Gold, DSK and a conspiracy theorist’s wet dream
By way of an introduction, I’ve been kindly asked by the guys at the Screwtape Files to post a few articles on some of the information and disinformation that, in my view, pervades every precious metals website. Whilst chewing my pen and wondering where to start, along came this glorious article in the EU Times. Dear reader, how could I resist such provocation?
Louis wasn’t wrong when he said we’d need to 'adjust our antennae to way out there'.
The CIA! The Russian Prime Minister! The IMF! The Chinese! Fort Knox! Wealth, power and sex! Influential men, secret plots, and a smear campaign so vivid in its concoction that no-one who knows the truth would ever again dare challenge the powers that be. Even the X-files never had so many clichéd elements in one story - all we’re missing is the obligatory car chase at the end.
Thusly, the latest buzz in Goldsilverland has started doing the rounds of all the blogs and chatrooms and I think it needs a decent de-bunking before the story gets legs. So get a coffee, print yourself off a copy of the article, and let’s go through it step by step:
- First, the EU Times itself. This is not a European site – its focus is largely on either North American issues or European issues that affect North America. Look at today’s headlines and compare them with those in le Monde, the Guardian or El Pais. The five leading stories in the EU Times(Aspartame, Canada free speech, CIA officer, Irish tap water, and moon water) do not, in fact, appear in any major European newspaper today. This lack of correlation is striking for what purports to be a purveyor of European news, even if it likes to revel in being outside of the MSM. This need not surprise us too much, however: The ‘EU Times’ is registered in Toronto, Canada.
- It is not a genuine news site, either. Major events are ignored at the expense of a few themes which are repeated over and over again: Jews in high places, gold vs the US dollar, CIA conspiracies, food scares, survivalism, etc. How many news sites do you know which have an ‘interracial’ section under ‘Crime’? Or a ‘Zionism’ section under politics, for that matter? The EU Times is, by any objective measure, a far-right propaganda site dressed up as news.
- Those who registered it seem rather coy about their origins, it seems. No address, email, phone number or any other way of writing to the editor if one wishes to address points raised in the articles. That’s pretty unique for a ‘news’ site. Further, it is an anonymously registered site. Compare this to any genuine news site, where registration information is given freely, as are contact details.
- OK, the story itself. The EU Times’ source is the UK ‘Daily Mail’ (although the story actually appeared in the New York Post a few days earlier). British Screwtape fans will know all about this erstwhile publication but, for the benefit of others, it is a right-wing tabloid daily newspaper with a strong anti-immigration, anti ‘nanny state’ and anti-welfare agenda. Much of its output is rather thinly disguised homophobia, racism and scare-mongering, and it is the butt of many a joke in the UK. It is, however, a real newspaper, started in 1896. Back in the 1930s it was a strong supporter of the British fascists, and ran the memorable headline, “hurrah for the Blackshirts”. But I digress.
- Regardless of the wisdom of using the Daily Mail as a source for anything, let us compare the two claims about what Putin said. The DM says simply (and probably correctly) that Putin said, “it’s hard for me to evaluate the hidden political motives but I cannot believe that it looks the way it was initially introduced. It doesn’t sit right in my head.” That's it. No mention of the FSB or secret reports. A search of the Kremlin’s website in English reveals no hits at all for ‘Dominique Strauss-Kahn’, and nothing relevant for ‘IMF’. I don’t read Cyrillic, so can’t check the Russian version, but it seems strange that comments meant to be seen internationally would appear on the Russian language site only.
- This should not surprise us. The FSB does not post its reports on websites any more than the CIA posts on the White House website or MI6 on the British Prime Minister’s. If Putin posted anything at all to the Kremlin website before suddenly thinking better of it and removing it, then it was clearly just the quote that appeared in the Daily Mail. The EU Times has apparently fabricated the story of an FSB report.
- Let us assume for a foolish second that this conspiracy was real. Then, the last people on earth that would know about US ‘plans’ to capture DSK would be the French DGSE. The US cannot afford to have bad relations with a strategic ally as important as France, and the DGSE would necessarily have to be totally out of the loop. Likewise, the 'rogue' elements of the CIA is a simply laughable concept, and the product of a mind that has seen too many fifth-rate spy series.
- DSK left behind one of his cell phones. He had others which he did not forget, although this is not noted in the EU Times article. So he could have been ‘tracked’ in any case. The mundane reality is that, outside of movies, it takes time, court orders, and senior sign-off to track a cell phone, and this would never have been a viable option for New York police seeking someone that aimed to leave the country a matter of hours after the alleged crime. DSK’s phone was not tracked – he told the hotel staff that he was at the airport, and this has been widely reported in the international press and by DSK's own defence team.
- The article then merges other, actually irrelevant stories into its fabric. So we have Ron Paul giving an unsubstantiated comment about the existence or otherwise of gold in Fort Knox. This is apparently backed up by a link to a Viewzone2.com report, which is itself striking for its complete lack of sources to back up its allegations. Save for a few references to a ‘Chinese investigation’, there is absolutely nothing on which anyone could make an independent attempt to verify or refute the claims. One must always regard wholly unsourced claims with a cynical eye.
To sum up, what we have is an article constructed around a single, vague quote from Putin mentioned in a story in a British right-wing tabloid. Added to this (probably real) quote is the pure fabrication of a mythical FSB report, and the invention of a collusion between rogue elements of the CIA and the DGSE. Then the favoured ‘gold’ theme gets stitched in, à propos of nothing, which is itself backed by an unsourced story elsewhere on the web. Chuck in a few quotes from a Congressman who has high standing in parts of the precious metals community, and bingo! – you have a wonderful article guaranteed to get linked to and posted all around the PM blogs.
Easy when you know how.