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How Spooks and the Establishment Media Are Circling the Wagons
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Earlier this month, Russia banned 29 British journalists, including several from the BBC and the Guardian, on the grounds that they were “associated with the defense complex”. That claim was not, at least in all cases, quite as preposterous as was widely assumed.

In part one of this two-part series, we saw how the Guardian’s Luke Harding – one of the journalists banned by Russia – has promoted entirely unsubstantiated smear stories that have hewn closely to the agenda of Western intelligence services. Harding even wrote a prominent Russiagate book and could not defend its basic claims when challenged by independent journalist Aaron Maté.

Although Russia’s ban provoked a predictable, self-righteous backlash from the UK media – and was adduced as further evidence of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian tendencies – Moscow was, in fact, mirroring earlier bans by the British authorities and the European Union on Russian state-sponsored media. None of the British journalists now barred from Russia raised their voices in protest at the banning of the English-language broadcasts and the websites of RT and Sputnik.

In popular imagination, cultivated jointly by Western establishment media and Western intelligence agencies, both outlets are staffed by Russian spooks strong-arming a few impressionable Westerners with Stalinist tendencies. The reality is very different. RT wants to have influence in the West, and the only way to achieve that is by recruiting credible Western journalists who have trenchant criticisms of the Western national-security state and its war industries but cannot – for that very reason – find a platform in the establishment media at home.

RT might not be the best place to get a neutral view of what Russia is up to, but it had attracted a growing audience in the West by providing an outlet for disillusioned Western journalists who are ready to paint a realistic picture of the failings of their own states.

One of RT’s journalists, for example, was Chris Hedges, a former foreign correspondent for The New York Times. He has had a long and distinguished journalistic career and won major journalism awards. Nonetheless, six years of his Emmy-nominated On Contact programme for RT America – interviewing major public figures – was erased from Youtube’s channel overnight.

In part one, we considered the cases of two celebrated British journalists, Paul Mason and Carole Cadwalladr, who were revealed to be covertly colluding with Western intelligence services. Not only that, but they had used those contacts to try to harm other journalists who have been taking on the British and US security states. They had been effectively recruited – or in Mason’s case, possibly recruited himself – to a covert, and dirty, information war.

The paradox is that, while Cadwalladr and Mason have been accusing – without evidence – journalists in the West of colluding with foreign intelligence agencies, they themselves have been colluding with their own intelligence services to smear other reporters. If Russian intelligence needs a troll farm to spread disinformation, Western intelligence can rely, it seems, on compliant celebrity journalists in British mainstream outlets to do the same work.

Circling the wagons

Neither Cadwalladr nor Mason is likely to pay a price for their actions. In fact, they can expect to be rewarded – a sign that this kind of covert collusion is desired by establishment media, not least liberal outlets like the Guardian that try to create the misleading impression that they are somehow oppositional to the security state.

That should come as no surprise – and not just because these types of collusion work to the joint benefit of the establishment media and the intelligence services. The media outlet gets an exclusive – often one rooted in a smear operation by the state, as with Cadwalladr’s story of Farage meeting Wikileaks founder Julian Assange (documented in part one) – which they do not need to stand up beyond the simple attribution to a “well-placed”, anonymous “source”.

Meanwhile, the intelligence services set the news agenda, including with smears that target those trying to hold them to account, but cannot be scrutinized over such claims because they can shield behind anonymity. In such cases, the so-called Fourth Estate serves as simply a stenographer for the state. It amplifies the state’s self-serving allegations but adds a veneer of legitimacy through its own supposed verification via publication.

The media’s collusion, however, is not just servile. With the advent of the internet and social media, the establishment press and the intelligence services have found their interests more in tune than ever before. Independent media of the kind that seeks to hold state power to account – such as, for example, MintPress News or the Grayzone, about which Mason was so keen to spread disinformation (again, documented in part one) – or foreign channels like RT that give a platform to independent Western journalists, are treated as a threat by both the intelligence services and the establishment media.

But whereas foreign channels like RT can be easily vilified because of their ties to “enemy” states, and shut down on those grounds alone, it is more difficult to make the case for censoring independent media. It requires first a concerted campaign of Western disinformation and smears to undermine independent journalism – as we shall examine later in this article.

The powerful see such smear campaigns as vitally important. Because it is free to report stories of state crimes the establishment media mostly avoids, independent media exposes the establishment media for what it really is: the public relations arm of the state. It shows the extent to which serious, critical journalism is absent from the mainstream. And as a rival source of news, independent media leaves readers more aware of what the establishment media is choosing not to cover – and hints at why.

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Paradoxically, the more effective independent media has become, the more the establishment media has circled the wagons to protect itself from this upstart media, labeling its competitors’ coverage “fake news” and “Russian disinformation”. Meanwhile, the new establishment media monopolies emerging from the digital revolution – Silicon Valley platforms like Facebook/Meta, Google/Youtube and Twitter – have gradually joined this assault, changing their algorithms to make it ever harder for people to read independent media.

Recruited to spy

If the suggestion of widespread collusion with the intelligence services by our most celebrated journalists and the establishment outlets they work for sounds improbable, consider this:

Jon Snow, who gained national-treasure status in the UK after serving as Channel 4 News’ front man for many years, revealed in 2015 that the British intelligence services had tried to recruit him 40 years earlier, when he was an up-and-coming broadcast journalist. He was asked to spy on “left-wing” television colleagues, in return for a secret, tax-free salary that would match what he was already being paid by his employer.

Most journalists are not likely to talk of such approaches, either because they have accepted them or because disclosure might harm their careers. Snow left it until very late in his own career before mentioning the incident. But there is no reason to imagine such approaches do not continue to be made on a regular basis.

I have never written of it before – it seemed too self-aggrandising, and until now not particularly pertinent to any piece I was writing – but a decade or so ago I was quietly “sounded out” by a British diplomat. He wanted to see if I would supply the Foreign Office with off-the-record information on my specialist subject: the Palestinan minority in Israel. I refused, and the official dropped contact.

Given that I am a left-wing, freelance journalist far from the center of power, I was left wondering how common it is for better-placed, more mainstream journalists, ones who mix regularly with British officials, to be on the receiving end of such offers. Presumably an initial, low-key approach like the one made to me is intended to see how amenable a journalist might be to becoming more involved with the intelligence services. Mutual trust is gradually built.

On the CIA payroll

Back in 1977, Carl Bernstein, who was, alongside Bob Woodward, one of the world’s most famous journalists thanks to their reporting of the Watergate scandal, turned his attention to the extent of collusion between the US media and the CIA.

His engagement with this contentious subject likely damaged his career – at least compared to Woodward, who spent his later years continuing to make a name for himself hanging around the Oval Office relaying insider gossip.

Bernstein’s interest in the relationship between the intelligence services and journalists probably derived from his own Watergate experiences. Ultimately, he and Woodward got their scoop – later turned into a book, then a film called “All the President’s Men” – not only through hard graft but because they were used as pawns in a high-level power battle.

As would become public knowledge in 2005, Deep Throat, the insider who gave them the leads they needed to bring down President Richard Nixon, was Mark Felt, then the FBI’s associate director and a loyalist of longtime FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. Felt had a score to settle with Nixon after he was passed over for the top job at the bureau when Hoover died.

Woodward knew Felt from his navy days, and had cultivated a relationship with his man in the FBI long before Watergate. Those long-term ties had presumably assisted them both: Felt because he could release stories that helped the bureau secretly shape the public narrative, and Woodward because he had access to information that gave him an edge over rival journalists.

Bernstein’s mammoth investigation in 1977 for Rolling Stone magazine exposed the collusion between the CIA and journalists – collusion that had parallels with that between Felt and Woodward. Bernstein found evidence in the agency’s files that at least 400 US journalists had “secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency”.

Bernstein observed:

Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors without‑portfolio for their country. Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work; stringers and freelancers who were as interested in the derring‑do of the spy business as in filing articles; and, the smallest category, full‑time CIA employees masquerading as journalists abroad.

CIA documents also showed, as Bernstein reported, that “journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America’s leading news organizations.”

The agency particularly valued its relationship with more liberal US outlets like The New York Times , Time magazine and CBS News, who were seen as more credible as vehicles for its information war. The CIA-recruited journalists signed secrecy agreements, pledging never to divulge their relationship to the agency. But in fact, as Bernstein makes clear, the existence of these CIA-journalists was an open secret in most newsrooms.

Bernstein suggests it was easy for the CIA to recruit journalists to carry out its covert work, and get editors to cooperate or turn a blind eye, because of the paranoid political climate produced by the Cold War. Journalists did not feel they were taking a side; they were supposedly involved in an existential fight to defend the right of people to live in freedom.

One has to wonder how much has changed in a world where the aggressively promoted threats of Islamist extremism, Russian “imperialism” and a more nebulous “clash of civilizations” obsess the West’s political class. Journalists are as susceptible to those fears as their predecessors were to the Cold War, and doubtless as easily manipulated.

In the shadows

Investigative journalist Nick Davies dedicated a chapter of his 2009 book “Flat Earth News” – on journalistic failure – to assessing how deeply the Western intelligence services had penetrated the media, at home and abroad. Ultimately, Davies concedes, it is almost impossible to know, given that such collusion necessarily happens in the shadows.

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Back in the mid-1970s, around the same time as Bernstein’s work, two Congressional committees – led by Senator Frank Church and House Representative Otis Pike – had set out to investigate the matter. This was the period, we should note, when Snow was being incentivised to spy on colleagues in the UK.

As Bernstein points out, the Church Committee mostly covered up what it found; refused to question any of the journalists involved; accepted highly redacted, or “sanitized”, documents; and was heavily swayed by senior figures from the CIA, such as William Colby and George H W Bush. The Pike Committee fared little better, and publication of its findings were suppressed in the US.

Both Congressional investigations had been triggered by concerns, post-Watergate, about the dangers of presidential abuse of the CIA’s powers and the need for greater Congressional oversight.

Under this pressure, the CIA promised to wind down its activities and banned direct payments to journalists. But the powerlessness of Congress to truly get to grips with what the CIA was up to suggests that the agency likely refashioned the program in new ways.

In any case, the agency’s ability to control media coverage probably grew easier over time with the concentration of media ownership. The handful of giant corporations that now control almost all mainstream media in the US share most of the security establishment’s concerns, just as ordinary journalists did during the Cold War.

A paper in every capital

Nonetheless, in his book, Davies pieced together what he could from the available documents. They showed that in the post-war period the CIA had employed at least 800 covert journalist “assets” – reporters, editors, media owners – around the world, pumping out its disinformation. The figures included only those on the agency’s payroll, not those who cooperated with it, shared its aims, or were influenced by its briefings.

These journalists were likely operating as part of a wider CIA covert information war known as “Operation Mockingbird”. The aim was to conceal the agency’s covert or illegal foreign operations, such as its overthrow of democratic governments in Iran in 1953 and Guatemala in 1954, and control the media’s coverage of foreign policy fiascos such as the failed US-directed invasion of Cuba’s Bay of Pigs in 1961.

To achieve these deceptions, as one CIA official admitted to the New York Times, the agency had investments in a large number of newspapers and TV stations around the world, and even covertly set up its own media outlets. “We had at least one newspaper in every foreign capital at any given time,” he said.

Operating outlets abroad meant the CIA could manipulate more convincingly the domestic news agenda. Once it had placed a false or skewed local story in an outlet it secretly owned – such as the Tokyo Evening News or Chile’s South Pacific Mail – news agencies like Reuters and Associated Press, as well as major US TV stations and newspapers, could be relied on to pick it up and spread the CIA’s disinformation around the world. The agency could quickly turn the world’s media into its own echo chamber on any major topic. Thus, just as mockingbirds mimic the songs of other birds, so the media came to repeat CIA talking points.

In 1983 John Stockwell, a former head of the CIA’s Angola task force, explained on camera the ease with which the CIA channeled its propaganda through witting and unwitting journalists. “I had propagandists all over the world,” he observed.

Referring to his involvement in a disinformation campaign against Cuba, he said:

We pumped dozens of stories about Cuban atrocities, Cuban rapists [to the media]… We ran [faked] photographs that made almost every newspaper in the country… We didn’t know of one single atrocity committed by the Cubans. It was pure, raw, false propaganda to create an illusion of Communists eating babies for breakfast.

According to Stockwell, the CIA secretly sponsored the publication of thousands of propaganda books promoting its preferred angles on Vietnam, communism and US foreign policy. Some of the authors, noted Stockwell, “are now distinguished scholars and journalists”.

The Pike Committee estimated conservatively from the limited documents it gained access to that almost a third of the CIA’s budget was spent on propaganda operations. It noted that the figure might be much higher. Even so, the sum was more than the combined budgets of the world’s three largest news agencies: Associated Press, UPI and Reuters.

The CIA and its British counterpart, MI6, could boast numerous agents in the foreign bureaux of all three international news agencies. The CIA even created its own news agency, sending stories to 140 newspapers around the globe.

CIA agents were also found to have been working in the most prestigious US media outlets. The New York Times employed at least 10 of them. At various times, Newsweek’s editor, foreign editor, Washington bureau chief and a host of reporters were on the CIA’s books. Time magazine, Reader’s Digest and the Christian Science Monitor all cooperated closely with the agency. American television networks routinely allowed the CIA to monitor their newsrooms.

Davies cites a report in the Guardian from 1991 that the CIA was found to have made payments to 90 British journalists. MI6 presumably had a separate, and at least as large, cadre of senior UK journalists on the payroll.

During that period, Britain ran its own propaganda unit, the Information Research Department (IRD), which cultivated journalists in similar ways to the CIA. Its task, according to Declassified UK, was “to discredit human rights figures, undermine political opponents overseas, help overthrow governments, and promote UK influence and commercial interests around the world.” The British government also used the IRD to damage anyone perceived to be a domestic opponent.

Earlier this month, Declassified revealed that Canberra set up its own unit modeled on Britain’s IRD in 1971 and recruited senior Australian journalists.

Credulous reporting

It would be foolish to imagine that, in this more complex information age, the US and UK intelligence services’ influence over journalists has diminished. Both Cadwalladr and Mason’s cases illustrate how intimate those ties still are.

The New York Times “let go” one of its star reporters, Judith Miller, in 2005. Her reports of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction – coverage that was critical to rationalizing the 2003 invasion of Iraq in violation of international law – were utterly discredited by later developments. There were no WMDs in Iraq. Western inspectors had consistently said this, but their voices were drowned out by pro-war media. Miller, who it was found had special Pentagon security clearance, had been fed stories by US intelligence agencies. She had acted as an uncritical conduit for CIA disinformation that was then repeated by other major outlets.

She was far from alone in channeling fake news from intelligence agencies in the lead-up to the Iraq invasion. The New York Times apologized for its mistakes, promising it would learn from the episode. But it has been just as credulous in regurgitating the intelligence services’ claims in recent US proxy wars and regime change attempts – in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Iran, Venezuela and elsewhere. Miller was not sacked because she served as a willing channel for Western disinformation. Rather, real-world events required the New York Times to make someone a sacrificial victim for its all-too-obvious failings over Iraq. She was the ideal scapegoat.

Institutional collusion with the intelligence services has become all too evident too at the Guardian newspaper, the New York Times’ UK counterpart. Declassified UK has documented how the the Guardian has been increasingly coopted by the British intelligence services after its publication in 2013 of the Edward Snowden leaks. Among other things, those leaks revealed that the US and UK were operating secret and illegal mass surveillance programmes.

At that time, the Guardian, unlike other British media outlets, had a well-publicized opposition to taking part in the supposedly voluntary D-notice system, run by the Ministry of Defense, to regulate information that might threaten national security. After the initial Snowden revelations from the Guardian, the D-Notice Committee issued a notice against further publication of information released by Snowden. Most British outlets either ignored the leaks or provided minimal coverage. The Guardian, however, defied the government’s advice.

Shortly afterwards, officials from GCHQ, Britain’s equivalent of the National Security Agency, arrived at the paper and ordered it to destroy the laptops containing the Snowden material. The paper complied, with deputy editor Paul Johnson overseeing the destruction. Soon, the D-Notice Committee was able to report that “engagement” with the Guardian was strengthening and there was “regular dialogue” with its staff. The “culmination”, as the committee referred to it, was Paul Johnson’s agreement to sit on the committee itself.

When in 2015 the Guardian appointed a new editor, Katharine Viner, whose background was in fashion journalism, the security services appeared to seize the chance to lure the newspaper into greater cooperation.

A year later the paper was boasting the “first newspaper interview given by an incumbent MI5 chief in the service’s 107-year history”. MI5 is Britain’s domestic intelligence service. The article was co-written by Johnson and headlined on Russia – what else – as a “growing threat” to the UK. The Guardian would follow up with exclusive interviews with the heads of MI6, Britain’s equivalent of the CIA, and the UK’s most senior counter-terrorism officer. All were softball interviews in which the British security state was allowed to set the agenda.

Under Viner, a host of investigative journalists with experience of covering national security issues departed. A former Guardian journalist told Declassified UK :

Effective scrutiny of the security and intelligence agencies – epitomized by the Snowden scoops but also many other stories – appears to have been abandoned… [It] sometimes seems the Guardian is worried about upsetting the spooks.

Instead, the paper has focused on targeting those who are in the crosshairs of the intelligence services – most obviously Julian Assange, whose publication of leaked official documents in 2010 exposed US and UK war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. In recent years, as Washington has sought Assange’s extradition so it can lock him out of sight for up to 175 years, the Guardian has run a series of barely credible stories that appear to have been supplied to it by the intelligence services and clearly serve its interests. Those hit-pieces include articles written by Carole Cadwalladr and Luke Harding, as discussed in part one.

As Declassified UK noted, the Guardian was also key to injecting credibility into a relentless media campaign to smear the then left-wing leader of Britain’s Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn. He was variously portrayed as a national security threat, a traitor and an antisemite. Again, the fingerprints of the security services were all over these stories. They had begun with an anonymous army general, interviewed by The Sunday Times, warning that the military “would use whatever means possible, fair or foul, to prevent” Corbyn becoming prime minister. The Guardian’s uncritical echoing of evidence-free claims of an antisemitism problem in Labour under Corbyn was particularly damaging because so many of the paper’s readers were traditional Labour voters.

Disappearing neo-Nazis

The intelligence services’ cultivation of ties with journalists in an increasingly digital, more defused media environment is likely to be as covert as ever. But there are occasional, brief glimpses of what they may be up to.

As mentioned in part one, it emerged in 2018 that national clusters of journalists, along with academics and politicians, were working with the opaque Integrity Initiative, a covert operation supposedly against “Russian disinformation” supported by the British Foreign Office and Defense Ministry. The Initiative’s registered address in Scotland turned out to be an abandoned, semi-derelict mill. Its real offices were eventually tracked down to a plush part of central London.

The Integrity Initiative’s British cluster included some well-known names in British journalism. Its real aim was – once again – to paint independent media and left-wing politicians critical of Western wars as in the pocket of Russia and Vladimir Putin. The Initiative was also found to have been involved in efforts to bring down Corbyn.

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The media’s memory-holing of the Snowden revelations and its silence on Assange’s persecution – despite the very obvious threat posed to a free press – are themselves an indication of the degree to which the establishment media share the aims of the security state and are complicit in its narrative manipulations.

Coverage of the West’s recent proxy wars have provided further clues as to the extent of that collusion. It has been hard to ignore the establishment media’s uncritical promotion of narratives in Syria and Ukraine that look suspiciously like they were crafted by Western intelligence agencies. That has involved some stunning about-turns in their coverage that should set alarm bells ringing with observers.

In Ukraine, that has been evident in the media’s frantic efforts to obscure its own recent concerns about neo-Nazi groups like the Azov Brigade being integrated into the Ukrainian military, and portray any attempt to remind us of that earlier coverage as Russian disinformation.

Those maneuvers echo similarly desperate moves by the establishment media to obscure the fact that groups allied to al-Qaeda and Islamic State ended up comprising the bulk of the “rebel” forces in Syria. Only a short time earlier, both had been regarded as the West’s most fearsome foes.

Russia was revived as the West’s number one enemy about the time the media – and the intelligence services – found themselves unable to continue fearmongering about Islamist extremists because those groups needed to be transformed into our allies in Syria.

In both conflicts, it has been hard not to notice too how easily the establishment media has been swayed not by facts on the ground but by what look more like branding exercises guided by Western marketing firms.

Ukraine’s president, Volodomyr Zelensky, reportedly took time out of his schedule last week to brainstorm with “marketing professionals” at Cannes about how to use “creative ingenuity” to keep the war in the spotlight, after earlier opening the film festival. Last week too, he made an appearance on a giant video screen at the popular Glastonbury music festival in the UK. On each occasion, he has been wearing his now-signature designer wartime outfits.

White Helmets ringfenced

Similarly, the White Helmets have received unquestioning adulation from the Western media. A hagiographic documentary on their work was even awarded an Oscar. Yet the mysterious emergency rescue outfit appears only to work in areas of Syria controlled by jihadist groups the West has previously opposed for their human rights abuses and mistreatment of women and girls.

Liberal media has gone all-out to ringfence the White Helmets – and their jihadist allies – from journalistic and academic scrutiny. Independent journalists brave, or foolish, enough to try to break through this cordon sanitaire have found themselves smeared, and accused of spreading disinformation on Russia’s behalf. Western intelligence agencies have every incentive to malign these critics because the White Helmets are a central pillar upholding claims that Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, assisted by Russia, used chemical weapons against his own people in rebel-held areas.

If the White Helmets are a credible, neutral humanitarian movement – a Syrian version of the Red Cross – then the media might be justified in treating their claims of atrocities by Assad uncritically. But if they are really a partisan rescue service involved in rebranding Islamist extremism to promote the goal of Western-sponsored regime change in Syria, then the media needs to be skeptical and scrutinize their every assertion. The establishment media has adopted the first approach, ignoring any indication that the White Helmets might not be quite what they seem.

That failure has been thrown into especially stark relief by the media’s extraordinary refusal to publicize the testimonies of whistleblowing inspectors at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Those whistleblowers say their findings at one site of an alleged chemical attack, at Douma in 2018, were rewritten by their own management under threats from the US.

The media’s silence is all the more astounding given that Jose Bustani, a former head of the OPCW, and Hans von Sponeck, the UN’s former chief weapons inspector in Iraq, have found the whistleblowers’ allegations credible and urged that they be investigated.

The story, if confirmed, has the potential to unravel much of the narrative in Syria jointly promoted by the Western intelligence services and the establishment media. Which is why any effort to examine it more closely is being crushed. If Douma was a staged attack rather than one carried out by Assad’s forces, as the whistleblowing inspectors’ evidence suggests, it would implicate the White Helmets in the deception – and possibly the murder of the civilians alleged to have been gassed in Douma. It would also mean that other chemical attacks assigned to Assad might have been the responsibility of jihadists.

That is why the stakes are so high. It may also explain why there has been an incessant stream of stories in liberal media outlets shoring up the Western narrative by smearing once again as a Russian asset any journalist tackling the subject in a critical manner.

The media’s defamation campaigns have been assisted by various, “expert” bodies, seemingly cut-outs covertly funded by Western governments, such as Bellingcat, the Institute for Strategic Studies (the parent “charity” of the Integrity Initiative) and, most recently, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue. These organizations produce smear-laden reports on which the establishment media builds its hollow case against independent media.

This month the Guardian ran the latest of its evidence-free smear pieces designed to silence independent journalists and protect the White Helmets. The article accuses independent journalists of being part of a supposedly Russian-backed disinformation “network”. The piece implicitly discredits the OPCW whistleblowers by ignoring their existence and instead attributing their claims to “a core of 28 conspiracy theorists”.

Despite its grand claims, the paper provides no evidence of any collusion between Russia and the named independent journalists, or even between the journalists themselves, that might justify labeling them a network, let alone a Russian-backed one. Nor does the article provide any examples of what disinformation these journalists are supposedly spreading – apart from their questioning of the actions of Western states.

Aaron Maté, who is named, has been one of the main channels by which the OPCW whistleblowers have been able to make public their concerns about the organization’s tampering with their findings in its final report. And yet the Guardian makes no mention that Maté’s supposed “disinformation” is actually sourced directly from OPCW inspectors themselves. The Guardian article is, in fact, exactly what it accuses independent media of being: pure disinformation (from Western intelligence agencies).

The BBC has been ready with the smears too. It ran an extraordinarily lengthy, though flimsy, podcast series trying to shore up the humanitarian credentials of James Le Mesurier, a former UK military intelligence officer who founded the White Helmets in 2014. Shortly after he had been accused of embezzling donor money, Le Mesurier fell to his death from an apartment in an Istanbul building, in what was judged to be a suicide.

The BBC series, “Mayday”, however, spent an inordinate amount of time trying to deflect attention from these facts. Instead, it sanitized Le Mesurier and the White Helmets’ reputation, implied independent journalists and academics had tipped Le Mesurier into suicide through their criticisms, and, like the Guardian, sought to discredit the OPCW whistleblowers.

MI6 could not have done a better job. When Maté posed a series of questions over the programme’s “smears, gaping omissions, leaps of logic, and factual errors”, Mayday’s producers went to ground.

The BBC journalist who fronted Mayday, Chloe Hadjimatheou, repeated the formula last month for BBC Radio 4 with “Ukraine: The Disinformation War”, covering much the same ground and defaming many of the same targets. Once again, Hadjimatheou has failed to respond to criticisms.

Real-world Marvel Universe

There are a whole raft of reasons why journalists working for the establishment media end up parroting the narratives of Western intelligence agencies engaged in an information war against critics that very much include independent media.

It would be naïve in the extreme to imagine that the establishment media severed its well-documented connections with the intelligence services back in the 1970s. Some journalists are doubtless still on the payroll and operating covertly, even if that number is probably small. Most, however, don’t need payment. By temperament and circumstance, they are extremely susceptible to the West’s sophisticated influence campaigns.

The tools at the disposal of Western security services, so ready to accuse Russia of using troll farms, grow all the time. The West has its own troll armies, enthusiastically spreading the work of intelligence cut-outs like Bellingcat and the Institute for Strategic Studies.

Last year, Newsweek revealed an undercover army of at least 60,000 operatives run by the Pentagon that used “masked identities” to exert influence on the digital world: “The explosion of Pentagon cyber warfare, moreover, has led to thousands of spies who carry out their day-to-day work in various made-up personas, the very type of nefarious operations the United States decries when Russian and Chinese spies do the same.”

There are a variety of reasons why journalists working for establishment media outlets so readily follow scripts written for them by Western intelligence agencies. In part, journalists successful in establishment media are products of lengthy selection processes effected through their upbringing, social class and education. Those who reach influential media positions are sympathetic to, and easily swayed by, the kinds of narratives that present Western states as the good guys fighting evil foes and Western crimes as unfortunate mistakes that cannot be compared to the atrocities committed by enemies.

Like the public, Western journalists are socialized to interpret events as though we inhabit a real-world Marvel universe where our side is a mix of Captain America and Iron Man. As Noam Chomsky once observed to the BBC’s Andrew Marr during an interview: “I’m not saying you’re self-censoring. I’m sure you believe everything you’re saying. But what I’m saying is that, if you believed something different, you wouldn’t be sitting where you’re sitting.”

In any case, Western journalists work inside large media corporations where they will not survive long unless they submit – mostly unconsciously – to the dominant corporate culture. Further proving Chomsky’s point, Marr claimed on another occasion that his “Organs of Opinion were formally removed” when he began working at the BBC. It was an extreme, fundamentalist view that suggested Marr believed he and the BBC – funded by, and accountable to, the British state – were able to divine absolute, eternal truths that they then disinterestedly passed on to viewers.

In fact, as the consolidation of corporate America continues, the situation for critically-minded journalists working in the establishment media grows ever worse. Media corporations have diversified their interests in ways that entrench them even more deeply in a neocolonial ideology that seeks both absolute control over global resources and their exploitation, and profits from the war, surveillance and security industries that enforce that control.

It is no accident that media corporations produce Hollywood fare that encourages Western publics to identify with superheroes and reduces the world to black-and-white struggles. Independent journalists trying to question this simple-minded narrative are easily cast as Thanos.

On top of that, any journalist trying to look into the darkest corners of Western foreign policy can be herded back into the fold through threats – if not from their editors, then from the security services, as the Guardian’s Paul Johnson experienced at first hand. The security state has plenty of tricks up its sleeve. Complicit social media can punish independent-minded journalists through its algorithms, starving them of readers. Complicit online financial services like PayPal can punish independent-minded journalists by starving them of income, as recently happened to MintPress and Consortium News.

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And if all that fails, there is always the example of Julian Assange, whose head has been displayed on a pike in London over the past decade – as was once the norm in Medieval times for those who angered the king – initially outside the Ecuadorian embassy and now outside Belmarsh high-security prison.

In the circumstances, it is surprising that there are any journalists left who are not simply regurgitating what the intelligence services tell them. The rapid rise of independent media may soon look like a brief, digital aberration in our media landscape – unless we dig in and fight the security state to keep the spirit of critical journalism alive.

 
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  1. Here’s an uncensored Brit with two American loose cannon talking about the Ukraine deception.

    • Agree: Abbybwood
    • Thanks: Agent76
  2. mephisto says:

    Media are controlled from Zion to promote New World Order where everyone is equaled and to be ruled equally by the Chosenites. Everyone is excusing everyone else, while the rulers stand on the side, laughing.

    • Agree: Chuck Orloski
    • Replies: @American Bulwark
  3. Anon[295] • Disclaimer says:

    Important article.

    It’s very difficult for normies to come to terms with the extent that regimist Media knowingly lie. Independent media is a big help in red pulling.

    • Agree: Old and Grumpy, Kali
    • Replies: @Oracle of Delphi
  4. Mr. Cook may be unaware that a book by an actual “bought” journalist has finally been released for translation into English.

    Journalists for Hire: How the CIA Buys the News

    I’m not sure if any of this ever made it to the market, though I seem to recall reading offers for sale at around a thousand bucks. The link does offer up some nice comments.

    Presstitutes Embedded in the Pay of the CIA: A Confession from the Profession

    So there was a title change – one probably designed to divert attention from the translation.

    There is no doubt at all about the whoring journalists, but my concern is about other folks who have been suborned by the Intelligence Agencies.

    Immigration policy provides an even more striking example of the power of Progressivism, Inc. to crush debate among actual progressives. Up until around 2000, libertarians and employer-class Republicans wanted to weaken laws against illegal immigration and expand low-wage legal immigration, against the opposition of organized labor and many African-Americans—who for generations have tended to view immigrants as competitors. The Hesburgh Commission on immigration reform, appointed by President Jimmy Carter, and the Jordan Commission, appointed by President Bill Clinton and led by Texas Representative Barbara Jordan, the pioneering civil rights leader who was left-liberal, Black, and lesbian, both proposed cracking down on illegal immigration—by requiring a national ID card, punishing employers of illegal immigrants, and cutting back on low-skilled, low-wage legal immigrants. As late as 2006, then-Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton both voted for 200 miles of border fencing in the Southwest.

    I try to keep up with Politics, but didn’t know about the abrupt changes in the policy of the Democratic Party. For some reason or other the turnabout has been seriously downplayed.

    What other things I believe to be real recent history are actually fake memories created by bribed Corporate Media folks.

    https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/the-end-of-progressive-intellectual-life

    • Thanks: emerging majority
    • Replies: @Anonymous
  5. cranc says:

    Can’t wait for the expose of Monbiot’s relationship with national security agents. He is such an echo chamber for establishment views masquerading as ‘dissent’.

  6. Intelligence agencies rarely serve the people or even the government; the very nature of their business – distrusting everyone – soon spreads into the whole organization; very soon it is very easy for a few “committed” types to set the agenda for the whole agency. Intelligence agencies serve themselves and some people who run the system, or a few hyper rich who want to meddle with the society. In today’s world, how much of their “services” are actually useful to the government is questionable. They certainly do not serve the people or the cause of freedom or liberty. Poison in one organ will eventually poison the whole body; their propaganda, their disregard for human rights, their callous attitude towards people’s life, all will eventually poison the whole government. And the ultimate irony is at some point, they start believing their own propaganda!

    • Agree: Z-man, Ben the Layabout
  7. There’s no doubt a lot of truth in all that and I was glad to see Julian Assange mentioned sympathetically. But can you deny the sipreme importance of not allowing the imperialist dreams of the authoritarian kleptocrat to prevail while it should still be easy against a dictatorship which can only pretend to be a super power because it has nuclear weapons but has only a tenth of its Western enemies GDP? The appalling record of abuses of power by the US when it was the only super power is surely irrelevant to the need for for America and the West not to be seen as impotent to protect small countries from large aggressive neighbours. (That is not to say that I want the US to go to war over Taiwan but the barriers to attacks like that which China may make on Taiwan will be much lower if the US fails in Ukraine).

    • Replies: @xyzxy
    , @emerging majority
  8. Kim says:

    “Chris Hedges…a long and distinguished journalistic career”

    Well sure, anyone can have that, as long as he doesn’t name the jew.

    • Agree: Justrambling, JM
    • Replies: @JM
  9. To all you “voters”, this is what you’re actually voting for. You’re voting for the CIA and military deep state to continue to bamboozle you.

    • Agree: Realist, USGrant, Durruti, Kali
    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
  10. roonaldo says:

    Just assume that you are being lied to and manipulated 100% of the time by major media outlets if it is a story of any significance.

  11. Mac_ says:

    Small note on comment eight, Iim, re: on Hedges, he doesn’t have to. He named the ndaa and took it through what dupes assume as a ‘court system’ while everyone else sat. Got through appellate then was refused hearing by the supreme cons. That was enough. People ignored. R. Paul mentioned it also at a somewhat heated time, while rump said nothing, and what’s more later on also signed it.

    On article, as basic fact, supposed mass media isn’t coincidence, it was and is a con to steer masses. Nothing has or will be coming from the plastic boxes to make the future better or stop destruction.

    Stupidity is buying an ’emergency radio’.

  12. Tom Welsh says:

    Absolutely superb! This article conveys in a nutshell how our mainstream media have been subverted, purchased, and turned into channels for raw government propaganda. The interviews are perfectly chosen for impact and informational content.

    Congratulations to Mr Cook. His writing is canonical.

    • Agree: GMC, GomezAdddams
    • Replies: @Abbybwood
  13. Tom Welsh says:
    @RoatanBill

    Exactly so, RoatanBill. Their best course would be to stay home and do something they enjoy – possibly reading something by Aristotle, Plato, Burke, or Jefferson. If no one at all votes, all legitimacy will evaporate.

    I am sorry not to have given your comment an “Agree”. The site won’t let me because I have not written enough comments lately. As I try not to write unless I have something useful or interesting to say, that looks like an unfortunate policy – but it is the policy.

    Please accept an “Attaboy” from me!

    • Thanks: RoatanBill
    • Replies: @Fred777
    , @Durruti
  14. xyzxy says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    That is not to say that I want the US to go to war over Taiwan but the barriers to attacks like that which China may make on Taiwan will be much lower if the US fails in Ukraine…

    Really? What is it to you whether China unifies? Care to come clean?

    On a related (to the article) note, how much of the Epoch Times operation is CIA/MI6 funded? My guess is that the ties are strong.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  15. Che Guava says:

    Comprehensive article, except for Evening News, not the actual title, it is in Japanese, and CIA connection, little I didn’t know before.

    That also didn’t really surprise me, the paper is mainly a mix of propaganda, approved gossip, sports news, and very light porn to this day.

    Prolefeed, as a mid-last century author said it.

    A couple of other interesting points, apparent suicides, open statements. Not many.

    Luke Harding, not that I have read anything by him lately, made it very clear that he was a bad actor or paid agent from the early days of Assange’s entrapment.

    Then again, Jonathon Cook was a doubleplusgoodthinking Guardianista for some years, so it is always strange to me that he never mentions that.

    Actually, I learnt a little there from my own post, I never noticed how Newspeak term formation is partly based on German term formation before.

  16. Blissex says:

    Sometimes I am still amused by USA (and UK) parochialism and exceptionalism: in many european countries everybody knows that most news papers are owned by big business or political interests and have deep ties with various security services. In some countries I know that becoming a journalist is something desirable precisely because the side earnings from big corporates or security services can be quite satisfactory, even if the base salary is not that much. So everything that Jonathan Cook says is far from a surprise for some people.

    The standard has been for a long time “listen to Radio Moscow for some real news about the USA, listen to Radio America for some real news about Russia”. Currently my usual expectation is that Russia/China sourced information is somewhat biased and exaggerated, and that USA/UK sources information is almost entirely made up.

    Thomas Jefferson, 1814: “I deplore with you the putrid state into which our newspapers have passed, and the malignity, the vulgarity, & mendacious spirit of those who write for them: […] these ordures are rapidly depraving the public taste, and lessening it’s relish for sound food. as vehicles of information, and a curb on our functionaries they have rendered themselves useless by forfeiting all title to belief.”

    George Orwell, 1943: “Early in life I have noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper, but in Spain, for the first time, I saw newspaper reports which did not bear any relation to the facts, not even the relationship which is implied in an ordinary lie. […] I saw newspapers in London retailing these lies and eager intellectuals building emotional superstructures over events that had never happened. I saw, in fact, history being written not in terms of what happened but of what ought to have happened according to various ‘party lines’.”

    Harold MacMillan, 1963: “It is wonderful not to read the newspapers — except a rapid glance through The Times. It makes such a difference. One feels better, mentally and morally, not to be absorbing unconsciously, all that steady stream of falsehood, innuendo, poison which makes up the Press today, apart from purely informative sections.”

    • Thanks: JM
  17. Blissex says:

    «Last year, Newsweek revealed an undercover army of at least 60,000 operatives run by the Pentagon that used “masked identities” to exert influence on the digital world: “The explosion of Pentagon cyber warfare, moreover, has led to thousands of spies who carry out their day-to-day work in various made-up personas, the very type of nefarious operations the United States decries when Russian and Chinese spies do the same.”»

    One of the best ironies is this:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/06/us/politics/huawei-meng-china-iran.html

    The National Security Agency breached Huawei servers years ago in an effort to investigate its operations and its ties to Chinese security agencies and the military, and to create back doors so the National Security Agency could roam in networks around the globe wherever Huawei equipment was used.

  18. @mephisto

    Laughing all the way to the bank … Rothschilds!

  19. anonymous[139] • Disclaimer says:

    ‘Empire of lies’ is an apt description. The greater the discrepancy between reality and the narrative they’re pushing the more brazen it becomes. They’ve gone over to muzzling and stifling contrary views as part of this propaganda war. US-UK output is sheer fabrication whereas Russian sources hew much closer to the facts and so are much better. The late German journalist Udo Ulfkotte wrote a book giving his experiences with the corruption and governmental ties of the mass media which just showed a fraction of what’s really behind the curtain. Now, if one could get the mass of Americans to research issues of importance rather than engaging in celebrity worship, that would be a miracle.

    • Replies: @Ben the Layabout
  20. The spooks and the media are under the control of the zionists aka communists and are hell bent to put the world in a satanic one world government.

    • Agree: GomezAdddams
  21. Jimmy1969 says:

    Going back almost 500 years every explorer or missionary spied for the British empire in some capacity. One example is to read about the history of the Hudson Bay Company in North America.
    Also look into the History of the Film producer Alexander Korda. He worked for the British secret service and like many of his kind helped sucker us into WW2 for the Brits. Ditto that for many many writers like Somerset Maugham. Going back to the founding of Journalism almost every British foreign correspondent has reported to some intelligence organization…ditto that for the rest of the world too. The Israelis and the Russians and the Chinese are masters at it. Even those idiots up in Canada have a history of doing it too. You can throw in sports stars too….if a simpleton like Dennis Rodman can spend days being debriefed by the CIA what about a normal person/athlete. There are dozens of books and articles that outline the role of the CIA in publishing enterprises. The famous one eyed spy Cord Meyer (whose wife was JFK’s mistress and was murdered at random) ran the CIA’s covert program dealing with publishing houses. This has been well documented for decades. This article does not invent the wheel.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
    , @Jimmy1969
  22. Wielgus says:

    Turkish media reports I have seen simply take it for granted that Le Mesurier at least had a relationship with British intelligence agencies.

  23. Wielgus says:

    John le Carré’s fictional character Jerry Westerby is a journalist as well as an asset of the “Circus”. The relationship between the media and the intelligence service has long been nown, although it may have deepened recently.

    • Replies: @Pierre de Craon
  24. Turk 152 says:

    Most people are far too insecure to reflect into their own cultural narrative to recognize its shortcoming. The disinformation operates at a deeply psychological level which embeds itself in one’s identity and being. What is a political identity, left right, British, Christian Muslim, Jewish, is it something that you are born with as you leave the womb? No, it is something you are told you are, by your parents, as soon as you are able to communicate. This is the group you belong too, thus you take on the cultural baggage of “we vs they”. We is always superior to and victimized by They, no matter the circumstances.

    While we banter current political events, I am convinced that psyop types in our militaries, media and political institutions are experts at exploiting this universal human vulnerability and care nothing about the facts, only the narrative. We operate in the news, they operate in the churches, synagogues and mosques and will always have the upper hand,

  25. @xyzxy

    Whether China “unifies” as you put it is not of concern to me but how it might come about is. How would you argue in support of an
    attack on Taiwan as destructive as Russia’s on Ukraine if that is what it took and if, as is true, the people of Taiwan were overwhelmingly against being ruled by the CCP?

    • Replies: @mulga mumblebrain
    , @Anon
  26. Fred777 says:
    @Tom Welsh

    “If no one at all votes, all legitimacy will evaporate.“

    But that won’t happen. If only 30 people were to vote out of our 300 million, then there is their legitimacy and mandate to rule.

    • Replies: @Wielgus
    , @Mac_
  27. Che Guava says:
    @Jimmy1969

    Somerset Maugham? How?

    He may have been queer, wrote engaging stories from hearsay, was sued over them at times, lost most cases, but the stories are entertaining.

    Doesn’t sound like a dedicated secret agent man.

    • Replies: @Captain B.
  28. Wielgus says:
    @Fred777

    In the 18th century, the British electorate was about 3% of the population. This had gone on for centuries and only began to be unsustainable in the following century.
    Although partly satirical, William Hogarth’s Election series depicts the bribery involved in these contests in circa 1754, and the way partisans of the sides could even fight each other bitterly though they were often unable to vote themselves.

  29. Jim H says:

    ‘ The handful of giant corporations that now control almost all mainstream media in the US share most of the security establishment’s concerns, just as ordinary journalists did during the Cold War.’ — Jonathan Cook

    Headline from Drudge Report today:

    ZASLAV: CNN pivoting to ‘journalism first’…
    Not going to look at ratings …

    ‘Zaslav’? What CNN shares with “almost all mainstream media in the US” is Jewish management.

    Honest journalism can’t exist when the media is run by an ethnic cabal, and this fundamental fact cannot be publicly discussed.

  30. Agent76 says:

    Mar 1, 2016 Operation Mockingbird: The CIA and the Media

    March 6, 2018 CIA Admits to Congress the Agency Uses Mainstream Media to Distribute Disinformation

    1975 Video It has been verified by a source who claims she was there that then-CIA Director William Casey did in fact say the controversial and often-disputed line “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false,” reportedly in 1981.

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/1975-video-cia-admits-to-congress-the-agency-uses-mainstream-media-to-distribute-disinformation/5424860

    • Replies: @JohnSmith
  31. Anonymous[278] • Disclaimer says:

    Quibble: did you mean diffuse at “ The intelligence services’ cultivation of ties with journalists in an increasingly digital, more defused media environment is likely to be as covert as ever.”

    Great article btw.

  32. @Wielgus

    Just so. Indeed, Westerby was also what Nancy Mitford called a “Hon”—someone entitled to be addressed as “the Honorable So-and-So.” As you know, le Carré concludes Westerby’s story and life with his summary execution by the Establishment, of which he was at least nominally a member, for failing to live up to its expectations of him.

  33. RobinG says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    Larry Johnson, yes, thanks! This convo also recommended by smoothieX12 and friends.

    In response to US threats:
    Putin’s aide warns US against pressing for war crimes court

    Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy secretary of Russia’s Security Council chaired by President Vladimir Putin, denounced the U.S. for what he described as its efforts to “spread chaos and destruction across the world for the sake of ‘true democracy.’”

    “The entire U.S. history since the times of subjugation of the native Indian population represents a series of bloody wars,” Medvedev charged in a long diatribe on his Telegram channel, pointing out the U.S. nuclear bombing of Japan during World War II and the war in Vietnam. “Was anyone held responsible for those crimes? What tribunal condemned the sea of blood spilled by the U.S. there?”

    https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2022-07-06/putins-aide-warns-us-against-pressing-for-war-crimes-court

  34. cohen says:

    Now listen to this French “Journalist” BS about his interview with Macron or Micron. While Macron was talking tough to Putin. Of course edited version.

    The delusional parroting the same phrases what we hear in US.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10986959/Extraordinary-argument-Macron-Putin-four-days-war-revealed-Russias-fury.html

  35. Marcali says:

    This is a February 29, 1944 letter to the BBC and higher members of the British Clergy, from the British Ministry of Information [ie Propaganda].
    “Sir,
    I am directed by the Ministry to send you the following circular letter :
    It is often the duty of the good citizens and of the pious Christians to turn a blind eye on the peculiarities of those associated with us.
    But the time comes when such peculiarities, while still denied in public, must be taken into account when action by us is called for.
    We know the methods of rule employed by the Bolshevik dictator in Russia itself from, for example, the writing and speeches of the Prime Minister himself during the last twenty years. We know how the Red Army behaved in Poland in 1920 and in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Galicia and Bessarabia only recently.
    We must, therefore, take into account how the Red Army will certainly behave when it overruns Central Europe. Unless precautions are taken, the obviously inevitable horrors which will result will throw an undue strain on public opinion in this country.
    We cannot reform the Bolsheviks but we can do our best to save them — and ourselves — from the consequences of their acts. The disclosures of the past quarter of a century will render mere denials unconvincing. The only alternative to denial is to distract public attention from the whole subject.
    Experience has shown that the best distraction is atrocity propaganda directed against the enemy. Unfortunately the public is no longer so susceptible as in the days of the “Corpse Factory,” and the “Mutilated Belgian Babies,” and the “Crucified Canadians.”
    Your cooperation is therefore earnestly sought to distract public attention from the doings of the Red Army by your wholehearted support of various charges against the Germans and Japanese which have been and will be put into circulation by the Ministry.
    Your expression of belief in such may convince others.
    I am, Sir, Your obedient servant,
    (signed) H. HEWET, ASSISTANT SECRETARY
    The Ministry can enter into no correspondence of any kind with regard to this communication which should only be disclosed to responsible persons.

  36. @Carlton Meyer

    “The good guys”

    By catering to the “Ukraine” question with disregard of the real wins and losses, (WE meat-ball society getting poorer, higher costs of bread and gas, other “hotspots” in Africa and the Middle East, global hunger, biolabs in Kosovo), they are indeed disinformation agents. And not much doubt about their morals, these guys are not even being paid. Especially this Alexander dude poses/is “Hollywood-an-ignorant-innocent-incorporated”. This to refer back to the main text, about “Media convoluting”. Hence prying the truth (no doubt Ukraine meat-ball population is loosing the carnage) out of the larger context, the message becomes a lie, or at best useless brain-fodder.

    Out of the scope of this sole comment, and back to the main article, dishing some bits for the next narration of our author. Does he (the author), (of course), realizes that the “alt” media are in on it too? John Unz referencing the New yorK tiMmes, and of all clowns Jeffrey Sachs ring a bell? Hence the two-some (Faroukis/Alexander) above (these two probably to the contrary innocent). But then let’s leave some margin for a next narrative.

    • Replies: @JWalters
  37. Batiushka is correct. If there is any relevant binary in the world today, it is The Russian World (including most of the planet plus UN Charter and liberal democracy supporters worldwide) versus The Nazi West (US, UK, NATO, Israel, vassals, etc.).

    • Replies: @mulga mumblebrain
  38. In Austfailia it would be an insult, to turds, to call the MSM a sewer. The vermin that infest it exhibit TOTAL loyalty to power, particularly the US Empire and Israel, and slavering antipathy to the enemy du jour, PARTICULARLY, as the element of race hatred is undisguised, China.
    The presstitutes are plainly either total morons, brainwashed from birth, or those with some residual nous, but complete hypocrites who know that their ‘careers’ require 100% loyalty to the Imperial Line. And Groupthink reigns-all ‘discussions’ hew to the Party Line, all are ferociously anti-China, anti-Russia, anti-Iran etc, and where actual praise for Imperial crimes is too sordid, complete disappearance down the Memory Hole rules. The Palestinians, for a prime instance, ceased to exist five or so years ago.

  39. @Thor Walhovd

    Only five out of 54 African leaders joined the latest love-in with cross-dresser ?elensky. Unreported by the Western MSM, of course.

  40. @Wizard of Oz

    Ole Wizz, parroting Imperial agit-prop, like a demented, superannuated, sulphur-crested cockie, as ever. China wants peaceful re-unification, but your Yankee Masters and the compradore vermin in Taiwan WANT conflict. And who are you, White Man, to speak for the Taiwanese? Typical racist arrogance.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  41. “Cadwalladr” is helluva funny name:
    cad = low-class fellow of poor morals
    walla= ordinary Indian worker
    Dr = doctor

    and is it Carol or Carôle?

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  42. Bob Woodward is a career covert CIA agent. Graduated for CIA University (aka Yale), five years in Naval Intelligence, then to the Washington Post were he has big scoops fed to him, like Watergate, a CIA coup.

  43. JohnSmith says:
    @Agent76

    The New York Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has controlled both the CIA and the corporate media since WW2.

    Rockefeller lawyer Allen Dulles who ran the CIA “Operation Mockingbird” was a CFR director for 40 years. Most of the media barons of the period were also CFR members, including Paley (CBS), Sarnoff (NBC), Luce (Time/Life), Meyer/Graham (WashPost), Sulzberger (NYTimes), etc.

    See chart showing modern CFR media control: https://swprs.org/the-american-empire-and-its-media/

    Most of the CIA directors have been CFR members, including: Burns, Morell, Petraeus, Hayden, Goss, Tenet, Deutch, Woolsey, Webster, Casey, Gates, Turner, Bush, Colby, Schlesinger, Helms, McCone, and Dulles.

    The key players on the “Biden team” are CFR members, including the secretaries of State, Treasury, Defense, Commerce, Agriculture and ‘Homeland Security’. Also the CIA director, Fed chair, UN ambassador, and dozens more.

    • Thanks: emerging majority, Kali
  44. Durruti says:
    @Tom Welsh

    Their best course would be to stay home and do something they enjoy – possibly reading something by Aristotle, Plato, Burke, or Jefferson. If no one at all votes, all legitimacy will evaporate.

    The best course is NOT to passively hide in your home, while the Zionist Oligarchs Rule, assassinate, trigger Wars, steal Land, steal our Tax Monies, & open the Pandora’s Box for WW III. Political Legitimacy does not evaporate.

    The “best course” is to RESIST. Resisting tyranny involves work, and risk; but to stand by and do nothing as you witness a crime, is to Aid the Criminals. MOSSAD, CIA, MI6, the Money Changers are quite happy to rule over Pacifists and Cowards. It makes their job easier.

    They assassinated our Last Constitutional President, John F. Kennedy, in their Coup D’état of November 22, 1963. Our Republic, our Sovereignty, our Honor, our Liberty can only be restored, – by REVERSING the results of reactionary violence, with Restorationist violence.

    The Glorious Revolution of 1688, was much studied and hailed by the Founders of Our Nation. It was/is called “Glorious,” because the overwhelming power of the Revolutionists minimalized the violence, as King James II and his supporters skedaddled out of town – (as they were vastly outnumbered, and had no chance to resist). I cannot guarantee a sugar coated “Glorious” Restoration result, but you/we might get lucky. Or, you can read a good book at home – and hope for the best.

    https://www.bing.com/ck/a?!&&p=17355e62151b76343f09049d97f95adcd9aa54ffa459e060b2d1655a43bbe7aeJmltdHM9MTY1NzE0NjU0MSZpZ3VpZD1hOWQwZjc5MC1lYjdmLTRmNDUtYWViZi1mODQxZTU4YThhOGMmaW5zaWQ9NTE4OA&ptn=3&fclid=08db2947-fd7b-11ec-bed8-901c45036ed6&u=a1aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuaGlzdG9yeS5jb20vdG9waWNzL2JyaXRpc2gtaGlzdG9yeS9nbG9yaW91cy1yZXZvbHV0aW9u&ntb=1

    The road tread by Pearse, Jefferson, Revere, Washington, Patrick Henry, Tom Paine, the Kennedys, Lumumba, Albizu Campos, Zapata, Villa, Guevara, Castro, Aguinaldo, Connolly, De Valera, Ho Chi Minh, Chu Teh, Cuauhtemoc, and so many others, have made our world a better place.

    Our work is not finished, and we may not do it from home.

    • Agree: JM, Chuck Orloski, camus10
    • Replies: @JM
  45. How is Holland the second largest exporter of agricultural goods when it isn’t a big country?



    Video Link

  46. @Carlton Meyer

    For me, one of the good things to come out of the Ukraine coverage has been the discovery of the Duran guys.

    Katehon.com especially but far from limited to Alexander Dugin is another.

    We, at Katehon, clearly defend the principle of a multipolar world, and thus we fundamentally support a pluricentric worldview defined by an international balance of powers; we reject and challenge any kind of unipolar world order and global hegemony. Therefore, we pay special attention to global multipolar associations such as BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). All of our fellow contributors hold firm to the main principles of the continentalist school of geopolitics. In addition, we stress the importance of religious and cultural identities in international relations, and so we closely monitor the ethnic dimension in social processes, conflictual situations and agreements.

    I honestly can’t recall the last time I saw or read “news” from the old media.

  47. Vinnie O says:

    I’m not sure why you chose to use “spook” to mean something like “spy”. Do the English use it that way?

    In the US, “spook” is one of the many insulting terms for “(male) Negro”. Roughly the same as writing “n*gger”. So I’m sure that CIA and the American press have a problem with spooks, but I’ve NEVER seen any OPEN complaint about the truthfulness or accuracy of a story caused by the reporter being a spook. I’m sure you could get fired for that, Civil Rights-wise.

    So you might want to make sure you translate your copying from English sources into American before you use them on this side of the Atlantic.

    • Disagree: camus10
    • Replies: @Sparkon
    , @Bill Jones
  48. JWalters says:
    @PetrOldSack

    Your comment reads like a half-informed, half-baked, drunken ramble.

    • Replies: @PetrOldSack
  49. We can see the CIA control of the NYT clearly at the time of the JFK murder. Within two days the Times declared LHO as the shooter and the case closed. This was before even a semblance of an investigation had started but it was the official line coming out of WDC. In time, and with many private investigators casting doubts on the official narrative, we see the Times label all those people as conspiracy theorists, a term invented by the CIA. This characterization exists down to the present and includes any book or movie reviews that don’t support the WC. Iraq, Syria and now Ukraine are all examples where the Times beats the CIA war drum. It is very transparent and predictable.

  50. Mac_ says:
    @Fred777

    – should put the basis of claim with the comment, which cannot be claimed from any paper scribble ‘law’, but only as matter of people’s ignorance of natural law, choosing to submit to paper scribble ‘laws’ instead of use of natural law. Otherwise if the claim of ‘only thirty voting’ as making legitimate or not, there is no such law. Natural law is of course ultimate, the only true ‘law’. Supposed paper scribble ‘law’ is the con of tyrants, along with nonsense ‘democracy’ or ‘republic’ cons. Base fact of life, natural law, might is right, responsibility to stop incursion on you and steer the future for self security, requires action by every individual, natural law. People going along with paper ‘law’, and not fighting, is what confers agreement to whatever ‘rule’. That is the basis for the claim in the comment, there isn’t other basis, or, if there’s some paper scribble ‘law’ claiming that, go ahead and post it.

    To that, the ridiculousness of the fakery the last few centuries has ramped the last forty years, in number of fronting female tyrants in people’s faces, so dupes continue ‘going along’. That was the purpose of phony ‘queens’ in the past, to put a ‘nicy’ face on tyrany and theft along the cabalists way of taking over world and food and water.

    Proof of natural law, if people decided to fight instead, by natural law, then no more paper scribble ‘rule’. Basic to every living thing. Suggest make few notes, paper pen better than copy paste. To state the fact to full extent, if there is even one person disagrees and doesn’t ‘vote’ or agree with other’s ‘votes’, they who disagree, by continuing to go along anyway, is agreement, by not fighting to stop those claiming to ‘rule’.

    That is the only basis that could be claimed as basis in the comment, agreement by non-action, ignoring natural law ability, not because there’s any supposed paper ‘law’ claiming rule regardless the number of who ‘vote’ or not. Again if there is some paper scribble ‘law’ claiming that, go ahead and post, otherwise the claim of even if ‘only thirty percent vote is legitimate’ is only based on fact of failure to use natural law otherwise, therefore conferring agreement to being ‘ruled’.
    .

  51. Abbybwood says:
    @Tom Welsh

    Kinda like the way the entire MSM is ignoring the protests in the Netherlands?

    Looks to me like a revolution is taking place, but a total black-out by MSM. Cops even firing live ammo on farmers:

    • Replies: @emerging majority
  52. Dr. Doom says:

    The “narrative” died during the internet age.
    )))They((( can’t put the cat back in the bag.

    The headlines are a broken record now.
    I think Emmit Till is still a headline.

    The Lugenpresse has zero credibility anymore.
    Nobody buys the lies anymore, really.

    Its samizdat now. People only go along for a paycheck.
    As the Zion Pigs lose their monopoly money ponzi scheme its over.

    War has come. Its starting to get hot.
    The new push for “gun control” is a last gasp of desperation.

    • Replies: @Ben the Layabout
  53. @Wizard of Oz

    Certainly the most telling bit of commentary in Cook’s excellent article was this material he gleaned from “Newsweek” of all publications: “Newsweek revealed an undercover army of at least 60,000 operatives run by the Pentagon that used “masked identities” to exert influence on the digital world.”

    Now that’s just the Pentagon. Imagine the numbers added to that by the CIA and MI6, to say little about the rest of the Five Eyes such as Canuckistan and Australian ‘intel’ agencies.

    That got me to thinking. Sixty thousand operatives is one helluva large number. It means that virtually every digital site has at least a few paid operatives churning out party-line propaganda and fake narratives. How bout UNZ REVIEW? Logically, there should be several on this site, posting regularly as if they have nothing better to do than cash those government paychecks for maintaining the narrative.

    “Putin Fanboys”. Perhaps someone with more time on their hands for back research on several of the most “on message” posters. Who was it who first employed the “Putin Fanboys” meme? Was it the Blizzard of Ooze? Perhaps j2, a rather knowledgeable “gent” on military affairs. Alrenous?

    Mossad has its Ha\$barfa and \$ayanim types who are ever on the lookout regarding anything vaguely hostile to the Zionist State occupying Palestine. But for the most part they tend to remain faithful to their paymasters in Tel Aviv and don’t ham it up on matters not directly affecting the Talmudist train.

    So who has the time to check out which poster first employed “Putin Fanboys”? That term is a dead giveaway. Will “somebody’s” hackers erase the dead giveaway, which was that initial exposure of “Putin Fanboy”.

    60,000 operatives working for the Pentagon. Huge number…even a few scraps doled out to those pesky gnats who maintain the charade on these threads, guys like Bummer Command and in for a Quarter, working for his Master.

    Think about it. Taxpayer money going to support liars and pilpul artists. Get’s me to thinking about the Allen Parsons Project’s “Eye in the Sky”. That evinces the all-seeing Eye of Horus, depicted clear as a bell on the ass-end of each and every \$1 fednote.

  54. Sparkon says:
    @Vinnie O

    No, the word spook is and has been in common parlance as a (slang) synonym for spy on both sides of the English-speaking Atlantic.

    Definition of spook

    (Entry 1 of 2)
    1 : ghost, specter
    2 : an undercover agent : spy

    Synonyms: Noun

    agent, asset, emissary, intelligencer, mole, operative, spy, undercover

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spook

    When in doubt about the meaning of words, or even when sure, it’s always a good idea to check with a dictionary, a valuable resource always just a few keystrokes away on the Internet.

    • Replies: @Charles Martel France
  55. @Abbybwood

    Thanks. Sent links to this one. Explosive information.

  56. 911 is a clear case where the media worked hand in glove with the intelligence agencies to wrongfully blame a bunch of Arabs for bringing down WTC, gave an obviously unrealistic made up interpretation of what happened, and covered up for the real perpetrators. Then similarly with Iraq’s WMD in preparation for the war on Saddam Hussein. The lies of the MSM never cease.

  57. JWalters says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    I agree the reports and analyses on The Duran are among the best. Their (almost) daily episodes can conveniently be found here.
    https://rumble.com/c/theduran

    Videos from the front lines in Ukraine, including military operations, interviews with soldiers and civilians, related documentaries, and discussions can be found here:
    https://www.rt.com/on-air/

    Episodes of the discussion show Crosstalk are here:
    https://www.rt.com/shows/crosstalk/

    Episodes of the interview show Worlds Apart are here.
    https://www.rt.com/shows/worlds-apart-oksana-boyko/

  58. JM says:
    @Kim

    The man is self-righteous slime.

  59. @mulga mumblebrain

    I have spent time in Taiwan. Have you? Anyway no one needs to speak for them as you put it. They have elections and opinion polls that make their opinions of the prospect of CCCP rule quite clear. Actually I’m such a racist thatvI wouldn’t mind taking a few million refugees from Taiwan.

    Yes China would prefer peaceful unification over Putinesque destruction. Do you think their threatening flights are a good move toward that end?

  60. @emerging majority

    That 60,000 seems an incredible number if it is meant to mean people actively working virtually fulltime under the direction of the Pentagon. It sounds more like someone’s wish list.

  61. JM says:
    @Durruti

    Yes, Ho Chi Minh too. Much pain would have been saved to all concerned were that realised by the people at the time.

  62. @Wizard of Oz

    Obviously it’s on your non-wish list…or your wish that number would never have been published by Newsweek list.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  63. @Wizard of Oz

    As in ‘welsh on your debts’. The current Cadwalladr is everything bad about the propaganda brainwashing system.

  64. @Wizard of Oz

    Wizz fizz # 345-when embarrassed, just ‘deny it all’. ‘When the facts change, I change the facts-what do you do, sir?’ Words of Wizzdom.

  65. @Wizard of Oz

    Once again you regurgitate Imperial LIES. There is NOTHING ‘threatening’ about China flying in its won, and International airspace. When the MSM scum vermin rats say ‘China flew in Taiwan’s airspace’, they are LYING, as usual. China flies in Taiwan’s Air Defence Identification Zone, that includes large area of the Chinese mainland opposite the renegade island.
    In my opinion China should fly over Taiwan proper whenever they care to, because it is Chinese territory, to let the compradores know what is what, but I’m a Westerner, so given to extremism. The Chinese will wait, but if their hand is forced…. and if Austfailia is on the White Bosses’ team, we are FINISHED. P.S Are you after a job at SkyNews, now that Alan Jones is gone and Graeme Richardson seems to have run out of monkey glands and formaldehyde?

    • Agree: GomezAdddams
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  66. @Che Guava

    Doesn’t sound like a dedicated secret agent man.

    Why not? Writers live by their intelligence, as do secret agents. Seems like a good fit to me, especially at a time when everyone was expected to “do his bit.” Maugham would have been a then-elderly 40 when the war began, and my guess is he could never hope to serve his country otherwise.

    (Though it is interesting to note that the Military Service (No. 2) Act raised the age limit for conscription to 51 [!] in 1918.)

    Read Ashenden: Or the British Agent sometime. The book is based (albeit loosely) on what Maugham did during WWI. I expect most of Maugham’s job involved keeping his eyes and ears open, but his knowledge of human nature likely came in handy, too.

    (It would be interesting to know whether Maugham’s stammer impeded his work. I understand it came and went and I wonder if it was particularly bad when he was under stress.)

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  67. @Vinnie O

    A spook is a spy to those who speak English.

  68. I don’t say this enough, Mr Cook.

    Thanks for your work.

  69. Anonymous[521] • Disclaimer says:
    @Zachary Smith

    Journalists for Hire: How the CIA Buys the News

    Thank you for mentioning this book.

    I tried to find a copy of Journalists for Hire for sale online with no success. However, in my search for it, I became acquainted with the term “privishing” which is:

    …a portmanteau meaning to privately publish, as opposed to true publishing that is open to the public. It is usually employed in the following context: ‘We privished the book so that it sank without a trace.’ The mechanism used is simple: cut off the book’s life-support system by reducing the initial print run so that the book ‘cannot price profitably according to any conceivable formula,’ refuse to do reprints, drastically slash the book’s advertising budget, and all but cancel the promotional tour. The publisher’s purpose is to kill off a book that, for one reason or another, is considered ‘troublesome’ or potentially so.’”

    Privishing helps keep America’s secret history secret.

    I had no idea anything like this existed. Yes, I had noticed that certain so-called “controversial” books were awfully expensive. However, I was surprised to learn that the publishers themselves were responsible at least part of the time for some books being priced so high due to their deliberately reducing the initial print runs, then never reprinting them regardless of demand.

    At first glance, one would think publishers would want to sell all the books they could, but that does not appear to be the case when it comes to “troublesome” books. Du Pont Dynasty by Gerard Colby seems to be a particularly egregious example of what can happen when a rich and powerful group of people do not want a book to see the light of day.

    Privishing is both an intriguing and appalling phenomenon. I appreciate your indirectly bringing it to my notice.

  70. anon[150] • Disclaimer says:

    The apical coup against JFK keeps coming up as a classic case of CIA media control. Remarkably, even in this sophisticated venue people cite Lee Harvey Oswald as murderer, and Israel as mastermind. When everybody knows the guy who shot JFK was the highly decorated Bennie G. Adkins.

    We know how CIA controls the military; Prouty explained it in The Secret Team.

    https://ratical.org/ratville/JFK/ST/

    Through the miracle of modern CIA propaganda, people seem convinced that Izzies control the military.

    Nope. You can’t exercise instant positive control of the whole US government, top to bottom, without impunity, get-out-of-jail-free cards. And only CIA has impunity in municipal law.

  71. @emerging majority

    Do you understand that interestingly round number to actually describe

    “people actively working virtually fulltime under the direction of the Pentagon”

    as is needed to make your reply responsive? Or how can they be accurately described, and in what numbers?

    • Replies: @emerging majority
  72. @mulga mumblebrain

    Why have the Chinese not being making equivalent flights for the last 30 plus years unless it is now that, being stronger, they seek to build up the pressure on Taiwan I.e. threaten or intimidate it.

    • Replies: @mulga mumblebrain
  73. Che Guava says:
    @Captain B.

    I never read any of his war-time writing.

    Only many good stories from Asia and islands.

    In any case, not an expert, I didn’t know of that, so thank you.

  74. @Anonymous

    One must bear in mind that major American publishing houses include such entities as Simon and Schuster. Those boys were set up financially by Bernard Baruch or one of those non-Goys who enjoyed massive backing from the Bank\$ter elite. Any work which might upset the Sanhedrin will either never see print in a “major”, or will receive the sort of treatment you just kindly described. Thanks for that.

  75. Jimmy1969 says:
    @Jimmy1969

    Che…a silly little reply…do some of your homework or the teacher might spank you.

  76. PetrOldSack says: • Website
    @JWalters

    I have made more then a single comment on media matters. All of them while drunk. Thanks for noticing.

  77. @Anonymous

    Sir:

    “Disappearing” books seems to be a growing practice. One which I tried to find several years ago was Palestine: The Reality—The Inside Story of the Balfour Declaration 1917–1938. Turns out it wasn’t available at any price, and there was no mention of any previous sales – at any price. According to the WorldCat site only a handful of libraries around the world still held a copy. My own deduction was that the Apartheid state wanted the book to ‘go away’, and it was my suspicion they were helping in that process. Fortunately somebody finally reprinted it, and the Official Line that Palestine was an empty land could no longer be maintained.

    https://www.bookfinder.com/search/?st=re&ac=pg&qi=Kbeoka2z,YXJtATqix5liDahzR4_1657207602_1:1:2:1:1&full=on

    Another example:

    https://archive.seattletimes.com/archive/?date=19961108&slug=2358645

    I don’t expect Volkswagen will ever allow this one to be translated into English.

  78. @Wizard of Oz

    Would you please explain your statement in a more understandable form?

    • Replies: @mulga mumblebrain
  79. @Sparkon

    No, the word spook is and has been in common parlance as a (slang) synonym for spy on both sides of the English-speaking Atlantic.

    What is your comment on this :

    https://www.dictionary.com/browse/spook

    BRITISH DICTIONARY DEFINITIONS FOR SPOOK

    spook / (spuːk) informal /

    noun

    1_a ghost or a person suggestive of this
    2_US and Canadian a spy
    3_Southern African slang any pale or colourless alcoholic spiritspook and diesel

    verb (tr) US and Canadian

    4_to frightento spook horses; to spook a person
    5_(of a ghost) to haunt

    • Replies: @Sparkon
  80. Sparkon says:
    @Charles Martel France

    I suppose you must have failed to notice that my comment was in response to Vinnie’s misguided attempt to take British author Jonathan Cook to task for using the term spook as a synonym for spy in the title of this article.

    More succinctly, did you fail to notice that the article’s author Jonathan Cook is himself British?

    Or do you need more proof that spook means spy to most Brits and Americans alike, and my previous comment was entirely accurate?

    • Replies: @Charles Martel France
  81. @Sparkon

    You totally missed my point. I was expecting you to comment on the definition (2_US and Canadian a spy ) by saying that it has not been updated by dictionary.com

    • Replies: @Sparkon
  82. @emerging majority

    The Wizz of Fizz has some difficulty being understandable these days. Sic transit gloria mundane. He’s all Wizzled out.

    • Replies: @emerging majority
  83. @Wizard of Oz

    Well, Fizz, the voices of compradore treachery advocating ‘independence’ are louder today, and US and the Five Eyes stooges’ provocations are steadily growing. You may have noticed, Fizz, that the Real Evil Empire has SURROUNDED China with military bases and in the sewers of Anglosphere politics and MSM that genocidal hatred of China and deranged hate propaganda only grow ever more extreme. That, I imagine, suits your White Supremacist worldview, but the Chinese are entitled to defend themselves from that unparalleled EVIL, and they will.

    • Replies: @GomezAdddams
  84. Hitch says:

    He was asked to spy on “left-wing” television colleagues, in return for a secret, tax-free salary that would match what he was already being paid by his employer.

    “tax-free” cannot happen without the collusion of the tax authorities. In the US we know that ((Lois Lerner)) as head of the IRS targeted Tea-Party 501c’s and other organizations in order to suffocate the Ron Paul movement. In the end the IRS worked to steal the 2008 and 2012 elections for Barry Sotero (Obama) just as much as what happened Biden in 2020.

    I do not doubt that it is possible for the US and UK governments to provide tax free payrolls to certain people. The SES (Senior Executive Service) acts as a government within the government, and I sincerely doubt that all of their salaries are taxed. Everyone else in the US Civil Service are payed according to the GS (Government Service) schedule, with a GS-15 being the highest salary IIRC. SES is separate and above this GS schedule.

    The FEIE (Foreign Earned Income Exclusion) excludes a certain level of income from taxes to the US for US persons working oversees from US. This is based on the salary of a US GS-13 employee, currently somewhere around \$110,000/year. The point here is that taxation for US Expats is already keyed into income levels of GS employees. There could be many reasons for this, one of which likely is international agreements on tax free income.

    Government employees receive certain parts of their salary “tax-free”. Housing allowances, COLA adjustments are tax-free. It would not be difficult at all for the US payment system to have other, secret, codes in the pay check that were special tax free carve outs. It is entirely conceivable that media stars, “scientists”, “doctors”, and who knows what else could be receiving pay checks from the US government with certain codes that exclude them from taxations, either local, state, federal and even International.

    By the SOFA (Status of Forces Agreements) forced on countries where the US has a military presence, the salaries of US employees are also free of tax in that country. We can be certain that this also applies to “diplomatic” staff. We can be certain that all “friendly” countries are forced to sign these kinds of agreements, so CIA/deep state employees would be getting salaries that are internationally tax-free as well.

    BIS and UN staff also receive tax-free salaries. All EU employees are also tax-free.

    When the “Covid” bioweapon was released, the mockingbird media across the entire planet all started singing the same song on queue, and the same exact thing happened with the release of the “vaccine”, and now the conflict in Ukraine. Of course the same thing has been going on with Global Warming, just think of how all the media, and “science” claim like “99.9% of climate scientist” believe in AGW.

    So my point here is that this operation mockingbird control of the Media is not just in the US and UK or in 5 eyes or in 6 eyes, or even across the west. This control extends far beyond the media, and reaches into the tax systems and the people running them. We can be certain that it also reaches deeply into the legal systems of all the countries as well, just consider what happened to Snowden, Assange, Haverbeck, Zundel or Irving.

    • Thanks: emerging majority
  85. @Carlton Meyer

    Canadian RCMP ( sorry the Shinzo Abe got boinked) on the all alert pulled over a speeding car along a country stretch of road. Vehilce had been going in excess of the speed limit.

    (( Now–it was the case the the car occupants were a couple of blacks from Baltimore – who were up in Canada looking for action and being they were on the road for 4-5 days were becoming hungry. Suddenly they spotted a little hog standing in the ditch.

    Car pulls over and passenger hops out and gets the porker and tosses it in the back seat–intentions later to butcher it and have a feast. However —they are later speeding and RCMP pulls up behind them with flashing lights and passenger becomes panicked “What are we gonna do Kingfish”? Kingifish orders Andy to get that porker from the backseat and set it between the two of them—and put his handerchief over the porker’s head)).

    Now the RCMP approaches car carefully and taps on passenger side window —window rolls down and then the ECMP views this scene and stares for a long long time.

    Finally Canada’s finest addresses its occupants:
    “What the hell is a good looking Ukrainian Jewish girl like you doing with a couple of niggers ???”

  86. Thanks for this article. I have needed a clear explanation for how the MSM are fully co-opted for some time. I could tell that it is, but wasn’t sure how it was possible.

  87. @mulga mumblebrain

    Shinzo Abe go “bye bye” —wonder how 5 eyes will react and come to the end event in Yasakuni Shrine–Boris Johnson—Scottie “bow wow” Morrison—Jason Jackboot Trudeau – Joe “Amtrak “Biden and Jap Taiwanese – Cai Ingwen. Cai Ingwen and Chrystia Freeland plus Greta Thundberg –Lurch is getting “randy”…..

    • Replies: @mulga mumblebrain
  88. @mulga mumblebrain

    Too much Fosters can foster a deal of wissing.

  89. Sparkon says:
    @Charles Martel France

    You totally missed my point. I was expecting you to comment on the definition (2_US and Canadian a spy ) by saying that it has not been updated…

    When you are trying to make a point, may I suggest you put it in clear, unambiguous English?

    You didn’t do that, and instead merely asked for my comment.

    Furthermore, I am certainly not responsible for, nor can I divine, your expectations. What you might think you have implied may not be what I will infer.

    Getting back to the word “spook” as a synonym or perhaps euphemism for “spy,” linguists, etymologists and crossword puzzle aficionados might find this additional information interesting and useful:

    https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/2340/why-are-spies-called-spooks

    I conclude usage of “spook” as a synonym for “spy” may have begun in the United States during WWII, but due to American influence during the war, was adopted by the Canadians, Brits, and in other English-speaking lands, to include even Australia.

    More here:

    https://www.collinsdictionary.com/zh/dictionary/english-thesaurus/spook/2

    As a young man growing up in my Midwestern milieu in the United States, I cannot recall ever hearing the term “spook” used as a racial epithet. The first and only time I can recall hearing it used that way was by a guy from Pennsylvania whom I’d met and knew briefly after my enlistment, but the few guys in the AF using racial epithets stuck to other, more familiar terms.

    Finally, at least one source I stumbled across and now can’t find again claims that the term “spook” was originally used as a racial slur by black people referring to whites, which makes some sense as ghosts are usually pictured or imagined as being white, like a “cracker,” and not black.

  90. @Wizard of Oz

    Take them to America –a Racist failing nation—???

  91. @Anon

    I think the real point about journalists is not so much that the lie – that’s always to be expected – but the fact that they actually believe the lie. I don’t know what the exact of the division between the liars and the true believers is but the the liars will sell their grandmother for pennies in the pound, but the fanatics would die for their warped beliefs.

    • Replies: @mulga mumblebrain
  92. Anon[608] • Disclaimer says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    “attack on Taiwan as destructive as Russia’s on Ukraine”

    Beating the drum for Zelinskyyyy, too, I see.

    You spook.

  93. Anon[152] • Disclaimer says:

    You write as if the west had tried to topple Assad. He’s still there isn’t he? So looks like the real CIA op is for the media to pay verbal lip service to denouncing him ,but want him in power. You do the CIA bidding when you assert that white helmets are in cahoots with alqauda and isis. So what of it? It does not make them Muslim fundamentalists [ and Alqauada were not all essentially fundamentalists btw] These white helmets are westernized educated opponents of a brutal mass murdering Assad regime. If alqauda and isis also wants to topple that brutal regime, they are justified.
    Funny how the Right who supported the Iraq wars; people like, Tucker, now oppose toppling Assad. Why’s that? Because he’s holocausting Sunni Syrian Arabs, that’s why. No need for the west to do it when Assad’s doing it himself. So you all smear Syrian Arabs who oppose Assad as fundamentalists. Which is a-historical; Syria was colonized by France and it’s a secularized country [ as secularized as a middle easter Arab country can be].

    And btw, ISIS are mostly comprised of mentally unbalanced socio and psychopaths from all over the world. Alqauda were self professed freedom fighters opposed to all US backed for cold war benefits and below market oil] or Russian backed regimes which harmed the native populations.

    You are spreading the CIA’s, anti -Arab/ anti Muslim propaganda in lumping Alquada, ISIS and white helmets as all the same because they all are against Assad, and as a justification to not support toppling Assad, and smearing white helmets as fundi fanatics. They are not all fundie fanatics [ isis are internet convert sociopaths] out to get all non- Muslims! That’s exactly what the CIA /intel agencies AND the MSM want us to believe. If they are in coalition to topple a mass murdering regime that does not mean they are all fundie fanatics or that Assad should remain in power killing hundreds of thousands of anti -Assad Syrians.

    But the facts on the ground speak the truth; Assad is still in power; the Kurds are holding men, women children, babies in concentration camps where they are suffering and many die of deplorable living conditions. It’s a holocaust on Syrian Sunni Arabs, by Kurds/Allowite Assad[ with Putin’s help] and the West. Only Turkey is defending them. Which is why all the anti Turkey propaganda in MSM.

    The issue of chemical weapons is a red herring. Obama made that gaffe for he had no intentions of stopping Assad ever. And all in US media praised Putin, remember? when Putin got Obama out of his red line gaffe. The fact is Assad has torture prisons and is engaged in mass murder. Whether chemical weapons were used or not. That’s a distraction designed to change the subject about Assad’s brutal regime. And the Kurds who hate Arabs, [everywhere they live they want their own separate state] are good with Assad’s holocaust of Sunni Arabs too. The west including the US’s darling Poland is allowing Syrian refugees to die in misery fleeing Assad with nowhere to go! The US media is fine with that too. There’s your anti Semitism; against Semitic Arabs this time.

    You’re being naive; you really drank the Kool aid that these white helmets people pulling people out of the rubble by day, are putting on a show and are really fanatic Muslim extremists looking to behead non fundie Muslims! out to force everyone into fundamentalism. They are westernized,[ as mcCain noted; the one thing he got right] educated, and for that reason, want real freedom from a secular, yes but very tyrannical brutal regime. Syria is NOT Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan. Maybe that’s why the CIA wants Assad in power; the last thing the anti Semites [against semitic Arabs ] want is an Arab nation that is truly educated and secularized and not fundamentalist. That would not be good for the pro right wing Zionist narrative [“the only democracy in the ME surrounded by fanatics”] for one thing! You’re playing into that by claiming white helmets are stealth fundie fanatics and that Syria should be ruled by a regime with torture prisons with no rights, like all those Arabs should!

  94. @Oracle of Delphi

    ‘Fanatics have their dreams, wherewith they weave A paradise for a sect…’. Western MSM presstitutes are chosen for ideological reliability towards the Right, towards neo-liberalism, towards the Exceptional Empire etc. They are the PROPERTY of the likes of Satan Murdoch, and if they EVER show independence of thought, or integrity, OFF the gravy-train they go.
    An alien from Betelgeuse would need only peruse the TOTAL Groupthink of Western MSM presstitutes to grok that thought, reflection, discussion and intellectual honesty are LONG gone from their ranks. The hoary hard Right absurdity that these insects are of the Left is garbage-‘liberal fascists’ were NEVER Left in ANY meaningful sense, and never will be.

    • Agree: camus10
  95. camus10 says:
    @Anon

    would recommend you do some open-minded reading Col Macgregor , col richard black, especially the Grayzone

    alqauada = alciada

    white helmets have been stage managed to rationalize nato aggression against secular assad. they have staged chemical attacks as cases believe for nato aggression thru turkiye

    isis , alnusra is managed by nato-usintel. with assad regime and their Ir allies isis has been cleared from huge swathes of iraq syria

    now same units deployed in Ukr

  96. @Anon

    You are full of shit…the result of imbibing copiously in the diarrhea spewed out by the Zionist owned mass media of misinformation and general mindfuckery. The government of Syria was duly elected by a majority of voters. The Takfiri and Salifist fanatics work for the CIA, MI6 and the Mossad. The head of the White Helmets was a British intel agent.

    Man, you are nothing but a deliberately dumbed-down imbiber of the Kool-Aids.

  97. Anon[149] • Disclaimer says:

    What you call “cleared” is Kurds controlling with US help a region where Sunnis Syrian Arabs, once occupied by isis are now all rounded up and imprisoned for having had the bad luck of having been occupied by isis. They are deemed guilty for the fact of being related [children ,spouses] or having been forced by isis terror to submit to isis. Now they are in prisons under brutish Kurdish control. All their human rights are being violated. And you drank the kool aid that if you are under occupation you yourself are them! That’s a frame that only applies to Sunni Arabs. It’s anti Semitic[ against Semitic Arabs] and genocidal. And the ideology of the US both Left and Right .

    • Replies: @RobinG
  98. Why would any sane person assume the Russians and Western journalism would not use same play book, stoop to the same tactics and dirty tricks? The CIA and other covert influence in the West’s media has been common knowledge for many decades. Why would we assume it be different for any other superpower?

  99. RobinG says:
    @Anon

    What you call “cleared” is Kurds controlling with US help a region where Sunnis Syrian Arabs, once occupied by isis are now all rounded up and imprisoned for having had the bad luck of having been occupied by isis. They are deemed guilty for the fact of being related [children ,spouses] or having been forced by isis terror to submit to isis. Now they are in prisons under brutish Kurdish control.

    AGREE.

  100. @anonymous

    Someone (Voltaire, perhaps?) said approximately, when evaluating a person or other entity, consider mainly the praise by his enemies, as well as the criticism by his allies. Anything else is likely merde, as the frogs would say.

  101. @Dr. Doom

    I would question your use of “samizdat.” From the context, you surely meant the exact opposite, which would be something like “official propaganda.” “Samizdat” is basically underground news, often hand copied or typed and passed from one person to another. Perhaps you meant alternative news services, such as here at Unz?

  102. @emerging majority

    I agree with the idea that operatives are likely at many major sites. We’d be fools to assume that our data (at least emails or other identifying data) is not, at a minimum, collected somewhere. I suspect it wouldn’t be hard to capture everything we type, or at least summaries. To an extent, I welcome trolls or shills here. Why? Because here at least, we are a wide-open forum with no, or very nearly no, censorship. Why shouldn’t the “Deep State” be allowed to participate, especially if they don’t have the power to censor others? Let them make their case. Just because they represent a nation or more likely an intelligence agency, that doesn’t mean that everything they say is a lie, only that it’s suspect and should not be taken at face value. But that should be true for everybody, shouldn’t it?

    It adds an element of sport too. For example, let’s say someone posts “Everybody knows that Oswald alone killed JFK. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a conspiracy theorist.” Well that statement is a bald assertion and an ad hominem. You know right away you’re dealing with someone who’s intellectually dishonest. He may not be an operative, but he’s not likely to have anything persuasive.

    So agents, bring your best game. But the standard tools of disinformation are rather easy to spot and frankly, mark you as a best a dumb fuck, at worst a curious entity who is not to be trusted.

    • Replies: @emerging majority
  103. @Wizard of Oz

    I wish no ill on the Taiwanese. Nor upon China. My question is simple: What compelling interest does the United States have in committing to defend Taiwan? Yes, I realize that my nation has a long history of being “The World’s Policeman.” At least in major conflicts long ago we had plausible excuses (ships sunk, etc.) to declare war. But what business have we in Ukraine vs. Russia? the Mideast? Africa? And so forth.

    At bottom the question is: How long, and to what extent, at what cost (to us and foreigners) can, or even should, America put forth the effort to be the referee in foreign affairs? Is that really a good idea? Or do we have ulterior motives? Of course we do. If a conflict is not our fight, what business do we have taking one side or the other?

  104. @Ben the Layabout

    Some of the operatives would be out to elicit specific responses. These come-backs would be shared with the Fibbies as well as the “Buro des Heimats Sicherheit”, as designed by the former Stasi head who designed both that organ of state and also created a plethora of police-state mechanisms.

    These agencies exist primarily to protect the ruling criminals from retribution emanating from an outraged citizenry of our ruptured republic. Should developments along those lines seem to appear critical, then the FEMA organization is already prepared to deal with dissidents.

    However, if a mass public uprising, such as the ones currently occurring in Sri Lanka and at a more reserved level in the Netherlands; then all those parasitical agencies would have a huge mess on their hands. Identifiable dissidents would hardly be likely to be playing any instrumental role in an outbreak of popular passion. How do taxpayer supported agencies deal with floods, earthquakes and volcanos?

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