United States plans for aggression and disruptions abroad are developed by current and former officials whose names may not be well known. They often leave government positions to become fellows at a plethora of think tanks that are connected to high level policy makers. It is important to know what they are saying, as their words have an impact on US foreign policy decisions. Michael Rubin is currently a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) , the rightwing think tank in Washington, DC, that mostly disseminates a neoconservative interventionist agenda, and where Rubin spends his time churning out misleading information and lies about the Red Sea State of Eritrea and the Horn of Africa. Rubin was a Pentagon staffer from 2002 to 2004, and an advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority during America’s disastrous invasion of Iraq in 2003.
According to what U.S. officials claim some anti-Kremlin fringe group in Russia was used by a Russian intelligence service to somehow send letter bombs from Valladolid, Spain, to some offices in Madrid. But why would Russian intelligence run such a nonsense campaign? Why would it use a problematic fringe group of Russian crazies to do so. Why in Spain? Why not in Poland, Germany or France? What is the evidence? None of those questions get answered. Instead rumors and hot air assumptions are put together to make the claims somewhat less outrageous. This is on the same level as the lies about 'weapons of mass destruction in Iraq' the Times printed 20 years ago. The addition of the implausible Skripal poisoning story and the false claims of 'Russian bounties' in Afghanistan does not help to make the story more convincing. There is no evidence that either happened at all.
A former top CIA spy has admitted that the United States funds anti-government propagandists in Cuba who portray themselves as “independent journalists”. Major British newspaper The Guardian spoke with CIA veteran Fulton Armstrong, whom it described as “the US intelligence community’s most senior analyst for Latin America from 2000 to 2004”. Armstrong stated that, in Cuba, “a lot of the so-called independent journalists are indirectly funded by the US”. The ex CIA analyst pointed out that, today, the Joe Biden administration bankrolls anti-government opposition forces in Cuba with at least $20 million in annual support for supposed “democracy promotion” activities. The Guardian acknowledged that the CIA has a history of spreading disinformation inside Cuba, as part of a US information war aimed at destabilizing the revolutionary government.
Today, a group of researchers from Harvard University and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research released a first-of-its-kind study that shows just how excellent the predictions of Exxon’s scientists were — and how the company’s leadership went on to undermine those findings to our collective peril. The new study is the first-ever systematic, peer-reviewed analysis of the fossil fuel industry’s climate modeling and projections — and its authors say it could have big implications for efforts to hold Exxon and other oil companies accountable for their deceit. Harvard researchers Geoffrey Supran and Naomi Oreskes (whose names you might recognize from their extensive work documenting fossil fuel industry propaganda) and climate scientist Stefan Rahmstorf conducted statistical analyses of internal climate projections from Exxon scientists between 1977 and 2003.
On the night of January 6, I was invited to participate in a panel discussion on the ongoing conflict in Ukraine organized by Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace (BN4P), a local antiwar group I’ve had connections with since the leadup to the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, and the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC), a national organization founded and headed by Joe Lombardo, a long-time peace activist whose resume of activism dates back to the Vietnam War. Joe was set to moderate the event, where I was to join Dan Kovalik, an American lawyer and Human Rights advocate who currently teaches International Human Rights at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, on the panel.
The consolidation of American media by a handful of monopolies has had wide-reaching effects on our politics and culture. A real decline in media literacy and political debate has occurred as separate audiences become increasingly polarized and isolated to the benefit of media corporations both old and new. How did things get so bad, and what can possibly be done to salvage our political culture? Nolan Higdon and Mickey Huff join The Chris Hedges Report to discuss their new book, Let’s Agree to Disagree: A Critical Thinking Guide to Communication, Conflict Management, and Critical Media Literacy. Nolan Higdon is a lecturer in media studies and history at California State University, East Bay.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II has been available for less than three weeks, but it is already making waves. Breaking records, within ten days, the first-person military shooter video game earned more than $1 billion in revenue. Yet it has also been shrouded in controversy, not least because missions include assassinating an Iranian general clearly based on Qassem Soleimani, a statesman and military leader slain by the Trump administration in 2020, and a level where players must shoot “drug traffickers” attempting to cross the U.S./Mexico border. The Call of Duty franchise is an entertainment juggernaut, having sold close to half a billion games since it was launched in 2003. Its publisher, Activision Blizzard, is a giant in the industry, behind titles games as the Guitar Hero, Warcraft, Starcraft, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, Crash Bandicoot and Candy Crush Saga series.
For the Western press, the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party offered a number of signals which—if read in good faith—could have been perceived as reassuring. Instead, establishment outlets reverted to familiar narratives regarding China’s Covid mitigation strategy and tied these into renewed predictions of a long-prophesied economic disaster—one that would inevitably befall China as a result of its government’s decision to forsake the orthodoxy of open markets. More than anything else, corporate media fixated on Hu Jintao’s departure from the congress hall, engaging in tabloid-variety speculation around the fate of CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping’s 79-year-old predecessor.
Rising prices, falling living standards, a government in turmoil although united around its anti-union, anti-democratic and anti-environment agenda — but at least we don’t live in China. That’s been the message of an amplifying propaganda discourse against Beijing in the run-up to its 20th Communist Party congress, which opened today. Read Martin Wolf or Gideon Rachman in the Financial Times, and China’s economic policies are disastrous, even if they have delivered (as Rachman notes) “thousands of miles of new motorways and high-speed rail over the past 20 years” and made “Western executives sigh in envy at China’s ability to plan for the long term.” British workers, who have endured more than a decade of falling pay, might envy China’s record (average wages have risen at over 10 per cent a year since 2010, leading the median wage to rise from 37,147 yuan in 2010 to 97,379 in 2020, a 162 per cent increase).
Back in April it was widely reported that the U.S. government is intentionally lying about the war in Ukraine: In a break with the past, U.S. is using intel to fight an info war with Russia, even when the intel isn't rock solid - April 6, 2020 - NBC News It was an attention-grabbing assertion that made headlines around the world: U.S. officials said they had indications suggesting Russia might be preparing to use chemical agents in Ukraine. President Joe Biden later said it publicly. But three U.S. officials told NBC News this week there is no evidence Russia has brought any chemical weapons near Ukraine. They said the U.S. released the information to deter Russia from using the banned munitions. It’s one of a string of examples of the Biden administration’s breaking with recent precedent by deploying declassified intelligence as part of an information war against Russia. The administration has done so even when the intelligence wasn’t rock solid, officials said, to keep Russian President Vladimir Putin off balance.
The abundance of “hashtag activism” has created a false sense of importance for the everyday individual being driven by weaponized empathy to speak out about a cause or injustice happening internationally. This false sense of importance, brought on by the use of hashtags as awareness, is ignited by already held biases about the colonized world, which inevitably leads to both overt and covert calls for western intervention to “save” whoever has been deemed needing of saving. The use of hashtag activism has certainly all but replaced in-person community organizing. It has allowed an array of people across the country and across the world to be united in solidarity for a cause that can be summarized in as small a character limit as possible. This “connection”, of course, is oftentimes heralded as one of the more positive things about social media.
A trade association that lobbies on behalf of the largest banks in the United States told regulators that their members’ pledges to reduce investments in carbon-emitting industries are “aspirational,” implying that they shouldn’t be taken seriously by authorities. The Bank Policy Institute made the remarks in public comments on guidelines proposed earlier this year by federal bank regulators, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), on climate-related risk management. Specifically, the lobbying group rejected the notion floated by the agencies that regulations should ensure banks’ greenhouse gas commitments to the public “are consistent with their internal strategies and risk appetite statements.”
Why Are You Trying To Ruin My Favorite True-crime podcasts? We’re not, we swear! Copaganda is so pervasive it’s almost impossible to avoid. We won’t begrudge anyone the enjoyment of solving puzzles while watching Mare of Easttown or listening to the hosts of My Favorite Murder— whatever floats your boat. But it’s important to consider the sum effect this genre has on our collective view of reality — namely, that it warps it almost unrecognizably, framing everyday people as potential threats and police as the only real remedy.
The U.S. military’s massive public relations machine produces news releases, articles, films and spends millions of dollars on civilian media contractors to create content for recruiting and selling national security priorities to the American public. Yet, with all the media assets available to the Department of Defense and each of the military services, the actions of senior civilian and military leadership make it impossible for one of the world’s biggest media conglomerates to dig itself out of the hellhole of the Navy’s Red Hill jet fuel contamination of the drinking water of 93,000 in Hawai’i and lack of medical resources for those poisoned by jet fuel. For example, on September 29, 2022, the Secretary of Defense, retired 4-star Army general, Lloyd Austin, arrived on the island of O’ahu to take a tour of the 80-year-old underground jet fuel tanks that in late November 2021 spewed for 35 hours 19,000 gallons of jet fuel down a tunnel hallway, under a raised door and directly into the Red Hill drinking water well and into a part of the aquifer of Honolulu.