When the media directs coordinated the public’s attention in one direction, always treat them like a street magician. Ask yourself what it is that they are misdirecting your attention away from.
Questions like that one can help you climb out of the preconstructed narrative the media wants to box us into and see situations from a much more independent perspective.
A great example of this is the story we’ve seen with the very dramatic prisoner swap between Putin and Biden.
The core narrative itself, as presented by The Almighty Binder speaking through Biden’s own spokesmuppet would tell us that a heroic effort has resulted in the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner in exchange for Russian war criminal, Viktor “Merchant of Death” Bout.
Praise of the trade focuses either on aspects of the return itself, praising Biden’s team in getting her home and the special interest boxes Grimes checks off on the left’s totemic victimhood pyramid.
Criticism takes several different angles, too, some of which have been echoed in ClashDaily’s initial reporting of the swap. One is on the fact that the trade happened (there is a reason we ‘don’t negotiate with terrorists, we don’t want to turn our citizens abroad into political pawns). Another argued Russia had taken Biden to the cleaners… still others called it a shameless appeal to his woke base in putting an America-slagging woke athlete convicted of illegal drug possesion in Russia ahead of a decorated Marine who maintains he had done nothing wrong. Obviously, the other point of outrage is that the Bond villain we were letting go free had been, we are told, responsible for the deaths of Americans as a direct result of his arms sales.
Comparisons were drawn to Biden’s previous foreign policy flops — especially Afghanistan — as well as other infamous trades, especially Bergdahl.
The Pentagon raised concerns about this guy getting loose into the world again.
A senior defense official is concerned that convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, the “Merchant of Death” who was freed Thursday in a prison swap for WNBA star Brittney Griner, could go back to illegally trafficking weapons, thereby fueling deadly conflicts around the world.
“I think there is a concern that he would return to doing the same kind of work that he’s done in the past, a senior Defense official said. — FoxNews
Asking these secondary questions about the trade is exactly the kind of ‘zooming out’ we need to do. Not everyone stopped with the more obvious stories.
As of this past July, WaPo was reporting about Russia wanting this guy back ‘very badly’.
Jack Posobiec, for example, went digging for more information about Viktor Bout and turned up an interesting detail that our mainstream news wasn’t telling us. Which is weird, since it existed in their own archives.
Poso found a story by ABC News talking about the Pentagon paying some $60 Million to this same Merchant of Death back in the days before he was arrested. Why would the Pentagon pay a scumbag like him millions of dollars?
A different ABC piece from 2010 explains it this way:
Headline: New Charges Against ‘Merchant of Death’ Viktor Bout. Published Feb 17.
The story opens by explaining who we are dealing with:
The Justice Department has unsealed an indictment against alleged international arms merchant Viktor Bout and his associate Richard Chichakli. Bout has been dubbed “The Merchant of Death” for his role in alleged arms trafficking around the world and his willingness to sell to every side, supplying dictators, revolutionaries and Islamic militants, and even working for the U.S. in Iraq.
Sounds spicy. Why weren’t we hearing about this before?
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Bout, a former Soviet military officer, made his fortune selling Soviet-era weaponry to Third World despots and insurgent groups. Bout dispatched fleets of Cold War-era Soviet cargo planes to some of the most inhospitable corners of the earth, running guns for dictators, including Liberia’s Charles Taylor and Zaire’s Mubuto Sese Seko, as well as rebel leaders in Angola, Sierra Leone and beyond.
…Bout also allegedly trafficked arms for the Taliban, and his aviation services were so vast that the Pentagon contracted one of his companies to deliver goods into Iraq from 2003 to 2005.
U.S. government contractors paid Bout-controlled firms roughly $60 million to fly supplies into Iraq in support of the U.S. war effort, according to a book about Bout called “Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Plans, and the Man Who Makes War Possible,” by reporters Douglas Farah and Stephen Braun.
At the time, Bout was already a wanted international fugitive. Intelligence officials had considered Bout one of the greatest threats to U.S. interests, in the same league as al Qaeda kingpin Osama bin Laden. Interpol had issued a warrant for his arrest; the United Nations Security Council had restricted his travel.
Intelligence reports also indicate Bout supplied armor-piercing missiles to Hezbollah in the summer of 2006 and arms to Somali warlords. — ABCNews
I can almost hear Ilhan giggling about this already.
And did they just say the same league as Osama Bin Laden…??????
As in Biden just released a prisoner ‘in the same league as Osama Bin Laden’…?
If Biden’s team was crowing that they did better than Obama and the Berghdal trade, the Taliban 5 were bad actors. But does anyone remember them being described as ‘in the same leagues as Osama Bin Laden’?
If he’s half the badass terrorist these reporters and unnamed Pentagon officials say he is, we should have dropped him in a hole forever and let the world forget where we put him.
In related news, why in the hell were we doing business with someone as messed up as him?
As for the negotiating Biden was doing with Russia?
Even THAT story has had some serious credibility gaps.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman extended “personal mediation efforts” to facilitate the release of American basketball star Brittney Griner in a Russia-U.S. prisoner swap, the kingdom’s foreign minister said on Thursday.
Washington has denied any mediation, saying the talks were between the United States and Russia, after a joint Saudi-UAE statement that said the president of the United Arab Emirates and Prince Mohammed led mediation efforts.
“I am aware of his highness’s personal efforts in relation to the basketball player and his engagement and personal intervention to facilitate this release,” Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud told reporters in Riyadh. — Reuters
It is fortunate for Biden that his administration has been nothing but truthful to the public about all matters, great and small, so tha there would never be cause to doubt the veracity of his words.
At least, it WOULD be fortunate, if that were truly the case.
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