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Why The US Empire Works So Hard To Control The International Narrative About Russia

Why The US Empire Works So Hard To Control The International Narrative About Russia

On a December 2010 episode of Fox News’ Freedom Watch, John Bolton and the show’s host Andrew Napolitano were debating about recent WikiLeaks publications, and naturally the subject of government secrecy came up.

“Now I want to make the case for secrecy in government when it comes to the conduct of national security affairs, and possibly for deception where that’s appropriate,” Bolton said. “You know Winston Churchill said during World War Two that in wartime truth is so important it should be surrounded by a bodyguard of lies.”

“Do you really believe that?” asked an incredulous Napolitano.

“Absolutely,” Bolton replied.

“You would lie in order to preserve the truth?” asked Napolitano.

“If I had to say something I knew was false to protect American national security, I would do it,” Bolton answered.

“Why do people in the government think that the laws of society or the rules don’t apply to them?” Napolitano asked.

“Because they are not dealing in the civil society we live in under the Constitution,” Bolton replied. “They are dealing in the anarchic environment internationally where different rules apply.”

“But you took an oath to uphold the Constitution, and the Constitution mandates certain openness and certain fairness,” Napolitano protested. “You’re willing to do away with that in order to attain a temporary military goal?”

“I think as Justice Jackson said in a famous decision, the Constitution is not a suicide pact,” Bolton said. “And I think defending the United States from foreign threats does require actions that in a normal business environment in the United States we would find unprofessional. I don’t make any apology for it.”

I am going to type a sequence of words that I have never typed before, and don’t expect to ever type again:

John Bolton is right.

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

This Russia-Afghanistan Story Is Western Propaganda At Its Most Vile

This Russia-Afghanistan Story Is Western Propaganda At Its Most Vile

All western mass media outlets are now shrieking about the story The New York Times first reported, citing zero evidence and naming zero sources, claiming intelligence says Russia paid out bounties to Taliban-linked fighters in Afghanistan for attacking the occupying forces of the US and its allies in Afghanistan. As of this writing, and probably forevermore, there have still been zero intelligence sources named and zero evidence provided for this claim.

As we discussed yesterday, the only correct response to unsubstantiated claims by anonymous spooks in a post-Iraq invasion world is to assume that they are lying until you’ve been provided with a mountain of hard, independently verifiable evidence to the contrary. The fact that The New York Times instead chose to uncritically parrot these evidence-free claims made by operatives within intelligence agencies with a known track record of lying about exactly these things is nothing short of journalistic malpractice. The fact that western media outlets are now unanimously regurgitating these still 100 percent baseless assertions is nothing short of state propaganda.

The consensus-manufacturing, Overton window-shrinking western propaganda apparatus has been in full swing with mass media outlets claiming on literally no basis whatsoever that they have confirmed one another’s “great reporting” on this completely unsubstantiated story.

“The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post have confirmed our reporting,” the NYT story’s co-author Charlie Savage tweeted hours ago.

“We have confirmed the New York Times’ scoop: A Russian military spy unit offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to attack coalition forces in Afghanistan,” tweeted The Washington Post‘s John Hudson.

“We matched The New York Times’ great reporting on how US intel has assessed that Russians paid Taliban to target US, coalition forces in Afg which is a pretty stunning development,” tweeted Wall Street Journal’s Gordon Lubold.

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

Lies, Damned Lies and Covid19

Lies, Damned Lies and Covid19

Growing up as I did in the Cold War, I still experience a special kind of shudder whenever I come across an anecdote like that of Katya Soldak, whose Soviet nursery school teacher once showed her class a photograph clipped from a Western newspaper, “depicting skinny [Russian] children in striped robes walking in a straight line.”

The capitalists who printed that picture wanted people to think Soviet children were “treated like prisoners,” the teacher declared angrily, “when in reality the kids were on their way to a swimming pool in their bathrobes.”

Which was a nice story (thought little Katya) — except that “I had never even seen a pool…. [T]hey existed in my mind as does an exotic animal or an unvisited city.”

A time capsule from a remote dystopia? Think again.

Staring at me right now from the latest quarterly newsletter of my alma mater, the University of Virginia, is an identical piece of bad-is-good fakery: a photograph of an involuntarily isolated graduate student named Kalea Obermeyer, accompanied by a caption blandly informing the reader that the woman seated alone on a trunk in the confines of a cramped dormitory room, clumsily swathed in a surgical mask, “shelters in place” in “her most secure housing during the pandemic.”

Welcome to Pravda, COVID19 style.

Being an honest sort, I have considered whether I ought to write to the editors of my old university’s magazine, accusing them of playing toady to democracy-destroying propagandists.

Should I remind these so-called educators of the young that the term “shelter in place” is properly applied to air raids, not to “pandemics,” and is a cruel hoax when pressed into service to describe what is actually an illegal quarantine?

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

Narrative Control Operations Escalate As America Burns

Narrative Control Operations Escalate As America Burns

Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, and mainstream media are falling all over themselves with censorship and spin jobs to get the narrative back under control as mass protests continue to sweep across America.

In 2017, representatives of Facebook, Twitter, and Google were instructed in a US Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that it is their responsibility to “quell information rebellions” and adopt a “mission statement” expressing their commitment to “prevent the fomenting of discord.”

“Civil wars don’t start with gunshots, they start with words,” the representatives were told by cold warrior think tank denizen Clint Watts. “America’s war with itself has already begun. We all must act now on the social media battlefield to quell information rebellions that can quickly lead to violent confrontations and easily transform us into the Divided States of America.”

“Stopping the false information artillery barrage landing on social media users comes only when those outlets distributing bogus stories are silenced—silence the guns and the barrage will end,” Watts added.

Those words rattle around in the memory now as America burns with nationwide protests demanding an end to the police state, and as narrative control operations ramp up with frantic urgency.


The Grayzone@TheGrayzoneNews

Wikipedia formally censors The Grayzone as regime-change advocates monopolize editing@BenjaminNorton on how a cabal of editors got us listed as a “deprecated source” entirely on the basis of our political views and in violation of Wikipedia guidelines https://thegrayzone.com/2020/06/10/wikipedia-formally-censors-the-grayzone-as-regime-change-advocates-monopolize-editing/ …Wikipedia formally censors The Grayzone as regime-change advocates monopolize editing | The GrayzoneOn Wikipedia, regime-change advocates and right-wing Venezuelan opposition supporters blacklist and “deprecated” The Grayzone on political grounds, violating encyclopedia guidelinesthegrayzone.com


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

Civil War inside Mainstream Newspapers

Civil War inside Mainstream Newspapers

There is a civil war inside the New York Times as is the case in just about every major newspaper. This war is emerging between the young journalists and the 40+ old-wing liberals who have lost their way and surrendered all ethics of what was once journalism. What has changed is that the classically liberal process has transformed from investigative objectivity to always criticizing in public any opposition which in itself requires that one holds certain opposite convictions which means any objectivity has been surrendered. The capacity of reason to determine right from wrong has become biased to one’s own side to prevail and what has been rejected is debate. The substance is never addressed, simply they attack the messenger. There is no evolution of thought or advancement for society through the historical give and take of argument.

Journalism has lost any degree of modesty about the likelihood of any comprehensive moral and political view triumphing so decisively that competing views vanish or shrink to the furthest margins of a free society. Indeed, journalism has become just personal propaganda. Once upon a time, journalism was a noble cause for it was about a practical and functional form of truth that may not be even absolute or philosophical, but it was the pursuit of the truths that impacted our society. It was once perhaps a lofty goal that began with the professional discipline of assembling and verifying facts as was the case with the legal and political professions.

But journalists, have succumbed to bias and no longer try to convey a fair and reliable account of their events. FAKE NEWS has simply become a platform for personal bias warranting no further investigation. Journalism has digressed to nothing more than standing on a soap-box at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park, London. Journalists are no longer transparent about sources or methods so audiences can make their own assessment of the information.

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

Revolutionary Boiling Point, And Other Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Revolutionary Boiling Point, And Other Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Still mad at China’s brutal authoritarian government for imprisoning Julian Assange after his journalism exposed Chinese war crimes.

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Arresting people for future crimes is called “pre-crime”, and it’s the stuff of dystopian horror fiction.

Violently dominating an entire planet because another country might hurt yours in the future is called “US foreign policy”, and it’s the stuff of mainstream news punditry.

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Saying a US politician is bad on foreign policy but good on domestic policy is a bit like saying “Yeah my boyfriend murders hitchhikers, but he cooks.”

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Dominant revolutionary thought consistently fails to adequately appreciate the power of oligarchic propaganda and its ability to manipulate the way people think, act and vote. Until this changes, there will be no revolution.

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I was upset the Democrats nominated a candidate with a decades-long track record of reactionary warmongering corporate cronyism, but I changed my mind when I learned he has a “task force” where vaguely left-wing voices are allowed to speak words into a hole in the ground.

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“Obamagate” will not lead to anything. Since 2016 both mainstream US parties have been saying the other party is about to be obliterated any minute now by scandalous revelations, and they’re always wrong. Both parties are pure swamp; you cannot use the swamp to drain the swamp.

If you still believe that one of America’s two mainstream parties is about to be brought to its knees by earth-shattering revelations any minute now, I highly recommend you also take up watching WWE, because you’ll definitely love it.

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

COVID-19: Propaganda & the Art of Exploiting a Pandemic

COVID-19: Propaganda & the Art of Exploiting a Pandemic

Throughout the U.S., institutions that have no real interest in public health are exploiting our sense of vulnerability to benefit their public images and their bottom lines, says Dr. Mike Pappas. 

We have all likely seen or heard the commercials. They typically start with slow music and maybe a nice sunrise. The ads then give lip service to the “strange and uncertain” times in which we’re living. But never fear, your savior is here: some large corporation wants to let you know that they are “here for us.” Do not worry, even after the pandemic is over, they will still be “here for us.” This touching treacle would be incomplete without a nod to the “healthcare heroes” continuing to fight during this pandemic. It just touches your heart, doesn’t it? But the eerie similarity of many of the commercials is a bit off putting… It is almost as if there is a propaganda campaign designed to exploit our worry and vulnerability during the global pandemic. 

The Field of Public Relations

Exploring the field of public relations is helpful when examining the recent flood of sentimental adverts. Edward Bernays, Sigmund Freud’s nephew, is universally known as the “father of public relations.” In the 1920s he pioneered the technique of shaping and manipulating public opinion, which he called “engineering consent.” In his influential 1928 book “Propaganda,”Bernays highlights the need to utilize people’s emotions to steer public opinion. He states:

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in the democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of the country.”

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

Syria Spinmeisters Fumble Attempts To Narrative Manage OPCW Leaks

Syria Spinmeisters Fumble Attempts To Narrative Manage OPCW Leaks

It’s been over 72 hours since The Grayzone published new leaks further exposing how the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has been lying about its investigation into an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria two years ago.

These new documents make it abundantly clear that OPCW leadership were just plain lying when they claimed that a ballistics expert named Ian Henderson was not a part of the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) in Douma and played only a “minor supporting role” there. Henderson disagrees with the organisation’s official findings implicating the Syrian government in a chlorine gas attack, finding instead that the gas cylinders on the scene were “manually placed”, indicating that the crime scene was staged and the dozens of civilians killed were the victims of a still-unsolved mass murder.

The silence on these revelations from the OPCW and its usual narrative managers has been deafening.


Peter Hitchens✔@ClarkeMicah

No reply yet from “OPCW public affairs, to my query about Greyzone allegations,m devastating if true both to official position of OPCW and to lapcat @Bellingcat. : https://thegrayzone.com/2020/05/06/opcw-douma-whistleblower/ …Exclusive: OPCW chief made false claims to denigrate Douma whistleblower, documents reveal  | The…The Grayzone has obtained documents exposing numerous falsehoods and misleading claims by OPCW Director General Fernando Arias to degrade the…thegrayzone.com


Peter Hitchens, one of the only high-visibility journalists to cover the OPCW scandal, tweeted when the documents first emerged: “I have today formally requested OPCW public affairs to comment on these allegations, which call into question an important statement made by the organisation’s chief and retailed by lapcat Bellingcat about the status of Inspector Ian Henderson.”

“No reply yet from OPCW public affairs, to my query about Greyzone allegations, devastating if true both to official position of OPCW and to lapcat Bellingcat,” Hitchens tweeted a day later.

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

New OPCW Leaks Prove They Are Lying To Us About Syria

New OPCW Leaks Prove They Are Lying To Us About Syria

The Grayzone‘s Aaron Maté has published some explosive new leaks from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) which make it clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that the organisation, and the narrative managers associated with it, have been lying about the investigation into an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria two years ago.

In May of last year an Engineering Assessment signed by South African OPCW inspector Ian Henderson was leaked to the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media, saying in direct contradiction of the OPCW’s official findings that the chlorine cylinders allegedly dropped upon the scene via aircraft were in fact “manually placed” there. Since Douma was then occupied by the Al Qaeda-linked and Saudi-backed Jaysh al-Islam group, who were fighting against the Syrian government, this would mean the Syrian government was not responsible for whatever killed dozens of civilians. And it would have the very serious implication that the US, UK and France launched airstrikes against the Syrian government on false grounds.

From the moment Henderson’s leaked document first emerged, both the OPCW and the establishment spinmeisters responsible for managing the imperial narrative on Syria have been dismissing Henderson’s Engineering Assessment on the grounds that he was not a part of the OPCW’s Fact-Finding Mission (FFM), the team which went to Douma to investigate the incident. Since that time mountains of evidence have surfaced both corroborating Henderson’s assessment and revealing that attempts to portray him as not a part of the FFM are disingenuous pedantic manipulations at best, but these new leaks by The Grayzone are the first hard proof we’ve seen that this spin job was actually an outright, bald-faced lie.The Grayzone@TheGrayzoneNews

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

Why You Should Oppose The Censorship Of David Icke (Hint: It’s Got Nothing To Do With Icke)

Why You Should Oppose The Censorship Of David Icke (Hint: It’s Got Nothing To Do With Icke)

Within 48 hours both Facebook and then Youtube have deleted the accounts of David Icke for posting “content that disputes the existence and transmission of Covid-19 as described by the WHO and the NHS.” Other platforms may soon fall in suit, as they did with Alex Jones in 2018.

This article is not about David Icke. I will say it again in italics for the especially dense: this article is not about David Icke. This article is about why we shouldn’t be okay with monopolistic billionaire-owned Silicon Valley tech giants with extensive ties to US government agencies controlling human communication.

I know next to nothing about David Icke, and I have done exactly zero research into his views for this article; for all I know he’s every bit the raving lunatic the narrative managers say he is. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that we’re seeing a consistent and accelerating pattern of powerful plutocratic institutions collaborating with the US-centralized empire to control what ideas people around the world are permitted to share with each other, and it’s a very unsafe trajectory. Making this conversation about Icke and his views distracts from the very important topic we need to actually focus on discussing.


Matt Taibbi✔@mtaibbi

“The people who want to add a censorship regime to a health crisis are more dangerous and more stupid by leaps and bounds than a president who tells people to inject disinfectant.”

https://taibbi.substack.com/p/temporary-coronavirus-censorship …The Inevitable Coronavirus Censorship Crisis is HereAs the Covid-19 crisis progresses, censorship programs advance, amid calls for China-style control of the Internettaibbi.substack.com


Journalist Matt Taibbi recently wrote an excellent essay about the dangers inherent in the increased demand we’ve been seeing for more censorship and deplatforming during the coronavirus pandemic, correctly arguing that more authoritarian control over the ideas people are allowed to discuss is vastly more dangerous than the ideas themselves.

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

This Absolute Bullshit Would Not Be Possible Without Propaganda

This Absolute Bullshit Would Not Be Possible Without Propaganda

So as of right now it’s Trump versus Biden. An incompetent plutocrat president selling himself as an anti-establishment people’s champion while simultaneously advancing garden variety Republican sociopathy, versus a warmongering authoritarian who is too demented to string a coherent sentence together and who is looking more and more credibly to be a rapist.

Needless to say, this is absolute bullshit.

How did we get here? How did we get to the point where the electoral contest to run the most powerful government on the planet is between a racist demented right-wing authoritarian warmongering rapist and another racist demented right-wing authoritarian warmongering rapist? How in the hell did this bullshit happen?

There are a number of factors, including anonymous and unsubstantiated “leaks” from the US intelligence community regarding Russian support for the Bernie Sanders campaign and a shockingly coordinated maneuver by Democratic Party leadership (including former president Obama) to sabotage Sanders in the late hours before Super Tuesday.

But the primary factor by far was domestic mass media propaganda. Propaganda during the primary season of course, with the billionaire press showing a very clear and undeniable bias against Bernie Sanders from the very beginning of the race. Had the Sanders campaign received a normal quality and quantity of mass media coverage for a candidate of his stature, he would doubtless have received far more support than he did. To deny that biased media messaging has an effect would be the same as denying that advertising, a trillion-dollar industry, has an effect.

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

Humanity Is Making A Very Important Decision When It Comes To Assange

Humanity Is Making A Very Important Decision When It Comes To Assange

The propagandists have all gone dead silent on the WikiLeaks founder they previously were smearing with relentless viciousness, because they no longer have an argument. The facts are all in, and yes, it turns out the US government is certainly and undeniably working to exploit legal loopholes to imprison a journalist for exposing its war crimes. That is happening, and there is no justifying it.

So the narrative managers, by and large, have gone silent.

Which is good. Because it gives us an opening to seize control of the narrative.

It’s time to go on the offensive with this. Assange supporters have gotten so used to playing defense that it hasn’t fully occurred to us to go on a full-blown charge. I’ve been guilty of this as well; I’ll be letting myself get bogged down in some old, obsolete debate with someone about some obscure aspect of the Swedish case or something, not realizing that none of that matters anymore. All the narrative manipulations that were used to get Assange to this point are impotent, irrelevant expenditures of energy compared to the fact that we now have undeniable evidence that the US government is working to set a precedent which will allow it to jail any journalist who exposes its misdeeds, and we can now force Assange’s smearers to confront this reality.

“Should journalists be jailed for exposing US war crimes? Yes or no?”

That’s the debate now. Not Russia. Not Sweden. Not whether he followed proper bail protocol or washed his dishes at the embassy. That’s old stuff. That’s obsolete. That’s playing defense.

Now we play offense: “Should journalists be jailed for exposing US war crimes? Yes or no?”

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

Spirits in the Material World

SPIRITS IN THE MATERIAL WORLD

Image result for spirits in the material world

There is no political solution
To our troubled evolution
Have no faith in constitution
There is no bloody revolution 

The Police – Spirits in the Material World

As I was driving home from work last week, an almost forty-year-old song began emanating from my radio. I’ve always appreciated the music of The Police, but was never a huge fan. Spirits in the Material World was a relatively minor hit from their 1981 Ghost in the Machine multi-platinum album. I’ve probably heard it hundreds of times over the last four decades, but the lyrics struck me as particularly apropos at the end of a week where lunatic left-wing politicians staged a battle royale of ineptitude, invective, and idiotic solutions, in front of a perplexed public in a Vegas casino. Sting wrote the lyrics to this song in 1981 at the outset of the Reagan presidency. It is less than 3 minutes in length, but says much about humanity and the world we inhabit.

The interpretation of Sting’s (Gordon Sumner) lyrics depends upon your position in the generational kaleidoscope of history. As a boomer, Sting came of age during the 1960s and 70s. He was thirty years old in 1981 as the Second Turning (Awakening) was winding down and Reagan’s Morning in America was about to launch the Third Turning (Unraveling) in 1984.

His passionate idealism and search for spiritual solutions to the problems of the day had not been extinguished. The raging inflation of the 1970s had led to the worst recession since the Great Depression. The Cold War was at its coldest. Politicians had been discredited as criminal (Nixon) or incompetent (Carter). Sting and many others of his generation had lost faith in the political system. His viewpoint fit perfectly into the Strauss and Howe assessment of our last Awakening period (1964 – 1984).

Image result for awakening strauss and howe

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When US Hospitals and Military PUBLICLY Brace for a Coronavirus Pandemic, You Should Pay Attention

When US Hospitals and Military PUBLICLY Brace for a Coronavirus Pandemic, You Should Pay Attention

If you trust the numbers coming out of China (I don’t) it appears that they’re getting their coronavirus epidemic contained. Yesterday they reported the lowest number of new cases in ages, with 349 newly confirmed patients, in a dramatic drop of more than 1300 fewer cases than Tuesday.

Xinhuanet, the official Chinese government propaganda news outlet reported:

NHC spokesperson Mi Feng made the remarks at a press conference in Beijing Wednesday, citing the epidemic data in the province over the past week.

The daily count of newly cured and discharged cases in Hubei, excluding the capital city of Wuhan, has exceeded the number of newly confirmed cases for four consecutive days as of Wednesday, said Mi.

He also noted that the number of newly confirmed cases has decreased significantly since Feb. 13 in areas besides Wuhan, and the increase in the cumulative number of confirmed cases has remained flat. (source)

Of course, there’s plenty of evidence that China has toyed with the numbers all along, so it’s difficult not to take this “good news” with a grain of salt.

Particularly when hundreds of potentially infected people disembarked the Diamond Princess yesterday to make their ways home to 50 different countries via a wide variety of public transportation options.

And particularly when our own government is busily (and visibly) preparing for the potential of a massive outbreak in the United States.

We didn’t even see these kinds of preparations when we were being warned by the CDC to get ready for an Ebola outbreak back in 2014. Mercifully, we dodged the bullet on that one but it certainly wasn’t because of well-thought-out protocols and procedures. The entire thing was handled so poorly that it could have resulted in disaster. Perhaps we learned from that?

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

Chinese Regime Deploys 1,600 Online Trolls To Suppress Information On Coronavirus

Chinese Regime Deploys 1,600 Online Trolls To Suppress Information On Coronavirus

The propaganda department in virus-stricken Hubei Province has engaged over 1,600 censors to scrub the internet of “sensitive” information relating to the coronavirus outbreak, according to an internal document obtained by The Epoch Times.

The internal report, dated Feb. 15, detailed the agency’s efforts to ramp up censorship measures. It was drafted after a speech given by Chinese leader Xi Jinping via video link on Feb. 10 to “frontline responders” of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei, where the virus first broke out.

The revelations come as the Chinese regime tightens information controls over the worsening outbreak, as netizens have increasingly turned to the internet to vent their frustrations about the authorities’ response, or document what is happening on the ground.

The illness has seen a steadily growing official list of infections and deaths on a daily basis. Experts and commentators, however, believe the actual number of infections to be far greater, due to underreporting and shortages in testing kits and hospital beds—meaning many people are left undiagnosed.

1,600 Trolls Deployed

According to the document, the department has hired more than 1,600 trolls, known as the 50-cent army in China, to regulate internet speech continuously, 24/7.

The trolls, through technological and manual screening, had identified as many as 606,800 posts online with “sensitive or harmful information,” it said.

Their approach, it said, was to “timely dispel the online rumors” and “strike powerful blows offline.”

As of Feb. 14, the online censors had deleted as many as 54,000 such “rumors,” and had social media influencers write nearly 400 commentary articles to shape the narrative.

The regime’s propaganda efforts, the report said, should be directed toward promoting the effects of officials’ outbreak control measures and the “moving deeds” of volunteers, community workers, and the police.

Some professional “internet commentators” had also made 400,000 comments to “counter the negative public opinions,” according to the document.

…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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