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Magda Hassan
11-27-2016, 01:49 PM
Who is the secretive, shadow group PropOrNot, that is now pushing to lynch “Russian controlled fake news” sites http://45eq7vmb9bj1ratu11zv1p19.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Screen-Shot-2016-06-27-at-12.41.40-PM-150x150.pngAlex Christoforou (http://theduran.com/author/alex/)22 hours ago 7 (http://theduran.com/who-is-the-secretive-shadow-group-propornot-that-is-now-pushing-to-lynch-russian-fake-news-sites/#disqus_thread) 1418
Maybe they are Soros backed. We can sense that Hillary Clinton has her fingerprints all over this one.
They sprung up out of nowhere. A group of “scientists” who cracked the code and exposed 200 sites as being controlled by the evil Russian deep state. (http://theduran.com/the-washington-post-names-the-duran-rt-zerohedge-drudge-and-ron-paul-as-russian-fake-news-outlets/)
American patriots, going by the name PropOrNot, (http://www.propornot.com/p/the-list.html) figured out that Trump’s election victory, and Hillary’s election defeat, was part of an elaborate Kremlin plan.
It was a plan that oversaw anti-Hillary “fake news” stories distributed across computer screens and Facebook feeds of unsuspecting American voters, via news sites that are under the mind control of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
PropOrNot exposed it all, and they now have the list of sites (http://www.propornot.com/p/the-list.html) that are fully owned and operated by The Kremlin, published on their website as a warning to all innocent American citizens to beware of the sinister plot to take away Hillary Clinton’s God given right to rule over the land.
Who are these people who risked everything to expose the Russian deep state mind control power in media…

PropOrNot is an independent team of computer scientists, statisticians, national security professionals, journalists, and political activists dedicated to identifying propaganda – particularly Russian propaganda targeting a US audience. We collect public-record information connecting propaganda outlets to each other and their coordinators abroad, analyze what we find, act as a central repository and point of reference for related information, and organize efforts to oppose it.
We work to shine a light on propaganda in order to prevent it from distorting political and policy discussions, to strengthen our cultural immune systems against hostile influence, and to improve public discourse generally.
Many of our contributors wish to stay anonymous, in light of possible Russian retaliation, as has happened in Finland and elsewhere.
The anonymous “good guys” calling out the not-so-anonymous Russian propagandists.
Maybe the “good guys” from PropOrNot are funded by the CIA. Maybe they are Soros backed. We can sense that Hillary Clinton has her fingerprints all over this one. The “fake news” coupled with Russian intrigue and Jill Stein voter recounts…the perfect storm to try and wrestle the White House out of Trump’s hands, and into safer, globalist arms.
Perhaps Zerohedge (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-25/meet-real-fake-news) can help us identify the men and women behind the PropOrNot movement..

In its attempt to redirect the public’s attention from its historic failure to deliver unbiased, objective, factual reporting in the context of the presidential election in which virtually every single mainstream media outlet was revealed (courtesy of the hacked Podesta emails (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-19/ron-paul-exposes-real-fake-media)) and acted as a Public Relations arm for the Clinton campaign, said media has opened a new can of worms by ushering in the topic of “fake news” – a purposefully vague, undefined term meant to deflect and scapegoat by “exposing” propaganda websites, which in the latest incarnation of the narrative, are now allegedly serving to further Russian propaganda in the US.
As we reported earlier (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-25/washington-post-names-drudge-zero-hedge-anti-clinton-sophisticated-russian-propagand), none other than the Washington Post – a company owned by Jeff Bezos, who for the past year has been involved in a famous media spat with president-elect Donald Trump (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-10/jeff-bezos-congratulates-donald-trump-one-year-after-offering-send-him-space)– pounced on a list created by a website (http://www.propornot.com/)that was created (according to its whois profile (https://whois.icann.org/en)) on August 21 using godaddy.com as registrar and had its first tweet on November 2 (https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/802247437289226240), and which among others, lists Drudge Report and Zero Hedge as representatives of “Russian propaganda.”
This is how the “scientists” at the Goebbels-esque “PropOrNot” describe their qualifications (http://www.propornot.com/p/frequently-asked-questions.html)in determining and recommending which websites are fit to be burned (starting with a plea for investigations by the Obama administration) in a post “fake news” world.
*****
In other words, while attacking the anonymity of so-called “Russian propaganda” websites (websites which chose to remain anonymous knowing this kind of retaliation was inevitable), the public servants and experts devoted to rooting out Russian propaganda in the US opt, themselves, to remain anonymous.
To be sure, we have no interest in uncovering who may be behind this particular organization (which conveniently stepped in after a similar list was floated last week by a discredited liberal professor (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-18/meet-leftist-professor-who-wrote-hit-list-fake-news-sites), who likewise defined Zero Hedge as “fake news”). We do, want, however to warn readers about who the real source of documented fake news in the US traditionally has been. The US government itself, through its vast espionage and counterespionage apparatus.

http://theduran.com/who-is-the-secretive-shadow-group-propornot-that-is-now-pushing-to-lynch-russian-fake-news-sites/

Magda Hassan
11-27-2016, 01:58 PM
Washington Post Promotes Shadowy Website That Accuses 200 Publications of Being Russian Propaganda Plants
The anonymous PropOrNot is calling for investigations of websites including Wikileaks and major progressive publications.



By Max Blumenthal (http://www.alternet.org/authors/max-blumenthal) / AlterNet (http://alternet.org)
November 25, 2016






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460 COMMENTS (http://www.alternet.org/comments/media/washington-post-promotes-shadowy-website-accuses-200-publications-russian-propaganda-plants#disqus_thread)


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A shady website (http://www.propornot.com/p/home.html) that claims “Russia is Manipulating US Opinion Through Online Propaganda” has compiled a blacklist of websites its anonymous authors accuse of pushing fake news and Russian propaganda. The blacklist includes over 200 outlets, from the right-wing Drudge Report and Russian government-funded Russia Today, to Wikileaks and an array of marginal conspiracy and far-right sites. The blacklist also includes some of the flagship publications of the progressive left, including Truthdig, Counterpunch, Truthout, Naked Capitalism, and the Black Agenda Report, a leftist African-American opinion hub that is critical of the liberal black political establishment.
Called PropOrNot, the blacklisting organization was described by the Washington Post’s Craig Timberg as “a nonpartisan collection of researchers with foreign policy, military and technology backgrounds.” The Washington Post agreed to preserve the anonymity of the group’s director on the grounds that exposure could result in their being targeted by “Russia’s legions of skilled hackers.” The Post failed to explain what methods PropOrNot relied on to conclude that “stories planted or promoted by the Russian disinformation campaign were viewed more than 213 million times." (Timberg also cited a report co-authored by Aaron Weisburg, founder of the one-man anti-Palestinian “Internet Haganah” operation, who has been accused (http://neworleans.indymedia.org/news/2005/04/3157.php) of interfering in federal investigations, stealing the personal information of anarchists, online harassment, and fabricating information to smear his targets.)
Despite the Washington Post’s charitable description of PropOrNot as a group of independent-minded researchers dedicated to protecting the integrity of American democracy, the shadowy group bears many of the qualities of the red enemies it claims to be battling. In addition to its blacklist of Russian dupes, it lists a collection of outlets funded by the U.S. State Department, NATO and assorted tech and weapons companies as “allies.” PropOrNot’s methodology is so shabby it is able to peg widely read outlets like Naked Capitalism, a leading left-wing financial news blog, as Russian propaganda operations.
Though the supposed experts behind PropOrNot remain unknown, the site has been granted a veneer of credibility thanks to the Washington Post, and journalists from the New York Times, including deputy Washington editor Jonathan Weissman (https://twitter.com/jonathanweisman/status/801968278591721472) to former Obama senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer (https://twitter.com/danpfeiffer/status/802205196516368384), are hailing Timberg’s story as Pulitzer-level journalism. “Russia appears to have successfully hacked American democracy,” declared (https://twitter.com/sahilkapur/status/802154980530671617) Sahil Kapur, the senior political reporter for Bloomberg. The dead-enders of Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president have also seized on PropOrNot’s claims as proof that the election was rigged, with Clinton confidant and Center For American Progress president Neera Tanden declaring (https://twitter.com/neeratanden/status/801975199021273088), “Wake up people,” as she blasted out the Washington Post article on Russian black ops.
PropOrNot’s malicious agenda is clearly spelled out on its website. While denying McCarthyite intentions, the group is openly attempting (http://www.propornot.com/p/frequently-asked-questions.html) to compel “formal investigations by the U.S. government, because the kind of folks who make propaganda for brutal authoritarian oligarchies are often involved in a wide range of bad business.” The group also seeks to brand major progressive politics sites (and a number of prominent right-wing opinion outlets) as “‘gray’ fake-media propaganda outlets” influenced or directly operated by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB). It can then compel Facebook and Google to ban them (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/15/technology/google-will-ban-websites-that-host-fake-news-from-using-its-ad-service.html?_r=0), denying them the ad revenue they rely on to survive.
Though PropOrNot’s hidden authors claim, “we do not reach our conclusions lightly,” the group’s methodology (http://www.propornot.com/2016/10/introducing-propornot-be-aware-of-and.html) leaves more than enough room to smear an outlet on political grounds. Among the criteria PropOrNot identifies as clear signs of Russian propaganda are, “Support for policies like Brexit, and the breakup of the EU and Eurozone” and, “Opposition to Ukrainian resistance to Russia and Syrian resistance to Assad.”
By these standards, any outlet that raises the alarm about the considerable presence of extreme right-wing elements among the post-Maidan Ukrainian government or that questions the Western- and Saudi-funded campaign for regime change in Syria can be designated a Russia dupe or a paid agent of the FSB. Indeed, while admitting that they have no idea whether any of the outlets they blacklisted are being paid by Russian intelligence or are even aware they are spreading Russian propaganda, PropOrNot’s authors concluded that any outlets that have met their highly politicized criteria “have effectively become tools of the Russian intelligence services, and are worthy of further investigation.”
Among the most ironic characteristics of PropOrNot is its claim to be defending journalistic integrity, a rigorous adherence to the facts, and most of all, a sense of political levity. In fact, the group’s own literature reflects a deeply paranoid view of Russia and the outside world. According to PropOrNot’s website (http://www.propornot.com/2016/10/introducing-propornot-be-aware-of-and.html), Russia is staging a hostile takeover of America’s alternative online media environment “in order to Make Russia Great Again (as a new ‘Eurasian’ empire stretching from Dublin to Vladisvostok), on the other. That means preserving Russian allies like Bashar al-Assad in Syria, breaking up the ‘globalist’ EU, NATO, and US-aligned trade and defense organizations, and getting countries to join ‘Eurasianist’ Russian equivalents… Or else.”
The message is clear: Stamp out the websites blacklisted by PropOrNot,or submit to the malevolent influence of Putin’s “new global empire."
Among the websites listed by PropOrNot as “allies” are a number of groups funded by the U.S. government or NATO. They include InterpreterMag, an anti-Russian media monitoring blog funded (http://www.interpretermag.com/author/tim-michael-weiss/) through Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, an arm of the U.S. government, which is edited by the hardline neoconservative Michael Weiss. Polygraph Fact Check, another project (http://www.polygraph.info/p/5981.html) of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty aimed at Russian misinformation, is listed as an “ally.” So is Bellingcat, the crowdsourced military analysis blog run by Elliot Higgins through the Atlantic Council, which receives funding (http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/support/supporters) from the U.S. State Department, various Gulf monarchies and the weapons industry. (Bellingcat is directly funded (https://twitter.com/markamesexiled/status/662275031301562368) by Google, according to Higgins.)
Unfortunately for PropOrNot’s mysterious authors, an alliance requires the consent of all parties involved. Alerted to his designation on the website, Bellingcat’s Higgins immediately disavowed it: "Just want to note I hadn't heard of Propornot before the WP piece and never gave permission to them to call Bellingcat ‘allies,'" he wrote (https://twitter.com/EliotHiggins/status/802166958426914816).
As scrutiny of PropOrNot increases, its credibility is rapidly unraveling. But that has not stopped Beltway media wiseguys and Democratic political operatives from hyping its claims. Fake news and Russian propaganda have become the great post-election moral panic, a creeping Sharia-style conspiracy theory for shell-shocked liberals. Hoping to punish the dark foreign forces they blame for rigging the election, many of these insiders have latched onto a McCarthyite campaign that calls for government investigations of a wide array of alternative media outlets. In this case, the medicine might be worse than the disease.

www.alternet.org/media/washington-post-promotes-shadowy-website-accuses-200-publications-russian-propaganda-plants

Magda Hassan
11-27-2016, 02:13 PM
On Blacklists and Russia 'Hacking' American Democracy Nov 25, 2016

https://surveillancevalley.com/content/4-blog/1-on-russia-hacking-american-democracy/wapo-russian-hack.png Where's the evidence? So much effort has been thrown at implicating the Russians in some way and none of the evidence has stuck — time (https://medium.com/@jeffreycarr/can-facts-slow-the-dnc-breach-runaway-train-lets-try-14040ac68a55#.vhasl1vse) and time (https://medium.com/@jeffreycarr/fact-checking-election-security-expert-j-alex-halderman-9bcdd4cad917#.we0fuslvo) again the evidence fizzles and people move onto the next big scandal that also evaporates on closer inspection. Like the most recent WaPo story alleging (https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/russian-propaganda-effort-helped-spread-fake-news-during-election-experts-say/2016/11/24/793903b6-8a40-4ca9-b712-716af66098fe_story.html?tid=ss_tw-bottom) that Russia launched a wide ranging propaganda campaign to elect Donald Trump: bankrolling American journalists to work as Russia's willing collaborators, sowing fear and doubt, baselessly undermining Hillary Clinton and supposedly weakening the very foundation of American democracy.
The paper offered no evidence to back up its shocking claims, but relied on secret claims made by a shady anonymous group called PropOrNot, which compiled a blacklist of American news outlets it considers to be Russian agents engaging in treason. Within a day of the article coming out, PropOrNot's story is already unraveling. The group admitted to lying about its partnering organizations and refuses to disclose why its media blacklist (https://web.archive.org/web/20161125215219/http://www.propornot.com/p/the-list.html) of “Russian agents” contains some of the best journalists in recent history: Robert Parry (who helped break the Iran-Contra scandal), Robert Scheer (who helped expose CIA funding of student groups in the 1960s as editor at Ramparts) and Yves Smith (the fearless founder of an invaluable and respected financial blog, nakedcapitalism.com). It’s shocking and disturbing that WaPo would smear respected journalists as traitors with no evidence.
Details about this group continue to emerge. It appears there's a chance that PropOrNot is connected to groups funded the Broadcasting Board of Governors, a CIA spinoff that manages the U.S. government's foreign propaganda division. If true, that would make PropOrNot's activities illegal — in violation of a federal law that prohibits the BBG from intentionally influencing or swaying public opinion inside the United States. Creating blacklists of American journalists, labelling them as traitors and then circulating this information to American newspapers would certainly fall into that category.
Maybe Russia has the means to “hack” America’s elections, but it's hard to talk about it without real evidence. Sure, Russia’s been getting into the psyops game much more lately — with fake and biased news, comment trolls and Twitter bots. It’s cheap and effective, and good at exploiting people’s increasing lack trust in their country's institutions and political process. But in reality it seems to have very little penetration of America's media landscape. Let's face it: life is miserable and getting more miserable by the day for most Americans — and no one in power seems to care one way or another. Americans don't need a Russian Twitter bot to undermine their trust in the Democratic Party. And anyway, this kind of propaganda psyops isn't anything that the United States isn’t doing at this very moment against Russia on a much bigger level — just look at Tor, Internet Freedom and Radio Free Europe (https://pando.com/2015/03/01/internet-privacy-funded-by-spooks-a-brief-history-of-the-bbg/).
Put it this way: if Russian intel hacked Trump to victory and Trump is now Putin’s tool, well, the NSA and CIA and U.S. Naval intelligence and President Obama must be with the Russians on this. No one has said a thing. They’re all moving with the transition as normal. Whereas if it was really true, this info would not be coming from some anonymous outfit set up last week. The U.S. would be gearing up for real war with Russia.
I'm going to write more about this, but I just needed to get this off my chest.
—Yasha Levine
UPDATE: Max Blumenthal debunked (http://www.alternet.org/media/washington-post-promotes-shadowy-website-accuses-200-publications-russian-propaganda-plants) PropOrNot blacklist smears in Alternet. Mathew Ingram did the same in Fortune (http://fortune.com/2016/11/25/russian-fake-news/).
Then there's this:

(https://twitter.com/MarkAmesExiled/status/802349094303887360/photo/1) https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CyKEELxXcAQnwu5.jpg:small (https://twitter.com/MarkAmesExiled/status/802349094303887360/photo/1) https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CyKEEm_XgAAQiWj.jpg:small (https://twitter.com/MarkAmesExiled/status/802349094303887360/photo/1)


Follow (https://twitter.com/MarkAmesExiled)
https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/3372876516/7630ff2ed18d36bde48bc8f79cbad03f_normal.png Mark Ames @MarkAmesExiled (https://twitter.com/MarkAmesExiled)

Wow. The @washingtonpost (https://twitter.com/washingtonpost) anonymous source for blacklisting US journalists recently tweeted 1940s Ukrainian fascist "Heroiam Slava!" salute
2:11 PM - 26 Nov 2016 (https://twitter.com/MarkAmesExiled/status/802349094303887360)



632 632 Retweets (https://twitter.com/intent/retweet?tweet_id=802349094303887360)
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https://surveillancevalley.com/blog/on-russia-hacking-american-democracy

David Guyatt
11-28-2016, 10:31 AM
Robert Parry replies to the WaPo nonsense on Consortium being listed as one of the "fake news" pro-Russian sites by yes, you got it, the fake analysis outfit PropOrNot.

The WaPO and NYT attitude clearly is the old and discredited if you're not with us, then you're against us play - which means they've chosen to attack rather than try (and fail) to defend their growing list of failures.

Hubris goes before a fall...



Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’ Guilt
November 27, 2016

Exclusive: The “fake news” theme has captivated The Washington Post and the mainstream U.S. media so much that it is stooping to McCarthyistic smears against news outlets that don’t toe the State Department’s propaganda line, says Robert Parry.




By Robert Parry


The mainstream U.S. media’s hysteria over “fake news” has reached its logical (or illogical) zenith, a McCarthyistic black-listing of honest journalism that simply shows professional skepticism toward Officialdom, including what’s said by U.S. government officials and what’s written in The Washington Post and New York Times.


Apparently, to show skepticism now opens you to accusations of disseminating “Russian propaganda” or being a “useful idiot” or some similar ugly smear reminiscent of the old Cold War. Now that we have entered a New Cold War, I suppose it makes sense that we should expect a New McCarthyism.


Lawyer Roy Cohn (right) with Sen. Joseph McCarthy.
Lawyer Roy Cohn (right) with Sen. Joseph McCarthy.
After returning from a Thanksgiving trip to Philadelphia on Saturday, I received word that Consortiumnews.com, the 21-year-old investigative news site that has challenged misguided “group thinks” whether from Republicans, Democrats or anyone else over those two-plus decades, was included among some 200 Internet sites spreading what some anonymous Web site, PropOrNot, deems “Russian propaganda.”


I would normally ignore such nonsense but it was elevated by The Washington Post, which treated these unnamed “independent researchers” as sophisticated experts who “tracked” the Russian propaganda operation and assembled the black list.


And I’m not joking when I say that these neo-McCarthyites go unnamed. The Post’s article by Craig Timberg on Thursday described PropOrNot simply as “a nonpartisan collection of researchers with foreign policy, military and technology backgrounds [who] planned to release its own findings Friday showing the startling reach and effectiveness of Russian propaganda campaigns.”


The Post granted the group and its leadership anonymity to smear journalists who don’t march in lockstep with official pronouncements from the State Department or some other impeccable fount of never-to-be-questioned truth. The Post even published a “blind” (or unattributed) quote from the head of this shadowy Web site as follows:


“‘The way that this propaganda apparatus supported [Donald] Trump was equivalent to some massive amount of a media buy,’ said the executive director of PropOrNot, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid being targeted by Russia’s legions of skilled hackers.”


The Shoddy Washington Post


As a professional journalist for more than four decades, it is hard for me to comprehend how a supposedly reputable newspaper like The Washington Post would allow some anonymous character to attack the patriotism of American journalists while hiding the person’s name behind the ridiculous excuse that he or she might be targeted by hackers.


The Washington Post building. (Photo credit: Daniel X. O'Neil)
The Washington Post building. (Photo credit: Daniel X. O’Neil)
In 1985, when I was an investigative reporter for The Associated Press and first exposed Oliver North’s secret White House operation in support of the Nicaraguan Contra rebels, I got some flak for using North’s name because he claimed that he might be targeted by assassins — even though he was not officially a covert operative. His name and title were listed in the White House directory, for instance.


So, as silly and unfounded as North’s worries were – and The Washington Post then followed me in publishing North’s name – at least North’s concerns dealt with his personal safety. But now we have the Post treating an alleged study by supposed “independent researchers” as needing the protection of anonymity to allow the Web site’s executive director to expound on the group’s slanderous assessments without giving his or her name.


In such a case, how is the public supposed to evaluate the smears and whether these researchers are indeed “independent” or are funded by some actual propaganda network, like those financed by the National Endowment for Democracy or USAID or financial speculator George Soros or some military-industrial-complex think tank?


Indeed, isn’t what this Post-promoted Web site doing the essence of McCarthyistic “fake news” – making vague accusations and imposing guilt by association, suggesting that all the Web sites on its list are either treasonous or dupes?


Though the Post doesn’t seem to care about fairness regarding the 200 or so Web sites subjected to this McCarthyism, the smear operation doesn’t even present evidence that anyone actually is part of this grand Russian propaganda conspiracy. The PropOrNot site admits that the criteria for its “analysis” is “behaviorial,” not evidentiary.


In other words, the assessment is based on whether this anonymous group doesn’t like that some journalist is questioning the State Department’s propaganda line or has come up with information that isn’t convenient to the NATO narrative on a topic that also involves Russia, Ukraine, Syria or some other international hot spot.


Then, you and other journalists are slimed as either active Russian intelligence operatives or “they are at the very least acting as bona-fide ‘useful idiots’ of the Russian intelligence services, and are worthy of further scrutiny,” according to PropOrNot.


A Cold War Slur


As the Post recognized in its article, the phrase “useful idiot” or “useful fool” comes from the old Cold War – when journalists and citizens who didn’t march in lock-step with Washington’s propaganda were so stigmatized. That such a grotesque and pejorative phrase was used in this supposedly “independent” study should have been a warning to any professional newspaper to toss the report in the trash can. Instead, The Washington Post embraced it as gospel.


Sergey V. Lavrov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-first session. 23 September 2016 (UN Photo)
Sergey V. Lavrov, Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, addresses the United Nations General Assembly on
Sept. 23, 2016 (UN Photo)
What is further remarkable about this bizarre “study” is that it mixes together a wide variety of diverse political, ideological and journalistic groups, including some of the best independent journalism sites on the Internet, such as Counterpunch, Truthdig, Naked Capitalism, Zero Hedge, WikiLeaks and – I would humbly suggest — Consortiumnews.


Also, neither truth nor fact-based journalism appears to be involved in this “analysis.” No one from this Web site or from The Washington Post contacted me about any alleged inaccuracies or “propaganda” in Consortiumnews’ stories.


Obviously, there have been times when we have challenged “facts” as claimed by the U.S. government and the Post, including their 2002-03 assertions about Iraq’s fictional WMD. (Back then, we were denounced by George W. Bush’s fans as “Saddam apologists.”)


We also have cited cases of disagreements inside the U.S. intelligence community about other “group thinks” that were being pushed by the State Department and the mainstream U.S. news media, such as the CIA’s internal doubts about who was responsible for the Aug. 21, 2013 sarin gas attack outside Damascus, Syria.


Consortiumnews also has cited disclosures buried deep inside articles by the Post and New York Times regarding the important role of neo-Nazis and other ultra-nationalist militias in the putsch that ousted Ukraine’s elected President Viktor Yanukovych on Feb. 22, 2014, and in the subsequent civil war.


I guess readers are supposed to ignore these occasional bursts of honesty from some reporter in the field who feels obliged to mention the Swastikas and other Nazi symbols festooning the rooms of these U.S.-backed “freedom fighters” — although the reporter and editors know well enough to stick these references near the end of stories where few people are likely to read. Our “propaganda guilt” is that we read to the end of these articles and highlight these important admissions.


Then, there are times when Consortiumnews has referred to these occasional admissions about neo-Nazis and compared them to positive mainstream references to these same neo-Nazis. For instance, the Times itself included at least one brief reference to this neo-Nazi reality, though buried it deep inside an article. On Aug. 10, 2014, a Times’ article mentioned the neo-Nazi Azov battalion in the last three paragraphs of a lengthy story on another topic.


“The fighting for Donetsk has taken on a lethal pattern: The regular army bombards separatist positions from afar, followed by chaotic, violent assaults by some of the half-dozen or so paramilitary groups surrounding Donetsk who are willing to plunge into urban combat,” the Times reported.


“Officials in Kiev say the militias and the army coordinate their actions, but the militias, which count about 7,000 fighters, are angry and, at times, uncontrollable. One known as Azov, which took over the village of Marinka, flies a neo-Nazi symbol resembling a Swastika as its flag.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “NYT Discovers Ukraine’s Neo-Nazis at War.”]


Yet, later the Times published a story about the Ukrainian government’s defense of the port of Mariupol against ethnic Russian rebels and the Azov battalion was treated as the last bastion of civilization battling against the barbarians at the gate. Remarkably, the article left out all references to the Azov battalion’s Nazi Swastikas. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “NYT Whites Out Ukraine’s Brown Shirts.”]


It is that exposure of the mainstream U.S. media’s distortions of the reality in Ukraine that has apparently earned Consortiumnews a spot on this strange list of willful disseminators of “Russian propaganda” or “useful idiots.”


Washington Post ‘Fake News’


It also might be noted that Consortiumnews has repeatedly pointed out how The Washington Post falsely reported as flat fact that Iraq was hiding WMD yet the editors responsible for this acceptance of State Department propaganda, which got some 4,500 American soldiers killed along with hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, have never faced accountability. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “A Media Unmoored from Facts.”]


Washington Post's editorial page editor Fred Hiatt.
Washington Post’s editorial page editor Fred Hiatt, who published as flat fact that Iraq was hiding WMD stockpiles.
Ironically, too, it should be noted that on Saturday, The New York Times, which also has been flogging the “fake news” theme, ran a relatively responsible article revealing how a leading “fake news” Web site was not connected to Russia at all but rather was an entrepreneurial effort by an unemployed Georgian student who was using a Web site in Tbilisi to make some money by promoting pro-Trump stories, whether true or not.


The owner of the Web site, 22-year-old Beqa Latsabidse, said he had initially tried to push stories favorable to Hillary Clinton but that proved unprofitable so he switched to publishing anti-Clinton and pro-Trump articles whether true or not.


The front-page Times article revealed what has been happening – entrepreneurs who want to make money have been peddling pro-Trump “news” because that’s what gets the clicks and thus the advertising dollars. That behavior does not implicate Consortiumnews or any other independent Web site that happens to challenge State Department propaganda. (Consortiumnews relies on donations from readers and some book sales to meet its modest $200,000-a-year budget.)


To merge these two groups – profit-driven sites that don’t care what the truth is and honest journalism sites that show professional skepticism toward government propaganda whatever its source – is a kind of classic example of “fake news” although in this case the mysterious Web site PropOrNot and The Washington Post are peddling the disinformation.

Source (https://consortiumnews.com/2016/11/27/washington-posts-fake-news-guilt/)

Peter Lemkin
12-22-2016, 11:02 AM
PropOrNot: Evidence of a CIA Psychological OperationKURT NIMMO (http://www.newsbud.com/author/kurt-nimmo/) | DECEMBER 9, 20163 COMMENTS (http://www.newsbud.com/2016/12/09/propornot-evidence-of-a-cia-psychological-operation/#comments)
Alternative Media- A Very Serious Threat to the Ruling Elitehttp://www.newsbud.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/120916_KNPost1.pngOn November 24, The Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/russian-propaganda-effort-helped-spread-fake-news-during-election-experts-say/2016/11/24/793903b6-8a40-4ca9-b712-716af66098fe_story.html?utm_term=.c75cd5bd60db) published a story citing the anonymous group PropOrNot. The story accused the Russians of building a large propaganda operation that worked to defeat Hillary Clinton and elect “insurgent candidate” Donald Trump. It claimed a large number of alternative news websites are acting as Russian agents, dupes, and useful idiots.
Prior to this, in March 2015, the Voice of America (http://www.rferl.org/a/russia-trolls-headquarters-media-internet-insider-account/26904157.html) insisted Russia has organized “a round-the-clock operation in which an army of trolls disseminated pro-Kremlin and anti-Western talking points on blogs and in the comments sections of news websites in Russia and abroad.”
http://www.newsbud.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/120916_KNPost2.pngVoice of America is a propaganda service created by the CIA during the Cold War.
In January, the Institute of Modern Russia and its Interpreter Mag (http://www.interpretermag.com/starting-january-1-the-interpreter-will-be-a-special-project-of-rferl/) teamed up with the CIA through Voice of America to combat “Kremlin disinformation and propaganda.” The Institute of Modern Russia maintains close relationships with many Russian opposition leaders.
Critics took The Washington Post to task for using PropOrNot as a source. The website and PropOrNot’s Facebook and Twitter accounts give no indication who is behind the effort. Despite this, the Post cited the site to make the argument many alternative websites are “fake news” sites working in tandem with the Russians.
PropOrNot has all the hallmarks of an intelligence operation run by the CIA, FBI, or one of a number of other intelligence agencies.
Following the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, the official narrative pushed by the government and echoed dutifully by the establishment media claimed Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda masterminded the attack from a cave in Afghanistan. This and other elements of the official narrative were criticized, primarily by the alternative media. The government and its propaganda media dismissed the criticism of the official narrative and began characterizing critics as conspiracy theorists.
http://www.newsbud.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/120916_KNPost3.pngIn early 2008, Cass Sunstein, a Harvard scholar and later the Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama administration, wrote a paper with colleague Adrian Vermeule titled simply“Conspiracy Theories.” (http://www.law.uchicago.edu/files/files/387.pdf) Sunstein and Vermeule argue the existence of conspiracy theories “may create serious risks, including risks of violence, and the existence of such theories raises significant challenges for policy and law.”
In addition to proposing outright censorship of information the government considers“extremist theories,” Sunstein and his co-author suggest using “cognitive infiltration” of groups and networks.
Instead of a covert operation resembling the FBI’s Operation COINTELPRO using physical infiltration to disrupt and discredit political groups, Sunstein proposed attacking targeted groups in cyberspace.
Sunstein and Vermeule write that “whatever the tactical details, there would seem to be ample reason for government efforts to introduce some cognitive diversity into the groups that generate conspiracy theories.”
In 2011, The Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-operation-social-networks) reported the US military was developing software that would allow it secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.
General and later CIA director David Petraeus suggested using online psychological operations aimed at “countering extremist ideology and propaganda.” The objective of the Pentagon effort was “to create a false consensus in online conversations, crowd out unwelcome opinions and smother commentaries or reports that do not correspond with its own objectives,” according to the report.
http://www.newsbud.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/120916_KNPost4.pngThe effort to counter alternative websites is not limited to the United States. In September 2014, writes noted researcher and author Thierry Meyssan (http://www.voltairenet.org/article194324.html#nb5), the British government created the 77th Brigade, a unit established to counter foreign propaganda.
“The brigade will be made up of warriors who don't just carry weapons, but who are also skilled in using social media such as Twitter and Facebook, and the dark arts of ‘psyops’—psychological operations,” the BBC (http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-31070114) reported last January.
The unit works with British intelligence through MI6 and collaborates with the 361st Civil Affairs Brigade of the US Army. “These military units were used to disrupt Western websites trying to establish the truth… on September 11 [and] the war against Syria,” writes Meyssan.
MI6 is also involved in a European effort to undermine Russian and alternative media. In March 2015, the European Council asked High Representative Federica Mogherini to prepare a plan of "strategic communication" to denounce the disinformation campaigns of Russia about Ukraine.
http://www.newsbud.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/120916_KNPost5.pngThe following month, Mogherini created within the European External Action Service a strategic information unit headed by Giles Portman, a British MI6 agent. It provides anti-Russian propaganda to European news services.
Others have called for an outright ban on what European governments consider “fake news” dispensed by Russia and its supposed operatives and dupes. In February 2015, the think tank of the French Socialist Party called for censorship and the French minister of education organized workshops to warn students about supposed conspiracy theories.
The Center for European Policy Analysis, a Washington think tank dedicated to the study of Central and Eastern Europe, also set-up an information warfare unit directed against the Russian Federation.
Its advisory council includes Zbigniew Brzezinski (former national security advisor and virulent Russophobe), Eliot Cohen (Bush era neocon and former adviser to secretary of state Condoleezza Rice), and Madeleine Albright (Clinton administration secretary of state who said killing 500,000 Iraqi children was “worth it”).
Although PropOrNot strives to remain anonymous, it does reveal connections to Modern Russia and its Interpreter Mag and thus, through Voice of America, its association with the CIA. Interpreter Mag is listed under “Related Projects” (http://www.propornot.com/2016/10/introducing-propornot-be-aware-of-and.html) on its website.
PropOrNot also collaborates with Polygraph Fact-Check, a purported fact-checking websiteproduced by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Voice of America (http://www.polygraph.info/p/5981.html), in other words the CIA.
http://www.newsbud.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/120916_KNPost6.pngAnother so-called fact-checking operation is listed, Politifact. It is a project of the Tampa Bay Times and the Poynter Institute and shares a donor with the Clinton Foundation, the Omidyar Network, created by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. He is a major donor of Kiev-based Hromadske TV, “the symbol of the info wars between Moscow and the Western world,” according toForbes (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=newssearch&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjF-43DoOXQAhWJllQKHcDaB6cQqQIIGygAMAA&url=http%253A%252F%252Fwww.forbes.com%252Fsites%25 2Fkenrapoza%252F2016%252F04%252F27%252Flook-who-funds-ukraines-anti-putin-internet-tv%252F&usg=AFQjCNG4i4Dx-pIzoAMfld7PuDIcutvkJg&sig2=ul8BXcV6U70AYQS2K-SCJQ). The effort is also supported by the US State Department, a number of European governments, and NGOs involved in Ukraine prior to and after the US-sponsored coup.
PropOrNot’s connections indicate the website and its effort to take down alternative media is a project initiated by the establishment and likely a psychological operation directed by the CIA either directly or through its circle of private contractors.
The defeat of Hillary Clinton has nothing to do with the effectiveness of Russian propaganda. More accurately, Clinton’s election loss is a direct result of her corruption and deep insider status. The alternative media played an instrumental role in exposing Clinton’s criminality and her penchant for war and mass murder, primarily in Libya and Syria.
The alternative media has done an effective job of exposing the crimes of the elite and its political class and this news coverage did in fact have an impact on the election. Alternative media is a serious threat to the ruling elite. It no longer controls the flow of information and its propaganda is now directly challenged on a daily basis.
The Washington Post and the establishment media have latched on to the ludicrous PropOrNot campaign to denounce alternative media as some sort of nefarious Russian plot to undermine the political system in the United States. Despite this, millions of Americans continue to read alternative news and make their own informed decisions, a trend that has set off alarm bells in the deepest recesses of the establishment.

Michael Barwell
12-22-2016, 04:17 PM
On Blacklists and Russia 'Hacking' American Democracy

Nov 25, 2016

https://surveillancevalley.com/content/4-blog/1-on-russia-hacking-american-democracy/wapo-russian-hack.png Where's the evidence? So much effort has been thrown at implicating the Russians in some way and none of the evidence has stuck — time (https://medium.com/@jeffreycarr/can-facts-slow-the-dnc-breach-runaway-train-lets-try-14040ac68a55#.vhasl1vse) and time (https://medium.com/@jeffreycarr/fact-checking-election-security-expert-j-alex-halderman-9bcdd4cad917#.we0fuslvo) again the evidence fizzles and people move onto the next big scandal that also evaporates on closer inspection. Like the most recent WaPo story alleging (https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/russian-propaganda-effort-helped-spread-fake-news-during-election-experts-say/2016/11/24/793903b6-8a40-4ca9-b712-716af66098fe_story.html?tid=ss_tw-bottom) that Russia launched a wide ranging propaganda campaign to elect Donald Trump: bankrolling American journalists to work as Russia's willing collaborators, sowing fear and doubt, baselessly undermining Hillary Clinton and supposedly weakening the very foundation of American democracy.
The paper offered no evidence to back up its shocking claims, but relied on secret claims made by a shady anonymous group called PropOrNot, which compiled a blacklist of American news outlets it considers to be Russian agents engaging in treason. Within a day of the article coming out, PropOrNot's story is already unraveling. The group admitted to lying about its partnering organizations and refuses to disclose why its media blacklist (https://web.archive.org/web/20161125215219/http://www.propornot.com/p/the-list.html) of “Russian agents” contains some of the best journalists in recent history: Robert Parry (who helped break the Iran-Contra scandal), Robert Scheer (who helped expose CIA funding of student groups in the 1960s as editor at Ramparts) and Yves Smith (the fearless founder of an invaluable and respected financial blog, nakedcapitalism.com). It’s shocking and disturbing that WaPo would smear respected journalists as traitors with no evidence.
Details about this group continue to emerge. It appears there's a chance that PropOrNot is connected to groups funded the Broadcasting Board of Governors, a CIA spinoff that manages the U.S. government's foreign propaganda division. If true, that would make PropOrNot's activities illegal — in violation of a federal law that prohibits the BBG from intentionally influencing or swaying public opinion inside the United States. Creating blacklists of American journalists, labelling them as traitors and then circulating this information to American newspapers would certainly fall into that category.
Maybe Russia has the means to “hack” America’s elections, but it's hard to talk about it without real evidence. Sure, Russia’s been getting into the psyops game much more lately — with fake and biased news, comment trolls and Twitter bots. It’s cheap and effective, and good at exploiting people’s increasing lack trust in their country's institutions and political process. But in reality it seems to have very little penetration of America's media landscape. Let's face it: life is miserable and getting more miserable by the day for most Americans — and no one in power seems to care one way or another. Americans don't need a Russian Twitter bot to undermine their trust in the Democratic Party. And anyway, this kind of propaganda psyops isn't anything that the United States isn’t doing at this very moment against Russia on a much bigger level — just look at Tor, Internet Freedom and Radio Free Europe (https://pando.com/2015/03/01/internet-privacy-funded-by-spooks-a-brief-history-of-the-bbg/).
Put it this way: if Russian intel hacked Trump to victory and Trump is now Putin’s tool, well, the NSA and CIA and U.S. Naval intelligence and President Obama must be with the Russians on this. No one has said a thing. They’re all moving with the transition as normal. Whereas if it was really true, this info would not be coming from some anonymous outfit set up last week. The U.S. would be gearing up for real war with Russia.
I'm going to write more about this, but I just needed to get this off my chest.
—Yasha Levine
UPDATE: Max Blumenthal debunked (http://www.alternet.org/media/washington-post-promotes-shadowy-website-accuses-200-publications-russian-propaganda-plants) PropOrNot blacklist smears in Alternet. Mathew Ingram did the same in Fortune (http://fortune.com/2016/11/25/russian-fake-news/).
Then there's this:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CyKEELxXcAQnwu5.jpg:small (https://twitter.com/MarkAmesExiled/status/802349094303887360/photo/1) https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CyKEEm_XgAAQiWj.jpg:small (https://twitter.com/MarkAmesExiled/status/802349094303887360/photo/1)

Follow (https://twitter.com/MarkAmesExiled)
https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/3372876516/7630ff2ed18d36bde48bc8f79cbad03f_normal.png Mark Ames @MarkAmesExiled (https://twitter.com/MarkAmesExiled)

Wow. The @washingtonpost (https://twitter.com/washingtonpost) anonymous source for blacklisting US journalists recently tweeted 1940s Ukrainian fascist "Heroiam Slava!" salute
2:11 PM - 26 Nov 2016 (https://twitter.com/MarkAmesExiled/status/802349094303887360)


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https://surveillancevalley.com/blog/on-russia-hacking-american-democracy

'Anonymous' is largely just a front for a national/bi-/multi-national group of influencing agencies to play silly buggers & exercise their capabilities & technologies.
I keep all the mushy stuff simple – I know full well that the dream choreographies are real & remote; those very same ‘dc’s are to be found in films springing from Hollywood (virtually identical dc’s Ive had many many times to those in that daft film ‘Divergent’ – this is just SOP hidden in plain sight stuff, directed at teenage idiots who wannabe superfuckwits & feel ‘special/annointed’).
All this fake news twaddle is a part of that.
The ‘pizzagate’ thing just pushes it out of light entertainment into realworld; it’s just a logical progression from pixels to pavements.
This confusion-thing is very consistent with psychological attacks to confuse, like a great big a) schiz- inducing scheme, b) to disinterest ppl in wanting to take any notice of anything ‘cos they’re learning to have no faith.