How The U.S. Runs Public Relations Campaigns – Trump Style – Against Russia And China

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Originally appeared on moonofalabama.org on October 5

Yesterday [on October 4] several NATO countries ran a concerted propaganda campaign against Russia. The context for it was a NATO summit in which the U.S. presses for an intensified cyberwar against NATO’s preferred enemy.

On the same day another coordinated campaign targeted China. It is aimed against China’s development of computer chip manufacturing further up the value chain. Related to this is U.S. pressure on Taiwan, a leading chip manufacturer, to cut its ties with its big motherland.

The anti-Russian campaign is about alleged Russian spying, hacking and influence operations. Britain and the Netherland took the lead. Britain accused Russia’s military intelligence service (GRU) of spying attempts against the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague and Switzerland, of spying attempts against the British Foreign Office, of influence campaigns related to European and the U.S. elections, and of hacking the international doping agency WADA. British media willingly helped to exaggerate the claims:

The Foreign Office attributed six specific attacks to GRU-backed hackers and identified 12 hacking group code names as fronts for the GRU – Fancy Bear, Voodoo Bear, APT28, Sofacy, Pawnstorm, Sednit, CyberCaliphate, Cyber Berku, BlackEnergy Actors, STRONTIUM, Tsar Team and Sandworm.”

The “hacking group code names” the Guardian tries to sell to its readers do not refer to hacking groups but to certain cyberattack methods. Once such a method is known it can be used by any competent group and individual. Attributing such an attack is nearly impossible. Moreover Fancybear, ATP28, Pawn Storm, Sofacy Group, Sednit and Strontium are just different names for one and the same well known method. The other names listed refer to old groups and tools related to criminal hackers. Blackenergy has been used by cybercriminals since 2007. It is alleged that a pro-Russian group named Sandworm used it in Ukraine, but the evidence for that is dubious at best. To throw out such a list of code names without any differentiation reeks of a Fear-Uncertainty-Doubt (FUD) campaign designed to dis-inform and scare the public.

The Netherland for its part released a flurry of information about the alleged spying attempts against the OPCW in The Hague. It claims that four GRU agents traveled to The Hague on official Russian diplomatic passports to sniff out the WiFi network of the OPCW. (WiFi networks are notoriously easy to hack. If the OPCW is indeed using such it should not be trusted with any security relevant issues.) The Russian officials were allegedly very secretive, even cleaning out their own hotel trash, while they, at the same, time carried laptops with private data and even taxi receipts showing their travel from a GRU headquarter in Moscow to the airport. Like in the Skripal/Novichok saga the Russian spies are, at the same time, portrayed as supervillains and hapless amateurs. Real spies are neither.

The U.S. Justice Department added to the onslaught by issuing new indictments (pdf) against alleged GRU agents dubiously connected to several alleged hacking incidents. As none of those Russians will ever stand in front of a U.S. court the broad allegations will never be tested.

The anti-Russian campaign came just in time for yesterday’s NATO Defense Minister meetingat which the U.S. ‘offered’ to use its malicious cyber tools under NATO disguise:

Katie Wheelbarger, the principal deputy assistant defense secretary for international security affairs, said the U.S. is committing to use offensive and defensive cyber operations for NATO allies, but America will maintain control over its own personnel and capabilities.

If the European NATO allies, under pressure of the propaganda onslaught, agree to that, the obvious results will be more U.S. control over its allies’ networks and citizens as well as more threats against Russia:

NATO’s chief vowed on Thursday to strengthen the alliance’s defenses against attacks on computer networks that Britain said are directed by Russian military intelligence, also calling on Russia to stop its “reckless” behavior.

The allegations against Russia over nefarious spying operations and sockpuppet campaigns are highly hypocritical. The immense scale of U.S. and British spying revealed by Edward Snowden and through the Wikileaks Vault 7 leak of CIA hacking tools is well known. The Pentagon runs large social media manipulation campaigns. The British GHCQ hacked Belgium’s largest telco network to spy on the data of the many international organizations in Brussels.

International organizations like the OPCW have long been the target of U.S. spies and operations. The U.S. National Security Service (NSA) regularly hacked the OPCW since at least September 2000:

According to last week’s Shadow Brokers leak, the NSA compromised a DNS server of the Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in September 2000, two years after the Iraq Liberation Act and Operation Desert Fox, but before the Bush election.

It was the U.S. which in 2002 forced out the head of the OPCW because he did not agree to propagandizing imaginary Iraqi chemical weapons:

José M. Bustani, a Brazilian diplomat who was unanimously re-elected last year as the director general of the 145-nation Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, was voted out of office today after refusing repeated demands by the United States that he step down because of his “management style.” No successor has been selected.

The U.S. arranged the vote against Bustani by threatening to leave the OPCW. Day’s earlier ‘Yosemite Sam’ John Bolton, now Trump’s National Security Advisor, threatened to hurt José Bustani’s children to press him to resign:

“I got a phone call from John Bolton – it was first time I had contact with him – and he said he had instructions to tell me that I have to resign from the organization, and I asked him why,” Bustani told RT. “He said that [my] management style was not agreeable to Washington.”

Bustani said he “owed nothing” to the US, pointing out that he was appointed by all OPCW member states. Striking a more sinister tone, Bolton said: “OK, so there will be retaliation. Prepare to accept the consequences. We know where your kids are.“According to Bustani, two of his children were in New York at the time, and his daughter was in London.

Russia’s government will need decades of hard work to reach the scale of U.S./UK hypocrisy, hacking and lying.

The propaganda rush against Russia came on the same day as a similar campaign was launched against China. A well timed Bloomberg story, which had been in the works for over a year, claimed that Chinese companies manipulated hardware they manufactured for the U.S. company SuperMicro. The hardware was then sold to Apple, Amazon and others for their cloud server businesses.

The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies:

Nested on the servers’ motherboards, the testers found a tiny microchip, not much bigger than a grain of rice, that wasn’t part of the boards’ original design.

Both Apple and Amazon denied the story with very strong statements. The Bloomberg tale has immense problems. It is for one completely based on anonymous sources, most of them U.S. government officials:

The companies’ denials are countered by six current and former senior national security officials, who—in conversations that began during the Obama administration and continued under the Trump administration—detailed the discovery of the chips and the government’s investigation.

The way the alleged manipulation is described to function is theoretical possiblebut not plausible. In my learned opinion one would need multiple manipulations, not just one tiny chip, to achieve the described results. Even reliably U.S. friendly cyberhawks are unconvincedof the story’s veracity. It is especially curious that such server boards are still in use in security relevant U.S. government operations:

Assuming the Bloomberg story is accurate, that means that the US intelligence community, during a period spanning two administrations, saw a foreign threat and allowed that threat to infiltrate the US military. If the story is untrue, or incorrect on its technical merits, then it would make sense that Supermicro gear is being used by the US military.

There might be financial motives behind the story:

Bloomberg reporters receive bonuses based indirectly on how much they shift markets with their reporting. This story undoubtedly did that.

When the story came out SuperMicro’s stock price crashed from $21.40 to below $9.00 per share. It now trades at $12.60:

The story might be a cover-up for a NSA hack that was accidentally detected. Most likely it is exaggerated half truth, based on an old event, to deter the ‘western’ industry from sourcing anything from producers in China.

This would be consistent with other such U.S. moves against China which coincidentally (not) happened on the same day the Bloomberg story was launched.

One is a very hawkish speech U.S. Vice President Pence held yesterday:

Vice President Mike Pence accused China on Thursday of trying to undermine President Donald Trump as the administration deploys tough new rhetoric over Chinese trade, economic and foreign policies.

Sounding the alarm, Pence warned other nations to be wary of doing business with China, condemning the Asian country’s “debt diplomacy” that allows it to draw developing nations into its orbit.Pence also warned American businesses to be vigilant against Chinese efforts to leverage access to their markets to modify corporate behavior to their liking.

Another move is a new Pentagon report warning against the purchase of Chinese equipment and launched via Reuters in support of the campaign:

China represents a “significant and growing risk” to the supply of materials vital to the U.S. military, according to a new Pentagon-led report that seeks to mend weaknesses in core U.S. industries vital to national security.The nearly 150-page report, seen by Reuters on Thursday ahead of its formal release Friday, concluded there are nearly 300 vulnerabilities that could affect critical materials and components essential to the U.S. military.

“A key finding of this report is that China represents a significant and growing risk to the supply of materials and technologies deemed strategic and critical to U.S. national security,” the report said.

The Bloomberg story, the Pence speech and the Pentagon report ‘leak’ on the same day seem designed to scare everyone away from using Chinese equipment or China manufactured parts within there supply chain.

The allegations of Chinese supply chain attacks are of course just as hypocritical as the allegations against Russia. The very first know case of computer related supply chain manipulation goes back to 1982:

A CIA operation to sabotage Soviet industry by duping Moscow into stealing booby-trapped software was spectacularly successful when it triggered a huge explosion in a Siberian gas pipeline, it emerged yesterday.

Mr Reed writes that the software “was programmed to reset pump speeds and valve settings to produce pressures far beyond those acceptable to pipeline joints and welds”.

Wikileaks list 27 cases of U.S. supply chain manipulation of computer hardware and software. A search for “supply chain” in the Snowden archives shows 18 documents describing such ‘projects’.

The U.S. government under Trump – and with John Bolton in a leading position – copied Trump’s brutal campaign style and uses it as an instrument in its foreign policy. Trump’s victory in the 2016 election proves that such campaigns are highly successful, even when the elements they are build of are dubious or untrue. In their scale and coordination the current campaigns are comparable to the 2002 run-up for the war on Iraq.

Then, as during the Trump election campaign and as now, the media are crucial to the public effect these campaigns have. Will they attempt to take the stories the campaigns are made of apart? Will they set them into the larger context of global U.S. spying and manipulation? Will they explain the real purpose of these campaigns?

Don’t bet on it.

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  • Merijn

    Keep Focussing on Russia you Western Cockroaches….it would have been better if you concentraties on your own Public Relations…..because You Look Like Shit West…

    • occupybacon

      Yeah the West look like shit, that’s why so few Russians moved in the West.

      • Merijn

        I live in the West and soon will leave that shithole yes….

        • occupybacon

          hahaha

      • Alex

        I see many rich russians in the southern France every summer, in fact there are so many that i have a feeling that i’m in Russia, oh and i see even more ukranians on low level jobs there too and especially in portugal and spain, toilet cleaning and all.

        • occupybacon

          How did you figure out I’m Ukrainian ?

  • Promitheas Apollonious

    I am with the impression that none any more give much attention to what the morons of west keep trying to sell to the public beside the moronic followers of them who keep them in office with out fail every election. It make you wonder how low mentality the majority of western population has become and I charge it to the fact that mostly are half breeds and to the water and food they consume that is anything but real food. Coning and stupidity can be technically infused within the human body.

    • Tudor Miron

      “Coning and stupidity can be technically infused within the human body.”(c) – that’s one of real instruments used. 5th in this list https://youtu.be/wrjNqYEAuBE

      • Promitheas Apollonious

        works only on the brain less who have less than few seconds thinking span and the cloned population of the countries who are on GMO diet and drinking tab water with all the goodies added to it from their states.

  • RichardD

    Western governments isn’t an accurate term. Latin America and Africa are just as west as NATO. And they’re not on the same page on this type of thing, and many other issues, with NATO governments. And neither are many citizens of NATO governments who have a dim view of their governments demonizing Russia and China for activities that their governments are involved in every day.

    The main problem is Jews and their disproportionate grasp of control positions in NATO countries, primarily the US, and Israel. 95% of the planet’s Jews live in Israel, the US, France, Canada, and the UK. Russia has the planet’s 6th largest population of Jews, and they’ve been a massive problem there. One poll indicated that most Russians would like to see Russia completely dejudified and for Russia to be Jew free. I agree with them and would like to see Jews and Judaism extinct on this planet.

    “In recent years, Jews around the world have been voicing anxious concern over the specter of anti-Semitism in the lands of the former Soviet Union. In this new and uncertain era, we are told, suppressed feelings of hatred and rage against Jews are once again being expressed. According to one public opinion survey conducted in 1991, for example, most Russians wanted all Jews to leave the country.4 …

    AP dispatch from Moscow, Toronto Star, Sept. 26, 1991, p. A2.; Similarly, a 1992 survey found that one-fourth of people in the republics of Belarus (White Russia) and Uzbekistan favored deporting all Jews to a special Jewish region in Russian Siberia. “Survey Finds Anti-Semitism on Rise in Ex-Soviet Lands,” Los Angeles Times, June 12, 1992, p. A4.”

    – The Jewish Role in the Bolshevik Revolution
    and Russia’s Early Soviet Regime –

    https://www.ihr.org/jhr/v14/v14n1p-4_Weber.html

    • RichardD

      “The world’s core Jewish population was estimated at 14,511,000 in April 2018,[1] up from 14.41 million in 2016.[2][3][4] Demographer Sergio DellaPergola proposes an “extended” Jewish population, including people identifying as partly Jewish and non-Jews with Jewish parents, numbering 17.3 million globally, and an “enlarged” Jewish population figure that also includes non-Jewish members of Jewish households totaling 20.2 million.”

      – Jewish population by country –

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/97ae5a4b891d1112d0629950363b8738face6fcb2ed74b6b029f3a2a78e2a2d2.png

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_population_by_country

      • RichardD

        – Who Controls America?
        When Victims Rule: A Critique of Jewish Pre-Eminence in America”Banking/Finance –

        https://thezog.wordpress.com/

        Who Controls the Economy?
        Who Controls Wall Street? (Part 2)
        Who Controls Wall Street? (Part 1)
        Who Controls Goldman Sachs?
        Who Controls American International Group?
        Who Controls the Treasury Department?
        Who Controls the Federal Reserve System? (Part 1)
        Who Controls the Federal Reserve System? (Part 2)

        Mass Media

        Who Controls Big Media?
        Who Controls Hollywood?
        Who Controls Television?
        Who Controls Music?
        Who Controls Radio?
        Who Controls Advertising?
        Who Controls the News? (Part 1)
        Who Controls the News? (Part 2)
        Government/Politics
        Who Controls the White House?
        Who Controls the Senate?
        Who Controls the Congress?
        Who Controls the Supreme Court?
        Who Controls the State Department?
        Who Controls the Justice Department?
        Who Controls the Defense Department?
        Who Controls the Treasury Department?

        Social Engineering

        Who Controls the Ivy League?
        Who Controls the Think Tanks?
        Who Controls Professional Sports?
        Who Controls the Anti-Defamation League?
        Who Controls the Southern Poverty Law Center?
        Who Controls the American Civil Liberties Union?
        Who is Behind Gun Control?
        Who is Behind the Climate Change Hoax?

        “New World Order”

        Who Controls the Group of Thirty?
        Who Controls the Bilderberg Group?
        Who Controls the Trilateral Commission?
        Who Controls the Council on Foreign Relations? (Part 1)
        Who Controls the Council on Foreign Relations? (Part 2)”

        • RichardD

          This is a cursory view of the Jew control of the msm:

          https://i.4pcdn.org/pol/1519407861447.jpg

          • RichardD

            Jews are the most persecuted, expelled, and genocided group of miscreants in human history. Because they’re evil and their Talmud rabbinical pedophile mass rape cult ideology is evil. It should be outlawed and the synagogues and yeshivas closed and demolished so that Jews and Judaism goes extinct.

            “Jewish population centers have shifted tremendously over time, due to the constant streams of Jewish refugees created by expulsions, persecution, and officially sanctioned killing of Jews in various places at various times. In addition, assimilation and forced conversions have also impacted Jewish population sizes throughout Jewish history.”

            – Historical Jewish population comparisons –

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_Jewish_population_comparisons

          • RichardD

            “The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an influential foreign policy membership organization founded in 1921 and based at 58 East 68th Street (corner Park Avenue) in New York City, with an additional office in Washington, D.C. Through its membership, meetings, and studies, it has been called the most powerful agent of United States foreign policy outside the State Department. It publishes the bi-monthly journal Foreign Affairs. It has an extensive website, featuring links to its think tank, The David Rockefeller Studies Program, other programs and projects, publications, history, biographies of notable directors and other board members, corporate members, and press releases.

            Of the 43 Council on Foreign Relations directors in 2014, 28 were Jews or had Jewish spouses. Of the 55 Council on Foreign Relations think tank members, 31 are Jews or have Jewish spouses. Jews are only 2% of the US population.[1]”

            – Council on Foreign Relations –

            https://en.metapedia.org/wiki/Council_on_Foreign_Relations