Renewed Fighting Raises Western Self-Censorship Questions

 

That is truly a gut-wrenching video, but I wish every American could see it.  When I watch msm coverage of the Ukraine I am reminded of the Ministry of Truth.  Our media has finally shed any pretense of being anything but the official propaganda arm of the U.S. government and its intelligence and surveillance apparatus.  I don’t know how many times I’ve read that Russia invaded Crimea when the troops were already there by treaty, and where, as far as I know, not a shot was fired by the Russians.  The brutal assault on East Ukraine cities and infrastructure certainly provides hindsight justification for Russia’s annexation of Crimea.  Kiev is clearly exercising ethnic cleansing of the Ukranian Russian-speaking populace, and we and the media are giving them cover and encouragement.  I think Russia is showing great restraint.  From what I’ve read Russia can bring down the entire European economy and Wall Street overnight simply by defaulting on its debt or cashing in its reserves and demanding payment in gold, which apparently no longer exists in those Fed vaults.  Putin is a scum bag, but I find myself sympathizing with him these days.  

Immediately below is the video I mentioned showing a rebel commander, Givi, interrogating prisoners from the Azov Batallion captured after bloody fighting this week in the Dombass region immediately following the death of 13 civilians in Donetsk  allegedly from the all-out shelling by the NATO equipped invaders. The text is from the video provider, which is an English language source within Russia/Eastern Ukraine called “Fort Russ.”

Some context is from two recent Paul Roberts articles that may have appeared on OEN.  

None of this is definitive word, or necessarily even accurate, of course. Just food for thought and the video is raw material especially.

 

White House, other Western and Russian leaders restrained their rhetoric regarding the Ukrainian crisis even as other players on all sides ramped up claims of murder, conspiracy, torture and other unethical conduct rarely leveled so bluntly regarding large governments.

To be sure, the official rhetoric was tough -- but not in comparison with the claims by non-government players alleging state-sponsored, murderous, false flag operations -- or else schemes to falsify such evidence.

RuslaanUkrainian rock star Ruslana Lyzhychko, for example, told a National Press Club audience March 5 that Russians and their leader are undertaking vast propaganda efforts, torture and killing to maintain influence in the Ukraine following street protests that toppled a pro-Russian leader late last month.

But Ruslana -- known by her first name, shown in my photo and fresh from receiving White House honors this week for years of advocacy against Russia -- did not directly answer my question about whether she thought controversial leaked tapes were genuine in their implications. (The question is at the 30-minute mark of the 70-minute video below.)

One implication was that the Western-backed snipers intentionally killed fellow protesters, and another was that Western leaders were involved in the selection of the Ukraine's new leaders. The phone call the first week of February is now being virtually ignored, U.S. diplomat apologizes for profane remarks on E.U. in leaked phone call.

In a response of at least eight minutes, Ruslana instead argued that Russian President Vladimir Putin is capable of boundless evil and should be thwarted in the Ukraine -- and overthrown in Russia by its people.

Barack Obama Speaks with Vladimir Putin March 1, 2014 (White House Photo)Meanwhile, Putin, President Obama (shown calling Putin), Ukranian, NATO, United Nations and other leaders exchanged threats to opponents and promises of massive aid to allies.

But no major new violence or troop movements were reported. The leading players, including Russian and the Ukraine, have many inter-dependent ties, and thus risk hurting themselves if actions are not sufficiently planned or explained to various national and global constituencies.

Among major developments, Russia tightened its hold on the Crimean Peninsula, and European nations promised $15 billion in aid to the Ukraine.

Additionally, Republican former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Democratic former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote op-eds in the Washington Post providing their views, excepted below.

The columns, How the Ukraine crisis ends and What is to be done? Putin’s aggression in Ukraine needs a response are by two of the longest-term foreign policy advisors of the powerful.  My new book, Presidential Puppetry, points to the important role of these two foreign policy gurus in particular.

Also, two United States-reared anchors on the Russian-government funded television station RT made news by on-air criticism of the Russian government and RT. 


 
Liz Wahl
Liz Wahl, an anchor in RT's D.C. bureau, said on air that she was resigning because she felt the cable network's Russian ownership compromised her journalistic integrity. "That is why after this newscast, I'm resigning," said Wahl, shown in a screenshot as she stated her reasons for resigning.
 
Her resignation followed RT anchor Abby Martin's criticism of military intervention during her own broadcast. "What Russia did is wrong," said Martin.
 
RT responded by calling Wahl's unannounced on-air departure a "stunt," and expressed support for Martin's editorial independence. Each appeared on CNN the evening of March 5 to discuss their views and actions.
 
I have a complex reaction to this as a recent guest on RT discussing the Ukraine and as a longtime media critic. For the record, I have never accepted a penny from RT, just as I do not (most of the time) from mainstream, ultra-conservative or other outlets unless I am hired as an investigative reporter or contributor.
 
Regarding the current controversy, my view is that any high-level, serious focus on the mechanics of the news business is useful, including this. That's why I've written two books of press criticism, and innumerable articles and broadcast commentaries.
 
That said, we should not make too much out of these particular incidents, given the vast amount of decision-making no one ever sees about the news business and its information gate-keepers. To place the statements in context would require discussion of such Cold War U.S. programs as Operation Mockingbird and Operation Northwoods, and the kinds of more current revelations documented in Presidential Puppetry. Until we see that on CNN (or RT for that matter), we are seeing only part of the picture.
 
Television anchors tend to be attractive, personable and well-spoken individuals who "visit" our homes. So, it is news when they do something unusual, just as it is when a rock star visits the Press Club.
 
But it's helpful to remember that it is all show business to some degree, whether such fine points as make-up for talent and guests alike, or snappy points, whether Russian-owned or not.
 
Vladimir PutinFurthermore, there is virtually no discussion in the United States media of the ownership interests, self-censorship and ties to intelligence agencies.
 
Readers here regularly see unreported or under-reported stories that are overlooked, often for reasons related to self-censorship by American personnel working for American news organizations. Ultimately, that goes back to management and owners.
 
We regularly report on these matters here, and see (as recently as earlier this week) that American journalists, news outlets and organizations can be extremely reluctant to risk reporting on sensitive topics, especially involving VIPs in government. 
 
One such story is the jailing of journalist Roger Shuler in Alabama. Another is the suppression of voting rights in Alabama and other jurisdictions that I shall be exploring at a major march for the next few days in Alabama. That is why I must be relatively brief on this story. Many other stories involve intelligence organizations and their activities.
 
One specific set of allegations involve claims that Western powers helped organize the protests in the Ukraine, as indicated in the purported tape recording of U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Victoria Nuland covered here last month.
 
Another topic is the claim, amplified below in the report March 5 by Zero Hedge, that rebellious snipers fired into crowds of fellow protesters to create a false flag incident to help topple the government.
 
The latter allegation, amplified below, is so new that we cannot know whether the allegation was in fact concocted by the Russians, as Ruslana suspected, or reflected real and sinister actions.
 
I, for one, would be delighted to engage in this kind of discussion and share dozens of important stories that are suppressed in the American media. One was an oped by former President Truman criticizing the power of the CIA, which he helped create.
 
That is why we should have press conferences such as the one today -- and continuing coverage. My next stop, in a few hours, will be
 
 
 
 
 
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Of course, said pro-Western coalition has not been discredited because Ms. Ashton has sternly refused to investigate, knowing quite well how horribly this would reflect on the new Ukraine "leadership" -- a government which shot its own people to fabricate the pretext under which it rose to power. Is it any wonder then that Russia has responded the way it has?

National Press Club, NPC Newsmaker: Ruslana Lyzhychko, March 5, 2014 (70 minute video). As the tense political situation in Ukraine escalated, Ruslana Lyzhychko, one of Ukraine's most internationally recognizable and politically active citizens discussed the situation in her home country at the National Press Club on March 5, 2014. 30 minute mark

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Victoria NulandGeoffrey PyatttWashington Post, U.S. diplomat apologizes for profane remarks on E.U. in leaked phone call, Anne Gearan, Feb. 6, 2014. Victoria Nuland dismissively referred to slow-moving European efforts to address the crisis in Ukraine. The top U.S. diplomat for Europe apologized Thursday for comments about the European Union that were — to put it lightly — undiplomatic. “F--- the E.U.,” Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland, left, said in a private telephone call to U.S. Ambassador to the Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, right, that was intercepted and leaked online. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki acknowledged that the recording was authentic and said Nuland had apologized to E.U. officials. But U.S. officials were also quick to point the finger at Russia, which has bristled at U.S. involvement in Ukraine.

Washington Post, A quick guide to the people in the call on Ukraine, Terri Rupar, Feb. 6, 2014. Who Victoria Nuland is discussing in her phone call about the situation in Ukraine. In the call, Nuland, a former U.S. ambassador to NATO and State Department spokeswoman, was dismissively referring to slow-moving European efforts to address political paralysis and a looming fiscal crisis in Ukraine. But it was the blunt nature of her remarks, rather than U.S. diplomatic calculations, that seemed exceptional. Nuland also assessed the political skills of Ukrainian opposition figures with unusual candor and, along with the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, debated strategy for their cause, laying bare a deep degree of U.S. involvement in affairs that Washington officially says are Ukraine’s to resolve.


 

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