A regular person punching back at a slick Deep State lie factory
This post first appeared on Russia Insider
An indignant young Russian woman who sometimes sends in articles exposing the more ridiculous kind of US government trolls, submitted this lengthy article, and we are happy to run it, because it exposes one of the biggest frauds on the global journalism scene - Newsweek magazine.
Newsweek went bust a couple of years ago, was sold for $1 to some old Jewish billionaire who promptly died, and then resurfaced with a bunch of very slanted neoconservative ideas, banging on about how evil Assad is, why we should go to war in the Middle East, all manner of praise for Israeli issues, and their favorite hobby-horse of all - how evil Putin is, what a menace Russia is, and so on and so forth. It reads like it was written by PR hacks at the Pentagon.
What is suspicious about Newsweek, is that, somehow, they have a budget to regularly publish long, in-depth, heavily 'researched' articles about favorite talking points from the Russia-hating alphabet agencies. Articles about Russian trolling exploits, Russian hacking, Russian media manipulation, Russian military destabilization of the Middle East.
Since we are in the internet publishing business, we know how expensive those articles are to produce. It makes zero economic sense, and can only be done with generous subsidies. So who is paying for all this claptrap? Somehow, we don't think it's the estate of the generous old billionaire. What is entirely obvious is that Newsweek is now just a front operation for US government agencies. It's that simple folks - and a lousy old trick - buy an old brand name that suggests legitimacy, and peddle a bill of goods with it.
Which brings us to the indignant Ms. Dianova. A species of journalistic bozo often found in American neocon-slanted publications, a Mr. Jeff Stein, wrote a very long and very silly piece mentioning her prominently, and accusing her of all sorts of nefarious dealings undermining the West at the behest of mysterious Russian intelligence groups. This is the sort of baloney that gets peddled in the US. Well, Ms. Dianova replies below in 3200 words, blowing Mr. Stein out of the water.
This is just a regular person punching back at a slick Deep State lie factory. Good for you Yana. Unlike the mysteriously flush Newsweek, we can't pay you, but consider this: they are losing, thanks to people like you.
“All warfare is based on deception." (Sun Tzu, ″The Art of War″)
″I have always thought that democracy is the rule of people. But comrade Roosevelt has clearly explained to me that democracy is the rule of American people.″ (J.V.Stalin interview to ″Pravda″, 14 March 1946).
It’s been over a year since I decided to write a series of articles dedicated to an organized group of online trolls occupying LinkedIn, disseminating anti-Russia propaganda and harassing, defaming and cyber-stalking those who dare argue with them.
Although I removed my LinkedIn account last autumn due to the faulty algorithms and extremely lax policies with respect to fake profiles and trolling in this network, as well as its blocking in Russia due to breaches of personal data and privacy laws, I have been receiving messages from my contacts that members of a ″special task force″ kept on disseminating lies about my connections with various Russian government agencies, from Roskomnadzor to FSB.
On 11 July I got the weirdest enquiry ever, sent to my corporate email (fully cited below):
«From: Jeff Stein <[email protected]>
Date: 2017-07-11 23:15 GMT+06:00
Subject: Yana Dianova
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am writing a piece on Russian involvement with Linked-In. A number of Yana Dianova’s critics have described her as a Russian intelligence officer (variously KGB/SVR/GRU). So it’s my duty to ask Ms. Dianova for a response to the allegation.
Allbest, Jeff Stein»
Note: under Russian law government officials are prohibited from engaging in entrepreneurial activities and taking part in management of any profit or non-profit making companies; KGB is the Russian-language abbreviation for Комитет государственной безопасности (Committee for State Security) which officially ceased to exist on 6 November 1991. Any more or less professional and self-respecting reporter would have checked this before making such enquiries.
When asked to confirm (via an E-mail cited as his official one in public domain) that it was actually him who wrote this enquiry, Jeff Stein, ″the National Security reporter″ of Newsweek elaborated further (cited below, the orthography is preserved):
″I have to expand my question to this: Have you ever worked as an agent for any Russian intelligence organization? In other words, you say you are not an intelligence officer, but my question is whether you have worked for Russian intelligence agencies in any capacity. I’m sorry, but when allgeations are made against someone, we must pose the question to the accused. Thank you for your patience.″
Though I was quite stupefied by such ludicrous enquiries, I quickly made an educated guess as to who those ″critics″ are.
The assumption proved to be correct since on 3 August 2017, I got a message from one of my acquaintances that Stein put together another "Russiansdidit" hoax by not only distorting some of the information I wrote in response to his messages, but also parroting without verification explicit defamatory lies peddled by those who ordered this work.
To sum up the primary message of this fake news piece: Vladimir Putin and his agents are omnipresent: they infiltrate the US social networks to find information on the US and UK intelligence and military retirees and acting servicemen and ″intimidate and harass″ them online, approach them in bars and even “stinging” them on their ″lower-right thigh by something, probably with an umbrella″ in shops.
Not to bore the readers with all the details of the retraction letter that I filed with Newsweek in connection with Stein’s ″masterpiece″ (not surprisingly, remained unanswered so far), I will cite only the most outrageous lies and disinformation contained therein that serve together just another vivid example of how the US mainstream media work in fueling anti-Russian hysteria, smearing and libeling Russian nationals who have nothing to do with the Kremlin but merely express their views on political issues in social networks.
″ One of the most persistent critics of Leven and his cohorts was Yana Dianova, a top international law expert WITH TIES TO ROSKOMNADZOR, the Russian internet regulator that censors opposition parties and foreign news reports critical of Moscow.″
Our ″longtime Washington, DC-based investigative reporter specializing in U.S. national security issues″ derives this conclusion solely from the fact that I ″participated in two Roskomnadzor conferences, which are attended by senior security officials″ (he apparently meant the two events opened for general public: https://runet-id.com/event/zpd15/ and https://runet-id.com/event/csf17 in which Roskomnadzor officials took part). Following this ″logical pattern″, it means that if Jeff Stein, for example, attends one of the clubs in New York, where the Newsweek headquarters are based, it apparently should mean that he is tied to their management.
Stein was just parroting a bunch of nonsense about me invented by retired US government agency retirees, - more about their exploits on LinkedIn below.
″The company offers clients … guidance on real estate investing in Cyprus, an area of “primary concern” for money laundering, according to a 2014 U.S. State Department report.″
The company I work for does not offer such guidance. The lists of its services in real estate sector are available on its official Web site:
Could the fact that Stein fabricated this false allegation, designed specifically to smear the company that has nothing to do with my writing activities outside work be explained by either his certain ophthalmological issues or extremely wild imagination, both of which presumably can be attributed to the years he has spent as the Spy Talk columnist and blogger?
″In February, the firm drafted a paper for the agency putting a new series of internet censorship provisions in a favorable light.″
Anyone who bothers to read the publication: http://www.gratanet.com/up_files/personal_data_fine_payment_russia_feb2017_eng.pdf may see that it is devoted to the legislative developments in connection with the administrative fines for violation of Russian personal data laws and does not provide any opinion of the firm regarding these developments, let alone positive.
″Beyond her legal work, Dianova used LinkedIn and other media to insinuate that the bogus KGB embezzlement story about Leven had merit and suggested that Harding, the “porn addict,” had done time in a “a maximum correctional prison.” She frequently employed a favorite Kremlin rhetorical tactic, “whataboutism,” or responding to exposés of Moscow’s interference in the 2016 elections with counter-narratives of U.S. support for pro-democracy groups in Russia.″ … ″Outside of LinkedIn, the attacks on Leven and the others were echoed on other Russian propaganda sites. “She repeatedly defamed my professional ethics, reputation and loyalty to the country for which I've risked my life,” Leven says through his attorney. He complains that she virtually labeled him “a thief”.″
Upon the advice of my co-author, I did find it necessary to expose the pastimes of Joel Harding and copyright infringement of Internet-distributed pornography (Case No. 1:16-cv-00384-AJT-TCB) legal suit against him where he was charged by the plaintiff “as a habitual and persistent BitTorrent user and copyright infringer.”
Another truth is that I simply never participated in discussions on LinkedIn regarding Moscow’s interference in the 2016 elections and neither Stein or his confidants could provide any evidence to the contrary.
Nor did I ″use LinkedIn and other media to insinuate that the bogus KGB embezzlement story about Leven had merit″ - that I did was referring to the article http://codshit.blogspot.com/2004/02/why-it-took-so-long-to-catch-spies.html:
″A major target was Charles Leven, a highly-decorated retired senior CIA operations officer with over 40 years’ experience jousting with the Russian KGB and its successor spy agencies.″ … ″To Leven, Demourot, Harding and their comrades, such commentary was just another front in a larger Russian media campaign that veteran Kremlin-watcher Celestine Bohlen had called “breathtaking, even by Soviet standards.” A key feature of the online effort was trolling, the tactic of injecting inflammatory, off-topic commentary into discussion groups and threads with the goal of defaming critics, provoking fights and chasing away thoughtful adversaries.″
I will just cite below some classic samples of comments from ″the retired CIA officer″ Charles Leven, ″retired independent consultant″ Giles Raymond Demourot, ″the US army veteran″ Paul Cobaugh and other members of their brigade on LinkedIn for the readers to decide who was engaged in trolling, ″harassing, abusing or harming another person, as well as acting in an unlawful, libelous, abusive, obscene, discriminatory or otherwise objectionable manner″ in violation of the LinkedIn User Agreement, p.8.2.
Charles Leven struck anyone who encountered him on LinkedIn with his two major obsessions: the current President of Russia and ″Russian trolls″, as he libeled anyone who tried to lead disputes with him. As one respected observer noted: ″Upon a discussion with him I have got a strong impression that he must have some deep psychological trauma connected with Russia″.
In furtherance of his mission Leven could always rely on back-up from his comrades Paul Cobaugh:
and Giles Raymond Demourot, who have been ready to stay on guard 24/7:
as well as his loyal ″attorney″ James Berger (whose account along with Leven’s was permanently restricted by LinkedIn due to multiple cases of breaches of the User Agreement by them), who was promoting the prevalence of the US law over any other:
and demonstrating the argumentative skills and ″adherence to ethical standards″ that other members of New York City bar may only wish to develop:
According to Stein’s fake news (as the readers must have already made sure) piece, I also “attacked a company I had set up in Paris” and later closed, DeMourot says, and “told LI my profile was a fake and that the company never existed.″
One of the major problems with LinkedIn is that, despite promoting itself as a major professional social network, it fails to verify the authenticity of credentials of its users either at the stage of registration or afterwards, when legitimate doubts are raised.
Which is exactly the case with Giles Raymond DeMourot, whose profile contains at least two misrepresentations:
a failure to specify that he used to serve for years as the US government official, which is indicated in his biography at Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Determinism-Alive-Well-Giles-DeMourot/dp/184290020X/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8 "Giles R. DeMourot holds a Doctorate in Law (JD), an MBA, a BSc in Pharmacology and a B.A. in Classical Arabic, all from US universities. Over the years he has served in the US Government in various capacities, both in the US and overseas. He then joined the private sector, working mainly in Europe, including the UK. He now resides in France." and
the fact that the company under the name MCOM has not been registered in his name in the Register of commerce and companies of France: https://www.infogreffe.fr/societes/ (including closed entities).
Funny enough, in confirmation of his previous employment DeMourot provided LinkedIn Trust&Safety with a copy of his passport only (as he asserted then himself) which fully satisfied them.
If one misrepresents in such a way on his public profile in a professional social network could he be trusted with anything else he claims? In particular, that Donald Trump is a ″Moscovite candidate″, as our ″retired independent consultant″ peddled in a series of articles published in his ″super-elite″ group on LinkedIn.
While accusing others of ″raising unfounded questions about their backgrounds and credentials″, Demourot has engaged in exactly the same with respect to people whose arguments he could not refute in an honest discussion, in particular, the late professor Fred Eidlin.
In general, silencing critics and accusing others of that they are, as the evidence suggests, engaged in themselves are among the principle disinformation tactics employed by the organized group in question.
It applies as well to Alan Malcher (whom Stein promotes as a renowned specialist in Soviet ″active measures″), from 1995 through 2005 engaged in ″social-cultural analysis with the government services″ and ″Lecturer Temporary Advisor at Undisclosed″ and ″Researcher with Narrative Strategies″ from 2015, as his LinkedIn profile state.
What classified work Malcher was doing i.e. from 2005 through 2015 is just as secret as ″Brig Gen″ Joel Harding’s military rank or who was sponsoring the ″journalist″ Kseniya Kirillova emigration straight from Ekaterinburg to San-Francisco where she prolifically writes i.e. for Euromaidanpress and RF/RL on the ″horrors of Putin’s regime″ and speaks how ″Trump damaged American values″.
Stein’s task to present myself as ″another well-connected Moscow figure whom the Kremlin uses to send messages, like the Russians who got a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and other campaign officials do deliver “dirt” on Hillary Clinton″ since all that he could rely on are ramblings of Charles Leven, Joel Harding and Co., libelous in the essence. They must have hard times to try to find someone as paranoid as themselves to entrust this task with, after they have tried (either directly or via their proxies) for more than a year, inter alia:
setting bogus accounts on LinkedIn impersonating legal counsels of top Russian companies and even Chinese military complex employees to find out my contact details and other personal data;
spamming my private and corporate E-mail addresses with scam subscriptions to various LGBT, dating and even X-rated movies sites;
disseminating libelous insulting posts dedicated to myself on LinkedIn (most of which were removed by LinkedIn Trust&Safety as such) and other social media;
complaining to the head office of the firm I am employed with and threatening the senior partners with defamation;
insinuating fake news that I am going to be included in the EU sanctions lists;
spying over my Facebook activities.
As the US journalist who was once threatened with detainment and tortures by SBU (Security Service of the Ukraine) by one of these stalkers (Joel Harding) noted, they target laymen not connected somehow with the government when they ″need to create examples for their sponsors″. Qui bono to be these sponsors?
Stein’s fake news piece almost coincided with the signing by US President of the Bill “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” that Donald Trump himself called partially unconstitutional and ″significantly flawed″ because it encroaches on the executive branch's authority to negotiate and warned the Congress "to refrain from using this flawed bill to hinder our important work with European allies to resolve the conflict in Ukraine".
Signing off this bill however was openly promoted by the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), the member organizations of which listed on its website were classified as Ukrainian emigre political organizations by CIA in QRPLUMB VOL1_0004 and some of them, like the Association of Ukrainian Youth and Organization for the Defense of Four Freedoms for Ukraine cited as closely associated with OUNb (Bandera fraction of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists) that collaborated closely with Nazi Germany and its allies during WWII and was involved in Nazi led genocide in the Ukraine. Two years ago UCCA was actively involved in crowdfunding the war crimes in Donbass.
Codification of the existing and imposing of new sectoral sanctions on Russia was also rejoiced by the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) that along with the US State Department, NATO, the governments of Latvia and Lithuania and the Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk, has been one of the primary sponsors of the Atlantic Council known to be among the loudest voices calling for a new Cold War with Russia.
UCCA and other Ukrainian-American diaspora organizations have been in close contact with the White House and Congress throughout the Ukrainian crisis, openly urging them to ″find emergency funding for EuroMaidan activists″.
One of the principal promoters of ″Russian hacking of the US presidential elections″ has been the daughter of Ukrainian immigrants Alexandra Chalupa, elected in 2013 Co-Convener of the National Democratic Ethnic Coordinating Committee. Chalupa worked with veteran reporter Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News, as well as her many Ukrainian sources, to publicize her opposition research on Donald Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia through Paul Manafort, and was named as one of 16 “ordinary people” who “shaped the 2016 election”.
As POLITICO reported, the Ukrainian antipathy for Trump’s team — and alignment with Clinton’s — can be traced back to late 2013, when the country’s president, Viktor Yanukovych, whom Manafort had been advising, abruptly backed out of a European Union and entered into a multibillion-dollar bailout agreement with Russia. For the Ukraine Trump’s victory was the most undesired outcome so its proxies employed any possible means for it not to happen, a digital maidan ″treasonous Trump″ that Chalupa and her sister started right before the presidential elections.
Ukrainian neo-Nazis fingerprints are also all over the infamous PropOrNot alternative media black list promoted in November 2016 by the Washington Post, the prototype of which was the online blacklist of journalists accused of collaborating with pro-Russian “terrorists” established upon approval of the advisor to the Minister of Interior of the Ukrainian. Not surprisingly, Joel Harding was reportedly one of the masterminds of this Orwellian media censorship initiative.
While they keep on complaining, now via their new mouthpiece Newsweek, about ″Russian trolls″ and alleged Russian disinformation targeting the U.S. presidential election, one would not hear from Leven and Harding (who boasted of writing the Ukraine's information war strategy as an informal adviser) about Kiev's own active measures targeting Donald Trump in the Soviet tradition of dezinformatsiya, which many Ukrainian intelligence (former KGB) officers must have good knowledge of.
The most important question though currently is not who sponsors these ″psy-ops operatives″ (CIA and/or Soros and/or Clinton, and/or Ukrainian oligarchs and diaspora organizations in the North America) but how efficient have been so far their low-profile ″information operations″ to plant the idea into the minds of common Americans and Europeans that Russia is still the ″empire of evil″ and its common nationals are their major enemies.
Jeff Stein was their instrument and proved to be as much unskillful as unscrupulous one. But his pathetic piece of fake news contributed to the pile of hatred instigating mendacities and disinformation that has been mounting ever since the start of the Cold War, if not ever since it became clear that Russia is an independent player in geopolitics.
This post first appeared on Russia Insider
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