Intro: Below: Mike Lofgren is a former congressional staff member who served on both the House and Senate budget committees. His book about Congress, The Party is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted, appeared in paperback on August 27, 2013.
Essay: “Anatomy of the Deep State”
Mike Lofgren Moyers & Company USA February 21, 2014
Visit this page for its embedded, related and appended links and its embedded video (26:46).
Rome lived upon its principal till ruin stared it in the face. Industry is the only true source of wealth, and there was no industry in Rome. By day the Ostia road was crowded with carts and muleteers, carrying to the great city the silks and spices of the East, the marble of Asia Minor, the timber of the Atlas, the grain of Africa and Egypt; and the carts brought out nothing but loads of dung. That was their return cargo.
– The Martyrdom of Man by Winwood Reade (1871)
There is the visible government situated around the Mall in Washington, and then there is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. The former is traditional Washington partisan politics: the tip of the iceberg that a public watching C-SPAN sees daily and which is theoretically controllable via elections. The subsurface part of the iceberg I shall call the Deep State, which operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power. 
During the last five years, the news media has been flooded with pundits decrying the broken politics of Washington. The conventional wisdom has it that partisan gridlock and dysfunction have become the new normal. That is certainly the case, and I have been among the harshest critics of this development. But it is also imperative to acknowledge the limits of this critique as it applies to the American governmental system. On one level, the critique is self-evident: In the domain that the public can see, Congress is hopelessly deadlocked in the worst manner since the 1850s, the violently rancorous decade preceding the Civil War.
As I wrote in The Party is Over, the present objective of congressional Republicans is to render the executive branch powerless, at least until a Republican president is elected (a goal that voter suppression laws in GOP-controlled states are clearly intended to accomplish). President Obama cannot enact his domestic policies and budgets: Because of incessant GOP filibustering, not only could he not fill the large number of vacancies in the federal judiciary, he could not even get his most innocuous presidential appointees into office. Democrats controlling the Senate have responded by weakening the filibuster of nominations, but Republicans are sure to react with other parliamentary delaying tactics. This strategy amounts to congressional nullification of executive branch powers by a party that controls a majority in only one house of Congress.
Despite this apparent impotence, President Obama can liquidate American citizens without due processes, detain prisoners indefinitely without charge, conduct dragnet surveillance on the American people without judicial warrant and engage in unprecedented — at least since the McCarthy era — witch hunts against federal employees (the so-called “Insider Threat Program”). Within the United States, this power is characterized by massive displays of intimidating force by militarized federal, state and local law enforcement. Abroad, President Obama can start wars at will and engage in virtually any other activity whatsoever without so much as a by-your-leave from Congress, such as arranging the forced landing of a plane carrying a sovereign head of state over foreign territory. Despite the habitual cant of congressional Republicans about executive overreach by Obama, the would-be dictator, we have until recently heard very little from them about these actions — with the minor exception of comments from gadfly Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. Democrats, save a few mavericks such as Ron Wyden of Oregon, are not unduly troubled, either — even to the extent of permitting seemingly perjured congressional testimony under oath by executive branch officials on the subject of illegal surveillance.
These are not isolated instances of a contradiction; they have been so pervasive that they tend to be disregarded as background noise. During the time in 2011 when political warfare over the debt ceiling was beginning to paralyze the business of governance in Washington, the United States government somehow summoned the resources to overthrow Muammar Ghaddafi’s regime in Libya, and, when the instability created by that coup spilled over into Mali, provide overt and covert assistance to French intervention there. At a time when there was heated debate about continuing meat inspections and civilian air traffic control because of the budget crisis, our government was somehow able to commit $115 million to keeping a civil war going in Syria and to pay at least £100m to the United Kingdom’s Government Communications Headquarters to buy influence over and access to that country’s intelligence. Since 2007, two bridges carrying interstate highways have collapsed due to inadequate maintenance of infrastructure, one killing 13 people. During that same period of time, the government spent $1.7 billion constructing a building in Utah that is the size of 17 football fields. This mammoth structure is intended to allow the National Security Agency to store a yottabyte of information, the largest numerical designator computer scientists have coined. A yottabyte is equal to 500 quintillion pages of text. They need that much storage to archive every single trace of your electronic life.
Yes, there is another government concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, a hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country according to consistent patterns in season and out, connected to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we choose. My analysis of this phenomenon is not an exposé of a secret, conspiratorial cabal; the state within a state is hiding mostly in plain sight, and its operators mainly act in the light of day. Nor can this other government be accurately termed an “establishment.” All complex societies have an establishment, a social network committed to its own enrichment and perpetuation. In terms of its scope, financial resources and sheer global reach, the American hybrid state, the Deep State, is in a class by itself. That said, it is neither omniscient nor invincible. The institution is not so much sinister (although it has highly sinister aspects) as it is relentlessly well entrenched. Far from being invincible, its failures, such as those in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, are routine enough that it is only the Deep State’s protectiveness towards its higher-ranking personnel that allows them to escape the consequences of their frequent ineptitude. 
As the United States confronts its future after experiencing two failed wars, a precarious economy and $17 trillion in accumulated debt, the national punditry has split into two camps. The first, the declinists, sees a broken, dysfunctional political system incapable of reform and an economy soon to be overtaken by China. The second, the reformers, offers a profusion of nostrums to turn the nation around: public financing of elections to sever the artery of money between the corporate components of the Deep State and financially dependent elected officials, government “insourcing” to reverse the tide of outsourcing of government functions and the conflicts of interest that it creates, a tax policy that values human labor over financial manipulation and a trade policy that favors exporting manufactured goods over exporting investment capital.
All of that is necessary, but not sufficient. The Snowden revelations (the impact of which have been surprisingly strong), the derailed drive for military intervention in Syria and a fractious Congress, whose dysfunction has begun to be a serious inconvenience to the Deep State, show that there is now a deep but as yet inchoate hunger for change. What America lacks is a figure with the serene self-confidence to tell us that the twin idols of national security and corporate power are outworn dogmas that have nothing more to offer us. Thus disenthralled, the people themselves will unravel the Deep State with surprising speed.
Items: Below: The Ukrainian crisis – partly fomented by U.S. neocons including holdovers at the State Department – has soured U.S-Russian relations and disrupted President Obama’s secretive cooperation with Russian President Putin to resolve crises in the Mideast, reports Robert Parry. Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. He is the author of America’s Stolen Narrative (2012), ISBN 978189351. The book reviews previous history then explores the political deceptions that surrounded the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and the two George Bushes and explains how that false history entrapped Barack Obama.
What neocons want from Ukraine crisis
Robert Parry Consortium News USA March 2, 2014
President Barack Obama has been trying, mostly in secret, to craft a new foreign policy that relies heavily on cooperation with Russian President Vladimir Putin to tamp down confrontations in hotspots such as Iran and Syria. But Obama’s timidity about publicly explaining this strategy has left it open to attack from powerful elements of Official Washington, including well-placed neocons and people in his own administration.
The gravest threat to this Obama-Putin collaboration has now emerged in Ukraine, where a coalition of U.S. neocon operatives and neocon holdovers within the State Department fanned the flames of unrest in Ukraine, contributing to the violent overthrow of democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych and now to a military intervention by Russian troops in the Crimea, a region in southern Ukraine that historically was part of Russia.
Though I’m told the Ukraine crisis caught Obama and Putin by surprise, the neocon determination to drive a wedge between the two leaders has been apparent for months, especially after Putin brokered a deal to head off U.S. military strikes against Syria last summer and helped get Iran to negotiate concessions on its nuclear program, both moves upsetting the neocons who had favored heightened confrontations.
Putin also is reported to have verbally dressed down Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then-Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan over what Putin considered their provocative actions regarding the Syrian civil war. So, by disrupting neocon plans and offending Netanyahu and Bandar, the Russian president found himself squarely in the crosshairs of some very powerful people.
If not for Putin, the neocons – along with Israel and Saudi Arabia – had hoped that Obama would launch military strikes on Syria and Iran that could open the door to more “regime change” across the Middle East, a dream at the center of neocon geopolitical strategy since the 1990s. This neocon strategy took shape after the display of U.S. high-tech warfare against Iraq in 1991 and the collapse of the Soviet Union later that year. U.S. neocons began believing in a new paradigm of a uni-polar world where U.S. edicts were law.
Below: Dmitri K. Simes is the president of The Center for the National Interest and publisher of the foreign policy journal The National Interest. Simes has chaired the Center for Russian and Eurasian Programs at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and was the director of a Soviet-focused program at Johns Hopkins University. He has also taught at Columbia University and the University of California, Berkeley. His writings include After the Collapse: Russia Seeks its Place as a Great Power (1999), Détente and Conflict: Soviet Foreign Policy 1972-1977, and Soviet Succession: Leadership in Transition. John Judis asked him what he thought was happening in Ukraine, and what the role of the United States has been and should be.
“We Are Speaking Very Loudly. We Are Carrying a Small Stick.” Dmitri K. Simes on why Russia isn’t taking the U.S. seriously
Interview conducted by John Judis The New Republic USA March 3, 2014
John Judis: So, is a civil war likely at this point? What do you think is going on?
Dmitri K. Simes: Well, I think it still is unlikely, it’s not impossible but it’s unlikely. It’s very clear that Crimea is under Russian control and that is hard to change. There is nothing anyone can do about it, except negotiate. And if Moscow uses force there, that may lead to a dangerous escalation. Still, Russia’s presence does not yet mean that Crimea will become a part of Russia. There was a hopeful sign yesterday, when the new prime minister of Crimea announced that they would postpone the referendum on their statehood. That statement was clearly coordinated with the Kremlin. So there may well be an opportunity if we want to use it, to negotiate what exactly what this referendum would be about—about a union with Russia, about full independence, about extended autonomy. That still may be negotiable. Crimea will probably not be an integral part of Ukraine any longer. As far as Russian troops moving into eastern Ukraine, I still consider this highly unlikely and avoidable, but of course it also depends on what the government in Kiev is going to do.
JJ: Russians now charge that the U.S. and E.U. interfered—they’re blaming the Americans and the European Union—how do you assess the Obama administration’s performance so far?
DKS: I think it has contributed to the crisis. Because there was a legitimate government in Kiev, led by President Viktor Yanukovych. Yanukovych is a despicable character. He also is inept. He was the principal architect of his own demise. Yet he was legally elected. He commanded a clear majority in the Ukrainian parliament. And essentially the United States and the European Union have decided to side with the protesters. Let me say, too, if they were using that kind of force and those techniques against a friendly government we would not call them protesters, we would call them rebels. We have sided with these protesters slash rebels. We used them to pressure Yanukovych to negotiate a deal, which the European governments fully endorsed, and which had the support of the Obama administration.
When the rebels used the momentum from the deal essentially to remove Yanukovych and his whole government from power, we have accepted that as if it were normal to remove a legally elected government by force. More than 100 deputies from the Rada from the former ruling party, the Party of Regions, would not come to the Rada, and those from the Party of the Regions that voted with the opposition, some of them were clearly intimidated, and others belonged to Ukrainian oligarchs who were allowed to play a role in politics. And while those deputies normally belong to the Party of Regions, actually they were controlled by the oligarchs, who were pressured by the West to change sides. So that’s what led to the new government coming to power in Kiev. You could not ignore this process if you wanted to know why the Russians decided to interfere.
Now, I understand that we favored the rebels. And I also again have to say that looking at Yanukovych, he clearly was unsavory, and unpopular, and inept, and I can understand why we would not do anything to promote his questionable legitimacy. But we have to realize, that as we were applying this pressure on the Ukrainian political process to promote those we favor, we clearly were rocking the political boat in Ukraine, a country deeply divided, a country with different religions, different histories, different ethnicities. And it was that process of rocking the boat that led to the outcome have seen. That is not to justify what Putin has done, that is not to say that the Russians are entitled to use their troops on the territory of another state. But let me say this: any Russian wrongdoings should not be used as an alibi for the incompetence of the Obama administration. European and American steps that contributed to this unfortunate outcome, and quite remarkably, nobody in this administration even seems to have been thinking about what the consequences of their previous actions could be. That’s how we got to our current predicament.
Related: Questions on Ukraine the West chooses not to answer
RT Russia March 5, 2014
Ukrainian and Western refusal to answer Moscow’s hard questions explains Russia’s tough stance on the crisis in Kiev.
Ignoring Russian concerns is a western habit adopted after the Soviet Union’s collapse; when NATO bombed Yugoslavia; during the recognition of Kosovo as an independent state, and the US push to install an anti-missile shield over Europe that can target Russia.
It also happened recently when western diplomats flocked to Ukraine to smile and wave and lobby their interests in a future Ukrainian government, while accusing Russia of meddling in Ukrainian affairs.
But it seems that in Ukraine lies Russia’s red line and Moscow no longer takes “don’t know, don’t care” for an answer.
Here’s the questions.
Noted: 94 people were killed and another 900 injured during the standoff between police and protesters at Maidan Saquare in Kiev last month. And then the fog of war swept in/over. Who hired the snipers? Do your own research and decide for yourself.
Expertise Centre of The Russian Federation says its mission is to promote a deeper understanding of Russian affairs in The Netherlands and Belgium. It has a Facebook page. The Centre posted the exchange between Paet and Ashston on YouTube (10:50), accompanied by photos of the carnage. Of the post, the Centre said:
Officers of Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) loyal to the ousted President Viktor Yanukovich have hacked phones of Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and leaked their conversation to the web. The officials discuss their impressions of what’s happening in the country after the revolution. The gist of it is that Ukrainian people have no trust in any of the leaders of Maidan.
However the most striking thing of all is the fact which concerns the use of force during the revolution, particularly the snipers who killed both protesters and officers of the riot police. Mr. Paet reveals astonishing information which confirms the rumours that the snipers were employed by the leaders of Maidan.
Veterans Today was right – Kiev shootings a psyops provocation
Jim W. Dean Veterans Today USA March 5, 2014
This page embeds the Expertise Centre of The Russian Federation YouTube link and adds this comment, “This conversation took place on Feb. 26th, 2014…and we assume was intercepted by Russian security”.
This would not be the first time where people shot their own ‘for the greater good’ as they call it.
Our own analysis of the earlier triple angle videos of the shooting showed advancing unarmed demonstrators being shot from behind from 180 degrees, and also from a side behind angle of about 35 degrees from buildings across the street they occupied.
The angle was low, so the shooters were not up high, so they could exit their positions quickly.
A third party shooting both sides of a conflict to stimulate general fire is a classic Intel psyop, and nothing like that happens spontaneously.
In this case, some of the fire is short bursts from automatic weapons. You can see the bullets impacting the trees, actually going over the heads of the demonstrators.
To save you time watching this…the first two minutes are dead time while the Estonian FM is waiting for the connection to Ashton. The main thing he confirms prior to the shooting part is that the members of the transition government are a lot of people with some very shady pasts…gangsters, America’s, the EU’s and NATO’s new terror ally nation-builders in Eastern Europe.
They don’t get into the shooting discussion until around 8 minutes. The Estonian FM says that the medical and on the ground people all confirm that the riot police and the protestors were shot by the same group…and there was no qualification on that. You will notice that Ashton matter of factly acknowledges this but does not ask any questions.
And the last big thing is that the Estonian FM says the interim government has no interest in an investigation to establish who really did the shooting.
Ashton again acknowledges, but strangely does not ask the FM who he thinks did it, something the faraway person would normally be asking the ‘been there’ person. One might assume that she already knew, and thus did not have to ask.
Despite knowing they are aligned with hard core street paramilitaries whom they have brutally set loose upon the Ukrainians, neither shows the slightest concern over any of their depredations.
British EU chief hears Ukraine shooting claim in bugged call
Channel 4 News UK March 5, 2014
Visit this page for its embedded videos.
In a leaked phone call, believed to be between EU foreign policy chief Cathy Ashton and Estonia’s foreign minister, it is claimed Ukraine protesters were shot on the orders of their own leaders.
In the conversation the speakers discuss a suspicion that snipers who shot protesters in Kiev’s Independence Square, at the height of the Maidan protests, had been hired by opposition leaders, not the Ukrainian government of ousted President Yanukovych.
It is reported that Ukraine’s special services, friendly to ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, bugged the conversation between Baroness Ashton and a man believed to be Urmas Paet, the Estonian foreign minister. It is thought the conversation took place around the 26 February, shortly after Yanukovych fled the country.
In the recording, the male voice says he has been told of evidence suggesting that one group was responsible for shooting both riot police and protesters alike, and that there is a “stronger and stronger understanding” that one of the Maidan leaders organised the shootings.
It has previously been reported that government gunmen were responsible for the majority of 88 protester deaths in the uprising.
The man alleged to be Mr Paet describes how he spoke to “Olga” – a person whom the female voice on the tape, believed to be Baroness Ashton, seems to know. He describes Olga as a doctors’ leader in Ukraine. It is understood that Olga refers to Dr Olga Bogomolets.
Mr Paet says that Olga told him that “all evidence shows that the people were killed by snipers from both sides – among policemen and people from the streets – that they were the same snipers killing people from both sides.”
He continues: “And it’s really disturbing that now the new coalition [government], they don’t want to investigate what exactly happened, so that there is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers it was not Yanukovych, but it was somebody from the new coalition.”
Baroness Ashton apparently responds: “I think they do want to investigate, and I didn’t know… pick that up – gosh.”
Mr Paet says the evidence “discredits from the very beginning” Ukraine’s new leadership.
Michael Mann, Baroness Ashton’s spokesperson, told Channel 4 News: “We do not comment on alleged phone conversations.”
Ms Bogomolets said she had not told Mr Paet that policemen and protesters had been killed in the same manner. “Myself I saw only protesters. I do not know the type of wounds suffered by military people,” she told The Telegraph. “I have no access to those people.”
She said finding out who was responsible for the deaths could only be determined by “fact”, and that she had been assured by the new Ukrainian government that an investigation was underway.
Estonian Foreign Ministry confirms authenticity of leaked call on Kiev snipers
RT Russia March 5, 2014
Urmas Paet. Photo: Vasily Maximov/AFP. Visit this page for its embedded link and short video.
Estonian foreign minister has confirmed the recording of his conversation with EU foreign policy chief is authentic. Urmas Paet said that snipers who shot at protesters and police in Kiev were hired by Maidan leaders.
Paet told RIA-Novosti news agency that he talked to Catherine Ashton last week right after retiring from Kiev, but refrained from further comments, saying that he has to “listen to the tape first.”
“It’s very disappointing that such surveillance took place altogether. It’s not a coincidence that this conversation was uploaded [to the web] today,” he stressed.
“My conversation with Ashton took place last week right after I returned from Kiev. At that time I was already in Estonia,” Paet added.
Paet also gave a press conference about the leaked tape on Wednesday, saying that the dramatic events in Kiev, which resulted in people being killed, must become the subject of an independent investigation.
The Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also issued a statement on its website, saying that the recording of the leaked telephone conversation between Paet and Ashton is “authentic.”
Footnote: 1) In the Channel 4 news item (see above) the claim is made that RT is ‘state-owned’. According to “RIA Novosti Does Not Control RT Television – Russian Media Experts”:
… Under Russian law, as an autonomous non-profit organization, RT is fully independent of its founders. Its top management body is the Supervisory Council (Board of Directors). RIA Novosti does not have any representatives on the RT Supervisory Council or any other RT management bodies, and hence does not influence the network’s editorial policy, or its financial and economic operation, directly or indirectly. …
From Wikipedia: RT (TV network):
RT, previously known as Russia Today, is an international multilingual Russian-based television network. It is registered as an autonomous nonprofit organization funded by the federal budget of Russia through the Federal Agency on Press and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation. …
RT presents round-the-clock news bulletins, documentaries, talk shows, and debates, as well as sports news and cultural programs on Russia aimed at the overseas news market. The network’s signal is carried by 22 satellites and over 230 operators, which allows some 644 million people to watch the channel in more than 100 countries. RT America is available to 85 million people in the United States. In 2011 it was the second most-watched foreign news channel in the U.S. after BBC World News, and the number one foreign station in five major U.S. urban areas in 2012. It is also very popular among younger American people, U.S. college students, and in U.S. inner city neighborhoods. In 2013 RT has become the first TV news channel in history to reach 1 billion views on YouTube. According to the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board between 2.25–2.5 million Britons tuned their televisions to RT during the second half of 2012, making it the third-most watched rolling news channel in Britain, behind BBC News and Sky News.
2) An American anchor working for RT quit on air on Wednesday (March 5, 2014). Liz Wahl, in the network’s D.C. bureau, announced she could no longer be “part of a network that whitewashes the actions of Putin. I’m proud to be an American and believe in disseminating the truth, and that is why, after this newscast, I am resigning.”
Was Ms Wahl’s on air resignation a courageous act by a proud American journalist as US media accounts shout or was it an act of US intelligence theater as some others have claimed? Or was she just ‘war’ weary? We don’t know.
Margarita Simonyan, RT’s editor-in-chief, commented on Liz Wahl, Abbey Martin and RT’s place in the world. It was posted to RT’s website March 6, 2014. “This is all typical of a media war.” Her commentary contains two embedded videos.
About Abby Martin, Liz Wahl and media wars
Today RT America anchor Liz Wahl resigned on air, claiming she disagrees with the channel’s editorial stance. And here’s what I have to say about it.
These days it takes a lot of courage to work for RT. Never before have I seen RT and its journalists bullied like this. See for yourselves what they did to poor Abby. First, she openly voiced disagreement with Russia’s stance on air – and was virtually made an American hero. But then Abby reminded everyone how much she disagrees with America’s stance as well, adding she takes pride in working at RT, where she is free to express her views. Less than an hour passed before Abby had her name dragged through something I have difficulty finding a decent name for this late at night. The US mainstream media even went as far as claiming we had orchestrated the whole thing as a publicity move. They labeled Abby a conspiracy theorist, bringing to light her past as an activist. In less than 24 hours, they first sang her praises and then excoriated her. All of this in front of her colleagues, including Liz Wahl. How do you think they felt watching that?
Yesterday I spent quite some time explaining to a New York Times correspondent why I consider Russia’s position to be right. I’m Russian. I support my country and I will fight for the truth for as long as it takes. Neither Abby, nor Liz, nor many other employees are Russian nationals, but foreign. And now their country is likening my country to Nazi Germany. For many years they have worked for RT in good faith, proving every day that a voice that stands out from the mainstream media can be beautiful and strong, attract an audience that grows daily. These are the people who were the first to tell their country about the Occupy movement, who were detained at protest rallies, handcuffed for hours and then tried in court for doing their job. These are the people who were outraged by US hypocrisy in Syria, Libya – you can finish the list yourself – and reminded the world who used chemical weapons most often, even resorting to nuclear bombs. These are the people who did things the Western mainstream media would have never done. But those were peaceful times. And now we’ve got a genuine war going on – no, thank God, it’s not in Crimea. It’s a media war. Every single day, every single hour the guys who work for us are told, “You are liars, you are no journalists, you are the Kremlin propaganda mouthpiece, you’ve sold yourselves to the Russians, it’s time you quit your job, and everybody is laughing at you, so change your mind before it’s too late.”
The storm of articles posted about RT over the last couple of days – literally tons of printed copy – looks as if it were written to dictation. Hardly any respectable media outlet refrained from lambasting and lynching RT journalists in articles or reports. Our employees listen to their colleagues, their fellow citizens, and their potential employers, as career prospects are obviously important to every journalist. How many could withstand this pressure? Well, some will and some won’t. Some sincerely disagree, as they believe their own country more than mine. Others are simply thinking about their future. And it’s hard for me to judge them.
This is all typical of a media war. We’re not the first and we will not be the last to go through this. During the Arab Spring, Al Jazeera staff in Lebanon made headlines by resigning en masse. Their Egyptian colleagues followed suit. Over twenty journalists resigned citing disagreement with the channel’s editorial line. That this happened without any pressure from the world mass media was due to the fact that, throughout the Arab Spring, Al Jazeera was completely in tune with the global mainstream. So no one sought to criticize the channel, on the contrary, everyone praised its coverage.
A couple of minutes after Liz made her statement, we found all the major news media in the world – as our exhausted spokeswoman put it, “CNN, NYT, pretty much everyone” – glowing with schadenfreude, as they lined up for official feedback from RT. This included those who had ignored the news of the Ashton-Paet phone leak revelation, as if it didn’t happen. A rival media anchor’s resignation is certainly much more newsworthy and more relevant to the Ukraine crisis than two European leaders saying opposition henchmen may have been killing people.
I can see very clearly why I continue to work for a channel that stands alone (!) face-to-face with thousands and tens of thousands of Western news outlets, showing everybody the other side of the story, under daily attacks from the media against which it can hardly fight back. It’s my country. There is no other choice for me. But the foreign journalists who work for RT across the globe do have a choice. Some of them might be asking themselves, “Why would I have to defend Russia at the expense of my career, my future, my reputation, why would I tolerate humiliation by my fellow journalists?” Few can say “Because I’m telling the truth, and there’s no one else to tell it.” Some will fail to find the answer and quietly resign. Others will perform their resignation on air in a self-promotional stunt, perhaps securing fantastic career prospects they wouldn’t have dreamt of before.
Standing out from the crowd is hard, sometimes unbearable. I wish the best of luck to those who can’t take it. To those who continue to do their best for RT, who know they are right even if the whole world says otherwise, I have to say I’m proud of you. IMMENSELY PROUD.