All posts tagged: The Guardian

Guardian Plugs War Criminal’s Book

by Kit Nobody should be surprised to learn that Alistair Campbell, the former Blair PR guru, suffers from psychological problems. Obviously, lacking empathy to the extent that you can start an illegal war with a peaceful country, for the lone purpose of enriching corporate interests, would be a red flag to any psychiatrist worth his salt. Even supposing you weren’t entirely psychopathic beforehand, the associated guilt-rotting of the soul, after the fact, would surely be enough to drive one mad. Just look at Blair. Look at his mummified, rictus grin and tell me that’s not a man whose evil has stained his face. No, no one is surprised that Alistair Campbell has mental problems. And, sadly, no one is surprised that the Guardian gives him column inches – not just to whine about the stress involved in coordinating (among other things) mass-murder – but also to plug his book. I will not name it or link to it here, it doesn’t deserve the clicks. In any right-thinking society, this man would be in prison for …

Amazon Censor Bad Reviews of Hillary Clinton’s New Book

Hillary Clinton’s book “What Happened”, a memoir of a fairly disastrous and ridiculously expensive Presidential campaign, went on sale a few days ago. Within hours it had over 1500 reviews on Amazon, many of them very, very negative. Amazon responded by deleting over 900 of them. 95% of those left are 5 star reviews. Zero Hedge have a great selection of screengrabs showing the progression. Putting aside the questions of corruption and corporate censorship, this is not new ground for Clinton’s camp, or for power structures in general. During the early stages of the Ukrainian coup in 2014, many mainstream news outlets (and especially the Guardian) responding to dissention in the comments by deleting swaths of them. That policy is the very reason this website exists. During the Presidential election the press was filled to the brim with babble, that never once touched on some important issues. American TV networks cut-off people mid-interview for saying the wrong thing. Three. Separate. Times. The media completely denied Clinton was sick, deriding it as a “conspiracy theory”, until …

The West Just Might Be Giving Up On Syrian Regime Change At Last

In the Syrian city of Deir Ezzor, sieged by ISIS, residents watch a speech by president Assad projected on a wall. Caitlin Johnstone in Medium: The Guardian has published a new article titled “Victory for Assad looks increasingly likely as world loses interest in Syria”, which is just as significant for what it says as for who is saying it. The Guardian has long been one of the most virulent promulgators of establishment lies about the Syrian government, giving extensive coverage to the transparent Bana Alabed psy-op, the western-instituted propaganda outlet known as the White Helmets, as well as advancing establishment narratives about Aleppo and Assad and many other blatant falsehoods. And indeed the article itself does a good job of retaining that vintage Guardian propaganda feel, portraying the failure to unseat Bashar al-Assad as something unfortunate and talking about poor refugees who are afraid to return home now that regime change is looking unlikely. But it also describes how the US, UK, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey and other nations have been coming to terms with …

20 Years On: Princess Diana’s Death

Today marks the twentieth anniversary of the death of Princess Diana. For the past week or so Diana (The Peoples’ Princess TM) has been in every paper, on every channel. The BBC has a saccharine fluff piece, shallow as a puddle. The Daily Mail goes one step further into the absurd, publicising a “what if” novel, offering a version of reality where Diana survived. In the Guardian, Jonathan Freedland descends into self-parody by somehow contriving to use Diana’s anniversary to whine about Brexit (again), whilst Matthew D’Ancona makes the argument that maybe public emotion is bad and should be ignored. Hillary Mantel writes thousands of words about a person that never really existed, none of them really mean anything. Nobody, anywhere in the press, comes close to saying anything important. Nobody tries to tell the truth. I don’t know what happened the night Princess Diana died in a car accident, along with her lover and her driver – nobody knows. It could have been an accident, it could have been something worse. But there are …

How Jeremy Hammond Missed the Bigger Picture on Cyberterrorism

by Carla, therightsideoftruth.com For years, cyberterrorism has been on the periphery of our vision. While most know what the phrase means, the alarm surrounding the issue is minimal. On the other hand, freedom of speech and the right to an uncensored internet has become an increasingly common rhetoric in most alternative media channels. Guardian writer, Jeremy Hammond, spearheaded this exact opinion in an article last year. After Sony had fallen victim to North Korea-based hackers, he presented a view that shunned any repercussive fear. His theory: government officials are exaggerating the threat for their own financial gain. As is common in the MSM, his article grossly oversimplifies the topic. Cyberterrorism vs. Cybercrime Before even discussing the potential threat, it’s important to correctly identify what we mean by cyberterrorism, as opposed to cybercrime. Hammond, clearly unable to make the distinction, stated: Despite the apocalyptic hype, the Sony hack was not fundamentally different from any other high-profile breach in recent years.” While it is true the Sony hack presented itself like many other well-known infiltrations, the essential …

MSM headlines ignore heightened tensions in Syria conflict

The US shot down a Syrian warplane a few days ago, the pilot is currently being “held” by Kurdish forces on the ground. The plane was targeting moderate fighters under American protection, according to the Americans, and bombing terrorists according to the Syrian government. As a result of this, Russia has ceased cooperation with the US on air-missions over Syrian air-space, and issued several statements which amount to, essentially, an ultimatum. The Syrian government has written letters to the UNSC and intends to address them soon. Australia, in what appears to be a panicked “well, this is none of our business” move, has ceased all missions over Syria with immediate effect. You’d be forgiven for not knowing any of this was happening, given the front pages of Britain’s five major papers all chose to focus a on a collection of non-events and nothing issues: Considering that media-complicity in spreading anti-Assad and anti-Russian propaganda is a big reason the US-Russia tensions have been allowed to get this bad, that they should stick their heads in the …

“Is free-speech really worth all this hassle?” – Gaby Hinsliff

by Kit I’ve never written a response to a Gaby Hinsliff column before. I’ve never felt the need. In much the same way that I’ve never written an online review of sliced bread or an essay about cardboard. It’s…there, I suppose, and it does a job, but it’s hardly worth getting excited about. First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. Mahatma Gandhi The Manchester bombing was “let happen” by MI5 because of the Conservative party’s disastrous dip in the polls. That was the theory tweeted by Rufus Hound, a comedian. As theories go, and it is still just a theory at this early stage, it’s not at all outlandish. History is full of precedents of power structures making people believe they are under threat in order to secure their position. As Hound succinctly put it, #Reichstagfire. The bombing, whether real or staged or allowed to happen or planned by MI5, will allow May to talk about strength and stability some more, allow the Tory’s to attack …

Graun celebrates Macron’s avowal to despoil working people, wreck infrastructure & enrich banking class

by Catte Macron is more Obama than Obama. More Blair than Blair. A creation, groomed and glossed for this “spontaneous” bid for power by the banking class he unashamedly represents. The Guardian unsurprisingly has numerous pieces (comments-disallowed) pushing this glibly smiling drone as the Saviour of France. Here’s an example to give you a flavour. All predictable and barely worth discussion. But one of the pieces has a little blue sidebar summarising their darling’s policies and position, which so completely encapsulates the destruction of meaning in political language we are currently witnessing that it should be noted. Here is a screen cap: You see, the Guardian defines itself as a “centrist/liberal Left” outlet, so, of course it supports “liberal Left” polices. How does it do this and still be the paper of record for Wall Street and the neocons? Easy. It just plays Humpty Dumpty and redefines what words actually mean. Here is what “centrist/liberal Left”, as encapsulated by Macron’s policies, now means for the Graun and the class it represents: 1) ”REMAKE THE FAILED …

Why did the American Military take precautions to prevent “fanciful” impossibilities?

by Kit Late last night, The Pentagon stated that their attack on the Syrian Government air-base near Homs was not targeting the regime’s supposed chemical weapon stocks. Despite “all the signs” pointing to Assad’s guilt, and it being “very likely” that this base is where the gas attack originated…no efforts were made to destroy any chemical weapons. At all. The Pentagon’s official statement says: The strike was a proportional response to Assad’s heinous act. Shayrat Airfield was used to store chemical weapons and Syrian air forces. The U.S. intelligence community assesses that aircraft from Shayrat conducted the chemical weapons attack on April 4. And that the attack… …was intended to deter the regime from using chemical weapons again.” But the targets were limited to: …aircraft, hardened aircraft shelters, petroleum and logistical storage, ammunition supply bunkers, air defense systems, and radars. So they “know” where the chemical weapons are. And they “know” Assad used them on civilians and (for all they know) may well do so again. So why not target and destroy these weapons? Wouldn’t …

BBC redacts article on Idlib to hide unwelcome facts

The push for “action” following the alleged chemical attack in Idlib, Syria is reaching fever pitch. Indeed, it may already have had disastrous consequences. The spokespeople for power that are the Western press consider the case against the Assad regime air-tight. Absent any forensic, or even circumstantial, evidence the mainstream media have resorted to simple arguments from authority looks of bewilderment. The trouble is “authority” doesn’t seem have any cohesion in this matter – so the press have carefully chosen who they will listen to…and who they will remove from their websites. Col. Hamish de Bretton-Gordon is the favored voice of “reason” on these matters, he has dismissed any idea other than a deliberate attack by the Syrian government as “fanciful”. And has been cited everywhere from Channel 4, to the Daily Mail to the Guardian, to the BBC. He is universally credited as a “chemical weapons expert” who works as the director of “Medics Under Fire”….but that’s not his only job, just his most recent. He was originally in the British army, filling an …

Idlib chemical attack: A sign no change of policy is on the horizon

The alleged chemical attack, reported yesterday, is the latest in a series of atrocities notionally carried out by the Syrian government (“The Regime”, in the partisan parlance of the press). There has not been time, as yet, to fully examine and analyse all the evidence – the claims and counter claims, the photographs and videos – but it would be a massive mistake to view it in a vacuum.

“Global Laundromat” has the Guardian in a Spin

by Kit The latest “breaking” story from the Guardian and Luke Harding is hitting the headlines. Almost exactly 1 year after the explosive anti-climax that was “The Panama Papers”, Harding and the coterie of NGOs for which he acts as de-facto spokesperson have a big announcement to make: Banks launder money, and some of it is Russian. We are nearing the anniversary of the release of the Panama Papers, a “big story” involving years of work, hundreds of leaked documents, a team of exceptional journalists (and Luke Harding) and a dramatic reveal: “Sometimes, very rich people use legal loopholes to avoid paying their taxes.” The list of implicated parties included heads of state, celebrities, athletes, David Cameron’s dad and a cellist that knows Vladimir Putin. We all remember who the Guardian decided to focus on, and we all know why. Today the same crack-team (and Luke Harding) are releasing the long-awaited sequel to their original hit. “The global Laundromat”, it’s called. It’s a product of a years-long investigation into money laundering in ex-Soviet states, using …

Google employs army of censors “quality raters” to combat horrid things on the web

It seems the unofficial Minitrue we predicted in yesterday’s piece is already here. Google’s “Quality raters” will, from Tuesday, be combing the net with fresh vigour looking for “upsetting-offensive” things and making sure we never get to see them. The article in the Guardian covering this new development highlights its use against the usual suspect – “Holocaust denial”, which is of course the thinnest and most entirely acceptable end of the wedge. The one they always use as a poster child for censorship of any kind. But we would have to be cosmically naive to believe Google’s anonymous and entirely unaccountable “10,000-strong army of independent contractors” will stop there. We should also remain a little sceptical about Google’s vaguely worded claim that these new guidelines will not effectively remove certain opinions from the web. The only way the quality control can work is through promoting some sites while suppressing others. We might not be concerned when white supremacists sites are being targeted for such suppression, but what about alternative health sites? Truther sites? Or indeed …

Guardian promoting GCHQ demand for more internet censorship

In the past year the Guardian has been overtly promoting internet censorship. A while back they uncritically coordinated with Yvette Cooper’s insinuating “take back the internet” programme to make sure we all get “the web we they want”. Last week they uncritically published an opinion piece from Tim Berners-Lee, where he claims we should: …push back against misinformation by encouraging gatekeepers such as Google and Facebook to continue their efforts to combat the problem… While, of course…. …avoiding the creation of any central bodies to decide what is “true” or not. Hmmm…tough thing to achieve you may think. Which is possibly why Tim doesn’t bother to tell us how he thinks it should be done. In fact we can be pretty sure, being a bit of a genius allegedly, Tim knows pretty well that Governments and corporations are so irreversibly intertwined, their policies and goals so similar, that by instructing Facebook to “take measures” you are, in effect, privatising Orwell’s Minitrue, and creating precisely the “central bod[y] to decide what is true or not” that …

Guardian flagrantly lying about Western policy in ME, trashing its own comments to silence dissent

For five years the US and other western powers worked to unite Syria’s disparate rebel factions, combat Islamic State and broker a peace deal with Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Prospects of such a deal have all but evaporated after Russian air power crushed rebels in their stronghold of Aleppo. Above is the Graun’s debased re-writing of recent history in its latest piece of Pentagon/Langley/GCHQ propaganda. The article itself tries to whip some sort of moral outrage out of Russia “doing a Syria” in Libya – viz Russian companies daring to make deals with Libyan oil companies, and possibly even funding the “anti-Western” forces currently battling for control of the oil fields. The tone is, of course, that Russia has no business trying to protect its own interests in the ME or anywhere, since only Western colonialists are empowered to do that. Capturing the glittering prize of the Oil Crescent has become the focus of a bitter civil war now in its third year and US officials fear that Russia has now entered the conflict, with Haftar …

MSM and Selective Blindness

The McCarthy-like witch-huntery is gaining momentum. Where it’s going is hard to gauge…but, where ever it is, it will get there fast. Currently in the media cross-hairs is Trump’s AG Jeff Sessions. He is accused of lying about talking to the Russian Ambassador when asked by the Senate, his defence being he didn’t speak to them about the election, which is how he understood the question. He contends that, as a Senator and member of the Armed Services Committee, it was not unusual for him to be contact with the Russian Ambassador’s office. Essentially, unless you’re inclined to believe that a career politician who, in over 30 years in public office, never had a kind word to say about either Russia or the USSR has actually s been a deep cover agent for the past few decades, it seems like a minor semantic misunderstanding. It probably means nothing…as an issue in and of itself. As a chess move relating to the crazy media storm and intelligence leaks trying to undermine the new administration, it means …

Guardian now fan-worshipping Bush Jr? Oh, the humanity

We have a theory there is a mole somewhere in the Scott Trust (Ltd). A deep infiltration agent from the Old Left, who remembers the days when the Graun at least pretended to have a moral compass, and who is exacting a terrible revenge for the paper’s slide into neoliberalism by forcing it to become its own parody account. How else, really, to explain much of its recent output, culminating in this editorial from today? Yes, it’s real. The Guardian is – really – going out there on that limb, suggesting Dubya is now pretty fine, just because he isn’t Trump: His defence today of a free press (“indispensable”), his call for a “lawful, welcoming” immigration policy and his preference for “answers” in the scandal engulfing Donald Trump’s team over Moscow’s meddling in the presidential election may mark a turning point for Republicans We have to wonder, who else is going to get rehabilitated now on the basis of not being Trump? Maybe this will be next week’s “Guardian View”?

A beginner’s guide to the Guardian

by Darren Allen The Guardian newspaper is a limited company and has been since 2008 when the Scott Trust was wound up and replaced by The Scott Trust Ltd, which appoints a board comprised of bankers, management consultants, venture capitalists and other classic left-wingers. The paper itself is written nearly exclusively by elite-educated members of the upper middle class. The viewpoint you would expect to come from this privileged set-up is what you do get. Murray McDonald, in his Hidden History of the Guardian, explains that The Guardian was launched to undermine working-class leaders of the early 19th century reform movement (whose members were massacred at Peterloo), and during its 150 year history has denounced Ireland’s freedom fighters, Women Suffragettes, Abraham Lincoln’s campaign to end slavery, third world nationalism and pretty much any kind of genuine independence from the system. It supported Tony Blair, even when the worst of his crimes were known and continues to give him uncritical space, it regularly presents official pronouncements as news, regularly disguises adverts for its corporate sponsors as …