The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

The Teixeira Documents Are Being Kept Secret By Media

So, back when the DNC was hacked and documents were leaked showing that the DNC had been helping Clinton and kneecapping Sanders, I found it interesting that most of the media focused on “the Russians did it!” rather than on the content of the leak, which was, after all, in the public interest to know.

The same thing is going on with the Texeira documents. WSWS has a particularly good article on this:

While about 60 or so documents have been made public so far, US media outlets indicate they have access to far more.  The Washington Post reported Thursday, “The Post also reviewed approximately 300 photos of classified documents, most of which have not been made public.”

And the Post and the other media outlets are responsible for maintaining this secrecy. They are not reporting information that undermines and contradicts the official line from the Pentagon, State Department and White House.

Rather, the Post is selectively releasing sections of the documents with an aim to facilitate US war propaganda. An article published Thursday by anti-China war propagandist Josh Rogin declared, “The most shocking intel leak reveals new Chinese military advances.”

None of this is particularly surprising if you were an adult who was paying attention during the Iraq War and especially the run-up to it. The media actively colluded with the state to promote the war and actively got rid of prominent journalists who had the gall to oppose it and call out the lies.

We already know that the documents reveal that US and NATO special forces are on the ground. People paying attention have been sure this was the case, but most people aren’t paying that close an attention, and the US government has never admitted it.

Information like this is the real story: NATO governments are taking actions which could be considered an act of war against a nation which, despite rhetoric, we are not at war with. No NATO country is at war with Russia and we want to keep it that way. Well, “we” do if we’re sane and don’t want to increase the odds of, y’know, an apocalypse.

Western media is mostly propaganda. When well done it’s not blatant. Some of the best is just the refusal to publish. The New York Times, during the 2004 election, knew that Bush had been spying on Americans in dragnet fashion: both illegal and likely to be unpopular. It held publication until after the election and explicitly said that it did so because it didn’t want to influence the election.

But, if the goal of the institution was to make sure that citizens know what they need to to make informed decisions, then that story should have been published during the election. “Bush has been mass-spying on Americans” is exactly what people need to know to decide if they want to vote for him.

The NY Times, of course, knew publishing the story w9uld have helped Kerry, so it wasn’t a neutral decision. It was a choice to (not) do something in order to help Bush win, even though journalism is supposed to be about revealing the truth because the public has a right to know.

In the same way, the Texeira documents being withheld almost certainly contain revelations that would hurt the current government support for continued help to Ukraine to fight Russia.

But that shouldn’t be, if the media actually believed its own propaganda about its purpose, the concern of the media. If the government is doing things it says it isn’t then the public should know, so the public can decide if it supports what the government is doing.

This isn’t complicated. Journalists have simply decided that they agree with the government about Ukraine vs. Russia and thus are almost certainly concealing information which would damage the government’s position.

That ain’t journalism. Orwell once wrote:

Journalism is printing what someone else does not want published; everything else is public relations.

We don’t have reporters. We have PR people pretending to be journalists. They might as well call themselves stenographers.

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Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – April 16, 2023


Government For the People Shouldn’t Keep Secrets From the People


  1. Tallifer

    The leaks are easily obtainable from informal sources on the internet. Nothing I have read about them alters the moral imperative to support the Ukraine in its resistance to rape, torture, murder of civilians, illegal occupation, kidnapping of children, destruction and missile attacks. Anything else is white noise.

  2. Eric Anderson

    “Journalists have simply decided that they agree with the government about Ukraine vs. Russia and thus are almost certainly concealing information which would damage the government’s position.”

    Some, most assuredly.

    However, I’m also inclined to believe many of the “journalists” and “editors” are either (i) co-opted b/c the deep state has dirt on them and they sing what ever tune the deep state wants; or (ii) actual deep state assets taking two salaries — one for the deep state, and one for being journalists.

  3. Feral Finster

    What we have in the MSM are glorified fluffers to power, smirking Renaissance courtiers, but without the colorful costumes.

  4. Feral Finster

    @Tallifer: don’t believe everything you see on TeeVee.

  5. StewartM

    What Feral Finster said.

    As someone with an interest in WWII history, I confirm the reflexively anti-Russian sentiment in our information sources. People call Russian archival sources “LIES!!” and “propaganda!!” even though Russian weapons testing generally agrees with that of the US and UK. US and UK evaluation of Russian hardware is generally quite positive, they may nitpick a few things but that’s all. Plus, this archival data wasn’t available until well after the Cold War; as one native-born Russian quipped “‘Propaganda’ doesn’t sit in cabinets gathering dust for 70 years”. This is their declassified formerly top-secret information.

    By contrast, everyone’s evaluation of German hardware during the war and shortly afterwards was ‘qualified’, to say the least. No one thought highly enough of Nazi superweapons to copy them. The QC on many German weapons was horrible, in fact. Yet at this same time, in the West we’re seeing a renewed adulation of Nazi weaponry and respect for their military historiography, even though, well, the Nazis were apt to lie about just about every matter of fact at times. People who reject Soviet evaluations and wartime history as “LIES!” accept Nazi accounts as gospel truth–a disturbing trend, no?

    The reason I bring this us is that the course of war in the Ukraine is beginning to sound something like the course of war in the East during WWII. The Germans kept telling everyone (including Hitler) about how they destroyed huge Soviet forces time and time again, all at trifling cost. Then they would recommend to Hitler that they retreat, and in their memoirs German generals later would call Hitler a “madman” because he was loathe to agree to retreats—but why would he? He had just also been told how the Wehrmacht had won just another amazing complete victory against overwhelming odds. Why would you need to retreat then?

    Cue to today, when we are told how the Ukrainians are humiliating the inept Russians time and time again, then Zelensky comes running to the West begging for tanks, or planes, or whatever, crying dire warnings that “all will be lost!” if the aid is not given. Does anyone else not detect this massive cognitive dissonance? Both things can’t be true.

  6. Feral Finster

    Lord Posonby’s Ten Commandments of Wartime Propaganda:

    1. We don’t want war, we are only defending ourselves.
    2. Our adversary is solely responsible for this war.
    3, Our adversary’s leader is inherently evil and resembles the devil.
    4. We are defending a noble cause, not our particular interests.
    5. The enemy is purposefully committing atrocities; if we are making mistakes this happens without intention.
    6. The enemy makes use of illegal weapons.
    7. We suffer few losses, the enemy’s losses are considerable.
    8. Recognized intellectuals and artists support our cause.
    9. Our cause is sacred.
    10. Whoever cases doubt on our propaganda helps the enemy and is a traitor.

  7. Ian Welsh

    In a democracy people have (or should have) a right to know what their leaders are doing and to not be lied to. I know this isn’t how it is, but it is how it should be, and exceptions should be startlingly rare.

    The news-media’s job is to get the population the information they need to make decisions, especially on who to elect. It is not sufficient to throw up one’s hands and say that “well, if you dig around the internet you can find this info”, it’s their job to release it, because most people do not dig around the internet.

    As for Ukraine being a moral war, perhaps, but that’s not how the US makes foreign policy decisions about what wars to involve itself in and it’s not how Americans decide on what wars to support. They did not support the Iraq war at 72% in the run up and early period because it was a “moral” war, they supported it because they had been lied to, including by the Press.

    “It’s OK to lie and keep secret information the public should know about “moral” wars” is not an acceptable metric.

  8. Feral Finster

    It’s not as if anyone asked us whether this is a “moral war” or by whose standards.

    Rather, the war was foisted upon us. See, in particular, Commandment 10 above.

  9. Ché Pasa

    I don’t want to beat a long-dead horse (Remember The Horse?) but press and media in the USofA has ever been thus, actually more so than today, and it has always been criticized on the margins for its slavish warmongering and propagandizing on behalf of either The Government or a faction that wants to take over government.

    Remember Take Back the Media? The Media that was never Ours to begin with? But damn, We were going to Take It Back, come what may. Or the Blogospheric high stepping and baton twirling at the economic faltering and shuddering of the Traditional Lamestream Media as more and more of us turned toward the internet — and yes, the Blogs — for news and entertainment, cutting off the MSM at the knees. Right?

    Well, what happened, what really happened was that the the Big Guys of the MSM, Twitter, Facebook and a handful of “alternative” outlets took over providing The News on the internet, and the Blogs all but disappeared. Along with practically all local news that wasn’t Twitter/Facebook based and mostly useless rage and opinion about who knows what.

    US press and media has never been what so many of us think it should be. With few exceptions — all of them on the margins — it has always been big business serving the interests of other big business and wealth. And there have always been alternatives, these days much more accessible than in times past, and it’s been up to us to somehow find The Truth in the midst of all the lies, propaganda, mind games, and confusion.

    Never easy.

  10. Willy

    According to Seymour Hersh, Nordstream might’ve been wrecked so the Ukrainians would get diesel from the Russians instead of the Germans. And speaking of Ukrainian Nazis without nukes, had the media exposed the Manhattan Project would Allied citizens been so horrified that the Nazis would have gotten nukes first? And then we have Tim Pool going from 99%-er citizen reporter with a beanie, to 1%-er citizen reporter still with a beanie. Fox News getting sued for defamation barely causing a dent in their ratings. And according to our own Che, even The Most Trusted Man In America was often wrong.

    My guess is that we’re all in this hot news flash mess because citizens want to choose the flavor of media they wish to consume. Anybody got any ideas about getting more citizens on board with Truth?

  11. someofparts

    I am old enough to have actually watched Walter Cronkite, so I’ve had a lifetime to watch the press in this country. The brazen propagandists that currently inhabit the legacy media are not fit to lick the boots of folks like Cronkite or Ed Murrow.

    That said, I realize now that even back in the days of Cronkite, the media were giving us a distorted view of things. The Korean war is the big example that comes to mind. I have only recently learned the truth about what we did to North Korea because of my internet access. Cronkite not only would never have shared such information, I doubt he was even aware of it.

    So, while legacy media today is much, much more dishonest than it used to be, it has still always been subjecting all of us to propaganda. The only reason I am better informed now than I was when legacy media was more honest is because of the internet.

    Of course now, with AI rapidly coming into extensive use, plus the massive manipulation of platforms by the censors of the deep state, it is anybody’s guess how much longer the internet will remain informative.

  12. mago

    Yes, privileged Ivy League stenographers feed the peeps establishment lies.
    Across the internet alt voices cry bullshit to the choir unheeded by the herd consumed with quotidian concerns.
    It’s a long gone game.
    Suerte a cada.

  13. capelin

    “My guess is that we’re all in this hot news flash mess because citizens want to choose the flavor of media they wish to consume.”

    We’re in this mess because control of the media is essential to elite power-over.

    Citizens do not make editorial policy. Blue or Red fluff is still fluff.

  14. Eric Anderson


    Yeah, lots of people have a lot of great ideas that aren’t be sandbagged by oligarch tech bros trying to turn the country into their own version of Brave New World. They’re all on the #fediverse.

    As a wise man on #Mastodon recently said “There’s stupid, and then there is paying for twitter stupid.”

    Come find me:

  15. JBird


    It is hard to think of anything being true when almost everyone is lying to you.

  16. Carborundum

    How does blowing up a natural gas pipeline affect the supply of diesel? Diesel comes from a completely different feedstock. In theory one can use NG but I’m hard pressed to think why one would do so unless one was facing serious lack of supply, which markets aren’t.

    Less tangentially I would note that the other, potentially more potent reason, that media do not share raw documents like this is journalistic competition. If you can control the source docs, you can get a better run of coverage unfettered by competitors. When The Intercept sits on the Snowden docs, I don’t think it’s because they want to advance the dominant IC narrative. Combine this factor with the often blinkered view of the world found in successful (i.e., responsive to ratings) assignment editors and producers and you have a pattern of behaviour that is difficult to differentiate.

  17. Ché Pasa

    Cronkite was a corporate shill for his entire career. Tim Russert (Peace Be Upon Him) was a Republican fluffer for his entire career. Gwen Ifill… I could go on and on. These Heroes of the Big Media — and many more — were not at all Friends of the People. We forget this at our peril.

    Yes, and propaganda on behalf of corporations and the government were standard media products back in the day just as they are now. What’s different is that there are many more outlets than there were, and they and numerous contrarian outlets are far easier to access than once was the case thanks to the internet.

    To what object?

    I’d say confusion and dispute. Surveillance and control. Boredom with “news” and “information.” Truth? Feh. Honesty? Ha. Skepticism of those who fill the news holes is always appropriate. They are like used car salespeople. To the extent they are truthful, their spiels are incomplete. But most of what they have to offer is false.

    In the case of the Documents now under consideration, much is apparently garbage created by the leaker himself. What is and isn’t however is not for us to know, for it is being deliberately obscured by Our Betters and their media handmaidens. Well, how about that?

    Propaganda on behalf of the proxy war in Ukraine must be maintained at all costs, and so it is.

    Soon enough, if not already, the genuine information in the Documents will be overwhelmed by events in any case. I wouldn’t spend too much time on it.

  18. Willy

    I’ve tried discussing what worked better in times past, only to be told that “we cannot go back” or that “things were bad then too” and the discussion stopped.

    My belief is that generally speaking, wealth and power creates (and/or enhances) moral insanity and they won’t ever stop until stopped. Obviously there have been benevolent dictators and beloved philanthropists and it’s a lot more complicated than that, but historically, the insatiably greedy bad guys have done an awful lot of damage.

    And then there was Socrates, who said that voting in elections is a skill, and shouldn’t be just some random intuition. Like any skill, it needs to be taught systematically to people, that just letting a citizenry vote without proper training is as irresponsible as putting some yahoo in charge of a complex machine (such as they were way back then). But who gets to control this proper training?

    As for events Ukraine, it’s all gotta make some kind of cohesive sense though I am open to it all being some kind of moral insanity clusterfuck being caused by all the wealth and power involved.

    Just thoughts. I don’t have all the answers. Maybe somebody else does.

  19. Eric Anderson

    Willy, I’m being entirely literal about the federation of media. It is a giant threat to the hold the PTB have over information and discourse. It is the one rare technological advances that actually do advance democracy because it isn’t reliant on a corporate body — like Zuckerberg’s lies about facebook advancing the democratic discourse and immediately turning it into to a platform solely dedicated to advancing his financial position.

    Federated social media has the ability to put the discussion back in people’s hands because it’s so resistant to monopolization by the powerful. You can literally say what you want and nobody is standing at the top winnowing what makes it to the public’s eyes. It IS the democratization of media. All you need is the code (open source) and a server.

    W/r/t media, it impacts media in the way Lambert Strether said years ago on Naked Capitalism: If your business depends on a platform, you don’t have a business. The platform does.” Which, is why naked. Capitalism has never grown dependent on facebook or twitter to disseminate its messages.

    The problem right now is overcoming inertia of all the big content producers who have to suffer the “switching costs” that Cory Doctorow has effectively outlined. They won’t do it until the base leaves them. Personally, I chose to leave non-federated social media on principle. In doing so, I lost a lot of vital links — Ian being one in particular, who I used to correspond with all the time on twitter.

    My view, 10 years for now everyone is going to be on federated media. It’s simply a better mouse-trap. Delaying the pain associated with switching costs will only make the pain worse when the time finally comes. Facebook, Twitter, and the days of content producers relying upon them, instead of hosting their own federated servers, are numbered. People will look back on them as they do MySpace today.

    Seriously … it’s the future. It’s a giant killer. Don’t believe me, please. Believe the millions of testimonials of all the people who have already made the switch.

  20. anon y'mouse

    we don’t have anything like a “democracy” and republican “democracy” is an oxymoron, obviously.

    even in this system, we don’t actually select our representatives. the Money Men do, then the press club does (owned by more money men). then the lobbyists and Stink Tankers tell them what to do to keep the Money Men happy.

    the end

  21. capelin

    This interview clip is pretty astounding, I think, and pertinent to the discussion. Yeah they just got sued, etc – my sense is he’s also talking about Fox.

    Chief Nerd @TheChiefNerd

    Mar 13
    Tucker Carlson Says He Regrets Working for the Media ‘Control Apparatus’ “They’re job is not to inform you. They are working for the small group of people who actually run the world.”

  22. Eric Anderson

    I’d watch it capelin, but twitter’s not so not cool. It’s basically stands as a gut wrenching wake up call to the level of hypocrisy people are able to sustain.

  23. KK

    “Nothing I have read about them alters the moral imperative to support the Ukraine in its resistance to rape, torture, murder of civilians, illegal occupation, kidnapping of children, destruction and missile attacks. Anything else is white noise.”

    Amazing. In response to a literal post about western media lying their asses off on behalf of the empire, Tallifer perfectly parrots every single………… lie about the Ukraine conflict, which has been the greatest western propaganda campaign of all time.
    They lied us into Iraq. They lied about the Balkans in the ’90’s. They lied about Syria and are still lying about it today. They lie, all the time, about every military adventure America engages in, purely to advance American corporate power. But we should *totally* accept everything they say about the giant mess America has created in Ukraine, and believe me, America is responsible for it in almost every respect, but this time, they finally, fully stuck their foot in it and the blowback is going to put, and is putting more every day, America into it’s final tailspin.
    (Russia removes children from a war zone where they had been subject to random Ukrainian shelling for 9 years and carefully makes sure they are safe and keeps track of if their parents are safe)
    “They’re kidnapping babies!”
    (Instances of torture and murder of all kinds committed by Ukrainian forces/security services are so mundane, and have been going on for a decade, that anyone can see them with 5 minutes of research)
    Russia is torturing! Putin to the ICC! The woman in charge of the program to save children too!
    (Russia bends over backwards to minimize civilian casualties, taking more damage themselves as a result, because their VERY PURPOSE there is to protect and defend the Russian-speaking population of the Donbass, while Ukraine has been casually bombing and murdering Russian-speaking civilians for a decade with ZERO western punishment, instead continuously arming them to the teeth over and over)
    Russia is killing civilians! Destroy Russia! Kill every Russian!
    If Russia was remotely the demon that stupid Western people think it is, they would have (and they could easily in a week) completely leveled all power centers and critical infrastructure in Ukraine, including utterly flattening Lvov and Kiev. They have not, and they will not, unless NATO makes their final act of stupidity and actually enters Ukraine with troops.
    Like I said, the greatest propaganda campaign of all time, successfully aimed at a population more susceptible to it than any other on the planet.
    And @StewartM has almost got the whole picture. Ukraine could not, is not and will not defeat Russia. It’s as close to impossible as a conflict can get. Ukraine’s first giant western-trained army, built for over 8 years? Gone. Ukraine’s second army, built on the fly with donated western Russian and western equipment. Gone. This third army, desperately being cobbled together for Ukraine’s “spring offensive”? It’s being systematically destroyed as we speak. Ukraine is on it’s last legs and Russia is perfectly happy to keep destroying the equipment and manpower of it’s enemies. When this thing is finished and the real numbers are counted up, there’s going to an absolutely shocking number of Ukrainian casualties, so high, in fact, the west will reflexively deny it no matter the depth of proof. It may go as high as half a million Ukrainian DEAD and another 750K permanently wounded. And all of it was avoidable, but America made certain no one could or would stop their turning Ukraine into a spear to shove at Russia. It’s a f–king horror show. And meanwhile, Russia’s economy is on full tilt. They are amassing gold. They are completely pivoting their entire export economy to the east and south, to friendly nations and making a (fair) killing doing it. They are getting constant practice on every imaginable aspect of executing warfare- they are *easily* the best fighting force on the planet now, and they were a really good one before the SMO started. The country is as fully unified as it has ever been since 1945.
    Stop. Believing. The. Bullshit.

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