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By John Helmer, Moscow

When empires collapse, it’s the death of the big beasts that is noticed first. In time, it’s the midgets of the empire which tell the longer story of the breaks in evolution. Just so, thirty-five million years before the dinosaurs made their exit, several Mesozoic creatures fell into pine resin, and have been preserved as fossilized amber for us to analyse how they came to their end.

One of them is the microwhip scorpion (Electrokoenenia yaksha). His problem was that his stinger caused a lot of prehistoric pain — until his victims found the antidote for him. Today, petrified in amber, you wonder how such a pinprick of a creature could have caused such mischief.

To make sure that the defeat of the American empire in the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe, will be preserved to tell the tale, the US Senate has proposed a $40 million fund for embalming its warriors. In fossil form, our descendants may decide to pin them to their bosoms as jewellery. For us, Senate Bill No. 2692 is a reassurance that there will be a keepsake of the last remaining lies of the US Government in its warfare against the rest of the world. Introduced a week ago, on March 16, the bill is titled the Countering Information Warfare Act of 2016. But is $40 million enough to obscure the fact that noone in the civilized world believes the United States Government any longer?

The bill has been created by Rob Portman (below, left), a Republican Party senator for the state of Ohio who is in the last months of his first term. He is facing re-election in November, and according to US pollsters, he is “one of the most vulnerable senators this cycle.” Co-promoter of the bill is Chris Murphy (right), a first-term senator from the Democratic Party for Connecticut.


Electric Boat — one of the biggest businesses in Murphy’s constituency and a unit of General Dynamics, the second largest arms contractor in the US — just sponsored the senator on a trip to the Arctic. There he discovered the US Navy needs more Electric Boat submarines to oppose Russian submarines under the ice.

The text of the Portman-Murphy bill doesn’t exactly say the US Government will spend fresh millions to tell whoppers. Nor is the money intended to tell the truth. Portman and Murphy say their idea is to promote “fact-based narratives”. In Hollywood that’s the term for a movie based on a true story. There are thousands of them; read alphabetically.

The Portman-Murphy target isn’t so clear either. They don’t say that people who aren’t Americans can’t help telling lies. Also, they can’t accept that Russian and Chinese people won’t believe what the US Government tells them for their own good — and for the good of Senators Portman and Murphy. “Foreign governments, including the Governments of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China, use disinformation and other propaganda tools to undermine the national security objectives of the United States and key allies and partners.” It’s those “security objectives” which the money of the bill, and the officials to be appointed to hand it out, are meant to advance. It’s money for war.


Read the full text here.

The proposal is for the State Department, the Pentagon, the US intelligence services, and the Broadcasting Board of Governors to create the “Center for Information Analysis and Response.” For this financial year and next, the CIA&R is to be given $20 million a year for “developing and disseminating fact-based narratives and analysis to counter propaganda and disinformation directed at United States allies and partners.” Before it does that, the CIA&R must first “track and evaluate counterfactual narratives abroad that threaten the national security interests of the United States and United States allies”.

A counterfactual narrative is kind of like a movie based on a true story. It’s true, but it carries a legal disclaimer: “any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.”

Electric Boat (General Dynamics) isn’t likely to qualify for a CIA&R award. At any rate, the money wouldn’t be enough to build a single nuclear missile-firing tube in one of its new boats. Portman’s and Murphy’s idea is that in order to disseminate the fact-based narrative that more boats are urgently needed at $7.6 billion apiece, the CIA&R will award “grants or contracts of financial support to civil society groups, journalists, nongovernmental organizations, federally funded research and development centers, private companies, or academic institutions.”

The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) will have a seat on the CIA&R because it’s in charge of Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Alhurra TV, Radio Sawa, Radio Free Asia, and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting. The BBG chairman is the Secretary of State John Kerry. The board also includes a commercial media company executive; a PR man; and a Russian émigré turned US Government-paid think-tanker named Leon Aron (below). For the full roster and their paymasters, read this.


BBG news flash: “Gov. Leon Aron discusses RFE/RL Ukrainian Service reporting with video journalist Yevhen Solonyna, at RFE/RL’s bureau in Kyiv”.

Source: http://www.bbg.gov/blog/2015/05/12/bbg-governor-leon-aron-visits-kyiv-chisinau-and-prague/

BBG isn’t in the CIA&R just because its bread and butter is disseminating fact-based narratives against counterfactual narratives. Its job, according to the Senate bill, is to make sure there can be no “compromise [of] the journalistic freedom or integrity of relevant media organizations.” BBG will make sure that at the bottom of every CIA&R paycheck, there will be a “freedom or integrity” sign-off. In deciding which of those alternatives, freedom or integrity, Kerry, Aron and their BBG board colleagues will decide to pay for, the bill requires the CIA&R to call for the “support for third-party outlets such as think tanks, political parties, and nongovernmental organizations, and the use of covert or clandestine special operators and agents to influence targeted populations and governments… and proactively promote fact-based narratives and policies to audiences outside the United States.”

If you work at the Legatum Institute, for example, Chatham House, the Center for European Policy Analysis, or Bellingcat.com, you can still qualify for your CIA&R grant if you are a covert agent or clandestine operator. But you must be willing to sign the BBG’s freedom or integrity oath. Portman and Murphy don’t want to waste the governmernt’s money on people who can swear oaths without being believed. They warn: “All organizations that apply to receive funds under this subsection must undergo a vetting process in accordance with the relevant existing regulations to ensure their bona fides, capability, and experience, and their compatibility with United States interests and objectives.”

That doesn’t mean that naturalized American citizens, foreigners or dual nationals shouldn’t apply to the CIA&R. It means that this must not become a state subsidy for the failing veracity and fortunes of people like Anne Applebaum (first lead image), Eliot Higgins (2nd), Edward Lucas (3rd), and Peter Pomeranz (4th). They call themselves infowarriors on the US side against Russia. About their names, any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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