Twitter Re-Ban of Scott Ritter, Kafkaesque Support of Impersonator, Is All About Anti-Russia Propaganda

Scott Ritter has the misfortune to be articulate, well-reasoned, and tenacious in staking our officialdom-offending views. That has put him on Twitter’s permanent shit list. We’ll recap his current must-read article on Consortium News describing in painful detail why his second ban this month is on obviously fabricated charges. And to add insult to injury, Twitter has allowed a Scott Ritter impersonator to set up shop, despite that clearly violating Twitter’s own policies as well as identity theft laws in New York, where Ritter lives, and California, where Twitter is headquartered.

Ritter is far from the only once-prominent Twitter voice to be suspended for wrong-think on Ukraine:

And even though it would require discovery to prove it to the “preponderance of evidence” standard, Twitter’s posture as Enforcer of the Narrative sure makes it walk and talk like a state actor.

By way of background, the former UN weapons inspector was one of the loudest, most persistent, and effective critics of the bogus “WMD in Iraq” claim, which was the basis for our invasion. Ritter has now been making the rounds, mainly on non-mainstream leftish shows like CN Live! Greyzone, Maverick Multimedia, and the Antiwar Coalition as well as what is stereotyped as the bro-ish libertarian right, such at The Duran and Gonzalo Lira. Oh, and he has the temerity to still appear on the verboten RT.

Ritter’s view of the war has been decisively opposed to the version pumped out by the press: Russia is winning and will win decisively. He’s been overly bullish on the timetable, but has given detailed accounts of how Russia has engaged in classic “maneuver warfare” to shape the battlefield and dictate the nature and timing of the engagement. He’s also stressed that media employees and supposed military experts who’ve never seen a day of combat keep projecting US methods onto Russia and thus completely misconstruing what is going on. Russia has not gone the US route of taking out electricity, cell towers, the Internet, and railroads at the onset. Nor has it bombed cities into rubble, which it could easily have done. It has instead gone easy on civilians, taken more military losses, and has prosecuted the war in a more step-by-step, grinding manner, slowly but systematically destroying Ukraine’s ability to wage war while avoiding its cities as much as possible. Russia follows Clausewitz, and Clausewitz argued the fastest path to victory was destroying armies, not cities.

That all was well enough tolerated for a while. But then Ritter tweeted on Bucha, and Twitter being Twitter, he was limited to his bottom line:

The Ukrainian National Police committed numerous crimes against humanity in Bucha. Biden, in seeking to shift blame for the Bucha murders onto Russia, is guilty of aiding and abetting these crimes. Congratulations America… we’ve created yet another Presidential war criminal!”

As Ritter explained in his current Consortium News piece, he had support for that provocative statement. We’ll take the liberty of quoting at length, on the assumption that he wants others to see his work:

On the television screen before me, the President of the United States was making a live appearance, where he addressed the Bucha killings. “You may remember I got criticized for calling Putin a war criminal,” Biden told the gathered reporters. “Well, the truth of the matter,” he continued, “you saw what happened in Bucha….

I had just finished an article for Russia Today (RT) on the Bucha incident…

The available data coming out of Bucha was ultimately inconclusive but, if anything, strongly suggested Ukrainian culpability, not Russian. The certainty expressed by the President led me to believe that he was privy to classified information otherwise unavailable to the general public…it looked like I might be in the uncomfortable position of having to withdraw my conclusions and correct the record….

Shortly after Biden spoke, however, my cellphone alerted me to a Reuters article with a headline proclaiming, “Pentagon can’t independently confirm atrocities in Ukraine’s Bucha, official says.”….

I turned off the television, and proceeded to spend the next 40 or so minutes researching the available information about the Bucha incident. One of the leading news stories was a New York Times report based upon commercially available imagery which the authors of the article, Malachy Browne, David Botti and Haley Willis, claimed was taken on March 19, 2022, putting a lie to Russian claims that when its troops pulled out of Bucha on March 30, no bodies were present.

However, when I examined the video and still photographs of the Bucha bodies, I was struck by the fact that they didn’t appear to have been left in the street to decompose for two weeks (the bodies were “discovered” by the Ukrainian National Police on April 2.) Bluntly speaking, bodies begin to bloat some 3-5 days after death, often doubling in size. They will remain this way for up to ten days, before they burst, spilling a puddle of putrid liquid into the ground around the corpse.

In comparing The New York Times’ image with the video of the bodies on the ground, I was struck by a scene in the movie My Cousin Vinny, where Vincent Gambini, a streetwise New York lawyer played by Joe Pesci, cross examined a witness on the issue of the preparation of Grits. “Are we to believe that boiling water soaks into a grit faster in your kitchen than on any place on the face of the earth? Well perhaps the laws of physics cease to exist on your stove!”….

The available evidence that could be extracted from the images from Bucha showed bodies that by appearance appeared to have been killed within 24-36 hours of their discovery—meaning that they were killed after the Russians withdrew from Bucha. The exact time of death, however, could only be determined after a thorough forensic medical examination.

Many of the bodies had white cloth strips tied to their upper arm, a visual designation which indicated either loyalty to Russia or that the persons did not pose a threat to Russians. The bodies that lacked this white cloth often had their hands tied behind their backs with white cloth that appeared similar to that which marked the arms of the other bodies.

Near to many of the bodies were the green cardboard box adorned with a white star which contained Russian military dry rations that had been distributed to the civilian population of Bucha by Russian troops as part of their humanitarian operations.

In short, the evidence suggested that the bodies were of civilians friendly to, or sympathetic with, Russia….

On April 2, an article appeared in an official Ukrainian government website,, entitled “Special forces regiment ‘SAFARI’ began to clear Bucha of saboteurs and accomplices of Russia.” According to the article, “Special forces began clearing the liberated, by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, city of Bucha of the Kiev region from saboteurs and accomplices of Russian troops.” According to the article, the Safari Regiment was comprised of personnel from various special police units, including the Rapid Operational Response Unit and the Tactical Operational Response Police.

There was other information—a video where a Ukrainian official warns the citizens of Bucha that on April 1 a “cleansing operation” was going to be conducted in Bucha, and that the citizens should remain indoors and not to panic. Another video, also from April 1, purported to show members of the Safari Regiment shooting civilians who were not wearing the blue distinguishing armbands signifying loyalty to the Ukrainian cause.

Ritter continues with the Twitter kangaroo court part of the story. He was banned for “abuse and harassment”.

This is absurd because the only person about whom Ritter said bad things was Joe Biden. If Ritter had actually threatened Biden, he would have been whisked off by the FBI in no time flat. Instead he merely called Biden a war criminal, which this site has done (for Yemen) and many others have done for every US president going back at least to Clinton. Even for defamation, which has a much lower legal bar, public figures are assumed to be used to being on the receiving end of criticism.

A lot of Twitterati complained about the Twitter ban. Ritter was reinstated at the very end of April 6. By the morning of April 10, he was banned again. It has all the hallmarks of someone having leaned on Twitter to go back to its original stance.

Twitter invoked a Ritter reply to an April 3 tweet….which had been deleted by its author @MattGallagher0 so the world at large could not review even one side of the exchange. This was Ritter’s response:

The Marines [murdered] more Iraqis in Haditha than the Russians killed Ukrainians in Bucha, for the simple fact that Haditha wasn’t a case of false flag mass murder. Bucha, on the other hand…

In case you care about the fine points, Ritter explains Haditha in his article, and he’s also sometimes referred to it in his videos.

This tweet was again depicted as harassment and abuse. Clearly it isn’t. Rather, Twitter has a zero tolerance policy about anyone saying that Bucha sure looks like a Ukraine caper.

Ritter has company:

Now we get to the part where Twitter is making it clear it has it in for Ritter. I won’t belabor the painful and absurd details, which Ritter documents at Consortium News. But the short version is Twitter has allowed a Ritter impersonator to set up shop, and the impersonator explicitly states that his account is a revived account of the old @realScottRitter. Despite Ritter’s protest, despite the fake account clearly violating Twitter policies as well as laws against identity theft, Twitter is refusing to take it down.

Frankly, this is stupid on Twitter’s part, since it makes it indisputable that they are carrying out a vendetta against Ritter, as opposed to acting on corporate policies.

Glenn Greenwald has the stature to describe the larger narrative-enforcing machinery on Twitter:

This sorry episode illustrates one of the big reasons we’ve never spent much time on Twitter. As we say here regularly, “If your business depends on a platform, you don’t have a business.” Yes, if Lambert, Jerri and I spent more time on Twitter, we’d probably have more followers. We’d also have much less rich interactions (think of all of the careful and well reasoned comments here, with their many links). And it would all be owned by the platform.

Naked Capitalism is like a poor Barvarian kingdom: out of the way, with a big flat expanse in all directions (as in highly visible approaches), with a shabby castle. But we have a very deep moat, very high walls. and enough grain, goats, chickens, and root vegetables to last out a very long siege.

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    1. timbers

      Guess we’ll find out if/when Russia makes her move on Donbass. And surely you agree with Ritter that Russia has not leveled or attacked cities and civilian areas, etc? Do you see any Raqqas in Ukraine? Look how long she took in Mariupol. Really surprised you choose not to see a difference in her approach vs US invasions.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Sorry, the onus is on you to prove him wrong, not make unsubstantiated charges. As Ritter said, Russia never intended to take Kiev and that’s one of his calls that is clearly correct. It is possible that they might eventually encircle it if the US continues to keep Ukraine from getting much of anywhere in negotiations, but even if that were to occur, it would only be after the capture/killing of the 60,000+ men in the cauldron in the east and potentially seizure of other cities if remaining Ukrainain forces retreated them to take last stands. Odessa is a candidate, and it also has separate great importance as denying Ukraine access to the Black Sea.

      You have fallen for the Ukraine-serving line that a mere pinning operation was intended to be an attack. As other commentators have pointed out (even the non-military Alexander Mercouris), Russian military doctrine follows Clausewitz, and Clausewitz strongly advocates destroying armies, not cities, which Russia is doing slowly and systematically. Going into cities = costly in manpower and infrastructure-wrecking building to building combat.

      The fact that the Western commentators keep acting as if Russia is failing because it wisely has not gone there (except in Mariupol, which was understood from the get go to be necessary since it was the stronghold of the Azov Battalion) shows how clueless and captured they are.

      Your comment violates our overaching rule:

      You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.

      -Harlan Ellison

      1. Jeff

        Yves Smith, both yours and Scott Ritter’s takes on this war keep getting worse. The onus is on your commentators to show proof otherwise? Yeah sorry not your blog. This site has become a steaming pile of shit anyway.

          1. Safety First

            If one reads Ritter’s full Consortium News piece carefully, he spends at least a couple of paragraphs pointing out that, yes, unless we can somehow show that Twitter is affiliated with/induced by/forced by the government to act as its de-facto agent, as a private corporation, Twitter can do whatever the hell it wants and First Amendment need not apply. Of course, if in so doing Twitter violates some law (and Ritter references the NYS law covering impersonation online), they can suffer some associated penalty, provided there is a prosecutor willing to take up the case.

            My point is that, as unfortunate as the post-Ukraine situation is in social media land (and it wasn’t all kittens and ponies pre-Ukraine either), that’s…kind of how things work. That’s the downside, it’s always been. And not just in the US, either. Unfortunately, I do not know how to solve this, since SOME censorship will always be necessary (e.g. vs. kiddie porn), but as soon as you say that, SOMEONE will have to be made the censor, and we are right back where we started.

            In the meanwhile, here is the link to the “sample” view (browser-friendly, no client necessary) of Ritter’s Telegram channel:


            Ironically, for all the stuff the Russian government had been doing to aggressively suppress dissent for the past 2-3 years, and it really has only been that long (the 2018 election was something of a watershed, ditto the one in 2012), Russian social media seems almost…free-er, at this point. Because on the one hand, the government has now imposed criminal penalties (up to 3-15 years in the clink) for saying the wrong things, but so long as you avoid saying those specific things, and talk about stuff “elliptically”, no-one is actually banning you. Kind of reminds me of pre-Perestroika Soviet Union, where you actually could speak out, to an extent, so long as you did not step on any toes directly. [Guys like Solzhenitsyn and Saharov went hard out of their way to get noticed.]

            EDIT – meant to post this in the general thread, not as a reply. Apologies.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              Sadly, yes, even if Twitter and Facebook and YouTube are acting like state media at least some of the time in order to keep Congress off their back, as quite a few have argued, making that case in court is a completely different kettle of fish, unless a deep pockets plaintiff found something really damning in discovery.

              But even with making that complaint, the real beef is simpler: Twitter is a a bad actor. They pretend to have agreements with their users but the reality is they regularly act in a capricious and punitive manner.

              Now someone with a very large following who used that to promote his other activities, which is arguably the case with Ritter, who writes books, might be able to argue that they’ve suffered tangible harm while Twitter derived commercial benefits. Problem would still be to show enough in the way of damages to justify suing. That won’t work even at Ritter’s traffic level. You’d have to be rich since the suit would be a money loser even if you won but be able to argue enough in damages to be able to make a commercial case (as in not strike the judge as a frivolous plaintiff).

            2. MILLER

              I would add that the campaign against foreign-sponsored media and NGOs in Russia has ramped up in sequence with the gradual re-emergence of a barely concealed military challenges around Russia’s borders over the last fifteen years since President Putin’s speech at the Munich Security Conference in 2007. Any one with the slightest knowledge of Russian history will know that the State’s primary responsibility, at least since the time of Ivan III (1462-1505), will be the mobilization of national resources for the defense of the sovereignty of the realm. In the specifically Russian case, this has tended to mean, as the prominent 19th century historian V.O. Kliuchevskii noted, that society is made up of “commanders, soldiers and workers, but not of citizens.” In each century since Ivan’s time, Western appetites for Russian territory and natural resources have led to wars of conquest on Russian soil, which have simply accentuated this peculiar form of “social contract.” The current severe clampdown on media outlets in Russia must thus be seen entirely in historical context.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Pathetic. You can’t even defend your position. You must enjoy living in a comfy bubble.

          At least during the Greek bailout crisis, where we went very much against conventional thinking and were proven right, the upset commentators who like you couldn’t muster a counterargument at least sputtered in a more articulate manner.

        2. jr

          Your comment is literally an example of the vapid thinking Yves critiques above. The thin gruel of Youtube CNN commenters. Support your claims with evidence or argument, fluff ball.

        3. Darius

          Never seen you before, Jeff. NC is pretty much doing what it’s always done. Call out bullshit. If you are horrified, the internet is a big place.

          1. Adam Eran

            Remember Brandolini’s law: It takes orders of magnitude more energy to debunk the bullshit than to create it in the first place.

            I hereby nominate Brandolini for a physics Nobel.

        4. Laughingsong

          Guess you’ll be leaving then? Hope you find something more to your taste out there. Be well.

        5. chris

          I mean… do you know of any other blog that has this caliber of people who comment on it, contribute to it, and have been proven right or at least useful on such a wide variety of critical topics?

          For example, the details involving the pandemic and how to protect yourself. And for a site that tells it’s readers that it doesn’t not provide investment advice, the level of analysis on here is such that you can apply it to develop sound investment strategies. NC is also on the forefront of discussing how unrealistic the claims of people like Musk are with respect to tech. NC is also one of the few sources you can go to easily see the wide assortment of labor related news that is regularly vanished by mainstream sources. And there is no other blog that covers topics like CALPERS or other state pension issues with the clout to affect the governance of those funds. I could go on but I don’t think you’d appreciate it and I doubt any of the NC people need me to defend them.

        6. Darius

          The onus is on you to show where’s the lie. I don’t see your comments studded with footnotes or links. Liberal trolls show up every once in a while to give performances of outrage at the doings here. They usually leave after getting laughed at.

      2. jake

        Citing Harlan Ellison, Ritter doesn’t (and obviously can’t) dispute the NYT evidence that the bodies were photographed in the street on March 19, only that he was “struck by the fact that they didn’t appear to have been left in the street to decompose for two weeks”. And on this basis alone — “struck” that current photographs of unidentified clothed bodies don’t appear to be bloated, along with absence of color armbands on the corpses — we’re ready to declare a false flag event?

        Here’s the NYT:

        To confirm when the bodies appeared, and when the civilians were likely killed, the Visual Investigations team at The Times conducted a before-and-after analysis of satellite imagery. The images show dark objects of similar size to a human body appearing on Yablonska Street between March 9 and March 11. The objects appear in the precise positions in which the bodies were found after Ukrainian forces reclaimed Bucha, as the footage from April 1 shows. Further analysis shows that the objects remained in those position for over three weeks.

        And again:

        A second video taken on Yablonska Street shows three more bodies. One lies beside a bicycle, another near an abandoned car. Satellite imagery shows that the abandoned cars and the nearby body appear between March 20 and 21.

        And following Clausewitz, how reconcile the shelling of civilian neighbors and structures with the supposition that Russia is attacking armies rather than cities or civilians?

        Consider also the Russian army in Chechnya: an estimated 80,000 Chechens killed, most of them civilians, and at least half that many more in neighboring regions. These would be classic campaigns directed at armies, not civilians or cities?

        And the precedent of the war in Georgia, with its flagrant war crimes and human rights violations? But somehow that’s all changed, and Putin, far from being a butcher, is now a master war technician notwithstanding the losses endured over the past month or so, and ever so chary of civilians?

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Wowsers. First, that was from a private satellite company. The granularity of the shot is not sufficient to establish that the images were bodies. The Pentagon, which has access to better quality satellite images, said it could not confirm the NYT’s claims.

          Second, as Ritter said, and we said below, referring to a study of decomposition even under coolish conditions, any bodies from kills on or before March 19 would be bloated and likely have exploded in a putrid horror. That’s why bodies are buried or cremated or put in a morgue pretty pronto. Yet there are additional sanctimonious stories on finding and burying bodies present them as intact and identifiable.

          1. NN Cassandra

            The Times piece claims the bodies/dots from satellite image are in the same locations as bodies in the later videos from April. I didn’t check that, but assuming this is true, it would be quite coincidence. So, unless the dots are photoshoped or the date faked, I would say the satellite image shows bodies found in April.

            1. lyman alpha blob

              They claim it, but why not show it in the article?!? We have pictures of clear streets in February, streets with “bodies” in mid-March, and I was expecting a comparison of the same street from early April showing the “bodies” again, but there was none. If you’re trying to show definitive proof, then why not include a photo from April? That’s either some very sloppy reporting, or what they’re saying is simply untrue. Neither option would be a first for the NYT.

              Some of us have not forgotten the NYT’s Judith Miller’s claims of Iraqi WMDs which were 100% most assuredly definitely there, except that they weren’t.

              The NYT is simply not credible with regards to foreign policy and I would not trust anything coming from them unless it was corroborated by another source that isn’t infested with US spooks.

              1. jake

                Okay, the Times is a pack of liars, and the entire newsroom conspired to besmirch Putin, a man with an unblemished record.

                But you’re prepared to accept as compelling evidence Scott Ritter’s impression (“struck by the fact that they didn’t appear….”) of low resolution photographs…..

                1. John Mc

                  Well, Ritter is an expert in the field here and you are a guy named Jake (possibly from State Farm wearing Khakis). Also, Ritter has a history one could analyze for calling balls/strikes of war. He was correct about WMD’s and took an unpopular stance during a difficult period of US imperialism. And when he cites our intelligence agencies own admissions, versus a fetid rotting corpse of a politician’s words – it is no contest. He has more credibility than our President, his son, Nuland, Kagan, PNAC members or inkin Blinken and Nod.

                  And lastly, you exaggerate Ritter’s claims here and misunderstand our current environment of thick propaganda. The US media has been lying, banging the war drums, and misrepresenting the history/origins of this conflict for decades – more so recently since it went operative in Maidan 2014.

                  As a result, Jake – large media has been controlled by intelligence for even longer (read your Bernstein if you do not know what I am referring to —–>

                  And I doubt Ritter thinks Putin is unblemished, projecting upon Ritter an exaggeration like this really misses who this guys is and overcompensates towards the seven decades of cold war thinking that Russia is our mortal enemy. Most of the world is tired of this Allen Dulles-esque view of foreign relations.

                2. Anthony Noel

                  Well actually yes the Times has been proven time and time again to be a pack of liars. And pointing that out and pointing out that the information is suspect hardly supporting Putin.

                3. JBird4049

                  I know that others have argued with you, but this comment really is annoying to me. Two different things can be right at the same time; the NYT newsroom is full of liars, or at least doing propaganda for the state, and Putin is a murderous autocrat. Or the NYT has some excellent reporters doing good, honest work and Mr. Putin sometimes tells the truth.

                  These four facts are true at the same time and how do they make any difference with Mr. Ritter’s suggestions?

                  This might be odd, but here are some famous photos by the photographer Mathew Brady almost immediately after Civil War battlefield of Antietam with photos (Warning, honest to God bloated bodies) of the bodies. IIRC, it was a matter of days if that. He followed the armies around taking shots.

                  There are plenty of other post battle or disaster photos of the dead not long after.

                4. Yves Smith Post author

                  Ad hominem is a violation of site Policies and usually a sign of persisting in a losing argument.

                  Gonazalo Lira, who has produced movies, analyzed the very high res film from which many of the stills were taken. He deemed it to be produced. Among other things, no faces, bright red blood, which you see only in movies, never real life, pristine white wrist ties, which would get dirty in two nanoseconds, bodies totally implausibly placed both in individual positions and collectively (as in spread out to allow for a vehicle to driver through and take shots) and professional no-shadows lighting, which would take hours to stage.

                  The lack of bloating and putrid explosions, by contrast, can be ascertained from a low res image.

                  1. jake

                    The only ad hominen attack I can find here is the suggestion that I’m a khaki wearing clown from State Farm (insurance?). That aside, Gonzalo Lira is a new name to me, but I can find nothing in the way of expertise as a forensic analyst or an accomplished photographer/cinematographer schooled in post-production. Who isn’t making movies these days?

                    I’m told here, quite reasonably, that all sorts of things are possible about NYT and Putin which don’t preclude fake photographs. Fine. I’m well aware of the shortcomings of NYT and don’t pretend to know the facts at issue. But somehow Ritter is highly credible and uniquely qualified in this instance, despite his own tentative language, because he agreed with the vast majority of the rest of the world that there were no WMD in Iraq?

                    I don’t know what happened. But here, the matter has evidently been decided, on the thinnest of evidence. Meanwhile, the fact that I haven’t given up is taken as proof that I’m desperately losing. Really quite shocking, this collective group think.

                    1. caucus99percenter

                      Perhaps “ad hominem” would (also) apply to the denigration of one’s fellow commenters and/or the website’s hosts?

                      Sarcasm and disparaging allusions without actually having demonstrated any actual grounds for same?

                    2. John Mc

                      Jake, my intention was not to attack your character but to point out that Ritter’s body of work over time merits more consideration than you are allowing for in the conversation.

                      Also, there is so much evidence of the thick residue of many types of propaganda here (Canceling – Ritter, Escobar on social media; Cheerleading – US press corps in a Psaki press conference or the daily dose of one-sided NATO/US/UK Zelensky bravery articles in the hundreds; or the misinformation of what Russia is actually doing – see The Saker, Lira, or Alan McLeod; and then the lack of foreign policy and financial analysis of any significance. NC also just posted a Newsweek article by William Arkin which shows some fractures in the narrative of Bucha (intelligence not backing up the Biden’s fiction) – and necessity to keep an open mind during the middle of a conflict where both sides are trying to win the war of minds.

                      In fact, NC is the one place where you can get a panoply of voices who know something about the structures of power (Nick Corbishley, Dr. John Mearsheimer, and Dr. Michael Hudson, John Helmer). And we also get access to the likes of Matt Taibbi and Mark Ames – who are Americans who have spent time in Russia and can translate to the average reader some of the more gross realities in both Russia/US.

                      In the end, many here have invested time and energy listening to Ritter on these issues (his interviews tend to be long, dense and thorough – often helping us understand what is happening in different parts of our government and the battlefield – not just one uniform mantra over and over. Is he perfect? No.

                      But his analysis is better than 98% of the what is coming out of the media blob – and it deserves more credit than you are presently giving.

                    3. jake

                      John Mc: Let me conclude: 1) We’re dealing with 2nd and 3rd hand material, as examined by amateurs; 2) no actual “experts” in the matter have been consulted or presented with evidence, and none of the amateurs have done a ground-level examination; 3) in at least the case of Gonzalo Lira, I’m not sure goodwill can be assumed. The man is a dating coach, among other occupations, with a history of outlandish claims.

                      And finally, is there any serious doubt that Russia is committing war crimes? Isn’t “aggressive war” in itself deemed the worst of them? Citing Clausewitz as evidence that Russia isn’t or couldn’t be shelling cities and killing civilians in large numbers is not dispositive in my view.

                      Perhaps the best thing, with respect to evidence which can’t be objectively examined, is to withhold judgment?

            2. MBA

              Well, since 90% of Maxar’s income is from the US government, Occam’s Razor and all that…

              1. integer

                Yep. The whole thing seems very Bellingcat-esque to me. If I had to guess, I’d say the CIA prompted Maxar to provide the NYT’s “visual investigations team” with faulty intel and allowed them to “draw their own conclusions”. Given the priors of the “visual investigations team”, it would’ve been a near certainty that they would reach the conclusions they did.

        2. Scylla

          The OSINT account rybar on Telegram demonstrated that the Maxar images are improperly dated, due to there being evidence of a very recent rainstorm in the images. Compared to the local weather in Bucha, this throws serious doubt on the time that it was claimed that the sat imagery was taken.

          1. José Freitas

            Also if I am not misremembering, either they or another account analysed the length of the shadows on the ground and thought it highly unlikely the pics were from March 19.

      3. Andrew

        A bit off topic, but US Grant had the same approach – “the enemy’s army is your objective.” He stuck to it despite the overwhelming consensus of his superiors that taking ground was the way to fight a war.

    3. OnceWereVirologist

      What has he been wrong about beyond saying on the first day that the Ukrainians will surrender in a week ?

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Yes, he got way way out ahead of himself there but since then has been more measured. He underestimated how well Ukraine had been trained and armed by NATO.

        One possible reason for that failure of insight comes from Jacques Baud: Ukraine’s military was so badly demoralized that Ukraine was having a terribly time getting manpower. So they resorted to mercs, which Baud says are about 40% of the total. And they went for the right wing brutal types, the sort that would get on with Right Sector and Azov Battalion types.

        1. chris a

          He has admitted he got some things wrong repeatedly, unlike the people we see and hear on msm, who continue to claim Ukraine is winning. Ritter, along with MacGreggor, have outlined the action on the ground very accurately it seems.

          1. synoia

            Estimates are just that, estimates or best guess, and all understand they are inaccurate. What is important is fact, and facts at a distance require honest trustworthy reporting.

            Ritter is being honest. Others have undisclosed bias, also called narrative management, or to be blunt (I’m good at blunt and Terse), lies and propaganda.

            Twitter appears to me to profit from confusion and thus deception, I, personally, am incapable of following a twitter thread from (Sensational) beginning to (biased) end. How others parse understanding on twitter is beyond my comprehension.

            1. Winston S

              Twitter appears to me to profit from confusion and thus deception, I, personally, am incapable of following a twitter thread from (Sensational) beginning to (biased) end. How others parse understanding on twitter is beyond my comprehension.

              So true. It’s almost like it is designed this way. Queue the South African design genius restoring world peace /s

          2. Ctesias

            Exactly. I’ve seen quite a few of Ritter’s videos and typically he uses his last words persuading viewers not to just blindly believe everything he says, because that wouldn’t be any better than watching any propaganda outlet out there, in which case it would have been a waste of time. He challenges people to go out and research for themselves all the many subjects he talks about, which isn’t little. And with his background as a historian, there is a lot he typically covers.

            On the military side, I must admit I’m lost in the murky details of warfare and I wonder sometimes about Russia’s level of success in having taken out pretty much all of Ukranian supply lines, heavy weapons, command centres and fuel and ammunition depots, etc., since the Ukranian Army is still capable of a strong defense on every battle line. But Ritter still sounds very much convinced that Russia is winning the war. He hasn’t backtracked on that at all.

            1. Andrew

              Maybe a corollary of Russia’s strategy of avoiding destruction of infrastructure has been that more of those supply lines, command centres, depots, etc. have survived than would have been the case if Russia had adopted a US/NATO type model where you just bomb everything into oblivion on the first day. (Think Road to Basra.) But in our current monoculture of discourse you can’t suggest Russia was trying to limit damage to infrastructure without being called a Putin stooge and getting yourself banned by SkyNet… um, Twitter.

        2. Raymond Sim

          Yes, he got way way out ahead of himself there but since then has been more measured. He underestimated how well Ukraine had been trained and armed by NATO.

          I doubt that, even were the very heroes of Valhalla fighting for Ukraine, had the Russians deployed all those Battalion Tactical Groups the way it was anticipated they would, the outcome would have been anything other than a sad, sudden slaughter. I think it’s the Russians’ choice of different tactics that made the difference.

          To me the most striking aspect of the prediction game was that western experts are clearly (but uncomfortably) aware that Russia has acheieved peremptory military superiority over NATO. This had to be kept sub rosa in opinions expressed for public consumption. Ritter said what everyone else was thinking out loud, in plain words, and without diversionary emphasis on Russia’s wickedness and the various purported costs she would bear for her actions.

          Rossiya btw, is definitely a she.

      2. Darthbobber

        And bear in mind that two or three days in the US Dept of Defense was giving Kiev maybe another 96 hours, so its not as if his take was that marginal AT THE TIME.

    4. eg

      I for one have found Ritter’s contributions valuable in balancing off the risible efforts of our national and local news outlets here in Canada.

    5. Pat

      Not that I am saying he is, but If being inaccurate is grounds for being banned on Twitter when will we see Fauci, Walensky, Neera Tanden, David Brooks, Larry Summers, Thomas Friedman, the Washington Post and NY Times, Gwyneth Paltrow, any Kardashian, Scientology, and so on banned? How many hucksters are raising funds for nonexistent charities? Isn’t that a bigger problem than contrary analysis of a war?

      If he weren’t a threat to the obvious misinformation being put forth to support America’s proxy war, he could sell snake oil all day long. Think about it.

    6. timbers

      From Doctorow recent post:

      Last week, reporting live from Mariupol and surveying the scene of utter destruction around him, Yevgeny Poddubny, the most experienced war correspondent of Russian state television, veteran of the Syrian war and other hotspots, quietly muttered, as if spontaneously: “in a military campaign you normally bring in forces six times the numbers of your opponent and here we were nearly matched in numbers.”

      This seems to support Ritter’s comments regarding Russian troop characteristics.

      And on to some new stuff.

      Doctorow further says Russia is alarmed at Deputy Secretary of Defense in Washington plans to send in intermediate missiles to Ukraine that could strike Russia itself, and suggests this may cause Russia to target Command centers (Kiev, Zelensky, Boris Johnson?…who knows London Paris Washington) and NATO.

      IMO, NATO and the US have crossed the line and are now a legitimate military targets for Russian forces. Russia has a right to respond. We she? Should she? That’s another question altogether.

      1. chris

        That right there is my biggest fear. Our leadership is full of angry children who have no idea what diplomacy requires. They are unable to conceive of how bad things could get. They assume there will be a kind hand to greet them through the revolving door when all of this is a detail in the CV that they relay to people at their next gig. These terrible children will destroy us all if they keep pushing other nuclear powers to the brink. But they’d rather everyone else die than admit they’re wrong. They’d rather blow up the world than admit our hegemony is dead.

    7. TimmyB

      This article is about Twitter’s censorship of dissidents, not whether a dissident is wrong or right. Ritter isn’t being censored because he was wrong about something. If being wrong about something was the criteria for Twitter and other social media platforms’ censorship, then why are those who supported the Iraq invasion still tweeting? Because, obviously, the only people who get censored are dissidents, those who oppose the lies and propaganda that goes by the name of “conventional thinking.”

    8. TBone

      Bodies in cold temperatures do not decompose in 3-5 days, or morgues would be useless. DUH.

        1. chris

          Here’s a handy guide for what kind of temperatures are used for preservation of human tissue in a morgue. I’ve had to do some work on HVAC systems to maintain these conditions for this purpose.

          In the case we’re talking about, the problems with the exposed bodies would be the presence of water and solar heat gain, coupled with the variable ambient temperatures over the time period we’re discussing.

          I’m not an expert in evaluating bodies. I’m not an expert in wartime forensic assessment. What I can say, based on my experience, is that the conditions we’re discussing are such that I don’t think the bodies would be well preserved for the period of time being asserted if the official story coming from US/UK/Ukrainian sources is correct.

      1. Ellery O'Farrell

        Since given my experience with meat stored in my refrigerator (I’m no kind of expert in body decomposition, much less details of the effects of various temperatures), I found a chart of temperatures in Bucha. I’ve started it at March 16; other dates are available below the chart:

        Does anyone know whether these temperatures are low enough to prevent any noticeable decomposition over the two weeks or so in question? I know I wouldn’t touch any meat in an equivalent state–and I think it would look pretty off as well. (We’ll have to imagine the smell.)

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I provided a link to a paper done with dead pigs in Australia in their winter (not as bad as ours) and summer. Basically even in the winter, bloat started at day 9 v. fast in the summer. And that does not allow for rain.

          So the satellite was as of March 19. The bodies it claimed to show were as of then or earlier. Yet we have NYT stories as of early April about locals burying them as of then. They would be putrid messes if they had died on March 19 or earlier and left out. If that had been the case, the relatives and victims would presumably have gone on about utter disrespect, how additionally distressing it was to see loved ones not just dead but putrefying, health risks, etc.

      2. Anthony Noel

        You know we have this thing called the internet, we can check the temperature for that time frame.

        Shocking I know, and guess what temperatures are well above zero the whole time and spike into the high teens pretty much the entire time with some rain. Guess what happens to wet bodies left in high single digit to double digit temperatures for 10 plus days? Exactly what Scott Ritter said.

  1. Simple John

    I’ve asked Scott and Glenn to build a list of informative writers / speakers being censored by the big socials and/or the smaller web publishers like the Intercept, make a link available, and ask all who find censorship appalling to keep that link top of their blog.

      1. shinola

        twitter becoming a joke? When was it ever not a joke?

        The signal-to-noise ratio is absolutely horrid. I’m puzzled as to why seemingly serious, intelligent people even bother with it.

    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Haven’t you heard? He started a new Twitter account with the handle, “@NewPepeEscobar.”


  2. The Rev Kev

    Social media corporations like Twitter probably see the Ukrainian war as a perfect opportunity to silence voices that go against the narrative. But for Twitter to allow an imitation account that provably sought to deceive people about who they were was just Twitter demonstrating that they could do whatever they wanted as after all, who is going to stop them? The problem is that if you have a new social media medium that threatens Twitter but is located in the west, it will be soon subordinated to what their governments wants them to do. But if it is located in a foreign country beyond their control, well, we saw what happened with Tik Tok.

    1. timbers

      I was able to sneak a post into Linkedin due to IMO using an approved MSM cover. The post goes something like “Newsweek interviews our Russian Ambassador” and proceeds to quote his statement the reason for the Special Operation was the Ukraine regime’s failure to stop genocide of Russians….”the ambassador told Newsweek.” All accurate direct quotes from what Newsweek reported.

    2. anon y'mouse

      why does the imitator account remind me of something re: Houdini, which led him to make the pact with his wife about contact from the “afterlife”. something regarding the spiritualists telling him “wait until you’re dead, then we will make you say whatever we wish”.

      or my overdramatic brain made that up.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Thanks. But they left it up long enough for him to publish at Consortium News. Wonder if putting up that piece led them to take it down. I only read the first half of the comments but I didn’t see anyone saying “Oh, not to worry, it’s gone!”

    2. Rui

      It was probably the content of the fake profile that became a problem as there were multiple publications calling Biden some extreme stuff I won’t repeat.
      Also they got a deluge of people reporting the fake profile. It most likely became untenable for them to pursue with the pretence it wasn’t a fake profile pretending to be Ritter. They actually had the nerve to write to Ritter saying the profile didn’t violate any of their rules, and wasn’t pretending to be him which anyone could see was not true, it was a clear case of stolen identity.
      The alternative was that Ritter had created a new account while his primary one was suspended, and that is also against the rules, as SRitter was the first to point out, to no avail, to the Twitter people.
      Twitter is not even pretending.

      1. JEHR

        Folks, why do you even put up with Twitter? Most social media is just a distraction/discombobulation. If something is worth saying, then twitter, instagram, facebook, et al. are not the best place to say it.

      2. Brian L

        I’m not a lawyer, but it seemed to me that there was a successful lawsuit in there somewhere if they didn’t take the impostor account down. That’s why I thought it would be stupid for them to leave it up. I never saw the posted content, only the screenshot evidence Ritter posted.

        This should be quite damaging to Twitter, but the members of the warmongering, cancelling, liberal hive-mind won’t be bothered at all, I imagine. The naked propaganda out there is astonishing. This ties in with the NBC “revelations” in my mind. Scary stuff. (What is scary is that few seem to be bothered by it.)

  3. Thuto

    HTwitter clearly has near-zero tolerance for voices that question the approved narrative, and is changing its “community guidelines and content moderation” policies on the fly to fabricate pretexts to ban the dissenters. With the throughput for contrarian voices being throttled at an unprecedented scale on the platform, will Elon Musk’s $43bn all cash offer to take twitter private throw off the yoke of oppressive censorship for which the company is fast gaining notoriety?

    1. Michael Ismoe

      Musk is CIA. Why would you think that freedom of speech is right up there on their list of “must haves”.

      1. Synoia

        Musk comes from an Afrikaans family. A high percentage of Afrikaans speakers when I lived lived in ZA were Verkrampt (Right Wing), not Verlicht (Liberal).

        I was reasonably close to the politics in ZA, but not a percipient, and had a close association with their Minister of Finance. It was hist response to my Questions that helped me decide to leave ZA for other pastures.

    2. Michael Ismoe

      Musk is CIA. Why would you think that freedom of speech is right up there on their list of “must haves”.

  4. kriptid

    Relevant breaking news:

    Elon Musk offers to buy Twitter at $43bn valuation

    Elon Musk has made an offer to buy Twitter with a bid that values the company at $43.4bn, vowing to “unlock” the potential of the social media platform by taking it private.

    My feelings are Mr. Musk are mixed, but I imagine this move would likely make Twitter a safer place for voices like Scott Ritter, no?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I hope so except he is super hostile to Putin. But since Ritter’s odds of reinstatement look to be zero under the current regime, one can hope that Musk lives up to his free speech pretenses.

      1. Thuto

        Progressive liberals want platforms like twitter to be “safe spaces” where they can create perfect echo chambers for their ideological beliefs and be productive stenographers for the views of their elite overlords. They abuse the fairly uncontroversial practice of content moderation to sanitize these platforms of competing narratives. Otoh, free speech advocates who take a maximalist position on the issue (I.e. all voices should be allowed) quickly find out that these services run the risk of being overrun by trolls and extremists. I don’t think Musk will be adept at walking this tight rope, but one thing is certain, there’ll be wailing and gnashing of teeth on the progressive side of the billionaire class and their PMC sycophants if he succeeds in taking the company private, and I can honestly see them having a Trump truthsocial moment and creating their own “civilized” platform.

    2. hunkerdown

      Mr. “We Coup Whoever We Want – Deal With It”? Mr. “Was Keeping Stake Low Due to 18 USC 1962(a)”? Is it so likely he would exit Twitter’s strategic partnership with the neocon think tanks to create a free speech haven that might argue against his government welfare checks?

      “Outlook not so good.”

      1. flora

        “…his government welfare checks?” Bingo. My thoughts exactly. Might even get larger govt welfare checks if he plays his cards right. (See: Bezos & AWS.) / ;)

    3. lyman alpha blob

      Or it would make twitter a safer place for people who agree with Elon Musk.

      I’m not sanguine that having some billionaire international oligarch running the show would be an improvement. Just another squillionaire buying up their own mouthpiece like Bezos and WaPo. I do remember his since deleted tweet about the US involvement in ousting Evo Morales, saying “we’ll coup who we want” or something to that effect. He of course wanted cheap Bolivian lithium for his batteries and seemingly didn’t care how he got it.

      1. Susan the other

        Who else but Elon would have the nerve to impersonate Scott Ritter? It’s gotta be Elon. He’s got such a quirky sense of humor he’s close to perverse. Elon, our latest Merry Prankster.

        1. Susan the other

          Speaking of the Merry Pranksters, iirc it was the clever Ukies (who impersonated the Russians) when they interfered in our elections and then blamed Putin, etc. Not that our “elections” haven’t already turned into chaos all by themselves. The sort-of sabotage done by the Ukrainians was fun for them.

      2. TimmyB

        Since Twitter currently suffers from censorship, a change in ownership presents a chance that censorship will stop. Or the new owner will allow censorship to continue as is. Or the new owner will seek to censor using new criteria.

        Most likely? Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    4. diptherio

      Under an Elon dic-twitter-ship, some of those currently banned may be allowed back on, but plenty of others would be likely to get the boot…like anyone posting videos of their Tesla trying to run down a pedestrian or take a jaunt down some railroad tracks…or anyone calling crypto currencies ponzi schemes. As my buddy used to say, “things never get better, they just get bad in different ways.”

      1. Darius

        Would Musk make a move like this on a platform of vital propaganda use without the involvement of the US government? I think not.

  5. Cesar Jeopardy

    I don’t use Twitter or Facebook or any Social Media platforms. I used to read Paul Krugman’s Twitter feed but it seems Twitter now limits what you can read as a non-subscriber. I will use whatever platform allows me to view Ritter’s or Lira’s video feeds. Regarding what is going on in the Ukraine, I mostly don’t believe anything about the Bucha or Mariupol or Kramatorsk “atrocities.” Full, unbiased investigations are essential. As if such investigations are possible. But I see no reason why Russia would deliberately kill civilians.

    As much as I support Scott Ritter, I question his point about the bloating of bodies. The temperatures in Bucha during the period in question (March 19 to April 2) were quite variable but generally quite cool. [You can look this up.] So any bloating of corpses may take far longer than Ritter estimated. I’m not sure Ritter took ambient temperatures into account.

    1. NN Cassandra

      BTW, simple hack to mitigate the sign pop up is, when it appears, to click on sign up button and then click on back button in browser.

    2. Anon

      This occurred to me as well; however, either way, the logic of Russian troops executing unarmed civilians, when this is clearly antagonistic to their interests, is a stretch. It’s all a little too convenient, and out of character of the restraint the Russian military is otherwise displaying. It’s not impossible, but without an unbiased investigation, is not grounds for escalation.

      What are they doing? Banning people from social media? Could be worse…

      Let’s all give thanks that Ritter had the opportunity to get the word out in the first place (God bless America)… then get back on our soap boxes.

    3. lyman alpha blob

      There is other evidence than the bodies. The Russians left Bucha on March 30 which I don’t believe is in dispute by either side. The anti-Russian mayor of Bucha posted a video on March 30 or 31 where he was very happy at having driven the Russians out, and he made no mention of bodies littering the streets, which would have been hard to miss in such a small town. You’d think it would have come up in late March, either from him or from other eyewitnesses. It was only a couple days later that reports of bodies started showing up and in the interim, there were reports of Ukrainian forces going in to “cleanse” the city of Russian supporters after the Russian soldiers had left.

  6. Fred

    I too wondered about the temp bodies are kept at, but unless they have been kept consistently cold, rather than just cool, then Ritter is right, they would have decomposed badly in variable weather. Moisture and temp above zero would do it?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Weather averages for Bucha in April are daily highs of 58, low of 41.

      You can see the Kiev temp history here. There was a cool spell April 2 and 3, but that would not change the late March story. It was never cold for long enough for a body to freeze and stay frozen.

      This confirms Ritter;

      If you really want to know more:

      Bloat was much slower in the winter phase (Australia winter) but started on day 9. Since the claimed mass kill satellite sighting was 19th, which meant deaths then or earlier earlier, you’d still have a lot of bloat by April 2-3.

      1. JoeC100

        I have seen analysis that showed the March 19 imagery satellite was not taken on March 19 – some satellite image geeks had shown based on the image shadows that the “March 19” could not have been take that date. Also I have seen several other aspects of this claim that appear to have been debunked. Gonzalo Lira had a long piece that he “put up” briefly that included his observations of the video that just did not look right. He has apparently been technically involved in serious file camera work and he notes that some of the footage is by very high-end cameras and shows evidence of special lighting augmentation.

    1. Eureka Springs

      I tried several times and cannot get telegram to work on my phone or computer.

      I read the entire consortium article yesterday. Mr Ritter’s twitter experience reminds me of every corporate “customer service” encounter I can recall in the last twenty years. This is who we are and how we treat each other. And they wonder why kids are so depressed.

      Adding, I wonder how Mr Musk Tesla customer service runs?

  7. Dr. John Carpenter

    I’m sure Musk buying Twitter will fix all these problems. After all, he’s made the offer to protect free speech. *snort*

  8. Tom Stone

    First they came for the journalists…
    And that is what’s happening.
    If you aren’t both outraged and frightened by this you are not paying attention.
    Kafka Lives!

  9. Carolinian

    Some of us have always been puzzled by Twitter which seems to be to political commentary what Reader’s Digest was to books. Elites who once took pride in burying themselves in the good gray Times now churn out haiku sized pensees in their quest to become inluencers with a box score of “followers” to prove it. Shouldn’t one wonder whether a medium that once seemed ideal to the barely literate Trump is appropriate for genuine thinkers? Perhaps this new censorship trend shows what it was really about all along–promotion and marketing. For sure independent writers need a bit of promotional help but that doesn’t mean we should take Twitter itself very seriously. Musk has just offered a huge amount of money to buy the thing. ????

  10. malcolm harrison

    The thing that finally convinced me that Putin was not after Kiev was the assessment not only by Scott Ritter, but many others, including personal friends who have recently served in these theatres of war. We, the public were ignorant of such things as manoeuvre warfare, but it was obvious to those who did understand it. It’s not exactly rocket science. While the early commentators concluded Putin’s goal was Kiev, and we all joined in, it was only much later that we learned that to take a city like Kiev would require 200,000 troops or more, and the Russians were only using around 40,000. And of course they might return to Kiev after they deal with the Ukrainian forces in Donbas. However the idea that Putin was losing and retreating was too attractive to easily give it up, and many are still clinging to it. But it’s a dangerous misconception for all sorts of reasons. Underestimating Putin and his cadre of advisers is unwise, especially for those who think of him as an enemy.

  11. fresno dan

    So I met my girlfriend’s friends here in Bakersfield, who are nice people. After dinner we returned to their house and we were talking. Eventually, the conversation came to how bad Russia. Despite knowing that I never convince anyone of anything, I did not bite my tongue, and argued that a lot of the information about Ukraine was wrong.
    Eventually when the issue of credibility came up, I noted WMD’s. I was gobsmacked that the wife still believed that there HAD been some WMD’s in Iraq.
    Most people, most of the time, believe the media, the culture, everything they have been taught (indoctrinated)…very, very few people really try to look dispassionately at events and question what they are presented with. We now live in a time more of legend and fairytales than at any other time in human history.

    1. jr

      “ We now live in a time more of legend and fairytales than at any other time in human history.”

      Due in no small part to the spurious notion that the world is ultimately a rational thing and that humans are capable of comprehending it thusly. The balanced path, the Middle Path, counsels uncertainty. All else is a function of faith.

  12. Mark Gisleson

    I’ve been locked out of Twitter since March 3. I’m not suspended, but Twitter has a lovely trick they pull when they don’t like what you’re posting: they find a security reason to freeze your account. Just helping you out with this problem they say you have.

    To get back into your account, you MUST surrender your phone number to them so they can text you. Which means you must have a phone now to be on Twitter. Not officially, but once you’ve been booted they seem loathe to make exceptions (they did once a couple years ago, but this time I’m in a permanent Help loop where they insist on not understanding what I’m telling them).

    I’m better off without Twitter, but I’d still love to get back on if only for following sports. Twitter can say whatever they like, all I know is that they froze my account when all my most recent posts had been to pro-Russian news sources and anti-gaslighting articles.

    Oh, and the previous reason why my account got locked? Some spammer got into my account and started using it to post pro-Elon Musk content. With hindsight, this seems a bit ironic.

    1. playon

      I was also locked out of twitter and held hostage for my phone number. At the time I had only been on the platform for a few weeks and gave it to them, which I regret.

      I wonder about the timing of the departure of Jack Dorsey. Perhaps he wasn’t interested in playing ball with the gubmint.

    2. Dave in Austin

      Another data point on “give us your phone number”. For years gmail has been sending me “reminders” that in addition to my back-up email, they would like to have my phone number. I always politely refused.

      The a week ago I got the usual “we’d like your phone number” on the sign in page. This time when I said “No” they simply defaulted me to a loop- send me back to the main page on my Mozilla Foxfire browser. I was locked-out of my account after more than a decade. So I gave them my phone and got back in. Then I contacted one of my computer buddies. We will download all my back emails onto my machine and I’ll start using Thunderbird- freeware on my own computer.

      Becuase so many people have my gmail address I’ll continue to use it… for now. And as for my private domain, when I pointed it away from Gmail, all the usual suspects – yahoo, hotmail, etc- now demand a cell phone number.

      Like Yves, I’m exploring Iceland.

      Finally, you can’t sign up to Telegram anymore. Telegram says “sign up” and the form can be filled out. But they demand that you get a 6 digit code on your phone and, mystery-of-mystery, the code never arrives on my US cell phone number.

      The net of all the big nations closes ever more tightly around all the little fish.

      1. Grebo allows anonymous email, if you can find a way to pay 1 euro a month anonymously. 3 euros and you can hook up your domain to it, though obviously that will blow your cover.

        I was contemplating the text problem today and discovered which has free numbers you can get a text sent to (from anywhere) if you don’t mind the world seeing the text, or cheap temporary ones if you do.

  13. fresno dan

    Glenn Greenwall: This is the new “disinformation,” “fact-checking” and “anti-extremism” industry: they choose neutral-and-benign sounding names, present them as “experts” to trash anything they can’t control, always funded by US/NATO and Soros/Omidyar to control speech
    So in the rightwing media, Soros is portrayed as “liberal” or “leftwing” which is viewed, as a no good, terrible, very bad thing. I can remember, when I used to ride my dinosaur to school, that “liberal” supposedly meant you were FOR free speech…
    Can we at least agree that the very terms “left” and “right” really obfuscate, and are used more to advance agendas, than offer any meaningful insight into political philosophy or principles? Indeed, the whole demarcation of dem/repub seems to be nothing more than straw men…

    1. Socal Rhino

      Way back when this dinosaur was an undergrad, this notion of free speech liberal was questionable, per discussions I had with multiple liberal/leftist professors who informed me that the notion of a “marketplace of ideas” was naive and not practical. Enthusiasm for limiting wrongspeak didn’t just arise, and the republican complaints of marxist or maoist tendencies in “the left” are not merely projection. Like support of activist courts, it is hard I think for many to see the downside of restricted speech because they imagine they won’t see it turned against themselves. I guess it is now being seen it in the latter case.

  14. Tom Finn

    The modified Twitter graphic by CathyVogan on the Consortium News piece by Ritter is priceless.

  15. Jason Boxman

    All web sites depend on the same basic infrastructure, though. As we saw with Signal? Telegram? or whatever when they got kicked off AWS. (Not a web site, of course, but same outcome.) And when a country is really serious and heavy handed, we get the Internet cut at the borders. Denying hosting or funding infrastructure is more surgical, though. That said, it’s easier still to get kicked off a “platform”, as this aptly demonstrates.

    1. juno mas

      …and then there are the web browsers (Firefox) that surreptitiously block certain IP addresses (.RU). Blanket censorship!

      1. JM

        I remember seeing that in 98.0.1 from March 14 they stripped out Yandex and; possibly only if it were pre-installed, but I’m not sure about that. Either way, that really hurt Mozilla in my eyes, I just wish there were more browser engines available. Now we’re basically stuck with the steadily worsening Firefox, or Chrome and it’s offshoots.

  16. edwin

    Were the bodies in Bucha lying there from the 19th?

    Let’s look at the weather:

    March 19 high of 5 (sunny) low of -3. low humidity.
    March 20 high of 9 (sunny) low of -1 low humidity
    March 21 high of 13 (sunny) low of 2 some humidity
    With very low wind this is warm enough for long sleeve shirts.
    March 22 high of 15 (sunny) low of 5 some humidity
    March 23 high of 16 (sunny) low of 6 low humidity
    March 24 high of 8 (partially sunny) low of 2 light rain

    Other days in march with a high of 10 or higher include: 25, 26, 28, 29 (17), 31.

    13-17 are not very cool. I don’t understand how bodies decay, but I expect that the process when started will tend to continue even as the temperature drops.

    Environment – Weather, climate, humidity, all have affects on the decomposition rate. For example; Cold weather slows the rate; hot weather accelerates it, On the other hand Frozen bodies do not decompose. Direct sunlight and High humidity also accelerates decomposition.

    You are suggesting a time span of 15 days. Looking at some more information on time and stages:

    Stage 2 Bloated (2-6 days)
    This stage of decomposition includes the first visible signs of decay, namely the inflation of the abdomen due to a build-up of various gases produced by bacteria inside the body.
    Bloating is particularly visible around the tongue and eyes as the build-up of gases cause them to protrude. The skin may exhibit a certain colour change, taking on a marbled appearance due to the transformation of haemoglobin in the blood into other pigments.
    At this point a pungent odour of putrefaction may be noticeable.(cadaverine and putrescine gas)

    Stage 3 Decay (5-11 days)

    The previously inflated carcass now deflates and internal gases are released. As the tissues break down the corpse will appear wet and strong odours are very noticeable.
    Various compounds contribute to the potent odour of a decomposing body, including cadaverine, putrescine, skatole, indole, and a variety of sulphur-containing compounds.
    These putrid gases and compounds will attract a range of insects. Fluids begin to drain from the corpse via orifices, particularly the nose and mouth.
    The internal organs typically decompose in a particular order, starting with the intestines and ending with the prostate or uterus.

    Further Research:

    1. Temperature

    Ambient temperature appears to have the greatest effect on the decay rate of the human body. During cold or freeezing weather, the decay process is greatly reduced or ceases completely. Flies will continue to visit a carcass and lay eggs in gold weather down to about the mid 40s or 50s degrees F (about 5 to 13 C). Below 32 degrees F (0 C), fly eggs will die. The Maggots within the body cavities such as the head, chest, abdomen, and vagina will continue to feed and develop even in freezing weather because they produce their own heat due to their large numbers. On cold days, steam vapors (“heat”) can be seen rising above the body when a maggot-infested area of the body is opened.

    Under ideal conditions (warm to hot weather), it ususally takes between two and four weeks for a body to become nearly or completely skeletonized. Cold weather, however, may prevent all decay other than discoloration of the skin from a naturalcolor to orange or black or both, with patches of mold over much of the body. The most difficult time of the year to estimate how long someone has been dead (rate of bodily decay) is those months when the temperature fluctuates between warm and cold.)

    This gives a cutoff on where things really begin to change when a body decays. 5 C. It makes sense. Refrigerator temperature. So I could do the experiment – set a mouse trap and catch a mouse. Put the corpse in our basement where current temperatures are around 10 C, and see if my marriage lasts the 15 days.

    We really need a pathologist, but the lack of even bloating indicates that the date of March 19 can not be correct.

  17. Anthony G Stegman

    Perhaps ownership of Twitter by Elon Musk may change things for people like Ritter. Perhaps he won’t be censored if Musk buys all of Twitter and makes the changes he says he will. Perhaps. Perhaps. Perhaps.

  18. KD

    Civil RICO suit? Obviously there is a conspiracy to commit the crime of identity theft, and Twitter must know that its not Ritter, as do the people they are conspiring with.

  19. David in Santa Cruz

    Perhaps it’s because I’m about half-way through Rebecca Solnit’s lovely Orwell’s Roses, but the word that comes to mind is “Orwellian”

    In today’s online NYTimes there is a piece titled “ Hiding in Plain Sight, a Soviet-Era Air Defense System Arrives in Ukraine.” The article goes on at length about the 120-wagon train that was loaded with a Slovakian S-300 anti-aircraft system (to be replaced by the U.S. with a Patriot battery) that rumbled into “Ukraine” a few days ago — and how the many Russian-sympathetic Slovakians were up in arms about it.

    Nowhere in the article is it mentioned that 3 days ago the Russian Federation reported the destruction of a NATO-supplied S-300 missile system in Dnipro, or that the Slovakian S-300 system was reportedly the only NATO-supplied S-300 battery in “Ukraine,” although the U.S.-friendly Slovakian government denies that their S-300 battery has been blown-up. Strangely, the article features a random photo of a smoke-column captioned: “ Smoke rising from the airport of Dnipro, Ukraine, on Sunday.” Reading (and re-reading) the article sheds no light on why this photo is included.

    Getting back to Ritter’s analysis, I worked for many decades in an aspect of the legal system involving the review of scores of photographs of human corpses in various states of decomposition. My initial reaction to the way that the Bucha corpses were arrayed was, “this was staged,” followed by the dreadful realization that, “these are the bodies of ‘collaborators’ murdered by ‘Ukrainian’ death-squads after Bucha was abandoned by the Russian maneuver.

    Orwell had it right: People just love to be lied-to…

    1. David in Santa Cruz

      The NYTimes has updated their Slovakian S-300 story with quotes calling President Putin “Hitler” and claiming that the Russian missile strike on Dnipro airport reported by Reuters is “fake news.” I archived a .pdf of the article as published this morning. Clearly that black smoke column still captioned as rising above Dnipro airport last Sunday was from a pig-roast. It would be thoughtcrime to believe otherwise…

  20. Cetra Ess

    Unfortunately, I think it means these social media tools are captured, too dangerous unless beyond the reach of any power, state or corporation to shape information flow. I wonder if blockchain can be used to address this.

    Also unfortunately, I have too many acquaintances who are currently getting 100% of their news from Twitter these days and view not being on Twitter as automatic invalidation, if you’re not on Twitter then you’re not up to date on the latest.

    1. Cetra Ess

      Sorry to post twice but it just struck me, Musk is into blockchain….and he wants to buy Twitter….are the two connected? Is he aiming to put it beyond the reach of corporations and governments?

    2. JM

      I’m no expert, but blockchain being part of a platform or whatever doesn’t inherently mean it’s beyond the reach of governments or corporations. Blockchain is at it’s base just an alternate format for a database, like an excel spreadsheet where as soon as you enter a field it becomes read-only. The biggest difference is that it does cryptographic busywork to validate a field entry, which comes with some drawbacks like forks because to valid responses come back at the same time.

      I’d recommend watching Line Goes Up by Folding Ideas on Youtube, it goes over some of the problems with crypto in use for other things. I’m scanning it now, and they talk about using it in a social network at about 1:28.

  21. Adam Eran

    In a weird bit of synchronicity, I just discovered Tom Clancy’s version of an American James Bond–Jack Ryan–has a PhD in economics. So… CIA + Economics! What could possibly go wrong?

  22. chris

    The thread on this article has been fascinating to watch develop. I have to wonder if we’re seeing another fleet of paid actors to participate in blogs and comment sections where the official narrative is being questioned. Simple matters of fact are being disputed because they don’t align with official statements regarding incidents like the purported Bucha massacre. Rather than acknowledge that the official states sources could be wrong, or are providing citizens incomplete information, people are lashing out and accusing NC of malfeasance. And this is all occurring against a backdrop of the NYT and other sources having to acknowledge that the story of Hunter Biden’s laptop was not Russian disinformation.

    If they’re currently lying to you about the small stuff, and they’ve lied to you about the big stuff, and they find the details of matters that could challenge their hold on culture/politics “uninteresting” (to quote Applebaum), then what in God’s name makes you think US/UK sources are trustworthy now?

  23. Reticuli

    You have to realize that banning Scott again doesn’t just take down his tweets, but all the people responding and discussing with him who would not normally post directly on these sorts of topics on their own profiles. So, this is many birds (tweet, tweet) with one stone that they get doing this. Highly politically motivated. By the way, they literally let a Ritter impersonator continue to have a profile. LOL. You can’t make this shit up.

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