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Resist and Rebuild

Resist and Rebuild

Don’t despair: we will fight back, and, eventually, return stronger than before. 

Yes, it’s dark. Darker, arguably, than at any point since the Second World War. We have a government not of conservatives, but of the radical right, who will now seek to smash the remaining restraints on capital and those who accumulate it. They will take their sledgehammers to our public services and our public protections. They cheated and lied to assist their victory; they will cheat and lie even more to implement their programme.

They are led by a man who has expressed overtly racist views, who won’t hesitate to stir up bigotry and xenophobia whenever he runs into trouble, scapegoating immigrants, Muslims, Romani Gypsies and Travellers, the poor and the weak. They will revel in outrage and affront, using every attack on common decency to normalise the unacceptable. This government has no vision for the country, only a vision for the oligarchs to whom it is bound, onshore and offshore. 

So I don’t want to minimise the scale and horror of what we face. But documenting it is one task; the other is resisting it. Here, roughly and briefly, is an outline of how we might begin. I am as tired and shocked and frazzled as you are, so please forgive me if I have missed some essential elements. 

First, we must park the recriminations and blame. We need to be fully occupied fighting the government and its backers, not fighting each other. Solidarity is going to be crucial over the coming months. We should seek, wherever possible, to put loyalty to party and faction aside, and work on common resolutions to a crisis afflicting everyone who wants a kinder, fairer, greener nation. 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Most Significant Afghanistan Papers Revelation Is How Difficult They Were To Make Public

The Most Significant Afghanistan Papers Revelation Is How Difficult They Were To Make Public

The Washington Post has published clearundeniable evidence that US government officials have been lying to the public about the war in Afghanistan, a shocking revelation for anyone who has done no research whatsoever into the history of US interventionism.

In all seriousness it was a very good and newsworthy publication, and those who did the heavy lifting bringing the Afghanistan Papers into public awareness deserve full credit. The frank comments of US military officials plainly stating that from the very beginning this was an unwinnable conflict, initiated in a region nobody understood, without anyone being able to so much as articulate what victory would even look like, make up an extremely important piece of information that is in conflict with everything the public has been told about this war by their government.

But the most significant revelation to come out of this story is not in the Afghanistan Papers themselves.

The most significant Afghanistan Papers revelation comes from The Washington Post‘s account of the extremely difficult time they had extricating these important documents from the talons of government secrecy, as detailed in a separate article titled “How The Post unearthed The Afghanistan Papers“. WaPo explains how the papers were ultimately obtained via Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests which, after they were initially rejected by the US government, needed to be supplemented over three years with two lawsuits.

“The Post’s efforts to obtain the Afghanistan documents also illustrate how difficult it can be for journalists — or any citizen — to pry public information from the government,” WaPo reports. “The purpose of FOIA is to open up federal agencies to public scrutiny. But officials determined to thwart the spirit of the law can drag out requests for years, hoping requesters will eventually give up.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Warfare State Lied About Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. They Will Lie Again.

The Warfare State Lied About Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. They Will Lie Again.

Today the Washington Post published a bombshell report titled “The Afghanistan Papers,” highlighting the degree to which the American government lied to the public about the ongoing status of the war in Afghanistan. Within the thousands of pages, consisting of internal documents, interviews, and other never-before-released intel, is a vivid depiction of a Pentagon painfully aware of the need to keep from the public the true state of the conflict and the doubts, confusion, and desperation of decision-makers spanning almost 20 years of battle.

As the report states:

The interviews, through an extensive array of voices, bring into sharp relief the core failings of the war that war is inseparable from propaganda, lies, hatred, impoverishment, cultural degradation, and moral corruption. It is the most horrific outcome of the moral and political legitimacy people are taught to grant the state. persist to this day. They underscore how three presidents — George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump — and their military commanders have been unable to deliver on their promises to prevail in Afghanistan.

With most speaking on the assumption that their remarks would not become public, U.S. officials acknowledged that their warfighting strategies were fatally flawed and that Washington wasted enormous sums of money trying to remake Afghanistan into a modern nation….

The documents also contradict a long chorus of public statements from U.S. presidents, military commanders and diplomats who assured Americans year after year that they were making progress in Afghanistan and the war was worth fighting.

None of these conclusions surprise anyone that has been following America’s fool’s errand in Afghanistan. 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

When It Becomes Serious You Have To Lie: Update On The Repo Fiasco

When It Becomes Serious You Have To Lie: Update On The Repo Fiasco

Occasionally, problems reveal themselves gradually. A water stain on the ceiling is potentially evidence of a much larger problem. Painting over the stain will temporarily relieve the unsightly condition, but in time, the water stain will return. This is analogous to a situation occurring within the banking system. Almost three months after water stains first appeared in the overnight funding markets, the Fed has stepped in on a daily basis to “re-paint the ceiling” and the problem has appeared to vanish. Yet, every day the stain reappears and the Fed’s work begins anew. One is left to wonder why the leak hasn’t been fixed.  

In mid-September, evidence of issues in the U.S. banking system began to appear. The problem occurred in the overnight funding markets which serve as one of the most important components of a well-functioning financial and economic system. It is also a market that few investors follow and even fewer understand. At that time, interest rates in the normally boring repo market suddenly spiked higher with intra-day rates surpassing a whopping 8%. The difference between the 8% repo rate recorded on September 16, 2019 and Treasuries was an eight standard deviation event. Statistically, such an event should occur once every three billion years. 

For a refresher on the details of those events, we suggest reading our article from September 25, 2019, entitled Who Could Have Known: What The Repo Fiasco Entails.   

At the time, it was surprising that the sudden change in overnight repo borrowing rates caught the Fed completely off guard and that they lacked a reasonable explanation for the disruption. Since then, our surprise has turned to concern and suspicion. 

We harbor doubts about the cause of the problem based on two excuses the Fed and banks use to explain the situation. Neither are compelling or convincing.  

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Assange, Attack, Guardian, Journalism

Assange, Attack, Guardian, Journalism

Piet Mondriaan Self portrait 1918

Guardian columnist Owen Jones, a self-described left activist and socialist, was attacked in the streets of London at 2 am Saturday morning in what he himself describes as “a blatant premeditated assault” by a bunch of guys. He says he was kicked, punched, but then saved by the friends he was with, and nothing really happened to him. Or he would have taken photos and published them. Owen was fine, before and after. But his pride was not.

No pictures of black eyes or anything, but a brick load of indignation. No matter that in Britain, people are attacked all the time, certainly at that hour, in bar fights, in knife fights, people die every weekend. But for some reason Owen Jones thinks his role in this is special. That the incident happened because of his political views, and because the far right is getting more aggressive.

From Jones’s own Guardian:

Owen Jones Attacked Outside London Pub

The Guardian columnist and activist Owen Jones has been physically assaulted in London while celebrating his 35th birthday with friends. In an attack he called “a blatant premeditated assault”, Jones said he was kicked, punched and thrown to the ground by a group of men in the early hours of Saturday morning. He said that he and his friends went to a pub and left at 3am. 

“We were about 30 metres away, saying goodbye to each other, when four men charged directly towards me: one of them karate kicked my back, threw me to the ground, started kicking me in the head and back, while my friends tried to drag them off, and were punched trying to defend me. “It was clearly a premeditated attack and I was their target. They all attacked me and only assaulted my friends when they tried to defend me.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Here Are Five Lies About Iran That We Need to Refute to Stop Another Illegal War

Here Are Five Lies About Iran That We Need to Refute to Stop Another Illegal War

GettyImages-1160473348-Trump-in-shadow-1565806919
President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 9, 2019.
Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images

FORGET URANIUM ENRICHMENT: Has Iran mastered time travel?

Last month, the Trump White House put out a typically Orwellian statement, chock-filled with lies, distortions, and half-truths about Iran and the 2015 nuclear deal. One line in particular stood out from the rest: “There is little doubt that even before the deal’s existence, Iran was violating its terms.”

strange wording in this new White House statement on Iran. “There is little doubt that even before the deal’s existence, Iran was violating its terms.”

View image on Twitter

Huh? The Iranians were violating an agreement — before it even existed?

Is it any surprise that even the foreign minister of Iran took to Twitter to join the online ridiculing of the White House?

Seriously?

View image on Twitter

The Trump administration’s lies on the topic of Iran are now beyond parody. There is, however, nothing funny about them. U.S. government lies can have deadly consequences: Never forget that hundreds of thousandsof innocent Iraqi men, women, and children, not to mention more than 4,400 U.S. military personnel, are dead today because of the sheer volume of falsehoods told by the George W. Bush administration.

So it is incumbent upon journalists to do in 2019 what we collectively did not do in 2003: Check the facts, challenge the lies, debunk the myths.

Here’s my contribution: a refutation of five of the most dishonest and inaccurate claims from the hawks — claims that brought the United States and Iran to the brink of conflict only a few weeks ago.

Lie #1: Iran Is Building a Nuclear Weapon

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Cover-Ups and Truth Tellers

Cover-Ups and Truth Tellers

In a May, 22, 2019 appearance in the White House Rose Garden, President Donald Trump declared that “I don’t do cover-ups.” Various news outlets immediately started to enumerate a long list of bona fide cover-ups associated with the president.

What can one say about this bit of Trumpian nonsense? Can you accuse a person of lying who actually seems not to know the difference between truth and untruth? Trump’s inability in this regard is demonstrated daily, and The Washington Post fact checker puts the running count of presidential lies at 10,111, with no end in sight. When it comes to reality, the president appears to be a malignant version of Walter Mitty

Trump delivering State of the Union address, Feb. 5, 2019, in Washington, D.C. (White House/ D. Myles Cullen)

Unfortunately, Trump’s behavior is but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cover-ups. One can surmise that just by virtue of being the head of the U.S. government, the president — any president — must be directly or indirectly associated with hundreds of such evasions. That is because, it can be argued without much paranoia, that every major division of the government is hiding something —particularly when it comes to foreign activities.

Of course, being cover-ups by the government may make them appear acceptable, at least to a naive public. Many of them are rationalized as necessary for the sake of national “security.” And, of course, everyone wants to be “secure,” accepting the notion that “people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Q&A: MSM Lies, Consciousness, Evolution, Australia, Assange, And Me

Q&A: MSM Lies, Consciousness, Evolution, Australia, Assange, And Me

It’s time for another Q&A article! I think I’m going to make these a regular feature that I put out every so often, so if you have any questions for me email me at admin@caitlinjohnstone.com and I’ll get to them the next time I write another of these. Let’s jump right in.

“I’d love to have more examples of how the corporate media has lied to us. Iraqi WMD is the best example, then there’s Iraqi soldiers pulling Kuwaiti babies from incubators, and of course Russiagate. What else can we point toward to explain to people what’s happening?”

There are tons of examples, but their lies about Syria have been especially appalling. Whenever anyone disputes my claim that the mass media is waging a giant deception campaign I like to share this fake, scripted CNN interview in which a seven year-old Syrian girl sounds out scripted words explaining her analysis of an alleged chemical attack. I’ve never encountered anyone who could provide an intelligible argument for this; when I share it in a debate it always makes the other party’s head spin. The girl is indisputable reciting from a script, and what’s far more disturbing is that that means CNN’s Alisyn Camerota necessarily had the other half of that script. They intentionally staged an interview designed to incriminate a government long targeted for regime change using propaganda spouting from the sweet, innocent face of a child, and they falsely presented it as a real interview.

Lately I’ve been focused on the outright lies the mass media have been circulating about Julian Assange, including the Guardian‘s now-fully disproven and always self-evidently false report that Paul Manafort met repeatedly with Assange during the election campaign. Some other examples include the bullshit they’ve been peddling on Venezuela

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

It’s official: the collapse of the mainstream media’s credibility is now complete

It’s official: the collapse of the mainstream media’s credibility is now complete

Image: It’s official: the collapse of the mainstream media’s credibility is now complete

(Natural News) Attorney General William Barr held a press conference this morning to address the contents of the Mueller report, just as he promised to do. Not long after, Barr delivered the full Mueller report to the public with necessary redactions, also as promised. And yet the mainstream media, which demanded all of these things and has now received them, still isn’t happy.

In fact, most fake news media pundits are now foaming at the mouth, questioning Barr’s loyalties and accusing him of colluding with President Donald Trump to convey the “spun” message that he’s innocent – which it would seem as though no amount of evidence will ever convince those with Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) is actually true.

In a nutshell, Special Counsel Robert Mueller, whom Leftist Democrats have been hailing for the past two years as their savior and hero who was going to take down Trump, didn’t end up procuring what these Trump haters were wishfully thinking he would. And in response, Trump haters everywhere are reeling with more anger than ever, demanding that Mueller be burned at the stake for failing to prove their deranged conspiracy theories.

CNN White House Correspondent Jim Acosta about had a coronary in response to Barr’s press conference, accusing Barr of “clearly laying out a sympathetic presentation” of what’s supposedly in the Mueller report. Twenty-twenty presidential hopeful and Leftist Democrat Cory Booker similarly accused Barr of “undermining the independence of this entire process” for his speaking publicly about the Mueller report prior to releasing it.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Muellergate and the Discreet Lies of the Bourgeoisie

Muellergate and the Discreet Lies of the Bourgeoisie


This cartoon seems to me very apposite. The capacity of the mainstream media repeatedly to promote the myth that Russia caused Clinton’s defeat, while never mentioning what the information was that had been so damaging to Hillary, should be alarming to anybody under the illusion that we have a working “free media”. There are literally hundreds of thousands of mainstream media articles and broadcasts, from every single one of the very biggest names in the Western media, which were predicated on the complete nonsense that Russia had conspired to install Donald Trump as President of the United States.

I genuinely have never quite understood whether the journalists who wrote this guff believed it, whether they were cynically pumping out propaganda and taking their pay cheque, or whether they just did their “job” and chose to avoid asking themselves whether they were producing truth or lies. 

I suspect the answer varies from journalist to journalist. At the Guardian, for example, I get the impression that Carole Cadwalladr is sufficiently divorced from reality to believe all that she writes. Having done a very good job in investigating the nasty right wing British Establishment tool that was Cambridge Analytica, Cadwalladr became deluded by her own fame and self-importance and decided that her discovery was the key to understanding all of world politics. In her head it explained all the disappointments of Clintonites and Blairites everywhere. She is not so high-minded however as to have refused the blandishments of the Integrity Initiative.

Luke Harding is in a different category. Harding has become so malleable a tool of the security services it is impossible to believe he is not willingly being used. It would be embarrassing to have written a bestseller called “Collusion”, the entire premiss for which has now been disproven, had Harding not made so much money out of it.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

On The Anniversary Of The Iraq Invasion, Bush Press Secretary Claims Bush Didn’t Lie

On The Anniversary Of The Iraq Invasion, Bush Press Secretary Claims Bush Didn’t Lie

On the sixteenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, as the US government threatens punitive actionagainst International Criminal Court investigators for attempting to look into US war crimes, former George W Bush administration Press Secretary Ari Fleischer has decided to publish a Twitter threadclaiming that Bush did not lie to the world about Iraq.

Here is a transcript of the full thread by Fleischer:

The Iraq war began sixteen years ago tomorrow. There is a myth about the war that I have been meaning to set straight for years. After no WMDs were found, the left claimed “Bush lied. People died.” This accusation itself is a lie. It’s time to put it to rest.

The fact is that President Bush (and I as press secretary) faithfully and accurately reported to the public what the intelligence community concluded. The CIA, along with the intelligence services of Egypt, France, Israel and others concluded that Saddam had WMD. We all turned out to be wrong. That is very different from lying.

After the war, a bipartisan group was created to determine what went wrong, particularly why the intelligence community’s conclusions about Iraq were so different from what was found on the ground after the war. The group of experts was named the Robb-Silberman commission. It’s report was issued in March 2005. It can be found in full here. Its key finding was that that a “major intelligence failure” took place. It also stated that no intelligence service was pressured by the Bush Administration to conclude that Saddam had WMDs.

Here are the key quotes from their report:

“Overall Commission Finding: The Intelligence Community’s performance in assessing Iraq’s pre-war weapons of mass destruction programs was a major intelligence failure.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The News About Fake News Is Fake

The News About Fake News Is Fake

 

Johannes Vermeer Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window 1657-59

In the last few days I was looking around for stories that could illustrate what fake news actually is, and I had a nice collection, but then last night Robert Mueller of all people clarified what exactly fake news is better than I could have. At first the BuzzFeed crew that was caught staring straight into the headlights has a feeble response (what exactly was untrue in our article?), but was silenced by the WaPo of all publications: Mueller’s team said every bit of the article was false.

And still I wonder if people now understand better what fake news is. Which I think has a lot to do whit the fact that the term was monopolized by a section of US media as meaning things that had to do with Trump, more or less exclusively. That way, when Trump accused these same media of publishing fake news, they knew their loyal readers wouldn’t believe him. 

But in reality they’ve been at it ever since Trump entered US politics, and they dug in ever deeper into their anti-Donald trenches, first for political reasons, later for profit (nothing sells like Trump in America today). And in the process, especially since they published umpteen pieces a day on the topic, they had to use unproven and biased allegations and innuendo. There was never enough real news to go around to feed the monster they created. That’s how we got Russiagate.

Still, of course, like me, you want to know how fake news is recognized, how ‘experts’ tell it apart from real news. Well, despair no more. An actual professor researched it, and was quoted by the New York Times last week, which doesn’t publish fake news, it says. I got to say, personally, I found this highly enlightening. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Confronting “Alternative Facts”

Confronting “Alternative Facts”

They are unending. There’s no way to keep up, much less respond effectively, and it almost goes without saying that they are never to be taken back, corrected, or amended in any way. Call them false claims, lies, untruths, misstatements, whatever you want, but they are what comes out of his mouth just about anytime he opens it. Take, for instance, that moment as 2018 ended when, in a blacked-out plane, he landed at al-Asad Air Base in Iraq for a three-hour presidential visit with the troops. It was there that he swore (as he had before) that he had won those troops a 10% pay raise for 2019 and that, to do so, he had fought it out in the trenches with unnamed military officials. (“They said, you know, we could make it smaller. We could make it 3%. We could make it 2%. We could make it 4%.’ I said, ‘No. Make it 10%. Make it more than 10%.’”) He insisted as well that they hadn’t had a raise, not just of such a monumental sort but of any kind, in “more than 10 years.” As it happens, what were once known as the facts went like this: those troops last received a pay raise — of 2.4% — in 2018 (and every year before that for three decades); the 2019 pay raise is for 2.6%, not 10%; and those unnamed military officials evidently won!

For any half-normal president that would have been the trifecta: three outlandish falsehoods in a single try, but for Donald Trump it was just the modest, everyday demonstration of his remarkable ability to adjust reality to his needs, desires, and fantasies, and (as Jean-Luc Picard would once have said) “Make it so”! After all, for the man who, according to Washington Post fact-checkers, managed to make almost 6,000 “false and misleading claims” in 2018 alone, more than 15 a day and almost triple his record-setting pace of the previous year, that was nothing.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How Mainstream Media Join the US Government Offensive Against Iran: Case Study of Reuters

How Mainstream Media Join the US Government Offensive Against Iran: Case Study of Reuters

How Mainstream Media Join the US Government Offensive Against Iran: Case Study of Reuters

Summary: A 2013 news investigation of Iranian corruption by Reuters news service has been cited by at least four books published one after another, the most recently in 2018. 

It has also been cited by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in 2018 speech. Given the article’s ongoing influence, this article will scrutinize flaws in the reporting techniques and raise reasonable questions about several of its findings. The article will also mention, a piece of important historical context, that was long assumed, but made official in 2013 – the same year the story was published – when the US government released classified documents about its involvement in the overthrow of Iran’s democratically elected leader in 1953 and the establishment of the Shah. The purpose of this article is not to stain the reputation of an entire news agency – but to simply lay out an alternative context for interpreting a single, influential story. 

Ever since the beginning of the Iranian Islamic Revolution, the United States has been leading a propaganda campaign against Iran, minimizing own harmful role in key historical events, justifying an ousted monarchist regime, and demonizing the new political system. Frequently it is done in lighter forms, for example by claiming that new government is far from perfect or even the same as a previous one, but the methods can sometimes be so radical that the characteristics of the two systems are completely inverted.

While the Reuters claims Iran is active in spreading disinformation online, the history of the agency’s reports about Iran shows the opposite. The latest of such reports is a false report about Iran’s missile program. The falsehood of the article has been dissected here.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

If We Can No Longer Tell the Truth, We’ve Failed

If We Can No Longer Tell the Truth, We’ve Failed

The Gulag Archipelago is not a distant memory; it lives on in every modern state, cloaked with modern-day technologies and the well-worn tools of suppression.

The last thing addicts want to hear is the truth: the only thing more terrifying than the truth is the possibility that they will lose access to whatever they’re addicted to: smack, Oxy, coke, alcohol, sex, porn, power, etc.

If we fail to tell addicts the truth, we fail them and ourselves. As long as co-dependents remain complicit in the addict’s destructive state, as long as those who know better keep silent because they don’t want to deal with the trauma, the addict is free to maintain the illusion that he/she is in control, that his/her secret is safe, etc., and manipulate those around them with lies and victimhood.

Not wanting to deal with the trauma of forcing those in denial to face up to reality is understandable: who wants to deal with the shock, denial, anger and depression that characterize facing up to a terrifying truth?

But we fail ourselves if we’re too weak to speak the truth and grind through the denial, anger and depression. If we opt for the easy way out, we’re just like the addict, who is also opting for the easy way out, i.e. finding refuge in the labryrinthine Kingdom of Lies.

The status quo is a Kingdom of Lies. “Raw data”, i.e. facts collected without regard to future interpretaion, are “processed” into the “right kind of data,” i.e. data that supports the status quo interpretation, which is that everything’s just fine thanks to the wise leadership of our self-serving elites.

The deeper you dig into the statistical foundation of GDP, the unemployment rate, trade deficits, etc., the more questions arise about the accuracy and agenda behind the headline numbers.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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