Monday, July 23, 2018

Caitlin Johnstone - The Burden Of Proof Is On The Russiagaters

The whole world has gone mads, it's like the invasion of the body snatchers where everyone has been taken over, including some my family and friends. Some even get angry with me. Gee!

I saw a Twitter thread between two journalists the other day which completely summarized my experience of debating the establishment Russia narrative on online forums lately. Aaron Maté‏, who is in my opinion one of the clearest voices out there on American Russia hysteria, was approached with an argument by a journalist named Jonathan M Katz. Maté‏ engaged the argument by asking for evidence of the claims Katz was making, only to be given the runaround.
I’m going to copy the back-and-forth into the text here for anyone who doesn’t feel like scrolling through a Twitter thread, not because I am interested in the petty rehashing of a meaningless Twitter spat, but because it’s such a perfect example of what I want to talk about here.
Katz: Are you aware of what Russian agents did during the 2016 presidential election, by chance?
Maté‏: I’m aware of what Mueller has accused Russian agents of — are we supposed to just reflexively believe the assertions of prosecutors & intelligence officials now, or is it ok to wait for the evidence? (as I did in the tweet you’re replying to) 
Katz: Why are you even asking this question if you’re just going to discard the reams of evidence that have supplied by investigators, spies, and journalists over the last two years? 
Maté‏: Why are you avoiding answering the Q I asked? If I can guess, it’s cause doing so would mean acknowledging your position requires taking gov’t claims on faith. Re: “reams of evidence”, I’ve actually written about it extensively, and disagree that it’s convincing.
 Katz: Yeah I’m familiar with your work. You’re asking for someone to summarize two years of reporting, grand jury indictments, reports from independent analysts, give agencies both American and foreign, and on and on just so you can handwave and draw some vague equivalencies.
Maté‏: No, actually I’ve asked 2 Qs in this thread, both of which have been avoided: 1) what evidence convinces you that Russia will attack the midterms 2) are we supposed to reflexively believe the assertions of prosecutors & intel officials now, or is it ok to wait for the evidence?
Katz: See this is what you do. You pretend like all of the evidence produced by journalists, independent analysts and foreign governments doesn’t exist so you can accuse anyone who doesn’t buy this SF Cohen Putinist bullshit you’re selling of being a deep state shill. 
Maté‏: Except I haven’t said anything about anyone being a “deep state shill”, here or anywhere else. So that’s your embellishment. I’m simply asking whether we should accept IC/prosecutor claims on faith. Mueller does lay out a case, that’s true, but no evidence yet.
Katz: No. You should not accept a prosecutor’s claims on faith. You should read independent analyses, evidence gathered by journalists and other agencies, and compare all it to what is known on the public record. And you could if you wanted to.
Katz continued to evade and deflect until eventually exiting the conversation. Meanwhile another journalist, The Intercept‘s Sam Biddle, interjected that the debate was “a big waste of” Katz’s time and called Maté‏ an “inverse louise mensch”, all for maintaining the posture of skepticism and asking for evidence. Maté‏ invited Katz and Biddle to debate their positions on The Real News, to which Biddle replied, “No thank you, but I have some advice: If everyone has gotten it wrong, you should figure out who really did it! If not Russia, find out who really hacked the DNC, find out who really spearphished American election officials. Even OJ pretended to search for the real killer.”

1 comment:

Konrad said...

Just as Osama bin Laden orchestrated 9-11 from a cave in Afghanistan, so Putin “attacked American Democracy” from a closet in Moscow.

We know this is true, because all the world’s “intelligence agencies” and corporate media outlets say it is true, and they never lie. Besides, there are vast mountains of “evidence” that no one has ever seen.

The FBI says that the DNC’s 200 members nationwide all use a single computer, and that Putin “hacked” this computer, even though the FBI has never examined any such computer.

Average Americans become poorer each day, but this is nothing compared with Putin, who is evil for having exposed DNC evil.

It all makes perfect sense.