Sussmann, Skripal, Steele: leaks, lies and hollow disclaimers

Inspired by snoopydawg's essay, Botched missions in Salisbury and The Hague, I want to focus attention on false information in the media and the disclaimers that supposedly provide legal cover for journalists and their highly placed leakers.

Russia Hoax 2.0: The Erstwhile "Spies" Who Stumbled in From the Cold

On Wednesday at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in the Russian city of Vladivostok, during a panel event with Japan's Shinzo Abe and China's Xi Jinping the international audience was very surprised when President Vladimir Putin suddenly shared the latest developments in the Skripal poisoning case. "We know who they are, we have found them," Putin told the startled audience, referring to the two men named by UK authorities as suspects.

"They are civilians, of course," he added with a bemused look, explaining that they are not quite the notorious criminals the British politicians were hoping for. He then looked directly into the camera saying, "I want to address them [the suspects]... [I hope] they contact the media. I hope they appear and tell everything about themselves."

The Dragon Manifesto

The Global Times is a news daily that caters to China’s ruling Communist Party. The paper announces cultural and social events and tracks of China's achievements in its space program, and in the sciences, education, technology, and business. China's unique form of communism is one that likes to plan ahead, driven by an ever-evolving social vision. Their goals can be very long and ambitious, like stabilizing the size of the population (the one-child program), in order to lift tens of millions out of poverty and into a sustainable consumer class. The Party's goals can also be shorter and more targeted, such as the current anti-corruption sweep and systems-reform that will be designed to avert recurrence, similar to the New Deal era banking regulations that did the same.

The Sleeping Dragon Wakes Up

Excellent Summation of Skripal Poisoning Debacle

James O’Neill, at a site called OffGuardian, has written an intelligent piece on the Skripal poisoning. I have bolded the parts that have real significance with respect to our foreign policy.

Criminal Justice 101: Means, Motive, and Opportunity

The "Iraq has WMDs" level of hysteria being whipped up about the Skripal poisonings by the Empire's propagandists is bad news. Ignoring it will not work; but "proving a negative" is the classical dilemma created by a false flag attack. Nevertheless, there must be constant pushback against constant propaganda.

I offer the following conversational gambit for dealing with the Kool Aid Drinkers you may encounter: means, motive, and opportunity.