My apologies to Benjamin Disraeli for abusing his wonderful quote about statistics in my blog title.
In essence, any information, however factual, can be used to manipulate opinion; and is most frequently used in that manner. The recent barrage of U.S. media reports on ‘fake news’, of Facebook getting mainstream media to, laughably, monitor what is fake and is not fake in Facebook posts, the accusations of Russian (sorry Putin) manipulation of the US media for his own nefarious ends…. the list of ‘factual’ reports goes on and on.
What we do know as fact is that the media has frequently and knowingly, lied to their respective publics about news; particularly news about ‘foreign’ wars.
For instance, we know the media lied on behalf of the U.S. State Department about the reasons for war with North Korea in the 50s, the Gulf of Tonkin incident which was supposedly the rationale for war with “North’ Vietnam, the war in Kosovo against Serbia, the war in Iraq, the war in Libya, the war in Syria….and so on..
And U.S. media is not alone in blindly reporting press releases from government agencies- the U.K. media is amazingly compliant for one which espouses a ‘free press’, in reporting as ‘fact’ what is churned out from government reporting channels.
So , one might think that the world public would by now recognize that media tells lies and half-truths, or ‘selective truths’ – incessantly- for political ends. But for some reason; time after time; the public believes the next new set of ‘facts’.
And I am not for a minute suggesting that the Russian media is in any way free of the propaganda and lies that Western media indulge in daily; the difference for western publics, is that they are a new set of lies- or ‘half-truths’, or simply a different perspective. Hence they are extremely valuable in helping Westerners determine what the possible ‘real’ reality might be.
We have seen increasingly hysterical and far-fetched outbursts from Western politicians and their mainstream media (MSM) allies about ‘fake news ‘ because MSM is failing to deliver the goods to them. The public is slowly but increasingly becoming aware of other perspectives on international events; the open internet plays a very significant role in this. ‘Brexit’ was a prime example where enormous resources were poured into convincing the UK public that exiting the EU would be the worst possible thing that could ever happen to them-and yes the majority of voters voted for Brexit! In the U.S., the presidential election saw an astonishingly powerful alignment of MSM , politicians, celebrities etc lined up against Trump- and yes- using the archaic electoral college system, he won! The constantly repeated refrain about evil Assad and Putin in Syria and Aleppo has become to fray at the edges as many westerners see the Aleppan public dancing in the streets as the rebels are ‘evacuated’ to other places, and the true savagery of the ‘moderate rebels’ unveiled.
There is panic in Western political circles. What if the public really could make up its own mind, using multiple and divergent sources of information?
Russia therefore becomes a convenient bogey-man- haven’t we always feared the barbaric, savage and primitive Russian Bear? The consequence of using ‘external’ bogey-men is that politicians and media therefore imply that if you dont agree with their version of events, you must have been subtly manipulated by Communist (whoops!) I mean Russian, propaganda. The dangerous next implication, is that we have a fifth column in our midst; people who are not ‘true patriots’ because they dont believe the ‘correct’ party line..
This fear-mongering by MSM and politicians is therefore , a deliberate and direct attack on our democratic freedoms and rights.
The other hugely significant implication of the U.S Intelligence fear-mongering, is that if a a foreign media outlet indicates any support for one side or other of a political debate or election it is somehow undermining that country’s democracy. The implication being that all foreign media should have slavishly endorsed the Hilary campaign ( 99% of which did so as ordered)
The recent accusations by President Obama , the Democrat Party and others that Russia (and specifically Vladimir Putin) hacked Democrat emails to discredit Hillary Clinton in the presidential election are outlined in the State Department media release . The very reputable US based WordPress IT website ‘Wordfence’ concludes that the State Dept information provided is implausible in its intent to show that the hacking (if it occurred) , was Russian, and that the sources quoted in the State Dept memo are in fact outdated Ukrainian malware)
The IP addresses that DHS provided may have been used for an attack by a state actor like Russia. But they don’t appear to provide any association with Russia. They are probably used by a wide range of other malicious actors, especially the 15% of IP addresses that are Tor exit nodes.
The malware sample is old, widely used and appears to be Ukrainian. It has no apparent relationship with Russian intelligence and it would be an indicator of compromise for any website.
Rinf.com argues that Cloudstrike– the company contracted by the Democrat Party to investigate the ‘hacks” , and also the sole source of the State Dept info on the ‘hacks’, is strongly connected to the Ukrainian regime in Kiev , which is strongly ant-Russian for obvious reasons. We appear to be seeing, as we have time and time again, the U.S. ‘intelligence’ community being easily or (willingly ) conned by hostile vested interests determined to create hostilities where none are needed: think the Kuwaiti scam on Saddam’s Iraqi soldiers bayoneting incubator babies, the Libyan scam on Ghadaffi’s forces using viagra to rape civilians… the list goes on and on. Combine the lack of inteligence and analytical skills of the U.S. intelligence community with a deeply ingrained psyche that considers violence and war as the solution to everything, we have a problem….The current massing of hundreds of American tanks and other weaponry in the Baltic states is signalling that the U.S. war machine intends to strike soon .
The latest surreal reports of Trump being manipulated and blackmailed by Putin get even more scary. This is now evidence that the current US administration under Obama is trying to subvert the results of the US Presidential election so that they can continue in the buildup to war with Russia ..There is now overwhelming feedback from a multitude of specialist sources that these accusations by a ‘former’ MI6 agent are simply porkies.
Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections ( Office of the Director of U.S. National Intelligence)