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Old 18-02-2017, 09:35 PM   #1022
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Default war of words

If the wise men and women from the east are right then the physical world is an illusion. There are many who consider our situation to be one represented by the film ‘Matrix’. Films make a deep impression on people but are certainly an illusion. However there may well be a message within that and there is no doubt that the truth is out there as they say.

Perhaps the way to look at this is that for the most part we take someone’s word for what makes up our world and not our own experience. This extends to almost everything we do - what food is good for us, what is poison, what is true and what is false. Most Britons have never been to the US but have seen plenty of films set there. That was one of the distinct impressions that I had when I first went. It was like a film.

Some illusions are quite obvious. What governs us for example is not a bunch of people we elect but laws made over centuries and the influences upon us that cause us to do what we do. Some of these we are only vaguely aware of but for example when we buy clothes we have a limited choice in many respects and that choice may be influenced by a need to conform.

But when we get to the ‘news’ it is even harder to separate fact from fiction. For a start we are not there and rely on reports. Much of the news is opinion. We have no idea how much we are not told. We are like some jury that listens to a case brought to court and rely on various strategies to determine what actually happened. That there are countless miscarriages of justice in the world is much to do with lawyers who may be experts at weaving a web of illusion and influence, or may not be experts and get walked over by their opposition.

We also deceive ourselves, often for our entire lives. Is a happy marriage what it seems or are there many things the partners do not know about each other, many deceptions and pretences? Most of us have to lie at work, and conform. We cannot tell our CEO what we really think, nor even the Human resources department. Listen to the average interview and you will find it is a string of deceits! If you tell them that you do not have much interest in their product and just want an easy life with a pay packet each month you don’t get the job.

We no longer believe much of what we are told by politicians and any number of films have shown them to be liars, even villainous along with the bent cops and the crooks who run our corporations. That may be a double illusion but why do they keep making films that tell us this? It may be because history often reveals a fairly shocking truth unspoken at the time. WMD. Those three letters don’t even need an explanation these days. On conspiracy sites they are joined by JFK and 911 not that there is any real evidence even now - just suspicions.

Anyway this is something I posted this morning in Trumpworld here. This is like watching a supernova in real time and one day we will have all sorts of theories and conspiracy theories about it (if we survive catastrophe). The war of words:

The game I think is to drive Trump out unless he takes various lobby interests into account and the media is a big part of herding him where they want him to go. It is understandable but not predictable. The media tried to unseat Corbyn and also Labour at the last UK election, plus of course UKIP. Labour was a ‘threat to national security’ now Corbyn is. So was Brexit, and Scottish independence which would have moved Trident’s Scottish base, but the media is not winning all these battles. Trump’s campaign learned from Farage how to use negative publicity to advantage.

Last August the Daily Mail apparently tried to link Trump’s wife to an escort agency. They retracted the story on 1st September and are being sued for £120 million by the new first lady. Last week a New York Times reporter apparently called her a hooker at a public event. Someone who heard this objected on Twitter which spread it all over the alt media. The reporter* retracted and apologised on Twitter and the NYT allegedly told him off. No one lost their job but the innuendos spread like wildfire and are probably why Trump was so pleased to be able to talk about his nice wife at the press conference. This is deliberate ‘fake news’ designed to pressure the president through his family.

*“Jacob Bernstein said his remark was "stupid" and based on "unfounded rumours". The NYT said the remark was "inappropriate".
The comment was made public after actress and model Emily Ratajkowski shared it on Twitter….”

Note that “Jake Bernstein is an American Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and author presently working with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).” Wikipedia - if that is the same man.

But also before the election something else happened as explained in an interesting Guardian article yesterday. Louise Mensch was a British MP who went to live in the US. The Guardian are perhaps still smarting from her attack on them back in the day but the story is really quite extraordinary and reveals far more about the whole issue that is currently destroying Trump (or the media itself if unsuccessful):

“In the journalistic race to get to the bottom of one of the most closely guarded secrets in Washington – the investigation into the Trump team’s contacts with Moscow – one of the biggest scoops came from an unexpected source: the British former MP and novelist Louise Mensch.
Mensch has lived in New York since resigning as the Conservative MP for Corby in 2012 so that she could spend more time with her children and her American husband, Peter, the manager of the heavy metal band Metallica.

Now 45, the woman born Louise Bagshawe in London who once dominated the chick-lit bestseller lists in the UK has reinvented herself once more: working as an executive for Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp by day, and probing Donald Trump’s Moscow connections by night.

On the eve of the November election, Mensch published a sensational story reporting that a special intelligence court in Washington had granted a warrant to allow the FBI to conduct surveillance of “US persons” in an investigation of possible contacts between Russian banks and the Trump organisation.

At the time, the story did not cause much of a ripple. It was published on Heat Street, a libertarian-leaning website run by News Corp, and an unknown quantity in journalism. So was Mensch, whose recent public profile consisted mainly of a string of angry Twitter spats.
Meanwhile, the combined investigative forces of the US media had spent months seeking to prove a secret connection between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin and had come up with very little.

The online magazine Slate had published an article at the end of October about mysterious pings that had been detected between a Russian bank, Alfa, and a server connected to the Trump organisation, but the New York Times quoted FBI officials as saying they had looked into it and decided there “there could be an innocuous explanation” for the computer contacts.

Two months later, however, the BBC put out a story echoing Mensch’s original report about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (Fisa) court warrant issued in October to allow the justice department to look into transfers and communications between the Russian banks and Trump associate – and that US intelligence agencies were investigating the link.

The Guardian separately confirmed the original request for a Fisa warrant, which had been turned down earlier in the summer, and former officials said they believed that the Mensch and BBC account of the Fisa warrants was correct.

In mid-January, the McClatchy news agency said one of its sources had also confirmed the report, and the New York Times’ public editor, Liz Spayd, published an assessment of its coverage of the Trump-Moscow link on 20 January, arguing that it had been “too timid”. The Times, Spayd argued, “knew several critical facts: the FBI had a sophisticated investigation under way on Trump’s organization, possibly including Fisa warrants”.
The full facts about the connections between the Trump camp and the Kremlin are not yet known. Trump now has authority over all the intelligence agencies that were investigating the Russian connection. Investigations have been officially launched in the Senate, but there too, Republicans are in command, and only a handful of senators seem ready to break party ranks to inquire further.

However, it seems increasingly clear that Mensch landed an extraordinary scoop that had eluded the best investigative journalists in the US. Her explanation is that her vocal advocacy on behalf of UK and US intelligence agencies since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s revelations about mass surveillance led her sources to trust her.

“They gave me one of the most closely guarded secrets in intelligence,” she said in a telephone interview. “People are speculating why someone trusted me with that. Nobody met me in a darkened alley in a fedora, but they saw me as someone who has political experience and is their friend. I am a pro-national security partisan. I don’t have divided loyalties.”

Mensch said she gained her reputation among intelligence professionals on both sides of the Atlantic as a result of her furious criticism of the Guardian’s handling of the NSA files leaked by Snowden when he walked out of his NSA job in Hawaii and fled to Hong Kong.

The files included large amounts of information about the UK electronic surveillance agency, GCHQ, and Mensch argued that moving the files around the world constituted trafficking in stolen state secrets that put the lives of British intelligence officials at risk.

The Guardian has maintained that the revelation of the extent of mass surveillance in the UK and the US was in the public interest, that the data was shared responsibly and securely among journalists, and that nothing was put in the public domain that would be a threat to the lives of GCHQ workers.

Mensch presented herself as an advocate for intelligence professionals, who were unable to defend themselves because of the secret nature of their work. She frequently uses the hashtag #TeamBond. “I am a patriot in the service of the intelligence community,” she said.

A few weeks after her Fisa scoop, Mensch was moved from her job running Heat Street, but she said she had asked for the job as she was keen to develop new digital projects for News Corp.

Mensch continues to investigate the Trump administration’s links with the Russian government, but now in her own time, publishing her theories in tweets and a blog. She has lately been tracking the flights of private planes linked to Russian oligarchs and Trump associates. She insisted that she had not come under any pressure to stop from Murdoch or senior management of the largely pro-Trump News Corp. She says she prefers the free hand self-publishing provides.

“I didn’t want to be subject to an editing process,”she said. “Editors would ask: who are your sources? And I can’t tell them.”

In her tweets Mensch is unsparing when it comes to making allegations, and she has repeatedly denounced some figures in the Trump circle as traitors. She insists she has no fear of being sued for libel. “I’ve never been sued because I’ve never been wrong,” she said. “

Perhaps this is why Trump maintains that the real story is about leaks not what is leaked. The irony is that here is someone who opposed Snowden’s leak but is now leaking herself while the media point out that Trump supported the wikileaks on Hillary but opposes the current ones about the phone call to the Russian ambassador.

If Corbyn were elected he would be subject to exactly the same treatment by the world’s media and the problem with this is what the media is trying to achieve. It is certainly not about news. The BBC was singled out at the Press Conference last week as Trump made a joke about their claim to be fair and impartial. If we recall the conference when May stood by Trump the first question was from the BBC. Trump’s response was ‘there goes the (special) relationship’ and the inference was that May had set him up by choosing this question to be answered first:

“Invited to pose a question to both leaders, Ms Kuenssberg raised a number of issues that have caused consternation in the UK, saying: "Mr President, you've said before that torture works, you've praised Russia, you've said you want to ban some Muslims from coming to America, you've suggested there should be punishment for abortion.
"For many people in Britain those sound like alarming beliefs. What do you say to our viewers at home who are worried about some of your views and worried about you becoming the leader of the free world?"
Mr Trump pointed to Ms Kuenssberg and turned to Mrs May, saying: "This was your choice of a question?"

Some of the British media turned on the reporter but many supported her gleefully. It was not really a question more of a broadside and declaration of war by the fair and impartial BBC. Not very sensible in my opinion as the BBC may get sold out by a trade deal with the US - it is publicly funded competition to other media. It long since stopped objective reporting and may now just be part of the government’s armoury. Certainly the anger in Britain about the Trump visit and the speaker’s refusal to allow him in the Commons seems media orchestrated to offend. There was also a petition to urge Trump to visit signed now by 311,476 which is a big number for any petition yet was not even mentioned in the media.

It will not have been missed by Trump that the dossier linking him with Russia seems to have come from a man with previous links with our security services. That may come back at us too in the end if he is left standing.

So make of this what you will. It is not for or against Trump nor even the media and intelligence services but something of a revelation about how our world is working now. Should the media have this kind of power? But isn’t interesting how the media seem to be losing the plot and losing the war. Their problem is what they are. They are not unified and cunning journalists and editors put stuff out that they know will lead to people reading between the lines. On the one hand they expect us to suspect that Trump’s wife is a hooker without any evidence, in spite of the evidence that she was not in fact. That creates one illusion. But on the other side they put out stories like the Guardian on Mensch which suggest something else entirely. We in the UK long ago realised that the tabloid press was unreliable, lied through their teeth for lurid headlines but now some of our most respected spokesmen and women and journalists are looking like puppets and propagandists. This was not the intention when they started this most recent fake news stuff. In WW2 the British did listen to the German propaganda put out by the traitor known as Lord Hawhaw. It did not help Germany at all. What we have to see is how important they consider influence is and therefore how important, at least in the ’free’ world the opinion of the public really is. Today on Sky breakfast news reviewing the papers I saw for the first time impartial people speaking up for Trump against this fake news and it was very interesting to note how it is changing suddenly. Britain needs to rethink its stance fast!

Trump is therefore very important to us all because he is a lightning rod showing what is going on for real. He is certainly not a fool as suggested by so many, nor is Farage or Boris who won Brexit against all odds and which helped Trump win his election against all odds. At Trump’s press conference one could not help but see what is going on and marvel at how the man is handling it. There will be many here who aid the campaign to destroy him but the depths of intrigue are doing what the ‘Putinbot’ slurs did for the comment pages - showed the opposite and how they were trolled by establishment cronies not pro-Russian trolls at all and how independent thinking people mentioning real ‘facts’ were being demonised. That has changed dramatically as it became clear how much the public were learning from them.
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