Censorship, fake news, perception management

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Re: Censorship, fake news, perception management

Post by blindpig » Sun Apr 19, 2020 12:29 pm

The New Anti-China Campaign Is Built On Lies
To avoid self-examination of the failures that let the U.S. exceed the covid-19 casualty numbers of every other nation the powers that be decided to blame someone else.

Trump's first attempt was to blame the World Health Organization for not providing all information. But 16 U.S. administration officials were embedded with the WHO in Geneva. They relayed real time updates of all information the WHO received.

As the Democrats and the media did not join Trump in blaming the WHO another scapegoat was needed. Everyone then agreed that it China would be the most convenient target.

The intensity of the current anti-China campaign reminds one of the run up to the war on Iraq. The people who now claim that 'China lied, people died' are the very same who ran the Iraq WMD campaign. But all the reports claiming Iraqi weapons of mass destruction were just fantasy. The reports of Chinese culpability are similar nonsense.

As this is an election year both parties try to associate the other side with the new villain:

“Donald Trump sent critical medical supplies to China as Americans continue to suffer. He needs to follow his supposed motto of America First,” American Bridge President Bradley Beychok said in a statement. “We’re making sure that voters across Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin know full well not only how badly Trump botched this crisis, but also how badly he bent the knee to China in the midst of it as well.”
“We are more than happy to let the American public decide whom they trust, President Trump or Beijing Joe Biden, to get tough on China,” said Brian O. Walsh, president of America First, in response to the new ad campaign by American Bridge. American Bridge said the ad is the first of its new offensive campaign targeting Trump, his company, business associates and adult children over their ties to China and other foreign investments.
The group said it plans on rolling out microtargeted digital ads on that theme as part of “an all-out assault on Trump and his family over their corruption — in China and other countries — involving foreign bribes, political favors, shady real estate investments, and parties with dictators.”

This will be bad for other important political issues:

Rania Khalek @RaniaKhalek - 19:27 UTC · Apr 17, 2020
The anti China hawkishness is going to drown out progressive momentum for universal healthcare and cancelling student debt. Like Russiagate, this new yellow peril will lead to greater military spending and more war. Sad so many who should know better can’t see that.

Some lawmakers want to allow random people to sue China over the 'damage it caused'. Other seek to default on the $1.2 trillion of debt the U.S. owns China.

To blame China the hawks are accusing it of three issues:

Lack of public hygiene
Insufficient information
Creating or spreading the virus by accident
The "wet market" in Wuhan did not have hygiene problems. A "wet market" is comparable to a farmers market (vid). It is "wet" in that it provides fresh products like fruits, vegetables, meat and fish. A "dry market" provides the complementary products like rice, flour, tea and sugar. China has yet to be overrun by super market chains. Some 40% of the Chinese people source their daily food at the wet markets.

The wet market in Wuhan was not the source of the epidemic. It did not and does not sell bats. The epidemic started in December at a time when bats hibernate. The first known case was not related to the market at all.

The U.S. claims that China did not inform it sufficiently. The timeline as published by China and confirmed by media reports does not support that claim.

On January 3 the head of the U.S. Center of Disease Control was personally informed by his Chinese counterpart that there was an outbreak of pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan. On January 8 the "unknown cause" was identified as a novel coronavirus. A full genome sequence of the virus was published on January 12 and preliminary testing kits were developed and made available in Wuhan. By January 13 another test and test protocol had been developed in Germany and on January 17 the WHO adopted its refined version.

In the U.S. the CDC insisted on developing its own test and failed by contaminating its test components. It then failed for more than a month to correct the issue.

The German Federal Health Ministry was recently asked if it perceived a lack of information from China or saw reason to criticize China over its changing case numbers. It responded (in German, my translation):

"The federal government is not aware that China held back any data." ... "Considering the interim development the adoption of different definitions of cases during the epidemic in China is comprehensible."
Another claim is that China somehow created the virus or let it escape from a laboratory in Wuhan where it was researching bat viruses.

But scientists see strong evidence that the novel coronavirus is a natural development and they do not believe that it leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan:

Edward Holmes, a biologist at the University of Sydney and a fellow of the respected Royal Society in London, said the Wuhan laboratory blamed by some for the pandemic does have specimens of the bat virus RaTG13, the closest relative of Covid-19 source SARS-CoV-2, but the two are not genetically linked.
RaTG13 strains, he says, are from the southern Chinese province of Yunnan, not the central city of Wuhan, the pandemic’s initial epicenter.
Genome tracing has revealed that the bat virus RaTG13 has at least 20 years of genetic divergence, or evolutionary change, from SARS-CoV-2, and possibly as much as 50 years, ruling it out as the source of the pandemic.

The claims against China made by both U.S. parties do not have a factual basis.

It is no wonder than that Chinese people are asking "What Do You Really Want From Us?"

Posted by b on April 18, 2020 at 17:43 UTC | Permalink

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/04/t ... .html#more
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Re: Censorship, fake news, perception management

Post by blindpig » Sat Apr 25, 2020 11:50 am

How anti-China stories are concocted: ‘deliberately spreading’ COVID-19?

Almost everyday there is a weirder and more twisted idea that gets aired. Those who are unfortunate enough to be located in one of the ‘zero-sum largard’ countries are rather used to the lies, gossip and propaganda that passes as ‘news’, as they are also used to politicians who garner about the same level of distrust as a used-car salesman or a real-estate agent. But when a historian starts peddling the same stuff, you have to wonder what has gone wrong with the West. The historian and public intellectual in question is a certain Niall Ferguson, who has suggested that China ‘deliberately spread’ COVID-19 around the world. Before saying any more, let me copy an article from the Global Times (here), written by Daniel Bell, who now works at Shandong University.

US President Donald Trump said at news briefing on April 18 that Beijing should face consequences if it was “knowingly responsible” for the coronavirus pandemic. Where do such allegations come from? Surprisingly, it’s not just from the fertile imaginations of obscure conspiracy theorists or Hollywood screenwriters.

Such claims are also published in mainstream media organizations. Niall Ferguson is a leading historian and public intellectual. I had great respect for his scholarship. So it came as a big surprise when he wrote a column for the London-based Sunday Times on April 5 to call on China for answers to questions about coronavirus.

The Chinese local government did make some mistakes at the start of the coronavirus crisis and Ferguson asks some legitimate questions. But he asks a question that stood out from the rest: “After it became clear that there was a full-blown epidemic spreading from Wuhan to the rest of Hubei province, why did you cut off travel from Hubei to the rest of China — on January 23 — but not from Hubei to the rest of the world?”

The force of his question rests on the factual assumption that China allowed flights from Wuhan to the rest of the world but not to the rest of China after January 23. But is it a fact?

To support the allegation, Ferguson added: “January is always a peak month for travel from China to Europe and America because of the lunar new year holiday. As far as I can tell from the available records, however, regular direct flights from Wuhan continued to run to London, Paris, Rome, New York and San Francisco throughout January and in some cases into February.”

I was surprised by the allegation that China allowed regular direct flights from Wuhan to cities in the US and Europe after it cut flights from Wuhan to the rest of China.

Why does it matter? If the Chinese government did allow regular flights from Wuhan to Western countries after January 23, it suggests the Chinese government deliberately allowed, if not encouraged, the spread of the virus to five cities in Western countries after it tried to control it in China.

Not surprisingly, Ferguson’s article generated huge interest around the world. In the US, it was tweeted by both prominent liberals and conservatives. Canada’s leading newspaper the Globe and Mail published a shortened version of the comment. Websites from the Arab world and Africa publicized Ferguson’s allegation about allowing regular flights out of Wuhan to the rest of the world after they had been cut off inside China.

Puzzled, I decided to ask Ferguson himself if the allegation is true (I’m motivated by personal curiosity and the concern for truth, and I’m not acting with or on behalf of anybody else). So I sent him a polite email, asking if he has any evidence to support the claim that regular flights continued from Wuhan to the rest of the world continued after January 23.

Ferguson replied: “I can assure you I wouldn’t write a sentence like that if I had not researched it rather thoroughly.” To support his claim, he sent me several pieces of evidence.

But the sources he sent did not support the allegation that there were regular commercial flights from Wuhan to the US and Europe after January 23 and “in some cases into February.” Ferguson sent me a link to this New York Times story, “430,000 People Have Traveled From China to US Since Coronavirus Surfaced” published on April 4 and updated on April 15.

Surprisingly, this article includes one sentence that suggests the opposite of what Ferguson claims: “Scott Liu, 56, a Wuhan native and a textile importer who lives in New York, caught the last commercial flight, on Jan. 22.”

Ferguson also sent a link of a Nikkei article, “China’s inaction for 3 days in January at root of pandemic” published on March 19. This article mentions that group travel continued out of China until January 27 but it does not say anything about planes leaving from Wuhan to cities outside of China after January 23.

Professor Ferguson sent me two Flightstats records of flights from Wuhan in January or February. The Flightstat records seem to show that 31 flights left from Wuhan to cities in the US and Europe on or after January 23. But those same records show that the “est. runway departure” and “actual runway departure” in Wuhan is blank for all the flights that left to other cities after one that left Wuhan for Paris at 11:26 am on January 23. And 26 out of 31 of the flights listed after January 23 are in red color.

So I did a search on a Chinese language application called Umetrip, provided by the website for the Civil Aviation Administration of China. I checked all the flights listed on the spreadsheet Professor Ferguson sent me. It turns out that none of the flights that supposedly left from Wuhan after 11:26 am on January 23 actually left from Wuhan. The flights listed as red on Ferguson’s spreadsheet were canceled. And some listed as black that left from Guangzhou and in normal times would do a stopover in Wuhan on the way to San Francisco had the stopover cancelled. The app shows the actual flight paths of those flights as direct from Guangzhou to the US city.

In short, the “available records” provided by Professor Ferguson do not show that “regular direct flights from Wuhan continued to run to London, Paris, Rome, New York and San Francisco throughout January and in some cases into February.” The records show that flights out of Wuhan to the rest of the world stopped around mid-day on January 23, the same day China stopped flights from Wuhan to the rest of China.

In subsequent communication, however, Professor Ferguson added a new point not mentioned in his original article. He claimed that flights from Wuhan landed at Moscow on January 26, 29, 31, February 2, and February 5.

In fact, there is no such evidence.

I checked those flights to Moscow again and it’s the same situation as the other flights listed in black after January 23: The five flights that were supposed to leave from Wuhan to Moscow actually left from Guangzhou. I also found out that distance flied by those five flights to Moscow was 7,010 kilometers respectively. But the flight from Wuhan to Moscow on January 19 covered 6,429 kilometers. So it’s quite clear those flights left from Guangzhou to Moscow, not from Wuhan.

Ferguson continues to support his allegation even after I pointed out that the evidence he provided does not support it. That’s worrisome. Conspiracy theorizing of this sort deflects attention from what actually went wrong. And it fuels the demonization of the Chinese political system at the same time we need collaboration between China and the rest of the world to deal with an urgent global pandemic.


https://stalinsmoustache.org/2020/04/25 ... -covid-19/
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Re: Censorship, fake news, perception management

Post by blindpig » Tue May 05, 2020 11:14 am

As Death Toll Increases Blame China Campaign Intensifies
The Trump administration will continue its efforts to blame China for the novel Coronavirus because the epidemic situation in U.S. will soon become worse:

As President Trump presses for states to reopen their economies, his administration is privately projecting a steady rise in the number of cases and deaths from coronavirus over the next several weeks, reaching about 3,000 daily deaths on June 1, according to an internal document obtained by The New York Times, nearly double from the current level of about 1,750.
The projections, based on modeling by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and pulled together in chart form by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, forecast about 200,000 new cases each day by the end of the month, up from about 25,000 cases now.



There continues to be some infighting between the Trump administration and the intelligence services about blaming China. The administration wanted the U.S. intelligence services to claim that the virus was probably manmade or escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan. The intelligence services disagree with the administration on both points.

The administration then penned a paper from open sources that contains those and other allegations and pushed it to friendly media.

Wuhan lab 'most likely' coronavirus source, U.S. government analysis finds - Washington Times, Apr 28

A Wuhan laboratory is the “most likely” source of the COVID-19 outbreak now ravaging the globe, according to a U.S. government analysis that catalogs the evidence and concludes that other explanations for the origin of the coronavirus are less credible.
The document, compiled from open sources and not a finished product, says there is no smoking gun to blame the virus on either the Wuhan Institute of Virology or the Wuhan branch of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, both located in the city where the first outbreaks were reported.

But “there is circumstantial evidence to suggest such may be the case,” the paper says.

“All other possible places of the virus’ origin have been proven to be highly unlikely,” the document concludes. A copy of the report, compiled this month, was obtained by The Washington Times.

A 'U.S. government analysis' based on open sources is not an intelligence product but a writeup on Google searches by some intern. But there was pressure to make it into an official intelligence judgment.

Trump Officials Are Said to Press Spies to Link Virus and Wuhan Labs- NY Times, Apr 30

Senior Trump administration officials have pushed American spy agencies to hunt for evidence to support an unsubstantiated theory that a government laboratory in Wuhan, China, was the origin of the coronavirus outbreak, according to current and former American officials.
Most intelligence agencies remain skeptical that conclusive evidence of a link to a lab can be found, and scientists who have studied the genetics of the coronavirus say that the overwhelming probability is that it leapt from animal to human in a nonlaboratory setting, as was the case with H.I.V., Ebola and SARS.
That this leaked at all was the first sign that the intelligence services were resisting the push from their higher ups. More push back followed with an official statement.

Intelligence Community Statement on Origins of COVID-19 - ODNI, Apr 30

“The entire Intelligence Community has been consistently providing critical support to U.S. policymakers and those responding to the COVID-19 virus, which originated in China. The Intelligence Community also concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified.
“As we do in all crises, the Community’s experts respond by surging resources and producing critical intelligence on issues vital to U.S. national security. The IC will continue to rigorously examine emerging information and intelligence to determine whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan.”

That was not good enough for the "We lied, we stole, we cheated" Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (vid).

ABCNews 'This Week' Transcript 5-3-20

RADDATZ: And, Mr. Secretary, have you seen anything that gives you high confidence that it originated in that Wuhan lab?
POMPEO: Martha, there's enormous evidence that that's where this began. ... I can tell you that there is a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan.

RADDATZ: Do you believe it was manmade or genetically modified?

POMPEO: Look, the best experts so far seem to think it was manmade. I have no reason to disbelieve that at this point.

RADDATZ: Your -- your Office of the DNI says the consensus, the scientific consensus was not manmade or genetically modified.

POMPEO: That's right. I -- I -- I agree with that. Yes. I've -- I've seen their analysis. I've seen the summary that you saw that was released publicly. I have no reason to doubt that that is accurate at this point.

Then the same dodgy paper that was shopped to the Washington Times a week earlier appeared in an Australian broadsheet.

Coronavirus NSW: Dossier lays out case against China bat virus program - Daily Telegraph, May 4

China deliberately suppressed or destroyed evidence of the coronavirus outbreak in an “assault on international transparency’’ that cost tens of thousands of lives, according to a dossier prepared by concerned Western governments on the COVID-19 contagion.
The 15-page research document, obtained by The Saturday Telegraph, lays the foundation for the case of negligence being mounted against China It states that to the “endangerment of other countries” the Chinese government covered-up news of the virus by silencing or “disappearing” doctors who spoke out, destroying evidence of it in laboratories and refusing to provide live samples to international scientists who were working on a vaccine.

A "research document" prepared by "concerned Western governments" is not an intelligence product.

But Foxnews picked up from there and made the paper into one.

Leaked Western intel dossier reveals how China deceived the world about coronavirus - Foxnews, Apr 4

A research dossier compiled by the so-called "Five Eyes" intelligence alliance states that China intentionally hid or destroyed evidence of the coronavirus outbreak, leading to the loss of tens of thousands of lives around the world
The 15-page document from the intelligence agencies of the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia and New Zealand, was obtained by Australia's Saturday Telegraph newspaper and states that China's secrecy amounted to an “assault on international transparency."

The Australian Telegraph never claimed that the dossier was a "Five Eyes" product. That is a Foxnews invention. The five eyes countries share intelligence but they do not produce common dossiers or analyses. Each service does that separately for its own government.

Only a few hours after the Telegraph had published the above the Australian intelligence services shot the nonsense down.

Australian intelligence knocks back US government's Wuhan lab virus claim, Sydney Morning Herald, May 4

Senior members of the Australian intelligence community told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age a research document shared in political circles under the Five Eyes intelligence arrangement was mostly based on news reports and contained no material from intelligence gathering.
A 15-page "dossier" has been widely quoted by local and international media about China's alleged cover-up of the virus. Australian intelligence officials have since identified a research report which was based entirely on open source material. The officials said it was likely the reports were the same.
Multiple senior intelligence sources who spoke to The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age in recent days have confirmed that Australia has still not been provided with any evidence that strongly suggests the Wuhan Institute of Virology was the source of the outbreak. Intelligence agencies have not been able to rule out the Wuhan lab, but the more likely cause of the virus is still the city's Huanan Seafood Market where environmental samples of the virus were found.

The WHO also said that its had received no evidence from the U.S. about the 'speculative' Wuhan laboratory claim.

The Trump administration is likely to continue this game and the intelligence services will hopefully continue to resist the pressure they are under.

As the U.S. will soon have as many death per day from covid-19 as it had casualties on 9/11 the risk of a (military?) escalation against China based on false claims will soon become exceptionally high.

Posted by b on May 4, 2020 at 18:20 UTC | Permalink

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/05/a ... .html#more

I do not think the Pentagon will be dragged into a war they don't think they can win handily just so Trump can get re-elected. Hell, they cannot even deal with Venezuela. On the macro scale the US military is to a large degree just as Mao said, a paper tiger. 'Cept of course for the WMDs...China's special problem.

I'm sure the spooks would like to trash China as part of the on-going campaign but given the intense international interest they are being forced to play it relatively straight. Not that they won't jump at an opportunity. When not even the greasy Aussies won't have your back then you are on very shakey ground.
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Re: Censorship, fake news, perception management

Post by blindpig » Tue May 12, 2020 1:19 pm

Facebook on May 9 deleted posts with the Banner of Victory over the Reichstag

Brave, new world

On May 9, Russian users of the Facebook social network noted that the internal censorship system removed publications to which the famous photograph “The Banner of Victory over the Reichstag” was attached.

Victory Banner over the Reichstag

The social network reported to the victims : “Your publication violates our community standards regarding dangerous people and organizations. Your post is hidden from others. These standards are designed to prevent harm to anyone in the real world. ”

By the end of the day, TASS reported that Facebook was deleting photos due to incorrect algorithm performance. This, according to the publication, the official representative of the company.

“This content was deleted in error by our automated violation detection tools and is now restored. We apologize to the users for any inconvenience caused in this regard, ”the company’s response read .

A kind of congratulation of the social network on the 75th anniversary of the Victory, of course, can really be attributed to the incorrect operation of the algorithms - it’s good, users also reported that the mostly color version of the photo is being deleted, the original social network does not touch. However, the very fact of such behavior on such a significant date and its absolute inability to influence this suggests that the beautiful world of Aldous Huxley is actually much closer than we sometimes think, and no one knows if the image of a Soviet soldier as a representative will be banned in a decade "Dangerous people or organizations."

https://www.rotfront.su/facebook-na-9-m ... enem-pobe/

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These swine have absolutely no honor. One should not be surprise and one should act accordingly. No quarter given.
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Re: Censorship, fake news, perception management

Post by blindpig » Thu May 14, 2020 11:40 am

How The Trump Administration Inserts 'Blame China' Propaganda Into Main Stream Media
Throughout the last month there have been a number of reports with headlines like:

China Lab In Focus Of Coronavirus Outbreak
US officials sounded alarm about Wuhan lab years before coronavirus outbreak
US officials were reportedly concerned that safety breaches at a Wuhan lab studying coronaviruses in bats could cause a pandemic
All the above and many more hark back to a Washington Post opinion piece by Josh Rogin published on April 14 and headlined:

State Department cables warned of safety issues at Wuhan lab studying bat coronaviruses.

Josh Rogin is a neo-conservative hack who carries water for the Trump administration. That administration has launched a 'blame China' campaign to distract from its failure to contain the epidemic outbreak in the United States. To that purpose they handed Rogin an old diplomatic cable and told him how to 'interpret' it. Rogin dutifully does as he is told.

He begins:

Two years before the novel coronavirus pandemic upended the world, U.S. Embassy officials visited a Chinese research facility in the city of Wuhan several times and sent two official warnings back to Washington about inadequate safety at the lab, which was conducting risky studies on coronaviruses from bats. The cables have fueled discussions inside the U.S. government about whether this or another Wuhan lab was the source of the virus — even though conclusive proof has yet to emerge.
That sets the frame for describing the one cable that was given to Rogin. But when one extracts the facts from his reporting while eliminating the propaganda this picture arises:

The Wuhan Institute of Virology has a level 4 bio-security laboratory.
The institute is known for research on coronaviruses that occur in bats from south China.
Some of the research was done in collaboration with two U.S. universities and financed by the U.S. government.
The laboratory had asked to receive additional U.S. support for further studies.
The January 2018 the U.S. embassy in China sends two diplomats to visit the laboratory. Neither of them is an expert for laboratory safety or virology.
The diplomats are told that research on bat derived coronaviruses is important as such viruses, like SARS, can threaten humans.
They are told by the Chinese researchers that more work could be done if the laboratory had more trained technicians.
The diplomats travel back to their embassy. They write a cable using the researchers' arguments to recommend that additional U.S. support should be granted to the laboratory.
No additional funds are granted.
When described as above the story is one that occurs in publicly financed research institutions day in and out. Everyone research institution is always looking for new grants. It communicates with possible grant givers and empathizes the necessity of its research and the need for further support.

But Rogin constructs a rather wild picture from those facts:

What the U.S. officials learned during their visits concerned them so much that they dispatched two diplomatic cables categorized as Sensitive But Unclassified back to Washington. The cables warned about safety and management weaknesses at the WIV lab and proposed more attention and help. The first cable, which I obtained, also warns that the lab’s work on bat coronaviruses and their potential human transmission represented a risk of a new SARS-like pandemic.
“During interactions with scientists at the WIV laboratory, they noted the new lab has a serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators needed to safely operate this high-containment laboratory,” states the Jan. 19, 2018, cable, which was drafted by two officials from the embassy’s environment, science and health sections who met with the WIV scientists.

A real warning about safety issues at the lab would certainly be classified. What Rogin describes as "warning about safety" is a warning of a new SARS like pandemic. The "management weakness" is the desire to get the U.S. to finance more personnel at the laboratory. Rogin admits as much in his next paragraph:

The Chinese researchers at WIV were receiving assistance from the Galveston National Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch and other U.S. organizations, but the Chinese requested additional help. The cables argued that the United States should give the Wuhan lab further support, mainly because its research on bat coronaviruses was important but also dangerous.
Rogin then introduces an additional scare factor by lamenting about 'gain of function' research on viruses. Such research attempts to manipulated viruses to give them additional features. He is trying to associate the Wuhan lab with such type of research:

As the cable noted, the U.S. visitors met with Shi Zhengli, the head of the research project, who had been publishing studies related to bat coronaviruses for many years. In November 2017, just before the U.S. officials’ visit, Shi’s team had published research showing that horseshoe bats they had collected from a cave in Yunnan province were very likely from the same bat population that spawned the SARS coronavirus in 2003.
The research was designed to prevent the next SARS-like pandemic by anticipating how it might emerge. But even in 2015, other scientists questioned whether Shi’s team was taking unnecessary risks. In October 2014, the U.S. government had imposed a moratorium on funding of any research that makes a virus more deadly or contagious, known as “gain-of-function” experiments.
The link Rogin provides goes to a Nature piece on a debate about a certain 'gain of function' research. The research in question was experiments at University of North Carolina, not in Wuhan. The paper describing that research, A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence, was written by Professor Ralph S. Baric who had also designed the experiment. The paper lists a total of fifteen collaborators. One of the listed authors is indeed Zhengli-Li Shi who leads the laboratory in Wuhan.

But neither Zhengli-Li Shi, nor her laboratory, were actually involved in any of the experiments. At the and of the research paper the contributions of each co-author are listed. About Zhengli-Li Shi it says:

Z.-L.S. provided SHC014 spike sequences and plasmids.
The Wuhan laboratory only provided specific gene sequences from its pool of bat viruses, the laboratory's and Zhengi-Li Shi's specialty, that the researchers in North Caroline wanted to use in their experiment.

To construe that furnisher function as involvement in 'gain of function' experiments is a unjustified exaggeration. I have found no evidence that the Wuhan lab itself ever engaged in such research.

Rogin concludes his scare piece by handing the microphone to the demagogue in the White House that is his source:

Inside the Trump administration, many national security officials have long suspected either the WIV or the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention lab was the source of the novel coronavirus outbreak. According to the New York Times, the intelligence community has provided no evidence to confirm this. But one senior administration official told me that the cables provide one more piece of evidence to support the possibility that the pandemic is the result of a lab accident in Wuhan.
“The idea that it was just a totally natural occurrence is circumstantial. The evidence it leaked from the lab is circumstantial. Right now, the ledger on the side of it leaking from the lab is packed with bullet points and there’s almost nothing on the other side,” the official said.

Manipulated interpretations of diplomatic cables and evidence-free claims about allegedly existing evidence were also used in warmongering campaigns about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and chemical attacks in Syria. The neo-conservatives are now using the same old tricks against China.

The media echo shows that they have some success with this.

Posted by b on May 13, 2020 at 17:21 UTC | Permalink

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/05/h ... .html#more
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Re: Censorship, fake news, perception management

Post by blindpig » Sat May 16, 2020 4:11 pm

US falsifications and manipulations, from the Gulf of Tonkin to today

by Giuseppe Sini


As in the USA procedural drama, the viewer's sympathy is skillfully oriented towards detectives and prosecutors committed to identifying the evidence of the crime, evidence that will then be exhibited in the courtroom with the guilty party behind him and despite his attempts to scrub the system, in the reality of international relations US imperialism and its lackeys in the media are now, more and more clumsily, trying to direct public opinion in their favor, boasting evidence against the target of duty constantly painted as committed to evading its responsibilities.

So Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a few days ago, spoke of the existence of a "significant amount of evidence" [1] according to which COVID-19 would emerge from the Wuhan laboratory; immediately public opinion was divided, like those present at a classroom debate, between those who consider the words of the former CIA director very little credible and those, mainly the variegated (but increasingly more right-handed and pro-Atlantic) sovereign galaxy, who immediately raised them as yet another nail on the coffin of the alleged Chinese bad faith.

Now, just as the reality of the US judicial system is very different from that of the serial , the same is true of international relations compared to an ideal global classroom where subjects subject to a law equal to all would compare, perhaps with international bodies in the role of impartial judges. The request made to Pompeo to produce the evidence of which it exists, if not because of the unequal distribution of power (economic, military and media) of the parties involved, at least based on the long history, is therefore completely cloying. even recently, of forgery and manipulation by the United States.


The so-called "Gulf of Tonkin Accident" in the vast majority of reports from the US side is today treated with tones between the embarrassed and the ambiguous, playing on the fact that it was two episodes that occurred after two days, or better a real clash between US and North American boats, that of August 2, 1964, and one that never occurred, as admitted a few years ago by the then Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara [2] , or that of August 4 of the same year. The whole affair, and in particular the events of August 4, 1964, provided the pretext for a further extension of the US imperialist aggression to Vietnam, sanctioned by the approval by Congress of a resolution that in its preamble, with the usual face tough yankee, proclaimed the will to "promote the maintenance of international peace and security in Southeast Asia".

As already mentioned, the episode of August 2 actually took place: three North Vietnamese lookouts attacked the destroyer Maddox, who operated in the context of the patrol missions DE SOTO; all in the context of the OPLAN 34-A, a program of secret actions that included sabotages and attacks on or related infrastructure in Hanoi, both in North Vietnamese and Laotian territory and waters; actions conducted both by South Vietnamese commandos and by American pilots. Therefore, even this North Vietnamese attack, or rather reaction, was anything but "deliberate and unjustified", to quote McNamara's mystifying statements, having taken place within the framework of repeated provocations and attacks by the US [3] .

The one of August 4, however, did not happen, although the manipulation of the confused reports about an alleged second attack was decisive in getting the aforementioned resolution approved, compacting a public opinion already widely aligned with the administration and weakening the small resistance to inside the Congress. On what happened on August 4, 1964 in the Gulf of Tonkin, it is sufficient to quote Lyndon Johnson's comment, demonstrating that the administration was perfectly aware that there had been no attack on the North Vietnamese side that day: "To hell with these damned stupid Marians were shooting flying fish. " [4]


Probably the fifteen-year-old Nayirah, appearing to testify in October 1990 in front of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus , bipartisan group of the House of Representatives, was not aware that her words would have incubated a classic of propaganda of US imperialist aggressions over the years subsequent, that of the alleged atrocities carried out by the forces of the enemy on duty against the hospitals, with or without the detail of the incubators. The girl - actually Nayirah Al-Sabah, daughter of the then Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States, Saud Nasir Al-Sabah [5]- declared that he had witnessed the raid of Iraqi soldiers in the hospital, where he claimed to be voluntary, and that they had extracted the babies from the incubators leaving them to die on the floor [6] .

The dramatic "testimony" was filmed by a public relations agency and widely re-launched on TV [7] ; Amnesty International, always zealous in regurgitating imperialist propaganda, helped to validate it, only to whimper about the Bush administration's "opportunistic manipulation of the international movement of human rights" [8] . Few politicians and especially journalists expressed the slightest perplexity about a shaky story from the start; just to understand each other, the New York Times took about two years to document the forgery, "discovering" the real identity of the witness, an identity well known to some members of the congress as early as 1990 [9]. As evidence of how the bales of imperialist propaganda often have long legs, the story, in 2002, was revived by a docudrama of the HBO network without any mention of his fraudulent [10] .

Just as the Gulf of Tonkin incident was certainly not the cause of the US military escalation in Vietnam, the incubator hoax did not determine the Gulf War, however both events played a non-secondary role in selling the two conflicts to opinion public and albeit marginal politicians still skeptical. The fandonia of 1990 then, further confirming its effectiveness and longevity, made its reappearance during the imperialist aggression against Syria, as well as Venezuela, albeit with some variations on the theme [11] .


Of the dramatic weeks preceding the US aggression on Iraq, a grotesque image has remained in the memory of many: Colin Powell, then Secretary of State, who shakes a test tube containing no one knows what, during his harangue to the Security Council of the UN on February 5, 2003. Because it was a harangue, in the style of those seen in the TV series we mentioned at the beginning, with the accusation that it shows photos, in this case the usual satellite photos that the USA pull out as needed, and do not prove anything but so impressed the journalists, illustrated reconstructions, drawings laughable alleged factories of biological agents, etc .

We said a grotesque performance, which however obtained the desired effect: to cite just one example, the report of the Corriere della Sera the following day titled, "Colin Powell presents the evidence to the UN", and in the "analyzes" signed by Guido Olimpio, "the tests that convince", weakly balanced by a "the tests that do not convince" [12] ; faintly for the simple fact that there was no evidence, or rather, there was solid evidence that Iraq did not hold any weapon of mass destruction, chemical, biological or otherwise. Simply, the war had already been decided, whether the UN inspectors provided the pretext, or that, as in fact it did, they did not lend themselves to the machinations of Bush son and his comrade Blair [13] .

When the story is recalled by the media, they often resort to ambiguous formulations of the type, "weapons of mass destruction never found", omitting that there was nothing to find; an understandable fact given that the press and TV were not infrequently willing accomplices of that large-scale mystification. To limit ourselves to Italy, the Panorama magazine, at the time directed by Carlo Rossella, in league with SISMI contributed to inflating the fake uranium from Niger purchased from Iraq [14] , as documented by Repubblica in 2005, when the newspaper founded by Scalfari retained a semblance of dignity.


Returning to Pompeo's "tests" today, and starting right from the Republic, it is a noteworthy fact that this once black beast of our local sovereigns has been conducting a symphobic campaign for weeks with tones and modalities that would make it blush shameful Beitbart News and Libero. The moment the CNN publishes an article which, albeit circumspectly, highlights all the inconsistency of the Secretary of State's statements on the origin of COVID-19, the Roman newspaper comes up with an article, constructed in a manner to say the least unscrupulous, in support of the thesis of the virus escaped from Wuhan's laboratory [15]. A few days earlier, on the same pages, Federico Rampini gave credit to the bids of US intelligence and, according to him, of "several allied countries from Australia to France", passing in silence the heavy doubts advanced by Australian intelligence (and widely reported by the country press) on what was trumpeted by US colleagues and by Pompeo [16] .

This pro-Trumpian fold of Repubblica is not surprising, taking into account Maurizio Molinari's recent rise to his direction, although the Atlantic loyalty of this sheet has always been out of the question. However, his taking over by a more paranoid Westernist exponent, convinced that "Putin's Russia and Xi's China want to transform Europe into a land of conquests", is indicative of the increasingly evident convergence between sovereigns and free them. Some, in the sewers of the internet, now do not hesitate to invoke the liberating invasion by Trump (as if the peninsula was not already a huge US military base), the others evoke their traditional bogeymen with ramshackle appeals: authoritarianism and statism, all summarized in the feared "Chinese model" [17] .

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-heal ... SKBN22F0SC .
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HODxnUrFX6k .
Marilyn B. Young, The Vietnam Wars 1945-1990, Mondadori, 2017, pp. 141-148.
https://www.history.navy.mil/research/l ... -fish.html
https://www.nytimes.com/1992/01/06/opin ... uwait.html
https://web.archive.org/web/20080420060 ... /5/war.asp
https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v13/n03 ... ight-stuff ; https://newspapers.bc.edu/cgi-bin/bosto ... 10128.2.41
https://www.nytimes.com/1992/01/06/opin ... uwait.html ; https://web.archive.org/web/20110429012 ... n1228.html
https://www.prwatch.org/spin/2002/12/16 ... ah-pr-hoax
https://contropiano.org/interventi/2011 ... tico-04970 ; https://contropiano.org/news/internazio ... ica-083965
https://www.corriere.it/Primo_Piano/Est ... well.shtml
Statement by Sir John Chilcot: 6 July 2016, p. 3, https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov ... he-report/
https://www.repubblica.it/2005/j/sezion ... /bodv.html
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/05/06/poli ... index.html utm_term = link & utm_medium = social & utm_content = 2020-05-06T17% 3A40% 3A00 & utm_source = twCNN ; "That virus most likely came out of Wuhan's lab"
Coronavirus, wiretapping and missing witnesses: thus was born the US investigation accusing China ; https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal ... 54pk3.html ; https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal ... 54qhp.html
https://www.repubblica.it/robinson/2020 ... 255505570/

https://ottobre.info/2020/05/13/falsifi ... o-ad-oggi/

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Re: Censorship, fake news, perception management

Post by blindpig » Thu May 21, 2020 1:24 pm


US Military Planners Advise Expanded Online Psychological Warfare Against China
May 18, 2020 Alan MacLeod anti-china campaign, blame the other to distract, China, smear campaign, US decline, Xi Jinping
Just three years ago, Americans had a neutral view of China (and nine years ago it was strongly favorable). Today, the same polls show that 66 percent of Americans dislike the country.

By Alan Macleod – May 18, 2020

As the U.S. military turns its attention from the Middle East to conflict with Russia and China, American war planners are advising that the United States greatly expand its own online “psychological operations” against Beijing.

A new report from the Financial Times details how top brass in Washington are strategizing a new Cold War with China, describing it less as World War III and more as “kicking each other under the table.” Last week, General Richard Clarke, head of Special Operations Command, said that the “kill-capture missions” the military conducted in Afghanistan were inappropriate for this new conflict, and Special Operations must move towards cyber influence campaigns instead.

Military analyst David Maxwell, a former Special Ops soldier himself, advocated for a widespread culture war, which would include the Pentagon commissioning what he called “Taiwanese Tom Clancy” novels, intended to demonize China and demoralize its citizens, arguing that Washington should “weaponize” China’s one-child policy by bombarding Chinese people with stories of the wartime deaths of their only children, and therefore, their bloodline.

A not dissimilar tactic was used during the first Cold War against the Soviet Union, where the CIA sponsored a huge network of artists, writers and thinkers to promote liberal and social-democratic critiques of the U.S.S.R., unbeknownst to the public, and, sometimes, even the artists themselves.

Manufacturing consent
In the space of only a few months, the Trump administration has gone from praising China’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic to blaming them for the outbreak, even suggesting they pay reparations for their alleged negligence. Just three years ago, Americans had a neutral view of China (and nine years ago it was strongly favorable). Today, the same polls show that 66 percent of Americans dislike China, with only 26 percent holding a positive opinion of the country. Over four-in-five people essentially support a full-scale economic war with Beijing, something the president threatened to enact last week.

The corporate press is certainly doing their part as well, constantly framing China as an authoritarian threat to the United States, rather than a neutral force or even a potential ally, leading to a surge in anti-Chinese racist attacks at home.

Retooling for an intercontinental war
Although analysts have long warned that the United States gets its “ass handed to it” in hot war simulations with China or even Russia, it is not clear whether this is a sober assessment or a self-serving attempt to increase military spending. In 2002, the U.S. conducted a war game trial invasion of Iraq, where it was catastrophically defeated by Lt. Gen. Paul Van Riper, commanding Iraqi forces, leading to the whole experiment being nixed halfway through. Yet the subsequent invasion was carried out without massive loss of American lives.

The recently published Pentagon budget request for 2021 makes clear that the United States is retooling for a potential intercontinental war with China and/or Russia. It asks for $705 billion to “shift focus from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a greater emphasis on the types of weapons that could be used to confront nuclear giants like Russia and China,” noting that it requires “more advanced high-end weapon systems, which provide increased standoff, enhanced lethality and autonomous targeting for employment against near-peer threats in a more contested environment.” The military has recently received the first batch of low-yield nuclear warheads that experts agree blurs the line between conventional and nuclear conflict, making an all out example of the latter far more likely.

A bipartisan affair
There has been no meaningful pushback from the Democrats. Indeed, Joe Biden’s team has suggested that the United States’ entire industrial policy should revolve around “competing with China” and that their “top priority” is dealing with the supposed threat Beijing poses. The former vice-president has also attacked Trump from the right on China, trying to present him as a tool of Beijing, bringing to mind how Clinton portrayed him in 2016 as a Kremlin asset. (Green Party presidential frontrunner Howie Hawkins has promised to cut the military budget by 75 percent and to unilaterally disarm).

Nevertheless, voices raising concern about a new arms race are few and far between. Veteran deproliferation activist Andrew Feinstein is one exception, saying:

“Our governments spend over 1.75 trillion dollars every year on wars, on weapons, on conflict…If we could deploy that sort of resource to address the coronavirus crisis that we’re currently living through, imagine what else we could be doing. Imagine how we could be fighting the climate crisis, how we could be addressing global poverty, inequality. Our priority should never be war; our priorities need to be public health, the environment, and human well being.”

However, if the government is going to launch a new psychological war against China, it is unlikely antiwar voices like Feinstein’s will feature much in the mainstream press.

Featured image: Pictures of U.S. national flag and Chinese President Xi Jinping with mask, made by protestors are displayed in central district of Hong Kong’s business district, Oct. 14, 2019. Kin Cheung | AP

Source URL: MintPress

https://orinocotribune.com/us-military- ... nst-china/
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

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