Mutiny on the Bounties

Corporate media are bringing on leaked Kool Aid not unlike the WMD concoction they offered 18 years ago to “justify” the U.S.-UK war of aggression on Iraq.

Now Michael McFaul, ambassador to Russia under President Obama, has been enlisted by The Washington Post’s editorial page honcho, Fred Hiatt, to draw on his expertise (read, incurable Russophobia) to help stick President Donald Trump back into “Putin’s pocket.” (This has become increasingly urgent as the canard of “Russiagate” – including the linchpin claim that Russia hacked the DNC – lies gasping for air.)

In an oped on Thursday McFaul presented a long list of Vladimir Putin’s alleged crimes, offering a more ostensibly sophisticated version of amateur Russian specialist, Rep. Jason Crow’s (D-CO) claim that: “Vladimir Putin wakes up every morning and goes to bed every night trying to figure out how to destroy American democracy.”

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Russiagate’s Last Gasp

On Friday The New York Times featured a report based on anonymous intelligence officials that the Russians were paying bounties to have U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan with President Donald Trump refusing to do anything about it. The flurry of Establishment media reporting that ensued provides further proof, if such were needed, that the erstwhile “paper of record” has earned a new moniker – Gray Lady of easy virtue.

Over the weekend, the Times’ dubious allegations grabbed headlines across all media that are likely to remain indelible in the minds of credulous Americans – which seems to have been the main objective. To keep the pot boiling this morning, The New York Times’David Leonhardt’s daily web piece, “The Morning” calls prominent attention to a banal article by a Heather Cox Richardson, described as a historian at Boston College, adding specific charges to the general indictment of Trump by showing “how the Trump administration has continued to treat Russia favorably.” The following is from Richardson’s newsletter on Friday:

  • “On April 1 a Russian plane brought ventilators and other medical supplies to the United States … a propaganda coup for Russia;
  • “On April 25 Trump raised eyebrows by issuing a joint statement with Russian President Vladimir Putin commemorating the 75th anniversary of the historic meeting between American and Soviet troops on the bridge of the Elbe River in Germany that signaled the final defeat of the Nazis;
  • “On May 3, Trump called Putin and talked for an hour and a half, a discussion Trump called ‘very positive’;
  • “On May 21, the US sent a humanitarian aid package worth $5.6 million to Moscow to help fight coronavirus there. The shipment included 50 ventilators, with another 150 promised for the next week; …
  • “On June 15, news broke that Trump has ordered the removal of 9,500 troops from Germany, where they support NATO against Russian aggression. …”

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UN Reporting on Torture of Assange Banned from Corporate Media

Nils Melzer, UN Rapporteur on Torture, belatedly learned that Julian Assange was being tortured.  Meltzer came to realize that he had been misled by the “news” about Assange in the Establishment media, so he did his own investigation.

With his findings and impressions in hand, Melzer thought that June 26, the International Day in Support of Torture Victims, would be a fitting occasion to publish an op-ed on the results of his investigation.  It turned out that his draft was as welcome as the proverbial skunk at a picnic.  Here is a note that Melzer appended to his op-ed once it was finally posted – in Medium:

“This Op-Ed has been offered for publication to the Guardian, The Times, the Financial Times, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian, the Canberra Times, the Telegraph, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Thomson Reuters Foundation, and Newsweek. None responded positively.”

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Putin Tries To Set Record Straight

“Why does life almost come to a halt on June 22? And why does one feel a lump in the throat?”

This how Russian President Vladimir Putin chose to address the fateful day in 1941, when Germany invaded Russia, with an extraordinarily detailed article on June 19: “75th Anniversary of the Great Victory: Shared Responsibility to History and our Future.”

Citing archival data, Putin homes in on both world wars, adding important information not widely known, and taking no liberties with facts well known to serious historians.  As for the “lump in the throat”, the Russian president steps somewhat out of character by weaving in some seemingly formative personal experiences of family loss during that deadly time and postwar years. First, the history:

“On June 22, 1941, the Soviet Union faced the strongest, most mobilized and skilled army in the world with the industrial, economic, and military potential of almost all Europe working for it.  Not only the Wehrmacht, but also Germany’s satellites, military contingents of many other states of the European continent, took part in this deadly invasion.

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Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling, Who Went Through Kafkaesque Trial, Wins 2020 Sam Adams Award

Former CIA operations officer Jeffrey Sterling will receive the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence this Wednesday, joining 17 earlier winners who, like Sterling, demonstrated extraordinary devotion to the truth and the rule of law by having the courage to blow the whistle on government wrongdoing.

Tuesday will mark the fifth anniversary of the eerie beginning of Sterling’s trial for espionage – the kind of trial that might have left even Franz Kafka, author of the classic novel The Trial, stunned in disbelief.

There can be a heavy price exacted for exposing abuse by secretive governments – especially ones that have neutered the press to the point where they are immune to exposure when they take serious liberties with the law. Making this reality plainly obvious, of course, is one of the U.S. government’s primary aims in putting whistleblowers like Sterling in prison – lest others get the idea they can blow the whistle and get away with it.

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First They Came for Max

Well, not really first. They had already come for Chelsea Manning; for Julian Assange; for John Kiriakou; for Jeffrey Sterling – the list is longer still. Last Friday they came SWAT-Like for the founder and editor of thegrayzone.com, journalist Max Blumenthal, whom they arrested, cuffed, jailed, and shackled, and prevented immediate access to a lawyer. Corporate media played Tar Baby – “didn’t say nothin” about Max.

Meanwhile, former CIA Acting Director John McLaughlin – WMD slam-dunker extraordinaire and devoted fan of Iraqi bio-weapons fabricator “Curveball,” – told a captive audience, “Thank God for the Deep State.”

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