Laura said:Excellent rundown. And, as he notes, this is nothing new.
Russian news agencies reported Sunday that U.S. CIA director John Brennan had a secret meeting with Ukrainian officials in Kiev before they began operations against separatist forces that had taken over buildings in the country's east.
Brennan landed in Ukraine on Saturday under an assumed name and held a "series of secret meetings" with the country's "power bloc" Interfax reported, citing an unidentified official in the Ukrainian parliament. The unidentified official said that there were "unconfirmed reports" that the U.S. security official was behind the decision to use force in eastern Ukraine after pro-Russian separatist forces took control of the city of Slovyansk.
Ukrainian parliament Communist Party deputy Vladimir Golub told RIA Novosti that lawmakers were talking about the visit openly and opined that the Ukrainian Security Service had become a unit of the CIA.
SS: Here’s another thing – only one out of six Americans can actually point Ukraine on the map. Some even think they live in Ukraine, according to recent Washington Post survey. So why would someone take action in place they know nothing about?
RM: Well, that’s very simply. It’s the media in our country which is beating the drums for the hostile attitude towards Russia. Now, the background of that, of course, is that the people who control the media are the ones who profiteer from arms manufacturing and sales, and also the people who do not want decent relations between Russia and the US, Victoria Nuland, for example.
RM: Now, everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. I just don’t think those kinds of people should be running US policy, and I think, the president Obama should fire John Kerry, now that it’s very clear that he lied 35 times on August 30th, by saying that Bashar Assad was responsible for those chemical attacks. That was a lie. Vladimir Putin had it right.
SS: Do you think that American politicians now dealing with the Ukrainian crisis are fully aware of how divided the nation is?
RM: No, of course they aren’t. To the degree they take any interest. Now, your allusion to the recent poll which shows that the very few Americans can identify where Ukraine is on the map – it was very interesting, not only does that go for American citizens, it goes for our Congress people as well, and there was a direct correlation: those who thought the Ukraine was perhaps in Asia or in the Middle of the Sea, thought that yes, we should take a very strong attitude and maybe even consider military action against it. But those who knew, where the Ukraine is, right in the shadow of Russia, were much more judicious, much more enlightened and saw that we have no need to mess around, to cause regime change in Kiev, and so they are much less in favor of a strong military-type response.
SS: There is five billion dollars that’s been invested in Ukraine through the National Endowment for Democracy over the years – do you believe Washington has the result it was actually looking for?
RM: It was a good try. In other words, Victoria Nuland, the Assitant Secretary of State apparently thought that if she gave chocolate-chip cookies on Maidan then everything would turn out alright with the “Yatz” coming in as the interim prime-minister. Now, Yatz did become an interim prime-minister, but not everything turned out alright, and she should have known better. And, I think she did know better, that’s why I keep saying that her ultimate intention was to create a very hostile environment between Moscow and Washington.
RM: One thing I would point out here is that the press is ridiculous on our side of the ocean here: they talk, for example, about the pro-Russian Ukrainians singing “Katuysha, katuysha” from World War Two, and everybody in the US said “oh, those are those rockets!”… But they don’t know it’s a love song!
SS: Okay, if we get back to Ukraine, do you feel like Ukraine’s forces need help in containing protests in the East, or can they handle it on their own?
RM: I think they can. I think that there is probably some reason to believe that what Kerry and White House spokesman are saying is that the Russians have a great deal of assets, a great deal of influence of what happens in the eastern Ukraine, and I would think that if people sit down at the table, this would be one of the cards in play: “We will not stir up problems or trouble in the Eastern Ukraine, and you will not put Blackwater or whatever they call themselves these days in the Western Ukraine” – it is all imminently work-outable, it just has to involve mature, adult negotiators, which are rather premium, at least on our side.
15 Mar, 2022 02:51
Facebook parent company Meta has announced a comprehensive package of measures to coach Australian politicians about the spread of “misinformation” ahead of the country’s general election this year. The company will “help train Australian political candidates on aspects of cyber security and coach influencers to stop the spread of misinformation in a bid to boost the integrity of an upcoming election,” according to a Reuters report published on Tuesday.
Meta’s Australian chief of public policy, Josh Machin, said the company would “stay vigilant to emerging threats and take additional steps, if necessary, to prevent abuse on our platform while also empowering people in Australia to use their voice by voting.”
Machin also said Meta’s plans were “by far the most compressive package of election integrity measures we have ever had in Australia.”
“We’ve been working incredibly closely for some time, with Australian government security agencies, law enforcement, and a group that the government has convened, called the election integrity assurance task force, in order to make sure that we’re fully across potential threats in the context of the election,” he revealed.
The country’s media watchdog will be able to make tech giants hand over internal data
Australia announced on Monday that it plans to expand the powers of its media watchdog to crackdown on so-called ‘online misinformation’ ahead of the country’s federal election.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) said the government would provide it with “new powers to combat harmful disinformation and misinformation.”
Under its extended powers, the ACMA will be able to hold companies to account for facilitating the spread of content deemed to be misinformation, and will also be able to force companies to provide internal data on their response to such content.
It comes after a June report made public on Monday found that Australians exposed to such content had “lower levels of trust” in government officials and “other authoritative sources.”
“The propagation of falsehoods and conspiracies undermines public health efforts, impacts businesses, causes harm to democratic institutions, and in some cases, incites individuals to carry out acts of violence,” ACMA claimed, before announcing that the government had agreed to its recommendations that the authority “be granted new regulatory powers.”
“These powers include information gathering and reserve code-making powers,” it revealed.
The announcement was made just months ahead of Australia’s next federal election, which is due to be held before May 21. The exact date of the election has not yet been chosen. Recent polls have shown Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s ruling Liberal Party lagging behind the opposition Labor Party.
ACMA’s announcement was also made just days after the Liberal Party was defeated in the South Australian state election. South Australia’s incumbent Premier Steven Marshall – a member of the Liberal Party and an ally of Morrison – was replaced by opposition leader Peter Malinauskas.
In a report conducted between 2020 and 2021, ACMA allegedly discovered that four in five Australians had been exposed to “misinformation about Covid-19” and that those exposed were subsequently less likely to trust government officials.
The report also claimed that Australians who had been exposed to “misinformation” were more likely to share links to “less reliable online news sources” instead of “mainstream” outlets such as Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News.
The new powers will be discussed over the next few weeks and the changes are reportedly expected to be introduced in the Australian parliament later this year.