How to think critically about news quotes from unnamed "government sources" under trumpism

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That’s easy. If they’re derogatory towards Trump, they’re true.

Save time by playing the odds.


It’s how we have arrived at the silent state, through which government officials are able to knowingly lie outright, with fatal consequences for millions of people, without ever paying tha price for it.

Has this ever not been the case?


Another example of how we’ll all be taking an exhausting journey down the rabbit hole of FUD over the next four years. Given that #nextpresident has spent decades publically demonstrating himself to be an awful and self-serving narcissistic pig, I’ll go with @KathyPartdeux’s suggestion, above.


Cory, WADR you should take your own advice and look more critically at the ‘Russian hack’ story. There is no definitive proof, just politically motivated speculation. (disclosure: I am not a Trump voter, just a critical thinker), and the ‘official report’ is not materially different than the leaked report, which was immediately taken as gospel in the media and by extension, the public.

I would suggest digging deeper amongst more specialized sources who are skeptical, for example William Binney, Ray McGovern, Elizabeth Murray, Kirk Wiebe, Scott Ritter and Marcy Wheeler being prime examples.

Longtime readers ought to remember these names as being right about the Iraq intelligence cockup and NSA whistleblowing. Isn’t it odd that suddenly everyone is taking the US intelligence agencies’ word at face value after their horrible track record the past 20+ years?


It’s going to be such a mess. To add to the mess, the Trump administration seems like it’s going to be releasing information via “unnamed sources.” There was the recent event where Trump, apparently having just met with some lobbyists, spoke to reporters, saying that he had some plan to privatize VA care, but his staff would convey the information to the press. Weirdly, the staff who were trotted out didn’t know any information either - but even more strangely, they spoke on condition of not being named…


The one leak I want to see are five years of Trump’s IRS returns.

Also, the rumored blackmail videos.


Only when its not a false flag leak :laughing:

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I just replace “unnamed government source” with “voices in my head.”

It almost makes reading the news bearable.

Really? Ahem: “Trump caused 9/11, global warming, the Fukushima disaster, and the Star Trek reboot.”

Don’t give the manipulators an easy lever of control. For heaven’s sake you already know Trump’s terrible. Any new information on that front is superfluous so you can afford to treat it all as suspect.

Because it will be suspect.


That’s an example of how Trump’s misdirect has the press uncritically following along with his narrative.

The intelligence agencies did not screw up Iraq. Bush and Cheney deliberately misrepresented what the agencies were reporting in order to bend it into their predetermined agenda.

In fact, Trump’s insistence that the intelligence agencies screwed up Iraq so they are screwing up the russia hacks is just his version of doing what Cheney did - pressuring the spies to conform their analyses to a pre-determined conclusion instead of drawing a conclusion based on the analyses.

There is plenty to debate about whether the analyses are faulty, but anyone starting off with “the spies got it wrong before” is not a very good student of history.


Yes, all his fault.

Their goal is to divert people into all the rabbit holes and never get a resolution on anything- hence the press conference (finally) on the same day as the appointment hearings.

Don’t bite.

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They used to call it Kremlinology when dealing with the old Soviet Union. The Soviet Union was generally opaque, but you could learn a lot by using techniques developed by historians to deal with the generally opaque past. According to Winston Churchill, the Soviet Union was the original turducken (search for “churchill enigma”), but no administration is ever completely transparent. The French even have a name for experts in piercing the veil, physionomistes d’etat, but that’s because French is the language of diplomacy.

Not all that long ago journalists in the US did this kind of analysis as a matter of course, but in the 1980s they stopped completely and simply served as stenographers. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that a good history degree is worthless, at least not if you want to understand the day’s news feed.


Because NSA can trace exactly where and how any “hacked” emails from the Democratic National Committee or other servers were routed through the network,

That’s an interesting claim being made by former NSA employee. He’s implying that the NSA has a god’s eye view and logging of Internet traffic that would defeat seven proxies or Tor. Or he’s FOS.

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I agree to a point - there were many analysts who didn’t agree with the assertion about Saddam’s WMD, however when you have George Tenet, Colin Powell and other intelligence officials pushing the lies, it weakens your argument.

EDIT: I see a distinction here, that shows the rift between analysis and politics, and perhaps it is the latter that is the problem. For example, Ashcroft may have been the most significant hacker of the election.

Also, you should know that this is not ‘Trump’s misdirect’ because Binney actually made his point back in late July. Check the date on this link, for example.


Counterpunch, eh?


Snowden has said pretty much that. But his take is the exact opposite of Binney’s - that the NSA would never reveal that level of proof to the public because in doing so it would also disclose too much about their operational capabilities.

I agree with Snowden, if the NSA has it, that kind of proof is going to be classified SAP top secret. And we the public are just left to decide if we trust Obama (and the pretty much all the republicans on the senate select intelligence committee) to be straight with us on the topic.

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You are right but Cory wont do this as he is a Hillary supporter and doesn’t want to step outside of the narrative being fed to us.

The irony is that My Doctorow likes to play the exaggerated false news game himself when it suits him.
I asked him to substantiate a claim he made in a recent Boing Boing piece he wrote about Marie Le Pen and he did not respond.
“Care to substantiate the “Le Pen is one little moustache short of a swastika” claim?”

To be clear I am certainly not a Le Pen supporter but I do live and work in France and follow the news quite closely including the activities of Marie Le Pen, and I very much doubt Mr Doctorow will be able to back up the inflammatory statement he made with actual facts.


Come on now, you’re missing the big guy’s motive. #nextpresident wouldn’t do all that just because he has a mancrush on the Shirtless One. It’s not like he’s in debt to banks controlled by Putin’s oligarch cronies (because no major Western bank except for the troubled Deutschebank would lend to him). You’ll see, he’ll be releasing those tax returns proving that his lenders are 100% legit any day now.

Alex Cockburn may be dead, but his nasty spirit lives on in that hot mess of a site.

[quote=“JamesBean, post:17, topic:92537, full:true”]
But his take is the exact opposite of Binney’s - that the NSA would never reveal that level of proof to the public because in doing so it would also disclose too much about their operational capabilities.[/quote]

Exactly. I don’t know why people are expecting the official intelligence report to go all open-kimono on sources and methods. Besides, independent infosec organisations were identifying the Russian-sponsored hacking and disinfo campaigns using markers and signatures, traffic patterns, similar techniques against domestic and regional enemies, etc. long before the official U.S. agencies were ordered by Obama to produce a report.

Where’s your proof that @doctorow is a Hillary supporter? He seems to be way to the left of her in his own politics. During election season, I don’t remember him being moved to suggest that people hold their noses and vote for her against the alternative, let alone offering an endorsement.

Also, Marine Le Pen may not be a literal National Socialist, but she’s a real chip off the old fascist block. The only difference from her right-wing populist dad is that, for PR reasons, she’s temporarily moved the Jews behind the Muslims on her nativist party’s hit list.


Because I asked him directly and he told me he funded her.