by Scott Creighton
‘Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.’ George Orwell
Admiral John Kirby who now serves as the spokesman for the Department of State, a position he has held since May of 2015, has been “state owned” since 1985. That is when he was commissioned as an officer in the Navy. He attended the Naval War College before that I believe, so he may have been “state owned” even longer. Not sure.
For those of you doing the math, that’s 30+ years of a “state owned” paycheck, retirement plan and healthcare benefits. For Kirby’s entire professional career since he left school he has been state owned and there isn’t a single question anyone can raise about that conclusion.
Throughout that entire time, Admiral Kirby has lined up, toes on the line, for whatever administration policy that was put before him. Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria… it made no difference. Regime change or Shock and Awe, Admiral Kirby unquestioningly backed the state’s actions… some, most, undoubtedly criminal in both nature and actions.
A year ago in an interview with Tampa Times, Kirby said his mother watches and critiques all of his official appearances including his work as spokesperson for the State Department.
I wonder how she feels about his last one.
During a US State Department briefing, RT’s reporter Gayane Chichakyan expanded upon a line of questioning put forward by another reporter regarding statements made by John Kirby about Russia and Syria targeting and destroying 5 hospitals and at least one mobile treatment center in Syria “all in the span of the last day or so”. The reporter had asked for clarification and Kirby could only say that they received their information from “credible” humanitarian outlets. He refused to name the hospitals or give their locations. He also stated, without a shred of evidence, that Russia and Syria have been keeping humanitarian aid out of eastern Aleppo for the past 28 days or so which would be another war-crime if proven accurate.
Keep in mind, he is accusing Russia and Syria of serious war-crimes without offering one shred of tangible evidence and he is fully expecting the press corps, the corporate press corps, to report on statements he makes in these briefings without question and without pause. “I say it, you write it” is the message from Adm. Kirby.
Does that sound like a functioning democracy or Pravda? The Fourth Estate or the Ministry of Truth?
RT’s reporter Gayane Chichakyan asked follow-up questions and Kirby was immediately hostile toward her. She simply wanted the names of the hospitals, locations and the names of the sources they were citing for these extremely serious accusations. Kirby went off on her. Like a good lawyer always does when he is repeating a lie, the first thing he did was distance himself from the statement itself by saying “I’m not leveling those accusation, relief agencies we find credible are leveling those accusations” providing future plausible deniability for himself and the rest of the State Department when it turns out someone does some research and discovers the claims are bogus. When you watch this exchange pay careful attention to the last few moments when Kirby is getting schooled by another reporter over his objections to Kirby’s treatment of another journalist. Kirby begins rambling about RT being “state owned” and says he’s not going to treat them the same way he treats “all the rest of you who work for “independent” agencies”
It’s an extremely important moment of clarity into the fascist mindset of Adm. Kirby.
“She’s asking legitimate questions..” another reporter comments.
“From a state owned, from a state owned, from a state owned… from a state owned outlet Mat that’s not independent… I’m sorry but I’m not going to put Russia Today on the same level as the rest of you guys from independent media outlets” State Department spokesman John Kirby
Let me first of all say that for any reporter to go forward with a story about Russia and Syria deliberately targeting 5 hospitals in “eastern Aleppo” (as Kirby stated) over the course of the past 24 hours, based solely on what John Kirby said in that briefing, would be highly irresponsible and unprofessional since he offered absolutely zero corroborating evidence or even a single sliver of basic specifics about the events. Of course, we know what we already know about the complicit media and the roles they have played in the run-up to various wars of aggression in the past.
So perhaps it isn’t completely shocking that Kirby would fully expect what he calls the “independent media outlets” to run with the story like the good little stenographers they have been in the past.
RT produced a segment after this exchange got some media attention where they explain what happened after the briefing ended. Gayane Chichakyan was provided with a copy of a report from the World Health Organization which stated 5 hospitals had indeed been targeted in the past couple of days but they were not in eastern Aleppo.
“WHO condemns the attacks on five hospitals that took place in Syria on 13–15 November 2016, including three hospitals in Western Rural Aleppo and two hospitals in Idleb.” WHO Nov. 16, 2016
So not only was Adm. Kirby wrong about those hospitals being located in eastern Aleppo, but he was also wrong in terms of the aid agency naming Russia and Syria as being the ones who “deliberately targeted them”
WHO drew no conclusion as to fault in these attacks and since western Aleppo is under government control, it stands to reason it was our “moderate” terrorists who attacked those three and not Russia.
The WHO report does not give any information about the locations or the names of the hospitals. But I did find something called ReliefWeb which claims all of them were attacked with “barrel bombs” and by airstrikes from Syrian and Russian planes. ReliefWeb seems to be a regime change backing NGO which supports the phony aid group, the White Helmets in their ongoing propaganda campaign.
ReliefWeb was created by the Department of State in 1996 when they needed help creating a pretext justification for all sorts of “humanitarian interventions”
Former CIA contractor Larry Johnson said Kirby’s performance was an embarrassment.
” The US media are so in the pocket of this administration they aren’t even asking basic, critical fundamental questions. They are accepting assertions by this administration for the most part at face value. Not challenging. Not questioning”
State owned John Kirby’s anger is understandable. He is angry because he fully expects the complicit media, to be, well… silently complicit. And he expects that because they are not “independent” like he claims.
Yes, they are working for privately owned independent corporations, but in a fascist system like we have, “privately owned entities” does not equate to “independent” because, in a fascist system, the state merges with the corporations and each serve the other’s interests at the detriment of the people.
Watching Kirby’s anger and frustration build to the point where he’s blathering “state owned. state owned. state owned” is a fascinating glimpse into the mind of a fascist.
Kirby himself is state owned. He never known a time in his professional adult life when he wasn’t being paid and paid very well by the state. And he has never to my mind, opposed much of what the state called for in terms of foreign interventions and regime changes throughout all of that time.
The baseless propaganda that he was spewing, fully expecting compliance from the “independent media”, was stunningly absent a single shred of evidence and STATE OWNED Kirby knew that.
Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.
In that moment towards the end when he says he wont treat reporters from RT the same as he treats our complicit media because they are “state owned” Kirby exposed himself and like that former CIA contractor said, he should be fired immediately for his actions.
His hatred was not born of him thinking she was going to lie or spin his statements the wrong way. His hatred was born of the knowledge that she wouldn’t and the fact that he knew he and his owners couldn’t exert pressure on her bosses to get her fired like he could if someone from the New York Times dared challenge him.
Hatred of the state by a ward of the state. Ironic is it not?
But Adm. Kirby really isn’t a ward of the state, now is he? He’s a ward of the “public/private partnership” we call the US government. And there is a difference.
Most tellingly, as Kirby looked out at the people in that room at the end, he fully expected them to understand him. He fully expected them to be on his side. And they probably were to some degree. It’s the old “turd in the punchbowl” drill.
To their credit, some US reporters have recently been refusing to give Kirby a pass on his proclamations about Syria. After all, the RT reporter was simply following up on questions from a US reporter and after Kirby’s embarrassing outburst, another US reporter came to her defense which prompted his “state owned” melt-down.
So the spokesman’s vitriol toward the RT reporter could possibly be explained away as a measure of venting frustrations that have been building for some time as the veneer is wearing off the facade.
You could also say Kirby was visibly upset because he feared a contagion growing in the room so he lashed out at the easiest target: the “state owned” outlet.
However you want to look at it, you see the growing desperation in the fascist minds of those who profess to be the smartest guys in the room. They can only live under that delusion just so long as everyone else plays along but once that stops, the hollowness shows through and all we see are little, panicked, scared little men trying desperately to be big again.
Don’t worry too much about Kirby though. He’s been state owned his entire professional life. He’s got great healthcare and a damn good retirement plan, so he’ll be OK.
Might have lost a little respect from his mother though.
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