Is the Pentagon Behind the Washington Post's McCarthyite Hit on independent Alternative Journalism?
What it appears we really have here courtesy of Timberg and the Washington Post is a classic piece of McCarthyite red-baiting propaganda, complete with a call for the FBI and US Justice Department to investigate those on the list for possible violation of the US Espionage Act, the Foreign Agent Registration Act “and other related laws.” Any site that is critical of US foreign policy, who says anything favorable about Russia, or who was critical of Hillary Clinton, is suspected of being a Russian propagandist.
Where things get really serious is that if this Harding character -- the guy whose byline appears in the introduction on PropOrNot's first page of evidence against Counterpunch magazine -- is what he appears to be, PropOrNot could actually be a Pentagon funded operation, which would make Timberg's Washington Post hit piece on alternative news sites particularly outrageous, and his and the Post editors' keeping of the site's members and owners names secret a scandal of enormous proportions. Harding, I have discovered through some research on Google, while perhaps not a high-wattage secret propagandist spotter, does appear to be a major figure in PropOrNot -- perhaps even its mysterious executive director? He describes himself on his own website as having this interesting background: 35 years "working national security issues," including enlisted soldier in a Special Forces detachment, followed by a career as a military intel officer, at information operations at the Department of Defense, and organizer of InfowarCon, which hosts meetings on cyberwarfare.
And while some might take some pause at the source, Russia Insider, which describes itself as a media criticism site put out by a "group of expats living in Russia," the site reports that Joel Harding, a current or retired brigadier general in the US Army and a self-described NATO advisor, heads a "team of dedicated internet trolls," allegedly on the Pentagon payroll, who "openly libel and harass" journalists and authors whom the ever-vigilent Harding perceives to be Kremlin agents. No wonder PropOrNot wants its members' identities kept secret!
If any of this stuff is correct, it means that this whole effort to tar the country's leading alternative news sites and leading independent journalists on left and right as Russian agents workinF aspart of a propaganda conspiracy is really just a gigantic "fake news" story perpetrated by the government, and worse perhaps, the military -- with the willing connivance of one of the country's leading newspapers -- an idea that should turn the stomach and infuriate any real American.