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Painting by Anthony Freda: www.AnthonyFreda.com

Peddler of Iraq War Lies Now Pushes Lies On Ukraine to Drum Up Confrontation with Russia

Intelligence regarding Syria is arguably being manipulated even more blatantly than intelligence on Saddam and Iraq.

Media coverage of Syria and Ukraine is as bad as it was of the Iraq war … or worse.

Indeed, it is largely the same knuckleheads in government and in media who are pushing the lies.

Former Associated Press and Newsweek reporter Robert Parry notes today that some of the core Iraq war lies, Syria lies and lies about Ukraine were all penned by New York Times reporter Michael Gordon:

There is now a pattern to New York Times “investigative” stories that seek to pin the blame on some nefarious foreign enemy, as in the 2002 article on Iraq buying aluminum tubes for nuclear centrifuges; the 2013 “vector analysis” tracing sarin-laden rockets to a Syrian military base; and now a photographic analysis proving that Russian soldiers are behind unrest in eastern Ukraine.

All these stories draw hard conclusions from very murky evidence while ignoring or brushing aside alternative explanations. They also pile up supportive acclamations for their conclusions from self-interested sources while treating any doubters as rubes. And, these three articles all involved reporter Michael R. Gordon.

The infamous aluminum tube story of Sept. 8, 2002, which Gordon co-wrote with Judith Miller, relied on U.S. intelligence sources and Iraqi defectors to frighten Americans with images of “mushroom clouds” if they didn’t support President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq. The timing played perfectly into the administration’s advertising “rollout” for the Iraq War.

Of course, the story turned out to be false and to have unfairly downplayed skeptics of the nuclear-centrifuge scenario. The aluminum tubes actually were meant for artillery, not for centrifuges. But the article provided a great impetus toward the Iraq War, which ended up killing nearly 4,500 U.S. soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.

Gordon’s co-author, Judith Miller, became the only U.S. journalist known to have lost a job over the reckless and shoddy reporting that contributed to the Iraq disaster. For his part, Gordon continued serving as a respected Pentagon correspondent.

Gordon’s name also showed up in a supporting role on the Times’ botched “vector analysis” of Sept. 17, 2013, which nearly helped get the United States into another Mideast war, with Syria. That story traced the flight paths of two rockets, recovered in suburbs of Damascus after the Aug. 21 sarin gas attack, back to a Syrian military base 9.5 kilometers away.

The article became the “slam-dunk” evidence that the Syrian government was lying when it denied launching the sarin attack that killed several hundred people.

However, like the aluminum tube story, the Times’ ”vector analysis” also ignored contrary evidence …. [Background]

Now, the New York Times has led its Monday editions with an article supposedly proving that Russian military special forces are secretly directing the popular uprisings in eastern Ukraine…

The Times based its story on grainy photographs provided by the Kiev regime supposedly showing the same armed “green men” involved in actions with the Russian military earlier and now with the pro-Russian protesters who have seized government buildings in towns in eastern Ukraine.

The Times reported, “Now, photographs and descriptions from eastern Ukraine endorsed by the Obama administration on Sunday suggest that many of the green men are indeed Russian military and intelligence forces — equipped in the same fashion as Russian special operations troops involved in annexing the Crimea region in February. Some of the men photographed in Ukraine have been identified in other photos clearly taken among Russian troops in other settings.”

The Times apparently accepts the photos as legitimate in terms of where and when they were taken, but that requires first trusting the source, the post-coup regime in Kiev which has a strong motive for making this argument as a prelude to violently crushing the eastern Ukrainian protests.

Secondly, one has to believe that the fuzzy photographs of the circled faces are the same individuals. They may be, but it is difficult to be sure from what is displayed. The principal figure shown is a man with a long beard and a cap sometimes pulled down over his forehead. He could be a Russian special forces soldier or a character from “Duck Dynasty.

And the resemblance of some uniforms to those worn by Russian soldiers is also circumstantial, since military gear often looks similar or it could have been sold to civilians, or the men could be veterans who kept their old uniforms after leaving the military. The fact that these men are adept at handling weapons also could mean that they have prior military experience, not that they are still active.

For the Times to cite the Obama administration’s endorsement of the Kiev regime’s claims as some kind of verification is also silly. Anyone who has followed the Ukraine crisis knows that the U.S. government is wholeheartedly on the side of the post-coup regime, trumpeting its propaganda and dismissing any counterclaims from the Yanukovych camp or from Moscow.

There’s other silliness in the Times article, such as the notion that the Russians are unusual in “masking” their special forces when U.S. military and intelligence services have been doing the same for decades.

***

Is it possible that the Times’ reporters, including Pentagon correspondent Gordon, don’t know that U.S. Special Forces and CIA officers routinely grow beards and wear local garb to blend in when they are operating in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Central America, etc.?

When I was covering Central America policy in the 1980s, I knew American mercenaries, including former U.S. Special Forces soldiers, who provided training and other assistance to the region’s security forces. Sometimes, these veterans coordinated their actions with the U.S. government and sometimes they were simply making money.

***

Plus, you have to wonder how skillful the Russians really are at “masking” if they have their special forces troops wear uniforms that can be so easily traced back to Russia.

***

The Times should have learned from its previous blunders and taken care to include alternative scenarios or point to evidentiary holes in what the Kiev regime claimed. Instead, the Times has again acted like a prosecutor determined to make a case, not a fair-minded judge weighing the evidence.

It is also an indictment of the Times’ professionalism that this newspaper of record can’t seem to detect neo-Nazis in the post-coup regime, when some have open histories of pro-Nazi behavior, while it goes to dubious lengths to discredit the eastern Ukrainians who are resisting the imposition of authority from an unelected administration in Kiev.

Just like the “aluminum tube” story that justified killing so many Iraqis and the “vector analysis” that almost unleashed a devastating U.S. bombing campaign on Syria, the Times’ “green men” piece may be the prelude to a bloodbath in eastern Ukraine.

The powers-that-be are desperate for a war to distract the population.

And the mainstream media (and large “alternative” media outlets) are always pro-war, and happy to beat the war drums as loudly as they can.

So they will push lie after lie

Category: Think Tank, UnGuru, War/Defense

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

11 Responses to “More War Lies Sold By the Same Lying Liars”

  1. ilsm says:

    Another in a series of Vietnams where the enemy is horrid, while our puppets are worse.

    What Goring said about getting the “people in an uproar” so they can be lead to do worse than the enemy supposedly does.

    “Russians” in camo-disguise in East Ukraine are now the VC…………….

    And there will be no plebescites!

  2. rd says:

    We have NATO commitments now to some Eastern European countries. Ukraine is not one of them.

    Many in Russia and Ukraine believe that many areas of Ukraine (especially Crimea, Eastern Ukraine, and Kiev) have historically been part of Russia. Russia, Cossacks, and otehr groups there have generally not behaved well towards many parts of the population i nthe past, but that doesn’t send us to war in Africa and other parts of the world.

    Starting a war with Russia over a country that we don’t have a mutual aid pact with would be highly stupid – unfortunately that gives it a relatively high probability of occurring.

  3. BuffaloBob says:

    Iraq is done, Afghanistan winding down. We must generate new enemies to frighten the masses, so the military / industrial / security / Congressional complex can continue to flourish.

    Is it just me, or do others see the recent chest beating of Obama, Biden, Kerry, et.al, as frighteningly amateurish and dangerous?

    • ilsm says:

      Bush (Tx ANG draft dodegr) , no military service Cheney set the for chickenhawks’ standard now toted by Obama, Kerry and Hagel.

  4. VennData says:

    People like Gordon need access.

    But when you say “…The powers-that-be are desperate for a war to distract the population…” You brush over the issue. The US government is a collection of special interests doing their best to get theirs.

    The Times needs to look at who gave the stories, intel, and follow up, track, the “facts.”. That is called accountability.

    Nice piece, but we need to audit this back through. It’s taken ten years and we still don’t have the CIA / Bush / Cheney torture reports. That will be a step in the right direction, not traitors like Snowden who refuses to accept his own accountability.

  5. theexpertisin says:

    Never has a war to distract the population been as necessary as with the present administration.

  6. ilsm says:

    Depeartent of Contrivances, lies to fund the military industry complex trough

    US needs less contrivance and more truth.:

    Compared to Whom? Compared to When?
    By Winslow T. Wheeler • April 18, 2014
    http://www.unz.com/article/an-inadequate-defense-budget/

    “There is a major mismatch between the actual size of the US defense budget and the characterization of inadequacy given to it. The enormity of the US defense budget, even under sequestration, is readily apparent in both relative and absolute terms.”

    “The relationship of US defense spending to that of presumed threat nations and the girth of contemporary defense spending compared to a time of greater threat does not call into question the adequacy of the size of today’s US defense budget; it calls into question the competence of current US political and military leadership, both in the Pentagon and in Congress.”

    While the USS Cook an Aegis air defense destroyer runs to port in Rumania after being buzzed by a Russian jet in the Black Sea. Its radars are on land in Poland to defend them.

    It may be the arms money [1/10 of the money US wastes in the pentagon] in Russia is far better spent. While they do not have Lockheed job programs wasting trillions in spending.

  7. denim says:

    Reading the quote or even the whole Sun Tzu book does not mean one has the wisdom to understand or execute successful actions… “For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increases knowledge increases sorrow.” [Ecc 1:18.] I’ll take a pass on anymore of the kind of war mongering wisdom
    being used today.

    https://suntzublog.wordpress.com/2009/12/17/all-warfare-is-based-upon-deception/

  8. DeDude says:

    Journalists with a blatant agenda is becoming more the rule and not the exception.

  9. Winchupuata says:

    Heard some guys at work talking about this, all they were saying was how the Russians are horrible and how the US should just go in and start bombing them. Granted, these people are not exactly what I would call smart, but if this is what joe public thinks I’m afraid we’re in for some rough times ahead.

  10. dznyc says:

    Apology from the New York Times:

    http://publiceditor.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/aftermath-of-ukraine-photo-story-shows-need-for-more-caution/?hp

    Let’s not forget, however, that Putin and his near-state-controlled media is a bigger liar.