by Wayne Madsen
( December 2, 2016, Boston, Sri Lanka Guardian) The US corporate media, its strings pulled by the modern version of the Central Intelligence Agency’s old Operation MOCKINGBIRD media influencing operation, is laughably accusing Russia of generating «fake news» to influence the outcome of the American presidential election. In a November 24, 2016, article in the CIA-connected Washington Post, reporter Craig Timberg reported: «Russia’s increasingly sophisticated propaganda machinery — including thousands of botnets, teams of paid human ‘trolls,’ and networks of websites and social-media accounts — echoed and amplified right-wing sites across the Internet as they portrayed Clinton as a criminal hiding potentially fatal health problems and preparing to hand control of the nation to a shadowy cabal of global financiers». The Post’s article is worthy of the CIA-generated propaganda spun by the paper at the height of the Cold War-era MOCKINGBIRD.
Contrary to what the Post reported about right-wing accounts of Hillary Clinton’s ties to «a shadowy cabal of global financiers, the vanquished Democratic presidential nominee and her husband, via the slush fund known as the Clinton Foundation, was closely linked to a variety of «shadowy global financiers», including those who serve as executives of Goldman Sachs and J P Morgan Chase. The Clinton cabal was more at home in the gatherings of the secretive syndicates of the Bilderberg Group, Bohemian Club, and the Council on Foreign Relations than they were at labor union and student meetings.
The Post was clearly fed its poorly-sourced and anecdotal-based article on Russian «fake news» by the usual suspects of Russia-bashers and CIA mouthpieces, including The Daily Beast; former US ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul; Rand Corporation; George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs; the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia; and a website called «PropOrNot.com» or «Is It Propaganda Or Not?», which is linked not only to George Soros-funded anti-Russia websites but also to conveyors of CIA disinformation like Snopes.com. The Post article is nothing more than an advertisement for PropOrNot.com, which bills itself as a «Propaganda Identification Service, since 2016».
The media influencing operation targeting Russia appears to be an outgrowth of the US State Department’s Counter-Information Team of the Bureau of International Information Programs. The team, established under the George W. Bush administration, was a resurrection of the Cold War-era US Information Agency’s (USIA) Bureau of Information, which was designed to counter «Soviet» disinformation. The truth of the matter was that many of the news reports from TASS, Radio Moscow, and Novosti, branded as «Soviet disinformation» by USIA, were, in fact, truthful reports on CIA covert operations, including political assassinations, biological warfare, and weapons and narcotics smuggling. Today, the media mouthpieces for the CIA and Soros replace Soviet-era media outlets as their main targets for derision with RT television and Sputnik News.
In 2013, Amazon signed a $600 million contract with the CIA to provide cloud computing services to the agency. Amazon’s owner, Jeff Bezos, also happens to own The Washington Post. Considering the long close relationship between the newspaper and the CIA, the Post is the last media outlet that should be writing about fake news. In 1981, the Post published a fake news story about a 7-year old heroin addict named «Jimmy». Not only was the story fake, but the Post’s assistant managing editor, Bob Woodward of Watergate infamy, submitted the fake Jimmy story to the Pulitzer Prize award committee. The Post reporter who wrote the piece, Janet Cooke, did receive a Pulitzer but had to return it after the story was deemed to be fake. Cooke was fired by the paper but Woodward, a longtime US intelligence mouthpiece, kept his job. So much for The Washington Post and fake news.
In its piece on «fake news», the Post linked to a «blacklist» of alleged «fake news sites» maintained by the mysterious PropOrNot.com. A November 25, 2016, article in Fortune magazine by Mathew Ingram rightfully criticized the Post’s reliance on PropOrNot.com for its story. Ingram wrote: «PropOrNot’s Twitter account, which tweets and retweets anti-Russian sentiments from a variety of sources, has only existed since August of this year. And an article announcing the launch of the group on its website is dated last month».
It is very likely that PropOrNot.com is a creation of The Washington Post’s cloud computing business partner, the CIA. PropOrNot.com calls itself a group of «concerned American citizens with a wide range of backgrounds and expertise, including professional experience in computer science, statistics, public policy, and national security affairs». There are more than enough CIA employees who possess such «professional experience».
PropOrNot.com published a list that would make disgraced Senator Joseph McCarthy, the purveyor of «red lists» of Communists in the 1950s, very proud. PropOrNot.com lists 200 sites, which it claims are «routine peddlers of Russian propaganda». On the list are Strategic Culture.org, globalresearch.ca, drudgereport.com, counterpunch.com, wikileaks.com, wikileaks.org, wikispooks.com. zerohedge.com, and truthdig.com. RT.comand Sputniknews.com also appear on the list. Not on the list are media outlets that have notoriously engaged in fake news reporting. These include The New York Times, USA Today, NBC News, CBS News, The New Republic, CNN, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Outrageously, the blacklist includes USSLIBERTYVETERANS.org, a website maintained by survivors of the willful and unprovoked 1967 Israeli air and naval attack on the US intelligence ship «USS Liberty» in the eastern Mediterranean. The attack killed 34 American Navy sailors and intelligence personnel and the website, in part, is dedicated to their memory. The inclusion of the Liberty veterans’ website strongly suggests the involvement of pro-Israeli shills, all neoconservatives, who nest within a number non-profit think tanks in Washington, DC and may be associated with PropOrNot.com.
The inclusion of some white nationalist «hate sites» on the PropOrNot.com list is reminiscent of the tactics of the misnamed «Southern Poverty Law Center» (SPLC) in Montgomery, Alabama. The center is neither «Southern» or suffering from poverty since it has $175 million in the bank and owns two buildings in Montgomery, both of which have been dubbed by critics as «Poverty Palaces». The Washington Post often quotes SPLC officials in attacking president-elect Donald Trump and his advisers.
PropOrNot.com utilizes a very subjective methodology to come up with its black list: «it does not matter whether the sites listed here are being knowingly directed and paid by Russian intelligence officers, or whether they even knew they were echoing Russian propaganda at any particular point: If they meet these criteria, they are at the very least acting as bona-fide ‘useful idiots’ of the Russian intelligence services, and are worthy of further scrutiny». And who does PropOrNot.com propose for placing other websites on its blacklist and putting them under «further scrutiny?» Perhaps they want the CIA, National Security Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, or US Cyber Command to engage in harassment in violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Other alleged «Russian propaganda» websites included on the blacklist are infowars.com, intrepidreport.com, intellihub.com, informationclearinghouse.info, corbettreport.com, moonofalabama.org, floridasunpost.com, opednews.com, oilgeopolitics.com, gatesofvienna.net, blackagendareport.com, mintpressnews.com, ahtribune.com, thefreethoughtproject.com, consortiumnews.com, washingtonsblog.com, asia-pacificresearch.com, filmsforaction.com (which advances the rights of Native Americans), thirdworldtraveler.com, and activistpost.com.
Many of the blacklisted websites have something in common: they supported Trump for president. The Washington Post heartily endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, which makes the blacklist appear to be, in part, nothing more than sour grapes on the part of the Post and its unnamed «experts» working for PropOrNot.com.
PropOrNot.com also managed to salt its list with a few obvious fake news websites, including www.superstation95.com, which purports to be a New York FM radio station; baltimoregazette.com; and veteranstoday.com. This has the effect of tarnishing the legitimate sites on the list by associating them with fabulists and cyber-grifters.
Two members of the Ronald Reagan administration, Director of the Office of Management and Budget David Stockman (davidstockmanscontracorner.com) and Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy Paul Craig Roberts (paulcraigroberts.org) find their websites on the blacklist. Also blacklisted is former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul (ronpaulinstitute.org).
The blacklist highlighted by The Washington Post appears to be more of a censorship target list developed for the not-to-be Hillary Clinton administration. For the Post to engage in blacklisting other press outlets merely because it does not care for their news content is shameful beyond belief. If any outlet should be ordered to cease its operations for not acting in the public interest, it is The Washington Post for grossly distorting the news and misleading the public from the end of World War II to the present day.
If one wants «fake news» the intelligence-corporate complex is the place to go. From corporate media reports about bogus Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and the Pentagon’s hiring of British public relations firm Bell Pottinger to create fake news stories about terrorist attacks in Iraq to the use of a group called the «White Helmets» that pumps out fake stories regarding the Syrian government, the corporate media is full of «fake news» fed to it by an omnipresent US intelligence-run psychological warfare infrastructure.