‘Abject failure of US press’: Media reports on Russian involvement in leaks despite no evidence
Hillary Clinton’s camp has again decided to play the Russian card. But this time it’s not only Moscow that’s behind the leak of DNC and Podesta emails – somehow RT is also involved, Clinton’s team claims. This after Defense Intelligence Agency Director James Clapper – who was proven wrong on NSA spying after the Snowden leaks – accused Russia of being behind the Podesta and DNC leaks. Mark Crispin Miller, professor of Media Studies at New York University, joins RT America’s Manila Chan to weigh in.
This week Eric sits down with author and academic Mark Crispin Miller to discuss the controlled corporate media and its grip on discourse in the United States, conspiracy theories versus conspiracy facts, US elections as both farce and illusion, and much more. Eric and Mark begin with a discussion of the history of media propaganda, and how the corporate media we know and loathe came to be the monolithic servant of power it is today. The conversation then turns to the issue of conspiracy theories and the importance of nuanced analysis that is skeptical of power but also avoids the pitfalls, and outright fascism, of the online conspiracy world. The final part of the program shifts into vote fraud and the controlled and manipulated election system in the US which, Eric and Mark both argue, simply cannot be trusted. So much ground is covered in this wide-ranging discussion on CounterPunch Radio.
So the peace deal in Colombia was narrowly rejected at the polls, thanks to a “surprise surge by the ‘no’ vote—nearly all major polls had indicated resounding approval,” according to the New York Times.
That familiar story raises questions, not just about that vote per se, but also—and as usual—about who stands to benefit from that “defeat.”
The Times obscures one very likely answer to that larger question, by giving us a highly airbrushed version of Colombia’s civil war, conveying three important misimpressions:
1) The atrocities throughout that 52-year conflict were all perpetrated by “the Marxist FARC rebels.” (“To many Colombians who had endured years of kidnappings and killings by the rebels, the agreement was too lenient,” etc.)
2) The US government was not involved (there being no mention of it in the article).
3) The cocaine trade was not a major factor in the war (there being no mention of it in the article).
Since plenty has been written on that war as it was fought in what we call “reality,” I couldn’t possibly do justice to the subject here, but will just note a very few reports that devastate the Times’ version of the truth:
Right-wing paramilitary groups in Colombia are armed groups acting in opposition to revolutionaryMarxist-Leninistguerrilla forces and their allies among the civilian population. These paramilitary groups control the large majority of the illegal drug trade of cocaine and other substances and are the parties responsible for most of the human rights violations in the latter half of the ongoing Colombian Armed Conflict. According to several international human rights and governmental organizations, right-wing paramilitary groups have been responsible for at least 70 to 80% of political murders in Colombia per year, with the remainder committed by leftist guerrillas and government forces.
And from “Covert Action in Colombia,” a story by the Washington Post‘s Dana Priest (Dec. 21, 2013):
The 50-year-old Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), once considered the best-funded insurgency in the world, is at its smallest and most vulnerable state in decades, due in part to a CIA covert action program that has helped Colombian forces kill at least two dozen rebel leaders, according to interviews with more than 30 former and current U.S. and Colombian officials.
The secret assistance, which also includes substantial eavesdropping help from the National Security Agency, is funded through a multibillion-dollar black budget. It is not a part of the public $9 billion package of mostly U.S. military aid called Plan Colombia, which began in 2000.
The previously undisclosed CIA program was authorized by President George W. Bush in the early 2000s and has continued under President Obama, according to U.S. military, intelligence and diplomatic officials. Most of those interviewed spoke on the condition of anonymity because the program is classified and ongoing. snip>
Clearly, then, that civil war was worth a pretty penny to the USA, in both weapons sales
and drug transactions—surely a sufficient motive to prolong it, even if Colombians hoped
Yet another frightening trend that Snopes can tell us isn’t happening.
Strange Deaths of JPMorgan Workers Continue
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 29, 2016
Last Thursday, September 22, 2016, the body of Ann Korkki, a Senior Administrative Assistant in the Wealth Management division of JPMorgan Chase in Denver, Colorado was found with the body of her sister, Robin Korkki, inside their luxury vacation villa at the Maia Resort on Seychelles, an island in the Indian Ocean off the East African coast. Ann Korkki was 37; her sister Robin was 42.
According to the local Seychelles newspaper, there was no sign of violence on the bodies of the women who were on a one week vacation at the resort. The mother and brother of the sisters are currently in Seychelles “pressing U.S. and local officials for details” and making arrangements to bring the sisters back to the U.S. according to a news report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, which covered the story because the sisters had attended high school in the area.
This latest unusual death of a JPMorgan Chase employee adds to a stunning roster of bizarre deaths since 2014 – a period which has also seen three felony counts leveled against the firm by the U.S. Justice Department and billions of dollars in fines for wide-ranging charges of wrongdoing.
News reports on the bizarre deaths began with Gabriel Magee, a JPMorgan Vice President who worked in computer infrastructure. Magee, 39, is alleged to have leaped from the rooftop of the 33-story JPMorgan European headquarters building at 25 Bank Street on the evening of January 27, 2014 or the morning ofJanuary 28, 2014. London tabloids initially reported that Magee’s jump was observed by “thousands of commuters” and JPMorgan colleagues. But after an official inquest, no eyewitnesses could be produced who had actually seen Magee jump. The coroner ruled that Magee’s death was a suicide.
Three weeks after Magee’s alleged leap from the bank’s skyscraper in London, a JPMorgan employee in Hong Kong, 33-year old Dennis Li (Junjie), is said to have leaped to this death on February 18, 2014 from the 30-story Chater House office building in Hong Kong where JPMorgan occupied the top floors. At the time of the death, Wall Street On Parade received elusive answers from the communication team at JPMorgan Chase as to the young man’s job function at the bank. The South China Morning Post newspaper called Li an “investment banker”; the Standard newspaper in Hong Kong wrote that Li was an accounting major who worked in the finance department at JPMorgan. The China Times wrote that Li was a “Forex trader.” On May 20 of last year, JPMorgan Chase pleaded guilty to a felony count by the U.S. Justice Department for its role in rigging foreign currency exchange trading.
Trump’s noisy retro-fascist act is nowhere near as dangerous as the kinder, gentler fascism promoted by both parties and the media: the fascism of unprecedented mass surveillance and unending “terror threats”; “elections” run by private companies that “count the vote” in secret; a “free press” pumping out fantastic lies, in strident unanimity against “our” latest enemies, and ridiculing anyone who questions the official line; whistle-blowers imprisoned, or in hiding, or in flight; protestors penned in “First Amendment zones,” and/or clubbed, gassed, and/or hauled off to jail en masse; dissidents whose efforts are subverted by agents provocateurs; prisoners routinely tortured, and exploited as slave laborers; and—last but not least—rampant police brutality (including summary execution on what seems to be a daily basis).
That all of this (and more) seems normal now is scarier by far than anything that Donald Trump might do if he should “win”—which he probably won’t, despite those terroristic polls, which help blind us to what’s happened here already.
If internet speculation is to be believed, Hillary Clinton is suffering from everything from epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease to adverse reactions to chemotherapy and Zika-West Nile-SARS-swine flu. The problem is that, like bellybuttons, everyone’s got a theory; and, again like bellybuttons, most theories are useless. Whatever the case may be with Hillary’s health, the fact is that she remains the likely winner of the presidential election, which means that a potentially sick woman will become the Commander-in-Chief.
So that raises an obvious question: what next? Put another way, the American people deserve to know who the hell Tim Kaine is, and what he would do as president. Because, after the initial “Tim who?” round of questions, citizens will want to understand who this underwhelming ex-Governor and Democratic Party hack is, and what sort of policies he’d pursue.
So boys and girls, break out the crystal balls and glimpse a future with President Kaine. It may seem like some Quaalude-induced waking nightmare to envision this scenario – Clinton and Trump presidencies are, of course, already the ultimate bad acid trips – but this bitter reality must at least be considered, if not prepared for.
President Kaine: Chronicle of Many Deaths Foretold
Despite the Madison Avenue fustian about Hillary’s running mate being a “capable” and “adequate” future vice president – anyone who has ever been called “adequate” knows the implication of that back-handed insult – Kaine is, in fact, a typical Democratic Party apparatchik: self-serving, corrupt, and a liberal imperialist with all the humanitarian trimmings. And the question before millions of Americans is whether or not the country, and indeed the world, can survive another imperial presidency fronted by leaders for whom mass killing is a matter of focus groups and electoral demographic research.
History has shown the danger of mush-headed vice presidents serving under ailing presidents. When Franklin Roosevelt died and the racist mass murderer Harry Truman inherited the presidency, the door was permanently shut to peaceful cooperation with the Soviet Union and the expansion of New Deal-era economic rights, to say nothing of the death sentence for millions of innocent Japanese annihilated by atomic bombs solely to send a message to Moscow. In other words, Roosevelt’s death put in power a man who had no business running a dirt farm, let alone the most powerful country in the world. Similarly, Americans must consider just what President Kaine would do.
Report: George H.W. Bush to Vote for Hillary Clinton
By J.J. Gallagher
Former president George H.W. Bush plans to vote for Hillary Clinton in the upcoming election, according to a report by Politico.
The 92-year-old Republican 41st president and member of a conservative political dynasty that spans several generations will vote against his party, or so says the scion of another family at the center of American politics.
Kathleen Hartington Kennedy Townsend, a former Maryland lieutenant governor and daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy, posted to Facebook “The President told me he’s voting for Hillary!!”
Townsend told Politico she met with the former president in Maine on Monday, where he told her about his preference in this year’s ballot. “That’s what he said,” she told Politico.
“The vote President Bush will cast as a private citizen in some 50 days will be just that: a private vote cast in some 50 days,” a spokesman for Bush told ABC News. “He is not commenting on the presidential race in the interim.”
The Latest: Russia: US-led strike killed 62 Syrian troops
BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on the conflict in Syria, where a fragile cease-fire has entered its fifth day. (all times local):
A Russian Defense Ministry spokesman says 62 Syrian soldiers have been reported killed in a U.S.-led coalition airstrike on a military base.
Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov says the airstrike on Saturday took place near the Deir el-Zour airport in eastern Syria and was carried out by two F-16s and two A-10s. He did not identify the planes’ country affiliation, but said they were part of the international coalition.
Konashenkov says Syrian authorities told the Russians that 62 soldiers were killed and more than 100 wounded. He says the planes came from the direction of the border with Iraq.
Russia is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government and has been carrying out airstrikes on behalf of his forces since last year.
Russia and the United States brokered a cease-fire in Syria that took effect on Monday and has largely held despite dozens of alleged violations.
Syria’s military says the U.S.-led coalition struck its base in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour, allowing the Islamic State group to advance in the fiercely contested area.
There was no immediate comment from Washington. If confirmed, it would be the first time the coalition has targeted Syrian government forces.
In a statement Saturday, the Syrian military says the airstrikes caused casualties and damage to equipment, and enabled an IS advance on the hill overlooking the air base.
The statement calls it a “serious and blatant attack on Syria and its military” and “firm proof of the U.S. support of Daesh and other terrorist groups.” Daesh is an Arabic acronym for IS.
Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government views all those fighting against it as “terrorists,” and has long accused the U.S. and other rebel supporters of backing extremists.
Exclusive: Hillary Clinton Campaign Systematically Overcharging Poorest Donors
Wells Fargo fraud department inundated with calls from low-income Clinton supporters reporting repeated unauthorized charges
By Liz Crokin
Hillary for America processed a total of $94 in unauthorized charges to Carol Mahre’s US Bank account. This follows a pattern in which unwitting donors are charged multiple times, but always for a total of less than $100, which is a key trigger point for banks’ internal action systems. Photo: Courtesy Carol Mahre
Hillary Clinton’s campaign is stealing from her poorest supporters by purposefully and repeatedly overcharging them after they make what’s supposed to be a one-time small donation through her official campaign website, multiple sources tell the Observer.
The overcharges are occurring so often that the fraud department at one of the nation’s biggest banks receives up to 100 phone calls a day from Clinton’s small donors asking for refunds for unauthorized charges to their bankcards made by Clinton’s campaign. One elderly Clinton donor, who has been a victim of this fraud scheme, has filed a complaint with her state’s attorney general and a representative from the office told her that they had forwarded her case to the Federal Election Commission.
“We get up to a hundred calls a day from Hillary’s low-income supporters complaining about multiple unauthorized charges,” a source, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of job security, from the Wells Fargo fraud department told the Observer. The source claims that the Clinton campaign has been pulling this stunt since Spring of this year. The Hillary for America campaign will overcharge small donors by repeatedly charging small amounts such as $20 to the bankcards of donors who made a one-time donation. However, the Clinton campaign strategically doesn’t overcharge these donors $100 or more because the bank would then be obligated to investigate the fraud.
“We don’t investigate fraudulent charges unless they are over $100,” the fraud specialist explained. “The Clinton campaign knows this, that’s why we don’t see any charges over the $100 amount, they’ll stop the charges just below $100. We’ll see her campaign overcharge donors by $20, $40 or $60 but never more than $100.” The source, who has worked for Wells Fargo for over 10 years, said that the total amount they refund customers on a daily basis who have been overcharged by Clinton’s campaign “varies” but the bank usually issues refunds that total between $700 and $1200 per day.
If you like this piece by the astute and fearless Paul Craig Roberts, please consider helping him with a donation.
Western Media Credibility In Free Fall Collapse
by Paul Craig Roberts
This website is trusted by more people worldwide than trust the Washington Post, New York Times, CNN, Fox News, BBC or any Western print and TV source. My columns are reproduced on many websites in many languages. My combined readership is many times that of the New York Times. My books are translated into Russian, Chinese, Czech, Korean, German, French, Turkish, and Spanish.
Despite the vast readership, this website is supported by a small percentage of committed readers.
If money would flow into where only truth is spoken, more could be done.
No foundations support this site. Any foundation that supported this site would be dropped from the New York and Washington dinner party list, as I have been.
This site has no advertisements despite its readership rank that would bring in advertisers. This is because I know that once the site is supported by advertisers, reader support would decline, and the advertisers would control the site. The money would be used to subvert my independence, and since that cannot be done, the site would cease and my voice would be silenced.
If people will not support truth, they do not deserve truth, and they will not have it.
The only group that can produce a majority that still trusts the media are Democrats with a 51% trust rate in print and TV reporting. The next highest trust rate is Americans over 50 years of age with a trust rate of 38 percent.
The conclusion is that old people who are Democrats are the only remaining group that barely trusts the media. This mistaken trust is due to their enculturation. For older Democrats belief in government takes the place of Republican belief in evangelical Christianity. Older Democrats are firm believers that it was government under the leadership of President Franklin D. Roosevelt that saved America from the Great Depression. As the print and TV media in the 21st century are firmly aligned with the government, the trust in government spills over into trust of the media that is serving the government. As the generation of Democrats enculturated with this mythology die off, Democratic trust rates will plummet toward Republican levels.
It is not difficult to see why trust in the media has collapsed. The corrupt Clinton regime, which we might be on the verge of repeating, allowed a somewhat diverse and independent media to be 90% acquired by six mega-corporations. The result was the disappearance of independence in reporting and opinion.
The constraints that corporate ownership and drive for profits put on journalistic freedom and resources reduced reporting to regurgitations of government and corporate press releases, always the cheapest and uncontroversial way to report.
Orwell Rolls In His Grave, featuring MCM – Buy the DVD
About News From Underground
News From Underground is a daily e-news service run by Mark Crispin Miller, a Professor of Culture and Communication at NYU. It is based on his belief that academics, like reporters, have a civic obligation to help keep the people well-informed, so that American democracy might finally work.
If you'd like to receive updates delivered to your inbox daily, sign up for News From Underground Alerts:
Help News From Underground!
Message from Mark: "I am a one-man operation, although assisted greatly by some volunteers, and, now and then, by people paid by others for one-time projects. There is no shortage of skilled, dedicated folks out there who want to help me. There is, however, nothing I can pay them with, unless you decide you can contribute something."
Please donate via the PayPal button above or via PayPal by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org