Russia-bashing, pretext for attacking civil liberties

This video from the USA says about itself:

5 January 2017

We are joined by Glenn Greenwald, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and one of the founding editors of The Intercept. His latest article is headlined “WashPost Is Richly Rewarded for False News About Russia Threat While Public Is Deceived.” In it, he writes, “Any story that bolsters the prevailing D.C. orthodoxy on the Russia Threat, no matter how dubious, is spread far and wide. And then, as has happened so often, when the story turns out to be false or misleading, little or nothing is done to correct the deceitful effects.”

This video from the USA says about itself:

Glenn Greenwald on “Dearth of Evidence” Linking Russia to WikiLeaks Release of DNC Emails

5 January 2017

We speak with Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Glenn Greenwald as the Senate Armed Services Committee holds a hearing on alleged Russian cyber-attacks and top intelligence officials are briefing President Obama on a review of evidence that Russia hacked the email servers of the Democratic National Committee.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Russia, the US and fake news

Monday 27th November 2017

THE tit for tat measures being taken by the United States and Russia against each other’s journalists are bad news for press freedom in both countries.

Worse, they signal a growing willingness to clamp down on alternative media outlets which is palpable in Britain too.

The campaign to expose “Russian meddling” in the US 2016 presidential election, sporadically echoed on this side of the water with reference to the referendum on EU membership, is frankly an exercise in scaremongering.

The idea of foreign interference in an election conjures up ideas of vote-rigging, or at the very least the sort of massive financial intervention on one side practised by the United States over decades (Italy in 1948 and Russia in 1996 being two of the most blatant examples).

But that’s not what Russia is accused of. The principal allegations are that Russian intelligence stole information from the Democratic National Committee server and the emails of Hillary Clinton campaign chief John Podesta, and forwarded their contents to WikiLeaks; and that Russian internet trolls and media outlets published and publicised “fake news” on a significant scale to influence voters’ behaviour.

Russia and WikiLeaks deny the former charge, but even if they are lying the argument that the Clinton camp would have won if only its emails had remained hidden from the public is not exactly democratic.

It’s also dubious, serving mostly to help right-wing Democrats avoid facing up to the real reason they lost the election: their association with a status quo that has failed ordinary US residents.

That reality was exemplified by the rigged choice of a presidential candidate who had been part of the Washington elite for decades instead of her rival Bernie Sanders, whose socialist message might have proved a more convincing counterweight to the racist populism of Donald Trump.

But the hacked emails sideshow pales into insignificance next to the hysteria over “fake news”, a breathtakingly hypocritical scare whipped up by a political and media elite who have been feeding porkies to the public for years.

The “respectable” media who regurgitate fabrications like the incubator babies of 1990, “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq 13 years later and a whole wagonload of plausible-sounding but evidence-free atrocity stories concerning Libya or Syria, whose sources have largely been jihadist organisations actively engaged in war with the accused governments, are in no position to cry foul over the spread of apparently dubious information by Russian broadcasters or internet users.

The Morning Star is well aware of the poisonous influence of misleading media coverage. Years of demonisation of immigrants and benefit claimants in the likes of The Sun and the Daily Mail has warped our politics and played its part in what the Establishment likes to term the “radicalisation” of dangerous individuals who proceed to attack and sometimes even kill black people, or Muslims, or wheelchair-users, or in one tragic case last year the MP Jo Cox.

No-one on the left today could be ignorant of the systematic media demonisation of the first Labour leader in a century to offer real change, the demoralising effect it has had on our movement and the potent weapon it has sometimes proved in the hands of our enemies.

The answer is to campaign for a more transparent and democratic media, with the power of billionaire press tycoons curbed; and for our movement to educate, agitate and organise so citizens are better informed and better judges of the quality of the news they hear.

Banning or shackling foreign journalists and demonising individual platforms, as Theresa May hinted she would consider at her Mansion House speech, serves only to tighten the Establishment’s stranglehold on information and, by discrediting the results of democratic votes, provide an excuse for these to be disregarded.

By Glenn Greenwald:

Friday was one of the most embarrassing days for the U.S. media in quite a long time. The humiliation orgy was kicked off by CNN, with MSNBC and CBS close behind, with countless pundits, commentators and operatives joining the party throughout the day. By the end of the day, it was clear that several of the nation’s largest and most influential news outlets had spread an explosive but completely false news story to millions of people, while refusing to provide any explanation of how it happened.

The spectacle began on Friday morning at 11:00 am EST, when the Most Trusted Name in News™ spent 12 straight minutes on air flamboyantly hyping an exclusive bombshell report that seemed to prove that WikiLeaks, last September, had secretly offered the Trump campaign, even Donald Trump himself, special access to the DNC emails before they were published on the internet. As CNN sees the world, this would prove collusion between the Trump family and WikiLeaks and, more importantly, between Trump and Russia, since the U.S. intelligence community regards WikiLeaks as an “arm of Russian intelligence,” and therefore, so does the U.S. media.

What if Russiagate isn’t the story? The Trump blame game. Donald Trump became president through his own conmanship. He didn’t need Russian help with his election, and he may not have got it: here.

UK “Magnitsky bill” escalates US-led anti-Russia offensive: here.

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