Cooling the Anti-Russian Hysteria

Ed Lozansky and Jim Jatras

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/mar/22/russian-influence-in-elections-overblown/

 

What journalism has become:

 

Hatred is never a good thing.  Dislike of Trump, his team, and his policies, however, is readily understandable. In an ideal world, though, it should not color media reporting and result in the jettisoning of widely accepted (until now) standards journalism.

 

In topsy-turvy Washington, it is a sad day when the Moonie Times is more on point than its sister Gray Lady.  Even democracynow.org’s Amy Goodman, who used to be the paragon of sang froid, is now – like other HSHW (Hillary Should Have Won) folks – sang tres chaud).

 

Here’s Amy from earlier this morning after reporting House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes “claim” he has new information showing intelligence surveillance of some Trump people that was illegally leaked to the media.  (Note to Amy: It is not just a “claim.”)  Typically, the video clips democracynow.org chose to use gave as much time…. actually a little longer …to the committee’s ranking Democrat, “Russia-Did-It” Adam Schiff, who attacked Nunes.

 

Schiff is a smooth, slippery party hack.  Some may recall the two-minute “Q & A” Ray had with this Democratic Schiffwreck on January 25:

http://raymcgovern.com/2017/01/31/thats-bogus-ray-mcgovern-pwns-congressman-schiff-on-russian-hacking-fairy-tale/

 

But here’s the coup de grace – as if more were needed – showing how “progressive” journalism, too, is far from immune to bias – conscious or unconscious (surprise, surprise!).

 

After showing Schiff making his statement, Amy added (and displayed a slide showing that CNN claimed “People connected to the [Trump} campaign were in contact [with Russian officials] and it appeared they were giving the thumbs up to release information when it was ready.”

 

Readers of consortiumnews.com and of this site will easily spot what is wrong with that.  But how many others can?

 

This morning, ace pundits like Shimon Prokupecz are busy ringing changes on this same anonymously-sourced theme for TV viewers on, you guessed it, CNN.  It may no longer be necessary to watch those savants, if Amy Goodman is feeding off and regurgitating the same drivel from “unnamed U.S. officials” quoted by CNN.

 

If facts matter at all these days; if the media is still susceptible of embarrassment; if Nunes has the courage to release relevant documents and identify the culprits; and if enough Americans pay close attention (granted – a whole bunch of big “ifs”) … well, let’s see what happens.  (Hint: former CIA Director John Brennan is scheduled to testify before the committee next week.  Will anyone give odds on whether he actually shows up?)

 

Meanwhile, it seems increasingly clear that the Democrats, and other HSHW-ers, who remain unable to accept the reality that Hillary was a deeply flawed candidate, are squandering what credibility they have left.  This would not be all that bad, were it not for the likely sabotaging of whatever peace-dividend might otherwise come if President Trump were able politically to move toward an entirely possible, decent relationship with Russia.  The ones who would suffer from this, of course, would be the those identified by Pope Francis as “the blood-drenched arms traders” [who own and operate most of the Fawning Corporate Media].

But they do not own democracynow.org.

 

Watching CNN’s Carl Bernstein, the iconic investigative reporter from Watergate days, pronounce pompously last evening on the need for strong investigative reporting to see if there is any fire under the smoke enveloping Trump was – for those like Ray (who read every word of the Bernstein’s and Woodward’s reporting on Watergate, back in the day) – particularly sad.  Carl ought to doff his fancy shirt and tie and hit the pavement.  And he probably would do so, if he had the slightest prospect of finding something worth reporting – like back in the day.  How many months have already been devoted to the search for provable evidence.  And Obama himself telling us on January 18 that he does not know how the “Russian hacking” got to WikiLeaks?

 

But who needs evidence these days?  The smoke (and mirrors) — and the animus — are quite enough for today’s “journalists,” thank you very much.

RT International also interviewed Ray about House members’ medley on Moscow’s meddling.

March 20, 2017 (7 minutes)

 

Different enough from the interview with RT America earlier yesterday afternoon (see below) to post separately.  (And this time Ray did not mess up the pronunciation of Devin Nunes, chair of the House Intelligence Committee.)  And there was no “pre-interview interview” for RT International, either.

Ray is considering hewing to a policy of refusing “pre-interview interviews” when contacted by the likes of CNN.  But this may be academic, since he has not seen the inside of a CNN studio for over six years, ever since he took the extremist position that WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange is a journalist — not a “terrorist,” as CNN’s pundits and other guests had been saying:

(five minutes)

RT America talked with Ray, sans “pre-interview interview,” shortly after Monday’s hearing of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI).

March 20, 2017 (six minutes)

 

Ray had been out of town, speaking mostly about his recent stay in the Middle East  He actually had a (senior) “Aha! Moment” when he first saw C-SPAN’s billing of the hearing: “Russian Election Interference.”

 

Wow?  Was the House Intelligence Committee finally getting around to investigating how Washington got Boris the Buffoon Yeltsin re-elected in 1996, enabling Western oligarchs to complete their plunder of Russia.  Were Americans going to learn how “Russian Election Interference” carried out by the U.S., the IMF, et al. boosted Yeltsin from a candidate with single-digit approval in early 1996 to an official (but disputed) 54.4% of votes cast later that same year?

This Time cover at the time, so to speak, reflects what happened:

Time cover, July 15, 1996

 

Dream on, Ray.  HPSCI would be holding an open hearing on its investigation into “Russian active measures (активные мероприятия) during the 2016 election campaign.”  активные мероприятия are bad things Russian intelligence does.  

 

Ray’s segment was preceded by a four-minute spoof by RT’s Alexey Yaroshevsky who, among other things, drew attention to one of the key things Comey admitted at the hearing – namely that the Democratic National Committee would not let the FBI anywhere near their computers, so the Bureau had to rely on the contractor, Corwdstrike, for what amounted to second-hand “forensics.”  Crowdstrike had been hired by and was working for the DNC.  Hmmm.  Yaroshevsky addresses Crowdstrike at minute 1:46:

Propaganda and disinformation at the Comey hearing 

March 20, 2017 (four minutes)

The Missing Logic of Russia-gate

Robert Parry, March 20, 2017

The Missing Logic of Russia-gate

Back in the day, intelligence analysts, as well as investigative journalists, were wont to search out real facts and, when necessary, apply something called logic.  In addition to the leaps of imagination and the fallacies pointed out by Bob Parry, Ray for many months has been pointing out serious problems with the major premise upon which FBI Director Comey and NSA Director Rogers – and former officials like CIA Director John Brennan based their shaky syllogism.  In Ray’s view, it strains credulity beyond the breaking point that President Putin would prefer one presidential candidate to the other last year.  Not even the pundits once schooled in geometry seem to remember QED.

A presidential candidate who brags loudly about being unpredictable, and makes every effort to prove it; one who lashes out instinctively to retaliate for any slight – real or perceived.  Put yourself in Putin’s place, as he sized up President Trump.  Is this the kind of character you would as your main adversary with fingers on the nuclear codes?  Is that logical?  The major premise highly dubious, the syllogism falls apart.  Surely some pundits were required to take a course in Logic.  But, with those six-figure salaries to protect, it takes someone with courage – as well as a (sadly) uncommon moral sense – to risk offending The Establishment by calling rubbish rubbish.

As for rubbish, here’s Robert Parry’s most recent comment on what has become of The Gray Lady of the Establishment:

New York Times ‘Tinfoil Hat’ Conspiracy Theory

Robert Parry, March 19, 2017

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/03/19/nyts-tinfoil-hat-conspiracy-theory/

“Flashpoints” anchor Dennis Bernstein interviewed Ray in KPFA’s Berkeley studio the evening before Ray headed home after two gigs in the Bay area.  They discussed front-burner issues in a relaxed, kicked-back sort of way.  In second segment Ray was asked to share impressions from his recent visit to occupied Palestine and Israel.

https://kpfa.org/episode/flashpoints-march-14-2017/

(1st segment goes to minute 17:15; second runs from 18:55 to 40:00.)

 

Someone should do some quick research on how high the stock in the manufacturer of Kool Aid has risen amid unprecedented drinker demand among the cognoscenti of New York and Washington, DC.  Politicians and media alike seem to covet every ounce to support their evidence-impoverished campaign to stoke fear of Russia.  In the second segment, Ray shares his experience with the 8-person group of Veteran For Peace activists who just spent two and a half weeks in Israel and occupied Palestine.  (One key learning: Israel is scared to death of the BDS (Bombing, Divestment, & Sanctions) campaign.  If the Veterans For Peace had departed just one month later, they would have run afoul of a brand-new Israeli law that denies entry to supporters of BDS!)

 

Syria was also discussed: So why is it, after all, that “Bashar al-Assad has to go?”  Cui bono is the continuing chaos in Syria? Oddly, you can read the answer in the NY Times.  Yes, a startlingly honest report slid by the NYT pro-Israel censors, apparently dropping their guard while drinking Labor Day martinis with the hoi aristoi in the Hamptons, as is their custom.  Here is the link to that report; share it with your friends:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/06/world/middleeast/israel-backs-limited-strike-against-syria.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

 

Ray was asked to comment on Michael Hayden’s recent charge that the leaker behind the latest treasure-trove of documents released by WikiLeaks was probably from a younger generation with a “different concept of loyalty ad transparency” – different from the one Hayden has.  Well, good for them.

March 13, 2017 (seven and a half minutes)

 

CNN’s having Hayden preach on “loyalty!”  Tune in next week for Bill Clinton on chastity!  Hayden’s successor at NSA, Keith Alexander, went out and bought a pair of broad-cut jeans in a comic attempt to identify with millennials – but, alas, to no avail.  Younger folks can spot a phony a mile away, and many appear to be led by a quaint (almost obsolete) character trait called CONSCIENCE.  Some will not violate their oath to the Constitution – as the martinet NSA chiefs beginning with Hayden have done.

 

RT also published the following transcript:

‘CIA dilemma: Must hire millennials, very group that respects the Constitution’

It is the younger generation that understands new technology. But it is hard to weed out the people who will work without any respect for the Constitution or without any respect for privacy, says former CIA officer Ray McGovern.

The former head of the CIA Michael Hayden came up with an explanation for how thousands of secret documents ended up in the hands of WikiLeaks. The files were released this week, showing how the agency hacks smartphones and TVs.  Michael Hayden says they may have been leaked by insiders, most likely young CIA recruits, from the generation known as millennials.

RT: Michael Hayden doubts whether millennials understand loyalty and secrecy. Why would he say that, do you think?

Ray McGovern: It is very painful to hear General Hayden say those things, because these millennials, or whoever it is that is leaking information, are loyal in a way that he has not been, to their only oath, the only oath we all take, and that is to support and defend the Constitution of the US against all enemies, foreign and domestic. In an unprecedented situation, two of General Hayden’s predecessors as head of NSA said he did illegal things in wiretapping and monitoring Americans. That was Bobby Ray Inman, who was pretty much the creator of the NSA, and who worked on the laws that prohibit these things. He said, “I drafted the laws, I know what is in those laws, and it admits of no exceptions.” Bobby Ray Inman, after it was disclosed that General Hayden had done this at NSA said, “He clearly violated the law.” One more recent predecessor as NSA director was an Army General named William Odom, and Odom when he heard about Hayden, almost couldn’t control himself. He said, “Hayden should be court-martialed since he still on active duty, and he should be removed from office and so should George Bush who ordered him to do that.”

Here we have this same character… General Hayden accusing leakers of disloyalty. That is like the pot calling the kettle black because if anyone is guilty of not abiding by his oath to defend the Constitution, it is General Hayden himself. I have a little bit of difficulty refraining from being angry.

RT: If other people in the agency agree with him, what should they do now? Just recruit older people?

RM: The problem is they are caught between a rock and a hard place. They need the young people. The young people know how to do this stuff. That’s really important. It is really hard to weed out young people who will do this stuff without any respect for the Constitution or without any respect for privacy. To weed those out and only let old people like me, who don’t know anything about how to tap into these things. They cannot do this without the young people. And by hiring young people, it is really hard to say “this person will violate the Constitution, but this person won’t.”

One of the interesting things here is that when we gave Edward Snowden the award for Integrity in Intelligence that was in June of 2013. In July, we were at a hacker conference outside of Amsterdam, and we noted that we wanted to give this prize to Edward Snowden, but we had no way of getting there because he was at Sheremetyevo Airport and nobody knew how to get to him. Guess what? Those millennials, those hackers passed the hat around and collected enough money for the four of us – Colleen Rowley, Tom Drake, Jesselyn Raddack and myself – all whistleblowers to go to Moscow and back, pay for our fares and a fairly decent hotel as well. That is how strong these people who know how to do this technology feel about the need for privacy to protect our Constitution.

RT: WikiLeaks says the file dump is just a small fraction of what they have on the CIA. What else do you expect to come out?

RM: I suppose they’ve led with their most volatile, but it is hard to say because WikiLeaks is very meticulous in going through all this, ordering it in such a way that it is searchable. So, God knows what else they have. But what this indicates really is that even though these illegal hackers are really good about offensive things and interfering and hacking in such a way that other services can be blamed, they are really bad, they are a bunch of hacks when it comes to defensive measures. Witness the fact that WikiLeaks has all this treasure trove of very condemnatory information.