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AP’s Today in History for February 3rd
The ‘day the music died’ during early rock ‘n roll; the Luna 9 probe lands on the Moon; the first woman to pilot a Space Shuttle; painter Norman Rockwell and composer Felix Mendelssohn born.
Breakfast Tune “”Mendelssohn’s Concerto” Banjo Solo by H Clarke (of Clarke & Earle) Berliner 6324 Rec 9-2-190
Something to think about, Breakfast News & Blogs below
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, kicked off her presidential campaign with a rally in Honolulu. Perhaps most famous for her controversial foreign policy views, Gabbard said she “will end the regime change wars that have taken far too many lives and undermined our security by strengthening terrorist groups like al Qaeda.”
“These powerful politicians dishonor the sacrifices made by every one of my brothers and sisters in uniform, their families – they are the ones who pay the price for these wars,” Gabbard said. “In fact, every American pays the price for these wars, trillions of dollars since 9/11.”
In the speech, Gabbard pushed strong on her military service, saying she would bring her “soldier’s values” to the White House and being introduced by a soldier who served with her in Iraq.
When Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard announced her candidacy for the presidency on CNN last month, I had a feeling I’d be writing about her a fair bit. Not because I particularly want her to be president, but because I knew her candidacy would cause the narrative control mechanizations of the political/media class to overextend themselves, leaving them open to attack, exposure, and the weakening of their control of the narrative.
Mere hours before her campaign officially launched, NBC News published an astonishingly blatant smear piece titled “Russia’s propaganda machine discovers 2020 Democratic candidate Tulsi Gabbard,” subtitled “Experts who track websites and social media linked to Russia have seen stirrings of a possible campaign of support for Hawaii Democrat Tulsi Gabbard.” One of the article’s authors shared it on Twitter with the caption, “The Kremlin already has a crush on Tulsi Gabbard.”
The article reported that media outlets tied to the Russian government had been talking a lot about Gabbard’s candidacy, ironically citing as an example an RT article which documented the attempts by the US mainstream media to paint Gabbard as a Kremlin agent. The article’s authors cited the existence of such articles combined with the existence of “chatter” about Gabbard on the anonymous message board 8chan (relevant for God knows what reason) as evidence to substantiate its blaring headline. Even more hilariously, the source for its weird 8chan claim is named as none other than Renee DiResta of the narrative control firm New Knowledge, which was recently embroiled in a scandal for staging a “false flag operation” in an Alabama Senate race which gave one of the candidates the false appearance of being amplified by Russian bots.
This article is of course absurd. As we discussed recently, you will always see Russia on the same US foreign policy page as anti-interventionists like Tulsi Gabbard, because Russia, like so many other nations, opposes US interventionism. To treat this as some sort of shocking conspiracy instead of obvious and mundane is journalistic malpractice. There are many, many very good reasons to oppose the war agendas of the US-centralized empire, none of which have anything to do with having any loyalty to or sympathies for the Russian government.
But we will continue to see this tactic used again and again and again against any and all opposition to US-led interventionism for as long as the Russiagate psyop maintains its grip upon western consciousness. And make no mistake, these smears have everything to do with anti-interventionism and nothing to do with Russia. There will never, ever be an antiwar voice who the political/media class and their centrist followers espouse as good and valid; they’ll never say “Ahh, finally, someone who hates war and also isn’t aligned with Russia! We can get behind this one!” That will never, ever happen, because it is the opposition to war and interventionism itself which is being rejected, and in the McCarthyite environment of Russia hysteria, tarring it as “Russian” simply makes a practical excuse for that rejection.
NBC NEWS PUBLISHED a predictably viral story Friday, claiming that “experts who track websites and social media linked to Russia have seen stirrings of a possible campaign of support for Hawaii Democrat Tulsi Gabbard.”
But the whole story was a sham: the only “experts” cited by NBC in support of its key claim was the firm, New Knowledge, that just got caught by the New York Times fabricating Russian troll accounts on behalf of the Democratic Party in the Alabama Senate race to manufacture false accusations that the Kremlin was interfering in that election.
To justify its claim that Tulsi Gabbard is the Kremlin’s candidate, NBC stated: “analysts at New Knowledge, the company the Senate Intelligence Committee used to track Russian activities in the 2016 election, told NBC News they’ve spotted ‘chatter’ related to Gabbard in anonymous online message boards, including those known for fomenting right-wing troll campaigns.”
What NBC – amazingly – concealed is a fact that reveals its article to be a journalistic fraud: that same firm, New Knowledge, was caught just six weeks ago engaging in a massive scam to create fictitious Russian troll accounts on Facebook and Twitter in order to claim that the Kremlin was working to defeat Democratic Senate nominee Doug Jones in Alabama. The New York Times, when exposing the scam, quoted a New Knowledge report that boasted of its fabrications: “We orchestrated an elaborate ‘false flag’ operation that planted the idea that the [Roy] Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet.’”
At the same time that New Research’s CEO, Jonathan Morgan, was fabricating Russian troll accounts and using them to create a fraudulent appearance that Putin was trying to defeat the Democratic Senate candidate, he was exploiting his social media “expertise” to claim that Russians were interfering in the Alabama Senate election. In other words, Morgan used his own fake Russian accounts to lie to the public and deceive the national media into believing that Kremlin-linked accounts were trying to defeat the Democratic Senate candidate when, in fact, the accounts he was citing were ones he himself had fabricated and controlled.
Even worse, Morgan’s firm is behind one of the recent Senate reports on Russian social media election interference as well as the creation of “Hamilton 68,” the pseudo-data-driven dashboard constantly used by U.S. media outlets to claim that its enemies are supported by the Kremlin (that tool has so been abused that even some of its designers urged the media to stop exaggerating its meaning). During the Alabama race, Morgan – in a tweet he deleted once his fraud was exposed – cited the #Hamilton68 data that he himself manipulated with his fake Russian accounts to claim that Russia was interfering in the Alabama Senate race:
In response to this scam being revealed, Facebook closed the accounts of five Americans who were responsible for this fraud, including Morgan himself, the “prominent social media researcher” who is the CEO of New Knowledge. He also touts himself as a “State Dept. advisor, computational propaganda researcher for DARPA, Brookings Institution.”
Beyond Morgan’s Facebook suspension, the billionaire funder and LinkedIn founder who provided the money for the New Knowledge project, Reid Hoffman, apologized and claimed he had no knowledge of the fraud. The victorious Democratic Senate candidate who won the Alabama Senate race and who repeatedly cited New Knowledge’s fake Russian accounts during the election to claim he was being attacked by Russian bots, Doug Jones, insisted he had no knowledge of the scheme and has now called for a federal investigation into New Knowledge.
This is the group of “experts” on which NBC News principally relied to spread its inflammatory, sensationalistic, McCarthyite storyline that Gabbard’s candidacy is supported by the Kremlin.
Click through for links and full piece.
As Venezuela’s second president, Simon Bolivar, noted in the 19th century, the US government continues to “plague Latin America with misery in the name of liberty.”
From engineering coups in Chile and Guatemala, to choreographing a troop landing at the Bay of Pigs intended to establish an exile government in Cuba, to training Latin American strongmen at the School of the Americas in torture techniques to control their people, the United States has meddled, interfered, intervened and undermined the democracies it claims to protect.
Now, Vice President Mike Pence, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) and the infamous Elliott Abrams are working with opposition groups in Venezuela to carry out a coup d’état.
In 2002, the George W. Bush administration, through the CIA, aided and abetted an attempted coup, according to attorney Eva Golinger, an award-winning author and journalist. Golinger, a close confidante of former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, obtained evidence of US intervention from multiple Freedom of Information Act requests, which she discusses in her new book, Confidante of ‘Tyrants’: The Inside Story of the American Woman Trusted By the US’s Biggest Enemies.
There is a major difference, however, between the 2002 coup attempt and the Trump administration’s current effort to change the regime in Venezuela, Golinger says. She told Truthout that unlike the situation in 2002, “when the Bush administration worked behind the scenes to back a coup d’état against Chávez with multimillion-dollar funding and political support to the opposition, the Trump administration is now pursuing regime change in Venezuela in plain sight.”
Within two days of his self-inauguration as “interim president,” Guaidó began a process to restructure and privatize Venezuela’s oil industry for the benefit of multinational corporations.
Drawing a parallel with George W. Bush’s Iraq war, Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) tweeted, “It’s about the oil … again.” Indeed, Halliburton, exempted from the new sanctions against Venezuela, is once again benefitting from regime change, like it did in Iraq.
Bolton didn’t pull any punches when he stated at a press conference that, “We’re in conversation with major American companies now. … It would make a difference if we could have American companies produce the oil in Venezuela. We both have a lot of stake here.”
The Trump administration appears intent on privatizing Venezuela’s oil in order to maximize the profits of US oil companies at the expense of the Venezuelan people and the rule of law.
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WASHINGTON—Sighing with resignation as he spoke to those surrounding him, Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker reportedly apologized to a coterie of Wall Street bankers Friday for all the mean things he is going to have to say about them in the upcoming months.
“Things are liable to get a little ugly out there on the campaign trail, but if you ever hear me attacking you guys, just know I don’t really mean it, okay?” said Booker, squeezing the hand of several Goldman Sachs and Bank Of America CEOs in turn and making assurances that no matter what it might sound like on the campaign trail, they’ll never be far from his thoughts. “These next couple of years are going to be a real strain, but just remember that I’m doing it all for you. And I swear that when this crazy race is all over, things will be better between us than ever before. Now, we’re not going to be able to meet like this for a while, but just know that I’ll miss you all every day until we’re finally reunited again.”
A tearful Booker then reportedly left for a meeting with health insurance executives to let them know that “while my mouth is saying ‘Medicare For All,’ my heart is saying ‘increased profit margins for Blue Cross Blue Shield and Cigna.’”