Site Behind Washington Post’s McCarthyite Blacklist Appears To Be Linked to Ukrainian Fascists and CIA Spies

By Mark Ames, who is the Co-host of the Radio War Nerd podcast. Read more of his work at He is the author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder, and Rebellion: From Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine and Beyond. Cross-posted from AlterNet.

Last month, the Washington Post gave a glowing front-page boost to an anonymous online blacklist of hundreds of American websites, from marginal conspiracy sites to flagship libertarian and progressive publications. As Max Blumenthal reported for AlterNet, the anonymous website argued that all of them should be investigated by the federal government and potentially prosecuted under the Espionage Act as Russian spies, for wittingly or unwittingly spreading Russian propaganda.

My own satirical newspaper was raided and closed down by the Kremlin in 2008, on charges of “extremism”—akin to terrorism—which I took seriously enough to leave for home for good. What the Washington Post did in boosting an anonymous blacklist of American journalists accused of criminal treason is one of the sleaziest, and most disturbing (in a very familiar Kremlin way) things I’ve seen in this country since I fled for home. The WaPo is essentially an arm of the American deep state; its owner, Jeff Bezos, is one of the three richest Americans, worth $67 billion, and his cash cow, Amazon, is a major contractor with the Central Intelligence Agency. In other words, this is as close to an official US government blacklist of journalists as we’ve seen—a dark ominous warning before they take the next steps.

It’s now been a few days, and the shock and disgust is turning to questions about how to fight back—and who we should be fighting against. Who were the Washington Post’s sources for their journalism blacklist?

Smearing a progressive journalism icon

The WaPo smear was authored by tech reporter Craig Timberg, a former national security editor who displayed embarrassing deference to the head of the world’s largest private surveillance operation, billionaire Eric Schmidt—in contrast to his treatment of his journalism colleagues. There’s little in Timberg’s history to suggest he’d lead one of the ugliest public smears of his colleagues in decades. Timberg’s father, a successful mainstream journalist who recently died, wrote hagiographies on his Naval Academy comrades including John McCain, the Senate’s leading Russophobic hawk, and three Iran-Contra conspirators—Oliver North, John Poindexter, and Robert McFarlane, whose crimes Timberg blames on their love of country and sacrifices in Vietnam.

WaPo’s key source was an anonymous online group calling itself PropOrNot (i.e., “Propaganda Or Not”). It was here that the blacklist of American journalists allegedly working with the Kremlin was posted. The Washington Post cited PropOrNot as a credible source, and granted them the right to anonymously accuse major American news outlets of treason, recommending that the government investigate and prosecute them under the Espionage Act for spreading Russian propaganda.

Featured alongside those anonymously accused of treason by PropOrNot, among a long list of marginal conspiracy sites and major news hubs, is Truthdig. This news and opinion site was co-founded by Zuade Kaufman and the veteran journalist Robert Scheer, who is a professor of USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and former columnist for the LA Times. It would not be the first time Scheer has come under attack from dark forces. In the mid-late 1960s, Scheer made his fame as editor and reporter for Ramparts, the fearless investigative magazine that changed American journalism. One of the biggest bombshell stories that Scheer’s magazine exposed was the CIA’s covert funding of the National Student Association, then America’s largest college student organization, which had chapters on 400 campuses and a major presence internationally.

The CIA was not pleased with Scheer’s magazine’s work, and shortly afterwards launched a top-secret and illegal domestic spying campaign against Scheer and Ramparts, believing that they must be a Russian Communist front. A secret team of CIA operatives—kept secret even from the rest of Langley, the operation was so blatantly illegal—spied on Scheer and his Ramparts colleagues, dug through Ramparts’ funders lives and harassed some of them into ditching the magazine, but in all of that they couldn’t find a single piece of evidence linking Scheer’s magazine to Kremlin agents. This secret illegal CIA investigation into Scheer’s magazine expanded its domestic spying project, code-named MH-CHAOS, that grew into a monster targeting hundreds of thousands of Americans, only to be exposed by Seymour Hersh in late 1974, leading to the creation of the Church Committee hearings and calls by Congress for the abolition of the Central Intelligence Agency.

It’s one of the dark ugly ironies that 50 years later, Scheer has been anonymously accused of working for Russian spies, only this time the accusers have the full cooperation of the Washington Post’s front page.

PropOrNot’s Ukrainian fascist salute

Still the question lingers: Who is behind PropOrNot? Who are they? We may have to await the defamation lawsuits that are almost certainly coming from those smeared by the Post and by PropOrNot. Their description sounds like the “About” tab on any number of Washington front groups that journalists and researchers are used to coming across:

“PropOrNot is an independent team of concerned American citizens with a wide range of backgrounds and expertise, including professional experience in computer science, statistics, public policy, and national security affairs.”

The only specific clues given were an admission that at least one of its members with access to its Twitter handle is “Ukrainian-American”. They had given this away in a handful of early Ukrainian-language tweets, parroting Ukrainian ultranationalist slogans, before the group was known.

One PropOrNot tweet, dated November 17, invokes a 1940s Ukrainian fascist salute “Heroism Slava!!” to cheer a news item on Ukrainian hackers fighting Russians. The phrase means “Glory to the heroes” and it was formally introduced by the fascist Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) at their March-April 1941 congress in Nazi occupied Cracow, as they prepared to serve as Nazi auxiliaries in Operation Barbarossa. As historian Grzgorz Rossoliński-Liebe, author of the definitive biography on Ukraine’s wartime fascist leader and Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera, explained:

“the OUN-B introduced another Ukrainian fascist salute at the Second Great Congress of the Ukrainian Nationalists in Cracow in March and April 1941. This was the most popular Ukrainian fascist salute and had to be performed according to the instructions of the OUN-B leadership by raising the right arm ‘slightly to the right, slightly above the peak of the head’ while calling ‘Glory to Ukraine!’ (Slava Ukraїni!) and responding ‘Glory to the Heroes!’ (Heroiam Slava!).”

Two months after formalizing this salute, Nazi forces allowed Bandera’s Ukrainian fascists to briefly take control of Lvov, at the time a predominantly Jewish and Polish city—whereupon the Ukrainian “patriots” murdered, tortured and raped thousand of Jews, in one of the most barbaric and bloodiest pogroms ever.

Since the 2014 Maidan Revolution brought Ukrainian neo-fascists back into the highest rungs of power, Ukraine’s Nazi collaborators and wartime fascists have been rehabilitated as heroes, with major highways and roads named after them, and public commemorations. The speaker of Ukraine’s parliament, Andriy Parubiy, founded Ukraine’s neo-Nazi “Social-National Party of Ukraine” and published a white supremacist manifesto, “View from the Right”  featuring the parliament speaker in full neo-Nazi uniform in front of fascist flags with the Nazi Wolfsangel symbol. Ukraine’s powerful Interior Minister, Arsen Avakov, sponsors several ultranationalist and neo-Nazi militia groups like the Azov Battalion, and last month he helped appoint another neo-Nazi, Vadym Troyan, as head of Ukraine’s National Police. (Earlier this year, when Troyan was still police chief of the capital Kiev, he was widely accused of having ordered an illegal surveillance operation on investigative journalist Pavel Sheremet just before his assassination by car bomb.)

A Ukrainian intelligence service blacklist as PropOrNot’s model

Since coming to power in the 2014 Maidan Revolution, Ukraine’s US-backed regime has waged an increasingly surreal war on journalists who don’t toe the Ukrainian ultranationalist line, and against treacherous Kremlin propagandists, real and imagined. Two years ago, Ukraine established a “Ministry of Truth”. This year the war has gone from surreal paranoia to an increasingly deadly kind of “terror.”

One of the more frightening policies enacted by the current oligarch-nationalist regime in Kiev is an on-line blacklist of journalists accused of collaborating with pro-Russian “terrorists.” The website, “Myrotvorets” or “Peacemaker”—was set up by Ukrainian hackers working with state intelligence and police, all of which tend to share the same ultranationalist ideologies as Parubiy and the newly-appointed neo-Nazi chief of the National Police.

Condemned by the Committee to Protect Journalists and numerous news organizations in the West and in Ukraine, the online blacklist includes the names and personal private information on some 4500 journalists, including several western journalists and Ukrainians working for western media. The website is designed to frighten and muzzle journalists from reporting anything but the pro-nationalist party line, and it has the backing of government officials, spies and police—including the SBU (Ukraine’s successor to the KGB), the powerful Interior Minister Avakov and his notorious far-right deputy, Anton Geraschenko.

Ukraine’s journalist blacklist website—operated by Ukrainian hackers working with state intelligence—led to a rash of death threats against the doxxed journalists, whose email addresses, phone numbers and other private information was posted anonymously to the website. Many of these threats came with the wartime Ukrainian fascist salute: “Slava Ukraini!” [Glory to Ukraine!] So when PropOrNot’s anonymous “researchers” reveal only their Ukrainian(s) identity, it’s hard not to think about the spy-linked hackers who posted the deadly “Myrotvorets” blacklist of “treasonous” journalists.

The DNC’s Ukrainian ultra-nationalist researcher cries treason

Because the PropOrNot blacklist of American journalist “traitors” is anonymous, and the Washington Post front-page article protects their anonymity, we can only speculate on their identity with what little information they’ve given us. And that little bit of information reveals only a Ukrainian ultranationalist thread—the salute, the same obsessively violent paranoia towards Russia, and towards journalists, who in the eyes of Ukrainian nationalists have always been dupes and stooges, if not outright collaborators, of Russian evil.

One of the key media sources who blamed the DNC hacks on Russia, ramping up fears of crypto-Putinist infiltration, is a Ukrainian-American lobbyist working for the DNC. She is Alexandra Chalupa—described as the head of the Democratic National Committee’s opposition research on Russia and on Trump, and founder and president of the Ukrainian lobby group “US United With Ukraine Coalition”, which lobbied hard to pass a 2014 bill increasing loans and military aid to Ukraine, imposing sanctions on Russians, and tightly aligning US and Ukraine geostrategic interests.

In October of this year, Yahoo News named Chalupa one of “16 People Who Shaped the 2016 Election”  for her role in pinning the DNC leaks on Russian hackers, and for making the case that the Trump campaign was under Kremlin control. “As a Democratic Party consultant and proud Ukrainian-American, Alexandra Chalupa was outraged last spring when Donald Trump named Paul Manafort as his campaign manager,” the Yahoo profile began. “As she saw it, Manafort was a key figure in advancing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s agenda inside her ancestral homeland — and she was determined to expose it.”

Chalupa worked with veteran reporter Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News to publicize her opposition research on Trump, Russia and Paul Manafort, as well as her many Ukrainian sources. In one leaked DNC email earlier this year, Chalupa boasts to DNC Communications Director Luis Miranda that she brought Isikoff to a US-government sponsored Washington event featuring 68 Ukrainian journalists, where Chalupa was invited “to speak specifically about Paul Manafort.” In turn, Isikoff named her as the key inside source “proving” that the Russians were behind the hacks, and that Trump’s campaign was under the spell of Kremlin spies and sorcerers.

(In 2008, when I broke the story about the Manafort-Kremlin ties in The Nation with Ari Berman, I did not go on to to accuse him or John McCain, whose campaign was being run by Manafort’s partner, of being Manchurian Candidates under the spell of Vladimir Putin. Because they weren’t; instead, they were sleazy, corrupt, hypocritical politicians who followed money and power rather than principle. A media hack feeding frenzy turned Manafort from what he was—a sleazy scumbag—into a fantastical Kremlin mole, forcing Manafort to resign from the Trump campaign, thanks in part to kompromat material leaked by the Ukrainian SBU, successor to the KGB.)

Meanwhile, Chalupa’s Twitter feed went wild accusing Trump of treason—a crime that carries the death penalty. Along with well over 100 tweets hashtagged #TreasonousTrump Chalupa repeatedly asked powerful government officials and bodies like the Department of Justice to investigate Trump for the capital crime of treason. In the weeks since the election, Chalupa has repeatedly accused both the Trump campaign and Russia of rigging the elections, demanding further investigations. According to The Guardian, Chalupa recently sent a report to Congress proving Russian hacked into the vote count, hoping to initiate a Congressional investigation. In an interview with Gothamist, Chalupa described alleged Russian interference in the election result as “an act of war.”

To be clear, I am not arguing that Chalupa is behind PropOrNot. But it is important to provide context to the boasts by PropOrNot about its Ukrainian nationalist links—within the larger context of the Clinton campaign’s anti-Kremlin hysteria, which crossed the line into Cold War xenophobia time and time again, an anti-Russian xenophobia shared by Clinton’s Ukrainian nationalist allies. To me, it looks like a classic case of blowback: A hyper-nationalist group whose extremism happens to be useful to American geopolitical ambitions, and is therefore nurtured to create problems for our competitor. Indeed, the US has cultivated extreme Ukrainian nationalists as proxies for decades, since the Cold War began.

As investigative journalist Russ Bellant documented in his classic exposé, “Old Nazis, New Right,” Ukrainian Nazi collaborators were brought into the United States and weaponized for use against Russia during the Cold War, despite whatever role they may have played in the Holocaust and in the mass slaughter of Ukraine’s ethnic Poles. After spending so many years encouraging extreme Ukrainian nationalism, it’s no surprise that the whole policy is beginning to blow back.

WaPo’s other source: A loony, far-right eugenicist think tank

Besides PropOrNot, the Washington Post’s Craig Timberg relied on only one other source to demonstrate the influence of Russian propaganda: the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI), whose “fellow” Clint Watts is cited by name, along with a report he co-authored, “Trolling for Trump: How Russia is Trying to Destroy Our Democracy.”

Somehow, in the pushback and outrage over the WaPo blacklist story, the FPRI has managed to fly under the radar. So much so that when Fortune’s Matthew Ingram correctly described the FPRI as “proponents of the Cold War” he was compelled to issue a clarification, changing the description to “a conservative think tank known for its hawkish stance on relations between the US and Russia.”

In fact, historically the Foreign Policy Research Institute has been one of the looniest (and spookiest) extreme-right think tanks since the early Cold War days, promoting “winnable” nuclear war, maximum confrontation with Russia, and attacking anti-colonialism as dangerously unworkable. One of the key brains behind the FPRI’s extreme-right Cold War views also happened to be a former Austrian fascist official who, upon emigrating to America, became one of this country’s leading proponents of racial eugenics and white supremacy.

The Foreign Policy Research Institute was founded by Robert Strausz-Hupé and set up on the University of Pennsylvania campus, with backing from the Vick’s chemical company, funder of numerous reactionary rightwing causes since the New Deal began. And, as the New York Times reported, the FPRI also was covertly funded by the CIA, a revelation that would lead to student protests and the FPRI removing itself from Penn’s campus in 1970.

The FPRI’s founder, Strausz-Hupe, emigrated to the US from Austria in the 1920s. In the early Cold War years, he became known as an advocate of aggressive confrontation with the Soviet Union, openly advocating total nuclear war rather than anything like surrender or cohabitation. In a 1961 treatise “A Forward Strategy for America” that Strausz-Hupe co-authored with his frequent FPRI collaborator, the former Austrian fascist official and racial eugenics advocate Stefan Possony, they wrote:

“Even at a moment when the United States faces defeat because, for example, Europe, Asia and Africa have fallen to communist domination, a sudden nuclear attack against the Soviet Union could at least avenge the disaster and deprive the opponent of the ultimate triumph. While such a reversal at the last moment almost certainly would result in severe American casualties, it might still nullify all previous Soviet conquests.”

But it was Russian propaganda that most concerned Strausz-Hupe and his FPRI. In 1959, for example, he published a three-page spread in the New York Times, headlined “Why Russia Is Ahead in Propaganda,” that has odd echoes of last month’s paranoid Washington Post article alleging a vast conspiracy of American journalists secretly poisoning the public’s mind with Russian propaganda. The article argued, as many do today, that America and the West were dangerously behind the Russians in the propaganda arms race—and dangerously disadvantaged by our open and free society, where propaganda is allegedly sniffed out by our ever-vigilant and fearless media.

The only way for America to protect itself from Russian propaganda, he wrote, was to massively increase its propaganda warfare budgets, and close the alleged “propaganda gap”—echoing again the same solutions being peddled today in Washington and London:

“[W]ithin the limitations of our society, we can take steps to expand and improve our existing programs.

“These programs have been far from generous. It has been estimated, for example, that the Communists in one single propaganda offensive—the germ-warfare campaign during the Korean conflict—spent nearly as much as the entire annual allocation to the United States Information Agency. We should increase the austere budget of the U.S.I.A. We should give our information specialists a greater voice in policy-making councils. We should attempt to coordinate more fully and effectively the propaganda programs of the Western alliance.”

A few years later, the FPRI’s Strausz-Hupe published a deranged attack in the New York Times against Stanley Kubrick’s film Dr. Strangelove, calling it “the most vicious attack to date launched by way of our mass media against the American military profession”. The FPRI’s founding director went further, accusing Kubrick of being, if not a conscious Russian agent of propaganda, then a Soviet dupe undermining American democracy and stability—the same sort of paranoid accusations that FPRI is leveling again today. As Strausz-Hupe wrote:

“Anyone who cares to scan the Soviet press and the Communist press in other lands will note that it is one of the principal Communist objectives to drive a wedge between the American people and their military leaders. Mr. Kubrick’s creation certainly serves this purpose.”

Reading that then, knowing how the Soviet Union eventually collapsed on itself without firing a shot—and seeing the same paranoid, sleazy lies being peddled again today, one is dumbstruck by just how stagnant our intellectual culture is. We’ve never thawed ourselves out from our Cold War pathologies; we’re still trapped in the same structures that nurture these pathologies. Too many careers and salaries depend on it…

But Strausz-Hupe was the voice of reason compared to his chief collaborator and co-author at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, Stefan Possony. He too was an Austrian emigre, although Possony didn’t leave his homeland until 1938. Before then he served in the Austrofascist governments of both Dollfuss and Schuschnigg, but left after the Nazi Anschluss deposed the native fascists and installed Hitler’s puppets in their place.

Possony was a director and fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and according to historian Robert Vitalis’ recent book “White World Power” [Cornell University Press], Possony co-authored nearly all of the FPRI’s policy research material until he moved to Stanford’s Hoover Institute in 1961, where he helped align the two institutions. Possony continued publishing in the FPRI’s journal Orbis throughout the 1960s and beyond. He was also throughout this time one of the most prolific contributors to Mankind Quarterly, the leading race eugenics journal in the days before The Bell Curve—and co-author race eugenics books with white supremacist Nathaniel Weyl.

So even as he was publishing aggressive Cold War propaganda for the Foreign Policy Research Institute, Possony wrote elsewhere that the “average African Negro functions as does the European after a leucotomy [prefrontal lobotomy] operation” In other articles, Possony described the people of “the Middle East, Latin America and Southeast Asia” as “genetically unpromising“ because they “lack the innate brain power required for mastery and operation of the tools of modern civilization[.] . . .” For this reason he and Strausz-Hupe opposed the early Cold War policy of de-colonization: “The accretion of lethal power in the hands of nation states dominated by populations incapable of rational thought could be a harbinger of total disaster.” Instead, they argued that white colonialism benefited the natives and raised them up; western critics of colonialism, they argued, were merely “fashionable” dupes who would be responsible for a “genocide” of local whites.

As late as a 1974 article in Mankind Quarterly, Possony was defending race eugenics loon William Shockley’s theories on the inferiority of dark skinned races, which he argued could prove that spending money on welfare was in fact a “waste” since there was no way to improve genetically inferior races. Around the same time, Possony emerged as the earliest and most effective advocate of the “Star Wars” anti-ballistic missile system adopted by President Reagan. The way Possony saw it, the Star Wars weapon was entirely offensive, and would give the United States sufficient first strike capability to win a nuclear war with Russia.

It was this history, and a 1967 New York Times exposé on how the Foreign Policy Research Institute had been covertly funded by the CIA, that led US Senator Fulbright in 1969 to reject Nixon’s nomination of Strausz-Hupe as ambassador to Morocco. Fulbright denounced Strausz-Hupe as a Cold War extremist and a threat to world peace: ”the very epitome of a hard-line, no compromise.” However, he gave in a couple of years later when Nixon named him to the post of ambassador in Sri Lanka.

Today, the Foreign Policy Research Institute proudly honors its founder Strausz-Hupe, and honors his legacy with blacklists of allegedly treasonous journalists and allegedly all-powerful Russian propaganda threatening our freedoms.

This is the world the Washington Post is bringing back to its front pages. And the timing is incredible—as if Bezos’ rag has taken upon itself to soften up the American media before Trump moves in for the kill. And it’s all being done in the name of fighting “fake news” …and fascism.

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  1. Clive

    “…the head of the world’s largest private surveillance operation, billionaire Eric Schmidt…”

    Ha! I wish I’d thought of that line! I just laughed out loud on the train and my fellow commuter drones are shuffling and wondering to themselves if I’m on day release from an institution.

    Of course, the joke’s on us, because that’s exactly what they (Google) are with all the right friends in high places to boot.

    1. heresy101

      Something that has been occurring lately with Chrome makes me think that Google is truly watching. A lot of sites (RT et al) are having the https// crossed out in red implying that the connection is no longer secure.

      For instance, the “true” link in the article above has the https// in red when using Chrome, but Firefox does not make it unsecure (at least it isn’t showing it). Does this have something to do with certificates or is something more sinister going on?

      Chrome puts each tab in a new process versus Firefox creating one big file that becomes unstable if you open too many tabs.

      There was a comment on ZH recently that referenced a secure browser but now I can’t find the link. Does anyone have a suggestion?

      1. Clive

        Probably TOR but I would caution this is far from foolproof and may even incur The Panopticon’s more intrusive surveillance attention.

        I value my privacy as much as anyone but I don’t use TOR or similar simply because if they are not a guaranteed solution, what’s the point? And besides, why should I have to? It’s just another tax on my time and resources.

      2. Dopey Panda

        The opendemocracy link you gave shows up as having issues in firefox also. It looks like they have some insecure images on the page, which is probably what chrome is complaining about.

  2. Clive

    They are all still at it. Just when I thought it was safe to go back into the reading the political coverage water, and hope tormented me, guess who is back:

    Hillary Clinton warns of ‘fake news epidemic’

    And she should know.

    Is it too late for Clive to warn of ‘fake Democratic primaries voting epidemic’ ? Maybe I should write it and ask if the Washington Post will run it. They will, apparently, run pretty much anything. If that doesn’t work, there’s always ‘Elvis is Alive and Works Serving Coffee at the Woking Starbucks, Claims Eye Witness Clive’. That last one is probably too high brow for them, however.

    1. Pavel

      I browsed the Guardian web site this morning and there was Hillary, once again in her royal purple, emerging to attack the so-called Fake News sites. A bit rich coming from the woman who fell for George W. Bush’s Fake News reports about WMD in Iraq, who claimed to be under “sniper fire”, and who has a history of bending the truth and outright lies. She is the epitome of the MSM’s dishonesty and disingenuousness.

      Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitz has a great post which specifically lauds Naked Capitalism (and Counterpunch) featured on Zerohedge:

      Many of us have spent years, if not decades, building up our online reputations and we should be careful not to squander all we have gained. There will be attempts at co-option, explicitly and otherwise. Be on guard. There will be hit-pieces and smear attempts. Stay cool and fight back from a position of strength and calm. However, I believe the greatest threat comes from the ever present danger of self-inflicted error. Part of the reason independent, alternative media has been so successful is legacy media has made it easy to look good by being so obviously captured, puerile and propagandistic. We must continue to be better than they are. As such, we must be more honest in our actions, less hypocritical in our analysis of events, and just more ethical overall. Given the competition, this shouldn’t be difficult.

      Another way the status quo will fight back is by attacking our means of surviving financially, which means readers must be prepared to donate to your favorite sites more than ever before (you can support Liberty Blitzkrieg here). The other way will be to prevent our content from appearing on social media sites or search engines, or when it does appear, it will come with a warning. If this is the tactic they choose, it’ll be relatively easy to fight back.

      Ten years ago it would’ve been hard to counter such a strategy, but not today. The cat is simply too far out of the bag. Too many of us reach too many people, and many of the people we reach are smart and influential. We have already sufficiently infiltrated and influenced the public discourse, so denying us a voice is no longer an option. If Facebook or Google start presenting Liberty Blitzkrieg, Zerohedge, or Naked Capitalism with warning labels, the intelligent amongst us with see right through this tactic and become disgusted.

      So let me end this with a warning to Facebook, Google, and all the other tech behemoths. You start this fight at your own risk. Any disingenuous attempt to smear genuine, independent media websites via blacklists and censorship will ultimately harm you more than it harms us. In a misguided attempt to destroy us, you will destroy yourselves. Tread carefully and be on the right side of history.

      –‘Then We Will Fight in the Shade’ – A Guide to Winning the Media Wars

      1. skippy

        Cough…. unenlightened self interest [libertarianism] is the corner stone to neoliberalism….

        Disheveled…. try reading YS book Econned…

      2. Jim Haygood

        From RT News:

        “We have another post today that describes how the few things that are verifiable on the PropOrNot site don’t pan out, as in the organization is not simply a group of inept propagandists but also appears to deal solely in fabrications,” Naked Capitalism – a US blog on finance, economics and politics – said on its website.

        Jim Moody, an attorney representing the website, stressed in a letter to the Washington Post on Sunday that the newspaper “did not provide even a single example of ‘fake news’ allegedly distributed or promoted by Naked Capitalism or indeed any of the 200 sites on the PropOrNot blacklist.”

        In turn, the RT News article is linked at Lew Rockwell’s site today.

        1. craazyboy

          “did not provide even a single example of ‘fake news’ allegedly distributed or promoted by Naked Capitalism or indeed any of the 200 sites on the PropOrNot blacklist.”

          hahaha. Well, Wapo clarified they aren’t in the biz of verifying fake news. You can’t disclose something you can’t identify….. obviously.

  3. Jim Kovpak

    Hello, I’m the blogger of Russia Without BS, a site you cited once in the stories about PropOrNot. As I have recently written on my blog, I believe PropOrNot is most likely one person who is not linked to any real organization group or intelligence agency. The individual is most likely what I call a cheerleader, which is basically a person with no reasonable connection to some conflict, yet who takes a side and sort of lives vicariously through their imagined “struggle.”

    That being said, you’re probably not going to do yourself any favors claiming that Maidan was a fascist coup and that fascists are in charge in Ukraine. Euromaidan was not started by right-wingers (quite the opposite, actually), and they were not the majority of people there. Basically you condemning Maidan is like someone condemning Occupy just because of the presence of neo-Nazis and racists who were sometimes involved in certain Occupy chapters (this is well documented).

    Without actually bothering to look at the issues involved, you are basically telling millions of Ukrainians that they should have tolerated a corrupt, increasingly authoritarian government that was literally stealing their future all because some right-wingers happened to latch on to that cause too. Here it also bears mentioning that it has been established that Yanukovych’s Party of Regions transferred $200,000 to the far right Svoboda party and about $30,000 to the nationalist UNA-UNSO. This is serious money in Ukraine.

    As for the slogan, yes, Slava Ukraini, Heroiam Slava! has its origins in the OUN, but there are some important things to consider when discussing Ukrainian history.

    Firstly, most Ukrainians don’t give a shit about Bandera and the OUN. So if they’re not speaking out against people using those symbols or slogans it’s not because they support them, but because they’re more concerned with issues of pure survival. Look at the average salary in Ukraine and look into some of the instances of corruption (some of which continue to this day), and you’ll understand why a lot of people aren’t going to get up in arms about someone waving the red and black flag. Most people have become very cynical and see the nationalists as provocateurs or clowns, and thus they don’t take them seriously enough.

    The other thing you have to consider is the very different educational systems we grew up with, with their very different narratives of WWII. Most Ukrainians grew up under a Soviet education system which had very poor teaching on the Holocaust and fascism. This has led to an unfortunate situation where anyone saying the opposite of what the Soviets said can portray himself as a seeker of truth.

    What is more, a myth has existed for decades that the OUN and its military wing, the UPA, fought a struggle not only against the Soviets but the Germans as well. The mythmakers today have built upon that myth. So in other words, many people who have adopted a pro-OUN narrative believe that the OUN was ANTI-Nazi, and they see the pre-war collaboration as being no different than the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact when the USSR was “allied” with Germany.

    Lastly, many Ukrainians don’t even seem to know the origin of the slogan Slava Ukraini, and I’ve even met some who think that the OUN flag is actually just based on a flag used by cossacks in the 17th century (PROTIP: It’s not). This might be a good time to point out that the Russian tricolor, which is the state flag of Russia today, was itself used by Nazi collaborators during the war.

    In comparison, the Russian state promotes racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia (in regards to Europe) and homophobia with its massive state apparatus and state-connected GoNGO’s. In Russia there is no contradiction between calling yourself an anti-fascist and then making racist jokes and claiming that Europe is a degenerate society being overrun by Muslim hordes. Ukraine certainly does not have more right-wingers than other Eastern European nations, but if you look at their polls and elections you see that the far-right in Ukraine does far worse than it does in other Eastern and even Western European countries. And speaking of elections, who was chosen in November in the United States? Right.

    So perhaps in the future instead of repeating a bunch of Russian talking points because you mistakenly think Russia is somehow opposed to US capitalism, you could actually talk to Ukrainians who participated in Maidan and find out why they protested and what they wanted. Most of them want the same thing you do- an end to a ridiculously exploitative system. Yet unlike many Westerners, they were willing to go out and do something about it.

    As the rule goes- do unto others as you would have them do unto you. So if you’re not prepared to have foreigners label your movements as Russian-funded propaganda operations without even bothering to ask you or read your message, don’t patronize other people around the world, remove their agency, and pretend like they’re just pawns in a global chess match.

      1. olga

        Before you call this good points, please familiarize yourself with the (accurate) history of the Maidan, Ukraine, neo-nazi presence in that country, and Russian history. Please… Kovpak seems to be an embodiment of what Ames tries to convey.

        1. dk

          “You’re a poseur!”
          “No, you’re poser!”

          The more experienced observer listens to all sides; and all sides lie at least a little, if only for their own comfort. Beyond that, subjectivity is inescapable, and any pair of subjectives will inevitably diverge. This is not a malign intent, it’s existential circumstance, the burden of identity, of individual life.

          My own (admittedly cursory) analysis happens to coincide with Jim Kovpak’s first para (PropOrNot being primarily a lone “cheerleader”). And I can see merit, and the call for dispassionate assessment, in some of his other points. This does not mean I endorse Kovpak over Ames, or Ames over Kovpak; both contribute to the searching discussion with cogent observation (and the inevitable measure of subjective evaluation).

          I thank both for their remarks, and also thank our gracious hosts ;).

    1. hemeantwell

      Euromaidan was not started by right-wingers

      No, but it was hijacked by fascists. It is sad that more democratic/progressive forces lost out, but that’s what happened. You seem to be trying to avoid recognizing this fact by affirming the rightfulness of those who began the revolt. Their agency was removed not by Naked Capitalism or Mark Ames, but by fascists who out maneuvered, spent, and gunned them. It’s time to mourn, not to defend a parasitic Frankenstein that is trying to develop a European fascist movement. Goons from that movement assaulted and injured May Day demonstrators in Sweden this year and then fled back to the Ukraine. They are dangerous and should not be protected with illusions.

      1. craazyboy

        Also, interesting insights from Jim, but we should file those under “Editorials on foreign current events.” That would be safely and clearly separated from the “Fake News” category we are now being bludgeoned with.

        Then that leaves the issue of figuring out exactly how our new Prez, and 200 websites including NC, are facing execution by firing squad for the crime of Treason Against The Government of Ukraine – in business since 2014!

      2. OIFVet

        Their agency was removed not by Naked Capitalism or Mark Ames, but by fascists who out maneuvered, spent, and gunned them

        And then these same fascists were whitewashed as noble freedom fighters by Western MSM simply because their interests happen to allign with the interests of the US, for the moment. Thus we have the ridiculous situation where supposedly reputable media like NYT and WaPoo cheer on the Azov battalion and its brethren, and deny the very symbolism of the various Nazi insignia and regalia featured on their uniforms. Jim makes some very good points, but he fell way short in ignoring the role of the US MSM in this travesty. And just in case someone tries to claim that we all make mistakes at times and that the MSM made an honest mistake in regards to these neo-Nazi formations, the same thing has been happening in Syria, where the US and its Gulf allies have armed extremists and have whitewashed their extremism by claiming even Al Qaeda and its offshoots are noble freedom fighters.

        1. hemeantwell

          Good on the parallel with Syria. The evolution, or distortion, of revolutionary movements as they struggle to gain support and offensive power and then either are modified or jacked by “supporting” external powers is not a cheering subject. The tendency to ignore that this has happened takes two forms. One is what we are here discussing. The other is its opposite, as seen in, for example, the way some writers try to maintain that there never was a significant democratic/progressive/humane etc. element to the Syrian opposition.

          1. Michael W

            There never was a progressive/democratic -nor humane element to the Syrian opposition. It was always Islamo-fascists whose violent objections to Assad are because he tolerates and accepts all religions and people. These despicable and violent religious fascists quickly became the darlings and subjects of American fascists (otherwise known as Wall Street) because Assad refused to allow a natural gas pipeline to be put through Syria to Europe so they could beggar 185 million Russians to punish Putin for not allowing Wall Street criminals into Russia and for jailing a few of the Russian oligarchs who fronted for Wall Street criminals. It was these Islamo fascists who killed tens of thousands of Iraqis using poison gas and then blamed it on Assad which was quickly carried as if true by the fascist American MSM – a lie whose cover has been blown away by every neutral observer investigation – and if it wasn’t Assad the only other possibility is the close relatives of ISIS the Islamo fascists who oppose Assad!

    2. flora

      Ukraine, as I understand it, is not monolith but has roughly 2 interest areas – western and eastern – divided by the River Dnieper. The Western half is more pro-European and EU, the Eastern half is more pro-Russia. The word “fascist” in Ukraine means something slightly different than in means in the US and the EU. So I take your comment with a grain of salt, even though it is interesting.

      Ukraine’s geographical location as the land “highway” between Europe and Asia has created a long and embattled history there.

    3. OIFVet

      So perhaps in the future instead of repeating a bunch of Russian talking points because you mistakenly think Russia is somehow opposed to US capitalism,

      Uh, no. I haven’t noticed anyone here thinking that Russia is some sort of fighter for social and economic justice. Rather, we as a group are sick of noxious propaganda driven by American Exceptionalism. And speaking for myself, I find the rise of Russia to be potentially a very good thing for the US itself, if it manages to curtail the MIC-driven hegemonic drive, weakens its relative power, and forces it to focus its money and energies on pressing domestic issues.

        1. hemeantwell

          Thirded. The idea of considering Putin to be anticapitalist is risible. Putin represents a limit on a US hegemonized economic order and the greater likelihood that some portion of the fruits of the Russian oligarchic capitalist effort will benefit Russians, not elites tied to the US, because of his self-interested nationalism. Not much to cheer about but better than where things were headed when Yeltsin was in power.

    4. KRB

      This is some insidious strawman and dishonest argumentation, speaking of “BS.” Nowhere does this article state that the entire Maidan revolution was a “fascist coup”—that’s you putting words in the author’s mouth to make his article appear to be Russian propaganda. The author specifies names of top figures in power today with seriously disturbing neo-Nazi backgrounds—the speaker of Ukraine’s parliament, its Interior Minister, and head of National Police. He never once calls it a “fascist coup”. Using strawman to avoid having to answer these specific allegations is bad faith commenting.

      The false analogy to Occupy shows how dishonest your comment is. No one disputes that neo-Nazi leader Parubiy was in charge of Maidan’s “self-defense”; and that neo-Nazi Right Sektor played a lead role in the confrontations with the Yanukovych authorities. There is absolutely no equivalent to this with Occupy at all. Where does this false analogy even come from? No where does the author state that Maidan was ONLY fascists, that is again your strawman response. Maidan had a lot of support from pro-western, pro-european, pro-liberal forces. But to deny the key and often lead roles played by neo-fascists in the actual organization, “self defense” and violent confrontations with the Yanukovych goons is gross whitewashing.

      Much worse is the way you rationalize the fascist OUN salute by arguing that it means something else now, or it’s become normalized, etc. These are all the same bullshit arguments made by defenders of the Confederate flag. “It means something different now.” “it’s about heritage/being a rebel!/individualism!” There is no “but” to this, and anyone who claims so is an asshole of the first order. The salute descends directly from collaborators in the Holocaust and mass-murder of Jews and Poles and collaboration with Nazis. If people claim they don’t understand its origins, then educate them on why it’s so fucked up, don’t make excuses for them. Really disgusting that you’d try to rationalize this away. There is no “but” and no excuse, period.

      “Russia Without BS” is one hell of an ironic name for someone bs-ing like this. Your failure to actually engage the article, setting up and knocking down strawmen instead, and evading, using false analogies—reveal your own intellectual pathologies. Try responding to the actual text here, and maybe you’ll be taken seriously.

      1. Martin Finnucane


        My thought was that this post was an example of the strawman fallacy. Yet certainly Mr. Kovpak wasn’t just shooting from the hip. That is, he thought about this thing, wrote it, looked it over, and said “well enough” and posted it. Poor logic, or bad faith?

        I think the tell was his characterization of the article as “repeating a bunch of Russian talking points.” What the hell is a “Russian talking point”? How do Ames’ contentions follow said talking points? Are he saying, perhaps, that Ames is another one of those Kremlin agents we’ve been hearing about, or perhaps another “useful idiot”? Perhaps Ames – of all people – is a dupe for Putin, right?

        Hasbara, Ukrainian style. Bringing this junk onto NS, either this guy is alot of dumber than he gives himself credit for, or he actually has no familiarity with NS, outside of the now- and rightly-notorious WP/ProporNot blacklist. Probably the latter, since it looks like his comment was a pre-masticated one-and-done.

      2. sid_finster

        I suspect that Mr. Kovpak is a member of the Ukrainian diaspora that first infested this country starting around 1945, and has since been trying to justify the belief that the wrong side won WWII.

    5. AD

      I’m glad Jim Kovpak provided this background. I was very troubled to see Ames breezily smear the Ukrainian uprising as “fascist,” essentially writing off the protesters as U.S. proxies and dismissing their grievances as either non-existent or irrelevant. Something similar has happened in Syria, of course. Yes, the U.S. ruling blocs try to advance their interests in such places, but if you ignore the people on the ground or dismiss them as irrelevant, you’re just playing into the hands of other tyrannical interests (in Syria: Assad, Putin, Hezbollah, etc.).

      1. OIFVet

        $5 billion spent over the past 25 years by the US in Ukraine (per Nuland). Yeah, they ain’t US proxies. Gla that you straightened that out for us.

        The grievances in Ukraine are many and are legitimate. But that the people’s anger was hijacked by US-financed proxies is a fact. Nuland was caught dictating that Yats would be the new PM, and darned if he didn’t become just that. The appalling corruption of Yanukovich was replaced by the appalling corruption of Yats and Poroschenko, and the country was plunged into a civil war. But Yats and Porky are freedom-loving democrats! The old saying remains true: “They may be corrupt SOBs, but they are our corrupt SOBs!”

        Heck, for all the crocodile tears shed by the West about corruption and democracy, it has nurtured corruption in Eastern Europe and looked the other way as democracy has been trampled. Including in my native Bulgaria, where millions of dollars spent by the US and allied NGOs on promoting and financing “free press” have seen Bulgaria’s freedom of media ranking slip to third world levels. But Bulgaria is a “democracy” because it is a member of the EU and NATO, and as such its elites have done the bidding of its Western masters at the expense of Bulgaria’s national interests and the interests of its people. Ukraine is headed down that road, and all I can say to regular Ukrainians is that they are in for an even bigger screwing down the road, cheer-led by the Western “democracies” and “free” media.

        Meddling by US hyperpower in the internal affairs and the replacement of one set of bastahds with another set of bastahds that is beholden to the US is not progress, which is why we call it out. After all the spilled blood and destruction sponsored by the US, can you honestly say that Ukraine and Syria and Libya and Iraq are now better off, and that their futures are bright? I can’t, and I can’t say that for my native country either. That’s because this new version of neocolonialism is the most destructive and virulent yet. And it is particularly insidious because it fools well-meaning people, like yourself, into believing that it actually helps improve the lives of the natives. It does not.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          “The appalling corruption of Yanukovich was replaced by the appalling corruption of Yats and Poroschenko…”

          That pretty much sums it up. Jim Kovpak does make some excellent points which help to understand what the Ukranians are thinking. The discussion regarding the poor education system and potential lack of knowledge of what certain symbolism refers to was really good. Sort of reminds me of the Southerners in the US who still claim that the Stars and Bars is just about Southern heritage and pride without bothering to consider the other ramifications and what the symbol means for those who were persecuted at one time (and continuing to today). But yeah, I’m sure there are those who think that that flag was just something the Duke boys used on the General Lee when trying to outrun Roscoe.

          All that being said, I don’t believe anybody here thinks that Yanukovich was some paragon of virtue ruling a modern utopia. The problem is that the new boss looks surprisingly familiar to the old boss with the main difference being that the fruits of corruption are being funneled to different parties with the people likely still getting the shaft.

          If your a(just as many in the US are), it’s quite possible they are also unaware of the current US influence in their country, just as most US citizens are unaware of what the US has done in other countries.

          I’d be very interested in Jim Kovpak’s thoughts on this.

        2. RMcHewn

          $5 billion spent over the past 25 years by the US in Ukraine (per Nuland). Yeah, they ain’t US proxies. Gla[d] that you straightened that out for us.

          Yes, it doesn’t get any more blatant than that, and if anyone believes otherwise they are obviously hooked on the officially sanctioned fake news, aka the MSM.

    6. Damian

      “Euromaidan was not started by right-wingers / Ukraine certainly does not have more right-wingers than other Eastern European nations”…………silly at best!

      Paruiby (Neo Fascist) was in charge before and after the Maidan for security – the trajectory of the bullets came from his peoples positions that shot the cops – analyzed over and over

      The Nazi Asov Battalion among other organizations supporting the Regime in Kiev has Nazi symbols, objectives and is one of the main forces armed and trained by American Military.

      The entire corrupt Kiev administration is Nazi and now it appears the Clinton Campaign has direct ties well beyond the $13 million she received in her Slush Fund from the Oligarchs in 2013. The driving force behind this entire Fake News Initiative and support for Hillary is becoming more visible each day.

      Your statements are pure propaganda and I would assume you work indirectly for Alexandra Chalupa!

      1. sid_finster

        Not to mention the Ukrainian Nazis penchant for shelling civilians.

        Or will Kovpak (Ukrainian school perhaps? Did his grandfather emigrate with the other Ukrainian SS?) will repeat the canard that unbeknownst to the locals, the rebels are shelling themselves, using artillery shells that can 180 mid-flight?

    7. Young Ex-Pat

      “Basically you condemning Maidan is like someone condemning Occupy just because of the presence of neo-Nazis and racists who were sometimes involved in certain Occupy chapters (this is well documented).”

      You must be kidding. Where to begin? Can we start with the simple fact that the Russian Foreign Ministry wasn’t handing out baked goods to Occupy protesters in NYC, egging them on as they tossed molotov cocktails at police, who, strangely enough, refrained from shooting protesters until right after a peaceful political settlement was reached? Coincidence or fate? Or maybe there is strong evidence that right wing fanatics were the ones who started the shooting on that fateful day?

      And sorry, no matter how much Kovpak denies it, the muscle behind the “glorious revolution” was a bunch of far-right thugs that make our American alt-right look like girl scouts. Andrei Biletsky, leader of Azov Battalion and head of Ukraine’s creatively named Social-National Assembly, says he’s committed to “punishing severely sexual perversions and any interracial contacts that lead to the extinction of the white man.” — Just like those hippies at Zuccotti Park, right?! Oh,and this guy received a medal from Poroshenko.

      I can keep going, but your “Maidan was just like Occupy!” argument pretty much speaks for itself. Glory to the heroes indeed.

      p.s. “Russia Without the BS” is awful.

    8. sid_finster

      As someone who lived many years in Ukraine, speaks Ukrainian and Russian and knows personally many of the people involved, yes, Ukrainians know full well the origin of the Nazi slogans that the local Nazis spout.

      That doesn’t mean that the average frustrated euromaidan supporter is a Nazi, but Nazis bussed in from Galicia did eventually provide the muscle, as it were, and the rest of the country were willing to get in bed with them, appoint them to run ministries, and let them have independent military units.

      Those Nazis are perfectly happy to call themselves Nazis.

      1. OIFVet

        What is the liberals’ talking point these days? “Not all Trump supporters are racist, but all of them decided that racism isn’t a deal-breaker. End of story.” Hillary’s SoS-designate Nuland and Barry 0 decided that Ukie nazism wasn’t a deal breaker. End of story.

        1. Foppe

          To be fair, there is a fairly wide gap between ‘racist’ and ‘violent racist of the KKK/Nazi variety’.
          Also (yes, partly preaching to the choir, but with a purpose), liberals are perfectly happy to stay quiet about enormous income/prosecution/incarceration/kill rate differences, so long as those targeted/affected can (bureau-/meritocratically) be described as ‘druggies/criminals/”extremists”/uneducated-thus-undeserving‘. And to ignore drone bombing of brown people. Etc. So all the pearl-clutching/virtue-signaling concerning racism is pretty easy to shrug off as concerning little more than a plea to express one’s support for racist policy in a PC fashion.
          (Highly recommend The New Jim Crow, which I’ve only recently started reading, for no good reason. Bizarre to realize that all of the stuff that’s being reported on a little bit now has been going on for 30 years now (30y of silence / wir-haben-es-nicht-gewusst wrt the structural nature; note that any/all reporting that im/explicitly describes these issues as “scandals”/”excesses” is part of the problem.)

    9. o

      WOW… I guess we have democracy, so your comment got through. In a way, your post confirms the existence of rabidly anti-Russian entities – the very point that Mark Ames makes. But you know, there are people who know a thing or two about Russia and Ukraine, and can easily refute much of your diatribe. (1) Ukrainian neo-fascists were an integral part of the Maidan (trained in Poland, US, and Canada). Yes, ordinary Ukrainians protested against corruption – but every U. government since 1991 has been corrupt. Yanukovich was no exception – but he was also not the worst one (do some research on J. Timoshenko). Corruption persists in U. today – and based on the now-required property disclosures by U. politicians – may be even worse. It is likely correct that most U. don’t give a damn about Bandera – but most U. also do not have any power to do anything about the neo-nazis, as they are (at least in the western part of the country) numerous, vocal, and prone to violence. There is enough actual footage from Maidan that shows the presence of neo-nazi members on the square from the beginning. They were also the one who completed the violent overthrow of the government that happened on 2/21-22/14 – after a deal had been signed calling for early elections. The burning of 48 people in Odessa was probably done by angels, according to your likely analysis.
      (2) But it is your comments about the U. neo-nazi participation in the war that seem to clarify who you really represent. This participation was not much discussed during the soviet times – I only found out that they continued to fight against the soviet state long after the war ended recently – from family members who witnessed it (in Belorussia, west. Ukr., and eastern Czechoslovakia). Some of them witnessed the unspeakable cruelty of these Ukr. “troops” against villagers and any partisans they could find. White-washing this period (or smearing soviet educational system) will not help – there is plenty of historical evidence for those who are interested in the subject.
      (3) What you say about the Russian state promoting this or that is just a scurrilous attack, with no proof. Not even worth exploring. On the other hand, there are plenty of documented murders of Ukr. journalists (google Buzina – a highly intelligent and eloquent Ukr. journalist, who was gunned down in front of his home; there are quite a few others).
      Ukr. in 2014 may have been protesting inept government, but what they ended up with is far worse – by any measure, Ukr. standard of living has gone way down. But now, the industrial base of the country has been destroyed, and the neo-nazi genie will not go back into the bottle any time soon. Ukr. as a unified place did not exist until after WWI, and the great divisions – brought starkly into contrast by the 2014 destruction of the state – cannot be papered over anytime soon.

    10. lyman alpha blob

      Appreciate the points you bring up but if the Ukranians truly want an end to an exploitative system, they probably are not going to get it by allying themselves with Uncle Sugar. The US provided billions of dollars to foment the coup and our oligarchs expect a return on that investment – they aren’t going to suddenly start trust funds for all Ukranians out of the goodness of their hearts. You are aware of that aren’t you?

    11. integer

      So perhaps in the future instead of repeating a bunch of Russian talking points…

      I was going to say something about how the CIA made Ukraine’s Social Nationalist party change its name to Svoboda (freedom), to obscure the obvious Nazi connection, but instead I will just laugh at you.

      1. Rhondda

        It was patently obvious from his comment that he’s a pro shill but very good to have the proof. Thanks, KRB.

      2. OIFVet

        Wait, so in Kovpak’s case our tax dollars are used to fund and disseminate propaganda to America’s public, too? I am not shocked or anything, but rather amused that the vaunted American democracy and famously free media is beginning to resemble communist Bulgaria. The good news is that by the 80’s nobody believed the state and its propagandists, even on the rare occasion they were telling the truth, and America’s people seem to be a bit ahead of the curve already, which may explain the “fake news” hysteria from the creators and disseminators of fake news.

    12. Eddie Anderson

      Ukraine certainly does not have more right-wingers than other Eastern European nations, but if you look at their polls and elections you see that the far-right in Ukraine does far worse than it does in other Eastern and even Western European countries

      Okay, but isn’t it the case that many far-right leaders have migrated to parties closer to the center, such as People’s Front? Svoboda’s leaders have done this. Andriy Parubiy, Tetiana Chornovol, and Oleksandr Turchynov, for example, hold high positions in People’s Front, but started out as members or Svoboda. If I’m not mistaken, People’s Front also has strong connections to the far-right Volunteer Battalions. I believe People’s Front has its own paramilitary branch too.

      What this tells me is that much of Ukraine’s far-right may be masquerading as right-center. That’s kind of like a political Trojan Horse operation. This way the fascists avoid standing out as far-right, but at the same time, move closer to the mechanisms of power within Ukraine’s government.

      Here in America we saw something like that in the early 1990s, when KKK leader David Duke migrated to the political mainstream by running for office as a Republican in Louisiana. Of course Duke never changed his views, he just learned to dissemble himself in the way he sold his politics to the public.

      Here’s an article by Lev Golinkin commenting on the far-right’s strong and dangerous influence on Ukraine today. A fascist presence like this could easily be a powerful element in Ukrainian elections, very suddenly and unpredictably too.

    13. Plenue

      The was an election coming up in mere months. They could have voted the government out then. As to whether it was a coup or not, it doesn’t really matter. Even the most generous assessment is that there was a proper parliamentary procedure for impeachment, and the required votes were never obtained. If Yanukovych is no longer president, it’s only because his term ran up.

  4. uncle tungsten

    Thank you Jerri-Lynn for that illuminating background. These are really sick puppies. Trump must be seriously excited that all is going according to plan. And now we have $hillary backing him up.

  5. Ignacio

    This is getting darker and darker. As much as I dislike Trump I feel happier that Clinton didn’t make it. The TINA party is the most reactionary thing by far!

    1. Benedict@Large

      Yes, these are dangerous people, as are most “true believers”. I’m also becoming even more disappointed at Ms, Clinton. For a while, she seemed to be keeping a little distance from her dead-enders, but now that her and Bill are out back on the money trail (How much is enough?), it doesn’t look good.

      Selling fear? Really? Isn’t there a shelf life on that?

      1. notabanker

        Ahhh, but it’s not money they accumulate, its power. And time is their only constraint. This is what they do.

        1. Clive

          There’s a crock of something at the end of that rainbow, but I doubt very much that it contains any gold.

          1. ambrit

            I’m not certain about the contents of that crock, good sir.
            We now live in a “culture” where s–t IS gold. Otherwise, why are we now enduring a “popular press” full of “wardrobe malfunctions,” new amazing bikini bodies, salacious gossip, and equally salacious “news?” (The Page Three was shut down really because there was too much competition.)
            Oh tempura, oh s’mores! (Latinate for “We’re crisped!”)

    2. Carolinian

      Indeed. The above article is great, great stuff and shows why some of us found Hillary more disturbing than Trump. Therefore Ames’ final assumption

      And the timing is incredible—as if Bezos’ rag has taken upon itself to soften up the American media before Trump moves in for the kill.

      seems a bit off. It’s certainly true that Trump said news organizations should face greater exposure to libel laws but one suspects this has more to do with his personal peevishness and inability to take criticism than the Deep State-y motives described above. Clearly the “public versus private” Hillary–Nixon in a pant suit–would have been just the person to embrace this sort of censorship by smear and her connection with various shadowy exiles and in her own campaign no less shows why Sanders’ failure to make FP the center of his opposition was, if not a political mistake, at least evidence of his limited point of view.

      It’s unlikely that anyone running this time would be able to change our domestic trajectory but this fascism from abroad is a real danger IMO. In Reagan times some of us thought that Reagan supported reactionary governments abroad because that’s what he and his rogue’s gallery including Casey and North wished they could do here. The people getting hysterical over Trump while pining for Hillary don’t seem to know fascism when it’s right in front of them. Or perhaps it’s just a matter of whose ox is going to be gored.

      1. Soulipsis

        Sanders might have had a hard time driving as far left on FP as he did on domestic issues. I’m his constituent, and I have a letter from him from mid-’15 reiterating all the mainstream lies about Russia and Ukraine.

      2. Fiver

        Trump has picked people and empowered others who, with or without Congress (likely with) will not fail, I think, to generate a crisis even on the dicey assumption Trump himself does not author one directly, intentionally or otherwise, be it by his own initiative or in reaction to something else. He bills himself as a ‘law and order’ militarized police hard-liner, and when he takes Office, and MSM goes silent, as will most alt-right media, that will leave progressive/left/independent/anti-war etc. sources of news and information the only ones truly critical and informing re his policies and deeds. Trump has already been ceded the power to go after exactly those people. Do you believe Trump as President, with all those powers, with those people, will allow his most capable critics to go at him freely and unimpaired over a major decision/action even if they do too good a job and threaten to successfully thwart him?

        He’s going to let you down, sir.

  6. Disturbed Voter

    No surprise, ever since the US, and Biden, got involved in Ukraine. And it is even probable, that people like that were behind the Kennedy assassination, that the US has admitted was a conspiracy, that is still protected from “journalistic sunshine” under lock and key by the US government.

  7. integer

    Thanks for giving this article its own post, and thanks to dcblogger for providing the link in yesterday’s Water Cooler.

    Seems to me that this little bout of D-party/CIA incompetence, and/or incontinence, will finally sound the death knell for the Operation Paperclip gang’s plan. Good riddance.

  8. financial matters

    Great article but I’m unsure about the conclusion. “”This is the world the Washington Post is bringing back to its front pages. And the timing is incredible—as if Bezos’ rag has taken upon itself to soften up the American media before Trump moves in for the kill. And it’s all being done in the name of fighting “fake news” …and fascism.””

    I was much more worried about this happening with Hillary at the helm. She seems more in line with Soros and the Ukrainian extremists. Trump still seems to be interested in working with Putin on things of mutual interest although he will probably find resistance in both US parties.

    1. craazyboy

      Yup. I’m still thinking “Make Ukraine Great Again” is not on Trump’s agenda. But I’m just taking things day by day. Still digesting Soros found some Nazis he likes. [Facebook “Like” gots it covered. No new tweaking of social media required.]

      However, I think it would be interesting if Trump investigated whether treason against Ukraine is punishable by firing squad under US Treason Law. Since they’ve made it kinda personal.

    2. Ted

      Yeah, the piece is a bit uneven and the last bit a bit revealing of the author’s own biases. All of the “The Russians are Coming” nonsense is coming from Democrat party organs and mouthpieces. Not Trump and his media allies. The most effective neo-fascism that we see emerging everywhere is pretty consistently on the erstwhile voices of the “left” affiliated with the Democrat Party which is double speak for the New American Right. Indeed, by going back to the height of the cold war to make connections to these shady organizations rather than modern day plutocrats (Amazonia and Googlie are low hanging fruit), the author is employing misdirection. So, I will take this with a few grains of salt.

    3. Romancing The Loan

      Yeah. Didn’t propornot even mention Trump himself as one of those scurrilously Russian-influenced? That’s certainly been a major D talking point.

  9. cocomaan

    An excellent article from Mark. This Alexandra Chalupa sounds like a real piece of work. These Cold Warriors seem to have red-colored glasses and see commies everywhere they look.

    Of course, there was that old experiment (Kohler et al) where they had people wearing different colored goggles for some time, then asked participants to take them off. And what happened? The participants continued to see in those hues.

  10. Roger Smith

    Wait a second, so there was foreign intervention in this election and there were nefarious racists and eugenicists involved, but they weren’t behind Trump, but Clinton!?

    /heavy sarcasm

    Thank you very much for sharing this JLS! What a fascinating read! The historical context Ames provides is very intriguing and convincing.

    1. Katharine

      “Convincing” is too strong. I would say rather suggestive, possibly persuasive. There is not enough evidence to convince. More investigation is needed, and this might be a productive line of inquiry, but it is too soon to talk about conclusions.

  11. Claudia Riche

    I am a huge fan of your website and donate as regularly as i can. I am appalled at what the Washington Post did and its implications for free speech in the US going forward.

    That said, I find this article defamatory in purpose, rather than informative. I do not believe it meets the usual standards of Naked Capitalism: it is not fairly reasoned, nor based only on relevant fact to the issue at hand. In my opinion, it is designed to smear and thus undermines the considerable, unusual credibility of your website. I find it disturbing that it has been amplified by its inclusion as a link. It does damage to the cause, rather than further it.

    1. Roger Smith

      How so? First off, we know very little and Ames acknowledges that, but he uses historical context to expand on that and build a case behind the PropOrNot / FPRI claims and their potential motives. He fully admits he is working with that we’ve got. Maybe all these illustrations do just happen to line up well and new information will change perception, but Ames discussion hits a lot of typical looking benchmarks.

    2. Eureka Springs

      How is Mr Ames experience and the very place in which Chalupa works, what she says, as well as the history of our countries actions upon others around the world and within not reasonable to consider?

      I’m sorry if incorrect but you seem like a troll without explaining yourself in specificity further.

    3. jeremy Grimm

      I had trouble reading this post after reading the first three paragraphs. Is the deep-state back in style now? This post rambles about with all sorts of interesting history and strange connections but it didn’t inform me about who or what is behind the PropOrNot site and I’m just as confused as before about why the Washington Post would print its fake news story citing PropOrNot. [It would be nice if some insider at the Post would leak some emails or documents to WikiLeaks.] I think this post did little to clarify matters but it certainly does manage to muddy the waters.

      These times are becoming far too interesting.

    4. Steeeve

      I would categorize this post in a similar genre as many of the Hillary supporters’ post- election editorials speculating about Trump. Some interesting and potentially useful information, but could have warranted a “breathless” tag like some of those entries received.

  12. Kogut

    Disturbed voter, batshit Springtime-for-Hitler Ukies long predate Biden’s involvement. CIA has been whipping ethnic Ukies into a patriotic frenzy for decades with social clubs that seep revanchist propaganda. The hapless Ukies were meant to be cannon fodder for hot war on the USSR. When Russia molted and shed the USSR, Ukraine continued its Soviet degeneration but the associations had a life of their own. That’s how CIA clowns wound up proud owners of the Exclusion Zone.

  13. MED

    HR 6393

    “(Sec. 501) This title establishes an executive branch interagency committee to counter active measures by the Russian Federation to exert covert influence over peoples and governments (with the role of the Russian Federation hidden or not acknowledged publicly) through front groups, covert broadcasting, media manipulation, disinformation or forgeries, funding agents of influence, incitement, offensive counterintelligence, assassinations, or terrorist acts. The committee shall expose falsehoods, agents of influence, corruption, human rights abuses, terrorism, and assassinations carried out by the security services or political elites of the Russian Federation or their proxies.”

    1. Fiver

      Somewhere just a ways down the road these zombie Dems are going to snap awake to the reality of their position, i.e., self-suspended in powerless political purgatory above their very own Circle of Hell for the Judas-worthy betrayal of their own kids, neighbours, co-workers, staff, colleagues and citizens everywhere who will be forever lost to Dems if force-fed any more garbage.

  14. Jay

    Two things this article curiously doesn’t seem to mention. The first is Victoria Nuland, who must be a close Hillary confidante, and architect of the coup in Ukraine. The second thing is not so curious per se, but a common feature of articles about Russian hacking accusations–they gloss over the fact that there is good evidence that the Russians are hacking everything they can get their hands on. To assume otherwise is naive. Much of this evidence is available in a recently-published book, The Plot to Hack America by Malcolm Nance. He doesn’t identify American news sources of being Russian stooges, but does describe how the hacks on the DNC have FSB (the new KGB) fingerprints all over them. He also describes Trump’s ties to the Kremlin, as well as his advisors’ business interests there. Food for thought.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      So your food for thought is that the Russian state behaves rationally in the face of an aggressive military power? Of course, they are hacking everything. If they weren’t before the NSA revelations (where the U.S. vacuums up everything and then has no safeguards on what they grab; Congress has had testimony about NSA employees using their power to stalk people), they were afterwards.

      Here’s some food for thought. John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Hillary Clinton all tried to make a country of 145 million or so people with numerous internal problems a major campaign platform. Not one of them is President. Could there be a connection?

    2. Pat

      As one of the people who consistently calls bull hockey about the claims that the wikileaks releases of the DNC and Podesta emails are the results of Russian government hackers, I will hereby agree with the idea that Russia is hacking everything they can get their hands on. Mind you I believe that every major government from the US to China to Germany to India are hacking everything they can get their hands on. And that every government knows that about all the rest. As far as I am concerned anyone who doesn’t believe that is beyond naive.
      But thinking that every major government had access to Clinton’s emails, Boeing’s files, and knows what internet videos Obama/May/Merkel/Putin/Castro have accessed more than once is not the same thing as thinking they are stupid enough or have decent strategic reasons to make that public knowledge by releasing damaging but not destroying emails concerning the massive stupidity and arrogance of one candidate for President and her core people.

      There is only one reason that the meme about Fake News is being pushed now – the people who have been pushing fake news for awhile to promote their agendas have lost the control they thought they had over the public and now worry about them rebelling. If fake news were important Judith Miller wouldn’t have a job or a book deal and the opportunity to promote that book. Hell Murdoch wouldn’t have a media empire.

      I don’t know why so many so-called movers and shakers want war with Russia, but it is clear that anyone getting in the way of that goal is now in the cross hairs. ProporNOT may be more about Ukrainian support, but the people who promoted them are about the reasons it was being used in the first place.

      1. susan the other

        Because big picture. Eurasia is inevitably coming together and it is the end of an era. Why we thought we could prevent this from happening must be based on pure hubris. Everything has changed so much in one century that even language makes no sense. Eastern European fascists running propaganda web sites for the Whappo, indeed. Hillary Clinton taking up the cause against fake news. Jesus. As Liz Warren said, personnel is policy. You hire fascist nut cases, you create fascism. Hillary, you’re so very patriotic.

        1. Sluggeaux

          If you read Matt Stoller’s excellent piece from The Atlantic, “How the Democrats Killed their Populist Soul” you’ll see that Clintonism matches the corporatist model of fascism as derided by Franklin Roosevelt in the late ’30’s, before mass-murder became associated with the brand and when people like Charles Lindbergh were touting it as the “modern” way forward. If you understand Clintonism as corporatist fascism, the DNC’s affinity for Ukraine becomes more and more logical.

          I don’t see “Banana Republican” Trump as a fascist — he is in many ways an exemplar of Caudillismo, a charismatic, populist, but authoritarian oligarch.

      1. Jay

        I read that. I don’t believe Nance said the Podesta emails were fake, just that there was a possibility that those supplying the documents to Wikileaks could adulterate the documents or introduce fabricated documents into the pipeline. Quite easy to do when leaking, what was it, fifty thousand emails? And I still haven’t heard a single persuasive argument to disprove that the Russians hacked the DNC. Quite the contrary. The hacks originated from IP addresses known to originate in the FSA (Fancy Bear) who have led a prodigious list of pro-Russian exploits against targets throughout eastern Europe, including the Baltic states, Ukraine, and the German Bundestag. Real-time adjustments from those IPs also occurred from the Moscow time zone, and some used cyrillic keyboards.

        Don’t get me wrong: I disagree with the WaPo piece, and have read, commented, and financially supported Naked Capitalism for quite a while now. And there’s no faker news than that Iraq had WMDs, a fact that the press has never quite overcome in the eyes of the public. But just because spooky Intelligence Community people say that Russia hacked the DNC, doesn’t make it not so. There are way too many people on the left going off half-cocked. Have you noticed how since the “fake news” imbroglio flamed up, MSM criticism of Trump’s swampland cabinet picks have been quite muted?

        1. marym

          The Intercept post has a link to the Nance tweet, which is still out there, saying

          Malcolm Nance Retweeted KA Semenova

          Official Warning: #PodestaEmails are already proving to be riddled with obvious forgeries & #blackpropaganda not even professionally done.

          He, Podesta, and the correspondents in the leaked emails never provided a single example and/or proof that any email was forged. Also, I don’t understand the technicality, but there is some type of hash value associated with an email such that WL was able provide confirmation of those emails where the hash value was intact. Instructions on how to replicate that confirmation process were published at the time.

  15. Romancing The Loan

    Was amused to see that naturalnews (one of the sites listed in propornot – it looks like I guess a right wing alternative medicine type site) is offering a $10k reward for unmasking propornot…but I don’t think anyone’s ever going to be able to collect.

    Why? Because they take the site seriously on its claim of being composed of 30 members and will only pay out for the identities of at least ten. I think it’s just one, maybe two guys.

    1. Yalt

      Would Josh Frank’s article today at Counterpunch on the BSDetector plugin be a good place to start, or is that unrelated BS?

  16. Deep Throat

    There are dots to connect – the WP article, Congressional Section 501 activity, Senators McCain/Graham “leadership”; and most recently, Hillary’s comments. Suspect coordination. Connect the dots. And then search for a motive.
    The national security state is concerned that Trump will seek mutually beneficial agreements with Russia. For evidence of the power of the national “security” state a tour of the Pentagon is not necessary. Tour Tyson Corner, Virginia, instead, for starters.

    1. JustAnObserver

      And once Trump has established these agreements there will then be no stopping several Eastern European countries + Germany (of course) realizing where their economic interests really lie. Does anyone really believe that Germany is going to let itself be turned into an irradiated wasteland just to please a bunch of neocon paranoids ?

      Goodbye sanctions and then, shortly after, its bye, bye NATO bye bye.

      That’s what the neocons, the MIC, and all their shills, and enablers truly fear. Paradoxically this ludicrous attempt to revive McCarthyism may well end up actually ending the Cold War for good & all … 25 years after it should have ended.

    2. Fiver

      Well, CIA says it’s so. And Clapper never lies. But why stop at scaring Trump off. For CIA to assert that Russia substantively interfered in the US election makes it a possible act of war, one which was of …..insert amount of…..benefit to the winning candidate in an election where several ‘Dem’ States flipped by narrow margins. Could this not be an attempt to overthrow the election result, if not the Government? Seems to me if Obama now has the proof, but fails to take whatever steps would be required to nullify the election result and set in motion a process either for Congress to select a President or even hold another election, he is acting improperly, also negating the legitimacy of the result. What CIA has been up to must be absolutely disgusting for them to go to such great lengths to hide it.

  17. JTMcPhee

    From the article: “It’s now been a few days, and the shock and disgust is turning to questions about how to fight back—and who we should be fighting against.”

    How many people, world-wide, are involved and invested in the whole “taking over everything” machinery of “state security” and espionage and corporate hegemony? And who is this “we” who should be fighting?

    Fundamentals: The human siege of the planet is (it seems sort of clear) driving the biosphere toward collapse as a sustainer of most human life. Ever more of the extractable entities of the planet (mineral and living resources, “money” whatever that is, the day labor of most of us, on and on) are being used, and used up, in service to what? a relatively few masters of manipulation who are playing a game that most of the rest of us, were we able to focus and figure it out, would recognize as murder and attempted murder as part of a war “we” did not enlist (most of us) to participate in. The manipulators, both the ones sitting on extreme piles of wealth and the power it provides, and the senior effectives in the various “agencies” that play out the game, what the heck do they “want?” Other than “MORE”?

    What motivates a Coors or Koch or Bezos or Brock or the various political figures and their handlers and minions and “advisors?” This one little episode shows how completely it appears that the whole species is screwed: “Who do we fight, and how?” Are “we” is the readers of NC? Some few of whom are stooges and operatives for the Ministries of Truth who are tracking and recording what transpires here and no doubt subtly injecting “influencers” into the discourse. Some are just ordinary people, of varying degrees of insight and ability to influence the collective net vector of human activity (for good or ill). Some are hoping to just find some awareness of and comprehension of what-all is shaking on the Big Game Board of Life. In this moment, “we” depend, in this one tiny instance among the great flood of chaos-induction and interest-seeking, on the responses and pressures “our” hosts can bring to bear — threatening letters to the propagators like WaPo and Craig Timberg, just one tumor in the vast cancer that afflicts the species, attempts to link up with other parts of the too-small “good will, comity and deceny” population that is fractioned and atomized and constantly seduced or frightened into going along with the larger trend line, grabbing URLs and stuff I’m not smart enough to understand, all that. But the Big People, the Deep State that “we” are subtly taught NOT to believe exists by various bits of sophistry, is a lot better armed and equipped and always active — its operatives are paid, usually pretty well, to be on the job all the time, operating their various and manifold, multifarious, often ingenious, always disingenous operations, and always thinking up new ways to screw over and loot and debase and oppress and enserf the rest of us. Here’s just one explication of how the Deep State operates:

    This book provides a detailed account of the ways in which the CIA penetrated and influenced a vast array of cultural organizations, through its front groups and via friendly philanthropic organizations like the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations. The author, Frances Stonor Saunders, details how and why the CIA ran cultural congresses, mounted exhibits, and organized concerts. The CIA also published and translated well-known authors who toed the Washington line, sponsored abstract art to counteract art with any social content and, throughout the world, subsidized journals that criticized Marxism, communism, and revolutionary politics and apologized for, or ignored, violent and destructive imperialist U.S. policies. The CIA was able to harness some of the most vocal exponents of intellectual freedom in the West in service of these policies, to the extent that some intellectuals were directly on the CIA payroll. Many were knowingly involved with CIA “projects,” and others drifted in and out of its orbit, claiming ignorance of the CIA connection after their CIA sponsors were publicly exposed during the late 1960s and the Vietnam war, after the turn of the political tide to the left.

    U.S. and European anticommunist publications receiving direct or indirect funding included Partisan Review, Kenyon Review, New Leader, Encounter and many others. Among the intellectuals who were funded and promoted by the CIA were Irving Kristol, Melvin Lasky, Isaiah Berlin, Stephen Spender, Sidney Hook, Daniel Bell, Dwight MacDonald, Robert Lowell, Hannah Arendt, Mary McCarthy, and numerous others in the United States and Europe. In Europe, the CIA was particularly interested in and promoted the “Democratic Left” and ex-leftists, including Ignacio Silone, Stephen Spender, Arthur Koestler, Raymond Aron, Anthony Crosland, Michael Josselson, and George Orwell.

    The CIA, under the prodding of Sidney Hook and Melvin Lasky, was instrumental in funding the Congress for Cultural Freedom, a kind of cultural NATO that grouped together all sorts of “anti-Stalinist” leftists and rightists. They were completely free to defend Western cultural and political values, attack “Stalinist totalitarianism” and to tiptoe gently around U.S. racism and imperialism. Occasionally, a piece marginally critical of U.S. mass society was printed in the CIA-subsidized journals.

    What was particularly bizarre about this collection of CIA-funded intellectuals was not only their political partisanship, but their pretense that they were disinterested seekers of truth, iconoclastic humanists, freespirited intellectuals, or artists for art’s sake, who counterposed themselves to the corrupted “committed” house “hacks” of the Stalinist apparatus.

    It is impossible to believe their claims of ignorance of CIA ties. How could they ignore the absence in the journals of any basic criticism of the numerous lynchings throughout the southern United States during the whole period? How could they ignore the absence, during their cultural congresses, of criticism of U.S. imperialist intervention in Guatemala, Iran, Greece, and Korea that led to millions of deaths? How could they ignore the gross apologies of every imperialist crime of their day in the journals in which they wrote? They were all soldiers: some glib, vitriolic, crude, and polemical, like Hook and Lasky; others elegant essayists like Stephen Spender or self-righteous informers like George Orwell. Saunders portrays the WASP Ivy League elite at the CIA holding the strings, and the vitriolic Jewish ex-leftists snarling at leftist dissidents. When the truth came out in the late 1960s and New York, Paris, and London “intellectuals” feigned indignation at having been used, the CIA retaliated. Tom Braden, who directed the International Organizations Branch of the CIA, blew their cover by detailing how they all had to have known who paid their salaries and stipends (397-404). And that is just one part of the “operations” put in motion by just “our” national rulers by ONE of the “seventeen national security agencies” that apparently appear in the organization chart of the US empire.

    These mostly faceless people, from “wet workers” to “economic hit men” to analysts and office workers and Station Chiefs and functionaries at DIA and NIA and NSA and the rest of the acronymists of “state security,” are “just doing their jobs,” with more or less personal malevolence (William Casey, Dick Cheney, the Dulleses, Kermit Roosevelt, on and on), seem to be working from a central organizing principle: Control of minds and resources, in service to imperial and corporate and personal dominion. What tools and actions and thought processes do ordinary people have, to fight back or even resist against this kind of onslaught? “We” are told we are becoming responsible to do our daily best, in among fulfilling our and our families’ basic needs, and to minimize our environmental impacts to at least slow the destruction, and also somehow to become aware, in a world of dis- and dysinformation, of what is being done to us and our children and communities, and “resist.” And “fight back.” Against who, and against what, and by what means, when you have the “Googolverment,” and all those millions of employees and managers and executives thereof, on call and on task 24/7 looking for ever more subtle ways to data mine and monetize and manipulate “us”? And in a feedback loop that has been ongoing since no doubt the earliest of “civilization” cities and tribes and nations, the “arms race” both in straight military terms and in the sneaky-pete realm of espionage and state security and “statecraft,” “the Russians” and the Pakistanis and Chinese and Israelites, and probably Brazilians and Zoroastrians, are all growing their own machinery of consumption and dominance and destruction.

    What’s the model “we” are supposed to be working from? Some people here are looking for “investment opportunities” to take advantage of the chaos and destruction, and there are many for those who can see the patterns and buy in. But what would a “just and decent world” (at least the human population) even look like, and is there anything in our DNA that moves enough of us toward that inchoate model to even have a prayer of suppressing those darker and deadlier impulses and motivations and goals?

    I have no answers for “what is to be done.” It seems inevitable that perversion and corruption and greed will always eventually “trump” decency and comity, once a certain size and composition of a human population has been reached. One may hope that the general principle of eventual incompetence that seems to apply to even the Deep State activities might become more immanent. And try to build little communities that don’t depend on killable cyber connections for their interconnectedness. And work on an “organizing principle” of their/our own, that has a chance of surviving the crushing mass of energetic but negative energy that infects the species.

    And thanks to our hosts, for doing their bit to face down the fokkers that would take us all down if they could. It’s a constant struggle, and no doubt they are more aware than even a Futilitarian like myself of all the parasites and malignancies that are so increasingly active and invested in looting what’s left of “antidotes.”

    1. dk

      I have no answers for “what is to be done.”
      Yes you do, the part about little communities and ad-hoc organizing principles is spot-on; that stuff works, it just grows slowly at first. It is also self-limiting, a valuable feature, given the manifest evidence of how badly things can go wrong when communities are pushed to grow beyond their capacities.

      It seems inevitable that perversion and corruption and greed will always eventually “trump” decency and comity, once a certain size and composition of a human population has been reached.
      Decency and comity have their little flaws, too; both can obscure incidents of gross folly. But yeah, population factors are just ferocious.

      One may hope that the general principle of eventual incompetence that seems to apply to even the Deep State activities might become more immanent.
      Not to worry. Incompetence is on it! Any second now… wait for it… wait for it… excuse me, my timepiece seems to have frozen… hmm. Well, it appears that “peak incompetence” has already arrived and done the bulk of its work, we just haven’t noticed all of the results yet. We are now in that phase between the giant’s stumble and their final impact on the ground.

      All this is normal, predictable, and as it should be (even the unfortunate parts); it’s entropy. It would be wiser to abandon bivalent moralities and just evaluate each circumstance on its merits, and do our best.

  18. Yalt

    That Ukrainian nationalists are behind propornot seems clear; that they’re from the Nazified wing seems implausible. Would the Bandera crowd be likely to think of putting a USS Liberty veterans’ website on a list of Russian propaganda outlets?

    1. integer

      Ukrainian nationalists = Nazified Ukrainians
      Israel is also involved so yes it makes a lot of sense that the USS Liberty veterans’ website on “the list”. Might be time for Israel (and Genie energy) to kiss the Golan Heights goodbye.

      1. integer

        (((Israel))) was almost certainly the “brains” behind YYYpropornotYYY
        Not as clever as they think they are.
        Free Palestine!

    2. OIFVet

      Yats and Porky are Jewish, so are some oligarchs who sponsor various neo-Nazi military formations. Ihor Kolomoyskyi, for example, sponsors the Aidar Battalion. The bottom line is, the neo-Nazis need to please their US government and Ukie oligarch sponsors in order to keep the dough flowing, so Russians are the new Jews in Ukraine. Geopolitics makes for strange bedfellows.

      1. grizziz

        Wikipedia has Yats being a member of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic and Porky belonging to the Ukrainian Orthodox church. Not vouching for Wikipedia and knowing that history can produce some interesting heritage, I thought I would point that out. Kolomoyskyi has dual citizenship with Israel and of course infamous Clinton Foundation donor and Maidan supporter Victor Pinchuk was raised by Jewish parents before sacking his own country.

        1. OIFVet

          The Forward certainly counts Porky as a Jew, and many Jewish organizations have attacked Yats for concealing his Jewish roots. Given the rampant anti-antisemitism in Ukraine, can’t really blame them for concealing their identity. It was shortly before the Maidan that Mila Kunis went back to her native Ukraine to promote her flick, and got called very unsavory names by some rabid anti-Semites in Kiev.

    1. flora

      heh. Dems didn’t lose this elections because of “fake news”. Dems lost because they did not prosecute the bankers who caused the 2008 financial crash, who fraudulently foreclosed on homes and are still engaged in fraud (see: Wells Fargo). imo.

      1. Pat

        Well that and passed a regressive health insurance bailout that required people to purchase expensive and largely useless insurance; and showed their complete and utter contempt for working Americans by ignoring the real state of the under and unemployment, and continued that contempt by passing several job killing trade bills and attempting three other mega steroid versions of same.

        There are many reasons why the Democrats lost, but mostly it is because they stopped doing little more than barely pretending to represent the interests of anyone outside of the wealthy and corporate ‘persons’ who fund their campaigns and retirements. Protecting the banks and bankers being only the clearest example.

  19. John Medcalf

    I still don’t see any of my favorite bloggers going after Bezos. I didn’t even see him mentioned until today. We are looking pretty timid so far in the face of Trump and Bezos (Trump from another direction). No possibility of winning without fighting the war where it’s taking place.

  20. Kim Kaufman

    Mainstream media puts out the call for pro-Trump columnists

    Comments are pretty funny:

    For Hire: Established corporation seeking experienced individuals in need of a challenge. Applicants should have –

    *at least 3 Yrs. experience of having their head head firmly up their backsides.
    * a certificate from a licensed physician confirming applicants
    mental impairment
    * an ability to to obfuscate combined with no understanding of the terms ‘cognitive dissonance’ ‘false moral equivalence’ and ‘logical fallacy’

    Applicant must be at least 13 years old and show the capacity to convince 45% of America that he or she is 30.

    If this is you contact 1-800-DON TRUMP

  21. ginnie nyc

    Earlier in this thread there was a comment from Claudia Riche claiming the Ames article is, essentially, a smear job. I feel compelled to respond as I have direct personal knowledge of one of his two main points, specifically re: the extreme right-wing tenor of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, or FPRI in Philadelphia.

    I worked at FPRI (yes, me the Marxist) in the mid-to-late 1970’s, and was in contact with people there through the early 1980’s. I can testify that Ames’s description of Strausz-Hupe and his ideas are entirely accurate. I didn’t know much about S-H when I first started working there, but I figured out his age and original location probably made him a 3-way spook, at the least. I could cite chapter and verse of the various associates and leading personalities that went through there (including Alexander Haig) but I don’t have the energy today.

    Ames mentions that FPRI was driven off the Penn campus – well, only in the technical sense. If you spit out the window you’d hit a university building, and many principals there were professors at Penn, including Strausz-Hupe. Also, many Penn grad students passed through there, and undergrads (like me).

    For laughs, here is an interesting, if airbrushed, synopsis of the influence of FPRI by my old friend Alan Luxenberg:

    So, no Ms. Riche, there is no smearing going on in Mark Ames detailed account in this regard.

    1. Outis Philalithopoulos

      Here it is – sorry it didn’t post immediately. BTW stuff not posting immediately doesn’t necessarily mean either (1) there is anything wrong with your comment, or (2) it got permanently eaten by Skynet. Sometimes the algorithm for finding spam gets false positives for reasons that are not entirely clear.

  22. ginnie nyc

    Outis, my comment on FPRI seems to have disappeared. Could you see if it can be extracted from Skynet? Thanks.

  23. JOHN bougearel

    that was alot of investigative digging jerri-lynn !
    so nice To see u surprise me twice in a week.
    tremendous effort -thank you
    a post worth cross posting if it hasn’t been already

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author


      This is indeed a great post, but I’m not the author. Mark Ames is the author. I just cross-posted his fine work, which was originally published by AlterNet.

  24. Henri Beyle

    Everybody is a fascist in the Nation world, of course. Just read Possony’s Wikipedia page or his NYT obituary. This is fake news.

    1. Outis Philalithopoulos

      This comment is borderline incomprehensible (what is “the Nation world” and what does it have to do with the article?), but I’ll take a stab. It seems to be saying that Wikipedia and the NYT obituary say nicer things about Possony than Ames does, and so the article cannot be trusted.

      The problem is, given that Ames is clearly drawing on historical source material (some of which is cited), the fact that Wikipedia (consensus-driven) and the NYT obit (obituaries tend not to err on the negative side) don’t mention all of these facts doesn’t have any weight as an argument.

  25. RBHoughton

    The CIA’s apparent involvement reveals the immense danger and probable failure of expecting a few managers to keep the sty clean.

    Its not just in spookery that standards have collapsed. The world of professionals – doctors, lawyers, accountants – has followed the same downward trajectory and it started in 1970 with demonetization and the subsequent expansion of honorable greed.

    It was in early 1970s that creative accounting and its penchant for creating wealth out of nothing appeared.Then we saw these dodgy scorers appearing in court and swearing to the truth of their new view. That infected the legal profession. The prosecutors were still willing to present all their evidence for and against conviction to the Judge but the defense increasingly cheated, led by the lawyer who tells his customers ‘we never plead guilty,’ and starts the creation of a case beyond a reasonable doubt in place of the defendant’s actual evidence.

    It may be that doctors have so far escaped the moral collapse although on a recent visit to hospital I saw the elevator lobbies infested with the army of capitalism in the shape of suited drug salesmen trying to create obligations on the part of doctors.

    We seem to have lost our way and for the time being its the man who cares only for the bottom line who is winning the war of the world. He’s the man who owns the newspaper that tells you every bad thing is because of foreigners.

  26. John k

    I wonder if there is any concern at CIA that trump might investigate them… pretty soon he’s going to be their boss… and they dont seem to be on good terms.
    Wonder what comey would do if asked…

    dunno about all the JFK conspiracy theories, maybe he was just in the way if the target was the governor, but hope SS is on the ball here. And

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