I have an email that purports to be from the State Department Press Office. It is dated today, Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 8:45 AM EDT
State Department Press Corps:
Sharing with you the attached document with DNI images — evidence of Russia firing into Ukraine.
State Department Press Office
There is a 1.1MB file attached with pictures and a few words saying that the pictures indicate Russian firing into Ukraine territory.
As one with news and government experience, I am confident that information as important as this purports to be would not be released in this way. For several days reporters have been asking State Department press office spokeswoman Marie Harf for evidence to back her claims that Russian military is attacking Ukrainian forces. Harf has told the reporters that she cannot provide evidence. In other words, Harf’s evidence is like John Kerry’s evidence that he could never provide that Assad had used chemical weapons.
Suddenly the evidence appears in an email and is spread via social media. This is not credible. Such evidence if it actually exists would be released in a Washington press conference by top government officials with experts present to explain the meaning of the photos to the journalists and to answer questions. No real journalists, if any are left, are going to believe that such hot information would be released in an email. Moreover, the photos are meaningless to the uninitiated, and there is no way to judge their authenticity.
Additionally, it is not credible that such important information would be released at a news dead time–8:45 AM EDT on a Sunday morning when the West Coast is still asleep.
What are we to make of this?
One explanation is that kids, unaware of the seriousness of the matter, concocted a hoax for fun.
Another explanation is that unable to substantiate any of its charges against the Russian government, the State Department decided to use social media to spread disinformation in behalf of its propaganda assault on Russia. It was Geoffrey Pyatt, the US Ambassador to Ukraine who posted the images on Twitter. Pyatt was Victoria Nuland’s partner in orchestrating the coup against the Ukrainian government.
As of 5:45PM EDT Sunday, no State Department official of which I am aware has verified that this is a State Department news release. Indeed, email on Sunday morning is such an unprofessional way to release important news that I do not believe even the incompetent Marie Harf could be responsible for releasing information that was valid in this way.
The import of the “news release” is to use social media to build the image of a dangerous Russia among an unsophisticated public independently of having to convince reporters. Once this image is created, Washington can use it to build public support for its purposes, such as more military spending or sending US troops to Ukraine.
In my opinion, it is reckless for Washington to convince Russia that Washington is going to continue to lie in order to discredit Russia in world opinion and to continue to dismiss out of hand Russia’s protests. Washington is conveying to Russia that Washington has launched a very aggressive propaganda campaign against Russia, a campaign that could easily push the world to war.
In my day, if Washington had such information as the email purports to be, Washington would have used the information to defuse the situation. The Russian ambassador would have been called in and asked to explain. The ambassador would understand that he needed to tell the Kremlin to back off or the information would be released in a news conference.
Today, with the Obama regime seeking confrontation with Russia, the regime would have released the information in a press conference with all the important bureau chiefs present. For journalists of my vintage, releasing it in an indiscriminate email targeted to social media would have completely discredited the information.
The UK Daily Mail took the bait, reproducing the images and reported them as official government releases, but the State Department has made no official statement in behalf of the email, instead passing inquiries off to the US embassy in Ukraine. Russian media have skeptically reported the charges, thus helping to spread the propaganda.
UPDATE (July 31, 2014 1:35 pm EDT):
The Russian Ministry of Defense has declared the purported satellite photos placed on Twitter by the US Ambassador in Ukraine as fakes.
I could tell that the images were fakes not only from their low resolution and absence of proper designation, but also from the unprofessional way in which the information was released.
Of course, many users of social media would have no experience and could easily fall for the hoax, which was clearly the US government’s intention.
The anti-Russian propaganda campaign being conducted by Washington follows in the footsteps of the campaigns conducted against Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, Assad, and Iran. Washington’s campaign of lies against Russia proves the absence of integrity in the US government and is reckless as it can lead to war.
Peter Duveen, who commented on my article exposing the State Department hoax, explained that having foreknowledge of news events that Washington orchestrates allows Washington to control the explanation before any evidence is available. By the time evidence is gathered, the narrative is established and the evidence ignored:
“Part of the US propaganda mill’s effort is into forming the conversation. Once certain narratives take hold, true or untrue, they edge out other narratives. So the effort is to get control of the narrative, to form the conversation with whatever materials, usually false, are available. Then, of course, the false information will be referenced as true, and the direction of the narrative will be fixed. The narrative being lowered into place, for example, is that Russia was somehow responsible for the downing of Flight 17. With the help of the media, the hope is that the narrative will gain momentum. Eventually, if it catches properly, it will be impossible to question, just as people are considered freaks who question the official narrative of 9-11. That is why the narratives are introduced as quickly as possible. Thus, we saw how quickly it was announced that Flight 17 was brought down by a surface to air missile. That would lead me to believe that it was actually not brought down by a surface to air missile. So also with this incredibly amateurish effort regarding Russian shelling of Ukrainian positions. Russian reaction is never obtained in the articles about it, and it is no longer mentioned that Russian territory has been shelled by the Ukrainian military.”
The Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov has expressed the Russian government’s concern that Washington will corrupt the official investigation of MH-17: “We are concerned by the fact that some of our partners are trying to organize the investigation by means of holding separate bilateral talks with the Ukrainian authorities.” Lavrov said that Russia hopes that “only honest, open participation of all who possess information on the catastrophe” is considered to be the appropriate way to proceed and that “no one will try to cover tracks.”