Seeking Lies with Itching Ears

The Left refuses to listen to anything they don't like, even from their friends.

As all conservatives, and most Americans, know, our mainstream media has been feeding us a pack of lies and propaganda for years.  This isn't news, and, alas, there doesn't appear to be much prospect for near-term improvement.

Knowing that you're being lied to is one thing; figuring out what the truth is, even once you know what it is not, is far more challenging.  So understanding more about the ways in which we're deceived can be helpful, if only in ruling things out.

And, to our surprise, we've recently realized that the deep-state propagandists are rather more sophisticated and better at targeting than we'd previously feared.

Finding the Weak Spots

We all understand the concept of credibility.  If your 7-year-old aspiring baseball player tells you he didn't break the window, you may trust him, but you'll likely also investigate and verify.  If your spouse says the child didn't, though, odds are you'll move on to other suspects immediately.

The same is true for media.  No conservative is going to pay much attention to anything that issues forth from Rachel Maddow or Brian Stelter.  Sean Hannity would at least get a hearing, and Rush, God rest his soul, would likely get the benefit of any doubt.  Each of those individuals has established a years-long reputation that colors the way we listen to them.

Of course, if your political perspective were reversed, so would your pre-judgments be - a lefty would likely consider Maddow and Stelter to be Holy Writ, vs. the bigoted likes of Rush and Hannity.

While in theory we should be able to examine the evidence ourselves and reach our own conclusions, in practice nobody has time for that.  We have to trust our sources and do our best to choose sources that can be trusted before drinking too deeply of whatever brand of kool-aid they offer.

Which means the shadowy forces paying close attention can artfully manipulate not only what is revealed, but to whom.  Consider the recent flap over whether Gen. Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, committed treason by calling his counterpart in the Chinese military to supposedly promise him advance warning if President Trump ordered an attack.

On the face of things, this is an open-and-shut case: if Gen. Milley did in fact promise to warn our enemy of an impending attack by our military, that is the very definition of treason, isn't it?

On the other hand, when you get into the higher stratosphere of international geopolitics, things get murky.  It's not totally inconceivable that the Chinese, being annoyed by Mr. Trump's other attacks on them over covid, trade, and all manner of things, seemed to be extending that to military fears.  Whatever fears they would normally seek out in order to request bigger budgets from their masters (as do ours) would be amplified by Mr. Trump's preferred bull-in-a-China-shop persona combined with the constant Trump Derangement Syndrome drumbeat from our media.

It's not too hard to imagine a situation in which civilian authorities - the Defense Secretary, say, or the National Security Adviser - tell our top general to call the Chinese and assure them that, no, we aren't going to just nuke them out of the blue, and urge the General to give 'em a tingle on the telly saying something like, "Come on, General Wu, you know we don't do sneak attacks like that, we'll warn you first."

For ourselves, we have no idea what actually happened.  The problem with Gen. Milley is that he's become notorious as one of the "woke generals" who is more concerned with getting mentally ill and sexually dysfunctional people into the military and derring-doing white males out of it than killing our enemies.  Conservatives want him gone, and getting him executed on a treason charge would be welcome icing on the cake.

Gen. Milley's defenders don't need to persuade CNN that he's a good guy.  CNN viewers already believe that, precisely because of the intensity with which the right hates him.  No, they need to convince conservatives to turn down the heat.

And, what do they do?  They "leak" anonymous information to Fox News' Jennifer Griffin claiming that, indeed, the call followed proper procedure and wasn't a "lone wolf" creating his own foreign policy contrary to the President's.

Now, one can parse this leaked claim, but what's most notable is that it was made to Fox News.  Obviously, whoever's behind it could easily have gotten CNN to trumpet it, but what would that have accomplished?  From the perspective of the right, it would simply more lies to be distrusted and disregarded.  If anything, it might be considered proof that Gen. Milley is in fact guilty.  If he were truly innocent, a fake news source so evil and anti-American as CNN wouldn't bother defending him so hard!

No - by getting Fox News to present this report, Gen. Milley's side is expecting conservatives to at least give it a fair hearing and a moment's consideration.  That's smart, and crafty.  It also says something about how the Deep State views conservatives - as fair-minded people who will listen to a person's defense with an open mind, at least if it's coming from someone they haven't already written off as a pathological liar.

Details Don't Matter, Except When They Do

Assume the leak is genuine.  Even if the phone call went as the leaker described - that is, a group of high level officials from the Departments of Defense and State were listening in - promising to warn the CCP if our duly-elected Commander in Chief ordered an attack is high treason regardless of who initiated, authorized, or participated in the call.  Not only should Gen. Milley be cashiered and jailed, so should everyone else involved.

It was either Gen Milley's idea or he was ordered to do it. If it was his idea, Leavenworth should be his next port of call. If he was ordered to do it, if his oath of service or his professional honor meant anything, he should have resigned on the spot.

The Afghanistan "withdrawal" shows that neither honor nor duty mean anything to him.  Either our Commander-in-Thief said "get us out of Afghanistan soonest" and left the details to him, or China Joe micromanaged it.  In the former case, if he commanded the rout, he should be cashiered for incompetence, having lost yet another war.  If the Commander-in-Thief ordered it to be done in such a ridiculous manner, he should have resigned.  He didn't, so he's unfit for office either way.

But, as President Nixon famously pointed out, "When the President does it, that means it is not illegal."  If a deranged Mr. Trump had pushed the nuclear button, it might have been a moral abomination, but it wouldn't have been illegal, nor would it have been illegal for Gen. Milley to obey.  If he found the order repugnant, it wouldn't have been illegal for him to resign on the spot instead of carrying out what he was convinced was an illegal order.  Exactly the same goes for abandoning Bagram.

If he had resigned, Gen. Milley would have lost power and possibly be in disgrace, but mostly fair-minded conservatives wouldn't call for his imprisonment or his head.  He and his supporters know this, so by pointing out the subtle details, they believe - with good reason - that they may enable him to skate.

If conservatives can't agree on whether he should be fired, jailed, or executed, likely none of the above will occur, which is what he and the lefties undermining our military want.  If nothing else, leaking in this manner sows confusion.

Indeed, it accomplished this even among the solons of Scragged!  A fierce internal debate has raged here all week over whether promising the Chinese to warn them of an impending attack is automatic treason ipso facto, or whether there are circumstances in which it might be legal, valid, even good statecraft - the President ordered it, say, or it was a way of calming or conning them to prevent a war we didn't want.

One way of looking at it is that the leak simply expands the list of people who deserve to be tried for treason, but we don't know how far that idea will go, given that The Editors themselves don't even agree on that!

Finally, An Enemy Weakness?

Why does this evidence that woketivists believe that conservatives will listen and attempt to fair-mindedly think things through, matter?

Because, our opponents understand correctly that conservatives are willing to listen to someone they trust say something they do not want to hear.  Conservatives would like to see Gen. Milley in front of a firing squad - but it is possible for their supposed allies to convince them that that wouldn't fair, and they'll give them a chance to try persuading them accordingly.

In contrast, consider what happened when CNN's Kasie Hunt took the opportunity of California's recall election - which Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom won handily - to nevertheless try to warn Democrats not to get too cocky:

"CA GOV BIG PICTURE: One of the top Democrats in the country got caught living like an elite while everyone else suffered. Elites vs. the rest is the driving force in our politics right now and Democrats have a tough needle to thread. Democrats need to prove they can govern for EVERYBODY," Hunt wrote as part of a lengthy Twitter thread.

"Obviously California is a Special Place -- but the fact that a Democratic national star in waiting *faced* a recall and then had to fight hard for it [and great expense using vast sums raised from the wokerati - ed] midway through the campaign does say a lot about the potential challenges Democrats face across the map," Hunt continued. "Especially if President Biden can't demonstrate he's capable of getting the resurgent pandemic under control, has another competence crisis a la Afghanistan, can't get his budget plan through Congress, etc."

Hunt's comments were quickly ratioed as prominent lefties appeared irked that CNN's chief national affairs analyst didn't toe the company line.

Hunt's former MSNBC colleague Malcolm Nance didn't appreciate her analysis.

"Oh this is just plain old stupid," Nance wrote.

Now, think about this for a moment.  Hunt works for CNN and is a fully-credentialed doctrinaire leftist with an impeccable track record.  Like all save the tiniest handful of mainstream reporters, she sings exactly the same song as the rest of them, which is, whatever is the farthest left imaginable on any given day.

And, in no way is she attempting to help Republicans.  To the the contrary: she is attempting to point out a hazard to Democrats in good time for them to do something about it, thus (she hopes) increasing their chances of further success.

Yet not one single big-league media person - never mind any actual politicians - cares to hear timely words from a friend:

USA Today editor Doug Farrar responded that Hunt "gets reporting and opinion confused to a truly gobsmacking degree."

Daily Beast columnist Wajahat Ali called it "terrible analysis," while conservative writer Carmine Sabia noted "Kasie Hunt nailed it and liberals are pissed."

Far-left, former MSNBC star Keith Olbermann declared it is "genuinely hard to believe you have spent any days prior to this one covering politics."

This backs up what far-left but generally honest reporter Glenn Greenwald recently wrote concerning the spectacular media malpractice, lies, and overt censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story:

There are no editorial standards as long as you feed liberals what they want.

What he doesn't say in so many words, but clearly proves through his analysis, is that the opposite is equally true - it doesn't matter how true something is if it's what liberals don't want.  Regardless of factuality, it'll never meet their "standards" for publication, dissemination, or, really, access to the public square at all.

The Intercept - which I co-founded seven years earlier to be adversarial, not subservient, to evidence-free assertions from the intelligence community, and which was designed to be an antidote to rather than a clone of The New York Times - told me that I could not publish the article I had written about the Biden archive because it did not meet their lofty and rigorous editorial standards: the same lofty and rigorous editorial standards that led to uncritical endorsement of the CIA's lies just days earlier. It was that episode, as Matt Taibbi recounted at the time, that prompted my resignation from the outlet I created in protest of this censorship, in order to report instead only on free speech platforms

So we see a major philosophical difference between the left and the right that is clearly understood by the most intelligent of our enemies: The right is willing to listen to bad news or disagreeable news from people they trust. The left simply is not - any bearers of bad news, no matter how true and no matter how previously trustworthy and friendly, will be instantly dispatched with fury.

Now What?

Any student of military tactics going back to Sun Tzu can see this monstrous, monumental, glaring, crippling weakness: if the other side cannot and will not listen to anything they don't want to hear, they cannot possibly make effective or wise decisions.

So... how are we going to use this inspiring insight?  There's got to be a way even the Stupid Party can use it find some traction.

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other articles by Petrarch or other articles on Media.
Reader Comments

You are not alone in thinking that Leavenworth is lovely this time of year.

What Does Gen. Milley's Conduct Say about Our System?

Bob Woodward's new book, Peril, reportedly makes allegations about the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Milley, which if true, make Milley a traitor to our country.

The book indicates that Milley went outside the chain of command and called his counterpart in the Chinese military, Gen. Li Zuocheng, after the 2020 elections. He gave assurances that then-president Trump would not attack China and that if an attack was ordered by the president, Milley he would warn him so it wouldn't be a surprise.

This is extremely problematic on a number of levels.

First, the United States has a civilian military command. That is why the president, an elected official is the commander in chief. He can be voted in or voted out. The role of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is to advise the secretary of defense. It is not to make military decisions on his own. The Joint Chiefs of Staff is not in the line of command; therefore, its chairman has no authority to issue orders or to command anyone in the military based on his own opinion. Going outside the chain of command is a violation of both federal law delineating the chairman's scope of authority, as well as the limits on that authority (see U.S. Code Section 163). It is also a violation of the Constitution itself.

Such conduct is, in effect, giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Despite Biden's cozy relationship with China and his depiction of China as nothing more than a "competitor," the fact is that China is an enemy of the United States. Of course, Biden can't say this because his family is profiting from its relationship to China.

Sun Tzu, the great military strategist, explained that the element of surprise is critical in achieving one's mission in war. Had President Trump decided to order an attack on China, Milley's warning to our enemy would have given China the opportunity to strike us first, undoubtedly resulting in numerous American deaths. In essence, General Milley vowed to intentionally undermine the element of surprise had a wartime situation arisen with China.

Woodward's book further asserts that Milley demanded each person in the military chain of command to pledge an oath to him personally, and promise to consult with him first before carrying out any orders from the president. This demand comes dangerously close to taking over the military by a coup...or at least an attempted coup. It was not the "Trump-supporters" who committed an "insurrection" by taking over government control, as they didn't have the means to do that, even if they had wanted to. Rather, Milley's taking over the military and requiring personal loyalty in opposition to a sitting president's potential orders, that constitutes a coup attempt.

Initially, many politicians on both sides of the aisle were alarmed upon learning about Milley's phone call. Early on, it was anticipated that he would be asked to step down. But it didn't take long before the left was twisting things around, making this turncoat into a hero, with some in the media saying he "saved the country" from a rogue president. In reality, it was the other way around: a rogue chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, endangering democracy and national security simply because he was more of a political hack for the Democrats than he was a military general.


September 25, 2021 3:12 PM

Putting aside all of the laws, oaths, and even the Constitution.. Under what circumstance does an avowed and obvious opponent/enemy, call their opponent/enemy on the phone, to sooth them or warn them of anything?

I don't remember hearing that Smokin Joe Frazier or Ali called each other before any of their fights to sooth and warn the other.

And the media (left & right) and dc politicians are telling us, and want us to believe that: "nothing to see here. All per established protocols".
Are you kidding me? Since when did the US Military establish protocols to communicate with adversaries about what the US may or may not do?

They constantly change the rules or make up new rules to fit/support whatever narrative suits them. And the msm parrots whatever they're told. And it's all pumped into us via cellphones, iPads, TV sets, etc.. 24/7.

Great article with deep insight.

I've come to the conclusion that it's never what it appears to be or what they say it is. A friend of mine said something today that really resonated with me... he said "what we are experiencing today has been in the works for decades. It's all been planned and the plans are coming to fruition". Simple cause and effect.

And like Petrarch says, and which I agree with: "Knowing that you're being lied to is one thing; figuring out what the truth is, even once you know what it is not, is far more challenging"

I'll add this quote I got from an article on American thinker today regarding the climate hoax. The quote is from H.L. Mencken in 1918:

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary."

Lies, lies and more lies.

September 25, 2021 11:38 PM

Rico and Jamie, profound and well presented comments.

September 26, 2021 1:49 PM

No surprise which side Mr. Trump is on - hang 'em high!

Trump blasts Milley as 'weak sister' on Afghanistan

Former President Trump sounded off on Gen. Mark Milley after learning of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff's phone calls to his Chinese counterpart in which he said he would give a warning if Trump were planning a military strike.

Trump said in an interview with KTTH's "The Jason Rantz Show" that China was really more concerned about him from an economic standpoint and that there was no reason for Milley to get involved.

"China was very concerned about what I was doing economically and nobody has to get in and say, 'Oh, don't worry about things, things will be just fine,'" Trump said. "Not good. Not appropriate."

The former president also addressed opinions that Milley's actions were treasonous.

"Well, I would certainly say it borders on it because I didn't know about it, and I'm the one that's supposed to know about it," Trump said.

He then took some personal shots at Milley's character.

"He was afraid to come in and talk to me," Trump said. "He was a weak sister, I found that out. He was a weak man."

October 1, 2021 1:34 AM

The accumulated evidence indicates that Gen. Milley ought to either resign of be cashiered, but that's true of the commander in thief as well.

The puzzling oversight hearings regarding the withdrawal from Afghanistan

A thousand-piece puzzle spread out on the dining room table is easier to put together than the testimony from our top military and civilian leadership regarding America's withdrawal from Afghanistan.

One of the Generals slouched his way through the hearing. Another General was defensive about improper negative interviews he gave regarding his former boss. The Secretary of Defense shifted blame for the whole thing to others and then dodged responsibility for cleaning up the mess he was partly responsible for creating. This is our top military leadership?

When one is faced with a thousand-piece puzzle, one starts by finding the straight edges. The puzzle has a border. What is the 'border' for these witnesses? The border is what our Constitution provides.

First, when Congress declares a war under Article I, section 8 of the United States Constitution, the generals and Secretary of Defense are responsible for conducting specific military actions in that war. The President is the civilian Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States under Article II, section 2. Civilian control of the military is a foundational principle of our governance structure.

Second, during wartime, the President, as Commander-in-Chief, has ultimate decision-making power regarding strategy and tactics and can fire commanders at will.

Third, Congress has some oversight regarding the war's conduct and the judgment used in making strategic and tactical decisions. Still, the voters who choose a Commander-in-Chief every four years retain ultimate oversight.

So, this is the outline of our puzzle: In response to an act of war by jihadists against the United States, Congress authorized action in Afghanistan in 2001. Commanders-in-Chief, field commanders, and Secretaries of Defense then execute that war.

If this has the ring of 'too many cooks in the kitchen,' it is because there are a lot of cooks in the kitchen regarding the War in Afghanistan.

After we create our puzzle's border, how do we fit the rest of the pieces together? We start with one corner and build inward toward the center. The corner we start with is, 'What specific military action are these witnesses responsible for?' The answer is withdrawing troops and appropriate non-combatants from Afghanistan. The question is not whether this withdrawal is wise (this is a political question); the question is whether they handled this mission properly. We have found our first internal pieces of the puzzle connected to one corner. In the witnesses' own words:

I. A logistical success; a strategic failure. Translation: American withdrawal planes took off from Kabul International Airport but carried many of the wrong Afghans (did the Taliban let them through?) and left many American citizens and others behind to fend for themselves. Logical conclusion: a mission failure-both logistical and strategic.

II. Not taking an offer seriously (an offer by the Taliban to let United States forces secure Kabul during the withdrawal). Translation: We would have needed more troops to secure access to the Kabul airport. We only had enough troops to secure the inside of the airport itself. Logical conclusion: the General should have asked for more troops.

III. The call on how to do that (bringing out non-combatants) is really a State Department call. Translation: I wash my hands of the Department of Defense's responsibility for withdrawing Americans still in Afghanistan.


October 3, 2021 5:01 PM

A souvenir-seeking major general reportedly abandoned American allies in Kabul

According to RedState's exclusive report, though, Donahue had some important business to take care of before boarding that plane: he needed to squeeze on a souvenir - and "inoperable Taliban-owned Toyota Hilux with a fully operational Russian ZU-23 anti-aircraft autocannon mounted in the bed." Doing that violated standing orders against taking war trophies, but heck, people often bend those rules, right?

But does everyone who bends them leave 50-100 American allies behind to make room in the plane for a war trophy and, worse, apparently hand their information over to the Taliban? According to RedState's informants, that's what Donahue did:

During the last hours of the evacuation, according to troops under his command and as documented by photographs and witness statements, Donahue ordered all of the passengers aboard a C-17 transport plane to disembark so he could have a souvenir loaded onto the plane. [snip.] Once the Hilux was loaded passengers were allowed back on the plane, but, of course, there wasn't room for all of them. According to troops on the scene, at least 50 people and perhaps as many as 100 people were left at Kabul to make room for the Hilux.

It is believed that many of those left behind have been or will be killed by the Taliban, in part because of information allegedly provided to Taliban commanders by Donahue himself.

RedState also reveals that multiple sources confirmed that Donahue's contact with the Taliban wasn't limited to bidding them farewell.

These sources say that Donahue provided the Taliban with a full manifest of passengers aboard the flights including passport information, photos, and biometric information for those passengers. The flights included US troops, Afghans who were employed by the Department of Defense, key human intelligence (HUMINT) assets, and other SIV applicants and their families.

There are more details about Donahue's conduct here.

Beginning immediately after 9/11, the American military became America's most respected institution - an almost seamlessly racially integrated military made up of America's sons and daughters (mostly sons), standing strong in the fight against the same people who imagined a worldwide caliphate made possible with massive American civilian deaths. Sure, Obama got into the White House attacking them as baby-killers, but most Americans knew better. Our troops were the good guys.

And you know what? Our troops are, for the most part, still the good guys. It's the military brass, the people put into place at the highest levels by the Obama and Biden administrations, who are a craven, corrupt, even evil bunch - and I say that even though I know all of them have greater physical courage in their little fingers than I have in my whole body. Their problem isn't physical courage. It's that they seemingly have no moral decency to speak of. And in the rogue's gallery that is today's military brass, Donahue just took a place of "honor."

October 4, 2021 10:53 PM
Add Your Comment...
4000 characters remaining
Loading question...