Friday, September 01, 2017

Russian. Journalism?

On being written about by a State Department propagandist
I wasn't going to write this. Then reading Martin Cruz Smith's novel Tatiana, I had to. Moscow police detective Arkady Renko's investigation of crusading anti-corruption journalist Tatiana Petrovna leads him through familiar territory of gangsters, government corruption, and the contradictions of modern Russia.
But I do have a history with Russia which I wrote about here.
January 03, 2015
Russia still has a long way to go. So does China. It will still be a Russo-Chinese century. And watch Putin very carefully. He has a great power. I hope he will use it wisely.
Once, I wanted to be a journalist. There's this idealized notion of investigative journalism which I thought could make a difference to the world. From the Spanish Civil War to WWII to Vietnam there were so many writers whose words shaped my own thinking. I also saw the masters of discourse corrupting journalism for propaganda. Of course that's always been the case, with newspapers working with to shape public opinion. But at least there was a balance, with diverse opinions to choose from.

Now, you have the Orwellian nightmare, where people are taught to hate the other. Never mind. I could always choose alternative journalism, appreciating the many voices I came across, from Noam Chomsky, Ralph Nader, the good people at Counterpunch (maybe acting a bit like a gatekeeper lately) the Libertarians, the anti-war left and right all presenting their ideas for debate and discussion without abuse.

Which brings me to opposition Russian writer Yulia Latynina, shown here receiving the "Freedom Defenders Award"  from US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in 2008.

Disclosure: Ms. Latynina wrote about me later that year in an article on a Russian website Snob.Ru Аманда Нокс и правила большой лжи (Amanda Knox and the rule of The Big Lie)

Ну и, наконец, прокурор Миньини сумел убедить в своей фантазии если не миллионы, то сотни тысяч людей. Одна из поразительных вещей, о которых я не говорила доселе, — это гигантское количество интернет-фриков, бесчисленные сайты, обличающие «сатанистку» Аманду Нокс. Правда, «экспертами» на этих сайтах часто выступают домохозяйки, рекомендующиеся профессиональными экстрасенсами на службе ЦРУ, и среди них нет-нет да и блеснет ослепительным алмазом такой свидетель, как «Мессия Иисус Христос» с планеты Антлан.

Translation: (And, finally, Prosecutor Mignini managed to convince in his fantasy, if not millions, then hundreds of thousands of people. One of the striking things I have not mentioned before is the huge amount of Internet freaks, countless websites that denounce the "satanist" Amanda Knox. True, the "experts" on these sites are often housewives, recommended by professional psychics in the service of the CIA, and among them, no, no, and a brilliant diamond will flash such a witness as "Messiah Jesus Christ" from the planet Atlan.)
This writer used my spiritual views to smear many dedicated volunteers who worked for thousands and thousands of hours translating legal documents (housewives and psychics indeed!) to present the case against Amanda Knox in the murder of Meredith Kercher. She never met, never contacted me for comment, and her only source was Amanda Knox's own website. My work can be seen here at The Murder Of Meredith Kercher 

From the mission statement:
This wiki style site was created by a group of volunteer editors to inform the public about the case, by providing a unique collection of translations of original documents and evidence presented at trial. (I'm one of the editors, writing as Ergon).
Never mind. That was two years ago, and the case I'd worked on for a while is over. Be clear: if I hadn't been sickened by journalistic prostitutes since then working to create regime change in Libya, Syria, and yes, Russia, I wouldn't have written this. Interesting coinkydink: writer Alex K, a long time Amanda Knox supporter lives in Moscow and has written many pieces against Putin. Did he write Yulia's article for her? Too many details there that could only come from someone well informed about the  case.

Again, never mind. Going all the way back to Pakistani writers willing to take foreign government money to criticize the country, sigh.

But um, given current US hysteria about Russia, well, Yulia has history.

US State Department's Russian "Journalist"

US State Department leash overtly leads to yet more sedition in Russia.
by Tony Cartalucci
May 15, 2012
As chaos consumes Libya, with death squads roaming the fractured nation committing atrocities, torture, racist genocide, and mired in infighting, and with the violence in Syria now fully exposed as foreign terrorists organized, armed, directed, and staged since 2007 by the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, one might think journalists today would be careful about invoking these "successes" while trying to sow destabilization elsewhere. But for Russian "journalist" Yulia Latynina, repeating US State Department talking points, no matter how hypocritical, no matter how oafishly in contradiction to reality, is just another day on the job.
(Photos above) Meet "independent journalist" Yulia Latynina, yet another facet of the Russian "opposition," carefully honed by the US State Department for years. This award ceremony took place in 2008.

During her award ceremony in Washington, she met with Daniel Fried, also of the US State Department, described as a "foreign policy hawk," and joined John McCain in calls to support and even arm Georgia in its growing conflict with Russia.

Photo: 2008, the same year Georgia and Russia's deadly conflict broke out, Yulia Latynina was in Washington D.C. shaking hands with Daniel Fried, one of many responsible for the US' arming of Georgian forces who would end up claiming the lives of scores of Russian soldiers and hundreds in South Ossetia. Despite what appears to be very overt treason, Latynina still enjoys undermining her own nation, at Echo Moscow in Russia, a radio station frequently defended and cited by the US State Department 
Yes, many brave anti-corruption journalists have been killed in Russia. I admire and support them, as I did Serena Shim, the US journalist killed in Turkey under mysterious circumstances for revealing arms were being smuggled to jihadi rebels and ISIS in NGO food trucks,  as I support jailed reporter Barrett Brown the journalist who exposed the role of private contractors in cyber security.

I would be concerned if Yulia actually was in danger from Putin. But she's seen as too much of a flake now. From a Russian website: Латынина (Latynina).
(Rather long translation showing she's a Mikhail Leontiev and Khodorovsky fan, but once they were removed she now engages in "reckless and very aggressive trolling" causing "emotional frenzy in the reading and listening audience" from her columns and radio show).
She has muted her criticism. In 2015 she wrote Russian military in Syria, MH17 report and Russia's 'Law on Extremism' that the Dutch Report on the MH17 shoot down 'absolved the Kremlin who could now break out the champagne'.

Turns out her main targets now are "Putin's cook" and assorted lesser lights who may or may not be crooks but certainly involved in non-lethal attacks. From when she was smeared with poo by two thugs in 2016 Daily Express then her home sprayed with a stink bomb this year. I doubt Putin was responsible, but regardless. She did applaud Georgian separatists leading to the killing of Russians in Ossetia in 2008. In Why Russia Needs Syria the New York Review of Books (in 2015) quotes her opposition to Putin's involvement in Syria as a way to shore his popularity at home and worries
"The Islamists, including ISIL, are operating in this war with much longer experience and more successfully than the Kremlin…The scandals over Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib will seem like kindergarten in comparison to what in a month the western media will be saying about Russian involvement in Syria.”
No, Putin serves Russia's interests in the region. Given the State Department's long use of public moneys to fund foreign journalists through the NED to promote their agenda, and Putin's popularity due to his success in Syria, I wonder whose interests Ms. Latynina serves? I invite her comment and response.

Edits: Getting to the end of Martin Cruz Smith's book, I see she's listed in the Acknowledgments, along with opposition paper Novaya Gazeta. What a funny coincidence.

September 09, 2017: Prominent journalist Yulia Latynina has fled Russia after her car was set on fire
Prominent journalist Yulia Latynina announced on the radio station Ekho Moskvy this Saturday that she has fled Russia, after unknown assailants reportedly set fire to her car. Latynina made the announcement on air in a Skype call to Ekho Moskvy. “It’s unlikely that I’ll return to Russia anytime soon,” she said.

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