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Fake News About Iran, Russia, China Is U.S. Journalism's Daily Bread

Published: September 16, 2020
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Source: Moon of Alabama

Every few days U.S. 'intelligence' and 'officials' produce fake claims about this or that 'hostile' country. U.S. media continue to reproduce those claims even if they bare any logic and do not make any sense.

On June 27 the New York Times and the Washington Post published fake news about alleged Russian payments to the Taliban for killing U.S. troops.

The stories ran on the outlets' front pages.

Two week later the story was shown to have no basis:

[T]hat the story was obviously bullshit did not prevent Democrats in Congress, including 'Russiagate' swindler Adam Schiff, to bluster about it and to call for immediate briefings and new sanctions on Russia.

Just a day after it was published the main accusation, that Trump was briefed on the 'intelligence' died. The Director of National Intelligence, the National Security Advisor and the CIA publicly rejected the claim. Then the rest of the story started to crumble. On June 2, just one week after it was launched, the story was declared dead.
...
The NYT buried the above quoted dead corpse of the original story page A-19.

Despite that the Democrats continued to use the fake story for attacks on Donald Trump.

Yesterday the commander of the U.S. forces in the Middle East drove a stake though the heart of the dead corpse of the original story:

Two months after top Pentagon officials vowed to get to the bottom of whether the Russian government bribed the Taliban to kill American service members, the commander of troops in the region says a detailed review of all available intelligence has not been able to corroborate the existence of such a program.

"It just has not been proved to a level of certainty that satisfies me," Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of the U.S. Central Command, told NBC News. McKenzie oversees U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

But as one fake news zombie finally dies others get resurrected. Politico's 'intelligence' stenographer Natasha Bertrand produced this nonsensical claim:

The Iranian government is weighing an assassination attempt against the American ambassador to South Africa, U.S. intelligence reports say, according to a U.S. government official familiar with the issue and another official who has seen the intelligence.

News of the plot comes as Iran continues to seek ways to retaliate for President Donald Trump’s decision to kill a powerful Iranian general earlier this year, the officials said. If carried out, it could dramatically ratchet up already serious tensions between the U.S. and Iran and create enormous pressure on Trump to strike back — possibly in the middle of a tense election season.

U.S. officials have been aware of a general threat against the ambassador, Lana Marks, since the spring, the officials said. But the intelligence about the threat to the ambassador has become more specific in recent weeks. The Iranian Embassy in Pretoria is involved in the plot, the U.S. government official said.

Ambassador Lana Marks is known for selling overpriced handbags and for her donations to Trump's campaign. To Iran she has zero political or symbolic value. There is no way Iran would ever think about an attack on such a target. Accordingly the South African intelligence services do not believe that there is such a threat:

South African Minister of State Security Ayanda Dlodlo said the matter was “receiving the necessary attention” and that the State Security Agency (SSA) was “interacting with all relevant partners both in the country and abroad, to ensure that no harm will be suffered by the US Ambassador, including any other Diplomatic Officials inside the borders of our country.”

However, an informed intelligence source told Daily Maverick that although the “matter has been taken seriously… as we approach all such threats, specifically, there appears to be, from our perspective, no discernible threat. Least of all from the source that it purports to emanate from.

There was “no evidence or indicator”, the source said, so the plot was “not likely to be real”. The “associations made are not sustainable on any level but all precautions will be put in place”.

The source suggested this was an instance of the “tail wagging the dog”, of the Trump administration wielding a “weapon of mass distraction” to divert attention from its failures in the election campaign running up to President Donald Trump’s re-election bid on November 3.

The spokesperson for the Iranian ministry of foreign affairs, Saeed Khatibzadeh, strongly denied the allegation in the Politico report which he called “hackneyed and worn-out… anti-Iran propaganda”.

In January the U.S. assassinated the Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad. Soleimani led the external campaigns of the Iranian Quds Forces. He was the one who orchestrated the campaign that defeated the Islamic State. His mythic-symbolic position for Iran and the resistance in the Middle East is beyond that of any U.S. figure.

There is simply no one in the U.S. military or political hierarchy who could be seen as his equal. Iran has therefore announced that it will take other ways to revenge the assassination of Soleimani.

As an immediate response to the assassination of Soleimani Iran had launched a precise missile attack against two U.S. bases in Iraq. It has also announced that it will make sure that the U.S. military will have to leave the Middle East. That program is in full swing now as U.S. bases in Iraq are again coming under daily missile attacks:

More than eight months after a barrage of rockets killed an American contractor and wounded four American service members in Kirkuk, Iraq, militia groups continue to target U.S. military bases in that country, and the frequency of those attacks has increased.

"We have had more indirect fire attacks around and against our bases the first half of this year than we did the first half of last year," Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of the U.S. Central Command, said. "Those attacks have been higher."
...
McKenzie's comments came just hours after he announced the United States would be cutting its footprint in Iraq by almost half by the end of September, with about 2,200 troops leaving the country.

Just hours agon two Katyusha rockets were fired against the U.S. embassy in Baghdad's Green Zone. Two British/U.S.convoys also came under attack. U.S. air defense took the missiles down but its anti-missile fire is only further disgruntling the Iraqi population.

These attacks are still limited and designed to not cause any significant casualties. But they will continue to increase over time until the last U.S. soldier is withdrawn from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and other Middle East countries. That, and only that, is the punishment Iran promised as revenge for Soleimani's death.

The alleged Iranian thread against the U.S. ambassador to South Africa is just another fake news propaganda story. It is useful only for lame blustering:

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump - 3:04 UTC · Sep 15, 2020

According to press reports, Iran may be planning an assassination, or other attack, against the United States in retaliation for the killing of terrorist leader Soleimani, which was carried out for his planning a future attack, murdering U.S. Troops, and the death & suffering...
...caused over so many years. Any attack by Iran, in any form, against the United States will be met with an attack on Iran that will be 1,000 times greater in magnitude!

The danger of such fake stories about Russia or Iran is that they might be used to justify a response in the case of a false flag attack on the alleged targets.

Should something inconvenient happen to Ambassador Lana Marks the Trump administration could use the fake story as an excuse to respond with a limited attack on Iran.

It is well known by now that U.S. President Donald Trump is lying about every time he opens his mouth. Why do U.S. journalists presume that the agencies and anonymous officials who work under him are more truthful in their utterings than the man himself is hard to understand. Why do they swallow their bullshit?

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