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(OT) Who's Killing Russia's News Reporters?

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  • Originally posted by joea View Post
    Maybe you are right, but people still should speak their minds. Problem is most of the press either serves the state, or the lowest common denominator in the masses (ie. what we call in polite English "poo").
    anyways,
    i'm not keen on any sort of revolutionary ideas,
    so i don't stand for abolishment of the "free press"
    by no means

    i only want them to leave us, russians, alone
    'cause since the days of old they wrote bollocks about us

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Dave T View Post
      I was thinking of the specific case but the question is general. The reports here are that there is no longer a free press in Russia; that journalists investigating alleged misdeeds of Government are suppressed,and their media hindered.
      You should understand that we live in the time of information wars. Look how US mass media showed Iraq war in 2003!

      Russian reporters can make own investigations.

      But Russian state (and the Russians) doesn't want to endure more the situation when some journalists fling mud at their homeland for the money of foreign special services or oligarchs like Berezovsky. Anatolii Sobchak, a famous democratic leader, Mayor of St Petersburg, died in the result of the baiting campagn in mass media that was organized by his political enemies. His heart broke. It was in the end of the 90th (approximately).

      Russian TV often criticize some rules actions.

      I especially like "Komsomolskaia Pravda" newspaper.

      And I offer you to look "Russia Today" TV channel which is English-language Russian perspective.

      I don't see the parralel between Litvinenko and Horst Wessell. Apart from his film-maker friend's tribute, no one is idolising Lirtvinenko here.
      I see. In both cases propaganda turned a bad guy in a hero. The translations of Western mass media about Litvinenko that I read shows him as a real hero, frredom fighter and patriot of his country.

      Comment


      • I just want to note something here - this week, the New Yorker (www.thenewyorker.com) published a 10-page article about "Putin killing his opponents". Presumably the writer was a Western friend of Politkovskaya (or, at least, a close acquaintance).

        Regardless of what you think of Putin, etc., that article looks to me to be short on facts and heavy on "Russia is turning into the Evil Empire again" rhetoric. Not quite as bad as what John McCain says on occasion, but close.

        So - a warning. I would not use that article (or anything the Wall Street Journal prints on the subject) as a good source.

        On topic - understand. Many of these "freedom-loving journalists" have criminal, even terrorist connections. Many of them are "in the pocket" of certain special interest groups, many of which in turn are funded by Western governments which have no love for the new assertive Russian policies.

        This is not to suggest that _all_ such journalists are "whoring themselves out" - but many do. As is normal - the WSJ editors ***** themselves out to far-right interests, certain political columnists in the U.S. routinely spout ideologies of either the left or the right without regard for facts (think: Dowd, Friedman, Brooks, Applebaum, Will, Novak, etc. etc. ad infinitum). It's their job, after all.

        This is also not to suggest that Russia today is an ideal and "perfectly free" state. First, "total freedom" is a concept that does not exist anywhere. Even before Bush, the U.S. was anything but "totally free". True, you wouldn't be thrown in jail for, say, going up against AIPAC, but if you were an academic your career could be ruined quite easily. Certain things can't be said, certain subjects can't be discussed, certain ideological precepts are taken as truths and others suppressed - voluntarily or through open censorship. Decades ago, certain races were anything but free - the Japanese during the war, the blacks before and after. Now, the U.S. _is_ more relaxed in this than, say, Stalin's Russia, but a state is a state is a state - human states are all organized along certain core precepts. Total freedom has never been one of them - some degree of control must exist.

        Now, is Russia as liberal in this regard as the U.S., today? Perhaps, perhaps not. It is hardly a proven fact, however, that it has sunk to the level where it will actively kill any journalist that it dislikes. Why do so, for instance? Would that not draw attention to said journalist? Contrary to popular Western belief, Politkovskaya was not exactly widely read in the past few years. So far, all I have seen are accusations that lack a logical motive. However, these events are convenient for Western articles decrying Russia's policies. So...it's not a 100% probability, of course, but probably above 75% that this is more of a circus than facts.

        Similarly with Litvinenko, though with him there are more proven criminal connections (Berezovsky only one among them), and the possibility that he was engaged in a nuclear smuggling operation (if he died from a radioactive element, he either was given it deliberately, or ingested it accidentally; since we cannot conclusively prove which - use the Reasonable Doubt judicial standard - we must accept the possibility of accidental ingestion, which implies he was involved with the material, which, in turn, would likely have been smuggled or obtained illegally; he certainly had enough criminal connections to try a stunt like this).

        Never mind that Litvinenko _was_ a traitor. To secure his life in the West, he first gave up an unknown number of Soviet agents. Naturally, this led to deaths. A fact of the espionage war, but one that distinguishes him from, say, a scientist passing along a nuclear secret in 1945. The latter is attempting to achieve world peace through nuclear parity; people like Litvinenko are trying to save their own skin and/or achieve material security by allowing others to die. Of course, the interesting part is that the Russians had a chance to kill Litvinenko for many years - and only _now_ they're going to start?! And why him and not all the other defectors?

        I begin to drift again, topic-wise. The bottom line is - in all these cases, we have few _proven_ facts and a lot of allegations, as well as little motive. By the standards of any Western judicial system, that is nowhere near enough to convict. Yet convict we do - oh, they're Russians, they like authoritarianism, etc. etc. Why not just go all the way to "Asiatic Hordes" of writers like Mellenthin.
        А трубу от германского крейсера не надо?!..

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Jozhik View Post
          I just want to note something here - this week, the Similarly with Litvinenko, though with him there are more proven criminal connections (Berezovsky only one among them), and the possibility that he was engaged in a nuclear smuggling operation (if he died from a radioactive element, he either was given it deliberately, or ingested it accidentally; since we cannot conclusively prove which - use the Reasonable Doubt judicial standard - we must accept the possibility of accidental ingestion, which implies he was involved with the material, which, in turn, would likely have been smuggled or obtained illegally; he certainly had enough criminal connections to try a stunt like this).

          Never mind that Litvinenko _was_ a traitor. To secure his life in the West, he first gave up an unknown number of Soviet agents. Naturally, this led to deaths. A fact of the espionage war, but one that distinguishes him from, say, a scientist passing along a nuclear secret in 1945. The latter is attempting to achieve world peace through nuclear parity; people like Litvinenko are trying to save their own skin and/or achieve material security by allowing others to die. Of course, the interesting part is that the Russians had a chance to kill Litvinenko for many years - and only _now_ they're going to start?! And why him and not all the other defectors?

          I begin to drift again, topic-wise. The bottom line is - in all these cases, we have few _proven_ facts and a lot of allegations, as well as little motive. By the standards of any Western judicial system, that is nowhere near enough to convict. Yet convict we do - oh, they're Russians, they like authoritarianism, etc. etc. Why not just go all the way to "Asiatic Hordes" of writers like Mellenthin.
          Hmm. Lots of intersting stuff in recent posts.
          I am watching Russia today Andrey. I don't see the same sort of heavy duty digging into Government that we have here.
          I agree that there can be all sorts of hidden vested interests and connections and payayments that influence what journalists and writers produce here and elsewhere.
          If there was a Litvinenko murder trial here - not likely if the suspects are Russian citizens because they wouldn't be extradited - then the standard of proof would be "beyond all reasonable doubt". We only know sketchy details of evidence so far - as reported by the media - so it is impractical to judge but there is clearly a substantial amount of circumstantial evidence arising out of the polonium traces. The residue in a cup presumably used by Litvinenko in the Pine Bar of the Millenium Hotel does not really fit with self administration in furtherance of smuggling, or accidental administration does it?
          What deaths has Litvinenko caused. I haven't heard of that. Didn't he have some nerve to go public with his allegations before he fled the country?
          I still don't think he is being portrayed in a particularly good light though doubtless his wife gains sympathy. We would prefer that this sort of sordid event happening around Russian emigres and visitors was not on British soil. It really isn't nice is it, whatever the motive, the timing, the method, etc?
          I only had one ear listening, but did I hear something about attempted sale of enriched uranium to a pretend Islamic Fundamentalist Group.
          What a messy and dangerous world we live in.
          Anyway, let's see how the Litvinenko enquiry develops and I will try and keep a more open mind

          Comment


          • I raised an eyebrow when I saw the mention of nuclear sales to bogus Islamic groups. It's been well documented that British Intelligence has links to "Islamic terrorists" and it's quite possible that the "Al Qaida" umbrella group is a front:

            "According to Pakistani President Musharraf......



            Daniel Pearl's murderer was an agent of MI6 (British Intelligence)



            LONDON: Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf has disclosed that Omar Sheikh, who kidnapped and murdered American journalist Daniel Pearl and is now facing death penalty, was actually the British secret Agency MI6ís agent and had executed certain missions on their behest before coming to Pakistan and visiting Afghanistan to meet Osama and Mullah Omar."

            (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Pearl)

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Usievich View Post
              I raised an eyebrow when I saw the mention of nuclear sales to bogus Islamic groups. It's been well documented that British Intelligence has links to "Islamic terrorists" and it's quite possible that the "Al Qaida" umbrella group is a front:

              "According to Pakistani President Musharraf......



              Daniel Pearl's murderer was an agent of MI6 (British Intelligence)



              LONDON: Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf has disclosed that Omar Sheikh, who kidnapped and murdered American journalist Daniel Pearl and is now facing death penalty, was actually the British secret Agency MI6ís agent and had executed certain missions on their behest before coming to Pakistan and visiting Afghanistan to meet Osama and Mullah Omar."

              (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Pearl)
              One word, WHY? Why would MI6 kill an American reporter??

              Comment


              • Originally posted by joea View Post
                One word, WHY? Why would MI6 kill an American reporter??
                Because he found out about the 9/11 conspiracy!!111111
                Last edited by thejester; 04 Feb 07, 18:42.
                Colonel Summers' widely quoted critique of US strategy in the Vietnam War is having a modest vogue...it is poor history, poor strategy, and poor Clausewitz to boot - Robet Komer, Survival, 27:2, p. 94.

                Comment


                • The quote does not actually claim that MI6 directly ordered the klling of Daniel Pearl, rather that his killer was not exactly the nasty Islamist we're supposed to imagine. It has been suggested that Pearl was investigating links between the Pakistani ISI and al Qaida and that's the reason he was bumped off.

                  The point of my post was that the mainstream media is all too eager to pin everything it can on Muslims and completely ignores other information, such as that mentioned by Musharraf. There is such a thing as a false flag, after all.

                  Whatever the motives, the alleged MI6 link does rather put a different complexion on it.

                  Comment


                  • Ok I see then.

                    Comment


                    • Let us not forget that Bin Laden worked for the CIA for at least a decade. Western intelligence agencies do not have a very good track record in this regard. Some have argued that he was STILL considered an "asset" at the time of 911, but any evidence to this is, at best, circumstantial. [I.e. even if it were true, there is no way to definitively prove this specific fact.]

                      I doubt that whatever the public inquiry will reveal about the Litvinenko affair will correspond very well to facts. This is how these things usually go - they get turned into a media events that are lacking both analytically and factually. In particular given Putin's recent speech. [To turn the tables a bit - what did anyone EXPECT him to say in response to U.S. moving missile defense assets to his border? Just imagine what kind of noise the U.S. were to make if Russia announced it was building a few radars and missile sites on a land leased from Mexico...]

                      Factually, we know at best that the man died from exposure to a radioactive element that is very difficult to obtain. So a) either it was accidental or deliberate, and b) if it was deliberate it could have been any one of four counterparties (Berezovsky++, the Russian State, a rogue Russian or non-Russian group, Western security services). Significantly, the state actors involved have nothing to gain from this death.
                      А трубу от германского крейсера не надо?!..

                      Comment


                      • A question to Dave - How is the situation with the investigation?

                        Do you remember my words that a few months later the mass media would stop to write about it and the Westerners would remember only that it probably was done by Putin? Do you remember my story about stolen spoons?

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Andrey View Post
                          A question to Dave - How is the situation with the investigation?

                          Do you remember my words that a few months later the mass media would stop to write about it and the Westerners would remember only that it probably was done by Putin? Do you remember my story about stolen spoons?
                          Word on the investigation has indeed gone relatively quiet. I have no doubt that the investigation is very much alive though, and that the Investigators are puzzling about how to proceed with the suspects when they know they cannot get extradition from the Russian Government.
                          Some of the popular press left the impression that, as per the victim's words, the trail would lead to the Kremlin. The serious press I think speculate that people lower in the food chain may be responsible - perhaps rogue FSB elements. By coincidence 3 books are reviewed in the Sunday Telegraph today:
                          A Russian Diary by Polikovskaya. She is lauded for her courage in speaking out but gets slammed for lacking balance over Chechnya.
                          Blowing up Russia by the late Litvenenko & Felshtinsky - " a dizzying read" of plots and claims of set ups. It is said that the source material will be opened up to any Russian or international Commission that will investigate the alleged outrages described.
                          The Litvenko Files by ex BCC Moscow correspondent - Martin Sixsmith. Said to be very up to date, and a racy read. The Author concludes that elements FSB GRU did it rather than any one acting on Putin's orders.
                          Be patient! The story is not dead and buried yet.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Dave T View Post
                            Word on the investigation has indeed gone relatively quiet. I have no doubt that the investigation is very much alive though, and that the Investigators are puzzling about how to proceed with the suspects when they know they cannot get extradition from the Russian Government.
                            Some of the popular press left the impression that, as per the victim's words, the trail would lead to the Kremlin. The serious press I think speculate that people lower in the food chain may be responsible - perhaps rogue FSB elements. By coincidence 3 books are reviewed in the Sunday Telegraph today:
                            A Russian Diary by Polikovskaya. She is lauded for her courage in speaking out but gets slammed for lacking balance over Chechnya.
                            Blowing up Russia by the late Litvenenko & Felshtinsky - " a dizzying read" of plots and claims of set ups. It is said that the source material will be opened up to any Russian or international Commission that will investigate the alleged outrages described.
                            The Litvenko Files by ex BCC Moscow correspondent - Martin Sixsmith. Said to be very up to date, and a racy read. The Author concludes that elements FSB GRU did it rather than any one acting on Putin's orders.
                            Be patient! The story is not dead and buried yet.
                            By other words, the investigators didn't prove that it was Putin or his men who murdered Litvinenko but Western mass media continued to throw dirt to Putin and Russia!

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Andrey View Post
                              By other words, the investigators didn't prove that it was Putin or his men who murdered Litvinenko but Western mass media continued to throw dirt to Putin and Russia!
                              Some of the popular press have pointed the finger of suspicion and so some readers will be left with an impression.
                              It will be for a Court of Law to determine what is proven beyond all reasonable doubt. For that to happen, if there is enough evidence to charge, suspects will have to be able to stand trial. As things stand, there seems to be no prospect of Russia permitting its citizens to stand trial in Britain. Stalemate for now. The circumstancial evidence does indicate involvement of Russians but so far as I'm aware it goes nowhere near Putin or any of the authorities.
                              As per my post on another topic, I am now bowing out of these current affairs / political threads. I do find this stuff very interesteing but there are more appropriate forums I can post on and I take Alex' point on board.

                              Comment


                              • I found this article from "The Guardian" in www.inosmi.ru

                                It has some info connected to Litvinenko's case

                                http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/st...057913,00.html

                                This fugitive billionaire has exposed his violent agenda


                                Berezovsky is the embodiment of 'robber capitalism', and Britain should no longer harbour him after this outrage

                                Dmitry Peskov
                                Monday April 16, 2007
                                The Guardian


                                There can now be no doubt about the motivations of those behind the long and sustained campaign to blacken Russia's image and destabilise the Russian government from afar over the last few years. In the clearest possible terms, Boris Berezovsky told the world last week that he wants to foment a violent revolution in Russia against a democratically elected president. "I am calling for revolution and revolution is always violent," he says, confirming ominously that "there are practical steps" which he is taking.

                                We now expect the British authorities to rethink their decision to harbour a fugitive billionaire who is using the protections afforded by the British state to call for regime change in a sovereign state and member of the G8 group of leading democratic economies.
                                The Foreign Office has already condemned Berezovsky's calls for violent struggle. It now needs to match words with action in accordance with the law. Berezovsky is wanted in connection with charges of misappropriation of funds and fraud in his home country. The latest charges lodged with the Russian prosecutor's office link him directly to the embezzlement of 214m roubles (£4.2m) from the national flagship air carrier Aeroflot.

                                Now that his motives have been laid bare, it is time also to reassess the carefully executed and well-funded misinformation campaign - the "practical steps" as he terms them - that he has been orchestrating from London.

                                The first step, of course, has been to undermine the legitimacy of the Russian government. Berezovsky claims that Russia is in the grip of authoritarian dictatorship. In fact, Vladimir Putin has won two democratically held elections and, according to the latest opinion polls, enjoys an approval rating of over 70%. He has made explicitly clear that he will be leaving office after the conclusion of his second term, as required by the constitution.

                                Berezovsky also claims that "the media in Russia remain under total Kremlin control"; another accusation that is ludicrously far from the truth. There are approximately 3,200 TV and radio broadcasting companies in Russia, of which about 10% are state-owned. Over 46,000 publications are registered in the country, well over 20,000 more than existed in 2000. With a burgeoning media, catalysed by 25 million internet users accessing whatever content they wish, it is ludicrous to claim total government control.

                                The campaign against the president is also personal and slanderous. Berezovsky has made outrageous slurs alleging the president's involvement in Alexander Litvinenko's death, without a shred of evidence. He claims that Russia's security services were behind the series of apartment bombings in 1999 that killed nearly 300 people, when Putin was prime minister. Again, he does not have anything to back up his claims. In his interview last week, Berezovsky pretty much admitted this, saying that he had dedicated much of the last six years to "trying to destroy the positive image of Putin".

                                So why does it matter? Who cares about the fantastical musings of a man in self-imposed exile, speaking from the luxury of his London home?

                                The fact is Boris Berezovsky and his associates have been putting thousands of pounds into creating and financing foundations, thinktanks and campaign groups tasked with illegally undermining the Russian government and its president. I believe that the media, and those who consume its content, have a right to know both who is behind the misinformation campaign and what narrow political agenda is being pursued. By coming out of the shadows this week, Berezovsky has done us all a great favour.

                                The irony is that, for all Berezovsky's allegations, he personifies how far Russia has changed and moved on. As one of the sharpest critics of President Putin, Andrei Piontkovsky, director of the Moscow-based Independent Institute for Strategic Studies, says, "Berezovsky is the embodiment of robber capitalism".

                                However, Russia no longer tolerates the unfettered personal acquisition of state assets that marked the post-Soviet phase of the country's transition. We now have an effective rule of law; we have high economic growth and stability; we have an expanding middle class and a growing civil society. I am not claiming that there are not real challenges ahead, but I would argue that few countries in the world have made such a profound transition in such a short period of time.

                                So the choice for the British government, and the wider British public, is clear: should it support a fugitive, bent on violent revolution against a democracy; or should it begin to question his outlook, his motives, and his ways of operating? Action against those who incite violence has recently been a high priority for the British government. It should remain so.

                                ∑ Dmitry Peskov is deputy press secretary to Vladimir Putin, the president of the Russian Federation

                                ∑ Boris Berezovsky denies the charges laid against him in Russia and maintains they are politically motivated

                                Comment

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