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Using American Money to Slander Americans To Get More American Money: Ukraine’s New ‘Enemies List’

© Sputnik / Mihail KutusovUS dollars
US dollars - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.06.2024
Last week, a Ukrainian Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) linked to the State Department published a study claiming that hundreds of Americans, including prominent media figures, politicians, and peace organizations, were "mirroring" Kremlin propaganda. The study claims that these figures and groups are hindering additional US aid to Ukraine.
The study was published by a “Data Journalism Agency” TEXTY, which according to The American Conservative was co-founded by Anatoly Bondarenko, who worked as an instructor for the US State Department’s TechCamp program, where he worked as a trainer for the TechForum Ukraine conference that says it taught “60 local journalists, civil society, community leaders, and private sector partners.”
In 2016, USAID and the UK Government awarded an $18 million grant to the Eurasia Foundation to partner with TEXTY and other Ukrainian entities to create the Transparency and Accountability in Public Administration and Services (TAPAS) program in Ukraine, purportedly to fight corruption in the country. Though the program has switched its focus since the start of the special military operation, TAPAS still lists TEXTY as a “partner” on its website.
USAID is a US government-funded NGO that is often accused of acting as a front organization for US intelligence agencies.
The list, titled “Roller Coaster, From Trumpist to Communist. The forces in the US impeding aid to Ukraine and how they do it” consists largely of American individuals, outlets and politicians. Among them are several media outlets and their employees, including The Gray Zone, RT, The American Conservative, Antiwar.com and others.
It also lists 156 politicians, mostly Republicans, including former US President Donald Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Reps Jim Jordan, Matt Gaetz, Rand Paul and Marjorie Taylor-Greene. The list also includes independent candidate for President Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Green Party candidate Jill Stein, and Libertarian National Committee chair Angela McArdle.
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Antiwar activist group Code Pink and its most prominent members were also listed, as was Rage Against the War Machine.
The study admits that most of the people on the list “do not have direct, proven ties to the Russian government or propagandists,” but accuses them of “[echoing] key messages of Russian propaganda aimed at depriving Ukrainians of the ability to defend themselves with Western weapons and funds.”
That this organization, funded at least in part through taxpayer money funneled through USAID on the promise of fighting corruption in Ukraine, is instead using that money to slander American citizens for exercising their constitutional right to free speech about how their taxpayer dollars should be spent.
Americans should be able to sue their government [for sending] money over to a bunch of crooks who then come up with a list of evil people who are a bunch of Americans. Why are my tax dollars paying for this?” asked the co-host of Sputnik’s The Critical Hour, Garland Nixon, who is included on the TEXTY list.
Notably, not a single Democratic lawmaker was included on the list.
“We don’t have one stinking lawmaker on the left who’s representing [leftists who don’t support funding Ukraine] and says enough is enough,” podcast host Craig ‘Pasta’ Jardula told Sputnik. “While they’re listing people like [Nixon] and putting you in danger. This is ridiculous. This is Looney Tunes.”
TEXTY purports to be fighting Russian propaganda, and lists a series of stories it purports have been debunked but are still brought up by those it accuses of echoing Russian propaganda. Among those supposedly debunked stories are the well-documented issue of right-wing neo-Nazis in Ukraine, the publicly acknowledged US Biolabs in Ukraine and the assertion that the 2014 Maidan coup was in fact a coup funded and managed by the United States.
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Jardula said it reminded him of “social engineers.”
“There are these people who actually believe that there were no Biolabs in Ukraine [and they] probably still believe the Russiagate story, right?” Jardula proposed. “It just makes me think that the social engineers, they understand how to move the people, how to dupe the people.”
Outlets like TEXTY depend on low-information viewers who receive most of their news from corporate media outlets. “They control the narrative,” explained Jardula. “[A lot of] people don’t understand that there’s alternative media out there. Most people don’t care because they’re consumed, whether it be with sports or fun, or just consumers trying to put a roof over their head and food on the table.”
Americans in particular are susceptible to anti-Russian propaganda because for decades they have been portrayed as the enemy in movies and TV shows. “You can go all the way back to cartoons and Boris Badenov and Natasha [from The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle],” The Critical Hour co-host Wilmer Leon noted.
“They have the mainstream media in their pockets, so they can just continue to repeat the lie over and over again,” explained Jardula.
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