chan, the social network popular with the far right. “The CIA crashed that Helicopter.”

“Appears to be the perfect set-up to win sympathy for the violent left, while demonizing the right,” another 4chan user wrote, listing a bevy of reasons for why Fields was a patsy.

Image
• Man starts covering protests early on before anything big happens
• Car rams into vehicle and several people
• No cops present
• Black tinted windows
• Seemingly no hesitation
• Airbags don't deploy in fairly new car moving quite quickly
• Calm expression
• High-T military-tier facial structure resembling actual owner
• Reverses full speed in a straight line for 1+ blocks and disappears
• Drives off to a remote location
• Apprehended out of sight
• Supposedly pulled over by 2 black suburbans; made everyone go inside practically pulling guns on residents
• Guy looked "middle eastern/tan" not ghost white
• Bundled him into a suv really fast (wore skinny jeans)
• The white guy sitting beside a challenger in handcuffs were not the guy anon saw get helped out of the car
• Rainbow bottle on car originally potentially later swapped to a black simple bottle? (may just have rolled over)
• Helicopter with full footage of car's path and video of the subject "crashes"
• Fiery Hollywood explosion even though it fell through multiple trees
• No auto rotation even though the helicopter should have been high enough to do so
• Car registry states that the vehicle is supposed to have a sunroof
• 11 hours before the identity is released

4CHAN

While others did not attempt to argue away Fields’s culpability, they nevertheless sought to prove that the entire Unite the Right rally was an event sponsored by the left to discredit the right. Some took the coincidental fact that Saturday was the birthday of Soros, the Hungarian-American liberal philanthropist, as proof of his involvement. Soros is often invoked by conspiracy theorists as a symbol of a global, Jewish elite, one at counter with Trump and his nationalist agenda.

“I think it was a false flag. Unfortunately people were killed and injured. This is Soros' minions and our corrupt government causing civil unrest,” a user identifying herself as Christine Ramirez wrote on Gab, another social media platform popular with extremist elements.

Others noted that Soros offers financial support to the American Civil Liberties Union, among many other organizations. The ACLU had filed suit to allow Unite the Right to congregate in Charlottesville, in keeping with its mission of protecting First Amendment rights. Some, however, thought the organization was acting on Soros’s orders.

Varieties of this narrative were endorsed by some of the alt-right’s loudest voices:

Others yet blamed the Deep State, a concept popularized in part by chief White House political strategist Stephen K. Bannon, who some have branded a white nationalist and anti-Semite. Bannon is the former chairman of Breitbart News, which he boasted was “the platform for the alt-right.” (A Newsweek email query to Bannon about the events in Charlottesville went unanswered.)

“Does anybody doubt that the Deep State has the ability to take over control of cars and trucks and drive them into crowds? Not saying that happened today. But I guarantee you it will if it suits their agenda,” wrote a user identified as ShareThisMeme on /r/The_Donald, a section of Reddit where supporters of the president trade memes and conspiracy theories.

The broadest of the false flag theories charges that the modern Democratic Party is grounded firmly in the principles of the Nazi party and is therefore responsible for all manner of intolerance at work in American society today. The tortured argument was recently popularized by right-wing pundit Dinesh D’Souza in The Big Lie. Earlier this month, D’Souza visited the White House, where he discussed The Big Lie with Bannon and Sebastian Gorka, a White House adviser who has also been accused of having ties to extremist groups. On Saturday, D’Souza took to Twitter to promote that argument, even as many other figures in the conservative movement were condemning Unite the Right.

The far right also rejoiced in Trump’s statement that the violence in Charlottesville had come from “many sides.” In failing to explicitly condemn the white supremacist, Trump proved far more effective than any false flag theory in shifting the blame away from those who seem to plainly deserve it.

_________________________________________________

Deep State is "Going to Kill the President," Alex Jones Claims
by Aidan Quigley
8/4/17

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Right-wing radio personality Alex Jones said Friday that the so-called Deep State is planning to assassinate President Donald Trump.

He and others on the far right have been accusing career government employees in the Deep State, particularily those who work in national security, of conspiring against Trump and his agenda. Far-right internet personality Mike Cernovich joined Jones Friday in predicting a coup against Trump in the next couple of months.

“They’re saying, 'A month or two we’re going to kill the president, month or two we’re going to remove him,'” Jones said. “This is so sinister.”

Jones has a substantial following, with 4.8 million unique visits to his Infowars.com between June 5 and July 4, according to Quantcast. On Friday, he followed up with a call to arms, saying the Deep State is planning to kill Trump supporters as well as the president.

“If they ban us from YouTube, that’s when Trump will be killed, there’s no question about it,” Cernovich said. “They’re going to kill us, they’re going to kill him, they’re going to kill everybody.”

In recent months, the Infowars host and other conspiratorial right-wingers have been predicting a second civil war between conservatives and liberals. Jones and Cernovich alleged they were being censored by YouTube and Google and talked about planning protests against tech giants, including one at Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg's house.

“Folks, they are going to blow the president’s head off, they are going to bomb him,” Jones said. “They are getting ready.”

Trump appeared on Jones’s show during the campaign, and longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone is a frequent guest on the program. “Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down,” Trump told Jones.

Cernovich and Jones both promoted the so-called Pizzagate conspiracy theory, a false allegation that Hillary Clinton was involved in a child-sex-abuse ring. Meanwhile, Donald Trump Jr. has praised Cernovich, saying he should win a Pulitizer for accusing Susan Rice of "unmasking" Trump associates. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster reportedly determined that Rice did nothing improper in regard to the allegation.

More recently, the far right has focused on McMaster, alleging he is a leader of the Deep State that is trying to undermine Trump (though without any solid evidence).

“No one voted for H.L McMaster- he is a neocon quisling, helping [Special Counsel Robert] Mueller line up @realDonaldTrump for the take-down,” Stone tweeted Friday.

Jones is a noted conspiracy theorist, having questioned almost every major shooting and bombing over the past decade, including the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. He also is a proponent of 9/11 conspiracy theories.

The discussion of a new civil war started after the election, Nate Evans, a spokesman for the liberal media watch group Media Matters for America, told Newsweek in July. Evans said the right-wing media has increasingly been advocating violence since Trump was elected, and that Jones “has been particularly crazy about it.”
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Re: Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’ Guilt, by Robert Parry

Postby admin » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:11 pm

So Remember All Those Times Democrats Said Russia Hacked The French Election? About That…
by Caitlin Johnstone
June 2, 2017

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Over the course of the last month I have been told dozens of times that the Russian government attempted to manipulate the French presidential election. It comes up every single time when debating establishment loyalists about the unsubstantiated Russiagate conspiracy theory; they speak it as though it is an objective, indisputable fact, because the pundits who tell them what to think have been speaking it as though it is an objective, indisputable fact. Anyone who’s spent any time debating the official Russia narrative in the last few weeks has been on the receiving end of this argument — Putin hacked the US election, and he hacked the French election too. We know for a fact that he hacked the French election, so you’re either an idiot or a Russian shill if you think he didn’t hack the US election.
Trouble is, it’s all bullshit. There is literally nothing linking Russia to the hacking attempt France experienced, and there never was.

Michael Tracey ✔ @mtracey
Remember when it was taken as a given by self-assured pundits that "Russia" had hacked the Macron campaign servers? https://www.apnews.com/fc570e4b400f4c7d ... ing-Macron
1:31 PM - Jun 1, 2017
https://storage.googleapis.com/afs-prod ... e/800.jpeg
The Latest: France says no trace of Russian hacking Macron
ST.PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — The Latest on President Vladimir Putin's comments Thursday (all times local): 5:30 p.m. The head of the French government'
apnews.com


For whatever reason, be it a grudge with America or just good old-fashioned honesty, France is no longer playing along with this particular fabrication. Guillaume Poupard, the head of France’s cyber security agency, told the Associated Press that there was “no trace” of Russian meddling and that the hack of the Macron campaign “was so generic and simple that it could have been practically anyone.”

This is important to keep track of, because the propagandists are about to shift away from this gaping plot hole in the narrative they’ve been spinning for a month, and soon all the brainwashed Democratic neocons are going to be speaking as though it never happened in a creepy display of real-world Orwellian doublethink. So let’s all get very clear on this before the revisionism begins: these people were indeed using the story about Russia hacking France’s electoral infrastructure to bolster their case for the still completely unproven allegation that Russia hacked the Democratic party in the 2016 US election cycle.



Here is Snopes on May 10, calmly assuring its foam-brained readers that many trustworthy US sources attest that the Kremlin was responsible for the hack.

Here is Reuters on May 9 making its trusting audience aware that the US is “increasingly convinced that Russia hacked French election”.

Here is the New York Times on May 8 on how France has defied “Putin’s meddling”, and writing that “The Russian hacking attack intended to disrupt the French election was a reminder that cyberattacks can also be defeated” on May 10.

Here is the CIA-funded Washington Post reporting that “Emmanuel Macron has won the French presidential election, despite yet another Russian intervention in support of a candidate (Marine Le Pen) whose views are decidedly illiberal and pro-Kremlin” on May 8, commenting on how “Putin’s Russia’s meddling in the French election” on May 12, and providing a transcript of multiple Senators promulgating the narrative that Russia hacked the French election at a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Here is The Register saying “Just so we’re all clear on this: Russia hacked the French elections, US Republicans and Dems” on May 9.

Here is Vox still advancing the false narrative a couple of days ago, saying “The fingerprints on the attack implicated Russian hackers; immediately comparisons were made to efforts to undermine Hillary Clinton’s campaign in the final weeks of the 2016 presidential election.”

There are many, many, many more; a Google search of “Russia French election hack” turns up 3.5 million results. This completely false story has been used for nearly a month to add fuel to the anti-Russia fire the mass media propaganda machine has been laboring day and night to keep going.

Glenn Greenwald ✔ @ggreenwald
Are there any important lessons - about journalism, skepticism and reason - to draw from this? https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/eu ... 2a3b97f608
6:02 AM - Jun 2, 2017


Again, this was something establishment loyalists brought up over and over and over again over the last month to substantiate their anti-Russia arguments. The intellectually honest thing to do when one of the points you claim to base your position upon collapses is to reevaluate your position, but this will not happen. It didn’t happen when gaping plot holes in the Crowdstrike report surfaced in March, it didn’t happen when Hillary’s “seventeen agencies agree it was Russian hackers” story was ripped to shreds last month when it turned out to have been only three agencies (one of which was the NSA, who got the French election data wrong), and it’s not going to happen now. There has not been one shred of proof presented to the public that Russia actually did the thing that sparked off all this Russophobic hysteria in the first place, and key points of the establishment argument keep collapsing, but these mindless automatons keep marching to the beat of the deep state drummer.

As I’ve been saying a lot lately, America’s unelected power establishment needs to push for regime change in both Damascus and Moscow in order to nail down a large amount of crucial geopolitical influence in some key regions, and they need to manufacture public support for the insane, world-threatening escalations necessary to do that. By constantly spinning Putin as a dangerous criminal mastermind who can dictate outcomes of elections, fill the internet with bots and shills and control the direction of public discourse despite Russia’s relatively tiny economy, the oligarchy is able to keep people sufficiently afraid to stop them from asking if maybe it’s time to start removing NATO troops from the Russian border and stay the fuck away from Syria.



David Swanson wrote a solid piece for Consortium News about how the whole anti-Russia narrative essentially boils down to the mass media repeating unsubstantiated assertions in an assertive, authoritative tone over and over again until people erroneously “assume that at some point someone actually established that it was a fact.”

Well nobody has established it as a fact. Repeating something over and over again as though it is a fact does not make it a fact. Saying it seems like something Russia would do does not make it a fact. Mocking someone who doesn’t believe it’s a fact does not make it a fact. Calling someone who disagrees with it a Russian shill does not make it a fact. For a nation with such an extensive history of using lies, propaganda and false flags to manufacture consent for military escalations, the American power establishment is coming up awfully short on facts. We need to keep pointing at this.
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Re: Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’ Guilt, by Robert Parry

Postby admin » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:18 pm

A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year’s DNC Hack: Former NSA experts say it wasn’t a hack at all, but a leak—an inside job by someone with access to the DNC’s system.
by Patrick Lawrence
The Nation
August 9, 2017

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It is now a year since the Democratic National Committee’s mail system was compromised—a year since events in the spring and early summer of 2016 were identified as remote hacks and, in short order, attributed to Russians acting in behalf of Donald Trump. A great edifice has been erected during this time. President Trump, members of his family, and numerous people around him stand accused of various corruptions and extensive collusion with Russians. Half a dozen simultaneous investigations proceed into these matters. Last week news broke that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had convened a grand jury, which issued its first subpoenas on August 3. Allegations of treason are common; prominent political figures and many media cultivate a case for impeachment.

The president’s ability to conduct foreign policy, notably but not only with regard to Russia, is now crippled. Forced into a corner and having no choice, Trump just signed legislation imposing severe new sanctions on Russia and European companies working with it on pipeline projects vital to Russia’s energy sector. Striking this close to the core of another nation’s economy is customarily considered an act of war, we must not forget. In retaliation, Moscow has announced that the United States must cut its embassy staff by roughly two-thirds. All sides agree that relations between the United States and Russia are now as fragile as they were during some of the Cold War’s worst moments. To suggest that military conflict between two nuclear powers inches ever closer can no longer be dismissed as hyperbole.

All this was set in motion when the DNC’s mail server was first violated in the spring of 2016 and by subsequent assertions that Russians were behind that “hack” and another such operation, also described as a Russian hack, on July 5. These are the foundation stones of the edifice just outlined. The evolution of public discourse in the year since is worthy of scholarly study: Possibilities became allegations, and these became probabilities. Then the probabilities turned into certainties, and these evolved into what are now taken to be established truths. By my reckoning, it required a few days to a few weeks to advance from each of these stages to the next. This was accomplished via the indefensibly corrupt manipulations of language repeated incessantly in our leading media.

We are urged to accept the word of institutions and senior officials with long records of deception.

Lost in a year that often appeared to veer into our peculiarly American kind of hysteria is the absence of any credible evidence of what happened last year and who was responsible for it. It is tiresome to note, but none has been made available. Instead, we are urged to accept the word of institutions and senior officials with long records of deception. These officials profess “high confidence” in their “assessment” as to what happened in the spring and summer of last year—this standing as their authoritative judgment. Few have noticed since these evasive terms first appeared that an assessment is an opinion, nothing more, and to express high confidence is an upside-down way of admitting the absence of certain knowledge. This is how officials avoid putting their names on the assertions we are so strongly urged to accept—as the record shows many of them have done.

We come now to a moment of great gravity.

There has been a long effort to counter the official narrative we now call “Russiagate.” This effort has so far focused on the key events noted above, leaving numerous others still to be addressed. Until recently, researchers undertaking this work faced critical shortcomings, and these are to be explained. But they have achieved significant new momentum in the past several weeks, and what they have done now yields very consequential fruit. Forensic investigators, intelligence analysts, system designers, program architects, and computer scientists of long experience and strongly credentialed are now producing evidence disproving the official version of key events last year. Their work is intricate and continues at a kinetic pace as we speak. But its certain results so far are two, simply stated, and freighted with implications:

There was no hack of the Democratic National Committee’s system on July 5 last year—not by the Russians, not by anyone else. Hard science now demonstrates it was a leak—a download executed locally with a memory key or a similarly portable data-storage device. In short, it was an inside job by someone with access to the DNC’s system. This casts serious doubt on the initial “hack,” as alleged, that led to the very consequential publication of a large store of documents on WikiLeaks last summer.

Forensic investigations of documents made public two weeks prior to the July 5 leak by the person or entity known as Guccifer 2.0 show that they were fraudulent: Before Guccifer posted them they were adulterated by cutting and pasting them into a blank template that had Russian as its default language. Guccifer took responsibility on June 15 for an intrusion the DNC reported on June 14 and professed to be a WikiLeaks source—claims essential to the official narrative implicating Russia in what was soon cast as an extensive hacking operation. To put the point simply, forensic science now devastates this narrative.


This article is based on an examination of the documents these forensic experts and intelligence analysts have produced, notably the key papers written over the past several weeks, as well as detailed interviews with many of those conducting investigations and now drawing conclusions from them. Before proceeding into this material, several points bear noting.

One, there are many other allegations implicating Russians in the 2016 political process. The work I will now report upon does not purport to prove or disprove any of them. Who delivered documents to WikiLeaks? Who was responsible for the “phishing” operation penetrating John Podesta’s e-mail in March 2016? We do not know the answers to such questions. It is entirely possible, indeed, that the answers we deserve and must demand could turn out to be multiple: One thing happened in one case, another thing in another. The new work done on the mid-June and July 5 events bears upon all else in only one respect. We are now on notice: Given that we now stand face to face with very considerable cases of duplicity, it is imperative that all official accounts of these many events be subject to rigorously skeptical questioning. Do we even know that John Podesta’s e-mail address was in fact “phished”? What evidence of this has been produced? Such rock-bottom questions as these must now be posed in all other cases.

Two, houses built on sand and made of cards are bound to collapse, and there can be no surprise that the one resting atop the “hack theory,” as we can call the prevailing wisdom on the DNC events, appears to be in the process of doing so. Neither is there anything far-fetched in a reversal of the truth of this magnitude. American history is replete with similar cases. The Spanish sank the Maine in Havana harbor in February 1898. Iran’s Mossadegh was a Communist. Guatemala’s Árbenz represented a Communist threat to the United States. Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh was a Soviet puppet. The Sandinistas were Communists. The truth of the Maine, a war and a revolution in between, took a century to find the light of day, whereupon the official story disintegrated. We can do better now. It is an odd sensation to live through one of these episodes, especially one as big as Russiagate. But its place atop a long line of precedents can no longer be disputed.

Forensic investigators, prominent among them people with decades’ experience at high levels in our national-security institutions, have put a body of evidence on a table previously left empty.

Three, regardless of what one may think about the investigations and conclusions I will now outline—and, as noted, these investigations continue—there is a bottom line attaching to them. We can even call it a red line. Under no circumstance can it be acceptable that the relevant authorities—the National Security Agency, the Justice Department (via the Federal Bureau of Investigation), and the Central Intelligence Agency—leave these new findings without reply. Not credibly, in any case. Forensic investigators, prominent among them people with decades’ experience at high levels in these very institutions, have put a body of evidence on a table previously left empty. Silence now, should it ensue, cannot be written down as an admission of duplicity, but it will come very close to one.

It requires no elaboration to apply the above point to the corporate media, which have been flaccidly satisfied with official explanations of the DNC matter from the start.

Qualified experts working independently of one another began to examine the DNC case immediately after the July 2016 events. Prominent among these is a group comprising former intelligence officers, almost all of whom previously occupied senior positions. Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), founded in 2003, now has 30 members, including a few associates with backgrounds in national-security fields other than intelligence. The chief researchers active on the DNC case are four: William Binney, formerly the NSA’s technical director for world geopolitical and military analysis and designer of many agency programs now in use; Kirk Wiebe, formerly a senior analyst at the NSA’s SIGINT Automation Research Center; Edward Loomis, formerly technical director in the NSA’s Office of Signal Processing; and Ray McGovern, an intelligence analyst for nearly three decades and formerly chief of the CIA’s Soviet Foreign Policy Branch. Most of these men have decades of experience in matters concerning Russian intelligence and the related technologies. This article reflects numerous interviews with all of them conducted in person, via Skype, or by telephone.

The customary VIPS format is an open letter, typically addressed to the president. The group has written three such letters on the DNC incident, all of which were first published by Robert Parry at http://www.consortiumnews.com. Here is the latest, dated July 24; it blueprints the forensic work this article explores in detail. They have all argued that the hack theory is wrong and that a locally executed leak is the far more likely explanation. In a letter to Barack Obama dated January 17, three days before he left office, the group explained that the NSA’s known programs are fully capable of capturing all electronic transfers of data. “We strongly suggest that you ask NSA for any evidence it may have indicating that the results of Russian hacking were given to WikiLeaks,” the letter said. “If NSA cannot produce such evidence—and quickly—this would probably mean it does not have any.”

The day after Parry published this letter, Obama gave his last press conference as president, at which he delivered one of the great gems among the official statements on the DNC e-mail question. “The conclusions of the intelligence community with respect to the Russian hacking,” the legacy-minded Obama said, “were not conclusive.” There is little to suggest the VIPS letter prompted this remark, but it is typical of the linguistic tap-dancing many officials connected to the case have indulged so as to avoid putting their names on the hack theory and all that derives from it.

Until recently there was a serious hindrance to the VIPS’s work, and I have just suggested it. The group lacked access to positive data. It had no lump of cyber-material to place on its lab table and analyze, because no official agency had provided any.

Donald Rumsfeld famously argued with regard to the WMD question in Iraq, “The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” In essence, Binney and others at VIPS say this logic turns upside down in the DNC case: Based on the knowledge of former officials such as Binney, the group knew that (1) if there was a hack and (2) if Russia was responsible for it, the NSA would have to have evidence of both. Binney and others surmised that the agency and associated institutions were hiding the absence of evidence behind the claim that they had to maintain secrecy to protect NSA programs. “Everything that they say must remain classified is already well-known,” Binney said in an interview. “They’re playing the Wizard of Oz game.”

New findings indicate this is perfectly true, but until recently the VIPS experts could produce only “negative evidence,” as they put it: The absence of evidence supporting the hack theory demonstrates that it cannot be so. That is all VIPS had. They could allege and assert, but they could not conclude: They were stuck demanding evidence they did not have—if only to prove there was none.

Research into the DNC case took a fateful turn in early July, when forensic investigators who had been working independently began to share findings and form loose collaborations.

Research into the DNC case took a fateful turn in early July, when forensic investigators who had been working independently began to share findings and form loose collaborations wherein each could build on the work of others. In this a small, new website called http://www.disobedientmedia.com proved an important catalyst. Two independent researchers selected it, Snowden-like, as the medium through which to disclose their findings. One of these is known as Forensicator and the other as Adam Carter. On July 9, Adam Carter sent Elizabeth Vos, a co-founder of Disobedient Media, a paper by the Forensicator that split the DNC case open like a coconut.

By this time Binney and the other technical-side people at VIPS had begun working with a man named Skip Folden. Folden was an IT executive at IBM for 33 years, serving 25 years as the IT program manager in the United States. He has also consulted for Pentagon officials, the FBI, and the Justice Department. Folden is effectively the VIPS group’s liaison to Forensicator, Adam Carter, and other investigators, but neither Folden nor anyone else knows the identity of either Forensicator or Adam Carter. This bears brief explanation.

The Forensicator’s July 9 document indicates he lives in the Pacific Time Zone, which puts him on the West Coast. His notes describing his investigative procedures support this. But little else is known of him. Adam Carter, in turn, is located in England, but the name is a coy pseudonym: It derives from a character in a BBC espionage series called Spooks. It is protocol in this community, Elizabeth Vos told me in a telephone conversation this week, to respect this degree of anonymity. Kirk Wiebe, the former SIGINT analyst at the NSA, thinks Forensicator could be “someone very good with the FBI,” but there is no certainty. Unanimously, however, all the analysts and forensics investigators interviewed for this column say Forensicator’s advanced expertise, evident in the work he has done, is unassailable. They hold a similarly high opinion of Adam Carter’s work.

Forensicator is working with the documents published by Guccifer 2.0, focusing for now on the July 5 intrusion into the DNC server. The contents of Guccifer’s files are known—they were published last September—and are not Forensicator’s concern. His work is with the metadata on those files. These data did not come to him via any clandestine means. Forensicator simply has access to them that others did not have. It is this access that prompts Kirk Wiebe and others to suggest that Forensicator may be someone with exceptional talent and training inside an agency such as the FBI. “Forensicator unlocked and then analyzed what had been the locked files Guccifer supposedly took from the DNC server,” Skip Folden explained in an interview. “To do this he would have to have ‘access privilege,’ meaning a key.”


What has Forensicator proven since he turned his key? How? What has work done atop Forensicator’s findings proven? How?

Forensicator’s first decisive findings, made public on July 9, concerned the volume of the supposedly hacked material and what is called the transfer rate.

Forensicator’s first decisive findings, made public in the paper dated July 9, concerned the volume of the supposedly hacked material and what is called the transfer rate—the time a remote hack would require. The metadata established several facts in this regard with granular precision: On the evening of July 5, 2016, 1,976 megabytes of data were downloaded from the DNC’s server. The operation took 87 seconds. This yields a transfer rate of 22.7 megabytes per second.

These statistics are matters of record and essential to disproving the hack theory. No Internet service provider, such as a hacker would have had to use in mid-2016, was capable of downloading data at this speed. Compounding this contradiction, Guccifer claimed to have run his hack from Romania, which, for numerous reasons technically called delivery overheads, would slow down the speed of a hack even further from maximum achievable speeds.


Time stamps in the metadata indicate the download occurred somewhere on the East Coast of the United States—not Russia, Romania, or anywhere else outside the EDT zone.

What is the maximum achievable speed? Forensicator recently ran a test download of a comparable data volume (and using a server speed not available in 2016) 40 miles from his computer via a server 20 miles away and came up with a speed of 11.8 megabytes per second—half what the DNC operation would need were it a hack. Other investigators have built on this finding. Folden and Edward Loomis say a survey published August 3, 2016, by http://www.speedtest.net/reports is highly reliable and use it as their thumbnail index. It indicated that the highest average ISP speeds of first-half 2016 were achieved by Xfinity and Cox Communications. These speeds averaged 15.6 megabytes per second and 14.7 megabytes per second, respectively. Peak speeds at higher rates were recorded intermittently but still did not reach the required 22.7 megabytes per second.

“A speed of 22.7 megabytes is simply unobtainable, especially if we are talking about a transoceanic data transfer,” Folden said. “Based on the data we now have, what we’ve been calling a hack is impossible.” Last week Forensicator reported on a speed test he conducted more recently. It tightens the case considerably. “Transfer rates of 23 MB/s (Mega Bytes per second) are not just highly unlikely, but effectively impossible to accomplish when communicating over the Internet at any significant distance,” he wrote. “Further, local copy speeds are measured, demonstrating that 23 MB/s is a typical transfer rate when using a USB–2 flash device (thumb drive).”

Time stamps in the metadata provide further evidence of what happened on July 5. The stamps recording the download indicate that it occurred in the Eastern Daylight Time Zone at approximately 6:45 pm. This confirms that the person entering the DNC system was working somewhere on the East Coast of the United States. In theory the operation could have been conducted from Bangor or Miami or anywhere in between—but not Russia, Romania, or anywhere else outside the EDT zone. Combined with Forensicator’s findings on the transfer rate, the time stamps constitute more evidence that the download was conducted locally, since delivery overheads—conversion of data into packets, addressing, sequencing times, error checks, and the like—degrade all data transfers conducted via the Internet, more or less according to the distance involved.

“It’s clear,” another forensics investigator wrote, “that metadata was deliberately altered and documents were deliberately pasted into a Russianified [W]ord document with Russian language settings and style headings.”

In addition, there is the adulteration of the documents Guccifer 2.0 posted on June 15, when he made his first appearance. This came to light when researchers penetrated what Folden calls Guccifer’s top layer of metadata and analyzed what was in the layers beneath. They found that the first five files Guccifer made public had each been run, via ordinary cut-and-paste, through a single template that effectively immersed them in what could plausibly be cast as Russian fingerprints. They were not: The Russian markings were artificially inserted prior to posting. “It’s clear,” another forensics investigator self-identified as HET, wrote in a report on this question, “that metadata was deliberately altered and documents were deliberately pasted into a Russianified [W]ord document with Russian language settings and style headings.”

To be noted in this connection: The list of the CIA’s cyber-tools WikiLeaks began to release in March and labeled Vault 7 includes one called Marble that is capable of obfuscating the origin of documents in false-flag operations and leaving markings that point to whatever the CIA wants to point to. (The tool can also “de-obfuscate” what it has obfuscated.) It is not known whether this tool was deployed in the Guccifer case, but it is there for such a use.

It is not yet clear whether documents now shown to have been leaked locally on July 5 were tainted to suggest Russian hacking in the same way the June 15 Guccifer release was. This is among several outstanding questions awaiting answers, and the forensic scientists active on the DNC case are now investigating it. In a note Adam Carter sent to Folden and McGovern last week and copied to me, he reconfirmed the corruption of the June 15 documents, while indicating that his initial work on the July 5 documents—of which much more is to be done—had not yet turned up evidence of doctoring.

In the meantime, VIPS has assembled a chronology that imposes a persuasive logic on the complex succession of events just reviewed. It is this:

On June 12 last year, Julian Assange announced that WikiLeaks had and would publish documents pertinent to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

On June 14, CrowdStrike, a cyber-security firm hired by the DNC, announced, without providing evidence, that it had found malware on DNC servers and had evidence that Russians were responsible for planting it.

On June 15, Guccifer 2.0 first appeared, took responsibility for the “hack” reported on June 14 and claimed to be a WikiLeaks source. It then posted the adulterated documents just described.

On July 5, Guccifer again claimed he had remotely hacked DNC servers, and the operation was instantly described as another intrusion attributable to Russia. Virtually no media questioned this account.


It does not require too much thought to read into this sequence. With his June 12 announcement, Assange effectively put the DNC on notice that it had a little time, probably not much, to act preemptively against the imminent publication of damaging documents. Did the DNC quickly conjure Guccifer from thin air to create a cyber-saboteur whose fingers point to Russia? There is no evidence of this one way or the other, but emphatically it is legitimate to pose the question in the context of the VIPS chronology. WikiLeaks began publishing on July 22. By that time, the case alleging Russian interference in the 2016 elections process was taking firm root. In short order Assange would be written down as a “Russian agent.”

By any balanced reckoning, the official case purporting to assign a systematic hacking effort to Russia, the events of mid-June and July 5 last year being the foundation of this case, is shabby to the point taxpayers should ask for their money back. The Intelligence Community Assessment, the supposedly definitive report featuring the “high confidence” dodge, was greeted as farcically flimsy when issued January 6. Ray McGovern calls it a disgrace to the intelligence profession. It is spotlessly free of evidence, front to back, pertaining to any events in which Russia is implicated. James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, admitted in May that “hand-picked” analysts from three agencies (not the 17 previously reported) drafted the ICA. There is a way to understand “hand-picked” that is less obvious than meets the eye: The report was sequestered from rigorous agency-wide reviews. This is the way these people have spoken to us for the past year.

Behind the ICA lie other indefensible realities. The FBI has never examined the DNC’s computer servers—an omission that is beyond preposterous. It has instead relied on the reports produced by Crowdstrike, a firm that drips with conflicting interests well beyond the fact that it is in the DNC’s employ. Dmitri Alperovitch, its co-founder and chief technology officer, is on the record as vigorously anti-Russian. He is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, which suffers the same prejudice. Problems such as this are many.

“We continue to stand by our report,” CrowdStrike said, upon seeing the VIPS blueprint of the investigation. CrowdStrike argues that by July 5 all malware had been removed from the DNC’s computers. But the presence or absence of malware by that time is entirely immaterial, because the event of July 5 is proven to have been a leak and not a hack. Given that malware has nothing to do with leaks, CrowdStrike’s logic appears to be circular.

In effect, the new forensic evidence considered here lands in a vacuum. We now enter a period when an official reply should be forthcoming. What the forensic people are now producing constitutes evidence, however one may view it, and it is the first scientifically derived evidence we have into any of the events in which Russia has been implicated. The investigators deserve a response, the betrayed professionals who formed VIPS as the WMD scandal unfolded in 2003 deserve it, and so do the rest of us. The cost of duplicity has rarely been so high.

I concluded each of the interviews conducted for this column by asking for a degree of confidence in the new findings. These are careful, exacting people as a matter of professional training and standards, and I got careful, exacting replies.

All those interviewed came in between 90 percent and 100 percent certain that the forensics prove out. I have already quoted Skip Folden’s answer: impossible based on the data. “The laws of physics don’t lie,” Ray McGovern volunteered at one point. “It’s QED, theorem demonstrated,” William Binney said in response to my question. “There’s no evidence out there to get me to change my mind.” When I asked Edward Loomis, a 90 percent man, about the 10 percent he held out, he replied, “I’ve looked at the work and it shows there was no Russian hack. But I didn’t do the work. That’s the 10 percent. I’m a scientist.”

Editor’s note: In its chronology, VIPS mistakenly gave the wrong date for CrowdStrike’s announcement of its claim to have found malware on DNC servers. It said June 15, when it should have said June 14. VIPS has acknowledged the error, and we have made the correction.

Editor’s note: After publication, the Democratic National Committee contacted The Nation with a response, writing, “U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded the Russian government hacked the DNC in an attempt to interfere in the election. Any suggestion otherwise is false and is just another conspiracy theory like those pushed by Trump and his administration. It’s unfortunate that The Nation has decided to join the conspiracy theorists to push this narrative.”
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Re: Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’ Guilt, by Robert Parry

Postby admin » Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:59 pm

Comments on the Society of the Spectacle (EXCERPT)
by Guy Debord

XVI

THE relatively new concept of disinformation was recently imported from Russia, along with a number of other inventions useful in the running of modern states. It is openly employed by particular powers, or, consequently, by people who hold fragments of economic or political authority, in order to maintain what is established; and always in a counter-offensive role. Whatever can oppose a single official truth must necessarily be disinformation emanating from hostile or at least rival powers, and would have been intentionally and malevolently falsified. Disinformation would not be simple negation of a fact which suits the authorities, or the simple affirmation of a fact which does not suit them: that is called psychosis. Unlike the straightforward lie, disinformation must inevitably contain a degree of truth but one deliberately manipulated by an artful enemy. That is what makes it so attractive to the defenders of the dominant society. The power which speaks of disinformation does not believe itself to be absolutely faultless, but knows that it can attribute to any precise criticism the excessive insignificance which characterises disinformation; with the result that it will never have to admit to any particular fault.

In essence, disinformation would be a travesty of the truth. Whoever disseminates it is culpable, whoever believes it is stupid. But who precisely would this artful enemy be? In this case, it cannot be terrorism, which is in no danger of 'disinforming' anyone, since it is charged with ontologically representing the grossest and least acceptable error. Thanks to its etymology and to present memories of those limited confrontations which around mid-century briefly opposed East and West, concentrated spectacle and diffuse spectacle, the capitalism of today's integrated spectacle still pretends to believe that the capitalism of bureaucratic totalitarianism - sometimes even presented as the terrorists' base camp or inspiration - remains its fundamental enemy, despite the innumerable proofs of their profound alliance and solidarity. But actually all established powers, despite certain genuine local rivalries, and without ever wanting to spell it out, never forget what one of the rare German internationalists after the outbreak of the First World War managed to recall (on the side of subversion and without any great immediate success): 'The main enemy is within.' In the end, disinformation is the equivalent of what was represented in the nineteenth-century language of social war as 'dangerous passions'. It is all that is obscure and threatens to oppose the unprecedented happiness which we know this society offers to those who trust it, a happiness which greatly outweighs various insignificant risks and disappointments. And everyone who sees this happiness in the spectacle agrees that we should not grumble about its price; everyone else is a disinformer.

The other advantage derived from denouncing a particular instance of disinformation in this way is that it wards off any suspicion that the spectacle's global language might contain the same thing. With the most scientific assurance, the spectacle can identify the only place where disinformation could be found: in anything which can be said that might displease it.

It is doubtless by mistake - unless it be a deliberate decoy - that a project was recently set in motion in France to place a kind of official label on some parts of the media guaranteeing them 'free from disinformation'. This wounded certain media professionals, who still believe, or more modestly would still like it to be believed, that until now they had not actually been subject to censorship. But the concept of disinformation must never be used defensively, still less as part of a static defence, building a Great Wall or Maginot Line around an area supposedly out of bounds to disinformation. There must be disinformation, and it must be something fluid and potentially ubiquitous. Where the language of the spectacle is not under attack it would be foolish to defend it; and the concept would wear out very fast indeed if one were to try to defend it against all the evidence on points which ought on the contrary to be kept from public view. Moreover the authorities have no real need to guarantee that any particular information does not contain disinformation. Nor have they the means to do so: they are not respected to that extent, and would only draw down suspicion on the information concerned. The concept of disinformation is only valid for counter-attack. It must be kept in reserve, then rapidly thrown into the fray to drive back any truth which has managed to get through.

If occasionally a kind of unregulated disinformation threatens to appear, in the service of particular interests temporarily in conflict, and threatens to be believed, getting out of control and thus clashing with the concerted work of a less irresponsible disinformation, there is no reason to fear that the former involves other manipulators who are more subtle or more skilled: it is simply because disinformation now spreads in a world where there is no room for verification.

The confusionist concept of disinformation is pushed into the limelight immediately to refute, by its very name, any criticism that has failed to eliminate the diverse agencies of the organisation of silence. For example it could one day be said, should this seem desirable, that this text was an attempt to disinform about the spectacle; or indeed, since it is the same thing, that it was a piece of disinformation harmful to democracy.

Contrary to its spectacular definition, the practice of disinformation can only serve the state here and now, under its direct command, or at the initiative of those who uphold the same values. Disinformation is actually inherent in all existing information; and indeed is its main characteristic. It is only named where passivity must be maintained by intimidation. Where disinformation is named, it does not exist. Where it exists, it is not named.

When there were still conflicting ideologies, which claimed to be for or against some recognised aspect of reality, there were fanatics, and liars, but there were no 'disinformers'. When respect for the spectacular consensus, or at least a desire for spectacular kudos, prohibits any honest declaration of what someone is against, or equally what he wholeheartedly approves; and when at the same time he needs to disguise a part of what he is supposed to acknowledge because for one reason or another it is considered dangerous, then he employs disinformation; as if by blunder or negligence, or by pretended false reasoning. In political activity after 1968, for example, the incompetent recuperators known as 'pro-situs', became the first disinformers because they did their best to hide all practical manifestations which confirmed the critique they claimed to have adopted; and, without the slightest embarrassment at weakening its expression, never referred to anything or anyone, in order to suggest that they themselves had actually discovered something.
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