Washington (GPA) – Western media is cheering about the recent attacks on RT and Sputnik by the US government and corporations, but one thing they fail to mention is the extent of the US operations doing the exact same thing overseas.
In just over the past month and a half, the US has witnessed, yet another, significant uptick in the Russian panic in the form of attacks on Russian media outlets operating within the US. The latest panic to be whipped by the US media is a return to an earlier setpiece of the “Russia investigations;” the fear surrounding Russian media in the US that was initially blamed for Hillary Clinton’s election failure in a report by the Director of National Intelligence.
The latest wave of ‘Russian media infiltration’ kicked off last month when the US Department of Justice (DoJ) informed the company that owns the broadcaster Russia Today’s US bureau (RT) that they would have to register as a foreign agent. Following this move by the DoJ in September, the hysteria surrounding RT has continued to grow leading to a decision by Twitter last week to ban both RT and Sputnik from purchasing advertisements and sponsoring content on the social media website.
This latest escalation in the Russia panic further obscures the initial claims by the US that Russia “influenced the 2016 election,” which the US media seemingly wants people to forget. There are, of course, two obvious reasons for this lack of evidence being provided by anyone in the US; the first reason being the fact that there is no credible evidence that Russia did anything.
The second reason is the set of actual facts that the US practices the exact behaviors they are currently accusing Russia of. This doesn’t just include the US funding media outlets overseas exactly like RT, but also the involvement of the intelligence community in the US media, foreign media, proxy conflicts, and open election interference and manufacturing dissent in Eastern Europe since the end of the Cold War.
US-Funded Media Outlets Target Rivals Abroad to Stir Dissent
Let’s start at the surface level with the latest shallow accusations about RT and Sputnik being some kind of nefarious foreign agent for the crime of showcasing opposition voices to a US audience. Much like the charges leveled at RT by the DoJ, the US also has a history of running media outlets in Europe that specifically targeted the former Soviet Union (and now mostly target Russia) in order to cause unrest.
Much like Russia has RT and Sputnik, the US has their own two media outlets: Voice of America (VoA) and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE). Both stations received initial funding from the CIA from the 1940s until the early 70s. This was later cut off after the stations’ connections to Langley were exposed and management was turned over to the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). The BBG may not be the CIA but it still is a US government agency and both radio stations have grown into media companies just like RT and still serve the same purpose to this day.
Both VoA and RFE broadcast and publish news in a multitude of languages, which include, but aren’t limited to: Persian, Chinese, Russian, Bosnian, Belarusian, Chechen, Crimean Tatar, Serbian, Ukrainian, Uzbek and more. These languages should show you what kind of audience these two outlets are targeting and if you need any hints as to the content of their messages, Voice of America wasn’t available to US citizens until 2013 to “protect the American public from propaganda actions by their own government.”
One of RFE’s latest ventures was The Interpreter Magazine, which was highly critical of internal Russian affairs. This magazine ran until December of last year when their contract with RFE expired but the staff from The Interpreter moved on to help with the VoA project, Polygraph, a “fact checking” and “counter-propaganda” site. RFE is also the home of the “Daily Vertical” video blog which airs 5 days a week providing anti-Russian propaganda and is hosted by Brian Whitmore, a “Russia expert” who also graces the pages of publications such as The Atlantic.
Interference Doesn’t Stop Online: The US and The Russian Opposition
Beyond the online news and radio airwaves, the US involvement in Russian politics extends even deeper and yet, somehow, is even more blatant than the actions of RFE and VOA. This includes the close relationship between US power brokers and “opposition movements” within Russia.
One example of this happened just last year when several million dollars was sent to US NGO’s in Russia in the days leading up the parliamentary elections.
USAID is an agency expelled from Russia in 2012 that has faced accusations of subverting foreign nations across the globe, typically by supporting “opposition” movements in countries with governments hostile to the US. Typically these “opposition” groups also happen to receive funding from other parties in the US, such as the State Department or CIA. The nature of these groups can range from electoral parties to “organic” viral PR pieces, such as the Russian band Pussy Riot (who even managed to get a meeting with Hillary Clinton).
US NGOs also have a history of declaring all elections in Russia as “rigged,” usually before the results are even announced, as was the case in 2016 when Putin’s party “fabricated millions of votes” according to US NGOs and media. This is all despite the fact that the US is proud of their open interference in Russian elections since the fall of the Soviet Union.
The US election interference doesn’t stop within the borders of Russia. We all know that the US also interferes in the affairs of Russia’s neighbors, such as the major role the Obama regime played in the 2013 Euromaidan coup in Ukraine, including their attempt to pick a pro-western president.
Not Russia, Not Europe, but The World
Russia obviously isn’t the only country to feel the wrath of covert US subversion. The US is a plague on the world when it comes to denying adversarial nations their right to self-determination, Russia just happens to occupy one of the top slots in US priorities.
Yet Russia still doesn’t receive the worst of the deep state’s abuses. If you think RT and Sputnik being prevented from advertising on Twitter is bad, just look at a recent CIA project that took place in Cuba: an entire social network created by USAID with CIA money. ZunZuneo was a Twitter-style social networking platform that operated via text messages and was used to spread anti-Castro propaganda.
Finally, of course, there is the last resort of US subversion should all these “soft-power” techniques fail, violent proxy war. Syria is the prime example of this type of US action (although Ukraine works too) where if subversion fails the US, proxies are armed and paid to attempt to remove stubborn governments or popular movements.
Now imagine if Russia were doing this to the US. If RT, Sputnik and some sponsored Facebook posts are the most the average US citizen has to worry about, then perhaps they should be happy they don’t live in any country that finds itself in the United States’ crosshairs.