Category Archives: Media

Pompeo vs. WikiLeaks: It’s No Contest, by Thomas Knapp

Who are you going to trust, Wikileaks or the CIA? From Thomas Knapp at antiwar.com:

Last July, while stumping for then-candidate, now-president Donald Trump, US Representative Mike Pompeo (R-KS) gleefully referenced nearly 20,000 Democratic National Committee emails released by the transparency/disclosure journalists at WikiLeaks. “Need further proof that the fix was in from Pres. Obama on down?” Pompeo tweeted. The emails showed that DNC officials had worked overtime to rig their party’s primaries for eventual nominee Hillary Clinton and against challenger Bernie Sanders.

What a difference nine months makes! On April 13, Pompeo – now in charge at the Central Intelligence Agency – used the bully pulpit of his first public speech in his new job to call out his old ally as “a nonstate hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.”

WikiLeaks says that no, it is not in fact abetted by Vladimir Putin’s regime.

If I have to choose between believing WikiLeaks or believing Mike Pompeo, I’ll believe WikiLeaks six days a week and twice on Sunday.

Over the course of more than a decade, WikiLeaks has built a sterling reputation for delivering the real goods on various governments (including Russia’s). The next document it releases which is shown to be fake will be the first. WikiLeaks has earned the trust of the public – and moreover, it has shown that it trusts the public with information about what our governments are doing in our names and with our money.

The US intelligence community, on the other hand, spies on us, lies to us about it, and expects us to pick up the check even after decades of irrefutable evidence of its dishonesty and incompetence.

To continue reading: Pompeo vs. WikiLeaks: It’s No Contest,

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U.S. Propaganda is Embarrassingly Bad (and Why it Matters), by Michael Krieger

A fake news network tries to debunk legitimate questions about the alleged Syrian gas attack. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

When you want to see what U.S. deep state propagandists are up to, all you have to do is take a glance at what meme corporate media happens to be pushing any given week. It’s been almost a decade since I started observing and analyzing the corporate press on a daily basis, and I can now say unequivocally that the quality of American imperial propaganda has gone completely down the crapper.

The believability of some of the stuff being pushed these days defies all logic and is easily dispelled with an ounce of critical thought, yet there it is, in our face on a daily basis almost taunting the intelligence of the U.S. population. Indeed, it appears the current strategy is no more sophisticated that proclaiming any and all dissent as being the result of “Russia operations.” This is done to prevent any actual debate on subjects of grave national importance since the U.S. government knows its claims don’t hold up to any real scrutiny. Why look into the veracity of a deep state claim when we can just dismiss alternative viewpoints as “Russian operations.”

To see what I mean, take a look at some excerpts from a recent article published by ABC News, Behind #SyriaHoax and the Russian Propaganda Onslaught:

As Syrian president Bashar al-Assad called videos of last week’s chemical attack a “fabrication,” a piece of propaganda promoted by a Russian cyber operation and bearing the hashtag #SyriaHoax has gained traction in the United States, analysts tell ABC News.

Following the chemical weapons attack that killed dozens of civilians on Tuesday, Al-Masdar News, a pro-Assad website based in Beirut, published claims that “something is not adding up in [the] Idlib chemical weapons attack.” Its author cited “holes” in the accounts provided by the “Al-Qaeda affiliated” White Helmets leading to the conclusion that “this is another false chemical attack allegation made against the government.”

To continue reading: U.S. Propaganda is Embarrassingly Bad (and Why it Matters)

Is Our Political Class Mentally Ill? by Justin Raimondo

SLL thinks the title question answers itself, but Justin Raimondo gives a more detailed explanation. From Raimondo at antiwar.com:

Sadistic commentators hail death and destruction

I write this on Easter Sunday, the day of resurrection and hope in the Christian calendar, but such a bright promise looks a bit thin given what is going on in our world, our country: what looks like a mass outbreak of mental illness among our political class.

I say this because here is a group of people – journalists, politicians, and other Very Serious Persons – who have hated our new President from the get-go. He’s Hitler, he’s Mussolini, he’s Pepe the frog! He’s this, he’s that, he’s Our National Nightmare! And yet the minute he starts bombing foreigners he’s suddenly not so bad after all. Over at the Washington Post, David Ignatius, the CIA’s journalistic front man, says he’s “becoming a credible foreign policy leader.” Ruth Marcus opines that we’re witnessing “the normalization of Donald Trump.” Finally, she enthuses, “rationality is dawning” on the forty-fifth President! Among the liberal elite, the hosannas were well nigh universal. As Ann Coulter noted:

“Cable news hosts gushed, ‘Trump became president of the United States tonight!’ On MSNBC, Brian Williams called the bombing ‘beautiful’ three times in less than a minute. Sen. Lindsey Graham (one of the ‘women of the Senate,’ according to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg) compared Trump to Reagan. The New York Times headlined an article, ‘On Syria Attack, Trump’s Heart Came First.’”

Fareed Zakaria’s joy over the bombing seemed to indicate that, for him, it was practically an erotic experience. And this weird bloodlust wasn’t limited to the liberal precincts of the commentariat – far from it. When we dropped the MOAB on Afghanistan, Kimberly Guilfoyle practically had an orgasm over at Fox News. Sitting there in her low cut red dress, her breasts heaving with passion, her lips parted, and an ecstatic smile plastered on her heavily made-up face, she hailed the bombing as if it were the climax – so to speak – of a pornographic movie: “America is back!” Oh, yeeeesssss!!!!

To continue reading: Is Our Political Class Mentally Ill?

 

Did Al Qaeda Fool The White House Again? by Robert Parry

It’s truly amazing how quickly evidence-free assertions become the accepted groupthink in Washington. From Robert Parry at strategic-culture.org:

In Official Washington, words rarely mean what they say. For instance, if a U.S. government official voices “high confidence” in a supposed “intelligence assessment,” that usually means “we don’t have any real evidence, but we figure that if we say ‘high confidence’ enough that no one will dare challenge us.”

It’s also true that after a U.S. President or another senior official jumps to a conclusion that is not supported by evidence, the ranks of government careerists will close around him or her, making any serious or objective investigation almost impossible. Plus, if the dubious allegations are directed at some “enemy” state, then the mainstream media also will suppress skepticism. Prestigious “news” outlets will run “fact checks” filled with words in capital letters: “MISLEADING”; “FALSE”; or maybe “FAKE NEWS.”

Which is where things stand regarding President Trump’s rush to judgment within hours about an apparent chemical weapons incident in Syria’s Idlib province on April 4. Despite the fact that much of the information was coming from Al Qaeda and its propaganda-savvy allies, the mainstream U.S. media rushed emotional images onto what Trump calls “the shows” – upon which he says he bases his foreign policy judgments – and he blamed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the scores of deaths, including “beautiful little babies,” as Trump declared.

Given the neocon/liberal-interventionist domination of Official Washington’s foreign policy – and the professional Western propaganda shops working for Assad’s overthrow – there was virtually no pushback against the quick formulation of this new groupthink. All the predictable players played their predictable parts, from The New York Times to CNN to the Atlantic Council-related Bellingcat and its “citizen journalists.”

All the Important People who appeared on the TV shows or who were quoted in the mainstream media trusted the images provided by Al Qaeda-related propagandists and ignored documented prior cases in which the Syrian rebels staged chemical weapons incidents to implicate the Assad government.

To continue reading: Did Al Qaeda Fool The White House Again?

WikiLeaks Issues Response To CIA Director Mike Pompeo, by Tyler Durden

It was quite a stretch for CIA Director Mike Pompeo to call WikiLeaks a “hostile non-state intelligence service.” WikiLeaks responds From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

The feud between Julian Assange and the CIA is growing.

After being blasted by new CIA Director Mike Pompeo yesterday as a “hostile non-state intelligence service,” late on Thursday Julian Assange responded on Twitter by trolling the CIA, the “state non-intelligence agency,” over its own roles in producing “al-Qaeda, ISIS, Iraq, Iran and Pinochet.”

So, one day later, having let tempers cool, Julian Assange – who one month ago released the contents of its “Vault7” exposing the CIA’s hacking exploits around the world in the “largest ever publication of confidential CIA documents” – issued moments ago the following statement via the Wikileaks twitter account responding to Mike Pompeo (highlights ours).

In his first speech in office, CIA Director Mike Pompeo rather than focusing on China, North Korea, or the rise of extremism, chose to announce an offensive against WikiLeaks and other publishers. In doing so Director Pompeo characterized WikiLeaks as a “non-state intelligence service”. This absurd definition would have all serious media organizations (with the exception of state owned media) transformed into ‘non-state intelligence services’- with the explicitly stated goal of stripping constitutional protections for publishers.

History shows the danger of allowing the CIA or any intelligence agency, whose very modus operandi includes misdirection and lying, to be the sole arbiter of what is true or what is prudent. Otherwise every day might see a repeat of the many foolish CIA actions which have led to death, displacement, dictatorship and terrorism.

All serious media organizations are in the business of obtaining information by encouraging sources to step forward. The key difference between media and intelligence is that the media is in the business of publishing what it discovers to a wide audience. WikiLeaks is an award winning media organization that is well known for the accuracy and volume of its publications and its millions of readers.

Unsurprisingly it is the strength of WikiLeaks’ publications relating to the CIA’s illegal activities, including its attacks on France’s presidential candidates and political parties and its attempts to infect its allies and consumer products with viruses that has led to Director Pompeo’s claims that its editor Julian Assange “has no First Amendment protections”. These claims are dangerous and should be critically examined.

To continue reading: WikiLeaks Issues Response To CIA Director Mike Pompeo

Assange Reminds The World: “The Potential For The Disastrous Rise Of Misplaced Power Persists”

Julian Assange issues what’s basically a mission statement for WikiLeaks. From Assange on a guest editorial at The Washington Post via zerohedge.com:

On his last night in office, President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered a powerful farewell speech to the nation — words so important that he’d spent a year and a half preparing them. “Ike” famously warned the nation to “guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

Much of Eisenhower’s speech could form part of the mission statement of WikiLeaks today. We publish truths regarding overreaches and abuses conducted in secret by the powerful.

Our most recent disclosures describe the CIA’s multibillion-dollar cyberwarfare program, in which the agency created dangerous cyberweapons, targeted private companies’ consumer products and then lost control of its cyber-arsenal. Our source(s) said they hoped to initiate a principled public debate about the “security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyberweapons.”

The truths we publish are inconvenient for those who seek to avoid one of the magnificent hallmarks of American life — public debate. Governments assert that WikiLeaks’ reporting harms security. Some claim that publishing facts about military and national security malfeasance is a greater problem than the malfeasance itself. Yet, as Eisenhower emphasized, “Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

Quite simply, our motive is identical to that claimed by the New York Times and The Post — to publish newsworthy content. Consistent with the U.S. Constitution, we publish material that we can confirm to be true irrespective of whether sources came by that truth legally or have the right to release it to the media. And we strive to mitigate legitimate concerns, for example by using redaction to protect the identities of at-risk intelligence agents.

To continue reading: Assange Reminds The World: “The Potential For The Disastrous Rise Of Misplaced Power Persists”

The Verifiable Information Vacuum From Syria, by Peter Crowley

The government’s virtual stranglehold on information from foreign war zones makes it impossible to determine the truth. From Peter Crowley at antiwar.com:

It is hard to underestimate the paucity of objective information coming from Syria.

Wars always have their propaganda machine feeding media sources, from the Israeli Army’s largely false assertions that Hamas used human shields during the 2014 Gaza War to Robert McNamara’s claim that American campaigns were leading to success in Vietnam. But rarely has the public been fed and believed information from a rebel opposition dominated by terrorist groups, as is the case in the Syrian Civil War. The lack of the civil war’s neutral information may be the case in the recent images we saw from apparent chemical attacks in Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib province, Syria, where Al-Nusra is the most powerful opposition group.

The Syrian opposition has been trying to get the US to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since the beginning of the conflict. After the US’s “leading from behind” in the NATO-led overthrow of Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi, the Syrian opposition assumed that Assad’s head would be next on the US’s chopping block. But this would not come to pass.

It should be remembered that these initial anti-Assad protests were certainly legitimate acts of dissent and the Assad regime overreacted with disproportionate violence. In response, protesters grew in number and the regime increased its violence, leading to the development of an armed opposition, shortly after which the US, Europe and Gulf States called for Assad to step down. Though receiving arms and funding from its international supporters, the rebel opposition had trouble coalescing and remained highly disorganized, during which time terrorist groups, such as al-Nusra, ISIS and Ahrar al Sham, established themselves in Syria. These terrorist groups were far more organized and effective at fighting than the discombobulated opposition and soon became the principal anti-regime actors in Syria. Thousands of disaffected fighters from the “moderate” opposition joined these terrorist groups, as they proved to be the most effective fighting forces against Assad.

To continue reading: The Verifiable Information Vacuum From Syria