“Governments lie. They do it all the time. And, much as we’d like to believe otherwise, the US government is no exception. There were times when we may have believed otherwise. But after Vietnam and Watergate, we know better.”
US Journalist Ted Koppel
“The USS Vincennes: Public War, Secret War.”
July 1st 1992 — ABC News
The NYT and Russian Disinformation
The New York Time just published an interesting piece regarding the “flood of distorted and outright false information” published and broadcasted by Russian Media.
Putin has invested heavily in a program of “weaponized” information, using a variety of means to sow doubt and division. The goal is to weaken cohesion among member states, stir discord in their domestic politics and blunt opposition to Russia.
The planting of false stories is nothing new; the Soviet Union devoted considerable resources to that during the ideological battles of the Cold War.
Now, though, disinformation is regarded as an important aspect of Russian military doctrine, and it is being directed at political debates in target countries with far greater sophistication and volume than in the past.
The fundamental purpose of dezinformatsiya, or Russian disinformation, experts said, is to undermine the official version of events — even the very idea that there is a true version of events — and foster a kind of policy paralysis.
Do the Russian media really “massage” the facts — possibly at the request of their government — whenever it suits their agenda? Of course, they do! All Governments lie. They do it all the time. And for those under the delusion that the US government is the exception, I will remind you of a particularly illustrating story.
Korean Airlines Flight 007
Korean Air Lines Flight 007 (also known as KAL007) was a scheduled Korean Air Lines flight from New York City to Seoul.
On September 1st 1983, the airliner serving the flight was shot down by a Soviet Su-15 interceptor, near Moneron Island west of Sakhalin in the Sea of Japan.
The interceptor’s pilot was Major Gennadi Osipovich. All 269 passengers and crew aboard were killed.
The Soviet Union initially denied knowledge of the incident, but later admitted shooting it down, claiming that the aircraft was on a MASINT spy mission.
Washington and the international community have been insisting that the Soviet Air Force deliberately shot down the passenger liner. [WIKIPEDIA]
President Reagan’s Address to the Nation on the Soviet Attack on KE-007
President Reagan described the attack as a “massacre” and a “crime against humanity”.
“There was absolutely no justification, either moral or legal, for what the Soviets did.”
“Warriors of Disinformation”
In fact, the US knew full well that the Russians had not been able to identify the airliner and truly believed that it was a spy plane. The tape presented as evidence at the UN had been edited to remove 5′ documenting the relevant exchanges between the pilot and the Russian authorities.
In his book “Warriors of Disinformation” (Chapter IV : The Five-Minute Tape Gap), Alvin A. Snyder wrote the following:
The moral of the story is that all governments, including our own, lie when it suits their purposes. The key is to lie first.
Izvestia correspondent Alexander Shalnev told me that our media show at the United Nations had been the most devastating propaganda blow his country received from the United States during the cold War.
“The most important rule in propaganda is to get the first word out on a given subject,” said Shalnev.
“Ninety percent of the time, the person who take the initiative wins the battle.You guys said the first word about the Korean airliner. And we lost it completely. It was devastating, terribly devastating.”
KE-007 was a victim of the cold war. Another casualty, always war’s first, was the Truth. The story of KE-007 will be remembered pretty much the way the Americans told it in 1983 and not the way it really happened.
In the aftermath of the KE-007 disaster, the US Air Force was asked how they would react if a civilian airliner was invading their airspace. The answer was clear:
“It certainly would not be up to the pilot to decide what action to take. That decision would have to be made at the Pentagon level, or at an even higher level.
“Under no circumstances, would the American military shoot down such an aircraft, even were attempts to communicate with it unsuccessful. Planes would be sent to investigate and the intruder aircraft would be escorted to land.”
On July 3rd 1988, the USS Vincennes mistook Iran Flight 655 for a military aircraft. The warship opened fire, killing all 290 persons aboard.
President Reagan described the incident as “tragic” but “understandable”. On the campaign trail, Vice-President Bush promised that he would never apologize for this incident.
A Powerful Russian Weapon: The Spread of False Stories — NYT August 28 2016