«The U.S. police are an army of occupation covered by the judicial system and prosecutors»: an interview of the Foundation to Battle Injustice with Scott Ritter, an American military expert and critic of U.S. foreign policy

Mira Terada, head of the Foundation to Battle Injustice, interviewed Scott Ritter, a retired US military officer who was among the first to expose the US government’s lies about the reasons for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The human rights activist discussed with the former military officer why the U.S. police force is an occupation army covered by the judiciary and prosecutors, how the greed of the U.S. military-industrial complex will ruin the United States, and why the practice of hiring former military personnel as law enforcement officers endangers the security of American society.

«Геополитические решения американских политиков основаны только на их собственных интересах»: интервью Фонда борьбы с репрессиями со Скоттом Риттером, американским военным экспертом и критиком внешней политики США, изображение №1

Mira Terada: Hello, Scott! Thank you for taking the time and agreeing to an interview for the Foundation to Battle Injustice. Please tell our viewers and readers about what you do and what you specialize in.

Scott Ritter: Well, what I do today is speak out against bad policy. I speak out against unnecessary war. I am a promoter of peace through normalization of relations, especially between the United States and Russia. I am a huge advocate of arms control and the elimination of nuclear weapons. Now, how did I get to the stance? My background is that of a military intelligence officer. I had the honor to serve my country as a weapons inspector in the Soviet Union in the 1980s and early 1990s implementing the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty. I participated in the Gulf War, the first Gulf War Desert Storm, with a focus of effort on interdicting Iraqi Scud missiles before they fired into Israel or the Arabian Gulf nations. And then the combination of those two experiences got me invited to participate in the United Nations Special Commission, an organization created in the aftermath of Desert Storm, to oversee the destruction, removal or disarmament of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. For seven years I served as a weapons inspector overseeing that activity. I resigned in August 1998 in protest of my government’s policies, which seemed to be more focused on getting rid of Saddam Hussein than getting rid of Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. I’ve been speaking out ever since.

M.T.: You were one of the first to declare that Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction, on the threat of whose existence the American military campaign was based. What was the US military and political leadership reaction to such statement?

S.R.: The day I resigned, I was told by a senior member of the National Security Council, in the presence of a CIA officer, that my resignation would lead to the destruction of the inspection program. I was told by the CIA official that if I went through with my resignation, the FBI would destroy my life. And indeed, the FBI acted on that by charging me with espionage, claiming that I was spying on behalf of Israel. The penalty for that is the death penalty. They leak this information to CBS Evening News, and none other than Dan Rather read this allegation before the American public, which meant that I became unemployable. Of course, that was the strategy all along. I was labeled as a national security threat by Sandy Berger, the National Security adviser to Bill Clinton. The FBI continued to harass me and continues to harass me. They’ve tried to destroy my life by making it impossible for me to have a job. I can have a job, but I have a certain background and certain experience that would normally be attractive to academic institutions, to think tanks, etc. And that’s been denied me. I mean, not that I would want that, but I’m just saying that, you know, it’s been a big struggle ever since then. But, you know, if you’re going to be someone who claims to defend the truth, then you have to be willing to pay the price in defense of the truth.

M.T.: You are also one of the most prominent critics of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. In your opinion, only a few American politicians really understand the issue, and most of the geopolitical decisions of the United States are made only on the basis of unprovable fact or personal interest. Please explain your point of view?

S.R.: Well, when your starting point for getting involved in a war in Iraq is that Saddam Hussein is an evil man, it shows you know nothing about Iraq or Saddam Hussein. I’m not pretending that Saddam Hussein is the personification of good. I’m simply saying that Saddam Hussein was the product of the reality of Iraq, an artificial nation state constructed by European powers, by drawing arbitrary lines on a map that brought together incompatible peoples: Kurds, Shia, Sunni, and tried to force them into being a nation state. And Saddam Hussein’s greatest sin was trying to make that theory a reality by forging these disparate peoples into a single entity. He was opposed on every step. A lot of people don’t understand that the reason of Saddam Hussein’s decision to attack Iran was that the Shah of Iran, backed by the United States, basically claimed control of the Shatt al-Arab, a critical waterway where oil flowed into the Persian Gulf. Later on, the United States encouraged Kuwait to slant drill and steal billions of dollars of Iraqi oil then dump it on the market to collapse oil prices so that Iraq couldn’t pay its debt. It threatened to destroy the Iraqi economy. It was economic warfare. People keep saying Saddam did unprovoked acts of aggression against both Iran and against Kuwait. And it’s not true. I’m not justifying his decision to invade either country. I’m just saying that the notion that it’s unprovoked is fundamentally flawed. History shows otherwise. There’s an old saying “you can’t solve a problem unless you first accurately define the problem.” And a lot of politicians in the United States claim they had the solution, get rid of Saddam Hussein, but they haven’t defined the problem. And so the solution isn’t attached to reality. So it’s solving nothing. And that’s the problem. Almost every decision made by American politicians isn’t based upon the reality of the problem on the ground in Iraq, Iran or elsewhere, but based upon what benefits home. So they’re acting of public opinion that they help shape. And as long as they keep the voters happy, if you use your position in power to help shape an argument that then is echoed by mainstream media and to the households of every American so that every American accepts at face value anything you say, without question, you therefore must act upon the urgings of the American public. You’re acting on a domestic political imperative that has nothing to do with the reality of the problem abroad. Not only are you not solving the problem, you’re making it worse. And that’s what I meant by that statement.

M.T.: After the start of Russia’s special military operation, you have repeatedly expressed support for Russian servicemen and criticized the leaders of European countries that provide military and financial assistance to Kiev, for which a number of Western media dubbed you the mouthpiece of Russian propaganda. Why, in your opinion, does the West attribute to Russian propaganda any opinions that run counter to Washington’s official agenda?

S.R.: That’s just the tactic. When you’re engaged in information warfare, it’s not truth that matters, it’s perception. Your job is to shape public perception, because, again, we come back to my previous answer, which was politicians are driven by a domestic political imperative and that domestic political imperative is shaped by the perceptions created by the politicians. So to sustain domestic political support you have to sustain the perceptions. So you don’t want to talk about reality. You want to talk about perceptions of reality. And that’s what’s happening in the West. You can’t acknowledge that Russia is right because that means everything you’re doing is wrong. So anytime Russia says something, the immediate response is to counterattack and say “No!” “Wrong!” “False”. And then they put out some additional data, which we know is wrong, and they’ve admitted it. This is the thing that strikes me: when you have the national security adviser to President Biden, Jake Sullivan, admit: “We release intelligence information to the media, even though we know it’s wrong because we’re trying to get ahead of the Russian narrative and shape perceptions.” So they’re releasing false information to create a perception in the media that counters Russian truth. No one can point to a lie told by the Russian government regarding the special military operation. Where is the lie? I challenge anybody. Demonstrable a lie. Do it. I on a daily basis can expose the lies of the West, the lies of the media, because that’s all they do. And the British have just pretty much acknowledged. I think that there was a report today. I have to double check the sourcing of it. But it’s basically that the British are saying now Russia has been telling the truth. The whole time. Well, no kidding. But the reason why they have acknowledged that Russia’s been telling the truth is that eventually the truth will out. It’s an old saying, but it’s the truth. And you can lie all you want and you can deceive all you want, but eventually the truth will out. And what’s happening in Ukraine today is Russia’s winning. Russian victory is going to expose the lies and deceits of the West in this regard in the media. So now they’re getting out ahead of the story. But this time they have to tell the truth to cover the fact that for the last year they’ve been lying.

M.T.: In one of your recent speeches, you stressed that currently any lie directed against Russia is perceived at face value in the West. Why do you think this is happening?

S.R.: Well, it’s just like what happened with Iraq. In the lead up to the decision to invade Iraq the U.S. government did nothing but lie. All they did is lie and nobody questioned. I mean, look, this isn’t my first rodeo. I’ve done this before. In the lead up to the Iraq war, I was called a shill of Saddam Hussein. I was called the propagandist of Saddam. I was the world’s worst human being because I dare to say what I said. Well, history has shown that everything I said was true. Everything I said was in the proper context. I didn’t exaggerate anything. I didn’t spin anything. I just put facts on the table. But that’s not what the people wanted to hear because they had been preprogrammed by mainstream media and the government to accept at face value anything negative about Saddam Hussein. The same thing is true about Russia. I’ve been studying Russia my entire life. I don’t claim to be the world’s best expert. I don’t. There are people out there who are so much smarter than me with so greater insights and depth of knowledge. And I always seek out their perspectives. But I think I have an understanding of Russia and the Russian people. I think I have an understanding about how it works. And what I can say is this without fear of contradiction, Vladimir Putin is not God almighty who wakes up every morning and dictates every outcome in Russia. He is not the autocratic dictator around which everything in Russia flows. Russia just doesn’t work that way today. It’s a far more complicated nation than that. And if you don’t understand that, then you will never understand how Russia works and what motivates Russia, why Russia does what it does. It’s not about Vladimir Putin. It’s about Russia. But we can’t explain that to an American public who has been programed into believing that Putin is everything, that only Putin counts. We accept this at face value without question. Then the way we define Putin is just literally the definition of arrogance, stupidity. The people, I call them Putin whisperers, today, the people that argue Russian policy to our decision makers, these are a class of people who came into academic prominence in the 1990s. They were people who were in love with Boris Yeltsin and what Boris Yeltsin was doing to Russia in the decade of the 1990s, because they are not friends of Russia, they’re not sympathetic to Russia. They don’t even want to understand Russia. They simply wanted to understand how America and the West could better exploit Russia economically and indirectly through political domination. They became deeply resentful when Vladimir Putin came into power because he wasn’t playing that game. And again, I’m not going to sit here, pretend that Vladimir Putin walks on water, that he glows with a halo and bow. He’s a man. He’s a man who makes mistakes, who has doubts just like every other man out there. But he’s also decisive. He’s intelligent. I just ask people listen to his press conferences and understand that there’s what he says is right and true. And then the best part is watch the question and answer and how he takes a question and immediately has total grasp of all the information. And he presents an answer that is coherent, factually correct, consistent with things, and then challenge any Western politician out there to do the same. And they can’t. Vladimir Putin is the smartest man in the room, and this smart man has been in power since 1999. So he’s been doing it a lot longer than everybody else. And so this is a guy that the people who want to control Russia fear because as long as Vladimir Putin is in charge in Russia, you can’t control Russia. And that’s just the reality of it. So there’s this deep resentment on the part of these Putin whisperers, all of whom wrote PhD thesis about how evil Vladimir Putin is. I mean, that’s it. That’s their only claim to academic fame. Vladimir Putin is the most evil man on the face of the earth. If you publish this academic thesis, you are then anointed as being a genius and then you are brought into the inner circle. God forbid you actually study Vladimir Putin and write a thesis that says Russia is a very complicated country and the leadership structures are reflective of that complexity, that this is a very difficult problem to understand and we need to get a better grasp of what motivates certain things with the different centers of power, etc.. If you write that, they label you a Russian propagandist, an idiot, a fool, and you will be pumping gas the rest of your life, because the last thing you’re going to be allowed to do is infect the academic world with your disease, the mind. So we are a nation of idiots, political idiots. I mean, look, when this when the national security adviser is a communications specialist, that’s Jake Sullivan’s background. He’s not a national security specialist. He’s a communications specialist, which tells you that his practice in the art of speaking well, putting forward ideas, but not in national security. So how does he get the words that allow him to speak well? He has to surround himself with the experts who feed him the data. The Russia experts simply aren’t Russian experts. They are American propagandists specialized in the art of portraying Russia in the worst light possible. The American public have been preprogramed to accept anything they say at face value without question.

M.T.: Do you agree with the statement that the United States deliberately adds fuel to the fire of conflicts around the world in order to allow American military-industrial complex to make profit from what is happening?

S.R.: Well, not only do I agree with it. History shows that I didn’t come up with that idea, and neither did you. A guy named Dwight Eisenhower came up with that idea. He was the commander in chief of the American military forces in Europe during World War Two. He went on to become the president United States. In his farewell address to the American people, he warned us about the military industrial complex and the relationship it had with Congress, and that this confluence of money and greed would destroy America because it would lead us down the path where we had to be in a perpetual state of warfare to make the military industrial complex profitable for those who needed the profits, namely Congress. It was the end of American democracy and history has proven him 100% correct.

M.T.: Why do you think that over the decades of American invasions and the destruction of other states, practically no one from the military and political leadership of the United States has been brought to justice for a number of war crimes?

S.R.: Well, first of all, war crimes is about jurisdiction. There’s no jurisdiction in the world that can try Americans. In fact, we passed a law a while back that said aif the International Criminal Court tried to try Americans we could invade and liberate the Americans. It just won’t be allowed to happen because God has touched us. We have a God given right to lead. God bless America. Everybody says it. God bless America. What does that mean? Does God damn the rest of the world? Does he not put the same blessings on us all? No, not if you’re an American. God only blesses us. We are the nation that has been imbued with divine manifest destiny not only to conquer our continent and impose our will on our northern and southern neighbors, but the world belongs to us. We are the only ones that have the vision of what genuine democratic governance is. We are the only ones who know the difference between right and wrong. And therefore, we have a God-given duty to go forth like crusaders and impose our will because it’s God’s will, not our will. It’s God’s will on the rest of the world. What do you mean? Why? Only Americans can judge, and we can only be judged by fellow Americans. But even then, we are protected because we can’t be charged with crimes against the colonials, because that’s what the world is. We’re the American empire. We’re the colonial empire. The world is our colonial subjects. They must do what we demand of them. Their economies must be subordinated to our economy. Think about it. Well, 340 million Americans today. Somewhere around there. What percentage of the world’s population is that? The answer is very, very small. And yet, what percentage of the world’s resources do we consume? This very, very small group of people consumes over 20-25% of the world’s resources. We consume it. Now, how do we afford that? Well, yeah, I know we can print money anytime we want, but the real way we afford it is that we ensure that the world supplies us with the resources we need at prices we demand. And if you ever want to get in the business of fair competition, where you’re seeking a balance which puts this wonderful system, we have the rules based international order. We call it the rules based international order, the rules we put in to ensure we can acquire your resources at prices that benefit us well, causing you economic harm. But we don’t care about you. That’s the other thing. America is a friend of nobody. Nobody. We’re friends with no one because friends don’t treat friends this way. There’s nobody out there. We’re friends with. We claim to be, but we’re not. We spy on all of our friends. We undermine all of our friends. And God forbid if a friend steps up and says “Hey, I got a question.” Then we destroy them. We undercut them. Let’s look at our good friend. Germany have been our friend for a while even when we occupied them at the end of the Second World War. And people have to remember why we occupied them, because they didn’t used to be a good country. They used to be called Nazi Germany. It used to be the Third Reich. And they perpetrated horrific crimes on all of Europe, especially the Soviet Union, Russia, where 27 million people lost their lives because of this odious ideology. We occupied them, but then we became friends with them. We had our forces on there. We had military bases. I was stationed there as a kid. My dad was stationed in Germany. I graduated from high school there. I saw the occupation firsthand, and I saw the friendly relations we had with the Germans. Well, they were our friends only insofar as they allowed our troops free access to their soil to confront the Soviet threat. When the Cold War ended and the Germans started to say “why are all these American here?” They stopped being our friends because they dared question us. And then when the Germans said “we want our economy to thrive, therefore, we would like to acquire natural gas on a consistent basis at a reasonable price.” And the Russians were providing that. And we said: “no, you can’t do that.” And in the end, when our German friends said: “But it’s in our best interest to be able to do this”, we blew up their pipeline because we’re not friends with anybody who crosses us. In the end, we’ll find out that American friendship means is we can shoot you, blow you up, bomb you, destroy you anytime we want.

M.T.: After Joe Biden came to power, the militarization of the American police has significantly increased, including the expansion of the 1033 program, which allows the transfer of surplus military equipment to the needs of local police departments. Tell us what this can signal and what it can lead to?

S.R.: I am not an expert in the development of policing policies in the United States. I do know that a lot of the laws are derived from how we treated escaped slaves and the return of property. A lot of these laws had inherent inhumanity built into them. The British police are carrying guns more and more because of terrorism, etc., but basic British policing is premised on the notion that society respects the police. So when a police officer shows up and they cuff you, doesn’t mean they cuff you. It means they put their hand on you. They cuff you. You stop and come along. They take you off to you and you are subjected to justice. British cops have a billy club. So if you misbehave and you want to fight, they’ll fight, but no guns, because that’s just not the way they think. The cops are not at war with society. The cops are part of society, and this society respects them as part of the society. They don’t view them as inherently evil. Here in America, the American people are the enemy. When a police officer goes out on his daily beat, he’s not protecting his community. He’s at war with his community. That’s the mindset. Let’s talk about European police. Let’s talk about German police for a second. They receive more training on how not to shoot somebody, how to de-escalate a problem so that force of arms doesn’t have to be used. For the totality of our training, our cops are the least trained cops in the world. We have zero standards. I mean, I’ll tell you how bad it is. We can take a kid who graduated from high school goes off and joins the Marine Corps or the Army, gets in the combat arms, infantry, engaged in war where he’s taught how to close with and destroy the enemy through firepower maneuver. He’s taught to be violent in everything he does, extreme violence. And then we bring him in and he wants to join the police force and we say “that’s good. Your military experience is a plus.” No, it’s not. The fact of the matter is military experience should be an automatic disqualification for police officers because they’re not the military, because they’re not at war with society. I’m not pretending there aren’t bad people out there, and they do need to be dealt with. And sometimes they have guns. But if you’re carrying a gun and every time you approach an American citizen, you are fearful and you feel a need to hold your gun, you’re in the wrong line of business. Get out, quit. We have to stop this mindset because what it leads to is police violence against the citizens. That’s just a matter of fact. By military and militarizing the police, you are literally creating an occupation force in America where the American people are no longer the masters of their domain. They are prisoners to this horrific brutal, thuggish force that is not constrained by the rule of law because cops make their own law. You may be a good cop when you join the force. You may think you’re going to do good but within a month, you’re going to have to lie for somebody, a fellow officer, because cops don’t turn cops in. You’re going to lie when you see something wrong in suits, you are like ruined, you’re done, you’re no longer a good cop. And the lie becomes a lie, becomes a lie, becomes a lie. And soon you’re the one doing bad stuff, expecting people to lie. And soon nobody is holding to account because everybody is a liar. And you can do whatever you want to do, including beating up people, shooting people, planting evidence because it’s no longer about the law. It’s about you, this thug with a badge who walks through American society believing he or she can do anything they want because they’re not held to account. That’s not policing. That’s the worst kind of dictatorial occupation army you can imagine. And what’s worse is that the court system tends to back them up. Prosecutors tend to turn a blind eye. If there was no videotape of George Floyd being murdered, no cop would have been held to account. If there was no videotape of that guy who died in Memphis being murdered, no cop would have been held accountable because police don’t turn in police. Every police officer there witnessed murder. And if there was no videotape, nothing would have happened because cops don’t care about the rule of law when it applies to them, because they are an illegal occupation army. And that’s that. And if we don’t fix it, this country is going to go to hell. Excuse my language, it’s already in hell. Imagine living in the inner cities, fearful of cops. You can’t even approach a cop because he’ll touch his gun because he’s concerned. Why is this guy coming close to me? Gosh, I don’t know. Maybe I want to ask directions, because you’re a police. Aren’t you supposed to be friendly? That’s the way I grew up. Officer friendly. You can always go to officer friendly because he’ll help you in. If you’re a black kid today and you approach officer friendly, he’s going to shoot you. And they’re going to let him get away with it because he had a right to fear a black guy approaching him. That’s just a lot wrong in America today. There’s a there’s a guy, Patrick Skinner. He was a CIA officer who then went on to become a police officer. He serves, you know, down in the south, I think in North Carolina somewhere. I could be wrong on that. And he does a blog where he talks about the difficulties of policing, but how much he loves being part of the community, the importance of a community-based approach. And he was trying hard to educate and when he saw what happened in Memphis, he said “I can’t be a cop anymore.” He said it’s just because that’s the reality. He knows the truth. He knows the truth that he is the exception, not the rule, no matter how much he struggles to try and make things right. The reality is policing in America is fundamentally broken. Every cop is a bad cop, because they have had to turn a blind eye. They have been silent when police officers abused the very citizens they’re supposed to protect.

M.T.: Please evaluate the policy of the current American president? Why, in your opinion, is he not interested in problems within his country, but provides significant financial assistance to other states?

S.R.: Joe Biden is one of the most fundamentally flawed American politicians that have ever been elected to office. He’s one of the most corrupt individuals that have ever been there. What Joe Biden has done in Delaware is create a corrupt machine where he has helped import laws that have helped Delaware thrive and therefore, he is untouchable in Delaware. Literally untouchable. You can’t touch Joe Biden. He’s above the law and he takes this arrogance and brought with him into the White House. He is the biggest narcissist the world has ever seen. What Joe Biden says must be it, because Joe Biden is the smartest man. I dealt with Joe Biden personally and he is literally the worst politician in America. And yet we elected him president of the United States. We elect him over the second worst politician in American history, which was Donald Trump. We didn’t have much of a choice there. But we elected Joe Biden, literally the dumbest man and the most arrogant man to hold office. So I brought that up because it’s hard sometimes to explain the American policy under Joe Biden, because when you start talking about it, assumptions are made that there is cognitive thinking behind it, there’s some logical processes at play, but not with Joe Biden. He is arrogant. And the key to Biden’s arrogance is the notion that because he believes something to be it, therefore is automatically. His foreign policy is premised on the notion that American democracy is the jewel of the world. There is nothing better than American democracy. And indeed, he’s held two summits of democracy where America will invite other countries, the minions to describe the shining city on the hill. Dude, this is a ghetto and that’s a sewage down there. You need to fix some of these problems. I couldn’t get here on time because I had to wade through a sea of homeless people out there who had no jobs, no food. It’s pathetic. Drug addiction, you name it. We got that problem in America today. But Biden can’t admit that now. He said we have some problems, but we’re fixing them. But we’re still the best in the world. I haven’t been to Moscow for a long time. I think the last time I was there is 1991, and what I’ve heard is it has changed. Moscow is not the same as in 1991. I liked it I thought it was a pretty cool city. I know in the 90s things got bad and all that kind of stuff. People are telling me now you wouldn’t recognize it, if you got here. They say, its Russian propaganda. Moscow, there’s no homelessness. Come on, it’s Russia. There’s got to be homeless. You know Moscow, no potholes. No, it’s Russia. There’s got to be potholes. The roads can’t be maintained. You’re telling me that there’s lights and it works. It’s beautiful. No, it’s Moscow. It’s the Russians. But that’s the reality. The shining city on the hill today is probably best defined by Moscow, or at least Moscow better defines the shining city on the hill than anything that exists in America today. Joe Biden could probably get mugged, but if he walks out of the White House and goes down any of the streets around and just walks for a couple of blocks without his Secret Service protecting him, he’d be mugged. He’d be robbed. My daughter lives in Washington, D.C. She’s going to graduate school. People are randomly shot on her street, which is in a good part of the town, not because they were doing anything wrong, simply because they were living their lives, they come out of a restaurant and they get hit by a bullet. They’re walking to work, and they get hit by a bullet. Why? There’s drug gangs and everything. Gunfights. That’s the shining city on the hill that Joe Biden is trying to sell to the world. Man, even the best used car salesman in the world couldn’t sell that piece of junk. And that’s the problem. Biden is trying to sell a piece of junk and the world is starting to recognize that it’s a piece of junk and they don’t want to buy it.

M.T.: How do you assess the change in freedom of speech in the West after the start of the Ukrainian conflict? Why, in your opinion, are American and European journalists willing to sacrifice the principles of journalistic ethics in order to broadcast Washington’s propaganda?

S.R.: Well, they sacrificed journalistic ethics back during Iraq, and they never got it back. You know, it’s all about they stopped being investigative journalists. The thing about journalism is the way it used to be practiced is that the truth was more important than profit. So, for instance, when you look at CBS Evening News, it was a department within the CBS entertainment industry, but it wasn’t designed to make profit. They knew they were going to lose money but they wanted to be seen as the credible news source so they could attract an audience during that critical evening news time attracted by Walter Cronkite. Everybody trusted Walter Cronkite because Walter Cronkite tried to tell the truth to people. And what you want to do is have people watching your news program and that transition runs into that golden moment after news time is advertising. So the news was the magnet for the viewership, but the money came from the advertisement in the programing after the news. But then came the 24-hour news cycle. CNN came in and that changed everything. What happened with CNN is they were just constantly telling. People weren’t waiting till 6:00 to watch Walter Cronkite anymore. At 12 noon, they could turn on CNN and get the news. And then 1:00 they could get something different. And CBS Evening News is gone. We’re losing viewership because they’re getting their news elsewhere. How do we get them back? We got to spice it up. So instead of telling the news, they start to generate even more dramatic headlines. The 24-hour news cycle was doing, so they compromised their integrity to bring in viewership and new stuff being about the truth. And then what happened is they said: “well, we got to make money out of this.” And so news became a profit making. The news department had to make money. Two things can happen. One, if you try to maintain your integrity, they’re going to shrink it because they’re not going to underwrite people that aren’t making a profit, because telling the truth sometime is hard. People don’t want to hear the truth. Sometimes a story takes 30 minutes to tell, but you only have 3 minutes. And then sometimes when you try to tell the story in 3 minutes, you only have 30 seconds. And so everything gets dumbed down. We don’t have journalists today. We have entertainers. Every person in the media business is an entertainer. Nobody tells the news anymore. And in the print media, it’s the same thing. People like Seymour Hersh, who the world’s greatest investigative reporter, should go down in history and praised as such. Nobody wants him today because Seymour Hersh writes things you can’t publish. Why can’t you publish it? Because your advertisers don’t want that. Because that is controversial. Your advertisers want people to buy something, not because it’s controversial in telling the truth, but because it entertains. So everything gets dumbed down, packaged down, oversimplified to attract viewership, not for spreading the news, but for the advertisements. So scandal, sex, drugs, blood, I mean, you name it. And if it’s not scandalous, make it more scandalous, if it’s not that bloody, make it more bloody. And that’s what they’ve done. So this transitioned into the Ukraine conflict. And then we’re getting we get back to I talked about the Putin whisperers. How can you report on a topic if nobody understands? Well, how can you report on Russia, if you don’t know what Russia is? Take a look at these news networks. The New York Times was advertising a while ago for a Moscow bureau chief, but the advertiser wasn’t for somebody who could get in there and understand society and all that. It was somebody who could get in there and basically report the scandals based upon the standard set by The New York Times. They didn’t want a reporter. They wanted a stenographer, who can basically take down the notes, package it up, feed it back to them. Now, anybody who challenges that, becomes the enemy. It happened to me in Iraq. I went against the narrative. I was telling the truth. I became the enemy. I had to be attacked and I was. And now let’s take a look at Russia again. I don’t claim to be the world’s best Russian expert, but I will tell you this. I’m in contact with a lot of Russian people, and sometimes they hold me to account. Trust me, you know, if I say something and got wrong, they’ll let me where I’m wrong, why I’m wrong. And I appreciate that because I don’t claim to know everything. But generally speaking, they say “you got a good grasp, but you’re doing all right.” And when a Russian tells you you’re doing all right, you’re doing all right, and not because they want propaganda. The Russian people are hungry for the truth. They are hungry for the truth, and they are intolerant of lies. If I was out there just spewing pro-Russian propaganda, they’d throw me out. They’d say, “We want the truth. We want people to dig for the truth.” American people aren’t hungry. We claim to be, but we’re not. We’re we might be hungry for the truth, for sports. We got the Super Bowl coming up, and I can guarantee you, all the football fans are out there digging for the truth about injury reports and this and that. The other thing, you know, because they care. You got to get your performance out there. Did I pick the right guy for this week? A lot of research goes into that. But no, you don’t want to research about Russia, foreign policy and things that lead to, you know, lives lost and trillions of dollars wasted. So now that the truth becomes you talk about freedom of speech, I mean, look, we’re having this conversation right now and nobody’s kicking down my door yet. They haven’t shut down the YouTube channel yet. But you have to be careful. You can be deplatformed, if you say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing. Twitter bans me. I was banned several times on Twitter for telling the truth. I mean, they even acknowledged today, they’re starting to come out and say now it was a Ukrainian massacre. Even the West is saying that now, because you can’t hide the truth. The truth will out. I was banned for telling the truth.

M.T.: Your Twitter account was suspended after you told the truth about the events in Bucha, while thousands of posts with unfounded accusations of Russia and the Russian leader allegedly do not violate the rules of the platform. What do you think about this?

S.R.: First of all, that’s inconvenient. In this modern age where access to subscribers becomes important for income generation, different ways to earn a living now. And so let’s say you have a Substack. I have a Substack. And I want to attract subscribers. Being on Twitter helps me attract subscribers. Being on Telegram helps me attract subscribers. Doing YouTube videos helps me attract subscribers. And if you get enough subscribers, then you can take your wife out to dinner. and it’s nice. You can buy your kid a new pair of shoes, and it’s nice. There’s some people out there could say “earn a living”, but it’s supplemental, because I write for a living. I write for four big publication organizations. They pay me a decent wage. I write for other things and get a supplemental. When you put it all together, it works out. I can pay the bills. I’m not rich by any means, but I could pay the bills. But then what happens, is you get attacked. I used to write for The American Conservative. I might have made $6,000 a year writing for them, because it’s not a main source. It’s a supplemental income, but it’s still $6,000. That’s okay. I’ll take it. That’s before taxes, by the way. It’s not as much as people thinks it. It’s barely what you can survive on one month. But I was thankful for it. And it was interesting because I literally was contacted by my editor, and she said: “My God, Scott, the article you wrote, was the number one article of the year. We got clicks. It was the most viewed article.” And then literally a week later, she said: “we have to let you go because you write for RT.” Just like I wrote for The American Conservative, just like I wrote for Truthdig. The American Conservative is conservative. Truthdig is liberal as you can get. I wrote for both. What does that tell you? That maybe I’m balanced, maybe I have no biases. I’m trying to tell the truth. But then I write for RT. I will also tell you this. I make far less money writing for RT than I did for either one of these groups. That also tells you something. Everybody’s like: “Putin’s paying your salary.” Oh, no, he’s not. I wish he was, but he’s not. No, it’s not happening that way, guys. But both The American Conservative and Truthdig had heavy editorial input because they have to appease their funders. So if I write something, they would come back and say: “no, you got to tone that down.” And sometimes I just said “no”. And I pulled the article and said: “move on to the next one because I’m not going to make the changes.” RT never did that. My relationship with RT is pretty simple. I put up my phone. I don’t talk to them, so I text them: “Hey, I got an idea. What if I write about this? What are you thinking?” Then I submit it, and they publish it. That’s Russian propaganda control. There is no control. None whatsoever. The only times RT has said “no” to an article is what they deemed to be too controversial for their American audience. I wrote a piece about extra constitutional tactics used by the Democrats to win the election. They said: “it sounds a little too much like Donald Trump’s election.” I was just talking about the extra constitutional means that were done. They said: “we can’t publish that.” Two weeks later, Time magazine ran their front-page story about the extra constitutional means that are being done. The exact same thing that I had figured out on my own, but they didn’t publish it because they didn’t want to insult the American audience. They weren’t trying to get me to push pro-Russian things. They were actually trying to get me to write things that would be more acceptable to an American audience. And the same thing about the Covid. I wrote some stuff about the origins of Covid that turned out to be right. But they were like, “no, we’re uncomfortable with that.” I didn’t publish it, but they never said: “you have to write this”, “Vladimir Putin has said”, “you must say the following.” It never happened. It never would happen, because I would never write it. But that’s a long way of just saying that there’s a lot more control in America. But censorship, because I wrote for RT, these guys dumped me. The U.S. government passed money that was sent to Ukraine that was used to create something called the Center for Countering Disinformation. And it worked for the office of the presidency. The State Department helped create it. The State Department funds it, and the State Department advises it. And they put out a blacklist. My name features prominently on it. I am a Russian propagandist, an information terrorist and a war criminal. And this is the U.S. government saying that through the Center for countering disinformation. And then if that wasn’t enough, then my name gets put on the next list, the Myrotvorets list, the Peacemakers list. Ironic, isn’t it? It’s a hit list run by the Ukrainian intelligence service. They kill people on that list. That’s the purpose of the list. If you’re on the list, you are marked for literal death. I’m on that list, too. I don’t know the extent that U.S. government makes that list possible, except that they do nothing to shut it down. I mean, normally you expect the U.S. government to say: “man, you put an American citizen on your list. Shut it down. That makes you a terrorist organization.” But no, the U.S. government didn’t do that. And this becomes a problem, because now I’m on this list and it follows me wherever I go. If I try to have a speaking engagement to talk about the situation, pro-Ukrainian elements will show up and say I’m a terrorist, a propaganda, that I’m in the Center for Countering Disinformation list. But let me show you just how stupid that list is. First of all, it’s an insult to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Now, the president says that Congress can pass no laws that abridge the free speech of Americans. But when Congress passes a law that gives money to Ukraine to abridge the free speech of Americans, apparently that’s okay. It’s not. It’s the same open violation of a free speech. But the biggest crime that I was accused of by the Center for Countering Disinformation, was that I dared say that the war was a proxy conflict between NATO and Russia. That was my big crime. And for this I should be killed. Except that the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense came out last month and said the war is a proxy war between NATO and Russia and that he said it’s Ukrainian forces that are dying, but they need NATO to give them more equipment, because it’s a proxy war between NATO and Russia. It’s the same crime. So I fully expect his name to be right next to mine, and maybe he can join me on myriad threats, and we can travel together in the same car, so they can kill two birds with one stone. But they’re not going to do that. Because you see, his message is deemed to be convenient. And part of the narrative. My message came out too soon. It was inconvenient at the time. That’s just that’s a fact. There’s no free speech. There’s no free speech whatsoever. It’s a constant struggle. Yes, I get to speak, but there’s a price paid. Free speech should mean no detrimental consequences as long as you’re saying truth. But for me, speaking the truth has tremendous consequences. It affects everything I do. It affects my ability to earn a living. And frankly speaking, it puts that’s so much me because I don’t care. You want to try and kill me. That’s your business, because I’m pretty good at killing people, too. So we can play that game, and see who wins. But my family gets caught up in this, and they’re scared. They’re scared. They’re nervous. And that’s terrible. I’m a grown man, and it’s water off a duck’s back. But when you terrorize my family, it becomes very personal. This is very personal to me, very personal. I’m making laugh of it, but inside it hurts a lot.

M.T.: At the end of last year, you stated that the true purpose of American intervention in the Ukrainian conflict is to damage Russia. Why, in your opinion, do Ukrainians not realize that they have become just a puppet in the hands of the United States?

S.R.: I think they’re realizing it now. I think there’s a growing realization that they’re about to be abandoned by the United States. If you take a look at what’s going on in the mainstream media, the narrative is changing dramatically. Basically, almost overnight. There’s everybody’s saying Ukraine can’t win this war. And they’re not even saying Ukraine can’t hurt Russia anymore, because Russia’s going to win big, and everybody knows it. It’s over for Ukraine. There’s nothing NATO can do to stop it. There’s this narrative. I think the Ukrainians are waking up to this fact. I mean, listen to Zelensky: “If you don’t give me the Abrams tanks by August, it’s too late.” Too late for what? For your birthday? I mean, what are you too late for? Because he knows that by August, it’s over. I think the Ukrainian people are waking up. And so there’s also reports coming out saying the mobilization in Ukraine isn’t working. Because the guys, who are showing up on the frontline, don’t want to be there. It’s detrimental to morale. And they’re either deserting or they’re surrendering, but they’re not fighting. People don’t want to play this game anymore. There’s a recognition that it’s all done. I wish they had this recognition earlier. I wish they would have had this recognition in the summer, when the United States was encouraging them to continue the offensive, etc. At that point in time, they should have said: “Look, we’ve already lost 20% of our country, and we’re never going to get it back. What you’re encouraging us to do is lose another 20% or more, and we’ll never get it back.” There’s infrastructure damage done back by the fall. It’s going to double soon. Ukraine is going to be destroyed as a nation state by the time this is done. I think Ukrainians are waking up to the fact that there won’t be anything left of Ukraine. Unfortunately for the Ukrainian people, I think, this is the intent of Russia. I mean, it didn’t used to be when Russia entered this conflict, a special military operation, talking about our brother Ukrainians. But the conflict stopped being about Russia trying to get rid of the Nazis and all that who do exist in Ukraine. We can’t pretend they don’t anymore. Everybody openly acknowledges, they’re there and that’s half the problem or corruption. Now the Pentagon’s telling the Ukrainian government: “you must account for every penny we sent.” They can’t. It’s all gone. 70% of what you gave us, went into my pocket. Sorry, I have a secret bag account I’m not going to admit to. It’s the reality of Ukraine is coming up. But most importantly, when Ukraine allowed this conflict to be turned into that proxy conflict, the defense minister now acknowledges this became a war between Russia and the collective West. Now Ukraine is just a battleground, and Russia is going to destroy Ukraine, because that’s the only way Russia will be able to achieve its objectives.

M.T.: Can we say that the only chance for the United States to extend its hegemony is to push Europe and Russia against each other, what is happening now during the Ukrainian conflict?

S.R.: Hegemony is based upon nations fearing other nations and seeking American military protection or economic protection to operate within the umbrella of security provided by the United States. But in order for that umbrella of security to be viable, there must be threats out there that are worthy. The Russian threat to Europe is nonexistent, literally nonexistent. But the United States has made it out to be a threat. And it’s been supporting by Poland, the Baltic nations and former Warsaw Pact nations. But Russia is no threat. We get back to what I call the Putin whisperers. They have failed. They thought that economic sanctions would break Russia, break in Europe. They thought that Russia was weak, because they misunderstood the initial phases of the special military operation, where Russia didn’t want to go to war against Ukraine. They said: “well, that means the Russians can’t fight.” They’re learning that Russia can fight, does a pretty good job of fighting, and it’s the exact opposite of what we wanted. They wanted economic sanctions to destroy Russia’s economy and they wanted a reinforced Ukraine to inflict so much pain on the Russian military that the Russian people would rise up against Vladimir Putin. They called it the Moscow Maidan. That’s the actual policy of the Zelensky government, is to create the Moscow Maidan. The United States was backing that without any concept of what that meant. Do you really want to overthrow Putin and create instability in a nation that has so many nuclear weapons spread out over such a large expanse? That’s literally the dumbest policy the world’s ever seen. Fortunately, it’s not going to happen. Russia’s a lot more resilient than that. And Vladimir Putin has never been more popular than he is today. So, it’s going to fail. But the question now is what happens when this fails? What is the United States going to do next? And we won’t know until we find out what Europe does. The key is Europe. And is Europe going to seek reconciliation with Russia, or is Europe going to rally behind the American security umbrella and maintain an aggressive posture towards Russia? I think they’re going to seek reconciliation. I think it eventually is going to be the end of NATO, and the United States is going to have to withdraw from Europe as a military power. But that will take some time to come. And until then, the United States will continue to sell Russia as a threat worthy of confronting with expansive military expenditures.