The frustrating thing about the news media, no matter how horrible they are, is that you need them. You can't understand the world except through the news media. That's where all of our information comes from. We can't really change that at this point, but we can go into it with open eyes.
You should know that the thing about reading the news is, even when it's not intentionally dishonest and often it is, no matter what the intent of it, the first draft of the story that you read is always wrong — not sometimes wrong — always wrong, occasionally in small ways, sometimes in big and utterly distorting ways: "Dewey defeats Truman. Iraq has nukes. Russia bombed its own pipeline." Stories like this are laughably untrue. They are an inversion of the truth, which inevitably emerges later and at times it's unintentional. They just made a mistake. They got it wrong, but more often on the big stories, the ones that change policy, they are lying on purpose.
How do you know whether they're lying on purpose or whether they just got it wrong by accident? Well, when the story trends on social media, you know. That means that somewhere there's a tech executive who's decided to crank up the propaganda dial in order to manipulate you. It's really not so different from what the North Korean state news agency does. When there's a famine, they start promoting stories about record rice harvests, so you wouldn't notice.
With that in mind, it would have been worth pausing for a moment in skepticism when you saw that story on your phone yesterday about how Russia had bombed Poland. Poland is a member of NATO, the North American Treaty Organization and so are we. That means if Russia were to attack NATO, then we could very easily be obligated to attack Russia back. Russia has the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, so that would be inevitably, by definition, World War III. Hundreds of people might die. This was not a small story. It was Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo stuff.
This story came, as it so often does, from the Associated Press, citing, again as usual an "unnamed senior U.S. Intel official." According to this unnamed Intel official, Russia had launched an entirely unprovoked first strike against Poland. The Russian military had lobbed missiles into Polish territory, thereby killing two Poles at a farm, so by definition it was time for Europe and the U.S to invoke Article Five, the collective defense principle, and begin a total war on Vladimir Putin. President Zelenskyy of Ukraine agreed with this. The U.S. must declare war on Russia in the wake of this story. Watch his reaction.
ZELENSKYY: What we warned about a long time ago happened today. We’ve been saying this. Terror is not limited to our national borders. It has already spread to the territory of Moldova and today, Russian missiles hit Poland, the territory of our friendly country. To fire missiles at NATO territory, this is a Russian missile attack on collective security. This is a very significant escalation. We must act.
This is a Russian missile attack on collective security. It's not simply in Poland or on Ukraine, but on the United States. It's an attack on the U.S. by Russia and "we must act." This is a man of some moral authority. This is the only head of state in the world to receive a Vogue photo spread this year. There's a personal friend of Sean Penn and Ben Stiller and here he was commanding the U.S. to lead the third world war immediately. As we said, this was not a minor AP story. The only problem was it was completely and utterly wrong.
Zelenskyy, the unnamed American intel officer and the Associated Press had all been trafficking in dangerous misinformation. That became clear within a few hours when pictures of the exploded missile surfaced on social media. People who know a lot about military hardware started asking questions about this stuff. They looked at a picture of a fragment of the motor from this destroyed missile and they noticed the ordnance was an S-300 system. Now, the S-300 system is only being used by the Ukrainian military, not the Russians, so it could not have been a Russian military attack.
Somehow Ukraine had bombed Poland and killed people. That's true and within a day, the Pentagon, NATO and even the government of Poland all were forced to admit that. That's what happened. Ukraine did it, but here's the interesting thing, the thing that is relevant to us. Ukraine never admitted that. Zelenskyy kept lying on television. So, when you run a country where the free press has been banned, as it has been in Ukraine, you may not realize that the rest of the world is not required to believe you. You can't throw them all in jail. So, he kept telling you what you knew was not true
"I have no doubt that this is not our missile," he said today. "I believe that this was a Russian missile based on military reports." Again, that's not only untrue, it's a lie that could get millions of Americans killed. You have to ask yourself, is it time to stop backing this guy? Could the risk be too high? He's lying on purpose to get us into a war. Maybe he's not worth supporting in the first place. Maybe he's just another corrupt Eastern European strongman in a tracksuit, getting as rich as he can from American handouts. That might be the lesson, but that is not at all the lesson that the Biden administration is drawing from what just happened. Watch former Raytheon board member Lloyd Austin explain that. Even if the missile attack was from Ukraine, it's still Russia's fault.
AUSTIN: This explosion was most likely the result of a Ukrainian air defense missile that unfortunately landed in Poland and whatever the final conclusions may be, the world knows that Russia bears ultimate responsibility for this incident.
This is not what we would refer to as evidence-based reasoning. What you're hearing from the secretary of defense is that Ukraine lobbed a missile into Poland and killed Poles, but you need to continue to send billions to Ukraine to fight Russia. So, now you're starting to see why the unnamed Intel official leaked this story to the Associated Press in the first place, this manufactured story, and the point, of course, was to manipulate the United States Congress, as so often happened.
Unnamed American intel official leaked something to The New York Times, Washington Post, AP. Members of Congress read this and do what the intel agencies and the administration want them to do and we can all but prove that in this case, because shortly after this fake news of this fake Russian missile attack appeared on the AP wire, the White House demanded another $37 billion in funding for Ukraine.
That raises the question, where does that put us? What's the total that we've sent to Ukraine so far? Well, in just nine months, the Biden administration has committed a total of $91 billion to Ukraine at a time when our borders still open and our economy is degrading fast. How much is that? Well, as Glenn Greenwald pointed out today, $91 billion is twice the average annual U.S. expenditure during our own war in Afghanistan. $91 billion is 33% more than the entire annual military budget of the entire country of Russia, but it's not enough. Today, Mark Milley informed us that $91 billion is just the beginning.
MILLEY: We, the United States, are determined to continue to support Ukraine with the means to defend themselves for as long as it takes. We will continue to support Ukraine for as long as it takes, and we will continue to support them as long as it takes and until then, we will continue to support all the way for as long as it takes. We will be there for as long as it takes.
So, there you have the obedient little general reading the talking points again, but it still doesn't answer the question: Why? As long as it takes? OK, some things are worth that commitment, but why this one? What is the point of this exactly? We can't say we're defending democracy in Ukraine, which is not a democratic country. We can't explain clearly or even at all where our national security interest lies in this conflict between two Eastern European countries. So, why would we bankrupt ourselves to fund it?
Could it be that this entire effort is a choreographed scam to enrich the Democratic Party and its allies and achieve left-wing ideological goals that have nothing to do with the core interests of the United States? Could it be that this whole thing is BLM, Eastern European edition? Well, it's possible, because that is how Washington actually works and the brewing FTX scandal kind of exposes that.
You may have read about this. FTX is the cryptocurrency exchange that just blew up in one of the single biggest one-day losses in world history, possibly the biggest ever. Now, what was FTX? It wasn't a conventional business. No. In fact, it was the finance arm of the Democratic Party and the back scratching, the snake eating its tail, is on full display in this story. Democrats invited FTX's CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, to the White House to discuss crypto regulation. The people who are supposed to be keeping this business within the lines, were actually colluding with the business and doing nothing to keep it from defrauding its investors.
Then in Congress, who was also supposed to be overseeing the finance sector, Maxine Waters, who chairs the Financial Services Committee, was palling around with Sam Bankman-Fried. She took the picture with him. You're seeing on your screen now. That picture was taken after the first ever hearing on crypto regulations. That's a pretty good deal. You're running a scam and the regulators are on your side. How do you keep them on your side? Well, if you're Sam Bankman-Fried, you donate nearly $40 billion to Democrats in the midterm, which he did and that total puts him number two on the donor list right below George Soros.
Now that's so obviously illegal and wrong and corrupt that you probably want to make sure nobody wrote about it and that's why Sam Bankman-Fried also bought off the media. He handed millions to places like Vox, The Intercept, Semafor, and ProPublica and probably many others. So, with tens of billions of dollars evaporating into thin air and Sam Bankman-Fried not even within the borders of the United States tonight, the question is: where are investors left? There are a lot of big retirement funds who are invested in this thing in this country and in Canada.
Will they get any of their money back? What about the money that Sam Bankman-Fried gave to the Democratic Party? Will the Democrats have to give it back to the people who are defrauded? Will, the media companies that took it, Semafor for example, have to give it back to the people whose money was effectively stolen? Well, Maxine Waters was a beneficiary of this and she was asked today whether she's returning any of these donations. FOX's Hillary Vaughn just caught up with Waters and she made it very clear, of course, she's keeping the money.
VAUGHN: Do you think some lawmakers that got donations from FTX's founder should give that money back?
REP. WATERS: Well, I don't want to get into that. As a matter of fact, both that Democrats and Republicans have received donations, so thank you.
Yeah, yeah. Everyone did it. No, actually, everyone didn't do it. This was the finance arm of the Democratic Party, one of the biggest stories of the year, maybe the last ten years. We're going have a lot more on it tomorrow and in the weeks to come, but why are we telling you about it tonight? We're telling you about it because you should know that FTX was also in partnership with the government of Ukraine because all threads returned to the same spool. It'd be interesting to know how much money, if any, Ukraine funneled back to FTX, which then wound up in the hands of Democrats running for Congress in this last cycle.
We don't know the answer. An audit might tell us. There has been no audit. Today in the House, Marjorie Taylor Greene has been demanding an audit, but to no avail so far and that means the tens of billions of your tax dollars the Biden administration has shoveled to the government of Ukraine remain as of tonight, completely unaccounted for. We don't know what happened to the money and still the Ukrainians are demanding more and trying to get us into a world war that would benefit us in no way. Are Republicans supporting this? Could any Republican possibly support this? More money for Ukraine with no audit? Any Republican who does deserves, at the very least, a lifetime of scorn.