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Updated: 2018-02-19T17:17:26.345-05:00

 



Cruising the Web

2018-02-19T07:33:36.964-05:00

It seemed that we already knew the gist of what the Mueller investigation and Justice Department reported on Friday about Russia's attempted interference in the election. For anyone who remembers Soviet attempts at dezinformatsiya during the Cold War shouldn't be shocked that Putin's government wanted to sow discord in American politics. According to Wikipedia's entry on disinformation, the whole concept began as early as 1923 and continued throughout the Cold War and afterwards. Wikipedia points to the book Disinformation by Ion Mihai Pacepa, former senior official from the Romanian secret police and Ronald J. Rychlak for a history of how our country's enemies were able to take advantage of leftists in the media to plant their stories.The black propaganda division was reported to have formed in 1955 and was referred to as the Dezinformatsiya agency. Former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director William Colby explained how the Dezinformatsiya agency operated, saying that it would place a false article in a left-leaning newspaper. The fraudulent tale would make its way to a Communist periodical, before eventually being published by a Soviet newspaper, which would say its sources were undisclosed individuals. By this process a falsehood was globally proliferated as a legitimate piece of reporting.To quote more from Wikipedia, The extent of Soviet disinformation covert operation campaigns, came to light through the defections of KGB officers and officers of allied Soviet bloc services from the late 1960s through the 1980s. Disorder during the fall of the Soviet Union revealed archival and other documentary information to confirm what the defectors had revealed. Stanislav Levchenko and Ilya Dzerkvilov defected from the Soviet Union and by 1990 each had written books recounting their work in the KGB on disinformation operations.In 1961, a pamphlet was published in the United Kingdom titled: A Study of a Master Spy (Allen Dulles), which was highly critical of then-Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles.] The purported authors were given as Independent Labour Party Member of Parliament Bob Edwards and reporter Kenneth Dunne—when in actual fact the author was senior disinformation officer KGB Colonel Vassily Sitnikov.An example of successful Soviet disinformation was the publication in 1968 of Who's Who in the CIA which was quoted as authoritative in the West until the early 1990s.According to senior SVR officer Sergei Tretyakov, the KGB was responsible for creating the entire nuclear winter story to stop the deployment of Pershing II missiles. Tretyakov says that from 1979 the KGB wanted to prevent the United States from deploying the missiles in Western Europe and that, directed by Yuri Andropov, they distributed disinformation, based on a faked "doomsday report" by the Soviet Academy of Sciences about the effect of nuclear war on climate, to peace groups, the environmental movement and the journal AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment....On 17 September 1980, White House Press Secretary Jody Powell acknowledged a falsified Presidential Review Memorandum on Africa reportedly stated the U.S. endorsed the apartheid government in South Africa and was actively committed to discrimination against African Americans. Prior to this revelation by Powell, an advance copy of the 18 September 1980 issue of San Francisco-based publication the Sun Reporter was disseminated, which carried the fake claims. Sun Reporter was published by Carlton Benjamin Goodlett, Presidential Committee member of the Soviet front group the World Peace Council. U.S. President Jimmy Carter was appalled at these lies and subsequently the Carter Administration displayed increased interest in CIA efforts to counter Soviet disinformation.In 1982, the CIA issued a report on active measures used by Soviet intelligence. The report documented numerous instances of disinformation campaigns against the U.S., including planting a notion that the U.S. had organized the 1979 Grand Mosque seizure, and forgery of documents purporting to show the U.S. would [...]



Cruising the Web

2018-01-16T06:06:24.517-05:00

The intolerance brigades on the internet have decided that Margaret Atwood, of all people, is a "bad feminist" because she dared to criticize the University of British Columbia for how it railroaded a professor of creative writing. Here is her explanation.In November of 2016, I signed – as a matter of principle, as I have signed many petitions – an Open Letter called UBC Accountable, which calls for holding the University of British Columbia accountable for its failed process in its treatment of one of its former employees, Steven Galloway, the former chair of the department of creative writing, as well as its treatment of those who became ancillary complainants in the case. Specifically, several years ago, the university went public in national media before there was an inquiry, and even before the accused was allowed to know the details of the accusation. Before he could find them out, he had to sign a confidentiality agreement. The public – including me – was left with the impression that this man was a violent serial rapist, and everyone was free to attack him publicly, since under the agreement he had signed, he couldn't say anything to defend himself. A barrage of invective followed.But then, after an inquiry by a judge that went on for months, with multiple witnesses and interviews, the judge said there had been no sexual assault, according to a statement released by Mr. Galloway through his lawyer. The employee got fired anyway. Everyone was surprised, including me. His faculty association launched a grievance, which is continuing, and until it is over, the public still cannot have access to the judge's report or her reasoning from the evidence presented. The not-guilty verdict displeased some people. They continued to attack. It was at this point that details of UBC's flawed process began to circulate, and the UBC Accountable letter came into being.A fair-minded person would now withhold judgment as to guilt until the report and the evidence are available for us to see. We are grownups: We can make up our own minds, one way or the other. Because of this, there are some radical feminists who have been criticizing her. It's just ridiculous. When did feminism demand that those who are accused should lose all rights to due process?Atwood goes on to make the very crucial point that, in the midst of this #MeToo movement, it is important that we don't just take accusations at face value, but allow people to have a defense.The #MeToo moment is a symptom of a broken legal system. All too frequently, women and other sexual-abuse complainants couldn't get a fair hearing through institutions – including corporate structures – so they used a new tool: the internet. Stars fell from the skies. This has been very effective, and has been seen as a massive wake-up call. But what next? The legal system can be fixed, or our society could dispose of it. Institutions, corporations and workplaces can houseclean, or they can expect more stars to fall, and also a lot of asteroids.If the legal system is bypassed because it is seen as ineffectual, what will take its place? Who will be the new power brokers? It won't be the Bad Feminists like me. We are acceptable neither to Right nor to Left. In times of extremes, extremists win. Their ideology becomes a religion, anyone who doesn't puppet their views is seen as an apostate, a heretic or a traitor, and moderates in the middle are annihilated. Condoleezza Rice also warnsabout how the #meToo movement can backfire on women.Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that while she believes the #MeToo movement is "a good thing," people need "to be a little bit careful" about how they respond to it."Let's not turn women into snowflakes. Let's not infantilize women," Rice insisted during an interview with CNN's David Axelrod on "The Axe Files," which airs at 7 ET Saturday night.Rice said she didn't want "to get to a place that men start to think, 'Well, maybe it's just better not to have women around.' I've heard a little bit of that. And it, it[...]