Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 16, 2017

One Day, Three Serious News Stories That Turn Out To Be False

It is a fakenews day. Three stories are making the rounds through the media that are each based on false or widely exaggerated interpretation of claims. North Korea, Syria and the U.S. President are the targets.

1. The Wall Street Journal asserts with a #fakenews headline that bits of computer-code in the recent WannaCry ransom virus are identical with bits of computer code that was allegedly used in a 2014 hack of Sony. (The Sony attack was falsely attributed to North Korea.)

Researchers Identify Clue Connecting Ransomware Assault to Group Tied to North Korea

Neel Mehta, a security researcher at Alphabet Inc.’s Google unit, on Monday pointed out similarities between that earlier WannaCry variant and code used in a series of attacks that security specialists have attributed to the Lazarus group.

The "Lazerus group" (which probably does not exist at all) was attributed to North Korean state agencies. Six paragraphs later we learn that the "similarities" were found in often reused code:

The findings don’t necessarily demonstrate that Lazarus or North Korea was involved in the WannaCry attack, researchers said. The culprits in the latest attack, who haven’t been identified, could have copied the code in question, for example.
The connection found in the old version lies in software that both programs use to securely connect to other systems over the internet, said Kurt Baumgartner, a Kaspersky Lab researcher.

Common code is found in nearly all software that sets up an internet connection. The reason for that is quite simple. No longer does anyone ever write such code. There are well tested examples of such program snippets widely available in open-source software on Github and elsewhere. "Copy and paste" is done faster than re-inventing the wheel. Even worse - the code snippet in question here is so trivial that any decent programmer would likely write it the very same way (a call to the Time() function to get a seed value for a following call to the Random() function). There are only X reasonable ways to add 1 to 1. Two people doing it the same way proves nothing at all. People copying publicly available code proves nothing either. It certainly does not prove that code for two different hacks was written by the same people. It does not provided that these bugs have anything at all to do with North Korea. The bits of similarities are of zero factual news value.

2. Back in February Amnesty International (which promotes NATO interventions) issued a sensational report about alleged killings in Syrian prisons. As we wrote at that time:

A new Amnesty International report claims that the Syrian government hanged between 5,000 and 13,000 prisoners in a military prison in Syria. The evidence for that claim is flimsy, based on hearsay of anonymous people outside of Syria. The numbers themselves are extrapolations that no scientist or court would ever accept. It is tabloid reporting and fiction style writing from its title "Human Slaughterhouse" down to the last paragraph.

The U.S. State Department now reused that fake report and adds wrongly interpreted satellite pics to further slander the Syrian government:

US: Syria is burning bodies to hide proof of mass killings

In its latest accusations of Syrian abuses, the State Department said it believed about 50 detainees each day are being hanged at Saydnaya military prison, about 45 minutes north of Damascus. Many of the bodies are then burned in the crematorium "to cover up the extent of mass murders taking place," said Stuart Jones, the top U.S. diplomat for the Middle East, accusing Assad's government of sinking "to a new level of depravity."

The department released commercial satellite photographs showing what it described as a building in the prison complex that was modified to support the crematorium. The photographs, taken over the course of several years, beginning in 2013, do not prove the building is a crematorium, but show construction consistent with such use.

If there was a crematorium being build in the Saydnaya prison how is it that none of the Amnesty witness said so in the recent Amnesty report? These witnesses, Amnesty claims, have been in that prison and observed all kind of details. They claim that any dead were buried in mass graves.

A Dutch military expert looks at the commercial satellite pictures and the interpretation State provided and asks:

Ian Grant‏ @Gjoene - 6:02 PM - 15 May 2017

Is this a joke @StateDept? Even before 27 Aug '13 these "vents" were present. See included Terraserver footage (03 april '13) #Sednaya

Another reconnaissance specialist expands on that:

Aldin Abazović @CT_operative - 5:33 PM - 15 May 2017

Pictures that allegedly show crematorium of Saidnaya prison, #Damascus #Syria. As much as I hate to get involved into this matter, these #1
#2 images prove nothing at all. This building could be simple boiler/heating room for the prison compound. Unless you visit there is no
#3 way to prove anything. Its easy to manipulate with satellite imagery. You just put the right label on thing and there you have it
#4 I can't confirm what the particular part of prison is nor for what it's used.

The State Department has no evidence for its "crematorium claim" but the Amnesty report which says nothing about a crematorium at the prison and some satellite pictures that do not show what the State Department claims. It is throwing dirt at the Syria government in the hope that some of it will stick. This release of nothing will create some headlines in "western" outrage publications. It may be in propaganda preparation for a wider war on Syria.

3. The deep state is out to get U.S. President Trump impeached. Yesterday a new, well prepared and coordinated campaign against Trump was launched. Anonymous claims to the Washington Post were "confirmed" by similar claims from (likely) the same sources to Buzzfeed. The claims may have some grounds in reality but the actual facts, even as described in shrill words, are harmless. WaPo:

Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister and ambassador

President Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week, according to current and former U.S. officials, who said Trump’s disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State.

(Hmm - how would "former U.S. officials" know what was said in the Oval Office and to what consequences?) It takes six paragraphs of such slander to learn what Trump actually disclosed:

Trump went off script and began describing details of an Islamic State terrorist threat related to the use of laptop computers on aircraft.

"Terrorist threat[s] related to the use of laptop computers on aircraft" are a well known method of Al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula. If ISIS in Syria has copied that modus operandi it is interesting, but nothing sensational. The details, where ISIS is preparing these operations, may be somewhat relevant, but over how many cites does ISIS actually rule?

National Security Advisor McMaster, who was in the room with Trump and Lavrov, is on the record (down in paragraph eight!) denying that any sources or methods were revealed.

The only real claim here is that Trump gave Lavrov a tip-off with regard to a terrorist threat.

If Putin would learn of a potential ISIS attack on a U.S. passenger jet would you want him to share that secret information with the U.S. government? Of course you would.

But Buzzfeed and other anti-Trump organs blow the claims up to high heavens, The Lawfare writers go off their meds:

If the President gave this information away through carelessness or neglect, he has arguably breached his oath of office.

Utter bullshit. Trump would have offered such intelligence out of courtesy as part of his deal-making with the Russian government. Exchange of threat intelligence is regular business even between parties who otherwise dislike each other. It is in the interests of all to do such. That such an exchange happened is not newsworthy.  even it touched some details.

Even worse - it is the publishing about the Oval office talk that can only help the terrorists. As Emptywheel says:

these very outraged sources are [..] sharing the information that it is so outrageous to share.

If Trump's information sharing is outrageous why did the sources offer that same information to the global media? Why did WaPo and others publish on it?

Trump was elected with the support of the U.S. military. Clinton was supported by the corporate and intelligence sides of the power triangle. Trump won. Now the deep-state intelligence side, together with the moneyed part of the Democratic party, is out to impeach him. The constant sensationalized dribble of false or irrelevant claims against him prepares the ground for that.

The three fake-news examples above contain no news at all. The bits exposed in them have no information value. Their only purpose is to influence the readers by exaggerating outlandish claims based on little, if any, real facts of minor importance.

This full-throated propagandizing on all channels, without any critical voices challenging the basic facts, is endangering the functioning of democracy. The fourth estate is now just a tool to influence. It can no longer claim to have any inherent value.

For the average person one way out of this onslaught is to search for, use and foster alternative and discerning sources of news. The other is to give up.

Posted by b on May 16, 2017 at 7:25 UTC | Permalink


"It is #Fakenews Day - On North-Korea, Syria and the U.S. President"

About covers it b. Trump, along with all other designated enemies, still appears to be a designated enemy of empire.
News we have not been seeing in the last few days is news from the ISIS and Tanf frontlines in Syria. No reports from Ru/Syrian reporters on the frontlines. Blanket blackout.

Posted by: Peter AU | May 16 2017 7:36 utc | 1

even circe eventually gave it up. maybe the rest of them eventually will too. especially now that the rump is house-broken, and has learned to take 'advice' from 'experts' on the need for more war.

Posted by: jfl | May 16 2017 7:50 utc | 2

professionally speaking, these are the death throes of the US media.

Posted by: ALAN | May 16 2017 8:06 utc | 3

the potus is the ultimate classifier/declassifier of 'intelligence' in the usa. if trump shared some information with lavrov ... he shared some information with lavrov. the 'intelligence professionals' work for the elected civilians in government ... not the other way around, which is the ultimate assertion buried beneath this 'charge'.

do you suppose that this wild 'charge' has anything to do with the nsa/cia 'leak' of zero-day defects in m$ code that they purposefully kept hidden in order to exploit themselves? anything to do with the fact that all the tears and angst of the people all over the world are directly due to 'business as usual' among the 'intelligence professionals' in the usa - not 'russian hackers' - who kept the holes in the m$ code secret, and to their compliant m$ which silently patched it - 'covered their ass' - while handing their customers' asses over to ransom?

did m$ really not know about this hole in their code? or did they know themselves, and did they let the nsa in on the secret? and purposefully not not fix it until it 'inadvertently' came to light?

you have to scratch your head and wonder why people and corporations still use m$ software? the nsa and cia and all the of the crackers and exploiters of the world are certainly glad they do. and m$ gets paid for it!

Posted by: jfl | May 16 2017 8:13 utc | 4

jfl 2

It's hard to see where things are going at the moment, but I have always given the outsider the benefit of doubt. Sometimes the outsider becomes one of the boys and sometimes they are jailed. Rarely do their policies match what I think is the ideal.
Both Trump and Tillerson are outsiders. Neither are professional politicians.
I see Thailand's leadership is against US empire but you are against them? What do you think of the current Russian leadership?
Both Russia and Trump US are protecting Syrian Kurds from Erdo. Russia Efrin, but also moved into the frontline between Mabij and al Bab. From there the US takes over and are stationed on the Manbij/Jarablus frontline and across the Syrian/Turkish border from there. There was no reason for the US Kurds at Manbij to have Russia take that front line, but it happened and withstood the US cruise missile attack.
When Trump attacked Syria with the cruise missiles, the bomb in Afghanistan, and the rhetoric on NK I thought Trump had gone full neo-con, but all that came to nothing. Now it seems more like magicians show routine to take neo-cons eye off what was happening.
Out of curiosity, what do you think of the leadership of Russia jfl?

Posted by: Peter AU | May 16 2017 8:23 utc | 5

now it's clear, it is just pressure on De Mistura who was probably seen as too conciliant lately

Posted by: Mina | May 16 2017 8:41 utc | 6

Mina 6
Appreciate your input here Mina. A French perspective?

From your link...
Another shifting force influencing the talks is the role of the United States, an erstwhile opposition supporter that largely withdrew from the process under President Donald Trump.

De Mistura said Monday he was "encouraged by the increasing engagement, the increasing interest, by the US administration in finding a de-escalation"....

Too much smoke and mirrors/shifting sands to be sure of what is occurring at the moment, but as I put in an above post, and b's headline, Trump is still a designated enemy of US empire.

Posted by: Peter AU | May 16 2017 8:54 utc | 7

I guess that the western MSM has no other alternative but to continue doing what they do and pretend that they are making an impact. Otherwise it is obvious that the corporate media has become completely irrelevant.

Posted by: Steve | May 16 2017 8:56 utc | 8

Notice that since Russia and N. Korea have become the enemies we MUST hate, that the number of Allahu Akbar™ FF
specials have dropped considerably?

Posted by: Greg Bacon | May 16 2017 9:08 utc | 9

The Syria nonsense reminds me of Saddam's "human shredding machines" also non-existent and dreamt up by the usual suspects:

I remember also the story of Saddam executing "thousands" of people daily in Abu Ghraib jail and transporting the bodies in convoys of lorries at the end of the day and burying them in mass graves at a special site which had been razed of all trees and foliage for the purpose. I was in Iraq at the time - the embargo had bitten so deep with no imports of spare parts etc that the government no longer had any lorries. I went to Abu Ghraib and round the area evening after evening, talked to people, no lorries, no special designated grave sites (Iraq is a "village" where a dog from somewhere else would be instantly known by all, yet alone a mass razing on land) there was nothing. The execution in thousands was a complete fallacy. US-UK Inc., really should ditch that worn old fake news hand book.

Posted by: Felicity | May 16 2017 9:22 utc | 10

It looks like a deep crisis. America is getting crazy.

Posted by: hmm | May 16 2017 9:35 utc | 11

Wikileaks publishes documents showing how Google helped Al-Qaeda in Syria

Google has helped Al-Qaeda and other Salafist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood gain new members at the dawn of the Syrian conflict, secret documents and e-mails published by Wikileaks show.

The then director of Google Ideas, Jared Cohen coordinated actions to support the groups often dubbed as rebels with then U.S. Foreign Minister Hillary Clinton and Deputy U.S. State Secretary William Burns. Google employed it’s expertise in the IT sector to help the conflict in Syria gain traction.

In July 2012 Google provided a software tool, with which defections in Syria were to be tracked and the thereby gained informations spread in Syria with the help of Al-Jazeera. According to the plotting of U.S. officials and Google, this should encourage more people to take up arms and join the ranks of the rebels. Then Director of Policy Planning for Obama, Jake Sullivan let Hillary Clinton, for which he served as an advisor in the last presidential election, know that, “this is a pretty cool idea.”

... us support for al-CIA-duh has been ongoing since, literally, its very beginning.

google's service to the 'dark side' of the us government has been as well.

it's no surprise that the usgov/cia is now going to support al-cia-duh more directly.

Posted by: jfl | May 16 2017 9:55 utc | 12

@5 p au

i see i'm under your ideological inspection, eh, commissar?

'I have always given the outsider the benefit of doubt '

i do too. but the rump is not a serious person. he's a showman, a bufoon, a fool. he may on occasion do 'the right thing', he is more likely to do the wrong thing, in my estimation.

'I see Thailand's leadership is against US empire but you are against them?'

you've been reading whatshisname ... the landdestroyer. Thailand's 'leadership' is a totalitarian military dictatorship. you are in support of totalitarian military dictatorships that are against the us empire? the dic and his droogies are no more against the us empire than anyone else, they have noticed that china is on the way up and that the us on the way down, and - oh yeah - china is much closer.

'What do you think of the current Russian leadership?'

i know little about the current russian leadership. i've seen/heard/read the words of putin and lavrov and watched their actions in syria. i admire them.

i don't really care what you think - or say you think. all of our thoughts and inner positions become apparent over the course of our posts here. no ideological quizzes from the self-appointed commissars required.

Posted by: jfl | May 16 2017 10:07 utc | 13

Appreciate your reply jfl. Some time back, we had a bit of too and fro over Tianamein square. One of the so called student leaders that you wrote of, I found his twitter acc. Writes articles for Guardian and IBT and so forth. Seems a rebel without a cause.

"i see i'm under your ideological inspection, eh, commissar?"
I put a question mark over anything I questioned you on. You seem a rebel without a cause.
Nations/countries/world, without good leadership? - anarchy does not seem practical to me. Leadership for the middle 70/80% seems the natural state of the human world. Very few will be perfect, but first things first, and first thing is resisting US empire.

I have plenty of respect and regard for your ideals jfl, but I feel they are not practical in the human world. Commissar... too much weed jfl.

Posted by: Peter AU | May 16 2017 10:52 utc | 14

@10 - Felicity

Your mentioning of Saddam's "human shredding machines" brought back some good memories (no, it's definitely not what you Think it is) :)

Posted by: LXV | May 16 2017 11:18 utc | 15

Thanks to Peter AU and jfl for that clarifying exchange. I also was confused by jfl's disparaging remarks concerning the first very hopeful signs of positive rapprochement given during the Trump/Lavrov meeting, which the opposition ( definable by me as "the Losers") are desperately attempting to spin, and this false news edition of b's does an excellent job exposing the continuing effort.

The mainstream press is doing its best to lose the few hardy souls who still attempt to find some truth in what they broadcast (as in broadcasting seeds). "A sower went out to sow his seeds, and up came thistles and tares." Lose/lose proposition, WaPo!

It's getting to be time completely new ownership of by and for the people took over the printing presses across the land. Doesn't the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille come up pretty soon?

Thank you b.

Posted by: juliania | May 16 2017 11:56 utc | 16

On the local evening news yesterday (my wife has it on) all 3 stories above were front and center and the gullible reporters sounded truly alarmed. I have a strong fear of the mainstream press and believe it's wishful thinking to write off their influence simply because of their bias. They all march in lockstep and push their agenda with a viciousness can only be detected by reading alternative media, but I doubt more than 1 in 20 do. In fact, I haven't met one person in the past 5 years who doesn't believe that Putin is a criminal and a thug or that Assad gasses his own people. Alternative media, for me, is a parallel world with no overlap into my personal life. MSM control of American mind's is absolute. We dance to their tune. We'll never be able to kill it if we don't recognize it as the terror that it is.

Posted by: RC | May 16 2017 13:19 utc | 17

@ jfl
You seem to be looking for Utopia. A fictional place, yet a real place in Australia. Pilger has several articles and documentaries on it. On thinking this, I looked up Pilger's site and Utopia. One of the first names I saw was Rosalie. Reminded me of Rose.
A part of the Kimberly region in Au was called the underworld until the 1950s as there were no roads into the area over the ranges, and crims would go there to hide from police.
Rosie was I think in her sixties. She told me a story about being on the run from the whitefella's when she was young. Her father, aunt and herself. Her aunt was old and could not keep up. They knocked her on the head and kept going. Should I judge them for that?

Posted by: Peter AU | May 16 2017 13:25 utc | 18

RC 17 "Alternative media, for me, is a parallel world with no overlap into my personal life."

Very similar no doubt right through the five eyes and other vassal states. most I know get carried along if all MSM is broadcasting a similar message. A few I know doubt the message, but do not follow sites like this to keep up with, or gain some sort of insight into what is occurring.

Posted by: Peter AU | May 16 2017 13:58 utc | 19

Peter AU 19
My experience as well. Those who do not trust the media are still swayed by it. I overheard a coworker state the other day that she no longer listened to NPR (national public radio - the most insidious of the bunch) because of all the non-stop "Russia shit". I hope she meant it.

Posted by: RC | May 16 2017 14:20 utc | 20

In my minds eye, Mr. Trump is STILL a giant ass-hat, and a suck up to the wealthy elites, but, this anti-Russia BS has to stop. It's becoming apparent that there is a faction of Washington elites, who will say anything to demean Mr. Trump. Not that he doesn't deserve most of it, but, com'on people, we need to work closely with Russia to impede and trample ISIS. I have grave doubts over "the Donald's" behavior, but, working with Russia isn't one of them.

"Even a stopped clock is right twice a day"!

Posted by: ben | May 16 2017 14:40 utc | 21

Here from the Angry Arab 8th Feb

Posted by: Mina | May 16 2017 14:44 utc | 22

Thanks for that. As I've stated before here, I chucked out my tv a long time ago and avoid even glimpses of it at my gym. I listen to NPR fake "nooz" sparingly but mainly to find out what propaganda du jour they're touting. Last night was a two-fer with them baldly stating that N Korea was probably behind the Ransomware attack (my thought: "round up the usual suspect"), and then much hyperventilating in oh-so-very-serious tones about Trump giving away our deepest darkest secretest secrets to - gasp! shriek! - the Russians!!1!

As already noted, I duly listened to the stenographer pretty much telling me what Trump said to the dastardly Rooskies, and I thought: well, so what? How is this such a big deal? You just told ME the same thing over the air!

I dislike Trump and his greedy grifting family. Trump should never have been elected because, imo, he's not a serious person and he's woefully unprepared for this job on all levels. It's clear that his main goal is to grift as much as he can off the system and off the taxpayers' backs. That said, the constant fake news Russian hysteria drumming up any little claim to "get" him is getting way past its due date. I mean: deal with it. Trump is President. How about, you know, working the doofus to maybe HELP him do a better job?

FFS this is just such bs that whatever Trump actually does or tweets looks tame by comparison. But sadly yes, US sheeple are firmly in the grip of the latest breathless propaganda pumped out 24/7/365 by all M$M outlets that they get their rocks off getting "upset" by this nonsense.

As for Amnesty International? Color me utterly unsurprised. I believe at one time they did some good things, and they may still occassionally do beneficial stuff. But the Clintons (and others) made sure that they became a poodle of the PTB, and most of what they peddle these days is in service to the US Empire, ie, up to no good. I stopped donating to them a long, long time ago. And stopped listening to their fake nooz propaganda, as well. As they used to say on Firedoglake, AI is in the veal pen and has been so for many years now.

Good reporting. Thanks. I come here for reality and a breath of fresh air.

Posted by: RUKidding | May 16 2017 15:26 utc | 23

Mercouris at the Duran totally destroys the WaPost Fake News story about Trump sharing sensitive info and is worth the time to read,

Posted by: karlof1 | May 16 2017 15:44 utc | 24

The Propaganda machine in high gears... I guess we are in a countdown to the next big war.

Posted by: Pnyx | May 16 2017 15:47 utc | 25

@3 alan.. i hope you are right!!! i doubt it, but it is a fun thought!

@16 juliania.. nice thoughtful comments. - the kind i always like!

i agree with b on all of these news stories.. it is unfortunate that some might not quickly pick up on the ongoing themes here and realize they are being had, but that is always the way it will be. propaganda works! what is disturbing is the thought that some people don't recognize it for what it is, but instead treat it as relevant, or even factual..

Posted by: james | May 16 2017 16:26 utc | 26

Once again, I see an hysterical report of Trump doing something horrible detailed in the MSM, and my first reaction is to come here to find out the truth behind the hysteria. Works every time. Thanks b, for keeping us apprised of the reality behind the propaganda, especially as regards the Middle East.

Posted by: John Zelnicker | May 16 2017 16:39 utc | 27

@2 enjoy the enchantress's silence..

Posted by: Lozion | May 16 2017 16:57 utc | 28

Greetings to all; long-time lurker, first-time poster. b, thank you for the site. An oasis of sanity in an increasingly crazy age. My theory is that the neocon/Zionist and the CIA/Bush-Clinton gangs have been sharing power for three decades or so. Trump was an initially an outsider, which prompted the hysteria from the CIA and its media; he may have been turned very recently by the Zionists, which has led to the even greater hysteria we now enjoy. Whatever it all means, I wouldn't count on world peace any time soon.

Posted by: Steve | May 16 2017 17:58 utc | 29

I wonder if there will a 'boy who cried wolf' moment when the mainstream media and Washington consensus types actually get scared about something real and no one will take them seriously.

However, I don't wonder too hard as in any case of 'national security' everyone can easily be made to rally around the flag. It would only be in a case where the US bombing someone wasn't the solution that such a scenario might occur.

Posted by: WorldBLee | May 16 2017 17:59 utc | 30

@ Peter AU who wrote: "Too much smoke and mirrors/shifting sands to be sure of what is occurring at the moment, but as I put in an above post, and b's headline, Trump is still a designated enemy of US empire."

I disagree strongly with your assertion that Trump is an enemy of the US empire. He may be an enemy of a faction within the elite that rule our world but he is fully invested in the ways of US empire and a tool thereof.

And I want to call BS on your snide remark about commenter jfl having his logic and reason affected by marijuana usage. It speaks poorly of you to stoop to such.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 16 2017 18:21 utc | 31

In 2013, Obama made a public claim that chemical attack in Ghuta resulted in "1,429 people were killed, including at least 426 children." That revealed truly unique methods of intelligence gathering and analysis, because no such estimate was offered by other states that made estimates, e.g. France claimed "Based on analysis of 47 videos, the report said at least 281 fatalities occurred. Using other sources and extrapolation a chemical attack model estimated the total number of death at approximately 1,500.[3]". Extrapolation is close to fantasy fiction without disclosing methodological details, as everybody knows, so the French claim was "conservative". It is a custom (often violated, but sensible) to provide uncertain estimates with round numbers, so the extrapolation was given as a multiple of 500. But the precise numbers disclosed by Obama had a huge potential of disclosing the secret methodology.

For example, with 1429 victims and "at least 426 children" we have 1003 victims whose adult/child status was uncertain or adult, of which perhaps 1001 came from One Thousand and One Nights, and indispensable source of information about the region that could be neglected by other countries.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 16 2017 18:26 utc | 32

I find it dangerously ironic that news about the current global conflict is mostly found in sources derided as propaganda outlets by the Fake News System of the Outlaw US Empire, formally known as the Propaganda System--the utter disservice this system does to the citizenry of North America and EU is Treasonous to the Max. Unfortunately, the System is allied with/owned by the Oligarchic and also Treasonous Deep State, which is why it continues to exist and challenges to it are seldom announced--Occupy Wall Street being one of the few--aside from foreign entities deemed threats to the Outlaw US Empire's attempted establishment of Full Spectrum Dominance. For example, look for reportage of the big conference just held in China regarding its Eurasian integration project and you'll find mostly spin instead of straight reportage which is very noticeable when comparing the initiative's stated goals with System spin and it becomes clear that Win/Win is not the Outlaw US Empire's desired outcome for international trade. An example of such framed writing is within this NY Times article, Most barflys have followed Pepe Escobar's writings about OBOR and here're links to his latest two essays, which ought to be compared to the Times piece, and The project's importance isn't lost on Asia Times, which has formed a forum to facilitate discussion and centralize reportage, And yet another slant provided by Rostislav Ishchenko,

As citizens living within a proclaimed "Free Country," why must we look elsewhere to find important articles about the grossly illegal nature of supposedly vital institutions, and if spyware blocks your connection with that link, here's another report, Oh, and what about those Syrian human incinerators? Yet more projection by the Outlaw US Empire, the Ogre that's killed and maimed many millions since 1945, including many of its own citizens.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 16 2017 18:31 utc | 33

@5 jfl

The Thai military regime and their nationalist backers are clumsy, arrogant and repressive. Of this there is no doubt. But there is also no doubt that Thailand was being read the full color revolution playbook with the neo-liberal poster boy Taksin Shinawatra and his family/friends as the chosen vehicle to loot the country and destroy any shred of independence. Nobody wants a military government but in 2014 it was that or civil war. You prefer the latter?

Posted by: Sad Canuck | May 16 2017 18:33 utc | 34

On the one side there is all this MSM fake news and lies and other side there is all too real news that is totally disregarded like the story about Seth Rich who had provided the DNC emails (which was malevolently attributed to Russia) to Gavin MacFadyen member of Wikileaks. Both died past year during the election run-up. Seth's murder was clearly meant as a warning to future whistleblowers and Gavin is not clear but it could be similar to Chavez, Churkin, ... .

Posted by: xor | May 16 2017 19:11 utc | 35

Too many fakes news, I believe there will be accelerated murders and Trump impeached. Seth Rich was murdered by DNC and I fear for Julia Assange lives since he exposed DNC...

Israel Minister: "The Time Has Come To Assassinate Bashar Assad". Israel's Housing and Construction Minister Yoav Galant called for the assassination of Syrian President Bashar Assad following yesterday's US State Department report that the Syrian regime was using a prison crematorium to hide mass killings outside Damascus, the Jerusalem Post reported....

Murdered DNC Staffer Seth Rich Shared 44,053 Democrat Emails With WikiLeaks: Report...

Posted by: OJS | May 16 2017 19:16 utc | 36

@ 34 SC

Like most partially educated folk south of your southern border, the vast majority believe they live in a 'democracy' and haven't the slightest clue WHY the term 'republic' appears. I don't know when the subject of 'civics' was abandoned in the educational syllabus but I'd guess about the time art and music were dropped for budgetary considerations. Of the two possible forms of governance, that of Res Publica or Autocracy, no understanding is received that democracy is not the only form of the first, and dictatorship of the latter. Thailand is a monarchy* and monarchs are heavily intertwined with a military component, historically one does not find kings without armies; I doubt google could find an example. Rather what has befallen the benighted neighbours to your south is simply - Disney, Walt's outfit of entertainment. The education those deprived souls get is a cartoon, simple enough to be accepted without question; no history, no memorisation, no languages, not even thought is involved. There is absolutely no need to grow up and possibly out of this all-enveloping cartoon; not ever a need to mature into the adult form of the species. The major danger is is this eternal juvenility is infectious and will present itself everywhere an effort must be made to become socially cultured. This is only a theory at best and an opinion otherwise. See how it might fit the facts you have.

* Currently Thailand is undertaking a change of monarchs. As the health and endurance of the late monarch failed and the government had fallen into untrustworthy hands, can it be any surprise the military would intervene and stabilise the political process and prevent untoward developments whilst the monarch was indisposed by health. The king of Thailand was well regarded by his subjects. When was the last U.S. president so regarded? FDR?

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | May 16 2017 19:23 utc | 38

@ OJS | May 16, 2017 3:16:57 PM | 36 and 37

Someone should take that statement, the government of Israel, and the minister making it to the UNSC as being a declaration of war; furthermore the state of Israel should have their membership in the UN suspended until reparations are made to Syria and guarantees of safety to the Syrian government. Then the present government of Israel should be decapitated and prevented from office for their lives, also not allowed outside the borders of Zionist Terrorist/Thug/Thief Occupied Palestine.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | May 16 2017 19:50 utc | 39

The New York Times is claiming that Israel was the source of intelligence on the ISIS threat with alptops and tablets - I wonder if one of the ISIS patients being treated in an Israeli hospital in the Golan "talked in his sleep".

Posted by: Ghostship | May 16 2017 20:20 utc | 40

I am afraid the anti-Russian hysteria may never calm down. The next democratic party organized march against Trump:

More than 70 cities will “March for Truth” to demand independent Russian probe

There is enough Russo-phobia in the other marches but now this. In many many decades, I have never seen such a concerted effort to march against a particular ethnic group/nation on such a scale. America had under Bush a major invasion of a foreign country, but there were no organized marches against Iraq/AL Queda (Bush regime said there was a connection).

Posted by: Erelis | May 16 2017 20:25 utc | 41

With respect to story #2, NPR today broadcast the story, increasing what was originally “up to 50 hangings a week” to, now, “more than 50 executions a day.” Then someone, I believe a State Dept spokesman, rattled off a single sentence, consisting entirely of a list of disproven allegations against Assad and the Russians. It was a clear case of simply parroting the official line.

Posted by: AntiSpin | May 16 2017 20:31 utc | 42

William Randolph Hearst started the Spanish-American War practically single handedly by writing in his newspapers "Remember the Maine", everyday, over and over and over. He wrote and had editorials written insisting on the need to teach those Spaniards, and others, respect for America.

It is no wonder that the war machine or the "War Party" or the Deep State are demonizing the eventual quarries it intends to gather support for attacking. It knows the MSM is the tool to reach their goal: WAR.

Let's face it, the US is doing exactly like Hector of the Horatii did to the pursuing Curiati: taking his opponents one by one.

First North Korea, then Syria, then Iran, then Lebanon, then China and eventually Russia.

Against a number of them at the same time, it has little chance of success. But one at a time makes for appetizing morsels.

Thus the MSM must be watched so we may know who is there to hate and vanquish. According to the MSM. Assad must go and
there, it rejoins the narrative of the Israeli that want some Sunni in Syria so it can get rid of both the Hezbollah and Iran. And inasmuch as the Russians are an obstacle to their anti Assad aims, then Putin and the Russkies must be demonized and the Chinese too if they were to dare side with the Koreans.

So when WW3 starts, what are the expected cleavages? Who will side with whom?

Could we at the present time draw a list of the two sides? US et al vs the other side?

Posted by: CarlD | May 16 2017 20:40 utc | 43

@ CarlD | 43

I can't resist adding the piquant anecdote that a celebrated Hearst employee, artist Frederic Remington, cabled from Cuba in 1897 that "There will be no war.".

William Randolph Hearst cabled back: "You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war."

Posted by: Ort | May 16 2017 21:16 utc | 44

@Felicity 10

In the same vein of fake atrocities, but with a fake crematorium spin, I would like to revisit the Nazi Gas Van myth:

"Not one gas van was extant at the end of the war."

Just as at Katyn forest, where the Christian hating Bolshevics for decades successfully framed the Germans of their own racist slaughter, it turns out that it was only the Bolshevics who manufactured and used Ford Model A gas-vans:

"There is not a shred of evidence admissible in any conventional court that Hitler’s Germany produced vehicles for gassing prisoners. There is no such uncertainty over the origins of such dreadful innovation, as gassing vans have since proven to be of NKVD origin.
Solzhenitsyn writes:

"The gas wagon (Russian: душегубка (dushegubka) was invented and used by the Soviet secret police NKVD in the late 1930s during the Great Purge. The vehicle had an air-tight compartment for victims, into which exhaust fumes were transmitted while the engine was running. The victims were gassed with carbon monoxide, resulting in death by monoxide poisoning and suffocation."

The gas van’s 1936 designer was Isay Davidovich Berg, the Jewish head of the administrative and economic department of the NKVD of Moscow Oblast. These vans manufactured in the local Ford-built plant were the means of suffocating prisoners in batches with engine fumes while en route to the mass graves at Butovo where prisoners were subsequently buried."

Posted by: Heros | May 16 2017 22:00 utc | 45

@34 sad canuck

you're parroting the military line.

Posted by: jfl | May 16 2017 22:25 utc | 46

psychohistorian 31

Yes you are correct, I should not have made that remark. You don't have any problems with commissar?

Posted by: Peter AU | May 16 2017 22:30 utc | 47

On the Syrian crematorium, was there a press briefing? Does anyone in the press ask questions anymore?

Posted by: Toxik | May 16 2017 22:33 utc | 48

Most people have given up trying to distinguish fake from truth. Its far easier to follow the herd and adopt a consensus reality. Take your pick of churches, the House of CNN /Mother Jones or the House of Fox/Breitbart

All key aspects of Truth from discussion have been shut down with effective insults like conspiracy theorist, fake news, anti-semitic, denier, etc.

Frankly, when almost everything the American people believe( and a lot outside of America) is a lie, the truth or at least what I perceive it to be seems like some grand fiction/fantasy that would be a Hollywood Block Buster or NYT Best Seller if the Deep State permitted it.

Lets face it -2001 brought on the End of History. It was proved there was no lie too big for the American people to believe, so its been a never ending stream of lies. Not that the previous century was free of lies and propaganda as we saw by Hearst and the Spanish-American War and Bernays/NYT in WWI and on and on. 2001 just showed how effective it had become with a century of practice and consolidation of the media , academia , publishing , Hollywood and internet into Deep State Operationsl entities. There are isolated pockets of truth here and there but good luck figuring which is which if starting from scratch. The millenials are pretty much screwed and the PTB will accelerate the demise of older generations who have some memories of forbidden truth.

Posted by: Pft | May 16 2017 22:57 utc | 49

@14 p au 'I have plenty of respect and regard for ... ideals ... but I feel they are not practical in the human world.'

i think that there are plenty of compromises to be made during the course of the struggle, to make them in advance is foolish. is to concede without a struggle.

you seem obsessed with the present geopolitical situation, have chosen sides, and see everything in that light. the geopolitical struggle is just one more struggle among the elites. the real struggle is between all of us and the various elites in power. or perhaps the real struggle is within our atomised selves, for if we did organize and determine to take power we would surely succeed.

the heroes at tiananmen were not the students, sons and daughters of the elite factions who felt left out of the scramble for wealth and power in the new, capitalist china, but the workers, who carried on the struggle there after the students had all packed up and gone home.

Posted by: jfl | May 16 2017 23:02 utc | 50

"The fourth estate is now just a tool to influence. It can no longer claim to have any inherent value."

I'll be blunt: any decent and self-respecting Western society and country should now give a cold hard look at its media and seriously consider wholly lifting and getting rid of the so-called "freedom of the press" and all legal protections of alleged "journalism". Or put very strict regulations and prerequisites (that would force them to do their real job for good or be taken off the list) to be afforded such an honour - and everyone else is fair game, as fair a game as any random guy in the street.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | May 16 2017 23:33 utc | 51

"you seem obsessed with the present geopolitical situation, have chosen sides,"

If I have chosen sides in geo-politics, the side I have chosen is Putins vision of a multi-polar world. Sovereignty.
In a multi-polar world there will be no one size fits all form of governance.
If I seem obsessed about it, it is because MH17 showed me how completely the US controls all levels of politics in Australia.

Posted by: Peter AU | May 16 2017 23:40 utc | 52

The percentage of coverage of these stories in MSM versus any other news shows the obsession and agenda. #2 and #3 stories took up 20 minutes of the 30 minute national news. And the local news had a little bit of it, too. Still thankful for alt media but feel bad for those who do not use computers and get brainwashed.

Posted by: Curtis | May 16 2017 23:46 utc | 53

The fourth estate is part and parcel of the state. U ritely disclose the opposing sides the Pentagon and the deep state . Still this dichotomy is only a ruse. They r deeply in bedded with one another .
UNO: Keep the industrial military complex in any shape way or form
DUE: Pax-Americana is on it's last legs. So they will try anything to keep the facade of invincibility
TRE: The stockmarket is over levereged at 600 percent. That is one hell of a correction that has been due since 2014
Quattro: Hence they need war and more war to keep kicking the can down the road . Only problem this can is getting closer to a cliff.
CINQUE:The Iranian's ,Chinese and the Russians are so aware of this it ain't funny. Its we the sheeple in the west that still think that we are so exceptional.
SEI: The anglo-zionist are toast and they will try and do anything to keep their rule going.
SETTE One Belt One Road is the biggest threat to there dominance . This plan is bigger is 10 times than the Marshall Plan of the the post war era. Starting to get the picture
Moon of Alabama you must be a disciple of Gianbattista Vico. reason and logic is oozing out of your brains. Bravo. You are probably the website in the whole west when it comes to geo- politics

Posted by: falcemartello | May 17 2017 0:09 utc | 54

Warmongering Fake newsday#2. Commercial Satellite imagery+Melted snow on roof=crematorium.. It was like reading Kollerstrom all over again! The word 'crematorium' a pavROVEian confirmation bias trigger. Someone at IIO figured "hey, fuck it.worked last time, lets see if it flies again." The number of unsubstantiated 'hooks' in the sequence/narrative being presented had it off the local news-cycle pretty much by afternoon 16th may. I guess even Government radio hacks find "commercial satellite imagery and melted snow' too much fairy dust to snort.

Posted by: rm | May 17 2017 0:17 utc | 55

American citizens need an education in propaganda analysis. Here's a primer:

In regard to propaganda the early advocates of uni­versal literacy and a free press envisaged only two possibilities: the propaganda might be true, or it might be false. They did not foresee what in fact has happened, above all in our Western capitalist democra­cies -- the development of a vast mass communications industry, concerned in the main neither with the true nor the false, but with the unreal, the more or less totally irrelevant. In a word, they failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions.

The problem is a lot of people who think they're getting informed by reading the NYT and WaPo and Guardian foreign news pages are the most suckered of them all. The whole Syria story, amazing, like something right out of the Soviet propaganda machine of the late 1970s and early 1980s promoting the Soviet military actions in Afghanistan, or the Nazi effort to portray Poland as a looming threat that required ''pre-emptive war", or any number of similar propaganda-centric stories over the 20th century. Really the last U.S. president to speak honestly about why the U.S. would go to war overseas was Eisenhower. If you go back and look at Eisenhower's speeches, for example this from 1953, on Southeast Asia, you see a more honest statement of the real agenda:

If Indochina goes, several things happen right away. The Malayan peninsula, the last little bit of the end hanging on down there, would be scarcely defensible--and tin and tungsten that we so greatly value from that area would cease coming. . . So, when the United States votes $400 million to help that war, we are not voting for a giveaway program. We are voting for the cheapest way that we can to prevent the occurrence of something that would be of the most terrible significance for the United States of America--our security, our power and ability to get certain things we need from the riches of the Indonesian territory, and from southeast Asia.

Bang! Blatant honesty and a clear statement of goals and interests of American foreign policy. Never again, from then on it was all about "promoting democracy and humanitarian values."

One of the ways to see how this works is look at news reports before and after big changes - for example, back in 2008 the U.S. was really pushing Syria's Assad to sign up with the American-Israeli-Saudi Axis, as this 2008 PBS Frontline documentary makes pretty clear:

It's all about how Syria is modernizing , how democratic freedoms and press freedoms are getting better, how the U.S. is pushing for expanded economic ties and brokering secret peace talks between Syria and Israel. Since then there's been a complete reversal, and the press has gone right along with it. That's why, in Orwell's 1984, the Ministry of Information spent so much time rewriting press stories from the past to make them match up to the present.

Posted by: nonsense factory | May 17 2017 0:24 utc | 56

The American People are buying (believing) these three incredible fake stories. They believed it when Dubya Bush told them they are the ownership society. They believed it when Obama told them they are exceptional. And they believe that Trump will MAGA.

Posted by: fast freddy | May 17 2017 0:26 utc | 57

@Heros "Just as at Katyn forest, where the Christian hating Bolshevics for decades successfully framed the Germans of their own racist slaughter..."

Wrong. The Nazis framed the Soviets/Russians. Their succesors, Ukrainian fascisti, are still doing it.

Posted by: ruralito | May 17 2017 0:31 utc | 58

Thanks to karlof1 for the Duran link @ 24. The extraordinary character of b's post is that not this story alone has been vomited forth, but there have been three equally disputable dseparate news items - one would think had they been calmer they would have been happy to do them one at a time, but no, all three at once. Bam, bam, bam. Why?

Some have supposed it to be a distraction from the Seth murder - I've read elsewhere that his family disputes it, but I know little about it, so I guess it's a possibility. To me, an alternative case might be that of the Syria dam debacle b brought to our attention on the 14th. I'm still wondering who made that decision in US military ranks, as it would seem to have had far reaching consequences alien to the manner in which Russia has proceeded, and the Syrian army has proceeded in providing amnesty for other former rebels when towns return, so to speak, to the fold.

The distraction in such a case could well be the distraction of Trump himself from any actions he might possibly have contemplated to address that issue.

I guess I'm being Polyanna again. Mea Culpa.

Posted by: juliania | May 17 2017 0:42 utc | 59

Not fake news:

watch Tucker Carlson an Sean Hannity

Posted by: Macrom | May 17 2017 1:01 utc | 60

These tactics will come back to bite the democrats in the butt.

Posted by: Fernando Arauxo | May 17 2017 1:22 utc | 61


"Today, the local Washington DC Fox news channel reports that the Rich family’s private investigator – a former Homicide Detective in Washington DC and white collar criminal investigator for the Attorney General of the State of Ohio – says that evidence on Rich’s computers proves that he communicated with Wikileaks:...…-not-hacked

Posted by: OJS | May 17 2017 1:30 utc | 62

@59 juliania

Always good to read your thoughts. I keep seeing that supposition, that a flurry of stories is launched in order to obscure another story, but I'm not sure this is always what's happening. I'm not sure it's even a necessary tactic, given the lockstep of the corporate media.

I often suspect that we're simply seeing scripts that are thought up and approved, and work their way into daylight, and the timing is largely happenstance. Maintaining a narrative the size of an entire worldview takes unremitting, daily work - even more so when that narrative is under lethal attack from people such as the commenters and readers at sites like this, and increasingly at all the MSM sites too.

But this is just one possibility, nothing more than one little thought, at this time.

Posted by: Grieved | May 17 2017 1:32 utc | 63

@51 clueless

i think a top-down 'solution' would be worse than what we have. remember, it can always get worse.

if the monopoly laws were enforced and the media broken up, made to obey rules to avoid dominance in local and regional markets, things would improve immeasurably.

i don't point this out because i think there is any chance in the world that a rump/clinton administration would act in the peoples'/nation's interests rather than in monopoly interests, but just to remind us all how utterly wrong is the setup of our society and government at this point in time.

the most obvious and basic reforms would work relative wonders, but are impossible under the rule of the 1%.

Posted by: jfl | May 17 2017 1:34 utc | 64

Anyone wanna jumps onboard my hunch Trump will be impeached? It's not if but when, regardless if Trump pleases both Neoliberal and NeoCon, anti Russia, Syria regime change and continues endless wars.

While most Americans’ busy with fake news, b should write a piece - EU future with EU twin-dictators Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron.

Posted by: OJS | May 17 2017 1:59 utc | 65

I'm convinced the media is OC as in OCD, and the entire Merikan country is koo-koo.

Now if you haven't all figured out yet why someone like Trump is the leader of the leader of the free world; you'all are witnessing the unfolding of the asylum soap opera. One flew over the cuckoo's nest was tame compared to this. Where's nurse Ratchet when you need her most? Oh that's right the Media is nurse Ratchet and that's why Americans are the craziest people on the planet!

Here's my fear though; whatever they got; is contagious. Is there a place on earth that American insanity hasn't infected where all sane people can take refuge from Merikan paranoia policy?

Putin sur got Merikan mayhem at a bargain! Whatever did he do to turn Merika on its head? Lemme put it this way; it was so easy he could have done it in his sleep. See when someone is this afflicted with paranoia; it doesn't take a lot to set them (Merikans) on an endless quest of chasing their tail to the exclusion of all else.

Putin's chuckling no doubt.

Welcome to Trumpland.

Posted by: Circe | May 17 2017 2:31 utc | 66

The real cost of 59 Tomahawk missiles is just a few weeks. Didn't take too long for the Cold War 2.0 narrative to resurface. The Don now knows how much he must use to buy a 6 month reprieve.

Posted by: MadMax2 | May 17 2017 2:35 utc | 67

Re: nonsense factory | May 16, 2017 8:24:47 PM | 56
Great comment and I completely agree with your statement:

"The problem is a lot of people who think they're getting informed by reading the NYT and WaPo and Guardian foreign news pages are the most suckered of them all."

It is almost impossible to converse with those who digest the steady stream of propaganda coming from "the papers of record". The false narrative has become so complete and so divorced from reality that most Americans truly are living in the Matrix . . . and this is especially true for the "well-educated" liberals who listen to NPR (National Propaganda Radio) on the way home from work or soccer. They will be making up the ranks of "The March for Truth (sic)" on June 3

When Russia prevented the US/NATO takeover of Crimea, that was when it seemed to me that the deluge really began. The NYTimes and WashPo started using the Ukrainian Ambassador at the UN as the source of their "news" stories about the "Russian invasion of Crimea". Funny thing how a US naval task force entered the Black Sea the day the coup took place in Kiev, what a coincidence. They didn't quite make it to Sevastopol.

Now Zuckerman is putting financial choke holds on all sites that feature any sort of stories or perspectives that disagree with the Official Narrative of the deep state. Facts must not be allowed to disrupt the Control of the Narrative, as this threatens the power structure. Push will be coming to shove sometime in the not too distant future.

Posted by: Perimetr | May 17 2017 2:39 utc | 68

@46 jfl

Not sure how calling the Prayut regime "clumsy, arrogant and repressive" is "parroting the military line. Seems to me you are soft peddling the clear color revolution connection to Taksin's red shirts and avoiding the equally obvious attempt to loot and destroy the country unless it submitted to neo-liberal diktat. You don't come right out and say you're a red shirt supporter but it's pretty obvious. If you don't accept that Thailand was inches from a civil war organized by the boys and girls on wireless road then you are either incredibly naive or trying to mislead.

Posted by: Sad Canuck | May 17 2017 3:16 utc | 69

There's a very good article in off-guardian on the computer-generated prison complex.

The British media is so bad that media watchdogs have sprouted up like weeds. Besides the off guardinan, there's the True Publica and The Canary UK.

Posted by: Les | May 17 2017 3:26 utc | 70

@51 clueless and @64 jfl. - read @56 nonsense factory post.. it nails it for me.

@68 perimetr.. i agree with you about npr.. zukerman - the facebook flake.. anyone who spends any time on fb needs to give their head a shake.. it is way worse then twitter and just mostly a completely waste of time...

Posted by: james | May 17 2017 4:22 utc | 71
Giambattista Vico (B. Giovan Battista Vico, 23 June 1668 – 23 January 1744) was an Italian political philosopher and rhetorician, historian, and jurist, recognized as a great intellectual of the Age of Enlightenment. He criticized the expansion and development of modern rationalism and was an apologist for Classical Antiquity; Vico is best known for his magnum opus, the Scienza Nuova (1725, New Science).
Vico is a precursor of systematic thought and of complex thought, in opposition to Cartesian analysis and other types of reductionism, and is credited with the first exposition of the fundamental aspects of social science and of semiotics. As an intellectual, Giambattista Vico is considered to have inaugurated the modern field of the philosophy of history, and, although the term Philosophy of history is not in his texts, he speaks of a "history of philosophy narrated philosophically".[1] Although not an historicist, interest in Vico usually has been driven by historicists, such as Isaiah Berlin,[2] and Hayden White.[3][4]
Moreover, Giambattista Vico also is known for the Latin aphorism Verum esse ipsum factum ("True itself is fact" and "The true itself is made"), which proposition is an early instance of constructivist epistemology.[5][6]

Posted by: okie farmer | May 17 2017 5:11 utc | 72

Chris Hedge
'Trump is just the symptom, not the decease' !

Posted by: denk | May 17 2017 5:33 utc | 73

disease !

Posted by: denk | May 17 2017 5:34 utc | 74

@69 sad c

the military line - which you continue to parrot - is that the military 'saved the country from civil war'.

the military help foment an 'ersatz' civil war in bangkok - using suthep and his cronies - and then threw their coup to 'save the country' from it.

the fact of the matter is that the ruling class in thailand is unwilling to give up its privilege, immunity, and total control of the thai society and economy, has thus dealt itself a losing hand in any form of electoral politics, and in consequence 'must' resort to military dictatorship to keep its control, privilege, and immunity intact.

i'll just stick to the facts and not comment on your mental state or intentions, although you - like others here - feel free to comment on mine.

Posted by: jfl | May 17 2017 5:37 utc | 75

@71 james

i had read nf's comment @56 and agree with his description of current conditions. i wrote in response to clueless' call for totalitarian control of the press - always by 'good' people, as here in thailand - trying to point out that 'control' of the press is the problem not the solution: corporate control presently, 'government' control under his prescription.

fragmenting the press, creating many centers of control seems to me to be a no brainer. and it can be accomplished without the need for new law. all it requires is the recognition of the problem and the will to solve it. from the point of view of those in power ... there's no problem, things are 'under control', and therefore no solution is necessary.

Posted by: jfl | May 17 2017 5:46 utc | 76

`Neel Mehta, a security researcher at Alphabet Inc.’s Google unit ...`

i didn't get further than that, not wanting to subscribe to the wsj ... but please note the google and the us government are now a tag team, alternating support for each other in their ever-darkening relationship. google is much more pervasive and much more of a threat to us all than the nsa. now they're officially a 'unit' of 'alphabet inc.'

Posted by: jfl | May 17 2017 6:05 utc | 77

Great post! See also:
„Media, Independent and Mainstream: Fake News and Fake Narratives“:

Posted by: Andreas Schlüter | May 17 2017 6:28 utc | 78

And on North Korea:
“North Korea: War Games, Cyber War, De-Escalation and Provocation, Some Speculations”:

Posted by: Andreas Schlüter | May 17 2017 6:30 utc | 79

@76 jfl.. i agree with you..

Posted by: james | May 17 2017 7:12 utc | 80

@ Peter AU who wrote: "Too much smoke and mirrors/shifting sands to be sure of what is occurring at the moment, but as I put in an above post, and b's headline, Trump is still a designated enemy of US empire."

I disagree strongly with your assertion that Trump is an enemy of the US empire. He may be an enemy of a faction within the elite that rule our world but he is fully invested in the ways of US empire and a tool thereof.

And I want to call BS on your snide remark about commenter jfl having his logic and reason affected by marijuana usage. It speaks poorly of you to stoop to such.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 16, 2017 2:21:46 PM | 31

+1 Very succinct. People mistake warring between factions and warring with the empire quite easily it seems.

Posted by: George Smiley | May 17 2017 7:39 utc | 81

If this is warring between factions, what is the Trump faction? MSM in general, US/five eyes intelligence, puppet leaders all seem to be in the Obama Clinton globalist faction. Political lkeadership in the military perhaps split between Trump and globalists.

What is Trumps faction and who are they. Also are they globalists or nationalists.
Trumps domestic policies in the US may be no better, or perhaps worse than Obama/Clinton - not being American, I don't know and don't care. My only concern is what the US is doing in the world and the only way I judge Trump. And from my view point, at the moment Trump is not part of the IC/five eyes, MSM, puppet leader group that is the basis of the US empire.

Posted by: Peter AU | May 17 2017 8:10 utc | 82

When I first read about the story, I thought the "city" where the plan was discovered was in Turkey or Saudi Arabia, both U.S. allies. But when I read the exact quotes from the article in the Washington Post, I realized the source of the information must be Israel.

Most alarmingly, officials said, Trump revealed the city in the Islamic State’s territory where the U.S. intelligence partner detected the threat.
WaPo also makes it clear this ISIS city is in Syria, not Iraq:
Officials said the capability could be useful for other purposes, possibly providing intelligence on Russia’s presence in Syria. Moscow would be keenly interested in identifying that source and perhaps disrupting it.
The conclusion to make from the article and the feign hysteria is that Israel has a mole embedded high up in ISIS leadership in Raqqa. If I can draw such a conclusion, so can everyone else.

The New York Times now confirms that the source is Israel.

It is interesting that WaPo says they know the name of the city. If the information is really so secret, how did the Washington Post get hold of it?

The Post is withholding most plot details, including the name of the city, at the urging of officials who warned that revealing them would jeopardize important intelligence capabilities.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | May 17 2017 11:40 utc | 83

@83 pk,

maybe the guy israel has in raqqa is not a mole? at some point their 'cover' becomes so 'deep' that it's impossible to tell who they're really working for, isn't it? israel is on record as preferring da'esh to assad.

Posted by: jfl | May 17 2017 12:01 utc | 84

Thanks, Grieved @ 63, it's an honor to have your response. I was more trying to indicate an element of desperation in the event than to actually pinpoint intent. We are all just hovering around the edges, hoping the country will survive this battle. The rats are coming out of the woodwork, shifting our attention from the erratic behavior of this administration over to the erratic behavior of its opponents instead.

That has to be a good thing.

Posted by: juliania | May 17 2017 12:57 utc | 85

@ Peter AU who wrote: "What is Trumps faction and who are they. Also are they globalists or nationalists."

I don't know any more than you but know that Trump is as bad, if not worse, than those before. Your assertion that Trump is positive for the non-elite of the world doesn't fit with his actions and advisors. Trump is a tool of those that own private finance and everything else. Their debt engorged world is about to burst and everyone is jockeying for position at the table of economic restructuring.........or we go extinct because the elite can't handle losing.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 17 2017 14:54 utc | 86

"Trump is a tool of those that own private finance and everything else."

in this case, the people that own Trump, also own the media, the intelligence agencies and the whole cabal that is trying to bring Trump down. Doesn't make much sense that the owners of private finance or whoever would put Trump in place, and then have other assets doing everything they can to bring him down.
The cruise missile strikes and the noise over NK all came to nothing, and I am back to thinking Trump is a nationalist and those trying to bring him down are globalists.

Just breaking the US grip on the world does not do much in itself to help the non elite, but it does give those countries a better chance to elect a government that is not a puppet of a foreign power.

Posted by: Peter AU | May 17 2017 15:22 utc | 87

@ Peter AU who wrote that he thinks Trump is a nationalist and not a globalist.

I want to suggest you find some way to get a bigger picture perspective on geopolitics and not get affected by the screaming banshees of the day. Nationalist and globalist are like liberal and conservative.......worthless and even more misleading at this time. How can you say that Trump is a nationalist when he has probably more holdings internationally than in the US and all I hear about is him wanting to build new resorts all over the world?

We live in a top and bottom world. Every other characterization of the effects of an elite owning private finance and hence everything else is obfuscation.

I want to break the power of those that own the US as much as you do. The enemy is private finance and its control is currently world wide. Petition Australia to stop buying American Treasuries and the crazy will stop.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 17 2017 16:07 utc | 88

@ Peter AU

Let me add that for lack of better data I am thinking of the current elite "friction" as
1. Cover for further nefarious geopolitical movements, like towards war
2. Arguments over what temperature to have the water at for the pot us frogs are in
3. A serious breakdown in support for private finance as a core part of our social organization
4. None of the above

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 17 2017 16:16 utc | 89

@ Peter AU

I somehow deleted my comment before my last one....damn....or it is in hold somewhere.....I am going to wait

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 17 2017 16:18 utc | 90

re the attempt by the NYT and the WaP to propagandize that "Russia is the USA enemy", seems WHICH town was involved in the "laptop as ISIS bomb" was in the public domain at least since March 31.

Sources: New terrorist laptop bombs may evade security

Published: March 31, 2017 (By an NBC affiliate)
Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend said, “There’s an imperative to get isolation in place around Raqqa because our intelligence feeds tell us that there is significant external operations attacks planning going on emanating centralized in Raqqa.

If I can find it, why can't the WaP, the NYT, and CNN? I mean, REALLY? ;-)

verified that post appeared, as seen by wayback web crawler on April 1, 2

Posted by: erichwwk | May 17 2017 17:42 utc | 91

NYT seems to confirm that Raqqa is the "mystery" city.

Two senior United States military officials said that Mr. Trump’s disclosures seemed to align with an increasing concern that militants responsible for such attacks were slipping out of Raqqa

Posted by: erichwwk | May 17 2017 17:59 utc | 92

@69 jfl

You do not have to be a supporter of the Thai military to outline the crimes of the Taksin regime in terms of phony wars on drugs that liquidated his opposition in the north, restarting the war in the south to cripple opposition in that region, and generally handing the country over to neo-liberal vulture finance. You are conveniently forgetting many issues when you say the 2014 coup was no civil war. How about 2010 when armed red shirts occupied central Bangkok for months and then burned it down even though basically all their demands were met by the governing (non-military) opposition party? But even then did you miss the parts in 2014 where people were gunning down unarmed protestors or lobbing grenades into crowds?

There are zero good solutions in Thailand right now. It's caught between and out-dated social structure, neo-liberal vultures who profess reform to facilitate looting the country, western exceptionalism, and a rising threat from China. All the country can do right now is lay low and play for time. The Taksin machine and it's red shirt soldiers are however bought and paid for by the same neo-liberal forces that produced Syria, Libya, Ukraine etc etc and use EXACTLY the same playbook. They are not interested in stability at all, or even care about the country much to be honest. You never come out and say you support the red shirts as that would put you squarely in the nep-liberal camp, so you simply critique the military regime which is easy. But your position is clear as day to anyone familiar with Thailand.

Posted by: Sad Canuck | May 17 2017 18:45 utc | 93

My wait was rewarded by the magic appearance of my comment #88 that didn't show up initially....of course that is the one I did a follow up on.....

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 18 2017 0:47 utc | 94

@93 sad canuck

yours and my views of the political scene in thailand are diametrically opposed. rather than further pollute the threads here, i put up my alternative to your view of thai reality. there's no real point in continued discussion between you and i, we just disagree on this.

Posted by: jfl | May 18 2017 4:37 utc | 95

@95 jfl

That the old elites of Thailand generally don't give a damn about the poor is beyond argument, but neither does Taksin and his motley mob of nouveau riche oligarchs and pathetic Thammasat Marxists who hang on to his coat-tails. The latter group (which I expect you sympathize with) is particularly sad in their fake radicalism while living a fully bourgeois Bangkok existence supported by western governments in a lot of cases. Many have been trained in America and are are entirely tools of the security services. It's a good racket. Get power by promising the poor majority a few peanuts, then loot the state once in power and send yourself and your ill-gained booty overseas. The Thammasat crowd get their meager slice as well but their complicity with neo-liberal theft ends in a bankrupt state that can take care of no one. Even them which is the end joke. The thieves are long gone once the debts pile up and the foreign vulture capitalists swoop in to take control of the national assets. It's an old game played in many places over the past decades.

It must be comforting to think me a yellow shirt but that's simply a strawman argument on your part to deal with the cognitive dissonance of your position which contends that it's possible to fight for the poor through a vicious oligarch like Taksin. I guess you can take some comfort in that but it doesn't change the fact that the tools of your social revolution are murders who are completely fine with the destruction of Thai society. The revolution your seem to support is a fraud to cover theft on an enormous scale. Your bizarre conspiracy theory excuses for the red shirt chaos of 2010 are amazing to me (I'm being polite). In contrast to you I know some good people on both sides (a few who are phu yai) along with some utter sociopaths. It's going to be a dangerous and frightening period with destabilizing forces both within and without. One can only hope that a genuine indigenous Thai political movement emerges that can fight for independence, opportunity, equality before the law, and justice for all Thai citizens, but I'm not holding my breath. It's going to be messy and chaotic and this time will test the Thai nation in ways not seen since Mongut.

I'd actually enjoy a further conversation on this topic but your position on the 2010 violence in Bangkok is so totally at odds with reality that it leads me to believe you are utterly indoctrinated and it's not worth it. You really believe that the Thai military convinced everyone in downtown Bangkok to burn down their businesses (both new and old mega malls and hundreds of small shops) for an insurance payout to give the red shirts a bad name. Seriously? That's so out there that Alex Jones would be impressed.

Posted by: Sad Canuck | May 19 2017 8:48 utc | 96

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