Friday, 4 May 2018

Guardian accuses Russia of disinformation

According to Luke Harding, the Russian government is guilty of propagating disinformation about the Skripal case. He claims Russia has offered numerous explanations for the poisonings. Harding cites a number of these alternative explanations. He points out that Russia cited the Swiss laboratory finding of BZ in the sample it tested. He points out that Russia has accused the British government of destroying evidence. He claims that Russia has accused the British government of abducting Yulia Skripal. (Apparently, he is unaware that none of these are explanations.) He accuses Russia of abandoning diplomacy and adopting the tactics of trolls. In contrast, Harding asserts that since the Skripals were found on a bench, the British government has "stuck to one version of events." Harding's characterisation is nothing more that disinformation and propaganda - and blatantly so.

The British government's official narrative has only had one constant: Russia did it. The details, however, have constantly changed. In fact, there are no basic facts in this case. And Luke Harding, and the Guardian, must be aware of this. They must also must be aware that their readers will know that the details of the official narrative have constantly changed. But when it comes to propaganda, facts do not matter. All that matters is that the narrative (Russia did it!) is constantly reiterated. And that is Harding's forte.

So he pretends that the official narrative has never changed. According to this representation, the Skripals were always poisoned by contact with Sergei Skripal's door handle according to the official narrative, even though this claim was not made for a month. Prior to that it had been from Skripal's car; no, it was in the street; no, it was Yulia's luggage; no, it was the restaurant, etc. Similarly, Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey was poisoned at the park bench; no, it was at the Skripal house - which was it: oh, let's just not talk about DS Bailey. And we are all supposed to have conveniently forgotten that Boris Johnson told us that the people at Porton Down told him that they knew the substance was from Russia even though Porton said they did not know the origin.

However, Harding quickly drops any pretence to be concerned with facts and resorts to the reassuring notion that the British government's claim was never based on facts (which had, of course, been the original claim of the official narrative) but is based on intelligence (just like the case for the invasion of Iraq in 2003). This claim enables him to segue neatly into citing Ukrainian anti-Russian propaganda, which claims that Russia specialises in "Deny, distract and blame."

However, as this is supposed to be news reporting, Harding concludes by claiming that Russia's propaganda cannot change the facts. Nevertheless, he criticises the British government for not doing enough to counter Russia's propaganda.

Mr Harding is a propagandist, posing as a journalist. This was exposed to devastating effect by Aaron Matte adopting the simple expedient of asking Harding for the evidence to support his allegations regarding the Trump and Russia collusion narrative. Even though Harding had written a whole book on the subject, he was unable to defend any of his claims. The interview shows that Harding simply sees anything and everything as proof of his preconceived ideas. For Harding, words like evidence and facts are merely rhetorical tools, as can readily be seen from his latest piece, which provides zero evidence of Russian propaganda, but ironically much evidence of anti-Russian propaganda.

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