Bellingcat (OSINT)

DannyL

Wild Horses
what i said was that glancing at their front page my first thought was, this looks suss. and that was based on the fact that there is a war going on between russia and the american-led west. its not about cheering on russia or thinking that the west is 'worser' or 'eviller' than Russia, or wanting the west to fall to the barbarian hordes.
I would say objectively, the Russian state is worse and thank fuck we don't live there.

I accept your point about a war going on though, though mostly the West have been punching bags as opposed to aggressors. Perhaps that'll change with Biden idk.
 

thirdform

Well-known member
Don't get me wrong. Russia is awash with extralegal brute criminal interests directing the flow of politics.

But there is a specific reason why there cannot be that in England (and the US) because the political machine is so attuned to parliamentary procedure do to their comparitively early demotions of monarchy and industrialisation of agriculture. The issues you have in Russia are very much standard in Turkey and other central asian powers for instance. They do stem out of the very real backwardness of said powers (on the comparitive economic stage) and as a result all political actors must ensure their own protection rackets of sorts. In the US this is not necessary, it's why quite a few republicans were eager to play Trump at his own game and make him lose. Had Trump won the 2020 election the republicans would have been slaughtered in 22-24.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
where i would differ is that i dont beleive for a minute that the west have been punching bags
 

thirdform

Well-known member
where i would differ is that i dont beleive for a minute that the west have been punching bags

I mean I don't think good (or bad, even) states are possible, or whether you can ascribe moral characteristics to basically what are impersonal instruments to rule by exploiters.

I do not think for instance I have free speech in the UK, what I have is neutralised speech. Speech which causes no harm and can be permitted within those bounds.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
I'm open to persuasion mate. What have we done? Some sanctions - not much else AFAIK
what time frame do you have in mind? im obviously not very knowledgeable but i can look into it to dig up specifics i guess.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
Recent. I mean, active now, last 5-10 years I guess?

Trump's pro-Putinism is worth mentioning in this context.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
in general terms America works very hard to keep being America. It's not on top by accident. you have to keep hustling.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
I mean I don't think good (or bad, even) states are possible, or whether you can ascribe moral characteristics to basically what are impersonal instruments to rule by exploiters.

I do not think for instance I have free speech in the UK, what I have is neutralised speech. Speech which causes no harm and can be permitted within those bounds.
Yeah, but you could if you wish build a platform for messages critical of the dominant order of things, couldn't you?

Obviously, if you were ever to start to threaten this order, they'd act against you. There are parameters to opposition and what's allowed and not allowed but free speech isn't really one.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
its not just as third said, partisanship, i think it goes beyond that into being active combatants and probably folded to some degree into the establishment as part of the overall war strategy
This has occurred to me tbh. I always thought that if Bellingcat have respect for their integrity which I think they do, and even their (vom) brand, they'll try and keep a bit of distance from the security services and the like, even as their success increases the likelehood of some contact.

Not least because their hysterical bad faith detractors are shouting this at every opportunity and the last thing they want to do is prove them right.
 
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thirdform

Well-known member
Yeah, but you could if you wish build a platform for messages critical of the dominant order of things, couldn't you?

Obviously, if you were ever to start to threaten this order, they'd act against you. There are parameters to opposition and what's allowed and not allowed but free speech isn't really one.

Sure, but that hints more at an inherent contradiction within free speech. You can for instance criticise Erdoğan in Turkey, but you just have to do it in certain places and certain quarters. It's just that England has an expansive public space which is mostly divorced from political culture so you don't need to be nearly as circumspect. It's Britain's very apoliticism (on the general level outside of parliamentary humdrum) which allows me to say I'm an anti-state communist. Turkey is not like that. Political polarisation is real there, people are directly political, even reactionaries and conspiracy minded people.

And I don't think they need to act against me per se. They just need to defang my project. Which is exactly why novara is still left in the hands of that neek Bastani because he's so easy to play for a fool.
 

thirdform

Well-known member
Places like Turkey and Russia have only really been fully subsumed into capitalism in the past 60-70 years. Folk memories of organic communities, of religious order and of the political consciousness which stems from those determinants is everpresent. In Britain anyone who talks about organic community is either trying to smuggle in some form of racialism or is playing a grift. We hardly had a peasantry by the end of the 18th century. People are not going to remember those kinship village ties and self-sufficiency of production 300 years later.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
I hear what you're saying about Turkey. I don't know it but I can imagine it. I agree that we are defanged here to some degree - if arguing on Dissensus changed anything they'd abolish it.

However, with Novara I could easily imagine a situation where a Corbyn government was using them as unofficial spokespeaople. Much more likely in 2017 ofc but that's why they put so much energy into the project - there was a chance for a minute they were going to step into that role.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
Though as it urns out though that they can still grift a living together by slagging off Starmer and that way, not have to worry about any of the consequences of power or the difficulties of opposition which is how they like it.
(I actually like a few of 'em - that guy James B has a brain - but Bastani is the fucking worst. He'll be writing a column for Spiked Online in 10 years time)
 

DLaurent

Well-known member
I think they've became controlled opposition too. That's a bit why I started this thread. To see what people thought. Reason being is half of the stories they investigate were to my understanding stories cooked up by the security services anyway. No way would Russia use such an outdated nerve agent like Novichok. And I don't think you'd be able to poke around for as long as they have been without being contacted by them.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
No way would Russia use such an outdated nerve agent like Novichok.
You might have a case with the first part of your argument - this is kind of what we've been arguing about though no one put it that crudely - but that's just total bollocks.
 

DLaurent

Well-known member
You might have a case with the first part of your argument - this is kind of what we've been arguing about though no one put it that crudely - but that's just total bollocks.

Why? They must have something more sophisticated by now?
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
Maybe they do, I'm no expert but there's a convincing case built up on tracking the movements of the two Russian agents in this country.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
Lots of CCTV and travel information, the forensics around the bottle and the poisoning, the weird trolly account of visiting Salisbury etc etc. Dawn Sturgess as collateral damage.
 
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