From Taliban ‘bounties’ to claims about North Korea, the US media’s ‘anonymous sources’ are weaponizing ‘fake news’
By Vitaly Sovin, impartial analyst and skilled in sanctions coverage
After the publication of a current story within the New York Times primarily based on allegedly ‘declassified materials’ from US intelligence companies about Russia’s ‘purchase’ of hundreds of thousands of artillery shells and missiles from North Korea to be used in Ukraine, one thing went awry.
Against the backdrop of statements from representatives of the State Department and the Department of Defense, who didn’t present any factual data, John Kirby, the US National Security Council’s coordinator for strategic communications, walked it again. He conceded that there have been no indications that the arms buy had really occurred but, or that any North Korean munitions had made it onto the battlefield in Ukraine.
The narrative, nevertheless, serves various functions:
- Highlighting the “serious logistical problems” for Russia and its native allies within the context of the navy operation in Ukraine;
- Demonstrating the effectiveness of US and EU export management measures, which China additionally apparently complies with;
- Insinuations about Russia’s ‘forced’ recourse to ‘rogue states’ equivalent to North Korea and Iran for navy help. Pyongyang is beneath a strict arms embargo by the UN Security Council, and any provide of arms and materiel from the nation could be thought of a violation of worldwide sanction;
- Settling scores with Pyongyang for its recognition of the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, and the potential deployment of North Korean employees to the liberated territories to rebuild civilian infrastructure.
The present state of affairs is harking back to occasions that occurred two years in the past, when the New York Times, in June 2020, was the supply of a pretend story alleging that Russian navy intelligence had provided Taliban-linked fighters ‘bounties’ for killing US troops in Afghanistan.
Democratic Senator Robert Menendez then proposed a sanctions bundle referred to as the Russian Bounty Response Act of 2020, which included asset freezes and visa restrictions on Moscow’s high management. Menendez’s proposal was supported by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Democrat), who mentioned that sanctions on Russia for ‘collusion’ with the Taliban must be imposed instantly.
Then-President Donald Trump referred to as the New York Times’ story “fake.” Trump later confirmed that US intelligence companies had discovered it to be unfaithful. Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman mentioned there was no proof of ‘Russian collusion’ with Taliban officers. The Taliban additionally denied the claims.
In the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, the ‘Russia’ issue was utilized in Democratic Party circles to level the finger at Trump for his failures on Afghanistan. The very subsequent 12 months, beneath President Joe Biden, the US infamously withdrew its navy, leaving over $7 billion value of weapons behind, in line with the Pentagon.
With the midterm election scheduled for November and the Ukrainian military struggling vital losses, the US continues to play soiled in its use of data warfare.
It is evident that if Biden’s Democrats win, the anti-Russia marketing campaign in its numerous manifestations will solely intensify.
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