Daily Bread for 3.21.22: Putin’s Torrent of Lies

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will be mostly cloudy with a high of 71.  Sunrise is 6:54 AM and sunset 7:09 PM for 12h 14m 36s of daytime.  The moon is a waning gibbous with 88.1% of its visible disk illuminated.

 Whitewater’s Library Board meets at 6:30 PM.

On this day in 1965, Martin Luther King Jr. leads 3,200 people on the start of the third and finally successful civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

There are particular lies both small and large, but in the repertoire of practiced liars there’s something as powerful as any single lie: a torrent of mendacity that aims to undermine confidence in the very possibility of truth. Putin’s regime, drawing on techniques of Soviet propaganda, uses lies this way.

Steven Lee Myers and Stuart A. Thompson report Truth Is Another Front in Putin’s War (‘The Kremlin has used a barrage of increasingly outlandish falsehoods to prop up its overarching claim that the invasion of Ukraine is justified’):

Using a barrage of increasingly outlandish falsehoods, President Vladimir V. Putin has created an alternative reality, one in which Russia is at war not with Ukraine but with a larger, more pernicious enemy in the West. Even since the war began, the lies have gotten more and more bizarre, transforming from claims that “true sovereignty” for Ukraine was possible only under Russia, made before the attacks, to those about migratory birds carrying bioweapons.


The power of Russia’s claim that the invasion is justified comes not from the veracity of any individual falsehood meant to support it but from the broader argument. Individual lies about bioweapons labs or crisis actors are advanced by Russia as swiftly as they are debunked, with little consistency or logic between them. But supporters stubbornly cling to the overarching belief that something is wrong in Ukraine and Russia will fix it. Those connections prove harder to shake, even as new evidence is introduced.

That mythology, and its resilience in the face of fact-checking and criticism, reflects “the ability of autocrats and malign actors to completely brainwash us to the point where we don’t see what’s in front of us,” said Laura Thornton, the director and senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund’s Alliance for Securing Democracy.

As Putin relies on Soviet-era techniques, so do his few defenders here in America. They parrot his ever-shifting claims, moving from one to another, winning approval from the Kremlin as dutiful propagandists.

We face, as a consequence, opponents of the truth both foreign and and domestic.

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