The Guardian’s departure from truth

by on February 8, 2017 in Media Comment

The Guardian is continuing to produce an endless stream of anti-Russia propaganda. (They are so keen on doing this that they even publish anti-Russia stories produced by the US propaganda outlet ‘Radio Free Europe’ and Bill Gates’s charitable foundation and present them as ‘news’ [1]).

The following is an example of one approach. In this approach – a claim by activists is reported and then by a magical process morphs itself into absolute uncontested truth.  – We should, of course, not be naive. Russia does sometimes operate tactically in a way that allows for ‘plausible deniability’. The presence of volunteer Russian servicemen in Eastern Ukraine might be cited as an example; it is unlikely that they are not being coordinated to some extent by Russian intelligence. Their presence as volunteers allows the Russian state to officially say that “there are no Russian troops in Eastern Ukraine”. On the other hand; elevating unproven claims against Russia made by die-hard ‘anti-Kremlin’ activists to the status of truth is not journalism either.

This article, by Guardian journalist Alec Luhn, writing in Moscow, describes how a US based Kremlin critic, Vladimir Kara-Murza, has fallen ill while on a trip to Russia. His wife has alleged that he has been poisoned. On a previous trip he apparently fell ill in a similar way. On that occasion, the Guardian reports, samples were sent to laboratories in Israel and France – but no poison was identified. That Vladimir Kara-Murza is being poisoned by the Russian state is taken for granted by the liberal anti-Russian Western propaganda machine. This is Alec Luhn:

Kara-Murza is not the first Putin critic to have been poisoned. Former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko died in London in 2006 after drinking tea that was found to be laced with polonium-210, a the radioactive substance. An inquiry last year said two Russian agents had murdered Litvinenko and that the hit was “probably approved” by Putin.

But poisoning has not been proved. No poison was “identified” in the previous case. (Which may, it seems, in fact mean that no poison was found – see below). And no evidence whatsoever of involvement by the Russian state is provided. To claim as Alec Luhn does that it is a fact that Vladimir Kara-Murza has been deliberately poisoned is itself a fabrication. And while Alex Luhn avoids directly saying the “Putin did it” by linking it to the Litvinenko case he as good as does.

Interestingly Kara-Murza himself was more circumspect when talking about the 2015 incident:

The diagnosis which I received was a high level of “intoxication,” but they did not manage to find out the reason exactly. It is hard for me to believe this was an accident, because I am a healthy person and so that one after another of my organs would start to shut down abruptly…But I can’t confirm anything because when I was in City Hospital No. 1 in Moscow, the doctors – and I am incredibly grateful to them, they pulled me back from the other world literally; the experts gave me a 5% chance of survival when I landed there — but finding out the reason was not a priority for them. And when I went for rehabilitation in the US, too much time had passed for the tests to show anything definitive. [2]

The “inquiry” mentioned by Alec Luhn into the assassination of Litvinenko was, of course, an inquiry run by a British judge which based its findings on material provided in secret by British intelligence, material which was probably based on information provided by Russian defectors. It is weak journalism to omit this background information about the “inquiry”.

So; there is no evidence of intentional poisoning. And certainly no evidence of Russian state involvement. The article incorrectly, it seems, takes it as given that these illnesses are the result of intentional poisoning and then floats the idea (in a way which allows for deniability of course) that it was an act by the Russian state. This isn’t journalism. It is a kind of faith based religion. We believe that “Putin is evil and Russia is evil” – and then whatever happens is fitted into the article of faith. This is exactly how primitive superstition works; there is a big fierce God in the sky – and then everything that happens is explained on this basis. It is a pity that highly educated Western journalists descend to this level.

Notes

1. RFE propaganda as ‘news’ in the Guardian

“News” in the Guardian provided by the Bill Gates Foundation

2. http://www.interpretermag.com/russia-update-august-19-2015/

 

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