Big Tech Censorship Scott Ritter Ukraine

Scott Ritter: Twitter Wars—My Personal Experience in Twitter’s Ongoing Assault on Free Speech

At some point, the U.S. people, and those they elect to higher office need to bring Twitter in line with the ideals and values Americans collectively espouse when it comes to free speech and online identity protection.
(Cathy Vogan/Consortium News)

By Scott Ritter / Consortium News

Monday, April 4, 2022: It was, from my point of view, just another day in the life of @RealScottRitter—my Twitter “handle.” I had a phone call scheduled with the editor of a publication I write for where we would discuss topics for a weekly column I was responsible for. I was also under deadline for another article I was writing for a second outlet that published my work, and was preparing a pitch to a third platform for another article. Such is the lot of a freelance writer—it is literally publish or perish.

Part of my routine is to watch the news and keep up to speed on breaking events. This usually involves sitting in an overstuffed arm chair surfing news channels using a remote while simultaneously monitoring the various news feeds and social media applications on my smart phone. On this morning I was monitoring the breaking news out of the Ukrainian town of Bucha, north of Kiev, where the bodies of civilians had been discovered strewn along a major thoroughfare.

The Ukrainian government was blaming the Russian troops, while the Russian leadership blamed Ukraine. As usual, getting to the bottom of an issue like this from my vantage point thousands of miles distant from the literal scene of the crime was a mission impossible.

On the television screen before me, the President of the United States was making a live appearance, where he addressed the Bucha killings. “You may remember I got criticized for calling Putin a war criminal,” Biden told the gathered reporters. “Well, the truth of the matter,” he continued, “you saw what happened in Bucha. This warrants him [Russian President Vladimir Putin]—he is a war criminal.”

Biden went on to declare that his administration was gathering evidence for a possible war crimes trial. “We have to gather all the details so this can be an actual—have a war crimes trial,” Biden said. “This guy is brutal, and what’s happening in Bucha is outrageous, and everyone’s seen it.”

I had just finished an article for Russia Today (RT) on the Bucha incident, and had assembled what I believed to be the available data regarding what had transpired on the ground there. As such, Biden’s words took me by surprise.

The available data coming out of Bucha was ultimately inconclusive but, if anything, strongly suggested Ukrainian culpability, not Russian. The certainty expressed by the President led me to believe that he was privy to classified information otherwise unavailable to the general public.

My curiosity was piqued as much as my ego was pickled—RT had published my article, and now it looked like I might be in the uncomfortable position of having to withdraw my conclusions and correct the record. That, however, was the price of credibility—if you are wrong, say so, correct the mistake, and move on.

Shortly after Biden spoke, however, my cellphone alerted me to a Reuters article with a headline proclaiming, “Pentagon can’t independently confirm atrocities in Ukraine’s Bucha, official says.” The article quoted an unnamed “senior defense official”, speaking on condition of anonymity, that “the Pentagon can’t independently and single handedly confirm that, but we’re also not in any position to refute those claims.”

I turned off the television, and proceeded to spend the next 40 or so minutes researching the available information about the Bucha incident. One of the leading news stories was New York Times report based upon commercially available imagery which the authors of the article, Malachy Browne, David Botti and Haley Willis, claimed was taken on March 19, 2022, putting a lie to Russian claims that when its troops pulled out of Bucha on March 30, no bodies were present.

However, when I examined the video and still photographs of the Bucha bodies, I was struck by the fact that they didn’t appear to have been left in the street to decompose for two weeks (the bodies were “discovered” by the Ukrainian National Police on April 2.) Bluntly speaking, bodies begin to bloat some 3-5 days after death, often doubling in size. They will remain this way for up to ten days, before they burst, spilling a puddle of putrid liquid into the ground around the corpse.

In comparing The New York Times’ image with the video of the bodies on the ground, I was struck by a scene in the movie My Cousin Vinny, where Vincent Gambini, a streetwise New York lawyer played by Joe Pesci, cross examined a witness on the issue of the preparation of Grits. “Are we to believe that boiling water soaks into a grit faster in your kitchen than on any place on the face of the earth? Well perhaps the laws of physics cease to exist on your stove!”

All I could do is stare at the satellite image and the bodies and wonder if the esteemed journalists of The New York Times expected their audience to suspend belief for a moment and accept that the laws of biology that govern the decomposition of human remains were suspended in Bucha.

The available evidence that could be extracted from the images from Bucha showed bodies that by appearance appeared to have been killed within 24-36 hours of their discovery—meaning that they were killed after the Russians withdrew from Bucha. The exact time of death, however, could only be determined after a thorough forensic medical examination.

Many of the bodies had white cloth strips tied to their upper arm, a visual designation which indicated either loyalty to Russia or that the persons did not pose a threat to Russians. The bodies that lacked this white cloth often had their hands tied behind their backs with white cloth that appeared similar to that which marked the arms of the other bodies.

Near to many of the bodies were the green cardboard box adorned with a white star which contained Russian military dry rations that had been distributed to the civilian population of Bucha by Russian troops as part of their humanitarian operations.

In short, the evidence suggested that the bodies were of civilians friendly to, or sympathetic with, Russia. It would take a leap of faith to conclude that Russian troops gunned these unfortunate souls down in cold blood, as alleged by the Ukrainian government.

Victims in Bucha. (Ukrainian Ministry of Digital Development Mikhail Fedorov/Wikimedia Commons)

On April 2, an article appeared in an official Ukrainian government website, LB.ua, entitled “Special forces regiment ‘SAFARI’ began to clear Bucha of saboteurs and accomplices of Russia.” According to the article, “Special forces began clearing the liberated, by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, city of Bucha of the Kiev region from saboteurs and accomplices of Russian troops.” According to the article, the Safari Regiment was comprised of personnel from various special police units, including the Rapid Operational Response Unit and the Tactical Operational Response Police.

There was other information—a video where a Ukrainian official warns the citizens of Bucha that on April 1 a “cleansing operation” was going to be conducted in Bucha, and that the citizens should remain indoors and not to panic. Another video, also from April 1, purported to show members of the Safari Regiment shooting civilians who were not wearing the blue distinguishing armbands signifying loyalty to the Ukrainian cause.

A Tweet

By the evening of April 5, I believed I had more than enough information to try and put forth a counter-narrative to the one being pushed by The New York Times and President Biden, namely that Ukraine, not Russia, was responsible for the Bucha killings.

“The Ukrainian National Police,” I composed on Twitter, “committed numerous crimes against humanity in Bucha.” Drawing on the precedent of the Nuremburg International Military Tribunal established at the end of the Second World War to prosecute Nazi war criminals, I then went on to state that “Biden, in seeking to shift blame for the Bucha murders onto Russia, is guilty of aiding and abetting these crimes. Congratulations, America…we’ve created yet another Presidential war criminal!”

At 9:42 p.m. I hit “send,” and the deed was done.

As far as Twitter metrics go, this tweet didn’t do so badly—5,976 “likes”, 2,815 retweets, and 321 comments, for a total of what Twitter calls 265,098 “impressions.”

It also got me suspended from Twitter.

The next day, April 6, at 11:57 a.m., I received an email from Twitter Support, notifying me that my account, @RealScottRitter, “had been suspended for violating Twitter Rules,” specifically for violating rules against abuse and harassment. “You may not engage in the targeted harassment of someone or incite other people to do so. This includes wishing or hoping that someone experiences physical harm.”

I re-read the tweet in question, wondering how anyone could possibly interpret its contents as violating the rules cited by Twitter Support. Who had I harassed or incited others to harass? I followed the procedures to appeal the suspension and went on with my daily routine—minus the part where I interact with the people I follow, and those who followed me, on Twitter.

My suspension caught the eye of several people who follow my tweeting activity. Several of these people reached out to inquire as to what happened and were as confused as I was over the grounds cited by Twitter for the suspension.

The end result of this was a very heart-warming grass-roots protest against the Twitter decision to suspend my account of such intensity, that one had to believe it caught the eye of one of the Twitter bureaucrats tasked with monitoring the temperature in Twitterdom. On April 6, at 11:54 p.m., I received an email from Twitter Support notifying me that “After further review, we have unsuspended your account as it does not appear to be in violation of the Twitter Rules.”

Life, it seemed, could return to normal, with me safely ensconced in my overstuffed arm chair, frantically working the controls to the television remote while monitoring my all-important, and recently restored, Twitter account.

Nothing good, however, lasts forever.

I went to sleep on Saturday night, April 9, content that all was well in the world. I woke up to find yet another email from Twitter Support notifying me that my Twitter account had, yet again, been suspended. The offending tweet this time pre-dated the original alleged rule-breaker by three days.

On April 3, sometime prior to 7:16 p,m., Matt Gallagher, an Iraq War veteran-turned author who uses the Twitter handle @MattGallagher0, had tweeted out a tweet that has since been deleted. I took umbrage at Gallagher’s remarks and tweeted the following reply:

“The Marines [murdered] more Iraqis in Haditha than the Russians killed Ukrainians in Bucha, for the simple fact that Haditha wasn’t a case of false flag mass murder. Bucha, on the other hand…”

Once again, I was accused of violating Twitter’s rules against abuse and harassment.

I repeated the appeals process, spelling out my position in detail. “The tweet you have singled out,” I wrote, “is a response to a tweet that has since been deleted by its author, so it is difficult to put it into its full context.”

My understanding of the now deleted tweet is that its author, @mattgallagher0, made the argument that the U.S. had not engaged in acts of violence against civilians similar to what Russia had been accused of in Bucha. My response, which you have flagged for suspension, pointed out, factually, that the U.S. Marine Corps had actually murdered more innocent civilians in Haditha (my tweet inadvertently left out the word ‘murdered’). I then pointed out that the Haditha case had actually been prosecuted, meaning it wasn’t a false flag incident.

I then reiterated my long-standing position that Bucha was a false-flag event where the Ukrainian National Police carried out the murder of Ukrainian civilians and that the blame for these deaths is being wrongly transferred onto Russia (i.e., a ‘false flag’).

This tweet is fact based, expressing a point of view derived from a consistent fact set, and in no way constitutes harassment or abuse. Likewise, this tweet does not wish or hope that anyone experiences physical harm. No rules have been broken. Please restore my account to its full capacity as soon as possible.

Twitter Support replied to my appeal, noting that “it looks like this is connected with your original case, so we’ve added it to that first report. We’ll continue our review with this information. If you have more details you think we should know, please respond to this email to send them our way. We appreciate your help!”

Concepts of Free Speech

I was flummoxed, to say the least. I fired off a reply to Twitter Support. “Just a reminder,” I wrote,

“that you decided in my favor in the original case, and lifted the suspension imposed then. How this can be a continuation of an already resolved issue is disconcerting, to say the least. Please lift this current suspension, since no rules have been violated, and fix whatever issue within your system, whether human or algorithm, which flags my tweets on the basis of somehow being connected to a past case that had been resolved in my favor.”

The silencing of any voice, let alone one which had gained a semblance of traction in the national debate about the war in Ukraine (one of my threads assessing Russian military operations had gone viral, amassing some 1,639,386 “impressions”), should be a disturbing event for all those who claim to respect the concepts of free speech enshrined by the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.

U.S. courts have often struggled to determine what exactly constitutes protected speech when it comes to social media platforms such as Twitter. A recent case, Knight First Amendment Institute v. Donald J. Trump, has argued that Twitter’s actions in blocking an account represent a violation of the First Amendment, which on the face of it, seems like a legally questionable assertion, given that the First Amendment only protects free speech from government infringement.

The argument in support of this position holds that Twitter is essentially a state actor, and as such bound by the First Amendment. According to this line of thinking, a private corporation can be classified as a state actor if it has been working with the government, either from collusion or coercion, to accomplish the state’s agenda.

Such an exception is important because it stops the government from simply using private businesses to accomplish otherwise unconstitutional goals. Indeed, in Norwood v. Harrison (1973), the U.S. Supreme Court held that the government “may not induce, encourage, or promote private persons to accomplish what it is constitutionally forbidden to accomplish.”

The extent to which Twitter qualifies as a state actor has not been fully tested in the U.S. court system. A key element to any such consideration would be the degree to which the various congressional hearings, which have been convened for the purpose of chastising the CEO’s of social media companies including Twitter for allowing disinformation to be posted in forums they control, is congressional pressure that, it can be argued, rises to the level of inducement to violate speech otherwise protected by the First Amendment.

If Twitter is found to be acting as a de facto “state actor”, then, under the First Amendment, it may not exclude speech or speakers from the [public] forum on the basis of viewpoint, a point driven home by the Supreme Court in its decision in Hartman v. Moore (2006), which affirms that “the First Amendment prohibits government officials from subjecting an individual to retaliatory actions…for speaking out.”

The bottom line is that Twitter’s suspension of my account on the basis of activity Twitter itself has determined did not violate its rules, runs dangerously afoul of First Amendment free speech protections.

Fake Scott Ritter

It would be one thing if Twitter stopped at simply trampling my First Amendments rights. But the icing on the cake, so to speak, regarding the insanity that is the brain-dead world of Twitter policy, was revealed to me when, on April 12, I was approached by people on another social media platform noted for its ability to censor free speech—Facebook/Meta—who asked me if I was back on Twitter. “Hi Scott,” this person asked. “Are you on Twitter? If so, what exact name/moniker is it? I got people who follow your work asking.”

I responded by noting that “I’m currently banned, awaiting resolution of an appeal. But when I’m not banned, my Twitter is @RealScott Ritter.”

This individual wrote back. “Scott, it appears there is a new account using your name…I have a friend checking it out and says there are followers gaining fast.”

I investigated the issue, and sure enough, there it was: @NewScottRitter. Same profile set up, same photographs—the cover art for my new book, Disarmament in the Time of Perestroika, and the iconic image of U.S. inspectors posing with the U.S. flag outside the gate of a Soviet missile factory in Votkinsk.

“Scott Ritter—new account for @RealScottRitter,” it proclaimed. “Banned from Twitter for speaking the truth Formerly @RealScottRitter.”

Joined in April 2022, the page noted, and already had 5,394 followers (as of Wednesday morning).

I knew it was fake. I joined in July 2018, and it took me three years to accumulate 4,000 followers.

A quick review of the Twitter content made it clear that this was no parody account, and that someone was using my name and identity to promulgate policy issues, such as Hunter Biden’s laptop, that I assiduously avoid.

I reached out to Twitter through their online help platform, where I filed a complaint about someone impersonating me. “My account, @RealScottRitter”, I wrote, “is currently suspended. I have appealed this suspension. I have been informed by others that a new account, @NewScottRitter, has emerged, pretending to be me. It is not, and should be removed from Twitter as soon as possible.”

As a parting shot to the insanity of my current suspension, I closed with, “The sooner you lift the unjustified suspension of my account, the less opportunity will exist to impersonate me on your platform.”

Twitter responded in short order, asking me to verify that I was, in fact, Scott Ritter. To do this, I had to provide an image of a government issued photo identification. Twitter got my current New York driver’s license, which still uses the photograph from my first New York State driver’s license, issued back in 1992.

The 1990’s haircut and oversized eyewear notwithstanding, Twitter seemed to accept my submission as de facto proof that I was, indeed, the real Scott Ritter. I waited for justice to prevail, and the fake New Scott Ritter to be unceremoniously kicked off Twitter for impersonating me.

It was not to be.

Twitter replied, having taken all of one hour to review this issue (my suspension, by way of comparison, was closing in on its 96th hour of review.)

“We have an update about @NewScottRitter,” the email from Twitter Support announced, providing me with the case number. “We investigated the reported account,” the email read, “and determined it is not in violation of Twitter’s misleading and deceptive identities policy.”

My jaw literally hit the floor.

“In order for an account to be in violation of the policy,” the email continued, “it must portray another person or business in a misleading or deceptive matter. For more information, please make sure to read and understand our full policy.”

I dutifully clicked the link provided by Twitter, and was taken to a page that read “Misleading & Deceptive Identities.”

“You may not,” the page started, “impersonate individuals, groups, or organizations to mislead, confuse, or deceive others, nor use a fake identity in a manner that disrupts the experience of others on Twitter.”

I may be a simple Marine, but @NewScottRitter literally starts off by proclaiming “I’m back on Twitter!” Who, if not the real Scott Ritter, was the new Scott Ritter purporting to be? There is no other way to read “I’m”, literally “I am”, to mean anything other than “I”, meaning “me.”

“We want Twitter to be a place where people can find authentic voices,” the policy continues. How nice. “That means one should be able to trust that the person or organization featured in an account’s profile genuinely represents the account owner. While you are not required to display your real name or image on your profile, your account should not engage in impersonation or pose as someone who doesn’t exist in order to deceive others.”

News flash, Twitter Support: @NewScottRitter is using my name and image to deceive over 5,000 people that “he” is “me.” If that doesn’t fit the definition of “impersonation,” nothing does.

“Accounts that use deceptive identities can create confusion, as well as undermine the integrity of conversations on Twitter.”

You mean like when I have people contacting me on Facebook/Meta to find out if the person their friend is interacting on Twitter is really me?

“For this reason, you may not misappropriate the identity of another person, group, or organization, or create a fake identity for deceptive purposes.”

Unless, of course, you’re misappropriating the identity of Scott Ritter. Then it’s fair game.

Twitter Support then went on to explain what it defines as a “misleading or deceptive identity.”

“One of the main elements of an identity on Twitter is an account’s profile, which includes a username (@handle), account name, profile image, and bio.”

For example, @RealScottRitter uses my real name, a profile image of a real book I really authored accompanied by a real photograph of the real me with real inspectors outside a real Soviet missile factory holding a real U.S. flag, backed up by a real bio that informed the reader that I was a “former United Nations Weapons Inspector, former Marine Corps Intelligence Officer, author, and analyst.”

“An account’s identity is deceptive under this policy,” Twitter Support notes, “if it uses false profile information to represent itself as a person or entity that is not associated with the account owner, such that it may mislead others who use Twitter. Deceptive identities may feature the likeness of another person or organization in a manner which confuses others about the account affiliation.”

When Twitter suspended me, I was put on notice that any effort to bypass the suspension by creating a new account was prohibited. I made it clear to Twitter that I was currently serving a suspension under appeal. As such, one would think that, when I declared that the account @NewScottRitter was not in any way, shape, or form affiliated with me, the real Scott Ritter, that it was, by definition, using “false profile information to represent itself as a person or entity that is not associated with the account owner.”

The fact is that people out in Twitterdom who had followed me when I was able to tweet under my actual account were, in fact, confused by the existence of this fake account.

Twitter’s rules are very specific about what sort of behavior is prohibited under its rules regarding “Misleading & Deceptive Identities.” For instance: “You can’t pose as an existing person, group, or organization in a confusing or deceptive manner.”

You can’t use “stolen profile pictures”, particularly those depicting other people. This, apparently, is a big no-no in Twitterdom. “One of the main factors in our review,” Twitter Support proclaims, “is whether a profile uses an image that depicts another person or entity.”

For instance, a picture of a book cover with the name “Scott Ritter” emblazoned on it, or a picture of a group photo where Scott Ritter features prominently. “If we find evidence that demonstrates an unauthorized use of an other’s image (such as from a valid report from the individual or organization depicted), we will then assess whether the profile image is used in a misleading or deceptive manner.”

Twitter Support then describes the next step—determining whether the account is intended to deceive others. “We are most likely to take action if an account falsely claims to be the entity portrayed in the profile photo.”

A quick review of @NewScottRitter has the fake me claiming to be the real me by using my stolen profile images and then declaring “I’m back” after being “Banned from Twitter for speaking the truth.”

Twitter allows exceptions to its policy if the profile in question contains “context that indicates the account is not affiliated with the subject of the profile image, as with parody, commentary, or fan accounts.”

A cursory review of @NewScottRitter contains nothing that would remotely fit this description. According to Twitter’s own rules, the account @NewScottRitter represents a flagrant violation of its “Misleading & Deceptive Identities” policies.

Unless, of course, the account you are seeking to deceive others about belongs to the real Scott Ritter.

I reside in the State of New York. In 2008, New York amended its Internet impersonation law (section 190.25 of the Penal Law) by adding Subdivision 4, making it a crime to impersonate another person by electronic means, including through use of a website, with the intent to obtain a benefit or injure or defraud another person.

Internet impersonation, it turns out, is a Class A misdemeanor which carries a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine and a one-year term of imprisonment for each violation or act of impersonation. According to the law firm of Hunton, Andrews, Kurth, the law covers “social networking sites … that make it easy to upload someone else’s photo and pretend to be that person.” The law is designed to deter cases of “misrepresenting oneself through the use of the Internet.”

I’m not a lawyer, I don’t play one on television, and I didn’t spend the night at a Holiday Inn Express, so my legal opinion is worth less than the paper it would be written on. Having said that, I believe someone who impersonates through deception for purposes not directly related to parody or commentary can be found to have engaged in behavior which has the real potential to injure or defraud another person.

How one defines injury from a legal perspective is a job best left to lawyers, but I would imagine that issues such as reputation and financial harm would qualify. How do you gauge reputation online? I don’t really know.

What I do know is that I have done my best to be assiduous with the facts when it comes to tweeting about issues of importance, especially when those issues fall under the umbrella of topics that my life’s experience lends some credibility to when commenting on them—arms control, military affairs, Russian and Middle Eastern relations, intelligence, and national security. One metric which is popularly used to measure the impact, or “clout,” of a given account is the number of followers one attracts.

Building a “following” was never on my mind when engaging on Twitter—it just happened. I do my best to interact responsibly with the people I follow, and with those who follow me. Twitter, like most social media platforms, has an addictive quality that lends itself to becoming an integral part of one’s daily routine—check your twitter account, see what’s happening and, if the topic lends itself to it, participate in the on-line conversation by contributing tweets of your own. I would also post articles I had written that were published on other platforms, as well as links to interviews I had given.

Why Go on Twitter?

Twitter’s original headquarters, San Francisco. (Caroline Culler User:Wgreaves/Wikimedia Commons)

One of my reasons for joining Twitter was to contribute to the overall process of engaging in responsible debate, dialogue, and discussion about issues of importance in my life and the lives of others, in order to empower people with knowledge and information they might not otherwise have access to, so that those who participate in such interaction, myself included, could hold those whom we elect to higher office accountable for what they do in our name.

To me, such an exercise is the essence of democracy and, for better or for worse, Twitter had become the primary social media platform I used to engage in this activity.

From my perspective, credibility is the key to a good Twitter relationship. I follow experts on a variety of topics because I view them as genuine specialists in their respective fields (I also follow several dog and cat accounts because, frankly speaking, dogs and cats make me laugh.) People follow me, I assume, for similar reasons. Often I find myself in in-depth exchanges with people who follow me, or people I follow, where reasoned fact-based discourse proves beneficial to both parties, as well as to those who are following the dialogue.

Before my Twitter account was suspended, I had close to 95,000 “followers.” I’d like to believe that the majority of these followed me because of the integrity and expertise I brought to the discussion.

Having someone hijack my identity and seek to resurrect my suspended account by appealing to those who had previously followed me can only be damaging to whatever “brand” I had possessed that managed to attract a following that was pushing 100,000. When one speaks of injury, one cannot ignore the fact that reputations can be injured just as much as the physical body.

Indeed, while a body can heal itself, reputations cannot. The fact that Twitter has facilitated the wrongful impersonation of me and my Twitter account makes it a party to whatever damage has been accrued due to this activity.

A Law Unto Itself

It is not as though Twitter can, or ever will, be held accountable for such actions. Section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934, enacted as part of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA), holds that internet platforms that host third-party content — think of tweets on Twitter—are not (with few exceptions) liable for what those third parties post or do.

Like the issue of Freedom of Speech, the concept of holding Twitter accountable for facilitating the fraudulent misappropriation of a Twitter user’s online identity is a legal bridge too far. Twitter, it seems, is a law unto itself.

My Twitter War came to an end today when I received an email from Twitter Support proclaiming that “Your account has been suspended and will not be restored because it was found to be violating the Twitter Terms of Service, specifically the Twitter Rules against participating in targeted abuse,” adding that “In order to ensure that people feel safe expressing diverse opinions and beliefs on our platform, we do not tolerate abusive behavior. This includes inciting other people to engage in the targeted harassment of someone.”

This ruling, it seems, is not appealable.

At some point in time, the U.S. people, and those they  elect to higher office to represent their interests, need to bring Twitter in line with the ideals and values Americans collectively espouse when it comes to issues like free speech and online identity protection.

If Twitter is to be absolved of any responsibility for the content of ideas expressed on its platform, then it should be treated as a free speech empowerment zone and prohibited from interfering with speech that otherwise would be protected by law.

The U.S. Constitution assumes that society will govern itself when deciding the weight that should be put behind the words expressed by its citizens. Thus, in a nation that has outlawed slavery and racial discrimination, organizations like the Klu Klux Klan are allowed to demonstrate and give voice to their odious ideology.

America is a literal battlefield of ideas, and society is better for it. Giving voice to hateful thought allows society to rally against it and ultimately defeat it by confronting it and destroying it through the power of informed debate, discussion, and dialogue; censoring hateful speech does not defeat it, but rather drives it underground, where it can fester and grow in the alternative universe created because of censorship.

In many ways, my Twitter Wars represent a struggle for the future of America. If Twitter and other social media platforms are permitted to operate in a manner that does not reflect the ideals and values of the nation, and yet is permitted to mainstream itself so that the platform controls the manner in which the American people interact when it comes to consuming information and ideas, then the nation will lose touch with what it stands for, including the basic precepts of freedom of speech that define us as a people.

Mainstreaming censorship is never a good idea, and yet by giving Twitter a free hand to do just that, the American people are sowing the seeds of their own demise.

Scott Ritter

Scott Ritter is a former U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD.

66 comments

  1. I’m sorry to say this Scott, but the struggle for the future of America is over. When Clinton sold out independent media to big corp in the nineties the die was cast, free speech was over.

    Big corp, big tech, big medical, big pharma, big fossil and the MIC now govern America and they do it in their own interests. Anyone who speaks out or even “twitters out” will be shut down.

    Even before Clinton’s sell-out of the FCC the US media had a formula for manufacturing consent, a term coined by Walter Lippmann in his book Public Opinion written in 1922. They have been using this formula for 100 years and now they have complete control over mainstream media they do whatever they like.

    1. There is no way I can imagine you are wrong. All I can do is imagine a war against what you say and the only way I see that is telling America the truth on alternative media sites. If those sites don’t have “sway”, our last bastion of defense against what some few percent want, is yes, lost.

    2. Our country seems against, for a better word, people in the street kind of protest. But isn’t it the only way we ever gained anything for regular people against those who use us as the backs they make billion on.

    3. Sadly, I agree. We are in a post-Bill of Rights America … what I think of as the CSA: The Corporate State of America.

      Our electoral politics are dead — there is only one corporate party.

      If we are to survive, it will be through movements, though the response of the CSA on dissent will be brutal.

  2. I know that Twitter is Not Perfect. and have periodically banned people perhaps unfairly. However, the idea of Elon Musk taking over and owning all of twitter is like a nightmare for me!
    If he does I personally will quit. I don’t think I am alone in this thinking. He is very manipulative for his own benefit. He recently banned Robert Reich because he said something he didn’t like.

    1. @Roxanna Marinak
      Musk is supposedly trying to take control of Twitter so that he can restore free speech to it. I wouldn’t trust him or any other billionaire as far as I can throw the planet, but if he were to actually do what he said, that would be a very good thing.

      What we really need is for social media platforms like Twitter to be regulated like utilities so they can’t censor people. Relying on billionaires to do the right thing is not the solution.

      1. I agree it needs to be regulated in an open fair way like public utilities!

  3. I’m curious Scott. You stated you get up and watch the news. What news is it? The media completely corrupt and bought out! In order to learn anything from the media you have to read between the lines. On all the MSM media,
    The only way to glean information is to analyze the information to see what’s missing. Personally it’s very apparent to me. And has been for 42 years.
    Between Reagan, Clinton, Bush, and Obama ‘s legislation the media He has been systematically taken over by corporations run the government. Owned by a few insidious individuals.
    please let me know what you read? I followed you all through the Iraq war and respected your honesty and forthrightness.
    Larry Gerber

    1. Dear Sir,

      I read between your misspellings and see your questions and truths. Keep doing what you do and share it with others.

  4. Welcome to Substack, the final resting place for people with a measurable I.Q. and a moral compass. Good luck and I hope it sustains you.

  5. It seems that the rulers are well on the way to making it so that we have no idea what to believe. If you can’t even know that you’re reading the person held out to be the author, if videos are doctored, and because politicians and the corporate media lie all the time, how are we supposed to have any idea of what’s actually going on?

    I’ve long feared that something like this could happen once I learned of doctored videos. If we all have to rely on our BS detectors, a lot of false and misleading information is going to be taken as the truth, even by those of us who would not previously have done so. What a mess!

  6. Please keep pursuing Truth, so lacking in our world and think if we had it in hand, would be a different world.

  7. It is not only twitter and all the “social media”. I live in France and have no TV, and all the “newspapers” follow the same line. Just looking at the “headlines” in QWANT (I try to avoid google) I see today “Russian ship hit by missile ” attributed to Kiev, another attributed to the Pentagon, more informing us that “Russia enters a new phase in the Donbass” (obviously these people have not looked at Ukraine for the last 8 years or more until recently). Never one word of dissent. I immediately search the saker, or moon of Alabama, or discussions with Alexander Mercouris.

  8. Technology companies masquerading as publishers will continue to treat journalists and everyone else like infants as long as we keep using these mediums for communication or is it the other way around.

  9. A real person with an informed but contrary opinion can be transmuted into a fake person with a conforming opinion.

    The logical end point of the process that began when fake persons, corporations, were given full Constitutional rights by fiat. While real people lost theirs through gerrymandering, corporate financing of both parties, and very, very unequal legal representation in court.

    America, Inc.

  10. Am I the only one paranoid enough at this point to wonder precisely who is behind that fake account that’s already posting material that appears to be subtly instilling the idea Mr. Ritter is just another crazy right-wing conspiracy nut Russia-lover? Its sudden appearance right after the clearly fraudulent second suspension is just a bit too coincidental for my old brain to wrap around, and the subsequent total ban…well, excuse me while I polish my foil chapeau.

    Saw a video clip making the rounds on the Twitch yesterday accusing—wait for it—Matt Taibbi of being a right-winger. I posted a perfectly valid suggestion to someone who said they’d just tested positive for COVID that they see their doctor immediately for early treatment, but made the mistake of mentioning ivermectin. Someone must have reported me, because I got a very temporary suspension.

    I stay on Twitter because it’s a good place to promote my authors’ books, and because I’m so old I don’t give a damn whether I offend the narcissistic undereducated wannabe bosses claiming to be leftists if I get the opportunity to connect with someone who really wants to help change things. The rest of the time, I’m on MeWe and Mastodon, where you can speak your peace without worrying some alphabet agency will put out the word and make you disappear.

    1. Clearly the Ivy D mob is capable of deliberate disinformation, censorship, and the use of force so we lessers do what’s best. But what’s best for us working class peasants, the common good, hasn’t been a consideration since the late ’70s when the “centrist” elite and their neolib economics usurped the party of the New Deal. The D party hierarchy only represents upper middle class administrators, professionals, and products of the Ivy league.

      The R party is dominated by multimillionaires (in particular, heirs) and by neocons. They gain and keep domestic political power by manipulating fear. Fear generated by job loss and econ insecurity. Fear generated by social changes.

      Neolib and neocon have flowed together into a single monstrous, fetid swamp. One full of nasty armored beasts dragging down and tearing apart anything they think is in their way. The great irony of our time: the far left or far right aren’t the most dangerous extremes. Albeit with very different lenses, both see “Them”–the war mongering heavy rot occupying the middle.

      1. So, you agree with Scott’s conclusions even though he wasn’t there to actually see the bodies in person? I don’t recall any naked bodies in the pictures — maybe I didn’t see them all. The rest of your comment is the same old BS. Yes, we have flaws in our democracy and our military has committed atrocities. We’ve seen some of them. But do you really believe the people who are fighting to the death for their county would kill their own countrymen, women, and children? I find it difficult to believe. I seen many Ukrainian testify on TV about the loss of their loved one and homes, and everything they have. I can’t believe the Ukrainians would be that heartless or would be raping 83-year-old women. Why don’t you ask her if it was one of her grandson’s buddies?

    2. As I read it, I was thinking the impersonator works for the NSA. The only person who stands to gain from this impersonator is Biden. I was also thinking that Twitter is deliberately fucking with Ritter under orders from the NSA. Ritter’s response was that of a gaslighting victim attempting to reason with a sociopath playing head games. Twitter isn’t stupid or confused. They know exactly what they are doing.

    3. Elizabeth:

      You don’t have to be corrupt or dishonest to question’s Scott’s version of the Bucha massacre. He has no proof because he wasn’t there. He is only speculating and to me to say the Ukraine is killing its own people defies logic and my understanding of human nature. If it is true, it would not only reflect on them, but us. And I still have some faith left.

      1. I don’t. I know all too well that the old saying about absolute power corrupting absolutely is true, and the most glaring evidence is that those who have it will lie, cheat, steal, and kill to hang on to it. The “Great Experiment” envisioned by the men who fought over and created the Constitution was undermined within a few decades as the rule of money overcame the rule of law, and one of surest signs I’m being lied to is when someone tells me they’re doing something “to preserve our democracy” because we haven’t had one for more a very long time.

  11. Russia had been selling oil/gas to Europe, et al. This is direct competition to you know who. I am sure everyone is familiar with what has and is still happening to Atty Steven Donsinger who stood up to and won a huge case against you know who. All of the you know who’s across the globe are a very tight knit clique with tremendous power and influence. They own governments, including our own. Now do the math. Another relevant case is Julian Assange. Those poor souls in Ukraine who were brutally executed knew the truth.

  12. Scott:

    Most of your commentary deals with Twitter and Free Speech, which to me is a diversion or red herring from the real issue; Was Ukraine responsible for the massacre in Bucha, which was why I only read the first part of that.

    I was already disturbed by your hasty conclusion based on speculation about the level of decomposition of the bodies in the photos and video. Don’t you think you should wait to make such a statement with more compelling evidence, like someone who was actually there and saw the bodies? In this day of disinformation and competing narrative when truth is hard to find, you need to have positive evidence not secondary evidence from which you draw uncertain conclusions.

  13. In other words, it’s a rash judgment and if you’re wrong, no one will believe you again. You had more definitive evidence in the WMD situation. You were there. Not this time.

  14. Scott, I admire you for standing up way back when in Iraq. I wonder though about how carefully you thought this out. Your timeline of how bodies decompose seems not to include any mention of how temperature would affect things. Frozen bodies (or chilled) wouldn’t decompose at the same rate and in the same ways as bodies in a desert environment. Additionally, it would be very easy to tie white ribbons around arms (or remove them), so their presence or absence seems to be of little significance. I’m with you as far as questioning the US narrative, but when you declare that you know what happened, you’ve lost me.

    1. Excellent observation about the temperature. I also thought it is difficult to make a definitive conclusion based on photos or images. Off the top, to make such a conclusion about Ukrainians slaughtering their own people would give sanction to the war being waged by Russia, something they are trying to justify. Based on what we know of Putin, it is not surprising that he would try to blame others for his atrocities.

      1. “Based upon what we know of Putin”.
        Please, share with us what you know of Putin.
        Ukraine killing it citizens defies logic, and your understanding of human nature?
        Ever heard of Rwanda?
        Nazi Germany?
        The US civil war?
        Sunnis and Shia in Iraq?
        The US government, and media, had this crime solved ten minutes after it was reported.
        Yet, Ritter’s analysis is the only one that you question?
        Ritter qualifies his opinions.
        Not so, the USA squawk machine.
        Absolute certainty with those folks.
        Your argument is, “I know Putin, and this is what he does”, and “citizens, and governments, don’t slaughter their own “.
        Given your critique of this topic, and Ritter’s, he makes a way more credible argument.
        Additionally, Ritter has a history of telling the truth, even at great personal cost.
        You have no such reputation with me.
        I’ve listened to your arguments, and I will continue to do so.
        But, you haven’t convinced me of anything thus for.
        It’s really a matter of credibility for me.
        Ritter has it.

      2. You realize your argument is based on one of the logical fallacies: Appeal to Authority. I question Ritter because he doesn’t have the evidence, not because who he is, and who am I has nothing to do with my argument. When you make such a devastating claim like his, you need to be sure of it. Just because there have been many instances of human depravity in the past, I can’t believe a Ukrainian soldier would rape an 83 year-old woman. Is it possible, sure. But a reign of terror by Ukrainian soldiers, nah. They didn’t start this war and they only want to end it. Why destroy what you are fighting to protect.

        Who Ritter is, has nothing to do with this. Maybe he’s right. But he doesn’t have enough evidence to claim the Ukrainians are killing their own people. That Putin’s doing; we do know he’s capable, but we don’t know that about the Ukrainian soldiers.

      3. @Tom Calarco
        Everything you said in that post is wrong. Ukraine certainly did start the war, it started years ago when the Ukrainian Nazis you’re defending attacked and killed ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine. The civil war there has been going on for years before Russia invaded.

        Furthermore, Southpaw didn’t make claims based on who people are. He asked you to state what you know about Putin after you claimed to know things about him, then he listed many examples that prove your claim that Ukrainians wouldn’t kill fellow Ukrainians to be ridiculous and false.

        Then you make the laughably false statement that Ritter doesn’t have the evidence to claim that the National Police killed those people, but that Putin did because “he’s capable.” This sounds like CIA propaganda that only brainwashed fools would even consider, as it’s totally illogical and self-serving.

      4. You’re the one who is brainwashed. He doesn’t have evidence. He is speculating. So, there is nothing wrong in what I said. When you show me evidence, then I’ll believe it. Have you heard any Ukrainian civilians make this claim? But we have heard from many Ukrainian civilians who have reported Russian atrocities. I don’t want to get into the geopolitical game of who did what first. It’s all the same Cold War crap that we endured for 40 years. I certainly am not on the side of the MIC, but I also am not going to fall for Russian propaganda.

    2. @CPR
      Ritter didn’t say he “knew” for a fact that the Ukraine National Police did the killings, in fact he said the opposite. He clearly said that he’s not there and can only make his analysis based on what reports he gets, and that he could be wrong. However, as he said, ALL the evidence points to the National Police, and none of it points to Russia (propaganda is not evidence).

      As to body decomposition, the temperatures during the days were well above freezing, so your concern about this aspect of the analysis is misplaced. Again, no one knows for a fact who really killed these people, but it sure looks a lot more like the Ukraine National Police did it than that Russia did it.

      As to the white ribbons, sure it’s possible that Russians did that before killing those people. It’s also possible that you’ll win the lottery. That doesn’t mean that it’s at all likely, and it seems like a huge stretch of imagination for Russia to have thought of and done that.

      1. Re Jeff: “it seems like a huge stretch of imagination for Russia to have thought of and done that” — LOL … I would say it’s just the opposite. In fact, this statement is absolutely ridiculous. It sounds like you are a member of the KGB.

      2. @Tom
        No Tom, you’re a right winger, you’re not farther left than anyone. I’m not even a leftist and I can clearly see that.

      3. So you call someone who believes in gun control, pro-choice, the Green New Deal and Medicare for all, who believes in cutting the military budget and putting that money towards social programs, who campaigned intensively for Bernie, who was a Conscientious Objector during the Vietnam War, who strongly supports Julian Assange, who has marched with BLM and against various wars, etc, etc, a RIGHT WINGER?

        That is laughable.

        I simply believe in the truth and support the principle that we have a govt that manufactures consent. But no one forces anyone to kill people. That’s just the geopolitical game that the CIA and people like Kissinger play. I won’t be a party to that.

      4. Where’s the evidence to support all those claims, Mr. Calarco? From where I sit, Mr. Ritter has provided more than ample circumstantial evidence to support a challenge to the official narrative on Bucha, yet suddenly, after demanding we all ignore that evidence on your command, you suddenly reveal your alleged massive level of progressive credentials we’re supposed to accept on nothing but your word and feel guilty?

      5. You’re just giving aid and support to Russian propaganda. I only want evidence. I can verify my history. Why don’t you check some of the articles or books that I have written. I am anything but a CIA agent, though I have at least one friend (haven’t seen him in 15 years) who was. Sure the MIC is nefarious but so is the KGB. Let’s talk about incentive or just human nature. Who more than likely would rape an 83-year-old woman who testified that it was a Russian soldier? Who would more likely kill someone in cold-blooded murder, a foreigner or your next door neighbor. Sure, there is plenty of evil in this world. But let’s just use some common sense before jumping to conclusions.

      6. @Tom Calarco
        Utter BS and you either know it or you’re totally misinformed regarding this situation. Accusing someone of supporting Russian propaganda because they agree with the analysis of a former marine intelligence officer, which BTW is far better than any other analysis I’ve seen of this? Ignoring the FACT that the Nazis in Ukraine have killed thousands of fellow Ukrainians and saying that it only stands to reason that Russians killed these people despite the vast majority of the evidence to the contrary? And you claim you’re not right wing? Maybe not, but if not you’re very confused.

      7. Right-wing, left-wing, those are labels. I’m anti-war. Usually that is labeled left-wing. Your position is based on your investment in your ideological position, which I would label naive because it is based on speculation like Ritter: The evil West is trying to destroy the benevolent East, Russia, whose ruler has now been in power for 15 years. It’s the Cold War all over again. Who’s at fault for that? I don’t know, but it doesn’t sanction the more than 1,000 missiles that Russia has launched against Ukraine.

    3. According to reports from people on the ground, that particular time period had fairly mild above-freezing temperatures, too warm to totally forestall natural decomposition.

      1. Fairly mild? I looked it up. The average temperatures in March for Kiev were highs of 43 and lows of 34 with it snowing 22 percent of the time. I wouldn’t call that mild. As for the bodies bloating, how could Scott see that in the images? The people were fully clothed.

      2. Scanned your portable soup — you should realize we are pretty much on the same page on the issues. But for this, while I realize there are geopolitical pressures from the West that helped to instigate this, and there is fault on both sides. Nothing in my sense of justice and morality can justify the carnage occurring now in Ukraine. I want to see serious negotiation instead of competing propaganda. I read an interview with Chomsky who suggests the West wants to extend the war and suggests the way out is negotiation. Zelensky, in fact, has stated continually that he wants to negotiate and concedes neutrality. Why are people ignoring this?

      3. That would be fine if you had offered anything in evidence to support your contention Mr. Ritter’s alternative, WHICH HE NEVER SAID WAS ANYTHING BUT AN ALLEGATION, IS, in fact, Russian propaganda. The simple fact is that this article has run smack into your cognitive bias, and nothing anyone says gets through the dissonance. You want to believe the Ukraine government is a victim; it isn’t. Nor is Russia in the right for launching a military excursion. This mess should never have happened, and taking sides is collusion in the death of innocents in the name of political dominance.

      4. “Cognitive Dissonance”? Who says I’m taking sides. I’m condemning the murder and mayhem that Scott suggests is not being done by the Ukrainians, and for which he has no proof and which is based on speculation.

  15. Bucha bodies did not bloat because they were outside in freezing conditions. Thus arresting the process of decomposition Scott, nice try.

    1. “Cognitive Dissonance”? Who says I’m taking sides. I’m condemning the murder and mayhem that Scott suggests is being done by the Ukrainians, and for which he has no proof and which is based on speculation. You’re taking an ideological position that the U.S. is the perpetrator of this war and that Russia is not at fault.

      1. The only one taking sides here is you, because you’re the one defending the accepted narrative that the deaths in Bucha must have been at the hands of the Russians. The rest of us, including Mr. Ritter, are the ones saying there’s insufficient evidence to support that view and at least some evidence to support an alternative explanation. Where’s your evidence it was the Russians, eh? So far, I haven’t seen you present any, but here you are insisting actual observations proffered by a trained expert have no basis in fact. Move on, Tom. You’ve painted yourself into a corner, and now your entire ego requires you keep defending an indefensible position.

      2. The only evidence I have is that the Russians invaded, the Russians have launched more than 1,000 missiles, many against civilian targets, and we have first-hand, eyewitness accounts, as well as video, of the Russians committing atrocities. What evidence do you have? The next thing you will say is that the Ukraine Nazis attacked Russia first and butchered their citizens. Stopping being so stubborn and arrogant. You and Scott have no evidence, just emotional investment in an anti-American POV.

  16. While I don’t believe in censorship, Ritter is being irresponsible by claiming Ukraine is killing its own people without proof.

    1. @Tom Calarco
      It is YOU who’s being irresponsible by lying about what Ritter said. The evidence strongly points toward the Ukrainian National Police having killed these people, and that’s what Ritter said. He also said that he could be wrong and that he’s not there to investigate, but neither is anyone else.

      1. Where’s your evidence, Jeff.? You have pictures of the “bloated” bodies, you have pictures of Ukrainians killing Ukrainians, you have Ukrainian civilians reporting it? It’s all speculation, and until I see some evidence, I’m not going to believe it.

      2. How am I lying? I’m merely challenging Ritter’s conclusions. You think his speculation would hold up in court. If you were on a jury, would you accept his argument?

    1. I’ve suspected from the beginning that “Tom Calarco” was talking too much CIA trash to be a normal person, and now we have “Christopher” literally swooping in with the hoary standard CIA smear. Originality isn’t their forte.

      1. @Elizabeth Burton
        When someone, whether an evil agency like the CIA or an individual, resorts to irrelevant name-calling and personal attacks, you know that they have no legitimate argument. Unfortunately, many if not most people fall for this garbage because they don’t know how to think critically and logically.

    2. This is a red herring and has nothing to do with whether his accusations are true or not.

      There are plenty of other reasons to doubt his claims. Stop with the ad hominems because it weakens your allegations.

  17. Tell me when I’ve resorted to name-calling. I have asked for more compelling evidence that Scott doesn’t have. When there are some eyewitness accounts of Ukrainians killing Ukrainians and planting the bodies, then I will believe it — could that be true, nothing is impossible in this crazy world today. But it’s people who so readily agree with Scott because of his famous whistleblowing on the WMDs who are the ones doing the name-calling, suggesting I’m CIA. I wish … lol … getting those six-figure salaries. And it’s precisely because of Scott’s notoriety that he needs to be more cautious when making such claims.

  18. Liz Burton said: “at least some evidence to support an alternative explanation.” The “some” is a hasty conclusion by someone who was not on the scene and whose POV is biased in the extreme. Why are you so pig-headed in insisting he is correct? Because you have the same biased opinion.

    Was it below freezing, no but pretty close to freezing.

    Also, the bodies were fully clothed, which also slows decomposition — look it up

    Was Scott there, does he have witnesses, no

    Why would Ukraine kill their own people who they are fighting for? They already have plenty of evidence of Russians committing atrocities, they don’t need any more.

    It’s obvious blatant disinformation by the Russians.

    1. I never said he was correct, only that he had made excellent points that should be taken into consideration. So did everyone else who responded to your sweeping, evidence-free-other-than-opinion dismissal of those points on the grounds “governments don’t kill their own people”, which is either painfully naive or deliberately disingenuous. You’re the one who keeps stubbornly insisting we have to agree with you. Get over it.

      1. It’s irresponsible because he has a high profile. That’s the point. My point is that he doesn’t have sufficient evidence and because he has a high profile people will believe it without reflection. If you or I made the statement it wouldn’t matter because we don’t have the same reputation as he does.

        Admit your bias. You’re anti-American, and to be honest, I am too. But at least I try to use my critical thinking skills which even people like Chris Hedges sometimes fall short of because they are always looking to criticize and find fault.

        How can you not find fault with the MIC and CIA which we know are not benevolent organizations and always seeking to maintain and enforce their power. It’s the same with the KGB and Putin whose career was nurtured by the KGB, and why I try to use common sense when it comes to this accusation of the Ukrainians killing their own people in a mass execution like this.

        How many times in the past history of warfare has an army killed their own people in an effort to blame it on the enemy? Do you have one example? Is it possible, yes, but very unlikely.

        How many times has the enemy army committed similar atrocities against the people of the country they are fighting? Over and over again, and not only likely, but probable. Think My Lai Massacre or the Chelsea Manning video — it happens all the time.

        You might think you’re an intelligent person and you probably are but you are also very stubborn.

      2. @Elizabeth Burton
        Why do you keep engaging with this guy? Ritter provided excellent evidence for the conclusion that the Ukraine National Police killed those people, and there is ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY. I suggest you quit giving this guy a forum to spout his BS.

  19. I was locked out of my Facebook account for creating a personal creative writing page with Chris Hedges’ name in the title. The notice said it was for “suspicious activity” and I was ultimately unable to get back in. I moved over to Twitter, renamed the page I started in 2012 but never did anything with, and started rebuilding my access to interesting people and information from around the world. Let’s see what happens when I share this article in my Twitter feed. Maybe I’ll get cut off there, too.

    I’m a nobody in terms of being an internet influencer (I hate that word – influencer), but, honestly, getting disappeared from Facebook made me feel like maybe that’s not true. I suspect there are lots of nobodys out there. As the recent panel on “Crushing Decent” at Consortium News said, the elites are scared.

    Now, I’m off to teach 11 yr olds how to breathe while playing whack-a-mile with Pepe the Frog in a community where most people look like an FBI wanted poster for January 6 and my mantra is reciting the words of the Dalai Lama, “If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”

  20. Meanwhile, US defense contractors are giving weapon systems and supplies to Ukraine for free!!

    Not! Geez, I wonder what would motivate the US and Israel to equip and train neo-Nazis in Ukraine to goad Putin into overreacting there? Certainly not money? Smedley Butler had no idea what he was talking about and zero combat experience!

  21. Listen, Jeff, Scott provided little evidence to support his claims. Certainly not enough to convince me or most others. Only true believers in the idea that the U.S. is the only evil empire like you are gullible enough to swallow it. And you don’t want to engage me again because I have destroyed every dumb argument you and Liz have made. Not that hard though when you don’t have the facts to back you up.

    No evidence to the contrary — LOL — there’s no evidence that they did it. You have some?

    While I simply applied common sense to my argument, read this article which fully debunks Ritter’s belief:

    https://www.bellingcat.com/news/2022/04/04/russias-bucha-facts-versus-the-evidence/

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