During the Cold War, intelligence wars between the United States and Russia led to countless intelligence tactics to manipulate and mislead the public into siding with either the Communists or the Capitalists. There were criminal Communist supporters like Julius and Ethel Rosenberg or the Walker Communist spy ring.
It goes without saying that Martin Luther King and other Civil Rights activists were also put under suspicion.
The U.S. Government was so concerned about the influence of Communism that the U.S. Navy even conducted research into why people were open to Communism.
The Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) announcing their attempt to block Western anti-Russian propaganda reveals that the old Cold War approach won’t work in modern America.
Beware Flimsy Intelligence
At the end of August, NATA revealed satellite imagery showing a convoy inside of Ukraine, showing “Russian Self-Propelled Artillery” inside of Ukraine, as evidence that Russian troops have invaded the country.
The evidence was used to support claims from NATO officials that over 1,000 Russian troops have already crossed into Ukraine. Dutch Brigadier General Nico Tak claimed that a force of over 20,000 Russian troops were amassed just over the Ukraine border. The claims followed the capture of 10 Russian soldiers near the village of Dzerkalne, about 30 kilometers from the border.
Russian officials told the media that the soldiers were taking part in border-patrol, and mistakenly wandered into Ukraine territory.
According to VIPS, the images and the NATO rhetoric against Russia represents the same tactics used by the U.S. and allies at NATA in the lead-up to the Iraq war.
Addressing Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, the group wrote:
“You need to know, for example, that accusations of a major Russian ‘invasion’ of Ukraine appear not to be supported by reliable intelligence. Rather, the ‘intelligence’ seems to be of the same dubious, politically ‘fixed’ kind used 12 years ago to ‘justify’ the U.S.-led attack on Iraq.” (1)
The group credited former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder with recognizing the “flimsiness of evidence on Iraqi WMD”, and advised Merkel that she should be “appropriately suspicious of charges made by the U.S. State Department and NATO officials alleging a Russian invasion of Ukraine”.
Even President Obama himself attempted to downplay the proposed “evidence” by saying that there hasn’t really been a shift in Russian policy, even in light of the satellite imagery, saying that the activity was “a continuation of what’s been taking place for months now…it’s not really a shift”.
However, the group says that Obama has lost control over the propaganda-makers in the U.S. Government, who are on another warpath now that al-Qaeda is no longer a viable “enemy” to feed the ever-expanding military-industrial complex.
“One year ago, hawkish State Department officials and their friends in the media very nearly got Mr. Obama to launch a major attack on Syria based, once again, on ‘intelligence’ that was dubious, at best.”
The group advised that during the lead-up to Iraq, satellite imagery was similarly used to “prove” the evidence of WMD’s. The group explained that even though they had warned President Bush that they were becoming “increasingly distressed at the politicization of intelligence”, the Bush administration ignored their warnings – which led to the catastrophe that Iraq eventually became.
The group also exposed the use of mainstream media to spread propaganda, specifically naming Michael Gordon of the New York Times as “one of the most egregious propagandists promoting the war on Iraq”. The former intel officials described Gordon as once again behind the modern anti-Russian propaganda campaign being set forth by those intent on war-mongering.
“Ten days later, as they [Ukraine forces] became encircled and/or retreated, a ready-made excuse for this was to be found in the “Russian invasion.” That is precisely when the fuzzy photos were released by NATO and reporters like the New York Times’ Michael Gordon were set loose to spread the word that “the Russians are coming.”
At the same time NATO was being used to spread the propaganda, others were seeking a peaceful resolution. For example, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov told RBTH in an interview, that the priority at present should be a full and unconditional cease-fire to protect the lives of innocent civilians.
Propagandists Never Offer Solid Evidence
The easiest way to identify propaganda is when claims are made – even by seemingly reputable media sources – without any proof of evidence to support those claims. Such claims should always be taken with a very large dose of salt, regardless of the source.
Referring specifically to allegations by Western media and NATO propagandists that Russian forces were amassing along the Ukraine border, Sergei responded that the claims were nothing more than “rumours, distorted information and even outright lies.”
One example he provided of the information-war against Russia was claims that Ukraine had destroyed an armored column that had crossed from Russian into the Ukraine – claims supported by the British and U.S. media – yet neither the Ukraine government, nor anyone else, was ever able to provide evidence of that event…something that would have been pretty easy if such an armored column had actually been destroyed. Images of the aftermath would be clear and obvious proof. None ever surfaced.
Another way to know whether claims of any group are authentic or trustworthy is whether its members identify themselves. In this case, they do. Listed at the bottom of the VIPS memo are the names of the members for the Steering Group of VIPS, including former NSA Technical Director William Binney, retired National Security Council member David MacMichael, former Army intelligence officer Ray McGovern, retired Deputy National Intelligence Officer Elizabeth Murray, and others.
What Iraq should have taught all citizens in every country around the world is that just because certain claims come from your own government or your own leadership, it doesn’t mean that they can be trusted. All claims should be supported by evidence, and all evidence should be robust, clear and verifiable through multiple sources.
In the case of the Russian entry into Ukraine territory claim, that is simply not the case — and media outlets who enable the spread of such propaganda should be exposed for spreading unverified claims rather than spreading the truth.