Conspiracist Blogger James Corbett Appears on the Kremlin-Financed Russia Today
James Corbett is a conspiracist with a site on the Internet. He is a 9-11 Truther. Truthers argue amongst themselves, but typically claim that 9-11 was masterminded by President George W. Bush and/or an inside job orchestrated by the U.S. government and not the work of Osama bin Laden. James Corbett claims that man-made global warming is a hoax. He claims that President Kennedy's killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, worked for the CIA.
James Corbett recently appeared on Russia Today (RT, the Kremlin-financed, English-language, propaganda satellite T.V. channel) the day after bin Laden was killed and claimed that bin Laden had deep ties to U.S. intelligence.
Russia Today is an uncritical purveyor of conspiracy theories and frequently interviews American and British conspiracists who claim that global warming is a "hoax," too. RT doesn't interview the famous scientists--Russian or Western---who understand global warming. The anti-scientific claim that global warming is a "hoax" has been a staple of Russian propaganda.
President Medvedev claimed in early 2010 that global warming was a "tricky campaign." After the 2010 forest fires, President Medvedev reversed himself and claimed that man was causing global warming. (Andrei Areshev, a lunatic attached to a Foreign Ministry drunk tank, even claimed right in RIA Novosti that those sneaky U.S. climate scientists were causing global arming by beaming secret climate weapons at Russia!)
Fossil fuel companies such as Gazprom have a lot of power and own much of the media in Russia. The Russian gas company Gazprom is majority-owned by the Russian government and pays taxes that support the government.
In the U.S., Politicians like Senator Inhofe and Attorney General Cuccinelli even cite official Russian/Gazprom propaganda in defence of their global warming denialism. These politicians might want to reconsider spreading propaganda that even the Russian scientist don't agree with and stop persecuting our great scientists!
In his suit against the EPA, Cucinelli even cites a report by Putin's former adviser, the economist Andrei Illarionov, that has been discredited by Russian scientists. Illarionov was also an aviser to Victor Chernomyrdin, the head of the Soviet Gas Ministry and its post-Soviet reincarnation Gazprom. Illarionov has a think tank in Russia called the Institute for Economic Analysis (IEA) and also writes about climate change for the Libertarian Cato Institute, which is funded by Koch brothers, who own a coal company and other businesses. The father of the Koch brothers built Stalin's oil refineries. Cuccinelli gets money from fossil-fuel interests. He even gets money from his father, a career lobbyist for the gas industry.
The NYT (2-22-11) reports that Russian scientists have distanced themselves from Illarionov's IEA report:
Alexander Bedritskiy, president of the World Meteorological Organization and the top climate change adviser to President Dmitri Medvedev of Russia, said that the Russian report [by Illarionov's IEA] was thoroughly discredited by top scientists in his country more than a year ago.
“Any scientific discussion on the results, pretending to be science-based, does not make sense,” Dr. Bedritskiy said in an e-mail.
He also noted that the author of that report, Andrei Illarionov, is not a climate scientist but an economist with the Cato Institute, a conservative research group in the United States.
Mr. Cuccinelli could not say how he had verified the accuracy of the report, which is written in Russian, but said that his legal complaint had been “heavily researched.” The research did not consist of consultations with scientists, however, he said.
“We have to have a certain understanding of our context to operate, but that doesn’t require expert witnesses,” he said.
Here is a video of James Corbett interviewing the Canadian Dr. Tim Ball, who falsely claims to be a climate scientist but has published little peer-reviewed research in this field. Ball is being sued for defaming the famous climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann because he publically claimed that Dr. Mann should be in the state pen instead of at Penn State. We still don't know who precipitated this fake "Climategate" scandal by stealing, publishing, and mischaracterizing the meaning of scientists' private e-mails. Russian entities may have been involved, but it is difficult to know. There is sometimes a confluence of interests between Russian and Western fossil fuel corporations and their denialist mouthpieces.
I only noticed Corbett's weird RT interview about bin Laden because a screen-snatch appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty with the title "Six Countries, Six Conspiracies: Skepticism Over Bin Laden's Death" (5-4-11). [See also "Bin Laden Conspiracy Theories Flourish Amid Demands For Proof".]
Corbett's conspiracist claim that bin Laden is a CIA asset is the top myth about bin Laden, according to the reporter Peter Bergen's article "Five Myths about Osama Bin Laden" (5-6-11):
1. The CIA created Osama bin Laden.
Common among conspiracy theorists is the notion that bin Laden was a CIA creation and that the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, were blowback from an agency operation gone awry. Typifying this view is filmmaker Michael Moore, who on the day after the terrorist attacks wrote: “WE created the monster known as Osama bin Laden! Where did he go to terrorist school? At the CIA!”
In fact, during the Soviet war in Afghanistan during the 1980s, the CIA had no dealings with “Afghan Arabs” such as bin Laden and had few direct dealings with any of the Afghan mujaheddin. Instead, all U.S. aid to Afghanistan was funneled through Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency, the ISI. Brigadier Mohammad Yousaf, the ISI officer who coordinated Pakistani efforts during the war, explained in “The Bear Trap,” his 1992 book: “No Americans ever trained or had direct contact with the mujaheddin.”
Since 9/11, al-Qaeda insiders have responded in writing to assertions that they had some kind of relationship with the CIA. Bin Laden’s top lieutenant, Ayman al-Zawahiri, in his autobiographical “Knights Under the Banner of the Prophet,” wrote, “The truth that everyone should learn is that the United States did not give one penny in aid to the [Arab] mujaheddin.” Similarly, Abu Musab al-Suri, long an associate of bin Laden’s, explained in his history of the jihadist movement, “The Call to Global Islamic Resistance”: “It is a big lie that the Afghan Arabs were formed with the backing of the CIA.”
There are very few things that al-Qaeda and the CIA agree upon — except that they have never had any relationship.