Sunday 26th of June 2022

fake news, misinformation, disinformation and deliberate media porkies….

The Wilson Center is an apologist for the shenanigans of the US empire. It hides behind an aura of venerable respectability, but, if it is not part of the clever disinformation channels for the CIA, it sure fits the bill nonetheless of cleansing the deliberate mess after the CIA ops and the US administration caca... 


Thus the Wilson Center is mostly involved in checking, countering and destroying annoying information… Its activities are in total contravention to the “freedom of speech” enshrined in the US constitution.


So What is our beef with the Wilson Center today?


"President Joe Biden’s administration is expanding the US Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) purview to include fighting speech that the government deems to be “disinformation.”


Plans for the new initiative were revealed on Wednesday, when DHS chief Alejandro Mayorkas said in a congressional hearing that his department has created a “disinformation governance board.”The board will be headed by Nina Jankowicz, whose resumé includes stints advising the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry and overseeing the Russia and Belarus programs at the National Democratic Institute.


“Cat’s out of the bag,” Jankowicz said in a Twitter post. “Here's what I've been up to the past two months, and why I’ve been a bit quiet on here.


Nina Jankowicz is very much representing the Wilson Center bullshit against Russian information.


It would seem Nina Jankowicz is running a disinformation service designed to prevent the true story of the Ukraine/Russia adventure coming out. The views from the Wilson Center are “Russia bad, Ukraine great, US godly” sort of stuff. 


It does not take long to find that this is the modus operandi of the Wilson Center. For example let’s go back to an obvious story that deliberately destroyed our understanding of the truth: the "reason" why the US invaded Iraq in 2003 — Saddam's WMDs.


We knew by 2001-02 that the US was promoting bullshit about these WMDs. The Western (Anglo-Saxon) media was parroting the US government for various reasons, including laziness and "wanting war” because it sells copies. Don’t laugh. I’ve heard this one many times — always verified by the magic increase in circulation of newspapers. 


So once the war on Saddam was "sort of finished” with “Mission Accomplished", the Wilson Center came along to clean up the caca of the WMD disinformation from the CIA. The W.C. (not water closet) employs clever turd polishers to give shenanigans an air of moral fibres and some “historical truth” which are both totally bogus, but palatable to the pollies and the public. It’s clever bullshit. It claims that the truth is disinformation and that the Wilson Center disinformation is the truth — in steps that dismiss the truth with a twist of intent. For example, this devious paragraph:


"The furor over pre-war intelligence on Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction and ties to al Qaeda fills headlines. But no matter what the determinations are on these important issues, the main focus of U.S. policy must now be on answering one overriding question: what should we be doing to win the peace in Iraq, for us and for the Iraqi people.


This is deceitful. The Wilson Center of all think tank should have been aware that the whole thing had been concocted by the CIA (and some other “intelligence” US agencies) to suit the President wish to got to war. Sure, fixing the mess is important but it is often deliberately slow and disorganised, in order for US troops to stay as long as possible — see Afghanistan….


The same sort of disinformation from the Wilson Center is designed to hide the reality of Russia versus Ukraine. For this, the Center employs someone like Nina Jankowicz — a multi-lingual woman — to present the alternative fake news that supports the US government in its endeavour against Russia. 


But note:

The Wilson Center is a public–private partnership. One-third of the Center's operating funds come from the U.S. government, and the Center itself is housed in a wing of the Ronald Reagan Building, a federal office building where the Center enjoys a 30-year rent-free lease. The remainder of the Center's funding comes from foundations, grants and contracts, corporations, individuals, endowment income, and subscriptions. Because of its historic reliance on congressional appropriations, the Center posts on its website a Plan for Federal Funding Hiatus.


An example of the Center's propaganda, aka spreading misinformation, are typical hatchet job on Putin, These can be found as “headings” and articles on the Wilson Center website:


Alexei Navalny, ... has established himself as the leader of the Russian opposition’ 


This is grand bullshit.


Navalny has demonstrably not established himself as the leader of the Russian opposition. The communists are. Recent polls taken about Navalny hit a grand high of 2% nationwide. This was before he started requesting the US government to sanction Russia far more — which has led to a decrease in the scant popularity he had. Navalny is marketed mainly for the Western, not Russian audience. He is in prison for good reasons.


As for Putin, even the western cited and western funded polling crowd maintain, reluctantly, that Putin enjoys huge support still… This from a few years ago:


"The Levada Centre poll, conducted in the leadup to the sentencing, showed an overall 1% drop in approval of Putin to 64% from 65% in November among 1,616 adults in 50 regions, a relatively small sample of Russia’s 145 million population."


"Putin's approval rating holds steady despite Navalny crackdown: poll



Putin’s popularity has not been affected in any way by the Navalny routine which the Wilson Center is involved with. Meanwhile, the Putin Op in Ukraine is supported by nearly 82 per cent of Russians.


'When asked which politician they most trust, Navalny was named by 5% of respondents, ranking ... behind Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and the nationalist leader of the Liberal Democrats Vladimir Zhirinovsky, as well as Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.


"Dissatisfaction With Putin Surges Among Young Russians – Levada Poll - The Moscow Times"


The Wilson Center is promoting a clear political anti-Putin agenda here, by several tactics, one which misleads, another which is suspicion, and the next by using extremely dishonest editorials.


The Center has been involved in drafting national intelligence documentation, e.g. National Intelligence Council's Global Trends 2025 Report  co-authored by Wilson Center and the Atlantic Council of the United States, the RAND Corporation, the Brookings Institution, the American Enterprise Institute, Texas A&M University, the Council on Foreign Relations and Chatham House in London, which is the British equivalent of the CFR.


RAND, Atlantic Council, CFR, Brookings are hugely connected to the military industrial complex, they are spearheading think tanks and gatherings of extremely powerful corporate interests who seek full spectrum dominance of the US military industrial complex and profit through that ongoing, constant war and oppression globally.


Near the Wilson Center, we can find some of the neo-nazi campaigners in Ukraine, such as smiling Druzenko — a fascist apparently advising his soldiers to castrate wounded Russian soldiers because they are cockroaches, not humans.


Druzenko is also on the board for Pirogov First Volunteer Mobile Hospital (PFVMH), equivalent to the ISIS White Helmets in Syria… 


So, any good person cannot trust the Wilson Center, though the information from the Center is picked up by — or influences — the Western media like gospel…


It appears too that Nina Jankowicz was the main character used to clean up the poop trail from the Hunter Biden laptop, before the Presidential elections of 2020. 


The buyout of Twitter by Elon Musk is sending shivers. Many journalists are worried that their game will be exposed: "The International Federation of Journalists argued that “unregulated speech” on the social media network would harm quality journalism”. This seems to be code for the tightly controlled information from the journalists/media-owners cabal will be challenged and the journalists/media-owners don’t like this.


The next Wilson Center lines in regard to the war on Saddam tell all:


Reconstruction efforts have gotten off to a difficult start. American soldiers are dying nearly every day in guerilla [sic] assaults. Weapons of mass destruction – if they exist – have not been found. Saddam Hussein’s connection to al Qaeda is elusive. The Iraqi people are unhappy with a lack of basic services, employment and security, and feel alienated from the process of governing and rebuilding their own country. If conditions don’t improve in the coming months, mistrust between the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) and Iraqis could become endemic, with severe consequences for our troops and the Iraqi people. 


Our first priority must be establishing greater security. If violence and lawlessness continue to reign, we will lose control of events on the ground. The mission for coalition forces should shift to peacekeeping operations and aggressive intelligence-gathering to capture Saddam Hussein, and to root out foreign terrorists and Baathist fighters. Iraqis must have a sense of public safety in order to get on with rebuilding their country. We should give our forces enhanced resources to get this job done, including more troops as necessary.


This article was designed to continue the US madness, with authoritative exceptional deceit… And the Western media bought this shit. The Western media is still buying the shit on Putin versus Ukraine. The NYT included...


Okay guys, NATO has been goading Russia. NATO has told porkies. NATO and the US don’t care: the name of the game from the Empire is the conquest of the heartland, no matter who dies, no matter who gets displaced and no matter who gets maimed, including US soldiering-fodder — as the Wilson Center provides international hospital grade politico-sanitation of events, to hide the US Empire grand crap….


And this beauty….


The Kennan Institute is the premier U.S. center for advanced research on Russia and Eurasia and the oldest and largest regional program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The Kennan Institute is committed to improving American understanding of Russia, Ukraine, and the region through research and exchange.


If the Kennan Institute told the truth, about 99.9 per cent of Americans would support Putin.


Meanwhile: See:


The New York Times takes a beating from Noam...






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the news manufacturers….






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no mass graves….

Here’s what I found at the reported ‘mass grave’ near Mariupol


A first-hand look at the location where Kiev claims trenches hold thousands of bodies


BY Eva Bartlett — a Canadian independent journalist. She has spent years on the ground covering conflict zones in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Palestine (where she lived for nearly four years). The writer is a recipient of the 2017 International Journalism Award for International Reporting, granted by the Mexican Journalists’ Press Club (founded in 1951), was the first recipient of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism, and was short-listed in 2017 for the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism.

See her extended bio on her blog In Gaza. She tweets from @EvaKBartlett.


According to recent Western media, Russian forces have buried up to 9,000 Mariupol civilians in “mass graves” in a town just west of the Ukrainian city. These reports use satellite imagery as supposed evidence and repeat the claims of officials loyal to Kiev that “the bodies may have been buried in layers” and“the Russians dug trenches and filled them with corpses every day throughout April.”

I went to the site in question and found no mass graves.

On April 23, I joined RT journalist Roman Kosarev on a visit to the location, in the town of Mangush. What I saw were new, orderly grave plots including some still empty ones – an extension of a cemetery that already exists at the spot. No mass pit. Many of the graves have placards with the names and dates of birth of the deceased when available, and the remaining plots were numbered according to burial.

Since the media is essentially copy-pasting from the same source – the former mayor of Mariupol, Vadym Boichenko (who seems to be far from the city now) – I'll cite from the Washington Post's article.

READ MORE: Humanitarian corridor for civilians from Mariupol sabotaged by Kiev – Russia

Boichenko, the article notes, “called the site the 'new Babyn Yar,' referring to one the largest mass graves in Europe located in the outskirts of Kyiv, where 33,000 Jews where killed by Nazis in 1941 during World War II.”

This is ironic on several levels. A mayor who is whitewashing the neo-Nazis who have run amuck in hso city – notably those from the Azov Battalion, who have used civilians as human shields, occupied and militarized civilian infrastructure, point-blank executed civilians – is comparing an alleged (non-existent) mass grave to a Nazi massacre of WW2.

Meanwhile, the Kiev regime has re-written history, making WW2 Nazis and their collaborators heroes of the nation. The most notorious example being the World War Two figure Stepan Bandera. 

Boichenko's other alarming claim was that the alleged “mass grave” was “the biggest war crime of the 21st century.” We are only 22 years into it, but we've already seen the US-led invasion and destruction of Iraq, the levelling of Syria’s Raqqa, Saudi Arabia’s ongoing war in Yemen – all of which are much stronger contenders than the nowhere-to-be-found “mass graves” of Mangush.

In reality, the site has around 400 individual plots, including nearly 100 empty ones. The 9,000 bodies and “biggest war crime of the 21st century” were unverified claims made by a mayor who fled his city, promoted by media which down the page admitted they could [not] independently verify the claims – but by then, the damage had been done.

Gravediggers disprove mass grave claims

While walking around the site, two men responsible for burials arrived, and when presented with the former mayor's accusations of mass graves they vehemently rejected the claims.

“This is not a mass grave and no one is throwing bodies into a pit,” one told me.

According to them, they bury each person in a coffin and separate grave, details are logged in the morgue, and when any documents regarding name and age are given, the plot is marked with a placard containing those details. Otherwise a number is used. 

Interestingly, they also noted that a section of the new graves included buried Ukrainian soldiers. “They're human, too” one of the men said.

For those in doubt as to the location, see Roman's report: his drone footage shows that it’s precisely the same location as shown in the satellite images used by Western media.

Meanwhile, as Roman noted while walking, mass graves is something Ukraine has previously been accused of. He cited DPR leader Denis Pushilin as having stated that at least 300 such sites have been discovered since 2014.

He also spoke of what he witnessed. “In 2014 or 2015, mass graves were discovered as Azov or Aidar fighters retreated from the Donetsk region. I even saw a woman, she was dug up, she had her arms tied behind her back, she was in the late stages of pregnancy and she had a hole in her head, so that means she was executed.”

American journalist George Eliason, who has lived in Lugansk for many years, has written about these alleged atrocities. In a documentary on the issue, he said: “I'm here for five minutes and then I’m told the first five people they found, it was five decapitated heads. They were all civilians. Who does this to people?”

This story of a mass grave in Mangush is another fake from the Western corporate media, which previously pushed incubator babies being thrown on the floor by Iraqi soldiers, pushed lies about WMDs in Iraq, and carried reports of a chemical attack in Douma that never happened, to name but a few of their litany of hoaxes.

Meanwhile, when I was in Mariupol on April 21 and 22, yes there was destruction – thanks to those Neo-Nazi & regular Ukrainian forces occupying upper floors of residential buildings and using them as military positions, thus drawing return fire on the buildings – but I also saw people in the streets, and the beginning of the cleaning up process before rebuilding can occur.

I'll repeat what I've said on Western media reporting on Syria (which in my experience, from on the ground in that country, is largely dishonest): those who promote these hoaxes and war propaganda have blood on their hands.

After the countless lies emanating from Western corporate media, I would hope people would exercise critical thinking whenever a new claim is pushed, particularly when it is repeated in chorus by the usual suspects. 

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.








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official disinformation board…...

 Biden Administration Comes Under Fire for Forming DHS ‘Disinformation’ Board


The director of the board previously advised the Ukrainian government


by Dave DeCamp Posted on April 28, 2022


Categories NewsTags 


The Biden administration has come under heavy criticism for creating a “Disinformation Governance Board” that falls under the Department of Homeland Security.

The board has been slammed as Orwellian as the board was formed to fight whatever the US government considers to be “disinformation.” According to Politico, the board is meant to “coordinate countering misinformation related to homeland security, focused specifically on irregular migration and Russia.”

So far, the Biden administration hasn’t put out much information on what exactly the board will do. When asked about it, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki didn’t offer any details. “I really haven’t dug into this exactly, I mean, we of course support this effort but let me see if I can get more specifics,” she said.

President Biden Appointed Nina Jankowicz as the head of the board, who previously worked as a “disinformation fellow” at the Wilson Center and advised the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry as part of the Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship, a program run by the State Department. Jankowicz also oversaw Russia and Belarus programs at the National Democracy Institute, a US-government-funded NGO.

Jankowicz’s appointment comes as the US is significantly escalating its support for Ukraine in its fight against Russia. Part of the Biden administration’s campaign against Moscow includes information warfare.

Earlier this month, US officials told NBC News that the Biden administration has been putting out information related to Russia’s war in Ukraine based on bad intelligence as part of an information war against Russian President Vladimir Putin. As part of this effort, the Biden administration fed several stories to the press that were based on claims the US had no evidence to back up.







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bitch of disinformation…...

Nina Jankowicz, who advised the government of Ukraine on strategic communications, was recently appointed by Biden to police free speech in the United States (officially, to “challenge and contradict misinformation about homeland security, with a special concentration on Russia and irregular migration.”)


President Biden’s head of the Disinformation Governance Board has caused social media to erupt in the wake of newly surfaced footage in which she sings about “information laundering” in a fake British accent.


“You can just call me the Mary Poppins of disinformation,” she tweeted, attaching a TikTok video of her singing a revised version of the British magical nanny that included lines about Rudy Giuliani and the COVID-19 pandemic.


You can just call me the Mary Poppins of disinformation

— Nina Jankowicz (@wiczipedia) February 17, 2021


The video immediately went viral on Twitter, triggering mockery from confused viewers.

This is who the government is trying to put in charge of regulating YOUR speech,” tweeted Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.


Every time you think the Biden administration can’t get more ridiculous, they do,OutKick founder Clay Travis commented.


This is who Biden wants in charge of what you can and can’t say…

— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) April 29, 2022


Ironically, Jankowicz herself has a record of spreading disinformation online, as she claimed news stories related to Hunter Biden’s business dealings were a “Russian influence op.”


“Back on the ‘laptop from hell,’ apparently—Biden notes 50 former natsec officials and 5 former CIA heads that believe the laptop is a Russian influence op,” Jankowicz tweeted. “Trump says ‘Russia, Russia, Russia,'”


The New York Times confirmed the laptop's authenticity following months-long censorship by mainstream US outlets.





In this regard, see the NYP:






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the odessa massacre…..


Odessa has imposed a two-day curfew on the anniversary of the burning alive of anti-Maidan protestors on May 2, 2014, reports Joe Lauria. 


By Joe Lauria

Special to Consortium News


Authorities in the Ukrainian port city of Odessa have set a 24-hour curfew from May 1-3 to prevent protests commemorating the burning alive on May 2, 2014 of 48 people who had rejected the U.S.-backed coup in Kiev earlier that year.  

The city, which is  “(under the control of Ukrainian troops) announced the introduction of a ‘curfew’ in the city from 22-00 on May 1 to 5-00 on May 3. For the duration of the ‘curfew’ Odessans are not allowed to leave their homes,” said the group Repression of the Left and Dissenters in Ukraine in a Telegram post. “Obviously, this decision of the authorities is due to the fact that May 2 is a very important date for the inhabitants of Odessa.”

On that day eight years ago hooligans and far-right groups deliberately set fire to a labor union building where protestors against the coup had taken refuge.  Police did not intervene. Video footage shows at least one police officer and others firing their guns into the building. The crowd is cheering as many of the people trapped inside jumped to their deaths.

The events of that day “have not yet been investigated by law enforcement agencies of Ukraine,” the group said. Pleas at the time from the United Nations and the European Union for Ukraine to investigate were ignored. Three Ukrainian local government probes were stymied by the withholding of secret documents.

report on the incident from the European Council (EC) at the time makes clear it did not conduct its own investigation but relied on local probes, especially by the Verkhovna Rada’s Temporary Investigation Commission. The EC complains in its reports that it too was barred from viewing classified information. Relying on the local inquiries, the EC reports that  pro-Russian, or pro-federalist, protestors attacked a pro-unity march in the afternoon, prompting street battles. Then: 

“At around 6.50 p.m. pro-federalists broke down the door [of the trade union building] and brought inside various materials, including boxes containing Molotov cocktails and the products needed to make them. Using wooden pallets which had supported tents in the square, they blocked the entrances to the building from the inside and erected barricades. When they arrived at the square at around 7.20 p.m., the pro-unity protesters destroyed and set fire to the tents of the Anti-Maidan camp. The remaining pro-federalism protesters entered the Trade Union Building, from where they exchanged shots and Molotov cocktails with their opponents outside. … 

At about 7.45 p.m. a fire broke out in the Trade Union Building. Forensic examinations subsequently indicated that the fire had started in five places, namely the lobby, on the staircases to the left and right of the building between the ground and first floors, in a room on the first floor and on the landing between the second and third floors. Other than the fire in the lobby, the fires could only have been started by the acts of those inside the building. The forensic reports did not find any evidence to suggest that the fire had been preplanned. The closed doors and the chimney effect caused by the stairwell resulted in the fire’s rapid spread to the upper floors and a fast and extreme rise in the temperature inside the building.”

The local investigation thus blamed the anti-Maidan protestors for starting the fire throughout the building. But this video, which shows events on that day leading to the fire, depicts the main blaze in the lobby. It shows Right Sector extremists lobbing Molotov cocktails into the building and a policeman firing his gun at it. It does not show any cocktails thrown from the building. It doesn’t show clashes earlier in the day, though one pro-unity protestor says they were attacked at Cathedral Square and they’ve come to burn the anti-Maidan protestors in the building for revenge:

The New York Times buried the first news of the massacre in a May 2, 2014 story, saying “dozens of people died in a fire related to clashes that broke out between protesters holding a march for Ukrainian unity and pro-Russian activists.” 

The Times then published a video report that said dozens were killed in a fire, “and others were shot dead when fighting between pro- and anti-Russian groups broke out on the streets of Odessa.” The video narrator says “crowds did their best to save lives.” It quotes Ukrainian police saying a “pro-Kiev march was ambushed … petrol bombs were thrown” and gun battles erupted on the streets.

The late Robert Parry, who founded Consortium Newsreported on Aug. 10, 2014:

“The brutality of these neo-Nazis surfaced again on May 2 when right-wing toughs in Odessa attacked an encampment of ethnic Russian protesters driving them into a trade union building which was then set on fire with Molotov cocktails. As the building was engulfed in flames, some people who tried to flee were chased and beaten, while those trapped inside heard the Ukrainian nationalists liken them to black-and-red-striped potato beetles called Colorados, because those colors are used in pro-Russian ribbons.

‘Burn, Colorado, burn’ went the chant.

As the fire worsened, those dying inside were serenaded with the taunting singing of the Ukrainian national anthem. The building also was spray-painted with Swastika-like symbols and graffiti reading ‘Galician SS,’ a reference to the Ukrainian nationalist army that fought alongside the German Nazi SS in World War II, killing Russians on the eastern front.”

“Every year on May 2, residents of Odessa come to the House of Trade Unions, where the tragedy occurred, to honor the memory of the victims,” the Ukrainian leftist group said. “But also every year on this day they are attacked by representatives of ultra-right groups with the inaction of the police.”

“This year,” the group said, “the authorities decided to prevent any gathering on May 2nd. Everyone who leaves their home on May 2 will be detained under the terms of the ‘curfew.'”

Sparked Donbass Rebellion

“This event became the trigger for the uprising in the Donbass,” Repression of the Left and Dissenters in Ukraine said. Eight days after the Odessa massacre, coup resisters in the far eastern provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk, bordering on Russia, voted in a referendum to become independent from Ukraine.  

The U.S.-backed coup government then launched a military attack against the breakaway provinces, which continued for nearly eight years, killing thousands of people before prompting Russian intervention in the civil conflict.  Russia says it has proof that the Ukrainian military, which had amassed 60,000 of its troops at the line of contact, were on the verge of an offensive to retake the provinces. OSCE maps showed a dramatic increase of shelling from the government side into the rebel areas in the last week of February. 

On Feb. 24 Russia invaded Ukraine with the stated purpose of “de-Nazifying” and “de-militarizing” Ukraine to protect Russian-speakers and the people of Donbass. In a televised address three days before the invasion, Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned the events of May 2, 2014 in Odessa. 

“One shudders at the memories of the terrible tragedy in Odessa, where peaceful protesters were brutally murdered, burned alive in the House of Trade Unions,” he said. “The criminals who committed that atrocity have never been punished, and no one is even looking for them. But we know their names and we will do everything to punish them, find them and bring them to justice.”

The demonstrators in Odessa that day were protesting the violent overthrow on Feb. 21, 2014 of the democratically-elected President Viktor Yanukovych. U.S. involvement in the coup is revealed in a leaked telephone conversation between Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine at the time. 

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former U.N. correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and numerous other newspapers. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London and began his professional work as a 19-year old stringer for The New York Times.  He can be reached at and followed on Twitter @unjoe 









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a degenerate state of affairs……...

The lack of objective, principled coverage of the war in Ukraine is a degenerate state of affairs. The one thing worse is the extent to which it’s perfectly fine with most Americans.

It is perfectly obvious by now, to anyone who cares to look, that mainstream media in America and the other Western powers are not reporting the Ukraine crisis accurately.
  Let me try that another way: The government-supervised “New York Times” and the rest of the corporate-owned media on both sides of the Atlantic lie routinely to their readers and viewers as to why Russia intervened in Ukraine, the progress of its military operation, the conduct of Ukrainian forces, and America’s role in purposely provoking and prolonging this crisis.
  So far as I know, this is the first war in modern history with no objective, principled coverage in mainstream media of day-to-day events and their context. None. It is morn-to-night propaganda, disinformation and lies of omission – most of it fashioned by the Nazi-infested Zelensky regime in Kiev and repeated uncritically as fact.
  There is one thing worse than this degenerate state of affairs. It is the extent to which the media’s malpractice is perfectly fine to most Americans. Tell us what to think and believe no matter if it is true, they say, and we will think and believe it. Show us some pictures, for images are all. 
  There are larger implications to consider here. Critical as it is that we understand this conflict, Ukraine is a mirror in which we see ourselves as we have become. For more Americans than I wish were so, reality forms only in images. These Americans are no longer occupants of their own lives. Risking a paradox, what they take to be reality is detached from reality.
  This majority – and it is almost certainly a majority – has no thoughts or views except those first verified through the machinery of manufactured images and “facts.” Television screens, the pages of purportedly authoritative newspapers, the air waves of government-funded radio stations – NPR, the BBC – serve to certify realities that do not have to be real, truths that do not have to be true.
  This leaves us in a sad and very parlous place.
  Sad: Is there some state more pitiful than having no genuine connection to one’s own thoughts, perceptions, experience – altogether to one’s life? If Americans are not a profoundly sad people behind all the smiles we see in advertising, idiotic comedy shows, and on Facebook, then I must be missing something.
  Parlous: Over the course of some decades – from the mid-Cold War years, I would say – Americans have been rendered highly vulnerable to the manipulations of those who control the images through which most people have come to live. Anyone who has read a history of the 20th century knows where this can lead.
  The five weeks that have passed since the Russian intervention on 24 February have been shocking on both these counts. The derelictions of the press and broadcasters are without precedent in my lifetime, and with Vietnam, the Iraq War, and the covert operation in Syria among the wreckage in the rear-view mirror, this is saying something.
  I will let the American public’s enthusiasm for the sinkhole that is Ukraine, the Azov Battalion, and the ridiculous posturing of President Volodymyr Zelensky, the comedian who is no longer funny, speak for itself.

“Questionable veracity”

Ten days into the Russian intervention, the propaganda coming out of Kiev was already so preposterous “The New York Times” felt compelled to publish a piece headlined, “In Ukraine’s Information War, a Blend of Fact and Fiction.”1 This was a baldly rendered apologia for the many “stories of questionable veracity,” as “The Times” put it, then in circulation. I do love “The Times” for its delicate phrasing when describing indelicate matters.
  There was the “Ghost of Kiev” story, featuring an heroic fighter pilot who turned out to derive from a video game. There were the Snake Island heroes, 13 Ukrainian soldiers who held out to the death on some small speck in the Black Sea, except that it turned out they surrendered, though not before Zelensky awarded them posthumous medals of honour that were not posthumous.
  After railing against disinformation for years, “The Times” wants us to know, disinformation is O.K. in Ukraine because the Ukrainians are our side and they are simply “boosting morale.”
  We cannot say we weren’t warned. The Ghost of Kiev and Snake Island turn out now to be mere prelude, opening acts in the most extensive propaganda operation of the many I can recall.
  There was the maternity ward the Russians supposedly bombed in Mariupol. And then the theatre, and then the art school. All filled with huddling citizens the Russian air force cynically targeted because “this is genocide,” as the ever-intemperate Zelensky does not hesitate to assert.
  All of this has been reported as fact in “The Times” and other major dailies and, of course, by the major broadcasters. There have been pictures. There have been videos, all very persuasive to the eye.
  And then, as evidence mounts that these incidents were staged as propaganda to frame the Russians and draw NATO forces directly into the war, a silence worthy of a Catholic chapel descends. We read no more of the maternity ward that turned out to be an improvised Azov base, or the theatre, where citizens were herded, photographed in raggedy blankets, and sent away. Ditto the art school: Nothing more on this since the initial reports began to collapse. No body counts, no mention of the fact that Russian jets did not fly over Mariupol on the days in question.
  Before proceeding to Bucha, the outrage of the moment, I must reproduce a quotation from that propaganda-is-O.K. piece “The Times” published in its 3 March editions. It is from a Twitter user who was distressed that it became public that the Ghost of Kiev turned out to be a ghost and the Snake Island heroes didn’t do much by way of holding the fort.
  “Why can’t we just let people believe some things?” this thoughtful man or woman wanted to know. What is wrong, in other words, if thinking and believing nice things that aren’t true makes people feel better?
  America the beautiful, or something like that.
  Bucha is a suburb of 35,000 souls a few miles north of Kiev and one of the cities Russian forces began to evacuate on 29 March as peace talks in Istanbul progressed. Two days later the mayor, Anatoly Fedoruk, celebrated the city’s liberation in a selfie-speech to his citizenry. He made no mention of anything untoward in Bucha’s streets, backyards, or public spaces.
  Four days later, 2 April, a special unit of the Ukrainian national police deployed to Bucha. And suddenly the place turns out to be a hellhole: bodies in the streets – 410, according to the Prosecutor General’s office in Kiev – evidence of atrocities galore, people bound and shot point blank. The whole nine, in short.

Instant outrage

The outrage from Washington, London and Paris – “worldwide outrage,” this would be – was instant. No demand for an impartial inquiry, forensic inspections, or any such thing. No one asked why corpses left in the street for five days appeared to be fresh, or why the relatives of the dead left them there until Kiev’s commando unit arrived.
  António Guterres, the UN secretary-general, was level-headed enough to state, “It is essential that an independent investigation leads to effective accountability.” This is the only sound position at this point. But we know from a long history how far SGs at the UN get with this sort of talk.
  In my read this is yet another of the false flags the Kiev regime flies almost by the day now. Paying-attention people will not miss the striking similarity between these incidents and the numerous put-up jobs that featured in Washington’s covert operation in Syria and the campaign of those famous “moderate rebels” who desperately wanted to draw the US into the conflict.
  As a matter of principle, we must await evidence of what happened in Bucha, even as we know we are likely to see as much about events there as we have in Mariupol. We also know that to most people neither evidence nor its absence matters.
  We have been told once again what to think and believe, and most of us will think and believe it.
  We are to add this to various other “truths” now almost universally accepted: The Russian intervention had nothing to do with NATO expansion and was “unprovoked” – that favoured term in the Biden regime. Ukrainian forces have pushed the Russians into retreat: not that the pressure on Kiev was a Russian diversionary tactic to keep Ukrainian forces away from Donbass where the fighting is.
  After the Pentagon Papers came out in 1971, Hannah Arendt published an essay in The New York Review of Books called “Lying in Politics.”2 In it she wrote of America’s slide into a sort of collective psychosis she termed “defactualisation.” Facts are fragile, Arendt wrote, in that they tell no story in themselves. They can be assembled to mean whatever one wants them to mean. This leaves them vulnerable to the manipulations of storytellers.
  “The deliberate falsehood deals with contingent facts,” Arendt explained in this remarkable piece of work, “that is, with matters which carry no inherent truth within themselves, no necessity to be as they are; factual truths are never compellingly true.”
  A dead body in a Ukrainian street, in other words, can be assigned a meaning that, once it is established, evidence to the contrary cannot be used to erase.
  It is a half-century since Arendt published “Lying in Politics.” And it is to that time, the 1960s and 1970s, that we must trace the formation of what now amounts to America’s great bubble of pretend. The world as it is has mattered less and less since Arendt’s time, the world as we have wished it to be has mattered more and more.
  Nine years before Arendt published her NYRB piece, Daniel Boorstin brought out “The Image: Or, What happened to the American Dream”, an unjustly neglected work. “I describe the world of our making,” he wrote, “how we have used our wealth, our literacy, our technology, and our progress to create the thicket of unreality which stands between us and the facts of life.”
  The press, as you can imagine, did not escape Boorstin’s scrutiny. “The reporter’s task,” he wrote memorably, “is to find a way to weave these threads of unreality into a fabric the reader will not recognise as entirely unreal.”
  This is our condition. The Ukraine crisis is the mirror that reflects us as we are.
  Now I will relate a peculiar coincidence, pertinent to our case.
  Last week I took it upon myself to watch Marcel Ophuls’ “The Sorrow and the Pity”, all four hours of it. This is the famously explosive documentary that forced the French to come to terms with the extent to which they had collaborated with the Nazis during the three years and some they occupied France.
  This film has a special meaning for me. It came out in 1969, just as I arrived in Paris for university studies. France was in an uproar over Ophuls’ film. It was banned from broadcast on French television until 1981. I did not understand much of this at the time.
  “The Sorrow and the Pity” shredded to pieces, relentlessly, unblinkingly, the national myth that the French had all been heroes of the resistance, or had aided it, or had in some way stood against the collaborationist Vichy regime of Marshal Pétain, hero of Verdun in World War I, capitulationist in World War II. This was nothing like the case.
  Now I understand what the young student long ago could not quite grasp. The French simply could not face Ophuls’ unyielding exposure of who they had been. Ophuls had punctured the enduring bubble of pretend within which they had lived for 25 years after the 1945 victory in Europe.
  People can live in these bubbles a very long time. The unreality within them can be very persuasive. The French finally emerged from their bubble. It was painful, a passage full of angst, but they were fortunate to have escaped.
  Will we have our interim of sorrow, of pity, and emerge from our bubble the better for it? May we someday be so blest. of 3 March 2022 of 18 November 1971


of 5 April 2022; with friendly permission of the author

Patrick Lawrence is a writer, commentator, a longtime newspaper and magazine correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the “International Herald Tribune”. He is a columnist, essayist, author and lecturer and writes often on Europe and Asia. Patrick Lawrence has published five books; his most recent book is Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century. His web site is Patrick Lawrence. Support his work via his Patreon site. 










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the end of the disinformation ministry….

WASHINGTON, May 18 (Reuters) - The head of the Biden administration's disinformation-fighting advisory group has resigned, she told Reuters on Wednesday and the Department of Homeland Security said it had paused the group's activities.

Nina Jankowicz, who started work as the executive director of the DHS's Disinformation Governance Board in March, said she was expecting a baby and "spending time with my family is first priority".


"In the fall, I plan to continue the work I've done throughout my career building awareness of disinformation in the public sphere, working on issues related to Russia’s war in Ukraine, and continuing my work related to women’s online expression," she said.

The board's creation and the last month's announcement that Jankowicz had been appointed to run it provoked a fierce reaction from right-wing critics and drew skepticism from some experts in the field.


Far-right figures - many of whom have spread Republican former President Donald Trump's lies about Democrat Joe Biden stealing the 2020 election - accused the administration of setting up a "Ministry of Truth" in the vein of the totalitarian propaganda agency described in George Orwell's novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four." Jankowicz herself became a particular focus of abuse.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in a statement that the board was being "grossly and intentionally mischaracterized."


"It was never about censorship or policing speech in any manner. It was designed to ensure we fulfill our mission to protect the homeland, while protecting core Constitutional rights."

DHS said the board was intended to advise the government on how to fight lies spread by, for example, foreign countries such as Russia or China, or human traffickers using false assurances to lure migrants into crossing the border into the United States.

But the message was lost among the backlash from the right, and DHS said it was pausing the board's activity pending a "thorough review."

The Washington Post first reported news of Jankowicz's resignation and a pause to the board's activity.

Although some experts had doubts about the appropriateness of a disinformation board operating out of DHS, they condemned the attacks on Jankowicz.

"I welcome the pausing of the 'Disinformation Governance Board' after just 3 weeks - I believe this was a major strategic error of the administration," said Emma Briant, a visiting research associate at Bard College in New York state.

But she said on Twitter that it was "utterly abhorrent" that Jankowicz had been turned into a punching bag.








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