December 5, 2014

War by Media and Triumph of Propaganda
-- Secrecy, Surveillance and Censorship

by John Pilger

Why has so much journalism succumbed to propaganda? Why are censorship and distortion standard practice? Why is the BBC so often a mouthpiece of rapacious power? Why do the New York Times and the Washington Post deceive their readers?

Why are young journalists not taught to understand media agendas and to challenge the high claims and low purpose of fake objectivity? And why are they not taught that the essence of so much of what's called the mainstream media is not information, but power?

These are urgent questions. The world is facing the prospect of major war, perhaps nuclear war - with the United States clearly determined to isolate and provoke Russia and eventually China. This truth is being turned upside down and inside out by journalists, including those who promoted the lies that led to the bloodbath in Iraq in 2003.

. . . had journalists done their job, had they questioned and investigated the propaganda instead of amplifying it, hundreds of thousands of men, women and children might be alive today; and millions might not have fled their homes; the sectarian war between Sunni and Shia might not have ignited, and the infamous Islamic State might not now exist. . . .

The most effective propaganda is found not in the Sun or on Fox News - but beneath a liberal halo. When the New York Times published claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, its fake evidence was believed, because it wasn't Fox News; it was the New York Times.

The same is true of the Washington Post and the Guardian, both of which have played a critical role in conditioning their readers to accept a new and dangerous cold war. All three liberal newspapers have misrepresented events in Ukraine as a malign act by Russia - when, in fact, the fascist led coup in Ukraine was the work of the United States, aided by Germany and Nato. . . .



John Stuart Mill: "He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion... Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them...he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form."

The Fine Art of Propaganda, Alfred McLung Lee & Elizabeth Bryant Lee: "Science flourishes on criticism. Dangerous propaganda crumbles before it."

John Swinton: "There is no such a thing in America as an independent press, unless it is out in country towns. You are all slaves. You know it, and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to express an honest opinion. If you expressed it, you would know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid $150 for keeping honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for doing similar things. If I should allow honest opinions to be printed in one issue of my paper, I would be like Othello before twenty-four hours: my occupation would be gone. The man who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the street hunting for another job. The business of a New York journalist is to distort the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to villify, to fawn at the feet of Mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread, or for what is about the same as his salary. You know this, and I know it; and what foolery to be toasting an "Independent Press"! We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are jumping-jacks. They pull the string and we dance. Our time, our talents, our lives, our possibilities, are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."

Walter Cronkite: "Freedom of the press is not just important to democracy, it is democracy."

JFK: The Speech That Killed Him, 1961

Alsop is one of more than 400 American journalists who in the past twenty-five years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency--Carl Bernstein, "THE CIA AND THE MEDIA: How Americas Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up," Rolling Stone, October 20, 1977

Howard Zinn, "Declarations of Independence: Cross-Examining American Ideology," HarperPerrenial (1991) -- for example, fake news 214 - 217

Avi-Jacob Hyman, "Dissemination of Racist and Holocaust-Denial Information,", March 1995

Enver Masud, "Broadcasting Fairness Doctrine Promised Balanced Coverage," The Wisdom Fund, July 25, 1997

Enver Masud, "Religion Newswriters Association Bashes Islam," The Wisdom Fund, December 6, 1999

[Half a century ago, when the perceived enemy was communism, the United States spent millions of dollars to subvert private groups in order to advance U.S. positions. Today, the perceived enemy are the "Islamists," and the new White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives has the potential for stifling dissent, and dividing religious communities.--Enver Masud, "Millions Spent Subverting 'Enemies,' Stifling Dissent," The Wisdom Fund, February 15, 2001]

Enver Masud, "Deadly Deception, Pretexts for War," The Wisdom Fund, July 30, 2001

Howard Zinn, "The Myth of American Exceptionalism," MIT, March 14, 2005

"America: Freedom to Fascism," The Wisdom Fund, October 6, 2005

Laura Barcella, "The Failures of Post-9/11 Media," AlterNet, January 2, 2006

Paul R Dunn, "Islamic Fascism: The Propaganda of Our Times," The Wisdom Fund, September 6, 2006

John Pilger, "Propaganda Disguised as Journalism,", June 16, 2007

John Pilger, "The Invisible Government," June 16, 2007

[Russia is being encircled by US and Nato bases and missiles in violation of a pledge by the United States not to expand Nato "one inch to the east".--John Pilger, "The New World War -- The Silence Is A Lie,", September 24, 2008]

VIDEO: Chimamanda Adichie, "The danger of a single story,", October 7, 2009

Craig McKee, "Moyers' ill-informed attacks on 9/11 Truth are typical of mainstream left,", April 25, 2011

[3000+ military, intelligence, industry professionals do not believe the official account of 9/11--"American Patriots: Muslims Didn't Do 9/11," The Wisdom Fund, September 11, 2011]

Stephen M. Walt, "The Myth of American Exceptionalism," Foreign Policy, November 2011


Manny Friedman, "Jews DO Control The Media," Times Of Israel, July 1, 2012 -- Times Of Israel Removes Elad Nehorai's Article "Jews DO Control The Media"

DOCUMENTARY: "Creating Freedom: The Lottery of Birth,", June 21, 2013

The Top Five Times A Fox Guest Debunked Fox, January 17, 2014

Ray McGovern, "Kerry's Propaganda War on Russia's RT,", April 30, 2014

VIDEO: "These 5 Censored Books Tell a History the Establishment Wants Hidden,", June 25, 2014

Gilbert Doctorow, "How the US and Russian Media Are Covering the Ukrainian Crisis,", August 6, 2014

Seumas Milne, "It was the prospect of Ukraine being drawn into the western military alliance that triggered conflict in the first place,", September 3, 2014

Sharyl Attkisson, "Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama's Washington," Harper (November 4, 2014)

Patrick L Smith, "New York Times propagandists exposed: Finally, the truth about Ukraine and Putin emerges,", December 4, 2014

[In July, as Israel began its massive assault on Gaza, Ahmed published a post revealing a plausible motivation - Gaza's natural gas reserves - for Israel's endless belligerence towards the enclave's Hamas government. . . . Israel wanted to keep control over large gas reserves in Gaza's waters so that it could deny Hamas a resource that would have bought it influence with other major players in the region, not least Egypt.--Jonathan Cook, "Guarding a Taboo -- Why the Guardian Axed Nafeez Ahmed,", December 5, 2014]

Robert Fisk, "Once again language is distorted in order to hide US state wrongdoing,", December 14, 2014

Media ownership chart 2014
NOTE: "GE does not own NBC (or Comcast or any media) anymore. So that 6th company is now Comcast. And Time Warner doesn't own AOL".

[It mattered little that Donahue had won nine Daytime Emmys and a Lifetime Achievement Emmy in 1996. MSNBC claimed Donahue's ratings were too low to justify keeping the show on the air, even though Donahue was the highest rated show on MSNBC at the time it was canceled and beat out Chris Matthews's Hardball, which was then on CNBC.
After Donahue was cancelled, reported it had obtained a copy of an internal NBC memo that stated Donahue should be fired because he would be a "difficult public face for NBC in a time of war."--Dennis J. Bernstein, "Silencing Donahue and Anti-War Voices,", January 15, 2015]

Thom Hartmann, RT, January 16, 2015

Nafeez Ahmed, "How the CIA made Google,", January 22, 2015

"In 1967, the CIA Created the Label 'Conspiracy Theorists' ... to Attack Anyone Who Challenges the 'Official' Narrative',", February 23, 2015 [Web Archive]

Media ownership chart 2014

[If I could I would like to send a message to the mainstream media. It might go something like this: "Please tell your readers the truth for a change. The only thing exceptional about America at the present time is our hubris. We helped create al-Qaeda by attacking the Soviets in Afghanistan. Iraq is a basket case because we invaded it without cause. Syria is in chaos because we have never seriously sought a peaceful solution with Bashar al-Assad. What we have done in Iraq and Syria taken together has produced ISIS. Libya is a toxic mess because we overthrew its government on phony humanitarian grounds. Afghanistan is about to copy Iraq because we have occupied it for thirteen years without a clue how to get out. We started the troubles in Ukraine and with Russia when we broke our promise by expanding NATO and then worked to overthrow an elected government. And finally there is Israel. Israel is not an ally and is the source of many of the problems in the Middle East. American and Israeli interests do not coincide, frequently quite the contrary."--Philip Giraldi, "Making War on Everyone: Blame the media,", March 3, 2015]

James F. Tracy, "The CIA and the Media: 50 Facts the World Needs to Know,", August 26, 2015

"Arnab Goswami slams World Media," RT, December 10, 2015

DOCUMENTARY: "Euromaidan unmasked: Europe shocked by the bitter truth on Ukraine,", February 3, 2016

Gilbert Doctorow, "French Documentary Exposes Ukraine's Far-Right. But Can Europe Handle the Truth?,", February 6, 2016

Paul Craig Roberts, "Do Americans Live In A False Reality Created By Orchestrated Events?,", February 24, 2016

[Assistant US Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and US Ambassador to the Ukraine "is about to take control, for herself, of Datagroup, the Ukraine telecom company that controls 85 percent of the Ukranian telecom market."--Robert Wenzel "Criminal: Former US State Department Official to Buy Ukraine's Largest Telecom Company,", April 13, 2016]

[But how are Russian troops deploying inside Russia "provocative," while U.S. troops on Russia's front porch are not?--Patrick J. Buchanan, "Why Russia Resents Us,", May 3, 2016]

[Ray explains how Victoria Nuland, Obama and his national security council planned this coup--"Ray McGovern on the Coup in Ukraine,", June 10, 2016]

Robert Parry, "The Dumbed-Down New York Times,", August 27, 2016

[Substantial control of the media is almost always an absolute prerequisite for any successful conspiracy, the greater the degree of control the better. So when weighing the plausibility of any conspiracy, the first matter to investigate is who controls the local media and to what extent.--Ron Unz, "American Pravda: How the CIA Invented 'Conspiracy Theories',", September 5, 2016]

Robert Parry, "New York Times and the New McCarthyism,", September 7, 2016

Ray McGovern, "9/11 Fifteen Years Later - What Have We Learned?" September 11, 2016 (at 23 min)

[Bell Pottinger's output included short TV segments made in the style of Arabic news networks and fake insurgent videos which could be used to track the people who watched them--"Pentagon Paid for Fake 'Al Qaeda' Videos," Bureau of Investigative Journalism, October 16, 2016]

Ron Unz, "American Pravda: Breaching the Media Barrier,", October 24, 2016

Enver Masud, "TRUMP WON BECAUSE MAINSTREAM NEWS FAILED," The Wisdom Fund, November 9, 2016

Media ownership chart 2014

Jeffrey St Clair and Alexander Cockburn, "The CIA and the Press: When the Washington Post Ran the CIA's Propaganda Network,", November 30, 2016

Patrick J. Buchanan, "Fake News and War Party Lies,", December 2, 2016

[My point is simple: fake news is nothing new.--Anthony DiMaggio, "Post-Fact Politics: Reviewing the History of Fake News and Propaganda,", December 6, 2016

[The US is hardly in a position to play the outraged virgin.--Eric Margolis, "Moscow Attacks!,", December 18, 2016]

"A New McCarthyism with Ellen Schrecker," RT, December 25, 2016

[a bill to implement the U.S.' very own de facto Ministry of Truth had been quietly introduced in Congress--Tyler Durden, "Obama Quietly Signs The 'Countering Disinformation And Propaganda Act' Into Law,", December 25, 2016]

Larry King with John McAfee, "'Not the Russians',", December 29, 2016

Robert Fisk, "We Live in a World of Lies and We Always Have,", December 30, 2016

Glenn Greenwald, "WashPost Is Richly Rewarded for False News About Russia Threat While Public Is Deceived,", January 4, 2017

Glenn Greenwald, "U.S. Intel Chiefs Alleging Russian Threat Have History of Deceiving the Public,", January 6, 2017

Robert Parry, "US Report Still Lacks Proof on Russia 'Hack',", January 7, 2017

[No Shelley speaks for the poor, no Blake for utopian dreams, no Byron damns the corruption of the ruling class, no Thomas Carlyle and John Ruskin reveal the moral disaster of capitalism. William Morris, Oscar Wilde, HG Wells, George Bernard Shaw have no equivalents today. Harold Pinter was the last to raise his voice.--John Pilger, "The Issue is Not Trump, It is Us,", January 17, 2017]

[The United States, McKinley argued, could not possibly tyrannize faraway lands, as European powers did, because the tyrannical impulse is foreign to America'scharacter and tradition. He said that since the United States set its foreign policies with "unselfish purpose," its influence in the world could only be benevolent. The essential goodness of the American people, he argued, is the supreme and sole necessary justification of whatever the United States chooses to do in the world.--Stephen Kinzer, "The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire," Henry Holt and Co. (January 24, 2017) p.132, p.134, p.235]

"Noam Chomsky: The 5 Filters of the Mass Media Machine," Al Jazeera, March 2, 2017

Andrew Bacevich, "Are There Questions About US Foreign Policy We're Forbidden to Ask,", May 8, 2017

Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill, "Analyzing the Hypocrisy of U.S. Media Coverage,", May 27, 2017

Glenn Greenwald, "CNN Journalists Resign: Latest Example of Media Recklessness on the Russia Threate,", June 27, 2017

[When the U.S. military takes a bunch of journalists on a press junket to a foreign country it has a certain intention and prepares every detail in advance. There will be witnesses and local people who are briefed for their two minute talk with the journalists to convey exactly what the military wants them to convey. After enjoying local flair, for ten minutes max, some U.S. diplomatic official or a general will treat the journos to some good whiskey and a genuine local steak. The official will speak a few prepared lines on the record that will reinforce the story the locals were tasked to tell.

The outcome is predictable. The stories the journalists will write will be the same.--"NYT, WaPo Send Top Reporters To Stenograph Five O'Clock Follies,", July 2, 2017]

Robert Parry, "MSM, Still Living in Propaganda-ville,", July 6, 2017

Ben Norton, "How Media Spread CIA's Sectarian, Anti-Iran 'Mideast Cold War' Narrative,", July 25, 2017

["To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."--Chuck Baldwin, "Zionism, Not Islam, Is America's Biggest Threat,", July 27, 2017]

[In the United States, facts, an important element of truth, are not important. They are not important in the media, politics, universities, historical explanations, or the courtroom.--Robert Parry, "The Weaponization Of History And Journalism,", July 28, 2017]

Robert Parry, "The Dawn of an Orwellian Future,", July 28, 2017

[Erasing old content and restricting searches is not so much different than George Orwell's Winston Smith watching the evidence for no longer politically-acceptable events being dropped down the memory hole.--Philip Giraldi, "How I Believe Facebook Was Censoring My Political Speech,", September 15, 2017]

[the President raises a topic about which "we can't talk about it publicly," namely Jewish influence in Hollywood and the media. . . .

"This stranglehold has got to be broken or the country's going down the drain," the nation's best-known preacher declares.--Jeffrey St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn, "The Preacher and Vietnam: When Billy Graham Urged Nixon to Kill One Million People,", September 15, 2017]

Max Blumenthal, "McCarthyism Inc: Introducing the Counter-Terror 'Experts' Hyping Russian Threats and Undermining Our Civil Liberties,", November 10, 2017

[Western media can't admit they were wrong in their portrayal of the White Helmets, Guy Mettan, head of the Swiss Press Club, told RT--"Reporters Without Borders demand that Swiss Press Club cancel press conference critical of White Helmets,", November 30, 2017]

Propaganda, Facts and Fake News, December 2, 2017

"Bought Journalists: English translation of postscript to Udo Ulfkotte's suppressed book,", February 5, 2018]

[YouTube suddenly shut down the If Americans Knew YouTube channel. This contained 70 videos providing facts-based information about Israel-Palestine.--Alison Weir, "How Israel and its partisans work to censor the Internet,", March 8, 2018]

Stanley Cohen, "The Marketplace of Ideas: Assaulting the First Amendment,", March 3, 2018

[The success of Western propaganda in creating non-existent virtues for itself is the greatest public relations success in history.--Paul Craig Roberts, "Integrity Has Vanished From The West,", March 27, 2018]

Christopher J Coyne and Abigail R Hall, "In the U.S., carrying out military interventions abroad has undermined freedom at home,", March 28, 2018

"Israel's Internet Censorship War," If Americans Knew, April 6, 2018

Michelle Fabio, "Department Of Homeland Security Compiling Database Of Journalists And 'Media Influencers',", March 28, 2018

"The Destruction of an Independent Press," On Contact, April 16, 2018

Ramzy Baroud, "Media Cover-up: Shielding Israel is a Matter of Policy,", April 19, 2018

DOCUMENTARY: "The Media War On Truthful Reporting And Legitimate Opinions,", April 21, 2018

[British government issued a D-Notice. Such a notice forbids British media to report on an issue.--"The Silence Of The Skripals - Government Blocks Press Reports - Media Change The Record,", April 28, 2018]

Ben Smith and Mat Honan, "Facebook Has Begun To Rank News Organizations By Trust, Zuckerberg Says,", May 1, 2018

Robert Parry, "The Existential Question of Whom to Trust,", May 2, 2018

American Empire Media Turkish State Media Exposes The American Empire & Its Media, August 13, 2018

"The Occupation of the American Mind," May 30, 2018

"Operation Mockingbird,", June 7, 2018

[Research by the University of Alabama shows attacks by Muslims receive an average of 105 headlines, others just 15--Mona Chalabi, "Terror attacks by Muslims receive 357% more press attention, study finds,", July 20, 2018]

[Filmed inside the Capitol, this Grayzone special explores the National Endowment for Democracy, a taxpayer funded organization that has interfered in elections, mobilized coups, and orchestrated public relations campaigns against nations that resist Washington's agenda.--Max Blumenthal, "Inside America's Meddling Machine: The US Funded Group that Interferes in Elections Around the Globe,", August 20, 2018]

[The Syria Campaign, set up by a New York PR agency, Purpose, funds a group known as the White Helmets, who claim falsely to be "Syria Civil Defence" . . .

The White Helmets are appendages to the jihadists with whom they share addresses. Their media-smart uniforms and equipment are supplied by their Western paymasters.--John Pilger, "Hold the Front Page, the Reporters are Missing,", September 20, 2018]

[Media giant Facebook recently announced . . . it would combat "fake news" by partnering with two propaganda organizations founded and funded by the US government: the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI). The social media platform was already working closely with the NATO-sponsored Atlantic Council think tank--Alan Macleod, "Facebook's New Propaganda Partners,", September 25, 2018]

"Wikipedia - A Tool Of The Ruling Elite," YouTube, October 20, 2018

Israel Shamir, "Banned by Facebook for Telling the Truth,", January 19, 2019

He lays bare the "Arab Spring," the "revolutions" against Gaddafi and Assad, and the rapid rise of the jihadist monster ISIS, as masked operations of the US empire, "leading from behind."--Thierry Meyssan, "Before Our Very Eyes: Fake Wars and Big Lies From 9/11 to Donald Trump," Progressive Press (February 22, 2019)

RT CrossTalk Bullhorns: Assange, YouTube, April 11, 2019

"The Media Navigator 2019," Swiss Propaganda Research, May 2019

George Monbiot, "Why Labour Lost: Oligarchs are Gaming Democracy," Double Down News, December 22, 2019

"2020 World Press Freedom Index,", May 2020

Capitalism And Monopolies: How Five Companies Control All US Media, August 28, 2020

[the most persuasive refutation of a gross lie necessitates repeating the untruth and giving it greater publicity--Patrick Cockburn, "Robert Fisk had True Independence of Mind, Which is Why He Angered Governments and Parts of the Media,", November 17, 2020]

Gareth Porter, "FBI and DOJ Prepared Takedown of 'Iranian' American Herald Tribune Website With Years of Legal Chicanery,", November 24, 2020

How Hedge Funds Took Over America's Struggling Newspaper Industry, CNBC, June 11, 2021

American Empire Media

Caitlin Johnstone, "US Officials Admit They're Literally Just Lying To The Public About Russia,", April 7, 2022

[In the 1970s, I met one of Hitler's leading propagandists, Leni Riefenstahl, whose epic films glorified the Nazis. We happened to be staying at the same lodge in Kenya, where she was on a photography assignment, having escaped the fate of other friends of the Fuhrer. She told me that the 'patriotic messages' of her films were dependent not on 'orders from above' but on what she called the 'submissive void' of the German public.--John Pilger, "Silencing the Lambs: How Propaganda Works ,", September 8, 2022]

A Century of Repression offers an unprecedented and panoramic history of the use of the Espionage Act of 1917 as the most important yet least understood law threatening freedom of the press in modern American history. It details government use of the Act to control information about U.S. military and foreign policy during the two World Wars, the Cold War, and the War on Terror. The Act has provided cover for the settling of political scores, illegal break-ins, and prosecutorial misconduct. "A Century of Repression: The Espionage Act and Freedom of the Press," University of Illinois Press (October 4, 2022)

Kit Klarenberg, "How British intelligence weaponizes the Sunni clergy class,", November 8 2022

[Jeff Gerth's investigation for The Columbia Journalism Review exposes the dark heart of the news media's coverage of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections.--Patrick Lawrence, "The Press Reckoning on Russiagate,", February 7, 2023]

Susan Schmidt et al, "Report on the Censorship-Industrial Complex,", May 10, 2023

John Pilger, How Propaganda Hides the True Face of War, July 12, 2023

Richard Abelson, "Wikipedia Founder Larry Sanger to Glenn Greenwald: CIA and FBI Use Wikipedia for Information Warfare,", August 3, 2023

The mirage of freedom: Unveiling America's clandestine web of manipulation, Facts Tell, August 7, 2023

Tucker Carlson Interviews Robert F Kennedy Jr, August 14, 2023

Michael Shellenberger, "US And UK Military Contractors Created Sweeping Plan For Global Censorship In 2018,", November 28, 2023

Exiled Chinese artist Ai Weiwei: 'Censorship in West exactly the same as Mao's China', Sky News, February 4, 2024

Evidence Of 'Secret' Portal Used By Govt Agencies To Track Citizens, Forbes, March 7, 2024

Assal Rad: The headline fixer | The Listening Post, Al-Jazeera, May 26, 2024

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