NYT degeneration into a deep state stooge

The New York Times and Guardian are basically now two neoconservative papers indistinguishable from the Wall Street Journal and Daily Telegraph. Not a word of dissent is even remotely allowed or involved.

NYT promotes the idea which  totally taken over the entirety of the neoliberal establishment which sees Trump's election as "treasonous."

After becoming "yet another War Party" in  2020 Democrats might well run identical foreign policy platforms to the right of Mitt Romney.

Collusion between the New York Times and the CIA

Correspondence and collusion between the New York Times and the CIA Glenn Greenwald US news The Guardian

Glenn Greenwald, Wed 29 Aug 2012 14.58 EDT

Mark Mazzetti's emails with the CIA expose the degradation of journalism that has lost the imperative to be a check to power

CIA spokeswoman Marie Harf told New York Times national security reporter Mark Mazzetti to 'keep me posted' about a forthcoming Maureen Dowd column; he obliged.

The rightwing transparency group, Judicial Watch, released Tuesday a new batch of documents showing how eagerly the Obama administration shoveled information to Hollywood film-makers about the Bin Laden raid. Obama officials did so to enable the production of a politically beneficial pre-election film about that "heroic" killing, even as administration lawyers insisted to federal courts and media outlets that no disclosure was permissible because the raid was classified.

Thanks to prior disclosures from Judicial Watch of documents it obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, this is old news. That's what the Obama administration chronically does: it manipulates secrecy powers to prevent accountability in a court of law, while leaking at will about the same programs in order to glorify the president.

But what is news in this disclosure are the newly released emails between Mark Mazzetti, the New York Times's national security and intelligence reporter, and CIA spokeswoman Marie Harf. The CIA had evidently heard that Maureen Dowd was planning to write a column on the CIA's role in pumping the film-makers with information about the Bin Laden raid in order to boost Obama's re-election chances, and was apparently worried about how Dowd's column would reflect on them. On 5 August 2011 (a Friday night), Harf wrote an email to Mazzetti with the subject line: "Any word??", suggesting, obviously, that she and Mazzetti had already discussed Dowd's impending column and she was expecting an update from the NYT reporter.

A mere two minutes after the CIA spokeswoman sent this Friday night inquiry, Mazzetti responded. He promised her that he was "going to see a version before it gets filed", and assured her that there was likely nothing to worry about:

"My sense is there a very brief mention at bottom of column about CIA ceremony, but that [screenwriter Mark] Boal also got high level access at Pentagon."

She then replied with this instruction to Mazzetti: "keep me posted", adding that she "really appreciate[d] it".

Moments later, Mazzetti forwarded the draft of Dowd's unpublished column to the CIA spokeswoman (it was published the following night online by the Times, and two days later in the print edition). At the top of that email, Mazzetti wrote: "this didn't come from me … and please delete after you read." He then proudly told her that his assurances turned out to be true: "See, nothing to worry about."

This exchange, by itself, is remarkably revealing: of the standard role played by establishment journalists and the corruption that pervades it. Here we have a New York Times reporter who covers the CIA colluding with its spokesperson to plan for the fallout from the reporting by his own newspaper ("nothing to worry about"). Beyond this, that a New York Times journalist – ostensibly devoted to bringing transparency to government institutions – is pleading with the CIA spokesperson, of all people, to conceal his actions and to delete the evidence of collusion is so richly symbolic.

The relationship between the New York Times and the US government is, as usual, anything but adversarial. Indeed, these emails read like the interactions between a PR representative and his client as they plan in anticipation of a possible crisis.

Even more amazing is the reaction of the newspaper's managing editor, Dean Baquet, to these revelations, as reported by Politico's Dylan Byers:

"New York Times Managing Editor Dean Baquet called POLITICO to explain the situation, but provided little clarity, saying he could not go into detail on the issue because it was an intelligence matter.

"'I know the circumstances, and if you knew everything that's going on, you'd know it's much ado about nothing,' Baquet said. 'I can't go into in detail. But I'm confident after talking to Mark that it's much ado about nothing.'

"'The optics aren't what they look like,' he went on. 'I've talked to Mark, I know the circumstance, and given what I know, it's much ado about nothing.'"

There is so much to say about that passage.

First, try though I did, I'm unable to avoid noting that this statement from Baquet – "the optics aren't what they look like" – is one of the most hilariously incoherent utterances seen in some time. It's the type of meaningless, illiterate corporatese that comes spewing forth from bumbling executives defending the indefensible. I've read that sentence roughly a dozen times over the last 24 hours and each time, it provides me with greater amounts of dark amusement.

Second, look at how the New York Times mimics the CIA even in terms of how the newspaper's employees speak: Baquet "provided little clarity, saying he could not go into detail on the issue because it was an intelligence matter". In what conceivable way is Mazzetti's collusion with the CIA an "intelligence matter" that prevents the NYT's managing editor from explaining what happened here?

This is what the CIA reflexively does: insists that, even when it comes to allegations that they have engaged in serious wrongdoing, you (and even courts) cannot know what the agency is doing because it is an "intelligence matter". Now, here we have the managing editor of the Newspaper of Record reciting this same secrecy-loving phrase verbatim – as though the New York Times is some sort of an intelligence agency whose inner workings must be concealed for our own safety – all in order to avoid any sort of public disclosure about the wrongdoing in which it got caught engaging. One notices this frequently: media figures come to identify so closely with the government officials on whom they report that they start adopting not only their way of thinking, but even their lingo.

Third, note how Baquet proudly touts the fact that he knows facts to which you are not and will not be privvy:

"I know the circumstances, if you knew everything that's going on, you'd know it's much ado about nothing."

Isn't the function of a newspaper supposed to be to tell us "everything that's going on", not to boast that it knows the circumstances and you do not?

Baquet's claim that this was all "much ado about nothing" did not, apparently, sit well with at least some people at the New York Times, who seem not to appreciate it when their national security reporter secretly gives advanced copies of columns to the CIA spokesperson. Shortly after Baquet issued his ringing defense of Mazzetti's behavior, a spokesperson for the paper not only provided the details Baquet insisted could not be given, but also made clear that Mazzetti's conduct was inappropriate:

"Last August, Maureen Dowd asked Mark Mazzetti to help check a fact for her column. In the course of doing so, he sent the entire column to a CIA spokeswoman shortly before her deadline. He did this without the knowledge of Ms Dowd. This action was a mistake that is not consistent with New York Times standards."

It may be "inconsistent with the New York Times standards" for one of its reporters to secretly send advanced copy to the CIA and then ask that the agency delete all record that he did so: one certainly hopes it is. But it is not, unfortunately, inconsistent with the paper's behavior in general, when it comes to reporting on public officials. Serving as obedient lapdogs and message-carriers for political power, rather than adversarial watchdogs over power, is par for the course.

The most obvious example of this is the paper's complicity with propagating war-fueling falsehoods to justify the attack on Iraq – though, in that instance, it was hardly alone. Just last month, it was revealed that the NYT routinely gives veto power to Obama campaign officials over the quotes from those officials the paper is allowed to publish – a practice barred by other outlets (but not the NYT) both prior to that revelation and subsequent to it.

Worse, the paper frequently conceals vital information of public interest at the direction of the government, as it did when it learned of George Bush's illegal eavesdropping program in mid 2004 but concealed it for more than a year at the direction of the White House, until Bush was safely re-elected; as it did when it complied with government directives to conceal the CIA employment of Raymond Davis, captured by Pakistan, even as President Obama falsely described him as "our diplomat in Pakistan" and as the NYT reported the president's statement without noting that it was false; and as it did with its disclosure of numerous WikiLeaks releases, for which the paper, as former executive editor Bill Keller proudly boasted, took direction from the government regarding what should and should not be published.

And that's all independent of the chronic practice of the NYT to permit government officials to hide behind anonymity in order to disseminate government propaganda – or even to smear journalists as al-Qaida sympathizers for reporting critically on government actions – even when granting such anonymity violates its own publicly announced policies.

What all of this behavior from the NYT has in common is clear: it demonstrates the extent to which it institutionally collaborates with and serves the interests of the nation's most powerful factions, rather than act as an adversarial check on them. When he talks to the CIA spokesperson, Mazzetti sounds as if he's talking to a close colleague working together on a joint project.

It sounds that way because that's what it is.

One can, if one wishes, cynically justify Mazzetti's helpful co-operation with the CIA as nothing more than a common means which journalists use to curry favor with their sources. Leave aside the fact that the CIA spokesperson with whom Mazzetti is co-operating is hardly some valuable leaker deep within the bowels of the agency but, in theory, should be the supreme adversary of real journalists: her job is to shape public perception as favorably as possible to the CIA, even at the expense of the truth.

The more important objection is that the fact that a certain behavior is common does not negate its being corrupt. Indeed, as is true for government abuses generally, those in power rely on the willingness of citizens to be trained to view corrupt acts as so common that they become inured, numb, to its wrongfulness. Once a corrupt practice is sufficiently perceived as commonplace, then it is transformed in people's minds from something objectionable into something acceptable. Indeed, many people believe it demonstrates their worldly sophistication to express indifference toward bad behavior by powerful actors on the ground that it is so prevalent. This cynicism – oh, don't be naive: this is done all the time – is precisely what enables such destructive behavior to thrive unchallenged.

It is true that Mazzetti's emails with the CIA do not shock or surprise in the slightest. But that's the point. With some noble journalistic exceptions (at the NYT and elsewhere), these emails reflect the standard full-scale cooperation – a virtual merger – between our the government and the establishment media outlets that claim to act as "watchdogs" over them.

From "All the news that's fit to print" to "please delete after you read" and cannot "go into detail because it is an intelligence matter": that's the gap between the New York Times's marketed brand and its reality.

* * * * *

UPDATE: The Times' Public Editor weighed in on this matter today, noting his clear disapproval for what Mazzetti did:
 

"Whatever Mr. Mazzetti's motivation, it is a clear boundary violation to disclose a potentially sensitive article pre-publication under such circumstances. This goes well beyond the normal give-and-take that characterizes the handling of sources and suggests the absence of an arm's-length relationship between a reporter and those he is dealing with."

While Mazzetti himself expresses regret for his behavior -- "It was definitely a mistake to do. I have never done it before and I will never do it again" -- both he and Executive Editor Jill Abramson insist that he had no bad intent, but was simply trying to help out a colleague (Dowd) by having her claims fact-checked. Like Baquet, Abramson invokes secrecy to conceal the key facts: "I can't provide further detail on why the entire column was sent."

The question raised by these excuses is obvious: if Mazzetti were acting with such pure and benign motives, why did he ask the CIA to delete the email he sent? This appears to be a classic case of expressing sorrow not over what one did, but over having been caught.

On a different note, Politico's Byers, in response to my inquiry, advises me that Baquet did indeed say what Byers attributed to him -- "he could not go into detail on the issue because it was an intelligence matter" -- and that his exact quote was: it "has to with intel."


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Old News ;-)

[Dec 14, 2018] What percentage of CIA budget goes to the support of free press

Notable quotes:
"... Because once we go from "corruption is getting more and more common; something must be done" to "meh," we are crossing from a flawed democratic republic to outright tyranny and oligarchy with little way back. ..."
"... Why would anyone expect anything different from the Times, or any major U.S. Newspaper or media outlet? They are organs of the intelligence community and have been for many years. ..."
"... I think the ridiculous and pathetic explanations by NYT in this case are, in part, due to the fact that they simply don't care enough to produce better answers. In their view, these CIA connections and those with other Govt. agencies are paramount, and must be maintained at all costs. ..."
"... It is likely that the relationship is a little more formal than mere collusion ..."
"... "Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few" [George Bernard Shaw" ..."
"... Has been since Judith Miller told us there were WMD in Iraq in 2003. They don't plan anticipations of crises, but the actual crises themselves. In a moral world, the NYT is as guilty of genocide as Bush and Blair. ..."
Dec 01, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

capatriot , 29 Aug 2012 15:49

Good article. I especially like this:

The more important objection is that the fact that a certain behavior is common does not negate its being corrupt. Indeed, as is true for government abuses generally, those in power rely on the willingness of citizens to be trained to view corrupt acts as so common that they become inured, numb, to its wrongfulness. Once a corrupt practice is sufficiently perceived as commonplace, then it is transformed in people's minds from something objectionable into something acceptable.

Because once we go from "corruption is getting more and more common; something must be done" to "meh," we are crossing from a flawed democratic republic to outright tyranny and oligarchy with little way back.

Besides, they don't all do it ... there are honorable reporters out there, some few of whom work for the Times and the Post.

BradBenson , 29 Aug 2012 15:48
Another great article Glenn. The Guardian will spread your words further and wider. Salon's loss is the world's gain.

Why would anyone expect anything different from the Times, or any major U.S. Newspaper or media outlet? They are organs of the intelligence community and have been for many years. That these email were allowed to get out under FOIA is indicative of the fact that there are some people on the inside who would like to get the truth out. Either that, or the head of some ES-2's Assistant Deputy for Secret Shenanigans and Heinous Drone Murders will roll.

CautiousOptimist , 29 Aug 2012 15:40
Glenn - Any comments on the recently disclosed emails between the CIA and Kathryn Bigelow?
CasualObs , 29 Aug 2012 15:32
Scott Horton quote on closely related Mazzetti reporting (in this case regarding misleading reporting on how important CIA/Bush torture was in tracking down and getting bin Laden, the focus of this movie):

"I'm quite sure that this is precisely the way the folks who provided this info from the agency [to Mazzetti] wanted them to be understood, but there is certainly more than a measure of ambiguity in them, planted with care by the NYT writers or their editors. This episode shows again how easily the Times can be spun by unnamed government sources, the factual premises of whose statements invariably escape any examination."

http://www.hillmanfoundation.org/blog/winners-sinners-mary-murphy-mark-mazzetti

I think the ridiculous and pathetic explanations by NYT in this case are, in part, due to the fact that they simply don't care enough to produce better answers. In their view, these CIA connections and those with other Govt. agencies are paramount, and must be maintained at all costs.

If you don't like their paper-thin answers, tough. In their view (imo) this will blow over and business will resume, with the all-important friends and connections intact. Thus leaving the machinery intact for future uncritical, biased and manipulative "spin" of NYT by any number of unnamed govt. sources/agencies...

Montecarlo2 , 29 Aug 2012 15:29

In what conceivable way is Mazzetti's collusion with the CIA an "intelligence matter" that prevents the NYT's managing editor from explaining what happened here?

That one is easy, as we learned in the Valerie Plame affair. It is likely that the relationship is a little more formal than mere collusion.

hominoid , 29 Aug 2012 15:27
Just another step down the ladder towards despotism. "Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few" [George Bernard Shaw"
LakerFan , 29 Aug 2012 15:13

The relationship between the New York Times and the US government is, as usual, anything but adversarial. Indeed, these emails read like the interactions between a PR representative and his client as they plan in anticipation of a possible crisis.

Has been since Judith Miller told us there were WMD in Iraq in 2003. They don't plan anticipations of crises, but the actual crises themselves. In a moral world, the NYT is as guilty of genocide as Bush and Blair.

The humor seems to go completely out of the issue when 100,000 people are dead and their families and futures changed forever.

Like I said, in a moral world....

[Dec 14, 2018] Vetting NYT materials by CIA reflects full-scale cooperation – a virtual merger – between our the government and the neoliberal MSM

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Having said that, still worrying that the CIA devotes time to finding out what Maureen Dowd might write! ..."
"... It is true that Mazzetti's emails with the CIA do not shock or surprise in the slightest. But that's the point. With some noble journalistic exceptions (at the NYT and elsewhere), these emails reflect the standard full-scale cooperation – a virtual merger – between our the government and the establishment media outlets that claim to act as "watchdogs" over them." ..."
"... A few years ago the New York Times reported that there had been a successful coup in Venezuela - toppling Chavez. The story turned out to be inaccurate. The NY Times finally revealed their source - US State Dept... who were using NYT to give critical mass and support to their dream end to a thorn in their side. ..."
"... The New York Times-all the news the CIA decided is fit to print. ..."
Dec 01, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com
Pouzar99 , 29 Aug 2012 17:36
Great column. The NYT does do some good things, such as give us Paul Krugman three times a week, some important reporting and articulate editorial opposition to the republican nightmare, but they are much, much too close to the government, as evidenced by their asking for permission to print news the White House disapproves of.

They are also devoted to denying their readers an accurate picture of American foreign policy. I frequently comment on threads there and my contributions nearly always get posted, except when I use the word empire. I have never succeeded in getting that word onto their website , nor have I seen it make it into anyone else's comment. It is like the famous episode of Fawlty Towers. "Don't mention the empire.'' Stories and commentaries sometimes describe specific aspects of US policy in negative terms, but connecting the dots is obviously forbidden.

Bill Keller is like a character from The Wire. The perfect example of the kind of authority-revering careerist that butt-kisses his way to the top in institutions.

Burgsmueller -> Fulton , 29 Aug 2012 17:25
Shouldn't it be a bigger surprise that the CIA still needs to ask someone connected to find out what somebody else wrote on any electronic device?

In related news: http://business.financialpost.com/2012/08/29/spyware-can-take-over-iphone-and-blackberry-new-study-reveals/

Fulton , 29 Aug 2012 17:16

most of the story seems to come down to the usual kind of thing we see from Judicial Watch - manufactured outrage over almost nothing

I think part of the outrage here is the extent to which it's almost hard to muster the energy because it's become so much the norm for the NYTimes to be in bed with whoever is in power in Washington at any given time. It's the sort of thing that should be "they did what!!!!?" but instead it's "yeah, well, Judith Miller, Wen Ho Lee, etcetc ... >long drawn-out sigh<." So, perhaps there is some manufacturing of outrage, but not unreasonably so if you take a step back and look at what's going on.

Having said that, still worrying that the CIA devotes time to finding out what Maureen Dowd might write!

JoeFromBrooklyn -> worldcurious , 29 Aug 2012 17:10
Learn to read. From the column:

"This cynicism – oh, don't be naive: this is done all the time – is precisely what enables such destructive behavior to thrive unchallenged.

It is true that Mazzetti's emails with the CIA do not shock or surprise in the slightest. But that's the point. With some noble journalistic exceptions (at the NYT and elsewhere), these emails reflect the standard full-scale cooperation – a virtual merger – between our the government and the establishment media outlets that claim to act as "watchdogs" over them."

gunnison , 29 Aug 2012 17:05

Once a corrupt practice is sufficiently perceived as commonplace, then it is transformed in people's minds from something objectionable into something acceptable. Indeed, many people believe it demonstrates their worldly sophistication to express indifference toward bad behavior by powerful actors on the ground that it is so prevalent. This cynicism – oh, don't be naive: this is done all the time – is precisely what enables such destructive behavior to thrive unchallenged.

This is extremely important, and manifestly true. One runs into such people all the time. I haven't read any comments yet, but it would not surprise me to find some of them already here.

Even worse, I've done it myself on occasion, most recently just the other day on a Cif thread. Though I will say this; this kind of bullshit is not so much "transformed in people's minds from something objectionable into something acceptable ", as grudgingly transformed into something unstoppable , but still toxic and objectionable.

That's mighty thin gruel as an alibi, but the reality for a lot of ordinary working people is they get fucking tired of it, and yes, they do get discouraged, then cynical and hardened to it all. That, of course, is part of the plan.

Keep swinging Glenn. This shit matters.

Anotherevertonian , 29 Aug 2012 16:42
The NYT is as stuffed-full of spook urinals, bottom-feeders and intelligence officers as...The Guardian?

I'm more shocked than I can feign.

Montecarlo2 -> jaytingle , 29 Aug 2012 16:42

"The optics aren't what they look like." Is Dean Baquet related to Yogi Berra?

Yogi Berra anticipated this problem: "You can observe a lot by watching".

Ahzeld , 29 Aug 2012 16:33
I'm unaware of a "source" being a person who requests documents from the reporter for doing damage control on behalf of the boss. (Not that I'd worry about Dowd either.) How exactly is this secret national intel? I'm glad this came out. We are being manipulated by the govt. through its minions in the media. The entire incident, from the glorious movie to this revelation is a fraud.

I found this interesting example of media manipulation at nakedcapitalsim.org: "Pro-marijuana group endorses Obama The Hill. This purported group, which claims 10,000 members, appears to be just one guy with a PO Box and a press list. But don't count on your average reporter digging deeper than the news release.": Read more at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/08/links-82812.html#717LX1oL7dfPsb7I.99

The breadth and depth of propagandizing of citizens is astounding. I wonder what it's like to have so little integrity. What kind of person so readily sells out their fellow citizen with lies? It's scary because people read these things and they have no idea they are lies. People are making decisions based on manufactured "facts". It's very difficult to find actual information and I can tell you from personal experience, Obama supporters cling desperately to "authorities" like the NYTimes to maintain their belief in the goodness of dear leader.

jaytingle , 29 Aug 2012 16:31
"The optics aren't what they look like."
Is Dean Baquet related to Yogi Berra?
paperclipper , 29 Aug 2012 16:15
This weird big-brother relationship goes both ways. A few years ago the New York Times reported that there had been a successful coup in Venezuela - toppling Chavez. The story turned out to be inaccurate. The NY Times finally revealed their source - US State Dept... who were using NYT to give critical mass and support to their dream end to a thorn in their side.

Nice investigative journalism. A couple of years ago the NYTmade a big deal of publicly firing a low level writer for making up articles from his NY apt when he was supposed to be in the field. He was hardly the worst of the bunch.

brianboru1014 , 29 Aug 2012 16:07
Great article and thankfully I do not trust big newspapers in the USA especially the New York Times since it has being caught lying about Weapons of Mass Destructions in Iraq to justify the Iraq War. Judith Millar was the liar then. Read CounterPunch and smaller publications for the truth. The NYT is all about selling ads on a Sunday. It really is a corrupt rag.
GlennGreenwald -> MonaHol , 29 Aug 2012 16:04
MonaHol

Ooh la-la. Snooty! Can Greenwald survive the devastatingly profound criticisms being lobbed in his new venue?

Who will be the first commenter to leave the classic devastating critique:

"The author fails to present a balanced view, showing only one side. The author's argument has no substance and is not really worth anything."

JinTexas , 29 Aug 2012 16:02
"The New York Times-all the news the CIA decided is fit to print."
JinTexas , 29 Aug 2012 16:00
"the optics aren't what they look like" – is one of the most hilariously incoherent utterances seen in some time."

Strategery: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOUuKQlGdEs

AhBrightWings , 29 Aug 2012 15:59

"this didn't come from me and please delete after you read." -- Mazzetti

This could serve as the epitaph for our times. This (Shock and Awe, drones, the Apache Massacre, Guantanamo, killing children, etc.) didn't come from US (even though it did) because ...our crimes can be deleted through that magical "we're too big and bad to fail" button.

See, nothing to worry about.

(Except future historians who will not be blindfolded and gagged and who will therefore have some choice things to say about the journalists who were fully complicit in the crimes of this lawless era.)

[Dec 14, 2018] New York Times fraudulent election plot dossier escalates anti-Russia hysteria

Notable quotes:
"... It acknowledges that "police never identified who had hung the banners," but nonetheless goes on to assert that: "The Kremlin, it appeared, had reached onto United States soil in New York and Washington. The banners may well have been intended as visual victory laps for the most effective foreign interference in an American election in history." ..."
"... The authors, Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti, complain about a lack of "public comprehension" of the "Trump-Russia" story. Indeed, despite the two-year campaign of anti-Russian hysteria whipped up in Washington and among the affluent sections of the upper-middle class that constitute the target audience of the Times ..."
Sep 21, 2018 | www.wsws.org

The New York Times published a fraudulent and provocative "special report" Thursday titled "The plot to subvert an election."

Replete with sinister looking graphics portraying Russian President Vladimir Putin as a villainous cyberage cyclops, the report purports to untangle "the threads of the most effective foreign campaign in history to disrupt and influence an American election."

The report could serve as a textbook example of CIA-directed misinformation posing as "in-depth" journalism. There is no news, few substantiated facts and no significant analysis presented in the 10,000-word report, which sprawls over 11 ad-free pages of a separate section produced by the Times.

The article begins with an ominous-sounding recounting of two incidents in which banners were hung from bridges in New York City and Washington in October and November of 2016, one bearing the likeness of Putin over a Russian flag with the word "peacemaker," and the other that of Obama and the slogan "Goodbye Murderer."

It acknowledges that "police never identified who had hung the banners," but nonetheless goes on to assert that: "The Kremlin, it appeared, had reached onto United States soil in New York and Washington. The banners may well have been intended as visual victory laps for the most effective foreign interference in an American election in history." The article begins with an ominous-sounding recounting of two incidents in which banners were hung from bridges in New York City and Washington in October and November of 2016, one bearing the likeness of Putin over a Russian flag with the word "peacemaker," and the other that of Obama and the slogan "Goodbye Murderer."

It acknowledges that "police never identified who had hung the banners," but nonetheless goes on to assert that: "The Kremlin, it appeared, had reached onto United States soil in New York and Washington. The banners may well have been intended as visual victory laps for the most effective foreign interference in an American election in history."

Why does it "appear" to be the Kremlin? What is the evidence to support this claim? Among the 8.5 million inhabitants of New York City and another 700,000 in Washington, D.C., aren't there enough people who might despise Obama as much as, if not a good deal more than, Vladimir Putin?

This absurd passage with its "appeared" and "may well have" combined with the speculation about the Kremlin extending its evil grip onto "United States soil" sets the tone for the entire piece, which consists of the regurgitation of unsubstantiated allegations made by the US intelligence agencies, Democratic and Republican capitalist politicians and the Times itself.

The authors, Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti, complain about a lack of "public comprehension" of the "Trump-Russia" story. Indeed, despite the two-year campaign of anti-Russian hysteria whipped up in Washington and among the affluent sections of the upper-middle class that constitute the target audience of the Times , polls have indicated that the charges of Russian "meddling" in the 2016 presidential election have evoked little popular response among the

[Dec 14, 2018] New York Times aka The Langley Newsletter

"We pledge subservience to the Owners of the United Corporations of America, and to the Oligarchy for which it stands, one Greed under God, indivisible, with power and wealth for few."
Notable quotes:
"... bin laden gave terror a face. how conveeeenient for warmongers everywhere! ..."
"... CIA in collusion with mainstream newspaper NYT. And you call this news ? ..."
"... collusion between the us media and the us government goes back much, much further. Chomsky has plenty of stuff about this... ..."
"... The NYTimes has its own agenda and bends the news that's fit to print. Journalistic integrity? LOL. No one beat the war drums louder for Bush's Neocons before the Iraq war. Draining our nation's resources, getting young Americans killed (they didn't come from the 1%, you see). The cradle of civilization that's the Iraqi landscape wiped out. Worst, 655,000 Iraqis lost their lives, said British medical journal Lancet, creating 2.5mn each internal & external refugees. ..."
"... The NYT never dwelled on the numbers of Iraqis killed. Up to a few weeks ago, its emphasis on the current Syrian tragedy is to inform us on the hundreds or thousands who've lost their lives. ..."
"... World financial meltdown? When Sanford Weill of Citi pushed for the repeal of Glass-Steagall late 1990's, the FDR era 17-page law separating commercial from investment banks, a measure that's preserved the nation's banking integrity for over half a century, the Nyt added its megaphone to the task, urging Treasury Secretary Bob Rubin to comply, editorializing In 1988: "Few economic historians now find the logic behind Glass-Steagall persuasive" . In 1990, that "banks and stocks were a dangerous mixture" "makes little sense now." ..."
"... just off the top of my head I recall the editor of one of a British major was an MI5 agent; this is in the public domain. ..."
"... We pledge subservience to the Owners of the United Corporations of America, and to the Oligarchy for which it stands, one Greed under God, indivisible, with power and wealth for few. ..."
"... The NYT has been infiltrated for decades by CIA agents. Just notice their dogged reporting on the completely debunked "lone-gunman" JFK theory---they will always report that Oswald acted alone---this is the standard CIA story, pushed and maintained by the NYT despite overwhelming evidence that there was a conspiracy (likely involving the CIA). ..."
Aug 30, 2012 | www.theguardian.com

samesamesame , 1 Sep 2012 13:02

bin laden gave terror a face. how conveeeenient for warmongers everywhere!
loftytom , 1 Sep 2012 10:40

I assume we're going to see a NYT expose on the large scale dodgy dealings of the Guardian Unlimited group then?

They could start with the tax dodging hypocrisy first. http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2012/05/16/has-the-guardian-exploited-tax-loopholes-to-save-millions/

kantarakamara , 1 Sep 2012 10:04
"@smartypants54

29 August 2012 9:44PM
Glenn,

I've often wondered what you think of the journalism of someone like Seymour Hirsch. (sic) He broke some very important stories by cozying up to moles in the MIC.

You'e confusing apples with oranges. Hersh seeks information on issues that outrage him. These do not usually include propaganda for the intelligence agencies, but information they would like to suppress. He's given secret information because he appears to his informers as someone who has a long record of integrity.

Therealguyfaux -> Montecarlo2 , 1 Sep 2012 07:48
It's straight outta that old joke about the husband being caught by his wife in flagrante delicto with the pretty young lady neighbour, who then tells his wife that he and his bit on the side weren't doing anything: "And who do you believe-- me, or your lying eyes?"
Haigin88 , 1 Sep 2012 06:58
New York Times a.k.a. The Langley Newsletter
globalsage , 1 Sep 2012 06:32
CIA in collusion with mainstream newspaper NYT. And you call this news ?
snookie -> LakerFan , 1 Sep 2012 05:46
collusion between the us media and the us government goes back much, much further. Chomsky has plenty of stuff about this...
hlkcna , 1 Sep 2012 02:28
The NYTimes has its own agenda and bends the news that's fit to print. Journalistic integrity? LOL. No one beat the war drums louder for Bush's Neocons before the Iraq war. Draining our nation's resources, getting young Americans killed (they didn't come from the 1%, you see). The cradle of civilization that's the Iraqi landscape wiped out. Worst, 655,000 Iraqis lost their lives, said British medical journal Lancet, creating 2.5mn each internal & external refugees.

Following the pre-Iraq embellishment, NYT covered up its deeds by sacrificing Journalist Judith Miller. As Miller answered a post-war court case, none other than Chairman & CEO Arthur Sulzberger jr. locked arms with her as they entered the courtroom.

The NYT never dwelled on the numbers of Iraqis killed. Up to a few weeks ago, its emphasis on the current Syrian tragedy is to inform us on the hundreds or thousands who've lost their lives.

World financial meltdown? When Sanford Weill of Citi pushed for the repeal of Glass-Steagall late 1990's, the FDR era 17-page law separating commercial from investment banks, a measure that's preserved the nation's banking integrity for over half a century, the Nyt added its megaphone to the task, urging Treasury Secretary Bob Rubin to comply, editorializing In 1988: "Few economic historians now find the logic behind Glass-Steagall persuasive" . In 1990, that "banks and stocks were a dangerous mixture" "makes little sense now."

NYT, a liberal icon? In year 2000, when I lived in NYC, New York Daily News columnist A.M. Rosenthal used to regularly demonize China in language surpassing even Rush Limbaugh. I told myself nah, that's not the Rosenthal-former-editor of the NYT. Only when I read his obituary a few years later did I learn that it was indeed the same one.

Grandfield , 1 Sep 2012 00:56
Well of course. And just off the top of my head I recall the editor of one of a British major was an MI5 agent; this is in the public domain.
weallshineon , 1 Sep 2012 00:42
We pledge subservience to the Owners of the United Corporations of America, and to the Oligarchy for which it stands, one Greed under God, indivisible, with power and wealth for few.

NOAM CHOMSKY _MANUFACTURING CONSENT haven't read it? read it. read it? read it again.

thought totalitarianism and the ruling class died in 1945? think again. thought you wouldn't have to fight like grandpa's generation to live in a democratic and just society? think again.

You are not the 1 percent.

JET2023 -> MonaHol , 31 Aug 2012 21:53
Would that we could hold these discussions without reference to personal defamations -- "darkened ignorance" and "educate yourself" which sounds like "f___ yourself". Why can't we just say "I respectfully disagree"? Alas, when discussing political issues with leftists, that seems impossible. Why the vitriol?

Greenwald's more lengthy posts make it clear that he believes that people who differ with him are "lying" and basing their viewpoint upon "a single right wing blogger". He chooses this explanation over the obvious and accurate one -- legal rationales developed by the Office of Legal Counsel during the Bush administration. The date of Greenwald's archive is February 19, 2006. Oddly, he bases all of his contentions upon whatever he could glean up to that date. But the legal rationale for warrantless wiretaps was based upon memos written by John Yoo at the OLC that Greenwald did not have access to in 2006. The memos were not released until after Obama took office in 2009.

Obama released them in a highly publicized press conference staged for maximum political impact. Greenwald could not possibly have understood the legal rationale for the program since he had not been privy to them until March 2009 if, indeed, he has bothered to acquaint himself with them since then. Either way, nobody was "lying" except those who could have understood the full dimension and willfully chose to hide or ignore the truth. It's not exactly like I am new to this subject as you seem to imply. I wrote a 700 page book about Obama administration duplicity in this same vein. An entire chapter is devoted to this very topic.

Warrantless wiretaps were undertaken after a legal ruling from OLC. And after Obama took office, warrantless wiretaps were continued. Obviously since they were based upon OLC rulings, since no prosecutions have ever been suggested and since they have continued uninterrupted after Obama took office, the Justice Department under both administrations agrees with me and disagrees with Greenwald. We arrive at this disagreement respectfully. Despite Obama's voluminous denunciations of the Bush anti-terror approach on the campaign trail, he resurrected nearly every plank of it once he took office.

But this is a subsidiary point to a far larger point that some observers on this discussion to their credit were able to understand. Despite all of these pointless considerations, the larger point of my original post was that Greenwald missed the "real" story here, which was that the collusion between NYT and CIA was not due to institutional considerations as Greenwald seems to allege, but due to purely partisan considerations. That, to me, is the story he missed.

I find that people who are losing debates try to shift the focus to subsidiary points hoping that, like a courtroom lawyer, if they can refute a small and inconsequential detail raised in testimony, they will undercut the larger truth offered by the witness. It won't work. Too much is on the record. And neither point, the ankle-biting non-issue about legality of warrantless wiretaps or the larger, salient point about the overt partisan political dimension of NYT's collusion with a political appointee at CIA who serves on the Obama reelection committee, has been refuted.

Joseph Toomey
Author, "Change You Can REALLY Believe In: The Obama Legacy of Broken Promises and Failed Policies"

JoshuaFlynn , 31 Aug 2012 20:15
Conspiracy theorists, have been, of course, telling you this for years (given media's motive is profit and not honesty). I suppose the exact same conspiracy theorists other guardian authors have been too eager to denounce previously?
MonaHol -> JET2023 , 31 Aug 2012 18:50

The NSA wiretap program revealed by Risen was not illegal as Greenwald wrongly asserts. As long as one end of the intercepted conservation originated on foreign soil as it did, it was perfectly legal and required no FISA court authorization.

Mr. Toomey, in 2006 Greenwald published a compendium of legal arguments defending the Bush Admin's warrantless wiretapping and the (sound) rebuttals of them. It is exhaustive, and covers your easily dispensed with argument. By way of introduction to his many links to his aggregated, rigorous analyses of the legal issues, he wrote this:

I didn't just wake up one day and leap to the conclusion that the Administration broke the law deliberately and that there are no reasonable arguments to defend that law-breaking (as many Bush followers leaped to the conclusion that he did nothing wrong and then began their hunt to find rationale or advocates to support this conclusion). I arrived at the conclusion that Bush clearly broke the law only by spending enormous amounts of time researching these issues and reading and responding to the defenses from the Administration's apologists.

He did spend enormous time dealing with people such as yourself, and all of his work remains available for you to educate yourself with, at the link provided above.

JET2023 -> Franklymydear0 , 31 Aug 2012 18:43
Maybe you'd like to explain that to Samuel Loring Morison who was convicted and spent years in the federal system for passing classified information to Janes Defence Weekly. I'm sure he'd be entertained. Larry Franklin would also like to hear it. He's in prison today for violating the Espionage Act.

Courts have recognized no press privilege exists when publishing classified data. In 1971, the Supreme Court vacated a prior restraint against NYT and The Washington Post allowing them to publish the Pentagon Papers. But the court also observed that prosecutions after-the-fact would be permissible and not involve an abridgement of the free speech clause. It was only the prior restraint that gave the justices heartburn. They had no issue with throwing them in the slammer after the deed was done.

Thomas Drake, a former NSA official, was indicted and convicted after revealing information to reporters in 2010. The statute covers mere possession which even NYT recognized could cover reporters as well. There have been numerous other instances of arrests, indictments and prosecutions for disclosure to reporters. It's only been due to political calculations and not constitutional limitations that have kept Risen and others out of prison.

utkarsh356 , 31 Aug 2012 12:39
Manufacturing Consent: The political economy of mass media by Noam Chomsky can perhaps explain most of the media behaviour.
HiggsBoson1984 , 31 Aug 2012 12:26
The NYT has been infiltrated for decades by CIA agents. Just notice their dogged reporting on the completely debunked "lone-gunman" JFK theory---they will always report that Oswald acted alone---this is the standard CIA story, pushed and maintained by the NYT despite overwhelming evidence that there was a conspiracy (likely involving the CIA).
Leviathan212 , 31 Aug 2012 10:54
What outrages me the most is the NYT's condescending attitude towards its readers when caught in this obvious breach of journalistic ethics.

Both Baquet and Abramson, rather than showing some humility or contrition, are acting as if nothing bad has happened, and that we are stupid to even talk about this.

Leviathan212 -> AnnaMc , 31 Aug 2012 10:28

This article misses the elephant in the room. Namely, that the NYT only plays footsies with Democrats in positions of power. With the 'Pubs, it's open season.

Not true. There are many examples of the NYT colluding with the Bush administration, some of which Glenn has mentioned in this article. Take, for example, the fact that the NYT concealed Bush's wire-tapping program for almost a year, at the request of the White House, and didn't release details until after Bush's re-election.

ranroddeb , 31 Aug 2012 10:10
" The optics aren't what they look like " This phrase brings to mind the old Dem catch phrase " Who you gonna believe me or your lying eyes? " .

[Dec 14, 2018] The dirty propaganda games NYT play

Highly recommended!
They are not only presstitutes, they are degenerative presstitutes...
Notable quotes:
"... I love how the NYT mentions how no public evidence has emerged, to skirt around the fact that if there were internal evidence (from some gov agency or private citizen) it would've leaked by now. There is no such thing as evidence which hasn't been leaked in an alleged scandal of this size. ..."
"... Further, the corporate news media gave Trump something like $2 billion dollars worth of advertising in free airtime. That's a much larger impact -- around 20 times Clinton's campaign costs IIRC -- than any alleged hacked e-mails (though the e-mails were leaked not hacked, and that played a role. As well as the FBI's investigation into Clinton's illegal email server which was public fact at the time) or social media interference. ..."
"... Banks, defense contractors and oil companies decide who the President is and what their Cabinet will look like (see Obama's leaked CitiBank memo "recommending" executives to his 2009 Cabinet). Russians and the American people do not. ..."
"... John Pilger's essay: Hold the Front Page, the Reporters are Missing appropriately describes this BigLie media item b dissected, while also observing, "Although journalism was always a loose extension of establishment power, something has changed in recent years," prior to providing Why this is so. ..."
"... but a journalism self-anointed with a false respectability: a liberal journalism that claims to challenge corrupt state power but, in reality, courts and protects it, and colludes with it. ..."
"... The amorality of the years of Tony Blair, whom the Guardian has failed to rehabilitate, is its echo. [My emphasis] ..."
"... on journalism and it being usurped by social media behemoths google, facebook, twitter and etc - i found this cbc radio) interview last night worth recommending.. ..."
"... That New York Times piece was amazing. Belief anything the US Gov't/anti-Russian lobby and other nut cases tell you, unquestioningly. Investigative journalism at its best! ..."
"... Accept the most stupid evidence with blinking an eye. Even if one believes the collusion argument, try to be a bit critical. And always believe that a GRU hacker will put Felix Dzerzinnsky's name in their program. For heaven's sake he was Cheka, the forerunner of the KGB, not the GRU which was military intelligence. ..."
Sep 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

daffyDuct , Sep 20, 2018 8:21:06 PM | link

Woodward, "Fear" pg 82-85

"After the security briefing and everyone cleared out, McCabe shut the door to Priebus's office. This is very weird, thought Priebus, who was standing by his desk.

"You know this story in The New York Times?" Priebus knew it all too well.

McCabe was referring to a recent Times story of February 14 that stated, "Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the elections, according to four current and former American officials."

The story was one of the first bombs to go off about alleged Trump-Russian connections after Flynn's resignation.

"It's total bullshit," McCabe said. "It's not true, and we want you to know that. It's grossly overstated."

Oh my God, thought Priebus. "Andrew," he said to the FBI deputy, "I'm getting killed." The story about Russia and election meddling seemed to be running 24/7 on cable news, driving Trump bananas and therefore driving Priebus bananas. "This is crazy," Trump had told Priebus. "We've got to stop it. We need to end the story." McCabe had just walked in with a big gift, a Valentine's Day present. I'm going to be the hero of this entire West Wing, Priebus thought.

"Can you help me?" Priebus asked. "Could this knockdown of the story be made public?"

"Call me in a couple of hours," McCabe said. "I will ask around and I'll let you know. I'll see what I can do."

Priebus practically ran to report to Trump the good news that the FBI would soon be shooting down the Times story

Two hours passed and no call from McCabe. Priebus called him."I'm sorry, I can't," McCabe said. "There's nothing I can do about it. I tried, but if we start issuing comments on individual stories, we'll be doing statements every three days." The FBI could not become a clearinghouse for the accuracy of news stories. If the FBI tried to debunk certain stories, a failure to comment could be seen as a confirmation.

"Andrew, you're the one that came to my office to tell me this is a BS story, and now you're telling me there's nothing you can do?" McCabe said that was his position.

"This is insanity," Priebus said. "What am I supposed to do? Just suffer, bleed out?" "Give me a couple more hours." Nothing happened. No call from the FBI. Priebus tried to explain to Trump, who was waiting for a recanting. It was another reason for Trump to distrust and hate the FBI, a pernicious tease that left them dangling.

About a week later on February 24 CNN reported an exclusive: "FBI Refused White House Request to Knock Down Recent Trump-Russia Story." Priebus was cast as trying to manipulate the FBI for political purposes.

The White House tried and failed to correct the story and show that McCabe had initiated the matter.

Four months later on June 8, Comey testified under oath publicly that the original New York Times story on the Trump campaign aides' contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials "in the main was not true."


BM , Sep 21, 2018 8:38:36 AM | link

The Mueller Hoax is unraveling.
Posted by: Sid2 | Sep 20, 2018 3:03:44 PM | 3

The Mueller Hoax is unraveling, and concommittently the NYT is digging in; ergo , the NYT is also unravelling! The NYT will permanently damage its reputation with its own readers.

David , Sep 20, 2018 4:37:34 PM | link
I love how the NYT mentions how no public evidence has emerged, to skirt around the fact that if there were internal evidence (from some gov agency or private citizen) it would've leaked by now. There is no such thing as evidence which hasn't been leaked in an alleged scandal of this size.

Further, the corporate news media gave Trump something like $2 billion dollars worth of advertising in free airtime. That's a much larger impact -- around 20 times Clinton's campaign costs IIRC -- than any alleged hacked e-mails (though the e-mails were leaked not hacked, and that played a role. As well as the FBI's investigation into Clinton's illegal email server which was public fact at the time) or social media interference.

Banks, defense contractors and oil companies decide who the President is and what their Cabinet will look like (see Obama's leaked CitiBank memo "recommending" executives to his 2009 Cabinet). Russians and the American people do not.

karlof1 , Sep 20, 2018 4:40:58 PM | link
John Pilger's essay: Hold the Front Page, the Reporters are Missing appropriately describes this BigLie media item b dissected, while also observing, "Although journalism was always a loose extension of establishment power, something has changed in recent years," prior to providing Why this is so.
karlof1 , Sep 20, 2018 4:59:56 PM | link
15 Cont'd:

Want to highlight this additional bit from Pilger:

"Journalism students should study this [New book from Media Lens Propaganda Blitz ] to understand that the source of "fake news" is not only trollism, or the likes of Fox news, or Donald Trump, but a journalism self-anointed with a false respectability: a liberal journalism that claims to challenge corrupt state power but, in reality, courts and protects it, and colludes with it.

The amorality of the years of Tony Blair, whom the Guardian has failed to rehabilitate, is its echo. [My emphasis]

IMO, the bolded text well describes BigLie Media. I wonder what George Seldes would say differently from Pilger if he were alive. Unfortunately, Pilger failed to include MoA as a source in his short list of sites having journalistic integrity.

karlof1 , Sep 20, 2018 4:59:56 PM | link james , Sep 20, 2018 5:04:45 PM | link
on journalism and it being usurped by social media behemoths google, facebook, twitter and etc - i found this cbc radio) interview last night worth recommending..
jrkrideau , Sep 20, 2018 5:46:02 PM | link
That New York Times piece was amazing. Belief anything the US Gov't/anti-Russian lobby and other nut cases tell you, unquestioningly. Investigative journalism at its best!

Accept the most stupid evidence with blinking an eye. Even if one believes the collusion argument, try to be a bit critical. And always believe that a GRU hacker will put Felix Dzerzinnsky's name in their program. For heaven's sake he was Cheka, the forerunner of the KGB, not the GRU which was military intelligence.

[Dec 14, 2018] Operation Mockingbird has never stopped

Notable quotes:
"... The Government leaks classified material at will for propaganda advantage, but hunts Assange and tortures Private Manning for the same. ..."
"... these emails reflect the standard full-scale cooperation – a virtual merger – between our the government and the establishment media outlets that claim to act as "watchdogs" over them. ..."
"... The issue under discussion here, however, is the extent to which the media is an eager partner in the message-sending, rather than an unwitiing tool. ..."
Aug 30, 2012 | www.theguardian.com
Chris Harlos , 29 Aug 2012 19:01
The New York Crimes. The seamless web of media, government, business: a totalitarian system. Darkly amusing, perhaps, unless one begins to tally the damage.

USA Inc. Viva Death,

Did you hear the one about the investment banker whose very expensive hooker bite off his crank?

rrheard , 29 Aug 2012 18:36
I'm not sure what's scarier--that the CIA is spending taxpayer dollars spending even a split second worrying about what a two bit hack like Maureen Dowd writes, or that the NY Times principals are so institutionally "captured" that they parrot "CIA speak".

Well what's actually scarier is that Operation Mockingbird has never stopped.

Or maybe that our purported public servants in the legislature are bipartisanly and openly attempting to repeal portions of the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 and Foreign Relations Authorization Act in 1987 banning domestic propaganda.

America is becoming a real sick joke. And the last to know will be about 65% of the populace I like to call Sheeple.

024601 -> SanFranDouglas , 29 Aug 2012 18:32
Very depressing. I thought we would get a smart bunch over here. The major trend I've noticed instead? Blind support for the empire and the apparatus that keeps it thriving. Unable to be good little authoritarians and cheer for the now collapsing British Empire, they have to cheer for it's natural predecessor, the American Empire. This includes attacking all those who might question the absolute infallible of The Empire. Folks like.. Glenn. It is fascinating to watch, if not disheartening.
SanFranDouglas -> smartypants54 , 29 Aug 2012 18:29

So all cozying up to spooks is not always a bad thing, huh?

Just my point.

I see. I thought your point was that there was some sort of equivalence between Hersh's development of sources to reveal truths that their agencies fervently wished to keep secret and Mazzetti's active assistance in protecting an agency's image from sullying by fellow journalists.

I guess I stand corrected. . .

shenebraskan -> Jpolicoff , 29 Aug 2012 18:12
And that ended his career in government service, as it should have...or not:

From Wikipedia: John O. Brennan is chief counterterrorism advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama; officially his title is Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and Assistant to the President.

Jpolicoff , 29 Aug 2012 18:01
Unfortunately this is nothing new for Mazetti or the New York Times, nor is it the first time Glenn Greenwald has called Mazetti out on his cozy relationship with the CIA:

The CIA and its reporter friends: Anatomy of a backlash
The coordinated, successful effort to implant false story lines about John Brennan illustrates the power the intelligence community wields over political debates.
Glenn Greenwald Dec. 08, 2008 |

...Just marvel at how coordinated (and patently inaccurate) their messaging is, and -- more significantly -- how easily they can implant their message into establishment media outlets far and wide, which uncritically publish what they're told from their cherished "intelligence sources" and without even the pretense of verifying whether any of it is true and/or hearing any divergent views:

Mark Mazzetti and Scott Shane, New York Times, 12/2/2008:

Last week, John O. Brennan, a C.I.A. veteran who was widely seen as Mr. Obama's likeliest choice to head the intelligence agency, withdrew his name from consideration after liberal critics attacked his alleged role in the agency's detention and interrogation program. Mr. Brennan protested that he had been a "strong opponent" within the agency of harsh interrogation tactics, yet Mr. Obama evidently decided that nominating Mr. Brennan was not worth a battle with some of his most ardent supporters on the left.

Mr. Obama's search for someone else and his future relationship with the agency are complicated by the tension between his apparent desire to make a clean break with Bush administration policies he has condemned and concern about alienating an agency with a central role in the campaign against Al Qaeda.

Mark M. Lowenthal, an intelligence veteran who left a senior post at the C.I.A. in 2005, said Mr. Obama's decision to exclude Mr. Brennan from contention for the top job had sent a message that "if you worked in the C.I.A. during the war on terror, you are now tainted," and had created anxiety in the ranks of the agency's clandestine service.

...The story, by Mark Mazzetti and Scott Shane, noted that John O. Brennan had withdrawn his name from consideration for CIA director after liberal critics attacked his role in the agency's interrogation program, even though Brennan characterized himself as a "strong opponent" within the agency of harsh interrogation techniques. Brennan's characterization was not disputed by anyone else in the story, even though most experts on this subject agree that Brennan acquiesced in everything that the CIA did in this area while he served there.

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/12/08/cia/print.html

CitizenTM , 29 Aug 2012 17:52
The Government leaks classified material at will for propaganda advantage, but hunts Assange and tortures Private Manning for the same.
tballou , 29 Aug 2012 17:51
"these emails reflect the standard full-scale cooperation – a virtual merger – between our the government and the establishment media outlets that claim to act as "watchdogs" over them."

Glenn - the only objection I have to your column and all your previous columns on this matter is that I am not sure the establishment media actually claim to be watchdogs, at least not any more, and certainly not since Sept 11. They really are more like PR reps.

SanFranDouglas -> OneWorldGovernment , 29 Aug 2012 17:51

The media is another tool in the [government, in this case] arsenal to help send a message, as are speeches before think tanks and etc.

Yes. The issue under discussion here, however, is the extent to which the media is an eager partner in the message-sending, rather than an unwitiing tool.

OneWorldGovernment , 29 Aug 2012 17:44
Did everyone forget the Judith Miller article? The usage of Twitter and other social media during the Iranian election of 2009? The leaks about the Iranian nuclear program in the Telegraph? ARDA?

The U.S. government, along with every other government in the world, uses the media to influence public opinion and send geopolitical messages to others that understand the message (normally not the masses). The media is another tool in the arsenal to help send a message, as are speeches before think tanks and etc.

We use social media to create social unrest if it aligns with our interests. We use the media to send political messages and influence public opinion. The vast majority of reporting in the N.Y. Times, WSJ, Guardian, Telegraph, and etc. do not reflect this, but every now and then "unnamed sources" help further a geopolitical message.

In this country, it has been that way since before the founding fathers and the Republic. Remember the Federalist, Anti-Federalist, Sam Adams as Vtndex, and etc.? Newspapers used for "propaganda" purposes.

SanFranDouglas -> smartypants54 , 29 Aug 2012 17:42

Upthread I asked him for his comments on the reporting of Seymour Hirsh. He is someone who cozied up to all kinds of people - and wound up busting some extremely important stories in the process.

I think a modest amount of review of Sy Hersh's work will demonstrate that his "cozying up" hasn't included running interference for the spooks' official PR flacks.

DuErJournalist , 29 Aug 2012 17:42
The New York Times: Burn after reading!

[Dec 14, 2018] The American Mega-Media has long been in the bag of Corporatism. Long gone are the days of reporters challenging the Military. During the Vietnam War the Military Briefings were Derisively called the Five O Clock Follies.

Notable quotes:
"... For one thing, Marzetti apparently passed a draft of a Maureen Dowd column for vetting by the CIA . Her importance, or not, as a columnist or pundit aside, why would a NYT employee slip material to a gov't agency? That's the skillset of an informant, not a journalist. ..."
"... Today, the Wall Street-Security-Military Industrial Complex is unchallenged. Exaggerated respect is shown to the Military. Many of the Reporters who called in question the Political-Military establishment during Vietnam were muted during the second invasion of Iraq. None of lessons that Vietnam should have taught them about the lengths the Government would go to such as out right lies, and covert deceit were learned. Perhaps they were cowed into cooperation. ..."
"... Unprincipled and disingenuous - both the Obama Administration and the New York Times. Doesn't come as a surprise though ... ..."
"... I'd be worried about anyone going to the CIA for their fact-checking too... ..."
Aug 30, 2012 | www.theguardian.com
Pindi -> LakerFan , 30 Aug 2012 00:46

In a moral world, the NYT is as guilty of genocide as Bush and Blair.

As indeed are most UK newspapers, including the Graun.

Another great article Glen, please keep them coming.

Tujays , 30 Aug 2012 00:40
"The moviemakers are getting top-level access to the most classified mission in history from an administration that has tried to throw more people in jail for leaking classified information than the Bush administration."

-- Maureen Dowd
Downgrade Blues, Aug. 6, 2011, NYT

smartypants54 -> MonaHol , 29 Aug 2012 23:31
I would have answered just as OnYourMarx has done. Most every story Hersh broke was from a series of well-developed relationships within CIA and/or MIC.

In terms of its relevance, it seems to me that any real journalist worth their salt does this. And so rather than deride those who have relationships with government sources, we need to dig a bit deeper and ask ourselves what distinguishes the kind Hersh developed from those that are problematic.

smartypants54 -> TallyHoGazehound , 29 Aug 2012 23:24
Excuse me for thinking that perhaps in the context of a discussion about the relationship between the media and government, it might be helpful to talk about how journalists can actually use their relationships with people in the government to break important stories. So I noted my thoughts about Hersh and asked for his.

Contrary to "gotcha," I thought it might be an opportunity to take the conversation a bit deeper. As with what I said about humor, its no skin off my nose if no one takes me up on it. The only reason I brought it up later is because someone suggested perhaps I should attempt to engage on a more substantive level...which I had done.

I've been completely upfront about the fact that I disagree with Glenn on most things (although I'll just point out that I did comment about how much I agreed with his article on authoritarianism). So please also excuse me while I try to learn all the rules about what is ok and not ok to talk about and how I'm supposed to do that properly in order to satisfy someone like you.

But thanks for ultimately getting back to the point in talking about the difference being what emerges from the "cozy relationship." I actually disagree with that though. I think it depends on the journalist's ability to do critical thinking and questioning. If they're merely stenographers or are simply set on finding something negative - either way they corrupt what the real story might be.

coramnobis -> smartypants54 , 29 Aug 2012 23:19

Let's clear up one thing...Maureen Down is not a journalist OR a reporter. She is opinion columnist.

You can suggest that there's a qualitative difference between journalists and reporters, but Dowd is neither one. So to me, the distinction when it comes to her is meaningless.

If that is so, then why would the CIA be so interested in what she wrote? And why would a NYT employee pass an unpublished draft to them without, presumably, checking with an editor? "See, nothing to worry about," indeed.

coramnobis -> BlackHawke , 29 Aug 2012 23:15

Frankly, I don't even understand what your hang up is. Was Marzetti supposed to violate this woman's trust? Is he not supposed to talk to government officials in order to report the news, which is the whole raison d'etre of his career.

For one thing, Marzetti apparently passed a draft of a Maureen Dowd column for vetting by the CIA . Her importance, or not, as a columnist or pundit aside, why would a NYT employee slip material to a gov't agency? That's the skillset of an informant, not a journalist.

I didn't think Ms. Dowd was that important to our nation's security, but that aside, why pass company material to outsiders?

"This song was known to everybody. A book was afterward printed, with a regular license He happened to select and print in his journal this song ... He was seised in his bed that night and has been never since heard of. Our excellent journal de Paris then is suppressed and this bold traitor has been in jail now three weeks Thus you see, madam, the value of energy in government; our feeble republic would in such a case have probably been wrapt in the flames of war and desolation for want of a power lodged in a single hand to punish summarily those who write songs."
-- Thomas Jefferson, in Paris, to Abigail Adams, June 21, 1785

MonaHol -> OnYourMarx , 29 Aug 2012 23:13
Right, and I knew some of that. However I was after the other commenter's notions of what he meant by saying Hersh "cozyd up" to CIA and MIC ppl, with an eye to figuring out why s/he thinks Hersh and his sources have relevance to the article being discussed.
TallyHoGazehound -> smartypants54 , 29 Aug 2012 22:58

I've often wondered what you think of the journalism of someone like Seymour Hirsch. He broke some very important stories by cozying up to moles in the MIC.

And I assumed Glenn supported Hirsh's work.

It's been kind of a long day. And, it's possible that I either need another drink, or to simply hit the sack. So, apologies if this comes off sounding less than supportive. While you're busy wondering and assuming , you might better advance your case if you also did a little Googling . And, pro tip, it wouldn't hurt to spell Hersh's name correctly. Lends credibility, methinks.

http://www.salon.com/2011/02/28/seymour_hersh_whowhatwhy/
http://www.salon.com/2012/04/06/report_us_trained_terror_group/
http://www.salon.com/2011/06/02/hersh_8/

I'd suggest that you were ignored because of the gotcha flavor to the way you tried to engage. I would also suggest that if Glenn thought you were asking your question with some sincere intent, he might answer that it depends on how that coziness is conducted, and what emerges from that "cozy relationship." Dan Gillmor's piece - to which Glenn links - on this subject may add some additional insight.

In other words, if you're gonna do gotcha it helps not to show your hand too soon, or be quite so transparent. One could do a little research first and bring their best game.

OnYourMarx , 29 Aug 2012 22:50
@MonaHot: Hersh's New Yorker piece about Bush regime ramping up against Iran in 2008. Robert Baer of the CIA was at least one of his sources for that piece. In fact the film Syriana based Clooney's character on Baer.

Richard Armitage is the other MIC dude that comes to mind when thinking back on Hersh's stories. There must be countless of them, though, including Saudis and Israelis who work to provide info to the MIC.

MonaHol -> smartypants54 , 29 Aug 2012 22:25

And I assumed Glenn supported Hirsh's work. That's why I brought him up. He cozys up to MIC folks as well. So its important to make a distinction between cozying up to break important stories and cozying up to get access to power...a distinction that Glenn didn't make.

What do you mean by claiming Hersh "cozys up" to MIC ppl? And what would be a specific example of a story he broke after doing that?

MonotonousLanguor , 29 Aug 2012 22:21
The American Mega-Media has long been in the bag of Corporatism. Long gone are the days of reporters challenging the Military. During the Vietnam War the Military Briefings were Derisively called the Five O' Clock Follies.

Today, the Wall Street-Security-Military Industrial Complex is unchallenged. Exaggerated respect is shown to the Military. Many of the Reporters who called in question the Political-Military establishment during Vietnam were muted during the second invasion of Iraq. None of lessons that Vietnam should have taught them about the lengths the Government would go to such as out right lies, and covert deceit were learned. Perhaps they were cowed into cooperation.

Julian Assange who should be seen as a hero to the free press was vilified by our corporate press. Assange did the work a free press and a real reporter should perform.

RobspierreRules , 29 Aug 2012 22:17
Pravda e Izvestia
smartypants54 -> walkin , 29 Aug 2012 22:10
Let's clear up one thing...Maureen Down is not a journalist OR a reporter. She is opinion columnist.

You can suggest that there's a qualitative difference between journalists and reporters, but Dowd is neither one. So to me, the distinction when it comes to her is meaningless.

And I assumed Glenn supported Hirsh's work. That's why I brought him up. He cozys up to MIC folks as well. So its important to make a distinction between cozying up to break important stories and cozying up to get access to power...a distinction that Glenn didn't make.

Finally, I have no need whatsoever for anyone to laugh with me. I just found the juxtaposition of Dowd and reporting to be funny. Someone said something similar and I added my agreement. If its not funny to you - ignore it. Not sure why you'd think I'd expect anything else.

BlackHawke , 29 Aug 2012 22:07
Mr. Grenwald, let's not make more of this than it's worth. I see nothing wrong with newspapers working with government agencies in order to report their news to their readership. Frankly, I don't even understand what your hang up is. Was Marzetti supposed to violate this woman's trust? Is he not supposed to talk to government officials in order to report the news, which is the whole raison d'etre of his career.
walkin -> Andrew Wood , 29 Aug 2012 22:05
You wrote:

Mr Greenwald, please don't pretend that journalism has only just 'degraded'

If the sub-header had read "Mark Mazzetti's emails with the CIA expose the degradation of journalism that has only just lost the imperative to be a check to power" then you would have a case.

It doesn't, and you don't.

Next time read past the sub-header. You might get more out of it.

shenebraskan -> AhBrightWings , 29 Aug 2012 21:59

About those fabled "handouts" ...where are they?

Exactly. Not coming from the so-called socialistic/communistic Democrat party either. In fact, the only reference I have seen to poverty since John Edwards in 2008 (he who shall not be named!) is on the front page of HuffPo, where there are Shadow Conventions, one of which concerns Poverty in America. There was a book in 1962, The Other America by Michael Harrington. We are well on our way to having that be The Only America , at least for the vast majority of us.

walkin -> smartypants54 , 29 Aug 2012 21:58

I'd agree that the comment Glenn responded to was pretty superficial. I was just laughing with another commenter at the idea of Dowd doing any actual reporting.

What's interesting to me is that's the one Glenn responded to. And yet when I asked what I believe was a pretty substantive question about where the reporting of someone like Seymour Hirsh [sic] fits into his critique of journalism, he ignores it.

Superficial? He responded because, intentionally or not, you misrepresented what he said. While you may not have appreciated the difference, "reporting" and "journalism" are qualitatively (there's that word you don't like) different things.

It takes very little in the way of courage, skill or talent to work as a "reporter" for a major mainstream newspaper like the New York Times. For most pieces that the government has an interest in spinning (like the one under discussion), this is how it works: 1. Type up the words of anonymous officials, 2. Submit your article to those same officials for "fact-checking," censorship and approval, 3. Retire for the day.

Greenwald, a constitutional lawyer, and not a trained journalist, on the other hand, is doing real journalism, and putting most reporters to shame in the process. I can count on a single hand the number of reporters in the U.S. who deserve, like Greenwald, to have the term of art "journalism" applied to their work. Hersh is one of them, and in this context, there isn't any more to say with regards to a "critique."

As far as Glenn's own position goes, you can read any number of articles where he has praised Hersh's work. Just Google it.

That said, by joining the Guardian, Greenwald has graduated to a milieu where he rightly expects higher standards, in both professional practice and in the quality of his readership. That doesn't mean you leave levity at the door, but it does mean that you leave your whiny, self-entitled attitude ("But why won't he answer the question I really want him to answer?").

There are serious issues at stake here. I have a genuine question for you: if you disagree with Greenwald so much, why would you expect him (or most of his readers) to laugh along with what you find funny?

Think about that, and get back to me if you come up with something plausible.

Andrew Wood -> GlennGreenwald , 29 Aug 2012 21:50
Mr Greenwald

Look at the top of the webpage, just underneath the headline.

It says:

Mark Mazzetti's emails with the CIA expose the degradation of journalism that has lost the imperative to be a check to power

Andrew Wood , 29 Aug 2012 21:39
Is it worse for a journalist to help the security forces of his or her own country, or to be an "agent of influence" for your country's enemies?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Gott

basicmeans , 29 Aug 2012 21:23
The USA has become so engrossed in itself that it doesn't even pretend to be a judicial state. Here we have a man called Osama Bin Laden who is innocent of any crime yet the President of the United States of America brags about having him murdered.

This means that a precedent has been set that the President can order the murder of anyone even you.

smartypants54 -> TallyHoGazehound , 29 Aug 2012 21:20
Thanks for the pointers.

The reason I said that perhaps I'd need to leave off the levity is that it was my superficial comment finding some humor in all this that Glenn responded to and suggested that I was a complainer lacking in quality. It wasn't meant as anything but a half-baked half-assed jab at the lightweight known as Maureen Dowd.

But as I said above, when I attempted to engage with some substance, I got ignored. I have no doubt that Glenn has a sense of humor. But I'm afraid I'm not a good enough humorist to combine a laugh with in-depth engagement.

I'm counting on you being right on the idea that Glenn thrives on well reasoned dissent. That's why I'm here.

ElLissitzsky , 29 Aug 2012 21:14
Unprincipled and disingenuous - both the Obama Administration and the New York Times. Doesn't come as a surprise though ...
AhBrightWings -> shenebraskan , 29 Aug 2012 20:37
Indeed. Horse-hooey is a pleasant alternative to this steaming load of self-congratulatory manure.

About those fabled "handouts" ...where are they? Not in evidence when I see the local homeless vets in their wheelchairs...Nowhere to be found when I see children shivering at bus stops without proper coats...can't quite see it in my overcrowded library...one of the hottest tickets in town because it's literally a warm place to go. I'm sure parents who've lost homes because they were craven enough to have a sick child and went bankrupt caring for them would love to find this fabled place where those generous hands, stuffed full of money and goodies, are vying with each other to make things right.

If only we could find it.

-------------

"As of March 2012, 46.4 million Americans were receiving on average $133.14 per month in food stamps. "

According to the Government Accountability Office, at a 2009 count, there was a payment error rate of 4.36% of food stamps benefits down from 9.86% in 1999. A 2003 analysis found that two-thirds of all improper payments were the fault of the caseworker, not the participant. ("Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Payment Errors and Trafficking Have Declined, but Challenges Remain GAO report number GAO-10-956T, " July 28, 2010)

Wow, let's go wild on $33.25 a week! And then be accused of being "lazy," "pigs," "welfare queens," "parasites," "scum," etc.

[Pay no attention to the fat man behind the curtain busy purchasing his third home, or paying his lawyer to find another tax loophole in the Virgin Islands; that pure industrious Republican bloke is too busy to stick his neck out and see the world as he's helped make it for others.]

coramnobis , 29 Aug 2012 20:34
I found this linked off Mazzetti's blog . Seems that USAF drones have been tracking private vehicles on New Mexico highways. Targeting practice. Maybe not news story but an interesting little sidelight.

As if the National Transportation Safety Board didn't have enough to worry about.

Oh, and Glenn, here's a Salon story from 2010 titled The NYT spills key military secrets on its front page . Your lede: "In The New York Times today, Mark Mazzetti and Dexter Filkins expose very sensitive classified government secrets -- and not just routine secrets, but high-level, imminent planning for American covert military action in a foreign country ..."

This didn't come from me, and please delete after you read. See, nothing to worry about. -- Guardian story

RobGehrke -> avelna2001 , 29 Aug 2012 20:00

Was she aware that he was using the CIA to do his fact-checking?

I'd be worried about anyone going to the CIA for their fact-checking too...

[Dec 09, 2018] NYT and CIA have had relationship with, and was caught having planted CIA workers as NYT writers

Notable quotes:
"... Non-elite members of the Party -- functionaries -- mistake their "secret" knowledge as professional courtesy rather than as perquisite and status marker. (I don't suppose it's a secret to anyone that the US CIA regularly plants stories in the NYTimes and elsewhere... unless you weren't paying attention in the strident disinfo campaign prior to the Iraq invasion.) ..."
Aug 30, 2012 | www.theguardian.com
sanda1scuptorNYC , 30 Aug 2012 07:36
Howard Zinn said, in a speech given shortly after the 2008 Presidential election, "If you don't know history, it's like you were born yesterday. The government can tell you anything." (Speech was played on DemocracyNow www.democracynow.org about Jan. 4, 2009 and is archived, free on the website.)

Being older (18 on my last Leap Year birthday - 72), I recall the NYTimes and CIA have had relationship with, and was caught having "planted CIA workers" as NYTimes writers. Within my adult lifetime, in fact.

sigil , 30 Aug 2012 05:49

This is what the CIA reflexively does: insists that [...] it is an "intelligence matter".

In a sense the CIA is always going to be right on this one - "Central Intelligence Agency" - but only as a matter of nomenclature, rather than of any other dictionary definition of the word "intelligence".

Brusselsexpats , 30 Aug 2012 05:49
Actually the collusion between the CIA and big business is far more damaging. The first US company I worked for in Brussels (it was my first job) was constantly being targeted by the US media for having connections to corrupt South American and Third World regimes. On what seemed like an almost monthly basis our personnel department would send round memos saying that we were strictly forbidden to talk to journalists about the latest exposι.

It was great fun - even the telex operators knew who the spies were.

kcameron , 30 Aug 2012 05:26
The line "'The optics aren't what they look like,' is truly an instant classic. It reminds me of one of my favorite Yogi Berra quotes (which, unlike many attributed to him, is real, I think). Yogi once said about a restaurant in New York "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded." Perhaps Yogi should become an editor for the Times.
AmityAmity , 30 Aug 2012 04:55
British readers will no doubt be shocked -- shocked! -- to learn of cozy relations between a major news organization and a national intelligence agency.

... ... ...

MiltonWiltmellow , 30 Aug 2012 02:40

"'I know the circumstances, and if you knew everything that's going on, you'd know it's much ado about nothing,' Baquet said. 'I can't go into in detail. But I'm confident after talking to Mark that it's much ado about nothing.'

"'The optics aren't what they look like,' he went on. 'I've talked to Mark, I know the circumstance, and given what I know, it's much ado about nothing.'"

How can you have a Party if you don't have Party elites?

And how can a self-respecting member of the Party claim their individual status within the Party without secret knowledge designed to identify one another as members of the Party elite?

[Proles are] natural inferiors who must be kept in subjection, like animals ... Life, if you looked about you, bore no resemblance not only to the lies that streamed out of the telescreens, but even to the ideals the Party was trying to achieve. ... The ideal set up by the Party was something huge, terrible, and glittering -- a world of of steel and concrete, of monstrous machines and terrifying weapons -- a nation of warriors and fanatics, marching forward in perfect unity, all thinking the same thoughts and shouting the same slogans, perpetually working, fighting, triumphing, persecuting -- 300 million people all with the same face. The reality was decaying, dingy cities, where underfed people shuffled to and fro in leaky shoes... [ 1984 ,pp 73-74]

It makes no difference if an imagined socialist England, a collapsing Roman city-state empire, an actual Soviet Union, or a modern American oligarchy.

Party members thrive while those wretched proles flail in confused and hungry desperation for something authentic (like a George Bush) or even simply reassuring (like a Barack Obama.)

Non-elite members of the Party -- functionaries -- mistake their "secret" knowledge as professional courtesy rather than as perquisite and status marker. (I don't suppose it's a secret to anyone that the US CIA regularly plants stories in the NYTimes and elsewhere... unless you weren't paying attention in the strident disinfo campaign prior to the Iraq invasion.)

Manzetti has "no bad intent" because he is loyal to the Party.

Like all loyal (and very well compensated) Party members, he would never do anything as subversive as reveal Party secrets.

People can be detained for almost any reason these days!

After all, what's the future of a Party that lacks effective enforcement?

[Dec 02, 2018] Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski Wins 2018 Sam Adams Award by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... As for the self-licking ice cream cone that "mainstream media" have become, and how they overlook little peccadilloes like feeding at the government PR trough and helping Cheney and Bush attack Iraq, well – now, now – let's not be nasty. Here's how Jill Abramson, The New York Times Washington Bureau Chief from 2000 to 2003, while the Times acted as drum major for the war, lets Bob Woodward off the hook for his own abysmal investigative performance. ..."
"... Are we to believe that the Abramsons, Woodwards, et al. of the media elite simply missed the WMD deception? ..."
Nov 29, 2018 | www.antiwar.com
Dishonest (not "mistaken") intelligence greased the skids for the widespread killing and maiming in the Middle East that began with the Cheney/Bush "Shock and Awe" attack on Iraq. The media reveled in the unconscionable (but lucrative) buzzword "shock-and-awe" for the initial attack. In retrospect, the real shock lies in the awesome complicity of virtually all "mainstream media" in the leading false predicate for this war of aggression – weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

Only one major media group, Knight Ridder, avoided the presstitution, so to speak. It faced into the headwinds blowing from the "acceptable" narrative, did the investigative spadework, and found patriotic insiders who told them the truth. Karen Kwiatkowski, who had a front-row seat at the Pentagon, was one key source for the intrepid Knight Ridder journalists. Karen tells us that her actual role is accurately portrayed by the professional actress in the Rob Reiner's film Shock and Awe .

Other members of the Sam Adams Associates were involved as well, but we will leave it to them to share on Saturday evening how they helped Knight Ridder accurately depict the prewar administration/intelligence/media fraud.

Intelligence Fraud

More recently, former National Intelligence Director James Clapper added a coda to pre-Iraq-War intelligence performance. Clapper was put in charge of imagery analysis before the Iraq war and was able to conceal the fact that there were were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. In his memoir, Clapper writes that Vice President Cheney "was pushing" for imagery analysis "to find (emphasis in original) the WMD sites."

For the record, none were found because there were none, although Clapper &#150; "eager to help" – gave it the old college try. Clapper proceeds, in a matter-of-fact way, to blame not only pressure from the Cheney/Bush administration, but also "the intelligence officers, including me, who were so eager to help that we found what wasn't really there."

Regarding those Clapper-produced "artist renderings" of "mobile production facilities for biological agents"? Those trucks "were in fact used to pasteurize and transport milk," Clapper admits nonchalantly. When challenged on all this while promoting his memoir at the Carnegie Endowment in Washington, Clapper gave not the slightest hint that it occurred to him his performance was somewhat lacking.

Media: Consequential Malfeasance

As for the self-licking ice cream cone that "mainstream media" have become, and how they overlook little peccadilloes like feeding at the government PR trough and helping Cheney and Bush attack Iraq, well – now, now – let's not be nasty. Here's how Jill Abramson, The New York Times Washington Bureau Chief from 2000 to 2003, while the Times acted as drum major for the war, lets Bob Woodward off the hook for his own abysmal investigative performance.

Reviewing Woodward's recent book on the Trump White House, Abramson praises his "dogged investigative reporting," noting that he has won two Pulitzer Prizes, and adds: "His work has been factually unassailable." Then she (or perhaps an editor) adds in parenthesis: "(His judgment is certainly not perfect, and he has been self-critical about his belief, based on reporting before the Iraq War, that there were weapons of mass destruction.)"

Are we to believe that the Abramsons, Woodwards, et al. of the media elite simply missed the WMD deception? (Hundreds of insiders knew of it, and some were willing to share the truth with Knight Ridder and some other reporters.) Or did the media moguls simply hunker down and let themselves be co-opted into helping Cheney/Bush start a major war? The latter seems much more likely: and transparent attempts to cover up for one another, still, is particularly sad – and consequential. Having suffered no consequences (for example, in 2003 Abramson was promoted to Managing Editor of the NYT ), the "mainstream media" appear just as likely to do a redux on Iran.

This is why there will be a premium on honest insider patriots, like Karen Kwiatkowski, to rise to the occasion and try to prevent the next war. Bring along your insider friends on Saturday; they need to know about Karen and about Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence.

Please do come and join us in congratulating Karen Kwiatkowski and the other SAAII members who also helped Knight Ridder get the story right. (Those others shall remain unnamed until Saturday.) And let insiders know this: they are not likely to hear about all this otherwise.

Date : Saturday, December 8, 2018

Time : 6:30 PM Showing of film, "Shock and Awe" – 8:00 PM Presentation 17th annual Sam Adams Award – Ceremony will include remarks by Larry Wilkerson, 7th SAAII awardee (in 2009)

Place : The Festival Center, 1640 Columbia Road, NW, Washington, DC 20009

FREE : But RSVP, if you can, to give us an idea of how many to expect; email: raylmcgovern@gmail.com

ALL WELCOME : Lots of space in main conference room

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. His 27-year career as a CIA analyst includes serving as Chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and preparer/briefer of the President's Daily Brief. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). William Binney worked for NSA for 36 years, retiring in 2001 as the technical director of world military and geopolitical analysis and reporting; he created many of the collection systems still used by NSA. Reprinted with permission from Consortium News .

[Dec 01, 2018] Assange Never Met Manafort by Craig Murray

Notable quotes:
"... I can also assure you that Luke Harding, the Guardian, Washington Post and New York Times have been publishing a stream of deliberate lies, in collusion with the security services. ..."
Nov 27, 2018 | www.unz.com

Luke Harding and the Guardian Publish Still More Blatant MI6 Lies

The right wing Ecuadorean government of President Moreno continues to churn out its production line of fake documents regarding Julian Assange, and channel them straight to MI6 mouthpiece Luke Harding of the Guardian.

Amazingly, more Ecuadorean Government documents have just been discovered for the Guardian, this time spy agency reports detailing visits of Paul Manafort and unspecified "Russians" to the Embassy. By a wonderful coincidence of timing, this is the day after Mueller announced that Manafort's plea deal was over.

The problem with this latest fabrication is that Moreno had already released the visitor logs to the Mueller inquiry. Neither Manafort nor these "Russians" are in the visitor logs.

This is impossible. The visitor logs were not kept by Wikileaks, but by the very strict Ecuadorean security. Nobody was ever admitted without being entered in the logs. The procedure was very thorough. To go in, you had to submit your passport (no other type of document was accepted). A copy of your passport was taken and the passport details entered into the log. Your passport, along with your mobile phone and any other electronic equipment, was retained until you left, along with your bag and coat. I feature in the logs every time I visited.

There were no exceptions. For an exception to be made for Manafort and the "Russians" would have had to be a decision of the Government of Ecuador, not of Wikileaks, and that would be so exceptional the reason for it would surely have been noted in the now leaked supposed Ecuadorean "intelligence report" of the visits. What possible motive would the Ecuadorean government have for facilitating secret unrecorded visits by Paul Manafort? Furthermore it is impossible that the intelligence agency – who were in charge of the security – would not know the identity of these alleged "Russians".

Previously Harding and the Guardian have published documents faked by the Moreno government regarding a diplomatic appointment to Russia for Assange of which he had no knowledge. Now they follow this up with more documents aimed to provide fictitious evidence to bolster Mueller's pathetically failed attempt to substantiate the story that Russia deprived Hillary of the Presidency.

My friend William Binney, probably the world's greatest expert on electronic surveillance, former Technical Director of the NSA, has stated that it is impossible the DNC servers were hacked, the technical evidence shows it was a download to a directly connected memory stick. I knew the US security services were conducting a fake investigation the moment it became clear that the FBI did not even themselves look at the DNC servers, instead accepting a report from the Clinton linked DNC "security consultants" Crowdstrike.

I would love to believe that the fact Julian has never met Manafort is bound to be established. But I fear that state control of propaganda may be such that this massive "Big Lie" will come to enter public consciousness in the same way as the non-existent Russian hack of the DNC servers.

Assange never met Manafort. The DNC emails were downloaded by an insider. Assange never even considered fleeing to Russia. Those are the facts, and I am in a position to give you a personal assurance of them.

I can also assure you that Luke Harding, the Guardian, Washington Post and New York Times have been publishing a stream of deliberate lies, in collusion with the security services.

I am not a fan of Donald Trump. But to see the partisans of the defeated candidate (and a particularly obnoxious defeated candidate) manipulate the security services and the media to create an entirely false public perception, in order to attempt to overturn the result of the US Presidential election, is the most astonishing thing I have witnessed in my lifetime.

Plainly the government of Ecuador is releasing lies about Assange to curry favour with the security establishment of the USA and UK, and to damage Assange's support prior to expelling him from the Embassy. He will then be extradited from London to the USA on charges of espionage.

Assange is not a whistleblower or a spy – he is the greatest publisher of his age, and has done more to bring the crimes of governments to light than the mainstream media will ever be motivated to achieve. That supposedly great newspaper titles like the Guardian, New York Times and Washington Post are involved in the spreading of lies to damage Assange, and are seeking his imprisonment for publishing state secrets, is clear evidence that the idea of the "liberal media" no longer exists in the new plutocratic age. The press are not on the side of the people, they are an instrument of elite control.

Assange Never Met Manafort

SporadicMyrmidon , says: December 1, 2018 at 7:47 am GMT

My opinions are conflicted, but I'd rather give Assange a Nobel Peace Prize than a criminal conviction. He definitely deserves a Nobel Prize more than Obama. I was in an eatery in Cambridge, MA, when I heard Obama's prize announced, and even there people where aghast and astounded.
jilles dykstra , says: December 1, 2018 at 10:25 am GMT
The Guardian was bought by Soros, a few years ago.
Washpost, NYT and CNN, Deep State mouthpieces.
That the USA, as long as Deep State has not been eradicated completely from USA society, will continue to try to get Assange, and of course also Snowdon, in it claws, is more than obvious.
So what are we talking about ?
Assange just uses the freedom of information act, or how the the USA euphemism for telling them nothing, is called.
How Assange survives, mentally and bodily, being locked up in a small room without a bathroom, for several years now, is beyond my comprehension.
But of course, for 'traitors' like him human rights do not exist.
Bill Jones , says: December 1, 2018 at 10:33 am GMT
I tried this in the Grauniad search box

Term: "Far Right" result: "About 1,400,000 results (0.23 seconds)"

Term : "Far Left" result: "About 7,310 results (0.22 seconds) "

Only Pol Pot is to the Left of that bird-cage liner.

anon [271] Disclaimer , says: December 1, 2018 at 10:38 am GMT
"I can also assure you that Luke Harding, the Guardian, Washington Post and New York Times have been publishing a stream of deliberate lies, in collusion with the security services."

These outfits are largely state-run at this point. The Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, a man with deep ties to the CIA through his Amazon company (which depends upon federal subsidies and has received security agency "support") and the Guardian is clandestinely funded through UK government purchases, among other things. MI6 has also effectively compromised the former integrity and objectivity of that outlet by threatening them with prosecutions for revealing MI6 spy practices. And the NYT has always been state-run. See their coverage of the Iraq War. The Israelis have bragged about having an asset at the Times. The American government has several.

Altai , says: December 1, 2018 at 11:38 am GMT
It's amazing to see the obvious progression of the lies as they take hold in an anti-Trump elite who seem completely impervious to understanding his victory over Clinton. All these people who claim to be so cosmopolitan and educated seem to think Assange or Manafort would have any interest in meeting each other. (Let alone in the company of unspecified 'Russians'.)

At first it was that Assange was wrong to publish the DNC leaks because it hurt Clinton and thus helped Trump.

Then it was that Assange was actively trying to help Trump.

Now it's that Assange is in collusion with Trump and the 'Russians'.

The same thing happened with the Trump-Russian nonsense which goes ever more absurd as time goes on. Slowly boiling the frog in the public's mind. The allegations are so nonsensical, yet there are plenty of educated, supposedly cosmopolitan people who don't understand the backgrounds or motives of their 'liberal' heroes in the NYT or Guardian who believe this on faith.

None of these people will ever question how if any of this is true how the security services of the West didn't know it and if they supposedly know it, how come they aren't acting like it's true. They are acting like they're attempting to smear politicians they don't like, however.

Che Guava , says: December 1, 2018 at 11:51 am GMT
Luke Harding is particularly despicable. He made his name as a journalist off privileged access to Wilkileaks docs, and has been persistently attacking Assange ever since the Swedish fan-girl farce.

Assange did make a mistake (of which I am sure he is all too aware now) in the choice to, rather than leave the info. open on-line, collaborate with the filthy Guardian, the sleazy NYT, and I forget dirty name of the third publication.

Big tactictal error.

Che Guava , says: December 1, 2018 at 12:05 pm GMT
@anon Since you are posting as Anon coward, I am not expecting a reply, but would be interested in (and would not doubt) state funding of the 'Guardian'?

As for the NYT, they are plainly in some sense state-funded, but the state in question is neither New York nor the U.S.A., but the state of Israel.

mike k , says: December 1, 2018 at 12:33 pm GMT
Only the thoroughly brainwashed can doubt the truths in this article. Unfortunately that includes a huge number of Americans.
Bill Jones , says: December 1, 2018 at 1:05 pm GMT
@Altai The one lesson that the left has learned is to double downin perpetuity.

Their invincible arragance is matched only by their stupidity.

Simon Tugmutton , says: December 1, 2018 at 1:23 pm GMT
@Che Guava Perhaps he is referring to the sheer volume of ads the British government places for public sector appointments. As for the paper edition, most of it seems to be bought by the BBC!

[Dec 01, 2018] A typical normal person reaction on reading a fresh issue of NYT or Guardian is screaming "ALL LIES, ALL LIES, ALL LIES"

Slightly edited for clarity ;-)
Notable quotes:
"... The Western MSM is a lying scamming neoliberal propaganda machine. ..."
Dec 01, 2018 | www.unz.com

Rational , says: November 29, 2018 at 7:51 pm GMT

"ALL LIES, ALL LIES, ALL LIES"

So he screamed in the cafeteria and spilled his morning coffee. We all wondered what happened to him and so we looked at his friend, and he told us that he must have read the NYT, as that was his common reaction, a cry of pain and anguish and screams of "all lies, all lies, all lies" whenever he reads the newspaper or watches the TV, esp. NYT.

Your article and the previous news about Manfort visiting Assange and the funny timing of the same reminded me of this story.

The Western MSM is a lying scamming neoliberal propaganda machine.

[Dec 01, 2018] H>ostility to immigration has always been a reaction to economic decline

Notable quotes:
"... "The US economy has left large swaths of people behind. History shows that such periods are ripe for demagogues, and here again, deep pockets buy not only the policy set that protects them, but the "think tanks," research results, and media presence that foments the polarization that insulates them further." ..."
"... Stagnation of median wages may have been evident for longer in the US, but the recession has led to declining real wages in many other countries. Partly as a result , we have seen 'farther right' parties gaining popularity across Europe in recent years. ..."
Dec 01, 2018 | mainlymacro.blogspot.com

A lot of US blog posts have asked this after the US government came very close to self-inflicted default. It was indeed an extraordinary episode which indicates that something is very wrong. All I want to suggest here is that it may help to put this discussion in a global context. What has happened in the US has of course many elements which can only be fully understood in the domestic context and given US history, like the enduring influence of race , or cultural wars . But with other, more economic, elements it may be more accurate to describe the US as leading the way, with other countries following.

Jared Bernstein writes

"The US economy has left large swaths of people behind. History shows that such periods are ripe for demagogues, and here again, deep pockets buy not only the policy set that protects them, but the "think tanks," research results, and media presence that foments the polarization that insulates them further."

Support for the right in the US does appear to be correlated with low incomes and low human capital. Yet while growing inequality may be most noticeable in the US, but it is not unique to it, as the chart below from the Paris School of Economics database shows. Stagnation of median wages may have been evident for longer in the US, but the recession has led to declining real wages in many other countries. Partly as a result , we have seen 'farther right' parties gaining popularity across Europe in recent years.

Yet surely, you might say, what is unique to the US is that a large section of the political right has got 'out of control', such that it has done significant harm to the economy and almost did much more. If, following Jurek Martin in the FT, we describe business interests as 'big money', then it appears as if the Republican party has been acting against big money. Here there may be a parallel with the UK which could be instructive.

In the UK, David Cameron has been forced to concede a referendum on continued UK membership of the European Union, in an attempt to stem the popularity of the UK Independence Party. Much of UK business would regard leaving the EU as disastrous, so Cameron will almost certainly recommend staying in the EU. But with a a divided party, he lost a referendum. So the referendum pledge seems like a forced concession to the farther right that entails considerable risks. As Chris Dillow notes there are other areas where a right wing government appears to be acting against 'big money'.

While hostility to immigration has always been a reaction to economic decline, it is difficult to deny that hostility to the emigration associated with European Union is a burning issue for the majority of people in the UK. That's why was Cameron forced to make such a dangerous concession over the referendum.

fifthdecade , 23 October 2013 16:05

Nice post, although I fear the causality in the US is exactly the same as in the UK. Politicians love scapegoats that cannot answer back or that have no votes: immigrants and foreign countries both fit the bill and so end up being lambasted ad infinitum. I also don't believe this issue is as trivial to the general population as you seem to suggest - if you tell a lie often enough it becomes the truth.

So when, as you so often point out, the politicians can be seen to be going against all the tenets of sound macroeconomic policy, perhaps because of their promotion of their almost religiously held ideologies, these policies fail, instead of taking responsibility they pass the blame onto the last government, the Eurozone, or whoever is handy. Their friends in the press are happy to add petrol to the flames, and as you say, at some point it all spirals out of control in some kind of right wing transatlantic race of the copy cats.

When will big business stand up and defend their profits and markets? Only perhaps when the referendum falls due in the next quarter...

Ralph Musgrave , 23 October 2013 20:06

As far as the US debt limit fiasco goes, that's to a significant extent the fault of the economics profession. That is, you can't blame the average politician (who hasn't studied economics) for thinking that national debts can be treated the same way as the debt of a microeconomic entity. So politicians think national debts need to be limited.

The reality, as Keynes pointed out is: "Look after unemployment and the budget looks after itself". I.e. we should concentrate on keeping demand at a level that brings full employment, while leaving the debt to bob up and down (which it will do).

Unfortunately there is new breed of vociferous so called "economists" who don't understand Keynes: Rogoff, Reinhart, Fama, etc. Thus politicians get mixed messages from economists, and plumb for the simple minded microeconomic view of debt.

Anonymous , 23 October 2013 20:24

Immigration and the EU have become linked. Popular EU support among the 12 started to fall with the rushed expansion eastwards that expanded it to 27 much poorer countries in a single stroke. Before then we did not see huge movements of labour. Britain went gung ho into this with immediate and complete liberalisation of labour flows based on a forecast (probably based on a "rigorous" DSGE model) that said only 13000 would enter the country following this expansion. Virtually overnight over a million entered from Poland alone. We have no control over this, and in a country in recession, growing income inequality, long term unemployment despite the Blair boom, pressures on the NHS and education expenditure, and with a moral obligation to allow in refugees to enter from outside the EU with a genuine need to escape violence, this is political dynamite.

Anonymous , 24 October 2013 01:18

We have seen something similar before in the UK, when after WW1 the Anti-Waste League led by the Daily Mail came into force to attack Lloyd-George's 'land fit for heroes' welfare policies.

The 1921-2 Geddes Committee was pressured by the Treasury, which wanted Geddes' savings to reduce the debt, while the Cabinet wanted to use them to reduce taxation. Geddes took as his 'normal year' 1914, but in the end spending on social services remained above 1914 levels, and the problem was solved with taxation on business profits.

David Blum , 24 October 2013 02:59

I'm an American. I used to go, long ago in my younger years, to a bar to play pool. I'd play with these two guys who drank whisky and looked like a Clint Eastwood type. They were poor mechanics, but total libertarians filled with conspiracy theories. You can't reason with these people. You just nod your head and walk away.

Bagehot-by-the-Bay , 24 October 2013 03:27

A few years back, the "big business" right in the U.S. (as typified, say, by the Chamber of Commerce lobby) consciously sought an infusion of energy and numbers by inviting in the Far Right "insurgents" (or "crazies," depending on your point of view).

Now the Far Right faction has slipped its leash.

It is potentially good news that the Right has split. It can be easier to cope with two factions than a single unified party. Progressive Woodrow Wilson was elected in 1912 because Theodore Roosevelt split the Republicans.

But there are too many echoes of other countries and other years -- 1933 comes to mind -- to take much comfort in the situation.

Anonymous , 24 October 2013 04:58

I'm not sure I understand the "mirror to a phenomenon that must be explained" stance of recent conservate media. Rush has been around for a long time. And he's a babe compared to Pat Buchanan, the 700 Club and the John Birch Society. Anti-other and anti-social contract have very long track records in the United States. News Corp. simply put large amounts of money into the coming niche programing in the 90's as cable news became accepted and diversified (fragmented if you like that word better). That gave a concentrated platform to the likes of Rush. The evolution was Murdoch's removal of religion as the context in which those views were presented (as was prevalent on cable in the 80s).

Anonymous , 24 October 2013 07:20

I put a comment onto this blog about BBC think-tank reliance, comparing the number of Krugman, Shiller, and Stiglitz references on their website to IEA, Taxpayers' Alliance, and Adam Smith Institute references (the latter far greater).

The episode of 'Daily Politics' (24th October, minutes 30:19-40:27 on the iplayer for BBC 2 at 12:00) shows what 'centre ground' really means to the BBC:

1. 364 economists from 30 March 1980 Times letter are said to have been proven wrong by the show's host
2. Vicky Redwood says the UK could be like Greece if Osborne hadn't followed his economic plan
3. Booth from the IEA turns up etc.
4. Will Hutton looks flustered as a man with very slicked hair from the Telegraph mocks him

There is one day left on Feedback on Radio Four episode 18th October, in which Prof. Steve Jones talks about trying to convince the BBC that their reporting on climate change isn't 'centre-ground' but inadequate. The conclusions he draws so politely about the BBC couldn't be more germane to their economics coverage.

Anonymous , 24 October 2013 10:15

Simon - thanks for this post - I've been wondering about this issue myself for some time.

I'm not so sure about your conclusion that the media have driven right-wing discontent with the EU. Consider:

1. The Daily Express was the only national paper that called for an EU referendum prior to January (when the PM announced he would hold one in the next parliament).
2. The rucktions in the Tory party over Europe started in the late 1980s and peaked over Maastrict - please correct me if you remember differently but I thought that much of the hostility in the press towards the EU came after 1997, with the adoption of the Social Chapter and large immigration post-2004 from Eastern Europe. This suggests that the popular press at most propogated discontent that was already there, rather than originated it.
3. With such a large readership, you might expect that anti-EU sentiment in the right-wing press to be reflected across a lot of people. But as you rightly note, most people don't care. Instead it's a small group of people who care *a lot*, and seem to be disproportionately powerful in selecting some Tory MPs. This suggests that something else is going on.

I suspect that the key issue is that being a member of the EU involves a loss of soverignty - and it's plausible that a certain type of Tory voter ("little Englanders") would care a lot about this independent of whether the media was pushing this or not. The fact that they don't like many of the byproducts of the EU (immigration from Eastern Europe, more regulation) is grist to the mill.

Mainly Macro , 24 October 2013 13:32

I agree that the line you suggest is certainly plausible. But even then I do not think you can discount the influence of the press in reinforcing this group's views. If the press do succeed in getting an out vote, then I think their influence will be clear.

Anonymous , 25 October 2013 04:11

They are not the only people who like to have their beliefs and prejudices confirmed. Imagine how many economists would be happy to see examples of rational expectations all over the place.

Rik , 24 October 2013 10:36

The US political system is simply basically dysfunctional, but because the way it is designed it is not able to properly adress that issue.

Go to the 4 major forces (roughly) in US politics (from right to left):
-Teadrinkers (morons that think the 18th century can come back):
-Rest Reps. Maybe not owned by big business but very close (and it is big business not business);
-Right part Demos. Very similar to the left Reps;
-Left Demos. Spendophiles who donot mind going bust in that process as it is other people's money anyway.

Centre being very similar (so effectively there is no choice for the half that votes). This is a system that allowed complete jokes like Bush and even worse Obama come to power. Probably there were realistically more people pro bombing Congres than there were pro bombing Syria. You have to shut down the government to be able to have that number of governmentservices that are affordable on basis of normal tax revenue apparently.
This is a seriously sick system.

If a populist rises who has some appeal (no tea crap as that will never work mainstream anyway even if the policies were realistic and they would be able to manage things and change) and is a bit clever you could see landslide.

Simply like in most of Europe an Alfa Romeo problem. You can sell a couple of time a crap car and subsequently tell people that the next generation model has it solved. But if you do that a couple of time in a row, people try something different (whatever it is). How good the alternative is mainly determines when they will move not if they will move. The latter is a certainty. In Europe the alternative looks to come from the former Lada and Zastava factories (so put on your safetybelts and have your airbags checked).

Rik , 24 October 2013 10:37

On income distribution.

Pretty simple.
EMs and Co have caught up especially on quality of workforce. The middle income (and subsequently average quality) Western workers are now competing in a world that is overflooded by cheap workers in their part of the market.
Simply means prices (of labour there) will go down.
Top end is not and capital is not. Capital is even 'subsidised' by things as QE.

A lot of the things you see happening can largely be explained by that eg:
-South of EU tanked. They face the EM competition first. Nobody is making stuff in Spain or Italy when it can be done for half the price in India or China. Even worse effectively except with design the latter 2 make already better stuff than the former 2.

-US was first to get hit as it has the most open economy and the most international and openminded companies. UK will be next on that list rest of Europe will follow.

-Germany looks to be the next outsource wave. It looks like that say in half a decade their model will not look as great as they like to believe themselves. They simply havenot got the outsource wave yet in the same way as the US and UK. Chinese can now make top end stuff and furthermore they have become a large part of the market for that.

Hard to tackle that redistribute income and you will see a lot more outsource. It is mainly in big business which is flexible anyway. But anyway can now chose between probably 50 or so countries that are able to provide a location for a headoffice, R&D and similar higher functions. Tax goes up they move.
Simply moronic to think you can tax international companies at rates for individuals 40-50-60%. Their stockvalue will drop with 20-30-40% because of that. Basically the CEO that gets that on his watch will never have any stock bonus because all growth he will create will be eaten by tax increases. You only can increase taxes for corporate functions that are impossible to move.
And longer term. Of course a factory will not be moved from today to yesterday. But when it goes wrong reversing it is even more difficult. Not that we won't see it, we probably will. But as said it will not work more likely only create trouble.

Longer term but worldwide the distribution will have to be adressed so way. Looks clear that there is not enough consumption. However probably completely in the EMs. As the Western mid level worker is still way too expensive for the worldmarket.
And when China becomes too expensive the next way is already in position. Not much help to be expected from that corner.

So better rephrase the question. When will we be hit with this phenomenon?
Soon imho btw, you are probably hit by it already only didnot notice.

Simon Cooke , 24 October 2013 12:02

Brilliant isn't it - ordinary people taking upon themselves to challenge the domination of 'big money' as you put it. I know you like big money but me, I'm a victim of the big money and its great mate, Big Government. No-one brainwashed me, no-one had to tell me my taxes were too high, no one forced me to arrive at the view that big business is anti-market and anti-consumer.

As I said - it's brilliant, absolutely fantastic that people on the right of politics have realised that the establishment isn't their friend and hasn't been for a generation.

Mainly Macro , 24 October 2013 13:36

And Obamacare is so evil that it is worth bringing about default to try and stop it?

jon livesey , 24 October 2013 12:59

So the UKIP has gone from "far right" to "farther right". You can't get more nuanced than that, can you.

Mainly Macro , 24 October 2013 13:37

By popular request! I was told that 'far right' was too like 'extreme right'. So how would you describe UKIP?

jon livesey , 25 October 2013 13:15

I would let them describe themselves because my thinking about them is too complicated to put into a simple slogan.

I see them as essentially a single issue party - yes, I know they let themselves get contaminated with race and immigration - and I tend to dislike single issue parties. Single issue parties always have the weakness that their views on other issues are up for grabs, and they will "sell out" all but their single issue to whoever can put them into power.

However, the UKIP is now a fact. And we ignore facts at our peril. Perhaps worse than ignoring facts is explaining facts away. If we dismiss the UKIP as just X-kind of party, we won't understand their growth.

So I just don't see right-anything as a useful way to describe them. It's much more complex than that.

Grandpa Don , 24 October 2013 13:22

As an American observer I believe Simon is correct. No doubt there are many complex factors that led to the ongoing mess in our Congress but there is little doubt that the tremendous investment made by the right wing business community into buying up media and "coin operated think tanks" has indeed created the conditions where we have in the U.S. a situation where the rich get ever richer while the poor and middle class fall farther and farther behind. All the while, with the aid of clever propaganda combined with a failing education system, the very people who are hurt the most by our skewed economic distribution keep voting the crazies in. For a look into one of the original stimuli of this state of affairs, see the memo written in 1971 by Lewis Powell, a Republican corporate attorney and later Supreme Court justice.

Nashville Elliott , 24 October 2013 14:54

The only relevant political distinction today is "on top" or "on the bottom." The old Left and Right are increasingly meaningless.

John Hakala , 24 October 2013 15:52

Excellent analysis, Professor Wren-Lewis. As a native of the US, your insights into parallels with UK politics come as news to me, and it helps to gain some global perspective. I am inclined to conclude from your arguments that Bernstein's assertions about the direction of causality (that income inequality creates fervent groups of voters, thereby leading to right wing media "reflecting" extreme political views) is wrong, and that the direction of causality in the US is probably the same as it is in the UK (that elements in the media want to push extreme political views, thereby "leading" the opinions of voters). Rupert Murdoch is an especially clear example of where a figure in the media uses his influence to sway voters, but I think in the US it is not uncommon for private citizens with enough resources and connections to manipulate the media in order to "lead" voters. Take for example the Koch brothers, who, despite normally being associated with business interests, were supposedly instrumental in fomenting the defund/shutdown strategy. ( http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/us/a-federal-budget-crisis-months-in-the-planning.html )

SpinningHugo , 25 October 2013 00:10

"So why was Cameron forced to make such a dangerous concession over the referendum? "

That would be because, if you remember all the way back to May, Ukip polled 23% in the last local government elections, just short of the Tories and far ahead of the Lib Dems.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_local_elections,_2013

That was the last electoral test of public opinion there has been.

So much more comforting for the softer thinking of the left to blame the Evil Rightwing Press, rather than what people actually think.

[For the avoidance of doubt, I vote Labour.]

Mainly Macro , 25 October 2013 00:39

Of course, just as support for the Tea Party is very strong. But I'm trying to ask why this is. Is it because the Conservative Party has drifted left - that does not seem credible. So why the move to the right in popular opinion? Some say that is reading it wrong - UKIP gets it support because its anti-EU. But why is Europe so far down the list of what people say they are worried about?

I think we can learn from the US here. Obamacare is very similar to Romneycare - so why does the Tea Party see it as such a threat? Perhaps the information they are getting is completely wrong.

SpinningHugo , 25 October 2013 02:15

"Perhaps the information they are getting is completely wrong."

The left has long comforted itself with lines like this. Blaming what the public believe on Beaverbrook, Rothermere or Murdoch (or in the US Limbaugh or Beck).

If only they heard "the truth" they'd agree with us.

Well, the internet age has tested that theory to destruction. Today few people get their news from the press, most get it from TV and the internet. The internet version of the Daily Mail (by far the most successful version of an internet newspaper) is mainly gossip, not rightwing propaganda. The influence of the rightwing press in 2013 is negligible. For those who are interested, more serious high quality information about the world we live in is readily accessible than ever before (for proof, see this very blog).

People vote Ukip because they agree with them. Uncomfortable, but there we are.

Cameron has no choice politically but to try and tack to the right on the issue of Europe. If, say, 10% vote Ukip at the GE he knows he loses. A referendum promise was simply the least he could do politically.

The appeal of Ukip is probably down to immigration, and not Europe. People have probably cottoned on to the fact that Poles (and Romanians etc) have freedom of movement so long as we remain in the EU. Arguments by economists that, in aggregate terms, immigration is a good thing for the UK completely miss why individuals oppose immigration, which is nothing to do with the overall economic picture.

We have to treat people who disagree with us (eg those voting Republican in the US) as grown ups with a legitimate different opinion, rather than as children tricked into voting the wrong way by Limbaugh and Beck.

Tony Maher , 25 October 2013 02:29

Both euroenthusiasts and eurosceptics have agreed that "Europe" is not a discrete policy area but a comprehensive constitutional issue.

It certainly wasn't UKIP who laid down the classic sceptic challenge to EU authority - "What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable? And how can we get rid of you?" It was Tony Benn (a much demonised left wing hate figure for the conservative press of the day).

The public understand that "Europe" is indivisible from their immigration & welfare concerns, their crime and civil rights concerns and their prosperity and tax concerns.

Europe is involved in everything on their political agenda. The only question that really divides euroenthusiasts from eurosceptics is - should it be?

Mainly Macro , 25 October 2013 05:16

SpinningHugo: I agree that information is much more available, although so is misinformation. But there is good evidence that people are not well informed on key political issues: see http://timharford.com/2013/07/popular-perceptions-exposed-by-numbers/ This should not be a surprise - getting the correct information takes time.

SpinningHugo , 25 October 2013 08:13

That problem with democracy, that the polis are, roughly speaking, idiots has been a known problem since Plato. that is why Plato opposed democracy, and wanted government by Philosopher Kings. Hoping that, given time, we'll have a population of Philosopher Kings is crying for the moon.

What has changed recently however is not the growing strength of rightwing media, but its decline.

If, even given this, the Tea Party, Ukip and Golden Dawn do better, and not worse, there is no hope that giving it more time will enable people to see sense.

I am afraid I just think you don't like democracy much. Philosopher Kings don't.

Nashville Elliott , 25 October 2013 08:45

In America the Tea Party began with a large dollop of disgust at a dysfunctional-from-their-POV democracy (too much welfare, too much crony capitalism) and settled into an American tradition of just hating government and taxes and belief that the solution is to tear it down. This was quickly co-opted into the Republican Party platform as "don't raise my marginal tax rate," which is essentially the only thing the party has stood for in three decades. The party ignores the other planks of the Tea Party platform.

It is just possible that as "average Americans" the Tea Party correctly perceives that the Big Money internationalization agenda results in the hollowing out of the middle class and debt-servitude of the majority to the banks; and they would rather not go down that path, implicitly being willing to sacrifice some GDP growth for greater equality, a trade-off that the research of Wilkinson et al. (Equality Trust over there) supports. Between the EU and NAFTA a lot of middle class destruction has taken place. Increasingly concentrated capital is just way too eager to arbitrage labor anywhere in the world. I don't understand why this is so hard to see (or perhaps it is still just too taboo to speak; i.e., that Marx was right about some of the long-term dynamics of capitalism).

A nice snapshot of Tea Party demographics is available at http://www.gallup.com/poll/127181/tea-partiers-fairly-mainstream-demographics.aspx . They are *very slightly* higher than average income and *entirely average* in education and most other demographics.

Tony Maher , 25 October 2013 02:15

Traditionally both Euroenthusiasts and eurosceptics have understood "Europe" as a constitutional issue and not merely as a particular policy area. It is pointless saying that Europe ranks lower (in public concerns) than immigration when so much immigration policy is set at EU level. It is pointless for a Greek or Spaniard to say that the economy is the key issue for them when the commanding economic framework for their economic policy is set in Brussels and Frankfurt.

Therefore the fact that "Europe" is not a policy priority in U.K. public opinion survey's does not mean that the public do not fully understand the resonance of Europe in all the policy areas that they do care about - energy & environment, policing and civil rights, immigration & welfare, Economy ad employment.

"Europe" is a constitutional issue - it has a key role (and sometimes a dominant role) in all UK policy areas.

The British public care about Europe precisely because they care a lot about economic policy, welfare policy and all other policy areas......

jon livesey , 25 October 2013 13:33

Your post-script mentions a poster who was "insulted" by your suggestion that the press are a strong influence on euro-scepticism. I'm not insulted, but I think that your analysis really misses the point.

We live in a democracy, where the voters are exposed to all kinds of influences. We just have to live with that. The Murdoch Press is one influence, but the BBC is another.

Most parts of the Press have to make a living, and so they can't afford to take positions that are really unpopular. Over time they have to follow their readership. ironically, that doesn't apply to either the BBC, which can tax us, or the New Statesman, which exists on a massive interest free loan.

The real question is whether public opinion on the EU or the rise of the UKIP are paradoxes that need to be explained away, or if the gradual change in UK public opinion on the topic of the EU is just that, a gradual change in response to the experience of the average voter. You can argue for either side, but it's unwise to assume.

I tend to distrust the UKIP and yet welcome its influence in politics, since it tends to keep the two - for now - major parties honest on the subject of the EU.

I also interpret Cameron differently to you. If I were Cameron, I would see my actions less as a "forced concession" and more as preparing the ground for negotiation with the EU.

The ideal outcome for those negotiations - to me - would be for the UK to stay in the Single Market, but gradually distance itself from the EU's political institutions. In a sane World, I think this would happen, since it really doesn't cost Europe anything to re-concede full sovereignty to the UK, but it will cost them quite a bit if the UK leaves the Single Market.

Of course, I am joking because I know perfectly well that we don't live in a sane World, and I think that the EU will come to the table with a toxic mixture of hurt ego, power hunger, and a foul attitude towards the UK.

To counter this, Cameron will need a powerful lever in the form of a credible threat that if push comes to shove the UK really will leave the EU, and the rise of the UKIP is exactly that lever.

If Cameron is the student of politics I think he is, he will remember Nixon's dictum that to get what you want, you have to appear to be capable of insane acts.

[Dec 01, 2018] The New York Times As Corrupt Judge And Jury

Notable quotes:
"... We've seen it before : a newspaper and individual reporters get a story horribly wrong but instead of correcting it they double down to protect their reputations and credibility - which is all journalists have to go on - and the public suffers. ..."
"... Sometimes this maneuver can contribute to a massive loss of life. The most egregious example was the reporting in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq. Like nearly all Establishment media, The New York Times got the story of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction -- the major casus belli for the invasion -- dead wrong. But the Times , like the others, continued publishing stories without challenging their sources in authority, mostly unnamed, who were pushing for war. ..."
"... The Times' unsteady conviction is summed up in this paragraph, which the paper itself then contradicts only a few paragraphs later: "What we now know with certainty: The Russians carried out a landmark intervention that will be examined for decades to come. Acting on the personal animus of Mr. Putin, public and private instruments of Russian power moved with daring and skill to harness the currents of American politics. Well-connected Russians worked aggressively to recruit or influence people inside the Trump campaign." ..."
Sep 23, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

We've seen it before : a newspaper and individual reporters get a story horribly wrong but instead of correcting it they double down to protect their reputations and credibility - which is all journalists have to go on - and the public suffers.

Sometimes this maneuver can contribute to a massive loss of life. The most egregious example was the reporting in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq. Like nearly all Establishment media, The New York Times got the story of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction -- the major casus belli for the invasion -- dead wrong. But the Times , like the others, continued publishing stories without challenging their sources in authority, mostly unnamed, who were pushing for war.

The result was a disastrous intervention that led to hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths and continued instability in Iraq, including the formation of the Islamic State.

In a massive Times ' article published on Thursday, entitled, "A Plot to Subvert an Election: Unravelling the Russia Story So Far," it seems that reporters Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti have succumbed to the same thinking that doubled down on Iraq.

They claim to have a "mountain of evidence" but what they offer would be invisible on the Great Plains.

With the mid-terms looming and Special Counsel Robert Mueller unable to so far come up with any proof of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign to steal the 2016 election -- the central Russia-gate charge -- the Times does it for him, regurgitating a Russia-gate Round-Up of every unsubstantiated allegation that has been made -- deceptively presented as though it's all been proven.

Mueller: No collusion so far.

This is a reaffirmation of the faith, a recitation of what the Russia-gate faithful want to believe is true. But mere repetition will not make it so.

The Times' unsteady conviction is summed up in this paragraph, which the paper itself then contradicts only a few paragraphs later: "What we now know with certainty: The Russians carried out a landmark intervention that will be examined for decades to come. Acting on the personal animus of Mr. Putin, public and private instruments of Russian power moved with daring and skill to harness the currents of American politics. Well-connected Russians worked aggressively to recruit or influence people inside the Trump campaign."

But this schizoid approach leads to the admission that "no public evidence has emerged showing that [Trump's] campaign conspired with Russia."

The Times also adds: "There is a plausible case that Mr. Putin succeeded in delivering the presidency to his admirer, Mr. Trump, though it cannot be proved or disproved."

This is an extraordinary statement. If it cannot be "proved or disproved" what is the point of this entire exercise: of the Mueller probe, the House and Senate investigations and even of this very New York Times article?

Attempting to prove this constructed story without proof is the very point of this piece.

A Banner Day

The 10,000-word article opens with a story of a pro-Russian banner that was hung from the Manhattan Bridge on Putin's birthday, and an anti-Obama banner hung a month later from the Memorial Bridge in Washington just after the 2016 election.

On public property these are constitutionally-protected acts of free speech. But for the Times , "The Kremlin, it appeared, had reached onto United States soil in New York and Washington. The banners may well have been intended as visual victory laps for the most effective foreign interference in an American election in history."

Kremlin: Guilty, says NYT. (Robert Parry, 2016)

Why? Because the Times tells us that the "earliest promoters" of images of the banners were from social media accounts linked to a St. Petersburg-based click-bait farm, a company called the Internet Research Agency. The company is not legally connected to the Kremlin and any political coordination is pure speculation. IRA has been explained convincingly as a commercial and not political operation. Its aim is get and sell "eyeballs."

For instance the company conducted pro and anti-Trump rallies and social media messages, as well as pro and anti-Clinton. But the Times , in classic omission mode, only reports on "the anti-Clinton, pro-Trump messages shared with millions of voters by Russia." Sharing with "millions" of people on social media does not mean that millions of people have actually seen those messages. And if they had there is little way to determine whether it affected how they voted, especially as the messages attacked and praised both candidates.

The Times reporters take much at face value, which they then themselves undermine. Most prominently, they willfully mistake an indictment for a conviction, as if they do not know the difference.

This is in the category of Journalism 101. An indictment need not include evidence and under U.S. law an indictment is not evidence. Juries are instructed that an indictment is merely an accusation. That the Times commits this cardinal sin of journalism to purposely confuse allegations with a conviction is not only inexcusable but strikes a fatal blow to the credibility of the entire article.

It actually reports that "Today there is no doubt who hacked the D.N.C. and the Clinton campaign. A detailed indictment of 12 officers of Russia's military intelligence agency, filed in July by Mr. Mueller, documents their every move, including their break-in techniques, their tricks to hide inside the Democrats' networks and even their Google searches."

Who needs courts when suspects can be tried and convicted in the press?

What the Times is not taking into account is that Mueller knows his indictment will never be tested in court because the GRU agents will never be arrested, there is no extradition treaty between the U.S. and Russia and even if it were miraculously to see the inside of a courtroom Mueller can invoke states secrets privilege to show the "evidence" to a judge with clearance in his chambers who can then emerge to pronounce "Guilty!" without a jury having seen that evidence.

This is what makes Mueller's indictment more a political than a legal document, giving him wide leeway to put whatever he wants into it. He knew it would never be tested and that once it was released, a supine press would do the rest to cement it in the public consciousness as a conviction, just as this Times piece tries to do.

Errors of Commission and Omission

There are a series of erroneous assertions and omissions in the Times piece, omitted because they would disturb the narrative:

Trump: Sarcastically calls on Russia to get Clinton emails.

Distorts Geo-Politics

The piece swallows whole the Establishment's geo-strategic Russia narrative, as all corporate media do. It buys without hesitation the story that the U.S. seeks to spread democracy around the world, and not pursue its economic and geo-strategic interests as do all imperial powers.

The Times reports that, "The United States had backed democratic, anti-Russian forces in the so-called color revolutions on Russia's borders, in Georgia in 2003 and Ukraine in 2004." The Times has also spread the erroneous story of a democratic revolution in Ukraine in 2014, omitting crucial evidence of a U.S.-backed coup.

The Times disapprovingly dismisses Trump having said on the campaign trail that "Russia was not an existential threat, but a potential ally in beating back terrorist groups," when an objective view of the world would come to this very conclusion.

The story also shoves aside American voters' real concerns that led to Trump's election. For the Times, economic grievances and rejection of perpetual war played no role in the election of Trump. Instead it was Russian influence that led Americans to vote for him, an absurd proposition defied by a Gallup poll in July that showed Americans' greatest concerns being economic. Their concerns about Russia were statistically insignificant at less than one percent.

Ignoring Americans' real concerns exposes the class interests of Times staffers and editors who are evidently above Americans' economic and social suffering. The Times piece blames Russia for social "divisions" and undermining American democracy, classic projection onto Moscow away from the real culprits for these problems: bi-partisan American plutocrats. That also insults average Americans by suggesting they cannot think for themselves and pursue their own interests without Russia telling them what to do.

Establishment reporters insulate themselves from criticism by retreating into the exclusive Establishment club they think they inhabit. It is from there that they vicariously draw their strength from powerful people they cover, which they should instead be scrutinizing. Validated by being close to power, Establishment reporters don't take seriously anyone outside of the club, such as a website like Consortium News.

But on rare occasions they are forced to take note of what outsiders are saying. Because of the role The New York Timesplayed in the catastrophe of Iraq its editors took the highly unusual move of apologizing to its readers. Will we one day read a similar apology about the paper's coverage of Russia-gate? Tags Politics

[Dec 01, 2018] The Times isn't a newspaper at all but a clandestine operation run by intelligence units.

Notable quotes:
"... You might like to report on the recent bill in Congress giving broadcasters "immunity" for spying. The New York Times acquires information from spying on citizens by the CIA twenty four hours a day - aa CIA Wire Service which is unconscionable for a newspaper. Such information allows the Times to keep competitors out of favored industries, scoop other news groups, and enhance revenues by pirated material. The Times isn't a newspaper at all but a clandestine operation run by intelligence units. ..."
"... Interestingly, the NYT revelation itself was illegal, a felony under the Intelligence Act of 1917. ..."
"... Which, ipso facto, makes at least that part of the Intelligence Act of 1917 unconstitutional: "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press" ( US. Constitution, Amendment I ). This perhaps explains why no newspaper has ever been prosecuted under the Intelligence Act of 1917. Prosecutors would rather have it available as a threat rather than having it thrown out as unconstitutional, and of course the Supreme Court can't rule on its constitutionality unless someone has standing to bring a case against it before them. ..."
"... It's also not surprising that the CIA would take an interest in how it is perceived. I would argue that the CIA was actually preventing or controlling the flow of info the WH was giving to filmmakers. ..."
"... This story only scratches the surface on the extent of corruption in US media and journalism in general over the last 10-15 years. The loss of journalistic integrity and objectivity in US media is on display as many media outlets showcase their one-sided liberal or conservative views. Sadly, the US media has become just as polarized as the government. However, the greatest corruption is not with the govt-media connection; the greatest corruption involves the lobbyists - foreign and domestic. Lobbying groups exert an enormous influence on politicians and the media and it extends to both sides of the aisle. ..."
"... It's no secret that the CIA and State Department have colluded with media since 1950. Public relations is nothing more than propaganda. And if you think the CIA doesn't have it's own PR department, with *hundreds* of employees, dedicated to misinformation, spin, half-truths, and psychological operations, well, consider this your wake-up call. ..."
"... "The CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media." - William Colby - Former CIA Director ..."
"... "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." - William Casey, CIA Director 1981 ..."
"... While you rightly characterize this case as indicating the "virtual merger" of government and media "watchdogs," I think a meta-theme running through your writings illuminates the "virtual merger" of both corporate & state power (esp. after Citizens United), ..."
"... the real issue is not personalities or trivial post deletions, the real issue is that the CIA is tightly bound to the institutions of America ... and that this is not a good thing for everyone ..."
Aug 30, 2012 | www.theguardian.com
Zilchnada -> TerryMKl , 31 Aug 2012 09:47
...this is the norm not the exception. It's also representative of a very significant cross section of the State Department/CIA/Pentagon/DC Beaurcratic Machine, made up of various Leftists, Statists, academia, and privileged youth with political science degrees from east coast/DC/Ivy League schools.
TerryMKl , 31 Aug 2012 08:44
I am having a very difficult time wrapping my mind around this story.....we have an alleged CIA spokesperson purportedly attempting to engage in damage control with a prominent national newspaper regarding the flow of information between the CIA and film-makers doing a story on the Bin Laden raid. Ostensibly, the information provided, regarding the raid, was to help secure the President's reelection bid?

I note that the logo on the phone of the published photo of CIA spokesperson Marie Harf looks remarkably similar, if not identical, to the Obama campaign logo. A "Twitter" account profile for M's. Harf references that she is a "National Security Wonk at OFA...." . Could the "OFA" she makes reference to possibly be "Obama for America"? Her recent tweet history includes commentaries critical of Romney and his supporters, which appear to be in response to her observations while watching Republican Convention coverage.

My understanding heretofore was that those engaged in the Intelligence Community, particularly spokespersons, preferred to keep a low profile and at least appear apolitical. Based upon the facts as presented, one must reexamine whether a US intelligence agency is engaging in the most blatant form political partisanship to unduly influence a US Presidential election.

zany12 , 31 Aug 2012 08:31
You might like to report on the recent bill in Congress giving broadcasters "immunity" for spying. The New York Times acquires information from spying on citizens by the CIA twenty four hours a day - aa CIA Wire Service which is unconscionable for a newspaper. Such information allows the Times to keep competitors out of favored industries, scoop other news groups, and enhance revenues by pirated material. The Times isn't a newspaper at all but a clandestine operation run by intelligence units.
TheCharlatone , 31 Aug 2012 07:23
I'm surprised by the pettiness of it all. And it's this pettiness that makes me think that such data exchange is not only routine, but
an accepted way to enhance a career. After all, who really cares what Dowd writes? I believe Chomsky called her 'kinda a gossip columnist'. And, that's what she is.

That anyone would bother passing her column to the CIA is, on the face of it, a little absurd. I don't say she is a bad columnist, she's probably quite good, but hardly of interest to the CIA, even when she is writing about the CIA. So basically, someone passed her column along, because this is normal, and the more ambitious understand that this is how you 'get along'.

This kind of careerism is something I see, on some level, every day: the ambitious see the rules of the game, and follow them, and the rationale comes later. For most of us, this doesn't involve the security services. However, the principle that the MSM is, at the least, heavily influenced by state power is fairly well understood by now in more critical circles: all forms of media are subject to unusual and particular state pressures, due to their central import in propaganda and mass-persuasion. The NYT is, in short, an obvious target for this kind of influencing. And as such should really know much much better.

Sadly, I have come to the conclusion that most of what I read, or see on the nightly broadcasts, is essentially bullshit. I could switch to RT, and in a way its counter-point would be useful in stimulating my own critical thinking, but much of what RT broadcasts is also likely to be bullshit. We have a world of competing propaganda memes where nobody knows the truth. It's like we are all spooks now, each and every one of us. An excellent article, again.

Franklymydear0 -> JET2023 , 31 Aug 2012 04:26

Interestingly, the NYT revelation itself was illegal, a felony under the Intelligence Act of 1917.

Which, ipso facto, makes at least that part of the Intelligence Act of 1917 unconstitutional: "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press" ( US. Constitution, Amendment I ). This perhaps explains why no newspaper has ever been prosecuted under the Intelligence Act of 1917. Prosecutors would rather have it available as a threat rather than having it thrown out as unconstitutional, and of course the Supreme Court can't rule on its constitutionality unless someone has standing to bring a case against it before them.

gibbon22 , 31 Aug 2012 03:57
Excellent article, but it's not necessarily a surprise to see a reporter who has developed a relationship with his source do that source a favor in hopes that the favor will some day be returned with greater access.

It's also not surprising that the CIA would take an interest in how it is perceived. I would argue that the CIA was actually preventing or controlling the flow of info the WH was giving to filmmakers.

This story only scratches the surface on the extent of corruption in US media and journalism in general over the last 10-15 years. The loss of journalistic integrity and objectivity in US media is on display as many media outlets showcase their one-sided liberal or conservative views. Sadly, the US media has become just as polarized as the government. However, the greatest corruption is not with the govt-media connection; the greatest corruption involves the lobbyists - foreign and domestic. Lobbying groups exert an enormous influence on politicians and the media and it extends to both sides of the aisle.

marjac , 31 Aug 2012 02:27
Obama's CIA leaking to anyone, including the NY Times and colluding? I'm shocked do your hear, shocked..........
Zilchnada , 31 Aug 2012 01:02
What the commoners fail to understand is that the Public Relations (PR) industry controls 75% of the information that you are fed from major media outlets. It's an industry that has artfully masked everything you thought you knew. It's no secret that the CIA and State Department have colluded with media since 1950. Public relations is nothing more than propaganda. And if you think the CIA doesn't have it's own PR department, with *hundreds* of employees, dedicated to misinformation, spin, half-truths, and psychological operations, well, consider this your wake-up call.
jaydiggity , 30 Aug 2012 22:30
"The CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media." - William Colby - Former CIA Director

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." - William Casey, CIA Director 1981

Christopher Tucker , 30 Aug 2012 21:52
Glenn, thanks for illuminating the insidious, dangerous cynicism pervading American media & culture, which have become so inured to hypocrisy, corruption & desecration of sacrosanct democratic values & institutions that has been crucial to the normalization of formerly intolerable practices, laws & policies eating away at the foundations of our constitutional democracy. The collective moral, principled "lines in the sand" protecting us from authoritarian pressures are steadily being washed away, compromised, thanks to media obsequious complicity.

While you rightly characterize this case as indicating the "virtual merger" of government and media "watchdogs," I think a meta-theme running through your writings illuminates the "virtual merger" of both corporate & state power (esp. after Citizens United), and all the "checks & balances" enshrined in our constitution after 9/11 (e.g. deferential judiciary, bi-partisan Congressional consensus on increasingly authoritarian, secretive US executive, propagandistic media, etc.). At least that's my thinking, and I see no significant countervailing pressure capable of slowing- let alone reversing- this authoritarian re-ordering of our constitutional order & political culture, though a few exceptions exist (e.g. Judge Forrest's suprising courage to suspend NDAA provision 1021), and rare journalists like yourself.

One astounding example of this widespread cynicism facilitating this authoritarian trend, was the media's rather restrained response to the revelation that elements in the massive Terrorist/Military Industrial Complex (HBGary) had been plotting military-style social-engineering operations to discredit & silence progressive journalists, specifically naming YOU, who I see as one of the rare defenders of the constitutional/democratic "lines in the sand" under relentless attack. Where was the overwhelming collective shock & outrage, or media demanding criminal investigations into US taxpayer-funded attacks on our so-called "free press?"

The paucity of outrage, outraged- but did not surprise- me, and neither does this revelation of a cozy relationship between censored/propagandistic media, CIA, White House, etc., as indicated by my articles about the " War on Whistleblowers, " " Where's the Free Press, " & " NDAA 2013 Legalizing US Propaganda Could Make Americans Less Gullible. "

My question for Glenn, is whether he thinks it would be possible for him to get legal standing to sue the private (& US??) entities, which proposed the covert discrediting/repression operations targeting you specifically?

I'm no lawyer, but it seems the documents published by Anonymous, reveal actions constituting criminal conspiracy. Given the proposed methods included forms of politically-motivated military warfare & coercion, the guilty parties would likely be aggressively investigated and charged with some terrorist crimes, if they had been busted planning attacks on people/entities that trumpeted Obama administration policies or its corporate backers (i.e. if they were Anonymous). The HBGary proposal to discredit/silence Wikileaks defenders strongly indicated they had experience with- & confidence in- such covert operations. Requiring a journalist/academic to be covertly discredited/destroyed/silenced before they get legal standing would be as absurd as the Obama administration's argument that Chris Hedges & Co. plaintiffs lack standing because they hadn't yet been stripped of their rights & secretly indefinitately detained without charges or trial.

I thought you might be in the unique position to use the US courts to pry open & shine some light upon the clearly anti-democratic, authoritarian abuses of power, & virtual fusion of corporate & state powers, which you so eloquently write about.

Grizz Mann , 30 Aug 2012 21:34
Is the CIA stuff in with the FAST AND FURIOUS files?
kschroder , 30 Aug 2012 20:26
I glad that foreign journalism is available for me to read our the internet, it's the only way i can find truthful information about what's going on in my own country (USA). I've known the liberal media bias was a problem for a long time, but articles like this continually remind me that things are far worse than they appear.
JRobinetteBiden , 30 Aug 2012 20:08
State-run media; right along with Apie-See, Empty-See and See-BS...
Steven Kingham , 30 Aug 2012 20:02
This is hilarious - even the left-wing Guardian is contemptuous of the lap-dog relationship the US press has with the Obama administration.
SmirkingChimp , 30 Aug 2012 19:09
All the actions surrounding the NY Times and the CIA on this issue are atrocious. With this type of "journalistic independence", why am I paying for a Times account??
Intercooler , 30 Aug 2012 18:16
As a favor to all readers, following is a summation of all past, present, and future ideas as articulated by the Fortune Cookie Thinker, John Andersson:
  1. A certain amount of genocide is good because the world is overpopulated.
  2. You should never question authority; after all, you are not an expert on authority.
  3. Everyone wins when we kill terrorists; the more we kill, the more we generate, thus the more we kill again, which makes us win more.
  4. It is not possible to have absolute power; therefore, power does not corrupt.
  5. Drones kill bad people. Only bad people are killed by drones. Thus, drones are good. We should have more drones. That is all.

I secretly think he's the real "Jack Handy" from the Deep Thoughts series on SNL.

kerrypay , 30 Aug 2012 18:00
In my high school history class in 1968 I learned all about how newspapers printed propaganda stories before WWI and Spanish American war in order to influence the public so they would want to go to war and it was called "yellow journalism". I also had an English teacher that taught us about "marketing" and how they use visuals and printed words and film to make us want to buy a product. My father taught me to NOT BELEIVE everything you read. Now it is called "critical thinking" and has been added as a general education class in college that you have to take for a college degree. Critical thinking about what you read and see and hear should be taught as early as 10 year olds so people can think for themselves. I do not read main stream newspapers in America but read news sites all over the world.

THANK GOD FOR THE INTERNET THAT YOU CAN READ WHAT OTHER NEWSPAPERS. I discovered Glenn on Democracy Now and they are my go to place to read about what is really happening.

JohnAndersson , 30 Aug 2012 17:47
the real issue is not personalities or trivial post deletions, the real issue is that the CIA is tightly bound to the institutions of America ... and that this is not a good thing for everyone

[Dec 01, 2018] The critical articles are nothing more than smokescreens. We are led to believe how hard-hitting the newspapers are and how they hold the politicians and other power-brokers to fire. All hogwash. It is better we recognize that the citizens are merely props they need to claim legitimacy.

Notable quotes:
"... We should not even talk about "conflict of interest" anymore. It is a collusion all the way. We saw it in the phone hacking scandal here, now at the New York Times. I have always wondered about these white tie dinners in Washington DC and how chummy and cozy the reporters looked mingling with the power-holders and -brokers. ..."
"... In what is turning out to be the CIA Century, the American President and major news outlets seem to operate under CIA authority and in accordance with CIA standard operating procedures. ..."
"... Or Afghanistan. Many of the cruise missile libs supported the invasion of Afghanistan but not Iraq. ..."
"... The press is managed on behalf of what I will call US powers. Those powers seem to be high level military, clandestine agencies, financial industry "leaders", and war contractors. The political parties and the faces they present to the public (with some few exceptions) act as functionaries to keep up the illusion that the US is a democracy. ..."
"... And I am not sure why I associate Washington's bureaucratic CIA with dancing midgets. ..."
Aug 30, 2012 | www.theguardian.com
jayant , 30 Aug 2012 11:17
If we thought the public trust in journalism is low, then this news only pushes it down further. Do people in journalism care? Some do very much but for the most the media and the power-holders are in collusion.

We should not even talk about "conflict of interest" anymore. It is a collusion all the way. We saw it in the phone hacking scandal here, now at the New York Times. I have always wondered about these white tie dinners in Washington DC and how chummy and cozy the reporters looked mingling with the power-holders and -brokers.

The critical articles are nothing more than smokescreens. We are led to believe how hard-hitting the newspapers are and how they hold the politicians and other power-brokers to fire. All hogwash. It is better we recognize that the citizens are merely props they need to claim legitimacy.

SeminoleSky , 30 Aug 2012 11:11
Not till this moment did I realize that we are under siege. I thought Julian Assange was the one under siege but he was just trying to offer us a path to freedom. With Assange neutralized and The New York Times and its brethren by all appearances thoroughly compromised, how can any one of us stand for all of us against government malfeasance let alone tyranny?

Where would you go if you had dispositive proof of devastating government malfeasance? In what is turning out to be the CIA Century, the American President and major news outlets seem to operate under CIA authority and in accordance with CIA standard operating procedures.

It would actually be foolish to take evidence of horrific government behavior to the titular head of the government {who'd likely persecute you as a whistleblower} or the major news organizations supposedly reporting to us about it {they'd bring it right back to the government for guidance on what to do}.

Without safe and reliable ways to stand and speak for and to each other on a large scale about the foul deeds of our government, we are damned to live very lonely vulnerable lives at the mercy of an unrestrained government.

Excerpt from script of Three Days of the Condor --

  • Higgins: I can't let you stay out, Turner.
  • Turner slowly stops, leans back against a building, shakes his head sadly.
  • Turner: Go home, Higgins. They have it all.
  • Higgins: What are you talking about?
  • Turner: Don't you know where we are?
  • Higgins looks around. The huge newspaper trucks are moving out.
  • Turner: It's where they ship from.
  • Higgins' head darts upward and he reads the legend above Turner's head. THE NEW YORK TIMES. He is stunned.
  • Higgins: You dumb son of a bitch.
  • Turner: It's been done. They have it.
  • Higgins: You've done more damage than you know.
  • Turner: I hope so.
  • Higgins: You want to rip us to pieces, but you damn fool you rely on us. {then} You're about to be a very lonely man, Turner.
  • ***
    Higgins: It didn't have to turn out like this.
  • Turner: Of course it did.
  • Higgins: {calling out as they depart separate ways} Turner! How do you know they'll print it?
  • Turner stops. Stares at Higgins. Higgins smiles.
  • Higgins: You can take a walk. But how far? If they don't print it.
  • Turner: They'll print it.
  • Higgins: How do you know?
BillOwen , 30 Aug 2012 11:00
Several commenters have pointed out that the NYT does do "good" journalism. That is true. It is also true that they tell absolute lies. See Judith Miller. The best way to sell a lie is to wrap it in the truth.
OnYourMarx -> avelna2001 , 30 Aug 2012 10:57
Or Afghanistan. Many of the cruise missile libs supported the invasion of Afghanistan but not Iraq.
Intercooler , 30 Aug 2012 10:56
I know it's late in the comments thread by the time anyone bothers to read THIS minor contribution, but I think it worth mentioning how this article from Glenn proves just how important are outlets like Democracy Now, RT, Cenk Uyger, Dylan Ratigan, et al. You really have to turn away from the mainstream media as a source of anything. Far too compromised, by both their embeddedness with the government, and their for-profit coroporate owners.

Note CNN's terrible ratings problems as of late, and the recent news that they are considering turning to more reality-type shows to get the eyeballs back. If that isn't proof positive of the current value of corporate news, I don't know what is.

DemocracyNow.org. I think I'm going to donate to them today....

Franklymydear0 -> rransier , 30 Aug 2012 10:08

i'm do not understand why so many people are against authority in general, even when the legal & enforcement system is there to protect your property, life and rights. i understand when corruption exists, it should be seriously addressed, but why throw out a whole system that is "somewhat working"? why blindly call for revolution?

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

– The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

Do you understand now?

Ahzeld , 30 Aug 2012 10:07
This is a political officer acting as editor of a major newspaper. I agree this has been going on for some time. Here is my analysis of that. The press is managed on behalf of what I will call US powers. Those powers seem to be high level military, clandestine agencies, financial industry "leaders", and war contractors. The political parties and the faces they present to the public (with some few exceptions) act as functionaries to keep up the illusion that the US is a democracy.

Romney and Obama are functionaries. They do as they're told. Obama is the more useful of the two as fewer people seem able to look honestly at his policies. They will not oppose Obama for doing the same things and worse as Bush. It is why all stops are being pulled out to get him, rather than Romney elected. The policies will be the same but the reaction of our population to each man is vastly different.

So yes, the capture of the media has been going on for quite some time. It appears nearly consolidated at this time. Instead of using this as a reason to ignore the situation, it is more important than ever to speak out. History is helpful in learning how to confront injustice. It is not a reason, as I see many use it, to say; "well it's always been that way, so what?" In history, we learn about corruption but we also learn that people opposed corruption. Is there some reason why we cannot also oppose corruption right now?

evenharpier -> MonotonousLanguor , 30 Aug 2012 09:16
"During the Vietnam War the Military Briefings were Derisively called the Five O' Clock Follies."

... ... ...

IgAIgEIgG , 30 Aug 2012 08:32
I though Michael Wolff's recent analysis of Apple (here in the Guardian) was in many ways metaphorical for Western leadership, his article acting in some ways to explain the behavior we see in cultural "elites."

Worth the read.

And somehow, after reading this article, all I can think of is the Wizard of Oz and a dancing midget army singing in repetitive, high-pitched tones.

And I am not sure why I associate Washington's bureaucratic CIA with dancing midgets.

BaldieMcEagle , 30 Aug 2012 08:15
Who will be the first commenter to leave the classic devastating critique: "The author fails to present a balanced view, showing only one side. The author's argument has no substance and is not really worth anything."

Don't forget this one: "The author just complains and complains without ever offering a solution or a better approach."

Also, can anyone 'splain me how to do a "response"?

thedark , 30 Aug 2012 08:09
I think Glenn Greenwald would be better off concerning himself less with matters below the ads and more with researching interesting stuff.

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Last modified: January 06, 2019