Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Russia-gate’s Litany of Corrections

By Robert Parry | Consortium News | December 11, 2017

The U.S. mainstream media’s year-long hysteria over Russia’s alleged role in the election of Donald Trump has obliterated normal reporting standards leading to a rash of journalistic embarrassments that have both disgraced the profession and energized Trump’s backers over new grievances about the MSM’s “fake news.”

Misguided groupthink is always a danger when key elements of the Washington establishment and the major news media share the same belief – whether that is Iraq’s supposed possession of WMD or the need to bring down some foreign or domestic leader unpopular with the elites.

Yet, we have rarely witnessed such a cascading collapse of journalistic principles as has occurred around the Russia-gate “scandal.” It is hard to keep track of all the corrections or to take note of all the dead ends that the investigation keeps finding.

But anyone who dares note the errors, the inconsistencies or the illogical claims is either dismissed as a “Kremlin stooge” or a “Trump enabler.” The national Democrats and the mainstream media seem determined to keep hurtling down the Russia-gate roadway assuming that the evidentiary barriers ahead will magically disappear at some point and the path to Trump’s impeachment will be clear.

On Friday, the rush to finally prove the Russia-gate narrative led CNN — and then CBS News and MSNBC — to trumpet an email supposedly sent from someone named Michael J. Erickson on Sept. 4, 2016, to Donald Trump Jr. that involved WikiLeaks offering the Trump campaign pre-publication access to purloined Democratic National Committee emails that WikiLeaks published on Sept. 13, nine days later.

With CNN finally tying together the CIA’s unproven claim that WikiLeaks collaborates with Russia and the equally unproven claim that Russian intelligence “hacked” the Democratic emails, CNN drew the noose more tightly around the Trump campaign for “colluding” with Russia.

After having congressional reporter Manu Raju lay out the supposed facts of the scoop, CNN turned to a panel of legal experts to pontificate about the crimes that the Trump campaign may have committed now that the “evidence” proving Russia-gate was finally coming together.

Not surprisingly the arrival of this long-awaited “proof” of Russian “collusion” exploded across social media. As The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald noted in an article critical of the media’s performance, some Russia-gate enthusiasts heralded the CNN revelation with graphics of cannons booming and nukes exploding.

The problem, however, was that CNN and other news outlets that jumped on the story misreported the date of the email; it was Sept. 14, 2016, i.e., the day after WikiLeaks released the batch of DNC emails, not Sept. 4. In other words, it appeared that “Erickson” – whoever he was – was simply alerting the Trump campaign to the WikiLeaks disclosure.

CNN later issued a quiet correction to its inflammatory report – and not surprisingly people close to Trump cited the false claim as yet another example of “fake news” being spread by the mainstream media, which has put itself at the forefront of the anti-Trump Resistance over the past year.

But this sloppy journalism – compounded by CNN’s rush to put the “Sept. 4 email” in some criminal context and with CBS and MSNBC panting close behind – was not a stand-alone screw-up. A week earlier, ABC News made a similar mistake in claiming that candidate Donald Trump instructed Michael Flynn to contact Russian officials during the campaign, when Trump actually made the request after the election when Flynn was national security adviser-designate, a thoroughly normal move for a President-elect to make. That botched story led ABC News to suspend veteran investigative reporter Brian Ross.

Another inaccurate report from Bloomberg News, The Wall Street Journal and other news outlets – that Russia-gate special prosecutor Robert Mueller had subpoenaed Deutsche Bank records of President Trump and his family – was denied by Trump’s lawyer and later led to more corrections. The error apparently was that the bank records were not those of Trump and his family but possibly other associates.

A Pattern of Bias

But it wasn’t just a bad week for American mainstream journalism. The string of errors followed a pattern of earlier false and misleading reporting and other violations of journalistic standards, a sorry record that has been the hallmark of the Russia-gate “scandal.” Many stories have stirred national outrage toward nuclear-armed Russia before petering out as either false or wildly exaggerated. [See, for instance, Consortiumnews.com’sRussia-gate Jumps the Shark.”]

As Greenwald noted, “So numerous are the false stories about Russia and Trump over the last year that I literally cannot list them all.”

The phenomenon began in the weeks after Trump’s shocking victory over Hillary Clinton as Democrats and the mainstream media looked for people to blame for the defeat of their much-preferred candidate.

So, on Thanksgiving Day, just weeks after the election, The Washington Post published a front-page story based on an anonymous group called PropOrNot accusing 200 Web sites of acting as propaganda agents for Russia. The list included some of the Internet’s leading independent news sources, including Consortiumnews, but the Post did not bother to contact the slandered Web sites nor to dissect the dubious methodology of the unnamed accusers.

Apparently, the “crime” of the Web sites was to show skepticism toward the State Department’s claims about Syria and Ukraine. In conflating a few isolated cases of “fake news” in which people fabricated stories for political or profitable ends with serious dissent regarding the demonizing of Russia and its allies, the Post was laying down a marker that failure to get in line behind the U.S. government’s propaganda on these and other topics would get you labeled a “Kremlin tool.”

As the Russia-gate hysteria built in the run-up to Trump’s inauguration during the final weeks of the Obama administration, the Post also jumped on a claim from the Department of Homeland Security that Russian hackers had penetrated into the nation’s electrical grid through Vermont’s Burlington Electric.

As journalist Gareth Porter noted, “The Post failed to follow the most basic rule of journalism, relying on its DHS source instead of checking with the Burlington Electric Department first. The result was the Post’s sensational Dec. 30 story under the headline ‘Russian hackers penetrated U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont, U.S. officials say.’ …

“The electric company quickly issued a firm denial that the computer in question was connected to the power grid. The Post was forced to retract, in effect, its claim that the electricity grid had been hacked by the Russians. But it stuck by its story that the utility had been the victim of a Russian hack for another three days before admitting that no such evidence of a hack existed.”

The Original Sin

In other cases, major news outlets, such as The New York Times, reported dubious Russia-gate claims from U.S. intelligence agencies as flat fact, rather than unproven allegations that remain in serious dispute. The Times and others reported Russian “hacking” of Democratic emails as true even though WikiLeaks denied getting the material from the Russians and the Russians denied providing it.

For months into 2017, in dismissing or ignoring those denials, the U.S. mainstream media reported routinely that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies concurred in the conclusion that Russia was behind the disclosure of Democratic emails as part of a plot initiated by Russian President Vladimir Putin to help elect Trump. Anyone who dared question this supposed collective judgment of all the U.S. intelligence agencies risked being called a “conspiracy theorist” or worse.

But the “consensus” claim was never true. Such a consensus judgment would have called for a comprehensive National Intelligence Estimate, which was never commissioned on the Russian “hacking” issue. Instead there was something called an “Intelligence Community Assessment” on Jan. 6 that – according to testimony by President Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in May 2017 – was put together by “hand-picked” analysts from only three agencies: the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency.

Even after Clapper’s testimony, the “consensus” canard continued to circulate. For instance, in The New York Times’ White House Memo of June 25, correspondent Maggie Haberman mocked Trump for “still refus[ing] to acknowledge a basic fact agreed upon by 17 American intelligence agencies that he now oversees: Russia orchestrated the attacks, and did it to help get him elected.”

Finally, the Times ran a correction appended to that article. The Associated Press ran a similar “clarification” applied to some of its fallacious reporting which used the “17-intelligence-agencies” meme.

After the correction, however, the Times simply shifted to other deceptive wording to continue suggesting that U.S. intelligence agencies were in accord on Russian “hacking.” Other times, the Times just asserted the claim of Russian email hacking as flat fact. All of this was quite unprofessional, since the Jan. 6 “assessment” itself stated that it was not asserting Russian “hacking” as fact, explaining: “Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact.”

Even worse than the Times, the “fact-checking” site Politifact, which is part of Google’s First Draft Coalition for deciding what the search engine’s algorithms will promote as true and what information will be disappeared as false, simply decided to tough it out and continued insisting that the false “consensus” claim was true.

When actual experts, such as former National Security Agency technical director William Binney, sought to apply scientific analysis to the core claim about Russian “hacking,” they reached the unpopular conclusion that the one known download speed of a supposed “hack” was not possible over the Internet but closely matched what would occur via a USB download, i.e., from someone with direct access to the Democratic National Committee’s computers using a thumb drive. In other words, the emails more likely came from a DNC insider, not an external “hack” from the Russians or anyone else.

You might have thought that the U.S. news media would have welcomed Binney’s discovery. However, instead he was either ignored or mocked as a “conspiracy theorist.” The near-religious belief in the certainty of the Russian “hack” was not to be mocked or doubted.

‘Hand-picked’ Trouble

In recent days, former DNI Clapper’s reference to “hand-picked” analysts for the Jan. 6 report has also taken on a more troubling odor, since questions have been raised about the objectivity of the Russia-gate investigators and — as any intelligence expert will tell you — if you “hand-pick” analysts known for their personal biases, you are hand-picking the conclusion, a process that became known during the Reagan administration as “politicizing intelligence.”

Though little is known about exactly who was “hand-picked” by President Obama’s intelligence chiefs to assess the Russian “hacking” suspicions, Russia-gate special prosecutor Robert Mueller has been forced to reassign Peter Strzok, one of the top FBI investigators who worked on both the Hillary Clinton email-server case and the Trump-Russia inquiry, after it was discovered that he exchanged anti-Trump and pro-Clinton text messages with a lawyer who also works at the FBI.

Last week, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee sought answers from new FBI Director Christopher Wren about Strzok’s role in clearing Hillary Clinton of criminal wrongdoing in her use of a private unsecured email server to handle official State Department communications while Secretary of State. They also wanted to know what role in the Russia-gate probe was played by a Democratic-funded “opposition research” report from ex-British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, which included unverified hearsay claims by unnamed Russians about Trump.

Wren avoided direct answers by citing an ongoing Inspector General’s review and Mueller’s criminal investigation, but Republicans expressed displeasure at this evasiveness.

The Republican questions prompted E.J. Dionne Jr., a liberal columnist at The Washington Post, to publish a spirited attack on the GOP committee members, accusing them of McCarthyistic tactics in questioning the FBI’s integrity.

Dionne’s straw man was to postulate that Republicans – because of this discovery of anti-Trump bias – would discount evidence that proves Trump’s collusion with Russia: “if Strzok played some role in developing [the] material. … Trump’s allies want us to say: Too bad the president lied or broke the law or that Russia tried to tilt our election. This FBI guy sending anti-Trump texts is far more important, so let’s just forget the whole thing. Really?”

But the point is that no such evidence of Russian collusion has been presented and to speculate how people might react if such evidence is discovered is itself McCarthyistic, suggesting guilt based on hypotheticals, not proof. Whatever one thinks of Trump, it is troubling for Dionne or anyone to imply treasonous activities based on speculation. That is the sort of journalistic malfeasance that has contributed to the string of professional abuses that pervades Russia-gate.

What we are witnessing is such an intense desire by mainstream journalists to get credit for helping oust Trump from office that they have forgotten that journalism’s deal with the public should be to treat everyone fairly, even if you personally disdain the subject of your reporting.

Journalists are always going to get criticized when they dig up information that puts some politician or public figure in a negative light, but that’s why it’s especially important for journalists to strive for genuine fairness and not act as if journalism is just another cover for partisan hatchetmen.

The loss of faith among large swaths of Americans in the professionalism of journalists will ultimately do severe harm to the democratic process by transforming information into just one more ideological weapon. Some would say that the damage has already been done.

It was, if you recall, the U.S. mainstream media that started the controversy over “fake news,” expanding the concept from the few low-lifes who make up stories for fun and profit into a smear against anyone who expressed skepticism toward State Department narratives on foreign conflicts. That was the point of The Washington Post’s PropOrNot story.

But now many of these same mainstream outlets are livid when Trump and his backers throw the same “fake news” epithet back at the major media. The sad truth is that The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC and other leading news organizations that have let their hatred of Trump blind them from their professional responsibilities have made Trump’s job easy.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s.

December 11, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

CNN pundit David Frum on fake news: Trust blunder-prone media as they expose Trump

RT | December 11, 2017

Factually inaccurate reports are a natural by-product of fighting Donald Trump’s “system of lies”, CNN pundit David Frum has reassured the public. The Atlantic senior editor’s comments were made in the wake of false reporting by ABC and CNN.

“The mistakes are precisely the reason people should trust the media,” Frum told Brian Stelter, on CNN’s ‘Reliable Sources’ program.

He insisted that “the worst mistakes that press organizations have made in their coverage of [US President Donald] Trump has precisely occurred in their overzealous effort to be fair to the president.”

Frum’s comments come after two major news networks, CNN and ABC, each had to correct “bombshell” reports that showed Trump and his administration in a poor light.

Frum, who is The Atlantic’s editor and was a speech-writer for President George W. Bush, argued that Trump and his supporters are “not well-placed to complain” about the false media reports, because they themselves are engaged in a “system of lies.”

“Mistakes occur in the process of exposing the lies,” Frum claimed. “The liars then complain about the mistakes that are investigating them.”

Likening CNN reporters to astronomers committed to the “discovery of truth,” Frum urged news consumers to trust the press, but also to consult a variety of sources, in order to avoid close-minded thinking. However, Frum warned CNN’s viewers against watching Fox News, which he said did not have “an interest in finding truth.”

Several American news networks have been on the defensive after back-to-back “bombshell” stories about Trump and his associates were quickly revealed as ‘nothing burgers’.

Brian Ross, chief investigative correspondent for ABC News, erroneously reported on December 1 that Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser, would testify that Trump had directed him to make contact with Russian officials while Trump was still only a candidate for the presidency.

The story was considered so damaging to US political and economic stability that the stock market took a hit after it was published. In fact, Flynn had been asked to contact Russian diplomats only after Trump won the election.

Ross received a four-week suspension from ABC after the widely-publicized story, which had been hailed as conclusive proof of Trump’s so-called collusion with Russia. Such contact is nothing more than routine procedure by an incoming administration.

CNN painted itself into a similar, factually dubious corner when it reported that congressional investigators had been provided an email that suggested Trump had been offered early access to leaked Democratic National Committee emails.

The story, which was heralded by CNN as evidence of a nefarious Trump-Wikileaks-Russia trifecta, fell apart within hours, after it was revealed that the news network had misreported the date of the email, which had been sent by a random Trump supporter forwarding publicly available information.

Although it corrected its story, CNN has since avoided explaining how it got the facts so wrong. Its initial report cited “multiple” anonymous sources. However, during his Sunday program, Stelter did acknowledge that the report was “a black eye for CNN.”

December 11, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , | Leave a comment

CNN refuses to reveal names of “multiple sources” who spread Wikileaks-Trump fake news story

By Alex Christoforou | The Duran | December 11, 2107

Last week was a very bad week for fake news CNN.

CNN was embarrassed (to say the least) after completely screwing up what it dubbed a “bombshell” Trump collusion story, by misreading email dates, and confusing a “4” with a “14”.

CNN had claimed that an email sent to the Trump campaign, containing hacked documents and encryption key, was dated September 4th, days before being released to the public.

This was the smoking gun proving Trump-Wikileaks collusion and by extension Trump-Russia collusion. Only problem was that the real date of the email was ten days after Wikileaks publicly released its leaked documents. Zerohedge noted at the time…

As it turns out, the email was dated Sept. 14. The documents had actually been made publicly available earlier that day. Wikileaks was merely trying to draw the Trump campaign’s attention to the documents.

So, two of CNN’s ace political reporters managed to write a “bombshell” story, which presumably made it through at least one round of edits, and was also probably reviewed by the network’s legal department, without anybody double-checking the date of the email – the crux of the entire. For what it’s worth, CNN said it based its story on the accounts of two sources who had seen the email. But this just highlights the dangers of relying on second-hand information, and should make readers question the next anonymously sourced story they see.

CNN corrected its story after the Washington Post, which managed to obtain a copy of the email, pointed out the error, which transformed the CNN story from a “bombshell” into essentially a nonstory.

Progressive media commentator, Jimmy Dore tore apart CNN, and its fake news cohorts MSNBC, CBS and ABC for not only spreading the fake news, but not having the integrity to issue a proper retraction… at the very least CNN should, as The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald points out, expose who the “multiple sources” for the story were, and how such multiple sources all misread the date. 

It is, of course, completely plausible that one source might innocently misread a date on a document. But how is it remotely plausible that multiple sources could all innocently and in good faith misread the date in exactly the same way, all to cause to be disseminated a blockbuster revelation about Trump/Russia/WikiLeaks collusion? This is the critical question that CNN simply refuses to answer. In other words, CNN refuses to provide the most minimal transparency to enable the public to understand what happened here.

*****

Think about what this means. It means that at least two – and possibly more – sources, which these media outlets all assessed as credible in terms of having access to sensitive information, all fed the same false information to multiple news outlets at the same time. For multiple reasons, the probability is very high that these sources were Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee (or their high-level staff members), which is the committee that obtained access to Trump Jr.’s emails, although it’s certainly possible that it’s someone else. We won’t know until these news outlets deign to report this crucial information to the public: which “multiple sources” acted jointly to disseminate incredibly inflammatory, false information to the nation’s largest news outlets?

December 11, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , | 1 Comment

RT ARABIC ONLINE LEADS ALL ARABIC NEWS CHANNELS INCLUDING CNN ARABIC, AL JAZEERA, AL ARABIYA

RT | December 7, 2017

In November 2017, RT Arabic’s website became the most visited online portal among all Arabic-language TV news broadcasters, including CNN Arabic, Sky News Arabia, and major regional channels Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya.

“In the Arab-speaking world, competition among the news media is very high. RT Arabic’s leadership speaks to the fact that we not only found our niche, but are constantly growing as a result of the trust that our audience has in us,” said Maya Manna, head of RT Arabic.

According to analytics portal SimilarWeb, in November, the RT Arabic website was visited more than 23 million times—more than any other Arabic-language news channel, including Al Arabiya, Al Jazeera, Al Mayadeen, CNN Arabic, and Sky News Arabia. The majority of visitors came from users in Egypt—about 20%. Around 8.7% of visitors came from both Saudi Arabia and Algeria, more than 6.2% from Tunisia, and 5.8% from Morocco.

On Facebook, RT Arabic has 13 million subscribers—more than the Arabic-language versions of other international news media such as CNN, BBC, Sky News, DW, France 24, and Euronews. RT Arabic also leads among its international competitors in the Arab region on YouTube, with more than 660 million views and more than 870,000 subscribers.

In September 2017, RT Arabic marked its 10th anniversary of broadcasting by launching its interactive news project – RT Online. Now social network users can participate in news broadcasts in real time and discuss on air the events they witness.

RT Arabic has been a multiple winner and finalist for various international awards, including New York Festivals, the AIB Awards, and Promax BDA, as well as the Iraqi Al-Ghadir Festival. In 2017, RT Arabic journalists were honored by the National Union of Journalists of Iraq, as well as the National Union of Journalists of Syria.

December 7, 2017 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 2 Comments

America’s Righteous Russia-gate Censorship

By Robert Parry | Consortium News | November 14, 2107

A stark difference between today’s Washington and when I was here as a young Associated Press correspondent in the late 1970s and the early 1980s is that then – even as the old Cold War was heating up around the election of Ronald Reagan – there were prominent mainstream journalists who looked askance at the excessive demonization of the Soviet Union and doubted wild claims about the dire threats to U.S. national security from Nicaragua and Grenada.

Perhaps the Vietnam War was still fresh enough in people’s minds that senior editors and national reporters understood the dangers of mindless groupthink inside Official Washington, as well as the importance of healthy skepticism toward official pronouncements from the U.S. intelligence community.

Today, however, I cannot think of a single prominent figure in the mainstream news media who questions any claim – no matter how unlikely or absurd – that vilifies Russian President Vladimir Putin and his country. It is all Russia-bashing all the time.

And, behind this disturbing anti-Russian uniformity are increasing assaults against independent and dissident journalists and news outlets outside the mainstream. We’re not just entering a New Cold War and a New McCarthyism; we’re also getting a heavy dose of old-style Orwellianism.

Sometimes you see this in individual acts like HuffingtonPost taking down a well-reported story by journalist Joe Lauria because he dared to point out that Democratic money financed the two initial elements of what’s now known as Russia-gate: the forensic examination of computers at the Democratic National Committee and the opposition research on Donald Trump conducted by ex-British spy Christopher Steele.

HuffingtonPost never contacted Lauria before or after its decision to retract the story, despite a request from him for the reasons why. HuffPost editors told a BuzzFeed reporter that they were responding to reader complaints that the article was filled with factual errors but none have ever been spelled out, leaving little doubt that Lauria’s real “error” was in defying the Russia-gate groupthink of the anti-Trump Resistance. [A version of Lauria’s story appeared at Consortiumnews.com before Lauria posted it at HuffPost. If you want to sign a petition calling on HuffPost to restore Lauria’s article, click here.]

Muzzling RT

Other times, the expanding American censorship is driven by U.S. government agencies, such as the Justice Department’s demand that the Russian news outlet, RT, register under the restrictive Foreign Agent Registration Act, which requires such prompt, frequent and detailed disclosures of supposed “propaganda” that it could make it impossible for RT to continue to function in the United States.

This attack on RT was rationalized by the Jan. 6 “Intelligence Community Assessment” that was, in reality, prepared by a handful of “hand-picked” analysts from the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency. Their report included a seven-page addendum from 2012 accusing RT of spreading Russian propaganda – and apparently this Jan. 6 report must now be accepted as gospel truth, no questions permitted.

However, if any real journalist actually read the Jan. 6 report, he or she would have discovered that RT’s sinister assault on American democracy included such offenses as holding a debate among third-party candidates who were excluded from the Republican-Democratic debates in 2012. Yes, allowing Libertarians and Greens to express their points of view is a grave danger to American democracy.

Other RT “propaganda” included reporting on the Occupy Wall Street protests and examining the environmental dangers from “fracking,” issues that also have been widely covered by the domestic American media. Apparently, whenever RT covers a newsworthy event – even if others have too – that constitutes “propaganda,” which must be throttled to protect the American people from the danger of seeing it.

If you bother to study the Jan. 6 report’s addendum, it is hard not to conclude that these “hand-picked” analysts were either stark-raving mad or madly anti-Russian. Yet, this “Intelligence Community Assessment” is now beyond questioning unless you want to be labeled a “Kremlin stooge” or “Putin’s useful idiot.” [An earlier State Department attack on RT was equally ridiculous or demonstrably false.]

And, by the way, it was President Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper who testified under oath that the analysts from the three agencies were “hand-picked.” That means that they were analysts personally selected by Obama’s intelligence chiefs from three agencies – not “all 17” as the American public was told over and over again – and thus were not even a full representation of analysts from those three agencies. Yet, this subset of a subset is routinely described as “the U.S. intelligence community,” even after major news outlets finally had to retract their “all 17” canard.

So, the myth of the intelligence community’s consensus lives on. For instance, in an upbeat article on Tuesday about the U.S. government’s coercing RT into registering as a foreign agent, Washington Post reporters Devlin Barrett and David Filipov wrote, “U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that the network and website push relentlessly anti-American propaganda at the behest of the Russian government.”

In the old days, even during the old Cold War and President Reagan’s ranting about “the Evil Empire,” some of us would have actually examined the Jan. 6 report’s case against RT and noted the absurdity of these claims about “relentlessly anti-American propaganda.” Whether you want to hear the views of the Greens and Libertarians or not – or whether you like “fracking” and hate Occupy Wall Street – the opportunity to hear this information doesn’t constitute “relentlessly anti-American propaganda.”

The U.S. government’s real beef with RT seems to be that it allows on air some Americans who have been blacklisted from the mainstream media – including highly credentialed former U.S. intelligence analysts and well-informed American journalists – because they have challenged various Official Narratives.

In other words, Americans are not supposed to hear the other side of the story on important international conflicts, such as the proxy war in Syria or the civil war in Ukraine or Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinians. Only the State Department’s versions of those events are permitted even when those versions are themselves propagandistic if not outright false.

For example, you’re not supposed to hear about the huge holes in the Syria-sarin cases, nor about Ukraine’s post-coup regime arming neo-Nazis to kill ethnic-Russian Ukrainians, nor about Israel’s evolution into an apartheid state. All right-thinking Americans are to get only a steady diet of how righteous the U.S. government and its allies always are. Anything else is “propaganda.”

Also off limits is any thoughtful critique of that Jan. 6 report – or apparently even Clapper’s characterization of it as a product of “hand-picked” analysts from only three agencies. You’re not supposed to ask why other U.S. intelligence agencies with deep knowledge about Russia were excluded and why even other analysts from the three involved agencies were shut out.

No, you must always think of the Jan. 6 report as the “consensus” assessment from the entire “U.S. intelligence community.” And you must accept it as flat fact – as it now is treated by The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and other mainstream news outlets. You shouldn’t even notice that the Jan. 6 report itself doesn’t claim that Russian election meddling was a fact. The report explains, that “Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact.”

But even quoting from the Jan. 6 report might make an American reporter some kind of traitorous “Russian mole” whose journalism must be purged from “responsible” media and who should be forced to wear the journalistic equivalent of a yellow star.

The Anti-Trump/Russia Hysteria

Of course, much of this anti-Russian hysteria comes from the year-long fury about the shocking election of Donald Trump. From the first moments of stunned disbelief over Hillary Clinton’s defeat, the narrative was put in motion to blame Trump’s victory not on Clinton and her wretched campaign but on Russia. That also was viewed as a possible way of reversing the election’s outcome and removing Trump from office.

Hillary Clinton (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

The major U.S. news media quite openly moved to the forefront of the Resistance. The Washington Post adopted the melodramatic and hypocritical slogan, “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” as it unleashed its journalists to trumpet the narrative of some disloyal Americans spreading Russian propaganda. Darkness presumably was a fine place to stick people who questioned the Resistance’s Russia-gate narrative.

An early shot in this war against dissenting information was fired last Thanksgiving Day when the Post published a front-page article citing an anonymous group called PropOrNot smearing 200 Internet news sites for allegedly disseminating Russian propaganda. The list included some of the most important sources of independent journalism, including Consortiumnews.com, apparently for the crime of questioning some of the State Department’s narratives on international conflicts, particularly Syria and Ukraine.

Then, with the anti-Russia hysteria building and the censorship ball rolling, Congress last December approved $160 million for think tanks and other non-governmental organizations to combat Russian propaganda. Soon, reports and studies were flying off the shelves detecting a Russian behind every article, tweet and posting that didn’t toe the State Department’s line.

The New York Times and other leading news organizations have even cheered plans for Google, Facebook and other technology companies to deploy algorithms that can hunt down, marginalize or eliminate information that establishment media deems “fake” or “propaganda.” Already Google has put together a First Draft coalition, consisting of mainstream media and establishment-approved Web sites to decide what information makes the cut and what doesn’t.

Among these arbiters of truth is the fact-check organization PolitiFact, which judged the falsehood about “all 17 intelligence agencies” signing off on the Russian “hacking” claim to be “true.” Even though the claim was never true and is now clearly established as false, PolitiFact continues to assert that this lie is the truth, apparently filled with the hubris that comes with its power over determining what is true and what is false.

But what is perhaps most troubling to me about these developments is the silence of many civil liberties advocates, liberal politicians and defenders of press freedom who might have been counted on in earlier days to object to this censorship and blackballing.

It appears that the ends of taking down Donald Trump and demonizing Vladimir Putin justify whatever means, no matter the existential danger of nuclear war with Russia or the McCarthyistic (even Orwellian) threats to freedom of speech, press and thought.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s.

November 15, 2017 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

White Helmets video with fake life-saving procedures deceived UN sec council

Prof Marcello Ferrada de Noli, from whom we quote the texts posted in this video, made on March 10, 2017, a unique discovery while examining anew a White Helmets movie that have been presented in 2015 at UNSC as argument for ‘No-Fly Fone’ in Syria. The prof observed that the piston in the barrel of the syringe used in a dramatic ‘life-saving’ maneuver on a child, in fact never moved –indicating that no adrenaline was ever injected. He reported the finding to his colleagues, which submitted back to him 11-12 March the statements inserted in this video. This is a new exposure of the White Helmets videos showing fake life-saving procedures that deceived UN Security Council during the White Helmets campaign to facilitate a No-Fly Zone in Syria. Further details in the new published report, “White Helmets Movie: Updated Evidence From Swedish Doctors Confirm Fake ‘Lifesaving’ and Malpractices on Children” at http://theindicter.com/white-helmets-… in TheIndicter.com/

October 29, 2017 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video | | 3 Comments

Israeli ambassador pushes potential war to elite U.S. powerbrokers

Israeli ambassador pushes potential war to elite U.S. powerbrokers

Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer gives address Sept. 12, 2017 to Washington D.C. movers and shakers: Wolf Blitzer and other journalists, government officials, think tank heads, philanthropists – almost all with significant ties to Israel (see list below).

By Alison Weir and Kathryn Shihadah | If Americans Knew | October 5, 2017

A select assembly of Washington D.C. heavy hitters recently attended a Rosh Hashanah event at which Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. spoke. Ron Dermer discussed alleged dangers posed by Iran, Syria, and Russia. In some places Dermer appeared to be laying out a rationale for another Israeli war.

According to JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency), the event is an annual affair “to which the embassy invites the U.S. Jewish leadership.” Dermer’s speeches typically seem intended to create a feeling of shared concern for Israel, saying, for example, “Let us all raise a glass and toast the fact that the Jewish people are voiceless no more. Israel has provided us with a shofar, with a sovereign voice among the nations.” Dermer himself was born and raised in the U.S.

Among those attending the invitation-only gathering this year were approximately 20 journalists, many connected to top U.S. print and broadcast media (including Wolf Blitzer, Eli Lake, Cliff May); numerous government officials and politicians (Congressmen, diplomats, White House insiders, senior staff, political operatives); and heads of major U.S. national organizations, philanthropists, and influential religious leaders (see list with biographical details below).

Dermer’s speech began on a convivial note – “Remember, on Rosh Hashana, you’re allowed to eat, drink and even laugh”– but soon became serious as he gave dire warnings about alleged dangers Israel faces, and the need for Americans to help.

Iran was the main villain to be protected against, with Syria and Russia allegedly dangerous abettors that also need to be addressed.

“The past year has posed many critical challenges for Israel,” Dermer intoned. “Foremost among those challenges has been the rising power of Iran.”

(This is very much in line with Israeli thinking; Israel’s Jerusalem Post newspaper recently reported: “Iran is the primary target of the Mossad’s actions, which number in the hundreds and thousands each year.” Netanyahu reportedly calls the Mossad Israel’s “synchronized fist.”)

Dermer claimed that the Iran deal had been a “double jackpot” for Iran (many U.S. analysts disagree, including some Israel partisans and top U.S. generals). Dermer charged that the deal had enabled Iran to spend “much of the past year consolidating its power across the Middle East.”

Next came the not-so-subtle call to action.

“Israel hopes that the coming weeks will bring about a dramatic change in the trajectory of that deal that will ultimately either fix it or cancel it,” Dermer said, making clear what was required of Americans who care about Israel.

Dermer and Debbie Wasserman Schultz at 2014 Israel Embassy Rosh Hashanah event; Dermer also warned about Iran at that event.

Dermer also focused on Syria, speaking of a potential Iranian “terror front against Israel” being established in Syria.

“Iran has been feverishly working  to win the spoils of the imminent defeat of ISIS,” Dermer said, suggesting that such a defeat could be harmful to Israel.

Dermer’s statements reflect Israeli concern about U.S. efforts to end the war in Syria, leaving Russia, Assad – and by extension Hezbollah – in place. As JTA explains:

The Netanyahu government has been wary of what the end-game could be of U.S. efforts to end the war in Syria. There is a concern among Israelis — articulated most often by the defense minister, Avigdor Liberman — that the Trump administration might defer to Russia, which is allied with the Assad regime. Russia’s Assad alliance means it is in a de facto alliance with Iran and its Lebanese ally, Hezbollah, because they also are allied with the Assad regime.

Recent ongoing efforts in the U.S. to force the Trump administration to avoid diplomatic ties with Russia (despite the paucity of evidence for the accusations) may help remove that obstacle to keeping the U.S. in Syria.

Dermer said that Netanyahu had set “red lines” regarding Syria and that Israel will enforce them: “Israel will act to prevent Iran from supplying game changing weapons to Hezbollah. And Israel will act to prevent Iran from establishing another terror front against Israel in Syria.”

Israel has been stating these red lines for several years, and its escalating sabre rattling suggests that it may be planning another of its wars. Israel analyst Larry Derfner recently published an article entitled “A plea to Israel: Don’t start the third Lebanon War.”

Derfner states: “By continuing to bomb Syrian arms destined for Hezbollah – which Israel has admittedly done nearly 100 times in the last five years – as well as periodically killing Hezbollah and other pro-Syrian fighters along with the occasional Iranian general, Israel is making the next very, very ugly war in the north a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

A recent article in the very pro-Israel Atlantic (editor Jeffrey Goldberg served in the Israeli army) states: “for nearly two years now, Israeli military and intelligence officials have been warning every American official who comes through Tel Aviv and Jerusalem that the next war is coming. Israel has methodically prepared its allies—and most especially the Americans— for a very, very ugly war on the horizon.”

These wars have created massive carnage and suffering. even the Atlantic acknowledges that the 2006 Israeli assault “leveled entire neighborhoods in Beirut.”

Beirut, August 20, 2006. 1,100 Lebanese civilians died, 4,000 were injured, and over one million were temporarily displaced; 116 Israeli soldiers & 43 civilians died. Researchers found pro-Israel bias in U.S. media coverage of the war.

While Dermer tried to sell his audience on the claim that Israel is at existential risk, Derfner points out: “The idea that Hezbollah, Iran and Syria are itching for a war with Israel, that they’re just waiting to attack, is a delusion. Absent Israeli provocation, such an attack would have no parallel in the world or in history.”

Nevertheless, some influential media reports largely purvey Israeli spin, and it’s likely that Dermer’s speech was intended to influence the many journalists at his reception to take a similar line. As a Foreign Policy article reports: “When it comes to Washington, Israel’s task is to locate or induce a more coherent American strategy to counter advance of the Iranians in the Levant.”

This is particularly important, since some Trump officials don’t always march to the Israeli tune. U.S. National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster recently told Israeli officials that Hezbollah was not a terrorist group. (Other reports claim he has called Israel an occupying power.)

Another point Dermer made to his audience was the value of U.S. strategies to help Israel bring some Arab countries into an alliance against Iran.

Dermer called the new allignment a “silver lining” and said he was “deeply grateful” to the current administration for “methodically working to advance a serious process that can move the entire region forward” – i.e. in Israel’s direction.

Dermer is no doubt pleased that, as in the past, the U.S. negotiator for Israel-Palestine is an Israel partisan; he called for applause for Jason Greenblatt, who he noted was present – one of the many “senior officials from all three branches of the U.S. government” attending the event.

Attendees

Jewish Insider provided a list of opinion makers spotted at the event, which included both liberals and conservatives, members of both political parties, and representatives of diverse positions along the pro-Israel spectrum. Below is the list, with added information on each.

We have listed each individual under one category below, although in many cases they would fit into several sectors given the revolving door that often exists between media, government, and pro-Israel organizations.

Journalists/Media Pundit

Wolf Blitzer, CNN lead political anchor, anchor of The Situation Room and Wolf. Blitzer began his career in 1972 with Reuters in Tel Aviv, before becoming a Washington DC correspondent for Israel’s Jerusalem Post. He also worked as editor of AIPAC’s monthly newsletter and edited “Myths and Facts 1976, A Concise Record of the Arab-Israeli Conflict” (Near East Research, AIPAC’s monthly publication), a volume described by Mondoweiss as “one piece of Zionist propaganda after another [that] denounced Palestinian views of [events surrounding the 1948 war] as ‘spurious myths.’”

Blitzer authored Between Washington and Jerusalem: A Reporter’s Notebook (Oxford University Press, 1985) and Territory of Lies (Harper and Row, 1989), about Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, of which reviewer Robert I. Friedman wrote in the New York Review of books that Blitzer played down the damage caused by Pollard. Friedman stated:  “Senior Israeli Defense Department officials are understandably pleased with Blitzer’s book about Pollard.” Friedman reported: “Currently, he travels the American TV talk show circuit as the ‘voice of Israel.’ Territory of Lies is a slick piece of damage control that would make his former employers at AIPAC (not to mention Israel’s Defense Ministry) proud.”

In 1990 Blitzer went to CNN, where his career skyrocketed. During Israel’s 2014 invasion of Gaza, Blitzer covered the conflict by embedding with the Israeli army. As part of “the most trusted name in news,” he maintains a pro-Israel bias (see this and this, for example). In 1989 he took part in a debate in which he largely repeated Israel’s talking points.

Sam Feist, CNN Washington Bureau Chief and senior vice-president. He oversees daily operations, leads all newsgathering and Washington-based programming, as well as campaign and election coverage. Feist was the founding executive producer of Wolf Blitzer’s The Situation Room, and has produced and managed CNN political programming including Crossfire, The Capital Gang, and State of the Union. He has been with CNN since 1991.

Danielle Heyman Feist, wife of Sam Feist. Director of Camp Rodef Shalom, a Virginia day camp that has a number of activities related to Israel, including a program in which scouts from Israel “run their own specialty area during camp, playing Israeli games, teaching a few Hebrew words, and helping bring their Israeli culture all the way to Virginia!”

Howard Friedman is director of Sinclair Media, the nation’s largest owner of local TV stations. He has served on the board of pro-Israel lobbying organizations such as AIPAC.

Howard Friedman has served on boards for many foundations, including the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (which advocates for Israel and brought “tens of thousands” of its members and “hundreds of rabbis” to lobby Congress against the Iran deal). He was twice named by Washington Life Magazine as one of the 100 most powerful people in Washington DC. Formerly he was President of JTA – The Global News Service of the Jewish People.

Perhaps most significantly, Friedman is currently Director of the Sinclair Broadcast Group, the nation’s largest owner of local TV stations, and likely to become even larger, as it is in the process of buying Tribune Media for $3.9 billion.

Sinclair insists on conservative content on its local news programs, and even produces its own commentary pieces as “must-run” segments on every one of its stations . These include a daily “Terror Alert Desk” segment, which was recently exposed by political humorist John Oliver  as an occasional vehicle for conflating terrorism with Islam. The “newscasters” include regulars from the Fox News Channel (like Sara Carter), contributors to conservative publications like the Washington Examiner (like Mark Hyman), and at least one former Trump staffer (Boris Epshteyn – see below).

Sinclair already owns 170 TV stations, which gives it access to 38% of American households—just shy of the cap of 39% put in place by Congress in 2004. Tribune Media is set to hand over another 42 stations (which includes stations in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles), which would give Sinclair access to a full 72% of US households—nearly double what is allowed by law. This was made possible thanks to a move by Trump-appointed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. Pai, heir apparent to the chair of the FCC, was wooed by Sinclair starting right after Trump’s election. Soon after his appointment, Pai unexpectedly revived an outdated regulatory loophole. About two weeks later, Sinclair announced its acquisition of Tribune.

Norman Eisen currently works with think tank Brookings Institution, does political commentary on CNN, and chairs Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a Democratic Party leaning nonprofit he co-founded in 2003 with Louis Mayberg, a financier who donates to Jewish causes (his wife says: “I invest in Jewish people” and partners with the Israeli Ministry of the Diaspora to bring thousands of women from 25 countries on visits to Israel). Previously, Eisen served as special council for ethics and government reform to President Obama. From 1985 to 1988, he was Assistant Director of the ADL’s Los Angeles office, where he investigated anti-semitism and other civil rights issues, promoted Holocaust education, “and advanced US-Israel relations.” He backed Tom Perez over Keith Ellison for Democratic National Committee chair, citing Perez’ “warm feelings for Israel.” As a student he had worked for Israel partisan Alan Dershowitz, who once said: “Our union was made in heaven. He was a natural guy for me to hire because he was brilliant and shared many of the same liberal democratic, pro-Israel values that I did and that he still represents.”

Eisen has also served as U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic, during which time bilateral trade between the U.S. and the Czech Republic almost doubled. Earlier in his career he was a partner in the Zuckerman Spaeder law firm, where he worked on cases such as Enron and Whitewater. Washingtonian Magazine listed Eisen as one of Washington’s top lawyers.

Talk show host Tom Rose (right) volunteered for the Israeli military during the first Gulf War. In 2014 he travelled to Israel with his longtime friend Mike Pence (left), in the company of Ambassador Dermer.

Tom Rose, journalist and unofficial Vice Presidential surrogate. Formerly editor/publisher of the Jerusalem Post, during which he and his family lived in Israel. Although he is an American citizen, during the Gulf War he volunteered for service in the IDF. More recently, he has co-hosted a Sunday morning satellite radio program with conservative Christian Gary Bauer. Their show, The Bauer & Rose Show, is known for its “robust defense of Judeo-Christian civilization, the US/Israel alliance, and the need for a strong America in the world.” The show ended in April 2017 when Rose took a position as assistant and advisor to Vice President Mike Pence, Rose’s “closest personal friend for 25 years.” In 2014, Rose and Pence visited Israel together, in the company of Israel’s Ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer.

Kenneth Weinstein, President and CEO of the Hudson Institute, which honored PM Benjamin Netanyahu with the Herman Kahn Award (see Roger Hertog entry below)—which is conferred on “leading public servants who exemplify a commitment to Western alliances as the bedrock of global security, prosperity, and freedom.” Hudson “seeks to guide public policy makers and global leaders in government and business.” It frequently holds conferences on topics such as defense, international relations, and economics (dozens of which have been pro-Israel) and disseminates research and analysis articles (hundreds of which have been pro-Israel). Weinstein is President and CEO of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), whose mission is “to inform, engage, and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy.” BBG oversees U.S. government civilian international media: Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Office of Cuba Broadcasting, Radio Free Asia, Middle East Broadcasting Networks.

AP reporter Josh Lederman began his journalism career working in Israel, where he had spent a year as a child. He credits that year and his attendance at Tucson Hebrew Academy, whose core values include “supporting Israel,” with informing his reporting.

Josh Lederman, Associated Press reporter; started his journalism career in the AP Jerusalem bureau; he had previously lived in Israel in seventh grade (it is unknown whether he has Israeli citizenship). Lederman credits that year, combined with his education as student at Tucscon Hebrew Academy (among its “Core Values” is “Supporting Israel: We support Israel and foster close relationships with Israeli students and educators”) with helping him “connect the dots” as he reported on Israel. Now based in Washington DC, Lederman covers foreign affairs, national security and U.S. diplomacy for AP ; appears frequently on television and radio, including on MSNBC, Fox News, NPR and others. He covered 2012 presidential campaign for The Hill newspaper in Washington. From 2013 to 2017, Lederman was a White House reporter for AP. He also writes for the Times of Israel.

Media pundit Cliff May founded Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a neoconservative organization created “to enhance Israel’s image in North America.”

Clifford D. May, weekly “Foreign Desk” columnist of The Washington Times, and frequent analyst on diverse TV and radio news programs. His articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, National Review, Commentary, USA Today, The Atlantic and other publications. May is the founder of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a pro-Israel neoconservative organization – May said its purpose was “to enhance Israel’s image in North America.” Some suggested it was the new Project for a New American Century. Right Web reports:

FDD grew out of a right-wing pro-Israel initiative launched in early 2001 called EMET. Reports Slate: “On April 24, 2001, three major pro-Israel donors incorporated an organization called EMET (Hebrew for ‘truth’). In an application to the Internal Revenue Service for tax-exempt status, [FDD president Clifford May] explained that the group ‘was to provide education to enhance Israel’s image in North America and the public’s understanding of issues affecting Israeli-Arab relations.’”[3]

“… Shortly after its founding, FDD quickly became a prominent member of a group of neoconservative think tanks and advocacy groups—including the American Enterprise Institute and the Hudson Institute—that were influential in shaping the early foreign policy priorities of the George W. Bush administration. At the height of the “war on terror,” FDD also absorbed the Committee on the Present Danger, a Cold War-era anticommunist group that been reconstituted to push for hardline policies in the Middle East.”

“FDD’s president, Clifford May, is a former writer for the New York Times who once served as director of communications for the Republican National Committee. May is also a former editor of the party’s official magazine (Rising Tide), a former vice chair of the Republican Jewish Coalition, and a member of the Committee on the Present Danger.”

“FDD has been a vocal advocate of confrontational policies on Iran.”

Slate reports that FDD runs tours of Israel for American academics (with most of their expenses paid) similar to those run for journalists and politicians by AIPAC and other groups.”

May was an advisor to the Iraq Study Group; served on the Advisory Committee on Democracy Promotion (2007-2009), reporting to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; served on the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the entity responsible for all U.S. government and government sponsored, non-military, international broadcasting; and on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (2016).

Evan May, bio is unavailable, probably  relative of Cliff May.

Boris Epshteyn, an investment banker; born in Russia and came to the U.S. in 1993 at the age of 11. Previously, he worked on Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. He was a top communications aide for Donald Trump’s campaign; appeared as a Trump surrogate over 100 times on major TV networks between the election and the inauguration. In April, Epshteyn left the White House and became chief political analyst for Sinclair Broadcast Group (see Howard Friedman, above), a conservative company that owns a multitude of local TV stations.

Lauren Gorlin Tanick, wife of Boris Epshteyn, a strategy executive at Google.

Journalist Eli Lake speaks at event organized by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Aug. 13, 2014. Observers describe him as a neoconservative “pro-Israel” ideologue.”

Eli Lake, Bloomberg journalist, former senior national security correspondent for The Daily Beast and Newsweek. He worked for a range of news outlets, including The Daily BeastNewsweekThe Washington TimesThe New Republic, New York Sun. Lake has often worked with and shared bylines with Josh Rogin (see entry below); known as extremely pro-Israel. Below are exerpts from Right Web:

Eli Lake is a well-known writer and columnist whose track record on U.S. foreign policy has led some observers to describe him as a neoconservative and “pro-Israel” ideologue. …

His writings focus on national security issues, particularly with respect to the Middle East, and he has a lengthy record of advocating for aggressive U.S. foreign policies in the region. One commentator has quipped that Lake has a “career pattern of credulously planting dubious stories from sources with strong political agendas.”

A frequent subject of Lake’s writings is U.S. policy on Iran. Generally hawkish in his critiques of U.S. engagement with Tehran… most observers agree [that his analysis] is really intended to kill negotiations…

After a nuclear agreement was reached between Iran and the P5+1 in July 2015, Lake went on the attack…. In a March 2015 commentary, Lake criticized Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif, a Western educated diplomat widely regarded as a moderate within Iran’s establishment… Former British diplomat Peter Jenkins criticized Lake’s article on Zarif as taking “many liberties with the truth.”

… Lake was “an open and ardent promoter of the Iraq War and the various myths trotted out to justify it, contributing to the media drumbeat that helped the Bush Administration sell the war to the public and to Congress.” Leading up to the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Lake reported extensively on Saddam Hussein’s alleged weapons mass destruction and ties to Al-Qaeda…

After the war and the subsequent failure to discover any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Lake contended that the weapons had been moved to Syria…

In a December 2001 article for the National Review, Lake argued that with its invasion of Afghanistan completed, the United States should move on to take military action against Iraq, Yemen, and Somalia. “There are very good arguments why all three should be the next target,” he opined. “Iraq after all has been developing nuclear and biological weapons …

In 2009, Lake gained notoriety for his role stirring up opposition to the nomination of Chas Freeman, a veteran diplomat and former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, to be the chairman of the National Intelligence Council. Freeman ultimately withdrew his name from consideration and blamed the controversy over his nomination on the “Israel lobby.”… [See Freeman’s statement.]

Josh Rogin, Journalist who often works closely with Eli Lake, sharing bylines on news articles. He is a CNN political analyst and columnist on foreign policy and national security for Bloomberg View. Previously, Rogin covered foreign policy and national security for Newsweek, The Daily Beast, Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, Federal Computer Week and Japan’s Asahi Shimbun. His work has been featured on CNN, FOX, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, NPR, PBS, and several other outlets. He is married to Ali Weinberg (see below); their wedding guests included journalists Eli Lake, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, CNN’s Jake Tapper, NPR’s Michael Goldfarb, NBC News Political Director and Meet the Press host Chuck Todd, Jamie Kirchick, Jonathan Karl, and NBC’s Alex Moe.

Ali Rogin (aka Ali Weinberg), ABC journalist, married to Josh Rogin. She is the daughter of Max Weinberg (see below). Her Linkedin entry reports that she covers the State Department for ABC News, producing pieces for broadcast and reporting for ABCNews.com and ABC News Radio. She formerly worked at NBC.

Max Weinberg, Drummer for Bruce Springstein and on Conan O’Brian show, father of journalist Ali Rogin (see above). His net worth is reportedly $35 million.

Joel Mowbray, Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, 2005-2014; formerly syndicated columnist with articles in Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, NY Post, The New Republic, L.A. Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, San Diego Union Tribune, Las Vegas Review Journal, Sacramento Bee, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Investors Business Daily, Arizona Republic, San Francisco Chronicle, and FoxNews.com. In 2002, Mowbray founded Fourth Factor Consulting, LLC: “Fourth Factor advises Silicon Valley tech companies and pro-Israel and national security-oriented think tanks. The bulk of the work is strategic government affairs, which supplements lobbying efforts by being proactive instead of reactive.” He was a Hudson Institute Adjunct Fellow from 2003 – 2005, where he “conducted research into terror networks and Islamic radicalization, investigated Saudi influence in America, and scrutinized State Department’s handling of national security.” Mowbray is the author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America’s Security.” His Linkdin bio lists AIPAC as one of his interests.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach at the 2012 “Christians United for Israel” conference. Newsweek lists Boteach as one of America’s “most influential rabbis.”

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, founder of The World Values Network, “the leading organization spreading universal Jewish values and defending Israel in American media” (see video); frequent guest on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, the BBC, NBC, CBS, as well as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, Breitbart News, and The Washington Post. Rabbi Boteach’s personal site pictures him with his book: “The Israel Warrior: Fighting Back for the Jewish State from Campus to Street Corner.” Newsweek has repeatedly listed him in “The 50 Most Influential Rabbis in America. He ran for Congress in New Jersey, receiving an endorsement from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. His site states:

“Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, “America’s Rabbi,” whom is for many the very face of Judaism in global media.

“The international best-selling author of 31 books, Rabbi Shmuley’s works have been translated into 20 languages. A world-renowned relationships expert, his book Kosher Sex is regarded as a modern classic and he has won numerous awards including The London Times Preacher of the Year Competition, The National Fatherhood Award, and The American Jewish Press Association’s Highest Award for Excellence in Commentary…

“Labeled ‘a cultural phenomenon’ by Newsweek and a man with ‘his scholarly finger on the pulse of the nation’ by Slate, Rabbi Shmuley is revolutionizing the place of Judaism and spirituality in modern culture and politics, and is one of the world’s most accomplished defenders of the State of Israel.”

At the 2015 Israel Day Concert In New York City Boteach said, to loud applause: “We are connected to Israel because it’s Jewish… we love Israel because Israel is good. We love Israel because it is the foremost protector of human rights in the world’s most troubled region. There is a war going on. There is a battle for the future of the Jewish state and each and every one of you is a soldier in that fight.”

Noah Pollak, Pollak’s bio describes him as a “political writer on foreign policy, Israel, and the Jewish people.” Pollak has written for Commentary, the Weekly Standard, National Review, the Wall Street Journal, Politico, and appeared on Fox News, PBS Newshour, and CNN. He is executive director of the Emergency Committee for Israel, a neoconservative political advocacy organization whose board members include neocons William Kristol and Rachel Abrams, wife of Elliott Abrams. Pollak helped promote the Taylor Force Act.

Ron Kampeas’ Linkedin entry reports: “Ron Kampeas is JTA’s [Jewish Telegraphic Agency ] Washington bureau chief, responsible for coordinating coverage in the U.S. capital and analyzing political developments that affect the Jewish world. He comes to JTA from The Associated Press, where he worked for more than a decade in its bureaus in Jerusalem, New York, London and, most recently, Washington. He has reported from Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, Bosnia and West Africa. While living in Israel, he also worked for the Jerusalem Post and several Jewish organizations.” Kampeas graduated from Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Nathan Guttman, the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Ha’aretz and The Jerusalem Post. Guttman was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of Hebrew University.

Government, Politics

Congressman Eliot Engel has been in Congress since 1988 as a Democrat representing the Bronx. He has traveled to Israel many times, and says, “I remain committed to the unbreakable bond between the United States and Israel.” On another occasion, he opined, “We don’t want one party to be pro-Israel; we want both parties to be pro-Israel” because the state is “our best friend in the Middle East, and – I’d even argue – in the world.” Engel favors recognition of Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel, and is uncritical in his support.

Congressman Lee Zeldin (right), member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Co-Chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus, meets in his Washington, DC office with Yoav Kisch, member of the Israeli Knesset, Feb. 1, 2017.

Congressman Lee Zeldin previously served in the New York State Senate, and is now in the U.S. House of Representatives. As Co-Chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus, he spoke on the issue of the U.N. “anti-Israel resolution” of December 2016: “Pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel nations are continuing their fanatical efforts at the United Nations to delegitimize [Israel]… Their disparaging, divisive and dangerous tactics will be met with zero tolerance. Continued unilateral concessions by Israel in exchange for no promises or follow through towards peace on the part of others would be as ill-advised as it is unfeasible.” Zeldin also wrote, regarding the U.N. resolution, that it “further cements President Obama’s legacy as one of the worst presidents in the history of the United States… [He] chose to embrace a pro-Palestinian attempt to ethnically cleanse East Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria.” Zeldin is also passionately in favor of moving Israel’s capital to Jerusalem.

Congressman Henry Waxman, Democratic Congressman from southern California, 1975 – 2015. The Forward calls him “one of the most influential liberals, and one of the most skilled legislators, of his generation.” In the Times of Israel report, “Jewish lawmaker, who maintains close ties to Israel, has represented Los Angeles district for 40 years,” Waxman was named “the dean of Jewish lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives.”

Waxman said that he had “worked throughout my career to strengthen the US-Israel relationship. I have traveled to Israel on numerous occasions…” Waxman once stated: “…it is with pride that I have seen my daughter thrive in Israel and my grandchildren serve in the Israeli army.”

Janet Kessler, Waxman’s wife; founder of Congressional Wives for Soviet Jewry.

Jason Greenblatt, formerly executive vice president and chief legal officer to Trump and the Trump Organization, and his advisor on Israel; currently special envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process for President Trump, charged with facilitating “the ultimate deal.”  According to NPR, Greenblatt once studied in a  yeshiva – a Jewish religious seminary – in a West Bank settlement. He has recently met with senior settler leadership in preparation for negotiations. In fact, Greenblatt and Trump’s administration are more sympathetic toward settlements than any previous administration, much to the delight of Israel. The Palestinian Authority, on the other hand, is not optimistic: Greenblatt has yet to even commit to helping create a Palestinian state.

U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin (left) meets with Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan, March 2017. The Israeli government has used Shulkin to build a closer relationship between Israel and the U.S. After the meeting, the VA purchased medical equipment from an Israeli company.

David Shulkin, current U.S. Secretary of Veteran Affairs; he was recommended to President Trump by U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, even though Shulkin is not a veteran. (Veterans had wanted the position to be filled by a military veteran, the normal procedure; some lobbied for then VA Secretary Robert McDonald to be named.) Israel sees veterans affairs as a new means of bringing the U.S. and Israel closer together, as JNS (Jewish News Service) reports: “While US-Israeli military ties have long focused on foreign aid packages, intelligence-sharing and jointly developed missile defense technology, veterans affairs could become a major new frontier in that relationship.” JNS writes that the selection of Shulkin, “a Jewish doctor and administrator,” for Secretary of veterans affairs, was an important development in the process. Within weeks of Shulkin’s confirmation, the Israeli Deputy Defense Minister asked Shulkin for a meeting. The meeting was the first of its kind between American and Israeli officials responsible for the care of injured and released soldiers. After the meeting, Veterans Affairs purchased Israeli medical equipment. U.S. officials sometimes provide Israelis the opportunity “to make presentations during international conferences at which Israel is not yet participating.” JNS notes: “Such opportunities will allow the Israelis to showcase their knowledge on a world stage to which they have, until now, largely been denied access.’

Shulkin and his wife Merle Bari (below) are currently under investigation for taxpayer funding of a recent trip to Europe.

Merle Bari, wife of David Shulkin, physician specializing in general and cosmetic dermatology. Recently she has been criticized for reports that “the government covered the cost of Bari’s airfare and gave her a per diem for meals” when she accompanied her husband on a trip to Europe. She seems to have close ties to Israel. In 1977 Bari was a youth participant in Israel’s Maccabiah Games, and in 2013 her daughter similarly participated in the Games during a year she spent in Israel, and was a delegate to the AIPAC national convention.

Aaron David Miller worked at the State Department for 25 years as a Middle East negotiator and adviser on Arab-Israeli affairs. He is currently a vice president at the Wilson Center; he says he believes “in the importance of a strong U.S.-Israeli relationship.” In an article for the Washington Post Miller admitted that he and other U.S. mediators had actually like “Israel’s lawyer.”

“With the best of motives and intentions, we listened to and followed Israel’s lead without critically examining what that would mean for our own interests, for those on the Arab side, and for the overall success of the negotiations. The “no surprises” policy, under which we had to run everything by Israel first, stripped our policy of the independence and flexibility required for serious peacemaking.”

“What we ended up doing was advocating Israel’s positions before, during and after the summit.”

Matt Nosanchuk was Jewish Liaison under Obama; said he had very strong relationships with pro-Israel organizations across the political spectrum. He has worked in the White House, Congress, the State Department, Justice Department, and Homeland Security on a range of domestic and foreign issues arising at the intersection of policy, law, advocacy, legislation, strategic communications, and outreach and engagement. He described President Obama’s views (and said he agreed with them):

“The president [Obama] said he wouldn’t be where he is today without the support of the Jewish community in Chicago. He believes in Zionism. He believes we have shared values. He shows strong, unwavering support for Israel. He says he did the Iran deal partially to protect Israel’s security, that it would be a ‘moral failing’ not to protect Israel’s security.”

(L-R) Aaron Keyak, William Daroff and Steve Rabinowitz at the launch of Bluelight Strategies, a consulting group at the “nexus of political Washington and the Jewish and pro-Israel world.” Keyak was previously a senior Congressional staffer and executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council.”

Aaron Keyak, Co-owner of a Washington DC PR firm; he was a senior staffer for some Congressional representatives and communications director and interim executive director for the National Jewish Democratic Council. Keyak has said that strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship is one of the values he most cares about. Washington Jewish Week reported about the 2015 launch of Keyak’s public relations firm:

“The official announcement was made at the “Latkes & Vodkas” party at their swanky downtown office on Dec. 15. Steve Rabinowitz, founder and president of the mostly progressive and Judeocentric Washington, D.C.-based political public relations firm, Rabinowitz Communications – the former Clinton White House staffer who produced the famed photograph of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat shaking hands on the White House South Lawn – would no longer be flying solo. Aaron Keyak, 29, would become his partner in a new PR company called “Bluelight Strategies.”

“… recently, communications director and senior Middle East policy advisor for Jewish Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), who represents one of the most heavily Jewish districts in the country. He previously served in a similar role with Rep. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.).

“According to Keyak, the idea for the partnership arose out of the successful working relationship he and Rabinowitz enjoyed during the 2012 presidential election, when the two collaborated on a venture they called the “Hub,” an effort aimed to organize Jewish voters for Democratic candidates.”

Avi Goldgraber, wife of Aaron Keyak, is manager at Accenture; previously she was confidential secretary to Deputy Secretary, Department of  Health and Human Services. Goldgraber attended Israel’s Hebrew University of Jerusalem, received her B.A. from Washington University in Political Science and Jewish, Islamic, and Near Eastern Studies. She is the  daughter of Moshe B. Goldgraber who endowed a fellowship for Israeli physicians.

Josh Raffel currently leads the communications team for Jared Kushner and is his principal spokesman. Raffel is “often the primary route for delivering Mr. Kushner’s message to the news media, and he also handles communications on issues like Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.” He was formerly a publicist, whose clients included Hollywood horror films, Glenn Beck, and Jared Kushner’s family business.

Top Democratic strategist Ann Lewis declared that “the role of the president of the United States is to support the decisions that are made by the people of Israel.”

Ann Lewis, leading Democratic Party strategist and communicator. In one public meeting of Jewish leaders before the 2008 election, Lewis declared that “the role of the president of the United States is to support the decisions that are made by the people of Israel. It is not up to us to pick and choose from among the political parties.” This was after some discussion that “there’s something wrong with Senator Obama’s views about Jews, about Israel” – referring to Obama’s pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s, preaching that Israel is committing “state terrorism against the Palestinians,” as well as Obama’s apparent sympathy for Palestinians. Lewis’ pro-Israel clout as leading Democratic Party strategist and communicator is clear in how she was able to change the Israel policy of the Center for American Progress, a powerful progressive research and advocacy organization. She made it clear that criticism of Israel, AIPAC, and American Jewish groups is forbidden. CAP was quick to self-censor, removing or cleaning up tweets and articles.

David Milstein, Research Analyst for Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), primarily focusing on issues related to Israel. “He played a leadership role with an organization called Young Jewish Conservatives whose mission is to build a community of politically conservative young Jews who strongly support Israel; co-organized its annual Shabbat Event at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the largest annual gathering of conservative activists.”

ThinkTanks, NGOs, Funders

Morton Klein has been national president of the Zionist Organization of America for 24 years. When President Obama abstained from voting in the U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements, Klein opined, “Obama has made it clear that he’s a Jew-hating anti-Semite.” He agreed with candidate Trump’s plan for profiling Muslims: “We should adopt the same profiling policies as Israel and be more thorough in vetting Muslims,” adding, “it’s not the worst thing to do.” Klein criticized Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for using the word “Palestine,” claiming that it sends a message to the Arab world that “this administration is biased to their side.” Going even further, Klein called for Tillerson to be fired when the State Department published its annual terror report, which suggested (as it had the previous year) that Israeli settlements and Palestinian hopelessness are factors contributing to Palestinian terrorism. Klein indicated that the State Department had “put out reports that give excuses for Palestinian murder of Jews.” The ZOA organized a letter opposing the Iran deal.

Abe Foxman worked at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for 50 years. After retiring he joined Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS).

Abe Foxman, former National Director of the Anti-Defamation League; currently ADL National Director Emeritus and fellow at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), a Tel Aviv-based think tank for issues of security and Middle East policy. He is also head of the Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City. Foxman is known as the “Jewish Pope” thanks to his 28-year leadership of the Anti-Defamation League. INSS director Amos Yadlin called him “an undeclared leader of the American Jewish community and a leading global figure on matters of human dignity and moral conduct.” Foxman believes that the BDS movement is anti-Semitic “99% of the time.”

Stacy Burdett, Vice President, Government Relations, Advocacy & Community Engagement at Anti-Defamation League. He has participated in the international campaign to change the definition of anti-Semitism to include many statements about Israel.

Loribeth Weinstein, CEO of Jewish Women International (JWI) for over 15 years. JWI works to “end violence, ensure economic security, and spotlight leadership and mentoring.” She has also served American Jewish World Service, dedicated to “ending poverty and promoting human rights in the developing world.” Weinstein has also been on the Regional Council of the New Israel Fund, which includes as its mission statement, achievement of “equality for all the citizens of the state… protection of Palestinian citizens… opposition to all forms of discrimination and bigotry… a just society at peace with itself and its neighbors.” The New Israel Fund has supported B’tselem to the tune of $2.2 million over the last ten years.

Howard Kohr, executive director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Analysts write: “AIPAC, which is a de facto agent for a foreign government, has a stranglehold on the U.S. Congress.”

Howard Kohr, executive director of AIPAC since 1996. Under his supervision, Congresspeople have been given all-expenses-paid trips to Israel to “discover their own personal connection to the land…and to understand the issues more clearly.” Kohr has turned AIPAC into “the most influential foreign policy lobbying organization” in Washington, and promises to keep it that way with the help of 4,000 pro-Israel student leaders across the country. “Mr. Kohr [representing AIPAC] has helped to navigate congressional passage of the annual U.S. Foreign Aid bill by historic, record-breaking margins — accomplishments achieved often in the midst of a hostile, budget-cutting environment.”

In his testimony to Congress in April 2017, as Kohr requested $3.1 billion in foreign military aid, he reminisced about the “close strategic relationship between the United States and Israel” that began with sharing of key intelligence in 1967 – the same year that Israel attacked the USS Liberty with napalm, gunfire, and missiles, even machine-gunning three lifeboats. The Moorer Commission found that the attack constituted “an act of war against the United States.” Professors John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen Walt of Harvard state: “AIPAC, which is a de facto agent for a foreign government, has a stranglehold on the U.S. Congress.”

Fortune magazine has ranked AIPAC the number two most powerful lobbying group in Washington D.C., after the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)

Bob Cohen, Chairman of the Board of Directors of AIPAC (American Israel Political Affairs Committee), former President of AIPAC (2014). Cohen is considered one of AIPAC’s six key leaders.

Jason Isaacson of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) speaks at the National Leadership Assembly for Israel at the National Press Club, July 28, 2014. (Video here.)

Jason Isaacson, Director of Government and International Affairs at the American Jewish Committee (AJC). The AJC website announces:

“Around the world—from the hallways of the U.N. in New York, to the corridors of the European Union in Brussels, and to the countries of Asia—AJC advocates for Israel at the highest levels. And when Israel is under assault, whether from the terrorist organizations on her doorstep or the global BDS movement, AJC helps bring the world the truth about Israel.”

The AJC is an American nonprofit organization. Donations to it are tax-deductible.

Daniel S. Mariaschin, CEO of B’nai B’rith International, “a national and global leader in…Israel advocacy.” His B’nai B’rith bio reports: “Mr. Mariaschin has met with countless heads of state, prime ministers, foreign ministers, opposition leaders, influential members of the media and clerical leaders. Each time, his goal has been to advance human rights, help protect the rights of Jewish communities worldwide and promote better relations with the state of Israel.” Mr. Mariaschin represented the organization at numerous international conferences, many of which helped to establish a new, Israel-centric definition of anti-Semitism, including the International Conference on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research; and the State Department’s 1998 Washington Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets. Mariaschin served as part of the U.S. delegation to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) conference on anti-Semitism in Vienna in 2003; was public advisor to the U.S. delegation at the 2004 conference in Berlin, the 2005 conference in Cordoba, Spain, and the 2007 meeting in Bucharest, Romania. In 2009 he was a member of the U.S. delegation to the Warsaw Human Dimension Implementation meeting of the OSCE.

Mariaschin began his professional Jewish life in 1973 as community relations associate for the Jewish Community Council of Boston. Two years later, he became director of the New England office of the American Zionist Federation and Zionist House in Boston. In 1977, he joined the Anti Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith as director of its Middle East Affairs Department. From 1979 to 1986, he served as assistant to ADL’s national director, the late Nathan Perlmutter, and as director of its National Leadership division, responsible for ADL’s nationwide program of leadership development. He then became director of the Political Affairs Department of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), where he supervised political action activities and grassroots organization programs.

Prior to joining B’nai B’rith, Mr. Mariaschin served as director of communications and principal spokesman for former Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig, Jr. during his 1987-88 presidential campaign.

Mariaschin has written numerous articles for such publications as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Times and Newsday, and appears frequently as a foreign affairs analyst on television and radio programs. He has lectured on foreign and defense affairs at the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Service Institute, the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and at other military installations across the country. He has also worked as a radio announcer and news commentator and has lectured widely in the U.S. and abroad.

Rabbi Levi Shemtov, Shemtov has been called “the rabbi of Capitol Hill.” The Washingtonian states: “Rabbi Levi Shemtov is a Washington institution.” It reports that Shemtov

“is among the country’s best-connected and most politically savvy rabbis. Shemtov has supervised the koshering of the White House kitchen, lit the National Menorah alongside Vice President Joe Biden, and for more than two decades has run American Friends of Lubavitch (AFL), the Washington arm of the world’s most successful Jewish outreach organization.”

“It’s hard for me to think of any political Jewish person in Washington that doesn’t have a relationship with him,” says Steve Rabinowitz, a PR executive and longtime friend of the rabbi’s.”

His bio on the Rabbinical Council of Greater Washington reports:

“Rabbi Shemtov is also the Executive Vice President of American Friends of Lubavitch (Chabad) and serves the daily governmental and diplomatic needs of the international Chabad-Lubavitch movement, the world’s largest and fastest growing Jewish network of educational and social service institutions, with over 3,500 centers in 49 states and over 80 countries. He maintains close relationships with numerous members of the United States Congress, senior Administration officials and leaders in the international community, including a number of heads of state and government. Rabbi Shemtov chairs the organizing committee of the International Chabad-Lubavitch Conference – Living Legacy, which facilitates high-level interaction between rabbis and communal leadership from around the globe and prominent US and international figures in the arenas of government, diplomacy, academia and the arts.

“Programs he organizes include several signature events such as the annual lighting ceremony of the National Chanukah Menorah drawing thousands to The Ellipse (across from the White House) every year, and seen by millions more via various media and the internet. In addition, he founded and directs the Capitol Jewish Forum, which is the largest (apolitical) Jewish group on Capitol Hill, designed to “create and enhance a sense of identity and community among Jewish Congressional staffers and members of Congress” and which enjoys strong support of the Leadership and members of both parties in the US Senate and House of Representatives. Rabbi Shemtov is often at the White House, Pentagon, United States Department of State and other venues in official Washington, seen by many as an effective, bipartisan unifier and premier Jewish resource.”

Shemtov is a passionate Israel defender who used the national menorah lighting awhile ago to complain about a U.N. resolution saying that Israeli settlements are illegal. In 2014 he gave a speech at a Stand With Us rally in Washington DC:

(Jared Kushner and Ivanka attend his synagogue.)

Nathan Diament previously served on President Obama’s Faith Advisory Council; his writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Forward, and other publications, he has appeared on CNN, FOX News, NPR, and other broadcasts. Currently he is Executive Director for the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center, “public policy arm of the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish organization‚ representing nearly 1,000 congregations nationwide.” One of its main issues is “supporting Israel.” The Orthodox Union website never uses the word Palestine when referring to the modern-day state, without using quotation marks (i.e. “Palestine”); it states that “historically, there was never an indigenous Palestinian people”; its Newsroom and Campus Life sections are anti-Palestine; and it features a Birthright travel agency. Diament himself is a strong advocate of an “undivided Jerusalem” as capital of Israel.

Roger Hertog, “strategic philanthropist” and chairman of the Tikvah Fund, with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu at a gala ceremony at Manhattan’s Plaza Hotel where Netanyahu received an reward from the Hudson Institute.

Roger Hertog, vice-chair emeritus of Alliance-Bernstein L.P., an investment firm which was reportedly valued in 2002 at $100 billion that was investigated for “improper trading moves.” Hertog practices what he calls “strategic philanthropy.” He has funded many pro-Israel organizations: the Anti-Defamation League; American Friends of Shalva; Tikvah (he is chairman); in 2005, gave $5 million to Taglit-Birthright Israel; he founded Israel’s Shalem Center; is on the boards of Commentary magazine and the American Enterprise Institute; and is a member of what Ha’aretz called Netanyahu’s “billionaire’s club.” Inside Philanthropy reports:

“involved in philanthropy for decades. Hertog was previously chairman of New York Historical Society and the Manhattan Institute, each of which has received large support. As well, the couple has given tens of millions to the New York Public Library over the years. The Hertog Foundation has given away around $10 million annually in recent years, mainly toward Jewish causes, conservative policy issues, education (both higher education, and school reform), and arts and culture. The Hertog Foundation also runs educational programs for students in areas such as politics, war, and economics…

“served as chairman emeritus of the conservative think tank Manhattan Institute, as well as served on the board of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). He was also a backer of the right-leaning New York Sun newspaper. Hertog and Susan have also supported outfits like the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, the Alexander Hamilton Society, the Brookings Institution, the Hudson Institute, the Claremont Institute, the Washington Institute, and the Institute for the Study of War.

Involved in Israeli archaeology projects (for info on their agenda see this); funded an excavation by Israeli archaeologist Eilat Mazar and provided resources for multi-volume scholarship to interpret and publish the Temple Mount Excavation.

Hertog has also been involved in media ventures: he was co-owner of The New Republic for a period; supplied the seed money for the now-defunct New York Sun, and guaranteed the $2 million bail for pro-Israel media baron Conrad Black when he was charged for defrauding shareholders.

Lindsay Kaplan, wife of Norman Eisen, Georgetown University English Department.

Sander Gerber was a low profile New York hedge fund CEO and AIPAC national board member who heard about the death of American Taylor Force in Israel and investigated the Palestinian Authority’s budget with the help of a top intelligence Israeli general and an Israeli research institute. Gerber and his associates discovered the Palestinian Authority’s social safety net program which provides a stipend for families of men who have been injured, killed, or imprisoned by Israel.  He dubbed the program “pay to slay,” and began to lobby Congress and the media to stop the practice. The Taylor Force Act would slash aid to the PA unless it stops the stipend program for widows and children.

Israelis & Israeli media

Danny Ayalon, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister of Foreign Affairs; formerly Israeli ambassador to the U.S. In 2005 Ayalon received the Brandeis award from the Jewish Community in Baltimore. He is the  founder of “Truth About Israel,” an Israeli organization known for its short videos, which is registered as a nonprofit, tax-deductible organization in the U.S., and is also present in Singapore. (We have not yet been able to find the organization’s 990 tax form, which suggests that it’s registered under a different name.)

Yarden Golan, Chief of Staff at the Israeli Embassy.

Ron Prosor, former Israeli ambassador to the UN.

Sarah Abonyi, Special Projects Manager for the Ambassador of Israel. From New Mexico.

Miriam Smallman, Director of Media Relations at Israeli embassy.

Michael Wilner, A native New Yorker who is the Washington bureau chief and White House correspondent for Israel’s The Jerusalem Post. 


Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew, president of the Council for the National Interest, and author of Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel. Her upcoming book talks are listed here. Kathryn Shihadah is a staff writer for If Americans Knew. She recently wrote “How Israel Weaponizes Archeology.”

October 5, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Mystery of the Russia-gate Puppies

By Robert Parry | Consortium News | October 4, 2017

What is perhaps most unprofessional, unethical and even immoral about the U.S. mainstream media’s coverage of Russia-gate is how all the stories start with the conclusion – “Russia bad” – and then make whatever shards of information exist fit the preordained narrative.

For instance, we’re told that Facebook executives, who were sent back three times by Democratic lawmakers to find something to pin on Russia, finally detected $100,000 worth of ads spread out over three years from accounts “suspected of links to Russia” or similar hazy wording.

These Facebook ads and 201 related Twitter accounts, we’re told, represent the long-missing proof about Russian “meddling” in the U.S. presidential election after earlier claims faltered or fell apart under even minimal scrutiny.

In the old days, journalists might have expressed some concern that Facebook “found” the ads only under extraordinary pressure from powerful politicians, such as Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and a leading legislator on the tech industry. But today’s mainstream reporters took Warner’s side and made it look like Facebook had been dragging its heels and that there must be much more out there.

However, it doesn’t really seem to matter how little evidence there is. Anything will do.

Even the paltry $100,000 is not put in any perspective (Facebook has annual revenue of $27 billion), nor the 201 Twitter accounts (compared to Twitter’s 328 million monthly users). Nor are the hazy allegations of “suspected … links to Russia” subjected to serious inspection. Although Russia is a nation of 144 million people and many divergent interests, it’s assumed that everything must be personally ordered by President Vladimir Putin.

Yet, if you look at some of the details about these $100,000 in ads, you learn the case is even flimsier than you might have thought. The sum was spread out over 2015, 2016 and 2017 – and thus represented a very tiny pebble in a very large lake of Facebook activity.

But more recently we learned that only 44 percent of the ads appeared before Americans went to the polls last November, according to Facebook; that would mean that 56 percent appeared afterwards.

Facebook added that “roughly 25% of the ads were never shown to anyone. … For 50% of the ads, less than $3 was spent; for 99% of the ads, less than $1,000 was spent.”

So, as miniscule as the $100,000 in ad buys over three years may have seemed, the tiny pebble turns out really to be only a fraction of a tiny pebble if the Russians indeed did toss it into the 2016 campaign.

What About the Puppies?

We further have learned that most ads weren’t for or against a specific candidate, but rather addressed supposedly controversial issues that the mainstream media insists were meant to divide the United States and thus somehow undermine American democracy.

Except, it turns out that one of the issues was puppies.

As Mike Isaac and Scott Shane of The New York Times reported in Tuesday’s editions, “The Russians who posed as Americans on Facebook last year tried on quite an array of disguises. … There was even a Facebook group for animal lovers with memes of adorable puppies that spread across the site with the help of paid ads.”

Now, there are a lot of controversial issues in America, but I don’t think any of us would put puppies near the top of the list. Isaac and Shane reported that there were also supposedly Russia-linked groups advocating gay rights, gun rights and black civil rights, although precisely how these divergent groups were “linked” to Russia or the Kremlin was never fully explained. (Facebook declined to offer details.)

At this point, a professional journalist might begin to pose some very hard questions to the sources, who presumably include many partisan Democrats and their political allies hyping the evil-Russia narrative. It would be time for some lectures to the sources about the consequences for taking reporters on a wild ride in conspiracy land.

Yet, instead of starting to question the overall premise of this “scandal,” journalists at The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, etc. keep making excuses for the nuttiness. The explanation for the puppy ads was that the nefarious Russians might be probing to discover Americans who might later be susceptible to propaganda.

“The goal of the dog lovers’ page was more obscure,” Isaac and Shane acknowledged. “But some analysts suggested a possible motive: to build a large following before gradually introducing political content. Without viewing the entire feed from the page, now closed by Facebook, it is impossible to say whether the Russian operators tried such tactics.”

The Joe McCarthy of Russia-gate

The Times then turned to Clinton Watts, a former FBI agent and a top promoter of the New McCarthyism that has swept Official Washington. Watts has testified before Congress that almost anything that appears on social media these days criticizing a politician may well be traceable to the Russians.

For instance, last March, Watts testified in conspiratorial terms before the Senate Intelligence Committee about “social media accounts discrediting U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.” At the time, Ryan was under criticism for his ham-handed handling of a plan to “repeal and replace” Obamacare, but Watts saw possible Russian fingerprints.

Watts also claimed that Sen. Marco Rubio’s presidential bid “anecdotally suffered” from an online Russian campaign against him, though many of you may have thought Rubio flamed out because he was a wet-behind-the-ears candidate who performed robotically in the debates and received the devastating nickname “Little Marco” from Donald Trump.

Watts explained that these nefarious Russian schemes left no discernible earmarks or detectable predictability. Russians attack “people on both sides of the aisle … solely based on what they [the Russians] want to achieve in their own landscape, whatever the Russian foreign policy objectives are,” Watts complained.

Watts’s vague allegations appear to have been the impetus behind Sen. Warner’s repeated demands that Facebook find some evidence to support the suspicions. After Facebook came up empty twice, Warner flew to Silicon Valley to personally confront Facebook executives who then found what Warner wanted them to find, the $100,000 in suspected Russia-linked ad buys.

So, it perhaps made sense that the Times would turn to Watts to explain the rather inexplicable Russian exploitation of puppies. According to Isaac and Shane, Watts “said Russia had been entrepreneurial in trying to develop diverse channels of influence. Some, like the dogs page, may have been created without a specific goal and held in reserve for future use. ‘They were creating many audiences on social media to try to influence around,’ said Mr. Watts, who has traced suspected Russian accounts since 2015.”

In other words, if you start with the need to prove Russian guilt, there are no alternative explanations besides Russian guilt. If some fact, like the puppies page, doesn’t seem to fit the sinister conspiracy theory, you simply pound it into place until it does.

Yes, of course, Russian intelligence operatives must be so sneaky that they are spending money (but not much) on Facebook puppy ads so they might sometime in the future slip in a few other ideological messages. It can’t be that perhaps the ads were not part of some Russian government intelligence operation.

The Russ-kie Plot

But even if we want to believe that these ads are a Russ-kie plot and were somehow intended to sow dissension in the U.S., the totals are insignificant, a subset of a subset of a subset of $100,000 in ad buys over three years that, as far as anyone can tell, had no real impact on the 2016 election – and surely much, much, much less than the political influence from, say, Israel.

If we apply Facebook’s 44 percent figure, that would suggest the total spending in the two years before the election was around $44,000 and much of that focused on a diverse set of issues, not specific candidates. So, if some Russians did spend money to promote gay rights and to push  gun rights, any negligible impact on the 2016 election would more or less have been canceled out between Clinton and Trump.

Yet, over these still unproven and speculative allegations of Russian “links” to these Facebook ads, the national Democrats and their mainstream media allies are stoking a dangerous and expensive New Cold War with nuclear-armed Russia.

I realize that lots of Democrats were upset about Hillary Clinton’s humiliating defeat and don’t want to believe that she could have lost fairly to a buffoon like Donald Trump. So, they are looking for any excuses rather than looking in the mirror.

The major U.S. news outlets also have joined the anti-Trump Resistance, rather than upholding the journalistic principles of objectivity and fairness. The Post even came up with a new melodramatic slogan for the moment: “Democracy Dies in Darkness.”

But yellow journalism is not the way to shed light into darkness; it only blinds Democrats from seeing the real reasons behind Trump’s appeal to many working-class whites who feel disaffected from a Democratic Party that seems disinterested in their suffering.

Yes, I know that some Democrats are still hoping against hope that they can ride Russia-gate all the way to Trump’s impeachment and get him ridden out of Washington D.C. on a rail, but the political risk to Democrats is that they will harden the animosity that many in the white working class already feel toward the party.

That could do more to strengthen Trump’s appeal to these voters than to weaken him, while hollowing out Democratic support among millions of peace voters who may simply declare a plague on both parties.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s.

October 4, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , , | 1 Comment

The problem with modern “journalism” summed up in one story

By Kit | OffGuardian | October 1, 2107

That a protest Facebook/twitter account focusing on the mistreatment of black people by American police was actually a fake account run by Russians to make the US look bad and spread division in the West… is one hell of a claim. If you were to make it, you’d probably be expected to supply evidence to back up your accusation. That’s only reasonable.

Well, CNN don’t feel the need. Two days ago they reported this story verbatim, here. Under the headline:

Exclusive: Fake black activist accounts linked to Russian government

Now, the headline doesn’t say HOW these accounts were linked to Russia, or indeed who linked them. But that’s OK, because neither does the body of the text. There’s not a single link, source or piece of evidence cited at all. The only basis for the claim is:

two sources with knowledge of the matter told CNN

That’s it. In total. They never say who these two sources are (leaving the very real possibility they don’t even exist), they never say what their supposed “knowledge of the situation” is. They tell us nothing of any note, and have the gall to put “exclusive” in the headline.

“Some guy said so” is NOT an exclusive.

The Guardian then took this one step further down the path of insanity – they reported that CNN had reported, that 2 guys told them something. Their headline…

Did Russia fake black activism on Facebook to sow division in the US?

… at least has the decency to use a question-mark, although none of that implied doubt makes into the body of the article. They don’t mention that CNN never provided any evidence of this claim, or CNN’s anonymous sources. Instead they choose to focus on whether or not it sounds plausible. After providing soundbites from professors who study “Russian interference in elections”, and referencing the Soviet Union’s supposed support of the civil rights movement of the 1960s, they decide that it does sound plausible. And since it’s plausible… it’s probably true. Right?

No reference to the keystone questions of journalism – who, when, where, why, how. No reference to evidence or sources, or agendas. Just a vague analysis of the plausibility of a rumor started by CNN on the basis of two anonymous sources with “knowledge of the situation”. This is the modern method of spreading propaganda – through a concerted effort of repetition without evidence, you can turn a lie into a “fact”.

That is the cancerous absurdity of today’s “journalism” in a nutshell.

October 1, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | 6 Comments

The Bana Alabed Psy-Op Proves The West Is Saturated In War Propaganda

By Caitlin Johnstone | The Last American Vagabond | September 18, 2017

If I could have everyone in the English-speaking world watch only one video on Youtube, it would without a doubt be a comedy bit performed by a funny-looking professional goofball on RT. I say in all seriousness that it could change the trajectory of our species on this planet.

The above segment is presented for an audience who showed up for a comedy show, but it also contains video evidence that should forever change the way they think about the media, their government, their nation, and everything they’ve been taught growing up about what their society is and how it works. So far this is probably the closest thing to mainstream coverage that the depravity of the Bana Alabed psy-op has received.

In the segment, Redacted Tonight’s John F. O’Donnell shows video footage of a seven year-old Syrian girl being “interviewed” by CNN’s conscience-free Alisyn Camerota, who as a side note recently had the gall to complain that she was suffering from “Russia fatigue” as a result of all the bogus Russia conspiracy theories with which her network has been relentlessly brutalizing the American psyche. O’Donnell then shows a clip illustrating that Bana does not in fact understand even the most rudimentary English, let alone the capacity for the geopolitical analysis demonstrated in the Camerota interview. It was scripted, and Bana was phonetically sounding out words that she did not understand in order to manufacture public support for more US interventionism in Syria.

The interview was scripted, and what for me is most shocking is that Alisyn Camerota necessarily had the other half of the script. Bana wouldn’t have been able to improvise answers to unscripted questions, so Camerota was necessarily knowingly acting out a staged, scripted scene and deceiving her audience about its nature. She lied to the American people for the most despicable reason imaginable, and exploited a little child to do it.

Here it is in full:

O’Donnell then goes on to describe how this despicable psy-op has been promoted across multiple platforms throughout the mainstream media, from CNN’s Jake Tapper to Time Magazine to a Simon & Schuster book deal. The plutocrats who control these powerful media corporations plainly want eyes on this girl, just not the kind of eyes that look with any degree of healthy skepticism.

The reason for all of this, of course, is that US hegemony is fully dependent on its massive military power. Since the heavily-armed American people would grow upset if they were told that the oligarchs who rule their country are spending an unfathomable amount of the nation’s money and resources trying to depose Bashar al-Assad because Syria occupies a crucial strategic location in US world dominance (risking a direct confrontation with the nuclear-armed Russia in the process), they make it about saving children instead. In 1990 a teenager gave false testimony about hospitalized babies being removed from incubators and left to die to manufacture support for US military involvement in the oil-rich Kuwait, and we’re seeing something very similar with Syria today. As Bana so often says, “Save the children of Syria.”

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

I’m very excited to see what appears to be an increased effort to push awareness of the Bana Alabed psy-op into mainstream consciousness. It’s not enough to have this undeniable act of deceitful war propaganda being discussed by a few Syrian activists and the occasional segment on RT; mainstream America needs to be told about this. If we all make a whole lot of noise pointing to the indisputable facts outlined in the Redacted Tonight segment at the beginning of this article, eventually mainstream outlets will be forced to comment on it. Alisyn Camerota will be forced to answer questions about her participation in the staged interview. They’ll be forced to overextend themselves and make even more mistakes. The true face of the mass media propaganda machine will swing into the full focus of everyday Americans. This can change the world.

Please help make this happen. Share the links I’ve placed in this article, make your own videos, podcasts, articles and tweets. The propaganda machine made a very foolish mistake using something so easily debunked in its war efforts, and we need to capitalize on that mistake while they’re vulnerable. Shove this thing as hard as you can into mainstream consciousness in every way you can think of. The machine is weaker than it seems. We can bring it down.

September 19, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

Venezuela Pulls 2 Channels Off Air Over “Resign or Die” Comments

By Ryan Mallett-Outtrim | Venezuelanalysis | August 25, 2017

Venezuelan regulators ordered Thursday two cable networks be taken off air, after they were accused of promoting violence.

The country’s national telecommunications regulator CONATEL said Colombian broadcasters RCN and Caracol Television would be taken off air for “openly calling for [the] assassination [of the president].”

“The measure is within the bounds of the law, given that those stations over several months attacked Venezuela and [its] institutions,” CONATEL said in a statement, quoting former head regulator Andres Mendez.

The move was in response to comments by former Mexican president Vicente Fox aired by RCN and Caracol. Addressing Maduro, Fox warned “this dictator will leave through resignation, or with his feet in front of him, in a box”.

During RCN’s broadcast, the lower third beneath Fox simply read, “Dictator Maduro, resign or die.”

Fox’s comments were quickly condemned by Maduro ally and Bolivian President Evo Morales.

“If anything happens to our brother President Maduro, it will be Mexican ex-president Vicente Fox’s responsibility,” he said.

Fox made his comment during the “Thinking the 21st Century” conference in Baranquilla, Colombia. Last month, the ex-president was declared persona non grata in Venezuela after he participated as an observer in an unofficial opposition plebiscite asking citizens if they would support a “zero hour” campaign of protests aimed at overthrowing the government.

Neither RCN or Caracol appeared available in Venezuela at the time of writing, and at least one major cable provider has confirmed cutting one of the signals.

“We inform you that the 772 Caracol International channel is no longer available for Venezuela because we are complying with an order from … CONATEL,” cable provider DirecTV tweeted.

Some viewers have reported they can still access RCN through DirecTV, but not through most other major providers.

Venezuela’s opposition had condemned CONATEL’s decision as censorship.

“One more channel off the airwaves! Has that made crime go down? Is inflation any lower? Is there more food? More medicine? Has any problem been solved?” opposition leader Henrique Capriles stated.

The shutdowns are the second major regulatory action taken against broadcasters accused of promoting unrest in Venezuela. Earlier this year, CONATEL pulled CNN’s Spanish language channel, accusing the broadcaster of seeking to “undermine the image of the national executive branch”.

The decision came in the wake of CNN’s publication of an investigation that alleged to have uncovered evidence Venezuelan diplomatic officials in Iraq had sold Venezuelan passports to non-Venezuelans, including Iraqi and Syrian nationals. Venezuela’s government largely dismissed the report as US propaganda.

In 2014, another major Colombian broadcaster, RTN24, was also wiped from Venezuelan airwaves after CONATEL alleged it had “promoted violence”. Another major case also occurred in 2007, when the Caracas-based RCTV lost its broadcast concession, after regulators determined the station had played a role in a 2002 coup that temporarily overthrew the Chavez government.

August 26, 2017 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Leave a comment

CNN’s ‘Exclusive’ Report on Russia Arming Taliban Debunked By Their Own Expert—Exposed as Propaganda

By Jay Syrmopoulos | Blacklisted News | August 3, 2017

Atlanta, GA – In just the latest example of CNN operating as a deep state propaganda outlet, on July 25, the cable news network published a bombastic report; releasing two exclusive videos intimating that the Russian government was covertly arming the Taliban, which has returned to significant prominence in Afghanistan since the 2014 cessation of NATO combat operations.

The large-scale anti-Russia propaganda operation, meant to indoctrinate Americans into a mindset that demonizes Russia as “the enemy,” and Putin as a dictator, has been pushed en masse to the American public at a steady rate since the end of the 2016 election cycle.

The explosive CNN report, which was widely reported across the media landscape, noted that two separate groups of Taliban fighters have received “improved weaponry … that appears to have been supplied by the Russian government.” The weaponry reportedly included Kalashnikov rifles, heavy machine guns, and sniper rifles. And while many of the weapons in the video appear to be of Russian origin, there is nothing to connect the Russian government to the weapons.

While the news made headlines and was shared widely across social media — the problem is that CNN’s report has lots of bark and no bite. Aside from a flashy headline, the report provided no evidence of the Russian government providing or transferring weapons to the Taliban. This was established according to weapons experts from U.S. Special Operations Command and several non-governmental conflict arms organizations.

“I’ve watched the video and frankly can’t see anything that is particularly unusual,” James Bevan, a weapons specialist, and director of Conflict Armament Research Ltd, told Task & Purpose in an email. “There are Russian weapons, and derivatives of those weapons manufactured in other states, circulating among state and non-state groups in every country in that region.”

According to the report by Task and Purpose :

The weapons experts consulted by Task & Purpose identified the weapons as Kalashnikov variants that have become pervasive among irregular forces; several U.S.-made M249 Squad Automatic Weapons that fire belt-fed 5.56×45mm NATO rounds, including a mid-90s variant with a long barrel and fixed rifle stock and the lightweight MK-49 paratrooper variant with a stub barrel; the TT-30 Tokarev pistol that’s been a staple of the Russian military since the 1930s, and the Soviet-made 7.62 mm general-purpose PK machine gun that’s been in service since 1961.

None of these weapons touted by the Taliban in the CNN video appear particularly modern, and all but the M249 are regular fixtures of the illicit small arms markets that accounted for 60 percent of the weapons flowing into and out of Afghanistan in the decades leading up to the U.S.-led invasion in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“I suspect after years in Afghanistan, these are easy to get,” Capt. Jason Salata, said.

Additionally, the CNN report never establishes any type of chain of custody between Russia and the Taliban. Perhaps more importantly, they never noted that one of the Taliban groups had pillaged the equipment from a rival Taliban faction, while the other received a shipment of arms from across the Tajikistan border. CNN admits that the videos presented as “suggesting” a link between the Taliban and Moscow “don’t provide incontrovertible proof of the trade.”

Yet, somehow, they still attempt to stir the anti-Russia media pot and suggest the weapons could be the work of the Russian government. In reality, however, these types of weapons are readily available on the black market across the globe.

“There is nothing immediately visible to suggest the weapons are new or any indication (from the footage) that they are all of the same type and origin,” according to Bevan. “Governments that supply rebel and insurgent forces rarely supply new weapons and frequently refrain from supplying their own weapons stocks. This makes any connection between the manufacturing country and the supplier country problematic.”

Thus the CNN report, which notes that the weaponry appears “stripped of any means of identifying their origin,” essentially relies on the claims of a few Taliban members as the basis for the entire report.

“Unfortunately, CNN did not fully profile erased markings and other efforts to sanitize the weapons,” Bevan added. “This would be a clear indication of organized, state involvement, but also would be unlikely to incriminate any party without further evidence.”

In typical propaganda fashion, every arms expert in the CNN story was a Pentagon or Afghan government official, except for Benjamin King from the Small Arms Survey independent research group, who bluntly told CNN that the photos and videos he was given to analyze contained virtually no evidence of a recent arms transfer, let alone being able to attribute it to a specific state – such as Russia.

“[CNN] made some jumps that you certainly can’t make from the weapons themselves,” King told Task & Purpose“I certainly wouldn’t have made the claim that they were new imports. The generic Tokarev pistols and PK machine guns are old and could have been there for a long time. One of the rifles was an AK-74, so it could have been there for the last 40 years or so.”

Of course, the U.S. military need only look in the mirror should they want to understand the flow of foreign armaments into Afghanistan, as a declassified Pentagon audit from 2016 revealed that almost half of the 1.5 million firearms supplied to the Iraqi and Afghani military, including almost 1 million M4 and M16s, have turned up ‘missing’ due to shoddy record keeping and regulations.

Even more damning, in 2014, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction released a report that found that nearly 43% of arms provided to the Afghan National Security Forces likely ended up in the hands of ISIS or the Taliban.

In just the past few weeks, American and Afghan military personnel have faced off with modern weaponry and equipment in enemy hands. Afghan security forces are increasingly facing off against Taliban fighters armed with M4 carbines outfitted with night vision, infrared laser sights and Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight scopes, according to a July 25 report in the Military Times.

Additionally, a recent propaganda video released by the Taliban appeared to show an FN SCAR (Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle) 7.62mm rifle decked out with a AN/PEQ 5 visible laser, which was likely procured during an ambush or raid on a weapons depot.

“Afghanistan is swimming in guns,” King told Task & Purpose. “These things are expected to show up everywhere.”

Many of these weapons are not Russian made, but instead, are usually deployed by Western militaries — and, like everything else in Afghanistan, they end up in Taliban hands sooner rather than later.

But CNN’s report conveniently fails to mention any of this, and attempts to prop up the demonization campaign against Russia, as a likely pretext to gain public support in the methodical and ongoing movement towards a direct conflict with the Russia.

August 3, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment