I am fascinated by the reaction to my article that , in my view, was about freedom of the press. Press freedom is not and should not be a right confined solely to the United States. Prior to 2016 it was one of the things that made America special and was something that set America apart from the rest of the world. Sadly, we now have oodles of evidence that the Government of the United States is attacking that freedom and using the excuse of protecting classified information to quash that right.
Many of you surprised me by assuming I was equating the quality of Gershkovich’s work with that of Julian Assange or Edward Snowden. Boy, did you get that wrong. I was simply making the point that the work of a journalist is to get information the public is not supposed to have. Several of you also made the mistake of believing that a journalist trying to find out how many tanks Russia is producing is a heinous crime.
Are you really that obtuse? Right now the United States Intelligence Community is reportedly telling political and military leaders that Russia is running out of tanks. I believe that is a lie and a dangerous lie at that. Why? Because if U.S. policy makers buy into that false narrative they may be emboldened to escalate military actions against Russia because they believe it is weak. That is a road to nuclear disaster and I am doing all I can to warn about that danger.
Lest you think I am endorsing Gershkovich as a great reporter, he is not. He is a lazy, gullible tool. Go back and read his articles. Rather than coming up with hard hitting facts backed up by solid sources, he wrote propaganda. Consider these beauties as exemplars:
Russia’s Economy Is Starting to Come Undone
Ukraine Sees Russian Losses in Bakhmut as Paving Way for Spring Offensive
Artillery Shortage Hampers Russia’s Offensive in East Ukraine, Western Officials Say
That said, Gershkovich was not spying for the CIA. He was not being paid by the CIA. He was not Non-Official Cover officer masquerading as a journalist. How do I know this? Because it is against the law. In saying that I realize there has been quite a bit of lawless behavior on the part of the CIA, the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice. Nonetheless, nothing in the published work of Evan Gershkovich rises beyond the mediocre and the banal.
I cannot rule out the possibility that the U.S. Intelligence Community may have sent signals that could have persuaded the Russians that Gershkovich was spying for the United States. That is called baiting a trap. And for those of you who insist that Russia does not give a shit what the United States thinks I agree with you. But you’re missing the point that the audience for this is the American public, who are now being fed the bullshit that Gershkovich is a victim of a new Soviet dictatorship. This is all about ginning up more domestic support to battle Russia at the very moment that support for the war in Ukraine is fading.
Do you understand? I think Russia got played on this and has turned a second-rate journalist into a cause célèbre. And while the punditry in America are pillorying Russia for an “unjust” arrest of a journalist, those same pundits are deaf, dumb and blind on the attacks leveled against real journalists, like Julian Assange.
One other point about what constitutes vital intelligence that can undermine a nation’s security and intelligence that helps reduce the risk of conflict. Knowing how many tanks that Russia actually is producing does not weaken Russia’s ability to pursue its military operation against Ukraine. Knowing where tanks are going to be deployed and when they are going to engage would be information that could give Ukraine an advantage. Does anybody really believe that Gershkovich was working on gathering the latter kind of information? That would only be obtained if Gershkovich convinced someone on the Russian General Staff to give that to him. There is nothing in Gershkovich’s previous articles that indicates he had any such access.
If there was a person or persons passing classified information to Gershkovich, the weight of prosecution should fall on them, not the journalist, no matter how inept he may be.
I uphold the Ellsberg principle. There are times that governments in the midst of a war are lying to their public and withholding information that the public has a right to know. Ellsberg did not reveal information about the disposition of U.S. and allied forces in Vietnam nor did he alert the North Vietnamese to impending operations that enabled them to ambush U.S. forces. His information exposed the lies employed to persuade the American public to support a needless war in Vietnam.
If you endorse arresting journalists trying to report on subjects, such as the actual capabilities of a country to wage war, then you side with those who tried to silence Daniel Ellsberg.
I continue to believe that a massive disinformation campaign is being waged against the citizens of Western countries by their own governments with the express purpose of convincing them that Russia is a weak power incapable to withstanding the military might of the United States and NATO. I believe that is dangerous and increases the likelihood that Russia, at some point in the future, will be compelled to teach the West a hard, bloody lesson.
You’re definitely right this is being used as a cause celebre. I have a tab open on him I refresh every so often. It’s flood the zone of this proving Putin is evil and Russia hates freedom.
If he was acting as a spy in Russia, it’s so stupid and obvious it would seem like the point was to get him arrested.
Talking points says
I’ve heard talk that he was reluctant to go on this assignment. If true, then ‘it would seem like the point was to get him arrested.’ might be a very valid point indeed.
A. Dane says
I agree with you principle of journalistic freedom to report.
However, in the case of Gershkovich:
He was demanded by the Wall Street journal to work in Russia while the US and NATO is in a proxy war with Russia.
He was reluctant to go.
He was caught by the Russian FSB with classified information.
Days before his arrest Russian citizens were arrested in Europe on charges of financial fraud via Taiwan.
No wonder Gershkovich were reluctant to go, because his arrest was predictable.
Just like the sailors now taken hostage from the Danish owned tanker Monjasa Reformer, outside the former French colony of oil rich Congo.
Maybe Macron wants a NATO blockade of Congo for refusing French vassalage, just as NATO blockaded Yemen and Somalia for years, after Danish sailors were taken hostage by Pirates.
Instead of news stories, originally set up for predictable results:
I find the hidden charges against Donald Trump during an US Presidential election, or the creation of a coalition of willing Nations to invade Ukraine under the guise of being peacekeepers, to be more worthy as a topic on your blog.
Forest for the trees, Forest for the trees.
The 100% controlled American/Western Media, including the internet, will create whatever fiction they are instructed to do.
” He’s not a CIA spy/contractor….How do I know this? Because it is against the law”
When did “against the law” stop amoral, immune government employees, the same employee gaggle who would have to enforce the law against themselves?
martin mkultra7 says
I would add when did any spy publish their most critical information?I would print all the nonsense and pass on the important stuff.
Lou Brooks says
“Against the law” is why Five-Eyes is used to spy on American citizens. The U.S. can’t do it so they get other allied nations to do it for them. This journalist may not be a spy and likely is not, and Russia may be doing a tit-for-tat knowing that any where a Russian is arrested it is at the urging of the U.S. Regardless, this journalist better hope the U.S. is willing to trade two high value Russians to get him back to America.
I must have been one of the few Americans that were outraged when Maria Butina was arrested on trumped up charges. If our U.S. leaders (supposed leaders) want to play childish games, then the Russians are willing to oblige them. Tit-for-tat.
When a nation considers itself “exceptional”, and America does, the nation will always get indignant when they do not get their way. American and west Europe continue to stomp their feet and wail at the injustice done to them…all the while feeling exceptional.
Paul Greenwood says
Since Gershkovich was born in USSR to Soviet Jewish parents he should be conscious of how easily he might transgress in current circumstances…………..his parents may even have left a file on record……….
Since Maria Butina had a spell in US custody for doing absolutely nothing save be Russian in USA……..it seems very strange how apoplectic Americans get over a WSJ emissary from Rupert Murdoch………..and not at all concerned about Paul Whelan
So, he’s only a naturalized American ?
Wonder if he ever formally gave up his Russian citizenship ? Russian Citizenship is a lot like US citizenship – nearly impossible to give up.
What are the odds that he has other citizenships ? Rather high odds ;,I’d speculate.
He’s a spook for sure
Do you even hear the dripping contempt in your, “so, he’s only a naturalized American?” Try to hide your nasty personality harder! Also, you must work on your “real American” reading comprehension skills and logic. “Evan Gershkovich is the son of Soviet-born émigrés who came to the U.S. in the late 1970s. ”
He is 35 yo, meaning he was born in the USA in 1988. He is a born American. Capiche?
just saying says
Is it different than the fuss about the female basketball player that everyone forgot by now?
You are 100% right.
Keeping scissors out of the hands of running congress children says
Knowing how many tanks that Russia actually is producing does not weaken Russia’s ability to pursue its military operation against Ukraine.
I disagree on this point. For example: If the WH or Congress believe the intel fed them by whoever, that Russia’s tank works are running thin, then they’ll be convinced the west has sent enough tanks to UA to do the job. If on the other hand, they have hard verification that what the Russians advertise is true, then they’ll have a greater incentive to send …..a thousand Abrams that some looney tune Congress person thinks there are out there somewhere, you get the gist.
That would indeed ‘weaken’ Russia’s ability to pursue its military operation. It would in fact, force an elevation of it to the next, far more dangerous stage…if you get my drift.
Larry Johnson says
Total bullshit. The US does not have that number of tanks to send.
Keeping scissors out of the hands of running congress children says
I agree, but it didn’t keep some congressional dipshit from mouthing it, or so I heard second-hand anyway.
The Law of Expanding Returns says
Congress uses the same tactic as Ukraine does. Demand 1000 tanks and maybe 200 will be sent instead of 100.
A Boyles says
How is your sample of the intelligence of your readership going? 😉
Maybe it was really test of how many readers would be too awed to say that the Assange / Gershkovich analogy stinks.
maybe but they will promise to send them anyway,delivery 2050.
either way it makes them escalate more.
Pauvre Larry…vous persistez
dans vos explications vaseuses. ..
Paul Greenwood says
Sadly in the modern world people do not bother to look up facts before shooting from the hip – politicians do truly reflect the utter mediocrity of the electorate – and we see in so many comments tenuous links to factual reality overwhelmed by bombastic mania
Rebel Wop says
The US could send oil tanks, no?
tank tops says
Nope, those tankers are too busy expropriating Syrian oil.
Bill Osborne Jr says
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Larry Johnson 2024!
Agreed – There should be no state secrets in time of peace. Congress hasn‘t yet voted on a War Declaration. Therefore we are NOT in wartime, so peacetime rules apply. No state secrets period.
Wise Men issued grave warnings as the National-Security state was created in the late 1940s. These warnings went sadly unheeded. It’s illuminating to review the debates concerning the founding of the CIA. Plenty of sensible arguments were made that the CIA would turn into a abomination harming us. These arguments proved to be true.
Listen to Operation Paperclip on Huntley and Goutbert on locals….both parts…explains a lot about the CIA mentality..
–> limiting the discussion to non-whistle blowing, legal ethical state secrets – no, i do not see a useful social purpose in a journalist writing a story on these subjects. i dont see the benefit to the american public. it could set programs back years and waste $.
thats harm to the US no? it may be legal but i am against it.
I get what you are saying Larry–and can not find any disagreement. I think a lot of readers are so frustrated with the unprofessional norm of Western reporters and their proclivity to push a false Narrative–they they by default view someone like Gershkovich as an enemy of the Truth, and thus, does not deserve the benefit of the doubt.
Dr. Jaded and Mr. Hide says
Dollars to donuts the WSJ set him up for arrest.
“Prior to 2016 it was one of the things that made America special and was something that set America apart from the rest of the world”
I’d suggest that the USA has not had press freedom since way back beyond 2016. They were persecuting Assange for years before then.
The press were on board with the lies of Empire for decades IE Iraq invasion II; where was the freedom of the press to report truth? The reporters were embedded, supplied by the big corporate networks and given a script, while many independent real actual investigative journos were targeted and assassinated by US forces (the Palestine Hotel is one such incident).
And go back to 2004 and Gary Webb, assassinated for reporting the crimes of the treasonous sack of shit George Bush senior.
The ‘press’ is free only to report what TPTB want reported.
Call the Coroner says
Hell, the press has been feeding us bullshit ever since the Balkan wars. That’s when journalism finally died and propaganda squatters moved into its empty digs.
just saying says
Yep. Everything we see now is a copy-paste. Nowdays, most of the people in The West still buy all those lies. Back in the day, everyone did. How many people are capable admitting that they were idiots? Very few, I guess.
MSM wants to delete the Truth says
100% correct! I confess outright!
Long ago, we were brainwashed and ignorant..
We believed that the Vietnam war was a glorious attempt to promote freedom and democracy!! Teachers were spreading this truth and TV was reinforcing the narrative…
And later, we learned that napalm can ethically be used to reeducate people who disagree with the Leaders of the Free World .. Democracy prevailed ( according to the narrative!)..
The next step was to copy-paste the same recipe for Laos and Cambodia!
HK received a Nobel Peace Prize in 1973!!! WOW!!!!
We are expected to be proud???
Checking alternative sources of info requires TIME and EFFORTS.. Just like any young persons we were somehow too lazy.. Fighting against this disease is a very long process.. MSM and Big Tech are not part of the solution!!!
Odysee or Rumble can replace YT.. (done already)
Linux can replace Microsoft… ( done already)
There is HOPE!
Lou Brooks says
I take it back to Nixon. The press has always been an ally of the government, even during the Civil War. But in the Nixon era…that is where it began to get truly corrupt. Hijackings, terrorist activity, and closing the gold window. That is when the globalist agenda really took off and news media began to quickly come under the globalist umbrella. In 1980 CNN launched at that began the programming of Americans to believe whatever they heard on TV.
Gary Webb was reported to have committed suicide and I think that’s plausible, given the way he was professionally destroyed by the PTB. However, even his own employer, the San Jose Mercury News didn’t stand by him, a man who was clearly an old school dogged seeker after the facts, a man of journalistic integrity. And for all of his efforts, nothing changed, no one was prosecuted.
Mike Ruppert tells his story here;
Peter VE says
Gary Webb shot himself in the head TWICE. I doubt that story. Perhaps our host, who also teaches gun use and safety, could comment.
Incidentally, Ruppert himself eventually turned the gun on himself.
Or so they say.
Allan Mountain says
Back on GRR
In reply I will first note how the CIA took control of American and Western MSM and then I will segue to the what it means in terms of Russia’s position and they are behaving and what the likely predictable result will be when all is weighed in the balance of history.
For decades now there has been virtually no distinction between American and Western nations MSM journalism and CIA Deep State operation which has been working not only against any and all nations that refuse American hegemony over their own sovereignty but it has also been working against the American people and anyone else in the so-called free world (sick joke) who dares to question the official narratives as being spun by CIA/MSM press releases.
Ever heard of ‘Operation Mockingbird’?
Check this – following is one of the most comprehensive and thoroughly researched and lengthy articles authored by co-winner of the 1973 Pulitzer Prize, Carl Bernstein and published way back in 1977 about how CIA American Deep State (call it what you will, it has controlled American MSM along with all Western MSM channels for decades).
THE CIA AND THE MEDIA by Carl Bernstien Pulitzer Prize Winner
How Americas Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up
and this is a real eye-opener – straight from the proverbial horse’s mouth
Editor of Major German Newspaper Says He Planted Stories for the CIA
By Ralph Lopez Global Research, February 04, 2015
NOTE: there is a link in Global Research article to a 13min 20sec video presentation or you can link on this link which will take you to the YouTube presentation:-
Whistleblower Dr Udo Ulfkotte, journalist on RT
extract from the article as follows:
Becoming the first credentialed, well-known media insider to step forward and state publicly that he was secretly a “propagandist,” an editor of a major German daily has said that he personally planted stories for the CIA.
Saying he believes a medical condition gives him only a few years to live, and that he is filled with remorse, Dr. Udo Ulfkotte, the editor of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, one of Germany’s largest newspapers, said in an interview that he accepted news stories written and given to him by the CIA and published them under his own name. Ulfkotte said the aim of much of the deception was to drive nations toward war.
My further comment as follows:
Knowing the sordid history of CIA control over Western media, and having been the subject of its insidious propaganda directed at them for many decades, the Russians and Chinese, along with all the BRICS nations, no longer care one jot what the Governments in the Anglo-American-EU fascist regime say or do anymore, much less what the vast majority of the abjectly stupid dumbed-down people in our Western nations think because they have proven to the world that they are incapable of any critical thinking at any level – the American and Western peoples believe all the filthy lies and will not be dissuaded otherwise irrespective of all the incontrovertible evidence proving such.
The world has irrevocably divided into two parallel universes and those two opposing universes are now just as irrevocably heading to the Mother of all Wars. Just look at the behaviour and the intelligence of the Anglo-American-EU clown circus and that should be ample proof there is now only one course ahead i.e. full steam ahead, smack bang into the proverbial iceberg. Common sense in America and the West will never prevail because it no longer exists at any level of government or general populations.
One other thing to remember is the Russian psychology and how they excel so well in adversity. This is what the West clearly stills fail to understand.
Unlike the blow-hard idiots in the West who just love to tell the world about how great they are and all about their military and technological superiority (that is now mostly all delusional fantasy and stands in stark contradiction to the actual reality), the Russians like to keep their cards tight to their chests and keep everything secret, as they know in times of war this is not only essential but it gives them enormous leverage when, as they have always done, they suddenly launch devastating hitherto unknown forces out of seemingly nowhere.
Check this – it is hugely instructive – the past being prologue
Battlefied S2/E3 – The Battle for Russia
At 1hr 46min 40sec point here towards the end of this brilliant 1hr 55min documentary of the Great Patriotic War in Russia
the history is clearly recounted, with excellent supporting maps, detailing the locations of all opposing armies and the order of battle that ensued in the last final German attempt to conquer Russia and take Moscow. Watch how the battle unfolded and how in spite of countless adversities and losses that the German had suffered in the freezing winter conditions, yet the Germans looked like they were on the cusp of crushing the Russian armies opposing them just outside Moscow. The Russian forces had been nearly destroyed and in spite of Zhukov pleading with Stalin to release the fresh and ruggedly toughened Siberian divisions, Stalin (Steel by name) refused and held them back to the very last moment when it looked like the Russian forces just outside Moscow were finished and then Stalin unleashed the Siberian horde who were clothed for Siberian winters, armed to the teeth and lusting to soak the white landscape with German blood which is exactly what they did. The narrator of this documentary explained in the following words “It came as a hideous shock to the Germans. Along the entire length of the line which stretched 600 miles German armies were shattered into thousands of isolated units”. Watch it and carefully consider the Russian fighting spirit and when all seems lost how they bounce back stronger – then compare that history with how the Russians have been prosecuting the Ukraine campaign, and in my opinion how they are, with such cunning, pulling their punches, holding back, as they are once again arming themselves to the teeth for the last and final battle against the idiot Anglo-American-NATO Empire now run by fools who are so full of hubris and the madness that always attends those who the gods have clearly marked for destruction.
And to further put the reality into context, compare this
Lockheed’s Bad Week Ends With F-35 Software Upgrade Delay, Termination Of Hypersonic Missile Program
The Russians do ‘shock and awe’ much better than America has ever managed to pull off since combined Anglo-American D-Day landing and the ensuing Battle of Normandy. We will witness Russian capacity for devastating ‘shock and awe’ again soon. Just wait and see.
PS – if I were a decision-maker in Russia right now there is no possible way that I would ever allow any American reporter / journalist anywhere near my weapons manufacturing industries or anywhere else – and damn the public opinion in the West because public opinion in the West is not worth diddly-squat. And at the same time, I would remain not only amused but overjoyed at how the American Military Industrial Complex just love to keep lifting their skirt and showing the world everything underneath – it is not a pretty sight.
Allan Mountain says
Oops I usually check that links I post on comments are working; but failed to do so on the comment above, re Whistleblower Dr Udo Ulfkott, which I just checked and got that YouTube notice, “This video is no longer available because the YouTube account associated with this video has been closed”. I discovered several years ago when the censorship was getting into full swing that many of the videos that contradict and undermine the official narratives are constantly being removed and it seems the good guys out there keep reposting them with new urls – a constant battle going on.
So I learned to always save the titles of the YouTube shows and simply cut and paste in duckduckgo search engine and bingo the video will appear.
So here it is again if anyone is interested. It is a real eye-opener – if anyone ever had any doubt as to how Western media is controlled by CIA Deep State this will dispel that doubt. There is no better evidence than this.
RT.com interviews insider and whistleblower Udo Ulfkotte – Sep 29, 2014
Larry seems to have forgotton CNN aiding and abetting the attempted murder of Aleksander Vucic on 23/04/99. He was invited to be interviewed via satellite by Larry King at the RTL studio in Belgrade at 02:30am. He was told to arrive at 02:00am for make up. Fortunately for him he was late because at 02:06am a missile hit the make up room and the young lady there burnt to death. CNN had received a tip the prior day that the building would be targeted and had removed the USA personnel. It is naive and beggars belief Larry, that you would say the USA would not use or employ journalists to assist in their murderous schemes.
just saying says
I’d suggest that USA was never special, but what do I know.
Oh say, can't you see........ says
The Constitution was special. It’s a shame the shredders got hold of it.
just saying says
It was so special, that it needed bunch of amendments to fix it. Slavory was 13th in line. Can you name 12 things that more important that freedom for enslaved, in the land of the free? I can’t, but I’m not one of the special people. My ancestors were always on the receiving end or “freedom & equality”.
MSM wants to delete the Truth says
I like your sentence!
It is like a reminder to watch SmoothieX12… On Odysee, just to avoid YT and their censors…
But Hey, what do we know!!!!!!
I think it is OK to listen to someone who believes that MSM=Sewer
just saying says
Guilty as charged. I shamelessly stole that last part from him. 🙂
MSM wants to delete the Truth says
You can quote Andrei as much as you want! Always funny to hear him talking about the Morons with degrees in political science…
Hal Duell says
A big difference between Ellsberg and Gershkovich is Ellsberg was an American working in America and publishing American government deceptions in an American newspaper. On the other hand, Gershkovich is an American working in a sensitive area of Russia and attempting to find out something about Russian activities in that sensitive area for publication in an American newspaper. There’s a war on. Russia had every right to pull him in.
I don’t know if Gershkovich is an inept spy or an over ambitious journalist, but once the inevitable exchange takes place, I reckon we can expect to see a book come out of it.
Tom Hickey says
Agree. If he was a spy, well, he got caught. If he wasn’t, he was just plain stupid doing something that was illegal in the country he was in, like Brittney Griner. Too often Americans believe they are entitled.
Chicago Bob says
I agree. A few years ago, before the current conflict, I was travelling in Europe. As a US citizen, I attempted to take a photo of the US embassy in Moldova, ostensibly a US and EU friendly country, and was told not to by a security officer for the embassy. If they get worked up over this, I can imaging what Russia would do during wartime. Sorry Larry, I love your blog, but have to disagree with you on this episode.
Left Coast Native says
I also agree. Given our government thinks it can bark orders to the whole world why does this story surprise anyone. This guy is clearly drinking the cool aid.
Given that the west has openly stated they want Russia destroyed why would the WSJ send an american reporter to go snooping around Russia’s MIC? Do we seriously not understand that Russia is it’s own country that is being openly threatened with extinction? This is insane.
Every time I think leadership cannot be that stupid they lower the bar.
It boggles the mind, this WSJ thing was actually thought about before hand. I fear we are coming up on some painful lessons about tolerance.
Maybe it’s kabuki theater and they can wash their hands of Assange.
Juan Valdez says
“This is all about ginning up more domestic support to battle Russia at the very moment that support for the war in Ukraine is fading.”
If that was the intention, it’s no longer needed. The Trump indictment has knocked everything else off the radar screen of the electorate. The left is giddy at the prospect of a Trump mug shot, and the right – and anyone in the middle who does not have TDS – are lamenting our fall into banana republic status.
Now, perhaps at least part of the reason for the Trump indictment was to do exactly what it did – keep the focus on Trump (and Americans at each other’s throats) while the political class keeps doing what it does, but without any pesky scrutiny. That includes, of course, funding the war in Ukraine, about which most Americans could not care less anyway. Then there’s the bank failures, the eroding hegemony of the U.S. via the dollar fading as reserve currency, crime, homelessness, inflation, uncontrolled borders… oh, and the possibility that all of their F-ups plunge us into nuclear war.
Pym of Nantucket says
It feels like the mind control machine has won and people will just cuss and throw beer cans at the TV. The will to resist is beaten out of people. The only thing that will bring it back is hunger.
Hal Duell says
Patrick Lawrence has a good article in The Scrum about just this. The French take to the streets. The Americans take to their sofas.
Lou Brooks says
The only respect I have for the French is their willingness to protest and tell their government what they think of them. Past that, they are socialist living off the government. I have known a handful of native French over the years. Most felt entitled and the French government should take care of them. When an entitlement such as retirement age is affected they will protest. On the other hand, they are big enough fools to keep electing the same self-serving politicians every time, politicians that continue to want to remove entitlements. They elected Macron and they got what they deserved.
Of course we Americans are just as foolish, but as you mentioned…Americans take to the couch.
Just an observation. Algeria was once a colony of France, as was Viet Nam. Is Mohamed the most popular birth name still?
Perhaps France is America’s future. The few remaining, rooted American’s fed up with the Invaders. Told incessantly by those profiteering big time by the destruction and division, that they are privileged and pampered.
Sometimes death is painfully slow.
Hal Duell says
Patrick Lawrence has a good article in The Scrum about just this. The French take to the streets. The Americans take to their sofas.
Juan Valdez says
“The will to resist is beaten out of people.”
I’m not sure that is the case. Certainly, there are a large number of people who will always unquestioningly follow orders, either because they are True Believers, or just weak and unwilling to go against the crowd. But my family and I successfully resisted the Covid hysteria and death jab mandates. So did many others. It was not without cost, however. But in the end, we were right and those that succumbed will have to deal with the consequences of their choices.
As far as rioting in the streets, or even mass protests, they clearly have no demonstrable effect on government policy – unless, of course, they are created by the government (BLM riots) or goaded by the government (Jan 6) in order to further their own agenda.
I was one of the millions who marched in protest before we launched the invasion of Iraq. For the most part, the MSM simply ignored us. If they did print anything, it was derisive.
Those keyboard warriors who advocate violent revolution are delusional, just as were the 60s radicals like the Weather Underground*.
I think the only effective means for average citizens to “put your bodies upon the gears”, as Mario Savio said back in 1964, is passive resistance, a la Gandhi. We can say no by refusing to participate in their filthy schemes and peacefully speaking the truth.
None of this is easy. The cost can be high and the outcome uncertain. But there is no alternative.
*Here is a fascinating and very well done documentary on the Weather Underground and how they justified their turn to violence as a means of stopping the Vietnam War:
What if they had a war and nobody knew.
The offshoring is complete.
Or, rather than enable any increased funding for the war, the big distraction to shift the focus away while they switch the narrative so as to somewhat quietly withdraw. We’ll see as it continues to develop. They’ve pivoted attention to China, and the Trump story buys them time to figure out how to shift the story away from Ukraine.
They can’t be so stupid that they don’t know how badly they’re losing, and they know they don’t have many more munitions to send. Even if NATO wanted to put boots on the ground, they’ve no ammo. There’s no workable logistics model moving forward for Ukraine. And yes, Biden needs a focus away from the banks and economy too, so Trump gives them a twofor.
They need an excuse to ditch Ukraine and get out of there without any shit sticking to themselves. There’s no win there, and in time we’ll see if they are complete morons, or maybe not so stupid and looking for a more graceful exit that lets them keep some semblance of face. The world is turning against them, and it’s new territory for them to get resistance on all fronts. They are going to have to learn to think on their feet a lot better than they have in the past just to salvage anything.
Juan Valdez says
“the Trump story buys them time to figure out how to shift the story away from Ukraine.”
We spent 20 years in Afghanistan and when it all turned to shit we bailed out and left tens of billions of $ worth of equipment behind. The American public forgot about that in a week. So if they simply stop talking about Ukraine it will fade in 24 hours. It’s not like Americans even give a crap about a country they couldn’t even find on a map.
However, I think these people are truly stupid and they think that simply by them pronouncing something it is reality. When objective reality diverges from their pronouncements they don’t reassess – they double down.
I believe we are dealing with a dangerous cult mindset, not a group of rational people. My fear is that this inability to accept reality will lead us down a path where they see their only remaining option to be nuclear war.
Think: Jim Jones or David Koresh. That’s what we’re dealing with.
“So if they simply stop talking about Ukraine it will fade in 24 hours.”
Only in the unreality of online discourse.
The reality of the matter is this – “Benghazi aint going away”
So dont fall for the simulated reality of online discourse. Because it is not true in face to face discourse when people get off of their hineys and go outside and actually talk to each other.
I cant tell you how many people I have not only overheard, but also engaged with, who made sure that people other than us could hear us by raising their voice when discussing all of these blatant evils of the U.S. Government. And it was not me that began the tirade in these instances.
Lots of times the simple fact of the outrageously raised prices of (X) is what sets it off.
So if they are doing that at the 7-11, home depot and piggly wiggly in public, then what is going on in private?
A browse of Wikipedia and Mr Gershkovich’s website informs us he is a first generation American who parents immigrated from the Soviet Union in the late ’70s to the US.
He has lived the past six years in Russia working for the Moscow Times before the WSJ.
His website has a bunch of his articles none of which are anything but negative reports on Russia. Because of this and his employment at the Moscow Times, he is probably a non-candidate for any spying on Russia for the US or anyone else (unless he had some special entre).
So, why would Russia arrest him as they would surely know he is too obviously anti-Russia to qualify as a spy?
I don’t believe the US’s or Russia’s spymasters are stupid. If it were an enthusiastic mistake by a low level Siloviki, it would already be over. I think there may be something of value to Russia if this continues. The US’s ‘Siloviki’ can simply drop the matter from the press and it will vanish like a yacht blowing up pipelines.
The Polish Caper says
I think they actually found that yacht and swabbed its kitchen table for chemical traces. Unfortunately, instead of explosives they came up with novichok again. Never send the Brits to do a Pole’s job.
Mr Gershkovich may not have a good cv for spying on Russia, but his cv, and now his arrest (and perhaps an exchange as many expect) makes for a reputation leading to schmoozing with the US elites and reporting on them to his handler in Russia…I mean those people, politicals, celebrities, military men…actually schmooze with Zelensky. They have low standards. Why not Mr Gershkovich?
Culinary Institute of Ameerkat(CIA) is interviewing for some hard core chef type(you know steven Seagal style), maybe boatswain mate ERIK the PRINCE as head potatohead and Larry as Garde Manger manager. Massive Disinformation- how did it come to you in a dream or perhaps the anghell Gabriel (you know the klezmer playing guy fm State Dept) OR the basil seeds in your bubble tea spelled it out? CQB>MOUT>CQC gots to luv the acronyms:)
Yikes Stripes says
Jeezus, if I thought I’d even begun to understand your post, I’d have myself committed.
Jealous Guy says
My posts.. in readable English, pertinent and succinct, detour to “moderation” and never seem to make it “print”.
And yet, this^ gets approved.
DALE FERGUSON says
I don’t think we have enough of information on the case to make a judgement at this time. All we have so far is what the US is saying. I’ll hold my judgement until Russia has laid out its case. States Secrets disclose for any reason, freedom of press or not is a violation of said State’s security. We mark Documents “Top Secret” and they are not even to be read, much less disclosed by anyone. But I may be 100% wrong about what I believe to be the case regarding Secret State Documents.
It’s not about equating the work of any of these reporters or whistleblowers. Time will tell the real reason behind the WSJ’s guy’s arrest by FSB. First question is why should we in US care how Putin runs Russia? Second question is why is US establishment hell-bent on squashing the life out of Assange, or Snowden (if they could get their hands on him)? Third question is ( and I ask this after reading much non-MSM reporting & opinion) does anyone believe that the cold hard facts, and truths and extrapolations that could be logically derived from same, would change the policy of the US establishment?
Look, I’m hoping we’ll change our course, but to do so, we have to change the people running the show. If Ol Joe could change, he would. And same goes for the rest of the crowd. Please persuade me I’m wrong.
Thomas Ellerbe says
What you wrote makes good sense to me Larry…
I think Gershkovich doesn’t present any value to Russia but to exchange him for Cherkasov.
That is the only thing that makes sense to me. I don’t believe that a tool like Gershkovich could be of any “value” to anybody but regurgitate the mainstream drivel.
Guys, what if this Larry space is hacked and you posted this subject of the reporter arrested in Russia to demoralize Larry, because this article, as well as the previous one on the same subject, is so lame and its arguments that I don’t believe it was written by the same Larry whom I admire for the intelligent articles he publishes…
Larry Johnson says
Oh please. You can’t be serious. I make a logical argument. You’re welcome to disagree. Just don’t insult me or question my integrity.
How would the USG react to a Russia Today or TASS reporter attempting to determine, say, 155mm shell production (numbers and types) at a factory in the US?
Larry Johnson says
Exactly the same way. That’s my point. Except the US has shut down TASS, RT, etc.
That is a VERY VERY GOOD point. There is a rules clarification missing here. As the world is spitting up into blocks, all journalists would be well served to listen to this before they go overseas:
Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent, 1934–1941 | Audiobook Sample
“Berlin Diary first appeared in 1941, and the timing was perfect. The energy, the passion, the electricity in it were palpable. The book was an instant success, and it became the frame of reference against which thoughtful Americans judged the rush of events in Europe. It exactly matched journalist to event: the right reporter at the right place at the right time. It stood, and still stands, as so few books have ever done—a pure act of journalistic witness.”
It is available for FREE at the Internet Archive, as copyright protection has expired, but I do recommend the audiobook format.
In Germany, there were a clear set of rules set out by the Germans for all foreign correspondents and ALL of their stories had to go through the censors at the Ministry of Propaganda. Any deviation from this got the reporter tossed from the country. And if the Germans wanted to counter a fake story in the Allied press they would invite the correspondents on factory tours, etc.
The confounder here is that this is an SMO, not an officially declared war, so all journalistic guidelines are UNCLEAR on the Russian side (as you pointed out the West has banned RT & Sputnik).
I think foreign journalists would be well served to listen to / read Shirer’s account of reporting from Berlin. He was an ardent anti-Nazi, but he took great precautions to protect himself, like never being caught with material he was not authorized to have, avoiding restricted zones, etc. Eventually, because he could not speak the truth (report what he saw) he left Berlin and returned to America. Had Gershkovich followed Shirer’s commonsense self imposed guidelines, he would not be where he is today. IMHO
My point is that a de facto state of war exists between the US and Russia, regardless of any proxy fig leaf. The USG knows this, as does the Russian government, as well as the Russian people and pretty much everyone outside the Western propaganda bubble.
As for those of us inside that bubble — we no longer count — as we are simply a captive audience (for the most part), following Uncle Sugar via his compliant corporate media.
And while I too have great respect for the First Amendment (not to mention Ellsberg, Assange, and Snowden), practically speaking it’s been compromised for a long, long time. When manufacturing consent, free speech is an unaffordable luxury and honored more in its breach than its practice.
Simply put, it is impossible for citizens to be fully informed in a National Security State, where only a select few are permitted access to the truth. Secrecy is anathema to popular self-rule.
Addendum: Since Gershkovich was outside the US (Russia), working for a foreign news service (Moscow Times), he could have been recruited by US intelligence without violating US law. Not that it actually matters, since US intelligence now seems to consider US law little more than speedbumps…
Allan Mountain says
Hear Hear Larry. That was uncalled for and insulting.
You certainly provoked a lot or reaction with your take on the arrest of Evan Gershkovich. Well done on that score as it helps us all reassess and test our ideas and understandings.
The points you make are very valid and although I disagree with the idea that reporters should be given free access to sensitive weapons manufacturing plants in times of war, nevertheless your advocacy for free open societies is without doubt the ultimate ideal.
I concede that the principle you espouse i.e. open transparency about all things in all nations would be the ideal (just like the inspection teams for nuclear treaties were intended to be) given if there was such open transparency as to all governments actions and deliberations then it follows that in such scenario we could have a peaceful co-operative multipolar world, because under such ideal conditions no governments anywhere could be hijacked by secret cabals of oligarchs bent on using the resources and tax revenues of those governments to their own secret corrupt agendas. Same goes with banks – all the books of banks and governments should be open to public scrutiny at all times.
However, in this instance of Russia and Gershkovich I side with the Russians because they are not dealing with an honest level playing field, but are instead having to contend with a deadly treacherous adversary who by their own admission, re Minsk betrayal, are deceitful lying criminal psychopaths hellbent on the destruction of Russia in their pursuit of unchallenged global dominion.
That aside, I really appreciate your website and the forum you provide for open debate on the issues; and I really admire the way you so often endure insult and personal sleights yet you do not stop those people from posting comments in your preference for open honest debate and exchange of ideas and opinions – which as you wrote below is so essential and helpful for us all in our learning about the issues and in being able to exchange and test ideas as to how things might be better managed overall.
So THANK YOU LARRY and kudos to you for this excellent work and forum you provide. You are an exemplary shining light and one can only hope that more people in US government, military and intelligence agencies would sit up and take a leaf from your book, and like sensible adults learn how to respectfully communicate with and intelligently negotiate with leaders and peoples of other nations in the cause of peace and prosperity.
Larry, your reasoning and motive are true just. However Russia has been put in a place by the press and psychopathic people in control of the US government that offers little to recommend fairness. The war in the Ukraine has inflicted horrendous misery and death on both the Ukraine as well as Russia. Also it seems that nothing short of escalation will suffice the warmongering west. The incident with this ‘journalist’ is inconsequential in this light.
MSM wants to delete the Truth says
Interesting! Most commenters ( including myself) are lacking info! According to his writings, this guy is not one of the sharpest knifes… Or he was just fulfiling his usual MSM liar destiny..
Visiting Ekaterinburg during the SMO was probably not the wisest decision! The list of military facilities in this region is quite long .. ( ref : IEarlGrey’s video published today)… Mr Gershkovich should have visited Volgograd instead and just take pictures of some famous Statue!
His chances of getting released are much higher than Mr Assange’s… Sadly!
Deplorable Dave Parsons says
I think Americans should stop talking about freedom of the press/speech until we implement it ourselves.
Just today (?) a Twitter user in New York was arrested for making a joke on Twitter. Charged with a crime punishable by 10 years in prison. For telling a joke.
And we’re criticizing other countries? I think we should establish some credibility first.
Jokers wild says
If he was joking about assassinating a government official, that’s no joke.
The joke was that people could vote for Hillary on the internet…no assassination there…
Well, that IS serious. He was trying to remove the brain dead deplorables that voted for Hillary and would have fallen for his ploy.
One primate’s deplorables is just another primate’s deplorables. Ha.
Deplorables of America Unite! says
“Don’t mess with our base” said the DNC spokesperson.
Ignore the Hispanics though, they’re too conservative and savvy, especially those El Salvadorans. They want to build more prisons instead of abolishing them. Stick with those we know and manipulate with ease.
It was a meme regarding texting in votes for HRC. Douglas Mackey. Found guilty yesterday. Charged with interfering with elections.
You sound like CNN, straight to the most serious accusation without even blushing.
It was a Hilary election poster, no one mentioned death or assassination.
Joker's wild says
You sound like CNN, straight to the most serious accusation without even blushing.
I confess. CNN though? That’s a low blow. Just color me naive, as I thought the only charge that would ever carry such a drastic sentence would be threatening a civil official. I’m old-fashioned I guess.
Just thank God we’re not in an EU state. Most of us here would be brought up on charges just for posting what we do.
BTW: never say never.
I’m in Ireland, land of wokeness.
I have a head start on most people, this country has been shite for years, and I have years of experience of telling them. I’m banned from every Irish publication comment line, purely because they don’t like my views.
My views are normal, the media and government views are degenerate. There’s no other way to put that, but bluntly.
Larry Johnson says
That’s my point exactly. The United States is now behaving just like the old Soviet Union in suppressing political speech.
martin mkultra7 says
Lavrentia Berria(spelling ?)”Show me the man and I will show you his crime.”
MSM wants to delete the Truth says
Beria was, apparently, involved with the reeducation ( murder) process of 22K polish officers ( Katyn massacre).. His career was based on crimes, torture, rapes, etc.. His life ended accordingly.. He got what he deserved!!!!
This is the official narrative provided by the Historians! Cannot swear it is 100% true!
He was a disgustingly ambitious serial killer just like Himmler.
Younger people have never heard these names! They are too busy playing computer games and watching videos on YTube..
MSM wants to delete the Truth says
I hear you! You are spot on!!
We are not allowed to discuss about Epstein’s list of guests..
Hunter’s laptop is russian misinformation..
Never heard about Jordon Walker… Chinese disinformation…
Oh! I almost forgot! Romero was killed by the Iranians….
Censorship starts with letter C just like CCCP…
You might find this YT channel interesting / amusing:
Struggle Against the Fake News and the “Enemy Voices” in the USSR. Propaganda Wars
The channel owner was originally from Kiev (lived through the Chernobyl Disaster) and migrated to the United States after the collapse of the USSR in the 1990s. If you ever wanted to know what life in the Soviet Union for the “ordinary citizen”, this channel is a real eye-opener and often times hilarious. He covers (in a very non-sophisticated way) stuff that you will never find in the history books – what life was like for ordinary non-party affiliated folks in a communist country. Take a look at his play list, I am sure you will find something interesting. Even I learned a lot.
Mr Larry, I admire your work and articles, your website is one that I check daily for updates. You think Russia made a mistake by arresting Gershkovich which allows USA to use this arrest as a pretext to whack Russia. Let’s assume that FSB did not arrest Gershkovich and he published that Russia is capable of producing many tanks. Would that really reduce the risks of escalation and make the West back down? I think Pentagon will use that to justify further increases in Pentagon’s budget and produce more tanks which will result in even greater and prolonged risks to the world.
While I fully agree with you that journalists should not be arrested if they expose their own government for lying to its own citizens, I’m not sure if journalists going to another country to find out that other country’s state secrets should be given a free pass because that feels like letting all spies posing as journalists in. Let the other country’s own journalists expose their own government.
Just giving my worthless 2 cents.
Larry Johnson says
I’m trying to promote an adult discussion. Most people do so, including you. I do not insist that people agree with me. I encourage disagreement and discussion. That how we learn. Thanks for posting.
I totally agree with you Cynic- a journalists job is to expose their own governments, local and federal, mistakes and secrets.
To go to an “enemy” country to investigate and expose them is in the best case naive and in worst case…..
As for Paul Wheelan, three passports hoder, former us military, going to Russia should be just as carefull as any russian ex- military, three passport holder tourist should be in the us.
Arguably, publishing accurate figures about Russian weapons production exposes the US government, not the Russian government. I’m siding with Larry on this being a PR loss for Russia, albeit a mild one in my opinion. It’s not black and white, though. The appellation “journalist” doesn’t always prove innocence of espionage. It has to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Maybe the Russians can find a way to appear magnanimous in this case. A very public offer to trade this guy for Assange would be high-level trolling.
Unfortunately Larry, I think an ass kicking is the only way the Collective West will learn. The level of self delusion found here has reached cult level proportions.
A Boyles says
On the bright side, there are still some normal people in Congress…
Colonel Sanders says
On the bright side, there are still some normal people in Congress…
One in ten ain’t gonna feed my hen.
Pete Clark says
Larry, this discussion is frustrating. I believe that journalists deserve to have special protection, regardless of where in the world they happen to be reporting. I also agree that the quality of the reporting is not the issue. I think I get the point you are trying to make, but I think you are missing a much, much larger point.
I don’t think you are suggesting that journalists should be immune from prosecution when they have broken the law, either in the USA, or in Russia. Journalists have been arrested and incarcerated in the USA (sometimes under rather dubious circumstances.) This doesn’t only happen in Russia.
I also don’t think you are trying to suggest that there actually is freedom of the press in the USA. I think you have pointed out that this has not been true in the US for some time. I would even argue, that there is objectively more press freedom in the Russian Federation today than in the USA, but that is another discussion.
If a Russian journalist was hanging around a Raytheon factory or a Northrop Grumman research facility or the Lima, OH tank factory trying to collect sensitive information about the US capabilities, I have no doubt that the reporter would be arrested and charged with spying. Are you really suggesting that this would not happen in the USA? I don’t think so.
But lets get down to brass tacks:
The reality is, the USA has detained quite a lot of Russian citizens over the past several years. Many have been arrested in other countries besides the USA, sometimes extradited using illegal processes. It is difficult to even get an accurate number of just how many Russian citizens are currently in US custody today. I have seen estimates ranging from over 100 to at least 350. I do not know what the correct number is (maybe you do.) I also do not know all of the details regarding the alleged crimes that these individuals were charged with, and in some cases presumably convicted, or the circumstances of the arrest. Possibly, some of these individuals committed crimes that actually deserve incarceration, but I know that you know that there have been cases where this was not the case. The US justice system has been broken for a very long time. The reality is, it is dangerous to be a Russian citizen outside of the territory of Russia.
If one tries to compare the number of American citizens that have been arrested on the territory of the Russian Federation, you will see that there have been very, very few. Not zero, but we are talking a very small number. When it does happen, it is a major news event, like in the case of Mr. Gershkovich.
The Russia government claims that they caught Mr. Gershkovich red-handed. Maybe that is true, maybe not. I do expect that there will be a trial, and I also expect that the trial will be at least as fair as any trial that Julian Assange can expect to get in the USA, and probably much fairer than most Americans get when they find themselves having to defend themselves in an American court for a criminal offense. In fact, because of the international attention that such a trial will garner, I would expect that it will be conducted with the highest standards for legal jurisprudence. The Russian government will have to prove whether Mr. Gershkovich has committed the crime, and I have no doubt that Mr. Gershkovich will have a highly competent defense team who will make sure he gets a fair hearing.
If the court finds that Mr. Gershkovich is guilty of spying, as alleged, it is possible that the court decides to just expel Mr. Gershkovich from the Russian Federation. Or, if he were to be sentenced to a prison term, an exchange might be worked out, similar to what was done in the case of Griner and Bout. We will have to wait and see how it plays out.
Now, we can add a new danger, resulting from desperation. This is the fact that the U.S. itself may be the biggest loser in the war.
As Ukraine disappears under a massive Russian onslaught, the U.S. will grow increasingly desperate. Its credibility is on the line after committing so much money, materiel and moral weight to Ukraine’s defense.
The Biden administration has essentially turned the war in Ukraine into an existential crisis for the U.S. and NATO, when it never should have been. Ukraine has never been a vital U.S. interest. But the war is existential for Russia, and won’t give up.
Is the U.S. just going to throw up its hands and concede Russian victory? NATO may actually disintegrate in the face of such spectacular failure. So, we’ll probably double down.
Maybe a desperate Biden orders troops into western Ukraine as a buffer against a complete Russian takeover of the country. You can imagine what could go wrong. That situation may quickly devolve into a direct war between the U.S. and Russia rather than the proxy war that it is now.
The American people and investors in particular are not prepared for any of this. They should be. It’s becoming increasingly likely.
A fly on the wall says
Well, he’s repeating all the valid talking points I’ve heard elsewhere, The article though is dated Feb. 14th and he maintains the fall of Bakhmut is prob. just a few weeks away.
Not to sound like Eric the Red there but that pesky Zelensky’s putting up one hell of a fight. His last hoorah, or so they say. We shall see, shan’t we?
Mark J says
“The highest form of warfare…is information warfare”
-Michael Yon, combat war reporter
The US corporate outlets…are owned by 3 major corps..which are an extension of US Govt interests. Kickbacks, bribes, pandering… soliciting….. whores. Offshore accounts… crypto money laundering..they are all the same..both political parties.
This is the new deal. If you don’t read alternative press…and they will fight your access to that… your in the dark.
You are blind.
“Go back and read his articles. Rather than coming up with hard hitting facts backed up by solid sources, he wrote propaganda…”
And this is the point, Larry. These are not journalists as you knew them when you were younger, so “freedom of the press” is irrelevant. These are propagandists, funded by corporate NGOs that are inimical to the values most Americans hold and pendling propaganda inimical to the nation from which they are reporting. And they should be treated thusly.
Correct Gius, in fact I would go even further and state that all presstitutes that work for “western’ MSM are propagandists and kept in line by the editors, and their own brainwashing, and are not to be trusted at all. They lie for a living, they lie about everything.
Their lies cover up the real reasons for war, their lies for big pharma/Pentagon allowed millions to not question with they should not accept an experimental Mrna poison.
All MSM employees are utter scum. They should all be locked up IMO.
Ghost Ship says
Most probably he wasn’t working for the CIA but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t freelancing doing his “duty” in the war. Many so-called journalists have decided which side they’re on (usually Ukraine’s) and report accordingly.
As for production figures for various weapons used by Russia, the Russian authorities seem to be opening up to some degree about them particularly tanks and artillery rounds but not so much about missiles and rockets. The numbers reported by Russia seem considerably more than those reported in the West (like Russia being out of ammunition early on last year.
1. US often projects its position on to others so US expecting Russia to be out of ammo last year suggests US knew that NATO was low on ammo.
2. It was important for Russia to stop NATO intervening directly in the SMO particularly with its air power, but persuading NATO that Ukraine could win on its own, went a long way to achieving that. Now that NATO has realised the problems it might have operating aircraft over the integrated multi-layer air defense system Russia has established in southern and eastern, it is less likely that NATO will intervene directly.
If a country is going to use deception in a conflict then it needs to be able to decide what are state secrets to support that deception. Maybe Evan Gershkovich acquired such a state secret that at some point in the near future loses its value and then he becomes a bargaining chip.
After the Viktor Bout–Brittney Griner prisoner exchange, there were reports of United States acquiring Russians as bargaining chips for future exchanges but western media would never report it so widely as Russia acquiring a few American chips.
“Russia is a weak power incapable to withstanding the military might of the United States and NATO. I believe that is dangerous and increases the likelihood that Russia, at some point in the future, will be compelled to teach the West a hard, bloody lesson.”
Just want to give an example if anyone believes that Russia is weak.
Let’s take a look at the game changer for Russia.
Russia’s new Kinzhal missile flies at speeds of mach 12 to mach 15 and nothing in western defensive arsenals can stop its strike. During the war in Ukraine, Russia a stunning demonstration of its power. The first Kinzhal strike, delivered one month after the beginning of hostilities in Ukraine, was perhaps the most significant: Russian forces targeted a large weapons depot in Ukraine which had been built to withstand a nuclear strike. It was buried 170 meters (over 500 ft) underground and protected by several layers of armored concrete.
The Kinzhal flies at altitudes of between 20 and 40 km with a maximum range of 2,000 km. When above target, it dives perpendicularly and accelerates to 15 mach, gathering enormous kinetic energy in addition to its explosive payload. That first strike with a single Kinzhal missile destroyed Ukraine’s nuke-proof underground weapons depot. This was a message to the west.
Ghost Ship says
“Knowing how many tanks that Russia actually is producing does not weaken Russia’s ability to pursue its military operation against Ukraine.”
If Russia is trying to deceive NATO into believing that Russia is weaker than it actually is then the number of tanks produced v the number of tanks destroyed is critical information.
Wouldn’t surprise me if tank-counting website Oryx was compromised by Russian military intelligence, perhaps by providing numerous images of “destroyed” Russian tanks. Perhaps by taking old tanks out of storage and purposefully damaging them. A couple of hundred old tanks fit only for scrapping would be quite effective.
Same with all the pictures from start of conflict of trucks and special vehicles with deflated/damaged wheels etc. and that “convoy” to Gostomel Airport.
Larry – I like your blog, but I also very much enjoy the different perspectives and occasional links to articles and videos in the comments.
I might be mistaken, but in the past couple of posts you seem to be a bit upset by some comments that IMO express honest disagreement with your point of view. If I may humbly say so, that is counterproductive to the best this blog offers – a forum not for the like-minded, but for truth seekers, not for conformity and agreement but for a deeper understanding of issues through differing perspectives.
These are very challenging times where history itself is at an inflection point. It is important for one to remain cool and objective – even through tragedies and outrages like Nashville shooting.
The world in a very big way is trying to right itself before our very eyes after decades and centuries of lies and injustices. Seriously, though I put them forward, of what value are my personal views and feelings while I stand witnessing the Mills of God?
“Because it is against the law.”
Could be. However in real life nothing is cast in stone. Consider the case of David Rohde of “Christian Science Monitor” who was arrested by Bosnian Serbs. As one American commentator noted:
“His importance to the U.S. government, incidentally, should not be underestimated.[..]
Richard Holbrooke notes that the entire afternoon of 4 October 1995 at Dayton “focused on David Rohde”, who was at the time being held […] by the BSA on charges of having illegally entered Bosnian Serb territory and having falsified his identification papers.[..]
Such attention makes it difficult for an observer to believe that Rohde did not have a special relationship with Washington.”
I does not prove anything in the case discussed here but I suggest more caution when making firm declarations.
Charles E. Fromage says
Larry, your point seems to be that arresting Gershkovich was a PR blunder. But you have to ask – Is it at all possible, or even worthwhile, for Russia to try and manage its image in the West? Because, as you say, that’s the only place this Gershkovich arrest will play.
Whether Gershkovich is or is not a crap journalist doesn’t really bear on whether or not he is a spy. I doubt the FSB looked closely into the quality of his journalism. They probably just saw that what he was doing is not allowed under their law and made a decision to arrest him, especially given the current state of conflict. Whether they had another motive may become clear later.
Udo Ulfkotte made it quite clear that the ranks of journalists around the world are full of people who have been compromised by western security agencies, not necessarily just the CIA. What about MI6 or The Bund, or Mossad, or or or..? The Russians know that.
Calling people obtuse for not apprehending the rather ‘nice’ distinction you were making is a bit precious isn’t it? It is clear that almost everyone who commented took what you were saying to be that Gershkovich’s activities were somehow equivalent to Assange’s (that’s how it looked to me), not advocating for press freedom per se.
Press freedom as you describe it is desirable when the Press performs the function that I understand the authors of the 1st Amendment intended/expected it to fulfil i.e. speaking truth to power. Sadly these days most western press is fully bought and paid for propaganda pushing an approved narrative that none but the sheeple believe. In truth there has probably always been a lot of that happening which is why in some countries there are laws about press ownership to prevent inordinate concentrations of influence such as is sad situation in the USA today where there is a dominant ‘liberal’, pro Democrat read on things.
In recent times the internet has helped to open our eyes to the extent of media manipulation and its ‘approved narrative’. One can only hope that things improve, but that doesn’t seem likely until the international power balance shifts to a more healthy one and the nut jobs in Washington get the flick..
You got this wrong. Someone being arrested and accused is a normal procedure. What follows is a trial within a reasonable period of time after which he will be convicted or freed (the rule of habus corpus).
Assange is a different story. He’s been that long imprisoned that he must be considered as being condemned without a trial.
US interests were to remove him from existence, period…. and to hell with trials. In his case a trial is more a hindrance than a help.
And a fine job of it they’ve done.
A Boyles says
Larry your explanation of journalistic responsibilities, legalities and duties is clear and easy for me to comprehend. I don’t know why you’re getting so many obtuse replies other than the idiotic propaganda of the USA and the West does work on the majority of the population as intended. Most of the citizens in our societies in the West are easily fooled, poorly educated and possess little to no intellectual curiosity. This is the greatest danger to our society. I’d rather have an intelligent dictator who had the country and the people’s interest at heart than a group of liars cheats and warmongers who can consistently manipulate a nation of fools in the name of a sham democracy.
Using our own common sense – wisdom gained after many years of seeing how Neocons in Washington DC behave, we can conclude with pinpoint accuracy that this guy – Gershkovich – is an Alexy Navalni /Pussy Riot – style Russian born crackpot turned journalist who if not directly hired/paid by CIA/Mossad/MI6… then is indirectly linked with certain secret US dollar network active in Russia. Here in Iran, too, there are similar characters working mostly in money exchange field – where they gather on streets around the central Bazzar promoting the US dollar against the local currency. Their job is to keep the $ exchange rate higher versus the Rial, mainly psychologically. Some of them might become spies or doing other illegal things, who knows except national agencies. What is very very important is the fact that most people around the world today understand what kind of satanic programs the Western Neocons are concocting in order to undermine the interests of the wider International Community based on the New Eurasian World Order. Unfortunately, the US has lost the support of so many people who really count. Another very important fact is that two-thirds of people on this planet don’t like the American way anymore.
A Concerned Westerner says
I agree fully with your perspective and I would say 7/8ths of the world doesn’t agree with the way the USA acts – it’s only the “golden billion” of Canada, Australia, NZ, UK and most of Europe, Japan and South Korea. The ROW cannot abide the endless wars and endless war crimes funded and executed by the USA and its proxies. But while this terrorism by the USA will never end, it will cease to be effective because the ROW has lined up and created economic union which will also necessarily create military union to protect their economic interests. And the power of that 7/8ths of the world will stymie all Western efforts to the contrary. The West is in a state of terminal decline.
Larry, if Gershkovich were a Russian journalist trying to get hands on Russian classified information, I could see the equivalence with Ellsberg trying to get Pentagon papers. But he is not so your analogy does not apply. Regardless of his “profession” and the nature of information he tried to get, he is in violation of the Official Secrets Act. The Russian Government would have be in breach of its own constitution had they not arrested the perpetrator.
I find it difficult to digest your argument that Russia would have been spared some negative publicity if she had not arrested this man. They would simply have found some other stick to beat Russia with. I think there is a fallacy in your argument here. Russia would have been played some other way.
Now with all that ballyhoo, USG would be under pressure get this man back and Russia would then ask “What are you giving us in return?”
The simple truth is that even if the entire US establishment is given credible information about the real state of Russian economy and military production, they will reject it out of hand because that does not fit in with their fantasies. This is about a mental /spiritual /civilization defect in the US ruling class and has no relation whatsoever with the so called Ellsberg principle or the Gershkovich affair
Steffen OPPENHEIMER says
I m really sad to see that you stil don’t understand what we try to say here, up to a point your assumptions are correct, Free Speech is Free Speech regardless of the situation and the person involved, we CANNOT have Free Speech only for some and not for others, or we cannot have Free Speech in one context but not in another. Here the problem from my point of view is the following, this Mr. Gershkovich from my point of view uses/has used his capacity as a Journalist to spy for one of the agencies with 3 letters, the US has a history that does not grant him mitigating circumstances. Unfortunately, ignorance of the law does not guarantee innocence, maybe I am wrong and this gentleman is really a simple journalist who was at the wrong time in the wrong place asking something totally inappropriate for the moment we are in, BUT your point of view that Russia should grant to this “journalist”, a free tour of their MIC it is simply hilarious, I suspect that you understand that Russia is at war with NATO and that Russia considers its military installations, the factories that belong to their MIC or the production data are considered Secret of the State (or another designation) this is the law in Russia and everyone must respect it, it dose not matter if we like it or not, i think US consider their MIC and their production no a secret to, maybe i m wring and it dose not, but Russia it is and unfortunately learning state secrets brings with it accusations of espionage whether we like it or not.
I don’t believe it matters what Americans think about the war in Ukraine. These neocons are set on war with Russia and that’s that. Is NATO putting 300,000 troops in Poland just posturing? Is the U.S. sending F-35s to Estonia, Lithuania and Romania just posturing? Is sending the E-6B Mercury “the judgement day aircraft” just posturing? Russia has stated they are at war with the U.S. and have already had attacks inside their country. I would be leery of any westerners inside Russia if I were in their situation, especially journalists. If anyone survives, will someone write a book one day entitled, “While Russia Slept” or “While the U.S. Populace Slept?”
People start getting fat about the same time they start getting lazy. Perhaps that is why the U.S. is the fattest country on the planet. They sit on the couch, turn on the TV and believe whatever that tube tells them to believe. “Take the “vaccine”, it’s safe and effective” and 225,000,000 Americans laid back and let the medical show begin. If they want to put in a little effort they can find the truth from many more reliable sources than what is on that tube. I guess I’m just too damn old to believe anything that comes out of these creatures’ mouths. The lies started piling up as a little boy with the JFK assassination and never stopped. But every day more and more people are waking up to at least some of their lies.
If the raid on Mar-a-Lago didn’t tell us we have reached third-world status, the indictment of President Trump should have or the selected prosecution and conviction of a federal crime for tweeting a meme. https://twitter.com/greg_price11/status/1641907970547097603. The Patriot act did a number one on the constitution; the Restrict Bill, S 686, is about to do a number two on the rest of our “freedoms.” Will the arrests and jailing of web site owners such as Sonar21, Andrei Martyanov, Judge Napolitano and others in this now third-world country be far behind? That’s the third-world playbook. Is the job starting to get to Karine Jean_Pierre? https://twitter.com/VettedNewsCorp/status/1641112431387721742
HMS Terror says
“If you endorse arresting journalists trying to report on subjects, such as the actual capabilities of a country to wage war, then you side with those who tried to silence Daniel Ellsberg.”
Sorry Larry, you’ve lost the plot here. Russia is at war with the West. Its “actual capability” to wage that war is as fundamental to its national security strategically, as how that capability will be deployed is critical operationally and tactically.
The Wehrmacht was decimated in no small part because its assessments of the Soviets’ ability to bring resources to bear on the battlefield were consistently, and often wildly off the mark. EG: in preparation for the Battle of Kursk, the Wehrmacht’s intelligence had it that the Soviets could deploy no more than ~1500 tanks into the zone. In the event, the Soviets brought ~5000. You can bet your first born that the unexpected ~3500 made a difference.
Whether its a “journalist” sussing out that strategically critical data, or a “plumber”, or a “taxi driver” makes no difference. He’s a spy.
Neither Hersh, nor Assange, nor Ellsberg revealed strategically critical, or even useful national security data. In all 3 cases, the enemy already knew it and as much of the public as was interested in such matters had long surmised it as well.
They exposed criminality/malfeasance by persons in high places. As those persons’ salaries were paid by the public they ostensibly represented, the public as their employer and sovereign had every right to know.
Gershkovich, as far as we know, wasn’t investigating criminality in the Russian military procurement process, and in any case no such relationship exists between it and the Western public. No, the Western public does not have a “right” to know what Russia can bring to bear in a war any more than it has the “right” to know what Argentina or Indonesia can bring.
Like wise, the Pentagon may have a great deal of interest, but has no “right” to know any more than the Wehrmacht had. They employ spies for the purpose of telling them what they have no “right” to know.
In sum, there is an unbridgeable chasm of difference between Ellsberg et al and Gershkovich.
Femi Akomolafe says
Is there a reason why you always think that whoever disagrees with you is obtuse?
Maybe I am, maybe I am not, but I think that because you know so much meant that you know it all is wrong,
What logic informed your equating Ellsberg with the arrested WSJ journalist?
The Pentagon Papers were American government documents published by an American journalist/citizen to informed American citizens.
The journalist arrested by the Russians is an American journalist allegedly poking around for sensitive (to the Russians) secrets.
I think that the equivalence you sought is misguided.
The USA is waging an undeclared war against Russia using every means available to it, including real time intelligence among others!
And you expect the Russians to welcome a nosey American so-called journalist with a bouquet of flowers?
Another thing, I think that, like most Westerners, you mistakenly equate the West with the world! Otherwise, you will not keep hammering on public opinions in the US!
From where I live few people today reckon with the West. Its days are passed and its value discredited to the point that we will only wish it Godspeed as it embarks on its narcissistic self-destruction!
Well said. The “obtuse” part made me smile also.
I think people living outside the US are more use to disagreeing with one another. I remember when I was working in Germany how two senior department heads would go toe to toe in meetings, with raised voices and hostile body language. I was sure they hated one another and feared they might come to blows – until it was time for lunch. The next thing I knew they were eating together in the cafeteria discussing their family “Urlaub” (vacation) plans.
I learned something from them: one can disagree strongly on something but it is just that one thing. It should not spread to and affect all things nor affect the respect we have for one another.
In the US there is a requirement to agree or else you are no longer “with us, but against us”. It is a big cultural difference.
Sadly, I see this with one of my own kids in the US after living there for over a decade. For all the talk of diversity and inclusivity, the US is a nation of conformists with no concept that it is not only ok but healthy and fun for people to have different views on matters.
The world is a wonderful place precisely because there are so many different, interesting things in it to see and try to understand.
If u dont agree with larry on gersh, u r for imprisoning ellsberg and assange. Larry said that directly paraphrased in comments. Wtf must be the carrington event solar flares hitting larry s skull.
It’s the same in Spain. My English girlfriend always had a look of alarm every time I got into an “argument” with members of my family, usually while having a nice, relaxed dink. She didn’t understand it meant nothing and it was all for fun.
Your last sentence really caught my eye. As a westerner I finally had a moment of clarity. Any news out of the west these days is pretty much moot. The ball is going somewhere else and it is obvious the world is looking elsewhere for direction. Pretty much past the anger phase now. It has been a rough 3 years trying to come to terms with a lifetime of lies that institutions in the west have upheld only to realize what a chump I was to believe these clowns. Enjoy the circus. It is just getting hard to focus on what ring in said circus to watch.
I think even the people in the US that talk about the west’s influence passing haven’t really internalised this fact. Deep inside they feel as if they will still be able to regain this influence, “put things back as they were in some golden age”. You know, when the US had freedom of speech, journalists were journalists and people went to church, that kind of thing.
But even at that time (if it really existed) the US was a self serving, self obsessed, materialistic culture.
People who paid attention to it and emulated it abroad tended to be not precisely the most honourable in every country, but the ones (in every walk of life) who could be bought.
The problem starts when people sense weakness in the top dog. Eventually, when the dollar stops speaking what American values will really prove to be American and will remain? It’s an open question.
I, for one, suspect that many things American think are their invention are not really as much theirs as they think.
Where I live, every so often they come up with renewed propaganda about ‘British values’, and me, being Spanish, remain sceptical (alongside every British person in my circle, thankfully).
The West thinks that everything good in the world is there because of us and our sacrifices, and even people who try to remain open about all this don’t fully realise in their subconscious to what extent this is not so.
Pretty curious about what is your definition for journalism/journalists. Anyway, that said, I still have not found much information about exactly what he did, making it hard to comment, but journalism is not something that gives you free access to everything to me. Many has commented that journalism has been dead for decades. It is surprising to see such strong commitment and belief in journalism.
Regarding the arrest:
According to TASS, they seem to intend to detain him for 2 months. Its hard to speculate, but could it be that the Russian Army may have certain plans in place regarding the war by May? And as such, they are being highly sensitive to any possible leaks, including what Evan did that may have triggered such a response?
Jim Bob says
Geoff W says
Very interesting article, as always, Larry, many thanks. I agree with several commenters that your arguments for similarities between this matter and Assange are unusually weak. Assange published information arguably against specific US law, but with a clear US public interest so arguably within general US law. He is not a US citizen, does not live in the US, and his pursuit by the US government is international power-grabbing. However, this WSJ journalist is being prosecuted in Russia for breaking Russian law in Russia, and I cannot see any Russian public interest defence for him. He is likely to get a decent trial, Assange is not. No parallels between these cases, in my opinion.
Peter from Aus says
I don’t think the RF are as concerned about “public opinion” in the USA as they are about public opinion in the Global South. Countries such as the PRC and the IRI will see this action as simple common sense. Only in so-called “liberal democracies” do governments pretend that journalists are protected, and even then it’s a lie.
Texan Bentley offers an interesting boots-on-ground analysis:
What do you think?
“work of a journalist is to get information the public is not supposed to have”
Correction- only as long as they don’t break any laws. Nobody is above the law.
If journalists have the right to break the laws, why doesn’t the army, or the police, or the government, etc have thesame right? Who says what laws a journalist can break? Can he/she murder in order to perform his/her work?
Thank You Larry for this clarification and also for Your patience.
In this context, what You write make a lot of sense.
It will be interesting to see if the Russian guys really were trapped to take a bait or if they have some genius plan regarding the arrest. Time will show.
Again, thank You for the clarification and Your work.
I generally agree with you on this, however, RU is country at war (real, existential war, not pop-corn war like US used to be in), so taking an extra precaution does make sense.
Also, maybe he did manage to find out some real flaw/problem in RU system while investigating mentioned things (it can maybe be even non related to tank or shell production – maybe he found out that CHN is producing drones for RU for example), and in that case it is cost effective for RU to arrest him and keep him arrested instead of outing its ally, releasing some top secret info or similar…
Other than that, I do agree that they should organize supervised visit for western media, as projecting strength that way could be very useful.
The Voice from Sweden says
The top American military leadership does not reason rationally anymore, we can see that after all their mistakes in recent years. An instructive story from a Swedish regiment a few years ago can provide guidance:
A captain came to the vehicle depot and demanded that at At 08:00 the next day, five cargo all-terrain vehicles 903 would be ready for his soldiers.
The head of the car depot, a master sergeant, answered:
Captain, we have no cars left in the warehouse, they are all taken.
To which the captain replied:
I don´t give a shit, just to give the order so they are delivered.
José Luis López Taboada says
I already suppose that the majority of the American public is unaware of the existence of Pablo González, a Spanish journalist.
He has been imprisoned in Poland since February 28, 2022, more than a year. It seems that they accuse him of spying for the Russians. His wife and children also suffer this lying arrest.
Russia has laws. If he acted against them, law enforcing entities have to react. You can’t request to react otherwise due to some PR or political issues. This would be a kind of “rules based order” not a state of law.
I doubt too many Americans are paying attention to this story, and even if they are, like every other tempest in a teapot, this too shall pass.
“Several of you also made the mistake of believing that a journalist trying to find out how many tanks Russia is producing is a heinous crime.”
Firstly, you apparently assume that this was the information being sought by the journalist. You don’t know that. Only the Russians really know what he was seeking. Secondly, even if what you say is true, that he was seeking info on tanks, you seem to assume that it is not a serious issue and indeed should be disclosed to the world. What you are not taking into account is what Russia thinks of his activities. Obviously, they consider this a serious crime – whatever he was after and whatever we think about that. Again, we can not seem to avoid pushing our moral and legal standards on to others, even if it is unintentional and unconscious. Free speech is, by all definitions in all ‘free’ countries, always restricted to speech that will not incite violence, result in harm, or endanger the state.
Also, I think the propaganda angle, that Russia made a mistake in arresting him, is, from the perspective of the Russians irrelevant, as they realise that Russia will be smeared by the US Government how ever they act and that the American people already have been brainwashed to consider Russia an enemy anyway. So what would they really gain by not arresting a spy?
Lastly, Neither Assange nor Snowden nor Ellsberg were disseminating classified information with the aim of disclosing classified information to a hostile country in time of war. Their aim was to inform the American public of crimes of the State. A crucial difference, I think.
Russia is just a gas station with nukes. Larry s cia trained him to treat countries as targets and servants. Not as sovereign and it shows when the sun flares.
Yes. Everyone is being way toooo polite with Larry here. At the end of the day, the last two posts sound like a variation of the old theme of “Americans Telling the World What’s Best for Them”.
Each one of us grows us in the world-view of the society we are born into. Our task as humans is to grow and see past it.
Larry may have been in the CIA, but Putin was in the KGB. I think both learned many valuable things from their respective experiences and grew from it. But in life, one is never done growing and learning. I am sure Putin has learned even more about Empire in the past year.
Larry is doing a really fine job with this blog. I read him daily and watch his videos. One does not and should not feel the need to agree 100% with anything. By thinking, and questioning is how we further our understanding.
Three Blind Mice says
Western Intelligence is caught up in its own exceptionalism and is looking at this “event” from a very simplistic point of view.
A Western muck raker was caught asking the wrong questions in the heart of Russia’s Military Industrial Complex. He was obvious and deserved to be kicked out of Russia.
But why have the Russians arrested him?
To point out the hypocrisy of the West.
This is the only form of dialog Russia has available with the US and the West. Plus Russia can punk the West and the West is too stupid to deal with reality.
Just my 2 cents.
The way I see it, protection for journalists should be provided only AFTER the information was published. Until it is published you’re just another suspected spy, because the information you stole may not be destined to be brought to the publics attention. It makes no sense to allow so called journalists to wonder about in any restricted area related to national security.
Second point, if this guy is really a spy I would expect his articles to be ghost written, so they are not representative of his skills or opinions in any way.
B. Patton says
Paul Whelan is the interesting FSB prisoner remember all they hype about him and Griner? He has 4 passports. Whelan was born in Canada to Irish and UK parents. He maintains citizenship in all 4 countries. Trudeau or Sunak might want to swap for him. While in Iraq in the Marines he stole over $10k and was court marshalled. While in the service he used a stolen social security number to go on line and grade his own training tests. This James Bond wannabe would of course never have been involved in any thing suspicious right?
This is a nonsequitur but I thought it might amuse people. There are MSM sources echoing Austin and Milley sayng Russia only has shovels to fight with:
Just a few of the many “Russia running out of ammunition” headlines from last year:
March 25, 2022 “Russia running out of precision munitions” https://www.reuters.com/wor…
April 2, 2022 “Putin running out of missiles” https://metro.co.uk/2022/04…
April 29, 2022 “Russia running short of precision missiles” https://www.ft.com/content/…
May 6, 2022 “Putin running out of missiles” https://www.cityam.com/puti…
May 9, 2022 “Russia running out of weapons, can be defeated by Ukraine” https://dailytrust.com/russ…
June 11, 2022 “Russia running out of precision weapons” https://ukdefencejournal.or…
July 1, 2022 “Russia admits it’s running out of weapons” https://www.newsweek.com/ru…
July 8, 2022 “Vladimir Putin running short of missiles” https://www.mirror.co.uk/ne…
Aug. 13, 2022 “Vladimir Putin humiliated as Russia warned weapons stock running out” https://www.express.co.uk/n…
Oct. 11, 2022 “Russia running out of weapons” https://news.sky.com/story/…
Oct. 15, 2022 “Russia will run out of arms before Ukraine” https://www.benzinga.com/ne…
Oct. 16, 2022 “Ukraine says Russia running out of missiles” https://www.jpost.com/inter…
Oct. 28, 2022 “Russia runs out of missiles” https://kyivindependent.com…
Nov. 9, 2022 “Russia may be running out of missiles to use against Ukraine’s infrastructure” https://www.euronews.com/20…
Nov. 22, 2022 “Russia is running out of missiles – Ukraine’s minister of defense” https://www.reddit.com/r/OS…
Nov. 23, 2022 “Russia is running low on ammo” https://foreignpolicy.com/2…
Nov. 26, 2022 “Russia firing old and empty missiles as Putin runs out of weapons” https://headtopics.com/us/r…
Dec. 13, 2022 “US: Russia is running out of ammunition” https://bnn-news.com/us-rus…
Dec. 15, 2022 “Russia is running out of missiles, Ukraine security chief says” https://financialpost.com/p…
Dec. 31, 2022 “Russia is running out of missiles – Ukraine Ministry of Defense” https://www.jpost.com/inter…
The Schizophrenic West says
That was yesterday’s news. Today it’s “They’re outproducing us! Quick, send all you have and ramp up production.”
I understand your take on the situation and appreciate the intent of this follow up article about looking at the context… (especially after the storm it unleashed) so let’s expand on it a bit by looking at other perspectives (my 2 cents may sound naïve for you).
– there are probably more Russian citizens arrested by US authorities extrajudicially somewhere in the world than US citizens arrested by Russian authorities in their own country, which in itself is embarrassing/annoying for Russia. Some quite recent examples were provided by Alex Christophorou on his 2023 March 31st update (The Duran). Some of these prisoners are “valuable” people, and perceived innocent by Russian authorities, who would like to get them out/back.
– This Gershkovich fellow has one seemingly valuable attribute for Russia, i.e., he’s a WSJ staffer, so “a very high profile asset” by some perception (probably a shitty scribbler, but that doesn’t matter).
If he was writing for a local newspaper in Great Falls Montana, he would be worth as much as his writing skills (0).
Being charged with “spying”, that could increase his trade value. The more the US public is outraged over this, the higher his trade value. For now he’s only “charged”, not yet convicted, and specific details are withheld by the FSB. This “enigma” factor is good for drama.
Whether Gershkovich is affiliated with any intelligence agency or not, is good spice for the story. We’ll never know the truth.
– the American media does not emphasize his Russian birth/upbringing, and his negative depiction of all things Russian is considered “normal expectation”. Blinken et al are worried about a US citizen (publicly). I bet the opposite is true in the Russian hearts and minds – morally, they probably see him as a sort of traitor-tool in the employ of the adversary. But he’s now a tool in their hands!
In some weeks/months we’ll find out how this story will be dressed up, and who will be released in exchange for this young fellow. Will it be 1 to 1 or 1 for more exchange?
As for president Putin’s current image in the west/US – the media storms related to such incidents are short lived, and he’s been vilified for over 20 years beyond any imagination, regardless what he did. So nothing will change there; it can hardly get any worse than it is just because of this incident.
I wouldn’t pass judgement on the “quality” of this move/arrest, whether smart or stupid etc. It is all part of the dirty circus going on, tit for tat, etc. We’ve learned that the Russians don’t mind taking some punches before they knock out their opponent. There is always a longer term goal (or goals) ahead.
In the meantime, the western “well-wishers” of Russia are struggling to survive politically, economically and militarily. Some have already fallen into the grave they dug for Russia, the others are inching that way… Their lies are unraveling, and this event will register as a blip on the public’s consciousness – if they have any left.
This was a very insightful comment. Although I will not hold my breath, I hope Russia includes a demand for Julian Assange. . . particularly as it would solve a problem for the US (the optics of the trial of Julian Assange as kangaroo justice worthy of a Saddam Hussein….)
In any case, although Russia has declared it is at war with the west, it has not shut down media it doesn’t like, in contrast to the West Re:RT, even though the west officially is not at war with Russia – so perhaps Russia’s interest, is as you say has nothing to do with restricting press freedom.
I don’t think we can or should equate a journalist “spying” on it’s own country with a journalist “spying” on a foreign country. I agree with you that “spying” on your own country shouldn’t be wrong although every country doesn’t have those same ideas or legal structure to support that concept. I don’t believe that this guy was “spying” at the behest of anyone other than the WSJ. Should a foreigner have some special rights to go to a foreign country and collect information that the country doesn’t want them to have? Being a journalist doesn’t trump a countries own rules.
Michael Cassidy says
1 What is on the charge sheet?
2 Since when did the WSJ become an honest actor or its “Journalists” that work for it actually report the news, so why is it still classed as they press or is it state propaganda ?
I’ll wait for the charge sheet.
As for Julian Assange in my opinion the only way he leaves HMP Belmarsh is in a wooden suit The Brits will not allow him freedom.
Gershkovich is a pawn. And the Russians will manage to trade this pawn for an important element (a bishop or a rook), just like they did in the Griner/Bout thing.
Yes Russians are smart.
The Million Dollar Question says
Sure he’s a pawn but WHOSE pawn?
Oblomovka daydream says
Well, what does ‘The Moscow Times’ (based in Amsterdam, funded by Soros money) have to say to this? Notice how they constantly quote ‘a senior Russian government official’ alternated by ‘a Kremlin official’.
Hostage, Signal or Revenge? Spotlight on Russia’s Reasons for Arresting WSJ Reporter
The Russian authorities’ decision to arrest Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich on spying charges came under intense scrutiny Friday, with speculation over why the Kremlin decided to take a step that was not only provocative but has no analogy in post-Soviet Russia.
As the dust settled on Gershkovich’s detention on Thursday in the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg, the event looked set to go down as a milestone in the deterioration of already abysmal relations between Moscow and Western capitals.
Few seem to take at face value the spying allegations against a reporter who has lived in Russia for six years and has repeatedly received official accreditation from the Russian Foreign Ministry.
While some believe the Kremlin has an eye on a future prisoner exchange with the United States, others suggested Gershkovich’s arrest could be designed to intimidate foreign reporters, a way to settle scores for limits placed on Russian journalists in the U.S. or just a deliberate attempt to antagonize Washington.
Either way, it appeared increasingly clear that the orders for Gershkovich’s arrest came from the highest level in Moscow.
A senior Russian government official who previously worked in the security services told The Moscow Times that military counterintelligence officers from the Federal Security Service (FSB) flew from Moscow to Yekaterinburg to detain Gershkovich.
“This is a high-profile case, so it was dealt with by the FSB’s military counter-intelligence department. Moscow operatives have much more experience in such cases than their regional counterparts,” the official said.
A serving Kremlin official confirmed to The Moscow Times that the FSB’s military counter-intelligence department was handling the case.
The news of the arrest was quickly met with statements from senior Russian officials asserting Gershkovich’s guilt.
President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that Gershkovich was caught “red-handed,” while Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said his activities in Yekaterinburg did not bear “any relation to journalism.”
Some even drew attention to the van in which Gershkovich was delivered to the Moscow courtroom as evidence of the “demonstrative” nature of the case.
“Look at the van. The [Russian] tricolor is not an accident or coincidence, but a deliberate choice by the FSB,” a Kremlin official told The Moscow Times.
Some quickly concluded that the Kremlin had ordered the detention of Gershkovich in order to exchange him for Russians held in Western jails.
“It appears that they have taken a hostage,” tweeted R.Politik, the analysis firm run by Russian political expert Tatiana Stanovaya, shortly after news of Gershkovich’s detention was first reported.
Speculation about those who the Kremlin might be seeking to extract from Western jails has centered on Maria Mayer and Ludwig Gisch, alleged Russian deep-cover spies arrested in Slovenia in December, and Sergei Cherkasov, an alleged Russian agent charged earlier this month in the United States.
It would not be the first time high-profile arrests of foreigners in Russia appear designed to increase the Kremlin’s leverage.
Last year, Washington released notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who was serving a prison sentence in the U.S., in exchange for American basketball star Brittney Griner who was convicted on drug charges in Russia.
“I think it’s a response to the [arrest of the] couple in Slovenia,” a former high-ranking Kremlin official told The Moscow Times when asked about Gershkovich.
Others suggested that the arrest of Gershkovich could be the Kremlin sending a signal to foreign reporters in Russia who — unlike their independent Russian counterparts — have largely been allowed to work freely since the start of the war.
There was also speculation that it could be the Kremlin’s response to what it sees as restrictions placed on Russian reporters working in Western countries, or even to the growing U.S. military support for Ukraine.
“It’s a message in the style of ‘your guys don’t have a damn thing to be doing here’,” another Kremlin official told The Moscow Times on Friday.
The last known case of a foreign reporter being accused of spying in Russia was in 1986 when Nicholas Daniloff, a U.S. reporter, was arrested by the Soviet government in retaliation for the arrest of a Soviet spy in the United States. He was allowed to leave the Soviet Union several weeks later.
While there is no blueprint for a possible swap between the U.S. and Russia, previous such exchanges have only taken place once the prisoner in Russia has been formally convicted — a process that could take months or even years.
Few doubt that the arrest of Gershkovich is likely to be another major blow to relations between Washington and Moscow.
“This undoubtedly brings Russia and the United States’ relationship to a new level of confrontation,” tweeted analyst Stanovaya’s R.Politik.
U.S. officials immediately condemned the Kremlin over the incident.
Asked about Gershkovich’s arrest on Friday, U.S. President Joe Biden said: “Let him go. There’s a process.”
And, in an editorial, the WSJ said the arrest of its journalist meant that the U.S. should take a firmer line with Russia.
“The Biden Administration will have to consider diplomatic and political escalation,” said the WSJ. “Expelling Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., as well as all Russian journalists working here, would be the minimum to expect.”
Peskov said Friday that there was “no reason” to expel all Russian journalists working in the United States, Interfax news agency reported.
Among the Russian officials who spoke to The Moscow Times — all of whom requested anonymity to speak freely — there appeared to be little desire for compromise.
“Let everybody go back home. And our people there [in the U.S.] will leave as well,” said one high-ranking government official.
“We are much closer to war, so we have to reduce the number of contacts.”
Shawshank: How can you be so obtuse? says
Moscow Times? Might as well quote MSNBC’s Punch and Judy show, live with Mika and Joe.
“Press freedom is not and should not be a right confined solely to the United States.”
Thank you for outlining four significant reason why significant parts of the world are actively engaged in facilitating the transcendence of “The United States of America”.
1. You known best.
2. Others are of lesser intelligence and hence they don’t know best.
3. You want to enforce your knowing best on others with the best of intentions.
4. Everyone is guilty until datastreams deemed by you to constitute “evidence” is accepted by you as proving “innocence”. – the de facto position, particularly for “the poor and downtrodden masses given to you by others”, in respect of the “legal system of The United States of America.”
Happy April Fool’s day.
Ghost of Mozgovoy says
Everybody and their dogs know that aproximately 70% of foreign correspodents of main MSM are intelligence operatives.
The same could be said of NGOs, including “medical”…but mainly “humanitarian….
It is difficult to swallow when they try to convince you that those fighting in “Baba Amro Caliphate” are “freedom fighters”….even when you at the time knew almost nothing of what was going on in the world….
All those people caught in “Baba Amro Caliphate”, and who were then evacuated through a safe corridor to Israel via Lebanon were working for main Western European MSM, including those who passed away to better life….
I woke up to this harsh reality about NGOs at the time, especially after an advertising widely broadcasted suspiciously in around Christmas obviously for gaining public acceptance for a strike on Syrian official territory….
Ghost of Mozgovoy says
But what freedom of press there is in the internet and post-truth eras?
During the “pandemic” took part rhe definite death of the written and online MSM as they kept publishing verbatim the same frontlines during full three years and now continue doing so….on any issue…as panflets….
Anybody with a pair of neurons working and in his/her senses realized that the MSM turned into a propaganda tool by The System as they needed to be financialy rescued from their obvious bankruptcy.
In some European countries there is full awareness of foreign agents presents at the main MSM, with their fixed columns and all that, and which foreign state they work for. Their main occupation, apart from writting the usual propaganda and hate speech against Russia from their media, is harassing everyone at Twitter who could have a very eprsonal opinion related to Russia, Russians or what´s going on in Ukraine, Europe, and the world….
They even brag at Twitter of being imvited to those foreign states “to meet and talk to memebers of parlimanet and influential people”.
What the people wonders, is not whether the MSM are overflown by foreign agents working agsint our countries interests, but why is this legal on our own soil….I mean, why “media prostitution” is legal …..
In the Halls of Congress, every day is Fool’s Day.
Oblomovka daydream says
Declan Hayes has written an acerbic article on the Pope’s decision to make Titus Brandsma a dedicated saint for the journalists https://strategic-culture.org/news/2023/03/31/pope-patron-saints-of-journalists/
Hans Konrad Johnsen says
I agree with Larry on the need to bring facts to the people of the world – and especially the American and “Nato-people”.
HOWEVER, the elephant in the room is WHY the official US/NATO continue to spew out information that they MUST know is false.
My fear is that the western intelligence community and their superiors know exactly the status on any aspect related to this war.
Regardless – since Feb. 2022 the messaging has always supported a narrative of Russian desperation – and therefore their need to turn to drastic means (Nuclear and other).
I fear that the information given to the public (known to be lies by those who presents it), serves the purpose of producic credible foundations for False Flag operations by the West and then accusing Russia for it. This would enable new cans of worms to be opened.
It is also a known fact that Russia has exposed a few possible false flag operations before they could be set in action.
MI6 is world leader in False Flag operations. CIA is not far behind.
To conclude – this very serious background makes it important to get all OPENLY available facts out to the PUBLIC and bypass the official narrative. Even if this means approaching the border on what is regarded spying.
Your excellent article reminds me of the 1803 case against Henry Croswell before the New York State Supreme Court, where his attorney, Alexander Hamilton, argued NOT in favor of the freedom of the press – to write whatever they wanted, but he did argue in favor of the right of the press ‘to tell the truth’.
I agree with you, that we have to defend our right to find out and to tell the truth.
You just described there the whole problem with the concept of human ‘rights’ and the language it generates. In it, rights are spoken about as universal, devoid of any specificity and generally as inimical to the collective. It leads to aberrations like the damaging freedoms afforded to politicians, the media, gender ideologies, pseudo and protofascists etc., which cannot them be disentangled.
On the other hand, if what we defended were freedoms that fostered and defended agreed on values of positive benefit to SOCIETY, things would be much more straightforward and a lot of cynical chancers would have no ground to stand on. Liberal democracy is an almighty mess.
Vojkan M. says
Again, Russia and the USA are at war. It is an undeclared war, you may call it a war by proxy, but it is war. You don’t allow access to your military installations to citizens of a country with which you are at war. Whether they pass for journalists or whatever is irrelevant.
just saying says
This! USA is at war with Russia, and not at war with Russia at the same time. If Schrödinger was alive, he would have to modify his cat thought experiment.
It’s the pinnacle of doublethink, and is no longer Orwellian, but Pythonesque. In a dystopian novel, Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia, alhough it was not always. In a surreal comedy sketch, Oceania is at war with Eastasia, and not at war with Eastasia at the same, and everyone acts like it’s normal. The only way to make it more funny, is to make attention of the public focused on someting irrelevant and dumb.
i think larry reasonement is correct: the current (lying) narrative cannot be overcome while arresting journalists. but maybe for the russian having an enemy with low quality informations gathering is an advantage. and reading the contents of this blog there are many proofs that the picture is those of a declining information and intelligence services. so why the russians should correct that posture of usa institutions? to get disadvantaged by an enemy that knows more and better about them?
Rickard Melkersson says
Great piece Larry.
Moral consistency is an ideal that everyone should strive for.
by reading your article, you have convinced me that
1-freedom of the press is fundamental
2-your argument is downright coherent.
Taking into account that US kidnaps Russian citizens from around the world and brings them to be covicted infront of American Kangaroo Courts it does not sound unreasonable that Russia perceives CIA assets wondering around Russia as valuable trading goods.
Personally, I think Russia is playing a tit or tat game with USA. According to “The Duran,” the U.S. is arresting more and more Russian nationals abroad. This is nothing more than Russia doing the same. I think it’s sad and stupid on Russia’s part to play the game this way. On the other hand, the impunity with which the west goes on about arresting Russia’s citizens is unacceptable, Russia has to respond. Russia will never be seen in the good light of the west and it’s media. They’re liars and provocateurs en mass, and like a spoiled brat, cannot stand anything remotely related to Russia. They lie so much about everything that they probably planted some fake “SARMAT” designs and specs in the reporter’s laptop to set this guy up. This is all just a psych-op to get the lemmings of the west to look at the Russian Bear as a snarling angry monster. Gotta keep the MIC fed.
From what I have read of Gershkovitch’s literary output; there is no content which could plausibly require him to live in or travel throughout Russia. I do not however have full access to his articles because they are behind a paywall.
Could readers who have access to NYT and WSJ scrutinise his articles for material which could ONLY be sourced from within Russia?
It is perfectly possible that although Gershkovich’s name appears on articles, he never contributed anything, and his attribution as a contributor was simply cover for espionage.
As for the CIA and what it is or is not legally allowed to do; Pompeo made it clear that legality and truth are alien concepts within the CIA.
Sunday XXXIII says
Perhaps we are all being led around a maze and this journalist is some kind of double or triple agent. His journalistic ‘achievements’ might be just a cover. He might be working for the Russians all along, or for the WEF, or China. How can we tell? It has been said that the truth is stranger than fiction? But I agree absolutely that true journalism, exposing matters that the World public needs to know (not secrets like how to make a hypersonic missile) should be protected and revered by all governments.
This guy was a spy, Julian was not. Full stop.
The fact he was on the WSJ payroll is enough in my books for him to be sent to coventry. 🙂
Paul Groody says
Top Gum says
The US and their Nato vassals have been waging a PR war on Russia way before the SMO. The WSJ reporter had no business to snoop around military installations inside Russia. It is not that far fetched, that someone gave him that agenda. He was detained and according to official statements, there is evidence he was actually obtaining secret information.
Freedom of information doesn’t work in the US either. This was shown on many occasions as we all know.
After the downing of an US reconnaissance drone near Crimea, this is the second message for the US military to back of. Russia is not playing games here. The US has openly stated what they intend to achieve with their proxy war. Russia will never allow them to get that. The US is going to be destroyed one way or another. Everyone here knows the US is finished. Their criminal financial system is breaking apart. No amount of lies will change that. The more they lie, the more they fear the end.
Presumably Gershkovich had his mobile phone with him whilst he was in the vicinity of Factories making Russian Military equipment.
Photos which have geolocation data and perhaps even include air defences can be used to mount drone attacks.
What photos were on that phone, and what data was included?
Having said all that, if Gershkovich was a spy; so what?
Espionage and war go hand in hand.
I don’t think exposing war crimes and exposing military production data is the same thing.
It is amazing as to what gets the discussion boiling. I said my piece yesterday and decided, after further reflection, to just leave it at that.
Thank you Larry for all of your work, your efforts. They are making a difference. I wish you a great weekend.
The Alex and Alexander on the Duran speculated that Russia arrested Gershkovich because American is arresting Russian citizens and this will provides an opportunity for exchange.
That said, countries behave differently when at war. The US arrested war protesters in WW1 and WW2. And what is conscription except a hideous form of temporary slavery with a good chance for death.
Germany arrested a 90 old grandmother for questioning the official Jewish version of WW2 history. But it seems perfectly okay for Jews to question the Armenian genocide because it detracts from their narrative and because the Jewish young Turks were the perps.
Top Gum says
Big lies have to be protected at all costs. If people refuse, they are being prosecuted openly in a dictatorship-like style to discourage others. What else they want to do, when they jail an older woman for telling what she believes and probably saw during that time?
Everyone knows how many times people in the west are bombed with messages about democracy. It is pure propaganda and it works. Almost all western citizens actually believe that they live in democratic states. We all saw how much people’s rights mean to those democratic governments during the so called flu pandemic. No one was asked anything, all was dictated from above … so much for democracy.
I tend to believe in the “iron law oligarchy.” Democracy is just a facade used to convince the rubes that they have a say. It’s easy to lead most people around by the nose using mass media and propaganda. What I don’t understand is why the quality of the visible leadership is so incompetent, bordering on farcical.
just saying says
Incompetent people are easy to control. Competent ones can rebel, like Orban is trying to. Trump isn’t very competent, but he’s not easy to control. Angela Merkel was competent, and pushed for Nord Stream.
See what Russia does. They could just put him on a plane.
Also… Aren’t Russians being targeted across the West for criminal prosecutions? Could this just be retaliation?
… and if in the case of G the chess players are simply providing the rope that so much the United States is looking for to hang itself. For a moment we thought that this propagandist agent would fulfill his objective both free and in prison. If released, it would speak of the failure of the Russian military industry leading the West astray, and if arrested, even better, because now American public opinion will be in favor of the government and against the SMO. It seems that the Russians are really tolerant of leading the US into their own trap and teaching them a bloody lesson which may be the death of the US in the current format and Mexico may even get back all the land stolen from them
It is Psychological War, it is a war about the ”Story”. I think this case was a PR trap. ”If he was released and DM gave him a personal tour of the tank factory”, showing to him everything (and essentially nothing), then his face in the video would be ever after recognisable, all over the world, as the symbol of inept spying and of russian generosity, ”respecting”, at the same time, his ”reporter’s First Amendment rights”.
Larry, the solar storms are picking up and affecting you. Your repressed issues are being triggered. One of them seems to be your fundamental premise of american exceptionalism. That freedom and democracy only exisrs if countries like russia adopt american standards.
This is not and has never been divinely approved. Work through your premises and blinders. Ur readers are helping.
“One of them seems to be your fundamental premise of american exceptionalism.”
Perhaps the other components of them should be considered not only in isolation but in interaction.
They include but are nor restricted to:
1. Hope that “The United States of America” can return to days that never were.
2. Hope that “The United States of America” is reformable.
3. Hope of hope in hope.
4. Hope of hope of hope.
as is the case of many in “The United States of America” including those who believe and/or hope they are “strategists”.
Ghost of Mozgovoy says
There is no hope in Europe……Distractors….Meanwhile….
How BlackRock enigneered the current energy crisis….
“There is no hope in Europe”
The hope referenced is in “The United States of America” who rely on hope due to ineptitude.
Next to certainty, reliance on hope is the next greatest weakness.
Thanks again for great analysis. The fact that CIA might have used him as bait for PR is part of the problem. All of the escalations are coming to a head. It doesn’t matter what we think it’s what the Russian can prove. They are at war with the United States/ NATO. There isn’t anymore room to ignore that fact. Also rumors of Peacekeeping forces coming in from Orban. I am sure that plan will go off perfectly. Lol
“The fact that CIA might have used him as bait for PR is part of the problem.”
Another opportunity of aiding the transcendence of “The United States of America” with their complicity whilst continuing “The United States of America”‘s reliance on hopes and wishes on a world stage to be deflated, with some of the folks back home as virtually their only “audience”.
Jörg-M. Rudolph says
Wow — what a discussion! Seems to be a hot-and-hotter subject for many. Larry opened a gene bottle. Your main argument against the Russians seems to be: » … the audience for this is the American public, who are now being fed the bullshit that Gershkovich is a victim of a new Soviet dictatorship«. Don’t worry, I would say, the American public as well as the German one (I am German) is 100 per cent convinced of that, there is no need to add further ›proof‹. Once Nato started the atomic assault on Russia, they — even when dying — will believe that Russia deserved it.
Why the obsession with tanks? Both sides have them. There are other industries in Yekaterinburg, including Russia’s largest software house and other industries involved with missile electronics and the new stealth material technology.
What military products does Russia have that the USA does not – or at least is having trouble developing as was revealed within the past few days?
just saying says
Tanks are flavour of the month. Before that we had HIMARS, Javelin, etc. I don’t think Russians make tanks in Yekaterinburg nowdays, but in Nizhny Tagil and Omsk.
I wouldnt be too concerned with the various opinions I and your other readers hold.
Most probably do not understand that the only way you get to continue getting a pass (Not being Kicked out of the public square) is if you do not go too far.
So your comment about “prior to 2016” may have been understood by some to mean you were playing it safe and not exposing yourself to un-needed attacks by the powers that be, so placing the fall of the media at 2016 was just a smart move to keep the cross-hairs off of you for a bit longer.
It may have been perceived by others as an outright falsehood, since no-one ever really “gets out” anyway, and there are plenty of examples of outright lies from the MSM prior to 2016.
Others may have simply believed your argument since it is quite logical and makes plenty of sense.
And on and on and on with other sentences too by the way.
(The one I used was just a clear example that could be easily shown to be believed or disbelieved for various reasons)
My point is that I would not be too concerned with what various readers say and believe. For there will always be agree-ers and deny-ers.
I am impressed by how you will reply to your readers comments not only when they are right on, yet also when they seem to have missed the point entirely, or are mistaken about some provable fact, etc etc.
Good Job in my book. (but like I said without saying so earlier, my book is not really the one that counts (with men))
Larry, I agree with your analysis and also concern about the dangers we face as a result of US government disinformation campaigns that increase the risk of nuclear war. But, what should the Russian government do to combat this menace in an honorable way? Just issuing public statements condemning US actions is ineffective as a means of persuading the Biden Administration to back off. In my perception, Russia does not bluff in regard to matters of national security, so I am inclined to think that they likely have the goods on Gershkovic acting as a real spy (rather than just a bad journalist). Time will tell, but I would like to hear your input on what you would do if assisting Russia in combating the US information war machine.
So much digital ink spilled on this question! If Russia has the goods, they’ll bring it out at the trial. I don’t think at this point they give a rat’s a_s about US media busting a gut over Gershkowitz, just as they didn’t over Greiner. In the latter case, they used catching her dead to rights by their own laws to their own advantage by their lights. This is international geopolitics, not beanbag. Re Larry’s position, it seems equating spying on the territory of a country you have all but declared war against is not equal to reporting on abuse based on a protected source in one’s own country. Apples and oranges. As to protection of international journalists in this day and age when so many have died in the line of duty, you gotta ask “What protection?”
Lou Brooks says
“If you endorse arresting journalists trying to report on subjects, such as the actual capabilities of a country to wage war, then you side with those who tried to silence Daniel Ellsberg.”
No, I do not endorse such arrests. This is not a cut and dry topic you have brought up. Reporting on a nations capability during peace time is likely to be overlooked, during war time it will not be overlooked. Russia at the moment considers itself at war with the West, while the Ukraine part of that war is the SMO.
As a journalist, if Gershkovich wanted to report on the industrial capacity of Russia then he knows he should arrange a meeting with the appropriate authority and do the article. If he went up to the gates of a factory, took pictures and asked questions of factory workers, then he screwed up. Asking munitions or factory workers such questions during a war/SMO would be foolish and would instantly get him questioned in most any country that was at war.
I have a great deal of respect and admiration for you Larry, but the reader response to the first article was because your intent and message were not properly conveyed. As it is, we have little, well, no information on what level of spying or the quality of spying done by Gershkovich. He is likely innocent but until Russia lays out its case we do not know. At present I view this incident must in the same light as the Maria Butina case. An unwarranted arrest by both nations. The Butina case was a travesty of injustice against her and, against American values. It remains to be seen about Gershkovich.
just saying says
Gershkovich is journalist as much as USA is democracy.
Bamboujoe of JoePublic says
For me the debate of journalisme is not interresting as long as journalists are employee and as to accept the editorial ligne or the owner of the media. Extract from a communication by the famous journalist, September 25, 1880, during a banquet in New York when he was asked to toast freedom of the press.
“To this day, there is no free and independent press in America. You know it as well as I do. Not one of you dares to write your honest opinions and you know very well that if you do, they will not be published. They pay me a salary not to publish my opinions and we all know that if we ventured to do so, we would find ourselves on the street pronto. The job of the journalist is the destruction of the truth, the blatant lie, the perversion of the facts and the manipulation of opinion in the service of the Powers of Money. We are the obedient tools of the Powerful and the Rich who pull the strings behind the scenes. Our talents, faculties, and lives belong to these men. We are harlots of the intellect. All this you know as well as I do! »
(Quoted in: Labor’s Untold Story, by Richard O. Boyer and Herbert M. Morais, NY, 1955/1979.) Thank and honor to Larry for risking is reputation as he offers the occasion of debating somme pertinent issues of our time
Larry P. Johnson says
Something pertinent from Martyanov: a quote from Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister, Melnik.
Translation: “We don’t want to start a counter-offensive that is not prepared. We now have about 50-60 tanks from the West, but the Russians, as now and in the past, are capable of producing or bringing combat capability up to ten tanks a day. And this means that we will still have a long time we will be unable to achieve a decisive advantage on the battlefield,” the diplomat said.
No shit, geniuses (not Melnik, he understands nothing in the matter), finally someone in Pentagon and London did calculate a required force. Well, I guess attending Army War College and Command and General Staff College finally paid off. Somebody finally got a hold of a real economic capability of Russia–yes, 10 tanks a day x 365 days = 3, 650
I see a demotion ahead for Mr. Melnik.
The Fog of War Propaganda says
Eh, Melnik could be exaggerating for UA’s benefit too.
Send us more, more, more, more (we’ll tell you when to stop).
Hey Boss, I’m following the story. I start with Hillary was supposed to win. We would be in a nuclear war and we would lose. It’s full in the blanks from there. Thanks for the insight and thanks for getting pissed.
It’s been said that the Russians are losing the propaganda war, the CIA is just more full of professional liars and propagandists, and has been pointed out, Putin is a conscientious lawyer and Lavrov is one of the greatest Statesmen on the planet, I’m certain he, Putin and Xi Jin Ping collaborated on the peace proposal, to show the hypocrisy of the West to the rest of the planet.
Apparently, the establishment has an official line that differs with what they say in private.
I agree completely, it would be a PR coup, for the Russians to take this “journalist” on a guided tour of the production facilities, to see first hand, (probably hooded between locations and no cell phone for locating facilities) and doing some real reporting!
The next question is simply, what would we do with it? Can we really NOT KNOW? I don’t know.
The CIA allegedly has an entire floor in the SVB building in Kiev. Is it a matter of policy they decided to parrot SVB misinformation? Like you said, one way or another, you can’t fix stupid!
I meant SBU, not SVB
just saying says
Russians are losing the propaganda war in The West. In the rest of the World, not so much. People in Africa are waving Russian flags, not USA, and especially not French ones.
CIA had a floor in Kiev for many years, but it might have been shared with some other service. Now they probably have a bunker or two.
Dura lex, sed lex.
And neither the Russian Federation, nor the USA, nor Honduras will change their laws and rules to suit someone’s fantasies.
Therefore, the spy, whom you consider a journalist, was tied up by counterintelligence. It’s a pity that Russian counterintelligence agents are stupid and did not ask you how to do the right thing.
You know better – you are smarter and know everything better than them.
Zachary Smith says
Mr. Johnson originally wrote: “If I was Putin, I would order the immediate release of Gershkovich and then have Medvedev give him a personal tour of the tank factory.”
This seemed to me to be a version of what Lincoln did with Clement Vallandigham when a eager-beaver but dumb Union General arrested him.
There is no way this reporter could have been doing anything besides creating second rate propaganda for the US market, so I’m going to assume that allowing the arrest to happen – and to continue – is the result of some internal and convoluted Russian politics.
I still disagree, if Sy Hersh and his stories can be side-lined and ignored by the MSM, why do you think Gershkovich would tell the truth he seen, as if he didn’t know already, and that the MSM would publish it anywhere on a front page and editorialise it?
Gershkovich has never written the truth so far about Russia, his publishers know and agree with him that lying is the way to go.
I can’t understand why you Larry, a Company man are being so naive about him and the fact you hold out some belief that he will tell the truth about Russian arms production and that the MSM will publish and then the sheep in the US will demand a stop, Larry please stop-. No one can be that naive, hopeful or wishy washy.
The USA would need 300 million+ lobotomies before anyone there would even think about anything beyond the next NFL game and burgers or tacos, never mind say peace or multi-polarism.
Putin, drinks the blood of babies 4 times a day and eats the meat of other babies. He exterminates exclusively civilians of Ukraine (mainly children and women). And now – a real nightmare – a journalist has been captured! Ah! Oh ! This is exactly what he will not be forgiven, it is for this that he should be punished by the entire LGBTQ-democratic world… Horror…
The Hornorable Lindsay Graham says
Would you like to testify before Congress? It’s all expenses paid. Think on it.
PS: hornorable started out as a typo. Many great inventions started out that way too.
It seems that you did not recognize the correct sarcasm in my comment. Let me decipher – after everything that is attributed to Putin by the Western media, it is simply stupid to be afraid of claims for the arrest of a CIA-journalist.
If you did not recognize the correct sarcasm in my comment. Let me decipher – after everything that is attributed to Putin by the Western media, it is simply stupid to be afraid of claims for the arrest of a CIA-journalist.
Poison Frogs says
“Press freedom is not and should not be a right confined solely to the United States.”
Press freedom is an illusion in US and abroad. If you don’t believe look no further than the censorship, propaganda, and straight lies during the Covid, Russian interference in US elections, Ukraine war, ‘climate change’ and countless other cases. So, you can’t protect something that you don’t have, and can’t ask/expect anybody else to follow and idea that you discarded in the garbage.
In the Assange case, while he tried the freedom of information, the reaction of US, UK, & ‘west’ was simple, they could not allow it, and punished the perpetrator with jail.
In the case of Russia, they said clear they want demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine, and any attack on those goals, will be considered hostile. US and the rest of the ‘west’ are already in the hostile positions by providing military means to Ukraine, so, Russian at her own discretion, based on the stated and strategic goals, reserves the right to attack and destroy anybody, anytime, anywhere that was/is hostile.
Washington Post and its ‘reporters’ are well known US propagandists, which do not write facts, but lies and propaganda, and they are considered a state ‘organ’; thus, they are NOT journalists, but enemy agents of Russia. Simple, by reading the article linked in the Larry’s post, anyone can see that clearly.
Calling myself a Poison Frog, doesn’t make me one, the same like calling Gershkovich doesn’t make him a journalist, either.
Ukraine War Awareness
48 минут назад (изменено)
Today is exactly 1 year since Russia pulled out of Northern Ukraine.
1 year later, and there is STILL NO EVIDENCE of Russian War Crimes in Bucha and the surrounding areas.
It’s been debunked that Ukraine destroyed the AN-225 Mriya Airplane, not Russia (due to destroyed Russian equipment next to it, and was not destroyed when the last reporter with Russian Troops was pulling out).
We have Documentaries from ABC, CBS, PBS, etc, some were uploaded as “evidence” that were deleted hours later. Other “evidence” shows just 1 camera footage of Russian troops forcing 9 civilians to move from point A to point B while ducking their heads..
Why would the Russians make these civilians duck their heads while moving if they are “being led to execution”.
We have “the Russians shot up the bread line that killed 20”, completely forgotten about because it was refuted well.
And we have the “bike footage destroyed hyu a tank” and then “show” the “same biker”, which I refuted myself, did not die from explosive rounds, nor did the time stamps make sense..
It IS a tragedy of this massacre, and the REAL perpetrators MUST be put behind bars.
They say ‘follow the money’.
In Bucha’s case; ‘follow the flechettes’. They’ll tell you all you need to know.
I have no opinion on what should be done with Gershkovich, but I do question Larry’s assumption that G is not a CIA asset. The list of journalists working for the CIA is a long one. He may or may not be on that list. We do not know at this point.
Claudio Amadeus says
Well said indeed!
Bob V says
One thing that bothered me most about the Assange case was that he is an Australian citizen (not a US citizen) so how can he commit treason (which is one of the accusations amongst others ie espionage etc…) ? He was not on US soil (so now the US claims global jurisdiction??). Last, he was arrested for alleged rape claims by two Swedish ladies who later withdrew the allegations, yet he was arrested regardless for evading the arrest warrant even though they were filed wrongfully. While he was the detained the “sealed” indictment arrived.
I hope I’ve gotten the order of events right but usually my memory serves me well. Comparing the above to the Moscow arrest is a stretch although I acknowledge Larry’s point. What we may not know though is what else Gershkovich was up to.
Alex Thrace says
Francisco Viñuela says
Sir, 100% with your analysis view.
The Gershkovich case has nothing to do with ‘the spy who came (or went..) in from the Cold’…all of this controversy is only a little gruesome tale to entertain children before they fall asleep…
Chances are that in this ‘silence of the lambs’, perhaps this was the most accessible and easiest ‘lamb’ to negotiate.
Of course in a true case like the Assange one, shamefully, we the western world,
Yes, Mister Johnson, I quote your intelligent and premonitory words :
“…I continue to believe that a massive disinformation campaign is being waged against the citizens of Western countries by their own governments with the express purpose of convincing them that Russia is a weak power incapable to withstanding the military might of the United States and NATO. I believe that is dangerous and increases the likelihood that Russia, at some point in the future, will be compelled to teach the West a hard, bloody lesson.”
I disagree that anything Russia does makes any difference – if the only effect is triggering the West.
I also want to point out that what you believe is right vs. what US laws enshrine as legal are neither what Russian law dictates.
If Gershkowitz violated Russian law, it is entirely Russia’s prerogative to prosecute violations of its laws.
This is the entire point of multi-polarity vs. “rules based order”: each country has its own laws and customs which they practice as each country individually chooses.
Russia can hold him for a prisoner swap, ideally Julian Assange !
I see a journalist´s job to report objective reality rather than specifically dig out any info Governments dont wish circulated although info that belongs in both categories at the same time is ok with me. Time will tell how much USA values this man – it would help his/their cause if he is BOT straight or white or Christian
Ghost of Mozgovoy says
What about that bill in the US that could punish people who use VPNs with up to 20 years in prison?
It seems that the initiative proposes fines of up to one million dollars and jail terms of up to 20 years for violating the “rules”.
What about Restrict Act?
For someone who commits crimes against humanity, it’s not a big deal to be “against the law”.
“a massive disinformation campaign is being waged against the citizens of Western countries by their own governments with the express purpose of convincing them that Russia is a weak power incapable to withstanding the military might of the United States and NATO.”
Absolutely true. Though “why” escapes me; the chickens do come home to roost. It implies some bigger more massive diversion to come! Beyond that, “freedom of press” is not to be conflated with “freedom of speech” or “freedom to hear”. The current US media is only an arm of the government disinformation campaign and they cannot be trusted; they are perjured. We polloi don’t know what gershkovich was doing – other than he was working for a propaganda outfit. And that said outfit might as well be CIA/Deep State front. It sucks to be him but not as much as it sucks to be one of those many affected by his “work”.
I’ll go on to note that freedom of the press is a USian/liberal concept; it doesn’t seem like other cultures have to apply it the same way. Nor can freedom of press be allowed – as it is in fact too often used – to give free reign to color revolutions and the like.
Further, the US has been arresting Russian citizens for a while when it can find them. There’s a bigger game going on.
Anyway, my heart bleeds for the likes of the WSJ. Would that the Russians could arrest their entire editorial and “journalistic” staff. That being said, let’s see Putin trade this jerk for Assange!
“As they say, let’s see how Putin will exchange this jerk for Assange!”
I don’t understand what Assange has to do with Russia, why should a foreign spy be exchanged for a foreign citizen? Out of compassion for Asanj?
I have no doubts that Gershkovich was engaged in espionage activities (a Belarusian surname, by the way). He would not have been brought to arrest without the collected evidence and evidence during the preliminary investigation. Now, due to the totality of violations, according to Russian media reports, he faces up to 20 years in prison. But until the trial, he is only a suspect.
Whether Gershkovich has a certificate of a journalist, a representative of the press, or simply the status of a tourist in the beauties of Siberia – it does not matter. Sooner or later, after his arrest, he will appear before the criminal court without fail.
The terms of his detention in a pre-trial detention center and their extension during the investigation will also be determined by special courts every 1-2-3 months.
Gershkovich is not endowed with diplomatic immunity, such people are usually not exchanged or deported.
There can be no talk of any revenge or bargaining.
Alex Back says
“Press freedom is not and should not be a right confined solely to the United States.”
Press don’t want freedom. Press wants profit.
Larry how can you say you know this guy wasn’t working for the CIA because that is against the law? Seriously, when we all know that lawlessness and criminality is the very foundation of current US government national and international behaviour. Interested to see how you can possibly justify your statement against this backdrop.
Larry Johnson says
Because of what my friends who are retired Chiefs of Stations and have run overseas operations say. They know what they are talking about. You have no experience or basis for your belief.
Another possibility is he was acting on his own initiative. Wouldn’t be the first politically indoctrinated fool to act out a weird John LeCarre fantasy.
just saying says
Considering the number of foreign volunteers that went to fight against evil Russians (and died in the process), I would expect more James Bond wannabes freelancing around. I guess it’s harder to get Russian visa than Ukrainian one.
Curt Nichols says
I have a tangent here. You know the crazy ex? Took all your money? Estranged your children? Got you fired from work? Had neither family talking to you for a while until the truth came out? Got a baseless restraining order? That went away, and now you actually have a permanent one on her?
That is the US. What exactly is the US going to do to Russia now? Sanctions? On what? What is left? Insane proxy wars on the border? Already there. I could go on, but you get the drift.
Russia could line up every Western journalist against a wall and shoot them tomorrow. What are you gonna do? You have fired every weapon. That’s the problem of going full retard. You have nothing left. Nothing but a full NATO invasion leading to nuclear Armagedón. And (by the way) they are better prepared for that.
USA baiting Russia into doing something PR-ish… Interesting theory, but, consider this:
* Who still cares about public opinion in so called democratic west? Ruling class doesn’t, or so it seems at least. Or maybe, some of our beloved masters still remember the fate of their most respected predecessor, Louis XVI.
* Who’s baiting whom into doing stupid things here, really? Even if things escalate to nuclear, here’s a couple of things more to consider:
** Russia currently has technological advantage, hypersonic stuff, fresh nuclear warheads & such.
** In the event of nuclear war, tens of millions Russians might die, yet, Russian nation could not possibly be destroyed. Russia is just to big for that.
** Yeah, I know, tens of millions dead seems like a lot, but, then again, tens of millions of Russians died due to Yeltsinization.
From this point on, please make your own conclusions.
Carnaby Jones says
“Prior to 2016 it [press freedom] was one of the things that made America special,”
I don’t believe for a minute that this Evan fellow was actually engaged in journalism, MSM presstitutes sit behind desks and are actually stenographers writing from scripts.
Actual journalists that get out and ask questions, look for the truth to report factually and honestly, such as people like John Pilger who perform real journalistic work.
For a WSJ hack such as Gershkovich there is simply no need to be ‘on the ground’ to do what he is paid to do, and that is to lie, fabricate, and take copy from Rueters and dress it up as fact.
just saying says
Actual journalists aren’t called journalists any more. Seymour Hersh is now a blogger, according to MSM journalists.
Thanks for sharing your viewpoint on the journalist arrest and to engage in the discusions .
at this stage i have zero information to commnet one way or another so i just follow the discussion along
“He was not Non-Official Cover officer masquerading as a journalist. How do I know this? Because it is against the law. ”
Is this sarcasm? The laws don’t apply to the CIA and all the other agencies that run the country, when has the law ever stopped them? And I believe it is well known they have journalists from most big orgs in their payroll.
I’m afraid the CIA might have snatched up Larry and taken control of his blog 🙂
Larry Johnson says
Even the CIA, despite its incompetence and sycophancy, does not recruit an American reporter that can easily be linked to the CIA. That’s not just poor tradecraft, that is utterly stupid. If the CIA was going to use a journalist it would be a foreign journalist for a foreign newspaper. Geez. You watched too many episodes of Get Smart.
“I uphold the Ellsberg principle. There are times that governments in the midst of a war are lying to their public and withholding information that the public has a right to know… His information exposed the lies employed to persuade the American public to support a needless war in Vietnam”
You don’t seem to realise you have written a remark of imperial snobbery, Johnson.
The fellow is a US journalist, was he trying to expose Russian’s lies? is that a business of his?
Does the US public have the right to know Russia’s military capabilities? in the midst of a war Russia is involved in? Your assertion is preposterous, regarding this case.
“… Prior to 2016 it was one of the things that made America special and was something that set America apart from the rest of the world”
Even as late as 2016 “America” was special, among other things because there was freedom of the press!!
My, My; this is laughable, and betrays the imperial spirit that possesses the best of US citizens. There was no freedom of the press anywhere else in the world, Johnson? How do you know? This is a ridiculous and false remark altogether.
Your constant harping about the fellow in question not being a CIA recruit is irrelevant, considering that the criminal organisation (at home and abroad – remember JFK) use cut outs at their pleasure.
“Several of you also made the mistake of believing that a journalist trying to find out how many tanks Russia is producing is a heinous crime”
Another fine sample of the ubiquitous imperial attitude. Who decides what is a military crime in Russia, Johnson? Is it you and the glorious “freedom of the US press”? Would a Russian journalist inquiring about such information in the US be so considered by you? What do you know if what he was seeking was just the number of tanks, and not secrets about the quality of tanks? or any other information Russia considers secret? Are you (US)the size and measure of all things press and media, law and secrets, Johnson?
Perhaps you would cease digging a bigger hole for yourself on this one, good US citizen; perhaps you would ponder on your still imperial attitude.
Jim S says
Once again I’m late to the party, but 550 comments over two days! Whew!
To echo a few folks above another possibility is that Gershkovich was acting on behalf of a non-governmental actor, for example one of Soros’s orgs. I’m using Soros as a cardboard cutout here, but his antagonism towards Russia is fitting. Russia’s charged Gershkovich as acting on behalf of the US Government, but Russia doesn’t seem to draw a distinction between between governmental bodies and non-governmental actors such as Soros’s orgs. Of course, maybe Soros and the CIA are playing on the same team, but maybe they aren’t aligned that closely.
Take the recent hubbub in Georgia: would the CIA want to can the new law? Maybe. Would the Soros (and similar) orgs want to can it? Absolutely. Is it more likely that the CIA instigated the protests or that non-governmental orgs instigated them?
Again, are the aims of the CIA and Soros-type NGOs necessarily aligned? Are the aims of USA and Soros/Schwab/Gates necessarily aligned?
I’m as guilty as the next guy for ascribing dirty deeds to the CIA. It’s a useful shorthand for the elitist establishment, but that establishment isn’t a monolithic entity, as several fellow commenters point out. Ascribing everything to one player gives other players free reign.
” I think Russia got played on this and has turned a second-rate journalist into a cause célèbre.”
The core issue here is the question of how to ensure decision makers and public have accurate information. The more they shut down to alternative explanations the greater the risk of manipulated group think.
Hard one. Wars of choice are particularly well planned in advance in terms of propaganda.
E.g. how much of US public knows 30% Syria occupied by US stealing wheat and oil and Israel is attacking it possibly looking to grab land? My guess is not even 1% know that.
So in the age if information almost nothing is getting through other than propaganda. So good is the propaganda that America will eat America’s children.
I believe that the press in any nation should be free to report on the activities of its government. I also believe there needs to be a balancing act with that freedom for the sake of the national security of said country. Frankly there are way too many things that are being kept from the public under the guise of national security but that’s another discussion.
In this case if the reporter was sniffing around trying to ascertain information on Russia’s military capacity then I can see why they would arrest the reporter and the person or persons providing information.
I think I liken this situation to the West using our “rules based international order” (whatever the West says that is on the given day) as a reason for interfering in other countries affairs. For example, if we are going to say that Russia is its own country and therefore has the right to limit LGBTQ propaganda then I don’t see why they don’t have the right to arrest someone they think was committing espionage, reporter for another country or not.
Thanks for what you do.
Ghost of Mozgovoy says
What about the terrorist attack in St. Petersburg of military correspondent Vladlen Tatarsky?
Could be this taken as retaliation for Gerskovich detention?
It seems that a lot of provocations are on display so that to accelerate Russian offensive before the pre-planned timing….
I have a few questions for Larry how do we know Gershkovich was not working with the CIA or NSA? It has been known for decades that US Journalists from the WP, NYT, and more have worked with the US intelligence agencies helping them gather intelligence in other countries. And since we know that in the past 15 years or so most US news outlets have been active partners with the security agencies. They do not even try to hide it anymore. Just look at the Vulcan leaks. I also read Andrei Martyanov’s blog to day and he had this to say,
“It is really difficult to say that one is a “journalist”, when one is caught with special equipment, in Russia they believe it is of NSA, not of CIA, origin, especially when depositing this equipment into hidden place not far from serious military plant.”
He states this as a fact and as if may have learned this from a source of his, one he did not name. I do not know if Gershkovich was engaged in legit journalism or he was using it as cover to spy on the Russian military, but I do think the way the press has behaved for the past 25 yrs giving them the benefit of the doubt is something they just no longer deserved.
To put it into context, this is what you had written:
“What Moscow is doing to Evan Gershkovich is the same thing that London and Washington are doing to Julian Assange.”
This is the absurd comparison almost all the comments disagreed with.
Andrei Martyanov has just posted that Gershkovich was essentially caught with special equipment which the Russians believe its more likely from the NSA than the CIA. He suggests that Gershkovich was in the process of planting this equipment near the military plant. I have to take this seriously and conclude that everyone who envisions this reporter meeting with a source has jumped the gun.
If Andrei is right Gershkovich is no Julian Assange and we can drop that analogy regardless of who he might have been working with.
I’m at least agreeing with you on one point Larry. This will highlight the difference between the West and Russia.
West have put Assange in High Security prison with inhumane treatment for nearly a decade now and his case is still not judged ….
Let’s see how many time the Russian judiciary system will take to judge Gershkovich and how he will be treated , it will be a bit harsh for sure , but I’m quite certain the guy will not bears inhumane torture for a decade without due process.
My 2 cents.
Thanks for the provocative discussion. It is interesting to see the responses, that is what makes this blog a mandatory stop every day.
An aside is the reported rumor of the conversation between Lavrov and BLinken by Alex Christoforou that Lavrov told Blinken to free Assange if they wanted the American guy. I would not be surprised if it were true.
I am amazed to see that for the first time I disagree with Larry…who defends Hershkovich or, more accurately, the cause/principle he thinks Gershkovich represents, on faulty arguments:
Larry says, “the work of a journalist is to get information the public is not supposed to have” and on that basis he sees this guy as not different from, say, Julian Assange.
Which “public” would that be and what information? Assange revealed to the American public as well as to the world that the US was committing war crimes in a country it had illegally attacked.
Gershkovich had been publishing lies in WSJ about Russia allegedly running out of ammunition to “inform” the American public? He was in Russia trying to get information on Russia’s military capacity in order to… what? “Inform” which public? Or pass the information to an intelligence agency, oh, no, no, not CIA because that would be … “illegal” but some other other like MOSSAD.
His parents came to the US from the Soviet Union in the early 70-s thanks to the Vannik–Jackson amendment (“Save Soviet Jews”). He might have been raised with the expected eternal put-upon grievances and the same hatred of Russia that the Nulands have.
Even of he was acting as a bona fides journalist, is it really a good idea to send people who have this kind of baggage to countries they might have a blind hatred for?
For a much better analysis and context read the one just published by MoonofAlanbama:
just saying says
In a related news, FSB detained a married couple in the city of Nizhny Tagil, for allegedly spying in the interests of Ukraine at a military-industrial complex.
Nizhny Tagil is home of Uralvagonzavod, the largest main battle tank manufacturer in the world. I guess Russians really don’t like someone spying on their tanks.
HMS Terror says
The fact that both Ms. Trepova and Gershkovich are being defended by the same lawyer, Daniil Berman seems too coincidental by half.
Berman also defended prominent Moscow “protestors” in 2019. He seems to have become the “go-to” lawyer for pro-West activists, which are known to be backed by Western intelligence agencies acting through a host of “NGOs” and “news agencies”.
That he has been assigned to Gershkovich and Tarpova suggests that they too were acting on behalf of Western agencies, willingly or otherwise.